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Old 16th July 2017, 15:53   #331
Techniquest
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Good sir, that was an interesting read and I would love to read more if you have any other tales. Same goes to Ash Bridge, writing an epic read takes practice, so just get telling the new generation how things used to be! We want to hear all about it!

That mystery tour would have been thoroughly interesting, especially the bits around Birmingham!
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Old 16th July 2017, 17:48   #332
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Thank you kindly Techniquest!

I will be very happy to dredge my memory on an occasional basis

More in a while!
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Old 16th July 2017, 18:15   #333
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And that's how you tell a story.
Thanks Oerlikon.
Black diesels with silver stripes. They must have looked magnificent.
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Old 16th July 2017, 23:13   #334
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Day three and naughty day four

The last day of this rover was New Year's Day 1/1/91 (a Tuesday).

I say last day but actually I'd managed an extra day out of this by not circling one of the days and getting away with it - naughty I know, but there you are.
I didn't do much anyway compared to the first couple of days. In fact I didn't even turn up at St David's until lunchtime (I may have had a few with some friends the night before).
So the usual unit (unrecorded) to Exeter to see what was happening. Perhaps not much at that point so I opted to take 47832 down to Newton Abbot on the 09:18 Manchester to Plymouth (1V46) for my first trip along the sea wall of the year.
At Newton I think I bumped into a few people and we headed back up to Exeter on a Sprinter (possibly a 155?) to pick 33101 up again on the 14:22 Exeter to Waterloo. The 33 was taken to Axminster this time and after a brief wait 50027 'Lion' arrived for a noisy run back to Exeter in the dark (15:15 Waterloo - Exeter 1V15).
Not much was going on after this and perhaps feeling a bit fragile and thinking about having to get up early for work in the morning I jumped onto a 101/108 (or maybe even a Bubble Car) and called it a day.

4/1/91 Friday.

As said above I'd managed to squeeze another day out the three day rover by illicit means and after getting back home (and no doubt spending about an hour trying to scrub lorry engine and gearbox oil off me) I found myself on another bog cart rattling my way towards Exeter again. It's interesting to remember that sitting behind the driver you could watch the needle creeping it's way towards 70 on the speedo between Topsham and Polsloe Bridge as there were no Digby & Sowton or Newcourt stations to slow down for in those days.
In fact the sidings at Newcourt REME depot (where the big estate at Newcourt is now built) had only recently been disconnected and I can still remember it being used a few years before in the 80s. The units used to rattle over the points into the yard so you knew where you were in the dark...

At Exeter it was the usual choice of Waterloo or mainline and on this occasion I was pleasantly surprised to find 47576 Kings Lynn at the head of the 19:42 Exeter - Waterloo. The 47/7s had yet to make a proper impact on the Mule and it was a lottery as to what was working it during this time.
I took 47576 to Yeovil Junction this evening clearly chancing going beyond the Axminster limit of my ticket and I know that I got away with it because the only time I ever got caught straying beyond the boundaries on the wrong rover was a few days previously (I knew people that had travelled all over the country on Wessex Rovers because apparently they were easy to get away with as many railway staff weren't sure where Wessex actually was).
After a short wait 50001 'Dreadnought' thrummed in for a front coach run back to Exeter on the 18:15 ex Waterloo.
I headed home after this and that was the end of my er three day rover. A pretty good and varied week really.

The next day (Saturday 5/1/91) I took 33101 (again) out to Feniton for a unit back. I'd probably popped into town on the train shopping for metal records at HMV and seen that it was out on a Waterloo service, perhaps I only had enough cash spare to do a quick return to Feniton? Who knows.

I know this sounds a bit wistful but as 33101 chattered away into the night leaving me on that empty dark rural Devon platform watching as the flashing tail light disappeared into the distance I'd have had no way of knowing that I'd just had my last ever trip on the mainline behind a class 33.
Not a bad way for it all to end though I think.


The locos for the week:

33002
33101
33116

47490
47576
47579

47801
47809
47813
47822
47832
47840
47846
47848

50001
50027
50033

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Always appreciated.

Last edited by Cowley; 16th July 2017 at 23:33.
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Old 17th July 2017, 07:02   #335
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Would've loved to have mainline 50 haulage back then
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Old 17th July 2017, 10:10   #336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyRail View Post
Would've loved to have mainline 50 haulage back then
Yes they were quite some machines, although you didn't always think so when you were marooned in the middle of Dorset somewhere when one had broken down.
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Old 17th July 2017, 10:14   #337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techniquest View Post
Good sir, that was an interesting read and I would love to read more if you have any other tales. Same goes to Ash Bridge, writing an epic read takes practice, so just get telling the new generation how things used to be! We want to hear all about it!

That mystery tour would have been thoroughly interesting, especially the bits around Birmingham!
I think it might be worth mentioning at this point that the young boy in need of a wee on Birmingham New Street station in Oerlikons story was in fact me...
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Old 18th July 2017, 14:04   #338
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Another fascinating read Cowley, I've had very little mainline 33 action myself but your last move is always a big one when you look back. I think mine was a part fare jobbie from Worcester to Cheltenham some years back, but fair game they stick in memory!

Tut tut to the unofficial use of your rover
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Old 19th July 2017, 20:10   #339
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Again Cowley, another great nostalgic trip down memory lane. Some excellent traction ridden behind too. All those 47/8s, interrupted by an original 47/4, when 47490 rocked up, was a nice bonus too. 47576 was one of the many 47s, I never had for haulage. 50s and Crompton mileage were/are quite paltry to say the least, seen as the 1 33 and 5 50s on the mainline, were runs between Woking and Waterloo. I can quite honestly say, on reading this, I was jealous as sin.

As regarding cheating with the rover, I accidentally done it on my HoE and was wondering why the barriers, kept refusing my ticket. Back in the day, we'd try our best to avoid the grip, to maximise our trips, a day in Carlisle seen us get 2 trips up to Dumfries and one set of Carlisle-Lancaster return tickets last us all day, leading to much to'ing and fro'ing on the sparkys.
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Old 19th July 2017, 22:53   #340
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I like the sound of all of that . If you think using a Wessex rover all over the country is bad, listen to what someone used to do back then too: A festivals rover (Edinburgh-Glasgow during the Edinburgh festival) down in Cornwall when it wasn't even valid in Scotland . Your 'extending' the use of a freedom of Devon to Yeovil seems pretty tame compared to that
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Old 20th July 2017, 13:25   #341
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Thanks for the comments chaps.

Tech - I can only apologise to BR for that one. No excuses.

LSG - Thanks for that. I do miss those days, I regret not making it up to the North East and sampling the action around there, it's on my to do list to explore the area one day, it still looks like a very interesting area.
I love the new avatar picture.

FQ - it's interesting how different it is these days with tickets etc. You only have to spend half an hour reading tickets and disputes section to realise that can't get away with anything these days (even if it's the correct ticket sometimes).
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Old 20th July 2017, 13:33   #342
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I'm going down to Teignmouth for a curry with Oerlikon (The Father) tonight, he's been out on the railways (and even worked for BR before I was born) since the 1950s and has some amazing tales from back then including seeing the 31s (when they had Mirrlees engines), Baby Deltics and Cobos when they were new. I never get bored of hearing his stories from the past.
Mine's a Cobra, a Prawn Balti and a Sprinter home. Cheers.
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Old 20th July 2017, 20:26   #343
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Yuck to prawns! Cobra is more acceptable, my top choice is a lamb korma, keema rice and proper size poppodoms (not these baby things you get in the shops), not forgetting a keema naan! Washed down with a nice cider or, if in an Indian restaurant, Kingfisher
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Old 20th July 2017, 20:40   #344
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Great read that Cowley. I didn't actually get that many 33's myself which wasa shame.
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Old 20th July 2017, 22:30   #345
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Thanks chaps (I went for chicken tonight instead) I'm currently on the Wreckhead Dogbox Express from Teignmouth, quite amusing I must say. I'm standing in the vestibule chatting to the friendly guard and chuckling about some of the half cut passengers (me included).
Once we get up to speed on the Exminster straight I'll corner him and bore him with some train stories...
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