Monday 2 January 1961
D255 was on the 8.40am Carlisle - Euston(W74).I travelled as far as Crewe,the load was 7 coaches,239tons ton Oxenholme and 12,390 tons forward after attatching the Windermere portion.We were punctual as far as Oxheys(1.3 miles north of Preston station),and then stood 18mins at Preston No5 waiting a platform.Further stops at Skew Bridge(1 mile south of Preston)and Crewe North junction for 2 mins.Despite all this ,our 24min late passage of Euxton(11.48am) had been reduced to 8mins late at Coppenhall Jn(12/44pm) and meant an arrival at Crewe 11 mins late.(12/52pm) I returned on the down "Midday Scot" behind 46236 "City of Bradford".
Saturday 4 February 1961
Carlisle to Euston on the 12.10am service(the 9/25pm From Glasgow Central on the 3rd_W10).Whilst it was a West Coast Type 4,it was D6 "Wherside"!The Carlisle departure was 4mins late and Euston arrival 32mins late at 7.47am.Driver Tom Pile of Camden was in charge.
Saturday 4 March 1961
Friday nights(3rd)9/25pm Glasgow to Euston again.,(W10/1M48)from Carlisle behind D229 on 10 vehicles,347tons, with Driver Percy "snowy"Stevens of Camden at the controller.Still working to the steam schedules and with electrification recovery time added,we passed Coppenhall Jn 27 mins early at 2.55am and paid the price by standing at Norths jn`s signals for 20mins.We eventually arrived at 3.20am,still 7mins early.At Crewe,i left the train to have a chat with the Driver,as i done at Carlisle,He invited me into the cab,together with a further invitation to have a cab ride through to Euston if i wanted to.No prizes for guessing my responce!On time from Crewe(3.41am),and with a booked stop at Rugby - 523-520am,we arrived in Euston 5 mins early at 7.10am.Our only slight delays were 2mins at Rugby no7`s signal,and a TSR at Kilsby North.
My return from the above trip(after less than two hours in London)was on the 9.5am "Royal Scot"(W63)behind D322with 8 vehicles,274tons and Driver Wilson of Upperby.The only booked stop was Preston(1/13-1/15pm)and we arrived 4mins early,despite many delays.These included signal stops at Watford No2(where the train was already 8 minutes early),3 mins at Great Bridgeford(Stafford - Norton Bridge),2 mins at Crewe South and 1 min at Preston No 1.
After Preston,the performance was exceptionally good.Lancaster was passed in 18 mins.41 sec(21.0miles)after 82 mph at Garstang, 67mph at Oxenholme(34mins.00secs after a 23mph TSR at Morecambe South Jn) was onlyreduced to 59mph at Greyrigg summit.Then 81mph at Tebay(49mins.04secs)By Shap Summit,we were down to 44mph(55mins.06secs-5mins early)A further TSR at Thimby Grange to 26mph and a maximum of 91mph brought us into Carlisle in 83mins 12 secs from Preston(90.1 miles) despite severe signals inwards from Carlisle No 12.Net time from Preston was 78 mins,a healthy 69mph average.
Saturday 8 April 1961
Driver Jack Ireson of Camden,was incharge of the up "Royal Scot"(W96),11.49am from Carlisle with D311 and 8 vehicles.Jack was a personal friend from previous steam journeys and his nickname amongst his peers was "The Black Flash".A brilliant locoman(like most men on the West Coast at this and previous times)he would never hang about,even when running early.Departing Carlisle 4mins late,we were ontime at Penrith(12/12pm),and 7 mins early by Preston(1/15pm) in 82mins.08secs!I recorded 96mph at tebay,90mph at Milnthorpe,and 85mph at Garstang.We also had a TSR at Lowgill Jn(33mph) and signals (52mph) at Carnforth,so our net time to Preston was about 79mins,over 68mph!
Many delays followed;TSR 42mph at Euxton Jn,Signals,5mph at Coppull Hall,signals 35mph at Golborne jn,and to 48mph to Warrington.TSR 33mph at Hartford,signals to 5mph to Minshull Vernon,signals 40mph Coppenhall Jn,and we passed through Crewe 1 ½ minutes early.(2.20pm-147 mins 37secs) The list of TSR`s is unbelievable nowadays; Badnall Wharf(nr Norton Bridge)31mph,Stafford and Colwich 63mph,Kilsbury Tunnel 22mph,Bilsworth 5 mph,Tring Cutting 7 mph,Aspley 40mph,Watford - Bushey 55-38mph,In additional signals at Bulkington-4 miles south of Nuneaton-(30mph),Queens Park 30mph,and Euston box 5mph can be added!
Maxima south of Crewe were 88mph at Hademore troughs,Wolverton and Wembley.We arrived at Euston 24 early,(5/1pm) in exactly 308 minutes from Carlisle.Net time was about 264mins and we contrived to make the run without stopping!
I returned to Carlisle on the 1120pm Glasgow service,(W21)again with D311.Our Driver was Harry Swift of Upperby depot.The load was a significant 16 vehicles of 605tons as far as Crewe.Three vehicles were detached there for Manchester and the load was 13-480 tons on to Carlisle.By now,engineering work in connection with electrification was well under way andregular diversions were a feature at weekends.Though not "Bustitution"a regular feature nowadays!
We were diverted via Coventry,Stechford and Bescot,and took until 3.53am to get to Crewe,21 minutes late.Departing at 3.59am(20 mins late)we reached Carlisle at 6.50am,3 mins early,despite a short stop at Mosedale Hall signals on Greyrigg bank.
Saturday 20 May 1961
Glasgow to Carlisle on the 'Midday Scot' (W126)Behind D336 with 11=383tons.This was a punctual trip despite five TSR`s and severe signals inwards from Kingmoor,107mins.08secs.Net time 98½ mins.Maximum speed was 82mph at Dinwoodie and Kirtlebridge.
Saturday 27 May 1961
The 9/25pm(of Friday the 26th)From Glasgow.The 12.10am Carlisle to Euston(W10),Again with Driver Percy Stevens of Camden.The loco was D288 with 13 vehicles of 472 tons in tow. On this trip,I did a cab ride only from Crewe to Rugby(though I don't know why!)4mins late from Carlisle,we were 3mins early into Crewe(3.24am)despite 9 minutes stood at Wigans No 2 signal.
At Rugby ,we were 3mins late arriving(5.26am),1min late departing(5.31am) and 2 mins late at Euston(7.17am) after signal stops at Attleborough and Milton IBS near Roade Jn(passed 2 min late at 6.2am)
I returned on the down 'Royal Scot'(W63) behind D307,8 vehicles and Arthur Hallaghan of Upperby at the controls.A boring but punctual run(due to the lethargic schedule)throughout,arriving at Carlisle 3 mins early.(2/41pm)
Saturday 24 June 1961
The 10.15am Glasgow to Euston (1M25) from Carlisle . As far a Crewe the loco was 6200 'The Princess Royal' with driver Walters of Upperby. At Crewe (arrived 4 mins early) 6200 handed over to D341. We were only 2 mins late at Willesden JN (7/2pm) but then stood 9 mins at Camden No. 1, and 13 mins at Euston box so we arrived 34 mins late at 7/43pm.
Returning the same evening on the 11/25pm Glasgow service (now 1S26) behind D216 with 15=542 tons on to Crewe , and 12=422 tons forward. The Northampton and Coventry , Stetchford-Bescote diversions applied again and despite a few delays arrival Carlisle was at 6.31am 27 mins early.
Wednesday 5 July 1961
Carlisle to Euston on the 10.19 'Caledonian' (1M20) behind D340 driven again by Jack Ireson of Camden . Preston was passed in 81 mins 35 secs (9 mins early/1142am) despite signals at Grayrigg (32mph) and a TSR at Oxenholme (23 mph) Carlisle to Shap summit 31.5 miles had taken only 32 mins 30 secs! (schedule 39 mins).
Impressive speeds were 95mph at Tebay, 90mph at Milnthorpe and 80mph at Garstang and contributed to this result.
We were 11 mins early at Warrington (12/11pm) but 3 mins late by Lichfield (1/31pm) due to all manner of delays including two stops outside Crewe, 2 further stops occurred at Milton IBS (Roade) and Bletchley No.3 but we still passed Tring at 2/53pm on time! Speeds in the high 80's south of Watford did not prevent an arrival on platform 3, 10 mins early (3/25pm) in 303 mins 43 secs from Carlisle about 263 mins net. After saying farewell to Jack it was over to platform 12 for the down 'Caledonian' (1S83) the 3/55pm back to Carlisle . D339 was the loco with driver Jack 'Donkey' Barker of Camden 'Donkey' was not a derogatory term as he would run hard when required to make up time (unlike his namesake on the up run). He would not do so if the schedule did not require it. It did not require it this day, even with 10 TSR's. We had no signal delays whatsoever and arrived at Carlisle 4mins early (9/4pm) in 308mins.3secs non stop from Euston. We had departed 1 late. Our maximum speeds had been moderate as the schedule was a pedestrian 313 mins. We only achieved 80mph once, after Betley Road .
Saturday 5 th August 1961
I had traveled up from Carlisle overnight behind 6256 'Sir William A. Stanier F.R.S.' on the 11/20pm Friday night (1M48) service driven by Camden 's Tom Pile. We arrived at Euston at 6.45am 23mins late.
My return on the 9.15am on the down' Royal Scot', and had Driver Hall of Upperby at the controller of D321. As it was a summer Saturday the normal (SX) load of 8 coaches was increased to 14, 489 tons. We had various slight delays down to Crewe but passed through there 2 mins early at 12/29pm. My journal shows that we first encountered signals at Madeley and ran 'block to block' (never seeing a green signal) through to Golborne Jn. We were now 12 mins late at Wigan (at 1/28pm) 10 mins late at Preston (passed at 1/48pm) then with further signal checks through to Garstang passing Lancaster 14 mins late (at 2/14pm). We were eventually brought to a stand at Oxenholme No. 2 signals from 2/35 to 2/37pm, passing through the station 18 mins late (at 2/39pm). Further checks at Low Gill Jn and a nasty one at Tebay No. 1 (3/0pm) meant that we were 24 mins late over Shat Summit (At 3/12pm) after taking a pedestrian 12 mins to climb the bank. Our speed at the summit was 16mph! (bring back the 'Duchesses'!). 4 mins were spent waiting a platform at Carlisle where we arrived 28 mins late at 3/47pm.
Saturday 19 th August 1961
I travelled up overnight on the 11/20pm from Carlisle (18 th )behind 46120 'Royal Inniskilling Fusilier' arriving 16 mins late at 6.38am . Camden 's George Sorrell was our driver. We had a non stop run from Plumpton to Euston, 286 miles in 408 mins!
My return on the 9.15am down 'Scot' was another dismal display on a congested railway. D333 was driven by Owen 'Taffy' Evans of Upperby and the load was 14,475 tons. Three signal stops between Rugeley and Colwich and we were 26 mins late at Stafford ( 12.26pm ). Matters then were considerably better than a fortnight earlier. A slight check at Balshall Lane and another signal stop at Preston No. 1 we were down to 22 mins late at Preston (2/0pm) and Lancaster (2/22pm). Oxenholme proved again to be the bogey and we stood at No. 2 box at 8 mins (2/45pm to 2/53pm) We were thus 37 mins late at Tebay (3/15pm) after another check at the foot of the bank this time from a TSR at Dillicar. A clear run and Carlisle arrival was at 3/55pm, 36 mins late.
Saturday 23 rd September 1961
The up 'Royal Scot' (1M22) 11.49am from Carlisle and Driver Alf Wallace of Camden (standing in for Jack Ireson, on leave) was at D335's controls with a load of 8 coaches. Departure was 1 min late but Carnforth was passed nearly 9 mins early (12/48pm) in 58 mins 28 seconds! 86mph was reached at Tebay (12/28pm). By Norton Bridge we had returned to running on time (2/32pm in 161 mins 48 secs from Carlisle ) due to running easily and having a few checks. (Signals at Garstang, TSRs at Standish and Whitmore) Further TSRs at Polesworth (28mph) and Rugby No. 7 (14mph) could not prevent us passing through Rugby 6 mins early (214 mins 15 secs at 3/25pm). The train had no less than 41 mins recovery time from Tamworth to Euston due to 'electrification work'. TSRs at Castlethorpe (17mph) and Cheddington (8mph) put us over Tring 18 mins early at 4/14pm (264 mins 26 secs). We then had a clear run into Euston where we arrived 28½ mins early in 291 mins 30 secs for the 299.1 miles. Plenty of 80's on this trip and a maximum of 90mph at Harrow were recorded. Another non-strop trip from Carlisle .
Net time was 276 mins.
Returning on the 11/25pm to Carlisle ,1S26 behind D287 and Albert Forrester of Upperby was our driver. The load was 16, 597 tons to Crew and 13, 474 on to Carlisle . We had no diversions that night but plenty of delays. 8 mins late departing Euston, 18 mins standing at Polesworth, 8 mins at Rugeley, 1 min Stafford No. 1, 10 mins at Whitmore and 5 mins at Crewe south Jn, so we arrived in Crewe at 3.42am 37 mins late to detach the Manchester portion.
Predictably the train was 5 mins overtime there (the booked 7 mins never seemed to be sufficient). Further signal stops of 8 mins at Boar's Head, 2 mins at Skew Bridge , 4 mins at Preston No. 1 and finally 6 mins at Brock and we were 61 mins late at Garstang (5-41am). This had been reduced to 38 mins late by Plumpton (6.46am) but the Carlisle arrival was 44 mins late (at 7.6am ) after a further stop, at Wreay North IBS . We had stood at signals for a total of 62 mins! In addition, the late start and overtime at Crewe added a further 15 mins. In the circumstances a 44 min late arrival was quite reasonable!
Wednesday 27 th September 1961
The 10.19am up 'Caledonian' from Carlisle (1M20) with D333 driven by Jack Ireson of Camden . Punctual from Carlisle we were 10 mins early at Preston ( 11.42am ) after 90mph at Greenholme. Waiting for us at Acton Grange Jn was 46238 'City of Carlisle ,the pride of Upperby , on the 8.40am Carlisle to Euston stopper. How the mighty have fallen! Then followed a number of slight signal and PW delays up the Trent Valley but we passed Rugby 9 mins early (213 mins 8 secs , 1/52pm). Short signal stops were encountered at Ashton (nr Roade) and Bushey. Despite this we were 15 mins early into Euston (at 3/25pm) in 306 mins 22 secs from Carlisle . Our maximum had been 92mph at Hademore Crossing.
Thursday 28 th September 1961
I returned from the above trip on the 1210am to Glasgow (1S29). The loco was D341 and the familiar face of Driver George Sorrell of Camden was in charge. The load was a substantial 14, 514 tons to Preston and 12, 445 forward. The start was 5 mins late due to fitters replacing a defective vacuum bag. However, despite TSRs at Kilburn and Bushey, we were 6 mins early through Rugby (at 2.6am ). TSRs at Rugby No. 7, Polesworth, Rugeley, Colewich and Whitmore (3.33am) and we were now 6 mins late. A short signal stop at Crewe south Jn meant we passed through there, 10 mins late at ( 3.53am ). This was reduced to 8mins late by the time we arrived at Preston . Our departure was 5 mins late ( 4.54-5.7am ) but were back to 1 min early by Shap Summit (at 6.22am ). The Penrith arrival was on time ( 6.38am ) and Carlisle arrival 1 min late at 7.5am . Speaking to George Sorrell at Carlisle he told me D341 had suffered from intermittent traction motor flashover throughout causing loss of power.
Saturday 16 th December 1961
The up 'Royal Scot' 11.49pm from Carlisle again D233 'Empress of Britain' this time with Driver Jack Higgins of Camden , and the usual 8 coaches. Jack Ireson should have been driving that day but was off duty and Mr Higgins was the relief man. Departing on time we were 10 mins late by Plumpton (12/22pm). After standing at Wreay IBS for 5 mins whilst a freight train dragged its weary way into South Waite loop. Signals at Milnthorpe (32mph) meant we maintained our 7 mins late from Tebay (12/41pm) through to Wigan (1/47pm). Signals at Winwick Jn (20mph) and we were running 10 to 12 mins behind time through to Tamworth (3/9pm , 199 mins 51 secs from Carlisle ). Further slight checks before Rugby and we passed that point 12 mins late (at 3/43pm). Due to excessive recovery times we were back to schedule passing Bletchley (2 mins early at 4/13pm). Our guard that day was George F Penn of Euston with whom I had travelled many times and I was with him in the rear brake van.
When passing Stoke Hammond box a mass of ballast was thrown up and hit the brake's windows (though not breaking them). George had a quick look out of the window but we were doing 81 mph at the time and it was dark so he saw nothing untoward. Seconds later two passengers came rushing through shouting 'Stop the train, someone has jumped out!'. Without hesitation George lifted the emergency brake and we came to a sudden stop near Chelmscote Bridge box (in 266 mins 2 secs from Carlisle ). The driver came back and was advised what had happened. He in turn sent his second man forward to advise the signalman and was assured that all lines were stopped. As this was a Saturday there were as usual two Euston guards aboard, the second one was travelling home passenger after working the Friday down 'Caledonian' with no return work on the Saturday. Our two guards left the train, walking north they eventually found the body of the man who apparently (according to witnesses) had simply stood up, opened the window and door of a 2 nd class open coach and jumped.We stood for just over 50mins anda further 1 min at Chelmscote Bridge box,updating the signalman.Then it was off to Euston,unchecked,we ran the last 42.3 miles in 39mins,20secs,arriving 39mins late in 360mins 20 secs from Carlisle(5/49pm).We touched 90mph at King`s Langley,Harrow and Wembley.Of course there was nothing ahead of us,as everything else would have kept moving whilst we had stood for almost an hour.An eventful journey indeed!
I still have the contemporary newspaper cutting from(I think) the'Sunday People' ,it reads:
'KILLED IN TRAIN FALL'
'Passengers grabbed a man as he fell to his death yesterday from the Royal Scot express as it raced through Bletchley on its way to London.But the man,aged about 40,and wearing a duffle cost went through an open door onto the track'
The same locomotive,D233 was at the head of the 11/25pm from Euston to Carlisle ,with Driver Kit Collins of Upperby in charge.
(Nowadays the whole 'Royal Scot' train and loco,would probably have been impounded as a 'Crime scene' whilst BTP,HMRI,RSSB,H&SE and uncle Tom Cobbley etc,crawled all over it for a few weeks!)
The load was 16,577tons to Crewe,and 12 ,422 tons forward,Again,no diversions were experienced and a 6 mins late start(loading mails) was converted into passing Rugby 11mins early(at 1.18m)despite a 2 min signal stop at Bourne End.So we arrived at Crewe on time(at 3.5am),departing(predictably!) ,10 mins late(at 3.22am) after detaching the Manchester portion.
Nothing much happened after that,apart from running slow line at Golborne Jn to Wigan and Standish Jn to Preston ,passed 6 late(at 4.34am ).
Unchecked,we ran into Carlisle at 6.17am ,5mins early.The first time I had ever arrived on or before time on this service.