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NRS Newsletter 62-6 first published December 2017

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Published by Norfolk Railway Society, 2018-12-12 12:33:37

NRS NL 62-6 Nov-Dec 2017

NRS Newsletter 62-6 first published December 2017

Norfolk Railway Society

Founded 1955
Volume 62 No. 6 Nov/Dec 2017


news from railways in and around Norfolk

National Network Major Works Attention

GE LINES UPDATE: When I was “opened up” for my hernia repair the surgeon found another problem
November which needs significant surgery. Having had various scans etc and a chat with the
consultant in Manchester (where the operation is performed) I’m going to be
operated on in mid-January.

GE LINES NEWS There are 3 tasks which have to be delegated. Thankfully, Graham Kenworthy will
be able to look after the Fixtures programme in his usual efficient manner. Then,
Budget 22nd November: as everybody should know, I have written the majority of the meeting reports for
The Chancellor of the Exchequer the past 6 years. Mike Handscomb has kindly agreed to compile these. Barring
announced the introduction of a hospitalisation of his own(!), Andy Wright will do his best to bring the Newsletters
new Young Persons railcard to you and it is good that people are able to “rally round”. All contributions should
benefiting 25 to 30 year olds (the please be emailed to him – [email protected] – and if the Newsletters look
previous YP railcard expired when the slightly different please bear with us for 2/3 issues. If their size is reduced please
holder became 25 years old and then ask yourselves if you could have done more. Even so, he will probably have to
one had to wait until 60 for a Senior endure the frustration of the late or non-arrival of promised articles – I’ve grown
railcard unless a Family railcard could used to it by now but unfortunately you learn by experience. Thanking you in
be purchased). anticipation of your co-operation. (Edward Mann)

Greater Anglia (subsequently referred

to as GA) will pilot the introduction of GA have been giving rail users the beneath central London is scheduled
to commence in July 2018.
the new railcard which will be available opportunity of “seeing” inside the new
Crossrail / Replacement of OLE
from 6th December. trains currently on order using virtual engineering blockades:
On 19th September Network Rail
reality headsets at a number of announced that extensive engineering
blockades would take place during
Industrial action: principal stations on the network most weekends from the end of
September to the end of the year to
GA members of the RMT Union held (Norwich featured on 17th November). enable progression chiefly of the on-
going OLE replacement works.
two 24 hour strikes on 3rd and 5th Ingatestone has become the London-
bound terminus with replacement bus
October and a further 48 hour Crossrail / The Elizabeth Line: services ferrying passengers to/from
Newbury Park for Underground
stoppage on 8th and 9th November in a The new Crossrail Class 345 emus are transfer to/from central London for
these weekend blockades and
dispute regarding the future duties of gradually being introduced to Liverpool between 23rd December and 2nd
January when the line will be closed for
guards. GA have trained managers to Street – Shenfield services but in mid- 10 days.

undertake guard duties and the November the historic Class 315 emus All stations on Crossrail are to offer
step-free access, so major construction
disputes to date have not caused many still operated the majority of services.. works are in progress at most stations
between Maryland and Shenfield with
problems – however overrunning platform extensions and new platform
footbridges with lifts being installed.
engineering works in the Witham area Pudding Mill Lane DLR station:
on 8th November disrupted early This was relocated southwards in April In mid-November preliminary ground
works continued on the new train
morning services. 2014 in order to make way for the maintenance depot.

future Crossrail tunnel portal and the

New GA train fleet: GEML Up Slow/Electric Line between

Stratford and Bow Junction was

In This Issue diverted from the
north to the south

Track Report side of the tunnel

National Network 1 portal over the
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature weekend of 16th/17th
Away from the tracks 6 September. The

6 physical connections

Pick-up Goods 7 to the Crossrail

NRS News 13 infrastructure were
Feature made at the end of

13 October/beginning of

“Forster Squares & Todmorden Triangles” - November. Trial

Edward Mann running through the

Working Timetable 16 Crossrail tunnels



Railhead treatment trains: existing mechanical signalboxes will be abolished those
The DRS operated RHTTs based on Stowmarket Down Yard controlling the swingbridges at Reedham and Somerleyton
have been cleaning the railheads throughout East Anglia are to remain to cater for river traffic needs.
during this year’s leaf fall period have utilised 37s, 57s and
66s. Travel on the 0830 Norwich – London revealed RHTTs Mile End former Upside Yard:
passing Diss (towards Norwich); a second “looped” in Witham In previous Newsletters we have reported the removal of the
Up Loop (heading towards London) with a third train former sand sidings and the viaduct structure which carried
departing Liverpool St terminus. With the GA Class 156 units them above surrounding ground level – the operational
now fitted with wheelslide prevention equipment GA has had railway is carried on viaduct-type structures at this point. It
fewer cancellations caused by defective dmus being out of was suspected that the cleared site might be redeveloped for
service awaiting tyre turning. residential purposes and, after some months delay,
development is now in full swing with the new buildings now
Wherry lines resignalling scheme works commence: having reached 5 storeys in height. 3 tower cranes are in use
From 21st October consecutive weekend blockades at on what is a relatively small and narrow site.
Yarmouth and Lowestoft together with a complete blockade at
Yarmouth and a midday blockade on the Lowestoft route GE INCIDENTS
during the intervening week heralded the start of this £68m
scheme. At Yarmouth pointwork has been simplified with the Saturday 14th October: A trespasser on the line near
abandonment of the former short platform 1 so the platform Chelmsford led to the 1030 Norwich – London service being
arrangement now reflects that found at Lowestoft. terminated at Chelmsford and the following 1100 service was
subject to delay.
At Lowestoft, preliminary trackwork alterations were
undertaken within the historic goods yard area and at Sunday 15th October: The 1002 Ipswich – Lowestoft service
Somerleyton the trailing crossover situated at the Lowestoft formed by 170272 struck a car on a user-worked level
end of the station platforms, operated via a ground frame crossing near Melton leading to the train being terminated
released by Somerleyton Swingbridge SB, has been there. The 1005 Lowestoft – Ipswich was terminated at
abolished and plain lined. Saxmundham. The two-hourly service on the East Suffolk line
was then suspended until the 1602 ex-Ipswich and 1605 ex-
Further blockades are to follow notably at Lowestoft and Lowestoft services with replacement road services running
Reedham Junc as this modular signalling scheme (similar to whilst train services were suspended.
the Norwich – Ely route) proceeds. Future control of the 66
new signals and 22 power operated points will pass to Friday 20th October: A signalling fault occurred at Lakenham
Colchester PSB. Whilst it is expected that the majority of the on the main line, after the 0622 ex-Norwich which reached
Diss 41L and Ipswich 51L, led to a number of cancellations
Norfolk Railway Society from Norwich including the 0645 (started Ipswich); 0703;
(Founded 1955) 0740 (started Stowmarket), 0800 and 0900. The next Up
service to run was the 0930 (departed 11L) and the first Down
President: Ken Mills, Esq. train was the 0730 ex-London as previous Down services had
been terminated at either Ipswich or Stowmarket.
Committee and Officers 2017-2018 Telephone
Friday 27th October: The 1630 Doncaster – Felixstowe
Chairman Brian Kirton container train service failed in the Kennett area whilst
running on time. It finally passed Bury St Edmunds 161L and
Vice Chairman Warren Wordsworth reached its destination 250L. The 2117 Ipswich – Cambridge
service was terminated at Bury St Edmunds with the “2144”
Past Chairman Ray Halliday Cambridge – Ipswich being formed by the unit. The 2145
Peterborough – Colchester was held at Ely from 2225 to 0014
Secretary & Andrew Wright (107L), reaching Colchester 115L. The 2244 Cambridge –
Webmaster Ipswich was RT at Dullingham but passed Chippenham Junc
62L in reaction to the failure.
Treasurer John Laycock
Saturday 28th October: The failure of the 0445 GBrf Hams
Membership Sec Mike Handscomb Hall – Felixstowe container service approaching Shenfield
caused a 42 minute delay to the following 0830 London –
Newsletter Editor & Edward Mann Norwich service. The failed freight passed Shenfield 140L
Indoor Programme and was then recessed at Colchester from 1143 to 1352,
departing 223L and reaching its destination 233L.
Indoor Programme Graham Kenworthy
Monday 30th October: There have been a number of bridge
Show Day Manager Brian Cornwell strikes in recent weeks either at Needham Market or North
& Outdoor visits Walsham. One at the latter location caused the 1345 Norwich
– Sheringham to be terminated at Cromer 28L. It then formed
Committee Member Malcolm Wright the 1447 ex-Sheringham service, and the 1447 Sheringham
departed 14L which was held at Cromer for 22 minutes and
—----------------------------------------------------------------------------- reached Norwich 29L.

Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter Saturday 11th November: Flying Scotsman, the NRM-owned
locomotive, finally reached Norwich to work an 0803 Norwich
Editor: Edward Mann to Westerfield service via the Bacon Factory curve with
reversal to Ipswich Upper Yard (not the station), before
Layout & Picture Editor: Andrew Wright

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 1st February 2018.
Copy date: 22nd January 2018.



coming back to Norwich ready for an afternoon Norwich – power in an attempt to maintain the 125mph top speed of
King’s Cross service which returned to Norwich diesel-hauled. their HST predecessors.

This itinerary should have been undertaken on 21st October Entering the IET one is met by a general all grey seat colour
but the loco experienced hot box issues having worked a scheme with light green trim in Standard and red headrests in
York to Peterborough special where it was removed and First. As in other recent new train fleets the seating has
taken to the Nene Valley Railway where repairs were become harder and more uncomfortable to the user’s
effected. The train service had to be worked forward to anatomy. The lack of a major visual difference between the
Norwich behind a Class 47. seating in both classes may help explain the paper leaflet
placed on each table in First Class confirming that that was
Tuesday 21st November: After a relatively quiet period First Class. Presumably on the basis that the relatively small
involving tragic suicides on the operational railway, the 1000 First Class seating areas should receive a complimentary
London to Norwich service struck a person between Shenfield catering service no litter bins are provided. Seat reservations
and Ingatestone. Contrary to the EDP website which stated will ultimately be displayed above in the edge of the luggage
that “all lines were blocked between Shenfield and rack above the seats but given the mixed fleet at present the
Ingatestone fore (sic) nearly four hours….” the line was re- traditional reservation labels are still placed in the seat backs.
opened after about 90 minutes but severe delays and some A seat to be avoided in First Class is beside the external door
cancellations inevitably resulted. well so one has a blank internal wall to view the passing
scenery through – ie an impossibility!
Friday 25th November: Having passed Ilford on time, the
0555 Norwich – London then experienced traction unit Acceleration from Reading under diesel power was slower
problems losing 21 minutes to Stratford and a further 22 than an HST and the hoped for surge in speed from Taplow
minutes between there and Liverpool St. The return 0830 was failed to materialise as signalling problems intervened at
cancelled and a light engine ran from Norwich to haul the Airport Junc through to Southall leading to a 28 minute late
stock back to Crown Point departing 1246. The 0740 Norwich arrival at Paddington. The train then formed the 1145 London
– London also experienced locomotive problems,
being terminated at Ipswich. The 1330 and 1600
departures from London to Norwich were
cancelled in reaction.

Riding the new Intercity Express Inside the IET/P First Class area looking towards Standard Class (above)
Passenger train and a view within Standard Class (below) both on 17th October (Peter
The DfT designed IEP train (known as the IET on
Great Western routes or the Azuma on the East
Coast) built by Hitachi entered public service on
16th October. Sadly the travelling media were
given plenty of material to give adverse
comments. The worst offender was the first train,
the 0600 Bristol TM – Paddington service which
was late off its Stoke Gifford depot leading to a 21
minute late departure; the air conditioning
drainage malfunctioned in one vehicle leading to
water cascading down on passengers and at
Taplow, near Maidenhead, the pantographs failed
to rise as the driver attempted to switch from
diesel to electric power. The train had to be
stopped and the diesel engines had to be
restarted with a 41L arrival in London.

I sampled the IET the following day. I ventured
out to Reading to intercept the 0930 ex-Bristol
service formed of two 5 car units 800 005/6 which
had been the bad boys the previous day. One
other diagram was being operated by 800

Delays in commissioning and cost overruns for
the GW electrification schemes have seen the
mainline electrification cut back to Thingley Junc
(for Melksham), west of Chippenham station on
the Bath/Bristol route and Cardiff (not Swansea),
meaning that more bi-mode operation will be
necessary than at first thought. At present the
IETs can only work the first 20 miles or so from
Paddington under the wires and after Christmas
this will be extended to Didcot (53 miles) and then
have to switch to diesel power. It has been found
necessary to revise the original train order so that
all units will become bi-mode and the de-rated
diesel engines restored to their original output



– Swansea service which I travelled on as far as
Bristol Parkway. Departure was 11L but the
benefits of electric traction resulted in a fast run to
Reading (36 miles) reached in less than 23
minutes comparable to early HST timings.
Departure from Reading was 8 minutes late and
following a non-stop sprint Swindon was reached
5L. Station overtime resulted in an 8L departure
and with a signal check approaching Wootton
Bassett Junc arrival at Bristol Parkway remained
at 8L. Ride was comparable to the ageing HSTs
but noisier when under diesel power.

The IEP or IET was designed to replace the 40
year old HST fleet so will be with us for many
years to come. In addition to the GWR and VTEC
fleets (GWR are to receive 58 x 5 car sets and 35
x 9 car sets), these new units have been
purchased by TransPennine and Hull Trains.

Many thanks to Peter Adds for his varied reports
and for the images.

News of the Pretendolino The trailing unit 800 006 leaving Bristol Parkway on 17th October (Peter
On 24th November 2014, a rake of nine off-lease
Mk3 carriages, last used by Virgin Trains on the
West Coast Main Line a month earlier, arrived at
Norwich Crown Point for use by Greater Anglia as
a spare set. Referred to as the Pretendolino set,
they were soon in traffic following minor
modifications. After two years with GA, in
November 2016 the set was hauled from Norwich
to First's Laira depot in Plymouth by DRS 68024
Centaur, for work to be carried out for the group's
TransPennine Express operations.

Almost 12 months later, on 31st October, five of
the Mk3 coaches, consisting of one FO and three
TSOs still in Virgin livery, plus RFM No 10229 in
GA livery, were moved from Laira depot to Crewe
Carriage Sidings by sister DRS loco 68025
Superb. It is reported that the stock will be given
TransPennine Express livery and be used for
driver training on Class 68s ('top-and-tailing') in
preparation for workings likely on the Liverpool-
Manchester-Leeds-York route.(With thanks to
John Hutchinson.}

Sometimes yours truly needs to use his contacts 68025 Superb on the ECS between Ivybridge & Bittaford on 31st October
(it compensates for lack of ability elsewhere!) (Clive Smith).

and, to complement John’s item, here is an image

of 68025 Superb (how often has that name been
used before?) between Ivybridge and Bittaford on 5Z63 0952 rail.
Laira – Crewe ECS on 31st October. Many thanks to Clive

Smith for supplying this image. New Trains – but shouldn’t they be designed

For My Next Trick… better?

Some railway lines closed in the 1960s could be reopened if The Fenman – the quarterly Newsletter of the Fen Line Users’
they boost the economy, the government has said. It is Association has carried some scathing comments about the
supposed to be part of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s new Class 387/1 units – hard seating and an “eccentric”
rail strategy shortly to be unveiled. He has spoken of plans – seating plan, with the First Class somewhere in the middle,
already announced – to accelerate the re-opening of the meaning that Standard Class passengers have to go through
Oxford to Cambridge route, which may happen by … pick a the First area to reach more Standard Class and/or the toilet.
date between 2025 & 2031! Yours truly is a trifle cynical – But surely the worst thing – in 2017, remember – is that the
perhaps a suitable Christmas present for Mr Grayling would toilets can be out of commission or have no water! Apparently
be a country song entitled “Here in the Real World”! extended stops at Downham or Ely have occurred when both
toilets are out of use! Ancient hauled stock has its

On 29th November the DfT published “Connecting People: a advantages!

strategic vision for rail”. If you wish to read it follow this link:



The RHTT Workings (Richard Adderson)

Richard believes that this is the first year that the train has
visited Yarmouth during daylight hours, so it’s opened up
some new photographic possibilities.

Top: Returning from Yarmouth on 16th October, the train is
held at Reedham Junc to enable a service from Lowestoft to
pass. Richard comments that he’s never seen trains on both
lines before, let alone photographed them, so – dare he say
it – he found it more satisfying than photographing Flying

Upper: A bonus this year has been the booked crossing at
Acle, when the RHTT is booked to cross the “short set”
working from Yarmouth around 1325. This image was taken
on 30th October, with 4 Class 37s in the station at the same
time! He’s still puzzling how to get them all in the frame on
another day! (Rest assured, Richard, we want them!)

Lower: 66424 brings the train into the little-used Platform 4
at Yarmouth on 19th October, negotiating the trackwork at
the station approach, which has since been simplified.

Bottom: Acle, again, on 10th November with a couple of 66s
on the RHTT.

And finally…a kindly soul has lent Richard some Special
Trains Notices from 1953, and one of the unlikely workings
detailed was a school special from Littleport to Abingdon via
Cambridge, Bedford and Bletchley on 20th May. This
specified that an E.R. loco would work throughout and we
wonder if anyone has the July 1953 Trains Illustrated to see
if the event was reported and the loco noted as it would have
been an unusual occurrence at the Western end. No doubt it
was either a B12/3 or a D16/3 – the Railway Observer and
Railway Magazine offer no help.

East Midlands Trains – Better Management

I travelled to Stockport on the 0857 Liverpool service on 18th
October, presently curtailed at Liverpool South Parkway.
Arrival at Stockport was spot-on, so no complaints there. A
legitimate complaint could, however, be levelled at the
absence of the catering trolley (“staff sickness”, we were
told). Returning on the 0954 ex-Stockport the next day
(Platform 0 if you’re interested), the usual 2 x 2 car set (to
Nottingham, normally) was down to one Class 158 and no
seat reservation labels had been affixed (“no cleaner at
Liverpool”). However, there was a catering trolley! Again,
punctuality was spot-on. Work that lot out!

First the good news…

It has been reported that part of the Felixstowe branch -
between Trimley and Grimston Lane – is to be doubled
allowing up to 47 freight trains to run each day, 14 more
than at present. The cost of the scheme is stated to be
£60M, and it will be financed through the Strategic Freight
Network Fund, with a contribution from Hutchison Ports UK.
Network Rail is looking to close 6 level-crossings on the
route and to upgrade 4 crossings as part of the project.
Progression is subject to a Transport & Works Order being
forthcoming in due course.

A public inquiry will commence at 10 am on Tuesday 23rd
January 2018 at Ipswich Town Football Club. The draft
programme includes a site visit at the end of that week.
Further information can be found on the inquiry website at:


_________TRACK REPORT children a silver sleigh bell as a gift. First Class passengers
also received a souvenir ceramic mug bearing a picture of the
The dotted line on the map, below, shows the area between (American style loco) Polar Express.
Trimley Station and Grimston Lane crossing where the line Arrival back at Dereham was about 1850. When the public
will be doubled. event happens passengers will leave via a gift shop which
was not stocked during the dress rehearsal.

Subject to the MNR being able to deliver the train service
without interruption the Polar Express promises to be a great
commercial success enabling the railway to invest in its
infrastructure including the provision of covered
accommodation to maintain its rolling stock. (Peter Adds.)

Away from the Tracks

Not such good news comes from the Office of Rail & Road Almost 60 Years Ago (also see NRS/NL 62/4
that total freight train kilometres fell by 3% last year to 34M p.10)
kilometres, the lowest figure since 2010. Total freight train
movements in 2016/17 were 236,300 compared with 282,300 If you’re of a certain age you’ll remember the coupons that
two years ago. (With thanks to Chris Mitchell and Andy were on the back cover of Ian Allan abcs for example. They
Wright.) tended to be valid for 2 years, but they were little more than a
“come-on”. You’d see one coupon on the back of a 2/6 (12½
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and p) abc, and the rate of exchange was 25 coupons for 2/6, 50
Miniature coupons for 5/- (25p) and 100 coupons 11/- (55p). Just to get
a free abc meant expenditure of over £3 which, in those days,
The Polar Express was a lot for anyone at school. Did people really bother, and
when were the coupons phased out? A specimen coupon
A different on-train Christmas experience based on the from a TI is shown below.
storyline featured in the 2004 film “The Polar Express” has
proved very successful on a number of heritage railways Having typed this piece I thought I’d ask our noted dealer
(including the Weardale and Okehampton lines) in recent Mike Handscomb for his comments:
years and this year the Mid-Norfolk Railway has secured “Well, I was certainly one of those who, as you put it, didn’t
rights from Warner Brothers. It has proved to be a huge bother. I suppose that even in those far-off days, not defacing
commercial success with all 41 trains providing some 12,000
seats sold out. Ticket prices were £23 in Standard Class and
£36 in First Class. Two or three trains a day are scheduled to
run from Dereham each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1st
December and then every day from Tuesday 19 December to
Saturday 23 December.

A dress rehearsal train was operated on Friday 24th
November top and tailed by 47596 and 37688. Intending
passengers are greeted on the platform by actors dressed as
train conductors or chefs – indeed passengers are invited to
arrive dressed in pyjamas (as seen in the film). The 6
coaches were decorated throughout with tinsel and small
wrapped packages are placed along the luggage racks. The
train departed at 1730 and passengers were able to listen to
PA music and voice commentary courtesy of an iPad driving
the sound system in each coach. All passengers were treated
to a hot chocolate drink in a disposable cup with a large
cookie. The Polar Express story was retold with the Chefs
displaying relevant pages in a large format Polar Express
book. The train halted, about 1820, having passed the North
Pole (actually Hardingham goods yard) where Santa was
observed in his sleigh.

Just before the return journey commenced there was the
sound of a carriage door closing and it transpired that this
was Father Christmas boarding. He appeared and gave all



my prized spotting booklets meant more than the possible

But I know from bitter experience that a lot of people did cut
them out. I’ve been buying and selling IA abcs for 40 years or
more, and I’ve lost count of the times that an otherwise
pristine copy has been seriously devalued by the loss of its

The same holds good for Trains Illustrated. I'm currently
attempting to sell some complete years of TI from the 1950s -
but almost every issue has lost the bottom portion of the back
page. Sadly, they may well end up in the recycling bin.”

He goes on to draw attention to another IA abc – Tractors –
which he reckons will make £20 on ebay, thanks to the very
active IA collecting community.


A miscellany of news and members’ contributions

Recently at the URC Hall Finally, Allan turned his attention to the North London Railway
and its connections to the G.N. and others, running some 14
“The Great Northern Railway – Not Just miles from Poplar Docks to Broad Street. It was surprising
Stirling Singles” (3rd & Final Part) – Allan that the N.L.R. had running rights over the G.N. to
Peterborough and Cambridge, though these were never
Sibley (5th October) exercised. In the Poplar area, all sorts of running rights
existed to enable the G.W., G.N., L.N.W.R. & Midland to
Allan’s presentation was divided into 3 parts, and he began reach their respective yards and depots, the G.N. having their
by looking at the Denison family. Edmund Denison (1787- goods depot at Royal Mint Street and their coal depot
1874) was the railway’s Vice-Chairman & later its Chairman. adjacent to Poplar Dock. Allan showed some excellent
A no-nonsense Yorkshireman, he got the G.N. built in the images from official N.L.R. glass slides which would be hard
face of strong opposition from both George Hudson (Midland) to better today. In 1903 there was a proposal to electrify the
& Mark Huish (LNWR) because it would abstract their traffic. G.N. suburban system. Dick Kerr & Co carried out a feasibility
It is interesting that King’s Cross was built for less than the study, but the scheme was dropped after N.L.R. objections. If
cost of the Euston Arch! As was customary then, the father’s N.L.R. 4-4-0Ts at the southern end of the G.N. main line
name passed down the line to the son, who was known as hauling 2 sets of 4-wheel carriages looked antiquated even by
E.B. Denison (1816-1905). He was a Q.C., as well as a noted the 1920s it was surprising to see both “Jinties” and Stanier
architect and horologist (he designed the “Big Ben” clock and 2-6-2Ts on North London services from Broad St to Potters
the one at King’s Cross station), as well as two churches in Bar. There was an elegant station at Canonbury (on the
Doncaster. He also paid for the rebuilding of part of St Alban’s Broad St – Richmond route) but this has since been reduced
Cathedral, where the statue of St Matthew has E.B. Denison’s to “basic” form; from here the G.N. main line could be joined
face! at Finsbury Park. Allan concluded with lines from John
Allan next turned his attention to Farringdon station, which Betjeman’s “Thoughts on the Diary of a Nobody”, which is the
opened in 1863 as the terminus of the original Metropolitan only occasion the G.N. featured in a poem: And chuffs the
Railway as trains were not allowed into the City of London Great Northern train/For Alexandra Palace bound!
(they were later extended to Moorgate). He showed various
engravings and numerous views of the station, which was Thanks, once again, to Allan for his excellent and varied
very complex underground. It went through various name presentation, and to Andy Wright for operating the projector.
changes but, although the passenger station was
Metropolitan, Farringdon Street Goods was G.N. It will be Editor’s Note: If your eyes glaze over at the complexity of
recalled that suburban services went underground (at King’s lines around Poplar, Joe Brown’s London Railway Atlas is
Cross) via York Road and came up via the Hotel Curve. probably the best for unravelling them, and anywhere else in
[Looking back at my Summer 1962 Timetable, for example, London besides.
there were through trains from Dunstable/Luton Bute St to
King’s Cross and peak-hour services from the outer London “1996 – A Momentary Lapse in Motion” – David
suburbs calling at York Road, KX (Met), Farringdon & Pearce (19th October)
Aldersgate to Moorgate – Ed.] As stated, Farringdon St
Goods was G.N. and in its heyday 26 goods trains ran in/out With any of David’s presentations two things can be taken as
– it was close to the important meat and vegetable markets. It given – imagination and an eye for an image. He began by
was badly bombed during WW2, and final closure came as announcing that the refreshment break would be at the end of
late as 1956. Again it clung on, used by NCP for car parking, June (i.e. halfway through the show).
until demolished in 1988. However, in the words of the
Bachman-Turner Overdrive song: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” It appeared that David’s late father collected philatelic first-
– when the Elizabeth Line opens late next year there will be day covers which David posted as soon as they were issued
connecting services north, south, east and west from and David used these to introduce the different months of
Farringdon’s brand-new station.


_________PICK-UP GOODS

1996. He had also collated news items and – to the Frodsham, Cheadle Hulme and Northenden (waste disposal).
astonishment of the old fogeys on the front row – regaled us The NNR Gala was naturally “snapped”, and on a visit to
with contemporary #1 singles and popular albums. Let’s just Crown Point he found the “Inter City Cleaners Cage” (it
say country music and jazz was conspicuously absent! remains a mystery). He also visited the SVR Gala and had a
cab ride to London in an 86.
I will not dwell on the news items, save that the well-known
artist Terence Cuneo passed away on 5th January. The North October yielded a visit to Evesham, once the site of two
Walsham tanks featured most months, often due to David’s adjacent stations, and also to the Bluebell where 3442 The
work patterns, but we also saw the fledgling MNR when it was Great Marquess was seen at Kingscote. As November was
running services between Rash’s Green and Yaxham. We first day cover-free David resorted to that month’s railway
were also to see several views of the remains of Broadwater magazines – was it 8? December was significant – apart from
Viaduct between Parham and Framlingham and the Leiston a visit to remote Blotoft on the GN/GE “Joint” between
nuclear flask workings. Sleaford & Spalding, David became a father for the first time

on the 13th. After a fortnight learning how to change nappies
he ventured as far as Reedham & Cantley.

Thanks to David for his excellent show, to Andy Wright for
operating the projector, and to Suzy, David’s long-suffering
wife, for permitting so many diversions and excursions. (EM)

Broadwater Viaduct on the Framlingham branch on 31st “East – West Rail” – Patrick O’Sullivan* (2nd
January 1996. Framlingham is to the right and Parham is to the November)
left. (David Pearce).
Without Chris Mitchell’s industry contacts we would be
There was a brief cold snap at the end of January, when scratching our heads to bring you a speaker on this
Class 37s were engaged on relaying in the Wroxham area. important subject. As it was, Patrick had a long drive to
Images of Rugby in the February snow were followed by one reach us (and another long drive home) and we were
of Castlethorpe showing the old water tower that supplied the grateful that he was able to begin his presentation
adjacent water-troughs. punctually. His EWR association began in 2006 after being
involved with the re-opening of the Airdrie – Bathgate line,
In the March we saw the old Res depot at Cambridge and and the building of lines overseas.
70000 Britannia at Attleborough, plus Felixstowe FLT. April
was particularly interesting with a Class 60 at Trowse (David We soon learned that the Cambridge – Oxford line (closed
was able to wander freely then) and a Eurostar set at at both ends from 1st January 1968) had a chequered
Eastfield, Peterborough, during its time on ECML services. beginning – it was authorised by an Act of 1846, and the
Other doors to open for David gave him the chance to to visit Engineer was the eminent Robert Stephenson. What
Reedham swingbridge and box. He got to Eastleigh to see a emerged at an early stage was that the original Act could not
“Merchant Navy” on a VSOE Pullman set. May gave him the be relied upon for the reconstruction of the line because (inter
chance to ride to Nottingham in the cab of a Class 158, and alia) it had actually been constructed outside the permitted
he also made forays to Ais Gill and Dent Head. “limits of deviation” at a significant point, perhaps to appease
the local nobility. The reconstruction proposal has also
June was a month without a first day cover, but he went to generated a plethora of reports, studies etc and will continue
County School, not much changed today, and the G.E. to do so!
celebrations which saw Britannia working between Bury St
Edmunds & Ipswich. For July, we saw some of the early Patrick made some telling historical points: Beeching
Freightmaster volumes. David also captured the mid-evening recommended its retention but the line closed some 5 years
mail train which used to run from Norwich, the North later because it was incurring losses of £80,000 p.a. and that
Walsham tanks, a trackless Dereham station, Felixstowe there were too many wayside stations. He could probably
Beach & North, much changed today, and the B12 “brewing have added that the timetable was “customer-unfriendly”.
up” at Weybourne. “Johnny Foreigner” even crept in with
visits to the large marshalling yards at Le Mans and Tours, A full funding package was agreed in 2012, and the EWR
not forgetting the bucolic charm of Cognac station. Consortium includes numerous local authorities. The railway
is divided into 3 sections – Western, Central and Eastern,
An August visit to family friends in Cantabria (Northern Spain) although the Eastern section, beginning at Cambridge, would
enabled trips to be made to see dmus at Llanes, freight at use mainly existing railway.
Unquera and more marshalling yards at Bordeaux and
Limoges. September saw David at Loughborough for events The Western section’s financial estimates are startling:
to mark the 30th anniversary of the G.C. closure, with a Class £135M increase to GDP in the South-East annually; £62M
44 prominent. Little-known places also visited included additional tax receipts annually; £2.13 BN+ national Gross
Value Added impact over 30 years of which £978M would be
local GVA impacts. It also has the advantage of serving most
north-south routes, will avoid travel into and out of London,
and relieve pressure on the road network. Bicester is likely to
double in size and deliver many new jobs.

So far as the physical railway is concerned, Chiltern Railways
already run services from Oxford, via Bicester Village to
Marylebone. Bicester Village to Claydon is freight-only;
Claydon to Bletchley is “mothballed” and Bletchley to Bedford
has never closed. As well as Chiltern’s Oxford – Bicester


_________PICK-UP GOODS

Village service, this section is effectively ready for EWR For his sins, Chris is Secretary of the Wherry Lines
services. Community Rail Partnership (CRP). He said the infrastructure
was “long in the tooth” with e.g. semaphore signalling and
The next step will be to obtain a Transport & Works Order labour-intensive level-crossings in need of replacement. Work
with work planned to begin in 2019. It is expected that new has begun with remodelling at Yarmouth, followed by
services will start in 2022 – Bedford – Bletchley – Bicester remodelling at Lowestoft, then Reedham Junc through to
Village – Oxford – Reading (1 train each way per hour taking completion in Spring 2019. Brundall will also be extensively
just over an hour). The existing Marston Vale services remodelled. The investment will total some £68M.
(Bedford – Bletchley) are unlikely to be revised. Also due to
start in 2022 is a Milton Keynes – Bletchley – Bicester – Thanks to Chris for bringing us up to date.
Oxford – Reading service (1 train each way per hour taking
just over 40 minutes), with an hourly Milton Keynes – After the break, it was the turn of David Pearce to expound on
Bletchley – Aylesbury – High Wycombe – Marylebone service CRPs which, in a sort of way, could be traced back to the
starting in 2024 and taking just over half-an-hour. Titfield Thunderbolt (1952) when a community was prepared
to run a local service. Greater Anglia has a vested interest in
HS2, which has now received the necessary Parliamentary CRPs as the DfT has laid down a number of principles –
approval, will pass beneath EWR near Steeple Claydon. increasing revenue, increasing community involvement, and
Certain re-alignments have been authorised and a supporting social and economic development.
construction depot (later an infrastructure maintenance depot)
is planned nearby. HS2 will also pass beneath the Aylesbury David – with 2 others – became a “Station Adopter” at Gunton
– Princes Risborough branch at Little Kimble. in the early 2000s, being attracted by a friend who told him
that he would get a free pass to travel on the Bittern Line!
On the Central section, which is Bedford – Cambridge, EWR Initially he didn’t do much, the station building on the opposite
and NR are working together to establish the best routes out platform being in private hands, until he reported the absence
of Bedford, around Sandy (ECML) and on to Cambridge as of a litter bin on “his” platform. Slowly things began to happen
some of the trackbed has been lost to housing and other – the station’s “Direction of Travel” sign received much-
developments. There was a possibility that the route might needed cleaning, for example. It was all about bringing some
head south to Luton and then north again, but this has been T.L.C. to unstaffed stations. The GA area boasts some 130
rejected because of its impact on journey times. adopters at 80 stations, but station adoption is different from
CRPs, who have a wider brief.
The final route is planned to open in 2031!
"Team Gunton" with, left to right, Dave Pearce, Sue Hann &
A lively Q & A session followed, and we learned that the Les Hann.
Bletchley Flyover is in poor condition. There was consensus
that the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre will remain. There are 2 CRPs in Norfolk (Bittern & Wherry) but there
could be more – e.g. Heart of Norfolk (Norwich – Ely)
The Chairman thanked Patrick for coming to talk to us, and although some stations on this line already have adopters.
he is prepared to give a “progress report” to us in some 2 Whilst the main supporter of CRPs is GA there are some
years’ time. Thanks to Andy Wright for operating the projector strange bedfellows – local bus companies, CAMRA, RSPB
and to Chris Mitchell for his help. and the Broads Authority.

* Patrick O’Sullivan is EWR Consortium Rail Consultant. David said the Bittern line had been a CRP since 1997, but
he was unaware of the work of CRPs until about 5 years ago.
“The Greater Anglia Franchise” – Chris Unsurprisingly they have been formed into an Association
Mitchell & “A View of Community Rail which meets to exchange ideas etc. Figures show that 3,200
Partnerships” – David Pearce (16th November) community rail volunteers give over 250,000 hours’ support
which has been costed @ £3.4M. Where there is a CRP it
Chris began by reminding us that Abellio had been awarded has been shown to give 2.8% additional growth over non-
the GA franchise for 13 years on a 9 year + 2 year + 2 year CRP lines.
basis. He then produced a familiar-looking map which is
produced bi-monthly and which shows all the Thanks to David for lifting the lid on station adoption and
franchisees/train operating companies. There are 25 CRPs, and to Andy Wright for operating the projector.
franchises and 2 concessions, the latter being the Elizabeth
Line and the DLR/London Orbital routes. Private sector
funding will amount to £20Bn over 20 years, of which 72% is
foreign money – 21 of the franchises are foreign-owned.

Moving on to Abellio-specific matters, they prefer new trains
to refurbished ones, which will mean the eventual phasing-out
of the 153s & 156s. It is overseeing £3Bn worth of new trains
for Scotrail, West Midlands and GA. Its local priorities include
the Ely North resignalling, re-doubling between Ely and
Soham, the replacement of Trowse swingbridge with a double
fixed-link and 3 trains per hour between Norwich & Liverpool
St. A new traincare depot is under construction at Brantham
on the north side of the R. Stour, which will maintain the
Class 745s used on the Norwich – London, Stansted –
London and regional services. We saw a mock-up of the cab
of a 745, where the driver sits centrally, as well as the
passenger seating arrangements.


_________PICK-UP GOODS

B17 Steam Locomotive Trust - Help, please

Our member John Peat is also a director of the B17 Steam
Locomotive Trust. No doubt everyone will have read the
commemorative brochure about the East Anglian that
accompanied the last Newsletter – if not, please read it to
familiarise yourselves. John is hoping that more information
can be added to the B17 SLT’s database (or published in
their Newsletter) in respect of the following:

1. Any experience or knowledge of B17 activities;
2. Any old photographs;
3. Best of all, any old cine film of B17s in service.
If you are able to help, please contact John at
[email protected] or telephone 01953-605022 –
thank you.

And what better opportunity to show one of the engines!

Mike Fordham was one of a number of members who visited Class B17/6 4-6-0 61608 Gunton awaits departure from
the B17 stand at Norwich Thorpe Station when the Trust was King's Lynn in 1954 with a Liverpool St express (Image:
celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the inauguration of The Supplied).
East Anglian on 27th September 1937. Thanks to Mike for the
picture below. King’s Lynn and Ely (a short-sighted move dating from the
mid-1980s), Ely North Junc, and around Welwyn Garden City.
Journey times are likely to get slightly slower and passenger
seating in the latest stock will be reduced. Of course, it’s
possible to bypass Welwyn by means of the Hertford Loop
but that makes matters even worse. Does anyone use the
King’s Lynn – KX route regularly as I’d like to include a piece
about it?

From West Anglia etc Plaistow by any other name

I receive an electronic copy of The Fenman – the newsletter I think many of us are familiar with Plaistow on the edge of
of the Fen Line Users’ Association. It’s a very scholarly piece, East London. It is served by the District and Hammersmith &
dealing with issues on the King’s Lynn – King’s Cross route, City Tube lines, and once had a large steam shed, though
which is bedevilled with bottlenecks – single track between few would say that “Plarstow” is an elegant name.
And yet…there’s another station in England that was also
named Plaistow. It’s still with us today, but under a different
name. It isn’t rocket-science to carry out the necessary
research, but congratulations to anyone who knows the
answer anyway.

Don’t bother to contact me – the answer will be in the next

Two Peak Sandwich

On Tuesday 7th November the two Peaks 45133 and D182 departed Sheringham at the end of their stay on the North Norfolk
Railway. They are seen here at One Mile Bridge, Thorpe St Andrew headed by 50008 Thunderer with 31452 on the rear
(Andy Wright).


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DAVID DAVIES 200 (almost) – Michael Roach area because in 1846 he won his first contract as a civil
engineering contractor to build a road bridge across the River
Mike sent me an article about David Davies but I concluded Severn. He was just 27 years old. The fact that he ran a
that its Welsh subject-matter might not have held members’ sawmill must have been a great advantage in winning the
interest. What follows is a summary of that article. contract as he would have needed lots of timber for the
David Davies, the great Welsh industrialist, was born 200 temporary works. The bridge was located at Llandinam, in the
years ago next year. It is anticipated that there will be various middle of his home village. The bridge had a span of 90 feet
celebrations of his life in various parts of Wales in the places (27.5 metres) and was made of cast-iron segments cast at
with which he was connected. Some say that David Davies the Hawarden Ironworks in Flintshire. Each segment was
was the Welsh version of railway contractors Peto or Brassey. approximately 5.5 metres long.

Llandinam Station and level crossing is seen from Llandinam It could not have been easy to construct the bridge across the
Bridge. The ornate lodge to David Davies’s house can be wide and often unpredictable River Severn, but Davies did it
seen on the bend at the end of the long straight. The house successfully, and the bridge still carries traffic to this day with
itself is above the lodge amongst the trees. It was a a 3-ton weight limit. The bridge is located right alongside the
convenient 5 minute walk to the station which would have A470 trunk road in the middle of Llandinam, and carries a
been very useful to David Davies on his many business trips minor road out into the countryside. At the east end of the
away. bridge on the main road is a high-quality statue of David
Davies erected in 1893 by public subscription.
David Davies is best remembered today as being one of the
promoters of the Barry Docks and Railway Company, but he Davies advanced his contracting experience by leaps and
did many things during a long and illustrious career, including bounds in a few short years building railways all over Wales.
building railways. David Davies was born at Llandinam, Here are some of them:
between Llanidloes and Newtown, on 18th December 1818.
Llandinam was then in Montgomeryshire, but is now in Vale of Clwyd – opened 1858; Llanidloes & Newtown 1859;
Powys. Oswestry & Newtown 1861; Newtown & Machynlleth 1862;
Davies must have been making a name for himself in the Pembroke & Tenby 1863; Tenby to Whitland 1866; Pencader
to Aberystwyth 1867.

Although David Davies worked in partnership with various
people on many of the contracts it can be seen from the dates
that much of the time he would have been working on two or
more contracts at the same time. Even after David Davies
ceased building railways he was still deeply involved with
railways as a Director of the Brecon & Merthyr Railway and
the Barry Railway. The construction of the Manchester &
Milford Railway from Pencader to Aberystwyth overlapped
with the construction of Davies’s first coal mine in 1865.

His successful completion of the contract to build the
Newtown & Machynlleth Railway between 1859 and 1862
cemented his name as one of the greats among Victorian
railway builders because of one major earthwork: the
Talerddig Cutting. It was constructed between 1859 and 1861
and was the deepest cutting in the world at 37 metres. It was
excavated by manual drilling and gunpowder; and was just a
few years too early to benefit from dynamite and compressed
air rock drilling.

Llandinam Bridge which was erected by David Davies in 1846. On the left is the statue of David Davies with the parish church
above behind the trees (left). The close up of the bridge (right) shows the 3 lines of cast iron ribs and the multiplicity of
bracing. The River Severn is 90 feet wide at this point. The 171 year-old bridge has carried a 3-tonne weight limit since 1906.


_________PICK-UP GOODS

Soon after completing the N&M contract Davies set about There’s a free 2018 subscription awaiting the person who
building himself a house. The site he chose was just 500 prefers to spend Christmas grappling with my clues, which
metres from Llandinam station overlooking the Severn valley are 10 London Underground/Docklands/NR stations followed
towards the village of Llandinam. by 10 Network Rail/TOC ones (answers by letter to usual
address or emails to [email protected] by 1st January
Davies would later become Member of Parliament for please).
Cardigan (1874-1886); he was also a Justice of the Peace.
Later still he would become Vice-Chairman of the Barry 1. One serves e.g. during a monarch’s insanity.
Railway. He kept up his home at Broneirion, but must have 2. Haven Brow & Brass Point, among others.
found the house's location a bit inconvenient at times. While 3. Major gasworks once in the vicinity.
he was an MP he would have been sleeping in at least 4 4. A projecting watch-tower over the gate of a castle, for
different places quite regularly: viz Barry/Cardiff, Cardigan,
Llandinam and London but no doubt he would have returned example.
to Broneirion as often as possible. 5. The late Mel Street sang about a forbidden one (excuse

Llandinam Station looking towards Llanidloes and Brecon on for country music).
5 September 1962. The line was built by David Davies. 300 6. Children’s TV drama that ran from 1978-2008.
people got off here on the day of his funeral from just one 7. Chinese super-villain Fu Man-Chu was supposed to live
special train and perhaps over a thousand from scheduled
trains. here.
8. This Underground station is on the Jubilee Line – B.R.
In 1864 Davies took out his first mineral lease on a piece of
land in South Wales and 2 years later opened his first colliery. closed its Warwickshire station of the same name in
By 1886 he owned 6 collieries in the Rhondda, Ogmore and 1968, and you’d have seen “Jubilees” there, too.
Garw valleys and a year later they became known as The 9. Name of a B.R. depot (later a diesel depot with Class
Ocean Coal Company Limited. It was the largest and most 20s) and works.
profitable coal company in South Wales by 1890. However 10. Coach to here from Ingatestone for Tube trains to Central
we are jumping ahead. In the late 1870s and early 1880s London at weekends.
Davies was becoming increasingly alarmed by the delays to 11. After fruitless visits to Lancashire & Wales you’d be “up
his coal wagons on their way down the valleys to the docks in arms” if you expected to see H.M.S. Victory here!
and in the docks themselves. In typical Davies fashion he 12. This one is nearest to the town’s racecourse, and why
would not take these problems lying down - he set about not enjoy the town’s famous “cakes”?
building his own railway and dock so that he could completely 13. Dolly, Randy or Stella?
bypass the existing operators. The new company was The 14. Central & West are in Scotland, but there’s also a Square
Barry Dock & Railways Company. It was an immediate – where?
success and soon rose to become second in size only to the 15. Chase & Lock have the same first name/word. What’s
Taff Vale Railway. The ceremonial opening took place on the other one with the same first name/word?
18th July 1889, but Davies died just one year later on 20th 16. New Zealand’s largest stadium?
July 1890. 17. Fictional amateur spinster sleuth.
18. Town noted for baking large pies – there’s a connection
September/October Answers & One Worth with question 1.
Winning! 19. What connects Culloden, Hastings & Naseby, for exam-
The answers were: 1. Beaufort; 2. These were stations on 20. This is harder than it first appears. Stone, Stone Cross-
the Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway – the only “passenger” ing, Stone Crown Street, Stonehouse and Stoneleigh can
service was workmen’s trains; 3. It was a basic station on all be found in the electronic timetable. Which is the “odd
the Wetherby – Cross Gates (Leeds) line, closed 1964; 4. man out” for a non-geographical reason?
Station run by a local travel agency; 5. Sandwich; 6.
Between Torquay & Paignton; 7. For simplicity, 34021- Mike Handscomb’s alter ego
34024 & 34026-34030; 8. Hampden Park; 9. Clitheroe,
Formby & Morecambe; 10. Just 2 trains from Cardiff to “There’s only one Mike Handscomb” is the sort of inanity
Bristol (SO) without any return services! See Table 132. you’d hear chanted at a football ground. Well – spelling apart
– Mike’s alter ego was spotted in a recent edition of Pines
Express (see below), thanks to the eagle-eyed Malcolm
Banyer. Unsurprisingly, Pines Express is the Somerset &
Dorset Society’s magazine.


___________NRS NEWS Not everything was sold, and the remainder of Peter’s books,
DVDs and pictures will reappear for sale at our show on
Show Day 2018 - Saturday 10th March March 10th.

A flyer for this event is included with this Newsletter. 2018 Subscriptions

Situations Vacant Amidst all the Christmas jollity, it’s my duty to advise
members that subscriptions are due for renewal on January
There are a couple of roles the Committee is keen for 1st. There’s some good news too: once again the Committee
someone to take on. First, Brian Cornwell is standing down has decided to keep the rates unchanged. They are:
from his position as Outside Visits Organiser, and we are
grateful for the work he has done organising outside visits. Adult: £18.50
We have a number of ideas for places to visit, but nobody to Two adults at same address £29.50
make the contacts, take the bookings and so forth. Junior (under 18): £9.50

Although publicity for meetings and the 2018 Show is being We hope very much that you’ll decide to renew your
covered, we cannot expect to be represented at any other membership, and take advantage of our excellent programme
events to advertise the Society and recruit new members. It of meetings and visits, as well as six issues of the
may suit someone who is a railway modeller, knows which NRS Newsletter. Please complete the blue form enclosed
events are taking place, has the right contacts and is with this NRS Newsletter and return it to me with your
prepared to be organise our stall and be in attendance. cheque, either by post or at a meeting, by January 31st at
the latest. Thank you.
Please have a preliminary word with Andy Wright or email
him at [email protected] if you’d like to know more. Thank Mike Handscomb
you. Membership Secretary

Generous Donation Goodbye

Among our new members this year is Peter Badcock, who We are sorry to say goodbye to Ian Viney, a regular at our
has just completed a house move from Kent to Poringland. meetings, who has moved to Bristol. Ian says he’ll have to
switch membership to a more GW-oriented Society!
Peter has ‘downsized’ from his previous house, and as a
result he identified quite a collection of railway books, DVDs New member
and framed pictures which were surplus to his requirements.
At our October 19th meeting he offered them for sale to We are pleased (and intrigued) to be joined by Miss Charlotte
members. No fewer than twelve people were tempted by the Helliwell of London.
goods on offer, leaving at the end of the evening with items
such as a framed picture of Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge, a
RCH map of Manchester, a short history of the Hawkhurst
branch and a DVD of trolleybuses. An impressive total of
£97.50 was raised, which Peter generously donated to NRS
funds. Our thanks to him.


Forster Squares & Todmorden Triangles (I Harrogate station, looking towards Leeds on 16th August.
know, my titles get worse) The higher footbridge connects the town with a multi-storey
car park.
A week in Yorkshire in mid-August enabled me to visit much
of (mainly) West Yorkshire’s network, although sadly much is/was a York-facing bay behind Platform 1. I think it’s just
reduced from the 1960s. used for stabling in the evenings but please correct me.

I stayed in Harrogate for most of the time, and even visited its
famous Pump Room Museum. Before WW2 Harrogate was a
noted centre for “taking the waters”. How people were
persuaded to part with cash for what appeared to be
unspeakable treatments with copious amounts of sulphurous
water is beyond me! But Harrogate must have been an
interesting place railway-wise - there would have been
services from Leeds which could have entered the station
from north or south, and there was a northern continuation
through Ripon, which joined the ECML near Northallerton.
The secondary lines serving Wetherby and Church Fenton
have also gone, and all that remains is the Leeds - York route
which continues north of Harrogate via picturesque
Knaresborough. Still, Harrogate is popular with Leeds
commuters, even if Northern’s over-reliance on the dreadful
“Pacers” means that these go to York, which is far too far.
After Pannal, the line curves unexpectedly sharply to follow
the old Wetherby alignment into Hornbeam Park & Harrogate.
And a curious thing…Platform 1 serves trains from Leeds to
York; Platform 3 serves trains from York to Leeds. Platform 2



Faded glories summed up my journey from Leeds to The 1049 to Carlisle was “all stations” from Settle, but
Barnsley. The route is via Normanton and Wakefield Kirkgate, Hellifield had been surprisingly busy. 37669 & 47580 were on
the former having seen little investment in passenger the rear of a “Dalesman” charter, about to give way to 46115
facilities. Barnsley is rather better, and there’s a bus Scots Guardsman which would follow the service train to
interchange, but my target was the 1101 to Huddersfield via Carlisle whilst 66145 came south on a freight. There was a
Penistone, even if I had to endure 144023. Huddersfield large influx of passengers at Settle. Carlisle station is being
station has an amazing frontage – neo-classical style and modernised, and its roof is covered in scaffolding. 158792
now there are fountains in the approach. Inside, however, it’s was on the return 1506 to Leeds and I was glad of my table
seat as the train was pretty full. Although yellow might suit
submarines it hardly suits the decommissioned signalbox at
Armathwaite! A trolley service was provided northbound, but
presumably this had gone back to Leeds on the 1404.

Far back in history Bradford Forster Square was the Midland
Railway’s Bradford terminus, and the adjacent Midland Hotel
is a reminder of this. Services are all-electric, and 333012 on
the 1040 from Leeds showed what rail travel should be.
Forster Square is hidden away on the north side of the city
and getting into the centre isn’t straightforward. I believe the
station was originally closer to the hotel than it is now. Trains

The exterior of Huddersfield station on 14th August. Bradford Forster Square on 16th August.
something of a let-down. Next, it was off on the 1250 to
Halifax via Brighouse, and Halifax is well worth a visit to see go to Ilkley, Skipton and Leeds, but in 1960 “The Devonian”
its Piece Hall, recently restored. It seems to be very Italianate began its 9-hour journey to Paignton from here. I saw no sign
for Halifax but I must get the culture in. Return to Leeds via of the old MPD at Manningham.
Bradford Interchange was courtesy of 158s. A short trip out to
Wakefield Westgate – which is very smart – enabled me to I hadn’t visited the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway for more
have a cup of coffee in the forecourt, the only sour note being than 40 years, so it was something of a surprise to find that
the now-universal greeting (to the elderly?): “Are you all right the 1405 to Oxenhope would be hauled by Lima-built S160
there?” But the service was prompt, which was more than 2-8-0 no. 5820. Its 6-coach train (including BR-built SLO
could be said for one of the outlets at Leeds which I had the E48011 if that’s its true identity) provided a stiff test for the
misfortune to visit prior to a Settle & Carlisle trip the next day. loco as it blasted out of Keighley, and at Oxenhope the
There were two people ahead of me – one disappeared for throbbing air-pump made a contented sound slightly different
sustenance elsewhere whilst the barista laboriously made a from the G.E. Westinghouse. Most of the visitors flock to
couple of cups of coffee. Thankfully, I was in no hurry! And Haworth or Oxenhope, and I couldn’t help but feel that
does coffee need to be so hot? Keighley (KWVR) needed smartening-up.

Huddersfield’s old L. & N.W.R. goods shed on 14th August. Before moving on, I rode to Ilkley behind 333009 and came
back behind 322484. A pleasant place, and originally trains
continued to Skipton, but Ilkley’s former station building and
platforms are now retail premises. Part of the Ilkley – Skipton
route survives as the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam
Railway, and as it’s close to the A59 I couldn’t ignore it. The
1115 from Bolton Abbey was hauled by Beatrice, a Hunslet
0-6-0T (2705/1945) and I sampled the Lancashire &
Yorkshire Directors’ Saloon of 1906. It’s a most interesting
drive over the moors from Keighley to Hebden Bridge on the
A6033, and I stayed above the town enjoying spectacular


_________FEATURE train to Manchester Victoria running not via Bolton, as you
might expect, but (after reversal at Blackburn) via Burnley
S160 5820 takes it easy at Oxenhope on 16th August. Manchester Road, the recently reinstated Todmorden curve,
Shame about the shed plate – it’s Fort William! Smithy Bridge and Rochdale where I alighted. Rochdale
station isn’t well placed for the town – everywhere seems
And so to the Todmorden Triangle (locals call the town more geared to the Metrolink – and soon 158758 took me
“Tod”), but first some less than smart railway operating and back to Todmorden before – fittingly perhaps -142055
thinking. The Saturday (19th August) 0818 York – Blackpool completed the trip to Hebden Bridge.
North, with 158902, was about 10 min. late into Hebden
Bridge. As the unit laboured up gradients as steep as 1 in 65 Those of you interested in the triangle should note that, from
to the summit at Copy Pit clearly maximum power wasn’t Leeds, it splits at Hall Royd Junc. Approximately west is
being developed. Beyond Copy Pit, the line generally Blackburn whilst south or south-west are Todmorden,
descends westwards to Burnley Manchester Road, Rochdale and Manchester. The Todmorden curve, which re-
Accrington, Blackburn and Preston. That said, this was an opened in 2015, connects the Blackburn and Manchester
important Saturday, and if everyone (just) got a seat from lines. When closed in 1973, the junctions were known as
Hebden Bridge, those boarding at Burnley, Accrington and Stansfield Hall & Todmorden East.
Blackburn (where I alighted with some difficulty) were less
fortunate. Scant regard or planning meant that the Blackpool- To conclude, most of the tickets I bought were credit-card
bound holidaymakers and day-trippers would have had to size. Only my Ilkley ticket (bought inside the barriers at
stand for a good part of their journey when surely a spare unit Leeds) was of the roll type Richard complained about in
could have been added to the train. No trains were running NRS/NL 62/3 p.7. Below are a few images of tickets
between Blackburn & Bolton because of major engineering unfamiliar to many members.

The L. & Y. Directors’ Saloon of 1906 at Bolton Abbey.

work at Bolton so a little forward planning could have made
matters easier. Blackburn’s station was rebuilt in the early
2000s – closures meant that a smaller station could handle
the remaining services.

Next, I caught the 1118 to Clitheroe – the line originally
continued to Hellifield, but the regular passenger service
finished in 1962. At Clitheroe 150138 would form a through


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.

Services on our Local Railways

Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL. For information: – Tel: 01603-

Bressingham Steam & Gardens, Low Rd., Bressingham, IP22 2AA. For information: or
telephone 01379-686900.

The Bure Valley Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - - or telephone 01263-

The Mid-Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - - or telephone 01362-

The North Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - - or telephone

The Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers - For details please visit their website

The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway - For information: www. or tel: 01328 711630 (up to
1700 please).

The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - - or
telephone 01603-871694.

The R.C.T.S. (Ipswich Branch) and the Ipswich & District Historical Transport Society run comprehensive meetings programmes.
Please contact me if you’d like to see their programme.

Most of our local railways will be running the usual Santa/Mince Pie Specials during December, and intending participants should
please refer to the relevant railway company website, consult one of their brochures or telephone the company concerned.


14th Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - “Films on Screen” - Arthur Barrett - 1930.
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Christmas Evening – Members’ 10 minute presentations
21st Thu e.g. still and moving images, short talks, readings etc, but no slides – 1930.
MID- NORFOLK RAILWAY - “Winter Warmers” Diesel Gala.
29th - 30th Fri - Sat
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - Chairman’s Address - “Railways of the Netherlands” - Brian
JANUARY 2018 Kirton – 1930.
4th Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – Film Night – Please bring your films – 1930.
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “The Cromford & High Peak Railway” – Gordon Bruce –
7th Sun 1930.
11th Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “Baie de Somme Evening” – Mike Fordham & Andy Wright –
18th Thu 1930.

25th Thu NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - “Railway Stations - an Artist’s View” - Wrenford Thatcher -
1st Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - “Models & Toys” – please bring yours along – 1930.

4th Sun
8th Thu

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