22nd November 2003

Pathfinder Tours
The Sussex Sulzers &
The City of London

Locos Used 33202, 73133 & 73136
Stock Used 4991+4998+5002+5005+1683+3100+3110+3125+35461

Route:
1Z96 : Yeovil Junction to London Victoria
1Z88 : London Victoria to London Victoria
1Z86 : London Victoria to Yeovil Junction

Loco(s) Route
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

Notes :
(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 Sheppard

Tour Review
(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.

Martin Barnsdall

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)

M.C Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual M.C
0.00 Yeovil Junction 07.59d 07.59   22.30a 22.31 135.24
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
49.71 Woodborough 09/24 09/23   20/41 20/40 85.31
62.35 Bedwyn 09/34 09/33   20/30 20/29 72.67
75.58 Newbury 09/46 09/45   20/19 20/18 59.44
91.02 Southcote Jn 10/05 10/05   20/06 20/03 44.20
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

 

M.C Location Booked Actual
97.63 Twyford 10/34 10/29
104.45 Maidenhead 10/41 10/38
110.28 Slough 10/50 10/50
119.58 Southall 11/00 11/00
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
128.53 Kensington Olympia 11/29 11/24
131.36 Latchmere Jn 11/35 11/28
132.21 Longhedge Jn 11/38 ?
132.51 Stewarts Lane Jn 11/43 ?
134.07
0.00
Victoria 11.51a ~ 12.20d 11.40 ~ 12.20
1.36 Stewarts Lane Jn 12/25 12/25
1.61 Factory Jn 12/26 12/26
4.22 Denmark Hill 12/32 12/32
5.77 Nunhead 12/34 12/35
7.63 Lewisham 12/39 12/42
8.54 Blackheath 12/45 12/45
10.70 Eltham 12/50 12/50
15.50 Barneshurst 12/56 12/58
18.34 Dartford Jn 13/02 13/05
18.61 Dartford 13/05 13/07
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
(40.40)
0.00
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
21.59 Dartford 15/56 15/53
23.61 Slade Green 16/00 16/01
29.59 Woolwich Arsenal 16/10 16/10
31.47 Charlton 16/15 16/17
(32.49)
0.00
Angerstein Wharf 16.23a ~ 16.28d 16.23 ~ 16.28
1.02 Charlton 16/36 16/33
2.70 Woolwich Arsenal 16/40 16/39
8.68 Slade Green 16/53 16/54
9.24 Crayford Creek Jn 16/54 16/55
10.00 Crayford Spur 'A' Jn 16/56 16/57
11.16 Crayford 16/59 16/59
14.48 Sidcup 17/05 17/03
18.55 Lee 17/11 17/13
19.25 Hither Green 17/16 17.16a ~ 17.18d
20.44 Lewisham 17/23 17/23
22.30 Nunhead 17/34 17/31
24.05 Denmark Hill 17/38 17/35
26.46 Factory Jn 17/42 17/42
26.71 Stewarts Lane Jn 17/43 17/43
28.27
0.00
Victoria (P2) 17.51a ~ 18.30d 17.53a ~ ??.??
1.36 Stewarts Lane Jn 18/36 ?
1.66 Longhedge Jn 18/39 ?
2.74 Clapham Junction 18/49 18/46
6.07 Barnes 18/57 18/52
10.22 Twickenham 19/03 19/03
12.35 Feltham Jn 19/06 ?
18.02 Staines 19/15 19/15
22.15 Virginia Water 19/24 19/21
27.79 Ascot 19/33 19/30
35.51 Wokingham 19/41 19/42
41.39 Reading Spur Jn 19/50 19.50a ~ ??.??d

Timings continue in first table.

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