20th September 1959
A.M.R. East Midlands
|Locos Used||7307 (3), 9740, 41222, 61188 & 76012|
|61188||Nottingham Victoria - Ruddington - Loughborough Central - Rothley - Leicester Central - Lutterworth - Rugby Central - Charwelton - Woodford Halse - Culworth Jn - Brackley Central - Calvert|
|41222 (2)||Calvert - Claydon LNE Jn|
|61188||Claydon LNE Jn - Bicester London Road - Oxford|
|7307||Oxford - Appleford - Didcot North Jn - Foxhall Jn - Swindon - sidings alongside Swindon Works|
|9740 + 7307||sidings alongside Swindon Works - Rushley Platt Jn - Swindon Town - Marlborough - Severnake - Grafton & Burbage - Ludgershall - Andover Junction|
|7307||Andover Junction - Fullerton - Stockbridge - Kimbridge Jn - Romsey - Eastleigh (4)|
|76012||Eastleigh - Eastleigh Works sidings|
|76012||Eastleigh Works sidings - Eastleigh|
|7307||Eastleigh - (reverse of outward route) - Andover Junction|
|9740 + 7307||Andover Junction - (reverse of outward route) - Rushley Platt Jn - Swindon|
|7307||Swindon - (reverse of outward route) - Oxford|
|61188||Oxford - Banbury - Culworth Jn - (reverse of outward route) - Nottingham Victoria|
(1) Vic Smith suggested the train was booked for haulage by Midland Compound 1000 to Swindon and this has been confirmed by Graham Bland.
(2) 61188 on rear.
(3) Originally uploaded as 7308 but revised by Roger Johnson.
Sources : Vic Smith,
Graham Bland &
The John Debens Ticket
(above ticket originally supplied by Vic Smith)
(from Graham Bland)
I went on the trip and joined the train at Nottingham Victoria. The train started at Nottingham Victoria, I am sure, because I went on a number of other AMR ‘expeditions’ (rather than ‘tours’ as they were very much for the ‘trainspotter’ and involved visiting a numerous of locomotive depots!) all starting at Nottingham.
AMR stood for ‘Attenborough Model Railway’, Attenborough being a suburb of Nottingham. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the person who organised the tours.
As your correspondent Vic Smith mentions, I have a vague memory that the tour was planned to be hauled by Midland compound No. 1000, but this, sadly, did not occur. (I would love to have ridden behind a compound!). When I, and my friend Bill Bailey, both from Melton Mowbray, arrived at Nottingham Victoria we found the train headed by LNER B1 4-6-0 No. 61188 of Colwick shed, Nottingham. We were 15-year-old lads at the time and I am relying on a rather grubby trainspotting notebook for my information – the memory has faded somewhat after 47 years – but not entirely!
The B1 pulled us to Oxford and there I have noted a ‘P’, signifying ‘pulled’, against Churchward ‘4300’ class 2-6-0 No. 7308 but have no clear memory of this. (The locomotive was shedded at Banbury in May 1958 and at Severn Tunnel Junction in April 1960 and so I cannot explain why it was being used by Oxford shed on this day). The locomotive pulled the train to Swindon and into a siding at Swindon works where, I remember, we alighted.
I subsequently noted that we were pulled out of the works by 0-6-0 pannier tank No. 9740 of Swindon shed. I can only presume at this distance in time that the 2-6-0 was still at the rear end of the train during this manoeuvre and after gaining the main line continued on to Eastleigh. (I cannot imagine that the pannier tank pulled us there).
The route was an interesting one. We ran down the Great Central mainline from Nottingham calling at Loughborough and Leicester Central to Woodford Halse. I was following the route on my Ian Allan Pre-grouping Atlas and expected that we would take the direct line from Culworth junction to Banbury but this was not the case. I think there must have been engineering works on this Sunday and we ran further down the mainline to Calvert. Much to my surprise at the time, from here we backed down a connection, not shown on my atlas, onto the Bedford – Oxford line, (I believe this connection was opened in 1940) and ran into Oxford by this route. From Oxford we ran on to Swindon via Didcot as expected.
On leaving Swindon we headed westwards to Rushey Platt junction where we turned onto the Midland & South Western Junction line. We ran through Ludgershall to Andover Junction and then via the L&SWR line through Andover Town to Romsey and then over the now freight-only line to Eastleigh. I cannot remember whether we were taken into a works siding there.
The return route is less clear, as I must have been exhausted by the day’s exertions, because my number-taking stopped abruptly with SR 4-4-0 31735, immediately after noting down 0-4-0T 30096 of Eastleigh shed. I find this surprising on the long journey back to Nottingham but it would have been dark by about 7pm at that time of the year. I am pretty sure we did not return via Swindon and so I expect we took the ex-GWR Didcot, Newbury & Southampton line from Winchester to Didcot and then on to Oxford where our B1 was ready to pull us back north. Again, I do not remember doing a reversal at Calvert (I could have been asleep!) and so we might have run from Oxford to Banbury and then taken the direct route to Woodford Halse and on to Nottingham.
I do remember the whole experience being as an exciting one, one of the salient experiences of my trainspotting days. What a journey! The Great Central mainline - now closed, the M&SWJR - now closed and the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton - now closed - no chance of repeating it!
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