9th June 2002

Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Desert Mule

Locos Used 56006, 58033, 59206 & 73129

Route:
1Z56 : London Paddington to Yeovil Junction
1Z92 : Yeovil Junction to London Victoria

Loco Route
56006 (1) London Paddington - Reading - Westbury
59206 Westbury - Yeovil Pen Mill - Yeovil Junction
58033 Yeovil Junction - Salisbury - Eastleigh East Yard
73129 Eastleigh East Yard - Botley - Havant - Portsmouth - Guildford - Effingham - Leatherhead - Epsom - Raynes Park - Wimbledon - Haydons Road - Balham - Clapham Junction - Pouparts Jn - Stewarts Lane - LondonVictoria

Notes:
(1) 59206 on rear.

Source : John Clifford
(on the train throughout)

Tour Review
(by Jason Warner)

This was Hertfordshire Railtours first entry into the relatively new "Spin and Win" market. Quite an ingenious named tour, Desert after the route from Reading to Taunton and Mule after the Waterloo-Exeter route, hence "The Desert Mule".

 59206 brought the 13 Blue/Grey Mark 1's into Platform 1.  At the business end 56006 in its original BR blue sat atop the stock.  Departure was 1 minute late and by all accounts the grid thrashed all they way to Westbury.

 Westbury was reached on time, however there was drizzle, which put a dampener on the photo stop. 59206 which was still on the rear of the train was then removed and put on the front of the train. 56006 then headed eastwards back LE to Bescot!

 59206 departed on time and gave a very spirited run to Yeovil Junction briefly pausing at Pen Mill.  As Yeovil Junction was reached 58033 was seen sitting outside the station awaiting its turn of the tour. The tour pulled into Platform 3 which is now run by the South West Mainline Steam Company. We had about an hour here, during which 58033 backed onto the train, the tearoom and shop were open and opportunities were available to take photos of the various locos there (including 20059).  A couple of minutes early and 58033 departed in the rain towards Salisbury (this was its first passenger outing for nearly 6 years!!).

 Again another fast run to Salisbury ensued, however there was a 40-minute pathing stop in Tisbury Loop.

 There was a photo stop at Salisbury in the rain, which most tour participants seemed to partake. Before long we were off again via Southampton to Eastleigh Yard. On the approach to Eastleigh station 73129 was passed. Pulling into the yard a couple of 58's were noticed 58016/58045. Whilst 73129 was attached to the other end 58020 rolled in on a ballast. On time again 73129 pulled away and gave a lively run for a ED on load 13 via Havant, Guildford back to Victoria. Victoria was reached about 15 minutes early.

 VERDICT: A very well organised relaxed tour. The price of £39.50 didnít hurt the pocket for a change and with some decent power and thrash made the day more enjoyable. The train wasn't bursting at the seams, but filling 13 coaches for this type of tour was very ambitious, the bashing fraternity are a very fickle lot!!!

 I'm looking forward to the next one on the 13/7/02

Timings (Booked and Actual)
(by John Clifford)

M.C Location Booked Actual
0.00 London Paddington 10.03d 10.06
1.68 Ladbroke Grove 10/06 10/08
5.08 Acton West 10/10 10/13
9.01 Southall 10/15 10/18
11.20 Airport Jn 10/17 10/20
18.31 Slough 10/24 10/24
24.24 Maidenhead 10/30 10/28
30.78 Twyford 10/38 10/33
31.50 Twyford West 10/39 10/34
35.73 Reading 10.45a ~ 10.48d 10.40 ~ 10.47
37.57 Southcote Jn 10/52 10/51
53.01 Newbury 11/05 11/03
66.24 Bedwyn 11/17 11/14
78.68 Woodborough 11/28 11/27
88.01 Lavington 11/35 11/35
94.40 Heywood Road Jn 11/42 11/40
95.42 Westbury 11.45a ~ 12.05d 11.43 ~ 12.16
96.76 Fairwood Jn 12/09 12/19
100.18 Clink Road Jn 12/13 12/23
102.20 Blatchbridge Jn 12/15 12/25
115.09 Castle Cary 12/29 12/37
126.65 Yeovil Pen Mill 12.43a ~ 12.44d 12.49 ~ 12.49
128.44 Yeovil Junction 12.50a ~ 13.44d 12.59 ~ 13.43
133.08 Sherborne 13/52 13/50
139.10 Templecombe 13/58 13/56
145.69 Gillingham 14.06a ~ 14.09d 14.03 ~ 14.04
155.18 Tisbury Loop 14.21a ~ 14.48d 14.17 ~ 14.45
164.67 Wilton South 15/00 14/55
165.55 Wilton Jn 15/02 14/56
167.49 Salisbury 15.04a ~ 15.18d 15.00 ~ 15.18
168.56 Tunnel Jn 15/21 15/22
176.47 Dean 15/31 15/31
184.10 Romsey 15/39 15/38
189.43 Redbridge 15/46 15/46
191.34 Southampton Central 15/53 15/50
192.38 Northam Jn 15/55 15/53
193.43 St Denys 15/57 15/55
197.18 Eastleigh 16/04 16/06
197.63 Eastleigh East Yard 16.07a ~ 16.27d 16.09 ~ 16.28
198.28 Eastleigh 16/30 16/31
198.77 Eastleigh South Jn 16/32 16/33
203.65 Botley 16.38a ~ 16.45d 16/40
209.06 Fareham North Jn 16/53 16/45
209.14 Fareham 16/57 16/47
215.29 Cosham 17/06 16/54
216.02 Farlington Jn 17/07 16.56a ~ 16.57d
218.79 Havant 17/12 17/05
230.43 Petersfield 17/26 17/20
242.35 Haslemere 17/38 17/37
251.74 Farncombe 17/47 17/52
253.72 Shalford Jn 17/49 17/55
255.07 Guildford 17/59 18/01
263.67 Effingham Junction 18/11 18/14
268.06 Leatherhead 18/19 18/20
271.70 Epsom 18/28 18/27
276.31 Motspur Park 18/39 18/38
277.37 Raynes Park 18/42 18.43a ~ 18.44d
278.39 Wimbledon West Jn 18/47 18.48a ~ 18.48d
278.69 Wimbledon 18/49 18/51
281.74 Streatham South Jn 18/54 18/57
282.73 Streatham North Jn 18/55 18/58
283.65 Balham 19/00 19/00
285.60 Clapham Junction 19/05 19/03
286.33 Pouparts Jn 19/09 19/05
286.67 Longhedge Jn 19/12 19/06
287.17 Stewarts Lane Jn 19/18 19/07
287.60 Battersea Pier Jn 19/26 19/09
288.53 London Victoria 19.30a 19.12


Back to "The Railtour Files"