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On 23/04/2016 at 21:39, ColinK said:

Please please please can we have a tour using the Hastings unit starting in the North West?

Ive been on one that ended there... Ramsbottom, via Radcliffe passing class 504’s..

Edited by adb968008
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9 hours ago, acourtrail said:

205101, which was the experimental refurbished unit done around 1979  ..... was an oddball in the fleet, and would no doubt have been the unit foisted off to other depots when they needed to borrow a unit.  Maybe it could have been borrowed by Salisbury depot,

Oddball it may have been but it was required for conductor-guard operation on the Hastings - Ashford "Marshlink" route and, whilst it did stray, it wasn't a common sight elsewhere.  Despite being a 3H (sub-classed 205/1) the guard from another depot might have considered he was unfamiliar with the rolling stock since the arrangements were rather different.   

 

Sometimes oddballs did get kicked around the fleet but in this case I believe 205101, which was reconfigured specially for this route in an effort to reduce overall operating costs and keep the line open, stayed mostly at home after conversion to a gangwayed unit.  

 

As two units are required for the hourly service (which was offered on all but winter Sundays) and at least one day per week out of traffic is required for maintenance I am sure other conversions were planned but not proceeded with.  

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Never seen an MLV with a thumper but I did once see a Connex liveried 207 shove a Connex liveried 4 VEP up Hamsey bank on the Lewes to Haywards Heath route. It was the first train out of Lewes in two days following heavy snow fall. The 4 VEP was all that was left of an 8 car Eastbourne to Victoria and by the time it reached Lewes it had burned the shoes and traction motors up, so it was CAPED at Lewes. Then two days later the 207 was sent up to clear it out of the way, as by this time the old BR practice of stabling locos at strategic points along the route was long gone. 

 
It was very quiet and the thumper could be heard straining to leave Lewes, then there was a 10 minute gap in the sound as it went through the tunnel, then it was thumping away for ages on full power before it finally passed me at Hamsey crossing at nearly walking pace. Really spectacular and yet another day that I so wish I had had a camera. 

Edited by Grizz
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