‘Border Raider’ checked

By Cedric Johns

The A1 Trust’s Tame Bridge Parkway-Carlisle ‘Border Raider’ trip hauled by 4-6-2 No. 60163 Tornado on Saturday, September 16 ran into pathing problems arriving in Carlisle nearly an hour late but despite last-minute route changes the train recovered and was only a minute late back at Thame Bridge Parkway.

LNER A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado passes Armathwaite with UK Railtours’ ‘Border Raider’ returning from Carlisle to Birmingham on September 16. DAVE COLLIER

Not for the first time train timings were late in being published and it appears paid no account of a total line block at Clitheroe because of engineering work, which affected the return leg.

That said, the outward journey was hit by an operational incident on ScotRail resulting in a domino effect disrupting service trains south of the border.

Originally planned to travel down the West Coast Main Line, and a closure of the East Coast Main Line at Newcastle diverting train via Carlisle, the ‘Raider’ was checked by looping at Barton and again at Oxenholme where the train was reported to be 54 minutes late.

As a result the ‘Raider’ reached Carlisle well after booked time, which severely reduced the A1’s turn round and passengers’ leg-stretching opportunities.

LNER A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado crosses Longwood viaduct with UK Railtours ‘Border Raider’ on September 16. On its return from Carlisle to Birmingham, the train was diverted at the last minute as the Hellifield-Blackburn line was closed for engineering work, becoming the first steam train over the Standedge route for four years. ALAN WEAVER

Departing a reported 15 minutes late more time was lost because of the Clitheroe closure, which meant a diversion via Hellifield, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Stalybridge, Denton (water), the train passing Stockport 24 minutes down.

Good work on the footplate and a fairly clear road enabled the 4-6-2 to reduce the deficit, the ‘Raider’ reaching Crewe 15 minutes in arrears.

More good work followed and after passing Stafford the train finally reached Tame Bridge just a minute behind schedule.

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