15th April 1979

(Mystery Excursion)

Locos Used 33039, 33045, 45132 & 45133

Route :

Loco Route
45133 Derby, Nottingham (reverse), Leicester, Brent
33045 Brent, Clapham, Stewarts Lane, Selhurst, East Croydon, Brighton
33039 Brighton, Clapham, Brent
45132 Brent, Leicester, Nottingham (reverse), Derby

Source : David Hills (On train from/to Derby)

Tour Review
(by David Hills)

Mystery excursions were always risky, the journey was always fun, but six hours in Scarborough or Llandudno, to name but two frequent destinations, suggested the day could have been better spent on the way to somewhere else. Careful scrutiny of the timings and pick-ups could provide clues, and from the handbill for this trip a likely destination was somewhere on the south coast. So it was down to the garden shed to pull out the buckets and spades following confirmation that we had three tickets in hand.

Greeting us at the station was our stock with 45133 pointing south, hmmm, no Class 47, just where were we going? Had we got it wrong and was this a trip to Cheltenham or Bath? Locos on the London Road curve were 20186/189, 25051 & 46036, passing the Research Centre 47704 & 87004 were noted. We continued on to Nottingham, reversing here and then heading south to Leicester, where 25107/121, 25204/267 were keeping company with 31282. We continued south, a good sign, Wigston Jct came and went, even better, at least we were London bound. 46011 was noted at Wellingborough amidst the regular diet of Classes 25/45 all the way to the capital. We slowed to a halt at Cricklewood, men on the track and banging noises indicated our trusty Peak was required no more, 25069 looked on, after a short delay 33045 appeared, those who had brought their buckets & spades smiled knowingly, it was to be the south coast, but where exactly?

The usual delights of the many suburban London backyard panoramas slowly unfolded (little did I realise that one day I would be part of this landscape), crossing the Thames on this fine spring day revealed a hive of activity on the river. Our arrival at Clapham found us heading towards the city, crawling round the back of Stewarts Lane revealed 09001, 08379, 71010/11 & 73130. Two right hand turns brought us facing south again, through Norwood Jct and passed a well stocked Selhurst revealing many 4SUB EMU's and two de-icing units. Now on the mainline the Class 33 was given its legs, no deviations occurred to our southerly route, it must be Brighton, and sure enough it was, with a parade of electro-diesels for us upon arrival: 73103/122/124/125/129

With the day remaining bright and sunny it was off to the seafront for the splendours of the pier, strange food and Volk's Electric Railway. All to soon the clock demanded our return to the station, our stock was waiting, this time with 33039 to return us to north of the Thames. Good time was made, little of note passed by our windows, just 33027 & 73108 at Clapham. Reaching the Midland main line at Cricklewood we said farewell to the Type 3 and from amongst the many Peaks visible at Cricklewood 45132 was selected for our uneventful return to Derby.

David Hills

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