Restrictions again prevented us from reaching the West Country as planned for the second year running.
In 2022 we will make a third attempt at the five day visit.
TRASH Trip Wednesday July 21 st 2021
Worthing to Southampton Central
Southampton Central to Wareham
Bus Wareham to Corfe Castle
Steam from Corfe Castle to Swanage
Return by the same route
The TRASH machine had been confined to its sheds due to the Certificate of Travel being withdrawn.
So what was originally thought as a light maintenance turned into a two-year major overhaul, then recently it was announced that unlimited travel was now allowed after July 19th?
Plans were made to get the train back on the track to visit the Didcot Railway Centre. After earlier confirmation that the centre would be open, came the shock as the train hit the buffers two days beforehand. We were informed that a private celebration had booked the centre for the whole day; with no outside “oiks” allowed.
So plan B was generated to visit the steam railway between Swanage and Corfe Castle. The intrepid team of seven set forth early morning of the 21 st to catch the 07.55 train from Worthing to Southampton Central as part of the first leg and one of the hottest days of the year.
Roger came along for the first time to observe how a well-prepared train steamed smoothly!
For all the preparation beforehand the train came close to derailment before it left the shed!
Someone had been hit by a train at Shoreham and so the 07.55 was cancelled. Not to be deterred on the advice we bordered a train to Barnham being told a train to Southampton from Horsham would get us there to catch our Wareham train.
Fortunately, the staffs on this train were very helpful and gave us tickets at an unexpected low price. This was the first piece of good news we had received. Of course, having got to Barnham the expected Southampton train was cancelled. 25mins later a train appeared from Bognor and was reassigned for Southampton. At least we were now travelling with hope that was soon dashed. The train stopped at Southbourne and the driver informed us that a bridge had been struck and needed inspection to confirm its safe use.
It took a further 30mins before again moving ever closer to our goal. Expectation rose until we got to Fareham when the train was promptly cancelled. The train board said the next train was a GWR nonstop to Southampton which was then also delayed due to staff shortages. This eventually got us to Southampton Central 60mins late but in time to catch the 10.24 to Wareham.
Things proceeded well at last with the bus connection from Wareham to Corfe operating on time.
Finally, we got on the train to Swanage pulled by U class 31806. Even this was delayed for 10mins by a line side fire.
At Swanage, refreshments were taken and the rest of the day proceeded smoothly with visits to Swanage seafront, town and fish and chips followed by ice cream. Some came back to Corfe on an earlier train to look around the village while others waited for the later train pulled by 34028 Eddystone.
Plenty of photos were taken, with a smooth ride home and the satisfaction that we had achieved our objectives, despite all the obstacles that were thrown at us, a happy bunch left Worthing station for home. Roger must have been impressed!!! We did get £73.40 back as compensation.
Trash September 29th 2021 Trip to Didcot Railway Centre
Circle/District line to Paddington
Paddington (Plat 12) 11.13 Tfl Trains times, NOT GWR trains
Reading (Plat 14) 12.13
Reading 12.23 (Plat12)
Visit the DIDCOT Steam Railway Centre
Service back to Paddington with changing at Reading involved new 800class Hitachi and Tfl
Circle/Central Underground to Tottenham Court Road
Meal in London
This time TRASH made it to Didcot without the cancellation we had with the July trip. All the trains ran on time. Unfortunately, some couldn’t make it and Mike had to drop out at the last minute due to having a baby!! So it was just five that made it on the day with tickets pre-booked for the Didcot centre.
This did not distract from the experience and with sunny weather, but a cold wind which did not deter us. This was the first time we had travelled on the new Elizabeth line stock in actual service which appears to have taken over most of the outer suburban services going west. It gave a smooth ride and excellent acceleration. The railway centre itself had a working pug pulling two carriages which some took a ride on. Unfortunately “Pendennis Castle” was still in the workshop so not available for viewing. The group spent over two hours there looking around the static locomotives. The outstanding exhibits were the blue-painted king class 6023, the gas turbine loco trailed by the GWR 18000 and the two broad gauge locos “Fire Fly” and “Iron Duke”.
Another satisfactory trip and now all thoughts are looking forward to a normal year in 2022.