"Pathfinder Tours"
Ynys Mon Charter
October 28th 2000

Crewe Station circa 09.55 and Ian Riley's Class 37 diesel 37038 pulled into platform 11 with the Ynys Mon charter from Birmingham to Holyhead. The train had been booked to start from Birmingham International but this was changed to New Street. 28/10/2000

The diesel unhooked and ran forward together with the generator coach which left the train without heating to Holyhead and back. I understand that the additional weight of the generator coach would have given the Castle problems leaving Holyhead on wet rails. 28/10/2000

37038 then reversed onto the centre road and parked up. The headboard was removed. 28/10/2000

5029, having manoeuvred itself from the Heritage Centre in clouds of steam, then carefully reversed into the station with its support coach and onto the train. The 37/4's used to perform a similar operation with coastal trains and it always looks dangerous because the junction is so busy. 28/10/2000

The footplate crew were clearly not going to allow the engine to be damaged by "hydraulicing" and there was much blowing of steam through the cocks as the cylinders were cleared of condensate. GWR lamp brackets are different from English Electric so the headboard could not be attached. 28/10/2000

 It was a nostalgic sight as these two veteran prime movers posed side-by-side while the Castle continued to clear its cylinders. 28/10/2000

 Ancient and very ancient - comparative front ends of pre and post "modernisation" motive power. 28/10/2000

The train ran out and back through some appalling weather but without apparent difficulty. On the return journey the Castle was replaced by 37038 at Crewe, together with the generator coach, and returned to Birmingham.