NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

13/03 The 6V53 Wembley-Avonmouth 'enterprise' freight service was worked in by 67021 + 66180.
31/03 Bogie HTA wagons were noted being loaded at West Wharf in the Royal Edward docks. This was the first time this wagon type had been seen at this location, being reported as working 6M41 11.45 loaded coal to Radcliffe power station. This train ran several times around this date, when the loading silos in the bulk handling terminal were seen to be 'out of use' for servicing, this occurring on a number of times throughout the month.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month included;- 66020/039/065/079/ 090/117/160/169/180/233 66238. 09003 continued as the area shunting pilot.
6M33 16.23 (SX) Avonmouth-Wembley 'enterprise' freight locos;-
01/03 67021 + 67024. 15/03 67002 + 67021. 24/03 67002 + 67021.
07/03 67021 + 67024. 16/03 67002 + 67021. 29/03 67012 + 67017.
10/03 67021 + 67024. 20/03 67002 + 67021. 31/03 67012 + 67017.
12/03 67021. 22/03 67002 + 67021.

Bristol Parkway and Westerleigh

02/03 Class 60 activity found 60046 over at Westerleigh on the 6E41 Humber tanks, 60067 working 6B13 from Robeston (both during the morning), 60062 on 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel tank empties and 60085 on 6C23 Hayes-East Usk stone empties. Three freights recorded this evening starting with the MoD liner hauled by 66187, followed by an empty MGR service bound for Avonmouth behind 66039 and 66037 with a loaded MGR from Avonmouth to Didcot. Advised loco for the Moorswater - Earles sidings cement empties was 66621, this was independently confirmed at 21.35 arriving at Temple Meads to await crew change.
03/03 60049 worked the 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel tank empties.
04/03 60062 worked 6B13 Robeston-Westerleigh fuel tanks and 57009 was on an afternoon Millbrook-Wentloog additional Saturday container service.
06/03 66019, 'on hire' to GBRf headed a 6V91 Shoeburyness-Newport docks scrap stock move made up of odd EMU coaches; 76085, 76031 (both from set 1745), 76066 (1724), 76051 (1735), 76072 (1740), 76121 (1737), 76079, 76103 (1739), 76129 (1738), 76888 (3568), 76877, 76878 (3565). Only sighting this evening was 66520 with the ballast service from South Wales.
07/03 60039 was at Westerleigh on 6B13 from Robeston, 60049 worked the 6B33 Theale fuel empties and 60040 was on 6B11 Thorney Mill-Margam stone empties.
09/03 Two freights recorded this evening, 66509 with cement empties from Moorswater for Earles Sidings and running just short of 2 hours early and 66059 with an empty MGR bound for Portbury.
13/03 59202 powered the 6B65 09.15 Westbury-Newport ADJ 'engineers'. 66520 worked the ballast service again this evening, and three MGR services seen empties for Portbury behind 66070, empties for Avonmouth with 66065 and a loaded Avonmouth - Didcot service hauled by 66090.
14/03 60040 worked 6B13 loaded oil to Westerleigh, 60049 was on 6B11 Thorney Mill stone empties and 60080 headed the 6B33 Theale fuel empties.
15/03 Cotswold-Rail 47813 failed near Yate south junction with a 5Z92 09.30 Laira-Long Marston stock move formed with coaches; 11017, 11023 (in Anglian 'one' livery), 10240, 11058, 11055. Some service trains were diverted via the Severn Tunnel and the Chepstow mainline, as EWS 60080 from the nearby Westerleigh oil terminal was used to move the train onto the currently 'mothballed' Tytherington quarry branch line. Cotswold-Rail HST power cars 43070 + 'Hornby' liveried 43087 were despatched from Gloucester booked to return the failed train as 15.02 Yate Middle junction-Gloucester, but were low on fuel and ran to St. Phillips Marsh depot for a top up, before returning to Yate at 17.15. Following a single power car shunt, the train departed at 18.47 from Yate with silver liveried 43070 leading, leaving 47813 on the branchline awaiting repair by a Cotswold-Rail fitter travelling over specially from Norwich by road!! A second Westerleigh tank train was also noted during the day with 60100, both unusually returning to Robeston, instead of one normally heading north.
16/03 60080 was on the 6B33 Theale fuel tank empties and 60040 worked 6V60 Angerstein-Margam stone empties. Three freights this evening starting with 66005 stabled in the up loop with a loaded MGR, this service didn't move for the duration. First moving service was 66181 with a car train from Portbury followed by 66101 with MGR empties for Avonmouth. The NR HST put in an appearance using power cars 43013/062.
17/03 Load-Haul liveried 60059 worked 6B33 Theale fuel empties. 31452 + 31454 were booked to run Derby-Westbury light-engine for Wessex loco hauled passenger stock workings over Cardiff Millennium stadium sporting event weekends. The move was however cancelled (also see Westbury Notes & News).
18/03 37670, which had been stored at Temple Mills, ran light-engine to Didcot, then onwards to Newport. Class 60s at Westerleigh during the morning were;- Corus silver 60033 on 6E41 Humber tanks and 60040 on 6B13 loaded fuel oil from Robeston.
20/03 A further afternoon 6V91 Shoeburyness-Newport docks condemned EMU stock move was headed again by EWS power, 66019 'on hire' to GBRf being formed with;- 76107, 62048, 70726, 76053 (1904), 76027, 70700, 62022, 76081 (1903), 76076, 62017, 70695, 76022 (1705). Earlier, 66063 had worked through on 5Z57 09.57 Cardiff Canton-Old Oak Common ECS (from Pathfinder's Humber Haulier railtour on 18/03, see Gloucestershire Notes & News) and 66526 was noted at Pilning at 11.40 heading a late running 6Z55 Swindon-Moreton-on-Lugg train of Freightliner empty stone boxes, the green livery now de-faced by graffiti on a number of these wagons. Three workings to report this evening, firstly the ballast train headed by 66527 en route from South Wales, 60039 with empty HAA's bound for Portbury and finally 66241 with a loaded MGR from Avonmouth to Didcot.
23/03 Three Class 60s were recorded during the day;- 60059 over at Westerleigh on 6B13 loaded oil from Robeston, 60080 was on 6B33 Theale oil empties and 60043 worked 6C23 Hayes-East Usk stone empties.
25/03 50031 + 50049 called with Pathfinder tours 'Redmire Rambler' (07.10 Cardiff-Leeming Bar /Redmire) excursion.
27/03 A near carbon copy of 20/3, 66552 worked the ballast service, 66057 empty MGR to Portbury and 66190 with a loaded MGR from Avonmouth bound for Didcot. Over at Patchway station the new temporary footbridge was seen to be in use, the original one having been dismantled and taken away for refurbishment. Another 6V91 Shoeburyness-Newport dock EMU stock move was recorded headed by the more normal GBRf power in the form of 66710, hauling 76114, 62055, 71766, 76060 (1711), and odd coaches, 76067(1735), 76069(1738), 76073(1744), 76117 (1735), 76120(1724), 76127(1744). The train was believed to have been terminated at East Usk yard, the reason for this being unknown.
29/03 The 6C02 Bristol East depot-Newport ADJ steel empties were noted running this way behind 66093 during the late morning due to problems reported in the Severn Tunnel.
30/03 60100 was on 6B33 Theale fuel empties and 60032 worked the 6V60 Angerstein-Margam stone empties.
31/03 60047 worked 6B33 Theale empties and 60100 was at Westerleigh on 6B13.

Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill

01/03 20311 + 20313 powered the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks and 59202 was an unusual sight in Temple Meads having arrived at 14.42 (64 minutes late) with VSOE empty stock on the down through line. Steam 34067 Tangmere had worked the train as 1Z82 09.13 Victoria-Bath Spa as far as Westbury arriving at 12.50, but as there was no Class 67 available to take the train onwards, 59202 was taken off a stone working! The Class 59 returned the train as 5Z83 17.07 Bristol TM-Bath (then 1Z83)-Victoria, arriving at Westbury at 17.47, departing behind Tangmere at 18.16 for London.
02/03 Cotswold-Rail 47813, still 'on hire' to First/GW worked 1C99 23.50 Paddington-Penzance sleeper service.
03/03 60047 was on the 6C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal service and 66156 worked the 6C41 Newport ADJ-Westbury departmental. 60060 was allocated 6C01 Newport-Bristol East depot steel trip, but the working ended up cancelled.
04/03 Problems at Bradford-on-Avon saw the Wessex Train's 10.40 Westbury-Temple Meads service unable to stop here due to over crowding and a further large number of passengers waiting to board. The following 09.22 Portsmouth Harbour-Cardiff was also unable to stop because it too was also full with standing passengers. A quickly organised agreement between Virgin XC and Wessex Trains unusually saw the diverted 07.30 Penzance-Dundee service, formed with 221131 make a special stop to help convey some of the waiting passengers. These events occurred due to the Powergen Cup Rugby semi-final between Bath and Llanelli being played at the Cardiff Millennium stadium attracting extra passengers for the game. On the freight side, 60050 was on the 6C23 Hayes-East Usk stone empties (running via Day's curve) whilst a number of engineer's trains were recorded between Huntspill and Dunball (all passenger trains between Weston-super-Mare and Taunton being diverted via Westbury). The engineers trains and their return workings (noted during the early afternoon) were recorded as follows;- 59202 (6W01 14.00 Uphill junction-Westbury, rail track components and empties), 66156 (6W02 15.00 loaded spoil), 59004 (6W03 17.00 Uphill junction-Westbury, loaded spoil) and 59104 (6W04 Uphill junction-Westbury, ballast and empty wagons). The 6W04 had arrived at Taunton in a top n'tail formation with 59001. Observations near Langport, on the Westbury line saw the diverted 6B99 15.06 (SO) Plymouth Tavistock yard-Cardiff Tidal sidings freight pass at 17.22 behind 66163, this train normally runs via Bridgwater to Bristol conveying mainly scrap metal and empty china clay wagons.
05/03 Cotswold-Rail 47813 was again used on the 1C99 Paddington-Penzance First/GW sleeper service.
06/03 Northbound coal train from Portbury seen at 11.30 behind 66245, two hours later 60040 noted with a stone train heading in the opposite direction. Overnight engineering works over ran in the Weston-super-Mare area causing some late running for morning commuter services. The 6C01 09.15 Newport ADJ-Bristol East depot steel trip has been reported as retimed with a new 09.40 starting time. 60085 was on this train today returning 0C02 light-engine to Newport. Some observations near Bath during the afternoon saw;- 66009 + 66097 + 60034 on 7C41 15.16 Newport ADJ-Westbury departmental, 66089 on the 6B63 Westbury cement works-Margam coal empties (16.18) and 66082 on 6C34 (MO) St.Phillips Marsh-Westbury fuel tank empties (16.57).
07/03 66063 seen with a northbound stone train at 23.25.
09/03 20313 + 37608 were paired on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks.
11/03 59201 was on the Saturdays only 6C80 Machen-Westbury loaded Hansons stone trip.
12/03 Local area return engineers trips from work on the Bristol-Taunton mainline were as follows;- 66234 (6W01 08.00 Bristol West-Westbury), 59202 (6W02 09.00 Bristol West-Westbury), 59206 (6W03 12.00 Bristol West-Westbury) and 59104 (6W04 19.00 Bristol West-Westbury).
13/03 59202 headed the 6B65 09.15 Westbury-Newport ADJ engineers. Steam 76079 + 45407 were booked as 5Z76 11.30 Bury (East Lancs railway)-Bishop's Lydeard locos and support coach running via the Marches and the Severn Tunnel for the forthcoming S & D steam gala. The locos arrived in Temple Meads for a water stop around 23.00 instead of the booked 18.37-18.55 time!
14/03 Evening observations at Yatton saw 66604 with the return 6M37 cement empties from Moorswater (formed only of PCA 4-wheel tanks) leave the loop at 19.25 and Cotswold-Rail 47813 pass on time at 19.38 with a 5Z91 10.39 Longtown-Laira stock move formed with coaches; 11058, 11055, 17175, 10225, 10232, 11017, 11023 (in Anglian 'One' livery), 10240. Portbury bound empty MGR seen at 16.25 behind 66098.
15/03 47813 returned north with a 5Z92 09.30 Laira-Long Marston formed with coaches 11017, 11023, 10240, 11058, 11055, only to fail near Yate South junction (also see Bristol Parkway notes & news). Also recorded during the early afternoon were;- 33103 on 5Z30 10.14 Derby-Exeter formed of green liveried former DEMU, saloon coach 975025 Caroline (which covered a number of West Country branch lines over the following couple of days) and 67012 which arrived on a VSOE working from Victoria.
16/03 66065 worked a loaded MGR from Portbury at 22.55.
18/03 Weekend engineering work saw the following line closures;- Weston-super-Mare-Taunton, and Westerleigh junction-Gloucester. Bus road service connections were in operation aswell as Virgin XC services running via the Severn Tunnel and the Chepstow mainline. The Class 33 and saloon were booked to return north via the Severn Tunnel and Chepstow (as 5Z33 10.00 Exeter-Derby) during the early afternoon, but were not sighted during an observation session at Pilning suggesting they had run early.
20/03 66154 was on a late running 6C01 Bristol East steel service, passing Pilning at 11.44. The Virgin XC 08.30 Penzance-Dundee service formed with Voyager set 221113 was stopped at Weston-super-Mare with smoking brakes on the centre coach. A travelling Bombardier fitter attended the problem and after 40 minutes the train continued at slow speed, stopping in Yatton loop for a brake examination. The train eventually arrived at Temple Meads at 13.30 (69 minutes late) and was terminated, passengers being transferred to the following 09.30 Penzance-Glasgow formed with 220024 which was noted full to capacity on departure. 66170 worked south at 23.10 with a rake of bitumen tanks in tow.
21/03 60041 was on the 6B65 0915 Westbury-Newport ADJ departmental service. 66219 worked by at 16.15 with an empty MGR headed for Portbury.
22/03 37059 + 20312 were paired on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flask service.
23/03 Pastime Rail's 'Somerset & Dorset' circular excusion (1Z76 07.35 Minehead-Minehead) with steam locos 76079 (running as 76009) + 34067 Tangmere, due in the Bristol area around 15.15, was in trouble on the climb between Exeter St.Davids and Central stations. The 13 coach train (already running 75 minutes late off a water stop at Tiverton loop) had been routed on the down, bi-directional line, but slipped to a stand 10 yards short of Central station, and had to return to St.Davids where passengers were detrained around 12.40. The stock was moved to Exeter Riverside yard, with a possible diversion to Paignton instead planned. However this was not to be, and the participants were able to travel home to their starting stations free of charge on Virgin XC or Fisrt/GW services. An enquiry followed, one question being asked was why was there no diesel loco on hand to 'bank' the train as 47703 was present on the WSR having brought in the railtour stock several days previous. Another steam move, this time problem free, was 6024 King Edward I running loco and support coach from Tyseley-Barton Hill, routed via Banbury and Swindon for forthcoming railtour duties from Bristol.
25/03 Steam 6024 King Edward I, worked Pastime Rail's 'Red Dragon' railtour (postponed from 04/03), 1Z24 09.35 Temple Meads-Carmarthen and 1Z25 16.15 return, however a second visiting Vintage Trains steam excursion with 45690 Leander (1Z58 08.05 Tyseley-Temple Meads and 1Z59 15.32 return), was diverted to Cardiff Central, due to the bridge gauging issue at Cam (which affected last month's 6201 Prncess Elizabeth 'Midlander' trip). The six coach return Leander trip was due to be banked over the Lickey bank by 4965 Rood Ashton Hall, but this was cancelled, however the Princess Elizabeth 12 coach train last month had 66175 attached to the rear for assistance at signal G335 near Gloucester, during a return water stop.
26/03 47805 was used to return the 'Redmire Rambler' Class 50 railtour stock (of 25/03, see Bristol Parkway notes & news) running via the Severn Tunnel, Day's curve and Bath as 5Z28 16.30 Cardiff Canton-Old Oak Common.
27/03 67003 was on 5Z25 10.10 Bristol TM-Old Oak CommonECS (via Bath), the coaches having been used on the 'Red Dragon' railtour on 25/03. Most unusual power for the 6C01 Newport ADJ-Bristol steel trip were 37669 + 37670 (both believed to have been reinstated for snowplough duties in South Wales) passing Pilning at 11.40 with six loaded wagons. The pair however returned as 0C02 light-engines to Newport being noted leaving Pilning loop at 13.08.
28/03 59201 was on the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADJ departmental trip and 37610 + 20310 were paired on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe flasks. Cotswold-Rail 47714 (in Anglian blue and white colours) + 47813 were a surprise sight in Temple Meads at 13.45 on a 5Z04 11.10 Bicester-Laira stock move ( actually booked to run via Westbury!). Also 57603 headed a 5Z74 15.39 Laira-St.Phillips Marsh barrier coach move. From 28/03-30/03, Network-Rail liviered 31285 ran 0Z31 08.40 St. Phillips Marsh-St. Phillips Marsh (via Plymouth) driver route learner, the return being via Westbury and Bath. Earlier in the year, 67002 had been carrying out a similar long distance operation for EWS running St.Blazey-Westbury-Bristol and return.
29/03 47813 + 47714 returned north on a two coach 5Z91 07.50 Laira-Gloucester move. The return 0Z31, 31285 driver route learning trip was terminated at Taunton, where the loco remained overnight due to a line blockage in the Trowbidge area.
30/03 31285 worked the 0Z31(leaving Plymouth at 12.25) as booked and 60009 was on the 6B65 Westbury-Newport departmental. Observations in the at the old Ashley Hill station site saw;- FM-Rail 47832 and Pullman Rail liveried 47712 top n'tail a 1Z24 14.03 Newbury-Newport and 1Z25 16.21 return private dining special using the new Blue Pullman formation, the unconfirmed stock numbers being;- 9513, 3350, 3392, 1961, 3278, 3352, 3313, 1657, 3431, 3326. The train carrying a 'Core Transporter' headboard in each direction was noted passing Ashley Hill at 15.42 and 16.21 respectively. Also recorded were, 66606 on a late running 6Z39 12.25 Jersey Marine-Newton Abbot Hackney yard stone service (16.29) and 57603 on a Temple Meads-Old Oak Common HST stock move with barrier vans at each end (16.42).
31/03 31285 was booked to return north as 0Z31 08.05 St.Phillips Marsh-Derby (via Clifton Down, Avonmouth and the Henbury freight-only line). An observations at Avonmouth station around the booked time failed to see the loco suggesting it may have gone 'mainline' on the return. Following the HST stock move on the previous day, 57603 worked the 1C99 First/GW Paddington-Penzance sleeper service and 57311 departed Plymouth at 14.27 as 0M57 light-engine to Oxley. At Kinglsand Road 66616 was present and 158741 was noted at the Marsh HST depot. Later at 18.15, 66215 observed heading north with a loaded car train.

The Cattle Market Road area around Temple Meads is set to be developed with a mix of homes, offices and shops, restaurants and bars connected with a direct link to the station. Developers Bristol Exeter House also want to demolish Collett House, Herbert House and the derelict telephone exchange which had seen more recent use as a post sorting office. The 1854 Bristol & Exeter House, a grade II listed building would remain, but will be surrounded by new buildings to create a new square. A total of 220 one, two and three bed room homes would be built on site and four apartment blocks, which would face Temple Gate, the main road and Cattle Market Road. It is felt this type of development would improve safety and security with more adequate public routes and spaces in this currently run-down area. Planning permission has been applied for to convert the former Royal Mail sorting offices, now in a derelict condition, on the east side of Temple Meads into flats. Whether this would see the removal of the now redundant covered conveyor belts at the north end of the station remains to be seen. Work has still not started on the new 10,000 seater concert hall although plans have now been drawn up for the new facility which will occupy the now cleared former Bath Road diesel depot site.

Gloucestershire

01/03 47714 + 47200 worked a nine coach 5Z92 09.30 Wembley-Long Marston stock storage move, the locos returning light-engine to Gloucester.
02/03 50049 was booked to work a 1Z51 and 1Z50 Cardiff-Cardiff (via Gloucester and Bristol Parkway) driver training turn, but actually only ran 0Z60 Cardiff-Gloucester light-engine, returning from Gloucester at 12.31.
03/03 50031 + 37411, with two stores vans (200176 + W95194) ran 6Z77 09.43 Old Oak Common-Cardiff Canton, via Kemble and the Golden Valley, passing Downfield foot-crossing, Stroud to time at 12.24. With the arrival of a second Class 50, the two were to top n'tail 'shuttles' between Cardiff and Newport (along with a Class 47 and Class 37 combination) for the Powergen Rugby semi-final at the Cardiff Millennium stadium during the following day. On the freight side, 60039 was recorded on the 6V92 Corby-Margam steel empties.
14/03 For the 2006, National Hunt meeting at Cheltenham there were a number of extra services operated. From this date to 17/03, 67003 + 67017 top n'tailed an 08.43 Euston-Cheltenham (via Birmingham) and 20.38 return theECS stabling at Worcester.
15/03 Until 17/03, Central Train's hired in locos 47826 + 47851 with coaches to top n'tail a 1T66 09.50 Birmingham New Street-Cheltenham and 1T67 18.53 return, the ECS stabling at Gloucester. First/GW operated two additional HST services;- 09.15 and 10.15 Paddington-Cheltenham (via Kemble) and 19.45 and 21.16 (the latter as far as Swindon only) returns. On this date these services were formed with power cars; 43009 + 43071 and 43026 + 43023, both sets being noted passing Yate as empty stock at 17.54 and 18.34 respectively en-route to Cheltenham from servicing and stabling at St. Phillips Marsh.
16/03 Having failed at Yate the previous day (see Bristol Parkway Notes & News), 47813 ran from Gloucester-Long Longtown, returning the following day.
17/03 Royal 67005 worked a Victoria-Cheltenham VSOE special for the final day of this year's race meeting.
18/03 Pathfinder's 'Humber Haulier' (06.00 Gloucester-Goole) was worked out by 66032, returning behind 66063 in the evening. In between this 'spin & win' tour featured, 92037, 60034, 37218 + 37059 and 66560 also for haulage.
21/03 50049 was reported to have run a further Cardiff-Gloucester and return, both ways via the Chepstow mainline, driver training trip.
29/03 An unusual sight at Gloucester was steam 34067 Tangmere running 5Z67 08.31 Minehead-East Lancs railway, then proceeding onwards (via the Chepstow mainline and the Marches to Hereford), with support coach 35518 Merlin being noted passing under the Old Severn road bridge crossing at 15.17. The loco had run tender first to Bristol and was turned via Day's curve, before continuing onwards during the early afternoon. Later, 60080 worked the 6V92 Corby-Margam steel empties.
30/03 What was booked as a 5Z03 11.10 Bicester-Long Marston stock move turned out to be formed Coldswold-Rail 47813 + 47714 with stored electric locos 87034 + 87009 + 87020, passing Thrupp near Stroud at 13.45 and presumably running as 0Z03?
Cotswold-Rail are reported to be considering holding an Open-Day at their newly acquired Horton road depot site (formerly 85A and GL) once fully operational.

Portbury Branchline

04/03 Saturday morning workings saw 66155 work 6M04 09.54 Portbury-Rugeley loaded coal and 66183 head 6F92 09.48 East Usk-Portbury coal empties.
22/03 66036 was on 6F21 12.48 Portbury-East Usk loaded coal and 66190 later worked 6X52 16.30 loaded cars to Washwood Heath.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66043/057/092/101/155/183/190/219/246.

Westbury

11/03 The following were present in the area during the day;- 08869/947. 31459. 59001/102/103. 59104/206. 66160/234. At 18.00, 66702 arrived on a spoil train from Acton departing light-engine and later at 21.10, 66705 arrived on a similar working, again leaving light-engine.
21/03 47355 + 31452 + 31454 arrived at 09.50 from Derby. The Class 31s were expected to be used on the Wessex Train's loco hauled set covering Cardiff Millennium sports events on both 04/03 and 11/03, but were not used. This probably would have stopped the overcrowding problems at Bradford-on-Avon as detailed under the Bristol Temple Meads Notes & News section for 04/03.

Yeovil


A rail-day is to be held at the town's Pen Mill station on 29/07/06 from 10.00-17.00 to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the railway here. Visiting steam and diesel locos will be on display as well as steam 6024 King Edward I, working a return Bristol TM-Weymouth excursion.

Midland Mainline HST 'Hire' Summary

The MML HST hire, covering a Voyager duty on 07.05 Leeds-Plymouth and 16.53 Plymouth-York ended on 24/03. The listed power car were noted on the following dates;-
03/01 43046 + 43049. 09/01 43066 + 43072. 16/01 43072 + 43074.
23/01 43072 + 43074. 24/01 43057 + 43072. 25/01 43057 + 43072.
30/01 43043 + 43072. 01/02 43043 + 43072. 06/02 43072 + 43184.
07/02 43072 + 43184. 09/02 43072 + 43184. 10/02 43049 + 43064.
11/02 43061 + 43184. 13/02 43061 + 43184. 16/02 43061 + 43184.
20/02 43049 + 43055. 22/02 43049 + 43055. 23/02 43049 + 43064.
24/02 43049 + 43064. 01/03 43049 + 43064. 06/03 43057 + 43064.
08/03 43050 + 43064. 09/03 43047 + 43064. 10/03 43047 + 43064.
13/03 43064 + 43076. 14/03 43064 + 43076. 17/03 43064 + 43076.
20/03 43076 + 43178. 21/03 43076 + 43178. 22/03 43076 + 43178.
24/03 43076 + 43178.
Notes;- 43050 still retained the 'old' orange and teal Midland Mainline livery.
The stock formation from 20/02 was as follows;- 41068, 40729, 42337, 42119, 42101, 42121, 44027.

Units noted during the month included

143603/611/612/617/618/620/621.
150221/233/239/241/243/244/248/249/251/253/254/261/266.
153302/305/318/355/370/372/374/380/382.
158745/782/789/854/855/859/860/861/863/870/871/872.
158961/962/963/964/965/966/967/968.
220006/007/010/011/013/014/017/018/020/021/024/026/029/032/033.
221101/102/104/108/109/112/113/115/116/118/121/129/131/133/135/139/141
221142/143.

SOUTH WALES AREA

Cardiff Canton (viewed from footbridge)

26/03 47805. 50031/049. 60059 (Passing)

Tidal Sidings / Steelworks
12/03 08941

Newport

03/03 09013. 60050/060/067/085. 66009/072/091/160/196/239/579
11/03 66016/142/145/184
17/03 60050/074. 66046/049/152/216/217/538
24/03 60049. 66170/177
26/03 37669/670. 60039/041/100. 66011/060/196
31/03 37669/670. 60017/043/059. 66083/093/142/177/206/249/250/537

Units noted during the month included
143608/617
150239/247/249/256
153302
158745/818/821/823/824/826/829/832/834/836/838/840/841/845/847/855/859
158861/862/863/963/965/968
170105/107/110/398
175007/008/115
180103/107/114

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V60/4M60 Calvert - Avon Binliner
02/03 66552. 06/03 66552. 09/03 66552. 24/03 66523. 27/03 66523.

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge
01/03 57004. 03/03 66542. 04/03 57009. 06/03 57002. 06/03 57002.
08/03 57002. 09/03 57002. 10/03 57002. 13/03 57006. 14/03 57006.
15/03 57006. 16/03 57006. 17/03 57009. 20/03 57008. 21/03 57008.
22/03 57008. 24/03 57001.

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6C01 ADJ - Bristol East
01/03 66038. 06/03 60085. 07/03 66201. 08/03 66119. 14/03 66046.
15/03 66018. 20/03 60075. 24/03 66078.

6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh
01/03 60067. 02/03 60067. 03/03 60067. 08/03 60039. 09/03 60039.
10/03 60021. 14/03 60100. 15/03 60100. 17/03 60100. 20/03 60085.
22/03 60059. 24/03 60059.

Freightliner Heavy-Haul are to take over a number of stone flows from EWS centred on Bardon Quarries.
Locally, 6B11 Thorney Mill-Margam and 6V60 Angerstein Wharf-East Usk will both become FLHH duties. The 6V97 Beeston-Cardiff Tidal scrap metal will also change to FLHH. These changes will take place from early April.


FREIGHT REVIEW

I will commence this month's effort again at Leicester, which is, after all, my local area. At 07.10 on the morning of 4th April a call in at the station on my way to work saw the sight of 67028 en route to Derby with First Great Eastern unit 315801, presumably for repainting. The consist of the train was as follows: 460027/460317/460101/barrier vehicle 977968/unit 315.801/barrier vehicle 977949/460187/460331/461063. This made a change from the usual traffic. Also from the Leicester area is news that Freightliner are now handling all the traffic in and out of Croft and Bardon quarries as of beginning of April. The ex-RH Roadstone hoppers in the 173xx series, now resplendent in Freightliner Heavy Haul livery are regular visitors to Croft. A couple of locations to mention for those of you venturing further afield are Wandsworth Road south-west London which is quite busy if you get the right time either side of lunch time seems to be a busy time. Also Doncaster is quite a good spot but, again, it does have its quiet moments. I spent a day there on 9th March and, although not as busy as my last visit, was still worth the effort. Highlights were 66708 with the following rake of GRRf container flats: 640605/640606/640623/640624/630036/630035/640612/640611/640617
640618/630042/630041/650011/650012/630033/630034. This was the second GBRf working noted. Earlier 66714 was noted heading north with the British Gypsum service consisting of the following flats: 640622/640621/ 95328/640626/840625/630037/630038/640614/640613/640615/640616/ 630044/630043/650009/650010/630039/630040. What was unusual was the fact that not one Freightliner coal service was noted during the day. On 13th March another very busy evening was spent at Nuneaton between 18.20 and 21.15. Although at the moment the failing light doesn't help matters, there was still plenty to note. Again the W. H. Malcolm service from Daventry was worthy of note with the following flats noted: 33.69.4909.901/ 33.68.4909.496/33.68.4909.515/33.68.4909.923/33.68.4909.409/ 33.68.4909.505/33.68.4909.422/33.68.4909.484/33.68.4909.491. The train was hauled by 66404. The class 87s are still plying their trade on the mail services with 87026 and 87019 in charge of the northbound service consisting of units 325008, 325011, 325012 and 325013. The southbound service in the charge of 87002 passed through somewhat rapidly and only unit 325015 was noted! Most of the traffic through Leicester at the present time is the coal traffic to and from Ratcliffe Power Station from Daw Mill, 90% of the traffic being handled by EWS class 66s, although the odd class 60 and, very rarely, pairs of class 67s still appear from time to time.

Stock Alterations

Locomotives

Transfers
08699(MM)-GL, 08809/871(MM)-NC, 08936(MM)-WB, 47033/200/316/365(MM)-GL, 47714/810(MM)-NC, 47813(MM)-GL, 47818(MM)-NC, 47828(MM)-GL.
DFGM: 66502. DFIM: 66542/570/579/580. DFRT: 66508.

Stored
31206. 47033. 60001/011/024/026/. 92006/043.
BH: 20092/138. CE: 92006/017/043. DC: 37410. LE: 43153/155/194. LH: 43092/094. LM: 20081/902. 87029. MM: 31206. OC: 56070/112. TE: 60055. T0: 60001/011/024/026. ZB: 47033/326/528.

Traffic
60014/028/031/038/099 -IM, 92001 -CE.

Disposals
HNRL: 47774 @CD.
R Hull: 47628. 86207/214/224/225.
Booths: 37242/344/376. 47566. 56036.
Dartmoor Rly: 31465. 37905. Peak Rail: 37152/188.

New Stock
66718/719/720/721/722 -WN. (In "Metronet" Livery)

Diesel Multiple Units

Stored
55681 @CF

Disposals
IMRFT: 51179.

Formations
The following have reverted to their correct formations 158812, 168005/107.
168215 (58265 + 58365 + 58465 + 58165)
168216 (58266 + 58366 + 58466 + 58166)
168217 (58267 + 58367 + 58467 + 58167)
170271 (50271 + 56207 + 79271)

New Stock
Class 168 cars 58365/366/367. 465/466/467 -AL.
185110/112 -HQ

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
377121/132/133/135/136/138/148(BI)-SU, 377403/406/408/417/422/425/439/440(SU)-BI.

Stored
(S): Cars 72603/608/640/641 - Pershore Airfield.

Traffic
(S): 9102/04 - Network Rail Use

Withdrawn
(S): 1705. 1805/66. 1903/04 plus cars from 1709/24/35/37/38/40/45. 3485/89. 3565/68

Disposals
Sims(Npt): Cars from above units: 62017/020/048/381/420/440. 70695/700/726. 71061/100/128. 76022/027/031/049/051/053/066/072/081/085/103/107/121/129/508/666/743
76782/814/853/877/878/888.
CAR Services cars: 70294/300/512. Spa Valley: 9104.
Vale of Glamorgan: 8206. 8311. 9110.

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Transfers
3110/19/24/44/49 -CP, 5042. 9529/31 -OM, 10219/225/232. 12100/161 -PZ, 17015 -CP 17056 -OM, 17173/174/175 -PZ, 40417 -PM, 82103/107/112/118/121/132/139/143 -NC.

Stored
CS: 80403/404/405. GL: 10259. 11006/007/038. 82122/124/140/147. KI: 5926. 6053. 6103/66. 9702/05/07/10. LM: 10240/247. 10697. 11016/017/019/023/030/045/046/054/055/058. 12044/052/088/123/158. 40403/416/425/426/433/434. 40810. 41115/165/187/189. 42084/085/086/087/088/130/159/160//286/290/353. 44069/072/078/089. OM: 1832. 3100/14/27/31/32/33. 3331/38. 4925/46/56/59/91/96/99. 5005/07/27/37. 5309. 21245/246. 80041.
OY: 11065. 12014/038/128/139/172. PM: 40423. 42353. WB: 11021. 12142.
LNWR: 9713.

Traffic
1658/79 -OM

Withdrawn
3225/26/58. 5002. 10572. 10604/654/686. 10711/712. 13582. 17058. 977.182/183

Disposals
Booth: 3225/26/58. 10572. 10604/654/686. 10711/712. 13582.
JT Land: 17058
West Somerset 5002. Bluebell: 977.182/183.

Codes
ADFL Advenza Freight
EAAK Transpennine Class 185 Ardwick (Siemens)
AK Ardwick 185.102/103/106/107/108/109
GL Gloucester (Horton Road - Cotswold Rail) 08699. 47033/200/316/365. 47813/828.
NN Northampton (Siemens)

PLANT & TRACK MACHINES

06/03 Saltford ;- Hydrex r/r excavator; 2855. Trailers; RT122/132.
27/03 Flax Bourton ;- Hydrex r/r excavator; 3543, 3691, 4650, 5026.
30/03 Filton Bank,passing;- DR72203.
31/03 Hallen Marsh Junction. ;- BCL r/r excavators; 36, 203. Philmor trailers; TRR0249/410.

INDUSTRIAL & PRESERVATION MATTERS

Road Movements

03/03 The 50 tonne, replica broad-gauge 2-2-2 Iron Duke travelled along the A4 Portway beneath the Clifton Suspension bridge from the M5 motorway and the NRM York. The loco is to be display in the heritage museum near to the S.S. Great Britain over the coming months.
05/03-06/03 steam 7F, 53809 was displayed under the canopy of the former Bath Green Park railway station, now a car park, forming part of a Sainsbury's supermarket. The loco was en- route from the Midland Rail Centre, Butterley to the West Somerset Railway, in a move partly sponsored by Steam Railway Magazine to mark the end of the Somerset and Dorset Railway 40 years ago in 1966. A 'Pines Express' headboard was carried on the locomotive during it's stay in Bath. The Green Park station now well preserved opened as the terminus from Mangotsfield in August 1869, being closed in March 1966.
28/03 steam 73129 and 44422 were seen returning north from the West Somerset Railway S & D gala celebrations on separate road trailers on the M5 during the morning.

Dartmoor Rail (11/03/06) R.W.Giles & F.J.Neate.

Okehampton Stn; 47709/712. dEMU two-car set; 205032. c/stock; 1657/961. 3278/313/326/350/352/392.
3431. 9513. grounded fish van/spv; ?????. Notes; The two Class 47s had arrived on Hertfordshire Railtour's 'Castle Drogo' dining trip using the Blue Pullman set making it's first West Country visit. The train routed outward via Westbury, Castle Cary, Yeovil and Honiton to Exeter (the return being via Taunton and Westbury) ran as 1Z52 07.15 Paddington-Okehampton and 1Z53 16.35 return. The dEMU was operating passenger shuttles to/from Meldon Quarry during the afternoon.
Meldon Quarry ;stored locos; 31301/415/423/426/437/439/465. 37905. 47348/716. 73103/117/134.
Dutch loco; 663. dEMU; 205028 (coach 60677 visible of two car set). EMU sets; 1198 (coach 61736 visible of set). 1399 (assumed). 4-tc set; 410. odd EMU coachs; (69310). 70812. Industrial; Flying Flea (JF 4220016/62). c/stock; 1213/256/691/697. 3125/354. 3402/411/425. 5925/981. 9505. 10595/611/727. 21224. (94691). departmental stock; DB977335. horse box; 96300. track machines; DR98303A+B. small plant; MNN1654 (ballast packer). Notes;- At least two Wickham trollies were visible, but unidentified.
It is now more difficult to identify everything on site from the cycle path here as most is now parked in rows. The locos listed are possibly a complete list with the more recent arrivals being; Dutch 663, 31465 and 37905. Again it would be difficult to distinguish which locos are serviceable and which are stored as certainly 47716, 73117 and 73134 have all seen use since arrival. Dartmoor Rail have now built a two road shed on site at a cost of 100,000 this being officially opened in February. Of the coaching stock; 10611/727 and 94691 are accommodation/stores coaches and 69310 (EMU coach) and 10595 are in use for refreshments near the Meldon viaduct (with loco Flying Flea on display). The dining train formation which sees regular outings appeared to be; 96300, 3125, 1691, 21224, 3354, 3411. Former LMS Saloon coach 45048 is expected to arrive for use in the dining train from the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire railway.
Steam loco parts were visible near the old loco stabling shed, but a steam loco, 0-6-0ST Darfield No.1(HC 3783/53) is epected for use on the line during 2006. This loco which has seen use by the Avon Valley railway at Bitton in 1994 is currently based on the Llangollen railway and is in serviceable condition.
Future plans for the railway, include the construction of platform buildings at Sampford Courtney station, which opened in 2004. Current operating restrictions see the railway run passenger trains as far as Colebrooke junction, alongside the Barnstaple branch line, but it is hoped an interchange station will be built at Yeoford. At Okehampton, the former North Devon branch line platform 1 bay is being re-laid and reconnected for use. In the longer term, a further station opening at North Tawton would take place and possibly one day through running to Crediton and Exeter.

West Somerset Railway, Somerset & Dorset 40th Anniversary Celebrations R.W.Giles & F.J.Neate
A by no means complete visit found the following on 26/03/06, on the final S & D weekend marking the 40th anniversary since the lines closed in 1966.
Visiting locos recorded in use during the day were;- 34067 Tangmere (from Old Oak Common), 44422 (from the Churnet Valley), 45407 (from the East Lancs railway), 53809 (from the Midland Railway centre), 73129 (from the Midland Railway centre), 76079 (from the East Lancs railway), 92203 (from Glous & Warwicks railway), as well as local based locomotives; 88 (53808), 80136.
Number changes had taken place, with 45407 numbered 45440, 76079 becoming 76009 and 80136 running as 80138. On the subject of number changing, as during the sucessful 1996 S & D gala the stations along the line were renamed as follows;- Bishop's Lydeard-Templecombe, Crowcombe Heathfield-Midsommer Norton, Stogumber-Binegar, Williton-Evercreech Junction, Doniford-Henstridge, Watchet-Wincanton, Washford-Midford, Blue Anchor-Sturminster Newton, Dunster-Shillingstone, Minehead-Bournemouth West. The loco shed at Minehead was especially open for the event as well as the diesel depot and part of the former Swindon works carriage shed at Williton.
Wiliton ; steam; 5553. 6412. 9351. 34046 under restoration in carriage shed. diesel; D1010, D2119. D2205, 6566 repairs in carriage shed, D7018, D9526. DMU; W50413. W56169. Industrial diesel; MSC DH16 (S10175/64), 501 (BBT 3066/54)+512 (BBT 3102/56). C/stock; gwr; 169. 3639 assumed. 9038 fully restored sleeping coach. sr vans; 1360/458/964. grounded SR vans; (1587). (1991).
Minehead ; steam; 3850. 7820 (frames/cab no boiler)/828 (stored). diesel; D2133. D2271. D7523. (33057). 47703 (visiting mainline loco). DMU; 51352/376/852 (stored)/880 (under overhaul inside the workshops). 59505. Notes;- five other 'numberless' DMU cars were in the Minehead station area. C/stock;- 4039 (static restaurant coach). (10521). 94148. (94502). 35451. gwr; (7740/DW317) assumed. hand-crane; No. 264 + runner. Coles crane; (15404).
Visiting C/stock; stabled Minehead station area; 1730. 3119/144. 5412. 17015.
C/stock formations (noted in use), including visiting C/stock;-
4909, 4814, 35257, 25308, 25323, 4435, 5025.
4449, 5030, 4987, 9380, 24985, 4911, 4884.
1909 Orion, 3108 Meteor, 1804, 13229, 13230, 9278, 4876, 4599.
21174 Pheonix, 3096, 3115, 1859, 4831, 4836, 4856.
4660, 80736, 3058, 4875, 4260, 5024.
General Notes;- At Williton, the Class 103 Park Royal dmu set 50413+56169 is expected to be moved to Cornwall for a new preservation project on part of the former Gwinear Road-Helston branch line. Also 501+512 (master and slave loco), currently occupying the the Heritage Diesel Visitor centre are expected to return to the steel works at Port Talbot where they originally came from, several years ago. At Minehead. the Class 117 DMU set 51352+59505+51376 is due to leave the line, having made a special final outing on 02/01/06, which marked the 35th Anniversary of the closure of the branch line by BR on 02/01/7 the final train being operated by a three car DMU set. The set is owned by the 275 Squadron of the Territorial Army.

Brunel 200 Events

A new mural, first reported in the December 2005 Magazine has suffered a set back, as the wall on which the display was to be mounted alongside platform 1 would not be suitable to hold it as it was being made from steel. It is hoped to remake the mural using aluminium, although it would not be in position ready for early April, the planned unveiling time.
'Brunale' has been created by the Bristol Beer Factory at their micro brewery in Ashton, (in view of the Clifton Suspension bridge). The 4.6% beer is bottled in Swindon and is described as strong with malt flavourings and a faint hop aroma. A Southville butcher has already produced sausages containing the beer which will also be sold to mark the Brunel 200 anniversary and local gourmet piemakers Pieminister are producing a beef and ale pie using the beer. Butcombe brewery have also produced a Brunel 200 beer, launched in December 2005 initially as a draught India pale ale, which is also now available bottled.
The First/GW catering department are also making new snacks available for sale dedicated to the engineer on their train services. The Clifton Gorge is a large bacon bap containing five slices of grilled bacon, the Brunel Topper is a sandwich made of five slices of bacon with lettuce and tomato, whilst the Great Westerner is a floured type bap containing chicken breast, grilled bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
One of 29 arts projects marking the 200th anniversary was Luke Jerram's Tunnel Vision which was set up in Staple Hill tunnel, on the old Midland mainline from Temple Meads to Mangotsfield, Bath Green Park and Westerleigh, this section being closed to passengers in 1966 and completely in 1971. The project ran from 06/03 to 12/03 and involved lighting around 300 candles each evening in three rows, through the tunnel which was wired up with a sound system. An image of movement combining the architecture, candlelit and the surround sound was created recreating a project that Brunel tested along the South Devon coast as his atmospheric railway from 1847 to 1848. The tunnel which is now part of the Bristol-Bath cyclepath had its safety lighting turned off on each evening the event was held.

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