Issue Number 1232 (Items 824_ 898 and MR 51 _ 60) (E-BLN 27 PAGES) 2 May 2015
BRANCH LINE NEWS
Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society (founded 1955)
Membership Enquiries: [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Ave., Epsom, Surrey, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677
British Isles news from members, an international section is also available.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or of the Society.
BLN 1233 is due on Saturday 23 May (note 3-week gap) all contributions must be received by 13 May.
Date Event Visit Type BLN Lead Notes
May/June 2015 Severn Valley Railway Engine House branch 1230 PS Notify
Fri 1/05/15 Tyne & Wear Metro 13.00 South Gosforth Control 1229 JC ENQUIRE
Sat 2/05/15 Plymouth to Laira tour 12.00 PAY ON THE DAY AT £50 1229 AW Available
Sat 2/05/15 Paignton & Dartmouth 15.20 D2371 haulage trip (only) 1230 AW ENQUIRE
Sun 3/05/15 Moreton Park Railway 12.00 & 14.00 railtours 1224 SP FULL
Sun 3/05/15 Titley Junction Railway 11.00 Standard gauge railtour 1226 SP Open
8-10/05/15 Channel Islands Railway weekend 1213 KA FULL
Sat 23/05/15 Great Eastern Tracker 07.00 East Anglia Tracker tour 1230 KA Open
Sun 7/06/15 Ketton Cement Branch Track & traction railtour event 1232 KA OPEN
Thur 11/06/15 Snibston Museum 11.00 Colliery Railway farewell 1232 PS Open
Thur 11/06/15 Conducted walk PM Coalville area trackbed walk 1232 PS OPEN
Sat 20/06/15 Signal Box Visits 09.15 Nairn - Huntly 1231 NJ Open
Sat 27/06/15 Coventry area visits 10.30 Three minor railways 1231 SM Open
Sun 28/06/15 Kirkby-in-Ashfield Guided railway walk 1227 TG Open
Fri 10/07/15 Whitrope Siding railway Morning standard gauge railtour 1230 PS Notify
Fri 10/07/15 Saughtree station tour Late morning train rides 1230 PS Notify
Sun 12/07/15 EMU Tracker railtour South East of England TBA KA Claimed
Sun 19/07/15 East Lancashire Railway NEW: Comprehensive railtour TBA KA Claimed
Sat 25/07/15 Loco hauled Tracker Carnforth - Cleethorpes TBA KA Claimed
Thur 30/07/15 Spa Valley Railway 16.00 track railtour 1231 GW Open
Sat 1/08/15 Signal Box Visits NEW: Norfolk Broad Boxes pt. 2 1233 PS Claimed
Thur 13/08/15 South Wales Valley Conducted service train tour 1232 KA OPEN
15-16/08/15 SVR signalling weekend Two day practical signals course 1224 NJ Enquire
Sun 16/08/15 Rainsbrook Valley Rly. NEW: Visit; part of walk (below) TBA TBA Claimed
Sun 16/08/15 Conducted walk NEW: Rugby area trackbed walk TBA TG Claimed
Sat 19/09/15 Scunthorpe AFRPS 10.30 All day railtour, with food TBA PS Claimed
Sun 11/10/15 East Kent Railway NEW: Comprehensive railtour TBA DG Claimed
Sun 11/10/15 NEW: Comprehensive railtour TBA DG Claimed
Sat 24/10/15 Romney H. & D. Railway All line railbus railtour TBA JW Claimed
14-15/11/15 York NRM and events in area TBA TBA Claimed
Ribble Steam Railway
60th AGM weekend
AW - Andrew Wilson, DG - Darren Garnon, GW - Glen Wells, JC - John Cameron, JW - John Williamson, KA - Kev Adlam,
NJ - Nick Jones, PS - Paul Stewart, SM - Simon Mortimer, SP - Stephen Phillips, TG - Tom Gilby.
BLN 1232.824] Concrete Conqueror Cracker, Sunday 7 June: With huge thanks to the team at Hanson
Cement Ketton Works (part of Heidelberg Cement), bookings are now open! Identical 'all available
lines' tours of the branch railway at 10.00, 12.00 and 14.00 each limited to 33 participants and lasting
about 90 minutes. They cover the entire railway site, exchange sidings to the NR boundary and the ½
mile extension opened since our last visit. Operated by volunteers from 'Rocks by Rail', Cottesmore
and Hanson staff, locos 08375 and 08622 will top and tail with a 'Shark' brake van. Light refreshments
and drinks will be on sale at the works canteen. Bookings will ONLY be accepted by post. Please
provide names of all those booking, an email address and your first and second choice of time. If
without email, please send an SAE and a second if an acknowledgement is needed. £42 per person; no
junior discount. Cheques payee 'Branch Line Society' (or CPA) to the Fixtures Secretary (per back page).
All profits will be shared equally among Hanson's nominated four charities. A souvenir ticket and map
will be provided. The Society is indebted to our member Gary Pullan for all his work in securing this
exciting project, which is expected to fill rapidly. See http://goo.gl/44XoOq the Cement works history.
ABOVE: Part of the Ketton Cement Works Railway as it was on our visit of 2 June 1984 (Ian Mortimer).
BLN 1232.825] OTHERS DOINGS' EXTRA: Melton Mowbray & District MES, 6/7 June: Sports Club,
Melton Road, Whissendine LE15 7EU. (SK819142) 18 miles (35 minutes by road) from Ketton; annual
railway open weekend http://goo.gl/wSWAlX queries [email protected] 01572722797.
826] Farewell to Snibston Discovery Museum & Colliery Railway, Thursday 11 June: We have the
benefit of a group admission rate but participants may individually look at the exhibits all day (from
10.00 to 17.00). The railway is privately hired to us and not running for the public. Sadly it and the
Museum are closing on 31 July. Everyone will be able to have a cab ride on the one operational
locomotive No16, their 1966 built 0-6-0 Hunslet green diesel hydraulic 6289 'Pitt', in/out of the engine
shed. The rest of the lines will be covered as far as possible in the ex-BR red and cream former 4-CEP
Trailer Brake Composite coach (built 1960 Eastleigh) ex-set 7178 (latterly 1589). A video of the railway
http://goo.gl/CeCCPu an original 1,200yd section of an 1836 colliery branch built under the guidance
of Robert Stephenson, formerly connecting with the Leicester & Swannington Railway. The colliery
closed in 1983 and most of its buildings were saved and are listed. Options avaialble:
1. All day admission to museum and colliery railtour £17.50 per person, then:
2. Optional two-course lunch at Snibston £9.99 ADVANCE BOOKED (or look round exhibits), then:
3. Optional Conducted tour of colliery buildings (non-public areas including some railway exhibits
not normally seen) after the railtour at £5 per head, PAID IN ADVANCE ONLY, then:
4. Optional Conducted walk (no charge) from the Museum along the Leicester and Swannington
railway trackbed including the Swannington incline http://goo.gl/FzQLnC one way by bus.
Bookings, cheques payee 'Branch line Society', CPAs and queries to Paul Stewart (per back page) or in
person on forthcoming fixtures. Important: Under the terms and conditions of hire of the railway,
advance payment in full is required two weeks before all the events. All bookings, cheques and CPAs
must be received by TUESDAY 26 MAY at the latest please (that follows a Bank Holiday weekend).
ABOVE: The former Snibston colliery and railway branch on 16 May 1985; note very rusty track (left).
This was the final train which took the last internal wagons from the site for transfer to Cadley Hill
Colliery (Swadlincote). This trip, arranged by the late Chris Boyle also included a brake van trip from
Snibston exchange sidings to Cadley Hill, via Drakelow Power Station CEGB sidings, where the train
reversed. The Discovery Centre railway terminates behind where the engine is just before Belvoir Road
level crossing (right) and where long trains of coal used to trundle through Coalville. (Ian Mortimer)
827] Valley Lines Tracker, Thursday 13 August: As part of the continued evolution and expansion of
our fixtures, this is a pilot of a new type of event using public service trains! In conjunction with Arriva
Trains Wales Group Travel Team, Cardiff Central dep 09.16 and following a carefully designed itinerary
with coverage of the branches to Barry Island, Cardiff Bay, Coryton, Merthyr Tydfil, Penarth and
Rhymney. This includes many of the recent infrastructure changes: Cardiff Queen Street P1 and P5,
Pontypridd and Caerphilly bay platforms, Barry P3, the new Treforest curve alignment (Canton), Tir-
Phil loop and Bargoed crossover! Cardiff Central arr 20.19. Adult £11 advance payment by cheque
only to 'Branch Line Society' (no railcard discounts). Bookings to the Fixtures Secretary (per back page).
The Group Travel Team has requested a maximum party size of 20, and a brief break is planned during
the evening peak. A member of the ATW Train Planning team will accompany the party and a donation
is planned to a charity nominated by ATW. A souvenir map, ticket and stocklist will be provided to aid
your enjoyment of what will be a rather special social day out exploring track and branches with like
minded members. Based on this pilot's success, regional group leaders will be sought for other areas.
BLN 1232.828] Rugby fixture, post match report, Wednesday 8 April: (60/48) For our second railway
walk in the area, ten members scrummed down and pitched into a bus passing Rugby station to
Cawston, intercepting an 11th there to try a footpath trek across fields to join the trackbed of the
former LNWR Rugby to Leamington Spa (Avenue) and Warwick (Milverton) 'branch'. Built as single
track and later converted to double, it had all the appearances of a main line and overlapped with the
Coventry to Leamington Spa (Avenue) 'branch'. Regular passenger services were withdrawn in June
1959, although it was used for diversions during the rebuilding of Coventry station and the
electrification of the WCML until Marton Jct. (excl.) to Leamington CA in April 1966. Freight traffic,
mainly inward Warwickshire coal, continued from Rugby to Southam Cement Works as a 'branch' (with
a reversal at Marton Jct.) until July 1985; the line-out started in November that year when it was taken
OOU. The group walked 1¼ miles southwest along the trackbed to Dunchurch Station (just before the
A45) where the Station House and buildings are privately occupied, heavily rebuilt but still
recognisable. Both platforms were seen as was the remains of an original loading gauge, like a lost
goalpost, and the site of the signal box on the Up side. There used to be a small goods yard on the
Down side at the Rugby end of the station. Restarting after half time, there was a 4¼ mile walk back to
Rugby station, mostly on the trackbed. Two thirds of this is in a deep wooded cutting (wet and very
muddy; the fading light a penalty) now converted to 'The Cawston Greenway'. This led onto a viaduct
alongside a new road (the A4071) which has partly subsumed the trackbed. Soon we were at the
Rugby Cement Works (now Cemex), which was well floodlit. Members were impressed just how big,
complex and busy the plant is close up - also how large the nearby oval 'holes in the ground' are,
resulting from limestone extraction. The plant was expanded in the 1990s and is now one of the
largest in Europe which resulted in the closure of Southam and Rochester (Halling) Cement Works. The
buffer stops (0m 79ch) of the remaining New Bilton Branch were a bonus point; this line was once a
headshunt for access to the works over a level crossing. It was now dark and the group opted to try an
obscure route tackling the ground alongside the Coventry line Up flyover, giving interesting 'up and
under' views of it, to civilization and Rugby station by 21.30 where the final whistle blew. As usual
'Team BLS' had won on points, having walked about 6 miles. The WCML was very busy and participants
were able to return by train to Preston, Hatfield and Malvern at this late hour. Our thanks go to our
trainer and referee Tom Gilby for his prior fieldwork and the arrangements for this interesting and
enjoyable fixture. Happily there was neither penalty nor injury time and no one was sent off for an
early bath. Participants look forward to the rematch on 16 August. Postscript: The Summer 1954
passenger timetable for this double track line was 5 trains on weekdays (6 WO for Market Day) from
Rugby Midland to Leamington Spa (Milverton) for Warwick** and 7 SO. In the opposite direction
there were 6 weekdays (7 WSO) but no Sunday service. After Rugby they served Dunchurch,
Birdingbury, Marton and Leamington Spa (Avenue); terminus of the service from Coventry via
Kenilworth. **Halfway between Leamington and Warwick and noteworthy for its many name changes:
o 1844: Leamington. o 1875: Leamington Milverton (Warwick).
o 1854: Warwick (Milverton). o 1876: Milverton (for Warwick).
o 1856: Warwick. o 1884: Warwick (Milverton).
o 1857: Warwick (Milverton). o 1952: Leamington Spa (Milverton) for
o 1860: Leamington (Milverton).
1232 HEAD LINES Record of Openings and Closings:
Below Left: Aerial view of the Rother Valley Railway's (RVR) new NR connection (red line) completed
on 20 March just north of Robertsbridge station (seen top middle of picture) on the Hastings line; the
fairly new single platform RVR station is to the left at an angle across the picture (BLN 1231.700).
Top right: Looking towards the NR line with its Robertsbridge station in the background.
Bottom right: Looking back along the RVR line; the track on the far right runs into their Robertsbridge
station. Note this section is not in use on the 23-25 May K&ESR event. (With thanks to the RVR.)
829] New Cumnock, Bank Jct. - (Greenburn Jct.) - Kier Mining Greenburn Open Cast Loading Point:
(BLN 1231.703) ROG 13 April 2015, coal to West Burton Power Station to clear remaining stockpile.
830] Dalrymple Jct. (43m 53ch) - Chalmerston Open Cast Coal Loading Point (54m 29ch), 'Waterside
branch': (BLN 1226.223) This freight line was temporarily taken OOU from 25 April 2015.
1232 Prospective Network and Train Service Changes
831] Apperley Bridge station: OP expected August 2015. A two-platform £10M station between
Shipley and Leeds just west of Apperley Jct. (SE 1961 2841). Original station CP from 20 March 1965.
832] Glasgow Queen Street (high level): (BLN 1193.1368): TCP is expected from Sunday 20 March until
Monday 8 August 2016 for replacement of the 1976 slab track in the tunnel for electrification.
1232 BLN GENERAL
833] BLS Committee update: A full Committee meeting was held at Kidderminster on 4 April and our
member Ian Delgado was confirmed as deputy e-BLN sub-editor, essentially to provide occasional help
and cover for Dave Cromarty in assembling and distributing e-BLN. This is not a Committee post but is
part of the 'BLN Continuity Plan' and thanks to Ian for volunteering to help. If any member might be
interested in assisting and occasionally covering the BLN Editor's role please contact Paul Stewart.
BLN 1232.834] Matters Arising BLN 1231: (BLN 1231.723) Unfortunately, the Easter work between
New Cross and London Bridge was not quite completed on time, being handed back around 05.35 on
the Tuesday, well over an hour late! Several trains were cancelled, including those that had been left
ready for service resumption in Cannon Street and Charing Cross at the weekend, others were turned
back short at New Cross and Orpington and there were some diversions to and from Victoria and
Blackfriars. Our member wonders if the reason this was not widely reported is that politicians and
journalists are not around at that time of the morning, especially on the day after a Bank Holiday.
835] S&C Desiro Tracker railtour, Sunday 19 April: The route, historical notes and itinerary were sent
out with e-BLN 1231 as was the geographical map, with thanks to David Palmer and Stephen Phillips
respectively. In lovely weather 217 participants enjoyed a great day out with TPE in aid of Railway
Children. Total income was £18,215; huge thanks to all involved in running the tour and participants
for being so generous. E-BLN Pictorial 1232 features the trip and there will be a report in the next BLN.
836] S&C Tour Quiz: For those on the train who have asked to see the questions again, and also for
those who were not, here is the TPE Quiz with thanks to Tim Wallis and TPE (answers in BLN 1233).
1. How many TPE staff operated our TPE S&C Desiro Tracker railtour?
2. What return journey could once have been made in the 1st Class section of a Class 185 with only
a valid Standard Class ticket?
3. In fuel economy mode, which of the 3 cars of a Class 185 is most likely not to be powering?
4. In terms of TPE operation, what is unusual about Carnforth and Thirsk stations?
BONUS POINTS _ What other station/s could be included here?
5. Which station served by TPE allows a large number of the same destinations to be served by
trains leaving in both directions (not necessarily by TPE services)?
6. Which TPE_served station pre-empted the 'P0' approach and what was the solution called?
7. Name TPE's initiative to assist passengers who have personal problems or learning difficulties?
8. How many dogs can a passenger take on a TPE service and how are these charged for?
9. Which TPE served station had railway carriages for 4 years or so before locomotives were used?
10. Which TPE station serves a location where taking Holy Orders allows unusual railway coverage?
837] BLN 1231 Quiz: Clitheroe to Hellifield (both excl.) is the line that (since 15 September 2013) has
scheduled passenger services on Sundays only throughout the year. These are Blackpool North (08.10)
to Hellifield (09.52) returning as the 10.30 to Preston; and the 13.19 Preston to Hellifield (14.27),
which returns to Blackpool North at 14.56. Both trains run ECS to Settle Jct. to cross over.
838] E-BLN 1232: Supplements (which may be split into two emails to reduce file size) are expected to
include Lee Nash's Diary and Ian Delgado's Unusual Track summary for service trains along the route of
our 19 April tour (supplied to participants on the day). Also, with thanks to our member Chris Parker,
an illustrated handout for his recent Railway Ramblers Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway
trackbed (and associated MOD lines) walk. With breaks, this excellent and most interesting day out
lasted eight hours, including visiting some locations of interest by road. A few places remain on their
29 June walk (see the latest 'Railway Ramblings' Journal) which can be repeated occasionally
http://goo.gl/yfFMpv to meet demand.
IMPORTANT: The route is on active MOD and other private land, so the walk requires special access
permission; it does not take public footpaths. Last but not least with thanks to Barney Clark and NR a
detailed annotated trackplan of the Immingham and Grimsby area.
839] Boring Track _ does it count? Mole Solutions is a private development company which aims to
develop 'Freight Pipelines' to help solve the major problem of global transport congestion. They claim
that the pipeline capital costs would be 25% of that of road with operating costs of 12 to 20%, so it is
effectively self-financing. Pipelines 1.3m or 2.4m in diameter would be laid alongside or under existing
transport infrastructure and could operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week automatically and computer
controlled. Proposed propulsion is by magnetic waves produced by fixed linear induction motors (not
onboard the actual 'capsules' carrying the traffic). http://goo.gl/QNn57t Wheelsets would ride on
track and two capsules can run as a 'train.' Here is the demonstration Alconbury test track, northwest
of Huntingdon http://goo.gl/4Bosj4 which just leaves one question….. When is the first BLS visit?
BLN 1232.840] Ordnance Survey (OS) Maps: (BLN 1231.729) There was a good response to this item.
OS, which produces some of the best maps in the World in the opinion of many, protect their
copyright by making 'deliberate errors' in maps, as the AA found out to their cost once. In the 1960s
with hand drawn maps these would usually be 'wiggles' in roads; the traps can include rail/road
crossings but not usually spelling mistakes (generally inadvertent!). Geographers' A-Z add small extras
to their maps such as non existent cul-de-sacs known as 'trap streets' or 'paper streets'.
A member with a working knowledge of modern OS mapping kindly advises that there were not many
small scale surveyors so they were likely to be from outside the area, without local knowledge. They
once used a plastic document and traced on the update, anticipating the route of (for example) a by-
pass under construction if not complete at the time of the survey; which at 1:50,000 scale would be
good enough. Nowadays small scale map detail is derived from large scale digital mapping. Updates
are triggered when map stocks are low and then major changes are incorporated into a new print run.
Occasionally a pecked line is printed on the map with a note to show when a road is due to open with
the season and the year. [On your Editor's 2010 Landranger sheet 65 the line west of Bathgate is
unusually shown as 'Railway under construction' in heavy black pecked line whilst on the adjacent
sheet 64 of the same vintage it is lightly pecked; neither is dated.] With a bypass crossing an existing
feature one would expect a bridge to be built for the new feature; for the A5 Oswestry bypass a road
bridge over the railway rather than a railway bridge over the road! Incidentally a local member reports
a few revenue earning outward stone trains did use the two A5 level crossings before closure. The
Littleport A10 example does seem odd; is this half barrier an example of being half wrong or half right?
Negative contour lines are common in the Fens and Lincolnshire. One new issue (over the last 15 years
or so) with many colliery lines being out of use and becoming overgrown is that existing rails might not
be seen by aerial photography (now called 'remote sensing') and so updates to rural 1:2,500 maps can
remove the rails when they are still there which then makes the small scale incorrect as it would then
be annotated as a 'dismantled railway'. Leekbrook Jct. to Stoke (-on-Trent) Jct. was an example of this.
This problem has gradually rectified itself as lines are lifted and in some cases converted to cycle ways.
841] National Library of Scotland Maps: http://goo.gl/V1BOF 91,000 old maps of Scotland, England,
Wales and beyond, available free online in very high resolution and various scales with zoom, also
some as seamless single scrollable maps. Can be searched by place, county, Georeference or category.
Maps can be compared 'side by side'; map makers, surveyors and engravers can be browsed. The site
is expanding, has atlases, nautical charts and much interesting, information. Examples:
Whole of Scotland 1560 to 1928. OS 25" England & Wales 1841-1952.
Themed maps of Scotland 1718 to 1932. OS 6" England & Wales 1842-1952.
County maps of Scotland 1580 to 1961. OS 1:25,000 Great Britain 1937-1961.
Estate maps and town maps of Scotland. OS 1" Revised new series E&W.
½" 1", 6" and 25" OS maps of Scotland. OS 1" New Popular E&W 1945-1947.
OS large scale town plans of Scotland. OS 1" Seventh Series GB 1952-1961.
London 5ft to the mile seamless 1893-6. British First World War Trench maps.
BLN 1232.842] Railwayana: BLN has not recorded the development of the market in 'railwayana' other
than the occasional reference to particular sales or events to which attention has been drawn by
members, and then passed on to the readership. This introduction is intended to describe the scope of
the area and the now extensive opportunities to find and collect items that have ended their useful life
on the railways. First of all, what is included? As in many enthusiast or hobby activities, if there is
more than one of anything, it can form the subject of a structured collection. Railwayana currently is
sought and changes hands across a wide range of objects from pocket size to the barely portable, with
values ranging from a few pounds to many thousands in each category. Included are:
Tickets, ticket machines, posters folded and rolled, dining car items, carriage prints, lamps from
platforms and buildings, clocks, station name totems, targets and other types of station nameplates,
locomotive number and nameplates, single line tokens, signal arms and finials, signal box nameplates,
signalling diagrams, and many other items. In fact you name it and someone will collect it!
The major auctions of nameplates and suchlike may grab the headlines and some of the prices tend
towards the (probably false) perception that much of the market is concerned with investment-grade
memorabilia rather than items which individual enthusiasts can afford, might like to own and display
for their own enjoyment. However most auctions are far more varied than might be anticipated based
on some commercial adverts seen from time to time. The anticipated price range generally suits most
pockets. Currently there are several companies operating. Catalogues can still be in hard copy but all
are now accessible on the internet (see links below) and, to assist buyers and sellers alike, websites
generally give a list of prices realised at previous auction/s and may include minimum 'reserve' prices.
Magazine adverts include selections of items in forthcoming auctions.
An alphabetical list with the next auction date, the usual location of auctions and websites:
Crewe Railwayana Auction, Crewe, 17 October. www.crewerailwayana.co.uk
Great Central Railwayana Auctions, four times a year, 6 June. www.gcrauctions.com
G.W. Railwayana Auctions, Pershore, generally twice each year, 25 July. www.gwra.co.uk
Railwayana.net, internet only, usually twice a year, 17 to 24 May. www.railwayana.net
Railwayana Auctions UK, Stafford, 30 May. www.ukrailwayana.com
Solent Railwayana Auctions, Wickham (Hants),twice each year, 20 June. http://goo.gl/ecRGe8
Talisman Railwayana Auctions, Newark & Notts Showground. www.talismanauctions.co.uk
843] Unusual Track: These may happen but should be re-checked http://goo.gl/atct2m
Hayes & Harlington: (see map BLN 1226.253.3) To emphasise that 'temporarily' until December
2016 generally all Up and Down Heathrow Connect ('local') services are using the reversible Up
Airport Relief line, the new Stockley North and Stockley West Flyovers in both directions.
Down trains (to Heathrow Terminal 4) take the new Down Relief to Up Relief facing crossover
west of Hayes & Harlington (P3), which is coming out in the final layout, and also the Up Airport
to Down Airport crossover at Heathrow Tunnel Jct.
Linlithgow Up Passenger Loop: 16 May, 15.42 Aberdeen to King's Cross is booked in the loop
17.43 to 17.51 to be overtaken by the 17.15 Glasgow to Edinburgh (which connects into it).
Moreton-in-Marsh crossover: 09.50 to Paddington & (until 17 May) 11.50; from then 07.09.
Dovey Jct. Down Loop: From 17 May comes into regular passenger use, enhanced Cambrian
service. Booked to be used by trains to Aberystwyth crossing Up trains (8 SuO and 10 SuX).
Cadder DPL: 30 May and 6 June, 15.41 & 16.34 from Alloa; 16.23 & 17.23 from Stirling and
18.11 from Dunblane; all to Glasgow Queen Street. Check http://goo.gl/ZZC8N4 page.
Stainforth Jct. - Skellow Jct. - Carcroft Jct.: SuO 14 & 28 June and 5 July, 08.40 Hull-Sheffield.
Brick House crossover: 13-15 July (incl.) 22.05 Clacton to Liverpool St. crosses to Down Main at
Kelvedon, wrong line through Witham/Hatfield Peverel, to Up Main at Brick House (23.07).
Banbury reversals: 27/28 December, Crossrail work FGW Bristol-Oxford-Banbury - Marylebone.
Galway: The bay platform is generally used by Limerick trains and local Athenry short workings.
BLN 1232.844] POSSIBLE Unusual Bank Holiday Track 2-4 May: With thanks to member Stephen Ebbs,
to show examples of information available regularly on 'gensheet' http://goo.gl/bY2Tvy and by email:
Rutherglen: Trains terminating in P1: SO ex-Dalmuir & Milngavie; SuO ex-Balloch & Milngavie.
Burnside: (SSuO) Glasgow Central trains are terminating but no ECS moves are shown. Previously
returning trains have used the Up Kirkhill in the down direction and the crossover at Cathcart East Jct.
Church Fenton via P3: (SuO) The 01.00, 04.25 & 06.30 Manchester Airport to York via Castleford and in
the opposite direction 02.20, 03.50, 05.00, 06.00 & 07.00 York to Manchester Airport via Castleford.
Bolton: P3 departures: (MO) 09.17 and hourly to 18.17 Kirkby and 19.17 & 21.17 to Wigan Wallgate.
Manchester Oxford Road: (SO) the 08.03 from Buxton and the 07.28, 09.36 and hourly until 17.36 and
18.35 from Hazel Grove are all shown to call at Manchester Piccadilly P14 then terminate in P3.
Nuneaton reversals: (MO) Manchester - Bournemouth services both directions P1, 2 or 4 check trains.
Ely: (SuO) Services from Stansted Airport terminate in either P2 or P3, check individual trains.
Blackfriars: (all SuO) Luton services and the 09.24, 09.56, 19.26 & 19.56 to Bedford booked from P1.
Ex-Bedford all day from 05.58 (not 08.20) also 19.18, 19.48 & 20.18 ex-Luton booked to terminate P2.
Wimbledon: Departures from P6 all day to Dorking on Sunday 3 May only.
Wimbledon: (Su&MO) From P6 to Chessington South (not 07.37 and 08.10 SuO shown as P5).
Wimbledon: (Su&MO) From P6 services to Guildford.
Surbiton: (Su&MO) P4, Hampton Court shuttles are shown to terminate (and originate).
Basingstoke: (all three days) Terminating in P4, 07.08, 08.09 and hourly until 22.09 from Waterloo.
Basingstoke: P2 originating trains to Waterloo: SO 05.54, 07.24, 07.41, 23.44 & 23.56; SuO 00.40,
07.44, hourly to 21.44; MO 00.26, 05.54, 07.10, 07.44, xx.10/xx.44 until 21.44 and the 22.53 & 23.45.
Basingstoke via P4: 09.53 SuO Reading to Southampton and Monday all XC services from 06.04 ex-
New Street until 16.07 from Manchester to Bournemouth and the 19.07 Manchester to Southampton.
Basingstoke: (MO) Starting from P3, 07.28 to Salisbury 08.20 and all services to Salisbury or Exeter.
Tonbridge: (MO) Starting from P2, services to Ashford International.
1232 GREATER LONDON
845] Underground Movements: Ian Delgado's Unusual Track website has been updated to early
October http://goo.gl/GcJSdt with information on unusual LU workings for most weekends.
846] Canada Water: The station was temporarily renamed 'Buxton Water' on Sunday 26 April during
the London Marathon. All the Canada Water roundels were replaced and Buxton Water branding put
up around the station; part of plans by TfL to make £3.4bn from 'non-fare income' during the next 10
years. The advertising deal, which took place as thirsty runners ran past the tube station, is thought to
be worth £110k. Buxton has been the marathon's 'official water provider' for two years.
847] Crossrail: (BLN 1231.742) (1). Plumstead: As well as being used for the stabling and maintenance
of passenger stock, the depot will provide dedicated facilities for infrastructure maintenance trains.
(2). Great Western Main Line: Work carried out over the Easter holiday included the removal of Acton
Middle Jct. The Goods Lines (renamed Up and Down Poplar Goods) now continue westwards on a new
alignment connecting with the Relief Lines at Acton West Jct. The section of the Up Iver Loop east of
the facing and trailing crossover connections to the Up Relief west of West Drayton station was
renamed the West Drayton Loop, although the crossovers remain OOU. The connection between the
loop and West Drayton sidings was brought back into use.
848] Finsbury Park: (BLN 1230.637) The upgrade work due to start on 20 April has been postponed
due to a delay in starting work on the new development next to the station.
BLN 1232.849] Thames Tunnel: The original Rotherhithe access shaft, now part of the Brunel Museum,
is to be made accessible for events. A new cantilevered staircase will be installed to give access to a
platform at ground level with capacity for up to 135 people. A perfect venue for a future Society AGM?
1232 ENGLAND – EAST MIDLANDS
850] Nottingham NET: (BLN 1231.732) Following a series of successful night-time trials, trams started
daytime testing on the Chilwell line through the Queens Medical Centre stop and alongside University
Boulevard on 14 April. This includes the largest new structure on NET Phase Two, the Ningbo
Friendship Bridge impressively spanning the A52 and a 300m viaduct through the hospital campus
1232 NORTH EAST
851] Middlesbrough Yard: The local press recently reported that Teesside logistics specialist A.V.
Dawson has signed a deal with NR which gives the firm control of all the railway and sidings linking its
80-acre site to the Middlesbrough to Thornaby line. With the help of Government money, the
company has completed work on its £12.5M expansion plans creating a new deepwater River Tees
quay, a multi-modal bio-freight terminal, a rail freight terminal (the Tees Riverside Intermodal Park)
and a huge state-of-the-art automotive steel store. In the final phase it will now manage the
neighbouring seven acre Middlesbrough Goods Yard. A.V. Dawson is now a single logistics supplier;
from mainline rail to road, sea terminal and warehousing which is said to reduce costs through
improved efficiencies and the integrated infrastructure. The 99-year lease to manage the goods yard
site includes all operational sidings and will form an integral part of the overall intermodal logistics
operation at A.V. Dawson's Riverside Park HQ. The family-run firm plans to spend £500k on renewals
and improvements over the next five years. Gary Dawson, managing director, said: 'Taking ownership
of Middlesbrough Goods Yard strategically underpins the investments we have made over recent years
in building three additional rail served facilities, all of which rely on the goods yard for main line
connection. It gives our investors and customers increased confidence in our business model and in
their rail served supply chains. Having such a vested interest means that we are committed to
improving the integrity of the yard, and plan to expand its capacity through redesign and the laying of
additional track. Work on these improvements will begin over the next few weeks'. The new £2.6M
intermodal rail terminal will have sidings capable of handling trains carrying up to 80 containers at any
one time with 16,000 square metres of operational area and storage for up to 1,200 containers.
1232 NORTH WEST
852] Farnworth Tunnels: (BLN 1231.752) After the Easter blockade and signalling/trackwork there is
now a 30mph speed restriction from just past Kearsley station, through Farnworth tunnels to beyond
Moses Gate. Crossovers have been laid to enable all trains use bi-directionally the small-bore (ex-
northbound) tunnel during work to enlarge and realign the ex-southbound tunnel. There are no
passenger trains booked to use these crossovers on Saturday or Sunday service. New bagged over
additional signals are due to be commissioned from 4 May when the 1m 25ch reversible single line
working starts between Farnworth North Jct. (9m 12ch) and Farnworth South Jcts. (7m 67ch).
Orange leaflet 12 (Manchester to Clitheroe) 2 May to 4 October includes the Todmorden Curve service
(from 17 May). At weekends, these trains reverse at Blackburn to/from Clitheroe, with the Bolton line
closed, so should be heavily loaded from Manchester. It shows:
Weekday services to 15 May; the traditional standard timetable.
Saturday and Sunday services to 16 May; buses between Blackburn and Manchester.
Weekday services 18 May to 2 October; Clitheroe - Manchester service runs bi-directionally
through Farnworth Tunnel (with a slightly later arrival at Manchester Victoria).
Saturday and Sunday services from 17 May; rail replacement buses Blackburn_Manchester.
These rail replacement buses call at all stations except Entwistle (due to lack of access) BUT the
timetable gives no mention of any alternative service! Previously taxis have been offered to serve
Entwistle but not this time, it is effectively closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Our member wonders if,
as no application for temporary closure has been made, the industry may be breaking the law. It is a
popular station at weekends, used by ramblers and locals alike.
BLN 1232.853] Wigan: Manchester to Wigan electrification is to Wigan North Western via Patricroft
and the WCML. There is no plan to electrify Wigan Wallgate partly because of limited clearance under
the Wallgate road bridge immediately before the station. Wallgate to Kirkby might possibly be
transferred to Merseyrail Electrics but this would involve a complete rebuild of the track layout
through Kirkby station. There is no mention of this in the 'Invitation To Tender'**. After testing, the
first public Class 319 EMU passenger run on the Huyton to Wigan line was on Saturday 25 April 2015
(both ways). [**It has been reported that there will be no new third rail electrification anywhere _ Ed.]
854] Manchester Victoria: From 19 April the overhead lines were energised on the Down and Up Chat
Moss Lines between Ordsall Lane Jct. and Deal Street Jct. and the Down and Up Fast and Slow Lines
between Deal Street Jct. and the eastern end of Manchester Victoria station.
1232 SOUTH EAST - NORTH (& EAST ANGLIA)
855] Reading: (BLN 1231.710) Reference was made in BLN 1231 to the track plan of the completed
Reading layout included in BLN 1219 in support of item 1537 which should be referred to. This
explained the routing between junctions of the passenger services with particular reference to Cross
Country services between Didcot and the south coast via the Main lines or Relief lines needing to
reverse with, as stated, reversal limited to P3, 7 and 8. In the case of trains from the Relief lines this is
by the new facility of the Festival Chord passing under the Main lines without conflict. Thus the four
P8 to 11 become available for services on the Main lines (albeit with P8 also being available for Cross
Country reversals) and the four P12 to 15 solely for services on the Relief lines. However the Main lines
at high level also pass over the double track curve between P12 to 15 and Oxford Road Junction and
thence Reading West. This will be used by freight (to and from the London direction) as will the West
Curve, also passing under the Main lines (to and from the Didcot direction). The former is currently
cleared for freight traffic up to W6A gauge so the larger W8 and W10 gauge trains presently have to be
routed via the historic double track curve from the Main lines at Westbury Line Jct. to Oxford Road Jct.
856] Croxley Rail Link: (BLN 1231.757) Further to London Underground taking over delivery of the
Croxley Rail Link, the new arrangement will involve Hertfordshire County Council making available the
£230M funding package previously agreed with an extra £34M coming from government and £16M
from Transport for London. This brings the total funding for the project to £280M. Construction work
is scheduled to start later this year with the first trains now expected to run in 2019, rather than the
previous target date of 2018. At its cabinet meeting on 23 February 2015 the County Council had been
due to advocate splitting the scheme into two separate projects which would see LU deliver the rail
related elements of the scheme with the County retaining responsibility for the civil engineering.
Shortly before the meeting members were informed that TfL/LU opposed this approach, warning that
it could complicate and delay the scheme, and backed a single delivery model.
857] Welwyn Garden City - Hertford North: (BLN 1231.763) On the route of the exit path at Hertford,
track is shown as in situ on our correspondent's 1958 OS map, leading to industrial premises
(TL321117), believed to have been a tannery. [This seems likely as the new housing built on the site is
in 'Tanners Crescent' - Ed.] Certainly from a juvenile trespassing venture c1960, the track on this spur
was still there, but out of use and very grass grown. Today this path is completely clear, but the
premises it served has gone. Was this spur owned by the GNR and its successors? It didn't appear to
have been gated, as was usual for industrial branch lines, so may have been a short GNR goods branch.
Below: (BLN 1231.736) The line (CP 1951) on the OS 1" 7th Series (1958) sheet 160. Hertford East
station is extreme right (near top); the other open station on the right is Herford North. The suspected
GNR goods branch mentioned above is under the viaduct south of Hertford, middle right of map
curving south east. The station closed to passengers on the middle of the line is Cole Green; that to the
right before Hertford is Hertingfordbury. Holwell Hyde refuse tip branch is south of the line centre left.
BLN 1232.858] TOC in Focus, Our latest TOC partner (for the 23 May 'Great Eastern Tracker' on which
seats remain) has been operating East Anglian services since 5 February 2012, initially as 'Greater
Anglia' and from 2014 rebranded as Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA); its franchise currently extends to 15
October 2016. Part of Abellio Transport Holdings, who are also partners in the Northern franchise and
the Merseyrail concession, it is owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). Although the
franchise is short, £20M of improvements have been agreed with the DfT over 27 months, including:
A major internal and external upgrade for the London to Norwich service 'intercity' carriages.
New off-peak EMU services between Cambridge and Stansted Airport (started July 2014).
Better Sunday services: GEML, Lowestoft - Norwich/Ipswich also to Sheringham and Sudbury.
On-line compensation arrangements for season ticket holders for late running trains.
Converting seven catering vehicles to take 44 Standard seats instead of 24 First Class seats by
October 2016 giving 1,600 additional standard weekday seats on GEML 'intercity' services.
A 20% increase in funding for the Community Rail Partnerships across the AGA network.
Fitting retention toilets to all 'intercity' carriages and starting to fit them to Class 321 EMUs,
associated with a £2M investment by NR at Orient Way, Southend Victoria and Norwich Depots.
Completion of the station upgrade schemes at Bishops Stortford, Cambridge and Chelmsford.
Over 400 additional cycle parking spaces at AGA stations. By October 2016 all stations will have
some cycle parking facilities; secure facilities will be installed at an additional eight stations.
An enhanced 'heavy clean' programme for trains and stations.
Additional investment in standby buses for missed connections at Ipswich, Norwich and
Witham in the event of service disruption (saving compensation payable to passengers).
Six extra catering staff to trial an at-seat catering service in First Class for three morning and
evening peak trains in each direction on the Norwich to London 'intercity' services.
New automatic ticket gates at London Liverpool Street, Shenfield, Southend Victoria, Ipswich,
Colchester, Norwich and Harlow stations to provide better, more efficient access. This will enable
more mobile ticketing, print-at-home ticketing and future smart-ticketing schemes. Some pay on the
day places are available on our Great Eastern Tracker, East Anglia railtour on Saturday 23 May.
1232 SOUTH EAST ENGLAND - SOUTH.
859] A season ticket might be needed? Or 'Waterloo to Basingstoke moonlighting'. (BLN 1231.768)
Additional to the Winchfield manoeuvre, the following expected alterations to the mid-week 01.05
from Waterloo, the last passenger departure of the (previous) day's service provide a number of rare
opportunities. The last arrival at Waterloo is incidentally around 01.08 (the 21.10 from Weymouth).
The 'standard' 01.05 service (if unaffected by engineering work) is booked via Point Pleasant Jct. to
East Putney PSUL chord, as well as being booked to cross from the Up Slow to the Down Fast at the
London end of Wimbledon and into P7 and then crossing at the country end onto the Down Slow.
From Wimbledon West to Basingstoke it is normally booked on the Down Slow throughout. It is when
there are mid-week engineering works (which seem to be frequent at the moment) that things
become even more interesting. From Tuesday to Friday 28 April to 1 May the train was due to take
Weybridge P3, Down Slow, crossover to Down Fast onto the Up Chertsey (reverse), into Weybridge P2
(reverse), on Up Slow to Farnborough P1. Then Up Slow to Up Fast to Down Fast then to Basingstoke
East on the Down Fast then cross to the Down slow or may cross from Down Fast to Down slow
before Winchfield. Definitely a train to watch! Future booked movements, (calendar days and dates):
Wednesday to Friday 6-8 May: Weybridge P3 (Down Slow), cross to Down Fast, and then to the Up
Chertsey to reverse to gain the Up Slow (Weybridge P2) and then run to Woking P1 (Up Slow). Then at
Woking cross to Up Fast at the country end of the station, and then to Down Fast, and at Woking Jct.
cross to Down Slow and run to Basingstoke on the Down Slow.
Tuesday to Friday 12-15 May: Weybridge to Woking on the Down Slow; at the London end cross by
three crossovers to the Up Slow, into P1 and run wrong line on the Up Slow all the way from Woking to
just east of Basingstoke where it should cross to the Up Fast, Down Fast and Down Slow to reach P1.
Tuesday to Friday 19-22 May: Woking to Farnborough on Down Slow then cross to the Down Fast,
reverse and cross to the Up Fast, and then to the Up Slow, and reverse again to run to Basingstoke Up
Slow, crossing there to the Down Slow and P1.
Thursday to Friday 28-29 May: Weybridge to Winchfield on the Down Slow, then cross at the country
end to the Down Fast and runs to Basingstoke; crossing at the London end to the Up Fast and then the
Up Slow and with reversal uses Basingstoke P4. As at 17 April it is thought to be due to cross from P4
to the Down Fast and Down Slow at Worting Jct. for its overnight sojourn in Southampton.
Tuesday to Friday 2-5 June: Diverted via Staines taking the Down Slow from Woking to Basingstoke.
Tuesday to Friday 9-12 June: Diverted via Staines again. It takes the Down Slow from Woking to
Farnborough with a double reversal at Farnborough onto Up Slow, and Up Slow to Basingstoke P1.
Tuesday to Friday 16-19 June: No engineering work planned; ie Down Slow Weybridge - Basingstoke!!
Tuesday to Friday 23-26 June & 7-10 July: Probably as Tuesday to Friday 12-15 May. As with all such
expected changes, they may change again before the day, particularly at this time of night. Incidentally
on its 'normal' route, the train starts at a station beginning with 'W' then passes or stops at another 8!
1232 SOUTH WEST ENGLAND
BLN 1232.860] Newcourt: The Avocet Line Group recently reported a story about the astonishing
construction of a siding here during wartime. The scheme was decided on a Saturday, materials were
delivered the following Monday, by the Tuesday the 1,000ft siding was completed and connected to
the main line, and the first wagons were in position on the Wednesday. This siding was on the site of
the new station now due to open in May despite ministerial pressure to open it by the end of 2014!
861] Stoke Gifford: Work continues on the new Hitachi IEP Depot on the site of the former re-cycling
depot (once NR's Tip). Observed from a passing train on 17 April, a large building had been erected and
significant trackwork, including a number of sidings, is already installed and some overhead gantries.
1232 WEST MIDLANDS
862] Hidden Brum: Posters are springing up on the concourse at New Street station advertising an
event called 'Birmingham's Hidden Spaces 2015'; part of a festival of architecture. Among the many
buildings and structures featured of railway interest are New Street Signal Box and Curzon Street
station. Planned events are due to appear on the Hidden Spaces website in due course. One event in
conjunction with NR is a competition to win a tour of the tunnels below New Street.
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1232 WEST MIDLANDS _ Cont.
BLN 1232.864] Bromsgrove: On 12 April the Pathfinder 'Dimple, Darley and Dale' railtour reversed in
the 'Up Goods Loop' giving a good view of the new station construction. This loop was re-aligned
westwards at Christmas to make room for the new Up island platform and it will serve the most
westerly (outer) of the four new platforms; to be used by some DMU services to Birmingham. It is
evident in the colour picture with e-BLN Pictorial of 7 March, which shows the course of the previous
Up Goods Loop too. The foundations of both 6-car island platforms are now in place (the new track
layout will allow future extensions to 9-cars). Initially the innermost two platforms are to be
electrified for Cross City services although longer term extension of electrification is being considered
to Worcester and Hereford. The siding for the banking engine has been retained and is accessed from
the loop. Due to the delay in transferring the signalling from Gloucester PSB to West Midlands SCC
and infrastructure work (BLN 1231.779), the new Bromsgrove station is expected to open with the
inner two platforms, the existing signalling and timetable. Electric services are due to start next year.
865] Barnt Green: The Up Goods from Barnt Green Jct. to Halesowen Jct. was OOU on 12 April and
very rusty. The Pathfinder railtour mentioned above was booked to use it but took the Up Main line
instead. It had been OOU for 6 weeks due to a points failure at Barnt Green Jct.
866] Birmingham New Street (1): Also on 12 April the same railtour, which otherwise gave excellent
track coverage, then failed to run through the booked (but not advertised) 'Through Siding No2' at the
station - the middle line between P7 & 8. After some delay at the signal outside New Street, it finally
ran through P9 instead as the signal box was unable to set the route. The 1966 panel has NX
(Entrance/Exit) operation and whilst it is possible to set a route for an ECS working into or out of, the
three non-platform 'middle lines' (as regularly used by ECS), a through route is not programmed into
that system. Well done for trying though! Despite their name they are not used as 'through lines' but
are accessed from/to either end (and 'Through Siding No3' between P9 & 10 additionally has a middle
slip to/from P10A _ this siding was occupied by a Cross Country 2-car Class 170 DMU at the time of
the railtour). Originally the tour had been booked to take 'Through Siding No1' between P5 & 6 but
this was fouled by a 4 car Class 350 EMU in P4C. To run a passenger carrying train even just into any
of these lines would also require it to be set up as a through route which is not possible to do.
867] Birmingham New Street (2): From the same tour P2 at New Street was seen to be out of action
on 12 April and occupied by a set of wagons presumably for the purposes of moving rubble from the
ongoing construction work to Bordesley Yard for disposal. This platform had previously been closed
for refurbishment work and re-opened. Railfuture quotes the date for opening of the completed
station development, confirmed by NR, as September 2015 but the precise date will be determined
by the completion date of the Grand Central Shopping Development. The atrium roof is now in place
and most of the remaining work is on the shops, the east end waiting areas and the outside cladding.
868] Kingsbury: Work is currently progressing here on relaying the Down Sidings, adjacent to
European Metal Recycling (ie the scrap yard!). The Shunting spur for the Birch Coppice Branch
appears to have been slightly shortened, the buffers have been removed and a pile of sleepers
chained to the end of the track. This spur is currently used to hold the loco off the Lindsey Oil
Refinery to Kingsbury Oil Trains whilst the tankers are discharged. This takes up to 5 hours; they are
some of Britain's heaviest trains with 30 oil tanks of 90 tonnes (tare). The length of the tanker trains is
to be increased to 32 wagons, the maximum that can be handled by the terminal. Siding 2, which
usually holds the loco, is being re-laid from the signal box end towards Trinity Road Bridge; concrete
sleepers were in evidence on 18 April. Siding 3 looked to be in situ but covered by ballast. Siding 4 is
used for cripple wagons; a scrap wagon and two container flats were then resident.
BLN 1232.869] Norton Bridge: Passing Norton Bridge on 16 April it was noted that track materials
were being placed on the formation of the new grade separation on the Down side of the WCML.
870] Wolverhampton PSB: This is due to close from Tuesday 5 May with the lines controlled being
transferred to the new Wolverhampton Workstation at West Midlands Signalling Centre, Saltley ie:
Roughly Dudley Port to Penkridge, Darlaston Jct. to Bushbury Jct./start of Oxley Chord), Portobello
Jct. to Wolverhampton Crane Street Jct. and Wolverhampton North Jct. to Oxley (Stafford Road) Jct.
1232 YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE
871] Immingham map: With thanks to NR and particularly to our member Barney Clark for his
considerable help, permission has been obtained to send out a full colour version of NR's September
2013 Immingham and Grimsby Docks Track Diagram (which is the latest version) as an attachment to
e-BLN 1232. This includes a great deal of colour coded information about line names, signalling and
location codes etc. It is in high definition and benefits from magnification. Anyone else who would
like a copy, or of any other e-BLN attachments can email the Editor (it is only available electronically.)
872] Immingham railtour: Tours into the complex are few and far between. The UKRT 'Humber
Sceptre' railtour on 11 April 2015 complemented our tour of 31 March 2012 and did well. An
anticlockwise run from Marsh West Jct. via the Grimsby to Immingham 'Light' Railway included both
crossovers at Great Coates No1 during traversal of the Grimsby Docks branch (which had probably
not had any rail traffic since its last railtour) well into Brickpit Siding. At Immingham Ridleys Siding
the buffer stop was almost reached, as on our tour, and both sides of the loop covered. Then the tour
ran to Transit Quay (Alexandra Road North level crossing) before taking the Engine Line with its
lengthy 10mph restriction, and deviated through Reception Siding No3 (with piles of imported coal
either side) to Humber Road Jct. Then it was the former NCB Coal Export Terminal (ironically now
used to import coal) well past Loading Pad No1 into the area of No2 (nominally OOU) to the level
crossing near the end of the branch. Passengers were told that over 40 points had been clipped to
run the tour. The very heavy rail freight traffic runs to a weekly programme (available Mondays) so
the lines covered by the tour were not determined until a late stage and had to fit in with this.
873] Immingham signalling: During this railtour it was noticed that the Immingham East Jct. box
signals were plated 'MB' and some participants wondered what this stood for. A member advises that
originally national signal prefix codes were derived from the controlling signalbox's name. Examples
in the area are Ulceby (U), Immingham West (IW) Immingham Reception Sidings (IR) Great Coates
Sidings No1 (GC) Marsh Jct. (M) and Pyewipe Road (PR). Since 2004 signals have been prefixes relating
to their route for example DR is used for signals in both directions between Droitwich Spa and
Ryecroft Jct. (north of Walsall), which is via the closed line through Dudley and part of passive
provision for its reopening. The new Immingham East 'box' was to have taken over Pyewipe Road and
Great Coates No1 boxes also other signalling in the area in the 2012 resignalling project, but this was
reduced to save money. Therefore 'MB' could mean Marsh Jct. to Brocklesby Jct. (via Immingham).
874] Cleethorpes: After Immingham the UKRT train ran into P3 here for a break and this was
incorrectly shown as P4 (which had been booked) the longest which takes 10 coaches) on Realtime
Trains (RTT) etc. Pasture Street signal box would have to manually correct any alterations to the
schedule here which is optional. Platforming that is altered or recorded automatically changes to bold
font. Many locations do have automatic recording such as Birmingham New Street where, for
example, the Pathfinder tour on 12 April booked to use 'Through Siding No2' took P9 and was
immediately updated on the system and RTT. At Cleethorpes the other three platforms take 8
coaches, P1 is preferred (but not invariable) for TPE services, P2 for Barton-on-Humber Northern
services and P3 is normally used by a few early morning and late evening trains and the SO Northern
Sheffield via Brigg service. All four platforms have permissive working and there is a crossover that
allows loco-hauled trains to run round in P2. P4 is shown as OOU on TRACKmaps 2 (September 2006),
but not on the 20 February 2014 Sectional Appendix. In the new 17 May timetable P4 has one weekly
booked departure, the 13.56 SuO East Midlands Trains service to Nottingham via Lincoln. Treat this
very cautiously as the incoming service (ex-Newark Northgate) is booked to arrive in P3 at 13.14 and
there is no obvious reason why it should have to change platform and no ECS moves are shown!
BLN 1232.875] Bridlington: Bay P7 is OOU like bay P8. Terminating / originating services use bay P6.
876] Crofton Colliery: On a recent visit to Wakefield Cathedral a correspondent came across some
information about a project proposing to open a new drift coal mine just south of New Crofton. The
mine will be owned and operated by a worker Co-operative, 'New Crofton Co-op Colliery Ltd'. Planning
permission was granted http://goo.gl/cVJIrw by the Planning and Highways Committee on 19 June
2014. It is stated that once the mine has been sunk, about 10% of the coal (an average of four wagons
a day) is expected to be sent out by road, on routes agreed with the local community and Mineral
Planning Authority. The other 90% will be loaded directly onto trains at the mine for power stations.
Unfortunately a similar Hatfield Main Colliery Co-operative has failed to save that from closure.
877] ECML Level crossings: Moss crossing box near MP 163 (Doncaster-York) north of Joan Croft Jct.
was demolished on 18 April; part of the change to obstacle detection operation. The Down ECML
here was (only just) in the York SCC area and the Up line in the Doncaster PSB area. Doncaster has
gained control of the Down ECML with its modern signals and the 4 level crossings north to Balne
(just beyond MP 167) to match the Up line interface with York. Since then if York sends the Heck brick
train toward Balne crossing to use the Heck Plasmor ground frame they have to notify Doncaster,
otherwise the four crossings will all activate in turn. Balne crossing box was demolished on 25 April.
1232 ISLE OF MAN
878] Douglas Horse Tramway: (MR p32) (BLN 1226.289) The 2015 timetable confirms operation from
Monday 11 May to Sunday 13 September. The timetable is as last year, with the first trams at 09.00
from Derby Castle and 09.20 from Victoria Pier. The last trams are at 17.20 from Derby Castle and
17.40 from Victoria Pier. There is a 20 minute frequency (two trams in service) except between 11.40
and 13.40 from Derby Castle and 12.00 and 14.00 from Victoria Pier when a 40 minute headway
applies (one tram operating) so that the crews can take a meal break. Speculation now moves to
whether the horse tramway will operate in 2016. The timetable states: '2016 will mark 140 years of
the horse trams and the Council will be celebrating this anniversary with a view to safeguarding the
service for future generations of residents and visitors.' Watch this space!
879] A 2015 travelogue: A member has sent this comprehensive review of his experiences on his first
trip to Ireland for 13 years which he made recently, mainly to traverse the Western Corridor, because
of the comments that its future is already being considered. A summary of changes encountered (in
conjunction with the 1995 Quail!) may assist others who have not visited for some time.
From Shannon Airport there are half hourly buses to both Limerick and Ennis. From Limerick the walk
on train fare to Galway is only €10 single (about £7 and remarkably good value for 73 miles) or just shy
of 50% cheaper than the X51 bus from the adjacent bus station. Even better offers are available on line
for pre-booked tickets, for example the return via Limerick to Cork later in the day was €9.99! On
Saturday 11 April the 2 coach 14.20 DMU from Limerick left half full and, apart from at Ennis, did
minimal intermediate station business, a few with no passengers on or off at all. Use of the loop at
Ennis on a through move in both directions was not as expected as his north and southbound train
used the same (west) track. [The Down line is used if possible due to its much better access; 2015
BAYWATCH as advertised in Others' Doings has all such details ready to hand for a mere £6, post free!
BLN 1232] On a crossing move in June 2014 the Down train to Galway ran into the Up platform
(because the Up train to Limerick had already run into the Down - what else do you expect in Ireland?),
and there was a wheelchair passenger to disembark. When the Limerick train had cleared the train
drew forward and set back into the Down platform for this to be done. On the return trip there was no
crossing move so both sides of the loop were covered in full! - Ed.] The Junction layout at Athenry has
been simplified with single leads, and arrival at Galway at 16.12 was into the short north bay platform
some way outside the station roof as the single main platform was occupied by a Dublin bound DMU,
plus a spare set. [The bay is normal for Western Corridor services and Athenry short workings.] On
departure at 17.30, every twin seat had at least one passenger, so the DMU was much fuller than the
northbound service, and it did what seemed a very odd manoeuvre but from the timetable is obviously
planned. Just after leaving the station and crossing the River Bridge, the DMU was stationary again in
the loop one minute after departure. This was shown in 1995 Quail as a long siding. Shortly afterwards
an on time DMU from Dublin ambled past on the main. [The first arriving train goes into the bi-
directional Galway loop and the second passes on the main; only one Galway platform is long,
admittedly not a problem with a 2-car DMU.] This Limerick service is given 12 minutes to reach the
new Oranmore station (others have 9), so why not just reschedule the departure a few minutes later?
[Answer is probably because it's Ireland! It may be recovery time in case the incoming service is late?]
Limerick Junction: At one time loco-hauled trains always seemed to enter the station in reverse! It is
now markedly different (rationalised) following major investment and resignalling; the main platform
is much reduced in length. All trace of what used to be the separately tracked northbound loop P3 and
wrong facing Waterford Bay P4 have been obliterated by the inevitable station car park. With no
remaining purpose, the previous PSUL track behind the station building which accessed P4 has not
surprisingly been lifted, but an unlit colour signal remains on the formation. At Cork, the track layout
south from the through platforms has changed making any southbound departures from the through
platforms weave a little. There are no through trains at Cork between Midleton or Cobh and Mallow
etc in the timetable to do this. Bay P1 is the regular for Midleton and this is nearer the station building
than the other two so these DMUs can be give 'parallel overlap' with the first coach of Dublin arrivals!
P2 (preferred) & 3 are used for Cobh services. The exit from all three bays is semaphore controlled.
The double track reopened Cobh Jct. at Glounthaune is of recent design with separate single leads, the
branch not becoming single until about ¼ mile afterwards. The intermediate station of Carrigtwohill
has a passing loop of almost 1¼ miles (but there are no booked crossing movements!). Midleton has
two platforms with run-offs, slightly off the original Yougal branch one much longer than the other and
shunt signalled to store a unit, with the town side (right hand on arrival) much preferred from the lack
of shine on the other track. Arriving on the 08.15 from Cork on Sunday 12 April our member was
accompanied by just one other passenger; departing on the 08.45 return was with just a handful more.
The service is hourly, half hourly in the weekday peaks; sadly traffic has not developed as envisaged.
Approaching Dublin, the four tracking section to the west of Inchicore with associated station and
track improvements are impressive features, although the basic local service is hourly. It also seemed
to your scribe that what was previously the Up Goods Loop approaching Islandbridge Jct. is now the
inbound passenger line. Heuston station has been extended with additional bay platforms built on the
north side with arrivals/departures from them using tracks on the opposite side of the line from the
carriage cleaning facility and this may now be counted as a separate route by some.
Monday 13 April started with total coverage of the trams which did not exist on the last visit,
with the SuO Heuston to Connolly shuttle using the centre turnback platform at Heuston, (see map:
BLN 1231.793). Even though they are unconnected operating companies, it is possible to add on a
fare to an IÉ ticket booking on line, a tram departure time was even nominated!
Wanting to travel all of , visit M3 Parkway, Docklands and the Airport by bus on the same day,
a 'Leap' Smart Card was needed for €5 which can be loaded with €10 credit. Passengers touch in and
out for each journey on /IÉ (the Dublin Zone extending to M3 Parkway) until the credit is used
up. €10 is the daily maximum Cap so travel is 'free' for the rest of the day. Different lower daily caps
apply if not mixing bus, tram and IÉ. Leap cards are valid on Dublin buses (not the 747 Airport Express).
A useful tip is to go to Drumcondra station where Airport routes 16 and 41 both stop outside but
originate in different parts of the city; at 17.30 the No16 took 35 minutes to the Airport.
With our recently issued track plan (BLN 1231.793), our member can advise all trams seen
used the right hand platforms at termini, even those where the pointwork is beyond the arrivals
platforms. The City bound end of the centre through line at Belgard was rusty; this track to Dublin is
NRU as the centre road is effectively just a turnback platform for Saggart shuttles from the south.
There was time to take the short walk after a 14.30 arrival at The Point to view the Alexandra Road
Tramway before heading for the first afternoon departure from Docklands terminus at 15.50. An ore
train from Tara Mines was seen on the street running section as was a liner train into North Wall!
Docklands was unstaffed even though the platforms can only be accessed by barriers but one was left
open. The island platform seems vastly oversized; the far end is the home (and toilet) of numerous
pigeons. The 15.50 to M3 Parkway had fewer than a dozen passengers, although there was better
intermediate business en-route. The branch was a surprise as it is double track throughout, although
trains do pass in the peak timetable. A new bay platform has been constructed beyond the existing
station at Clonsilla for the non-peak hour shuttles. M3 Parkway terminus has two platforms, only the
left hand on arrival is normally used. Not surprisingly, business on the 16.35 return service was rather
minimal, and it has to be said that for a working day the car park here was far from full. Also the 2016
IÉ Network Statement incorrectly states that Hansfield station is yet to open, and seems to have got its
miles and km mixed up if zero is at Clonsilla. There are enormous posts up to 11.5 just prior to M3
Parkway platforms but it claims the line is just 7.24km. Multiplying 7.24miles by 1.609 gives 11.6km!
BLN 1232.880] Freight wish list: From February Rail Freight Group News came a plea to the Scottish
Government to 'level the playing field for road and rail', comparing the extent of dual carriageway road
with the lack of double track railway over much of Scotland. It also seeks new terminals to tap rail
potential in Ayrshire, Fife and Dundee and, whilst acknowledging that Holyrood does make provision
for grant aid to encourage freight to rail, states that a review is necessary 'to make it easier for key
enhancements to be supported'. The 1960s/70s era cranes at Coatbridge Freightliner Terminal are
quoted as a case in point; how much more efficient could the operation be with modern equipment?
881] Greenburn/Knockshinnoch branches (BLN 1231.703): A member adds that the last DBS coal train
ran on Friday 27 March as the 14.58 Greenburn to West Burton Power Station. Even in the final week
there were three trains a day on at least two days (Tuesday and Thursday). It was anticipated that the
dispatch of coal by rail would cease with effect 1 April because of the new carbon tax on coal for
power generation but a restart in the autumn (October) hasn't been ruled out, assuming Kier Mining
are able to retain the minimum staff on a care and maintenance basis. However on Monday 13 April
GBRF operated a 04.30 Doncaster Decoy Yard to Greenburn Mine and loaded 16.03 Greenburn Mine
to West Burton Power Station. This was an unexpected development but is probably only clearing the
stockpile as it is booked to run daily SSuX for four weeks only. As a side note, recent resurfacing work
on the B741 New Cumnock to Dalmellington road has resulted in removal of Connel Park Level
Crossing on the closed Knockshinnoch branch, with fencing replacing the crossing gates, and rails
removed back to the Stop Board protecting the crossing from the Bank Jct. side. No buildings remain.
Below: 2 x class 158 near Waverley station (right) from Edinburgh castle on 10 April (Kev Adlam).
BLN 1232.882] Borders line (BLN 1231.805): The last bridge over the line, a footbridge at Harelaw
connecting Newton village to Shawfair station, has been installed. A total of 95 bridges have been
refurbished, and 42 new ones constructed for the reopening to Tweedbank.
883] Borders Line Timetable: This is now available from Scot Rail http://goo.gl/kG2VWg confidently
starting on Sunday 6 September. End to end journey time is 54-58 minutes. The new service is an
extension of the existing Newcraighall services (at the same times which makes sense for pathing) and
is largely self-contained. Four trains do run through from Tweedbank to Glenrothes with Thornton in
the weekday morning peak and there are four back in the evening. The service is basically twice an
hour SuX with first departure from Tweedbank at 05.20, (05.30 SO) until 19.28 (19.31 SO), then hourly
to 23.28. Stow has an hourly service off-peak. The pattern is similar from Edinburgh starting at 05.43
(05.50 SO) with the last train at 23.54 (23.55 SO). Sundays have 15 services, hourly departures from
Tweedbank 08.45 to 22.45, and similarly at Edinburgh from 09.11 to 23.11. This is a remarkably good
service to start with. Of note the 10.54, 12.54 and 14.24 from Edinburgh and 11.56, 13.59 and 15.28
return from Tweedbank 'May not run Wednesdays and Thursdays until 15 October.' Potential
passengers are advised to check, presumably these are the paths required to run steam specials.
BLN 1232.884] Anniesland: A connection is to be installed again permitting through running between
what was Knightswood South Jct. (removed about 1987) to Maryhill Park Jct. Currently the DMU
worked line from Glasgow Queen Street (HL) via Maryhill to Anniesland terminates in bay P3. Its
surprising how many passengers interchange with the EMUs. Prior to 1987 the through line had been
out of use following a fire at Maryhill Park signal box. It is not clear if the reinstated connection will be
double or single track. A single line will not be of much use unless there is accommodation for a Down
train, waiting access to the single line, to stand clear of the Down line through Anniesland towards
Westerton. The point of this is that a service can run via Queen Street Low Level (LL) and back out to
Cowlairs, with which comes again the question of using diesel power at certain LL stations (BLN
1223.1931). However, 'ScotRail Driver', contributing to the thread 'Sleeper at Westerton' on the
www.railforums.co.uk forum states on 30 September 2014 that the fire alarm system was upgraded,
allowing diesel workings to call at Queen Street LL. The Sectional Appendix of 7 March 2015 still
contains the original restrictions, of which there are actually two: one of 15 November 2008 with
regard to Argyle Street and Queen Street LL; the other of 26 December 2009 adds Glasgow Central LL.
885] Campbeltown & Machrihanish Light Railway: A member reports on this line of 2' 3" gauge, near
the southern end of the Kintyre peninsula. Given that it was a narrow gauge, light railway that ran
through fairly flat land now in agricultural use and that it closed over eighty years ago, it is hardly
surprising that very little survives. In passenger days the railway started on the harbour front in
Campbeltown and the wide road clearly had space to accommodate the tracks. Where the line
climbed away from Campbeltown Loch, to pass round the south side of the town, a short section of
trackbed is in use as a footpath. This is by far the most substantial remnant of the railway. The original
terminus was a coal yard in Stewart Street; this site is now occupied by a modern housing estate. Once
out of town the trackbed is almost entirely lost and one can only surmise from field boundaries where
the line might have been. However, there is a section that can definitely be identified, where the
railway crossed the Campbeltown to Machrihanish Road, east of Stewarton. Nearby, part of the
private road to a farm runs along a short section of trackbed. The railway was built to transport coal
from mines at Machrihanish. The site of the Argyll Colliery is occupied by a caravan park. On its south
side there are two fences, running parallel a few yards apart; this may indicate the course of the line.
What seems to be Machrihanish passenger station site stands disused behind the Ugadale Hotel.
Machrihanish had been a source of easily accessible coal worked since at least 1498. A three mile long
canal opened in 1794 to move the traffic but became disused and was virtually abandoned by 1856. In
1876, new owners of Kilkivan Pit built a 4½ mile industrial railway to a pier at Campbeltown; this used
a short length of the canal formation, not the only time this has happened in Scotland. An increase in
steamer-based tourist traffic led to the formation of the Association of Argyll Railway Company Ltd.
which obtained a Light Railway Order. Construction of a passenger railway began in November 1905,
opening on 18 August 1906. The original route was mostly followed, but some curves and gradients
were eased and the colliery line was extended to the Machrihanish terminus. It was very successful up
to the First World War, but then tourist traffic was eroded by buses. Passenger operations ceased in
May 1932, the railway was wound up by 1933; the final trains in May 1934 were dismantling the line.
886] P.S.: Viaduct or Bridge? (BLN 1223.1873) References all seem to have been to the Tay Bridge at
Dundee but the Railway Clearing House 1910 Junction Diagrams Map 26 (Dundee & Broughty Ferry)
refers to the Tay Viaduct in naming the structure and twice more in showing its north and south limits!
887] Ebbw Vale branch enhancement: (BLN 1231.812) NR Wales documentation confirms that track-
laying is to take place in three phases: (1): Aberbeeg to Crumlin by late May; (2): Newbridge to
Crosskeys 'late May to early July' and the middle section (3): Crumlin to Newbridge 'early July to
November'. It is not clear why the last short stretch should take so much longer. Construction of
additional platforms at Llanhilleth and Newbridge stations will follow. Babcock International Group is
the principal contractor, and local residents have been warned that much of the work will necessarily
take place during the night. As with other such schemes there may be some intermittent 'slews' to do.
On completion the present 3m 21ch 'dynamic loop' will become 10m 12ch of double track.
BLN 1232.888] ATW service enhancements: From the 17 May timetable change, the Heart of Wales
line gains additional Monday to Friday services each end (which may lead to a 5th through service each
way). From the north, there is a new 04.45 limited stop Shrewsbury to Llandrindod Wells train, calling
only at Church Stretton, Craven Arms and Knighton; forming the 06.18 return to Shrewsbury and
Crewe. From the south a new 04.53 Carmarthen to Llandovery (all stations except Ferryside and
Kidwelly) forms the 06.42 departure to Swansea. The long-promised service enhancement on the
Cambrian has additional Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury departures at 06.30, 08.30, 12.30 and 18.30 SuX,
and at 10.30 and 14.33 SuO. In the reverse direction, additional weekday workings from Shrewsbury
are at 06.25, 10.29, 18.31 SX/18.27 SO & 20.30 SX/20.39 SO, and at 08.30, 16.29 & 18.28 SuO. The
Welsh Government has guaranteed funding for an initial three-year period for these improvements.
BELOW: A train from Machynlleth for the Cambrian Coast line approaching Dovey Junction; the new
Down Passenger loop is far right and in regular use from 17 May. (Abactus http://goo.gl/xqM0Sx.)
1232 MINOR RAILWAYS
MR51] Equatorial Express, Merseyside (MR p20) (BLN 905.MR182): The 15" gauge railway running
inside Knowsley Safari Park, at Prescot near St. Helens, is now known as the 'Equatorial Express'.
Opened in 1971 as a balloon loop, it was extended to a dumb-bell layout over the winter of
1990/1991. The only station ('Knowsley Halt') is on the southern return loop. From here, trains run
round this loop in a clockwise direction before passing over a stream on a small bridge. Now running to
the rear of some animal enclosures, the line joins the old terminal station alignment. After passing
over a cattle grid and out through a gate, the train passes along the north shore of the large Mizzy
Lake and through a Deer Park. It then runs round the far return loop in an anti-clockwise direction.
Nothing now remains of the former terminal station; its place now taken by a small swinging boat
(boatistution?). However, the concrete footings of the bridge over the stream are still clearly visible.
On Easter Sunday 5 April, trains were being hauled by a steam outline 2-6-0DH locomotive (SL 343.2.91
of 1991), un-named but in green livery with 'KSP' on its tender sides. Passenger stock was four open
bogie coaches also in green livery. A pair of spare bogies was located off the track adjacent to the
point where the new alignment joins the original formation. There is no other stock and nor is there a
shed or tunnel within which to store the train. The train (and the other amusements) start at 11.30
and run until 17.30. Fares (£2 per person) are collected by the driver at the station, but no tickets are
issued. The railway is located in the amusement area and it is not necessary to drive around the full
safari to visit this area - just turn to the left after paying at the entrance kiosks and park. The safari
park admission charge has to be paid to visit the amusement park and railway. Adult entrance with a
car is £16.50 per person, and walk-in is £7.50. This is a little odd as no public transport passes the
entrance, nor is there a footpath for the short distance from the dual carriageway Prescot by-pass to
the entrance pay kiosks! This correspondent parked in the old Knowsley Park Lane, now cut off from
the safari park by the by-pass. Free roadside parking is available here, but one has to be very careful
crossing the dual carriageway by-pass on foot (ignore the sign saying 'No access to the safari park!').
BLN 1232.MR52] Glyn Valley Tramway, Wrexham County Borough (BLN 1231.MR50): ABOVE is a map
of the 8¼ mile 2' 4½" gauge line of which 6½ miles from Chirk to Glyn Ceiriog had passenger services.
Otherwise it served producers of Granite at Hendre, Upper Pandy and Coed-y-Glyn; Chinastone at Cae
Deicws and Lower Pandy; Silica at Pen-y-Graig; Slate at Cambrian and Wynn quarries and coal from
Quinta Colliery. The first section opened in 1873; the line CP 1933 and CF(CA) in July 1935. Contact
details (2015!): Glyn Valley Tramway & Industrial Heritage Trust, the Old Tramway Engine Shed, New
Road, Glyn Ceiriog, Llangollen, LL20 7HE. Here is the first section http://goo.gl/4pNXVO of relaid track.
MR53] Wirral Heritage Tramway, Merseyside (MR p32) (BLN 1218.MR170): On Easter Sunday 5 April,
a two-tram half-hourly service was operating between Woodside Ferry and Taylor Street Museum,
with the cars passing at Pacific Road. In use were single deck Lisbon 730 (built in 1930) and double
deck Liverpool 762 (dating from 1931). At Taylor Street, trams now terminate on the depot approach,
as opposed to the short spur, where the stop was known as 'Old Colonial'. According to one volunteer
this change took place about five years ago. At Woodside Ferry trams were using the terminal spur
nearest the ferry terminal as normal. The other track looked rusty. Tickets are sold on board by
conductors and an adult return is £2. The Wirral Transport Museum at Taylor Street is worth a visit,
containing the rest of the operational tram fleet (stabled on two roads), buses, other road vehicles,
motor bikes and some interesting displays. Tracks still run into the building at Pacific Road, presumably
still used as a tram store and contains the tramway sub-station. The Arts Centre is now closed though.
BLN 1232.MR54] Moseley Industrial Narrow Gauge Tramway, Cornwall (MR p14) (BLN 1079.MR234):
A member visited this railway and museum on 2 April. The 2ft gauge railway/tramway is 650yd long
and runs round three sides of a large field (with three right-angled bends), finishing in a sharply curved
return loop. There are three diesel locos, twelve battery locos (mostly from local lead mines), and a
homemade wire electric loco. The latter works on a very short section of wired track in the simulated
coal mine. The working battery loco was built, or rebuilt, by South Crofty. There are extensive displays
of vintage model trains, with four layouts in operation, on different gauges and some very nice vintage
model trams. There is also a 2007 built full-size replica of the Murdoch Flyer, the first steam road
vehicle ever built in Redruth in 1784. As far as is known, Murdoch never built a full-size version - only a
working model, which still exists, in the Thinktank Museum in Birmingham. The site is normally open
on Monday and Thursday afternoons throughout the year - but do contact the owner on 01209
211191 to check. It is about a 20 mins walk from Redruth station (our reporter took a taxi).
MR55] Mid Norfolk Railway, Norfolk (MR p8): The railway has acquired a former Eastern Region
turntable, which is to be installed at Dereham. Built by Ipswich based company Ransomes and Rapier
in 1933, the turntable, which is hand-operated, was originally located at Hitchin, before being acquired
by the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre (BRC) at Quainton Road. Once installed the 60ft turntable will
have an operational use as well as being an educational tool. It last turned a steam locomotive in 1967
and finally a snow plough in 1975 being removed in 1978 and stored at the BRC.
MR56] Springfields Miniature Railway, Lincolnshire (MR p20): This new 7¼" gauge railway opened in
summer 2014. It is located in Festival Gardens, part of the Springfields leisure complex on the outskirts
of Spalding at Camel Gate. Information from their web site suggests the railway opened on 24 July
2014, with operation during the afternoons of school holidays. A visit was made on Easter Monday 6
April. The railway started running just after the booked time of 12.00 and two visiting Society
members were the first passengers aboard for the day! Trains were being worked by Roanoke 'Titan'
class 0-4-2DH No7 Fly (built in 1998) with two bogie sit-in coaches. The line is formed of a simple 180
yd circuit around some attractive bulb displays in an area called 'Woodlands'. Spring is probably
therefore the best time to visit. There is a one road shed, which houses all the stock; trains operate in
a clockwise direction. Fares for all are £2 for two circuits, for which a numbered paper titled ticket is
issued, with the date filled in by hand. Admission to Springfields is free, but there is an onsite parking
charge. Current operation seems to be daily during school holidays between Easter and October, 12.00
to 15.00, see http://goo.gl/xdGVfy but check first or 01775 760909.
MR57] Hayling Seaside Railway, Hampshire (MR p18) (BLN 1221.MR193): On a wet and windy 28
February our roving reporter travelled on this 2ft gauge railway. In use was No3 Jack 0-4-0DH (AK23 of
1988) hauling coaches No10 Lisa and No12 Michelle. No11 Marylyn was outside the shed at Beachlands.
A visiting steam locomotive is not expected this year. This year's fare increase is the first for many
years. An invitation to visit the shed was gratefully received. A plan displayed at Beachlands station
shows the future layout for Eastoke Corner. The track at the station will be on the other face of the
existing platform. The points are already installed. Some vegetation has been temporarily cleared
MR58] Royden Park Miniature Railway, Merseyside (MR p20) (BLN 905.MR184): This 7¼" gauge
railway is owned and operated by the Wirral Model Engineering Society. On Easter Sunday 5 April,
both the park and railway were very busy with quite a long queue for the latter. However, a four train
service was operating with 0-4-4T Tinker, 0-4-4T Peter George, 0-6-0 Coolum and 0-4-0PH Little Cliffy
all at work. Fares are by donation - into a dome of a model GWR locomotive on P1 of the station!
Adjacent, the Society has an elevated track and this was also running. The 7¼" gauge railway runs on
Sundays all year round (weather permitting) from 13.00 to 16.00. Parking in the park is free.
BLN 1232.MR59] Pugneys Light Railway, West Yorkshire (MR p25) (BLN 959.MR282): In March this
year, owner Ralph Wolstenholme expressed a fear that the railway might have to close as his annual
lease from Wakefield Council is to rise from £2 to £3.5k. Mr Wolstenholme said 98% of the takings are
ploughed back into running the railway, which was set up by his police officer grandfather Jim Pinder
17 years ago. Ralph took over running it as a labour of love following Mr Pinder's death aged 65 in
2013. He said: 'If I can't make ends meet it will have to go. As much as I don't want to do that it would
have to go because I'm not running at a loss. I do it because I was extremely close to my granddad and
it would be a shame for it to go. The railway gives a lot of enjoyment to people'. Last November,
Wakefield Council cut funding for Pugneys Park by £230k a year and the local authority is encouraging
businesses to invest there. Mr Wolstenholme said: 'The council wants to make money from Pugneys,
yet here they are saying to the only existing long-term leaseholder pay a 75% increase or leave'. Karen
Collins, of Wakefield Council, said: 'We have had to increase the cost of the lease to bring it up to levels
which are commercially comparable with other operators on site. Given the council's current financial
situation we cannot afford to keep the cost below the market rate. We want to continue to work with
Mr Wolstenholme and would welcome talking to him to see if we can come to an agreement'. Cash is
being sought by 'crowdfunding' at http://goo.gl/UxF4eq to refurbish a station on the railway.
ABOVE: Sirapite giving footplate rides at Long Shop Museum on Saturday 28 March _ Andrew Murray.
MR60] Long Shop Museum, 15 Main Street, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4ES: http://goo.gl/GHNtru (BLN
1177.MR22): A member visited on 28 March when they were holding their first opening day of the
season, a 'Spring Steam Up'. They have a loco shed and approximately 60yds of track at the former
Richard Garrett Engineering Works. AP6158/1906, in green and named Sirapite, was steamed during
the day and by 14.00 was giving footplate rides http://goo.gl/rftIgf over the short length of track. It is
two trips for a donation into the bucket with three riding in the cab at once. The loco steams about 5
days each year. The Leiston Works Railway Trust is a charitable organisation working to restore the
factory railway line that once served the now closed Richard Garrett Engineering Works and had a stall
in the loco shed. They have acquired and cleared most of the track bed between the works and NR's
Leiston (Sizewell, formerly Aldeburgh) branch. There is a beer garden and a road currently between
the track bed and the works. The Trust's next aim is to acquire the lease on the stretch through the
beer garden, which will allow them to run trains from opposite the works. Ultimately they want to
reinstate the level crossing into the works and even re-connect to the national network. From its
opening in 1892 the line connected the old Town Works to the then Aldeburgh branch. By 1912
Garretts had expanded and built their Top Works and the line was used to transport goods and
materials between the two sites as well as on to more distant places. Originally the wagons were
hauled by Suffolk Punch horses; in 1929 these were replaced by the steam shunting engine Sirapite
now owned, and fully restored to working order, by the Long Shop Museum. For the final years of
operation, from 1962 until the railway was dismantled in 1968, haulage was by a Battery Electric
Locomotive. The Museum is well worth a visit in its own right with much of interest to see.
1232 OTHERS' DOINGS:
This is provided as a service to members and details must be checked with the organisers.
BLN 1232.889] Lakes Day Ranger: Valid Northern Rail, Virgin and TPE services anytime (Two Together
Railcard after 09.30 weekdays all day Bank Holidays). Workington-Barrow-in-Furness (note: no SuO
trains Whitehaven-Barrow)-Lancaster-Heysham Port-Penrith North Lakes and the Windermere branch.
Also all Cumbria Stagecoach services (not school buses), Cumbria CC services 6, 106, 532, 563 (Penrith
-Appleby-Kirkby Stephen) & X12 and a cruise on one of the scheduled 'Windermere Lake Cruises' from
Ambleside, Bowness or Lakeside. 10% discount on the Ravenglass & Eskdale and Lakeside &
Haverthwaite Railways. 20% discount on Coniston and Keswick Launch and Ullswater Steamers. Adult
£22, Child £11, Family £43, railcard £14.50 (not Family). May be withdrawn or changed after 17 May
890] Scottish Vintage Bus Museum: M90 Commerce Park, Lathalmond, Dunfermline Fife KY12 0SJ (NT
098 922). The railway group plan to run trains at all special events: 17 May (Bus running day), 14 June
('Truckmania'), 21 June (Fife Historic Vehicle Club Festival of Transport), 26 July (Fife VW show), 15 &
16 August (Museum open weekend), 30 August (pre-1967 Ford owners rally) & 20 September (West
Fife Doors Open Day - free admission). Free half-hourly vintage bus connection from Dunfermline bus
station for some events http://goo.gl/UxbXnE enquiries [email protected] 01383 623380.
891] Railway Children Tornado Steam Special, Thursday 4 June: Belmond British Pullman, London
Waterloo (newly refurbished P21) http://goo.gl/NxTmW0 08451700300, £600 plus £1,400 donation.
892] Gwili Railway walk: Supervised 4 hour 8-9 mile walk for a maximum of 20 fit people age 18+ over
some rough terrain (walking boots required) on a June Saturday from Abergwilli Junction station (not
yet open) to the Railway Inn at Llanpumpsaint. £10 charge towards the Gwili extension fund and lunch
has to be purchased at the inn. Queries and bookings to [email protected]
893] Stapleford Miniature Railway, 13/14 June & 29-31 August: Stapleford Park, four miles from
Melton Mowbray, LE14 2SF (SK750190). Public running at this nearly 2 mile long 10¼" gauge railway.
Free admission in June, opens 10.00, £2 per trip parking is free. August bank holiday is a 'steam rally'.
894] Shardlow Garden Railway, Sunday 28 June: From 11.00 to 17.00 at 14 Millfield, off Wilne Lane,
Shardlow, Derbyshire, DE72 2HD (SK 4465 3051). Near the Trent & Mersey Canal, a rare chance to ride;
a charity 'Open Gardens' fund raising event. Enquiries to [email protected] 01332 792063.
895] PROVISIONAL London Railway Memorials Part 2, Saturday 11 July: (The day prior to our South
East proposed railtour) led by Don Kennedy date for diary details to follow; not yet open for bookings.
896] The Retro Cumbrian Coast Explorer, Saturday 11 July: New Mills Central (06.00/22.10); various
stations including Hyde Central (06.25/21.50), Ashton-under-Lyne (07.00/21.10) & Sowerby Bridge
(08.30/20.00), via the Cumbrian Coast to Carlisle (4 hour break) back via Shap. Phillips Park No2 Jct. to
Baguley Fold Jct. in both directions. DRS Class 37s. http://goo.gl/MmLqpw or 0161 3309055.
BLN 1232.897] Norwich MES Miniature Railway, Sunday 24 May 12.00: Kentrail Enthusiasts Group at
Eaton Park, Norwich, NR4 7AU (TG 2084 0749) _ two miles from the station, lifts available as required.
Established in 1958 initially as an elevated railway; work on the now 900yd complex 7¼" gauge ground
level line began around 2006 and has undergone track layout revisions in the station area (where a
canopy has been erected) in recent years. The visit aims to traverse the two normally non-passenger
'cut-offs' on the main circuit. This is a private train before normal public running commences at 13.00
on the day after our Society's Great Eastern Tracker railtour from Norwich! £5 pay on the day.
Bookings and queries to Simon Mortimer at [email protected] or 07835 739940.
898] BAYWATCH 2015: Just out from Kentrail Enthusiasts Group; 10th expanded Edition. New is 'Loops
used as Bays' (pseudo-bays) detailing when the 'rare' end is used! Also all the favourites: 'X-Factor'
with crossing point use and 'CSI' _ Connections of Strategic Importance that knit the network
together. Covers the entire British Isles, including National Networks, Metros, Trams and preserved
standard gauge lines. 44 pages of densely collated information, colour code formatted to assist
understanding and offering great scope to the macro and micro gricer alike! Find out what you could
be doing at Golders Green at 00.27 SuMX or when you can travel right through Kentish Town P4. All
this and more from BLS sales outlets; ONLY £6 POST FREE from Sales Officer, Mark Gomm (below).
E-BLN Caption Competition
LEFT: Les Ross MBE, the well
known radio presenter and
railway enthusiast, owner of
the 'Les Ross' AC electric
locomotive 86259 (formerly
86045; previously E3137) in
the rear cab of our 'BLS
Semaphores & Sidings'
Tracker railtour on 2 August
2014. Les is making an
announcement about extra
prizes for the charity raffle
in aid of Railway Children.
He kindly joined us for this
tour and one of the prizes
was a footplate ride on his
loco; see the lucky winner's
report at (BLN 1219.1504).
© Geoff Plumb. Please email your (polite!) caption suggestions* to the Editor by Sunday 17 May!
Distribution: Dave Monger, 6 Underhill Close, GODALMING, GU7 1NU. [email protected] 07592 585230. *NO PRIZES JUST FOR FUN!
Branch Line: Nick Garnham, [email protected]; Subscribe: [email protected]
Fixtures Secretary: Kev Adlam, 53 Kemble Close, Wistaston, CREWE CW2 6XN. [email protected] Twitter: @BLSGeneralSec
General Secretary: Tim Wallis, 10 Sandringham Road, Stoke Gifford, BRISTOL, BS34 8NP. [email protected]
Chairman: John Williamson, 'La Marguerite', Croit-E-Quill Rd., LAXEY, Isle of Man, IM4 7JD. [email protected]
SALES: Mark Gomm, 84 Mornington Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT, ST1 6EL. [email protected] 01782 769960 (daytime).
NEWS TEAM: Wales: Paul Jeffries, 54 Heol Erwin, CARDIFF, CF14 6QR. [email protected]
South East England, East Anglia & Ireland: Julian James, 58 Nelson Road, WORTHING, BN12 6EN. [email protected]
London: Geoff Brockett, 155 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, LONDON, E18 1NA. [email protected]
Midlands & South West England: Brian Schindler, 15 Sudeley, Dosthill, TAMWORTH, B77 1JR. [email protected]
Northern England & Isle of Man: Graeme Jolley, 3 Laurel Cottages, Rencell Hill, LAXEY, Isle of Man, IM4 7BJ. [email protected]
Scotland: Bob Watt, 18 Kilmailing Road, GLASGOW, G44 5UJ. [email protected]
Minor Railways (British Isles): Peter Scott, 93 Josephine Court, Southcote Rd, READING, RG30 2DQ. [email protected]
International: Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ. [email protected]
E-BLN (Distribution problems and for image submission etc): Dave Cromarty, [email protected]
Editor/Head Lines: Paul Stewart, 4 Clarence Close, MALVERN, WR14 3HX. [email protected] 01684 562862 or 07790652351.
Printed by Deva Enterprises, Waters Edge, The Drive, Ifold, LOXWOOD, West Sussex RH14 0TD, tel: 01403 752837, [email protected]
or [email protected] . Published by the Branch Line Society, 10 Sandringham Rd, Stoke Gifford, BRISTOL, BS34 8NP. ISSN 1354-0947