CROMWELL’S EAST ANGLIAN CIRCULAR 8 MAY 2010
Report by Peter Maynard
This was a rare easy day for No. 70013’s support crew: departure from Southall depot at the blissfully late hour of 8.15 and back by 22.00 – actually about 30 mins early thanks to some sympathetic signal staff who moved us round the Tottenham & Hampstead on the way back from London Liverpool Street ahead of the distinctly leisurely official schedule. Although that still might sound a long day, regular readers will know we often have some real marathons.
But plenty happened before the getting back. This East Anglian jaunt from Liverpool Street took Cromwell along track that rarely sees steam: the ‘back road’ via Temple Mills to Coppermill Junction; the GE Cambridge main line via Harlow and Bishop’s Stortford; and the single line from Cambridge via Newmarket to Chippenham Junction. Once away from our pick-up stop at Tottenham Hale we made brisk progress to Broxbourne where we were looped to allow a Stansted Express to pass. Then we were swiftly away, climbing up the Stort valley to Elsenham summit before descending to criss-cross the infant River Cam to the university town where we had an 11-minute pathing stop.
After a slow exit through the outskirts of Cambridge No. 70013 eventually got into her stride before tackling the steep climb to Dullingham where our passing of a Sprinter unit was witnessed by what might have been the first real crowds for that tiny station. Then it was downhill to Newmarket, through the single-bore Warren Hill tunnel (from which our immaculate engine and support coach emerged covered in black soot and dirt) and on past green, beautifully maintained racehorse training gallops to Bury St Edmunds where the passengers detrained to stretch their legs and we serviced our fine locomotive.
After two and a quarter hours it was then off to Haughley Junction to pick up the GE Norwich main line for what has become the customary gallop back to The Smoke: comfortable 70 mph lope through Stowmarket and Needham to Ipswich; rousing ascent of Belstead bank; dash through Manningtree; water stop at Colchester; sweep through Chelmsford and then the ten miles up to Ingrave; easy cruise through the London suburbs – but still 55 through Stratford with that chime whistle blowing; on time arrival at Liverpool Street.
No ‘official’ accompanying photographs – we were either too busy and/or it was dull and wet, but we can offer you links to a couple of grand photographs of us pelting through Hatfield Peverel: Stuart Axe’s Flickr site, photos by his friend Dave.
Thanks fellas for making two great images available to a big audience.
By Info | Tuesday, May 11, 2010 | Tags : 70013