9th June 2002
Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Desert Mule
|Locos Used||56006, 58033, 59206 & 73129|
1Z56 : London Paddington to Yeovil Junction
1Z92 : Yeovil Junction to London Victoria
|56006 (1)||London Paddington - Reading - Westbury|
|59206||Westbury - Yeovil Pen Mill - Yeovil Junction|
|58033||Yeovil Junction - Salisbury - Eastleigh East Yard|
|73129||Eastleigh East Yard - Botley - Havant - Portsmouth - Guildford - Effingham - Leatherhead - Epsom - Raynes Park - Wimbledon - Haydons Road - Balham - Clapham Junction - Pouparts Jn - Stewarts Lane - LondonVictoria|
(1) 59206 on rear.
Source : John Clifford
(on the train throughout)
(by Jason Warner)
This was Hertfordshire Railtours first entry into the relatively new "Spin and Win" market. Quite an ingenious named tour, Desert after the route from Reading to Taunton and Mule after the Waterloo-Exeter route, hence "The Desert Mule".
59206 brought the 13 Blue/Grey Mark 1's into Platform 1. At the business end 56006 in its original BR blue sat atop the stock. Departure was 1 minute late and by all accounts the grid thrashed all they way to Westbury.
Westbury was reached on time, however there was drizzle, which put a dampener on the photo stop. 59206 which was still on the rear of the train was then removed and put on the front of the train. 56006 then headed eastwards back LE to Bescot!
59206 departed on time and gave a very spirited run to Yeovil Junction briefly pausing at Pen Mill. As Yeovil Junction was reached 58033 was seen sitting outside the station awaiting its turn of the tour. The tour pulled into Platform 3 which is now run by the South West Mainline Steam Company. We had about an hour here, during which 58033 backed onto the train, the tearoom and shop were open and opportunities were available to take photos of the various locos there (including 20059). A couple of minutes early and 58033 departed in the rain towards Salisbury (this was its first passenger outing for nearly 6 years!!).
Again another fast run to Salisbury ensued, however there was a 40-minute pathing stop in Tisbury Loop.
There was a photo stop at Salisbury in the rain, which most tour participants seemed to partake. Before long we were off again via Southampton to Eastleigh Yard. On the approach to Eastleigh station 73129 was passed. Pulling into the yard a couple of 58's were noticed 58016/58045. Whilst 73129 was attached to the other end 58020 rolled in on a ballast. On time again 73129 pulled away and gave a lively run for a ED on load 13 via Havant, Guildford back to Victoria. Victoria was reached about 15 minutes early.
VERDICT: A very well organised relaxed tour. The price of £39.50 didnít hurt the pocket for a change and with some decent power and thrash made the day more enjoyable. The train wasn't bursting at the seams, but filling 13 coaches for this type of tour was very ambitious, the bashing fraternity are a very fickle lot!!!
looking forward to the next one on the 13/7/02
Timings (Booked and Actual)
(by John Clifford)
|35.73||Reading||10.45a ~ 10.48d||10.40 ~ 10.47|
|94.40||Heywood Road Jn||11/42||11/40|
|95.42||Westbury||11.45a ~ 12.05d||11.43 ~ 12.16|
|100.18||Clink Road Jn||12/13||12/23|
|126.65||Yeovil Pen Mill||12.43a ~ 12.44d||12.49 ~ 12.49|
|128.44||Yeovil Junction||12.50a ~ 13.44d||12.59 ~ 13.43|
|145.69||Gillingham||14.06a ~ 14.09d||14.03 ~ 14.04|
|155.18||Tisbury Loop||14.21a ~ 14.48d||14.17 ~ 14.45|
|167.49||Salisbury||15.04a ~ 15.18d||15.00 ~ 15.18|
|197.63||Eastleigh East Yard||16.07a ~ 16.27d||16.09 ~ 16.28|
|198.77||Eastleigh South Jn||16/32||16/33|
|203.65||Botley||16.38a ~ 16.45d||16/40|
|209.06||Fareham North Jn||16/53||16/45|
|216.02||Farlington Jn||17/07||16.56a ~ 16.57d|
|277.37||Raynes Park||18/42||18.43a ~ 18.44d|
|278.39||Wimbledon West Jn||18/47||18.48a ~ 18.48d|
|281.74||Streatham South Jn||18/54||18/57|
|282.73||Streatham North Jn||18/55||18/58|
|287.17||Stewarts Lane Jn||19/18||19/07|
|287.60||Battersea Pier Jn||19/26||19/09|
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