20th June 2019 · Reading Station Outdoor Meeting

On a cloudy, dull evening a group of six branch members met at the London end of platform 8 on Reading station for the traditional June outdoor meet to coincide with Ladies Day at Royal Ascot.

This was the first year that that seemingly eternal staple of Great Western main line the HST did not appear and so the evening was spent largely observing the relatively quiet GWR fleet of electric trains i.e. Classes 387, 800 and, 802s. During the evening the Northern Belle appeared on a returning Ascot to Manchester race day special topped and tailed by a pair of West Coast Railway Cl 57’s (57314 and 57316). Only two freights were seen, an Eastbound Freightliner and a Car export Train both hauled by Class 66s. Also operating out of platforms 4-6 were South West Railway trains with an enhanced quarter- hourly service to serve Ascot races, despite being in the middle of a five day strike. Later on, the sleeper empties were seen heading towards Paddington.