8th September 2002

Hertfordshire Rail Tours
The Dungeness Pebbledasher

Locos Used 37051, 73133 & 73136


Loco(s) Route
73133 + 73136 (1) London Victoria - Brixton - Beckenham Junction - Bat and Ball - Tonbridge - Ashford - Dungeness
37051 (2) Dungeness - Ashford - Tonbridge (sig AD525)
73133 + 73136 (1) Tonbridge (sig AD525) - Paddock Wood - Maidstone West - Strood -Hither Green - Nunhead - London Victoria

(1) 37051 on rear
(2) 73133 + 73136 on rear.

There were 2 changes to published route :
1) Victoria to Tonbridge via Sevenoaks due to fatality at East Croydon. Original route Herne Hill - Streatham - Selhurst - East Croydon - Purley - Redhill - Tonbridge.
2)Factory Jn to Victoria direct due to derailment at Stewarts Lane Jn. Original route Factory Jn - Stewarts Lane Jn - Grosvenor Bridge Jn - Victoria.

Sources : Stuart Chapman & Alan Costello

Tour Review
(by Stuart Chapman)

Another reasonably short tour, with some rare track and the chance to ride behind the ever diminishing fleet of 73's made this attractive tour and I soon made my booking. With an advertised and very reasonable departure time of 11:10 I arrived at Victoria at 10:30 to find 37051 already at the buffer stops of Victoria's platform 2. Time for a few photo's and up to the front end to see mainline blue liveried 73136 (leading) + 73133. 

Departure was a little late due to a fatality at East Croydon and this also lead to a diversion away from the booked route via Redhill and instead via the normal and originally advertised route via South Bromley and Bat and Ball. The 73's were at this stage running off the third rail current and sitting in the lead coach could easily be heard on their 'full spin hotwash program'. The ten minutes gained with the more direct route meant we were looped just before Headcorn to regain our correct path. A 15 minute stop a Headcorn gave the chance for more photo's before we made our way onto Ashford. It's many years since I've been to Ashford and the station has changed beyond recognition with the channel tunnel rail link routed through the station and then up onto a flyover.

A swap to diesel power in the station and then we rounded the curve onto the Hastings line passed a large retail outlet and made our way to Appledore. A brief stop to pick up the token and then onto the nine mile long Dungeness branch. The scenery here is pretty flat as the line heads across the marshes. Many photographers were seen on route as we made slow progress (50 minutes allowed each way for the branch) towards Dungeness. We slowed many times for each crossing and at Lydd passed the remains of the old station. The scenery turned from grass fields to shingle and we drew into Dungeness pulling right up to the private compound where the Nuclear flasks are loaded.

The 37 then took the strain and it was back off up the branch. A slightly protracted wait at Appledore and then we made good time all the way back to Tonbridge. It has to be said that relatively slack timings meant there was little chance of any real performance from the 73's over the day and the run into Tonbridge with the 37 was the only real speed achieved that day. We ran through the station and a few chains onto the Redhill line. The 73's then took over again for a run back through Paddock Wood and onto the Medway Valley line. This is an extremely picturesque line in places often skirting the river and still with semaphores in a few places. The last time I had been this way was behind 33021 when a series of steam shuttle were run between Maidstone and Tonbridge. We stopped at Maidstone Barracks for a photo stop before making our way towards Strood passing the new CTRL Medway crossing. A number of locos were seen at Hoo Junction (normally almost empty on a Sunday) with 09006, 66025, 66151 and 59205 in the yard and a couple of top and tailed ballast trains waiting to come in.

We dropped off a couple of crew at Hither Green and made our way via Nunhead back to Victoria. Just after Nunhead we passed 37372 heading in the opposite direction on a permanent way train. We arrived back at Victoria just after 6:30 15 minutes ahead of the time advertised in the brochure.

All in all another excellent day delivering everything as originally advertised and always running to time.

Stuart Chapman

Timings (Booked and Actual)
(by Alan Costello)

M.C Location Booked Actual
0.00 London Victoria 11.10d 11.19
2.05 Voltaire Jn 11/16 11/24
3.14 Brixton 11/18 11/26
3.76 Herne Hill 11/23 DIV
5.08 West Dulwich DIV 11/29
8.53 Beckenham Junction DIV 11/32
10.71 Bromley South DIV 11/35
14.57 St Mary Cray Jn DIV 11/40
17.31 Swanley DIV 11/44
24.07 Otford DIV 11/55
26.69 Sevenoaks DIV 11/59
34.22 Tonbridge 12/18 12/08
39.45 Paddock Wood 12/24 12/14
50.00 Headcorn 12.37a ~ 12.53d 12.40 ~ 12.55
60.69 Ashford International 13/05 13/10
69.30 Appledore 13t19a ~ 13t21d 13.26 ~ 13.27
76.31 Lydd Town 13.50a ~ 13.57d 14/00
78.60 Dungeness 14.03a ~ 14.15d 14.09 ~ 14.19
81.09 Lydd Town 14.21a ~ 14.30d 14/29
88.10 Appledore 15t05a ~ 15t10d 15.01 ~ 15.13
96.71 Ashford International 15/27 15/29
107.40 Headcorn 15/38 15/43
117.75 Paddock Wood 15/48 15/52
123.18 Tonbridge 15/58 16.00a ~ 16.04d
123.43 Tonbridge Signal AD525 15.59a ~ 16.13d 16.06 ~ 16.15
123.68 Tonbridge 16/15 16/17
129.11 Paddock Wood 16/22 16/25
139.07 Maidstone West 16/38 16/42
143.40 New Hythe 16.46a ~ 17.10d 17/09
144.64 Snodland 17/13 17/12
150.32 Strood 17/24 17/25
157.48 Gravesend 17/40 17/41
164.31 Dartford 17/50 17/52
164.58 Dartford Jn 17/51 17/53
166.18 Crayford 17/52 17/55
169.48 Sidcup 17/58 17/59
173.52 Lee 18/05 18/08
174.22 Hither Green 18/7 18/12
175.02 Courthill Loop Jn South 18/10 18/15
175.41 Lewisham 18/13 18/16
177.27 Nunhead 18/17 18/20
178.37 Crofton Road Jn 18/19 18/22
179.02 Denmark Hill 18/20 18/23
181.12 Voltaire Road Jn 18/26 18/27
181.37 Factory Jn 18/29 18/29
183.05 London Victoria 18.44a 18.32

a : arrival time
d : departure time
DIV : diverted
/ : passing time

All distances, in miles and chains (M & C), are as calculated by Alan Costello.
No attempt has been made to verify the mileages given.

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