Norfolk Railway Society
Founded 1955 www.norfolkrailwaysociety.org.uk
Volume 63 No. 1 Jan/Feb 2018
news from railways in and around Norfolk
National Network new train fleet; to produce greater revenue from catering
and/or perhaps to get First Class passengers fitter!!
GE LINES UPDATE: JANUARY 2018 Crossrail / The Elizabeth Line:
The new Crossrail Class 345 emus are gradually being
GE LINES NEWS introduced to Liverpool Street – Shenfield services but in mid-
January the historic Class 315 emus still operated about 50%
RMT Union industrial action: of the services.
GA members of the RMT Union held further 24 hour strikes
on 27th December then 5th, 7th and 9th January 2018 in a Crossrail / replacement of OLE engineering blockades:
dispute regarding the future duties of guards. GA managers After the 10 day engineering blockade of the line between
trained to undertake guard duties have meant that the London and Ingatestone/Billericay between 23 December and
disputes to date have not caused many problems. 2nd January for overhead line renewal and Crossrail related
works Network Rail announced that these further engineering
Greater Anglia offer surplus accommodation for blockades would take place during 2018 (the last year of the
community type uses: overhead line renewal programme) on Sundays after 14th
In mid-January 2018 GA invited community and similar January and then every weekend to 2nd April. Ingatestone
groups to apply to use vacant rooms in station buildings at becomes the London bound terminus with replacement bus
nominal rental terms. This follows successful lettings at services ferrying passengers to/from Newbury Park for
Burnham on Crouch (local artists), Lowestoft (tourist Underground transfer to/from central London for these
information office) and Reedham (museum). Properties weekend blockades.
requiring significant financial investment (such as the former
Station Master’s accommodation at Bury St Edmunds and An engineering blockade at Gidea Park during December and
Thetford which have been vacant for many years) may be January has seen the Down sidings completely remodelled
available on long leases with rent free periods. External and lengthened for use by the new 345 units. The 4 new
repairing covenants (such as roof repairs and external sidings and northern headshunt are all fully signalled –
painting) of buildings beside operational property awaiting completion and commissioning as at 26th January.
necessitating possessions are more costly and problematic.
Manningtree: New train maintenance depot
Greater Anglia mainline service catering trolley offering: In mid-January there was little indication of the main site
Hitherto on some Norwich – London mainline services GA construction commencing. It is rumoured that the new depot
has provided a catering trolley service dispensing will be somewhat smaller than originally proposed due to a
complimentary refreshments to First Class passengers but funding dispute.
since the beginning of 2018 the trolley service has been
exclusively used to sell its wares to Standard Class Wherry lines resignalling scheme works continue:
passengers. First Class passengers now have to head for the A further blockade seeing buses substituting for the rail
Café Bar for their refreshments. Possible explanations could services between Norwich – Great Yamouth and Lowestoft
be preparing passengers for a possible catering offer on the will take place between 10th - 18th February 2018. Rail
services will also be suspended between Lowestoft and
In This Issue 1 Beccles for the two weekends involved. The main areas of
4 work will be at Lowestoft and Reedham Jcn. One result of the
Track Report 4 rationalisation works at Reedham Jcn will see the present
National Network 5 three lines between Reedham station and the junction for Gt
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature 12 Yarmouth reduced to two lines. Future control of the 66 new
Away from the tracks signals and 22 power operated points will pass to Colchester
13 PSB – it is being rumoured that this may prove to be a
Pick-up Goods permanent arrangement with the proposed transfer to
NRS News 14 Romford ROC being abandoned.
Vienna, Prague and Berlin - A Tale of Three 16 Bridge renewal between Ely and Kings Lynn: The railway
Cities - Brian Cornwell will be closed for these works between 12th – 16th February.
Some B.R. Investment Schemes of the 1980s -
Authorised or Otherwise (Part 1) - Rod Lock GE INCIDENTS
Working Timetable The following details can only represent a small sample of the
incidents occurring given that your scribe is not a subscriber
to the daily Control Log!.
Saturday 2nd December: A busy day for GA Control. The Wymondham, Attleborough, Thetford and Brandon.
0944 Sheringham – Norwich service struck and killed a Proceeding via Ely West Curve the locomotive took on water
person at Roughton Road. The 0945 and 1045 services from on the approach to March station the penultimate stop before
Norwich were terminated at and turned back from North reaching Peterborough 30L. The ECML was closed north of
Walsham. The 1752 Ipswich – London service failed after the station following the 0948 London Kings Cross – Hull
departure from Shenfield and had to be drawn back to the service formed of a 180 unit which ruptured its fuel tanks
station. Several services were either terminated at Shenfield prompting a train on fire alert. Initially it was thought that this
or delayed by up to 40 minutes. In reaction the 1930 and damage had been caused by having hit an obstruction north
2000 London – Norwich services were cancelled. of the station but subsequent investigation revealed that one
of the engines had failed spectacularly. The 180 unit came to
Sunday 3rd December: Engineering works resulted in bus a stand just north of Helpston LC and it is reported that the
replacement services being provided all day between Ipswich stranded passengers could not be detrained for some 5 hours
– Norwich; Ipswich – Felixstowe and Ely – Peterborough. with a Grand Central 180 unit finally being attached to drag
the failed unit back to Peterborough station.
Wednesday 6th December: 0936 Wakefield – Felixstowe
South container service operated by DB Cargo failed in the The special train was able to resume its journey 88L and
Ely area (ENJ 1L; Ely 51L and Soham 115L). Resultant reached York at 1523 132L. During a 22 minute wait in
delays caused several cancellations including the 1638 Claypole loop north of Grantham six (6) inter city services
Norwich – Cambridge and the 1811 return. The 1350 overtook! Passengers were treated to a 71 minute stay in
Peterborough – Ipswich service was cancelled on arrival at York before the return service departed at 1636 behind 46100
Ely as the line ahead was blocked. “Royal Scot” which ran on time to Peterborough where a
Class 47 was substituted as arranged for the return to
The ecs with A4 60009 having passed March 2L then passed Norwich. With the Ely Curve still out of use eastbound
ENJ 56L and departed Ely (1625-1644) 72L. following the derailment of the container train on 14 August a
reversal at Ely was necessary incurring a 30 minute delay.
Thursday 7th December: 0555 Norwich – London service Passengers arrived back in Norwich just before midnight.
was terminated at Diss 19L.
A SPAD (signal passed at danger) event occurred in the
A4 60009 Union of South Africa on the RTC’s 0810 Norwich – Norwich area about 1030. The 0935 Crown Point – Ilford ecs
York special train formed of 11 vehicles. The train departed departed 25L. The 0906 Cambridge – Norwich having
Norwich 8L (late arrival of the stock being shunted into the departed Wymondham 4L passed Trowse Jcn 58L and
platform by the A4) and more time was lost whilst calling at arrived Norwich 61L. The 1030 Norwich – London departed
22L and was terminated at Colchester 35L due to a train crew
Norfolk Railway Society issue. The 1057 Norwich – Liverpool Lime St departed 42L.
Tuesday 12th December: Bridge strike at Eccles Road:
President: Ken Mills, Esq. early in the morning a road vehicle struck the parapet of an
overbridge between Eccles Road and Harling Road with
Committee and Officers 2016-2017 Telephone material falling to obstruct the running lines. The first services
to run after the line closure were the 1240 Norwich –
Chairman Brian Kirton Cambridge and an EMT service departing Ely at 1416
Vice Chairman Warren Wordsworth
Points failure at Oulton Broad North causes some
Past Chairman Ray Halliday cancellations until repairs effected.
Secretary & Andrew Wright A track defect between Witham and Kelvedon necessitated
Webmaster single line working over the Up line causing delays and
cancellations including the 0624 and 0740 ex Norwich –
Treasurer John Laycock London with the 0705 service being terminated at Ipswich.
Membership Sec Mike Handscomb Wednesday 13th December: Cambridge PSB power outage
between about 1030 and 1115 brought all services on the
Newsletter Editor & Edward Mann Norwich – Ely line to a halt. The 1010 Cambridge – Norwich
Indoor Programme departed Ely on time and reached Thetford 46L. The 0940
Norwich - Cambridge departed Thetford on time but reached
Indoor Programme Graham Kenworthy Ely 47L. The following 0957 Norwich – Liverpool Lime St also
departed Thetford on time but reached Ely 55L. The 1040
Show Day Manager Brian Cornwell Norwich – Cambridge was cancelled and the 1057 Norwich –
& Outdoor visits Liverpool Lime St departed 50L reaching Thetford 64L and
the train then ran via Ely West Curve (70L) towards March
Committee Member Malcolm Wright rather than reverse in Ely station
—----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thursday 14th December: 0624 Norwich – London service
failed at Diss. The locomotive on the 0648 departure was
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter detached and sent to recover the failed train. A Norwich
bound service (0600 ex London) was terminated at Diss to
Editor: Edward Mann form the 0740 ex Norwich service to London. The 0705, 0740
and 0800 ex Norwich services were cancelled with the first
Layout & Picture Editor: Andrew Wright through service from Norwich after the 0624 being the 0830
departure. As a result the 0930, 1000 and 1100 departures
Distribution: Graham Smith
Please contact Graham if the next edition does not arrive by
the end of the month of publication.
Opinions expressed in any articles are those of the author
and should not be taken to represent those of the Society.
Next issue published 5th April 2018.
Copy date: 22nd March 2018.
from London were cancelled – the 1000 was started from 1400 Norwich – London was terminated at Witham. The
Colchester. 1430, 1500 and 1630 ex London – Norwich services started
Friday 15th December: 1700 London – Norwich was
terminated at its first stop in Ipswich due to a passenger being Damage to the overhead line equipment between Stowmarket
taken ill on the train. and Diss resulted in single line working until repairs carried
Saturday 16th December: 1200 Norwich – London failed
shortly after leaving Ipswich and was returned to Ipswich Friday 5th January: Fatality near Crown Point: a young man
station. The 1252 Ipswich – London was cancelled and the was struck by a train near the level crossing serving Crown
1230 ex Norwich was held at Ipswich 1306-1406 (57L) before Point from Cremorne Lane just after 0700hrs. The 0715 to
running non-stop to London arriving 45L. The 1300 Norwich – Sheringham; 0736 to Great Yarmouth; 0740 to London and
London was held at Stowmarket 1330 – 1410 (31L) and the 0755 to Lowestoft services were the first to be cancelled.
1330 ex Norwich was cancelled. The 1230 London – Norwich Services approaching Norwich were held at Brundall and
was held at Manningtree 1334-1359 (28L) arriving Norwich Hoveton for more than 90 minutes until about 0845. Normal
36L. The 1500 London – Norwich departed 25L and ran non- services resumed with the 0936 Gt Yarmouth; 0945
stop to Ipswich then stations to Norwich. Sheringham and 1005 Lowestoft departures.
Monday 18th December: GA trains get in rather a tangle: the Saturday 6th January: 0216 Felixstowe – Hams Hall GBrf
0715 Harwich International service formed of 321 units container service failed in the Kennett area passing
brought down the OLE losing a pantograph in the process Chippenham Jcn 240L. The 0510, 0616 and 0720 Ipswich –
between Witham and Hatfield Peverel. Cambridge services all terminated at Bury St Edmunds with
the 0800 Ipswich – Peterborough service running as
1749 Sheringham - Norwich service departed 43L having scheduled. The first Cambridge – Ipswich departure was at
been detained there because of disruptive passengers. 0944.
Wednesday 20th December: signalling problems at Gidea Tuesday 9th January: A swan delays trains. A swan
Park with two lines blocked until 1315hrs causing several obstructed trains in the vicinity of Trowse swingbridge about
Norwich – London services to be delayed or cancelled 2030hrs. GA tweeted (or should that be another bird noise?)
(including the 1130, 1200 and 1230 ex London – an additional that “the swan had been safely rescued and currently in cab
train ran at 1220 departing 20L, the 1430 ex Norwich and with the driver until it can be released in a safe area”. Full
1700 return) and the 1000 ex Norwich was terminated at marks to the driver should he have personally apprehended
Shenfield to form a 1253 to Norwich and the 1200 ex Norwich the swan. As for a safe place might we suggest Swan Lane?!!
was terminated at Colchester and then formed the 1430 ex
London from there. Friday 12th January: Fire at Nottingham station: the serious
fire which started at about 0630 caused the closure of this
Thursday 21st December: Overhead line problems between important station and the suspension of all services serving it
Stowmarket and Diss with no early morning services between for the remainder of the day. Three early morning EMT
Norwich and Ipswich. The 0648 ex Norwich having been Norwich – Liverpool Lime St services were terminated at
delayed at Ipswich was terminated at Colchester 66L.The Grantham, Peterborough and Ely with EMT services being
0705, 0740 and 0800 ex Norwich were cancelled. The 0600 suspended for the remainder of the day. Most platforms at
ex London arrived Stowmarket 70L. The 0700 and 0730 ex Nottingham station were able to be re-opened the following
London were terminated at Ipswich. day with a reduced service.
The 0930 Norwich was terminated at Ipswich and the 1000 ex Monday 15th January: a points failure outside Liverpool
Norwich commenced its journey at Colchester. The 0900 and Street station necessitated an emergency engineering
0930 London – Norwich services started from Colchester with possession just after midday. This blocked access to
the 1000, 1030 and 1100 ex London were cancelled in platforms 5-10 and as a result several services were
reaction. An additional service operated from Ipswich to cancelled including several Norwich – London services
Norwich at 0933 formed of a one coach 153 unit. terminated at Colchester.
Level crossing failure at Attleborough: the 0840 Norwich – Tuesday 16th January: Signalling problems north of North
Cambridge and return service were cancelled due to a barrier Walsham caused cancellations and delays.
Wednesday 17th January: 0215 Felixstowe – Hams Hall
Oulton Broad swingbridge failed with the 1007 Lowestoft – GBrf container service departed 177L and then proceeded to
Ipswich service cancelled and the 1107 and 1207 services lose 34 minutes between Europa Junction and Stowmarket
starting from Oulton Broad South station. delaying some GA services by up to 30 minutes (such as the
0655 Ipswich – Norwich).
Friday 22nd December: a road traffic accident on the level
crossing at Waterbeach station blocked the line for some 90 Thursday 18th January: Strong gale force winds disrupted
minutes from 1645hrs. Trains were terminated at Cambridge services throughout East Anglia. The overheads and some
or Ely until the line could be re-opened. masts were damaged between Norwich and Stowmarket and
subsequently Ipswich to Manningtree with debris on the
Wednesday 27th December: fallen trees block the Norwich – overhead wires at Ilford and Stratford. Trees were brought
Lowestoft line until removed. down between Eccles Road and Thetford (blocking both
London bound routes out of Norwich by 0700); between
Wednesday 3rd January 2018: a failed freight train blocked Marks Tey and Sudbury; at Elmswell; Brundall and between
the London bound line near Ingatestone about midday. The Darsham and Saxmundham.
1200 Norwich – London only ran between Ipswich and
Colchester. The 1300 ex Norwich was cancelled and the
The Norwich – Ely line re-opened about 0930 with the 0940 most of its working life in Scotland ending its career with BR
Norwich – Cambridge service running. in 1993. The Costwold Mainline Diesel Group stepped in and
saved 26043 from being scrapped and have owned it ever
A points failure at Cromer saw the 0510 Norwich – since. The engine is based at the Gloucestershire
Sheringham service stop at Roughton Road before reversing Warwickshire Steam Railway.
back to North Walsham and then proceeding to Norwich. A
signal fault and fallen trees then saw the service suspended Eaton Park Santa Specials
until the 1645 ex Norwich and 1749 ex Sheringham services.
Mike Fordham reports: The NDSMEs Eaton Park miniature
The Marks Tey - Sudbury service was suspended all day railway ran Santa Specials on two Sundays in December.
owing to the train running into a fallen tree. A replacement Despite the cold and wet these proved successful. Young
unit could not be sourced from Norwich as the line was member Charlie Riches was awarded Parkland Railway
blocked by other fallen trees and damaged OLE. Several Proficiency Silver Award by Santa.
units were damaged by debris and some local train services
were either short formed or cancelled for the following week. Away from the Tracks
Fallen trees also blocked the East Suffolk line and services A Relic Returns
were suspended for most of the day not resuming until the
1813 ex Ipswich and the 1807 ex Lowestoft – which departed At a recent auction in Diss a number of railway rarities once
on time but passed Beccles 35L and reached Ipswich 47L belonging to former signalman Peter Punchard were placed
under the hammer. The item fetching the largest sum was the
Norwich – London services were suspended all day with main “Halesworth for Southwold” running-in board, which
line services being restored only between Ipswich and signposted visitors to the narrow gauge branch running
London from 1400hrs. between the towns.
With the aid of a donation from one of Mr Punchard’s children
Friday 19th January: Continuing storm related delays: the Halesworth and District Museum made the winning bid of
Overnight repairs to the OLE could not be completed before £3,100. In addition an auctioneer’s premium of 20% or more
services began to run on the route on 19 January resulting in would have been payable. According to press reports the
early morning services being disrupted. The 0500 and 0530 museum plans a prominent position for the running-in board
ex Norwich started from Ipswich with the 0600, 0624 and when it reopens in the Spring.
0705 ex Norwich running with the 0648 and 0740 cancelled. Thanks to John Hutchinson and Mike Handscomb for drawing
A further tree falling blocked the line after the passage of the attention to this story and to Richard Adderson for providing
0800 ex Norwich with services cancelled until the 1000 then the image below.
hourly. Services from London departing 0625 – 0900 all
reached Norwich between 80L and 112L with trains being
held at Ipswich for more than an hour (the 0900 ex London
was held there for 80 minutes).
The 1230 London – Norwich (the previous 1130 and 1200
from London having been cancelled) was held at Ipswich for
30 minutes awaiting completion of temporary repairs to the
OLE in the Diss area.
The loss of the mains electricity supply resulted in the loss of
signalling between Wymondham and Thetford between 1430
and about 1700 being restored once a generator had been
sourced. The services resumed with a 1810 Norwich – Ely
and 1628 Ely - Norwich departing 22L and arriving Norwich
Sunday 21st January: Overrunning engineering works
between Norwich and Diss: OLE repairs prevented the
running of Shenfield bound services until the 0930 ex Norwich
and the 1125 ex Colchester (starting there rather than
Shenfield) provided the first service from Diss to Norwich at
1210 (rather than the 1010)!
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and
First local Gala of 2018
The Mid-Norfolk Railway Spring Diesel Gala will run from
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th March.
The first confirmed guest loco is Class 26 No. 26043, which is
the youngest preserved member of the Class 26 family, being
built in 1959 at Birmingham Railway Carriage Works. It spent
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Recently at the URC Hall and haul them away from the border at full speed, burning
everything they can find to keep the loco going. Once the
Film night: Oh, Mr Porter! and Overture One- authorities have been alerted to their plight, the entire railway
Two-Five - Edward Mann (7th December) system goes into action, with lines closed and other trains
re-routed. Finally the train crashes into a siding where police
Yes, you’re right: ‘Film Night’ didn’t appear in our Working are waiting to arrest the gun-runners. Poor old Gladstone
Timetable event listings, for the very good reason that it was explodes after its hectic journey, whereupon Porter, Harbottle
a last-minute arrangement put in place to cover the absence and Albert lower their hats in respect.
of our planned speaker.
The film credits assistance from both the LNER and the
The evening should have seen us addressed by Les Bird,
Traincrew Development Director for MTR Corporation
(Crossrail) Limited. Les would have updated us on the Class
345 Bombardier ‘Aventra’ units which are coming into
operation on London’s new Elizabeth Line (Crossrail).
Unfortunately Les has been seriously ill, and so Edward
Mann pulled a couple of rabbits out of the hat in the shape of
two very different films.
Jimmy Perry, co-creator of Dad’s Army, has written that the Hawthorn, Leslie 0-4-2T no.2 Northiam at Tenterden station.
trio of Captain Mainwaring, Corporal Jones and Private Pike Adorned with a spiked-top stovepipe chimney, Northiam
was inspired by watching Oh, Mr Porter! (1937). For those became Gladstone for the film.
who’ve not seen it, the plot centres on William Porter (Will
Hay), an inept railway worker whose pushy relative gets him Southern Railway. The former appears only in the opening
promoted to stationmaster at the remote and ramshackle sequence, where Porter, then a lowly wheeltapper, causes
station of Buggleskelly, on the fictional Southern Railway of havoc at the naming ceremony for an A4 Pacific. The other
Northern Ireland and close to the border with the then Irish outdoor scenes were filmed on the SR. Buggleskelly station
Free State. was Cliddesden, a wayside stop on the Basingstoke – Alton
Light Railway where passenger services had ceased five
Porter's staff consists of the elderly Harbottle (Moore years earlier. The valiant Gladstone was in reality Northiam,
Marriott) and an insolent young porter, Albert (Graham one of two Hawthorn, Leslie 0-4-2Ts delivered to the Rother
Moffatt). Stationmaster Porter tries to rejuvenate the station in Valley Rly (forerunner of the K&ESR) in 1899 and used on
several ways, including halting the passing express much to various Colonel Stephens’ lines until being scrapped with her
its guard’s displeasure, and organising an excursion to sister in 1941. The express which Porter stops is hauled by a
Connemara. He unwittingly agrees to transport a group of SR 4-6-0; in a close-up of the loco’s cabside the oval
gun-runners - but then their train disappears, and Porter gets Southern Railway worksplate appears, with ‘of Northern
Ireland’ neatly added underneath. The final high-speed romp
was filmed – and obviously speeded up – on the Southern
between Southampton and Waterloo.
Stationmaster Porter (Will Hay) and Harbottle (Moore Marriott) The evening’s second feature was quite different - and, at just
debate the finer points of that week’s Special Traffic Notice. 6½ minutes, a lot shorter. Overture One-Two-Five, the last
complete production to be shot on 35mm film by British
the sack. To make amends he puts Gladstone, the station’s Transport Films, was made in 1978 to mark the introduction
shunting loco, in steam so that he, Harbottle and Albert can of Inter-City 125 HST services between Paddington and
set off down a long-forgotten branch to look for the missing Bristol. Scenes on the production line were followed by views,
train. As suspected, the train and criminals have gone to on board the train, from the lineside and the air, all designed
ground inside a tunnel. After some fisticuffs and a hair-raising to showcase a new age of comfortable high-speed travel.
escape on windmaill sails, the Buggleskelly trio manage to There was no commentary, just a musical sound track,
couple Gladstone to the carriages containing the gun-runners specially composed by David Gow.
Overture One-Two-Five served to remind us of the wealth of
titles produced by British Transport Films between 1949 and
1982.Snowdrift at Bleath Gill, East Anglian Holiday, Fully
Fitted Freight (recently broadcast on Talking Pictures
TV), Blue Pullman, Operation London Bridge….. there’s no
shortage of titles when we next have to arrange a meeting at
Our thanks to Edward for stepping into the breach and home between a Class 50 and a 31. The attraction of the
entertaining us - and, as ever, to Andy Wright for making it autumn RHTT workings could never be the clean locos –
happen on the screen. (Mike Handscomb) every 66 seen was absolutely filthy! Yarmouth was in the
throes of remodelling but the various views of the Class 37s
Members’ Christmas Evening (21st December) and their short sets looked very attractive in the low sun.
The customary Christmas Evening always provides surprises Finally, we move on to what might be sub-titled “the dog-
and this one was no exception. walker’s report”. Chris & Sue Mitchell have recently became
dog owners, and it must be taken for walks! But first, the
Peter Cooke opened proceedings with two readings from Borders Railway is running some 3 times ahead of passenger
“Men of Steam”. The first was a poem about the record- expectations and the already-large car park at Tweedbank is
breaking exploits of A3 Flying Fox in LNER days, suitably being extended. Various combinations of Class 158s are
embellished of course. The second poem was loosely based being used to augment the services. It was pleasing to learn
on Kipling’s “If” but themed on the finer arts of train-planning. that the Scottish government has commissioned reports on
John Peat gave a very amusing account of Peat’s Railtours, a extending the line to Hawick, even though the former
project going back to 2005 when he set himself the target of Waverley route crosses thinly-populated country around
travelling over all passenger routes. This year, he and some Belses, as well as on improving the A7/A68. Chris then
friends had covered East Anglia and its heritage lines using looked at the route of “The Innocent Railway” which was a
mainly Anglia Plus Day Rangers. One of the worst problems coal-carrier and which entered the city from the south
occurred on a bus replacement from Sheringham to Cromer (Dalkeith). This had its terminus at St Leonard’s which lasted
when the bus driver did not seem to realise that the “disabled” only until 1847 when Waverley opened. Some goods sheds
steps needed to be raised as well as lowered and the bus have survived.
itself needed to be replaced!
We then saw something of the Bath end of the route of the
Robert Scarfe’s high-quality video concentrated on the “big” Somerset & Dorset line, closed in 1966. Both Devonshire
engines – Tornado, Oliver Cromwell, Union of South Africa & Tunnel & the lengthy Combe Down Tunnel were used by
Flying Scotsman – on railtours and special services mainly at cyclists and (dog) walkers. Interpretation boards recall the
various locations across Norfolk. line’s history. It was a fascinating close to an excellent
Mike Handscomb has been using ebay to dispose of the late
Bernard Harrison’s slide collection, with help from David Thanks to Andy Wright for operating the projector and to
Pearce and Richard Adderson on the scanning. The “Top everyone who brought refreshments.
Ten” slides so far sold in value terms were truly a mixed bag.
No. 10 - a Class 47 on a down Norwich passing Ilford Car “Railways of the Netherlands (Chairman’s
Sheds in the 1970s – made £15.49 whereas no. 1 was from Address)” - Brian Kirton (4th January)
April 1987 and showed an EMU (a Class 309) approaching
Norwich with the first trial electric working. This fetched an You’ve only got to glance at Brian’s model display cabinet to
amazing £37.99, and no doubt the occasion helped. see that Dutch railways have great appeal for him. His wide-
ranging knowledge of the country and its transport systems
Alan Thurling contributed a most interesting chapter from the were much in evidence in his Chairman’s Address which
1958 “Railway Roundabout” DVD showing the activity on the began our 2018 meeting programme.
1 in 37 Lickey Incline with trains being banked from
Bromsgrove to Blackwell. Jubilees and Class 5s hauled the 17 million people - and around the same number of bicycles -
trains whilst a 9F, a 42xx 2-8-0T, Panniers and Jinties live in the Netherlands, whose population density is exceeded
provided assistance. The signalling was tailored to most only by Bangladesh, South Korea and Taiwan. There’s a lot
situations. Descending freight trains needed particular care. of green space in the country however, Brian reassured us.
To get there you have to use rail, ship or air. Brian showed
Coincidentally Malcolm Wright had raided the same DVD set, some pictures of the Harwich - Hoek van Holland sea route
choosing a 1959 sequence from Devon featuring the Brent – (inaugurated in 1893, and now operated by Stena), and
Kingsbridge (for Salcombe) branch. The branch was called Eurostar, which plans to begin daily direct services between
“The Primrose Line” for obvious reasons and camping St Pancras and Amsterdam this Easter.
coaches were parked at two of the intermediate stations. This
charming line was worked by 4500 or 4575 2-6-2Ts on “B” Today’s Dutch track appears to feature many scissors
sets and it survived just long enough to be dieselised before crossovers and reversible lines. It came as a surprise to me
closing from 16th September 1963. Even main-line Brent only to learn that the first line, Amsterdam – Haarlem – Rotterdam
managed another year. Today, virtually nothing remains, and was built on an unusual broad gauge of 1,945 mm; that’s just
it was interesting to learn that it might have been an early over 6 ft 4 in and thus a few inches below Brunel’s favoured
preservation candidate. Sadly, B.R. removed the track before gauge. Needless to say, conversion to standard gauge
a deal could be struck. occurred before long.
Still in Devon, Edward Mann read a letter from the Daily Rotterdam suffered badly from aerial bombardment by the
Telegraph published in May 1955 lamenting the imminent Luftwaffe on 14 May 1940. Much was flattened but St.
closure of the Princetown branch (this happened in March Lawrence church, though heavily damaged, survived as the
1956). This breather allowed Andy Wright to change only reminder of Rotterdam's medieval architecture. Today
projection modes and make his own contribution. the city’s varied architectural landscape includes sky-
scrapers, which are uncommon in other Dutch cities. The
Andy recalled the Society visit to the railways within the city’s Centraal Station, featuring a giant concave façade,
Scunthorpe Steelworks complex made in July (see NRS/NL opened in 1957 but was replaced by a new structure in 2014.
62/4 p.6) by showing some imaginative images of an
incomprehensible site. He then turned his attention to the Brian then turned to the country’s ‘Sites of Railway Interest’,
“Peak Sandwich” as a Class 45 and a 46 made their way most of which he’s visited over the years. Best known is
the Stoomtram Hoorn – Medemblik, a favourite with tour transforming the causeway into a four-lane motorway.
operators; visitors often combine a ride on the tram with a Another large-scale enterprise was the Frisian Lakes project,
boat trip from Medemblik to Enkhuizen. More impressive from co-funded by the EU and completed in 2015. It aimed to
a steam enthusiast’s viewpoint is theVeluwsche Stoomtrein increase employment and attract more businesses to Fryslân,
Maatschappij (Veluwsche Steam Train Company) whose through improved road traffic flow and shorter waiting times
main-line red-wheeled beasts originate in the main from the for bridges and locks.
Deutsche Bundesbahn and the Deutsche Reichsbahn; Brian
showed an awe-inspiring sextuple-header which rounded off Unguarded level crossings are being phased out - fortunately
one VSM gala. At IJmuiden, North Holland, Tata Steel lets so, in view of the collision at Dalfsen level crossing in
the Hoogovens Stoom IJmuiden group run an operation February 2016. A passenger train collided with a slow-moving
similar to what we’re familiar with at Scunthorpe; a smart tracked vehicle, resulting in one fatality and six people were
lined-green 0-6-0T hauls passengers around the steelworks injured.
on the last Sunday of the month. Back at Rotterdam, the loco
depot of the Stoom Stichting Nederland (Dutch Steam We looked at several of the country’s larger and more
Foundation) is the base for the SSN’s numerous special interesting stations. Hoek van Holland Haven opened in 1893
trains throughout Holland and also doubles up as a museum and once offered services to Germany and beyond, but
where a large collection of German and Dutch steam locos international train services have ceased and the station is
may be viewed. being reconstructed to serve metro trains. Rotterdam
Centraal has been completely rebuilt to a dramatic angular
The country’s national railway museum is to be found in design; the previous station, with its distinctive 1950s
Utrecht, behind the original Maliebaan station building. Brian concave frontage and congested passenger tunnel, became
illustrated several of the star exhibits, which included: too small to handle the growing number of passengers. The
Netherlands’ only station in art nouveau style is Haarlem, and
�� A replica of 2-2-2 De Arend (‘The Eagle’), one of the Brian showed some fascinating views of the delightful ornate
two first steam locomotives in the Netherlands, built interior. The country’s largest and busiest station is Utrecht
in England by R. B. Longridge and Co. of Centraal, rebuilt recently as part of a general redevelopment
Bedlington, Northumberland. of the area with the station entrance replaced by a new glass
structure.(Modellers should note that Eurospoor 2018,
�� A 2-4-0 built by Beyer Peacock & Co in 1864, and Europe’s largest model railway show, will be held in Utrecht
withdrawn for preservation as early as 1913. from 9 - 11 November).
�� 4-6-0 no. 3737 known as ‘Jumbo’, built by To round off an absorbing evening Brian outlined the current
Werkspoor, Amsterdam, in 1911. strategy of Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the coming years
NS will focus on three core activities: improving services on
�� WD Austerity 2-10-0 73755 Longmoor. This was the the main rail network and high-speed rail link, taking care of
1000th British-built locomotive to be shipped to stations and improving door-to-door travel. The company
mainland Europe in support of the Allied forces. plans to invest more than three billion euros in the next five
years in trains, station facilities, better travel information and
�� A class DE-1 railcar. These single-car streamlined new payment methods. It’s interesting to note that NS will no
units were built in the 1950s in Rotterdam and longer bid on regional rail concessions in the Netherlands and
dubbed Blauwe Engelen (Blue Angels) on account of has already sold its Qbuzz bus operations to Busitalia.
Vice-chairman Warren Wordsworth led the meeting and
After the break we moved from heritage sites to aspects of delivered a richly-deserved vote of thanks to Brian. It was
the main-line scene. good to see a smattering of new faces in the audience, all of
whom had accompanied Brian and Velma on holidays
In the 1990s the Netherlands government opened the rail throughout Europe and Worldwide.
market to competing firms and Lovers, a tour-boat operator
on the Amsterdam and Utrecht canals, formed Lovers Rail. It Down Memory Lane (1)
instituted train services between Amsterdam and IJmuiden,
Lisse and Haarlem but they were not a success and the firm In NRS/NL 62/5 p.9, the Quiz contained a question (no.10)
folded in 1999. about Pilning’s train services. Now that you have the answer,
you may find this interesting.
The Netherlands are connected to the European high-speed
rail network with one dedicated high-speed line, HSL-Zuid, The original Severn Bridge was officially opened in
and improved traditional rail. In 2009 an international high- September 1966, making a huge difference to English –
speed rail service called ‘Fyra’ began between the Welsh communications as, until then, the nearest river
Netherlands and Belgium using Italian-built AnsaldoBreda crossing was at Gloucester. B.R. and its predecessor, the
V250 trains. After much-publicised technical difficulties which G.W.R., operated a quaint service hauling vehicles and
raised reliability and safety concerns, the service was motor-cycles through the Severn Tunnel, between Pilning
permanently halted after less than two months. High Level and Severn Tunnel Junc using flat wagons with a
passenger coach attached. There were only 2/3 trains daily,
The prevalence of canals and rivers and the low-lying nature and the wise motorist no doubt availed himself of a
of the country mean that railway engineers have had to use a waterproof/tarpaulin sheet to protect his vehicle against
lot of ingenuity. Brian showed examples of train ferries and goodness-knows-what might fall from a passing train or the
bridges, both conventional and lifting. One river crossing even tunnel roof. Prior notice by letter, telegram or telephone to the
features a ‘catenary gap’ requiring a train driver to coast starting point was advisable! One assumes that, at 15/- (75p)
between electrified sections. In Friesland a major causeway single and 25/- (£1.25) return for a car in 1960, the service
the Afsluitdijk (Enclosure Dam), was constructed between was considered expensive. The waterproof sheets were
1925 and 1932 over a length of 32 kilometres and a width of another 2/- (10p).
90 metres, some 7.25 metres above sea level. Space was left
for a railway, but NS never built a line for reasons of cost and
relative lack of benefits. In the 1970s the reservation and
abutments for the rail line became a second carriageway,
Cars were conveyed subject to some conditions including the Carlisle. Whilst I may be a trifle pedantic, Beeching had left
car being free from petrol leaks and “in the case of vehicles his railway post in 1965 so Carlisle – Edinburgh’s 1969
with gravity or autovac feed, the flow of petrol to the closure was hardly Beeching’s work.
carburettor has been stopped by means of the shut-off cock
provided”! This seems to be a fuel delivery system going back 2. But this is simply wrong!
to the 1920s, so one wonders how many cars still had it in
1960. The subsidy paid by Norfolk County Council to local bus
operators is under review. During an interview on BBC Look
As for Pilning, its High Level station is barely existing – now East (27th November) we once again heard that “Beeching
simply called Pilning – but Pilning Low Level closed from 23rd decimated our local railways”. Sorry, but he didn’t. Various
November 1964 when services were cut back to Severn closures occurred in the 1950s, culminating in the M&GN
Beach. which was a pre-Beeching-era closure in 1959. The Dereham
– King’s Lynn line and the Magdalen Road – Wisbech –
Although most members will have travelled over either or both March line both went in 1968, the King’s Lynn – Hunstanton
of the Severn Bridges did anyone ever experience the “car- line in 1969, and the Yarmouth – Lowestoft line in 1970, all
carrier” service through the Severn Tunnel and, better still, after he’d left B.R. True “Beeching” closures were
has anyone images of the loading/unloading, please? Sheringham – Melton Constable, Swaffham – Thetford,
And finally…there was a more conventional, frequent (and Dereham – Wells and North Walsham – Mundesley, all in
cheaper) car-ferry from Aust to Beachley, operated by the 1964. If you want to blame Beeching for other things, fine, but
Severn Princess and Severn Queen complete with their be careful with rail closures in Norfolk.
vehicle turntables. There is footage on youtube and there are
reminiscences too – just google Aust to Beachley ferry. This 3. Portillo in Norfolk
seems to have survived until the opening of the Severn
Bridge. Great British Railway Journeys returned to BBC2 with a new
series on 2nd January. In the first episode Michael Portillo set
Down Memory Lane (2) out from Cromer exploring Edwardian England stopping at
Wroxham & Hoveton and Attleborough en route to
My neighbour, Robin Thomas, had one trip on the Beachley – Cambridge. Now when I last looked I saw no sign of
Aust (Bristol side) ferry, and I quote his recollections almost electrification on these lines. However a review in the i
verbatim: newspaper by Sean O’Grady leads us to believe Mr Portillo
travelled on a Greater Anglia “electric commuter shuttle”. Still
“Regarding the Beachley/Aust ferry, I can recall one occasion Mr O’Grady is not obviously a rail enthusiast commenting “I’m
when we travelled across the Severn with an uncle of mine pleased he [Portillo] spends less time on boring trains”.
who had a car (a split-windscreen Morris Oxford which he Perhaps I should spend less time reading fake TV reviews!
generously let me move around in his yard when I was only (AW)
about 15 or 16). He was a rather nervous driver so I suspect
the time we used the ferry was the only one! Access was Bletchley, Breich & Pilning
down a fairly steep slipway and then a turn through a right-
angle onto the ferry’s ramp, at which point the car would tilt Railwatch is essentially the Newsletter of Railfuture and the
alarmingly. The ferry was highly dependent on the tide and December issue contains an artist’s Impression of what
the rate of flow of the water, which is very high in the Bristol Bletchley station might look like if the East – West Rail route
Channel and the Severn, so there was no regular timetable comes to fruition. The EWR station would be built on the
from one day to the next. It was approached down a narrow approach to what they call the 1960s (actually 1950s) flyover
road and of course there was no way of knowing how many with a footbridge connection to the WCML.
vehicles might be already waiting. The ferry had a central
turntable so that cars could be packed in efficiently, but I There is also a piece on the Scottish Transport Secretary
believe the boat would take no more than a dozen cars so it intervening to stop NR closing Breich station (on the
was not unusual to find that the arrival of adverse water Edinburgh – Glasgow line via Shotts). This station is served
conditions stopped the ferry before the queue had come to an by one train each way daily 6 days a week. They have
end. Quite a gamble in fact, but I suppose users were contrasted the Scottish position with that applying at Pilning
generally lucky and the alternative route by road from where the footbridge has been removed to allow for overhead
Newport or Cardiff to Bristol was a long haul up to Gloucester wiring, and the service is now just 2 trains in one direction
on the A48 and back down the other side of the river. I’m not Saturdays only.
sure, but I suppose this would have taken three hours or so.”
The last Scottish station closure (as opposed to re-sitings etc)
Media Corner occurred in 1986. Where?
1. If the Sunday Times says it, it must be right! Pre-Christmas Events
My neighbour let me have a copy of an article from the Andy Wright and yours truly acted as question masters in the
Sunday Times of 3rd December which, almost inevitably, had annual Transport Group quiz on 30th November, and Andy is
something to say about the Transport Secretary wanting to to be congratulated for devising rounds on airline recognition
re-open lines axed by Beeching (never mind that he made and another on aerial transport related views from Norfolk,
recommendations to the Minister of Transport). It said: “As a Suffolk & Cambridgeshire. Rounds on buses and cars were
result, perhaps unnoticed by Grayling, 400 stations that had rested, but no doubt they’ll be back. Richard Adderson, Steve
been closed under Beeching have already re-opened and Cane, Velma Kirton & Malcolm Wright comprised the winning
600 miles of track are back in service. These range from team and, for once, it was good to have 4 tables of 4. Thanks
major lines such as Carlisle – Edinburgh to 50 community rail to all who participated.
partnerships such as the Esk Valley, the Derwent Valley and
the Tarka”. On 4th December the Old Feathers, Framingham Pigot,
hosted 34 members, wives and partners for our annual
Well, I travelled from Edinburgh to Tweedbank last June, and Christmas Meal - we were sorry that Heather Brister was
I can assure everybody there’s no onward rail service to
indisposed. Many thanks to Brian Cornwell for organising the Junctions in place names (NRS/NL 62/5 p.12)
event, and for devising the fiendish “Train Films” quiz.
Richard Adderson has kindly drawn attention to Carstairs
Plaistow by any other name Junction, an entirely separate community from Carstairs
(see NRS/NL 62/6 p.10) Village. Although the latter is a thriving community, the former
has declined since the days when Edinburgh/Glasgow
The other Plaistow became Sundridge Park (Bromley). And portions of WCML trains were joined/split, and fresh
so we move on to Castle Hill – a pleasant enough name you’d locomotives attached; also there was also a medium-sized
think, and indeed it was used at two different locations. engine shed. He also wonders about Riccarton Junction,
formerly on the Waverley route. Does anyone know if the
The first Castle Hill opened in 1871, soon becoming Castle place is still inhabited – maybe an expedition would be
Hill (Ealing Dene) before changing again to the familiar West needed to resolve this one!
Ealing (on the GW main line) in 1899. The second Castle Hill,
on the now-closed Taunton – Barnstaple line, opened in 1873 There is also the remote Ledmore Junction, some 26 miles
but to avoid confusion with Castle Hill (Ealing Dene) was west of Lairg (the nearest railway) at the junction of the
renamed Filleigh in 1881, that name being retained until A835/A837 if you’re wondering. “Community” suggests it’s
closure in 1966. bigger than it is, but it has a pub. It used to boast a traditional
AA box as well.
“To avoid confusion” is a well-known phrase. One wonders
how much confusion there really was. Nuckle Down, chaps
More detail required, please Those with a penchant for acronyms might enjoy NUCKLE
which is shorthand for the Nuneaton, Coventry, Kenilworth &
These two images of Cambridge station were received from Leamington Spa rail upgrade being delivered by Coventry
Andrew Stevenson, one of our few West Norfolk members. City Council & Warwickshire County Council. Kenilworth’s
Unfortunately the images are undated, and I wonder if a date station closed in 1965, and its new station is gradually taking
range can be supplied e.g. from the vehicles or anything else shape.
where particular expertise is helpful. (EM) In the Editor’s
absence please email [email protected] with any Although a long way away, isn’t it a pity that Knucklas (Heart
information. of Wales Line) can’t be fitted in somewhere!
Stations to Visit
At the end of November/early December the BBC website
featured a number of stations worth visiting for different
reasons. The stations were: Cromford, Frimley, Grange-over-
Sands, Great Malvern, Huddersfield, Irlam, Kemble, Melton,
Stalybridge, Todmorden, Walkden & Wymondham. I suggest
you go to the particular station website to discover more.
Lingering at Llanidloes – Edward Mann & Mike
Llanidloes was the principal town in Montgomeryshire. It was
on the route that snaked south from Moat Lane Junc (on the
Shrewsbury – Machynlleth line) to Brecon via the wonderfully-
named Three Cocks Junc* that lost its passenger service
from 31st December 1962 as part of a purge of mid-Wales
lines. Mike Roach was there in September 1962, and has
sent these images of the imposing station. In fact, the station
looks much too large for its passenger needs – so what’s the
history? The Llanidloes and Newtown Railway was the first to
arrive in 1859 and was built in complete isolation from all
other railways. The station building was, however, the H.Q. of
the L. & N. The Mid-Wales Railway followed in the early
1860s, making Llanidloes a through station, and further
construction in the 1860s saw the area’s railways reach their
The aficionado may care to note that the 60 mile journey from
Moat Lane Junc to Brecon took 2½ hours in 1960. The 2 daily
through trains called everywhere, including Builth Road L.L.,
Three Cocks Junc and Talyllyn Junc – where connections
were made with other routes – please consult an old railway
atlas to understand how the network was held together, albeit
The old station survives beside the Llanidloes bypass which
was constructed along the railway line, but at a lower level.
* The name is remembered at the Three Cocks Garden
Centre, whose restaurant is worth a visit, but it originated with
the Three Cocks Inn (now a hotel) near the former station. It
would be interesting to know if the hotel contains any
railwayana etc relating to the line/station. However, the O.S.
chose to call the area Aberllynfi (Aber = mouth of) even
though the Llynfi meandered somewhat distantly. Local folk
legend was that the area was renamed because a local
landowner’s wife, with two daughters, objected to asking for
three tickets for Three Cocks. Legend is all very well, but
Clinker’s Register does not show that Three Cocks ever
changed its name.
And so to Mike’s images, which date from September 1962.
An Ivatt 2-6-0 "on shed" at Moat Lane Junc in 1962. This
remote shed dated from 1957 and replaced an earlier shed
damaged in a gale. The building is now in industrial use.
Looking south towards Builth, Three Cocks & Brecon. Note
the 2 wagons of loco coal (1 x 24T & 1 x 16T).
Looking northwest. Did the conveniences match the quality
of the exterior?
Looking north towards Moat Lane Junc & Newtown. Snow Bombs in Sennybridge
Looking northwest towards the town centre, which is No doubt many of you remember the screaming headlines
between the building and the hill in the background which about the near-12” (30 cm if you prefer) of snow that fell in the
is on the opposite side of the river Severn. Sennybridge area on 10th December. Norvicensians could not
understand the fuss as the city received barely a dusting.
The much-travelled Michael Roach has reminded me that
there’s a large army camp just to the north of Sennybridge,
largely maintained by civilians, but every so often it will be taken
over by up to 2,000 troops on exercises. One assumes there is
a weather station on the camp. When the railway was open, 10
or 11-coach troop trains would arrive from the east (usually) at
Devynock & Sennybridge station hauled by a couple of pannier
tanks from Hereford. Devynock & Sennybridge station was a
couple of stations west of Brecon on a line that lost its
passenger service from 15th October 1962. The area’s
remoteness then (not so much now) cannot be over-stressed,
and now people commute to Neath or Swansea. When the line
was open Devynock & Sennybridge saw one train each way on
a Monday – Friday afternoon, with an extra train each way on a
Saturday (1960 timetable). In the winter 1952/53 timetable there
was also a train each way earlier in the day but this was
withdrawn as part of the WR’s cuts of 30th June 1958.
In such a sparsely-populated area it’s amazing how much was
spent (wasted?) on Parliamentary and other matters. Devynock
& Sennybridge could have been a 3-way junction – the Neath &
Brecon Railway was built despite lurching from one crisis to
_________PICK-UP GOODS Devynock & Sennybridge, taken on 8th September 1962, As it
was a Saturday the station staff would have been very busy
another. Other fanciful schemes came and went such as from as they had 4 trains to deal with – the 1125 (SO) Neath –
Devynock – Trecastle – Llandovery (the Usk & Towy Railway) Brecon (seen here with 3764 + 2 coaches) as well as the
which planned to connect with the Vale of Towy/Central 0805 (SO) Brecon – Neath, the 1610 Neath – Brecon and the
Wales line whilst the Neath & Brecon Railway Extension (also 1820 Brecon – Neath. As the line would close from 15th
known as the Llangammarch & Neath & Brecon) was a October 1962, note the enthusiasts as opposed to the locals.
planned northerly link between Devynock and Llangammarch We are looking west (below, upper). It would be interesting to
which was also on the Central Wales line! Do consult an atlas know how many staff the station had. The east-facing views
to get a feel for what might have been. (bottom), taken on the same day, shows the Army vehicles.
Michael Roach has kindly supplied these images from
Freightliner Exhibition at Norwich Thorpe I noticed it today because it is "history" relating to Norwich
1st - 2nd February 1967. City, in their series Through the Decades.
Graham Smith writes: Looking at the Eastern Daily Press I was amazed to see this, because the EDP was quite good
today [23rd January], I was amazed to see this exhibition at giving advance notice of such things, and I enjoyed several
advertised, as I did not see it before, nor hear of it, all those "Inter-City Exhibition Trains" a few years later, including one
years ago. The reason is obvious to me, as it was squashed when Edward Heath was signing copies of his then new book.
into a football page, next to the Racing Results, neither of
which I was or am interested in. If anyone else was more awake than me at the time and can
now recall it, we should all be interested to hear please.
Community Rail Partnership - Can you help?
In the run-up to the 175th anniversary of the Wherry Lines in
2019, Community Rail Norfolk is seeking knowledgeable
volunteers at the Norfolk Railway Society who might like to
contribute their expertise to a station history board project. It
is anticipated that each station on the Wherry Lines will have
a Double Royal-sized board containing a short history of the
station (and the line) for interested passengers to read.
Approximately half of the board’s space will be dedicated to
imagery (e.g. old photos of the station) and the other half of
the board will have a maximum word count of 1,000 words. It
is also hoped that the same will take place on the nearby
Bittern Line. Volunteers are welcome to ‘adopt’ a station
history board on either line and it is anticipated that all content
editing, artwork, printing and installation should be completed
by late 2018/early 2019, before the arrival of the new fleet of
trains in the region. The completion of the project will be
publicised in 2019 with a programme of activities to celebrate
If you feel able to help or would like more information please
contact Maggie Tan, Development Officer, Community Rail
Norfolk by email: [email protected]
Were you a “progress chaser”?
Mike Handscomb writes: I was intrigued by this BR poster
which I spotted in a recent railwayana auction catalogue.
Under a stock illustration of a Class 40, it reads “Teenagers
(eleven and twelve year olds too) - Ask your Station Master
for details of this best-ever holiday game - “PROGRESS-
CHASING” here for the second year - fun in itself but with
many WONDERFUL PRIZES for the winners.
It signs off with The only surviving building of the original Chesterfield station
"Progress…by (Steve Cane).
EASTERN”. I Second option take the
guess it dates 08.30 London Liverpool
from the late Street service, cross by
1950s. It sounds tube to St.Pancras for an
as though it could East Midland service to
be an early, and Sheffield. After some
potentially more thought I chose the latter,
dangerous, and having had my ticket
version of the endorsed set off on my
station adopter new route, south to go
scheme which north!
described to us All ticket barrier staff on
so vividly at our my journey were well aware of the fire and let me pass with
meeting in no trouble. I arrived at St.Pancras and was able to catch the
November. eleven o’clock Sheffield bound train. I was pleased to see the
twisted spire on the Parish Church in Chesterfield as the train
Does anyone pulled into the station at 12.40pm. Incredibly after this round-
remember about journey I arrived only 70 minutes later than my original
“progress journey would have taken.
chasing” - and
what it entailed? After watching my team lose 2-0 to bottom of the league
Chesterfield I returned to Norwich on the Sunday. Nottingham
The Editor responds: My word - yes, I do. Recollections are station was open again with only two platforms out of
hazy now, but I recall getting a badge, displaying a 31, and commission so I was able to travel directly back on an East
some foolscap paper to report "progress" seen during the Midland Trains Norwich service. (Steve Cane)
course of a rail journey. I chose Norwich - Ipswich,
despatched my submission and heard no more. I think I read ___________NRS NEWS
that (in 1959) it was won by someone who chased progress
between Liverpool St & Southend. Well, he stood a better Have you renewed…
chance with an electrified route!
…your Norfolk Railway Society membership for 2018?
100 miles south for 100 miles north !!
If you haven’t, you’ll find a blue renewal form enclosed with
On Saturday 13th of January Luton Town were playing the last issue (Nov/Dec 2017). Please complete it and return
Chesterfield in a League two fixture. I had booked two nights it to me with your cheque as soon as possible; if you don’t,
hotel accommodation in the Derbyshire market town (Friday this Jan/Feb issue will unfortunately be the last
and Saturday), and two advance single train tickets. NRS Newsletter you’ll receive.
I arrived at Norwich station on the Friday morning and took
my seat on the 07.57 East Midland train to Liverpool Lime Please renew today. Unlike many societies, our membership
Street. At 07.58 an announcement from the train guard numbers have kept remarkably stable and we want to keep it
informed us that due to a fire at Nottingham station our that way!
service had been cancelled.
We were sorry to learn that Ray Meek will not continue his
“What are my options” I asked at the information desk, one membership of the Society this year.
was take the Cambridge train, change at Ely for Peterborough
and then onto Doncaster where I could hopefully get to
Chesterfield via Sheffield!
Ray has been an active member for many years, but living at Briston he
doesn’t find it easy to attend our meetings, especially in the winter
months. It’s worth remembering how much we owe Ray, and the late
Phyllis Youngman, for willingly storing the NRS Archive when it was
about to become homeless.
Ray assures us that he’ll keep in touch with members, and hopes to at-
tend our Show in March.
Edward Mann - Progress Report…
Following major surgery (NRS/NL 62/6 p.1) I am pleased to report that
our esteemed Editor is making good progress. Following almost two
weeks in hospital Edward has now been discharged and moves on to a
period of convalescence before returning home to Norfolk
I’m sure all members will wish to join me in wishing Edward a speedy
recovery and we look forward to welcoming him back to our meetings
and the Newsletter editorial chair when he is fit again.
…In the Editor’s absence
Fortunately for me Edward made a start on this Newsletter before his
hospital admission. However I have completed it and am grateful to all
members who submitted contributions. Most appear in this issue and
those that don’t will be published next time. Please don’t expect editing to
Edward’s high standards: I am a compiler and digital manipulator not an
We are not sure when Edward will return to his duties so please email Notice of Annual General Meeting
any Newsletter contributions to me.
I will endeavour to keep Newsletter publication to its usual schedule but The Society’s AGM will be held on Thursday 19th April
this may not be possible for the next issue. With Easter falling at the end 2017 at URC Hall starting at 1930. The Agenda and
of March I anticipate our printer will require our copy much earlier than Minutes of last year’s meeting accompany this
usual to ensure it is ready for the 5th April. Commitments I have in March Newsletter. Please bring these to the meeting. The
may prevent this but your Newsletter will appear maybe just a week or Accounts will be distributed at the meeting.
two later than usual. If you are interested in helping to run the Society
Normal service will be resumed…when we discover what “normal” is… please speak to a member of the present committee.
Andy Wright, Secretary.
Vienna, Prague and Berlin - A Tale of hotel for the night and we were ready for the Easy Jet flight
Three Cities (Brian Cornwell) the next day. Our flight got us to Vienna at around 14:00 local
time and we took the CAT airport express into the city. We
My wife Julie expressed a desire to visit Vienna to sample the got tourist tickets to cover the duration of our stay which
history, architecture and cuisine. I had always wanted to visit meant we could use the U-Bahn (five lines and Underground
the German capital Berlin and as Prague was on the route equivalent), S-Bahn (Overground equivalent) and the
between them it was obvious that we had to include it on our extensive tram and bus routes.
itinerary. This trip, which was to be our main holiday for 2017,
would be in September and I was soon considering what The Hapsburgs architecture in the city and out at the
railway experiences could be had on such a venture. Schonbrun Palace did not disappoint nor did the Austrian
cuisine. Our local station to the hotel was Kettenbrucken-
Before I continue I must point out that I was not the only Gasse. This was one stop on U4 from Karlsplatz which was a
member who had this idea for 2017 and I later found out that transport hub for the city. Between those two stations was a
Chris Mitchell made an almost identical trip and will be doing wonderful market selling picnic food, spices, fruit and
a presentation for the society. I took the easier option and vegetables. We walked into the city via the market on most
have written this piece. Please consider it a taster and not a days!
spoiler of the main event.
We took a trip on the Danube canal and the on the Ring-
We debated how to get to Vienna and I lost, so we would be Tram, a preserved mustard yellow tram, which does a non-
flying from Gatwick, but not driving and parking there, so it stop circuit of city. The Cathedral is also worth a visit and
was a taxi to Norwich Thorpe (thanks again to Mike Fordham don’t miss the Bratwurst sausages with an Austrian beer from
for saving my bacon! Mike will know what I mean!) and then the street kiosks. There is also a very good transport museum
AGA to Liverpool Street, quick trip on the Circle Line to in the city open at the weekends which has an extensive
Victoria, then Gatwick Express, and finally airport bus to a collection of vehicles and exhibits. I purchased a mug with a
Harry Beck like map of the rail systems of Vienna on
it. However I was most impressed with the LEGO
models of some of the exhibits which were available
for sale. Unfortunately they were a bit pricey!
We were moving on to Prague after our five days in
Vienna and were travelling from Wien Hauptbanhof
(a relatively newly constructed station) to Praha.
Tickets had been booked online via the OB website.
However whilst we had first class tickets I somehow
managed to miss making a reservation and we were
very lucky to find two free seats. This was the only
booking hiccup on the entire trip – everything was
booked online. The journey took around four hours
and we travelled by Ceske Drahy (CD) to Prague.
We were slightly apprehensive about Prague as it
seemed to be the Hen Party/Stag Night capital of
Europe. It was certainly more vibrant than Vienna
but not as rowdy as we had feared. We used the U-
Bahn to get around and again purchased the tourist
tickets for the 24 hours we would be there. This also
gave access to the trams and buses. The U-Bahn is
not so extensive as Vienna with only four lines. We
visited the tourist information immediately on arrival Outside the impressive Berlin Hauptbanhhof station (Brian Cornwell).
and booked on a guided walking tour of the city for
the next day which included pick-up from the hotel,
lunch and a river trip for 50 Euros each. By the way in Prague neglect during the DDR years. We apparently walked past the
you can use Euros or CZ Crowns. Our tour took us to Prague site of Hitler’s bunker now a car park. We visited a museum at
castle, down some interesting and historical backstreets, a section of remaining Berlin wall together with the Holocaust
across the Charles Bridge and finally to the Astronomical monument, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Unter
Clock. During our entire trip on buses, trams and railways Den Linden (for Julie’s retail therapy), Cathedral, DDR
which all had open access our tickets were only checked Museum, Botanical Gardens and with a pre-booked ticket the
once and that was in Prague. Bundestag. We used the U and S-Bahns to get around the
city on another tourist ticket. There are 15 S-Bahn and 10 U-
The next leg of our journey took us by train from Prague to Bahn lines to choose from.
Berlin, again by CD and again a four hour trip. Prague station
was dated and very eighties, however by contrast Berlin Our flight back to UK was from Berlin Tegel which had poor
Hauptbahnhof, opened in 2006, is a very modern multi-level railway connections so we were forced to use a bus. Because
mega-station. The DB tracks are on the very lowest level and of the mega Berlin Hauptbahnhof we did do a dry run to make
this is where the domestic and international trains arrive and sure we knew where we were going. Tegel airport is a
depart. Between are the U-Bahn lines, shopping level, food strange circular building shaped like a ring doughnut. Our
courts and finally the S-Bahn level. Getting off the train both flight back to Heathrow by British Airways was fine and we
Julie and I said “Where do we go now?” though my question then travelled by Heathrow Express back to Paddington, short
contained an expletive! Outside the station there was a Tram hop to Kings Cross and then back to Norwich changing at
and Bus interchange with the DB building clearly visible on Cambridge – went that way because the tickets were half the
the Berlin skyline. price of LST to NCH.
Berlin was a contrast to the previous two capital cities, newer Plenty of railway interest in all three cities combined with lots
buildings but with still some evidence of war damage and to see and did made a great and memorable holiday for us.
Some B.R. Investment Schemes of the 1980s - ● 35 locos were underwritten but tenders were invited
Authorised or Otherwise (Part 1) (Rod Lock) for 100;
Not all schemes were authorised by BR’s Investment ● The design included wheelslip control, enabling
Committee. General Managers had a delegated authority of heavier trains to be hauled and a better replacement
£1M per scheme; above this level they had to be submitted to ratio;
the Board for approval. As at December 1988 BR’s delegated
authority was £5M; schemes exceeding this sum required ● Base case: Retain Classes 20/31/47 until 2000 (no
approval by the Dept of Transport and, of course, the life extensions);
● Cascade Classes 37/56 to replace Classes 31/47;
The Investment Committee considered 99% of schemes, very ● Scheme was crucial to achievement of Freight’s
few being referred to the Board for approval. One exception
was the Liverpool St modernisation, which we will return to 1989/90 targets;
later. ● Life extension of Classes 33/47 cost-prohibitive;
● 35 locos catered for core businesses – Coal,
Construction of Class 60 Locomotives:
● The loco had high adhesion levels to increase train Construction, Metals & Petrol;
sizes and eliminate double-heading; ● One Class 60 replaced two existing locos;
● Max speed 60m.p.h. Route Availability 7, 40-year
technical life with half-life rebuild;
● Fuel consumption 0.7 m.p.g., 60,000 miles p.a.;
● Availability: to haul 95% of trains diagrammed; off
duty at weekends;
● Tenders to demonstrate reliability achievable; ● Possible enhancements: automatic route setting;
● Maintenance costs expected to be 50% of existing; simplified bi-directional signalling; electric point
● Cost: £1.25M per loco; heaters; increased line speeds (currently 55 – 70
● Benefits: (a) Removal of double-heading (98 fewer m.p.h.) by 25%; axle counters rather than track
circuits for train detection.
locos) (b) Fewer, longer trains (58 fewer locos);
● Loco fleet at end of 1988/89: Replacement of China Clay Wagons:
● Replace 477 x 20 tonne (clay hoods) built 1954-
Class 20 26 31 33 37 47 50 56 58 Total
607 1960 with 124 x 46 tonne air-braked automatic
Core freight 98 8 37 27 176 77 - 134 50 265 discharge (32 tonne payload) wagons. Cost:
8 25 0 80 143 -1 - 234 £35,000 per wagon;
Other freight 8 - 28 37 - - ● Aim: 0.7 to 0.8M tonnes p.a. Contract with ECC
12 18 139 256 (English China Clays) guarantees 0.4M tonnes.
Passenger / - 17 91 -- - 1362 Contract extended to 12-15 years;
Parcels 37 33 181 6 33 72 37 135 50 ● ECC investing £0.335M in new discharge system at
45 307 431 255 Fowey;
Departmental - 35 -- - ● ECC exports 80% of output from Fowey, Par,
3 97 - Teignmouth & Plymouth;
Sub-total 143 ● Total output 2-3M tonnes p.a. and growing. Their
quarries have an estimated life of 200 years.
No. displaced 120 ● Chief user – paper industry;
by 60s ● Consultants confirm B.R. investment justified in core
● Life extensions: Class 58 – to achieve Class 60 level ● 1985/86 Fowey revenue £1.88M, 2,750 – 3,375
of performance, involving re-gearing and provision of tonnes per day. Domestic long-haul £1.39 M, 85%
anti-wheelslip control, would be insufficient of covered by 10 year contract;
themselves. Its reliability problems were expected to ● Proposal reduces maintenance cost and simplifies
continue so this was not evaluated. Other classes – handling:
limited cascades forecast. Class 56s were more ● Improves current utilisation – 2.24 loaded journeys
expensive to run than Class 47s. per week;
● Wagons could be absorbed into MGR business,
Submitted to DoT for approval. avoiding re-bodying of existing coal wagons;
● B.R. to guarantee 90% availability – wagons to be
Cornwall Main Line Resignalling: Saltash to Penzance (74 maintained at St Blazey;
route miles): ● Origins of rail traffic (000 tonnes):
This proposal was not pursued. Burngullow 34 - Near St Austell
Rocks 167 - Connection to Newquay branch at
● At present controlled by 9 signalboxes; Goonbarrow Junc
● Mechanical signalling requires extensive renewals Treviscoe 54 - On Parkandillick spur from St Austell
Moorswater 23 - On Looe branch
over next 10 years (submission dated 22nd August Heathfield 12 - Freight-only branch to Newton Abbot
1988); Marsh Mills 3
● Proposal to re-signal with solid state interlocking ● ECC produces 2.6M tonnes p.a., 80/90% exported,
(SSI) at an estimated cost of £4.5M; of which:
● No further singling proposed;
● Consider impact of branch line closures in appraisal; Rail to Fowey 0.6M tonnes
● Base case: SSI but retain existing boxes; Road to Fowey 0.9M tonnes
● Cornwall: Originating revenue £6M p.a. Stoke/Europe 0.35M tonnes.
● Prime User: shared equally between Inter-City & to be continued…
Provincial – 12 through IC services each way,
increasing to 24 on Summer Saturdays;
● 70% of track now CWR;
a selective look ahead at local railway events
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY and Norfolk Transport Group meetings take place (unless otherwise stated) at: United
Reformed Church Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6QR
Events are listed in good faith, but visitors should check with the organisation concerned before travelling.
Norfolk Transport Group - please contact Mike Fordham or John Laycock on.
Services on our Local Railways
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL. For information: www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk – Tel: 01603-
Bressingham Steam & Gardens, Low Rd., Bressingham, IP22 2AA. For information: www.thebressinghamgardens.com or
The Bure Valley Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.bvrw.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
The Mid-Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.mnr.org.uk - or telephone 01362-
The North Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.nnrailway.co.uk - or telephone
The Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers - For details please visit their website www.ndsme.org.
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway - For information: www. wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk or tel: 01328 711630 (up to
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.whitwellstation.com - or
The R.C.T.S. (Ipswich Branch) and the Ipswich & District Historical Transport Society run comprehensive meetings programmes.
FEBRUARY Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - “Models & Toys” – please bring yours along – 1930.
8th Sat - Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY - Teddy Bear Express. See website for details.
10th - 18th Sat - Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Half term running - Yellow Timetable.
10th - 18th Thu NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - “Rain, Grain and Grime” - Richard Adderson - 1930.
15th Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - 70 Misspent years - Brian Baker - 1930.
22nd Thu THE CATHEDRALS EXPRESS (Steamdreams) - London Liverpool St. to Norwich (return). Planned
22nd haulage 70013 Oliver Cromwell.
Sat - Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - Diesel Loco-Hauled Weekend. Also (Saturday only) Dereham Model
24th -25th Railway Exhibition at Dereham Memorial Hall.
MARCH NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - “Towards a Corporate Identity - A Look at North London
1st Fri - Sun Railway station architecture 1850 - 1900” - Jim Connor - 1930.
Thu WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - 9th Anniversary, Beer Festival and Steam
2nd - 4th Sat NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - Slides from your collection - Please bring up to 20 - 1930.
8th Sun NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY ANNUAL SHOW - Poringland Community Centre. See page 13.
10th Thu BURE VALLEY RAILWAY - Mothers’ VIP Package.
11th NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - “The Mid-Norfolk Railway: Current Developments and Future
15th Fri - Sun Projects” - Chris Pearson - 1930.
Thu MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - Spring Diesel Gala.
16th - 18th NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - Bring along documents and objects you just had to collect,
22nd Thu assisted by Mike Handscomb - 1930.
Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - Members’ Evening, plus Jim McDonnell’s slides - 1930.
29th Fri - Mon NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Daily running begins.
29th Sat - Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY - Easter Eggspress.
30th - 2nd Sat EAST ANGLIA TRANSPORT MUSEUM - Easter Family Treasure Trail - 1200 - 1630.
31st - 1st MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - East Eggspress
31st Sun- Mon
APRIL Sun MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY - Easter Steam Up. The scheduled duty locomotive is the Y7.
1st - 2nd Sun - Mon WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - Easter Steam Sunday.
1st NDSME - Eaton Park Miniature Railway - Public services recommence with running every Sunday
1st - 2nd Mon and Bank Holiday Monday from 1300 - 1700, weather permitting
Thu BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY - Easter Monday Running - 1430 - 1730.
2nd Thu NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - Details to be confirmed - 1930.
5th STEAMDREAMS - The Cathedrals Express - Ipswich & Essex to Salisbury (return). Haulage to be
5th Sat confirmed. Details: www.steamdreams.com or tel 01483 209888.
NORFOLK MODEL RAILWAY CLUB (NORHAMS) - 2018 Exhibition 1000 - 1630 at Hellesdon High
7th Sat - Sun School, Middletons Lane, Norwich NR6 5SB.
WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - 1940s Weekend (Steam).
7th - 8th
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