Medway Crompton

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Medway Crompton

A nostalgic cab ride over one of Britain’s more antiquated rail routes – the Medway Valley line between Strood and Paddock Wood. It was filmed in September 1996 when the route still had plenty of semaphore signals, manual crossing gates and an array of vintage signal boxes – some of which date back to the late 1800’s. The semaphores have now all gone, as have several of the boxes, and the remaining ones will be swept away by further modernisation in 2015. Many disused sidings and rail terminals were still evident at the time of the journey, recalling days when cement production was buoyant in the area. This journey back in time was filmed on board a train that has also been consigned to history - the 7T56 Hoo Junction to East Peckham Civil Engineers trip. The featured locomotive for the journey is 33030 - one of only eight Crompton’s that remained in traffic with Mainline Freight at the time.

The outward run is via Strood, Cuxton, Snodland, Maidstone West, Wateringbury and Yalding to Paddock Wood. There, the Class 33 runs round its train in the station before heading back north the two miles to the disposal point at East Peckham where the train reverses into the siding. After the ‘Rudd’ wagons have been unloaded, the Crompton re-traces its steps along the Medway Valley Line through East Farleigh, Aylesford and Cuxton back to Strood. There’s a rousing finale from the Class 33 as it blasts through Strood and Higham tunnels before arriving back at Hoo Junction. For good measure the locomotive was ‘Wired for Sound’ to capture the once-familiar sound of a Crompton hard at work on the Southern Region. As well as the antiquated railway infrastructure along the Medway valley, slam-door EMU’s were still regularly plying the route at the time. They are now long gone – as are the fleet of ‘Rudd’ wagons which formed the train.

This programme has been digitally re-mastered and includes an extra 30 minutes of footage not included in the original VHS version. It also has a new and updated narration provided by David Maxey.

"It’s thrash time again sit back and enjoy a delightful trip along a delightful stretch of railway. Magic!" RAIL EXPRESS

Programme Fact File

Narration: David Maxey
First Published: 1997 VHS, 2013 DVD
Route Featured: Hoo Junc - Paddock Wood.
Class Featured: 33.
Availability: Now

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Other Locomaster Profiles Programmes featuring Class 33  motive power: London Orbital, Crompton CountdownPower Hour and the Traction Series

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