Jack drifts down towards Leadhills station © 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 proceed. 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 the 60s..... Another great day out - we enjoyed it thoroughly - well done Pathfinder Tours! Link: Pathfinder Tours
Northbound 91 at Newcastle 60800 Green Arrow at York D9000 at Newcastle Central D9000 at the rear, York Northern Spirit 158 on the High Level Bridge, Newcastle 156 448 passes Green Arrow, Stockton NER ironwork at York Station