A day trip to the south of England
Southampton and the ghost train
This was an SRS day out - perhaps the first of those cheap Saturday ticket trips. Most of our companions on this occasion travelled to the Mid Hants Railway - two of us stayed on the train and spent the day between Southampton and Portsmouth. Sharp-eyed and sharp-witted visitors have probably already realised what the "ghost train" was. I remained oblivious, however, until my wife saw the slides of the Ruston, and with a look of horror, exclaimed "it's a ghost train!" (I don't think she was serious, but one can never tell...). The Nuttall's locomotive, employed on a tunnel repair contract, was one of 4 such Rustons owned by the Strathclyde-based contractors - and is far from a ghost today. It is either "Little Clyde" RH 7002/0467/2 or "Luce" RH 7002/0467/6, now resident on the Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway.
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
We walked from Southampton station via the docks (hoping we might see some railway activity - we didn't...) and the Itchen Bridge to Woolston, where we caught a "thumper" to Portsmouth and Southsea (we were able to snap it westbound, before boarding the return eastbound working). Here we were able to see some activity, mainly involving some MkI electric units and a 33. The latter was about to work a Portsmouth - Cardiff train - which would probably become a Cardiff - Manchester (or Liverpool). It took us as far as Southampton, where we would join our return train, travelling back (as outwards) via Reading and Birmingham. An interesting little excursion.
30 April 1983
47 459 and EMU, Southampton The Ruston and the tunnel, Southampton Compare the gauges - 2' and std. The "Ghost train", Southampton "Thumper" unit 1126, Woolston The "Thumper" at Portsmouth and Southsea Front ends, Portsmouth and Southsea 33 035, Portsmouth and Southsea 73 103, Southampton