14th September 2002

Pathfinder Tours
The Soton Vinegar

Locos Used 37109, 37174, 56129, 60006, 73133 & 73136
Stock Used 5378+5365+5364+5376+5029+4963+1842+17056+3069+3068+3066+3125+6310

Route:

Loco(s) Route
37109 + 37174 Derby - Burton-On-Trent - Tamworth - Birmingham New Street - Selly Oak -Barnt Green - Cheltenham Spa - Gloucester
56129 Gloucester - Standish Junction - Kemble -Swindon - Didcot Parkway - Reading - Slough - Acton Mainline -Willesden South West Sidings
73133 + 73136 Willesden South West Sidings - Mitre Bridge Jn - North Pole Jn - Kensington Olympia - Latchmere Jn - Clapham Junction - Balham - Selhurst - Windmill Bridge Jn - East Croydon - Purley - Stoats Nest Jn -Redhill - Gatwick Airport - Crawley - Horsham - Amberley - Arundel Jn - Barnham - Havant - Fareham - St Denys - Northam Jun - Southampton Central
60006 Southampton Central - Northam Jn - Eastleigh - Eastleigh East Jn - Romsey - Tunnel Jn - Salisbury - Wilton Jn - Warminster - Westbury
37109 + 37174 Westbury -Bradford Jn - Bathampton Jn - Bath Spa - North Somerset Jn - Dr Days Jn - Stapleton Road - Filton Jn - Westerleigh Jn -Yate - Cheltenham Spa - Bromsgrove - Barnt Green - Selly Oak - Birmingham New Street - Tamworth - Burton-On-Trent - Derby

Sources : Jonathan Radnor (joined/left the train at Barnt Green) & Guy Vincent

Tour Review
(by Jonathan Radnor)


73133 & 73136 pass through Kensington Olympia (photo: Mark Sawyer)

This was a railtour I was very much looking forward to featuring 2*37's, a 60, and my first pair of 73's (possibly my last, haven't got long have they?).  Barnt Green was my boarding point and as I arrived 60045 passed by on a steel train towards South Wales.  Tour rolled up 10mins early, many taking the chance for a quick pic.  Surprised to see 37/0's instead of 37/7's, but I'm not complaining! We duly departed and headed south to Cheltenham Spa arriving there over 10mins early as well, more pics being taken here.  We set off for the short ride in to Gloucester Station to lose the Beasts for a Grid, this would take us to Willesden South West Sidings via Kemble, Didcot and Reading.

Before setting off from Gloucester a quick look at the station information monitor showed '0926 Southampton calling at Swindon, WillesdenSW, Clapham Junction and Southampton.'  Since when have sidings made it on to the monitors?!! Time keeping was spot on and a bit early on this stretch with the Grid flying along, 13 bogies being no trouble for it. At Willesden SW we made a swap to now have 2*73's in charge, ready to head south in to their familiar territory. A 15min pathing stop was observed at Clapham Junction with it being as busy and fascinating as ever.  A 73 was seen out on Gatwick Express duties as well as the usual slammers eeking out their last days. Good progress was made towards Gatwick Airport, this all being new track for me behind classic Southern Traction. The Mid-Sussex Line was taken at a some what slower pace, still, we got to observe the scenery better!

The approach towards Soton was a bit bumpy with jerky acceleration and braking, memories of the Bone Breaker came flooding back! On arrival at Soton the usual rush to get a pic resulted in the SWT's man getting a bit irate and threats of a liaison with the law were made! Considering everyone aboard knew of the 3rd rail and what it can do to you, plus the fact that the platform opposite the tour which we were standing on was blocked we all thought he over-reacted just a little bit!  The same can be said a few weeks previously about the BTP at B'ham New Street as everyone tried to get pics of the last XC Class47 hauled train.  The time in Soton was whiled away by observing the non-stop movement of units, this being broken up by the passing of 60070 on a westbound gypsum train.  The stock rolled back in to the station 10mins late behind one of the two 'silver sixties'.

This made good progress gradually gaining back the time until arrival at Westbury saw us regain the mornings 37's ready for the run back north. A hellfire, thrash filled run back north saw us run pretty much to time.  I was getting ready for the climb up the Lickey Bank with its 1in 37 grade which lead to some serious fun on the 8th June Post-Festive Freighter from Bristol.  We hit the foot of the incline with the beasts going flat out but this momentum soon disappeared and a nice noisy climb began which lasted over 10mins which I reckon saw us top the summit at 20mph. Suddenly all the fun was over as Barnt Green was reached.  I stayed to listen to them roar off in to the cold, dark night with their thrash still clearly audible for some time after.  It had been a thoroughly enjoyable day with good traction and an interesting route as well.  Certainly worthy of 10/10.

Jonathan Radnor

Tour Timings (Booked & Actual)
(by Martyn Brailsford)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Derby 06.24d 06.39   22.22a 22.23
Burton-upon-Trent 06.43a ~ 06.45d 06.52   22.01a ~ 22.03d 22.07 ~ 22.09
Tamworth 06.59a ~ 07.00d 07.11 ~ 07.14   21.45a ~ 21.47d 21.51 ~ 21.54
Kingsbury Jn 07/07 07/19   - -
Water Orton 07/12 07/22   - -
Landor Street Jn 07/24 07/29   - -
Proof House Jn 07/27 07/30   - -
Birmingham New Street 07.29a ~ 07.36d 07.32 ~ 07.36   21.24a ~ 21.27d 21.28 ~ 21.32
Selly Oak 07/47 07/46   - -
Kings Norton 07/51 07/50   - -
Longbridge 08/0 07/53   - -
Barnt Green 08.04a ~ 08.06d 07.57 ~ 08.04   21.01 ~ 21.03 21.12 ~ 21.13
Bromsgrove 08/12 08/08   20/55 20/59
Stoke Works Jn - -   20/53 20/57
Abbotswood Jn 08/25 08/19   - -
Ashchurch 08/34 08/29   20/34 20/38
Cheltenham Spa 08.45a ~ 08.48d 08.35 ~ 08.46   20.23a ~ 20.25d 20.27 ~ 20.29
Barnwood Jn 08/56 08/53   20/16 20/17

 

Location Booked Actual
Horton Road Jn 8/58 08/56
Gloucester 09L00a ~ 09L26d 08.57 ~ 09.26
Horton Road Jn 09/29 09/29
Gloucester Road Jn 09/30 09/30
Standish Jn 09/35 09/38
St Mary's LC 09/43 09/47
Kemble 09/52 09/57
Swindon Loco Yard 10/04 10/09
Swindon 10.14a ~ 10.16d 10.11 ~ 10.17
Uffingham 10/27 10/26
Challow 10/29 10/30
Foxhall Jn 10/37 10/38
Didcot Parkway 10/40 10/39
Reading 11/03 10/53
Twyford 11/8 10/57
Maidenhead 11/13 11/05
Slough 11/18 11/17
Heathrow Airport Jn 11/24 11/24
Southall 11/26 11/29
Southall East Jn 11/27 11/30
West Ealing 11/30 11/32
Acton West 11/35 11/35
Acton Main Line 11.38a ~ 11.40d 11.40
Acton Wells Jn 11/44 11/44
Willesden SW Sidings 11L46a ~ 12L09d 11.45 ~ 12.09
Mitre Bridge Jn 12/18 12/15
North Pole Jn 12/19 12/16
Kensington Olympia 12/23 12/20
Latchmere Jn 12/28 12/25
Clapham Junction 12.31a ~ 12.47d 12.28 ~ 12.47
Balham 12/52 12/52
Streatham Common 12/55 12/55
Selhurst 13/01 13/01
Windmill Bridge Jn 13/05 13/04
East Croydon 13/06 13/05
South Croydon 13/08 13/07
Purley 13/12 13/10
Redhill 13/21 13/18
Earlswood 13/2 13/19
Gatwick Airport 13/27 13/27
Three Bridges 13/33 13/35
Crawley 13/38 13/39
Horsham 13/5 013/50
Billingshurst 13/58 13/58
Pulborough 14/04 14/04
Arundel 14/16 14/16
Arundel Jn 14/20 14/18
Ford 14/22 14/20
Barnham 14/25 14/23
Chichester 14/32 14/31
Havant 14/45 14/42
Farlington Jn 14/52 14/49
Cosham 14/54 14/53
Fareham 15/01 15/02
St Denys 15/27 15/28
Northam Jn 15/29 15/31
Southampton Central 15L32a ~ 17L07d 15.33 ~ 17.21
Northam Jn 17/13 17/24
St Denys 17/15 17/26
Eastleigh 17/22 17/32
Eastleigh East Jn 17/23 17/33
Romsey 17/38 17/42
Dean 17/45 17/50
Tunnel Jn 17/54 18/00
Salisbury 17/56 18/03
Wilton Jn 18/00 18/06
Warminster 18/19 18/25
Westbury 18L27a ~ 18L47d 18.32 ~ 18.47
Bradford Jn 18/57 18/58
Bathampton Jn 19/14 19/13
Bath Spa 19.18a ~ 19.20d 19.18 ~ 19.20
North Somerset Jn 19/31 19/32
Dr Days Jn 19/33 19/34
Stapleton Road 19/35 19/37
Filton Jn 19/39 19/41
Bristol Parkway 19/41 19.43a ~ 19.44d
Westerleigh Jn 19/46 19/53
Yate 19/50 19/55
Charfield 19/56 20/01
Standish Jn 20/07 20/10
Gloucester Yard Jn 20/14 20/15

Key;
a : arrival time
d : departure time
L : loco change
/ : passing time

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