I took the day out from to C&W to
As cover I also took my wife brother and sister in law.
See I am wearing the GWR sweatshirt obviously on promotional work.
It started several conversations all expressing interest and support for the railway.
There are a lot of people just waiting for the re-opening to come and visit and ride the full length from CRC to Laverton.
Also on undercover work was Phil Young acting as Steward for the day. We discovered while chatting the we went to the same school at the same time (one year apart so had some great memories to share).
The trip was on the Golden Arrow we boarded at Kemble running behind a class 57 with a class 47 on the rear.
with 34067 Tangmere in charge from Southall we negotiated all the switch backs around south west London before setting out towards Canterbury for an extended lunch. Travelling through the Kent countryside past Oast Houses and the occasional windmill on a sunny day we were reminded what travel should be like. Oh yes, rather similar to a trip on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway but with a bit more speed.
There was a watering stop and thus photo opportunity
at.... well you guess.
a pleasant country station. with wheat and barley growing well on the back platform edge.
Tangmere was resplendent in tradional full dress for the trip.
Second quiz question. Why is the French Flag on the front with the Union Jack?
Aboard Rydal Water from the Fellsman Pullman rake of carriages we were treated to a splendid clear run either side of Tonbridge with the full smoke and smell effect through the 3462 yard Sevenoaks Tunnel. (someone left the window open on a carriage door)
There was a good climb up the 1 in 64 hills around Walmer and then fine views of Dover Castle as we twisted down to Buckland Junction and Dover Priory on out through the narrow tunnels along towards Folkstone, stick your hand out of the window and you WILL loose you hand against the tunnel walls! Then another fast run back along the Ashford - Tonbridge straight after being held for some time at Ashford International. The only other hitch to the day was the final switch across the great Western Line to change locos at Southall. The points into the loop failed and we had to wait while it was sorted out. We arrived back at Kemble at 23:54. Forty minutes late but five minutes before the car park ticket ran out. So a great day out.
Now that's the way to do a pilgrimage to Canterbury.
Still puzzled with the questions? The answers are Headcorn and of course the Golden Arrow was a London - Paris boat train hence both flags.
Video Clip 2