Summers only 2F80 07.53 SO Chester to Runcorn Mainline Via the Halton Curve 25 May 2013 - 7th Sept 2013 16 weeks only Ghost Train Move
Summers only & only for first 16 weeks of Summer Timetable Saturdays only one way only NO RETURN
2F80 07.53 SO Chester to Runcorn Mainline Via the Halton Curve
Dates of Operation: 2014
Saturdays 24 May 2014 - Saturday 6th Sept 2014
But what people dont realise is that the Summer Timetable runs till 10th December as i say Bizzare!!!!
Hence why i think it one My Top 3 most rated Ghost Train moves that you can do.
If you into all this i highly recommend that you come over for it because sometimes the train runs completely empty!!!!
Leave Chester usually platform 5
Then mad non stop run via Helsby & Frodsham NON STOP!!!!
Until you get to Frodsham Jct just approx. 2 miles past Frodsham Station.
Where you turn left on to the Parliamentary bit the Frodsham link / Halton Curve (i've known it by both names) between Frodsham Jct & Halton Jct to Runcorn Mainline,
For full history of the Halton Curve check out this link on Wikipedia
There is also a local Group that promotes the line and Campaigns for better services etc
The North Cheshire Rail Users Group
that runs campaign's and promotes the lines around the Area to improve services etc there website is here
Dates of Visit's:
Various dates first
Return Visit 25th May 2013 for first run of the Summer season
Personal history of my encounters with this Ghost Train:
I first encountered this Ghost Train move in 1997 when i first moved to Liverpool.
After reading an article about it in Rail magazine (to be honest I'd pretty much given up by then anyway)
but this Ghost train got me hooked again and started it all off again).
Way back then traction wise it was a
class 37 Locomotive & 5 Mk 1 coaches of which i have put in some scanned slides that i had converted to Prints many years ago.
And a quick anecdote here when I first started doing this run in 1997 I was talking to the Guard one night on the train and he told me the following;
Now due to Guards and Drivers having to have route knowledge of lines etc.
Route Knowledge Explained:
Route Knowledge means they have to learn where all the signals and speed Restrictions etc for what ever line they drive etc
Now because the Halton curve is hardly used he said that prior to the start of the Summer Timetable all the crews that where to work this route over the 16 weeks would sit in a room and Learn the Halton curve by slides sign it for the 16 weeks do the route then end of the 16 weeks sign it back off again till next year because if a driver doesnt drive a route for more than 6 months they can sign it off and have to re learn it, Though Now at 2014 The Halton curve is used a lot more on and off
from what I've heard mostly by empty trains so as to keep Drivers knowledge up
The Class 37 locomotive prior to working the eeving Chester - Runcorn Ghost Train would work the following diagram during the Saturday morning:
1D64 08.30 Birmingham International - Holyhead via Crewe
1H44 13.24 Holyhead - Stockport via Chester and Warrington Bank Quay
Then I assume it did an Empty Coaching Stock (ECS) back to Chester where it stabled till late evening ready to work
2F80 20.13 Chester - Runcorn Mainline Ghost Train
All above info taken from Summer 1997 Diagram Diary book
As you can see in those days it ran at a slightly better time of 20.13 departure off Chester.
But the mad thing was in those days was it never went from the same platform! every week you'd get there off the Merseyrail and it would be guess the platform, it was going from this week it went from a different part of the station every Saturday!!!
Now those of you who know how loud a class 37's Loco can be there only one way of describing what this was like all the way to Frodsham Jct Lets just say when you got a Driver in a Hurry to get Home it was to put it mildly a mental run!
So I've included at the start some prints I had made off of slides from 1997 of the 37 at Chester and at Frodsham Jct and of it at Runcorn Mainline then following are various pictures of it that I have over the intervening years some new pictures added
25th May 2013
Out of all the Ghost trains I do this one attracts people from all over the country come to that the world!
So far over the Years I've met people from the following places who have come up just to get this Ghost Train in all 20 mins of it
Berlin Germany 1997
To name but a few places. I do try to get to this train in the summer so far in 2014 i have not made it but i do hope to show my face sometime during the 16 weeks so feel
Free to say hi