Arriving at Lancaster this morning for the Winter Cotton Mill Express, we were told the train would be delayed in arriving from Carnforth as there were problems with two of the carriages, and the train was being remarshalled. Eventually Scots Guardsman speeded into Lancaster and braked hard to stop in the station. We left at 09.35 instead of 08:14. but the loco seemed determined to make up time. We reached 71 by Hollins Lane, 75 by Carbus and still she went on flying through Garstang and Bilsborrow, Barton and Broughton, until she began slowing for Preston, descending to 73 by the M55. We arrived at Preston at 09:58: an excellent 23 minutes for the 20 miles.
There, however, we sat and sat, whilst increasing numbers of orange coated men appeared, walked around, examined and deliberated. Meanwhile we gathered that the earlier problem at Carnforth had been that one coach derailed and had damaged another. Eventually we were told that there was a problem with the vacuum brake on the loco: a nearby WCRC 37 was brought on the front to see if it could help overcome the problem. It could not, and shortly after 12 the train was announced as cancelled. Many of us rode back to Lancaster on the next Pendolino, which took eight minutes less than our outward run!