NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

11/01 Further road resurfacing work was noted taking place on the A403 Smoke Lane level crossing. Still no new rail traffic is expected as contaminated soil from the former now closed Britannia Zinc plant is to be moved by sea (not landfill via rail) for recycling and further use in Germany. The smelter here was opened in 1968 to produce zinc for the motor and hardware industry and closed in February 2003.
25/01 FM Rail 47703 visited Severn Beach on a morning driver charter route-learning/refresher trip from Salisbury. 33202 was also at Salisbury (both locos having been noted here the previous afternoon) for similar duties, this loco running over the Berks & Hants to Reading during the day. Later in the day, an oil spillage saw all services suspended for a while.
26/01 47703 again passed through light-engine as 08.00 Gloucester-Gloucester driver route learner. The loco was seen at Avonmouth dock level crossing at 12.29 heading towards Bristol.

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month included;- 66030/053/076/134/174/208/210/214/236/238238. The loco area pilot remained as 09003.

Bristol Parkway

04/01 66501 was on the 4O51 10.08 Wentloog-Millbrook containers.
06/01 66609 + 66612 were reported as paired on the 6Z55 Dagenham-Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties.
07/01 The Network Rail track-recording Hst set worked 1C01 11.57 Swindon-Swansea (noted passing Pilning at 12.40) and 1Z14 14.20 Swansea-Derby.
10/01 66713 worked 6Z91 Shoeburyness-Newport scrap units formed 1843 + 312796+ 312798.
11/01 57003 was on the Freightliner 4O51 service from Wentloog-Millbrook. Later during the afternoon, the 13.00 Cardiff-Taunton Wessex Train's local service struck a fire extinguisher on the track inside the Severn Tunnel which was closed until 16.30. In the meantime a number of services were diverted via Gloucester.
12/01 66713 was again on scrap emu duty working 6Z42 13.08 Wimbledon Park-Caerwent formed with sets 1313 + 3455 + 3457. An interesting incident en-route saw the train held in Kensington Olympia station due to a tail-lamp problem, in the meantime some passengers on the platform boarded the working via unlocked carriage doors assuming it was the next train to Willesden junction!!
13/01 Class 60s noted during the afternoon were;- 60029 on a late 6A10 10.35 ThO Cardiff Tidal-Colnbrook steel service and 60028 on 6B33 13.42 TThO Theale-Robeston fuel tank empties. Later, at 16.30 in Pilning loop, 66713 was noted with 6Z91 10.40 Shoeburyness-Newport docks, formed with scrap emu sets;- 312728 (NSE livery) + 312709 (First/GE) + 312781 (NSE).
15/01 This was the first of three consecutive Saturdays for the 4V60 Calvert-Bath/Barrow Road Freightliner Heavyhaul container service to run via Birmingham (15.35) and Cheltenham to Bristol, due to engineering works on it's normal route.
17/01 A second Virgin 'Thunderbird' 57 313 ran 0Z57 Oxley-Laira light-engine, leaving Birmingham NS at 12.28 (88 minutes late) and again running 'direct' via Bridgwater instead of a reverse at Temple Meads and via Bath and Westbury. The loco was to replace 57304 on West Country driver training duties and in fact assisted a First/GW Penzance-Paddington Hst to Exeter the following day! Later, D1015 Western Champion, out of service since 2003, worked 5Z52 19.30 Old Oak Common-Parkway (via Badminton) and 5Z53 23.05 return (via Bath) test run using coaching stock;- W6310, 3122, 3112, W21272, 1863, 5322, W5309, 4902, 3333, 3364, 5275 Wendy. The train arrived in the down loop at 22.27 (20 minutes late) and departed at 22.35 (30 early!), no problems being reported throughout the journey. The working was initially planned to be with nine coaches and 47815 as 'stand-by' dit.
18/01 57002 was on the 4O51 Wentloog-Millbrook container service.
19/01 FLHh 47805 ran 0Z45 07.42 Kingsland road-Stewart's Lane light-engine for 5Z45 Stewarts' Lane-Caerwent scrap emu sets formed 1848 + 1847 + S70699 (a single coach from 1406). Also 5Z40 Shoeburyness-Newport scrap units ran formed with 312 727 + 312 786 + 312 788 headed by 66 712.
24/01 Cotswold Rail 47 200 was used on the over-night 4V30 Felixstowe-Wentloog containers, load 17 at 966 tonnes. The loco returned on the booked 4L56 02.32 Wentloog-Felixstowe (25/01).
26/01 A further 6Z91 10.40 Shoeburyness-Newport headed by 66712 was formed with emu sets 312785 + 312789 + 312799.
28/01 Severe disruption and diversions occured with the failure of 47150 on 6V14 16.16 (Thur) Mossend-Portbury dock empty car carriers at Charfield at around 03.30. The train was rescued by EWS 66101 at 08.00, being moved to Parkway down loop and recessed for the arrival of 66519 at 10.45 from Reading light-engine to assist the whole train with the Class 47 onwards, passing Filton Abbeywood at 11.20 running six hours late! The Class 47 was booked to run 0Z44 07.00 St.Phillips Marsh-Minehead barrier van and return 5Z44 10.50 Minehead-St.Phillips Marsh barrier van and HST power car move. Whether this actually took place is unknown.
31/01 FLHh 47841 hauled withdrawn emus 1717 + 1712 + 1708 as 5Z45 12.07 Stewarts Lane-Caerwent for scrapping.

Bristol Temple Meads and Barton Hill

01/01 The 13.22 Portsmouth Harbour-Cardiff Central service hit a pipe left on the track during the late afternoon at the former Filton station site. Passengers were transferred to road coaches at Patchway and Abbeywood stations to continue their journey to South Wales. The set was finally moved four hours later.
66509/557/602/606 were all noted stabled in Kingsland road sidings during the day.
03/01 The 10.50 Manchester-Penzance (via Newport) Arriva Trains service was noted with 158850 (Central Trains green) and 153367 ( Arriva blue) and 158828 (Ginster pasty) with 153313 (Arriva blue) on the following day.
05/01 66118 worked the 6S55 09.38 (WO) Burngullow-Irvine china clay slurries.
06/01 The Avon area bins, running as 4Z60 Crewe Basford Hall yard-Bath yard was headed by 66516 + 66603 + 66605. Two evening workings of interest were; 47854 and 57601 top n'tailing a 12 coach West Coast trains 5Z27 11.53 Carnforth-Newton Abbot (Hackney yard) ECS west around 18.00 and 66 129 on 6Z52 12.43 Sellafield-Devonport submarine reactor flask at 21.26 (20 minutes late).
08/01 The football special (for the Exeter v Manchester Utd FA Cup clash) using the West Coast stock ran as 1Z26 06.30 Exeter-Manchester Piccadilly top n'tailed by 57601 and 47854 passing around 07.30. The return was 1Z28 18.40 Manchester-Exeter. 'Shanks' liveried 66522 was on an 'extra' 4V60 Avon area binliner, running on a Saturday due to the Bank Holiday Monday.
09/01 66 522/609/612 were all stabled in Kingsland road sidings. The Footex ecs returned north as 5Z28 14.28 Exeter-Crewe passing at 12.30, 180 minutes early!!
10/01 A 6Z50 13.20 Crewe-Devonport (19.30) locos and escort saloon was booked for 20306 + 37611 (via the NW and Hereford). The working, which left 40 late was however routed via Cheltenham and only headed by the Class 37 only, which returned 0Z50 10.00 Plymouth-Crewe light-engine, the following day.
11/01 Becoming the first Bristol area sub-class visitor, 57304 ran 0Z57 10.29 Oxley-Plymouth light-engine (via Bridgwater) for driver training runs with the expected out-basing of a West Country 'thunderbird' loco later this year. The loco was booked for a Temple Meads reverse (12.50-12.55) and run via Bath and Westbury to Taunton for a driver route refresher run, but this did not happen. The working was booked to run during the previous morning but no class members were available at Oxley.
12/01 220030 which had worked the 06.05 Derby-Plymouth was used in the West Country on driver training runs hauled by 57304 as 5Z05 11.30 Plymouth-Hackney yard (Newton Abbot), 5Z06 12.43 return, 5Z07 14.04 Plymouth-Hackney yard (Newton Abbot) and 5Z08 15.25 return. 221144 had earlier worked 5Z46 Central Rivers depot-Plymouth empty to cover the return 220030 booked passenger working. Also during the day, 66198 was on the 6S55 Burngullow-Irvine china clay slurries and 66612 worked 14.00 Bury St. Edmunds- Bristol Kingsland road empty FLHh bogie box wagons (for February use on a Jersey Marine service). These wagons had seen previous use on a Peak Forest service. Also recorded over at Bath goods during the early afternoon were 67014 + 67019 top n'tailing 1Z14 serco test train, which also visited the Westbury area and Theale during the day.
13/01 66609 became what is believed to be the first sub-class member to work the 4V60 Calvert-Avon area refuse containers. A view of Barton Hill depot at 15.00 found the following;- 08516. 73141 (awaiting a road move back to Ludgershall). Stored locos;- 37077/(377)/379/696. 56065.
14/01 57304 ran 0Z57 09.07 Laira-Oxley light-engine (via Westbury) booked Temple Meads 12.50-12.55. The Class 57s are expected to see West Country use for the next seven weeks and are also to be routed via Yeovil and Honiton to/from Exeter for driver diversion route knowledge. Also during the morning, 60048 hauled 56051 as 0F34 08.00 Westbury-Barton Hill, returning as 6F34 10.55 Barton Hill-Westbury with the water cannon KFA tank wagon which had remained here.
18/01 47805 worked a 5Z44 08.45 Bicester-St.Phillips Marsh stock-move formed 43198 + barrier van + 43094, the latter in unbranded Virgin colours and 31459 ran 0Z31 10.00 Gloucester Horton road-Westbury light-engine to collect 31128 + 31452 + 31454 for a return working to Derby. Two other Class 31s in the area were 31190 and 31105 stabled at St.Phillips Marsh on a test train.
19/01 A gas-leak at Highbridge, one mile south of the station saw 21 services affected with the suspension of rail movements between 15.45 and 18.00. There were some diversions via Westbury and road bus movements between stations. 31190 and 31105 worked 4Z04 Swansea-Bristol Ultrasonic test train, running around an hour down, arriving in the early hours (20/01).
20/01 31190 and 31105 top n'tailed the ultrasonic test train out of the area as 4Z08 18.55 St.Phillips Marsh-Tyseley reversing in Temple Meads station leaving 17 minutes early at 19.14.
21/01 47805 was noted in the north hauling a single empty 'binliner' container flat, reported as a Bath-Stoke Marcroft wagon works repair trip.
22/01 66173 was seen passing Bath on a late morning lpg tank train assumed to be a late running Hallen Marsh-Furzebrook service. This freight train, which at one time ran twice daily is due to finish in March.
23/01 Views of various locations during the afternoon found; Barton Hill depot;- 08516. 66140/174. dmu set; 143 617. Stored locos; 37077/(377)/379/696. 56049/051. steam loco; 5029 Nunney Castle. Support coach; W35461. Kingsland road; 66609. St.Phillips Marsh depot; 08663 coupled with 43198 (still carrying MML livery and carrying Rio Victorious nameplates). 180104. Earlier, a First/GW stock move saw 57603 haul a barrier van and power car from Laira-St.Phillips Marsh and return on 5Z77 12.30 St.Phillips Marsh-Laira formed barrier van 6348 and power car 43186. The working was running early when seen at Hewish, near Weston-super-Mare at 12.28.
24/01 A protest was held between Bath and Bristol on Wessex Trains services regarding the carrying of bicycles at peak times. Passengers were seen carrying 'large' objects such as ironing boards and patio furniture proving large items could be conveyed!
25/01 20315 + 37611 were paired on the Crewe-Bridgwater nuclear flasks.
26/01 31233 and 31285 departed Temple Meads at 21.50 on a 21.34 Kingsland road-Swnsea-East Usk test working in top n'tail formation.
27/01 158827 and 153367 were paired on the Arriva Trains 06.24 Penzance-Crewe service and 20 302 + 20308 worked the Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks. D1015 Western Champion was back in passenger action for Pastime Rail on their 1Z52 09.30 Gloucester-Par 'Eden-flyer' with coaching stock; 2834, 3120, 3121, 1679, 3147, 3123 (all 'Pride of the Nation'livery), 5023, 4925, 5037 (all 'SR' green), and 35469 ('maroon'). There was a Tpws problem at Weston, the train actually leaving 30 minutes late at 11.39, but was able to complete the trip despite a further problem at Plymouth. The train's pick up (and set down) at Weston-super-Mare was significant in being the first Class member and train to stop here for nearly 28 years, the last known workings being; D1023 Western Fusilier on 1E30 08.10 Plymouth-Leeds (as far as Temple Meads) on 04/02/77 and D1013 Western Ranger with 12.47 Newcastle-Plymouth (1V89) on 06/02/77. The Class 52 'farewell tour' on 26/02/77 was to use the avoiding line when it passed through the area.
29/01 Two special workings were; Royal 67 005 on 1Z69 07.34 Manchester-Bath and 1Z74 17.26 return Northern Belle (out and back via the Marches and the Severn Tunnel) and 67 022 on a Railway Touring company's 'Devonian' trip from Paddington-Plymouth and 16.40 return. The trip was the one postponed from 18th December last year and featured 6024 King Edward I onwards and return to Bristol. The train was noted passing through Parsons street at 10.39, and did not feature 5029 Nunney Castle as a double-head, which was at one time a possibility. On the freight side, Mendip Rail Class 59s in action included, 59 103 on the Westbury-Machen and return ballast trip and (although off area) 59 004 with 6W11 Westbury-Shrivenham engineers.
30/01 57605 was noted passing Nailsea & Backwell at 16.21 on a St.Phillips Marsh-Laira stock move formed with a centre HST coach, and barrier vans on each side. Two FLHh Class 47s locations were reported as follows; 47150 still failed in Kingsland road sidings and 47843 at Wentloog.
31/01 66008 ran 0Z24 06.30 Bescot-Barton Hill to collect steam 6024 King Edward I and support coach, returning as 5Z24 10.00 Barton Hill-Tyseley (Winterbourne 10.50).

Gloucestershire

14/01 60035 + 66008 ('dit') worked 6Z41 10.30 Margam-Bescot empty HAA coal hoppers, passing Severn Tunnel junction (via Chepstow) at 11.40. Later at 12.00, 60047 + 60029 were noted at the head of a northbound steel service, believed to be 6E09 09.33 Margam-Lackenby.
17/01 37890 + 37 692 were allocated 6M11 00.50 Margam-Round Oak loaded steel and 6V05 10.00 Round Oak-Margam return. However the locos were de-allocated in favour of 60061.
19/01 The second Royal loco, and now carrying the dedicated livery, 67006 was reported in the Gloucester livery.
27/01 31233 and 31285 top n'tailed a 21.30 East Usk-Gloucester-Swindon and return test working.

Portbury Branch

10/01 66617 worked the first 6X42 17.53 Portbury-Mossend loaded car carriers of the year.
19/01 66208 was noted at the dock gate with a loaded HTA coal departure at 12.10.
26/01 47703 became the first Fragonset liveried loco to traverse the branchline on a Merlin-Rail drivers route learning trip (08.00 Gloucester-Gloucester) passing Ham Green at 13.56, returning at 15.07. The loco had visited Sharpness, Avonmouth and St. Phillips Marsh also during the day.
28/01 47150 + 66519 were visible in the general cargo handling area at 12.10 (also see Bristol Parkway Notes & News).
A further re-opening attempt for the final three miles of the branch line to passenger trains failed in the House of Commons having been raised by the local MP Dr. Liam Fox towards the end of the month. It has been quoted that between 5 - 7.5 million would be needed to upgrade the remaining track, and a further 2.5 million, yearly to cover operating costs. Train fares would only be expected to cover half this cost. The current Government Transport minister, Charlotte Atkins has said no money is available towards the project in the 'foreseeable future' although the line has been included for reopening in the Bristol area 20 Year Transport Plan.

Portbury Branchline-Timetable
Current booked workings over this line are as follows (note all can be 'Q'or as required);-
Down
6V22 19.51 Washwood Heath Up sdgs EWS coal empties (arrival time 00.12).
6V48 00.18 Washwood Heath Up sdgs EWS coal empties (03.33, 03.23 SO).
6F21 01.45 East Usk yard EWS coal empties (04.07, 03.57 SO).
6V14 16.16 Mossend Up yard (04.41) FLHh empty car carriers.
6V52 02.50 (sx) Washwood Heath (06.28) EWS empty coal or car carriers.
6V03 03.56 Washwood Heath Up sdgs EWS coal empties (07.02, 06.57 SO).
6V23 07.02 Washwood Heath Up sdgs EWS coal empties (10.47, 11.12 SO).
6F27 11.54 East Usk yard EWS coal empties (14.13, 14.35 SO).
0S41 14.03 Kingsland road (14.33) FLHh light-engine for 6S41.
6V09 13.36 Washwood Heath Up sdgs EWS coal empties (17.42).
6V17 16.03 Bescot yard (21.08).
Up
0V14 00.30(mo) To Kingsland road FLHh light-engine off 6V14.
6M13 02.21(mo) Washwood Heath. EWS loaded coal.
6M13 02.21(mx) Rugeley power station. EWS loaded coal.
0V14 04.45(msx)Kingsland road FLH h light-engine off 6V14.
6F22 05.12 Uskmouth power station. EWS loaded coal. (05.44 SO).
6M04 09.20 Rugeley power station. EWS loaded coal. (09.50 SO).
6M06 12.48 Crewe, for Rugby cement wks EWS loaded coal. (13.26 SO).
6F28 16.30 Uskmouth power station. EWS loaded coal. (16.23 SO).
6M52 16.30 (sx) Washwood Heath up sdgs. EWS loaded car carriers.
6S41 17.50 (sx) Mossend up yard. FLHh loaded car carriers.
6M10 19.48 (sx) Rugeley power station. EWS loaded coal.
6M12 23.00 Rugeley power station. EWS loaded coal. (22.10 SO).

Tytherington Quarry Branchline

Inward 'blending' stone trips operated from 24/01- 28/01 and into February. The workings ran as 6Z22 05.03 Westbury-Tytherington and 6C38 11.51 return empties, being in the hands of Class 66 locos until 59202 (31/01). The trains used JNA bogie box wagons normally numbering around 10, but problems on arrival at the quarry stop-board, on an upward gradient meant Class 66s were replaced by Class 59s at the end of the month. The stone had been 'sourced' for these workings from Whatley quarry, although Penmaenmawr quarry in North Wales had been used in the past.

SOUTH WALES AREA

Cardiff Central

06/01 175107 worked 1W94 17:44 to Holyhead.
10/01 150208 was transferred to ATW as 5Z50 11:05 Neville Hill-Canton.
21/01 150260/252 were moved from Haymarket to Canton via the WCML.
24/01 150256 was transferred as 5Z50 10.45 Neville Hill-Canton.
31/01 175111 worked the 05:20 from Holyhead.

Newport

10/01 66713 hauled 6Z91 10:55 Shoeburyness-Newport Docks with units 1843/312796/798 for scrapping.
12/01 66713 was again in action on 6Z42 13:08 Wimbledon Park-Caerwent, this time hauling former SWT units 1313, 3457/55.
13/01 66713 made a third visit to South Wales hauling 312728/709/781 as 6Z91 10:40 Shoeburyness-Caerwent.
19/01 66712 hauled 6Z91 10:40 Shoeburyness-Newport Docks with scrap units.
26/01 66712 hauled 312785/789/799 as 6Z91 10:40 Shoeburyness-Newport Docks.

            LOCO AND UNIT NEWS

CLASS 37

03/01 37405/408/411 worked most of the Saturday services Rhymney -Cardiff.
04/01 37405 hauled 2R38 16:50 Cardiff-Rhymney, 37408 2R42 17:11 Cardiff-Rhymney and 37411 2R46 17:48 Cardiff - Rhymney.
05/01 37408 worked 2V07 06:59 Rhymney-Radyr, 37411 2F05 07:19 Rhymney-Cardiff and 37405 2F06 07:40 Rhymney-Cardiff.
07/01 37425 did 2V07 & 2R38, 37411 2F05 & 2R46, 37405 2F06 & 2R42.
08/01 37405/411/425 were working Saturday services between Rhymney and Cardiff.
10/01 37411 operated 2V07, 37405 2F05 and 37425 2F06.
11/01 37411 hauled 2V07 & 2R38, 37405 2F05 & 2R46, 37425 2F06 & 2R42.
12/01 37425 did 2V07 & 2R42, 37405 2F05 & 2R46, 37411 2F06 & 2R38.
13/01 37405 was on 2V07, 37425 2F05 and 37411 2F06.
15/01 37405/411/425 again covered the Rhymney's Saturday services.
17/01 37425 was on 2V07, 37405 2F05 and 37411 2F06.
19/01 37411 did 2R38, 37405 2R42 and 37425 2R46.
20/01 37411 hauled 2R38, 37405 2R42 and 37425 2R46.
21/01 37405 operated 2R38, 37425 2R42 and 37411 2R46.
22/01 37405/411/425 worked most of the Cardiff<>Rhymney Saturday services.
24/01 37405 worked 2R38, 37411 2R42 and 37425 2R46.
25/01 37405 did 2R38, 37411 2R42 and 37425 2R46.
26/01 37411 hauled 2V07 & 2R38, 37425 2F05 & 2R46, 37405 2F06, 37408 2R42.
27/01 37408 worked 2V07, 37425 2F05 and 37411 2F06.
28/01 37411 was on 2V07, 37408 2F05 and 37425 2F06.
29/01 37408/411/425 worked most of the Rhymney's Saturday services.
31/01 37425 operated 2V07, 37411 2F05 and 37408 2F06.

CLASS 47/57

19/01 47805 worked 5Z45 Stewarts Lane-Caerwent hauling 3x4CIGs.
25/01 47703 worked a 0Z47 route learner in the Avonmouth area.
31/01 47841 worked 5Z45 12:37 Stewarts Lane-Caerwent hauling 1708/12/17.

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V08 Basford Hall - Wentloog and return containers.
14/01 57005. 21/01 66533.
4V50/4O51 Millbrook - Wentloog and return containers.
17/01 66569. 18/01 57002. 19/01 57002. 20/01 57006. 21/01 57006. 24/01 57002. 25/01 66501. 31/01 57007.
4Vxx/4L56 Dagenham - Wentloog and return containers.
66570.
4V60/4M60 Calvert-Avon area empty and return loaded refuse containers.
22/01 66609. 31/01 66550.

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6M33 Avonmouth-Wembley.
05/01 66219. 11/01 66002 + 67017. 13/01 67028.

Plant News

Noted at Temple Meads during the month were

73924 - 11/1,12/1,14/1
BCLFleet 208 Komatsu PW170 - 18/1
BCL Fleet 353 Komatsu PW170 - 17/1,18/1
BCL Fleet T5012H Plasmor Trailer - 17/1,18/1
BCL unidentified Plasmor Trailer - 18/1

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