Atlantic Coast Express – 2nd July 2022

We left Stewarts Lane at 5:50 on the day of the trip.We have recently moved to Polish coal, which does perform in the same way as the previous, so, to be sure that we had a decent fire, work started on it at about 2 o’clock in the morning. We joined the stock in Battersea Loop, and, with the assistance of a Class 47 diesel, we made our way to Platform 19 at Waterloo.

Clan Line hauling the ACE at Waterloo – photograph by Matthew Powell

We left Waterloo more or less on time, and made our way through the suburbs of London.

Clan Line hauling the ACE at East Wimbledon – photograph by David Element

We picked up more passengers at both Woking and Basingstoke.

Clan Line hauling the ACE at Whitchurch – photograph by Tony Cox

We stopped at Salisbury to take water from a waiting tanker.

Clan Line hauling the ACE at Gillingham – photograph by Paul Cumberland

We stopped at Yeovil Railway Centre for a “splash and dash”, to make sure that we had enough water to get to Exeter St Davids. Our friends there had already laid out the hoses for us, which was much appreciated.

Clan Line hauling the ACE at Kit Hill beyond Sutton Bingham – photograph by Peter Starks
Clan Line hauling the ACE at Chard – photograph by Malcolm Brown

By now, there was a little rain falling, which is not ideal when climbing Honiton. It is not made easier by having to stop at Chard.

Clan Line hauling the ACE at Pinhoe – photograph by Thomas Shrimpton

We arrived at Exeter St. Davids, where our passengers left us, and went into Exeter Riverside Yard for servicing.

Clan Line hauling the ACE at Exeter St Davids – photograph by Matthew Powell

The following log was produced by Alan Goodwin from the support coach. The driver was Bill Monteith, and the fireman was Andy Christie. The load was 241 tons tare, and 355 tons gross (approximately). The weather was overcast, and there were showers and more persistent rain from Chard Junction.

MILESLOCATIONBOOKEDACTUALSPEEDS 
SALISBURYdep 10.1510.22¼
1.90Wilton Junction10.1910.27¾38
2.60Wilton South10.2110.28¾31
4.75Barford St Martin10.32½46
8.35Dinton10.3667
12.20Tisbury Loop10.3210.39½67½
12.60TISBURY10.39¾68½
17.50Summit10.4462
17.60Semley10.44¼62/69
21.70GILLINGHAMarr 10.4310.505Pass
GILLINGHAMdep 10.51
24.00Buckhorn Weston Tun(in)10.54½43/74/29To Down Line
28.45TEMPLECOMBE11.0310.59½32
29.90Summit11.02½35
30.85Milborne Port11.03½55/78
34.50SHERBORNE11.1111.06½77
37.20Wyke Crossing11.08¾62
39.05YEOVIL JUNCTIONarr 11.1911.13¼Water
dep 11.28½11.28¾
2.25Sutton Bingham11.34¼41½
3.65Summit11.36¼43½/68
8.80CREWKERNE11.41½11.41½56½/38
10.65Summit11.43¾41/58Easy
16.85CHARD JUNCTIONarr 11.5211.54¾Severe sig. check
dep 12.1412.13½into loop
1.75Broome Crossing12.1849/50 50*to down line
5.05AXMINSTER12.2412.21¾59/75
6.95Dip12.23½75
8.35Seaton Junction12.24½67
13.10Honiton Tunnel (in)12.30¼40Some slipping
14.05Summit12.31¾35/5Sig check to down
15.25HONITONarr 12.4212.37
dep 12.5712.5770Max before Feniton
4.60Feniton13.05½13.03½54/52Loco restriction 50*
8.35Whimple13.07¾67/70
12.00Broad Clyst13.10¾67Brakes
13.85Pinhoe13.1813.12½43
15.25 (approx.)Sig stop13.18¼ - 13.26½
15.65Exmouth Junction13.22½13.28½14/18
16.20St James Park13.30½15
16.70Exeter Central13.2613.3220
17.35EXETER ST DAVIDSarr 13.3013.35

After cleaning the fire, loading more coal, and refilling the tender with water, we made our way back to Exeter St. Davids to pick up our passengers for the return. We made our way over Whiteball towards Bristol. The log for this part of the journey is below. The driver was Bob Baines, and the fireman was Craig Stinchcombe. The weather for this part of the trip was dry, with some sunny spells.

MILESLOCATIONBOOKEDACTUALSPEEDS 
EXETER ST DAVIDSdep 16.4016.42
1.25Cowley Bridge Jcn16.4416.4636
3.75Stoke Cannon16.49¼52½
7.25Silverton16.53¼56
8.40Hele & Bradninch16.54¼61
12.65Cullompton16.58¼66
14.75Tiverton Loop16.5817.00¼61/66
16.55TIVERTON PARKWAY17.0017.0265
19.90Whiteball Summit17.04½17.05¼51/76
23.65Wellington17.08½75/77
29.30Norton Fitzwarren(new jcn)17.12½17.12¾76
30.75TAUNTON17.1417.14¼76
35.60Cogload Junction17.1917.17¾72
42.30BRIDGEWATER17.25½17.23½73½/75
48.60Highbridge17.28½74
55.85Uphill Junction17.38½17.34¼72½
58.75Worle Junction17.41½17.36¾74
63.55YATTON17.40½75
67.50Nailsea & Blackwell17.43¾71
73.70Parson Street17.59½17.49½46
74.65Bedminster17.5132
75.15Bristol West Jcn.18.0317.52¼20
75.50BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS18.0417.54 – 18.03½Sig stop
75.85Bristol East Jcn.18.0618.05½12
76.35North Somerset Jcn18.0718.06½15
76.80BRISTOL EAST DEPOTarr 18.1018.11½Water

We stopped briefly on the approach to Bristol Temple Meads for a change of some of the crew, and then on to Bristol East Depot to take on more water. From here, we made our way back to Salisbury, where we took on more water. We also had about thirty small bags of coal waiting for us, which we loaded by hand, with the help of Network Rail.This was just to make sure that we would have enough for our needs. When we were ready, we went, via Grateley, to Basingstoke, where some of our passengers left us. From here to Woking we were on the slow line, but, after dropping off more people at Woking, we were put on the fast for our run home to Waterloo, and we made the most of it. The log for that part of the trip is below.

MILESLOCATIONBOOKEDACTUALSPEEDS 
SALISBURYdep 20.1620.20Waiting RA from staff
1.10Tunnel Junction20.1920.24½30/45Slips on starting
5.45Porton20.29½40Slipping
7.95Allington20.3538“ “
10.30Summit20.38½44
10.95GRATELEY20.39¼54/78
15.80Red Post Junction20.43¼75
17.35ANDOVER20.3720.44½77
20.95Summit20.47½63
22.40Hurstbourne20.48¾68½
24.45Whitchurch20.50¾63/61
28.00Overton20.54¼66
31.50Oakley20.5772
33.25Worting Junction20.5721.00¼43/52
35.75BASINGSTOKEarr 21.0221.03½
dep 21.0421.05¼Slow line
5.60Hook21.12¼71
7.95Winchfield21.14¼76½
11.30Fleet21.15½21.1764½Eased - stopper
14.55FARNBOROUGH21.1921.2064in front
16.80MP 3121.2259Brakes
18.20Pirbright Junction21.23¾37½
19.80Brookwood21.26¼46/54½
23.00Woking Junction21.3121.31¾25
23.45WOKINGarr 21.3221.33¼
dep 21.3821.38To Fast line
2.70West Byfleet21.42¾60
3.95Byfleet & New Haw21.4467
5.20Weybridge21.45¼67
7.30Walton-on-Thames21.4776
8.45Hersham21.47¾77
9.95Esher21.4977
11.05Hampton Court Jcn21.50½21.49¾76½
12.30SURBITON21.5221.5172½
13.35Berrylands21. 51¾71½
14.60New Malden21.54½21.52¾72
15.70Raynes Park21.53¾72Eased
17.15WIMBLEDON21.5721.5565
18.80Earlsfield21.56½55/1Up Exeter in front
20.45CLAPHAM JUNCTION22.02½22.035
21.70Queenstown Road22.05½45/50
23.00Vauxhall22.0747½
24.35WATERLOO22.1022.11

After all our passengers had left at Waterloo, our day was still not over. We were towed up to Willesden, where we left the stock, with the intention of making a quick return to Stewarts Lane. However, due to an unfortunate incident near Imperial Wharf, we waited at Kensington Olympia for about an hour and a half. We finally got home, and, after putting the engine to bed, we were able to get some rest. By now, it was about two o’clock in the morning, so some of us had been up for twenty four hours. It’s called “The Romance Of Steam”.

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