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European Railroad Discussion > Sunny November


Date: 12/04/16 03:21
Sunny November
Author: 86235

I suspect that November here in Britain has been sunnier, dryer and marginally colder than normal, certainly when compared to 2015 which saw record temperatures, unspeakable dullness and floods of biblical proportions.

My first outing after my day in Riga mid month was the following Saturday, November 19th, when staying the weekend with my father in law in Marlborough. Engineering work on the South Western mainline between Basingstoke and Southampton resulted in freight trains too and from Southampton being diverted down the West of England Mainline from Basingstoke towards Salisbury, and then a sharp left turn to access Southampton via Romsey.

1: Ok, so there's no direct sun but two minutes before it was a different story (isn't it always). The 4O18 from Birmingham Lawley Street speeds across Hurstbourne Viaduct. The temperature was hovering at or just above freezing.
2: The West of England line was the Southern Railway's mainline in competition with the GWR via Taunton. It's very well engineered against the grain of the land with a number of impressive earthworks, cuts and fills. Today passenger services are in the hands of South West Trains unique class 159s. A pair form the 09:47 Salisbury to London Waterloo.
3: At Overton station there's still some autumnal colour as 66532 P&O Nedlloyd Atlas passes on the 4O14 from Hams Hall.








Date: 12/04/16 03:37
Re: Sunny November
Author: 86235

4: In the opposite direction DBS 66079 climbing towards Whitchurch with a rake of empty car transporters heading to Halewood on Merseyside for another load of Land Rover Discovery Sports and Range Rover Evoques.

The following Wednesday I took myself off to Princes Risborough, on the Chiltern Railways mainline through the Chiltern Hills. Princes Risborough is situated in a gap in the hills on the northern escarpment. The railway is quite interesting as south of Princes Risborough the up (London bound) line follows a lower grade route through the hills from the down line. When the line was re-engineered in the early 20th century it became the Great Western & Great Central Joint line. Both the GW and the GC ran coal trains from the Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire coalfields to London, thus the new line avoided the steeper grades of the old line, making it easier to work the unfitted coal trains.

5: Looking towards Princes Risborough station the 6V01 Oxford Banbury Road to Acton empty stone train is passing, on the left, two preserved cars of the Prnces Risborough and Chinnor Railway, a heritage line which is working to return trains to Princes Risborough. Once Chiltern re-open their 'new' line through to Oxford proper next Sunday the 6V01 will, sadly, be re-routed via Didcot and the Great Western Mainline.

6: The great thing about watching trains in the Chilterns is that when there's nothing going on on the rails there's plenty in the skies as the Chilterns are now a stronghold of one of our most charismatic native birds of prey, the red kite. There are always a few, sometimes many more, stooging around in the skies above this small town.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/16 05:34 by 86235.








Date: 12/04/16 03:50
Re: Sunny November
Author: 86235

7: On the heels of the 6V01 the 6M22 carrying compacted domestic waste from Cricklewood to Calvert appeared. It's coming off the old down line, the low grade up line is to the left. At Princes Risborough it will take the branchline to Aylesbury before heading north along the original Great Central mainline (all that's left of it in fact) to Calvert and the former brick pits.

After that the cloud increased and the sun became increasingly milky, lasting all though Thursday as well. But come Friday 25th it was all change again and the sun was out, but it was pretty chilly. I was on my way home from work, changing at Clapham Junction.

8: A pair of SWT 159s on the 10:25 from Exeter St Davids to London Waterloo. SWT were in some disarray at this time. The 10:25 was running late on account of signalling issues west of Salisbury on one of the notorious single track sections, whilst over on the Windsor Line platforms, 3 thru 6, there were no passenger trains moving as the emergency services were dealing with a 'situation'. Either a trespass or suicide.

9: Mind you that didn't seem to interfere with 66766 on the 4Y19 Mountfield to Southampton empty gypsum containers, seen here coming off the Ludgate Line and crossing Ludgate Junction just east of the Clapham Junction platforms. I was worried it might be held but clearly Network Rail didn't want it hanging around Clapham Junction so expedited its passage through the station.








Date: 12/04/16 04:00
Re: Sunny November
Author: 86235

On Monday 28th I took myself off to Redhill at lunchtime as there are three freight trains in the space of forty minutes, one of which is a diversion away from Lewisham and the on-going structural saga of the viaduct. I saw two out of three.

10: But first one of the new Siemens class 700 Thameslink units, this is one of the 12 car sets on a Bedford to Three Bridges service
11: The regular freight is the 7O69 Acton to Crawley, today in the hands of 59005 Kenneth J Painter
12: And the diversion, running 34 minutes late 66006 has the road for the Tonbridge line as it passes through Redhill
 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/16 07:49 by 86235.








Date: 12/04/16 04:09
Re: Sunny November
Author: 86235

The following day, Tuesday 29th I had to attend a meeting on the south coast, near Brighton. This meant travelling further down the Brighton Mainline than normal, changing at Haywards Heath, and an opportunity for a picture of the empties of a bi-weekly stone train to and from the terminal at Ardingly, on the line which used to connect the Brighton mainline at Haywards Heath with the Bluebell Railway at Horsted Keynes. It was also my first opportunity to take a shot from the top storey of the new multi storey carpark which Network Rail and others have had built for commuters on the site of the old goods yard.

13: This is the 08:30 Victoria to Brighton, running about 10 minutes late. It's a Gatwick Express service which is extended from Gatwick Airport to Brighton to maximise capacity on the capacity constrained Brighton Mainline.
14 & 15: On schedule, unlike everything else, the 6V60 showed up behind 66088, running round its train whilst a pair of 377s speed through on a Brighton to Victoria semi-fast. The frost is still evident where the sun has yet to reach.








Date: 12/04/16 16:05
Re: Sunny November
Author: krm152

All of you November problems are great.  Especially like #11.
ALLEN



Date: 12/05/16 00:42
Re: Sunny November
Author: spflow

Thanks - I liked the red kite best,  it's a shame that they thrive so well on road kil!.



Date: 12/05/16 02:54
Re: Sunny November
Author: 86235

spflow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks - I liked the red kite best,  it's a shame
> that they thrive so well on road kil!.
They are scavengers as opposed to hunters like peregrines, sparrowhawks or kestrels. A couple of Saturday's ago, when I was out after the diversions on the West of England mainline I drove round a corner on a minor road near Whitchurch and came across a buzzard pecking away at the carcass of a pheasant. Not sure who was most surprised, me or the buzzard.



Date: 12/05/16 13:43
Re: Sunny November
Author: DKay

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> spflow Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Thanks - I liked the red kite best,  it's a
> shame
> > that they thrive so well on road kil!.
> They are scavengers as opposed to hunters like
> peregrines, sparrowhawks or kestrels. A couple of
> Saturday's ago, when I was out after the
> diversions on the West of England mainline I drove
> round a corner on a minor road near Whitchurch and
> came across a buzzard pecking away at the carcass
> of a pheasant. Not sure who was most surprised, me
> or the buzzard.
Our Raptors do very well down here in Australia on ''roadkill''.Wedgetail Eagles really like  Kangaroo carcases .
Regards,DK



Date: 12/07/16 21:14
Re: Sunny November
Author: JGFuller

Wow! SD70's ... I mean, Class 66's ... everywhere!

Jack Fuller
Lafayette, CA



Date: 12/08/16 04:04
Re: Sunny November
Author: 86235

JGFuller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wow! SD70's ... I mean, Class 66's ... everywhere!

Cut down, match box sized SD70s



Date: 12/08/16 05:24
Re: Sunny November
Author: 55002

Another great set, Nik. You certainly get plenty of freight around there. chris uk.



Date: 12/08/16 15:40
Re: Sunny November
Author: SD70M

Earlier this year when at Kansas City (Santa Fe Jct) I had a great view of a peregrine falcon devouring a feral pigeon. It was being mobbed by two other birds, to no avail.



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