Monday, 24 February 2020

Embankment Slip near Milford, the second week

Freight operators

Much of the freight traffic has resumed, but times from Laverstock to Dean are generally longer than in  the timetable.

Freightliner Intermodal: were using the SWML, but from 25th the diagrammed turns resumed via Laverstock

Freightliner Mendip: have resumed services using the single line working section, the first was 59201 with the Fareham working on Monday 24th, then Eastleigh over the next night.

GBRf Deparmental: the first train, over the single line working, was 6O31 17:30 from Westbury - Eastleigh on Monday 24th, and the Mountsorrel working came through overnight.

GBRf MoD: similarly has resumed

Passenger operators


What We're Doing About It
Engineers have confirmed there is significant damage to the embankment, with substantial repair work needed. It is expected that it will take up to two months to fully repair the railway. We are not currently able to run trains on this route.
Trains will run in a loop in both directions starting and finishing at Romsey calling at: Redbridge, Millbrook, Southampton Central, St Denys, Swaythling, Southampton Airport Parkway, Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford. 
The following stations will have no train service but will be served by a half hourly bus: Dean and Mottisfont & Dunbridge 
We have arranged replacement buses to run on the following routes:Salisbury - Southampton in both directions via Redbridge and Millbrook
Please note the following stations where buses will not pick up from the station:Romsey station - pick up from the  bus stops on the A3057Redbridge - pick up from the bus stops by the Shell garage
Great Western Railway services between Portsmouth and Cardiff Central will only run between Salisbury and Cardiff Central. Your South Western ticket will be accepted on Great Western services via any reasonable route and Great Western tickets will be accepted on South Western Railway. Please see their publicity for details.

GWR have withdrawn from passenger train operation south of Salisbury:

Train services running through these stations have been cancelled or suspended between Salisbury and Romsey. Disruption is expected until the end of the day on 31/03/20.

Customer Advice:
Due to a landslip between Salisbury and Romsey all lines are blocked. Engineers on site at the landslip and have confirmed there is significant damage to the embankment, with substantial repair work needed. It is expected that it will take up to two months to fully repair the railway. We are not currently able to run trains between Salisbury and Romsey.

An amended train service will operate on the Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour route. GWR train services will run between Cardiff Central and Salisbury. GWR is not operating a direct train service between Romsey and Portsmouth Harbour. Affected customers are advised to travel with South Western Railway between Romsey and Portsmouth Harbour.

GWR is operating train services between Portsmouth Harbour and Brighton.

CrossCountry are conveying passengers between Southampton Central and Reading in both directions until further notice.

Replacement road transport services are conveying passengers between Salisbury and Southampton Central in both directions until further notice.

South Western Railway are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. South Western Railway is accepting GWR tickets on the following routes:
- Replacement road transport between Salisbury and Southampton Central,
- Train services on the Romsey circular service Romsey to Romsey via Chandlers Ford and Southampton Central.
- Train services between Southampton Central to Basingstoke.

GWR is accepting South Western Railway tickets on replacement road transport between Salisbury and Southampton Central and on train services between Salisbury and Bristol Temple Meads.

Notes from Eastleigh, 21st February 2020

66546 arrives with 4V54 10:14 FO Maritime - Avonmouth, diverted from its normal route because of the embankment issue. This lightly loaded train returned via its normal route on the Saturday as a 'fresh air express'. Preparatory is under way by the 'orange army' for the reinstatement of the normal S&C following the recent derailment.

59102 Village of Chantry ended up at Up Yard on Tuesday 18th as its route back to the quarries was blocked. It returned as 7Z07 11:34 Up Yard - Merehead, via Reading and Swindon.

66847 Terry Baker + 66850 David Maidment OBE return as 0Z06 13:30 Totton - Eastleigh, the second hop of a return from Marchwood.

The route from Leeds now seems to be W10 gauge, this is 70020 passing with 4O90 0608 Leeds - Maritime, with no pocket or low floor wagons in the consist.

66107 passes with 4O43 0527 Wakefield - Western Docks, which was a later schedule away from Wakefield than in the preceding period.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Diverts at Romsey, 22nd February 2020

In something of a surprise, given events of the past week, loco hauled intermodal trains were permitted to work along the single track section at Milford. Fifteen trains passed through over 11 hours, six of these in the daylight hours. Four of these are seen here, those following were the 4O90 from Leeds, and 4O29 from Basford Hall, which were still running on schedules routed through Eastleigh, which is closed for essential S&C work.

When will we next see loco hauled trains on this section? Next week or well into the Spring?

66546 4O54 05:45 Avonmouth - Maritime. Following a northbound run on Friday, the same consist returns as a 'fresh air express'.

66082 passes at the same time with 4M71 07:17 Western Docks - Birch Coppice, which was lightly loaded.

66710 Phil Packer BRIT approaches with 4O23 02:41 Trafford Park - Western Docks.

And then passes.

66568 runs past with 4O18 04:46 Lawley Street - Maritime.

17th - 22nd February 2020

47848 was noted moving in limited usage at the works on Friday 21st. Here it is seen gathering together a Locomotive Services rake of Pullman Car liveried Mk2 ac coaches, led by BSO 9479 (BREL Derby, Lot 30824, 1971). The cut down JSA wagons in the foreground are VTG 4051 and 4044.

Monday 17th February: 73963 + 73965 1Z51 18:29 Derby - Eastleigh (earlier in day: one)
Tuesday 18th February: 37099 3Q01 23:37 Woking Up Yard - Eastleigh one two
Wednesday 19th February: 66778 + 801227 5X98 Eastleigh - Acton one two three; 73962 + 73965 1Q53 12:46 Eastleigh -Wimbledon - Totton - Eastleigh - Romsey - Eastleigh one two; 37099 3Q02 21:26 Eastleigh - Dorchester - Havant - St Denys - Eastleigh
Thursday 20th February: 73962 + 73965 1Q54 12:43 Eastleigh - Tonbridge; 37099 3Q04 21:18½ Eastleigh - Reading Triangle Sidings
Friday 21st February: 66768 + 801224 5X50 02:28 Acton - Eastleigh;
Saturday 22nd February: 

Romsey - Salisbury embankment slip from afternoon of 18th.

Eastleigh derailment: Network Rail are replacing the points at platform 2 this weekend.

Eastleigh Works: 28Jan - 29Jan - 03Feb - 04Feb

4O90 from Leeds was observed with a consist without KTA pocket or FLA low platform flat wagons. It would appear that the Leeds route has now been cleared to W10 gauge, which was in Network Rail plans.  Wentloog trains appear to continue to use these wagons.

Embankment Slip near Milford, from 18th January 2020

As of 22nd February, intend to cover the loco hauled civil engineering and aggregates trains separately next week, assuming some resumption of this traffic.

Embankment slippage on Up line (north side, trains running Salisbury to Romsey). Location is to the east of Milford Junction, for which this is a map from 1900, which is marked 'Liable to Flooding'. The embankment will date from 1847 when the railway was opened.

Last trains recorded passing on 18th were Up 2R50 13:50 Salisbury - Romsey at about 13:55 and Down 2S35 13:07 Romsey to Salisbury at about 14:12.

Snapshot of Traksy at 09:45, Wednesday 19th. No knowledge of why 'BLOK' on Chandler's Ford line, subsequently removed.

No locomotive hauled trains between Salisbury and Romsey after the event, although some resumed on Saturday 22nd, after monitoring equipment was installed by Network Rail. On 18th - 19th, until the line re-opened partially, FGW ran a Romsey - Portsmouth shuttle.

On Wednesday 19th only 1 dmu train was operated per hour in each direction 10:00 - 19:00 by FGW, calling at Dean and Dunbridge. Single track working between East Grimstead crossover and Laverstock.

However this ceased, the line is effectively closed for public transport, it seems that this was an operating company decision. The remaining GWR service from Portsmouth to Romsey is running towards 90 minute intervals, rather than the established timetable.

Duration expected to be 2 months, but assessment of the slip cannot be started until floodwater is drained from the adjacent field.

A network of buses have replaced the trains. As notified in a Network Rail press release "South Western Railway are hoping to run a limited service from Monday 24 February on the ‘Romsey loop’. One train an hour during the peak and one train every 2 hours in off-peak are expected to run in both directions from Romsey to Romsey via Eastleigh and Southampton."

From SWR (22nd Feb):

What's Going OnDue to a landslip between Romsey and Salisbury all lines are blocked. Train services running through these stations will be cancelled, delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day on 31/03/20.
What We're Doing About It
Engineers have confirmed there is significant damage to the embankment, with substantial repair work needed. It is expected that it will take up to two months to fully repair the railway. We are not currently able to run trains on this route.
The following service will be operating from the affected stations:
Dean - No trains will be serving this station but there will be a half hourly bus serviceMottisfont & 
Dunbridge - no trains will be serving this station but there will be a half hourly bus service
Romsey - An hourly GWR train service towards Southampton / Portsmouth. A half hourly bus service to Salisbury
Redbridge - A limited rail service but there will be a half hourly bus service
Millbrook - A limited rail service but there will be a half hourly bus service
Swaythling - A limited rail service but there will be a half hourly bus service
St Denys - A limited rail service but there will be a half hourly bus service
Chandlers Ford - No trains will be serving this station but there will be a half hourly bus service
We have arranged replacement buses to run on the following routes:
Salisbury - Southampton in both directions via Redbridge and Millbrook
Romsey - Southampton in both directions via Chandlers Ford and Eastleigh
Please note the following stations where buses will not pick up from the station:
Romsey station - pick up from the  bus stops on the A3057
Redbridge - pick up from the bus stops by the Shell garage
Great Western Railway are running their services between Salisbury and Cardiff Central and also between Portsmouth Harbour and Romsey. Your South Western ticket will be accepted on Great Western services via any reasonable route. Please see their publicity for details.

Network Rail Wessex tweets: one two three & press release (21st)

Turning to the regular locomotive hauled workings:

Departmental (GBRf):

The Westbury - Eastleigh - Westbury  (typically 59003) -  59003 is at Westbury, 6O39 was cancelled from 19th - 21st.

VSTP 0Oxx 12:15 Westbury Up T.C. to Eastleigh East Yard operated via Basingstoke on 19th, but this was not a GBRf working, potentially Colas (66847, 66850 and 70806 all moved Westbury - Eastleigh around this time)

70805 with the HOBC - VSTP 6X35 07:59 Westbury Down T.C. to Eastleigh East Yard ran on 21st (Colas), via Swindon and Reading, with a return move 6Z36 13:58 Eastleigh East Yard to Westbury Down T.C., via Reading, Swindon and a reversal at Bath.

Aggregates (Freightliner): 

Botley - 04:32 Botley - Merehead ran on 18th, cancelled from 19th
Chichester - 59102 7V07 12:41 Chichester - Merehead on 18th got to Southampton, then sent to Up Yard ran forward via Reading and Swindon 7Z07 11:34 Up Yard to Merehead on 21st; Q schedule, cancelled from 19th
Eastleigh - cancelled from 18th
Fareham - normal cycle on 18th, cancelled from 19th
Southampton Up Yard - Q schedule, did not run

Overall, awaiting resumption. It seems some amount of planning will be required to recover the aggregates schedule, potentially running T+T via Basingstoke, although line capacity is said to be an issue. This could be clearer next week.


Based upon WTT and what has been noted running recently, where further VAR trains have been excluded, this list appears to be the active timetabled services:

4M58 09:25 Maritime - Garston - operated via Eastleigh from 19th
4V54 10:14 FO Maritime - Avonmouth - operated via Eastleigh from 21st
4M65 13:46 Maritime - Lawley Street - 66605 operated the second last down train to pass on 18th - operated via Eastleigh from 19th
4O57 13:29 Wentloog - Maritime - diverted from Bathampton on 18th (assume via Swindon and Reading), similarly on 19th, then along the Badminton Line from 20th

Intermodals all appear to be running via Eastleigh on normal days.

On 22nd February, fifteen intermodal trains were worked through the single line section between 01:30 and 15:00.

Forums: WNXX - Railforums UK

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Wagon of the week, 14th February 2020

59003 arrives at Eastleigh with 6O39 10:14 Westbury - Eastleigh. The interesting wagon is the first one.

DC 967615 is a YQA 'Super Tench' wagon, rebuilt in this form, with air brakes and Sambre et Meuse Y25C bogies, at BREL Shildon to Lot 4012 in 1981-82.

However, it was originally built by BR Derby in 1959-61 as a 'Borail', part of a group of 165 wagons which were numbered B946065 to B946229, later TOPS code BRV. 

Following the rebuilds, the wagons were assigned to Departmental service in 1983, and gained the DC prefixes as 'Parr' wagons. The Tench modifications, the basket structures, were made in 2010. Ten of these wagons remain in service.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

G&W colours at Eastleigh, 14th February 2020

(2 pictures)The most recent repaint, outshopped at Eastleigh in late November 2019, 66503 The Railway Magazine passes with 4O14 05:36 Garston -Maritime. Following the derailment two weeks previously, the down slow through platform 2 is out of use and the rails are turning rusty.

(2 pictures) An earlier, March 2019, Eastleigh repaint was 66623, which lost its name, as this was associated with the sponsor of the previous colours. Through the week, 66623 had been working the Up Yard services from Whatley, this being 6V62 13:21 Up Yard - Whatley. Now one of a kind, as the only low emissions, and associated smaller fuel tank, Class 66/6 in the UK, as the following two locomotives now operate in Poland.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Eastleigh Works, 14th February 2020

47848, currently in process of reinstatement, and 73133.

37602 was out in the rain through Storm Ciara, which has washed away the workshop dust. A clearer view this time of the fabricated bogie type.

70809 had earlier arrived from Hinksey (and before that Bescot) and was briefly at the works for fuel. Emitting characteristic Class 70 smoke as it returns to the yard.

10th - 15th February 2020

313121 (BREL York, July 1976) was in the news this week, as it has tasks ahead of it for ERTMS testing again after 21 months in storage. For this reason a test run to Hove and back was scheduled on Monday 10th, but cancelled because of a broken down train at Cosham. An attempt on Tuesday to deliver to Ferme Park, resulted in the unit turning back at Botley. Seen at the works on Friday 14th.

444029 appears to be very recently finished into the current SWR scheme. Eastleigh 14th February.

Monday 10th February:
Tuesday 11th February: 313121 5Z31 19:29 Eastleigh - Ferme Park (returned from Botley)
Wednesday 12th February:
Thursday 13th February: 
Friday 14th February: 66757 + 801227 5X50 02:13 Acton - Eastleigh
Saturday 15th February:

Eastleigh Derailment: 
RAIB: Freight train derailment at Eastleigh, Hampshire, 28 January 2020.
Network Rail: Eastleigh derailment: your questions answered (where the cause is further explained, and is reported as not visible to normal inspection regimes)

70001 returned to traffic on the 10th.Seen passing Eastleigh on 12th.

The covered car carrier wagons, which were in the airport sidings, are believed to have been sent to Gwent Demolition at Margam for disposal.

Swanage dmu moved by road from Eastleigh East Yard - Corfe Castle: one two three four

Raxstar bought 60050, but they have now resold it, and it is now at Leeming Bar: one two

DRS celebrated 25 years on 13th, but they are to be incorporated into NDA’s transport portfolio from 1st March, where the DRS Managing Director is reported to be moving into the new body. NDA notice.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Harsco Track Technologies New Track Construction, Eastleigh, 14th February 2020

Noted at Eastleigh today, it was moved onward to Westbury by 59003 in the consist of 6V40.

NTC - New Track Construction. This Balfour Beatty operated equipment dates from about 2004.

"The NTC machine (a beam-like structure and a gantry) "lives" on top of two 64057x series wagons."

Video: Balfour Beatty's High Output New Track Construction (NTC) machine

New Track Construction – Renewing our railway quicker than ever before

"We are now laying new track up to three times faster"

640572 is a FEAD spine intermodal wagon deployed for the customised train.

Partner wagon 640571 again a FEAD.

DR 78702 - Harsco Track Technologies NTC Power Wagon.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Dunbridge, 10th February 2020

It was looking more promising but a VSTP from Eastleigh - Bristol was cancelled, and the Fareham stone empties did not run, the train having arrived there 168 minutes late.

66623 running as 0V62 13:21 Up Yard - Whatley, although in practice this was terminated at Westbury. The working to Southampton had arrived 106 minutes late, and it appears that a decision was made to leave the wagons behind on this occasion.

66531 workung 4M65 13:46 Maritime - Lawley Street.

59003 YEOMAN HIGHLANDER with regular working 6V40 14:05 Eastleigh - Westbury.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

DBC Margam - Eastleigh, 8th February 2020

66148 + 66137 + 66111 + 66035 were recorded as arriving over an hour early at Westbury as 0O12 10:51 Margam-Eastleigh.

However Westbury changed all of the locos, and 66172 + 66006 + 66115 proceeded to Eastleigh, working to time on the original schedule.

66172 + 66006 + 66115 are seen passing Romsey at 16:23 to proceed via Chandler's Ford to Eastleigh.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Changes in workings at Eastleigh, as seen on 6th February 2020

Following the recent derailment, the straight line track on the Down Fast has taken the platform 2 Down Slow out of use, which limits access to and from Southampton for the yard, and passenger calls by southbound trains, where a shuttle bus is being provided to and from the airport.

The Departmental train from Westbury is using the 6O39 10:14 Westbury - Eastleigh path, entering the yard from Chandler's Ford passing the station, to deposit the train in what were the carriage sidings, adjacent to the virtual quarry. Regular 59003 YEOMAN HIGHLANDER arrives with this working.

The return trip follows similar pattern, 6V40 14:05 Eastleigh-Westbury, which is seen here running onto the branch some minutes early to await the arrival of the passenger train from Romsey to clear the branch to proceeed.

The 'Romsey Rocket' cannot call at platform 2 southbound, so proceeds via the Down Fast towards the airport.

Similarly down Freightliner trains cannot stop so run via the Down Fast, although northbound trains are still stopping in Platform 1. They currently are restricted to 30 mph over the new track, so it's possible to record the consist. 66568 passes with 4O90 06:08 Leeds - Maritime.

70010 similarly passes with  4O49 09:21 Basford Hall - Maritime.

The SITT came up from Totton to remove 66727 from the working. For the return 6Y89 12:30 Eastleigh East Yard - Totton Yard, the train was firstly worked into platform 3. 66718 Sir Peter Hendy CBE then led onto the Romsey branch, on the line normally approaching Eastleigh.

After some trains passed, including one to Romsey, 66716 Locomotive and Carriage Institution Centenary 1911-2011 then led the consist to Totton.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Eastleigh Works, 6th February 2020

73133 and 37602. 37602 arrived on 14th February 2019 for wheelset repairs, for worn tyres, but was stored in September, at which time it was on stands in the works. The bogies under 37602 at arrival were of cast type but it is now on a pair of fabricated bogies, and these are not particularly clean, where one could speculate that these are not for further revenue use.

87002 arrived on works on 22nd November, and was being shunted in this rubbed down condition. 86101 was much more advanced when photographed on 15th January.

47815 appears to have completed its repairs, and was removed from works on Friday 7th.

3rd - 8th February 2020

66567 approaches Romsey with 4O57 13:29 Wentloog - Maritime, 5th February.

70007 at rest at Maritime, 2nd February. Image by Scott Paddington.

Monday 3rd February: 66787 + Swanage dmu coaches moved to East Yard for road transport one
Tuesday 4th February: 
Wednesday 5th February: 802304 + 802205 5X98 07:10 Eastleigh - Acton one two three
Thursday 6th February: 57305 5O86 08:14 Castle Donington - Eastleigh one two three (no IEPs visible at Eastleigh)
Friday 7th February: 66771 +  801226 was planned for 5X50 02:10 Acton - Eastleigh, but seen at Doncaster during the day following termination of the working; 57305 + 47815 + 442415 5Q77 07:03 Eastleigh - Wolverton one two three four
Saturday 8th February:

Eastleigh re-opened but no Down Slow line available through platform 2.
Eastleigh train derailment: Disruption estimated to "take weeks"

Network Rail releases cause of freight train derailment at Eastleigh

Initial findings by Network Rail have found the cause of the incident to be an infrastructure fault, when a small number of fastenings gave way. This led to track spread - meaning that the two rails were no longer the correct distance apart.

This particular type of fastening is only used in a limited number of locations. Since the incident, Network Rail has conducted enhanced precautionary inspections of all similar fastenings across the Wessex route, with no additional areas of concern identified through this work.

70001 in the sidings but moved on by Thursday.

801223 was being moved to Eastleigh on Friday 31st, but was diverted to Ferme Park, where it still is believed located.

Waterside rail campaigners eye £500m government cash to relaunch service
Campaigners calling for passenger services to be restored on Totton to Fawley branch line

It seems that there are concerns over the future of the Coatbridge Freightliner terminal. It is sometime since there was a timetabled direct service from Southampton,the two daily services from Coatbridge are to Basford Hall as separate workings. DRS and DB use a nearby facility at Mossend, other intermodal traffic goes to Grangemouth. One commentator suggested that the cranes at Coatbridge are approaching end of useful life.

MTR (30% owner of SWR) have problems in their home market.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Recently arrived diesels at the Great Central Railway, 25th January 2020

By recent, I mean since I last visited four years previously.

D417 was built at English Electric, Newton-le-Willows in April 1968, then withdrawn 23 years later in September 1991 as 50017. Preserved at The Railway Age, Crewe, where it had a VSOE mainline return, then at the Plym Valley Railway until acquired for a further return to the main line.

Arrived at the Great Central Railway on 28th February 2019, and is no longer equipped for main line operations.

37714 Cardiff Canton is to some extent the preserved twin of 37703 at Bo'ness as both saw a short stint of their final service as super-shuntrers for DRS at Daventry in 2013, and 37714 again in 2015.

Delivered as D6724 in August 1961, first allocated to March. Renumbered 37024 in February 1974. Heavy General overhaul May to October 1988, then returned to traffic as 37714

Sent to Spain with 37703 on 29th May 2001, both returned in 2012. Sent to the Great Central Railway in 2016 and now sold to an owning group.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Four BR 350hp shunters, 25th January 2020

D4137 was delivered from Horwich in June 1962 to Burton, and later became 08907.

In previous days: BR greenBR blue - BR heritageEWS - DB Red
November 2016: 08907 joins the GCR loco fleet

13101 later D3101 was delivered from Derby in February 1955 to Norwood Junction. Withdrawn by 31st May 1972, so not renumbered. Sold to Amey Roadstone Co. Ltd. in March 1973, for whom it worked at Loughborough one two three, then to Great Central Railway in December 1984.

D3690 was new from Darlington in March 1959, allocated to Hornsey. Renumbered to 08528 in 1974. Stored in July 200, then sold in 2010 to Shackerstone, after which it arrived at the Great Central in July 2014.

In previous days: BR blue - Departmental Grey

D3861 was new from Horwich in November 1959 firstly allocated to Derby, but then saw usage at former Great Central locations at Annesley in 1960-66. Renumbered 08694 in December 1973, stored in February 2004, then sold to Booth's in December 2008, from where it was recovered in May 2009.

In previous days: BR blue - EWS red

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

A visit to Test Car 2

ADB 975397 – Test Car 2 - originally BSK SC35386 built at Wolverton to Lot 30699 in March 1962, delivered running on Commonwealth bogies. In November 1974 it became a test car, for use in slip/brake test activities. Interior layout changes were made in 1976, along with the installation of a generator. It continued in the slip/brake application until 2006, also being used as brake runner for Test Car 1. In 1994 it was used through the Channel Tunnel in the commissioning of Class 92. Eventually retired to Old Dalby and sold into preservation in 2016.

Winner of the Mortons Media (Rail Express) Modern Traction Award 2019.

Conveniently located in the sidings at Quorn, This is the generator and compressor end, the coach is still mounted on Commonwealth bogies.

The all important 1970s tea room - the coach is used as the main operating base of the Quorn Wagon Group.
The slip working 'A' end,the final windows were fitted in September 1990.

Slip working equipment.

Additional gauges in the lab area.

Outside of the 'A' end - the group have possession of the special slip coupling.