Regards, Matthew Addelsee.
Many thanks Matthew - welcome to a new contributor.
from the Westbury area
Good evening Keith,
Bringing some colour to an otherwise grim Wiltshire this morning 66749 came across to Westbury from Eastleigh to work the 'as required' 6M40 1156 Westbury-Stud Farm ballast empties. This was the last of the 5 European imported GB 66's to appear on this working, all (66747-66751) having now covered at least one run. Having seen it at Westbury I went on to Melksham and caught 66749 passing through the sadly depleted remains of the 1847-built GWR station there as it headed eastwards towards Thingley Jctn and the GW Bristol-Paddington main line.
Also at Westbury were no less than seven Colas class 70s including 70801 with the RILA test equipment attached to its leading end. Seeing the modern type 5's lined up reminded me of 40 years ago when I first started visiting Westbury. Then, it was often possible to see similar lines of class 52 'Western' diesel hydraulics in their final months of traffic resting between Mendip stone traffic duties. I know which locos I would rather be observing!
I have included a shot each of 66747 (09.02.2016) and 66748 (30.09.2015) when they were in the area and prior to repainting in GBRf livery. Lastly, one of 66748 at Bristol Temple Meads on 2nd Nov. with the empty Portbury-Hexthorpe Biomass working. This loco has been repainted and named 'West Burton 50'.
Please pass on my compliments to John Cornelius for his excellent 'Western' images posted up recently. All absolute gems and he was so lucky to have been working in the right places at the right time and able to capture such interesting photos. Alas all memories now.
Guy Vincent Many thanks for this most interesting report Guy.