NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

11/10 A rare (and possibly a first?) visit for the NRMT HST to Avonmouth took place when the set, with power cars 43062 + 43013 worked a 1Z24 13.05 Swindon-Old Oak Common working via Hallen Marsh. The booked reversing time here being 15.35-15.42, the train (running out and back via the Henbury freight-only line) was actually recorded passing Henbury at 15.20 and on the return Hallen village at 15.41. The HST, which had also visited Westbury en-route via Melksham was covering passenger diversionary routes to address gauging issues. The Class 950 departmental DMU set normally covers these lines. Later in the afternoon, 66019 departed from the bulk handling terminal at 16.05 on a single wagon 6M33 freight to Wembley. 19/10 At 08.03, 08405 + 66007 + 67006 departed the Chittening estate all together light-engine following the shunting of the inward 6V53 'enterprise' freight from Wembley. 25/10 As reported in last Month's Magazine, Freightliner Heavy-Haul operated their first coal workings from the port as 6Z83 03.00 Avonmouth West wharf-Rugeley power station (running in place of the same working 'booked' from Portbury). The train's continued until 27/10 and were assumed to be a trial, due to the early running, no loco numbers have been reported! It is also understood the same company are to operate an imported stone service from here to Theale, possibly in place of using Neath. 29/10 66221 + 66056 arrived on a short rake of empty HTA coal wagons, mid morning.

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66004/021/017/065/080/109/119/124. 66169/227. 08405 has continued as the area shunting pilot.

Track removal work in the former Commonwealth Smelting/Britannia Zinc sidings (reported in last month's Magazine) was completed by 04/10. By the end of the month, land levelling had taken place with foundations being laid for new roads and industrial factory units.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

01/10 The 6Z25 Tytherington stone trip to Allington was cancelled. 02/10 A late running 6V41 Irvine-Burngullow train of slurry tanks with 66129 was noted passing Parkway at 07.42, then Yatton at 11.17! Later 59201 passed Yate at 11.28 with the 6Z25 loaded stone for Allington. Work commenced early in the month on demolishing the former Royal Mail railnet platform, the site having been purchased by Network Rail. The siding is to be retained and form part of the new staff training facility. Royal Mail last used the warehouse during the Christmas 2006 period as additional sorting space for the nearby main West of England sorting depot at Filton. 04/10 60082 worked the 4B24 Didcot-Wentlooge MoD trip and 66126 passed Pilning at 10.10 with the 6C03 Newport ADJ-Swindon loaded steel, numbering 18 wagons. This service is now reported as a SX operation, similar to that of the 6C01 Bristol East steel. 05/10 The Tytherington stone was again caped. A late running 6A11 Robeston-Theale loaded fuel tanks passed during the early afternoon with 60048. At 10.43, 66724 passed through platform 4 on a St. Phillips Marsh-Derby HST stock move. 06/10 For the France v New Zealand rugby international at the Cardiff Millenium Stadium, an additional 1Z21 14.10 Victoria-Cardiff Northern Belle was top n'tailed by 67017 and 67014. The 6Z28 Pengam-Theale loaded stone was recorded passing Pilning during the late afternoon behind 66555, which returned as the 6Z29 empties to Pengam. 10/10 60018 was over at Westerleigh with the 6E41 fuel tank empties for Lindsey. Remains of what might have been a serious incident was observed at Pilning with the middle of the B4055 Easter Compton road rail over bridge coned off (on the Severn Tunnel side) with traffic-lights and a large amount of masonry missing following what was assumed a road vehicle collision? 11/10 A guards van and two wagons were noted being loaded onto road vehicle trailers in the Stoke Gifford downside sidings area during the afternoon. 13/10 The Swindon steel was reported as a runner with an unidentified loco, this being a Saturday. Later preserved Peak 45112 passed Filton Abbey Wood at 14.51 running 0Z45 14.10 Gloucester Horton Road-Yeovil light-engine. 15/10 60100 worked the 4B24 Didcot-Wentlooge MoD service. Best night so far this month, 4 mgr services seen, starting with 66091 with empties which was stabled with loco running from arrival to departure time. Moving were 66157 with a loaded service from Portbury, and in the reverse direction 66021 with empties, finally 66080 empties bound for Avonmouth. 17/10 Observations at Pilning recorded; 66034 on 6C01 Newport ADJ-Bristol East depot loaded steel (10.15), 66166 with the 6C03 Newport ADJ-Swindon steel (11.15) and 60100 in Pilning loop at 13.00 again heading the 4B24 Didcot-Wentlooge MoD. 18/10 60026 passed Parkway at 11.13 with the 6C03 Swindon steel, believed to be the first Class member to work this recently introduced freight service. 19/10 66541 passed Parkway at 10.44 with the 4O51 loaded containers from Wentlooge-Millbrook, 60066 worked the 6E41 Westerleigh-Lindsey empty tanks and 60059 was allocated 0A11 Margam-Theale light-engine, for the return 6B33 fuel empties. 20/10 47703 departed Parkway at 13.25 on a Laira bound stock move formed; 6330 (barrier), 41107, 41127, 41128, 42197, 42060, 42021, 44020, 5740 (barrier). Noted at Patchway during the day was; 66530 on the morning 6Z28 Pengam-Theale loaded stone (which runs via Filton, Day's curve and Bath), 59205 on the 6B83 loaded stone from Machen to Westbury and 60059 on the 6B33 Theale-Robeston empty fuel tanks (the latter two passing the station just before 15.00). 21/10 DRS 37606 + 37605 top n' tailed a 4Q10 12.10 Derby-Kingsland Road three coach test working, passing near Westerleigh junction to time at 16.06. The train later continued as 21.50 Kingsland Road-Exeter. 23/10 A late running 4V50 Millbrook-Wentlooge containers passed Parkway at 11.00 behind 66543. 66001 worked the 6C03 Newport ADJ-Swindon loaded steel service. 25/10 Three MGRs to report this evening, 66201 working a loaded service from Avonmouth to Didcot and 66094 with empties in the reverse direction, plus 66150 with empties for Portbury. In between these workings 66518 headed light engine eastbound and the MoD Liner passed through behind 66237. 27/10 Pastime Rail's 'Welsh Refiner' (1Z52 07.33 Paddington-Milford Haven and 1Z53 15.50 return) was worked throughout by the mainline preserved D1015 Western Champion, actually carrying D1016 Western Gladiator name and number plates!! This was the second West Wales visit for the preserved Class 52, having travelled to Fishguard with a railtour on 24/09/05. The train was on time at Parkway 09.44-09.46 being recorded passing Patchway at 09.48. Not long after the Western passed, 66530 was noted with the 6Z28 Pengam-Theale loaded stone at 10.00. 29/10 60045 was on the 6E41 Westerleigh-Lindsey fuel tank empties. 31/10 Afternoon observations at Parkway saw, departmental test DMU 901001 (977391+ 977392) pass on 2Z06 05.50 Crewe-Exeter St. Davids (later working 21.50 to Barnstaple) and a 5Z46 Brush Loughborough-Laira power car working formed 47828 + 6338 (barrier) + 43092. The latter move was initially thought to be destined for Landore via the Severn Tunnel with a booked 15.27 Pilning passing time!

Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill

01/10 DRS 37607 ran 0Z37 15.30 Worcester Shrub Hill-Taunton light-engine, being noted stabled in platform 1 in Taunton at 21.40. The first refurbished First/GW Class 158 set, 158761 was released from Wabtac Doncaster returning through the area as 5V14 to Exeter. The overhaul of a second set, 158762 is also underway at the same location. The unit carries the dark blue 'local line First' livery, similar to that already applied to 150244 and 150249, with numerous West Country locations listed on the bodyside in varying size print! Internally with new lighting, the coaches are brighter lit and carry a new lilac and blue colour scheme with new tables and reupholstered seats fitted with grab handles. There are also new toilets and litterbins. Interior panels have been re-sprayed or replaced and the floor has new covering. 02/10 37607 headed north on a return route-learning trip as 0Z37 10.00 Taunton-Derby RTC, passing Bridgwater at 10.12. Also during the day; 60035 worked the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADJ engineers via Day's curve, 60030 was on the 7C79 Parc Slip-Westbury cement works coal and later 66549 appeared on the 6Z39 13.33 Neath-Newton Abbot loaded stone, having departed Neath at 11.00! 03/10 60100 was on the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADj departmental, whilst 66724 ran 0Z74 12.30 Willesden-Bristol TM, later working a 5Z90 18.10 Laira-Old Oak Common stock move. Some diverted services from the Westbury-Cogload junction mainline were recorded;- 66157 on 6W64 Westbury-Lostwithiel ballast, 66175 on 6C51 11.46 Westbury-Meldon stone empties and 66614 on 6A73 Westbury-Taunton Fairwaters engineers the latter two running during the afternoon. A 4V11 Peterborough-Taunton Fairwaters concrete sleeper train was also booked to run this way, via Bath over night 03/10 and 04/10. 04/10 60035 was on the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADJ departmental and 60083 powered an additional 6C80 Machen to Westbury loaded stone. Further diversions via Bristol during the day included 59204 on 7C28 Exeter (Riverside)-Westbury stone empties formed of 14 empty JNA wagons during the early afternoon. 33103 was seen near Bath during the afternoon heading in the up direction on an unidentified train of empty container flats. Also during the late afternoon, 66620 worked through the area on the 6Z60 10.51 Neasden-Newton Abbot sand empties, having run via Bristol Parkway. 05/10 33103 was back in Bristol stabled on the former Bath road depot stub near platform 15, the loco later running as 15.30 light-engine to Derby. More diverted trains via Bristol, noted passing Flax Bourton included; 66603 on 6A72 09.09 Taunton Fairwater-Westbury engineers (09.10) and 66142 + 66201 top n' tailing an up short empty ballast train, assumed destined for Westbury (10.05). Earlier, 66197 had departed light-engine at 06.15 from Westbury to Tiverton to rescue a failed 60083 on a 6W66 ballast working. Another working recorded passing Flax Bourton at 09.35 was 66724 on a 5C90 Laira-St. Phillips Marsh stock move. The train which had been originally 'booked' to Old Oak Common, was formed 41123, 41124, 42255, 42263, 42256, 42257, 44029, 42356, one of the first class coaches either 41123 or 41124 and 42356 being added at St. Phillips Marsh, going forward as 10.34 to Derby. Diversions had finished by the early afternoon, as the 6V62 Fawley-Tavistock junction fuel tanks with 66143 took its normal route via Castle Cary. 09/10 60100 was again on the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADJ engineers, departing Westbury at 11.20 (65 minutes late) formed of 9 empty bogie flats and 15 open wagons. Cotswold 47828 worked a 5Z77 12.25 Cardiff-Laira barrier coach move with 6348, now in 'First blue' livery (leaving 18 minutes early). 10/10 66002 was noted at Temple Meads at 17.50 with the 6C89 MWFO Newport ADJ-St. Blazey 'enterprise' formed with two bogie VTG wagons and six empty SSA scrap wagons. Earlier, 37688 + 20311 had passed through the area on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks. 11/10 66094 was on a further Thursday additional 6C80 Machen stone working and 66122 worked the 7C79 Westbury cement works coal. 12/10 66724 worked a 5Z92 10.00 Derby-Laira stock move during the early afternoon formed with HST coaches; 41011, 41012, 42015, 42005, 42016, 42361, 44005 (set LA05) with 'extra' buffets 40707 and 40715. 13/10 Kingfisher Tour's 'Welsh Mountain Express' (1Z33 06.38 Eastleigh-Temple Meads/1Z34 09.32 Temple Meads-Shrewsbury, both ways via the Severn Tunnel), saw steam 6201 Princess Elizabeth taking over for the out and back run to Shrewsbury, the return being reported back in Bristol close to the booked 19.47 time. 14/10 The additional Pastime Rail 'Torbay Express' was redated to 21/10, but was again cancelled due to the non-availability of steam loco 6024 King Edward I still out of service. 15/10 57604 was reported on the 1C99 overnight Paddington-Penzance First/GW sleeper service. GBRf 66725 arrived around 18.00 on the up through canopy road loop with a 5Z42 Wembley-Temple Meads stock move formed 11054, 12054, 82131. The coaches were destined for Long Marston. Also during the day, 47703 hauled HST power car 43172 north as a St. Phillips Marsh-Brush Loughborough move. 16/10 66725 ran 0F77 08.30 Temple Meads-Laira light-engine, returning a 5Z90 Laira-Derby HST stock move with coaches 41021, 41022, 42030, 42010, 42031, 42032, 44010 (LA10) during the early afternoon. 17/10 47703 worked a further HST power car move with 43170, from St. Phillips Marsh-Derby. 66725 again passed through the area on a 5Z91 10.00 Derby-Laira HST stock move formed 6338 (barrier), 41005, 41006, 42069, 42070, 42071, 42118, 44023 (LA23), 9481 (barrier), being recorded near Yatton at 14.38. 18/10 66725 moved the coaches from the canopy road siding (which had arrived three days earlier) as 5Z44 09.32 Temple Meads-Long Marston, leaving around 30 minutes early. The loco then ran 0F74 15.30 Long Marston-Bristol, prior to continuing on to Laira (due 20.50) and featuring at the weekend Dartmoor Rail diesel gala at Okehampton. 66555 was diverted via the Berks & Hants with the 6Z60 10.51 Neasden-Newton Abbot Hackney yard sand empties. At 18.21, 66001 passed on the up through with the 6X52 loaded cars for Washwood Heath, including vans at the rear of the train. A broken rail east of Reading caused some late running problems for First/GW during part of the day. 19/10 To cover for a weekday engineering occupation on the Cornish mainline at Pinnock viaduct, 67012 and Royal 67006 top n'tailed, a 5Z56 11.13 Barton Hill-Penzance ECS move, leaving during the early afternoon, the locos and stock eventually seeing use between St. Austell and Penzance. The Royal loco had arrived in Bristol at Avonmouth, via the 6V53 morning 'enterprise' freight service from Wembley. The newly liveried First/GW 158761 worked the 08.25 Southampton-Cardiff and return 12.00 Cardiff-Brighton services and later 66725 arrived in Temple Meads on a Laira bound stock move from Ilford (formed 41127, 41128, 42060, 42061, 42197, 44020) going onwards to Plymouth the following day. 21/10 Top 'n' Tail departmental service comprising of the large hopper wagons headed south at 11:15, only 66603 at the rear of the train was identified. 22/10 66725 headed a 11.30 Laira-Derby HST stock move during the early afternoon formed with LA39, 41143, 41144, 42295, 42350, 42296, 42297, 44039, with an extra 41107. 66134 seen at 15:10 heading for Westbury with a coal train. 23/10 66725 continued on stock move duties passing Lawrence Hill at 14.25 (booked Temple Meads 13.46-13.55) with 5Z91 10.00 Derby-Laira, and refurbished HST set LA33, 41131, 41132, 42271, 42073, 42272, 42273, 44033. Not long after, 47703 headed north hauling HST power car 43025 on a St. Phillips Marsh-Brush Loughborough 'repair' move, 43025 already having received a new MTU engine. 24/10 67015 arrived around 40 minutes early to the normal arrival time on a VSOE working from London. 25/10 47703 handled a further St. Phillips Marsh-Brush move with power cars 43092 + 43097 + 43137. 26/10 Split Freightliner/Shanks liveried 66522 was noted stabled in Kingsland Road. Southbound departmental service seen at 17:40 double headed with 66165 & 66227. 27/10 A EWS 1Z67 09.30 Hemel Hempstead-Bath VSOE was headed by 67012, running 5Z68 13.25 ECS to Bristol (noted passing Twerton, near Bath at 13.28). The return was 1Z76 18.02 Bath-Hemel Hempstead. 29/10 31452 passed Uphill junction (near Weston-super-Mare) at 16.19 on a 5Z31 Meldon Quarry-Yeovil junction stock move formed with both 'Inter-City' and 'First/GW' liveried coaches. 66725 worked from Temple Meads-Laira light-engine, prior to a 5Z91 Laira-Derby stock move. A return move was reported to have taken place, although full details were unconfirmed. 30/10 66725 was again on a further 5Z91 11.30 Temple Meads-Laira, the loco then assisting 66012 failed on a 6W43 Goodrington-Westbury engineers in the Paignton area! Newly liveried 158761 was again on the 12.00 Cardiff-Brighton and return 16.57 Brighton-Cardiff whilst 31459 + 31190 top n' tailed a 4Z08 06.09 Barton Hill-Barton Hill test working, via Worcester. The First/GW unit working the 15.30 Taunton-Cheltenham local service received cab damage due to vandals throwing an object from an occupation bridge at the train in the Long Ashton area around 16.30. Around 20,000 of damage was caused to the area around the corridor connection, the unit involved being 158865. BT police are investigating and a 2000 reward has been offered for information concerning the incident. On the freight side, the 6V41 Irvine-Burngullow china clay slurry tanks were diverted off area running via Didcot and Westbury (noted here at 09.44) behind 66200. The Barton Hill water cannon train was due to arrive in Bristol during the latter part of the month with two Class 67 locos, the overnight diagram (dep Barton Hill at 18.51) being similar to that of last year taking in Westbury, Reading, Westbury, Castle Cary, Yeovil junction, Castle Cary, Westbury, Bath and Filton.

Gloucester

01/10 37410 + 37417 returned an 09.26 Worcester-Old Oak Common ECS via Kemble. Cotswold-Rail 47813 ran 0Z47 Gloucester-Doncaster light-engine during the morning. 02/10 31601 hauled refurbished HST power cars 43087 (formerly in the special 'Hornby' red model livery) + 43142 from Brush Loughborough-Landore. Most of these power car moves now tend to be routed via Chepstow as opposed to Bristol Parkway. 05/10 47828 hauled power car 43031 as a Brush-Landore move. 11/10 Cotswold 47828 ran light from Gloucester to Standish junction during the early afternoon to rescue a failed EWS 60075 with the 6E41 Westerleigh-Lindsey empty fuel tankers. 26/10 47703 hauled HST power car 43005 and a barrier coach as 5Z86 Brush-Landore. 57312 arrived at Gloucester on an 0Z57 light-engine run from Birmingham NS,again returning north light. 31/10 37261 + 37194 were noted at Sharpness at 08.00 running round a single FNA flask wagon on the 6V73 (WO) trip from Crewe. Later, 66005 passed Thrupp near Stroud at 13.33 on 6B36 Ashchurch-Didcot MoD, which conveyed a number of army Landrovers at the rear. The loco had powered a single wagon 6A32 Didcot-Ashchurch working earlier in the day.

Portbury Branchline

02/10 A FLHH 66 was waiting at the dock gate to leave on a late running coal departure at 12.30. 03/10 As noted on the previous day, Freightliner suffered a number of late running coal departures during this week. 04/10 66520 departed at 10.55 on what was assumed to be the 6Z83 08.31 departure to Rugeley. 05/10 The day's coal departures were;- 66528, 6Z82 07.00 to Rugeley (Pill 08.31) and 66565 on the 6Z83 08.31 to Rugeley. 30/10 66506 was reported to have worked the second morning coal departure (6Z83) for Rugeley.

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66080/084/210/250. 66506/520/528/565.

Units noted this period included 143612/617/619/620. 150221/261. 153372. 158747/749/750/751/760/761/763/764/765/766/767/768/771/776/778/816/864 158865/870/871/872. 220001/002/004/006/008/009/011/012/013/015/016/018/019/020/023/024/025 220026/031/032/033. 221101/103/104/105/106/107/108/109/111/112/116/117/119/121/122/123/124 221125/129/130/132/133/134/135/136/138/142/143/144. Many of the above are now de-named, de-branded and de-badged, ready for operating under the Arriva name

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge. 01/10 66592. 02/10 66590. 03/10 66539. 05/10 66573. 08/10 66541. 09/10 66593. 10/10 66541. 11/10 66589. 12/10 66593. 15/10 66575. 16/10 66542. 17/10 66575. 19/10 66541. 22/10 66591. 23/10 66543. 29/10 66592. 30/10 66590.

4V60 Calvert-Bath/Bristol BinLiner 04/10 66518. 10/10 66560. 25/10 66530.

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6C01/6C02 Newport ADJ-Bristol East depot steel 02/10 66117. 03/10 60044. 08/10 66148. 11/10 66075. 12/10 60035. 17/10 66034. 19/10 66132. 26/10 66091. 29/10 66047.

6M33 16.23 (SX) Avonmouth-Wembley 'enterprise' freight service 10/10 66019. 11/10 66019. 18/10 66224.

6B13/6B47 Robeston - Westerleigh 02/10 60059. 05/10 60030. 10/10 60009. 19/10 60035. 20/10 60035. 26/10 60059. 29/10 60035. 31/10 60035.

6B33 Theale-Robeston empty fuel tanks 03/10 60068. 04/10 60068. 05/10 60074. 06/10 60059. 11/10 60038. 13/10 60068. 18/10 60053. 20/10 60059. 25/10 60026.

6B83 Machen-Westbury loaded stone (T,SO) 02/10 59204. 06/10 59001. 09/10 66197. 13/10 66175. 16/10 59102. 19/10 66094. 20/10 59205. 27/10 59204. 30/10 59205.

6X52 Portbury - Washwood Heath 02/10 66158. 04/10 66158. 08/10 66051. 11/10 66210. 12/10 66182. 15/10 66189. 16/10 66001. 18/10 66001.

STOCK ALTERATIONS

Locomotives

Transfers 31452(GL)-BH, 37604(NP)-KM, 66022 -France, 66073 -UK, 66205/229/231/239 -France TTLS Traditional Traction WA - Wishaw 08411/441/460/511/683/881/894/915/927. 20035/063/137/139/228 QSTR Network Rail Stored Locos 31107. 86424 QETS Network Rail 37100/170/178/217 WNXX 37042/046/058/077/196/203/221/238/250/293/377/402/416/418/421, 37427/503/516/517/521/668/669/670/671/675/684/685/689/692/693, 37695/696/698/701/706/707/709/712/717/719/796/798/886/890/891, 37892/893/894/895/896. 56006/056/062/070/072/088/107/114/119.

Stored 92017 BH: 47488. CE: 92017. LH: 86218/232. TO: 60040. Allelys: 73104.

Traffic 08502 -BH (HT On Hire), 08503/695. 20166/197 -BH, 37411/425 -TO, 47727/749 -TJ, 47773 -TM (Not PM), 60010/023/046/051/058/071/093/094. 67030 -TO, 86233 -OY, 92007 -CE. (TJ = Tavistock Junction)

Disposals Ron Hull: 47736/783/784 Wensleydale: 47309 Weardale: 56022

Renumbered 43113 - 43313

Diesel Multiple Units

Transfers 142001/064(NH)-EX 150219/221/232/233/234/238/239/243/244/246/247/248/249/261/263/265/266 (PM)-EX 153305/318/329/368/369/370/372/373/377/380/382(PM)-EX 156403(CK)-TS

Traffic 51432/498 -HQ

Formations 158793(52793 + 52908) 170101 + 117 revert to correct formation

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers 321408/428(EM)-BY

Stored 390033 -LM

Traffic Cars 71205 + 78037 (312792) -HQ

Disposals Booth: Cars 62091. 70751 (310066), 76130(310046), 76130(310074)

New Stock 395001 -AD (Hitachi Ashford)

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Transfers 10237. 11019/028/030/044/046/054 -OY

Stored HT: 10213. LM: 11064. 12054. 82131. ZB: 42130/322. Serco(Derby): 977859.

Traffic 1213 -HQ, 1691 -CP, 3353/54/87. 3402/11/25 -HQ, 5029 -NY, 5290 -HQ, 5920. 6002/65. 6165/81. 9492. 9501 -HQ, 41190/191/192 - EC.

Disposals JT Land: 5773/824/27/45/52/918/51. 6047/100/44/45/57/61/67/800/04. Weardale: 5226.

Renumbered 42088 - 41190, 42318 - 41191, 42290 - 41192 11045 - 41201, 11017 - 41202, 11038 - 41203, 11023 - 41204, 11036 - 41205, 11055 - 41206, 12149 - 42401, 12155 - 42402, 12033 - 42403, 12152 - 42404, 12136 - 42405, 12112 - 42406, 12044 - 42407, 12121 - 42408, 12088 - 42409 (All subject to confirmation)

FREIGHT REVIEW (By Pete Merry)

Freight Review Here we are in November already after a very quick-passing year -- doesn't seem long since I was wishing you all a good year for 2007! Well, what's been happening in the past month. Around the Leicester area we have been subject to strikes by Midland Mainline on the past three Thursdays which has meant only five trains either way to and from London. On Thursday 8th this resulted in a few freight services being diverted on to the Midland Mainline, presumably for easier pathing. One such service was the Bletchley-Peak Forest RMC service which passed through northbound, at 13.15, behind 60083. In the consist were eleven of the new Cemax bogie aggregate hoppers. As the train was passing me at work, and at speed, only a couple were identified - 320047 and 320051. The two cement tanks were on the rear of the train. I have received news of a proposed new freight service to and from Portsmouth (the terminal being on the site of the old Fratton Freight Depot). It is believed the commodities will be oil and bananas! It is due for starting in late November/early December. It appears that the VAA four wheel van is now defunct as a type on the system as all have been withdrawn or converted to other types. There may still be one or two in internal use. An unusual sight in Humberstone Road on 29th October was the Mountsorrel-Westbury aggregate service in the charge of 60082, this service has always been noted in the charge of a class 66. The usual haunts of Rugby and Nuneaton have been visited recently. As always Nuneaton was the busier of the two locations. However, both provide quite a bit of variety. Some highlights now. On 15th October at Rugby the northbound Enterprise was quite a large consist behind 92022, it being: 33.80.2797.627/618/660/622/633/631/623/605, 966027/020, 33.87.7899.055, 21.87.4145.280/204/253/284. (The latter four vehicles, once a common sight on the WCML, are now quite an unusual one.) The water cannon services have now commenced. The local one at Rugby started in the charge of 66421 and 66425 with wagons 642023 and 642040, but 66425 has now been replaced by 66430. The same evening the aggregate working to Northampton was noted in the charge of 66520 with the following rake of 'NLUs': 29151/214/084/502/247/360/185/345/346/431/394/256/452/306/057. The same evening saw the following Balfour Beatty service hauled by 66051: 200967, 100051, 460044, 110167, 200713, 640508/507/573/506/505/ 513/514. On to 22nd November at Nuneaton and an Engineers' service hauled by 66086, consist being: 460672/172/434/824/532/678/672/669/595/325/527/ 852/986/624, 461074. That evening's northbound Enterprise, hauled by 92037, consisted of the following: 23.87.4375.048/004, 33.70.4666.027, (Again, that last vehicle, a curtain-sided van, is not a common sight as far as I am concerned.) Moving on to Rugby on 5th November and another worthwhile Engineers' service. Hauled by 66089, the service was made up of the following: 200091, 460535, 110399, 110208, 200895, 200504, 200579, 110337, 110230, 200237, 210157, 200317, 210125, 210230, 460400, 200958, 200760, 200884, 200567, 100051, 110047, 980146, 982792. About six vehicles were not identified due to filthy condition! The Enterprise this evening was hauled by 92041 and consisted of the following: 23.87.4375.017/040/011/016/038, 23.87.4302.520, 33.80.2797.622, 33.80.4647.039/032/046/013/021. That's all my news. A couple of colleagues have been out and about recently, spending a Wednesday at Walsall/Bescot and a week later a Thursday at Doncaster. Both locations was busy and worth the visit. So a couple of locations to consider, although I think both have been mentioned by me before. Hope this little effort is worth the read and there will be my last effort for 2007 next month, bye for now.

MISCELLANEOUS

Bristol Temple.......where? The main railway station needs better sign-posting for pedestrians a recent survey has revealed. The report by environmental group Transport 2000 also suggests a better road bus connection is needed between Bedminster and Temple Meads. Local residents have said sign-posting within 100 yards of the station is very poor, being only aimed at car users not pedestrian or bus users. The City Council is reported to have been in contact with First/GW, and new signage is planned to be put into position in the city centre, Harbourside, Queen Square and Redcliffe areas. The 'Weakest Link' survey has been running to find the best and worst railway station information directions in the UK.

Filton bank and Lochleaze The footbridge, off Dovercourt road allotments became the latest to be covered with a wire mesh top by Network Rail to curb trespass and vandalism. This follows the same treatment carried out at the Stanley Farm (Filton) and Narroways Hill junction (St.Werburghs) bridges earlier this year. Also at the nearby Constable Road rail over bridge residents of all ages have been involved in designing artwork to cover unsightly tag graffti on the bridge. An old American style steam train has now been painted on one side of the bridge, whilst a mural featuring stencilled riders on scrambler bikes is featured on the other side. Also local landmarks feature as part of the artwork including the nearby Purdown radio mast which is visible from various parts of the city. Community group Feel Good, Feel Safe put the bridge forward for the treatment which was in the main painted by professional 'graffiti' mural artist Lee Kirby, of Flipt Murals from Henbury. An official 'opening ceremony' has already taken place on 14/08/07.

First/GW Further personal changes at the top have seen the company bring in three new managers to improve service quality and reliability, this follows the appointment of Andrew Haines as chief operations director. The new 'route directors' are Mark Hopwood, who will be responsible for high speed services, John Curley who will be in charge of the company's West Country and South Wales routes and Mike Carroll, a former First/GW managing director who will be the director for the London and Thames Valley areas.

Road Movements 02/10 HST power car 43181 northbound M5 at Junction 21, Weston-super-Mare at 20.00. 06/10 'Grand Central dark liveried' HST power car 43080, nortbound M5 (ex. DML Devonport) during the afternoon. 16/10 Steam 7F 53809 arrived at Bitton by road from Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors railway, for the end of month gala, being off-loaded during the following morning. The tender was delayed in transit, arriving separately around 09.00 on 17/10.

PRESERVATION & INDUSTRIAL MATTERS

Avon Valley Railway 17/10 7F 53809 was off-loaded onto the railway for an end of month visit becoming the largest loco on the line following standard 80064 and GWR 4247. The loco operated freight-only driver experience trips, as well as time-tabled passenger trains on 21/10, 23/10, 24/10, 25/10 and 28/10. On the latter date, which was the end of season gala, the loco was in-action with two other steam locos (Kh4015 Karel Chrz 4015/54 and 70 HC1464/21) and Ex.BR Class 07, D2994. Ex. BR electro-diesel 73101 was not returned from 'hire' on the Severn Valley railway, as rumoured for the event. 53809 had been on display for a brief period at Bath Green Park during March 2005 as part of a '40th Anniversary' Somerset & Dorset railway closure event. Building work has started at Bitton on the new 450,000 cafeteria and toilet buildings, the project being officially started at a ceremony attended by officials including South Gloucestershire Council chairwomen Sandra O' Neil during September. The railway opened at this location with only 100 yards of track in 1974, during 2006 100,000 people visited the line. Operations now take place over three miles of track, and plans are in hand to lay track onwards to Newbridge on the outskirts of Bath at an estimated cost of around 1 million. Departmental, LMS 'Stanier' 1935 built BCK ADS70244 (6839) was the coach destroyed by fire, started by vandals, during July. The underframe still remains on the railway.

Mainline Preservation Problems during the month with steam loco 34067 Tangmere, saw 45407 take on some of the loco's booked workings, although non operated to or from the Bristol or South Wales areas. 28/10 Steam 30777 Sir Lamiel slipped on Honiton bank and arrived at Exeter an hour late whilst working the 'Cathederals Express' 1Z37 08.57 Clapham junction-Exeter St. Davids. The 17.40 Exeter-Westbury leg was diesel hauled, 30777 then working the train on the return as 1Z38 19.05 Westbury-Waterloo, having run loco and support coach between Exeter and Westbury.

Correction;- November 2007 Magazine; 15/09 57601 + 47851 top n'tailed the 'Bath & Salisbury Venturer' Green Express excursion from Wakefield-Salisbury, not just 47851 as stated.

 

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