8th March 2003

Daylight Railtours
The Branch Liner

Locos Used Diesel : 37670
Steam : 73096
Stock Used 1961+5249+5237+5236+9104+9392+5200+5171+5222+35329

Route :
1Z96 : Alton - Ludgershall
1Z97 : Ludgershall - Alton

Loco(s) Route
37670 (1) Alton - Aldershot - Brookwood - Woking
73096 (2) Woking - Guildford - Haslemere - Havant - Fareham - St. Denys - Southampton - Totton - Hythe - Fawley G.F.
37670 (1) Fawley G.F - Hythe - Totton - Southampton Central
73096 (2) Southampton - Redbridge - Romsey - Laverstock Curve - Andover
37670 (1) Andover - Ludgershall MOD depot (reversed with the train across Tidworth Road)
73096 (2) Ludgershall MOD depot - Ludgershall (site of former station)
37670 (1) Ludgershall (site of former station) - Horse Dock
73096 (2) Ludgershall Horse Dock - Andover Jn - Basingstoke - Farnborough Main - Woking (3)
37670 (1) Woking - Guildford
73096 (2) Guildford - Ash - Aldershot - Alton

Notes :
(1) 73096 on rear.
(2) 37670 on rear.
(3) After Woking the booked route was: 37670 (with 73096 on rear): Woking - Brookwood - Aldershot - Alton but train was due to be diverted due to a points failure at Brookwood.

Sources : Stuart Smith (on the train throughout),
John Clifford (joined/left at Woking) & Nigel Benning

Tour Review
(by
Stuart Smith)

This was a tour found by chance whilst playing around on the 'Links' page of this website.

As most of my bashing friends will testify to, I DO NOT LIKE STEAM ENGINES, and so forced myself to suffer this one just to do the required track on the branches.

I arrived at Alton just after 7am, expecting to find the stock ready for the 07.29 departure. However, there was a problem with the main line registration of 73096, and so the necessary paperwork needed to be found and faxed before it could leave the Mid-Hants boundary. This delay was not expected to be more than 10 minutes in length..... we eventually left Alton at 08.10. I had expected to see 37308 as the 'top n tail' loco, and although not a winner, 37670 made a very suitable substitute.

A fairly good thrash from the 37 got us to Woking about 35 down, and after a quick reversal we were heading down to Guildford. It was then on to Haslemere for a watering stop, this gave us a chance to take some photos and see three 'down' Portsmouth trains being routed wrong line around us. As I wasn't interested in the performance of 73096, I can't say how well it climbed the banks and gradients or how fast it passed various stations en-route, but I can probably say that it didn't break any records today.

We paused for a brief crew change at Southampton before passing the massive docks and Freightliner terminal at Millbrook. At this point I took a sudden interest in the sight of several green and yellow engines. 66543, 533, 538, 535, 539, 542, 532 and newly arrived 66562 were all parked up, along with 57003, 009, 012 and three stored 47's, 47303, 376 and 207. At Totton we turned onto the freight only line and slowly trundled down the branch. At the disused Marchwood station we stopped for another water replenishment and got to view two MOD shunters, 258 "Mulberry" and 263 "McMullen" on the adjacent line to the military port. (This tour was originally planned for 26th October 2002 and was booked to cover the Marchwood Line instead of Fawley).

With the watering complete, we continued down to the Oil Terminal at Fawley, stopping just short of the Ground Frame outside. Here we reversed and followed our inbound route back to Southampton Central. Another reversal, now in pouring rain, saw us pass Millbrook for a third time heading for Romsey and eventually Andover. A 15mph speed restriction saw us crawl the 6 miles to Ludgershall. We ran to the far terminus of the branch, duly blocking the level crossing whilst a decision was taken on where to water the loco. After a few minutes we reversed back to the site entrance and turned right to enter the Horse sidings dock platform. (These sidings are so called because it is from here that horses were loaded onto trains during the war). Even this wasn't suitable for watering, so 73096 was detached and ran across to the adjacent loco sidings to get feed and watered. This gave people a chance to alight and photograph the proceedings and hunt down the internal locos. One was spotted, although it appeared not to carry any external numbering.


73096 during a watering stop at Haslemere (photo : Stuart Smith)


37670 in the 'Horse' sidings at Ludgershall (photo : Stuart Smith)

 Since leaving Alton in the morning we had never made any time back, always keeping between 30 and 40 minutes late. This got considerably worse from Ludgershall with our departure now 70 mins later than booked. Back to the main line at Andover and then a fast non-stop run through Basingstoke to Woking. On arrival we were told of a points failure and that the route back to Alton would have to be via Guildford, and not the direct line through Pirbright Junction. More time to be lost.

A prolonged fester occurred here whilst waiting the almost endless procession of SWT emu's. More time was lost whilst reversing at Guildford and we were 130 minutes late before reaching Aldershot. By now the Alton services had been reduced to hourly, so our booked pathing stop at Bentley did not happen and therefore arrival back to Alton was just under 2 hours late.

Despite being so heavily delayed, I was still home by 9pm (almost unheard of these days) and reflecting on a pretty good day out.

Stuart Smith

Route- Distances and Timing's (Booked & Actual)
(by Nigel Benning/John Clifford)

M.C Location Booked Actual
0.00 Alton (platform 2) 07.29d -
4.69 Bentley 07x38a ~ 07x41d -
8.60 Farnham 07/59 -
11.66 Aldershot 08.05a ~ 08.07d -
13.26 Aldershot North Jn 08/10 -
14.28 Ash Vale 08/11 -
17.27 Pirbright Jn 08/16 -
18.67 Brookwood ??/?? -
22.04 Woking Jn 08/22 -
22.39 Woking (platform 1) 08.23a ~ 08.28d 09.01 ~ 09.05
22.74 Woking Jn 08/29 09/07
24.67 Worplesdon ??/??  
28.39 Guildford 08.37a ~ 08.44d 09.20 ~ 09.21
29.54 Shalford Jn 08/47 09/24
31.52 Farncombe 08/49 09/27
32.49 Godalming ??/?? -
34.33 Milford ??/?? 09/33
36.48 Whitley ??/?? -
41.11 Haslemere (platform 1) 09w05a ~ 09w29d 09.46 ~ 10.01
44.79 Liphook ??/?? -
49.47 Liss ??/?? 10/15
53.03 Petersfield 09/43 10/20
61.30 Rowlands Castle ??/?? -
64.46 Havant 09.59a ~ 10.11d 10/35
65.20 Bedhampton ??/?? 10/36
67.44 Farlington Jn 10/17 10/41
68.10 Cosham Jn ??/?? 10/43
68.47 Cosham 10/20 10/44
71.18 Portchester ??/?? -
74.32 Fareham 10/28 10/54
78.08 Swanwick ??/?? 11/01
80.09 Burlesdon ??/?? -
81.39 Hamble ??/?? -
82.13 Netley ??/?? -
84.00 Sholing ??/?? 11/12
84.47 Woolston ??/?? 11/13
86.22 Bitterne ??/?? 11/15
86.79 St Denys 10/48 11.19a ~ 11.21d
87.43 Mount Pleasant Crossing ??/?? -
88.04 Northam Jn 10/55 11/24
89.08 Southampton Central (platform 4) 10/58 11.27a ~ 11.29d
90.00 Milbrook ??/?? -
91.59 Redbridge 11/02 11/35
92.32 Totton 11/05 11/36
95.79 Marchwood ??/?? 11/50
96.26 Pumpfield Lane Crossing 11w19a ~ 11w35d 11.52 ~ 12.11
100.55 Hardley Siding GF ??/?? -
101.31 Fawley GF 11.57a 12.30
103.63 Fawley GF 12.02d 12/37
104.39 Hardley Siding GF ??/?? -
108.68 Pumpfield Lane Crossing ??/?? 13/02
109.15 Marchwood 12/23 13/05
112.62 Totton 12/40 13/28
113.35 Redbridge 12/43 13/29
115.14 Millbrook ??/?? -
116.06 Southampton Central (platform 1) 12.49a ~ 12.53d 13.34a ~ 13.37d
116.78 Millbrook 12.56a ~ 13.13d 13/40
118.57 Redbridge 13/18 13/44
124.10 Romsey 13/27 13/54
127.64 Dunbridge ??/?? -
131.53 Dean 13/35 14/05
139.24 Laverstock South Jn 13/44 14/17
139.58 Laverstock North Jn 13/47 14/17
149.14 Grateley ??/?? 14/30
154.02 Red Post Jn ??/?? -
155.44 Andover 14.06a ~ 14.11d 14.37 ~ 14.52
157.06 Red Post Jn ??/?? 15.06
162.70 Ludgershall (MoD Depot) 14.35a 15.50a ~ 15.55d
???.?? Ludgershall (site of former station) ??.?? 16.05a ~ 16.12d
0.00 Ludgershall (horse dock) 15.45d 16.16a ~ 17.18d
5.64 Red Post Jn ??/?? 17/41
7.26 Andover 16/18 17/50
14.37 Whitchurch ??/?? -
18.03 Overton ??/?? -
23.24 Worting Jn 16/37 18/13
25.64 Basingstoke 16/38 18/16
31.32 Hook ??/?? -
33.59 Winchfield ??/?? -
37.07 Fleet ??/?? -
40.28 Farnborough 16/53 18/30
44.06 Pirbright Jn 17/04 18/35
45.46 Brookwood ??/?? 18/37
48.63 Woking Jn 17/10 18/43
49.18 Woking (platform 1) 17.11a ~ 17.16d 18.45a ~ ??.??
49.53 Woking Jn 17/17 -
52.70 Brookwood 17/24 -
54.30 Pirbright Jn 17/27 -
57.29 Ash Vale 17/32 -
58.31 Aldershot North Jn ??/?? -
59.71 Aldershot 17.37a ~ 17.42d -
62.77 Farnham 17/49 -
66.68 Bentley 17x56a ~ 18x08d -
71.57 Alton (platform 2) 18.17a -

No attempt has been made to verify the distances given. An obvious error exists at Fawley GF with two different mileages quoted for arrival and departure!

Key;
a : arrival time
d : departure time
w : watering stop
/ : passing time

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