© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
28 May: With an overnight stay booked in
Dover, we had all day to spend on our
southbound journey, so took the opportunity to
take a few photos on the way...
We started at Didcot North Junction, where along
with lots of 165 / 166 units, we snapped 47 188
on a very short northbound freight, and 47 853 on
a southbound passenger.
Moving to the former GWR main line, an eastbound oil train
headed by 60 027 provided our first subject, then a little further
east, the first hint of tunnel-bound traffic passed in the form of
a car train, hauled by 47314. Oh, and a few HSTs and units
Deciding it was time to move on, we headed for the M25, pulling
off again near Merstham, where Steve thought we ought to try a
few pictures of the "Gatwick Express" service. Not
a very easy stretch for photography - a deep dark
cutting for the southbound pictures (the loco
end, inevitably), but a reasonably open view for
the northbound trains and the motor parcels van.
Further south and east now to Ashford, where we
ended the day on the line south-eastwards
towards the tunnel. Firstly, we took to the
footbridge at the point where the international main line
crossed a minor road on the level - not a common sight then,
and since removed as work progresses on the new main line to
the tunnel. The first train here was, once again, 47 314 and its
tunnel-bound car train. All the others were emus, including the
illustrated 421 set no 1871.
Lastly, we found a quiet spot a mile or two further down the
line, near Sevington, and here we were rewarded with a couple
of tunnel-bound "Eurostar"s. And that was it for day 1 - on to
Dover for a pint and a bite to eat, and our overnight stay.