Olympia Express 2013
On 21st December 2013
Hastings Diesels Ltd operated a charter service
from the Hastings line up to the show-jumping at Kensington Olympia.
Like 2012 the charter called at Hastings, Battle, Robertsbridge, Etchingham, Wadhurst, Tunbridge Wells Central anf Tonbridge. The outbound routing was via Bromley South, Catford Loop, Factory Curve thence up to Kensington Olympia. After a reversal at Acton, 1001 berthed at Beckenham Junction having been routed out and back via Nunhead, Lewisham and the Mid-Kent Line. The return from Kensington Olympia was via Herne Hill with a pathing stop at Kent House.
St Leonard’s Depot with 1001 ready to
(having been started up around 06:40hrs).
Arrival from the depot at Hastings (platform 4).
Hastings’ signal box provides a backdrop.
In pouring rain driver and guard confer as
reporting number 1Z89 waits for time (08:31hrs).
On these trips and with over a hundred
Battle (sch.08:48 dep) is the most popular station.
Robertsbridge (sch.09:01 dep).
Etchingham (sch.09:07 dep).
Wadhurst (sch.09:22 dep).
Tunbridge Wells Central (sch.09:31 dep).
Tonbridge and a change of driver (sch.09:43 dep).
Arrival at Kensington Olympia (sch.11:00 arr).
Passing through Shepherd’s Bush.
Near Mitre Bridge a 377 heads towards
Southern England and the juice.
A pair of GBrf 73s sitting outside DB Schenker’s Euro-Terminal...
... because two
wagons had derailed in the entrance!
(This depot is on the site of 1A shed).
Reversal at Acton reception sidings
was a straightforward non-event!
(sch.11:12 arr 11:19 dep)
Despite the rain a family took great
interest in 1001 at Beckenham Junction.
Waitrose enabled additional stocks
of bubbly to be taken on board!
Kensington Olympia (sch.17:35 dep)
and our passengers board 1001.
1001 had a booked pathing stop at Kent
with three SouthEastern trains overtaking us!
(sch.18:02 to 18:23 hrs)
So why does 1001 layover at Beckenham Junction?
Like the 2009 Olympia Express the 2010 trip was scheduled to layover at Willesden Junction. However, because of the snow the conditions underfoot would have been hazardous for staff at the depot - including the relief driver who was coming in from Kent. So in 2010 it was decided to berth at Beckenham Junction instead. This worked so well that during the planning of both the 2011, 2012 & 2013 Olympia Express trips it was decided to continue with layovers at Beckenham Junction as it is such a convenient location.
So, whilst some staff undertook Christmas shopping in Waitrose (and restocked a few buffet car items) others took the opportunity to lunch in Bromley while a few caught the train to Bickley thence 269 bus to the Invicta model railway shop at Sidcup.
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