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Robbie Robinson RO Report - Cathedrals Explorer 9/10 May 2013

Tues 7 May
Loco grate and firebox cleaned and pre light-up checks carried out and loco lit up.

 Wed 8 May
Loco cleaned (fortunately not very dirty), steam raised and FRT checks with no problems.

Thurs 9 May
Loco left Stewarts Lane with crew TI Colin Kerswill, Don Clark and Rob Binstead on time,

From Victoria the train ran reasonably well to time with a signal check at Basingstoke. Arrived at Salisbury for water and crew change, TI Geoff Ewans, Wayne Thompson and Steve Matthews and westward we went with pathing stops at Gillingham, Yeovil Junc, Chard (for water) and Honiton. At Yeovil Junc a heavy and persistent drizzle set in with a gale force headwind which boded badly for Honiton bank. A few slips on Hewish Bank showed the task ahead and whilst taking water at Chard the sanders were topped up. A signal check at Axminster slowed us for the ascent of Honiton Bank, the climb of the bank was laborious, with a wet railhead and aforementioned wind but with several slips we went over the top at less than 20 mph, after that it was all downhill to Exeter.

At Exeter the passengers detrained and 28 took the train into Riverside Yard. Coal and water were taken and servicing carried out. While this was happening a welcome break for fish and chips was taken.

Fri 10 May
Support crew up at 0500 for a grey dawn with light drizzle. More water was taken and 1 bag of coal loaded. At 0715 28 ran round to the head of the train with Tommy Rees as TI, Wayne Thompson and Steve Matthews as crew. The train was hauled into Exeter St Davids by a Class 66 diesel and at 0815 we made history by being the first Merchant Navy to travel west over the old LSW route to Plymouth.

Network Rail had arranged a pilot man (ex Exmouth Jc) and the climb to Okehampton was superb with severe curves and gradients. Okehampton reached with large crowds and sun, the weather had improved, a ten min stop and off back to Exeter. We were 12 down on arrival and after taking water we were well down with 2 service trains scheduled we offered to wait and let them pass. This was declined and upon arrival at Taunton after a fine run we waited in the middle platform to allow them to pass. After that we had a good run to Bristol East yard where we handed over to A4 No 9.

Here the fire was cleaned, water and coal taken we set off back to Stewarts Lane, with TI Bob Cotterell. We watered at Salisbury where Rob Binstead took over from Steve Matthews. Stopped at Basingstoke for Don Clark to take over from Wayne Thompson and arrived back in London where the loco was turned, into shed and put to bed, with a very tired but happy support crew.

Altogether a successful trip

NOTE – This was the first time a Merchant Navy Class Pacific had ever worked west on the old LSWR line as they were not permitted beyond Exeter even in Southern or BR days. Another “first” for Clan Line.

Andy Davies RO Report – OE “Yorkshire Tea” Charter 24 May 2013

The run on 24th April for "Yorkshire Tea" was completed successfully and without incident. Some cleaning had been done previously for which I was most grateful and gave my working party a good start. The FTR exam was completed without any difficulty.

 The run itself was text book, the weather was warm and sunny the birds were singing and all was well with the world. Our crew was TI Colin Kerswill, Andy Flett and Paul Majors who ran within a minute or two throughout bringing back into Victoria on time to the minute. At Victoria with the usual scrum of people wanting to go onto the footplate. All in all an excellent result.

Alan French RO Report – OE Surrey Hills 12 April 2013

Footplate Crew – TI Gareth Jones - (Dvr) Paul Majors, (F’man) Andy Flett, (Trainee F’man) Tim Stedman

Train was assembled in Battersea Yard and once cleared made its way to Platform 2 Victoria. A large number of passengers came to see the loco and take some photographs. Right time departure at 12.28 and the usual run of greens and yellows continued to Addlestone Junc where we took our pathing stop. Once underway we encountered a procession of yellows again to Woking where once clear we enjoyed the run to Guildford before yellows again appeared round to Shalford for the usual servicing stop.

Servicing complete we then enjoyed a superb climb up the bank and then ran well down through Dorking and Deepdene where speed was eased until Redhill, Here we paused to allow the service train to depart. Once given the road we continued north slowing for the Stoats Nest crossing and continued north through East Croydon where we had more good running to Clapham Junc before coming to a halt  for our  scheduled pathing stop at Pouparts Junc. Given the road we continued with a nice climb up the bank to Grosvenor Bridge before a right time arrival at Victoria.

It would seem that the passengers had enjoyed their trip with many stopping at the loco and visiting the cab as they left

Paul Majors passed his driving assessment and was congratulated by all.

As is normally we put the stock to bed before making the turn and returning to the lane where we did not carry out a blowdown in keeping with our current procedure.

Dave Easson R.O. Report – Cathedrals Express Bristol 15/16 March 2013

At approx 14.00 on Friday 15th March, following 60163’s non availability we were asked if we could do this trip.

A tremendous amount of hard work was put in by all involved in making 28 available, including an FTR at approx 23.00 by K. Jackson. Nobody got to bed before 03.00 on the 16th and all were back on case at 06.00.

We were available at Acton yard on time, having taken on 1000 Gallons there and ready to go. We took water at Challow (Plan B) as NR now decided we could not now do so at Swindon). We departed at least 30 min late, having lost our path and by Bristol this had reached 90 min late.  So no pressure on serving time!!!!

The return times were amended to be 30 min later, which helped.

Serving went very well in pouring rain most of the time (inc Hail & Thunder) and we were back at TM ready for a right time departure on the new timings.

The return journey was similar to the outward in terms of lost times. We watered at Wantage Road and from then onwards, we were, I suspect, just following other traffic, arriving approx 55 min down at Acton on the revised timings.

We did get away quite quickly and were back & put to bed by 23.30 ish

R. Cotterell, A. Flett, P. Majors – S/Lane to Acton
T.Rees, F. Lewis, S, Matthews – Acton to Bristol
G. Ewans, G, Ward, D, Proctor – Bristol to S/Lane

Andy Davies RO Report – OE Bath/Bristol 13 March 2013

A successful run to Bristol on Wednesday, even the weather turned in our favour the further west we went and there was plenty of sunshine too. The careful planning the MNLPS do paid off with all aspects generally working. Left Vic 1 late losing 7 minutes by Clapham, not regaining scheduled time until Newbury. Bath was reached 6 down and Bristol spot on time. Then the fun started with East Yard reached 12 late and the loco departing 18 late, the turn was completed 18 late and gave the support crew under 1 hour to complete the loco service. In my opinion this is insufficient time particularly with a heavily clinkered fire. Excellent work was done on fire cleaning with the help of firewood taken for just such a need. Departure for Temple Meads was 8 late and the train left for London 5 late. Some good running to Westbury, but then time was lost on the climb to Savernake but was recovered on the descent and Theale was reached 6 late. Excellent running back to London reaching Victoria 1 early. No mechanical problems reported, and a good performance by Clan Line.

Crews - 
Vic - Newbury = A Flett, D Procter, R Cotterell
Newbury Bristol = F Lewis, S Matthews, R Cotterell
Bristol - Bath = F Lewis, S Matthews, T Rees
Bath - Victoria D Clark, R Binsted, T Rees

Andy Davies RO Report – Ilford Visit 1-2 April 2013

Having taken over from Dave's working party post Surrey Hills on Friday evening, and with their help as well, a hurried prep was carried out before leaving for Ilford around 7.15 pm. arriving slightly early at Ilford. We were met and stabled outside the wheel lathe shed, given a safety induction, and informed that wheel turning could be done around midnight, however this proved not to be the case and the shed staff kindly allowed the coach to be stabled inside the shed overnight in the relative warm and we were able to get power for fan heaters/kettles etc. Shift change was at 7am and shortly after that wheel turning began with minimal material removed from rear 2 wheelsets to clean up cavities. All complete by mid day and the loco was moved outside.

All the staff were very helpful and friendly. Pilot diesel arrived on time, left on time and arrived back at Lane on time.

Job done satisfactorily.

Dave Easson R.O Report – OE Surrey Hills 1 March 2013

Once again a good trip, departed correct time , held at a couple of places resulting in 10 min down at one point, recovered this – right time arrival at Shalford, departed 3-4 early good climb right time arrival at Victoria.  Good running throughout

Arrived back on shed with 2 hours before departure to Ilford – my support crew remained (some longer than others-as req) to assist with prep for this.

F/P Crew:  Bob Hart (Crewe) T.I, Andy Flett (booked Driver), Paul Majors (booked Fireman), Jim Clark (trainee Fireman).

Robbie Robinson RO – OE Surrey Hills 4 February 2013

14 Feb. Clan Line was "tarted up" with red plates, headboard and the arrows on the deflectors in honour of Cupid (we have no info as to whether this was successful or not). The trip went well with TI Geoff Ewans, Don Clark and Paul Majors. On the run to Shalford there were several severe TSRs and we ran under yellows for most of the trip arriving at Addlestone Jct a couple of mins down, noting a Weybridge-Waterloo train waiting for us to clear the Junction. The run through Woking was of interest as we were switched to the down fast just outside the station due a unit on the slow in the station which had incidentally cleared by the time we passed. Arrival at Shalford was down a couple of minutes but quick watering and coal trimming got us away. A superb climb of Gomshall Bank followed, the loco lifting the valves halfway up. A steady run back to Victoria with stops both at Longhedge and outside Victoria gave a right time arrival. It was nice to hear the station announcer informing each and all the steam hauled British Pullman was arriving at platform 2.

A successful day and a good time had by all.


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©MNLPS  2013


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