21st October 2000
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Diesel Gala

A week on from the Llangollen Railway diesel gala and I was out again in search of another couple of new haulages - in this case both the preserved class 37's on the GWR.

The day dawned cold and wet. How nice......

I arrived in time for the days first departure - D8137 on its own. I rarely throw the chance for a bash behind a chopper so did the run from Toddington to Gotherington and back to Winchcombe. The thrash through Greet Tunnel on the outward leg did not disappoint!

A quick change at Winchcombe saw the arrival of 37324 "Clydebridge", one of my two required haulages. Meeting a colleague who was already aboard, he informed me I had nearly been denied the haulage as 37324 had shut-down twice on the short run from Toddington. Driven in typical tractor style the run to Gotherington was also memorable - especially Greet Tunnel through which we were powering all the way. No further problems were evident.

Having changed trains at Winchcombe the remainder of the day was spent on the same stock - in fact in the same seating bay in the leading coach on departures from Toddington! 37324 got us back to Toddington and 24081 took over for a round trip. Greet Tunnel again probably the highlight of the trip. On arrival back at Winchcombe we heard that there would be a delay - we were due to cross the other train with 37324 + 37215 double-headed but, unfortunately, 324 had burst on leaving Toddington! The train eventually arrived with just 37215 at the helm.

Our next run was behind D8137 which was probably a little better than the mornings first run. Back at Toddington again and 37215 was attached and I scored another tractor for haulage courtesy of a round trip to Gotherington.

The next run was due to have been 37324 but it had lain in the yard at Toddington since failing - no sign of any activity on it either. 37215 therefore ran-round the train and we made a repeat run to Gotherington and back.

I decided to go home at this point - the next run on the stock we were on was 24081 + D8137 and I am not a fan of mixed-traction bashing.

Like my previous weekend (on the Llangollen Railway) I only missed out on one of the locos that was out - and, also like the Saturday before, it was a class 47! 47105 in this case.

Follow this link for some photos of the event.

Gary Thornton.

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