I want to thank all these guys for giving us all a brilliant day and we are looking forward to another thumper day next year.
Your probaly thinking how can we have a thumper day next year with 1128 being unservicable and 1132 undergoing maintainence well all I can say is 'Watch this Space' ;-)
For more info have a look at the Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association website.
The Centre car from 1132 had also been added to the formation giving a tempary 4 car car formation
When I got to Okehampton the station was all a bustle as there were displays being set up on the platform of model railways and Meccano, but there was no Thumper in sight.
After chatting to some freinds 1132 came rolling into the platform on an empty stock move.
When it came to to a halt I had a chat with Nigel the driver who gave me some more sad news that they couldnt get 1128 the lines other thumper out of the sidings, 1128 is the lines other unit but has been in long term storage at Meldon but he also said they would have another attempt later in the day.
It soon became time to depart on the first service of the day to Meldon Quarry, there are some severe gradients and the unit has to work hard to get up there, halfway up the line the A30 duel carriageway crosses the line at an accute angle and in effect makes a long tunnel. At this point the unit was opened up giving the full sound effects of a Thumper
As we approached Meldon Nigel stopped the train alongside the sidings so I could get some shots of 1128 which was parked up behind some trees, upon arrival at Meldon Quarry there was a line of vehicles from multiple units which had been left there as a result of the earlier abortive shunt which in istelf made a fine sight.
There I met Peter Chapman who associations chairman who is also a driver and the shunter for the day, Peter told me the problems with the shunt was with the buckeye coupling but they were going to have another go later on.
Time was getting on and it was now departure time so we all headed back to Okehampton
28th September 2014
We think that this may be the first time in preservation that 2 complete units have been photographed together.
Images of the other vehicles in the formation are below
The line at this point could be accessed as it is shared with First Great Western and is available for use when they are not running their summer service. After a quick turnaround we headed back to Stampford Courtenay where we had chance to swap the headboards round.
In total we had three trips down to the network boundry which is a distance of around 15 miles from Meldon.