NOTES AND NEWS

WEST COUNTRY AREA

Avonmouth

06/01 Due to heavy snow and freezing conditions, all First/GW Severn Beach line services were cancelled. 66126 ran 0C90 Newport ADJ - Avonmouth light-engine to collect the 6C89 12:22 (WO) Chittening Estate (PBA) - Newport ADJ 'chipboard' freight empties. Other locos to work the 6C89 trip during the month were: 66168 (13/01), 66120 (20/01) and 66193 (23/01).
07/01 First/GW were still operating a reduced passenger service over the Severn Beach line due to weather conditions.
23/01 66532 worked a further 4Z86 09:25 Grain (Thamesport) - Avonmouth 'wine liner' container service arriving in West Wharf at 16:19 (3 minutes late).
28/01 66091 was on a 6B77 16:41 Avonmouth - Aberthaw P.S. loaded coal service departing at 16:35.

Other locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included:- 66059/069/142. 70002/006.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

03/01 The first report for Stoke Gifford sidings for 2010 found the following present: 66527, 66560, 66596, 66597, 66611. All six Class 70s were reported as away undergoing cab modifications, three being located at Crewe Basford Hall yard and three at Leeds Midland Road.
04/01 57316 was on a 5V57 Eastleigh - Cardiff Canton stock move via Reading West curve, being reported through Severn Tunnel junction at 10:53 (174 minutes late).
05/01 A 6Y29 14:00 Meldon Quarry - Thingley junction departmental, formed of seven empty FLA 'slinger' track panel wagons was reported as routed via Bristol and Bath during the early evening, the loco then running light-engine from Thingley to Stoke Gifford.
07/01 Two tunnel closure incidents were recorded during the morning! Firstly, the Arriva/XC 1M21 07:00 Temple Meads - Manchester Piccadilly Voyager suffered a damaged windscreen, believed due to falling masonry, resulting in a line closure, the following Voyager set working the 1S98 05:20 Plymouth - Edinburgh being held at Parkway. Other services were diverted via a reverse at Newport and onwards via Chepstow until checks had taken place and the location made safe, the tunnel reopening fully by the evening. Unusually, the 1V50 06:08 Edinburgh - Plymouth Arriva XC HST service was diverted via Oxford due to the incident! Over at the Severn Tunnel, 158950 working the 1F09 09:30 Cardiff Central - Portsmouth Harbour First/GW service, lost part of it's front fibre glass panelling which was struck at 10:55 by 150127 on the following 2C71 10:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton service. The 150 unit was allowed to continue at slow speed onwards to Temple Meads where the working was terminated, the tunnel being eventually checked and fully re-opened by just after 12:00. Later, 66070 + 66092 top n'tailing a late running and diverted 6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh fuel tanks passed Pilning at 15:47, heading for a reverse onto the oil terminal branch via the Tytherington quarry line at Yate. A morning security alert at Patchway which saw the station closed as well as an explosion near Temple Meads which also closed this station during the afternoon (see Bristol TM, Barton Hill and Kingsland Road notes & news) also added to the day's area operating problems!
08/01 The NRMT HST passed Parkway at 08:25 formed with power cars 43014 + 43013 running as 1Z20 Old Oak Common - Derby RTC (via Swansea). Later, 70006 ran 0Z74 10:20 Crewe - Stoke Gifford sidings light-engine, via the Marches and the Severn Tunnel (noted through Magor at 15:23), having been delayed prior to departure.
09/01 The 6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh fuel oil was diverted via Parkway, due to closure of the Chepstow line for engineering work, with 66014 + 66070, the train needing a loco run-round at Gloucester to gain eventual access to the Westerleigh branch line.
11/01 67017 made a rare, and possibly a class debut on the 6B24 Didcot - Wentlooge MoD stores, passing Parkway at 14:15.
12/01 During the evening period, the following were found stabled at Stoke Gifford:- 66527, 66606, 70002, 70005, 70006.
14/01 66194 ran 0B13 light-engine to Westerleigh to collect fuel tank empties destined for Margam. Later, 66624 + 66604 + 66511 departed Stoke Gifford (during the evening) as 0Z66 light-engines to Taunton Fairwater yard, leaving 66527, 70002 and 70005 remaining as stabled.
16/01 The morning 6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh loaded fuel tanks were again diverted via Parkway with 66092 + 66014 passing at 11:47, again heading to Gloucester for a loco run-round via Westerleigh junction. FLHH locos stabled during part of the day were listed as:- 66511, 66524, 66549, 70002, 70005, 70006.
19/01 The First/GW 11:45 Paddington - Swansea HST was diverted from Parkway via a reverse at Filton Abbeywood due to a points failure. Also, 57303 was reported through here at 13:58, running light-engine in the up direction.
22/01 Flooding in Wickwar tunnel saw delays of up to 40 minutes on services between Gloucester and Bristol.
23/01 The Chepstow line was again closed for week-end engineering work with services diverted via Parkway and the Severn Tunnel including 66111 on the 6V05 08:39 Round Oak - Margam steel service noted passing Pilning at 11:54. Later returning Saturday afternoon power station coal empty arrivals at Stoke Gifford were as follows: 70006 on 4V20 07:45 ex. Fiddler's Ferry, 66511 with 4V22 10:04 ex. Fiddler's Ferry and 70005 at the head of 4V56 15:30 ex. Rugeley. Also, a 0Y69 14:00 Margam - Eastleigh light-engine move passed through the area formed 66047 + 66024 + 66002 + 66055.
24/01 66230 worked a 6B35 Moreton-on-Lugg - Acton 'additional' loaded stone, unusual to be running on a Sunday.
25/01 FLHH 66620 passed Parkway at 02:57 on the 6V20 Earles (Hope sidings) - Westbury cement works and (much) later in the day, 66166 was on the soon to be discontinued evening 6M17 Newport ADJ - Wembley 'enterprise' freight. service.
26/01 FLHH 66611 powered a 6B11 12:30 Thorney Mill - Stoke Gifford train of stone empties.
27/01 70004 arrived from the North at 07:53 (37 early) as 0Z67 Rowley Regis - Stoke Gifford light-engine having been on coal train 'banking' duties in the Birmingham area.
28/01 66611 was on the morning 6A21 Pengam - Theale loaded stone service via Pilning and Filton and later 66511 brought in the afternoon 4Z70 coal empties from Rugeley P.S. via the Severn Tunnel. Later, 66001 passed Westerleigh at 19:26 on the 6M17 Newport ADJ - Wembley 'enterprise' freight service. Also during the day, 70004 + 70006 were unusually used on a Stoke Gifford - Gloucester and return driver training light-engine move, departing Bristol at 12:45 and returning at 13:58. On the subject of Class 70s, it was reported that NR had banned the Class over the North and West route via Hereford due to coal train hauling problems and a failure during the previous day over this route delaying Arriva passenger services. The alternative routing to Rugeley P.S. via Charfield and Worcester for these trains requires a banking loco assistance over Old Hill bank in the Birmingham area. A new micro buffet conversion, 40113 was reported in use as part of HST set OC47, with power cars 43053 + 43197 on the 1L48 05:20 Swansea - Paddington First/GW service.
30/01 Further Saturday diversions (due to the closure of the Chepstow line) saw 66131 pass Yate at 07:32 (6 late) with the 6M60 02:58 (SO) Exeter (Riverside) - Bescot Down-side freight and 66087 on the 6V05 Round Oak - Margam steel service, along with 66068 + 66111 on the 6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh fuel tanks, again heading for Gloucester and a loco run-round to gain access to the Westerleigh branch line from the North. Weekend FLHH loco stabling at Stoke Gifford found: 66506, 66511, 70004 and 70005 all present by the evening period, the former and latter having brought in coal empties during the afternoon via Charfield.

Bristol Temple Meads, Barton Hill and Kingsland Road

14/12 Correction March Magazine : Under the new Class 57/3 (ex. Class 67) First 'hire' diagram, the train still runs 5Y10 10:10 Weston-super-Mare - Taunton as ECS, and not with passengers as stated.
16/12 Correction March Magazine: The return 2Z08 03:06 Exeter - Derby RTC should have read as run via Barnstaple and Exmouth - and not as stated.
02/01 Diversions, due to PW work on the Parkway mainline included the 6B33 Theale - Robeston empty fuel tanks which passed Bath Spa at 14:19 (24 late) behind locos 66207 + 66083. A 5V57 11:05 Eastleigh - Taunton stock positioning move formed with two Class 57/3s and 66844 was reported as still at Eastleigh at 13:30, the working being booked to call at Temple Meads from 12:52 -13:12. The train was eventually reported as arriving in Taunton at 17:47 formed 66844 + 57315 with c/stock: 5748 (Inter-city livery), 5979, 5998, 9520 (all in former Anglian blue) + 57303 having been routed via Reading and several hours late through Bristol!
04/01 Both First/GW loco and stock formations were in action on their normal 'booked' diagrams. The GBRf operated Class 57s, which were running as listed above were noted passing through Stapleton Road at 14:52 with the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton. The DBS train was reported as formed: 67016 and 67017 top n'tailing c/stock: 9508, 6117, 6046, 6008. A check on the day's Arriva XC HST sets and power cars in use found the following: 43301 (XC02) 43207 - 1V46 06:32 York - Plymouth / 1S55 13:23 Plymouth - Edinburgh Waverley, 43303 (XC03) 43378 - 1V44 06:00 Leeds - Plymouth / 1S51 12:23 Plymouth - Glasgow Central, 43357 (XC05) 43321 - 1V50 06:08 Edinburgh Waverley - Plymouth / 1E43 15:23 Plymouth - Leeds.
05/01 57316 replaced 57315 on the GBRf First/GW diagram at Cardiff, prior to the departure of the 2C79 14:00 departure to Taunton. Later, DRS 37610 + 37611 were noted stabled in Kingsland Road, top n'tailing a test train which had arrived as 4Z71 10:12 Derby RTC - Bristol. 142009 formed a 5K46 19:34 Exeter St. Davids - Temple Meads empty stock move, which had become a regular working from around this date. Incidentally, an afternoon empty unit move runs the other way from Westbury - Exeter passing Temple Meads around 15:00!
06/01 Adverse weather conditions saw on average 5 - 10 cms (2 inchs) of snow fall over a wide local area (with 14 cm being reported at Filton!). This was the third day of a cold spell, on which all services were cancelled over the Severn Beach line during the day, due to frozen points and unavailable train crew some being unable to reach their signing on points due to the frozen road conditions. No services also operated between Swindon and Westbury during the day, and in the West of England, Paignton line trains were suspended and Arriva XC Penzance workings were terminated and turned round at Plymouth so train crews would not have to use taxis between the two locations in the dangerous road conditions.
A change was reported to have taken place on the GBRf First/GW 'hire' service. The 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton service saw 57315 replace 57303 at Cardiff prior to the train's eventual late departure.
Two test workings were present during the day: 31285 on the 1Z06 structural gauging train formed with dept c/stock: 977986, 975280, 975081, DC460000, 9708 and 37610 with 37611 top n'tailing a test train stabled in Kingsland Road which eventually departed as 4Z71 19:05 to Reading (North Somerset jcn 19:36 - 24 late) returning as 4Z18 Reading - Barton Hill (Bath 22:38 - 56 late).
07/01 Mainline services were still being affected by the weather and 67017 failed on the First/GW DBS 'hire' service the whole train being replaced by 158767 on the 2C67 08:55 Cardiff - Paignton onwards. This was also a day of 'operating challenges'! (see Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh notes & news). As well as the two tunnel incidents and a security alert at Patchway earlier in the day, an explosion at 14:45 at the BOC cylinder factory alongside Whitby Road (near Bristol East depot), which injured three people, initially saw the closure of Temple Meads station. All trains were stopped, some diversions taking place via Parkway, a Cardiff - Portsmouth Harbour service as well as the 6C41 15:14 Newport ADJ - Westbury with 66051 (formed of JNA 'Falcons') being diverted via a reverse and the latter a loco run round at Taunton at 17:20. The late running Class 57s working the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton service did not call at Nailsea, Yatton, Worle and Weston-super-Mare to recover time, once eventually allowed through. A further late running service reported, 158954 on the 1F23 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton arrived at it's destination at 17:28 (124 late)!
During the evening, a 6Z99 21:20 East Usk - East depot (via Westbury) train of empty HTA coal wagons ran, and these being parked in the loop to act as a protection barrier for restarted passing mainline services as a fire at the cylinder factory was still not completely extinguished and poised a danger as other cylinders were still on site. As a replacement for 67017, 67022 arrived in Temple Meads as an 0Z67 15:45 light-engine move ex. Wembley at 18:59, joining 67016 on the DBS 'hire' diagram the following day.
08/01 Following the freezing weather conditions, 80% of all First/GW services were reported as running back to normal. Problems for the First/GW GBRf loco and stock 'hire' Class 57s with the failure of 57316 at Severn Tunnel junction on the 2U24 16:16 Taunton - Cardiff Central service. With the passengers 'de-trained', 66127 was reported to have run light-engine to move the working onwards to East Usk yard. Having arrived as 0Z57 light, 57303 was then used to move the train onwards to Cardiff the following day as 5Z57 15:44 East Usk - Cardiff Canton arriving at 16:23 (3 early). Back to the 08/01, two other workings of interest were: SWT's 158883 on a 5Z58 19:00 Salisbury depot - Sheffield 'hire' move via Bath and Day's curve and 31285 on the 1Z06 10:46 Truro - Derby structural gauging train (being booked in Temple Meads from 13:17 - 13:26) and reported through Bridgwater at 12:51.
09/01 West Coast Railway's 37706 ran Crewe - Barton Hill light-engine to act as a snowplough standby loco, and the 'hire' Class 57s (57303 + 57315) and stock formed the 5U89 14:02 Taunton - Cardiff Canton maintenance move, booked from 14:49 - 15:12 in Temple Meads.
10/01 Sunday Arriva XC HST diagrams were covered by the following power cars and set formations: 43301 XC02 43207 1V56 08:22 Edinburgh Waverley - Plymouth / 1E75 18:23 Plymouth - Leeds. 43378 XC03 43303 1V48 08:10 Leeds - Plymouth / 1E63 15:23 Plymouth - Leeds. 43384 XC04 43304 1S55 13:23 Plymouth - Edinburgh Waverley. 43357 XC05 43308 1V50 09:00 Leeds - Exeter St. Davids / 1S25 09:55 Exeter St. Davids - Sheffield. Note: The latter working was using 'on loan' 43308 in the new East Coast trains livery, in place of an unavailable 43321. Another report for the day was the returning 5C04 17:21 Cardiff Canton - Taunton maintenance, return ECS move formed with locos 57303 + 57315 arriving in Taunton (Bishop' Lydeard) well over an hour down.
11/01 66611 was on a 6Z85 09:45 Taunton Fairwater - Taunton Fairwater HOBC wagon turning move, passing Worle at 10:25.
12/01 Two evening freight reports were: a late running 6V62 Eastleigh - Plymouth Tavistock yard fuel oil train, headed by 66187, departing St. Phillips Marsh at 18:34 (195 late), having arrived here at 17:00 and 66139 which departed Temple Meads at 23:36 (12 late) with the 6C99 Newport ADJ - St. Blazey freight.
13/01 West Coast Railway's 37706 returned light-engine from snowplough duty late as 0Z37 10:30 ex. Barton Hill, via Parkway (13:12), believed for Southall, despite further snowfall during the day!
A 4Z10 Derby R.T.C - Temple Meads test working arrived with 31602 leading departmental c/stock: 999606, 72631, 9714. 67017 was viewed stabled on Barton Hill depot.
14/01 The days 'hired local' services were in the hands of 67016 + 67017 (with c/stock: 9508, 6117, 6064, 6008) and 57315 + 57303, which were noted departing Temple Meads at 12:21 on the 2D04 11:02 Taunton - Cardiff Central. A further HOBC wagon turning move was reported in Temple Meads at 11:37 running as 66611 as 6Z85 09:45 Taunton Fairwater - Taunton Fairwater (via Bath and Westbury).
15/01 The 1A40 Penzance - Paddington First/GW sleeper service was in trouble at Somerton failing behind 57602 which suffered engine shut down and unable to restart at 02:45. 66127 ran 1Z99 rescue loco from Westbury onto where the train was moved for passengers to de-train and go forward to their destination via the 1A71 05:46 Exeter - Paddington First/GW HST service. The ECS was eventually moved on to Temple Meads, still behind the Class 66. Later 57605 ran light-engine from Old Oak Common to complete the ECS move, arriving in Temple Meads (via Bath) at 06:51 then being recorded passing Swindon at 08:50 with the failed Class 57 and train, for Old Oak Common. Also in Bristol, all closed roads around the Whiby Road and East depot areas were reopened following the previous weeks cylinder explosion.
16/01 The 5U89 West Somerset Railway - Cardiff Canton Class 57 loco and ECS servicing move departed Taunton at 13:20. A 0X22 Margam - Eastleigh light-engine move was reported through Day's curve and Bath during the afternoon, formed 66091 + 66093 + 66094 + 66120 + 66194.
17/01 Due to West Country engineering work, all Penzance Arriva XC services were terminated and restarted at Plymouth. The evening 5C04 Cardiff - Taunton (WSR) return GBRf 'hire' ECS was formed with 57316 + 57312 each end of the stock, arriving in Taunton at 19:18. Also a return 6W32 18:00 Awre - Westbury was reported through Dr. Day's junction at 19:29 (21 late) behind 66106.
18/01 67016 + 67017 with 57312 + 57316 started the week on the local passenger diagrams. The Class 57's, 2D04 11:02 Taunton - Cardiff Central service was affected by a serious fire at the Lidl supermarket in Worle (Weston-super-Mare) not being allowed to call here (along with several other service trains) until the fire being dealt with by 60 fire fighters (and also which saw a local old peoples home evacuated), was brought under control.
19/01 66411 + 66424 passed Parson's Street at 06:02 with the 6V74 Crewe coal sidings - Bridgwater nuclear flask empties. The day's Arriva XC HST diagrams were reported as down to two: 43301 XC02 43285 -1S51 12:23 Plymouth - Glasgow Central and 43378 XC03 43303 - 1V50 06:08 Edinburgh Waverley Plymouth / 1E63 15:23 Plymouth - Leeds being recorded.
20/01 There were problems on the First/GW GBRf loco and stock 'hire' service, 57312 being reported as suffering intermittent brake problems, the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton service overshooting the Nailsea stop at 15:21 (18 late) and being terminated at Yatton at 15:28 (20 late) with technical problems on the other loco 57316 ! The 2U24 16:16 Taunton - Cardiff Central was worked by 158950 onwards from Temple Meads (being returned to Bristol as part of the 19:30 departure to Portsmouth Harbour), meanwhile 57316 which had returned the ECS from Yatton down loop to Cardiff (leaving a failed 57312 here), was fully revived to head the 2C89 19:00 Cardiff - Taunton solo (with c/stock: 5964, 5998, 5929, 9520). 57309 running as 0Z57 16:47 Wembley - Taunton arrived as a replacement loco for 57312. Why Taunton stand-by loco 66844 was not brought in to service to take the train forward from Yatton to Taunton was not known? Arriva XC power cars 43366 + 43357 working the 1V50 06:08 Edinburgh Waverley - Plymouth service were turned back at Taunton, departing at 14:07 (13 late), in the path of the 1S51 12:23 Plymouth - Glasgow Central (which was to be diverted via Newport and Chepstow due to engineering work). An unidentified Voyager set which was suffering problems whilst working the 1S51 was held and terminated at Taunton.
21/01 A new DBS scrap metal-flow commenced as a Thursday's only operation: 6Z48 02:08 Cardiff Tidal sidings - Exeter Alphington road and 6Z50 17:18 return to Newport docks, 66190 having the honours of working the first train, today formed of 18 MBA bogie box wagons. Nine wagons at a time are tripped to Alphington road (in the Exeter City basin area) as 6Z49 being returned, once loaded, for the second nine to be filled. The return departure was at 17:29 (11 late) for South Wales, being later recorded leaving Temple Meads at 20:14 (14 early). There were traction motor problems with 57309 at Yatton whilst working the 2D04 07:28 Taunton - Bristol Parkway First/GW service the train being 'propelled' at a restricted 40 mph by 57316 onwards, but was terminated at Nailsea and passengers transferred to another service. 153369 covered the 2Y10 09:13 Parkway - Taunton service, the Class 57s being available were later able to continue the diagram from the 2U14 11:02 Taunton - Cardiff Central onwards.
22/01 Taunton's 'spare' GBRf 'hire' loco, 66844 returned light-engine from it's platform 1 stabling point to Wembley without seeing any rescue or passenger duties !
23/01 66043 passed Parsons Street at 03:37 (67 early)on the 6M60 (SO) Exeter (Riverside) - Bescot (downside) freight. A scond loco, 66180 was later added to the front of the train at Newport for the onward journey. Disaster struck for a VSOE dining day trip from London - Bath (ECS being booked to/from Bristol East depot for stabling). 67026 was the allocated loco, for 1Z92 and return 1Z93, but prior to departure an unidentified emu set failed and was unable to move (even when a second set was brought in and attached) blocking the train in it's platform ! Later, with the outing cancelled, 67027 was used to move the ECS back from Victoria to Stewarts Lane depot. Also during the day, the 5U89 14:02 (SO) Bishop's Lydeard (Taunton) - Cardiff Canton maintenance ECS stock move, with 57309 + 57316 was recorded passing Parson's Street at 14:41. An engineer's train report during the day was 66171 + 66003 top n'tailing a 6W32 Bescot - Heywood Road passing Filton Abbeywood at 12:52.
24/01 The GBRf return stock and locos maintenance move running as 5C04 17:21 Cardiff Canton - Taunton, passed Filton Abbeywood at 18:34 (21 late) formed: 57312 + 57316 with c/stock rake CF03 (9526, 5769, 5792, 5748 all in Inter-City colours).
25/01 57312 replaced 57309 on the First/GW GBRf 'hire' service, 67016 + 67017 continuing on the DBS 'hire' diagram. Also noted during the evening period were: 31602 which arrived on a 1Z12 14:32 Derby RTC - Temple Meads test train, reported through Parkway at 17:50 and 66131 with the 6C99 Newport ADJ - St. Blazey freight (Bridgwater 23:19).
26/01 31602 worked a 1Z12 09:13 Temple Meads - Didcot test train (via Newbury).
27/01 Arriva Wales duo 150279 + 150278 worked the First/GW 2M72 21:55 Exeter St. Davids - Temple Meads service.
28/01 This was the second week of the new ThO scrap metal freight-flow running as 6Z48 02:08 Cardiff Tidal sidings - Exeter Alphington Road and 6Z50 17:18 return to Newport docks. 66056 handled the day's train, the empties arriving at Temple Meads at 03:36 and departing at 03:40 (2 late). The train, which arrived in Exeter (Riverside) yard at 06:38 (4 early) was split as booked to run onwards to Alphington Road which were loaded and collected separately. The return 6Z50 was recorded as leaving Temple Meads at 19:50 (17 early) for Newport docks later in the day.
Prior to the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton First/GW service which departed 24 late, with locos 57316 + 57312, a coaching stock swap took place at Canton depot. An Anglian livered set replaced the Inter-City coaches (CF03), which had been suffering unspecified problems, as a result the train departed Temple Meads at 15:22 (30 late) and ran non-stop to Taunton to recover time.
29/01 Afternoon Arriva XC HST workings were covered with the following power cars and set formations: 43285 XC02 43384 - 1E63 15:23 Plymouth - Leeds. 43378 XC03 43303 - 1S51 12:23 Plymouth - Edinburgh Waverley. 43207 XC04 43301 1V64 13:06 Edinburgh Waverley - Plymouth.
30/01 First/GW used HST set OC45, formed 41119, 41187, 40111, 42247, 42173, 42050, 44078 with power cars 43005 + 43027 on local passenger duty in place of a DMU set! The confirmed workings were: 2U04 07:11 Temple Meads - Cardiff Central, 2C69 09:00 Cardiff Central - Taunton and 2U16 11:07 Taunton - Cardiff Central, as far as Temple Meads only for a unit to take over. Early evening delays were recorded on some First/GW services arriving from London, due to a fatality in the Ealing Broadway area.
31/01 Two morning engineering train workings were: 66511, which had run 0Y28 17:06 Stoke Gifford - Thingley junction light the previous day, on 6Y28 19:08 Thingley junction - Tiverton loop (via Temple Meads) during the early hours and 66608 + 66602 top n'tailing a 6Y33 Bathampton junction - Taunton Fairwater train (which had worked 6Y33 20:41 Taunton Fairwater - Bathampton junction the previous evening) passing Bridgwater at 09:56 (110 early). Later, the 5C04 17:21 Cardiff Canton - Taunton (WSR) ECS move passed Uphill Junction at 19:07 (6 late) top n'tailed with 57316 + 57312. New micro-buffet 40110 was reported as in service in set OC44 with power cars 43041 + 43015 working the 1C15 13:03 Paddington - Plymouth First/GW service via Bristol TM.

Gloucester

02/01 Today's oil services saw 60071 was in charge of 6E41 Westerleigh - Lindsey, 66070 & 66014 on 6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh and 66083 & 66207 on a diverted 6B33 Theale - Margam due to engineering work at Severn Tunnel Junction. 6E41 set off a hot axle box detector at Cheltenham, resulting in evacuation of the station until the fire brigade arrived.
08/01 DRS 66415 worked a 6Z67 Shipley - Cardiff Tidal train of scrap empties, reported as running 'several hours' late.
20/01 6B13 Robeston-Westerleigh 66084/175, 6E41 Westerleigh-Lindsey 60074
4z41 Ferrybridge-Newport Docks 66069.
21/01 7x36 0455 Didcot-Ashchurch 66001, 6B13 Robeston-Westerleigh 66084/175 6e41 Westerleigh-Lindsey 60074, 6x52 Portbury-Mossend 66139.
22/02 6B13 Robeston -Westerleigh 66084/175, 6z68 1440 Tidal-Stockton 66415
6z40 Newport Docks-Ferrybridge 66069, 6v55 Bedworth-Robetson 66002
6e41 Westerleigh - Lindsey 60074, 4z11 Washwood Heath-Neath Abbey Wharf 66079, 0z68 Crewe Gresty Bridge-Cardiff Tidal 66415.
23/01 Gloucester-Severn Tunnel Junction was closed for engineering work so all services diverted via Charfield, here are times at Standish Junction. 0320 6m11 Margam-round oak 66111, 0533 6v98 Lindsey - Westerleigh 60074, 0327 6v19 Immingham - Margam 66120, 0633 4z41 Ferrybridge - Avonmouth 66096, 0702 6m81 Margam-round oak 66199, 1118 6v05 Round Oak- Margam 66111, 1141 6e41 Westerleigh - Lindsey 60074, 1405 4v20 fiddlers ferry-stoke Gifford 70006
1643 6v07 Round Oak- Margam 66199, 1830 6v06 Handsworth-grange sidings 66207.
24/01 6w32 1000 Heywood Road Junction - Bescot 66171 Standish junction 1243, 0y27 Bescot-stoke Gifford 66527.
25/01 6b36 Didcot - Ashchurch 66232, 6e41 Westerleigh - Lindsey 66054
6b13 Robeston - Westerleigh 66194/207, 1z12 1432 Derby RTC-Bristol TM 31601.
26/01 6b13 Robeston - Westerleigh 66194/207, 6e41 Westerleigh - Lindsey 66059. 66119 was on a 7X36 07:32 Didcot - Ashchurch MoD vehicles working.
27/01 6e77 Westerleigh-Port Clarence 66066, 6b13 Robeston - Westerleigh 66194/207, 4z70 Rugeley-stoke Gifford 70006, 6a36 Ashchurch - Didcot 66232
6w60 Westbury- Severn Tunnel Junction auto-hoppers via Gloucester 66001
28/01 6e41 Westerleigh - Lindsey 60009, 6b13 Robeston - Westerleigh 66140/194, 6x52 Portbury-Mossend 66011, 4v56 Rugeley-stoke Gifford 66623.
29/01 6b13 Robeston - Westerleigh 66068/111, 6z67 Shipley-tidal 66412, 6b36 Didcot- Ashchurch 66171, 4z70 Rugeley-stoke Gifford 70006, 4v56 Rugeley-stoke Gifford 66616. A working which ran only on a few occasions during 2009, the 6M56 13:41 CEGB Berkeley - Crewe Coal sidings nuclear flask passed Standish junction at 12:59 (68 early) headed by 37038 + 37059 with a single FNA wagon. The Sharpness branch line (on which the loading compound for this train is situated) is receiving attention with new wooden sleepers being put in place, replacing life-expired examples. Mention of a steam service over the branch line in one of the monthly National railway magazines would seem unlikely with flask trains still operating, although a preservation scheme may take place in Sharpness docks using the surviving parts of the internal rail system. Decommissioning work at Oldbury power station, which will take 20 years to complete is to take place soon on the 1960s built structure on closure, but nearby land has been purchased to build a new station (planning permission pending), although this may not be completed until 2025, five years later than originally planned.
30/01 Standish Junction times. 0226 6z52 1645 Redmire-Margam 66139, 0352 6v98 Lindsey - Westerleigh 60009, 0414 6v49 Tees Yard-ADJ 66189, 0417 6m11 Margam-Round Oak 66087, 0630 6m81 Margam-Round Oak 66158, 0557 4z41 Ferrybridge - Avonmouth 66025, 0745 4z07 Kingsland Road-Derby RTC 31105-6262-999605-9702, 0751 6m60 Exeter Riverside-Bescot down side 66131, 1025 6b13 Robeston - Westerleigh 66068/111 to Gloucester, 1048 6e41 Westerleigh -Lindsey 60009, 1117 6v05 Round Oak-Margam 66087, 1203 6b13 from Gloucester 66068/111, 1315 4v20 Fiddlers Ferry-Stoke Gifford 66506, 1611 6v07 round oak-Margam 66158, 1920 4v56 Rugeley-Stoke Gifford 66585
1959 6v68 Beeston-tidal 66147.
31/01 Times at Standish Junction 1616 6m41 Margam-Round Oak 66044, 1641 6e47 Llanwern-tees yard 66193, 2017 6e30 Margam -Hartlepool 66126,
2183 6m42 Llanwern - Round Oak 66189, 2254 6m75 Llanwern - Warrington Arpley 66140, 6w10 Ashchurch - Westbury 66175 Westerleigh Junction 1037 recess Bristol Parkway depart 1528.

Newport

03/01 Sunday diversions saw some First/GW HST services unusually running via Cwmbran and the Marches to Birmingham. The 150 million, 10 day Newport and Severn Tunnel remodelling and resignalling work was reported as completed to time by the following day.
12/01 66198 brought in the 6V69 16:58 Bescot down side - Newport ADJ freight service.
17/01 A 0N21 Eastleigh - Margam afternoon light-engine move, formed 66166 + 66061 + 66204 + 66075 was noted in platform at Newport at 16:24, having been previously reported through Swindon at 15:02. The working had been delayed in the Severn Tunnel junction area due to a local points failure.
18/01 A 0F85 light-engine move to Margam passed Newport at 07:41 formed: 66194 + 66087 + 66094.
19/01 57314 was on the 1W91 16:15 Cardiff Central - Holyhead Arriva XC service. 66063 worked the 6V69 (TO) Bescot - Newport ADJ freight.
26/01 60096 headed the 6E09 Margam - Immingham freight service North during the evening period.
27/01 70002 failed near Little Mill around 10:00 with the 6M55 06:58 Avonmouth - Rugley P.S. loaded coal service, 66527 being sent to assist the train onwards.

Portbury Branchline

05/01 66074 unusually ran 0W51 15:11 Didcot - Portbury auto terminal (noted Temple Meads at 15:41 107 early!) light-engine to power the 6X52 17:33 car train to Mossend.
20/01 66529 + 70005 passed Temple Meads at 19:52 on 4V56 Rugeley P.S. - Porttbury coal empties.
22/01 70006 worked the 6M02 20:45 Portbury - Fiddler's Ferry loaded coal service.
25/01 Portbury resumed serving Didcot P.S. from this date with DBS diagrams as:-
6Z07 03:29 (SO) Portbury - Didcot / 4D08 09:12 (SO) Didcot - Avonmouth empties (11:12).
6Z07 04:11 (MSX) Portbury - Didcot / 4D08 09:18 (MSX) Didcot - Avonmouth empties (11:31).
6Z36 17:55 (SX) Portbury - Didcot / 4Z36 22:35 (SX) Didcot - Portbury empties.
A 4F27 13:03 (SX) Avonmouth - Portbury (14:18) train of empties ran to form the 6Z36.
66142 was noted on the 6Z36 (which was routed outward via Bath loaded and on the return empties via Parkway) from 25/01 - 30/01 inclusive. A loco swap took place on the 4V56 Rugeley P.S. - Portbury coal empies on arrival at Stoke Gifford behind 70005, 66624 being used in favour of the Class 70 to take the train forward.
28/01 Bardon-blue livered 66623 handled the 6M61 08:25 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal, passing Bedminster at 08:54 returning through Filton at 19:46 on 4V56 Rugeley P.S. - Portbury empties.
It has been confirmed that the inward cars loco on a Tuesday, may run 0D09 light-engine to Avonmouth for a 4D09 Avonmouth - Barton Hill 'cripple' HTA wagon move, then (if required) a 4D98 return of repaired wagons to Avonmouth, prior to an 0D98 light-engine return to Portbury, in time to take out the 6X52 return loaded automotive service.

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included:
66142. 66513/597/605/615/617/623. 70005/006.

Units seen during the month

142009/064.
143603/611/612/617/619/620/621.
150121/127/219/221/232/234/238/239/248/244/246/249/261/263/265/267/278/279/281.
153305/361/368/369/370/380.
158748/763/766/767/769/798/950/951/952/953/958/954/955/956/958/959.
159005/104.
220029.
221119/133/141.
Arriva XC HST power cars: 43207/285/301/303/321/357/366/378. East Coast 'hire': 43308.
First/GW SWT 'hire'
05/01 158882. 16/01 158882. 19/01 158882. 23/01 158881. 25/01 158881.
28/01 158882. 30/01 158885.

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge containers
04/01 66516. 05/01 66503. 07/01 66569. 08/01 66569. 11/01 66569.
12/01 66588. 13/01 66571. 14/01 66567. 15/01 66568. 18/01 66536.
19/01 66565. 21/01 66571. 22/01 66954. 25/01 66533. 26/01 66530.
27/01 66563. 28/01 66539.
Note: this train was confirmed as caped on 20/01.

4V60 Calvert - Bristol Barrow road binliner
15/01 66527. 25-29/01 66511.

6M55 06:58 Avonmouth - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
11/01 70006. 14/01 70006. 19/01 70006. 23/01 70006. 27/01 70002.

6M61 08:25 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
21/01 70005. 22/01 70005. 26/01 66617. 28/01 66623. 29/01 66605.

6M04 10:30 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
11/01 66597. 14/01 66513. 29/01 66615.

4Z70 Rugeley P.S. - Stoke Gifford coal empties
26/01 70006. 27/01 70006. 28/01* 70006. 29/01 70006.
Note: * 28/01 66511 was believed to have assisted this working via south Wales on this date.

LOCAL DBS (EWS) WORKINGS

6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh fuel oil
02/01 66014 + 66070. 04-07/01 66014 + 66070. 09/01 66014 + 66070.
11-13/01 66014 + 66070. 15/01 66014 + 66092. 16/01 66014 + 66092.
18-22/01 66084 + 66175. 25-27/01 66194 + 66207. 28/01 66140 + 66194.
29/01 66068 + 66111. 30/01 66068 + 66111.

6E41 Westerleigh - Lindsey (6E77 Port Clarence, as required WO)
02/01 60071. 04/01 66015. 09/01 66068 + 66167. 12/01 60051.
13/01 60051. 15/01 60040. 16/01 60040. 18/01 60074. 19/01 60074.
21/01 60074. 23/01 60074. 25/01 66054. 28-30/01 60009.

6B49/6B50 Llanwern - Swindon steel (TFO)
05/01 66166. 08/01 66046. 22/01 66120.

6B33 Theale - Robeston empty fuel tanks
02/01 66083 + 66207. 09/01 66126 + 66238. 19/01 66002 + 66087.
21/01 66002 + 66068. 23/01 66126 + 66194. 27/01 66111 + 66158.
28/01 66111 + 66158. 30/01 66126 + 66140.

6B83/6C83 (6B80/6C80 SO) Westbury - Machen - Westbury stone (TThO)
18/01* 59104. 20/01 59206. 25/01 59202. 27/01* 59202. 29/01 59203.
Note: * The return working was confirmed as 6A83 12:40 Machen - West Drayton A.R.C.

6V62 Eastleigh - Plymouth Tavistock yard fuel tanks (TO)
05/01 66039. 12/01 66187. 19/01 66006. 26/01 66008.

6X52 Portbury - Mossend loaded and empty car carriers (TThO)
05/01 66074. 15/01 66060. 19/01 66085. 26/01 66097. 28/01 66011.

6V78 Dolland's Moor - Margam export steel empties
19/01 66014. 23/01 66047. 30/01 66138.

6B24 Didcot - Wentlooge MoD stores
05/01 66207. 11/01 67017. 14/01 66129. 25/01 66171.

LOCAL DRS WORKINGS

6V74/6M67 Crewe coal sidings - Bridgwater - Crewe nuclear flasks
05/01 66424 + 66425. 12/01 66414 + 66425. 19/01 66411 + 66424.
26/01 37059 + 37611.

FREIGHT REVIEW

Apologies if this report is a little delayed, due to me being quite busy over the past few weeks on other projects.
We'll start with 20th February and day trip to London courtesy of those nice people at London Midland and a 10 "travel anywhere on London Midland for the day" offer, so three of us decided to drive to Northampton and board there to London. It wasn't specifically a "rail day" for me personally, but I noted quite a few railway bits and bobs. At Wembley, parked in the yard, was the following rake of "yellow boxes" with 66533 at the head: 29076/ 310/ 318/ 517/ 536/ 286/ 073/ 250/ 496/ 205/ 369/ 427/ 274/ 255/ 260. Locomotives parked up were: 92001, 67026, 67002, 92019, 90039, 90045, 87002 and 90020, At Selhurst Depot there were four DRS class 37s(unidentified) and a class 73 which, I believe, was 73207.
Moving on to my usual location of Nuneaton on 22nd February and a couple of decent trains noted at Leicester before departure. I'm sure you all heard of the derailment of the Meridian (222.005) between Leicester and Market Harborough on 20th February (due to losing a gearbox apparently! Not the official line you understand!) which closed the line to London for four days necessitating London services being rerouted via Melton Mowbray, Oakham and Harringwoth Viaduct. On this particular Monday evening 66622 was noted heading north at 17.25 with the following train in tow: 996525, 996955, 996227, 996622, 996907, 967585, 110014, 396156, 394642, 394713. The train was carrying old rail/sleepers and spent ballast and had come from the scene of said derailment. Just after this, at 1730, heading south, was 66608 with the Bow-Bardon Hill aggregate empties, diverted via the above route (it normally comes main line and straight up the branch missing out Leicester station). Consist being: 17132/ 146/ 140/ 144/ 139/ 150/ 134/ 104/ 136/ 138/ 149/ 142/ 148/ 118/ 107/ 151/ 133/ 137/ 124/ 138/ 121/ 141/ 135/ 147/ 101/ 145. Nuneaton was a bit of a disappointment this particular night with quite a few of the usual services not turning up. Some of the services now being routed through Didcot and not Wembley has taken some services away from the West Coast Main Line, one being the northbound Enterprise which passed through Nuneaton at about 20.00. Locomotives noted at Nuneaton this night were: 66567, 90016, 90018, 67022 (on the southbound automotive empties), 66503, 66413, 66535, 66591 and 66505.
On 25th February at Leicester, 66557 was logged with the following engineers' service: 29514/ 065/ 531/ 048/ 313/ 462/ 408/ 448/ 294/ 229/ 264/ 266/ 132/ 027/ 121/ 491/ 342, 503116, 31.70.5892.007 -- believed to be the Westbury-Mountsorrel. The same evening at Leicester 66128 was noted on the Colnbrook-Lindsey empty aviation fuel service, 31601 and 31459 on the Network Rail test train, and 66404 with unit 378.123 in tow. The day after, 26th February, 66403, 73207 and 66713 were noted in convoy heading south through Leicester at 13.30. Leicester, on 1st March, saw 66624 heading the Westbury-Mounsorrel consisting of the following vehicles: 29042/ 035/ 094/ 150/ 301/ 372/ 399/ 159/ 346/ 341/ 317/ 162/ 315/ 543/ 432/ 397/ 090.
Moving back to Nuneaton on 15th March and, amongst the usual services, 66619 was seen heading north using the new crossover from the Leicester branch to the northbound West Coast Main Line with the following service, believed to be a Mountsorrel-Crewe service: 501083/ 013/ 158/ 157/ 159/ 073/ 318/ 392/ 393/ 394/ 338. All the services did turn up this particular night along with Anglian-liveried 156.417!
A week later, 22nd March, again the usual batch of services, but with the addition of a working class 70! The Crewe-Mountsorrel, running 66 minutes late, headed by 70005 had the following vehicles in tow: 501317/ 389/ 390/ 391/ 337/ 090/ 210/ 208/ 209/ 030/ 085/ 194/ 193/ 195/ 025/ 017/ 169/ 170/ 171/ 077.
Just one final snippet of news from my area and the sighting of 66434 on several occasions, in ex-works Fastline livery, on the coal services through Leicester -- NOT renumbered 66306 as some people were reporting. That's all for now. Have fun with the hobby.

MISCELLANEOUS

Road Movements
19/01 08782 on road low loader, M5 near Gloucester heading north-bound at 13:20.

Summer Timetable Update
The transfer of 15 Silverlink Class 150/1 units to First/GW is now reported as unlikely, the sets are expected to be destined for the Merseyside and South Yorkshire areas following a decision by the Department for Transport and the company who own the sets. However, First/GW seem confident 15 sets can be obtained from elsewhere. 12 DMU sets are to be returned from 'hire' by First/GW in June this year, believed to be made up of Class 142 units from Northern, currently in use in Devon from their Exeter base.
*STOP PRESS*: Latest information received suggest, six Class 150/1 sets will be available from London Overground and nine from London Midland, once new Class 172 units are available from Derby. The first two of which are expected to be released for testing during April. With a late delivery, loco and coaches could again appear on the Summer Saturday Weymouth diagram for the first few weeks at least (a HST set has been mentioned ?), despite the Class 37 'Farewell' operated as the final loco-hauled working at the beginning of September last year !

10 Year Plan - Bristol Area
NR have unveiled plans to cater for rail passenger growth during the next decade. Bristol currently has the slowest average road traffic speed outside London of 12 mph, this is believed to have been the major contributing factor to a local rail passenger growth of 7.5% in recent years. Line capacity is expected to be increased from Temple Meads to Parson's Street, reinstating a fourth line (already partly in position) and a third track added northwards to Abbeywood over Filton bank. The line speed between Bristol and Bridgwater is also expected to be raised to 125 mph, and a fourth platform is still under consideration at Bristol Parkway. Further a field another platform could be brought into use at Westbury and improvements undertaken to increase the line speed between Gloucester and Severn Tunnel junction, via Chepstow.

Local Man Behind NR 'Slingers'
Following on from the March 2010 Magazine report covering the first use of the new 'slinger' ILA side tilting track wagons in the Bristol area (under Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh notes & news), it has come to light that Network Rail production manager Kevin Percival, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol was in charge of the four year development of this new wagon type. Kevin and a team of engineers worked on the idea following a meeting in the NR Westbury yard concluding complete track panels could be moved at an upright 33 degree angle and still remain 'in gauge' on specially constructed wagons, following examples already in use since the 1990s in America and Switzerland. Normal practice would be the movement of all new track as single components, being assembled at the worksite taking up additional time. For example, a replacement set of points would normally have taken 54 hours to put into position, this now has been reduced to only eight hours using the 26 new tilting wagons which German company Kirow were employed to build at a cost of 11.4 million for NR. Some of the new wagons saw use renewing the Patchway station to the Severn Tunnel mainline section, over 11th and 12th December last year, this taking only 54 hours to complete, with just 30 hours being used to undertake the actual laying of new track sections and point work. The work cost of this section of mainline was 2.1 million to complete.

The Bristolian
As well as operating the 2010 Torbay Express, Bristol - Kingswear steam excursion programme, the Torbay Express Limited (Pathfinder Tours) are running several trips to London from Bristol during the year, following on from a successful outing which ran on 12th December last year (see March Magazine).
The dates are set as follows:- 26/06, 28/08, 02/10 and 04/12. Motive power is expected to be either: 60163 Tornado or 6024 King Edward I.