NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

01/12 Ex Silverlink 150121 was seen working the First/GW 10.22 Severn Beach-Bristol TM service. It has been noticed internally the unit still retains its London Overground Network and Tube maps!
04/12 59205 was on the 6C63 10.17 Westbury-Avonmouth empty and 6C64 14.20 return loaded Irish imported stone trains. Silverlink 150121 was again on Severn Beach line duties.
07/12 The FLHH Theale stone train was worked by 66585, the inward empties being again delayed by 66108 on a late running 6M71 11.45 Avonmouth-Ironbridge loaded coal service from West Wharf, which when seen at Holesmouth junction at 13.30 still awaiting a driver!
11/12 59206 worked the loaded imported stone to Westbury.
20/12 Mainline blue/EWS stickered 60044 passed Hallen Marsh at 12.54 with the inward Irish import stone empties.
21/12 A water cannon wagon was present in the bulk handling terminal during the afternoon and is assumed to have gone forward in the consist of the 6M33 'enterprise' freight service to Wembley.
22/12 Pathfinder's 'Whatley Looper' due to be hauled throughout by mainline preserved D1015 Wester Champion from Paddington to Whatley Quarry and on the return via the Avonmouth loop was cancelled due to the loco being out of service in Tavistock Yard, Plymouth. The trip was already in an amended form originally running to and from Weymouth only.
28/12 An unidentified Class 150/1 was seen working the 13.18 Avonmouth-Temple Meads First/GW local service near Shirehampton.
29/12 It was reported that there were 11 train cancellations over the Severn Beach line during the day. Between 17/12-22/12 First/GW cancelled 27 trains over the line, this was apparently down to staff shortages due to sickness. Buses and taxis were reported to have been used for some passengers. A Stoke Bishop resident, who uses the train from Sea Mills to Bristol has recorded on average, eight cancellations a week over the line. It is also thought stock availability could be another problem affecting the passenger service.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66018/067/108/127/166/174/187/250.
08405 continued as the area shunting pilot.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

02/12 ECS moves during the day saw;- Anglian One-liveried 47818 return the Wessex dining rake (used on a Temple Meads to York trip the previous day) passing early at 11.44 as 5Z76 12.05 Temple Meads-Old Oak Common formed;- 3231 Apollo, 1659 Lancelot, 3188 Sovereign, 5419 Sir Lancelot, 5239 The Red Knight, 9391 Pendragon, 5229 The Green Knight, 5278 Melisande and later at 15.53, 37410 + failed 37417 pass with 5Z39 Newport-Old Oak Common stock from the ill-fated Pathfinder tour's 'Festive Yorkshireman' (Swindon-Leeds), which had been terminated at Newport at 01.30 running substantially late due to various problems including a diversion and loco failure during the day. Passengers were conveyed from here back to Parkway and Swindon, by taxis and road buses. 
03/12 The 4V50 Millbrook-Wentlooge was recorded running late at 10.54 behind 66574 + 66542.
05/12 47237 was booked to recess at Parkway from 18.28-18.42 whilst running 0Z80 Eastleigh-Gloucester Horton Road. This DRS loco has been sold to Cotswold-Rail.
08/12 Some late running of First/GW services was reported due to flooding in South Wales at Skewen and Miskin. Some train diversions took place via the Swansea District line and Barry respectively.
09/12 A Bristol-Neville Hill stock move was formed with five units; 158866 + 158867 + 158868 + 
158869 + 158870 at 13.46.
10/12 66534 was noted passing Pilning late at 11.06 with the 4V50 Millbrook-Wentlooge containers, a signalling problem was reported in the Swindon area. Later 158748, the third First/GW refurbished Class 158 unit, was seen on the 10.55 Cardiff Central-Portsmouth Harbour service. Two freights recorded this evening, 66227 with Newport ADJ "Enterprise service for Willesden and 66057 with MGR empties for Portbury.
12/12 60023 was over at Westerleigh on the 6B13 loaded fuel tanks from Robeston. Colas Rail 47749 worked light-engine from Tavistock yard-Thingley junction, then 6Z48 Thingley junction-Newport ADJ via Parkway.
13/12 60043 worked the 6B33 fuel tank empties from Theale-Robeston. Four workings recorded this evening starting with 66166 MGR empties for Avonmouth and concluding with 66214 with more mgr empties for Avonmouth. In between 66157 worked the MoD Liner and 66057 empty mgr to Portbury.
15/12 The mainline through Parkway was closed due to engineering works with First/GW services running via the Limpley Valley, Bath and Day's curve to South Wales or via Swindon, Kemble and Gloucester. Cross-Country trains were also running via Newport (reverse) to Gloucester. The 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel tank empties were also diverted behind 60017.
16/12 ECS off the previous day's Pathfinder 'The Moor n' More' excursion (Swindon-Dollands Moor) with 66158, was stabled over-night at Parkway, returning as 5Z19 13.44 Stoke Gifford down loop-Old Oak Common, via Birmingham! The stock was originally booked to stable at Barton Hill, booked to leave here at 13.05.
17/12 Two empty MGR services noted 66149 for Portbury and 66067 bound for Avonmouth
19/12 60012 was on the 6A11 Robeston-Theale loaded fuel tanks passing Pilning at 12.30, later returning the 6B33 empties. GBRf earlier had passed Parkway at 12.25 on a 5Z90 09.00 Laira-Derby HST stock move.
20/12 A Northern Belle xmas dining circular was top n'tailed by Royal 67006 + 67012 as 1Z22 11.15 Cardiff-Eastleigh (and 1Z23 return) passed Pilning on the outer working at 11.55 (seven minutes late). Just 66115 seen during the evening with MGR empties for Portbury.
22/12 60062 was on the afternoon 6B33 Theale empty fuel tanks.
31/12 66623 + 66559 + 66603 + 66513 + 66614 passed Patchway at 10.37 on an 0Z?? Crewe Basford Hall-Kingsland Road light-engine move. 

Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill

27/11 HST stock moved by 47853 on this date was as follows;- 42350, 42296, 42297, 411453, 41144, 42295, 44039 (LA39).
01/12 Railtours noted passing Bristol East were;- West Coast locos 47804 + 47787 top n'tailing the 'Georgian Bath Explorer' (1Z49 06.40 Scarborough-Bath ) organised by the Green Express company, at 13.39 with c/stock; 99327, 6528, 21266, 99127, 99993 club car, 99121, Windermere (506), Derwent Water (586), Rydal Water (550), Hadrian Bar (354) and steam 60009 Union of South Africa with Daylight Tour's 'Cathederal Express' (1Z69 09.54 Victoria-Bristol and 1Z96 17.35 return), the stock being the 'green set'; S5200, S5222, S1840, S5216, 13440, S9392, 99350 (pullman-in maroon livery), S5236, 1961, S5249, S5237, being stabled at Bristol West. Also, Heartland Tours ran a 'Festive Dinner' top n'tailed by 47818 + 47375 (1Z73 06.32 Temple Meads-York), the latter having been failed with brake problems and left in the up siding (near platform 5) in Temple Meads. With the train leaving late, 47818 took the trip solo, with 47703 being collected en-route (assumed in the Gloucester area), this loco was also reported in trouble at Derby! During the evening, the First/GW 17.00 Paddington-Temple Meads and 19.30 return were worked by HST power cars 43002 + 43003 (with set LA14 formed 41029, 41030, 40726, 42042, 42014, 42043, 42044, 44014), both power cars carrying '253001' on their ends in recognition of being fitted with the last old Paxman Valenta HST engines. The set had worked 06.40 Exeter-Paddington, 10.05 Paddington-Exeter and 13.52 Exeter-Paddington earlier in the day. On the freight side, 60083 + 5920? were noted paired on the Westbury-Machen stone empties. Locos stabled during the afternoon in the area were as follows; Barton Hill; 08516. 66084. 67023 + 67027 (water cannon locos) stored locos; 37077/(377)/379/696. Kingsland Road; 66531/603. It was also noticed at Bristol East depot that the 14 'stored' wagons which initially acted as a sound-barrier alongside the mainline (made up of 1 flat, 7 cement tanks and 6 vans) had all gone, investigations found they had all been cut up on site several weeks previous. Rumours have also been circulating regarding the long-term future of this location and the 6C01 steel trip from Newport ADJ. Most of the steel is believed to have been used at the new 500 million Cabot Circus shopping precinct in Bristol (at the city end of the M32 motorway), this is due to be completed during Autumn 2008. Also materials will be no longer needed for the Bristol Stadium concert hall project on the former Bath Road depot site, which was cancelled during the month due to increased costs.
02/12 Former Silverlink, 150121 was reported on local line duties working the First/GW 10.21 Taunton-Temple Meads service. Over at St. Phillips Marsh, former First/Northern 'Pacers' 142009 + 142029 + 142063 were noted stabled near the wheel-lathe during the afternoon having set off the previous day as 5Z42 12.45 Newton Heath-Exeter St. Davids, leaving the Manchester depot 57 minutes late. 142004 + 142067 were also reported as 'en-route' from Heaton-Exeter.
03/12 47703 worked a 5Z91 Derby-Laira HST stock move formed with; 41105, 41106, 42212, 42213, 42214, 44087 (LA98), 42027, 44064 (LA02) passing Worle (Weston-super-Mare) at 16.03. Also reported through the area during the day were; 66515 on 6Z86 11.30 Basford Hall yard-Taunton Fairwaters yard and 66621 with 6Z60 12.01 Angerstein Wharf-Newton Abbot Hackney yard. 150121 was again on local line services, starting the day on 2W05 07.40 Weston-super-Mare-Filton Abbeywood. 
04/12 Steam 6024 King Edward I departed Barton Hill during the early hours for Bescot via Hereford, with water tank wagon 98997 and support coach W35333. It was not established whether a Weston-super-Mare test run had taken place. A Hertfordshire Railtours 'Bath Christmas Market Dinner' (1Z69 09.10 Redhill-Temple Meads and 1Z70 17.12 return) was top n'tailed by DRS liviered 47802 + Victa Westlink 47832 with a multi-coloured coaching stock formation; 17159 (DRS blue), 3136 Diana (lined maroon), 3143 Patricia (lined maroon), 3362 (Inter-city), 3360 (Inter-city), 3359 (maroon), 3408 (maroon), 80042 (DRS blue), 3385 (Blue Pullman), 3278 (Blue Pullman). On arrival at Bristol, the ECS ran 5Z69 13.25 Temple Meads-Bishop's Lydeard (West Somerset Railway) for servicing (noted Uphill junction 13.43) and 5Z70 15.45 return. The return working was noted calling at Bath Spa near enough to time between 17.28-17.32. Earlier, the 6V74 Crewe-Bridgwater nuclear flasks were noted passing Temple Meads early, at 06.34 behind 37515 + 37688. They returned the 6M67 early during the afternoon whilst 47805 also arrived at 14.25 stabling on the up spur. An unusual incident at Box, on the Swindon mainline saw all services stopped during the early afternoon due to fox hounds, which were part of a hunt, entering the tunnel!! Loaded MGR from Portbury seen at 14:05 heading northbound behind 66166.
05/12 47805, having run light-engine from Temple Meads-Laira returned a 5Z90 Laira-Derby stock move during the early afternoon and Royal 67005 arrived on a VSOE working from Victoria. Silverlink liveried 150121 broke further new ground for the sub-class reaching Portsmouth Harbour during the day.
06/12 A fatality at Box at 07.12 involving the 1A06 05.22 Weston-super-Mare-Paddington First/GW HST service saw the 06.30 Paddington-Bristol (due Chippenham 07.41) diverted via Melksham, with a reverse at Trowbridge and the 08.30 Bristol-Paddington cancelled. There were also other diversions, some via Parkway, with road buses acting as connections to Chippenham. A further HST stock move saw 47805 return north on a 5Z91 Derby-Laira working with coaches; 41023, 41024, 42007, 42033, 42034, 42035, 44011, 42365 (LA11). 60010 was reported as working the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADJ departmental, whilst a Railway Touring Company London-Bath/Bristol trip booked for haulage by steam 60019 Bittern, was cancelled. 
07/12 150121 was noted stabled in platform 1.
08/12 A Vintage Train's 1Z57 10.00 Tyseley-Minehead (via Parkway) and 1Z58 19.00 return was worked throughout by green-liveried 47773 for the 'Dunster by Candlelight' event whilst a Class 67 thought to have been 67027 hauled 1Z90 06.57 Derby-Bath Northern Belle dining circular routed via the Berks & Hants, then working 5Z91 13.15 Bath-Bristol East (via a run-round in Temple Meads) for stabling.
09/12 An unidentified train failure in the Freshford area saw some First/GW cancellations, the Limpley Valley to Westbury route being already in use for diverted Bristol-Paddington services due to engineering work on the mainline to Swindon.
10/12 The new timetable was introduced! The main First/GW changes for the Bristol area saw;- improved half-hourly connections between Temple Meads and Paddington created by adjusting the Bristol to Weston-super-Mare timetable, additional trains on the Severn Beach line in the form of an hourly off-peak service, with extra trains calling at Stapledon Road and Lawrence Hill, an hourly service on the Bristol Parkway/Weston-super-Mare line and hourly Cardiff/Taunton trains which provide regular 30-minute services between Temple Meads and Weston in both directions. Some of the 2003 introduced Taunton/Weston-super-Mare-Great Malvern services were amended to run direct to Cardiff. Also HST's will now call at Worle (the day's 07.14 Taunton-Paddington becoming the first, with selective door opening) and Keynsham, where also SWT's will be stopping the 08.52 Temple Meads-Waterloo service at 08.59 for an 11.49 arrival time in the capital, aswell as their 13.10 departure (Keynsham 13.17 and Bath 13.22) and the 19.20 Waterloo-Temple Meads calling at 21.55. The Bristol/Westbury services will be adjusted to provide an hourly service which also calls at Oldfield Park and Keynsham and retimed trains to Warminster with an extra late evening train on the Exeter-Taunton-Bristol run as well as a late 23.00 Cardiff-Bristol service aimed at concert goers returning from the Millennium Stadium. During the day, however, signalling problems affected a number of services between Swindon-Chippenham-Parkway, the 08.30 Temple Meads-Swindon, being delayed by 30 minutes, arrival in Swindon being 40 minutes late. The evening saw the 17.18 Bristol-Weston train depart at 17.54. An extensive top n'tail 'hire' EWS Class 67 and five Riviera coach passenger operation (involving two trains and four locos!) was considered by First/GW to run 10/12-14/12, 17/12-21/12, 31/12 and 01-11/01 between Weston-super-Mare-Bristol-Cardiff-Taunton on these dates, was cancelled. The cost of the 'hire' from EWS was believed to have been 5000 a day for each set. 
11/12 37261 + 37515 were paired on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks, 47813, with barrier coach 6338 worked 5Z74 08.00 Gloucester Horton road-St. Phillips Marsh and 47839 was noted stabled in the up spur, near platform 5 at Temple Meads. At 09:15, 66185 headed north with a loaded MGR from Portbury.
12/12 47839 ran 07.45 Temple Meads-Laira light-engine to work a 5Z90 11.30 Laira-Derby HST stock move with set LA04, 41009, 41010, 41012, 42360, 42013, 42014, 44004, reported as running unusually via the Weston-super-Mare loop.
13/12 57605 worked the overnight 1C99 Paddington-Penzance First/GW sleeper service and 150127 + 153370 were an unusual combination on the First/GW 10.42 Gloucester-Weymouth local service. 47839 returned west on a further 5Z91 12.00 Derby-Laira refurbished stock move, formed 6336 (barrier), 44035, 42281, 42280, 42265, 42279, 41135, 41116, (LA set 35), 6330 (barrier), running over an hour early. Colas 47749 worked back through the area as 0Z48 11.15 Worcester-Plymouth Tavistock yard light-engine during the afternoon.
14/12 Despite the cancelling of a proposed local passenger Class 67 operation for First/GW earlier in the month, the company 'hired' in two coaching stock rakes and four locos for this Saturday between Bristol and Chippenham, with engineering works blocking the mainline from here to Swindon. The empty stock moves saw; 67024 + 67030 top n'tail the 5Z56 09.?? Crewe-Swindon formed with coaches; 3379 (Anglian livery), 3417 (A), 5921 (A), (5964) (A), 5792 (Inter-City), 5769 (IC), 9526 (IC) and 67003 + 67027 on each end of the 5Z11 19.16 Old Oak Common-Temple Meads (via Kemble!) made up of coaches; 3334 (A), 3295 (A), 6027 (Virgin), 5934 (V), 6107 (V), 5955 (V), 5937 (V), 9527 (V). Also during the early afternoon, an unidentified Class 60 passed through Day's curve on the Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal service to Westbury cement works.
15/12 The 'shuttles' were in action! The trains left Temple Meads at xx.45 past each hour and returned from Chippenham at xx.42 past the hour. The trains on the 'odd' hours from Bristol were worked by 67003 + 67027 and 67024 + 67030 worked the 'even' hours from Temple Meads. Each service ran in and out of platform 2 at Chippenham, the down trains then bi-directionally along the up line to Thingley. The 11.45 from Bristol was 36 minutes late arriving in Chippenham following a points problem at Thingley, returning 17 minutes late and was just 3 minutes late arriving on its next working on the 13.45 from Bristol. Also noted passing East depot during the afternoon, were 66610 on an up concrete sleeper train (13.24) and 66250 looped between 13.29-13.37 on a return Didcot-Avonmouth rake of empty HTAs having worked an up loaded service during the morning. Both these trains ran out and back via the Berks & Hants. Test unit 950001 passed through the area running round 60 minutes late on a 2Z08 06.56 Westbury-Plymouth (the route being Westbury- Theale-Reading-Newbury-Temple Meads-Weston-super-Mare loop-Laira and Mount Gould junction). This working, being on a Saturday was unusual. At Barton Hill, stored 37696 and 37379 had been moved to the car park siding, the latter being moved by road for scrap at Booth's, Rotherham early during the following week. 47839 was again stabled in Temple Meads. 
17/12 67003 and 67027 were noted stabled on the up canopy loop with 5Z87 10.28 Barton Hill-Old Oak Common 'Chippenham shuttle' ECS from two days previous. The second train, with 67024 and 67030 returned as 5Z89 13.13 Barton Hill-Old Oak Common ECS the previous day. 47375 carried out a stock move during the day running 5Z40 Gloucester-Laira with a barrier coach, then returning hauling HST power car 43015 as 5Z46 11.32 Laira-Brush Loughborough passing Worle at 15.08, the move however was terminated at Gloucester going forward to it's destination (with 43034) the following day. Also recorded during the early afternoon was Load-haul EWS stickered 60007 on the 6C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal via Day's curve (being earlier recorded passing Pilning at 13.45).
18/12 37261 + 37510 were paired on the 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks. Possibly the most bizarre working of the year saw 47237 run 0Z80 Gloucester Horton Road-Meldon Quarry light-engine to collect four Class 31s and coaches previously owned by FM Rail on a move to Long Marston. The 5Z80 13.25 Meldon Quarry-Gloucester (booked Bristol TM 16.18-17.03) departed late, being recorded passing Taunton at 18.15 and Nailsea at 18.53 formed; 47237 + 31437 + 31301 + 31423 + 31439 with c/stock; 
6168, 5866, 1211, 9497, 5797, 5906, 5958. The 31s had been long term residents at Meldon, three arriving there during August 2003 and were in poor condition although it has been quoted one maybe two could be returned to operating condition!!
19/12 Test unit 950001 returned north as 2Z08 04.10 Exeter-Derby via Barnstaple, Weston-Super-Mare and Worcester. The 6C79 Parc Slip-Westbury loaded coal was again in the hands of a Class 60, today being 60014. 66726 hauled 6336 42008 44014 42044 42043 42042 41030 41029 6348 as 5Z90 Laira - Derby Litchurch Lane running 45 late through Temple Meads 13.20
20/12 66726 returned south, passing Westerleigh at 12.03 with a further 5Z91 Derby-Laira refurbished stock move (booked Bristol TM 11.59) with HST coaches;- 41029, 41030, 42003, 42042, 42043, 42044, 44014 (LA set 14).
21/12 66068 was on the 6C79 Westbury loaded coal.
22/12 Pastime Rail's 'Chester Chuffer' (1Z24 Taunton-Chester and 1Z25 17.10 return) was worked to and from Bescot yard by 67001, steam loco 6024 King Edward I taking over for the run to Chester and the return to Bescot. 220017 still remained the only re-liveried Voyager set by the end of 2007, being noted today working the 10.24 Manchester-Plymouth XC service. Reports say Arriva management are not happy with the current new colour scheme! Adjustments could be taking place with further repaints during 2008.
27/12 Former First/Northern liveried 153361 (now part of the First/GW fleet) worked the 12.26 Southampton-Bristol Parkway service. Some delays were encountered by First/GW during the morning due to a Gatwick Express train failure in the Hayes & Harlington area. The rescue set was also reported to have failed! The 6C79 again was in the hands of GM power in the shape of 66184. Drivers and guards balloted for a 48 hour strike, due to take place over 20-21/01/08 because of management covering guard duties.
29/12 A Railway Touring Company trip from Croydon-Bristol TM with steam 34067 Tangmere was cancelled. Locomotives seen in Bristol area at 15.00 
Barton Hill(BK): 08516, 37696-now next to main gate, 37077, 37377 usual place next to fence but down a bit, 66206, 66187. Kingsland Road SP:
66584, 66610. Note 37379 removed from site on 18/12/07 after many years.
31/12 At 15.15, 66513/559/601/610/614/616/623 were noted stabled at Kingsland Road. 66158 was on the 6V62 (MO) Fawley-St.Phillips Marsh loaded fuel tanks, 66085 worked the 6B65 Westbury-Newport ADj departmental and 60083 was on the 6C79 Westbury cement works loaded coal. 66250 was seen rounding Day's curve on a diverted Didcot-Avonmouth train of empty coal HTAs.

First/GW-St.Phillips Marsh

It has been reported that the improvement work at the depot, started during October 2006, is still incomplete and now 15 months behind schedule. A new covered maintenance shed, which would improve stock availability, has still not be built, mainly because the contractor Scanmoor went into administration early in 2007. The work is now set to continue with a new as yet 'un-named' contractor from December 2007. 

Cardiff Tidal Sidings/Steelworks

31/12 08466

Gloucester

04/12 37229 arrived at Berkeley at 08.31 with 3 PFAs.
05/12 37229 + 37609 passed Aschurch at 07.35 with the 6V73 Crewe-Berkeley nuclear flask empties.
07/12 A 5Z85 11.15 Brush Loughborough-Landore move was worked by 47813 hauling power cars 43172 + 43188.
10/12 A further stock move, the 5Z46 11.10 Brush Loughborough-Landore move was again headed by 47813 hauling barrier coach 6338 and refurbished HST power car 43190. The train was reported to have departed Loughborough 32 minutes late.
11/12 Test unit 950001 was seen heading towards South Wales during the early afternoon.
14/12 47375 was in charge of a 5Z86 11.32 Loughborough-Landore move with HST power cars 43137 + 43170.
21/12 Silverlink 150121 was working Swindon-Cheltenham First/GW services during the day.
29/12 Steam 6024 King Edward I took over a 1Z67 05.55 Ealing Broadway-Gloucester railtour from a Class 67 loco at Hereford for the run to Gloucester for a mid-afternoon arrival.
31/12 Noted in the station/Horton road areas at Gloucester during the day were;- 47033/200/237. 47316/375. 150121/127. 158750/767. c/stock; 6721. 9488/490. 94101.

Newport

03/12 66160 & 66183 top and tailed a rail head treatment train, being based in East Usk Yard between workings. The 4V50 failed at Wentlooge on Friday 31/11 behind 66542, it was rescued today by 66574.
04/12 The following were noted on various freight duties during the day 09105 60014 66183/197 66577/608
05/12 Noted today were 09105 60023/065/076 66019/068/081/094119/160/166
66183/66197 66525/547/571
10/12 47813 hauled 43190 from Landore. Also noted were 09105 66003/137/166/180/187 66534/602
18/12 Crew training started on the Ebbw Vale branch, the unit involved 143607 was due to run into Newport rather than Cardiff, even though Network Rail have stated that passenger services cannot run into Newport due to limitations with the signalling/layout!

Portbury Branchline

01/12 66078 stabled over the weekend with loaded HTAs, assumed for use on the 6M38 05.00 to Ironbridge on 03/12.
04/12 Freightliner were noted using HHAs in place of HXAs, on all their coal services. These wagons are believed to have a larger holding capacity.
06/12 60100 arrived with the 6X51 03.46 loaded car and car empties, but was unconfirmed as working the return 6X52 17.27 loaded cars to Washwood Heath.
11/12 66512 + 66551 were noted paired near Ashton at 11.15 on the 6Z82 07.00 Portbury-Rugeley loaded coal service.
17/12 Two Class 66s were noted at the dock gate at 07.25, one loco on the front of the 6Z82 07.00 Rugeley departure the other stabled light-engine. The locos were later identified as 66555 and 66619.
18/12 At 05.00, a fire was reported in the coal loading area, being attended by fire appliances from Pill, Clevedon and Avonmouth.
19/12 The Bardon blue liveried 66623 worked one of the morning coal departures from Portbury, being recorded at Pilning around 11.00.
21/12 66552 was reported passing Stapleton Road at 14.41 hauling loaded coal HXAs as the 6Z70 07.00 Portbury-Rugeley departure running 303 minutes late!!
28/12 'On loan', DRS 66422 became the first sub class member to visit the Portbury branch line, working 4Z73 18.15 Barrow Hill-Portbury, with a booked arrival time of 00.55 (29/12). 66425 is also currently 'on loan' to Freightliner Heavy-haul.

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66078/084/187. 66422/512/519/546. 66551/552/555/560/584/602/608/619/623.
Part of the former engineer's siding site at Bower Ashton is being used by developers Wimpey as a storage area for a new building development on the site of the former Arena 1 bowling complex which was demolished during 2007. The BR property board objected to the building of new flats on the site. 

Taunton

10/12 Fairwater yard held the following at lunchtime
66507/515/518/547/584/619/620/621/622 73133.

Units noted this period included

142009/029/063/068.
143603/611/612/617/618/621.
150121/127/219/221/239/243/248/249.
153361/370
158745/746/747/748/749/750/760/761/762/764/765/766/767/768/769/776/778
158798/866/867/868/869/870.
159003.
180101/103/106.
220001/002/004/006/008/013/014/015/017/019/025/029.
221102/103/106/118/124/127/128/132/134/137/140/143.

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge.
04/12 66577. 05/12 66571. 06/12 66578. 07/12 66592. 10/12 66534. 
11/12 66580. 12/12 66592. 13/12 66517. 14/12 66574. 17/12 66580.
18/12 66590. 19/12 66543. 20/12 66540. 21/12 66593. 27/12 66543.
28/12 66591.

4V60 Calvert-Bath/Bristol BinLiner
04/12 66585 + 66515. 20/12 66566. 21/12 66584. 

6Z82 07.00 Portbury-Rugeley P.S. loaded coal.
04/12 66602. 17/12 66555 + 66619. 11/12 66512 + 66551. 14/12 66512. 
15/12 66555. 20/12 66560. 21/12 66552. 28/12 66558. 31/12 66584.

6Z70 08.31 Portbury-Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
11/12 66519. 20/12 66546. 28/12 66621.

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6C01/6C02 Newport ADJ-Bristol East depot steel
03/12 66192. 05/12 66081. 14/12 66227. 20/12 66160.  21/12 66214. 
24/12 66119. 28/12 60093. 31/12 66008. 

6C03/6C04 Newport ADJ-Swindon steel 
06/12 60012. 07/12 60068. 10/12 66217. 13/12 66220. 14/12 66025. 
19/12 66094. 20/12 66248 + 66184.

6M33 16.23 (SX) Avonmouth-Wembley 'enterprise' freight service
07/12 66119. 11/12 66206. 12/12 66080. 19/12 66080. 21/12 66206.

6B13/6B47 Robeston - Westerleigh
03/12 60051. 04-05/12 60093. 11-14/12 60023. 17/12 60023. 
19-21/12 60083. 27/12 60043.

6B83/6C83 Westbury-Machen-Westbury stone (T,Th (Q) SO)
04/12 66051. 08/12 59202. 11/12 60044. 13/12 60044. 15/12 59002.

STOCK ALTERATIONS

Locomotives

Transfers
08482(TD)-TO, 08623(BS)-TE, 08786/904(TD)-TO, 43002/003/004/005/009,
43010/012/015/016/017/030/031/032/033/034/035/036/037/040(PM)-LA,
43041/042(PM)/069/070/071/078/079/086/087/088/091(LA)/092/093/094,
43097/098/122/153/154/155/156/158(LE)/159/160/161/162/163/164/165,
43168/169/170/171/172/174/175/176/177/179/180/181/182/183/185/186,
43187/188/189/190/191/192/193(LA)/194(LE)/196/197(LA)/198(LE)-OO,
47237(KM)-GL, 47832(DF)-KM. 66032/202/222/223. 92043 -France 

EMSL East Midlands Trains Shunting Locos
08525/690/697/799/908/950

WSSA EWS Axiom Rail Classes 08/09
08879

WSSF EWS Fleet Services Classes 08/09
08538/701/703/709/765/770/783/802/842/854/939/941. 09003/024/103/205.

WSSI EWS Industrial Classes 08/09
08428/466/495/512/593/623/630/632/646/685/689/735/752/775/776,921/951.
09017/023

WSSK EWS Construction Classes 08/09
08393/653/757

WSSM EWS Energy Classes 08/09
08405/633/706. 09201

WSSN EWS Network Classes 08/09
08482/500/514/578/605/662/664/676/711/714/737/782/784/786/798
08799/804/844/865/866/886/897/904/907/909/922/933/993/994/995
09001/005/006/013/014/019/022/101/105/106/107

Stored
08389. 67014/021/025. 73118/130. 86223
BH: 37057. LM: 86223. SL: 73130. TO: 67014/021/025. Warrington: 08389. Barry (Vale of Glamorgan): 73118. Hope (Lafarge): 37682.

Traffic
08776 -TE, 08897 -BS. 

Disposals
Booth: 37513
TJ Thomson: 08720/883/910
EMR: 37114/375/694
East Lancs: 37109 Severn Valley: 37308

Renumbered
43115 - 43315

Diesel Multiple Units

Transfers
142004/009/028/029/030/062/063/067/068/070(NH)-EX
153321(TS)-CF
158815/816/817/855/871/872(PM)-NL

Renumbered
170399 - 170309

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
319002/009/010/011 -EGTL
377155/156/157/163(BI)-SU

Stored
411: car 61390 (1532) @SS
442412/14 @ZN

Disposals
Booth: Cars: 62094, 76153, 76203(310069), 76498(310064)

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Transfers
3278. 3385. 5989. 9479. 9513. 80042 -KM.
40208/209/228 -OO, 40702 -EC, 40709/712/714/717/718/724/725/726/731,
40736/738/744/745/747 -OO, 40801/802/803/806/808/810 -OO,
41004/005/006/007/008/017/018/028/029/030/033/034/055/056/065/081,
41089/096/101/102/105/106/108/109/119/125/126/127/128/131/132/137,
41138/139/140/147/148/149/155/161/168/169/179/180/181/182/183/184,
41186/187/189/191/192 -OO, 42003/008/024/025/026/027/039/040/041/042,
42043/044/048/049/050/060/061/062/066/067/068/069/070/071/073/074,
42079/080/081/083/084/085/086/087/089/090/098/099/115/118/126/138,
42162/166/170/173/174/178/187/195/196/197/201/202/203/204/211/212,
42213/214/216/217/218/221/222/223/224/236/247/248/249/251/254/260,
42261/262/264/266/271/272/273/283/284/285/287/288/289/308/309/310,
42314/315/316/317/319/320/321/334/336/338/344/346/347/348/349/356,
42362/364/365 -OO, 44000/003/008/013/016/020/022/023/026/030/033,
44036/037/042/043/060/064/067/069/078/079/090/091/093/097/101 -OO.

Stored
LM: 5789. 5853/69. 5913/65/76. 6001/13/35. 6119/37/62/70/83.
6356/57. 9539. 17144/170.
ZG: 5926/35/68/93/94. 6034. 6123/66. 9503/09. 9705/07/10/11.

Renumbered
41080 - 42364, 
41107 - 42365, 
41188 - 42310


FREIGHT REVIEW (By Pete Merry)

Firstly, let me wish you a Happy New Year, and may we get a better Summer period this year than last year's "damp squib"! I've not been around since the last Freight Review I did, due to the Christmas and New Year periods. Actually, with all the engineering work taking place, especially on the West Coast Main Line at Rugby there wouldn't have been a lot to see. I'm off to Rugby for the evening this coming Monday (7th January) so I do hope that all the work there is finished. I must say that the work undertaken there over the Christmas period was a major event with most of the track being removed and relayed to incorporate the new track layout. I will see if this has succeeded on my visit. A couple of colleagues of mine spent quite a profitable day at Doncaster on the Thursday before Christmas, logging 30plus freight. Whether there were additional workings to cover for the up-coming holiday they didn't know. I returned to work on 2nd January and haven't seen a great deal passing by on the Midland Main Line. The Redland traffic commenced and I noted 66125 heading south on a self-discharge rake on that same date. I haven't seen any of the British Gypsum traffic in 2008 as yet. I have received news of some new inter modal traffic which is due to start in January. These are a Brussels-Daventry to run three times a week, Duisberg-Trafford Park to run six days a week (from February) and a Trafford Park-Milan which will run five days a week from March. There are several other services due to commence early this year, these being a direct result of the reduction of charges through the Tunnel. News that some of the 979xxx welded rail carriers are to be renumbered in the 81.70.4842.xxx series for a service from Italy to Eastleigh. The starting date for this service is not known. Moving on to some new vehicles, well conversions, to inform you about. Some of the old iron ore hoppers (VTG26xxx series) have been renumbered to VTG4100-4139. Identities of the following are the only ones I have information about so far: VTG4100 (ex-VTG26635), 4101 (26731), 4102 (26571), 4103 (26727), 4104 (26589), 4105 (26586), 4106 (26697), 4107 (26739), 4108 (26590) and 4109 (26644). There are some new vehicles for BNFL, designated KXA, these vehicles are BNFL96901-96906. Some more KFA conversions from continental vans have also taken place, these being: GERS97106 (ex-33.70.2797.106), 97109 (33.70.2797.109), 97112 (33.70.2797.112), 97133 (33.70.2797.133), 97148 (33.70.2797.148), 97153 (33.70.2797.153), 97158 (33.70.2797.158), 97168 (33.70.2797.168), 97170 (33.70.2797.170), 97171 (33.70.2797.171), 97211 (33.70.2797.211), 97214 (33.70.2797.214), 97229 (33.70.2797.229), 97235 (33.70.2797.235), 97266 (33.70.2797.266), 97268 (33.70.2797.268), 97276 (33.70.2797.276), 97309 (33.70.2797.309). As can been seen from the list the vehicles have been renumbered number-for-number, which makes a change from the normal random renumbering that goes on! Some old numbers for the "Coalfish" in the 395xxx series have also been passed on. These are: 395260 (ex-390159), 395266 (390165), 395270 (390169), 395274 (390173), 395286 (390185), 395287 (390186), 395291 (390190), 395292 (390191), 395296 (390201), 395299 (390206), 395309 (390228), 395316 (390236), 395331 (390258), 395335 (390264), 395338 (390267), 395342 (390272), 395355 (390307), 395356 (390308), 395363 (390321), 395365 (390323), 395373 (393000), 395374 (393001), 395380 (393010), 395384 (393014), 395389 (393019), 395390 (393020), 395393 (393023), 395403 (393033), 395404 (393034). It seems that there is a concerted effort to get rid of the original Freightliner flats (601xxx, 602xxx and 603xxx series) as they are now being condemned in droves. I haven't noted one in a service for many, many months now, so it seems that their days are now ended. I think that's all for this effort. Apologies for lack of personal reports but with the holiday period now over I shall start getting about a little bit more and will, hopefully, have more sightings to report next time. All the best.


MISCELLANEOUS

Road Movements
03/12 Ex. GWR 1450, northbound M5 near junction 19, Gordano at 15.40.

Cotswold-Rail

With the end of HST stock moves now in sight, the company are rumoured to be looking at regular freight flows. The movement of scrap metal from the West Country to Cardiff Tidal could be the first with daily Mon-Fri workings, approximate timings being 11.00 Tidal-St.Blazey (via the Severn Tunnel) and 12.30 return (routed via Gloucester).

DEPARTMENTAL & TRACK MACHINES

15/11 M5, southbound junction 20, during the afternoon; Road/railer; BCL207.
25/11 Mainline between Bristol-Keynsham (near Hick's Gate); DR73108 Tiger. 77319. Road/railer; Quattro plant; 112. trailer; 243.
Ashton junction; Road/railer; Gamble E1105.
Marsh junction (view); 76307/313/318. stored track machine; 73216.
10/12 Pilning; Road/railer; Hydrex catapillar; 4551. passing (down); 77327 (at 11.54).
15/12 Kingsland Road; DR80203. 


PRESERVATION & INDUSTRIAL MATTERS

Bristol Industrial Museum, Harbour Railway
With the museum refurbishment work due to start during January, a new stock storage shed has been created under Smeaton road overbridge alongside the former tobacco warehouses near Ashton swing bridge. A very small section of the former Cannon's Marsh branch (closed in 1965) has been reinstated at the former Ashton Swing bridge junction site as sidings. Some of the wall and door panels used in the building of the new shed have been taken from the former loco stabling and storage area at the Industrial Museum which would otherwise have gone for scrap. 

 

 

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