|Different styles of Thumper meet at Eridge on the Spa Valley Railway. 1317 and 1133 on loan from the Lavender Line.|
The weekend of 4th and 5th July 2015 marked a historic occasion for the Spa Valley Railway- it was 30 years since the closure of the original line from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells.
To mark the anniversary it was decided to do something special, and thanks to many very generous donations to raise the funds for road transportation it was agreed to bring a 'guest' class 205 Thumper unit to the line to join the resident class 207.
'Oxted' 2D 1317 was one of the units working on the line on its very last day, so it was fitting that the DEMU was purchased by the Spa Valley Railway when it finished its service with Southern (numbered 207017) in 2004. It has been restored to blue/grey livery as it would have worn on the last day of service. In the future the the unit will also be re-united with it's original trailer coach which is currently being restored. 1317 has been restored beautifully and is in many ways the best example of a thumper in preservation- it will be the only three car set, and also unlike the remainder of it's class mate and the class 205's it retained its original filament lamps throughout it's BR career while other units received more modern strip lighting. The units has been finished internally with prototypical 'trojan' moquette seat covers and looks quite the part.
|1133 at Eridge. The author recalls traveling on the Uckfield|
line with this unit on many occasions- and photographing it in
the near platform - still used by Southern services today.
|Complete with the headboards from 30 years ago 1317 prepares to lead the 4 car train away from Eridge.|
|Recreating the scene from 30 years previous. 1317 and 1133|
stand side by side at Eridge.
|The two thumpers pass at Groombridge. The different in front|
end styling can clearly be seen.
All in all I think everyone agreed that this was a splendid day out and one which no thumper fan would want to have missed. If you did- 1133 will be staying at the Spa Valley for the summer affording a few more opportunities to catch the DEMU's together- the next at the railways summer diesel gala from 30th July- 2nd June.
|1121's trailer leads 2H 1133 at Ford Farm Crossing. The second|
track is the mainline from Oxted to Uckfield.
|1001 with the Warwickshire Wanderer railtour bound for Stratford on Avon seen passing Wandsworth Town.|