21st June 2003
The Persistence of Vision
|Locos Used||2319, 2554, 5166, 5512, 6077, 7402, 7409 & 8246|
|7409 + 7402 (1)||Antwerpen Berchem - Antwerpen Oost - Antwerpen Noord TW|
|2554 (2)||Antwerpen Noord TW - Antwerpen Berchem - Morstel - Y Krijgsbaan - Kontich - Duffel - Mechelen Nekkerspoel - Muizen - Weerde - Hofstade - Vilvoorde - Y Haren Noord - Schaerbeek TW|
|8246 (2)||draw forward within Schaerbeek TW (approx 50m)|
|5512 (2)||Schaerbeek depot - Brussel Noord - Brussel Zuid - Braine le Compte - Y Jurbise - Y Lens - Lens - Ath (9) - Leuze|
|5166 (3)||Leuze - Frasnes lez Anvaing|
|5512 (2)||Frasnes lez Anvaing - Leuze - Tournai - Mouscron - Kortrijk TW|
|5166||Kortrijk TW - Menin - Ieper - Poperinge|
|5166||Poperinge - Ieper - Wervik - km post 15.9 (4)|
|5166||km post 15.9 - Wervik (propelling move, approx 200m)|
|5166||Wervik - Menin - Kortrijk (6)|
|2319 (5)||Kortrijk - (7) ??? - Gent Sint Pieters (7)|
|2319 (5)||Gent Sint Pieters - Gent Sint Pieters Yard (propelling move)|
|6077||(7) Gent Sint Pieters Yard - Gent Sint Pieters - (via line 50A) - (7) Denderleeuw - Dilbeek - Jette - Boxstael - Brussel Luxembourg - Etterbeek - Delta - Haren - Y Keelbeek Noord - (8) Schaerbeek Yard - Brussel Nord - Brussel Midi (8)|
(1) 2554 on rear.
(2) 5166 on rear.
(3) 5512 on rear.
(4) The tour was severely delayed at km post 15.9 near Wervik owing to a person who had committed suicide (they "used" the service train a couple of minutes ahead of the tour). The tour stopped over the remains and had to wait until the police and coroner had completed their work before continuing.
(5) plus 5166 dead-in-tow.
(6) 5166 failed - it had been struggling for a while on low power and overheating but was declared a complete failure on arrival at Kortrijk.
(7) Was booked via Burst - Alst but diverted to Gent Sint Pieters on acount of the late running and failure of 5166. Regained booked route at Denderleeuw.
(8) Was booked to return to Antwerpen Berchem (via Vilvoorde, Hofstade, Muizen, Kontich & Y Krijgsbaan) but re-routed into Brussels because of the late running - arrived into Midi at 1.31am!
(9) Original tour spec had the train traversing the Ath to Ghislenghien freight branch but this was taken off the itinerary by SNCB shortly before the tour owing to the line being closed for engineering works.
(by Alan Spencer)
The latest Rail Tour operated by Mercia had been billed to be the usual 2-day event, However things did not go to plan and the Friday tour “The One Little Ship” was cancelled. So on the Friday we made our way to Brussels via a rather unorthodox route. This proved to be the start of a problematic weekend!
Travelling out to Lille Europe on the 08:28 Ex-Waterloo we change here into the 12:21 Lille Europe – Bordeaux (via Douai & Arras alighting at Charles de Gaulle, we then took the 15:14 CdG – Lille Europe to Haute Picardie (to do some High Speed filming) this was when things started to go wrong, SNCF was still in the middle of a 3-day strike and so although most TGV/Eurostar/Thayls trains were Ok some where running late or just a few cancelled. After about 40 minutes of filming at Picardie (we had 1˝ hours here) I went to check the running of the Nice – Brussels TGV (10:31 Ex Nice) 75 minutes Retard. Due to late running due to industrial Action. So back to filming.
Saturday dawned and a early breakfast then the 06:37 Brussels – Amsterdam to Antwerp Berchem, the Rail Tour had already been changed at short notice, line 287 having been closed due to engineering work. So at just before 08:00 train Z18226 rolled into Berchem with SNCB 2554 on the Brussels end and 7202/9 on the Antwerp end. At 08:04 we departed for Antwerp Nord, going forward after the depot visit as E18227 with 2554 and 5166 to Schaerbeek Depot, here we had a depot visit and the PFT Buffet car, was attached by 8246, this pulled the train forward to the end of the road (about 100 yards) extra haulage, after detaching 5512 attached, departing a few minutes late we then took the route through Brussels Nord and Midi as train E18228 (SNCB TRUST system shows us passing Midi at 11:45 just 3 minutes late) to Leuze, here we reversed and traversed the branch (E18229/30) to Frasnes lez Anvaing. Returning to Leuze we continued via Tournai & Mouscron to Kortrijk depot for a visit, departing a little earlier than booked with just 5166 we traversed the Poperinge Branch. After the run round we had hoped that we would get away earlier than that booked (17:36) however the public service arrived late and then left just a few minutes late, we departed at 17:43 (7minutes late) train E18232.
Following the 17:31 EMU, things were about to go dreadfully wrong. At Wervik The EMU was involved in a suicide, however the EMU ran on into the next section, being close behind we stopped over the body so for the next 150 minutes we stood between two road crossings at 15.9 km (from Kortrijk) at Wervik. Progress was as is usual in these cases slow, eventually after police photographs we were set back toward Wervik, so that the Coroner could remove the remains.
At 20:40 (18:10 arrival at Wervik) we departed toward Kortrijk, progress was very slow Low controlled air on 5166 meaning low power, so at Kortrijk 2319 was waiting to attach and haul the train forward to Brussels. The route and what was going to happen changed by the minute, so when we arrived at Gent St Pieters the train was propelled into the yard and the electric/diesel was detached and preceded to Antwerp Nord, SNCB 6077 (PFT loco) came from Schaerbeek to haul us direct to Brussels Midi (time now was 23:11) so we thought. However someone had other ideas. Leaving Kortrijk 187 minutes late a run up the mainline, then diverted again via Denderleeuw then Jette, Oh and then what is going on, Bookstael and the wrong route off taking us on to route 161/1 (yes our booked route until the incident) towards Brussels Luxembourg. After braking hard, we stopped over the junction, with the Driver spending the next 20 minutes trying to get the Signaller to allow him to reverse. As a professional railwayman, I knew that it would never happen, so why waste our time (now 00:25) so off we went again via our booked route line 26/2 and line 26 and into Schaerbeek to drop of the Buffet Car. So with the time at now 00:54 we departed for Brussels Midi and arrived here at 01:31 (17 hours 27 minutes after leaving Berchem) we left the train. So the longest day became the longest rail tour.
Train Reporting Codes :
Z18226 : Antwerpen Berchem to Antwerpen Noord TW
Z18227 : Antwerpen Noord TW to Schaerbeek TW
Z18228 : Schaerbeek TW - Ath
Z18229 : Ath to Frasnes lez Anvaing
Z18230 : Frasnes lez Anvaing to Kortrijk TW
Z18231 : Kortrijk TW to Poperinge
Z18232 : Poperinge to Antwerpen Berchem
|0.20||Y Antwerpen Oost||08/05||08/05|
|Antwerpen Noord TW||08L27a ~ 09L30d||08L36a ~ 09L42d|
|15.60||Y Oost Berchem||09/53||10/00|
|17.00||Y Zuid Groenenhoek||09/58||10/02|
|21.30||Y Liersesteenweg||10*02a ~ 10*04d||10/05|
|33.40||Y Sint Katelijne Waver||10/14||10/13|
|55.50||Y Haren Noord||10/36||10.31a ~ 10.36d|
|Schaerbeek TW||10L45a ~ 11L26d||10L44a ~ 11L32d|
|9.70||Brussel Petite Ile||11/45||11/48|
|36.90||'S-Gravenbrakel||12*18a ~ 12*23d||12.21a ~ 12.27d|
|43.20||Zinnik||12/27||12.33a ~ 12.38d|
|57.35||Y Lens||12*37a ~ 12*41d||12/51|
|Aat||12*58a ~ 13*10d||13.12a ~ 13.14d|
|12.00||Leuze||13c18a ~ 13c28d||13.24a ~ 13.32d|
|Frasnes lez Anvaing||13.58a ~ 14.10d||13.54a ~ 14.11d|
|6.80||Leuze||14/31||14.31a ~ 14.32d|
|24.90||Tournai||14.43a ~ 14.53d||14.48a ~ 14.53d|
|44.65||Mouscron||15.07a ~ 15.17d||15.08a ~ 15.17d|
|Courtrai TW||15L28a ~ 16L25d||15L28a ~ 16L17d|
|20.90||Comines||16*45a ~ 16*50d||16/32|
|Poperinge||17.08a ~ 17.36d||16.55a ~ 17.44d|
|-||Wervik KM 15.9||-||18.10a ~ 19.21d|
|-||Wervik KM 15.7||-||20.39d|
|43.50||Courtrai||18c15a ~ 18c23d||21.11a ~ 21.33d|
|99.10||Erpe Mere||19.10a ~ 19.20d||DIV|
|138.90||Brussel Luxembourg||20.26a ~ 20.29d||??.?? ~ ??.??|
|151.70||Y Keelbeek Noord||20/46||??/??|
|174.30||Y Sint Katelijne Waver||21*19a ~ 21*22d||DIV|
|190.70||Y Zuid Groenenhoek||21/34||DIV|
No attempt has been made to verify the distances given. Thanks to Robin Addison for providing the actual timings.
a : arrival time
c : crew change
d : departure time
L : loco change
/ : passing time
* : Pathing stop
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