Extra Cross Country Wkg.
This morning (17th) an unscheduled VSTP path was inserted into the day's train plan. This was for a 5Z43 0923 Neville Hill (Leeds) - Laira empty stock movement consisting of: 43366 'HST 40', set XC03 (41194 45001 42038 42053 42052 42380 44072) & 43303. However, due to late running of the 1V52 0935 York - Plymouth (220008), 5Z43 was put into passenger service from Birmingham New Street as 1Z52 1212 BHM - Plymouth. Despite the heavy rain and very poor light I decided this working had to be recorded so here are two photos taken from the footbridge at Bradford on Avon station at 1427hrs. Ten minutes later the rain reduced to light drizzle. I believe that on arrival at Plymouth the HST set was due to run empty to Laira to be retired from service.
It is hard to believe it was 41 years ago this month that HSTs took over most workings on the NE-SW corridor, a subject previously covered by CRS on this site (branded as 'Heart Line'). This in turn displaced many class 45 / 46 'Peaks' from class 1 duties, with relegation to freight and parcels duties, or withdrawal. For many years the HSTs were largely ignored and often avoided by many enthusiasts (myself included!) in preference to 'proper' trains hauled by a locomotive. This gradually changed with the loss of traditional loco and coaches formations and the eventual near-domination of passenger services by modern multiple units. The HSTs were arguably the finest trains ever used on British Railways and the fact they have lasted as long as they have is proof of this. Indeed, were it not for outside interference the industry would probably have carried on using them for several more years. Somehow I doubt the class 220 & 221 Voyagers will be as fondly remembered when their turn for withdrawal comes around. Time, as they say, will tell.
Regards, Guy Vincent.
Martin J. Duff.
Exeter St Thomas
Regards, Clive Smith.
Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway
26th Sept 2023 marks the 200th anniversary of the official opening of the Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway.
My brother and I cycled the route of this fascinating horse-drawn tramway in July and I am finishing a report with photos. I would welcome the opportunity for you to publish this on your website for the interest of your readers.
Please find attached a view of "Tyrwhitt's Wharf" the surviving stables at Clearbrook, which you are welcome to publish as a taster. (copywrite Ed Hooper).
I should be able to email you the report by 23rd September for publishing on the 26th. Let me know if you have a preferred resolution for photos on your website. I have around 50 photos to tell the story which I have currently embedded in a word file at 150ppi. I'm guessing it could go as a special features article.
Let me know if of interest.
Many thanks, Ed Hooper