HDL West Somerset Limited railtour

Saturday 19 June 2010

This article was closed on Friday 25 June 2010

[PHOTO: Steam and diesel trains at station: 66kB]

Above: Our diesel train sits alongside a steam train at Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway. Photo by Neil Walkling.

Hastings Diesels Limited’s 44th public railtour was from Hastings to Minehead on the West Somerset Railway.

The tour picked up at stations from Hastings including Tonbridge, Redhill, Guildford and Reading, and was routed via Newbury. The return journey took a similar route.

Thanks to close co-operation between staff on the train and the control centres for the West Somerset Railway and Network Rail, good time was made to yield an arrival at Bishops Lydeard some 20 minutes early. Despite waiting outside Reading on the return leg, arrival there was still 10 minutes early: our train can really motor!

Historical data

The train was formed thus: 60118-60501-69337-70262-60529-60116, with motor coach 60118 Tunbridge Wells leading on departure from Hastings.

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:


[PHOTO: Train approaching pointwork: 70kB]

Above & Below: 1001 crosses the complex pointwork to arrive at Redhill, where it was photographed by John Simmonds.

[PHOTO: Train approaching pointwork: 82kB]

[PHOTO: Train approaching level crossing: 57kB]

Above: The West Somerset Limited passes Reigate station and signalbox, and crosses the A217 at the level crossing. Photograph by Keith Hemsley.

[PHOTO: Train entering station: 74kB]

Above: On this fine midsummer’s morning, our railtour arrives at Guildford; motor coach Mountfield is now leading, as a result of the reversal at Redhill. Photo by Neil Walkling.

[PHOTO: Train, also reflected in window: 53kB]

Above: Our 1957-built Hastings DEMU is reflected in the tinted windows of a 2001-built Virgin Voyager DEMU at Reading. Photo by David Staines.

[PHOTO: Steam and diesel trains in station: 61kB]

Above & Below: David Staines and Andy Armitage each captured views of our train at Bishops Lydeard, the eastern terminus for most trains on the preserved railway. Alongside is a steam train hauled by former GWR 2-8-0 locomotive 3850.

[PHOTO: Steam and diesel trains in station: 64kB]

[PHOTO: Train in sunny cutting: 82kB]

Above: David Tutton photographed our train descending from Washford towards Blue Anchor.

[PHOTO: train and single-track line: 61kB]

Above: Under a crystal-clear blue sky, the Hastings unit awaits departure from Dunster station for the final mile-and-a-half to the terminus at Minehead.

[PHOTO: Train in station: 61kB]

Above: Motor coach Mountfield is seen at the buffer-stops end of platform 2 at Minehead. Photo by David Tutton.

[PHOTO: Diesel trains at opposite faces of platform: 53kB]

Above: Our Diesel-Electric train awaits departure at Minehead, alongside a train hauled by visiting Diesel-Hydraulic locomotive D1015 Western Champion which was in BR service between 1963 and 1977. Below: A view of our train at Minehead, with the tower of St. Michael’s Church on the hillside beyond; across the road from the station is the beach. Photographs by David Staines.

[PHOTO: Train and hillside beyond: 57kB]

[PHOTO: steam locomotives: 45kB]

Above: There was time for some, including Andy Armitage, to glimpse some of the preserved steam locomotives on display. Visiting GWR loco 6024 King Edward I simmers in front of S&DJR 7F 2-8-0 number 88.

[PHOTO: Train in station: 49kB]

Above: One last look at our train at Minehead, as departure-time draws near.

[PHOTO: Train at level crossing: 70kB]

Above: David Tutton photographed our train as it was about to re-cross the level crossing at Dunster on its return trip.

[PHOTO: Train in countryside: 111kB]

Above & Below: The Hastings DEMU wends its way back along the West Somerset Railway on its long journey home. Photographs by David Tutton.

[PHOTO: Train in countryside: 102kB]