Posted in Railways on Monday 30th May 2005 at 8:24pm


Woke to the news of the grounding of the entire Virgin Voyager fleet due to a problem at Barton Hill last night. Not surprised to find the 0832 from Weston cancelled on my arrival at the station. Originally plumped for the 0837 stopper, but was persuaded by announcements to risk a special relief provided by Wessex. It was a jammed 153, but it did get us to Bristol earlier. This was clearly a day when anything might happen.

Decided to stay at Newport for the morning's entertainment. Surprisingly little information around, possibly due to the Bank Holiday or the number of railtours running today. Spent the quiet start to the day chatting and socialising. Things soon got going, with a couple of 175s on both a service train and driver training, a little frieght and eventually the arrival of the specials.

Highlight of course was the double-headed class 50 hauled Stratford-Cardiff train. Mercifully, nothing was occupying the up relief when this passed by, unlike the earlier 67 hauled service.

50031 and 50049 double-heading a Stratford-Cardiff special
50031 and 50049 double-heading a Stratford-Cardiff special

Arriva had planned to operate several of their regular services with loco haulage, but in the event ended up running both a loco hauled service and the original unit with additional coaches. This despite being approached by Virgin for help with stock! Stayed at Newport for the remainder of these specials, before being persuaded to join 47843's train, which was surprisingly light on passengers even in the front coach. 47843 producing a nice racket for the short journey to Cardiff, including a couple of noisy starts from signal checks.

47847 awaits the road at Newport
47847 awaits the road at Newport

47843 waiting to enter Canton
47843 waiting to enter Canton

Waited for a little while at Cardiff, to get a shot of 47815 on the rear of the train. Quick dash back to Bristol in the hope of seeing the Midland Mainline HST, but a bit too late due to our excursion to Cardiff. Enjoyed the sunshine at Bristol and watched 66041 arrive with the tanks, and run around, along with another light engine move. Nothing much happening, at least until much later. As things were quiet, called it day early. Just checked how the football went - no third showing for West Ham fans next year it seems!

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Lost::MikeGTN

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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