An ED to the blocks, Nov 83
A 1000 2 day training/meeting session in Haywards Heath allowed "Cobbler mileage" paid for by the company.
Unfortunately the last up Cobbler was the best bet for a "roarer", my 0746 ex Leighton got lovely 86246!
Some VEP from Victoria to East Croydon then it was the cover the last few East Grinsteads.
33054 was flagged off on an up East Grinstead as dud, then a long fester due to a "unit failure" causing chaos on all services from East Grinstead and Uckfield. Apparently a heavy overnight leaf fall was causing problems on the long climb out of Oxted towards Woldingham. The problem units eventually arrived well down and i was disappointed on seeing just seeing the booked pair of "thumpers" on approach. However as they slowly arrived and stopped it was obvious these "thumpers" were unusually silent, the middle power car was just idling and more importantly there was a loco on the back!
Decision time, its an ED which is very rare in daylight (the hauled Gatwicks hadnt started by then), its required but making the 1000 training session in Haywards Heath looks well dubious! There was little hesitation, the rear thumper's last coach was joined and i wedged myself by a door between the legs of the usual silent, miserable commuters. We departed quietly on electric power with just the odd "whirr and pop" from the ED's motors. As we approached London Bridges terminal platforms in true commuter tradition many doors were open well before we stopped and leaning out of mine i was surprised to see the driver leaning out of the ED' rear cab!
A Brighton fast was just made at London Bridge, crossing 33033 on a very late 0827 East Grinstead - London Bridge. At Haywards Heath a quick run up the hill to the office, my arrival was 15 down, my excuse of "leaves on the line" was OK'd no problem.....!!
86246 1A73 0720 Northampton-Euston LB-EU
73130} 0801 E.Grinstead-London Bridge EC-LB
1312(d)} failed due leaf fall probs
33054 2U35 0725 E.Grinstead-London Bridge
33033 2U41 0827 E.Grinstead-London Bridge
The following days training finished in time for me to make the 1610 London Bridge service. We crossed a very dull 47509 on the 1023 Manchester - Brighton. London Bridge in the rush hour is manic, people everywhere many seeming to walk straight at you if you are going against the flow. Once aboard the front coach of the 1720 Uckfield normality returned. The Eastleigh machine was thrashed mercilessly on load 8 virtually all the way up the climb to Norwood Jn. An East Croydon bail and a considerably shorter fester than the previous morning with 33023 joined on the following 1734 London Bridge - East Grinstead. Loud thrash on departing each of the stops en route to Oxted from 33023 before a bale at Oxted.
Under the subway at Oxted, then thumpers 1311/1317 back to East Croydon for a unit back to Victoria. 310066 on the 1959 ex Euston was as warm and cosy as ever, much noise from the motors too!
47509 1O74 1023 Manchester-Brighton
33002 2U14 1720 London Bridge-Uckfield LB-EC
33023 1U16 1734 London Bridge-E.Grinstead EC-OX
1311} 1820 E.Grinstead-E.Croydon OX-EC
066 2000 Euston-Birmingham EU-LB