Further “Routes ‘n’ Branches” charters emerge from Britain’s most notorious charter company.
Spitfire Railtours, arguably Britain’s most loved enthusiast Railtour company, have provided yet further Routes ‘N’ Branches, or “R ‘N’ B” trips.
The rather exceptional route saw the train operate to the South West, with Dorset and Hampshire featuring at the forefront of the charter’s destinations. An additional service ran in the vicinity of London.
Spitfire operate a majority of railtours with Class 37 motive power, and this was no exception, with West Coast Railway Company providing two such locomotives for the train.
The main reason for the charter was to allow enthusiasts to “clear” (or “traverse”) various freight only branches. In this instance, Hamworthy’s stone terminal, Eastleigh’s Yard, Works and Carriage Sidings, and the Saint Albans Abbey branch (rare for locomotive hauled trains), were prominent in the reasoning for travelling for many on board. The proposed use of Fawley Oil Refinery was abandoned from the itinerary.
Previous R ‘N’ B trips have seen Class 37s operate to Lymington, Henley, Tonbridge and London Waterloo.
Spitfire now look forward to operating further charters with Class 37 motive power, and a charter with two Class 50 locomotives