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jools1959

Waterloo - Exeter Warship Workings

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On 04/08/2019 at 08:05, Nearholmer said:

“Once the service was dieselised - the Brighton - Plymouth trains would have had Warships west of Salisbury and a class 33 between Salisbury and Brighton.”

 

Is that really the case? I was unaware that locos were changed east of Exeter.

When the Warships were used, yes.  The Warship that hauled the 10.40 Plymouth to Brighton had to come off at Salisbury so that it could haul the connecting 14.36 Salisbury - Waterloo.  In the other direction, the Warship that worked the 11.00 Waterloo - Salisbury then would take over the 10.12 Brighton - Plymouth from Salisbury.

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On 04/08/2019 at 04:00, Dunsignalling said:

Once the Warships had gone, the Brighton went over to 2 x 6-car Hastings DeMUs for a year or two, then double-headed 33s became the norm until the service was withdrawn.

 

John

 

On 04/08/2019 at 08:05, Nearholmer said:

“Once the service was dieselised - the Brighton - Plymouth trains would have had Warships west of Salisbury and a class 33 between Salisbury and Brighton.”

 

Is that really the case? I was unaware that locos were changed east of Exeter.

The Brighton - Plymouth service was worked by class 33 locos between Brighton and Salisbury and probably throughout to Exeter St. Davids as Salisbury crews were trained on them as were a few Exeter men.  As they lacked steam-heating boilers the service was in the hands of Standards (73xxx) throughout during heating months.  This was rectified just in time for the end of SR steam with sufficient eth stock being available to create a dedicated Brighton - Exeter set.  This coincided with the closure between Okehampton and Bere Alston which also saw the curtailment of all SR Plymouth services at St. Davids.

 

Until that time the Brighton service used a 6 set along the Sussex coast which was coupled to a 3-set at Fareham that had originated at Portsmouth Harbour.  The same process, involving lengthy shunting movements, occurred in reverse.  Thus a 9-coach train operated between Fareham and Plymouth.  Nothing was added to this train at Salisbury.

 

Curtailed to a Brighton - Exeter service this became an out-and-back operation with the dedicated set berthed overnight in Hove sidings and having around 45 minutes in Exeter while (presumably) the train crew took their break.  As the 33s had slightly less power for traction when offering eth the train was restricted to load 8 which ran throughout from and to Brighton; the Portsmouth portion ceased.  On summer Saturdays an Oxted 3-set was added at the Brighton end of the train to make an 11-car rake which required two 33s.  The load limit for a single 33 west of Salisbury was officially 8 but they took 9 on occasions.    

 

Operating out-and-back meant there was no need to change locos.  A Hither Green-based 33 worked from Brighton to Exeter and back every day (except Sundays when the train did not run) with the Brighton crew handing over to a Salisbury crew at that station and vice versa.  

 

At no point was this train booked to be hauled by Warships.  Even when the entire Waterloo - Exeter service was Warship-hauled the Brighton was a 33 throughout.  Only on a very few occasions when the 33 failed in WR territory did a 42 take over.  Brighton men were not trained on them so a change back to a fresh 33 at Salisbury occurred on a couple of occasions.  If suitable arrangements could be made the 42 worked through to Brighton which occurred on I think five occasions in total.  The last of those, shortly before the train ceased altogether, saw 812 "Royal Naval Reserve" take the train through to Brighton whereupon it promptly departed towards Waterloo for duty next morning.

 

The train ceased for a short time but returned after pressure was brought to bear upon the SR by local rail user groups along the Sussex coast.  It returned, Saturdays only, in most unlikely fashion as 12-car Hastings DEMU sets formed 6B+6L (buffet unit always leading towards Exeter) though the 6L was dropped for the winter when traffic was much less.  The train came up from St. Leonards depot on Friday night via Tonbridge and Redhill.  It could also have come via Eastbourne and Haywards Heath.  As there is no direct access from the main line at Brighton to the west coast other than for a maximum 4-car train via platform 3 the e.c.s. again ran to Hove and was berthed before shunting into platform 2 at Brighton (the only west-facing one capable of dealing with a train that long) and a Brighton crew taking it to Salisbury.  Once again a Salisbury crew took it to Exeter and back.  Both depots had drivers trained on SR DEMU types anyway meaning there was unlikely to be a problem.

 

During the run-down of Warships on the Waterloo - Exeter route some London-based duties were handed over to class 33 including the 11.10 off Waterloo and its associated return.  The 33 worked throughout using London and Salisbury men.  In due course Exeter men received training and class 33 could take over the entire service at the coast of them accommodation dropping from 9 to 8 coaches.  Officially at least.

 

Of interest here is the summer Saturday extra, 08.20 IIRC off Waterloo, which not only ran fast to Basingstoke when everything else stopped at Woking but was booked 33/1 and 2x4TC units.  This was fine on the down as the loco was leading and only London and Salisbury men (all trained on 4TC stock and push-pull working as the Salisbury - Reading locals were often so formed) were involved.  But Exeter men might have to shunt the stock so the loco was run round at Exeter so as to always be leading although SR men would have been happy to drive from the 4TC cab.  On one occasion the 33/1 wasn't in good health and upon arrival at Salisbury a 33/0 was placed in the front as insurance.  All fine as the SR control system allowed the 33/0 to be driven and the 33/1 to control the 4TC brakes, lights and any heating.  But upon arrival at Exeter they were totally stumped ....... the locos had to be run round singly so as to couple the 33/1 back to the 4TC with the 33/0 outside.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gwiwer
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Very informative, thank you.

 

I thought that it was 33 (often x2) hailed all the way to Exeter and back, from the outset.

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