Where to see vintage Hastings Thumper 1001 in London this weekend
This Saturday 6th April, you’ll get a change to see the vintage Hastings diesel train number 1001 which is running a special excursion train around London and the South East.
Hastings Diesels Ltd’s Thumper 1001 train, a class 201 DEMU, were introduced in 1957 on the London to Hastings line. They have since been retired. Nearly all of the British Rail class 201 ‘Thumpers’ have been scrapped, however 1 has been preserved by Hastings Diesels Limited, a small company located in St Leonards, Hastings, who maintain the last working example of the Thumper fleet. While most Thumpers have been scrapped, some coaches have been preserved, or converted into other vehicles such as 925025 ‘Caroline’ managers saloon. The class 201s have been given the nick-name ‘Thumper’ because of the noise their engines make.
Hastings Diesels Limited, the owners of 1001 Hastings Thumper, will be running an excursion from Hastings – where the train is based, up to and around South East London. Saturday’s tour will be in rememberance of Dave Markwick – who gave HDL a great deal of support over the last 32 years, and who passed away recently.
The 232-mile outing begins at Hastings, with a run up to London Charing Cross via Orpington. The railtour then returns back down the outward route towards Hither Green and follow the Dartford Loop via Sidcup. Following this, the train heads onward via Gravesend and Hoo Junction onto the freight-only line to the Isle of Grain in the Thames estuary – rare chance for anyone onboard to traverse this line where passenger trains do not run. Returning through Dartford, the train will follow the North Kent Line via Plumstead to visit the Angerstein Wharf terminal. Angerstein Wharf is home to the only foot crossing in London. Alighting will not be allowed at Angerstein Wharf as there are no station facilities. Following a visit to Angerstein, the train returns via Plumstead,
back to the Bexleyheath Line to regain Lewisham and thence Charing Cross. The journey back to Hastings is via Norwood Junction and Redhill.
Full timings for rail excursion with Hastings Diesels Limited 1001 ‘Thumper’ will be made closer to the time. You can search live train times at Rail Record (www.rail-record.co.uk.
Full timings for Hastings Thumper 1001
Timings for the rail tour are quite reasonable. Nothing too early, nothing too late, and returns during daylight.
5Z60 St Leonards to Hastings ECS
1Z60 Hastings to London Charing Cross PAX
1Z61 London Charing Cross to Isle of Grain PAX
1Z62 Grain to Angerstein Wharf PAX
1Z63 Angerstein Wharf to London Charing Cross PAX
1Z64 London Charing Cross to Hastings PAX
5Z64 Hastings to St Leonards ECS