The Old Curiosity Mystery Tour

(1) Cannon Street, Rochester and Tonbridge

On 3rd December 2011 Hastings Diesels Ltd operated an excursion to Rochester via London thence continuing on an eventful ‘mystery tour’ around Kent before returning to Rochester.


An overview of the day

The train’s routing was via Bromley South, thence up the Mid-Kent line to Cannon Street. A signal or points failure at Lewisham resulted in 1001 being routed onto the Ladywell Loop to Parks Bridge Junction. Unfortunately Mountfield’s AWS would not reset at Tanner’s Hill so the unit was double-manned into Cannon Street.

Running late 1001 was able to continue on to Rochester where decisions were quickly made by GDrf as to how to continue with the trip. Instead of a reversal at Paddock Wood the Mystery Tour would detrain at Tonbridge in order to pick up an EDL from Tonbridge West Yard. Has one of the recently refurbished GLVs being facing country then it may also have been added!

Having left Strood (on the way to Tonbridge) upon approaching Cuxton the green home signal reverted to red before switching back to green. This caused a sudden stop and short delay whilst it was reported by our driver.

The planned return leg between Ashford and Hastings was abandoned with 1001 departure time from Tonbridge set to place the tour right-time at Ashford. The tour continued back to Rochester (reversing at Swanley) without incident.

The return to Tonbridge wasn’t uneventful either. Having being allowed to run ahead of time off the Beckenham Spur and without any hold up after Bat and Ball the train was halted outside High Brooms due to a failed MPV. Having been routed around the MPV (via Tunbridge Wells’ platform 1) the stops were quickly expedited in order to not delay the following service train. Furthermore the St Leonard’s Warrior Square was undertaken after Hastings (en-route to the depot) which additionally kept 1001 clear of the Ashford – Brighton service.

73 213 was detached in the platform at Hastings and ran light engine back to Tonbridge West Yard. GBrf saved the day!


Cannon Street’s (platform 6) and GBrf staff quickly consult
about potential arrangements to deal with the AWS fault.

OCMT 023 Cannon St.jpg


Rochester and with GBrf’s plans in place 1001
is set to depart for Strood (rev) and Tonbridge.

OCMT 028 Rochester.jpg


Strood and 1001 awaits the road to
Paddock Wood (thence onto Tonbridge)

OCMT 029 Strood.jpg


With passengers set down at Tonbridge 1001 entered the West Yard
where it pulled up beside the recently refurbished GLV no.68505.

OCMT 039 TWY.jpg


73 213 was shunted across in order to be coupled
to 1001 (whose buffers are being retracted).

OCMT 046 TWY.jpg


OCMT 050 TWY.jpg  OCMT 051 TWY.jpg


Prepared to go, 1001 now awaits time.

OCMT 061 TWY.jpg


It is understood that 73 213’s No.1 end was crudely shorn of its buckeye
and compression bar by Network Rail in order to fit a snowplough.

OCMT 080 TWY.jpg


The ‘traditional’ Midland oil lamp was hung on the cess-side bracket but before leaving
was moved to the six-foot side as 1001 was booked into platform 2 at Ashford.

66714 had just pulled in with Monday’s train for Mountfield sidings.

OCMT 092 TWY.jpg


Click to continue onto Ashford

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