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25th January 2017
Wagon news is on hold at present, but the derailment at Lewisham yesterday does give me an excuse to post some comments on local freight workings.

Early in the morning of 24th January 2017 the 6M90 Grain to Neasden sand train was derailed as it passed over Courthill Loop Junction South, just to the south of Lewisham Station in London. This blocked various lines and caused massive disruption to passenger services in the area. The train was formed of GB Railfreight JGA hoppers (like the one shown below), of which two wagons near the rear were derailed, one turning over. Photos of the incident can be found on various news websites, including some which show a train of PGA hoppers stopped alongside on the down Lewisham loop. I haven't been able to identify the latter working, but PGAs are not common down here.


JGA ERG17320 at Lewisham on 3rd October 2016. A train of these wagons was derailed close to the shown location on 24th January 2017.

As a look at my photo gallery will show, I am quite a regular visitor to Lewisham, it being just a couple of miles from my home. Freight trains here are now dominated by aggregates flows, though there are also some engineer's trains to and from Hoo Junction. A lot of the workings are from Angerstein Wharf on the River Thames at Charlton, carrying sea-dredged gravel to London terminals such as Stewarts Lane, Paddington and Park Royal. Because of the orientation of the connection to the Angerstein branch line, trains from there run outwards towards Dartford, then taking the Crayford spur to head back towards London on the Sidcup line. Recent months have seen two variations to these workings.

Firstly, from mid-2016 onwards, the line through Abbey Wood was closed on many weekends to allow Crossrail construction work. Gravel trains scheduled to run on Saturdays worked to Charlton, reversed (using the normally locked crossover) then ran via Blackheath to Lewisham. This reduced the mileage but presumably necessitated top-and-tail working. Unfortunately I never managed to see one of these trains.

Then, towards the end of 2016, a problem was identified with one of the bridges in the Lewisham area, resulting in all freight trains being sent via other routes. For the Angerstein trains this meant a very lengthy diversion via Hoo Junction, Maidstone and Tonbridge! The restriction had only been lifted a couple of weeks ago.

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25th January 2017
Apologies again for the lack of updates recently. There are three reasons for this. Firstly I changed job a few months ago, going from part-time back to full-time. This has obviously reduced my free-time. Secondly, the time I have been able to spend on the website has mainly been on back-end improvements. The aim of these changes is to make it easier and quicker to update the news and data pages. So, when the work is finished, there will be more frequent updates than before. But until then there will be less.

The third reason may be of peripheral interest to visitors. Last year I started scanning and publishing my late father's huge photograph collection. British trains in the 1950s and 1960s feature a lot, as do eastern European railways in the 1980s (East Germany, Poland, etc). The work is ongoing but can be viewed at Flickr.

I should also mention that a couple of new contributors have sent me some excellent photos over the past few months, mainly of wagon types not previously featured on LTSV. I am very grateful for these and the photos will be published in due course.



Page added: 25/01/2017 Spotted an error? Got some additional info?
Please e-mail me at tom (at) ltsv.com
Last edited: 25/01/2017