A Busy Week
5305LA locos have been busy over the last few days. 70013 Oliver Cromwell worked the RTC sponsored Royal Duchy from Bristol to Par and back on Sunday 12th August. Despite coming to a stand following a red signal at the bottom of Rattery bank and having great difficutly in starting the train on the steep gradient, 70013 was eventually coaxed into action by the driver and continued on its way, still arriving at Plymouth "right time". The rest of the journey to Par and the whole of the return back to Plymouth passed without further incident.
The following day, Monday 13th August, 45305 was in action with another Mersey Moorlander for Compass Tours, taking charge from Preston to Carlisle via Settle and back to Carnforth over Shap. Although the loco was overloaded once again with 12 coaches it coped well and despite the steep climbs, Carlisle was reached on time. However, it proved impossible to pull back the losses on the climb to Shap and arrival at the Carnforth loop, where 45305 completed its stint, was quarter of an hour adrift. This was a good performance considering the trailing load of 450 tons.
The same day, 70013 moved from Bristol to Yeovil Junction to be in position for Wednesday's Dorset Coast Express return leg. The 'Brit' left Yeovil Junction at 12.00 on Wednesday 15th August to travel to Weymouth. Here it came on the train and was banked up the gradient from the station by 34067 Tangmere, which had hauled the outward leg, as far as Dorchester South station. Cromwell continued alone from here and took the charter back to London Waterloo.
Next week two weeks are also very busy for 45305 and 70013. On Saturday 18th August 70013 is booked to haul the West Somerset Steam Express out and back from Paddington to Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway. The 'Black Five' will be working the last Mersey Moorlander in the series on Monday 20th August as well as being in charge of the Fellsman on Wednesday the 22nd. This completes the work of 45305 based at Carnforth and it will move to York for the Scarborough Spa Express from the 27th-30th August, followed by The Waverley of Sunday 2nd September. On Saturday 1st September, 70013 Oliver Cromwell will work The Spitfire from Kensington Olympia to Faversham and back as well as The Hop Picker from Faversham to Sheerness and return for Shepherd Neame.