8th May 1976
|47330||Derby, Leicester, Brent, Kew East Jct, Ashford, Dover, and return as outward.|
Another long distance 'Merrymaker' arrived on the radar screens with a day trip to Dover providing the potential for an interesting day out. In Toton's finest tradition a no-boilered machine had been selected, though the warm weather probably didn't require the use of much heating, if any. Our fine steed for the day, 47330, had a fast run up the Midland main line. Derby had green liveried 20141 & 20177 on the London Road curve, Loughborough sidings contained D3101, whilst the regular diet of Class 25 & 45's were ever present, as were the Cricklewood based DMU's at points south of Bedford. As usual the sprint alongside the M1 in the Hendon area evoked a certain rivalry, and apart from one motorbike the Class 47 was clearly the winner.
At Brent it was time to wander through the backyards of London, crossing the Thames, and circumnavigating Stewarts Lane Depot, now well and truly in Southern territory with 33008/030/055 & 74005 quickly inscribed 'in the book'. Our excursion stock stood out amongst a sea of EMU's, though a lonely 47242 greeted us at points unknown. With a clear line down through Ashford good time was made, all heads turning at Chart Leacon to catch glimpses of 33205, 71002/04/08/12. Green liveried 08157 was also noted amongst a vast array of EMU's. After the dramatic approach to Dover under the white cliffs, ten machines were noted on the stabling point.
Upon arrival thoughts of a steady diet of EMU's was none too appealing so it was off into the town for sustenance and other adventures. It had been noted at Derby that a group of 'students' were on the train complete with several mannequins, this group were later encountered with said mannequins and photographic equipment in a park! This happy bunch were to be noted throughout the summer on various other excursions, complete with all their equipment. Obviously gricing wasn't so strange after all.
The serviced stock returned to Dover with 47330 still attached to it, no Class 33 interlopers this week. The light held for most of the return journey over southern metals, 71013 was glimpsed at Ashford and 74003 at Stewarts Lane. Little else was recorded after that as 47330 settled down to blaze a trail over Midland metals to Leicester & Derby. Standing guard at Derby to greet the weary day trippers was 45131.
Source : David Hills (on the train from/to
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