Posted in Railways on Saturday 21st August 2004 at 8:08pm

Not, as I mistakenly thought, the penultimate week of the Class 67 hauled Virgin Holidaymaker specials. I had never intended that these workings become a weekly event, or a minor obsession. They do however release me from the need to imagine up new journeys every Friday evening. Also, they are a nice easy option when the railway is chaotically busy, overcrowded and hot here in the southwest during the Summer months. Along with the Weymouth and Brighton Class 31s they have maintained my sanity during the most frustrating and busy periods of the work year too. Perhaps the hypnotic effect of boomeranging back and forth between Bristol and Exeter is soothing to the soul of the troubled clerk?

So, set out in the opposite direction to usual. Decided to get a ride on 67022 which was working 1M89 - the morning service to Preston which doesn't call at Weston. This involved a unit to Taunton, and a change for a Voyager to Exeter. During the pause at Exeter, a pair of Castles (5051 and 5029) steamed through on 'The Devonian'. Arrived at Exeter to find 1M89 standing at Platform 6 - swiftly over the bridge and aboard for Bristol.

Arrived a little earlier than usual, and hung around to watch 1E99 arrive - my usual ride into Bristol these days! 67026 in charge - another required locomotive for me, one of three out today. I could only manage two out of these however, as 1M89 and 1E99 are mutually exclusive options.

67022 leaves Bristol Temple Meads on 1M89
67022 leaves Bristol Temple Meads on 1M89

Got refreshments, and enjoyed the sunshine at Temple Meads. Whilst waiting, noted the pair of Voyagers which I'd done from Taunton to Exeter this morning, and luckily got the number of the leading unit, which I'd missed in my hurry to get over the bridge, and was then obscured by an arriving HST! Some unexpected (and multiple!) platform alterations followed, which meant missing the arrival of 67018 on 1V15, but I easily made it over to Platform 15 in time for the departure to Exeter. Front coach aircon working for the first time in weeks, and some speedy running at least as far as Taunton, where things got a little sluggish.

Exeter St Davids busier than this morning, with some truly wedged services from Newquay passing through! Heard that 67005 was on 1V19, but decided that since it wasn't required a wander home on the curious combination of a Valley Lines 143 and a Wessex 150 which was working the Paignton-Cardiff would be interesting.

One thing which struck me today, perhaps rather oddly given the amount of times I've passed that way, is how impressively 'English' the countryside is around Cogload Junction just outside Taunton. Found it inspiring on my several passes in pleasant sunshine today - perhaps it was the rural element of my reading matter which persuaded me?

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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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