30th August 2003

Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Orange Pippin

Locos Used 66079 & 66220
Stock Used 21269+5023+4986+5027+5037+1832+3114+3127+3124+1696+3120+3119+17015

Route:
1Z66 : Paddington to Oxford
1Z28 : Oxford to Paddington

Loco(s) Route
66220 London Paddington - West Drayton - Southall - Colnbrook
66079 Colnbrook - Hayes Goods Loop (1)
66220 Hayes Goods Loop - Twyford - Reading (2) - Cholsey - Didcot East Jn - Didcot North Jn - Kennington Jn - Hinksey South DGL
66079 Hinksey South DGL - Kennington Jn - Morris Cowley (3)
66220 Morris Cowley - Kennington Jn - Oxford
66079 Oxford - Didcot North Jn - Didcot East Jn - Reading (via Goods Lines) - Twyford - West Ealing - Acton Main Line - Acton Wells Jn - West London Jn - Mitre Bridge Jn - Kensington Olympia - Latchmere Jn - Longhedge Jn - Factory Jn - Voltaire Road Jn - Denmark Hill - Nunhead - Lewisham - Sidcup - Slade Green - Charlton - Angerstein Wharf (4)
66220 Angerstein Wharf - Barnehurst - Nunhead - (reverse of outward route) - West Ealing - South Greenford - Greenford East Jn - Old Oak West Jn - London Paddington

Notes :
(1) Booked reversal point was Southall West Jn which was east end of Hayes Goods Loop, but train stopped approx. in middle of the loop.
(2) Had been booked to use the goods lines but didn't because of a fatality between Twyford & Reading. Goods lines were traversed on the return back through Reading.
(3) Front of train reached the Level Crossing at the east end of the run-round loop (15m 60ch).
(4) Tarmac Topmix branch covered as "fencing problems" on booked Bardon branch.

Sources : various including Kevin Prince, Alan Sheppard & Mark Herriott

Tour Review
(by Geoff Middleton)

For the second Saturday running, I found myself getting up at some ungodly hour to make my way south from Stafford for a HRT bash and just like the previous weekend, it proved well worth the lost sleep.

Most of the journey down to Paddington was spent musing on the name of this tour. Orange Pippin? None of us could offer a sensible explanation of what an apple had to do with a trip along the freight branches of Colnbrook, Morris Cowley and Angerstein Wharf. None of them are famous for their orchards as far as Im aware.

Arrival at Paddington via tram from Reading was met with the sight of the tour stock already in plaform 9 and the excellent news that the top and tail 66s would both be winners for all our party numbers 220 and 79.

An on-time departure and the arrival of the tour brochure brought the solution to the apple mystery. Apparently, a bloke named Cox invented (if thats the right word) the orange pippin and he lived somewhere along the Colnbrook branch. Which just goes to show how educational these railtours can be and how sad Ian Kapur and his pals at HRT are for knowing something like that.

With 220 leading, we trundled our way to West Drayton before diving under the main line and heading in the general direction of Heathrow. The Colnbrook branch has seen a major upsurge in traffic as a terminal for the construction traffic for the new Terminal 5. In fact, we were all craning our necks to see the number of a red 66 inconveniently parked behind some wagons it had recently deposited there.

After coming within a gnats proverbial of the Network Rail boundary, we retraced our steps to the goods loop at Hayes, where we were able to regain the main line and head towards Reading. Here, we were due to use the goods lines around the back of the station, but after a 20 minute wait outside the station, we found ourselves heading along the through line between platforms 4 and 5, relatively rare for a railtour. The reason became apparent when we saw an empty tram in platform 9 partly covered with a tarpaulin after being involved in a fatality.

By now running about 25 minute down, the ever-generous Network Rail timings came to play and arrival at Hinksey yard via the Didcot curve was only some 5 minutes behind booked time. Traversal of the branch itself was pretty swift, again to more or less the NR boundary, and arrival in Oxford for the 80 minute break was near enough on time.

Those who know me will testify to my habit of taking an afternoon kip (or two) on most railtours, particularly after an early start. So after departing Oxford on time, I next regained consciousness somewhere south of Reading, in time to witness our journey up the Acton incline to West London Junction, where we turned off towards Kenny O and the various junctions at Latchmere. We emerged at Factory Junction, where a brief wait allowed sighting of a couple of new 375s as they passed.

Tours through the London suburbs are never fast and there was plenty of time to admire the scenery (or, more accurately, lack of it) as we headed through Lewisham, Hither Green and Sidcup, before rounding the Crayford Spur, passing the depot at Slade Green and gaining the Angerstein branch at Charlton. This was the bit I was interested in, because the last attempt Id made to do the branch with Pathfinder, we only made it just off the main line before our progress was halted by a broken rail.

No such problems this time, but even now things didnt go quite to plan. Just as Ian Kapur was confidently announcing that we would be heading for the Bardon terminal, we branched right onto the Tarmac section just to prove him wrong. Apparently, were was a problem with the fence on the Bardon stretch. Still, this was all new to me and Ill bet the Branch Line Society brigade would have been salivating.

The good news was that we were now running early. The bad news wed have to sit and await our slotted path among the 465s and 466s at Charlton. Still, it gave us plenty of time to admire the Dome.

A slightly different return route saw us turn off at Slade Green and meander via Erith and Barnehurst, before regaining our outward path at Lewisham back to Kenny O and the Acton incline. Here, I suppose it would have been fairly simple just to reverse in the yard and head back into Paddington. But HRT had taken the more interesting option of the Greenford loop, returning to the main line at Old Oak Common west junction. Arrival back in Paddington was around 5 minutes early.

All in all, this was an excellent tour, doing everything it said it would (except for the fiddly bit at Angerstein) and making for a very enjoyable day out.

Geoff Middleton

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from various including Alan Sheppard)

Location Booked Actual
Paddington (P9) 08.51d 08.51
Ladbroke Grove 08/54 08/56
Acton West 08/57 08/59
Southall 09/02 09/03
Airport Jn 09/07 09/06
West Drayton 09.16a ~ 09.18d 09.16 ~ 09.18
Colnbrook 09.38a ~ 09.43d 09.37 ~ 09.45
West Drayton 10.03a ~ 10.05d 10.00 ~ 10.02
Airport Jn 10/10 10/07
Hayes & Harlington 10/12 10/12
(Southall West Jn)
Hayes Goods Loop
10.15a ~ 10.24d 10.20 ~ 10.24
Hayes & Harlington 10/27 10/27
Airport Jn 10/28 10/28
Slough 10/35 10/38
Maidenhead 10/44 10/45
Twyford 10/51 10/51
Reading West Jn 10/57 11/24
Reading West Jn 11/02 11/27
Tilehurst 11/06 11/29
Didcot East Jn 11/26 11/40
Didcot North Jn 11/29 11/41
Kennington Jn 11/40 11/49
Hinksey South DGL 11.45a ~ 11.48d 11.50 ~ 12.03
Kennington Jn 12.02a ~ 12.06d 12.05 ~ 12.08
Morris Cowley (NR limit) 12.16a ~ 12.32d 12.23 ~ 12.32
Kennington Jn 12.42a ~ 12.58d 12.42 ~ 13.04
Oxford 13.05a ~ 14.25d 13.12 ~ 14.26
Didcot North Jn 14/37 14/37
Didcot East Jn 14/39 14/38
Reading 14/56 14/59
Twyford 15/01 15/06
Maidenhead 15/07 15/14
Slough 15/20 15/21
Airport Jn 15/27 15/30
Southall 15/31 15/32
West Ealing 15/33 15/35
Ealing Broadway 15.34a ~ 15.37d 15.36 ~ 15.37
Acton West 15/39 15/39
Acton Main Line 15/40 15/41
Acton Wells Jn 15/43 15/44
Willesden SW Sidings 15/45 15/48
Mitre Bridge Jn 15/51 15/47
North Pole Jn 15/52 ?
Kensington Olympia 15/56 15/53
Latchmere Jn 16/02 15/59
Longhedge Jn 16/05 16/02
Factory Jn 16/11 16.05a ~ 16.08d
Voltaire Road Jn 16/12 ?
Denmark Hill 16/16 16/15
Crofton Road Jn 16/16 ?
Nunhead 16/19 16/19
Lewisham 16/33 16/29
Courthill Loop South Jn 16/34 16/30
Hither Green 16/36 16/33
Lee 16/38 16/35
Sidcup 16/45 16/42
Crayford 16/49 16/49
Crayford Creek Jn 16/51 16/51
Slade Green 16/58 16/56
Woolwich Arsenal 17/08 17/09
Charlton 17/13 17/14
Angerstein Jn 17/21 ?
Angerstein Wharf 17.29a ~ 17.50d 17.23 ~ 17.53
Angerstein Jn 17/58 17.58a ~ 18.04d
Charlton 18/06 18/06
Woolwich Arsenal 18/10 18/10
Slade Green 18/23 18/23
Erith Loop 18/29 18.25a ~ 18.31d
Barnehurst 18/32 18/33
Eltham 18/43 18/45
Blackheath 18/50 18/51
Lewisham 18/57 18/55
Nunhead 19/08 19/01
Crofton Road Jn 19/11 19/03
Denmark Hill 19/12 19/04
Voltaire Road Jn 19/26 ?
Factory Jn 19/17 19/11
Longhedge Jn 19/19 19/13
Latchmere Jn 19/30 19/14
Kensington Olympia 19/36 19/21
North Pole Jn 19/40 ?
Mitre Bridge Jn 19/41 19/29
Willesden SW Sidings 19/46 19/30
Acton Wells Jn 19/50 19/33
Acton Main Line 19/55 19/35
Acton West 19/58 19/39
West Ealing 20/02 19/52
Greenford South Jn 20/09 20/00
Greenford East Jn 20/11 20/02
Park Royal 20/15 20/08
Old Oak Common West 20/15 20/10
Paddington (P9) 20.22a 20.16

Train was delayed between Twyford & Reading due to a trackside  fatality.

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