Supplement to BLN 1225 24 January 2015
A seasonal start for this issue in the West of Scotland, where the weather has been less than kind.
Luckily for our photographers, other parts of the country have been a little easier going.
ScotRail has been experiencing severe A recent view towards Priestfield, from 'The
weather related problems (see BLN items Royal' tram stop on the Midland Metro in
203 - 206). Here is one of Britain's most Wolverhampton, of the new facing crossover
remote stations at Rannoch on 14 January which is currently used by all passenger services
2015, the route indicator light showing line to Birmingham whilst the line to Wolverhampton
clear! Courtesy of Network Rail Scotland. St. Georges remains closed for engineering work.
(see BLN item 177 and BLN 1224.20). The
previous crossover, now removed, was north of
the stop – see https://goo.gl/maps/1ONMf
Another location affected by the weather recently was Hooton, on the Wirral. On 18 January
participants waiting at Hooton for our 750V Tracker railtour which had been badly delayed by ice on
the conductor rail and failed trains were treated to the very unusual (if not unique) site of an 18
coach Merseyrail formation running past to Chester and back having rescued a failed train at Rock
Video clip courtesy of Martin Banks: http://goo.gl/v3rqmg
Pontypridd's new third platform, bay P3, on 1 January 2015 looking north. This is a former south bay
which has been extended by narrowing the wide main up platform (once P6). It can hold up to 6
coaches, the new standard for the south Wales valley stations, but with these stop boards currently
takes 4 coaches. It has an unusually long approach line from the south and at present is used by the
05.18 SuX to Barry Island. In a change of plan the Pontypridd platforms were renumbered rather
than calling the new one P0. (see BLN 1211.992).
Above and previous page : The signal box diagrams of the 1960 Stafford No. 4 and the 1952 No. 5
signal boxes, now two of the Uk's busiest manual boxes, taken during our visit of 30 July 2014 (see
BLN item 134). They are expected to close later this year and to be demolished, with control
transferred to Rugby Rail Operations Centre.
The 'very broad gauge' line which carried the coal charging wagon on top of Monckton Coke Ovens,
in Yorkshire near Barnsley. Production at the UKs last independent coke plant ceased on 15
December 2014 after production on the site for over 130 years (BLN item 190). With thanks to Uwe
Niggemeier of Stahlseite Industrial Photography.
Carmuirs Twin Tunnels (where the Forth and Clyde Canal crosses over the railway between Carmuirs
West Jct. and Greenhill Lower Jct.) 'before and afterwards'. First picture: Over Christmas the upper
section of the tunnels were removed to be replaced, over New Year, by a single tunnel (second
picture) with clearance for electrification. See BLN item 200. The tunnel was 'open' between
Christmas and New Year.
UK Railtours ‘The Shropshire Union’ approaching the site of Madeley (Salop) station, on the former
GWR Lightmoor Jct. to Madeley Jct. branch, on 10 January 2015. The station and line had a
passenger service from 1861 to 1915 and briefly in a failed experiment on certain Saturdays during
1925. The bridge abutment beside the train carried the LNWR Hadley Jct. to Coalport branch (CP 2
June 1952, CG 5 December 1960 beyond Dawley & Stirchley, and thence to Hadley Jct. on 6 July
1964) across the GWR line. The train was ‘top and tailed’, the rear loco at this stage being 67026,
and could well be the final railtour in daylight to Ironbridge Power station which is to close this