Rail Report 2018


My 2018 holiday began on Monday 6 August at Cheltenham station, observing 220 025 (Cross Country to Bristol Temple Meads) and 165 131 (GWR to Westbury) before yellow liveried digital track recording train 950 001 headed south through the station.  Cross Country Tran’s 220 002 then formed the 0942 service 1M29 to Birmingham New Street via the Camp Hill line.  My designated seat was D17A but in fact became D14A.

Visible on the approach to Birmingham were  220 016 at Proof House Junction, and 170 504/503.

My onward train to Lancaster was the 1145 with the unusual reporting number 9S55 formed by 390 124 “Virgin Venturer”.  My seat was the very agreeable H45.

390 005 “City of Wolverhampton” and 390 006 “Rethink Mental Illness” were noted at Wolverhampton while at Crewe I saw 68 025 “Superb” 153 321 and 87 035 “Robert Burns” at Crewe Heritage Centre.  390 049 “Virgin Express” was seen at Preston, 185 127 (pictured)  and 350 405/403 were seen at Lancaster.  144 017 was later noted at Carnforth as Mark and I attended a film show on the last days of steam in North West England.  This included various railtours leading up to the famous 1T57 Fifteen Guinea Special of 11 August 1968 and also some footage of the early days of the Worth Valley Railway.

Tuesday 7 August 2018 was mainly spent in and around Windermere although 156 440 was noted.

Wednesday 8 August marked the start of our road trip to York during which we stopped at Settle to see Leeds bound 158 872 and at Hellifield to see 144017 (again) en route to Morecambe.

On the morning of Thursday 9 August 2018 I had the chance to re-visit my old stamping ground of Love Lane footbridge ( just south of Holgate girder bridge on the East Coast Main Line) and note the passing of 91 110 “Battle of Britain Memorial Flight” in its special vinyl livery and 91 127.  An HST set lead by 43 272 was noted in the new red and white LNER colours while passing through York station en route to the National Railway Museum.

This included many of our old favourite trains including Horwich Crab 2-6-0 13000, Class 20 D8000, Class 40 D200, D1023 “Western Fusilier” and Class 55 D9002 “The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry”.


Friday 10 August 2018 found us back in Windermere and catching 156 423 to Kendal at 1047.  We then walked from Kendal to Oxenholme and caught the 1413 formed by 390 005 “City of Wolverhampton” to Lancaster.  While waiting for this train we noted 158 904, 350 401, 350 409, 390 127 “Virgin Buccaneer” and Stoneblower DR 80213.


At Lancaster we noted 390 141 “City of Chester” and then boarded 390 127 “Virgin Buccaneer” to Birmingham New Street noting 142 046 at Preston.  Crewe yielded the sight of  66 172 “Paul Melleney” top and tailing a passenger train with Class A4 4-6-2 60009 “Union of South Africa” as well as 153 313,  221 103 “Christopher Columbus” /221 101 “Louis Bleriot”.

At Birmingham New Street 170 635 was noted before Mark and I parted company and I took 220 020 back to Cheltenham