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The Juniper Factor

8006 and 8014 approach Waterloo platform 5 with the ECS on 23rd May 2015

photograph by Colin Duff

To mark the twilight of Class 458/0 operations (prior to all members of the class being rebuilt to Class 458/5), on 23rd May 2015 our good friends UK Railtours ran The Juniper Factor Railtour. This took a pair of units to the limits an eight car formation is permitted to run, being Haslemere on the Portsmouth Direct Line and Poole on the line to Weymouth (but excluding its usual destination of Reading and past destination of Alton). On the way there and back this took in some reversals, rare crossovers and routes.

(above) 8006 and 8014 approach Waterloo platform 5 with the ECS.

(below) Young enthusiasts await the "off" in the leading vestibule of 8014.

photograph by Simon Jeffs

Young enthusiasts await the "off" in the leading vestibule of 8014 on 23rd May 2015
8014 and 8006 approach Guildford off The New Line

photograph by Justin White

Although not a rare route as thousands of passengers take it every day, usually in Class 455 units, the tour took the Guildford New Line (i.e. via Oxshott). Whilst a usually commuter route the New Line has always been used for main line diversions. The rare element taken by the railtour (and by diversionary trains) is to come off the New Line and traverse the platform road onto the down main.

(above) The railtour rounds the curve from Guildford London Road station into Guildford Station. The tour took platform 2 through the station but through platform 3 is also permitted.

(below) The first reversal was a Haslemere where participants had ten minutes to grab their photographs.

photograph by Simon Jeffs

8014 at Haslemere during the reversal
8014 at Haslemere during the reversal from the Down platform

photograph by Colin Duff

(above) The reversible platform road at Haslemere was used for the reversal.

(below) 8006 lead the formation between Haslemere and Aldershot. The railtour is seen approaching Shalford Junction, south of Guildford where the largely non electrified line from Redhill joins the Portsmouth Direct Line.

photograph by Justin White

8006 brings up the rear of the formation approaching Shalford Junction
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