Wings and Wheels Society.

The Great Britain XIV 22-4-2022.

After many cancelled tours and changes, Jill and I decided to go for gold and do something we had wanted to do for many years, and that is to book for the Railway Touring Company`s Great Britain Tour. So with the tour booked we set off from Stroud to London on Thursday April 21st with GWR Class 800.80008. A night at a premier Hub overlooking Kings Cross station and then meeting up with the RTC team at 6am at Kings Cross. The ECS came in at 6.30 with 47-803 and cases were loaded into the Mk 1 brake coach, pictures taken of the duff and LMS 6233 Duchess of Sutherland on the front. We boarded our 1962 built BR Mk 1 first-open and left promptly at 07.08. The train went ECML to Peterborough and then diverged via Spalding. A good view of Lincoln cathedral and on to re-join the main line at Doncaster and away to York for a break and loco change. We then met fellow enthusiast Neale Long and had a liquid lunch before re-joining the train with SR 4-6-2. 35018 British India Line up front. a spirited run to Durham and Newcastle before water was taken at Heaton. Speeds of over 85mph were achieved and then into Edinburgh. Day two saw LMS 4-6-0. Scots Guardsman powering our train, now heading across the Forth Bridge to Ladybank and on to Perth for a break. We then travelled the Highland mainline with its steep gradients to Aviemore for water and pictures before the final push to Inverness. Day three got off to a drizzly start but brightened up as we headed back south with 46115. A stop at Aviemore and then on south to Stirling. Overnight accommodation was in Dunblane with all luggage being moved around by van. Day four and a circular day with 35018 again via Mossend, Carstairs Midcalder, and the Edinburgh suburban line (freight only) into Waverley. A brief stop and then across the Forth via Kirkcaldy, Longannet, Alloa and back to Stirling. Day five and 46115 took us back into England on the WCML to Carlisle. A change now to Jubilee 4-6-0 45690 Leander to take us via the Cumbrian coastline to Grange-Over-Sands. Day six and now double heading with Leander and classmate 45596 Bahamas to Preston and on to Chester for a break. We then took the route via Wrexham to Shrewsbury and then the beautiful North and West line down to Cardiff. Day seven and with 6233 back up front, through the Severn Tunnel, Filton, around Dr Days, on through Bath and down the Avon valley to join the Berks & Hants to Taunton and Plymouth. A suitable break, and away across the Tamar into Kernow, down the Cornish mainline to the end in Penzance. The final day saw us retrace our steps back to Bristol and on to Reading where we alighted and caught the Cheltenham train back to Stroud. WHAT A TOUR! Totalling 1,886 miles behind steam and 2074 miles in total. That's the way to see Great Britain, aboard the Great Britain. We would like to give our sincere thanks to all at RTC caterers etc for their hard work in making tour enjoyable and very special.

Copyright of all pictures in this gallery belong to I and J Thomas.