The Easterling and Chapel 30-04-2006

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9 Aug 2005
Hello, this is about yesterday when I went to see a thompson B1 (Kettle) hauling the Easterling Charter train from Nowich to London and return.

At 8:20am Kevin (some of you know him) knocked on my door and we both set off for Witham station to catch a train to Colchester. We caught the 8:56 from what I can remember which got us into Colchester at about 10 past 9.

The train was due at 11:45, I know thanks to the times posted on RailUK for 1Z64/65. We arrived 2 and a half hours early mainly to film some of the stock running on the line and to get a good spot to film the train, Colchester is perfect as it is on a curve.

We settled for the end of platform 4, about half an hour later a man turned up who wanted to film the Easterling. He was deaf, he told us that when he was six a steam locomotive stormed through Manchester Victoria and the whistle deafened him.

Another hour later crowds started to gather at the Norwich ends of platform 4 and 2 waiting for the service. And by 11:30 the ends of the platform were chocked full of enthusiasts. Finally at 11:45 we were wating when we heard an announcement:

'Your attention please, customers waiting for the 11:45 arrival of the Charter service to London, this service is approximately an hour away, this service is expected to arrive at 11:45'

Mixed groans were heard until 5 minutes later another announcement:

'The Chater service is now in the Woodbridge area, the service has made up time and will arrive in 40 minutes'

Infact we didn't have to wait for even 25 minutes when the service pull3ed around the bend in the far distance, another announce blurred out the fact that people should stay behind the yellow line at all times.

Me and Kevin decided to move up the platform as becuase it curves it means we could get a direct view down the line without anybody getting in the way. I got some good results with my camera too.

A huge crowd rushed aroung the B1 and a mix of flashed followed as the train filled up with water, me and Kevin crossed to platform two to get a better shot of the locomotive and we did, then finally after 45 minutes the service was ready to depart, everybody stepped back as the service left the platform. Kevin had already decides for me that we woulod be going back to Colchester to catch the service on the way back at 8pm.

I decided that I would like to go to Chapel and Wakes Colne before then to take photos of the sprinter on the viaduct. (Well I had nothing else to do). We arrived and were surprised to find out that the East Anglian Railway Museum were having a drivex day where the volunteres were being trained to operate a steam locomotive which meant that the driving was varied from careful driving to almost crashing the 0-6-0 LMS 'King George' lcomotive into the buffers. A women on the crossing gates asked us if we were interested and alos told us about a device which had been placed on the tracks to warn drivers if a train or wagon had acidentally rolled onto the tracks, it made a huge bang. She asked us if we would like a tour and we accepted, we were shown all around the museum.

We went back to Marks-Tey after that and waited for the B1 to speed through, which it did and then we rushed over to Catch the train to Colchester so we could catch the B1 leaving. The train departed Colchester at 20:45 and it was pretty much dark so the lamp on the train shon. Finally we actually managed to get home to witham at about 21:30 and after being out for nearly 13 hours I was very tired.

Heres some pictures:

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