Norfolk Railway Society
Founded 1955 www.norfolkrailwaysociety.org.uk
Volume 62 No. 3 May/June 2017
news from railways in and around Norfolk
GE LINES UPDATE: May
GE LINES NEWS
Cambridge North Station Opens:
The new station finally opened on Sunday
21st May (previous opening dates had been
announced for December 2015, May 2016
and December 2016). When the planning
application was submitted in July 2013 the
station was described as costing £26m but
now the build cost is stated to be £50m.
There are three 12-car length platforms -
the Up and Down Main, with platform 3
being the Down bay line. The station has
450 car parking spaces and 1000 spaces
for bicycles with a bus interchange. New
sidings, a with a 5mph speed restriction on
entry, have been provided to serve the rail-
served aggregates terminal on part of the
historic Chesterton Sidings cwr depot site.
For the fit there are 44 steps from the A Stansted-bound Cross-Country service passes the recently opened
entrance up to footbridge level and then 39 Cambridge North station on 22nd May (Peter Adds).
steps down to platform level. Alternatively,
access can be gained from the entrance to Great Northern (one of these now forms an hourly fast service
the platforms using two of the three lifts. between Ely and King’s Cross). Cross Country services
Greater Anglia has provided three ticket machines but no between Birmingham and Stansted Airport do not call.
manned ticket office. Toilet facilities are nominal. The opening On Monday 22nd May the Greater Anglia hierarchy were much
date of the station was obviously unbeknown to Greater in evidence with the media present. Quite why a direct service
Anglia as negotiations for a coffee and another retail outlet to Stansted commencing in 2019 was publicised is
are still on-going! Adverse comment has also been made questionable as it is hardly a good news story now!
concerning the lack of directional signage on the approach to
the new station.
Teething problems were evident in the station working with a
The good news is that the station is served by four trains an GA train terminating in platform 3 (the bay) in line with the
hour each way: two each provided by Greater Anglia and footbridge steps. The driver was then asked to move the 4-
car unit up to the buffer stops resulting in the return 1115
In This Issue service being some 5 car lengths remote from the footbridge
access – one wonders how many intending passengers
Track Report simply did not see the service!
National Network 1
Pick-up Goods 4 A track circuit failure at Ely prevented any southbound
services running south of Ely between 1245 and 1415 with
12 knock-on cancellations and delays for most of the afternoon.
Hidden London – Euston and Clapham South by 13 Crossrail works at Shenfield:
Brian & Dan Cornwell. 14 After many months of work the new Down bay platform 6 was
15 brought into use on Saturday 6th May with TfL services
Eccles Road Sidings/Snetterton reinstated between Brentwood and Shenfield on a 20 minute
Branch/Robertson’s Sidings by Mike Young. frequency with alternate services still terminating at
Brentwood, presumably to allow the new layout at Shenfield
to bed down. There are now 3 new sidings north of the
station on the alignment of the former Southend line dive-
under with the access to the dive-under diverted towards the
Raised platform sections have been installed at Brandon
(Up platform) and Spooner Row (Down platform) to assist
Manningtree: New train maintenance depot:
By 17th May the majority of the derelict buildings on the
seaward side of the railway had been demolished – it is
believed that this part of the site will be restored to its
natural state for use by the wildfowl. The main part of the
site on the west/inland side of the railway is largely cleared
of buildings although the demolition materials remain on site
presumably for use as hardcore during the new construction
Brandon Down side Goods Yard: The site of the new train maintenance depot at Manningtree,
By mid-May site clearance works had been completed. The looking West on 10th May (Peter Adds).
shell of the roofless former brick built warehouse (which was
still standing on 23rd March) has now succumbed to the in the morning followed by a stone delivery later. DBCargo,
demolition contractor’s attentions leaving the site level. Rusty GBRf and Freightliner locomotives have been noted.
railheads on 22nd May indicated that no rail traffic has yet
been received. Class 170 refresh programme:
The second unit to be overhauled - 170208 - was noted at
Norwich Northern Distributor Road: Norwich on 29th April proudly wearing its new AGA white
To meet the current demand for aggregates required for the bodyside and red door livery. 170208 was the only 170 unit to
NDR scheme, on some days in early May two aggregates carry full bodyside vinyls promoting Breckland so its unique
trains have been seen at Trowse – normally a sand delivery distinctive livery is now but a memory.
Norfolk Railway Society Returned from repair:
(Founded 1955) 170204, damaged in the collision with a tractor at Larling in
April of last year, was noted in the centre siding between P4
President: Ken Mills, Esq. & P5 at Norwich on 21st May following its lengthy repair. It has
returned in its former livery and has not been repainted.
Committee and Officers 2017-2018 Telephone
Chairman Brian Kirton The following details can only represent a small sample of the
incidents occurring given that your scribe is not a subscriber
Vice Chairman Warren Wordsworth to the daily Control Log!
Past Chairman Ray Halliday Sunday 26th March: Reedham Swingbridge failed at about
1400 leading to services between Norwich and Lowestoft
Secretary & Andrew Wright being suspended until the 2058 departure from Norwich
Webmaster (15L). The 1346 Lowestoft – Norwich was terminated at
Haddiscoe and remained there until 2040 before resuming its
Treasurer John Laycock journey to Norwich. Hopefully the passengers had not been
Membership Sec Mike Handscomb
Monday 27th March: Signalling problems between Ilford and
Newsletter Editor & Edward Mann Stratford, aided by a passenger being taken ill at Stratford,
Indoor Programme caused delays to morning services. Those departing Norwich
between 0624 and 0740 were 40L – 52L (0705) arriving at
Indoor Programme Graham Kenworthy Liverpool St, resulting in the 0900, 0930 and 1000 ex-London
departing 25L, 48L and 20L respectively. The 0900 and 1000
Show Day Manager Brian Cornwell services ran non-stop apart from an Ipswich call; the 0930
& Outdoor visits arrived Norwich 64L. The service recovered after 1000, but
not before the 1200 ex-Norwich and 1430 return from London
Committee Member Malcolm Wright were cancelled.
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 Tuesday 25th April: Emergency engineering work between
the end of the month of publication. Norwich and Brundall caused the 1136 Norwich – Yarmouth
and the 1205 Norwich – Lowestoft and their return services to
Opinions expressed in any articles are those of the author be cancelled.
and should not be taken to represent those of the Society.
Next issue published 3rd August 2017 2
Copy date: 27th July 2017.
1530 ex-London had been previously terminated at
Ipswich due to traction problems) or Colchester until
the 1810 from London service ran through. The 1550
Peterborough to Ipswich had departed Bury St
Edmunds just 6L but passengers were then subject to
long delays until they reached Stowmarket 150L.
Monday 15th May: The discovery of a body beside
the line at Stretham led to the suspension of services
between Ely and Cambridge between 0600 – 0800
with consequential disruption and termination of
services at Ely and Cambridge until the line re-
Tuesday 16th May: NR’s High Output Ballast Train
failed between Ardleigh and Colchester reaching
Colchester 80L and not clearing the main line, on its
return to Harwich Parkeston Quay, until 0715 - 96L.
Early morning container services were most affected
and in turn delayed London-bound passenger
services with London arrivals up to 30L, then
affecting return departures. The 0500 Norwich –
The newly opened Cambridge North Station - see page 1 (Peter Adds). London was terminated at Ipswich and the
associated 0700 ex-London and the 0930 ex-Norwich
services were cancelled.
Wednesday 26th April: Signalling problems affected Norwich
to Sheringham/Yarmouth/Lowestoft services, causing delays The 1800 London – Braintree experienced OLE problems
of up to 35 minutes and the cancellation of the 0945 Norwich approaching Chelmsford where it and the following 1810 to
– Sheringham. Norwich were terminated. The 1812 London – Clacton
passed Shenfield on time but departed Chelmsford after a 13
Friday 28th April: A fatality at Colchester involved the 2030 minute stop 57L. The 1830 London – Norwich was 56L
London to Norwich. Services were resumed about an hour passing Chelmsford reaching Norwich 78L; the 1900 arrived
later with the opposite side of the Down island platform being Norwich 91L; the 1930 80L; the 2000 was 72L and the 2030
used. The 2030 ex-Norwich was 62L calling at Colchester arrived Norwich 49L.
and 72L at Liverpool St. The 2100 ex-London was 55L at
Colchester. Wednesday 17th May: Early morning services were slightly
delayed in the Manningtree area in reaction to swans taking a
Saturday 29th April: A major signalling failure occurred breather on the lineside.
involving the Liverpool St IECC preventing any services
running south of Colchester between 0600 - 0805 (including A track circuit failure occurred at Shenfield about 1645 as the
the Sudbury, Braintree and Southminster branches). The first 1630 London – Norwich approached. That train was delayed
services through were the 0700 ex-Norwich - Ingatestone and by 8 minutes but matters deteriorated rapidly until the fault
the 0907 from Ingatestone. was rectified at about 1845. The 1644 London – Clacton was
delayed by 30 minutes; the 1700 to Norwich was 49L passing
Sunday 30th April: A dog takes a train for a walk! The Shenfield, and the 1718 to Ipswich was 65L passing
0845 Norwich – Yarmouth departed Acle 1L, but then Shenfield. The 1730 London – Norwich had to be terminated
encountered a dog which persisted in walking ahead of the at Shenfield 76L because of brake trouble. The 1750 London
train until Halvergate. The train reached its destination 55L – Norwich passed Shenfield 85L (Norwich 98L); the 1810
leading to the cancellation of the 0922 and 1122 services departed London 42L passed Shenfield 74L and reached
from Yarmouth and the 1045 from Norwich. The dog was Norwich 100L. The 1830 and 1900 ex-London departed 35L
being looked after by a friend whilst its owner celebrated a and 14L, passed Shenfield 69L and 60L, and reached
notable birthday in London – the good news is that the dog Norwich 86L and 89L respectively.
was found unharmed and reunited with its owner the following
day. Friday 19th May: After heavy rainfall overnight a signalling
problem occurred near Cromer resulting in the 0821 Norwich
Thursday 4th May: The overnight 1946 Liverpool Garston – and return 0944 Sheringham services being cancelled. The
Felixstowe container train was involved in a fatality between 0822 Sheringham – Norwich was terminated at Cromer with
Derby Road and Trimley in the early hours with delays of up the train resuming its journey as the 0957 to Norwich.
to 3 hours. The 0418 Felixstowe – Burton container train
passed Felixstowe Beach 145L and, having been recessed at Having passed Stratford 30E the 2104 (Thurs) Birch Coppice
Witham (184L), passed Stratford 209L and reached its – Felixstowe freight train failed at Brentwood and rescue
destination 277L. proved difficult – the “Thunderbird” at Shenfield has now been
withdrawn – with the train finally passing Shenfield 483L
Friday 12th May: The 1630 Norwich – London was involved reaching Colchester 523L, but only another 6 minutes was
in a fatality approaching Stowmarket where the train was lost by Ipswich. The Brentwood terminating service was
terminated. The line was closed from 1700 to 1925. The 1700 terminated at Gidea Park whilst the freight train occupied the
from Norwich was terminated at Diss, and the first through Down Electric platform. The 0624 and 0930 Norwich –
service from Norwich was the 1900. Norwich-bound services London services were cancelled possibly in reaction to the
from the 1600 ex-London were terminated at Ipswich (the restricted line capacity.
Oulton Broad Swingbridge failed about 1040 and was not Monday 22nd May: A track circuit failure occurred at Ely
repaired until about 1400. Ipswich services were terminated between about 1245 and 1415. The first train affected was
at and restarted from Oulton Broad South. The first Ipswich the 1022 Birmingham – Stansted service which took 65
service direct from Lowestoft became the 1407. minutes to travel between Ely North Junc and the station,
terminating at Cambridge 72L. The 1140 Norwich –
A fatality near Ilford about 1630 disrupted evening peak Cambridge was terminated at Ely. The 1240 ex-Norwich
services on the GEML. stood at Ely for 12 minutes before departing 30L. The return
1410 Cambridge – Norwich departed 37L, Ely 54L with a
Sunday 21st May: The GEML was closed between Norwich arrival 62L. The 1358 Ipswich – Peterborough
Colchester and Chelmsford all day to permit engineering work service was terminated at March 45L having been on time at
with replacement road services being provided. The natural Bury St Edmunds. Several services were cancelled during the
route of those road services is the A12 which was closed at afternoon in reaction.
Kelvedon for a new overbridge structure to be craned into (Peter Adds)
position. Long delays on the road network were inevitable!
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
NNR Spring Steam Gala
Somewhat later than in previous years the first
gala on the NNR took place over the weekend of
21st - 23rd April.
There were two visiting locomotives: LMS Stanier
8F 48624 (right, seen passing through
Weybourne on 21st April), courtesy of Great
Central Railway and GWR 0-6-2T 5643 courtesy
of the Furness Railway Trust and Bolton Abbey
Making a welcome appearance were the four BR
Mk 1 Suburban coaches following completion of
the restoration project.
Local motive power was provided by the B12,
Y14, Ring Haw and 4MT 76089. (AW)
The Numbers Game
The following clues – or their answers – contain a number or was near Cardiff and Reepham was near Lincoln; 5. Sleaford
numbers. How many are you able to solve? Please email – there are connections to the avoiding line, to the Grantham
your answers if you so wish - [email protected]. –Skegness line and to the GN/GE “Joint”; 6. Full Brake (with
no passenger accommodation) but you could walk through
1. Name the 4 stations in Herefordshire that are still the vehicle to reach other passenger accommodation; 7.
open to passengers. Going north from Dundee there’s Barry Links & Golf St
followed by Carnoustie; 8. Haydock Park – Newton-le-
2. Enormous depth near Newmarket. Willows, Lincoln Handicap – Doncaster, Welsh Grand
3. Name 1 station with Oxford in its title. However, this National – Chepstow; 9. Bath – (Combe Down Tunnel on the
old S & D); 10. Stamford Bridge between York & Beverley
must be outside the University City and its environs, (closed), Stamford Hill (near Stoke Newington) & Stamford
and not be on the DLR, Underground or other “light Brook (District & Piccadilly lines, which was a bit sneaky).
4. Only 2 lines – the ECML & WCML – cross the Anglo-
Scottish border today. Give details or the names of 2
more lines that used to cross the Border.
5. Earlham location or West Midlands station. Are you able to help, please?
6. Stoke-on-Trent traditionally consists of 5 (some
would say 6) towns. Which can still be identified by Although the M. & G.N. closed almost 60 years ago some
having a NR station? “last day” information is surprisingly elusive. In particular, the
7. What connects Edwardsville, South Wales, with way in which rolling stock was gathered from Melton
60163? Constable and Yarmouth Beach after the stock’s respective
8. Radio station or former ECML station. workings on Saturday 28th February 1959 never seems to
9. Station for Lakeside. have been recorded. In the normal course the sets of stock
10. Seven Kings and Seven Sisters are familiar to us. would have simply picked up their diagrams on the following
Name another station with a “Seven” prefix. Monday so what is missing is how and when the sets (and
The answers to the quiz in NRS/NL 62/2 were: 1. The song there were several) were returned to main network. Richard
was titled “Whoever’s in New England”; 2. St David’s, Adderson has had no joy with similar enquiries in the M. &
Pembrokeshire; 3. Plenty – chiefly the 2021 and 2721 G.N. Circle Bulletin but if anyone, perchance, has a relevant
classes; 4. Reedham is on the Tattenham Corner line; Ely signalbox register, traffic circular or traffic notice please
Recently at the URC Hall Still in the ‘proposal’ stage is Crossrail 2. Once dubbed the
‘Chelsea–Hackney’ line, this SW-NE route would fill the ‘fast
Crossrail 1, Crossrail 2, High Speed 2, High rail gap’ around London by connecting the South Western main
Speed 3 and more! (6th April) line to the West Anglia line via Victoria and King's Cross St.
Pancras. Chris told us that Crossrail 2 is designed to bring
With a title like that we knew Chris Mitchell would entertain us 270,000 more people daily into central London, thus alleviating
with a fact-filled evening, and so it proved. the severe overcrowding that would otherwise occur within a
couple of decades. Should permission be granted,
He last addressed the Society in 2011 about Crossrail 1 – but construction is expected to start around 2023, with the new line
a lot’s happened since then! Chris’s work for Crossrail, and his opening from the early 2030s.
many contacts in the rail civil engineering world, make him
ideally placed to give us an insider’s view. Crossrail 2 has the potential to unlock up to 200,000 new
homes across London and the wider South East and, in
Crossrail – now known as the Elizabeth Line – has been particular, would spur the regeneration of under-developed
described as one of Europe's largest infrastructure projects. It areas such as parts of Enfield and Haringey, where there is
was approved in 2007 and construction began in 2009. Chris great potential for new housing and improved transport
told us that 99% of the civil engineering is complete and connections. It would also provide employment opportunities;
showed a video narrated by the project’s CEO Andrew once operational, analysis suggests the railway could support
Wolstenholme to demonstrate the incredible progress to date. up to new 200,000 jobs in a range of industries. With an
The main feature is 21km of twin tunnels driven through central estimated benefit:cost ratio of 2.7:1, and Chancellor Philip
London, from Paddington to Stratford and Canary Wharf. An Hammond reported to be enthusiastic, Chris reckoned that
almost entirely new line branches off at Whitechapel, crossing Crossrail 2 was likely to pass successfully through Parliament.
under the Thames, serving a new station at Woolwich and
finally connecting with the North Kent Line at the Abbey Wood One route which has received Royal Assent, on 23rd February
terminus. this year, is High Speed 2 (HS2). Boasting a (continually
revised) budget of £55.7bn, it will be built in a ‘Y’ configuration,
The central section and a large portion of the line, between with London on the bottom of the ‘Y’, Birmingham at the centre,
Paddington in central London and Abbey Wood in the south- Leeds at the top right and Manchester at the top left. Work on
east, is due to open in December 2018. Part of the eastern the first phase is scheduled to begin in 2017, reaching
section, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, was Birmingham by 2026, and be fully completed by 2033. We
transferred to TfL Rail in 2015; this section will be connected watched an excerpt from BBC Midlands Today demonstrating
to the central route from May 2019. The western section, from the impact the line could have in the region.
Paddington to Heathrow Airport and Reading, is due to
become operational in December 2019, completing the east– Finally Chris moved on to the ideas for High Speed 3 (HS3).
west route and providing a new high-frequency commuter and This has been conceived as a new 140 mph Trans-Pennine
suburban passenger service. high-speed rail link connecting to the northern branches of HS2
at Manchester and Leeds (30min journey time), together with
Chris showed illustrations of the gigantic Canary Wharf station, other regional rail developments. In the 2016 Budget £60
designed by Foster+Partners. Located beneath and within the million development funding was provided for the preparation
West India North Dock, it contains four levels of retail, roof of a route plan for the line.
garden, pavilions and station entrances – and then the station
is below all that! It will be one of the largest stations on the Chris thought that the autonomy generated by the election of
route, and will provide an interchange with the LU Canary mayors in some northern cities might provide added impetus
Wharf and DLR Poplar stations. for HS3. One route possibility could be a re-opened Woodhead
route and, as a complete contrast with today’s and tomorrow’s
Crossrail is intended to ‘unlock’ development potential at high-speed projects, we watched a series of images of trains
places such as Woolwich, where the new station is a key part hauled by Class 76 and 77 electric locos before the through
of a new plan on the Royal Arsenal site which includes 3,750 route closed in 1981.
new homes and new cultural, heritage, commercial and leisure
quarters. Woolwich station will help transform the area, Chris rounded off an absorbing evening with news from a
supporting regeneration, reducing journey times and creating recent DfT briefing on new rail franchises which he had
new transport links. From 2018, up to 12 services an hour will attended. The importance of Community Rail Partnerships had
allow passengers to travel to Canary Wharf, the City and the been stressed; the Bittern Line had been the first, set up in
West End without having to change trains. 1997 – now there are 54. (Mike Handscomb)
Crossrail will be operated by MTR Corporation as a concession Thanks to Andy Wright for operating the projector, and to Andy
of TfL, like London Overground. It is expected to relieve and Chris for spending time on the presentation ahead of our
pressure on the Central and District lines, which are the current evening.
main east–west passenger routes, as well as the Heathrow
branch of the Piccadilly line – and fares will be aligned with the “The Chiltern Railways Story” – Dave Penney
underground ones. (4th May)
Later this year, Chris revealed, Les Bird, Head of Operations A degree of arm-twisting by Andrew Munden, new General
for MTR Crossrail, will pay a return visit to the Society to tell us Manager of the North Norfolk Railway (who was in the
more about the new nine-carriage Class 345 units which, in the audience), meant that Dave Penney, the Chiltern Railways
central section, will run at frequencies of up to 24 trains per Managing Director, had been persuaded to address us.
hour in each direction. Dave could trace his railway interest back to volunteering at
the late Rev. Teddy Boston’s Cadeby Light Railway, where he
was attracted to the 00 gauge railway. However, his “proper”
railway career began on London Underground where he
became Fleet Organiser for the Bakerloo Line. He was Visit by members of the Ipswich & District
heavily involved with “Steam on the Met” before joining Historical Transport Society (18th May)
Midland Main Line which ran a Manchester service prior to
completion of the WCML upgrade. He was accepted as Depot The IDHTS team successfully negotiated “passport control”
Manager at Crown Point under the NatEx franchise, only to on a damp evening, and another large audience came along
find that it lost the franchise the next day, and he never got for the last meeting of our programme.
the job! Finally he joined Chiltern Railways as its Engineering
Director before becoming Managing Director. Barry Emms opened proceedings with an illustrated account
entitled “Restoration of a 1922 Model T Ford”. His associate
Chiltern Railways has been a very successful franchise, simply told him that he had “got a car at auction – it needs a
which can trace its origins back to 1996, but the franchise is bit of work done!” The Model T is quite unlike a modern car –
due to end in early 2022. In Network South East days, at least this one had an electronic ignition – whereas earlier
services ran to Aylesbury, with a few to Banbury, but now models had a handle and apparently some fatalities resulted
services extend to Birmingham, Kidderminster and Oxford. if the transmission bands were out of adjustment! It cannot be
Back in the dark days of the 1980s the Thatcher government apocryphal but the car was often turned round to go up hills
wanted to convert the route out of Marylebone into a road, backwards to avoid oil running back from the sump. Barry –
such was its nadir! Once the NSE revolution began to take who was clearly an accomplished engineer – found that he
effect, Class 165 units arrived, and then through and terminal could not stop fuel leaking from the carburettor and solved the
platforms at Birmingham Moor St were combined in 2002. problem by making a new one from stainless steel. The
Moor St will be close to the eventual HS2 terminal. There has throttle was a lever on the steering wheel; the left pedal was
been a new station at Aylesbury Vale Parkway and regular the clutch-cum-gear engagement (very odd). Middle pedal
services run to Banbury and Birmingham. Other major work was the reverse selector and the right pedal was the
has been carried out at High Wycombe, and the company has transmission brake (the wheels were unbraked). The back
established a number of depots. seat was over the fuel tank. Oh, and there were no lamps at
the rear and acetylene ones at the front! Engine capacity was
Until 19th May Chiltern operated 2 Class 121 “Bubble Cars” nearly 3 litres and there were 2 forward gears. Although the
on the Aylesbury – Princes Risborough shuttle as well as Model T was traditionally black, this one was painted a
Class 165 Turbos and the Class 168s together with a few pleasant red, a task carried out professionally. Remarkably,
Class 172s. A planned merger between Chiltern and the the car still had its original hood, and tyres can still be bought
Wrexham & Shropshire company did not come to fruition and in the U.S. During the model’s near 20 year production run
the latter sadly folded early in 2011. It had been a popular other manufacturers began to get ahead technically and the
service but a financial failure. succeeding Model A began to look like a modern car.
At the beginning of 2015 Chiltern received its first Class 68s Unfortunately, Barry’s excellent work was undone as his
(the 67s were starting to show their age) and it now has a associate went bankrupt and the whereabouts of the car are
pool of 6 with another 2 in reserve. The first was taken to unknown.
Crewe and tested on the WCML – Dave thinks they are a
fantastic loco, and we saw some “time-lapse” video of one The next presentation was “Water Transport in Norfolk” in
under construction at Vossloh’s Spanish factory. which well-known local author Bob Malster concentrated on
Chiltern have been involved with the reconstruction of the Norfolk Wherries which date back to the 17th century. His
Bicester North station, on the Marylebone/ Banbury interest began around the start of WW2 when he cycled
/Birmingham line, and Bicester Village station (formerly round Norfolk looking for old wherries, and somehow he was
Bicester Town/London Road) on the Oxford – Bletchley route. able to photograph “characters” associated with wherrying!
The latter does not have a ticket office, but machines instead. The wherry’s predecessor was the keel, not so
Apart from the station rebuildings, a chord has been built from manoeuvrable, and could be distinguished by its square sail.
the old G.W.R. Banbury line enabling services to be run from Norfolk wherries were a local design and would go down to
Oxford to Marylebone via High Wycombe. Again, this was Yarmouth to load e.g. woven goods into sea-going vessels.
recorded on “time-lapse” video. The maximum gradient on the In the 1820s, pressure from Norwich traders – despite
chord is a steep 1 in 48. objections from Yarmouth – saw plans made to enable
Norwich to become a port, served from Lowestoft. Lake
At Oxford, another new station has been built at Oxford Lothing was joined to the sea and the “New Cut” (Haddiscoe
Parkway (all the new stations are built to a similar style) to – Reedham) created. Apparently traders supported Lowestoft
cater for customers from north and north-west Oxford whilst for a few years before returning to Yarmouth. The coming of
at the original Oxford station two new bay platforms have the railways in the 1840s led to the loss of some of the
been added, each taking a 6-car unit. A modern traincare traditional wherry traffic (e.g. coal and timber inwards and
depot has been built at Wembley. Banbury station has been barley and wheat outwards).
modernised and the layout made much more flexible. A new
depot will be built on the site of the old steam shed. The two The wherry was very versatile, and beautifully shaped.
large signalboxes at Banbury North and South have been However, Bob had a view of the New Cut in 1892 when it was
demolished, Between the former’s decommissioning and frozen and impassable. Wherries were able to travel as far
demolition, guided tours were available to members of the up-river as the North Walsham and Dilham Canal.
public to explain how a signalbox “worked”. It was not The 1950s saw the demise of the last commercial wherries,
preserved as similar ‘boxes survive. and some were sunk in the vicinity of Thorpe Island – Bob
had an image of a “Claud Hamilton” 4-4-0 crossing the bridge
After a Q & A Dave was warmly thanked for his inspirational close to a sunken wherry.
presentation, and thanks must also go to Andy Wright for
operating the projector. The evening deserved and received a The wherry Albion was saved by a local group established in
bumper attendance, and the Committee was pleased to see 1949 and Albion is still active today.
so many in the audience. (EM)
Seeing slides projected these days is unusual enough, but it’s
even more unusual to see the old Super 8 cine films and hear
the whirr of the projector as the film threads through the Doncaster’s new ground is about two miles from the town
various “gates”. Graham Austin had brought 3 films, and he centre but a regular bus service from the bus and rail
began at the Passmore Edward Museum (otherwise North interchange takes its passengers to a stop next to the
Woolwich Station Museum). We saw something of the outside stadium. It was an enjoyable game with Luton taking the lead
exhibits but Graham’s reason for being there concerned in the second half, only for “Rovers” to equalise late in the
Flying Scotsman’s visit for clearance trials ahead of the
Queen Mother’s visit to open the Museum and name a Class game - a draw not a bad result against League Two’s
86 (86246 Royal Anglian Regiment) at Liverpool St to mark runaway leaders. My next big away trip will be to Lancashire
the electrification of the GEML to Ipswich. Graham had filmed to watch us play the famous Accrington Stanley (exactly!). It
at Stratford Low Level and North Woolwich, and the “bush will mean two nights away as it’s not really feasible in one day
telegraph” had clearly been working overtime! Conversely, - what delights will I find there?
when Jim Connor made his presentation to us in February
(see NRS/NL 62/2 p. 7) his images of the trials shot at Editor’s Note: Steve was, indeed, fortunate that his visit
Stratford Market were spectator-free! coincided with a rare public display of Hall Cross Academy’s
railway collection - wasn’t Doncaster Grammar School a more
“Pacifics in the Fens” was self-explanatory with Britannia, fitting name? It is a veritable treasure trove, and its
Duke of Gloucester, Flying Scotsman and an A4 stretching nameplates include Silver King (60016), Bantam Cock
their legs at various locations in Cambridgeshire and West (61700), Bongo (61005) and Harrow accident victim Princess
Norfolk. The events appeared to post-date the electrification Anne (46202). He’ll have to go back for the Sandtoft
to King’s Lynn. More recently, Graham was at Ipswich to film Trolleybus Museum, though!
the G.E.R, 150 Celebrations. Britannia was present, but not
the hoped-for N7. Two Very Different Tickets (Richard Adderson)
Graham’s final film had a distinct 1950s “feel” – the Towards the end of last year, I was issued with a ticket of a
commentary and the music – and showed a 1927 Rolls- type which I’d never seen, nor indeed heard of, before.
Royce making its way to Ipswich to join other veterans (I Issued from a machine by the conductor-guard on the train it
could recognise a Citroen, Daimler, Standard Vanguard and a measured an astonishing 19cm by 8cm – and was attached
Sunbeam Talbot) for a run to Felixstowe. to a return coupon of the same dimensions. Surely this has to
be the most unwieldy ticket, other than special souvenir
Barry, Bob and Graham were thanked for their respective items, that I have ever seen. It makes quite a contrast with
presentations, as was Mervyn for organising his team’s visit. the familiar credit card sized tickets which have been the
norm for many years now, and which of course fit neatly into
Doncaster has much to offer! (Steve Cane) one’s wallet. Will this be the future of on train ticket printing, I
On 18th February I had the opportunity of combining two of
my favourite pastimes - those being watching Luton Town After the shock of being issued with this roll of paper, I was
and anything to do with railways. “The Hatters” on this pleased to get back inside my comfort zone by obtaining the
occasion were playing at Doncaster - a great British railway
town if ever there was one.
I travelled on the 0757 East Midlands service to
Peterborough which connected with a Virgin East Coast train
to Leeds, stopping at Newark North Gate and “Donny”. My
fellow “Town” supporter joined the train at Newark and we
arrived in Doncaster dead on time, I’ve been very impressed
lately with East Coast’s punctuality - maybe I’ve been lucky!
The train was already well full of Luton fans who’d travelled
the short distance to Stevenage for their connection north. It
would be interesting to find out the revenue that the rail
companies make from fans using trains going to sporting
events as there always seems to be many supporters on
There was plenty of time till kick-off so we decided to get a
bite to eat at the Frenchgate Shopping Mall next to the station
and this is where we came across an exhibition of railwayana
and memorabilia from the Doncaster Grammar School
collection. Apparently the school formed a railway society
back in the early 1930s and over the years donors have
helped members amass a collection of around 2,000 items.
Amongst the many nameplates was the original plate from the
Gresley-designed Cock o’the North. Members of the
Doncaster P2 Locomotive Trust were present selling
merchandise to raise funds for their project to build a new
Cock o’the North in its original 2-8-2 guise.
These railway artefacts are seldom on display to the public
and the exhibition (called “Making Tracks”), ran only for two
weeks, closing on 7th March, so I feel very fortunate to have
seen this remarkable collection.
other ticket illustrated here at auction. Although a fraction of Imagine my surprise when a letter arrived, dated 29th August,
the size of the 2016 example, this traditional ticket is of from Australia, referring to the July article.
interest for several reasons.
In case the text is difficult to decipher, it reads:-
The overprinted “R” shows
that it is the return half of a “On reading “Journal” 3/7/64 I was interested in your unusual
ticket issued at Berney hobby, collecting old Railway Tickets. I am enclosing 2 return
Arms for a journey to halves of an excursion ticket issued 24/8/(19}12, which I
Reedham and back, whilst purchased to take me on the first leg of my journey to lovely
the heading tells us that it Australia. I shall not be requiring them now as I am well
was issued to a child and settled here and there is no likelihood of me returning. You
that there was some may wonder why I bought return tickets. The reason for that
involvement with the was they were much cheaper in those days than the normal
Norfolk Education fares at single rates. If I remember they were 4/6 (23p) return
Committee. against normal fare of 10/1½ (51p) for a single journey.
It is a fairly well known fact Wishing you every success in your hobby, which by the way
that children from the is rather a novelty, taking up less room than old trams,
isolated community at traction engines and steam rollers.”
Berney Arms travelled to
school at Reedham by Yours
train, and I have spoken to Ern. J. Beamish.
a chap who was one of
around 14 pupils who I was surprised on two counts: first, that Mr Beamish had held
made this journey daily in on to the return halves and, second, that someone was still
the late 1940s. In the circumstances, it is not surprising that sending him copies of the Journal, both after 52 years.
the Norfolk Education Committee should have contributed to
their travel costs, but I was interested to find that this item
suggests that individual tickets were issued each day. The
serial number 9589 shows that large numbers of such tickets
were issued, and on the back this one has been dated 13th
May 1938 by the standard ticket dating press. Surely it would
have been more straightforward to issue the children with
season tickets with a term’s validity?
Can anybody provide further information or thoughts on either
of these tickets?
A Retained Railway Relic (Graham
Following the late January Transport Group
meeting, at which people were invited to bring
along any interesting ephemera which they had
acquired and held on to (for whatever reason!),
a conversation with Mike Handscomb reminded
me of a somewhat unusual item in my
Having moved to East Anglia (Lowestoft, to be
precise) with my parents in the Summer of
1963, I discovered from various “anoraks” with
whom I worked at Euston, that there were
stations, particularly those “in the back of
beyond of nowhere”, that still held ticket stocks
dating back decades. I set about visiting a
number of these on Saturdays while my mother
looked after my weekly washing.
While making enquiries at Haddiscoe in early
June 1964, a third party overheard my
conversation with the Booking Clerk (actually a
Porter on weekend duty). He then confessed to
being a journalist with the Lowestoft Journal
and was very interested to hear of my hobby.
He subsequently visited me to do an interview
and an article (which I am unable to track down
at the moment) duly appeared in the Journal on
3rd July 1964.
Out and About with a Wherry Lines Ranger Broad North. Parked up at Lowestoft was Colas tamper
Ticket (John Hutchinson) DR73925. As an aside, I noted that following a three-car set
on my 1005 to Lowestoft, the next 1058 service was a two-car
Gricers have been enjoying the delights of travelling from 156, then at 1205 a single-carriage 153 unit. On return to
Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft behind vintage Norwich the top-and-tailed set retired to the sidings alongside
traction for some considerable time. With the modern Class Koblenz Avenue and 68025 was removed, to be replaced by
68 diesels joining the classic Class 37s as motive power on 68017 Hornet.
short-hauled sets in the summer of 2016, I had
promised myself a day out to enjoy said delights by
taking advantage of an excellent-value Abellio Greater
Anglia Ranger ticket.
A reminder that the 37s, and previously 57s and 47s,
have been in use on the Wherry Lines, top and tailing a
three-carriage set for a good while, due to shortage of
rolling stock. The 68s were introduced in July 2016,
following the loss of 170204 which was badly damaged
in a serious accident when colliding with a tractor near
Thetford in April of last year. All locomotives and both
three-car sets are hired by Abellio Greater Anglia from
Direct Rail Services (DRS). The sets are scheduled to
be used on weekdays only and work a total of 13
journeys, plus one ecs trip each day, booked on specific
My chosen day was a very sunny Tuesday 10th
January, excellent for travelling, not so good for 37422 in its former guise as 37266 heads a down Liner train near
photography – but one can't have it all ways. I had Belstead on 24th January 1979.
selected two journeys: 1005 Norwich-Lowestoft and
return, allowing around an hour's break back in Norwich
before boarding the 1236 departure for Great Yarmouth and So, after a suitable liquid refreshment break, I boarded the set
return. for the 1236 departure to Great Yarmouth, top-and-tailed by
37419 Carl Haviland and 37422 respectively. Despite
Naturally, there is a regular turn round of locos supplied for extensive Googling I have been unable to find out who Carl
the services. DRS operate 32 of the impressive Class 68s, Haviland was, other than that he was born in Derby in 1954
built by Vossloh in Spain (and for some reason all named and died in 2012, indicating, perhaps, that he was a Derby
after warships, cats, turtles and diggers!). My 1005 service railwayman (doubtless somebody will let me know!). In
was headed by 68025 Superb, with 68005 Defiant on the contrast to the relatively quiet 68s, the raucous sound of the
rear, the lightly-loaded front carriage consisting mainly of 37s is a joy to behold, of course, at least for enthusiasts, and
fellow gricers, most of whom shared my four journeys – one my pair were not to disappoint. It's hardly a surprise to record
with his trusty dog as a companion. Needless to say, one is that Great Yarmouth was reached on time at 1311 and there
was just enough time for a photo shoot before boarding for
the return at 1317, which was in fact quite busy.
Regarding the aforementioned Anglia Ranger ticket, I quote
from the Abellio Greater Anglia website: 'The Wherry Line
Ranger offers one day's unlimited travel on Greater Anglia
services from Norwich, through the Norfolk Broads to the
lively coastal resorts of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth (via
Reedham and via Acle). Tickets are valid from 0845 on
Mondays to Fridays and at any time on Saturdays, Sundays
and Bank Holidays. The Wherry Line Ranger costs just £9 per
adult, accompanying kids pay half price.' Even better . . . 'The
Wherry Line Senior Ranger for everybody over 60 years of
age is just £6. Time restrictions are the same as for the Adult
ticket and no Railcard is required to take advantage of this
68005 Defiant following arrival at Lowestoft on 10th January Talking Engines!
Richard Adderson has kindly drawn my attention to the
barely aware of any sound from these powerful modern following Newsbite from the EDP of 15th April: “… The Flying
diesels and it seems a travesty in some ways for them to be Scotsman has announced it will visit Norwich and Ely…”
relegated to such a mundane duty. Until now he had always thought that the only talking engines
No surprise, then, to record punctual arrivals at Lowestoft at were Thomas and his pals on the Island of Sodor!
1052 and back at Norwich at 1135, non-stop from Oulton
An Hour at Crumlin in 1964 (Mike Roach) so I was able to
At the time of opening the Crumlin Viaduct was claimed to be refresh myself with a
"the largest railway bridge in the world." Even if the claim
were true I doubt that Crumlin would have stayed in the cup of tea at the
number one spot for very long. Thus it was that I set out from
my home in Plymouth at 2330 one Friday evening in 1964 for normal price in 1964
the 15 minute walk to Plymouth station to catch the midnight
train to Bristol Temple Meads. The date on the ticket was of 6 old pence. I took
Saturday 11th April 1964 and the objective was to travel the
Pontypool Road to Neath line, and photograph the Crumlin the 0605 from
Crumlin Viaduct as seen looking north from the closed Crumlin Temple Meads to
(Low Level) station on the Western Valleys branch. The station
is still intact apart from the removal of some platform edging Newport and then the
slabs. The picture was taken at 0820 on the morning of
Saturday 11th April 1964. It was a dull start to the day. 0703 from Newport
Viaduct for the last time, as the line was due to be closed two
months later. I already knew that I would probably be to Pontypool Road,
elsewhere on the last day of passenger services for the line
which was Saturday 13th June 1964. both trains were 3-
I arrived at Bristol Temple Meads at 0333 in a diesel-hauled
14-coach train and then had to endure a wait of 2½ hours for coach DMUs. Arrival
my next train. Luckily the refreshment room stayed open all
night, apart from just one hour of closure from 0200 to 0300, at Pontypool Road
was at 0721, perfect
to catch the 0738 -
the first train of the
day heading down
the line from this
end. The principal
objectives that day
were to have one
last trip along the full
length of the line
and to photograph Looking west along the axis of the
the Crumlin Viaduct bridge showing a close-up view of a
from as many angles pier showing the arrangement of
as possible in the the 14 cast iron columns in 3 rows
limited time available; of 4 with an extra one at the outside
limited because I of the centre-line. These outside
wanted to catch the ones have a pronounced rake on
next train in the same them. Note also the diagonal ties
direction. and struts both in the horizontal
I travelled only a short and vertical planes. Each lift was
way down the line 5.2 metres (17 feet) high; so there
through Pontypool is more than 15 metres (50 feet) of
Clarence Street columns shown here. There
station and appears to be a domestic cat or
Hafodyrynys Platform dog sat on the ironwork. 11th April
to Crumlin (High 1964.
Level) station (6
miles) arriving at 0801. The train consisted of 2 coaches
hauled by 56xx 0-6-2T 6659. A couple of pictures of the train
and of the viaduct from the station footbridge and I was off
down the hill into the Ebbw Valley a long way below. First
stop was Crumlin (Low Level) Station. This station was on the
line from Newport to Aberbeeg which there split going onto
Brynmawr and Ebbw Vale. The Low Level station had
closed to passengers from 30th April 1962 but was still
basically intact. It was only from down at ground level that
one could truly appreciate the sheer scale of Crumlin Viaduct
towering over the valley. In fact the viaduct was in 2 parts
and crossed 2 valleys. The longer part crossed the Ebbw
Valley on 7 x 150 foot spans; while the shorter part crossed
the Kendon Valley on 3 x 150 foot spans.
A general view along the north side of the viaduct. The person Crumlin Viaduct was a truly magnificent structure when seen
admiring the structure was not known to me, but with a duffle from almost any angle or level. It dominated the village of
bag he has got to be a railway enthusiast. Note the mineral Crumlin and the valley that it crossed as a light and airy
wagons on the line beneath the viaduct, and the fact that the structure. The viaduct was built by the Newport,
farthest spans are on a curve. 11th April 1964. Abergavenny and Hereford Railway Company as part of
their Taff Vale Extension Railway which aimed to link their
own line at Pontypool with the Taff Vale Railway at Quakers
Yard. The line crossed a number of valleys on major
viaducts as at Hengoed; but the major crossing was at the
Ebbw Valley where the proposed railway was 200 feet (61
metres) above the bottom of the valley. The Engineer for the
line was Charles Liddell, but he did not design the necessary
viaduct. He invited various contractors to submit tenders for
building a bridge to their own design. The winner of the
competition was Thomas William Kennard (1825
- 1893) who started with an advantage over the
other tenderers as his family already owned an
ironworks capable of casting some of the iron
which was used in his all-metal design. Kennard
tried different combinations of span length and
number of piers and finally settled on 150 foot
spans and 6 piers/7 spans for the main part of the
viaduct. Crumlin was also an economical
structure costing £62,000 to build. This was just
one tenth of the cost of Stephenson's Britannia
Bridge over the Menai Strait of a similar overall
length, although admittedly Crumlin was not over
fast flowing tidal water. The railway across the
viaduct was opened on 1st June 1857 and
throughout its life the viaduct was the highest (i.e.
tallest) railway viaduct in the United Kingdom.
The superstructure of Crumlin Viaduct contained
1,133 tons of wrought iron in the trusses which
was manufactured at the Blaenavon Ironworks It is 0836 and 2 men tend to their pigeons in a motley collection of rustic
just 10 miles away. The 1,368 tons of cast iron in buildings. The railway over the viaduct had been single-line for many years
the piers or columns came from the Falkirk with a speed restriction of 8 mph. 11th April 1964.
Ironworks in Scotland which was owned by the
Kennard family. This came most of the way by
sea. Cast iron is good in compression but not good in tension. then took a return trip up to Dowlais Cae Harris, came back to
Wrought iron is much better at coping with the tension that Nelson, walked to Quakers Yard; and caught a train to Neath
would arise in the bottom flange of the 150 foot girders. The General. Returning from Neath on the 1455 from Swansea to
main difference between cast iron and wrought iron is that the Pontypool Road I travelled the full length of the line for the
latter has been hammered or wrought. Interestingly, as the last time. Arrival in Plymouth was at 0038! On Saturday 13th
Viaduct was being built, Henry Bessemer was inventing and June 1964, as the last train ran from Pontypool Road to
patenting his process for the mass production of steel, which Neath, I was travelling on the last train from Taunton to Yeovil
would soon become the metal of choice for bridge spans. (Pen Mill).
I took a couple of pictures of the Viaduct from the platform of There’s not so many a Double Slip these days
the Low Level Station which was basically still open-house (Mike Roach)
two years after closure to passengers. This was not untypical
of the time, as even the sheep seemed to enjoy using the The double slip at Sheringham (see NRS/NL 62/2 p.12)
railways as a public footpath in parts of South Wales. I prompted Mike to unearth an image of a similar double slip at
crossed the River Ebbw and then found my way onto a Dowlais Cae Harris in April 1964. As most people won’t have
footpath behind the Viaduct Hotel and the Brewery. In going heard of Dowlais Cae Harris it’s effectively part of Merthyr
this way I avoided the main road which was necessarily on a Tydfil these days, and stood at the end of a 9½ mile branch
steep hill to climb out of the valley. As the railway did
before it, the road, the A472, provides a convenient
route out of the Valleys. My footpath took me beneath
the easternmost span of the viaduct enabling me to
see the ironwork at close quarters. I stopped to see
the 0745 Aberdare to Pontypool Road come slowly
across the viaduct at the speed limit of 8 mph at 0847.
The train consisted of 5 coaches hauled by
Churchward Mogul 6361, of Aberdare shed, which
was withdrawn the following month. I kept walking as I
had only 10 minutes to get to the next station which
was Hafodyrynys Platform.
Demolition of the viaduct commenced in summer from Nelson & Llancaiach. Although passenger services were
1965 and could not have been easy. History records withdrawn between Nelson and Cae Harris from 15th June
that no fewer than 6 demolition contractors came and 1964 the lower end is still open as far as Cwmbargoed. If
went before British Railways found one that could anyone knows of another surviving double slip on the national
actually do the work. The firm was Bird's of Risca who network (unlikely) or on a heritage line (more likely) please
used a Bailey Bridge to bridge each span in turn and get in touch.
allow the trusses to be dismantled. The last bits of iron
were carted away to be melted down fifty years ago
So what happened to me after walking the mile or so from
Crumlin (High Level) station to Hafodyrynys Platform? I
caught the 0840 from Pontypool Road to Neath (General) at
0859 but only as far as Nelson and Llancaiach (14 miles). I
___________NRS NEWS Roger’s Celebration
A few words of thanks Our member Roger Kingstone passes a milestone on Monday
12th June, and during the day he will be celebrating it at the
I had a hernia repair operation at Norwich’s Spire Hospital on Mid-Suffolk Light Railway. Further details may be had from
19th April. I’m pleased to say it seems to have been Roger on 07798-516910. All members are welcome to attend,
successful and I’d like to thank everyone who has been in and I apologise if this issue reaches some members too late
touch. (EM) for action. Please arrive after 1100 – you must be away by
Members please note
The late Alan Wilkinson
Annual Show 2018:
Following full agreement from the Committee it has been I am sure many of you will recall Alan, who was confined to a
decided that the Show in 2018 will move to a new venue at wheelchair, and who came to meetings with a carer.
Poringland Community Centre. It will also be slightly later in the Sadly, he passed away on 28th March after developing a
year, with the date now fixed for Saturday 10th March. chest infection. His funeral has taken place.
The Committee would like the event to be a showpiece for Annual General Meeting - 20th April 2017
members and we invite them to contact Peter Willis, Exhibits
Co-ordinator, if they have a model railway or railway collection The main points arising from the A.G.M. are:
they would like to exhibit. Peter will look at all requests to see ● Brian Kirton is our new Chairman and Ray Halliday
what can be accepted for the Show. The deadline for requests
to Peter is 8th July 2017. becomes Past Chairman.
● Warren Wordsworth was elected Vice-Chairman
Email: ● Malcolm Wright joins the committee for the first time.
Telephone: ● Peter Willis (Show Organiser) and Chris Mitchell (Publicity)
Evening Meetings Tea Break: both stood down after a number of years service. We are
Traditionally, voluntary contributions collected for Tea and grateful for the considerable work they have done.
Coffee have been used to fund a donation to a worthy railway ● Brian Cornwell was elected Show Manager and will bring
cause which is presented at our Annual Show. These together a small team to work on a show for 2018 (see left
contributions also pay for maintaining tea break supplies. for details).
● Other committee members remain in post.
The Committee has decided that from September a mandatory ● An update was given on incorporation of the NRS. The
charge of £1.00 per meeting will be payable for tea/coffee and meeting agreed not to proceed at this stage and asked the
two biscuits if members wish to participate. This will ensure Committee to review and enhance our insurance cover.
that sufficient funds are available to cover expenses and the ● Ray Halliday reviewed his year as Chairman and hoped
worthy cause donation. members had enjoyed the programme of events and
meetings. He had been pleased to organise the
York Visit to the NRM – 30th September 2017: anniversary dinner on the NNR Dining Train last June. He
Following discussion at the AGM the Committee has agreed thanked in particular Graham and Janet Smith for
that the Society is in a position to subsidise the cost of the rail distributing the Newsletter.
travel from Norwich to York for this event. This trip is open to ● Brian Kirton agreed the Dining Train had been a highlight.
all members and guests, but unfortunately guests will not be He has enjoyed the experience of being on the committee
able to benefit from the subsidy. If there are any members who so far and looks forward to his term as Chairman.
have not already indicated that they would like to attend they ● Treasurer John Laycock presented the accounts for 2016
should please contact Brian Cornwell, Outside Visits Co- which were adopted by the AGM. The Society’s largesse is
ordinator, by 8th July 2017. all the greater due to the sale of the NRS Archive material.
Email: ● Membership Secretary Mike Handscomb said we ended
Telephone: 2016 with 97 members including three new members.
Sadly John Hanchet passed away in June, there was one
New Members resignation and three non-renewals.
● Mike continued with an update on the disposal of the NRS
We are pleased to welcome Richard Keeys of Norwich, Archive. Gross sales amount to £4,045 (£3,336 nett). This
Andrew Munden, the NNR’s new General Manager and difference is due to selling fees to eBay and PayPal and
Roger Smale of Norwich. the cost of shipping items to other bodies. Donations of
All have already attended recent meetings. items were made to 20 organisations the biggest being to
GER Society, M&GN Circle, Ipswich Transport Museum
Visit to Parklands Miniature Railway and North Norfolk Railway (Weybourne).
● Edward Mann reported (in absentia) on the continuing
We have an invitation from Brian Baker, Chairman of health of the Newsletter and thanked all those who had
Parklands Miniature Railway, to visit the popular 7¼” gauge contributed. A 20 page Newsletter was produced in
railway on Tuesday 1st August from 1430 – 1830. December for the first time in NRS history.
● Graham Kenworthy spoke about the varied programme of
No charge will be made for rides, but donations towards meetings this which he had contributed to along with
upkeep will be much appreciated. The usual refreshments Edward.
and BBQ will again be provided by the Witheridge family and ● Brian Cornwell reported on the events he organised this
it is expected that the ice-cream van will visit. Supervised year and those planned this summer. After the Christmas
children will be welcome. The Parklands Holiday Village site Meal in December he will relinquish the role of Events
is at North Rd, Hemsby, NR29 9HA. Organiser.
● Peter Willis gave his last report as Show organiser as he
has decided it is time to stand down. He felt it important
that members demonstrate their commitment to a show if
they want it to continue.
Hidden London – Euston and Clapham South because it was
originally a C&SLR
A recent documentary series on Channel 5, The Tube: Going island platform, the
Underground, one of the best I have seen, considered the favoured design, which
engineering and history aspects of the London Underground can still be seen at
system. Part of the history looked at the disused stations on Clapham North and
the surface and under ground and also the tunnels and lift Clapham Common
shafts no longer used. today.
The London Transport Museum at Covent Garden runs a By 1914 both
series of tours, very oversubscribed, under the title Hidden
London. A present last Christmas got my son Dan and me a companies were united
tour of the lost tunnels under Euston station. Dan has a
university friend who is a volunteer for Hidden London so he under the Underground
has also been to Clapham South which was a deep level
shelter during WW2. More about that from Dan later. Electric Railways of
Euston London also known as
The Euston tour was on a Saturday afternoon and started the Underground
from the largely unnoticed Leslie Green designed station,
Melton Street, on the corner of Drummond and Melton Group. To save money,
Streets, opened in 1907 and located to the west of Euston
Mainline. It served the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead in September of 1914
Railway (CCE&HR). The building is recognisable by the
distinctive arched style and the oxblood-red external tiling, both station buildings
were closed whilst
retaining the ticket hall.
To form what would
become the Bank
branch of the Northern
Line, capable of inter-
running with the
of the smaller diameter The underground ticket office at
C&SLR tube tunnels Melton Street on 13th May.
was required, as well
as lengthening of the
platforms. In August 1922 the C&SLR closed from Euston to
Moorgate while the tunnels were enlarged. The upgraded
tunnels between Moorgate and Euston and the extension
through the new junctions at Camden Town opened to
passengers in April 1924.
The exterior of the long-closed Melton Street station on 13th The construction of the Victoria Line in the 1960’s brought two
May. more platforms to Euston and rationalisations brought about
the closure of the transfer tunnel and lift shafts we visited by
early March 1965, with the Victoria line in operation at Euston
in December 1968. The tunnels are now a time capsule with
posters from the early 60’s on the walls. The most striking for
me was one advertising the Midland Pullman, which was an
illustration of the train much like the Triang box that the model
train came in. There are adverts for films (Psycho) and 1960’s
household products. The dark, dusty and uneven floored
tunnels are not for the faint-hearted but getting to spy on
trains arriving on the Victoria Line platforms through a secret
grill is quite exciting.
with ornate green and cream tiling, now sadly painted white, Clapham South
inside the ticket hall. The building is now used as part of the
ventilation system for the Northern Line and contains a Just a short walk down the street from Clapham South tube
massive and deafening fan. The tour guide confirmed that an station (designed by the “other” great architect of tube
expansion of Euston in relation to HS2 will cause the building stations, Charles Holden) sits the Drum: a squat cylinder
to be demolished which will be a travesty. painted grey to blend in with the modern office block behind it.
This is one of a few visible signs of what lies beneath the
The CCE&HR station was linked to Seymour Street Station surface, for the Drum is the entrance to a deep level air raid
on the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) by tunnels. A shelter.
third set of lifts and a small ticket hall was also put in and from
the time of opening the joint ticket hall, which enabled At the height of the Blitz in 1940, tube stations were already
passenger to purchase a ticket if travelling between the two being used as shelters from the bombs, providing more
railways, was the preferred option. Basically this avoided the effective protection than back-garden Anderson shelters. The
need for passengers to return to street level to get another government decided to construct purpose-built, deep-level
ticket and the two surface station building ticket offices were tunnels running under the Northern Line (plus one under
lightly used by comparison. Chancery Lane on the Central Line) with an idea that, once
the war was over, the tunnels could be joined together to
Unfortunately the spiral staircase in Melton Street had been provide an express underground service. Over 70 years later,
removed so to get to the tunnels we had to go through the live Crossrail still isn’t quite ready to do that!
Euston Underground Station and get in via an unassuming
black louvre door at the end of a platform. However we were By the time construction of the Clapham South shelter was
first shown by our guide that one of the Northern Line completed in 1942, the worst of the Blitz was over, so it
platforms (Bank Branch – Eastbound) is far wider than normal
Remnants of a poster advertising The Midland Pullman, despite remained closed. However, with the launch of V-1 and V-2
it working to St Pancras, on 13th May. bombs from 1944, the shelter was opened to the public. It
could hold up to 8,000 people, and came complete with
bunk beds, a canteen, and a cohort of staff to ensure
everything ran smoothly.
After the war, the deep-level shelters were used as
accommodation for a variety of purposes – Clapham South
was used to billet troops, as a “Penny Hotel” for visitors to
the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the Coronation in 1953,
and notably as a temporary home for immigrants arriving
from the Caribbean aboard the Empire Windrush in 1948.
Though many of the immigrants only stayed in the shelter for
a short time thanks to the claustrophobic conditions and
overhead rumbling of the Northern Line, a lot of them found
homes nearby – the beginnings of the area’s Afro-Caribbean
community in south London.
Clapham South shelter’s use as accommodation came to an
end in 1956, when a fire (started by troops playing with
lighters) broke out at Goodge Street deep-level shelter. For
many years, most of the shelters were used as archives by
the government – many of the archive box shelves are still in
place – but in the 1990s most were sold to London
Transport. Clapham Common shelter has since been leased
to the Zero Carbon Food Company, who use the shelter as
a hydroponic farm for micro-greens. Chancery Lane, owned
by BT, is currently for sale to those who require an
Dan, a former NRS member, is now a Doctor of Organic
Chemistry, teaching at Kings College London.
You can book a tour and see more photos at the following
The racking/shelving at Clapham South. (Dan Cornwell) subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/c/clapham_south/index.htlm
Brian & Dan Cornwell
Eccles Road Sidings/Snetterton and set about re-sleepering and fettling the line where
Branch/Robertson’s Sidings (Mike Young) needed. The stone was brought in from Tunstead in
Derbyshire’s Peak District and traffic continued for the
With the recently-observed resumption of freight traffic using subsequent scheme to dual the A11 southward to Thetford.
these facilities it may be of interest to review the history of this
short, but sharply-curved and steeply-graded branch off the EWSR ceased its use of the branch and Eccles Road sidings
Norwich to Ely main line. when the A11 dualling was complete and transferred residual
It was originally built to allow grain to be exported from
Norfolk to the rest of the United Kingdom from a privately
owned facility which included a covered loading area and run-
round provision for locomotives, partly funded by the then
current “Freight Facilities Grant” and warranting a mention in
Railtrack’s “Guide to Freight Connections Appendix B.1”.
The provision of weighbridges for both road and rail vehicles,
in addition to easy access to the A11 trunk road, was an
added bonus which made it ideal for road/rail freight transfer.
However, the economics of transport by rail were such that it
was found much cheaper to convey this grain traffic to
Scotland by coastal shipping from King’s Lynn, served locally
by road transport, and the terminal and branch became
In the late 1990s with the need to import roadstone for the The grain transfer shed and weighbridge house at the end
dualling of the Attleborough by-pass EWSR examined the of the line.
potential of the Eccles Road-Snetterton branch for this traffic
use to the sidings at Thorpe Yard, still
used today for the sugar stone traffic
bound for the Cantley factory.
Shortly afterwards Freightliner (Heavy
Haul) started to use the Snetterton Branch
for limestone traffic, again originating from
the quarries at Tunstead using some of
their newly acquired Class 66 locos;
splitting the train at Wymondham, since it
was too long for the siding capacity at
Eccles Road, and tripping the portions of
the loaded train back to Eccles Road,
returning the empties back to
Wymondham. This activity did not last
long, however, and upgrading of the still
extant up side goods yard sidings at
Wymondham meant that all the rail activity
could take place there (even though its
connectivity to the local road network was
poor in comparison to Snetterton which
had direct access onto the A11).
My direct involvement with Snetterton
ceased some 11 years ago and there
would appear to have been little use made
of the branch until last month. I have been
unable to ascertain through my remaining
limited contacts what this new aggregates
flow is for – does anyone have further
information? (Is it NDR-related? Ed.)
Top, 66024 arrives at Robertson's Siding,
Eccles Road with the first of 8 roadstone
trains on 21st April (Ian Dinmore).
Bottom, On its first day in revenue-service,
22nd March 2004, a very smart 66618
heads the second quarter of the train from
Tunstead as it waits its turn to be hauled
up the branch to Snetterton. Half the train
is still in the Down side sidings (adjacent to
the old signalbox) at Wymondham (Mike
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.
Services on our Local Railways
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, East View Farm, Stone Lane, Ashmanhaugh, NR12 8YW. For information:
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL. For information: www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk – Tel: 01603-
Bressingham Steam & Gardens, Low Rd., Bressingham, IP22 2AA. For information: www.thebressinghamgardens.com or
The Bure Valley Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.bvrw.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
733858. Daily running until 29th October.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.mnr.org.uk - or telephone 01362-
851723. Regular running until 29th October.
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Brockford Station, Wetheringsett, IP14 5PW - For details of individual events please visit their
website - www.mslr.org.uk - or telephone 01449-766899. Open every Summer Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday from 28th May
until 28th August.
The North Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.nnrailway.co.uk - or telephone
01263-820800. Daily running until 29th October.
The Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers - For details please visit their website www.ndsme.org. Now operational
(weather permitting) every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until 8th October 1300 - 1700.
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway - For information: www. wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk or tel: 01328 711630 (up to
1700 please). Daily running until 29th October.
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.whitwellstation.com - or
The R.C.T.S. (Ipswich Branch) and the Ipswich & District Historical Transport Society run comprehensive meetings programmes.
Please contact me if you’d like to see their programme.
JUNE Sun BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY – Running Day 1430 – 1730.
18th Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY - Fathers V.I.P. Day (advance booking required).
18th Sun MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Continental Railway Day.
18th Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Fathers Day (Steam) & Fine Dining.
18th Fri - Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Grand Summer Steam Gala.
23rd - 25th Sat - Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – “Tracks & Trenches” – Railways & the Great War.
JULY Sat NENTA TRAINTOURS – Bath, Bristol & the Welsh Capital. From Norwich dep 0535 approx then via
1st Ipswich to Bath, Bristol & Cardiff for Bristol Harbour & Avon River Cruise or Open-Top Bus Tour of
Sat - Sun Cardiff. Norwich return 2355 approx. Fares from £69.75. First Class & Premier Dining available.
1st - 2nd Sat - Sun Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or tel: 01692-406152.
1st - 2nd Sun (and all July weekends) BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – Strawberries & Steam Weekends.
2nd Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – Vintage Transport Days.
2nd Mon - Sun ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY – Running Day 1400 – 1700 (weather permitting).
3rd - 9th Sat WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - Steam Sunday.
8th Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – Suburban Set Running Days.
9th Fri - Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Dereham Blues Festival.
14th - 16th Sun MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Pies, Pints & Steam Pug.
16th Sun NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – Annual Beer Festival.
16th Sun BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY – Running Day 1430 – 1730.
23rd Tue MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Dereham Carnival.
25th MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Classic Car Day.
AUGUST NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – Vintage Set Running Day.
5th Tue (also 8th/15th/22nd Aug) NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – Vintage Set Running Days.
5th - 6th NENTA TRAINTOURS – York, Whitby (via NYMR) & Scarborough. From Norwich dep 0635 approx
5th - 6th Sat - Sun then via Ipswich & Ely to York, NYMR Pickering – Whitby or Scarborough. Norwich return 2315
6th Sat - Sun approx. Fares from £69.75. First Class & Premier Dining available. Details:
6th Sun www.nentatraintours.co.uk or tel: 01692-406152.
MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – 1940s Weekend & Saturday Night Dance.
WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – 8th Steam Rally.
ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY – Running Day 1400 -1700 weather permitting.
MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY – Hornby Collectors Day.
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