Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers
Norfolk Railway Society
Founded 1955 www.norfolkrailwaysociety.org.uk
Volume 61 No. 6 Nov/Dec 2016
news from railways in and around Norfolk
GE LINES UPDATE: November
GE LINES NEWS
Greater Anglia franchise renewal:
The new nine-year franchise commenced
on Sunday 16th October. The media and
public launch was on the 17th when
passengers were greeted with free
cupcakes and other giveaways including
bright red cloth bags branded
“greateranglia” in white!
Rolling stock is having “Abellio” removed The Class 68 set on mainline duty at Ipswich on 25th October 2016. 68024 Centaur
from the former “Abellio Greater Anglia” leads with 68004 Rapid on the rear. See GE Incidents on page 2 (Andy Wright).
branding and vehicles soon appeared
suitably modified. Wifi upgrade currently
means no wifi on some mainline services
as equipment is being transferred from
Coach J to DVTs. Intermediate carriages
need to have additional wiring installed
and any unconverted vehicle in the
formation results in no wifi in it and
90034 hired from DB Cargo was returned as the franchise that it was about to leave but it had been reclaimed by Crown
renewal took place. The Pretendolino MK3 set of carriages, Point by midday.
with distinctive maroon painted roofs, remained at Crown Whilst no major station development schemes are scheduled
Point on 17th November despite reports that it is earmarked to take place at stations in Norfolk or Suffolk during the new
for refurbishment for future use on Trans-Pennine services franchise period (Cambridgeshire and Essex take all those
operated by Class 68 locos. The set was sighted beside spoils), works commenced during the last short franchise
Norwich station on the morning of 11th November suggesting have been completed recently at Chelmsford and Ipswich (up
side platform buildings) and the lifts to the subway
In This Issue 1 at Manningtree.
Track Report 7 Crossrail:
National Network 14 With the new Class 345 EMUs (shortened formation) due to
15 enter service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield during
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge & Miniature 2017 preparatory works continue unabated with platform
extensions being completed; new footbridges are under
Pick-up Goods construction at Forest Gate and Manor Park, with the new
down side platform structure well advanced at Shenfield.
NRS News During the recent 10 weekend blockade south of Witham
Network Rail have been advancing OLE renewal and track
Features work alterations at Shenfield - new concrete sleepered
pointwork awaits installation at Shenfield (some at the country
Liverpool Street Traffic Manager’s Office (TMO) end of that station) with other pointwork in the down side
by Rod Lock car park area at Brentwood. New OLE and signal gantries
Taunton to Barnstaple by Michael Roach have been installed at Shenfield. Network Rail has
announced further extended weekend blockades from
Working Timetable 19 February to May 2017 to complete these works.
At Ilford "Carriage Sheds", Shed B was demolished within a
few days at the end of September to create space for 12 new
sidings, 10 of which are for stabling Crossrail trains.
Felixstowe branch: trains to be accepted by the signaller who will then be able to
In addition to an hourly passenger train service between operate the barriers descent later than at present thereby
Ipswich and Felixstowe the single track Felixstowe branch reducing road delays.
(passing loop at Derby Road) manages to provide 33 daily
paths for container trains operated by Freightliner, DB Cargo Railhead treatment trains:
and GBRf. At the beginning of November Network Rail began This leaf-fall season RHTTs were again provided by DRS
public consultation for proposals to double most of mainly using Class 66 locos with a few Class 57s in a support
the branch, involving closure of six level crossings in the role. The operational depot remains the Down Yard at
Trimley area, so that up to 47 container train services could Stowmarket and servicing was again undertaken at Dereham
be accommodated. on the MNR.
Oulton Broad North: 6201 Princess Elizabeth:
To address increasing complaints that the level crossing This steam locomotive worked a Norwich – Derby charter
barriers are lowered against road traffic for too long, causing train on Saturday 5th November having arrived the previous
traffic congestion on one of the main roads serving Oulton day. The loco attached to the rear of the ecs worked by
Broad and Lowestoft, Network Rail are to commission on the WCRC 47s 47232/802 departed at about 1600 on Monday
station platform a relocated Up Home signal sited further 7th November. The loco reappeared within days on a London
away from the level crossing. This will allow Norwich-bound Victoria – Norwich via Ely charter on Friday 11th November,
returning that evening.
Norfolk Railway Society
(Founded 1955) GE INCIDENTS
The following details represent the most serious of known
President: Ken Mills, Esq. delays in recent weeks:
Committee and Officers 2016-2017 Telephone 11th October: The 1810 London – Norwich was formed by
4-car 321351 in reaction to a fatality involving the 1100
Chairm an Ray Halliday London - Norwich service the previous day. Evening services
were delayed by a disruptive passenger incident at Harold
Vice Chairman Brian Kirton Wood with the 1830 London – Norwich being delayed 9
minutes in reaction.
Past Chairman & Brian Cornwell
Outdoor Visits 14th October: The 1030 Norwich – London terminated at
Shenfield reportedly due to brake trouble. The 1100 London
Secretary & Andrew Wright to Norwich was delayed 73 mins passing Harold Wood
Web master arriving Norwich 90L. The 1130 and 1200 London to Norwich
trains were cancelled. Two additional services departed
Treasurer John Laycock London at 1230 (Norwich 18L) and 1235 (Norwich 33L) with
the proper 1230 departing 23L and arriving Norwich 43L The.
Memb ership Sec Mike Handscomb 1530 Norwich – London was cancelled at Colchester,
reportedly at the request of the police. The 1300, 1600, 1700
Newsletter Editor & Edward Mann and 1830 London – Norwich services were cancelled with
Indoor Programme vandalism and a broken-down train cited.
Pub licity Chris Mitchell 25th October: The 0645 Norwich – London was terminated at
Diss with the 0703 ex-Norwich held in the rear departing Diss
Indoor Programme Graham Kenworthy 27L. This was later held in the Down platform at Colchester
so that the non-stop 0740 Norwich – London could pass on
the Up Fast and arrive on time.
Show Day Organiser Peter Willis Partly as a result of the 0645 failure the 1100 and 1130
Norwich – London services were cancelled. The Class 68
—----------------------------------------------------------------------------- short set was promoted to the main line, working an additional
1150 Norwich to Colchester and a 1448 return. The train lost
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter about 10 minutes on each run compared with the electric
Editor: Edward Mann timings.
Layout & Picture Editor: Andrew Wright 28th October: The 0642 Cambridge - Ipswich failed at
Needham Market blocking the line for almost an hour. The
Distribution: Graham Smith 0740 Norwich – London was terminated at Diss with the 0800
Please contact Graham if the next edition does not arrive departing Diss 31L.
by the end of the month of publication.
29th October: Signalling problems at Somerleyton which
disrupted Norwich – Lowestoft services continued from the
previous day before repairs were completed during the
Opinions expressed in any articles are those of the author 2nd November: The 2000 London to Norwich had to be
cancelled at Manningtree due to three disruptive passengers.
and should not b e taken to represent those of the Society. The following 2002 London – Ipswich was delayed 29 mins
Next issue published 2nd February 2017 between Colchester and Manningtree whilst the 2030 London
Copy date: 26th January 2017.
– Norwich was held at Colchester for 15 mins, departing 20L and preventing London Overground services running
and reaching Norwich 32L. between Stratford and Clapham Junc/Richmond. The freight
train also prevented GA ecs trains from reaching Liverpool St
7th November: Adverse rail conditions were a feature of from Orient Way sidings. The errant train finally cleared the
morning services between Chelmsford and London – possibly area and ran to Colchester where it was recessed. The train
made worse by the weekend engineering blockade when no loco – 90047 – was detached at Colchester with wheel flats
trains ran. The first trains only experienced 10 min delays but and was still there on 22nd November awaiting assessment as
the 0622 ex-Norwich was delayed by 31 mins with the delays to how it could be moved either by rail or by road.
then increasing so that the 0703, 0740, 0800 ex-Norwich
were 51L, 47L and 59L respectively. The late arrivals in The delay in getting ecs trains to Liverpool Street (45 – 70L)
London caused late departures of the return services to resulted in several cancellations, including the 1702 stopping
Norwich. Normal service was resumed with the 1030 ex- service to Norwich, but more particularly delayed departures
Norwich. to Southend and Colchester by up to 60L.
9th November: The 0740 Norwich – London was cancelled The 1700 London – Norwich departed on time but was
due to problems at Crown Point; the 0700 London – Norwich delayed by a track circuit failure between Manor Park and
failed at Stowmarket with the following 0730 cancelled at Ilford (pass 18L) and the backlog of trains resulted in a 30L
Stowmarket. The 0755 from London was held at Ipswich for arrival at Ipswich. An additional stop was made at
52 mins and passed Stowmarket 99L. The following 0830 ex- Stowmarket and Norwich was reached 36L.
London was held at Ipswich for 48 mins departing 71L. The
0900, 1000, 1130, 1300 and 1400 services from London were The 1750 London – Norwich passed Gidea Park a mere 7L
cancelled as were the 0900, 1000, 1030 and 1130 from before failing and being terminated at Shenfield 110L. A
Norwich. The 0930 and 1100 did run, leaving Norwich 16L passenger on this service reached Stowmarket at 0018 (on
and 11L arriving London 34L and 25L respectively. the 2230 ex-London), 5 hours late as a result of cancellations
etc. The 1810 to Norwich was cancelled. The 1830 London –
10th November: The 1500 Norwich – London failed at Norwich departed on time but was 91L at Gidea Park,136L at
Stowmarket with the return 1810 ex-London being cancelled Shenfield and finally reached Norwich 156L.
The 1900, 1930 and 2000 London – Norwich services were
11th November: The 1630 Norwich – London was cancelled cancelled. The 2030 London – Norwich departed 12L
due to a points failure. The 1700 from Norwich encountered passing Shenfield 39L and reaching Norwich 74L. The
delays approaching Diss and departed Diss 60L (London following 2100 and 2130 departures recorded 58L and 31L
arrive 63L) with the following 1730 ex-Norwich departing 3L, arrivals at Norwich respectively.
Diss 35L and London arrival 50L. The 1800 ex-Norwich was
cancelled (points failure) and the 1830 Norwich – London was Up Norwich – London services had their problems too. The
terminated at Diss because of a brake fault – this train later 1630 stood at Diss for 8 minutes departing 12L (the loco
moved from the Up to Down platform so that trains could use appeared to have run out of sand to assist with the poor rail
the Up platform in both directions to pass the failed train. The conditions) and leaving Colchester 22L. Bethnal Green was
1810, 1930 and 2030 from London were cancelled. The 2000 passed 30L but the train then took 51 minutes to be
London was “terminated” at Chelmsford becoming an platformed at Liverpool St waiting about 30 minutes outside
additional 2027 to Norwich calling only at Ipswich. the terminus.
The 2100 from Norwich departed 30L following an additional Quite what the problem was is unknown but the 1800 Witham
service departing at 2125 calling at Diss and Ipswich only. An – London departed Stratford 12L and passed Bethnal Green
assisting locomotive (1Z99) departed Crown Point at 2148 101L with the 1750 Southend Victoria running 26L (late start)
and was attached to the London end of the failed 1830 ex- passing Forest Gate then taking 90 minutes to cover the 1½
Norwich standing in the Down platform and started propelling miles to Stratford!
towards Norwich at 2235.
The 1700 and 1730 ex-Norwich were both terminated at
16th November: The 1630 Norwich – London terminated at Shenfield with one forming a 1950 additional service to
Ipswich “due to safety checks” with the 1900 London – Norwich (given what was happening to the 1750 and 1830
Norwich cancelled in reaction. services). The 1830 ex-Norwich was held at Colchester 24
minutes and reached London 74L. The 1900 ex-Norwich
17th November - perhaps a day to forget: reached its destination only 56L.
The day started relatively quietly with the 0740 Norwich –
London being delayed by 19 mins after Witham with the 0812 Whilst services on the GEML were rather chaotic a signalling
Braintree – London service ahead standing at Hatfield problem prevented through services operating between
Peverel for several minutes whilst safety checks were made. London and Braintree with these terminating at Witham
Following trains were subject to delay. Unrelated was the during the day.
recessing of the 0250 Felixstowe – Ditton Freightliner service
at Colchester – the service hauled by 70008 departed 280L Similar problems were experienced on the Sheringham
arriving at its destination 222L. branch with the 1956 ex-Sheringham held at North Walsham
for 26 minutes and then arriving Norwich 52L. The 1955
Network Rail has sponsored a Freightliner Class 66 to be on Norwich – Sheringham had been cancelled before services
“Thunderbird” standby at Shenfield (Up Siding beside the were suspended for the remainder of the day.
station platforms) since early October and this was
summoned into action to assist the Class 90-hauled 0900 22nd November: Another one of those days! A lineside
Manchester Trafford Park – Felixstowe Freightliner service signalling equipment fault at Manningtree caused delays and
which had departed 239L but reached Stratford only 126L some cancellations including the 0645 Norwich – London and
whereupon it failed whilst entering Stratford station area the 0900 return. The 0525 Norwich – London was the worst
blocking the station area for almost 2 hours from about 1445 delayed arriving 53L resulting in the 0755 return departing
39L. Delays gradually reduced with the 0740 ex-Norwich Cambridge North Station
Construction of the new Cambridge North Station is nearing
A fallen tree on the line and a level crossing problem near completion following installation of its footbridge over the
Wymondham saw the 0704 Cambridge – Norwich leave weekend of 22nd - 23rd October. The £50m station is due to
Wymondham 7L only to arrive 79L at Norwich causing the open next May and will serve the Cambridge Science Park
0840 Norwich – Cambridge and return to be cancelled. The and the suburb of Chesterton.
0940 Norwich departed 21L and the 0812 Cambridge –
Norwich due 0930 was right time at Attleborough but 45L at Warning - Level Crossing
Wymondham and 51L at Norwich.
Following the collision between 170204 and a tractor earlier
90001 working the 1100 Norwich – London was terminated at this year at Hockham Road, Roudham, warning lights will be
Ipswich, having run out of sand, causing the termination of installed at this and two other level crossings at Thetford and
the 1300 return. The 1430 Norwich – London and the return Lakenheath where no warning systems or barriers are in
1700 London – Norwich services were cancelled. place. Lights will show green when the crossing is clear and
red when a train is approaching. The warning system does
A bridge strike at Needham Market closed the line for about not require integration with the existing signalling equipment
30 minutes from 1745. The 1644 Cambridge – Ipswich was and so can be installed more quickly than other types.
detained at Stowmarket for 33 minutes. The 1730 Norwich –
London was terminated at Diss and then became the 1800 Christmas Engineering
Norwich – London service (which did not run Norwich – Diss)
leading to the cancellation of the 2000 London – Norwich. While there is an embargo on roadworks in Norwich during
The 1749 Ipswich – Peterborough and return to Colchester the lead up to the festive season, Network Rail has
were cancelled. announced its Christmas engineering programme with up to
(Peter Adds) 200 projects scheduled for completion. The most significant
disruption will be on lines to Liverpool Street and Paddington
The Train Now Arriving at Platform 0… stations as part of ongoing work ahead of the first Crossrail
services next year. Services from London to East Anglia will
Doncaster has recently joined the select band of Platform 0 be affected between 23rd December and 4th January 2017.
locations. There’s also Cardiff Central, Haymarket, King’s
Cross and Stockport. Redhill will probably get a zero. Any Bi-mode in vogue
Greater Anglia’s plan for fleet replacement include bi-mode
Not content with its downward movement, Cardiff Central will trains capable of operating under the wires and switching
soon get a Platform 8! The more Cardiff’s platform numbering seamlessly to diesel generated power in the “wireless” parts
is investigated the stranger it becomes as the old Platform 5 of the region.
(west end bay) no longer exists. I think that’s quite enough for
now! The Stadler FLIRT UK electro-diesel units will include diesel
generators in a power pack to provide an electrical feed to the
Unrelated, perhaps? two motor coaches at either end of the train. This will be of
value on routes such as Lowestoft to London and Norwich to
It’s well-known that the iconic Euston Arch was demolished in Stansted Airport which otherwise require diesel traction but
1961 to make way for an all-singing, all-dancing Euston will in future be able to take advantage of overhead wires.
station (not literally, but you know what I mean). It was part of
the WCML modernisation/electrification programme of the It is expected that the electro-diesels will provide standard
late 1950s/early 1960s, but this programme was re-appraised class accommodation only with 195 seats in the four car and
mid-way as costs were getting out of control. The Transport 153 seats in the three car trains.
Minister (John Hayes) has pledged to see the Arch rise again
as part of his crusade against “the cult of ugliness”. In whose Elsewhere on the network, Hull Trains have placed an order
lifetime, I wonder – and wouldn’t the money be better spent for five Hitachi AT300 bi-mode trains to enter service in 2019.
elsewhere? The five car units will have a top speed of 140 m.p.h. and
offer 61 seats more than the Class 180 Adelantes they will
Enter the GWML electrification presently being undertaken. In replace.
2013 the projected cost was estimated @ £3.5 billion, but
now the cost has increased to £5.6 billion. There seem to be The well publicised delays to Great Western electrification
delays amounting to as much as 18/36 months, and the Head have already impacted on plans for the Class 800 series
of the National Audit Office has criticised the Department of Hitachi trains. Last May the then Rail Minister Claire Perry
Transport for a lack of “joined-up thinking” (and poor confirmed all new rolling stock ordered for GW would be
knowledge of previous electrification history, maybe). delivered as bi-mode trains, including 21 trains which were
originally to be all electric and designated Class 801 but
The HS2 route was loudly trumpeted a fortnight ago. Curzon which will now be Class 800.
St, Birmingham, will be one of the termini, but it isn’t exactly
close to New St station. Surely conventional & HS2 services East Midlands Trains are making a case tot he DfT to order a
need to be grouped together per St Pancras or Waterloo. new fleet of bi-mode trains to replace the HSTs it currently
Those with long memories may recall a plan in the 1990s to operates on the Midland mainline. Driven in part by the need
move Birmingham’s hub station to the suburbs, but to either replace the HSTs or make them compliant with new
Heartlands didn’t get off the drawing-board. disabled accessibility standards by the end of 2019, EMT
argues a bi-mode fleet represents the best value solution
The Euston Arch & GWML items were first reported in the offering the flexibility to run under electric power as this
Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation Bulletin – becomes available. It also asserts the HSTs’ relatively slow
thanks to Chris Mitchell for the information. acceleration makes them incompatible with a more intensive
timetable of 6 high speed services per hour on the Midland
_________TRACK REPORT between Norwich and Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth. However
hire of the Class 68s and rake of three Mk2s will cease when
Mainline which is due to be introduced from 2019. 170204 is returned to traffic.
GA contract with DRS extended Wheel slip protection
Direct Rail Services will continue hiring locomotives and stock Wheel slip protection (WSP) has been fitted to GA 156419. It
to Greater Anglia until the start of 2019 when it is anticipated is the first of its class to have the system fitted at Derby
that the new Stalder bi-mode trains will enter traffic. Etches Park. If the trial is successful GA will fit the rest of the
class with WSP in time for next autumn.
Class 37/4s and Mk2s will continue to be used on services
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and
Before it’s too Late…
In June I visited the Hythe Pier Railway which connects with
a ferry (many Broads cruisers are larger) over to
Southampton. Although Hampshire C.C. provide the
operator – White Horse Ferries – with a £50,000 p.a.
subsidy the picture from the Southampton side is bleaker
as they aren’t prepared to subsidise the service. If you like
pier railways and ferries perhaps you should make an
early visit. The images (right, top and middle) of the ferry
and railway seen here were taken on 28th June.
News from Eaton Park
The N.D.S.M.E. will start running Santa Specials this year,
with services running between 1130 & 1430 on Sundays
4th & 11th December. Further details are available at
www.nds m e.co.uk.
New General Manager for the NNR
A career railwayman is due to replace the retiring General
Manager of the North Norfolk Railway next year. With
Trevor Eady stepping down the company has appointed
Andrew Munden, currently Operations and Safety Director
at Chiltern Railways, to the role. He will take up post in
February 2017 and has held senior roles in all aspects of
the industry including signalling and train operations, fleet,
infrastructure and performance management. Before
moving to Chiltern Mr Munden was the Route Director for
Network Rail, Anglia Region.
The Poringland Railway Show
On Saturday 19th November a number of NRS members
and other rail enthusiasts gathered in Poringland Village
Hall for an event to raise funds for a replacement hall.
Organised by Graham and Janet Smith, the show included
model layouts exhibited by NRS members Mike Fordham,
Jane Goodyear, David White, Brian Cornwell, Peter Willis,
Graham Smith, Philip Moore and Malcolm Cooper.
Graham reports the show raised £600.
The photographs on this and the following page are by
M&GN Members and Shareholders Day
This took place on Saturday 1st October. Clockwise from
right: D5631 at Weybourne with the newly-restored
suburban coaches, 8572 approaches Weybourne with
three of the suburban coaches whilst Wissington waits with
the Vintage train, on a shed tour and the interior of Second
Lavatory Open (SLO ) E48001 (Andy Wright).
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Recently at the URC Hall Ray thanked Allan for his excellent presentation and Andy
Wright for operating the projector.
“The Great Northern Railway – Not Just “The Southwold Railway – Past, Present &
Stirling Singles (Part 2)” – 6th October Future* (John Ridgway – 20th October)
We were delighted that Allan Sibley, Editor of Great Northern John, a Trustee, Volunteer & Newsletter Editor, opened his
News and a retired career railwayman, was able to bring us presentation by explaining that the Southwold Railway had
Part 2 of his presentation. We saw that there was much more run from Halesworth to Southwold for 50 years from 1879 to
to the G.N. than its “Singles”, 54 of which were constructed 1929. As Southwold, with its silting harbour, had declined in
and no. 1 escaped cutting-up. It was put aside, but its future favour of Lowestoft, various railway schemes were put
was uncertain. A historically-inaccurate tender had been forward but all failed through a lack of finance. Fortunes
found to go with it for the 1938 celebrations, and these changed in the mid-1870s and the railway opened on 24th
remained paired until recently when an accurate tender from September 1879 though a branch to Kessingland was never
“Single” no. 1002 (which had been found in the 1960s at built.
Connington Tip being used as a sludge carrier) was restored
to ensure historical correctness. All trains were “mixed” and were timed at 16 m.p.h.
Passengers were accommodated in 6-wheel carriages, with
The G.N. started producing postcards of locomotives and the passengers facing inwards. To run the trains the company
views in 1902, the former being attributed to the had 3 2-4-0T engines built by Sharp Stewart, although one
pseudonymous “F. Moore” (actually a couple of G.E. was soon returned to the builders. Another locomotive – no. 4
employees). Other cards e.g. by Fleury were less authentic. Wenhaston – was built by Manning Wardle and in 1893 this
The famous “Skegness Is So Bracing” poster was the company supplied a 2-4-2T. They also obtained an 0-6-2T in
creation of John Hassall who received £5:5:0 (£5.25) for his 1914.
work. Some cards contained errors e.g. Bamborough (sic)
Castle. The late 19th/early 20th century were the railway’s best years
and the bridge over the River Blyth was widened to standard
Amongst the ephemera featured was a poster advertising gauge, although the line’s overall widening never took place.
Saturday to Monday excursions to “Lincolnshire Watering
Places” e.g. Cleethorpes, and circular no. 2453 – “Accident to The government took control of the railway in WW1, handing
the Tay Bridge” – which was dated one day after the event. it back in 1921. Times were hard, and the railway made its
first loss in 1926. These losses could not be sustained and
The less-than-successful Sturrock Steam Tenders were the line closed on 11th April 1929. There were various
shown, along with a Ravenglass & Eskdale revival of the idea schemes to revive the railway in the 1930s but it was an early
in the 1920s and a demonstration to staff showing how valve victim of road competition.
It’s possible to walk most of the route; the ends of rails can be
We were then treated to a sort of Cook’s tour of the G.N., found at Blythburgh, and an old bridge still stands at Birds
including images of Flying Scotsman draped in a sort of “cling Folly, Halesworth. The only rolling stock to have survived is a
film” for the 1925 Empire Exhibition. Oddities included a van which is now at Carlton Colville Museum.
“vacuum cleaner van” comprising an oil-engine with a suction
pump for cleaning carriages. The “Prince of Wales” saloon of It’s a long-term goal to rebuild the entire railway. In 2009, 32
1899 drew unfavourable comment from its namesake but it acres were acquired together with a small plot at Wenhaston,
ended its days on B.R. c.1965 when it was grounded and but the company’s planning application failed. Most of the 32
used as a church at Gatehouse of Fleet. The congregation acres has since been sold, save for the trackbed.
did not look amused!
The railway has a Heritage Train Project, to build a mixed
Over 100 years later locations proved difficult to identify, such train, including no. 3 Blythburgh, which lasted from 1879 to
as one near Leicester Belgrave Road showing the laying of 1929. The NRM had just one loco drawing but, thanks to CAD
tram tracks in 1903. The vast expanse of Colwick marshalling wizardry, a 3-D locomotive has been re-created. Cleminson
yard is now a retail park. A rare view of the Harrison Cord coaches were almost unique to the line, but another was
(early communication cord) could be seen on a staff photo at found on the old Manx Northern Railway but its chassis needs
Retford, along with ash-ballasting. to be replaced.
Stations visited included Shipley & Windhill where an 0-6-0 The line’s fortunes changed when they obtained permission
had come to grief at the foot of a 1 in 70 gradient. Sightseers to build a visitor centre at Blyth Road, and a share issue will
were everywhere, and no doubt the breakdown crane would be launched at their November A.G.M. Strangely, the line’s
soon effect recovery and normal services would be resumed. well-publicised planning difficulties have been at the
Also seen was the triangular station at Queensbury (closed Southwold end – where tourists do not appear to be wanted –
1955), the cantilevered signalbox at Halifax North Bridge and whereas Halesworth is far more supportive.
Keighley G.N. Goods, the company’s northernmost
penetration. Then came extensive coverage of the G.N. in Surprisingly, perhaps, the railway has a locomotive – a small
Doncaster – various signalboxes and the replacement of a Deutz-engined Simplex – formerly used in mines.
level-crossing by a bridge just north of the station. Away from
the railway, on the retirement of Patrick Stirling, a drinking- John was thanked for his presentation and Andy Wright for
trough had been erected, paid for by Doncaster employees. operating the projector.
At King’s Cross we saw the memorial to 818 G.N. employees
who died in WW1 and which was re-dedicated in 2013.
“North Woolwich to Palace Gates” (Jim “Steam Locomotives on East Anglian Metals”
Connor – 3rd November) (Peter Groom – 17th November)
Unfortunately Jim was unwell a few days in advance of his The conjunction of the words “Steam” and “East Anglian”
presentation, and he was no better a couple of days before. guarantees a bumper audience, and Peter’s presentation no
The Fixtures Committee had to swing into unaccustomed doubt sent everyone home happy.
action, and it is to be hoped that the substitute show provided
some entertainment and interest for everybody. However, his story began when he was a student at King’s
College in 1955 and he read about the impending
Edward Mann had a themed-DVD to show, starting with the Modernisation Plan, which spurred him to photograph every
well-known 1930s classic - “Night Mail”. The film concentrated class of surviving steam locomotive though, in the event, a
on the Down “Postal” which used to leave Euston at 2030, few escaped him. Unusually, his presentation was in black &
with portions for Glasgow, Edinburgh & Aberdeen. Liberties white slide format, and it began at Liverpool St with an L1 on
were taken with the locations, of course, and I think the a Cambridge line service. 70009 Alfred the Great between
Watford area featured strongly. We saw the postal sorters at duties was next, and he began to highlight some of the minor
work (management seemed to look as if they’d swallowed detail differences e.g. it still had additional disc positions from
something unpleasant), and the heavy work involved in its time on the S.R. Next came a curiosity – petrol-engined
putting the apparatus out to collect bags and the equally Y11 15099 which spent its time shunting at Ware on the
heavy and dangerous work when the bags were collected Hertford East branch before Peter saw it on one of Stratford’s
from the lineside at 60 m.p.h. Crewe was the most important scraplines.
station stop, where engines were changed, with many bags
taken aboard and put off. The film contained the unforgettable The J65 0-6-0Ts shunted in e.g. docks and to assist their
music by Benjamin Britten and poetry by W.H. Auden, and we negotiation of sharp curves the front sections of their coupling
must be grateful that Health & Safety considerations would rods were removed, meaning they ran as 2-4-0Ts! The
have received very blank looks back then! J67/J69 classes were full of detail differences, including a
handle on the tender, and he speculated whether this was for
And so we moved on to the tale of an urgent letter from the use of shunters and from the time some spent in
London to Aberdeen in “Spotlight on the Night Mail” from Scotland. Some had cut-down chimneys enabling them to
1948, a resourceful secretary (working overtime?) and, of work over to S. London etc. We saw F5/F6 2-4-2Ts still fitted
course, the Down “Postal” once again. Having missed the last with condensing apparatus or with supports to hold
collection, she made her way to Euston and posted the letter destination boards in front of the smokebox! Stratford scrap
directly on to the T.P.O., which then cost an extra ½d! This lines had much to offer including the last N7 0-6-2T with a
film seemed more a dramatized documentary but it was G.E. chimney c.1958. Another N7 was push-pull fitted,
pleasing to see the old Euston, Camden M.P.D. and 6207 harking back to its days on Marylebone – Ruislip services. A
Princess Arthur of Connaught in charge of the train. There Great Northern N1 0-6-2T went for scrap at Stratford in 1963,
were some inexplicable engine changes en route but we saw long withdrawn and subsequently used on carriage-warming
the happy conclusion - a “Jubilee” entering Aberdeen, and the duties at Shoeburyness.
letter reaching its destination the next day. If only they had
fax machines! Moving on to tender engines, we saw variants of the E4 2-4-
0, some fitted with slightly more weatherproof cabs long after
After an extended break for a Committee meeting, the films their repatriation from the Stainmore route. The K5 – the
continued with “Night Mail 2” from 1987, made some 50 years Thompson 2- cylinder rebuild of the K3 – was pictured, and
after the original. Letters were transported by air, sea, road so it continued - you began to wonder if any 2 engines of the
and rail. And we saw something of the remote Hebridean same class were exactly alike!
island of Barra where, in those pre-internet days, the mail
order catalogue business was a godsend. Down at Gatwick, a And so to a salutary tale – in 1960 a pupil at Peter’s school
passenger flight arrived from Paris; the plane’s seating was approached him, asking if he wanted to buy the nameplate
taken out and, a few hours later, it would be taking mail to from 61657 Doncaster Rovers, which had recently been
Edinburgh. We saw the North-Eastern Up T.P.O. leave withdrawn. It could be had for £8 - the scrap value of the
Newcastle for St Pancras, with Derby as the principal hub en brass. Peter thought about it, but declined, on the basis that it
route, where other mail trains converged, and there was would be too difficult to transport, first across London to his
related traffic to/from nearby East Midlands Airport. The own flat, and thence to his parents’ house in the Midlands!
filming marked the naming of 47476 as Night Mail (it was
called a train!) and, afterwards we moved into London to see King’s had a scrapyard in Poplar – in 1964 he learned that a
the old Post Office Railway, which carried mails between Y4 0-4-0T (Departmental 33) was awaiting cutting-up, along
Paddington, the principal sorting offices, Liverpool St and with a J15. He duly photographed what was thought to be the
Whitechapel. last Stratford engine to be steamed – it was kept in reserve at
the Old Works and occasionally steamed until the end of
Graham Kenworthy rounded off the evening with a series of 1962.
aerial M&GN images, starting at South Lynn and gradually
working east towards Yarmouth Beach. Mike Page had taken Other gems included a C12 4-4-2T at March – records show
these, but there was a good mix of ground level images too, that 67363 moved from Tilbury to New England in 1958,
including the King’s Lynn – South Lynn “shuttle” and recent though lasted only another 3 months. Also seen at March was
views of some of the closed stations. 61631 Serlby Hall, in steam, on what was thought to be its
last journey to Doncaster. Turning to the large J20s we learnt
Ray Halliday thanked our presenters for their contributions, that some had holes cut in the footplate steps to fit the S.R.
and Andy Wright for operating the projector. clearances – a few went to Hornsey in the early 1950s to
work cross-London freights.
Norwich had to feature, and the old depot was well-
represented including 61572 specially posed for his camera.
He had a “query” shot at Norwich – a B12 showing a single which are named after athletes. What a lot to explain one
disc on the buffer-beam and leaving on a lengthy train. word!
Richard Adderson confirmed what he thought – that the disc
was a G.E. route indicator. His presentation ended at Making the Connections – a quirky Christmas
Yarmouth in August 1968 with a Drewry diesel shunting Quiz
wagons of old railway scrap.
1. What connects a junction in the London Borough of
His show was much appreciated by everyone, and we are Hackney, an Irish golfer and a Glastonbury Festival
very grateful that he travelled from Hertfordshire to entertain Headliner?
and educate us. Thanks to Peter Adds and Andy Wright for
help with the projector. 2. Complete the sequence (after the L.M. depot reorganisa-
tion of 1963 but before the next one of January 1966,
Norfolk Transport Group Annual Quiz – 10th where appropriate): 2E, 65A, 8M & … The answer is one
November word, not two.
The genial Malcolm Cooper acted as question master to four 3. There is an apocryphal story that a booking clerk at Wes-
teams of three, randomly assembled by hat draw. There were ton-super-Mare (G.W.R.) was fired because he told a
questions on all forms of transport and, fortunately, what lady to go to the W.C.& P. when she asked about the
turned out to be a Newsletter team (with able help from next train to Clevedon. Having regard to the strict compa-
Malcolm Ireland) took the chequered flag. Andy is to be ny loyalties of those days, what route should she have
congratulated on his motor-racing knowledge! It would be been directed to? And, in railway terms, what did the ini-
nice to see some new faces at this meeting – nobody will be tials W.C. & P. stand for?
embarrassed, so think about it when the 2017 programme is
announced. 4. Bosworth, Drayton & Weighton is not a firm of solicitors.
What is the connecting prefix?
There’s Always More – see NRS/NL 61/4
pp10/11 5. 35001/010/015/020 are or were “Merchant Navy” Pacif-
ics. Which is the “odd man out” by name and why.
Rod Lock was most interested in the Receiving Offices
feature. At Swaffham they regularly received parcels from two 6. What connects one of the G.W.R’s largest coaches,
London Eastern Region Receiving Offices – The Minories and 45718 & 50001?
7. Underneath the Arches is a famous song. In which city
He continues: ‘The use of Receiving Offices appeared to be are the arches, and under which bridge? The line across
prevalent. In “GWR Goods Services – An Introduction” (Tony the bridge connected to a famous station further east via
Atkins & David Hyde), for London 34 GWR Receiving Offices a wrought-iron viaduct. Which viaduct and which station?
are listed for the 1920s/1930s’.
8. Near the English/Welsh border you might just find a sec-
Fast forward to 1966, Michael Roach has referred me to the ondhand bookshop, whilst Andy Wright’s image depicts
following snippet from the October 1966 Railway Observer the end of a branch used to film a famous railway come-
which bristles with interest: “The B.R. town office at Lynton dy. Who was its star? To sell his surname’s commodity
will close on 3rd October, and passenger tickets will be issued you would, ideally, have to go north of the border; maybe
at the omnibus company’s office next door. Freight and you’d find time to visit the shed or take in a rugby game,
parcels will continue to be delivered on three days per week. and then go further north to find its use partly in a junc-
With characteristic B.R. precision, the Lynton office has tion. What is the selling place, and what was the junc-
latterly been open on Mondays to Fridays only for 7 hours tion?
and 36 minutes per day (closing at 1636) so that the clerk
could work his 38-hour week, and not a minute more – or 9. What connects an important station in Kent, another sta-
less!” tion in Kent (both in the same Table), “Castle” 5089,
91114 and Stretton?
Previous brain-teaser – see NRS/NL 61/5 p.11
10. An enthusiast, contemplating a summer holiday in the
A little local knowledge always helps, I suppose, which is why late 1950s, might have put the following locations at the
the locations were widely scattered. The answers are: 1. top of his short-list: Abergele, Mundesley-on-Sea, St
Acock’s Green & South Yardley; 2. Bearsted & Agnes & Tipton St John. All were then on the passenger
Thurnham; 3. Cholsey & Moulsford; 4. Clarkston & network, so what else did they have in common?
Stamperland; 5. Cressington & Grassendale; 6. Llwynypia
& Tonypandy; 7.Moorside & Wardley; 8. Ockley & Capel; Happy sleuthing. Please send your solutions to the
9. Potters Bar & South Mimms; 10. Town Green & Editor (email preferred) to arrive by 3rd January 2017.
Aughton. There’s a FREE SUBSCRIPTION to the sender of the first
Congratulations to Mike Handscomb for being all-correct. 100% correct solution opened, or to the person getting as
close to 100% as possible.
The railway association that could be made with the 3
images on page 12 was, of course, Javelins. We had: 3
R1 0-6-0Ts climbing away from Folkestone Harbour; a
modern image of Folkestone Central station and a
modern image of Folkestone Harbour. One of Jessica
Ennis-Hill’s heptathlon events is javelin and Steve
Backley was a leading javelin-thrower. Southeastern’s
fast Kent trains are run by Class 395 Javelins, many of
An Hour In Barmouth 1964 (Michael
In July 1964 I was lucky enough to travel on one of
the railway lines that had been on my wish list for a
long time. I say lucky because the line was still 100%
steam and it would close to all traffic just 6 months
later. The line in question was the former Great
Western route from Ruabon to Barmouth. 54 miles of
pure delight for a Great Western enthusiast, through
magnificent scenery all the way, atmospheric stations
and passing loops, semaphore-signalled of course,
culminating in crossing the magnificent Barmouth
Bridge for the first time. However the story of that trip
will be saved for another day. This was my first visit
to Barmouth, but it would not be the last.
I was staying some distance away which made it a 75006 of Croes Newydd with 5 coaches on the 1100 Ruabon - Pwllheli
four hour trip just to get to the starting point. I stands at Barmouth at 1321, the author having just alighted.
reached Ruabon by train from the south arriving at
1039 behind “Black 5” 4-6-0 no. 45305 of Chester,
and then caught the 1100 from Ruabon to Pwllheli as
far as Barmouth. My trip behind BR Standard Class 4
4-6-0 no. 75006 of Croes Newydd (Wrexham) lasted
140 minutes crossing several steam trains in the
opposite direction taking holidaymakers home after a
week at the seaside. The train arrived at Barmouth at
1320, and my return journey was scheduled to leave
Barmouth at 1418. So I had just 58 minutes in
Barmouth, hence the title of this article, and what an
hour! It was high summer, the sun was shining, and
the railway was quite busy as shown by the attached
images. In 1964 there would have been locomotives
and footplatemen from four different engine sheds
working into Barmouth that day: Croes Newydd,
Penmaenpool, Pwllheli and Machynlleth, and maybe
I photographed the train that had brought me to 75023 stands at platform 3 at Barmouth with the 1330 to Birmingham
Barmouth behind 75006, and then a departing train in Snow Hill (due 1831) which started here and travelled via Machynlleth
the opposite direction in the station. The north end of and Shrewsbury, but not stopping at Shrewsbury. Photo taken from the
Barmouth Bridge is just half a mile away from the station footbridge which has since been removed. The 1100 Ruabon to
station, so I spent 10 minutes walking up to the end of Pwllheli train is still standing at platform 2.
the footpath which crosses the bridge. The footpath
leaves the main road opposite the very tall houses in
Porkington Terrace, which were built by the well-
known railway contractor Thomas Savin, as a
speculative venture, in between constructing
railways. I only needed to walk a short distance down
the footpath to obtain the classic view of Barmouth
Bridge that has appeared in print many times. The
view to the south-east with Cader Idris in the
background forms a stunning backdrop to the idyllic
setting of this bridge across the Mawddach Estuary
which has been in the news recently because of the
possible closure of the public footpath across the
I took a picture with a light engine crossing the bridge 75023 of Croes Newydd leaves Barmouth with the 1330 to Birmingham
and then hurried back to Barmouth station, which is Snow Hill.
happily still with us and very well situated for the town
and the beach. I wanted to see a local train from 10
Dolgellau arriving at 1410 past Barmouth South
signal box. The box is now preserved further up the
line to Ruabon at Glyndyfrdwy on the Llangollen
Railway. The train consisted of 2 suburban coaches
hauled by Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 no. 46520. Each suburban
coach could seat 100 passengers in 10
compartments. This type of coach seems quite
incongruous and out of place in such a rural location,
Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 46520 of Machynlleth arrives at Barmouth tender-first was expecting, but the extra time was of no use to me
with a 2-coach local train from Dolgellau. Such trains ran each way 3 since I was stuck on the train waiting to leave.
times a day and took 26-30 minutes for the 9¼ miles between the two Barmouth was the highlight of a very pleasant day out
towns. With the closure of the line to Ruabon in January 1965 46520 by steam train through wonderful new territory for me.
moved to Nuneaton.
Editor’s Note: In common with so many contemporary
Looking north from the footbridge (now demolished) at Barmouth cross-country trains, these services were enjoyed by
station. On the left is the local train from Dolgellau behind 46520. The the enthusiast but endured by the holidaymaker. Not
coaches have no corridor connections because they are many had refreshment facilities to while away the
suburban coaches. On the right the 1245 local train from journey. If you travelled all the way from Pwllheli to
Pwllheli to Birkenhead train runs in hauled by 75026 with 3 Birkenhead you had a journey of around 6 hours but in
coaches. This is the train that the author caught back to 1964 it was possible – if not necessarily practical – to
Ruabon. On the extreme right is a young enthusiast; he change at Afon Wen and catch a train via Bangor and
will now be approaching 60! Looking over the top of the Chester. This option ceased to exist with the closure
platform awnings can be seen several freight wagons and of the Afon Wen – Bangor line in December 1964.
spare coaches. Present-day services (via Machynlleth) hug the coast
before turning inland. Mike’s comments about the
closure of the Barmouth – Ruabon line do not entirely
make it clear that the closure was abrupt, caused by
heavy rain in the December, although the line was due
to close anyway.
Photographs – all taken by the author on 4th July
Brian Clough, Catering, a Flat Crossing
and a Lucky Find (Edward Mann)
I had a few days’ holiday in Newark from 23rd October.
Maybe it’s not flush with visitor attractions in the way
York is, but it was convenient for Nottingham and
Lincoln and other local railways.
Having got to Newark in good time I decided to head
west to have a look at some of the stations on the line
from Newark Castle to Nottingham. Newark Castle is
probably the poor relation compared to Newark
Northgate on the ECML but, having been unstaffed for
some years, it is now a staffed station once more.
There’s an adjacent Waitrose, too. The first two
stations west from Newark – Rolleston and Fiskerton –
were having their level crossings upgraded, and a total
possession was in force, along with attendant
temporary road closures. Anyone with a long memory
may recall that Rolleston was the junction for a branch
to Southwell (closed from 15th June 1959), the
remainder of the line on to Mansfield Town having lost
its passenger service from 12th August 1929.
but perhaps these trains were used to convey large Newark Castle looking towards Lincoln on 23rd October.
numbers of school children to school. I went up onto the 11
Barmouth station footbridge to photograph the same train
again and in ran my train back to Ruabon two minutes later;
this was the 1245 from Pwllheli to Birkenhead hauled by BR
Standard 4MT 4-6-0 no. 75026, also of Croes Newydd, with
3 coaches. This was a local train which ran every day
Monday to Saturday, taking 6 hours for the 119 miles. My
records show it was due to leave at 1418 although it did not
actually leave until 1442. Why it was delayed I do not know.
Although I have got Western Region timetables, this whole
area had been transferred to the Midland Region 18 months
earlier and I do not have a timetable for that region. So I
ended up with 82 minutes in Barmouth, rather than the hour I
The original route from Nottingham to Worksop, via walks of life. The system serves the north, south and west of
Mansfield, lost its passenger service from 12th October 1964. the city where the population is concentrated, and the
However, the reinstated line – marketed as the Robin Hood Hucknall – Toton Lane route seems busier than the Phoenix
Line and fully re-opened in 1998 – does not entirely follow the Park – Clifton South one. It’s impossible to relate the Toton
closed route. The old diesel depot at Shirebrook is derelict. It Lane terminus to the Toton many of us know but, essentially,
took just over an hour to get to Worksop, so lunch was it’s on the opposite side of the line to the depot and then
beckoning. The Station Hotel, across the road, looked somewhat distant. An all-day tram ticket costs just £4.
promising but the manageress was on the telephone, dealing Without an old map, I’m intrigued to know what was there
with a prospective booking. I heard her say she hadn’t got before the terminus and huge park’n’ride were opened. More
catering shortcomings were experienced at a Newark pub,
where I was told there was a 45 min. wait for food. Guess
who voted with his feet, and why are these people in
Nottingham Canal from Carrington St on 24th October
(Nottingham station is behind).
next year’s diary to hand (why not?), and the more the call Contrasting tram ends at David’s Lane (change for either
continued I gained the impression she wanted to discourage route). The Nottingham – Worksop line is in front of the
the enquiry at all costs! When my turn came I was advised bus.
(thankfully) they did not serve lunches on Mondays to
Wednesdays! That was doubly fortunate as the café on the Now it was time to head east from Newark Castle to Lincoln.
station had plenty of food and decent service. And there was In days of yore this was the L.M.S. route from Nottingham to
a bonus – on the walls were local photographs including one Lincoln St Marks, but in 1985 all services were concentrated
of a Class 37 on the Harwich – Manchester “boat train” when at Lincoln Central. There is a pedestrian level-crossing at the
it ran via Worksop. Things were looking up! And there were west end of the station, which is very busy even though
bound volumes of the Railway Magazine too. I picked up the there’s a bridge. Of even greater interest is the rare “flat
1979 volume, and January’s issue contained an article on the crossing” over the ECML east of Castle station. The level-
boat train, written by our late member, David Wright, entitled crossing at the west end of Newark Castle causes serious
“The Train in Table Z” if you want to refresh your memory. delays to road traffic. The ECML had another “flat crossing” at
Retford until the Gainsborough – Worksop line became a
The following day was spent in Nottingham, riding on its dive-under in the mid-1960s. There was a third, too, where?†
excellent trams. These are named after local people from all Not having travelled on the GN/GE “Joint” for many years I
took a Peterborough train to Sleaford. The avoiding line veers
left on the approach to Sleaford, and the station itself is in
need of some TLC – I have never seen so many weeds
growing between tracks as here! Maybe the weed-killing train
was doing the rounds as a filthy 66050/194 sat in Lincoln
topping’n’tailing some NR tanks. Pacers and Class 153s were
well in evidence, and even the 1722 to Grimsby merited just a
153 – there was quite a fight to board it. No, you won’t see a
B1, three coaches and some empty fish vans in 2016!!! And
talking of Pacers (if we must) they were operating Lincoln –
Sheffield services. Only Sheffield isn’t the terminating point
for many – they continue through Meadowhall and Doncaster
and terminate at Adwick. Look it up, like I had to! Presumably
it’s done to take pressure off Doncaster. Grimbarians,
incidentally, are out on a limb – they are “expected” to change
at Doncaster to get to London – no through trains seems a
poor service for 2016.
156401 awaits departure from Worksop with the 1338 to The last piece of line that interested me was the single-track
Nottingham on 24th October. curve that connects Lincoln to Newark Northgate, which is
covered by a shuttle service – yes, another Class 153 – and a
single up and down service to King’s Cross¶. I had a brief
look round Newark Market; amazingly there was a railwayana Line. † The ECML also crossed the Stockton & Darlington
stall – shed plates and block instruments etc held little Railway near Fighting Cocks, just north of Darlington but the
interest, but I was very pleased to acquire a RCH Index of S & D line was abandoned in the late 1960s.
Stations from 1956 as well as several amendment lists.
Finally, thanks to David Pearce for supplying the image of
¶ There is also a daily out and back Lincoln – St Pancras Newark Crossing.
service via Newark Castle, Nottingham and the Midland Main
2 Class 153s wait at Sleaford with the 1614 to Lincoln on 47414 crosses the Newark-Lincoln line with an up ECML
26th October. Weedkiller anyone! service at 1305 on 22nd February 1977 (David Pearce).
The photographs on this and the following page were
taken by Andy Wright during a photo charter on the Mid
Suffolk Railway on 26th September.
The images of LNER 985, formerly B.R. 68088 and
then Departmental 34, remind us of its interesting
history. The class was originally 24 strong, built over a
25 year period. Only 2 Y7s, as they became, survived
into B.R. ownership and sister 68089 worked on the
North Sunderland Light Railway (Chathill to
Seahouses) before the line closed completely from
29th October 1951. It was then sold for further service
before being scrapped. 985/68088 came south to
Stratford in 1948, and after withdrawal was acquired by
the N.C.B. before being privately purchased in 1964.
Also surviving is LNER 1310 which is owned by the
Middleton Railway – not bad for a loco sold out of
service in 1931.
Peter Willis has given notice that the 2017 Show will be the
last that he organises.
And so we are looking for a successor, and anyone
interested should please discuss matters with Peter Willis. It
means planning and running the Show, and if we are unable
to recruit a successor then the 2017 Show will be our last.
From the committee
At its meeting on 10th October the committee had further
discussion about incorporation of the Society as a limited
company. Having received detailed legal advice and giving
considerable thought to the advantages and disadvantages
of incorporation since the discussion at the AGM, it was
decided unanimously not to proceed with the proposal at this
stage and see in particular what happens regarding the
future of the NRS Show.
This matter will be on the AGM agenda so members will be
given the opportunity to express their views.
A reminder that your subscription is due for renewal on
January 1st. Yet again, astute financial management by our
Treasurer has kept the rates unchanged:
Two adults at same address£29.50
Junior (under 18): £9.50
It would be good to keep our numbers up near the current New Member
100-or-so mark. If you wish to remain a member - which we
very much hope is the case - then please renew now to We are pleased to welcome John Peat of Wymondham and
avoid your membership lapsing. The blue form enclosed hope he will be able to attend some future meetings.
with this NRS Newsletter should be completed and returned
to me with your cheque, either by post or at a meeting, by
January 31st at the latest. Thank you.
Liverpool Street Traffic Manager’s Office (TMO) - (Rod Lock)
After 9 months in the Cambridge TMO’s Research Section I was promoted to the Liverpool St Works & Signalling Section. It
consisted of 8 staff; I was the signalling element and the second youngest. My duties included signalling irregularities, which
embraced Signals Passed at Danger (SPADs), level crossings and crossing
keepers’ instructions, minor infrastructure schemes, major signalling and track
failures, and advising depots of emergency engineering works. However, if an
“incident” involved a collision, derailment, fatalities or injuries it was dealt with by
our sister section – “Accidents & General” – located next door on the top floor of
I am not suggesting the practice was rife, but with so much of the District (in
1960) still controlled by semaphore signalling it was possible to hush-up a SPAD
if those involved kept quiet about the incident. The few incidents that I dealt with
usually involved misjudged braking by the driver such that he overran the signal
by a matter of yards, well within the safety overlap which applied to the first stop
signal encountered. Prior to my arrival, there was a serious SPAD involving a
“Britannia”-hauled down Norwich express which overran the signals at Hatfield
Peverel. Instead of reporting to the signalman there, the driver decided to carry on
to the next signalbox unaware, of course, whether the section ahead was
occupied or not.
With SPADs it was normal to hold a joint inquiry, chaired by the Chief District
Signalling Inspector, Charlie Martin, a native of Ely, and previously a Senior Relief
Station Master at Liverpool St, and Chief Motive Power Inspector Percy Howard,
a former driver. I would also attend, as would a shorthand typist to type up
The first inquiry I attended involved a London Midland transfer freight, with a
Devons Road driver in charge, which slightly overran a signal at Stratford High
Meads Junction. The driver was not very articulate but we prepared a statement
based on what appeared to have happened which, thankfully, he signed.
A 1950s brakevan tour, with a J19 in Some
charge, pauses at Hockerill Halt. Hard to incidents
believe that the bridge once carried the were not
A120! We are looking north-west. investigated
in this way –
for example, where drivers obeyed an incorrect signal for
their train. In November 1960, in dense fog, the signalman
at Wormley, between Broxbourne and Cheshunt, routed the
up Fenman into his Up Goods Loop, which the driver did
not query. The following January, the driver of a late-
running semi-fast from Ipswich to Liverpool St, hauled by a
Sulzer Type 2 diesel loco (Class 24 – Ed.), was routed into
Ilford Car Sheds! I rang my counterpart at Norwich to ask
for the driver’s report, and in a broad Norfolk accent was
informed: “Thas nothin’ bor – last week we had a DMU go
into Cantley beet factory”!
Surprisingly, single lines also cropped up. Whilst an S & T Stane Street Halt, looking west (above); note the passenger steps
lineman was working in Marks Tey ‘box, and with the (below).
involvement of the signalman at Chappel (on the Sudbury
branch), the three of them managed to have two tokens in
use. This one did result in another joint inquiry, the
outcome of which I cannot remember.
The issue of train staffs to drivers on the Bishop’s Stortford
to Braintree branch was unusual, involving the Bishop’s
Stortford North ‘box signalman, later the South ‘box
signalman after the former ‘box was closed in August 1960,
and the Station Inspector, whose office was on the Up
island platform. There were two instruments in the South
signalbox and another in the Inspector’s office. The
signalman transferred a staff from one instrument to
another and having done so was able to release a staff in
the Station Inspector’s instrument. On the day in question
the Dunmow goods departed behind Brush Type 2 D5545 -
I remember the number to this day – without the driver
having collected the train staff! He may have had in mind
the difficult access to the Dunmow branch via the Down
Main which involved a 1 in 66 gradient immediately on entering the branch. It was not unknown for Sunday excursions from Lea
Valley stations to Clacton, having completed station work, to reverse along the Down Main so as to get speed up for the climb
I have a special affection for the Dunmow branch – for 8 years I lived at Takeley. Although the passenger service between
Bishop’s Stortford and Braintree was withdrawn from 3rd March 1952 – I witnessed the last train when returning off leave to join
the night shift at R.A.F. Stanbridge – during my early years in the village the line remained active with beginning and end of term
Felsted school trains from Bishop’s Stortford, hauled by L1 2-6-4Ts, the Road Railer trials, some involving rail-road transfers in
Takeley goods yard, and the occasional Sunday Clacton excursion which, with my wife and sons, I used on two occasions. Going
east from Bishop’s Stortford, there were intermediate calling-points at Hockerill Halt, Stane Street Halt, Takeley, Easton Lodge,
Dunmow, Felsted, Bannister Green Halt and Rayne before reaching Braintree & Bocking as it then was.
One joint inquiry was held at Officer level, the participants being the District Operating Superintendent and the Divisional Civil
Engineer. The latter had possession of the Down line, between Shenfield and Billericay from around midnight on a Saturday, so
single line working was operating over the Up line. Luck was on the side of all concerned that night. The first train, an EMU
running in the Down direction, had an alert driver. It was a bright, moonlit night, such that he was able to see that the first set of
catch points had not been secured. Both officers were out to blame the other, but it was finally agreed that the person in charge
of the possession was at fault i.e. the Stationmaster at Billericay.
If a Liverpool St District driver was involved in any of the incidents I had to discuss them with the District Motive Power
Superintendent, Dick Hardy. This was always a pleasurable experience as the walls of his office were adorned with framed
photos of locos and enginemen. On each occasion he gave me a potted history of the man concerned, including any nicknames.
“Ashcan Charlie” and “Bungay” come to mind. He was always firm but fair in his judgments. We still exchange Christmas cards,
sometimes on other occasions. If the card contained a picture of a loco, he added a comment. One card displayed a “Britannia”
climbing Brentwood bank. Dick’s comment was: ‘A clean loco, a Norwich engine, but not as clean as we kept our Stratford
“Britannias”’! On another occasion, in mid-summer, he wrote: ‘I’m 70, but just off to do a firing turn on the Settle & Carlisle’ –
surely one of those turns you went home with a wet shirt afterwards!
A minor piece of additional infrastructure was the opening of a private siding at Easton Lodge, to serve a Geest banana ripening
depot, located between Takeley and Dunmow. The traffic on offer did not justify train-load working but justified special trips from
Bishop’s Stortford. I do not recollect a run-round facility being provided so the returning empty wagons had to be hauled to
Dunmow passing loop.
The introduction of gas heaters was a great boon, but priorities
for installation had to be determined. I cannot remember all the
priorities except that Manningtree North Junc was the top of the
list, said to be “the most exposed location in the District”!
Signalmen’s Special Instructions were determined by the Line Takeley, looking east (above) and Easton Lodge, looking
Traffic Manager’s Signalling Section. Coincidental with my east (below).
arrival they were typed up for each signalbox and it was my job
to frame them and deliver them to the stationmasters
concerned. I took the opportunity to record them in a notebook
– most instructions were A4 size – but the notebook
disappeared in a series of house moves. However, I was
responsible for crossing-keepers’ instructions – one I remember
was Park Lane level-crossing, Kirby Cross. Most level-
crossings did not have distant signal protection so it was
important to emphasise that the normal position of gates should
be closed against road traffic. Equally important was to state,
for crossings protected by signals, at what point they should be
closed to road traffic for approaching trains – on receipt of “Is
Line Clear” or “Train Entering Section”. Today, there are only
two manned “in section” level-crossings – Trinity Lane,
Waltham Cross and the infamous Elsenham station crossing.
Closures are complex and time-consuming. There were two
little-used but manned crossings either side of Bishop’s
Stortford which the Traffic Manager, Harold Few, decided to
close. He was aware of the consequences but wanted to make
a point. Notices were erected which stated that from a certain
date the crossings would be closed to vehicular traffic. The
wrath of the Line Traffic Manager’s Head of Signalling Section –
a man straight out of a Dickens classic, Wilfred Orchard Foot –
descended on him and the crossings were re-opened, but
closed several years later.
The stationmaster at Stansted, also in charge of Elsenham,
recommended that a little-used crossing at Fuller’s End,
Elsenham, should be closed to road vehicles, but when I moved
from Elsenham in 1988, about 25 years later, the crossing had
not been closed. The delay was attributable to a local fence manufacturer whose objections could not immediately be met. The
crossing is now reduced to a foot crossing.
As for the make-up of the Section, four of them were WW2 veterans, the Head of Section being a former FEPOW, a remarkable
man. Another was an eccentric Irishman. There was also an unruly youngster. John, the Irishman, dealt with minor works matters.
One letter passed to him was from the stationmaster at Hackney Downs, who complained about the high number of pigeons
roosting around the station. John replied: “How many?” The stationmaster took him on: “126” was his estimate.
The youngster knew everything, talked a lot, did little work and was a poor timekeeper. The Head of Section did his best, but
finally his patience was exhausted and the youngster was sent to the Siberia of the Liverpool St District – Ilford Parcels Office. I
never saw him again.
After just over 2 years I was promoted to the Commercial side of the Section, dealing with tenancies and private sidings. Not
nearly so interesting, but I got to see more of the District. The Head of Section had tried to get previous occupants of the post to
review the rentals of tenants in goods yards, but without success. I took up the challenge in collaboration with the District Estate
Surveyor. Coal merchants’ rentals were exempt as they were agreed nationally with the Coal Merchants’ Federation. We were in
a strong negotiating position as the rentals had not been reviewed since the tenancies began. Some of the negotiations were
protracted but there were no terminations as a result of the increased rents.
The Liverpool St District was a big one. On the Colchester main line it extended to Keeble’s Siding, north of Manningtree and
included all of the offshoots and in 1960 included the Brightlingsea branch. On the Cambridge main line the extremity was
between Elsenham and Newport. Again, there were offshoots to Hertford East and the delightful Buntingford branch. Suburban
branches included Chingford, Enfield, Palace Gates, North Woolwich and its offshoots, Stratford Market and Thames Wharf.
During my time there were minor additions – the Hertford North – East link, which included Hertford Old station at which some
Headquarters staff were out-based during WW2 – and the extensive Bow Midland Goods Yard. Larger additions included the L.T.
& S. line following the abolition of the Line Traffic Manager’s organisation and the Victoria Park to Poplar North London line plus
the westward section to Hackney Central, short of Dalston Junction.
The images of the Dunmow/Braintree branch which complement this feature are, with one exception, undated. If anybody is able
to date the images or say more about the stations please get in touch.
Top left: Dunmow, looking east, on 23rd December 1964. Top right: Felsted, looking east. Bottom left: Bannister Green Halt,
looking west; the bridge carried the B1417 over the railway. Bottom right: Rayne, looking east on 23rd December 1964.
Braintree was the next station.
Taunton To Barnstaple (Mike Roach)
Taunton is an important town in the County of Somerset with
a population of about 65,000. It is not the largest town in the
County but it is the County Town and has a history going
back more than a thousand years. It lies on the former Great
Western Railway line from Paddington to Penzance, a
distance of 305 miles. Taunton is only 5 miles beyond the
mid-point of the journey by distance, although not by time.
43 miles due west of Taunton lies the town of Barnstaple.
Barnstaple is a town of about 21,000 people situated on the A Churchward Mogul crosses Venn Cross Viaduct with a
River Taw, in the County of Devon, at the lowest bridging Taunton to Barnstaple train on 2nd May 1964.
point of the river. Barnstaple is also an ancient market town
and is the undisputed capital of North Devon. It lies at the
end of a 40-mile branch line from Exeter, although until
closure the railway forked here and carried on northwards to
Ilfracombe and westwards to Bideford and Torrington. These
lines belonged to the Southern Railway from 1923 to 1947,
but that statement hides a complicated history when the
railways were being planned in the 1840s and 1850s.
For those using public transport the journey from Barnstaple
to Taunton in 2016 is a 70-mile journey by train along two
sides of a triangle via Exeter. The journey time is a credible
1 hour 40 mins up to a maximum of about 2 hours. I doubt
that anyone would contemplate travelling direct by local bus
as there appears to be a 5-mile gap in the middle with no
buses. However it can be done via Tiverton and takes more
than 3 hours. To complete the picture there is a National
Express Coach from Barnstaple to Taunton 3 times a day
which takes 1 hour 35 to 1 hour 45 mins.
Once upon a time there was a direct rail service from Looking across Venn Cross Viaduct towards Taunton. Note that
Barnstaple to Taunton but it closed to all traffic in October the track is laid on large longitudinal timbers.
1966. The route was mostly single track from the junctions at
each end with passing places at all stations apart from
Morebath Junction Halt. The line was built to serve a string
of small towns: South Molton, Dulverton, Wiveliscombe and
Milverton, with Bampton a short distance off the route. The
line was built by the Devon and Somerset Railway, operated
by the Bristol and Exeter Railway and taken over by the
Great Western Railway within 5 years of the first section
opening to traffic. The line was always a secondary route but
was an important route for holiday trains on Saturdays in
summer when it carried expresses from South Wales, the
Midlands and London to the holiday resort of Ilfracombe.
The trains from Paddington to Ilfracombe via Taunton
offered competition to the Southern trains from Waterloo to
Ilfracombe via Exeter. The Paddington trains brought
Western locomotives and coaches to Ilfracombe, generally
hauled by Churchward Mogul 2-6-0s in the last decades of
steam. Indeed for the last few years of steam-haulage the
Moguls had a near monopoly of the diagrams with
occasional incursions by Maunsell’s N class or Ivatt 2-6-2
tanks from Barnstaple Junction shed. Taunton shed had 5
Moguls based there for the Barnstaple line trains, with 2
spending the night at Barnstaple Junction shed for the early
trains next morning. Dieselisation of the service occurred on
and from Monday 7th September 1964.
The last steam timetable, that for summer 1964, showed 6 7337 crosses Venn Cross Viaduct heading for Barnstaple.
trains each way Monday to Friday, and 9 trains each way on
Saturdays. All trains travelled the full length of the line, with many going on to Ilfracombe on Saturdays. Arguably the most
important towns along the route were South Molton and Dulverton. Dulverton was also the terminating station for trains from
Exeter via the Exe Valley route through Tiverton and Bampton which joined the Taunton - Barnstaple route at Morebath Junction,
2 miles east of Dulverton. Unfortunately, Dulverton station was actually at a place called Brushford more than 1½ miles from
Dulverton, which would have deterred most people from making a day trip to that delightful little town. The last 2 years saw the
passenger service operated by 3-car DMUs or 1-car railcars. Amazingly, the line did not appear in the Western Region timetable
dated 18th April 1966 to 5th March 1967 even though the trains continued to operate for more than 5 months after the start of the
Looking east across Venn Cross Viaduct. Note the different speed limits on and off the viaduct. 6326 on the 1105 Ilfracombe
to Wolverhampton heading east near Yeo Mill Halt. This was the only train seen that day with express headlamps (18th July
timetable. Dulverton was shown in rail-road links as being 26 enough to save the line which closed on and from Monday 3rd
miles from Taunton by Western National bus. South Molton October 1966.
was shown as being 12 miles from Barnstaple by Southern
National bus. Editor’s Note: I wonder if problems over bus replacement
services led to the line’s omission from the final timetable? I
The journey time by steam train was about 1 hour 45 have the 1965/66 Timetable which showed a through
minutes, while the diesel multiple units were allowed the Wolverhampton – Ilfracombe (and return) service, plus a
same time or a few minutes less. The contemporary press Carmarthen – Ilfracombe through service, returning to Cardiff.
recorded that on one occasion the first train of the day from
Barnstaple, due Taunton at 0817, was operated by a single Photographs: all taken by the author in the last summer of
railcar in the W55000 series. It must have been a popular steam operation.
commuter train as it arrived at Taunton rather crowded, with
122 people crammed aboard the single carriage! It was not
_________WORKING TIM ETABLE
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, b ut visitors should check with the organisation concerned b efore travelling.
Norfolk Transport Group - please contact Mike Fordham or John Laycock.
Services on our Local Railways
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, East View Farm, Stone Lane, Ashmanhaugh, NR12 8YW. For information:
www.ashmanhaughlightrailway.co.uk. Running days resume next year.
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL. For information: www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk – Tel: 01603-
Bressingham Steam & Gardens, Low Rd., Bressingham, IP22 2AA. For information: www.thebressinghamgardens.com or
telephone 01379-686900. In common with other heritage sites there will be the usual Santa Specials – please see website.
Their main season re-commences on 29th March 2017.
The Bure Valley Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.bvrw.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
The Mid-Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.mnr.org.uk - or telephone 01362-
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Brockford Station, Wetheringsett, IP14 5PW - For details of individual events please visit their
_________WORKING TIM ETABLE
website - www.mslr.org.uk - or telephone 01449-766899.
The North Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.nnrailway.co.uk - or telephone
The Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers will be running Santa Specials this year – please see page 5. See
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway - For information: www. wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk or tel: 01328 711630 (up to
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.whitwellstation.com - or
The R.C.T.S. (Ipswich Branch) and the Ipswich & District Historical Transport Society run comprehensive meetings
programmes. Please contact me if you’d like to see their programme.
Most of our local railways will be running the usual Santa Specials etc during December, and intending participants should
please refer to the relevant railway company website, consult one of their brochures or telephone the company concerned.
DECEMBER NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “20 Slides from the Past” – Unearth some of your
8th Thu masterpieces or simply items of interest – 1930.
10th Sat MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Christmas Carol Train – 1830 from Dereham.
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Christmas Evening – Members 10-minute presentations e.g.
17th Sat still and moving images, short talks, readings etc. Mince pies will be available in return for
donations to St Martin’s Housing Trust. If you require the slide projector please let me know a
22nd Thu day or two in advance - 1930.
30th - 31st Fri -Sat MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Christmas Jazz Train – 1930 from Dereham.
JANUARY 2017 NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “Railways on the Screen” – Arthur Barrett – 1930.
5th Thu MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – “Winter Warmer” Diesel Gala.
12th Thu NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “A Shed Called Volcano” (Argentine metre gauge) –
19th Thu Presentation by Ken Mills – 1930.
26th Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “Cars and Buses” – Peter Cooke – 1930.
FEBRUARY NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Chairman’s Address - “Berney Arms Past & Present and
2nd Thu Incidents & Special Days on the North Norfolk Railway” – Presentation by Ray Halliday – 1930.
9th Thu NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “Documents we had to collect” – Led by Mike Handscomb –
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “The Railways of Korea & Japan” – Presentation by
Christopher Joby (son of Hon. member Richard Joby) – 1930.
NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “An evening with Graham Smith” – 1930.
11th Sat NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY ANNUAL SHOW 1200 – 1700. Please see “flier” on page 14 for
Printed by Pride Press Ltd. Tel: 01603 665045.