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NEASDEN NONSENSE


Saturday 20th April 2024

TIMINGS NOW CONFIRMED

Our latest tour with the delightful Hastings ‘DEMU’ in its extended 7 car formation featuring three power cars starts at Tonbridge and picks up at Bromley South and London Victoria and affords an opportunity for passengers to travel over some very rare non passenger track as we head into the Chilterns.

From London Victoria, we traverse the rarely used Battersea Reversal Line and Acton South West Sidings as we weave through West London towards Greenford. Here we take the Greenford branch line, once a common diversionary route. Very little passenger traffic now passes beyond the station to Greenford West Junction but this is the route we take to access the Chiltern Main Line at South Ruislip for what we hope will be a non-stop run to Princes Risborough.

From Princes Risborough, we turn right and head towards Aylesbury. Our more observant passengers will no doubt notice the mileage change to a bygone era when trains ran from Paddington via Maidenhead and Bourne End, a route finally closed in May 1970.

We follow the single line to Aylesbury, after which we pass through the Aylesbury North Loop and head to Aylesbury Vale Parkway – a first for a Hastings unit we believe – where we have requested a 20 minute leg stretch break.

We now retrace our steps towards High Wycombe and Gerrards Cross where we expect to utilise the bi-directional signalling and operate on the down line.  We then plan to reverse and head back into the Gerrards Cross Turnback Siding.

Resuming our journey towards the Capital, we pass through West Ruislip and onto West Ealing where we expect to reverse in the bay platform, before once again heading towards West Ruislip (reverse) and Neasden where we take the rarely used (by passenger trains) curve onto the Acton Branch, a freight only line connecting the Midland Main and North London lines.

The branch affords us access back onto the Great Western main line at Acton and in turn West Ruislip where we reverse in the Down Spur. From here we return through South Ruislip and onward towards Park Royal, thereby utilising the second side of the normally freight only Greenford triangle, still predominantly signalled by lower quadrant semaphores – surely unique nowadays in the London area?

Once past Greenford East Junction we make a further reversal and complete the triangle as we head back towards Greenford South Junction and onward to Drayton Green, where we take the more unusual up west loop towards Hayes and Harlington. After reversing in the bay platform our special train returns to London Victoria via Acton Main Line, Barnes and the Battersea Reversible before setting down at Bromley South and Tonbridge, completing our wonderful day of thumping around the Chilterns and London!

A buffet car is available onboard. There is no First Class Dining aboard this railtour.

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Confirmed Timings shown below. All route information is given on a best endeavours basis and is subject to track inspection and condition checks up to and including on the day of the tour.

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