Charters and Railtours

There is a long history of special extra trains being run to cope with additional passenger demand.  Whether it was a day out at the seaside, a trip to a football match, a tour for enthusiasts over unusual lines or with rare locomotive haulage or a journey to a special event rail was seen as the preferred mode of transport for moving large numbers of people.  Sadly the privatised train operating companies have neither the resources nor the enthusiasm to run as many special trains as used to operate, but some of the enterprising smaller companies do hire locomotives and coaches to meet extra demand.  To see how BR used to cope, the August 1982 edition of "Modern Railways" magazine described the operation to run over 180 additional passengers trains to and from York in conjunction with a papal visit.


Click here for the full image (100kb) Rekindling memories of over 20 years ago when Class 40s were a common sight on the East Coast Main Line, 40145 passes Craigentinny carriage sidings on 26 August 2005 with Pathfinder's 1Z40 (!) 'Whistling Scotsman' railtour.  This was the first leg of a marathon tour over the Bank Holiday weekend which saw the veteran Whistler run from Bradford to Aberdeen on the Friday, Aberdeen to Kyle of Lochalsh and return to Inverness on the Saturday and from Inverness to York on the Sunday.


Click here for the full image (100kb) On 18 September 2004 45112 passes Slateford station with a return Pathfinder excursion to Newton.  For once the sun had come out just at the right time! There are more photographs of Peaks in a dedicated section.


Click here for the full image (72kb) More than 20 years after the Deltics bowed out from East Coast Main Line service, the preserved examples still see main line operations.  55019 "Royal Highland Fusilier" approaches Torness (near Dunbar) on 23 April 2005 with a Deltic Preservation Society charter from Kings Cross to Edinburgh.  Unfortunately the Deltic failed at Edinburgh and was unable to haul the return journey.
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In July 2005 to coincide with the G8 Summit in Gleneagles a number of aid organisations held a rally in Edinburgh to highlight world poverty.  There were several special trains bringing participants and 47826 is seen at Inveresk on 2 July 2005 with 1Z51 Leeds to Edinburgh.


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47145 in its celebrated Tinsley traction depot livery is seen at the rear of the above train on 2 July 2005.  Many locomotive hauled special trains run with a locomotive at either end (top and tail formation) as often there is neither a track layout to facilitate run rounds nor staff to perform the uncoupling and coupling operations.


Click here for the full image (62kb) The Open Golf championship at St Andrews in July 2005 presented FirstScotrail with a headache - lots more potential passengers but no extra trains to put them in!  The solution was to hire two rakes of Mark 2 coaches with Class 47s at either end, which many people would say was an improvement on the company's regular Class 158 DMUs!  47832 is at the head of the 1Z08 1840 Leuchars to Edinburgh passing Turnhouse on 16 July 2005.  47703 is at the rear of the train.


Click here for the full image (66kb) Another "Golfex", the 1Z10 1906 Leuchars to Edinburgh, is top and tailed by 47712 and 47709 at Turnhouse on 16 July 2005.  Both locomotives were familiar performers on this route in their ScotRail push-pull days.


Click here for the full image (80kb) 47851 approaches Musselburgh station on 13 August 2005 with the 1Z71 1653 Edinburgh to Spondon excursion.


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47826 is at the rear of the 1Z71 1653 Edinburgh to Spondon excursion on 13 August 2005 as it passes Musselburgh station.  This locomotive, which carries the name "Springburn" to commemorate the railway works in Glasgow, was for many years a Haymarket based engine in its previous guise as 47274.