FolkestoneJack's Tracks

The Atomic Harbour Master

Posted in England, Folkestone by folkestonejack on October 20, 2007

After a couple of steam specials to Folkestone Harbour this year it was hard to imagine what would come next. The unusual sight of a railtour topped and tailed by class 37 diesels wouldn’t have been high up my list of expected arrivals as Folkestone Harbour station had long been deemed out of bounds to the class.

37601 sits on the viaduct across Folkestone Harbour with St Peter's church visible on the hillside beyond

37601 sits on the viaduct with St Peter’s church visible on the hillside beyond

It was something of a coup for Pathfinder railtours to have obtained approval to use the branch line in the circumstances, though the compromise that was necessary to make this work became clear when the lead loco stopped halfway down the platform, leaving 37601 stuck on the viaduct.

The traction for the tour was special too – as such a rare event merited – this being the last occasion that Eurostar (UK) Ltd. class 37/6 diesels 37601 and 37603 would be used on a railtour before being sold on.

Low tide at Folkestone Harbour (with 37601 on the viaduct)

Low tide at Folkestone Harbour (with 37601 on the viaduct)

The ‘Atomic Harbour Master’ railtour had begun at Crewe in early morning and after reaching its two destinations (Folkestone Harbour and Dungeness) did not end up making it back to Crewe until half past one the next morning, a couple of hours later than scheduled.

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