Dover & Out

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Dover and Out

166 years of Travelling Post Office trains came to end in early 2004. This cab-ride programme features the last surviving TPO service to run on the former Southern Region – the 1O90 16.30 Willesden Railnet to Dover Priory. And it features classic Southern traction – two Class 73 Electro-Diesels.

After the 73’s marshal the train inside the Railnet terminal, the 94-mile run starts with 73 133 running on diesel power as it hauls the train out of the terminal and across the busy West Coast Main Line to West London Junction. At Mitre Bridge Junction, the ED switches to the third rail DC supply for the run through Kensington Olympia and beond. At Clapham Junction the 1O90 is routed via Balham, Streatham Common to East Croydon. From there, it travels through Merstham tunnel before reaching Redhill from where the journey continues via Godstone and Edenbridge. At Tonbridge the train recesses in the Royal Mail terminal for a ‘rush hour’ pathing stop. Once on the move again, the TPO continues through Headcorn to Ashford. From here it runs along the completed, but yet to be opened, Channel Tunnel Rail Link. After Dollands Moor, 73 133 heads for Folkestone where there are spectacular views from the cab of the white cliffs of Dover as the TPO skirts the coastline on a glorious summers evening. At Dover Priory, Royal Mail staff load the train with post and there are scenes inside the TPO as the sorting staff begin their evening shift. The train reverses for the next leg of the journey, with 73 136 at the helm for a fast non-stop run to Ashford. At Tonbridge, the TPO runs into the freight yard where it reverses to enable 73 133 to haul the 1O90 the final mile from the yard to the terminal - on diesel power! Six months later, the TPO’s and the EWS Class 73s had been consigned to history.

'Informative, interesting and well produced' RAIL Magazine

Programme Fact File

Narrator: David Maxey 
First Published: 2004
Route Featured: Willesden - Dover - Tonbridge
Class Featured: 73
Availability: Now

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Other Locomaster Profiles Programmes featuring Class 73 motive power: Jet Set, Arcs & Sparks, Harbour Lights and Traction Series.

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