Posted in Railways on Friday 22nd February 2008 at 5:55pm

This time of year always brings a few days of unexpected leave as I try to ensure I don't lose too much time off. I've one or two trips and excursions planned for the weeks ahead, but hadn't seriously looked at doing much with these two days. An excursion to Manchester to complete the tram lines was a thought, but Thursday was taken up with family duties, and Friday yielded few cheap travel opportunities. Decided instead to stay local and to finally have a look what was going on with all these locomotive movements at Gloucester.

57006 in fresh paint at Gloucester
57006 in fresh paint at Gloucester

Didn't bank on half term producing so many additional passengers, with standing room only on the 143 into Bristol - suprising outside the peak. A little quieter on the ride up to Gloucester however. Gloucester was, many years ago, one of the first ventures I made outside my Highbridge to Bristol comfort zone. It felt quite liberating to be visiting a strange city remembered partly from childhood road-trips to the South West. However there was little of railway interest around then, save for a few unfamiliar units disappearing down the bank towards the mysterious line to South Wales! Over the past few years, with Cotswold Rail and now Advenza Freight, much has changed and locomotives are a more common sight at Gloucester. There has long been a minor allocation of Class 47s, and today there were representatives of three classes in evidence. Firstly, and the star of the show for me, was 57006 freshly outshopped in Advenza's colours and ready for work. It's good to see this class continuing to find work despite outliving it's usefulness with Freightliner in favour of yet more green 66s!

37898 surely heading for the scrapyard now?
37898 surely heading for the scrapyard now?

A more sobering sight however were the pair of rusting 37s laying over en route to what will likely be their final destination. 37704 which recently appeared at Bristol Temple Meads was almost hidden, but 37898 was visible and in a sorry state following it's recent extraction from Margam. 47237 presented a happier aspect, being rebranded from DRS to Advenza and seeing some fairly regular use in move locos and stock around.

47237 rebranded in Advenza Freight livery
47237 rebranded in Advenza Freight livery

Took an indirect route home, travelling via Lydney to Newport on fully Crosscountry rebranded 170102. Uncomfortably warm on board, and not too unhappy to get out into the rather drizzly cold at Newport only to find the 1415 to Taunton inexplicably delayed with no expected time of departure. Wandered around the new platform 4 before being redirected to the very late running but recently refurbished 158771 which took me all the way home in rather cramped style. A pleasant enough afternoon out on what nearly qualifies as home turf.

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I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.

I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.

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