Locomotive Performance

Class 33...The Cromptons

It was 1984 before I travelled behind a Crompton. I had seen them in action of course. Firstly on the Lickey on the Fawley to Bromford Bridge Oil train, and then in abundance at Worting Junction in 1965 and 1966 when I made the journey south to see the final years of the Bullieds. They subsequently spread their wings far and wide. The Welsh Marches, Bristol to the South Coast, South Devon, West Wales. Everywhere it seemed. 

On 18/1/84...I travelled from Salisbury to Bristol on 33035, load 6. [view log of 33035]

29/2/84...My next run on a 33 was on the North and West route with 33010 from Shrewsbury to Abergavenny. [view log of 33010]

29/2/84...I returned later in the day from Abergavenny to Shrewsbury with the same loco and load. [view log of 33010] 

8/4/85...On Sundays and Bank Holidays, the Reading-Portsmouth services were operated by class 33's with 4TC sets. On my way home to the Midlands after a day on the Mid Hants Railway, I got 33106 from Winchester to Reading. [view log of 33106] 

31/5/85...During a short late spring break in Hampshire, there was time for a trip from Bournemouth to Weymouth. 33108 was the loco, load 8. [view log of 33108]

13/7/85...In 1985 there was a Saturday class 33 working from Waterloo to Exeter and back. So an early morning start from the Midlands got me to Waterloo in time for 33020 on the 8.37am to Exeter, load 8. But there was an engineering blockade from Worting Junction to Salisbury, so we went via Southampton and Romsey. The train was retimed with additional stops beyond Salisbury. [view log of 33020]

13/7/85...I returned from Exeter as far as Southampton on the 10.50am Penzance to Brighton service, which was also retimed with additional stops. The train was double headed by 33008 "Ashford" and 33052 "Eastleigh", which ran well with the 10 coach load. [view log of 33008 and 33052]

4/3/89...In late 1988 I started an intensive three year spell of "50 bashing" on the Waterloo-Exeter route. Whilst the 33's were still in charge of the Waterloo-Salisbury semi-fasts, I was more than happy to include them in my itineraries. On 4th March 1989, 33116 gave me an splendid run from Waterloo to Basingstoke. [view log of 33116]

25/4/89...The through Portsmouth-Salisbury-Exeter workings, together with the related Waterloo to Portsmouth and return workings, were, in the late 1980's, class 50 worked. It was not possible to do Waterloo-Portsmouth-Salisbury and return since the eastbound service left Salisbury before the westbound arrived. But on this date the up train was late, with a Railfreight 60mph class 33 deputizing for a failed class 50. The driver from Salisbury kept to the limit, but the driver who took over for the final leg up from Portsmouth to Waterloo, either didn't know of the loco's 60mph limit, or chose to ignore it. The result was a classic. A full throated assault up to Buriton, and three separate instances of 80 plus onwards to Guildford. Pity that signal checks inwards to Waterloo undid the driver's excellent work. [view log of 33053]

6/5/89...I was a frequent visitor to the Mid Hants Railway in the late 1980's. Sometimes I would travel via Winchester, catching a bus for the very pleasant ride to Alresford, and sometimes I would travel via Waterloo and Alton, taking a class 33 down to Woking, changing there to the following Alton service. 33114 gave me my fastest run down to Woking. [view log of 33114]
Note: The picture towards the top of this page is copyright G A Cryer and is reproduced with the consent of "Geoff's Rail Pages".  The picture at the foot of the page is copyright Steve Jones, and is reproduced with his consent.