Deciding to do something different isnt easy especially when you havent done it for over thirty years. After chatting with NR I thought sod it Im going to take in some 68's, easy enough from Leamington, and combine with seeing a couple of mates..one midday in Leam, one in London for a beer after.
A consultation of diagrams gave me three doable turns, although the second one could be hit and miss depending on how things were running.
I parked my car and walked to the station for 1R15, the 0837 off the Bone' to Moor St. Bang on time 68010 rolled in with stock 12625/623/620/613/602/82301. A crap photo was taken and deleted! Four or five cranks on board it departed with some nice noise up front. The open vestibule ends certainly transmit the sound. I liken it to a beefier Western hydraulic sort of noise (at the risk of incurring wrath of those who follow such machines) with some nice loud blower undertones. Whatever, it certainly picked its feet up after Warwick Parkway. At Solihull Jed joined the train, not seen him for years. Said hello, never recognised me but thats not surprising as the last time was probably 1983 and I was 16 years old! Needless to say the section of MK3 close to the loco remained more crank than normal and it was a little like stepping back in time for a bit. A standard shot was obtained at Moor St. Prior to taking it back to Leam on 1H33.
Jed rejoined at Solihull. "Yer made it then"". 68013 didnt seem as noisy as 68010 but certainly shifted ok!
1415 after a meet with a mate for coffee saw me waiting for 1H37 1355 Moor St. Marylebone which rolled in bang on time with 68015 at the rear pushing 12619/609/610/627/10274/82303. Good seat, phone plugged in, sarnie and coffee. Good to go. I hadnt been past Banbury on this route before and thoroughly enjoyed the noises made by 15 leaving stations South. I must admit I much prefer this route to London over my usual run from Rugby. Very civilised in proper coaches with seats made for humans, nice table with creature comforts for your tech and a great view. Im sold.
I failed to clock what was at Wembley (Peaky Blinders re-run) and on landing at Marylebone I realised Jed was fast asleep in the last jump seat closest to the door. He also missed what was at Wembleyand Im afraid I was unable to enlighten him further.
A pleasant late afternoon and evening wondering around The Londons and a few beers with another mate saw me back at MB for the 20.37 unit back to Leam.
No, NR, I didnt clock the number. I told you..no interest! Still, It was quite comfortable and once again had evident creature comforts provided by Chiltern.
All in all a very pleasant day. For a tenner for the London advance ticket Ill certainly do it again! Compared with other TOC's I was impressed by Chiltern. Well done. Now to work out how to do the 68s on the TPE and appease the wife.
Thanks to Guy Kendrick for the classic day out in 2020