NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

05/04 Test unit 950001 (999600+999601) was noted at Hallen Marsh just after 15.00, before returning to Parkway and onwards to Swindon.
06/04 At 11.30 the following were noted, 66106 unattached left empty HTAs beyond coal hopper, 66169 on empty HTAs ex Didcot PS, 66179 on full HTAs which then left at 11.45HR for Didcot PS, 67012 & 67017 stabled ready for Wembley Enterprise. At 14.45 the following were present 09003 hauling Enterprise vans near Chittenham, 66079 on empty HTAs ex Didcot PS, 66106 on full HTAs for Didcot PS, 66169 on empty HTAs beyond coal hopper
19/04 Unspecified problems in Charlton tunnel on the Henbury freight-only line saw all up trains stop for around five minutes before entering.
26/04 60078 in Mainline EWS stickers livery worked the 6M71 11.34 Avonmouth West Wharf - Radcliffe power station.
The first ship bringing in stone from Ireland docked at the West wharf towards the end of April. The stone, to be train loaded at the Bennett's coal siding is for use by Foster Yeoman for distribution alongside their Mendip produced product, with up to three trains planned a week. A second ship was due in towards the middle of May for this new on-going freight-flow. It is expected that EWS will cease their Tower operation with the introduction of this new service. The two associated rail workings for this duty are;- 6C63 11.16 Westbury-Avonmouth (arriving around 13.00) and 6C64 17.07 Avonmouth-Westbury.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 60078. 66019/043/065/079/098/106/152. 66169/179. 09003 continued as the area shunting pilot.

Bristol Parkway and Westerleigh

03/04 Just two MGRs seen this evening, 66079 with a loaded service from Avonmouth and 66017 also with a loaded service this time from Portbury.
04/04 A new Freightliner Heavy-haul duty, saw 66616 work the former EWS 6B11 Thorney Mill-Margam empty stone service. Instead of Margam, the train now runs as far as Pengam where Freightliner retain a few sidings for their use.
06/04 66616 was recorded again in action on another former EWS stone duty 6Z60 12.01 Angerstein Wharf-Pengam. This service replaced the 6V60 whose original destination was Margam. Another freight service noted during the afternoon was the 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel empties, which departed at 13.39 behind Load-haul liveried 60059. Seen tonight were 66206 with a car train from Portbury, 66079 with a loaded MGR from Avonmouth and in the reverse direction 66179 with empties and finally 31602 on route learning duties.
07/04 Corus liveried 60033 failed on 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel empties near Wotton Bassett. Some First/GW services were diverted via Bath, until rescue loco 60041 (noted passing Pilning at 16.36 running light-engine) arrived. The train later passed through the Parkway area running around four hours late.
08/04 57006 passed on a late running 4O51 Wentloog-Millbrook container service during the early afternoon.
10/04 Freight services were running late this evening particularly the Enterprises as both the Avonmouth and ADJ workings were seen after 19.30 headed by 67006 and 66048 respectively. MGR workings comprised 66212 with empty HAAs for Portbury and 66041 with a loaded train from same location. 66547 worked the stone train and 31602 was active again on route learning trips.
11/04 60079 worked the 6B33 Theale fuel tank empties. Newly delivered GBRf 'Metronet' branded 66718, 66719, 66720, 66721, 66722 were booked to move as 0E03 10.30 Newport-Wembley, but were noted passing late at 14.15!
12/04 60079 was over at Westerleigh on the 6B13 loaded fuel tankers from Robeston.
13/04 The 17.58 Bristol TM-York Virgin XC service was terminated at Parkway, the Voyager set having suffered a badly cracked windscreen from vandals throwing an object at the train in the Filton area. Passengers were de-trained and transferred to the following 16.25 Plymouth-York service 30 minutes later. Over at Westerleigh; 60017 was on the 6B13 fuel tanks from Robeston and 60010 worked 6E41 fuel empties to Humber.
15/04 'Hired' to Freightliner Heavy-haul, DRS 66407 worked 6Z24 10.33 Bow-Pengam stone empties passing Pilning at 14.10, thirty minutes early. The train had earlier been reported passing Purley an hour early!
18/04 Some Network Rail Ballast wagons on an unidentified east bound Freightliner service were de-railed entering the loop on the western approach to the Severn Tunnel. The Bristol lines were blocked until around 22.00 with diversions via Gloucester in operation until then. The loop remained closed for several weeks after the incident and a few wagons also remained on site prior to recovery.
19/04 60097 was at Westerleigh on 6B13 loaded fuel from Robeston and 60007 passed just after 15.00 on the 6B33 tank empties from Theale.
20/04 Just two MGR workings seen this evening 66056 with empties bound for Portbury and 66232 with a loaded train from Avonmouth.
21/04 60080 was on the 6B33 Theale fuel empties.
22/04 With the Chepstow mainline closed over the weekend, all services were diverted via Parkway, which included two rail tours; West Coast Railways 47854 on a Railway Touring Company, Birmingham International-Fishguard (and 15.40 return), which featured steam haulage by 6024 King Edward I in West Wales and 67012 on a 1Z67 08.34 Cardiff Central-Chester Northern Belle dining special. On the freight side, noted during the day were; 60062 on 6E09 Margam-Lackenby steel empties, 66189 with the 6V40 Lackenby-Llanwern loaded steel and 60050 heading 6V36 Lackenby-Llanwern steel empties. The 6V97 Beeston-Cardiff Tidal Freightliner Heavy-Haul scrap metal service was diverted via Hereford.
24/04 Only one working seen this evening and comprised two Cotswold Rail Vehicles top 'n' tailed by 47714 and 47818 which headed towards Bristol.
26/04 60038 was on the 6B33 Theale oil empties and 60078 passed running late on the 6M71 11.34 Avonmouth-Radcliffe power station loaded coal at 15.58. A Landore-Loughborough stock move involving First/GW HST power cars 43154 + 43155 + 43158 (to be re-engined) was headed by Cotswold-Rail's 47714 + 47818 passing after 18.00. The two Class 47s had been involved with other stock movements earlier in the day (see Bristol Temple Meads Notes & News).
27/04 60078 passed at 13.00 with empty coal HAA wagons for Avonmouth, believed for the 6M71 Radcliffe power station coal service.
28/04 60021 was reported to have left Theale two hours late on 6B33 fuel empties to Robeston. By the end of the month this train was believed retimed to depart at 12.21 and a new passing time of 15.21 for Severn Tunnel junction.
29/04 The 6C23 Hayes-East Usk stone empties were reported as running behind 60079 two hours early!

Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill

01/04 'On hire', Haymarket allocated 158741 arrived in the area the previous day to promote First Group and their newly acquired franchise incorporating the Wessex Train's area. The unit, carrying 'First' livery worked the 06.56 Bristol TM-Penzance and 13.30 Penzance-Cardiff Central services during the day. Pastime Rail's 'The Devonian' (1Z47 07.15 Paddington-Plymouth and return 16.32 Plymouth-Reading) was top n'tailed through the area by 'Fragonset black' 47703 and 'Pullman' liveried 47712. Steam locos 45407 + 76079 took over the train at Taunton for the run to and from Plymouth, the Class 47s following light-engine to Newton Abbot in case of any problems, probably taking into account last months Exeter Central incident! The steam run was however problem free, the return working being noted again with 47703 leading passing Nailsea slightly down on time at 20.52.
02/04 158741 was again recorded working 12.00 Taunton-Cheltenham, 14.40 Cheltenham-Weston-super-Mare, 16.30 Weston-super-Mare-Worcester Shrub Hill and 19.15 Worcester Shrub Hill-Exeter St. David services. 66520/523/606/616 were stabled on Kingsland Road and 67012 and 67017 were on Barton Hill.
03/04 First/GW continued their new Franchise launch with a special 1Z30 09.12 Paddington-Penzance newly painted overall dark blue, 'luminous wavy line' liveried HST working. Formed 43004 + 44049 + 40752 + 41003 + 43009 the train called at various stations en route (including locally, Bath Spa, Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare) and conveyed officials and guests, including Chief Executive Moir Lockhead, the arrival at Platform 6, just after mid-day being greeted by a jazz band. Fisrt/GW now have a further seven years operating high-speed commuter, inter-regional and local train services with a possible three year extension. A 200 million investment programme is planned for continuous ongoing improvements. On the freight side; 60091 powered the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADJ departmental service and 37669 + 37670 were back (having been noted the previous day at Newport on a Newport docks-Llanwern steel trip) leaving East depot sidings at 13.40 on a three empty BDA flat wagon 6C02 to Newport ADJ. The locos had earlier brought in eight loaded steel wagons as 6C01. From 03/04 - 06/04 all First/GW services were diverted via Temple Meads whilst engineering works took place strengthening a cutting just east of Somerton viaduct. The Network-Rail DMU set 950001 passed through as 2Z08 09.52 Derby-Exeter (via Swindon and Yatton loop). A view of several locations during the afternoon found;- Barton Hill depot; 08516. 67012/017. 37077/(377)/379/696 and DMU 142075 (55725 + 55771) in ex-works Arriva/Wales livery, Kingsland Road; 66520/606, St. Phillips Marsh depot; 08663. 150253 (wheel lathe). It has been reported that Arriva/Wales units are to be over-hauled at Barton Hill depot, following on from the work on 11 Class 56 locos for 'Fertis' French overseas contract work last year and on-going repairs of railtour charter stock.
04/04 A 5Z59 08.25 Old Oak Common-Bishop's Lydeard stock move (cancelled from the previous day) was worked by Pullman liviered 47712. The newly liveried 'launch' HST formation was disbanded and 43009 was noted as part of the 11.00 Paddington-Bristol TM service, and again the next day at Weston-super-Mare on another First/GW train. The Network Rail Class 101 Metro-Cammell departmental DMU set was noted stabled on St. Phillips Marsh depot during the afternoon. Portbury bound MGR empties seen at 20.20 behind 66014. 66520 & 66606 were stabled on Kigsland Road.
05/04 158741 was again recorded working the 12.00 Penzance-Temple Meads service and 950001 returned north as 2Z08 06.30 St.Blazey-Swindon (via Weston-super-Mare, Portbury, Parkway and Hallen Marsh). Freight workings included; 60004 on a 09.10 Taunton Fairwater-Newport ADJ engineers (which did not leave until early afternoon) and 66205 on 6S55 Burngullow-Irvine slurry tanks, reported as the second last 'daylight' operation of this service. The wagons are reported to as being conveyed on an overnight freight service as far as Newport in the future. A 5Z74 10.30 Laira-St. Phillips Marsh stock move saw the second newly liveried HST power car 43004 hauling barrier van 6330. More airport style security could be introduced at a number of mainline stations following a month trial in London. Security officers have been introduced with mobile scanners and metal detectors to reduce the carrying of dangerous weapons such as knives on railway property and on train services. Railtrack ballast hoppers recorded northbound at 10.10 with 66235, 66223 passed in the opposite direction at 10.11 with MGR empties and at 15.15, 60004 headed north with a stone train.
06/04 31602 was noted on an Exeter-Derby driver light-engine route learner during the evening. 66142 noted at 09.50 with MGR empties for Portbury.
07/04 66121 seen at 16.30 heading empty MGR for Portbury followed 10 mins later by 66020 with a departmental service. 66145 was on the 6C01 Newport ADJ-Bristol East depot steel trip and 66020 headed the afternoon 7C41 Newport ADJ-Westbury engineers.
08/04 For the Brunel 200th birthday celebration weekend, Kingfisher Tours organised two steam hauled 'Isambard Kingdom Brunel' special out and back trips from Temple Meads. Both were worked by 6024 King Edward 1, the day's trip running as 1Z53 09.34 Temple Meads-Shrewsbury and 1Z54 15.34 return. The return at one stage 60 minutes down missed out a planned Magor water stop and was recorded passing Pilning at 19.29 around 30 minutes late.
09/04 The second 'Isambard Kingdom Brunel' special, running actually on the engineer's birthday, operated as 1Z63 11.33 Temple Meads-Worcester Snow Hill and 1Z64 15.34 return (outward via Charfield and return via the Severn Tunnel). The coaching stock formation in use on both days was as follows; W35333 (loco support coach), 5419 Sir Lancelot, 5278 Melisande, 4998, 3121, 1800 Tintagel, 9391 Pendragon, 5239 Red Knight, 5229 Green Knight, 1659 Camelot, (Pullman 310) Pegasus, 3231 Apollo, 35469. A view of Barton Hill depot during the late morning found; 08516. 66079/106/169. 67006/017. Mpv; DR98907 + DR98957. Stored locos; 37077/(377)/379/696 and Kingsland road sidings contained; 66515/520/523/547.
10/04 37669 + 37670 were unusually employed on the 7C79 Parc Slip-Westbury cement works coal (onwards from East Usk yard), passing Patchway at 14.30. Having arrived at the cement works around 17.00, the return departed at 18.14 but did not reach Narroways junction until 19.45. On arrival at Margam the pair were switched off and put back into 'store'.
11/04 A further Brunel 200 event saw the naming of First/GW HST power car 43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel by the Bristol Lord Mayor Mr. Peter Abraham and Mayoress Mrs. Pearl Abraham in the presence of First/GW director Alison Forester at platform 4. The power car arrived back to back with 43042 as 0Z30 12.10 St. Phillips Marsh-Temple Meads and departed as 0Z31 13.15 return via Bristol West and the up through line. Freight activity during the day recorded; 37610 + 37606 pass at 12.26 with a single flask 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe working and at Lawrence Hill at 13.36 a late running Bristol East depot steel was noted behind a Class 60, believed to be 60083, but unconfirmed. Later, 31602 was noted passing Nailsea at 20.25 on an Exeter-Derby driver route learner. Another planned stock move, a 5Z02 1200 Long Marston-Laira was cancelled.
13/04 DRS 66407 (on hire to Freightliner Heavy-haul) worked 6F95 Meldon quarry-Oxford Hinksey yard loaded ballast via Bristol (and the Weston-super-Mare loop en-route!). The loco returned light-engine to Cornwall to power a 6Z21 Burngullow-Bow sand working due through Temple Meads in the early hours of the following day. Another stock move a 5Z85 10.30 Laira-Gloucester was also cancelled. 43042 and newly named 43003 were still together stabled near the wheel lathe at St. Phillips Marsh . A steam working through the area during the early afternoon saw 45407 + 76079 run 5Z82 11.15 Salisbury-East Lancs railway with support coach via Day's curve and the Severn Tunnel The locos had worked a Pastime Rail 'Strong Countryman' railtour (1Z82 10.54 Salisbury-Weymouth and 1Z83 16.05 return) the previous day. Westbury coal service had the usual motive power when seen at 10.40, 66043.
15/04 Southbound departmental working seen 10.25 behind 66081.Three railtours recorded during the day were; the Cotswold-Rail HST set, with Hornby 43089 + 43070 on a Heartland's 1Z27 08.00 Gloucester-Penzance and 1Z28 16.30 return, 67024 on 1Z50 09.41 Manchester-Bath and 1Z51 17.23 return Northern Belle and 47826 (with grafitti on it's yellow ends!) + 57601 which top n'tailed a Green Party 'Georgian Bath' excursion (1Z32 06.00 Burnley-Bath and 1Z33 16.04 return, both the latter being routed outward and return via Bristol Parkway and Charfield. The HST trip was reported in trouble on Rattery bank and had to return to Totnes for attention from a travelling fitter before leaving here at 11.33, 70 minutes late. The return to Bristol was however not far off its booked time. Two West Country Pastime Rail steam trips to/from Penzance on 15/04 and 17/04 respectively (the 'Royal Duchy' and the 'Cornishman') which were to feature 5051 Earl Bathurst and 7802 Bradley Manor were cancelled due to gauging problems with the Manor loco.
17/04 66056 worked Portbury empty MGRs this evening, seen en route at 19.40.
18/04 EWS silver liveried 67029 arrived with the office train as 5Z05 10.30 ex.Toton. The loco and train were booked to return north two days later as 5Z05 17.22 Barton Hill-Toton. The yellow liveried Class 101 Metro-Cammell departmental DMU set was again visible on St. Phillips Marsh depot at 14.30.
19/04 Freight activity during the day saw; 60017 on the 6C79 Parc Slip-Westbury cement works coal and 66160 on the final 'daylight' 6S55 Burngullow-Irvine slurry tanks. 67029 was visible on Barton Hill with the office train during the day.
20/04 47714 (Anglian blue livery) + 47818 (Anglian 'One' livery) were 'hired' in by First/GW for two HST power car stock moves; 5Z77 10.30 St. Phillips Marsh-Laira with 43041 + 43042 and return 0Z74 with
21/04 60084 was on the 6C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal and 66191 headed the 6X52 16.30 Portbury-Washwood Heath loaded car service through Temple Meads at 18.07.
22/04 Saturday railtours included; 67012 on Pastime Rail's 1Z64 05.57 Derby-Par 'Edenex'and 1Z69 16.58 return with c/stock 35469, 3144, 3141,1671,3147,3121,3097,1813,5008,5482 (noted passing Yatton at 10.02) and 45112 on Pathfinder's 'Devonian' (1Z55 06.55 Derby-Kingswear and 1Z56 16.15 return) with c/stock 17015, 3426 Elgar, 3364 Shakespeare, 1699, 3356 Tennyson, 3397 Wordsworth, 3348 Gainsborough, 3340, 1842, 6054, 5932, 6104, 5962 (noted Yatton at 11.40). The Peak was thought to be in trouble running at one stage 45 minutes late, 47703 being on standby at Temple Meads, this loco later running 0Z47 14.48 Bristol-Kingswear light-engine, as far as Taunton. The return from Taunton (leaving here at 18.56) was double-headed as 47703 + 45112 reportedly due to eth problems on the Peak. Other workings of note during the day were; 31105 top n'tailing 31106 on 4Z07 14.13 Newton Abbot (Hackney yard) - Derby Serco test train with c/stock; 99966, 62482, 977969 (Long Ashton 16.31) and 158962 running as 52751 + 57751 only on Bristol-Taunton line local services. Two more of the First/GW franchise 'launch' HST set coaches, 41003 + 40752 were noted as part of the diverted 14.00 Plymouth-Paddington service with power cars 43030 + 43132. A further engineering block at Somerton on the Taunton (Cogload junction)-Castle Cary mainline saw diversions from mid-afternoon through to the following day.
23/04 67024 worked a Northern Belle dining special as 1Z60 12.30 Bath-Plymouth (Yatton 13.17) and 1Z61 15.45 return. The train had earlier run 5Z60 09.39 Cardiff-BathECS via Bristol Parkway.
24/04 A fatality at Weston-super-Mare station involving 143619 on the 07.31 Taunton-Bristol Parkway local service saw around 70 passengers de-trained and transferred to buses. Trains were diverted, some terminated at Highbridge whilst the investigations went on into the incident. Freight activity during the day saw; 66149 on the 6C01 Bristol East depot steel trip, 60055 on 7C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal service (Pilning 14.25), 59201 on 6W24 10.30 Castle Cary-Westbury and 66101 on 6W25 09.30 Castle Cary-Westbury, the latter two being engineers trains via Taunton and Temple Meads. A day change for the Saturday's only 6B99 Tavistock yard-Cardiff Tidal sidings freight has taken place, the service moving to a Monday with a 15.41 departure time. Today's train was worked by 66169, the booked Taunton time being around 18.00. A late evening 5Z83 Oxley-Laira stock move was headed by Cotswold-Rail's 47818 + 47714.
25/04 47714 + 47818 returned north as 5Z13 12.00 Laira-Derby hauling 11 MkIII coaches.
26/04 67013 worked a Victoria-Bath/Bristol VSOE and 66099 was on an 'additional' afternoon 6M55 Burngullow-Bescot china clay slurry tank train. 31105 + 31106 were back in the area top n'tailing a 4Z07 10.20 Derby-St. Phillips Marsh (via Bath) test train.
47714 + 47818 were yet again used on stock moves, running 5Z82 10.30 Gloucester-St. Phillips Marsh with a Cotswold liviered buffet coach.
The pair then worked a 5Z87 13.28 St. Phillips Marsh-Landore move formed; 47714 + Cotswold buffet coach + HST power car 43194 (in new First/GW 'wavy line livery') + 47818, noted passing Pilning early at 13.25.
27/04 31106 + 31105 top n'tailed a further test working, 4Z07 18.48 St.Phillips Marsh-Derby, via Newton Abbot, being noted passing Yatton westbound at 19.11. The 6M37 Moorswater-Earles sidings were noted during the early evening behind 66615.
28/04 60019 was on the 6C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal, leaving Margam 3 hours late at 14.05. The class 33s, 33103 + 33202 running 0Z33 09.20 Derby-Taunton for the following days Pathfinder 'Cambrian Borderer' trip failed en-route at Whitacre junction!
29/04 31601 commenced a further series of driver route-learning runs as 0Z31 13.58 Derby-Exeter. The ongoing Mon-Fri diagram over the following few weeks was planned as 08.44 Exeter-Exeter (via Birmingham NS) with Temple Meads times of 10.47-11.08 and 17.01-17.14. With the Class 33s not available, 47703 started the 'Cambrian Borderer' trip as 1Z53 05.30 Taunton-Barmouth. However the departure from Taunton was still 55 minutes late due to there being no guard on the train!
The Class 33s took over the train at Birmingham NS from the Class 47 for the onward journey, and worked the return 1Z54 15.05 Barmouth-Taunton throughout. Although one of the locos was showing signs of problems at Bristol! The 33s were able to return the ECS to Old Oak Common via Bristol the following day. A interesting late morning 5Z74 Laira-St. Phillips Marsh stock move was reported as formed with a full First/GW HST set, with power cars 43126 + 43063 attached back to back on the rear!
43152 + 43161 (noted passing near Yatton at 16.28). The 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks were headed by 37605 and an unidentified Class 20 and First liveried 158741 was again recorded on the 12.00 Penzance-Bristol TM First/GW service.
Further news on the Platform 1 mural part of the Brunel 200 celebrations (see last months Magazine) is that it is expected to be in position by 15/09 and now not being made of steel.
It has been reported that First/GW power cars will receive the new livery as they are fitted with the new 'life extension' MTU engine.

Gloucestershire

01/04 Cotswold-Rail 47813 tested out the sidings in the 'old' 85B (not 85A as stated in last months Magazine!) Gloucester Horton road depot site which had not seen use for nearly 15 years.
04/04 37669 + 37670 worked 6M41 12.22 Margam-Round Oak loaded steel , via Llanwern, being split up at Newport the following day for the Machen ballast (37669) and the docks-Llanwern trip (37670).
06/04 The Class 37s, paired up again, worked an overnight Cardiff-Round Oak and return steel service.
10/04 Cotswold-Rail, Anglian 'one' liveried 47818 hauled 87011 + 87017 as 0Z03 MoD Bicester-Gloucester, taking them forward to Long Marston the following day.
19/04 31206 and a 'numberless' 47033 were new arrivals at Gloucester Horton road sidings near to the level crossing.

Nailsea & Backwell

12/03 This was the first of three consecutive weekends of total possession. The down line through the station was being renewed. Road Railers working on the site were Hydrex, fleet numbers 3678, 4649, 4650 and 5018. 59103 Village of Mells turned up with a train for the spoil. Some of the consist was NLV 29413/443/510 NKA 390117/158/171/182/185/196/219/232/236/258/267/272/308/313/316/319/322/327/345/347/577/598/715/719/751/782/833 MFA 391508 MKA 393003/011/021 394005/024/154/167/181/319/322/343782/833 359053/059/149. Next to arrive was 59.102 Village of Chantry with a mixed consist including new rails. The train was formed by OBA 110121/127 ZCA 110109/134/215/322/410/449/467/530/674/677/723 OCA 112397 ZCA 200355/356/357/330/415/512/723/725/960 210303/343 460073/249/400/438 Salmon 967623 996137/422/587. By teatime Hydrex 5018 had returned to the access point at Flax Bourton. It was put on a low loader and was taken to Newquay. A visit to Flax Bourton revealed Hydrex 5040 K 5300/05, John Deere Gator A351705 DP 270/044 of 2005 and Harsco six man trailers A350192 002049/02, A351704 002038/01. Within a couple of hours Hydrex 5040 followed 5018 to Newquay. Later that night 59202 Vale of the White Horse arrived with a train of Autoballasters but it was too dark to read the wagon numbers.
14/03 Windhof MPV DR98907/957 passed by in an easterly direction
15/03 66043 headed east with a train of tanks.
16/03 DR98907/057 ran eastwards again
19/03 This was the second weekend of total possession. The main purpose was to tension the rail and weld the joints. First to arrive was 60079 Fionavon with an Engineer's train. Hydrex Megarailer, Fleet 4193 was on site. One of the trailers that accompanied it was Plasmor RT127 2076/01. The machine had arrived on site from Newquay. Next 66228 arrived with 12926/934/937/938/949 380009/ 125/129/132/308. The access point at Flax Bourton old station was not visited.
26/03 The last weekend of engineering works. 59202 Vale of the White Horse and 59005 Kenneth J Painter top and tailed an engineer's train. It was reported that something like ten Hydrex Road Railers were at the access point at Flax Bourton. The site was not visited until the 27th. when six of the vehicles remained. (see report for that date).
27/03 Remaining at the Flax Bourton access site were Hydrex Road Railers, 3643, 3691, 4649, 4650 and 5026.
28/03 576xx Tamar Castle headed west with a barrier vehicle and a HST power car.

Portbury Branchline

05/04 Test unit 950001 visited the branch on 2Z08 06.30 St.Blazey-Swindon, being noted near Ashton Gate at 13.47 and 14.24 on the return. 66005 worked the 6X52 16.30 loaded cars to Washwood Heath. The loco for this train now stable at Portbury during the day, on the general cargo line or in the cripple wagon siding instead of returning to Barton Hill for fuel.
06/04 66142 was on the 6F92 08.47 East Usk-Portbury coal empties.
07/04 66087 worked the 6V52 Washwood Heath-Portbury empty cartics, being noted passing Standish junction at 14.20, 10 hours late!
10/04 60044 was an unusual visitor to the line working 6Z41 05.12 Portbury-Radcliffe power station loaded coal HAAs.
12/04 60044 was again recorded, this time on the 6M04 09.20 Portbury-Rugeley loaded coal.
21/04 66191 worked the 6X52 loaded cars to Washwood Heath.
26/04 Rare power and possibly a first Class member on the 6X52 16.30 Washwood Heath loaded cars, was 60031. The train was running late when recorded at Ashton Gate between 18.21-18.24 for the token exchange to leave the single line section.
The remaining track, a run-round loop latterly used by the Bristol Harbour steam railway in the former Bowyer Ashton yard area was noted being lifted towards the end of the month.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month included;- 60044. 66017/043/142/168/172/211/223.

Weston-super-Mare

08/04 A replica 2-2-2 North Star loco, 14ft long and 9ft high which took 3 months to make by local blacksmiths N.Bennett and H.Nock at the town's old quarry, was unveiled at a ceremony next to the floral clock in Alexandra Parade at 11.00, the tender being filled with Easter eggs for the children present at the event. This was near enough the site of the town's first rail station (opened on 14th June 1841) on a branch line from the Bristol -Exeter line designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The loco will be a permanent tribute to the engineer who, with the arrival of the railway saw the town develop into the tourist resort it is today. Further rail developments saw a second station built and opened in July 1866 located behind the Odeon cinema (now occupied by a Tesco superstore) this becoming a goods depot on the opening of the third and current station situated on a then new loop line off the Bristol-Exeter mainline in March 1884.

Units noted during the month included

143603/611/612/617/619/620.
150219/221/230/232/233/234/236/239/240/243/244/247/248/251/253.
153302/305/308/318/329/369/373/377.
158741/745/746/747/751/792/793/796/816/855/863/870/871/872/962/963/965/966/967/968.
180114.
220001/002/004/005/006/008/010/011/012/013/014/015/017/018/019/025/026
220029/032/033.
221102/106/107/109/110/113/114/115/119/121/122/124/126/130/132/133/134
221135/136/137/138/139/141/142/143/144.

SOUTH WALES AREA

Newport

02/04 37669/670. 60040/051/059. 66020/065/081/085/101/142/151/154/160,
66173/182/188/190/209 (19.10)
04/04 37669 + 37670 worked 6M41 12:22 Margam - Round Oak and 6V61 21:45 Round Oak - Llanwern.
05/05 37669 worked ADJ to MAchen via Wast Usk and 37670 worked 6F01 Llanwern - Newport Docks.
06/04 66604 hauled the first Freightliner Beeston - Tidal Sidings service. 50049 was used on crewe traing runs from Cardiff to Gloucester. 37669 + 37670 worked 6M42 Llanwern - Round Oak. Other freight passing East Usk yard were in the hands of 09015 60004/084 66056/060/065/083/101/123/142/161/176/208/235/246/616.
07/04 09015. 37669/670. 60004/032. 66065/101/127/142/145/149/170/176/202/208/618.
08/04 MV Jumbo Challenger unloaded new GBrf locos 66722 and 66718, 09101 was present to position the locos. These are in a modified "Metronet" livery. 6024 King Edward I headed a rail tour via Maindee East curve from Bristol Temple Meads to Shrewsbury, the stock was 35333, 5419,5278, 4998, 3121, 1800, 9391, 5329, 5229, 1659, Pegasus, 3231 and 35419. Other locos noted today included 60080 66086/101/158/182/210.
09/04 37669/670. 60022/079/043/048/070/086/101/149/158
The remaining new GBrf locos 66719, 66720 and 66721 were unloaded today.
10/04 37669/670 ran light from Godfrey Road to East Usk to work 7C79 to Westbury.
11/04 The new GBrf class 66s moved from Newport Docks to Willseden and Peterbrough as 0M06 passing East Usk at 13:37. Other locos noted included 09015 57001 60007/023/047/059/080/096 66043/053/060/065/070/154/158/173/182/185
13/04 66086/568 (23.30)
21/04 09015. 60007/017/023/062/090. 66043/075/077/086/117/153/182/572. 67024
28/04 66142/234 (23.15)

Units noted during the month included

150242/246/251/254/281
153373
158741/746/747/751/782/796/826/830/837/838/842/848/850/863/870/871/967
170397/398/520/522/523/631/635
175005/115
180106/114
220009

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V60/4M60 Calvert - Avon Binliner
04/04 66523. 18/04 66616. 27/04 66514.

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge
03/04 57010. 04/04 57010. 06/04 57006. 07/04 57011. 10/04 66502. 11/04 57001. 12/04 57001. 13/04 57001. 18/04 66575. 24/04 66569. 25/04 57010 + 57003.

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6C01 ADJ - Bristol East
07/04 66145. 12/04 66182. 13/04 66086.

6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh
04/04 60022. 05/04 60097. 06/04 60022. 07/04 60097. 13/04 60041. 18/04 60032.

6M33 16.23 (SX) Avonmouth-Wembley
03/04 67012 + 67017. 06/04 67012 + 67017. 07/04 67006. 19/04 67006. 28/04 67006 + 67015.

FREIGHT REVIEW (By Pete Merry)

Well, another month has passed and the weather has, at last, begun to show signs of improvement, so maybe it's time to start getting out and about more.
I've been mentioning locations in the past couple of reviews where freight can be observed but not a location one would have thought would be worth the effort. One location which fits this description admirably is Water Orton. This small station is situated about ten minutes train-journey time from Birmingham New Street. It is served hourly from Birmingham New Street by services to Leicester and Nottingham, and conversely by two-hourly trains from Nottingham and Leicester. The station is situated just below the junction of the Derby/Tamworth and Nuneaton/Leicester branches and benefits from traffic from the north via Tamworth, the Nuneaton direction, and from the Sutton Park line from Bescot which brings steel, coal, container traffic is some abundance in the week. It is worth the effort for a few hours.
My travels recently have been a day at Peterborough on Wednesday 3rd May. During my stay there, from 10.25 am to 16.54 pm, fourteen freight services were logged. Also logged were two of the new Metronet 66/7s 66718 and 66719 (both parked at the GBRf facility).
Highlights were a couple of trip workings hauled by 67020, the northbound one consisting of: 967951/641056/641022/641042/641028/641038/641006.
It later returned southbound with the following consist: 996300/641055/641049/641025/ 641050/641015/967534/110199.
Also noted was a northbound container service hailed by 66708 which consisted of: 95381/33.68.4908.118/33.68.4908.169/33.68.4908.199/33.68.4908.103/ 640602/640601/630001/630002/630027/630028/630017/630018/630015/630014.
Also heading northbound was 66509 with the following Freightliner Heavy Haul bogie aggregate hoppers: 369007/369021/369014/369006/369019/369020/369003/369010/369011/369001/ 369015/369017/369012/369002/369005.
Other services noted were three Freightliner services, the bogie Bardon Aggregate hoppers hauled by 66562; 66204 and 66711 on engineers' services, the Royal Train hauled by 67005, 33103 with Inspection Saloon 975025 'Caroline', 87007 hauling 20096 and 20905, and 66703 with the following rake of MEAs: 391673/391679/391646/391531/391153/391694/391637/391019/
391697/391657/391685/391682/391394/391660/391202/391126/391656/391659/
391684/391654/391652/391640/391635/391665/391674/391649/391148/391431/
391669/391686/391680/391688/391653.
Worth a day's 'spotting' in mid-week if you are in the area.

That's all from this effort, See you next month.

Freightliner

Freightliner have secured the Aggregate Industries contract from EWS, which means that all Jersey Marine stone traffic. The wagons appear to be staged at Pengam Sidings in Cardiff rather than Margam as before as this is obviously an EWS owned facility. Also the Beeston - Tidal scrap flow will be operated by Freightliner, running via Hereford.

Stock Alterations

Locomotives

Transfers
08649(ZG)-ZN, 66407/409(KD)-FD (On Loan) XHNC: 20301/305/308/311/312/313/314/315/029/069/087/197/218/229/259/261/602.
DFGM: 66505. DFRT: 66515. DFIM: 66571.

Stored
08611/617. 37405/406/669*/670*. 60033/040/042/043/053/066/067/069/074/085/091/093/095/100/500. 92010/018/023/028/033/038.
CD: 47829. CE: 92010/018/023/028/033/038. DR: 60040. GL: 31206. 47033.
IM: 60043/055/085/093/095. LH: 37423. LM: 87009/011/017/018/020/034.
LO: 08611/617. MG: 37669/670. 60033/067/091. ML: 37406. PM: 43194.
SL: 73203. TE: 37410. 60042/074/100. TO: 37405. 60053/066/069/500.
Tonbridge West Yard: 73207.

Traffic
08696 -LO, 08934 -WN, 37669/670 -MG (Then see above), 43029 -PM, 43090/100 -EC, 56301/302 -RR, 60007/023/051/076/094 -IM, 92004/011/017/035 -CE.

Disposals:
Booth: 20073
Chinnor & PR: 33053

Renumbered
56045 - 56301, 56124 - 56302 (Allocated: RR - Doncaster Roberts Road)

Diesel Multiple Units

Transfers
158741(HA)-EX, 783(EX)-TS, 792/793/795/796(TS)-EX, 846/847/852/854(CF)-TS.
FGWX: 158792-796. HLVE: 158782/859-861.

Disposals
51189 - Keighley & Worth Valley

Formations
150004 (52104 + 52216 + 57104) 008 (52108 + 57216 + 57108)

New Stock
185105/11 -HQ

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
317320(HE)-IL.
377120/137/146(BI)-SU, 404/428/438(SU)-BI.
NSLX: 319.002/006/009/011/012/013.

Disposals:
Booth: Car: 72706.
Sims: Cars: 62055. 71766. 76060/067/069/073/114/117/120/127
(From Units: 1711/24/35/37/44/53)

Renumbered
317320 - 515, 321 - 881, 324 - 882, 325 - 883, 326 - 884.

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Stored
LA: 40437. 42105/175/176/177. 44081. OO: 32131/41. 5669. 5700. 6722. 9493.
LM: 10205/213/218/233/246/253/259. 11005/006/007/038. 40424. 42090/234/322. 82117/122/123/124/129/130/135/137/140/141/142/147/149.
PM: 41059. TO: 3303. 3416. 5944/66. 6028/37. 6174. 6808. 9703/12.

Traffic
41165. 42109/110/115/159/160. 44057 -EC. 977.993/995 -EC.

Disposals
Booth: 10653/669. 94107.
Armac: 975.995 @ Wolverhampton LL.
West Coast: 5916/17. 6000/14/22/41. 6103/15/35/48.
Wellington Regional Council: 6801/02/0510/12/1415/18/19/22/26.
(New Zealand)

PLANT & TRACK MACHINES

12/04 Seco Matisa 75406 Noted at Westerleigh. New Seco Matisa 75407 Noted at Bristol Temple Meads in the old fish dock.


INDUSTRIAL & PRESERVATION MATTERS

West Somerset Railway
11/04 31452 + 31454 worked an ECS move from the line to Salisbury for a Weymouth steam special featuring 45407 and 76079 during the following day.

Avon Valley Railway
The railway are looking to raise 250,000 over the next 18 months to improve the facilities at Bitton by creating a new entrance, with improved eating, kitchen and toilet areas as well as a museum. The railway trustees include actor Timothy West and musician/entertainer Fred Wedlock. It is estimated relaying the line to Newbridge, on the outskirts of Bath will cost between 3-4 million

Yeovil Pen Mill
The rail event opening times for the 29/07/06, (see last months Magazine) should read 10.00-18.00 and not 17.00 as stated.

Engineering Work

Network Rail is to undertake a 756 million track replacement programme on around 600 route miles with a particular focus on the high speed Bristol-Paddington line. The lines last faced a similar upgrade in 1970 and it is expected Wotton Bassett junction will be closed for 9 days from 24/08, with bus connections running to/from Chippenham station and rail diversions taking place via the Kemble and Stroud line from Swindon to Standish junction.

 

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