is the first of two pages for your enjoyment. Do
scroll down there maybe more than one!
Saturday 15th June 2019 **Reminder** -
LNER Pacific no. 60103 Flying Scotsman on a Cotswold Venturer excursion
Still no steam to report yet for our local Berks & Hants line, but
this may be worth travelling a distance for. The Railway Touring Company
is promoting this outing for Flying Scotsman working out from Paddington
direct to Oxford and the north Cotswold line to Worcester. In usual fashion
the return completes the circuit, getting back to Didcot for the run back
in to Paddington via the Golden Valley route over Sapperton to Swindon.
Times are not available yet and may only be published at the last minute
because of trespass problems on recent trips. These links will enable
identification of the timings by retrieving STP (short term plan) items
for Oxford outbound and Challow return on that day. When the entries appear,
the timings are revealed by clicking the link for the relevant entry in
the ID column of the display.
Of particular interest on that day are celebrations for the 175th anniversary
of the (then) branch line from Didcot to Oxford. More details from:
Tuesday 19th March 2019 ***ALERT*** -
Flying Scotsman in transit to the Swanage Railway
The famous (almost renowned) LNER Pacific is due to operate a short season
of special trains on the preserved Swanage Railway shortly. The loco is
currently at the WCR steam depot at Southall and will be making its way
down to Swanage tomorrow with some additional coaching stock for the crowds
who are expected to flock to the railway to travel behind FS. There is
an entry on Realtime Trains here which indicates that it will be travelling
out to Reading and then taking the Basingstoke branch down to the Southampton
line. Although not operating for paying customers (I believe) it will
to all intents and purposes look like a bona fide steam special.
Although its route only takes it along the boundary of ‘our area’,
you may wish to watch out for the train if you happen to be in the area,
especially if you have to travel by train up to Paddington anyway. The
usual caveat applies that these transfers are not restricted to observing
a passenger timetable and thus may travel well before or after the planned
times, depending on operational needs. Open Train Times (Maps tab) can
help to identify where it is on the day.
The Help for Heroes bridge restoration project at
Bridge 99 on the Kennet & Avon canal has been completed and the
viewing platform over the canal is now available for public use. The
area has been used unofficially for many years by railway photographers
because of the grandstand view it provides of the railway as it climbs
up the valley through Crofton to Savernake Summit. The final touches
include a flight of steps providing safe access up the steep bank
to the viewing area and an interpretation panel describing the history
of the bridge. I was pleased to contribute a photograph of a passing
steam train to illustrate this facet of the site.
I was present at the site this morning and the cement was not yet
dry on the installation of the panel when the first steam train passed
by! And by coincidence it was the same British Pullman train as featured
on the panel, albeit with Tornado in charge rather than Clan Line.
So I took the opportunity to capture the moment – same train,
same photographer, same camera and lens three years later: