Speed dating in clapham junction
The train was “topped and tailed” by Class 73 electro-diesel locomotives.
The train travelled up to London Victoria via Tonbridge, Lewisham and Denmark Hill; then back to Bromley North; then via Sidcup and Woolwich Arsenal to London Bridge; to Hayes and back; to Caterham and Tattenham Corner; via Selhurst, Clapaham Junction, Kensington Olympia and Mitre Bridge Junction to Richmond; via Mitre Bridge and Stewarts Lane Junction to Victoria; and to Hastings via Tonbridge., a charity outing from Hastings to London and the Kent & Surrey areas, in aid of Help for Heroes, with bookings being handled by UK Railtours.
Entries from April to December 2004 can be viewed here. All the Railtours which HDL has operated are listed and described on the Railtour archive page.
Naturally, that page overlaps somewhat with this one.
The 6 cars of our train went on a test run to Tonbridge, and ended up being diverted via Ashford and Rye for the return working; this caused it to get turned round. Our train was chartered for the Olympia Express special excursion to Kensington Olympia; the charter was organized by a third party, with the publicity being hosted by HDL; that publicity remains available for historical interest here: leaflet, booking-form and final timings.
There is a “status column” between each date and its diary entry, whose meanings are as follows: Our train operated “The Soap Run” today. There were some previous such trips, dates for which will be added to this diary in due course.
This is a local job, delivering the cleaning supplies to South Eastern’s carriage-washer, between the depot and Bopeep Junction; there is no access by road to the washer. via Ashford, Dover and Canterbury on a driver-training run. This run would again have taken “Hastings” stock through the twin single-bore tunnels at Shakespeare Cliff; an even number (2) of reversals means that the train was not turned round.) operated the “Soap Run”, travelling down to the nearby carriage-washing plant to deliver supplies.
for Alan Lake; it ran empty to Brighton via Eastbourne, entrained invited passengers for a 1047 departure and a trip along the coast and across the marsh to Ashford International and back, returning to Brighton at 1451 before running empty away to depot.
train derailed after hitting a herd of cows; following re-railing and repairs at the site between Wye and Chilham, the stricken train was moved to Canterbury West.
Our train went on a test & crew-training run to Tonbridge, via Rye in both directions; this allowed some higher-speed running on the Ashford to Tonbridge section, where signals permitted.