NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

17/12 59205 was an unusual sight in the bulk handling terminal with empty MEA wagons for loading and destined for Acton. This is an occasional coal flow the payload being for use at Slough power station.
Locos noted on coal duty during December;-
59205. 60007/028/035/041/052/093. 66020/024/031/036/041/045/067
66090/091/122/134/138/139/153/163/183/184/185/197/213/216/218/219
66233/235/236/246/247/248.

Binliner

This month's sightings are given below;

05/12 66523. 11/12 66529. 27/12 66513.

Bristol Parkway

29/11 66148 worked an MOD train from Didcot to Wentloog. A signalling failure at Port Talbot and at Reading caused some delays to Paddington/Bristol/Swansea services.

03/12 A Class 58 hauled South Wales bound MOD train passed at 16.17. Just a couple of freights this evening, 66211 working Tyne Yard "Boxes" and 66115 empty MGR towards South Wales. All other workings were either cancelled, re-routed, reduced service or delayed by train failures. The main cause for this was the landslip at Swindon which had a major impact on GW services and the Didcot coal traffic. VT services suffered elsewhere on the system as about four arrived southbound within 20 minutes.

05/12 Freightliner 66513 passed at 13.07 heading towards Swindon with a single wagon, 60012 passed with containers for South Wales at 13.55 and 47150 powered the 4V30 Felixstowe-Wentloog freightliner. Another MOD stores train was also seen Class 58 hauled towards South Wales.

06/12 A solitary MGR noted this evening, 66184 taking empties to Avonmouth. The 08.00 Paddington-Swansea and return 11.30 Swansea-Paddington was formed of a complete newly liviered First Group hst set formed with power cars 43032+43138 (and set LA23). 20310 + 20315 passed at 15.42 with the Bridgwater-Sellafield nuclear flasks.

07/12 Newly delivered 180104 arrived in the down loop at 12.36, returning towards Swindon at 13.40.

08/12 66224 headed the Tytherington-Westbury stone service.

10/12 47786 + 47762 powered a South Wales bound Serco test train at 13.15. Plenty of action tonight with 10 loco hauled services recorded starting with 66113 MoD liner heading to South Wales, 66183 working Tyne Yard "Boxes", 66045 Tytherington Stone, 47814 VT ecs northwards and 66197 the Margam - Fawley "Fuel Train". The other five workings were MGR services to and from Avonmouth, comprising fourempty rakes behind 60028, 60093, 66153 and 66232 respectively and one loaded service with 66213.

13/12 180104 made a repeat appearance, whilst 66009 headed another South Wales bound MOD stores train. 66213 worked a loaded service from Avonmouth comprising HTAs and 5 minutes later 66236 headed for Avonmouth with a similar consist and that was it for the evening.

14/12 180104 again appeared on a driver training test run during the early afternoon and Voyager set 220023 worked 5Z21 a Bristol - Newton Abbot - Gloucester driver training run.

15/12 66159 worked today's Tytherington - Westbury stone, leaving the quarry at 09.20. An identified MPV passed towards South Wales at 12.27.

17/12 19.35 Leeds service was running approx 30 minutes late and was formed of loco and coaches in-lieu of HST, the loco being 47747, noted southbound a little later was power car 43007 and a barrier vehicle. Freight this evening was all 66 hauled and consisted of three empty MGRs to Avonmouth behind 66145, 66031 and 66169 respectively. Also seen were the Tytherington stone with 66045, Tyne Yard "Boxes" 66181 and the "Fuel" train behind 66119.

18/12 56089 worked an Ely-Swansea Burrows (6Z23) train of coal empties during the early hours.

20/12 180104 was present at 11.30 with a test run, 58043 worked 6T50 Newport-Didcot departmental formed of six empty ballast wagons at 12.00 and 20306 + 20313 the Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks at 13.35. 47783 arrived with the 1V62 16.44 Warrington-Plymouth mails. Just two empty MGRs noted this evening bound for Avonmouth headed by 66031 and 66185 respectively. The "Postals" this evening saw the 67 monopoly broken, two services being 47 hauled, with 47783 and 47793 in charge.

21/12 Another Class 47 appeared on the 1V62, this time 47767 was incharge.

26/12 47767 (with 1M65 Plymouth-London) and 47749 (with 1V33 Willesden-Plymouth) were both seen on parcels services.

31/12 A number of freight services were diverted during the day including what was believed to be the 6E33 Baglan Bay-Hull vinegar tanks headed by 66201, the train being routed via Badminton, Swindon, Didcot and Oxford to the north.

Bristol Temple Meads and Barton Hill

01/12 66162 was stabled on VSOE stock during the early afternoon, XP64 blue 47853/D1733 (with red squares beneath the cab windows, not orange as previously stated carrying the BR arrows symbol) headed the 1V48 11.17 Manchester-Temple Meads and 1S93 15.35 return to Edinburgh and IC liviered 47826 worked the 08.40 Glasgow-Penzance (1V50).

02/12 Engineering works saw a number of passenger diversions during the day as well as a number of departmental workings. Of the passenger trains, large logo 47847 headed a retimed 07.47 Manchester Picc.-Plymouth (1V42), via Oxford, Swindon, Badminton to Bristol, the train being noted passing Yatton at 12.54. Earlier 47815 passed with a St.Phillips Marsh-Laira stock move formed of two barrier vans each side of two hst coaches. Departmental workings noted, which required the loco to run round at Taunton Fairwater and running via Bridgwater and Bristol were as follows;-

6W40 07.00 East Somerset jcn-Westbury 66210 6W41 08.00 East Somerset jcn-Westbury 58021
6W42 11.00 East Somerset jcn-Westbury 66215
7W43 East Somerset jcn-Westbury 66002 + 66245 (top n'tail) A return 7W16 Filton-Westbury train was headed by 58016.

An evening visit to Temple Meads found 66523 stabled on the former Bath Road depot stub, reported now to be a regular weekend stabling point for a Freightliner loco and trains from the Capital were running up to 30 minutes late following a landslip at Bourton (near Swindon) which required single line working. As a result of this incident, the Thames trains 17.45 service to Oxford was cancelled, the train units 165122 + 165126 departing empty after 18.00.

03/12 37668 was noted stabled on Barton Hill depot during the morning before running 0F84 light-engine to Cardiff Canton. The 1E61 15.50 Plymouth-Leeds Virgin XC service suffered a failure at Plymouth with 47829. 67030 was reported to have moved the stock north as 5E61, although to where was not known. Northbound at 21.00 were 37668 + 67018 light engines.

04/12 57601 continued work on the 1A28 06.30 Plymouth-Paddington and 1C50 15.42 Paddington-Exeter, also being recorded with these trains on 6/12,10/12,11/12,14/12,16/12 and 24/12. 66202 ran 0G71 St.Blazey-Keyham, to work 6X40 04.22 Keyham-Sellafield nuclear flask reactor reported in the Bristol area around 07.30 and 66070 headed the 6V41 Burngullow-Irvine slurry tanks, which although the time was not recorded, was running substantially late!

05/12 A Hayes stone train, thought to be the last, operated from Bristol East depot although the loco was not recorded. Complaints from rising dust from the loading has ended this flow from this location.
The landslip at Bourton, near Swindon was reported to have been cleared and trackwork replaced ending single line working by 18.00, although a 20mph speed limit was still enforced. Bitumen tanks noted southbound at 23.25 behind 66168.

06/12 66523 worked the afternoon Machen-Westbury stone train via Day's curve.

07/12 58029 worked an early afternoon Westbury-Newport departmental service via Day's curve and 56119 headed Pathfinder's 12 coach 'Dunster by Candlelight' (1Z41 08.25 Crewe-Minehead) railtour passed Yatton at 13.07. This train was hauled throughout over the West Somerset Railway by the Class 56 being the first of that loco type ever to visit the Somerset coastal resort. The train returned as 1Z28 19.00 Minehead-Crewe, which saw the 56 piloted by 33048 between Minehead and Williton.

08/12 66068 noted at 13.30 heading north with NACCO vehicles in tow.

09/12 Sunday engineers workings were as follows (again all requiring a loco run-round at Taunton except 7W05 and 6W43, and running via Bristol);-
7W05 07.30 Lostwithiel-Westbury 66045 6W40 06.00 Castle Cary-Westbury 66067 6W41 07.00 Castle Cary-Westbury 66 052 6W42 10.00 Castle Cary-Westbury 66020 6W43 17.00 Castle Cary-Westbury 60060 + 66224 (top n'tail).
Two southbound ballast trains recorded today, 66117 at 08.00 and 66061 at 15.25.

10/12 Voyager set 220023 worked a Birmingham (or Bristol?) to Exeter and return to Bristol driver training trip. A points failure at Plymouth saw some north-bound late running and the 1V50 08.40 Glasgow-Penzance terminate at Newton Abbot with 47814, because of the problems.
66085 had earlier headed the 6V41 Irvine - Burngullow slurry tanks and 66043 hauled the 6C24 overnight Newport-St.Blazey freight.

11/12 Large logo 47847 + IC liviered 47826 were paired on the 1V35 06.05 Derby-Plymouth and return 1M40 11.50 Plymouth-Liverpool, believed to be a test run for 47826 which suffered a fire the previous week in the north.
220023 worked a 5Z21/5Z22 Bristol-Plymouth-Bristol driver training run and 37408+37418 were paired on 7B66 11.00 Westbury-Newport departmental, via Day's curve. 66199 headed the overnight 6B99 St.Blazey-Newport freight.

12/12 220023 passed Bedminster at 15.23 with a return Plymouth-Bristol driver training run .

13/12 60004 hauled the 6G73 Exeter-Cardiff Tidal scrap service.

14/12 A signalling failure between Taunton and Exeter saw a number of late running northbound services and some Thames/First GW turbo services were cancelled due to staff shortages. 66146+37408 were an unusual combination on the 7B66 13.05 Westbury-Newport departmental working whilst 220023 was still in the area on driver training trips.
A serious case of trespassing was witnessed near Narroways Hill junction during the early afternoon when the driver of a local Avonmouth service halted to warn a person who was letting a dog roam on Railtrack property without a lead. All other services in the area were halted as a direct result of the incident.

15/12 66513 departed Machen at 11.09 with 20 loaded ballast wagons for Westbury (via Day's curve) passing Patchway at 13.40.

16/12 Having returned to Westbury with engineers working during the early afternoon, silver 60006 returned light to St.Blazey as 0F78 via Bristol (passing Highbridge at 14.54) and later 47830 passed Parsons Street at 14.58 with a diverted 1C44 13.15 Paddington-Penzance First/GW service.
A 12.00 Westbury-Clink Road jcn (Frome) engineers (6W64) was routed via Bristol top n'tailed by 66162 + 66146.

17/12 57601 worked the 1A99 Penzance-Paddington sleeper and large-logo 47847 covered the 1V48 11.17 Manchester-Bristol and 1S93 15.35 return Edinburgh Virgin XC services.
66212 worked the 6C24 overnight Newport-St.Blazey freight. 60029 seen light engine heading south at 08.30.

18/12 The 7B66 Newport-Westbury engineers was headed by 58016 + 37418 + 37408 passing via Day's curve and Patchway (12.17). The 58 was destined for wheel turning at Canton depot.
Fragonset 47701 powered today's 1V48/1S35.
The 1E61 15.50 Plymouth-Leeds service was in trouble with the failure of 47839 at Taunton. EWS/RES 47789, the Newton Abbot 'thunderbird' loco (the first loco to be stabled here since May 2000) ran light to Taunton to move the failed train as 5E61 to Temple Meads where 47822 took the ecs onwards to Neville Hill. 180102 + 180103 were reported to have carried out an Old Oak Common-Bristol 100mph test run, the first time two sets have run together at this speed. The working was believed to have been carried out early in the morning.

19/12 20306 + 20313 worked the morning Crewe-Bridgwater nuclear flasks, which had to be routed via Taunton (Fairwater) where the locos ran-round due to a cross-over points failure at Bridgwater. 220009 worked a Bristol-Plymouth driver trainer and 47635 arrived at Barton Hill depot mid afternoon with a three coach ecs from Crewe for use on the Royal Portbury dock line opening ceremony two days later. Large logo 47847 worked the 09.13 Manchester-Plymouth (1V45) and return 15.50 Plymouth-Leeds (1E61).

20/12 47813 worked the 1A99 up sleeper and 47815 the 1C99 down sleeper. 66224 hauled the Westbury-Newport fly-ash and 66 513 the Machen-Westbury ballast both via Day's curve (this train runs as 13.18 TTHO and 12.15 SO Machen-Westbury).
Voyager set 220009 worked a 5Z21 driver training run, and 47847 the 1E33 12.10 Bristol-Newcastle service. 66170 worked a single wagon Newport-Bridgwater trip (Parsons Street 10.29).

21/12 47847 worked the 1S48 07.15 Bristol-Edinburgh. Southbound coal service noted at 13.40 behind 66059, assumed to be bound for Westbury.

22/12 66529 worked the Machen-Westbury stone seen near Bath at 13.40, whilst at Barton Hill 08896 was returned from Allied Steel & Wire by road. Apparently staff at Barton Hill were unhappy to see this loco, which carries the name Stephen Dent in memory of a popular local railman, in use away from the Bristol area.

23/12 66060 + 66148 top n'tailed 6W64 12.00 Westbury-Castle Cary engineers via Bristol and a reverse at Taunton during the early afternoon. Diverted Virgin XC services, routed via Badminton, Swindon, Didcot Foxhall curve, Oxford to the north, included 47828 with the 1M87 08.55 Penzance-Manchester and 47840 on the 1V42 07.47 Manchester-Penzance.

24/12 Adjusted Virgin XC for Xmas Eve saw 47810 work the 1V39 07.11 Leeds-Plymouth, 1E61 15.50 Plymouth-Bristol and 1Z60 19.35 Bristol-Exeter; 47817 on the 1Z56 (1M56) 08.46 Penzance-Bristol, 1Z47 13.57 Bristol-Plymouth and 1E40 17.10 Plymouth-Bristol and 47831 the 1V35 08.45 Bristol-Plymouth, 1Z40 (1M40) 11.50 Plymouth-Bristol and 1Z50 (1V50) 15.45 Bristol-Plymouth.

26/12 Over the Xmas period the celebrity Class 47s were stabled as follows;- 47826 Longsight-failed out of traffic, 47847 Derby-failed out of traffic, 47851 Longsight-ok, 47853 Eastleigh-exam.

27/12 Afternoon "Enterprise" working recorded at 15.25 with 66164. What was nearly the 'working of the year' was 66179 piloting the 1S41 14.43 Plymouth-Edinburgh HST (with power cars 43099 + 43084) following an earth fault failure and power loss at Ivybridge. The Class 66 had run light from Newton Abbot, having been the out-stabled thunderbird loco during the day, to collect the hst hauling the set as far as Bristol, then returning west light, as 0G76 Bristol-St.Blazey (Taunton 17.47).
Earlier, 47815 had worked the First/GW 1A28 06.30 Plymouth-Paddington and 1C50 15.42 Paddington-Exeter (in place of 57601) and 66529 headed the 7C91 Machen-Westbury ballast train.

28/12 47851 failed at Newton Abbot on the 11:50 Plymouth-Liverpool and was assisted to Bristol T.M. by 60098, which worked the stock back to Plymouth in passenger service!
The first Adelante First/GW passenger working, using set 180104 on the 11.15 Paddington-Bristol TM today, was actually overshadowed by the exploits of 60098 on passenger work during the day!
Starting the day, unusually, as the Newton Abbot thunderbird the 60 was needed to pilot the green liviered 47851 onwards from Newton Abbot following a speedo failure. The 47 had worked west, for the first time in it's new livery on the 1V35 08.45 Bristol-Plymouth service and was returning north with the 1Z40 (1M40) 11.50 Plymouth-Bristol when the problem was noticed. With the 60 attached, the train ran near enough to time, but was delayed at Exeter awaiting a relief driver. Arrival at Bristol was after 15.00 and it was originally thought a hst set (with power cars 43087+43088) was already allocated for the return 1Z52 (1V50) 15.26 Bristol-Penzance. This was however not to be 60098 returned the 1Z52 west! (as far as Plymouth where 47840 + 47830 took the train onwards to Penzance). On arrival at Plymouth the 60 ran light to St.Blazey. This working has to rate as the local working of the year!!

30/12 Departmental service with 66162 headed south at 02.10. The 6W55 11.42 Westbury-Castle Cary engineers top n'tailed by 66061+66062 was routed via Bristol (12.28), the Weston-super-Mare loop (12.45) and a reverse at Taunton (13.38).

31/12 66247 worked the Westbury-St.Phillips Marsh fuel tankers and 58021 hauled 37412 to Westbury so the 37 could take up snow-plough duties if required (the loco carries minature snowploughs at each end). During the evening , 25 firefighters attended a blaze started in two piles of rubbish in the tunnels beneath the former Red Star parcels depot at Temple Meads. Some of the buildings in the vicinity suffered smoke damage.

Devon & Cornwall

The biggest news story of the month was the ban of Class 66 locos over the Meldon branch because of brake/wheelslip problems. Initial plans to use Class 58s were replaced by Class 37 pairs. The following were recorded on 6G98/6G99 during December;- 04/12 37408+37418 05/12 37408+37418 07/12 37408+37418 24/12 37372+37521 28/12 37372+37521 only took 6G98 to Exeter, returning to Westbury light. 29/12 37372+37521 these locos on return to Westbury worked 6Z86 14.07 to Eastleigh and 6Z14 return. This is an occasional extension to the Meldon working. Other news includes the reinstatement of the thunderbird rescue loco at Newton Abbot (as already mentioned in the Bristol notes & news section), but on 22/12 37042 was present (having run light from Westbury to collect a failed mail train at Taunton behind 67030, the previous day) and 47783 was present on 31/12.

30/12 St.Blazey depot held the following;- 47783/792. 60098. 66006/118/164/212. 67001/009/016/019/025. Note;- 67009 was allocated 6C59/6C11 Ponsondane fuel tanks for 31/12.

MOD Traffic

58016 worked a special train to/from Ashchurch on 03/12.

Local Freight Watch

The following have been recorded during the month;

6V70 08.57 Cliffe Vale-St.Blazey
29/11 66013 01/12 66076 03/12 60081 04/12 60008
05/12 60081 06/12 60008 07/12 60100 10/12 60006
11/12 60100 12/12 60006 13/12 60100 14/12 60006 + 47789
17/12 60098 18/12 60006 19/12 60098 20/12 66157
21/12 60098 26/12 66164

Notes;-
14/12 47789 was destined to become the Newton Abbot thunderbird. 26/12 On this date the train was routed via Swindon and terminated at Exeter going forward the next day.
31/12 the train was cancelled.

6M72 16.55 St.Blazey-Cliffe Vale
10/12 60100 21/12 66085 28/12 37689 +37042 + 66179

Notes;-
28/12 37689 was the Cornish sandite loco returning north.
31/12 the train was cancelled.

6M68 (Sat) Burngullow-Warrington slurry tanks
01/12 66076 08/12 66068 15/12 66179 29/12 66157

Notes;-
22/12 train cancelled

6S55 (Wed) Burngullow-Irvine slurry tanks
05/12 66030 12/12 66119 19/12 60006

Portishead Branch

03/11 The final section of track was being connected within the Royal Portbury dock area.

10/11 Letters have been sent to companies on the far side of the Ashton Vale level crossing stating
"Freight trains are due to start operating in January 2002, on a five day a week basis (Monday to Friday). A limited number of train movements may pass over the level crossing in the next few weeks. Approximate freight train times from January 2002 are as follows:- 01.30, 02.50, 05.50, 06.55, 09.30, 11.15, 13.00, 14.15, 16.30, 17.50, 19.05, 20.40, 22.30, 23.40. The level crossing barriers will be down, across the road for several minutes, on each occasion a train passes over the level crossing owing to the length of the freight trains operating to and from Royal Portbury Dock."

14/11 Work at Ashton was nearing completion with the testing of the level-crossing barriers.
The following day saw the commissioning of the two signals on the branch (B335 and B336) and the token equipment which is linked to the operation of these signals and in turn protect the level crossing.
The last road/rail excavator S605LUG was removed to East Depot today by road, ending the familiar sight of these workhorses in the area having played a very important part in upgrading work on the branch.

03/12 From 00.01 on this date, the line between Parsons Street junction and Royal Portbury Dock, using part of the Portishead branchline as far as Pill, again officially became part of the rail network The branch is subject to a 30mph speed limit and 25mph over any pointwork, all signalling being controlled by the Bristol panel. The brand new section from Pill into the dock is subject to a 20mph speed limit.
From the mainline junction at Parsons Street the track is double with the retained 775yard passing loop with signal B335 and the token equipment located at 120mile 76chains at the end of the loop. A public footcrossing at Ashton Containers is at 121m 5ch and the road Ashton Junction level crossing (121m 18ch) controlled by Bristol panel using CCTV, follow.
The up signal B336 and token cabin is at 121m 28ch alongside the old Ashton Gate station platforms.
Once in the Avon Gorge after the Clifton Bridge former station site and the restored 1890s wrought iron footbridge, the line passes through two tunnels, Clifton Bridge no.1 and no.2 (122m 23ch and 122m 53ch, 59 yards and 232yards long, respectively) before skirting the riverbank on oneside and high cliffs followed by Leigh Woods on the other.
Another tunnel follows at Pill Sandstone (123m 77ch, 88yards) then a short viaduct before the line heads inland opposite Sea Mills, passing through a cutting, and the former Ham Green halt platform into Pill tunnel (125ch, 665yards).
The village of Pill follows, with the viaduct and former station site with the new 1.2 mile dock branch junction located at 126m 32ch.
The Railtrack/Port of Bristol dock boundary is at 126m 34ch, where the stop board and shunters accomodation, office and token equipment is located, this being below the M5 motorway viaduct.
The line splits within the docks area into the coal loading area and to sidings for general merchandise both via two short landscaped tunnels. A cripple wagon maintenance siding is also provided at this junction.
Only one train at a time can be permitted between Ashton junction and Portbury dock although the 'No Signaller Token' system will permit trains to 'shut in' at Portbury dock.

06/12 The first train to cover the new connecting spur at Pill, was 6G71 08.46 East Usk yard-Portbury dock consisting of two loaded HAA coal hoppers headed by 60012, this being the first Class 60 to run over the Portishead branch. The train arrived at 11.13, later than the booked 10.24 and then proceeded to cover all the new sidings within the dock area before returning as 13.43 Portbury-East Usk yard.
The following day saw a number of BT police and Railtrack officials at the level crossing at Ashton it was assumed the first working had caused problems with the traffic signalling which is phased in with level crossing barrier operation.

10/12 EWS driver route learning trips were booked to run from today as 0G71 07.45 Newport Godfrey Road-Portbury (10.03), 0G72 10.30 Portbury-Parsons Street (11.07), 11.15 Parsons Street-Portbury (11.54), 12.54 Portbury-Parsons Street (13.31), 13.39 Parsons Street-Portbury (14.15) and 0G73 14.29 Portburt-Newport Godfrey Road. The working today was however cancelled due to trackwork on the back platform line at Parsons Street.

11/12 The first driver route learner was in the hands of 66199, complete with a BBC film crew onboard with coverage of the event shown on the local evening news. The loco ran infront of an 08.00 Swindon-Taunton serco test train (1Z14) top n'tail by 47778+47785 which was running over an hour late. The 66 was 'locked in' at Portbury whilst the test train (formed of coaches ADB977971 + ADB977972 + DB999508 + ADB977973 + ADB977970) ran out and back returning very late to Parsons Street at 12.16, where the train ran to Temple Meads reversed and ran out and back to Taunton (return seen at Yatton at 13.43).

12/12 60037 was the driver route learner.

13/12 66171 was the driver route learner.

14/12 Today's route learner was cancelled so work could continue on the trackwork through the Parsons Street back platform.

16/12 Tidying up was in evidence at Ashton and trackwork at Parsons Street was completed using road/rail vehicles gaining access via the former West Depot sidings. Geismer ego RTU9225 (016/97) was recorded off track at Ashton (one of two which had been used on the branch during the year) and a road/rail landrover (carrying a light/white ? colour and Aquarius lettering on the side) was seen on track near the suspension bridge.

17/12 60029 was on driver route learner duty.

18/12 66226 was reported to be the route learner.

19/12 60099 was on driver route learner duty.

20/12 A 'dress rehearsal' took place today for the next days reopening ceremony. 47635 worked 5Z05 06.05 Barton Hill-Portbury ecs, formed W5009 + 4927 + W21272 (complete with Pathfinder window stickers!) running 35 minutes late, then with steam loco Portbury (AE1764/17) attached to the rear ran 5Z06 09.00 Portbury-Parsons Street (a stop being made at the former Ham Green halt platform to check all was well with the steam loco) where arrival at Parsons Street was at 09.50.
With the 47 detached, Portbury departed just before 11.00 as 5Z07 to Portbury giving a very spirited performance through the Avon Gorge, probably surprising people travelling along the Portway on the opposite bank by car! The 47 later returned light to Portbury, then returning the ecs as 13.32 to Barton Hill (5Z08), passing Ashton at 13.45. Later a cleaned up 66250 arrived at Portbury with 6G95 13.02 ex Newport ADJ formed of an assortment of 20 wagons which are likely to see use at Portbury, for display at the opening day ceremony. Steam loco Portbury was put to bed for the night in the right-hand general cargo tunnel, whilst the wagons, some being loaded at the dock with cars and containers were positioned in the coal loading area.

21/12 All went to plan! 47635 and Portbury top n'tailing the 5Z06 09.00 Portbury-Parsons Street and the steam loco running solo as 1Z07 11.00 Parsons Street-Portbury, reopening special with Transport Minister John Speller on board with other officials, this being the first passenger train over the new spur and into the dock. The train actually arrived at the dock at 11.29, nearly 15 minutes early! 47635 then worked the 5Z08 13.30 return ecs to Crewe, conveying a few officials back to Temple Meads en-route. 66 250 returned the 20 display wagons as 6G96 16.50 to Newport ADJ and steam loco Portbury was returned to the industrial museum by road. The events of the day had very good local TV coverage during the evening.

28/12 56083 worked the days driver route learning trips, this being what is believed to be the first Class 56 working over any part of the Portishead branchline.

30/12 56083 did a repeat performance, becoming the first Sunday loco movement over the branchline.

31/12 60042 worked the days driver route learners.

Locomotives and Units

Class 47
47635/701/722/725/741/747/749/750/767/774/778/783/785/789/793/807
47810/812/814/815/817/822/826/828/829/830/831/832/839/840/841/843
47846/847/848/851/853/854.
57601.

Class 67
67001/003/004/005/006/007/008/009/010/011/012/013/014/015/016/017/ 018/019/020/021/025/026/027/029/030.

Units
143603/612/613/621/622/623.
150219/230/233/234/235/238/239/244/247/248/251/253/261/263/265.
153302/308/318/368/377/380.
158745/746/815/820/826/835/841/842/865/866/867/870/872.
165122/126/129.
Note;- Wales & Borders set 158835 is reported to have been repainted in a new livery.

Postal sets noted

4s (PCV)
94304 94176 94205 94326
94307 94103 94113 94340
94311 94217 94197 94315
94313 94111 94100 94327
94317 94163 94138 94310
94318 94202 94108 94334
94322 94172 94177 94316
94337 94147 94198 94309
94344 94221 94132 94338

4s (BG)
94420 94193 94174 94461
94423 94213 94116 94469
94437 94110 94157 94410
94497 94104 94208 94471

5s
94441 94114 94123 94227 94439
94468 94223 94164 94195 94440
94512 94229 94121 94106 94510
94518 94182 94203 94118 94486
94543 94191 94180 94101 94464

SOUTH WALES AREA

Cardiff Central

03/12 37419 worked 2V07 07:21 Rhymney-Radyr and 2R38 16:51 Cardiff-Rhymney. 37412 hauled 2F06 07:44 from Rhymney and 37402 operated the 2R42 17:11 return. 66176 was on the Hull-Baglan Bay acetic acid tanks.

04/12 66536 was at Wentloog. 37402 did 2V07 and 2R38 whilst 37419 operated 2F06 and 2R42.

05/12 37419 worked 2V07 and was diagrammed to do 2R38, but a fault on the coaching stock resulted in a single Class 142 covering the service! 37402 did 2F06 and 2R42.

06/12 37419 hauled 2F06 and 2R42, with 37402 on 2R38.

07/12 56118 worked 6E21 Baglan Bay-Humber.

08/12 66533 was at Wentloog.

10/12 37402 worked 2R38 and 37419 2R42. 66534 worked 4S81 Wentloog-Coatbridge.

11/12 37419 did 2V07 and 2R42 with 37402 on 2F06 and 2R38.

12/12 58043 worked a Didcot-Wentloog MOD stores train. 37402 was on 2V07 and 2R38 with 37419 on 2F06 and 2R42. 66537 worked 4S81.

17/12 37402 was on 2R38 and 37419 on 2R42.

18/12 170519 worked the 11:50 to Nottingham. 37402 did 2V07 with 37419 on 2F06 and 2R42.

19/12 37419 was on 2R38 and 37412 2R42.

20/12 47150 worked 4V30 Ipswich-Wentloog.

22/12 170516 was on the 12:55 to Sleaford.

Cardiff Canton

02/12 08493/756/819/955. 09101. 37222/412/419/901/904. 47365.
60005/015. 66010/062/080/125/135/138/168/172/188. 67023.

09/12 08493/756/819/955. 37222/402/419/901/904. 47365. 56029.
60046/092/095. 66032/092/134/197/207/236.

16/12 08493/756/819/955. 37222/308/402/419/509/668/675/901/904.
47365/787. 56029. 60019/026/049/052. 66090/212/235/241.
67022/023.

23/12 08493/756/819/856/955. 37222/402/412/418/419/509/669/675
37901/904. 47365/758. 56029/083/115. 60008/034/077/092.
66024/175/236. 67008/013.

26/12 08994. 09203. 37222/308/402/418/509/668/669/675/901/904. 47365/758. 56027/029/049/083/115. 58021. 60004/008/010/030/034/077
60086/092/096. 66024/027/055/086/101/172/235/236/241/250. 67008/013/014/022/024

30/12 04893/756/819/856/955. 09013. 37222/418/509/675/901/904.
47365. 56029/049. 60001/008/090. 66085/090/161. 67023.

Cardiff Tidal

02/12 08481/752/896/951/994.

09/12 08481/651/752/770/896/951.

16/12 08466/481/651/752/896/951.

Newport

01/12 66513 visited Machen quarry. 37408/418/717, 60004/041/046. 66062/116/123/172/197 were at Godfrey Road at 14:10. Also noted were 47774 66133/166/511.
At 21.00, on the date of the nearby CARS 30th Anniversary celebrations the following were present on Godfrey Road S.P.;- 09102 Hento (name carried). 37408/418/717. 60004/041/046. 66007/062/133/172/197. C/Stock;- KDB977591.

02/12 The following were noted working past East Usk 60089 66007/047/133/168/197/232.

03/12 37717, 56111, 60004, 66029/030/047/115/116/123/153/211 were present at Godfrey Road at various times during the day.

06/12 58029 was noted at ADJ yard on a P.W. train.

08/12 60004/017/056/062/098, 66001/115/116/124/141/161/225 were at Godfrey Road at 13:00. 66513 re-visited Machen.

10/12 66007/021/032/043/115/124/129/134 were at Godfrey Road. 58029 worked a P.W. train from Westbury to ADJ Yard.

12/12 60045, 66026/092/116/134/199/203 were at Godfrey Road.

14/12 09102. 60002/008/022/046/062/095. 66031/086/110/181/183/189 66203

15/12 66513 was again at Machen, on a ballast working to Westbury. 56027, 60056/089, 66021/110/181/189/241 were at Godfrey Road.

16/12 09102, 56027/109, 60004/022/056/089, 66018/021/024/124/181
66188 were at Godfrey Road.

18/12 60007/02/025, 66018/054 were at Godfrey Road.

20/12 37229/422 were noted at ADJ Yard at the head of a freight train.

21/12 09101. 60002/038/041/048/099. 66021/041/074/092/107/164/165/ 188/235/241/250.

22/12 37418, 60038/064/095, 66041/056/074/092/235/236/250 were at Godfrey Road. 66529 visited Machen.

23/12 Godfrey Road held 09101 60019/080/088 66038/041/056/090/115
66166/233/250.

26/12 56072, 60038/045/089/090, 66056/074/090/092/115/175/203/233 were at Godfrey Road.

27/12 66529 worked 7C91 Machen-Westbury ballast. Also noted were 66074/161/235.

28/12 66024/086/090/236/241 were noted on MGR services. 66162 worked an ADJ-Westbury civil engineer's train.

29/12 Godfrey Road held 56083, 60086/089, 66086/172/241.

Units note during the month:
143603/615/619/622.
150233/244/261/266.
153305/374.
156406/416.
158745/746/784/785/789/790/818/820/821/822/823/827/829/830/832/833/ 836
158839/840/842/843/863/864/866/872.
170512/635/638.

STOCK ALTERATIONS

Locomotives

Transfers
08393(OC)-IM,
08676 (IM)-TO,
08695(TO)-OC,
37520/667(TO)-CD,
37682/684(CD)-TO,
86209(LG)/234(WN)-NC.
08762 - Felixstowe Docks,
08754 - Dagenham

Store
37379. 47206. 86252.

BD: 73005/906.
BH: 37404.
BQ: 31556.
BS: 37379/906. 47004.
CB: 47367.
CD: 37383.
DF: 73213.
EH: 37516.
FB: 08907.
LH: 37012/059/068/223/262/340/344. 47348.
ML: 47206.
NC: 86262.
SP: 47310.
ST: 08745.
TO: 56003.
Industrial Site (NH): 31144.

Traffic
37197 -HQ,
37402 -CF,
47303 -FD,
56033 -IM,
60085 -TE.

Withdrawn
31530.

Disposals
Kingsbury: 37063.
Thomson: 37330.
HNRS: 37331/404.
Lavender Line: 73140.
Mid Norfolk: 31538.
DRS: 33025/030. 37012/013/019/141/211/229/252/340.

Renumbered
90142 - 90042, 90146 - 90046, 91016 - 91116, 91023 - 91123.
37802 also L32, 37884 also L34.

New Stock
66542/543/544/545/546/547/548/549/550/551/552/553 -FD.

Diesel Multiple Units

Stored
101656 51230. 54056. @LO.

Traffic
101685 53160/164 -LO.

New Stock
175001 (50701 + 79701) - CH
175102 (50752 + 56752 + 79752) -CH.
220014/015/034 -CZ.
221109 -CZ.

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
322481/482(HE)-GW.

Stored
312726/727 @EM.
375606/607/618/623/627 @SS.
977331 @Mod Bicester,
(41)6308/09. 6402 @??.
Yoker: 303047.
ZH: 334013.

Traffic
303003 -GW.
312728 -IL.

Diposals:
Immingham RFT: 308144/153 and 977388/389.
East Somerset: cars 69313/334.
Eden Valley: MLVs 68003/005.

New Stock
357214/215/216/217 -EM.
375701 -AF.

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Transfers
All mark three stock allocated to PC in the number series given below are transferred to MA, 10200-10260, 11005-11101, 12004-12172 plus,
17173/174/175, 82104/105/107/108/109/110/111/112/116/117/121/123/125,
82139/143/148/149/150.

Store
1211/14/15. 5748/52/69/76/79/88/92/94/97. 5812/14/16/43/54/66 @ZN,
5887 @DY, 5888. 9479/96/97 @ZN.

Traffic
35452. 92111/929. 96182 -CP. 99405 -KR.

Withdrawn
5438.

Disposals
Booths: 5438.
Royal Deeside RPS: 5156. 9100.

Eurotunnel

New Stock:
9113 -CQ.

Codes


QAED Railtrack, Class 73.

NEW STOCK

06/12 47726 delivered 375217 to East Ham depot from Derby.

11/12 MV Jumbo Vision arrived at Newport Docks at 03:00 carrying twelve new 66s for Freightliner! Eight locomotives had been unloaded by the end of the day.

12/12 The remaining four locomotives were unloaded by midday, with 09203 being used to shunt the locomotives around. The numbers are 66542-553 and all have the new (larger and brighter) type of headlight.

13/12 66549 hauled 66547/546/542 as 0Z25 16:40 Newport Docks-Crewe Basford Hall through Newport station at 17:45.

14/12 The eight remaining 66s worked off the Docks in two groups, as 0Z25 18:06 Docks-Basford Hall and 0Z26 20:00 Docks-Basford Hall. The first was noted on the Docks spur at ADJ at 19:10 comprising 66548 hauling 66544/552/553. It passed through Newport station seven minutes later. A Crewe based Freightliner driver was waiting at the station to take them onwards, but was given a lift to ADJ when it was realised they were late coming off the Docks. The second batch comprised 66550 hauling 66543/545/551 and worked through Newport at exactly 20:00.
357218 was delivered to East Ham depot by 47746.

15/12 The locations of the new 66s were: Bescot - 66547 (later moved to Rugby), Basford Hall - 66542/543/544/545/546/548/550/551 (later to Stourton)/552/553, Southampton Docks - 66549

16/12 Half of the new locomotives were in service, with 66549/551 at Southampton, 66542/544/553 at Blisworth, 66547 at Corby and the others at Basford Hall.

19/12 357219 was hauled as 7X17 Derby-East Ham.

Miscellaneous

Lost Property
A large oil-painting is being held in the lost property office at Temple Meads station having been left on a train in mid-December! More than a quarter of a million items worth around 5 million are left unclaimed on buses, trains, cabs and airports a year according to research. Most items are left on Monday mornings!

First Great Western
First/GW and Thames trains are expected to merge when the latters franchise comes to an end in April 2004. The merged company will then bid together for the larger contract for the West Country and Thames Valley area when First/GW's franchise runs out in February 2006. A statement by FGW has stated that an integration of services and retimetabling could offer up to 10 per cent capacity gains and a better organised service involving the two companies.
At Temple Meads, passengers are now able to buy their bus tickets at the station before leaving. A selection of bus season tickets will be available to buy under the scheme to make the change from rail to bus services easier for travellers. Rovercards, which give bus passengers travel for a week or more, and ten Journey tickets, will be sold at the travel centre at the station, which is operated by First Great Western, Bristol's sister company to the bus firm First Group.
The multi-journey tickets are also available at around 90 shops throughout Bristol and via the internet. They include the City Ten, which costs 11.50 and is valid for 10 single journeys, the one-week Rovercard at 14.00 and the four-week Rovercard at 52.00.

Freight flow News

Iron Ore Traffic
As mentioned in last month's Magazine the workings to/from Humberside to South Wales are;- 7G12 22.13 (WThFO) Port Talbot-Stanton (Scunthorpe) via Didcot. 6Z09 09.42 (WThFSO) Stanton-Port Talbot (via Gloucester, Awre 15.43).
These trains were operating whilst there was a docks dispute at Immingham, which was reported to have been resolved at the end of December.
On 20/12 60004+60033 were paired on the 6Z09 formed of 20 JUA/JTA wagons.

Steel Traffic
It has been reported that all North East-South Wales steel trains are now Class 60 booked so Class 66s can be released to work on the new Channel Tunnel rail-link.

Water Canon
Eastleigh operated a Class 37 hauled water canon train during December as 8Z38, 09.38 Eastleigh via Micheldever (10.01/05) reverse, Eastleigh 12.47, Brockenhurst 13.30, Poole 14.02, Weymouth 14.48/15.00 reverse and Bournemouth 15.59 (normally running M-F).

Preservation & Industrial Matters

West Somerset Railway 08/12/01
There was plenty of activity at Minehead station for the nearby village of Dunster 'Candlelight Ceremony' during the evening with steam 7828, 80136 and diesel D6566 in use on passenger trains and D2133 on station pilot duties.
A Cheshire Railtours excursion from Bristol (returning at 21.15) was noted in platform 2 formed of a fully new liviered First Group hst set with power cars 43032+43138 (intermediate coaches LA23).

Motorway Observations 31/12/01
Steam loco 6412 was seen heading westbound on the M5 at Junction 23, returning from the Gloucester & Warwicks Railway to the West Somerset Railway.

Avon Valley Railway
The railway received a couple of recent set-backs, firstly when vandals paint sprayed one of the dining train coaches, which had been repainted in pullman choc/cream colours. Costs for a clean up were estimated to have been around 10,000 but thanks to the a Bristol Evening Post newspaper item, a local business man in the area assisted with the funding of the paint removal.
At the beginning of December a serious fire destroyed MkI coach ADS5319 (BSK 35174) along with a number of items stored inside.
On a good note, despite these events, the line has reported a 10% increase on passengers numbers so far in December compared to last year.

Departmental & Track Machines
The following have been recorded;-

Yatton 07/11
R/R; Thwaites dumpers; 752, 755. 28/11;-R/R; Thwaites dumper; 754, excavator 455.

Saltford 14/11
BCL R/R; 012, 0??.

Bristol East depot
track machines; 73105/262/275. 77400/401. (also long-term withdrawn coaches 80339/338. 95366. DW150144 are still all present).

M5 Motorway (near Hallen) on a lorry trailer;- Hydrex R/R; 2739.

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