Merseyside, Chester & North Wales Branch

Day Trip to Strathclyde - 14th June 2016

Strathclyde has a reputation for wet weather and it is therefore somewhat surprising that this annual Branch fixture to the area generally enjoys good weather. This was no exception which was rather fortunate since the weather in North West England was somewhat wet. The advance party departed Wigan North Western aboard 350403 [1S35 07.00 Manchester Airport - Glasgow Central] arriving at Glasgow Central 6 minutes ahead of the remainder of the party appropriately travelling on 390141 City of Chester [1S37 05.30 Euston - Glasgow Central].

On our previous outings to Strathclyde we had sampled ferry crossings of the Clyde and from Ardrossan to Arran. This time our sights were set on visiting the Isle of Bute and so our initial journey from Glasgow Central was aboard 380002 to the delightful station of Wemyss Bay. This retains most of its original features and is currently a undergoing refurbishment in which they continue to feature.

   Part of the concourse of Wemyss Bay station   Peter Hughes
   The superbly-maintained original walkway from Wemyss Bay station to the ferry's landing stage   Peter Hughes

Upon arrival at Wemyss Bay, return tickets to Rothesay were purchased and we then boarded Cal Mac Ferry MV Argyle dating from 2007. En route we passed sister Ship MV Bute which dates from 2005. Both vessels were built in Poland. The weather was beautiful however there was a sombre aspect to the trip as MV Argyle carried a hearse with a coffin. We concluded that the person had been born on Bute and was now returning home to be buried.

   Wemyss Bay Station viewed from MV Argyle just after it departed for Rothesay   Alan Turton

   MV Bute crossing the Firth Clyde on the 12:00 from Rothesay to Wemyss Bay   Peter Hughes
   MV Argyle at Rothesay waiting to depart of the 13:00 to Wemyss Bay   Alan Turton

Rothesay is most a most attractive town. The main street contains many shops & cafes including Zavaroniď's Cafe owned by the cousin of Lena Zavoroni who lived in Rothesay for 10 years before winning "Opportunity Knocks" in 1974 and enjoying a successful but sadly brief career before she passed away at the tragically young age of 35.

   West Coast Motors bus YJ05PVF at Rothesay   Alan Turton
   West Coast Motors buses wait outside the ferry terminal at Rothesay   Peter Hughes

We returned on the ferry to Wemyss Bay and then back to Glasgow Central, again on 380002. Here the party "split with members doing their own thing" until it was time to head back south. The Glasgow subway ("Clockwork Orange") attracted some members. Photos of this with film cameras used to be very difficult as the 3-car trains virtually fill the available platform space and the low light levels make it tricky to capture the trains while they are moving. Nevertheless with the advantages provided by digital equipment, worthwhile photos could now be obtained.

   The power of digital cameras. Glasgow Subway 106 leads 128 & 129 on a “clockwise working” at Buchanan St.   Alan Turton
   A close-up view of the cab of Glasgow Subway 106 on a “clockwise working” at Buchanan St.   Peter Hughes

With the closure of Glasgow Queen St High level platforms for track remodelling there was much interest in the attendant diversions. Services from Edinburgh, Dunblane & the West Highland line were diverted to the Low Level platforms while services from further north were diverted to Glasgow Central. The members who visited the "Clockwork Orange" alighted at Partick and continued to Hyndland to observe some of the former diversions.

   170414 (in advertising livery) & 170453 approach Hyndland on the diverted 14.15 Edinburgh – Queen St Low Level   Alan Turton
   170471 passes through Hyndland on a service from the Central Lowlands diverted to Queen St Low Level due to the closure of High Level for track remodelling.   Peter Hughes

After going their separate ways everyone met up at Glasgow Central where some of the diverted services from Inverness & Aberdeen were noted before the journey home aboard 390152 Virgin Knight [1M19 18.40 to Euston]. Arrival at Warrington Bank Quay was only 1 minute late thus bringing to an end another superb day

   170420 + 158867 depart Glasgow Central on the 17.19 to Aberdeen (diverted to start from here rather than Queen St).   Alan Turton
   314210 departs Glasgow Central on the 17.09 to Newton. This livery is rapidly disappearing as units are repainted into Scotrail colours.   Alan Turton

The following list of sightings is provided in good faith based on observations by Alan Turton.

Warrington Bank Quay 142047 156424 175007/175114 319376 390044/390122/41/48

Preston 57311 319361 DR73909

Lancaster 156469/84 350409

WCRC (Carnforth) 37214

Carlisle 90036/90028 4M25 06.07 Mossend - Daventry
66709 6B78 08.48 Carlisle Yard - West Burton Power Station

KM 37607/57007/57301/66425/66430

Kingmoor Yard 66238 6S13 03.48 Doncaster Belmont - Killoch

Rutherglen CCE Depot 78217 [Withdrawn] DR73933/73941

GW [Shields] 314204/06 380011/21 390132

Hillington West 380110

Paisley Gilmour St 380014/15

Wemyss Bay 380002 Ride On 13.57 To Glasgow Central

Paisley Gilmour St 314213

Hillington East 380020

Cardonald 380103

GW [Shields] 170420 380005

Central Low Level 318259/320315 [2R40 14.48 Anderston - Whifflet]
320314/320308 [2F35 14.16 Motherwell - Anderston]

Partick 318256/263 320303

Hyndland 15.22 170414/453 [1R37 14.15 Edinburgh - Queen St L L]
15.30 170471 [2N47 15.22 Queen St L L - Arbroath]
15.37 156449/58/56 [1Y44 Mallaig/Oban - Queen St L L]
15.51 170459/27 [1R17 14.45 Edinburgh - Queen St L L]
15.59 156499/505 [2N65 15.52 Queen St L L - Alloa]

Partick 16.18 156477 [5Y29 15.48 Eastfield CS - Queen St L L]
318252 320321 318266

Glasgow Subway 101/02/05/06/08/09/11/14/16/17/19/21/23/24/26-32

Glasgow Central 156431-33/36/37/39/42/47/67/74/76/93-95/501/03/04/06/07/12-14
170409 [1T32 14.39 Aberdeen - Glasgow Central/1S85 18.06 Glasgow Central - Aberdeen]
170410 [1T99 14.47 Inverness - Glasgow Central]
170420 [1S79 17.19 Glasgow Central - Aberdeen] + 158867
170425 [1T34 15.33 Aberdeen - Glasgow Central]
170451 [1H53 17.47 Glasgow Central - Aberdeen]

Polmadie 73966/69

Rutherglen CCE DR 73803/73934

Beattock 70004 [4S44 12.13 Daventry - Coatbridge]

Kingmoor Yard 66125

KM 37605/12 57301/10 66301/03 66421

Lancaster 390117 DR 73108

Preston 153332 319366 390114 DR 77908

Warrington B Q 66137 Stabled 175114

last updated: 28/06/16