NOTES AND NEWS

Avonmouth

01/04 The 6C63 11:25 Westbury - Avonmouth stone empties (and 6C64 return) was noted passing Bath at 11:51 behind 66095. Other locos recorded on this service during the month have included;- 66146 (07/04), 59205 (on both 14 /04 and 21/04) and 66186 (28/04).
02/04 66057 brought in the 6C41 09:41 Newport ADJ - Avonmouth freight trip, 66050 performing this duty on 29/04.
14/04 The Severn Beach branch line had been visited via the MPV weedkiller by this date.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;- 66016/034/054/057/083/103/137/147/178
08405 has continued as the area shunting pilot.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

01/04 A HST power car move involving 57603, from Landore - Old Oak Common was cancelled. Two Freightliner Heavy-haul empty coal arrivals during the afternoon and evening were;- 66953 passing Parkway at 15:23 on 4V22 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford HHAs heading for Chipping Sodbury to run-round and 66558 with 4V56 15:25 Rugeley P.S. - Stoke Gifford. 31454 also appeared during the evening period at 19:41 on a diverted (the booked route being via the Berks & Hants) 4Z71 Temple Meads - Reading test train (formed 6263, 999602, 9703), prior to running 4Z71 23:10 Reading - Tyseley.
02/04 66954 passed Parkway at 17:21 (reported as 26 late!?) with the 4O51 Wentlooge - Millbrook container service, 66559 passed Filton Abbeywood at 17:54 with 4C09 Stoke Gifford - Portbury coal empties and 66507 brought in an evening 4Z56 Rugeley P.S. - Stoke Gifford train of coal empties. Earlier at 17:50, Advenza 47237 passed carrying a 'Gloucester Globetrotter' headboard hauling a 6Z37 15:10 Eastleigh - Gloucester train of seven empty JRA bogie box stone wagons. The train was earlier reported as leaving Oldfield Park loop in Bath at 17:00. Seen this evening were 66137 with an Avonmouth - Didcot (6D21) loaded MGR service, 66544 in the yard and 66551 arrived with the Rugeley - Stoke Gifford (4V56) MGR empties. XC power cars seen were 43207/285.
03/04 66559 passed Parkway at 15:22 on 4V22 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford coal empties heading for Chipping Sodbury and a loco run-round.
04/04 Freight train diversions via Gloucester due to engineering work in the Severn Tunnel included;- 60024 with the 6B33 empty fuel tanks from Theale - Margam (believed to have run via the Stroud valley), 66121 on the return 6C80 14:10 Machen - Westbury loaded stone (Gloucester 17:04), 66604 on the 6B21 Theale - Pengam stone empties and 66137 on 6B86 13:00 Portbury - Aberthaw P.S. loaded coal.
06/04 A freight train failure east of Parkway saw all north and eastbound services diverted via Bath or Severn Tunnel. 66147 headed east light engine to rescue this service, 66520 stabled in the yard was started up and this too headed east to assist. Only freight movement seen was 66172 heading a late running service to St Blazey. A freight train failure found 66507 on a 6Z56 working formed with 20 PGAs stranded on the up line between Parkway and Westerleigh during the evening. 66016 was allocated 1Z99 rescue loco ex. Avonmouth (although 66147 actually appeared!) to drag the train back to Parkway. Some First/GW services were diverted via Bath and the Arriva XC 1E37 18:40 Voyager service to Manchester was diverted via the Severn Tunnel, Newport and the Chepstow mainline to Gloucester. Also reported during the day were: 66119 on the recently introduced 6Z96 08:21 Margam - Wembley export steel service, and 66177 through the Severn Tunnel at 18:35 on a Taunton - East Usk breakdown crane move.
07/04 DB Schnenker livered 59206 passed Patchway at 13:25 on the 6C83 11:40 Machen - Westbury loaded stone service.
08/04 Steam 70013 Oliver Cromwell (following West Country railtour duty) departed the area as 5Z19 11:14 Parkway - Southall loco and support coach and later 66043 passed at 18:09 on 6X52 Portbury - Tyne yard loaded cars. 66565 was on the afternoon 4V22 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford coal empties, passing Westerleigh junction at 15:55 for a loco run-round Chipping Sodbury.
11/04 The Severn Tunnel was again closed for week-end PW work, with diversions inplace via Gloucester. First/GW Gloucester and Portsmouth - Cardiff services were terminating at Parkway.
12/04 Occupants at Parkway on the down-side during the afternoon were;- 66545 and 66565 with 66549 stabled on coal empties. Some returning engineers trains via the Gloucester mainline were reported at Yate as;- 66186 on 6W80 08:30 Evesham - Westbury (at 10:38), 66170 with 6W01 07:25 Aberthaw - Westbury (11:48) and 66108 + 66207 on 6W19 12:30 Radyr - Westbury (15:12).
13/04 Evening FLHH empty coal arrivals at Stoke Gifford were;- Shanks split-livered 66522 on 4V61 16:55 Rugeley P.S. - Bristol Parkway running over an hour late and 66549 on 4V46 15:25 Rugeley P.S. - Bristol Parkway. The 6Z96 08:21 (MWThO) Margam - Wembley export steel service was reported as a failure in the Severn Tunnel behind DBS 66121, the rescue locos being FLHH 66596 + 66556 which had run light-engine from Taunton Fairwater, moving the train onwards to Stoke Gifford, arriving here at 12:48.
14/04 66522 was stabled at Parkway in the down sidings at 17:00, whilst 66079 passed at 18:56 with the 6M17 Newport ADJ - Wembley 'enterprise' freight.
15/04 DRS 37609 + 37069 top n'tailed a 1Z12 11:25 Didcot - Banbury test working via Parkway and a reverse at Severn Tunnel junction, later putting in a second Parkway appearance on the return.
16/04 66180 was on the 6Z96 Margam - Wembley export steel and 59103 powered a 6Z86 09:58 Machen - Westbury loaded stone service, running early when seen passing Pilning at 11:10. Three freights this evening, 66177 Newport ADJ - Wembley (6M17) "Enterprise" service, 66178 MGR empties Didcot - Avonmouth (4D16) and 66549 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford (4V56) MGR empties ultimately destined for Portbury. HST power cars seen were 43014/062 NR HST and XC 43304/378.
17/04 66522 brought in the 4V46 coal empties from Rugeley P.S. via the Severn Tunnel. Earlier Advenza 57006 had arrived at 16:42 from the east with four Inter-City livered Mk II's destined for Temple Meads and the NRMT HST set (with power cars 43014 + 43062) passed at 11:58 with 1Z20 heading from Swansea - Derby.
18/04 Stabled on the downside at 09:40 were 66522 and 66550 along with 66529 attached to a rake of coal empties. 66023 was on a late running 6Z75 10:47 Moreton-on-Lugg - Acton yard loaded stone which departed the terminal 130 minutes late due to loading problems.
20/04 Four locos seen tonight 66172 Newport ADJ - Wembley (6M17) "Enterprise" service, 66178 Avonmouth - Didcot (6D21) loaded MGR. 66529 arrived with 4V56 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford empty MGR followed by 66550at 21:00 with a similar working. XC power cars as 16/4/09. 66213 was on the 6Z96 Margam - Wembley export steel passing Pilning at 10:10, whilst later 66096 passed Parkway at 18:49 on the 6M17 Newport ADJ - Wembley 'enterprise'.
21/04 60065 and 60059 were both present at Westbury at 08:25, but 66007 (with 59205 de-allocated) worked the 6C83 Machen stone service. 66011 was on the 6Z96 export steel to Wembley and 66015 worked the 6B13 loaded fuel tanks to Westerleigh in place of 60065 which was needed to cover the 6A11/6B33 Robeston - Theale tank diagram the former working having suffered a failure behind 59202 which was on a trial with the train! The 6Z96 export steel was reported as running three hours late behind 66011.
23/04 66061 was on the 6Z96 export steel service to Wembley. This train was amended from 27/04 to run as 6Z95 12:16 Margam - Dolland's Moor (booked Severn Tunnel Junction 13:48-14:34, Pilning 14:57-15:11, Hullavington 15:41-17:16, Swindon 17:45). The train was to run MTThO during the first week. Three MGR workings this evening, 66178 with a loaded service from Avonmouth - Didcot (6D21) and 66083 (4D16) with empties in the reverse direction. 66550 worked 4V56 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford empties. XC power cars 43301/303.
27/04 Solitary freight this evening 66054 with a loaded MGR from Avonmouth - Didcot (6D21). XC power cars 43303/384.
28/04 66144 was on the return 6V08 04:59 Wembley - Margam steel empties, 60074 arrived in Pilning loop early at 13:30 with the 6B33 Theale - Robeston fuel tank empties and 66050 headed the 6M17 Wembley 'enterprise' freight service. 66169 passed Pilning at 14:43 with the revised 6Z95 Margam - Dollands Moor export steel.
30/04 66094 passed Parkway around 08:30 with the 6V08 Margam import steel empties, 66957 + 66548 double-headed the 4V04 03:32 Crewe Basford Hall - Portbury coal empties through Pilning at 07:09, although 66548 later powered the 6M04 10:30 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal solo and 66133 was on 7Z86 Uskmouth - Westbury stone empties during the early evening. Other workings reported through Parkway during the day were;- Advenza 47237 passing at 10:19 heading light-engine to Gloucester, 66131 pausing for a crew change on the 6Z95 Margam - Dollands Moor export steel at 14:43 , 47786 + 47854 (the latter having been collected from Westbury having suffered fire damage in the area received whilst working a return Kingswear - Norwich NENTA railtour with 47804 on 18/04 ) on a 5Z48 12:15 Southall - Carnforth move (with c/stock 21268, 2833, 5453, 5569, 5463, 5491, 5478, 5487) arriving at 13:43 (27 minutes late) and 66097 at 17:52 (having departed Portbury at 16:42) with 6X52 loaded import vehicles for Tyne Yard.
30/04 Brief visit this evening saw 66054 with 6D21, Avonmouth - Didcot loaded MGR and 66529 arrive with 4V56, Rugeley - Stoke Gifford MGR empties. XC power cars 43285/357.

Bristol Temple Meads, Kingsland Road and Barton Hill

01/04 Problems continued in the Taunton area following the HOBC wagon derailment, (see last months April 2009 Magazine page 12). One of the re-railing breakdown cranes was to hit an overhead electricity cable around 23:20 causing a signalling black-out in the Taunton area and the over night diversion of both First/GW sleeper services via Yeovil. The workings were reported at Yeovil Pen Mill; 1C99 (Paddington - Penzance with 57605) at 02:09 (with c/stock; 10601, 10532, 10589, 10219, 12161, 17175) and 1A40 (Penzance - Paddington with 57602) at 03:24 (with c/stock; 10536, 10563, 10616, 10225, 12100, 17174). There followed other train cancellations and terminations because of the incident, Arriva XC running no further, and re-starting their trains from Temple Meads. Services had completely returned to normal by the 03/04. Also during the day, 67001 brought in a 5Z67 10:07 Wembley - Barton Hill ECS (formed with c/stock; 5950, 5985, 5929, 1200, 3364, 3330, 1692, 3356, 3348, 1699, 3426, 3397, 2834) for a 1Z22 17:13 Bristol - Cardiff and 1Z23 22:50 Cardiff Central - Bristol TM return 'football relief', prior to returning as 5Z24 00:16 (Thur) Temple Meads - Eastleigh. Shanks livered 66522 was noted stabled in Kingsland Road at 18:00, whilst later 66624 + 66606 top n'tailed a 6Y11 Reading West - Parsons Street engineers through Filton Abbeywood at 23:12. Due to the signalling problems in the Taunton area, a 5Z27 09:30 Bishop's Lydeard (WSR) - Tyseley move with Steam locos 4936 Kinlet Hall + 45231 Sherwood Forester and support coaches (due Bristol TM from 10:46 - 11:10 and Parkway at 11:44) was cancelled. 45231 was reported to have eventually been returned to the East Lancs Railway by road. During the evening, the First/GW 21:45 Paddington - Exeter St. Davids HST service unusually ran 'wrong-line' from Parson's street -Yatton due to PW work on the down line.
02/04 Steam 70013 Oliver Cromwell arrived at 13:49, 21 minutes early to the booked time with Steam Dreams 'Cathederal Express' (1Z72 09:42 Victoria - Temple Meads which returned as 1Z73 at 17:10 ). Evening freight activity saw;- 66115 on the 6Z71 13:22 Cliffe Vale - St. Blazey china clay freight empties and 66618 with the 6M37 Moorswater - Hope (Earles) sidings cement empties. Test unit 950001 returned from the West Country as 2Z08 06:07 St. Erth - Temple Meads. Further movements for the Taunton wagon de-railment saw; 66177 work a 2Z99 crane working from Wigan, through Temple Meads at 18:30
03/04 Test unit 950001 was noted stabled in the former Bath Road depot spur during the evening.
06/04 47818 ran 0Z80 09:00 Gloucester - Laira light-engine, returning as 5Z80 13:30 Laira - Gloucester with barrier van 6348. The working was booked in Yatton loop from 16:05 - 16:15, but passed here early at 15:37, also having been routed via the Weston-super-Mare loop. Two light-engine diesel loco moves, linked to the running of the 2009 steam hauled 'Great Britain II' railtour saw;- Preserved D1015 Western Champion arrive at 16:09 as 0Z52 Old Oak Common - Barton Hill, followed by West Coast 47760 running as 0Z20 Victoria - Temple Meads at 16:11. The first leg of the 'Great Britain II' arrived late afternoon as 1Z20 11:54 Victoria - Temple Meads behind 34067 Tangmere. The c/stock in use for the whole trip was recorded as;- 99311, 99125 Jessica, 99121 Julie, 99993 (club car), 99348, 99350, 99127, 99316, 99128, 99352, 99723. On the subject of coaching stock, the First/GW loco-hauled set was reported as formed; 9494, M6117, M6008, M6046 during the day. 34067 Tangmere departed during the evening, with it's support coach 35318 (as 5Z22 17:47 Temple Meads - St. Blazey, noted passing Worle at 18:16) to take the place of 5029 Nunney Castle, which had been declared a failure due to a tender hot-box the previous day.
07/04 The out-ward 'Great Britain II' was worked by preserved diesel D1015 Western Champion as 1Z21 07:45 Temple Meads - Penzance. The north-bound return (1Z22 13:02 Penzance - Temple Meads) being headed by the rare steam combination of 34067 Tangmere + 70013 Oliver Cromwell, leaving the Cornish terminus late at 14:10. D1015 had departed in front of the main train as 5T09 13:40 Penzance - Temple Meads (leaving 20 early) with buffet coach 99311 arriving in Temple Meads at 20:15 depositing the coach in the former Bath Road depot spur. The 1Z21 was noted passing Worle station (Weston-super- Mare) at 20:51, whilst the 5T09 had been seen here earlier at 20:29. A cancelled steam loco move was a 5Z90 Crewe - Barton Hill with 46201 Princess Elizabeth (which was reported as unfit to travel) due to take out the 'Great Britain II' during the following morning. Another report for the day was DRS 57010, which passed Worle at 08:58 as 0Z73 04:10 Crewe - Keyham for a return flask move the following day. Following the derailment incident at Taunton, 66177 hauled the Margam and Wigan re-railing cranes and vans away from the site to East Usk, Newport during the day. An MPV unit (98911 + 98961) was also seen heading West during the evening as 6Z05 20:20 St. Phillips Marsh - St. Phillips Marsh (via the Yatton loop booked 20:54 - 21:01 and Heathfield branch line, booked 04:10 - 04:15). Further workings of this set during the week were;- 08/04: 19:40 St. Phillips Marsh - Tavistock junction (via Goodrington booked 20:30 - 20:40 and Plymouth) and on 09/04 21:30 Tavistock junction - St. Phillips Marsh.
08/04 66558 seen heading south at 08:35 with "Heavy Haul" hoppers. Plenty of loco activity through Temple Meads during the day which saw Class 37, 47, 52 and 57 locos at Temple Meads . Steam loco 34067 Tangmere continued the 'Great Britain II' (in place of 46201 Princess Elizabeth) as 1Z23 10:11 Temple Meads - Preston (via the Severn Tunnel and Hereford) with support loco 47760, which had stabled in platform 1 overnight light, departing as 10:15 loco and buffet coach 99311 (from the former Bath Road depot stub ). After railtour duty, D1015 Western Champion returned to it's new operating base at Eastleigh following the run-down of Old Oak Common unusually with a Colas track machine move (8Z52 09:00 Marsh junction-Southampton Eastern dock) hauling long-term stored 1979 built Plasser & Theurer ballast cleaner 76313 for export the following day to Saudi Arabia! The working booked through Temple Meads at 09:33, following a loco run-round at Bristol West, however did not appear on the up through line until 11:17, leaving at 11:33! The light-engine move from Barton Hill - Marsh junction had earlier been recorded in Temple Meads platform 1 between 09:10 - 09:30. Later, DRS 57010 passed Yatton at 12:28 (and Filton Abbeywood at 13:14) on a 6Z73 09:12 Keyham - Crewe two nuclear flask move (KUA) and through the same location at 13:28, 37605 + 37610 appeared on the 6M67 14:00 Bridgwater - Crewe conveying three FNA flasks. Two MkIIs were present at the west-end next to platform two, these being 9525 and 5906. An 11 day 'china clay' recession shutdown was announced in Cornwall, which was expected to affect some long-distance freight movements through the Bristol area.
10/04 Good Friday and two Scottish bound railtours operated via Bristol. 67028 worked Pathfinder tour's 'West Highlander' (1Z23 05:57 Salisbury - Fort William) with c/stock;- 5341, 3098, 3119, 1671, 3149, 3120, 3097, 80041, 3069, 5769(?), 35469 and was noted near Bath at 07:00. The other trip, organised by Pastime Rail was the 'Scottish Chieftain' (1Z27 07:57 Taunton - Dumbarton Central), the ECS having arrived earlier during the morning, with West Coast 47804 + 37676 being the tour locos in a top n'tail formation. This train's c/stock was recorded as;- 6312, 99676 Crumnock Water, 99672 Bassenwaite, 99678 Ullswater, 99675 Rydal Water, 99675 Ennerdale Water, 99671 Grasmere, 99680, being noted calling at Parkway at 09:10 and later passing Yate at 09:26. A change had taken place on the First/GW loco-hauled 'hire' service with 67025 taking over from 67016.
13/04 Returning Scottish railtours from the 10/04 saw;- 47854 (in place of 37676) + 47804 on the 1Z22 18:43 Dumbarton Central - Taunton, recorded calling at Weston-super-Mare at 19:41 and 67028 with the 1Z28 08:37 Fort William - Salisbury, through Day's junction around an hour late at 22:26, and calling at Bath at 22:40. An evening freight diversion via Westbury reported was the 6C99 21:57 Newport ADJ - St. Blazey passing Dr. Days 21:18 (28 minutes early) headed by 66090.
14/04 Due to stock availability problems, Arriva XC 'hired' in First/GW 142029 to cover part of the 14:25 Plymouth - Edinbugh service as far as Temple Meads! Also noted during the afternoon was MPV unit 98911 + 98961 heading west around 15:00 and later 66617 with HOBC wagon 92286 on a down working to Taunton Fairwater. 66559 was on the 6V20 22:31 (Mon) Hope (Earles sidings) - Moorswater (reported Parkway at 03:04) and believed diverted via Bath and Westbury.
15/04 The 6M67 Bridgwater - Crewe nuclear flasks departed at 13:48 behind 20308 + 37610, the inward 6V74 having been recorded through Temple Meads at 05:26 with a single FNA wagon. A VSOE outing, 1Z82 08:45 Victoria - Temple Meads and 1Z83 16:34 return was headed by 67024, which was steam hauled by 35028 Clan Line to and from Westbury.
17/04 Having been noted as running light to St. Phillips Marsh the previous day, 47818 headed a 5Z50 Eastleigh - Long Marston stored stock move formed of eight Arriva livered coaches;- 6013, 6170, 9524, 5913, 6025, 6162, 9509, 5869 through Bath at 11:14. Other reports for the day saw;- Royal 67005 + silver livered 67029 run 0Z67 19:45 Kingswear - Barton Hill light-engines for servicing following railtour duty (which returned from Torquay, via Westbury as 1Z76 on 20/04) and 66020 + 66090 paired on the 6M60 21:25 Plymouth Tavistock yard - Bescot freight.
18/04 47818 was stabled in the former Bath Road depot spur, being later joined by 57006. The Bristol - Taunton line was closed, with diversions for Arriva XC services via Westbury and First/GW providing road bus services between local stations. Track work was centred in the Dunball area, near Bridgwater trains (with headcodes where identified) present being;- 66584 + 66520 (6Y33) track replacement train, with 66615 alongside light-engine, 66606 + 66584 (6Y11) high-ouput ballast cleaner, noted at Highbridge at 14:45, 66545 on 6Y34 09:15 Westbury - Bristol West, 66613 on 6Y13 05:29 Mountsorrell - Bristol West Redland self-discharge train, recorded through Filton Abbeywood at 09:14. Three return workings recorded were 66606 + 66615 with 6Y11 as 20:00 Cogload junction - Taunton Fairwater and 66617 with 6Y14 19:30 Cogload junction - Westbury (which had arrived in section as 6Y14 10:15 Westbury - Bristol West) and 66545 on 6Y34 21:30 Cogload junction - Westbury, the two latter workings being via Castle Cary . Some reported Arriva XC HST diversions via Westbury were;- 43378 + 43304 on 1V47 Edinburgh - Penzance, 43384 + 43303 with 1V?? York - Plymouth and 43357 + 43258 forming a 1Z43 07:29 Dundee - Penzance, during the evening.
19/04 Sunday Arriva XC HST diverts continued via Westbury and Bath during the day, amongst those recorded were; 43258 + 43357 reported on the 1S59 11:30 Penzance - Edinburgh and 43304 + 43378 with 1S51 09:28 Penzance - Glasgow Central. 08663 was noted during the afternoon on St. Phillips Marsh depot shunting HST stock including unrefurbished buffet 40807 along with 41135 and 44074.
20/04 67017 + 67025 commenced the weeks First/GW 'hire' diagram, the 2D04 07:28 Taunton - Bristol Parkway working unusually using the up loop at Yatton. Advenza 47237 ran Landore - Gloucester, with a barrier coach (Pilning 15:42) via St. Phillips Marsh for a 5Z46 HST stock move to the North.
21/04 47818 and 57005 were noted stabled on the former Bath Road depot spur during the day. Four former Inter-City MkIIs were recorded as stabled on the up through siding having been brought in by 57005 sometime earlier.
22/04 Steam 4936 Kinlet Hall returned from the West Somerset Railway as 0Z27 09:30 Bishop's Lydeard - Tyseley light-engine (with no support coach) via Bristol Parkway, Swindon and Oxford during the late morning. Freight records for the day included;- 37087 and 37688 paired on the 6M67 Bridgwater - Crewe nuclear flasks during the early afternoon and an evening appearance of the 6M37 Moorswater - Hope sidings cement empties (formed with 20 PCA tanks) behind 66581, having worked 6Z21 20:55 (Tues) ex Hope (Earles) sidings west bound during the morning. A 4Z07 test working arrived from the West at Temple Meads during the early afternoon formed;- DBSO 9703, 999602 + 31602, before later returning to Exeter (Riverside). The First/GW 10:22 Portsmouth - Cardiff Central service was unusually formed with a two-car 158952 which only stopped at Southampton, Westbury and Bath to prevent over crowding.
23/04 66054 seen heading northbound with a loaded MGR at 14:40 and seen later at Stapleton Road at 19:05 was 66016 with a rake of MGR wagons heading northbound. DBS celebrity repaint 60074 ran 0B65 Westbury - Margam light-engine (partly in the path of the 'no wagon' 6B65 Westbury - Newport ADJ departmental) to take up West Wales fuel tank duties. A 'Green Party, St. Georges Day, Georgian Bath Express' (1Z43 05:58 Leeds - Bath and 1Z44 16:21 return to Skipton) was top n'tailed through Lawrence Hill at 12:20 with green-livered 47851 + 47826, carrying Scarborough Spa express advertising vinyls on one side only. The train had run via the Marches and the Severn Tunnel using c/stock;- 4960, 99327, 5032, 1860, 99722, 5035, 3136, 3143, 3148, 21266. With the ECS having been stabled at Westbury, the return working was reported as to be calling at Temple Meads between 16:35 - 16:44, but in the end the train was seen working off Day's curve at 16:45!, later passing Pilning at 16:58. Some evening freight observations were;- 66089 in Temple Meads at 17:56 on 6Z71 13:22 Cliffe Vale - St. Blazey china clay empties and 6X52 Portbury - Tyne yard loaded cars through Malago Vale at 18:03 behind un unidentified DBS Class 66.
24/04 Following a cancellation during the following day, Advenza 47237 (having been stabled at Craigentinny) worked 5Z44 08:30 Kilmarnock - Laira refurbished HST stock move (formed 6330, 41176, 42102, 42147, 42294, 42381, 6348) departed 19 minutes late. Despite the distance, and a loco swap at Temple Meads with 47818, the train was noted leaving the down loop at Yatton at 17:24, slightly up on time! Later during the evening, 66089 + 66044 departed Plymouth Tavistock yard at 20:55 on the 6M60 loaded china clay train to Bescot.
24/04 Friday tour saw 3 Freightliner 66s at Kingsland Road circa 09:20, rumoured to be 66545/601/617. Stabled at Temple Meads on the bridge over Cattle Market Road were 47818 and 57005.
25/04 With the Severn Tunnel again closed for engineering work along with the Bristol - Taunton mainline week-end diversions again took place. One freight movement recorded was the 6B80/6C80 Westbury - Machen and return loaded stone routed via Gloucester behind 66111. PW train's reported again in the Dunball area, between Highbridge and Bridwater during the day were; 66556 + 66584 (6Y33) track replacement train, 66601 + 66597 (6Y12), 66613 (6Y14) Redland self-discharge train (which was returned as 17:10 Cogload junction - Westbury, via Castle Cary) and 66615 + 66621 (6Y11) high output ballast cleaner.
27/04 Portbury bound MGR empties seen at 09:55 behind 66030. The First/GW 'hire' local service, was in the hands of 67030 + 67016 from this date and onwards into May. 47818 was again active, running light-engine through Lawrence Hill at 17:34 towards Bristol .
28/04 The 5C89 21:23 Taunton - Barton Hill ECS, was reported as running off the booked route via Bridgwater instead of Westbury with locos 67017 + 67030.
29/04 One of the 'as required' 6Z85 Taunton Fairwater - Taunton Fairwater HOBC wagon turning moves (sometimes referred to as the 'Magic Roundabout'!) was recorded behind 66615, the booked departure from Taunton being 19:15 and actual passing times en-route were noted at Worle junction as 20:02 (booked 19:30), Bath Spa 20:52 (20:29) and Taunton 22:27 (22:11).
30/04 Colas 47727 arrived in Temple Meads at 15:14 on a 6Z44 Reading OLE - Plymouth Tavistock yard Colas HOBC move via Charfield and Bristol Parkway (noted here at 15:00). The working continued westwards at 16:46. Later, 66085 arrived on the 6Z71 Bescot - St. Blazey china clay empties, having been recorded through Charfield at 17:48.

Cardiff (Steelworks)

08782 has been present all month in the same place suggesting that it is stored. Active loco, seen a couple of times was 08951.

Gloucester

01/04 The 6A32/6B36 Didcot - Ashchurch MoD stores trip was worked by 66053. Other sightings on this working during the month have included: 66131 (03/04), 66098 (06/04) and 66096 (21/04, the return on this date being noted through Cheltenham at 12:43).
03/04 66145 was on the overnight 6V72 (Wed) Liverpool - Swindon scrap empties (ThO), arriving at it's destination at 09:15.
06/04 66009 arrived at Swindon at 10:30 on the 6V72 scrap empties from Liverpool.
07/04 Advenza/Cotswold activity at Gloucester during the day saw;- 47818 on a 5Z46 09:00 Gloucester - Brush Loughborough barrier van move, returning during the following day with First/GW HST power car 43053 (incorrectly numbered 43253!) as 5Z47 12:55 Loughborough - Landore and 47237 on a 6Z73 12:21 Cardiff Tidal - Shipley empty scrap working.
30/04 DRS 37602 + 37218 passed Standish junction at 08:15 on the 6V73 Crewe - Berkeley nuclear flask working. The Sharpness branch line (on which the loading and off-loading siding is located at Wanswell) seems to be secure, as Olbury P.S. has had a two year life extension and after that, the decommissioning will take 20 years to complete. It is reported that land alongside the existing power station has been purchased as a location for a possible new reactor.

Newport

19/04 East Usk signal box was destroyed by fire during the early hours. Train delays followed until the area was declared safe (although the relief lines were to remain out of use for a longer period), arson is suspected. The box, dating from 1961, is not expected to be rebuilt, the Uskmouth branch will be operated under a 'no signalman' token system and the remaining semaphore signals removed. Another change of plan has seen Alexandra yard being reopened to stable and form freight trains, this function having only just been moved to Est Usk yard earlier in the month!
24/04 66056 + 66043 + 66066 + 66135 + 66158 pased East Usk at 15:00 on an 0Z?? Margam - Hoo junction light loco move.
28/04 DBS livered 66152 arrived in area on the 6V19 (Mon) Immingham - Margam 'enterprise' freight.

Portbury Branch Line

Fastline import coal trains for Ratcliffe P.S. finished operating from week commencing 20/04, whilst six FLHH departures to Rugeley P.S. were reported to have been running at the beginning of April.
Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included;-
66015/016/017/030/034/037/053/054/057/105/137/147/178. 66301/302/303/304/305. 66425/427/434. 66507/518/522/527/529/544/548/549/550/556/557/558/565/604. 66726.
66953/957.

Westbury

With the virtual quarry at Oxford Hinksey yard 'mothballed', Westbury has been receiving ballast deliveries from Stud Farm powered by FLHH locos. The return empties coded 6U72 leave around 12:00, running each way via Oxford, Didcot (Foxhall curve), Swindon and Melksham.

Units seen during the month
142029.
143603/611/612/617/619.
150121/127/219/232/234/238/243/244/246/247/248/263/265/266/267/278/279
150280/281
153318/369/372/377.
158748/763/766/767/769/950/951/952*/956/958/959.
159019/021.
220001/002/005/006/007/008/009/010/012/013/015/017/018/022/023/024/025
220027/028/030/031
221119/120/121/122/123/124/125/126/127/129/132/133/136/138/140/141
950001.
HST PC count;- 43207/257/258/285/303/304/321/357/366/378/384.
Misformed set;- 158952 was recorded as running as a two-car set.

STOCK ALTERATIONS

Locomotives

Transfers
92032 -France
CFOL: 37308, 50026 HTLX: 56027/114 MBED: 73119
DFFT: 66503/539 DFIM: 66540/578

Stored
CB: 47830. CE: 90018. 92041 CG: 37608. DC: 08993. 09014/105
LM: 37029/412/672. TO: 37425. 60010/020/027/031/044/054
RR: 56301/302. RVE: 56303

Traffic
08428 -DC, 08737 -TO (Trafford Park), 08784 -TO (Ketton), 37670.
60013/024/059 -TO, 66841/842 -GL*, 73203 -SE, 73207 -SE (Whitemoor)
90024. 92034 -CE, 89424 (D1023) -YK

Withdrawn
47375

Disposals
Booth: 08510/582/955. 47375
Ransome: 08731
Mendip Rail: 08933 Embsay: 37294

Renumbered
43053 - 43253
66406 - 66841, 66407 - 66842-GL*

Diesel Multiple Units

Transfers
55025 (960011 - 977859) -AL

Disposal
Booth: 51231. 59496
Ammanford: 51134/135/147. 59445. 55026. 59445/490

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
319217/218/219/220(SU)-BF
321401(NN)-HE
377158/159/160(BI)-SU

Stored
508205/210/211 -SL

Traffic
442401/403/404/406/407/408/411/418 -B1

Disposals
Booth: 62076 (310051)

New Stock
350249/250 -NN
377502 -BF
395010/011/012/013 -AD

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Transfers
325. 1659. 3188. 3231. 35511, 81025 (99783) -CP.
10246/588. 11040/065/071/079/083/089. 12014/038/043/053/119 -CE.
1200/60. 1691/92/99. 1813/32/42/63. 3097. 3110/19/20/21/23/24,
3141/44/46/47/49/88. 3269/77/79/92/95. 3318/30/31/34/36/48/56/58,
3364/79/84/90/97. 3400/17/26. 4902/27/49/86/96/98. 5008/23/40.
5292. 5322/41/66. 5631/32. 5769/92. 5954/98. 6006. 6110. 6310.
9713. 17077/175. 21269/272. 35469. 80041 -EH

Stored
NC: 12063/139
Dalton: 3268. 5271. 5335. 5449/50/62/94. 5520. 5739. 5879.
6400(3167)/11(3152). 6510? 9435/85. 13438/442/575/581/583/585? 17151. 35510. 977867.

Traffic
3106 (99122) -CS, 10222 -zn, 35089 -NY

Withdrawn
92931/938. 977193/789/790/791/792/793/794

Disposals
Booth: 92931/938
Ammanford: 9396
Thomson: 2008. 5266. 5433.
J Hirst: 977789/790/791/792/793/794
EMR: 977193
North Norfolk: 4958
For Sale: 5365/76. 6038/56. 17077. 92350/384/936

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge containers
01/04 66535. 02/04 66954. 03/04 66542. 06/04 66505. 07/04 66577.
08/04 66505. 09/04 66538. 14/04 66540. 15/04 66575. 16/04 66536.
17/04 66576. 20/04 66504. 21/04 66570. 22/04 66568. 23/04 66540.
24/04 66517. 27/04 66591. 28/04 66535. 29/04 66535. 30/04 66594.

4V60 Calvert - Bristol Barrow road bin liner
01/04 66584. 02/04 66584. 03/04 66584. 14/04 66596. 17/04 66596.
27/04 66597.

6M55 07:00 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. (06:19 SO) loaded coal
06/04 66557. 15/04 66549. 24/04 66529. 27/04 66550. 29/04 66529.
30/04 66529.

6M61 08:31 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
03/04 66558. 06/04 66544. 07/04 66604. 13/04 66522. 15/04 66522.
20/04 66550. 24/04 66550.

6M04 10:25 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
01/04 66518. 03/04 66518. 07/04 66558. 08/04 66558. 10/04 66558.
13/04 66565. 14/04 66565. 15/04 66550. 17/04 66550.
20/04 66625 + 66522. 22/04 66556. 27/04 66548. 28/04 66548.
29/04 66548. 30/04 66548.

6M02 20:45 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
01/04 66953. 02/04 66559.

LOCAL FASTLINE WORKINGS

6M18 05:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. loaded coal
01/04 66304. 02/04 66304. 04/04 66726. 06/04 66726. 07/04 66303.
08/04 66427. 09/04 66434. 10/04 66304. 13/04 66305. 14/04 66302.
15/04 66302. 16/04 66301.

4V09/6Z99 19:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. loaded coal
01/04 66305. 02/04 66303. 03/04 66304. 06/04 66425. 07/04 66726.
08/04 66303. 09/04 66303. 13/04 66302. 14/04 66726. 15/04 66726.

LOCAL EWS WORKINGS

6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh fuel oil
01/04 60011. 03/04 60011. 06-08/04 60024. 09/04 60065. 11/04 60065.
14/04 60065. 15-18/04 60065. 20/04 60065. 21/04 66015. 22/04 60065.
23-25/04 60065. 27/04 60065. 28/04 66135. 29/04 60065. 30/04 60065.

6E41 Westerleigh - Lindsey empty fuel tanks
03/04 60068. 06/04 60011 + 60068. 07/04 60049. 08/04 60049.
09/04 60049. 11/04 60011. 14/04 60091. 14/04 60091. 15/04 60091.
16/04 60091. 23/04 60011. 24/04 60011 28/04 60096. 29/04 60096.

6B49/6B50 Newport ADJ - Swindon steel
03/04 66057. 14/04 66084. 17/04 66083. 21/04 66098. 24/04 66047.
28/04 66139.

6B33 Theale - Robeston empty fuel tanks
02/04 60024. 04/04 60024. 07/04 66083. 09/04 66083. 11/04 66162.
14/04 60024. 16/04 60024. 21/04 60065. 23/04 60024. 28/04 60074.
30/04 60074.

6B83/6C83 (6B80/6C80 SO) Westbury - Machen - Westbury stone (TThSO)
02/04 66121. 07/04 59206. 14/04 59206. 18/04 66111. 21/04 66007.
25/04 66111. 28/04 59201.

6V62 Eastleigh - Plymouth Tavistock yard fuel tanks (TO)
07/04 66201. 14/04 66221. 21/04 66008. 28/04 66158.

6B35 Hayes - Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties
01/04 66111. 03/04 66111. 06/04 66075. 07/04 66075. 17/04 66093.
22/04 66023. 24/04 66188. 29/04 66090.

6X52 Portbury - Tyne Yard loaded cars (TThO)
09/04 66043. 14/04 66127. 28/04 66201. 30/04 66097.

6B24 Didcot - Wentlooge MoD stores
01/04 66148. 02/04 66170. 06/04 66089. 20/04 66096. 21/04 66201.
22/04 66005. 29/04 66005.

PRESERVATION & INDUSTRIAL MATTERS

Swanage Railway 01 - 02/04/09
On both dates, DBS livered 66152 (with 66142 in a top n'tail formation) worked through trains to the Dorset Coast terminus, as 1Z90 08:45 Victoria - Swanage and 1Z91 16:05 return titled 'The Purbeck Pioneer' and organised by UK Railtours. The working on 01/04 was infact the first through passenger working over the line since it was closed by BR, 27 years ago.

Mainline Preservation
04/04 In preparation for the Railway Touring Company's 'Royal Duchy' to be double-headed from Westbury by steam locos; 5029 Nunney Castle + 70013 Oliver Cromwell, the former ran 5Z52 08:45 Tyseley - Westbury (via Oxford Hinksey for water and Didcot) with support coach W35461 and the latter 5Z30 10:20 Southall - Westbury (via the Berks & Hants) with support coach M17019.
05/04 What was to be a loco positioning move for the start of 'The Great Britain II', D1015 Western Champion began the journey working the 1Z27 07:35 Paddington - Par (formed with c/stock;- M35469, S3068, W1691, M3097, M3120, E3149, M3119, 1863, W5009, W5350, brought into Paddington from Southall by 37706) as far as Westbury for steam traction to take over. Timekeeping was good, but a problem with a tender axle hot-box on the Castle at Newton Abbot saw the loco removed and D1015 (which had travelled on in front as 0Z52 10:05 Westbury - Par light-engine) recalled from Plymouth to pilot the Britannia loco on wards. Nunney Castle was eventually able to make the Torbay Steam Railway for repair at Churston (arriving here on 09/04). The return 1Z52 17:00 Par - Paddington, worked by D1015, departed 48 minutes late, this being reduced to 43 minutes by Exeter, 40 by Taunton, 37 by Westbury, 22 by Newbury, 19 by Reading and a 7 minute early arrival at Paddington!!

Road Movements
30/04 Ex.BR steam 47327 (carrying a blue 'Thomas' livery) just off the M5 at junction 23 (Dunball), heading along the Wells road, presumably to the ESR at Cranmore.

DEPARTMENTALS & TRACK MACHINES

08/04 Bristol TM;- DR73920. 76313. Note;- the latter (which had been long term stored in Bristol) was being moved in 'transit' by D1015 Western Champion from Marsh junction - Southampton Eastern dock for export.
23/04 Marsh junction - DR73104, 73312. DR73414/419 (all on isolated track sections near the Avonmeads car park and visible from the spine road). Barton Hill depot- snowploughs: ADB965209. ADB965231. (with spare 'hire' c/stock: M6064. 9494). Kingsland Road sidings - DR73111 Reading Panel 1968 - 2008. DR73114 Rodger Henderson. 77903.
DR73911 Puma.
26/04 Rockenham Road bridge (Hallen Marsh);- (at work), road-rail excavators: 454, 464. with two unidentified support trailers.

MISCELLANEOUS

Local Station News
Patchway - Local sixth formers are tidying up the downside platform 2 area and designing a garden on the land between the station and the nearby Rolls Royce factory. Having been cleared by people doing unpaid work with the Avon and Somerset Probation Service, Patchway Community Colledge student Katie Warwick aged 17 has designed a new garden layout as part of her A level course work. The project has been set up by the Severnside Community Rail Partenership (SCRP), which was established in 2004 to get nearby communities involved with the appearance of their local station. Waste and dumped materials, such as railway sleepers on the site will form part of the finished project which will include flower beds and a central sculpture. The work of SCRP is funded by the local authorities and First/GW with 17 of the 24 stations in the area currently running similar projects.
Keynsham - Work is underway to reinstate the previously disused Bristol platform ends at this station including resurfacing and the installation of new fencing. It is assumed the additional platform length will see the regular stopping of HST's sometime in the future. Sadly work on a new ramp for disabled rail customers on the down-side still seems a long way off with the Department of Transport rejecting a bid of 100,000 (made up of a combined 50,000 each from NE Somerset Council and First/GW) to build the new wheel-chair ramp. The Government is investing 378 million over the next 10 years improving disabled access at 600 stations throughout the country.
Stapledon Road - Rail crime has increased at this Bristol surburban station from 21 incidents during 2007, to 25 in 2008, but stations at Lawrence Hill (from 20 to 12) and Bedminster (19 to 14) have seen a decrease. A combined total of 42 incidents between Worle and Weston-super-Mare stations during 2007 had dropped to 28 during 2008.
Yate - The automatic ticket machine and the train times monitor have suffered further vandalism.
Yatton - Work on the Strawberry Line Cafe Project to restore the former 1840s Brunel designed down-side platform buildings into a new community cafe is underway with various fund-raising activities. Around 150,000 needs to be raised for the project, which will see a new kitchen and toilet built along with a revamped currently closed waiting room, for rail passenger and cafe customer use.
Worle - Planned work at this station, opened nearly 20 years ago in September 1990, will see new south-side car parking, bus stops built on both sides with a new/or extended service and improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. However, the planned relaying of part of the former double-track loop (one track having been removed during the early 1970s) to increase the local area train capacity from nearby Worle junction to Weston Milton halt has been put back by NR until between 2011-2012. This work was originally expected to take place during 2007.