Hydraulic Heaven - Hymek and Western diesels on audio CD


audio CD

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Hydraulic Heaven CD cover

Sounds of Hymek and Western diesel locos, mostly at Reading and Paddington.

All recordings made by the late Ron Collen-Jones. Restored and published by Ian Strange.

Mono recordings processed for a stereo effect.

Recorded during 1973 and 1974.

Highlights include:
** Rides behind Westerns on both welded and jointed rails.
** A ride behind a Hymek.
** Westerns storming out of Reading.


Price includes worldwide postage.

You can download a pdf version of the playlist:
Hydraulic Heaven playlist PDF

You can purchase a digital download version at my Etsy shop and save money:
Hydraulic Heaven at Etsy

Here is the full recording list:

Note that these recordings have been edited to remove Ron Collen-Jones' commentary (except on some on-train recordings). The information he provided is included in this play-list.

11th May 1974:
1a - Riding behind 1030 "Western Musketeer" as it eases slowly out of Paddington, 5 minutes late. A 2-tone emergency siren gives a nostalgic reminder of the era. We come to a brief stand at a signal, then continue slowly.
1b - We crawl through Westbourne Park before switching to the main line, and finally getting into our stride, the Western humming beautifully.
2 - Continuing our journey with 1030, just west of Southall, we've moved to the slow-line (60ft jointed track). After easing off the power, another Western whizzes passed our open window. Superb!

20th June 1973, Reading:
3 - Hymek 7002 departs on 5A06, a train of parcels vans, of which only one was a BR vehicle: 4 LMS BGs, 2 GWR siphons, a B and 2 more pre-nationalisation vehicles.
4 - 1003 "Western Pioneer" passes through slowly with a train of 30+ coal-hoppers. Class 47 no.1643 arrives on an up express, its train including some of the XP64 experimental stock.

26th September 1973, Reading:
5 - With horns sounding a fanfare, 7028 storms through on a passenger service.
6 - We hit the hydraulic jackpot, as 7001 arrives on parcels (headcode 5O07), a Western (possibly 1043) arrives (down service) in the background, and 1070 "Western Gauntlet" also comes in (up service).
7 - 7001 removes a CCT van from its train, and then propels it back again. 1070 departs.

25th October 1973, shortly before Hymeks were due to be phased out:
8a - Standing alongside Hymek 7018 at Paddington and then the mic is taken aboard the leading coach.
8b - 7018 departs Paddington on the 0805 to Worcester Shrub Hill. The horns blare as we pass through stations. We call briefly at Ealing Broadway and then get signal-checked. We receive a fanfare of approval from locos as we pass the depot at Southall. (15min. 52sec. recording).
9 - Still riding behind 7018, we encounter thick fog and get signal-checked before arriving at Slough. Announcements are heard and another service arrives in the background. We quickly get underway again.
10a - Our Hymek trip continues as 7018 comes to a stop at a signal on the approach to Reading.
10b - We pull away and then arrive at Reading. The mic is taken off the train and Ron thanks the driver.
11 - Reading: 7018 sounds its horn departing in the background, as 1050 "Western Ruler" departs on 1A88 at 1412hrs.
12 - Reading: 1036 "Western Emperor" departs on the 1430 Paddington to Torbay.
13 - Reading: An announcement is made, but drowned out by 1061 "Western Envoy" (0940 Paddington to Bristol) passing at speed.

22nd September 1973:
14 - Paddington: 1073 "Western Bulwark" departs on the 0840 to Bristol.
15 - Paddington: 7001/7028 back onto the "Hymek Swansong" tour.
16 - Westbourne Park: As an EMU trundles passed, 7001 (freshly repainted)/7028 ("grotty"!) accelerate and storm passed on the "Hymek Swansong" tour, 0910 Paddington to Hereford. "That was worth waiting for", commented Ron.

25th November 1974, north of Harlington:
17 - Ron was out at the Midland Main Line hoping to record the APT-E on a test run. Sadly, it did not show up, but a welcome bonus was a Western (possibly 1023?) passing on a roadstone working, heading south (at 1108hrs).

18th September 1974:
18 - On-train behind 1059 "Western Empire" departing Paddington on the 0905 to Birmingham. As we gather speed, an up express flashes passed.
19 - Still with 1059, shortly after a signal-check at Twyford, we switch to the slow line and accelerate on the jointed track. By Sonning Cutting, we are doing 78mph. 1059 then arrives at Reading.
20 - After alighting from our train, 1059 departs Reading.
21a - 1071 "Western Renown" arrives at Reading on a down service (1V25).
21b - 1071 departs Reading and 47513 passes through on the up Golden Hind.

20th June 1973, Reading:
22a - In pouring rain, a parcels DMU departs as 1070 "Western Gauntlet" rolls in on the 1A40 Bristol to Paddington.
22b - The driver of 1070 winks at Ron, before pulling the controller back and making a storming standing start. "Thrashed the guts out of it", commented Ron!


Price include worldwide postage.

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