NOTES AND NEWS
WEST COUNTRY AREA
16/12 The coal loading silos were noted undergoing maintenance during the
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66065/092/100/177/205/224.
09003 still continues in the area shunting pilot role.
Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh
04/12 Two freights recorded this evening, 66065 with mgr empties for
Avonmouth and 66232 with a car train from Portbury heading north.
07/12 60060 worked the 6C23 Hayes-East Usk stone empties.
12/12 Anglian-Rail liveried, Cotswold-Rail owned 47714 was recorded at 15.40 with a Laira-Brush Loughborough works stock move formed barrier coach 6336 + HST power car 43023.
13/12 59101 was on the morning blending stone trip from Wesatbury-Tytherington.
14/12 66015 seen working a late running ADJ - Wembley freight, along with two empty mgr services 66065 to Avonmouth and 66148 bound for Portbury.
15/12 Work was noted progressing on the new up platform three (or believed to eventually becoming platform 0 when opened in May!!), using a former goods line, which will help ease occasional congestion for stopping Virgin XC and First/GW services. This loop line is believed signalled for passenger use, this having been carried out during 2000 when track remodelling work took place in the area to accommodate the then new, but now disused Royal Mail Railnet depot. A fourth platform (platform 3!?) is under consideration for the downside, again using a former goods loop. 50031 + 50049 ran light-engine from Cardiff-Old Oak Common to collect coaches for an ECS move.
16/12 Two railtours during the day were; 50031 + 50049 on Pathfinder's 'Airean Raider' (1Z53 05.?? Cardiff Central-Leeds and 1Z52 return) and a Cotswold-Rail 'Xmas Circular' using 47813 + 47828 running as 1Z47 10.29 Gloucester-Gloucester. The Pathfinder trip was nearly a non-runner due to the locos not being OTMR train recording equipment fitted, banned by for use by EWS, but West Coast trains drivers stood in for the trip.
The Cotswold working was via Parkway, Day' Curve, Westbury, Reading, Swindon, Melksham, Westbury (where the locos were changed into a top n'tail formation), Trowbridge, Bath and Narroways junction (noted passing at 16.09 around 30 minutes late), the coaching stock used on this trip being;- 9493, 5700, 6722 (all in former First/GW green livery), 10235 (Cotswold silver), 11033 (unbranded Virgin red).
17/12 50031 + 50049 passed at 16.40 with Cardiff-Old Oak Common ECS from the previous day's railtour, the pair returning as 0Z50 09.25 Old Oak Common-Cardiff Canton light-engines during the following day.
18/12 Four workings this evening starting with 66198 with mgr empties for Portbury, next up was 47828 plus barrier vehicle and 43035 destined for Brush at Loughborough. 66213 arrived with a loaded mgr, quick crew change and on its way, thought to be an Avonmouth - Didcot service and finally 66615 with a Reading bound ballast train.
20/12 59101 was on the Tytherington blending stone trip from Westbury.
21/12 59002 was the Tytherington stone loco. Three MGR services seen this evening, 66217 with a loaded service from Avonmouth to Didcot, empties in the opposite direction behind 66065 and finally 66069 with empties heading for Portbury
23/12 60043 worked the afternoon 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel empties.
28/12 Split-liveried 66522 was unusually employed on the morning 4O51 Wentlooge-Millbrook loaded containers.
At Tytherington, loaded outward stone is expected to be moved during 2007, the first from this location since the summer of 2005. A perimeter minor road between the villages of Grovesend and Itchington has been diverted, creating further space for stone extraction.
During the month and into the early part of January 2007, the ECS
Voyager from Cardiff to Barton Hill has been calling in at Bristol
Parkway. The route taken from here to its destination is via
Avonmouth so it is assumed that "route refresh" is taking place as there will be a closure in the Filton area sometime in the near future and services diverted.
Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill
01/12 Arriva Trains/Wales 142077 was present at Barton Hill for overhaul. The
Bristol-Taunton line engineering work continued with the line closed between
10.00 Mondays, through to 14.00 on Fridays between Weston-super-Mare and
The Barton Hill water cannon saw use today on the Bristol-Taunton route during the early afternoon following the end of track work (this being a Friday), running as 3J74 Barton Hill-Barton Hill via Taunton, with the regular locos 67011 + 67013 in top n'tail formation.
A railtour cancellation, believed to be as a result of the engineers blockade was Pastime Rail's 'Dunster by Candlelight' (11.30 Weston-super-Mare - Minehead), which was expected to be Class 37/4 hauled.
02/12 What turned out to be the final mainline steam tour to visit Bristol for 2006 was Pastime Rail's 'Xmas Great Western' (Tonbridge-Bath) with 6024 King Edward I from Willesden SW sidings to Bath and return, with booked water stops being at Challow and at Wantage Road on the return. On arrival at Bath, the loco worked the ECS as 12.01 to Bristol, being noted passing Newton-st-Loe (near Bath) at 12.03. The return was 18.29 Bath-Tonbridge (the ECS working being 18.05 ex. Bristol), which was in fact double-headed with a Class 67 loco piloting the King due to a TPWS fault on the steam loco, leaving Bristol over 60 minutes late. There were more problems in the London area with a hot box problem also encountered on the King!
The Bristol-Taunton line remained closed for the first two weekends in December whilst engineering work continued. Another planned railtour by Compass Tours using an FM-Rail Class 47 and stock from Derby-Bath and return, was cancelled. At 15.00, 66144 + 59201 were noted switched off top n'tailing a pw train on the up line in Nailsea & Backwell station. Other locos, besides Class 66s involved on similar trains between Bristol and Taunton were 59001, 59202 and 59206.
Locomotives seen in Bristol Area on Barton Hill at 11.30 where 08516 37077/377/379/696 66009/146/181/193/205 67011/019/023.
Whilst on Kingsland Road where 66514/547/553.
05/12 Because of engineering activity, and increased rail movements due to diverted services via Bath, the final Steam Dreams 'Cathederal Express' was diverted from Bath and Bristol to run 1Z82 08.53 Victoria-Westbury and 1Z83 return with steam 45231 Sherwood Forester.
Another railtour cancellation, was an FM-Rail 'Bath Xmas Market' merrymaker (07.30 Croydon-Bath) booked for Class 47 haulage.
With a second local railtour cancellation during the month, news was released that the railway operating company FM-Rail had gone into administation during the following week.
06/12 An evening signalling failure in the Swindon area saw delays to services of up to 90 minutes, repairs being completed by 21.35.
07/12 The 'Blue Pullman' charter stock was back in the Bristol area on a Stevenage-Bath dining special for Hertfordshire Railtours. The working was reported on time at Didcot, but was around 45 minutes late on arrival at Bath, the booked time for here being 12.43.
Unconfirmed haulimg power was the two dedicated Pullman liveried Class 47s, 47709 + 47712 in the usual top n'tail formation.
08/12 This was the final operating day for the MML west country Voyager replacement diagram (07.05 Leeds-Plymouth and 15.25 Plymouth-York, 16.25FO), being worked by power cars 43060 + 43081.
Another final working before the timetable change on 11/12 was the last direct West Country-South Wales through service the 1B41 10.25 Penzance-Cardiff, operated by 150254.
Following the full reopening of the Bristol-Taunton from the previous, final week of engineers possession, the 3J74 water cannon (with 67011 + 67013) passed Worle junction at 13.48 followed at 14.12 by 47714 hauling yellow liveried HST power car 43196 forming a Landore-Laira stock move.
09/12 This was the second last weekend of complete closure for the Bristol-Taunton line, with track replacement work having taken place at Uphill junction (near Weston-super-Mare),Highbridge, Bedminster and Flax Bourton. In all, six miles of track was re-laid, 14,000 sleepers and 26,000 tonnes of ballast were replaced and ten sets of points replaced in the Highbridge and Bedminster areas.
During the three week period which started towards the end of November, Virgin XC West of England services were diverted via Westbury, with Paignton services being terminated and started at Temple Meads. Bus road connections linked Nailsea, Yatton, Worle, Weston Milton, Weston-super-Mare and Highbridge on works closure days.
11/12 The new timetable came into use and there were many unhappy travelling First/GW passengers!! A protest had taken place at Temple Meads on 08/12, with representatives of the RMT union (who say around 2000 seats have been cut daily on trains operating locally to the new time-table), the TUC , Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy and passengers amounting to around 50 carrying banners and placards. A Save Severn Tunnel commuter action group was formed by passengers who used the 07.54 Cardiff-Bristol TM service, which First/GW has amended to no longer call at Severn Tunnel Junction affecting an estimated 150 passengers who travelled to work by this train daily. Other problems were soon highlighted such as on the Bristol-Taunton line with the loss of commuter services operating during the rush-hour between 17.00-17.30, which amounted to two in the old timetable with 340 seats between them, which were both normally full to standing capacity. The new timetable provides Bristol departures for Taunton line local stations at 17.10, with the next at 17.42!! One surprising adjustment for the new timetable was Virgin XC's 14.21 Voyager service, via Temple Meads which is now booked to call at Filton Abbey Wood (19.31), Patchway (19.36) and Severn Tunnel junction (19.47).
13/12 An afternoon view of Barton Hill depot found;- 08516. stored locos; 37077/(377)/379/696. 67013. c/stock; 94190. The Class 67 was visible inside the main shed having suffered derailment damage whilst working the water cannon (see last months Magazine-page 9).
Also recorded were; Kingsland road; 66603. St. Phillips Marsh depot; stored DMU coach; 57869. HST stock; 41006/107. 42015. 43035. c/stock; 10563. track machine; 76313.
Also on Barton Hill depot were loaded bogie box JXA scrap wagons VTG 3113 and VTG 3118, assumed removed due to a problem from the Mondays only Tavistock yard-Cardiff Tidal freight service.
14/12 DRS 66404 + 66417 worked over-night through the area on a Sellafield-Keyham (Plymouth) nuclear submarine reactor move, this in the past having been a EWS duty. The locos returned to Carlisle light-engine.
Civils train comprising a consignment of sleepers seen heading south at 14.35 behind 66117.
15/12 The Virgin XC, MML West Country HST 'hire' diagram changed, with the Voyager replacement set now working week daily from Birmingham NS-Edinburgh and return.
An unusual 'rail related' incident took place during the morning on an industrial estate near St. Phillips Marsh depot. Contractors, who are dealing with track relaying work at the depot, had been parking their vehicles in the car park of a currently disused industrial unit only to find later in the morning a clamping company had put up parking notices and clamped some cars and vans present. The engineers returned and blocked the clamper's vehicles in with their earth movers and diggers and attempted to remove the clamps using their high powered tools! The police were called by late morning in case trouble escalated between the two groups, but negotiations took place, to reduce the required £2000 fines (10 vehicles at a cost of £205 had been clamped!) and a discount agreed.
Portbury bound empty MGR service hauled by 66164 seen at 15.35.
16/12 This was the final weekend of closures for the Bristol-Taunton mainline, being used mainly to check work carried out over the previous few weeks and complete anything outstanding.
What was billed as the last event for the 2006 Brunel 200 celebrations, a Kingfisher Tours 'Great Western Limited' with steam 6024 King Edward I on a circular trip from and back to Temple Meads via Bath, Westbury, the Berks & Hants, Didcot and Swindon was cancelled. The two actual final Brunel 200 events did take place in September, with the unveiling of the Platform 2 mural by Martin Williamson, dressed as Brunel, in the presence of the creating artists from Art and power, the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Peter Abraham and Lady Mayoress Pearl Abraham, and on 15/09, a Victorian banquet (featuring Martin Williamson again in the Brunel role and Anthony Lewis Churchill as Queen Victoria), was held in the former passenger rail shed of the Empire & Commonwealth Museum, similar to that attended by Prince Albert in July 1843. Brunel died on September 15th 1859.
One freight service reported during the day was 66133 on 6C80 Machen-Westbury loaded stone trip noted passing Narroways Hill Junction at 15.26.
18/12 Royal 67006 was used on a 1Z67 11.15 Cardiff Central-Cardiff Central (via Plymouth) VSOE dining circular running via Temple Meads during the early afternoon. Another previously unreported Northern Belle dining trip ran on 01/11 as 1Z29 Cardiff Central-Kensington Olympia (again via Temple Meads) top n'tailed by 67017 + 67027 and noted passing Newton-st-Loe near Bath at 09.29.
21/12 Having arrived in Plymouth the previous day, GBRf 66710 worked a further HST stock move as 5Z98 08.40 Laira-Derby made up of former MML 'Rio' coaches. A MGR was seen heading northbound at 13.35 with 66179 in charge.
25/12 The following were stabled on Kingsland Road 66506/514/519/560/603/604/608
27/12 60010 was on the 6C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded cement works coal, this train was also to run during the following day.
28/12 Two more proposed Kingfisher Tours railtours were cancelled; today's 'Elgar Express' circular was to have been diesel hauled from Ealing Broadway-Temple Meads for steam 6024 King Edward I to work via Cheltenham, Worcester, the Marches and the Severn Tunnel. The second trip, on 30/12 was from Bristol TM-Bristol TM via Worcester, Hereford, Abergavenny and the Severn Tunnel.
An announcement during the month saw plans put forward for a new entrance into Temple Meads station linking in with the new Temple Quay developments. A new ticket office would be set up in the former 'Midland' trainshed now partly used as the Commonwealth Museum and a car park, being linked to the platforms by a new connecting subway linking in to the existing one.
A new multi-storey carpark is proposed for land opposite the Valentine footbridge and overlooking the railway river bridge on the Temple Quay side, whilst the old approach road entrance would be used by buses and taxis only.
03/12 Having been repaired from the previous days Bristol trip, steam 6024
King Edward I worked the Railway Touring Company's 1Z24 09.15
Paddington-Worcester and 1Z25 17.35 return trips out and back via Kemble and the
05/12 47714 towed 47840 as 0Z47 Gloucester-Eastleigh for repair, prior to preservation on the West Somerset Railway.
07/12 47714 hauled HST power car 43177 from Gloucester-Brush works, Loughborough returning as 5Z46 15.00 Loughborough-Landore with 43025 + 43196.
13/12 Having taken power car 43023 to Brush works, Loughborough the previous day, 47714 returned as 5Z44 09.15 Loughborough-Landore hauling barrier coach 6336 + re-engined power car 43183.
15/12 47828 brought in a train of stone wagons to Gloucester as 6C81 from Southall, being on a railtour circular (along with 47813) the following day (see Bristol Parkway Notes & News).
21/12 47828 took power car 43035 to Loughborough to be re-engined, returning with an ex-works 43021 to Landore. 43035 (along with 43167) had arrived at Brush works on 09/10/06 for new MTU engine fitting.
22/12 Brand new GBRf 66724 + 66726 + 66725 + 66727 + 66723 passed through the area as 14.35 Newport-Willesden (via Gloucester and the Kemble line). The locos had been landed at Newport docks two days earlier from 09.45 onwards.
24/12 Central Trains conductors, with union approval held a strike over bank holiday pay during the day, carrying out a second stoppage on New Year's Eve, seven days later. A double-time payment offer had apparently been turned down for each day.
18/12 At 17.30, the 6X52 Washwood Heath cars was observed stopped alongside a
loaded coal train both waiting to depart from the dock by the dockgate.
28/12 The 6V53, normally the inward car empties was seen at 06.18 entering the docks conveying a large number of Landrovers on flat wagons for export.
It has been reported that just under half the road vehicles moved from the port inland are conveyed by the daily EWS car service to Washwood Heath.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included; 66026/164/246.
Locos recorded on the 6X52 16.30 Washwood Heath cars have been;
05/12 66005. 07/12 66219. 11/12 66012. 14/12 66082. 28/12 66120.
A Class 73 loco, believed to be 73133 is expected to take up yard pilot shunting duties at the September 2006 re-opened Fairwaters track renewal train yard (see November 2006 Magazine-page 8). The loco has been at Barry and on the Pontypool & Blaenavon preserved railways during the past couple of years, having seen use on passenger trains at the latter.
Units noted this period included
SOUTH WALES AREA
New Class 66s
The latest GBRf locos arrived at Newport Docks onboard MV Fairload on 19/12/06. They were unloaded the next day with 09105 in attendance in the following order, 66723 at 09:42, 66724 at 10:32, 66725 at 13:43, 66727 at 14:42 and finally 66726 at 15:28. The locos moved to Willesden as 0Z13 via Gloucester on 22/12/06 passing East Usk at 15:00 in the following order 66724/725/726/727/723.
The build details are as follows
66723 works number 20058765-001 date built 09-2006
66724 works number 20058765-002 date built 09-2006
66725 works number 20058765-003 date built 09-2006
66726 works number 20058765-004 date built 09-2006
66727 works number 20058765-005 date built 09-2006
01/12 60035. 66023/140/154/219/516
08/12 60029. 66037/054/074/116/129/169/570
11/12 Today was the last run of class 37s on the Rhymney branch, with only a
morning southbound working. The honour fell to 37410 to work 2F10 07:44 Rhymney
The stock was 9521, 6183, 5853 and 5869, the loco was suitably adorned with a wreath on the front lamp iron.
Units noted this period included
Cl175 units now carry operating company name "Arriva Trains Wales"
LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS
01/12 66547. 12/12 66514.
4V08 Crewe Basford Hall - Wentlooge.
01/12 66516. 08/12 66570. 20/12 66505.
4V50 Southampton - Wentlooge.
01/12 57008. 04/12 66517. 05/12 66579. 06/12 57003. 07/12 57004.
08/12 57003. 11/12 66575. 12/12 66542. 13/12 57003. 14/12 66570.
18/12 57011. 19/12 57012. 20/12 66504. 21/12 57004. 22/12 66532.
27/12 66503 + 66543. 28/12 66522. 29/12 66502.
LOCAL EWS WORKINGS
6M33 16.23 (SX) Avonmouth-Wembley 'enterprise' freight service
01/12 67023 + 67029. 13/12 67016 + 67023. 23/12 67017 + 67019.
6B13/6B47 Robeston - Westerleigh
01/12 60018. 04/12 60046. 05/12 60046. 06/12 60046. 07/12 60046.
08/12 60046. 11/12 60076. 12/12 60076. 13/12 60074. 14/12 60074.
15/12 60074. 18/12 60010. 19/12 60010. 20/12 60026. 21/12 60026.
22/12 60002. 27/12 60046. 28/12 60046. 29/12 60046.
6C01 ADJ - Bristol East
05/12 66231. 06/12 66030. 13/12 66127. 19/12 66015. 20/12 60026.
FREIGHT REVIEW (By Pete Merry)
Firstly let me wish you all a very Happy New Year. May it be a good one and
Getting on with the latest news from the freight scene I will follow up on an item mentioned in last month's report, namely the new MHA "Coalfish" vehicles. Mention was made of the HAA vehicles being used. Following is a list of vehicles donating their frames for the project, believed to be converted by Marcoft. Vehicles concerned are: 350122/0485/0504/0824/0855/1085/1100/1317/1716/1800/1883/
Interestingly, most of these vehicles are current running vehicles.
A new freight working has been proposed from France to Coventry transporting mineral water to the Pro Logis Industrial Estate in Coventry. A trial run has been pencilled in for January.
Delivery of the new HQA 320xxx bogie aggregate hoppers has commenced. These vehicles are being constructed in Romania.
Also starting to be delivered shortly will be the first of the new short wheelbase HXA coal hoppers for Freightliner in the series 370501-370609. Noted in the Westbury/Eastleigh areas on aggregate workings for Balfour Beatty has been "Rudd" 972606.
All the four-wheel tanks which were stored on-site at Fawley have been disposed of within the complex. Stored for many years, they were completely out of sight of any attempts to view them. I personally saw them from the air whilst on a farewell BAC 1-11 flight to and from Bournemouth!
On to a couple of sighting of track machines recently. Firstly, parked in the station sidings at Leicester on 5th January was Network Rail rail grinder 79261. At Nuneaton on 6th January, looking rather resplendent in a purple and white livery was 2006-built Track Finishing Machine 77001. On to my personal sightings now. Not too many due to the Christmas and New Year holidays. On 11th December an evening at Nuneaton was, again, fruitful for train movements. I will give you some idea of timings. At 18:25, 66060 heading on to the Leicester branch with four wheel coal hoppers; at 18:33, 87028 passed northbound with Royal Mail units 325014/011/008 in tow, 18:45 saw the water cannon train in the charge of 66416 and 66418, 18:50 and 66503 with a Freightliner southbound.
New vehicles in the consist were 640359/360/072/071/273/273/247/248/465/466/449/450/ 606123/124/164/163/152/151.
At 18:55, 57012 passed northbound with another Freightliner including new vehicles 640352/351/711/712/214/213/ 606109/110, 19:00 saw the first W. H. Malcolm service hurtling north behind 66417, now 19:14 and 66026 with a train of EWS bogie coal hoppers on to the Leicester branch. A gap to 19:39 when 66102 headed south with an Enterprise service. 20:00 saw 57010 with a southbound Freightliner; 20:25 66543 appeared with another southbound Freightliner. Five minutes later, at 20:30, the second W. H. Malcolm service travelled north behind 66402. A couple of minutes later 66579 with a northbound Freightliner; a southbound Royal Mail service consisting of 325.002/ 004/ 007 passed at 20:44. And finally, at 20:49, 66504 appeared with a northbound Freightliner.
Actually, this wasn't the busiest it has been as there were a couple of Freightliner services and a couple of engineers' workings missing. Add to these the Pendolino services and the Central Trains Birmingham-Leicester services and you get the idea of how busy it is.
Just a final item (I do appear to have gone on a bit) a personal "score" on the Wednesday before Christmas was 66722 heading south with a rake of brand new MLA 503xxx vehicles, presumably heading for Wellingborough. Apologies for rambling on. See you next time.
66036/038/049 - France.
DC: 08995. DF: 86235. DWY: 47338. EH: 47840. 58010/018/034. IM: 08561. 09021. KM: 86218/232. MG: 08646.
OC: 37694. 56007/049/051/059/060/071/090/103. TE: 08698. 60066. TO: 08623. 60063. WB: 56065/094/115/117.
Ron Hull: 31426
TJ Thomson: 31460. 47229
AC Loco Group: 89001
20066 - Corus 82, 43090 - 43290, 43114 - 43314, 43120 - 43320
66414/415/416/417/418/419/420 -KM, 66723/724/725/726/727 -WN
Diesel Multiple Units
158725(HA)-IS, 743/773/774(HT)-NL, 863(EX)-HA
153311/313/326 @CF, 302/308/355/374 @ZG
159102 - SA
158962/963/964/965/973/974 - disbanded
(743/748/749/751/773/774/815/816/817 - reformed)
Electric Multiple Units
319006(SU)-BF, 009(BF)-SU (BF = Bedford)
465901 - 5934 INC (GI)-SG
450122/123 -NT, Cl458: 8006/026 -WD
Booth: Car: 76146 (310.107)
Pump House Museum, Walthamstow Car: 75023 (307123)
Sold n/k: Car 76112 (1749)
Reformed & Renumbered
357002 & 043 - collision damaged
098 (67793 + 74152 + 74052 + 67752)(For Works)
099 (67652 + 74193 + 74093 + 67693)(In Traffic)
3602: Car 72431 -HQ
Coaching & NPCC Stock
5141/99 -DF, 10211 -TO, 10237 -KM, 10546 -TO, 11019/028/030 -KM,
11039 -TO, 11044/046/052 -FM, 17089 -DF
BS: 94155. 94423. CV: 17144/170. DF: 6168. LH: 41043.
OM: 9481. Wembley EFT: 80346/349/352/354/359/368/379/394/431.
JTLand: 3815. 5822/63. 6202. 977.708
Booth: 94339. 977.468/802
Car Services (Meldon Quarry): 9492. 9501. Embsay: 80421
Grand Central Rly: 11017/023/038/045/055. 12033/044/058/088/104/112,
12121/136/149/152/155/156. 40424/426/433. 44065/088/089
9032 - 9802
EFOO FGW Class 57/6 00 57602/603/604/605
EFPC FGW Class 43 Power Car Fleet
EFSH FGW Class 08 08412(PZ), 08641/644/645(LA), 08483(OO), 08663/822/836(PM), 08795(LE)
WAAN EWS Class 67 Systemwide
WABN EWS Class 67 Systemwide RETB Fitted 67004/007/009/011/030
WBAI EWS Class 66 Industrial 66005/012/015/067/074/075/090/129/130/150/154/157/169/174/184/189/196/219/232/239
WBAK EWS Class 66 Construction
WBAM EWS Class 66 Energy
WBBI EWS Class 66 Industrial (RETB)
WBBK EWS Class 66 Construction (RETB)
WBBM EWS Class 66 Energy (RETB)
WBBN EWS Class 66 Systemwide
WBLI EWS Class 66 Industrial (Banker)
WBLM EWS Class 66 Energy (Banker)
WCAI EWS Class 60 Industrial (990 gal)
WCAK EWS Class 60 Construction (990 gal)
WCAM EWS Class60 Energy (990 gal)
WCBI EWS Class 60 Industrial (1150 gal)
WCBK EWS Class 60 Construction (1150 gal)
WDAK EWS Class 59 Construction
WKBN EWS Class 37 Network RETB
WKCN EWS Class 37 Network
First Great Western
20/12 The company held a press day at Derby Litchurch lane works, one of the two locations (the other being at Ilford) where their HST coach refurbishment programme, costing around £63 million is being carried out by Bombardier. £400,000 is being spent on each carriage, where new style seats, lighting, redesigned table tops (with power points for lap top computers) and new toilets have been fitted. More seating has also been created, with leather finished seats now being fitted in the first class stock.
A new 'dynamic lines livery' is also carried, different to that carried on the coaches released to traffic for the franchise launch train in April 2006 which have seen power cars 43004 and 43009 repainted into the overall First/GW dark blue colour (with small yellow ends) and 40752, 41003, 44049 which still retain the original colour scheme, being noted together forming part of the same train on 13/12 passing Barton Hill on an unidentified up service in between power cars 43017 + 43191.
As already stated, the company have come under pressure regarding the new December 11th timetable change, which has seen a reduction in train numbers and coaches used on some services. The company have stated that the end of contract servicing by Arriva Trains/Wales at Cardiff Canton on 11/12 and St. Phillips Marsh depot still not being ready to accommodate the former Wessex Trains DMUs have attributed to these problems.
There have been maintenance staff problems in Bristol, as the depot has had no previous 'sprinter' DMU servicing experience (some of the Cardiff staff being offered a transfer or redundancy).
The month ended with more controversy with the storage of former 'off lease' one car DMUs 153302 153308, 153355 and 153374 at the now closed Eastleigh works site.
Worle Station, near Weston-super-Mare.
The station platforms are to be extended to accommodate First/GW HST trains from December 2007, with the newly introduced partial door opening system which does see regular daily use at other North Somerset stations at Yatton and Nailsea & Backwell. The station at Worle was opened in September 1990. The nearby junction at Worle is also to be upgraded with a second track being re-instated for the Weston-super-Mare loop line, originally double tracked throughout, but singled in the early 1970s. The new line, will be laid as part of the Network Rail £750 million regional investment programme for the South-West and will run from the mainline junction until just before the first road overbridge by Weston Milton station.
New Pub Food Listings for Rail Travellers
A new guide to Bristol-Weymouth line restaurants and pubs has been produced called the Foody Trail listing 11 establishments close to stations along the route.
Those listed start with a pizza restaurant in Clifton and Bar 19 in Keysham Main Street, and also includes the Fat Fowl in Bradford-on-Avon, the Red or White restaurant in Trowbridge and the White Hart in Yetminster High Street. The final venue listed is the Ferry Inn on Weymouth seafront.
The Foody Trail follows on to the popular Real Ale Trail covering real ale locations along the line and believed to have attracted over 10,000 visitors to the local public houses listed.
Track Machines & Departmentals
01/12 A rare visitor to Bristol was First Swietelsky owned Plasser & Theurer AFM 2000 RT Track Finishing Machine 77001 this was noted at 07.30 heading north through the up through at Bristol Temple Meads. Whilst at Kingsland Rd 75407 was stabled on the 1st & 2nd of December.
02/12 Bath Refuse Centre railhead BCL machines 353 Komatsu PW170 K34151 & 359 Komatsu PW170 K32105 were noted
03/12 Hydrex Equipment UK Limited, Harbour Road, Portishead;
The following were visible; road/rail excavators; 2966, 4098/144/205/260/458. 5036. Thwaites road/rail dumpers; 2856.(????)/V71KCV.
The company have just opened a new training double test track on the site at a cost of £500,000, which also includes a platform and station building.
A replica choc/cream Portishead totem sign is present on the station building, the town is still in fact continuing to campaign for the complete reopening of the former branch line from Bristol to passenger trains having closed in 1964, but part reopened to freight from Royal Portbury dock, five years ago.
13/12 St. Phillips Marsh depot (view)
PRESERVATION AND INDUSTRIAL MATTERS
Swindon, Heritage Carriage Works, Workshop 20. (12/12/06).
Former GWR loco underframe from 7200 (built in 1930) was moved by road to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton. Although only the chassis and wheels were on site, an estimated £100,000 had been spent on the restoration in the six years on site. This has become the final loco to leave the works, bringing to an end a long line of loco building at Swindon. The carriage workshop site is expected to be re-developed for further housing or commercial use.
Cheddar Valley Railway Heritage Trail
An original sign belonging to the closed Lodge Hill station has been passed on to the GWS Society at Didcot by pupils of Bristol Grammar School who once owned the station site near Cheddar. The Grammar school originally bought the station as an activity centre, but it was demolished to make way for housing, the sign being saved to form part of the model railway club which was disbanded a few years ago. It was felt the centre at Didcot would provide a good home to maintain and display the sign.Other parts of the former 'Strawberry Line', closed to passengers in August 1963 have been in the news with plans to redevelop the former Sandford station site, some of which dates back from the 1860s and recently vacated by the Sandford stone company. Having been purchased by the Bird Group of Companies located in Llantrissant, Monmouthshire, proposals are for residential and commercial use. Also part of the popular walk, between Winscombe and Sandford has been resurfaced with limestone chippings, and fitted with new gates for cyclist and wheelchair access. This work has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, South-West Regional Development Agency, Sustrans and the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.