17th February 2001
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Dartmoor Warbler
1Z36 : Finsbury Park to Meldon Quarry
1Z37 : Meldon Quarry to Finsbury Park
|66147||Finsbury Park - Camden Road - West Hampstead - Acton Wells Jn - Slough - Reading - Newbury - Westbury - Taunton - Exeter St.Davids - Crediton - Okehampton - Meldon Quarry|
|66147||Meldon Quarry - (reverse of outward route) - Finsbury Park|
Source : Andy Hoskins
(on the train throughout)
(by Andy Hoskins)
Fairly straightforward tour but as I needed the Okehampton - Meldon section decided this was a must. We departed Finsbury Park on time at 07:25 and proceeded along the North London Line to make our first pick-up point (on-time) at West Hampstead. On departure from West Hampstead, no further time was lost and we joined the Great Western mail line at Acton where nothing could be seen in the stabling point due to long lines of wagons blocking the view.
At Southall the train was routed from the down slow to down fast at Southall. Although we were only running 1 minute early, it was obvious from the timing sheets that we were going to be early for our pick up at Slough - we actually arrived 10 minutes early! As a result, the following HST's were routed via the down slow through Slough station to get past.
After picking up at Reading, progress to Newbury was slow although we passed Newbury 1 minute early. Shortly after passing Pewsey, we passed a Wales & West 158 in the new livery (complete with their logo painted over some of the windows !!) presumably on the 06:55 Swansea - London Waterloo. With the line via Swindon closed, all traffic was diverted via Westbury and the Berks & Hants line. Our next stop was for a crew change at Westbury (leaving 6 minutes early) and noted green 60081 stabled in the sidings. We stopped briefly at Taunton for a pathing stop but departed 18 minutes early, maintaining this early running all the way to Exeter.
66147 ran round at Exeter and we departed for Meldon Quarry maintaining our booked time to the quarry sidings. At Meldon Quarry, the following stock was observed ex-EMU coaches 61742 and 70812 with 4-TC unit 417 tucked behind. The run round at Meldon took quite some time and we departed for Okehampton 12 minutes down. We has just over two and a half hours to explore the area before the return back to London.
The Dartmoor Pony services were in operation between Okehampton and Meldon Viaduct platform using 08937 + 80225 + 61473, the 08 propelling the coaches to Meldon Viaduct.
The return journey departed Okehampton on time with an on-time arrival at Exeter. However, departure from Exeter was 2 minutes down and passed Taunton 7 minutes late, Castle Cary 12 minutes late and arrived at Westbury for a crew change 9 minutes late. The crew change was booked to take 2 minutes but in fact took 9, with the railtour leaving some 16 minutes late. However, we were treated (?) to the site of 57001 + 66507 double heading south on a diverted freightliner while waiting to leave for Reading. Another two freightliners were passed on the Berks and Hants.
Time was made up by Southcote Junction (passed 2 down) but an extended stop at Reading West due to point problems meant we arrived at Reading 9 minutes late. The train was routed via the up fast to Southall where we crossed over to the up slow. Arrival at West Hampstead was 6 minutes late where I left the train.
A very straightforward and relatively cheap trip which ran well to time. Nothing unexpected happened or was noted (except perhaps the 4-TC at Meldon Quarry). Looking forward to Hertfordshire's trip to Wisbech and Middleton Towers on May 12th to clear off some more track in my Baker's Bible.
Timings (Booked and Actual)
(by John Clifford)
|1.57||Freight Terminal Jn||07/30||07/31||21/52||21/49||203.73|
|2.11||Camden Road East Jn||7/33||07/35||21/47||21/41||203.29|
|5.32||West Hamstead||07.42a ~ 07.45d||07.42 ~ 07.45||21.27a ~ 21.29d||21.33 ~ 21.35||200.08|
|7.54||Kensal Green Jn||07/50||07/49||21/21||21/29||197.66|
|7.76||Willesden Junction HL||07/52||07/51||21/20||21/28||197.44|
|8.61||Acton Wells Jn||07/54||07/54||21/18||21/26||196.59|
|9.33||Acton Main Line||07/56||07/56||21/15||21/23||196.07|
|23.48||Slough||08.20a ~ 08.22d||08.11 ~ 08.25||20.55a ~ 20.57d||21.03 ~ 21.05||181.72|
|41.10||Reading||08.42a ~ 08.45d||08.44 ~ 08.46||20.34a ~ 20.36d||20.43 ~ 20.46||164.30|
|99.57||Heywood Road Jn||09/52||09/49||19/23||19/38||105.63|
|100.59||Westbury||09.55a ~ 10.00d||09.51 ~ 09.54||19.18a ~ 19.20d||19.29 ~ 19.35||104.61|
|105.35||Clink Road Jn||10/07||10/01||19/08||19/16||100.05|
|147.69||Taunton||10.47a ~ 11.00d||10.41 ~ 10.42||18/29||18/36||57.51|
|177.29||Cowley Bridge Jn||11/38||11/19||17/55||17/57||28.11|
|178.49||Exeter St Davids||11.42a ~ 12.00d||11.23 ~ 12.01||17.21a ~ 17.52d||17.20 ~ 17.54||26.71|
|179.69||Cowley Bridge Jn||12/03||12/04||17/16||17/14||25.51|
|185.45||Crediton||12.13a ~ 12.14d||12.13 ~ 12.14||17.04a ~ 17.05d||17.02 ~ 17.03||19.75|
|203.44||Okehampton||12.20a ~ 12.57d||12.51 ~ 12.57||13.45a ~ 16.30d||13.53 ~ 16.30||1.76|
a : arrival time
d : departure time
/ : passing time
A time or mileage in brackets is approximate.
All distances, in miles and chains (M & C), are taken
from the timing sheet given out on the train. No attempt has been made to verify
the mileages given.
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