Friday, 30 December 2011

"Tornado" Strikes Bedworth!...

Hello guys! Post No115 of 2011 and, a little unexpected at that. I was surfing the net the other night and came across timings for a main line excursion that was due to be hauled by the regal "King Edward I". However, the tour was diverted due to pathing issues and, due to this, the King was subsequently declared out of gauge. The new build A1 No60163 "Tornado" was quickly pencilled in to deputise for the Western 4-6-0 and so the tour was spared diesel haulage. The trip was named the "William Shakespeare" and ran between London Paddington and Stratford-upon-Avon. The outward run took the obvious route through Leamington and Hatton to reach Straford but, for some reason, the return trip went a little 'out of its way'. Leaving Stratford, the train ran into Birmingham and then along to Nuneaton. At this point, it got unusual. The train then turned onto the Coventry line, via my hometown of Bedworth. It then ran through Kenilworth and back to Leamington before continuing on to Banbury and, finally, Paddington. Naturally, we caught sight of the loco at Bedworth. In the persistant rain, a group of us waited and waited. The loco was due at around 15:27 but by 15:40, we were wondering where she was. I suppose we need not have worried as within minutes we heard the familar chime whistle and there was a huge cloud of steam on the horizon. With 12 coaches in tow, through she came. The smoke deflectors seemed to be doing a good job as 60163 sailed through with a near black exhaust...

The loco was booked for a stop at Hawkesbury Lane, just after Bedworth station. However, as she was already running later than the departure time for that stop we figured that she would just keep going. This seemed to be true as the loco was moving quite a bit quicker than we thought she would be. This was my 4th encounter with "Tornado" and, I must admit, though she is very, very new...I am warming to her. She is very attractive and looks like she could do a fair bit more than 75mph. I look forward to seeing her again and it was a pleasure to spot her so close to home. If I remember right, this is the first time that a steam hauled excursion has been down this route since December 2004 when Pannier No9600 came from Tyseley. A rare but much appreciated occasion. Evening all, Sam...

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