Last updated on 4 January 2017
This section was originally devised during the days when our train was used intensively on the Ashford & Hastings line, and was intended to provide an easily-accessed historical record of our train’s workings on the main line. As our train continues to go out on various test runs, railtours and workings for other operators, we hope that this diary remains a useful resource.
This diary attempts to record every occasion when one or more of our railway vehicles has moved on Network Rail metals (other than shunting operations within the St. Leonards depot area). Therefore, it includes workings on the Ashford & Hastings line, railtours and excursions (whether HDL’s or for another operator), rescue missions to Eastbourne, and so on. At present, use of motor coaches in a Network Rail Sandite or De-icing train are NOT included.
The set of entries on this page is believed to be complete.
All the Railtours which HDL has operated are listed and described on the Railtour archive page. Naturally, that page overlaps somewhat with this one.
There is a “status column” between each date and its diary entry, whose meanings are as follows:
|A||Ashford & Hastings Line passenger-service working|
|R||Railtour or other special-scheduled passenger working|
|S||Special non-passenger working (e.g. test run, rescue mission), or operation of unusual passenger service|
|1001’s workings over Network Rail metals
since 1 January 2006
(See previous entries)
|Wednesday 19 April 2006||S||Our train operated “The Soap Run” today. This is a local job,
delivering the cleaning supplies to South Eastern’s
carriage-washer, between the depot and Bopeep Junction; there is no
access by road to the washer.
N.B. There were some previous such trips, dates for which will be added to this diary in due course.
|Wednesday 23 August 2006||S||Once more our train operated “The Soap Run”. It was formed of 60000-60116 (the latter used as a Driving Trailer, i.e. without power).|
|Thursday 1 March 2007||S||1001 was sent on a further excursion towards Bopeep Junction on “The Soap Run”, formed 60000-60116; the latter was again operating as a Driving Trailer, but on this occasion was on test following modifications in preparation for CDL/OTMR. (See photo at foot of News page.)|
|Wednesday 6 June 2007||S||Motor coaches 60116 and 60118 made a trip to the carriage-washer to replenish its supplies today.|
|Friday 29 June 2007||S||1001 returned to the main line today, following Central Door
Locking and On-Train Monitoring Recorders works. Motor coaches
|Sunday 8 July 2007||S||Our two available Motor Coaches 60116-60118 operated
|Thursday 20 September 2007||S||Our two available motor-coaches were coupled to 73 107 which was on test. The test train,
As well as providing this dual-mode test for the Electro-Diesel loco, it ‘turned’ our motor-coaches: 60116 Mountfield now faces Bexhill.
A news article contains photos of this (and the subsequent) test runs.
|Wednesday 26 September 2007||S||A further test run took place, causing our unit to be turned a second time. Photos and details are in this news article.|
|Thursday 18 October 2007||S||A final test run of 73 107 took
place with our motor coaches 60116 and
60118. This turned them a third time,
finally restoring them to their “usual” orientation. Photos and
details are in this news article.
At the depot, Mountfield now faces towards Bexhill, and Tunbridge Wells faces towards Rye.
|Tuesday 4 December 2007||S||Motor coaches 60116-60118 undertook a driver-training run for FirstGBRf. Leaving St. Leonards at 1055, they ran via Rye, Ashford, Folkestone, Dover, Deal, Minster, Canterbury, Ashford, Tonbridge and Battle, returning to St. Leonards by 1527. Steve Hatcher took a photo at Paddock Wood. This run would again have taken “Hastings” stock through the twin single-bore tunnels at Shakespeare Cliff; an even number (2) of reversals means that the train was not turned round.|
|Friday 6 June 2008||S||1001 (formed with vehicles 60118, 60501, 69337, 60116) operated the “Soap Run”, travelling down to the nearby carriage-washing plant to deliver supplies. It is likely that our train has operated further such runs in recent months which have not appeared in this diary.|
|Thursday 26 June 2008||S||1001 operated a test run as a five car formation (60118-60501-69337-60529-60116). It ran via Hastings (reverse), Tonbridge, Redhill, Clapham Jc, Catford Loop, Swanley, Maidstone East, Ashford, Rye, St. Leonards Depot. A news article has a photo of the run taking place.|
|Saturday 28 June 2008||R||1001 was hired by a TOC for an outing to Bournemouth; it was in the same 5-car formation as two days ago. A news article contains photos, and timings are available.|
|Thursday 18 December 2008||S||The five main-line-certified cars of our train (see previous entries) ran on a turning/test trip which departed at 1000 and ran via Hastings, Rye, Ashford International, Tonbridge, Battle and Hastings, arriving back at St. Leonards Depot at 1230. This turned the train round with motor coach Tunbridge Wells now facing Bexhill.|
|Sunday 21 December 2008||R||HDL ran its Christmas Onward Railtour to Folkestone, where it traversed the nearly-closed Folkestone Harbour branch. A news article contains photos, and timings for the trip are available. The train was not turned round in the course of the day’s activities.|
|Wednesday 28 January 2009||S||1001 set out at 0920 today on the “Soap Run”, delivering supplies to West Marina carriage-washer; it returned to depot at 1045.|
|Thursday 19 March 2009||S||Our DEMU worked a pre-railtour test run to Tonbridge; see the illustrated news article.|
|Saturday 21 March 2009||R||1001 operated the HDL Wiltshire Warrior railtour today.|
|Friday 26 June 2009||S||Our 5-coach train undertook a test run today, in preparation for the upcoming HDL Midland Forester Railtour. Running as 1H01, it left St. Leonards depot at 0955 and ran thus: Hastings (reverse) - Battle - Tonbridge (reverse) - Ashford - Dover - Minster - Canterbury West - Ashford (reverse) - Rye - St. Leonards. It arrived at 1445, facing the same direction as on departure, and with no problems encountered.|
|Saturday 4 July 2009||R||1001 operated the HDL Midland Forester railtour today.|
|Wednesday 22 July 2009||S||1001 ran to the West Marina carriage-washer today (the “Soap Run”) to deliver its supplies.|
|Friday 25 September 2009||S||1001 went out on a pre-railtour test-run today; it departed at 09:50 and its route was Hastings – Tonbridge – Ashford – Dover Priory – Minster curve – Canterbury West – Ashford – Rye – Hastings and return to depot. Andy Armitage shot some video of it passing Doleham which may be of interest.|
|Saturday 3 October 2009||R||1001 operated the HDL Worcester Leveller railtour today. The 5-car train arrived back at St. Leonards Depot facing the opposite way from when it departed.|
|Saturday 10 October 2009||R||
1001 was used by First GBRf for The Caterham Corps, a charity outing from Hastings to London and the Kent & Surrey areas, in aid of Help for Heroes, with bookings being handled by UK Railtours. The train was “topped and tailed” by Class 73 electro-diesel locomotives.
The train travelled up to London Victoria via Tonbridge, Lewisham and Denmark Hill; then back to Bromley North; then via Sidcup and Woolwich Arsenal to London Bridge; to Hayes and back; to Caterham and Tattenham Corner; via Selhurst, Clapaham Junction, Kensington Olympia and Mitre Bridge Junction to Richmond; via Mitre Bridge and Stewarts Lane Junction to Victoria; and to Hastings via Tonbridge.
|Sunday 11 October 2009||R||
Our train was used by First GBRf for The Eton Rifles, a charity outing from Hastings to London and the Kent & Surrey areas, in aid of Help for Heroes, with bookings being handled by UK Railtours. The train was “topped and tailed” by Class 73 electro-diesel locomotives.
The train travelled up to London Waterloo via Tonbridge and Catford (see photo at Battle); to Epsom Downs via Tulse Hill and back via a reversal at Kensington Olympia; and to Windsor & Eton Riverside.
Whilst at Windsor & Eton Riverside, the DEMU and locos were involved in a minor derailment at very low speed. Our train was returned to us under its own power the following day, having stabled at Tonbridge in the early hours of Monday morning; it had suffered negligible damage. HDL, First GBRf, and Network Rail all co-operated with a RAIB investigation into the derailment, which subsequently resulted in the publication of this report; the design, maintenance and operation of our train were found to have had no bearing on the incident.
|Saturday 7 November 2009||S||1001 was taken today on one of its semi-regular “Soap Runs” to deliver supplies to the carriage-washer near Bo-Peep Junction.|
|Tuesday 10 November 2009||S||Our train was used for a driver-training run to Folkestone and Minster; a news article contains full details, photos and a video.|
|Saturday 14 November 2009||R||UK Railtours used our train for their Sheringham Crabber railtour today. It started from St. Leonards Depot but entered service at Sevenoaks at 0625; picking up at Bromley South, Kensington Olympia, Willesden Junction (High Level) and Finsbury Park, it ran via the Norwich triangle to Cromer and Sheringham; return was via the same route, arriving at Sevenoaks at 2108.|
|Saturday 5 December 2009||R||1001 operated the HDL Christmas Scholar railtour to Cambridge today.|
|Saturday 19 December 2009||R||1001 operated the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington (Olympia) and Shepherd’s Bush today.|
|Wednesday 17 March 2010||S||The CEP coach 70262 was re-certified yesterday in time for inclusion in a Test run to Tonbridge. Illustration and details are provided in a news article.|
|Saturday 20 March 2010||R||1001 operated the HDL Solent Sentinel railtour to Portsmouth today. This trip marked the return of CEP coach 70262 to revenue service.|
|Saturday 24 April 2010||R||1001 operated the HDL Severn Explorer railtour to Kidderminster and Bridgnorth today.|
|Thursday 3 June 2010||S||1001 was sent on the “Soap Run” today, to deliver supplies to the nearby carriage-washing plant at West Marina.|
|Wednesday 16 June 2010||S||Motor coaches Tunbridge Wells and Mountfield were driven to Hornsey depot, to use the wheel-lathe there. A news article tells the rest of the story.|
|Saturday 19 June 2010||R||1001 operated the HDL West Somerset Limited railtour to Minehead today.|
|Sunday 8 August 2010||R||1001 was privately chartered today for the Andy Piper Memorial Railtour today. All six cars of unit 1001 passed their Ultrasonic Axle Tests four days ago, on 4 August.|
|Thursday 9 September 2010||S||The 6 cars of 1001 departed St. Leonards depot as
|Wednesday 15 September 2010||S||A test run today to confirm the fix on the fault previously encountered instead provided different symptoms with brakes hanging-on, and the test run was curtailed after only going to Hastings station; back at the depot, dirt in an air-strainer on motor coach Mountfield was found and removed.|
|Thursday 16 September 2010||S||A successful test run was carried out this evening. The train set
out at 2000 as
|Saturday 18 September 2010||R||1001 operated the HDL English Electric Echo railtour to Skegness today, in which the 6-car train performed faultlessly; it arrived back at the depot facing the opposite way round.|
|Saturday 30 October 2010||R||Our train was used by GB Railfreight for a charity railtour, The Wandering Willow railtour to London and the Brighton area. Our train was turned round in the course of the outing.|
|Saturday 6 November 2010||R||1001 worked the Hastings Blue Belle charter for, and to, the Bluebell Railway today. It ran through from the main line onto and beyond Imberhorne Viaduct.|
|Saturday 18 December 2010||R||Our train operated the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington Olympia and Shepherd’s Bush today.|
|Saturday 19 February 2011||R||Our train operated the HDL Winter Enigma railtour to Bedford and Bletchley today.|
|Saturday 26 March 2011||R||Our train operated the HDL Norfolk Navigator railtour to Ely and Dereham today.|
|Saturday 14 May 2011||R||Our train operated the HDL Metrolander railtour to Beaconsfield, Aylesbury and Quainton Road today.|
|Saturday 25 June 2011||R||Our train operated the HDL Dorset Diadem railtour to Bournemouth and Swanage today.|
|Sunday 7 August 2011||R||Our train was chartered for a charity outing to Bournemouth and
Poole via Reading, the
Andy Piper & Grant Tryon Memorial Train.
|Saturday 10 September 2011||R||Our train operated the HDL Midland Pioneer railtour to Leicester, Loughborough and Butterley.|
|Saturday 3 December 2011||R||Our train operated the HDL Old Curiosity Mystery railtour to London Cannon Street, Rochester and Ashford.|
|Saturday 17 December 2011||R||Our train was chartered for the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington Olympia and Shepherd’s Bush today. This charter was organized by a third party, with the publicity being hosted by HDL; that publicity remains available for historical interest here: leaflet, booking-form and final timings. Photographs of the outing may be found on an external website.|
|Wednesday 28 March 2012||S||The 6 cars of our train went on a test run to Tonbridge, and ended up being diverted via Ashford and Rye for the return working; this caused it to get turned round. A news article has illustration and detail.|
|Saturday 31 March 2012||R||Our train operated the HDL Thames Tidal railtour to Fenchurch Street, Southend and Shoeburyness.|
|Saturday 12 May 2012||R||Our train operated the HDL Nene Machine railtour to Peterborough and the Nene Valley Railway.|
|Saturday 7 July 2012||R||Our train operated the HDL Channel Two railtour to Bath, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.|
|Saturday 15 September 2012||R||Our train operated the HDL Western Forester railtour to Gloucester and the Dean Forest Railway.|
|Saturday 24 November 2012||R||Our train operated the HDL Canterbury Trail railtour visiting many of the main lines around Kent, plus the Dungeness branch; it was turned round in the course of the day.|
|Saturday 22 December 2012||R||Our train was chartered for the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington Olympia; the charter was organized by a third party, with the publicity being hosted by HDL; that publicity remains available for historical interest here: leaflet, booking-form and final timings. Photographs of the outing may be found on an external website.|
|Thursday 27 June 2013||S||Our train in its 6-coach formation went on a test run to Tonbridge West Yard, via Hastings, which was completed satisfactorily.|
|Wednesday 17 July 2013||S||Our train in its 6-coach formation went on a crew-training run to Tunbridge Wells and back in the afternoon, with everything running according to plan.|
|Saturday 20 July 2013||R||Our train operated the HDL Weymouth Envoy railtour today, traversing the entire length of the L&SWR main line.|
|Saturday 14 September 2013||S||Our train attended the Slade Green depot staff open day; an illustrated news article has been published.|
|Wednesday 18 December 2013||S||Our train went on a test & crew-training run to Tonbridge, via Rye in both directions; this allowed some higher-speed running on the Ashford to Tonbridge section, where signals permitted. A video-clip of 1001 at Ore was taken by Andy Armitage.|
|Saturday 21 December 2013||R||Our train was chartered for the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington Olympia; the charter was organized by a third party, with the publicity being hosted by HDL; that publicity remains available for historical interest here: leaflet, booking-form and final timings. Photographs of the outing may be found on an external website.|
|Monday 23 June 2014||S||At short notice 1001 went out on a test run to Tonbridge West Yard, out & back via Rye. The train ran fault-free, and the GSM-R radio got its first test too. Videos show our train passing Tonbridge station, and the back-cab view on the return leg.|
|Saturday 12 July 2014||R||Our train operated the HDL Hastings Diesels Crewe railtour, achieving some fast running down and back up the West Coast Main Line.|
|Various dates during August and early September 2014||S||Our train in its six-car formation was used by GB Railfreight for traincrew-training runs between St. Leonards Depot, Ashford and Tonbridge on various weekdays during late August and early September.|
|Wednesday 10 September 2014||S||Our train visited the carriage-washer at St. Leonards West Marina to have a wash and brush-up prior to its forthcoming railtour. The two DEMU motor-coaches of 930301 the Network Rail de-icing unit came along too, making a unique 8-car train.|
|Saturday 13 September 2014||R||Our train operated the HDL Essex Coast Express railtour, taking in visits to the Graham Road Curve and London Liverpool Street.|
|Friday 12 December 2014||S||Our six-car train was used by Southern for an Engineering Fleet staff Christmas outing with full catering & buffet service laid on by HDL staff; it ran to Eastbourne then back past the depot to Ashford, then to Brighton and back to Hastings.|
|Saturday 20 December 2014||R||Our train was again chartered for the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington Olympia; the charter was organized by a third party, with the publicity being hosted by HDL; that publicity remains available for historical interest here: leaflet, booking-form.|
|Saturday 18 April 2015||R||Our DEMU operated the HDL Green Dragon railtour to Cardiff via Guildford and Salisbury. At Newport on the return leg the train was turned at short notice on the Maindee triangle and driven from the other end, to work around a temporary fault with a horn-valve. The train thus arrived back at St. Leonards facing the other way round.|
|Friday 24 April 2015||S||Our six-car train was chartered by Network Rail for a staff
Retirement Specialfor George Graham; it ran via Ashford, Folkestone and Dover to Ramsgate, Margate, Gillingham, Farningham Road, Kent House and London Victoria where it arrived 24 minutes early; Despite its reversal at Ashford, the ensuing circular route to Victoria kept the train the same way round. However, to rectify the unscheduled turning on the previous railtour, during its empty trip back to Hastings and the depot it ran via Blackfriars and was thus turned round: the Club Class end once again faced towards Bexhill.
|Friday 5 June 2015||S||Our six-car train was chartered by Southern for a staff
Retirement Specialfor Alan Lake; it ran empty to Brighton via Eastbourne, entrained invited passengers for a 1047 departure and a trip along the coast and across the marsh to Ashford International and back, returning to Brighton at 1451 before running empty away to depot.
|Saturday 4 July 2015||R||Our DEMU operated the HDL Warwickshire Wanderer railtour to Stratford-upon-Avon via Neasden and Aynho Junction, returning via Oxford and Ascot.|
|Wednesday 29 & Thursday 30 July 2015||S||On Sunday a southeastern train derailed after hitting a herd of cows; following re-railing and repairs at the site between Wye and Chilham, the stricken train was moved to Canterbury West. On Wednesday evening, HDL’s motor coaches Mountfield & Tunbridge Wells were marshalled back-to-back and departed St. Leonards depot at 2000hrs as Rescue Train 1Z99; this ran via Ashford International, Folkestone, Deal, and Minster to Canterbury West, arriving at 2220hrs. The 8-car Class 375, whose front pair of (damaged) wheelsets were fitted with skates, was then coupled to our DEMU motor coaches using our Dellner coupling-adapter (featured in this HDL news article from 2005) and dragged very slowly to Ramsgate depot (see this video and another video on YouTube). Our DEMU motor coaches subsequently left Ramsgate at 0321hrs, returning to Hastings via a reversal at Minster station (to prevent the unit being turned round) and retracing its route; it arrived at St. Leonards depot at 0512hrs.|
|Monday 10 to Friday 14 August 2015||S||On Monday 10 August 2015, 1001’s motor coaches 60116 Mountfield & 60118 Tunbridge Wells were worked to Three Bridges for a week of shunting Class 700 trains within the new Thameslink depot there, in which the conductor-rail had not yet been engergised. Our motor coaches returned to St. Leonards on Friday 14 August.|
|Saturday 29 August 2015||S||The six cars of 1001 were worked empty via Ashford and Wye to Ramsgate in the morning, to take part in an open day at Ramsgate depot. Our unit returned via Deal and Ashford in the early evening.|
|Saturday 19 September 2015||R||Our DEMU operated the HDL Leicestershire Bell railtour, which ran to Loughborough and onto the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) to Ruddington. It ran via Corby and Harringworth viaduct on the way out, and direct via the Midland Main Line on its return, and so returned to the depot having been turned round (the Mountfield end facing Bexhill).|
|Friday 25 September 2015||S||Our six-car train was chartered for a railway staff
Retirement Specialfor John Atkinson, who is also a long-term HDL supporter. The trip ran from Hastings to East Grinstead and onto the Bluebell Railway, and returned after dark to Hastings.
|Saturday 5 December 2015||R||Our train operated the HDL Salisbury Star 2 railtour, which ran to Salisbury via Redhill, Guildford and Havant; outward was via Southampton, return via Chandlers Ford.|
|Saturday 19 December 2015||R||Our train was again privately chartered for the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington Olympia; this year all publicity and booking was handled directly by the promoter.|
|Wednesday 20 January 2016||S||The 6 cars of our DEMU were sent to Tonbridge West Yard and back today, on a driver-training run for Rail Operations Group.|
|Saturday 7 May 2016||R||Our train operated the HDL Hastings Blue Belle railtour to the Bluebell Railway and Uckfield via Redhill.|
|Saturday 23 July 2016||R||Our train operated the HDL Weybourne Wanderer railtour to Norwich, Cromer and the North Norfolk Railway; our outward journey was via Ipswich and our return via Cambridge; although we were delayed by other trains at Cromer and subsequently, we regained all the lost time and returned our passengers to their pickup points on time.|
|Sunday 18 September 2016||R||Our train operated the HDL Ardingly Arrow railtour to London Victoria, Brighton and Haywards Heath, in connection with celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of the coming of the railway to the latter. Our train was scheduled to run 5 shuttle-trips down the partly-closed Ardingly branch; these were so popular that extra trips were run.|
|Saturday 17 December 2016||R||Our train was again privately chartered for the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington Olympia; all publicity and booking was handled directly by the promoter.|
|Saturday 31 December 2016||R||Our train operated the HDL Canterbury Bell railtour from Eastbourne to Hastings, Rye, Ashford, Canterbury East and Faversham.|
|Please consult the “Unit 1001’s status” news section (including our
Twitter feed) for latest operations information,
including items which may not yet have made it to this page!