THE DORSET COAST EXPRESS 13 September 2011
On 13 September ‘Britannia’ Pacific No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell worked the last ‘Dorset Coast Express’ from London to Weymouth and back for The Railway Touring Company.
At Victoria prior to departure (Peter Maynard)
As with the previous week’s run the train was steam-hauled from Victoria to Weymouth and then diesel-hauled from there to Southampton where the train reversed, returning to London (Waterloo) via Romsey, the Laverstock loop (just east of Salisbury) and Andover.
With eleven fully laden vehicles and a class 47 on the back together grossing something like 550 tons, the steam legs were a tough proposition for any engine but Cromwell and her crews responded superbly and we enjoyed some fine running, especially on the return Southampton-Basingstoke leg on which we had a largely clear road. We were delayed by a track circuit failure at Laverstock but the lost time was pulled back and arrival in Waterloo would have been right time had it not been for some checks in the London suburbs that cost us three minutes.
All in all a great day for RTC’s customers and the support crew too. The only blot on the day was a couple of mechanical problems which arose on the return run. These are easily fixed: Steam locomotives might be robust machines but they still go wrong from time to time, despite first-rate maintenance; sometimes things just happen without warning. Rest assured, though, that Cromwell will soon be back in action on the main line.
Servicing at Weymouth (both photos Peter Maynard)
By Info | Thursday, September 15, 2011 | Tags : 70013