The route for this trip was different to the previous Golden Age Of Travel route for the British Pullman, a Belmond train. While the Surrey Hills part of the old route was very scenic, there was a lot of slow running and waiting around in sidings before we got there. The new route gives our passengers a much more interesting journey. They seemed to like it.
Saturday morning arrived with bright and sunny weather. There was an eleven minute delay in leaving, but we were able to make this time up. This was greatly helped by Network Rail, who routed us via Herne Hill instead of Denmark Hill. By the time that we rejoined the planned route at Shortlands, we had already made up four minutes, and, by the time that we got to Gillingham, we were more or less back on time. At Faversham, we turned right, and went through Canterbury East before stopping at Dover Priory. Here, we took on water from a waiting tanker, and pulled some coal forward.
Our journey home took us by way of Ashford, Tonbridge and Godstone, before joining the Brighton line at Redhill. We had more good, fast running over this part of the journey, all the way to Clapham Junction.
Our final arrival back at Victoria was on time, and we had lots of happy passengers come forward to see the loco, and to express their appreciation.