Sandite season 2003

This article was closed on 14 December 2003

2003’s Sandite season ran from Sunday 5 October to Friday 5 December inclusive. The two Network Rail DEMU motor coaches, from disbanded Berkshire DEMUs 1127 and 1131, received general maintenance at St. Leonards depot from August onwards; this included the fitting of TPWS. A test run took place on Tuesday 23 September 2003, when motor coach 60118 Tunbridge Wells was coupled up with Network Rail DEMU motor coach 977939 and its Sandite-laying vehicle; the three-car formation left St. Leonards depot at 1055 and ran to Ashford and back. 977939’s newly-fitted TPWS was found to operate correctly. The other motor coach, 977940, required further attention before it could be run, and so HDL’s motor coach 60118 Tunbridge Wells was used for the first week of Sandite operations. 977940 returned to traffic without a specific test run, replacing 60118 for Sandite duties from Sunday 12 October.

Motor coach 60118 Tunbridge Wells worked the Sandite train from Thursday 20 to Thursday 27 November 2003 inclusive, deputizing for 977940 which was suffering some electrical problems. ’940 resumed operations with sister motor-coach ’939 on 28 November following satisfactory repairs.

For Winter 2003, all the Sandite workings from St. Leonards depot ran as 8Z20; Monday-to-Friday workings departed at 0450 and returned at 0715, Saturday 0500-0724, and Sunday 0802-1024.