Norfolk Railway Society
Founded 1955 ww.norfolkrailwaysociety.org.uk
Volume 59 No. 5 Sept/Oct 2014
news from railways in and around Norfolk
GEML UPDATE: September
MK3 carriages to be given makeover
In mid-September Abellio Greater Anglia
signed a £9.4m contract with Vossloh
Kiepe UK whereby all the Mk3 carriages
used on the London services will receive
a major refurbishment. The work, to be
carried out at Norwich Crown Point, will
see the vehicles given a complete
internal repaint; new carpets, upholstery
and LED lighting; new power sockets for
charging mobiles and laptops; and toilet
retention tanks ending discharge on to
the permanent way. This work follows
the external repainting of the Mk3 fleet
and the installation of push-down taps
(replacing the foot-pedal activation) at
90010 has received the new AGA white 68009/011 are stabled by the old Royal Dock at Norwich on 6th August The latter is
livery but at the cost of losing its in a grey/silver base paint scheme ready for the addition of its “Chiltern Railways”
Bressingham Steam Museum livery. Let’s hope something is done about those weeds! (Richard Adderson)
GEML Incidents: eventually a new run of cable had to be laid and
commissioned – just after 0130 the following morning. Limited
Abellio Greater Anglia have experienced further delays in replacement bus services did not help passenger tempers!
Ipswich: 11th & 26th August
Stowmarket: Thursday 7th August As previously reported, at East Suffolk Junc works have been
The failure of the main 650V signalling cable between in progress to extend the length and number of the Up side
Stowmarket and Needham Market halted all train services sidings to accommodate longer 30 wagon trains past East
soon after 1600. The fault took some hours to trace and Suffolk Junc.
In This Issue 1 The completion and commissioning of these new works have
4 not been without problems! On Saturday 9th August there was
Track Report an engineering blockade preventing trains running between
National Network 6 Ipswich–Felixstowe/Woodbridge/Stowmarket and the
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge & Miniature 11 following day the blockade was extended to Manningtree. On
the Monday morning (11th) the engineering works overran
Pick-up Goods 12 with early morning cancellations and disruption. AGA apology
NRS News 13 cited problems removing spoil with promises of a thorough
Features 15 NR/AGA investigation/better planning/contingency etc to
Changes on the Isle of Wight (Mike Fordham) avoid repetition (identical promises made following the similar
The East Suffolk Line & Related Issues – overrunning engineering works at Colchester (19th May)).
Concluding Part (Rod Lock)
Working Timetable The resumption of services through Ipswich on Tuesday 26th
August following engineering works on the Sunday and Bank
Holiday Monday was delayed by more than 7 hours largely
due to resignalling issues – it was decided not to commission
all of the new signalling due to interface problems. NR initially
blamed historic equipment but later admitted that the design and flooding. In the late afternoon the GEML became flooded
and testing had not been thorough enough. Further works did at Manor Park disrupting services for some hours until the
take place the following weekend but NR decided not to floods had abated/been pumped away.
attempt to commission the new Yard signalling.
The 1702 ex-Liverpool St (LV) was the first Norwich service to
Services between Ipswich and Felixstowe/Woodbridge were be really affected arriving 31L but the 1730 ex-LV was 120L
suspended for the remainder of the 26th and into the 27th. and the 1810 ex-LV departed 17L and arrived Norwich 128L.
Ipswich Yard remained out of use for several weeks forcing The 1750/1830/1900 ex-LV services were cancelled and the
container services to pass through Ipswich without stabling or 2000 was 46L. The 2030 ex-LV started from Colchester.
changing locos. Colchester Down side loops were being used Flooding also affected the Cambridge to Ely/Norwich line with
more frequently to recess container trains. Ipswich stabling the 1929 Ely to Norwich departing on time but arriving 57L.
point was nearly deserted as a result.
Editor’s Note: this severe weather had a parallel some 46
Local MPs demanded “heads should roll” and the years ago (weekend of 14th/15th September 1968) – see The
Conservative MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, said that Bridge Washed Out in NRS/NL 58/5 p.8.
Abellio should be stripped of their franchise (indicating his
detailed knowledge of the privatised railway). However within Other news
48 hours he was making the national news by resigning from
the Conservatives (and his parliamentary seat) and defecting The lever frame was removed from Harling Road signalbox
to UKIP. A by-election on 9th October will show how resilient (closed Dec 2012) on 17th September by volunteers from the
his personal following is. Wensleydale Railway (Northallerton – Redmire). All 9 of the
signalboxes closed between Norwich and Ely will be
Friday 19th September preserved in some form (Wymondham, Spooner Row,
Attleborough and Thetford are listed – Spooner Row is to be
Localised and torrential thunderstorms in southern England relocated to Wymondham Abbey station on the MNR and
caused problems to the railway network with lightning strikes Wymondham will remain in situ but used by the MNR). The
lever frames at the other ‘boxes at Eccles Road, Harling
Norfolk Railway Society Road, Brandon, Lakenheath and Shippea Hill will be
(Founded 1955) recovered for re-use on a number of heritage railways.
President: Arnold Hoskins, Esq.
Vice-President: Ken Mills, Esq. The David Pearce Gallery
Committee and Officers 2014-2015 Telephone Ace photographer David Pearce has kindly submitted an
excellent set of local images which we have no hesitation in
Chairman Peter Cooke sharing with you. They start here and continue over the
page. Below, K4 61994 The Great Marquess & 60009 Union
Vice Chairman Brian Cornwell of South Africa at Wymondham on 2nd July after the MNR’s
East Coast Gala.
Past Chairman Gordon Bruce
Secretary Peter Adds
Treasurer John Laycock
Fixtures Arranged by sub-committee
Membership Sec. Mike Handscomb
Newsletter Editor Edward Mann
Publicity Mike Fordham
Website Editor Andrew Wright
Archivist Raymond Meek
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter
Editor Edward Mann
Layout and Picture Editor Andrew Wright
Distribution Graham Smith
Please contact Graham if the next edition does not arrive by
the end of the month of publication
Opinions expressed in any articles are the author's and
should not be taken to represent those of the Society.
Next issue published 4th December 2014
Copy date: 30th November 2014
Left column. Top: 61994 The Great Marquess & 60009 Union of
South Africa at Dereham during the MNR’s East Coast Gala on
Middle: Class 14 D9531 Ernest approaches Weybourne from Holt
on 15th June during the NNR’s Diesel Gala.
Bottom: Following the NNR’s Diesel Gala 50007, D8059, D306 &
37219 head towards Norwich at Whitlingham Junc on 15th June.
Right column. Top: 68004 heads through Wymondham and
towards Norwich on 4th August.
Middle: A “first”? 7820 Dinmore Manor with quad-arts in tow
approaches Kelling Halt en route for Weybourne during the NNR’s Grand Steam Gala on 31st August.
Bottom: 47853 at Great Yarmouth with the 1310 to Liverpool St on 23rd August as a GBRF special from Doncaster enters the
station with 47815 at the far end and 47843 nearest the camera.
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature Transport no
Visit to Hepworth Model Railway immaculate
(Gordon Bruce reports) despite its ‘bus
Thanks to our member David Beeken, half a dozen NRS scheme (the
members took up an invite to visit the Hepworth base of the words of one
East Anglia Group of the Gauge 1 Model Railway Association of the
on 10 September 2014, to witness a running of a number of volunteers, not
exquisite models, some live steam and some electrically- me), ‘J94’ no
powered, running on a large oval of track erected in a Nissen 8078 in LNER
hut. Although (by their own admission) the scenery on the black and
layout that day was minimal, there were two stations provided hauling two
on the oval – “Hobson Central”, a 2-platform station complete teak coaches
with signalbox, water tower, platform furniture and (a preservation
passengers and sidings for stabling trains, plus “Pitchbury interloper?),
Racecourse”, a more basic shelter (although complete with ‘J5’ no 3021,
toilets!) serving an imaginary horseracing establishment. an un-
Next to Pitchbury was a shed housing the “Anglia Roads numbered
Model Club” at which could be seen a tiny traction engine, ‘B1’, Southern
garden railway and model aircraft in action. ‘B4’ no 30089
on a 2-coach
A continuous parade of trains ran around the circuit while we local, and
were there, both passenger and freight and often three at a finally a very
time. Most of the engines were steam, although there was nippy
also a DMU on site in the bay platform at Hobson Central, ‘Sentinel’ no
together with ‘Western’ diesel D1062 Western Courier, and – 68166, a live
to please the younger visitors at exhibitions – a rather steam model Hepworth’s working steam crane.
amazing Class 66 No 66407 running on a lengthy Freightliner on a short trip
train. Despite the obvious appeal of Thomas at exhibitions working that could easily outpace the ‘66’!
(an engine which was thankfully absent today!), it is
apparently the DRS Heavy Haul diesel that attracts the most Accessed inside the oval via a turntable was a loco shed,
interest! outside which was a fine working model of a steam crane.
Also, once its running turn had ended, the ‘Semi’ was parked
Steam exhibits in action included – ‘Standard 5MT’ no 73050, alongside the shed, and looked very realistic!
‘Jubilee’ no 5694 Bellerophon, ‘Black Five’ No 45080,
‘Duchess’ No 46241 City of Edinburgh (impressive in The Gauge 1 MRA have a full programme of exhibitions and
Brunswick Green, contrasting with the LMS red of the visits to members’ own layouts to keep them busy, and also
‘Jubilee’), a GWR 0-6-0PT masquerading as London make their facilities at Hepworth available for the testing and
running of members’ locos. Members are based as far afield
as Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Essex and Cambridgeshire.
See their website http://www.g1mra.com/local-
groups/east-anglia-group/ for more details.
Thanks to David and the Hepworth members
for accommodating us and providing
refreshments, and in particular to Chris King for
taking me – in my still-incapacitated state –
along. It was good to meet up with some
members again, having had to miss out on all of
the summer’s railway activities!
J5 3021 enters Hobson Central (above) and D1062 Western Courier (below). Wells Harbour Railway
Our deputy roving reporter advises that early on
the morning of 30th August 0-6-0DM The Duke
arrived by road from Alan Keef Ltd and entered
service a few hours later. Painted in a bright
mauve, with yellow front end and yellow crank
counterweights, it makes a striking sight as it
shuttles between Wells town and Pinewoods
Holiday Park. The WHR’s other locos are due
to go to other homes.
However…two days later, The Duke had retired
to the shed with “issues” and Howard was in
charge of services again. As the WHR doesn’t
really have a website it would be good to know
what the issues were and/or whether it’s in
charge of services again.
Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Gala - Saturday 13th The workshop was open so I was able to inspect the major
September (Mike Fordham reports) restoration work being carried out on MSLR no. 4, Hudswell
Clarke 0-6-0ST 1604, and several wooden-bodied coaches.
I paid an interesting visit to this Gala in rural Suffolk. The
resident Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST 1700 Wissington, on loan Thanks to Mike for the photographs.
from the North Norfolk, was joined by two almost identical
Bagnalls - 0-4-0ST 2542 Jubilee from the East Anglian
Railway Museum & 2565 from the
Northampton & Lamport Railway.
During the afternoon their newly
commissioned MSLR horsebox no. 15
joined the mixed train. Formerly GER
no. 180, it is the oldest railway horse
box in the country and dates from
1889. I can't wait to see a horse ride
Travelling through the fields in their 0-6-0ST Wissington leads Jubilee past the other Bagnall on 13th September.
restored former GER four-wheeled
wooden-bodied coaches you are
taken to a time long gone. In one you
only had wooden board seats to sit
on. At present the line only runs from
Brockford to Dovebrook but there are
plans to extend the line another ¼ mile
to Blacksmith's Green.
Bagnall 0-4-0ST 2542/1936 Jubilee on 13th September. MSLR Horsebox no. 15 on 13th September.
Visit to the Hemsby Miniature Railway
A group of members visited the Hemsby Miniature Railway at Parklands on 31st July. Here’s 6233 Duchess of Sutherland (left)
whilst Ian & Pauline Woodruff can be seen enjoying a ride behind 5154 Lanarkshire Yeomanry (right). Thanks to Mike Fordham
for both photos.
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Recently at the URC Hall option of a reserved compartment for a nominal sum. Motive
power was in the form of an 0-6-0 saddle-tank hauling various
Members’ Summer Round-Up (18th September compartment coaches. There was a large assembly of rolling
2014) stock in various stages of restoration. His presentation
concluded with a view of the North Norfolk Railway from the
On a particularly warm evening, the Chairman welcomed all rear cab of a DMU during the Society’s summer visit to the
members to the resumption of meetings and particularly new railway.
members, Ken Pooley and Alan Wilkinson. After a prolonged
period of Notices business got underway showing the 8. Ken Mills rounded off the evening with various slides
members’ summer reports. of the March and September North Norfolk Railway Steam
Galas. Visits also to the Mid- Norfolk, Epping & Ongar, Mid
1. Chris Mitchell started the evening with the nationally Hants and Isle of Wight Railways showed scenes of their
acclaimed Mid-Norfolk Steam Galas of 2014. The first Gala at various engines whilst Ken gave an authoritative account of
the end of May saw the visit of West Coast Railway steam their original workings on British Railways.
locomotives. At various locations along the line an 8F, a
“Jubilee” and “Royal Scot” were photographed. The second With thanks to all who contributed, and to Andy Wright for
Gala in mid-June featured A4 Pacific Union of South Africa, projection services. (Chris Mitchell)
K4 The Great Marquess and the N7. The photographs were
interspersed with short video clips of the various trains. Editor’s Note: It was good to see Gordon Bruce once more,
though his leg remains in plaster. Thanks also to Philip Moore
& Chris King for transporting him to and from the meeting.
2. Philip Moore showed various photographs of
model railway layouts in N and OO gauge. These layouts
were seen at the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley,
together with preserved engines and railway rolling stock.
Trams at the nearby Crich museum in Derbyshire were
also seen. The presentation finished with a historic tour of
Newark, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight
where trains, ships and buses were seen at the locations
visited. A short feature was the September North Norfolk
3. Edward Mann showed photographs of his A “short set” failure at Reedham on 23rd July (brakes dragging
summer visit to Derbyshire. Millers’ Dale and the spa town on a coach) sidelines 47853/501.(David Pearce)
of Buxton revealed local scenes of surviving railway
stations, trains and a tram. He then went on to the
Manchester Museum of Science and Industry showing
various exhibits of cars, motor bikes and railway engines.
His return to Norfolk took in Matlock, Crich, Leek and
Manifold Centre, and the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
4. David Beeken & Brian Sayer of the Gauge 1
Society showed video footage of the railway and rolling
stock at the venue of Hepworth in Suffolk.
5. John Laycock introduced his contribution as a
childhood favourite, “Ivor the Engine”. John recently
acquired a video at a car boot sale showing footage of
Ivor’s antics in an early cartoon film. The voiceovers of
distinct Welsh dialects made a refreshing change to the
current media overload of the Scottish accents!!!
6. Mike Fordham’s contribution was photographs of
the Mid-Suffolk Railway Steam Gala on 13th September.
Three engines were in steam featuring two Bagnall 0-4-0
tanks and 0-6-0ST Wissington. The recently-restored
GER 1889 built horsebox with groom accommodation was
a prominent feature at Wetheringsett station.
7. Andrew Wright’s presentation featured the Restored to health, the “short set” puts in some productive work
Society’s summer visit to the Epping & Ongar Railway. as it leaves Acle for Yarmouth on 20th August. The matching
The black and white photographs of a Black 5 and a blue DRS livery of the set and locomotive make an attractive
Beattie well-tank, Great Western 2-6-2 tank and a 3F 0-6- sight. The DMU shortage continues.(Richard Adderson)
0 tank at various station locations was an effective
presentation in the period they were trying to re-enact. 6
Andy’s presentation also included a visit to Wales which
took in the Gwili Railway on the former Carmarthen to
Aberystwyth line. An all day rover ticket came with an
Tata Steelworks – Mike Fordham reports on a
visit made on 28th June
The Norfolk Transport Group organised a coach trip to the
Tata Steelworks at Scunthorpe; for some this was our 4th
visit. After an early start and breakfast at the Farm Shop our
journey through Lincolnshire was made more interesting by a
Malcolm Cooper Quiz.
In 1990 the then British Steel ran railway trips round the site
to commemorate 100 years of steelmaking at Scunthorpe.
The Appleby-Frodingham Railway Society was formed in
1991 to organise them as they had become very popular. The
old loco shed became their base and their collection has
grown ever since.
We were met at the Frodingham platform by Peckett 0-4-0ST Our haulage for the day – Peckett 1438 and U.S.C. no. 1.
W/No. 1438/1916 and three brake vans - our transport - the
middle one, we were told, was in need of restoration.
After refreshments at the shed and time to admire their stock,
we set off behind the Peckett leaning on the end verandahs of
the brake vans. With around 100 miles of track on the site it
was as much a mystery tour for the driver as it was for us! All
around the site Tata diesels were moving steel products. We
were pushed and pulled round the tracks, some of which
looked 100 years old. From the vans we were able to watch
Class 66s and a Harry Needle Class 20 by the new Rail
The Peckett was then replaced by their United Steel
Company No.1 0-6-0 diesel; this pushed us towards the blast
furnace where we were able to watch the discharge of molten
steel into the torpedoes used to take it to the rolling mill top
and tailed by Tata diesels.
Class 02 0-4-0 D2853 was then seen pulling another party Definitely in need of restoration – the “middle” brake van.
round the site in a carriage and half a DMU set; the visitors’
view from this was much more restricted than ours and not all
the site is visited.
Thanks to John Laycock for organising the visit, and to Mike
for all the photographs.
Ex-B.R. 07012 inside the shed at Appleby-Frodingham. A rare shot of ex-B.R. 02 D2853 at Tata Steelworks.
A Despicable Theft
Those of us who have visited the M&GN Archive Centre Trust – and there was a Society visit as recently as 12th July 2012 – will
be saddened to learn that the premises were burgled at the end of August. The railwayana stolen - which included a dozen
handlamps - was, in many cases, unique, and of course it is particularly upsetting for our member, Ray Meek.
If you wish to discover exactly what was stolen, please go to the EDP website, enter “railways” in the advanced search box and
you’ll find the report dated 3rd September last.
_________PICK-UP GOODS Dressing” excursion for Tissington and was photographed on
9th May 1959. Both stations were on the Ashbourne – Buxton
Old Postcards & Photographs line which closed from 1st November 1954, but the line was
open for freight until 1963. The rustic nature of the station’s
We begin with Cloughton station, at the Scarborough end of running-in board shows that economy had been the
the line from Whitby, as reported on by Brian Cornwell in watchword for many years!
NRS/NL 59/4 pp.10/11. I have a feeling that the postcard
dates from the early 1950s, and I believe we are looking And finally… this LNER poster from the 1930s is one of
south as the level-crossing was at the north end. NER several of Epping Forest, though this one is unsigned. It
tangerine signage has not arrived, but note the “You May doesn’t look like the work of any of the recorded poster work
undertaken by other artists, but we cannot be sure. If anyone
has information about the poster’s provenance then please
Telephone From Here” sign. At the last census its population
was 687 so, in earlier years, the telephone at the station
would have been most useful when the population was much
Moving on, the photograph of 2-6-4Ts 42361/609 at Thorpe
Cloud for Dovedale is also full of interest. The train is a “Well-
The Aerial Challenge
In NRS/NL 59/4 p.8 the aerial photo showed the village of
Houghton St. Giles; the village is about a mile S.W. of Little
Walsingham, formerly served by the Dereham – Wells line.
Houghton St Giles never had its own station, so the sleuths
who named the location did particularly well. Congratulations
go to Richard Adderson and Anthony & Sylvia Morris. We will
have another aerial challenge in due course.
The next challenge should not prove too difficult, and may
owe as much to your knowledge of geography as it does to
your knowledge of railways. Have a look at the map and
name the arrowed station. Please send your answers to
Xxxxxx in the usual way.
The Wearde Deviation – a not-so-strange Cornwall & Devon from a Railway Perspective
diversion – and “Kings” in Cornwall and a Ride on the “ACE” – Part 1
In Cornwall, the main line does not follow its original
Brunellian route. If you know the area between Some ten days spent in the south-west in mid-August may
Saltash & St Germans – or if you don’t – go to the most not be everyone’s idea of fun, but there is plenty of railway
interesting Cornwall Railway Society website and scroll down interest if you do a little planning.
the left-hand column until you reach Wearde Deviation. It is a
very limited interest subject but worth checking out. I stayed part of the time near Bodmin, close to the A389
Wadebridge road, and my first surprise was to see an ancient
Under normal circumstances “King” class 4-6-0s were not “Trains Cross Here” sign near the village of Dunmere with
allowed across the Royal Albert Bridge. They might fall in the rails still embedded in the tarmac. This would have been
River Tamar, and there would be a lot of red faces! However, where the old Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway made its way to
if you Google Antony Passage Saltash, go down to the Wenford Bridge (see NRS/NL 59/3 pp10/11). This seems to
bottom and click on Saltash area index, and then the Saltash have become “The Camel Trail”, and on a later diversion to
Railways Index, where there is a sub-folder Kings in Cornwall. Wenford Bridge I was advised that the old clay-dries still exist
Click on it, and it’s very revealing! (EM) but are derelict. Maybe Brian & Julie Cornwell will make the
Know Your “Sandringhams”
Moving on to Wadebridge, the town has a small museum and
The quotation - “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we the curator seemed to have a good grasp of railway history.
shall not see them lit again in our lifetime” - was made on the (see the separate item, foot of column 1, this page.)
eve of the First World War by the British Foreign Secretary,
Sir Edward Grey, Bt or, to give his ennobled title, 1st Viscount A ride on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway was made on 13th
Grey of Fallodon. And doesn’t Fallodon ring a bell with many August. It’s an unusual line insofar as the main station –
of you? Yes, it was a B17 - later rebuilt to a B2 – 61616 - and Bodmin General – is in a “V” with branches running in
withdrawn from service in September 1959. Fallodon was one opposite directions. The first train from Bodmin General to
of the farthest-flung B2 locations, being north of Alnwick, Bodmin Parkway is a DMU, which is useful as the return
Northumberland. journey involves some stiff climbing, on gradients between 1
in 37 and 1 in 61, so you get a good idea of the line’s profile.
Fancy a trip to Ipswich? The other leg of the B & W involves equally steady climbing
back from Boscarne Junc, with slightly more difficult grades,
The RCTS (Ipswich Branch) meets monthly on Monday with most of the way being steeper than 1 in 50. Pannier 4612
evenings at the Bridge Ward Club, 68 Austin St, Ipswich, IP2 came through the test!
8DP and on some Thursday afternoons at the Co-op
Education Centre, 11 Fore St, Ipswich, IP4 1JW (there is In the “good old days” Bodmin Parkway was known as
ample parking at both venues). The format of their meetings Bodmin Road (renamed in 1983) – the GWR loved its “Road”
is probably little different from our own – indeed, Richard suffixes - and in Bodmin’s case it was well-deserved.
Adderson & David Pearce will be presenting “Roger Nowadays, there’s a bus connection, but the approach from
Harrison’s East Anglian Railways” on Monday 10th November the A38 is narrow, and if there’s a bus coming the other way
(1930) and on Monday 9th February (1930) it’ll be the turn of guess who has to perform the difficult art of reversing!
Chris Mitchell & Ken Mills to present “The GN/GE Joint Line”.
Please speak to me if you’d like to see their full programme.
Challenging a “First” Lostwithiel’s signalbox on 12th August – it is still in use.
The first railway excursion is claimed to have been the Taking the branches in the order that I visited them, Liskeard
Thomas Cook-organised outing from Leicester to to Looe is unusual in several respects. At Liskeard, the
Loughborough of 1841. Maybe it was the first non-railway- branch is at right-angles to the main line; the branch train
organised excursion, but not the first railway-organised then loops round to pass beneath the main line (always losing
excursion (subtle, isn’t it). Recent research by Michael Roach height). Most trains call at Coombe Junc (passengers and
of the Cornwall Railway Society sheds light on the money- reverse), but a few stop short and change ends without
making activities of the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway who making the passenger stop. My next stop was Lostwithiel (on
seem to have dreamed up the wheeze as, on 14th June 1836, the main line) which retains its GWR signalbox and signalling.
they ran an excursion from Bodmin and Wadebridge to
Wenford Bridge for the princely sum of 1/= (5p). No doubt the
B & W was always short of cash, and any opportunity to fill an
excursion was not to be missed. As public executions took
place regularly and as Bodmin Jail was fairly close to Bodmin
North station you can guess what happened next! Execution
excursions were run in 1840 (this was a double execution
following a brutal murder) and in 1844, and it seems that
there was nothing like a hanging to attract the crowds! Pub
quiz question masters beware! This grisly subject is also to be
found in the Wadebridge Museum.
I am indebted to Michael and the C.R.S. for permission to use
a small part of a much longer article. (EM)
Be careful as not all of the trains stop here. The branch to Austell station, during my enforced wait, looked decidedly
Fowey closed to passengers from 4th January 1965, but is still shabby.
open for china-clay traffic. And so, down the main line to
Truro. During high summer, the 1452 DMU from Penzance My last trip on the branch network on 20th August entailed a
trip to Plymouth and then the 1054 branch DMU to
The 1353 Plymouth – Penzance at St Erth on 13th August. Gunnislake, which takes 46 minutes and requires a reversal
Semaphores still abound. at Bere Alston. The line is marketed as “The Tamar Valley
does not run through to Plymouth, but terminates at Par Line”. If you’re in the area, as opposed to on a train, the Bere
where passengers for points east change on to the 1506 HST Ferrers Station & Heritage Centre seems to be worth a look.
from Newquay to Paddington, now named “The Atlantic Coast Gunnislake station is situated high above the town, meaning
Express”! There can’t be many places where you change that the post-prandial walk back to the train, up a steep hill,
from a main-line service to a branch service to continue your requires plenty of time. Services are 2-hourly so you need to
journey! plan carefully.
St Erth, now the last station before Penzance, is still (To be concluded)
semaphore-signalled and is the junction for St Ives. There’s a
half-hourly service, but the branch owes everything to the The Gwili Railway – some historical notes & a
Park & Ride at Lelant Saltings which saves people from going look at the line today (Andy Wright)
into St Ives. This a very popular service and merits a 2 x 2 car
set – I rode in 150219/232 on 13th August – whereas the main During a visit to Wales during July I had the opportunity to
line has to make do with a 2 car set or a 2 car set plus a visit the Gwili Railway. Based at Bronwydd Arms the railway
single car. Turnround times at each end leave no slack, and opened as a heritage line in 1978. Originally it had been the
the 1548 to St Ives/ 1603 to St Erth were cancelled, maybe to first station out of Carmarthen on the meandering route to
allow the timetable to catch up (then again, fines for late Aberystwyth. In 1961, 3 trains ran on weekdays and took
starts might play a part). Coming back on the 1600 Penzance about 2½ hours to cover the 56¼ miles. The line’s closure to
– Paddington, there was a lengthy stop at St Austell as there passengers was hastened by flooding in early 1965 although
milk traffic continued over the 34 miles to Pont Llanio until
Following closure, the Bronwydd Arms station building and
signal box were demolished, leaving behind only a bare
platform. Gradually the station was rebuilt using redundant
buildings recovered from the Heart of Wales Line. A building
on the single platform houses a shop and ticket office and
was constructed from Llandovery signal box and clad with
components from Ammanford railway station. The signal box
adjacent to the level crossing came from Llandybie. Both
buildings were rebuilt by railway volunteers.
Today the track runs for just under 2 ½ miles northwards from
Bronwydd Arms following the old trackbed. An extension
southwards towards Carmarthen to the site of the former
Abergwili Junction is under construction, where there are
plans to build a visitors’ centre.
Our journey, with motive power provided by 0-6-0ST 71516
Welsh Guardsman, began with a steep climb out of Bronwydd
Arms through open fields and wooded hills to Llwyfan Cerrig
station following closely the course of the River Gwili. The ¾
mile extension beyond here was opened in 2001 and
continues to Danycoed Halt, where there is a loop for the
locomotive to run round the train. The Halt may become
redundant if plans for a further extension into the site of
Conwyl Elfed station (and beyond) come to fruition. However
progress is hampered in part by the cost of repairs to a bridge
requiring substantial work to achieve approval to carry
The return journey includes a stop at Lwyfan Cerrig Station
which, like the Halt, did not exist in pre-preservation days. It
opened in 1988 and was built on the site of an old loading
platform for stone from a quarry across the river. The station
building came from Felin Fach on the Aberaeron line.
The St Ives side at St Erth. The short platform is not used A variety of rolling stock to see at Lwyfan Cerrig includes
by passenger trains. restored wagons, Taff Vale 28 and the railway’s DMU
comprising three vehicles withdrawn from BR service
was an air-leak in one of the coaches. We were away after a between 1993 and 1997. Back at Bronwydd Arms we had
20 min. delay after the driver had dealt with it, but it would be time to visit the railway’s museum featuring the history of
interesting to know if the HST completed its journey. St railways in the area, examples of GWR block bells and
instruments and other railwayana. All in all an enjoyable visit
and worth making if you are in the area.
Portsmouth Long Weekend (1st-4th August) –
Ken Mills – Part 1
Day 1 Friday (Sunny & Warm)
An early start saw a band of Society members and others on 850 Lord Nelson awaits departure from Ropley on 1st August
the Spratts “long weekend” in the south, ably led by John (Mike Fordham).
Moore, which included visits to three preservation railways
and a day in Portsmouth’s dockland. Our hotel, one of the 0-6-0T no. 1 Thomas brightened the scene in its blue livery. A
Premier Inn chain, was comfortable and quiet, while the new footbridge had been erected at Ropley, running from the
dining room commanded an excellent view across the Solent picnic area on the north side of the line across the east end of
to the Isle of Wight. Travelling via Ipswich and Colchester to the loco-yard and then down into it, seemingly to facilitate
pick up further passengers, we used the A12 and then the entry into the motive power depot – what a lovely idea! Since
M25 in the clockwise direction, taking the A3/A31 to Alton – the previous Society visit to the line in June 2000, the
the destination for our first steam railway visit of the tour, the running shed seems to have been extended into the station
Mid-Hants Railway (Watercress Line). Peter Davies & I rode yard to provide an engineering shop and other facilities. At
with “West Country” class Pacific 34007 Wadebridge, the end of the day’s running, we set out for Portsmouth via
enjoying the climb to Medstead but noticing that the loco what was the former Meon Valley line and traced the
needed some TLC regarding the valve events, a job that our remains of a high viaduct in one of the villages along the
erstwhile President, Bill Harvey, would have tackled with line.
some gusto. Crossing our train at Medstead was the engine
working the second service, none other than Lord Nelson
himself, 30850. On alighting at Ropley we found an
interesting assortment of motive power at the depot including
7MT 4-6-2 Britannia with its rear driving axle missing, 9F 2-
10-0 92212, “Schools” 4-4-0 (30)925 Cheltenham and a pair
of N or U Moguls. The parts of two S15 4-6-0s littered the
yard while 2MT 2-6-2T 41312 plus 5MT 4-6-0 73096 stood
forlornly on the long siding beyond the road bridge. Happily,
Day 2 Saturday (Showers a.m./Sunny p.m.)
A day spent in Portsmouth visiting a choice of several
museums and buildings, plus a boat trip around the naval
dockyard. The Mary Rose, H.M.S. Warrior, H.M.S. Victory
could all be visited, as could the Royal Naval Museum or the
Royal Naval Submarine Museum + H.M.S. Alliance (a
submarine), or the new and spectacular 110 metre-high
Spinnaker Tower, or two Cathedrals (C. of E. & R.C.), and
not forgetting the shops for the ladies!
Unrebuilt “West Country” Pacific 34007 Wadebridge at Ropley Editor’s Note: The Meon Valley line ran between Alton and
on 1st August (Mike Fordham). Fareham, closing to passengers from 7th February 1955.
[To be concluded.]
New members Society Christmas Meal
Ken Pooley, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 This year, Brian Cornwell, our Vice-Chairman, has taken
charge of the social event of the year. I think the details (next
and page) will be self-explanatory, so please contact Brian if you’d
like to book a place or two.
Alan Wilkinson, Norwich.
We welcome them both to the Society and, indeed, both were
at our 18th September meeting.
NRS Annual Christmas Meal – Monday 1st December 2014
19:30 for 20:00, Maid Marian Public House, 59 Ipswich Road,
Homemade Vegetable Soup - with a warm roll and butter
Chicken and Cranberry Pie - with salad and toast
Classic Prawn Cocktail – topped with Marie Rose sauce and with salad and brown bread
Roast Norfolk Turkey – with all the trimmings
Grilled Fillet of Salmon - with white wine sauce
Slow Roasted Pork Belly - with a cider sauce
Romano Roasted Peppers - stuffed with ratatouille au gratin
All served with seasonal vegetables
Traditional Christmas Pudding - with brandy sauce
Apple and Cinnamon Crumble - with vanilla ice cream or custard
Homemade Chocolate Cheese Cake - with vanilla ice cream
Three Mixed Ice Creams
The three course meal costs £14.95 per person. Booking by 10th November essential. You can do this by
email at xxxxxx or by phone on xxxxx - messaging service available.
Please include your name, number attending and contact details. Members and wives/partners only please.
Your choice of courses and full payment (cheques to NRS please) will also be required by 10th November –
please use the contact details above to state your choice .
The NRS Committee looks forward to welcoming you all to this festive event.
Changes on the Isle of Wight – Mike Fordham recalls his various visits
I first visited the Isle of Wight in 1958 with the family, returning Wroxall, I found, travelled to Cowes from Ryde shed when
again in July 1960 to document the steam railway before it required to shunt the docks. The trains ran as they do today
disappeared. Staying in Ryde near the Esplanade Station I to Ryde Pier Head station, 32 chains out in the Solent where
travelled on what was left of the system: Ryde - Ventnor they met the ferries from Portsmouth Harbour station. I had
Town and Ryde - Cowes via Newport. My 7-day Holiday arrived travelling on the SR paddle steamer Ryde.
Runabout Ticket cost 10/= (50p). During the week I copped
all 20 engines on the Island, 1 E1 and 19 O2s; this was Two trams also ran up and down the pier (this system closed
helped by a permit for Ryde shed (70H). E1 0-6-0T W4 in 1969).
My next visit was in July 1989 arriving at Fishbourne by car
ferry. The Isle of Wight Steam Railway had opened between
Havenstreet and Wootton. O2 0-4-4T W24 Calbourne had
been preserved and worked the train we travelled on.
The only BR line now open was between Ryde Pier Head
and Shanklin, British Railways having electrified the line
using the third rail 630V dc system in 1967.
The whole system had closed to carry out this work which
included remodelling the Pier Head station. The steam
engines went for scrap. It was rebranded the Island Line.
Rebuilt London Underground stock – classes 485/486 built
1923-35 - now replaced the steam trains. The old Ryde St
John’s loco shed now serviced the electrics.
On the day I visited the Pier Head, 19th July 1989, the first of
a newer fleet of rebuilt London Underground stock - class
483 built 1938 - had arrived and was under test.
As we were (1): At Ryde Pier Head in July 1960, O2 W18 I returned again in August 2014; the Island Line had been
Ningwood has charge of a Newport train whilst W14 Fishbourne privatised in 1996 and absorbed into the South Western
is on a Ventnor service. Plenty of you will enjoy PS Sandown on franchise. The class 483 stock was still running, now
a Portsmouth service. repainted in red (at one time they carried all over dinosaur
one to Ventnor and one to Newport, but when the line was
electrified the double-track tunnel between Esplanade and St
John’s was raised to overcome flooding problems so the
headroom is now too low for standard stock.
I can recommend a visit to the Island’s railways – it’s only 22
minutes by fast catamaran from Portsmouth Harbour station!
Editor’s Note: All of the O2s that worked on the Island were
named after Island locations, including W17 Seaview! Mike
took all of the photographs.
As we were (2): 3 O2s on Ryde St John’s shed in July 1960 – The modern image: 483001 – the first of the “new” (i.e.
W27 Merstone, W26 Whitwell & W30 Shorwell. 1938) Island Line stock – is inspected on 19th July 1989.
graphics). They still had fast acceleration but rattled, knocked
and jumped about as if on their last legs - what will replace
them? The interiors were clean and well kept and the
windows gave a good all round view; they also ran to time.
The Steam Railway had expanded at Havenstreet and the
line had been opened up to Smallbrook Junction where trains
on the Ryde - Shanklin line call when the steam line is open.
The steam railway would like to operate into Ryde. The line
from Smallbrook Junction is double track to Ryde so trains
could operate. In steam days it operated as two single lines
As we were (3): “First-generation” 486031 – converted Well worth a visit: W24 Calbourne leaves Havenstreet for
Underground stock – leaves Ryde with a Shanklin train on Wootton on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in August
19th July 1989. The old tram track formation can be seen in 2014.
The East Suffolk Line & Related Issues – Concluding Part (Rod Lock)
The RETB proposal for the East Suffolk was authorised at an Locally Monitored (AOCL) by train drivers, although following
estimated cost of £1.639M, at 1983 prices. It produced a the Lockington (between Hull & Scarborough) level crossing
betterment on the Revenue Account of £500,000, resulting accident on 26th July 1986 and Professor Stott’s Inquiry,
from 42 staff being saved. The next best option was: which investigated the safety of this type of crossing, some
such crossings on the East Suffolk were converted to
● Continuing with the existing service; Automatic Half Barrier Locally Monitored crossings (AHBL).
● Partial singling to avoid renewals; However, it is now proposed to convert the remaining AOCL
● Replacing the pole route; crossings on the East Suffolk to AHBs.
● Retaining existing signalling;
● Modernising level crossings at the rate of 2-3 per The singling of the line applied to the following sections:
year. Oulton Broad North Junction to Oulton Broad South. This
Four signalboxes were abolished – Beccles South, Brampton, section was controlled by Oulton Broad North Station
Halesworth & Melton – and one – Oulton Broad Swingbridge
– was reduced to ground frame status. Twenty two manned signalbox and was not part of the RETB system.
level crossings were converted to Automatic Open Crossings
Oulton Broad South – Halesworth 14m 69c;
Saxmundham – Woodbridge 12m 10c.
Thus 59% of the line was singled, broadly comparable to the The cabinets contained a telephone connected to
M&GN, although the East Suffolk did not have the same level Saxmundham signalbox and blank “Permission to Proceed”
of line occupation as did the M&GN on Summer Saturdays. forms which, when completed by the driver, gave him
permission to proceed through the section. This was a
In 1967, BR received a Government grant to remove surplus variation of the system universally used on the Ravenglass &
track capacity – how times have changed! At one meeting the Eskdale line.
King’s Cross Division had with the General Manager’s
Planning people from York, the Division was represented by Double track sections were treated as independent parallel
the Freight Assistant and me - I was Head of the Works & single lines, but bi-directional working was possible if needed.
Planning Section. The former suggested
singling the East Lincs line between
Peterborough Werrington Junc and
Spalding. The York man’s response was
immediate: “I’m not having that – it would
be like the M&GN on a Summer Saturday”!
The introduction of RETB was planned for
24th November 1985, but in the event it
was deferred until February 1986. The line
was controlled from Saxmundham
signalbox which became continuously
manned to safeguard the expensive
equipment installed therein.
All signals were abolished except those at
each end of the line, at Oulton Broad North
Junc and Westerfield, whilst a minimum
number of colour light signals were
provided at Saxmundham. In the down
direction, one routed Sizewell trains on to
the Leiston branch. At the token exchange
stations, Stop boards and distant signal
arms on white reflectorized boards were
provided. At the single to double line Although not directly relevant to Rod Lock’s feature, the last train in connection
junctions at Halesworth and Woodbridge, with the decommissioning of Sizewell “A” power station ran on 6th August. It has
train-operated hydro-pneumatic spring just joined the main line at Saxmundham Junc and the trainman is ‘phoning the
points were normally set for trains in the signalbox to let them know. There is now no regular traffic over the stub of the
facing direction. In the trailing direction, Aldeburgh branch, which now faces an uncertain future.
flanges levered them over with pneumatic (Richard Adderson)
assistance. The speed limit over the
junctions was 15 mph.
The introduction of RETB altered the way trains approaching
At Oulton Broad South (and Westerfield) a driver asked a crossing loop from opposite directions should be dealt with,
Saxmundham to be entered into the RETB system, identifying unchanged since safety was first regulated by the Board of
his train by the unique radio identification number in the cab. Trade. This prevented simultaneous entry. The first train to be
admitted to the loop had to be brought to a stand, or almost to
The signalman keyed in this number and the train’s location a stand, at the Home signal, and when at a stand in the loop
on his keyboard, and confirmed to the driver he was in the the train from the opposite direction could then be admitted.
system. The driver then requested a token, and the With the RETB, in the absence of fixed signals, sequential
signalman entered the request on the computer. The solid entry of trains was impossible.
state interlocking then checked that no other token had been
issued. The signalman pressed the token issue key on the A 4-page description of the East Suffolk RETB appeared in
keyboard and instructed the driver to press his “Receive” the October 1992 issue of Railway Magazine. This description
button. The successful issue of the token was shown on an of the RETB scheme raises the more general question of
illuminated display in the cab. The solid state interlocking when is resignalling carried out. The answer is when the
ensured that no conflicting token could be issued. Just as in condition of the equipment makes it necessary or when the
conventional single line signalling there was a safety overlap, track layout becomes inadequate, a capacity issue. Features
in this case beyond the Stop Boards, where a Station Limit dominating the problem were progressive wear in mechanical
board was provided. This consisted of a white board with interlockings and deterioration. As cable technology improved
three diagonal light blue stripes. This overlap had to be clear it became possible to control large areas from a signalling
before a following train could be authorised to enter the centre, initially known as Power Signalboxes (PSBs).
section in the rear. A driver had to inform the signalman on However, in 1960, the control area was very limited – for
passing the Station Limit board. example Clapton Junc signalbox was closed and the junction
controlled from Hackney Downs signalbox, a mere 1½ miles
The 3-car Class 101 DMUs on the route were provided with away, an innovation at that time. Folklore had it that in the
fixed RETB equipment in their cabs as were the two Class evenings the signalmen at Clapton Junc box speed-checked
37s for Sizewell freight traffic. all local trains, composed of non-corridor stock, so that they
could see what the courting couples were up to! I have to
In the event of the RETB system failing, locked cabinets were admit I did much of my courting in London N17 as my future
provided at the “token” stations, a key being held by drivers. wife came from Tottenham!
From the late 1960s onwards, large areas were resignalled, Victoria Line. The relevant paragraph of the article stated:
controlled by a PSB, as illustrated in the table below: “These high capital costs (of resignalling) are matched with
relatively low operating costs, but the improvement is not as
The majority of resignalling schemes did not yield a positive great as the abolition of signalboxes would suggest because,
rate of return on the investment, as was the case with most owing to the complexity of modern equipment, many of the
renewals. This was confirmed by an article in the July 1967 former signalmen have to be replaced by maintenance
issue of Modern Railways – “BR Track Costs & their technicians. The return on investment in many proposals
Implications” – by Dr Stewart Joy, then Economic Consultant, suggests that they are largely a trade-off of capital for labour,
Ministry of Transport, previously Chief Economist, BRB, and a change in the types of labour required”.
author of The Train that Ran Away, and Christopher Foster,
then Director-General of Economic Planning, Ministry of However, the areas controlled by those PSBs are dwarfed by
Transport, who was jointly responsible for the first application the control areas proposed in Network Rail’s project for 12
of Cost/Benefit Analysis to a UK transport project – London’s Rail Operating Centres for the whole network. East Anglia will
Route Miles Signalboxes Signalled be controlled from just one of these
centres, located at Romford, currently
controlled closed routes under construction. 26 benefits are
SCOTTISH REGION claimed to accrue, the key ones being
Edinburgh 221 64 improved train regulation and better
Motherwell 124 63 management of disruption. Control of
the East Suffolk is programmed for
SOUTHERN REGION transfer to Romford in 2022.
London Victoria* 103 37 1400 Total Editor’s Note: * Rod further advises that
65 Signalmen Victoria’s control area extended
56 13 Regulators (approximately) from Epsom in the
43 south-west to Maidstone in the south-
87 east. The signalling console was 100’
Reading 114 long, divided into 10 control panels, 6
20 South Eastern and 4 Central. In the
peaks some panels needed two men.
LONDON MIDLAND REGION The total of 65 includes Relief Staff,
those supervising level-crossings and
Preston 114 those responsible for long-line
Trent 74 886 announcing at times of disruption.
605 Normally, recorded train
announcements were triggered from
EASTERN REGION train describers as were “next train”
Doncaster 180 indicators. Thanks to Rod for
Peterborough 59 Controls 66 level-crossings enlightening us on this complex subject.
a selective look ahead at local railway events
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY, GER Society (Norwich Branch) and Norfolk Transport Group meetings take place (unless
otherwise stated) at: United Reformed Church Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6QR
Events are listed in good faith, but visitors should check with the organisation concerned before travelling.
Great Eastern Railway Society (Norwich Branch) - contact Mike Fordham
Norfolk Transport Group - contact John Laycock
Services on our Local Railways
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, East View Farm, Stone Lane, Ashmanhaugh, NR12 8YW, has running every first Sunday of the
month 1400-1700 weather permitting. Please go to: www.ashmanhaughlightrailway.co.uk
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL has running every third Sunday of the month – email:
[email protected] – Tel: 01603-782008.
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
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 01263-
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway is now running a daily service until the end of October. Please go to: www.
wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk or tel: 01328 711630 (up to 1700 please).
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.whitwellstation.com - or
Editor’s Note: All “Mince Pie” & “Santa Specials” have been excluded from our Working Timetable as the information is readily
available elsewhere e.g. from the railway company websites, from railway company leaflets or by telephoning the railway
OCTOBER Thur 1930 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “The London Outer Orbital Railway – Historical,
16th Construction & Proposed Developments” – Presentation by Les Bird, Operations Manager,
Transport for London.
23rd Thur 1930 GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY SOCIETY (Norwich Branch) – “Rails on the Screen (plus more)” –
25th - 2nd Nov Sat - Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – “Spooky Express” – Free travel for every child when accompanied by a
fare-paying adult (max: 2 children per adult).
25th - 1st Nov Sat - Sat NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – “Ghost Trains”, with a special evening train on Friday 31st October.
30th Thur 1930 NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “Ups and Downs in the Motor Trade” – Bryan Webb
31st Friday MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – “Halloween Scream Express” (Diesel Locos).
1st - 2nd Sat - Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – “Multiple Matters Weekend” (Diesel & Electric Multiple Units).
2nd Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – “Steam Sunday”.
6th Thur 1930 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “Railways across Canada” – John Day.
13th Thur 1930 NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “Team Quiz Night” (Come & Enjoy Yourselves) – Malcolm
20th Thur 1930 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “An Evening with Colin Gifford” – We have been fortunate
to secure the services of this noted author and railway photographer.
27th Thur 1930 GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY SOCIETY (Norwich Branch) – “Portugal’s Railways” – Ken Mills.
4th Thur 1930 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “Norfolk’s Beeching Closures of 1964” – Richard Adderson.
7th Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – “Steam Sunday”.
11th Thur 1930 NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - “Warships” – Hadrian Jeffs.
18th Thur 1930 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Members’ Evening: Pictures, Films, Readings, Short Talks
etc. Maximum of 10 min. per member, please. No doubt there will be the usual collection for
the St. Martin’s Housing Trust.
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