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Saturday 28th January, 86259 spent the quiet period between Christmas and mid-January at Tyseley Locomotive Works where I was able to tidy it up, give it a polish and clean the outside of the wheelsets. Just look at the second photo (below). Since it would need checking over and 'fitness to run' before the year's first heritage trip it was collected by Rail Operations Group ("ROG") diesel loco 56104 on Monday 23rd January to be dragged back to Willesden depot, via Nuneaton and Northampton, for an A-exam.

On Saturday 28th January this first Cumbrian Mountain Express trip of 2017 was hauled from London Euston to Carnforth by 86259, stopping to pick up more passengers at Milton Keynes, Rugby, Nuneaton and Crewe. At Carnforth 46115 "Scots Guardsman" took over the train for the journey up Shap to Carlisle.

Although advertised as the 'Cumbrian Mountain Express', the Settle-Carlisle line closure at Armathwaite resulted in modification of this trip into a 'Cumbrian Coast Express'. "Scots Guardsman" took the stock over Shap to Carlisle, where passengers had time to explore this ancient city with its cathedral and castle plus an assortment of shops and cafes. 46115 then returned to Carnforth via the coastal route through Workington, Seascale and Barrow-in-Furness to Carnforth on what proved to be a very wet day.

The driver on the 'out' journey was Phil Spice. The train was delayed by 8 minutes at Stafford due to a late-running London Midland scheduled service from Wolverhampton to Liverpool which was packed to overflowing with football supporters going to a match. Steven Beams dealt with the 'back' movement. David Grieff accompanied me, acting as engineer, though no significant problems occurred in the operation of '259.

As usual, 86259 spent the night in Euston after the trip's return and was taken by Steve Beams on Sunday to be stabled for three weeks or so 'under the wires' at Rugby.

Saturday 4th March This trip followed much the same pattern as that on 28th January with Steven Beams driving the out journey and Ray Poole attending to the return. 45699 "Galatea" took the stock forward from Carnforth.

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23rd January 86259 nameplate photo 'Les Ross' . © John Jackson on Flickr .

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23rd January 86259 (being dragged by 56104) at Nuneaton, Tyseley to Willesden. © John Jackson on Flickr.

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23rd January 0J72, the late running 12:36 Tyseley Steam Trust to Willesden T.M.D., eases through Northampton as 56104 leads 86259 ready for use on Cumbrian Mountain Express duties. © Derek Elston on Flickr.

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23rd January 56104 drags 86259 from Tyseley to Willesden in very gloomy light at Northampton. © Richard on Flickr.

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23rd January A busy scene at Old Linslade on January 23rd 2017. 56104 is dragging 86259 from Tyesley to Willesden. 86259 was booked on Railtour work a few days later. © Leighton logs on Flickr.

Although Richard (above) thought it was "gloomy light" at Northampton, it is looking definitely foggy by the time 259 reached Linslade on Monday afternoon. Note that 259 + 56104 are on the 'up slow' whereas the Pendolino is (naturally) on the 'up fast'. Webmaster.


28th January Not very sharp but it was still very dark as 86259 passes Leighton with 1Z86 07:10 Euston - Carlisle "kettlex". © Leighton logs on Flickr.

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28th January Railway Touring Company Winter Cumbrian Coast Express 1Z86 arrives at Preston Station Platform 4, 9' late behind BR EE AL6 No. E3137/86259 'Les Ross'/'Peter Pan'. © steamdriver12 on Flickr.

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28th January In some of the finest 'Lancashire sunshine', 86259 heads north from Preston, at Broughton, with the 1Z86 Euston to Carlisle 'Winter Cumbrian Coast Express'. © John Hales on Flickr.

Great view of the roof equipment. Webmaster.

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28th January 86259 1Z86 London Euston - Carlisle 'The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express' at Galgate. © Simon Kerry on Flickr.

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28th January 1Z86: 46115: Grayrigg.

1Z86 was RTC "the Cumbrian Coast Express" originally to be outbound from Carnforth via Shap and then back via the coastal route - however gauging issues intervened and whereas the Scot could run the route in 2016, it appears not to be the case this year - so a return via Shap was on the cards.
Not so, the train went along the coast on the return. Webmaster.

Euston to Carnforth was in the hands of 86259, where steam (46115 Scots Guardsman) took over - departing 8 minutes late, the Scot passed me just south of Grayrigg summit like a demon possessed - audible on the bank for some time and with drain cocks open she tore up and over Grayrigg.

© Paul Berry on Flickr.

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28th January 86259 'Les Ross' at Preston on RTC's 'The Winter Cumbrian Coast Express' 1Z87 Carlisle(14:06) - London Euston via the Cumbrian coast. © British Rail 1980s and 1990s on Flickr.

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4th March 86259-Les-Ross-,The-Cumbrian-Mountain-Express-Tour---1Z86-0710-London-Euston-to-Carlisle-,-Heamies-Farm-,-4-3-2017addda © Brian Hall on Flickr.

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It razzed out a bit better for the celeb 86259 on a Kettlex 1Z86 07.10 Euston - Carlisle "Winter Cumbrian Coast Express" Jubilee 45699 "Galatea" forward from Carnforth. Saturday 4 March 2017. © terry eyres on Flickr.