After our stay at the Bluebell Railway, it was back to rail-tours, again. This one was a Golden Age Of Travel round the Surrey Hills with the British Pullman, a Belmond train, on Friday 29th of October 2021.
Work started on the preparation for this trip on the weekend beforehand, and included cleaning out the firebox and smokebox. By the end of the preparation day, Thursday 28th October, Clan Line had passed its Fitness To Run examination, and was in its usual polished condition.
On the day of the trip, despite the rain, several of our passengers made their way to the country end of Platform 2 at Victoria to see the locomotive.
We left on time, and kept more or less to the schedule all the way to Chertsey. We weren’t taking any water here on this occasion, but we still took advantage of the stop to pull some coal forward.
We left Chertsey on time, but we were held up by a late running Reading to Redhill service train, and we had to wait for four minutes in the Shalford area. The railhead conditions didn’t help with our recovery, and we lost more time. By the time that we left Redhill, we were ten minutes late, and we lost another seven minutes on the way to Clapham Junction.
There is plenty of slack in the timings at this point, and we made all this time up in the final three miles to Victoria.
All is not over at this point, though, and it was about another two hours before we could get back to Stewarts Lane and dispose the engine.