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Author Topic: Last Scheduled Steam Train services in the UK........?  (Read 7475 times)

Offline antonymous

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Last Scheduled Steam Train services in the UK........?
« on: 28 December, 2012, 08:44:04 PM »
I have watched numerous TV progs about the end of steam train services in the recent past and I am at odds with the facts they have quoted for the last official scheduled steam service in the UK.
Whilst studying at Southampton College from January 1968 thro Dec 1969 I found, quite by accident. that if I hoofed it down to Southampton Central station a bit quick I could ride home in a steam hauled train which was the 1400 Exeter St Davids to Brighton daily service(It arrived at Southampton at approx. 1610hrs).
As far as I can remember this service was operating thro '68 and '69 but according to these TV programs this is beyond the latest services they have quoted.
Particularly enjoyable for me, a former  trainspotter in my schooldays, were the locomotives used to haul these trains. They were the very beautiful "West Country "Class engines, usually 'Braunton' or 'Crediton'.
I can find no references to this service elsewhere and need someone to tell me I wasn't dreaming those two years.
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Offline seacommander

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Re: Last Scheduled Steam Train services in the UK........?
« Reply #1 on: 28 December, 2012, 09:44:20 PM »
The last day of scheduled steam hauled services on British Railways Southern Region was 9th July 1967 - the year before your memory of being steam hauled in 1968.

Braunton was withdrawn from service in 1965 and lay in a scrap yard until being rescued for restoration in 1988.
http://www.wsr.org.uk/press22sep2008.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SR_West_Country_and_Battle_of_Britain_class_locomotives

Crediton was withdrawn from service in 1966 and succumbed to the breakers cutting torch.

My grandfather was a driver on the Southern both pre and post nationalisation and the West Country class locos, especially 34019 Bideford, were amongst his favourites. The majority were rebuilt in the late fifties; a process which saw their characteristic air smoothed casing (Oliver Bulleid, the designer of these locos did not call it streamlining) removed and at times troublesome steam actuated valve reversing mechanism replaced with the more common Walschaerts system.

Offline antonymous

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Re: Last Scheduled Steam Train services in the UK........?
« Reply #2 on: 28 December, 2012, 10:22:29 PM »
The last day of scheduled steam hauled services on British Railways Southern Region was 9th July 1967 - the year before your memory of being steam hauled in 1968.

Braunton was withdrawn from service in 1965 and lay in a scrap yard until being rescued for restoration in 1988.
http://www.wsr.org.uk/press22sep2008.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SR_West_Country_and_Battle_of_Britain_class_locomotives

Crediton was withdrawn from service in 1966 and succumbed to the breakers cutting torch.

My grandfather was a driver on the Southern both pre and post nationalisation and the West Country class locos, especially 34019 Bideford, were amongst his favourites. The majority were rebuilt in the late fifties; a process which saw their characteristic air smoothed casing (Oliver Bulleid, the designer of these locos did not call it streamlining) removed and at times troublesome steam actuated valve reversing mechanism replaced with the more common Walschaerts system.
I have seen the sites you linked - and I am baffled. My course at Soton College was from January 1968, on leaving the army, for two years and during the summer months I caught that 1400 Exeter - Brighton  train regularly despite the facts quoted on those sites. I definitely  wasn't dreaming  and so it must have been in a parallel universe.(Or a ghost train!!)
I used to get off at Havant, because I lived in Pompey, and had to cross over to the other platform to catch my boring electric train to Fratton.
I'm sure there is an explanation for this but barring someone else who shared the experience or possibly one of the crew who would confirm it  I'll live on in puzzlement.
« Last Edit: 28 December, 2012, 10:30:19 PM by antonymous »
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Offline antonymous

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Re: Last Scheduled Steam Train services in the UK........?
« Reply #3 on: 31 December, 2012, 06:36:35 PM »
The last day of scheduled steam hauled services on British Railways Southern Region was 9th July 1967 - the year before your memory of being steam hauled in 1968.

Braunton was withdrawn from service in 1965 and lay in a scrap yard until being rescued for restoration in 1988.
http://www.wsr.org.uk/press22sep2008.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SR_West_Country_and_Battle_of_Britain_class_locomotives

Crediton was withdrawn from service in 1966 and succumbed to the breakers cutting torch.

I cant be sure of the actual locos involved but Braunton and Crediton were often seen in the Southampton area  when I was trainspotting.[/quote]
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michael collins

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Re: Last Scheduled Steam Train services in the UK........?
« Reply #4 on: 08 June, 2017, 04:33:44 PM »
Hello,

I have tried a couple of times to find reference to the steam service from Brighton to Southanpton.
I was a merchant seaman sailing out of Southampton and spent my leaves with parents in Southwick.
Caught the 'Steamer' as we called it from Shoreham to Southampton a couple of times and once from
Southampton back.  Was so much better than having to lug your baggage over the footbridge at Havant.
I'm no longer sure of the timetables but I caught those trains in 1967.  Beautiful steam locos and you could
be served a coffee in a cup and saucer.  Those were the days.  I remember the service stopping by 1968 but
again, I'm not sure when.