“THE SLIM JIMS”

Thank to Dave Spencer for his fascinating "Slim Jim" memories...  

 

 

 33208 at Grateley on the 14:10 Waterloo-Salisbury 24th October 1987. The stock is a 4TC set so of necessity would have to run round at Salisbury.

 

The 33/2’s were a batch of twelve locomotives originally D6586 to D6597.

Later renumbered 33201 to 33212

The original order to Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon was altered to enable the last twelve to be built to Hastings Line gauge.

 

Various tunnels on the Tonbridge to Hastings line had been built on the cheap by a cowboy contractor using only one course of bricks for the tunnel lining.

When this was discovered and remedied, the re-lining created the need for narrow bodied vehicles. This was a thorn in the side until remodeling by singling the tunnels removed the problem.

 

The 33/2’s were initially not a nomadic class, Restricted to freight from Hither Green and the odd commuter out of London Bridge usually the third East Grinstead service.

On the Hastings line itself they were fitted with slow speed control for the Mountfield gypsum traffic. They could also be seen at Dover on train ferry traffic.

 

Up in the West Midlands the only 33’s we got were Eastleigh standard 33’s on the Esso petroleum trains to Bromford Bridge.  Bagpipe 33’s  (aka 33/1’s being rare)  Hither Green machines were almost unheard of.

 

However in the mid 1980’s the 33/2’s began to travel more in that there appeared to be more of a “common user” policy

The Bristol to Portsmouth services were nominally booked to Eastleigh class 33’s though in practice Hither Green loco’s also worked in numbers.

The diagrams also extended into North and South Wales and Manchester via the North and West route via Hereford and Shrewsbury.

I never had 33/1’s on the North and West as I believe they were restricted to Bristol and back though

 

12-May-86

33201

Crewe

Pb-Holyhead

11:16 Crewe-Holyhead

18-Jan-86

33202

Crewe

Pb-Shrewsbury

14:17 Bangor-Cardiff

19-Sep-86

33203

Basingstoke

Pb-Salisbury

16:38 Waterloo-Exeter

16-Aug-86

33204

Southampton

Pb-Bristol

10:10 Pompey-Bristol

19-Sep-86

33205

Westbury

Pb-Southampton

18:10 Cardiff-Pompey

17-Aug-78

33206

Lingfield

Pb-East Grinstead

18:21 LB-East Grinstead

21-Aug-79

33207

London Bridge

Pb-East Croydon

18:21 LB-East Grinstead

25-Jul-85

33208

Trowbridge

Pb-Upwey

16:18 Bristol-Weymouth

16-Jul-86

33209

Hereford

Pb-Shrewsbury

18:15 Cardiff-Manchester

01-Apr-86

33210

Shrewsbury

Pb-Hereford

14:17 Bangor-Cardiff

23-Aug-86

33211

Southampton

Pb-Salisbury

06:53 Pompey-Cardiff

19-Aug-86

33212

Warminster

Pb-Fareham

16:10 Bristol-Brighton

This table details my best service train runs. I subsequently had 33208 out of Weymouth 

 

To my regret I got off 33212 at Fareham  I had  a “bagpipe” via the Coastway route but probably didn’t fancy the 4VEP back from Brighton to Portsmouth calling “all shacks” for the 21:25 out the Harbour back to Southampton

 

To quote the “Reverend” who infamously said “railtours don’t count”.

Excursions do however, and on two Birmingham division railtours had slims

 

31-Mar-84

33201

Mitre Bridge

Pb-Margate

08:10 Wolves-Margate

31-Mar-84

33201

Margate

Pb-Mitre Bridge

17:26 Margate-Wolves

01-Jul-84

33211

Mitre Bridge

Pb-Eastbourne

08:05 Wolves-Hastings

01-Jul-84

33211

Eastbourne

Pb-Mitre Bridge

18:05 Hastings-Wolves

 

33203 worked the 15:18 Leeds-Guildford out of Birmingham on the 22nd January 1984.

 

Four slims at least worked on the North and West route

 

12-May-86

33201

Holyhead

Pb-Crewe

14:06 Holyhead-Cardiff

18-Jan-86

33202

Crewe

Pb-Shrewsbury

14:17 Bangor-Cardiff

16-Jul-86

33209

Hereford

Pb-Shrewsbury

18:15 Cardiff-Manchester

01-Apr-86

33210

Shrewsbury

Pb-Hereford

14:17 Bangor-Cardiff

 

On the railtour front the furthest north I managed was Carlisle. Out via Ais Gill and back via Shap  33202 and 33207 on 8th November 1986

 

33202 got in on the Railtour act again when with 33209 it worked to Blaneau Festiniog on the 13th December 1986

 

33207 became a regular visitor to Scotland in 2006 reaching Mallaig on 17th September 2006 and various other Scottish termini with the VSOE "Royal Scotsman" which i suppose counts as a raliltour for rich Americans only!

 

With the Blaneau tour I cleared the North Wales routes for Crompton 33 haulage.

Other tours were mainly on the Southern under “Chingfinder” auspices

 

A couple of anecdotes need to be told here.

 

33204 was only sampled twice 16th August 1986 saw me with full luggage arrive at Southampton behind 33025 on the 08:00 Cardiff-Pompey.

Fell on to 204 on the 10:10 off the Harbour so straight to Bristol with it as a winner. Filled in to Bath and back 33015 and 33038 then 204 back to Southampton on the 13:00 Cardiff-Pompey.This time I was able to check in.

 

  33204 at Bristol on August 16th 1986. Note Steve Horner and Jed on the platform, Jed appears happy.

 

My last Crompton was 33205 which had eluded me, Even its sighting record was then a “prehistory” one.

18th September I was on my second “Wessex” of the year. I’d bumped into another Crompton basher “You want 33205 don’t you?”  “Yes” I replied.. “Well its gone into Wales and should be on the Swansea-Portsmouth into Bristol tomorrow and work the 18:10 Cardiff-Portsmouth forward.  I made my thank you then carried on my Crompton bashing moves on the Weymouth line

19th September 1986 its cunning plan time. Having had 33203 on 16:38 Waterloo-Exeter from Basingstoke to Salisbury I embarked on 33021 on the 17:10 Pompey-Cardiff intending to head 33205 off at the pass at Bradford on Avon. However by Westbury the Swansea-Portsmouth service hadn’t passed.

For a brief second I went into flap mode. Then made the move and bailed at Westbury in case the delay was due to 205 having to run round at Bristol

 

The Westbury leap was to no avail as the Swansea-Pompey arrived with a standard Crompton and no bashers on board.

 

This was a good sign and 205 duly arrived as booked so took it to Southampton.

Had a couple on “Badgers” in the Victory Bar with Dick Holland.

Took my leave and adjourned to a Curry House for a “Bum Burner” as I had promised myself I would have a celebratory curry when all available 33’s had been gathered in for haulage.

 

That was a bad move as it resulted in a case of “Ghandi’s revenge” the next day.

I tried to avoid lengthy waits at stations to avoid possible embarrassment.

 

 

 

 33212 arrives at Warminster 19th August 1986  16:10 Bristol-Brighton

 

 

 33203 stabled at Salisbury September 1986

 

The infestation of sprinters on the Cardiff-Portsmouth services in 1987 spelled the end for many Cromptons and the “Jims” were not immune.

 

Now restricted to mainly freight workings some soldiered on into the 1990’s.

In 2015 four examples remain.

 

33201 based at Washwood Heath and is operable

33202 is shown as based at Mangapps Farm but on hire to the Swanage railway

33207 is Main Line certificated operated by West Coast Railway

33208 is currently “under restoration” at “Battlefield” line.

(This information derived from the “POGO list” on the PLEG website,

 

Thanks to Dave Spencer for his "Slim Jim" memories and phots

 

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