19th February 1978

Railway Pictorial Publications Railtours
The Deltic Ranger Railtour

Loco Used 55018 'Ballymoss'
Stock Used 4206+4233+4753+21185+13347+13352+4763+4758+4215+25644+5181+1913

Route : 1Z15 throughout

Loco Route
55018 London Paddington - Slough - Maidenhead - Reading - Didcot Parkway - Swindon - Westerleigh Jn - Bristol Parkway - Filton Jn - Stapleton Road - Bristol Temple Meads
55018 Bristol Temple Meads - (reverse of outward route) - London Paddington

Notes :
(1) This tour was advertised to take a Deltic from Paddington to Paignton for a return trip over the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway using preserved Westerns D1013 and D1062. In the event severe blizzards in the West Country halted the trains progress at Bristol. The tour was turned back, arriving back at Paddington a mere 7 hours early! An attempt was made by the organisers to get the train routed back to via Birmingham to London but this was not possible due to the short notice to secure paths/crews. Original booked route : Paddington - Reading - Didcot - Swindon - Bristol Parkway - Bristol Temple Meads - Bathampton Jn - Westbury - Frome - Castle Cary - Exeter St Davids - Newton Abbot (change to class 46) - Paignton (change to class 52) - Kinsgwear. Return: Kingswear - Paignton (change back to class 46) - Newton Abbot (change back to 55018) the as outward to Taunton then via Bridgwater to Bristol Temple Meads then via Chippenham to Swindon - Didcot - Reading - Paddington.

Sources : Gary Thornton (On the train throughout), Stew Robertson, Nigel Rollings & John Debens

Tour Review
(by Gary Thornton)

My first ever railtour - and what a way to start with a Deltic out of Paddington! Myself and two friends, Bruce and Guy, were dropped off at Paddington by Guys Father. 55018 'Ballymoss' was already in waiting for departure.

All these years later I cannot say I remember that much about the outward journey to Bristol, though I recall seeing many 'Westerns' in the scrapline as we passed Swindon works. Also present was 'the other' 55018 - single car DMU no. W55018. Other numbers recorded included; 03025, 03159, 24052, D818, D821, D7029, D1015 & D1056

I remember us stopping at Bristol Parkway where there was quite a lot of snow - which led to a snowball fight between those on the platform and some on board our train!

55018 'Ballymoss' pulls into Bristol Parkway station (photo: Peter Lovell)

On arrival at Bristol Temple Meads it became clear that all was not well - very bad weather in the West Country meant all services were severely disrupted. The powers that be decided they would not allow the tour to proceed any further west so 'Ballymoss' was detached and ran round the train. As I was in the cab at the time I was quite pleased as we weren't thrown out!

We headed back to London amidst early rumours of being routed via Birmingham but in the event we simply retraced our steps for a seven-odd hour early arrival back into Paddington (a record for a railtour?). I think there was a repeat of the snowball fight at Bristol Parkway on our way back!

Being in the days before mobile phones we were stuck until our lift home arrived (Guys Father having stayed in London for the day) so we spent the afternoon 'spotting' on Paddington station. Cab rides between platforms in 50022 & 50038 helped relieve the boredom. My records show that we also cabbed HST power cars 43002 & 43018.

All in all not the best start to a railtouring 'career', but at least I have withered a few people when I tell them my first recorded Deltic haulage was between Paddington and Bristol!!

Gary Thornton's ticket.

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(courtesy of John Clifford)

It's interesting to realise that, in those days, the tour booklet (with photos and timings) was actually SOLD onboard the train - for 25p - not included in the tour price like nowadays.

Location Booked Actual
London Paddington 08.15d 08.15
Southall 08/28 08/28
Slough 08/35 08/34
Maidenhead 08/41 08/38
Twyford 08/47 08/47
Reading 08.51a ~ 08.52d 09.00 ~ 09.02
Didcot 09/08 09/08
Challow 09/18 09/23
Swindon 09/28 09.37a ~ 09.38d
Wootton Bassett 09/33 09/46
Hullavington 09/41 09/54
Westerleigh Jn 09/51 10/03
Bristol Parkway 09.55a ~ 09.56d 10.10 ~ 10.24
Lawrence Hill 10.03a ~ 10.05d 10.33  ~10.36
North Somerset Jn 10/07 DIV
Bathampton Jn 10/22 DIV
Bradford Jn 10/34 DIV
Westbury 10.42a ~ 40.45d DIV
Fairwood Jn 10/48 DIV
Clink Road Jn 10/52 DIV
Frome 10.55a ~ 11.05d DIV
Blatchbridge Jn 11/08 DIV
Castle Cary 11/22 DIV
Taunton 11.47a ~ 11.49d DIV
Whiteball Jn 12/01 DIV
Cowley Bridge Jn 12/18 DIV
Exeter St. Davids 12/20 DIV
Dawlish Warren 12/33 DIV
Newton Abbot 13L05a ~ 13L15d DIV
Paignton 13L30a ~ 14L00d DIV
Churston 14.15a ~ 14.35d DIV
Kingswear 14.50a ~ 15.20d DIV
Paignton 15L45a ~ 17L00d DIV
Newton Abbot 17L15a ~ 17L25d DIV
Dawlish Warren 17/36 DIV
Exeter St. Davids 17/48 DIV
Cowley Bridge Jn 17/50 DIV
Whiteball Tunnel 18/07 DIV
Taunton 18/15 DIV
Bridgwater 18/25 DIV
Uphill Jn 18/35 DIV
Bristol Temple Meads 18.52a ~ 18.55d 10.59 ~ 12.28
North Somerset Jn 18/57 DIV
Bathampton Jn 19/11 DIV
Chippenham 19/20 DIV
Lawrence Hill DIV 12/31
Bristol Parkway DIV 12/37
Westerleigh Jn DIV 12/43
Hullavington DIV 12/54
Wootton Bassett 19/30 13/03
Swindon 19/35 13/07
Challow 19/45 13/18
Didcot 19/54 13/27
Reading 20.07a ~ 20.09d 13.41 ~ 13.44
Twyford 20/15 13/50
Maidenhead 20/20 13/56
Slough 20/24 13/59
Southall 20/30 14/05
Paddington 20.42a 14.15

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