NOTES AND NEWS

Avonmouth

03/04 66559 passed Henbury at 16:05 with a further 4Z86 Grain (Thamesport) - Avonmouth West Wharf loaded bulk wine container service. Associated workings with this train are 0Z86 17:26 Avonmouth West Wharf - Stoke Gifford and 0Z87 18:46 return light-engines and 4Z87 19:52 Avonmouth - Reading West return, the loco being then booked as 0Z87 22:44 Reading West - Millbrook light-engine.
06/04 The Irish 'import' stone empties were seen passing Brentry at 12:26 as 6C63 11:25 Westbury - Avonmouth behind 66188 and formed of Hanson bogie hopper wagons.
07/04 66130 worked the 6C90 Newport ADJ - Avonmouth freight trip. 66198 was in charge of this duty 15 days later.
08/04 59103 was an unusual sight in Bennett's yard on stone empties (which had arrived at 12:40) formed of MRL boxes, later departing at 16:48 (32 minutes late) on the 7C64 16:16 loaded 'import' stone to Westbury.
27/04 Formerly a Fastline duty, DBS have taken over the 4V13 10:20 Ratcliffe P.S. - Avonmouth coal empties, and the evening loaded return. Today's working was in the hands of 66044, the train running as a TWThFO operation during this week.
29/04 A fallen tree on the line in the Clifton Down area disrupted First/GW Severn Beach services by around 10 minutes at the start of the day. The driver of the day's first working the 05:25 ex. Temple Meads was able to clear the obstacle, but NR still had to carry out safety checks later in the morning.
30/04 By the end of the month, a FLHH 6Z17 00:17 West Wharf - Crawley loaded stone was reported as running. 66560 was confirmed as working this train to Thorney Mill on this date.

Locos recorded on coal duty during the month have included: 66044/060/065/088/096/120/121/133. 66155/156/187.

Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh

01/04 59203 arrived at Westerleigh on the 6B13 with only 17 loaded fuel tanks ex. Robeston. Apparently the class are allowed up to 20 on this duty, compared with 22 for Class 60 locos. The loco was later seen passing Parkway at 13:30 heading towards south Wales light-engine. 59004 was also reported passing Filton Abbeywood at 15:16 on a return Cardiff Canton - Westbury light-engine move following wheel turning. The loco had arrived in Cardiff light on the 29/03. A 13:37 Stoke Gifford - Taunton Fairwater light-engine move was noted formed: 66506+66612+66551+66555+66616.
02/04 Good Friday and steam locos 70013 + 44871 (the latter making it's mainline preservation debut in the Bristol area) passed Filton Abbeywood at 17:20 with support coaches 35517 + E14099 as 5Z70 12:27 Crewe - Barton Hill (booked 17:38).
04/04 At 15:00 Stoke Gifford 'downside' held: 66551, 66613, 70003.
06/04 The 6L97 Port Talbot (Grange sidings) - Lea Interchange (Camden) loaded molten Olympic site slag/stone passed Parkway at 15:12 behind 66135.
08/04 66523 and 66560 double-headed (MW cable fitted between locos) empty mgr from Stoke Gifford Yard - Portbury this evening. 70003, engine running, remained in the yard, said later to have worked light engine to Crewe. NR HST put in appearance using power cars 43013 + 43014 also seen was the Newport ADJ - Didcot "Enterprise" service behind 66087. There was also a lack of XC Voyagers, reason unknown plus a couple of diverted Paddington - Bristol services due to problem between Bath and Bristol.
09/04 The NRMT HST, formed with power cars 43013 + 43014 passed Parkway during the morning twice as 1Z20 Old Oak Common - Derby (via Swansea).
10/04 A 6Z35 13:05 Moreton-on-Lugg - Acton loaded stone was recorded during the afternoon behind 66037. 70002 was reported as stabled in Stoke Gifford sidings.
12/04 Most unusually, 66055 was noted entering Pilning down loop at 13:30 with a diverted 6B36 Ashchurch MoD - Didcot train formed mainly of empty vehicle carriers. The working was terminated at Newport ADJ, the loco being required for another duty, and according to TOPs was at Ripple Lane during the following day! The train's wagons were later moved onwards as part of the 6A29 Wentlooge - Didcot 'enterprise' service.
13/04 A morning signalling problem in the Severn Tunnel junction area saw delays of forty minutes for some services. A brief observation period at Pilning station saw: 66517 with 4V50 Millbrook - Wentlooge containers (07:37), 70002 on the 6M55 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal (08:06) and 66130 with 6V51 Mossend - Portbury loaded and empty car carriers (08:18). The first of two stored Fastline coal wagon moves took place involving Colas 47739 running 0Z47 08:00 Washwood Heath - Gloucester light for a 4Z47 11:05 Gloucester yard - Eastleigh (due 14:55) formed of 21 wagons (which had arrived in Gloucester on 03/04). The working was reported through Filton Abbeywood at 12:28 and near Keynsham at 12:44 (also see front cover of the May 2010 Magazine). The loco returned as 0Z48 15:25 Eastleigh - Stoke Gifford yard light later in the day to stable overnight.
14/04 A second movement of 21 'stored' former Fastline coal wagons took place, again headed by 47739 (which had run 0Z47 Stoke Gifford to Gloucester light) as 4Z47 11:05 Gloucester - Eastleigh, being reported through Parkway at 12:00 and near Keynsham at 12:22.
16/04 66510 and 70002 were stabled at Stoke Gifford during the evening period. On the freight side: 66077 was on the 6L97 Port Talbot (Grange sidings) - Lea Interchange (Camden) stone, passing Parkway at 15:30 and later, 66125 worked the 6A29 Newport ADJ - Didcot 'enterprise' freight service.
17/04 Over at Westerleigh, 60096 worked the 6B13 loaded fuel tanks ex. Robeston and 60054 departed on the 6E41 empties for Lindsey. Other class members reported in use on this date were listed as follows: 60009, 60054, 60071, 60074 and 60085.
20/04 57302 + 57309 top n'tailing the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff - Taunton service passed Pilning at 15:08 (34 late). The train was later reported as running non-stop from Bristol to Taunton to recover time.
21/04 66204 was on the evening 6A29 Wentlooge - Didcot 'enterprise' freight service.
22/04 60039 having arrived at Westerleigh on the 6V98 loaded fuel tanks from Lindsey, passed Parkway at 10:16 light-engine for Newport to take on fuel.
23/04 Stabled at Parkway on the down side were: 66523, 66527, 66528, 66599, 66606, 66951, 70006. 66606 + 66528 + 66599 had all arrived at 18:17 on a 0Z74 light-engine move from Crewe having been reported through Abergavenny at 17:15. Earlier, 66611 had passed Filton at 14:15 on the now Friday's only, 6M37 Westbury 'La farge' - Hope (Earles sidings) cement empties, this working now assumed as being retimed.
24/04 66590 worked a diverted 4V46 11:14 Crewe Basford Hall yard - Wentlooge container service (which had originated at Garston). The train had been routed from Birmingham, via Banbury, Oxford and Swindon.
28/04 Returning from several North Wales area Royal visits, the Royal Train (conveying HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh) passed Parkway at 12:50 top n'tailed by 67005 + 67006. The train had originated from Welshpool and run via Hereford and the Welsh Marches. The Tytherington quarry branch line was closed for two days and became a crime scene at Latteridge level crossing, following the murder of the cottage owner Mr. Barry Rubery. Mr. Rubery will be sadly missed as he was well known to rail enthusiasts and photographers at this location always on hand for a chat and an update of what has worked along the line. Railway wise he will probably be best remembered for providing a water hose to top up 50049's coolant level after a problem whilst working a locally arranged railtour to Tytherington in June 2007.
29/04 66502 with the 4V50 Millbrook - Wentlooge containers was reported as running 214 minutes late.
Colas 47749 ran 0Z47 07:00 Washwood Heath - Westbury light-engine to collect 6 YFAs (CWR rail carrier wagons) forming a 6Z47 12:25 12:25 Westbury - Donnington Railfreight terminal move. The working departed at 11:55 (30 early) and was later reported through Bath at 12:28, Parkway at 13:17 (7 early) and Cheltenham at 14:16 (6 early).
30/04 FLHH 66620 was on a 6M37 12:08 (FO) Westbury 'la farge' - Hope (Earles sidings) cement empties (now confirmed as booked in Pilning loop from 13:25 - 13:52), but was recorded through Filton at 15:50.

Bristol Temple Meads, Barton Hill and Kingsland Road

01/04 57312, 'on hire' to First/GW powered the 1A40 23:45 Penzance - Paddington sleeper and 57603 was reported as on the balancing 1C99 Paddington - Penzance. Both were however unconfirmed as operating via the Bristol area, as was 66030 returning loaded MEAs from Truro - Grimsby Brickpit siding. The First/GW 1A16 07:38 Penzance - Paddington service arrived in Temple Meads formed of 142001 + 150278 in place of the booked HST, the units having started from Exeter at the train's booked time of 10:56. Test unit 950001 arrived in Bristol from West Country duties at 13:03 (63 early), having been noted through Worle junction at 12:15. 57302 + 57306 started the month on the GBRf 'First/GW' loco and coach hire.
03/04 The positioning move for the forthcoming 'Great Britain III' round Britain steam railtour, saw steam 44871 + 70013 Oliver Cromwell (in place of 30777 Sir Lamiel + 34067 Tangmere) head a Railway Touring Company 'Royal Duchy' (1Z52 06:38 Paddington - Penzance) excursion onwards from Exeter. The two locos had made their way west as 5Z51 07:39 Barton Hill - Exeter fuelling point (with their two support coaches from the previous day) calling in Yatton loop from 08:06-08:22. The same location then saw preserved mainline Class 52 No.D1015 (carrying D1009 Western Invader name and number plates on one side) top n'tailing with 47760, call between 09:23-09:27 with c/stock: 4984, 4960, 99311, 99371 Victoria, 99125 Jessica, 99128 Pamela, 99127 Christina, 99316, 3093 Paula, 3136 Diana, S9104 on the main train. The Western returned the train in the evening via Westbury, having run light-engine, hauled by 47760 from Exeter to Penzance, due to conserving fuel for the return to London. Also during the day: 57312+57306 top n'tailing 57306 worked the 5U89 Taunton - Cardiff Canton GBRf maintenance move (departing Taunton at 14:27) and a unidentified Voyager set was seen passing Bath at 15:29 on the 'occasional' 5C89 Temple Meads - Taunton driver refresher route knowledge trip via Westbury.
04/04 Several engineering trains returned to Taunton during the afternoon and evening, 66602+66610 being noted passing Charfield at 16:34 and Parsons Street at 17:12 - 40 early on a lengthy 6Y33 Gloucester yard junction - Fairwater yard working, with a 6Y35 and 6Y28 also reported to have run between the same locations. 57302+57312 returned on the 5C04 Cardiff - Taunton GBRf 'hire' loco and coach move arriving in Taunton at 19:21.
05/04 31602 was in charge of a 4Z08 12:17 Derby RTC - Exeter test train departing Temple Meads at 17:45 (14 early) with the driving van leading. 143617 + 142030 passed Temple Meads at 20:50 on the 5K46 19:34 Exeter St. David's - Temple Meads empty unit move, tonight's destination actually being St. Phillips Marsh. Earlier, D1015 Western Champion was back in Bristol running as 0Z52 12:20 Southall - Barton Hill light, departing Temple Meads for Barton Hill at 14:44, around 50 minutes early.
06/04 67017 + 67022, with coaching stock set CP02, were reported as on the DBS, First/GW loco and coaching stock hire. Steam 5029 Nunney Castle (in place of 6201 Princess Elizabeth) arrived with the first leg of the Railway Touring Company, 'Great Britain III' (1Z27 12:00 Paddington - Temple Meads) with 47760 on the rear, having been noted passing Bristol East at 15:01 (3 early) with c/stock: W35461 (loco support), 21266, 99371 Victoria, 99122, 1730, 99125 Jessica, 99128 Pamela, 99127 Christina, 99316, 3093 Paula, 3136 Diana, 99723. The steam loco made a short appearance in Bristol, returning as 5Z31 16:55 Temple Meads - Didcot, being noted passing Bath at 17:34 with support coach W35461.
07/04 With the 'GB3' itinerary changed due to possible strike action, the return of the second day's train started at Plymouth (originally planned to start at Penzance, then Totnes!) as 1Z84 15:35 Plymouth - Temple Meads with 44871 + 70013 Oliver Cromwell, D1015 Western Champion (still running as Western Invader on one side) heading the outward 1Z52 10:19 Temple Meads - Plymouth. Both steam locos had stabled on the South Devon Railway having run locos and support coaches to Totnes after the Penzance working (44871 in fact derailing on the line on the 5th !) then ran 5Z84 13:40 Totnes - Plymouth with support coaches prior to the return trip, which was reported as arriving in Temple Meads at 19:53 (5 early !). D1015 had meanwhile run 0Z85 15:38 Plymouth - Temple Meads light-engine in front of the tour passing arriving in Bristol at 19:20 (7 early).
08/04 The 'GB3', which had cost participants around 2000 (and due to be completed at Kings Cross on 14/04 with a revised routing due to possible strike action!) departed the area as 1Z86 10:06 Temple Meads - Preston, again with 44871 + 70013 Oliver Cromwell, passing Filton at 10:15, D1015 + 47760 running 0Z86 10:20 Temple Meads - Preston (via Tyseley to drop off the Western loco) following behind. The steam special (which was to lose time north of Gloucester, having been originally booked to run via the Severn Tunnel and Hereford) had caused a track side fire near Wickwar and tender coal was reported to have fallen from the train earlier at Yate station striking a person on the platform! During the evening, the First/GW 1A27 17:10 Weston-super-Mare - Paddington HST service (with power cars 43160+43188 and coaches LA27) failed near Saltford (with low coolant). The following 7C64 16:16 Avonmouth - Westbury loaded stone with 59103 assisted from the rear to Bath station where the train was terminated 136 minutes late and passengers were de-trained. The defective set was then moved onwards to Bathampton loop, prior to a move back to St. Phillips Marsh. The 6B59 17:18 Exeter (Alphington Road) - Newport Docks loaded scrap was noted with 66118 in Temple Meads.
09/04 On arrival in Temple Meads, due to late running the 1A12 07:40 Paignton - Paddington First/GW HST, departed in the path of the 1A77 10:30 Temple Meads - Paddington working, with a micro buffet 40119 included in the trains formation. The 1C06 08:30 Paddington - Temple Meads (with power cars 43153 + 43163) had meanwhile after arrival in Bristol departed in the 1A12's booked path. Test unit 950001 ran 2Z08 07:38 Temple Meads - Cardiff Canton via a reverse at Swindon and later back through Bristol Parkway and the Severn Tunnel. Later, 66608 was reported passing Bath at 22:42 (5 early) on the now what seems to be a Friday only, 6M37 Westbury 'La farge' works - Hope (Earles sidings) empty cement service.
10/04 66101 top n'tailed 67026 on Pathfinder Tour's 'Duchy Explorer' (1Z27 05:57 Whitchurch - Par and 1Z30 17:14 return). The outward working was noted passing Pilning at 09:11 (2 early) and departed Temple Meads at 10:00 (2 early), whilst the return, which was due in Temple Meads at 20:20, was seen passing Nailsea & Backwell at 21:00, the locos double-heading the train. 66171 had top n'tailed 66101 earlier onwards from Plymouth (with the Class 67 removed, and running 0Z67 12:40 light-engine to St. Blazey) for a visit to the Parkindillack freight-only line, after the Par stop during the afternoon. The train's c/stock was as follows: 17105, 1659, 3295, 3417, 3325, 3344, 3386, 1203, 5961, 6176, 6067. Other reports for the day were: 57302 + 57312 top n'tailed the 5U89 Taunton - Cardiff maintenance ECS move, departing Taunton early at 09:30, whilst two evening engineer's trains were recorded as: 66610 top n'tailing 66612 on 6Y11 21:12 Taunton Fairwater - Gloucester yard junction (Temple Meads 22:58 - 28 late) and 66604 top n'tailing 66523 with 6Y33 20:42 Taunton Fairwater - Gloucester yard junction being noted through Nailsea at 21:18 and at Temple Meads at 21:32 (29 early).
11/04 57302 + 57312 top n'tailed the 5C04 17:21 (Sun) Cardiff Canton - Taunton maintenance move arriving in Taunton at 18:55. Earlier, the 6M60 (running on a Sunday instead of a Saturday) was headed by 66164 as 15:30 Exeter (Riverside) - Didcot (via Bristol) loaded to 25 wagons. Later, returning Sunday engineering trains to Taunton were recorded as 6Y11 08:30 Gloucester yard junction -Fairwater yard (noted Filton Abbeywood at 10:56 - 94 late) top n'tailed with 66610 + 66612 and a 6Y33 13:02 Gloucester yard junction - Fairwater (Temple Meads 13:48), being booked to arrive at Taunton at 14:48.
12/04 Steam 71000 Duke of Gloucester returned to the North as 5Z29 09:40 Bishop's Lydeard (WSR) - Bury (East Lancs) loco and support coach, departing 7 minutes late and routed via Temple Meads (booked 11:14 - 11:42), Bath (noted at 12:00), Swindon and Oxford.
13/04 The 6V21 Hope (Earles sidings) - Moorswater cement was powered by 66608. DRS 37059 + 37259 were viewed from the A4 road as stabled, at the west-end of Temple Meads on a test train.
14/04 Steam 35028 Clan Line arrived in Bristol on the 1Z94 08:45 Victoria Temple Meads being noted through Keynsham at 13:04. The 1Z95, 16:40 return was again noted later at the same location at 16:55. This train is normally diesel hauled to and from Bristol onwards from Westbury.
15/04 Micro buffet 40105 (ex.42084) was reported as part of the 1A12 07:40 Paignton - Paddington First/GW HST formation. 66004 was on the Thursday Only, 6B59 17:18 Exeter (Alphington Road) - south Wales loaded scrap metal service being recorded through Taunton at 19:15. Another evening working was 66602 + 66610 top n'tailing a 6Y11 engineers move, noted at Bedminster at 20:10.
16/04 66610 was involved in two HOBC wagon turning moves during the day as: 6Z85 10:18 Taunton Fairwater yard - Taunton Fairwater yard via Bristol and Bath, (Worle 10:56) and 6Z86 17:20 Taunton Fairwater - Taunton Fairwater, again via Bristol and Bath (Worle 17:58).
17/04 The 2O47 16:42 Gloucester - Weymouth and return 2V94 20:21 Weymouth - Temple Meads First/GW services were in the hands of a HST set (which included 3 First Class coaches) with power cars 43003 + 43091, due to a Bath 'home' rugby game, departing Bristol 36 minutes late, having taken over here from 150243. The Class 150 was then added to 158959 on the 17:23 service to Portsmouth Harbour. Vintage Train's in association with First/GW, as part of this year's GWR175 celebrations, ran a 'Bristolian' special using steam 5043 Earl of Mount Edgecumbe non-stop throughout. Running as 1Z21 11:33 Paddington - Temple Meads (via Swindon, Chippenham and Bath) and a 1Z23 17:02 return (via Badminton, Hullavington and Swindon) the train being formed with the following c/stock: 96175 (maroon water carrier - former converted motorail van, on loan from West Coast Train's at Carnforth), W35470, 99353, 99361, 99349, 3125, 13227, 9101. The train arrived in Bristol at 13:45, around 15 minutes early, but the return was of interest being covered in 109 minutes and 16 seconds, against 105 minutes for the train's booked time when it ran steam hauled in the 1960s! Large-logo 47580 was brought down to Bristol light-engine as a 0Z23 11:02 Tyseley - Temple Meads, stock shunt loco via Banbury, Oxford and Swindon, following the steam working into Bristol and being attached to the train's rear on platform 11 for the servicing moves (5Z23 14:12 ex. Temple Meads and 16:33 return) to St. Phillips Marsh via Bristol West (noted 14:22). Three evening engineering works trains were reported as: 66602 + 66610 top n'tailing a 6Y11 Taunton Fairwater - Abbotswood junction (Temple Meads 21:19), 66523 on 6Y33 Taunton - Cheltenham replacement sleeper train formed of 24 YXAs and 6Y34 a track recovery train, (possibly from Westbury ?) headed by 66560.
18/04 A return 6Y11 departmental, top n'tailed by 66602 + 66610 was reported through Highbridge at 14:48. 57302 + 57309 top n'tailed the return 5C04 17:21 Cardiff Canton - Taunton GBRf maintenance move, arriving at it's destination at 18:30.
19/04 The First/GW HST 1C20 15:30 Paddington - Weston-super- Mare and 1A29 18:10 return were noted formed with newly converted micro-buffet 40118 (ex. 42338). Only two now remain to be fully converted and enter service. A 6Z05 17:53 Barton Hill - Barton Hill (booked return 04:14) weed killing MPV move ran via Yatton loop and a reverse at Paignton (booked 23:51-00:06) and return via Westbury
20/04 Evening problems at Maidenhead saw the mainline part closed due to a gas leak caused by a road traffic accident affect some services from the Capital to Bristol and South Wales. Two evening freight reports from Bath, were 66603 on the 6M37 Westbury 'La farge' - Hope (Earles) sidings, cement empties (23:09) and 66124 on the diverted 6C99 21:47 Newport ADJ - St. Blazey (23:10) both being routed via Day's curve.
21/04 The MPV weed killer 98908 + 98958 worked 6Z05 13:53 Barton Hill - Exeter, out and back via Exeter.
22/04 HST power cars 43142 + 43025 ran 0Z30 09:10 St. Phillips Marsh - Swindon (via Parkway and Badminton) 'back to back' for a naming ceremony in platform 1. The name 'The Royal British Legion' was unveiled on 43025, prior to a 0Z31 11:48 return to St. Phillips Marsh, being noted passing Lawrence Hill at 12:38. 43025 once carried the name 'City of Westminster'. The MPV was again in action being booked as 6Z05 17:58 Barton Hill - Barton Hill via a reverse at Taunton and a 01:12 return off Newbury.
24/04 66004 worked the morning 6M60 Exeter - Bescot freight. 47786 + 47787 top n'tailed the Green Express charter's 'Devonian' (1Z10 05:25 Leeds - Paignton and 1Z11 16:33 return), noted Parsons street at 11:14 (20 late), with the latter loco reported as a failure at Water Orton, 47580 again returning to the area as a 0Z78 Tyseley - Paignton (Goodrington C.S.) rescue loco via Oxford, Swindon and Westbury. The 1Z11 returned headed by 47580 + 47786 with 47786 attached to the rear, departing platform 7 in Temple Meads at 18:34 (right time). Later, the 5U89 14:02 (SO) Taunton - Cardiff Canton GBRf maintenance move was top n'tailed by 57309 + 57302 through Yatton at 14:28 -5 early (and Pilning at 14:58) and 66602 + 66599 + 66951 + 66527 passed Lawrence Hill at 19:07 as a light-engine move for Westbury. With the evening track replacement worksite reported as at Eckington, the following associated FLHH engineers trains were reported: 6Y34 18:18 Taunton Fairwater - Ashchurch (concrete sleepers) with 66528 (reported Temple Meads at 19:03-26 early), 6Y11 20:42 Taunton Fairwater - Abbotswood junction top n'tailed with 66606 + 66616 and 6Y33 20:02 Taunton Fairwater yard - Cheltenham Alstone level crossing with 66560 (reported Temple Meads at 21:43 - 8 late). A 6Y28 20:26 Westbury Up yard - Taunton Fairwater move was also booked through the area (hauling power being unknown), but DBS 66040 was confirmed as on a 6W30 Westbury - Bedminster evening engineers working.
25/04 The return 5C04 GBRf 'maintenance' move from Cardiff Canton - Taunton was top n'tailed by 57302 + 57309.
26/04 66616 was on the 6C73 13:12 Westbury - Taunton Fairwater, diverted via Bristol Temple Meads (noted at 16:21-144 late!). Later, a 6Y11 18:58 Taunton Fairwater - Berkeley Road junction HOBC working (with 66601 + 66616) departed 10 late, being later noted stopped at Bedminster at 21:45.
27/04 66601 + 66616 top n'tailed a evening 6Y11 HOBC working through Temple Meads bound for the Gloucester area. Also, a 4Z08 Derby RTC - Swindon test train, with 31602 passed Parkway at 19:26 towards Temple Meads (with the driving van leading), being then recorded passing Bath at 20:35 (31 late). The working then returned as 4Z18 21:05 Swindon - Temple Meads for stabling. Also, 66091 was reported on the 6C99 21:47 (TO) Newport ADJ - St. Blazey freight through Bridgwater at 22:52 (48 early).
28/04 The 1A12 07:40 Paignton - Paddington First/GW HST service (with power cars 43168 + 43087) was reported as containing two micro buffet coaches in it's formation (OC47); 40104 and 40118. An evening 6Y11 18:56 Taunton Fairwater - Berkeley Road junction HOBC move was top n'tailed by 66601 + 66616. The weed killing MPV was in action again, running as 6Z05 13:40 Barton Hill - Didcot yard (and return to Barton Hill) via Westbury and Exeter.
29/04 66086 worked the 6B57 Cardiff Tidal - Exeter Alphington road scrap metal empties, returning as 6B59 17:18 loaded to Cardiff Tidal being recorded passing Bedminster at 19:56, running around 60 early (booked at Temple Meads from 20:50-20:58). A further evening 6Y11 Taunton Fairwater - Berkeley Road junction departmental engineers was also recorded top n'tailed with 66606 + 66601.
30/04 Both the up and down First/GW sleeper services were confirmed as running via the Bristol area: 57602 with the 1C99 Paddington - Penzance and 57603 on the 1A40 routed via Temple Meads and Didcot. On the final day of the month, the two First/GW loco and coaching stock 'hire' trains were in the hands of 57302+57309 and 67017+67022.

Chard

Hopes of a new station for the South Somerset town (which has had three railway stations over the years: at Chard Town - closed 01/01/17, Chard Central - closed 10/09/62 and Chard junction - closed 07/03/66) have been dealt a blow with the sale of the land at the old Chard junction goods yard site on the Exeter (former LSWR mainline) to a fuel distribution company.

Gloucester

01/04 Having passed Swindon at 09:10, 66004 was noted through the area on a 6X36 Didcot - Ashchurch MoD train of army vehicles.
08/04 67003 was unusually employed on the 6B36 and return 6A36 Ashchurch MoD trip from and to Didcot.
12/04 The return 6B36 Ashchurch - Didcot MoD train with 66055 was routed via Westerleigh junction and Bristol Parkway to Newport ADJ ! (also see Bristol Parkway, Pilning and Westerleigh Notes & News).
15/04 66024 was on the 6B36 Didcot - Ashchurch MoD formed of 5 empty Warwells (reported through Swindon at 08:19).
17/04 A 'Oxford and the Cotswold' excursion (1Z51 06:25 Skegness - Oxford) top n'tailed by 47787 + 47826 ran outwards via Birmingham, Cheltenham and the Stroud valley line being recorded as passing Standish junction at 11:59 (2 early). Earlier, Pathfinder's 'Yorkshire Dalesman' (1Z66 04:54 Swindon -Leeds and 1Z70 15:48 return) was worked by 66154 also via the Stroud Valley line. This trip was of particular interest as it was the debut passenger working for a Class 70, with 70003 handling a 1Z69 12:01 circular return trip from Leeds with 66154 remaining 'dit' on the rear.
24/04 The 'Severn Explorer' (1Z86 07:30 Hastings - Bridgnorth and 1Z87 16:40 return), was routed outward via Swindon and Kemble, and on the return via Worcester and Oxford with Demu set 1001 (formed 60118 Tunbridge Wells + 60501 + 69337 + 70262 + 60529 + 60116 Mountfield). Former Advenza 47237 still remains at Gloucester station.

Newport

02/04 66035 + 66165 + 66082 + 66161 formed a 0F75 Margam - Westbury light-engine move passing Newport at 09:15 and Bath at 10:22.
03/04 66099 (with 66041 'dit') departed Newport during the morning with the Saturday's only 6M60 Exeter - Bescot downside freight service.
07/04 66172 passed at 09:27 on a return 6W55 Haverfordwest - Westbury departmental.
08/04 The NRMT HST set (with power cars 43013 + 43014) passed at 08:10 on 1Z20 Old Oak Common - Derby RTC, via Sawnsea test working. 57315 worked the 1V31 Holyhead - Cardiff Central Arriva XC service.
12/04 60096 ran light-engine from Crewe - Margam, for West Wales fuel tank duties.
17/04 A Saturday's only, afternoon 4V46 Crewe Basford Hall - Wentlooge container service was powered by 66534.
19/04 Having passed Gloucester at 12:08, 60074 + 66207 formed a 0W03 Crewe - Margam light-engine move.
20/04 57310 headed the 1V31 Holyhead - Cardiff Central Arriva XC service.
22/04 First/GW ran 'an additional' HST service (believed linked to an unspecified event) as 04:18 Paddington - Cardiff and 08:15 Cardiff - Paddington, using power cars 43012 + 43190.
23/04 66035 passed Newport at 08:07 on 6Z42 Tyne dock - Cardiff Tidal loaded scrap metal.
26/04 A 6Z42 Acton - Neath Abbey Wharf empty stone passed at 09:19 headed by 66142.
27/04 The 1W91 16:15 Cardiff Central - Holyhead Arriva XC service in the hands of 57310, failed near Newport. 57316 was sent as 1Z99, rescue light-engine from Cardiff, the passengers being eventually de-trained at the station for a following Class 175 operated Arriva service onwards and the ECS then going forward at 21:45. Earlier, in the day, a bridge strike at Newport Maindee had affected several Arriva XC services during the morning period.
28/04 66085 + 66167 top n'tailed a return 6W57 Treorchy - Westbury departmental through Newport at 06:46.

Portbury Branchline

14/04 Problems with 70002 at Portbury, saw 66551 take a late running 6M55 07:00 departure to Rugley P.S. forward, the train passing Parson's street at 11:30 (running around 160 late), eventually being terminated at Stoke Gifford at 13:17, following a loco run-round at Chipping Sodbury.
22/04 An unspecified problem saw the 6X52 17:33 Portbury - Mossend loaded cars (with 66146), held at the dock gate from 17:40 until 23:45!
Locos reported on coal duty during the month have included: 66060/250. 66523/527/560/561/613. 66951. 70002/006.

Westbury

17/04 66002 + 66182 top n'tailed UK Railtour's 'The Dartmoor & Okehampton' (1Z53 07:58 Paddington - Okehampton and 1Z54 17:00 return) via the Berks & Hants and Westbury route. The train also covered part of the recently reopened (for scrap traffic) Alphington road branch whilst in the Exeter area.
21/04 An unusual visitor here was 73107 top n'tailing a test working with 31233 as 1Q10 05:12 Westbury - Eastleigh (via Weymouth, booked 07:18 - 07:33). The return was reported as departing Westbury at 10:18 (8 late) with the Class 73 leading towards Salisbury.
As previously reported, the LaFarge cement works here is to close during June. The factory opened in 1962, has not produced cement since being mothballed in 2009 with the loss of 70 jobs, tyre burning having replaced coal towards the end of the plants production period. The site is however to remain open as a cement road and rail distribution centre for the time being.

Weymouth

22/04 The NRMT HST departed at 17:38 formed with power cars 43062 + 43013.

Following a challenge from Management, the proposed rail-strike announced last month, the first since 1994, was called off on 1st April. Some irregularities were reported with ballot papers, of local interest ones being provided for East Usk signal box which had been destroyed by a fire last year.

Units seen during the month
142001/030.
143603/611/612/617/618/619/620/621.
150121/127/219/233/239/243/244/246/247/249/266/267/278/279/281.
153329/368/369/373/377/380.
158749/763/766/767/769/798/950/951/953*/954*/955/956/957/958/959.
159002/101/102/103/106.
220010/011/012/013/021/029.
221124/125/128/129/132/134/137/141.
950001.
Arriva XC HST power cars: 43301/303/321/357/366/384.
SWT 'First/GW 'hire' units: 158882 (22/04), 158883 (23/04), 158885 (24/04), 158884 (29/04).
Note*: 158953 (52745 + 57250) and 158954 (52760 + 57760) were both recorded as running as two car units during the review period.

Stock Alterations

Locomotives

Transfers
08405 - Mossend Yard, 08417 - Old Dalby, 08480 - Bow, 08605/630 - Cardiff Tidal Sdgs, 08742 - Tinsley Yard, 08752 - Cardiff Tidal Sdgs,
08782 - Fowey, 08879 - Warrington, 08904 - Eastleigh, 08943 - Barrow Hill (HNRL), 08994 - Scunthorpe.
92028/044 - PTXX, 92032/038 - GBRT

Stored
BH: 47841. BS: 08653. CE: 67024/030. 90036. 92013/026.
DY: 08536/697. TO: 08393/482/495/623/921. 60051/085. 67011.
RVEL: 73138.

Traffic
20305. 57011 -KM, 60009 -TO, 67013/016 -CE
37415/428 - Registered BH

Disposals
Sold: 08388/594. 31144 - EMR
For Sale: 08397/418/485/528/538/540/543/577/651/689/872/884/920/953
09003/008/010/012/018/103/104 37426/675/689/709/883/886
56041/053/055/062/072/085/088/093/099/100/102/108/110/111/119/127/129
58002/003/014/016/019/028/045

Diesel Multiple Units

Transfers
180109/110/111/113(XW)-OO

Disposal
Denham: 55530 @ Weardale Railway

New
172001-008/101-104 registered to HQ

Electric Multiple Units

Transfers
313206(WN)-BI
377201/202/203/204/207/208/209/213/215(BI)-SU, 416/429/452/460(SU)-BI

Stored
313117/119 -SL
321407/409/418/419/420 -HE

Traffic
313122 -WN
321401/402/403/404/405/406/408/410 -HE

New
378225-229 -WN

Coaching & NPCC Stock

Transfers
3312/66. 5810/66. 5901/06/19/58/95. 6168. 9467. 9506/25 -BH.
(Pool Code: CDCO)
12014/038/043/053/119 -HOCO
41033/034. 42048/048/050/066. 44016 -LA

Stored
LA: 40724/725/726
LM: 1252/53. 5787. 5815/76. 5941. 6045. 6134/51/54 (CDCS)
40402/403/416/419/434. 82106/110/113/120/138/141/148/150 (HOCS)

Traffic
40103/105/118 -OO

Withdrawn
92193

Disposals
Sold: 84364 -EMY
Embsay: 94338

Renumbered
42084 - 40105, 42316 - 40103, 42338 - 40118

LOCAL FREIGHTLINER WORKINGS

4V50/4O51 Southampton - Wentlooge containers
01/04 66575 06/04 66588. 07/04 66581. 08/04 66540. 09/04 66563.
12/04 66558+66503. 13/04 66517. 14/04 66591. 15/04 66591. 16/04 66570.
19/04 66503. 20/04 66593. 21/04 66564. 22/04 66572. 23/04 66592.
26/04 66558. 27/04* 66564. 28/04 66516. 29/04 66502. 30/04 66565.
Notes: * The service returned as 4Z51 15:40 Wentlooge - Millbrook,
behind 66543 on this date, the loco having run 0Z41 12:38 Millbrook -
Wentlooge light-engine. The working was confirmed as caped on 02/04.

4V60 Calvert - Bristol Barrow road bin liner
06/04 66551. 07/04 66551. 12/04 66551. 16/04 66510. 19/04 66527.
21/04 66951. 23/04 66951. 27/04 66560. 28/04 66599.

6Z69 01:30 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
04/04 66523. 20/04 66527+70006. 21/04 66523+66560. 22/04 66523+66560.
23/04 70006.

6M55 06:45 Portbury - Rugeley P.S. loaded coal
12/04 70002. 13/04 70002. 14/04 66551. 15/04 66551. 16/04 66561.
19/04 66951. 21/04 66951. 22/04 66613.

4Z70 15:25 Rugeley P.S. - Stoke Gifford coal empties
01/04 70003. 06-08/04 66523+66560. 21/04 66523+66560. 22/04 66523+66560.
23/04 70006.
Note: From 22/04, this working became 4V06 08:53 Rugeley P.S. - Stoke Gifford.

6A21 Pengam - Theale loaded stone
06/04 66555. 08/04 66602. 13/04 66510. 20/04 66613. 27/04 66599.

LOCAL DBS WORKINGS

6B13 Robeston - Westerleigh loaded fuel tanks
01/04 59203. 03/04 66053+66140. 06-08/04 66167+66197. 10/04 66122+66133.
12/04 66041+66194. 13/04 60096. 15-17/04 60096. 19/04 66035+66061.
20/04 66035+66061. 21-23/04 60074. 26/04 60074. 27/04 60074. 29/04 60074.
30/04 60074.

6E41 Westerleigh - Lindsey empty fuel tanks
02/04 60051. 03/04 60051. 05/04 60051. 08/04 60051. 10/04 60071.
13/04 60071. 16/04 60071. 17/04 60054. 21/04 60071. 22/04 60039.
23/04 60039. 26/04 60071. 27/04 60071. 29/04 60071.

6B49/6B50 Llanwern - Swindon Stores sidings loaded steel (TFO)
02/04 66099. 06/04 66065. 09/04 66065. 13/06 66006. 16/04 66014.
20/04 66083. 23/04 66018. 27/04 66003. 30/04 66152.

6B33 Theale - Robeston empty fuel tanks
01/04 66140+66161. 03/04 66066. 06/04 66082+66096. 08/04 66096+66138.
13/04 66082. 15/04 66129. 17/04 66035+66061. 20/04 60074.
22/04 66085+66194. 24/04 66137. 27/04 66127. 28/04 60074.

6B83/6A83 Westbury - Machen - West Drayton ARC loaded stone
01/04* 66237. 02/04 59202. 08/04 59203. 12/04 59102. 14/04 59203.
19/04 59203. 21/04 66040. 23/04 59204. 28/04 59002.
Note: * Confirmed as running as 6C83 to Westbury only.

6V62 Eastleigh - Plymouth Tavistock yard fuel tanks (TO)
06/04 66161. 13/04 66005. 20/04 66237. 27/04 66198.

6X52 Portbury - Mossend loaded and empty car carriers
01/04 66173. 06/04 66092. 07/04 66134. 08/04 66101. 09/04 66101.
13/04 66130. 14/04 66209. 15/04 66102. 20/04 66156. 22/04 66146.
27/04 66031. 29/04 66128. 30/04 66128.

6B65 Westbury - Newport ADJ departmental
01/04 66018. 05/04 66152. 13/04 66173. 16/04 66050. 29/04 66085.

6B35 Hayes - Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties
01/04 66031. 06/04 66143. 07/04 66165. 09/04 66165. 14/04 66031.
16/04 66170. 21/04 66132. 23/04 66037. 30/04 66002.

6078 Margam - Dolland's Moor export steel
11/04 66122. 14/04 66082. 21/04 66066. 22/04 66232. 23/04 66129.
25/04 66035. 29/04 66105.

6V78 Dolland's Moor - Margam import steel empties
14/04 66012. 20/04 66066. 26/04 66232. 24/04 66221.

LOCAL DRS WORKINGS

6V74/6M67 Crewe Coal sidings - Bridgwater - Crewe nuclear flasks
07/04 66414+66417. 14/04 37194+37423.

FREIGHT REVIEW

Welcome to the latest review of the freight scene I've cobbled together from my sightings and news received over the last month! Some news to start with - incidentally, concerning your neck of the woods. I've heard from a couple of sources that there is to be a new container terminal at Avonmouth, primarily to handle traffic from North America. Completion is expected to take up to five years. This will mean more traffic for Avonmouth, but at the expense of Southampton? Also news that Bristol West Freightliner Terminal has been reactivated, with new track being laid and unloading equipment being installed. At present there are two trains a week serving here. It is believed to have closed originally in the late 1980's/early 1990's. Some new Austatte vehicles have been noted on traffic to and from this country. Vehicles in question being: 33.68.4909.158/ 342/ 353/ 373/ 379/ 384/ 400/ 401/ 402/ 417/ 457/ 480/ 600/ 709/ 737. I have noticed that some of this type of vehicle has started to appear on the Colas Rail working to and from Hams Hall but, as yet, I have not been able to make any positive identifications. On to my sightings from the last month. Unfortunately only from my usual locations starting with Nuneaton on 10th May. Since Freightliner took over the coal traffic from Daw Mill to Ratcliffe there has been an upturn in workings to four a day. On this particular evening 66508 was noted inbound to Daw Mill with the following rake of empties: 370373/ 028/ 063/ 136/ 200/ 229/ 151/ 100/ 221/ 172/ 173/ 069/ 078/ 330/ 055/ 163/ 118/ 057. This particular evening eleven freight working were noted through Nuneaton, which is about the norm, including 70001 on its usual Ipswich-Lawley Street Freightliner service. (Whilst mentioning the class 70s, 70003 turned up through Leicester on the Crewe-Mountsorrel service on 1st June.) At Leicester on the evening of 13th May, 66731 was noted heading south with unit 378.230 in tow. (The same locomotive was also seen on 9th June with unit 172.002 in tow!) Moving to Nuneaton on the evening of 17th May and a busier night of 13 freight including 66097 on the following engineers' service: 380502/ 606/ 605/ 604/ 402/ 332/ 194/ 193/ 199/ 032. Following this was the first of two Freightliner coal services that particular evening, a train of empties inbound to Daw Mill, hauled by 66553 vehicles being: 370671/ 528/ 562/ 692/ 231/ 186/ 126/ 024/ 324/ 396/ 146/ 159/ 113/ 011/ 315/ 096/ 247/ 217. The second service was a loaded service heading east hauled by 66525 with the following consist: 370589/ 707/ 660/ 677/ 675/ 666/ 609/ 511/ 595/ 664/ 521/ 673/ 621/ 607/ 617/ 553/ 630/ 644/ 718. On to 24th May another reasonably busy evening saw two more the coal workings and another two different rakes of vehicles: 66518 on the following loaded train: 370237/. 409/ 005/ 282/ 333/ 313/ 411/ 138/ 419/ 414/ 352/ 214/ 374/ 184/ 121/ 408/ 410/ 031 and, with a rake of empties, was 66615, wagons on this train being: 370548/ 530/ 685/ 539/ 689/ 555/ 688/ 592/ 611/ 514/ 566/ 590/ 646/ 714/ 573/ 538/ 613/ 525/ 622. The lunchtime Doncaster-Mountsorrel working into Leicester Humberstone Road has been in the hands of 66619 now for a month! They obviously like this locomotive at Doncaster - and it must be reliable! The other different rake of Freightliner coal vehicles to be noted in the last month was at Leicester on 3rd June. In the charge of 66558, the rake was as follows: 370440/ 405/ 022/ 149/ 088/ 131/ 099/ 394/ 381/ 095/ 321/ 114/ 020/ 418/ 426/ 360/ 042/ 337/ 213/ 359. That's about it for this month. Sorry it appears to be a little boring but I'll try and do better next time. All the best.

PRESERVATION & INDUSTRIAL MATTERS

Chocolate Train
A local rail enthusiast has tracked down the original standard gauge shunting loco used at Keynsham Fry's factory - 4w vertical boiler Sentinel (7492/28) which left the site, originally for scrap in 1964. The loco is housed inside a Nissan hut type construction built by it's current owner at a location in Essex and is reported to be in 'reasonable condition' complete with engine. If things go to plan, the loco could be returned to the Avon Valley Railway by August for eventual restoration, with a possible short display period at the Fry's factory. The company is reported to be providing some funding towards the road move from Essex. Sadly, the Fry's factory site is to close this year following transfer of its production overseas.

Road movement
14/04 Ex. GWR steam 5521, M5 south-bound junction 21 (Weston-super-Mare) during the morning.

DEPARTMENTALS & TRACK MACHINES

01/04 DR77903 + DR73115 Worle junction (Weston-super-Mare) northbound 12:13.
03/04 DR75406 Newton Abbot Hackney yard.
04/04 Quattro-Rail r/r excavators: 461 (940316-1). 472 Charfield (downside).
b DR77905 + DR73114 running as 6U13 11:01 Taunton Fairwater - Gloucester yard.
11/04 DR73114/115/903/905 (with an unidentified stoneblower) Gloucester Horton Road sdgs.
30/04 73910 running as 6J73 09:24 Cardiff Taff Vale sdgs - Swindon.