Slick working, not oil slicks I hope!! Note the short time between the arrival of the full tanks at Long Rock and the departure of the empty tanks.
This mornings picture. A view of the oil empties 6C11 returning east from Long Rock seen here at Brea behind 66066. Many thanks to you Craig
D0280 Falcon at Exeter on 23/5/69. I don't know if there are any other occasions when Falcon was recorded visiting Exeter – it is seen here returning from Paignton (someone will recognise the exact head code!). I have never seen pictures of Falcon in the West, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Anybody know please? See Reply below.
We are very grateful to Roger Geach for passing on the following information received from Sean Greenslade of Exeter who has kindly provided this information He has 1e50 as a Paignton to Sheffield relief service passing Exeter around 1500 on that day. He thinks, but cannot confirm, the loco worked down Empty Coaching Stock from Malgo Vale Bristol to Paignton that morning.Two other confirmed workings were 1z17 0900 Bristol to Paignton additional special and return 1805 Paignton to Bristol on Wed /Thursday 3 and 4 September 1969 . This was the last week of the school holidays and 1z17 ran from the last week of July until the end of the first week of September normally with a western. Thus three workings where D0280 was seen at Exeter and along the sea wall. Maybe there are others. Many thanks to Roger and Sean.
23 March - Branch Line Society dmu (150/1) tour of the south west to include Cattewater and Heathfield goods lines as well as many loops at stations etc. You can join at Bristol TM or Exeter St Davids.
See http://www.branchline.org.uk/gw_tracker.pdf for full details and booking form.
Roger Geach, a Cornish Exile living in Retford sends me many fine pictures as can be seen on this website. Yesterday he wrote :- "Yesterday, 66156 passing Retford with the West Burton Immingham empties via Worksop where they run round. 66156 spent a number of months in Cornwall on the Fowey Clay Circuits last year, here you can see the loco has escaped from the far west!!"
Also in his post is a rare shot of 33065 coming into Plymouth with 08985 in the background. The date of this picture is 27Mar84. Many thanks for both of these Roger.
In case nobody else has yet noticed, may I draw your attention to a new section of the FGW web site detailing work taking place at Reading. You might like to put the following link on to the CRS web site: http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/Your-journey/Rail-improvements/Reading-station-improvements
NOTE Just click on the above link and you'll be there.
On that page will be found three 15-minute videos showing (I think) twelve months (filmed in time-lapse) work on rebuilding the station.
Video 1 is at the west end showing construction of the new depot which will replace the existing "triangle" depot, initially for the Thames Turbo fleet but later for the electric outer-suburban trains.
Video 2 shows activity on the north side of the station from the demolition of the signal box through to completion of the new buildings and access deck plus the construction of the new island platforms, now complete with track.
Video 3 is on the south side showing construction of the new station entrance and works to replace the bus and taxi area.
These three films are a fascinating insight into the tremendous scale of the work. The finishing point of all three is just a few days ago (the January snow being a clear marker).
Also on the web page are full details, including timetables, of the 2013 Easter blockade at Reading. Notable features are (as at Christmas 2011) diversion of Bristol and S Wales trains via Oxford and Banbury (reverse) and to Paddington via High Wycombe and diversion of West-of-England services to Waterloo (usually via Westbury and Salisbury). With the three new Reading "southern" platforms already in place, an enhanced service will be provided throughout by SW Trains to Waterloo and a service will also be maintained from the western-end bay platforms to Basingstoke, Bedwyn and Westbury. Special arrangements for the sleeper train are also given: it will be replaced by an HST running to and from Waterloo on a number of nights.
Fascinating stuff. Many thanks for that Derek - we're all the wiser.
Today Craig has been out in very changeable weather conditions in an attempt to record the 1Z47 Cement train from Westbury to Moorswater.
As can be seen the sun was perfect for the up service - the 09.40 !S47 Cross Country Penzance to Manchester Picadilly service - however it was decidely cloudy for the cement. Well worth two broadside shots as it crossed Forder viaduct. History in the making.
This February will see steam on our preserved railways during the half term week. The Bodmin and Wenford Railway will be running steam services from 17th to 22nd inclusive, and the South Devon Railway is running a branch line gala from 16th to 24th inclusive with the steam railmotor and the 1369 pannier tank (of Wenford Bridge fame) at weekends and auto trains using 1450 and 5542 on all days during the gala. Not to be outdone, the Paignton and Kingswear line is now starting its season with steam on 16th February and runs to the end of that month (not 25th) and beyond although not every day in March. So why not dispel those winter blues!
The Lappa Valley Railway opens on 27th March, and the Plym Valley line is running on 31st March; another chance to ride to Plym Bridge Halt.
Only requested a few days ago Craig has very kindly supplied these pictures of the inside of Liskeard signalbox. As common with all other signalboxes kept in pristine condition. Many thanks Craig.
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