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Hastings Dave Markwick Memorial Tour

Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:12 pm
by mikegayton
Hastings Diesels Dave Markwick Memorial Tour
On Saturday 6th April Bob and I were waiting to join this railtour at Charing Cross when there was a rather garbled announcement that the train was in difficulty at London Bridge and we were to get there by its planned departure at 10.30. Luckily there was a train waiting to go and the girl at the barrier knew enough about it to allow all those waiting to go through very quickly. Even luckier, we found that when we got to London Bridge it was a cross platform innterchange into the Hastings Unit, so all was well and we got away very soon.
Outwards via Sidcup towards Grain where it was quite bleak, with no vessels docked, but once into the sidings area the picture was totally different with VTG owned bogie tankers, looking new, but very likely just well maintained. They are used for Heathrow aviation fuel to Colnbrook – not sure if there are other destinations – does anyone know, and is it separately shipped into Grain?
On the return journey the Brett branch at Cliffe was noted, obviously still in use, but nothing visible.
At Hoo Junction there was a collection of disused waggons in addition to the usual pw inhabitants, with several locos. Angerstein Wharf was reached via Slade Green. We went into the western siding from which we could see very little.
Return was via Slade Green, Erith Loop and Lewisham, and we actually arrived at Charing Cross on time! It is believed the morning problem was that at the time platforms 1 and 2 were not free and they are the only ones capable of accommodating the Hastings unit outside of the overall roof.
The tour was Hastings to Hastings, but many were just visiting London, leaving the likes of us to enjoy a very good trip, whilst consuming Hastings’ excellent basic food and drink at even more basic prices.