Locomotive Performance

Class 50's on the Salisbury Line

  Between December 1988 and June 1991, I made 99 runs behind class 50's. Of these, 33 were on the Paddington to Oxford services, and 66 were on West of England services from Waterloo. I travelled south on a Cross Country service which arrived at Basingstoke in good time to connect with the  9.15am Waterloo to Exeter service. I then had the option of a return trip to Exeter, which meant the same loco both ways, or to Honiton, where I could return on the 12.29pm from Exeter. A third option was to do two round trips to and from Sherborne.  I usually added a Basingstoke to Woking return trip, whichever option I chose.  Honiton was favourite, not least because there was time to stroll down from the station into the town, and sample a  "Honiton Pasty".   
  But it was all about to end. The class 159 multiple unit was on the horizon. And so I said farewell to the 50's on 22nd June 1991, when 50030 Repulse took me down to Feniton, and 50031 Hood brought me back, with 50017 Royal Oak assisting as far as Salisbury.

I have chosen a selection of logs to include each of the locomotives I travelled behind, including a few class 47 logs for comparison. It seemed to me that the strongest locos were 50001, 50028, and 50043. The running beyond Salisbury was often exhilarating, with "even time" being reached in 5 miles or less. And there was the occasional 100 mph (or so), usually down Porton bank.
50009 Conqueror..Salisbury-Exeter: 3rd April 1984  [view log of 50009]
47587 (Class 47)..Woking-Salisbury: 7th January 1989 [view log of 47587]
47547..Salisbury-Axminster: 7th January 1989 [view log of 47547]
50041 Bulwark..Basingstoke-Honiton: 4th March 1989 [view log of 50041]
50003 Temeraire..Basingstoke-Honiton: 18th March 1989 [view log of 50003]
50027 Lion..Basingstoke-Honiton: 15th April 1989 [view log of 50027]
50048 Dauntless..Basingstoke-Honiton: 4th October 1989 [view log of 50048]
50002 Superb..Basingstoke-Honiton: 7th November 1989 [view log of 50002]
50017 Royal Oak..Basingstoke-Honiton: 17th January 1990 [view log of 50017]
50005 Collingwood..Salisbury-Axminster: 3rd March 1990 [view log of 50005]
50049 Defiance..Woking-Basingstoke: 3rd March 1990 [view log of 50049]
50001 Dreadnought..Woking-Basingstoke: 17th March 1990 [view log of 50001]
50043 Eagle..Basingstoke-Honiton: 21st May 1990 [view log of 50043]
50037 Illustrious..Waterloo-Woking: 28th May 1990 [view log of 50037]
50045 Achilles..Basingstoke-Honiton: 10th September 1990 [view log of 50045]
50025 Invincible..Exeter-Salisbury: 3rd April 1984 [view log of 50025]
50043 Eagle..Axminster-Woking: 7th January 1989 [view log of 50043]
50001 Dreadnought..Axminster-Waterloo: 4th March 1989 [view log of 50001]
50028 Tiger..Honiton-Woking: 18th March 1989 [view log of 50028]
50007 and 50009..Honiton-Basingstoke: 4th October 1989 [view log of 50007 & 50009]
47810 (Class 47)..Sherborne-Basingstoke: 25th November 1989 [view log of 47810]
50018 Resolution..Honiton-Woking: 17th January 1990 [view log of 50018]
50001 Dreadnought..Basingstoke-Woking: 3rd March 1990 [view log of 50001]
50043 Eagle..Sherborne-Woking: 17th March 1990 [view log of 50043]
50016 Barham..Yeovil Junction-Basingstoke: 21st May 1990 [view log of 50016]
50007 Sir Edward Elgar..Honiton-Woking: 10th September 1990 [view log of 50007]
50028 Tiger..Waterloo-Portsmouth-Salisbury: 25th April 1989 [view log of 50028]
50044 Exeter..Waterloo-Portsmouth-Southampton: 9th May 1989 [view log of 50044]
50041 Bulwark..Southampton-Portsmouth-Waterloo: 9th May 1989 [view log of 50041]
They were happy days, but now it is all a distant memory. Yes there is the occasional "Fifty" rail tour, but it isn't the same. I miss my trips down to the south west, and I haven't tasted a Honiton Pasty since 1991. But I probably couldn't stand the pace of too many "15 hour, 500 mile" days now anyway. But writing this page, and producing all the log files, has been a splendid trip down "Memory Lane".

  Note:  The pictures above are copyright Steve Jones and  are reproduced with his consent.