Bristol-Westbury-Weymouth

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by 70014IronDuke, 9 Aug 2015.

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  1. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    or the so-called "Heart of Wessex" line (am I alone in detesting these 'created' nick-names?)

    I read somewhere that this is one of the few lines where services levels are virtually unchanged since DMU-isation in the 60s.

    Does anyone know if this is true? Kind of interesting to wonder why - presumably because demand has not increased as elsewhere, or is it that the line has been singled so much that FGW could not improve the service if it wanted to?

    I'm also intrigued as to what worked the line before DMUs (which arrived, sort of 1961-ish, I suppose?) I'm sure there must be hundreds of photos, but I simply never remember seeing any. My guess would be 43XX class - at least if the trains were 3 or 4 carriages - but I have to wonder if they actually ran the line as a through service in steam days.

    Of course, it was, originally, the main line to Weymouth from Paddington, I know that, but I have no idea when the last through trains/carriages ran that way..

    xxxxx
     
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  3. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Service levels haven't changed much since the post Beeching rationalisation - station closures and singling - thouh the timetable itself has. In this respect it's not that unusual for a rural railway.

    Dieselisation began in the late 50s with Swindon cross country units and single units plus driving trailers (replacing 14xx and trailers).

    The Weymouth-Paddington services went around 1960, at about the same time as the Boat trains were switched to Waterloo, and the timetable was rationalised a bit then but didn't become fully DMU until much later (I'm sure there was at least one year round hauled service into the 70's, the remains of the Bristol Boat train). I think the slip coaches went a year earlier.

    In terms of steam, longer distance passenger trains would have had Halls or Castles rather than 43xx, but fairly sure the whole range of standard GW designs bar Kings would have reached Weymouth at some time.

    Can't be more specific ATM as I'm away from home.
     
  4. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Understand, thanks. But if they used Castles and Halls - this means the trains were more or less Class 1 services, and (at a guess) a minimum of 8 coaches. In other words, this was not a 'cross-country' service, let a lone branch line. Or are you just talking about one or two Paddington services a day?

    Yes, i agree that loco-hauled services into the 70s does ring a bell (Hymeks, I think) - but I thought those were only the summer bucket and spade jobs - just as FGW uses an HST for Summer Saturdays even today.

    Where did the 14XX work, do you remember? Not over the entire route, surely?

    You say the little-changed service levels are "not unusal for a rural railway" - but many services have been revolutionised in the past 15-25 years. I'd suggest The Far North lone, or Sheffield/Brum - Norwich/Cambridge - the service is unrecognisable today compared to 1980, let alone 1965.
     
    Last edited: 9 Aug 2015
  5. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Can't add anything on the main line trains, but a fairly specific Google image search might turn up something.
    A fair few of the class B services were Yeovil-Weymouth only and IIRC these included some auto workings because of the halts. The auto workings were all at the Weymouth end, and to Bridport.
     
  6. Keith Jarrett

    Keith Jarrett Member

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    Back in the 1970s there were two return loco hauled trips (not Sundays) from Bristol to Weymouth. Departures were 05xx and 16xx. Booked traction was initially Hymeks until their demise. Then 25s for a short while before 31s took over; first steam heat and then later ETA. The were occasional substitutions with Type 4 motive power. Summer Saturdays would see more hauled workings with a range of motive power including one year, a 50 on air con stock. Once the 33s took over the Bristol to Portsmouth workings, they soon spread to the Weymouth runs as well and there were eventually more turns including an early morning one out if Weymouth, 0545 from memory.
     
  7. muddythefish

    muddythefish On Moderation

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    My parents house backed on to the Castle Cary - Weymouth line in the late 1980s - 1990s. I remember seeing Class 37 hauled trains on the Bristol - Weymouths, usually around 6pm heading north with 5 or 6 coaches.
     
  8. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    They did operate some loco hauled services about 5-8 years ago on that line I think.
     
  9. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Veteran Member

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    Regular Diagram for 37/4s late 90s.
     
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