Avon Valley Railway 30th April 2016
I hadn’t planned to travel down to the Avon Valley Railway specifically on this particular day but when 31203 was advertised to work its first trains at the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway on Sunday 1st May I needed something to make the journey worth while and I was very grateful for 31101 having a day out!
It was a 2h45m drive from Doncaster and was a very good day to get out of there with the Tour de Yorkshire bike ride basically shutting down most of Doncaster for the day anyway! The weather was very indifferent throughout the day with a bit of sunshine, a heavy rain shower, some black skies, some blue skies and even a bit of hail! Thankfully 31101 performed well throughout the day, whatever the weather and I was even offered a cab ride for the short journey from Bitton to Avon Riverside; which was all above board and I even had an authority to travel in the cab written out in the booking office!
The staff at the railway were very sociable and the buffet at Bitton is one of the best in the preserved railway world, with reasonable prices, a cracking selection and even a loyalty card for hot drinks!
31101 worked the whole service, comprising 5 round trips, departing 1100, 1215, 1330, 1445 & 1600. A good day was had by all in attendance and it would have only been a 45 minute journey over the bridge into Wales and onward to Pontypool; but for an accident on the M4, literally right in front of us. During our 45 minutes stood on the motorway we began to regret drinking so much tea during the day and it became an interesting drive to the next services, 12 miles away, once we got going let me tell you!
Photos from the day: