18 November 2014
Just two days after the final commissioning of the new "fringe” signalling at Alton, today saw the first train signalled across the boundary with Network Rail at 07.30 hrs with the clearing of Woking Area Signalling Centre controlled signal WK459 at the country end of Platform 2.
Jim Russell, the MHR District Inspector, and yours truly were on duty at 07.00 hrs to signal this train onto the MHR from Network Rail. The train consisted of two West Coast Railways Class 47’s top ‘n tailing a Mark 1 coach that had travelled down from Southall en-route to Ropley. Just 2 hours later, the Class 47’s returned to Alton ready for their return journey but this time with the green Standard Class 5 locomotive, running ‘dead’, and Pullman Car 351 sandwiched between them. This movement was to see the final departure of 73096, for many years an old favourite on the MHR since its restoration at Ropley in 1993, both on the railways service trains and out on the main line where it gave sterling performances heading our Daylight Railtours in the late 1990’s.
At 09.20, Jim Russell cleared the Mid Hants Alton controlled signal AT55 ‘giving the road’ for the train to enter platform 2 on its way back to Southall.
A truly memorable morning!
MHR Signalman’s Foreman - Traffic Dept.