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  #1  
Old 3rd August 2017, 18:14
Twister Twister is offline  
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Hello and spotting opertunities east sussex

Hello all,

Some help would be greatly appreciated.

My 8 year old son is heavily into trains ( yes and so am I) he has asked me to take him out to do,a bit of Spotting. I would love to take him somewhere that would have a good mixture of freigh as well as passenger services, and somewhere that is spotter friendly. Only trouble is I have no idea where to take him. We live in East Sussex closest station is Polgate, or at his grandfathers which is Pevensey and westham. These only have limited trains running through them and mostly passenger movements. Although we have seen some freight movements through Pevensey and westham.

Can anyone offer any advice or places to go, happy to travel within a 30 mile or so radius of eastbourne by train or car.

Hope it's ok to ask in this forum or if not can I be pointed to the correct one.

Thank you for taking time to read and assist.

Twister


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Old 3rd August 2017, 19:31
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DSY011 DSY011 is offline  
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Hello Twister and welcome to the Railway Forum. I sorry I can't help with your request as I live in Bristol, so I don't know your area, but there are a lot of members on this site that do , and will be able to help you.
P.S. Nice to see another young person into railways.
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  #3  
Old 3rd August 2017, 21:50
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Hi Twister, welcome to the forum.

I live in Hastings and I know there's not a lot of freight down here unfortunately. There is regular trains to & from the Gypsum Mine at Mountfield so these can be seen from Robertsbridge and northwards.
The other place I can recommend is Ashford International as there are usually quite a few freight movements to & from Dollands Moor yard (for the Channel Tunnel).

The best advice for these locations (and any others you might try) is to use this website: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced
Here you can put in your chosen location (stations, junctions, depots etc.), the date and times of your visit and this will show all train movements. Just one note of caution though, the freight & light engine movements listed on realtimetrains are often listed as 'runs as required - this message will disappear if the train is activated in the system'. This means, if the message is displayed, then the train is not scheduled to be running, but this can change at fairly short notice.
Also, if you are ever using this website to find a main line steam special, they don't list these as 'steam' - it will always be listed as 'diesel-hauled'.
On that note, if there is an interest in steam on the main line, then there is a tour planned for December 12th to be running from London-Eastbourne & returning via Hastings. http://www.uksteam.info/index.htm is the best website for main line steam.

Hope this helps.

Tony
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Old 3rd August 2017, 22:08
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Hello Twister and welcome to the forum, enjoy and all the best.
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  #5  
Old 4th August 2017, 10:24
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Hello Twister and a warm welcome to the Forum.
I live near Lewes and can confirm that there is very little in the way of freight on the railways in this part of the world. The only regular traffic I can bring to mind is the cement/aggregates train to Newhaven. Further north there are aggregate trains to Hanson's depot at Ardingly.
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Old 4th August 2017, 16:53
Twister Twister is offline  
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Thanks trip I am well versed in realtime trains website I use it to track my wife when she is coming home from London trips. I have also used it to track steam train movements also, did it a few years back when seaford 100 happened, I took my boy over to eastbourne. Miniature railway, which sits at the side of the main line, I managed to get the owner there and frequent driver to stop black five miniature train to see the full size variant pass us by.

Thanks for the help boilersuit, I work in and around Lewes district and I often see the aggregate train sitting in Newhaven, trouble is I am never around when it leaves, I do hear it when it passes through Lewes station as one of the offices I use sits next to the station generally just after 11 in the mornings once it's left Newhaven.

If it where to go to ashford and do a bit of spotting can you still get platform tickets or are there specific places I would best go to see them.

Thanks all for the suggestions and help so far.

Twister
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Old 5th August 2017, 09:36
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Hi Twister. I don't think platform tickets are used any more, but if you have a travel ticket it would be fine & some of the smaller stations are open to access anyway (such as Robertsbridge - see photo below).
With regards to Ashford, I haven't visited the station (except when changing trains), I generally go to a footbridge just to the North West of the station which links Victoria Road (next to Victoria Road Primary School) to Elwick Road (just about opposite County Square shopping centre). It's a good vantage point which allows views of the lines to Tonbridge and Maidstone as well as a (restricted) view of the Eurostar lines. There's some photos below showing some of the variety at Ashford, but no freight on that occasion.
However, I have had a thought that Tonbridge might be just as good (if not better) for you coming up from Hailsham. I haven't been there for some time (except passing through on the train), but I think it should be a good spot. I think some of the Channel Tunnel freight trains go via Tonbridge (although a lot go via Maidstone) & you would also get the gypsum trains to/from Mountfield. Also, Tonbridge West Yard is heavily used by GBRf for freight trains and a base for some of their locos. This is straddled by a footbridge which appears to be publicly accessible from Clare Avenue or Douglas Road.

Regards,

Tony
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gypsum train at Robertsbridge.jpg (122.1 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg EMU at Ashford.jpg (131.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Braunton at Ashford.jpg (123.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Javelin at Ashford.jpg (128.8 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by TRP; 5th August 2017 at 09:48.
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