7th June 2008

UK Railtours
Long Marston Open Day Weekend

Locos Used 66081 & 66182
Stock Used 21272+3122+3112+80041+3140+3107+5009+4927+5040+1863+4902+5366+5276

Route:
1Z58 : London Euston to Long Marston North Gate 
1Z59 : Long Marston North Gate to London Euston

Loco(s) Route
66081 (1)

London Euston - Willesden SW Sidings - Acton Wells Jn - Acton Main Line - Slough - Reading - Didcot Parkway - Swindon - Stroud - Standish Jn - Barnwood Jn - Cheltenham Spa - Abbotswood Jn - Norton Jn - Worcester Shrub Hill

66182 (2)

Worcester Shrub Hill - Norton Jn - Honeybourne - Long Marston Exchange Sdgs - Long Marston North Gate Platform

66081 (1) Long Marston North Gate Platform - Long Marston Exchange Sdgs - Honeybourne - Evesham - Norton Jn - Worcester Shrub Hill - Droitwich Spa - Bromsgrove - Barnt Green - Selly Oak - Birmingham New Street - Proof House Jn - Bordesley Jn - Tyseley - Leamington Spa - Banbury - Oxford - Reading - (reverse of outward route) - London Euston

Notes :
(1) 66182 on rear.
(2) 66081 on rear.
(3) Original route was Euston - Watford Jn - Milton Keynes - Rugby - Birmingham Area - Worcester. However emergency engineering work cause a re-routing.

Sources : David Clark, Richard Moxon, Jim Sparks & Martyn Brailsford

Tour Review
(by David Clark)

When the tour was first advertised, a group booking was formulated and we all looked forward to a good day in the former military compound of Long Marston (between Oxford and Worcester).

The tour was originally advertised as being from Euston and picking up at certain stations via the West Coast Main Line to Long Marston via the Midlands.  However, since the West Coast Main Line has now become just about a closed railway in sections during most weekends until December, Network Rail were unable to offer EWS and it's customers a path via that route. Network Rail therefore offered EWS and its customers a path on the Saturday (and causing the Sunday train to be cancelled) from Euston to Long Marston (via Willesden SWS, Reading, Swindon, Stroud, Cheltenham, Worcester Rev) and in the return from Worcester to Euston via Droitwich, Barnt Green, Birmingham NS, Tyseley, Leamington Spa, Banbury, Oxford and then down to Reading and thence as return.  However, these timings were to be much earlier on the outward than was expected.

The Saturday morning approached, and we had to get to Slough for 0908.  We left Scunthorpe at 0445 running down to Gainsborough, Newark and the A1 as far as the A421 turn off heading towards Bedford / Milton Keynes before taking the M1 / M25 / A4 in to Slough.  On the A421 we were nearly involved in a very nasty incident in which a 4x4 took a very risky overtaking move and nearly went smash in to a HGV Vehicle (which would have caused us to miss the day).

We arrived in to Slough at 8am, and asked the station staff whether we could get on the platform to which they denied having any knowledge of a charter coming through Slough!  The last time we came to Slough the same thing happened (HRT tour to Merehead / Whatley Quarry).

Whilst stood on the platform we watched the morning commuters head to London / Windsor and those heading to London for a day out.  Also 59203 passed through on an Aggregates service (Theale to Acton Yard) and a 60 passed through on an automotive service (which I don't know where it went although it was heading towards Reading!).

66081 arrived at 0905 with our coach off the rear of the platform.  We boarded, found our seats and set off at 0908 running via the RL to Reading (0927 / 0931).  66554 / 66624 / 66601 were sat in Reading West Yard.

We ran via RL to Moreton cutting where we crossed over to the ML at 09/50 causing a delay to a up FGW service.  We were due to follow the GW Paddington to Great Malvern but due to the late running of this service we were kept on the RL to Moreton.  At Didcot Parkway sat 37410 / 37416.

We pulled in to Swindon Platform 3 and waited for the HST off 0735 Swansea to Paddington.  We got the road at 1023 and departed for Kemble and Standish Jn.  We were held at Standish Jn for a XC Voyager 0825 Plymouth to Edinburgh and passed over at 11/05 and headed up to Cheltenham Spa 11/18 and came off the Main line at Abbotswood Jn at 1134.  We arrived Worcester Shrub Hill at 1143 Right time on Platform 1.

However, due to the length of the train we blocked access to the station for other services. Due to a bit of shunting forward we departed from Worcester at 1200 5 late.  We gained the token at Norton Jn between 1207 / 1210, Evesham 1224 / 1226 and Honeybourne 1233 / 1239 with the locals out in force to witness the train.

We took the branch and passed through various Ground Frames before getting to Long Marston GF at 1257 / 1302 taking Exchange Siding No1 passing various stored bits of rolling stock and arrived at the Main Gate platform at Long Marston at 1316.

On arrival, we had to walk from half way down the train to the actual platform (one coach length only) and joined the queue for the shuttle DMU (reminding me of RAF Finningley Open Days).  Once the 66s departed, the DMU arrived (51352 / 59505 / 51346 - evidently two of these cars in 1996 were based in Haymarket).

This took us from the main gate platform (please use your quails) around the West side of the base passing quite a lot of Freightliner Coal Wagons, Mark 2 / Mark 3 coaches (in all guises / types of Mark 3 stock) and we came to a halt 1 and a half miles away at West Gate.  Here the DMU reversed and took us back to the Main Gate Platform.  Once alighted we spent the rest of the time just walking around the exhibits seeing Class 08s / 20s / 37s / 56s / 86s / 87s and various other bits and pieces which no-one wants (well not in the UK anyway).

At around 1530 the train rolled back in to the platform and the queue for boarding started.


The train locos at Long Marston (photos: Steve Kemp)

At 1539 we departed with 66081 at the helm taking the route as per the outward and bode farewell to one of our party at Honeybourne before going on to Evesham, Norton Jn, Worcester SH (1650 / 1655) and took the route to Droitwich, Stoke Works Jn and took on Lickey with 66 + 13 Coaches + 66.  We passed through Bromsgrove at 17/14 and took Lickey not exactly fast.  And by the top of the bank we were nearly crawling due to the load.  Barnt Green was passed at 17/21 and passed through New Street at 1742 (5 late) and took the Derby Lines to Proof House, and then took the Up and Down Camp Hill to St Andrews Jn and then on to Bordesley Jn and on to the Birmingham to Leamington lines at Small Heath South Jn.  Here we took the Fast lines to Tyseley where a crew change took place (1753 / 1755).  South of Tyseley we joined a what must have been a queue of trains heading from Tyseley to Leamington Spa running late due to earlier technical problems.  So we were checked down to Leamington and passed through at 18/29, Banbury 18/48, Oxford 19/12.  Just outside Warwick we passed a steam engine on a test run from Didcot to Kidderminster.

The journey following Oxford was just went plain sailing and a few locos were seen at Didcot before carrying on the Relief line's in to reading for the first drop off.  We departed Reading at 1948 and by Maidenhead stewards were advising passengers for Slough to start walking.  My dad and I bode farewell to our group and took a walk and joined the queue down at the first standard class coach.  We arrived at Slough at 2008.  In the car by 2010/2015 and arrived in to Scunthorpe by way of the A4 / M25 / A1 and took minor roads off the A1 through to Newton-on-Trent, Torksey, Gainsborough, Scotter, Messingham and in to Bottesford arriving at 2345.

Sunday was a glorious day, and saw me head back to South Wales.

Verdict:  A well run tour so a big thank you to all parties concerned including the people helping to make Long Marston an interesting day out.  Performance was pretty good, the locos performed as they should.

David Clark

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Martyn Brailsford)

M.C

Location
Booked
Actual
 
Booked
Actual
M.C
0.00 London Euston
08.20d
08.20
 
20.56a
20.54
181.62

?

Camden South Jn
08/23
08/23
 
20/53
20/50
 ?
1.54 Camden Jn
08/24
08/24
 
20/52
20/48
180.18
5.23 Willesden West London Jn
08/30
08/30
 
20/48
20/42
176.39
5.63 Willesden South West Sdgs
08/31
08/31
 
20/35
20.36 ~ 20.41
175.79
6.59 Acton Wells Jn
08/33
08/33
 
20/33
20/33
175.03
7.31 Acton Main Line
08/43
08/43
 
20/28
20/30
174.31
? Acton West
08/45
08/45
 
20/26
20/27
 ?
9.51 West Ealing
05/48
05/48
 
20/22
20/24
172.11
12.16 Southall
08/52
08/52
 
20/18
20/21
168.46
14.35 Airport Jn
08/57
08/57
 
20/16
20/19
166.38
21.46 Slough
09.05a ~ 09.08d
09.05 ~ 09.08
 
20.05a ~ 20.07d
20.07 ~ 20.09
160.17
27.29 Maidenhead
09/15
09/15
 
19/58
20/00
154.33
34.11 Twyford
09/21
09/20
 
19/51
19/53
147.51
39.08 Reading

09.27a ~ 09.31d

09.27 ~ 09.31

 

19.43a ~19.45d

19.45 ~ 19.48 142.54
40.06 Reading West Jn
09/33
09/33
 
19/41
19/42
141.56

 

M.C
Location
Booked
Actual
56.20 Didcot Parkway
09/48
09/51
63.32 Wantage Road
09/54
09/57
67.10 Challow
09/57
10/00
69.49 Uffington
09/59
10/02
80.33 Swindon
10*14 ~ 10*23
10*13 ~ 10*23
81.30 Loco Yard
10/25
10/25
94.09 Kemble
10/37
10/37
101.74 St Mary's Crossing
10/47
10/47
110.04 Standish Jn
11/02
11/04
116.14 Gloucester Yard Jn
11/09
11/11
117.01 Gloucester Barnwood Jn
11/10
11/12
122.44 Cheltenham Spa
11/17
11/18
129.55 Ashchurch
11/25
11/24
140.42 Abbotswood Jn
11/34
11/34
141.24 Norton Jn
11/36
11/36
144.29 Worcester Shrub Hill
11.43 ~11.55
11.43 ~ 12.00
147.34 Norton Jn
12t01 ~ 12t03
12t07 ~ 12t11
158.05 Evesham
12t14 ~ 12t16
12t23 ~ 12t25
163.12 Honeybourne GF
12t25 ~ 12t27
12t33 ~ 12t49
166.32 Long Marston Exchange Sdgs
12/39
13/03
166.52
0.00
Long Marston North Gate
12.44a ~ 15.??d
13.15 ~ 15.25
0.20 Long Marston Exchange Sdgs
15/45
15.45 ~ 15.55
3.40 Honeybourne GF
15t55 ~ 16t04
16t05 ~ 16t15
8.47 Evesham
16t13 ~ 16t18
16t22 ~ 16t24
19.18 Norton Jn 16t29 ~ 16t31 16t36
22.23 Worcester Shrub Hill 16*52 ~ 16*55 16t50 ~ 16t52
22.70 Worcester Tunnel Jn
16/57
16/57
28.12 Droitwich Spa
17/02
17/05
32.17 Stoke Works Jn
17/07
17/11
33.27 Bromsgrove
17/09
17/14
37.70 Barnt Green
17/13
17/21
40.45 Longbridge
17/16
17/23

42.78

Kings Norton
17/23
17/25

45.12

Selly Oak
17/27
17/28
48.43 Birmingham New Street
17/37
17/42
49.31 Proof House Jn
17/40
17/45
50.14 St Andrew Jn
17/43
17/47
50.40 Bordesley Jn
17/44
17/48
51.72 Small Heath Jn
17/50
17/51
52.46 Tyseley 
17/51
17.53 ~ 17.55
? Bentley Heath Crossing
18/05
18/06
59.56 Dorridge
18/07
18/07
66.37 Hatton
18/14
18/17
71.26 Leamington Spa
18/21
18/29
83.55 Fenny Compton
18/33
18/39
92.35 Banbury
18/41
18/47
96.39 Ayhno Jn
18/47
18/53
102.30 Heyford
18/52
18/58
111.19 Wolvercot Jn
19/00
19/05
114.10 Oxford
19/04
19/11
117.43 Kennington Jn
19/08
19/14
124.57 Didcot North Jn

19/17

19/20
125.74 Didcot East Jn
19/18
19/23

Timings continue in first table.

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