With LMS Stanier Pacific No 6201 a Tyseley resident these days, her hosts took the opportunity to pair her with their adventurous Castle 4-6-0 No 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe for a double-headed assault on both Shap and the Settle-Carlisle line.
They came onto our 10 coaches at Carnforth (making 12 for the climb) and by Burton we were at 65, and 71 at Elmsfield. We had dropped only to 66 at Oxenholme, well into the climb to Grayrigg, and maintained this almost to the top, dropping only momentarily to 64. On through the Lune gorge at maximum speed, we dropped only to 68 at Greenholme, 64 at Scout Green, 58 at Salterwath and a minimum of 57 just before Shap Summit. This magnificent performance was matched by a thrilling downhill run at maximum speed - 75 through Penrith was unforgettable!
The break at Carlisle gave us a brief glimpse of No 70000 Britannia, returning south on another railtour after its epic journey last week. The we heard the news that No 6201 had run a warm tender axlebox, so it was for No 5043 to take 11 coaches solo back over the S&C.
She set to the task with a will and we were 8 minutes early into Appleby. Setting off still early after a quick splash, we were doing 57 by Smardale Viaduct, 46 through Kirkby Stephen and Birkett, then accelerated up Mallerstang, making most of the climb at 50 or just under, with 48 at the summit. Another magnificent climb with a plucky and capable engine, and there were many smiles on the train as we ratteld down at line speed to Hellifield. A final burst came when we accelerated from 24 over Whalley viaduct to 31 at the entrance to Wilpshire tunnel.
All this effort had depleted the Castle's coal supplies and we needed a diesel pilot from Warrington to get the train home to Tyseley at a reasonable time after a thrilling day.
Categories & Keywords
Keywords:5043, 6201, Carnforth, Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, Princess Elizabeth, Settle, Shap