Golden Age Of Travel – 13th June 2024

A good start had already been made on the cleaning of Clan Line and its support coach when the first members of the support crew arrived to light the fire on Tuesday 11th June.

On the morning of the trip, we left platform 2 at London Victoria one minute late and, after a signal check on the way, we passed Brixton five minutes late. We made up some of the time, though, and we were only two minutes late at Bromley South.

Clan Line at Denmark Hill – photograph by Chris Meredith

We only have a twenty minute stop booked at Dover Priory, and, during this time, we have to fill the tender with water and pull coal forward. We were hoping to extend this time, as we were four minutes early by the time that we passed Shepherd’s Well. However, we were held at Charlton Tunnel, and we arrived at the platform two minutes late.

Clan Line at Snowdown – photograph by John Wickham

With a full tank of water, and coal pulled forward, we left Dover Priory two minutes late. A speed restriction through some of Folkestone Warren stopped us from making up time, and we were still a couple of minutes late at Ashford.

Clan Line at Samphire Hoe – photograph by John Morgan

With a clear path from Ashford to Tonbridge, we were able to make up some time. At Headcorn we were three and a half minutes early, and we had gained another two minutes by Paddock Wood. However, we were held at signal AD150 for twelve minutes.

We still managed a good climb of Hildenborough Bank, and we were running at forty miles per hour or more through Sevenoaks Tunnel. We were now only three minutes late.

Clan Line at Sydenham Hill – photograph by Chris Meredith

We made up time again, and we passed Brixton twelve and a half minutes early. Before getting back to Victoria, we were held at two more signals, totalling eleven and a half minutes, so our arrival at Victoria was three minutes late.

The crew – Paul Major, Don Clarke, Jim Clarke and Steve Hanczar on his last trip before leaving DB
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