21st/22nd September 2002
Battlefield Line Diesel Weekend

Stuart Smith describes the Saturday.

Having never visited the 'Battlefield', and with nothing else of interest to do that day, (The Past Times tour had 5 dud loco's in my obtained gen), a trip was quickly organised up the M1...... Unfortunately, an overturned tanker around Newport Pagnell Services saw me arrive 90 minutes later than expected, thus missing the planned 10.00 departure.

The booked diagrams being, (Ex. Shackerstone)

10.00- 08818 + 31130
11.15- Class 02 D2867 + Crossley 0-6-0 No.2
12.30- Class 14 D9525 + 73141
13.45- 31101
15.00- Class 04 D2310 + 73141 + 03170* only powering as far as Market Bosworth.
16.15- D9525 + 73141

Loco's were swapped at Shenton before returning at,

10.35- 31130
11.50- 08818 + Crossley 0-6-0 No.2
13.05- D9525 + D2867
14.20- 31101 + 73141
15.35- 31130
16.50- D2310 + D9525 + 73141 + 03170 ???

In addition Brake van rides were done from Shackerstone station to both Yards using Class 11- 12083, 03170 and 08818 in various 'Top n Tail' combinations. Bubble car 55005 and DMS 51321 ran two round trips to Market Bosworth in between the main service. This was arranged in order to view the various stored shunters in the station area.

All the loco's were required for haulage, except the class 14. (I had it at the K&ESR in October 1995).

The various swapping of locos and limited signalling on the line made services generally about 15 minutes late all day. This was until the 15.00 (Ex. Shackerstone) when the 03 decided to overheat and require an entire fire extinguisher to be emptied down its chimney stack. Needless to say times went further astray from then on. On arrival at Shenton, it then decided it would lock its brakes solid resulting in the 04 nearly mounting it as it tried to shove it into the headshunt. (I do not know if it was towed in the train on the last return trip, or whether something dragged it back separately).

The day was a complete success, (except the traffic jam), and I would recommend the line to anyone who prefers smaller diesels.

Stuart Smith

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