If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Last train from Bridgnorth (For a while at least)

Discussion in 'Bullhead Memories' started by olly5764, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Tuesday June 19th 2007, on a warm Sticky morning, with the threat of heavy rain later, and I am Spending a week of my Hard earned holiday Guarding diagram AS2 on the severn Valley (That is the set of stock that forms the second train off Kidder, and works the last one back).
    As I walked round my train, I couldn't help but feel that we were in for some heavy weather later on. Little did I know, that I was going to make myself an un -wanted claim to fame, as June 19th was to go down in Severn Valley history for all the wrong reasons.
    A fortnight previous, we had lost our loco Superintendant, Ray Tranter, and it was Ray's funeral today, with a special train laid on in the morning to get people there, with them returning on my train in the evening.
    Things started well, as we lft right time, at 11.45, with loco 4566 at the head, and the Gresley set behind her, making 7 coaches for 239 tons, but that was as good as it got.
    We were held up at Bewdley by about 8 minutes waiting for an up train, which set the tone for the day.
    Well, never one to run late if I can help it, myself and driver Bond set about the task of reducing the defacite, eventually arriving at Bridgnorth only a minute down.
    Once the loco had run round, the members of Ray's party that had not gone to the actuall funeral service, held a brief service in front of the loco at Bridgnorth, and a Brief silence, an act that we were keen to permit, and take part in, even though we left 5 mins late as a result.
    Some rapid station work at Hampton Loade put us back on time (I think the wheels stopped turning, but it was not for long!) only to loose 2 minutes again at Arley, as 180 school kids Joined the train.
    Most up trains stand 5 minutes or so at Bewdley, but not this one, BS2 is only booked 2 minutes, so when 90 of the school kids got off at Bewdley, that put another two minutes into us, meaning we arrived at Kidderminster, once more, five minutes down.
    The 50 minutes we were booked at Kidderminster was more than enough, but we were going to need that swift station work again, as the locomotives Hydrostatic lubricator decided to be sick all over the place at Bewdley, meaning we were 6 minutes down, again.
    We barely paused at Arley, and Higley as we tried, once again, to get the serviceback on time.
    I noted on both trips that there had been a heavy roll in the track in Alveley woods, but had been booking it for several weeks, and had been told not to bother, it was known about, and was not likely to slip any time soon, how ever, this time, it was noticably worse.
    'If that carries on,' I said to my ticket inspector, 'I don't think e will be going to Bridgnorth tomorrow, especially if this rain turns up.'
    Not even I could have known just how true that was to turn out to be!
    I was glad to see that AS1 was in Hampton Loade when we arrived, so a very Rapid 147 to the Box (that is where you intimate to the signal man that you are complete and clear) was followed rapidly by a green flag, and we were away again, and Back on time.
    We left Bridgnorth at 5.25, exactly on time, and with the rest of the Well wishers, who had been giving Ray a Severn Valley send off, on board and on their way back to the South end.
    We crossed the last Bridgnorth Bound train at Hampton, and headded out towards Highley, 4566 making light work of the 239 ton train throught the severe reverse curves at the top of Highley bank, and down the other side into Highley, Where we crossed the light engine off the other South End service, and recived news that the P-way were going out later to take a look at the track in Alveley woods, right where I has said it was bad.
    5.54, and we were off again, and now had nothing else to cross before Kidderminster. It was a move we did every day, but with the heavy black clouds gathering over head, I had the destinct feeling of suddenly being very alone, as we watched the Bridgnorth lads head for home. They would be safely back home by the time we left Bewdley.
    Well, we left Bewdley, as booked, at 6.19, dropped the stock at Kidderminster, and I joined the crew on the loco, for a lift back to Bewdley, with some very threatening clouds brewing over Clee hill.
    I was staying in the staff accomodation at Bewdley, despite only living 5 miles away, as on of the firemen that was on that week was a good mate of mine (the whole point for being on that week so Me, Him, and another collegue of ours went and got some chips, and elected to return to the station, rather than go to the pub that night. we went and sat on the front of 4566 to eat our chips, and watched as the storm that had formed over Clee hill blew over towards the Valley, and was ,et by another storm comming the other way from the Wolverhampton direction.
    'Highley is getting a pasting,' said one of the lads 'Look at that!'
    'Never mind that,' I said, 'Look at that lot! We are in for a biggie.'
    There was another bank of cloud comming right over head, from the Birmingham direction.
    With that in mind, we headded for the accomodation.
    The next morning, I turned over and went back to sleep as my fireman friend got up to go and prep his loco.
    'Gimme a shout if we are not running right through today Ron' I said as he walked out of the room.
    At about 8 o'clock, there was a knock on the door, and Ron came back in.
    'Dewi Jones wants to see you,' he said.
    'We terminating at Highley then?'
    'I think so, yes,' was the reply
    In the time it took to finish getting dressed, and walk to the office, the news had gone from terminating at Highley to not knowing if we could run at all.
    That morning, we set out with GWR goods brake 68501, loco number 46443 and a small band of us with showels, saws and sheers to see how far we could get, while 4566 set off the other way to do the same.
    By the end of the day, we had evacuated cottages in Northwood lane below the railway embankment, which had become very unstable, and had drawn up a report that the Severn Valley line had suffered 45 land slides, 9 major breaches of the railway, and dammage to several structures during the storms of that fatefull tuesday night.
    My unwanted claim to fame, I am the last guard, for the time being at least, to take a train South from Bridgnorth, no wonder I felt alone when we crossed the loco at Highley.
    The line, at the time of writing, is still under repair, wish us luck.
     
  2. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    161
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Theatre Technician
    Location:
    Work, work or WHHR
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Can I say beautifully written...

    That gave me goose bumps reading it, yet it is a story in general we all know...
     
  3. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Indeed, but there is a whole host of difference between a story we all know, and a first hand account. As I said, being the last guard to take a train south from Bridgnorth is definatly an un-wanted claim to fame!
    Thankyou for the kind words though Nexaus, I was a little worried that it would be too drawn out.
     
  4. 14xx Lover

    14xx Lover New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Postman, Passed Cleaner on SVR
    Location:
    West Midlands
    Very Nice Ian
     
  5. yorksireenginegroup

    yorksireenginegroup New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    MECHANIC
    Location:
    OAKHAM
    got shivers reading that
     
  6. Rlangham

    Rlangham New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Here
    Blimey, that was extremely well written and enjoyed reading it. Sitting on the front of 4566 eating chips from a chippy sounds like heaven to me! Maybe not on that day though....
     
  7. mendiprail

    mendiprail New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    118
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    So are you also going to be on the first train back over the full length of the line then?

    That was very well written, most enjoyable =D>
     
  8. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Now that would be a nice twist. I am working the last train of the year over the Kidder / Bewdley section on December 31st this year.
     
  9. Dandruf

    Dandruf New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm going to be the last person walking through my front door on new year's eve.
     
  10. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    14,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't see yourn problem, if it's the last train on New Years Eve it's the last train of the year, logically...
     
  11. 14xx Lover

    14xx Lover New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Postman, Passed Cleaner on SVR
    Location:
    West Midlands
    Whats this guy's problem ????????
     
  12. Alex

    Alex New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    West Midlands
    Agreed

    Alex
     
  13. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It is quite simple, it is seen as a bit of a pleasurable turn to have. It is also appropriate that the person that worked the last train over the devastated section of the line, should also be the person to bring the curtain down on what has been a very tough year.
     
  14. Jamie C. Steel

    Jamie C. Steel New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about working the first train of 2008?
    I get that priviledge at the GCR, 11.45pm arrival at Leicester 31/12/07, 00.10am departure 01/01/08, only downside is I get to see all my mates drinking in the new year whilst I practice abstinence ](*,) (till about 1am). \:D/
     
  15. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Fair play mate! I tend to like to get some ale down me new years eve, so guarding, or firing are out for January 1st for me.
     
  16. James

    James New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,213
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    7036
    Fantastic story, really well-written...there's such an ominous feel to it, although...

    How does one "intimate" to the signalman, or is it too lewd to describe on a family forum? I don't want to know what you waved...
     
  17. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thank you James! There is always one isn't there! Mind you, it is usually me!
     
  18. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    730
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Normally in a brake van somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Have requested to be guarding the first one into Bridgnorth having been on the last one to leave, if possiable, but there will be a clamour for that turn, so I would expect that it will fall to one of the inspectors!
     
  19. southyorkshireman

    southyorkshireman New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    6,638
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Rotherham 41D or Metropolitan Railway boardroom
    Funny how people are always happy to take a demotion when theres glory involved! \:D/
     
  20. IKB

    IKB New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    30
    Just found this post.

    Sounds like an ideal opening for the book that's been mentioned elsewhere on the forum
     

Share This Page