NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

01/03 67026 arrived on the Saturday morning's 6V53 Wembley-Avonmouth 'enterprise' freight having been diverted via the Berks & Hants and the Limpley Valley. The loco later ran light-engine to Barton Hill with 66078 being recorded at Temple Meads at 09.35.
04/03 60079 worked the 6C63/6C64 Westbury-Avonmouth empty and return loaded import stone service.
18/03 59005 was unusual power for the 6C63/6C64 import stone, arriving in the Bennett's loading area at 13.05, departing loaded at 16.41.
19/03 60005 became what is believed to be only the second Class 60 to work the 6M33 16.21 'enterprise' freight to Wembley, having brought in the 6V53 morning working ,the first being 60046 on 19/03/04. This loco which carries the name BP Gas Avonmouth, was noted on the return service passing Brentry at 17.02.
25/03 66002 was on the 6M33, Wembley 'enterprise' freight.
The Severn Beach line is to receive a 900,000 investment,with Government funding and input between Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and First/GW. The money is to be spent over three years to improve the service as well as the stations.
Starting in May, an extra DMU set and train crew will be available, meaning three trains every two hours in both directions between Temple Meads and Avonmouth from Monday to Saturday with one train an hour continuing to Severn Beach throughout the day, replacing the current peak hour only trains to the line's seaside terminus.
Also, for the first time in many years, there is to be an hourly service between Temple Meads and Avonmouth on a Sunday.

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included; 66034/051/075/076/078/082/151/157/66161/172/182/194. 08405 remains the local area shunting pilot.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

02/03 Arriva XC services were again diverted via Parkway due to engineering work between Gloucester and Severn Tunnel junction. White liveried 170398 worked the 15.30 Birmingham-Cardiff and 17.50 Cardiff-Birmingham services. Advenza freight liveried 57005 was reported to have worked a Landore-Old Oak Common HST power car stock move during the day although the trains route was unconfirmed.
03/03 60022 worked the 6C01 Newport ADJ-Bristol East depot steel (passing Pilning at 09.16), another Class 60 was reported to have powered the 6B49 Swindon steel. A couple of freight seen this evening starting with the "Cubes" headed by 66013 and the second was an empty mgr service for Avonmouth with 66157. 19:42 departure for Swansea was over 60 minutes late due to vandalism in the Reading area, the service was turned at Reading owing to the then leading power cars windscreen being cracked. It was learnt an earlier service suffered similar damage and this was turned at Filton Abbey Wood.
04/03 60074 carrying the new DB Schenker Rail light-blue livery and the name Teenage Spirit was at Westerleigh to work the 6E41 empty fuel tanks to Lindsey. The livery and name was launched at a children's charity event on 01/03 at the NRM York. (See the cover of last month's magazine for photograph)
05/03 60074 was again on the 6E41 Lindsey empty fuel tanks leaving Westerleigh at 11.05. 66089 was also seen passing on the mainline at Westerleigh at 11.12 with the 6H55 Port Talbot-Swindon empty scrap MBAs. DRS 66421 was reported at Newport ADj as 'on spot hire' to EWS.
06/03 Freight services nearly as Monday night, 66125 worked the "Cubes" and 66157 a loaded mgr from Avonmouth to Didcot. The First/GW 'hire' LA79 was noted between HST power cars 43164 + 43193 working 10.29 Swansea-Paddington (Pilning 11.54) and 14.00 Paddington-Bristol TM services. 66133 was on the 6B24 Didcot-Wentlooge MoD stores passing Pilning at 11.56, whilst 60042 was at Westerleigh on the 6E41 empty fuel tanks to Lindsey. 'Hire' DRS 66421 was still at Newport, having worked to Tidal sidings and Merthyr overnight on an engineers train.
07/03 Following a visit by Her Majesty the Queen to Swansea around 10.00, the seven coach Royal Train ECS was noted passing Pilning at 12.10 top n'tailed by dedicated locos 67006 + 67005. Later 47237 passed Pilning at 15.44 hauling HST power cars 43002 + 43003 as 0F86 Old Oak Common-Landore. 60026 was at Westerleigh on the 6E41 Lindsey tanks.
09/03 Sunday diverts were again in operation for Arriva XC, set 170101 being noted three times working 09.35 Worcester Shrub Hill-Cardiff, 11.50 Cardiff-Birmingham and 15.30 Birmingham-Cardiff. Two diverted freight services were recorded in the Wickwar area; 60012 on 6M41 12.53 Margam-Round Oak steel (passing at 16.00) and 66081 on the 6E47 17.18 Llanwern-Tees Yard steel (16.58).
11/03 60075 was on the 6E41 Lindsey tanks.
12/03 DRS 66419 was reported at Newport as 'on hire' to EWS, working Valley's engineer's trains overnight.
13/03 Former Arriva train's Class 150/2 units, newly transferred into the area began appearing; 150229 being recorded on the First/GW 10.43 Great Malvern-Portsmouth Harbour and 17.41 Temple Meads-Gloucester, the latter with 158745. FLHH 66605 was seen passing Patchway at 08.30 with a retimed Pengam-Angerstein train of stone empties.
14/03 66518 passed Patchway at 08.11 on a 6Y29 Bedwyn-Newport ADJ CWR train, returning at 09.44 as 0Y29 Newport-Taunton Fairwater yard light-engine. Later, 60031 appeared on the 6B35 Hayes-Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties.
15/03 37609 + 37218 passed Parkway at 15.13 heading north on a test train returning from Barton Hill depot. 60030 was over at Westerleigh on fuel tank duty during the morning.
16/03 Sunday diversions again ran via Parkway, with the closure of the Gloucester-Severn Tunnel junction line for permanent way work.
17/03 Colas 47727 was noted stabled at 10.00 in Stoke Gifford down yard.
18/03 Working of the day must have been the 5Z08 08.56 Derby-Bishop's Lydeard headed by 31459 hauling former departmental dmu set 901002 (Iris II), formed 977693 (53222) + 977694 (53338). The move was seen near Frampton Cotteral at 12.15, the unit is to be based on the West Somerset Railway at Dunster as a track maintenance train. It is expected to be repainted into 'old' BR green colours. Another Class 31 in the area was 31601 which ran 0Z31 08.31 Taunton-Fishguard 'driver route learner', seen passing Pilning at 09.32 and on the return through the same location at 15.39. Also noted during the afternoon was 66134 with the 6B24 Didcot-Wentlooge MoD stores and 59204 with the 6C83 Machen-Westbury loaded stone. The latter passed Pilning at 14.28, where also the 13.29 Swansea-Paddington First/GW HST service was noted with power cars 43088 + 43140 and a new 'neon' liveried stock formation also including MML liveried TGS 44012 and 'old' First/GW livery buffet 40208. On this date, LA79 was reported as formed with power cars 43164 + 43193 with MML coaches and First/GW 'neon' liviered 40801 and 44043.
19/03 Continuing the subject of HST set formations, First/GW power cars 43035 + 43198 were reported as working as a nine carriage formation which included 2nd Class 42272 at the First Class end.
20/03 Colas 47727 worked a 6Z47 12.33 Oxford Hinksey yard-Stoke Gifford departmental.
23/03 Arriva Train's Class 170 units were again routed via Parkway. Engineering work on the Severn Tunnel junction to Gloucester mainline including the constuction of new signalling gantries. This was to be the final Sunday for these diversions.
24/03 66140 worked the 6B35 Hayes-Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties, working this train again two days later.
25/03 66536 + 66593 were paired on a late running 4O51 Wentlooge-Millbrook container service, passing Parkway during the afternoon. 31459 appeared at 19.24 on a 5Z47 15.17 Derby-Exeter test train formed with three coaches and DBSO 9703. The formation with the driving trailer was tested over the Devon banks to Plymouth during the early hours of the following day, if successful, would eliminate the use of a second loco for Serco test train workings.
27/03 Colas 47727 was present stabled in Stoke Gifford sidings on a Serco test train.
Only loco working this evening was 31459 heading north with 4 NR vehicles in tow. 158780 seen heading ECS towards Bristol.
28/03 60063 was on the 6B35 Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties. 'Hire' MML HST set LA79, was reported as working the 15.29 Swansea-Paddington First/GW service with power cars 43193 + 43140.
29/03 The 6B80 Westbury-Machen stone empties behind 66193 were noted stabled in the former railnet terminal loop at 07.40 ready to run via Gloucester due to engineering work in the Severn Tunnel. The return 6C80 ran via Stroud, Kemble and Swindon direct to Acton, instead of Westbury.
31/03 66173 was on the 6B24 Wentlooge MoD stores and 60052 headed a Hothfield-Moreton-on-Lugg train of stone empties formed with EWS white liviered HOA bogie wagons (Pilning 16.25). Five freights seen this evening, 66139 with the "Cubes", three MGR services 66153 with a loaded Avonmouth - Didcot services and two rakes of empties Avonmouth bound behind 66182 and 66161 respectively the final working being 66173 with the MoD liner.

Off area units noted this period included; 170101/103/109/110/113/114/398.

Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill

01/03 Following on from last months Advenza freight, scrap metal trials, 47237 + 57006 were paired on a 6Z90 09.04 Gloucester-Plymouth empty wagon test working (Filton Abbey Wood 09.45), to compare each loco Class over the Devon banks, the Class 47 not having automatic sanding gear. 47237 returned the 6Z91 13.30 Plymouth-Gloucester solo, running nearly an hour early passing Bridgwater at 15.10, and 57006 followed on a 5Z74 14.00 Laira-St. Phillips Marsh two barrier coach move just over an hour later.
Also noted during the day was, Colas 47727 running 0Z47 westbound light-engine (Temple Meads 09.00) to Plymouth to collect a track machine and EWS Load-haul stickered 60007 on the 6B33 12.11 Theale-Robeston empty fuel tanks via the Berks & Hants, Bath and Day's curve, routed this way due to the closure for engineering work of the Swindon-Westerleigh mainline.
02/03 The Bristol-Taunton line was closed for engineering work, diversions via Westbury were inplace for Arriva XC services. PW trains noted in the Highbridge/Brent Knoll areas during the day included; 66101 which departed at 15.45 on 6W41 to Newport, 59204 which arrived at 16.30 on an autoballaster, 66078 with 6W42 and 66037 on a 6W43 for Westbury (via Bristol).
Other locos recorded were; 66043/096 and 66520 (a Freightliner loco on 'spot hire' to EWS!). Kingsland Road contained 66555/621/622 during part of the day.
03/03 With the C6 overhaul of 150251 at Barton Hill completed, 150279 arrived for similar treatment.
04/03 The First/GW MML 'hire' set was noted in use on the 11.00 Paddington-Temple Meads service. Two southbound workings seen this afternoon in the space of 40 minutes. Firstly 66037 with a rake of "Hanson" stone wagons and secondly 66147 with a departmental service.
05/03 31190 + 31106 were noted on Barton Hill top n'tailing a test train, reappearing here again two days later on a similar working. 66621 was noted at Twerton near Bath at 16.17 on the 4V60 Calvert-Barrow Road refuse containers.
It has been reported the loading terminal for this train at Oldfield Park, Bath is to close during the Autumn, NE Somerset Council planning to use other unspecified refuse disposal methods. The train will however continue to serve Barrow Road, Bristol. It is believed the Oldfield Park site has been sold, although the goods loop will remain.
06/03 Advenza freights 57005 and 57006 were stabled on the former Bath Road depot spur. 66530 passed during the afternoon on the 6Z60 Neasden-Newton Abbot sand empties, being later noted at Highbridge at 15.30. Another "Hanson" stone train seen today at 14:10 worked by 59202.
07/03 57005 departed Temple Meads light-engine for South Wales around 12.00 (noted 12.15 at Pilning), 57006 remaining stabled. The Friday tour of the parish saw two "Blue Liveried" locomotives stabled on the bridge above Cattle Market Road, advised that they were 57005/006.
08/03 Heartland Tour's 'The York and Scarborough Adventurer' from Temple Meads was cancelled.
Freight diversions via Day's curve during the afternoon included; 60012 on 6B33 Theale-Robeston empty fuel tanks (Bath 13.39) and FLHH 66621 on the 6Z29 Theale-Pengam stone empties during the early evening.
09/03 With the Bristol-Taunton mainline closed two associated engineering trains were reported; 66521 and 66622 stabled in platform 9 at Temple Meads and 66614 + 66617 at Bristol West at 11.35 on the high output ballast cleaner (6Y33). 57006 had moved to the no.1 bay at the end of platform 4.
10/03 Both First/GW sleeper services were diverted via Honiton and Castle Cary. The timings for Yeovil Pen Mill were as follows; 1C99 Paddington-Penzance at 01.59 top n'tailed by 57602 + 57603 and the 1A40 'up' service at 02.25 behind 57604.
11/03 60077 seen at 13:50 with yet another "Hanson" stone train. Colas 47727 returned north as 0Z47 08.35 Plymouth Tavistock yard-Stoke Gifford light-engine, not with a track machine.
13/03 First/GW 'hire' HST set LA79 worked the 12.30 Paddington-Temple Meads service.
14/03 57603 was diverted via Melksham and Chippenham with the 1C99 Paddington-Penzance First/GW sleeper service, reason unknown. One of the newly re-allocated ex. Arriva Trains Class 150 units, No. 150213 was recorded on the 16.05 Taunton-Cardiff Central First/GW service. For the Cheltenham Race Festival, 67016 + 67026 top n'tailed a morning 'Tote Express' Northern Belle special (1Z59 07.40 Victoria-Cheltenham) via Bath and Day's curve.
15/03 Loco hauled specials for the RBS Rugby Union, Wales v France match were; 1Z30 10.30 Westbury-Cardiff Central (Pilning 11.58)/1Z33 19.54 Cardiff Central-Paddington return top n'tailed by 67001 + 67019: 1Z31 09.22 Paddington-Cardiff Central/ 1Z34 20.17 Cardiff Central-Paddington with 67027 + 67022 and 1Z32 10.22 Paddington-Cardiff Central/1Z35 21.30 Cardiff Central-Bristol with Royal locos 67005 + 67006. The latter two workings were both routed via the B & H mainline. Stock formations for two of the train's were as follows; 1Z30/1Z33: 5921, 5945, 5985, 5964, 6006, 6141, 6104, 9526.
16/03 67020 and 67017 top n'tailed return ECS from Margam-Old Oak Common (which had been in use on Newport-Cardiff-Swansea 'ruggex' shuttles during the previous day), routed via Pilning, Day's curve and Bath (13.45). Former Silverlink 150121 was paired with Arriva Trains liveried 150229 on the First/GW 2C56 15.09 Penzance-Temple Meads service.
17/03 Advenza 47375 was noted stabled in no.1 bay at Temple Meads, 66193 worked the Monday Only 6V62 Fawley-St.Phillips Marsh fuel tanks and 31601 headed west on an 0Z71 Derby-Taunton (platform 1) driver route learning trip.
18/03 31601 returned north as 0Z31 08.30 Taunton-Fishguard route learning light-engine.
19/03 31459 + 31601 'combined' at Temple Meads (the former having worked a departmental DMU to the WSR during the previous day-see Bristol Parkway Notes & News, the latter having been used off Taunton on route learning duties) and were noted passing Barton Hill at 09.30 for Derby.
1Z31/1Z34: 9537, 5934, 5984, 5910, 6107, 6054, 6042, 1212. Another loco hauled train working during the day was WCRC's 47787 + 47826 top n'tailing a 1Z57 06.36 Barrow-Bath and 1Z58 16.30 (Pilning 17.14) return (both ways via the Severn Tunnel, the ECS being serviced and stabled at Westbury). The coaching stock in use was as follows; 99371, 99121, 99127, 99328, Pullmans 354, 504, 506, 550, 548, 549, 586. A freight diversion via Bath and Day's curve was the 6B33 Theale-Robeston empty fuel tanks (Bath 14.10). An Arriva Train's liveried 'Pacer' unit (Class 142 or 143) was reported in Temple Meads during the day, and 66520 and 66617 were recorded as stabled at Kingsland Road.
20/03 20307 + 20310 worked 6M67 Bridgwater-Crewe nuclear flasks.
20/03 A convoy of 5 freightliner 66s headed north at 20:55 light engines, only 66518/522/618/952 identified.
22/03 Further Rugby specials for the Sarecens v Ospreys game at the Millennium Stadium saw; 67025 + 67026 top n'tail 1Z31 10.22 Paddington-Cardiff Central (with c/stock; 6104, 6141, 6006, 6107, 6042, 5985, 5964, 9526) and Royals 67005 + 67006 top n'tail 1Z30 09.22 Paddington-Cardiff (with c/stock; 3295, 3277, 1200, 6051, 6138, 9520). With the Swindon-Westerleigh mainline still closed for engineering work at weekends, diversions continued; 60047 working the 6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel tank empties again via Bath and Day's curve. Also reported was the 16.05 Taunton-Cardiff First/GW service being worked by 'neon' liveried duo 153368 + 153305.
24/03 Easter Bank Holiday Monday and continuing engineering works!! With the mainline closed west of Swindon for structural maintenance on an embankment, all trains from Bristol and South Wales ran via the Berks and Hants route as on most recent Saturdays. Trains to and from South Wales resumed via Swindon and Bristol Parkway from 17.00.
First/GW hired in four Class 67 locos and two rakes of Riviera MkIIs to run an hourly top n'tail shuttle service between Temple Meads and Chippenham throughout the day commencing at 06.17 as 1T01 Bristol-Chippenham (then 1T03, 08.15, 1T05 10.15,etc. 2 hourly onwards until 1T16, 21.50) and 1Z16 07.25 Chippenham-Bristol (then 1Z18, 09.25, 1Z20 11.25, etc. again 2 hourly until 1Z31, 22.35).
Locos and stock in use, the 67s in a top n'tail formation were; Royal 67005 and 67006 with former Virgin liveried red 9520, 6138, 6027, 6051, 5937 (still carrying Virgin XC branding!), 1200 Amber (blue and cream), 3277, 3295 (both Anglian blue/white) and 67021 and 67016 with a full rake of ex Virgin red 6067, 5987, 1250, 6024, 5961, 5997, 5962, 6176, 9507.
A similar operation took place between the same two locations on Saturday 15th December last year, the trains often passing on each day between Bathampton junction and Box tunnel. On the freight side; 66068 worked the 6V62 (MO) St. Phillips Marsh fuel tanks, whilst Avonmouth-Didcot coal services were diverted via Day's curve, Bath, the Limpley Valley and the B & H during the day.
At 09.30 Kingsland Road held 66552/581, being joined by 66548/561/604/616 before 13.00.
25/03 59202 seen again with "Hanson" stone hoppers, this time heading north at 06:30. DRS 66427 + 66429 were reported passing Worle junction (Weston-super-Mare) at 08.36 on a 5Z66 Crewe-Keyham escort coach move.
26/03 A derailment within the Devonport complex saw the two DRS locos from the previous day return north as 5Z66 13.30 Keyham D&D-Crewe C.L.S with escort coaches 9419 + 9428, passing near Weston-super-Mare at 16.33. An evening freight working reported was the 6C89 Newport-St. Blazey scrap empties behind 66003.
27/03 31459 returned north on the 9703 DBSO test working, having worked to and from Exmouth, departing Exeter at 19.48 for Derby. 66003 returned on the 6B99 St.Blazey-Newport ADj, again during the evening (Bridgwater 18.37) and earlier 66605 headed west on the 6Z60 Neasden-Newton Abbot sand empties. A four-day strike by SWT drivers over pay and working conditions was called off.
66082 seen heading northbound at 13:35 with coal hoppers.
28/03 66565 with a rake of Heavy Haul wagons headed south at 09:40, not sure if it was coal empties for Portbury of aggregate for Fairwater Yard. The Friday morning tour saw one Freightliner Cl66 at Kingsland Road, 2 x DRS CL37 at St Philips Marsh depot, believed to be 37218/609 and a NR vehicle present on the wheel lathe.
At Temple Meads on the Bridge a green Class 158, probably 780 seen the night before at Bristol Parkway and 66078 at Barton Hill.
Steam 6201 Princess Elizabeth arrived in the area as 5Z79 10.15 Heywood ground-frame (East Lancs Railway)-Barton Hill (via Oxford) loco and support coach for railtour duty and Cotswold-Rail 47828 worked a 5Z74 09.00 Landore-St. Phillips Marsh stock move, then headed 5F77 17.05 St. Phillips Marsh-Laira with barrier coach 6336 and HST power car 43160. Former Central green liveried 158780 was stabled in Temple Meads, reported as en-route to Eastleigh works for overhaul.
29/03 What was to be the first local steam working of the year 'The Dartmouth Express' (1Z82 06.35 Birmingham International-Kingswear and 1Z83 17.20 return, the booked water stops being at Tiverton loop outward and Exeter on the return) arrived in Bristol behind 67026, for 6201 Princess Elizabeth (in place of the unavailable 6024 King Edward I) to take over. The turntable at Churston had been specially extended for the former LMS loco which was deemed too long for turning last year at this location, this loco with 6024 King Edward I and 60019 Bittern are expected to work this year's popular Pastime Rail 'Torbay Express' trains. However all was not well on the return, 6201 being failed at Exeter with a 'clinkered' firebox due to poor quality 'foreign' coal loaded at Churston. 67026 ran light-engine from Barton Hill-Exeter to assist the train forward.
30/03 With the First/GW 'hire' of the MML HST set known as LA79 ended on 28/03, 47828 worked the coaches north as 5Z57 15.33 Laira-Doncaster, departing Temple Meads at 17.51. Also during the afternoon a light-engine move saw 66561 + 66581 + 66623 + 66616 run 0Y34 Kingsland Road-Taunton Fairwaters yard.
31/03 Steam loco 6201 Princess Elizabeth returned as 5Z87 09.00 Barton Hill-Bescot loco and support coach via Charfield.
Two railtour cancellations were Pastime Rail's 'Torbay Express' Bristol-Kingswear (with steam loco 6024) and Heartland Tour's 1Z96 05.23 Bristol-Carlisle and 1Z97 17.38 return (using Cotswold-Rail Class 47s). From this date all future Heartland Railtours were suspended.

Gloucester

01/03 Pathfinder's 'Golden Slipper' railtour, featuring a Class 57/3 loco from Birmingham into South Wales for the Machen branch (with a Class 60 assisting on the other end) and a return from Margam via Bristol Parkway was cancelled.
04/03 57006 worked 12 empty bogie box wagons to Stockton to commence the new Advenza scrap flow during the following day. The West Country (St. Blazey) scrap workings are reported on hold at present.
05/03 57005 + 57006 double-headed the first loaded scrap train for Advenza freight, 6Z75 18.20 Stockton-Cardiff Tidal sidings, which departed early around 15.00!
07/03 57005 worked 6Z71 Cardiff Tidal-Holegate empty scrap wagons.
11/03 57005 returned a further loaded scrap train as 6Z75 09.00 Stockton-Cardiff Tidal, reported as running around an hour early, the booked Chepstow time being 17.03.
For the 2008 Cheltenham Race Festival, 67021 + 67027 top n'tailed an 09.40 Paddington-Cheltenham and 19.06 return 'extra', these trains also operating on 13th and 14th.
The meeting to be held on the 12th was cancelled due to high winds and a large hospitality tent blowing over!
12/03 57006 passed Chepstow at 14.35 light-engine, assumed running from Gloucester-Cardiff Tidal sidings. A 5Z46 14.16 Long Marston-Eastleigh stock move, which was originally booked to run via Bristol Parkway was headed by GBRf 66713 with coaches; 6283, 6806, 6820, 9704, 9709, 6823, and noted passing Kemble at 17.42. The two driving vans are reported for store, the remaining coaches were for export to New Zealand.
13/03 'Hired', Arriva Trains liviered 150213 was noted on the 11.34 First/GW Swindon-Cheltenham service.
14/03 The 6A32 Ashchurch-Didcot MoD operated behind 66122, passing Swindon at 14.26, 57005 worked empty scrap wagons north through Severn Tunnel junction at 15.25 (20 minutes late), and 47237 was also recorded here on a 5Z46 11.10 Brush Loughborough-Landore HST power car move formed with 43175 + barrier 6336 + 43133.
19/03 Gloucester station held the following; siding 1: 57006, 47375. siding 2: c/stk 94101, 37704, 47237, 57005. Track machines; DR73935 and Loram rail grinder; 79251-79257 were also reported as in the area.
24/03 Another 'hire' Arriva set, 150231 was noted working First/GW Swindon-Cheltenham services.
29/03 Preserved mainline Deltic 55022 Royal Scots Grey passed Severn Tunnel junction at 08.30 with Pathfinder Tours 'Heart of Wales Explorer' (1Z47 05.00 Crewe-Llandrindod Wells and 1Z45 14.32 return), complete with a uniform rake of maroon stock.
With the Severn Tunnel closed for weekend repair work until early September, the 6B33 Theale-Robeston empty fuel tanks were reported as diverted via Kemble and Stroud, unusually headed by 66120.

Units noted this period included

143603/611/612/617/619/620/621.
150121/127/213/221/229/231/233/234/238/243/244/247/257/261/265/266.
153305/329/361/368/369/373.
158745/746/748/749/750/760/762/763/764/765/767/768/769/771/776/778/780
158798/950/951.
159003.
220001/003/004/012/014/015/018/020/021/022/023/028/029/031/033/034.
221115/117/121/123/126/127/128/131/132/134/136.

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge.
04/03 66591. 05/03 66532. 06/03 66569. 07/03 66538. 10/03 66574. 11/03 66591. 12/03 66532. 13/03 66593. 14/03 66571. 18/03 66567.
19/03 66593. 26/03 66581. 27/03 66568. 28/03 66568. 31/03 66574.

4V60 Calvert-Bath/Bristol BinLiner
04/03 66622. 05/03 66621. 06/03 66621. 07/03 66622. 14/03 66520. 17/03 66520. 18/03 66520. 26/03 66581. 28/03 66552. 31/03 66552.

6Z82 07.00 Portbury-Rugeley P.S. loaded coal.
04/03 66616. 06/03 66522. 07/03 66553. 10/03 66623. 11/03 66553. 12/03 66564. 13/03 66515. 14/03 66564. 18/03 66548. 19/03 66623.
21/03 66581. 26/03 66585. 27/03 66508.

6Z70 08.31 Portbury-Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
03/03 66555. 04/03 66563. 06/03 66548. 07/03 66524. 11/03 66558. 12/03 66583. 13/03 66583. 14/03 66583. 19/03 66951.

6Z72 10.30 Portbury-Rugeley P.S. loaded coal.
04/03 66524. 06/03 66512. 07/03 66512. 12/03 66558. 13/03 66531. 14/03 66531. 18/03 66560. 19/03 66548. 26/03 66583. 28/03 66583.

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6C01/6C02 Newport ADJ-Bristol East depot steel
03/03 60022. 05/03 66117. 07/03 66121. 14/03 66048. 17/03 66020. 18/03 66053. 19/03 66006. 28/03 66136.

6B49/6B50 Newport ADJ-Swindon steel
05/03 66115. 07/03 66081. 12/03 66003. 14/03 66021. 19/03 66176. 25/03 66181. 26/03 66108. 28/03 66060.

6B13/6B47 Robeston - Westerleigh
03/03-08/03 60041. 10/03 60034. 11/03 60034. 15/03 60030. 20/03 60024. 21/03 60024.

6B33 Theale-Robeston fuel tank empties
04/03 66037. 06/03 60024. 11/03 60012. 12/03 60007. 15/03 60034. 18/03 60043. 20/03 60012. 22/03 60047. 27/03 60083. 29/03 66120.

6B83/6C83 Westbury-Machen-Westbury stone (T,Th (Q) SO)
01/03 59104. 06/03 59202. 08/03 59204. 11/03 60077. 13/03 59202. 15/03 60031. 18/03 59204. 25/03 59202. 27/03 60054. 29/03 66193.

6B65 Westbury-Newport ADJ departmental
04/03 66147. 05/03 66146. 17/03 66146. 24/03 66053. 27/03 66019. 31/03 60052.

6C79/6B63 Parc Slip-Westbury-Margam coal and coal empties
04/03 60030. 06/03 60012. 17/03 66108. 20/03 60022.

6X52 Portbury-Washwood Heath loaded and empty car carriers
04/03 66040. 05/03 66101. 11/03 66108. 13/03 66108. 18/03 66068. 27/03 66166. 28/03 66141.

STOCK ALTERATIONS

Locomotives

Transfers
37601/603(TI)-KM, 92010 - France

Stored
60028. 67022.
BH: 37696. DR: 37689. LM: 37683/898. 86215/242. OC: 47799.
TO: 60028. 67022. Crewe HC: 47575. LNWR: 47747.

Traffic
37676 -CS, 60005. 67025 -TO.
Re-registered: 37704. 87031/035.

Withdrawn
47528

Disposals
EMR: 37430/673
T Thomson: 47475
R Hull: 37695. 47528
Booth: 37519/708/887
Bo'ness: 37409

Renumbered
43107 - 43307

Diesel Multiple Units

Transfers
150213/229(CF)-EX

Stored
142071 @HT
180101/102 @OY, 113 @XW

Reformed
222005/007 now 7 cars, 008/019 now 5 cars

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
442401-08/10-14/17/19/21/24(ZG)-BI

Withdrawn
Cars: 70744. 76205 (310059), 71085(1884)

Disposals
Booth: 70744. 76205
?? - 71085 - used as restaurant in High Street, Deptford

Renumbered
450044 - 544, 045 - 545, 053 - 553, 066 - 566

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Transfers
17086 -WB, 10226/242/249/250. 82134 - EICS

Stored
ZG: 3285. 6806/20/23. 9704/09. OM: 94207. ZB: 12007.
Mossend: 94440. Marcroft: 12117/169. 82117/130. JTLand: 92936

Withdrawn
95228

Disposals
JT Land: 5814/16/43. 5931. 6043. 6111/13/42/71/80.
HNRL: 92100/175 @LNWR
New Zealand: 5935/96. 6010/15/26. 6159

Renumbered
99080 - 21096, 11023 - 41204, 12121 - 42408

First/GW Class 158 Reformations

As previously mentioned, complaints regarding overcrowding saw the arrival of 5 Class 150/2 on loan from Arriva Trains Wales. These will replace five of the First/GW Class 158's which will be split to provide 10 extra carriages to strengthen ten other 158's from 2 to 3-car sets on Cardiff-Portsmouth services. Looking back, around 4 years ago Wessex Trains formed a number of three car Class158's, which First/GW disbanded on taking over the franchise in April 2006 removing the extra coach from the eight 3 car 158's to provide twelve two car units.
The proposed new formations are as follows;-
158950: 158761+57751, 158951: 158764+52251, 158952: 158762+57748, 158953: 158750+52748, 158954: 158760+57747, 158955: 158765+52747.
158956: 158767+57749, 158957: 158771+52749, 158958: 158768+57745, 158959: 158763+52745.
Of the newly formed sets, 158951 was reported as in service by 24/03, with 158950 also by the end of the month. These two join 158798 which has been in use, and recently refurbished for First/GW, for sometime.

FREIGHT REVIEW (By Pete Merry)

Here we go again with another look at the freight scene from the past month or so, beginning with some snippets of news as usual.
The Duisberg-Trafford Park service recently commenced is only running as required at the present time, it is utilising Austatte intermodal flats some of which are new to this country. The Austatte flats on the Novarro-Hams Hall are being used for Norfolk Line containers. Bogie tanks 33.87.7898.000-040 are making a reappearance on traffic to this country hired by EREMWA. A new service to start is a Basle-Trafford Park (and return), and the Milan-Trafford park has restarted fully. The new GBRf class 66s, 66728-66732 have now arrived, 66728 and 66729 going straight to traffic and 66720-732 going to Crewe from some modifications.
A couple of unusual sightings from the past four weeks have been, firstly, the glorious personal sighting during my "lunch hour by the line" at work on 8th May of "Western Champion" heading north light engine! Apparently on its way to Barrow Hill. The previous week, I believe it was 30th April, 40145 was noted sitting at the signal at Lancaster Road, Leicester, by a colleague of mine, heading southbound (the engine not my colleague!). Apparently, when arriving at Nuneaton this locomotive was utilised to drag the Bedworth bogie tanks service back into Nuneaton station after it had been give the wrong route!! (This information coming from a very reliable source!)
Anyway on to my news. Just the usual boring locations, but plenty of sightings nonetheless. I think I've mentioned the long consists of the automotive trains on the WCML, a case in point on 7th April at Rugby. Heading south, 66093 was in charge of the following: 23.87.4375.028/018/032/
001/003/023/024, 23.87.4392.581/501, 23.87.4376.003, 23.87.4333.005/075, 90048/ 49/ 50/51.
The two W. H. Malcolm services that evening were decent lengths in their own right. The first, hauled by 66415 had the following consist: 33.68.4909.353/450/401/965/303/399/397/169/507/419, 33.68.4943.065. This was closely followed by 66406 hauling: 33.68.4909.556/ 759/042/579/062/651/889/392/593/796/577/770/039, 33.68.4943.072. A nice sight that night was 60021 (not many class 60s noted at Rugby these days) with the following engineers' service: 967643, 621499, 112195, 92532, 92532, 92530, 92529, 92528, 92527, 925276, 92547. All other services noted on this particular evening were Freightliner - eight in all.
Moving to 14th April and Nuneaton and a shorter automotive service hauled by First Scotrail-liveried 90019, consist being: 23.87.4392.515/635, 23.87.4375.029/045/017, 23.87.4333.022, 23.87.4384.014. Again the W. H. Malcolm services provided a glut of Austatte vehicles, some noted for the first time by me on the services. Firstly, it was 66424 with: 33.68.4909.354/ 342/ 916/379/415/743/021/546/915, 33.68.4943.085/066/064. Then 66420 with the following: 33.68.4909.481/392/598/471/965/303/399/397/169/ 507/ 419/ 909/ 919, 33.68.4943.065. The northbound Enterprise that evening, hauled by 92013 had, in the consist, bogie tanks 89113, 89101 and 89103 amongst the usual automotive vehicles. Noted that evening also were Freightliner services hauled by the following: 66539, 66590, 66620, 66502, 66587, 66501, 66541, 66540 and the following EWS coal hauled by 66006: 310052/ 493/575/642/836/789/909/574/887/528/804/445/210/971/350/670/447/513, 311122/085/156.
On 21st April I was at Rugby again, and the Fastline service hauled by 56303 was noted with the following wagons in tow: 93385/290/398/467/378/387/344/323/430/462/360/488, 643007/008. A southbound Enterprise, hauled by 92029 (must have been late-running) had the following large consist: 23.87.4375.029, 23.87.4392.540/745/546/536, 33.80.2797.686/ 069/ 104, 33.80.4741.120/111/121/134/127/122/155/143/
129. This was closely followed by an equally-interesting northbound Enterprise hauled by 92034, consist being: 33.87.7898.074/062/047/ 076/063/064/077/079, 23.87.4375. 017/040/027/020, 23.87.4392.635/504.
On 25th April at Nuneaton the really interesting movement amongst all the usual ones was the southbound mail with units 325.003/007/011 being hauled, rather rapidly one must add, by XP64-liveried 47853 (D1733). Spectacular sight.
That's all for this time. Enjoy the gorgeous weather that's here at the moment. Bye for now.

MISCELLANEOUS

Road Movements

04/03 GWR 5619, westbound M5 junction 17 Avonmouth at 13.20 from the Avon Valley Railwy, Bitton-West Somerset Railway. GWR 5224, westbound M5 junction 20 Clevedon at 14.25 en route to the WSR, a black liveried six-wheeled tender was also seen on another lorry trailer just in front of this loco.
05/03 Sleeping coach 10710, westbound M5 Aztec West at 07.45.

Departmentals and Track Machines

09/03 Flax Bourton; Quattro Rail r/r 225, 226, 248. support trailers 093, 113, 124, 127. Track machines; DR73114 + DR73115, passing 'wrongline' in the up direction at 17.43. Bristol TM; Readypower r/r 1322B. Bristol West; r/r 1135. Patchway; Readypower r/r 1314.
27/03 M5, near junction 19 Gordano, Quattro-Rail road-railer 139 on road low-loader heading westbound.

PRESERVATION & INDUSTRIAL MATTERS

Caerwent Branchline (R.W.Giles) 12/03/08
67026 arrived at Caldicott with a 5Z67 10.00 Crewe-Caerwent condemned stock move formed; 92936, 5814, 5816, 5843 (all in former Inter-city colours), 6043, 6111, 6142, 6171, 5931, 6113, 6180 (all in former Virgin red colours). Coach 5816 was fire damaged with 5843 part fire damaged. MoD loco 01549 (ARMY 258, Th 298v/81) was on hand to take the train forward which had arrived at 14.38, the shunter and train reaching the inner reception sidings at 15.35 where a run-round took place prior to delivery to J.T.Landcapes at East Gate. The 5Z67 had been recorded as passing Gresty Bridge at 11.45, Shrewsbury 12.34, Panteg 13.53 and Undy 14.23.

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