Saturday 24 April 2010
This article was closed on Saturday 5 June 2010
A steam-train approaches Bridgnorth, the western end of the Severn Valley
Railway, as our DEMU looks on. Photo by Andy Armitage.
Hastings Diesels Limited’s 43rd
public railtour was from Hastings to Kidderminster and Bridgnorth on the
The outward and return routes were the same between Hastings and
Didcot, via Bromley South, Clapham Junction and Richmond. The outward
portion ran via Swindon, Kemble and the Golden Valley, and the return leg
took in Birmingham Snow Hill and Oxford.
The train performed as expected and kept good time. The sustained
high-speed running on parts of the journey, including passing both
Banbury and Oxford at over 70mph, was a source of amusement to some! The
buffet car and catering-trolley each did a sterling trade throughout the
The train was formed thus: 60118-60501-69337-70262-60529-60116, with motor
coach 60116 Mountfield leading throughout the main-line sections
of the railtour and on the return portion of the Severn Valley Railway
The publicity leaflet and final timings remain available.
Various photographers have taken video-footage depicting this railtour
and have uploaded it to YouTube; the following are links to some
starting-points but do not represent a definitive collection:
Above: This superb view of the railtour
rushing over the crest approaching Frant was photographed by Don
Above & Below: Our narrow-bodied
train approaches Clapham Junction station on the outward portion of the
Severn Explorer railtour.
Above: The railtour’s photo-stop at
Kemble, prior to its passage through Sapperton Tunnel and the Golden
Above: This view of our train
accelerating away from Hay Bridge on the Severn Valley Railway was
captured by Phil Gosling.
Above: There was time during our call at
Arley for this photo to be taken.
Above: At Bridgnorth, this photo was
taken showing our train laying-over in the Down platform; the headcode
has been changed ready for the return trip, but the handbrake is also
applied as can be seen by the shoe-paddle placed in the seconman’s
Above: This study of Bridgnorth
preserved station by Andy Armitage yields much of interest, including the
old station buildings, the classic GWR waiting-shelter, the signal-box,
and a Western Hydraulic loco in the yard.
Above: The signalman and one of the
footplate crew exchange single-line tokens as the train passes the
signal-box at Hampton Loade. This sort of scene was viewed by many of
our passengers during the day — although this particular event was
seen not from 1001 but from another steam train on the Severn Valley
Above: The Bridgnorth to Hastings
service had just set off when Phil Gosling captured this image of it
descending Eardington Bank on the Severn Valley Railway.
The return leg of the railtour departing from Highley on the Severn
Valley Railway. Photo by Jon Williams.
Above & Below: The preserved
Hastings DEMU makes its way off the connecting line between the Severn
Valley Railway and the National Rail network at Kidderminster, and
arrives at the station to entrain the remaining passengers for the return
leg to Hastings.
Above: On the return leg of the
railtour, Phil Gosling photographed 1001 as it passed Birmingham Snow
At a few minutes past six on this pleasant late-April evening, the entire
trainload of travellers is off the train at Hatton, stretching their
legs, conversing or making their way to/from the other platform to admire
the train. The photo-stop was scheduled to last for 10 minutes.