The sun came out, so I popped out to Silverton see the 5Z50 0855 Exeter TMD to Wolverton Centre Sidings. I set my camera up and then down came the rain. 150202 went away for a C7 overhaul on 19th February 2022 and after two false starts it finally returned to Exeter on 2nd August 2023. When the 5Z50 appeared( and it was raining) I was surprised to see 150202 heading back to Wolverton without turning a wheel in revenue service.
Walking back to my car I heard a horn sound and was then surprised to see 150207 following in 150202 tracks. This was the 0902 Exeter TMD to St Philips Marsh HSTD. This working had appeared suddenly on RealTime Trains.
Later I read that GWR were not satisfied with the work undertaken on 150202.
With very few HST's I wonder if St Philips Marsh should be renamed?
Michael L. Roach
We arrived at Bournemouth West at 6.08pm on Saturday 30 June 1962 on the Pines Express exactly on time; and departed again forty minutes later. We saw a good range of steam engines before leaving on the 6.48pm to Templecombe. Our train of four coaches was hauled by a BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0. I must have been getting tired because the details of the trip were not recorded except for the most interesting part, which was passing a Great Western designed Modified Hall number 7910 “Hown Hall” of Southall Shed which could have arrived at Poole on a train from Bradford.
After arriving back at Templecombe at 8.10pm I bade farewell to my friend and set out on the 100 mile drive home to Plymouth which would have taken me about three hours on the roads of the day, so probably arriving home around 11.15pm after a long and enjoyable day. Google maps tells me that the drive now takes about two hours. As I was writing this I came across a record of another occasion when I caught the 6.48pm from Bournemouth to Templecombe some three years later on 12 June 1965. This time there was no car waiting and it was train the whole way. First a 3-car dmu to Yeovil Junction, then a Warship hauled express to Exeter; finishing with another Warship from Exeter to Plymouth via Newton Abbot. Arrival at Plymouth was at 12.50am. It would have been around 1.05am when I arrived home on foot.
In order to construct the Bath Extension it was necessary for the railway to cross the Mendip Hills at Masbury between Binegar and Shepton Mallet at an elevation of 811 feet (247 metres). Bearing in mind that the railway at Bath was at just 70 feet (21 metres) above sea level trains faced a formidable climb to reach the summit. The engineer did well to keep the maximum gradient to 1 in 50. Masbury was the highest elevation of any standard guage railway for many miles in any direction. To the north one would have to travel to the north of Tissington in the Peak District to reach the same elevation; to the southwest beyond Okehampton at Meldon. To the east and south it is believed that no railways reach an elevation of 800 feet. It was this northern part of the S and D that gave the line real individuality and interest.
There were numerous joint railways in Britain but the Somerset and Dorset was one of the best known and best loved and survived longer than most. This weekend was a very good introduction to the Somerset and Dorset Line which was still busy at the time and still one hundred percent steam-worked. I would return to the line several times over the next three and a half years with every later visit being by train, so the visit to Masbury would turn out to be the only visit to the lineside away from stations. My next visit to the line would be 15 months later when I had my one and only trip behind a 9F ever. As I was writing this series for the Cornwall Railway Society website a new book about the Somerset & Dorset was starting to be advertised; the latest in a very long line of books on the subject. I have not seen the book but feel that this could turn out to be the most definitive book on the line yet, judging by the other books I have by the same publisher. The book is a limited edition of 1500 published by the Lightmoor Press titled “A Pictorial Atlas of the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway.” 468 pages in two volumes supplied in a slip case costing £90. ISBN 9781915069252
MLR / 14 July 2023
Another regret is that my camera failed at Bath Green Park on that day - all I have is a grotty image of 48760 sitting at the front of the 08.15 train that day - I hope that care of your pictures to see 48760 once more.
Photos are taken at Charlie’s Gate and quarry curve and are of the 15:45 round trip to Bodmin Parkway/Road (delete as appropriate!).
Hope they are of interest, all the best, Jon
Please find attached some photos taken by myself yesterday (Saturday 5th August 2023) at the Grand Re-opening Event at the Tarka Valley Railway. This event was marking the return of passenger services to Torrington station for 40 years since it was closed by BR. The Tarka Valley Railway have been relaying part of the route at Torrington, and are heading in the direction of Bideford, with a running line of around 300 yards long at present. The historic 11:00 departure was ran using recently preserved former Great Western Railway Class 143 'Pacer' 143617 'Rod Garner' with a good number of passengers travelling on this train. The event also had two special guests attend the event, the traincrew who had worked the last train to depart from Torrington, 'The Last Atlantic Coast Express' tour on the 6th November 1982. Retired former Exeter driver, Fred Cole, and Exeter guard Graham Braund were invited to help with the historic departure, and also posing for photos and even having interviews for the local BBC Spotlight Television News. Alongside the Passenger trains, demonstration freight trains were ran using the railways Ruston and Hornsby shunter 'Torrington Cavalier'. The event was a success with plenty of people attending and riding the trains, with plenty of money being raised from various stalls and the station shop, and there was plenty of positivity around the site in extending the line further towards Bideford in the future.
The first photo shows 143617 arriving into Torrington Station.
The second photo shows 143617 alongside the Exeter traincrew from the last train to leave Torrington in 1982, guard Graham Braund and driver Fred Cole.
Keep up the great work with the website
For info....very best wishes Andrew and Diane
My picture shows the construction of the ‘Tren Maya’ (Mayan Train Project), an intercity rail line 948 miles in length from Palenque (in Chiapas State bordering Guatemala) towards Cancún and will encircle the Yucatán Peninsula. Construction started in June 2020 and is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
I wonder if this is where our former HSTs will be working?
Best wishes, Trevor Tremethick.
1) 33025 & 33029 heading up the 1 in 75 gradient through Dilton Marsh with 11 coaches and loco 47813 in tow with the 5Z24 1020 Burton on Trent (Wetmore Sidings) - Salisbury empty coaching stock. This was for Sunday 6th's Pathfinder Tours day trip to Pembroke Dock and Tenby. The working was diverted from Reading at very short notice to run via Newbury / Westbury due to reports of a possible landslip near Andover. The locos were working well, with 33025's route indicator blinds set at 89 - as used in the 1980s on Portsmouth- Bristol-Cardiff services. 2 photos
2) The two 33s at Westbury station at 0835am, Sunday 6th August, picking up passengers on the 1Z25 0758 Salisbury - Tenby 'Pembroke Coast Express'. These 'Cromptons' are now over 60 years old and appear to be in remarkable condition for their age, a real credit to the dedicated team that maintain them. 2 photos
3) A last minute grab photo taken at dusk on 5th. Following stormy weather conditions in Devon and Cornwall during the day two Paddington-bound services (1A90 & 1A94) were heavily delayed and got diverted into Westbury to allow passengers to make connections. At the same time an early 6X37 1834 Fairwater - Lavington (via a reversal at Theale) was being held on the Westbury avoiding line approaching Heywood Road Jcn to prevent any further delay to 1A90 and 1A94. This led to the 1Z28 1635 Kingswear - Northampton return Saphos charter, hauled by 40013 and running around 10 minutes late, being sent via the station rather than the avoiding line. I somehow managed to overlook the HOBC's presence and only realised when checking the Open Train Times map and seeing 1Z28's route was now set towards Westbury station from Fairwood Jn! A very swift relocation from Penleigh Park foot crossing to the station resulted in a hurried 'point, shoot and hope for the best' situation as D213 approached platform 3 and passed through non-stop. 1 photo
Time for a break from trains for a few days I think!
Regards, Guy Vincent.