Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The Snow March

1st March 2018 dawned bright and with a dusting of snow in South West London. 450124 leads a morning commuter service in to Surbiton.

As March arrived in the UK and the days started to draw out, most would be forgiven for not expecting snow. However March 2018 has been unseasonably cold with two blasts of arctic weather sweeping the country bringing widespread snow (and all the travel chaos that goes with it!). In the south of the country the first bout of snow arrived overnight providing a coating by the morning of Thursday 1st March. The white stuff continued to fall across the weekend but brought with it poor light and only slight accumulations in the London area. Other areas saw much deeper snow fall with further issues caused by drifting due to the dry nature of the snow coupled with strong winds. Across many parts of the country lines were closed due to being blocked with snow and Network Rail dispatched many of their snowplows to clear routes.

A 10 car formation from Guildford to Waterloo is led into Surbiton by 5713. 01/03/18

Wearing the new South Western Railway colours 158887 calls at Basingstoke with a heavily snow encrusted service to London. 01/03/2018

444006 kicks up the powdery snow as heads towards London at speed following the second wave of snow to hit the south of the UK. Sunday 18th March 2018.

444030 makes an impresive sight kicking up snow as it heads through Potbridge (near Hook). The M3 crosses the SWML on the lower of the two bridges. The roads did not escape the travel disruption with many in this area being quite treacherous. 18/03/2018.

Despite the cold snap weekend engineering still had to take place. 66847 had been involved in a possession in the Portsmouth area and now heads through Potbridge back to Eastleigh 

450112 brightens up the bleak landscape with a Basingstoke - Waterloo service seen at Potbridge on Sunday 18th March.

Temperatures had returned to more normal levels by the second week of March however forecasts of further snow began to surface. The weather forecasters once again got it right with another dose of snow covering much of the country on Saturday 17th March. The snow continued across the weekend with accumulations of several centimeters widely across the south east by the end of Sunday. This was to be the last of the snowfall with skys clearing the following week and the snow then rapidly melting as just a few days after it fell temperatures made it to double figures. While always a challenging time for the transport industry snow is a rare commodity in the UK and certainly provided some photographic interest!

Following snow over the weekend the sun put in an appearance on Monday 19th March. As can be seen the snow has already started to melt around the stabling point at Eastleigh where 66061 shunts past some if it's competitors stabled locos.

66519 accelerates away from a crew change at Eastleigh. 19/03/2018.

Photographed from the nearby public road 57003 can be seen collecting snow within Eastleigh Works. 19/03/2018

377158 emerges from Southampton Tunnel with a Southern service. 19/03/2018

158957 passes St Denys bound for Southampton while working a Portsmouth - Cardiff service. 19/03/2018

Another view from St Denys with 66092 heading north east with a container train from the ports. 19/03/2018

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