HDL Dorset Diadem railtour

Saturday 25 June 2011

This article was closed on Friday 8 July 2011

[PHOTO: Train and castle: 50kB]

Above: Our train is seen against the backdrop of Corfe Castle—a classic view of the preserved Swanage Railway. Photo by Andrew P.M. Wright.

Hastings Diesels Limited’s 49th public railtour was from Hastings via London Waterloo to Swanage, on the preserved Swanage Railway. It ran fast down the L&SWR main line all the way to Bournemouth and, turning left at Worgret Junction, to Corfe Castle and Swanage.

The trip was sold out, and ran almost exactly to time; Bournemouth was reached nearly 20 minutes early, and Swanage 6; and Hastings was regained 13 minutes ahead of time. The popularity of this outing has prompted us to examine the possibility of running it again at some point in the future.

Historical data

The train was formed thus: 60118-60501-69337-70262-60529-60116, with motor coach 60118 Tunbridge Wells leading on departure from Hastings. Because of damage to a set of points, the train was unable to use the Linford Street curve (built for the Eurostar services) on the immediate approach to London Waterloo, on our outward journey. We ran via a reversal at Latchmere No.2 Junction instead, so the train got turned round in the course of the day’s operations.

The publicity leaflet, final timings, and map of the railtour route remain available.

Cab video footage

Video footage from a forward-facing camera mounted in the cab has been made available via the links below. Despite further investment in equipment we still have some vibration problems at some of the higher engine-speeds, and are working to solve this issue. The video material at these links is © Copyright Andy Armitage 2011.


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 in major station: 69kB]

Above: Following the enforced main-line reversing move at Latchmere No.2 Junction, our train arrived at London Waterloo main-line station. The driver is part-way through winding the headcode-blinds from “98” to “Red blanks”; it is believed that the Hastings units were the first trains on the SR to employ illuminated red blanks in place of tail lamps.

[PHOTO: Train and station: 95kB]

Above: 1001 coasts past Eastleigh some 3 minutes early. Photo by Don Benn.

[PHOTO: Train approaching in leafy cutting: 98kB]

Above: After negotiating the Southampton area, the railtour heads down into the New Forest and is seen here just about to pass Ashurst station, which was known as Lyndhurst Road until 1997. Photo by Andrew Cameron.

[PHOTO: New and old trains in large station: 55kB]

Above: On the left is a CrossCountry Class 221 Super Voyager… and on the right is another DEMU some 44 years its senior! The Dorset Diadem railtour arrived at Bournemouth and had thus reached the (ceremonial) county after which it was named.

[PHOTO: Trains in station in cutting: 68kB]

Above: Our arrival was sufficiently early that we had to move up to the far west end of the extended platform to make room in the platform behind us for the arrival of another service. A Class 444 Desiro, unit 001, is in one of the reversing-sidings to the left.

[PHOTO: Train in station platform: 54kB]

Above: Our train arrived at Wareham, a mile beyond which the Swanage branch diverges at Worgret Junction. The Swanage Railway’s official photographer Andrew P.M. Wright caught up with us at this point and several others along the way.

[PHOTO: Train in lush countryside: 54kB]

Above: This fabulous view shows our train traversing Creech Heath towards the clay and oil depot at Furzebrook, which marked the limit of track when the remainder of the line was closed by British Rail. Photo by Andrew P.M. Wright.

[PHOTO: Train passing sidings: 65kB]

Above: 1001 proceeds past the sidings at Furzebrook and onward towards Corfe Castle. Photo by Andrew P.M. Wright.

[PHOTO: Track-level view of train in station: 56kB]

Above: Our train at Corfe Castle. Sister DEMUs from the “Hampshire” (Class 205) fleet provided the final passenger services over this line under British Rail. Photo by Andrew P.M. Wright.

[PHOTO: Train and signal-box: 71kB]

Above: The driver of our train passes the single-line token to the Swanage signalman. Photo by Andrew P.M. Wright.

[PHOTO: train and station yard: 83kB]

Above: Our train was shunted to the other (shorter) platform whilst laying over at Swanage. Photo by Andy Armitage.

[PHOTO: Train and station yard: 72kB]

Above: 1001 is seen laying over at Swanage. Photo by Neil Walkling.

[PHOTO: Trains in preserved station: 59kB]

Above: Whilst our train was stabled out of the way, Class 33 locomotive 33103 Swordfish arrived propelling the ex-Lymington branch 3-CIG unit number 1498.

[PHOTO: Train passes engine-shed: 75kB]

Above: The Dorset Diadem railtour began its return leg as 1001 set off from Swanage; it is seen here passing the engine-shed, and unrebuilt Bulleid Pacific locomotive 34070 Manston. Photo by Neil Walkling.

[PHOTO: Steam and diesel trains at station: 53kB]

Above: The crew of our railtour to Hastings exchanges friendly greetings with that of a Swanage Railway steam train hauled by BR Standard Class 4 number 80104, as the DEMU arrives at Corfe Castle. Photo by Andrew P.M. Wright.

[PHOTO: Train, signal and castle: 63kB]

Above: 1001 is signalled to depart from Corfe Castle station.

[PHOTO: Train departing picturesque station: 65kB]

Above: 1001 throbs away from Corfe Castle onto the single-line section towards Wareham. Photo by Andrew P.M. Wright.

[PHOTO: Train in countryside: 62kB]

Above: 1001 climbs from the bridge over the River Frome and is just entering the long right-hand curve which brings the Swanage branch back to the L&SWR main line at Worgret Junction. Photo by Andrew P.M. Wright.

[PHOTO: Train under restored trainshed roof: 80kB]

Above: Bournemouth station’s fine trainshed-roof, which was damaged in the 1987 storm and restored in 2000, allows dappled sunlight to bathe the platform; our ex 4-BIG Buffet Restaurant Car is nearest the camera.