20th November 2004
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
|Locos Used||73204 & 73206|
1Z84 : Victoria to Chichester
1Z85 : Chichester to Victoria
Loco(s) Route 73204 + 73206 London Victoria - Voltaire Road Jn - Brixton - Herne Hill - Beckenham Junction - St Mary Cray Jn - Swanley - Fawkham Jn - Rochester Bridge Jn - Gillingham - Faversham - Canterbury East - Buckland Jn - Dover Priory - Folkestone Central - Ashford International - Headcorn (1) - Tonbridge - Edenbridge - Redhill - Purley - East Croydon - Norwood Junction - Crystal Palace - West Norwood - Tulse Hill - Herne Hill - Brixton - Voltaire Road Jn - Factory Jn - Longhedge Jn - Pouparts Jn - Clapham Junction - Balham - Streatham South Jn - Mitcham Junction - Sutton - Epsom - Leatherhead - Dorking - Horsham - Arundel Jn - Ford - Barnham - Chichester 73206 + 73204 Chichester - Barnham - Ford - Arundel Jn - Horsham - Crawley - Three Bridges - Gatwick Airport - Stoats Nest Jn - Purley - East Croydon - Selhurst - Balham - Clapham Junction - Pouparts Jn - Longhedge Jn - Stewarts Lane Jn - London Victoria
(1) ran via up main, not goods loop as booked.
Sources : various including Mark Herriott & John
(by Janet Cottrell)
This was not part of the “master plan” which was a day out with a pair of class 37’s and some freight branches. That idea was scuppered at the 11th hour by EWS - the day’s leave had been booked and, on this occasion, could not be cancelled so an alternative was needed.
Much to my surprise, the Hertfordshire trip with two class 73’s was still on and there were seats still available. It looked a nice enough tour and one, in different circumstances with no other tours competing for my personal preferences, that I would have booked on with little hesitation.
So we duly presented ourselves at Victoria for the appointed time, only to find the two class 73’s conspicuous by their absence. They eventually appeared a matter of minutes before departure time which meant a late start by the time they were coupled up and the necessary checks performed.
The itinerary was basically very simple, taking the form of a large loop out to Dover and back with a trip to Chichester (and a short break) tacked on the end. To start with I had a feeling of déjà vu from last weekend as the heating was not on, but somebody soon went off to sort out the generator car, the resultant warmth being most welcome. The weather was rather dull and it started to rain, but no matter – our train was now nice and warm and the route was interesting as it had been many years since I had travelled over parts of it.
Our late departure had done us no favours and by the time we reached Ashford we were an hour late. Some of this was clawed back when we did not take the pathing stop in Headcorn Up Loop and a bit more was gained when we shot straight through Penshurst, but we were still some half an hour late when we got back to the “busy railway” in the London Suburbs. Apart from a strange stop in the platform at Tulse Hill (somebody mentioned that the signal was off so perhaps had been wrongly routed) we negotiated Clapham Junction and it’s environs without further delay and headed south.
I had resigned myself to a reduced stay in Chichester but had not taken Network Rail’s dubious timings into account. For some reason we were booked a 13 minute stand at Dorking and a further 25 minutes at Warnham and there were 14 minutes allowed for the four miles between Sutton and Epsom. The result of all this was that we actually arrived early according to the tour brochure so there was plenty of time to make a start on my Christmas shopping.
We arrived back at the station and were greeted by a fine display of arcing as the two ED’s struggled to hoist the 13 coaches out of the sidings. Despite the train not fitting into the platform everybody was soon on board and we set sail more or less as specified. The return journey was rather stop - start due to the block sections as far as Horsham and there was also a rather abrupt halt in the “middle of nowhere” near Amberley but we kept more or less to time. The locos were back on former home territory at Gatwick, in fact we even saw 73201 out on the Gatwicks, nice to know that they still can’t manage without them.
Following a stand outside we eventually arrived back at Victoria a little late although we were early according to the tour brochure. Even though this was not the day out that I had planned, it was a very pleasant outing which took me round some routes that I have not done for years.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Mark Herriott, Janet Cottrell & John Clifford)
|2.05||Voltaire Road Jn||08/12||08/36|
|10.71||Bromley South||08.24a ~ 08.26d||08.51 ~ 08.52|
|13.17||St Mary Cray Jn||08/30||08/59|
|33.01||Rochester Bridge Jn||08/54||09/21|
|51.77||Faversham||09.20a ~ 09.30d||09.52 ~ 09.53|
|109.29||Headcorn||10.41a ~ 10.57d||11/43|
|129.20||Penshurst||11.23a ~ 11.31d||12/04|
|151.19||Stoats Nest Jn||11/59||12/37|
|155.50||Windmill Bridge Jn||12/13||12/40|
|160.55||Tulse Hill||12/26||12.55a ~ 12.58d|
|161.61||Herne Hill||12/30||13.03a ~ 13.04d|
|162.67||Shepherds Lane Jn||12/32||13/09|
|163.52||Voltaire Road Jn||12/33||13/10|
|168.79||Streatham North Jn||12/49||13/22|
|169.28||Streatham South Jn||12/50||13/23|
|178.71||Epsom||13/15||13.40a ~ 13.42d|
|186.61||Dorking||13.29a ~ 13.42d||14/00|
|198.19||Warnham||13.57a ~ 14.22d||14/05|
|200.24||Horsham||14/30||14.10a ~ 14.30d|
|222.43||Arundel Jn||15.08a ~ 15.14d||15.09 ~ 15.14|
|232.13||Chichester||15.27a ~ 16.47d||15.26 ~ 16.47|
|272.37||Three Bridges||17/55||17.54a ~ 17.56d|
|275.11||Gatwick Airport||18.00a ~ 18.07d||18.04a ~ 18.07d|
|287.38||Stoats Nest Jn||18/19||18/21|
|291.69||Windmill Bridge Jn||18/24||18/25|
|299.13||Clapham Junction||18/34||18.35a ~ 18.37d|
|300.70||Stewarts Lane Jn||18/44||18.42a ~ 18.43d|
|301.13||Grosvenor Bridge Jn||18/47||18/45|
Back to "The Railtour Files"