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I said earlier  (See "Back at Bristol") that I hoped that we would have a report of the weekend's trip, well David Thompson, one of the support crew who was on the PCE over the weekend has just sent us in a report.

A right on time departure from Bristol Temple Meads station saw 70013 at the head of 12 coaches heading for Pembroke Dock via Carmarthen.

The engine, a credit to the support crews, set into the 1 in 75 towards Filton junction sounding superb, although a shock to people having a Sunday morning lie in.

Then, building up speed for the run through the Severn tunnel before blasting out and through Severn Tunnel Junction and soon the first stop at Newport a few minutes early.

An on time departure and a fast run to Cardiff Central where we arrived 2 minutes early.

Departure on time and a good run through South Wales flattening the climb to Llanharan before the downhill section to Bridgend passed 1 minute early and finally coming to a stand at Port Talbot for water 4 minutes early.

Another fine job by Bells and Two Tones filled the tender and we were off on the Swansea avoiding road. Due to signals and speed restrictions we lost 4 minutes which we never made up before arrival at Carmarthen.

Here the engine came off and ran back through the station before servicing in the up sidings.

Coal, water and fire cleaning took place, again with Bells & Two Tones and our friendly Coal lorry from Wolverhampton (from Charlton Whitehouse Fuels!) with best Russian rocket fuel on board.

Due to a service train in Carmarthen platform, 70013 was delayed returning onto the train.

With a West Coast 47 pulling the train on the leg to Pembroke dock and 70013 attached at the rear, we left about 30 minutes late, so losing our path on the branch to Pembroke Dock.

After a very interesting up and down trip we arrived at Tenby over an hour late. Here we had trouble with the crowd as they trespassed all over the running lines; adults, children and even pets were all over the place, as 70013 was outside the platform.

Discussions took place whether to terminate the trip at Tenby and go straight back as that would have put us back on time for the return. The customers of The Railway Touring Company decided that they wanted to continue to Pembroke Dock, and so we did.

Again on arrival at Pembroke Dock 70013 was well out side of the platform, and crowds of people trespassed to look and take pictures, totally ignoring our requests to return, some even offered violent threats to the support crews. All this trespass was reported to the Police who later took statements about it.

Finally, leaving Pembroke Dock where incidentally we were not even able to see the sea, never mind the dock. If we had the time to look around then maybe we would have done.

The branch line turned out to be a severe test for 70013 with 12 coaches and a class 47 hanging on the tail. Up and down like a switchback we made our way homewards.

On one climb we crawled over the summit, with no assistance from the 47, but it was a close call, and even the support crew applauded the efforts of the engine and crew.

Leaving the Pembroke branch at Whitland we stopped for water. After the water stop we were running about an hour and twenty late as we made for our next water stop at Port Talbot.

A fast run back to Bristol saw us arrive 1 hour five late having made up 15 minutes from Port Talbot to Bristol.

A huge thank you to David for his excellent report, and for the photos.



By Info | Monday, June 29, 2009 | Tags : 70013

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