Afternoon all (or evening by the time I finish typing I reckon!) from me with yet another trip report here. At long last, the recent Chilterns bash to Aylesbury Vale Parkway is here. I had typed it recently, but got logged out and lost the lot. Here we go then: 8th November 2011 - Aylesbury Vale Parkway and Chiltern 121 bash 0630, and it's time to get up. Well, after a 10 minute fester in bed deciding whether to go out or not. The fact my Y-P expires this weekend and I've got a day off is a good enough reason to move it! Spaghetti on toast for a change for breakfast, as well as a mandatory coffee of course. Off for the 0720 bus to Hereford, and on the usual VA51 SAR on this turn. By going out at this time, I can get the morning 67 turn in too, and we reach Hereford at 0826, just 4 down. I get my return from the clerk just to see the reaction when I asked for the rather unusual destination. £28.20 for my Route Not London ticket, and I see 66143+66079 on the RHTT awaiting a path to Margam. 170516 is on the 0849 to Birmingham New Street this morning, that's going to mean a busy train later then. We leave on time for a fairly routine journey, although all mileage is welcome. A guy at the table opposite me won't shut up with his flapping about war, murder and all that, inspired no doubt by the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 advert on the Metro. I feel sorry for the people who join his table later on, and grateful I have my MP3 player with me. Nothing of note on Worcester depot, but 66184 graces the city with its presence on a northbound steel train. By Droitwich Spa, that guy has finally shut up, and as we reach Stoke Works Junction I recall past trips up here looking for EWS 66s on banker duties that I needed and that I'll be rushing up here on the LM 150 farewell on Saturday. Can't wait for that! Dragonforce comes on the MP3 player now, been a while since I played their tunes. The train empties significantly at University, never seen so many people bail off a 170 there before. We reach New Street at 1018, 6 up, and I rush to Moor Street. My first visit to Newsflow Express next to Subway is made and a can of KA Pineapple is got for 69p, a bargain considering it's a 500ml one! My first visit to the Centenary Lounge on the station is also made for a coffee at £1.85. 150001 surprises me with its use on the 1040 to Shrub Hill, as does 150019 on the 1050 to Whitlocks End. I should have got off at Droitwich earlier then, I could have had a 150 to Birmingham! No sign of 67014 on the 1055 to London either, 67015 is the loco of choice today. When I will ever get 014 is anyone's else! Top-up mileage on 015 to Banbury then, and departure is finally at 1057, 2 down. I get some 172/2s for sight at Moor Street and as we pass Olton, 9 more 172s to go now. We finally reach Banbury at 1139, 1 down, and I get lost as to which platform I need. When I find it's the one I was just on, I feel foolish. Then it gets changed last minute to platform 1, and I get required haulage on 165006 (so close to my last one for sight!) on the 1143 to London as we leave 4 minutes late. 2 minutes are recovered by Haddenham and Thame Parkway, where I bail since the next train calls at Princes Risborough and here, and 165006 had a -4 onto the next Aylesbury train. Required station grice then! I finally stop sweating after the manic rushing around at Banbury by now, and that 165 were epically noisy compared to those I had on my WMDR in September! I failed to observe this new layout I recall hearing about at Aynho Junction, but I might be getting confused with that one near Ruislip. Been ages since I last came down this way, July 2009 on WSMR, and it's nice not to have to crawl through Bicester North at 25mph! 168111 produces on the 1120 from Stratford-upon-Avon, grr how many times do I have to get this thing! At least I know 168s do make it to Stratford-upon-Avon on occasions, and at Princes Risborough it's time for lunch with a coffee and bacon baguette for £4.10, not cheap by any means but well needed. 165021 produces on the 1324 to Aylesbury for the first required track of the day for the Baker, one of the big reasons for coming out today. Super quiet on this 165, even a 377 makes more noise than this thing! Arrival after a dull journey, the line being a contender for Dullest Line in the UK, was at 1240, and I finally get some snaps of those Chiltern RHTT units, the ones here today at least being 960014 and 960304. 165024 is required haulage on the 1353 to Aylesbury Vale Parkway. Another contender for Dullest Line that, and the fester there was boring, but at least it's in the Baker! Eventually we leave again on the 1427 to London, and 4 minutes later we're back at Aylesbury. What to do now before the 1550 to Princes Risborough I wonder, either a walk around Aylesbury or get 165021 to Monks Risborough for a station grice. The latter won, the weather wasn't much good for a boring normal trip around town and of course, when there's action on the railway to be had, why not go for it! I think about it at this point and realise I've finished the Chilterns network, and have a celebratory drink of that KA Pineapple at Monks Risborough. The rain's starting soon before 165021 returns to take me back to Aylesbury, and as hoped we use the connection between the branch and the mainline at Aylesbury. 66001+017 are seen on the RHTT, and I manage a phot of 66017 before it leaves. For a few minutes, it was touch and go but 121034 successfully starts up and we leave at 1552, 2 down, for Aylesbury. We maintain that delay throughout and arrive after a rather hellfire journey at 1610. Can't wait to get 121020 in when that's back! The next northbound mainline train also leaves two minutes late at 1621 on a Bicester North working, and it's 165002 so required haulage. Much more hellfire than 165021 and 165024 were, so looks like I'll be getting my 165 action in south of Banbury and on the mainline from now on. Or just putting my MP3 player on! Can't believe how fast the day's gone too. Arrival is on the southbound platform at Bicester North, meaning a required crossover is bagged. Coffee time from the Little Italy cafe on the station, and dud 168216 takes me forward. I'm sick of the thing way before Banbury, and I observe a 40 minute wait at Banbury is possible for the loco-hauled set behind me. Off I get then at 1702 at Banbury, and for the first time I visit the town centre. Tea is got from McDonalds and I get my usual meal. It got wolfed down, and when I return to the station I see 70002 racing north at 1720, 4 minutes later 168001 races north on the 1630 from London. Didn't know there were two workings that were RA London to Warwick Parkway! 66012 also puts in an appearance on a southbound train to Southampton at a guess. It's finally time for the 1650 from London to arrive, and I check the coaches against my NREA, which got slammed shut when I saw it was 67013 on the back. Damn it, where is 67014?! We leave Banbury a few minutes late, and to make the day worse I realise as I'm filling in the detail side of my map that I still need that bit out of Paddington with Chiltern. So I've not finished the Chilterns yet after all! We finally reach Moor Street at 1837, 2 down, and I re-visit Newsflow Express for another can of KA Pineapple. I head back via the Bullring to New Street, getting lost in the process though, but eventually I make it back to find 170630 on the 1919 to Hereford. We leave 3 minutes late due to awaiting an XC Voyager to Plymouth to get out of the way. Inspiration strikes after University, in that I can check that Chiltern run off Paddington, 1136 I see it is. Something to try for on Friday, although I only have a +4 onto it. We'll see if I remember it or not [readers of my Kings Lynn, London and 1K39 Bash report will know already I tried for it but had an epic delay on GW, thus missed it - Ed]. 172335 seen earlier at Moor Street took me to just 8 more 172s to get for sight, and 150106+107 were on Worcester depot. Crikey, 4 150s still out and about this close to the farewell bash? Surprising that was, and we finally reach Hereford at 2059, 3 minutes early. Day's review then: Pretty good altogether. Shame about some of the desired highlights (67014 and finding my last 165 for sight) didn't get achieved, but the key things to do were getting the track and 121 done. Well worth the money and pretty much farce free! 8/10 for the day's rating, so time to round this up with some stats: Total mileage for the trip: 292m24c Highest mileage on one train: 55m33c on both 170516 and 170630. Lowest mileage on one train: 2m25c on 165024. Best bit of the trip: 121034 from Aylesbury to Princes Risborough. Worst bit of the trip: The boring fester at Aylesbury Vale Parkway. No random quotes noted or remembered.