The last few days of my recent “FOSS”, or Freedom of the Severn & Solent rail rover ticket… Great value for those who wish to wander widely in Wessex and the Westcountry.
So, latest happenings over the past week: The token machine at Maiden Newton, south of Yeovil Pen Mill on the Castle Cary to Dorchester line, decided to act more like a petulant child than a well-oiled piece of railway infrastructure Saturday before last, leading to half-hour-plus delays for services over that single track section.
My unit down from Westbury was held for a good 25 minutes at Yeovil, plenty of time for a brew from the station cafe (I’m always happy to support independently-run station cafes), as well as affectionate attention from the resident station cat, who I now know to be named Thomas, aged about thirteen-and-three-quarters!
West Coast Railways ran their Last Days of Southern Steam tour from London Victoria to Weymouth via Bournemouth –
ironically producing an appearance of an LMS kettle, in the shape of Jubilee class 45699 Galatea. Shame they couldn’t conjure up a turn from a Westcountry Light Pacific such as Tangmere or something. But for the diesel bashers, there was a treat in the form of 33207 Jim Martin bringing up the rear.
Meanwhile, a couple of days later, something caught my eye on RealTimeTrains.com – a working from North Pole Junction near Paddington to Stoke Gifford; my curiosity was rewarded at Bristol Parkway, with my first photo opportunity with the upcoming Class 800 IEP (Intercity Express Programme). This particular 800 had already splatted its first seagull on the front, so for the sake of keeping my site of a family nature, I contented myself with photting it from the rear. The colour of the afternoon was completed with the appearance of a “Red Shed” on the Moreton-on-Lugg to Elstow Redland Siding.