6024 Operations November 2004 - April 2005

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"The Eden Limited"

On Saturday April 23, doubleheading with 5029 Nunney Castle, the loco hauled "The Eden Limited" from Exeter St. Davids to Par and return with associated engines and support coach moves from and to Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway. The tour ran very successfully throughout the day with on-time or early running being the norm thanks to some spirited running with the 13 coach train. Especially impressive were both sections over the Devon banks with near even time achieved in both directions.

At St. Blazey depot, Par, both locomotives were serviced at the old steam depot and were turned on the turntable in front of the old partial roundhouse.

6024 backs away from the diesel fuel point, past 5029, and towards the turntable at St. Blazet depot. April 23 2005
6024 backs away from the diesel fuel point, past 5029, and towards the turntable at St. Blazet depot. April 23 2005

Inspector Jones looks forward with the loco positioned on the turntable. April 23 2005
Inspector Jones looks forward with the loco positioned on the turntable. April 23 2005

St. Blazey turntable is equipped with vacuum operation gear but 6024 was moved around by hand. April 23 2005
St. Blazey turntable is equipped with vacuum operation gear but 6024 was moved around by hand. April 23 2005

The turntable used to serve the partial roundhouse at St. Blazey. This part of the depot has now been turned into industrial units. April 23 2005
The turntable used to serve the partial roundhouse at St. Blazey. This part of the depot has now been turned into industrial units. April 23 2005

6024 has recently been in action on the West Somerset Railway at the line's Spring Gala and over the Easter weekend. Preparations for the run to Par on April 23 are now in hand. 6024's support coach has paid a visit to the WSR's Minehead carriage works for minor attention to one vital fitting - the toilet!

6024 at Williton station on March 25 2005 whilst engaged on private charter work.  Colin Henderson
6024 at Williton station on March 25 2005 whilst engaged on private charter work. © Colin Henderson

A right pair at Minehead. Huw Button (left) and John Salter alongside the support coach awaiting the return trip to Bishops Lydeard. March 26 2005
A right pair at Minehead. Huw Button (left) and John Salter alongside the support coach awaiting the return trip to Bishops Lydeard. March 26 2005

6024 runs-round at Minehead. Note the HST set in store, earning the WSR a nice bit of money! March 26 2005.
6024 runs-round at Minehead. Note the HST set in store, earning the WSR a nice bit of money! March 26 2005.

"The West Somerset Wanderer"

Another run, this time a short one, completed successfully. The load of 13 bogies plus an idling Class 50 diesel, 50049 Defiance, at the rear to keep the stock heated was a bit of a heavy one!

6024 climbs away from Charfield towards Wickwar on the Midland Mainline from Derby to Bristol. March 12 2005
6024 climbs away from Charfield towards Wickwar on the Midland Mainline from Derby to Bristol. March 12 2005

6024 is now on the West Somerset Railway for a two month stay broken into two pieces by the next mainline duty on April 23. In the meantime the loco will be used on the WSR, starting with the Gala next weekend. See you there?

"The Lickey Incliner"& "The Staite Pullman"

The two most recent tours on February 26 & 28 were run successfully but with a few dramas along the way! However all is well with the loco which is now residing at EWS Barton Hill in readiness for her duty on March 12.

"The Lickey Incliner", run by Vintage Trains, ran from Tyseley (Warwick Road) to Newport and return, both ways via the Lickey Incline. Fellow 6024 support crew member Huw Button has kindly allowed the use of a couple of photos:

6024 near Wye Valley Junction, Chepstow, after a speedy run along the Severn Estuary. February 26 2005  Huw Button
6024 near Wye Valley Junction, Chepstow, after a speedy run along the Severn Estuary. February 26 2005 © Huw Button

6024 at Severn Tunnel Junction running under adverse signals, hard on the heels of a preceeding train. February 26 2005  Huw Button
6024 at Severn Tunnel Junction running under adverse signals, hard on the heels of a preceding train. February 26 2005 © Huw Button

A support crew rogues gallery as the train passes through Severn Tunnel Junction. From the left are Steve Underhill, Dave Fuszard, Colin Henderson & Leon Salter.February 26 2005  Huw Button
A support crew rogues gallery as the train passes through Severn Tunnel Junction. From the left are Steve Underhill, Dave Fuszard, Colin Henderson & Leon Salter. February 26 2005 © Huw Button

An excellent day out was had with plenty of sustained high speed running in both directions along with a noisy climb of Lickey Incline.

On Monday February 28 6024 doubleheaded with 7802 Bradley Manor on "The Staite Pullman", marking the retirement of Bernard Staite. This train, utilizing the VSOE Pullman coaches, ran from London Victoria to Paignton and return. The steam section was from Taunton to Paignton and return with the Western type diesel D1015 Western Champion handling the other sections. Problems with the air braking system whilst shunting at Goodrington sidings required some work to be undertaken at Churston works on the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway. This work caused the return leg of the train to run late and lead to the termination of the steam at Taunton instead of Bristol Temple Meads as had been originally intended.

Huw Button has again made some photos available from the day.

"The Staite Pullman" at Creech St. Michael near Taunton behind D1015 Western Champion. February 28 2005 © Huw Button

On the other side of Taunton 6024 and 7802 race up Wellington Bank. February 28 2005  Huw Button
On the other side of Taunton 6024 and 7802 race up Wellington Bank. February 28 2005 © Huw Button

In much nicer conditions than further north 6024 and 7802 run alongside the Teign Estuary near Bishopsteignton. February 28 2005  Huw Button
In much nicer conditions than further north 6024 and 7802 run alongside the Teign Estuary near Bishopsteignton. February 28 2005 © Huw Button

6024 runs light across Broadsands viaduct on the way to Churston for turning and air brake system repairs. February 28 2005  Huw Button
6024 runs light across Broadsands viaduct on the way to Churston for turning and air brake system repairs. February 28 2005 © Huw Button

"The Thames-Avon Express"

6024's mainline outing on December 30 2004 was completed successfully with plenty of early running despite a late start from London Victoria. For those wondering what happened on Hatton Bank a track circuit failure meant the train was running under single yellows before being brought to a stand. There was nothing wrong with the loco!

6024 in steam at the start of the prep day. December 29 2004
6024 in steam at the start of the prep day. December 29 2004

6024 waits to take coal by the remaining turntable at Old Oak Common. December 29 2004
6024 waits to take coal by the remaining turntable at Old Oak Common. December 29 2004

All ready to go the next morning 6024 and support coach sit outside "the factory" at Old Oak Common. December 29 2004

For only the second time a King stands at London Victoria station. 6024 used platform 2 on the SECR side of the station. December 30 2004
For only the second time a King stands at London Victoria station. 6024 used platform 2 on the SECR side of the station. December 30 2004

On December 12 6024 was at EWS Barton Hill being prepared for the engine and support coach move to EWS Old Oak Common ready for the run on December 30.

At the front of the engine Huw Button (right) and Colin Springthorpe clean up after the smokebox had been emptied whilst further back Chris Brown does some cleaning. December 12 2004

At the front of the engine Huw Button (right) and Colin Springthorpe clean up after the smokebox had been emptied whilst further back Chris Brown does some cleaning. December 12 2004

Later in the day 6024 entered one of the buildings on site to allow the inside motion to be oiled and the loco to be given a once over. December 12 2004
Later in the day 6024 entered one of the buildings on site to allow the inside motion to be oiled and the loco to be given a once over. December 12 2004

6024 wasn't the only steam loco at Barton Hill. Accompanied by a Class 73 Electro-Diesel and a Class 37 Diesel-Electric the other resident of the shed was 5029 Nunney Castle. December 12 2004

6024 wasn't the only steam loco at Barton Hill. Accompanied by a Class 73 Electro-Diesel and a Class 37 Diesel-Electric the other resident of the shed was 5029 Nunney Castle. December 12 2004


6024 inside 'The Factory' at Old Oak Common. December 05 2004
6024 inside 'The Factory' at Old Oak Common. December 05 2004

6024's last mainline turn was an extra standing in for the damaged 71000. The trip was from Bristol Temple Meads to Plymouth and return with engine and support coach runs from and to EWS Old Oak Common either side of the run. All went very well on each day with the loco giving a solid performance over the greasy Devon Banks.

6024 outside "The Factory" at EWS Old Oak Common ready for the engine and support coach run to Bristol. November 12 2004

6024 is serviced over one of the pit roads at EWS Barton Hill depot. November 12 2004
6024 is serviced over one of the pit roads at EWS Barton Hill depot. November 12 2004

6024 stands in the yard at Barton Hill shortly before going off shed to pickup the train to Plymouth. November 13 2004
6024 stands in the yard at Barton Hill shortly before going off shed to pickup the train to Plymouth. November 13 2004

The support coach was at the back of the train on the run to Plymouth meaning we all got plenty of exercise during the day! This is the scene shortly before departing from Bristol Temple Meads. November 13 2004

The support coach was at the back of the train on the run to Plymouth meaning we all got plenty of exercise during the day! This is the scene shortly before departing from Bristol Temple Meads. November 13 2004

No more photos were taken during the day - I was far too busy!

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