NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

07/03 08405 had replaced 09003 as area shunting pilot by this date.
08/03 66236 + 66147 arrived during the early afternoon on coal empties from Didcot and 60096 also appeared at 13.45 (having been reported passing Bath at 10.53 and Filton at 12.43) unusually employed on the 6C63 10.17 import stone empties from Westbury. The loaded working was to depart late being still present at 16.30. Also during the afternoon, 67020 + 66147 departed light-engines for Didcot.
12/03 Following the recent Severn Beach line closure (see last months Magazine) for engineering work, track work continued on the section between Avonmouth and Severn Beach when services had finished late morning. The replaced track panels which had been lifted and dumped at various points alongside the running line between Avonmouth and Clifton Down, were noted recovered and stored beneath the M5 road overbridge having been presumably road-rail moved here over the week-end.
19/03 A track gang were noted manually packing ballast in the St.Andrews road station area.
31/03 First/GW operated three 'Easter Bunny Express' services between Bristol and Severn Beach. Three normal service trains were used (one mid-day, mid morning and mid-afternoon, between 10.00-16.00) with extra staff on hand giving out Easter eggs and goody bags to children on board, the event being organised jointly between First/GW and the Severnside Community Partnership. During the evening, a Class 66 was noted on an engineers train between Charlton tunnel and Henbury on the Hallen Marsh-Filton freight-only line.
Members of the Bristol signalling staff are planning to run a special charity trip from Gloucester, using Cotswold-Rail coaching stock on Sunday 03/06, visiting Avonmouth, Severn Beach, Portbury, Tytherington and Westerleigh. In a top n'tail formation, a Class 50 is expected to be used along with a mystery loco rumoured to be preserved diesel-hydraulic D1015 Western Champion (which has recently been carrying D1046 Western Marquis plates on one side only).
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;-
66012/017/075/084/139/147/200/235/236.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

01/03 Steam 5051 Earl Bathurst worked Pastime Rail's 'St.David's Day Express' (1Z51 08.35 Swansea-Paddington) with a choc/cream support coach and an otherwise maroon set of carriages noted around 5 minutes late near Pilning. However the train was delayed between Patchway and Parkway (not passing here to 11.44) as the up loop was not available to access because of work on the new platform. This had a knock-on affect to the following First/GW 10.55 Cardiff-Paddington HST service (due Parkway 11.31) which was diverted via Bath! The steam working had in fact been delayed by the First/GW 09.30 Swansea-Paddington HST in the Severn Tunnel Junction area which was running 10 minutes late! The steam loco was to run 11.15 Old Oak Common-Didcot loco and support coach during the following day. No freights seen this evening, the only working to report was the Network Rail Cl101 DMU heading to South Wales, motor coaches were 977391 + 977392.
02/03 158842 + 158843 + 158849 + 158848 formed the first of three recorded Eastleigh-Heaton stock moves passing at 11.15. The formerly stored Arriva Trains Wales units were to be reinstated back into service for Northern Trains.
03/03 Due to the closure of the Severn Tunnel for engineering works, the 6B80 Westbury-Machen stone empties and the 6C23 Hayes-East Usk empty gunnells were diverted. The former was recorded via Parkway with 66017 and the latter ran from Swindon via Kemble and Gloucester behind 66099. A Pastime Rail 'Red Dragon' railtour, featuring steam 6024 King Edward I between Bristol TM and Carmarthen was put back to 14/04.
04/03 66017 with the previous days 6C80 Machen-Westbury diverted loaded stone was still present at Parkway during the morning. The loco had been reported as have assisted the 6C23 East Usk empty gunnells with a failed 66099 in the Severn Tunnel junction area the previous day.
05/03 The MML intermediate coaches, hired in by First/GW to cover works refurbishment until at least November 2007 were recorded in use with power cars 43155 + 43165 working 05.22 Plymouth-Paddington, 10.15 Paddington-Cardiff and 12.55 Cardiff-Paddington during the day. The stock formation, LA79, is as follows; 41112, 41067, 40749, 42194, 42229, 42227, 42225, 44027. A late 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADJ departmental was noted passing Pilning at 13.30 behind 60096.
06/03 A landslide in the Wickwar tunnel area saw some north-bound diversions via Newport and late running south-bound services including the 6V53 Washwood Heath-Portbury partially loaded and empty car train passing at 07.40 behind an unidentified Class 66 loco. The MML HST, LA79 set was seen in use on the 06.30 Swansea-Paddington First/GW service. Cotswold-Rail 47810 worked a 5Z86 11.10 Brush Loughborough -Landore MTU re-engined HST power car move hauling 43161.
07/03 Noted during the early afternoon were; 47813 on a 6F68 10.52 Plymouth Tavistock yard-Gloucester New yard stored wagon move formed of 10 white slurry tanks (which had once been used on a Heathfield-Sezzardio, Italy freight-flow) at 14.15 followed by 37069 + 20308 on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flask service at 14.18.
08/03 60056 passed on a down departmental service at 12.54 and later 60054 was noted with the 6C23 Hayes-East Usk stone empties. Two MGRs and the Newport ADJ - Wembley "Enterprise" recorded this evening, 66236 with an Avonmouth - Didcot service, 66224 with empties for Portbury and 66059 with the Wembley working.
10/03 60018 was over at Westerleigh on 6E77 fuel empties for Port Clarence.
12/03 The Severn Tunnel was closed for an hour during the morning with a Portsmouth-Cardiff First/GW service having to reverse back out a short distance following the driver reporting hitting something. Some service diversions via Gloucester took place but an inspection found nothing out of the ordinary. First/GW HST movements of note during the day found the 'hire' MML LA79 set working 10.15 Paddington-Cardiff and 12.55 return, and the new 'neon' liveried LA62 formation running with power cars 43141 + 43165 (and middle coaches 41085, 41167, 40231, 42259, 42167, 42168, 42168, 42169, 44068) on the 12.15 Paddington-Cardiff and 14.53 return. On the freight side; 66581 passed Parkway at 11.07 on down stone empties and 37229 + 37194 worked up at 15.47 on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks.
13/03 Another HST set of note was with power cars 43020 and newly MTU engine fitted 43161 included 2006 'neon' lined livery coaches 41003, 40752, 44049 and the 2005 introduced 'silver' liveried interactive coach 42076 (which contains communication systems, such as television, music and internet access supplied by Volo) working 11.15 Paddington-Cardiff and 13.55 return.
15/03 60014 handled the 6B33 Theale -Robeston empty fuel tankers.
16/03 Previously stored 158844 + 158853 + 158851 + 158860 formed a second Eastleigh-Heaton stock move passing at 12.14 for eventual use in the north. Earlier, 67014 was noted at 10.17 with a Victoria-Cheltenham Northern Belle 'Gold Cup' racing special and later 60058 worked 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel tank empties passing at 16.58.
17/03 66526 + 66529 passed up light-engines through Parkway at 10.12. Observations over at Pilning later recorded;- 60038 with 6C23 Hayes-East Usk empty gunnells (13.48), EWS silver 67029 on 1Z94 11.38 Victoria-Cardiff VSOE (formed 99538, Zena, Vera, Ibis, Pheonix, Minerva, Perseus, Audrey, Ione, Lucille, 6313) (14.26), 66137 with 6C80 Machen-Westbury loaded stone (14.46), 67021 on a 1Z96 12.28 Victoria-Cardiff Northern Belle (14.51) and 60054 with 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel tank empties (15.44). The 1Z94 and 1Z96 dining specials were running for the Six Nations Rugby match between Wales and England at the Cardiff Millenium Stadium.
19/03 66137 passed Filton Abbey Wood late at 12.50 on the 6C01 Newport ADj-East Depot loaded steel. The MML HST hire set (LA79) the First/GW 10.15 Paddington-Cardiff and 12.55 return services with power cars 43020 + 43155.
20/03 Freight workings reported during the day were; 60092 on 6C23 Hayes-East Usk stone empties and 60060 on 6B33 Theale-Robeston empty fuel tanks. Cotswold-Rail 47813 was also recorded on a Brush Loughborough-Landore power car move with 43022.
21/03 57005 worked the 4O51 Wentlooge-Millbrook container service.
22/03 Steam loco 45407 Lancashire Fusilier passed Pilning at 13.10 (30 minutes late) on 5Z07 06.28 Castleton-St.Blazey loco and support coach 35317 on the mainline, being followed by 66088 on the Parc Slip-Westbury cement works coal, the 12.55 Cardiff-Paddington First/GW HST, a Class 153 unit on the First/GW 13.00 Cardiff-Westbury local service and another HST set on the 12.30 Swansea-Paddington First/GW service all running via the up goods loop!! It is assumed there was a points problem at Pilning West? The MML HST set LA79 was again noted this time on the First/GW 14.15 Paddington-Cardiff service and 16.55 return. 60092 worked the 6B33 Robeston fuel tank empties.
23/03 The third Eastleigh-Heaton unit stock move was noted passing Parkway at 10.43 with sets 158850 + 158845. Earlier, at 09.06, 66613 had passed in the up direction on Railtrack ballast hopper wagons.
26/03 Blue liveried 47840 (on loan to GBRf) headed west at 08.45 with barrier coaches 6336 + 6338 (as 5Z70 09.03 Parkway RMT-Laira), returning a 5Z71 12.08 Laira-Ilford HST stock move latter in the day via Westbury.
27/03 20315 + 20314 passed at 14.48 on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks.
30/03 47810 handled a 5Z45 14.15 Brush Loughborough-Landore stock move formed barrier coach with 43169, 43023 and 43197 (the train was however unconfirmed as recessing at Parkway for a period of time).
31/03 66613 worked an additional Theale-Margam stone empties formed of FLHH box wagons. A Freightliner, Wentlooge bound container service has been reported as running during mid Saturday afternoons and was seen the previous week (24/03).

Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill

01/03 Cotswold-Rail 47810 worked 5Z74 11.30 Laira-Landore formed with barrier coaches 6336 + 6338 and 66622 worked 6Z39 Neath Abbey Wharf-Plymouth Tavistock yard loaded stone.
02/03 The 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks were seen with two unidentified Class 20s and 33202 passed through the area as 0Z33 Gloucester-West Somerset Railway light-engine. Another stock move for 47810 saw the loco run 5Z74 11.30 Laira-St. Phillips Marsh, then onwards to Landore for a power car move with 43148 to Brush at Loughborough for overhaul.
05/03 66191 was on the 6C01 Bristol East depot steel trip, whilst Cotswold-Rail 47813 ran light-engine from Old Oak Common to Bristol. A 5F77 04.45 Old Oak Common-Laira and 5Z47 10.30 Laira-Ilford stock move, booked for 47840 was cancelled along with a 5Z77 12.06 Derby-Laira).
06/03 47840 worked a 5Z47 09.30 Derby-Laira refurbished HST stock move for First/GW carrying a 'Bristol Bluebirds' headboard. The train, formed 6723 (barrier coach), 41086, 41160, 42066, 42303, 42304, 42305, 44055, 40901, 40904, 9488 (barrier coach) was noted passing Brent Knoll at 14.59 followed by 220025 on the 11.24 Manchester-Plymouth VirginXC service at 15.02, then a late running 37510 at 15.08 on a 0Z37 Crewe-Plymouth driver route learner (booked Temple Meads at 09.45-09.57!) with a 'DRS Crewe on a Mission' headboard. 47813 ran 0Z68 light-engine from Temple Meads to St. Blazey to work forward stored china clay slurry wagons during the following day (also see Bristol Parkway Notes & News). Central Trains green liveried 158784 carrying 'First Group' lettering in white, was noted working the 12.36 Worcester Shrub Hill-Taunton First/GW service. A 5Z52 08.14 Carnforth-Minehead move through the area (Pilning 15.40 and Yatton 16.51-16.58) involving steam loco 850 Lord Nelson and support coach was cancelled.
07/03 47840 was noted stabled in Temple Meads at 06.00 and later 66581 was seen at Bath on the 4V60 Calvert-Barrow Road refuse containers. First/GW services suffered delays during the afternoon following a HST power car fire on the GW mainline. The First/GW 12.25 Plymouth-Paddington was in trouble near Burnham, the power car involved being reported as 43179. Later, in the evening emergency engineering works saw the First/GW 23.30 Paddington-Bristol TM service diverted, requiring road bus connections to Chippenham and Bath from Swindon.
08/03 DRS 66413 ran 0Z79 10.00 Crewe-Plymouth to collect a failed 37510, which had worked west on 06/03 on a driver route learning trip. Also recorded during the day were the MML HST LA79 on the 13.30 Paddington-Bristol TM First/GW service and 31452 which headed west on a 5F84 12.30 Oxley-West Somerset Railway stock move formed of an overhauled buffet coach 10205 in choc/cream livery. The coach was destined for Minehead station for use as a static buffet, replacing Mk I, 4039. The working had left Oxley behind 47810, a loco swap taking place en-route at Gloucester.
09/03 DRS 66413 + 37510 returned north as 0Z09 10.10 Plymouth-Crewe (via the Severn tunnel) passing Filton at 12.55. Steam loco Lord Nelson, with support coach was reported to have made Didcot on it's return journey from Carnforth to Minehead to take part in the Spring Gala (which ran over 17/03 and 18/03 and between 23-25/03).
10/03 Steam loco 7802 Bradley Manor worked Pastime Rail's 'Cider Express' (1Z71 Birmingham NS-Minehead) onwards from platform 1 at Hereford having taken over from West Coast Railway's 47854. The train was seen passing Pilning at 11.11 (4 minutes early) with coaching stock; 35479 (loco support coach), 99304, 4994, 4960, 4984, 1861, 4973, 4905, 99318. 47854 was following behind as 0Z71 10.20 Hereford-Bishop's Lydeard light-engine, returning the trip as 1Z72 18.15 Bishop's Lydeard-Birmingham NS. This was to be this popular steam locos second last mainline run before the current boiler certificate expires. Also recorded during the day were; 60014 + 66059 paired on a Newport ADj-Westbury departmental (Filton 12.18) and 47847 + 47839 (now named Pegasus) double-heading a 5Z47 10.32 Derby-Bishop's Lydeard ECS (Yatton 13.56) formed of SPRS maroon liveried coaching stock; 4831, 4836, 1730, 4856, 13230, 35185, 13229, 3115, 1859, 3096, all for West Somerset Railway gala use. The train's long journey from the north had suffered delays initially due to the Scottish signalman's strike and the failure of 47839 in the Doncaster area!
12/03 60041 was on the 6B65 and return 6C41 Westbury-Newport ADj departmental via Day's curve, the outward passing Filton at 11.26 and the return being recorded at Severn Tunnel junction at 15.32. 47810 was also reported to have worked a St. Phillips Marsh-Brush Loughborough stock move with HST power car 43151.
13/03 66527 was on the 4V60 Calvert-Bath/Barrow Road refuse containers. Southbound coal train for Westbury seen at 23:30 behind 60092.
14/03 60041 was again on the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADj departmental passing Filton at 10.14, 37194 + 37229 were paired on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe flasks and 66082 worked a Victoria-Bath/Bristol VSOE dining special onwards from Westbury having taken over there from steam 35028 Clan Line. 67007 was originally allocated but was replaced by the Class 66, the reason for this swap being unknown.
15/03 66103 was on the 6C01 Bristol East depot steel trip, returning light-engine and 47810 headed a further St. Phillips Marsh-Loughborough HST power car move with 43171 for overhaul.
16/03 66230 + 66173 were paired on the 6C41 Newport ADj-Westbury departmental passing Filton at 16.28.
17/03 Additional railtours operated during the day included; 47853 + 47848 (in blue livery and carrying the name Titan Enterprise) worked Hertfordshire Railtour's 1Z47 07.30 Southend-Temple Meads and 1Z48 16.35 return 'Blue Pullman', the stock actually being a mixture of pride of the nation (green/cream), choc/cream and a single green liveried Mk Is! and Voyager set 220024 which formed an 07.46 Bristol TM-Taunton, prior to working shuttle departures from here to Bishop's Lydeard on the WSR as part of their Spring gala. Departures from Taunton were at 08.48, 09.35, 11.40 (17/03 only), 13.57, 14.57, 16.32 with returns from Bishop's Lydeard at 09.12, 11.05 (17/03 only), 13.25, 14.25, 16.05, these services were to also operate on the following Saturday 24/03. For the Sundays 18/03 and 25/03, departures from Taunton were at 10.25, 11.32, 1355, 14.55, 16.32, 17.30 with returns at 11.05, 13.25, 14.25, 16.05, 17.00. Virgin were able to provide a Voyager unit over the two weekends as due to engineering works a spare set and train crew were available at Barton Hill depot for use. National fares were charged between Bristol and Taunton with a 2.50 single or 5.00 return fare for the shuttle service, the train also calling at Weston-super-Mare on the outward and return. A late afternoon view of Barton Hill depot found the following; 08516. 66012/126/139 (along with the normal stored Class 37s) and 66513/525/605/613/622 were in the sidings at Kingsland Road. A railtour cancellation for the day was a Heartlands trip from Swindon-Penzance due to be Cotswold Class 47 hauled.
20/03 66080 was seen on the up through road at 10.10 in Temple Meads with a late running 6V41 Irvine-Burngullow empty slurry tanks. 66080 seen with a southbound "Enterprise" service at 09:20.
21/03 37194 + 37229 were reported passing Ashchurch (around 3 hours late) at 08.54 on a late running 6V74 Crewe-Bridgwater nuclear flask service. Progress was slow! the train being logged passing Wickwar (near Yate) at 10.35 and later at Lympsham (near Weston-super-Mare) at 11.42, nearly 5 Hours late! Loaded MGR from Portbury recorded at 14:45 behind 66150.
22/03 60055 worked into Cornwall overnight on the 6C89 Cardiff Tidal sidings-St.Blazey freight service. First/GW have offered a 1000 reward to catch vandals who have damaged ECS stock moves near Bedminster station. A coach window has been reported broken and there have been graffiti attacks whilst trains stable for short periods between services in the area. Train services were suspended for 45 minutes between Bristol and Bath around 22.30 when a body was discovered on the line in the Keynsham area.
23/03 60072 was on the 6C01 Bristol East depot steel trip from Newport. The B3139 road bridge over the Bristol-Taunton mainline, near the town centre of Highbridge has been closed by Network-Rail for four years the reason given being due to continual 'mis-use' by road vehicles over it's 3.5 tonne restricted weight limit.
24/03 A 1Z44 06.43 Sheffield-Minehaed railtour was seen passing South Liberty lane at 10.28 top n'tailed by 47839 and 47805 (carrying the name Talisman) and formed with former Virgin and Anglian liveried MkIIs with a choc/cream buffet car.
26/03 The First/GW Bristol TM-Weston-super-Mare local service was held in the Bedminster/Parsons street area following the reported discovery by a passer-by of 'a hole' in an occupation bridge near Flax Bourton. Network-Rail carried out a safety check, but already knew of the problem caused by a vehicle knocking masonary trackside some weeks previous. A late afternoon working saw steam 5051 Earl Bathurst pass Nailsea & Backwell station running from the West Somerset Railway to Barton Hill with support coach and later an evening working of interest was the 6C99 St.Blazey-Tidal sidings freight headed by 60055 (believed formed with 66193 on the inside) which was held at Taunton, the relief Barton Hill driver not being signed for Class 60 locos!
Two southbound MGR workings seen today, comprising HAAs, 66046 at 14:00 and 66163 at 23:40, destinations being either Portbury or Westbury or both to one location.
27/03 A GBRf 5Z47 09.30 Derby-Laira and 5Z70 15.00 Laira-Old Oak Common stock-move was cancelled. 57311 worked west light-engine, thought to be for a return Voyager ECS move north.
28/03 66406 + 66408 headed a 5Z86 19.08 (tues) Carlisle-Devonport (arriving close to the booked 12.18) submarine reactor move complete with blue escort coaches 9419 and 9428 through the area unconfirmed as around 05.00. Steam loco 7802 Bradley Manor returned loco and support coach from the West Somerset Railway and worked the 'Severn Valley Rambler' (14.38 Temple Meads-Bridgnorth via the Severn Tunnel) which had arrived as 08.33 Bridgnorth-Bristol TM headed by West Coast Railway's 57601. This was reported to be the Manor's last mainline outing. 66137 worked the evening 6C99 St. Blazey-Cardiff Tidal sidings freight, now reported as MWFO, although today was a Tuesday!
29/03 Following a successful series of west country branch line trips, steam loco 45407 Lancashire Fusilier, ran with support coach 35517 from Laira-Barton Hill arriving during the late afternoon.
30/03 Steam 6024 King Edward I worked 10.27 Tyseley-Didcot, arriving early afternoon, prior to running as 5Z24 13.10 Didcot-Stoke Gifford with 5051 Earl Bathurst. However, the latter move was cancelled. 47840 was back in action for GBRf handling a 5Z66 13.15 Derby-Laira stock move of refurbished HST coaches, departing from the Midlands late at 14.05. Seen at Barton Hill at 09:35 was LMS Black 5 45407, later at 10:10, 66235 worked southbound with a "Civils" service.66219 worked by at 16.15 with an empty MGR headed for Portbury.
31/03 Three railtours that operated during the day were;- Steam 5051 Earl Bathurst + 6024 King Edward I with the Railway Touring Company's 'Royal Duchy' 1Z52 06.00 Birmingham NS-Penzance, having taken over from 47854 + 57601 which had top n'tailed the train as far as Stoke Gifford down sidings (the steam locos having worked 05.58 ex.Didcot with support coach W35333, the two West Coast diesel-locos following the train light-engine); green liveried duo 47815 + 47812 which top n'tailed a 1Z47 05.47 North Walsham-Minehead 'Nenta-Bath & Quantock Hills Explorer' complete with headboard, and return 1Z48 16.50 ex. Minehead (noted near Weston-super-Mare at 18.43) and Kingfisher Tours 'Trafalgar Express', worked outwards by 67020 and returned as 1Z28 13.35 Minehead-Eastleigh, headed by steam (30)850 Lord Nelson with coaching stock; 35518 (support coach), 5278, 5419, 80041(?), 9391, 5239, 5229, 3??? Sovereign, 1659, 3??? (carrying a name?), this train being noted passing Yatton slightly up on time at 16.31, the Class 67 being attached to the rear. The Lord Nelson working took on water at Temple Meads before continuing onwards via Bath. A railtour which was cancelled was a HRT's 'Blue Pullman' working from Temple Meads-Skegness.

Also throughout the month, the VT ECS from Cardiff - Barton Hill has reversed at Bristol Parkway and made its way via Avonmouth to its destination being heard passing through Montpelier station anytime between 21:30 - 22:10.

Gloucester

01/03 FM-Rail liveried, but now Cotswold-Rail owned, 47703 handled a Gloucester-Doncaster stock move with HST coaches 40804. 42286/294, and barriers 6392/393/397.
03/03 66099 with the diverted 6C23 Hayes-East Usk empty gunnells passed through the platform line at Gloucester at speed ( 13.41), followed later just after 15.15 by 66173 on a diverted Portbury-Aberthaw loaded coal. A view of the stabling areas found; Horton Road 'old depot' area; 08936. (47033). 47200 c/stock; 94101. track machine; DR80205. stored DMUs; 153311/313/326. Station sidings; 31128/452. 47703/714. c/stock; 1657. 5669. 9493. 10231. siding near the power signal box and level crossing; 45112. c/stock; 1211. Another visitor during the morning was mainline preserved 40145 working Pathfinder Tours 'Welsh Central Liner II' (1Z47 05.44 Crewe-Llandrindod Wells) with coaching stock;- 5376, 5366, 5292, 5276, 5322, 1863, 21272, 3119, 3097, (3066), 6310. 23 years ago, 40035 worked the 'Central Welsh Liner I' (1Z16) on 03/03/84 which started at 04.40 from Plymouth and featured 50001, Plymouth-Bristol TM (via St. Phillips Marsh), 40035 Bristol TM-Gloucester (via Avonmouth), where 45064 was attached inside for heating purposes! (and removed at Port Talbot), the Central Wales line to Craven's Arms (run-round), then back to Severn Tunnel junction, where 37300 + 37266 top n'tailed the train over the Sudbrook branchline and 40035 + 37266 back to Bristol (via Gloucester) for 50001 to Plymouth. The train's coaching stock used on the day was; W5027, W3767, W35194, W7219, W1948, M4966, W4941, W4849, W4848, W4858.
06/03 47810 headed a Brush Loughborough-Landore HST power car move with 43161.
13/03 For the 2007 Cheltenham Race festival from 13-16/03, Central Trains hired in locos and a stock rake from West Coast Trains to work 09.42 Birmingham-Cheltenham, 11.25 Cheltenham-Worcester, 11.55 Worcester-Cheltenham, 18.54 Cheltenham-Birmingham formed with 5487, 5478, 6000, 6022, 6041, 6103, 5481, 9440 and top n'tailed by 57601 and 47826. The ECS was reversed at Gloucester between workings. Also Virgin XC extended it's Edinburgh-Birmingham service, onwards to Gloucester (as ECS) for an additional 20.30 Gloucester-Birmingham working being worked each day by a MML 'on hire' HST set with power cars 43060 + 43072.
14/03 67021 + 67029 top n'tailed an 'additional' race day special from Euston.
15/03 The VSOE was used, Class 67 hauled on a further additional race day working from London.
16/03 47813 working a 5Z70 14.00 Brush Loughborough-Landore formed with HST power cars 43017 + 43122 with barriers 6336 + 6338 suffered a broken coupling on 43122 near Cheltenham. The train was eventually moved to Lansdown loop, eventually going forward, once repairs having been undertaken three days later.
17/03 Vintage Train's 'The King Circular' was headed by steam 6024 King Edward I as 1Z27 08.38 Solihull-Tyseley (via Didcot, Swindon and Kemble) and for the Six Nations rugby match between England and Wales shuttles operated between Gloucester and Newport with 47812 and 47815 and between Swansea and Cardiff with 50049 + 47805, both trains in a top n'tail formation using Arriva stock.

Portbury Branchline

07/03 The inward 6V53 Washwood Heath-Portbury car empties (but with some Landrovers towards the rear of the train, for export), was recorded passing Cheltenham late at 10.36 behind 66060.
12/03 Coal services to Rugeley finished from this date.
13/03 60092 was a stranger on the branch with an overnight 6B68 Portbury-Aberthaw loaded coal.
14/03 60092 was again noted with 6F60 21.08 Aberthaw-Portbury coal empties.
21/03 66236 was seen stabled in the cripple siding, assumed a failure.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;-
60092. 66024/075/093/150/126/173/235/250.
Locos recorded on the 6X52 16.30 Washwood Heath loaded car service during the month have included;-
01/03 66004. 02/03 66146. 07/03 66060.21/03 66065*. 22/03 66086.
23/03 66216. 29/03 66035.
* The inward working on this date is believed to have consisted of loaded flats carrying Landrovers for export only

Units noted this period included
143603/611/612/617/618/621.
150219/234/265/266.
153329/369.
158745/746/749/750/760/761/762/763/764/765/766/768/769/778/784/786/790.
158798/815/816/817/842/843/844/845/848/849/850/851/855/860/866/867.
158868/869/871/872.
180108.
220001/004/011/013/015/016/018/024/025/026/027/028/033.
221101/104/108/111/115/116/119/120/121/127/128/129/130/132/133/134/140
221141/142.

Newport
13/03 The 20:15 London Paddington - Swansea service was worked by the following: FGW-livery power cars 43155, 43153 MML-livery coaches 44027, 42225, 42227, 42229, 42194, 40749, 41067, 41112

Cardiff Central
16/02 66566 (stabled)
08/03 66616 (stabled)
11/03 66605 (stabled)
13/03 66617 (stabled)
18/03 66619 (stabled)
20/03 66528/616 (stabled)

Wentlooge
16/03 66535

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6M33 16.23 (SX) Avonmouth-Wembley 'enterprise' freight service
01/03 67029. 12/03 67019 + 67022. 14/03 67018 + 67027.
20/03 67026 + 67027. 21/03 67007 + 67019.

Stock Alterations

Locomotives

Transfers
08854(OO)-MG, 66026 - France, 66032 - UK, 66110 - France
NRLO: 31128. 33103. 45112.
NRLS: 31301/415/437/439. 37019/021/255. 47640/707/716/744/767
WBEN: 66031/033/110/209/244/245 WBAI: 66011
WBAM: 66190/221

Stored
08897. 09015/020. 37029/401. 60053/061. 92003/022.
CE: 92003/022. EH: 58009/032/046. IM: 60053/061. LM: 86235/238.
MG: 09015/020. TO: 37401. WA: 08897. WB: 56038/091.
ZH: 37029. 86218/232. Battlefield: 33053.

Traffic
08646/770 -MG, 08802 -BS, 37422 -TO, 60014/018/027/039/048/049/060,
60078/091 -IM, 92026 -CE.

Disposals
HNRL: 37013 cut up @ Kingsbury
EMR: 47053/710/717/726/781. 56029 cut up @ Kingsbury
T Thomson: 08526/635/910/912/942 cut up
R Hull: 47345/803 cut up

For Scrap/Re-sale?
T Thomson: 08506/695/720/792/807/883/894/902/947. 37351/505/520/705. 47197/270/279/292/302/303/309/358/370. EMR: 08947. 37216/372/678/683/803. 47721/722/732/733/734/737/739/741/742/747/749/750/758/773/776/785/789 47791. 56034.
Ron Hull: 47736/759. 86606/615/620.
Sandbach CC: 08926.
Booth: 31420/427.
Private Purchases: 08881/927. 37116/146/518/674/679. 47761/772/787.
Traditional Traction: 08411/441/460/511.
A Goodman: 08414/683/896. 47770. HNRL: 20119. 31423.
West Coast: 47760/786/792. DRS: 47790. Seco: 47635/727.
LH Group: 08913. Colne Valley: 08915. RT Rail: 08955.
Dean Forest: 31466. Bodmin & Wenford DG: 47306.
Brush T4 Fund: 47746. Magnapps Farm: 47793.

Renumbered
43106 - 43306, 43118 - 43318, 43167 - 43367

New Stock
66582/583/584/585/586/587/588/589/590/591/592/593/594 - FD

Diesel Multiple Units

Transfers
170303/305(SA)-XW

Stored
51500 - Serco (Derby)
142001/063 @NH
153311/313/326 @NC

Traffic
158842 -NL, 843/844/845 -HT, 848 -NL, 849/850/851/853/859/860/861 -HT

Reformed
159107 (52801 + 58711 + 57811)

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
377154(BI)-SU

Traffic
365531 -HE

Withdrawn
62405. 70743

Disposals
Booth: 62405(1884), 70743(310058)

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Stored
BS: 94111/150/168/176/192/197/199/213. 94428/518/543. 95763
CS: 9508. 10202/246. 11071/083/084/086/089. 12014/038/043/053/119
KI: 1216/58. 3229. 5773. 5905/41/48/69. 6045. 6101/21/34/51/57/64
LM: 1254. 3366. 5797. 5866. 5906/58. 6046. 9497. 12077
ML: 94214. 94406/498/515/519. SL: 9502.
ZG: 5746/52/76/84/94/96. 5847. ZI: 44100
Mossend: 94137/191. 94401/412/514/530/534/541

Traffic
1021/217. 11027/048/064/079. 12011/054/078/122/133/138. 82101/126 -WB
40903/904. 41045/059/163/166. 42092/093/094/105/108/175/176/177.
44076/081 -LA

Withdrawn
10205. 80429. 94325. 975.422/491/723. 977.978/980

Disposals

Booth: 975422/491/723. 977978/980
Thomson: 94325
West Somerset: 10205 Colne Valley: 80429 Dartmoor: 977.335

Renumbered
99405 - 35486

Codes
DFIN Freightliner Class 66 Intermodal - Low Emission
MRLO Mainline Rail Operational Locos 31454/468/601
MRLS Mainline Rail Stored Locos 56011/021/022
NRCO Nemisis Rail Operational Coaches
NRCS Nemisis Rail Stored Coaches 5226. 6356/57. 17144/170
QETS Network Rail Stored Locos 86424
QTRC Network Rail DVT vehicles 9702/03/08/14
VWLO Victa Westlink Operational Locos

FREIGHT REVIEW (By Pete Merry)

Hello once more, and here I go again with another review of the freight scene. Well, what can I say about the remarkable weather being experienced at this moment in time - so good in fact that I added an extra day to my Easter holiday - Thursday 5th April - to spend just over eight hours at Nuneaton (getting a "tan" in the process) and having a very busy day indeed. More of that later. On to some changes to the wagon scene and some more new vehicles being noted on services through my local area. A lot of the BDA vehicles (950xxx series) are now finding their way into Internal Use. Recent examples to follow this route have been: 950150/ 172/ 184/ 235/ 265/ 306/ 314/ 351/ 372/ 397/ 480/ 562/ 943/ 072 all into Lackenby, and 950422/ 539/ 542/ 578/ 656/ 721/ 722/ 725/ 740/ 752/ 753/ 764 to CELSA Cardiff. Also to the latter site for internal use are four-wheel box-body scrap wagons 4578, 5214, 5215 and 5219. With the introduction of the EWS bogie tanks in the 870xxx series a lot of the old bogie vehicles in the 782xx and 859xx series are being placed in store at Long Marston. Speaking of which, the return Colnbrook--Lindsay service was noted passing through Leicester on the evening of 2nd April hauled by 60066 with 870272/ 282/ 286/ 308/ 310 in the consist. Some "new" vehicles in the 395xxx series have been noted around the system. Apparently they are conversions from the old 'Limpet' 390xxx/393xxx series vehicles. They appear to be random numbers. Known so far (old numbers in brackets): 395277 (390176), 395324 (390245), 395329 (390254), 395337 (390266), 395343 (390273), 395346 (390279), 395382 (393012), 395383 (393013), 395386 (393016). This probably explains the sighting I had at Leamington at the back end of 2006 of a complete train of these vehicles heading north. All the HAA family vehicles at Exeter Riverside appear to have been scrapped -- with more to follow. Some of the CWR vehicles in the 979xxx series have been renumbered to continental series. Vehicles concerned are: 979018/019/020/021/022/023/024/025/026/027/030/032/034/035/071/072/074/075/404/429. Vehicles are renumbered 81.70.4842.001--020 respectively. Some vehicles to be lucky and enter preservation are 'Catfish' 983444/ 458/ 464/ 661/ 700 at Kirkby Stephen and 'Dogfish' 992714 to the Great Central Railway. Not so lucky 'Shark' brake van 993907 was cut up at York. Whilst on the subject of scrapping vehicles most of the TIPH30xxx scrap carriers have recently met their fate! The conversions of the 'Coalfish' vehicles continue apace. Recently noted in Humberstone Road at Leicester were 396104 (ex356923), 396129 (356523), 396138 (358902), 396139 (356108), 396140 (352562) and 396142 (356663). All of these examples had their former identity chalked onto the solebar! Now on to my sightings and the day at Nuneaton on 5th April. In the period I was there (09.45--1825) I noted 35 freight workings, plus a couple of track machine movements. Remarkably there was a period of just over one hour in the afternoon when nothing moved on the West Coast due to "overhead line problems at Lichfield". One of the track machines noted was 2006-built 77002 owned by First Swietelsky, the other being Carillion Rail-owned 72207 being hauled by 60062. This loco returned later with the following engineers' service: 982597, 980100, 982541, 980114, 982451, 980041, 982784, 996932, 996282, 996927, 460935, 210322, 461088, 110156, 110163, 110221, 200739, 200362, 110630, 2008970, 210105, 200734, 200829, 200760, 110200, 200504, 200291, 110317, 460073, 110181. A mixed bag if ever there was one. Four rakes of the Network Rail NLU29xxx vehicles were noted, along with the Croft--Neasden Freightliner Heavy Hail service hauled by 66617. Vehicles being: 369086/078/076/100/099/096/092/098/089/093/097/088/075/087/102/014. (This train was noted passing my local station at Narborough whilst I was waiting for the train to Nuneaton.) Three W. H. Malcolm services were noted in the charge of 66404, 66407 and 66414. Also seen was new Freightliner class 66 66624 on a rake of Heavy Haul boxes, viz: 502009/ 010/ 025/ 026/ 044/ 043/ 041/042/006/005/008/007/039/040/050/049/059/060/055/056. Throw into the list the Royal Train in the charge of 67005 and 67006 and a charter top 'n' tailed by West Coast Railways locos 57601 and 47245. The services noted are quite a mixed bag. A lot are Freightliner services, but along with the four Network Rail services and the engineers' service, there was an empty steel, the RMC roadstone hauled by 60082 including ex-Rugby Cement vehicles 10027 and 10033 in the consist, about a dozen enterprise services, a couple of empty rakes of MEAs, a train of bogie fuel tanks and a Redland self-discharge service. But, interestingly no coal to or from Daw Mill Colliery -- at least four of these trains are normally seen on a weekday. I've mentioned locations to view freight several times in the past write-ups, but at present Nuneaton on a Thursday takes some beating. I left at 18.25, but normally that is the time I arrive on my Monday evening three-hour stints in which I log around fourteen freights. So given that, a period of 09.45--21.00 would log nigh-on 50 freights! Just to round off on a personal note, two of the new Freightliner class 66s, 66584 and 66586 have both been noted by me at Leicester in the last week, 10th and 12th April!! See you next month.

Industrial & Preservation Matters

West Country branch and mainline.
Pastime Rail organised a series of branch line specials towards the end of March, using LMS '5' 45407 Lancashire Fusilier (from the East Lancs Railway) with an all, but one, maroon coaching stock formation; 4949, 5008, 1813, 4998, 4986 (green), 35469, 35317 (loco support coach). 37406 + 37410 moved the ECS west as 5Z37 10.07 Old Oak Common-St. Blazey on 23/03, 45407 having arrived on 22/03 as 5Z07 06.28 Castleton (ELR)-St. Blazey loco and support coach (via Hereford and the Marches). The first workings took place on Sunday 25/03 with 37410 leading the 1Z51 10.34 Par-Truro then 1Z52 11.10 Truro-Falmouth (The Falmouth Packet), with 45407 leading the 1Z53 10.34 return off Falmouth docks. The train was again led by the Class 37 as 1Z54 11.10 Truro-Penzance (The West Briton), where the steam loco was watered in one of the 'outer' bay platforms. The 1Z55 14.37 to St.Ives (The St.Ives Steamer) was lead by 45407 (with 37410 on the rear) becoming the first steam working over this line since the 1960s. The 1Z56 15.08 return was 37410 hauled, with 45407 on the rear, later departing on 1Z57 16.15 Penzance-Par. On Monday 26/03, the 5Z20 11.05 St. Blazey-Plymouth ECS was 45407 hauled, with the steamer working the return 1Z20 13.42 Plymouth-St.Blazey signal box (The Harbour Master), where a reverse took place for the Class 37 to lead the train in front of the St. Blazey turntable and former roundhouse and over the short Par Harbour freight-only line to the Network Rail/Harbour boundary. Following the 1Z22 15.10 return from Par Harbour, led by 45407, the steam loco then headed the 1Z23 16.00 Par-Newquay (The Atlantic Coast Flyer) without the Class 37, but the diesel was required after a slip near Pontsmill, to assist from the rear. 37410 returned the 1Z24 as 18.15 Newquay-Plymouth, with 45407 on the back. Tuesday 27/03 saw ECS workings off Tavistock yard, with 37410 leading the 1Z21 08.10 Plymouth-Bere Alston (Tamar Belle) and 45407 heading the 1Z22 09.10 return, this being another line not to have seen a steam working since the 1960s. Returning to Plymouth Friary, the second trip of the day over this line saw the steam loco lead running as 1Z24 15.00 Plymouth-Bere Alston and 37410 hauled return (1Z25 15.40 to Plymouth, via Plymouth Friary). Wednesday 28/03 saw two freight lines covered in Cornwall both with steam leading on the outer (and using 37406 inplace of 37410 as the other loco), 1Z21 09.31 Plymouth-Fowey docks (The Fowey Pony) and 1Z22 11.10 return and 1Z23 12.28 Plymouth-Parkindillack (The China Clay Pony) and 1Z24 14.35 return. During the final day, Thursday 29/03, the last workings were 1Z21 09.05 Plymouth-Buckfastleigh (The South Hams Pony) and 1Z22 13.28 return to Plymouth, the two Class 37s returning the train from Exeter-Plymouth.

Other observations in Cornwall during the week included;-
25/03 Penzance stn; HST 43098. DMU sets; 150233/236/238/248/261. 153329.
Long Rock C.S.; 08410. 57602. DMU sets; 221120/123/127. c/stock; 10225/232/532/584. 10590/594/601/612. 12100. 17174/175. Hayle Station; C/Stock; MkI; (25355) camping coach.

27/03 C.Groves, Bere Ferrers station; steam
Hilda) P1963/38 (in non working order), but being moved around complete with a Thomas face! Diesel; HE3133/44 (in use-assumed). HE2642/41. HE3395/46. C/stock; Mk I; (1815). Ex.LNER; (1459/12735/DE320966). (3107/86072/DE320759). (3132/12466/DE320894). Ex.LMS; six-wheel bogie sleeper; (379/DB975182). Note; one former LNER coach was in passenger use.

28/03 Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Bodmin Parkway station
Trackwork on the storage sidings was noted being undertaken, with 08444 in attendance on a works train containing an overhauled DB975033. Most of the stock had been moved into the mainline station loop to make way for the work,a new stock shed is expected to form part of the finished site. Diesels; JF 400001/45 (sheeted over). RH 443642/60. Fireless loco; 3121/57. C/stock; Mk I; (1873). Ex. GWR; (2434/DW150038) assumed. (5131/DW150246). siphon g; (W2994/DB975843/W1498). internal user; 4w van (064754) assumed.

Thingley Junction, near Chippenham (17/03/07) R.W.Giles
C/stock; (18809), (18706) both fire damaged. 18958 (part burnt). 18968 (NSE livery). wagon;
78000 (white bogie tank) belonging to the Bristol Industrial Museum.

Bristol Harbour Railway (23/03/07) R.W.Giles
Following the final opening day at the Industrial Museum on 29/10/06, both steam locos (No34 Portbury AE1764/17 and Henbury P1940/37) with the RH diesel (418792/59) were out on the quayside undergoing maintenance ready to work again at Easter. The railway has scaled down it's 2007 operating days whilst the museum under goes a refurbishment due for completion during the Summer of 2009. Although not visible from the outside, already extensive internal work has taken place inside the museum, including the removal of some exhibits into safe store including a Concorde nose section moved out via the higher storey windows by a crane on 28/03. Once reopened the Museum has projected an increase in visitor numbers from 120,000 to 250,000 a year.

Departmentals & Track Machines

24/03 South Liberty Lane
r/r dumper; 2858. excavator; 3739.
09/03 Westbound M5 (near Clevedon)
r/r excavator; BCL375 (on road low-loader).
17/03 Marsh junction (view)
DR76313/318.
21/03 Nr. Weston-super-Mare (in up direction at 10.20)
DR74506 + DR74507.

 

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