70013 on the West Somerset Explorer, Saturday 18th June 2011
70013 Oliver Cromwell performed in it usual spirited fashion on the West Somerset Explorer from Paddington to Minehead and back last Saturday (18th June 2011), sponsored by The Railway Touring Company. The 12 coach train was a sell out. Unlike some recent charters it ran ahead of time for most of the journey.
Only 69 minutes were scheduled at Minehead, somewhat tight for all the activities that had to be carried out. West Somerset Railway staff and workers provided significant help with servicing, watering and coaling Cromwell as well as turning the loco on the recently installed table and running the support coach round the stock.
An early arrival back into Paddington was thwarted by an hour's layover at the watering point in Theale Up Loop, as a platform could not be guaranteed until the train's booked return time of 22.59.
There was great satisfaction and appreciation all around at this efficiantly run and well organised charter.
The support crew member who sent in the report also said "Lamiel was in steam in a siding at Minehead. Apparently she was about to, or just had, been involved with a special. She had a headboard on, something to do with 40 Commando. Can't read it on my camera - will need to download and then expand. The loco was very clean and well looked after, which was nice to find out."