Relegated to a single track secondary route by the short term economy-driven culture of the 60s,the Waterloo-Salisbury-Exeter route has experienced gradual increases in passenger numbers as the boom years of the 1990s made long distance commuting popular, demanding plenty of reliable, fast trains to London.
Class 50s displaced by HSTS from the Great Western main line should have been tailor made for the rival Southern Railway route to the west. 100mph capability, plenty of horsepower and long range fuel tanks. But sadly reliability issues dogged the class for most of their lives, and we witness them at work over the entire length of the line in their final years, inevitably bolstered by class 47s and 33s. We see other interesting trains that happen to be passing as well, but the show definitely belongs to Class 50s!
This programme includes Diesels in Wessex.
It’s May 1990, and the Mendip Stone Boom is in full cry. The majority of trains of aggregates to feed the burgeoning Home Counties construction industry still have class 56s in charge, but the General Motors revolution is just beginning in the shape of Foster Yeoman’s class 59s. Roger &Christina spent some time in the Westbury area, filming not only these workings but intercity and local trains as well. After that, we spend a few minutes looking at class 47s on passenger and mail trains in the Taunton area, followed by a look at comings and goings around the magnificent trainshed of Bristol Temple Meads. On screen location captions and detailed service information with dates are provided on the reverse of DVD sleeve.