Issue Number 1294 (Items 2371 - 2456 &IssMueRN2u2m6 b- eMr R1226385) (E-BLN 54 PAGES) 2 Dec 2017
BRANCH LINE NEWS
Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955
NEW WEBSITE ADDRESS: branchline.uk
Membership Enquiries, Alan Welsh [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677
British Isles news from member7s2; 8a6n7i7nternational section is available.
Opinions herein are not necessaarivlyaitlahbolsee. of the Compilers or the Society.
………………..BLN 1295 is dated Sat 16 DeSco;cCieotyn.tSroibciuettyio. ns must be received by 6 Dec
Date Event & details (FUTURE PROVISIONAL DATES OVERLEAF) BLN Lead Status
Sat 2/12/17 Reading 07.45; The Christmas Brush, STANDARD CLASS FULL 1290 KA OPEN
Sun 17/12/17 The Grand Farewell - Grand Central HST tour SEE BELOW 1294 JE *OPEN*
Sat 6/1/2018 09.30 - dark: Railtour of Scunthorpe Steel Works (now full) 1291 JE FULL
Sun 25/2/18 Newcastle: Tyne & Wear Metro railtour (north side) TBA TBA Claimed
20-24/4/18 5 day tour; Finnish freight lines that might finish (BELOW) 1290 IS OPEN
3 to 6/5/18 Island of Ireland 4-day 'long weekend' (SEE X.183 NEAR END) 1294 KA *OPEN*
Sat 12 May With '565 Railtours', West Coast traction & Colas Class 37s TBA TBA Claimed
Thu 14 Jun Annual Pre-Peaks Trekker, Loco-hauled charity railtour TBA TBA Claimed
IS-Iain Scotchman, JE-Jill Everitt, KA-Kev Adlam, TBA-To Be Advised, = book online at branchline.uk
2371] The Grand Farewell, Sun 17 Dec, UPDATES:
On Sat 16 Dec Pathfinder Tours have kindly agreed to
an extra Tamworth evening set down on their 'Jolly
Grid' tour to assist those who wish to participate in
our tour as well. The strikingly liveried Grand Central
6-car HSTs are going off lease soon. To mark this and
also the TOC's 10th anniversary (on 18 Dec 2017), we are running a track and traction charity tour
supporting the Railway Benefit Fund and Railway Children. Please help to fill it. Revised route due to
engineering work but with even more rare crossovers: (timings requested) Newcastle (PU 08.05) -
King Edward Bridge - Greensfield Jn - Sunderland .P4. (PU 08.28) - .Ryhope Grange Jn facing & trailing.
.crossovers & No1 Siding. (rev) - Ryhope Grange Jn (rev) - Hartlepool (PU 09.19) - Eaglescliffe -
Northallerton - York (PU 10.19) - Hambleton Curve - .Selby Canal Curve. - Doncaster (PU 10.59) - Sand
Bank Jn (rev) - Down Hexthorpe Goods (rev) - .Roberts Road Depot No7 Siding. the most significant line
furthest from the main and behind the shed (rev) - Sheffield (break/PU 12.55) - Woodhouse Jn -
Barrow Hill North Jn - Up & Down Staveley Goods - Barrow Hill South Jn (rev) - Beighton Jn - .Sheffield.
.Down Station Siding. - Hope Valley line - Hazel Grove - Stockport Dn Main - Denton - Baguley Fold Jn -
Brewery Jn - Rochdale - Halifax .P1. - Bradford Interchange P2 (rev SD 16.26) - Whitehall Curve -
Castleford - .Gascoigne Wood Down Goods Loop. (rev) - Sherburn Jn - Church Fenton - York (SD 18.02)
- Longlands Jn - Northallerton East Jn - Eaglescliffe, Marshalls Down Goods Loop - Hartlepool (SD
19.06) - Sunderland.P1. (SD 19.36) - .Up Pelaw Goods Loop in Down Direction. - Newcastle (SD 20.02).
Standard Class available for only £70 (under 18s must be accompanied: £5 off). WEBSITE BOOKINGS
ARE AVAILABLE (BUT PLEASE SEE OVERLEAF) which we encourage to assist your volunteer Society.
It is the easiest and quickest way to book with instant confirmation. Cheques (now banked on receipt)
payee 'Branch Line Society', please supply full names and membership numbers (if applicable) with an
email address and daytime phone number; if no email please send an SAE. A paper CPA can be printed
off our website or send SAE/request to Jill Everitt (back page). To economise on the significant printing
costs with electronic bookings available and website costs to fund, we are not printing booking forms.
E-BLN, IMPORTANT REMINDER: e-BLN is now viewed by logging on to our website.
2372] Website, IMPORTANT: With apologies to those who are already aware of this, to obtain the
BLS Member's Discount on fixtures, you must first be logged in as a member. You will find your
details are already completed but, if anything needs altering, please note it in the 'comments' box
near the bottom. If you book as a 'Guest' you will be charged the non-member's fare (due to the
significant work involved and extra card charges, regrettably the difference cannot be refunded).
If you are unclear how to log in as a member, please look for the red box on the Home page which
says: You are currently visiting as a guest. For details of how to login as a member, please click here
and follow the instructions given. You will have confirmation that you have successfully logged in as
a member when it no longer says 'Guest' at the top of the page under 'The Branch Line Society', but
instead says 'You are logged in as member no. XXX'. It is not possible to book Members' places on
any fixture if you are logged in as a 'Guest'. Several people did do this for the Grand Central tour on
17 Dec but fortunately the members and non-member's fares are (unusually) the same this time!
2373] AGM 2017: Some 80 members attended our Liverpool SGM & AGM on 18 Nov and there were
over 50 at Chris Totty's subsequent film presentation with a buffet. The supporting fixtures were well
attended. The changes to our Constitution and Standing Orders were carried unanimously. This means
that the Distribution Officer and Assistant Distribution Officer posts were abolished, the new
Committee posts of Bookings Officer (Jill Everitt) and Website Officer (Ian Delgado) were created and
the number of ordinary Committee members was increased from four to five. Ronald Jackson
(our former Assistant Distribution Officer) retired from the Committee and was thanked profusely for
his many years of service ensuring BLN reached members. Dave Monger (former Distribution Officer)
became an ordinary Committee member but remains the contact for problems in receiving paper BLN.
After the SGM our member Anuradha Chandran, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Railway Children,
gave an interesting presentation about the work of the charity. Their work in the UK rescuing homeless
children is funded wholly by our donations which are classified as 'unrestricted' whereas much of their
other sponsorship has to be used elsewhere. Manchester Piccadilly station is a particular focus with
two of their team there every day rescuing and helping children with plans to extend their presence to
King's Cross and Birmingham New Street stations. Our valuable support does make a difference.
At the AGM, our Membership Secretary Alan Welsh revealed that we have a new record number of
1,272 full members. This includes 39 new members joining via the new website since 20 Oct when it
went live, which had risen to 50 in 35 days by 23 Nov. [Adding the 65 Basic Members makes a grand
total of 1,348 as at 23 Nov - Ed.] Our subscription rates from 1 May 2018 will remain unchanged, and
offer very good value at £12 for electronic membership (including Minor Railways posted); £40.50p for
domestic BLN printed and posted first class twice a month, or £45 with BLN International, and £5 for
Basic Membership. ALL members can view/download e-BLN/e-BLNI and all the extras at our website.
Lisa Sheppard, a Hull member who works in accounts, is the new Members' Independent Accounts
Examiner. The 2018 AGM is provisionally on Sat 27 Oct 2018 at a preserved railway in Yorkshire with
supporting fixtures (this is likely to include part 2 of Chris Totty's colour railway films afterwards). After
the AGM our Website Officer, Ian Delgado, gave a demonstration of the new website to the audience.
2374] Fixtures Secretary's Report to 2017 AGM: Kev Adlam presented an interesting illustrated report
in his usual style demonstrating the wide range of our activities over the year - it is now available for
all members to see on the BLN section of the website and also indefinitely in the document archive
section. Since the 2016 AGM our activities have raised £185,357 for many different good causes, the
largest amount from one event (£46,454) went to Railway Children. Generally the charity benefiting
from an event is nominated by our industry partner/s. The 2016 AGM Chairman's Challenge had been
to average one mainline railtour a month and 15 had been run. During the year 27 members (including
Kev!) organised Society fixtures and 49 different stewards have been involved. Kev proposed a vote of
thanks to Jim Sellens who, incredibly, has (so far) printed over 14,000 souvenir tickets for 180 events.
Provisional plans for the first part of 2018 (they will appear in the BLN Fixtures Grid when appropriate):
●Sun 25 Feb: Tyne & Wear Metro (north side). ●24 Mar: Loco-hauled to the South Coast with West
Coast Railways. ●20-24 Apr: Finland loco-hauled tour of threatened freight lines (open for bookings).
●28 Apr: Loco-hauled to Scotland (Rail Operations Group). ●3-6 May: Island of Ireland Tracker III with
an Irish Rail mainline railtour. ●12 May: Loco-hauled with '565 Railtour' and Colas. ●14 Jun: Pre-Peaks
charter, loco-hauled with Direct Rail Services. ●30 Jun: Ketton Cement Works industrial branch line.
●11 & 12 Jul: Cornwall service trains Tracker. ●21 Jul: AV Dawson, Middlesbrough Goods revisited.
2375] Finland Railtour 20-24 April 2018: (BLN 1290.2000 has more and a map) We are pleased to
advise that this loco-hauled tour, now extended to five days, is .OPEN FOR BOOKINGS.. The loco will
be from the Haapamäen Museoveturiyhdistys (Haapamäen Locomotive Museum Association) and is
expected to be either their Dr12 or Dr13. A further loco, probably hired from VR, may be needed on
the lightweight class 'A' lines such as the branch to Amansaari, but confirmation is awaited.
20 April: Jyväskylä - Haapajärvi - Pyhäkumpu - Iisalmi. 21 April: Iisalmi - Otanmäki - Talvivaara -
Kajaani. 22 April: Kajaani - Ämmänsaari - Kontiomäki - Oulu. 23 April: Oulu - Raahe - Ykspihlaja -
Alholma - Seinäjoki. 24 April: Seinäjoki - Kaskinen - Seinäjoki. (BLN 1290 had a map of Finland's
railways) Please see the Fixtures section of our website where the trip can be booked online but
also complete the special booking form - which has much more information - with the additional
details required. This is available in Word to 'save*', preferably fill in electronically, and email to:
[email protected] Anyone unable to do this can print off and post a copy to Iain at
102 Shenfield Place, BRENTWOOD, CM15 9AJ. If you cannot print the forms, your BLN Editor (per
back page) will do one for you in return for an SAE. Please book promptly to confirm tour viability.
[*If your device shows it as 'Read Only' (this is a device feature not the website), save it in Word.]
1294 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
2376] Marsh West Jn - Great Coates No1 - Grimsby Light Railway - Immingham East Jn: The signal box
log at Pyewipe Road shows the last working (BLN 1292.2283) was 16.10 Wed 30 Aug 2017 when 6J34
Volker Rail Ballast Regulator NoDR77801 passed. Previously the NR yellow track recording DMU passed
Great Coates but stopped well short of Pyewipe Road as the driver wouldn't proceed due to foliage.
2377] Llandudno Jn - Blaenau Ffestiniog & 9 stations: TCP 19.00 22 Nov 2017 due to severe flooding
(damage repaired within 24 hours) and a shortage of DMUs due to storm damage. ROP Mon 27 Nov.
2378] Newcraighall East Jn - Millerhill EMU Depot (incl): 'Millerhill Emu Yard' on Realtime Trains.
(BLN 1293.2289) The 12 Nov partial commissioning did not occur, but full commissioning was due from
26 Nov 2017. Scheduled use is from Sun 10 Dec: first departure 08.10 ECS to Edinburgh; first arrival
(at 23.16) is the 23.05 ex-Edinburgh. Five trains (EMUs & DMUs) are booked to stable and be serviced.
2379] Dublin Green Line: St Stephen's Green (16.33km*) (excl) - Broombridge (21.88)
outbound via O'Connell Upper (unidirectional loop) and inbound via Parnell (unidirectional loop) and
O'Connell Upper-Parnell (unidirectional spur). Public OP expected 14.00 Sat 9 Dec 2017. [Track plan in
our LRT/Tram System Track Diagrams (05/11/2016), see the website Document Archive; search 'LRT'.]
13 new stops open: (outbound) Dawson (16.86), Westmoreland† (17.39), O'Connell-GPO† (17.66),
O'Connell Upper† (17.99), Dominick (18.42) with an unusual island platform, Broadstone-DIT (19.08),
Grangegorman (19.61), Phibsborough (19.96), Cabra (20.46) & Broombridge (adjacent to Irish Rail
station), inbound there is a unidirectional loop after Dominick stop via Parnell† (18.33), Marlborough†
(17.78) and Trinity† (17.30) then joins the outbound route before Dawson. Green Line services either
run through to Broombridge (25 minutes from St Stephen's Green) or take the spur from O'Connell
Upper to join the inbound route at Parnell.*From Brides Glen end of line. †Unidirectional service.
ABOVE: Irish Railway Record Society special at Broombridge terminus. (Martin Baumann 18 Nov 2017)
2380] Norton Bridge station: (BLN 1293.2285) The DfT has confirmed that the closure 'will take effect
on (Sun) 10 Dec 2017' the day West Midlands Trains takes over the franchise from London Midland.
With no Sunday (rail replacement bus) services CP is with effect from Mon 11 Dec 2017. The buses will
continue, subsidised by the DfT until the end of Mar 2019 at the latest. It will be interesting to see if
rail tickets can still be bought after 10 Dec (they could be online 12 weeks ahead as usual on 28 Nov).
In mid-Nov the ORR Norton Bridge closure ratification notice was displayed at Wedgwood and
Barlaston stations (probably little noticed!), and a copy of the letter at Crewe, but not at Stoke-on-
Trent (although it was when one of our members contacted the ORR!). However, at Birmingham New
Street a copy of the 19 Oct 2016 original closure proposal notice was mistakenly displayed instead.
2381] Midland Metro, Wolverhampton St George's - Priestfield (excl) & 'The Royal': (BLN 1281.1033)
ROP expected Sun10 Dec (13 days early); TCP Sun 11 Jun 2017 for replacement of rails (see item 2423).
2382] Wolverhampton, Crane Street Jn - Galton Jn - Soho North Jn - Soho South Jn - Birmingham
New Street (excl) and five stations (plus Smethwick Galton Bridge low level platforms), also:
Smethwick Jn - Galton Jn; Soho North Jn - Soho East Jn and Soho South Jn - Soho East Jn - Perry Barr
West Jn - Perry Barr North Jn/Perry Barr South Jn: TCP/TCA 25 Dec 2017 until 2 Jan 2018 (incl)
extended Christmas closure for layout remodelling at Soho North Jn and line resignalling. Long
distance trains between Wolverhampton and Birmingham are reduced (eg Arriva Trains Wales run
to/from Wolverhampton as do local Shrewsbury services) or diverted via Aston and Bescot. [NOTE:
(BLN 1284.1405) This suggests Birmingham New Street Phase 4 resignalling commissioning is from
Wed 3 Jan 2018 and Phase 5 from Wed 27 Dec 2017 rather than the other way round, can anyone
confirm please (and that control will all be from the West Midlands Signalling Centre).
2383] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered
BLN Start (incl) End (incl) Location (exclusive where bracketed) [bold = closed now]
1281.1033 11 Jun 17 10 Dec 17 *Midland Metro; Wolverhampton St George's - (Priestfield)
1222.1799 20 Dec 14 2 Jan 2018 (London Blackfriars) - (London Bridge) Thameslink work
1292.2195 †18 Nov 17 14 Jan 18 *Barking P1 & Woodgrange Park Jn - Gospel Oak Jn/P3 †18.30
1292.2197 8 Jan 18 14 Jan 18 Newcastle King Edward Bridge & Norwood Jn - (Metrocentre)
1275.365 11 Nov 17 28 Jan 18 Fylde Jn (Preston) - Kirkham North Jn - Blackpool South
1275.366 11 Nov 17 25 Mar 18 *Kirkham North Jn - Blackpool North
1286.1609 18 Sep 17 29 Mar 18 Seaton Tramway, Riverside Loop south end - Seaton
1291.2113 14 Oct 17 30 Mar 18 Darlaston Jn - Walsall Pleck Jn (SO weekly PSUL EMU)
1286.1612 22 Jul 2018 7 Oct 18 Derby station/associated lines - partial rotating closures now
1294 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
2384] Points & Slips: ●1292.2250] From 18 Nov Limerick P1 & 2 buffers at were indeed moved 20m
southeast. ●BLN 1293.2287] The Epping Ongar Railway (TCP Stonards Hill - Epping Forest from 4 Nov)
suffers badly from some locals near the forest area stealing things or putting sleepers etc on the track.
●2314] The replica Locomotion No1 built in 1975 for the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Stockton
& Darlington Railway was not a first (although it might have been the first replica built by apprentices).
The Great Western Railway scrapped broad gauge loco 'North Star' in 1906 (despite attempts to save
it) - 14 years after the end of broad gauge - then in 1925 built a replica at Swindon Works (so it is a
genuine GWR loco). It can be seen at
'STEAM', the Museum of the GWR at
Swindon. The e-BLN picture was, of
course, of 'The Rocket' not
'Locomotion No1' (but it really was
the Queen Mother beneath!). LEFT:
'The Rocket' (left) and 'Locomotion
No1' replicas (right) for comparison
outside the National Railway
Museum's Locomotion Museum in
Shildon, surprisingly no one
commented - except for the Regional
Editor (who is not responsible for the
pictures or captions). (Press Release)
●2339 & 2341] At Leamington Spa P4 is the Up bay and P1 the Down bay. In the early 1990s, there
were only shunt signals for P4 departures and (as now) P1 arrivals. Therefore terminating local services
(from Birmingham Moor Street and Stratford-upon-Avon) arriving at P4 had to shunt across ECS to
the Down side, usually to bay P1. Nowadays crossing the layout with the frequency of service would be
very difficult most of the time. This shunt was not so much 'traditional' as a necessity in passenger
service (although it was a 'traditional' method of working, also seen then at Stratford-upon-Avon, with
arrivals into P1 then and ECS shunt to P2 for P3 for departures).
X.175] Highley Surprising! NEXT PAGE UPPER: A member and his very generous dad were having a
late autumn day out on the Severn Valley Railway and also visited the Engine House. To their great
surprise a brand new, head turning, full length bright yellow NR rail grinder, just out of its box, passed
by on the afternoon of Mon 23 Oct. Seen here from Highley station platform. The forthcoming evening
testing and training shift was going to be a bit of a grind and sparks would fly. NEXT PAGE LOWER:
Probably one of the newest things to run on the Severn Valley Railway. (Both Alex Stewart)
1294 EAST MIDLANDS (John Cameron) [email protected]
2385] Doncaster: One of the Power Signal Box staff has kindly signalled that Up Bay P2 unusually has
booked use in the new timetable. Realtime Trains has (SSuX) 11.54 ex-Lincoln arriving P2 12.45 and
returning 13.01 with (SO) 14.10 ex-Lincoln (Doncaster 14.58/15.07). This uses the bidirectional Up side
signalling from Bessacarr Jn (via the facing crossover there towards Doncaster). Lincoln trains also
leave Doncaster (SuX) at 13.04 & 14.04 from P3b taking 2 hours via Sheffield rather than 48 minutes!
2386] Killingholme Spoilt: (BLN 1293.2303) A new contract for spoil traffic from the London area is
possible, reportedly requiring 17 drivers. The owners of land at Killingholme have won a contract to
store BMW vehicles. However, to obtain insurance they have to raise it 5m above the flood plain!
PREVIOUS PAGE TOP AND THIS PAGE ABOVE: The view west from a train on the Killingholme branch
(4 Nov 2017) with spoil from Kellingley in the foreground. Lindsey Oil Refinery is behind (with sun and
clouds not pollution - honest!) all John Cameron. PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: Looking east out towards
the North Sea from the same train on the branch, some reclaimed ('spoilt') land is already in use for
car storage. Immingham Bulk Terminal is beyond and the large Biomass storage silos are the top right.
2387] No reservations about staying on at Retford: On Sat 25 Nov with the ECML closed onward to
Peterborough, terminating trains from the north used the Up Main to Down Main facing crossover at
Retford North (139m 71ch). The first such train arrived Retford at 07.50, with two members on board.
Virgin customer service staff told passengers on the freezing platform that they couldn't board until
the mission critical card reservation labels had been individually inserted! After all, the 20 or so people
on the platform strategically deployed throughout the lengthy train would have made this impossible!
When challenged about boarding, having been told not to, our members pointed out that they had
arrived on the train and never alighted! Probably more confused than convinced, this solicited no
more discussion. Only partially hypothermic, the other passengers infiltrated the modest warmth of
the vestibules while the paper inserting process methodically progressed in the nice warm saloons.
2388] Newark Castle (BLN 1293.2301) NR is replacing 1km of track near the station and over the level
crossing which will reduce the noise made by trains. The crossing and line will be closed at times.
2389] LE NUCKLE: Not a French joint but a project to restore through trains between LEicester,
NUneaton and Coventry (Kenilworth and LEamington Spa); an extension of 'NUCKLE' and clearly a
contender for the worst acronym ever. Until 23 May 2004 Central Trains ran through trains between
Coventry and Nottingham (with a 10.37 Coventry to Barnsley even for good measure - why not?),
reversing at Nuneaton, using brand new Class 170 Turbo DMUs. Infrastructure changes at Nuneaton
with the WCML upgrade and the increased Trent Valley Line frequency caused the service to be split.
Nottingham to Coventry now takes about 90 minutes by train changing at Leicester and Nuneaton
(on good connections) or Birmingham but this could be reduced to 48 minutes with a direct service.
A document entitled 'Prospectus for Growth' features a £51M rail plan, nicknamed 'LE NUCKLE', to
restore the direct rail link. Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, Leicestershire and Warwickshire
County Councils, Leicester and Coventry City Councils, Midlands Connect and rail strategists SLC Rail
are all promoting the proposals. The plan says that the reinstated route would provide an economic
benefit of between £25-£65M a year. A bid has been worked up but funding needs to be sourced.
2390] Derby: (BLN 1286.1612) Part of a car park has been closed as work starts on building the new
340m long P6 on the east side of the station. It will be opposite to the current P6 on the Goods Lines
and sidings with its own stairs and lifts connecting it to the existing footbridge. As a result the Carriage
Sidings (1 & 2) were to be abolished from 3 Dec pending removal. Little used Derby bay P5 is also to
be abolished (presumably in July). In the new timetable (SSuX) the 16.07 from Crewe arrives P5 17.26
then forms the 17.52 to Nottingham. (SO) there are four P5 arrivals from Crewe at 10.26, 12.26, 13.26
& 16.26 with return workings at 10.42, 12.42, 13.42, & 16.42 - these all run Mon-Fri as well until 8 Dec.
2391] Northampton: Yet another rail freight interchange said to be supporting up to 7,500 jobs will be
considered by councillors and is recommended for approval. Roxhill property developers (now building
East Midlands Gateway freight interchange) want to build Northampton Gateway Strategic Rail
Freight Interchange, depot and warehousing on 116 acres at M1 Jn 15, south of the town. It includes
sidings to each warehouse (as elsewhere no guarantee of any trains though). South Northamptonshire
Council examined the plan on 30 Nov; the Planning Inspectorate makes a final decision early next year.
BELOW: The initial plans, interestingly very 'green'; needless to say there is a vociferous local campaign
trying to stop it. The Northampton line runs top to bottom, the Weedon WCML is off bottom left.
X.176] NEXT PAGE (LANDSCAPE): (BLN 1293.2347) With thanks to Dave Cromarty, a better version of
the Cromford & High Peak Railway plan to accompany Angus McDougall's article in BLN 1293.
CROMFORD & HIGH PEAK RAILW
Not to scale, some quarry and industrial
A A P1 Harpur Hill
Ladmanlow To Buxton
Old Harpur P2 Hindlow
To Stockport Canal Wharf
P3 Burbage Tun
S3 Parsley Hay
To Ashbourne Fride
WAY, c.1960 KEY
l lines omitted Cromford & High Peak (open)
aley Bridge Incline Cromford & High Peak (closed)
To Buxton Sidings and private lines
Other British Railways (LMR) lines
nnel Proposed Midland Railway link
AA Stations (Goods/former passenger)
1 Hurdlow Incline
Longcliffe 2 Hopton Incline
3 Middleton Incline
4 Sheep Pasture Incline
Sidings and Private Lines
( P1 Clay Cross Co. Grin Branch
( P2 Harpur Hill quarries and lime works
P3 Brigg's Siding
P4 Dowlow Siding
P5 Derbyshire Silica Firebrick
P6 Hopton Wood Quarries
P7 Killer's Branch (to Killer's Quarry)
P8 Black Rocks Stone Co.
S1 Steeplehouse & Wirksworth Goods
S2 Cromford Goods
S3 Whaley Bridge To Matlock
P7 High Peak J
) ( 3 P8 S2
2392] Corby: From Mon 26 Feb new and altered signalling and infrastructure is to be commissioned:
Harrowden Jn - Market Harborough Jn - Manton Jn. On the Corby line 40 OHL masts are now erected.
X.177] BELOW: An unusual sight these days: Class 20s on a Rail Head Treatment Train at Melton Ross,
(just east of Barnetby), approaching from the Cleethorpes direction. (Stewart Ross, 20 Nov 2017.)
1294 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]
2393] Bakerloo Line Microgricing: The last guide was Jan 2017 (BLN 1272.44), updated in Jun 2017
(BLN 1282.1157). WTT No43 is dated 10 Dec 2017 and can be downloaded at https://goo.gl/rQGbDM .
The only microgricing change arises from retiming of the last Euston - Watford Junction train, resulting
indirectly in increased use of the Queen's Park facing crossover. The guide below shows the complete
booked passenger service over all running lines, crossovers, slips and platforms where that is not
readily deducible. LU train running numbers are shown in [square brackets]. = Known recent use by
LU/LO to turn back in service during planned engineering. = Known passenger use during disruption.
•Connections with Jubilee Line at Baker Street, Queen's Park south slip, Willesden Junction
…crossovers (both ends) and Wembley Central crossover: no booked use.
•Lambeth North (both), Piccadilly Circus, Paddington & Harrow & WealdstoneX/Os: ECS only.
•Kilburn High Road crossover: ECS only, by both LU (reversing at Kilburn High Road) and London
…Overground (LO) (reversing there and at Queen's Park).
•Willesden Junction bay P2 (LO only, too short for Bakerloo trains, all to or from North London Line):
Arrivals SSuX 08.48 (but 00.29 SuMX uses P3); SO 00.57; SuO 00.29, 00.59, 23.47.
Departures SSuX 05.58; SO 05.57; SuO 09.01.
•Queen's Park northbound arrivals at P2: SuMX 00.35½ ; SuO 00.35½  (each has connection
…on to Stonebridge Park but not to south). [Thanks again to Bill Lynch for this item.]
2394] Barking - Gospel Oak: (BLN 1292.2195) A trip on 16 Nov, two days before the latest closure to
complete the electrification, revealed the following. After the run off masts and wires at Woodgrange
Park Jn, masts had been erected and some of the droppers, but only the earth wire, to Walthamstow
Queen's Road. Beyond here some wire had been installed (certainly on the eastbound track) through
South Tottenham, but wiring was not yet reinstated on the spurs to Tottenham South Jn and Seven
Sisters. Through Harringay Green Lanes full wiring was in place, but ECML connection only had masts
and supports, with a short run off. Both lines were wired through Crouch Hill and Upper Holloway,
including the west end crossover. At Gospel Oak the through lines are wired but not yet bay P3.
2395] Bond Street: The station upgrade has been completed with the opening of a new entrance and
ticket hall on the north side of Oxford Street at Marylebone Lane. Two new escalators and two new
interchange tunnels have been installed, along with four lifts that give step-free access to all platforms.
2396] Crossrail: (BLN 1293.2309) From 27 Nov the signalling between Old Oak Common Crossrail
Depot Lines 1 and 2 and the new depot was commissioned. The class 345 EMU moved here on 7 Nov
was worked into the depot during an engineering possession. Also from 27 Nov, OOU points were
installed in the Up Main at Ladbroke Grove Jn at 2m 05ch.
2397] DLR: Four companies have pre-qualified to build a minimum order of 43 new 'walk-through'
(very useful for us!) fixed formation trains 'equivalent to' current 3-cars for delivery from 2022. They
partly replace ⅔ of the fleet which is life expired but will also enhance services. Initially 10 are for extra
services; the overall effect will be 30% more capacity (122M passengers per year are now carried).
All the present units have full width inter-car gangways, but usually run as pairs of 2-car units with no
access between them. The 3-car sets may be articulated with three double bodies so effectively 6-car.
2398] Holloway Road: From 17 Nov opening has been restricted before and after events at the nearby
Emirates stadium to avoid overcrowding. Eastbound Piccadilly Line services will not stop for one hour
before the start of a game or event. The station will close 15 minutes before the scheduled final
whistle and remain closed for 90 minutes after the end of events or the final whistle.
2399] Piccadilly Line: (BLN 1290.2033) Because of a shortage of Train Operators, further reductions
have been made to the 'Night Tube' service, officially from 3 Nov but in practice before that. Trains
now run every 15 minutes until 03.00 and then every 20 minutes.
X.178] BELOW TOP: Royal Oak Down side, looking east towards Paddington station, work in progress
on the Link Line and Royal Oak Sidings 1 & 2 which are temporarily OOU. (All Stuart Hicks 27 Oct 2017.)
BELOW: Left of the Up side at Royal Oak is Paddington Crossrail tunnel exit (looking east towards
Paddington) a Hammersmith & City/Circle line train is right, far right is the Great Western main line.
ABOVE: Some new track for us! In the other direction the Up side Crossrail construction connection
was being replaced. Looking west, the new Paddington turnback sidings (for trains terminating from
the east). The ECS will normally do this on 'autopilot' while the driver changes ends (it will be a long
way to walk through!). As well as the scissors, there will be one through and two dead end sidings.
2400] Thameslink: (BLN 1293.2307) With all trackwork apparently complete between Waterloo East
and North Kent East Jn, work has now started between the latter and Edward Street Jn to restore
lines 3 and 4 to their original alignments. No3 Line will revert to being the Up Cannon Street and No4
Line will become a Down line again, although it will be the continuation of the Southwark Reversible
rather than a pure Charing Cross line. These two lines were temporarily the Down and Up Charing
Cross respectively. The Carriage Reception Road at Blackfriars will be remodelled at the Blackfriars
station end to convert it into the through Down Snow Hill Spur Line. The final layout, as shown in the
plans with BLN/e-BLN 1293, is planned to come into use at the start of play on Tue 2 Jan 2018 (all lines
controlled by Three Bridges ROC); the final section of the new concourse at London Bridge also opens.
This will follow closure of all SouthEastern (SE) lines through London Bridge from 23 Dec to 1 Jan
inclusive. During this period SE services will be diverted to Victoria and, on 27-29 Dec (working days),
will also run to Blackfriars and via Linford Street Viaduct to Waterloo, where RTT indicates use of P22.
The Thameslink core section will also be closed throughout the ten day period, with Farringdon served
only by LU and City Thameslink closed. This year there will be no Boxing Day services on SouthEastern,
Southern or Thameslink, although buses operate on Gatwick Express and some Southern routes.
From 2 Jan SE services to and from Cannon Street will once again call at London Bridge, apart from
some contra-peak trains SSuX. The only other significant change is that, according to the SE website
(but not RTT), Hayes branch off-peak services SuX, currently 4tph to/from Charing Cross, with 2tph
serving Lewisham, will be revised. It will be 2tph to/from Cannon Street and 2tph to/from Charing
Cross, all via Lewisham, then making the Parks Bridge Jn - Ladywell Jn spur largely peak hour use only.
The first Thameslink trains through London Bridge on 2 Jan could be 05.35 (P5) and 05.38 (P4) but,
generally, services will run largely as they do now, with trains that run non-stop between East Croydon
and Blackfriars taking one of two paths, either via Crystal Palace as now or via London Bridge. Each
train could vary day to day depending upon whether the driver has learned the route via the latter.
As a result of the uncertainty, there will be no advertised calls at London Bridge. Owing to the journey
time disparity, trains via London Bridge will need to 'spin out' time. Generally, northbound trains will
make a brief call in P5, and then stand for 5 mins at Blackfriars Jn signal TVS4408. Going south, they
will run non-stop through P4 and stand for about 4 mins at Bricklayers Arms Junction signal TL4449.
There is then pathing time for both southbound paths to come together at Norwood Junction.
A few Littlehampton and Horsham services to and from London Bridge low level platforms will be
transferred from Southern to Thameslink. The independent Thameslink Industry Readiness Board,
chaired by Chris Gibb, has recommended against a 'big bang' in May 2018 when all but the Cambridge
- Maidstone East services were due to start. Mr Gibb was at Virgin Cross Country for 'Operation
Princess' in 2002 and says he 'still bears the scars' from trying to introduce too many new services at
the same time. As many will recall, a large number of changes had to be made after just a short period.
Some 70% of the planned benefits will be delivered in May, including the introduction of the new
Southern timetable. There will also be alterations to the East Midlands Trains timetable. Thameslink
changes, however, will be more gradual with 18tph through the core in peak-hours, 12 of which will be
via London Bridge. From April until the timetable change on 20 May, a few trains will start to run to/
from the GN section through the Canal tunnels and there will be a final transition week in which some
of the new services will start before the timetable change to position trains correctly for its start.
In Dec 2018 there will be a few more trains added, but the Cambridge - Maidstone East service will not
start until Dec 2019. The report says that this will be done by joining up services which have been
terminating at King's Cross and Blackfriars. It is not clear which route the latter will have been taking
between Swanley and Blackfriars; the final route is via Chislehurst and London Bridge. The SE
consultation timetable for May 2018 ignored this service as it was not due to start until Dec 2018,
when there would have been a further recast of the Maidstone East line timetable. However the Luton
- Rainham service prompted a major recast of the Dartford line services, which it seems will go ahead
in May 2018. Before the final Thameslink service starts there will have been a franchise renewal at SE.
All the bidders are required to provide a fully resourced timetable which could well all be different and
may not bear any relation to the existing one nor to the one that has already been consulted upon,
particularly as the DfT has 'suggested' (ie mandated) a 'simplification' of train services. This would
mean many hundreds (thousands?) changing trains at Lewisham and London Bridge who currently
don't need to. The latter's new passenger capacity would be eaten up overnight and the former would
likely grind to a halt, as it can barely take the number of passengers who are changing there now.
(Partly compiled from 'Modern Railways Insight'.)
2401] Northern Line Battersea Extension: (BLN 1287.1739) Tunnelling was completed on 8 Nov.
1294 NORTH EAST (Geoff Blyth) north-east-
2402] County Durham Ramblings: Following his
exploration of Waskerley (BLN 1257.1010), our member
visited Rowley (NZ 087 479) on the Waskerley Way
cycle track (part of the 'Coast 2 Coast' cycle route). Only
the back wall of a platform exists here, behind the small
car park provided for footpath users. This is hardly
surprising, as the station was painstakingly dismantled
and re-erected at Beamish museum over 30 years ago.
ABOVE: Waskerley 28 Sep 1963 during the Stephenson Locomotive Society/RCTS North Eastern grand
five day railtour from 27 Sep to 1 Oct 1963 see https://goo.gl/8t23it (and weep!). (Angus McDougall)
Approaching Consett, Hownes Gill (or Hownsgill) viaduct (700 ft long and 150 ft high, with 12 arches of
50 ft span) is a magnificent survivor, best appreciated from a distance at ground level. It is now a cycle
track fitted with high protective barriers either side. PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: The Viaduct. (T & L
Turnbull). BELOW: The dramatic viaduct now has special fencing to prevent jumping (press release).
ABOVE: 1961 7th Series, Howngill Viaduct is ringed in orange. At Consett there is nothing left of the three
stations: Leadgate top right, Consett upper middle right and Blackhill top middle. Rowley is bottom left.
BELOW: Pateley Bridge station building on 21 Nov 2015. (Angus McDougall)
The line from Consett to Durham (CP 1 May 1939; CA 20 Jun 1966) was visited next. Following
passenger closure, it was used for Durham Miners' Gala* specials, the last train being 17 Jul 1954.
Knitsley, Lanchester and Witton Gilbert stations all survive as private residences, in good condition
and with some extensions. All are in the NER favoured 1860's style: stone-built, with very distinctive
stepped-end gables - found elsewhere, as at Pateley Bridge and Egton. Platforms survive at all three,
fenced-off at Knitsley and Lanchester and concealed by a Cypress-Leylandii hedge at Witton Gilbert,
which has an NER trespass notice in the ront garden that can be photographed. Bearpark (Aldin
Grange pre-1 May 1927) was a later addition, at one end of the village, OP 1883. The red-brick station
house is a private residence, but the station has been demolished. On the Waterhouses branch (CP 29
Oct 1951, having been reduced to one train daily SSuX in Oct 1949; CA 28 Dec 1964), Ushaw Moor is a
private house, well hidden behind trees, a high wall and high gates bearing the lettering 'Station
House'. In 2014 our member visited the site of Waterhouses station (NZ 192 416) and found no traces.
It is in Esh Winning, the next village to the east. [*For those who like attending Galas, in spite of the
obliteration of the Durham coalfield, the Durham Miners' Gala https://goo.gl/hP5SQt survives,
funded by the local community. Over 200,000 people attended this year and it is still a 'must go' event
for senior Labour Party figures.]
1294 NORTH WEST (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
2403] Liverpool: Liverpool City Region has updated its long term rail strategy to include plans for a
major upgrade of Liverpool Central. Its previous 30-year strategy, agreed by the Combined Authority
in Sep 2014 with 12 work packages, is being reworked creating three strands: (1): Programmes now
underway. (2): Future schemes which will depend on increasing capacity at Liverpool Central station.
(3): Future schemes which can be progressed without any intervention at Liverpool Central.
The strategy notes that many capacity constraints will be addressed by existing schemes, including the
introduction of new Merseyrail trains which will carry more passengers. However, transporting more
people is expected to exacerbate constraints in Liverpool Central, described as the most used station
in the city. NR's Liverpool City Region Strategic Rail Study stated that there would need to be an
expansion of the station in Control Period 7 (2024-2029) at the latest. Development work is now
underway by Merseytravel to review how to provide additional rail capacity in Liverpool city centre.
Liverpool Central options include widening the platforms or adding a new platform, expanding the
concourse area, relocating the station, or progressing schemes at Moorfields and James Street
stations. Liverpool Central was cosmetically refurbished in 2012. The current remodelling work at
Lime Street, increasing the number of platforms from 9 to 10, only addresses issues until 2026.
Merseytravel is to work with NR to identify the future requirement for a city centre station which
could include further platform extensions or relocating the station. Other schemes that would further
increase use of Liverpool Central include reopening the Wapping Tunnel (to Edge Hill) for passenger
services, which would not require a great deal of work, the planned new route to Skelmersdale and
building a new station at John Lennon Airport.
2404] Ordsall Chord reduces fares! (BLN 1290.2005) Costing £85M and commissioned from 2 Oct, all
work was completed by NR on the 9 Nov, on schedule for opening to passengers with the new 10 Dec
timetable. 4,000 tonnes of steel, 10,800 cubic yards of concrete and 28,500 tonnes of ballast have
been used. The line can be done for £2.80 (Railcard £1.85) with an Off-Peak day return between
Manchester Victoria and Oxford Road. However, prior to 10 Dec an anytime day single via Salford
Crescent was £4.20 (Railcard £2.80 but no return fare) and very curiously the Lancashire Day Ranger
(£23; Railcard £15.20) was suggested for an Off-Peak day return journey, again via Salford Crescent!
2405] Blackburn King Street: (BLN 1293.2286) On Sat 11 Nov 2017 the first DMU ECS to arrive at the
new depot was 23.57 (Fri) from Blackburn formed of 156428 and 142062, having previously worked
23.04 Manchester Victoria to Blackburn via Bolton. Next was 00.07 from Blackburn with 150112 and
142032, off 22.50 Manchester Victoria to Blackburn via Todmorden. The last arrival was 23.58 (Fri)
from Blackpool North, comprising 150148, 150137 and 142061. 150148 had arrived at Blackpool North
on 19.18 from Manchester Victoria and 150137 and 142061 on the 22.23 from Manchester Victoria.
They were respectively due at 00.04, 00.14 and 00.53 but actually arrived at 00.07, 00.18 and 01.06.
The first departures on Sat 11 Nov were 05.34 to Preston to work 06.05 to Rose Grove formed of
150148. This was followed by 05.59 to Blackburn, comprised of 142032 and 150112 and subsequently
worked 06.20 to Clitheroe. Next was 06.13 to Blackburn with 156428 and 142062, to work 06.27 to
Manchester Victoria via Bolton and finally 07.07 to Blackburn formed of 142061 and 150137, for 07.19
to Wigan Wallgate via Todmorden and Bolton. The departures were all early, the last one left at 06.26.
2406] Bare Lane: On 24 Nov, memories of the branch freight were briefly revived when, at 15.09, the
station fittings were rattled by 68004 accelerating a single nuclear flask (68034 on the rear) off the
single line from Hest Bank and along the bidirectional Down & Up Heysham. It was the first time that
our member had seen this train on a Friday, possibly due to flooding in Cumbria over the previous two
days. It caused the level crossing barriers to be down for longer than usual, but made a stirring sight.
2407] Blackpool: While both lines are closed for engineering works, from 11 Nov until 28 Jan (then
changing), there is a 15-minute interval bus service most of the day provided by Blackpool Corporation
with 'Palladium' single decker buses or Alexander/Dennis 'Enviro 400' double deck vehicles. Four times
an hour a 'fast' non-stop Blackpool North bus is scheduled to take 50 minutes and another to take
65 minutes calling at all stations. An hourly service covers the Blackpool South branch. There has been
considerable press coverage concerning poor timekeeping! The 'fast' rush hour journeys often take
80 minutes (trains took 27). The timetable booklet has an insert of the (omitted) evening services.
1294 SOUTH EAST - NORTH (& EAST ANGLIA) (Julian James) [email protected]
2408] Information Request: We have been set a challenge to assist with an article in preparation
about the East West Rail scheme, particularly the mothballed section: Claydon L&NE Jn to Bletchley
Swanbourne Sidings. Our Thames & Chiltern Rambler II DMU of 31 May 1993 was the last tour over
the route and included the Grendon Underwood Jn to Akeman Street branch and into Wolverton
Works (even the traverser!). In the previous four years or so, sleepers were diverted (southbound)
off the WCML south of Coventry/Nuneaton to Euston via Oxford (rev), Claydon and Bletchley (rev).
One was seen on Bletchley Flyover once, does anyone have any dates or details etc please?
2409] Cambridge North: Passenger numbers at the newest station on NR continue to grow ahead of
predictions six months after opening on 21 May 2017. Over 75,000 people had used it by 21 Nov with
nearly 5,000 during the week commencing 24 Sep (the most yet) - almost double its opening week.
2410] Cambridge South: (BLN 1288.1861) The 17 Nov publication of the National Infrastructure
Commission report calling for allocation of £7bn for new transport links between Cambridge and
Oxford and Milton Keynes has led to renewed lobbying for rail projects at both extremes (see also
Oxford, below). Cambridge News reported 'Calls to make sure another new railway station at
Addenbrooke's hospital is delivered by 2022' and that 'A new east-west rail link could help connect
Cambridge with Oxford and Milton Keynes, speeding up travel times, and allowing more housing to be
built along the route – easing the housing crisis in the area. New direct connections could also be
forged far into Norfolk and Suffolk, helping commuters from towns like Bury St Edmunds.' Mayor
James Palmer of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority said bringing forward the
building of another new station in Cambridge would be welcomed. He added that a new link from
Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds could be on the cards, which could link in with a new station at
Addenbrooke's hospital in the south. Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council said he
hoped to have the station completed even before the 2022 deadline. 'We will be working with the
Mayor, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Government to try to beat the 2022 deadline, provided
Government confirms funding next week (the Budget speech) to match planned private investment
and local funding contributions'. Indeed the Chancellor did confirm a Government £5M contribution.
ABOVE: 1959 7th Series with the previous Bedford St Johns station and two stations at Sandy (right).
2411] Bedford - Sandy: In March our reporter found rather overgrown remains of the platforms at the
original Bedford St Johns (TL 052 489) station (CP 14 May 1984), past the third corner of the former
triangle and straight on where the present Bletchley to Bedford line now swings sharp left to the
resited St Johns station. An official footpath runs from 400yd east of the old station to the western
edge of Sandy, with only a couple of minor deviations, along the 8½ mile former LNWR trackbed
(which was double track up to the first River Ouse bridge at Bedford then single to Sandy.)
At the 'other' Willington station (TL 113 503) the brick and stone-built goods yard platform exists;
there are no obvious remains of the passenger station, east of the level crossing. At Blunham (TL 149
505) the station and station house survive as adjacent private residences in the midst of a minor
modern housing estate. East of the station the underbridge over the main road has gone, but beyond
there the bridge over the River Ivel can be walked as part of the footpath, as can the Ouse bridges
between Bedford and Willington. Approaching Sandy, nothing remains of Girtford Halt, (TL 164 504), a
short-lived 1938 LMS halt (OP 1 Jan 1938, CP 17 Nov 1940). The site of its one-coach platform on the
south side of the line is now a roundabout. Passing under the A1 bridge the trackbed has nearly all
vanished under post-1970s housing development, except a 200yd section of embankment. The bridge
over the ECML main line has gone, as has Sandy LNWR island platform (CP 1 Jan 1968) next to and
slightly south east of, but separate from the present station. There is no sign of the double track west
to north curve.
2412] Cowley Branch: (BLN 1283.1290) The Oxford Mail claims that the National Infrastructure
Commission report indicates passenger services should (sic) be running to Cowley 'within two years'!
The line would potentially link Oxford Business Park in Cowley and Oxford Science Park in Littlemore
with Oxford station and Oxford Parkway in Water Eaton. It is included in Oxfordshire County Council's
Oxford Transport Strategy for the period to 2031. The leader of Oxford City Council said 'I think it will
be challenging, but it's one of those aspirations which has been much endorsed by Network Rail'.
Chiltern Railways welcomed the proposals in the National Infrastructure Commission report.
2413] Didcot Parkway: The extension at the London end of P1 has now been brought into use.
BELOW: Two recent views of Didcot Parkway P1 & 2 London end with ironmongery. (Stuart Hicks)
2414] Grey Light for a Green Station: The staff electronic display (mirroring the signallers' display) on
the exterior wall of the waiting room near Reading P3 buffer stops has the position of 'Green Park' in
light grey, a colour not used elsewhere on it. The new £16M station is now funded (BLN 1290.2061).
1294 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
2415] Chichester - Selsey: A recent boat trip along the Chichester Ship Canal revealed remaining track
of the standard gauge West Sussex Railway, previously the Hundred of Manhood and Selsey Tramway,
still visible in the concrete abutments of the north side of the Hunston Lifting Bridge (SU 8603 0210).
It OP Aug 1897 (7½ miles) extending ½ mile from Selsey Town to Beach from 1898 until about 1912;
CA Jan 1935). A wheeled axle has been placed on the track though rails and axle are difficult to see due
to undergrowth. Early photographs shown on Wikipedia are much clearer. The route of the Tramway
to the south side of the bridge is clearly seen by way of a wide, well mown, footpath between gardens.
The memory of the railway also lives on in the name of Terminus Road, to the south of the current
Chichester Station, which was constructed a few years after the opening of the line. Looking at old
maps however it does appear that the Selsey line station was not served from this road although it was
just south of the present station. All other vestiges of the line at the Chichester end have disappeared
under new development. Your correspondent does have faint childhood memories from the late 40s,
early 50s of seeing the old terminus station as a ramshackle shed with no clear purpose! The canal trip
https://goo.gl/aAxbS5 is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours, particularly in the 'low-season'.
1294 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]
2416] Portishead - The Bitter Pill: (BLN 1293.2336) The £145-178M (and counting) cost of the ideal
half-hourly service exceeds potential funding, due to the track slews etc required for higher speeds.
Instead an hourly Portishead to Bristol service is planned, also made necessary as Ashton Vale level
crossing barrier road closure times would exceed acceptable levels so an alternative crossing would be
needed. Funding is to be requested from the DfT's 'Large Local Major Transport Scheme Fund'. North
Somerset Council (NSC) approved an extra £6M contribution on 14 Nov to supplement £12M promised
by local councils, subject to DfT funding the rest. Anticipating success, NSC prepared the Development
Consent Order draft (MetroWest Phase 1) per BLN 1293 details and consultation on it ends on 4 Dec.
This includes various exhibitions and a member visited that at Temple Meads on 10 Nov. It was held in
'Platform 14', a clever name given to the Exhibition Hall at Brunel's old station, now marketed as
'Engine Shed' and visited during our Oct 2011 Bristol AGM weekend. (The even numbered platforms
at Temple Meads are at the country end and, with P13 being a long bay and recently extended to
accommodate IETs, there is no P14). 'Platform 14' entrance is directly from the bottom of the station
incline, across the cobbled area still housing original tramway tracks accessing the old Tram Terminus.
At 17.15, the Exhibition was notably quiet with the 8 or so representatives waiting customers.
Although a disappointing turn-out (but at going-home time), it allowed detailed discussion, particularly
with NR staff, while examining the detailed maps and visualisations of significant areas.
If successful, notification is anticipated in spring 2018, allowing construction to start in spring 2020
with passenger service intended late 2021. This is a one train Temple Meads to Portishead hourly
shuttle, taking 23 minutes. There is scope for limited extra peak-hour services, based upon existing
trackwork and speed restrictions. It allows for regular freight paths to Portbury Dock, although these
are well in excess of the number currently used. (The initially proposed half-hourly service taking
around 15 minutes requires greater line speeds, needing costly significant track slewing).
Portishead and Pill stations are designed to accommodate 5 cars, although initially only a Class 166
(3-car, 270 seats) would be used, anticipating 70% loading only with an hourly service. Longer-term, a
2-car Class 165 (yet to be cascaded from Reading) can be added. (The visualisations show a 3-car diesel
Class 350 design but no new rolling stock is anticipated). Portishead station cannot be accommodated
in the central area initially set aside because this would require expensive road overbridges as the
alternative new level crossing over Quays Avenue is nowadays totally prohibited. The station is to be
sited the non-town side of Quays Avenue, with that road slewed towards the town to provide space.
The trackbed beyond that initially set aside for the station will provide car parking. The station will be a
single platform on the north side. A freight loop is shown at Pill station which also has a single
platform with car park on the non-town side closest to the River Avon. Improvements to Parson Street
and Bedminster stations allowing stops there could be delayed if full funding is not granted.
The proposals maintain cycleways and address ecological needs; unique whitebeam trees and orchids
in the Avon Gorge that would be disturbed. Seeds have been collected to plant four items per loss in
protected areas. The tunnels and terrain provide homes for bats and there are also people long-term
resident in the caves on National Trust land whose wellbeing must be preserved! ('Wot', no newts?)
As well as the Portishead service, Phase 1 funding is intended to improve Severn Beach services from
every two hours to hourly and all stations between Avonmouth, Parson Street and Bath would have
trains at least every 30 minutes. Phase 2, if progressed, includes the 'Henbury Spur' (BLN 1271.3189) -
Filton to Henbury. https://goo.gl/4M1D2m has more details, with online feedback taking 2 or 3
minutes until 4 Dec, supportive responses from our members are welcome to assist the bid. Portway
Parkway Park & Ride on the Severn Beach line is progressing as a separate project (BLN 1288.1870).
2417] Bristol Parkway. (BLN 1292.2243) From 13 Nov the Down Stoke Gifford Goods Loop and Down
Stoke Gifford Reception line were temporarily taken OOU. The remaining trackwork of the new layout
is now largely laid, the last being the replacement west end headshunt for the Down Goods Yard.
The bed had been prepared with its diamond slip but track beyond this was not laid until 18/19 Nov to
a temporary stop block. Trackbed preparation suggests a longer headshunt in future. Some good news
if you didn't do the original headshunt, it is now part of the Bristol direction exit from P1! This required
the south side of the embankment to be slightly widened for the new headshunt and running line.
The publicly visible 'Staff Information' screen at the bottom of P2 stairs shows P1 Bristol exit in grey
(see also item 2414 above) connected at the Bristol end and 'OOU' (then pending commissioning),
although the track appears complete. Do they automatically update when signalling is amended or are
they updated separately? (Intended for staff use, they have been reported in BLN before and show
track layouts, with real time signalling aspects (may be restricted to red/green options only) and train
occupancy. A list of locations could be useful to members - all contributions to the Editor please…)
2418] Bristol TM: An unusual feature of the existing layout are the 10 St Andrew's crosses that
effectively split the through platforms in two (see them while you still can). They are actually black
crosses on a permanently illuminated background in a red case suspended from the station roof that
act as car-stop marker for drivers. At Bristol PSB when setting a route into a platform, the signaller has
a choice of exit-button for mid-platform or end of platform to press.
Through platforms have separate numbers for each section (end) and the actual exit button pressed
also illuminates the platform number on the signal. This advises the driver if the train should stop at
the St Andrew's cross or run along the full length of the platform. The disadvantage of this
arrangement is that, even if the signaller sets the route just to a St Andrew's cross, it is actually set and
locked for the full length of the platform, including overlap at the far end which may restrict other
movements. Secondly, this arrangement is not covered by standard signalling principles and could lead
to confusion if the platform number displayed is not what is expected or not correctly interpreted.
Accordingly, this arrangement is not being continued. With resignalling and transfer of control to
Didcot, Thames Valley Signalling Centre, all 10 crosses will be replaced with back-to-back signals with
position lights. Each half platform will then be fully signalled (like Birmingham New Street is), a safer
and preferred design and allowing the existing service to operate. Some of the new platform sharing
signals are being moved from the cross positions to suit present train working and for the new IETs.
2419] Dawlish Warren: (BLN 1278.767) The new owners of the Brunel Camping Coaches holiday site
(which they bought Nov last year for £261k) with eight converted coaches, have applied for the site to
open all year. The coaches were originally donated over 50 years ago for families of the Great Western
Railway Association and were later available to the general public. After this year's season finished,
major refurbishment was to start but the coaches looked very sorry for themselves passing recently.
ABOVE: The former Ludgershall passenger station 15 Jul 1972, from the (then) A3026 Tidworth Road
overbridge looking towards Andover. This scene has changed out of all recognition due to housing
development although the loop and some of the platform edging is still there. (Angus McDougall)
2420] Ludgershall (BLN 1274.292) Some key local stakeholders recently discussed the possibility of
re-instating passenger services on this 7½ mile branch from Andover, now with only very occasional
MoD traffic. Ludgershall and Tidworth are already 'benefiting' (‽) from rapid housing and population
growth due to the Army Basing programme (withdrawing all troops from Germany). If the business
case is viable, a shuttle service to Andover could offer a further economic boost for the area.
1294 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]
2421] Soho North Jn: (BLN 1293.2342) The Up Through Siding (from the Up Stour to the Up Soho
Curve) was being lifted on 15 Nov. Work was continuing on 23 Nov with new track also being laid.
2422] Henwick (HK): Following complete closure of the Worcester Foregate Street (incl) to Shelwick
Jn line on Sun 26 Nov, NR's 'latest' newest semaphore signal was commissioned from 27 Nov along
with the new 342yd Henwick 'Turnback Line'. This was the Up Refuge Siding and previously a lengthy
Up Goods Loop. It has been lifted, fully drained, ballasted and relaid (with track circuited jointed rails,
some sleepers are recycled); an illuminated driver's walkway and new buffer stop is provided. Exit is
controlled by new mechanical semaphore signal HK9 equipped with a Stop Arm, Fixed Distant Arm and
Standard Route Indicator displaying '1' for the Up Branch Line (Worcester Foregate St P1) and '2' for
the Up Droitwich Line (P2) controlled from Henwick box. For siding entry, Standard Route Indicators
on signals HK22 & HK23 displays 'T' for the Turnback Line only with no indication to the Down Main (to
Hereford). Access from P1 at Foregate St to the siding is via the existing facing crossover (121m 72ch).
Loaded Mk 3 stock is not permitted in the turnback (so no HST railtour then) due to limited clearance -
this probably reflects the fact the doors open outward (they won't open in Ledbury tunnel either!).
ABOVE: Britain's newest semaphore signal(s) at Henwick on Mon 27 Nov, just one day old, the new
turnback facility (left) was connected up the previous day, as was the pointwork and signalling but it is
not yet in use as there is work to do. Bottom left is the start of the lighting and driver's walkway.
The black (dirt) colour of the Colas Class 66s on the Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT) is accurate.
It runs from Gloucester to Craven Arms and back via Malvern and Hereford (then to Kings Norton,
Worcester, Oxford North Jn, Worcester for a fourth time etc!). This year the RHTT runs seven days a
week but previously was SuX; trains really struggled on a Monday as a result. It is passing the site of
Henwick station (CP 3 Apr 1965), with the signalbox behind; the level crossing is just out of sight with
Worcester beyond. A two car turbo DMU once broke down between the crossovers where the train is
and it was possible to signal and run trains past the failure using both crossovers! (Richard Moreton)
2423] Midland Metro: In Wolverhampton Bilston Rd is due to reopen to road traffic two weeks ahead
of schedule on 2 Dec before testing and commissioning of the relaid tramway starts. During the works
2.7km of road and rails were removed, with new drainage systems installed and a concrete base built
to support the track and roadway. Replacement rails were laid and welded into place, then the rest of
the concrete and road surface installed. Finally the traffic and tram signalling was reinstated. The last
sleepers were fitted on 17 Nov. The opportunity was used to install the junction for the new branch to
Wolverhampton station. It will be the first section of the Metro without overhead wires using battery
powered trams as currently being tested on Urbos3 Tram No18. On 20 Nov, Prime Minister Theresa
May, on a visit to the area with Chancellor Phillip Hammond, confirmed Government funding towards
the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension. The total cost was given as £250M (an increase of £50M).
2424] Telford Central: (BLN 1278.772) Construction of the new pedestrian footbridge has begun.
The old footbridge ramps were still in use on 20 Nov but steps down to P1 had been closed and access
is via the ramped footpath. A new path has been built close to P2 to replace the footpath/cycle track.
The steps up to the old bridge from the P2 side and the A5 access road have been cordoned off.
1294 YORKSHIRE (Graeme Jolley; Geoff Blyth for North & East Yorks) email addresses elsewhere
X.179] Selby: LEFT: On our Southeastern Metrolander railtour of
23 Sep 2017, Colin Ward (off picture) helps Ian 'Selby' Loveday
learn Quail (It's only a matter of time…Ian). (Mark Bennett)
2425] York - Market Weighton: (CA 29 Nov 1965) A further part
of the trackbed from Bootham Jn has been converted to a
cycle/foot path. However, a comparison of old and new maps is
advised as it is necessary to take an unsigned footpath that
heads into the bushes then continues along the trackbed,
sandwiched between a nature reserve and behind houses. It
emerges into Link Road which continues to the site of Earswick
station (SE 612 550), now a pub with an upper quadrant signal in
the forecourt. The ex-NER bridge carrying Link Road over the
River Foss Navigation has been widened. This waterway is
abandoned between Foss Islands Road in York and the former
limit of navigation at Strensall Wharf.
2426] Crosshills: The North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC)
Craven Area Committee decided in Nov that the spiralling cost of
reopening the station, between Steeton & Silsden (ROP 1990 for
£270,000) and Cononley (ROP 1988 for just £34,000 - this is not a
typing mistake!) stations (all between Keighley and Skipton),
cannot be afforded. In 2015 the cost was put at £6.5 £9M but
that has now risen to £14-£23M due partly to signalling changes
required for Kildwick level crossing nearby. It CP 22 Mar 1965 as
Kildwick & Crosshills along with the other two stations
mentioned that have since reopened). Local Parish and other
Councillors are campaigning to continue the project; the land will be safeguarded.
2427] Skipton - Colne: Reinstating the 11¼ mile line (CP 2 Feb 1970) has recently been costed at
£100M (which seems like an absolute bargain compared with the previous item and Portishead!).
1294 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
2428] Single Line Working: On Sat 18 Nov this was on the Down Line from the facing crossover south
of Portlaoise station to the trailing crossover north of Portarlington. On 25 Nov it was on the Up line
between Ballybrophy facing crossover south of that station and Lisduff trailing crossover (72m 35ch).
2429] : (BLN 1293.2350) On 18 Nov Irish Railway Record Society members were able to travel
from St Stephen's Green to Broombridge and back on the Green Line extension (OP Sat 9 Dec).
Work began in Jun 2013 and most infrastructure is finished and ready for the opening but construction
work continued at a couple of stops still as tram 5020 passed with the party. On return 5020 used the
emergency facing crossover before St Stephen's Green arriving at (from 9 Dec) the inbound platform.
The Red-Green Line connections (BLN 1293) may not have been formally commissioned but have been
used to transfer trams to/from the extension for training /testing. Passengers transfer on foot:
Abbey Street for the Red Line and O'Connell-GPO/Marlborough, for the Green taking two minutes.
St Stephen's Green country end facing and trailing crossovers will not be regularly used when the
extension opens. The pre-extension preference is for trams to cross on arrival to terminate/start in
what will become the outbound platform (so not delaying incoming trams). Some terminate/start in
the other platform when the service is more intense (peaks, with the platforms generally alternating).
Sandyford stop has three platforms. Travelling southeast from St Stephen's Green the left hand
platform is used by trams running through to Bride's Glen. The centre platform is used by trams that
start/terminate at Sandyford and the right hand platform by trams from Bride's Glen to the city.
2430] Irish Rail Timetable: Only minor changes are made to the timetable which is now due to be
introduced on 10 Dec. Dublin to Cork services are accelerated by 4 or 5 minutes with Cork departures
changed from XX.20 to XX.25. The Sligo and Rosslare line trains are generally slowed. For example, the
17.55 from Rosslare is put back to 18.00 but now arrives Dublin Connolly at 21.00, 16 minutes later.
The new timetable is available in the IR journey planner but the PDF files have not yet been published.
2431] Dublin Connolly: The turntable is due to be permanently taken OOU on 3 Dec. Points 165 A and
B will be removed and plain lined and signal CY 89 giving access to the turntable will be removed.
1294 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
2432] Manx Electric Railway: Winter route improvements have re-started, at Onchan Head (seaside
track). The formation is being completely dug out and replaced. This continues the spring 2017 works.
1294 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
2433] Breich: (BLN 1284.1365 & 1414) It's no dreich (OK, look it up) in Breich as the station has been
reprieved after a public outcry. Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has ordered more trains to call
(expected to be from May 2019) after electrification to add to the present one train in each direction
(SuX). NR launched a consultation into its possible closure in the summer because of the high cost of
upgrading work as part of electrifying the Holytown Jn to Midcalder Jn line through Shotts. Replacing
the footbridge, two (too) low platforms, waiting shelters and CCTV will cost £1.4M. It was said it would
have been the first Scottish station closure since Balloch Pier in 1986. [What about Bathgate station
CP 19 Oct 2010 and Forres - Ed?] Breich recorded 138 passengers in 2015-16, an average of 2.6 a week
so costing £10,145 per passenger! Addiewell station is two miles to the east and Fauldhouse is nearly
three miles to the west. Members might like to consider the outcome if Breich had been in England!
2434] IBM: (BLN 1281.1090) The buildings at the International Business Machines Corporation site,
Greenock, are being demolished, resulting in occasional (non-enthusiast) use of IBM station by staff
engaged on this. A prominent poster has recently appeared on the platform saying that the station is
only for the use of IBM staff and contractors. Interestingly there is no such warning on the National
Rail website where tickets to or from the station can be legitimately purchased by anyone.
2435] Portsoy: (BLN 1269 2295) Retired train driver and engineer Bill Scatterty unveiled proposals last
year to reinstate 10 miles of railway here. On 22 Oct he revealed that an agreement has been reached
between his group 'North-East of Scotland Railway' and a local landowner. The group now needs to
raise £162K. The first phase of the project is at Tillynaught (Jn). To assist ring Bill on 07540 110 026.
2436] Far North lines: For a trial period from 26 Nov until 3 Dec, Inverness RETB workstation was split
into two sections and reverts back to one on 4 Dec. (1): Inverness West controlled Inverness to
Invergordon (excl) and the Kyle line. (2): Inverness North controlled Invergordon to Wick and Thurso.
2437] Largs: The Largs Organic Gardens Group has established a garden on the disused trackbed of
former P1 (east side of the station). The centre piece, a replica Viking long boat, made by apprentices
at the Maritime Museum in Irvine, recognises the Battle of Largs in 1263. The platforms here used to
number east to west, but it is now the other way round. So P2 is still number 2, but P3 has become P1.
1294 WALES (Paul Jeffries) [email protected]
X.180] The Good Old Days: BELOW: Part of the Stephenson Locomotive Society and Manchester
Locomotive Society joint 'Caernarvonshire' (as it was then) Railtour https://goo.gl/ScQucj on the 3' 6"
gauge Nantlle Tramway, Sun 5 May 1957. The tour also visited the standard gauge Bethesda, Nantlle
and Llanberis branches (with rather more horsepower). Six Bells Junction records: The motive power
on this line was provided under contract from a local farmer and there was an unexpected climax on
the return to Nantlle when a sudden burst of speed (perhaps stimulated by sugar snacks) succeeded in
derailing almost the whole train, fortunately without ill effects to man or beast. (J.W. Sutherland)
2438] Abercynon: Rhondda Cynon Taf Council funding is enabling progress on extending park-and-ride
provision. More schemes planned to create over 600 spaces at stations in the borough include:
Treherbert, Cwmbach, Ynyswen, Treorchy, Llwynypia, Trehafod, Fernhill, Pontyclun and Llanharan.
2439] Rhyl: A new trailing crossover has been installed (OOU) at 208m 49ch between the Up and
Down Main lines for commissioning with resignalling. It will allow turnbacks from the Crewe direction
in P2; the present facing crossover at 208m 70ch (also the Crewe end) allows such turnbacks in P1.
2440] Incident report: Preliminary findings have been released of a serious incident on 30 October,
when the DB Cargo worked 05.00 Robeston to Westerleigh oil train caused extensive damage to the
track between Ferryside and Llangennech. It was brought to a halt on the approach to Llangyfelach
tunnel, leaving behind it at least nine broken rails, and damage to level crossings and signalling
equipment. The line was closed for a significant period afterwards while the damage was repaired.
The brake rigging on the leading bogie of the leading tank car had disintegrated, and the trailing pair of
wheels on that bogie had suffered flats. Some components were dragging along the track, and others
missing altogether. The car held 76 tonnes of diesel fuel, and it was fortunate that the other 28 cars,
also carrying petroleum products, passed over the broken rails without derailing. It appears that the
wheelset ceased to rotate at some point during the journey, leading to the development of the wheel
flats, but began to turn again in the Ferryside area. The impacts from the rotating, damaged wheels
gave rise to the broken rails, and may also have caused the disintegration of the brake rigging.
2441] Aberdare: ATW is providing an experimental enhanced Sunday service for the peak Christmas
shopping days of 3, 10 and 17 December with an hourly Down service to Cardiff in the mornings and
hourly return service between 15.41 and 19.41. (Most Valley Sunday services are still only two-hourly.)
1294 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott) [email protected]
MR226] Burghclere Sports Club, Newbury, Berkshire: A miniature railway of an unreported gauge is to
be built here. The idea for a steam railway was in response to the Sports Club's need to generate more
income and attract new, younger members. Chairman of Burghclere Sports Club Andy Timbrell said:
'There are a number of steam enthusiasts that live in and around Burghclere and we thought this idea
would capture their imagination and bring an idea to reality. We also thought it would be a great idea
to inspire an interest in steam for the younger generation in and around Burghclere. We hope to
involve schools and organisations in the construction and running of the railway, so they can learn the
principles of laying the track to operating a steam engine and railway. The Sports Club is in desperate
need of renovation. Without a new revenue stream the building will fall into further disrepair.
The steam railway will be a new source of interest in the club and its facilities - attracting new
members and the general public'. The parish council gave permission to start constructing the railway
at their meeting on Monday 2 October. The railway hopes to be up and running by Easter 2018 or at
the very latest by the family fun day planned for the May Bank Holiday. The railway will provide rides
on steam and diesel trains for the general public once a month, as well as themed rides during
Christmas, Halloween and Easter. It will also be open for corporate, family, children's and party events
as an essential revenue stream for the Sports Club. The intention is for the railway to be 'not for profit'
and any surplus funds would be reinvested in the railway development and/or for much-needed
repairs or renovations of the Sports Club building.
MR227] Great Central Railway, Leicestershire (MR p7): A member and his family visited this railway on
Saturday 4 November - primarily to have pre-booked lunch, which was very good - both cooked and
served by probably the most professional preserved railway team that he has experienced. Regular
services were hauled by LMSR 2-8-0 8F 48624 and the class 101 DMU (three cars with buffet trailer).
The 13.00 dining train (with ordinary seats as well) was hauled by GWR 4-6-0 7903 'Foremarke Hall'.
BR 2-10-0 9F 92214 was working a special afternoon wedding charter in the evening dining set.
MR228] Elsecar Heritage Railway, South Yorkshire (MR p9): A member made a first visit to this
friendly railway on Sunday 22 October. Steam powered Sentinel 'William' was in light steam but was
not in use for public trains, having failed a few days earlier. Instead, diesel Sentinel 'Elizabeth' (TH 138C
rebuild in 1964 of Sentinel number 9584) was operating trains with a GWR 'Toad' brake van. Services
were advertised on the railway's website as running at 12.00, 13.00 and 14.00, so your correspondent
was puzzled to see a train leaving just as he arrived at 12.30. Apparently an extra had been run, to
cope with demand, the Toad only taking about 20 passengers. Your correspondent took his seat on the
Toad's veranda ready for the 13.00 departure, and was delayed by about 10 minutes while 'William'
had a test run. The mode of operation was for 'Elizabeth' to haul the brake van to the current limit of
operations, just short of Tingle Bridge Lane. The loco then propelled the brake van back to just south
of the Wath Road overbridge, before going north to Tingle Bridge Lane again, then propelling back to
Elsecar. This short train had a crew of seven! four on the loco, plus a guard, lookout (for propelling)
and brakevan stoker. The stoker was somewhat enthusiastic; the inside of the Toad was very warm!
PREVIOUS PAGE: Elsecar & Wentworth station, 'Elizabeth' and 'Toad' brake van. (James Beal 22 Oct 2017)
MR229] South Tynedale Railway Cumbria (MR p14) (BLN 1289.MR180): The Railway missed its August
Bank Holiday target to open the extension from Lintley Halt to Slaggyford. The intention now is to
open the extension in spring 2018. The £5.6M three year project to carry out various improvement
works at Alston and extend the line to Slaggyford also provided funding for certain staffing posts,
which included that of General Manager. It was envisaged, if business increased sufficiently, the jobs
would be made permanent. However, the 12 month delay in starting services to Slaggyford means the
General Manager post cannot be retained and the incumbent resigned in October.
MR230] Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum, Hampshire (MR p18) (BLN 1267.MR203): Our
roving reporter attended this site on Sunday 20 August. On the 2ft gauge railway 4wDM 'Ashby'
(MR8694/1943) was operating with one canopied passenger coach; fare £1. Another Motorail loco was
visible in the shed with a red coloured coach outside. Locos No3 & No4 were in the other shed. Steam
loco 'Wendy' 0-4-0ST (WB2091/1919) was off site and reported to be at the Hayling Seaside Railway.
On the 7¼" miniature railway two locos were in operation: 0-4-0P 'Planet' (Dragon Works) and 4wDW
'Filtch' - with two sets of bogie coaches. The track layouts of both railways is the same as last year.
MR231] North Bay Railway, North Yorkshire (MR p22) (BLN 1282.MR98): In October work was started
to renew the passing loop at Beach station on this historic 20" gauge railway. (Beach station is no
longer in use for passengers). This will utilise rail and fixings obtained from the closed 15" gauge
Markeaton Park Railway in Derby, and new hardwood sleepers. The old sleepers, offered for sale at
£4 each, were sold to a Garden Centre, which has offered to take future supplies. The material from
the Markeaton Park Railway will allow the railway to be completely relaid over the next three years.
BELOW: Wish you were here? North Bay Railway (Scarborough) 'Neptune' passes through the
Beach station and passing loop with the 13.45 ex-Scalby Mills. (Peter Scott 9 June 2015)
MR232] Wye Valley Railway, Monmouthshire (MR p30) (BLN 1228.MR30): This 5"/7½" gauge 280 yard
railway, visited by the Society on Sunday 4 August 2013, is located at the former Tintern station.
It runs along the trackbed to the abutment of the missing bridge over the River Wye and was visited by
a 'senior' member on Sunday 29 October. The line used to run the last Sunday of the month but is
irregular now, although more frequent. It runs most Sundays, and had been working the day before
(Saturday). Two 6w battery locos were working top and tail: D9526 'Jubilee' and (un-numbered)
'Olympic'. Both were vaguely class 14 D95XX outline. This was our reporter's fourth attempt to ride on
this railway - best to telephone beforehand (01291 689566)! It is also one of those lines that does
not operate in the rain due to the battery power. [This was discovered on the aforementioned Society
visit in torrential rain, although self/gravity propelling of a single riding vehicle was permitted - Ed.]
MR233] Tinkers Park, East Sussex (MR p16) (BLN 1284.MR116): To celebrate his 79th birthday our
roving reporter visited Tinkers Park at Hadlow Down on Saturday 23 September. A shuttle bus was
available from both Uckfield and Buxted this year. On the 2ft gauge Great Bush Railway 0-6-0WT 'Sao
Domingos' (OK11784/1928) was operating with only one bogie coach, limited to maximum of 16
passengers. The other three coaches (ex-Hayling Island) were not available, as one had derailed at the
lower station. After rerailing they were not used. Also running were No5 4wDM (RH183744/1937) &
Number 24 0-4-0BE (WR M7535/1972) top and tail on a train of three Vee skips with a flat wagon.
Operating on the ground level 7¼" gauge line was 0-4-0T 'Margaret' with two sit-astride coaches.
Steam haulage by traction engines was also on offer.
MR234] Amberley Museum Railway, West Sussex (MR p25) (BLN 1222.MR202): This 2ft gauge railway
operates at the Museum in the former chalk pits, close to Amberley station. The footpath from the
station is along the formation of an industrial railway siding - mainly tarmac - but two isolated rails are
in-situ. The Senior Citizen/Child entrance fee is now £10.50; compared to 40p in 1981! On Saturday 7
October, an ordinary running day, our roving reporter visited when 4wDM (MR11001/1956) with
coaches 382 & 384 (ex-MoD Lydd) were in use. Southdown Bus rides were available at no extra charge.
MR235] Waterford & Suir Valley Railway, County Waterford (MR p27) (BLN 1283.1319): 'Steam
Railway' 472 suggests (page 36) that the Railway have opened their station at Mount Congreve
Gardens this summer and expect to carry a record 30,000 passengers this year. [A station is not
mentioned on their Facebook pages which have regular postings and is a 'future plan' on the website.]
X.181] Ashover Light Railway (ALR): (PREVIOUS PAGE) (BLN 1293.2364) Part of Hilltop Loop, original
ALR pointwork found in the undergrowth adjacent to the trackbed just west of Chesterfield Road
station during our walks led by Neil Lewis on 25 Oct 2017. The line CA 31 Mar 1950. (Sally Bramson)
ABOVE: East Kent Railway, In Golgotha Tunnel (477yd) taken through an end window. (Josh Watkins)
X.182] FIXTURES REPORTS, 2016 AGM - Part 2; East Kent Railway Sat 5 Nov 2016: (BLN 1293.2362)
ABOVE: Eyethorne station, our tour train has arrived from Shepherdswell; the line to Wigmore Lane is
behind the camera, and the two sidings are behind the train the other side of the platform.
BELOW: One of the mid/late afternoon brakevan trips at Shepherdswell. NEXT PAGE UPPER: The start
of the connection to Shepherds Well mainline (the East Kent Railway Shepherdswell station platform
is middle right in the background). The Knees Woodland Miniature railway is middle background, to
the left of the brakevan. NEXT PAGE LOWER: The crossing on the former link to the Shepherdswell/
Shepherds Well (EKR/BR boundary). (All pictures in this section Ian Mortimer unless specified.)
ABOVE: Wolds Way Lavender Railway, A 'still Life' view from the platform in the direction that
passenger carrying trains don't normally run with some very helpful signs above the lines.
The Lavender Oil production equipment is 'still' on the left but would be working again next day.
(All pictures in this section John Cameron 20 Aug 2017)
BELOW: The first group in Wood Siding between the Distillery Siding (off picture right) and the Flower
Drying Siding (left). It was difficult to see the wood for the lavender. In true BLS tradition (nearly)
everyone is meticulously noting down every last detail, perhaps purple pens would have been more
appropriate here than the traditional red?
2442]: Yorkshire Minor Railways, Sun 20 Aug: Well known
for his Scunthorpe Steel Works exploits, this was our local
Hull member Alan Sheppard's first time organising a
programme of events on behalf of the Society. Spread
between two Ridings of Yorkshire, the first location where we
met at 09.00 was the 7¼'' gauge Wolds Way Lavender
Railway in Wintringham, east of Malton. This railway holds a
particular distinction in
that, despite its obvious
status as a local tourist
attraction and gauge, it is a genuine working railway actively
engaged in the harvesting of lavender for use in the production by
distillation of lavender based health products etc. LEFT: The railway
even printed special tickets for each group (spot the mistake!). The
small group of participants was split into two groups and the first
group joined the train at the appropriately named Grosso Junction
(Grosso is a variety of lavender) station. The two sit in coaches were
also named after types of lavender: Nana Alba and Miss Kathrine
(sic). Traction was provided by a Roanoke 0-4-0PH with works
number 0502019RS2. The first move was to propel the stock into
Platform 7¼ and, after the doors had been opened, into the
Workshop Siding from which it was possible to see an embryonic
Bagnall 0-4-0ST plus tender at the end.
Comprehensive coverage was achieved by a series of reversals using the crossover and traversing the
Wood and Distillery Sidings and as much as possible of the Flower Drying Siding. At the end of the
Distillery Siding was 0-4-0 WG Bagnall Engineers, Stafford No93 'STAN JOHNSON', actually built locally
by J Rex & Sons Engineers, Pickering. A forward move was then made of the station area to do the
Hopper Siding; this hopper is used to fill the wagons with cut lavender.
During this move, it was possible to observe the formation of a section of line going straight ahead
from the junction of the Hopper Siding, the former passenger run taken out of use in 2011. The train
then took the main run and return circuit from which it is easy to see the lavender fields. Adding to the
incongruity of this particular railway, it then reaches a spring-loaded junction where all trains veer to
the right and pass through a tunnel of 'Minor Railways' style construction. The route then circles the
Nature Pond, and eventually heads back to the station area. The second party (and three again from
the first - yes they did each pay twice) boarded, and followed the same route. After the railway
activities had concluded, the party were treated to fresh scones and hot drinks in the Tearoom.
BELOW: The second trip heads away from the station, in the opposite direction, towards the Hopper
Siding (which is off to the right beyond the train). Garvan, our driver, is pointing out some of the many
different types of lavender and the train is actually running through lavender. The observant will have
spotted three members from the first trip and that they have changed ends for some reason.
A move to East Yorkshire saw the party arrive at the standard gauge Yorkshire Wolds Railway a little
to the southeast of, and on the opposite side of the road to, the original Sledmere & Fimber station.
There is only one locomotive here, 0-4-0DH GECT5576/79, (PREVIOUS PAGE) one of a trio originally
supplied new to the British Steel Corporation Shotton Works. This was not officially a BLS fixture, as
the railway was open to the public, but it soon became one! There is only one short section of track,
initially traversed in the cab of the loco by the entire party, but stopping short of the end of the line. It
become immediately apparent to the organiser that there was scope for a little extra track at the north
end of the run, and a little persuasion (bribe?) with a generous donation achieved the sought after end
of line for all. During the subsequent lunch break, three of the party explored parts of the Malton to
Driffield line (CA 1958) including Burdale and Burdale
Tunnel, Wharram station and the site of the quarry sidings.
Then it was time to head north to the relatively new
Cedarbarn Railway east of Pickering. This 7¼'' gauge line is
part of the Cedarbarn Farm Shop & Café, and the station is a
short distance from the shop. Two sit-astride coaches, one
in Southern Railway livery, were hauled by 'Helen' (Knightley
Light Railway LT2 003/97) round a circuit passing a branch to
stabling sidings and then heading out into open country to
the 'Pick Your Own' (near to Pick A Ring) fruit area before
passing through a tunnel and reaching a balloon loop which returns the train back to the station.
(NEXT PAGE).Unsurprisingly, the opportunity was then taken to traverse the sidings branch (BELOW),
sidings and the passing loop (which had to be unlocked especially; it is not used and is no longer
unidirectional). Diversity in rolling stock occurred with the use of a 'Warship' BoBoBE lookalike
numbered D821. Grateful thanks are due to Sam and Alex (the driver and pointsman), Steve & Anne
(the owners) and, Katrina, of Wolds Way Lavender also Karl, Mandy, Alison and Garvan (the driver) at
Cedarbarn. Thanks also to 'our' Alan Sheppard for investing so much time and effort in to organising
these excellent fixtures and we certainly hope that he will arrange more in future! (AGW)
BELOW: Cedarbarn Railway station, the train will take the circuit around this grassed area and end up
in front of the far fence heading off top right to the main run. What is the driver thinking though???
2443] I Tried to Run a Railtour! 'The 565 Special', Sat 2 Sep! This whole thing started after I went on a
Central Wales line tour in March 2017 with 97301/2 and unfortunately the entire trip was a bit of a
fiasco in many ways. The locos misbehaved separately and the train ended up with 97302 on its own
and even that was not very well at all, 97301 being left behind in the headshunt at Llandrindod Wells!
I commented at the time to Steve Hale that I could do better and we laughed it off but it did start me
thinking about a few things when work was quiet. I mentioned a possible tour in passing to a few Colas
Rail contacts and they advised a chat with their Commercial Manager. Now the fact that he lives
nearby in Ellesmere, Shropshire, has nothing to do with it ( )! As he was working at the Coleham
Colas Office in Shrewsbury later that week, I met him and a very good discussion resulted. It seemed
that a pair of his sought-after Class 37s could be made available and he made a few calls to folks he
knew at West Coast Railways (WCR) a potential date of Sat 2 Sep was swiftly agreed. So, everything
was in place and it was a question of if I would take the plunge and go ahead? There was a slight issue
of a deposit of around £2,200 to come up with, so could I afford to lose that if it all went wrong?
I was given some superb help from Dan Hitchens and Tim Brawn, two good friends of mine and they
had all sorts of pointers and connections to assist me as they have a great deal of experience in charity
railtours etc. Tim also suggested that the wonderful Kev Adlam of the Branch Line Society would be
able to handle bookings and provide stewards so to contact him. I did and the help that Kev gave was
quite incredible, the man is a real genius and a great person to have on your side. Bookings flew in
initially and we covered the cost of running the train and so were now in charity donation territory!
I went on a few more tours for both enjoyment to observe such as 'Retro' to Swansea (37606 expired
most of the time), Pathfinder to Penzance (37069 expired before departure and we had two Class 66s).
Then the SRPS from Falkirk to Blackpool which finally went very well indeed despite 37219 being a
little sluggish and 37025 doing so much work and becoming hot under the collar as a result. Credit to
37516 on the '40' tour that utterly flattened Copy Pit alone on load 10! I did wonder if Class 37s on the
main line were maybe just too long in the tooth or was I being too pessimistic?
As some of you know, I lost my 90 year old father in Dec 2015. He was the local bobby in the Rhondda
Valley serving in the Glamorgan Constabulary and latterly South Wales Police for almost 30 years until
retirement. His police number was '565' so '565 Railtours' were born. I decided to split the tour profits
in three equal ways and approached the Wales Air Ambulance, Wales Cancer Research and the Severn
Hospice. My father had died of cancer and incredibly the Severn Hospice switchboard ended in '565'.
There is so much that goes into planning a railtour, it takes a huge amount of time. My company
(Pilkington Rail Associates) has train planning software so we started to work out a route with a few
hills to give some noise and coupled my love of the North & West / Marches route with a mandatory
Welsh destination to decide some parts. The final alterations saw the train starting at Carnforth and
the path was bid to NR with me only interfering a little, well OK a good amount as you might expect!
Beer was bought from the Shropshire Brewery and a dining option added so we were all good to go.
The special headboard was ordered from Procast and a replica from Newton Replicas to raffle, to earn
as much money as possible for the charities and a very fine job they did. I cannot compliment the BLS
too much in all they did from stewarding to every small job. The brochure with a front cover photo of
my late father in uniform was just another touch that brought a lump to my throat when I saw it.
All too soon it was time to drive to Carnforth and arrived there about 13.00 on the Friday where I met
Gareth Williams from WCR to try the headboard on 37669 - it was fine. Gareth advised me 37668
needed a test run after some work had been done and that we were having a pair of 37s on our train!
The coaches were exemplary, a tremendously turned out set! 37668 might need a little prompting and
thanks to Ian Morris, technical rider from WCR for the day, it did the business at some volume!
A little bleary eyed after hardly any sleep the 04.15 alarm was not too welcome for a 05.35 departure.
The air was still but the obvious tickover of some 37s was evident and at around 05.25 the train went
past on the headshunt with 9 Mk 1 coaches and two 37s as forecast but I didn't look too hard at them.
When the train backed in to the station there seemed something different about the leading loco…
We left almost immediately initially via No2 Goods Line, specified to keep a smile on the BLS lads' faces
and amid a huge amount of noise we hammered off towards Lancaster. Running slightly early, we
arrived at Lancaster and I nipped out for a word with the driver, John Baker of WCR and Virgin Trains
at Preston who I have known for a while, initially when he worked at Glasgow Eastfield depot.
The 'change' was evident as thanks to a very kind gesture from John, some magnetic shapes in the
right livery had been placed on the front loco now 37565 in memory of my father, a very special and
emotional touch meaning so much to me and my brother who, with his wife, boarded at Lancaster.
Due to the lack of train heating, it was a shade fresh initially onboard but as the sun rose it warmed up.
The entire day was blessed with brightness and often warm sunshine, showing all the landscapes at
their best from the beautiful misty morning to the scenic Central Wales line. Another section of rare
track, Bamfurlong Up Goods (diveunder), was followed by an early arrival at Crewe where two Colas
locos were waiting in the shape of ex-Canton 37254 and the venerable 37175 ex-Landore.
Carnforth P2 Crewe P12 (LOCO CHANGE) 37669 and 37668 78m 15ch.
Lancaster P4 71m 75ch
Preston P4 Carmarthen P1 (DETACH LOCO). 37254 and 37175 50m 77ch
Wigan North Western P4 35m 67ch
Warrington Bank Quay P2 ATTACH LOCO 37175 24m 08ch
Crewe P12 Carmarthen Bridge Jn, Down Line 37254 T&T 37175 245m 08ch
Chester P3 Llandrindod Wells P1 37175 T&T 37254 224m 00ch
Wrexham General P1 Shrewsbury P4 37254 and 37175 211m 06ch
Gobowen Up Plat Gobowen Down Plat 199m 50ch
Shrewsbury P7 Wrexham General P2 37669 and 37668 181m 46ch
Newport P3 Chester P4 (LOCO CHANGE) 87m 11ch
Carmarthen Station Shunt Warrington Bank Quay P2 0m 01ch
Carmarthen P1 Wigan North Western P5 1m 00ch
Carmarthen Bridge Jn, Down Line. Preston P4 69m 02ch
Llandrindod Wells P1 Carnforth P2 51m 78ch
(AFTER LOCO RAN ROUND) 82m 18ch
(Miles are thanks to Jim Sellens) 29m 56ch
They made a great sight and off we went (nay sped!) across the Cheshire plains and beyond to my
beloved Marches route. Yes I had asked for these two due to their parentage and even managed to get
them in a certain order so that 37175 would lead over the Central Wales, which it must have done in
the past. For some it was the first chance to do the re-doubled Saltney Jn to Rossett Jn (both ways).
My daughter, her husband and dog (!) were on the platform at Church Stretton and (at my request) a
good horn blast was kindly made to let her know the train was coming! At Hereford a rare centre road
(that was a relief!), as requested, was used then on to Newport. Next there was a very poignant and
personal tribute I wanted to pay. My late father spent his final few months in a nursing home near
Pencoed in South Wales and his room overlooked the railway. As the train passed under the M4 road
bridge, again at my request, a long blast on the horn was made, effectively in tribute to why we were
all here. At Carmarthen P1, one loco ran-round to top & tail with an on-time departure after the break
with all three sides of the triangle included in the tour. This kept coach 'A' behind the leading loco.
ABOVE: Llandrindod Wells ('Llandod' to the locals) station in the evening; the rear loco runs round
during the break to double head to Chester; with a good lens not trespassing! (All: Geoff Plumb.)
As '565' featured through the day even the reporting numbers I specified were 1Z56 outward and 1Z65
on the return! Rare track on return included, in quick succession: Llandeilo Jn Up Goods Loop then the
Up Loop and the Up Genwen loop. Unusual 'top & tail' 37s on the Central Wales were sampled and we
reached Llandrindod Wells for a break and to run the rear loco around the train.
Again leaving bang on time, the tour crossed the southbound unit at Knighton which was a little tardy
by a few minutes. The onward running was really spirited and noisy and all too soon we had even gone
through Shrewsbury and were at Chester. Here we bade farewell to the Colas 37s and the two WCR
37s emerged from the darkness for again a superb run directly to Warrington BQ and Carnforth.
The BLS lads kept the train in a clean condition all day and the amount of rubbish collected was
massive! WCR commented on the fact the set was returned in very good condition! I cannot praise the
stewards enough for their efforts on the very long day, so professional from window labels to handing
out the specially printed Edmondson card souvenir tickets, brochures, toilet checks to door duties etc.
The day went like a blur but I do have many memories of smiling faces of contented passengers, many
BLS members, who were so valuable in filling the train. So many people want more, and yes, all being
well there will be another tour in 2018, but what an act to try and follow!
Thanks to many people including: Kev Adlam, John Baker, Steve Beames, Julian Bracchi, Tim Brawn,
Nick Collins, Peter Collins, Jonathan Edwardes, Steve Hale, Dan Hitchens, Pat Marshall, Simon Metcalf,
Ian Morris, Craig Nicholson, Paul Richardson, Tim Rogers, Jimmy Tipping and Gareth Williams.
NEXT PAGE BELOW: 37175 growls up the 1:60 gradient for the final four miles to Sugar Loaf summit,
approaching the 283yd Cynghordy Viaduct, a maximum of 120ft above the infant Afon Bran. […and in
the coaches we all thought that Geoff had missed the train in Carmarthen.]
Kev informed me that £10,800 was raised, £3,600 for each charity which will make a huge difference
to folk who are not having the best time in their lives and will receive a little more comfort. My main
memory will be the pounding from the wall of noise known as 37175, tremendous on the Central
Wales line. All the locos behaved very well and added to a most enjoyable day. (Simon Pilkington,
railtour organiser, Shrewsbury.) [Editor's note: Many thanks Simon, for organising this really enjoyable
and well supported tour, particularly the sunshine; the food in First Class Dining was superb too!]
BELOW: Approaching the 1,001yd Sugar Loaf Tunnel on the 1 in 60 climb to the summit of the Central
Wales Line (820ft above sea level) which is at Sugar Loaf Halt, just beyond the far end of the tunnel.
At this stage (and several others), 37254 was assisting from the rear with our heavy nine coach train.
2444] Animal Tracker, Sat 7 Oct: At 9am on a cloudy
and quite chilly morning, 20 members met at the
main entrance to the Zoological Society of London
600 acre Whipsnade Zoo, (home to 2,500 animals),
south of Dunstable prior to public opening at 10.00.
We were met by the Great Whipsnade Railway
stationmaster (SM) who gave the mandatory Safety
Briefing. This included the procedure in the event of
an animal escape, which had never happened once
during his seven years at the zoo. Apparently, it is the
proverbial 'million to one' chance scenario but, as our group was being escorted through the Zoo, just
a few hundred yards from the entrance, amazingly word came through on the radio (and backed up by
a passing park keeper in a Land Rover) that an animal had indeed escaped! (The other 2,499 had not.)
The Protocol was therefore invoked and we were escorted back to the gift shop/entrance that we had
only just left! Gathering along with other staff and park keepers it gradually became clear this wasn't a
clever ruse to get us to buy food/drinks/sundries from the shop, and nor indeed was there an actual
rogue White Rhinoceros! It was a white lie; the giveaway was that the automatic sliding shop doors
remained open throughout (completely against the stated procedure!). It was just a Safety Drill.
The SM couldn't believe the co-incidence although if we visit somewhere, strange things often happen.
At Whipsnade Central station was an open wagon with Diesel No9 'Hector' in charge. Unusually for us
a full 'normal' 1½ mile public circuit was made (with overlap by initially setting back over the points)
before doing the rare Station Loop on the return. (All public trains run clockwise and use the outer,
other platform). During this, diesels 'Victor' and 'Sgt Blast' had been commandeered to move rolling
stock to enable traversal of all lines in the Yard/Shed area. This started by setting back into the
Engineers Siding to the end of line; the location of the first passenger terminus in the early years of
operations. Remnants of the platform were still visible after over 40 years. The outside shed roads
both sides of the shed were also 'red lioned' (!) to the ends, plus the middle and left hand shed roads
(on approach) and the long headshunt (to an immovable ex-steam loco boiler). 'Sgt Blast' took over
briefly, keeping the haulage merchants happy! Our comprehensive railtour finished by setting back to
the right hand shed road terminating at the end. There was a traditional BLS round of applause for the
staff who had worked so hard! Our hosts then generously offered complimentary travel on the first
public service at 12.00, steam hauled by No4 'Superior' (coaled and prepared in the yard as we had
shunted around it). Plastic tokens were issued (collected in at the ticket gate) and most participants
retired to the nearby zoo café for a warm and for sustenance, while a few did the complimentary
(slow) bus tour of the park in an ex-Arriva Dart. Returning to the station before the appointed time and
joining a healthy crowd of 'normal' passengers, the steam trip on the 2'6" gauge line was enlivened by
an entertaining commentary about animals visible (or not, as the case may be!) from the train!
Finishing 12.15, most headed for the second destination (of 6) this weekend, trying to avoid Dunstable
town centre, notorious on a Saturday (market day) for traffic. (Thanks to Bill Davis for the gen!)
Sadly your intrepid reporter and his trusty driver/chauffeur (That's you, Keith!) failed to do this and
were held up, but not for too long. Everyone made it to the Caldecotte Miniature Railway, in
suburban Milton Keynes. Our hosts, the Milton Keynes Model Engineering Society were on site and
prepared. They provided blue liveried diesel 'Hagrid' as the main loco for their 5"/7¼" gauge ground
level line. The tour started at the Station Siding end of the line (which should become a through loop
next year but much shorter with far less deviation than the original proposal shown on Peter Scott's
excellent 22 Apr 2012 Kentrail Enthusiasts Group turntable Road. After reversal it was off to the shed
line for a double shunt setting back on to the Steaming Bays then forwards along the headshunt next
to the shed. Another double reversal and final circuit round back to the station completed all the track.
There is also a 3½"/5" elevated line, a simple oval inside the ground level line. Not used on public
running days and previously out of use (on two previous visits) due to rotten wooden supports, it had
been repaired and was made available for us especially - the highlight for many. This was strictly 'one
at a time' behind battery loco 'Union Pacific 519'. It took a while with around 20 participants, even
more so when, not long in, the loco struggled in places. This was quickly sorted and the queue soon
diminished. After thanks were duly extended to everyone, it was 'two down and one to go' as we
moved on to the pretty Bedfordshire Village of Lavendon, not far from Olney, of Pancake Race Fame.
The extensive 7¼" complex Lavendon Narrow Gauge Railway (LNGR) is in the grounds of the owner's
home and open to the public usually on one Sunday (variable - see website or 01234 712653) per
month, May to Oct. Proceeds are donated to local charities. Your reporter's last visit here was in 2012
and an extension opened last year more than doubled the length. The first few members to arrive
(not yours truly, sadly) had the first ride on said extension, behind 0-4-0ST Loco No2 'The Lady H'.
It soon came to a grinding halt though; the Lady's steam injectors decided they'd had enough already!
The delay blocked the line, meaning later arrivals had to start with 'D5038' (in two tone green livery)
and the original line, a double return loop with a small halt at Twin Oaks. Several return runs were
made to traverse the 'rare' track, a connection which cuts across the top of the loop, the triangle and
the station run-round loop (to the turntable). Then came the rain, the only precipitation of the entire
weekend, forcing most inside the café to partake of complimentary hot drinks and a fantastic hot and
cold buffet kindly laid on by our hosts. The errant steam loco was banished to the siding and the
extension loop was back up and running with 'D002' in blue livery. So most re-trained and travelled at
a sedate pace, allowing time to note, about a third of the way round, a partly laid/ballasted return loop
(revisit required). With the riding virtually complete, there was time for more drink and food ('a shame
to waste it') and to view the extensive collection of railwayana around the station. On site there are
also four ex-BR 4-Wheel 12 Ton Vans. An aviation theme is prevalent, with several classic fighter jet
cockpits displayed in a separate shed. All that remained was to thank the LNGR team (rail and catering)
for their hospitality and efforts. Some participants would also meet up next day… [Duncan Finch]
Details must be checked 1294 CONNECTIONS (Paul Stewart) [email protected] Please mention BLN
2445] Property Section (1), Bognor Regis: Well Rd, P021, just 150yd from the sea. A most unusual
3-bed detached 1,200ft2 bungalow built around two smartly restored (circa 1885) Midland Railway
carriages on a 600m2 plot. £500k. Farndell Estate Agents https://goo.gl/idMkbJ or 01243 935053.
2446] (2), Ellesmere, Shropshire: The 4.35 acre cleared former station site is for sale with outline
permission for 57 dwellings and includes the original Grade II listed station building (6,800ft2 with
outline permission to convert into 6
apartments - keep an eye out for
availability). A snip at a 'mere' (!)
£1.55M form Halls Commercial in
Shrewsbury, 01743 450 700.
ABOVE: The substantial Ellesmere
station building (as at 1 Apr 2012)
will make fine apartments.
LEFT: In June 1962, with a railmotor
on the Wrexham Central service.
(Both Angus McDougall) …and If your
budget won't quite stretch that far: