Type 5 to the rescue, Friday February 23rd 2001
Just for a change London services at Leighton were delayed with the half term crowds adding to the wedge. 321428 was eventually joined with the Ovalteen factory temperature gauge claiming 8 degrees. A much quieter 319007 forward from Watford for a Kensington Olympia bail. 60024 passed on down engineer whilst 92044 roared through on a long rake of Ferryvans.
The Manchester – Brighton we planned to join came up as first 30 then 50 late so was flagged for 319012 to East Croydon. Here 73’s were still dominant on Gatwick Express services with 73203, 73206 and 73208 viewed.
47807 on the delayed Manchester – Brighton arrived just as “thumper” 205001 in 2 car mode was leaving on the 1248 Uckfield so we had done the right move. This was one of the few off peak “thumper” turns on the East Croydon – Oxted section, most starting from Oxted. A good “thump” across the Weald followed then an hour’s fester in Uckfield for the “bacon butty” move. 205012 soon arrived to return us North across the hills, the lead door panel having “81019, 40143 and “Gwot the veg” graffiti. The thumper’s old 1112 number was also written on the cab bulkhead!
1112 terminated at Oxted so swift, largely silent “VEP’s” returned us to the rat race of East Croydon. Here chaos reigned with a “broken down train at East Croydon” message being flashed up on the screens. The Manchester departure was shown some 80 down and then we noticed the rear of the failed train in platform 1. Our pace became rapid as we saw an EWS loco being attached to the 47. The door locks were on but a helpful buffet man helped us board via the guards inward opening door in the BSO.
A few minutes later on a virtually empty train the hoots from our mystery engine echoed off East Croydon’s office blocks. The guard announced that “a replacement engine with heat” would be provided at Reading as dusk began to set in. We turned a few heads snaking down the bank at Clapham Jn, then a bellow crossing the Thames near Stamford Bridge. At Kensington Olympia we bailed as did another basher commentating “its makes a change” on looking at 59204 as our assisting engine!
A quick phot then another of 47212 on liners then a busy 319009 home to Leighton. 58020 on tanks in Willesden yard and what appeared to be a failed 87015 on a down express near South Kenton’s troublesome neutral ended the days entertainment
The Moves – 230201 (Friday)
321428 0836 Birmingham – Euston L.Buzzard-Watford Jn
319007 0945 Rugby – Brighton Watford Jn – Kensington O
319010 1023 Rugby – Brighton Kensington O – East Croydon
205001 1248 East Croydon – Uckfield East Croydon – Uckfield
205012 1500 Uckfield – Oxted Uckfield–Oxted
3543/3403 1538 East Grinstead – Victoria Oxted – East Croydon
59204} 1418 Brighton – Manchester East Croydon – Kensington O
319009 1556 Brighton – Rugby Kensington O – L.Buzzard