NOTES AND NEWS
WEST COUNTRY AREA
02/11 Due to late running the First/GW 11.35 Temple Meads-Avonmouth and 12.03
return services were cancelled. The 'unique' Trans-Pennine liveried 158750 was
working trains over the branch during the day.
13/11 66207 worked the 6C63 11.16 Westbury-Avonmouth Irish import stone empties and 7C64 16.16 loaded return.
16/11 FLHH commenced a new Friday's only stone operation from the port, moving the Irish stone as 6Z28 16.50 to Reading West (for Theale). 66603 was noted on today's working, believed to be the first (which has replaced a previous Saturday's only Pengam-Theale working which was being loaded at Neath on the previous day). The empty train formed of 19 JGAs ran as 6Z46 11.27 Swindon-Avonmouth. The Pengam-Theale had not run the previous Saturday, although it was unconfirmed whether the new Avonmouth train had in fact started on Friday 09/11.
17/11 The 6X51 Washwood Heath-Portbury loaded cars was noted with an EWS Class 66 at 06.25 on this date, unusual due to it being a Saturday. The service was believed not to have operated on the following Monday possibly due to this 'extra' Saturday working.
19/11 A landslide between Clifton Down tunnel and Sea Mills saw all branch line passenger services terminate and restart at Clifton Down during part of the day.
23/11 66615, which was recorded at Westbury at 07.30, worked the inward stone empties for the newly introduced Irish Theale stone service. Formed with the usual 19 JGAs, the train waited for well over an hour on Hallen Moor for 66147 to depart on the late running 6M71 11.45 West Wharf-Ironbridge loaded coal service at 13.20.
30/11 66162 arrived in the bulk handling terminal at 13.34 hauling two empty HTA wagons, possibly a repaired 'cripple' trip from Newport. 66518 was on the FLHH stone working to Theale (the train now reported as coded 6Z83), the loco being located at Reading West at 07.30.
The Seabank Terras / ICI works is reported to be closing during 2008, the site which produces fertilizer and chemicals is now reported as too small for major investment and 127 jobs are to go. The land is expected to be cleared and landscaped with all the buildings (including the tall concrete tower demolished). The removal of a large number of sidings which were once connected by a single line off the Hallen Marsh to Severn Beach branch line at a junction alongside the A403, road several years ago.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66007/067/077/080/094/147/181/189/201/225.
Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh
01/11 66227 passed at 11.00 with the 6C03 Newport ADJ-Swindon loaded steel service and later GBRf 66725 was recorded at 14.15 on a 5Z90 Laira-Ilford stock move (which had been redirected to Derby) formed with HST stock (from set LA11) 41023, 41024, 42007, 42033, 42034, 42035, 44011 (and the usual two barrier coaches). 66555 later appeared on 6Z60 Neasden-Burngullow sand empties, the loco apparently being swapped at Taunton for 66560 (which worked the return 6Z60 16.55 Burngullow-Swindon loaded train during the following day). Over at Westerleigh, 60066 was on the loaded 6B13 fuel tanks from Robeston and 60034 worked 6E41 empties to Lindsey. 66060 worked the MoD Liner to Wentlooge.
02/11 66725 returned on a 5Z91 Derby-Laira refurbished stock move formed with set LA26, 41107, 41008 42283, 42236, 42079, 42080, 44026, passing Filton Abbey Wood at 15.45 and Worle (Weston-super-Mare) at 16.30). 47828 + 47375 (the latter in ex.works blue livery) passed southbound 0Z47 light-engines to Temple Meads, 47375 being on a 'test' run having arrived at Gloucester from preservation on 29/10. The pair returned north from Temple Meads at 13.20. At Westerleigh, 60066 was again on 6B13 from Robeston and 'Loadhaul' 60007 worked the 6E41 Lindsey tanks.
06/11 66588 was recorded running around 4 hours late, passing Parkway at 11.25 with the inward 4V50 Millbrook-Wentlooge containers.
07/11 Newly named EWS silver 67029 + 67005 top n'tailed the Royal train through Parkway around 11.00 conveying Prince Charles on a visit to Cardiff. 67029 now carries the name Royal Diamond in recognition of HM the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's recent 60th wedding anniversary.
07/11 66100 working the evening MoD Liner.
08/11 60066 was yet again reported on the 6B13 Robeston-Westerleigh tanks. The 6Z60 Neasden-Burngullow sand empties were again reported as passing through the area being recorded at Highbridge at 15.16 with 66560. 66546 worked 6Z55 09.54 Swindon-Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties and 66594 was on a late running 4O51 Wentlooge-Millbrook loaded containers passing Pilning at 11.46. 66106 worked the 6C01 Bristol East depot loaded steel through the same location at 11.06 followed by 66134 on 6C03 formed with three covered steel carriers only for Swindon at 11.20. 60038 was also recorded during the day on a 6Z42 08.23 Margam-Theale tank train.
12/11 Two freights seen this evening, 66546 heading eastbound with a loaded stone train and 66189 with MGR empties for Avonmouth. Also seen was 220017 in the new Cross Country franchise livery.
14/11 60038 was at Westerleigh on the 6B13 Robeston fuel tanks.
15/11 60018 worked the 6B33 Theale-Robeston empty fuel tankers.
17/11 66603 powered the 6Z29 Theale-Pengam stone empties during the late afternoon, off the previous days Avonmouth-Reading loaded stone working.
19/11 Six locos seen this evening on five freight services starting with 66189 with a loaded coal train from Avonmouth making its way into a down through road in the yard, at the same time 66166 passed through with the Newport ADJ - Wembley "Enterprise". Unusual motive power on the MoD liner in the form of 60053, a double headed empty MGR service with 66230 providing the power with 66201 dead, believed to have headed for Portbury and finally 66078 with MGR empties for Avonmouth.
20/11 Cotswold-Rail 47375 passed Parkway around 09.30 with barrier coach 6338 on a Gloucester-Old Oak Common working via Day's curve and Bath!
21/11 The 4B24 Didcot-Wentlooge MoD stores was reported as running behind 60079.
22/11 Two freight workings seen this evening, 66225 with a car train from Portbury and 66121 with MGR empties heading for Portbury.
23/11 The NRMT HST set was recorded working 1Z20 Swansea-Derby during the morning.
24/11 DRS liveried 47802 + Victa-Westlink 47832 top n'tailed a 1Z52 07.33 Paddington-Ludlow 'Ludlow Castle Medieval Xmas Fair' Hertfordshire Railtours dining special passing Pilning an hour down at 10.47 formed with a mixed Blue Pullman/DRS coaching stock formation.
26/11 One working seen tonight, 66141 with MGR empties for Portbury, the other expected working was stopped just in side the Severn Tunnel which was closed to traffic due to the nature of its cargo. (Smoke issuing from one of the vehicles) Various road/rail options were put into place for passengers wishing to travel to London or south Wales.
28/11 60093 was at Westerleigh on the 6B13 Robeston tanks, and on the same working during the following day.
29/11 The evening saw a solitary freight working, this being 66181 with MGR empties bound for Portbury.
30/11 The 6A11 10.24 (FO) 10.24 Margam-Theale loaded fuel tanks passed Pilning at 13.25 behind 60031.
Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill
01/11 NR test DMU 901001 was noted stabled on the former Bath Road depot stub during the evening. Earlier in the day the set had been recorded passing Parson's street heading towards Temple Meads at 08.15. GBRf 66725 ran 0F77 07.50 Temple Meads-Laira light-engine for a 5Z90 Laira-Derby HST stock move. At Kingsland Road, 66518 and 66558 were reported as stabled.
02/11 60031 was over at East depot with the 6C01 loaded steel service from Newport ADJ, having been seen passing Pilning at 10.15. LMS 6201 was at Barton Hill in readiness for the trip to London on the 3rd.
03/11 Two railtour cancellations were; Heartlands Bristol-Carlisle (via the S & C) with Cotswold Class 47s and the Kingfisher's 'Great Western Elizabeth', featuring a Class 67 from Cardiff to Bristol and steam 6201 Princess Elizabeth onwards to Paddington. During the afternoon 59205 passed Patchway at 15.34 with Machen-Westbury loaded stone.
05/11 Two southbound freights seen today 66193 at 16:20 with a departmental service and 66145 at 21:55 consist not identified.
06/11 67027 was on a 1Z08 08.16 Bath-Chester Northern Belle dining special, being booked in Temple Meads from 08.29-09.05. The train was later recorded passing Pilning at 09.23.
07/11 66549 worked 6Z21 Tavistock yard-Swindon stone empties through the area during the afternoon.
08/11 47805 worked a delayed 5Z90 07.00 Laira-Derby HST stock move (with LA29 coaches 41124, 42255, 42263, 42256, 42257, 44029) passing Worle at 10.26. The loco had run light-engine to Taunton prior to departure to assist the First/GW 1C99 Paddington-Penzance sleeper service onwards due to a loco failure, being eventually terminated at Plymouth 07.30.
09/11 This date marked the end of the MML franchise and the First/GW 'hired' in LA79 set was returned as 5Z43 07.05 Laira-Neville Hill by 47703. The train was however later retimed to depart at 10.30. A freight working via its normal Day's curve route during the day was the 7C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal behind 60018.
10/11 Two special passenger workings today were;- 47813 + 47828 top n'tailing a 1Z41 06.30 Temple Meads-Chester 'Blue Pullman, Heartlands tour' and return (out and back via Parkway) and steam 6201 Princess Elizabeth taking over from 47826 at Temple Meads on a return 1Z16 13.32 Temple Meads-Preston 'Welsh Marches Express', the 47 having arrived as the 1Z14 06.24 from Preston. The steam loco worked the train as far as Shrewsbury via the Severn Tunnel for the 47 again, to take the train forward. Not previously recorded was that the 13/10 Princess Elizabeth hauled excursion from Temple Meads to Shrewsbury was worked both ways by this loco, instead of outward by 6024 King Edward I which was out of service on this date. Also on this date the Virgin XC franchise ended, Arriva taking over from 11/11.
11/11 The previous day's Blue Pullman, Heartland Railtour's stock was returned as 5Z42 11.10 Temple Meads-East Ham ECS, with three Cotswold-Rail liviered locos 47828 + 47810 + 47813 at the front! The train departed late being recorded passing Parkway at 12.30.
12/11 Newly owned and re-liveried Arriva Train's Voyager set 220017 arrived with the 06.55 Derby-Temple Meads, returning as the 09.59 to Newcastle. The now un-named set carries maroon cab side ends with 'Cross Country' brandings in place of Virgin on the retained silver sides. The company have stated there will be improvements to the Voyager units with a 35% increase in seating for those in use over the NE-SW corridor with the removal of the buffet area, in favour of a trolley service. Nameplates, nose-end badges and Virgin brandings have been retained on the sets that are to be kept by Virgin for West Coast use. The new Cross Country franchise will run until 2016. The first of two former Silverlink Class 150/1 units arrived in the area to replace Class 143 units due for works overhaul. 150127, now denamed Bletchley TMD, ran as 5Z74 12.00 Willesden-St. Phillips Marsh, via the GWML passing Swindon at 14.23. Part of the journey was in front of the First/GW 13.30 Paddington-Temple Meads HST, on which a correspondent was travelling who commented on the slow journey due to the number of yellow lights caused by the unit between Swindon and Bristol! Freight activity during the day saw; 60053 on the 6V62 10.18 (MO) Fawley-St.Phillips Marsh loaded fuel tanks and another triple header, FLHH 66528 (!) + EWS 66090 + 66068 on a 6Z49 Westbury-Newport ADJ departmental (initially thought to be a late running 6B65), leaving Westbury around 15.00 and routed via Day's curve.
13/11 The newly liveried Voyager set 220017 worked the 08.25 Plymouth-Edinburgh service. An unspecified First/GW unit problem west of Bristol saw the 07.36 Worcester Shrub Hill-Taunton service terminated at Highbridge with the passengers transferring to the following 06.15 Preston-Plymouth Cross-Country service formed with set 221137. Two Bristol location reports found 66002 and 66240 stabled top n'tailing the water cannon (with wagons 642032 + 642045) on Barton Hill depot at 12.00 and 66586 over at Kingsland Road. GBRf 66715 and 5V99 11.45 Ilford-Laira stock move booked via Chippenham, was diverted via Oxford to Derby.
14/11 66715 returned through the area on 5Z90 06.30 Derby-Laira, with 41027/028, 42039/040/041, 44013 (LA13) and later reappeared on 5Z91 13.50 Laira-Derby, with 41103/104, 42206/2054/208/209, 44066 (LA03) and 41123 (LA29).
15/11 The 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks departed around 2 hours early at 12.01 behind 20311 + 37688 and 66068 was on the 7C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal. 66560 worked the 6Z51 Neasden-Newton Abbot sand empties via the Berks & Hants route instead of Bristol. A second 'on loan' Class 150/1 unit 150121, was recorded as arrived in the area.
16/11 The Friday tour found two former "Silverlink" liveried Class 150/1s at the Marsh, these were 150121/127. Barton Hill was host to GWR 6024 and 37605/606 on a Network Rail Test Train.
17/11 59101 was seen passing Bath at 07.40 on the 6B80 Westbury-Machen Hanson stone empties.
19/11 47847 worked a short 5V99 11.45 Ilford-Laira stock move, formed 40718, 42203, 42204 (from LA02) with two barrier coaches only via Chippenham and Bath.
20/11 47847 made two more visits through the area during the day with stock moves, heading, 5Z90 07.00 Laira-Derby with 41147, 41186, 42258, 42262, 42254, 44000 (LA56) passing Temple Meads around 12.30 and return 5Z91 Derby-Laira (passing around 20.25) the complete formation being 6348 (barrier), 42030, 42010, 42031, 42032, 41022, 44010 (set LA10), 6336 (barrier). 20311 + 37515 were reported as the 6M67 Bridgwater flask locos. A new First/GW 'hire' LA79, MML set was recorded working with power cars 43182 + 43174 on the 10.30 Paddington-Temple Meads, with a 'neon wavey' line refurbished buffet 40903 included in the formation!
24/11 Pastime Rail's 'York Flyer-St.Nicholas Fayre' (05.45 Taunton-York) was top n'tailed by Royal duo 67005 + 67006, whilst 67012 + 67025 top n'tailed 1Z30 10.24 Westbury-Cardiff and 17.05 return 'extras' for the Wales v South Africa rugby international at Cardiff. A railtour cancellation was a steam 60019 Bittern trip from London-Bath/Bristol via the Berks & Hants route. The MML HST 'hire' set (still working with power cars 43174 + 43182) was recorded on the 19.30 Paddington-Temple Meads and earlier the 14.12 Cardiff-Paddington First/GW services. Transferred 142068 + 142062 + 142070 + 142028 were reported as running en-route Newton Heath-Exeter to take up West Country local passenger duties. 66111 & 66189 noted travelling light engines at 11:00 presumed bound for Barton Hill.
25/11 Steam 6024 King Edward I was noted running light-engine within the confines of Barton Hill depot following repair. The loco was to do an early hours 'test trip' to Weston-super-Mare (with water tank carrier wagon XAA 98997 and support coach W35333) and a Class 67 loco over 03/12-04/12 before running to Bescot (again with water carrier and support coach). Also visible on Barton Hill were; 08516. 67012/ 025. water cannon locos; 67023 + 67027. Stored locos; 37077/(377)/379/696. snowploughs; ADB965209/233. wagons; HTA 310551 (believed removed from a Portbury coal service) and BRA 964004 (steel coil barrier, in use with the Class 08 as a 'coupling match' wagon). Over at nearby Kingsland Road; 66531 and 66615 were stabled. A new, additional siding has been laid at this location for the Seco/Colas track maintenance company who keep track machines at this location. Newly transferred, 150121 and 150127 were both seen stabled near the wheel lathe at St.Phillips Marsh.
26/11 47853 (which had travelled overnight on the rear of the First/GW 1C99 Paddington-Penzance sleeper service) worked a 5Z90 07.00 Laira-Derby stock move hauling HST coaches 41019, 41020, 42009, 42028, 42039, 44009, 42095 (from LA09).
27/11 47863 again, returned west on a 5Z91 Derby-Laira HST stock move, later returning light-engine north.
29/11 66552 passed Temple Meads at 14.30 on the 6Z60 Neasden-Burngullow sand empties. A railtour cancellation was the 'Christmas Great Western' featuring steam 34067 Tangmere from Hemel Hempstead-Bristol. This trip is understood to be running sometime during 2008.
02/11 47703 was reported on a Brush Loughborough-Landore stock move hauling refurbished First/GW power cars 43192 + 43037. Arriva 153310 was noted on Gloucester-Cheltenham driver training runs.
12/11 47828 with barrier coach 6338 and power car 43144 formed a 5Z46 13.10 Loughborough-Landore move. Earlier, two other Cotswold-Rail owned locos 47703 + 47375 headed a single cargowagon and polybulk wagon only as 6Z50 11.35 Gloucester-Wembley move.
21/11 47375 worked 5Z45 12.10 Loughborough-Landore with HST power car 43012. The working was however terminated at Gloucester going forward during the following day.
01/11 66520 was on the 6Z82 07.00 loaded coal departure to Rugeley power station.
05/11 66548 was recorded passing Barton Hill at 09.00 with the 6Z70 08.31 loaded coal departure from Portbury.
07/11 66551 was reported passing Parson's street at 07.08, with what was believed to have been the 6Z82.
12/11 66558 + 66610 were noted paired at the Portbury dock gate with the 6Z82 at 07.20. Later Shanks/Freightliner split liveried 66522 headed the second departure, the 6Z70.
13/11 66584 was the 6Z70 loaded coal loco.
14/11 The day's morning coal departures were in the hands of 66564 (6Z83, the 03.00 Portbury-Rugeley), 66519 on the 6Z82 and an unidentified loco on the 6Z70, reported still at Portbury at 09.15.
15/11 66522 was again at Portbury on an unidentified coal departure appearing again the following day.
17/11 The inward 6X51 03.46 Washwood Heath-Portbury loaded car service was noted at the port at 07.25.
21/11 Although the incident did not take place in the area, the 6Z70 08.35 departure with 66586 was reported in trouble at Hereford at 15.50 having run out of fuel!, the train having left Portbury late, around 12.30. The working was later recorded at Shrewsbury at 19.20 behind 66584 + failed 66586!!
22/11 Reported Rugeley coal locos were 66525 (6Z82) and 66527 (6Z70).
23/11 66514 was noted at Portbury dockgate with the 6Z82 at 07.20, being later recorded passing Pilning at 07.56.
24/11 66605 was unusually noted shunting HXA wagons during the afternoon and remained stabled with the loaded train over the weekend, forming the 6Z82, the 07.00 departure to Rugeley on 26/11.
30/11 66522 was on the 4Z84, inward Rugeley-Portbury coal empties, later being recorded as 'diverted' passing Cheltenham around 13.00.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66076/115/154. 66514/519/520.
Severn Tunnel Junction
It is reported that all the stored coaches and wagons located here are to be disposed of during the coming weeks. It is expected that the one car 'bubble' DMUs ADB977975 and ADB977976 are destined for storage at Long Marston, whilst former tunnel emergency coaches ADB975615 (QVX) and TDB977526 (QXA) are to go to Sim's Metals, Newport for scrap. The fate of a third coach, DB975497 (QQX) located at Sudbrook remains uncertain, as the branch line to Caldicot was closed and disconnected a few years back ruling out a move by rail. Of the wagons, the emergency train tank wagon PR70083 (TUA) is destined for Thompson's, Stockton.
28/11 The new FLHH cement flow to Moorswater finally commenced as 6G22 16.54 Westbury-Moorswater. Today's working, with 66585 was believed to be the first. This service will replace the Hope Valley-Moorswater.
Units noted this period included
LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS
4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge.
01/11 66571. 06/11 66588. 12/11 66594. 15/11 66577. 23/11 66594.
4V60 Calvert-Bath/Bristol BinLiner
15/11 66586. 23/11 66531.
LOCAL EWS WORKINGS
6C01/6C02 Newport ADJ-Bristol East depot steel
01/11 60031. 02/11 60031. 05/11 66163. 06/11 66035. 13/11 66020.
14/11 66063. 15/11 66127. 16/11 66118. 21/11 66158. 22/11 66228.
6C03/6C04 Newport ADj-Swindon loaded steel
01/11 66227. 12/11 66134. 13/11 66211. 14/11 66047. 15/11 66231.
20/11 66144. 22/11 66221. 23/11 66068.
6M33 16.23 (SX) Avonmouth-Wembley 'enterprise' freight service
02/11 66142. 13/11 66138. 14/11 66138. 15/11 66074. 27/11 66167.
6B80/6C80 Westbury-Machen stone empties and return loaded stone (T,SO).
03/11 59205. 06/11 60083. 08/11 59201. 10/11 59204. 13/11 66221.
15/11 66207. 17/11 59101. 20/11 66084. 22/11 60083.
6X52 Portbury - Washwood Heath
13/11 66128. 14/11 66087. 27/11 66079.
08940(OC)-TI, 31461(GL)-BH, 73118/130(NP)-TI, 96371/372/373/374/375,
96380/381/382/383/384(NP)-TI. (TI - Temple Mills International)
66032 -UK, 66073/179 - France
EHPC Arriva Cross Country Class 43 Power Cars
EJLO London Midland Class 08 08616/805
EMPC East Midlands Trains Class 43 Power Cars
MRSO Mainline Rail Class 08 Operational
MRSS Mainline Rail Class 08 Stored 08535
AN: 37425. CE: 60085. LH: 37029. LM: 47746. 56011/021.
TO: 37406/416. ZG: 47739. 73141. Wembley: 96371/372/373/374/375.
47309 -GL, 57002/003/005 -FD, 60022/031 -TO
EMR: 37198/905 AV Dawson: 08807. Private: 37109. BRE Ltd: 37403.
West Coast: 37676. EMR: 37047/065/308/375/694. HNRC: 37057/682.
43006 - 43206
Diesel Multiple Units
153311/313(NC)/321/326(CF)-TS 158883/890(SA)-TS 170399(TS)-XW
EHDA Arriva Cross Country Cl170 3-car 101-110/636-639
EHBB Arriva Cross Country Cl170 2-car 111-117/518-523
EHSV Arriva Cross Country Cl221 114-141
EHVO Arriva Cross Country Cl220 001-034
EMDA East Midlands Trains Cl153
EMDB East Midlands Trains Cl156
EMDC East Midlands Trains Cl158 2-car
EMDD East Midlands Trains Cl158 3-car
EMDE East Midlands Trains Cl222 001-023
EJSH London Midland Cl150 001-003/005/007/009-019/101/102/104/106/108/122/124-126/132,214/216
EJBL London Midland Cl153 325/333/334/354/356/364-366/371/375
EJTS London Midland Cl170 501-517/630-635
150004/008 disbanded, reformed - 104/108/216
159105 (57807 + 58707 + 52807) 107 (57811 + 58711 + 52811)
159108 (57801 + 58701 + 52801)
Electric Multiple Units
373001-022/999(NP)-TI (Temple Mills International)
EJSL London Midland Cl321 401-437 (except 416/426 @ IL)
EJXC London Midland Cl323 201-222/240-243
EJWC London Midland Cl350 101-130
357002 + 043 now in traffic, temp sets 098/099 disbanded
Cars: 62071 (310046), 70731(310046), 70754 (310069), 76180 (310046)
Booth: Cars: 62071. 70731/754. 76180
Coaching & NPCC Stock
40729 -NL, 41025/026 -LA, 41075/076 -NL, 42036/037/038/097 -LA,
42148/149/328/341 -NL, 44012 -LA, 44085 -NL
EHLH Arriva Cross Country Loco Hauled Stock
EHTC Arriva Cross Country HST Trailers
41025/026/035/036. 42036-038/051-053/097/342 44012/017/021/052/072/085
EMTC East Midlands Trains HST Trailers
40700/728-730/741/746/749/751/753/754/756. 41041/046/057/061-064/067-072/075-079/084/111/113/117/154/156. 42100/111-113, 42119-121/123-125/131-133/135-137/139-141/148/149/155-157/194, 205/210/220/225/227/229/230/324/327-329/331/335/337/339/341. 44027/041/044/046-048/051/054/070/071/073/085.
EMXX East Midlands Trains HST Barrier Vehicles 6392/97
CS: 35317. LM: 40723/732. ZD: 41080. Chaddesden: 6356/57. 17144/170.
10710. 11024. 92194/935. 975413
Booth: 11024. 975413 West Somerset: 10710 Devon RC: 92194/935
42246 - 41192
Note: Pool Codes for the new franchises show the stock allocated to the operator, a few tweaks are expected in the near future.
FREIGHT REVIEW (By Pete Merry)
It's that time of the year again, goodwill to all men and suchlike, and it does seem that those nice people who operate the Channel Tunnel have been affected with the spirit of the season by considerably dropping the charges. This has had instant results with several new services already being planned. It appears that the following services will commence fairly soon: Duisberg-Trafford Park, two more services to Trafford Park from Spain and Belgium, and the Bari service becoming more frequent. So good news to start the New Year. There was news of a service from Swindon to Gent for Honda cars which was due to commence in the Autumn. Also news has been received regarding new class 66s all over the place. FastLine look to have ordered four, 66301-66304, with Freightliner having some more on order, 66595-66599, 66953-66957. On to my sightings and news from the past four/five weeks. Well, it has been quite busy in and around Humberstone Road, Leicester (outside where I am employed!) with many services positioning in for running round to and from Mountsorrel and East Leake. The aggregate services have been in abundance, with some days five rakes of the yellow bogie "NLU" vehicles being noted in the yard, along with the two daily British Gypsum services. Also a regular now is the Bletchley-Peak Forest RMC service around 13.15 most days. The vehicles on this service are now nearly all the new bogie Cemax vehicles in the 320xxx series. Thursday 13th December noted 320051/052/001/049/032 in the train as it sped by, with quite a few others missed due to the speed of the train, grime on the vehicle or graffiti! The British Gypsum trains have been in the hands of 66724, 66701, 66718 and 66719 during the past month. There has also, in recent days, been a light-engine Freightliner class 66 passing south around 13.00 every day 66611, 66523, 66603 and 66563 all being noted in the last few days (11th December on). The coal to and from Ratcliffe Power Station has been busy also but, alas, none of the services being formed of the four-wheel HAA family of vehicles, all being formed of the bogie EWS coal vehicles. A few evenings at Nuneaton again during the month have been undertaken, with it being busy as usual. Noted on 12th November in the charge of the Southampton-Trafford Park was 57006, the W. H. Malcolm services that evening being in the charge of 66422, 66402 and 66404. That evening also saw three rakes of bogie yellow aggregate vehicles, loaded, all heading south within fifteen minutes of each other, locos 66581, 66616 and 66527 being involved. Moving on to 3rd December and again a busy evening at Nuneaton, with nothing really outstanding being noted. On 10th December it was back to Nuneaton again and the usual procession of Freightliner services, and the sighting of another class 57, this time 57005, on a Trafford Park-Southampton -- nice to see these locos out and about still. The Enterprise that evening was a light engine movement (!) 92022+67029. A nice sight at Leicester later that evening was 47830 with a dead 66549 in tow, it had been despatched to collect the errant class 66. That's about all for my sightings. A couple of colleagues have been about recently to Bescot/Walsall, Tamworh/Burton-upon-Trent and Doncaster. All three trips were undertaken on a Thursday and on all three occasions busy days were had, so the services are still there to be seen. So good hunting. I don't know if you will see this report before Christmas, so I will say hope Christmas was a good one and all good fortune in 2008.
01/11 Steam 42968 northbound M5 near junction 21 (Weston-super-Mare) during the morning having seen recent use at a West Somerset Railway autumn gala.
30/11 Steam 35011 (General Steam Navigation) southbound M5 junction 20 (Clevedon) during the morning, being moved from RAF Binton-West Somerset Railway. This loco, very much in Barry condition (with only the original number 350xx part visible on one side) is reported to be providing parts for 34046 Braunton which has already been steamed on the WSR. This loco is known to have a cracked axle.
PRESERVATION & INDUSTRIAL MATTERS
West Bay, Bridport (01/11/07) R.W.Giles
Ex. EMU coaches; 70292. 70531. Both in a blue and white livery are in use as the 'West Bay Express' restaurant alongside the former platform and station building.
Avon Valley Railway
Further to last months report concerning the start of the new £450,000 buffet and toilet block building at Bitton, two refurbished coaches (possibly Mk1s, no longer in use as runners) will now also form a permanent part of the new facility which is being built in an original 1869 style, in line with the existing station buildings, and due for completion during 2008.
Clifton Rocks Railway
A change in hands of ownership of the Avon Gorge Hotel (which has recently been sold by the Peel Hotels group for £15.5 million!) has seen restoration work and visits to the former four track underground funicular railway stopped due to a lapse of insurance cover. The new owners, New Light Hotels is expected to obtain the necessary cover so restoration on the railway, by volunteers can continue.
07/11 Preserved diesel-hydraulic D1015 Western Champion saw mainline use during the month but not on passenger duties! Today the loco ran 11.00 Old Oak Common-Reading West junction light engine (12.07) to work a 13.20 departmental (via Westbury 15.10 and Salisbury 15.49) to Eastleigh (arrive 16.33). The loco was displayed at at Colas Rail staff event during the stay in the Southampton area.
22/11 D1015 + Colas owned 47727 worked 6Y52 14.12 Westbury-Tavistock Junction (via Castle Cary), track machines being conveyed as far as Westbury. The Western was to receive maintenance at Laira depot.