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Re: Railtour Report

Postby mikegayton » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:39 pm

The Thames Trumper
On Saturday 27th January 2018 I joined the “Thames Trumper” with Bob and Ken at Paddington for an on time 8.06 departure behind 59204 with 66122 tailing and the on time stayed with us more or less all day.
The first target was the Colnbrook branch which appears to be busy again with aggregate traffic. We did not get to the fuel depot which is presumably not in use, but time on the branch was used well by approaching the limit with two intermediate stops, so that we were not just stopped at a single terminal view.
On returning to West Drayton we continued on up the main line to Southall and onto the Brentford Branch at the beginning of which a parked 66103 on a train of rubbish containers was observed. Not much to be seen at Brentford, but apparently the branch is quite busy.
Next on to Reading where the Night Riviera stock was parked with 57602 Restormel Castle and 57603 Tintagel Castle, although 57306 was also in the area. Presumably this is a result of all the work being carried out at Old Oak Common.
Then on via the Didcot avoider to Appleford, which has lost the flyash traffic from Didcot Power Station, the locally dug materials and the rubbish to fill the pits, but does get stone in for local distribution. There were also many cement tanker containers, so perhaps there is some traffic with these. Does anyone know?
Next back to Didcot and slightly west to a fair way along Milton Siding, which is between the main line and the Power Station. The line led to a distribution warehouse which I am not sure if it ever saw much use. A reversal here an on to Hinksey Yard to reverse and on through Kennington Junction to the Cowley Branch.
The last time here the train stood outside the BMW gate but this time we carried on in stages (as at Colnbrook) through the factory yard, coming to a final halt near the end of the line. Obviously as well as the interesting buildings there were minis all around, many already stowed in their double deck trains for transport out.
We then reversed and made for Oxford Parkway, Bicester South Junction, Princes Risborough (where there were many items of Chinnor stock), Greenford, West Ealing and Paddington.
An excellent day out.
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Re: Railtour Report

Postby pdeaves » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:46 pm

mikegayton wrote:Presumably this is a result of all the work being carried out at Old Oak Common.


It's not so much 'work' at Old Oak Common. The depot is being decommissioned ready to demolish it. The London end sleeper work is permanently at Reading now, but not the heaviest work. That is permanently at Penzance (Cornwall council and others paid to upgrade the depot).
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Re: Railtour Report

Postby Ian Prince » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:57 am

Presume this was the UK Railtours trip?

Think Appleford still has a couple of 'run as required' listed as class 59 jobs from Whatley? There may be flyash from elsewhere too.
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Re: Railtour Report

Postby mikegayton » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:47 am

Good to see the updates, thank you both.
One thing that I seem to have got wrong is my remark on the fuel terminal at Colnbrook which is shown as disused on some maps, but from photographs it appears that there is a regular service from Lindsey
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Re: Railtour Report

Postby mikegayton » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:28 pm

[size=150]The West Norfolk Wanderer
On Saturday 21st April, Bob, Ken and joined The West Norfolk Wanderer at Bromley South. Whilst waiting for the Hastings Unit we were surprised by a freight roaring through in the up direction. It was headed by 66762 with a 92 (not sure whether this was under power). Everything was painted as UNIT 45(? not sure of the number). It was a long train and all was immaculate and looked really good. Presumably this came through the tunnel. Is it a regular working?
The Hastings unit was in regular formation, with 60116 and 60118 as the power cars. Departure was very near the booked time of 08.12. The route was via Kensington Olympia, Willesden Junction High Level, Crouch Hill and Alexandra Palace and then through Bowes Park on the Hertford Loop rejoining the main line before Stevenage.
At Hitchin we took the flyover and had no idea of the amount of new route there was before the original Cambridge line was joined. Then from Cambridge it was Ely and onto mostly single track to King’s Lynn where there was a three hour break. We used this for our usual fish and chips, and a walk along the riverside, and a view of the ferry. Also compared the very limited amount of track in situ around King’s Lynn compared with that in the 1988 track diagram. Back at the station for a coffee in the vintage buffet where there are photos of earlier days there, and even the gents loo has railway scenes all over the walls.
Next it was Middleton Towers, but only to the station platform.
Back to King’s Lynn sidings and on to Hitchin but stay on the main line to Copenhagen Junction, then Camden Road, Willesden Junction High Level and Factory Junction, from where we joined the low level line through Herne Hill to Beckenham Junction (much shorter than the booked route via Catford) and proceeded to Bromley South, arriving a quarter of an hour early and allowing us to get the train before we expected.
Obviously we saw a lot of new rolling stock, with redundant class 317 and 365 units parked in every available siding, mostly well adorned with extra paintwork.
Another excellent day out, with information from many others giving us a picture of the current situation and history of the area traversed.
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Re: Railtour Report

Postby MisterC » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:17 am

mikegayton wrote:[size=150]The West Norfolk Wanderer
On Saturday 21st April, Bob, Ken and joined The West Norfolk Wanderer at Bromley South.

At Hitchin we took the flyover and had no idea of the amount of new route there was before the original Cambridge line was joined. Then from Cambridge it was Ely and onto mostly single track to King’s Lynn where there was a three hour break.
Obviously we saw a lot of new rolling stock, with redundant class 317 and 365 units parked in every available siding, mostly well adorned with extra paintwork.
Another excellent day out, with information from many others giving us a picture of the current situation and history of the area traversed.


A few points on this from a local's perspective.

The Hitchin flyover line is more than a mile long and adds 52 chains to the journey compared to the original route.

North of Ely the single track sections are Littleport to Downham Market and Watlington to Kings Lynn, about two-thirds of the route. However, the main constraint preventing a more extensive service is the single lead onto the Fen Line at Ely North Junction.

One thing you did not mention is the fine collection of signal boxes on the Fen Line, including Magdalen Road (although the station was renamed to Watlington the box was not) which is of Great Central Railway design.

There are 8 class 365s stored at Ely North Junction bit no redundant class 317s, apart from the demonstrator 317722 which I think is at Ilford. Lots of GA class 317s are spare at Cambridge at the weekend, plus one at Kings Lynn.

Finally, here's my pic of the train at Shepreth Branch Junction:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrc31176/39797367120/

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Re: Railtour Report

Postby mikegayton » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:40 pm

MisterC, your local input post is much appreciated.
Are the 317s getting a bit scruffy, or was I completely mistaken?
On my first visit to the area King’s Lynn was still very active and I was able to take the train to Hunstanton.
Sorry about ignoring the signal boxes, but they were being observed as well as could be as we passed by one of my companions.
Good to see the Shrepweth photo.
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