22nd November 2003
The Sussex Sulzers &
The City of London
|Locos Used||33202, 73133 & 73136|
1Z96 : Yeovil Junction to London Victoria
1Z88 : London Victoria to London Victoria
1Z86 : London Victoria to Yeovil Junction
|33202||Yeovil Junction - Castle Cary - Bruton - Frome - Westbury - Bedwyn - Southcote Jn - Reading - Twyford - Ealing Broadway - Acton Main Line - Acton Wells Jn - Willesden SW Sidings - North Pole Jn - Kensington Olympia - Latchmere Jn - Longhedge Jn - Stewarts Lane Jn - London Victoria|
|73133 + 73136 (2)||London Victoria - Stewarts Lane Jn - Denmark Hill - Nunhead - Lewisham - Eltham - Dartford Jn - Dartford - Gravesend - Hoo Jn - Grain (Foster Yeoman) weighbridge|
|33202 (3)||Grain (Foster Yeoman) weighbridge - Hoo Jn - Gravesend - Dartford - Slade Green - Woolwich Arsenal - Charlton - Angerstein Wharf|
|73133 + 73136 (2)||Angerstein Wharf - Charlton - Woolwich Arsenal - Slade Green - Crayford Dreek "A" Jn - Crayford - Sidcup - Lee - Hither Green - Lewisham - Nunhead - Denmark Hill - Stewarts Lane Jn - London Victoria|
|33202||London Victoria - Stewarts Lane Jn - Longhedge Jn - Clapham Junction - Barnes - Twickenham - Staines - Virginia Water - Ascot - Wokingham - Reading - (reverse of outward route) - Yeovil Junction|
(1) The option to London ran as 'The City of London' excursion.
(2) 33202 on rear.
(3) 73133 + 73136 on rear.
Sources : various including Steve Cassidy & Alan
(by Martin Barnsdall)
73133 & 73136 back at Victoria (Photo : Martin Barnsdall)
Having endured the total and utter incompetence of Virgin Trains at Wolverhampton whilst we were trying to get to London Euston gave us a few missed heartbeats trying to decide what to do next. The Virgin 'customer care staff' at Wolverhampton need a refresher course.
Unknown engineering work at Wolverhampton was apparently known to Virgin, but to no-one else in the Kingdom. We quickly made the decision to drive to North London (sorry Derek!) and catch the Tube.
2 and 1/2 hours later saw us on the Northern Line from Brent Cross to Euston, and then the Victoria Line to Victoria (strangely enough), however we had plenty of time, so we all stayed on board to Brixton - required track for them - not me.
Back to Victoria to locate the tour train, I knew it would be on the East side and sure enough there was 'Slim Jim' 33202 at the head of the train looking resplendent in rain soaked Fragonset livery. Yes Gary - it persisted down all day for this tour as well!
Some 15 minutes later 73 133 and 73 136 trundled in to hook on the rear as main tour locos. An on time departure saw a leisurely glide through the suburbs and out into the Kent kountryside with the Krompton on the rear (sorry!).
The CTRL works were much in evidence with the North Kent link spur viaducts completed. The tour took the Grain branch at Hoo Junc, where a solitary 09 was in evidence, the 73's switched to diesel and made good progress over the branch to Thamesport, a Fred was in the Liner terminal and the tour made it to within a few feet of the weighbridge in the Foster Yeoman Terminal - new track for me and about 500 yards further on for my two companions. Another 08/09 was sat here. A wait of a few minutes for the crew to change ends saw the 33 fire up and take the tour back to Hoo and onto Angerstein wharf. The single 33 struggled in the greasy conditions as we made our way back to Hoo, but the 2 73's being dragged probably didn't help.
The 33 wandered through the suburbs until we reached Angerstein Junc, the tour turning right onto the branch. Apparently previous tours have not made it far up the branch, reversing before the run round loop, and we hoped that ours may make it further along, but alas it was not to be. My tour companions confirmed that this one reversed in about the same place as a previous one. Alan Sheppard adds : A lot of people commented on this tour about the reversal point on Hertfordshire's "Orange Pippin" of 30th August 2003, that reached the gate of Tarmac Topmix. and a lot of people were expecting the same, (those that missed it anyway). Also, I noticed the new Quail puts our reversal point this weekend of 0m30ch with 0m48ch being towards end of left hand branch, whereas the old Quail (which I referred to) has 0m48ch at the reversal point.
Another reversal saw the 73's take over again, and in a flurry of sparks from the 3rd rail shoes, set about hauling us back to Victoria. The Crayford A to B spur was taken (new track again) and the tour ran back to Victoria via the Stewarts Lane Depot lines (new track again).
The tour ran to time all day - I can't remember the last time that happened! Good value for money for the freight branches required and a 33 and 2 73's to boot! excellent! Well done Pathfinder.
Mental note for future tours - don't trust Virgin.
Alan Sheppard also comments regarding the tour name : The
original spec for this tour was for TWO class 33's to go with the two
73's visiting ARDINGLY. The routing from London was : Victoria - Via
Down Stewarts Lane - Herne Hill - Tulse Hill - Balham - Clapham Jnc. - Battersea
Run Round Line No.1 (REV) - Herne Hill - Tulse Hill - Crystal Palace - East
Croydon - Redhill - Haywards Heath (REV) - Ardingly end of line (requested)
(REV) - Haywards Heath (REV) - Via Quarry Lines - East Croydon - Streatham
Common - Balham - Clapham Junction - Victoria.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Pathfinder Tours & Alan Sheppard)
|1.59||Yeovil Pen Mill||08.04a ~ 08.06d||08.07 ~ 08.09||22.13a ~ 22.15d||22.22 ~ 22.25||133.45|
|13.35||Castle Cary||08.19a ~ 08.22d||??.?? ~ 08.27||21.42a ~ 22.00d||21.42 ~ ??.??||121.69|
|16.68||Bruton||08.29a ~ 08.30d||?||21.35a ~ 21.36d||?||118.36|
|27.37||Frome||08.48a ~ 08.50d||08.47 ~ 08.50||21.19a ~ 21.20d||?||107.67|
|33.17||Westbury||09.03a ~ 09.06d||09.02 ~ 09.07||21.03a ~ 21.05d||20.56 ~ 21.07||102.05|
|34.19||Heywood Road Jn||09/09||09/09||20/57||20/53||101.03|
|91.69||Reading West||10c08a ~ 10c10d||?||-||?||43.33|
|92.66||Reading||10*20a ~ 10*28d||10.13 ~ 10.23||20c00a ~ 20c02d||19.54 ~ 20.00||42.36|
|93.24||Reading New Jn||-||?||19/57||?||41.78|
|123.08||Ealing Broadway||11c05a ~ 11c07d||11.04 ~ 11.06|
|124.43||Acton Main Line||11/11||?|
|125.15||Acton Wells Jn||11/14||11/14|
|125.45||Willesden SW Sidings||11/18||?|
|126.65||North Pole Jn||11/25||11/22|
|132.51||Stewarts Lane Jn||11/43||?|
|Victoria||11.51a ~ 12.20d||11.40 ~ 12.20|
|1.36||Stewarts Lane Jn||12/25||12/25|
|25.44||Gravesend (down main)||13/19||13/19|
|28.68||Hoo Jn||13/24||13.25a ~ 13.25d|
|30.30||Cliffe Signal D12||13*27a ~ 13*30d||13.30 ~ 13.33|
|39.71||Grain||14*10a ~ 14*11d||14/00|
|Grain Foster Yeoman||14.21a ~ 14.26d||14.06 ~ 14.14|
|0.49||Grain||14*46a ~ 14*47d||14.23 ~ 14.39|
|10.10||Cliffe Signal D12||15*27a ~ 15*30d||15.17 ~ 15.18|
|11.52||Hoo Jn||15/35||15.23 ~ 15.29|
|14.76||Gravesend (P1 Up loop)||15/41||15/41|
|Angerstein Wharf||16.23a ~ 16.28d||16.23 ~ 16.28|
|9.24||Crayford Creek Jn||16/54||16/55|
|10.00||Crayford Spur 'A' Jn||16/56||16/57|
|19.25||Hither Green||17/16||17.16a ~ 17.18d|
|26.71||Stewarts Lane Jn||17/43||17/43|
|Victoria (P2)||17.51a ~ 18.30d||17.53a ~ ??.??|
|1.36||Stewarts Lane Jn||18/36||?|
|41.39||Reading Spur Jn||19/50||19.50a ~ ??.??d|
Timings continue in first table.
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