Merseyside, Chester & North Wales Branch

Railtour to Bath, Dorchester or Weymouth - 20th April 2013

Starting out from Hooton, the train called at Bache, Wrexham General, Gobowen and Shrewsbury. 67029 Royal Diamond was the motive power for both outward and return journeys and its performance matched its immaculate presentation (which may have been a consequence of it having worked a DB Schenker Managers' special two days earlier). Punctual running was the order of the day throughout and the gloriously sunny weather added to a very enjoyable trip.

   67029 during its final pick-up stop, at Shrewsbury, on a Hooton - Weymouth charter. 20th April 2013   Gordon Davies

Our ultimate destination was Weymouth although passengers could alternatively alight at Bath or Dorchester West. For most of the 15 members who participated, the highlight was the traversal of the line between Castle Cary & Dorchester. This single track line has loops at Yeovil Pen Mill & Maiden Newton (the erstwhile junction for Bridport) and we crossed a class 158 at one of these 2 stations in each direction.

   67029 passes through Yeovil Pen Mill with the return charter from Weymouth to Hooton on 20th April 2013   Geoff Morris
   158959 departs Maiden Newton with the 14:25 Bristol - Weymouth on 20th April 2013   Geoff Morris

A couple of members alighted at Dorchester West, having visited Weymouth (behind a Deltic) only a few months previously. The remainder continued through to Weymouth where they went their separate ways. Here 67029 had to reverse the empty stock out of the station in order to run around. Services to Waterloo were in the hands of class 444 Desiro units.

   67029 reverses the empty stock of the charter from Hooton out of Weymouth station to enable the loco to run around. 20th April 2013   Geoff Morris
   67029 reverses the empty stock of the charter from Hooton out of Weymouth station while 444023 waits on a Waterloo service. 20th April 2013   Geoff Morris

Some members spent part of their time in Weymouth investigating the mothballed Tramway that served the Harbour station. The Harbour station is generally intact as it is still used by ferries to the Channel Islands. The Tramway is apparently in very good condition throughout its length apart from the initial section after the junction with the main Network where it now runs between a couple of modern retail outlets, but is not shared with the road, and is consequently very overgrown. The adjacent signal that controls the exit from the Tramway to the main network remains illuminated !

   The exit signal from the Harbour branch outside Weymouth station remains illuminated. 20th April 2013   Geoff Morris
   The view from the overbridge on the Weymouth Harbour Tramway. 20th April 2013   Geoff Morris

   Although the line has been mothballed for many years, the track and terminal at Weymouth Harbour remain in good order. 20th April 2013   Geoff Morris

As can be seen frpom the photos, an afternoon of virtually unbroken sunshine was enjoyed before the return via exactly the same route.

last updated: 13/05/13