District Line Steam 150

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SUNDAY 23RD:

I took a few pictures of the final trip into Ealing Broadway and also was hoping to do the train leaving Ealing Common depot however it turned out the timings had been changed in the period the heritage train arrived at the depot, and the new times were more than an hour and half later than those originally publicised thus am sure quite a few were left with the option of going home or waiting out this hour and half for points from here up the Rayners Lane branch. At the time of writing (19.10pm) tweets are coming up of the heritage train at South Harrow en route to Ruislip.

The LT Museum itself hasn’t tweeted anything of today’s services which is interesting. There’s been just two tweets the first I illustrated below and the second is a tweet of the tunnels leading to Highgate High Level in 1972!

I dont know what I am doing. In fact I headed to Paddington to catch the Crossrail train to Ealing Broadway to take pictures of the first heritage services today. Alas problems on the way ensued I arrived just as the train was departing. So am back home once again, and looking through the tweets there’s barely any on #District150. Not even the LT Museum has sent any this morning! Perhaps the enthusiasm is just not so great this time round?

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LT’s tweet this morning – a sort of 150th but not what one would expect!

UPDATE (SORT OF 13.00PM): Still few tweets compared to yesterday, several of those in fact from yesterday. Perhaps its instead time to celebrate the coming of steam-operated flying saucers, microwave-based transporters, film-projected holodecks and snail powered space elevators? I can assure you these are the future!

After all, when the heritage services have finished everything will be back to normal and it’ll be as if no-one had experienced steam trains on the tube. Plus there’s the sort of huge plasticky feel about it all, just as there is with a lot of heritage/preserved stuff. No matter how much ‘heritage’ is promoted one can never get away from the fact there’s so much modern stuff behind it all.

It seems the heritage services are running somewhat to advertised times (apart from indications they might be slightly late) anyway will venture out later…

SATURDAY 22ND:

Prognosis so far… a bit of a mess because few knew the times of the revised services. Not even LT Museum did it seems. It was just very much people’s guesses followed by confirmations from station staff 5-10 minutes before the trains were due to pass through. Nice day for it though.

One impression I had was the crowds were not as large as at other events. Yes at Ealing, High Street Kensington, Acton Town but still not as s substantial. Earl’s Court was quite bare on the ground – perhaps it was that many thought it wasn’t a good spot for photographs but that’s not the case.

I got home 5.15pm (Yes! Staying true to the rock operas this week!) I caught the last departure of the day from High Street Kensington and came home straight after that. Originally I had intended to do this morning’s heritage trip and then have a bit of a break and do one and half heritage trips this pm and then the District 150 stock running up the Rayners Lane branch. Because of the delays the entire days plan I had roughly envisaged was impossible and was just doing what I could. I might try that bit tomorrow.

One of the best shots I got from today wasn’t of the District 150 heritage train at all! It was a pair of S stock trains and a pair of 73 tube stock on the Piccadilly in an almost perfect line up! I was taking a picture of a S stock train when another appeared in the other direction and then a Piccadilly train. and I thought to myself ‘all I need now is another 73 stock to come round that corner’ and as if by magic one did! A picture for another post no doubt.

One good thing about the weekend was the Olympia services used platform four at High Street Kensington. This is rarely used, but because the heritage services need platform three (especially as it had a huge, temporary, water tank plonked on it) the District Line services were having to use number four instead. Its the first time I have used it in years and what I couldn’t remember about it was the very narrow staircase leading from it! This as well as the narrow platform explains why its not generally used for public services.

One of the most bizarre aspects of today’s heritage services were the locomotive crews. Despite their honouring traditional clothes of the way in Victorian times, they seemed more like Clockwork Orange thugs. I think it was the rather modernistic look they had that caused this.

PICTURE GALLERY (in no particular order apart from 1st three)

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Early crowds at Ealing Broadway – no heritage train because of technical issues!

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Some goodies for the rail enthusiasts!

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Vintage costumes at Ealing Broadway!

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The commemorative headboard at Ealing Broadway.

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Metropolitan 1 outside Acton Town.

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Sarah Siddons coming into Earl’s Court.

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Metropolitan 1 leaving Earl’s Court (this was the second heritage trip.)

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Plenty of clag at Baron’s Court (1st heritage run.) With this picture I thought the locomotive looked rather like the Met/District’s early A class condensing engines!

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Taking on water at Ealing Broadway ( between 1st & 2nd heritage runs.)

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Baron’s Court again!

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The District Line pilots convening with Earl’s Court control just before setting off on the second run out of High Street Kensington.

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Coming into Earl’s Court on the 3rd heritage trip. Did the driver film me? Yes it was me portraying them as ultra right Clockwork Orange savages!

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Filming the second heritage trip’s departure from High Street Kensington.

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Earl’s Court again – 3rd heritage trip.

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I told you the drivers were of the violent Clockwork Orange type! No-one believes me – but this is the proof (lol!)

The best tweet of today’s happens to be that from the LT Museum. They’re saying ‘Excited fans gathering at High Street Kensington for our #heritagesteamtrain!’ Except its Ealing Broadway not High Street Kensington in the picture!

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LT Museum’s tweet!

The messy bit of this post that needs to be sorted later…. (was written when it was found the heritage services had suffered major delays.)

LATEST NEWS: The first journey is being run contrary to earlier assertions. 12.35pm: More confirmations that THREE trips are being run. Times not known though although its said the first trip’s about to leave Ealing Bdwy around about now. UPDATE 12.40: trip one left Ealing Broadway 12.37pm

I went to Ealing Broadway to see the first of the advertised departures, only to find on my way there the LT museum had tweeted the train was suffering ‘technical problems.’

Staff at Ealing Broadway confirmed this and said the train was in fact STILL at Ruislip. Which means if and when its fixed it still needs to make the journey down to Ealing Broadway.

I have returned home and started this post – I was intending to do a sort of running commentary on the event. At the very time of writing its being said the train’s en route to Ealing Broadway from Ruislip.

I am not sure of my plans now, need to find out when the train will actually be running in view of the huge delay (ATM seems to be around an hour and 20 minutes delay) and whether three round trips will be done today or not. UPDATE: Nope. Only two trips today. The first one has been cancelled.

LT Museum is not saying very much despite its expressed intentions it would. The cancellation was found out from others. Its now being said (via @goddent83 the remaining two services today will run to their timetables.)

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Tweets from Tim Godden (some more below showing the train en route from Ruislip. UPDATE 12.19pm: And Ealing Common, Ealing Broadway etc.)

UPDATE 12.23PM: It seems Trip One is back on! Video below showing the heritage train arriving at Ealing. Someone has mentioned that staff are saying the second trip will run from here sometime between 1.30-2.00pm.

If this is the case ALL three heritage services are running today I will have to make my way to High Street Kensington soon and try and fathom out the rest of the day’s timetable from there as it will be different and no doubt running into the early part of the evening.

On the other hand I’m also thinking of going to Hammersmith/Ravenscourt Park instead

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