Volume 58 No. 3 May/June 2013
news from railways in and around Norfolk
Seen From the Train Window: GEML: Norwich
to London: Journey Made on 2nd April 2013
This is the first of an occasional series of articles recording
items of railway interest (and others) viewed from a train
window. Upside is land adjoining the Up line heading towards
On the Downside, London/south side of the LC, a major
residential development is now taking place on the former
cement works site. The adjacent Snoasis leisure development
scheme is still to come forward. The recent Network Rail
spending plan proposals (for 2014 - 2019) did not mention the
proposed new station at this location.
Ipswich: Bacon Factory Curve project: “Jubilee” 4-6-0 45699 Galatea approaches Whitlingham on
The beginning of 2013 saw preliminary site works 19th May with 1Z45 “The Easterling” – a King’s Lynn – Ely –
commencing on the Upside from immediately south of the Norwich – Lowestoft – Ipswich – Ely – King’s Lynn special
A14 overbridge/tunnel continuing beside the Up line to the (Richard Adderson). Neither Richard nor yours truly can recall
former Harris Bacon Factory buildings in preparation for the a “Jubilee” visiting Norwich before! We would be pleased to
new curve linking the GEML to the East Suffolk Line which receive “chapter and verse” if anyone believes we’re wrong!
will allow container trains to run direct between Felixstowe
and the Midlands via Haughley Jn and Ely, avoiding the By March the Bacon Factory buildings had been demolished.
present reversal in Ipswich Upper Yard. Temporary boundary On several weekends during March train services were
fencing indicates that a wide strip of land is being acquired suspended between Ipswich and Norwich/Bury St Edmunds
beside the present railway formation – principally taken from to allow engineers to install new portal type overhead masts
the adjoining industrial estates but also involving the at Sproughton – where the new connections will be installed
demolition of a row of cottages set at 90 degrees to the enabling container trains to gain access to or from the new
railway. The new curve will allow container trains to be held Curve – on the Norwich route and to allow track renewal at
clear of the GEML and the ESL whilst awaiting a train path. Stowmarket and at Barham (beside the Lafarge discharge
In This Issue 1
Track Report 4 The 60mph tsr on Up Loop/Up Main trailing point which has
National Network applied since September 2012 was reduced to 30mph during
Heritage, Narrow Gauge & Miniature March 2013.
Away from the Tracks
Pick-up Goods 5 New Hall (north of Chelmsford) – site of historic railway loops:
Network Rail’s spending plan for 2014 - 2019 proposes the
10 construction of a new passenger station in this vicinity to
Features serve new residential developments north of Chelmsford. The
Roger Harrison's East Anglian Railways - possible provision of suitable loops serving the platforms
Mike Handscomb and Richard Adderson could help avoid delays currently experienced by non-stop
Points Emerging From the 1951 Summer
Saturday Timetable Part 2 - Ken Mills 11 Norwich services following close behind stopping services to
Working Timetable Braintree, etc., running a few minutes late.
15 Whilst not strictly of railway interest redevelopment of the site
behind the Up platform, London end, which has been fenced
off for many months has just commenced with earthworks Chadwell Heath:
and piling under way whilst demolition of the former extensive The footbridge structure spanning all lines between Chadwell
Marconi buildings on the Downside, country end of station, Heath and Goodmayes stations has been renewed recently.
commenced during March.
Pudding Mill Lane:
Chelmsford – Liverpool St OLE upgrade: On the Upside two major infrastructure projects in close
OLE renewal work is well underway to eradicate the historic proximity to one another are under way. The first is a new
compound catenary which suffers from sagging episodes viaduct structure and replacement Pudding Mill Lane station
during hot weather etc. The new catenary is supported on for the Docklands Light Railway creating space for the
new contact arms either attached to the historic mast Pudding Mill Lane portal for the Crossrail scheme. TBMs will
structures or new masts standing on piled steel tube be launched from Pudding Mill Lane and will drive new
foundations. Network Rail has taken over a large part of tunnels through to Farringdon.
Chelmsford Downside Yard (used in recent years for the
storage of Portakabin units) for the storage of OLE materials Speed restrictions necessitated by public footpaths:
in connection with this work. On a northbound journey towards Norwich all trains are now
subject, at two locations, to 50mph speed restrictions
Romford: approaching footpath crossings north of Needham Market
On the Upside just north of the OLE depot the site has been station and Burston ahb respectively due to limited sighting
cleared with reptile fencing barriers erected. Preparatory work distances occasioned by the curvature of the railway on the
including foundations has now commenced for the new approach side. In the Up direction sighting is much better and
Signalling Control Centre which will ultimately control all lines no restriction applies. These restrictions are likely to continue
in East Anglia fringing to York SCC to the north (14 such until either the FP crossing can be closed or diverted or
Centres will replace the 800 signalboxes in use today). Media replaced by a footbridge/subway. The FP crossing south of
reports of the spending plans indicated that Norwich to Great Stowmarket station has been closed and fenced off for a few
Yarmouth and Lowestoft lines could be the first areas months now allowing the long-standing 60mph limit to be
controlled by the new Romford SCC… lifted in the Up direction but possibly for other reasons the
Down line is still subject to a speed restriction.
Norfolk Railway Society
(Founded 1955) Kennett Rail Delivery Siding Comes to the aid of the A11;
missing section of dual carriageway to be addressed
President: Arnold Hoskins, Esq. After many years of prevarication a ceremonial start was
Vice-President: Ken Mills, Esq. made to the main construction contract during the week
commencing 21st January 2013 the completion of which by
Committee and Officers 2012-2013 Telephone December 2014 will see the A11 trunk road dualled
throughout with the present 9 mile long single carriageway
Chairman Gordon Bruce 01603 861389 section between Barton Mills roundabout and Thetford
Vice Chairman Peter Cooke 01508 530097
The main rail terminal for the receipt of construction material
Past Chairman Peter Adds 01508 492070 will be the Lafarge terminal at Kennett which is served by
setting back into the siding, with its undertrack discharge pit,
Secretary Ian Woodruff 01603 700856 off the eastbound line just east of Kennett station. Once
discharged the trains have to run forward to Bury St Edmunds
Treasurer John Laycock 01603 720125 for recessing in the Down Goods Loop. The locomotive is
detached to run round its train which is then propelled out into
Fixtures Arranged by sub-committee Bury St Edmunds station area. Once clear of the trailing
crossover and its protecting signal the signaller can set the
Membership Sec. Mike Handscomb 01953 605068 route allowing the empties to depart westwards.
Newsletter Editor Edward Mann 01603 456372 It is envisaged that up to 3 trains a day may operate to meet
the requirements of this highway improvement scheme.
Publicity Mike Fordham 01508 493437
Norwich almost cut off by rail for two weekends:
Committee Members: For two weekends during March, train services serving
Norwich were restricted to trains to/from the Ely line only as
Graham Kenworthy 01603 714479 engineering works closed all other routes to Sheringham,
Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Ipswich! Replacement bus
Chris Mitchell 01603 451692 service enthusiasts must have been delighted!
Peter Willis 01508 492562 Editor’s Note: Peter likes his acronyms and abbreviations.
Those of you having trouble with these should take comfort
—------------------------------ from the following crib-sheet which explains them:
Website Editor Andrew Wright 01508 492010 GEML = Great Eastern Main Line. LC = Level Crossing. ESL
= East Suffolk Line. tsr = temporary speed restriction. OLE =
Archivists Peter Allison & 01508 499723 Overhead line equipment. SCC = Signalling Control Centre.
TBMs = Tunnel Boring Machines. ahb = Automatic half-
Raymond Meek 01263 860662 barrier (level crossing). FP = footpath.
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter
Editor Edward Mann
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 the author's and
should not be taken to represent those of the Society.
Next issue published 8th August 2013
Copy date: 28th July 2013
Re-cycling Scheme at Norwich
Greater Anglia has introduced a cycle-hire scheme at Norwich
station. Travellers will now be able to book bicycles with their
trains. According to GA’s website: “ Cycle Station is an
innovative step towards encouraging people to explore the
East of England by Train and Bicycle.”
The scheme, which was opened by local MPs Simon Wright
and Chloe Smith, will have 30 bikes available costing from
£10 per day. (AW)
So far un-remarked upon in the Newsletter, the Beccles loop
was commissioned in time for the December 2012 timetable
changes enabling an hourly service to run on the East Suffolk
…and departs at 0925 for Ipswich, exiting the loop at the
south end of the station. > Andy Wright
track between Halesworth and Oulton Broad, restricted the
number of trains that could run.
Railfuture East Anglia branch together with the line’s rail user
group ESTA campaigned for many years for a passing loop at
Beccles, believing that an hourly service would be more
attractive to passengers.
Northward view of Beccles Station on 9 June 1963. In 2011 funding was provided with costs reduced by
> Ben Brooksbank (Creative Commons License) undertaking installation of the loop at the same time as
resignalling work. The scheme was funded by Network Rail
(£3m) and Suffolk County Council (£1m).
Many readers will no doubt recall the station as seen above, Work on the project commenced in March 2012 with the loop
with the island platform dominating the scene. Even then the being installed during May.
station was past its heyday with the Waveney Valley Line
having closed to passengers in 1953, freight (in stages) and The RETB system controlled the line from Westerfield to
finally in 1966 and the direct line to Yarmouth closing in 1959. Oulton Broad but had insufficient capacity to manage an
The locomotive shed was demolished in 2006. hourly service. It was replaced with Track Circuit Block
signalling between 19th and 22nd October and came into
During the 1960s the East Suffolk Line was threatened with operation on Tuesday 23rd October, controlled from the
closure and it was not until the 1980s, when the decision was existing signal box at Saxmundham. The loop itself opened
made to reduce costs significantly by replacing signal boxes on 10th December. (AW)
and manual level crossings with Radio Electronic Token Block
(RETB) signalling and automatic barriers at level crossings, Norfolk Rush Hour Congestion to Rise
that the threat was lifted. Reducing much of the line to single
track at the same time, including the 16 mile stretch of single New Network Rail predictions suggest a dramatic increase in
peak passenger numbers over the next 30 years. The
document ‘Long Term Planning Process: London and South
East Market Study Draft for consultation’ published in April
takes into account economic and population predictions and
plans by local authorities for housing development. Between
2011 and 2043 peak hour passengers along the Great
Eastern Main Line are forecast to rise from 19,500 to between
29,600 - 34,100 an increase of 52% - 75%. During the same
period the forecast rise on West Anglia is from 15,700 to
20,100 - 21,800, an increase of 28% - 39%.
Network Rail said the figures would be used to reach
informed investment decisions on the capability of the rail
network and the train services which operate on it.
Class 170 No.170203 arrives at Beccles on Friday 8 It said: “The ramifications of these decisions are profound, as
March 2013 with the 0907 service from Lowestoft…… railway assets such as signalling systems and rolling stock
are both expensive and long-lasting. A long term vision is
therefore required to optimise the value of future investment
and to avoid procurement of redundant assets.” (AW)
Heritage, Narrow-gauge Duchess on the Mid Norfolk
An example of Britain’s most powerful passenger locomotive will be
Fire at Sheringham Signal Box making a return visit to Norfolk for the Mid-Norfolk Railway’s Steam Gala
on 19th - 21st of July. The 1938-built Pacific Duchess of Sutherland will be
Sheringham East signal box was damaged by fire visiting the 11-mile line for three days before heading to Crewe for a
on the 22nd April some five months after being summer of mainline work. The 1938-built locomotive was once based just
moved to its new location adjacent to Sheringham 25 miles away from the line, when it used to be an exhibit at Bressingham
crossing. The fire started in a car which, Steam and Garden Centre near Diss.
moments earlier, parked in the Station Car Park
behind the signal box. The fire caused damage to Built to power express trains from London to Glasgow, it will be the first
the rear of the box but it is believed internal time a member of this class has worked along the line from Dereham to
damage was not serious and the structure Wymondham. It will also be only the second time this locomotive has
remains sound. A NNR member was working operated on a preserved railway away from its base, the Midland Railway
inside the box when the incident occurred but was Centre, and the first time it has operated away from home in Brunswick
able to get out without injury. No-one was hurt in Green. (From the MNR Website)
the incident but three cars in the car park suffered
extensive damage. Heritage Lottery Grant for North Norfolk Railway
Andy Wright took the picture (below) on 4th May. North Norfolk Railway has received £99,500 from the Heritage Lottery
The rear of the box has been boarded up Fund (HLF) to support ‘The Railways and the Suburbs’ project. Launched
following removal of some damaged timbers and in 2011, the project is a joint venture between the M&GN Joint Railway
the fencing also shows scorching. (AW) Society and the NNR and aims to restore four BR Mk.1 1950s Suburban
coaches which were were designed and built to serve the commuter trains
that ran from London King’s Cross and Moorgate.
The HLF grant will enable two coaches - S E46139 and CL E43041 - to be
restored and together with SLO E48001 and BS E43357 they will
eventually form a working set.
The project will also include an exhibition to enable visitors to learn about
the influence of the railways on the growth of the suburbs. This will add to
the educational aspect of the NNR’s work and also provide additional
rolling stock for the railway. The award follows support from the Heritage
Lottery Fund which enabled restoration of the four coach Quad Art set.
Hoeing the line
At 1800 on Sunday 12th May the MNR’s 2-car d.m.u. no. 101695 drew out
of Dereham station on a rainy evening. After not one but two runs up the
line to a point just beyond Hoe level-crossing the train returned to Dere-
ham at 1945. Its passengers, in the first northbound train for many years,
were those who had sponsored 5 or more sleepers (at £30 per sleeper),
and their donations had enabled another 2 miles to be added to Norfolk’s
railways. Occasional specials will use the line but there is no platform nor
station at Hoe, and the plan is to press on towards North Elmham. Did the
lucky passengers later indulge in a hoedown, I wonder? (With thanks to
the MNR website.)
Ashmanhaugh Open Day Away from the Tracks
More than 200 people attended the Ashmanhaugh Keeping the congregation warm – Yorkshire style!
Light Railway Open Day on the 5th May, which
was part of the Broads Outdoors Festival. While The church of St John the Baptist, Pockley, near Helmsley has a
the sun will have been enjoyed by visitors, remarkable claim to fame. It dates from around 1870 and was designed by
volunteers were presented with some challenges Sir George Gilbert Scott (of St Pancras fame) or his son. However, the
by the locomotives. According to the ALR website, solid fuel boiler powering the hypocaust (underfloor) heating system is fed
‘The Shay’ ground to a halt when a piston by an underground railway track through a tunnel leading from the outside
crankcase bolt worked loose. Fortunately this of the church. The bell-tower also serves as the chimney. Over the years
occurred on the new three track section and so the chimney had become blocked by bird debris etc and to operate the
was moved out of the way without much difficulty. modern multi-fuel stove the original flue and air vent system needed
The General ran short of battery power later in the modification.
afternoon but other performers - Sergeant,
Thunderbox and Lucille - ran satisfactorily. The 4
revised track layout and signalling was another
positive aspect of the day. (AW)
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
“The Monochrome Years - 1977” changed from the days of the old epidiascope (thankfully –
(21st March 2013) Ed).
As a last-minute replacement for our booked speaker, Beginning on New Year’s Eve 1977 at Doncaster and running
similarly-initialled Society stalwart David Pearce entertained a in monthly blocks – each month being given a descriptive
packed audience on an unseasonably-cold Spring Equinox in name – during the course of the year we visited locations
his own inimitable style, by giving a presentation he had such as Newark (including a visit to the station’s North box in
shown to another group the previous year. That year was, of its final week of existence), Shirebrook, King’s Cross,
course, Jubilee Year 2012, and David selected the year of his Spalding (the copious Flower Show traffic), sundry locations
subject by reflecting on a previous Jubilee 35 years earlier. in east Nottinghamshire (family connections), Northumberland
This was achieved by recounting stories in the news and the (the Morpeth area), the “Lenwade Awayday” on 17th
music scene month by month, and illustrating them with September, early preservation scenes at the NYMR and the
images of his own exploits. North Norfolk (this was the year when the J15 was first
recomissioned) and a rare photo of Liverpool Exchange
Pick any year in history, particularly recent history, and you station. When not travelling around the country or
will be surprised just how much happened in that one 12- photographing Deltics on the ECML, David seemed to spend
month period. Virtually every music story that year seemed to each weekend or school holiday down at Norwich Station,
involve The Sex Pistols, while the number of famous people whether it be photographing first-generation DMUs outside
who shuffled off this mortal coil included Sir Anthony Eden, their depot, noting the presence of the preserved ‘S15’
Peter Finch, Elvis Presley, Maria Callas, Marc Bolan, Bing undergoing repairs on shed, or recording the work involved in
Crosby, Charlie Chaplin and three members of rock band moving the scissors crossing between Platforms 2 & 3.
Lynyrd Skynrd killed in a plane crash. Famous – or infamous However, of most interest was his family summer holiday to
– records which topped the charts included platters by Leo Ireland, which seemed to encompass most of the country,
Sayer, Julie Covington, David Soul, Hot Chocolate, Deniece starting and ending in the Dublin area but venturing as far as
Williams, Brotherhood of Man, Rod Stewart, Baccara Waterford, Rosslare, Galway and Killarney, and noting the
(remember them?), Donna Summer, Abba, Status Quo and –
depending on whether you are referring to the NME charts or
the BBC list – The Sex Pistols with “God Save the Queen”. In
the news, Fleetwood Mac released their seminal album
“Rumours”, Red Rum won the Grand National for the third
time, London Transport painted a fleet of buses silver in
honour of the Silver Jubilee, Geoff Boycott scored his 100th
First Class cricket century, Concorde began regular services
to New York, “Star Wars” hit the cinemas, the Piccadilly Line
was extended to Heathrow and Sir Freddie Laker introduced
his budget “Skytrain” service. One news item overlooked by
David was Anglia TV’s broadcast of its infamous April Fool
spoof documentary “Alternative 3” which claimed to prove the
existence of life on Mars and scientists being flown there to
work with the little green men!
But the “alternative” to these matters on offer today was a The driver of C.I.E. A class no. 022 exchanges his token at
selection of David’s stunning photography, which basically Westport (County Mayo) whilst working a freight train on
was a look back into his personal diary showing what he got 4th August 1977 (David Pearce)
up to. David is well known for his black-and-white
photography, having been heavily influenced by his hero, variety of first-generation General Motors diesel traction on
radical photographer-par-excellence Colin Gifford (whose offer. And if that wasn’t enough, he also visited the Isle of
seminal and much-sought-after tome “Each A Glimpse” has Man, recording scenes of the steam railway (including
recently been reprinted). The wonders of modern technology Douglas station still with its canopies), the Snaefell tramway
have enabled David to digitize his images and present them and a brief look at Ramsey station together with some
on screen in a PowerPoint presentation - how times have remains of the Northern line to Peel.
By the time we had reached the year’s end we were all pretty
well out of breath but hungry for more! Chairman Peter Adds
thanked David on behalf of a most appreciative audience.
Irish Steam and Railway Change in East Anglia
(4th April 2013)
A busy scene at Newark (North Gate) as 47552 restarts a The speaker for the evening, William (“Bill”) Wood, was
Cleethorpes – King’s Cross train on 7th June 1977 (David making a welcome return to the Society – his last
Pearce) presentation being in 2007 - and he began his talk with the
second part first, for reasons which became self-evident.
During 2010/11 Bill’s latest digital video camera had recorded
various steam hauled specials, featuring both preserved
Britannias and Tornado, passing through the countryside at With the Black Forest main line therefore no longer available
Santon Downham and Stowmarket with activity at Norwich. It and the normal commercial route across the Rhine falling into
was good to be reminded of the celebrations associated with Swiss hands (via a border bulge) an order was issued to build
the formal opening of the North Norfolk Railway’s main line an alternative route between Waldshut-Tiengen and Weizen,
connection at Sheringham and to see the RHTT locomotives roughly following the river Wutach, for the purpose of
and trainsets all in pristine condition arriving at Stowmarket in transporting military equipment and personnel. NATO also
preparation for the new season and activity on the Mid Suffolk saw the line’s strategic value and ensured it was maintained
and Mid Norfolk lines. to a high standard as tanks were hidden in the tunnels away
from the prying eyes of the KGB.
After the interval Bill proudly showed, via his vintage cine
projector, new in 1982, Standard 8 and Super 8 cine film While the outer ends of this 61km route were relatively
taken by at least three generations of his family with some conventional, the central section involved a difference in
early, probably the first, Kodachrome 1 cine colour film (ASA height of 250m, with the gradient not allowed to exceed 1 in
5) recording Irish railway steam operations taken by his 100. Accordingly, a series of loops, bridges, tunnels and
grandfather in November 1934. Scenes showed the running spirals was built between Blumberg and Weizen – 9.5km as
in of Beyer Peacock built VS Class 4-4-0 207 Boyne and the crow flies but 26.5km to traverse by rail! This central
subsequent use; fly shunting; 1933 scenes of the narrow section – rivalling Switzerland’s Albulabahn – has been
gauge railway serving the Guinness brewery in Dublin with a christened the Pigtail line (or Sauschwänzlebahn).
later view of one of the redundant narrow gauge locomotives
continuing to operate within a broad gauge trolley; various Now operated as a preserved line, having been purchased by
views taken in and around the Portadown & Drogheda areas. the town of Blumberg for DM1 in 1976, steam locos now
Footplate crews were remarkably welcoming, and he seemed operate the line, and John’s visit saw a 1939-built 2-8-2T in
to have no difficulty in securing footplate rides! action. Two other locos are also based on the line, which are
overhauled at Meiningen Works. We saw photos of the three
A Queen Class locomotive built in 1939 for the Dublin to Cork spectacular viaducts plus a grandstand view of one of the
route, then almost uniquely able to take its 23 ton axle many vistas at which trains could be seen apparently
loading, was presented by the CIE to the Ulster Transport constantly changing direction as they negotiated the spirals.
Authority (UTA) in 1964 and there was extensive film
coverage of its movement to a museum location near Belfast. John’s presentation concluded with some video film of a 1990
The locomotive’s weight necessitated its separation from the Gala event, which featured 10 different engines. Central to
train locomotive by a number of open wagons being inserted this was on-train footage of a derailment the day before the
between the two locomotives within the train formation. In event was due to open, and how Deutsche Bahn had
1963 CIE became the first European country to achieve a dispatched a re-railing crew to the scene in the dying embers
fully dieselised railway undertaking utilising American of the evening and worked all night to recover the errant train.
assistance in the shape of GM-built diesel locomotives, and Remarkably, the train was removed and track and signalling
the rapid dieselisation led to some perfectly-serviceable repaired in time for the Gala to commence on time!
locomotives being purchased by the UTA. Modern traction
was not overlooked with views of the now withdrawn re-
gauged BR built Mk3 sets (with power operated doors)
operating with a generator van in the train formation and their
replacements, the Irish Mk4 sets (no relation to the East
Coast route Mk 4s). Also seen were the UTA Derby-built
Jeeps – the last steam locomotives in British main line service
– working hard on motorway construction trains.
Some of the film shown was taken during the Troubles and
Bill’s presentation included personal reminiscences of just
how dangerous it could be to take films of railways in both
rural and urban locations with appropriate religious and
political references of the time setting the context.
Much-deserved applause marked the conclusion of Bill’s Summit station of Schynige Platte Bahn. > Graham
presentation. (Peter Adds) Kenworthy.
The Pigtailbahn and 45 Years of Railways
around Interlaken (2nd May 2013)
The date – 2nd May – was that of the local council elections, After the coffee break, Graham Kenworthy took over
which made the news because of the rise of the UK presentation, recalling three visits to the Swiss town of
Independence Party. Totally unfazed by that, the Norfolk Interlaken – in 1967 on his honeymoon, 1992 for his silver
Railway Society took the opposite view, with two of its own wedding, and again last year. To the uninitiated, Switzerland
members taking us deep into the heart of Europe. is the ‘chocolate-box image’ played for real, and Graham’s
pictures showed just how much the Swiss care for their
First up was John Hanchet. John spends a lot of his time in country and its landscape – no grimy stations, litter or graffiti
Germany, mainly through work, but he does make sure he here, everything was neat and tidy . . . and running like
finds time to seek out and explore the country’s railways. On clockwork. Nestling between lakes Thun and Brienz,
this sunlit evening, he took us to the southern Black Forest Interlaken is now a major tourist centre, located as it is near
region, and the Wutachtalbahn. This remarkable line was the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains or the Bernese
built in the latter 19th Century, largely for strategic reasons Oberland, and for those not embarking in mountaineering or
following Germany’s annexing of the Alsace and Lorraine water sports, visitors are spoilt for choice in railways!
regions from France and the possibility of a French reprisal.
I’m not going to go into detail here about all of the lines visited early timetables were purely local in nature. Sadly he died in
– it will simply take too long! But during the course of the Norway in 1853 after contracting cholera.
presentation we visited the Harderbahn (a funicular at the
north end of the town); the Heimwehfluhbahn (another It would be interesting to know when most railway companies
funicular leading to a restaurant and model railway); the began to issue their own timetables, but Bradshaw had the
Schynige Platte line connecting Wilderswil with the Alpine lion’s share of the market for many years. Its popularity must
gardens at the summit; the Brienz-Rothorn Bahn (spectacular have declined as other forms of transport challenged the
rack line to the top of the Rothorn mountain); the Giessbach railways, and the last one appeared in May 1961. By then it
funicular (accessed from Lake Brienz); the town of Meiringen, cost 12/6 (62½p) whilst the astute enthusiast could pick up
with its Sherlock Holmes connections, and particularly the the six Regional timetables (ER, NER, ScR, LMR, WR & SR)
for a mere 6/- (30p).
Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide was published
between 1847 and 1914, and was briefly restored after WW1,
only to be permanently discontinued in 1939. There was also
a Bradshaw’s Air Guide, which started publication in 1934.
Presumably it was not revived after WW2.
The Bradshaw Handbook, so beloved by Michael Portillo, is in
4 parts combined into a single volume. Some of the 1860s
prose is unlike anything we would use today. For example, for
Bury St Edmunds its description opens: “An old Saxon town
and parliamentary borough, situated in so healthy a spot that
it has been called the Montpelier of England†, in a beautiful
part of West Suffolk…” Recommended hotels include the
Angel, which is still with us today.
Sunday morning preserved steam excursion from Norwich gets a couple of close-typed pages to itself, and the
Interlaken Ost to Giswil via Meiringen. > Graham writer is clearly strong on his ecclesiastical history. King’s
Kenworthy Lynn was still Lynn Regis. Lowestoft “… stands on a
considerable eminence, commanding extensive views of the
Reichenbach funicular and the Aar tramway to Innertkirchen German Ocean and surrounding country.” Yarmouth’s
through the spectacular Aar Gorge; the nearby Ballenberg description ends with this reassuring sentence: ”The town is
Museum; and of course the railways of the Berner Oberland defended seaward by three Batteries; and it contains a Naval
Bahn, to Lauterbrunnen (via a detour up the now-converted- Hospital, and Barracks for the East Norfolk regiment of
to-cable-car funicular to the Murren line), Wengen, Kleine Militia, and the Norfolk Artillery Militia. Fakenham was called
Scheidegg and Grindelwald to – literally – the ‘Top Of Europe’ Fakenham Lancaster, and in the neighbourhood is Burnham
at Jungfraujoch. Thorpe, “the birthplace of the gallant Nelson”.
If anyone has a Kelly’s Directory of the period I suspect both
writers would say much the same.
At the end of a most rewarding evening, the audience gave * For clarity, the Bradshaw Handbook does not contain any
their appreciation to the two speakers. Many thanks to train times.
Gordon Bruce for the meeting notes, and for the time and † An appellation it shared with Torquay!
effort spent in getting the names correct – Ed.
And finally…Dartmouth is often cited as the only “railway
Bradshaw’s Guide station” without any tracks. I have recently read that this is
incorrect, and that the honour should be shared with Hull
Those of you who have watched any of the Michael Portillo Victoria Pier “station”. Do we have a member from the Land
series – Great British Railway Journeys – will know that he of Green Ginger who is able to shed light on this matter?
cannot be separated from his Bradshaw’s Handbook*. It is Others to have been located are Waterhead Pier (Ambleside)
indispensable, and where would famous writers be without and Bowness Pier (Windermere). They were full stations from
their Bradshaw? Having read several of the Sherlock Holmes Furness Railway times until finally transferred to Sealink and
novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes’ instruction to then out of railway ownership on privatisation. It would be
Watson to find the time of the express to Tavistock, or interesting to know more about Shotley in Suffolk, which
wherever, was a prelude to getting to their next case with all might also qualify. (EM)
possible haste. Paddington & Waterloo were the stations
most used by the estimable author, but St Pancras is Deepest Wales (yet again)
A reader has written to say that during the 1950s/60s there
And yet Bradshaw, the man, did not wake up one morning was a daily fish train from Grimsby to Whitland, worked by an
and say: “I know, I’ll produce a railway timetable”. He had Immingham loco (B1 or K3 – Ed.) to Banbury. He asks: “Does
been born in Lancashire on 29th July 1801, and became a any member know what locos worked this train from Banbury
printer and engraver of canal maps in Manchester. Imagine to Whitland, and why was Whitland used as a distribution
the difficulties that preceded the publication of his first centre?”
timetable in 1838. Getting the information for a start, and then
grappling with myriad “local times” in force throughout the Editor’s Note: I think I can answer the second part of his
country (the GWR was first to standardise its time in 1840) question, but I would like to hear from anyone familiar with the
must have presented great challenges, and presumably his Whitland/Carmarthen area, please.
The postcard of an olde-worlde Elm Hill is by Claude Muncaster, and dates from the 1930s, though presumably the early 1930s
as it states that an illustrated booklet is available from any LMS station or agency (the LMS dropped out of the M&GN “Joint” in
1936) or their LNER counterparts. It’s from a Double-Royal poster (24”x 40”), and one wonders just what illustrated booklets were
available at stations.
Artistic licence has been carried to new levels when you look at the photograph of Norwich Castle, viewed from the old Riverside.
Unusually, the sky is yellow, just possible on a cold winter’s day, I suppose, though factory smoke is conspicuously absent. The
artist is Frank Mason, whose potted biography was in NRS/NL 58/2 p.10. Again, its origins are a Double-Royal poster of the
Having eliminated Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire from possible locations(!), this is actually Orford Ness in Suffolk. However, the
train traveller intent on visiting Orford Ness would have had a lot of trouble. Presumably a long walk from Aldeburgh (then rail-
served) was the best way. At least walkers of the period were probably spared the military’s takeover of the area! Once again,
Frank Mason is the artist, and the postcard originated from a Double-Royal poster of 1926. BR produced a 1950s poster of Orford
Ness, again by Frank Mason, but I think the earlier view has a slight edge.
Really Earning your M & S Voucher! 5. The Caledonian Railway ran steamers to Kenmore
Pier. What was the nearest railway station to Kenmore Pier
The Branch Line Society’s usual pre-Christmas quiz was set and which railway operated it? A = Aberfeldy on the Highland
some 5 months ago, but the answers have only just been Railway.
published. Questions ranged across the British Isles, but to
get your £5 voucher the winner needed to be able to answer 6. Which station in the north-west of England was a
questions such as the following: terminus, despite the apparent denial of that fact in its name?
A = Knott End.
1. Which river gave its name to both a railway station
and a bus company? A = Trent. Bittern at 90 mph
2. Numerous stations including the word Oxford are Network Rail has given special dispensation to A4 Pacific
well-known; but where was Oxford Lane stopping place? A = 4464 Bittern to run three trips at up to 90mph over the East
On the Wantage Tramway – the first halt after leaving the Coast Main Line. The announcement follows over a year of
junction. talks between Locomotive Services Ltd, Network Rail and
3. Which 2 Irish Railway Companies ran a passenger On Saturday 29th June the ‘Capital Streak’ will run from King’s
service for only 10 years; one 1868-1878, and the other 1875- Cross to York. Beyond Potters Bar 66 miles of track have
1885? The former then closed completely, the latter retained been identified as suitable for running in excess of 75 mph. A
a goods service and reopened to passengers some 90 years Class 90 locomotive will head the return journey.
later. A = The Parsonstown & Portumna Bridge Railway
(1868) and the Belfast Central Railway (1875). The ‘Tyne-Tees Streak’ will follow on 19th July leaving Bristol
Temple Meads behind a Class 67 diesel. From York Bittern
4. Reedley Hallows had a railway station from about will head the train on the return trip to Newcastle with the
1905 to 1956. The place, however, has a greater fame in opportunity for high speed running on both legs.
tramway circles – why? A = Reedley Hallows Parish Council
was the only Parish Council in the UK ever to own a tramway. Finally on 27th July there will be a third ‘Streak’ running from
King’s Cross to York.
Riding the Trams & Trolleys Letter to the Editor
It was pleasing to receive some feedback to The Cambridge
Busway – A Pragmatic Opinion – which appeared in NRS/NL
57/6 & NRS/NL 58/1 – and quite revealing it is too! Our
correspondent, who rejoices under the title “A Nonny Mouse”,
Members of the Norfolk Transport Group enjoyed rides on the “One of our schemes with the new and (very) keen NSE
trams and trolleybuses at the East Anglia Transport Museum, Management (we in the Area acted as their Agent) was to
Carlton Colville, on the evening of 9th May. Although the re-open the line to passengers from St Ives to Cambridge,
evening was chilly, the event was well-supported and thanks re-fettling the existing single track which then wasn’t in too
are due to the Museum for opening specially, and to John bad a nick. Deep re-ballasting would be necessary, and the
Laycock for organising the coach. Although Lowestoft Ministry insisted on automated level crossings en route.
Corporation discontinued its trams in 1931, the photograph Funding was put together, there was also to be an extension
(above) – courtesy of Mike Fordham – shows tramcar no. 14 from Trumpington to take in Addenbrooke’s. I spent hours on
in the course of restoration. No. 14 had spent a long period as the costings, which - for the time (late 1980s – Ed.) – were a
part of a local bungalow before being acquired. (EM) little on the large side, working with NSE HQ. But we needed
an input from the County Council to clinch it, and this was
A Sad Loss NOT forthcoming – in fact they were just not interested. The
whole scheme was to cost the then immense sum of £2M,
The railway press has recently reported the death of Hugh and the Council said they couldn’t afford even a quarter of
Ballantyne on 29th March last at the age of 79. He gave us a this! So the scheme floundered, I packed it in in 1995, but
wonderful presentation on 20th October 2005. R.I.P. have always remembered it – although my figures were a
long time ago! But WHAT, I ask, was the cost of this
Preserved Railways to think about benighted Busway? Yes, you know! And STILL all it does is
get snarled up in the traffic when the buses get to Cambridge,
The Eden Valley Railway and the concrete won’t last more than 5 years…”
This short line is off the A66 between Brough & Appleby.
Trains run between 1100 and 1600, mainly on Sundays but Mystery Map
with some weekdays at the end of July and during August.
Trains consist of a Class 205 “Thumper” unit powered by a It was pleasing that so many members correctly answered
600 h.p. English Electric diesel (Class 73) or their unique the quiz in NRS/NL 58/2 p.10 by giving the location as Forge
twin-battery powered Motor Luggage Vans hauling a Kent Valley, on the Pickering - Seamer line, which closed from 5th
Coast Express 4-car set. Originally, the line was part of the June 1950. This closure was the first of the closures of the
Eden Valley Railway which ran between Kirkby Stephen and lines radiating from Pickering, being followed by the winding
Penrith – see NRS/NL 58/2 p.13. Their post code is CA16 route that eventually joined the ECML at Pilmoor (2nd
6PR, their website is www.evr-cumbria.org.uk and their February 1953) and then the route to Rillington on the Malton
telephone number is 017683-42309. – Scarborough line from 8th March 1965, and its northward
extension to Grosmont (also 8th March 1965), though I’m
sure many members will have travelled from Pickering to
Grosmont under NYMR ownership.
Now, how good is your railway knowledge when confronted
with a map with no identifying names on it? Do not be fooled
into thinking that any of the numbering on the map relates to
road numbers! The only clue I will give is that the town once
had two stations, only one of which is open to passenger
services today. No prize is offered – send your answers to the
Editor please. Thanks to David Pearce for supplying the map
The West Somerset Railway
By contrast, the WSR is at the other end of the
country and runs between Bishop’s Lydeard
(close to Taunton) and Minehead. It is the
longest preserved line in the country (22.75
miles). They have an impressive steam and
diesel locomotive fleet and, apart from 3
Fridays in October, are now running a daily
service until 3rd November. “Day Out With
Thomas” phobes are advised to avoid the first
two weekends of July. If you are nearby, a
visit to the medieval village of Dunster & its
Castle is recommended. Bishop’s Lydeard
station (TA4 3RU) is on the A358, their website
is www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk and their
telephone number is 01643-704996.
Bluebell Trip and Summer Reports ___________NRS NEWS
Mike Fordham sent this image of a poster at Kingscote Society Annual General Meeting
station on 18th May. The poster relates to the match between
Norwich City and Leyton Orient on 26th September 1964, It was pleasing that so many members attended our AGM on
City winning 2:0. Richard Adderson advises that the 18th April, though an unfortunate absentee was Ray Meek
goalscorers were Gordon Bolland & Gerry Mannion. who had been injured in his garden. We wish him well.
Society meetings resume at the URC on Thursday 19th The main points are:
September, and of course the first meeting will be the ● Gordon Bruce is our new Chairman, succeeding Peter
customary Members’ Summer Reports. If you wish to show Adds who we thank for his hard work.
some of your images of this trip we will be preparing a slide Gordon reminded everyone that the Great Eastern Railway
show in advance to avoid - according to the rules of Radio 4’s Society (Norwich Branch) meetings and the Norfolk Transport
‘Just a Minute’ - repetition, repetition or repetition. You are Group meetings are open to everybody and recommended
invited to submit up to 15 images from which a selection will Society members attend the excellent programmes on “non-
added to the presentation. Please send your images to Andy Norfolk Railway Society Thursdays”.
Wright (Discs and memory sticks will be returned) ● We had some difficulty exchanging the customary “badges
of office” as our efforts to find a new Vice-Chairman had
drawn a blank. Thankfully, Peter Cooke came forward at the
interval and agreed to be Vice-Chairman, and so (a little later
than usual) the “badges of office” exchange was duly
● Peter Willis will be taking over the organisation of next
year’s Annual Show on 1st March 2014.
● The subscription for 2014 will be unchanged (£18.50).
● Although 2 members sadly passed away during the year,
membership currently stands at 95.
● More members are required to write meeting reports,
please. Volunteers for the autumn session should please
speak to the Editor. It isn’t very difficult, and is an area where
the rank-and-file members can put something back into
running the Society.
We are pleased to welcome the following new members:
B12 heads west
Spencer Copland, Norwich.
Geoff Gowing has advised that the B12 left the NNR on 20th Peter Walker,, Norwich.
May for a short spell on the GWRS at Toddington and was
due back at the end of May. Apparently it looked superb, the
support crew having done a great job in cleaning her [perhaps More in the next issue on our
showing the GWRS what a really clean LNER loco looked trip to the Bluebell Railway.
like]. Headboard artwork by Janet
Smith and photograph (right) by
How Times Change
Andy Wright gave an enjoyable Great Eastern Mike Fordham.
Railway Society (Norwich Branch) presentation on
25th April, part of which was a British Transport film
about the Severn Tunnel. We also saw that the area
around Severn Tunnel Junction station has changed
(improved?) considerably. Back in the days of steam,
the motive power depot was at the eastern (Tunnel)
end of the station, whilst at the western (Welsh) end
there was a large marshalling yard which, in more
recent times, incorporated a diesel depot. Andy’s
Google Earth pictures brought us up to date and
there’s no sign of the marshalling yard and diesel
depot now. Severn Tunnel Junction station seems to
have been modernised, to take advantage of the
surrounding residential development. The station
never had much of a service, mainly on a Gloucester
(Central) – Cardiff axis, with a few Bristol – Cardiff
trains for good measure. Now, would you believe,
most services originate at Maesteg and run through Their combined ages is a closely-guarded secret but (left to right) Ray
to either Cheltenham or Birmingham at hourly Meek, Peter Allison, Christine Allison, Bernice Whiting and Maureen
intervals! The Maesteg branch had closed in 1970 Moore were taking it easy during our visit on 18th May. > Andy Wright
but, after a local campaign, re-opened in 1992.
Roger Harrison's East Anglian Railways we always came back to the layout which was eventually
Some notes on its production by Mike Handscomb Having decided on the geographical area to cover, we then
had to select which photographs to use. We were able to
By now every qualifying NRS member should be the proud dismiss maybe 40% of the images because they were outside
owner of a copy of Roger Harrison's East Anglian Railways. our chosen boundaries, and we agreed that the guidelines
An explanatory letter accompanied each copy, but I thought a had to be a good quality negative, an interesting subject
brief account of how the book came about might be of (preferably not simple locomotive portraits), and as wide a
interest. Of course, this isn't the first time the NRS has selection of locations as we could achieve. Without any
published a book. The Society's 10th and 25th exaggeration, we could easily have produced a book of the
anniversaries were each marked with a small commemorative same size featuring the area between Trowse Swing Bridge
publication. At our 40th anniversary in 1995 another booklet and Thorpe station alone. We each went through the
reproduced a selection of excerpts from the NRS Newsletter collection individually, marking the negative envelopes with
over the years. our selections, and thankfully our choices tallied almost
exactly. We weren’t going to fall out about those few where
our opinions differed, so decided to put them all on to an
initial short list of some 300 pictures.
The next stage was to scan all 300 negatives to an
acceptable standard for reproduction and, having done so, to
agree on a final selection to use. Thank goodness for digital
technology – the exercise would have been a non-starter if
we’d had to produce this number of dark room prints.
However, we don't have negatives for all the prints in the
collection (and indeed vice-versa), and it quickly became
apparent that there were a number of images which would
enhance the finished product but were only available only
as prints. So back to the scanner… Meanwhile Ken Mills had
agreed to write the foreword, which was fitting as our Vice-
Chairman had known Roger for many years, and his text
struck exactly the right note.
But Roger Harrison's East Anglian Railways is in a different Now Davidʼs previous experience with the production of Blurb
league entirely, both in its physical size and in its production books paid dividends, as he burnt a considerable amount of
values. It owes its existence to three factors: midnight oil working on the page layouts, ensuring that the
pictures and pages were correctly lined up and that the whole
● Roger's generous bequest to the Society; presentation looked as professional as possible. Prior to this
● the advent of print-on-demand websites such as the pictures had been “tweaked” to ensure maximum pictorial
impact – this involved some judicious cropping as the majority
Blurb; of the images came from square negatives, as well as
● the willingness of David Pearce and Richard adjustments to the lighting and contrast where necessary.
Apart from this, none of the pictures were doctored in any
Adderson to devote an enormous amount of time way, and this is a testament to the quality of Rogerʼs
and expertise to its production. negatives.
Work on the book began in late 2011, once the NRS The captioning was another aspect which caused some
Committee had given the project its blessing. Richard discussion, and we decided on the simple scheme adopted -
Adderson takes up the story: location, train details and date – as we wanted to show off
Rogerʼs pictures and to let them speak for themselves, rather
As far as David Pearce and I were concerned,
it all started with a biscuit tin containing
something over 800 negatives, a shoebox full
of 7” x 5” prints and a glovebox filled with 3½”
x 2½” prints. This was the collection which
Roger Harrison had bequeathed to the
Society, and we had agreed to the
Committeeʼs request to use it to produce a
book for the membership.
Having pored over the pictures for some time,
we had to decide where to start, and we could
go nowhere without deciding on the theme of
the book. Our rationale for the
eventual selection is explained in the
compilersʼ notes at the start of the book, and
need not be repeated here. Suffice it to say
that we discussed various other options, but
A section of the Blurb factory
than distract the reader with information that he might already a few comments:
know and which might not interest him anyway.
Just opened my copy of Roger Harrison's book. May I say
By mid-November we were ready to order a hard copy of the a big thank you for it. A work of art.
book. This duly arrived, and we studied it eagerly - and (Andrew Stevenson)
critically. Some of the page margins needed adjusting, but
otherwise we were happy with the product, and ready to ...I served in the Norwich and Cambridge Divisions from
present it to the Committee so that they could make the 1957 to 1960 and again in the mid/late 60s so the book
“business” decisions about how the book was to be made brings back many pleasant recollections of a period now
available. long since gone. The book has been very well presented
and is a fitting tribute to Roger Harrison.
Further Committee discussions then came down in favour of (David Ward)
using higher-quality paper and presenting the book as a
hardback with a dustwrapper. With so much work having ...you have done Roger proud...I am really impressed.
gone into the book, we didn't want to skimp on quality right at (Chris Bassham)
I really thought my birthday present had arrived early.
I was 'volunteered' by the Committee to act as distribution What a superb book...it's not often these days that I look
manager. My sole qualifications for this task were that I had at a new book without a sigh as most of the photos I have
storage space for 100 large books, and that I regularly pack seen before but this one really excels.
and send out parcels by post or courier. However this also
meant it was my responsibility to order the books from Blurb – (Roger Kingstone)
a worrying prospect given that I would be spending £3,500 or
so of NRS funds through an unfamiliar website. Fortunately What a beautiful book and so lovingly put together and
Dave Pearce understands the nooks and crannies of the laid out. A superb creation.
Blurb site, and he calmed my nervousness about pressing the (John Woods)
wrong button by sitting at my shoulder when I placed the
order. ...the glowing reviews of its content are certainly justified.
It is fantastic - a first class piece of work by all concerned
Blurb books are printed in the Netherlands and air-freighted ... gets even better on the second run through as you
to Stansted, but so speedy is the process that in no time at all appreciate the detail captured by the photographer
a FedEx van arrived at my house with eight heavy cartons. (Bill Bower)
It was only right that Joyce Harrison, Roger's widow, should To finish, a further note from Richard Adderson. Having
be thefirst to see the book, so a copy went off to her straight peered more closely at the shot of no. 61572's cab
away. Joyce professed herself delighted at this tribute to her surrounded by admirers (in the 'Norwich City' section),
late husband. Richard now realises that the eager young lad next to the loco
tender is our member Peter Gifford, while standing in the cab
All that remained was to get a book to each NRS member. doorway is Percy, husband of our late member Phyllis
Many were collected at a meeting, and several members, Youngman.
notably Mike Fordham, Richard Adderson and Edward Mann,
were kind enough to deliver copies to others who lived
nearby. That just left a few to be dispatched by courier –
cheaper, surprisingly, than Royal Mail.
Reaction to the book has been very favourable. Here are just
Points Emerging From the 1951 Summer Saturday Timetable – Part 2
(For Part 1, please see NRS/NL 58/2 p.11)
1. Looking at the first entry in the table, you will understand why I have every admiration for the hardy holidaymakers from
Mansfield, who were prepared for an overnight journey through darkest Norfolk, leaving their hometown just before midnight
only to be awakened in Yarmouth at the unearthly hour of 0630, and unable to access their accommodation until several
hours later. I note that the return working departed Yarmouth at 1130, but at least those holidaymakers had the benefit of a
night’s sleep and would be travelling back in daylight hours. I just hope that that the weather at Yarmouth that week was hot
and sunny, the sea and sand warm, the beer cold, and the evening entertainment first-class – those overnighters deserved it.
Editor’s note: Maybe later than 1951 this train was effectively sponsored by local working men’s clubs and miners’ welfare
organisations, and was unusually composed mainly of open stock – everything, presumably, to facilitate beer sales! The
same set of stock made the inward & outward journeys. And its routeing was interesting too – more later.
2. Commencing in Lowestoft at 0815, reversing at Yarmouth Beach to leave at 0900, then picking up through coaches from
Norwich (City) and Cromer (Beach) at Melton Constable between 1020 and 1028 was the M&GN flagship conveyance.
Known locally as “the Leicester” (as far as M&GN locomotives worked) this weekday only service went through to
Birmingham New Street (in summer to King’s Norton) and was operated up to the final day of the M&GN on 28th February
1959. On summer Saturdays, however, there was no pick-up at Melton of the through coaches from Cromer (Beach). The
possible reason for this was the operation of two trains from Cromer (Beach) to the Birmingham area at 0835 and 0910, both
of which required reversal in Melton at 0930-0936 and 0950-0958 respectively, and indicated some slick station working to
effect a 6-8 minute turn-round. Arrival in Birmingham New St was 1539 and King’s Norton 1600. Because of the “through”
coaches from Norwich (City) to the Midlands, therefore no need to change trains, I can remember my paternal grandmother
using this train on a few occasions in the late 1940s and early 1950s when visiting my Uncle Lionel who lived just north of
Leicester. Leaving Birmingham New St at 1345, the return working arrived Melton 1812 and departed 1818 for Lowestoft
(Central). In those 6 minutes, two coaches were removed for Norwich (City) and a further two for Cromer (Beach), additional
evidence that the station staff had to perform this operation six days a week in all weathers and obviously were highly skilled
in the particular task.
3. By adding the arrivals and departures together, the train movements totalled 117 over the 19 hours of Saturday working from
0500 to midnight, giving an average of 6 movements per hour. During the busiest period from 0900 to 1700, however, there
were 78 movements, increasing the average to 10 movements per hour.
4. Summer Saturday trains were marked with “SS” on the left-hand edge of the timetable and are listed below in chronological
2355(F) Mansfield (Midland) to Yarmouth (Beach)
0855 Cromer (Beach) to Birmingham New St
0825 Yarmouth (Beach) to Nottingham Midland
0910 Cromer (Beach) to King’s Norton
0915 Yarmouth (Beach) to Leicester London Road
0700 Leicester London Road to Yarmouth (Beach)
0840 Lowestoft (Central) to Derby Midland
0750 Leicester London Road to Cromer (Beach)
0900 Lowestoft (Central) to Leicester London Road
1110 Yarmouth (Beach) to Leicester London Road
0900 Leicester London Road to Yarmouth (Beach)
1130 Yarmouth (Beach) to Mansfield (Midland)
0935 Nottingham Midland to Yarmouth (Beach)
1020 Nottingham Midland to Yarmouth (Beach)
1000 Derby Midland to Lowestoft (Central)
0905 King’s Norton to Lowestoft (Central)
1500 Yarmouth (Beach) to Leicester (London Road)
5. (Editorial observation – The 0700 ex-Leicester and the 1500 ex-Yarmouth offered the possibility of a day return trip. In theory,
if not in practice, it was the only other service to use the same set of stock for the inward and outward journeys.)
6. Eleven services each way operated on summer Saturdays on the branch to Norwich (City) station. There was a handy late
evening departure from Norwich at 2245 so that the country folk(!) could enjoy a show/cinema/couple of pints etc and get
home without the risk of being “breathalysed”. Oddly, this train was extended to Weybourne where it arrived at 2353 (the
Mon-Fri service was 8 trains each way).
7. Summer Saturdays provided the Cromer branch with 16 departures from Melton and 18 arrivals. Apart from the trains using
Cromer (Beach), there were the through services to and from Norwich (Thorpe) / Liverpool St, which avoided Beach station
but usually called at Cromer (High).
8. Unusual services included the following:
(a) Through train from Cromer (Beach) 0632 to Yarmouth (Beach) arr 0846 and the return working from Yarmouth
(Beach) 1815 to Cromer (Beach) arr 2042. No reversal needed at Melton Constable; something I had not
(b) 1730 Norwich (City) to Fakenham (West) arr 1842. No clue in the timetable as to what happened next. (Later in
the decade it returned empty to Melton Constable to form the following day’s 0650 Melton – Holt) – presumably
the 0642 ex- Melton in Part 1 - Ed.)
(c) 2245 Norwich (City) to Weybourne arr 2353. There is no clue in the timetable as to what happened next. Can
this be explained, please?
(d) 1530 Liverpool St to Holt arr 1932. Once again, the timetable gives no clue – Help, please.
I have concluded that in (b) & (c) the loco ran round its train and returned to Melton empty-stock. In (d) above, after
disgorging its passengers at Holt, did the train simply
continue, empty, to Melton, or as an unadvertised
service? If I am correct, the above 3 “un-timetabled”
arrivals would even up my total arrivals to 60, equal to
departures. Job done!
9. Waiting time at the platform by through services – minutes
timetabled 268 divided by 60 = 4 hours 28 minutes or an
average of 8 minutes per train.
10. From the track plan of Melton Constable featured on pages 4MT 2-6-0 no. 43158 approaches Melton Constable with a
94/95 of Nigel Digby’s book “A Guide to the Midland & Great train from the Midlands in 1958. (Photographer unknown)
Northern Joint Railway” there appears to be a couple of
anomalies regarding access to the two platforms. While each Richard Adderson has kindly unearthed the photograph
of the Norwich & Cromer branches had access to both (below) taken by the late Bernard Harrison on 16th June
platforms for arrivals and departures, trains arriving on the 1951, which could have been the day he and Ken visited
main line from Yarmouth could only use the “UP” platform Melton Constable.
although it was possible to depart to Yarmouth from either. J17 65509 arrives with a local from Cromer (Beach).
Similarly, services from South Lynn could only arrive at the
“DOWN” platform, but could depart to South Lynn from both.
Maybe this was a built-in safety measure inherent in the
trackwork. There was also a system which allowed two trains
to be on one track in the section between the East and West
signalboxes i.e. the platforms.
11. It is noticeable that some thought must have gone into the
provision of double track each side of Melton station. The fact
that Corpusty & Saxthorpe, 4¾ miles from Melton, was so
provided was surely to supply “holding” space for traffic should
the two platforms at Melton be occupied. Even the Cromer
branch was double-tracked for a short distance to Briningham
for the same reason. There was no summer holiday traffic on
the Norwich branch; therefore it appeared not to warrant the
same treatment and remained a single line into Melton.
Any comments on the points Ken has raised – directly or indirectly
– should be sent to the Editor please.
[To be Concluded in the next issue with a look at the main line and
the locomotive allocations.]
4F 0-6-0 44423 double-heads an unidentified 4MT Operating the Mansfield service on the M&GN – an
2-6-0 out of Melton Constable with a Midlands- Editorial “Supplementary”
bound train on Easter Monday, 6th April 1953
(Bernard Harrison). The M&GN had gone down to a two-shift operation circa 1953, and this
affected the 2355 Mansfield - Yarmouth service as much as any.
Uniquely(?), its route thereafter was Mansfield – Sutton Junc - Kirkby-
in-Ashfield – Nottingham – Melton Mowbray – Manton – Stamford –
Peterborough East – March – King’s Lynn (reverse) and on to the
M&GN at South Lynn! Going home, the 1130 to Mansfield (taking the
Summer 1954 Timetable for example) ran direct to South Lynn with no
King’s Lynn reversal and thence via Little Bytham and Melton Mowbray.
The ER Summer Timetable for 1954 was small in size (almost 400
pages), measured just under 7”x 5” and must have been a booking
clerk’s nightmare, especially on the M&GN, as both Up and Down
services each warranted a whole page of Notes! Typesetters must have
hated the thing – 4 versions of the letter J for example! The more user-
friendly 9” x 6” timetables introduced in the mid-1950s were a great
a selective look ahead at local railway events
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY, GER Society (Norwich Branch) and Norfolk Transport Group meetings take place (unless
otherwise stated) at: United Reformed Church Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6QR
Events are listed in good faith, but visitors should check with the organisation concerned before travelling.
Services on our Local Railways
The Bure Valley Railway has a daily service operating until 3rd November. For more details of individual events please visit their
website - www.bvrw.co.uk - or telephone 01263-733858.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway operates regularly until 3rd November (but not daily). For more details please visit their website -
www.mnr.org.uk - or telephone 01362-690633.
The North Norfolk Railway has a daily service operating until 3rd November. For more details of individual events please visit their
website - www.nnrailway.co.uk - or telephone 01263-820800.
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway – East View Farm, Stone Lane, Ashmanhaugh, Norwich, NR12 8YW. Sunday 7th July & Sunday 4th
August. - Open Days 1400-1700. See their website - www.ashmanhaughlightrailway.co.uk
The Barton House Railway has operating days on the 3rd Sunday in the month from 1430 – 1730. Please visit their website -
www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk - or telephone 01603-782008 for information.
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway – The museum is open 1100-1700 every Sunday & Bank Holiday from the beginning of May until
the end of September. For more details of individual events please visit their website - www.mslr.org.uk - or telephone 01449-
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway has a daily service operating until 3rd November. Please visit their website -
www.wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk - or telephone 01328-711630 for information.
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway operates an “on demand” diesel service at weekends plus various special events. Please visit
their website - www.whitwellstation.com - or telephone 01603-871694.
The Forncett Industrial Steam Museum, Low Road, Forncett St Mary, NR16 1JJ has its “Steam Ups” on the first Sunday of every
month from May to October from 1100 to 1700. For more details of events please visit their website
www.forncettsteammuseum.co.uk or telephone 01508-488277.
14th - 16th Fri - Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Summer Diesel Gala. Let’s hope they have more luck with the
16th Sun diesels!
WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Father’s Day (Steam – 1st train 1230).
16th Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – “Father’s Day V.I.P. Package”.
16th Sun MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY - Goods by Rail’n’Road & Curry .
22nd Sat Epping & Ongar “Awayday” – a chance to visit the Heritage Railway of the Year. Fare £20. The
visit coincides with their LU150 Event. Please make enquiries & bookings direct with Spratts –
29th - 30th Sat - Sun telephone 01508-498262 – or visit their website.
MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Diesel Mixed-Traffic Event & Hardingham Fete.
JULY Sat - Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – “Strawberries & Steam Weekend”.
6th - 7th NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – Vintage Transport Festival & Bus Weekend.
NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Quad-Art Week.
6th - 7th Sat - Sun
6th - 14th Sat - Sun
6th - 7th Sat - Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Model Club Exhibition (Diesel & Steam).
7th Sun WADDINGTON AIR SHOW. Fare £40. Please make enquiries & bookings direct with Spratts –
telephone 01508 – 498262 – or visit their website.
7th Sun MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Family Day.
13th - 14th Sat - Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – “Strawberries & Steam Weekend”.
19th - 21st Fri - Sun
MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Steam Gala Weekend. Locos include 46233 Duchess of Sutherland.
19th - 21st Fri - Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – 12th Annual Beer Festival.
20th - 21st Sat -Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – “Strawberries & Steam Weekend”.
27th Sat MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Classic Vehicles & Curry.
27th - 28th Sat - Sun NENTA TRAINTOURS – From Norwich (0520 approx), Diss, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Bury St Ed-
27th - 28th Sat - Sun munds, Ely etc for circular tour of the Settle & Carlisle line and return via WCML or Lake Winder-
mere Cruise & Bowness. Norwich return 0015 approx (Sun). Premier Class/Dining available.
Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or telephone 01692 – 406152.
BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – “Strawberries & Steam Weekend”.
WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – 4th Steam Rally.
3rd - 4th Sat - Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – “Railway at War Weekend”.
4th Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Steam Sunday with Driver Experience available.
4th Sun MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – “Blues & Twos”.
4th Sun FORNCETT INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM - Special Children’s Day – featuring an extensive exhibition
of model planes, motorbikes, traction engines, classic trucks and cars, farm and construction
11th Sun vehicles. Two children admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult.
17th Sat MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY - Hornby Collectors’ Day.
NENTA TRAINTOURS - From Norwich (0505 approx), Diss, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Bury St Ed-
munds, Ely etc for Chester, Llandudno, Blaenau (branch) or Ffestiniog Railway. Norwich return
0015 approx (Sun). Premier Class/Dining available.
Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or telephone 01692 – 406152.
STOP PRESS: Tangmere causes fire in Suffolk
Whilst deputising for No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell on the time as it approached Colchester, a fire engine and NR 4x4
“Anniversary Fenman” on 25th May (Liverpool St – Norwich – were in attendance. The down train, however, was not
Ely – King’s Lynn – Ely – Bury St Edmunds – Ipswich – delayed and reached Norwich on time.
Liverpool St) a fire was caused in the up “cess” between
Ipswich & Manningtree. We hope this is not yet another nail in the coffin of the
troubled steam railtour business, which nevertheless still
When our intrepid reporter passed on his way home from attracts the punters. (Graham Smith)
London on the 1830, having just seen the train making good
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