HDL Solent Sentinel railtour

Saturday 20 March 2010

This article was closed on Saturday 3 April 2010.

[PHOTO: Train at wet station: 68kB]

Above: At a wet Warnham station, between Dorking and Horsham, the railtour pauses for a photographic stop. Andy Armitage took this picture.

Hastings Diesels Limited’s 42nd public railtour was from Hastings to Chichester and Portsmouth, via London Victoria.

On our outward journey we took an unusual route from London Victoria via Wimbledon to Epsom, Dorking and the picturesque Arun Valley line; on our way home we ran along the coast via Worthing and Hove, then up the Brighton main line back to London Victoria.

The trip ran largely to time and no serious problems were encountered.

Historical data

The train was formed thus: 60118-60501-69337-70262-60529-60116, with motor coach 60116 Mountfield leading to London Victoria.

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:


[Black & White PHOTO: Train approaching in cutting: 92kB]

Above: Our narrow-bodied train approaches Tunbridge Wells on the Solent Sentinel railtour. Photo by Tom Waghorn.

[Black & White PHOTO: Train receding in cutting: 65kB]

Above: Motor coach Tunbridge Wells brings up the rear of our train as it approaches the town after which it was named. Tom Waghorn took this photo from Benhall Mill Road bridge; just out of sight round the bend (see the large photo) is Strawberry Hill tunnel.

[PHOTO: Train entering station: 62kB]

Above: A rousing sight for those who knew the Hastings line in pre-electrification days: the narrow-bodied yellow-fronted cab of motor coach Mountfield emerges from the road bridge into Tonbridge station.

[PHOTO: Train in large station: 48kB]

Above: Our train is seen beneath the overall roof at London Victoria which would appear to be under repair.

[PHOTO: Train in station: 63kB]

Motor coach Tunbridge Wells is about to lead the railtour out of London Victoria. Photos by (above) Andy Armitage and (below) Colin Price.

[PHOTO: Train in station: 45kB]

[PHOTO: Train at terminus station: 46kB]

Above: Upon arrival at Portsmouth Harbour, passengers detrained and the DEMU was worked away to Fratton Yard for cleaning and water-tank refilling. Photo by Andy Armitage.

[PHOTO: Train passing station and sidings: 62kB]

Above: 1001 passes Portsmouth & Southsea on its way to Fratton. Photo by Colin Price.

[PHOTO: Train in depot yard: 64kB]

Above & below: Our DEMU in Fratton Yard, with a Class 444 ‘Desiro’ and a Class 159 DMMU for company. Photos by Andy Armitage.

[PHOTO: Train in depot yard: 51kB]

[PHOTO: Train in station by night: 68kB]

Above: 1001 awaits departure from one of the former boat-train platforms (2) at London Victoria, for the final leg of the railtour.