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    South Coast
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    With several thousand pages of work diaries covering 40 odd years and three regions of BR, still wondering whether I ought to be writing a book about it all. Other than that like to get outdoors and some long distance walks.

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  1. Southbound Freight passes Watford on the Up Slow Line. Harrow & Wealdstone looking south. Passing the Depot at Watford. North end at Watford looking south. Northbound Sleeper service and Freight exit the tunnels at Linslade. Approaching Harrow from the south. Must be the Peak hour, as the Stanmore Branch DMU is formed by a pair of Cravens 105s. The Widnes to North Wembley BOC Tankers head through Harrow on the Up Slow Line. A green liveried 40 plods south at Linslade. North and southbound Cement traffic passing at Harrow. A busy few moments at Harrow. North and southbound Parcels traffic pass on the Fast Lines while a northbound Freightliner passes a 304 heading south on a Birmingham to Euston (via Northampton) service. A Dagenham to Halewood working heads north alongside the canal at Linslade.
  2. I can remember doing fortnightly checks on the concentration of the acid levels in our local Carriage Washer. You would draw a small measured plastic beaker full from the main tank, then add a tablet into the beaker. This would dissolve and the liquid would change colour. I can't exactly recall what the various colours were now but the results had to be entered into the Washer Log Book and arrangements made to either dilute the mix if the acid content was too high, or add more mix if it was too weak. I vaguely recall the optimum result of the test was supposed to result in the sample turning a very pale yellow ?
  3. The Branch Freight from Stanmore arrives in the Yard at Harrow. A Euston bound Express passes a pair of 501s as they brake for the station stop. A Derby Lightweight DMU approaches Harrow after another trip to 'The Village'. An 84 heads a freight south as an early liveried 86 overtakes on the Up Fast Line. A class 4 Parcels rattles through on the Up Slow Line at Harrow while an 08 waits to enter Harrow Yard after a short working along the Stanmore branch. At the north end of Watford an Express parcels service overtakes a 'Peak' hauled freight. Looking south from the road bridge at Harrow. An 8 car 310 EMU sets off from the station next stop Euston. 1L10, the Bullion Special, hurries north along the Down Fast Line. Approaching Linslade Tunnel from the north. It's the 'Off Peak' on the Stanmore Branch as a 'Bubble car' operates the shuttle. Racing south a Freightliner is overtaken by a class 3 Parcels service. A 1972 Tube set departs for Elephant & Castle in the background. Things getting busy at Harrow. Heading south past Linslade. Overview of the station at Harrow looking north. A pair of 25s on Class 1 duty heading south through Watford, as a freight heads south. A bit of film taken with a £13.98 mini-cam to give a Driver's eye view with a couple of circuits of the Down Fast Line. Another clip of some of the trains running on the layout
  4. I remember there were two at St. Pancras in use in the late 1970s, seemed to have been converted from some old Stanier Full Brakes, and I think they were painted in plain rail blue at this time. During the Steam Heat period one was on the stops of Siding 8 between platforms 4 & 5, and the other was on the stops of either Siding A or B between platforms 2 and 3. I remember seeing them in action on a Sunday morning after finishing night shift. There would be a plume of steam going up into the roof showing they were running. They would disappear during the Summer, which may have been for their annual check ?
  5. It's probably the 1143 Hastings to Brighton Student Special I mentioned in my earlier post ?
  6. Most services used Platform 4, its main claim to fame was when this happened back in 1958. http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/eventsummary.php?eventID=608 Going back to the BEP thread there is this nice photo on Flickr of an 8 BEP at Seaford.
  7. For a number of Summers from about 1987 an 8 CEP was utilised between the peaks to run a 'Student Special' from Hastings to Brighton and back leaving Hastings at 1143, I think it was a limited stop service fast from Bexhill to Eastbourne, and I think only called at Lewes on the way into Brighton ? The only trouble was that the sets were not available until after the morning peak, and by the time 1143 arrived most of the student traffic had already gone on earlier service trains. I'm not sure of the return working but it came back in time to form one of the Up London services via Battle. Another semi regular working was utilising a 4 CEP which came down as the stopping portion of the 1758-1800 ? from London detached at Tunbridge Wells. It was booked to go up to Ore. It stood in for one of the DEMUs which ran in passenger service to Eastbourne before going empty up to Selhurst. When no units were required for Selhurst the 4 CEP ran to Eastbourne vice the DEMU (which was shunted into the Yard at Hastings) before returning empty to St. Leonards.
  8. A short video clip of my 1970s based layout, picture quality a bit off, still getting used to the camera, from my own recollections when the Mk3s first arrived on the West Coast. (2nd Train in on the clip)
  9. Well, it was just as well the railway was mostly completed when it was, as it seems that it will be seeing a lot of extra use in the coming months. There are a lot of smaller detailing jobs that can still be done, but running the trains is going to be the order of the day for now A northbound freight and Express approach Harrow from the south. A Derby Lightweight Single Car DMU finds itself operating the off peak services on the Stanmore Branch. Busy moment at Harrow. The northbound Liverpool Pullman overtakes a freight on the Down Slow Line. As a 304 passes on the Up Slow Line on a 'stopper' from Birmingham a Euston bound Express sweeps through on the Up Fast Line. In the background on the DC Lines a pair of 501s brake for the Harrow stop, as a 1938 tube set heads off for Watford. On the southern approaches to Watford a northbound Express overtakes the Kings Cross to Tring Cement Empties. A DPU with 'Tail Traffic' head off along the Up Slow Line. In the background a Metropolitan A60 set sits in the Electric Siding waiting a platform, for its next run to Baker Street via the Croxley Link. The Kings Cross to Tring Cement Empties race the Stanmore DMU into Harrow. 'Western Invader'. During their last years the 52s made occasional forays along the West Coast on freight workings. Although this example is relatively clean compared to the rather travel stained examples that could be observed at the time. 'Out in the sticks'. The Widnes to North Wembley BOC Tankers head south along the Up Slow Line at Linslade. In the other direction a Postal working passes a Freightliner. A 31 heads south through Harrow, as the Euston bound Manchester Pullman dashes through on the Up Fast Line. In the background the humble 501s rumble on about their daily business. The possibilities of a model railway. Watford Depot, that never was. Plenty of 25s to be seen, once an everyday sight at the southern end of the West Coast in the 1970s. A pair of 20s heads north at Harrow on an empty wagon working destined for Toton via the Northampton to Market Harborough Line. A 37 heads north at Watford with a train of four wheel petrol tankers. A pair of 310s call at platform 9 on their way into Euston. A Derby Lightweight DMU sits on the Depot Headshunt having arrived from Bletchley, as a Cravens 105 waits in platform 10 with the next service for St. Albans Abbey. In the North Bay a train of DMUs being made up ready to depart for Bletchley TMD.
  10. My mistake, it was October 1986, memory playing tricks. The Depot lingered on a while after electrification in May 1986 dealing with the DEMUs still running on the Marshes, before all work was transferred to Selhurst in October 1987. Having trawled through my photos I found the ones which were taken the following year when the shed was damaged by the great storm of 1987. I also found a picture taken a few years earlier of one of the Engine Carriers outside after a particularly heavy snowfall
  11. There was an MLV working from London Bridge to Hastings via Eastbourne very late 1980's early 1990s. It was a night time run, arriving at Hastings around 0100, and leaving to go back about an hour later. It disappeared when the Post Office withdrew mail handling by rail to and from Hastings in the 1990s and switched to road haulage.
  12. The only other regular freight was the 'Q' working which ran up to when St. Leonards Depot closed in 1984. It ran between Brighton and St. Leonards running round at Eastbourne, normally a 73 turn. The train consisted of four wheel fuel tankers to supply the DEMUs, the odd van of stores, plus the unique Engine carriers which conveyed overhauled English Electric engines for the DEMUs to and from Eastleigh.
  13. It's not Rye to Ore. My 'local line' and none of the stations has a footbridge like that, in fact Three Oaks, Doleham, and Winchelsea don't have a footbridge of any sort.
  14. The 03:27 Victoria to Eastbourne did have a van or two which worked round to Bexhill, where the Loco, normally a 73/1, ran round and took the empty vans back to Eastbourne. Occasionally the train had to go to Hastings to run round if Bexhill Box was 'switched out', which it was for long periods during the 1980s. During the 1980s there were a few Mail trains on a Saturday morning that ran along the East Coastway to Hastings. They were normally Blue/Grey EPBs (both 4 and 2 car variants). They had the seat cushions turned over with mail bags stacked on top. They returned empty via Eastbourne (don't remember where exactly). If these trains arrived late (after 12:00) the GPO staff had gone home, and it was left to the station staff to unload. For security the mailbags were loaded into BRUTE trolleys and taken up in the lift to the Old Parcels bridge, where they remained until reclaimed by the Post Office on Monday morning.
  15. Signals into Terminal stations are usually Red/Yellow, plus subsidiary. Changed in the mid 1970s from Red/Green. Some Low speed lines also have Red/Yellow only. Before re-signalling in the Hastings area the Signal on the Down Platform at St. Leonards Warrior Square only displayed Red/Yellow, even if the Home signal was clear at the other end of the Tunnel running into Hastings.
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