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Nerd's Day Out: Part 1- Eastleigh

Ian Fowler




IAN FOWLER visits this busy Hampshire station, and explains what there is to see for the discerning trainspotter.

trainspotting at Eastleigh

I’ve chosen to name these features “Nerd’s Day Out” as that is what my great friend, former colleague and legend of this parish Nick Duxfield - who also provided the pictures for this article - christened our regular six monthly outings (in our own time I hasten to add – the owners might be reading this..) where we’d basically spend a day out taking photos of trains and watching the world go by.

I’m concentrating on the contemporary scene rather than days gone before. I’d love others to be able to fill in the gaps for me, so please do email any of your own information on this location to Stuart at rightlines@gaugemaster.co.uk so we can expand and update this feature in due course.

GETTING THERE (From GM HQ at Ford)

By Rail
Nice and easy from Ford – there are regular Southern services to Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton Central, simply choose from a single change at either Fratton, Fareham or Southampton Central. You can plan your journey at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

trainspotting at Eastleigh

By Road
Again really easy, up Ford Road, turn left and keep going for about an hour following the signs to Southampton Airport and then Eastleigh Town Centre. Beware of heavy traffic around Chichester at peak times – this can add 30mins to a journey. There is a chargeable car park which is expensive during peak times but reasonable off peak. If you’re feeling dangerous, there is a Lidl car park that overlooks the railway line to the north of the station but of course, this is for “customer use only”...

LOCATION

National Rail Enquiries information on Eastleigh

Eastleigh is a famous railway town located between Southampton Airport Parkway (to the south) and Shawford (to the north). There are spurs that lead to Fareham via Botley (to the east) and Romsey via Chandlers Ford (to the west). There is a large yard to the north of the station, a stabling point next to the station, the works immediately due south, and a virtual quarry.

trainspotting at Eastleigh

You can’t see very much inside the works from either the station or the lineside. There are just 3 platforms, the main station building is on Platform One which is usually used for “Up” (northbound) stopping trains, while the island platform houses Platforms 2 and 3. Platform 2 is usually used for “Down” (southbound) stopping trains via Southampton Central and Platform 3 is usually used for “Up and Down” stopping trains via Botley and for looping freight trains. There are two fast lines between Platforms 1 and 2 for non-stop trains. I’m no expert, but I think all platforms are bi-directionally signalled and cheerfully many freight trains stop at the station for a crew change.

REALTIMETRAINS

It could be argued that this addictive website has taken all the surprise out of observing the real railway, but it is an absolute godsend when deciding when you should go home! It’s very mobile friendly too. Recommended!
www.realtimetrains.co.uk

WHAT CAN I SEE AND CAN I BUY THE MODELS?

trainspotting at Eastleigh

Being located in the South West mainline, you’re firmly in EMU territory. The longer distance Waterloo-Bournemouth/Poole/Weymouth services are in the hands of South West Trains’ Class 444s while the semi-fasts are usually rostered for South West Trains’ Class 450s. There are a few Class 377 interlopers from Southern to be seen too, on a nominal number of services to and from Brighton. You’ll also see lots of CrossCountry Voyager DMUs (Class 220 and Class 221) heading to and from Southampton/Bournemouth/Poole from a variety of northern locations. These speed through at an alarming rate, and if you are a number-taker then have your wits about you as they are sometimes located on the front skirt under the drivers cab! Finally South West Trains Class 158 DMUs work the circular services linking Southampton, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and Romsey.

trainspotting at Eastleigh

There are occasional steam and diesel specials as well as boat trains to Southampton which add extra variety to a visit.
Eastleigh is a busy freight location and you can expect to see lots of Intermodal traffic to and from Eastern Docks, Millbrook and Maritime. Such services are operated by Freightliner and EWS. There is also automotive traffic to and from Eastern Docks, plentiful engineers trains, stone and sand plus the occasional oil train, although this may now have ceased.

trainspotting at Eastleigh

Also benefitting from an adjacent railway works, the potential for “weird workings” is high with locomotives and rolling stock from all over the country coming in for repair. It’s a very interesting location but not easily modellable due to the vast footprint required, even in N Scale. Certainly, a condensed version would work and there are convenient bridges (for scenic breaks) to the north and south of the station.

WHAT YOU COULD RUN

Here’s a list of Locomotives and Multiple Units currently available from RTR manufacturers that can be seen at Eastleigh. The really interesting bit is trying to find the appropriate coaches, wagons and buildings on our website so I’m going to leave that up to you!

Class 08

Class 08

Dapol B32-119 Class 08 08907 DB Schenker - OO Scale

Graham Farish GF371-019 Class 08 08897 EWS (Weathered) - N Scale

Class 57

Class 57

Bachmann B32-763 Class 57/3 57309 Pride of Crewe DRS Compass Blue - OO Scale

Graham Farish GF371-656 Class 57 57312 Network Rail Yellow - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-657 Class 57 57309 Pride of Crewe DRS Compass Livery - N Scale

Class 59

Dapol DA2D-005-002 Class 59 206 DB Schenker - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-005-002D Class 59 206 DB Schenker (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Class 60

Class 60

Hornby R3141 DB Schenker Class 60 Tata Steel - OO Scale

Graham Farish GF371-350A Class 60 60035 EWS - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-355 Class 60 60011 DB Schenker - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-358  Class 60 60021 Colas - N Scale

Heljan HN6002 Class 60 EWS - O Scale

Class 66

Class 66

Bachmann B32-981 Class 66 66416 Freightliner Powerhaul - OO Scale

Hornby R3345 Freightliner Class 66 - OO Scale

Dapol DAGM220 DB Schenker Class 66 001 Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-000 Class 66 709 GBRf/MSC Sorrento Ship Livery - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-000D GBRF Class 66 709 MSC/Sorrento Diesel Loco (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-002 Freightliner Class 66 504 Powerhaul Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-002D Freightliner Class 66 504 Powerhaul Livery (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-003 EWS Class 66 200 Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-003D EWS Class 66 200 Diesel Locomotive (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-004 Freightliner Class 66 612 Unbranded Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-004D Freightliner Class 66 612 Unbranded (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-383A Class 66 66101 DB Schenker - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-384 Class 66 66209 EWS (Weathered) - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-385 Class 66 66546 Freightliner - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-396 Class 66 (Low Emission Variant) 66731 InterhubGB GBRf - N Scale

Class 67

Class 67

Hornby R3272 EWS Class 67 Royal Sovereign Claret - OO Scale

Hornby R3348 EWS Class 67 016 - OO Scale

Hornby R3349 EWS Class 67 024 - OO Scale

Class 70

Class 70

Bachmann B31-588 Freightliner Class 70 005 Powerhaul Diesel Weathered - OO Scale

Bachmann B31-590 Class 70 70015 Freightliner (Air Intake Modifications) - OO Scale

Bachmann B31-591 Class 70 70805 Colas (Air Intake Modifications) - OO Scale

Class 73

Class 73

Dapol DA4D-006-007 GBRf Class 73 206 Lisa - OO Scale

Dapol DAGM232 First GBRf Class 73 141 Charlotte - N Scale

Class 158

Not available in South West Trains livery

Class 220

Not currently available

Class 221

Not currently available

Class 377

Not Available at all

Class 444

Not Available at all

Class 450

Class 450

Bachmann B31-040 Class 450 4 Car EMU 450073 South West Trains - OO Scale

Bachmann B31-041 Class 450 4 Car EMU 450127 South West Trains Weathered - OO Scale

MPV

MPV

Bachmann B31-575 Windhoff Mpv Multi-Purpose Master and Slave Network Rail - OO Scale

MODEL SHOPS

AC Models is a short walk from Eastleigh station and carry a vast amount of Model Railway, Slot Car and Radio Control stock – if you can’t see it, please do ask! Ron Lines in Southampton is a bit of a diversion but is a great traditional model shop and good for that elusive second hand model you’re still seeking out. Personally I always try and pop in to either Wicor Models in Portchester on the way there to see the lovely Dave and Lyn (you can guess which one of the two is the lovely one) or Alton Model Railway in Alton (oddly enough) which is one of the best independent model railway stores in the country.

SUMMARY

I like Eastleigh - there’s a lot of freight, it’s a friendly station with facilities and the station staff are nerd-friendly. You can also watch the planes go over as they approach Southampton Airport if it’s a slow day. Weekdays are always better than weekends.

RATING

I’m giving Eastleigh four and a half British Rail Pork Pies out of five.

BR PieBR PieBR PieBR PieBR Pie

There is apparently no truth to the rumour that BR pies were later ground up and used as ballast...

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