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Local Steam Train Sightings 2018
2018 Steam Train Schedule

For the 2018 schedule click here for a ‘local’ extract provided by local photographer and train enthusiast Tony Bartlett which includes any trains which pass through or to Basingstoke, Salisbury, Oxford or Westbury  (such entries have their date in blue). Trains including Newbury (highlighted in red) in their itinerary must also travel through Hungerford – some others may do so.

Introduction to local heritage railways by Tony Bartlett

Upcoming Sighting Opportunities

Saturday 18th August 2018  – A4 Pacific Union of South Africa on a West Somerset Steam Express to Minehead

Scheduled to depart Newbury at 10:18 after picking up local passengers. If running to plan the train should pass through Hungerford just before 10:30, although it is best to check for progress on the day at 1Z09 0815 London Paddington to Minehead West Som Rwy Return is expected to at about 21:00 – perhaps a little late for a good view in the twilight, but check at 1Z10 if you are thinking of turning out.

 

Saturday 28 July 2018 – The West Somerset Steam Express from Paddington to Minehead, hauled by the A4 Pacific no. 60009 Union of South Africa will be crossing the Vale of the White Horse to Bristol.

Outbound Timings include Didcot Parkway 09:34, Wantage Rd 09:41, Challow 09:56, Uffington 10:01
Return Timings scheduled to pass back through the area about 9pm

 

Thursday 14th June 2018 – the rescheduled St David’s Day excursion. Likely haulage will be the Black Five #45212

Outbound Didcot PW 10:48, Challow 10:59 – 11:32 more info here – Return Challow 19:04, Milton Jcn 19:23 – 20:01 see here

Saturday 16th June 2018 – a Cotswold Venturer on a circular trip out via Oxford and return via Swindon – also likely to be the Black Five in the absence of the A4 Pacific #60009

Outbound Didcot PW 08:34, Oxford 08:59 more info here – Return Challow 18:09, Milton Jcn 18:35 – 19:01 see here

Past Sightings

The first steamer on our line this year was a UK Railtours excursion to Minehead on Saturday 26 May:

Merchant Navy Pacific no. 35028 Clan Line on the The Quantock Intruder to the West Somerset Steam Railway

On the day report from Tony Bartlett:

Grey skies and raining at Hungerford ready for the GWR trip up the valley, and conditions not improved much by the time I arrived at Bridge 99 near Crofton. A small group of 9 photographers were assembled, waiting for the train and tracking its progress among the extra services which were being diverted this way today. The train arrived only a few minutes late, delayed by the extra traffic, and was clearly determined not to cause any delays itself by tackling the climb to Savernake Summit beyond Crofton with evident vigour. At first sight, this may appear to be a Pullman special but only the first carriage behind the loco (for its support team) is used in the Pullman formation. However the rest of the stock (Riviera Trains’ Royal Duchy set) is turned out in a consistent and attractive chocolate and cream.

One of the Bruce Trust canal boats was passing along the canal at the time, but unfortunately declined the invitation to wait to be photographed with the steamer. However I do have a montage version of the two together in case the need arises.  To confirm the arrangement for diesel haulage on the return trip, the special was followed very closely by a Class 67 also en route for Bishops Lydeard, leaving the assembled company to wonder why it wasn’t coupled up to the rear, as is often the case with other excursion trains.

 

 

Many thanks to Tony Bartlett for the above info and above photograph.

 

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