Exeter St Thomas
Photo (1) 800307 with the 0903 Paddington to Plymouth.
Photo (2) 800023 with the 0955 Bristol Temple Meads to Plymouth.
Photo (3) 46100 ‘Royal Scot’ with the 0539 Bedford to Kingswear with 47593 on the rear. 46100 was standing in for 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ which had encountered issues earlier in the week at Shrewsbury.
The Castle class fleet reduction continues with the following power cars recently removed from service:
43040 & 43097 last day in traffic 29th August.
43172 last reported workings took place on 14th August.
43192 and 43194 last reported workings took place on 24th August.
43097 and 43194 are believed to be having their power units exchanged, 43192 is believed to be surrendering its power equipment to 43186.
I have recently learned that 43010 and 43016 are due for storage during September and 43042 and 43094 are to be placed on restricted duties to save mileage. 43093 has been in similar status since June although repairs are underway. 43004, stored for some time now, is also understood to be under repair. This is the oldest PC at Laira (built in late 1975) and was originally part of HST set 253002 when it entered service at Bristol St Philips Marsh in September 1976.
The big question now hanging over the 'Castle' fleet is: How many more will be making the trip to Mexico? Obviously those that go need to be in good mechanical order so once stopped at Laira it remains to be seen if any will return to use in the west country or be sent for export.
The photo by Michael Forward of the two class 33s published yesterday is a mystery as the station is definitely not Westbury although there are minor similarities. Notice the dead-end line to the left of the train with buffer stop at the other end and the sharp left-hand bend at the far end. There is no third rail present so this rules out most of the old Southern Region. The Bournemouth-Weymouth electrification was completed in 1988 with the South Hants (Eastleigh & St Denys - Portcreek & Farlington Jcns) scheme following in 1990 but I cannot place this location. Fareham can be ruled out as the bay platform is on the opposite side of the island. Can anyone help please?
Regards Guy Vincent.