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Published by membersonly, 2018-04-08 03:21:12

1285

22nd July 2017

Issue Number 1285 (Items 1445 - 1576 I&ssMueRN1u2m2b-eMr 1R216382) (E-BLN 63 PAGES) 22 July 2017

BRANCH LINE NEWS

Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society (founded 1955)
Website: www.branchline.org.uk

Membership Enquiries: [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677
British Isles news from members;7a2n8i6n7te7rnational section is also available.
Opinions herein are not necessarily those of the Compilers or the Society.

BLN 1286 is dated Sat 12 Aug; .MINDSoTciHetEy.3S-oWciEeEtyK. GAP Contributions must be received by 2 Aug

1445] Diamond Jubilee Headboard Charity Auction: Your opportunity to own an attractive piece of
Society history! When our 2015 'Diamond Jubilee' headboard was commissioned, your Committee
agreed it would ultimately be auctioned with proceeds donated to a charity chosen by the Chairman.
Jill Everitt (per back page) will administer this and her decision will be final. The Chairman has chosen
the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway Preservation Society, recognising the close contacts we had with
that group in our early days. Bids are a pledge to make a payment to the W&LRPS of £300, or more
in round units of £10. Please forward bids to Jill by email or post (email heading/envelopes marked
'Headboard Auction'). Confidentiality will be maintained with closure at midday on Mon 7 Aug. The
highest bidder will be notified and given payment instructions ASAP. Headboard delivery is by
arrangement, after sight of a W&LRPS receipt for the amount pledged. Good luck with your bid!

BELOW: Our Diamond Jubilee Headboard during the 2015 AGM at York National Railway Museum
(NRM) on Fri 13 Nov 2015. A random member seems to be enjoying the very special occasion and
glowing with excitement as he walks up the platform to join the LNWR saloon for the afternoon NRM
South Yard railtour. This was followed by the AGM itself then an evening illustrated talk and buffet.

**IMPORTANT**: (BLN 1283.333) Kirkby Green Light railway Sat 22 Jul; although advertised on the
Railway's Facebook page as a 'Public' event this is actually a PRIVATE running day for Masons only.

Date Event and Details BLN Lead Status

Sat 22/7/17 18.00 - 20.30 Loughborough - Mountsorrel FULLY BOOKED 1283 AW FULL

Sat 29/7/17 Signal box visits, Bury St Edmunds & West Anglia area 1283 NG OPEN

27 to 30/7/17 Scottish Minor Railways; Update BLN 1280.931 (Terry Velvick) 1272 TV Enquire

Fri 4 to 5/8/17 Northumberland (Park) Nocturnal Navigator 23.59 - 05.30 1279 KA OPEN

Sun 20/8/17 Yorkshire Minor Railways visits - 09.00 UPDATE BELOW 1284 AS OPEN

Sat 2/9/17 The 565 Special, NW England - SW Wales Update BLN 1281 1280 KA OPEN

Sat 9/9/17 … Greendale Rocket; Heartlands Park/Princess Royal Centre 1282 JE OPEN

Sun 10/9/17 MR Fixture & Sandbach - Alsager railway walk (afternoon) TBA TBA Claimed

Fri 22/9/17 Swindon & Cricklade Railway 12.00 Track & traction tour TBA TBA Claimed

Fri 22/9/17 Guided signal box visit to Liverpool Lime Street 1285 BC OPEN

Sat 23/9/17 Southeastern Metrolander; 07.30 -20.00 with SE Trains 1283 JE OPEN

Thu 28/9/17 South Wales Valley Service Train Tracker III covering new 1285 DC *OPEN*

….*NEW* track installed since Dec 2016 and guided by a local expert *NEW*

Sat 30/9/17 Potential guided signal box visit/s in the Midlands TBA TBA Claimed

7 & 8/10/17 BLS Animal tracker: Minor Railway weekend Beds & Bucks TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 14/10/17 Statfold Barn Railway, Tamworth, BLS private railtour TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 21/10/17 Heaton Park Tramway, Manchester - tour with new track TBA TBA Claimed

Wed 25/10/17 Morning & afternoon guided Ashover Light Railway walks TBA TBA Claimed

17 to 19/11/17 AGM fixtures - Liverpool Area, long weekend with railtour TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 2/12/17 *NEW* Virgin Trains - save the date in your diary TBA TBA Claimed

AS-Alan Sheppard, AW-Andrew Wilson, BC-Barney Clark, DC-David Clark, JE-Jill Everitt, KA-Kev Adlam, NG-Nick Garnham.

1446] BLN 1285: This was posted Fri 21 Jul; e-BLN 1285 went out Friday evening rather than Thursday.

1447] A New BLS Record: Our 15 Jul 'Pickering Paxman' HST tour with EMT and DRS took £1,250 in
raffle ticket sales alone - many thanks to all who donated the excellent prizes (with four different cab
rides included) and to everyone who bought tickets. 100% of this money has gone to Railway Children.

1448] Yorkshire Minor Railways, Sun 29 Aug: At the Wolds Way Lavender Railway (MR p22) the dead
end siding diverging where the old and new alignments split is the 'Hopper Siding'. It has emerged that
the railway is now used again late Jul/Aug to carry harvested lavender, up to three trains a day to the
still. At Cedarbarn Railway (MR p21) extra track above the public run is looking promising. If anyone
else is thinking of booking, please do so to assess demand (limited accommodation) and the number of
runs required. The standard gauge Yorkshire Wolds Railway (MR p9) will be giving rides 11.00-17.00.

1449] Liverpool Lime Street box visit, Fri 22 Sep: Thanks to Barney Clark, expressions of interest are
invited, date confirmed, details to be advised. This unusual 1948 built box has 95 miniature levers and
is due to be demolished with the station remodelling. Maidstone East is the only other NR working box
with miniature levers. BLS members only, limited numbers; an on the day cash charity donation
applies. High-vis orange jacket required. Bookings and queries (note underscore) to Barney at:
[email protected] or write to: 1 Onslow Rd, Richmond, TW10 6QH with two SAEs.

1450] Valley Lines Service Tracker III, Thu 28 Sep: A sequel to our two previous days of rare/new track
in South Wales. Our Publicity Officer, David Clark (who is local and will lead the event), has kindly come
up with an itinerary covering much of the changed and new infrastructure with the Dec 2016 Cardiff
remodelling and resignalling. This is deliberately during clearance work for electrification with unusual
platform alterations (given below). Participants need to buy an 'Explore Cardiff & Valleys' day ranger
which starts at 09.15 (see Connections). The two optional early morning trips require Anytime returns
Cardiff to Taffs Well (£5.20, Senior Railcard £3.45) and Cardiff to Radyr (£3.60, £2.60 Senior Railcard).

Cardiff Central P6 (06.31) - Taffs Well Down platform (06.48/06.53) - Ninian Park - Central P6 (07.20) / P7 (07.57) -
Ninian Park - Radyr P2 (08.10/08.13) - Cathays - Queen Street P3 - Cardiff Central P7 (08.30) / P3 (09.18) - Maesteg
(10.11/16) - via Leckwith and Ninian Park - Central P3A (11.12) / P6 (11.46) - Queen Street P4 - Ystrad Mynach Up
platform (12.21/12.28) - trailing X/O south of station - Queen Street P2 - Central P8 - Penarth (13.17/13.17!!)
[or break at Central] - Central P6 (13.29/51) - Coryton (14.14/15) - Central P8 - Radyr P3 (14.56) / P1 (15.08) -
Queen Street P3 - Central P8 (15.24) / P2 (15.45) - Bridgend (16.04/16.26) - Central P0 (16.47) [break] P1 (18.34) -
Ebbw Vale Town (19.35/19.37) - Line 'C' - Central P2 (20.40) / P8 (21.06) - Penarth (21.20/24) - Central P0 (21.38).

Participants can join the day later or leave earlier and vary their own itinerary as they wish. Queries
and notifications (numbers are needed for ATW) to David at [email protected]
or by post with a BLN sized SAE to: 15 Broadfield Close, Penygraig, Tonypandy, CF40 1SY please.

1285 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart)
1451] Hunterston Jn - Hunterston High Level: (BLN 1262.1605) NRU, the last (GBRf) loaded coal train
left on Sat 8 Apr 2017. The last tour was our 'BLS Hunterston Tracker' on 13 Oct 2012. Nuclear flask
traffic (DRS) continues to operate between Hunterston Low Level and Sellafield and ran on Wed 5 Jul.

1452] Helston Railway, passenger limit (6m 00ch) - Truthall Halt inclusive (7m 00ch) (SW 6536 2971):
(MR p6) (BLN 1271.MR250) ROP Thu 16 Mar 2017; first public alighting and boarding. The halt and the
Helston branch CP 5 Nov 1962. It is a replica of the original (demolished in 1964) on its footprint. Track
extends to the platform end (buffer stop adjacent to the slope) just before the minor road overbridge.

BELOW: Truthall Halt 18 Jun, the end of line/road overbridge is behind the photographer (Press Release).

[BLN 1265]
LEFT: 1961 OS one-inch 7th Series
map. The Prospidnick end of line is
top left, close to the orange arrow;
trains run to Truthall shown as
'Halt'. The branch used to continue
a little beyond Helston (as shown)
which was laid out as a through
station with a view to extending to
Mullion and Lizzard village - some
work was carried out. However,
instead, on 17 Aug 1903 the GWR
introduced what is said to be the
World's first railway operated bus
service on the route.

BELOW THIS PAGE: A promising
looking sign on 13 May 2008.

NEXT PAGE TOP: However, this was
the site of the Halt as on 13 May
2008; looking northwest from the
overbridge. (Both Peter Scott)

BELOW: Practicing shunting signals at Truthall Halt 28 Jun 2017; awaiting departure for Prospidnick.
(Kev Adlam with a little help from Brodie.)

LEFT: View from the brakevan which is
propelled to Truthall Halt, looking south east
towards Helston. (Kev Adlam 28 Jun 2017)

1453] Annbank Jn - Drongan Jn - Killoch
Washery (open cast disposal point): (BLN
1248.13) NRU, on 16 May 2017 the last train
of coal left for Penyfford Cement Works with
66191. The MEA wagon set (also formerly
used for coal from Killoch to Ketton Cement
Works) went to Doncaster for storage.

1454] Penyfford, Padeswood Hall (Hanson)
Cement Works (7m 41ch): NRU since the last
coal train from Killoch arrived 17 May 2017.
Hanson has applied for planning permission
to upgrade the works at a cost of £20M, this
includes a fifth modern cement grinding mill
https://goo.gl/gHqDea (three of the existing four would be mothballed), three 1,000 tonne storage
silos and rail loading facilities with layout alterations. Cement would be dispatched by rail, initially to
Ketton Cement Works and later to King's Cross and Avonmouth terminals. 184,000 tonnes of 'clinker'
(burnt limestone) is now taken to Ketton by road per year with the existing mills at Penyfford working
flat out. 2-4 trains per week are anticipated plus inward coal.

1455] LUL Circle Line and H&C lines, (BLN 1284.1354 amendment) Following the Grenfell Tower fire
near Latimer Road station, the shuttle service between Hammersmith and Wood Lane last ran (all
day) Sat 24 Jun 2017. From start-of-traffic on Sun 25 Jun train services started running empty between
Edgware Road and Hammersmith; from 08.15 they ran in service from Edgware Road to Ladbroke
Grove and ECS to/from Hammersmith. After 09.15 the whole line was open to passenger traffic.

1456] Penrhyn Quarry Railway, Coed-y-parc - St Ann's Hill: (BLN 1271.3224) (MR p30) This 2ft gauge
historical heritage railway (first public rides 24 Jul 2012), latterly operating a regular timetable, has
closed unexpectedly and on 14 Jul announced it is seeking an alternative location. It is reported that
this may be due to vandalism. The last day of timetabled operation was Saturday 24 June 2017. We
enjoyed a very warm welcome and comprehensive visit on 20 Nov 2016 (BLN reference). It looks as if
the three-day 'Fifth Anniversary Gala' from Sat 22 to Mon 24 Jul is cancelled (check if travelling).

1457] Tulse Hill Jn - West Norwood Jn: (BLN 1284.1357) Delete entry, a few Norwood Junction to/
from Victoria or London Bridge Southern operated services call at both Tulse Hill and West Norwood,
otherwise two changes of train are generally required. Normal service ran Saturday 8 Jul (but not 15th).
Thameslink services to/from Brighton that do not stop at either station also continue over the spur.

1458] Bromley Jn - Birkbeck (incl) - Beckenham Junction (excl): (Amending BLN 1284.1357) TCP 29 Jun
2017; normal service (ex-London Bridge) ran on 8 Jul (but not 1st or 15th) and was then booked SO.

1459] Tulse Hill Jn - Leigham Jn, 'Leigham spur': (BLN 1264.1729) TCP 29 Jun 2017 due to the ASLEF
Southern overtime ban causing cancellation of the 10.01 (SSuX) London Bridge to Streatham Hill PSUL.

1460] Scottish Fuels (Certas Energy), Lairg Oil Terminal: (BLN 1280.939) On Wed 5 Jul 2017 a Colas
Class 56 hauled trial oil train ran from Grangemouth Ineos (13.39), reaching Lairg 01.36 next morning.
The 8 discharged tank wagons left at 13.04 that day, reaching Grangemouth 20.55. Previous train DBC,
1 Apr 2017. Reportedly there is now a 30mph restriction for freight trains between Dingwall and Tain
and a 75% maximum fill for each tank wagon due to structural weaknesses on the Far North Line.

1461] South Tynedale Railway, Lintley Halt (exclusive) - Slaggyford station (incl): (BLN 1284.1360)
Work is progressing but it is not now expected to be open on 25 Jul 2017, watch website home page.

ABOVE: Slaggyford looking south towards the level crossing and Alston. (All mid-Jul; Michael Smith,
thanks to Ian Hughes.) BELOW: The double track level crossing is part of the future run-round loop.

ABOVE: The line will extend well north of the station - new water tower is on the right, looking south.

1467] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered

BLN Start (incl) End (incl) Location (exclusive where bracketed) [bold = closed now]

1284.1353 22 May 17 ….TBA *Heald Green North Jn - Heald Green South Jn

1284.1357 29 Jun 17 TBTBA * Bromley Jn - Birkbeck - (Beckenham Junction) booked SO

1282.1132 22 Jul 17 28 Jul 17 *(Banbury) Aynho Jn - Wolvercot Jn (Oxford) with…

1282.1133 22 Jul 17 30 Jul 17 *(Oxford) - Didcot East Jn - Foxhall Jn/Chester Line Jn (Didcot)

1281.1034 8 Jul 17 30 Jul 17 *Miles Platting Jn - Ashton-under-Lyne - Stalybridge Jn

1284.1361 28 Jul 17 ..1 Aug 17 (Redcar Central) - Saltburn [and Boulby branch TCG]

1282.1134 13 Aug 17 21 Aug 17 (Tame Bridge Parkway) - Walsall and Dalston Jn - Pleck Jn

1282.1135 13 Aug 17 28 Aug 17 Walsall (inclusive until 21 Aug only) - (Rugeley Trent Valley)

1283.1247 12 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 Euxton Jn/Crow Nest Jn - (Bolton) - Windsor Bridge N Jn

1284.1363 19 Aug 17 15 Sep 17 *Westerleigh Jn - Wootton Bassett Jn

1284.1363 2 Sep 17 15 Sep 17 *(Filton Abbey Wood)/(Patchway) - (Yate)/Wootton Bassett Jn

1285.1565 30 Sep 17 ..9 Oct 17 *Liverpool Lime St - (St Helens Central)/(St Helens Junction)

1285.1566 30 Sep 17 22 Oct 17 *(Edge Hill) - (Liverpool South Parkway) stations

1276.500 7 Oct 17 16 Oct 17 Welsh's Bridge Jn (Inverness) - (Keith)

1281.1033 11 Jun 17 By Xmas 17 Midland Metro; Wolverhampton St George's - (Priestfield)

1275.365 11 Nov 17 26 Jan 18 Fylde Jn (Preston) - Kirkham North Jn - Blackpool South

1275.366 11 Nov 17 18 Mar 18 Kirkham North Jn - Blackpool North

1222.1799 20 Dec 14 Jan 2018 (London Blackfriars) - (London Bridge) Thameslink work

Entries are in reopening date order unless there is a special reason to do otherwise.

1462] Fort William Oil Terminal: (BLN 1284.1358) Certas Energy has said that as an economy measure
the oil will definitely be going by road after 31 Aug 2017 and for 'contractual reasons' by rail until then.
It is not stated if this applies to the Lairg terminal (item 1460 above) as well, as would seem likely.

1463] Charing Cross (mainline) - Waterloo East (both incl) - London Bridge (only terminal platforms
available for use by passengers) - Edward Street Jn (4m 68ch): (BLN 1284.1376) TCP Sat 26 Aug until
Sat 2 Sep (incl) for Thameslink remodelling. Some SE services run to Waterloo International platforms.

1464] London, Post Office Railway, Mail Rail: (BLN 1283.1246) OP, public demonstration rides at
Mount Pleasant, is deferred until 4 Sep 2017; the rest of the Postal Museum opens 28 Jul as planned.

1465] Liverpool Lime Street (mainline) incl - Edge Hill - Huyton - St Helens Central/St Helens Junction
(both excl) and 11 (total) intermediate stations: TCP Sat 30 Sep until Mon 9 Oct (incl) for remodelling
of Lime Street. Is there any evidence that the four tracking at Huyton might be completed then (it was
due 2017/18)? Services on these lines then run to/from Lime Street P1 & 2 only SSuX 06.00 to 20.00.

1466] Edge Hill (excl) - Liverpool South Parkway (excl), (technically only as far as Allerton West Jn
Signal AN4) Mossley Hill and West Allerton stations: (BLNs 1263.1623 & 1283.1249) TCP is now
expected Sat 30 Sep until Sun 22 Oct 2017 for Liverpool Lime Street remodelling works. (Virgin services
from Liverpool South Parkway P4 to London Euston are booked to run northwest in passenger service
on departure, reverse at Allerton West Jn Signal AN4 and run back southeast non-stop through P3.)

1467] Keeping Track: This item is on the previous page above (the table).

1285 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart)
1468] BLN PERIODIC QUIZ (3) ANSWERS: (BLN 1284.1367) With thanks to our member Robert Green.
1: Our 1986 'Intrinsic Treacle Eater' and 1994 'Devonport Docker' did not reach their intended tour

.titles. The first (suggested as one of the most unusually named tours ever) refers to a folly at Yeovil
.called 'Jack The Treacle Eater' and a nearby village 'Ryme Intrinseca'. It was unable to go to Yeovil
.Junction due to engineering work and the second tour was not allowed in the Docks due to security.
2: Local branch train names: Billy = Hayling Island, Bumper =Tiverton Junction to Tiverton, Dandy =
…..Brampton, Cumbria, Dodger = Dudley to Dudley Port High Level, Birmingham Snow Hill via Swan
…..Village, and perhaps to Old Hill for some trains along the 'Bumble Hole' line and Donkey = Marlow.
3: Aynho was the station for Deddington, Gresford for Llay, West Moors for Ferndown, Ballachulish
…..(Glencoe) for Kinlochleven, Hillington for Sandringham and Penychain for Pwllheli Holiday Camp.
4: North British Railway Glen locomotive No62467 was the first in its class and only one with its name
.(Glenfinnan) spelt as one word - the other 21 in the class (built 1917/20) were spelt as two words.
5: Barnoldswick, Brixham, Methven, Moffat and Uppingham were all branches with no intermediate
.halts or stations. Eye was the odd one out on the list as it had an intermediate stop: Yaxley Halt.
6: The Edmonson Card Ticket was invented by Thomas Edmonson, station-master at Milton (later
…..Brampton) in Cumbria in the 1840s and last used by British Rail at Emerson Park station in 1989.
7: Yarmouth (or Great Yarmouth), South Town - sometimes Southtown (32D), Vauxhall (32E) & Beach
…..(32F) had three passenger stations and three engine sheds with the same suffixes in BR days.
8: Steam locos (BR Nos) 5070 Sir Daniel Gooch, 32331 Beattie, 46256 Sir William A Stanier FRS and
…..60119 Patrick Stirling were all named after BR (or constituent railways') Locomotive Engineers.
9: Gas Turbine powered loco 18000 (Brown-Boveri) was the A1A-A1A loco built into BR ownership; the
.the Co-Co was 18100 (Metro-Vick). [GT3 was not BR owned; the APT-E was a trial multiple unit.]
10:The picture was Emmelshausen DB in Feb 1987; then the Hunsruck Railway terminus from Boppard
…..Central (the steepest adhesion railway in West Germany at 1:16.4) and abandoned on to Semmen.

1469] Points & Slips: ●BLNI 1284] With apologies to our International BLN Editor Paul Griffin, the PDF
document conversion caused the two pictures (that were side by side) at the bottom of p6 to slip
down on to the next page affecting the formatting. A corrected version is included with BLN 1285.
●BLN 1284.1350] The (then) Dart Valley Railway now South Devon Railway ROP 5 Apr 1969, however,
for the first eight seasons there was no station at the main line end (although the location was
referred to by the various names given), the station OP 8 May 1977. ●1351] On the Nene Valley
Railway Ferry Meadows station was so named until the 2015 season then it was shown as
Orton Waterville in the 2016 season printed timetable (first day 7 Feb 2016) with 'For Ferry Meadows'

on the timetable map. The 2016 website timetable retained 'Ferry Meadows'; the station nameboard
was changed on 1 Jan 2017 to 'Overton for Ferry Meadows' and it is 'Overton (Ferry Meadows)' with the
smaller lettering, in the online timetable. However, the current website page 'The Stations' has still not
been updated, even though it has pictures of the new nameboard. Although that 2016 timetable gave
the new names reported in BLN 1268.MR214 for Orton Mere (to be Longville Junction) and
Peterborough (to be Peterborough West), the previous names are still shown on the 2017
website timetable pages while 'The Stations' page gives Orton Mere and Peterborough (Nene Valley),
respectively (and the latter's nameboard reads Peterborough Nene Valley, without the parentheses).
In conclusion it does seem that the three renamings intended for 2016 were not carried out (possibly
due to the cost of amending NR documentation as suggested in BLN 1268) - presumably the 2016
timetable was printed before this decision was made.

●1385] Ditton, Alstom Train Care Centre trackwork and signalling is to be commissioned on 23 July.
●1394] Since the Marylebone to Oxford service began, the proportion of visitors to Bicester Village
Shopping Centre travelling by rail has increased by over 330%, from 3% (when they used Bicester
North and a bus connection) to 10%. Since it OP on 25 Oct 2015, two million passengers have used the
new station ●1407] A member has produced original evidence that Dublin Broadstone - Cattle Bank
Siding (Down line) CA 24 July 1961 (rather than 8 Apr 1961) - does anyone have an equivalent notice
for the Up line? ●1432] It grates with one member that London Midland's on board Automated Annie
announces Leighton Buzzard as Leigh'on Buzzard. It could be worse - your Editor's car Sat Nav works
on word recognition and came out with 'Channel T N L' for 'Channel Tnl' (an abbreviation), 'Swinedon'
for Swindon and 'Reeding' for Reading. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
could be quite interesting. ●X.107] The e-BLN picture of Society photographer, Geoff Plumb, was
taken on our Y Triongl Gogledd Cymru tour.

Do you recognise this unusual station and what is unusual about it…..?

1470] Please Resume Your Seats (2): (BLN 1284.1368): A member once travelled on the same train
twice discontinuously. Working for 'InterCity Great Western' he had to visit several of its stations but
only needed around 10-15 minutes at each. Having done his duty at Bristol Parkway, he departed on a
Regional Railways Pacer to Temple Meads. He then proceeded westwards to Weston-Super-Mare on
an HST, where he crossed over the footbridge to re-join the Pacer he had previously been on to travel
on to Taunton. For some odd reason, the HST was then non-stop from Weston to Tiverton Parkway.

A correspondent recalls a location where this action was compulsory for very many years. On the
Narrow Gauge line from San Sebastian (Spain) to Hendaye (France) passengers had to leave the train
on arrival in Irún station at a platform divided by a fence across and enter a customs hall building,
exiting again at a different door beyond the fence. While they did this the train pulled forward past the
fence. For the dedicated, the front seating bay on arrival and the rear on departure would probably
just about achieve track overlap on most trains. The most surprising feature, given that this was a
Customs requirement (for exiting Spain), was that passengers could leave their baggage on the train!

ABOVE: The border station which our photographer has labelled as 'Hendaya (FR)' rather than 'Irún',
although it was actually between the two (unsurprisingly!), with an EMU. Our photographer also thinks
the rigmarole was for immigration rather than customs. (Angus McDougall 18 Mar 1989)

1471] May 2018 Timetable: Exciting changes are in prospect (not guaranteed some may make it):

ATW: Faster north/south journeys, Valley lines enhancements, Fishguard line review and new stock.

TPE: Increased use of Ordsall Chord avoiding crossing moves at Manchester Piccadilly. Liverpool to
Scarborough service via Chat Moss and Victoria; Airport to Newcastle and Middlesbrough services via
Ordsall Chord and Victoria. Half-hourly Liverpool to Victoria and Airport to Victoria services will form
an accelerated 4 trains per hour (tph) service between Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds and York. These
continue to: Scarborough (1) and Middlesbrough (1) and the other two to Newcastle. Semi-fast trains:
Piccadilly to Hull and Piccadilly to Leeds serve stations between Stalybridge and Leeds. TPE Scottish
trains accelerated and all via Bolton (northbound pick up, southbound set down and peak not calling).
Standardised 'seven day service' over TPE network with earlier, later and additional weekend services.
Extra stations to be TPE served include Batley, Cottingley, Deighton, Greenfield, Marsden, Mirfield,
Morley, Mossley, Newton-le-Willows, Ravensthorpe, Slaithwaite and either Lea Green or St Helens
Junction. Northallerton: Improved timings. Motherwell: Service doubles. Scarborough: Connections
for a 09.00 London arrival. Thornaby and Middlesbrough: James Cook Hospital - better connections.

Northern: Significant timetable changes with Bolton electrification and DMUs released by GWR.

Grand Central: Changes due to the Thameslink timetable; accelerated services (better paths from
changing the train running order). Class 180s only (some 10 cars) two extra services, changes to calls.

GWR: Paddington to Hayes terminators (and Heathrow Connect) locals withdrawn, the latter taken
over by Crossrail. Overnight stabling required at Paddington station (IEP, HST, Class 387 and Turbos).
IEPs in service, initially replacing HSTs in HST timings. London to Didcot suburban services: Class 387
EMUs (from Dec 17 or Jan 18); Swindon Cocklebury EMU stabling facility may be ready. Paddington to
Oxford fast services and beyond: IEPs, HSTs and Turbos. Reading to Gatwick 2tph (possibly from Dec
2017) plus 1tph Reading to Redhill local service. Turbos on Bristol regional services and Reading to
Basingstoke / Bedwyn; Didcot to Oxford / Banbury and Worcester locals. Class 15xs move to Exeter
where temporary stabling may be needed (and at Portsmouth) while Exeter depot is upgraded.

ScotRail: More 3 and 4 car Class 385 EMUs in use. Some Class 170 diagrams replaced by HSTs (two
power cars & four coaches) initially Edinburgh to Aberdeen/Inverurie. Class 385 EMUs introduced on
Glasgow Central south services. Edinburgh to Dunblane: accelerated from Class 2 to Class 1 (non-stop
Falkirk Grahamston - Edinburgh Park). Some Glasgow to Stirling/Dunblane services extend to Dundee
(Class 170s). With Greenhill Upper Jn - Polmont Jn electrification Queen St HL - Cumbernauld - Falkirk
Grahamston trains are to be Class 385 EMUs, 2tph and extended to Edinburgh calling at all stations.

Crossrail: Takes over Paddington to Heathrow T4 service using new Class 345 EMUs, ECS workings
between Old Oak Common Crossrail Depot and Shenfield Carriage Sidings via the central tunnel.

Hull Trains: Additional London King's Cross train in each direction SSuO and a further Up train (SO).
Greater Anglia: An Intercity set stables at Harwich International to make room at Crown Point for
new EMUs, which have test paths (SSuX) Norwich - Colchester. All Liverpool Street to Cambridge
services run to Cambridge North. Retiming to accommodate Thameslink. Hertford East services cease
serving Edmonton Green (4 Up and 5 Down SSuX) as peak trains are lengthened to 12-cars (if platform
extensions and signalling are ready). Off peak SSuX Cambridge - Stansted Airport service runs all day.
More summer dated SSuO Norwich to Yarmouth and Lowestoft plus London to Norwich services.

BELOW: Cambridge North, looking north towards Ely (lines on the right), Bay P3 on the left,
note that the station is built to take 12-car trains. (John Cameron 17 Jun 2017)

CrossCountry: Pending; bid an extra service in each direction (SuX): New Street - Exeter St David's,
Derby - Leeds (two Leeds - Derby), Sheffield - Leeds and Edinburgh - Newcastle. Manchester - Bristol
service extended to/from Exeter with compensating adjustments to other peripheral services/stock.

London Overground: North London Line: Off peak (including weekends) increased by 2tph to 8tph
to Stratford, 4tph from Clapham Junction also from Richmond (every 15 mins instead of 10/20 minute
frequency). Basically the Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction trains are extended to Stratford.
Peak service 10tph (every 6 mins from Stratford) half to each terminus. Adjustments for Thameslink.

Thameslink: Complete timetable recast with 20tph through the central core (24tph from Dec 2018).
Southeastern: Off peak recast to accommodate new Thameslink services in the area (peak as now
adjusted). HS1: Peak/shoulder peak HS1 train strengthening, which requires curtailment of trains
running beyond HS1 itself (any losses will be covered by other services).

1285 EAST MIDLANDS (John Cameron)
1472] Cleethorpes: Improvements are expected on the TPE services to Manchester Airport from the
December timetable change with more through trains (despite fears with the construction of bay P0 at
Doncaster) and earlier Sunday services. The seating capacity per train is to double with stock cascading
to the line as new TPE trains are introduced elsewhere. Doncaster P0 is mainly used by Hull line trains.

1473] Immingham: The DBC depot has closed with work transferred to Doncaster 'Humberside Hub'.
The final working on Sat 1 Jul was the 12.16 Rectory Jn to Lindsey Oil Refinery discharged oil tanks.

1474] North Lincolnshire: £15.5M has been secured from North Lincolnshire Council, Humber Local
Enterprise Partnership and NR for gauge enhancements between Killingholme, Immingham and
Doncaster by Jan 2019. Currently only standard containers can be accommodated but by 2020, more
than 50% of containers arriving at UK ports for onward rail transport will be the 'high cube' type.

1475] Retford: Doncaster Council, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Doncaster
Sheffield Airport have commissioned a study aimed to be completed by the end of the year to explore
the case for an airport rail link from the ECML (the airport is nearer the Doncaster to Lincoln line).

1476] Sleaford: On 30 Jun, NR engineers had to operate Sleaford West crossing gates by hand after the
mechanism failed, blocking the road for some hours. On 3 Jul a temporary station footbridge opened
(a correspondent ticked it off on 5th) while the permanent one is being refurbished (BLN 1284.1370).

1477] Ilkeston: Passenger figures are way ahead of expectations with 30,000 journeys made in just
three months (ROP 2 Apr 2017). A day of commemorative events and celebrations was held on 13 Jul.

1478] Hucknall: NR has installed local heritage murals (depicting coal mining, framework knitting etc)
on Station Road bridge. They were removed from derelict shops which were due to be demolished.
The bridge re-opened last year after being shut for six months for rebuilding and strengthening.

1479] Market Harborough: (BLN 1284.1371) The station car park is at track level and does not flood;
the car park which floods is a competitor, on the opposite side of Rockingham Road near the river.
The new eastern car park access will be adapted from the road to the former Midland Railway goods
yard; currently to a concrete batching plant. The surviving Midland goods shed will be demolished,
imminently. There are reported to be at least eight Midland style hooped yard lamps standing.

1480] Wellingborough: (BLN 1279.848) The Little R'Ale House on P1 won the local Civic Society's
prestigious 'Building of the Year' award on 30 Jun. This annual award is for a newly-restored building
incorporating architectural integrity, a community project of benefit to the entire town, or both.

1481] (The Great) Catesby Tunnel: (BLN 1222.1792) Planning permission has been granted to convert
this ex-Great Central Railway main line double track Northamptonshire tunnel near Daventry into a
motor vehicle testing https://goo.gl/VDn1oQ and development facility. This should take about
18 months and it could be open in 2019. The 1.7 mile tunnel is dead straight with generous clearances,
ventilation shafts and a gradient of only 1:176. Speeds of 100mph will be possible by road vehicles
under test. Https://goo.gl/MTs7UC has an incredible amount of interesting information about it.
OG 15 Jul 1898; OP 15 Mar 1899 & CA 3 Sep 1966 (Rugby Central to Calvert Jn), it was planned as a
cutting and a tunnel was built only to hide the trains at the insistence of a prominent local landowner.

1482] Coalville line: The 'Burton Mail' recently had an article about 1980s plans for the line to ROP
(CP 7 Sep 1964). On 6 Jun 1986 a special 'Sprinter' train ran for VIPs to promote this. Guests included a
delegation of County and District Councillors, part of Leicestershire County Council's feasibility study.
They feared that the plans were unviable, as the cost to bring the line up to passenger standard and to
build new stations was already more than £2M (!). Expensive problems included subsidence (roller
coaster like) and poor track. These meant the train could only crawl, rather than sprint, along for most
of the journey. BR believed it could begin passenger services within two years subject to finance but
warned that the line would not make money and the work would only be carried out and trains
provided if costs were underwritten by the local authorities. Sadly the plans all went for a Burton.

1285 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett)
X.108] Gunning for rare track: (BLN 1284.1374) A late
running District Line train for Richmond turns back in
Gunnersbury Westbound/P1 via the trailing crossover
north of the station on departure ('D' for District?).
The man was off to casualty to have that nasty foreign
body removed from his left ear. (James Beal 23 Jun)

1483] Northumberland Park: (Greater Anglia station) From 1 Jul the level crossing at the station was
closed. The existing footbridge will be rebuilt with ramps to make it fully accessible.

1484] White Hart Lane: (BLN 1267.2048) Taylor Woodrow has been awarded the contract to design
and rebuild the station, with work expected to be complete by spring 2019.

1485] Bank: (BLN 1248.49) The new section of Northern Line southbound tunnel will be about 650m
long. The two Northern Line tunnels are 0.7m to 1.0m apart in the area, connection of the deviation to
the existing tunnel is not possible without closing the other line as well, although most tunnelling and
signal work can be completed before the closure. For 40 days in April and May 2020 there will be no
trains between Moorgate and Kennington! Then for 77 days from May to Aug 2020 northbound trains
will not stop at Bank and there will be no southbound service between Moorgate and Kennington.

1486] Crossrail: (BLN 1283.1263] (1) GEML: Stations are having all four platforms extended, with

nosings and surfacing not started except where work is noted as nearly complete. Progress on 11 Jul:

●Stratford: No work needed. ●Goodmayes: Down end.

●Maryland: Bridges both ends; SDO* will be used. ●Chadwell Heath & Romford: Up end almost done.

●Forest Gate & Manor Park: No work done. ●Gidea Park & Harold Wood: Down End.

●Ilford: Up end. ●Brentwood: (Outside London) Shenfield end.

●Seven Kings: No work. (*Selective Door Opening)

The first public use of the new Class 345 Elizabeth Line EMUs was on 22 Jun, initially running as 7 car
sets which will be increased to 9 when Liverpool Street P16 & 17 are lengthened (losing P18) in 2019.

(2) Heathrow: Heathrow Airport Ltd has agreed that from Dec 2019 2tph can operate to Terminal 5,
with a joint feasibility study underway to look at increasing this to 4tph. This is in addition to the 4tph
to Terminal 4 already agreed (a total of at least 22tph between Central London and Heathrow each
way with the 6 on the Elizabeth Line). From May 2018 Heathrow stations will be part of the Oyster and
contactless card scheme, including availability on Heathrow Express (for those with enough credit!).

(3) General: Https://goo.gl/GqsGZC has photos of construction work in the main/Connaught tunnels.

BELOW: The exterior of (since 12 May 1980) Queenstown Road (Battersea). (Geoff Brocket 13 Jun 2017)

1487] Euston: (BLN 1275.387) The first major closure for HS2 preparatory work will take place over the
weekend of 26/27 Aug, with NR also carrying out other work between there and Watford Junction.
As a result TOCs using Euston will be affected as follows:
Caledonian Sleeper: Diverted via ECML to King's Cross.
Virgin Trains: Suspended south of Milton Keynes Central.
London Midland: Suspended south of Hemel Hempstead on 26th and Milton Keynes on 27th.
Southern: Suspended north of Shepherd's Bush on 26th and Clapham Junction on 27th.
London Overground: Suspended between Euston and Watford Junction.

1488] London Overground: Services between Dalston Junction and New Cross Gate will operate
overnight on Friday and Saturday nights from December, with an extension to Highbury & Islington
next year. Whitechapel will not be served until Sep 2018 because of Crossrail works. South Acton
ticket machine was recently found to sell various rovers, including All Line and Kent Rovers! It also sells
outbound tickets from zonal boundaries and London stations, but not Travelcards beyond Zone 6.

1489] Southern ASLEF Overtime Ban: (BLN 1284.1357) Although cancelled on 1 Jul, the first Saturday
of the ban, the London Bridge - Beckenham Junction service did operate normally on the 8th but not
on 15th. The Bromley Jn to Beckenham Junction service is therefore booked SO with trains (as opposed
to trams) at Birkbeck. Other effects of the dispute include withdrawal of Victoria to Epsom Downs via
Mitcham Junction trains SSuX, plus peak hour services to Guildford and Wimbledon. (SSuX) West
London Line services are reduced to peak only, mainly Clapham Junction to Watford Junction.

X.109] BELOW: Rebuilding work taking place to remodel the access to the former International
platforms on the right from the concourse at London Waterloo. (Geoff Brockett 13 Jun 2017)

1490] Waterloo: (BLN 1284.1377) Although timetables have been published for the service between
5 and 28 Aug based on the non-availability of P1-9, it seems that P10 and the Down Main Fast as far as
the West Crossings will also have to be included within the possession, so further amendments will be
needed. ECS workings have been operating in and out of the former International platforms,
presumably for route learning. 'The Railway Observer' reports shocking news that Linford Street Jn to
Nine Elms Jn had been unavailable to electric trains as a result of a track paralleling hut having been
struck by lightning. Southeastern route-learning EMUs have started using this route to Waterloo in
preparation for diversions from 29 Aug. Those on 11 Jul were shown on RTT as using Waterloo P21.

1491] Music to your ears: There is a
vividly decorated (flowers theme) piano
on Thornton Heath Platform 3. LEFT:
Christopher Hilton https://goo.gl/7vakxb

1492] Paddington: (BLN 1284.1373)
A note in the Weekly Operating Notice
dated 10 Jul states that Royal Oak
sidings (on the Down side outside the
station) are out of use.

1493] ….And Finally: A notice at New
Cross Gate: In morning peak hours,
trains from New Cross Gate via Canada
Water are extremely busy. London
Overground run quieter northbound
services starting from nearby New Cross
station. Do they make sure that all their
noisy trains are allocated elsewhere?

1285 NORTH EAST (Geoff Blyth)

1494] Hartlepool - final answer: (BLN 1284.1378) The bay was renumbered to P1 and the Down
through platform to P2 with effect from 15 Nov 2010 when the line was resignalled under the control
of Ryhope Grange signal box (per Signalling Notice NR/LNE/22). However, while that notice shows that
signal NS7117 south of the platforms controlling entrance to the station has a route indication for both
of these routes, it does not say what each indication is! To be precise our member thinks it is more
accurate to say that from the 2010 resignalling the Bay was numbered. He believes that previously it
had been un-numbered and just called the 'South Bay'. The Down through platform was formerly P1.
So it looks like the station information screens were incorrectly programmed in 2010 and perhaps the
lack of numbers on the platforms now is seen as a cheap fix rather than costly reprogramming? The
latest Sectional Appendix (19 Mar 2016) actually sits on the fence - no platform numbers are shown.

ABOVE: A motley pool of BLS hearty characters at what we can now say with some certainly is
Hartlepool bay P1 on Sun 25 Jun after our AV Dawson railtours at Middlesbrough. (Jim Sellens)

X.110] BELOW: Jarrow Oil Terminal, a Class 60 (far end in the distance) on an oil train from Lindsey oil
refinery, 10 May 2017 (Ian Hughes). Rail traffic resumed on 9 May 2016, the first since 17 Feb 2015;
the traffic had temporarily been lost to coastal shipping in the interim.

1285 NORTH WEST (Graeme Jolley)
1495] Liverpool Lime Street: (see Head Lines) Work during the first total (later partial) closure starting
30 Sep is part of remodelling. This includes two new platforms, lengthening and widening of existing
ones to allow 22 trains, some longer, an hour to run (three more than now). New OLE will be installed
and track relayed. There is another total closure next year. From May 2019 TPE are due to run through
trains to Scotland. Four new retail units including a supermarket are being built at Lime Street too.

1496] Metrolink: On 24 & 25 Jun there was all day engineering work just north of Victoria stop with
the lines closed (with the usual notice of less than two days). Rochdale services ran to Monsall
(ECS shunt beyond) and Bury (SO) turned back at Abraham Moss (ECS shunt beyond via the depot,
no Sunday service). Shudehill and Market Street were closed. Of interest East Didsbury services took
the Second City Crossing as usual but terminated at Exchange Square returning south over the trailing
crossover south of that stop in passenger service. This is thought to be the first time this had happened
and was notified in advance via 'Gensheet'. Previously it had been used by ECS in the opposite
direction when Exchange Square was a temporary terminus from the Victoria end. Helpful Metrolink
personnel redirected passengers who didn't believe the messages that the line was closed beyond!

A member noted the display showing the next tram as to Victoria but the staff were quick to reassure
that nothing had, or would, run north and it was a system quirk. When asked where he wanted to go,
your reporter advised that he had come for the crossover and was told quite a few others had too!

On Sat 24 Jun a member at Altrincham noticed that during the reduced frequency with trams running
only to Piccadilly/Etihad Campus, they were all using the left hand 'Inbound' line, looking north, from/
to Navigation Road bidirectionally. Is this a common move or does it require a special arrangement?
(TRACKmaps Aug 2013 shows the lines concerned as unidirectional.) On Tue 20 Jun, with higher
frequency, trams were taking the Outbound and Inbound lines as usual (left hand running).

X.111] Bolton: BELOW TOP: An unusual view of P5 under construction on 1 May from Trinity St bridge
looking towards Manchester. Its coping stones had been removed to (pointedly) be replaced by higher
and sharper (!) ones for electrification. BELOW LOWER: 2 Jul, from the south, again P5. (Graeme Jolley)



1497] Rochdale: There were many Northern service cancellations and alterations generally from
8-10 Jul due to industrial action. Of interest on 10 Jul, an hourly service ran from Manchester Victoria
between 07.30 and 18.30 to Rochdale turning back in the new bay P4. An hourly service from Leeds
also turned back at Rochdale - some using bay P2 at the other end of the station. The two services
connected quite well, 12 minutes towards Leeds and 8 minutes towards Manchester. Additionally it
was possible to provide an hourly service from Manchester as far as Todmorden.

1498] Ashton-Under-Lyne: (BLN 1281 1034) During the 'Lyne' closure from 8 to 30 Jul the bridge over
Turners Lane (itself closed to all road and foot traffic for 16 weeks from 13 May) by the station is being
rebuilt, working round the clock. Two miles of track are being relaid and realigned for faster running.
1499] Blackpool North: (BLN 1283.1285) By 1 Jul the track in P7 & 8 had been completely lifted as had
the Down siding and Carriage Sidings 1 & 2 between the Down Main and carriage washer line.
A member recalls one of our tours that went into P8 some years ago and did at least the Up Fast at
Kirkham & Wesham - does anyone have date and details please? Back to 1 Jul 2017, on the Blackpool
North line most bases for electrification are installed and some masts - the latter apparently randomly.

1285 SOUTH EAST - NORTH (& EAST ANGLIA) (Julian James)
1500] March in August: March to Peterborough is closed over the Bank Holiday (26-28 Aug). The only
passenger trains north of Ely are the two-hourly Greater Anglia services from Ipswich with 50 minutes
turnaround at March. East Midlands Trains (mostly non-stop through March) and CrossCountry
(all trains call) are operating only as far as Ely from Norwich and Stansted Airport respectively. March
P2 is bidirectional; using the facing crossover from the south is a signalled move, so the crossover is
expected to be used in service to arrive in P2, but no arrival platform is shown in the system for the
moves (it may not be programmed to allow arrivals from the south in to P2). Reports please!

1501] Baring Berney Arms: (BLN 1284.1388) The team behind the Berney Arms Inn Community Pub,
(claimed to be Norfolk's most rural pub), wish to buy it from its original owner after he bought it back
when it was withdrawn from auction. They also wish to buy surrounding land and moorings. The group
is aware that a café has opened on site and is managing the moorings but is unconnected with it.

1502] Southend Victoria: The overhead electrification equipment on the branch is being renewed.
So far the visible effect is the installation of new masts of the type in use on the Great Western Main
Line, many substantially heavier than those they will replace but at broadly the same centres and close
to existing masts, with greater clearance to the tracks. Conversely, between Shenfield and Stratford
renewal or upgrade of OLE has predominantly involved reuse of existing masts and portals. Progress
appears haphazard. However new equipment on the Southend loop (at Shenfield) has advanced
further and is already in use, mostly using the existing masts. Service suspension on the line, and the
Southminster branch, has resulted in the last through departure on Mon to Thur being the 21.35 from
Liverpool Street and the 21.30 from Southend Victoria. This applies from 22 May 'until December'.

1503] Tilbury: (BLN 1273.142) The Port of Tilbury unveiled plans to reinvigorate its rail facilities
(CG 7 Jan 2017) at the Rail Freight Group conference (80 industry delegates) at Orsett Hall, Thurrock,
on 28 Jun. There are three rail terminals in the port and the Essex Thameside rail corridor already
accounts for about 10% of the UK's rail freight traffic. The Asset Manager for the London Container
Terminal, Tilbury, predicted a major uplift in bulk and intermodal movements. With commercial
partners, the port is seeking to introduce regular intermodal services to the Midlands and Scotland and
create a dedicated bulk terminal with a rail connection into a new 62 hectare deep water port
terminal, 'Tilbury2'. The Commercial Director, Port of Tilbury, said: We are underway with a major
overhaul of our rail offering. This year, the port took possession of the Freightliner operated rail
terminal and we have reconfigured the site to create a first for Tilbury, a dedicated bulk materials rail
terminal. Initially, the port will be establishing regular movements of recycling glass to Cheshire
[Presumably Encirc Glass at Elton - Ed?] and other UK locations. In time, we hope to grow the port's rail
freight offering across a range of bulk materials, with associated growth in rail movements.

[BLN 1285]
1504] Winslow: A planning proposal for a station (on East West Rail) was to be considered on 28 Jun.
Aylesbury Vale District Council's development planning committee had recommended agreeing to the
proposal provided it meets certain conditions. These include a clear plan for parking, a drainage
scheme and a whole life maintenance plan. The station would be built on the north western edge of
Winslow, about 0.6km to the north-west of the centre of the village, accessible from Buckingham Rd.

1505] Appleford: (BLN 1281.1059) From 16 Jul to 10 Sep Appleford level crossing (54m 53ch) is closed
to road traffic to permit renewal of four sets of points in two pairs. The level crossing is sited between
a trailing crossover and the access to the Hanson branch south of the station. This runs about 600m
west of the line. The barriers have been secured in the down position for the passage of trains.

1506] Reading: (BLN 1282.1175) From about 14.00 on Sat 16 Sep and all day on Sun 17th, the station
loses almost all trains with bus replacements. This is due to OLE being energised in the station area.
SWT and GWR services from the Guildford direction will run. There will be hourly services between
Paddington and Swansea and Paddington and the West Country, in both cases via West Ealing,
High Wycombe, Bicester Village, Oxford Parkway, Didcot North Jn to Foxhall Jn curve, Bath Spa and
Bristol Temple Meads.

Other services to Bristol TM, Worcester/Hereford and Banbury start and terminate at Didcot Parkway
while Cheltenham Spa services run to Swindon. Of note trains from Newbury etc turn back at Theale
with bus connections to/from Reading. When this happened during the Reading station rebuilding
they used a specially constructed platform (P3), still in situ, with easier bus access, on the bidirectional
Theale Goods Loop and the west crossover (42m 08ch) on departure. Is this expected to happen again,
as would seem likely, (platform numbers are not shown on RTT etc)?

1507] Twyford: Overhead line equipment has been installed above the Relief lines through the station
area (Up Relief seen, Down Relief checked at the station when our correspondent's Down stopper
paused). The Up Relief (at least) canopy has been hacked back, but the London end trailing crossover
was not wired and there is no wire run off onto the Henley-on-Thames branch.

1508] Hertford North - Stevenage: Bus substitution for this service from the start of the May 2018
timetable remains an option due to lack of paths for turning back the Moorgate trains at Stevenage or
Letchworth then. This will be until further notice or a fifth platform is provided at Stevenage. Needless
to say it has caused a good deal of concern locally as a useful local link would be degraded even
though few probably travel all the way to Moorgate. The line will remain open (probably with a few
trains to retain route knowledge and avoid closure procedures). It is a useful ECML diversionary route.

1285 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James)
We would be pleased to receive more contributions for this area Hampshire, IOW, Kent, Surrey & Sussex

1509] Folkestone Harbour: (BLN 1284.1395) After Sealink was sold the railway leased the station; the
conditions included that the lease would end if trains ceased running. A special train was occasionally
run to meet this requirement. BLN 1156.267 noted such a working by a loco and van on 24 Feb 2012,
possibly the last. This was why BR and successors were always prepared to accept special trains after
regular boat trains ceased. To expand on BLN 1284, the ORR closure ratification notice of 31 Jul 2014
required the operator of Folkestone Harbour station to display the closure notice there for 4 weeks
following that date. The operators of other stations in the area affected by the closure - Sandling
Central, Folkestone West and Central - were similarly required to display the notice for the 4 weeks.

BELOW: A slightly weather-beaten closure notice on display at Folkestone Harbour station in 2014.
(Press release)

FOLLOWING PAGE TOP: Billingshurst signal box in its original location. (Angus McDougall 23 Aug 1998)



1510] Billingshurst: The 1876 built Grade II listed signal box (closed 17 Mar 2014 with the Arun Valley
resignalling) has been removed to the Amberley Museum. There it has been erected adjacent to the
track at the west end of the intermediate station. By 9 Jul external reconstruction was complete
including glazing and roof covering. The box is wood and has been painted in green and cream; the
condition of the wood components appearing very good. Scaffolding was still up around all four sides.

1511] Alton - Fareham: Winchester City Council is considering a planning application to fill in Vinnells
Lane overbridge on the Meon Valley line formation north of West Meon tunnel, itself north of West
Meon station. It is already partially infilled; the reason is to support the road long term with concrete.

1285 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon)
1512] Bruton: The signal box has been nicely restored as offices; further down Station Road, a newish
office block built in a similar architectural style has a semaphore signal and associated lever.

1513] Newquay: For the 2017 'Boardmasters' events HSTs (instead of DMUs) run on the branch via Par
P3 from 9 until 11 Aug inclusive and do not call intermediately (details not yet in RTT as at 21 Jul):
●08.14 Plymouth-Newquay. ●10.28 Newquay-Par. ●11.40 Par-Newquay. ●12.50 Newquay-Plymouth.
●15.32 Plymouth-Newquay. ●17.28 Newquay-Par. ●18.57 Par-Newquay. ●20.01 Newquay-Plymouth.
On Mon 14 Aug: ●08.47 Newquay to Par, ●10.22 Par to Newquay and ●11.24 Newquay to Plymouth
are HST additional trains (the regular 150/153 DMU also operates as booked).

The 09.06 (SSuX until 1 Sep) Paddington-Newquay and 15.06 return is an HST. The rare Penzance-end
Par connection and crossover (281m 79ch) is used by the 12.40 (SSuX) Newquay-Penzance DMU (until
1 Sep; check 9-11 Aug). On summer Saturdays until 9 Sep, Newquay has arrivals at 09.08 (XC) from

[BLN 1285]
Plymouth, 10.47 (HST) Par, 12.44 Exeter St David's (DMU), 14.31 Manchester, 16.47 (HST) Paddington,
18.39 Dundee & 20.40 (DMU) Par. Departures: 09.35 to Dundee, 11.30 (HST) Paddington, 13.23 (DMU)
Plymouth, 15.39 Manchester, 17.26 (HST) Paddington, 19.00 (XC) Plymouth & 20.45 (DMU) Plymouth.

St James Park 09.01 11.01 14.27 16.29 1514] Okehampton branch: (BLN 1284.1398)

Exeter Central 09.04 11.04 14.30 16.32 The original summer dated Sunday service was

Exeter St David's 09.08 11.09 14.35 16.37 reinstated from Sun 9 Jul (LEFT). The last day of
Crediton 09.18 11.19 14.49 16.47 operation this year is Sun 10 Sep. There is a
Sampford Courtenay 09.42 11.43 15.13 17.11 speed restriction of 25mph on all minor
Okehampton 09.52 11.51 15.20 17.19 railways (regardless of status, light railway
Okehampton 09.55 12.12 15.23 17.59 order etc); above this an operator needs a
Sampford Courtenay 10.02 12.19 15.30 18.07 safety certificate issued by the ORR and
Crediton 10.25 12.42 15.54 18.30 renewed every five years. The Dartmoor
Exeter St David's 10.35 12.58 16.08 18.41 Railway's certificate https://goo.gl/HAC2TL
Exeter Central 10.39 13.02 16.13 ---- was renewed on 3 Jul, allowing speeds of up to
St James Park 10.41 13.04 16.16 ---- 55mph on the branch. The day return from
Okehampton to Exeter stations or vice versa is

only £5.20 (railcard £3.45); very good value for up to 53 miles of rail travel. This year there are no

associated bus services and no Dartmoor Sunday Rover ticket available. Publicity and support for these

trains will help the campaign for a regular public service to be operated on the line.

1515] Severn Beach: (BLN 1284.1400) Originally listed in the 1963 Beeching report for closure, from
3 Jul, three class 166 turbo DMUs (ex-Reading) began operating Bristol Temple Meads peak trains
(but no further at first). This brings regular air conditioned services to the branch for the first time, part
of plans to increase capacity by 35%. Unfortunately there have been many Bristol area GWR train
cancellations generally since, blamed on units requiring maintenance above the scheduled level.

1516] Bristol, Portway: (BLN 1265.1865) Plans approved at the first meeting of the West of England
Joint committee included £2.2M towards this new single-platform station on the Severn Beach line.
An 830 space car park opened in April 2002 (and was expanded in 2008) which is currently bus served.
The Park & Ride station was first proposed in 2009 and approved in Oct 2012 when it was anticipated
it would open within a year! A further £400k funding is required for work to begin on the project.

1517] Bristol TM: The P13 & 15 (there is no P14!) south ramp was demolished in overnight work over
the last week of Jun/first week of Jul. They are being lengthened to take IEPs (some are longer than
HSTs) and are closed on the respective Sundays. NR says that plans are still in place to build new
platforms in the old Passenger Shed (Brunel's original station extension) but cannot give a start date!

1518] Bristol Parkway - Nailed*? (BLN 1284.1363) NR has announced locally that the 'soil nailing'
(installing reinforced bars into the embankment and grouting them into place) stabilisation works
carried out by a contractor, have 'failed'. Long post wall structure supports will now be used from
111m 15ch to 112m 5ch and on part of Filton East Curve. NR has warned locals that this will be noisy
and cause vibration but is mostly planned for daytime mid-Jul to Dec.

Separately track renewal continues, with initial preparation on Saturday nights, and installation during
the various line closures from 00.30 Sat 2 Sep until 23.59 Fri 15 Sep 2017, also from 00.01 Sat 11 Nov
until 04.45 Mon 13 Nov. Follow-up works on Sat/Sun nights (generally 23.45 to 08.00) continue until
24 Dec 2017. The 2-15 Sep blockade will also be used for overhead line works, with piling to create
foundations, attaching masts and securing metal supports to these. Further east there is a major
drainage scheme. More work will be undertaken on later weekends.

[*It could be worse; when it comes to electrification, Bristol Temple Meads has been screwed.]

X.112] NEXT PAGE TOP: NR measurement train at Penzance (Martin Crompton Wed 14 Jun 2017).

1519] Bath: Bath & North East Somerset Council is to undertake a preliminary study within the current
financial year, into the feasibility of some form of light rail/tram system. Although not part of the local
authority's adopted transport strategy the Council has said that it keeps an open mind on suggestions
to improve transport. Existing policies, including more park & ride facilities, have met with opposition.

1285 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler)
1520] Caught out on the Lickey Incline: Connected with electrification work, from 17 Jul the two OOU
catch points on the Up Gloucester line, one at 53m 65ch and the other at 55m 03ch, were recovered.

1521] Worcestershire Parkway: (BLN 1275.429) Site clearance work has been progressing very slowly
(including Great Crested Newts and slow worms - they don't hurry themselves) since early April.
Drainage and fencing work as well as creation of access and a works compound is included. This is all
focused on the northeast triangle of where the Worcester to Oxford line crosses over the Birmingham
to Gloucester railway at right angles. The site is visible from trains on both lines. The inevitable newt
fencing can be seen; it is not clear if this is sponsored by the newt removal companies to prevent them
escaping or by those paying for their removal to prevent more arriving for the 'free' transport.

1522] Kidderminster: With the Aug 2012 resignalling, the Down Kidderminster Goods Loop as it was
renamed, was lengthened, realigned slightly and became bidirectional at the north end. This gave a
second option (additional to the Up side Kidderminster Turnback Siding†) for terminating trains from
Birmingham (etc) to turnback ECS and stable as necessary. The first passenger train to use the revised
loop is believed to have been Pathfinder Tours 'Yuletide East Yorkshireman' on 17 Dec 2016 to change
loco from a Class 67 to D1015 en-route from Swindon to Scarborough. The second passenger train to
use it is thought to have been Pathfinder's The Round Robin tour of 1 Apr 2017 on its return from
Long Marston to Birmingham. (†Chiltern drivers only sign the Up side but London Midland use both.)

1523] Balsall Heath: The reopening of what was actually Camp Hill & Balsall Heath station from 1887
to 1904 (but just 'Camp Hill' when OP before then and subsequently) is being considered as part of
plans for the Camp Hill line local service reopening. The West Midlands Mayor has pledged that work

will start on the Birmingham to Moseley and Kings Heath line by the time his first term of office ends in
2020. The West Midlands Combined Authority is to look at the business case and impact of a new
'Balsall Heath' station. A 2007 plan proposed stations on the line at Moseley, Kings Heath & Hazelwell
(Stirchley), ruling out a station at Balsall Heath due to cost and low projected passenger figures.

1524] Curzon Street: (BLN 1281.1079) Plans by HS2 and Atkins to redevelop the Grade I listed station
building into a visitor centre with exhibition space and a café on the ground floor for HS2 passengers,
have been approved by Birmingham City Council. The seemingly Tardis like structure will also house
offices for Historic England on the second floor and Birmingham City University's STEAMHouse project
on its first floor. Redeveloping the building, which is in a good state of repair but requires a 'facelift'
[not to get rid of any lines, hopefully] is not actually part of HS2's remit but it will be next to the line.

1525] Wednesbury Parkway: A recent problem during May which resulted in some terminating trains
being routed back to Birmingham via the north end crossover, has revealed that the Birmingham end
crossover points still do not work after many years and have not done so since the line's early days.

1526] Saltley: (BLN 1270.3088) European Metal Recycling (a posh name for a scrap yard) has
completed their expansion on to the former Saltley Depot site using about half the available land.
It can still be rail served. The rest is occupied by DBC Crew Portacabins. Outside these, on the old
depot spur, usually sits the Class 66 used for banking duties on Camp Hill and the Lickey incline.

1285 YORKSHIRE (Graeme Jolley & Geoff Blyth [ex-NER area])

1527] Rylstone Grassed Up: (BLN 1281.1082) With all quarry production coming out by rail, terminals

now served include mainly Leeds Hunslet and Hull Dairycoates, with fewer workings to Birmingham
Small Heath, and Luton Crescent Road. Previously/occasionally trains ran/run to Immingham NCB No1

Terminal, Dewsbury and once upon a time Redcar Mineral Terminal.

1528] Pilmoor - Gilling - Malton (- Driffield): (BLN 1283.1298 with map) Our 2 Jun 1957 'Yorkshireman'

tour covered this interesting line. For a full account, Patrick Howat's 1968 excellent book 'The Railways

of Ryedale' is recommended. The Regional Editor is most grateful to local member Charles Allenby,

who started his railway career at Gilling

N Sketch map of lines around Pilmoor, c.1956 station, for assistance and diligent research.
LEFT: Plan thanks to Dave Cromarty, the East

To Thirsk Coast Main Line runs top left - bottom right.

Sessay Husthwaite Gate To Gilling The then York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway
intended the line to OP 1 Jun 1853. Although
5 a ceremonial opening was held on 19 May,
the inspecting officer was not satisfied with
Brafferton 4 Open the works. Permission was sought again on
21 3 Closed 7 Jun and the line presumably opened soon
Never opened after. Goods traffic started on 21 Jun but
To Knaresborough Easingwold Rly. meanwhile the Malton & Driffield Railway
(M&DR), another independent company, had
Raskelf Easingwold OA 1 Jun 1853. A late alteration to the Act of
Parliament changed the line into half of a
Easingwold through Pilmoor to Driffield route. One must
Railway wonder why the companies were interested
1 Bishophouse Jn Alne in developing such an unlikely route through
2 Pilmoor South SB thinly populated country. The M&DR thus
3 Sunbeck Jn provided access to Malton by a reversal at
4 Pilmoor North SB To York Scarborough Road Jn, an operating bugbear
for all its life.
5 Line partially built, never opened

Not to scale.Historical maps used by CSD
permission of the National Library of
Scotland : http://maps.nls.uk/index.html

ABOVE: The same area as shown on the 1955 1" OS 7th Series, Pilmoor station on the ECML is closed to
passengers (white spot). Note the names of local features given to the junctions: middle bottom
Bishop House, upper centre Sessay Wood and the Sun Beck stream runs above Bishop House.

This area seems to have had a penchant for awkward junctions: those at Pilmoor (a station in the
middle of nowhere), to both Boroughbridge (to Knaresborough) and Malton, and at Northallerton
(Castle Hills) all faced away from the natural traffic source of York!

BELOW: Malton on the 1955 1" OS 7th Series, Gilling and Pilmoor are off top left, Scarborough top
right, Driffield bottom right and York Bottom left. The pink arrow is Scarborough Road Jn.

LEFT: Scarborough Road Junction looking
northwest towards Gilling and Pilmoor, the
double track spur goes off left to Malton and
the line to Driffield which singles is behind the
camera. (WR Burton Aug 1960)
BELOW LEFT: From the bridge ahown in the
first picture in the same direction. The York to
Scarborough line runs left to right in front of
the trees in the background and passes
beneath the Gilling line.

BELOW: Sessay Wood signal box (circa 1935) when it controlled part of the ECML which had just three
tracks then. The single track is to Gilling, another rare example of where four tracks reduce to one.
ABOVE RIGHT: A 'railtour' of the same time has stopped to look at and inside the box! ('Tanfield')

[BLN 1285]
To defeat a proposed Leeds, North Yorkshire & Durham Railway, with a fanciful route to Thornaby via
the remote Bilsdale (north of Helmsley) involving two tunnels each almost a mile long and no less than
49 crossings of the river Seph in the space of 6 miles, the NER obtained powers in 1865 for the south
curve at Pilmoor (the 'Raskelf Curve', Bishophouse Jn to Sunbeck Jn) and the Gilling to Pickering line.
Gilling to Helmsley and the Raskelf Curve opened on 9 Oct 1871. Helmsley to Kirbymoorside followed
on 1 Jan 1874 and Kirbymoorside to Pickering on 1 Apr 1875. In its 1866 'Yorkshire New Lines Act' the
NER proposed a connection ('5' on the map above) between the Knaresborough and Gilling lines to
provide a route between Leeds and Scarborough avoiding York. Although it was built and rails laid,
it was never used although the track was not lifted until about 1885. In later years a famous gantry of
sight testing signals https://goo.gl/ujo4xb was erected on the embankment west of the ECML. In the
same Act a north to east connection was proposed east of Malton for direct running between Gilling
and Scarborough without reversal. This was never built but the idea was revived in 1939 and 1948.

The NER provided various passenger service patterns over the line; between York and Pilmoor at one
end and Pickering (where three lines converged from the south) and Malton at the other, with some
short workings to Gilling. Passenger traffic declined seriously during the 1920s and it appears that the
curve into Pilmoor had no regular passenger service at times. By 1923 the service was York - Pickering;
Malton - Gilling then reduced to a self-contained service and CP 1 Jan 1931 (last trains 30 Dec 1930).

Old photos of Gilling show the name 'Gilling Junction' (although the signal box nameboard showed
'Gilling') but it later became plain Gilling, most probably when Gilling to Malton CP. Malton - Driffield
CP 5 Jun 1950 and (York -) Pilmoor - Pickering 2 Feb 1953 (last trains 31 Jan), when Kirbymoorside to
Pickering CA. Freight traffic normally centred on Gilling, where different trains exchanged wagons.
From 1914 for about 20 years this traffic had rather oddly revolved round Helmsley, then served by
freights from Darlington, Malton and Pickering. There was significant limestone traffic from 1918 until
1955 from Wharram, and later Burdale, both on the Driffield line, to Teesside via Pilmoor. Hovingham
Spa provided limestone for a few years and finally a quarry at Thornton Dale, east of Pickering, the
trains running via Malton. WW2 brought significant military traffic (details in Patrick Howat's book).

The line stands out somewhat from many similar lines due to some interesting passenger services:
Summer services to and from the coast (mostly Saturdays), ramblers' excursions and the Ampleforth
College school trains. In 1932 the LNER decided to route two holiday trains between the North East
(and Scotland) and Scarborough via Gilling to avoid reversing at the already congested York. They ran
non-stop to/from Scarborough Road Jn, the Malton pilot engine came on the back and pulled the train
between the junction and Malton station. The trains resumed after the war in 1947. Amazingly,
'via Gilling' was shown in brackets for these holiday trains https://goo.gl/AqJoN1 in the public
timetable even though very few people would have the slightest idea where Gilling was! Are there any
other examples of a closed station being mentioned in a timetable (other than in a table empty of
trains because the line had closed) when the train did not call there and the station was not indexed?

In summer 1937 there was also a daily train between Middlesbrough and Scarborough via Gilling to
relieve the then heavily used and challenging coast route via Whitby. In spite of being a longer route it
took about half an hour less than via Whitby. In 1938 there were two such trains from Redcar and one
from Middlesbrough. These ran again after the war and continued until 1954, when there was one
Middlesbrough to Scarborough train each way from 19 Jul to 20 Aug surprisingly SSuX. The train to
Middlesbrough passed Coxwold at about 8.35pm, that box (and no doubt others) opening specially.

Our Regional editor is eternally grateful to his late cousin, who went to Ampleforth College and used to
visit Gilling Signal Box on summer Saturdays, for persuading him (it wasn't too difficult!) to take the
9.20am Glasgow Queen St to Scarborough from Darlington (at 2.22pm) on 25 Aug 1962. Unknown to
anybody at the time, this turned out to be the last ever eastbound train from Pilmoor, already CG by
then! It arrived at Scarborough at 4.41pm and then it was on to the 5.04pm through DMU to

Middlesbrough (home) via Whitby and Battersby. Filey Holiday Camp OP 1947 and for three summers
the LNER and subsequently BR, ran trains between Newcastle and the camp via Gilling, Scarborough
Road Jn and Driffield to avoid reversal. The summer 1947 LNER timetable showed an 8.35am
Filey Holiday Camp to Newcastle and 10.15am in the other direction, apparently non-stop Bridlington
-Stockton. The last southbound run was on 27 Sep and northbound 5 Oct 1947. If the equivalent dates
applied in the 1950 timetable these trains will have run after Malton to Driffield had CP 5 Jun 1950.

Ramblers' excursions were popular in the 1950s and 1960s. The ones on this line generally ran from
Keighley or Bradford to Kirbymoorside, reversing at Pilmoor. From 1963 they had to run via Malton,
as the line via Sunbeck had closed, and reverse at Scarborough Road Jn and Gilling; being DMUs this
was not a problem. After passenger closure the level crossings on the Kirbymoorside line were worked
by the train crew, so special arrangements were made to staff them. Our Regional Editor was again
very fortunate that his cousin, by then at York University, alerted him to the Kirbymoorside excursion
on 3 May 1964 (full page leaflet BLN 1283.1298!) which turned out to be the final one. There were also
excursions from Kirbymoorside to Scarborough and much further afield: Largs, King's Lynn and
Malvern amongst other destinations. The final passenger trains were two Sunday School excursions on
27 Jul 1964 from Helmsley and Gilling to Scarborough, arriving back at 7.12 and 8.01pm respectively.

Ampleforth College (and Abbey) lay mid-way between Ampleforth and Gilling stations, 1½ miles north
of the line; Gilling was more convenient because Ampleforth had few facilities. A 3ft gauge horse
tramway was laid from Gilling station to the college in 1895, principally for coal as the college had
started to produce its own gas. Later some form of petrol driven loco was acquired. Pupils were
allowed to ride on the tramway at the beginning and end of term; there was a passenger wagon with
room for 20 boys and sacks were laid in the coal wagons in an attempt to keep the boys clean!
The older boys were expected to walk, leaving the train for the younger ones. One wonders how many
older boys made sure they did the track. The line fell out of use after 1922 when the college switched
to electric lighting, and the private siding agreement was terminated on 25 Apr 1929.

From the early 1930s special trains ran to/from Gilling at the beginning and end of term; one from
King's Cross and the other from Leeds or Liverpool. The London train was usually 'B1' or 'V2' hauled
but occasionally by a Pacific. Until 1953 they ran via the Raskelf curve but subsequently reversed at
Pilmoor. By 1961 the trains went via Malton, almost certainly because layout changes at Pilmoor in
1960 (see below) made it unfeasible to reverse and re-engine there. The main line steam loco went no
further than Scarborough Road Jn where the train had to reverse. The last such trains ran to Gilling on
28 Apr 1964, by which time they were diesels. It has been said that they ran only because one of the
Ampleforth monks was a railway enthusiast! In reality it would have made more sense to run the
buses from/to York rather than the 1½ miles to Gilling station. On 21 Jan 1964 there was: ●1Z02 (6-car
DMU) 4.40pm Leeds to Gilling (6.24), Scarborough Road Jn (reverse) 6.56/7.00 and ●1F75 (10 coaches
with a restaurant buffet car and Class 40 hauled!) 2.10pm King's Cross to Gilling 4.52; Malton (6.03/
6.13) reversing at Scarborough Road Jn (6.18/6.22). It seems that the loco ran round at Malton, so the
Malton pilot presumably hauled the train between there and Scarborough Road Jn then dropped off.

LEFT: Monday 27 Jul 1964 at
Gilling, the last two Sunday
school trains (and the final
trains to) Scarborough. The
train on the right originated
at Helmsley and the left one
at Gilling. (Charles Allenby)
[Wish I had gone to one of
those Sunday Schools - Ed.]

The line was signalled in the standard way for single lines, with staffed boxes at Sunbeck, Coxwold,
Gilling, Hovingham Spa, Slingsby and Amotherby (but only Coxwold and Gilling could cross passenger
trains) and Helmsley and Kirbymoorside on the Pickering line. Kirbymoorside box closed in 1958 and
the line to Helmsley became 'one engine in steam'. Pilmoor's signalling was more interesting. A new
Sessay Wood box opened on 12 Mar 1933 (renamed Pilmoor South 19 Feb 1943), the junction south
of Pilmoor, which took over Bishophouse Jn, when an Alne to Pilmoor Down Slow line was provided.

In spite of what the diagram above may seem to imply, Sunbeck box continued to control the eastern
apex of the triangle. It appears that the Bishophouse Jn to Sunbeck Jn curve was used for a while after
it CP 2 Feb 1953; a pickup freight ran from York to an unknown destination on the branch but did not
return the same way. The Down curve (towards Sunbeck) was equipped with a chock, controlled by
Pilmoor box, presumably to prevent a train running back and fouling the Up Main. On 29 Aug 1955 this
chock was fixed, thereby putting the Down curve line OOU; this is why our 2 Jun 1957 tour had to
reverse at Pilmoor.

On 12 Feb 1959 the Up curve was severed in connection with the provision of an Up Slow line from
Pilmoor to Alne, the last meaningful gap in the quadruple track between York and Longlands Jn,
Northallerton. The new Up Slow also caused the closure of Pilmoor North box on 15 May 1960 (which
was immediately demolished when the last shift ended!), which had controlled the junction with the
Boroughbridge (to Knaresborough) line. Then Pilmoor South became plain Pilmoor. The Pilmoor
South layout was much simplified, with the curve to Sunbeck singled and a ladder junction provided
on the main line. Sunbeck continued to be a proper block post, with an acceptance switch/lever to
Pilmoor and Electric Token Block to Coxwold. However it now controlled no points, merely Down and
Up Home semaphore signals with a direction lever, and acted in effect as a 'fringe box' to Pilmoor.
Probably it was retained to avoid Pilmoor having to handle single line tokens.

The last return freight between Malton and Thirsk ran on 3 Feb 1962 as the limestone traffic had
ceased. Then a pickup from Malton served Kirbymoorside and ran as far west as Husthwaite Gate.
Sunbeck's only regular task was to accept that train from Coxwold signal box when it had coal for
Husthwaite Gate. The train had to propel back to Coxwold as there was no loop at Husthwaite Gate.
Once the train was out of section back at Coxwold, the signalman at Sunbeck closed the box and went
north to Sessay station goods yard (ECML) to assist there for the remainder of his shift. Other than the
occasional excursion and route learning special, trains ran past the box on only on about 12 summer
Saturdays a year; the only ones to run west of Husthwaite Gate. So although Sunbeck was within sight
and sound of the ECML it played no part in running it and for most of the year never even saw the only
train it signalled!

The last such through train was the 10.50am Scarborough to Newcastle on 8 Sep 1962 and the final
shift worked at Sunbeck was on 5 Oct 1962. At Coxwold on 8 Oct a tablet was withdrawn permanently
as a 'One Engine in Steam' authority for the pickup goods to proceed to Husthwaite Gate, putting the
section to Pilmoor OOU. This does imply it had already been decided not to run any passenger trains
via Gilling in summer 1963. Any remote chance of the line reopening vanished following the

derailment on 19 Mar 1963 of an Up
parcels train on the junction at
Pilmoor, which was then plain lined.
From 16 Apr 1963 the pickup ran only
three days a week. From Oct 1963 coal
traffic ceased running past Coxwold to
Husthwaite Gate. However, an empty
mineral wagon for rubbish from the
station arrived on 5 Aug 1964 (LEFT: -
Patrick Howat) and was collected by
the final freight on 7 Aug 1964.

[BLN 1285]
Amotherby - Gilling - Husthwaite Gate and Gilling - Kirbymoorside CA 10 Aug 1964. The last freight on
7 Aug was steam hauled by special arrangement with an extra brake van for a group of enthusiasts.
Malton East SB - Scarborough Road Jn - Amotherby lasted until 19 Oct 1964 due to a contract with
the Brandsby Agricultural Trade Association. [Note BR used the 24 hour clock from 12 Jun 1967 - Ed.]

1529] Queensbury: (BLN 1272.96) The Queensbury Tunnel Society is campaigning to convert the
2,501yd historic tunnel to a cycleway. Please sign the petition to the DfT https://goo.gl/oqP49h
to save it from being permanently blocked up by Highways England Historical Railways Estate.
The group held a presentation on 20 Jul explaining the benefits of preserving it as an extension of the
Great Northern Railway Trail towards Halifax. Https://goo.gl/K4AZsD has information and pictures.

1530] Tram Train: The National Audit Office has published the findings from its investigation into the
Sheffield to Rotherham tram-train scheme. When approved by Ministers in May 2012, the DfT
estimated that NR modifications would cost £18.7M with the tram-train scheme completed by
Dec 2015. By Dec 2016, the cost of these works had quadrupled to £75.1M with completion expected
in May 2018. This is mainly due to traction supply calculation problems which have proved intractable
three different complicated designs have had to be worked up.

1285 IRELAND (Martin Baumann)
1531] Dublin: (BLN 1279.900) IÉ reports that over 1,000 people use the new Phoenix Park cross city
route (ROP 21 Nov 2016) each peak. There are seven morning trains, all stations from Newbridge or
Hazelhatch & Celbridge (where passengers are changing from further out) to Grand Canal Dock and
eight back in the evening. Two counter-peak trains run in the morning and four in the evening, handy
for members to do the route and bays both ways. Passenger numbers have grown at all stations
between Newbridge and Dublin; it is intended to expand the services to off-peak and weekend.

1532] Dublin - Cork: For the third successive year €10M is being spent on the upgrade to 100mph
running, this year between Hazelhatch and Ballybrophy. Using single line working (BLN 1284.1410 etc)
the work involves ballast replacement and enhancement, improving drainage and track geometry.

1533] NIR Microgricing Guide: (BLN 1283.1316) In the new 2 Jul 2017 timetable, SSuX unless shown:
●Londonderry P2: 06.38 (SO) & 07.38 (SuX) to Belfast Great Victoria Street (GVS) & 20.10 ex-GVS (SuX)
●Coleraine north X/O: 06.05 GVS to Londonderry. ●Killagan Loop: 06.05 GVS to Londonderry, 16.46 &
17.46 Belfast Central to Coleraine. ●Magherabeg Loop: (NRU) Not regularly used. ●Carrickfergus P3
south: 08.10, 08.35, 17.25 & 18.24 to GVS, 17.10 to Belfast Central, 07.25 ex-Belfast Central and 16.15,
16.45 & 17.15 ex-GVS. ●Carrickfergus P3 north: NRU. ●Magheramorne Loop: 06.45 GVS to Larne
Town, 15.55 & 17.02 ex-Larne Harbour. ●Larne Harbour P2: 07.32 to GVS & 17.05 return. ●Bangor P1:
(may not happen, especially Fridays) 07.17 to Lisburn & 17.55 ex-Central. ●Lisburn P2 or 3 south: NRU.

PORTADOWN PLATFORM USE CAN VARY FROM BOOKED TIMETABLE FOR NO OBVIOUS REASON:
●Portadown P3 to north: 07.20, 11.15 & 20.45 to Bangor, SO: 07.45 & 11.15 to GVS also 18.15 & 20.45
to Bangor and SuO: 11.45 & 13.45 to Bangor. ●Portadown P3 from north: 06.35 ex-GVS, 09.27, 16.57,
18.27 & 18.57 ex-Bangor, SO: 10.30 ex-GVS, 16.57 & 19.27 ex-Bangor and SuO 09.27/11.27 ex-Bangor.
●Portadown P2 to south: 09.00 (SuO) Belfast to Dublin. ●Portadown P3 to south: 06.00 to Newry.
●Portadown Down - Up X/O south of station: 23.30 ex-Newry. ●Newry north X/O: 06.00, 07.00 (SuX),
18.02 ex-Portadown (front unit of 16.37 ex-Bangor), 17.37 & 21.27 ex-Bangor and SO: 17.30 ex-GVS.
●GVS P1 south: 07.31, 07.51 & 08.11 Bangor to Portadown. ●GVS P2 south: 07.11 Bangor to Lisburn.

1534] Londonderry: (BLN 1283.1316) The first week of the new 2 Jul NIR timetable saw significant late
running with delays up to 60 minutes caused, at least in part, by poor regulating. Two NRU loops were
in use on 4 Jul. The 22.40 GVS to Coleraine crossed the 55 minute late 20.38 Londonderry to GVS at
Templepatrick and then the 25 minute delayed 21.38 Londonderry to Belfast Central at Magherabeg.
The 20.10 GVS to Londonderry and 18.38 Londonderry to GVS crossed at Templepatrick on 8 Jul.

1535] Eglinton: This station on the Londonderry line (87m 57ch), CP 15 Mar 1971 (regular timetabled
services) but was 'available for use as required' until 2 Jul 1973. The loop was rarely used latterly and
closed in Oct 1974. (Our Ireland Editor has a childhood memory of being on a train which did the loop.)

ABOVE: A Londonderry to Belfast train waits in Eglinton loop on 31 Aug 1963. (Roger Joanes)

1285 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley)
1536] Lewaigue (15m 72ch): On the Manx Electric Railway track works are now being carried out on
the land side track from this crossover to Ramsey. Single line staff and ticket working is being used.
Although just a couple of miles, slick working is required to maintain the timetable (particularly
Timetable 'D'); made worse if a tram is towing a trailer so needs a shunting manœuvre at Ramsey.

1537] Douglas Bay Horse Tramway: (MR p12) Three trams are normally needed (usually 43, 44 & 45).
In wet weather the covered cars are used; in good weather the double deck tram is regularly out about
14.00. No changes to the horse tram operation are anticipated to be made prior to the end of the 2018
summer season. There will then be three years of potential disruption. Tynwald Members agreed in
principal in January 2017 that there should be twin horse tram tracks in the centre of the road from
Strathallan to Castle Mona Avenue, switching to a single track on the seaward side of the road
terminating at Peveril Square, near the Sea Terminal. Subject to Tynwald approval at the July 2017
sitting, the Department will progress the detailed design work and submit a planning application, with
a view to work starting in September 2018, which is then expected to take three years to complete.
Including reconstruction and redesign of the promenade and road, the whole scheme costs £20.7M.

1285 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe)
1538] Fort Augustus: (BLN 1243.1891) The former passenger station was south of the Caledonian
Canal. Station Rd still leads to the site, now occupied by a school. The extension to Fort Augustus Pier
was heavily engineered. There was a swing bridge over the canal, at the top of the flight of locks.
Nothing remains of that, but much of the rest of the trackbed survives. North of the canal there is a
concrete, arched bridge which took the line over a minor road. There was a substantial, four-span
viaduct over the River Oich. The metal spans have gone, but the abutments and two piers still stand.
These are concrete and quite ornate, designed to look like stone blocks. The embankment remains in
place north of the river, but the bridge over the main road has gone. Most of the rest of the trackbed is
in use as a private road to the old pier, where the site is occupied by holiday log cabins. This is marked
as 'Old Pier' on the OS Landranger map, which identifies a school on the Pier passenger station site.

Quick's 'Railway Passenger Stations Chronology' shows Fort Augustus Pier having a summer passenger
service between 1903 and 1906. Clinker gives closure for goods about July 1924. The pier extension
allowed goods to be transferred between train and steamer in Loch Ness, avoiding the need for the
vessel to transit the flight of locks. However, the cost of this convenience was considerable, so the
possibility of onward extension of the railway to Inverness must have been in the promoter's minds.
[The 'branch' was actually engineered to be a new double track main line to Inverness.] That would
have been quite expensive, because the hillside slopes straight down into the loch. A ledge would have
had to be cut for many miles to create a trackbed. The gradients and bends on the A82 demonstrate
how difficult it would have been to obtain a reasonable railway alignment between Fort Augustus and
Inverness. The Invergarry & Fort Augustus Railway was worked by the Highland Railway for its first four
years. Presumably, the locomotive only returned to Inverness when requiring major repairs?

1539] The Regeneration Game: Various stations have benefited due to many organisations and
individuals including the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, ScotRail's Adopt-a-Station, the
Railway Heritage Trust (RHT), Stations Community Regeneration Fund (SCRF) and 'Station Friends'….

1540] New Cumnock: (CP 1965 from 1991) The Wee Train Café opened 23 May, in a former P'Way
office; the conversion was supported by the RHT and SCRF. It is run by East Ayrshire Carers with
Kilmarnock Railway Station Heritage Trust (BLN 1278.786). Training is provided in the hospitality
industry for young people whose education has been disrupted by the need to care for family
members. It also allows families with a dementia sufferer to enjoy a meal out without embarrassment.

1541] Coatbridge Sunnyside: RHT funding recently assisted a business start-up for the Sunnyside
Coffee Company. While thinking of this part of the world, your correspondent recalls receiving some
years ago, in Glasgow Control, a report of an incident on the line 'on the Sunnyside of Blairhill'.

1542] Gleneagles: This fine station had been unoccupied for 30 years after it became unstaffed.
Now one of its former Caledonian Railway's rooms is headquarters of an event management company.
In Feb this was the venue for an event at which Andy Savage, the RHT's executive director, explained
how communities and businesses could transform railway stations into thriving business hubs.

1543] Fife's Artline stations: Of all the community rail initiatives, perhaps unique is the 'Artline', eight
stations north of the Forth Bridge. This www.theartline.co.uk was formed in 2015 to showcase the
restored art and heritage buildings on the railway through Fife between North Queensferry and Cupar
and is supported by ScotRail's cultural and arts fund. An annual doors open weekend is arranged.

1544] North Queensferry: The station has recently been refurbished to its original Victorian style and
now houses a café, community meeting room and exhibition gallery, featuring the Forth Bridge and
other memorabilia. These facilities are run by the North Queensferry Station Trust.

1545] Inverkeithing: In the waiting room are 22 posters of artwork, poems and fictional historical
conversations depicting stations, iconic buildings, historical events and people on the 'Fife Circle' line.

1546] Aberdour: (ABOVE: Angus McDougall 3 Mar 2014.) The name sounds as though it ought to be in
Wales not Scotland! The well-tended flower beds here have helped win 'best kept station' awards. The
redundant signal box houses a small painting studio with a ceramic workshop in the downstairs former
locking room. A heritage centre at the station is expected to be completed in the autumn.
1547] Burntisland: From 1847 the terminus of the line north to Dundee was here. From 1850 until the
Forth Bridge OP in1890, the world's first train ferry ran between Burntisland and Granton, Edinburgh.
As a result, the station had some derelict buildings by the harbour which, in 2012, underwent a £2.2M
refurbishment programme by the Fife Historic Buildings Trust. The old platform buildings were
converted into artists' studios and office accommodation was provided in the 1847 station house.

ABOVE: Burntisland the 1847 station https://goo.gl/vGF4i5 which once had boarded up windows; the
present (1890) through station is to the right behind the railings. (Angus McDougall 3 Mar 2014)
BELOW: 1854/56 OS 6" map showing Burtisland as a terminus of the line to Dundee, note 'Ferry Pier'
where the ferry to Granton (Edinburgh) operated in pre-Forth Railway Bridge days.

1548] Kinghorn: The station's empty rooms have been converted into a gallery and studios under the
'adopt a station scheme'. This followed a two-year restoration supported by the RHT and SCRF.

1549] Kirkcaldy: (Pronounced Kirk-Caw-Day.) Features a Fife dialect poem cut into a sheet of linoleum,
a product with its sweet smell, for which the town became famous. Kirkcaldy Galleries are adjacent.

1550] Ladybank: A historic station of Italianate design. The old station restaurant has been used by an
artist since 2009. The adjacent station house forms the 'Off the Rails' Arthouse established in 2011.

1551] Oban: Caledonian Sleeper has introduced a new non-stop bus connection between Crianlarich
and Oban in partnership with West Coast Motors, funded by Transport Scotland, for a 14-week trial
period. It will operate SuX mornings from Crianlarich to Oban matching the Caledonian Sleeper
timetable. No booking is required and it leaves Oban at 19.40 SuO and 20.30 SSuX. (Note: A ScotRail
train leaves at 20.36 and connects nicely SSuX at Crianlarich too.) Guests (not passengers or even
customers now!) wanting the bus service are advised to confirm this when boarding at London Euston.

1552] Montrose: From 15 Jul the 'goods lines' in the yard were re-designated as 'sidings'.

1553] 'Publicised' ScotRail? The Scottish Transport Minister has announced that the ground is being
prepared to permit a bid from the public sector after the expiry of the Abellio contract, due in 2025.
This is to be ruled on after return of MSPs from the summer recess. Possible bidders include Calmac
Ferries, Transport for Edinburgh Group and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

1554] Speyside line: The 4½ mile trackbed from Grantown-on-Spey (East) (NJ036262) to Nethy Bridge
(NJ001206) is an official part of the Speyside Way long distance footpath, so is easy going. Half way
nothing remains of Ballifurth Farm Halt, but at the end, Nethy Bridge is more or less intact with a
platform and the building is in use as a bunk house. Beyond, at the back of the village, a short section
of trackbed is totally overgrown, between two tributaries of the Spey. Both river bridges have been
removed. The grassy trackbed then continues to the missing viaduct over the Spey via a couple of
fallen trees, a removed occupation bridge and copious gorse bushes. At this removed bridge, an official
looking sign points to the last section of embankment reading: 'River Spey and old bridge 225m'.
Across the river is Strathspey Railway's Broomhill station, convenient for a steam train to Aviemore.

Starting again from Broomhill, the other abutment of the missing Great North of Scotland Railway
(GNSR) Spey viaduct was reached via farm tracks and the river bank. The walk back to the separation
of the GNSR and Highland Railway (HR) lines was through thick gorse with a couple of missing
occupation bridges. Station Road, Nethy Bridge connects two stations. [Should it be Stations Rd then?]
The GNSR station is close to the centre of the village, but Station Rd continues for just over a mile to
Broomhill, and on to the A95. It crosses the Spey on a timber bridge; was this bridge (and road) built
by the HR to reach Broomhill (formerly 'for Nethy Bridge') station? From the separation of the GNSR
and HR to Boat of Garten, three miles south, the two adjacent bidirectional single tracks (giving the
impression of double track) were both HR-owned, one used by GNSR, avoiding a junction at Broomhill.

1555] Dornoch Light Railway: At Skelbo level crossing, after Up trains have passed, they must be
brought to a stand and not proceed until the porter has opened the gates for the roadway and joined
the train. Down trains must stop short of the level crossing to permit the guard to open the gates for
the passage of the train (that was the case in 1937 at least).

1285 WALES (Paul Jeffries)
1556] Os gwelwch yn dda ailddechrau eich sedd (otherwise: Please resume your seat, Welsh style!):
The 12.32 (SSuX) Holyhead to Maesteg (18.11) sometimes runs late but always goes to Maesteg as it is
the main commuter train from Cardiff (17.19) with too many passengers to put on one bus. If it is late
its return working, 18.20 Maesteg to Cardiff (19.12) to form the 19.34 back to Holyhead, can run late
which affects the 16.45 Cheltenham to Maesteg, the next train onto the branch. The latter is in front
of the 16.15 Paddington to Swansea and can delay that train if it cannot run onto the Maesteg branch.
The 16.45 ex-Cheltenham has been held in Tremains loop for the Paddington to pass but not recently.

The 18.20 from Maesteg was late on 27 Jun and the 16.45 ex-Cheltenham was shunted from the Down
to Up Main at Bridgend for the 16.15 Paddington to pass, but the passengers had to leave the train
and wait for its return. However this is a signalled move so our member cannot understand why they
were asked to leave. The 18.20 from Maesteg was late on 3 Jul when the 16.45 was shunted into
Bridgend P3, the now rare Maesteg Bay, until the 18.20 from Maesteg arrived. This time passengers
were allowed to stay on the train [years ago it was a through platform - that would be useful now].
The following night the 18.20 was late again but, by way of a change, the 16.45 Cheltenham was
shunted to the Up Vale of Glamorgan line to allow the Paddington to pass. The return to the platform
is controlled by a disc so passengers were asked to alight and wait for it. The 16.45 ex-Cheltenham has
a 'long' layover at Maesteg (19.08/1921); 3 to 5 minutes is more usual - so time can be recovered.
So there are four ways of achieving the same result, for passenger convenience remaining on the train
is preferred. The Tremains loop option is not preferred as it delays arrival in Bridgend and loses the
connection on to Swansea on the train from Paddington. Two of these moves qualify for 'please
resume your seats'. The method used seems to be at the discretion of the Port Talbot signaller.
1557] Cardiff Electrification: The next phase of work includes track lowering to create clearance for
wiring 'by late 2018'. Work on overbridges between Newport and Cardiff (sometimes with just two
tracks in operation) continues in August, with a full possession between Newport and Cardiff from
26 to 28 Aug, followed by work 'in the Cardiff area' over five consecutive weekends starting 23-24 Sep.

1558] Machen Quarry: On Sat 1 Jul there was a freight train on this now rarely-used branch.
Empty wagons arrived 08.01 from Westbury, were loaded with gritstone and left on time at 14.00 for
Allington (Maidstone). It is bought in by road from elsewhere; Machen Quarry produces limestone.
(ABOVE: Jul 2017 plan thanks to Martyn Brailsford, GF = Ground Frame, CR = Cripples Road.) When the
branch was in regular use, there was a strict demarcation between the quarry and NR lines. Main line
locos were not allowed to venture on the Quarry Line other than just inside the trap points (at inlet or
outlet), while the quarry shunter was banned from the Through Line. Then arriving trains ran along the
Through Line to the end of the branch (west) and propelled the wagons in past the Inlet GF. The quarry
shunter pulled half the train to the quarry, ran round and propelled through one of the then three
loaders. Then it left the wagons on the Quarry Line just before the Outlet GF traps. This was repeated
with the other half, and the main line loco could then collect the loaded train via the Outlet GF.
The layout and method of working have now been simplified. Only one loader remains (on the Quarry
Line itself) and the two other lines through the quarry are buried (and possibly partly removed).
The quarry shunter stables on the Cripple Road. The restriction on main line locos using the Quarry
Line has apparently been lifted as the 1 Jul train entered via the Outlet GF and 66088 hauled the train
directly up to the quarry. It then detached and ran round via the Through Line, eventually stabling just
inside the Outlet GF while the train was loaded. The quarry shunter 08296 (covered in graffiti and with
broken windows!) was attached and hauled the entire empty train to the Inlet GF, then propelled it
slowly back through the Quarry Line loader and after loading on towards the waiting 66 at Outlet GF.

Although traffic is now rare, there is the prospect of regular trains in the near future for Machen's own
limestone. Apparently some is required for Hinkley Point 'C' nuclear power station and vast quantities
for the controversial Gwent Levels Motorway. It is planned to refettle the line around the quarry
(it is not clear if this is the Through Line, Quarry Line or both) - new ballast and sleepers were in
evidence on 1 Jul. However, it has been suggested that with any recommencement of regular traffic
trains would be loaded using the main line loco to reduce staff costs with disposal of the shunter.

ABOVE: Machen Quarry loco
08296 on the Cripples Road in
its unique livery. Note how rusty
the track is, also the ballast and
sleepers ready for refettling
work. (All Nick Jones Sat 1 Jul)
LEFT: Required for haulage
anyone, wonder if it's a runner?
BELOW: The train has arrived on
Quarry Line a through freight
line to Bedwas Colliery until
1985. Once passenger trains ran
along here between Newport
and Brecon. BOTTOM: 66088 at
the Outlet Ground Frame after
running round.





[BLN 1285]
ABOVE TOP: Machen Quarries (pleural) Outlet Ground Frame with branch staff to unlock it.

ABOVE LOWER: The loco stabled inside the Outlet Ground Frame during loading.

BELOW LEFT: The single line staff, 'PARK JCN - TRETHOMAS' (Machen - Trethomas was lifted in 1986).

BELOW RIGHT TOP: Loading the gritstone which comes in by road (in the past from quarries near
Crumlin and Pontypridd). It is used for road repairs and building.

BELOW RIGHT BOTTOM: Despite starting the day in the Cripples Siding it does actually work….

NEXT PAGE TOP: Loading the wagons.

1559] Blaenau Ffestiniog (Central) branch: Nothing remains of Bala station, its site is a town centre
car park, albeit sporting a GWR semaphore signal by way of remembrance. Frongoch station (BELOW:
3 Aug 2002; Angus McDougall) survives in good condition, however, complete with nameboard, and
transformed into a holiday let; the station house is a private residence. Tyddyn Bridge Halt stood east
of the wall of Llyn Celyn reservoir, where everything has been landscaped. Capel Celyn Halt is no
doubt lost beneath the waters of the lake, although probably not far from the edge.

The site of Arenig station has been completely cleared, apart from three pillars which once supported
a quarry conveyor as it crossed the road. Cwm Prysor station house is easily spotted, now a private
residence, along with one gate of the old level crossing, and an old van body. Around a half-mile of
trackbed toward Blaen y Cwm Viaduct is given over to a road, built in the 1960s. The 8-arch viaduct
still provides an attractive feature; at the summit of the line (1,278ft).

1560] Margam - Tondu: (BLN 1274.331) On 11 Jul the booked working of the NR Ultrasonic Testing
Unit train 'top & tailed' by two Class 37s, via the Ogmore Vale Extension line, was cancelled due to
foliage over the track, also obscuring signals. Colas, the train operator, considered this to be unsafe.

1561] Bus Unfareness: In an unexpected announcement, Welsh Government is funding free weekend
travel from 8 July until May 2018 for all passengers using the TrawsCymru bus network. Taxpayers who
subsidise Arriva Trains Wales will thus also be subsidising competing buses over routes such as Cardiff -
Cardiff Airport, Cardiff - Swansea - Carmarthen, Cardiff - Merthyr - Llandrindod - Newtown, and
Aberystwyth - Machynlleth - Porthmadog. Money is reportedly available to procure additional buses
should current capacity on the TrawsCymru routes be insufficient! Mid Wales Motors and Cardiff Bus
have suggested taking the Welsh Government to court over this as both now lose revenue on their
own commercial services as their customers instead travel free on TrawsCymru buses (and what about
ATW?). On Sat 8 Jul, loadings on the 'T4' service from Pontypridd to Cardiff were so high as a result
that they operated non-stop and intermediate passengers had to use local non-TrawsCymru buses. [So
how about some money for free weekend rail travel in Wales, with extra rolling stock if needed, too?]

1562] East Usk: (BLN 1284.1433) The true use of a brake van ceased in 2016 when the Shark brake/
plough van that was used for the Birdport trains (so that they could propel on the Uskmouth branch)
was withdrawn. It went to the Severn Valley Railway arriving 30 Mar 2017. The vehicle now used is
known as a 'control vehicle' and is temporarily based at Llanwern Exchange Sidings for the Llanwern
to Birdport trains while those to/from Margam are 'top & tailed'. The HHA wagons are now in two of
the remaining three Liswerry sidings (157m 00ch). Some of the track in East Usk Yard is being renewed
including the points at the west end. In mid-Jul some ATW trains to/from the Hereford line reversed in
East Usk yard using No1 Reception, fully signalled as is No2 Reception. East Usk Yard at 11 Jul:

Roads 1 & 2: Used by Birdport trains. Road 3: Cut into sections, west end all lifted, east being
lifted. Road 4: Intact, 20 Falcon wagons loaded with spoil excavated from Road 6. Road 5: Intact
but long OOU. Road 6: Lifted and excavated to formation level ready for bottom ballast. Road 7:
The lighting column road, ballast from Falcons is normally unloaded to here. Roads 8-10: Lifted.
Road 11: Intact, one HTA present. Road 12: Intact empty. Liswerry Sidings: Intact, contains the
HHAs. East Usk Yard Roads 3 & 4 west end points had been completely renewed on timber bearers.

1563] Ystrad Mynach: Commencing 10 Sep 2007, and for around two months in each 'leaf fall season'
(this year 11 Sep to 9 Dec), it has been the practice for one Up Rhymney Valley train in each off-peak
hour (SuX), and a couple in the peak, to terminate at Ystrad Mynach instead of Bargoed. The return
working uses the trailing crossover south of the station in service, which, of course, is also used by
Down coal trains (and railtours!) from Cwmbargoed. On Sundays throughout the year the passenger
service is two hourly to Rhymney; alternating with two hourly trains turning back at Ystrad Mynach.

1285 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott)
MR122] Evergreens Miniature Railway, Lincolnshire (MR p20) (BLN 1217.MR153): Main Rd (A16),
Stickney, Near Boston, PE22 8EF, (TF344578). An item posted on the BBC Lincolnshire News web site
on 7 July states this railway is going to close after the land it runs on was sold. It is now searching for a
new home. The 7¼" gauge railway was started as a hobby for one man 15 years ago, but now has
30 volunteers helping to run and maintain it. The item ends by adding the railway will be dismantled
and stored until a new site is found. The web site https://goo.gl/VCkkz7 is advertising open days up to
1 January 2018: Saturdays 29 July, 26 August, 30 September, 28 October, 2 December (Santa) and
Sunday 1 January 2018. It seems if you 'need' this railway, a visit sooner rather than later is required!

[BLN 1285]
MR123] Bluebell Railway, East Sussex (MR p6): Saturday 20 May saw our roving reporter at
East Grinstead for the 11.00 train to Sheffield Park, in mixed weather with sunshine and showers.
LNWR Webb 'Coal Tank' 0-6-2T 1054 plus four ex-SR bogie coaches departed 15 minutes late due to an
equivalent late arrival into East Grinstead. The 'yellow' timetable was in operation. BR class 5 standard
4-6-0 73082 with LNER Director's saloon 43909 was passed at Horsted Keynes. It should be noted that
there is a period in November 2017 with no trains due to 'work on the line'. BR 'Priv' tickets are now
available here for ex-BR staff. SR 4-6-0 S15 847 with a set of stock at Sheffield Park appeared to be for
a wedding special off Southdown bus 954. Our reporter noted bluebells in evidence on the lineside!

MR124] Cambrian Heritage Railways (CHR) (Oswestry), Shropshire (MR p7) (BLN 1278.MR55):
Regarding the issues of A5 and A483 main road crossings referred to, there is political pressure led by
the local MP for the remaining single carriageway sections of the A5 in Shropshire to be dualled.
A member understands, from a presentation at a recent Shrewsbury to Chester Rail Users meeting he
attended, that CHR hope if this goes ahead it will include a grade separated crossing of the Oswestry
to Gobowen line. According to the DfT transfer decision letter, the Highways Agency has advised CHR
that a tunnel would be feasible. It has also advised that an 'overbridge' (rail or road not specified)
would be possible at the A483 crossing but there is no prospect of that forming part of any larger
scheme so full reopening must indeed be many years away! A shorter term aim not involving road
crossings is to operate a Parry People Mover shuttle service between Gobowen and Park Hall Halt to
serve the large Orthopaedic Hospital, the purpose for which the halt was originally opened in 1926.

MR125] Great Central Railway (Nottingham), Nottinghamshire (MR p8): The railway held a Diesel Gala
over the weekend 1 & 2 July - affording a rare opportunity to cover the passing loop at Rushcliffe Halt
(trains normally only use the Up side platform 1). A visit was made on the Saturday, travelling on the
11.15 from Ruddington Fields to Loughborough Junction and 12.06 return. The train was formed with
47828 at the south end with 56097 and HST 41001 at the north end. Rolling stock was BR Mk2 E5376
and BR Mk3s M12092/M10206/M11074. It was odd to travel in the air-conditioned comfort of a first
class Mark 3 coach on a heritage railway! Trains were well-filled, but not overcrowded. An all day rover
ticket was £14. Also seen in use were 45060, 33035 and 47765. Electro-diesel 73110 was due to work
later. The second platform at Ruddington is slowly taking shape with most of the retaining wall built.

MR126] Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway, South Lanarkshire (MR p28) (BLN 1282.MR99): A visit was
made to this remote 2ft gauge railway on Sunday 2 July - now Britain's highest adhesion railway - the
summit at Glengonnar Halt being 1,498ft above sea level. The railway is constructed on the trackbed
of the former Caledonian Railway standard gauge branch, which ran from the West Coast mainline at
Elvanfoot to Leadhills and Wanlockhead. Arriving just in time for the 11.30 departure from Leadhills,
our two members were the only passengers on this, a chilly and cloudy day. The train was propelled
out to Glengonnar Halt and hauled back by 4wDH HE LD9348 'Mennock', with two coaches and a brake
van. The adult return fare was £5. A shed visit was possible and a walk to the end of the line towards
Elvanfoot - used to store wagons. It is hoped to make a return visit when the extension towards
Wanlockhead is open - for which costings are being calculated. No work on the ground has yet taken
place. Trains normally run weekends (Easter to the end of September) every 45 minutes from 10.45.

BELOW UPPER: Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway - the current end of line at Glengonnar Halt,
looking towards Wanlockhead which is the route of the proposed extension. (Peter Scott 2 July 2017)

BELOW LOWER: Kingsbridge & District Light Railway - a very attractive setting for a railway!
Note the 'Tramway' style mixed gauge track. (Rod Bryant 18 June 2017)



[BLN 1285]
MR127] Kingsbridge & District Light Railway, Devon: Replacing a much earlier 7¼" gauge line (extant
1969-1991), this 5"/7¼" gauge line opened on Sunday 28 May 2017. It is an 'E' run of 260 yards, with
no run round loops, along the eastern quay in the Devon town of Kingsbridge. In blistering heat a visit
was made by a dedicated member hotfooting (or hot Rodding) it on Sunday 18 June. Trains started
running at 11.00 on the very nice quayside line - the opposite quay from the previous line. The stock is
stored in a wooden compound at the far end. The loco is named the 'Herring Express' - a blue livery
battery loco with two sit astride coaches, with another two off site waiting for a proper shed to be
built. Steam is expected here soon. Trains ran from 11.00-13.00 then 16.00-18.00 due to the hot
weather. There were not many passengers, but over 1,000 had been carried since it opened.

MR128] Taunton Model Engineers (TME), Somerset (MR p23) (BLN 1284.MR111): The final public
operation at their Creech St Michael site was on Saturday 8 July associated with the 'Party in the Park'
alongside. 512 tickets were sold (£1 each; printed tear-off roll type), thought to be their highest
attendance ever. Apart from two BLS members, all other visitors were locals enjoying the good
weather and other park activities. Three 2-coach train sets ran continuously until around 16.15 to cater
for this unprecedented demand, with a third coach added to one set mid-afternoon. Initially this was
to the steam operated service but 0-4-0 'Jenny' (HE 2003 reb Rivendell Works, Lyme Regis 2014)
struggled with the extra load and 'Noel Whiting' (Battery powered Hymek) took the extra coach
subsequently. The other loco was 'Dianthus', hybrid petrol/battery.

Trains left from the country end of the long platform, via a loop into a notable cutting with uphill
grade, through the left-hand side of the (no longer used) intermediate station, alongside the M5
(well-screened by trees) and back to the town end of the entrance platform to set down, repeating no
track. The loco ran-round via the turntable at the platform end and drew the stock forward for the
next departure; the missing section of platform was readily made available on request. An outer
connection between the two sides of the loop allowed trains to do circuits without returning to
platform, NRU and impracticable on a day when trains were required back quickly to deal with queues.
A new 4-road carriage shed has been built alongside the station; the foundations laid only in February
2016, but, as the rest of the railway, will be removed well before the eviction date of 1 October 2017.

A final trip was run around 17.00 to accommodate a request to travel the 'outer circuit'. Jenny's driver
agreed but was surprised to look back and see that the rare track had also attracted most of the TME
members present and a third coach had been added. Wary of the extra load (all adults) he warned that
'pushage' might be necessary but, with his careful driving, 'Jenny' was up to the task, sounding really
good through the cutting. The rare track was covered before the coaches were placed in the shed
(normally an ECS move) and locos returned whence they came. TME members left with a smile on
their face, remembering the joy brought to over 500 visitors and many others over 17 years of
operation here, rather than shedding tears over the loss of this amenity.

A bay had been built at the entrance platform but never connected. Final operation was scheduled as
a barbeque evening for members on Tuesday 18 July after which track will be quickly lifted. Operations
will continue at Society's other site in Vivary Park pro tem but the Society intend to locate a new site
of their own to avoid future difficulties with landlords. In this instance, Creech St Michael Parish
Council wish to improve the park's facilities, requiring reduction in the land available, offering a revised
lease for less space and at higher rent. This was not acceptable to the Society. An online petition set up
with Taunton Deane Borough Council to support the retention of the railway had 691 signatures as at
10 July. As it had passed 200 signatures the petition was discussed by the Council on 11 July who
agreed to work hard to come to an amicable agreement with TME to retain the railway at Vivary Park.
Creech St Michael railway is a matter for the Parish Council but may be past the point of no return.

MR129] Llangollen Railway, Denbighshire (MR p9): The railway has been successful with its grant aid
application from the Welsh Government to assist with the building of a new, permanent, station at
Corwen. The grant is for £128,000 from the Welsh Government Rural Communities scheme and will go
towards the cost of the new island platform. The 160m long platform is expected to cost around
£160,000 and once completed will be able to take an 8-coach train on one face and a 6-coach train on
the other face. A subway has already been built to provide access from ground level to the elevated
platform - the line being on an embankment at this point, which is the location where the former
LNWR line from Denbigh via Ruthin joined the formation.

MR130] Ayrshire Railway Preservation Group, East Ayrshire (MR p9): This group operates the Scottish
Industrial Railway Centre at Dunaskin, Waterside; between Dalmellington and Ayr. On Sunday 2 July
brake van rides were being operated by 0-4-0ST No10 (AB2244/1947) with LMS brake van M296676.
A double run was given over the running line south from Dunaskin station (52m 65ch) to the end of
line at 53m 10ch - parallel to the, now OOU, Scottish Coal line to Chalmerston (the last coal train left
10 July 2012). The latter is overgrown beyond the Network Rail boundary (just north of Dunaskin
station at 52m 69ch), while the Network Rail section is clear but heavily rusted. The final tour was
Pathfinder's 12 February 2011 'Galloway Galloper'. Admission to the site at Dunaskin was £6 for adults,
which allowed unlimited riding. The group has a shop, buffet, museum and running shed - but the rest
of the site is derelict, except perhaps the old wagon works. The former Dalmellington site is totally
derelict, although all the track still appears to be in-situ. The station platform is in position and the
track is intact towards Pennyvenie, although heavily overgrown. The narrow gauge railway is
completely lifted and a small section has been relaid at Waterside. The rest remains stacked nearby.

BELOW: Ayrshire Railway Preservation Group - No10 at work. The disused Chalmerston line
is just visible on the right. (Peter Scott 2 July 2017)

MR131] Kirkby Green Light Railway, Lincolnshire (MR p20) (BLN 1283.1333): The writer of this report
committed a cardinal sin in describing 1946 'William Bell' as a 'Stanier pacific'! The 4-6-2 was built by
David Curwen for the Hilsea Miniature Railway, near Portsmouth. It was numbered 1547 (as the first
locomotive [1] built in 1947 [47] and completed in May [5]). At that time it carried no name, but the
tender was lettered 'HMR'. The locomotive was actually based on an LNER Thompson A2 class pacific.
The railway at Hilsea closed in October 1949 and the whole railway (including 1547) was moved to
start a new line at Carr Mill, St Helens in Lancashire. Here 1547 was named 'William Bell' (presumably
after the owner of the line - a Mr Bell) and renumbered to 1946. Around 1953 the locomotive moved
to Drayton Manor Park where it was numbered 11, but retained its name. By 1967 it was with John
Rundle at New Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire. A photo taken in 1973 shows it was in a red livery by that
time. In July 2005 'William Bell' moved to the Kirkby Green Light Railway (on loan) for restoration.
Here, it returned to steam on 27 August 2007. A similar locomotive numbered 2647 was built at the
same time and ran at Weymouth. Miniature railway history is rarely straight forward!

MR132] Hastings Miniature Railway, East Sussex (MR 16) (BLN 1272.MR3): On Saturday 13 May our
roving reporter visited this 10¼" gauge railway. In operation was 'Speedy Fizzle' (RVM/2011) with four
canopied coaches. Trains ran at approximately hourly intervals. The current fares are £2 single and £3
return - unchanged since 2014. In July 1974 fares were 6p single and 10p return. Other locos and stock
are kept both in the small shed at Rock-a-Nore and the covered way under a nearby building. There
was two train running on Wednesday 7 June (crossing at 'The Stade' loop) but few passengers about.

BELOW: BLS special at Rudyard (note headboard) Wed 14 Jun - not a public running day (although
quite a few did express interest and wondered what was going on as we went in and out of the shed).
Looking south towards Leek; the new shed is in the back ground. (All Ian Mortimer unless specified.)

ABOVE: At Hunthouse Wood station headshunt end of line, looking north towards Rushton.
Vehicular access is along the former trackbed, one day the railway hopes to extend this way.

1564] Rudyard Lake Steam Railway 14 Jun: (MR p24)
As a prelude to our 'Cat & Dock' railtour the next day,
20 Members (including a 'Doc' but no Cat) eagerly
assembled at Rudyard station (also site of the standard
gauge one) and enjoyed tea and coffee while our trains
were prepared. One was with Steam No8 'King Arthur'
0-6-2T of 2005, and the other 4w4 DH 'Glen Auldyn'.
The first set off to Hunthouse Wood terminus where
the loco ran round and in true BLS tradition propelled
the train to the bufferstop on the remarkably long
headshunt. This cleared the loop's north spring point (even in summer) so return was through the loop
(what else would you expect on a BLS trip?). A second trip to the buffers was followed by Lakeside loop
(now with sprung points and left hand running) where we crossed the diesel-hauled train. The 1¼ mile
run on this 10¼" gauge railway alongside the lake is in superb scenery and it was a lovely sunny day
too. Back at Rudyard station a most interesting talk was well received about the history of the Lake
Railway and the Isle of Mull Railway (most of its assets are now here). On 18 Dec 2015 the new owner
bought the railway, under the name 'Leek & Rudyard Railway' (hint) and is investing heavily. The track
from Mull is earmarked for the south extension to Leek and an extension north is being considered.

After the diesel party arrived back they made a steam-hauled trip to Lakeside and we had an excellent
buffet lunch in two sittings. To do the start of the line south towards Leek, which newly curves sharply
around the west side of the brand new shed, a wagon had been especially adapted with four wooden
benches fixed to the sides onto which two people could (only just after that superb lunch) squeeze.
With eight per train, three trips were made propelled by No8 for everyone to reach the end of line.

BELOW: After lunch the stock on all the shed roads was moved to the running line north of Rudyard
station making an unusual sight. This view is typical of the lovely setting of the railway. There is plenty
of width on the trackbed for the 10¼" gauge line and the good sized foot and cycle path

BELOW: The new shed and track layout (all installed during the closure last winter) at the south end of
Rudyard station; the track was all traversed by our tour. Right of the shed is the start of the Leek
extension; the fence far right was moved out to accommodate it. Note the railway name on the shed.


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