Norfolk Railway Society
Founded 1955 www.norfolkrailwaysociety.org
Volume 64 No. 5 NEWSLETTER Sept - Oct 2019
____________TRACK REPORT - News from railways in and around Norfolk
Mayflower visits East Anglia
On 31st August 61306 Mayflower finally headed
the Steam Dreams excursion from London to
Lowestoft following its failure in April. Two NRS
members kindly supplied photographs of the
event: Mike Fordham saw the train at Trowse on
its return journey as it pulled into the Trowse loop
to take on water (right, top and middle) and
Graham Smith saw it earlier at Oulton Broad
North as it headed back to Norwich.
Stadlers in service...
Since the the last issue of the Newsletter went to
press Greater Anglia have introduced the first of
their Class 755 fleet into revenue earning service.
On 29th July 755410 departed Lowestoft with the
0747 service to Norwich and then formed the
0836 Norwich - Yarmouth service. According to
realtimetrains.co.uk 2P12 reached the East Coast resort 4
minutes early at 0907 having left Acle on time.
On 2nd August 755418 entered traffic and on the 13th a Class
755 operated on the Norwich - Cambridge route for the first
time with 755410 doing the honours on the 0633 service. At the
end of the month 755413 and 755417 made their debuts
although the former failed at Brandon.
Meanwhile deliveries to Crown Point of 755s and 745s have
continued as have movements of units to and from storage on
the Mid-Norfolk Railway. By mid-September 37 of the 58
Stadlers on order were in the UK.
...and first Class 170 departs
With the introduction of Class 755s the process of releasing the
old stock has begun. The Class 170 units are destined for
Transport for Wales (TfW) with 170207 being the first to depart
on 1st September. Weekly departures are expected and by 23rd
September 2-car units 170270 and 170272 had also left. This
In This Issue 1
Track report 2
National Network 3
Away from the tracks 7
Bad Maths and the Sudden Need for a
Horse by Edward Mann
Working Timetable 15
leaves 170201-206/208/271 and 273 here. It is expected the Wherry Lines blockade
fleet will enter service on the Cheltenham - Maesteg route
during December. Following the Class 170s, the Class 153 and Completion of the digital signalling scheme on the Wherry Lines
156 units are due to transfer to East Midlands Railway. is planned for February 2020. A 23-day blockade will be required
for the work which will also include replacement of a bridge at
Abellio replaces Stagecoach Postwick, track renewals at Acle, Hassingham (Buckenham) and
Lowestoft and maintenance to Reedham and Somerleyton
On 19th August Abellio-owned East Midlands Railway took over swing bridges. It seems to be an ambitious programme and one
the East Midlands franchise from East Midlands Trains. This can only hope is completed to schedule.
followed a franchise competition during which Stagecoach -
bidding to retain the franchise - was disqualified leaving Abellio During February rail replacement bus services will operate
as the only contender. between:
Concerns regarding fares on the section of the Ely - Norwich line Norwich/Yarmouth 1st - 16th
served by Abellio’s two franchises have been resolved with Lowestoft/Beccles 3rd - 16th
undertakings to an inflation linked cap on advance fares and Norwich/Lowestoft 3rd - 23rd
When complete the work will see resumption of services on the
The new deal includes a commitment to replace the entire branch line between Reedham and Yarmouth, serving Berney
existing fleet - currently comprising HSTs, Class 222 Meridians, Arms station, which has been closed since October 2018.
Class 153, 156 and 158 units - with new and cascaded trains. (All preceding contributions by Andrew Wright)
An order valued at £400m for 33 bi-mode trains from Hitachi has
already been placed. Plans are for these to enter service from Away from the Tracks
2022 with all in traffic by the end of that year. At 24 metres long
the five-car trains will be 2 metres shorter that the Class 800 - From our Property Correspondent (aka Mike
802 fleets so they can run on Midland Mainline infrastructure. Handscomb)
The units will mainly run in ten-car formations.
Hindolveston was the first station out of Melton Constable on the
Class 360 emus cascaded from Greater Anglia will serve the Norwich City line; the station closed completely from 2nd March
Corby - London route. Longer term there are plans to introduce 1959, and the buildings have since been extended and
hydrogen powered trains. modernised. Strutt & Parker have it on their books @ £785,000.
You don’t seem to get an abundance of accommodation for your
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY money – viz. 4 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms and a breakfast
(Founded 1955) room/kitchen. There’s also an outbuilding and a conservatory,
plus “delightful gardens and grounds”.
President: Ken Mills, Esq.
Committee and Officers 2019-2020 Telephone Your cynical Editor is surprised there’s only 4 bedrooms, and if
you look at a map Hindolveston isn’t on the way to anywhere so
Chairman Warren Wordsworth a car would be essential. Thanks, but no thanks, is my view.
Vice-Chairman Vacant Heritage, Narrow-gauge and
Past Chairman Brian Kirton
NNR Steam Gala
Secretary & Andrew Wright
John Laycock There were two visitors to North Norfolk Railway’s steam gala
Webmaster over the weekend of 30th August - 1st September and for a
Treasurer change both were facing Sheringham.
Membership Sec Mike Handscomb
Newsletter Editor & Edward Mann
Indoor Programme Graham Kenworthy
Committee Members Brian Cornwell
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter
Editor: Edward Mann
Layout & Picture Editor: Andrew Wright
Distribution: Graham Smith
Please contact Graham if the next edition does not arrive by
the end of the month of publication.
Opinions expressed in any articles are those of the author and
should not be taken to represent those of the Society.
Next issue published: 5th December 2019.
Copy Date: 21st November 2019.
80078 approaches Weybourne on Friday 30th August (Andrew
to steam again in 2017.
The second visitor BR(WR) 0-60PT 9466 was built in 1951 to a
GWR design by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn Newcastle
works and is one of two surviving members of the class. After a
life of shunting suburban passenger and freight trains it too
spent years at Barry. It was restored at Quainton Road Railway
Centre and is now based at the West Somerset Railway.
Other members of the home fleet were also in action including
564, 90775, 76084, 8572 and a bonus was seeing 92203 Black
Prince back in steam after repair. (Andrew Wright)
Above, 9466 is seen passing Weybourne Mill with a train for
Sheingham while, right, 76084 approaches Weybourne with its train
from Sheringham, as 92203 Black Prince stands in the yard on Friday
30th August (Andrew Wright).
BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T 80078 was built at Brighton works in
February 1954 and was new to Plaistow shed on the London,
Tilbury & Southend line. It remained there until electrification in
1962 and then transferred to the Western Region from where it
was withdrawn in 1965. After years languishing in Woodham’s
yard at Barry it was rescued by a group based at Swanage
Railway where it was restored and returned to steam in 1999.
After its boiler certificate expired it was moved to Mangapps
Railway Museum under Stewart Robinson’s ownership returning
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Day trip to Doncaster and a ride on Azuma
LNER has received some acclaim for their launch of the new Azuma
services and having seen the first service from King’s Cross arrive at
Peterborough on 15th May (See NRS/NL 64/3 p.4) I decided to try out
the new trains. On Wednesday 7th August I headed to Wymondham to
catch the 0852 Cambridge service. Why Wymondham? Sometimes the
hassle and expense of parking in Norwich is just too much while
Wymondham makes for a more relaxed experience and parking in the
nearby Pay & Display car park is easy.
170205 provided the service to Ely where I changed onto the following
East Midlands Trains Norwich to Liverpool Lime St service, on this
occasion a pair of Class 156 units, as far as Peterborough.
This station abounds with a range of rolling stock these days. Aside
from EMT (now EMR) Class 156 and 158 units, there are Grand
Central’s and Hull Trains’ Class 180 Adelantes, Cross Country Class As 800103 pulls in to platform 4 at Peterborough, 91120 waits
170s, GTR Class 700s at platform 3 on the rear of a London King’s Cross service on
and LNER’s HSTs, Class 7th August (Andrew Wright).
91/Mark4 sets and
Azumas. In addition there
are Class 800/801 on test/training runs - not all are yet in Azuma livery - and also
freight services. Plenty to keep the rail enthusiast amused.
For those travelling on the Azuma services the platform Passenger Information
Displays (left) include passenger loadings carriage by carriage - useful if you don’t
have a reserved seat.
800103 provided the 1153 Azuma service to Leeds with Doncaster the first stop
reached non-stop in 47 minutes. I planned to wait there to catch the return working
back to Peterborough at 1419.
800103 is one of the bi-mode 9-car sets built in Japan rather than at Hitachi’s
Newton Aycliffe works. The livery, inherited from former operator Virgin Trains East
Coast, makes for an attractive train which I think looks the part for
a long distance service. Inside standard class I was met with bright
décor and reasonably spacious seats (right top and middle). It
seems inevitable that window/seat alignment is not perfect but for
those that crave such things there is free WiFi and power plugs at
seats although these are somewhat awkwardly placed. Electronic
seat reservation signs are well designed and make clear which are
the aisle and window seats.
I found the ride comfortable but firm. Coach A on my outward
journey was certainly noisier (the train rather than fellow
passengers!) than my return in Coach B. Modern seats seem more
upright and of a slimmer profile than those in the Mark 3 coaches
we are used to on the Norwich - London service. Indeed I doubt
many rail enthusiasts will find the Azumas more comfortable than
HSTs and Class 91/Mark4s when they are at their best. That just
seems to be the way of things.
Doncaster station is a place I have visited only once before on a
diverted visit to Sheffield. As well as rolling stock that will be seen
at Peterborough I spotted Northern Class 142 and 144 Pacers and
Trans Pennine Express’s Class 185s and even saw one of the new
Class 331 EMUs in Northern livery.
Delivery of the CAF Civity units began last autumn and they
entered revenue earning service on 1st July 2019. The EMUs are
designated Class 331 while the CAF DMUs, built on the same
platform, are designated Class 195.
After an enjoyable 1½ hours at Doncaster it was time to return to
Peterborough on the 1419 Leeds to London King’s Cross Azuma
service for a connection back to Wymondham. All in all an
enjoyable day. (Andrew Wright)
First experience of the Stadler Class 755/4
On Friday 6th September I took what now turns out to have been my
last ride on the Class 37 short-set from Norwich. My hope was to
ride the new Class 755s which are in service on the Wherry Lines
and also to Cambridge. On arrival at Norwich soon after midday
755418 was standing in Platform 5. Somewhat confusingly the
platform information display indicated the next departure from here
was to Sheringham. That couldn’t be right and sure enough a
platform alteration was soon announced.
The short set was standing in platform 6 waiting to form the 1236
service to Yarmouth and it soon became clear 755418 would form
the following service at 1306. The obvious choice: take the 1236 to
Acle, photograph its departure and the arrival of the Class 755 and
then continue to Yarmouth on the 755 and return to Norwich.
After that a trip to Cambridge was in order and I caught the 1440
service provided by 170206. Returning on the 1710 provided
another 755 ride this time aboard 755417. This was a very busy
service and from what I could see the flip down seats were in use
as well as some passengers standing.
The 775/4s have 229 seats and space for 111 standing compared
to a 3-car 170 with 180 and 84 respectively. The 755/3s have less -
167 and 61 - although this is more than the 153 and 2-car 156
units they’ll replace.
Entering the 755 for the first time the most striking thing is the train
floor is at platform level and before the doors open a retractable
step extends outwards from the train to the platform edge to
minimise the gap making for safer and easier access. In many
Images from top: Interior of Azuma standard class; table and
seats not aligned with windows but pull down window-blinds
provided; at Norwich on 6th September - 755418 stands at
Platform 5a while 37409 is on the rear of the short-set at
Platform 6 and EMR Regional 158812 can just be seen in
Platform 3; interior of 755418 (Andrew Wright).
diesel mode only as they are not yet authorised to use electric
power when carrying passengers) provide good acceleration.
When early teething problems are resolved they have the
potential to provide a good efficient regional service.
Nottingham Station Fire 12th January 2018
cases this The extending step on a 755 providing level One of society’s less useful members – a drug addict with 108
should remove access (above) and (below) the door-free previous convictions - pleaded guilty to causing this fire which
the need for a connection between carriages and the step up began in the ladies’ toilets and went on to cause £5.6M worth of
ramp to be put to the table seats at this end of the carriage damage. She has been sentenced to 25 months’ imprisonment.
in place to can just be seen (Andrew Wright). You may recall that the station had been fairly recently
refurbished, and in court it emerged that the builders had cut
enable access corners by packing the wall supporting the toilet block with a foot
of highly flammable polystyrene when they discovered the
for wheel-chair ceiling was uneven. Smoke alarms and sprinklers were not fitted
in the toilets either! Little wonder, then, that the fire spread so
users. The other rapidly!
major difference From our Isle of Man Correspondent
with current In early August Douglas promenade was still “upside down” with
trains is there is
The horse tram (single) works between Derby Castle & Little
Switzerland Road for £1 each way.
With thanks to Malcolm Banyer.
only one door
per carriage to
The interior has What a pity there’s no coupling hook on these giant bed-like
a totally different structures – the horse could be used even more productively!
feel to our
trains and most
noticeable is the
low floor does
and that is a
step up to the
seats next to the
end of the carriage which are located above the articulated
bogie. I do wonder how long before someone trips into or
stumbles out of those seats.
Similar to the Azuma the seats are upright and firm although I
did find them comfortable. At seat power sockets and free WiFi
are provided - the norm for new trains - but the one feature I did
not like were the arm rests. Perhaps I suffer from boney elbow
syndrome but I found it uncomfortable to rest my arm on them
for any length of time.
The Class 755s of course are bi-modes and rather than diesel The Stop/Go board is to stop cars driving into the horse (Norfolk
motors under the carriages there is the power pack vehicle. In C.C. should come over and learn new ways of holding up traffic).
the case of the 755/4 this houses 4 engines whereas the 755/3
(3-car trains) will contain 2 engines diagonally opposite each
other. Travelling in the seats next to the power vehicle noise was
reasonably well controlled but this raised considerably when the
doors to the corridor through the power vehicle opened to allow
passengers to pass through. Sitting further away from the power
vehicle the noise levels are much lower than a conventional
For the journey the ride is good and the motors (operating in
From our Roving Reporter
Spotted in Potters sidings, Ely, on 10th August was Inter-City
125-liveried power car 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange. This followed
the Great Western Railway celebrating the end of HSTs serving
Paddington – the event was marked by the last 4 HST services
being lined up side by side in platforms 1-4. The very last
departure was the 1830 to Exeter St David’s, with power cars
43002’s name – Sir Kenneth Grange – commemorates the
HST’s designer. It was scheduled to be on display at Swindon’s
STEAM Museum in mid-July, and is destined for preservation at
the NRM. It was,
however, still at
Potters on 10th
Sir Kenneth Grange D8 Penyghent awaits departure from Matlock on 3rd
stands alongside September.
the power car which
bears his name The LMS Carriage Association are, however, to be
(125 Group). (Mike congratulated on completing this lengthy project. Once again
Handscomb) there seems the usual excess of rusting stock at various
locations – it only takes a call to the scrapman!
Swanning around in September
A short holiday in the Midlands resulted in a few railway visits,
beginning on 3rd September with a visit to Matlock - Meridian
222007 took me from Loughborough to Derby, followed by
156405 to Matlock. The hourly service starts back at
Nottingham, and the journey from Derby takes about 35 mins. It
is now marketed as the Derwent Valley Line, a much-shortened
part of the original route to Manchester.
There are plenty of circular tours of Oxford which start from the
railway station. I’ll leave the bus’s identity to the experts!
The main-line station at Loughborough is relatively-rarely My only other outing was from Reading to Moreton-in-Marsh
photographed. Here it is on 3rd September. with 800304 on 6th September. For the aviation buffs, Moreton
has a Wellington bomber museum, open on some Sundays,
whilst adjacent to Hanborough station is the Oxford Bus
It’s a matter of choice whether you prefer the attractions of Another Quiz (fun for some!)
Matlock Bath or to continue to Matlock for a ride on Peak Rail to
Rowsley South. I recall travelling on the line in 2003 when 1. Where is Funthams Lane level crossing and where was the
services began with a damp walk to Matlock Riverside; Funtley Deviation?
thankfully services now start at Matlock NR. Even so, changing 2. What do Carew and Delaval have in common with a
trains entails a walk over the bridge and then down to tramway?
Sainsbury’s from where you can actually access the platform! 3. How many Belle trains ran on the Southern Region?
Four trains were running – appropriately D8 Penyghent 4. Pye Corner, hard to believe, is a station. Where?
top’n’tailed Vulcan Foundry 0-6-0T no. 72. Such super-power 5. Botany Bay, Crossfields Crossing, Deal Street & Sandy
was hardly needed for the small number of punters (the school Junction are, at first sight, signalbox names with no hint of their
holidays had just finished) and – for reasons unknown - the location. A little research and I think you’ll be able to find them!
consist included LMS 7828, sadly unavailable for travel. It is a
recently restored LMS open third, dating from 1925, on hire/loan Answers on Page 13.
from the NRM, and unfortunately a decent image eluded me.
NRS ANNUAL CHRISTMAS MEAL
Monday 2nd December 2019 at 7:30 for 8:00pm
Old Feathers Restaurant A146 Framingham Pigot, Norwich
Broccoli & English stilton soup topped with fresh cream & croutons (V)
Homemade chicken & ham terrine with rustic homemade piccalilli
Smoked salmon wrapped prawn & cream cheese parcels on a beetroot salad
Homemade sweet & sticky meatballs
Traditional prawn cocktail
Grilled Halloumi, beetroot & walnut dressed salad (V)
All mains are served with a table selection of fresh vegetables
Roasted Norfolk Turkey served with a wrapped sausage, stuffing, honey roasted parsnips,
roasted potatoes & Yorkshire pudding
Slices of 6hr braised leg of lamb in red wine on a bed of rosemary saute potatoes
Sea bass fillets with a creamy lobster bisque sauce on crushed new potatoes and spinach
BBQ chicken & bacon melt, fries, salad & homemade coleslaw
Homemade brie, mushroom spinach, walnut & cranberry parcel, crushed new potatoes
Homemade vegetable curry, basmati rice, poppadum & onion salad (can be made vegan)
Traditional Christmas pudding served with pouring brandy cream and Parravani’s cinnamon ice cream
Mixed berry Pavlova with ice cream
Black cherry cheesecake & ice cream
Homemade espresso & chocolate brownie
Mint chocolate chip ice cream sundae
Chocolate, walnut & salted caramel tart with ice cream
2 Courses £21.95 / 3 courses £26.95
Coffee or Tea and gratuity included
Members and wives/partners only please.
Bookings by 4th November please with choice of courses, contact details
and payment (cheques payable to Norfolk Railway Society)
To Malcolm Wright, [personal details removed]
or at a meeting.
The NRS Committee looks forward to welcoming you all to this annual
Notice of Special General Meeting New member
Notice is hereby given of a Special General Meeting of Norfolk We are pleased to welcome David Spinks of Stalham, and look
Railway Society to take place on Thursday 5th December at forward to seeing him at a meeting.
19:30 at United Reformed Church Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich,
There will be one item of business: To receive and adopt the
Society’s accounts for the period 1st January - 31st August 2019.
This meeting is being held in accordance with a resolution
passed at last April’s AGM - see NRS/NL 64/3 p.15).
46233 Duchess of Sutherland – Not the First Time
in the News at Norwich!
The locomotive’s visit to Norwich on 6th September was
something of a non-event. Late into the evening it was discovered
that the right inside valve spindle bush had seized to the valve
spindle itself. Sadly those booked onto the Railway Touring
Company tour the following day were left with diesel motive
power. 46233 is seen below backing into the carriage sidings its
tender already hidden by 68017 Hornet (Andrew Wright).
But it isn’t the first time it has made the news. If you cast your
mind back to March 1971, it left its static display at Butlin’s
Holiday Camp, Ayr, en route to Bressingham. Its journey was
interrupted at Norwich when a group of “northern enthusiasts”
6233 is taking water at Norwich just before its return to Southall
on 13th September. (With thanks to Steve Cane and the unknown
member of the train service team who kindly took the image.)
obtained a High Court Order prohibiting onward movement. This
Order was attached to the side of the boiler. After a few days, the
Order was lifted, enabling the loco to resume its journey.
An odd lot, this enthusiasts’ group, quietly left wiping the egg from
their faces. Presumably they were happy to let the loco rust away,
fairly close to an area where the class would have worked, but do
precious little to ensure its long-term survival. Perhaps they were
from Saltaire, near Bradford! It would have fitted nicely!
As is so often the case, I am indebted to Richard Adderson for the
Tracks through Grantham
There’s a really good website - tracksthroughgrantham.uk - which
members with a liking for engines numbered 60000 upwards will
enjoy. Amongst the many delights is an image of a J6 0-6-0 hauling
a couple of ex-LNER coaches but running under “express” lamps.
It was the only train of the day that ran between Leicester Belgrave
Road and Grantham, and enjoyed the “express” lamps because it
connected with the Flying Scotsman. The route has long since
disappeared, but after leaving Belgrave Road it ran via Lowesby,
Marefield W to N Juncs, John O’Gaunt, Melton Mowbray North,
Harby & Stathern, Bottesford S to E Juncs, and so into Grantham.
With thanks to Brian Kirton for the referral.
Belgrave Road was, incidentally, the starting point for Summer
Saturday/Sunday workings to the Lincolnshire fleshpots of
Skegness and Mablethorpe after normal closure from 7th
December 1953. It finally closed at the end of the 1962 summer
Long-suffering readers may have noted my liking for obscure,
cross-country branch lines – I will seize any opportunity – and on
the facing page are a few images of the GN/LNW “Joint”.
1. If we start at Leicester Belgrave Road, here’s J39 0-6-0 64832
ready to leave with the 1300 to Melton Mowbray North on 28th
February 1953. The scene reeks of dilapidation, and railwaymen
outnumber possible passengers 2 to 1! (David Pearce collection.)
2. A post-closure view of Belgrave Road on 18th May 1963 when
45238 visited with an RCTS (East Midlands Branch) Railtour.
Weren’t enthusiasts well-dressed then? (David Pearce collection.)
Middle: 6233 when it was available for public viewing at the 3. Also at Belgrave Road on 18th May 1963, photographers seek
Royal Dock on 6th March 1971 and bottom after being cleared the best vantage points! (David Pearce collection.)
to leave, 6233 is hauled to Diss by Class 47 1509 on 20th
March 1971 (Both: Richard Adderson.) 4. Lowesby, just before Marefield W. Junc, seen here on 7th
November 1953, is a month away from closure as J11 0-6-0 64438
waits patiently (is that ex-GC stock?). (David Pearce collection.)
5. B1 4-6-0 61092 enters Melton Mowbray North with the 0845 4
Belgrave Road – Mablethorpe on 23rd July 1955. Presumably
the school holidays had just started! (R.J. Buckley/David Pearce
6. K2 2-6-0 61754 enters Melton Mowbray North with a
Leicester-bound working on 23rd August 1958 (P.H.Groom/David
7. At Marefield S. Junc the “Joint” went south to Market
Harborough where it joined the Peterborough East – Rugby line.
After the junction at Marefield the first station was Tilton, where
Fowler 2-6-2T no. 52 (later 40052) is seen arriving on 24th April
1948 (R.J.Buckley/David Pearce collection). Note the
Save the Waverley scrapped in 1984. But Barry Gayton has really got the bit
between his teeth with the following:
No, this is nothing to do with Edinburgh’s famous station, but
about the paddle-steamer which carries the same name. It’s the “…the old Thorpe coal-fired power station closed when the
last sea-going paddle-steamer in the world, and mailshots have replacement oil-fired station was opened 100 yards up-river in
gone out (GDPR?) as she needs new boilers and associated about 1961 (the two engines for the new station, incidentally,
equipment costing some £2.3M to steam again in 2020. were identical to those which propelled turbo-prop aircraft such
as the Bristol Britannias). The old power station was demolished
I know several of you will have enjoyed a cruise on her and if in the late 1960s after standing idle for a few years…The new
you would like to see her back in action there’s the usual station had a short working life – it was virtually redundant by
website for donations – waverleyexcursions.co.uk – that’s all. the mid-1970s, being used only at peak periods, then demoted
to the status of a satellite to Littlebrook (Dartford). In its last two
Farming Yesterday – the sequel (see NRS/NL years it did not produce a single watt of commercial power.
Mike Fordham has helpfully supplied this image of D5502 on the The first cattle van in the image is a standard BR-built GWR
1545 to Liverpool St as it passes a loaded cattle train at Trowse type, but the others seem to be of considerable antiquity!”
on Saturday 8th March 1958. It’s full of interest – the old power
station with its telpherage, the ancient cattle trucks etc. As for He goes on to say that one of the last steam locos recorded at
the locomotive, it became 31002 before entering departmental Norwich was an LMS 8F 2-8-0 shunting cattle wagons in the
service as a coaching stock pre-heating unit, and was finally same location, and wonders if there is a connection with the
Irish cattle trade. The 8F has given yours truly something of
a headache as both the contemporary Society Newsletter
and Modern Railways have reports of specials arriving on
5th/6th December 1963 (48170/750) but Railway Magazine
carries a Dr Ian Allen image of 48750 at Trowse on 12th
December 1963. I believe this date is suspect but it would be
great to resolve the issue.
Finally, with thanks to Chris Fisher who concludes that the
short chimney in the middle distance is on the Trowse side of
the river, and was probably connected with Colman’s timber
yards. These extended downstream of the swingbridge and
were connected to Colman’s main works by a private railway
which ran under the main line. Apparently it was too low to
be loco-worked, probably just a horse and a wagon sufficed.
Unless the 8F mystery can be solved this topic must now be
closed – Ed.
The Railway Goes to Market
Barry Gayton has taken another
trip “Down Memory Lane” when
provincial life revolved around
Market Days. Old handbills
complete the period flavour as
Markets have existed ever since
people have engaged in trade, the
British concept of Market Day held
at a designated area on a particular
day of the week has existed
uninterrupted in many cases since
Anglo-Saxon times. Into the
medieval period valuable charters
for markets and fairs were often
granted by the king to a town in
gratitude for the supply of knights
and archers for a particular cause.
Today, market day is still in many
towns the highlight of the week
although due to the impact of
supermarkets and the decline of
the local economy the important
livestock and produce aspect has
all but disappeared.
Until the last few decades of the
twentieth century market day was
the lifeblood of many rural branch
lines and every incentive was
offered to encourage folk to
travel to market by train. Starting
in Ireland, where rural markets
have probably been least
affected by change, the Belfast
and County Down Railway
handbill of 1940 gives details of
cheap market day fares over the
very rural route to Downpatrick.
On the same theme the
Plymouth Devonport and South
Western Junction Railway,
renowned for its many
engineering features including
the impressive viaduct over the
Tamar near Bere Alston and still
nominally an independent
undertaking in 1908, did its best
to persuade market goers to use
its trains to Devonport and
Plymouth. Closer to home, as a
last throw of the dice in late 1952
the line from Thetford went on
the offensive to tempt customers
to Bury St Edmunds market;
stops included the original
terminus from Watton at Thetford
Bridge and Seven Hills Halt,
surely a candidate for the most
remote station in Suffolk. Sadly, the gamble failed to pay off and passenger services were withdrawn for good six months later.
Finally, though not strictly a “market” promotion I could not resist including the frail and faded 1925 LNER bill involving that most
distinctive of lines - the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway which just dipped its toe into West Norfolk. Even special deals on early
closing days proved to be futile as passenger services were withdrawn a couple of years later.
The York to Tenby Holiday Express 1987 (Mike Roach)
Tenby is a small town (population 4,700) in South Pembrokeshire with a number of fine beaches and a picturesque harbour. The
town has a railway station on the former Great Western branch from Whitland to Pembroke Dock. The train service was provided
by Arriva Trains Wales up to October 2018 but is now provided by Keolis Amey on behalf of Transport for Wales, a not-for-profit
company wholly owned by the Welsh Government. Branch trains are operated by diesel multiple units of various classes. However
on summer Saturdays there are through express trains between Pembroke Dock and Paddington operated by the new GWR. The
only other ex-Great Western Railway branch to enjoy such summer Saturday holiday trains that I can think of is Newquay. Both
lines would have seen HSTs on the holiday trains up to summer 2018, but in 2019 these would be the Hitachi IETs.
When I visited Tenby station and took the attached photos in summer 1987 there was just one train on Saturdays Only to
Paddington (The Pembroke Coast Holiday Express) which the timetable helpfully tells us was operated by an HST, or 125 in the
wording of the time. This nomenclature was dropped from later timetables because passengers were disappointed when a 125 did
not turn up as timetabled. There was also a second “Holidaymaker Express” which started at Tenby (depart 0955), rather than
Pembroke Dock, and went to York (arrive 1732). This was advertised as an IC (InterCity) train. In the opposite direction the train left
York at 0914 and reached Tenby at 1650.
47443 enters Tenby Station at 1732 on Saturday 20 June 47443 waits for the single line as the 1610 SO Llanelli to Tenby
1987 after arriving from York and running around. train arrives late.
At the beginning of the day the northbound train left Swansea cab reading his newspaper. He got out of the cab and
about 0800 and ran empty to Tenby to take up its booked proceeded meticulously to clean the chrome handrails either
working, while at the end of the day the incoming train from York side of each cab door - an act of exceptional enthusiasm for the
would work to Swansea as a service train, and that’s how I job which I had never seen before or since! It’s one of those little
came to photograph it at Tenby at teatime on 20th June 1987, a incidents which becomes ingrained in the memory for ever
beautiful day with almost continuous sunshine. The route of the more.
York – Tenby train was interesting. It mostly followed the logical
route via Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham New Street and
Cheltenham but then went via Bristol Parkway, the Severn
Tunnel, Newport and Cardiff. The train avoided the stations at
Gloucester, Swansea and Carmarthen which would have
pleased the track bashers. The surprise was that it stopped at
Kidwelly and Saundersfoot.
When I saw it the York – Tenby ran around in Tenby station The driver cleans and buffs the chrome handrails of 47443.
which then had a signal box and semaphore signals. It would
depart 21 minutes late for Swansea waiting for an incoming
DMU, which was running late. The train was hauled by a filthy
47443 with 7 coaches, some in blue & grey and some in
Network South East colours. The sight of NSE coaches in the
train suggests to me that the coaches were perhaps used
between Peterborough and King’s Cross from Monday to Friday
and ran north early on Saturday mornings to take up the booked
working from York to Tenby. If the loco worked similarly it must
have had a hard week as it had obviously not been cleaned for
some time. 47443 was at the platform in Tenby waiting to depart
for Swansea from 1733 to 1753, but the driver did not sit in his
The Ruabon to Barmouth Line (Alan Wallwork)
Whilst the majority of readers will no doubt be familiar with the
picturesque ex-GWR main line from Shrewsbury through
Machynlleth and along the coast to Barmouth and Pwllheli,
some will be less familiar with the more northerly line which
branched off the main line from Paddington to Birkenhead
Woodside at Ruabon, offering an alternative route to Barmouth
and also to Blaenau Ffestiniog which the GWR wanted to reach,
so it could compete with the LNWR for the slate traffic.
Both lines were mostly single track with passing places at the
major stations, but by the 1960s, as car ownership became
more widespread, it became increasingly likely that one of the
routes would be closed and the infamous Dr Beeching
concluded that the one to go was the Ruabon – Barmouth line
Eventually the line was scheduled for closure to passenger
traffic in January 1965 but, in the event, most of it closed one
month earlier due to flood damage. East of Llangollen the line
remained open for freight services, which continued to run until
closure in 1968 and the track was lifted the following year.
With the advent of nationalisation of the railways in 1948, all
lines in this part of Wales came under the auspices of BR(W)
and, eventually, this particular route was transferred to BR(M) on
1st January 1963, just a few years prior to its closure.
Although the line mostly served small towns and villages, it was
nevertheless used fairly heavily during the summer months,
primarily with trains taking holidaymakers from Birmingham to
Barmouth, some of whom also used the Camping Coaches
situated at various points along the line such as at Dolgelley,
Arthog and Barmouth Junction. The line was used not only for
passenger traffic but also for freight and the route proved useful
as a diversionary route in case of problems on the Cambrian
Growing pressure from Welsh language users caused several 5199 leaves Llangollen with the 1300 to Corwen on 28th May
stations to be renamed during its existence and, for example in 2016.
1960, Dolgelley was renamed as Dolgellau and Barmouth
Junction became Morfa Mawddach. Today, much of the line is easily traced and can be walked in a
number of places. Whilst the line between Ruabon and
afternoon is to have lunch at the adjacent George III Hotel,
followed by a walk to view the remaining traces of the railway.
For model railway enthusiasts, there is a superb OO gauge
layout which does the rounds from time to time and it can be
found on this link:- https://www.world-of-
Ex-Dinorwic Slate Quarry Hunslet (W/N 779/1902) Holy War
running round at Bala on 21st May 2017 prior to its return to
Llangollen has been breached in places, partly by allowing A view of the toll bridge across the Mawddach Estuary from
properties to be built over the trackbed, the line from Llangollen Penmaenpool on 11th April 2010.
to Corwen has now been restored to a very high standard and in
1981 an active preservation group began running regular
services again. These days, it operates during from April to
October and at half-term and weekends during the winter. It is
the only standard gauge heritage railway in Wales and is well
worth a visit. The former station at Corwen is now the main
showroom of Ifor Williams Trailers Ltd and, in consequence, the
heritage group has had to build a new station slightly further
along the line which is soon to open.
Between Corwen and Bala Junction traces of the line can be
seen and then at Bala Junction a 2’6” narrow gauge railway was
constructed over the former trackbed in 1972 and now operates
as The Bala Lake Railway between Bala and Llanuwchllyn.
Around Dolgellau, the station has now gone and some of the
trackbed has been incorporated into the by-pass, but as you go
west, the trackbed is easily found using an Ordnance Survey
map and can be walked or cycled all the way to Morfa
Mawddach (“The Mawddach Trail” or “Llwybr Mawddach” in
Welsh) and continues across the bridge into Barmouth.
A rarely-published location is from the Mawddach Trail as it
approaches Barmouth, and on 10th June last 158824 is seen
with TfW branding but still in the old ATW livery as it leaves
Barmouth with the 2G20 0629 Pwllheli – Machynlleth.
As you continue down the Mawddach Trail, you pass the site of
the former Arthog station and eventually reach Morfa Mawddach
station. Nowadays, at the latter, the former trackbed of the
Ruabon to Barmouth line partially acts as a car park, but the rest
of the station still functions, as it remains part of the Cambrian
Coast Line. The choice then is to either catch the train across
the bridge into Barmouth, or for the more energetic, you can
walk or cycle across it and into Barmouth, where trains from the
Ruabon line either terminated at a separate platform (which can
still just about be made out), or continued into the main station.
A serene view down the footpath, looking towards Morfa 1. Whittlesey & Fareham (Hants).
Mawddach, at Barmouth on 25th December 2005. 2. Seaton.
3. Bournemouth, Brighton, Devon, Kentish & Thanet (5).
At Penmaenpool, there are several railway artefacts to be found, 4. It’s in west Newport, on the Cardiff Central – Ebbw Vale line.
including the former signalbox which is now used by the RSPB 5. ECML near Retford; Warrington Bank Quay Low Level;
as an information and observation centre overlooking the Manchester Victoria (Salford end); not the ECML station, but
Mawddach Estuary. An excellent way of spending a summer Llanelli!
Bad Maths and the Sudden Need for a Horse Network Rail has made its mark at Bedford recently. The
(Edward Mann) Bromham road bridge, just north of the station, has been closed,
ready for demolition (it was too low for catenaries etc) and is
Glossy magazines abound wherever you stay. Take the “Four unlikely to re-open until December 2020 (at least that’s the
Shires” – probably reliant on subscriptions from upmarket estate plan). Back in Bedford it was time for a jaunt along the Marston
agents selling over-priced houses. Its title is baffling as it Vale line to Bletchley. It is worked by the Vivarail Class 230s (the
purports to cover parts of Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, old Underground stock) with which I was rather impressed. The
Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire & Warwickshire – 5 by my most interesting station on the line – Ridgmont – boasts an
reckoning! excellent Heritage Centre/Tea Room, and reminds us that brick-
making was the major local industry. It’s well worth a visit but
quite hard to find. Lidlington is the best place to head for.
The next day I stopped at Market Harborough. The station is
about 10 min. from the town centre and is an elegant building.
Little (if any) trace of the Peterborough – Rugby line is to be
found, and the Midland’s sinuous curves through the station
Futuristic Corby on 1st July.
I spent a few days just outside Bedford as one of my aims was The imposing station building at Market Harborough on 2nd
to travel over the Midland Main Line as far as Leicester. It’s not a July.
route that benefits the Norwich resident at all, unfortunately.
Bedford is a modern station, with stabling for the Thameslink have been eased for electrification. On to Leicester, and
700s close by. Meridians and a few HSTs operate main line something reminded me about the discovery of King Richard
services. Going north, there’s ample evidence of electrification III’s skeleton in a car park. He had a bad reputation – but
work, and the intermediate stations – Wellingborough, Kettering probably no worse than anyone else in the late 15th century -
and Market Harborough – have large electrification work and I suppose Shakespeare’s play does him no favours. There’s
stations adjacent. Kettering is the junction for Corby – and what a full-blown Visitor Centre, and I was glad I went.
a smart new station Corby is. Shame it seems to be in the
middle of nowhere! It probably comes as no surprise that there’s
an hourly southbound service to Kettering and London.
Northbound is another matter. The infrequent service joins the
cross-country line from Peterborough at Manton Junc, and then
goes via Oakham, Melton Mowbray, Syston E to N Juncs and
Long Eaton to deposit its unsuspecting passengers (if any) at
Derby! Beware the siren calls to join the 0926 from Corby! In the
evenings there’s a through train from St Pancras which
terminates at Melton Mowbray – and that’s it!
The unusual walkway from the platform to the station building
at Market Harborough on 2nd July.
230004 waits to leave Bedford with the 1258 to Bletchley on 1st We read in NRS/NL 64/2 pp.13/14 that it’s possible to travel
July. from Norwich to Brighton via Cambridge and back in a day.
From Bedford there’s a half-hourly service to the Sussex coast,
serving Luton & Gatwick Airports on the way. I rode on the 0948
(700152), and most things about the 2½ hour journey were as
experienced by Andy Wright. There was very slow running after
West Hampstead Thameslink and into St Pancras International,
so we had clearly lost our path. Most of the lost time was
regained by omitting the minor stops after Three Bridges but one
thing Andy did not have to suffer was a teenager intent on
helping save the planet by economising on his underwear
changes! There wasn’t much time to explore (I have never
visited Volk’s Electric Railway) but the walk down to the seafront
passes all sorts of exotic takeaways, and parts are decidedly
seedy. I found my way to the Lanes, where better fare was on
offer, before the uphill return to the station for the 1428 (700127)
which ran close to time throughout.
A Vauxhall Viva HA with an Austin A40 behind – Gaydon 5th
Brighton station on 3rd July.
My trip from Clapham to the other side of Banbury was made on A Standard Ensign in the reserve collection at Gaydon on 5th
a very warm 4th July. The following day promised more of the July.
same, so I ventured down the B4100 to Gaydon, home of the
British Motor Museum. It’s also home to the Jaguar Daimler
Heritage Trust’s collection and a fully-accessible reserve
collection. A couple of images are here to return you to “those
thrilling days of yesteryear”, but distance and the poorer roads
west of Milton Keynes make it just too far for a day’s trip from
____________WORKING TIMETABLE - A selective look ahead at local railway events
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY and Norfolk Transport Group meetings take place (unless otherwise stated) at: United Reformed
Church Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6QR
Events are listed in good faith, but visitors should check with the organisation concerned before travelling.
Norfolk Transport Group - please contact Mike Fordham or John Laycock.
Sooner or later we – “the people” – will be going through the ritual that is a General Election. Please remember that if this
takes place on a Thursday either an NRS or NTG meeting will have to be cancelled. Apologies in advance.
Thursday 10th October – NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “A Busman’s Holiday” – Presentation by David Cooke (1930).
Thursday 17th October – NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - “Britain’s Railway Contribution to the Great War” – Presentation
by Andy Savage, Executive Director, Railway Heritage Trust. We shall be starting the meeting shortly after 1900 as the
speaker needs to catch the 2200 back to London. Your co-operation will be appreciated. Notices etc will follow at the end.
Thursday 24th October – NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “The Joint Strike Fighter” – Presentation by David Morton (1930).
Thursday 31st October – NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “My Best South American Experiences” – Presentation by Ken Mills
Thursday 7th November – NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Joint Presentation by Stan Jeavons (“the Railways of the
Eastern Pyrenees”) & Ivor Self (“Spanish & European Railways”) (1930).
Thursday 14th November – NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “Films on Screen” – Presentation by Arthur Barrett (1930).
Thursday 21st November – NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - Joint Presentation by Brian Dyes (“The Ipswich Transport
Museum”) & Andy Wright (“East Anglia and beyond: A review of the current scene”) (1930).
Thursday 28th November – NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP -“What Was I Up To?” – Presentation by Mike Finlay (1930).
Monday 2nd December – NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Annual Christmas Meal (details on page 7).
Thursday 5th December – NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – A short Special General Meeting followed by “Return to T’ebay”
– Presentation by David Pearce (1930).
Thursday 12th December – NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – Team Quiz Night (1930).
Thursday 19th December – NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “Short Presentations by Members (1930).
Services on our Local Railways
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway: East View Road, Stone Lane, Ashmanhaugh, NR12 8YW. For information:
Barton House Railway: Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL. For information: www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk or tel: 01603-
Bressingham Steam & Gardens: Low Road, Bressingham, IP22 2AA. For information: www.thebressinghamgardens.com or tel:
01379-686900. Steam services in operation.
The Bure Valley Railway: Aylsham Station, Norwich Rd, Aylsham, NR11 6BW. For information: www.bvrw.co.uk or tel: 01263-
733858. Daily running until 3rd November.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway: Dereham Station, Station Rd, Dereham, NR19 1DF. For information: www.mnr.org.uk or tel: 01362-
851723. Regular running until 13th October.
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway: Brockford Station, Wetheringsett, IP14 5PW. For information: www.mslr.org.uk or tel: 01449-
The North Norfolk Railway: Station Approach, Sheringham, NR26 8RA. For information: www.nnrailway.co.uk or tel: 01263-
820800. Daily running until 3rd November.
The Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers: Eaton Park, Norwich. For information: www.ndsme.org
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway: Stiffkey Road, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1QB. For information: www.wwlr.co.uk or tel:
01328-711630 (up to 1700 please). Daily running until 3rd Nov.
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway: Whitwell Rd, Reepham, NR10 4GA. For information: www.whitwellstation.com or tel: 01603-
Note that the events listed are selective and not comprehensive.
ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY: MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY:
Sunday 6th October (last of 2019) – Running Day 1400 – 1700 Saturday/Sunday 12th/13th October – Autumn Diesel Weekend.
NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY:
BARTON HOUSE LIGHT RAILWAY: Saturday 19th – Thursday 31st October – Hallowe’en –themed
Sunday 20th October (last of 2019 apart from a Santa Special) – events.
Running Day 1400 – 1700 (weather permitting). From 20th November – “The Norfolk Lights Express”.
BRESSINGHAM MUSEUM, STEAM & GARDENS: WELLS & WALSINGHAM LIGHT RAILWAY
Friday 25th/Saturday 26th October – Hallowe’en Evenings. Wednesday 16th October – Sunday 3rd November – “Hallowe’en
Sunday 27th October – Final Running Day. – Spooky I-Spy”.
BURE VALLEY RAILWAY: WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY:
Saturday 19th - Sunday 27th October – “Spooky Expresses”. Sunday 6th October – Steam Sunday.
Saturday 26th/Sunday 27th October – Hallowe’en Events.
EATON PARK MINIATURE RAILWAY: Sunday 3rd November – Steam Sunday.
Sunday 6th October 1300 – 1700 (weather permitting). As usual,
the final public day is “Children in Need Day”.
Printed by Pride Press Ltd. Tel: 01603 665045.