After the Atlantic Coast Express the previous weekend, there was a lot to do to prepare Clan Line for this Surrey Hills trip for Belmond. The work started on Wednesday, with quite a number of volunteers at Stewarts Lane. The grate, ashpans and smokebox were all emptied, and a good start made on cleaning the locomotive, tender and support coach. There were also extra people down on Thursday for the usual preparation day duties.
When we got to Victoria on Friday morning, we had many passengers come down the platform to meet us. They included a wedding party that were travelling on the train, and the bride visited the footplate. It was a good job that we had made a good job of cleaning the cab, because her white dress didn't appear to get dirty.
We left Victoria on time, and kept closely to our schedule until we reached Addlestone Junction. We weren't held for our usual pathing stop, but carried on until the approaches to Woking. We left here on time, and had a good run through Worplesdon and Guildford, before arriving at Shalforf for our water stop on schedule.
After taking water and pulling coal forward, we left a couple of minutes early. By now, the rain had begun, so we made good use of the sanders on the climb of Gomshall. The climb went well, and we were only a minute late passing the station. We were slowed by signal checks on the approaches to Reigate and Redhill, but we had a good run back to Victoria after that, arriving a few minutes early.
We now have quite a bit of maintenance work to carry out before our next scheduled trip, a Belmond trip to Bath and Bristol on the eleventh of September.