‘ALL POINTS NORTH’ ‘ALL POINTS NORTH’
Memories of a summer 1981 tour of Scotland by Steve Morris Ty Mawr Publications the depots visited during the week. Thanks to Colin Webb for filling in the gaps in my records and in particular for the depot visit lists.
Ihad always had a particular interest in the Scottish Railway scene. This was probably reinforced during my spotting days by the chance to see motive power that rarely ventured south of Carlisle, and due to the fact that it always seemed easier to ‘bunk’ Scottish sheds than those south of the border. Things were changing with the introduction of the summer 1981 timetable. Class 37s had taken over the West Highland passenger duties and it would only be a matter of time before the Far North Line services would go the same way. A week travelling to ‘All Points North’ therefore seemed like a good idea!
The plan was to cover all the extremities: Wick and Thurso, Kyle of Lochalsh, Mallaig and Oban and visit a few depots in between. I had recently started work with BR and been given an All Lines pass to enable me to broaden my experience of the railway system; the above trip would certainly do that! My companion Colin Webb was less fortunate and had to purchase a Scottish Rover but, as you will see below, it proved to be money well spent!
What follows is a day-to-day summary of the trip, with a table detailing the contents of
Day 1&2 Day 1&2
24-25th JULY 1981
Holyhead to Haymarket We kicked off with 47 438 on 1K89, the 2015 ‘Mail Bach’ TPO from Holyhead to Crewe, which ran to time and gave us an hour or so at Crewe for some night photography, before joining the 20:15 departure for Glasgow Central behind 85 005. We found an empty compartment and had time to attempt some sleep before an on time arrival, with things all going well so far! The plan was then to spend some time in the Glasgow area and have a look in at a few depots, before heading off to Edinburgh. Our first target would be Grangemouth depot.
We crossed Glasgow to Queen Street station to pick up the 06:40, 2L27 departure to Dundee, taking this to Larbert. Class 40s were becoming less common on Scottish passenger duties, so we were quite pleased to find the booked class 40 in the shape of Haymarket’s 40 064 up front. An on time departure followed, with assistance provided up to Cowlairs by 27 037.
From Larbert a DMU, 101 324, took us across to Falkirk Grahamston, the closest we could get to Grangemouth depot. It was still only about 8:00 a.m. but the temperature was rising and the trek over to the depot, which seemed to be situated in the middle of the Grangemouth refinery, was a bit laborious! There were only seven locomotives to view there so we were left wondering if it was all worth it, but I guess it was good to get a bit of fresh air!
It was then on to Haymarket with another DMU, 101 310, to pick up 47 701 to get us back to Glasgow. Passing Haymarket depot, we could see a selection of classes 20/25/26/40 and 47, including recently withdrawn 40 165, an example that had spent its whole life based there. Departure from Haymarket was ten minutes late, but most of this had been recovered by the time we got to Queen Street.
The next target was Motherwell travelling on the 11:20 departure from Central, EMU set 303 011. The depot held over forty locomotives with plenty of variety, as can be seen in table 1. Leaving Motherwell at 12:33, we headed back to Glasgow to take the 13:35 service for Ayr, which departed a few minutes late with DMUs 126 410 and 126 420.
Ayr depot held a couple of class 20s and a 27 as shown, not a great catch, but at least the trip up and down the coastal route gave us some time to recover from the lack of sleep the night before! Glasgow Central
20 TRACTION 197 May/June 2011 OPPOSITE: On Sunday July 26th 1981, Haymarket based 40 157 leads Canton’s 47 231 through Haymarket station on a spoil train, following track replacement work in the area.
RIGHT: 27th July 1981. 26 032 is seen entering Georgemas Junction with the Wick portion of the 15.49 Thurso to Inverness, which can be seen alongside having arrived behind 26015. Having worked up to Wick with two Mk1s a full brake has now been added to the consist. After combining with the Thurso portion, 26015 ended up taking the train on to its destination.
was reached via the 14:45 from Ayr, bang on time.
Now it was time to head for Eastfield depot. Another EMU, 303 009, took us from Queen Street to Springburn. A short walk found us at the depot, a place where I would find myself working twelve months later! There was no difficulty in being allowed to look around the depot, with almost sixty locomotives on site. Eastfield was never a disappointment, as can be seen in table 1!
We went back to Queen Street in another 303, where more 26 012, 26 019, 27 022, 27 037, 37 025, 37 035, 40 160, 47 013, 47 207, 47 704 and 47 710 were seen heading a variety of late afternoon services along with a nice surprise, in the shape of 55 016, on a return Adex from Scarborough.
The final journey of the day involved taking the 19:30 Queen Street to Edinburgh as far as Haymarket. We travelled behind 47 701 for the second time that day, with an on time arrival. There was still plenty of time to have a look around Haymarket depot with thirty-five locomotives on view. At the end of a busy twenty-four hours, almost six hundred miles had been covered!
27th JULY 1981 Day 4 Day 4
Inverness to Wick and Thurso This would be the first time either of us had ventured so far north. Class 26s still dominated the Far North workings, although it would not be long before 37s took over. Our train was the 2K09 11:10 service, headed by Inverness’s 26 043. Prior to the our departure the station was host to 26 041, 27 107 and 27 003 in multiple with 27 105, as well as 47 432 and 47 564 on an assortment of other services;
somewhat more interesting compared to today’s menu of class 158s and 170s!
Departure was bang on time again and so we headed off onto the most northerly section of railway in the country. North of the junction for Kyle at Dingwall, I found the scenery a bit monotonous after the first hour or so. 26 023 and 26 021 were crossed on passenger trains at Dingwall and Tain respectively, along with 27 041 and 27 204 heading south on a freight service at Ardgay, so there was life en route!
Georgemas Junction, where 26 015 was waiting to take half of our train on to Thurso,
Depot sightings 25th July 1981
08 561/722 20 115 37018/028/155/196
Day 3 Day 3
26th JULY 1981
Haymarket to Inverness I suppose this was the start of the ‘All Points North’ part of our trip. A fairly leisurely day involved us taking the 1N20 08:43 departure from Haymarket to Aberdeen behind Bristol Bath Road based 47 008. It was a Sunday, so the pace was somewhat slow, and involved wrong line running between Haymarket and Dalmeny, as well as between Dundee Harbour and Broughty Ferry. Withdrawn shunting locomotives 06 005 and 06 006 were seen at Dundee, whilst Aberdeen held 08 828, 08 885, 25 037, 27 021, 47 014 and 47 209. Travelling onwards, Inverness was reached on time and here a quick look around the depot produced twenty-five locomotives on view. Then it was off to find the B&B.
All photos by the author unless otherwise credited.
08 192/312/321/326/343/421/437/563/723/731/732/883 20 078/086/089/111/124/149/152 25 226/229/231/240 26 023/033 27 019/020/110/205/208 37 124/129/137/144/145/148/150/152/154/156 40 178 47 141
20 083/191 27 102
08 196/348/402/442/721/727/733/754/764/853 20 027/036/080/117/201 25 227/233/244 26 012/019 27 004/007/010/012/014/023/025/027/030/038/043/104/106/109/211 37 012/015/021/025/033/039/043/050/051/085/108/112/117/147/149 47 120/149/562/578/701
08 717/763 20 110/218 25 049/064/072/082/119 26 007/008/045 27 112 40 052/061/065/075/165 47 109/272/274/426/470/488/516/519/525/702/703/706/707 55 010/016/022