See Features Mid May to Dec 2017.
Despite the weather I decided to venture out and obtain a picture of this train. The picture shows it passing Lostwithiel at 13:20 hrs today.
Mike Bojko Many thanks Mike
Despite terrible weather I manged to photograph today's test train as it ran through Truro
977969 Staff Coach (former Royal Saloon 2906)
977997 Radio Survey Test Vehicle
72631 Brake Force Runner
975091 Overhead Line Inspection (Formerly named (Mentor)
Best regards, Roger
Many thanks Roger - mucky day to be sure.
30 down to 13!
I caught the down sleepers the other morning running into Liskeard across the viaduct with a hint of sunshine, the weather unpredictable even last week.
Then I received news around the same time that this month's NMT was due to be loco hauled due to the non availability of the usual HST. The colourful pairing of 67023 & 027 did little to brighten the gloom on 30th June, but a record of the first run was taken for posterity. The train is seen at Truro & Hayle viaduct on return.
What a week traction wise with 50008 making it to Okehampton & West Coast class 57s working down west too.
I hope to capture the Monday morning ECS class 57 return at Penzance. It resides at Slopers siding all weekend.
All the best for now, Craig. Many thanks Craig
Colin Burges on bike.
Many thanks for your very interesting report Colin
Brewham Road was closed to traffic and this was blissful for a lone cyclist. When I reached the blockade it was contractors working on a railway bridge and they let me through.
Sheephouse Crossing is marked by a piece of bridge rail which would once have carried a trespass notice. The fence straining posts are still in the brambles.
Just along from the former crossing, Bruton Station can be seen, as well as the severe curve on what was never originally intended to be a main line to the west.
The railway crosses the Brue twice more between Bruton and Cary; the S. & D. crossed it on Cole Viaduct. The river passes under Highbridge Station and issues at Burnham-on-Sea.
After lunch in the market square at Frome, I set off down Clink Road. Coalway Lane Bridge, now overgrown and carrying only a footpath looked interesting and as I approached it I could hear the characteristic whistling of a Class 66. This was waiting for the road through the single line junction at the head of a train of empties. Soon a loaded train emerged from the junction and accelerated rapidly away towards Westbury.
While looking at six empty spaces in the van, the guard informed me that he had been instructed to refuse cycles that had not been booked; this is of course to prepare us for the new trains which have fewer spaces in more than one place.
After this policy was brought in last summer, I dutifully booked on every train, on one occasion picking up nine tickets for three trains. Some clerks seemed to take ages making the reservations; some didn't seem able. I tried not to get in the way of revenue custom so often I had to stand back from the queue. Yet not once did it make any difference; every guard I asked said he would not enforce the rule. Yesterday I judged from experience whether booking would be necessary; I have sometimes booked the return on the day. Mine was the only cycle from St. David's and Westbury. I have noticed that the policy has suppressed demand, which is what the operator clearly wanted.
The HSTs were the last trains to be built with van space: the power cars, if you remember, originally had a cage for mails and parcels. Apart from a brief experiment providing two cycle spaces when the TGS was not platformed, this two-ton carrying capacity at each end of the train has run around empty for over three decades, over which time white vans have proliferated and the traffic that might have been carried has burgeoned.
This summer looks like being the last in which I will enjoy what's left of the old railway, flinging my bike in the van and leaning out of the window to enjoy the best air conditioning there is - now there's a thought!!
Drivers know the road, but how many have stood on every bridge and followed the roads and paths closest to the railway all the way between Westbury and Penzance?
With best wishes, Colin
We are most grateful to you Colin for your report - no wonder you are so fit!