Posted in Railways on Saturday 9th July 2005 at 10:15pm

Set out for the station with little idea of what to do today. Figured that given the current security situation, hanging around a major station would be unwelcome. A suggestion of a local rover ticket was inspired. Purchased the now slightly more expensive 'Freedom of the Severn and Solent' rover which allows travel in a wider area. Wasn't sure just how much use I'd get out of it, but set out with high hopes.

Customary 0830 Voyager out to Bristol, and then a dash for the South West Trains service to Salisbury. Slow running throughout, particularly due to a track circuit failure at Westbury. Changed for a following Wessex unit bailing briefly at Romsey, but boarding again and heading for Southampton Central.

Next delayed by maverick steam cranks photographing in the four-foot on the way to Brockenhurst. Boarded delayed heritage slamdoor unit 1498 for a brief trip up and down the Lymington branch. Back to Brockenhurst in blazing midday sunshine. Onto a Weymouth-bound 442 for a relaxing trip along the south coast via Bournemouth and Poole, covering track I'd not seen for what I think is around ten years!

Arrived in Weymouth to find Duke of Gloucester steaming away, with the Wessex 31s stabled awaiting the 1630 for Westbury. Shortly after our arrival, 33202 arrived to take the Duke to be turned around. Enjoyed the anachronistic scene for a while, before heading into town for a mammoth late breakfast and a wander around the sun-bleached and tourist thronged streets.

71000 'Duke of Gloucester' at Weymouth
71000 'Duke of Gloucester' at Weymouth

Back to the station in time to secure a seat up front on the 1630. Away on time, but stopped for a passing unit at Dorchester West. Stopped again at Maiden Newton. Eventually figured we were passing the Duke here, so hopped off and enjoyed a lazy half hour in the Dorset countryside before getting a shot of 33202 leading the Duke back to Weymouth. An uneventful journey as far as Westbury, but not quite in time for the Taunton-bound HST. A photo call for the 31s and the stabled class 59s at Westbury - still baking at nearly 1900 - before boarding a Cardiff service packed with Bath and Bristol clubbers. Time for a relaxing beer and the chance to flag a 143 to Severn Beach at Temple Meads before heading home.

33202 'Meteor' at Maiden Newton with 'Duke of Gloucester'
33202 'Meteor' at Maiden Newton with 'Duke of Gloucester'

Clocked up around £62 worth of travel during the day, allaying my fears about the value for money of the new rover tickets. Good thinking Mr Spinks!

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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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