NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

02/01 Refurbished and now in First/GW's 'local line' livery 143617 was noted working the Severn Beach line during the morning. This set had carried a plain First/GW blue livery since early 2008 and has become the first class member to be so treated with the new colours.
08/01 66176 brought in the 6C90 06:19 freight trip from Newport ADJ returning as the 6C97.
21/01 66142 was in charge of a late running freight trip from Newport ADJ, returning during the early to mid-afternoon.
28/01 DRS 37423 propelled saloon coach 975025 'Caroline' via Henbury, Avonmouth (around 09:40) and Clifton Down as part of a two day route learning trip (2Z27 08:11 Cardiff - Ealing Broadway).
30/01 Fastline 66303 arrived on 4G09 12:12 Chaddeston - Avonmouth (due 16:14), departing on 6Z99 20:15 loaded coal to Ratcliffe P.S. This new Friday Only operation has replaced the Saturday Only morning working whilst weekend engineering work takes place east of Swindon on the Great Western mainline.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66041/051/055/116/129/132/154/169. 66194/196. 66301/303/304/305.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

01/01 FLHH 66523 arrived at Parkway at 14:30 with coal empties, to join 66595, 66596, 66607 already stabled. 66595 and 66596 had earlier been observed being fuelled by a road tanker. Two other Freightliner locos, 66531 and 66584 were also reported as being at Kingsland Road sidings.
05/01 Arriva XC HST services were reported formed with the following power cars:- 43285 + 43357 on 1V31 06:08 Edinburgh - Plymouth, 43295 + 43301 with 1V23 06:32 York - Plymouth, 43207 + 43304 incharge of 1S51 12:21 Plymouth - Glasgow Central and 43321 + 43378 on 1V39 06:32 Dundee - Plymouth. A couple of freights this evening, 66196 with MGR empties for Avonmouth and 66515 with empties for Portbury. Also seen were XC HST power cars 43321/378.
06/01 DRS 37604 + 37612 passed with the 6M67 14:00 Bridgwater - Crewe nuclear flasks during the afternoon.
08/01 The 6B33 Theale - Robeston fuel tanks behind 60066 were reported in trouble at Theale leaving 133 minutes late. An assisting, unidentified Class 66 helped the train onwards from Didcot.
66608 was also noted through Parkway on 6V44 18:48 Angerstein Wharf - Pengam stone empties, 66070 working the MoD "Liner".
10/01 During the Society Xmas social event, 66584 was stabled in the down sidings at Stoke Gifford on coal empties with 66512 later arriving on a similar train also for stabling. 66051 + 66178 + 66021 formed a light-engine move via the up loop, also during the afternoon.
12/01 Three MGRs seen tonight starting with 66169 working a loaded service from Avonmouth to Didcot, followed by two "empties" 66041 bound for Avonmouth and 66584 heading for Portbury. Also seen XC HST power cars 43207/304.
13/01 Advenza 57005 + Cotswold-Rail 47810 passed Parkway at 18:15 north-bound, whilst a second Advenza loco 47375 headed west at 18:23 on a Gloucester - Taunton light-engine move.
14/01 60059 (in EWS/Load-haul livery) worked 6B35 Hayes - Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties.
15/01 57006 passed through Parkway at 14:50 on a Gloucester - Cardiff Tidal sidings light-engine move. Slightly earlier, Colas 'hire' loco 56312 was seen in Stoke Gifford yard at 14:12, leaving at 14:45 with a departmental train for Oxford Hinksey yard.
17/01 Unusual power (at the moment!) on the 6B13 Robeston -Westerleigh loaded fuel tanks was 66137 hauling 21 bogie tanks. 60021 was reported as running 210 minutes late on the 6A11 Robeston - Theale loaded fuel tanks during the late morning through Parkway.
18/01 At 12:15, Stoke Gifford sidings held;- 66508, 66550, 66584.
19/01 Five freights this evening starting with 66185 Newport ADJ to Wembley "Enterprise" service, next was 66550 leaving Stoke Gifford yard with MGR empties for Portbury, its place in the yard being taken by 66584, also with MGR empties for Portbury. 66196 took a rake of empties to Avonmouth from Didcot and the MoD "Liner" worked by 66046. The XC HST power cars noted were as per 12/01.
22/01 56312 made a second appearance at Parkway on a 6Z56 12:24 Westerleigh - Oxford Hinksey yard departmental (formed of only four vehicles), the loco having ran-round the train at both Yate and Parkway passing Westerleigh junction twice at 13:58 (50 late) and 14:54 (73 late). The train had left Westerleigh only 22 minutes late! Five again tonight first up being 66569 taking MGR empties from the yard bound for Portbury, MoD "Liner" was next behind 66102 quickly followed by 66204 with a late running Bescot - St Blazey china clay. Finally MGR activity to and from Avonmouth, 66196 taking in the empties and the loaded service brought out by 66055. The XC HST didn't show up as a result of revised diagrams due to single line working south of Exeter nor did the Freightliner Class 66 with MGR empties for the yard.
24/01 66509 and 66563 were both week-end stabled at Parkway.
26/01 Two Class 60 stone workings during the afternoon through Parkway were;- 60061 on 6Z61 09:17 Hothfield - Moreton-on-Lugg train of empties running over an hour late due to loco problems in the Twyford area and 60072 on 6C48 12:27 Appleford - Machen empties.
26/01 A six pack this evening, 66509 took the MGR empties from Stoke Gifford yard to Portbury being replaced later 66563 and its consist. Avonmouth action comprised 66194 heading for Didcot with a loaded service, the empties being worked by 66196. Also seen MoD Liner powered by 66046 and the Bescot - St Blazey working again with 66204 up front. XC HST showed up this evening with power cars 43207/304.
27/01 DRS 37423 propelling saloon coach 975025 'Caroline' running as 2Z27 07:20 Paddington - Cardiff (via Swansea booked departure 13:34) passed through Parkway at 10:15, this train having run 5Z27 12:40 Derby R.T.C. - Southall (West Coast) over the previous day.
29/01 Split livered Freightliner/Shanks 66522 was stabled in Stoke Gifford down sidings at 18:00.
30/01 The 6B13 05:10 Robeston - Westerleigh loaded fuel tanks behind 60072 was reported as failed at Herbranston. 60074 ran light-engine to assist, the working then continuing four hours late. More problems occurred at Crundale with dragging brakes on one of the TEA wagons in the train's consist, Clarbeston Road being passed at 10:53 (298 late!). With 60072 removed, the train was again later recorded at Cardiff Central at 14:43 now 330 minutes late!

Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill

03/01 For the FA Cup 3rd Round football game between Portsmouth and Bristol City, First/GW organised a 1Z22 18:07 Fratton - Bristol TM 'relief' HST service using power cars 43009 + 43141 (with LA set 15), the train having run ECS as 5Z22 14:35 Temple Meads - Fratton. The working's routing via Netley in the Southampton area was believed to be a first for an HST set.
04/01 National Express livered HST power car 43295 was used with 43301, departing Temple Meads at 12:45 on the 08:30 (Sun) Leeds - Plymouth, returning with the 16:25 Plymouth -Leeds Arriva XC service.
05/01 The 15:10 Weymouth - Gloucester First/GW service was terminated at Castle Cary following a major points failure in the area, whilst earlier the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton First/GW 'hire' service (with locos 67028 + 67016) and running 18 minutes late, left out the Nailsea & Backwell, Yatton and Worle stops to recover time. Two Arriva XC HST reports for the day were;- 43304 + 43207 on the 1V31 06:08 Edinburgh - Plymouth and 43301 + 43384 with the 1V39 06:32 Dundee - Plymouth. Also noted heading north was Cotswold-Rail 47810 hauling HST power cars 43097 + 43165 as 5Z46 10:05 St. Phillips Marsh -Brush Loughborough, for works attention.
06/01 An early hours theft of signal cabling between Bristol and Bath caused many cancellations, delays and some diversions during the morning rush hour period. Some First/GW HST services were diverted via Badminton and a number of local services replaced by buses between Temple Meads and Trowbridge. Some hand signalling was also implemented, the First/GW 06:30 Paddington - Temple Meads service being so affected arriving in Bristol 60 minutes late. Special stops were also made at Oldfield Park, Bath for some services, this also taking place during part of the following day. Services were back to normal by 13:15, but later a bridge strike at Windmill Hill, Bedminster caused some more early afternoon delays! A freight service affected during the morning was 60060 which passed Day's curve on a late running 6B83 Westbury - Machen train of stone empties (formed with 'hire' FLHH wagons), the working not reaching the South Wales quarry until 10:30, around 240 minutes late!
08/01 The Arriva XC 1S55 13:21 Plymouth - Edinburgh Waverley service, normally in the hands of an HST set (power cars 43378 + 43321, with XC03 being allocated), was worked by a Voyager set as far as Newton Abbot, returning in the path of the 1V39 06:32 Dundee - Plymouth at 14:09, before returning north as 1E63 15:21 Plymouth - Leeds. Other HST workings during the day were recorded as follows;- 43357 (XC01) 43285 with 1V19 06:00 Leeds - Plymouth and 1S51 12:21 Plymouth - Glasgow Central and 43304 (XC02) 43207 on the late running 1V39 06:32 Dundee - Plymouth and 1E73 17:21 Plymouth - Leeds. During the evening the NRMT HST was seen in Temple Meads formed; 43014, 975984, 975794, 975993, 975814, 975984, 43062. Metronet 66722, 'on hire' to Fastline passed Filton Abbeywood at 14:35 (and was later noted through Parson's street at 14:57) with 4Z20 Chaddeston - Portbury coal empties (for the 6Z20 17:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. loaded coal service, also see the cover of the January 2009 Magazine). This was the first Metronet livered loco over the Portbury branch line.
10/01 Still carrying the old Wessex vinyl livery 150265 was active on Gloucester, Taunton and Bristol local workings. Only one Arriva XC HST was reported in use today forming the 1V19 06:00 Leeds -Plymouth and 1S51 12:21 Plymouth - Glasgow, with power cars 43285 (XC01) 43357.
12/01 67016 arrived at Barton Hill during the day from Didcot to take up the 'hire' First/GW local passenger duty.
13/01 DRS 37229 + 37688 passed Parson's street at 13:10 on the 6M67 Bridgwater - Crewe nuclear flasks. 67016 took over from 67017 on the First/GW local passenger service, 67028 remaining as the second loco in use. Fastline 66302 passed Parson's street at 14:02 with 4G09 Chaddeston - Portbury coal empties.
14/01 31106 arrived at Barton Hill during the evening on a 4Z08 16:22 test working off Exeter (Riverside) via Tiverton loop. The DBSO, driving van was leading the train on arrival in Bristol. Also recorded during the evening was a 6Y33 Taunton Fairwater's yard - Bathampton junction departmental top n'tailed by 66598 + 66565. The Arriva XC HST report for the day found the following power cars in use;- 43285 + 43357, 1V23 06:32 York - Plymouth / 1S55 13:21 Plymouth - Edinburgh Waverley. 43304 + 43207, 1V31 06:08 Edinburgh - Plymouth / 1E63 15:21 Plymouth - Leeds.
43303 + 43301, 1V35 06:00 Glasgow Central - Plymouth / 1E73 17:21 Plymouth - Leeds. Voyager set, 221122 covered the 1V19 06:00 Leeds - Plymouth and 1S51 12:21 Plymouth - Glasgow Central services.
15/01 Having worked west the previous evening to Taunton, Advenza 47375 continued onwards as 0Z47 08:00 to Meldon quarry for an 0Z73 11:00 Meldon quarry - Gloucester stored loco move involving 47716, 31415, 73103. Following a late arrival of over two hours, the Class 47 had problems forming the train, the Class 73 suffering air brake problems, being eventually left. Following a wait for an incoming train of stone empties (6C51 off Westbury), the working left after 16:30, being recorded substantially late at a signal check at Bedminster at 20:05, formed 47375 + 47716 + 31415, the latter two locos having suffered graffiti attacks during their long term storage period. The booked Temple Meads time was 14:18 - 15:03. Other workings during the day saw; 66047 with the Machen stone via Day's curve still using FLHH 'hire' wagons, FLHH 66560 on a 6Z87 10:26 Taunton Fairwater - Crewe departmental wagon move and 31106 which worked a 4Z08 22:18 St. Phillips Marsh - Derby test train via Taunton (reverse) and Reading (reverse). The Bristol - Taunton line was subject to road bus substitutions during the late evening, 66608 + 66621 being reported in the Worle junction area (Weston-super-Mare) top n'tailing a 6Y33 working from Taunton Fairwater yard. SWT's announced a 480 staff job cut during the day due to a reported downturn in travelling rail passengers. All of the redundancies are set to be in the management or admin part of the company. 66132 noted at the head of a southbound stone train at 15:10.
16/01 66621 was recorded on a 6Z85 high output ballast wagon move via Bristol Parkway. One Arriva XC HST service reported was the 1V31 06:08 Edinburgh - Plymouth formed with power cars 43378 + 43321, which had earlier been subject to a diversion via Lichfield City, Four Oaks and Aston into Birmingham.
17/01 31105 (with coaches 6261, 999605, 9702) departed on a 4Z08 St. Phillips Marsh - Derby working during the morning, 66531 was noted near Bath at 09:55 on 6A21 Pengam - Theale loaded stone and earlier, Wessex livered 150265 was paired with 150127 on the 05:12 Temple Meads - Exeter St. Davids local service.
18/01 Delays to First/GW services in the Bath area during part of the day were caused when a trampoline was blown from a garden onto the mainline!
19/01 67016 and 67028 continued to work the First/GW local service, being noted departing Nailsea & Backwell at 15:04 with the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton part of the day's diagram. Also in use was Wessex Train's livered 150265 on 2S04 06:01 Taunton - Cardiff Central, 2C69 09:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton, then 5C69 ECS to Exeter, before visiting Penzance and Gunnislake later in the day!
20/01 Ex. works Mainline livered 153366 was unusually stabled in the platform 5/6 north-end bay, having suffered a problem in the North Somerset junction area whilst running 5Z53 Eastleigh - Tyseley empty the previous day. The unit was however, to continue north during the following day. Another ex. works unit, 143603 (the second to receive the new First/GW local lines livery) ran 5Z74 St. Phillips Marsh - St. Phillips Marsh (via Temple Meads) on an empty stock test run to Weston-super-Mare, departing here on the return at 15:16. Loco hauled trains noted were; 37611 + 37069 paired on the 6M67 14:02 Bridgwater - Crewe DRS coal sidings nuclear flasks (Parson's street 12:40) and 31233 with a 6Z20 18:22 Temple Meads - Derby circular test move (formed with c/stock; 6263, 999602, 9703), via the Berks & Hants and back via Parkway during the evening. 142030 was also seen over at St. Phillips Marsh during the day.
21/01 DRS 47832 (47802 having been de-allocated) worked a 6Z73 04:33 Crewe - Keyham 2 KUA flask move (noted passing Parkway at 08:54 and Worle 09:07), the loco returning as 0Z75 09:25 Laira - Crewe light-engine the following day. The day was thought to be the last for 150265 to operate in the former Wessex Train's livery, working 2C69 09:00 Cardiff - Taunton as far as Temple Meads for 150232 to take over, 150265 then running empty to St. Phillips Marsh prior to a move to Cardiff Canton's Pullman works for a refurbishment and repaint.
22/01 The Wessex Train's livery lives on! Due to a unit shortage, 150265 was back in action visiting Westbury, Weymouth and Gloucester during the day.
23/01 Certainly an early candidate for the 'working of the year' was the use of a Class 66, in place of the booked Class 67 on part of First/GW's local 'hire' passenger service! Following coolant problems with 67016 at Weston-super-Mare on 2Y10 09:13 Bristol Parkway - Weston, the train with 67028 on the other end ran 5Y10 ECS direct to Barton Hill for attention, 150263 covering the onwards working with the 2C69 09:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton (which normally is booked to run empty to Exeter from Taunton). 66006 was allocated 0Z67 Westbury - Barton Hill light-engine, the then reformed train running 5C79 14:30 Barton Hill - Temple Meads to take over the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Canton - Taunton onwards from Bristol, leaving Temple Meads at 14:59 and being noted departing Yatton at 15:21 (18 minutes late). The train remained as formed for the rest of the diagram, 67028 providing the train heating, although an extra reverse was reported at Parkway during the final part of the working as only one driver was available to work the train's ETH, keeping the Class 67 leading throughout. Also stabled on Barton Hill during the day, was Colas 47739.
24/01 66007 was in charge of Pathfinder Tour's 'Mersey Mancunian' (1Z88 07:04 Temple Meads - Manchester Piccadilly) taking in freight-lines in the Manchester and Liverpool areas with 66596 assisting at the other end. The train was returned as 18:09 Manchester - Bristol behind the same loco (the Freightliner loco having been removed) arriving near enough to time at 23:13, the ECS being stabled in the Bristol East freight terminal overnight prior to the return to Old Oak Common. Another train to use Bristol East during the day was the VSOE, which was watered by a road tanker having arrived at 14:16 behind Royal 67006 as 5Z80 13:12 ECS ex. Bath, the train having arrived in the City as 1Z80 09:39 ex. Victoria. The working departed as 5Z92 16:38 Bristol East - Bath, for the 1Z92 16:56 return departure to Victoria, the c/stock being recorded as;- 9502, Zena, Ione, Audrey, Perseus, Minerva, Pheonix, Gwen, Ibis, Lucille, 99545. Also noted during the day was Wessex livered 150265 passing Day's junction at 12:36 on the 1O99 10:51 Great Malvern - Brighton First/GW service (later returning with the 1V96 17:00 Brighton - Cheltenham) and a second First/GW HST football 'relief' using power cars 43016 + 43176 as 5Z30 13:59 St. Phillips Marsh - Fratton to form a return for the 'victorious' Swansea City fans after their team's 3rd Round FA Cup victory over Portsmouth, running as 1Z30 17:26 Fratton - Swansea. With the mainline blocked for PW work at Marley Tunnel (west of Newton Abbot), Arriva XC services were terminating and restarting at either Paignton or Exeter St. Davids, one such working reported was the 1S51 13:23 Exeter St. Davids - Glasgow Central formed with HST power cars 43285 + 43384. An afternoon view of Barton Hill depot recorded 67016, 67017 and 67021 as present.
25/01 With First/GW 150248 failed at Taunton prior to working the 13:35 local departure to Temple Meads, Arriva XC's 12:25 Plymouth - Glasgow service (13:50 departure off Taunton), formed with Voyager set 221130 was used to make additional stops to fill in for the Class 150 unit's duty. A serious overnight vandalism and graffiti attack at Bath Spa station saw the tourist office remain closed during the day.
26/01 The 5C89 21:10 Taunton - Barton Hill 'hire' ECS (off the First/GW 2C89 19:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton service) top n'tailed by 67016 and 67017 was routed back to Bristol via Bridgwater instead of the normal Westbury route. Also recorded earlier during the day were;- 66596 on a diverted 6C73 12:25 Westbury - Taunton Fairwater departmental move (Temple Meads 14:05) and 66565 + 66621 top n'tailing a 6Y33 20:37 Taunton Fairwater - Bathampton junction working via Bristol.
27/01 Ex. works (in new First/GW local lines livery) 143603 passed Yatton at 11:34 on a 5Z76 Bristol - Exeter empty stock move. On going evening engineering work in the Weston-super-Mare area, saw 66621 + 66565 top n'tailing a 6Y33 engineers train, off Taunton Fairwater stopped north of Worle junction unabling the First/GW 22:29 Weston-super-Mare - St. Phillips Marsh ECS (off the 19:30 Paddington - Weston service) with power cars 43016 + 43176 to work this way, so the set ran to Bristol via Taunton (reverse) and Westbury!
28/01 GBRf 66721 rounded Day's curve, and passed Filton Abbeywood at 13:37 (44 minutes early) on a 5V66 10:52 Eastleigh - Cardiff Canton Arriva stock move formed with c/stock; 6183 + 9539. Other reports for the day saw; DRS 37423 depart Temple Meads at 10:11 with saloon coach 975025 for St. Phillips (later visiting the Portbury branch line), 66095 through Dr. Day's junction at 18:11 with the now Wednesday and Friday's Only 6X52 loaded cars from Portbury - Tyne yard and 66173 reported passing Yatton at 18:12 on the 6C86 Cardiff Tidal - St. Blazey scrap metal empties. 67017 + 67028 employed on the loco and coaches duty.
29/01 Public address problems with the EWS maroon brake coach 9494, saw the First/GW 'hire' loco hauled working with 67016 and 67017, in the hands of 150261 for the first part of the diagram, up until the 2U14 11:02 Taunton - Cardiff Central. Advenza 57005 was stabled in Temple Meads and the 6B99 St. Blazey - Cardiff Tidal freight was recorded treble headed during the evening with locos 66127 + 66173 + 66204.
30/01 67016 and 67017 were incharge of the local hauled diagram using a full blue/grey rake of Cargo-d 'hire' coaching stock.
31/01 The 6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh loaded fuel tanks arrived at it's destination behind 66019, with 7 TEAs less than normal but the 6B33 still had Class 60 power with 60024, being diverted via the Berks & Hants and Bath to the Severn Tunnel and South Wales due to engineering work on the Great Western mainline east of Swindon . On the subject of Class 60s, by the end of January only 17 remained in traffic, with 20 being 'stored' earlier in the month.

Gloucester

06/01 66131 worked the morning 6V72 Liverpool - Swindon freight.
07/01 66109 was on the 6A36 12:43 Ashchurch - Didcot MoD stores, the same loco performing this duty again during the following day.
21/01 Advenza 57006 ran 0Z94 Temple Meads - Cardiff Tidal light-engine, for 6Z94 09:48 Cardiff Tidal - Stockton scrap metal empties.
22/01 Cotswold-Rail 47810 worked 0Z47 Gloucester - Old Oak Common light-engine via Stroud and Kemble, to return a two HST power car move (43069 + 43183) to Brush Loughborough.

Portbury Branchline

The Fastline Ratcliffe coal diagrams from the port during the month were as follows;-
05/01 - 09/01;- Sun-ThO; 4G18 22:40 Chaddeston - Portbury (Temple Meads 02:11 - 02:13, Ashton jcn 02:21 - 02:26, Portbury arr 02:55), M-F; 6Z18 05:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. (via Bath and Swindon).
T,W,ThO; 4Z20 11:01 Chaddeston - Portbury (Temple Meads 14:14 - 14:16, Ashton jcn 14:22 - 14:32, Portbury arr 15:00), 6Z20 17:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. (Ashton sig 335, 17:22 - 17:25, Bathampton loop 19:23 - 19:27, via Swindon).
12/01 - 16/01;- M-F; 4G20 11:01 Chaddeston - Portbury (15:00), 6Z20 17:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S.
T,W,ThO; 4G09 12:12 Chaddeston - Portbury (17:00), 6Z99 19:00 Portbury -Radcliffe (Temple Meads 19:35 - 19:40, Bath 20:01, Swindon 21:00).
19/01 - 23/01;- Sun-ThO; 4V18 19:26 Chaddeston - Portbury (02:55), M-F; 6M18 05:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S., M-ThO; 4G20 11:01 Chaddeston - Portbury (15:00), 6Z20 17:00 Portbury -Ratcliffe P.S..
26/01 - 29/01;- M-ThO; 4G20 10:52 Chaddeston - Portbury (Cheltenham 13:05), 6Z20 17.00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. T,W,ThO; 4G09 12:12 Chaddeston - Portbury (Cheltenham 14:59, Parkway 15:46, Portbury arr 17:00), 6Z99 19:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S.

19/01 'Hire' DRS loco 66415 arrived with a late 4G20 11:01 Chaddeston - Portbury coal empties (Dr. Day's jcn 15:37), this being the fourth sub class member over the branch line, following on from 66422 (first recorded on 29/12/07, 66424 and 66425 which were all on 'hire' periods to FLHH during 2008).
26/01 GBRf 66719 became the second 'hire' Metronet loco to visit the port (following on from 66722 on 08/01, 14/01, 15/01 and 16/01) arriving early at 14:47 on the 4G20 11:01 coal empties from Chaddeston. Despite good import coal figures and rail moves from the port, automotive traffic has faced a 35% drop due to the current recession reflected with the at one time mon-fri daily Washwood Heath/Tyne yard loaded car service being reduced to only twice weekly (the Monday working having recently ended), on a Wednesday and Friday.
28/01 DRS 37423 became the seventh Class member over the line since it's reopening in December 2001, working a 2Z28 12:26 St. Phillips Marsh - Ealing Broadway (noted Ashton Gate 12:29) saloon move (using 975025 'Caroline') on what was believed to be a route learner as filming was observed from the loco cab, for possible charter reference use. On the return, as 12:58 off Portbury, the working departed Ashton signal 335 at 13:39 (41 minutes late), as an inward 4C70 Aberthaw - Portbury coal empties was waiting at Ashton junction behind 66018 and the 6B86 13:00 Portbury - Aberthaw was still loading at Portbury behind 66079, with the allocated Tyne yard car loco (6X52), 66095 stabled nearby. The DRS saloon working was to miss out a move via Parkway (reverse), the Filton North - West curve and Day's curve, presumably due to the late running, however later a passing time of 14:30 was recorded at Chippenham, which was around 35 minutes earlier then the official booked time through here!
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66018/021/041/051/055/079/090/134/151/192/196. 66301/302/303/304. 66415. 66508/512/515/520/523/524/531/548/560/563/584/585/595/596/607/953. 66719/722/731.

Units seen during the month

142030.
143603/612/617/619/620/621.
150121/127/221/232/233/234/238/239/241/243/244/246/248/261/263/265/267
150278/279/280/281.
153305/318/329/366/368/370/372/380/382.
158748/766/767/769/950/951/953/957/958/959.
159007/009.
220002/003/005/006/007/008/010/013/015/019/020/021/022/023/025/026/030
220031/033/034
221121/122/123/125/126/127/128/130/131/132/135/136/138.

STOCK ALTERATIONS

Locomotives

Transfers
08834/892(KM)-BH, 37401/406. 58001-050(TO)-EH, 08535(RMS Locotec) - Shotton
MBEL: 92020/021/032/040/044/045/046 -HQ
BT(Bo'ness)- 20020. 26010/024. 27005. 37175/403/413. 47643
EPXX Europhoenix Cl86 - locos for export 86248/250 -LM
WAFN DBS Cl67 FGW Hire Locos 67016/017

Stored
BH: 20142. BS: 09022. CD: 60007/035/038/041/043/045/046/047/076,
60092. CE: 60028. 90021. 92010/028/038/043. CG: 20307/311/315. 37606. DC: 08428. 09107. EH: 37417. GL: 31415. 47716.
KM: 20301/302/305/306/310/312/313. 37038/059/194/218/261/602/608/610.
LM: 20197. SE: 73207. TO: 08495. 60002/011/012/014/039/056.
WB: 08786.

Traffic
08389 - TO(Warrington), 08393/738 - TO(Doncaster Carr DC),
08897 - TO(WB), 60013/061 -TO

Disposals
Booth: 08694/919
Bulgaria: 87003/006/034

Renumbered
43110 - 43310

Diesel Multiple Units

Transfers
143603/611/617/618/619/620/621(PM)EX
150219/221/232/233/234/238/239/243/244/246/247/248/249/261/263/265/266
150267/278/279/280/281(EX)-PM
156479(NH)-HT
158871(NL)-HA
ICCX: 221114-118

Traffic
180103/106/108 -NH, 109 -XW
EDHA Northern Rail Cl180

Disposal
Booth: 51500. 59496

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
319013/214/215/216(SU)-BF
321416/426(IL)-NN

Stored
508203/205/207 @GI, 208/210/211 @RE

Traffic
4422405/08/12/13/14/17/19/24 -BI

Disposals
Booth: Cars: 76134(310050), 76185(310051)

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Transfers
1212 -EH, 1254. 3374 -BH, 5910/21/29/37/45/50/64 -EH, 5971 -BH,
5985 -EH, 5995. 6001/08 -BH, 6027/42 -EH, 6046 -BH, 6051/54 -EH,
6064 -BH, 6107 -EH, 6117/22 -BH, 6138/41/58 -EH, 6173 -BH, 6720 -EH,
9506 -BH, 9520/27 -EH, 12128 -OO, 12158/163 -BN, 12172 -OO

Stored
BH: 5810. 5901/19/95. 6001. 9506. 12054/124.
BN: 12063/065092/139. CE: 11027/079. 82101. LM: 977996
TS: 9711. ZB: 10212/217. 11007/018/048. 12011/078/122/133/138. 82126. ZG: 11040. 12017/059/094

Traffic
6378/79 -AD
41193/194. 42234/290/366/367/368/369/370/371/372/373/374/375.
44031/082/072. 45001/004 -EC

Disposals
Booth: 6146
Mid Norfolk Rly: 5480. 5781. 94320. 95228 Embsay: 975080
Rampart, Derby: 92146 Rail Restoration NE, Shildon 35516
Glos & Warks: 80401/432. MoD Bicester: 96452/453
Humber Fire & Rescue, Scunthorpe: 6163
For Sale: 977789/790/791/793/794

Renumbered
11020 - 41195, 12077 - 45004, 12080 - 45005, 12085 - 42376,
12123 - 42378, 41025 - 42380, 41036 - 42379

Formations
XC01: 41193 + 45001 + 42368 + 42369 + 42370 + 42367 + 42366 + 44021
XC02: 41194 + 45002 + 42375 + 42374 + 42373 + 42372 + 42371 + 44072
XC03: 41195 + 45003 + 42290 + 42234 + 42378 + 42377 + 42376 + 44052
XC04: 41026 + 45004 + 42038 + 42097 + 42037 + 42036 + 42380 + 44012
XC05: 41035 + 45005 + 42051 + 42342 + 42053 + 42052 + 42379 + 44017

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V60 Calvert - Bath/Bristol bin liner
05/01 66584. 28/01 66560.

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge containers
05/01 66954. 06/01 66568. 08/01 66589. 26/01 66578. 27/01 66594.

6M07 03:00 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
08/01 66512.

6M55 07:00 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
02/01 66596. 03/01 66596. 05/01 66515. 06/01 66515. 07/01 66595.
08/01 66595. 12/01 66584. 13/01 66512. 14/01 66584. 15/01 66512.
16/01 66584. 21/01 66584. 22/01 66596. 24/01 66524. 26/01 66563.
27/01 66563. 28/01 66563.

6M61 08:31 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
02/01 66548. 05/01 66596. 06/01 66595. 07/01 66512. 08/01 66523.

6M04 10.25 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
02/01 66515. 06/01 66596. 07/01 66596. 08/01 66596. 09/01 66584.
12/01 66508. 13/01 66508. 14/01 66508. 15/01 66508. 16/01 66508.
21/01 66585. 22/01 66585. 26/01 66524. 27/01 66596. 28/01 66596.

6M02 21:28 Portbury -Fiddler's Ferry P.S. loaded coal
01/01 66523. 02/01 66595. 12/01 66953. 13/01 66953. 14/01 66953.
16/01 66512.

LOCAL FASTLINE WORKINGS

4G90 (SO) Chaddeston - Avonmouth/ 6M90 11:30 Avonmouth - Radcliffe P.S.
03/01 66301. 10/01 66304. 17/01 66305.

6M18 05:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. loaded coal
02/01 66304. 05/01 66302. 07/01 66302. 08/01 66302. 09/01 66302.
22/01 66302. 21/01 66302.

6Z20 17:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. loaded coal
07/01 66301. 08/01 66722. 13/01 66302. 14/01 66304. 15/01 66722.
16/01 66722. 19/01 66415. 20/01 66415. 22/01 66301. 26/01 66719.
27/01 66303. 28/01 66719. 29/01 66303. 30/01 66302.

6Z99 19:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. loaded coal
13/01 66303. 14/01 66722. 15/01 66304. 26/01 66302. 27/01 66302.
28/01 66302. 29/01 66731.

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh
05-06/01 60066. 08-09/01 60021. 17/01 66137. 20/01 60021. 22/01 60024.
24-27/01 60024. 31/01 66019.

6E41 Westerleigh - Lindsey
03/01 60018. 09/01 60009. 17/01 60009. 22/01 60094. 27/01 60009.

6B49/6B50 Newport ADJ - Swindon steel
06/01 66013. 09/01 66206. 13/01 66001. 16/01 66075. 20/01 66015.
27/01 66007. 30/01 66030.

6B33 Theale - Robeston empty fuel tanks
03/01 60085. 07/01 60085. 08/01 60066. 10/01 60066. 13/01 66185.
14/01 66185. 15/01 60094. 17/01 60021. 20/01 60024. 21/01 60074.
22/01 60074. 24/01 60074. 27/01 60074. 28/01 60074. 29/01 60072.
30/01 60072. 31/01 60024.

6B83/6C83 (6B80/6C80 SO) Westbury - Machen - Westbury stone (TThSO)
06/01 60060. 13/01 66181. 15/01 66047. 20/01 60019. 24/01 60072.
27/01 59203. 29/01 66154. 31/01 60068.

6V62 Eastleigh - Plymouth Tavistock yard fuel tanks (TO)
06/01 66142. 13/01 66006. 20/01 66116. 27/01 66142.

6B35 Hayes - Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties
05/01 66152. 14/01 60059. 23/01 66139. 31/01 60063.

MISCELLANEOUS

Tram Trains for Bristol?
Rubber-wheeled vehicles that can run on railway tracks and on the street are to be tested in Yorkshire next year, having been sucessfully used in Kassel, Germany. Their possible use around Bristol for the proposed new Metro scheme is now under consideration, where they could work over the Severn Beach branchline aswell as the Portishead branch once re-opened. The Government and Network Rail are working with Northern Rail on the 24 million, two year trial in Yorkshire where 'normal' dmu sets will be replaced by the trams. Rubber wheeled vehicles are the planned choice for the first Rapid Transit Route in Bristol from Long Ashton to the city centre, using some roadways and part of the former Wapping Wharf branchline.

Ferry Cold!
10/01 The Bristol water taxis service, which is used as a connection for some passengers from Temple Meads into the city centre was suspended due to widespread ice on the river (floating harbour). The Hotwells service was able to continue as it is worked by a steel boat, but the Temple Meads service was withdrawn due to the boat being made of wood that would have been unable to continue for a long period cutting through the ice.

Weymouth
Network-Rail are to sell the town's tramway to the Weymouth & Portland district council for 50,000, so the line last used for railtours in May 1999 is unlikely to see anymore rail movements. Part of the sea terminal end is already planned for redevelopment as part of a new leisure complex. The route opened as a horse drawn tramway in 1865, seeing it's first Channel Island boat train operated by the GWR in 1889. The final booked boat train was Class 33/1 hauled during September 1987 although numerous enthusiast railtours have visited the line over the following years until 1999.

HSTs to Retire
Plans have been announced for the high speed train replacement with the award of a 7.5 billion by the Government to Agility Trains to build and maintain a fleet of new 10-coach super express trains. They are set to run on the Great Western and East Coast mainlines, to replace existing HST sets which are now over 30 years old. Agility Trains is made up of a consortium of John Laing, Hitachi and Barclays. Plans are to build a new train construction plant in the UK as well as five new maintenance depots, one being located near Bristol Parkway (possibly using the former Stoke Gifford tip site?), which will create around 100 new jobs. Although the East Coast mainline will be running the new trains first from 2013, with a full service implemented two years later, the Great Western will see trains on test during 2015 and start a full service the following year. Made up of electric and diesel powered engines, with a lighter body weight and a top speed of 125 mph, travel times could be reduced by 10 minutes between Bristol and London. With an ultra-modern interior, more space will be available with better seating, as well as a capacity of 649 passengers per train.

Direct Rail Services (DRS)
The company have won a 4 year infrastructure renewal contract, which will see some of their currently stored Class 20 and 37 locos reinstated. It is uncertain at this stage which areas the company will be operating in, but the possible use of the currently disused Winfrith nuclear sidings in Dorset could be one location.

ROAD MOVEMENTS

06/01 73117 northbound M5 during the afternoon, en-route from Meldon Quarry - Barrow Hill.
07/01 GWR 5542 southbound M5 jcn 20 (Clevedon) at 13:05.
07/01 GWR 4160 eastbound M4 near junction 15 (Swindon East), reported as en-route from the WSR - Ilford for wheel-turning.
09/01 LSWR 30585 northbound M5 near jcn 19 (Gordano) at 13:40.

DEPARTMENTALS & TRACK MACHINES

08/01 Temple Meads;- 80202 (stoneblower).
10/01 Kingsland Road;- 77905.
12/01 Westerleigh jcn;- 80206 (passing at 11:25).
16/01 Weston-s-Mare;- DR73114, DR73115, DR77903.