Saturday 5th November
The “Andover Fist” a railway trip out with a fellow railway modeller. Out at 7 am for a lift to Haslemere & a trip to pick up the Hertfordshire Rail Tours special at Woking. Have a leisurely a coffee & croissant and cross to Platform 5
The 13 coach train arrives a few minutes late and we board coach J towards the northern end of the train, topped & tailed by Class 66’s in ES&WR liveries- owned by DB-Shencker
The first stage of the trip is a fastish run on the slow line to Basingstoke & then on through Winchester to Eastleigh- then slow as we take the approach to Northam past Southampton FC ground and onto the single line approach to Southampton Eastern Docks & the crossing of Canute Road.
A small jolt & then stop- we have been underway about 90 minutes.
An announcement of an “event”- then later further announcements that the front carriage has derailed (brake/ generator), then also the firont bogie of the second carriage (First dining car). The loco hasn’t derailed and there are no injuries.
Network Rail, BTP & other high-viz vests, appear from the north & some times the south. News that the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) are involved & that they are in control of the site. The decision is made after some time to break the train into two parts- the front leading loco & the two derailed carriages are to be detached & left and the remaining 11 carriages are to return north hauled by the second loco.
Passengers from the First Dining car are able to walk through their carriage to the next dining car. After the arrival of a second driver (& possibly a shunter) by taxi from Eastleigh and then waiting for the RAIB to complete taking dimensions and photographs, we are able to proceed back towards Eastleigh where the train is terminated.
The train stops at Southampton Airport (Parkway) to enable faster train connections to be made than at Eastleigh. We take this opportunity and are back courtesy of fast train to Woking ( only stopping at Winchester) and good connection to Haslemere to be back there in just over an hour!
Arrived home in daylight.
All the passengers in our carriage on the special were good humoured- a few of them possibly professional railwaymen and the 4 hours or more it took to sort it, out passed easily.
Quick arrangements by the organisers had been made to allow our special tickets to get us back to Woking or Waterloo courtesy of South West Trains.
Thanks to all those involved in sorting out everything- Hertfordshire Rail Tours, Network Rail, DB Schencker, BTP etc- well done
We understand the two carriages were re-railed late Saturday evening and with the loco returned to Eastleigh.
Possible new dates for the tour- February or April 2017 are already being discussed- I hope we can make it.