Locomotive Performance

Hampshire Secondary Services

In an earlier edition of Locomotive Performance, I dealt with the running of the express services on the Waterloo to Bournemouth and Weymouth route. But during my holiday at New Milton in July 1956, I also encountered much interesting running on the semi fast and stopping services. In fact I had some excellent running, particularly on the T9 4-4-0's and BR Standard 4 class 2-6-0's. So here you will find a mixed bag of locomotives and routes. 
2nd July 1956: Having come down from the Midlands via Bath and the Somerset and Dorset line, I caught a connecting train from Poole to Christchurch, where I was to be met by my father to be taken to our holiday accommodation at New Milton. So I caught the 5.17pm Wareham to Christchurch service, due Poole at 5.39pm. I was surprised but pleased to see a Q class 0-6-0 on the front. 30536 took me to Christchurch, arriving 1 minute early, after a top speed of 45 mph below Pokesdown. A good start to my holiday. [view log of 30536]
3rd July 1956: The following day, armed with a local Weekly Runabout ticket, I set out from New Milton and a short while later was at Southampton Central station. In came  32425 on the Brighton to Bournemouth service. So, on I jumped for a run back to Brockenhurst. With 5 coaches, Trevose Head reached 60 mph after Lyndhurst Road, and was in Brockenhurst in 18 min 41 secs. I wish I had stayed on to Bournemouth.  [view log of 32425]
4th July 1956: Included in my itinerary for this day was a return journey from Brockenhurst to Bournemouth West via  Wimborne. So I caught the 2.08pm from Brockenhurst, a Rail Motor combination of Class M7 0-4-4T no 30040, 2 coaches, and a van. We were 1 late away, and 70 minutes later, we arrived at Bournemouth West.  [view log of 30040]
4th July 1956: After a short spell at Bournemouth West, I was on the way back. I caught the 4.30pm to Brockenhurst, which also ran via Wimborne. This time it was a BR Standard 4 class 2-6-0, no 76028, with a well filled train of 4 coaches. But a check at Branksome, and another at Holes Bay, made us 7 late from Broadstone, despite a vigorous climb up the 1 in 75 from Creekmoor. The crew set about recovering the lost time, and the running was hard and loud. Our loco sounded in fine shape, and we reached 65 mph near West Moors. So we pulled back all but 1 minute of the lost time. I immediately became a great fan of the BR class 4 moguls, and I still am 48 years later. [view log of 76028]
5th July 1956: I thought I would have another try for an H2 Atlantic on the Brighton service. So I duly waited at New Milton for the 1.50pm Bournemouth West to Brighton, due 2.27pm. It arrived on time, but with a T9 4-4-0 on the front, not an H2. Oh well, not a bad substitute. 30728 had the usual 5 coach load, and ran effortlessly to Southampton, max speed 62 mph near Lyndhurst Road, arriving on time. [view log of 30728]
5th July 1956: Next I caught the 2.33pm Salisbury to Bristol, due off Southampton 3.21pm, for a run to Salisbury. U class 2-6-0 no 31795, with load 7 plus 1 van, 255 tons full, ran efficiently with a top speed of 58 mph. We made station stops at Romsey, Dunbridge, and Dean. Another very pleasant route on which to travel. [view log of 31795]
5th July 1956: The return from Salisbury to Southampton was with BR class 4 2-6-0 no 76018 on the 5.07pm Salisbury to Portsmouth service, with a 5 coach load. We  made the same calls at Dean, Dunbridge and Romsey, and kept time throughout, with a top speed of 59 mph below Alderbury Junction. [view log of 76018]
5th July 1956: I returned to New Milton in the early evening  on the 6.07pm Southampton Terminus to Bournemouth "all stations", due out of Southampton Central at 6.17pm. T9 4-4-0 no 30707 had a 6 coach train of 186/195 tons, and was 2 mins late away. A hugely enjoyable journey followed as the T9 was driven hard and noisily between the stops. We were 2 minutes early into New Milton, after a top speed of 60 mph before Brockenhurst. One of the highlights of the holiday. [view log of 30707]
6th July 1956: This day was a family day, and in the evening we were exploring the New Forest close to Lyndhurst Road station. I couldn't resist walking on to the platform to look at a timetable to see whether anything was due. There was. The 6.45pm Portsmouth to Bournemouth "stopper" was due at 8.29pm. "Beat you back to New Milton station" was the challenge. So I joined 76010, load 6 plus a van, which was 6 minutes late away. Standard class 4 versus a Morris Minor. The Morris Minor won, but only because we were looped at Brockenhurst (as booked) for a "fast" to go by. In fact 76010 ran well between the stops and arrived only 2 late.  [view log of 76010]
7th July 1956: Another trip from Southampton to Salisbury, this time on the 3.27pm Portsmouth to Cardiff, which I hoped, being a Saturday, might be a decent size load. But it wasn't. U class 2-6-0 no 31809 came in with 6 coaches, and was away at 4.28pm, 1 late. Just one stop, at Romsey, then next stop Salisbury, where we arrived 4 mins early. Top speed was 56 mph at Dean Hall. [view log of 31809]
7th July 1956: The return journey, on the 5.07pm from Salisbury, was 12 late leaving. A pair of T9's,  30723 & 30285, had load 7 coaches plus 1 van, 242/255 tons, and stops at Dean, Dunbridge, and Romsey. They worked hard, and made a lot of noise up the grade from Milford. Despite a signal check after Redbridge, they picked up 4 minutes, Southampton arrival being 8 late. Top speed was 59 mph at Nursling. [view log of 30723 & 30285]
11th July 1956: A trip up to London started from Hinton Admiral, where I caught the 11.36am Bournemouth West to Southampton stopping service, due 12.09pm, and on time. H15 4-6-0 no 30523 was the loco, and the load 4 coaches and 6 vans, 218/225 tons. Steady running, top speed 55 mph near Beaulieu Road, would have brought us into Southampton on time, but for a signal check at Totton which made us 3 minutes late in. But I still had plenty of time for my 1.20pm Waterloo connection. [view log of 30523]
11th July 1956: In the evening, I was back in Southampton for the 6.45pm Portsmouth to Bournemouth West, due away at 8.10pm. Standard class 4 2-6-0 no 76028 (again) was 1 late leaving with a 9 coach load of 310/320 tons. We were looped at Brockenhurst for 12 minutes (booked 9 minutes), but still managed an on time arrival at New Milton. There were fine sounds from the loco between the stops. We reached 55 mph before Brockenhurst. [view log of 76028]
6th June 1960: Some 4 years later, in 1960, a Whitsun short break based on Eastleigh was accompanied by a fair amount of rail travel. But the only journey that fell into the category of "secondary services" was the 5.10pm Reading General to Southampton service. Schools class no 30905 Tonbridge had a modest load of 5 coaches, and stops at Micheldever and Winchester, before Eastleigh where I alighted. A pleasant but uneventful journey ensued, with top speed of 69 mph at Winchester Junction, and an arrival at Eastleigh 2 minutes early. [view log of 30905]
Visitors who read my earlier page "Bournemouth line..1956", may well conclude that I found the running on the Semi-fasts and Stopping services in the same year, more to my liking than the running of the Expresses. Absolutely right. I was enthralled by the vigorous running of the BR Standard 4 2-6-0's, and the T9 "Greyhound" 4-4-0's. And to get an H2 Atlantic, a Q class 0-6-0, and an H15 4-6-0, was a huge bonus.