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Based in the London Borough of Bromley Gallery of Members’     Photos and articles es September Meeting Report by Sam Davenport

After the Southern spectacular blow-out of the previous month, it was back to more normal operating procedure this time round. Setting up after some deliberation for an intense 4-shed working, I took charge of Glovers Lane (as I had done previously) and settled down to refining my main-line signalling practice. The schedule was somewhat more intense than the previous session, however, as during the day the main line towards Charlwood was blocked for a period in the morning rush hour by the Engineer's special, requiring all Hookwood bound trains to switch onto the slow lines. Navigating the station throat point and slip ladder at Glovers Lane is an operation requiring some delicacy and slow running with a long heavy train in tow, and it was a relief when the Engineer's special relinquished its hold on the main line and I could then stow it in the goods loop.

However, later on the timetable required it to block the main line going into Russ Hill for a short while, so all expresses in that direction had to stop beyond the station limits, reverse over the points and then set off again 'wrong line'. This was somewhat trickier, but fortunately came at a lull in the timetable, so only two trains had to be dealt with in this method.

Generally the expresses kept to time, although there were some issues with the rail heights on the link boards between Sheds 2 and 3 getting out of whack and causing some derailments. Mostly Glovers Lane seems somewhat sedate compared to other main line stations, and even some of the branch stations too - certainly Newdigate Road was all hands on deck at times during the afternoon.

Locomotives seen were the usual mix found on the line, but there were some more notable appearances. Rebuilt WC 34024 'Tamar Valley' was spotted powering several expresses, albeit in a filthy condition, sans nameplates and clearly approaching withdrawal. Merchant Navy 21C3 Royal Mail was also noted. Early on in the day the cattle train from the Glovers Lane sidings to Ortons Junction produced a double header in the form of 4F 4454 piloting Super D 49395, both running tender first. The Super D later appeared on a train of Western Region chocolate and cream coaches (?!?!!???) and finally was noted working the Engineers Special, deputising for a Type 4 Peak on the return journey to Russ Hill.

No.21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ departing Russ Hill with the Papers.

No.34024 pulling the Kentish Belle.