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Many thanks to Peter Maynard, one of our support crew, for sending us this report of the recent Poole - Bristol trip with 70013.  He also provided the photos.

This job was always going to be a logistical nightmare: tour operation starting at Eastleigh, tour proper starting at Poole… and the engine at Swanage. (It would have been so much easier had No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell attended the Eastleigh gala; that it didn’t wasn’t down to us.) So it was Swanage-Eastleigh-Poole-Eastleigh-Bristol-Eastleigh-Poole-Eastleigh. If you’re looking for a virtue in all that, it’s that our Eastleigh-Poole route knowledge has improved no end. 

At Eastleigh, clean and ready to go.

You’d have thought that Parkstone bank, two miles of 1 in 50 a mile out of Poole (cold engine, remember, and over 400 tons on the drawbar) would have been a bit of a challenge. Not a bit of it: Cromwell romped up there almost without noticing. And after a fine run to Eastleigh – what a sight we must have made flying through Brockenhurst at 70 – we headed north-west to Salisbury (water) and Bristol. 

This unusual view is of Malcolm on water duty, poised ready to remove the hoses as soon as the tender is full.

The arrival at Bristol

Bristol Temple Meads was buzzing with people and excitement. Not only was Tornado due in with a railtour, but so was Oliver Cromwell! The two rival stars met there briefly but were together again for servicing on Barton Hill depot where we exchanged some banter with the other support crew – but not too much fraternising with the other mob, you understand…

Coaling at Barton Hill

EWS’s Barton Hill stands on the site of the old Midland Railway’s Barrow Road shed. No more ‘Jubilees’, ‘Black Fives’, 4Fs and the like. And those two curving lines ending in buffer stops are all that’s left of the Midland’s line to the north – which is why they’re called Gloucester sidings. Nice how a bit of history lives on in today’s world. 

Barton Hill ex Barrow RoadBarton Hill Gloucester Sidings

The second half of the day was a mirror image of the first – well until we arrived back at Eastleigh, where people who should have been expecting us weren’t! After hanging around for well over an hour (by this time it was past midnight) we finished with the train and support coach in the depot and the engine over in the works. Did you know that Cross Country’s Voyager dmus sit on Eastleigh depot all night with their engines running? Weary support crew desperate to sleep after a very long day know only too well!

Tom and Geoff exchange pleasantries with Craid, who was firing for this leg of the trip.

Operating constraints (don’t ask) had required us to go to Barton Hill and turn sans support coach. Which meant that we toured the Bristol area in a leisurely fashion, with a footplate full of support crew and watering hoses.

It was a sorry end to an otherwise very pleasant, if strenuous, few days. Still, we’d had some good running over some demanding roads, and met some nice folk at the Swanage Railway. Our thanks go to them for their hospitality and their help, and for filling the tender with that Russian rocket fuel!

Loading "rocket fuel" at Swanage.


By Info | Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | Tags : 70013

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