© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
We have been known (Steve, Dave and I) to sally forth on the
odd railtour (some odder than others...). Here was one which
appealed to me greatly - Pathfinder's "Tyne-Tees Venturer"
from Wolverhampton to Newcastle, hauled by D9000 "Royal
Scots Grey" to York and back, then , with Gresley V2 no 60800
"Green Arrow" doing the honours York - Newcastle - York.
We joined the tour at its point of origin, in the dark of a late
October morning, hearing the Deltic long before we could see it
as our train pulled up at the platform. At York there followed a
slightly complex manoeuvre, the Deltic being attached to the
rear ("emergency power in the event of a breakdown") and Green
Arrow at the front.
The train ran slow line to Northallerton, where it
diverged to take the line to Stockton, our first
stopping and watering point. We should then have
taken the coast line northwards, but subsidence
problems meant our heavy locos were temporarily
banned from the route, so we followed the
normally freight-only line to Ferryhill.
On arrival at Newcastle, the train proceeded to
Heaton for servicing, leaving passengers with the best part of a
couple of hours to kill. I killed mine on the top of the castle
keep (my colleagues, shame on them, went to the pub).
A very heavy rainstorm caused Green Arrow to (temporarily) lose
her grip on the rails on the southbound journey
approaching Ferryhill. It caused trains behind us much
greater grief, as we discovered when we arrived back in
York - a bolt of lightning had knocked out the signalling
behind us, causing chaos to services.
The main problem for us was that, at York, our trailing
Deltic had to get back to the business end of the train.
Unfortunately, York station seemed to be full of trains,
unable to proceed due to the problems in the Durham
area - the result being some delay before we we able to
Being near the front of the train meant we could hear
the roar of the Deltic on our return journey - a mixed
blessing, as it also meant we got the full benefit of the
exhaust fumes for which Deltics were noted. By the
time we arrived in Wolverhampton, I fully understood
why east coast trains received air-conditioned stock in
Another great day out - we enjoyed it thoroughly - well
done Pathfinder Tours!
Link: Pathfinder Tours