UK Rail Tours Sherborne Christmas Carols on Saturday 20th December 2018

(All logs taken by Chris Meredith)

Clan Line’s 70th birthday was celebrated with a UK Railtours charter to Sherborne, associated with a Christmas Carol Concert.

We left London Victoria on time, but we were delayed by other traffic, and were ten minutes down by the time that we reached Clapham Junction. Having lost our slot, we were further delayed by a stopping service that was now in front of us. This was made worse by reports of a dog on the line, and we were twenty five minutes behind schedule by the time that we joined the mainline at Byfleet.

Clan Line at Potbridge, near Winchfield – photograph by Steve Wright

We were further delayed at Basingstoke by being routed through a platform for which we weren’t gauged. This explains the thirty eight minute deficit at the start of this first extract from the log.

Load: Eleven = 426 tons tare, 460 tons gross

Crew: Inspector Don Clarke, driver Wayne Thompson, fireman Jim Clarke

Worting Junction10:3411:12:3052
Red Post Junction11:26:2476
Tunnel Junction SY31 arr11:11½11:44:07
Tunnel Junction SY31 dep11:46:10
Salisbury P4 arr11:1611:49:51

The journey from Salisbury to our pathing stop at Gillingham was fine, but the climb from here to Buckhorn Weston Tunnel was quite something, as this extract from the log shows:-

Crew: Inspector Tommy Rees, driver Wayne Thompson, fireman Steve Rodenhurst

MP 107½ East end Tnl13:02:4534
Templecombe13:0313:07:4166 /28
MP 113½13:09:3030
Milborne Port13:11:4255

Clan Line at Salisbury with Wayne in charge – photograph by David Mant

Having dropped off our passengers at Sherborne, the train went on to Yeovil Railway Centre at Yeovil Junction for servicing. As well as taking on coal and water, we also saw to the lubrication and cleaned the fire. We made use of their turntable to turn both the locomotive and the support coach.

Clan Line on the turntable at Yeovil Junction – photograph by Mark V Pike

We were ready to leave on time, but we were delayed by a late-running service train. This meant that we were fourteen minutes late leaving Sherborne. There is quite a climb out of the station which steepens to one in eighty for over two miles. The next extract from the log shows that we topped this incline in fine style, and had an exciting dash down the other side. Because of our lateness, we were able to miss out our pathing stops at Gillingham and Tisbury, and got to Salisbury for our water stop eight minutes early.

Crew: Inspector Tommy Rees, driver Wayne Thompson, fireman Steve Rodenhurst

Milborne Port27
MP 113½17:17:0529
MP 107½ East End Tnl17:25:0479 /49
Gillingham arr17:1457 /70
Gillingham dep17:2117:27:22
Tisbury17:36:5769 /66
Tisbury Loop arr17:32
Tisbury Loop dep17:3917:37:3036
Wilton Jn17:5217:47:1536
Salisbury P4 arr18:0217:53:25

We were delayed again, and left Salisbury eight minutes late, but we had a storming climb up through Porton, and we had almost recouped our deficit by Basingstoke. We had the usual fast running along the racing stretch towards Fleet, and managed to get to Staines, to drop off our first passengers, ahead of schedule.

Crew: Inspector Bob Hart, driver/fireman Graham Ward/Paul Major

Salisbury P4 dep18:3118:39:37
Tunnel Jn18:3418:44:42
Red Post Jn73
Whitchurch19:09:1275 /64
Worting Jn19:1619:17:3033 /43
Basingstoke19:2019:22:1529 /49
Fleet19:32:1576 /72
Farnborough19:3419:36:4025 /49
MP 3160
Pirbright Jn19:40:3068
Woking Jn19:4319:46:2532 /46
Woking P119:4419:47:0053
West Byfleet19:49:4266
Byfleet & New Haw19:5019:52:1321
Addlestone Jn19:5319:54:1740
Chertsey19:58:0830 /40
Virginia Water20:0520:04:359
Staines arr20:1720:14:5338 /20

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