Main Line Story pt 2
The Christmas Cracker IV railtour
30th November 2002 - the first mainline Class 40 passenger train working since 1988. The first mainline passenger working for D345 since entering the world of preservation. The loco did everyone proud by performing faultlessly, keeping the congregation entertained throughout the day. A very proud day for the CFPS and everyone who helped make the mainline running project happen.
A day of mixed emotions for many: joy of renewing old friendships or making new ones; sadness remembering absent friends; reviving memories of misspent youth chasing 40's across the country in days long gone; old haunts still familiar or changed beyond recognition; whole new experiences for those too young to remember these whistling, lumbering beasts pounding the rails of the network ... or the faithful that followed
One nice anecdote was the reappearance of the most legendary of the home-made headboards, "THE BANGOR". According to a message posted on the Dreadful site discussion forum, the headboard's last trip was adorning 40004 on the last 'Bangor' In all the excitement, the owner forgot to retrieve the headboard, and it ended up in the offices above Manchester Victoria station.
Some eight years later, it was taken to lost property when the station offices were demolished. Thankfully, it was spotted by a Class 40 enthusiast, who kept it safely. He brought it along on the Christmas Cracker 4 tour, and it was fitted to D345 for a trip down the Coast once again. Not surprisingly, the chap who originally made the headboard was also on the tour, and so it was duly returned to the rightful owner after twenty years!
Whatever the day meant for those who were there, it will be forever carved into our memories. A piece of British railway heritage, and a British past time, celebrated in the best way possible.
D345 mainline press coverage
D345's return to mainline operation and the inaugural 'Christmas Cracker IV' railtour on 30th November 2002 have been well photographed and published by the national rail press. Thank you to all the magazines and their contributors who have helped publicise the CFPS mainline running project and our successful first tour. Below is a list of magazine issues with mainline coverage: