Railtour Archive 2006-07
Paddington - Slough - Reading - Taunton - Exeter - Penzance
Steam Taunton to Penzance - D1015 return trip
This was the first time a Maroon Western had worked on the mainline since the 2nd February 1971 when D1046 Western Marquis the last Maroon Western still in traffic arrived at Swindon for overhaul and repaint into Blue livery. D1015 worked the tour from Paddington to Taunton then ran light engine to Penzance. The tour was then steam hauled from Taunton to Penzance by Great Western King No6024 King Edward I, D1015 then hauled the tour back to Paddington.
Gloucester - Bristol Parkway - Bristol TM - Taunton - Exeter - Penzance
Steam Penzance to Taunton, D1015 Taunton - Gloucester
For the second time in 2 weeks D1015 worked a railtour to Penzance, this time starting from Gloucester straight through to Penzance. The tour was then steam hauled back from Penzance to Taunton by Great Western King No6024 King Edward 1, D1015 then hauled the tour back to Gloucester.
Waterloo - Clapham Junction - Woking - Southampton
Salisbury - Exeter - Crediton - Okehampton
To Commemorate 30 years since the end of the Westerns in 1977 and to celebrate 5 years mainline running of D1015, a tour was run from Waterloo to Okehampton and return. The route of the tour also brought back memories of John Vaughan's RPPR 'Westerns South Western' Railtour from October 1976, hauled on the Southern Region by D1009 'Western Invader' and D1023 'Western Fusilier'. This was also the first time a Western had worked out of Waterloo since D1013 'Western Ranger' hauled the 'Southern Belle' Railtour 19th February 1977.
D1015 worked the tour from Waterloo to Okehampton where passengers then had the option of a steam hauled trip to Meldon Quarry and back before the tour went back to Waterloo. Following a film shoot at Paddington the previous week where D1015 acted as D1046 'Western Marquis' the number and nameplate of D1046 were left on one side of the loco for the tour.
Paddington - Slough - Reading - Didcot Parkway
Bristol Temple Meads - Minehead and Return
There was nothing to do after the February trip except wait! Eventually after what seemed like an eternity the next railtour came and D1015 worked a Past-Time Rail trip from Paddington to Minehead to attend the West Somerset Railways 'Mixed Traffic Gala' which relived the changeover years from Steam to diesel on British Railways Western Region in the Mid 1960's. Other visiting Hydraulics included the Bury Hydraulic Groups Warship D832 'Onslaught' and Hymek D7076 along with fellow 'Thousand', the DEPG's Williton based D1010 'Western Campaigner'.
D1015 ran wearing the number and nameplates on one side as D1051 'Western Ambassador', this is in association with a new promotion that the DTG runs enabling travellers to purchase a replica nameplate and have them carried on the loco. After arrival at Minehead from Paddington D1015 played its part in the Gala by working the 13:40 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard and 15:30 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead. D1010 'Western Campaigner' was then attached to the front of D1015 giving everyone on the Railtour 'Double Stamps' as far as Bishops Lydeard where she was uncoupled and we then departed back to Paddington. We think unless you know better this was the first time two Maroon Westerns have run double headed in Preservation.
Birmingham International - Birmingham New Street - Barnt Green
Cheltenham Spa - Cam and Dursley - Bristol Parkway
Bristol Temple Meads - Penzance and Return
D1015 made its annual trip to Penzance working a Pathfinder Railtour from Birmingham International, the trip would have brought back memories to some passengers who travelled behind D1013 'Western Ranger' when she worked a Western Farewell tour called 'The Cornishman' from Birmingham New Street to Penzance on 13th November 1976 and was supposed to have been the last 'Western' railtour to the terminus, how could we have known back then that a Western would return to Penzance in 2007!
Following D1015 working at the East Lancashire Railway Diesel Gala in July and following the cancellation of the previous weeks tour 'The Western Fellsman' due to flooding on the line between Oxford and Leamington Spa D1015 made its way home to Old Oak Common by working the return leg of Pathfinders "Cumbrian Mountain Express" Railtour from Preston to Swindon. Then Following an overnight stop at Swindon returned to Old Oak Common with the tour ECS on Sunday 5th August, as usual D1015 performed impeccably.
Swindon - Kemble - Stroud - Cheltenham - Barnt Green
Birmingham New Street - Aberystwyth and return
D1015 made yet more history on the 1st of September 2007 by becoming the first, and possibly the last, Class 52 to traverse the Cambrian line. The Cambrian Coast Express was the first tour to be organised by the newly formed EWS/Riviera Alliance. The tour started from Swindon at 06:47 and was routed via Stroud, the Lickey and Camp Hill before joining the Cambrian line at Shrewsbury.
Time keeping on the outward was excellent and despite an impromptu additional stop for fuel at Machynlleth on the return the train was back on time by New Street. The performance of the locomotive was excellent throughout the day and Tallerdig was breasted at 28mph with the 11 coach, 425 ton load. To commemorate this special occasion D1015 carried a superb replica of the Cambrian Coast Express headboard as carried in the early sixties, thanks go to Steve Willis for fabricating this fine work of art.
London Victoria - Bewdley (D1015 Salisbury - Kidderminster - Bewdley - Victoria)
Phil Swallow is a great friend, supporter and member of the DTG and so it was fitting that Western Champion should take the lions share of the work involved in hauling this very special train to celebrate Phil's 50th Birthday. The day started at London Victoria behind 35028 'Clan Line' which gave the guests a leisurely steam hauled introduction to the day. Clan line took the scenic route as far as Byfleet before joining the South Western main line for the onward trip to Salisbury.
At Salisbury D1015 was already waiting to take the train forward and, after we had said farewell to Clan Line, D1015 picked up the pace as we made a less than sedate station departure. The route taken was via Westbury, the Avon Valley, Dr Days and Cheltenham before reaching Kidderminster pretty much on time. 67012, which remained on the reverse all day, took the train to Bewdley where a break of roughly 3 hours allowed the passengers to sample the delights of the local scenery, pubs and tea rooms.
After a speech on the platform given by our host, D1015 departed on time at 18:05 and was soon back in it's stride attacking Old Hill bank. The return route was via Snow Hill, Banbury, Saunderton and then the tortuous journey across London via Kensington to finally arrive at Victoria close to time at 23:07.
Thanks from all those on board to Phil Swallow for his generosity and making his birthday special such great fun for all who were lucky enough to take part. Now we just have to convince him that 51 is a really special birthday!
Paddington - Reading - Bristol Parkway - Cardiff - Milford Haven and return
When D1023 'Western Fusilier' departed Milford Haven on the 16th December 1976 with the stock off the 00:50 from Paddington few could have imagined that the next visit of a Western to this West Wales outpost would be over 30 years later!
The day dawned fair and spirits were high at Paddington when at 07.33 D1015 took it's 11 coach train out of Paddington. D1015 was on this occasion carrying D1016 number and nameplates on one side and D1021 on the other, this in association with a promotion that the DTG runs enabling travelers to purchase a replica nameplate and have them carried on the loco.
Pick up points were Reading, Bristol Parkway and Cardiff, all of which were made in good time. As the morning progressed and the weather deteriorated into low cloud and mizzle the slack timings allowed a 35 minute early arrival at Haverford West and an impromptu photo stop.
Milford Haven itself was reached on time and the local supermarket and public house reaped a surprise bonanza albeit wishing that they had a few more staff on duty. After a break of a little over two hours departure was made a few minutes late but this was soon recouped due to the easy timings. All went according to plan until an emergency possession of the Badminton section required a diversion via Dr Days curve and Box Tunnel. Unfortunately the driver was awaiting a refresher on the route beyond Dr Days and therefore the train could not proceed until relieved by our London driver who had a to be taxied to our assistance. Around 45 minutes down for the rest of the journey, another excellent D1015 tour was concluded at Paddington without further incident.