HDL Warwickshire Wanderer railtour

Saturday 4 July 2015

This article was opened on 19 July 2015

[PHOTO: Train entering station: 71kB]

Above: Our Warwickshire Wanderer railtour pulls into Stratford-Upon-Avon station to begin the return leg of the day’s outing. Club Class motor coach Tunbridge Wells is leading. Photo by Simon Stoddart.

Hastings Diesels Limited’s 61st public railtour was from Hastings to Stratford-upon-Avon, via Clapham Junction, Neasden, West Ruislip and Bicester North; the return was via Oxford and Ascot.

Our train performed faultlessly and kept almost precisely to time throughout, and our passengers enjoyed the day out; Club Class was oversubscribed as usual, our at-table catering being a much-sought-after feature. A staff error on the part of our operating-company meant that we did not set down passengers at Warwick on the outward leg of the tour, but this was swiftly rectified upon arrival at Stratford-upon-Avon by conveyance on a Chiltern service or by free taxi, and with a goodwill voucher offered.

During the middle part of the day, our train was worked to Tyseley depot in Birmingham for layover, cleaning and water-tank filling.

Historical data

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

The publicity leaflet and timings remain available. The actual running times have also been published.


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 and signals in countryside: 50kB]

Above & below: Robert Stewart captured our train as it passed Launton, just short of Bicester, on the outward journey down the Chiltern Main Line.

[PHOTO: Train in countryside: 51kB]

[PHOTO: Train and station platform: 59kB]

Above & below: These views by Simon Stoddart show our train upon arrival at Stratford-upon-Avon, on what was evidently a summery day.

[PHOTO: Train and station platform: 79kB]

[PHOTO: Trains in station: 83kB]

Above: 1001 and a London Midland Class 172 Turbostar share the platforms of Stratford-upon-avon station. It is only too apparent in this view that the station was once part of a through route but is now truncated to a terminus.

[PHOTO: Train in station: 48kB]

Above & below: 1001 passing Oxford station on the return leg of the journey. It was subsequently held in the Up loop for a few minutes while another service passed it. Photos by Rupert Griffin.

[PHOTO: Train and signals: 59kB]

[PHOTO: Train in countryside: 84kB]

Above & below: Robert Stewart caught up with our train again on its return working, this time at Kennington just south of Oxford. In the background of the upper photo can just be seen the brick outline of a relay room on the site of the Kennington Junction signalbox, which was located in the vee of the junction with the old line to Horspath, Thame and Princes Risborough.

[PHOTO: Train in countryside: 85kB]

Further photos

The background photograph on this page was taken by Tom Nicklin and shows the final stages of the outward journey, between Bearley Junction and Wilmcote.

Preserved Thumpers carries a fine report of the day’s events as seen by a photographer/passenger’s perspective.