10th August 2002
Invicta Train Tours
The Portsmouth Belle
|EMU's Used||4-CEP's 1592 + 1602|
1Z83 : Ramsgate to London Waterloo
1Z93 : London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour
1Z94 : Portsmouth Harbour to Ramsgate
|1592 + 1602||Ramsgate - Deal - Dover Priory - Folkestone Central - Ashford - Tonbridge - Sevenoaks - Orpington - Bromley South - Penge East - Brixton - Factory Jn - Longhedge Jn - Latchmere Jn - Kensington Olympia|
|1592 + 1602||Kensington Olympia - Latchmere Jn - West London Jn - London Waterloo|
|1592 + 1602||Waterloo - Clapham Junction Earlsfield - Wimbledon - Surbiton - Woking - Guildford - Haslemere - Havant - Portsmouth Harbour|
|1592 + 1602||Portsmouth Harbour - (1) (reverse of outward route) - Woking - Byfleet Jn - Addlestone Jn - Virginia Water - Staines Central - Twickenham - Clapham Junction - Longhedge Jn - Stewarts Lane - London Victoria (E) (1)|
|1592 + 1602||London Victoria (E) - Factory Jn - Brixton - Cambria Jn - Catford - Bromley South - (2) (reverse of outward route) (2) - Ramsgate|
(1) Booked route was Portsmouth Harbour - Havant - Chichester - Arundel - Horsham - Dorking - Leatherhead - Epsom - Sutton - Mitcham Junc. Tulse Hill - Herne Hill - Brixton - Victoria.
(2) This was what was booked to happen but John Clifford reports the National Rail web site said there were problems between Minster & Ramsgate and that service trains were diverted to Minster so this train may have been diverted also...confirmation anyone?
Source : John Clifford
(by John Clifford)
As I lived for many years in Bromley I have long been a Southern fan so when details of this trip arrived I booked on it quickly as it was shown as going to Olympia and covering the Sheepcote Lane curve. The Sheepcote Lane curve was missed on the BLS trip earlier this year and I still needed it. I have covered most of the Southern Region lines in 4CEP's although there are a few parts still needed. In fact, I saw them when they were introduced at the time of the Kent Coast electrification. This was too good a chance to miss. The leaflet showed the tour as reaching Portsmouth via the Mid Sussex line and returning via Hove, most of which do not see any CEP workings.
For those of you who don't know, Invicta Train Tours are small player in the Rail Tour market. They use Connex's "4CEP" 1592 and started last August with a trip to Weymouth. This is their third one to run although they did advertise one last December which was cancelled. They normally run a 8 car train. The other unit is something of interest: this time it was the only Connex yellow "4CEP" 1602 but they have used "4VEP" 3582. This is the one with the "4TC" driving trailer.
When the ticket arrived we were told that, because of pathing problems, we would reach Portsmouth via the Direct line but return via the Mid Sussex. Also, there were only estimated arrival times for the return journey. At least Olympia & Sheepcote Lane were still in!
I planned to pick up the tour at Bromley South so this meant leaving Hatfield on the 0723. This was about 5 late (unit 317649 for those interested) and we stopped outside one of the Hadley Wood tunnels so we got to Kings Cross about 10 late. I missed a Victoria line so there was a wait and I got to Victoria for the 0835 (375610+ 375606). This got me to Bromley South with just under 20 mins to spare. This is why I always give myself plenty of time.
The tour arrived and left on time. The tour was not exactly bursting so I sat with a long standing friend instead of finding my own seat. We set off without problem noting, on the way, the dive-under work at Shortlands Junc. There were 13 mins. recovery time between Longhedge Junc. & Latchmere Junc. to allow the booked Silverlink train to proceed so we sat at Latchmere for most of this time. Arrival & departure at Olympia were achieved at about right time so we made our way to Waterloo via the Sheepcote Lane curve (got it at last!). Despite a signal check outside Waterloo we got there 9 mins. early. This meant a quarter of an hour at Waterloo so a quick visit to the enquiry office for some leaflets and back on the train.
Waterloo to portsmouth via the Direct line is something I have done a few times recently in a 4CEP albeit not in a green one. The journey seemed to be fairly rapid although the riding was not that good. We ran Slow Line at Hampton Court Junc. and saw that Anglia had turned out one of their new 170's for a Crosslink train (170272) which was seen at Woking. Guildford saw us negotiate platform 2 and we had a 14 min. stop to allow the 1038 ex Waterloo to pass. One of the options for the trip had been to get off at Chichester but, as we came down the Direct line, a stop at Havant had been inserted instead for anyone to make their own way to Chichester. We learned that no one had booked for this option (just as well in the light of later events) so we did not stop at Havant and went through on the middle road.
At Portsmouth I chose to go to the Island for lunch and look round Ryde. For those interested the boat was "Sea Cat - Ryde". I still want one of the IoW units for travel (008) I haven't had 003 but as this has stood in the former down loop at St. Johns Road for many a year I'm not counting on getting it. The train at the Pier head was 004 so I decided to walk down the pier. At Esplanade I waited for the other train which was 2 & 6 (half a crown in old money!). After lunch I found a book shop and bought a Middleton book which included pictures of the Bromley North branch (my local line when I lived in Bromley) so I bought it. After I further look round I walked back along the pier and was passed by 008. It turned out that there was an extra train running to make a 20 min service. I'll just have to go to the Island again.
The return to Portsmouth was by "Sea Cat - Ryde again.
Now came the "Magical Mystery Tour". We had been told on the way down that there might be a problem with the return routing and so it proved to be. Because there was not a driver available with the necessary route knowledge we would return via the Direct line and then go to Victoria via Chertsey. The Victoria part was already booked. We reached Victoria earlier than booked and without any major problems than if we had gone via the Mid Sussex, Mitcham Junc. & Herne Hill as expected. I decided to got on to Bromley South as I had originally planned and got there at 1945 dead on time, but over and hour later than the estimated time when tickets were sent. To complete the day I caught 365501 back to Victoria, just got a Victoria line before it's doors shut and went back to Hatfield on 2036 from Kings Cross (317334).
Despite the omission of several parts that I had expected I enjoyed the trip. Invicta are hoping to run a few more tours with 1592 while it is still in service which might be only be 18 months at the most.
Timings : Booked & Actual
(by John Clifford)
|3.50||Minster East Jn||??/??||-||22/06||-||179.50|
|8.27||Sandwich||09.09a ~ 09.10d||- ~ -||21.58a ~ 21.59d||- ~ -||174.73|
|12.37||Deal||07.16a ~ 07.17d||- ~ -||21.50a ~ 21.51d||- ~ -||170.63|
|21.57||Dover Priory||07.31a ~ 07.33d||- ~ -||21.35a ~ 21.36d||- ~ -||161.43|
|29.10||Folkestone Central||07.44a ~ 07.46d||- ~ -||21.23a ~ 21.24d||- ~ -||154.10|
|33.47||Sandling||07.53a ~ 07.54d||- ~ -||21.15a ~ 21.18d||- ~ -||149.53|
|42.74||Ashford||08.03a ~ 08.04d||- ~ -||21.04a ~ 21.05d||- ~ -||140.26|
|53.63||Headcorn||08.15a ~ 08.20d||- ~ -||20.50a ~ 20.51d||- ~ -||129.37|
|57.14||Staplehurst||08.25a ~ 08.26d||- ~ -||20.44a ~ 20.45d||- ~ -||126.06|
|64.18||Paddock Wood||08.34a ~ 08.35d||- ~ -||20.35a ~ 20.36d||- ~ -||119.02|
|69.41||Tonbridge||08.42a ~ 08.43d||- ~ -||20.27a ~ 20.28d||- ~ -||113.59|
|76.74||Sevenoaks||08.53a ~ 08.54d||- ~ -||20.16a ~ 20.18d||- ~ -||106.26|
|85.18||Orpington||09.03a ~ 09.04d||- ~ -||20.00a ~ 20.06d||- ~ -||98.02|
|86.58||Petts Wood Jn||09/06||-||19/59||-||96.42|
|89.18||Bromley South||09.10a ~ 09.11d||09.10 ~ 09.11||19.46a ~ 19.47d||19.46 ~ 19.46||94.02|
|98.04||Voltaire Road Jn||09/26||09/25||19/24||19/24||84.09|
(1) actual mileages allowing for diversion)
|99.52||Latchmere Jn||09/43||09.30a ~ 09.42d|
|102.35||Kensington Olympia||09.49a ~ 09.57d||09.49 ~ 09.56|
|105.71||West London Jn||10/13||10/03|
|107.10||Nine Elms Jn||10/15||10/05|
|London Waterloo||10.21a ~ 10.27d||10.12 ~ 10.28|
|13.27||Hampton Court Jn||10/43||10/45|
|42.79||Haslemere||11.21a ~ 11.32d||11.20 ~ 11.34|
|66.35||Havant||11.58a ~ 11.59d||12/02|
|73.44||Portsmouth & Southsea||12/09||12/11|
|Portsmouth Harbour||12.15a ~ 16.37d||12.18 ~ 16.39|
|0.66||Portsmouth & Southsea||16/40||16/42|
|7.75||Havant||16/51||16.57a ~ 17.00d|
|16.65||Chichester||17.02a ~ 17.04d||DIV|
|28.02||Arundel||17.25a ~ 17.32d||DIV|
|79.50||Streatham South Jn||18/50||DIV|
|84.52||Voltaire Road Jn||19/03||DIV|
|86.57||London Victoria||19.08a ~ 19.19d||18.57 ~ 19.19|
Timings continue in first table.
The actual times for the diversion taken were as follows;
|49.48||Woking Jn||17.47a ~ 17.48d|
|79.10||Clapham Junction||18.47a ~ 18.47d|
|81.11||Battersea Pier Jn||18/54|
(1) actual mileages allowing for diversion)
a : arrival time
d : departure time
DIV : train diverted from booked route
/ : passing time
All distances, in miles and chains (M & C), are taken
from the timing sheet given out on the train and by John Cliffords own
calculation in the case of the diversion. No attempt has been made to verify
the mileages given.
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