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Old 21st November 2016, 09:03   #136
Techniquest
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I've cleared multiple classes, all of which are DMU and EMUs, although I am only two away from clearing the 67s!

I've lost count over the years of my 47 haulages, 47375 is probably the biggest one I got. 376 on the GWSR of course, but I think 375 has been scrapped now? Rather glad I got it on that SDR gala in 2008 if so! This reminds me, I don't think I was really doing trip reports at the time, I might just have to do something about that...More importantly, I've reminded myself it's been way too long since I had a 20 for haulage...
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Old 21st November 2016, 10:22   #137
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Interesting replies thanks guys. 55013 you're right about 47/8s still being 47/4s of course, the other sub class like that were the 47/6s for the Scottish sleepers.
I never recorded units either, although I wish I had.
Another big mistake was losing my pre 1988 haulage book somewhere which had my HST haulages recorded and I was doing pretty well with them, there was other stuff listed in there that I think I had but I'm not sure enough that I can definitely say I did, including quite a lot of 31s and 47s but unless you're sure, you ain't had it...
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Old 21st November 2016, 11:56   #138
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In which case I need to go and find 170638 again then! I have it marked off as done in my NREA but I have no logs for it on RailMiles. I'm sure this applies to other stuff too, but I know I've had the rest of it.

What I need is a handy list of all active (not fussed about those sitting around that will never see active service again) preserved diesel locos. It's one thing the NREA is not good for, preservation stuff.
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Old 21st November 2016, 12:07   #139
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Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
Yeah, accepted that 270 & 292 have both worked in recent years but FQ, how many extant strummers do you need? And have you had over 93% of the class? And every member of the class that has been ETH fitted? I suspect not.

And for those who are blissfully unaware, duffs were also referred to as Big Blue Strumming Devices (or Strummers for short) in the late 70s. That was of course when they could turn up almost anywhere in the country and before HSTs kicked them off many front line duties.....
Of the current ones operational on the mainline, I need 727, 749, 773, 804, 818, 847 and 848. I don't have my preserved ones on my at the moment.
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Old 22nd November 2016, 09:37   #140
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Originally Posted by Techniquest View Post
...but I think 375 has been scrapped now?
Exported to Hungary for use with Continental Rail Solution sir!

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Originally Posted by Techniquest View Post
What I need is a handy list of all active (not fussed about those sitting around that will never see active service again) preserved diesel locos. It's one thing the NREA is not good for, preservation stuff.
PM me sir, I have a solution for you

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Of the current ones operational on the mainline, I need 727, 749, 773, 804, 818, 847 and 848. I don't have my preserved ones on my at the moment.
All the WCRC duffs is good going!
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Old 8th January 2017, 21:12   #141
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Mr and Mrs C go to Salisbury,

Just a quick report of a trip up to Salisbury on Friday.

I took Mrs Cowley up to Salisbury on Friday for a night in a hotel and a bit of sightseeing and relaxing, essentially a Christmas present for her.
It's been a bit difficult getting away recently for one reason or another (having six kids between us being one), so although it would have been nice to get away for a couple of nights (or 6 months ), I can't complain as it was really nice.
I know Salisbury isn't that far away and I have been there before but never to actually spend a bit of time properly looking around as it were.

Well we did do lots of looking around including seeing one of the original surviving copies of the Magna Carta that's kept at Salisbury Cathedral, which was fascinating. A nice walk around the old areas of the city and a few really nice meals out topped off with lashings of wine and laughter, ahahahaaa etc.

Basically a very pleasant stay in a very pleasant city, oh and also when we arrived the hotel had upgraded us to a bigger room too which was rather nice of them.

Anyway you and I both know it's trains we're here for so here's a few observations from the trip.

!59s both way - 159014 up to Salisbury, for 159104 coupled to another one (the number I forgot to write down) back the next day, we sat in 159104 but only as far as Axminster as due to essential pasty replacement works somewhere between there and Exeter it was a rail replacement bus service, my first one ever I think!

159s seem like pretty good units to me and although they ousted loco hauled services in the 90s I think they're pretty good, I even quite like the sound of the engines coming through the floor.
I always enjoy a trip on the Mule and each time I go on it there seems to a bit more heritage based stuff to look at, there's the Yeovil railway centre of course, the little building (is it an ex crossing box?) at Tisbury Gates looks like it's now painted in Southern region colours and at Templecombe the old bit of station and footbridge on the up side has been painted SR green too along with the lovely looking Art Deco signal box.
The scenery is great and I love looking out for the disused stations en route like Broadclyst, Seaton Junction etc.
I'm going to make a model of one of these one day, currently building a shed for the garden with a bit of space earmarked. Oh yes

While going to the toilet on 159104 I noticed the sticker on the inside of the toilet lid in the photo below, have they all got these or is it just that unit? It made me chuckle anyway as I pulled off and then tried to flush the entire handwashing unit down the toilet (only joking, I couldn't get it off the wall).

On the way back we had to get off at Axminster and transfer onto the rail replacement bus service which turned out to be operated by Mid Devon Coaches who also run our kids school bus services to Crediton, I had a chat to the driver about this and he said he didn't drive the school buses as he "tried to avoid it", I told him I don't blame him
We managed to get a front seat just behind the driver on this and it was quite pleasant really, although the driver looked young enough to be one of our kids and he drove for at least three miles with the right hand indicator flashing. God I wanted to say something so badly, but you can't can you? You just can't.

So there you go, we got back, the house was still standing, there hadn't been "A big shout out to all the young people on Facebook in the Exeter area as there's a massive party happening at Cowley Bridge, bring all your friends!!" so that was good. actually the older one and the younger ones had done us proud, perhaps we'll try for two nights next time...

Photos are :
Bog sticker.
Salisbury cathedral (I'm not really religious but that is one impressive building.
159014 at Exeter
159104 at Salisbury which doesn't look right without a 33 in the bay platform
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_1123.jpg (154.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1130.jpg (145.5 KB, 12 views)

Last edited by Cowley; 9th January 2017 at 13:36.
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Old 8th January 2017, 21:39   #142
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Mr and Mrs C go to Salisbury,

Just a quick report of a trip up to Salisbury on Friday.

I took Mrs Cowley up to Salisbury on Friday for a night in a hotel and a bit of sightseeing and relaxing, essentially a Christmas present for her.
It's been a bit difficult getting away recently for one reason or another (having six kids between us being one), so although it would have been nice to get away for a couple of nights (or 6 months ), I can't complain as it was really nice.
I know Salisbury isn't that far away and I have been there before but never to actually spend a bit of time properly looking around as it were.


Well we did lots of looking around including seeing one of the original surviving copies of the Magna Carta that's kept at Salisbury Cathedral, which was fascinating. A nice walk around the old areas of the city and a few really nice meals out topped off with lashings of wine and laughter, ahahahaaa etc.

Basically a very pleasant stay in a very pleasant city, oh and also when we arrived the hotel had upgraded us to a bigger room too which was rather nice of them.

Anyway you and I both know it's trains we're here for so here's a few observations from the trip.

!59s both way - 159014 up, for 159104 coupled to another one (the number I forgot to write down) back, we sat in 159104 but only as far as Axminster as due to essential pasty replacement works somewhere between there and Exeter it was a rail replacement bus service, my first one ever I think!

159s seem like pretty good units to me and although they ousted loco hauled services in the 90s I think they're pretty good, I even quite like the sound of the engines coming through the floor.
I always enjoy a trip on the Mule and each time I go on it there seems to a bit more heritage based stuff to look at, there's the Yeovil railway centre of course, the little building (is it an ex crossing box?) at Tisbury Gates looks like it's now painted in Southern region colours and at Templecombe the old bit of station and footbridge on the up side has been painted SR green too along with the lovely looking Art Deco signal box.
The scenery is great and I love looking out for the disused stations en route like Broadclyst, Seaton Junction etc.
I'm going to make a model of one of these one day, currently building a shed for the garden with a bit of space earmarked. Oh yes

While going to the toilet on 159104 I noticed the sticker on the inside of the toilet lid in the photo below, have they all got these or is it just that unit? It made me chuckle anyway as I tried to flush the entire handwashing unit down the toilet.

On the way back we had to get off at Axminster and transfer onto the rail replacement bus service which turned out to be operated by Mid Devon Coaches who also run our kids school bus services to Crediton, I had a chat to the driver about this and he said he didn't drive the school buses as he "tried to avoid it", I told him I don't blame him
We managed to get a front seat just behind the driver on this and it was quite pleasant really, although the driver looked young enough to be one of our kids and he drove for at least three miles with the right hand indicator flashing. God I wanted to say something so badly, but you can't can you? You just can't.

So there you go, we got back, the house was still standing, there hadn't been "A big shout out to all the young people on Facebook in the Exeter area as there's a massive party happening at Cowley Bridge, bring all your friends!!" so that was good. actually the older one and the younger ones had done us proud, perhaps we'll try for two nights next time...

Photos are :
Bog sticker.
Salisbury cathedral (I'm not really religious but that is one impressive building.
159014 at Exeter
159104 at Salisbury which doesn't look right without a 33 in the bay platform
Another nice read as usual from you Mr C should imagine you are well in Mrs Cowleys good books after arranging that rather pleasant sounding one-nighter, also very pleased to learn the house survived back in Exeter. Have to admit the LSW mainline is well up there on my favourites list really have to get to do it again sometime, the only time I've actually traveled to Salisbury to visit must have been back in the early 90s and that was with a 50 from Waterloo, I've never actually traveled the route since these new fangled 159s were introduced which to me only seems like yesterday.

Just to add, the wording on that 159 toilet seat is virtually the same message as the female speaking voice in the Pendolino loo when you lock the door.

Last edited by Ash Bridge; 8th January 2017 at 21:42.
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Old 8th January 2017, 21:52   #143
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Another nice read as usual from you Mr C should imagine you are well in Mrs Cowleys good books after arranging that rather pleasant sounding one-nighter, also very pleased to learn the house survived back in Exeter. Have to admit the LSW mainline is well up there on my favourites list really have to get to do it again sometime, the only time I've actually traveled to Salisbury to visit must have been back in the early 90s and that was with a 50 from Waterloo, I've never actually traveled the route since these new fangled 159s were introduced which to me only seems like yesterday.

Just to add, the wording on that 159 toilet seat is virtually the same message as the female speaking voice in the Pendolino loo when you lock the door.
Thanks Mr Bridge, much appreciated. I think it's good to see a bit of humour on the railways. We are British after all
I'm with you on the 159s, I still think of them as new too.
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Old 8th January 2017, 21:57   #144
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SIX kids?! Good grief...Credit where it's due for putting up with that!

As Ash Bridge says, you get the same thing with the lavatories on 390s and I'm sure on Virgin West Coast 221s. Still makes me smile everytime I hear it!

A nice little break for you both, no doubt needed after the school holidays. Maybe try for somewhere more adventurous next time?
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Old 8th January 2017, 22:00   #145
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I think the 159s do a pretty good job on the mule. It's a nice line but it really needs more double track to remove the timetabled waits and offer more resilience when things go wrong!
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Old 9th January 2017, 10:08   #146
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I won't mention the traction (you're crazy - tram to Bath and then south to Salisbury is the only way), but it was a good read. Six kids though?! You're crazy! I'm enough to put up with for a start

As the others have said I've noticed the toilet stickers on VTEC HSTs and 91s and VTWC pandas (and I think something EMT - maybe 158s).
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Old 9th January 2017, 10:19   #147
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Tech - Yes, something more adventurous would be good, we're hoping to do the Cumbrian tractors and the S & C around Easter, already planning it and Ash Bridge has given me a few pointers as to where to stay. I'm not going to miss out on them and then regret it later...

Noddy - much agreed, that line has loads of potential but needs more double track and it would be nice to see a few faster services that get to London quicker.
One thing I noticed as we flashed by was how much Chard Junction had changed, there were some sidings there but no buildings anymore, does anyone know what it's used for now?

Mr Q - You're probably right, the irony also being that I was an only child! Oh and Mrs C is a childminder too, there's currently a load of three year olds bashing bits of Brio trainset around in the front room...


Anyway I wrote this one out last night and it took me flippin ages because I can't type very well


All line rover 1992:

Nostalgia time again folks. This was the second All Line that I did (people that don't like 47s had probably better look away now actually).

Life was changing quite a lot for me around this time and it was an interesting time anyway. At the end of the previous ALR that I'd done in 1991 I'd walked into the HGV garage that I worked in in Exeter, picked up my tools and essentially told them to stuff their job - I didn't want to spend a lifetime stinking of gearbox oil, having bad skin and a bad back and being completely exhausted all the time due to working six days a week for a pittance...

I drifted around for a bit before ringing up the volunteer people at the Mid Hants railway (a railway I'd got to know a bit due to having family in the area) and heading up there to spend a glorious summer living in a tent at Ropley and volunteering in pretty much all areas of the railway, I was 18 at the time.

When I returned to Exeter in late September 1991 I landed a pretty good job in an NHS run residential home for learning disabled people, on fairly good money (for the time), it was also dry, clean and fun.
Around this time Nirvana released Nevermind, I grew my hair, I became a roady for a friends band and in 92 I bought a VW camper and started going to festivals and it has to be said I lived a bit of a life '.

So this was in the middle of all that, and they were very good times in my life, although my tastes were changing and rather than the relentless accumulation of mileage I possibly had slightly different aims this time.

That's the life story updated, on with the trains.

Day 1 10/02/92

I did this in Febuary because I was saving for the van and because I expected to probably be driving places after I'd got it (turned out to be true as I only did one ALR after this), I bought the van to make it easier to get to The MHR but actually it completely changed my life.
I also started this in Nottingham as I was staying up there with my Mum and the her side of the family.

The first train was a Sprinter from Nottingham to Grantham, a bit of new track for me along with 91001 (winner and still the only 91 I've had) on the ECML down to Kings Cross, I then tubed it across London to get a unit from Victoria to Dover Western Docks and unusually for me I recorded the number, it was 4cep 1501 (it may have been attached to another, can't remember)
At Dover Western Docks (fantastic station, now sadly closed) it was time to board 47813 on the 1422 to Lime Street which I took to Kensington Olympia (no doubt enjoying the noise through the third rail stations).

I somehow then got to St Pancras for the 1730 to Derby which was 47807 in the dark before getting another Sprinter from Derby to Crewe and then doing some strange time filling moves, this was an EMU (a 304 maybe?) to Manchester Pic and then a Pacer out to Bolton before another Sprinter to Preston. A bit strange but there you go.
This all put me in place to get 87029 on the Inverness sleeper taking me into day 2.

Day 2 11/02/92

I took this all the way and woke up behind 47676 (47586 Northampton in old money), the 47/6s had uprated ETH for the sleepers, a couple of years later they were replaced by NB tractors and generator cars, I ended up bashing them on my 94 ALR as I just couldn't help myself OK?
From Inverness I took a 156 to Aberdeen on new track for me and popped in to see my stepbrother Tom for the day.
A few beers later it was back to Aberdeen for the 2120 sleepers to Euston powered by 47675 (ex 47595 Confederation of British wotsits).
There were lots of oil rig workers on this and as we left Preston at ungodly AM, one of them who'd been slumbering opposite me surrounded by beer cans suddenly woke up and said "where are we?", "Preston mate" I said, "%U@#!" he said before grabbing his enormous rucksack and charging for the door. He opened the door and threw his bag out as we accelerated down the platform and then bottled it and shut the door leaving his bag to roll down the platform ramp at some speed, all quite exciting!
Anyway I did this all the way to London with 87016 doing the honours on the electric leg and that took me into day 3.

Day 3 12/02/92

In the morning I did the tube to Victoria and then who knows what EMU to Clapham Junction for another one to Waterloo, mainly because I wanted to get a fast 47/7 run in on the LSWR mainline, so it was 47706 to Woking for 47709 back, I then took another EMU (why didn't I record the numbers? Argh) back to Clapham Junction before picking up the 0918 Brighton to Glasgow which was 47846 to Brum and then 86225 onwards. I bailed at Crewe for an EMU to Liverpool Lime Street.
I then got on a rattly Pacer to Manchester Victoria and sat in red faced embarrassment as two girls sang 'He's a long haired lover from ahLiverpool' to me from a few seats away on a fairly busy train while other passengers smirked at me. Thanks girls .
I guess it was worth it though for the 37 fix I'd set up.
37426 Manchester Victoria to Blackpool and then back to Preston on one of the Club trains. What a noise, head out the window all the way, shaking with cold .
Once I'd got back to Preston I did a quick return to Blackpool again behind 47830 and a Sprinter to pass time and then took 47818 to Manchester Pic on the 1840 Glasgow to Manchester. It was then an EMU to Crewe for the Aberdeen sleepers this time (I was getting a bit tired by this point it has to be said.
87028 this time to Scotland which was swapped for 47672 (once 47562 and a proper Scottish beast) at I assume Edinburgh? (doing quite well with the 47/6 sub class here).

Day 4 13/02/92

Ah! Dundee at 5:30 AM or some such... Feeling rough.
I caught a 158 to Edinburgh and as it was almost empty I sat at a table of four, took my shoes off, put my feet on my coat on the seat opposite, put my stuff on the seat next to them and laid my head down on the seat next to me for a comatosed, hairy, snoring dribblefest of a sleep.
I woke up to the train arriving at Waverley completely rammed and standing with an aisle full of angry looking morning commutors glaring at me (did anyone even try to wake me?), I fronted it out by smiling back, although I didn't dare open my mouth and say anything .
From Edinburgh I took an HST to York down the ECML (new track from Berwick) unfortunately I was in such a deep sleep that I missed pretty much the entire journey including Newcastle, gutted.
From York I took 47844 on the 1141 York to Swansea all the way to Neath picking up some new bits of track along the way, I again slept for most of this, it'd caught me up by now.
I got off the train at Neath and did a 125 back to Bristol Parkway, I hadn't had a proper wash though since seeing my stepbrother and things were not smelling good, so it was time for a high speed bath...
This involved, in no particular order - Having a shave, smoking a fag, cleaning the toilet seat, endlessly filling the sink with lukewarm water, reading a magazine on the bog, smoking a fag, washing hair, holding on to something during corners and braking, changing clothes, knocking the fag in the water, slipping on the floor and headbutting the hand dryer and so on until eventually the Toilet engaged sign goes out and you emerge like a majestic butterfly from a chrysalis... Sort of.

I digress. I went west on 47827 to Plymouth on a train from York. From Plymouth I got a unit to Bodmin Parkway (I think it was a class 101), ready for The Up Midnight which rolled in behind 47813 (the one I'd had out of Dover). And that was the end of day 4, phew.

Day 5 14/02/92

This was quite the mileage move in the end as when I got to Paddington and wearily transferred myself onto the 06:00 Paddington to Edinburgh which had 47841 The Institute of Stuff and Things on the front, I didn't expect it to work (via Manchester Pic) all the way to Edinburgh including up Shap etc, this remains the only time I've had a diesel up there I think, I don't know if this was normal but it was something like 439 miles behind one loco and over 700 with the two.
At Edinburgh I just turned straight round and headed back to Birmingham behind 86251.
Madness all of it (fun though). I couldn't do this today though, it'd drive me mad.

At Birmingham I took 47843 on the 17:40 Lime St to Poole and hopped off at Oxford where I gratefully received my machine, 47521 on a Network Express all the way to Paddington (One of the loudest of all 47s for sure, I loved it and it was the oldest one on Network Southeasts books too you know, look it up if you want to(I know you won't) ).

Down Midnight time then. All the way this time too.

Day 6 15/02/92

It was a lovely warm cloudless day in Penzance when I arrived behind 47824, it didn't feel like February at all.
I caught the St Ives train to get the branch in as I hadn't done it before and it was a little blue and grey Bubble Car bless it , the beaches were pure white gold in the sunshine, I had the window open, it was amazing.

I took it back to St Erth, a 125 up to Plymouth and then 47850 up to Birmingham on a Manchester train.
From there it was 47843 on a Poole bound cross country to Basingstoke (114 miles or so) and then 47801 (slightly unusually) on the 1915 Waterloo to Exeter.
I actually went back to my Mums in Topsham for a shower and a sleep then. I remember being pretty tired.
Only one trip left to do tomorrow...

Day 7 16/02/92

I had two weeks off, so the last day of the rover I was just going to head up to the Mid Hants to spend some time there.
When I arrived at St Davids I found sitting in platform 6 my train, formed of a rake of mk1s in NSE livery with my much loved 47521 attached to the front. It was the 0825 Exeter St Davids to Paddington (Sundays only) and I think I may have even had a compartment behind the loco to myself. The last loco hauled train of the week too!
I took this to Reading, watched it leave (I actually took a few photos on this trip including one of 47521 at Reading but alas I've no idea what happened to them), before taking a unit of some sort to North Camp, walking to Ash Vale (is he related to you Ash Bridge? ) and then an EMU (a vep maybe?) to Alton where I crossed the bridge and caught S15 number 506 up to Ropley where I was staying.

So there you go. If you're still reading this then thanks very much I appreciate it and I enjoyed writing it and remembering it all.

I only did one more trip like this. as I said they reintroduced a load of 37s on passenger work in 1994 especially around Scotland and I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame. This though was the last trip that I kept proper records of in a way. My books are easy to read and understand up to literally a few weeks after this trip, once I got the van life changed and I stopped properly bashing.
Never stopped loving railways though. Especially big noisy locomotives and good scenery...

Last edited by Cowley; 9th January 2017 at 10:22.
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Old 9th January 2017, 11:03   #148
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That was an absolute marathon you did there Mr Cowley! Any idea of the total mileage? I was suffering fatigue just sat here reading it, phew! I'll tell you something though, for someone who claims that he can't type well I have to say I couldn't spot a single spelling error and found it highly entertaining to read so I think you underestimate yourself there. Regarding 91s, I'm just like you in only ever having one which happened to be 91031 York-Edinburgh during 1991, I recall by the time we had reached Newcastle I'd had enough of the mk4s rock hard seat/clinical interior/ rough ride and just wanted a good old HST, oh and finally, No I do not have any relatives down in deepest Surrey
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:02   #149
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That was an absolute marathon you did there Mr Cowley! Any idea of the total mileage? I was suffering fatigue just sat here reading it, phew! I'll tell you something though, for someone who claims that he can't type well I have to say I couldn't spot a single spelling error and found it highly entertaining to read so I think you underestimate yourself there. Regarding 91s, I'm just like you in only ever having one which happened to be 91031 York-Edinburgh during 1991, I recall by the time we had reached Newcastle I'd had enough of the mk4s rock hard seat/clinical interior/ rough ride and just wanted a good old HST, oh and finally, No I do not have any relatives down in deepest Surrey
Well thank you very much for that, mind you it did take me until 1 am. Tap tap tap er tap taptap tappy erm tap...
I had a day off today though so it didn't matter too much.

The mileage for the week seems to be written in the front of the book, I did a quick tally up and it seems right.

47s - 3160
Loco hauled - 4467
Total everything - 5376

All the trains were pretty much standard bread and butter services and as far as I remember pretty much all on time. Being February of course it was all fairly quiet.
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Old 10th January 2017, 05:48   #150
noddy1878
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Join Date: 23 Jun 2010
Location: Plymouth
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Really enjoyed that Cowley! Good read and full of nostalgia. It's amazing the moves that used to be possible that just aren't any more.
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2017 YTD Mileage: 4574m 72c | Haulage winners: 121 | New Shacks: 49
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