NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

02/12 66153 passed Patchway at 10:22, light-engine as 0C90 Newport ADJ - Avonmouth Chittening estate to collect the 6C97 return trip freight. Other locos reported on this duty during the month have been: 66006, noted through Pilning at 10:21 (09/12), 66176 (16/12) and 66186 (23/12).
05/12 The Saturday morning 3S59 South Wales - Barton Hill water cannon passed Henbury at 11:16, top n'tailed by 66237 + 66154.
08/12 66133 was on the 7C63 Westbury - Avonmouth import stone empties, being noted through Dr. Day's curve at 12:40. Earlier, 66248, having departed Barton Hill at 10:55 light-engine, headed a return 4D98 12:18 Avonmouth - Barton Hill 'cripple, wagon trip formed of 5 HTAs passing Dr. Day's at 12:45 and later back through Temple Meads at 13:12 following a loco run-round at Bristol West.
10/12 With test unit 950001 out of service, 31106 (ex. BR blue) + 31601 (Devon & Cornish Railway's green) worked 2Z08 09:18 Temple Meads - Westbury via Portbury dep 11:31 (27 minutes late), Temple Meads 12:03 (37 late), Stapleton Road 12:35 (53 late) and Filton Abbeywood 12:39, diverted from the 'booked' route via Clifton Down due to a loss of path over that part of the Severn Beach branch line. The train eventually reached Severn Beach, following a reverse in the Avonmouth area at 13:04 (72 late), then taking it's booked route back to Bristol, then onwards to Bath and Westbury (via Salisbury).
22/12 70002 headed the 6M07 02:23 Avonmouth West wharf - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal (being later reported as a failure in the Birmingham area!), working the same train during the following day. On both days this service was routed to the Midlands via Charfield and Worcester, instead of via the usual Severn Tunnel and the Marches.
29/12 66594 brought in a further 4Z86 08:15 Grain - West Wharf container service, for the Constellation Europe wine store and warehouse (due 15:29), but was reported as running 85 late during the afternoon.
Freight traffic could return to the Hallen Marsh - Severn Beach line if recycling company Sita obtains approval for a new waste-fired energy plant on the former ICI Seabank site. The plant, which could dispose of up to 400,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste, would be connected to the Severn Beach line as part of the plan and use sidings already in place. As well as laying new track, a run-round loop would be required in the Severn Beach station area to gain access onto the branch and main rail network. Electricity for up to 50,000 homes would be also generated from the site.

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included:- 66019/089/125/127/139/140. 70002.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

01/12 70002 headed the 6M55 07:03 Stoke Gifford - Rugeley P.S. (running in the path of the 07:00 departure from Portbury) loaded coal service formed of 19 Freightliner Heavy-haul HHAs (1761 tonnes), but was in trouble north of Hereford due to a wagon problem, reaching it's destination 50 minutes late. The return 4V57 15:25 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford sidings empties were reported passing Standish junction at 21:15 (121 minutes late). Another Freightliner Heavy-haul working reported during the day was 66506 with a 6Z28 12:32 Parkway - Eastleigh East yard departmental, noted passing Keynsham at 12:58.
03/12 70002 was again on a morning coal departure, returning the 4V57 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford empties during the evening. Other workings of note were: DBS 66035 on 6F72 Cardiff Tidal - Swindon scrap empties (recorded passing Pilning at 04:50) and FLHH 66527 running 0Z66 Stoke Gifford - Newport docks light-engine (arriving here at 10:55, 20 minutes early), to shunt the newly delivered Class 70 locos (also see Newport Notes & News).
04/12 70002 again worked the 6M55 07:43 Stoke Gifford - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal, passing Patchway at 07:51, 3 late), later returning, as booked on the 4V57 Rugeley P.S. - Stoke Gifford empties, some passing times for the day's train being recorded as: Bescot Stadium 17:05 (10 late), King's Norton 18:05 (1 late) and Cheltenham 18:54 (6 early !). Also during the morning the NRMT HST set, with power cars 43013 + 43014 was noted passing Patchway at 07:57 as 1Z20 Old Oak Common - Swansea.
05/12 With the Severn Tunnel closed for track maintenance and re-signalling, diversions took place via Gloucester (see Gloucester Notes & News). The morning 6V78 Dollands Moor - Margam export steel empties was of interest, being headed by 66200, the working was noted passing Chippenham at 07:35, being then routed via Bath, Dr. Day's, Parkway and Gloucester. This arrangement was to also take place during over the following Saturday.
06/12 Locos stabled at 09:30 in the downside were:- 66506, 66597, 66598, 70002.
07/12 66527 worked an empty MGR to Portbury this evening also seen were 66550/556/597/598 moving around in the yard prior to being stabled. Mainline activity was the MoD Liner (6A29) hauled by 66070. A 0V57 10:45 Oxley Signal box - Westbury light-engine move was formed with 57315 + 57316 ready to take over the forthcoming second First/GW loco and stock 'hire'. The Class 57s, which were reported through Standish junction at 13:06 (67 early) were to continue the 5V66 12:29 Eastleigh - Taunton 'hire' coaches move onwards from Westbury (having arrived here headed by 'spare' loco 66844) via Bristol TM (booked here at 15:05). However a faulty coach door delayed the ECS departure from Eastleigh, as a result the train formed with the three locos, with 66844 leading ran direct to Taunton via Castle Cary. Also reported during the day were 70002 running around 90 minutes late on the morning 6M55 Stoke Gifford - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal and blue livered 66623 on a 6Z87 Basford Hall - Taunton Fairwaters yard departmental.
09/12 With the NR track recording unit 950001 out of service, 31601 + 999508 + 31106 were in use as a replacement, reaching the Bristol area as 2Z08 04:53 Whitland - Temple Meads, noted running straight through Pilning up loop at 14:49 (also see Avonmouth and Portbury Notes & News). Earlier, Royal duo 67005 + 67006 passed Pilning late at 10:29 on a 5Z77 06:38 Crewe - Temple 11 coach Northern Belle dining train ECS. The working had been held in the Hereford area due to a fatality around 04:30 in the Rumney Bridge area, reported as involving the First/GW 5L16 03:10 Swansea - Cheltenham HST ECS (with power cars 43133 + 43175). Some road bus services were also reported to have run because of the incident between Cardiff and Parkway.
10/12 Not much activity in the yard tonight, 66611 departed light engine and 66597 stabled at the head of an empty MGR service for Portbury. Mainline saw 66070 (6A29) MoD Liner and 66019 (4D16) Didcot - Avonmouth empty MGR. Tonight was also the last sighting of XC power cars as from the new timetable being re-deployed on other workings.
11/12 70003 was noted passing Pilning at 15:15 as 0Z24 Crewe Basford Hall - Stoke Gifford light-engine, having earlier been reported through Abergavenny at 14:22 55 late).
12/12 Pathfinder Tour's 'The Pye Bridge Pie-Man' (1Z59 05:22 Westbury - High Marnham) which featured 59204 from Westbury - Birmingham NS, departed Parkway at 06:16 (7 late) later returned as 1Z60 14:30 ex. High Marnham, with the same loco during the evening around 90 minutes late off Birmingham NS at 21:02. A Hanson/Colas Class 47 and 56 along with a DBS Class 60, were also to feature over several Midlands freight only routes. At 15:00, Stoke Gifford siding held: 66527, 66528, 66550, 66556, 66611, 70003.
13/12 It was noticed at Pilning West that the down passing loop had been shortened, with a short siding now present. 66074 was present for part of the day. An 8X22 08:00 Patchway - Westbury down yard was returned via a loco run-round at Swindon being part formed of ILA 'slinger' empty side track panel wagons, the first time this wagon type having been seen in the Bristol area. Some other returning engineers trains from the Chepstow side of the River Severn (via Gloucester) were: 6W11 06:00 Chepstow - Oxford Hinksey yard with 66060 and 6W12 06:30 Chepstow - Oxford Hinksey yard with 66087. Two other departures were at 07:00 (6W13) and 07:30 (6W14) both with unidentified hauling power, all of the workings were to have a loco run-round in Parkway yard and routing via Badminton.
14/12 A signalers strike at Port Talbot affected services from west Wales causing disruption to Arriva and some First/GW trains. Returning Freightliner empty coal trains were recorded as follows: 66597 + 70003 (the latter having failed at Rugeley) on 4Z70 11:15 Rugeley B power station - Stoke Gifford (reported as running around 115 minutes late) and 70006 + 66952 on 4V22 Fiddler's Ferry - Stoke Gifford empties (Severn Tunnel junction at 15:22 19 late). By this date 70002 had been reported as having left the area. This evening saw 66597 + 70003 at the head of an empty MGR service to the yard, waiting on a through road to shunt in. This train was present before 19:00 and didn't move until 20:20. In between time 66952 was shunting wagons, 70006 emerged from the rear of the yard and was placed at the head of a rake of empties for Portbury in the morning. Evening shunting movements in Stoke Gifford sidings at one point saw: 66597 + 70003 + 66528 + 66952 + 66527 dealing with one empty coal hopper wagon! 66528, arrived light engine from Bristol direction and made its way to the sidings, having been seen earlier working a "civils" towards Bristol. A diverted Stone and Tinplate service headed eastbound behind 66082 followed later by the MoD Liner worked by 66043.
15/12 New HST micro-buffet conversion 40107 was noted in service as part of the 1B76 18:15 Paddington - Swansea First/GW service. Two days earlier, 40109 was reported to be in use as part of HST set OC43.
16/12 GBRf 'hire' loco 66705 worked Fastline's 4V13 Chaddeston sidings - Portbury coal empties being reported passing Ashley Hill at 14:33.
17/12 Not a lot again, 70003 stationed at the head of MGR empties for Portbury and 66527 arriving with empties from Rugeley ((4V56). Newport ADJ - Willesden freight ((6M17) passed through behind 66098 final sighting being 66073 (6A29) MoD Liner. Also noted was a hybrid Cl158 formation using cars from 746 + 762. The morning Freightliner 4V50 (running as 4Z50) Millbrook - Wentlooge container service headed by 66603 was retimed being noted departing Parkway at 13:16 (1 late).
18/12 New point work at Pilning West was noted in position connecting the down passing loop (now fully up-graded for passenger train use) with the mainline on the Pilning station side of the main road over bridge. Meanwhile, week-end loco stabling at Stoke Gifford found the following present: 66527, 66528, 66550, 66596, 66597, 66622, 70003, 70006.
20/12 Some returning engineering trains via Gloucester, off the Severn Tunnel Junction area occupation were recorded as: 66069 on 6W13 07:50 Chepstow - Westbury (Dr. Days 11:09 62 late), also via a loco run-round at Taunton and 66098 with a 6W14 08:20 Chepstow - Westbury (Filton 11:42 89 late). The workings had been timed as 02:21 and 02:49 ex. Newport ADJ respectively. A 6W02, 22:26 Westbury - Severn Tunnel junction, with 66074 was also reported to have run.
21/12 On this date and over the following day, with the Severn Tunnel closed all Paddington - Cardiff services were diverted via Kemble, the Stroud Valley and Gloucester, with some Swansea services believed running via Temple Meads and calling additionally Parkway.
22/12 A brief visit tonight, found 66597 and 70002 in the yard and 66544 arrive with 4V56 Rugeley - Stoke Gifford MGR empties.
25/12 Xmas Day stabling found the following present at Stoke Gifford: 66527, 66528 (stabled on a rake of empty coal wagons), 66550, 66596, 66597, 66611, 70002.
28/12 Both First/GW and SWTs were operating a reduced service timetable over the Xmas period.
30/12 SWT's 158883 returned from log-term 'hire' to East Midlands Trains as 5V58 12:45 Derby Etches Park - Salisbury (booked 16:12), via Dr. Day's curve.
31/12 The 6V98 Lindsey - Westerleigh loaded fuel tanks with 60051 was reported as arriving at it's destination around 330 minutes late!
One of the week-end engineers workings a 6W21 Westbury - Patchway (due 06:50) was worked by 59103, which eventually departed on the return at 21:28 (362 minutes late!).

Bristol Temple Meads, Barton Hill and Kingsland Road

26/11 The 'Bristol & Bath Express' with steam 34067 Tangmere which ran on this date was organised by the Railway Touring Company.
01/12 The 4V50 Millbrook - Wentlooge container service headed by 66559 was seen near Bath at 07:43, diverted due to an earlier points failure at Wotton Bassett junction. Later, the 1V50 06:08 Edinburgh - Plymouth Arriva XC service was formed with Voyager set 220001, in place of a HST set onwards from Newcastle at 07:45, 158950 returned from attention at Reading as 5Z74 11:17 Reading depot - St. Phillips Marsh and 60073 was noted passing Bristol East at 14:11 on the 6C41 Newport ADJ - Westbury departmental. Also at Bristol East, steam 60019 Bittern (in place of 34067 Tangmere) passed at 14:25 on a Steam Dream's 'Cathedral Express' (1Z82 09:45 Victoria - Temple Meads, returning as 1Z83 16:34 to Victoria, being later recorded at 16:48 11 late through North Somerset Junction) using c/stock: Botaurus (support), S5249, S5236, S5237, 1961, 99121 Julia, 99371 Victoria, S9104, 13440, S1840, S5171, S5200. At Temple Meads, a second steam loco was present, 6024 King Edward I, which had arrived as 5Z84 08:40 Kidderminster (SVR) - St. Phillips Marsh (noted passing Pilning at 13:14) loco and support coach W35333 which was to visit the wheel-lathe for attention. The King was to return as 14:30 St. Phillips Marsh - Barton Hill light-engine (via a reverse at Temple Meads later).
02/12 67016 + 67022 started the month on the First/GW 'hire' passenger diagram, the 2C79 19:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton being reported as leaving Bedminster at 20:13 (14 late). Also during the evening period, 31106 brought in a 4Z08 test train from Exeter formed with c/stock: 6263, 999602, 9703. Locos and coaches working seen this afternoon at 14:30 top 'n' tailed by 67016/022.
03/12 During the evening period, the NRMT HST set worked it's regular Friday's 1Z17 17:30 Derby - Old Oak Common diagram, via Temple Meads, Taunton (reverse), Temple Meads, Bath (noted at 21:24), Swindon (reverse), Bath (22:20), Temple Meads (reverse), Parkway, Swindon and Didcot. The set was reported as formed: 43013, 977995, 977994, 977993, 977984, 43014.
04/12 67017 replaced 67022 on the First/GW 'hire' local passenger diagram.
05/12 66237 + 66154 top n'tailed the 3S59 Barton Hill water cannon into Yatton loop at 09:34, later returning at 10:33 heading back towards Bristol, and 220016 was used on the 'occasional' 5C41` Temple Meads - Taunton Arriva XC driver route refresher via Bath and Westbury. A morning sell out 'Climate Summit' Copenhagen protest special was formed with a First/GW HST set as 1Z50 Plymouth - Paddington and was routed via Bristol using power cars 43042 + 43144.
08/12 With 66844 stabled as standby loco at Taunton, GBRf began their 'hire' loco-hauled passenger driver training diagrams. Operating as TThSO during the week, the trains were booked to run as: 5U57 09:53 Bishop's Lydeard - Cardiff Canton (Temple Meads 11:28 - 12:16, Parkway 12:26 - 12:54), 5C57 16:37 Cardiff Canton - Bishop's Lydeard (Temple Meads 15:40 - 16:47). The 5U57, which departed Taunton at 10:14 (1 late) was recorded stopping at Yatton at 11:06 (13 late) formed: 57316 + 9526, 5792, 5769, 5748 + 57315, the coaches all being in Inter-City colours. Later, the return 5C57 was noted passing Pilning at 15:44 (27 late). Also, 66148 unusually ran 0Z09 21:45 Barton Hill - Fowey docks (Carne Point) light-engine (due 01:24) for china clay duty.
09/12 Despite rumored as additionally running the GBRf Class 57 ECS driver training runs were not repeated on this date, but 57316 ran 0M57 10:30 Bishop's Lydeard - Crewe light and 57315 ran westbound light to work a 5O57 13:30 Laira TMD - Eastleigh 'off lease' First/GW buffet coach move, later returning h light-engine via Westbury and Bath to Bishop's Lydeard. Royal Class 67s 67005 + 67006 top n'tailed two Northern Belle 'Xmas dining specials' as: 1Z38 10:44 Temple Meads - Carmarthen, 1Z39 13:54 return, 1Z40 18:34 Temple Meads - Carmarthen and 1Z41 21:33 return also during the day.
10/12 66611 worked a 6Z88 Crewe Basford Hall yard - Taunton Fairwater departmental passing Stapleton Road at 14:26 (90 early!). Earlier, a solo 57315, with stock departed Temple Meads as 5T57 12:03 ECS to Bishop's Lydeard, passing Yatton at 11:49 (14 early).
11/12 57316 reappeared in the area with a rake of former Anglian livered MkIIs as 5V57 09:27 Crewe - Bishop's Lydeard through Filton Abbeywood at 14:39 (3 early) and Worle junction at 15:37. The 31106 + 31601 test train also reappeared, running as 2Z08 08:02 Westbury - Exeter arriving in Temple Meads at 13:27 (101 early). This was to be the final day of the First/GW 'hire' DBS Class 67 diagram, being changed in favour of the new Class 57 GBRf 'hire' loco and coaches from the new Winter timetable change on 13th December.
12/12 Steam 6024 King Edward I worked Pathfinder Tour's (Torbay Express Ltd) 1Z20 09:31 Bristol TM - Paddington (Xmas) 'Bristolian' (and 1Z24 17:47 return, which arrived back in Bristol at 20:39 an hour down), the stock having been brought in earlier by 67022 as 5Z20 ex. Eastleigh., passing Bath at 07:10. Apparently, the Bristolian train title, which was first used on 9th September 1935 had not been officially used for around 30 years! Following the trip, King Edward I worked 5Z26 21:17 Temple Meads - Bishop's Lydeard (departing 29 late), loco and support coach W35333, whilst the tour stock was returned as 5Z26 Temple Meads - Eastleigh passing North Somerset junction at 21:53 (38 late). This steam outing was run in place of two planned 'Torbay Express' specials from Bristol - Kingswear planned for the 12th and 13/12 December. The GBRf Class 57 driver training runs, using 57315 + 57316 (booked as 5U57 09:45 Bishop's Lydeard - Temple Meads, 5C57 11:18 Temple Meads - Taunton, 5U59 12:36 Taunton - Parkway and 5C59 16:05 Parkway - Bishop's Lydeard) part operated. The 5U57 arrived at Temple Meads at 11:32 (24 late), the 5U57 then reported as departing Weston-s-Mare at 11:02 (29 late). The 5U59 was later noted passing Highbridge at 12:56, but must have been terminated at Temple Meads as was not seen by a correspondent at Parkway during the afternoon period. Another sighting during the afternoon was Colas 47749 running as 0Z47 12:29 Plymouth Tavistock yard - Gloucester Horton Road light-engine passing Lawrence Hill at 15:06.
13/12 66116 + 66119 returned from West Country water cannon duties as 0Z14 10:05 St. Blazey - Margam light-engines.
14/12 A new timetable commences! First/GW retimed some selected HST services between Swansea and Paddington (via Bristol) to reduce traveling times and in the London and Thames Valley area, additional stopping trains at Maidenhead were introduced. In the West Country, some timetable adjustments were made west of Exeter to help cover for withdrawn SWT services in the area. Also, an additional train between Moreton-in-Marsh and Oxford will help ease over crowding on the popular 08:52 Great Malvern - Paddington service. Locally the main highlight was the introduction of a second loco and coaches for First/GW. The two diagrams now read as follows:- 'Hire' DBS Class 67 loco top n'tail load 4 Cargo-D owned MkII coaches: 5U02 05:22 Barton Hill depot - Temple Meads, 2U02 06:19 Temple Meads - Cardiff Central, 2C67 08:55 Cardiff Central - Paignton, 2U20 12:47 Paignton - Cardiff Central, 2C85 17:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton, 2M68 19:18 Taunton - Temple Meads, 5M68 20:58 Temple Meads - Barton Hill depot. 'Hire' Class 57 loco top n'tail load 4 Riviera Trains owned MkII coaches: 5D02 07:00 Bishop's Lydeard - Taunton, 2D04 07:28 Taunton - Bristol Parkway, 2Y10 09:13 Parkway - Taunton, 2U14 11:02 Taunton - Cardiff Central, 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton, 2U24 16:16 Taunton - Cardiff Central, 2C89 19:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton, 5C89 21:13 Taunton - Bishop's Lydeard. The 67016 + 67017 running with c/stock 6008, 6064, 6117, 9508 was reported as operating trouble free during the day, but 57315 + 57316 with c/stock 5929, 5964, 5998, 9520 (the latter coach having recently repainted from ex. Virgin red) were suffering problems on 57315, failing before departure on the 2Y10 from Parkway. 150281 covered the 2Y10 to Taunton and 158950 taking over the rest of the day's diagram from the 2C79 onwards . Meanwhile, the Class 57s and stock were later noted in Yatton loop during the afternoon, before running as 5Z57 14:27 Taunton - Oxley, later returning as 5Z57 Oxley - Taunton formed with Virgin 'thunderbird' 57303 + 57316 (noted passing Parkway at 21:35). Also recorded during the day were: 31454 on 4Z08 12:12 Derrby RTC - Exeter (Riverside yard) via the Weston-s-Mare loop, passing Dr. Day's jcn at 16:59 (48 early) and Highbridge 19:29 (34 early). Arriva XC HST services appear to have been reduced to three: Today's power cars and coaching stock sets being:- 43384 XC01 43304 1V44 06:00 Leeds - Plymouth / 1S51 12:23 Plymouth - Glasgow Central. 43321 XC05 43357 1V50 06:08 Edinburgh Waverley / 1E63 15:21 Plymouth - Leeds. The 1V54 06:32 Dundee - Plymouth / 1S55 17:21 Plymouth - Edinburgh Waverley was in the hands of a Voyager set. The two Bristol drift snowploughs were tested overnight using locos 66078 + 66089 as 2Z99 00:13 Barton Hill - Barton Hill (via a reverse at Gloucester, booked here from 01:36 - 02:07).
15/12 66550 seen this morning at 09:50 heading southbound with FHH wagons in tow (not identified, coal or stone?). At 15:00, locos and coaches working seen again, 57315 with a new partner 57303. 67016 + 67017 and 57303 + 57316 were in use on the day's First/GW 'hire' loco-hauled service trains. Another top n'tail working to make a brief (and rare) appearance in Temple Meads was a 5Z70 Old Oak Common - Old Oak Common sleeper ECS driver training move top n'tailed with 57602 + 57603. On the freight side, 66550 was on the morning 6A21 Pengam - Theale loaded stone via Day's curve during the morning.
16/12 31106 + 31601 returned the single coach test train in top n'tail formation as 2Z08 03:06 Exeter - Derby RTC (Barnstaple and Exmouth), reaching the Bristol around 08:00. Later, a second test working a 4Z08 from Exeter - Kingsland Road was noted passing Worle junction at 20:35 with 31454 in charge.
17/12 A bridge strike at Windmill Hill (Bedminster) saw all services stopped from 10:30 - 11:11. At least one service was also cancelled because of the incident.
18/12 A fatality at Stoke Cannon (north of Exeter) saw late running with the 1S51 12:23 Plymouth - Glasgow Central service (with power cars 43378 + 43303) being held at Exeter.
19/12 A cabling theft incident between Taunton and Bridgwater caused serious delays. The 1C99 Paddington - Penzance First/GW sleeper service with 57602 being delayed at Temple Meads to gone 03:00. Also the 2C42 Gloucester - Penzance services was affected, not departing Taunton until 07:25. Later the GBRf loco and stock maintenance move: 5U89 11:21 (SO) Taunton - Cardiff Canton (with 57303 + 57316) was recorded in Temple Meads at 13:03 (79 late) on departure, being routed via Parkway and Gloucester due to the closure of the Severn Tunnel for maintenance.
21/12 66140 seen at 14:15 heading north with a loaded MGR.
23/12 The 'hire' Class 57s were again in trouble, with a broken coach air-pipe, whilst working the 2D04 from Parkway - Taunton, being terminated at Yatton from 08:21 - 08:23 then being moved into the down loop.
24/12 142029 + 150246 were in use on the 11:02 Taunton - Cardiff Central service in place of the Class 57s and stock.
26/12 As there was an major engineering work in progress over the Christmas period, seen running was 66250 with a southbound ballast train at 10:50. Leafbuster still active ran an hour earlier on the 1st at 22:35 back to "normal" time on 2nd at 23:35
28/12 57316 ran 0Z57 Eastleigh - Bishop's Lydeard (WSR) light-engine to collect the four Inter-City livered coaches (9526, 5748, 5769, 5792 - set CF04 ) forming a 5Z57 13:50 ECS move to Eastleigh passing Nailsea at 14:57.
29/12 Pathfinder Tour's 'Scenic Settler' (Bristol - Carlisle and return) featuring a DBS Class 66 to and from Birmingham, and Class 31s over the Settle & Carlisle route, was postponed until 22/05/10.
30/12 66111 was on a 6Z78 Westbury - Patchway engineers (v a run-round at Newport).

Barton Hill (Axiom Rail) is still continuing unit overhauls with Arriva/Wales 143624 being released towards the end of December, being replaced by 143616.

Cardiff (Steelworks)

12/12 08752

Gloucester

05/12 Diversions via Gloucester due to re-signalling and maintenance work in the Severn Tunnel area saw 60039 with the 6B33 Theale - Robeston fuel tank empties and steam 60019 Bittern on a Steam Dreams 'Cathedral's Express' 1Z61 09:05 Paddington - Cardiff (reported Standish junction 12:04, 2 late) and 1Z69 17:45 Cardiff - Paddington return (noted passing Severn Tunnel junction 18:18).
07/12 The 6A83 12:40 Machen Quarry - West Drayton A.R.C. loaded stone was diverted with 66112, passing Chepstow at at 14:32. The reason for this movement remained unknown.
10/12 It was announced that the Army stores depot at Ashchurch could be closed, the work being moved to Donnington. The location, which employs around 400 people, receives and despatches several train workings of MoD vehicles and stores a week to and from Didcot.
11/12 66023 ran 0A36 Didcot - Ashchurch light-engine to collect a return MoD working (6B36).
12/12 66188 worked the diverted 6B33 Theale - Robeston fuel empties via Kemble and Gloucester during the afternoon. Other Saturday oil workings: 6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh and 6E41 Westerleigh - Lindsey were both cancelled.
15/12 66189 was on the 6B36 Didcot MoD, handling the same working again during the following day.
18/12 DRS 66415 worked 6Z67 06:10 Shipley - Cardiff Tidal loaded scrap metal. Due to over running engineering work on the Chepstow mainline during the morning period, some train diversions operated via the Severn Tunnel and Bristol Parkway including the 06:40 Cardiff - Nottingham Arriva XC service with 170102, 170108 + 170116 running as empty stock from Cardiff - Birmingham and the 6M96 Margam - Corby loaded steel. Normal service was resumed later in the day with the appearance of 170106 on the 13:45 Nottingham - Cardiff Central Arriva XC working via Chepstow. A second DRS (6Z70) train of loaded scrap metal was reported as running with 66412, believed to be a 09:35 Tyne dock - Cardiff Tidal service.

Newport

01/12 The 6V69 16:58 Bescot - Newport ADJ freight, is now a Tuesday's only working (changed from Monday's), 66041 heading today's service. DBS livered 66152 powered the 6V07 14:26 Round Oak - Margam steel service.
02/12 The MV Beluga Fortune docked at 19:00 carrying the next batch of Power haul Class 70s, 70003 - 70006.
04/12 The newly delivered Class 70s were viewed parked on the quayside in Newport docks in the following order: 70006, 70004, 70005, 70003.
07/12 70006 hauled the other newly delivered Class 70 locos as 0Z25 Newport docks - Crewe Basford Hall yard, passing Newport station at 17:30 (25 late). Later, the 6E09 18:17 Margam - Immingham freight service was noted double-headed with 60009 + 60074.
14/12 57315 was on the 1V31 05:32 Holyhead - Cardiff Central Arriva XC service. 60085 worked the 6E20 13:40 Margam - Immingham freight service, this loco being reported as one of only four to remain in traffic on this date.
15/12 57313 worked the 1V31 05:32 Holyhead - Cardiff Central Arriva XC service, later returning (as booked) on the 16:15 Cardiff - Holyhead. 66177 headed the 6V69 16:58 (TO) Bescot - Newport ADJ freight. This train's hauling loco then regularly powers the 6C99 21:47 freight service onwards to St. Blazey.
23/12 Track work was reported as taking place in the Llanwern area with no access for rail movements allowed from the east.
28/12 Signaling problems in the Marshfield area saw some late running during the morning period. 66133 + 66097, now regular Class power for the 6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh loaded fuel tanks, were diverted via Hereford (booked 06:52 - 07:31), Shrewsbury, Bescot, Birmingham and Gloucester due to track work in the Severn Tunnel junction area. The 6B33 Theale - Robeston fuel empties were also affected by this track and re-signalling work. Nearly all engineering trains for the Christmas and New Year Severn Tunnel PW blockade were routed from Westbury or Crewe via Hereford (also see cover of the January 2010 Magazine).

Portbury Branchline

DBS continued their coal operation serving Aberthaw P.S. during the month with departures at 13:00, 15:00 and 17:22 being recorded on various dates, whilst Fastline coal train's ran to Ratcliffe on a number of days, the inward afternoon empties now being coded 6V13 (ex. Chaddeston) for the 6M13 19:00 return. GBRf 'hire' (and union jack part livered) 66705 made several appearances during the month working for Fastline. At least two morning FLHH coal services were noted being loaded during December (most being dealt with at Avonmouth), which also saw Class 70 hauled trains operate from the Port. 70003 worked 4Z69 Stoke Gifford - Portbury empties from 15 -17/12, departing as 6Z70 01:00 to Rugeley P.S., the inward empties being recorded through Temple Meads at 22:57, 37 late) on the first date and reported as departing at 00:42 (18 early) on 16/12. 70006 was also a visitor over the branch line during the evening of 14/12, but was believed to be only heading empty coal wagons in both directions on what was thought to be a 'trial' working.
10/12 31106 + 31601 top n'tailing test coach 999508 worked a 2Z08 09:18 Temple Meads - Westbury, arriving at the NR/Port of Bristol boundary at 10:54 (on time) and departing at 11:31 (27 late), (also see Avonmouth Notes & News ).

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included:- 66019/059/139/140/237. 66302/303.
66597. 66705. 70003

Units seen during the month
43207/285/301/303/304/321/357/366/378/384.
142029/064.
143603/616/618/619/620/621/624.
150121/127/219/221/232/233/234/238/239/243/244/246/248/249/261/265/266/267
150278/279/281
158748/766/767/883/950/951*/952/954/958.
220001/004/006/008/009/010/011/014/016/017/018/020/021/024/027/028/030
221119/120/121/123/125/127/130/131/133/134/135/136
* 158951 was noted operating as a two-car set during the month.

STOCK ALTERATIONS

Locomotives

Transfers
58006 - France
DFIM 66566 GBRT 92032

Stored
CD: 37406/670. 60028/048/055/082. CE: 67001/022/029. 92030.
CS: 47770. EH: 08798. IM: 60009. KD: 37602.
TO: 08735/802. 09007. 60010/011/013/035/048/054/063/071/072/074,
60077/091. Stowmarket: 20305.

Traffic
08653 -TO(Warrington), 08706 -TO(Westbury), 08993 -TO(DC)

Disposals
Glos & Warks: 08683 Severn Valley 08896
Stephenson RM, South Shields: 08915

Diesel Multiple Units

Stored
55012 - Railway Restoration NE, Shildon

Electric Multiple Units

Stored
321418/431/433 -ZB, 434/436 -IL

Disposals
Booth: Car: 69233 (390033)
Cranfield University: Car: 69933 (390033)

Registered
76818 -HQ

New Stock
378143/144/145/146/147/148 -NG

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Registered
3798 -GT (North York Moors)

Stored
BH: 5906/58/61. 6168. 9497. 9525. LM: 40712/714.
ZB: 40208/209/228/717/731/747. Tintern Parva: 6014. 6135.

Traffic
11028 -AL

Disposals
Booth: 5781
Mid Norfolk: 5309. 17161. Battlefield: 10205 (not 10202)
Cargo D: 10245. 10540. DB Regio: 10554/682

Formations
WS001 12131 12072 10236 82301 WS002 12127 12145 10208 82305

Renumbered
99990 - 17025 (BQ)


LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge containers
01/12 66559. 03/12 66539. 04/12 66589. 07/12 66501. 08/12 66567.
09/12 66540. 10/12 66577. 11/12 66504. 14/12 66541. 15/12 66570.
16/12 66603. 18/12 66603. 21/12 66954. 22/12 66568. 23/12 66565.
24/12 66565.

4V60 Calvert - Bristol Barrow road bin liner
01/12 66550. 08/12 66598. 11/12 66598. 15/12 66597. 16/12 66597.
18/12 66596. 24/12 66597. 31/12 66550.

4Z70 15:25 Rugeley P.S. - Stoke Gifford coal empties
01/12 70002. 03/12 70002. 04/12 70002. 14/12 66597 + 70003.
16/12 70003. 17/12 70003. 18/12 70003. 21/12 70002. 22/12 70002.
23/12 70002. 29/12 66528. 31/12 66597.

LOCAL FASTLINE WORKINGS

6M18 05:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. loaded coal
19/12 66705.

4V13/6M13 19:00 Portbury - Ratcliffe P.S. loaded coal
10/12 66302. 15/12 66303. 16/12 66303. 17/12 66705. 23/12 66705.

LOCAL DBS (EWS) WORKINGS

6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh fuel oil
01/12 60085. 02/12 66008. 03/12 60085. 05/12 60085. 07/12 60085.
08/12 60085. 10-12/12 60085. 14-18/12 66070 + 66111. 22/12 66070 + 66111.
23/12 66047 + 66053. 28/12 66097 + 66133. 29/12 66083 + 66230. 30/12 66100 + 66166.

6E41 Westerleigh - Lindsey (6E77 Port Claence, as required) empty tanks
01-03/12 60084. 04/12 66043. 05/12 60040. 08/12 60040. 12/12 60051.
16/12 60041. 17/12 60009. 18/12 60045. 19/12 66011 + 66199.
22/12 60045. 23/12 60045. 31/12 60051.

6B49/6B50 Llanwern - Swindon steel (TFO)
04/12 66128. 11/12 66054. 21/12 66100. 22/12 66200. 23/12 66176.
24/12 66083.

6B33 Theale - Robeston empty fuel tanks
01/12 60039. 03/12 60039. 05/12 60039. 08/12 60039. 10/12 66087.
12/12 66188. 17/12 66094 + 66173. 24/12 66097 + 66133. 31/12 66083 + 66207.

6B83/6A83 Westbury - Machen - West Drayton A.R.C.
02/12 59203. 03/12 59005* 07/12 66112. 09/12 59203. 16/12 66066.
21/12 59206.
Note: * Confirmed as running 6Z83 12:40 Machen - Acton on this date.

6V62 Eastleigh - Plymouth Tavistock yard fuel tanks (TO)
01/12 66063. 03/12 66043. 15/12 66101. 22/12 66051. 29/12 66006.

6X52 Portbury - Tyne Yard/Mossend loaded and empty car carriers.
03/12 66075. 17/12 66166. 18/12 66152. 22/12 66104.

6V78 Dolland's Moor - Margam export steel empties
01/12 66008. 05/12 66200. 08/12 66008. 15/12 66193. 21/12 66053.

6B24 Didcot - Wentlooge MoD stores
01/12 66184. 03/12 66097. 08/12 66149. 10/12 66060. 15/12 66138.
16/12 66027.

6B65 Westbury - Newport ADJ departmental
03/12 66155 + 66152. 04/12 60073. 17/12 66125.

6B35 Hayes - Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties
07/12 66007. 16/12 66007.

LOCAL DRS WORKINGS

6V74/6M67 Crewe coal sidings - Bridgwater and return nuclear flasks
04/12 37607 + 37667. 09/12 66414 + 66434. 16/12 66413 + 66414. 22/12 66413 + 66414.

Freight Train Changes
The following are reported to be taking place during March.
From 09/03 the Portbury cars will run as 6X51 03:06 Warrington - Portbury car terminal via Hereford, Newport ADJ (06:50 - 07:43 to detach wagons) and Severn Tunnel Junction (07:35).The return 6X52 17:33 Portbury car terminal - Warrington is again routed via Severn Tunnel Junction (18:50) and Hereford.
The 6B24 Didcot - Wentlooge MoD stores and the 6M17 Newport ADJ - Wembley 'enterprise' freight service are both to be discontinued. The evening return MoD stores 6A29 Wentlooge - Didcot is expected to remain and convey additional freight.

FREIGHT REVIEW

Here we go again - another month passed by, and another review to do. Another quiet month for me as the weather hasn't been exactly kind to us here in the Midlands - very cold and some regular periods of snow, which doesn't exactly give the ideal conditions to stand on a station platform for any length of time! Still, some sightings to report, starting with a usual evening at Nuneaton on a very cold 18th January. It was quite a busy night with several workings turning up that gave rise to the saying "What was that?" Firstly, at about 18.20 66567 was noted heading southbound with a freightliner bound for Southampton - judging by the routing through Nuneaton (on to the Coventry branch). Hadn't noted that one before at that time, at about 19.25, 90041 passed through rather rapidly with a northbound freightliner which we all thought, at the time, that it was a late-running Ipswich-Trafford Park but subsequent weeks have confirmed that this is now the booked time for this service. Just after this the sighting of the night was 86101 leading the class 325s on the northbound Royal Mail service. Nothing of ny real note other than that but all the usual services appeared plus a few more and the northbound Enterprise headed by 92042 had four-wheel tank 58246 on the rear of the consiSt. On 28th January the weather won out and I went to Leicester for the evening to see a couple of colleagues and noted the following two services. Firstly, 66161 with the following rake of aggregate empties: 320054/ 067/ 001/ 022/ 029/ 043/ 015/ 019/ 036/ 030/ 013/ 012/ 0458/ 014/ 049/ 045, 33.70.6955.098/ 080/ 095/ 075/ 073/ 100/ 071/ 068 - a nice train! Then 66069 headed northbound with the Colnbrook empties, unfortunately not able to log the vehicles as it was routed through Platform 1 - which is on the far side of the station to where we assemble! Incidentally this service was placed in the charge of a class 60 for a week during early February as the rake was upped to 28 vehicles as extra fuel was required at Heathrow! A quiet night at Nuneaton on 15th February was livened by the first sighting for me personally of a class 70 working, 70001 being noted on the Ipsweich-Lawley Street. On 20th February myself and two fellow enthusiasts took advantage of a London Midland offer of a 10 ticket for use on all London Midland services for a day - like a rover ticket. Travelling around the London area during the day quite a bit of freight was noted moving, but it was the new electric units that I was mainly interested in and managed to "cop" seven units and 32 Docklands sets (sad, isn't it!). Rounding off this effort with a bit of news. There is the chance of a new working from Lille to Daventry using class 92s crewed by GBRf staff. Training is on-going at present. Commodity carried is not known at present. Dunkirk is being looked at as a possible site for a new service to and from Scotland. Some of the Euro-twin wagons at Washwood Heath are believed to have been moved to Marcrofts in preparation for further use. The Valencia-Dagenham service is formed of 14 Austatte twin flats. At present there is one service per week, but is planned to become three times weekly by December 2010 and six times a week by December 2011. The train is worked by DB Schenker in association with Stobart Rail. There are also rumours of the possibility of Holyhead being used again for container traffic for Ireland via the Channel Tunnel. And finally . . . 47749 moved some Cargowagons from Long Marston to Llanwern. The identity of the vehicles was not known. That's about it for this time. Hopefully, the weather will improve to allow us all to get out more.

PRESERVATION & INDUSTRIAL MATTERS

Bristol Harbour Railway
Councilors approved the 47.8 million bendy-bus scheme for South-West Bristol, which will connect the Long Ashton park & ride with Temple Meads and the City centre during the month. 43.8 million will be funded mainly by the Department of Transport with the remainder made up by Bristol City (80%) and North Somerset Councils (20%). The route will enter the city via the former Wapping Wharf freight-only line (closed to coal traffic in 1987) part of which, between the Industrial Museum and the former bonded tobacco warehouses by the former Ashton Avenue road/rail bridge is used by the steam railway for occasion trips, the track and land being Council owned. The Museum's refurbishment is expected to be completed in 2011 with the quayside 'running lines' (between the Museum and the S.S. Great Britain) to remain in use by the Harbour Railway for it's passenger operation.

Swanage Railway
For the 125th Anniversary of the opening of the line to Swanage, the railway will be putting on special celebration events between 12 - 20/05/10 including a 'reconstruction' of the very first passenger train over the branch line which is connected to the main rail network at Worgret junction, near Wareham.

DEPARTMENTALS & TRACK MACHINES

02/11 Kemble: Readypower r/r excavator: FR635. support trailers: FR749. FR750.
13/11 Pilning: DR73935 (passing in the 'up' direction at 12:09).
25/11 Weston-s-Mare: DR75406. DR75407.
01/12 Bristol East Freight terminal: Loram rail-grinder DR79251 - DR79257.
20/12 Pilning West: Hydrex r/r caterpillar: 5474. 6161. Hydrex (?) r/r bulldozer: 4207. Trailer; RT116. with one other ?.
24/12 Yatton: DR74506 (passing as 6J72 Lostwithiel - Gloucester at 12:03).

MISCELLANEOUS

Summer 2010 Timetable
It is rumoured First/GW will be using a HST set as a Paddington - Weymouth 'relief' (via a reverse in Temple Meads) covering for the previously loco-hauled diagram. The Class 67s and stock could be used on an additional Saturday's Cardiff - Paignton and return 'relief'. Otherwise both week-day loco-hauled diagrams are expected to continue unaltered.

Road Movements
17/12 M4 - M5 Almondsbury junction (19:00): 37428 and 37698 from Margam were seen heading North on separate lorry low-loader trailers for scrap, at Booth's yard, Rotherham.