1955 Now in our 60th Year 2015
Norfolk Railway Society
Founded 1955 www.norfolkrailwaysociety.org.uk
Volume 60 No. 3 May/June 2015
news from railways in and around Norfolk
Johnson’s Siding, Eccles Road
This was visited by The Four Triangles railtour on 9th
May. Richard Adderson, who took the images, reports
that this was the first loco-hauled passenger train to
visit the siding, and probably the first train there for 5
years (can this be confirmed – Ed?). A private DMU
brought dignitaries to the official opening back in 1985.
As the name of the railtour suggests, all sides of
triangular junctions were its main aim – Stratford,
Norwich, Ipswich & Manningtree if you’re wondering –
and 2 x 37s and a 57 top’n’tailed 13 coaches.
90002 was returned to Norwich by 37604 on 12th March,
repainted in the new AGA white livery whilst 90034 was observed
on Crown Point on 30th March. When that loco was hauling the
Pretendolino set (now with AGA) on the West Coast it was
repainted in DRS livery and it has now lost the DRS decals.
90034 was not fitted with DRA (Drivers Reminder Appliance)
needed to satisfy the AGA safety case for these locos and this
equipment is to be fitted. 90034 appeared on a rake of Mk3s on
the siding between platforms 4 & 5 at Norwich station on 16th May
when the local Norwich/Ipswich play-off derby took place,
seemingly to provide a screen for the special trains (321s) from
GE LINES UPDATE: May 2015 90009 was dragged to Doncaster by 57301 on 18th March for a
reported transformer repair and is believed to remain there still
Mk 3 refurbishment: Shenfield:
Abellio Greater Anglia marked the completion of the first rake Construction work is well advanced to create an additional
of Mk3 coach refurbishment upgrade with due ceremony at platform 6 on the Down/west side at Shenfield in connection with
Norwich station on 1st May. that station acting as the eastern terminus on the GEML of the
In This Issue 1
Track Report 5 The overhead wires above the Chelmsford Down Yard were
National Network 6 removed during March and subsequently the former Royal Mail
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge & Miniature 10 loading dock canopy structure has been removed and the
Away From the Tracks sidings remodelled.
Pick-up Goods 15 A defective rail in the trailing point at the London end of the
NRS News station will prevent several services booked to start from the
Feature Down platform towards London via the crossover from running
The NET and GC - David Pearce pending the manufacture of a replacement part. AGA believe
Working Timetable that the problem may last a month from 11th May.
The buffet and kiosk on the Up platform are now trading as
“Kiosk” which is operated by Abellio’s parent State owned infrastructure and train failures, passengers taken ill and sadly
railway company. A similar outlet can be found on the Up a continuing frequency of suicides. Without access to the
platform at Ipswich. Control Log one only becomes aware of such incidents
Over the weekend of 11th /12th April a large road crane sited in During disruptions AGA have become adept at cancelling
a field behind the Up platform was used to replace the life services, terminating short/starting en route and omitting stops
expired concrete deck of the Up platform. The £700k works in the hope of recovering time.
also included internal cladding of the subway together with a
new staircase and resurfacing of the Down platform. The following have occurred:-
31st March: following strong winds overnight overhead wire
Kennett: damage occurred on the Down line on the approach side of
AGA has announced a £500k scheme to resurface the Diss station. Single line working was in force all day between
platforms, demolish redundant buildings and provide new Diss and the London side of Finningham pending overnight
waiting shelters this summer. The number of cycle parking repairs. Some services were cancelled and those running were
spaces will be increased from 12 to 18…………. up to 60 minutes late.
14th April: ahb crossing failure at Haughley
Norwich 15th April: 0736 Liverpool St – Colchester failed between
Work commenced in early May to create a central ticket Chadwell Heath and Romford causing severe delays to all
barrier line flanked by a new Customer Service office and a services. 0730/0830 Liverpool St - Norwich services 27L/61L
new retail outlet replacing the previous split ticket barrier line respectively and the 1030/1130 Norwich – Liverpool St and the
separated by a retail unit with ATMs. Upgraded waiting rooms corresponding return services were cancelled.
and toilets will be provided. In addition 242 additional cycle In mid-April an entire Pretendolino rake including RV and DVT
spaces are being created. The works are being funded by the (82126) entered traffic. Unfortunately the return service from
National Stations Improvement Programme. London was terminated at Witham due to safety problems - the
horn on the leading DVT did not work!
GE INCIDENTS: 6th May: Services delayed because of signalling problems
Rarely a day goes by without some incident occurring to between Stratford and Maryland, then overhead supply
delay/disrupt services. Such incidents include bridge strikes, problems between Gidea Park and Shenfield with some Metro
services terminating at Gidea Park.
Norfolk Railway Society 1500/1530 Liverpool St – Norwich were cancelled. 1600 ex-
(Founded 1955) Liverpool St 51L. Norwich services started from Shenfield at
1753 (20L) and from Stratford 1757 (29L).
President: Arnold Hoskins, Esq. 13th May: Obstruction on overheads at Colchester – see “68 to
Vice-President: Ken Mills, Esq. Banbury” article.
20th May: Bridge strike near Haughley about 0930 delayed
Committee and Officers 2015-2016 Telephone services.
21st May: 1200 Liverpool St – Norwich was involved a in
Chairman Brian Cornwell fatality near Gidea Park and was 97L at Brentwood. The 1300
Liverpool St – Norwich was caught up in the delay and passed
Vice Chairman Ray Halliday Romford 45L before terminating at Ipswich 67L and forming
the 1530 Norwich – Liverpool St which started from Ipswich.
Past Chairman Peter Cooke 1254 Shenfield – Liverpool St departed RT but left Brentwood
49L following passenger illness!
Secretary & Andrew Wright 22nd May: A non-passenger train (reported either as
Webmaster engineer’s train or freight service) failed between Kelvedon
and Witham trapping the 0930 Norwich – Liverpool St behind
Treasurer John Laycock it, reaching Liverpool St 45L. Single line working was
introduced but trains were subject to long delays because of
Membership Sec Mike Handscomb queueing.
25th May: The Championship play-off at Wembley prompted a
Newsletter Editor & mass exodus from Norfolk. Over 140 road coaches were
Indoor Programme Edward Mann mobilised and AGA ran 3 extra trains from Norwich departing
0740/0840/0940 calling at Diss then advertised as being non-
Publicity & External stop to Stratford. The return additional services were
scheduled to leave Stratford at 1954/2025/2054. Crossrail
Events Chris Mitchell works meant that no trains ran between Stratford and Liverpool
Indoor Programme Graham Kenworthy An additional train departed Wymondham at 0820 calling at
Attleborough and Thetford arriving Ely 0905 where passengers
Show Day Organiser Peter Willis were to change onto a non-stop service departing 0912 and
were due to arrive Liverpool St at 1047. The return departed
Non Committee Liverpool St at 2006 Ely 2125/2131 and was due at
Wymondham at 2214.
Archivist Ray Meek
Norwich trials new method of taking line possessions.
—----------------------------------------------------------------------------- In an attempt to reduce the time taken to take possession of a
line for engineering purposes Norwich has been chosen for
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter the experimental installation of equipment which enables
track circuits to be remotely “dropped” indicating that the line
Editor: Edward Mann is occupied (when there may not actually be a train present)
Layout & Picture Editor: Andrew Wright
Distribution: Graham Smith
Please contact Graham if the next edition does arrive by the
end of the month of publication.
Opinions expressed in any articles are the author’s and
should not be taken to represent those of the Society.
Next issue published 6th August 2015
Copy date: 30th July 2015
racks and internal hand rails. The overall ambience is high
with 16 tables retained in 4 seat bays with only 8 airline type
seats provided with one row of airline type seating at each
end of the coach; compare to AGA’s Mk3s! Chiltern, like c2c,
only operates a Standard class service so the Business Zone
is really First Class but not called that! Upgrades to the more
luxurious accommodation, with complimentary refreshments
provided, are yours for £10. These services were introduced
during 2011 using Class 67 locos which have now been
replaced by the new Class 68s.
The experimental installation referred to at the end of Peter The DRS “The Thing” at Colchester (Peter Adds).
Adds’ report. Class 68
thus protecting the workforce. When the work has been are now
completed the process can be reversed restoring the track operating
circuit to its normal state re-opening the line concerned to regular
traffic without delay enabling the signaller to signal trains over passenger
it once again. services on
Peter Adds locos 68010-
No Cockhorse to Banbury Cross – Peter Adds Scotrail
samples Class 68 haulage to Banbury instead services. The
– and Life’s a Breeze at Colchester (13th May) 86 tonne Bo-
Bo Class 68s
You may have already probably guessed that the route were
mileage between London Marylebone station and Banbury constructed by
(68 miles) was not the main attraction for me wishing to travel Vossloh at
to Banbury but rather the new Class 68 locomotives working their plant in
Chiltern Railways main line services to and from Birmingham Valencia,
Moor St (and in the peaks other destinations in the West Spain. The
The present day main line services are formed of the loco, 5 are fitted with
Standard Mk3s, a Business Zone/Express café in the 6th Mk3 a Caterpillar
and a Mk3 DVT. Uniquely, these Mk3s have power operated 2.8MW (3,800
external doors and have been tastefully refurbished in a two hp) C175-16
tone grey colour scheme with dark red trim to the luggage engine.
I joined the
1015 departure booked to run non-stop to Banbury in 52
minutes. This was hauled by 68012 (DVT 82301) and it ran
well throughout passing through High Wycombe, Princes
Risborough and Bicester – the new chord connection on the
London side of Bicester North station leading towards
Bicester Town and Oxford is much in evidence but not yet
fully connected. The full 100mph line speed was
achieved between Bicester and Aynho Junc
(where the Chiltern line joins the Didcot, Oxford,
Banbury, Leamington Spa line).
Arrival at Banbury at 1105 was two minutes early,
achieved at a start to stop average of some
Banbury retains a splendid mix of GWR lower
quadrant and upper quadrant semaphore and
colour signals. A re-signalling scheme is in the
offing but no physical evidence exists thus far.
68012 leaves Banbury with the 1015 Marylebone – Birmingham Moor St Having taken on board refreshments at the
(Peter Adds). station café I joined the 1140 service heading
back to Marylebone propelled by 68014 (DVT
3 82304). Departure was 3 minutes late but
following an unchecked run an on time arrival in
London was achieved at 1234 – average start to
stop speed was 80 mph – and this despite the
permanent 60mph speed restriction through High
Wycombe and lower speed limits between
Neasden Junc and Marylebone. An excellent
_________TRACK REPORT The Crewe Project Team showing Jeremy Hosking (centre)
and Peter Adds to his immediate right on 9th May.
service and recommended.
In mid-2013 Jeremy Hosking invited Peter to assist him in
A swift walk to Baker Street enabled me to arrive at Liverpool concluding negotiations and then completing the legal
St by 1257 despite having the doors of the first Underground documentation in respect of a new project at Crewe based on
service closing as I was about 20ft away! The 1300hrs the near-derelict Crewe Diesel Depot which dated from the
service to Norwich was boarded and this ran pretty well to late 1950s. The formal lease was completed in early April
Colchester where, as we arrived, my peripheral vision 2014 and Peter then became the Project Manager for the
glimpsed what appeared to be an overhead line structure in refurbishment scheme which has cost more than £2m.
the 6 foot between platforms 2 and 3. Whilst I was puzzling
that I did not recall such a structure there previously an Peter says that everyone involved in the project is proud to
announcement was made that the train was being terminated have been associated with creating a superb, and possibly
at Colchester due to an object on the overheads. unique, customised facility to be used for future heritage
railway vehicle maintenance and operation. The Trust now
Alighting, one could see a large grey coloured tarpaulin type owns Pete Waterman’s former railway engineering business,
sheet hanging down snagged on the overheads between the LNWR Heritage Limited, and this is being relocated to the
loco and the last coach. Evidently this had been lifted by a
strong gust of wind from a building site near the station then
blown over the station buildings and descended onto the
overhead just as the 1300 from London arrived. Fortunately
the object was not caught by the loco’s pantograph. A further
gust of wind then blew the object between these vehicles as
evidenced in the accompanying photograph. Passengers for
Norwich either went forward to Ipswich on a stopping service
terminating there or waited for the 1330 ex London which
formed the connecting service at Ipswich! The 1300 service
from Norwich was terminated at Colchester. The return 1530
services formed by both 1300 services were reported to have
started their journeys from Diss and Chelmsford respectively
rather than the terminals to regain their diagrams.
World Train Speed Record Broken
Japan’s Maglev (magnetic levitation) train has broken the
world speed record achieving 373mph. The Central Japan
Railway Company said the seven-car train completed a test
run on its experimental track in Yamanashi. It was the
second time in a week the train broke the record. When it
enters service on a new line between Tokyo and Nagoya in
2027 the trains will travel at a mere 314mph meaning the 178
mile journey takes about 40 minutes. The speeds are twice
as fast as the current Bullet trains and 90mph faster than the
planned HS2 line. ‘Norwich in 30’ anyone? (AW)
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature
Crewe Diesel Depot Project On 9th May the special train, conveying dignitaries
– well done, Peter Adds! including the Mayor and Mayoress of Crewe, enters part of
the main shed prior to the nameplate (top image) being
Peter Adds, a past Society Chairman, spent almost 40 years unveiled by the Mayor. The locomotive is 5029 Nunney
of his professional property career working either within or on Castle. Peter organised the event and was MC for the day!
behalf of the railway industry managing, developing and
selling their property assets. His widespread railway interests Crewe Diesel site. None of this would have been possible
include being a volunteer signalman on the North Norfolk without the personal commitment and financial backing of
Railway and during the 1990s, whilst resident in Hitchin, he Jeremy Hosking whose enthusiasm is infectious!
organised more than a dozen special trains running as "The
Sparkle Express" with all profits donated to various charities. A private opening ceremony was held on 9th May to mark the
completion of the refurbishment scheme - and to launch the
Having been a Bressingham Steam Museum trustee for 5 restoration and overhaul of A2 Pacific 60532 Blue Peter to
years Peter was then approached to become a trustee on the main line operation (the Royal Scot Trust is to complete the
Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust, a role he has overhauls of 46100 Royal Scot this year and 6024 King
undertaken for the past three years. Peter's extensive Edward I during 2016).
property experience was called upon to conclude the lease of
the London area running shed facility at Southall. Not content 4
with just being a trustee Peter became a member of the
support crew preparing and accompanying some main line
steam locomotives on duty - somewhat sleepless nights
spent in the support coach beside the busy GWML at
Southall and the discolouration of clothes (and body) were
more than compensated by the rewards of main line steam
Trevithick Day (25th April 2015)
Richard Trevithick was born in Cornwall on 13th April 1771
and died at Dartford on 22nd April 1833 (see the images of his
“Blue Plaques” in the town in NRS/NL 59/3 p.8). The noted
mining and railway engineer designed a locomotive for use at
the Pen-y-darren Ironworks, Merthyr Tydfil, and later the
Catch me who can which was exhibited in London. His life
and achievements are celebrated annually in Camborne, and
Michael Roach has sent these images of a road run around
the town the following day. Above is BW 6030 Susie – Burrell
3919/1922 and below is VN 2911 – Foden 13762/1931.
Those interested should Google the registration numbers if
more information is required.
Norwich Classic Bus Running Day – 22nd
The event was based at County Hall, and plenty of you were
there riding on the buses or simply photographing them. I do
hope the people who brought the buses were rewarded with
generous donations, as this is one of the best ways for similar
events to continue (just think about the Air Shows that won’t
be happening). Here are just a couple of images.
A Bedford OB makes a fine sight alongside 5789 AH Away from the Tracks
(LS789) at County Hall (Edward Mann).
The Clock House, Wolferton
A guide price of £650,000 could make you the new owner of
part of the Royal Station complex. It’s on the books of Fine &
Country but, whatever its other qualities, it isn’t strong on the
amount of living accommodation. But you won’t be troubled
by passing trains!
Leyland National WAH 587S (LG587), new to Eastern
Counties in 1977 – and now with The Suffolk Bus
Preservation Group – outside Mulbarton Church (Mike
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Recently at the URC Hall Chris Mitchell remembers the route well, and in the first half of
a well-assembled and absorbing presentation he showed
“Rebirth of the Waverley Route” Colour-Rail slides of it in its heyday. From Edinburgh
(Chris Mitchell – 19th March) Waverley, old NBR 4-4-0s, their names painted on the
splasher for economy, would take passenger trains through
The Waverley Route - the very name conjures up romantic the city outskirts, and continue for several miles at a gradient
associations. And what a route it was, with testing gradients of 1 in 80, with a summit at Falahill loop. They would then
and bleak moorland terrain. Named after the novels of Sir descend at a similar rate to Galashiels, Melrose and St
Walter Scott, whose house Abbotsford lay close to the route, Boswells before reaching Hawick and climbing at 1 in 80
it ran south from Edinburgh, through Midlothian and the through Stobs and Shankend to Whitrope Summit, the
Scottish Borders, to Carlisle. The 98-mile-long line was built highest point on the line. After Whitrope Tunnel the line
by the North British company; the stretch from Edinburgh to descended at an unbroken 1 in 75 for over 8•miles through
Hawick opened in 1849 and the remainder to Carlisle opened Riccarton Junction and Steele Road to Newcastleton; after
in 1862. that came an easier ride into Carlisle. Latterly, ex-L&NER
Pacifics and V2s were in charge; one loco in particular, A3
60093 Coronach, seemed to have found its way into many of
the Colour-Rail slides. The Waverley was an important freight
route too; Chris showed B1 4-6-0s and K3 Moguls slogging
up the banks with loads such as the Bathgate - Luton vehicle
It closed as a through route in January 1969. The last The line’s subsequent history – that is to say its dormant and
passenger train - which had an eventful journey, to say the resurgent states – was the theme of the second half of the
least - was the 2155 Edinburgh-St Pancras sleeper headed evening. Chris had followed the route in 2000, photographing
by Class 45 D60 Lytham St Annes. All the track had been neglected stations and disused tunnels, and he showed how
lifted by the end of 1972, but, as we know, that was far from desolate everything looked at that stage. Then in Autumn
the end. The Scottish parliament, which has a successful 2014 he was fortunate to be among a party of civil engineers
record of reviving closed lines, has approved the rebuilding of invited by main contractor BAM Nuttall to inspect ‘the largest
a 30-mile stretch of the Waverley route, its biggest project to domestic railway to be built in the UK for over 100 years’. His
date. The Borders Railway, as we must now learn to call it, is pictures showed track laying in progress as well as the varied
expected to deliver major economic and social development earthmoving projects which rebuilding the line has
opportunities – connecting people to jobs, housing, leisure necessitated. The most significant changes appear to be at
and other facilities. It will extend the Edinburgh suburban Galashiels, where a block of flats had to be demolished and
service, which currently runs as far as Brunstane and an inner relief road created in order to accommodate the
Newcraighall, on to Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, railway. A large transport interchange is also under
Gorebridge, Stow and Galashiels. It will end just past construction there.
Galashiels at an enlarged terminus at Tweedbank. Services
will operate every 30 minutes from Edinburgh to Tweedbank Tracklaying was officially completed on 12th February when
and vice versa. Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, clipped the
final length of rail into place, and now all seems set for the
line’s reopening in September 2015. And after that? Well, in
April 2014, Alex Salmond was quoted as saying "the success
of the 30-mile stretch to just south of Galashiels would
'calibrate' a feasibility study into rebuilding the remaining 70
miles". (Mike Handscomb)
Editor’s Note: There have been less ambitious rail re-
openings in Scotland, but it was most interesting to see what
rebuilding a railway really means. For those of us who never
travelled on the old route, a few days north of the Border
seem to be required soon. The line’s closure in 1969 - which
engendered very strong feelings in the Border towns - left a
very large swathe of country with no rail access at all. Would-
be travellers first had to reach Berwick-upon-Tweed, Carlisle
“National Operating Strategy – Signalling
trains into the next decade and beyond”
(Steve Ashling – 16th April)
Steve, a relatively new Society member but who has
delivered entertaining presentations in the past, could not be
better qualified to deliver this talk as he is the Network
Operations Interface Manager. What might have proved to a
rather dry subject was delivered with the aid of a fine
collection of digital images, whilst his enthusiasm and
numerous humorous asides kept the audience keenly
focused on the subject matter.
The present Network Rail Chairman, Mark Carne, has
announced its intention to deliver a Digital Railway by 2030 ENIF – ERTMS National Integration Facility: a 5 mile long
which will see conventional lineside signals dispensed with. ERTMS section has been created for test purposes between
There will be 12 Railway Operating Centres (ROCs) with Hertford North and Langley Junction (Stevenage) with the
Romford controlling East Anglia. Control is due to move to the Down line used for the testing whilst public services can use
Romford ROC in May 2015 with Upminster IECC (controlling the Up line in both directions. 313121 has been converted for
the c2c network and the North London Line) transferring at testing of various manufacturers’ products.
Christmas 2015. In due course the control areas of the
Liverpool St and Colchester IECCs will gravitate too together DMI (driver machine interface) “screen”: the DMI shows the
with areas due to be resignalled such as the Wherry lines. current speed and the permitted future speed in kilometres.
The planning area display shows imminent changes of speed
The Digital Railway timescales may prove over-optimistic (up or down) and an outer curve shows the permitted speed
following the transfer of Network Rail finances to the Treasury in white and this changes to yellow where there is a need to
which may restrict the availability of funds in future years and reduce speed and should the braking curve not be being
cost escalation of committed schemes (such as electrification) achieved the outer curve turns red and initiates a brake
in the current Control Period to 2019 may reduce funding application until the desired speed profile is achieved. The
available for resignalling related works. driver will then be able to reapply power at this point.
The Digital Railway will increase capacity, reduce costs and The driver has to input the type and load of the train before
introduce automatic train protection by introducing ERTMS the train enters service which enables the computer to
(European Rail Traffic Management System) incorporating determine the braking characteristics.
ETCS (European Traffic Control System), GSM-R (fixed
telecoms network – the “magic” green hosepipe seen running Steve has researched this technology by visiting the ETCS
beside most lines providing voice and data links) - and control centre at Machynlleth and was able to show numerous
European Operating Rules and Traffic Management. images, including video, demonstrating the technology in use
on the train and explaining the lineside marker boards and
Full Traffic Management relies on 5 pillars:- valises.
● Stock and crew;
● C-DAS (Driver Advisory System gives drivers Peter Adds thanked Steve for an excellent presentation and
instructions when to reduce power to maintain this was met by sustained applause from his audience.
timetable and to reduce conflict at junctions);
● Customer Information Services; P.S. Network Rail issued a Press release on the same day
● Incident management; announcing that their Infrastructure Signalling Programme
● Plan/re-plan (the first 4 pillars interface with the TM Director responsible for the signalling delivery teams across
Plan/re-plan). the network, including the new technology mentioned during
Steve’s talk, “had decided to leave in the summer”.
ETCS will move signalling from the trackside to in-cab on
trains. There will be difficulty in retrofitting existing historic Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Peter for such an excellent
trains with the equipment but much easier in new build trains summary.
such as the IEP and Class 700 (Thameslink). The only
sections of railway equipped with ETCS operating passenger Scottish football teams – nearest stations –
trains are the Cambrian routes west of Shrewsbury converted see NRS/NL 60/2 p.9
in 2011 and HS1 (St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel). Both
Thameslink and Crossrail will have ETCS and ETCS is to be No problems here – I did hope someone would place Clyde
overlaid on existing signalling between King’s Cross and west of Glasgow and close to the river, but my luck was out.
Woolmer Green (north of Welwyn Garden City) by 2018 – The closest stations are:
lineside signals removed in 2020 followed by the GN route to Albion Rovers – Coatbridge Coatdyke; St Mirren – Paisley St
King’s Lynn in 2021; Peterborough – Ely in 2020 with the first James; Clyde – Croy (not far from Cumbernauld). Partick
section between Paddington and MP12 (Airport Junction, Thistle had 2 answers – on Network Rail it’s Possilpark &
Hayes & Harlington) due for commissioning in 2017. Parkhouse and, on the Glasgow Underground, it’s
In Great Britain (excluding the Cambrian and HS1) we use
route signalling whereas the European continent uses speed Thanks and congratulations to Malcolm Banyer, Malcolm
signalling. ERTMS is designed as a standard product for the Bown & Mike Handscomb for their correct answers.
European networks with a view to inter-operability in future
and most ERTMS to date has been introduced to new high Visit to the Norwich & District Society of Model
speed lines. The UK will be the first to embrace this Engineers’ Railway at Eaton Park, Norwich (7th
technology on complex track layouts handling dense traffic.
ERTMS Level 2 sees a Movement Authority given by a Radio
Block Centre to the train with intermittent updates of train As the URC Hall was being used as a polling station we had
location and continuous updates of Movement Authority. It to look elsewhere, and a goodly number visited the NDSME
can be installed with or without lineside signals. system at Eaton Park on a chilly May evening. Rides were
available behind two steam locomotives and the D800 “War-
ERTMS Level 3 enforces train separation using position data ship” Magnificent. After sampling the available haulage and
from the train rather than trackside/on-train detection. There covering the really extensive circuit it was time for refresh-
is a continuous update of train location. ments, kindly provided by Ann, Jane, Jenni & Maureen. After
the break, another circuit or two was just possible before it
ERTMS Level 4 would see the driver removed from the cab. was time for everything to go back on shed.
Level 4 is unlikely to be introduced…………
Thanks go to all the NDSME members who made our stock, whilst having some “toast rack” coaches that offer a
evening so enjoyable – especially Mike Fordham & Philip more comfortable ride. We make no charge for rides, but
Moore - and to our catering crew for “services rendered”. donations towards maintenance costs are always welcome,
look for the “white lamps” on Parklands station.
And then – if you were so minded – it was home to watch the
election results unfold, dissected at every turn by the massed Later on in the afternoon, the Witheridge family will be
ranks of psephologists and pundits! (EM) operating their barbecue to satisfy the demands of the inner
man, woman & child. We will also arrange for the ice cream
Parklands Miniature Railway Invitation Day - van to make a special visit.
with thanks to Brian Baker
The Parklands Holiday Village site is in North Road, Hemsby,
This year we are holding our invitation day on Thursday 30th NR29 4HA, and we ask that you observe the site speed limit,
July, when we hope you can come to see the railway and park sensibly on the lower part of the field. When on site
operating for your enjoyment. We will have different trains please carefully supervise any children you bring.
and locomotives running during the afternoon from 1430, with If bad weather is forecast for 30th July, then we will postpone
activity stopping at 1900. the event for two weeks until Thursday 13th August, and
emails will be sent by 0900 to your organisation email contact
Parklands is a delightful 7¼” gauge railway, not normally so advising them
open to visitors, so it’s your chance to visit, ride & watch the
trains in operation. Although we do have narrow gauge Please come and join us for a ride (or two) on Parklands
locomotives on shed, our main stock is of standard gauge Railway, and relive the golden age of steam.
locomotives, and it’s quite likely that you will see an LMS
Duchess, or a Black Five or two as well as a dock tank, LNER Editor’s Note:
A3, BR Britannia, or a Class 2, and the GWR is well
represented with a Saint, a Manor, and several 0-6-0 tanks.
Although not all may be running at once, it is a chance to
compare performances. We use scale passenger & freight
Every Picture Has A Story Preferred Above Others or Just Flavour of the Month?
Now that depends …! constitutes a favourite for one could be an abject failure to
another. I should know, I’ve had tons of rejects - images I
You would have thought that after fifty-three years of making particularly liked which, objectively, could have been
railway pictures there might be one image that stands head ‘improved’ but, subjectively to my eye, conveyed precisely
and shoulders above all the others. Perhaps it’s that Monet - what I had intended.
like masterpiece oozing impressionism, or that diamond sharp
print that could cut glass. Maybe it’s that picture that emulates I’ve a great fondness for my first pictures, made on a Brownie
intuitive photographers or simply the one that, in a moment of Cresta 3 in 1962, largely unpublishable, but priceless for the
inspiration, brought all the technical and compositional memories they evoke. As it happens, that principle could be
elements together to execute a Cartier-Bresson ‘decisive applied to any of the images I’ve made down the years. But
moment’. It might even be elevated to the level of iconic! could any emerge as a favourite? A fond pursuit over a pint or
two of beer has been to compile one’s ‘desert island discs’ -
Well, sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have one. In fact, if I’m railway books that one could not be without should one find
honest, I don’t even have one for any of the many artists or one’s self washed up on a deserted strand. The same could
photographers I have admired over the years and gained apply to one’s pictures. Actually, one of my former
much inspiration from. Indeed, to pun a rather hackneyed photography tutors used to say that the litmus test of a
phrase, it’s all a little matter of perspective. I’ve heard some successful image was to stick it on the wall and see how long
say that your best work is your last piece of work, in which it took to become tired of it. Well that should cut the numbers
case I might as well hang up my camera and collect stamps – down pretty drastically!
tempting! On the other hand, what a waste of fifty-three years
of fresh-air and fun! Then there’s the ‘come and go’ element – one week a
favourite, the next a reject. Fashions, naturally, change over
No-one has come up with a satisfactory reason as to why one time but there are some pictures that I come back to time and
might spend fifty-three years-plus pursuing something that, again, revisiting them almost like old friends. Sometimes they
for the most part, is a relatively solitary activity, and, some are more recent, often because I’ve finally got something that
would say, quite anti-social, least of all, me. Well, there you has taken me a lifetime to achieve. But does that necessarily
go again, it’s that little matter of perspective. I doubt there is make it a favourite – well, not really. It has merely become
any objectivity that can be applied to standing on a boggy flavour of the month.
hillside, the wind whipping up droplets of rain, shoes laden
with mud, damp socks, the colour washed out of the terrain, So what’s the flavour this month? Oh, umpteen, but the one
the sole purpose being, simply, to ‘get another picture of a I’ve chosen is, perhaps surprisingly, very conventional and, in
train’ – foolhardy in the extreme! But subjectively there may fact, only goes back six months. It does, nonetheless, have a
be something in evoking the atmosphere of the occasion – particular poignancy for me for a number of reasons.
like saying there’s no such thing as ‘bad weather’ in
photography, only interesting weather. Students of the ECML will immediately recognise the location
as Newark and ardent followers of steam will, no doubt,
So by the same token, the perspective can only really be recognise the date as being Saturday 25th October 2014 at
subjective where a ‘favourite’ is concerned because what 10.24am. On the face of it, the picture came about simply
because it was the first day of the autumn half-term holiday particularly chose this spot as I wanted to include the clock
and we were on our way to North Yorkshire to visit my dad. under the awning of the old platform buildings - the modern,
Stopping off at Newark was almost a last minute decision as by comparison, do lack something of the elegance of the old!
my sons are not the most sympathetic of passengers – ‘aw The backlighting on the train was just as I remembered it and
dad, not another picture of a train, that’s all you ever want to it is upon this, dear reader, that the tale hangs.
do! Haven’t you got enough?’ To have successfully
persuaded them the evening before that we’d have to depart On Saturday 24th October 1964 a special train was run to
by 7.15 the next morning was, thus, no mean achievement. commemorate the end of main line steam on the ECML. It
was hauled by A4 No 60009 and ran under the head-board of
We arrived with about 10 minutes to spare on the booked the ‘Jubilee Requiem’. It would be the last appearance of an
passing time, not an opportunity for delay. My wish to include A4 at King’s Cross during the BR steam era. As I recall, it was
members of the family in my picture fell, almost universally, a crisp autumnal morning as my dad and I legged it over to
on deaf ears – staying in the car with Kiss FM was much the Newark from Nottingham to see it roar through. I was 12
preferred option! However, Jonno volunteered to join his dad years old and, as I stood on the up platform, no more than 70
on the platform, partly because he needed the loo. Having or 80 yards from where Jonno was standing, I was delighted
completed our business in the very modernistic ‘gents’, a far to find I’d copped Union of South Africa! We didn’t photograph
cry from that of the old GNR, we adjourned to the up side it. We didn’t film it. We just watched and committed the
Platform 2 to await developments. It wasn’t long before the spectacle to our collective memory.
anxiety levels were raised considerably by kindly
announcements informing the modest throng that the ‘steam Subsequently the preservation era has run various
train’ was running about a quarter of an hour late and had just ‘Requiems’ over the years but the one on Saturday 25th
passed Balderton. Bearing down on us from the north and October 2014, fifty years and a day later, seemed to be the
due to call was a Leeds to King’s Cross express – this had all one most worthy of a bit of effort. As I lamented the passing
the makings of a classic ‘bowled’! Do we stand our ground of ECML steam that I’d only become familiar with three years
and hope for the best or cross to the other platform for a more earlier, I couldn’t have imagined in 1964 that fifty years hence
head-on view? I’d be able to stand in the same location and see the same
train with the same loco roar through once again – in your
As luck would have it, and don’t you just need some luck dreams, mate! That it was a happy coincidence we were in
sometimes, East Coast was having a reasonably good day transit was probably a bonus. I’m not sure I’d have been quite
and the Leeds was duly despatched at 10.05. We were off the so committed to climbing out of bed that early and traipsing all
hook or so we thought – shouldn’t be along for another ten or the way to Newark without some considerable coaxing.
fifteen minutes anyway. But then another threat began to However, the opportunity to repeat the exercise I’d pursued
emerge in the form of a rogue ecs working courtesy of Grand with my dad all those years ago with one of my own sons
Central. Typical! seemed too good to pass up. So I went for it!
As it turned out we needn’t have worried, though experience I’m glad I did. As it transpired the picture achieved all it set
often tells it differently. A preceding down express passed at out to do. The framing of the footbridge seems to be creating
10.07, so expectations were considerably raised that the a picture within a picture, viewed from the outside by Jonno
kettle would be immediately behind it. Commendably Grand who, himself, features in my picture. The contrasting old and
Central passed five minutes later, so the air of anxious new buildings reinforce the link with the past made whole by
expectation was eased somewhat in anticipation of the the passing of the train. And all overseen by the clock that
spectacle to follow. And we weren’t disappointed. was there then and is there now.
What I wasn’t to know, in the same way I
couldn’t have imagined in 1964, was that
this weekend would be the last time I’d
drive to North Yorkshire to visit my dad
before he died. He enjoyed hearing about
our escapade earlier in the day and, with
the wonders of technology, was able to
see and share the spectacle, rekindling
our own collective memory of fifty years
earlier. So, you see, there is a poignancy
to this picture that far outweighs the
technicalities of convention. It’s not a great
iconic image, nor one that pushes the
boundaries of creativity. Perhaps it’s not
even a particularly ‘good’ picture from a
technical point of view. Nevertheless it
says much to me about generations in my
family and the timeless links that join them
And, yes, it could just be growing on me as
That’s Jonno on the left, together with his shadow, the RIP, Dad.
autumnal light picking out the tidy paving on the platform, Editor’s Note: David Pearce submitted this excellent piece on
contrasting with the restricted area nearer the edge. Further 21st April.
down the platform the elderly gent with the flat cap
photographing the proceedings was a happy bonus. I 9
Annual General Meeting Report – 2nd April Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway had been shelved on
grounds of cost and the potential for broken journey
Although anticipating his year as Chairman being a daunting connections.
task Peter Cooke reflected on a thoroughly enjoyable year in
his report to the AGM on 2 April 2015. Once again a diverse Consideration is still being given to a trip on a dining train on
range of talks had entertained members during the year (as the North Norfolk Railway, perhaps as part of the 60th
readers of the ‘Recently at the URC Hall’ in this publication anniversary celebrations. Ray Halliday said that he would
will attest). External visits included a behind the scenes tour explore this possibility.
of the North Norfolk Railway and a visit to the Epping and
Ongar Railway. The Annual Show Day had been very A trip to the Nene Valley Railway, courtesy of the Roger
successful and Peter thanked all those who contributed to the Harrision Legacy fund, is being organised for Saturday 12th
Peter remains on the committee as Past Chairman while Chris Mitchell introduced a discussion about the size and
Brian Cornwell is our new Chairman and Ray Halliday is Vice- structure of the committee as it had been felt that the
Chairman. Andy Wright succeeds Peter Adds as Secretary committee ought not to exceed 10% of the membership.
and Chris Mitchell takes on Publicity and External Events.
Peter Willis becomes the Show Day Organiser, although he The Chairman extended an invitation to ordinary members to
has acted in this role for the past two years. Edward Mann speak to committee members and then attend a Committee
continues as Newsletter Editor and with Graham Kenworthy Meeting to find out how the committee structure worked and
forms the Indoor Fixtures Committee. Any suggestions for possibly offer their services to assist.
potential speakers will be gratefully received and followed up.
Edward announced he will not continue with arranging Finally it was agreed that the tea money and raffle proceeds
outdoor fixtures after this year. will be donated to the Mid-Norfolk Railway’s turntable appeal.
Three members stood down from the committee and we are Andy Wright, Hon. Secretary.
grateful to them for their contribution to the Society. They are (A report of the first meeting of the new Committee will appear
Gordon Bruce, Peter Adds and Mike Fordham. in the next Newsletter.)
Treasurer John Laycock reported that the Society remains in The Norfolk Railway Society - publisher!
good financial health and subscriptions will remain £18.50 for
2016. The NRS holds meetings, it organises outings, it runs an
Annual Show – but some of our newer members may not
There was a slight gain in membership during 2014 with Mike know that during its 60 years’ existence it has also published
Handscomb reporting 12 new members and a total of 102 at booklets.
the end of the year.
In 1965 a Tenth Anniversary Souvenir Booklet was issued.
The Newsletter has had a settled format since Edward Mann One of the co-editors was Arnold Hoskins, later to become
took over as Editor 3½ years ago. He thanked all those who our President. Its contents include The Society Through the
had contributed items for publication but had unfortunately Years, British Railways 1955 - 1965 and accounts of special
decided to drop the meeting reports as they have been trips, including one to the Wissington Light Railway.
written by committee members for the last 2 years. If
members come forward to write them Edward will happily To mark our 25th anniversary, we issued another publication.
reinstate them. This time the editors were the familiar names of Messrs
Adderson Kenworthy and Pearce. Arnold Hoskins, by now
On the subject of the Newsletter we must again thank Vice-President, recounted Twenty-five Years of Society
Graham and Janet Smith for their hard work in arranging Activities, while Richard Adderson described how the railways
distribution of the Newsletter. It is one of those unsung but of Norfolk had changed between 1955 and 1980. Twelve of
vital tasks that helps keep all members in touch with the the 28 pages were used for photographs.
Forward to 1995, our 40th birthday. “Let's have another
Regarding the NRS Archive, Ray Meek reported it had been a booklet", people said. The fact that we did was entirely due to
poor year with the sudden death of his fellow archivist, Peter Gordon Bruce, who was editing the NRS Newsletter at the
Allison. Ray is prepared to continue on his own.
Whether the NRS should continue to hold an
archive was a matter for discussion, however.
Some exhibits have little or no connection with our
area. Does it add to our Society? Should items be
donated to another organisation such as the County
Archive (Norfolk Records Office) or the National
Ray Meek offered to identify the items he thought
could be disposed of - perhaps initially offered to
NRS members - and the committee will follow-up
the suggestions made.
The organisation of outdoor visits for the summer
was well underway - see elsewhere in this
newsletter. However the idea of a trip by rail to the
time. Gordon took a deep breath and proceeded to trawl back Fred Poynter and Barry Stevens – R.I.P.
through every issue. The 76-page booklet which he produced
rejoiced in the title Norfolk Railway Society Special: The Best We have been advised that Fred passed away peacefully
of the NRS Newsletter 1955 - 1995. It’s crammed with a at home on 14th December. As he lived at Cawston he was
fascinating miscellany, including reports of Society outings, rarely seen at Society meetings, although he joined some
brake van trips (when such things could still be done), and 5 years ago. A few may, however, recall meeting him at
accounts of contemporary railway developments. A brief flick Yaxham when we visited in late July 2012.
through its pages reveals, for instance: Visit to the Great
Eastern 20-Ton Steam Crane at Ipswich (1965), Southwold He was very pleased to receive his copy of Roger
Railway Walk (1974) and Norwich to Birmingham 1981 and Harrison’s East Anglian Railways, and we send our
1991 (1991). belated condolences to his widow and family.
Occasional copies find their way on to the secondhand Barry died peacefully in hospital on 27th March. A member
market. Our member Ron Bocking who died in 2012 had a of many years’ standing he used to come to our meetings
set of three which are now available at £2.50 each. with his good friend, Dave Williams. He worked for the
Food Research Institute at Cambridge, and latterly at
If any member would like one of these very interesting Colney. He was also a life member of the R.C.T.S. and
reminders of the NRS’s history, or indeed all three for £6, do had participated in some of their overseas tours, and
contact me on xx or xx. First come, first served! numerous U.K. railtours when living at Cambridge. After
he retired he researched our local railways, taking a
New Members particular interest in “lines that never were”, later giving me
a couple of folders full of information. He was a regular
We are pleased to welcome 2 new members: contributor to the Newsletter in the early 2000s and
Christopher Williamson of Ipswich members interested in Irish railways might like to re-read
and David Gooderham of Poringland – David should have no his 2-part article in NRS/NL 49A/3 p.14 & NRS/NL 49A/4
problems receiving p.13. In addition, he used to be an MNR volunteer, serving
his Newsletter! as a crossing-keeper and also doing some work tidying up
Wymondham Abbey Halt,
His private funeral has taken place, and we send our
Our indoor meetings resume on Thursday 17th September, condolences to his widow and family.
when we look forward to receiving short, illustrated reports of
members’ summer railway visits.
The NET and GC (David Pearce)
Hindsight is a fickle creature – a blessing and a curse. A original form, hardly exists anymore. But then in those days
blessing, perhaps, for lessons learnt from the mistakes of the the trams terminated at the river and never actually reached
past, but a curse for lost opportunities and lack of foresight. Wilford! Indeed, anyone returning from a significant period
Railway history is bedevilled with it and
everyone who has any remote interest will
have a view on what constitutes the blessing or
the curse. Some views will be well informed,
others simply armchair wisdom based on
circumstantial hearsay or, more likely, an
emotional response to ‘mending something
when it ain’t broke’!
In common with many cities across the land,
Nottingham has seen vast changes to its fabric
and layout over the last fifty years. In many
respects, perhaps, it has always been a city in
transition reflecting the changing faces of its
industrial heritage. This, in turn, has been
echoed in the way transport has been
organised for its populace.
Who would have thought that when the electric Nottingham Weekday Cross: 8F meets 9F c1963 looking north (DP
trams that ran along Wilford Road were collection).
replaced by trolleybuses under the auspices of
Nottingham Corporation, subsequently 11
withdrawn in favour of motorised omnibuses,
that trams would, once again, reach out to
Wilford from the city centre? OK, it’s a fairly
thinly veiled analogy as Wilford Road, in its
Ironically, even after the flicker had been
snuffed and the tracks removed, the tunnel to
the south of the old station, sometimes known
as Thurland Street or Victoria Street, served a
dual purpose. The pipes that supplied heating
and services to the new development shared
space with a single track that served as a
headshunt. It linked the remaining stub of the
former Great Central main line at this end with
the rest of the rail network. True, there was
another link at Leicester, installed in 1965, and
another constructed at Loughborough in 1974,
but what could have been an opportunity for an
integral north-south city rail link, local and
convenient to the city centre, was seen as not
worth pandering to. Perhaps it wasn’t the
fashion in those dark days.
Nottingham Victoria looking north in April 1968, above, (DP collection) and in Anyway, it didn’t stop there. The Loughborough
May 1968, below, (TJE). link was put in to serve the remaining freight
generated by the Ordnance Depot at
Ruddington and gypsum in and around
Rushcliffe and East Leake. Thus, the line north
of Ruddington to Nottingham, hitherto utilised
by one or two trains a day on weekdays from
the middle of 1969, could be dispensed with –
all part of the plan! But it’s the infrastructure
that was left behind in 1974 that irks and feeds
the insatiable appetite of hindsight.
Why? The answer lies in the developments that
took place over the next forty years. Seen
through chronological eyes some of the
decisions seem nonsensical, maybe even
whimsical, particularly when any attempt is
made to reconcile the logic behind the
relationship between demolition and
construction. The section of trackbed from
Nottingham to Ruddington is a classic example
of this sad and perplexing conundrum.
away from Nottingham will search in vain for any
familiar landmarks, particularly in the Meadows,
that tract of land ‘twixt city and river populated by
the back-to-backs of Dickens and Lawrence –
from cul-de-sac to dual carriageway, with little
boxes ensnared, in the space of a generation.
Such is progress!
When the city fathers decided to tear down Nottingham Weekday Cross GN viaduct with 7561 propelling goods
Nottingham Victoria Station in 1967 in favour of September 1973 (DP).
the inevitable shopping mall and concrete tower
blocks there was a flicker of foresight. That it was
blown out as quickly as it was lit is probably as
much down to the prevailing winds of a pruned
and rationalised rail network as it was to an
attitude problem around any form of integrated
transport system. What am I talking about? Well,
anyone viewing the hole that was left by the
demolition contractors from the safety of
Parliament Street or Glasshouse Street in 1968
could not have failed to notice a couple of tracks
meandering round the east side of the site. If you
were lucky you might even get to see the odd
goods train sneaking through; the last shout of a
former freight artery. And the flicker of foresight?
Simply that the plans for the new Victoria Centre
allowed for space to be left for these tracks to
maintain the permanent (sic) way, at least, on a
Back at Thurland Street in 1975 the heat
pipes continued to take the edge off the chill
so redolent of tunnels since time
immemorial. Out on the blue brick viaduct
above Broad Marsh the weeds were taking
hold and rust was eating its way through the
flaking grey paintwork on the mighty girder
bridge that spanned Midland Station. As if
dragged down by the ‘hell for leather’ desire
to redevelop the Meadows area the viaduct
over Arkwright Street, the station, and the
remaining 20 odd arches, were all in the
process of demolition in common with those
back-to-backs that so offended the city
fathers. The incongruity of the boxes that
form the housing development on the site of
Queen’s Walk Goods Depot would contrast
markedly with the twin girders that carried
the line over the Trent, onwards on
embankments to a less cluttered prospect,
less trammelled by developers, give or take
the odd bridge.
By the end of 1980 the girder bridge at
Midland Station was no more and five years
later the bridges over the Trent
disappeared. Is it too much to speculate that
Nottingham had become ashamed of its
legacy of remaining vestiges that
constituted the last great main line to
London? The developments of the next
thirty years are as perplexing as they are
whimsical, fuelling speculation that,
somewhere along the line, thinking was not
as joined up as perhaps it ought to have
Nineteen years after the twin girder bridges
over the river had been removed the trams
returned to Nottingham. What goes around
comes around – the culmination in March
2004 of something like sixteen years of
planning and building but, nonetheless, a
very welcome return. Nottingham Express
Transit (NET) is clearly going places, a
Nottingham Weekday Cross: GN viaduct & NET tram 4th deserved success from the outset and clearly embraced by
October 2013 (DP). the people of Nottingham. What were we saying about an
integral north-south city rail-link? Maybe the city fathers had
some vision after all! So what’s all this got to do with hindsight
and the GC? Well, my dear Watson (or should that be
Watkin?!), ‘tis back to infrastructure again!
The clarity of the NET route map owes much to Harry Beck,
not to mention those elegant pocket Underground maps so
ephemeral from their inception. Familiar names like Hucknall,
Bulwell and Basford feature – didn’t several ancient railway
companies serve these communities in their time, ousted by
the omnibus? The wholesale and, some would say, unseemly
haste with which two of the three original companies were
erased from the Leen Valley, namely the Great Central and
Great Northern, obliterated their mortal remains in pursuit of
an insatiable lust for land for housing and road developments.
Thankfully, by a quirk of fate and freight, the Robin Hood Line
survived the holocaust and complements the NET to the north
of the city. But, sadly, not much GC infrastructure evident
there then – landscaped into oblivion!
OK, so what of the tunnels – Thurland Street, Mansfield
Road, Sherwood Rise and the hole that was
Carrington? Blocked off but still extant and
the hole filled in, putting paid to any notion
of providing the Victoria Centre with a place
on the NET map or, for that matter, a direct
link to Midland Station.
Which makes the scene at Weekday Cross Nottingham GC Trent crossing looking south 13th April 1980 (DP).
and the viaduct above Broad Marsh really
rather fascinating if a little surprising. Where
once there was one viaduct there now is
another. It’s at this point that the trams veer
away from the original GC alignment to
climb up to Middle Pavement and over the
hill to drop down towards Old Market
Square. Why not under Thurland Street to
the Victoria Centre? It would not have been
unreasonable to expect the NET to utilise
the old blue brick viaduct but this was
replaced by a more open concrete design
leading to a new bridge across Canal Street
– less elegant, more utilitarian, graceful
brick arches giving way to austere concrete
columns. However, a small section of the
old viaduct, and the last remaining, was
retained across the Nottingham Canal
almost to Station Street and the present
So, having established and consolidated
north-south tracks through the centre of the
city, Phase 2 has even greater ambitions –
to link the city to centres of population to the
south across the river, particularly Clifton.
You can almost smell the ravenous breath
of hindsight as the first challenge hoves into
view. Once upon a time wasn’t there a
bridge across Midland Station just here?
Oh, I was forgetting – it was taken down as
surplus to requirements – doh! So they put
up another one, just like the other one –
another incredible span. The Great Central
engineers would have been most
But being a tram the NET will drop down to
street level beyond the station for a
meander through the Meadows as far as the
Trent. Now there was much talk in the
1970s about utilising the Great Central’s
river crossing for road improvements,
particularly as the neighbouring toll bridge at
Wilford, privately owned until 1969, was no
longer considered fit for purpose – the years
and traffic having taken their own toll, so to
speak! In only a matter of a few years
during the 1960s the weight limit was
gradually reduced to the point where, in
1974, it was only safe to carry pedestrians,
cyclists and other non-motorised
perambulators. Indeed they even replaced
parts of it with a footbridge such was the
decrepit state of the structure. So what on
earth was the idea of dismantling the former
GC railway bridge alongside in 1985? Oh, of
course – it was surplus to requirements –
doh! Well, guess what – in 2014 the NET
tracks began to creep towards the river, a
time honoured major barrier to progress
southwards. Enter a reconstructed toll
bridge in the absence of a neighbouring
purpose built railway bridge that disappeared nearly thirty Nottingham Goods South looking north on a misty 3rd
years earlier. April 1974 (DP).
However, that’s not quite the end of the infrastructure story as
it happens. Once the NET has crossed the river and served
Wilford Village it utilises none other than the old GC’s
embankment and trackbed as far as the top of Ruddington
Lane near to the old Wilford brickworks. Now, of course,
where once there were fields and allotments to the east of the
line, houses have sprung up at Compton Acres. Indeed, what
is perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that on this
section of former GC main line no fewer than three
station/stops are planned, namely Wilford Lane, Compton
Acres and Ruddington Lane. With daytime testing almost
complete one wonders how many will spare a thought, as
they bowl along in their smart new tram, that they are
following in the tracks of the Master Cutler!
Well, hindsight remains a fickle creature that has not served
the Great Central well. It may be that these reflections could
be accused of being ramblings from an armchair. However,
without being privy to the minutes of planning meetings, it is
easy to see how an outside observer could be left with an
impression of oversight and a lack of awareness of the assets
under the noses of the planners. It is, perhaps, wishful
thinking that there might have been another visionary like
Watkin sitting at the table. But then maybe the armchair
ruminators of the past reflected on similar observations in
1898 – who knows?
a selective look ahead at local railway events
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY, GER Society (Norwich Branch) 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.
Great Eastern Railway Society (Norwich Branch) - contact Mike Fordham
Norfolk Transport Group - contact John Laycock
Services on our Local Railways
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, East View Farm, Stone Lane, Ashmanhaugh, NR12 8YW. For information:
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL. For information: www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk – Tel: 01603-
The Bure Valley Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.bvrw.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
733858. Daily running until 1st November.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.mnr.org.uk - or telephone 01362-
690633. Regular running (at least 3 days per week).
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Brockford Station, Wetheringsett, IP14 5PW - For details of individual events please visit their
website - www.mslr.org.uk - or telephone 01449-766899. Operating days on all Sundays in June, July and August.
The North Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.nnrailway.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
The Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers meets at Eaton Park, Norwich on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from
1300-1700. Please visit their website – www.ndsme.co.uk.
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway. For information: www. wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk or tel: 01328 711630 (up to 1700
please). Daily running until 31st October.
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.whitwellstation.com - or
JUNE Fri - Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Summer Diesel Gala.
12th - 14th Sat
13th PORINGLAND SUMMER TRAIN SHOW - at Poringland Village Hall, The Street, NR14 7RA
Thurs (opposite Budgens, Anglian bus 87/88) from 1000 - 1630. Model trains of all sorts and kinds (static
18th Fri - Sun and working) in a variety of gauges to suit all tastes from ‘G’ to ‘N’. Refreshments available. Sales
Sun Stands and Raffle. Entrance £3. Accompanied children under 14 - free. Organised by members of
19th - 21st Sun Norfolk Railway Society in aid of Poringland Village Hall Redevelopment Fund.
21st NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - Visit to the Traffic Management Centre, County Hall. Limited
21st to 12 people. Contact Edward Mann for details: [email protected]
2nd MID NORFOLK RAILWAY - Steam Gala Weekend.
4th - 12th
5th BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY - Fathers’ Day with Model Railway Exhibition 1430 - 1730.
10th BURE VALLEY RAILWAY - Father's Day VIP Package.
11th - 12th
WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - Fathers’ Day (Steam) from 1230.
17th - 19th Thurs NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - Visit to Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, East View Farm, Stone
18th Sat - Sun Lane, Ashmanaugh, NR12 8YW. Please assemble from 1830 (weather permitting).
Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Quad-Art Week.
25th Fri ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY - Open Day 1400 - 1700 weather permitting.
30th Sat - Sun
AUGUST WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - Steam Sunday. Trains from 1230.
1st - 2nd Sat - Sun
1st - 2nd Fri - Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY- Steam Back in Time. Celebrate the Railway’s 25th Anniversary.
2nd BURE VALLEY RAILWAY- Silver Jubilee Steam Gala with guest locomotives from the Romney,
9th Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.
MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - 1960s BR Mixed Traffic Weekend.
NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - 14th Annual Beer Festival
NENTA TRAINTOURS – “The Manchester & Liverpool Experience”. Day trip from Norwich (dep
0535 approx – return 0015 approx) via Ipswich & Ely to Manchester for City Tour/visit to East Lancs
Railway/M.S.C. River Cruise or Liverpool. Fares from £67.75. First Class & Premier Class
Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or telephone 01692-406152.
Sun BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY - Running Day 1430 - 1730
Thurs MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - Summer Jazz Train.
NRS/GER/NTG - Visit to Parklands Miniature Railway, Hemsby (weather permitting). See page 9
of this Newsletter for further information.
Sat -Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - Railway at War Weekend.
Sat - Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - 6th Steam Rally.
Sun ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY - Open Day 1400 - 1700 weather permitting.
Sun MID-SUFFOLK RAILWAY - Hornby Collectors’ Day.
Sun MID-SUFFOLK RAILWAY - Summer Fayre.
Weds NRS/GER/NTG - Visit to the Gauge 1 Model Railway at Hepworth from 1300 - 1530. Please
contact Mike Fordham for details.
Printed by Express Impressions. Tel. 01603 301127