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Cross Country Trains from Virgin and after an experimental period when it was realised that Voyagers just did not fit the bill Arriva re-introduced them on the longer journeys.
The GWR era of 'Full HST Sets' may have now passed but Arriva-XC still use them on the services to the West from Middle England and beyond, Here are 43366 and 43207 working '1V44' the 06:11 from Leeds going down to Plymouth.Viewed passing Malago Vale in the western suburbs of Bristol.
..5 july 2019..
Arriva-XC HST working '1V44' the 06:11 from Leeds to Plymouth drops downhill from Bedminster heading west out of the City of Bristol 43301 (originally 43101) leads with 43357 on the rear. As 43101 this loco was famous for being a derelict ex-virgin hulk dumped oos round the back of Laira Depot in Plymouth with just prior to resurrection a small tree growing up through its empty shell!
..26 march 2019...
The working '1V50' the 09:00 from Leeds to Plymouth was just over an hour after the previous Arriva-XC HST passed this way also from Leeds. This time it was 43321 leading with 43378 on the back.Of note is hat this trainset is now equipped with the automatic plug doors bringing these sets into the 21st century.sadly that means no more 'window hanging' as in the older sets with slam doors.This train is pictured at Dursley Road Footbridge in Trowbridge on a superb early spring day.
..24 march 2019..
Arriva-XC HST with 43285 leading and 43207 on the rear pass through Trowbridge with the diverted '1V48' the 08:10 from Leeds going down to Plymouth.Seen off the Mud Lane overbridge at Dursley in Trowbridge.Not so muddy now as it has been completely tarmaced in readiness for the 1000+ houses now being built in the surrounding 'ex angry farmers' fields!
..24 march 2019..
Diversions were again in evidence this weekend between Bristol and Taunton hence these Arriva-XC passing along the Limpley Stoke Valley. This train was '1E63' the 14:25 from Plymouth to York.Nice for it to be an HST and not one of those soul-less Voyagers! So here is 43378 leading its seven coaches with 43321 on the rear.Seen at Freshford in the L S Valley.
..23 march 2019..
Arriva-XC HST-set 43303/43384 pass through Trowbridge at Mud lane whilst on diversion between Bristol and Taunton.This train '1V44' was travelling between Leeds (06:11 off) and Exeter St Davids.
..16 march 2019..
This was an unexpected working.It is an STP '5V44' the 07:27 from Derby to Plymouth that should have gone directly from Bristol to Taunton but a points failure at Uphill Junction in Weston-Super-Mare brought it this way instead.43378 leads with 43357 on the rear.When GWR finishes with their HST's to Plymouth and Penzance quite soon seeing an HST here will mean one of these Arriva-XC sets and then only very occasionally! Viewed at Pot Lane nr Frome.
..11 march 2019..
The classic lines of the now long serving HST's is well displayed as Arriva-XC's 43384/43321 pass over the Avon at Eckington.They were working '1S51' the 12:25 from Plymouth going up to Glasgow-Central.Sadly a rampant riverside willow bush has now grown to such an extent it now obscures one of the brick piers in the river.Hopefully the local river authority will get it sort soon before it wrecks the river bank?
..10 october 2018..
HST-Duo 43357/43304 hustle northwards at Defford working '1E63' the 15:25 from Plymouth going to Leeds.If you look carefully it seems that Telly Savalas was the driver.Funny? I could have sworn he passed away in 1994!
..28 august 2017..
'1V50' the diverted Arriva-XC (Between Bristol and Taunton ) 09:00 from Leeds to Plymouth cruises away from Westbury with 43207 leading.43301 being the back P/C.
..26 march 2017..
Arriva-XC diversion '1V48' the 08:10 from Leeds going to Plymouth departs Westbury at Fairwood.43285 leads with 43384 on the back.It certainly makes a change from the normal FGW versions!
..26 march 2017..
Arriva-XC HST-set 43378/43357 is seen in the Limpley Stoke Valley with '1V60' the 09:00 from Leeds going to Plymouth.Because of weekend engineering works in the Bridgewater area all XC-services are today travelling via Westbury between Bristol and Taunton.Shame about the Naff weather conditions with quite a lot of interesting activity on this route today!
..19 march 2017..
A rather grubby looking 43301 partnered by 43384 approaches Wickwar north of Bristol working '1V44' the 06:00 from Leeds going to Plymouth. Plenty of autumnal leaves still clinging to their respective trees giving a nice show of colour in the background.
..7 november 2016..
Arriva-XC set with 43357 leading and 43303 on the rear passes Malago-Vale in Bristol with '1V48' the 07:45 from York going to Penzance. It didn't go un-noticed that despite these Arriva-XC liveried HST's passing through Bristol many times a day they were the only 'Company' that didn't bother to send an exhibit to the recent Open-Day at the local St Phillips Marsh Depot.A bit of a PR blunder me-thinks and also a disappointment all round!
..18 june 2018..
Arriva-XC operated HST-set with 43384 leading and 43285 on the rear passes Parson Street in Bristol working the 06:06 from Edinburgh to Plymouth running as '1V50'.I was waiting here for a couple of engineers trains out of the Keynsham Possession but after they hadn't even moved an hour over their booked time I decided to leave.Naturally they both appeared here within another 35 minutes! Typical!
..05 april 2016..
Arriva-XC pairing of 43304/43301 runs down through Malago-Vale with '1V50' the 06:06 from Edinburgh going to Plymouth.The front end of 43304 is looking somewhat strange with patch painting and some kind of 'film' over the windows ? All rather odd.
..24 february 2016..
'1V50' the 06:06 from Edinburgh heading for Plymouth runs away from bristol here passing the site of the once very extensive carriege sidings here at Malago-Vale. Arriva-XC 43304 was leading with 43357 as back-up on the rear.Note the evidence of a pair of fatal bird strikes on the front of 43304,part of a carcase with feathers in the horn-grill and a bloody stain just below the windshield.Well it has travelled many hundreds of miles since the scottish capital!
..01 september 2015..
Arriva-XC HST with 43368 leading and 43303 on the back passes Malago-Vale west of Bristol with '1V44' the 06:00 from Leeds going to Plymouth.
..28 august 2015..
'1V50' the 06:06 from Edinburgh runs into Bristol Temple Meads heading for Plymouth.43378 being the lead P/C with (for the record) 43285 somewhere far away on the back.The seemingly very shiny loco is in fact just completely soaked from the almost continual rain suffered today here in the west.Such is the popularity of todays service the hordes waiting on the platform will have a problem finding many spare seats in the already packed carriages.Just imaging the chaos if this service was a Class-221 Voyager!!!!!
..19 february 2015..
As the back end of '1V50' the 09:00 from Leeds to Plymouth with 43378 seen and 43207 leading rolls non-stop through Westbury 153380 is preparing to depart on '2M09' the 13:38 shuttle from here to Swindon.
..01 february 2015..
With the temperature only just above freezing point here at Westbury '1V50' the diverted Arriva-XC (between Bristol and Taunton) 09:00 from Leeds going to Plymouth passes the platforms non-stop at low speed.43207 was leading with 43378 on the back.
..01 february 2015..
An unscheduled working this morning was this inpromptu diversion of '1V44' the 06:00 from Leeds going to Plymouth.Apparantly there was a tree on the line a Charfield which required this train to travel via Lydney as far as Magor then reverse and go via the Severn Tunnel to regain its original route in North-Bristol.Here the combo of 43366/43357 with XC03 is seen running wrong-line at Severn Tunnel-Junction after the reversal about a mile in the distance at Undy/Magor.The train regained its correct line shortly after passing through Severn Tunnel Junction Station.This divert added 50 minutes to its lateness!
..21 october 2014..
Arriva-XC from Edinburgh (06:08 off) going to Exeter only for now due to the Dawlish-Damage was running as '1V50' passes Gossington south of Cam & Dursley in bright sunshine.43321 was on the rear.
..22 march 2014..
Diverts continue whilst the line south of Bridgewater is repaired after the severe floods last month.As the work has progressed to the stage of applying replacement ballast these Arriva-XC workings will be back on their normal route very soon. Anyway here is '1V54' the 06:32 from 'Over the Border' at Dundee.Destination being (For now) Exeter.43285-XC01-43303 had the roster today.Here viewed approaching Westbury with Hawkeridge-Junc in the background. Note the Solar Farm under construction in the distance.Kilowatts obviously more profitable than Crops these days!
..07 march 2014..
'1S51' the 12:23 from Exeter going all the way to Glasgow-Central passes Fairwood with 43321 leading and 43378 on the rear.
..05 march 2014..
'1V44' coming from Leeds going to Exeter runs down past Clink nr Frome. An Arriva-XC HST headed by 43378 with 43321 on the rear drones by running about 10 minutes late as has become the norm.
..05 march 2014..
With 43321 leading and 43378 at the rear '1V50' the 06:06 from Edinburgh going only as far as Exeter passes Trowbridge behind the White Horse Business Park heading towards Westbury and beyond having been diverted from its usual route this way because of flood damage on the Somerset-Levels.
..04 march 2014..
The route down through Frome continues to see Arriva-XC diversions due to the badly damaged and OOS track south of Bridgewater.Here is '1V44' the 06:00 from Leeds going to Exeter.43303 was leading with 43285 on the rear. It is passing Styles Hill in a brief patch of morning sunlight.
..03 march 2014..
Arriva-XC continue to divert their services to the South-West (Exeter only) via Westbury as the Bridgewater line is still closed due to flood damage.Here is '1V44' the 06:00 from Leeds.43285 was leading with an obscured 43303 on the back.For some reason this working was over 30 minutes late getting to Bristol and it actually remained so until it got to Exeter.Location is Hawkeridge on the approach to Westbury-Wilts. ..26 february 2014..
Arriva-XC's '1V52' from Edinburgh going only as far as Exeter runs down through a sunny albeit very 'head-on' Berkley-Marsh nr Frome.43304 was leading with 43366 on the back.
..19 february 2014..
It may have been quite a sunny day but this is the only working I actually managed to picture is the sunshine! Here is yet another Arriva-XC diversion due to the line between Bridgewater and Taunton still being out of action.Starting from Exeter because everything is closed West due to more even storm damage is '1V52' the 12:23 from there going all the way to Edinburgh.43304 is leading 'XC03' with 43366 helping at the back. Considering all things these workings seem to keep to their revised schedules very well,rarely being more than a few minutes off the booked time. ..18 february 2014..
An Arriva-XC diversion due to flood damage on the Somerset-Levels is seen passing Ladydown in Trowbridge.The working is the 12:23 off Exeter going all the way to Edinburgh.It was reporting as '1S52' and comprised of 43207 leading set 'XC02' with 43378 bringing up the rear.Shot taken during a period of heavy rain which does not appear to have stopped the the local indigenous dog owners from taking their 'Pets' out for a good dump!
..17 february 2014..
Until the flooding down on the Somerset Levels subsides significantly Arriva-XC have been sending the services from the North albeit only as far as Exeter via Westbury.This state of affairs may last for a few more days at least so any shots of these workings coming via the Limpley Stoke-Valley route are a bit of a bonus. Here is '1V48' the 08:10 from Leeds to Exeter approaching Westbury running pretty much 'right-time'.43378 was leading with 43207 on the rear.
..16 february 2014..
Due to the storm conditions in the South of England the Arriva-XC timetable has been shot to pieces.No trains are going further than Exeter because of the damage currently at Dawlish to the Sea-Wall.Also the only route to Exeter still open for traffic now is via Westbury from Bristol due to well documented flooding on the Somerset-Levels. So here we have the diverted '1V46' 06:30 from Leeds going only as far as Exeter.43303/XC01/43357 doing the duty. It is seen passing Fairwood shortly after leaving Westbury on the diversionary part of its journey. Certainly a nice change from the usual diet of unbroken FGW-Blue!
..15 february 2014..
An unusually grubby Arriva-XC HST-set 43357-XC02-43301 runs down past Standish-Junction with '1V50' from Edinburgh (06:06 off) going to Plymouth.As the clouds were now beginning to roll in, in strength I though that the days photography was about to come to an end--How wrong that turned out!
..10 october 2013..
'1V54' the 06:32 from Dundee heads away from Cheltenham-Spa going to Plymouth. 43366/43304 power this Arriva-XC service as it is seen at Badgeworth.
..15 february 2013..
'1V48' from Leeds going to Plymouth makes a fine sight here at Claverton under a superbly clear autumn sky.Minor-Celebrity Arriva-XC Power-Car 43301 famously rebuilt from a derelict total wreck leads with 43321 on the rear.
..18 november 2012..
'1V50' with 43303 leading and 43207 on the rear accelerates through the western outskirts of the City of Bristol with the 06:06 from Edinburgh going to Penzance.
..17 october 2012..
43301-X03-43366 Arriva-XC HST set passes Malago-Vale shortly after departing Bristol-TM with '1V44' the 06:00 from Leeds going to Plymouth. The lead Powercar 43301 was a complete rebuild from the derelict remains of the long stored 43101.Happily an upsurge in demand for serviceable Powercars led to it being rescued and restored.
..19 september 2012..
Arriva-XC's 43285/43357 power '1V50' the 06:06 from Edinburgh going to Plymouth as it passes the site of the once extensive carriage sidings here at Malago-Vale in West-Bristol.The only tangible reminder of his area's past history is the abandoned bufferstop just visible in the lineside undergrowth.The actual sidings as can be seen, are now a housing development.
..13 september 2012..
Arriva-XC HST 43301 with 43321 pushing passes though the Limpley Stoke Valley with a diverted 08:10 Leeds to Plymouth.--------------18 november 2012----
'1V46' from York going to Plymouth speeds non-stop through Ashchurch heading south.43384 leading with 43378 out of sight on the back.The rusty branch line going to the huge MOD depot at Ashchurch appears to have seen little use lately?
..25 july 2012..
This particular service was running about 35 minutes down of schedule for some reason.Mind you it has come a long long way.It departed from Dundee in Scotland at 06:32 in the morning and has already been on the move for over 10 hours! The destination of '1V54' in Newquay so it still has a considerable way to travel. Front end power is 43285 with 43366 doing the pushing.The train has just passed Dawlish and is about to enter Kelloway Tunnel.
..21 july 2012..
The original MTU conversion for Arriva-XC was this one, 43301 restored from the hulk that was 43101 that had languished for years as a derelict wreck! Here it is partnered with 43304 passing Langstone Rock at Dawlish-Warren with '1V44' from Leeds (06:00 off) going to Paignton.
..21 july 2012..
'1S51' the 12:34 from Paignton going to Glasgow emerges from the short Kennaway-Tunnel at Dawlish. Arriva-XC 43366 being the lead Power-Car. Note the interesting construction of the skewed tunnel mouth here and the now faded graffiti reminding people of a long gone former regular on this route 'Peak' 45069.
..23 june 2012..
Arriva-XC 43304/43321 races out of Wickwar Tunnel with the 08:27 from Manchester-Piccadilly going to Plymouth.Regrettably this location now looking sadly overgrown,until quite recently the tunnel mouth was quite visable but now it lies behing a mass of rampant shubbery.
..13 may 2012..
The 06:06 off Edinburgh going to Plymouth passes the bridge just south of Wickwar-Tunnel heading towards its next stop, Bristol-Parkway.Lead P/C was 43207 with 43378 on the rear.
..26 march 2012..
Tailender 43301 pushes set XC-03 on a Arriva-XC service,the 10:00 from Penzance going to Glasgow with an out of sight 43303 leading.Bristol Road-Viaduct is just west of the site of the long closed Coalpit-Heath Station.
..01 february 2012..
Arriva-XC HST working '1V54' from Dundee to Plymouth passes Ram-Hill nr Westerleigh-Junction.43384 being the lead P/C with 43378 doing the rear.
..07 january 2012..
'1V50' the 09:00 from Leeds to Plymouth seen off route running down past Berkley Marsh nr Frome having been diverted at Bristol from its usual route via Bridgwater due to a work-occupation along that line somewhere.It will rejoin its normal path at Taunton.Todays power was 43321 leading and 43285 bringing up the rear.
..18 december 2011..
43207-XC04-43366 powers down the Frome-Avoider at Styles-Hill.Working is '1V48' the 08:10 Leeds to Plymouth running off route as its usual path from Bristol to Taunton was closed for weekend work.Makes a change from the usual FGW-Dross!
..18 december 2011..
43378/XC05/43304 speed northwards at Brent-Knoll with '1E75'.The 16:25 from Penzance heading for Leeds. ..11 june 2011..
Arriva-XC service from York (depart at 07:44) going to Penzance '1V48' seen at Langford shortly after diverging at Aller nr Newton-Abbot.43303/43207 were in command of this working............
..25 june 2011..
Due to all trains coming from Birmingham suffering indeterminate delays caused by a collapsed culvert under the track at Bromsgrove,I'm not sure but think this is the 06:00 from Leeds going to Penzance.If so was a hour late! 43357/43285 were the power on this set seen passing Malago-Vale west of Bristol Temple-Meads. ..07 april 2011..
Arriva-XC set with 43321 leading and 43303 on the rear passes ram-Hill on the 09:08 from Edinburgh going to Plymouth. ..23 march 2011..
'1V58' from Glasgow only going as far as Taunton due to engineering works passes Standish-Junction.43384/43378 providing the push/pull power. ..19 march 2011..
Somewhat foreshortened North/SouthWest Arriva-XC Service today due to Engineering works west of Taunton.43304/43366 head north at Badgeworth with '1S39' from Taunton going to Aberdeen. ..19 march 2011..
Weekend diversions brought the then newly introduced Arriva-XC HST's down the WR route from Westbury to Taunton.Here is '1V43' the Dundee to Penzance service with 43321/43302 viewed powering past Mark Few's House at Clink nr Frome. ..25 april 2009..
43301 brings up the rear on an Arriva-XC service that has been diverted via Newport-Gwent due to the normal direct route via Yate was closed for the weekend to enable engineering work to take place.43303 was leading with unusually a 'MML' coaching-set being sandwiched between the two XC-Power Cars.Unfortunately I do not know the working or indeed if it was going (eventually) North or South? Still it looks quite nice as it passes Magor in S-Wales heading West!
..20 september 2008..
Virgin-XC 43097 seen passing Saltley in Birmingham heading south with a NE-SW XC service.This Power-Car now works for First-GW in that companys dark blue colours.Also it has an MTU power-unit fitted instead of the original Valenta. Somehow I now prefer it as it was then!
Virgin-XC powered by 43008 skirts the sea at Dawlish by Cockwood Harbour.A summer working heading north on a superbly sunny day.Power-car now renumbered 43308 and spends its time on the ECML between Kings-Cross and Aberdeen.GNER acquired it after the Virgin fleet was disbanded due to the misguided introduction of the Voyagers (Yuck!) ..20 july 2002..
Back in 1998 this shot from the approach road to Freshford Station in the Limpley Stoke Valley was quite impressive (Now 16 years later it is just an overgrown jungle). Here is a diverted Virgin-XC working coming up from the West heading for the Midlands.These bright-red HST's were very distinctive and certainly far superior to the crappy 220/221's the long suffering passengers have to mainly endure these days. 43063 was leading this set with a still in Inter-City 43101 was bringing up the rear.