British Pullman Surrey Hills – 24th July 2021

It was about seven weeks since our last trip, so we had had plenty of time to get Clan Line ready. We had taken the opportunity to carry out some extra jobs on the loco and support coach, as well as making some improvements to our working environment at Stewarts Lane. We know how lucky we are to have such good facilities, but there is always room for improvement.

Despite the amount of time that we had had for inspection and preparation for this trip, the Fitness To Run examination was still stressful. It is always a relief when the examiner signs the form to say that we are allowed out onto the railway.

Clan Line at Clapham Junction – Photograph by Thomas Shrimpton

There was rain overnight, and Saturday started out overcast, but the weather improved later. We left London Victoria more or less on time. This part of the journey is usually a slow trundle round the houses, but, as we had to follow a service train from Staines onwards, we were four minutes late by the time that we got to Virginia Water. We stopped at Chertsey to take water from a waiting tanker, and to pull coal forward, still four minutes down.

Under the new timetable, we still have a twenty minute pathing stop at Shalford on Saturdays, so we took advantage of this to pull more coal forward. We had a good climb away from the station, and passed the summit at Gomshall at forty miles per hour.

Clan Line at Shere Heath – Photograph by Julian Clark

The rest of the trip followed the usual pattern, and we returned to Victoria on time.

We have a busy time coming up in August, including keeping up with the maintenance, so please do come out to see us, but follow the railway’s rules, and stay safe.

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