Volume 58 No. 4 July/Aug 2013
A4 Anniversary American and Canadian visitors who had travelled to see
Dwight D. Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada alongside
The “Mallard 75th” anniversary event on 3rd July 2013 to their classmates under one roof. Assembled in numerical
commemorate the world steam speed record was opened by the order round the turntable in the Great Hall they all attracted
NRM Acting Director (now the Director), Paul Kirkman, with the crowds who patiently waited to cab them in turn with NRM
statement: “The Dream of Railway Enthusiasts of the World”, staff on hand to give specific information about the
which referred to the reuniting of the six surviving A4 Pacifics, locomotives. The throngs of people around the turntable and
including the two previously exiled in North America, to honour Pacifics unfortunately limited the opportunities for good
the achievement of Mallard and which received prime national photography, but patience was rewarded in the end with Chris
and international media attention that day. meeting media acquaintances who gave him an opportunity
to photograph the steam celebrities after the day’s
proceedings had ended. Chris’s photographs offer a
“snapshot” of those he was privileged to take on that
news from railways in and around Norfolk
Riding the Rural Rails – Ranger Style (With a
Table but Without Your Wife)
Chris Mitchell and Peter Willis joined over 5,000 enthusiasts who I mentioned to Mike Fordham that I was considering a day
attended the NRM event. The train from Norwich to York had trip on the Greater Anglia rural lines using a £17 Ranger
previously allowed photographs of Tornado en route, chartered ticket. Mike had done this before but he was “game” so we
to bring over 300 enthusiasts from London. The presence of a set a date of Friday 5th July and made our plans. Because
working steam locomotive just outside the Great Hall added to Rangers do not start until 0845 and we wanted to get back
the atmosphere of the occasion, which was well-received by reasonably early, we decided to start our tour on the 0736
Norwich to Great Yarmouth via Berney Arms. This decision
resulted in two things: leaving Poringland at 0700 and the
purchase of a single ticket to Great Yarmouth (£6.70).
Parking in the NCP car park on Lower Clarence Road is
now £4.30, a rise of 10p since I used it regularly back in
March but it is very handy for the station with only a five
minute stroll to the platform barriers. Coffee was purchased
and we headed for our first train. Unit 153335 greeted us at
platform 4. We started on time with the usual grumbling-
rumble characteristic of these units. It was at this point that
Mike introduced the challenge – “Let’s see if we can get a
table on every train” – Challenge accepted, Mike!
In This Issue The route to Yarmouth via Berney Arms diverges shortly
after Brundall and, heading south-east, goes through
Track Report Buckenham, Cantley and Reedham stations. Berney Arms
National Network 1 station is a request stop, and the charming windmill there is
Away from the Tracks 5 only accessible to the public on foot. The line passes
through the Reedham, Berney, Beighton and Acle marshes
Pick-up Goods 6 before joining the Acle line just outside Yarmouth at
Features Breydon Junction. Route distance 20.5 miles. Our train,
which had been lightly loaded on the outward leg, was to
National Service & Lousy Service form the 0817 back to Norwich and appeared quite busy
- Richard Adderson 12 with commuters. However Mike and I took our repose at
The M&GN Main Line and Locomotive 13 Yarmouth as the next target was the 0847 Great Yarmouth
Allocations – Final Part - Ken Mills to Norwich via Acle. The excellent bacon butties at
Working Timetable 15 Yarmouth station can be recommended!
The 0847 was formed of a Bombardier “Turbostar” no. at Whitlingham Junction the service headed north up the
170205 which was a three car unit. Clearly the morning peak Bittern Line, its stops including Salhouse, Hoveton &
at Yarmouth was over as the train was again lightly loaded. Wroxham (new building noted at the BVR station), North
Mike was made responsible for photographing the units we Walsham (nothing in the sidings) and then Cromer. The
travelled on so any photos accompanying this article are his internal portion of the old Cromer triangle is a massive touring
work. Whilst photographing our “return to Norwich ride” a caravan park and Mike and I mused over the amount of
complete stranger approached us and asked if were caravans there and why so many Norfolk inhabitants want to
interested in specific trains or railways in general as he had own a caravan given that there are some perfectly good
some “old railway lamps at home”. I wondered if this was a holiday destinations locally – Great Yarmouth or Bacton for
euphemism as I had once had a similar approach outside instance. Hopefully Network Rail will someday reinstate the
Amsterdam Central station - however that vendor was trying missing section of the triangle and save the NNR a great deal
to sell me drugs - but this was Great Yarmouth after all! of angst.
The route via Acle runs parallel to the A47 or the infamous Our service arrived at Sheringham on time (1043) and I am
Acle Straight as it is known locally and passes across the sure you will be pleased to read that the much-disputed
South Walsham, Tunstall and Damgate marshes. Acle station Tesco, which is next to the current station, is coming along “a
has the only passing loop on the Acle branch of the Wherry bundle” though it appears to be a wooden framed building
Line, and in times past was a coaling depot. The line then which is strange for a supermarket. Perhaps some of the
rejoins the Berney Arms branch just east of Brundall with a locals opposed to the development suggested that the
short run back into Norwich. Route distance 19 miles. We had construction materials should be combustible? Our turn-round
a table. at Sheringham was only three minutes but 156416 left on
time for our return to Norwich passing the site of the
Train number three was the 0945 Norwich to Sheringham and September 1874 collision between the “up” Great Yarmouth
was formed of unit 156416. The service left on time and, Mail and the London Express close to Whitlingham Junction
despite it being a very warm and sunny day, was not as busy and the River Yare at Thorpe. Arrival at Norwich was on time
as we had imagined it should have been. Having turned left (1141) and a table had again been secured.
Norfolk Railway Society Train number five was the 1205 Norwich to Lowestoft formed
(Founded 1955) of unit 156419 and departed from platform 5. Several tomato
plants can be seen growing on the track bed here, very well
President: Arnold Hoskins, Esq. fertilised and watered; however I don’t think that I would fancy
Vice-President: Ken Mills, Esq. the tomatoes produced. Norwich station’s tomato plant
phenomenon was mentioned a few years ago by Sarah
Committee and Officers 2012-2013 Telephone Kennedy on her early morning Radio 2 show. We had a one
minute late start for no apparent reason as the “right away”
Chairman Gordon Bruce 01603 861389 had been given several minutes earlier. This Lowestoft
service called at Brundall, Cantley, Reedham, Haddiscoe,
Vice Chairman Peter Cooke 01508 530097 Somerleyton and Oulton Broad North. The swing bridge at
Reedham is probably the most interesting feature of this line,
Past Chairman Peter Adds 01508 492070 dating from 1902-3 prior to the doubling of the track and is
operated from the 1904 Reedham Swing Bridge signal box. In
Secretary Ian Woodruff 01603 700856 a typical year it is opened 1,300 times (if in working order!).
The remains of the infrastructure of the Great Yarmouth to
Treasurer John Laycock 01603 720125 Beccles line, which closed to regular traffic in November
1959, can be seen at Haddiscoe - there was a little-used
Fixtures Arranged by sub-committee connection from Haddiscoe Junction (on the Norwich line) to
Fleet Junction (on the Beccles line) although the “direct” line
Membership Sec. Mike Handscomb 01953 605068 crossed our line on a viaduct. The other station was aptly
christened Haddiscoe High Level. For the marsh enthusiasts
Newsletter Editor Edward Mann 01603 456372 from Reedham the line travels through, Norton, Thurlton,
Thorpe, Haddiscoe, Somerleyton, Blundeston and Oulton
Publicity Mike Fordham 01508 493437 Marshes. Quite an engineering feat. The train arrived at
Lowestoft on time (1250), route distance 24 miles – 100%
Committee Members: table occupancy so far.
Graham Kenworthy 01603 714479 Mike and I discussed the current state of repair of Lowestoft
Station, lamented the absence of the overall roof and the
Chris Mitchell 01603 451692 multitude of fish trains that would have been seen in its
heyday. There is still a VR post box in the wall and the
Peter Willis 01508 492562 remains of two stamp machines. We did not go out of the
station but the last time I saw it from the outside it was still
—------------------------------ sporting a huge Eastern Region coloured station name that I
am certain would raise a large amount of cash on Ebay.
Website Editor Andrew Wright 01508 492010 Anyway, onwards! The next train was the 1307 to Ipswich
formed of unit 170204. As I previously mentioned, it was a
Archivists Peter Allison & 01508 499723 warm and sunny day (24 - 25°); we had been comfortable
temperature-wise on the other journeys we had made so far,
Raymond Meek 01263 860662 with all but one of the units having opening windows, however
I found the air-conditioning on this particular unit not operating
============================================= as coldly as I would have liked. Clearly technology isn’t
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter everything.
Editor Edward Mann 2
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 3rd October 2013
Copy date: 26h September 2013
challenge was proving to be too easy by the way! The unit
gave as a very spirited run to Felixstowe and we arrived at
1523 one minute early. Mike can recommend some happy
hours at Felixstowe Docks photographing freight services.
The new cranes can be seen from the train and are like giant
grey leviathans all lined up. The journey back to Ipswich
started at 1528 and was just as spirited arriving at 1552 two
minutes early. 25 more miles on the clock. Up till now all had
gone to plan but from here on things went badly wrong.
The two trains wait at Lowestoft (Mike Fordham) The plan had been to catch the 1600 to Peterborough as far
as Ely. We were there but, unfortunately, due a signal failure
The line to Ipswich is 49 miles long and our chosen service at Ely the train wasn’t and had been cancelled. We decided to
stopped at Oulton Broad South, Beccles, Brampton (request get the 1620 Ipswich to Cambridge and then get a connecting
only), Halesworth, Darsham, Saxmundham, Wickham Market, service to Norwich. Please remember that this was a summer
Melton, Woodbridge and finally Ipswich. Mike was hoping to Friday afternoon and it gets busy! The train finally arrived at
take advantage of the recently opened passing loop at platform 4 and we were in danger of not getting a table. The
Beccles and wanted to get a shot of the service from Ipswich advice if you come face-to-face with a bear is to make
but unfortunately we had been a couple minutes late away yourself look big – I can confirm that this also works if you are
from Lowestoft and were still behind when we reached determined to sit at a table. Unit 170272 was to take us to
Beccles so this did not happen. For the energetic reader I can Cambridge and left on time; however signalling problems in
recommend a walk from Oulton Broad South back to Beccles the Stowmarket area caused us to lose 12 minutes which we
along the banks of the Waveney - allow 3 hours. The did not recover. The route to Cambridge goes via the main
countryside along the route is typical Suffolk and the views of line to Haughley and then through Elmswell, Thurston, Bury
the River Deben at Woodbridge are particularly pleasing. We St Edmunds, Kennett, Newmarket, and Dullingham. A total of
noted the Aldeburgh branch, now curtailed to just east of 57 miles.
Leiston for Sizewell traffic. No pair of DRS class 20s and no
nuclear flask today, though. The line finally joins the main Cambridge was in chaos. The thought crossed my mind: “Do I
Norwich to London line at East Suffolk Junction just north of really want to be in Cambridge at 1800 on a Friday evening
Ipswich and shortly after passing the junction for the following a massive signalling failure?” But too late I was
Felixstowe branch. At East Suffolk a new curve is being put in already there. A Stansted Airport to Birmingham New Street
to allow freight traffic from Felixstowe Docks to turn right and Cross Country service, formed of a two car 170, arrived whilst
head north to Haughley Junction avoiding Ipswich and we were waiting for our Norwich train. There were bikes,
London with the earthworks now well underway. Table? cases and Cambridge Dons with large rucksacks trying vainly
Naturally. to get on the train but they didn’t all manage it. First class
honours degree in maths not helping much today? Madness!
Our train arrived at Ipswich at 1438 still two minutes late and The second unsolicited approach of the day by a chap
wanting to go to “Fetfud” was easily shrugged-off. Then doubt
began to rise. We were catching the 18:12 service to
Norwich, calling at Ely, Brandon, Thetford, Attleborough and
Wymondham - was it going to be as busy as the BNS? More
to the point would we get a table? Unit 170203 hove into
view, we positioned ourselves by a door and spread out, “Go
right, go right!” hissed Mike. Table occupation sorted! Phew!
Last 68 miles with an enabled table. Arrival Norwich 1932 -
two (too) late. Total distance travelled 323.5 miles.
I believe I am right when I say we only missed one of Norfolk
and Suffolk’s Greater Anglia stations which was Diss and as
that is served by the main line we considered it not in the
primary objective. The secondary objective of total table
occupation was achieved. Both our wives were bitterly
disappointed that they could not come with us, my wife Julie
“had” to work and assured me that she did ask for time-off but
could not get it and Mike’s wife Ann “had” to go to a
barbeque. Anyway we had such fun with no DVT the whole
day – neither Deep Vein Thrombosis or Driving Van Trailer.
Loco numbers as promised:
70001 at Ipswich SP (Mike Fordham) Editor’s Note: Readers may be surprised to learn that
Buckenham has no Mon-Fri “by request” stops at all, though it
we immediately set about recording the locomotives stabled has a few on Saturdays & Sundays.
at Ipswich and a list is available at the end of this piece. That
having been done ice creams were obtained and joyfully 3
consumed. We were heading to Felixstowe next on the 1458
and duly boarded 153322 for the return trip – this table
Seen from The Train Window - July 2013 This project appears to be making excellent progress as by
early July 2013 a substantial part of the new embankment for
By Peter Adds the chord had already been constructed and work was
advancing well on the new bridge structure beside the GEML
Norwich to Sheringham enabling the chord to cross the river.
Train services between Norwich, Cromer and Sheringham are Chelmsford
tightly timetabled so as to complete the 30 mile journey within The demolition of the former extensive Marconi buildings on
an hour allowing the service to be operated by just two DMUs the Down side, country end of station, which commenced
for much of the day. Some services call at all 9 stations en during March, had been completed by late June.
route whilst some omit stops at Salhouse, Worstead, Gunton
and Roughton Road. Differential speed limits apply along the Romford
line with, for example, speed limit boards showing 30 over By late June the new Signalling Control Centre at Romford
SP55 with the lower speed limit applying to loco hauled had seen rapid development with the structural steelwork. It
services and the higher SP limit applying to services worked which will ultimately control all lines in East Anglia fringing to
by Sprinter type units. Whilst the maximum line speed is York SCC to the north (Network Rail have further refined their
75mph there are several lesser restrictions when leaving future requirements reducing the number of such Centres
Norwich, and at Whitlingham Junc, Hoveton, North Walsham, from 14 to 12 in number to replace the 800 signalboxes in use
Cromer, also a 20mph restriction over a public crossing today).
between West Runton and Sheringham and finally a 5mph
restriction approaching that terminus. Rail-served aggregate terminals
Between Norwich, Ipswich and London there are three active
The services are now usually worked by the recently rail-served aggregate terminals, all on the Up side, with the
refurbished Class 156 DMUs which have gained a much two at Norwich Trowse and Barham (three sidings with one
fresher appearance internally as well as the Greater Anglia with an undertrack discharge facility), just north of Claydon,
white bodyside / red door external livery. Major innovations operated by Lafarge and the third at Marks Tey which is
internally include a DDA compliant lavatory and scrolling operated by Tarmac. The first two terminals receive stone
passenger information displays. aggregate via trainload trains hauled by DBS with Barham
seeing some services worked by Freightliner Heavy Haul.
Either side of underbridge no. 378 near MP16½, where the Marks Tey sees outward movement of sand extracted from
line crosses over a public highway north of Worstead station, nearby quarries at Stanway – these trains are worked by
works to stabilise the embankment have been progressing for DBS. Apart from the frequent container train services and
several months. Steel sheet piles have been driven into the RHTT trains based at Stowmarket in the autumn the only
toe of the embankment on the west / Down side of the line other commercial freight train service running along the
which has now been capped in steel and backfilled with GEML is the gas condensate service running between North
additional aggregate material to strengthen the embankment. Walsham and Harwich Parkeston Quay.
A 20 mph limit applies.
North Walsham represents the only active railfreight terminal
along the route with gas condensate being loaded (by
pipeline from the Bacton terminal) to 100 tonne bogie tank
wagons which are taken in trainload consists to the Carless
refinery at Harwich Parkeston Quay several times a week by
GBRf Class 66s. These trains regularly stand on the Wensum
Curve awaiting their usual path following the 1530 Norwich to
GEML: Norwich to London
Ipswich: Bacon Factory Curve project
Problems that beset the rail traveller
Construction work at Bacon Factory Curve on 11th July 2013 All sorts of things can make the commuter (or anyone else for
(Andy Wright) that matter) late. On what some may regard as the fragile GA
route to Liverpool St there might be locomotive or signal
failures, distorted track, sagging catenaries, suicides, even
before we get on to planned engineering work and rail-
replacement buses. A man climbing on to the roof of Ipswich
station during the morning of 19th July was hardly an event
that could be predicted, yet it probably caused as much
disruption as many of the listed events combined, and it was
about 7 hours before the man could be persuaded to come
down. It’s unlikely that his protest engendered much
sympathy from the (non) travelling public!
_________TRACK REPORT (the space between the two lines) are not the actual
dimensions! Similarly, the distance between the two pairs of
This is the new Pudding Mill station building under lines (four tracks) is referred to as being the ten-foot. The
construction, east of the present Docklands line and existing cess is regarded as being the safest place to walk beside the
Pudding Mill Lane station (just off the right-hand side of the track provided that it is not obstructed by materials, overhead
picture), being accessed via a new concrete viaduct which line masts etc, when one has to use common sense.
is being constructed to remove the present single track
section of the DLR between Pudding Mill Lane and Bow Away from the Tracks
Church stations and to divert the DLR away from the Great
Eastern main line, creating a working site for the Crossrail Great Central Auctions
tunnel portal (to Farringdon) and more particularly to
facilitate future connections allowing Crossrail services 13th April 2013
serving stations to Shenfield to join the main line. (Peter
Adds) Lot 56: A totem sign, HADDISCOE,(f/f), from the Norwich to
Lowestoft route, an edge chip below the D repainted and a
few surface marks. - Sold for £600.
Lot 70: A worksplate, M & GN, REBUILT 1899, MELTON
CONSTABLE, from a 4-4-0T built by Hudswell Clarke &
Rogers, Works No 211, in June 1879 for the Lynn &
Fakenham Railway and named FAKENHAM. The L&FR
amalgamated with the Eastern & Midlands Railway in August
34067 Tangmere working hard on the climb past Spooner 1882 and in July 1893 the E&MR was acquired jointly by the
Row with the down “Fenman” on 25th May. The Midland Railway and Great Northern Railway to form the
photographer, Richard Adderson, reports that the sound Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway. This loco became
effects were spectacular too! Later in the day, a fire was M&GNJR Class B No 9, was renumbered to 9A in 1894,
caused in the up “cess” between Ipswich and Manningtree rebuilt in 1899 and scrapped in 1932. Cast brass 9"x6¼", the
(see NRS/NL 58/3 p.16). front repainted. - Sold for £1500.
Lot 352: A signal box nameboard, POTTER HEIGHAM, from
the Melton Constable to Yarmouth section of the M & GN
Joint Line, which closed in 1959. 62" long, original condition. -
Sold for £440.
The Cess isn’t what you might think Sheffield Railwayana Auctions
(Peter Adds) 8th June 2013
Lot 223: A Great Eastern Railway signal box nameboard,
The “Stop Press” COKE OVENS JUNCTION. 90"x11¾". The box was situated
(NRS/NL 58/3 p.16) outside Lowestoft Central, at the junction of the Norwich line
produced a query about and the now-closed line to Yarmouth (South Town). The end
the meaning of the beading is absent. - Sold for £360.
Well, here goes. If one 5
visualises a double-track
railway in cross-section
from left to right the areas
would be designated
cess, four-foot, six-foot,
four-foot and cess.
Naturally the 4’ and 6’ Example of the “cess”
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Recently at the URC Hall Luxembourg City. We saw other examples of rationalisation
of services on certain routes where local electric units had
Visit from the IDHTS (16th May 2013) His show concluded with six images from our benefactor
Roger Harrison of Travelling Post Office trains during the
The Ipswich & District Historical Transport Society provided 1990s in the early hours of the morning.
four member presentations for the final indoor meeting before
the summer recess. Peter Durrell followed with the very specialist subject of
“Railway Heraldry”. His show started with the four post-
Arthur Fuller, Warrant Officer (retired), Royal Army Ordnance Grouping railway companies, who established the appropriate
Corps, provided a detailed account of his Army career in the authority to use coats of arms in their railway heraldry. This
transport division spanning 22 years. was followed by numerous railway company examples of
railway heraldry, too many to note, but today can be seen on
Born in rural Suffolk in 1929, a childhood memory was his preserved items of cutlery, china and stationery (for the
Uncle demonstrating a new Bedford OY lorry. An instant uninitiated in this type of railwayana many examples can be
fascination with the vehicle proved by coincidence a feature seen in “The Warehouse” at the National Railway Museum).
of his later career.
Stuart McNae rounded off the evening with a look at the
In 1942 at the age of 12 Arthur worked six weeks at a local changes to signalling in East Anglia, predominantly during the
farm during the summer harvest. This was repeated the electrification of the 1980s. His images brought back many of
following year as farm labour was at a premium during the the memories of the mechanical technology to the multi-
war. His ambition to work full time was thwarted by a return to aspect signalling and power-box generation. Scenes of the
school until reaching the age of 14. On leaving school his GE main line through Ipswich and Colchester demonstrated
work in agriculture was driving tractors for periods of up to 72 how much has changed together with forays to branch lines
hours a week. Fortune took its course in his ambition to to Clacton, Frinton, Sudbury and Felixstowe. Glimpses of the
pursue transport endeavours when he joined the Army in East Suffolk line and branch to Leiston were had before the
1948 becoming a driving instructor on nothing less than the Chairman reluctantly brought proceedings to an end for fear
Bedford OY lorry! His early years in this position recalled of the electric meter running out at 10.15pm!!!
memories of teaching the many characters that form the
fabric of life! In summary, a very illuminating evening for the 40+ members
who attended. (A very sober Chris Mitchell.)
His first overseas posting in 1951 to Malaysia saw active Bluebell Railway Visit Report
service based initially in Singapore followed by Kuala Lumpur.
After a short period in charge of the Armoury he returned to Soon after 0630 on Saturday 18th May some 47 Society
Singapore promoted to Sergeant in the Transport Division
and reunited with the Bedford OY`s. Returning to the UK in members, friends and acquaintances began to join John
1954 he passed the “Quartermasters” course to further his Laycock and his “Second Man” Derek Riley aboard L99 SLT,
career. In true Army tradition his ambition to achieve a a Berkhof 50-seater coach from Smiths of Blofield for a jolly
“commission” was tested by further lengthy postings to jaunt to the Bluebell Railway, in large part due to the
Germany followed by Benghazi, Libya. The first posting in the generosity of Roger Harrison in leaving the Society a
Rhine Army saw his assignment to 23 Company Tank substantial legacy which has also funded the recently
Transport Division driving American built transporters for produced book of his photographs.
British Centurion Tanks. His exploits included the skill in The Bluebell of course had only recently extended to meet
loading tanks using winches and driving on the German Network Rail tracks at East Grinstead, outside Sainsbury’s
autobahns at speed with weights of 105 tons in the Ruhr and (though the stations are some way apart), and had frequently
Dusseldorf regions. The 3 years in Benghazi in an been mentioned in the Railway Press, so we were all anxious
administrative position completed his overseas continuous to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about.
posting of 7½ years, earning him his worthy commission as a
Warrant Officer, qualifying for a better pension. His retirement After a prompt departure at 0700, and pick-ups at
from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps to civvy street saw a Wymondham and Attleborough, we soon left the drizzle of
further 20 years driving lorries for Pauls’ Maltsters in Suffolk. Norfolk behind and arrived for a brief stop at Thurrock. A
speedy trip round the M25, however, was followed by
The second presenter was Bev Steele providing a show of congestion nearer our destination, and unfortunately we failed
railway traction in the Benelux and Germany during the to catch the 1045 off East Grinstead, although several
noughties. The 44 images were predominantly of electric participants disembarked there. Through the leafy and hilly
locomotives of dual voltage capability to accommodate cross lanes of Spring-like Sussex we pressed on to Horsted
border operation, a feature of the near continent. Many Keynes, but again the desired train was just out of our reach.
classes of the locomotives seen in this presentation are either However, a trip round the C & W Works had been arranged,
extinct or now history. The introduction of electric multiple unit and that, as well as a wander round the very interesting
train operations replacing traditional loco hauled stock is former interchange station with its stalls and coaches full of
becoming more common as is the provision of double-decker books and ephemera for sale, filled the time before the next
trains. An example in Germany is the rundown of the once train. Aficionados of the Bluebell will know that one hope of
ubiquitous Class 143 locomotives with the rakes of “silver theirs is to relay the branch to Ardingly and join NR in another
fish” coaches, a development by the DR prior to unification. A direction, perhaps with electric trains, but that could take
recent casualty is the replacement of hauled stock from another 50 years!
Germany to Luxembourg via the Rhine valley where motive
power was changed to dedicated dual voltage Class 180s at Soon enough, SR ‘B’ Class 473 arrived with a fine array of
Koblenz forward to the Mosel valley and onwards to teak 4 wheelers and bogies, some Metropolitan, others
LB&SC, LC&D and SE&CR plus a bogie LNER directors’
saloon (43909), similar to that on the Worth Valley, serving Thanks to Janet for the artwork on the headboard! (Graham
Bucks’ Fizz and other delights in bone china to those who had Smith)
pre-booked. Attendants in Pullman uniform completed the
picture. I reflected back to a ride taken there 50 years ago *Editor’s Note: We are, unfortunately, limited in the distance
when the same loco, then in umber and named Birch Grove, we’re able to travel, due mainly to the restrictions imposed
carried me as a teenager on the fledgling Bluebell, the upon drivers’ hours. I would, however, like to congratulate the
coaches having only outer shells, with no interior walls, and Bluebell on the quality and content of their new Museum. And
daylight could be seen through the floor! you may think this advice from Harold Walpole, historian &
politician, made in 1749 (which was on an interpretation
I failed to get my specially-made headboard approved by the board in the Museum) holds true today: “If you love good
Driver, since it had to be accepted by the Guv’nor, who was roads be so kind as never to go into Sussex”!
elsewhere, so it rode the cushions with me to Sheffield Park.
There I returned to my task of seeking out the “Guv’nor” via a Fête de la Vapeur – Baie de Somme – 27 – 28
venerable Old Gentleman in full SE&CR dress uniform! This Avril 2013 by Ken Mills
was successful, so I installed myself in one of the Met
coaches to enjoy a ride back to East Grinstead, having taken
the mandatory picture of Headboard on Loco!
The train was full, mainly it seemed with locals keen to see
their new Railway having read about it in the paper, and most
were equipped with OS Maps, dog-eared from walking the
neighbouring woods, and reminiscing on previous walks,
closed stations and pubs plus travel down the aforementioned
Ardingly branch to play football against neighbouring schools,
over 50 years ago. Others were introducing a new generation
to the Railway, shunned by some of great-grandfatherly
vintage who could not stand the din of children, retreating to
the next compartment and slamming the door.
Imberhorne cutting, north of Kingscote, which had been used
for landfill after closure, still looked very “raw” and a lot of
black polythene sheeting had been laid over the sides which
will take a long time to consolidate. It will be interesting to see
how this is dealt with in the long-term.
By the time we reached Kingscote and appeared to take Thursday 25th April saw a party of Society members and
water from a handily placed rail tanker behind the Box, a wait partners set off early from Norwich to visit the Triennial Steam
of some 30 minutes to do so indicated a problem. When we Festival at the Somme Bay Railway in Northern France (see
eventually moved off, apparently very little water had been map). With pick-ups en route at Colchester and Maidstone,
taken on (due to someone having forgotten to refill the tank) passengers totalled 22 plus our affable driver, John, from
and so we still had difficulty. Run-round at East Grinstead Spratts’ Coaches, with assistant Lyn. Due to fog in the
was halted for an hour while water was taken from an Channel our ferry was late leaving Dover, causing us to use
ordinary tap which barely made any difference. Eventually the the A16 motorway from Calais southwards rather than the
train moved off southwards and fortunately downhill, meeting “scenic route” via the D940 coast road. Leaving the A16 at
the other set at Kingscote (instead of Horsted Keynes) full of Rue, we made for Noyelles and then round the bay to Saint
rather irate and confused passengers. No announcements Valery’s Canal station, the location of the locomotive shops
had been made. and running shed, arriving in glorious evening sunshine.
There was some competition to be first off the coach to
However the moment passed and we returned to Sheffield secure some “pre-festival” pictures of the standard gauge
Park, 473 taking water and setting off North again, engines on show in perfect light. Staying handily 8 miles west
commendably within five minutes and almost back on time. in Abbeville, the D940 road parallels the SNCF main line from
I took the opportunity to visit the Museum, Shop and Shed Paris to Calais for much of the way from Noyelles.
which I had missed before and all too soon, after further
refreshment, it was time to return to the coach, tired but Friday 26th April dawned 12° cooler with rain in the air. It was
content. All agreed, reflecting on board the bus, that the day “Members’ Day” at the Somme Bay Railway (not open to the
had been a success and the Bluebell had done all it could in public) although certain trials were conducted with most of the
the circumstances but would have to sort out the water locomotives to check for last-minute problems before the
problem pretty smartly if it was not to lose its hitherto weekend “madness” to follow. The group sampled SNCF
untarnished reputation. We learnt that since opening the running with a 56 mile round trip to Amiens, a large city with a
extension the Railway had been repeatedly overwhelmed with fine cathedral, old streets etc, but because of the inclement
customers at weekends and the operating staff were simply weather most of us seemed to gravitate to the Picardy
worn out. Let us hope that the income created enables them Museum (rather pleasant central heating).
to employ more staff to relieve the situation for the volunteers.
For us, back to Norfolk and thanks are due to Edward for Saturday 27th April was the first of the two-day festival and
organisation and John and his colleague for driving and provided us with a wide choice of trains on both standard and
putting up with a somewhat critical set of passengers. metre gauges. Saturday weather was sunny in the morning
but showery in the afternoon whilst Sunday proved sunny all
What we do next year is up to the Members! Suggestions to day. Each of the towns served by the railway staged certain
Edward please.* events for the weekend. At Cayeux, 200 yards of 60cm gauge
Decauville “snap-track” had been laid (above, picture Mike Interesting Rolling Stock included:
Fordham) in the temporarily-closed street leading up to the 1. A metre-gauge “Autorail” (single unit diesel railcar)
station and featured rides behind a Decauville 0-6-0T built in worked in between timetabled trains on both lines. Built by
1916 for the French military. Saint Valery hosted the “cultural” Verney in 1950 for the P.O.Corrèze Railway in the Auvergne.
pursuits with choirs, bands, etc, plus a group of English 2. Draisines (metre-gauge). The word does not feature
Morris Dancers, watched by several rather bemused locals. in any of my 3 French dictionaries, but these are track-
Aside from the balloon rides, a huge marquee at Noyelles gangers’ powered covered trolleys. Two were operating: one
contained a multitude of stalls selling model railway items for at Cayeux, the other at Le Crotoy, providing free rides for the
all gauges, railway books and magazines, maps and artwork, public on sidings away from the main running lines.
3. One train was composed of Swiss-built coaches
which looked comfortable and classy, but the older wooden
stock was still there with the open platform ends to stand out
on, to enjoy the smoke, smuts, flies and fresh air! An old
standard-gauge 4-wheeler from the Kent & East Sussex
Railway was popular, as were two old wooden-bodied metre-
gauge 6-wheelers of French origin made up into the “mixed”
train, along with several wagons.
4. Operating on the standard-gauge Noyelles to Saint
Valery Port section, in between the scheduled services, was a
1929 3-car Paris Metro set, built for third-rail electric systems.
To provide services on the Somme Bay Railway, one coach
was converted to a power-car with a diesel motor, leaving two
carriages for passengers.
5. Still on Paris, and just fully restored for the steam
festival weekend, was an old single-deck motor bus formerly
used in the city. The group saw it first at the Canal depot in
Saint Valery on the Thursday evening and again at Cayeux
over the weekend, performing tours of the town.
Main Line Visitors: A 6-coach diesel-hauled train arrived from
Rouen at 1100 on Saturday 27th April and departed at 1700
giving passengers 6 hours to ride the trains at the steam
festival. Operated by the Pacific Vapeur Club of Rouen who
are the owners of an ex-SNCF 231G class locomotive, a
The engines are cleaned at St Valery Canal Shed
similar to a UK swapmeet, while at Le Crotoy (pronounced
Crotwa) old steam machinery was displayed. Each station
offered food stalls with various local and national delicacies.
On the locomotive front, all six of the Somme Bay Railway Noyelles station: the ex-Paris Metro is on the right, powered
(CFBS) metre-gauge engines were again in steam plus no. by a diesel generator to work the standard gauge shuttle to
101, an 0-6-0T by Pinguely of Lyon (165/1905) fully restored St Valery. (Mike Fordham)
for this weekend to join the six above at Saint Valery Canal
depot. Train Services – 27th/28th April 2013:
Visiting motive power during the weekend included:
60 cm gauge Before we move on to the services, the gauge situation needs
0-6-0T By Decauville 1652/1916 working in Cayeux – ex to be explained. From Le Crotoy to Noyelles the line is metre-
Réseau Nord-Est no. 5. gauge. Easy. From Noyelles to Saint Valery the line is dual
Metre gauge gauge, with the metre-gauge inside the standard-gauge. The
No. 11 0-4-0T Corpet/Louvet 1927 line onwards to Cayeux is metre-gauge only.
No. 75 0-6-0T Corpet/Louvet 1234/1909
No. 101 0-4-4-0T Blanc-Misseron 337/1906 4-cylinder Basic hourly service from Le Crotoy to Cayeux 1000 to 1900
compound Mallet. - 10 trains.
Standard gauge Basic hourly service from Cayeux to Le Crotoy 1005 to 1905
No. 12 0-4-0T Peckett 1631/1923 “Marcia” Kent & East - 10 trains.
0-6-0T La Meuse 3223/1926 “Bébert”
150 P13 2-10-0 SNCF 1942 4-cylinder compound. Display.
With the 7 resident CFBS engines plus the 7 above = 14 of
which 13 were in steam.
Sadly, trains were not scheduled to depart together on small railway – a decent car park and a heated marquee
parallel tracks as they did during the 2009 festival but still do which is licensed for weddings.
so for the ordinary summer services at Noyelles.
Light refreshments were much appreciated and, after an
An analysis of the working timetable shows the following introduction from Mike Urry, the party split into two groups –
movements per day each way: the first boarding a diesel-hauled S.E.& C.R. brakevan whilst
Noyelles to Le Crotoy 14 - 10 steam hauled, 3 diesel railcar, the second group toured the station environs and saw that the
1 loco positioning signalbox is well on the way to completion. The train headed
Noyelles to Saint Valery Ville/Port 29 - 11 Standard gauge: 5 off from a siding towards Lenwade, and it was noted that
Paris Metro set , 4 steam-hauled, 2 loco positioning even this siding benefited from colour-light signalling. After
18 Metre gauge: 13 steam-hauled, 3 diesel railcar, 2 loco the groups had changed places we had time for exploration
positioning before returning to the marquee for a Q & A session.
Saint Valery Ville to Cayeux 18 - 14 steam-hauled, 2 diesel
railcar, 2 loco positioning Many thanks to Graham Kenworthy for arranging the visit,
and to Mike Urry for being such a genial host. If you haven’t
Steam locomotive miles run each day = 336. Diesel mileage = been here before, do visit the Railway in the not-too-distant
104. future. (EM)
“Mont Blanc” appears to be official CFBS terminology for the Visit to the Lynnstone Regis & Chellow Railway
summit of the bank (rampe) 1.5 kms out of Saint Valery Ville (13th June 2013)
station on the Cayeux line.
Towards the end of our Whitwell & Reepham visit, Roger
Leaving Abbeville at 0930 on Monday 29th April for the Kingstone asked who would be interested in visiting his
homeward trek, we opted for the “scenic route” on the old Gauge “0” garden railway, weather permitting. Sufficient
D940 road to Boulogne then A16 motorway to Calais. A short interest was forthcoming, and although wall-to-wall sunshine
refreshment stop was made at Étaples, where the group also was conspicuously absent everybody seemed to enjoy
paid a visit to the large War Cemetery consisting of more than themselves.
11,000 graves. No major hold-ups otherwise, and we finally
arrived in Norwich around 1830 after an enjoyable trip with a Before embarking on the garden line, which had been in his
great variety of steam locomotives observed and basic good thoughts since moving to Norwich in 1989, Roger had started
weather for the important days. Finally, thanks to John of one at Colchester but his indoor track (upstairs) took priority (I
Spratts’ Coaches plus assistant Lyn for being so nice to us all did not venture upstairs) as he was able to work on that in the
during what was a more comprehensive festival than that of evenings. He’s restricted to running short trains upstairs (6 x
2009. 6 wheel coaches), so that is his pre-grouping (1905-1915)
GER, M&GN, MSLR & CVHR domain.
Editor’s Note: Ken has rendered the locomotive works
numbers conventionally – the locomotive builder’s number Roger’s outdoor layout runs from his garage to his shed; his
followed by the year of construction – which I hope clarifies wife suggested installing the shed after a visit to a friend’s line
e.g. 1652/1916. There’s usually a plate somewhere on the as the shed/garage layout allows for sequence/timetable
engine. running, which a return loop would not. The proposed area
had to be East Anglia, and near King’s Lynn gives the
Visit to the Whitwell & Reepham Railway opportunity to include a Midland (M&GN) presence to link in
with his other period of modelling (1950-1960).
(6th June 2013)
Roger’s system runs from his garage (Lynnstone) via a raised
As has been customary, the final meeting of the session has open-air section to his shed (Chellow Yard), and given
been an outdoor one, and 44 members and wives gathered at Roger’s background it wasn’t surprising that many of the
Whitwell & Reepham station on a sunny but chilly evening to signals and points are fully interlocked. Block instruments are
look around and generally hear what had been going on since at each end, and the electrical work seemed most impressive.
our last visit 4 years ago. Visitor facilities are impressive for a Motive power is largely GER/LNER with a GWR pannier tank
for good measure. There is an authentic array of coaching
Society members enjoy themselves at Whitwell & Reepham stock and wagons. There’s a typed sheet of train movements,
on 6th June (Mike Fordham). to which he did his best to adhere, but as the afternoon wore
on the visitors’ curse struck and he shuttled between garage
and shed as nothing was moving at one stage. Thankfully,
running was restored later and honour was served. With
many thanks Roger for showing us his extensive railway, and
to Maureen for refreshments.
Since our visit, all Lynnstone points are now controlled from
the lever-frame, and he’s in the process of wiring some 60+
relays to eliminate the need for section switches. His ultimate
aim is to control the individual sections from the lever-frame
by clearing the appropriate signals without the need for
switches. However, he thinks he’ll need about a dozen push-
buttons for the “special” moves – isolation at buffer-stops and
“follow-up” movements. (EM)
Eastern Union & Great
Northern Junction Railway
Barry Stevens drew my attention to
the preamble to this Notice of
Application to apply for a Bill dated
12th November 1851 which duly
appeared in the London Gazette and
which is copied opposite. I think that,
by listing the many parishes and
places through which the proposed
line would have passed, you can
roughly follow its route to its
termination near East Dereham
engine shed. This seems to be about
as far as matters went. Whether it
fell foul of Standing Orders, or
money wasn’t forthcoming, or it
simply failed to get Parliamentary
time isn’t clear but we all know it
If, like Barry, you’re interested in the
numerous “lines that never were”,
the best place to start is the County
Record Office. A digital camera is a
Deepest Wales (yet again) “Wandering 1500 commemoration”
In NRS/NL 58/3 p.7 there was an enquiry asking which The M&GN Joint Railway Society are aiming to celebrate the
locomotive classes worked the Grimsby – Whitland fish train 50th anniversary of the “Wandering 1500” Railtour of 5th
from Banbury to the west. Well, first choice seems to have October 1963 with a special event at Sheringham on 5th
been a WR Hall 4-6-0, taking over from a B1, K2, K3, V2 or October 2013.
Britannia (when Immingham had some).
Before we come to that let’s remind ourselves of the route of
Only a small number of fish vans would have made the that railtour and how little could be replicated today. It left
complete journey, after “drop-offs” took place at Banbury, Broad St at 0920 and travelled via Hitchin, Bedford,
Swindon, Wapley Sidings (Yate), Cardiff & Carmarthen. Northampton, Towcester, Stratford-upon-Avon, Rugby and
back to Broad Street. I have the Railway Observer which
Whitland’s value probably lay in its location – from here lines reported on the railtour (though sadly not a copy of the
continued to Cardigan (closed from 10th September 1962), itinerary); if anyone is sufficiently interested, please get in
Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven & Fishguard. It had a goods touch. The M&GNJRS Press Release dated 10th June
yard – presumably of reasonable size - as it was also the underlines the fact that 61572 as it then was performed
starting-point for the milk trains to West London. without any mechanical problems over the 224 miles, despite
having been withdrawn from service some 2 years earlier.
I think this aspect has now been exhausted and the matter is
closed. Anyone wishing to follow a most interesting set of With their usual flair, the M&GNJRS are celebrating the
posts should please enter “Grimsby – Whitland fish train” in railtour’s 50th anniversary by running a special train from
their favourite search engine. (EM) Sheringham (dep 0920) to Holt hauled by 8572. David
Butcher, who was on the footplate in 1963, will be on the
The Cambridge Busway footplate again. The M&GNJRS would like to hear from
anyone who may have been on the train, on the footplate, or
“Busway matters” have received a lot of Newsletter coverage simply a lineside photographer, the point of contact being
recently – see NRS/NL 57/6 & NRS/NL 58/1 together with the Ashley Barrs, c/o North Norfolk Railway, Sheringham, NR26
letter in NRS/NL 58/3 p.9 – and here’s a bit more. 8RA or [email protected]
Cambridgeshire County Council and its contractor BAM
Nuttall are likely to enter into mediation proceedings to Mystery Map Answer
resolve who should pay the £80M overrun incurred during its
construction. Apparently a price of £87M was originally The mystery map in NRS/NL 58/3 p.9 was, perhaps, the
agreed with Nuttalls, but the contractor actually spent some proverbial “bridge too far”. The station was Kirkby Stephen
£161M which the Council has been obliged to pay. It seems (East), on the Darlington – Penrith line, closed from 22nd
as if it is attempting to recoup some £55M with a claim lodged January 1962. Kirkby Stephen (formerly suffixed West) on the
in the Technology & Construction Court in September 2011. Settle & Carlisle line is still open. Kirkby Stephen (East)
Heritage Centre is the home of not only the Stainmore
Railway Company, but also of “Quaker” the famous station
cat. Felinophiles rule, OK!
46233 Duchess of Sutherland near Thuxton on 21st July (Mike Railway Reminiscences Required, Please –
Fordham). Orthodox or Unorthodox
“The Friends of St Seraphim” were created on 17th April last.
They are an Orthodox Christian Community based in the
former GER station at Walsingham, and intend to retain and
develop the building, which they have used since 1967. They
are keen to know as much as possible about its railway
history – particularly the reminiscences of anyone who knew it
or worked at the station in its railway days. They already have
the benefit of the reminiscences of the late Geoff Tuck, who
worked there as a porter, but would very much welcome
If you’re able to help, their address is St Seraphim’s Trust,
Station Road, Little Walsingham, Norfolk, NR22 6EB; tel:
01328 – 820610; website: www.iconpainter.org.uk & their
email address is: [email protected]
Letter to the Editor Wrenford Thatcher
Rod Lock, in his capacity as Secretary of the East Suffolk Although many members enjoyed his presentation on 21st
Travellers’ Association, has challenged the statement in February, this is a reminder that an exhibition of his work (and
NRS/NL 58/3 p.3 that the RETB signalling on the East Suffolk that of others) will be taking place at Picturecraft, Lees Yard,
line would have been unable to cope with the hourly service Holt, NR25 6HS, until 7th August 2013.
introduced in December 2012. He makes the following points:
You’d think people would have wanted to run
1. The number of signalling sections increased by only trains…
one, that from Beccles to Oulton Broad South.
2. Crossing two trains at Beccles would have been I picked up this nugget from the Radio Shropshire website.
simpler, in that RETB permitted simultaneous entry of trains You may recall that direct services between Shrewsbury &
into a passing loop whereas conventional signalling only London came to an abrupt end some 4 years go. Virgin
permitted sequential entry. This latter requirement applied wants to reinstate a limited service (2 trains each way) from
from the time safety was regulated, initially by the Board of December but Network Rail has scuppered the plans. Virgin
Trade. have appealed to the Office of Rail Regulation, a move
3. The Lowestoft to Ipswich journey time under the last supported by the local MP, who commented:
RETB-operated timetable was 1 hour 28 minutes. Under the
“new” timetable it is 1 hour 29 minutes, this despite most “A service from Shrewsbury to London is not going to throw
trains not now calling at Westerfield. the whole thing out of sync. I don’t think they understand or
4. The new signalling is less flexible than the old. Bi- appreciate the importance of this link, not just for Shrewsbury,
directional working on both lines between Westerfield and but the whole of Shropshire and Mid-Wales.”
Woodbridge has been abolished on both lines, and on the
Down line between Saxmundham and Halesworth, although It would be great to think that, in his formative years, the MP
retained on the Up line. spent many a pleasant hour watching the comings and goings
of the Cambrian Coast Express.
He continues: “It would be interesting to find the inflation
indices for signalling work between 1983 & 2012. The RETB 4Fs on the M&GN & did Nationalisation take
was authorised at a cost of £1.639M, at 1983 prices, the cost place in 1948?
of the recent resignalling was latterly quoted at £21M
although Network Rail quoted me, as Secretary of ESTA, I happened to pick up my June 1951 Railway Observer and
£4M, when several sources were even then quoting £21M.” found a report that on 12th May 1951 4F 0-6-0s 43937,
Editor’s Note: Rod’s input is always appreciated but, given the 44034/404 worked three special trains from Leicester to
technical nature of this subject and the signalling article Yarmouth (Beach). The engines and coaching stock
elsewhere in this issue, this matter must now be considered remained at Yarmouth over the week-end (it was Whitsun
closed. Bank Holiday) and returned during the afternoon of Tuesday
15th May. The note continued that 4Fs had been to Yarmouth
The Hebridean Light Railway before, but none had been known to stay there overnight.
The Hebridean Light Railway Company proposed to operate Lo and behold, the next issue contains an amusing account of
on the Scottish islands of Skye and Lewis. The Skye line was one of the first passenger’s attempts to travel between
to have connected the port of Isleornsay (for ferries from Caister-on-Sea and Wroxham (on 16th June 1951) without
Mallaig on the Scottish mainland) and the port of Uig on the changing. On asking for a ticket to Wroxham, our traveller
north-west coast of the island, from where ferries would have was informed that the journey was impossible as Wroxham
sailed to Stornoway on Lewis. Another line was then was on another company’s system! Cue the departure of the
proposed to link Stornoway to a pier at Borghastan, on Loch 1038 “Holiday Camps Express” to Liverpool St hauled by
Carloway. Branch lines were proposed to Breasclete and vacuum-fitted J17 65566, showing a lamp above the right-
Dunvegan. The line was proposed in 1898, but was never
completed. (John Hutchinson)
_________PICK-UP GOODS You Certainly Couldn’t Do It Today!
hand buffer! The 8-coach train was full on leaving Hemsby. At The BBC News for 4th June made much of the 60th
North Walsham, the loop on to the Mundesley branch was anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation. Its importance
taken and, at that time, this train was the only one booked on merited the wheeling-out of Royal Correspondent Nicholas
to this loop. 61659 East Anglian backed on to the other end of Witchell, but I enjoyed learning about the numerous street-
the train and, with banking assistance from the J17, made a parties, and particularly that of the winning street – in Bristol –
rousing climb up to North Walsham (Main) and a fast run to which took the £75 first prize. How did they spend their
Wroxham. The train would have continued via the Wensum winnings? Well, they hired a train to go to Weymouth & back!
Curve and Cambridge to Liverpool St. [To facilitate through Our Membership Secretary could probably think of no better
running between the M&GN and the GE at North Walsham a place!
new connection was opened in 1958 but it saw very little use
given the 1959 M&GN closure.] The Last Word…
Salvation at the NNUH… A Rules & Regulations/Signalling expert has shed light on
Part 2 of Ken Mills’ feature in NRS/NL 58/3 p.12 (para 10).
If, like me, you are bored stiff waiting and cannot find anything First, all trains arrived at the correct Down or Up platform.
interesting amongst the women’s magazines, keep looking. I Trains from Cromer could only run into the Down Main (plus
found a copy of Classic Tractor for October 2010 and was Down Goods); trains from Norwich (City) could only run into
sure nothing there would keep me for long, as the so-called the Up Main platform. Certainly both of these were signalled
Classic tractors mostly seemed very modern but, hold on a for “facing road” departures in both directions, signals and
minute, what’s this about the Moorswater Branch (dead end facing point locks being provided, this for trains which were
on the way to Looe, below Liskeard, you will remember). timetabled to reverse i.e. Summer Saturday Cromer to Lynn
Apparently in 2010 there was (may still be) a County of 1978 etc trains. Goods trains could run off the Up Norwich to the
fitted with end shunting plates which works LaFarge’s yard Down Main, but this was not for passengers. Selected signals
there moving 14 tonne sloping centre cement tanks delivered no. 28 were provided, one a disc at the foot of the Up Home
down from the main line by 66’s. These are 48 tonnes when ex-Norwich, the other a miniature signal setting back off the
full, so no mean feat. Apparently LaFarge took over ECC’s Down Yarmouth. Both were named “Facing Road Signals”
old china clay works when that closed and they store cement and selected by the points. Also, the system of two trains on
in the old lime kilns ready for local distribution. The machine one track is the standard “Permissive Block Regulations”
was used originally at Dewsbury Cement Works in Yorkshire, which could apply wherever authorised anywhere in the
and moved down to Cornwall in 1999 after an engine rebuild country – it was specially authorised for both Down and Up
at Grantham. Looks like it’s a real find if you are a tractor nut! Mains at Melton, and also at Bourne. A second train would be
The number, if interested, is 1474. first “offered” and then sent in with the “calling-on” signal, with
(Graham Smith) a bell signal of 2 beats or a green hand signal if appropriate.
And if you don’t remember, or have never He also advises that the background behind the provision of
been… double-track either side of Melton has been covered in past
issues of the Circle Bulletin, and Graham or Richard will
The branch line from Liskeard to Looe is unusual, to say the doubtless be pleased to offer assistance in obtaining copies.
least. It starts, relatively high, at Liskeard, slightly away from It has apparently been touched on in the standard M&GN
the main line, facing more towards Plymouth than Looe. It works by Messrs Clark & Wrottesley. Para 11 of the same
then begins its sharply-curved descent, passing under the issue refers.
main line to Penzance, until it reaches Coombe or Coombe
Junction – for Moorswater and the china clay mines - where Editor’s Note: I must apologise for this excursion into this
the unit reverses and continues to Looe (the station is slightly esoteric topic. If your eyes “glaze over” please forgive an
further from the town than it was originally). explanation which I could hardly ignore.
National Service & Lousy Service
Richard Adderson has kindly delved into his old timetable collection to try to shed some light on the queries raised by Ken Mills in
his feature in NRS/NL 58/3 pp.13/14.
Richard’s 1952 Working Timetable shows the 0632 Cromer (Beach) – Yarmouth (Beach) as separate trains to/from Melton
Constable rather than a through train. It would make more economic sense to run the train through but there you have it - Para
8(a) of Ken’s feature refers.
The 1730 Norwich – Fakenham service for 1952 showed the empty coaching stock as returning empty to Melton Constable at
1900 from Fakenham, and then it formed the 1925 Melton Constable – Norwich (City). It is odd that the book I consulted shows
the e.c.s. forming a different train in 1954 (see para 8(b) of Ken’s feature).
Richard has confirmed that the 2245 (Saturdays only) Norwich (City) – Weybourne returned e.c.s. to Melton Constable for
stabling, but here things get interesting. He wondered if it terminated at Weybourne as it would have been quicker for passengers
beyond there to have travelled by the GE route and there was, indeed, a 2245 Norwich (Thorpe) – Cromer (High) arr 2335. But
there was no provision on either line for passengers returning to Sheringham (or, indeed, West Runton) after a night out in
Norwich! Why didn’t the Weybourne train continue to Sheringham where the traffic potential would have been greater? Two
points to ponder – first, there was a large military base at Weybourne which finally closed in March 1959. Maybe the National
Servicemen liked a night out in Norwich! Second, there was the need to get the stock back to Melton Constable and close the
M&GN down for the Sunday as soon as possible. It was always a God-fearing railway long after Mr Marriott had departed the
scene! For the period of the final M&GN timetable (15th September 1958 – 28th February 1959) this service had been cut back to
Holt, arguably tying-in with the reduced military demand. Eastern Counties did their best, with a WSO service 10 from Norwich at
2225, arriving Sheringham station at 0009 (1955 timetable).
But Sheringham was really out on a limb. Richard has consulted random timetables for the GE route which ran a 2248 (SO &
times varied slightly) from Norwich to Cromer but there was no onward connection to Sheringham! When the summer timetable
came into force on 18th June 1962 even this train had been discontinued, meaning that the last train left Norwich at 2142 and
reached Cromer at 2230 and Sheringham at 2241. My May 1970/71 timetable shows that things were even worse – a 2114
Norwich departure which reached Cromer at 2202, this time without a sniff of a Sheringham connection! Mind you, car ownership
had grown hugely by 1970 so perhaps this is a more difficult comparison. The position today is that the last train leaves Norwich
at 2245, reaches Cromer at 2331 and Sheringham 2344.
Richard has also turned his attention to Ken’s query about the 1530 from Liverpool St (para 8(d) of Ken’s feature). This was “The
Broadsman”; its main portion ran to Cromer (High), but a portion was detached at North Walsham for Sheringham via Mundesley.
This connected at Sheringham into the 1915 Cromer (Beach) to Melton Constable local, though it must be remembered that
Mundesley – Cromer (Roughton Road Junc) closed from 7th April 1953 so there were, no doubt, different arrangements for the
Many thanks to Richard for clarifying the points previously raised. I have added my “two penn’orth” here and there.
The M&GN Main Line and Locomotive Allocations – Final Part
For Part 2, please see NRS/NL 58/3 p.13)
Fortunately for the summer Saturday holiday trains travelling to the resorts of the East Coast in 1951 from Mansfield, Derby,
Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham all the routes were formerly built by the Midland Railway and consequently funnelled via
the triangular junction at Syston, on the 4-track main line 4 miles north of Leicester. It is conceivable, however, that traffic from
Derby, Nottingham and Mansfield might have used the direct route from Nottingham to Melton Mowbray via Old Dalby. From
Syston Junc the easterly journey commenced in earnest, through Frisby, Asfordby and Melton Mowbray, before forking left off the
main line to Oakham, Stamford & Peterborough at Saxby station. Although the first 13 miles from Saxby to Little Bytham Junc
were ex-Midland Railway metals, the M&GN proper started at the latter point. Encountering single-line working at the outset from
Saxby prepared trains for the later pattern of the M&GN main line. Let us see what faced each of the summer-Saturday trains on
their journey to the East Coast from Little Bytham Junc to Great Yarmouth (Beach) station, a distance of 113 miles.
Stretch of Line Mileage Double/Single Notes
Little Bytham Junc to Twenty 9D Main station - Bourne.
Twenty to Spalding 6S No passing places.
Spalding Avoiding Line 1D Summer trains used the avoiding line. Stopping trains reversed in
Spalding to Sutton Bridge 15 S 3 passing places - Moulton, Holbeach and Gedney.
N.B. Single track over the Nene and Ouse bridges. Main station -
Sutton Bridge to Grimston 15 D South Lynn.
Road 3 passing places - Hillington, Massingham and East Rudham.
Grimston Road to Raynham 12 S Main stations - Fakenham and Melton Constable.
7 passing places - Aylsham, North Walsham, Honing, Stalham,
Raynham Park to Corpusty & 18 D Potter Heigham, Martham and Great Ormesby.
Corpusty & Saxthorpe to 37 S
(70 miles single i.e. 62% and 43 miles double i.e.38%)
As you can see, with two-thirds of the main line laid as single track, the M&GN was not an easy railway to operate, especially
from Corpusty to Yarmouth. Even on the double-track section from Sutton Bridge to Grimston Road, trains had to negotiate two
“bottleneck” single line bridges. The need to keep trains on the move and provide efficient station working was paramount in order
to avoid the delays inherent on most single-track railways. Wondering whether all of the 13 passing places listed on the above
summary were able to take any length of train in the loops provided, I set out to investigate. Basing my “average” train as a B12
locomotive plus 12 coaches (60’ + 12 x 60 = 780’) I discovered that there would be problems with such a train at Gedney,
Hillington, North Walsham and Martham. What amazed me was that the station at Honing (the first after North Walsham towards
Yarmouth), which I thought would be problematical, was just the opposite and possessed a loop sufficient for two of my “average”
trains on each track! Aylsham North station was OK for 15 coaches and the other passing places were able to cope with my B12
From Saxby going westwards the first interesting piece of civil engineering was the lattice girder bridge over the ECML at Little
Bytham and, before Bourne was reached, the double-track Toft Tunnel – the only such structure on the M&GN main line. The
avoiding line at Spalding was quite an undertaking, being just over a mile long and crossing over two important railway routes:
Grimsby – Peterborough - King’s Cross and Doncaster – March – Temple Mills (chiefly goods traffic). At the eastern end of this
“flyover” was a further lattice girder bridge over the River Welland. Traversing the River Nene at Sutton Bridge stood the well-
known Cross Keys swing bridge which, in my time, was the single track railway and single-carriageway road, followed by the
River Ouse crossing by single-track bridge just west of South Lynn station. Between South Lynn and Gayton Road the M&GN
main line crossed over, first, the ex-GER King’s Lynn to Ely and, shortly after, the King’s Lynn – Swaffham – Dereham route. Just
east of Fakenham the ex-GER Dereham – Wells-on-Sea branch crossed over the M&GN while a second overbridge at North
Walsham carried the ex-GER Norwich – Cromer line. The final major civil engineering structure was the three-section trussed
girder bridge over the River Thurne at Potter Heigham. Although strictly not on the M&GN main line, the railway’s masterpiece
was the Breydon Bridge over the River Yare on the Yarmouth Beach to Lowestoft section of the Norfolk & Suffolk Joint Railway
(MR/GNR/GER). Until demolition in 1962, this 1903-built five-span bridge included a swinging section and remained a local
landmark for six decades.
J6 0-6-0 no. 64260 at South Lynn shed in 1958 (the late The photograph of J17 0-6-0 no. 65552 at Yarmouth
Roger Harrison). Richard Adderson advises that the two (Beach) was taken by the late H.N. James in August 1950.
gentlemen on the left cannot be identified but Les Gore on Note the B.R. number but “LNER” lettered tender and the
the right – with pipe – was the fireman and next to him is narrow-gauge tubs for loading coal. The houses in the
Driver Alan Wells, who gave several talks to the Society in background are still recognisable today. At this time the loco
its early days. Amazingly, Les was still alive at the beginning was allocated to Melton Constable before moving to
of June. Editor’s Note: the J6 was a typical 0-6-0 of its time, Plaistow and then Stratford before being withdrawn in
having been introduced on to the GNR in 1911. 64260 had January 1955. With thanks to Richard Adderson.
been allocated to Boston for several years and was
withdrawn in March 1961.
Locomotive Allocations – 1951
South Lynn (Code 31D)
B12 4-6-0: 61533/37/40/47 (4),
K2 2-6-0: 61742/43/48/57/66 (5),
J17 0-6-0: 65504/26/33/45/62/79/82 (7),
F6 2-4-2T: 67227 (1), J66 0-6-0T: 68378 (1),
J67/J69 0-6-0T: 68542/66/97/600 (4),
4MT 2-6-0: 43090-093/95/104/105/106/109/110/111 (11)
Yarmouth Beach (Code 32F)
B12 4-6-0: 61520/30/45 (3), D16 4-4-0: 62561/64/92/96 (4),
J17 0-6-0: 65558/59/66/81 (4), F6 2-4-2T: 67223/26/33/34/35 (5), 4MT 2-6-0 no. 43158 is on the Melton Constable turntable
J65 0-6-0T: 68214 (1), J68 0-6-0T: 68651 (1) - Total: 18. whilst 2 “Claud Hamilton” 4-4-0s simmer in the background.
Melton Constable (Code 32G) With thanks to Richard Adderson (photographer unknown).
D16 4-4-0: 62509/15/19/20/23/28/33/38/62/78/620 (11),
J17 0-6-0: 65516/51/52/57/67/86 (6), F4 2-4-2T: 67152/62 (2), F6
2-4-2T: 67225/28 (2), J66 0-6-0T: 68377 (1), J67 0-6-0T: 68536 (1), N7 0-6-2T: 69708 (1) – Total: 24.
Out of the Melton Constable allocation, four engines would “overnight” at the small two-road depot at Norwich City – shunter
68377, 2 x D16s and a J17.
Editor’s Note: Many of you will recall that the 4MT 2-6-0s were numbered 43000-161. The last one (43161) did not emerge from
Doncaster until September 1952, but this was by no means the last pre-Nationalisation type to be delivered.
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
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 1st September &
Sunday 6th October. - 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.
AUGUST MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – “The Breckland Fryer” – Fish’n’Chip Steam Special dep 1900.
10th - 11th Sat - Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - Reepham 13 Festival (Diesel).
11th Sun MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Hornby Collectors’ Day.
17th Sat 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
18th Sun 0015 approx (Sun). Premier Class/Dining available. Fares from £63.75
Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or telephone 01692 – 406152.
MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Model Railways.
23rd - 26th Fri - Mon DEREHAM BEER FESTIVAL at the MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY.
25th - 26th Sun - Mon MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Rail’n’Ale & (Sun only) Ploughing.
25th Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Bank Holiday (Steam). Victory will be in steam & £30 Driver
Experience courses are available.
AUGUST CONTINUED NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – September Steam Gala – 60163 Tornado & 70013 Oliver
30th - 1st Fri - Sun Cromwell attending subject to availability.
31st Sat MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Evening Jazz Train.
SEPTEMBER WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Victory will be in steam & £30 Driver Experience courses
1st Sun are available.
12th Thur STEAM DREAMS CATHEDRALS EXPRESS - Ipswich to Canterbury. BR Standard 70000
Britannia. Departs Ipswich 0825. Details: Telephone 01483 209888
MID SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY - M&GN Joint Railway Society Wissington Members’ Launch Day
15th Sun The official launch is scheduled for 12:30. Membership card required for free travel on the MSLR.
MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – “Behind the Scenes”.
19th Thur 19:30 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “Members’ Summer Reports” – this is the usual round-up
of members’ images and films taken during the summer. Please follow the request in
NRS/NL 58/3 p.10 if you’re intending to show images taken on our Bluebell visit.
20th - 22nd Fri - Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Diesel Gala Weekend.
21st - 22nd Sat - Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – 1940s Weekend.
21st Sat NENTA TRAINTOURS- From Norwich (0605 approx) and stations to Stratford to Southampton,
Bournemouth or Weymouth or Wareham & the Swanage Steam Railway, or coach tour around
Portland Bill. Norwich return 0010 approx. Premier Class/Dining available. Fares from £63.75.
Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or telephone 01692-406152.
26th Thur 19:30 GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY SOCIETY (Norwich Branch) – “Anglia Day Rangers 1999 – 2013” –
28th - 29th Sat - Sun Mike Fordham.
MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Platelayers’ Gala (Diesel only).
3rd Thur 19:30 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “A Steam Safari – South African Steam in the 1970s” - Tim
5th Sat BROADLAND MODEL RAILWAY CLUB in conjunction with the BURE VALLEY RAILWAY –
AYLSHAM MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION in the Jubilee Centre Aylsham from 1015 – 1630. The
BVR is running services from Wroxham at 1110 & 1400 if you wish to “Park and Ride” from
Wroxham. Return services are at 1240 & 1530.
10th Thur 19:30 NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – Members’ images.
17th Thur 19:30 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “60s Steam on Shed” – David Percival
SCRIBES WANTED PLEASE: As is well-known, the Newsletter has always contained a report of every Society meeting. Apart
from a few who kindly “rally round”, the task of contributing some 600 words summarising a meeting isn’t a desperately onerous
task and there’s no reason why I, as Editor, should be expected to shoulder the burden. 30+ members is the average at our
meetings, so please contact me at any time if you’d like to help. (Edward Mann)
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