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24th November 2018

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Published by membersonly, 2018-11-22 16:49:19

1317

24th November 2018

Number 1317 (Items 2427 - 2550 & MR 225 - MR 232) (E-BLN 68 PAGES) 24 Nov 2018

BRANCH LINE NEWS

Respice in praeteritum, praesens et futurum

Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955
WEBSITE ADDRESS: branchline.uk

Membership Enquiries, Alan Welsh [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01382 728677

British Isles news from member7s2; 8a6n7i7nternational section is available.
Opinions herein are not necessaarivlyaitlahbolsee. of the Compilers or the Society.

BLN 1318 is dated Sat 8 DeSco; cpieletya.sSeocsieentyd. all contributions in by Wed 28 Nov.

Date Event and details  = Please Book Online BLN Lead Status

Sun 25 Nov 09.30 Perth, for Highland Line Signal Box Visits Part 2 - FULL 1313 NJ FULL

Sat 8 Dec Carnforth Charity Cracker FULL WITH A FULL WAITING LIST 1312 MG FULL

Sat 5 Jan 19 09.30 to dark Scunthorpe FULL WITH A FULL WAITING LIST 1314 MG FULL

Sat 26 Jan Charity tour West/South Yorkshire, highly sought after lines TBA TBA Claimed

Sun 27 Jan The Looe Brush Main line tour to Cornwall REDATED 3 Feb TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 2 Feb The Positioning Move Lancaster to Bristol TM (one way) Below MG *OPEN*

Sun 3 Feb The Looe Brush Main line railtour Bristol TM to Cornwall Below MG *OPEN*

Sat 23 Feb Late afternoon, Woodhorn Narrow Gauge Rly, Ashington TBA TBA Claimed

Sun 24 Feb  Tyne & Wear Metro, The South Gosforth Avoider *NEW*Below MG *OPEN*

Wed 27 Feb South coast heritage railway with shunter haulage TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 23 Mar Save the date, railtour via the Marches line to Weymouth TBA TBA Claimed

Sun 24 Mar Save the date, tentative date for the Ruby Vampire rerun TBA TBA Claimed

30/31 Mar Save the date, North Wales narrow gauge weekend TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 6 Apr Save the date, provisional track railtour to East Anglia TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 13 Apr Weston, Nantwich Methodist Church & Willaston Railways TBA TBA Claimed

16-19 May Island of Ireland IV (2019) - reserve the dates TBA TBA Claimed

Thur 13 Jun Save the date, annual Pre-Peaks Challenge Railtour TBA TBA Claimed

7 and 8 Jul Sun and Mon; save the dates for Devon service train tracker TBA TBA Claimed
26 and 27 Jul Provisional Society railtour in southern Austria (Carinthia) TBA TBA Claimed
15-17 Nov Provisional, Barrow Hill AGM weekend with Sunday railtour TBA TBA Claimed

.. MG=New Bookings Officer, .Mark Gomm - for contact details see back page, ; NJ=Nick Jones.

2427] Tickets Please! Not of the railway type either. A big thank you to all who buy raffle tickets on
our railtours as well as those who kindly donate prizes and even, from one member, books of raffle
tickets in some rare (very collectable) colours! As all the prizes, tickets and printed raffle flyers etc
are donated with no expenses we are proud that every penny goes to a variety of good causes.

As well as supporting deserving good causes which usually have a railway connection, our charity
work undoubtedly enhances our Society's reputation and opens doors/ground frames, creating a
niche position for the Society in the railway world. With Mr Adlam on overtime arranging railtours,
and over 120 prizes distributed in our last three raffles, we are always on the lookout for further
suitable prizes please. Do remember us for that unwanted/duplicate Christmas present, book,
Heritage Railway shareholder's ticket (if transferable) or anything suitable for a prize, particularly
railway based or that 'money can't buy'. Thank you and Happy Christmas! - Tim & Paul, rafflers.

2428] :The Looe Brush - Sun 3 Feb:::This charter is the second part of a rather special weekend of loco-
hauled railtouring with West Coast Railways (WCR) in partnership with Brush Type 4 Fund, featuring
two Class 47 locomotives operating top 'n tail from Bristol TM to lovely Looe and return. This can only
be done during the winter Sunday timetable when there is no branch service. The charter will be
raising money for St John's Hospice, Lancaster and the Railway Benefit Fund. A Buffet Car will serve
drinks and light refreshments. Photo stops are planned. We are extremely grateful to Tarmac
Moorswater and South Devon Railway for their support with this charity project. There are options to
alight at Totnes or Plymouth for those seeking a longer off-train break. As many are aware, passenger
use of the significant 'strategic connection' between the main line and the branch at Liskeard is not
normally permitted and an approach has been made to Network Rail to clarify the current position.

Provisional timings and routing validated by WCR and bid to NR: Bristol TM P12 PU 08.10 - Taunton P2
PU 08.59 - Fairwater Yard Goods Reception - Tiverton Parkway P1 PU 09.37 - Exeter Riverside Yard
Down Goods (on the Up side) - Exeter St Davids P6 PU 10.14 - Newton Abbot P3 - Totnes P1 PU/SD
10.51 - Plymouth P4 PU/SD 11.25 - Liskeard (rev) - Tarmac Moorswater (rev) - Looe (1 hour break/rev)
- Coombe Jn (rev) - Liskeard (rev) - Plymouth P8 (photo stop) PU 17.07 - Totnes P2 PU 17.40 - South
Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh RM - Totnes RM - Newton Abbot P1 - Exeter St Davids P5 SD 20.04 -
Tiverton Parkway P2 SD 20.25 - Taunton P5 SD 20.41 - Castle Cary - Westbury Avoider - Heywood Jn
(rev) trailing crossover - Hawkeridge Curve - Bath Spa P1 SD 21.59 - Bristol TM P15 SD 22.16. To reach
Bristol for this tour please consider 'The Positioning Move' - on Sat 2 Feb from the Northwest (below)...

IMPORTANT; ALL BOOKINGS - PLEASE ADVISE YOUR INTENDED JOIN/ALIGHT STOP (for stewarding
and can be changed by notification). Standard Class Members £89; Non-members £101; First Class Plus
including light refreshments and hot drinks £139; Non-Members £151 (table for two full), excluding
'The Positioning Move' - see below. U18s (to be accompanied by an adult) £44 reduction on all fares.
Please book online if possible. Queries to Mark Gomm, Bookings Officer (back page) by email or if no
email by post (with SAE). Please include membership number/s and email/SAE with postal bookings.

2429] :The Positioning Move - Sat 2 Feb:: This single journey forms the first part of a rather special
weekend of loco-hauled railtouring with West Coast Railways (WCR) in partnership with Brush Type 4
Fund, featuring two Class 47 locomotives to Bristol via The Marches. There are a wide range of hotels
(and bars!) in Bristol making this an easy social day out with some unusual routing along the way, and
an ideal 'positioning move' prior to Sunday! The charter will be raising money for St John's Hospice in
Lancaster and the Railway Benefit Fund. A Buffet Car will serve drinks and light refreshments. Photo
stops are planned. Provisional timings and routing validated by WCR and bid to NR: Lancaster P4 PU
11.16 - Preston P5 PU 11.52 - Crewe P12 PU 13.27 - Stafford P6 PU 14.29 Up Oxley Chord - Down
Abbey Foregate Curve (Shrewsbury) - Craven Arms DGL - Maindee Curve (Hereford Loop) - East Usk
Reception Road No2 (requested) - Bishton Flyover - Pilning UPL - Bristol TM P5/6 SD 19.01.

IMPORTANT; ALL BOOKINGS - PLEASE ADVISE YOUR INTENDED JOIN/ALIGHT STOP (for stewarding
and can be changed by notification). Standard Class only, £40 single for all; this does NOT include
'The Looe Brush' - book this separately. Under 18s (must be accompanied by an adult) £20. Please
book online if possible. Queries to Mark Gomm, Bookings Officer, per back page by email or if no email
by post (with SAE). Please include all membership number/s and email address or SAE with postal
bookings. Our e-notification system and website Forum advised members of these on Thur 14 Nov.

2430] :The South Gosforth Avoider, Sun 24 Feb:: With thanks to John Cameron and Nexus (Tyne &
Wear Passenger Transport Executive), a further charity railtour has kindly been arranged which
complements our Feb 2018 tour. Details are being finalised but it leaves South Gosforth about 08.40,
returning about 16.05. Draft itinerary: South Gosforth (08.41) - Pelaw sidings (rev) - Haymarket P2
(rev) - X/O - Pelaw sidings (rev) - Longbenton - X/O to North Shields, Preston Refuge Siding (Bagnall
Siding) (rev) - X/O - North Shields bay platform (rev) - X/O to Manors P1 (rev) - Stoddart Street Sidings
(rev) - St James overrun tunnel - St James BREAK (11.48/12.48) - Manors P1 (rev) - Manors Curve -

Jesmond Jn - X/O - South Gosforth - Monkseaton - X/O - siding (rev) - Longbenton - X/O - Depot
Avoiding Line - X/O - Kingston Park P2 (rev) - X/O - South Gosforth - South Shields (new layout) (rev) -
Pelaw refuge siding - South Gosforth - X/O - Regent Centre siding - South Gosforth (16.05).
BLS Members only; just 128 places, £55 per head, £27.50 reduction for U18s (must be accompanied by
an adult). Book via website please or by post to Mark Gomm per back page with your email address or,
if no email, an SAE. Please include all membership number/s and email or an SAE with postal bookings.

2431] {The Ruby Vampire Railtour:: Repeated for those who didn't see e-BLN 1316. The Branch Line
Society's Ruby Vampire charter, operated by West Coast Railways, raising money for Merseyside and
Cheshire Blood Bikes, experienced a low speed derailment on DB Cargo infrastructure at Dee Marsh
Reception Sidings, on Sunday 4 November 2018. One (only) axle on a Mk1 carriage was derailed;
no injuries occurred and all vehicles remained upright. Passengers were moved to Wrexham by rail for
onward connections or to Chester and Crewe by rail later in the day. The derailed vehicle was
successfully re-railed on site by DB Cargo Wigan BRUFF† team and left on site pending inspection.

The Branch Line Society would like to acknowledge the professionalism of the West Coast Railways
team and the response teams from DB Cargo and Network Rail in resolving the incident promptly,
safely and successfully. Combined with the previous week's Ruby Shoesday charter, in conjunction
with Merseyrail, the two events have raised over £8,000 for the good cause. The captions for the
accompanying pictures in e-BLN were transposed, the first was obviously the Class 33 at the rear and
the second the Class 47 at the front, both at Wrexham General. [Potential date of rerun is 24 Mar.]
[ †Bruff was a company which built a type of vehicle capable of running on both road and rail; normally
used to travel by road to aid a derailed rail vehicle or to travel to the nearest road access for a remote
work site. Some say 'BRUFF' is an acronym for British Rail Universal Fault Fixer.]

2432] Volunteer/s Still Wanted! (BLN 1316.2292) One or more to design and/or produce souvenir
fixture tickets - we can easily have the tickets printed commercially but it would be better to have
member/s designing them. Contact Jim Sellens informally at [email protected] to discuss.

1317 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

2433] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered
BLN Start (incl) Reopens Location (stations exclusive where bracketed) [bold = closed now]

1316.2434 5 Aug 18 Unknown *(Clitheroe) - Hellifield South Jn [SuO PSUL service]
1316.2435 25 Aug 18 Unknown *Heaton Norris Jn - Guide Bridge Station Jn [SO PSUL service]
1314.2066 28 Sep 18 Unknown CairnGorm Mountain Railway, 'Base Station' - Ptarmigan
1300.441 19 Nov 18 23 Nov 18 (Theale) - Westbury North Jn/Fairwood Jn Now overnight only
1312.1835 17 Nov 18 24 Nov 18 *(Worcester) Norton Jn - (Moreton-in-Marsh)
1311.1736 12 Nov 18 17 Dec 18 *Bank Hall station (back reference has the Merseyrail closures)
1316.2302 5 Nov 18 1Dec 18 *(Ballybrophy) Bay P1 - (Birdhill)
1314.2070 6 Oct 18 ?? Dec 18 *Woolwich Ferry; North Woolwich - Woolwich (ROP 'late Dec')
1299.337 10 Dec 18 Greenford West Jn - Greenford East Jn - Park Royal - Old Oak Common West CP
1315.2209 25 Dec 18 1 Jan 19 Severn Tunnel Jn - Stoke Gifford No1 Jn
1315.2210 23 Dec 18 3 Jan 19 Westbury-Heywood Rd Jn/Fairwood Jn/Trowbridge/Warminster
1316.2303 2 Jan 19 Jun/Jul 19 *Mid Hants Railway Alton P3 - (Medstead & Four Marks)
1297.123 16 Feb 19 24 Feb 19 (Three Bridges) - (Brighton)/(Hove)/(Lewes)
1317.2441 2 Jan 19 1 Apr 19 *West Somerset Railway, Bishops Lydeard - Minehead
1313.1945 20 Oct 18 XX Apr19 Reedham Jn - Berney Arms request stop - (Great Yarmouth)

2434] Clitheroe (excl) - Hellifield South Jn: Last ran on 29 Jul 2018. Service suspended due to route
knowledge problems (Blackpool North line where trains originate and return to), industrial action and
more recently engineering work. SuO PSUL service (Blackpool North to Carlisle and return 'Dalesrail'
20 May until 30 Sep; and from 7 Oct to Hellifield and return with a fill in trip to Preston and back).

2435] Heaton Norris Jn - Guide Bridge Station Jn & Reddish South & Denton: Last ran Sat 18 Aug 2018.
Service suspended, due to industrial action; 08.46 Stalybridge - Stockport and 09.45 return (SO) PSULs.

2436] Ayr, Townhead EMU Sidings: Up side, south of Ayr, TCA Tue 28 Aug 2018 after the 22.57 ECS
working left for Glasgow Central and (amending paper BLN 1316.2299) remains closed. EMUs stop part
way down through P4; through P3 remains a 4-car bay from the north (Glasgow) end with the OHLE
isolated beyond. On 18 Nov Alex Hynes, ScotRail Managing Director, confirmed they still did not have
access to the depot. ScotRail is working to restore the full service again 'as soon as possible', but he
could not give a date. A full service is running to/from Stranraer but not the short workings that give
Girvan an hourly service. They also want any further work to Ayr station hotel to be less disruptive.

2437] Dwyrain Corwen/Corwen East: (BLN 1316.2300) On Sat 10 Nov 2018, the final train used the
station a week after the last public service, a private 'Wedding Belle' special which left there at 14.38.

2438] Vale of Rheidol Light Railway, Aberystwyth station: CA after final trains on Sun 11 Nov 2018;
11.00 departure to Devils Bridge (12.00/14.00) arriving back at 15.00. Services cancelled 18 & 27 Nov
due to major redevelopment work at Aberystwyth station. A new carriage shed is being built on the
station site. A new larger 'GWR style' station with more facilities is being built further down the line by
the former GWR Loco Shed (OP expected Sat 16 Feb 2019, first train 10.30) shortening the line slightly.

2439] Yate Middle Jn - Tytherington, Grovesend Quarry: (BLN 1299.388) On Thur 15 Nov 2018,
following the Filton blockade, route learning light engine workings began on this 6m 24ch branch;
09.17 from Westbury Down Yard. Although only 6 minutes late passing Westerleigh Jn at 11.19,
Grovesend Quarry was reached at 13.35 which was 105 min late. Departure for Westbury was on time
at 14.04. Two return trips ran on the branch next day. It has been out of use (OOU) past 0m 30ch from
15 Sep 2013; the previous train is thought to have been UK Railtour's 2 Jul 2011 'Severnsider' tour.

2440] IBM station: (BLN 1281.1090 with several pictures) 5m 22ch from Wemyss Bay Jn, ScotRail has
'announced' that trains will stop calling from Sun 9 Dec - broadly one train an hour each way (except
16.35 SuX from Glasgow Central does not call). If you need to 'do' the station before it closes, online
systems incorrectly suggest that Up trains to Glasgow do not stop - a local member confirms they do.
6,032 passengers were documented in 2016-17 but numbers have plummeted with the end of local
industry. Some have questioned the legality of the closure; it is a 'private' station but the public
timetable etc gives the impression it is a normal one. Future housing development is possible.

2441] West Somerset Railway: TCP (whole railway) is expected from 2 Jan until Mon 1 Apr 2019. This
is an entirely voluntary closure (with the loss of just 17 days of running plus 4 gala days) after an ORR
inspection - all scheduled Christmas services will run without any special conditions. No Improvement
or Prohibition Notice has been issued. It is to facilitate improvements in safety and infrastructure,
tighten up procedures, record keeping and compliance plus staff and director appointment systems.

The focus is on proper compliance with better training and competency of staff that have safety critical
roles (Drivers, Firemen, Guards, Signalmen and other operating staff). A new Safely Management
System will be written and the Human and the Organisational Performance system set up to operate
correctly. The ORR is assisting with the action plan and also the mandatory staff training required.
There will be a full line side tidy up (using a train), with removal of the scrap rail and chairs to realise
their scrap value and remove potential risk to trains and staff with continued line side clearance.

1317 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

2442] All Our Yesterdays (37 years ago): From Branch Line News 423, 6 Aug 1981; BR = British Rail...

2443] All Our Yesterdays (1964): (BLN 1316.2307); lineside fires to control vegetation - original text...

SYSTEMATIC MAINTENANCE

This table must be followed except when the Ganger considers it necessary to depart from it in order
to carry out prompt repairs to the track, (Inspector to be notified) or where alternative work is
authorized by the Inspector.

Week Date Work carried out Mon - Fri Sat AM
No See note
Jan 1 Tidy week
1. Overhaul chair fastenings and re gauge 6
-:- 8 Repair and align track
2.* -:- 15 Turn and oil fishplates examine rail ends, pull back rails Oil slide
3.* Recovery week chairs of
-:- 22 Turn and oil fishplates examine rail ends, pull back rails switches as
4.* -:- 29 Overhaul chair fastenings and re gauge necessary
5.* Feb 5 Tidy week
6.* Oil slide
-:- 12 Repair and align track chairs of
7.* -:- 19 switches as
8.* Weed and clean cesses, trim verges, hoe fire breaks, cut and necessary
-:- 26 burn slopes
9.* Clean out drains
Mar 5 Tidy week
10.* -:- 12 Repair and align track
11.* -:- 19
12.* General repairs, carry out fencing on hand, tarring huts etc
-:- 26 Overhaul chair fastenings and re gauge
13.* Repair and re align track
Apl 2 Tidy week
14. Hedges, ditches, fencing. Clean out and repair drains
-:- 9 Recovery week
15. -:- 16
16. -:- 23
17. -:- 30
18 May 7
19. -:- 14
20.
-:- 21
21. -:- 28
22. June 4
23. -:- 11
24.
-:- 18
25. -:- 25
26.
July 2
27.
-:- 9
28. -:- 16
29. -:- 23
30. -:- 30
31.
Aug 6
32. -:- 13
33. -:- 20
34.
Aug 27
35. Sept 3
36.
-:- 10
37. -:- 17
38. -:- 24
39.
Oct 1
40.
-:- 8
41. -:- 15
42. -:- 22
43.
-:- 29
44.

45. Nov 5 Overhaul chair fastenings, re gauge

46. -:- 12 Pull back rails
47. -:- 19

48. -:- 26 See note
6
49. Dec 3 Repair and align track

50. -:- 10

51. -:- 17 General repairs
52. -:- 24

General Notes
1. Repairing Track: During these periods any bad places must first be dealt with. During remainder of
allotted time packing lining and adjustment of cant should be carried out systematically commencing at
one end of the length and continuing each new period from the point reached at the at the end of the
previous period.

2. Ballast riddling, packing and aligning of track is not to be done in very hot weather.

3. Cleaning of ballast is not specified in the above table but the gang's allotted task is to clean a
minimum of 15 linear yds of track per man per month. This work is to be carried out progressively
from one end of the length to the other. If this is omitted in any given month it must be made up in
succeeding months.

4. Although repairs to fencing and drainage work, (which includes the cleaning of catchpits) is shown
to be done only at specific periods, it must be understood that this work is to be dealt with at any
other time it may become necessary.

5. Small road repairs are to be dealt with as soon as possible after they become necessary.

6. Overhaul P&C Fastenings and repair and clean up sidings. When Saturday mornings are not
worked, these duties must be carried out at an appropriate time between the other items specified.

* Burn dead grass if weather suitable. British Railways Track 1964

Much of the work in this type of schedule of seasonal tasks was always additional - sort of 'spare time'
activity at the Ganger's discretion. Priority was fault correction to top, line and level under job tickets
generated by specific inspections at varying frequency; daily by patrolmen, weekly or other for defined
faults by inspectors. If there was a lot of such work, this would be undertaken by mobile specialist
fettling gangs to whom the above schedule for general purpose gangs did not apply. If there was any
time left, all gangers were required to read the Rule Book, progressively, to all the staff - many gangs
had perfectly capable track staff who were unable to read; the sub-ganger wrote their time sheets.

2444] Points & Slips: ●●BLN 1315.2267] Regarding the Upper Douglas Cable Tramway, the surviving
tram (joint No72/73 - different numbers each end) operated in 1993, propelled by a Land Rover; by
1998 it was running on battery power. ●●2268] The Vivarail public rides on the Bo'ness & Kinneil
Railway were on 10-12 Oct (per e-BLN 1314.X.148) rather than 3-5 Oct. ●●BLN 1316.2308] The
Cardigan Bay Express referred to was on 10 Sep 1987 rather than 1978 - a member was a passenger.

Sadly this steam train has not run since Bank Holiday Mon 30 Aug 2010 when it made a return trip
from Machynlleth to Pwllheli. Although it was promised that it would be able to run with ERTMS this
has not happened. 2340] 'FDG' Gypsum at Fiddlers Ferry should, of course, be FGD (Flue Gas
Desulphurisation). This removes over 90% of the sulphur dioxide from power station flue gas using
limestone (brought in by rail); the resulting gypsum is often taken out by rail.

●●2369] Slightly Pointless Data: A member who worked in BR's rail freight department always
understood 'SPD' (as in the recently demolished, once rail connected, Perry Barr, depot Birmingham)
stood for Soap Producers' Deliveries - but another source says it was Speedy and Prompt Delivery.
The firm was, apparently, originally owned by Van Den Burghs & Jurgens (margarine manufacturers)
later Unilever - and (so it is said) ultimately ended up in the National Freight Corporation.

●●2420] Fort Augustus branch: Apologies to Tom Scott for misinterpreting a line of his report on our
Invergarry station visit; it should have said: At the times when four trains a day operated on the
branch, generally two of them ran through to/from Fort William by reversing at Spean Bridge. A direct
west to north curve, avoiding Spean Bridge station, was proposed but never built. A member advises
that the temporary closure was actually from Oct 1911 until Aug 1913. 'The Highland Railway' by OS
Nock has details of locos that worked it. The North British Railway operated the line from 1907 to 1911
then threw in the towel but reopened the branch in 1913 with Inverness County Council funding. That
year (or possibly in 1914) they bought the railway, which cost £350k to build, for £25k - its scrap value.

2445] BLS Child, Young People & Vulnerable Adults, Welfare Policy & Procedures: This 2½ page
document is available as an additional item with e-BLN 1317, also to Society members by emailing
your BLN Editor. Any member without online access can request a printed copy from the Editor (per
back page), enclosing an SAE. It is the work of a Committee sub-group led by your Chairman and has
been agreed by the Committee. It is also be available to logged in members on our website archive.

2446] National Rail Enquiries website station maps: (BLN 1316.2351) Many of the station maps
shown on this website are, to quote our member, about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.
Basically they have not been updated. Redhill does not show P0 and, nearly four years after the new
two platform station at Alvechurch opened, the map still only shows a single line and platform, despite
the accompanying photograph being of the new station. Malvern Link still has photos of the dreadful
1970s building demolished in 2013 (!) and replaced by an award winning redevelopment - the map is
the old station too. This is despite the best efforts of your local BLN Editor who knows the station
manager and she sent new pictures in 2014! Cardiff Central has no map, just a note apologising for its
absence. London Bridge has no map or apology! Blackpool North shows eight platforms (if only!) and
is before redevelopment and rationalization but Kirkham & Wesham does not show its new platform.

2447] Mixed up Trains: (BLN 1316.2307) Tail traffic was when a passenger-carrying train hauled
vehicles conveying passenger-rated (as opposed to goods-rated) traffic; included were parcels vans
and milk tanks and suchlike - but all the vehicles were fully brake fitted. The practice was not restricted
to the Great Western Railway/Western Region of BR! Tail traffic was quite common in the early years
of DMUs. On 18 Jun 1962 the 16.25 Neyland (CP 15 Jun 1964) to Bristol TM, a Swindon built BR(W)
cross-country DMU coupled to a second unit and bogie van during the Swansea High Street reversal.
At Newport High Street the station pilot attached a four-wheel van, so onwards to Bristol TM a six-car
DMU was hauling two vans. One-off workings were not unknown - on 13 Mar 1962 the 14.10 Newport
- Brynmawr (CP 30 Apr 1962) hauled a horse box to Risca (it was not bound for 'Neigh-land' though).

Mixed trains were where passenger carrying vehicles and goods traffic were conveyed in the same
train and may have had unfitted freight vehicles in the formation. Such partially braked trains
conveying passengers were an activity that the Board of Trade (BoT) - later Ministry of Transport (MoT)
- sought to reduce and restrict (but did not entirely abolish) after the passage of the Regulation of
Railways Act of 1889 following the dreadful Armagh accident. This https://goo.gl/9Y3nbz required the
full braking of passenger trains except where specifically authorised by the BoT (MoT). Like loose-
coupled goods trains, they had to have a brake van to prevent a runaway if the train was divided
accidentally or during shunting at intermediate stations. In later years a brake van could be dispensed
with if the whole train had continuous brakes in use. As late as 24 Sep 1987 the 18.50 Mallaig - Fort
William was still mixed, locomotive 37409 hauling six (!) coaches and three empty four-wheel oil tanks
- all vacuum braked. An interesting rhythm of wheel beats on rails was audible in the rear vestibule!

The Great Western Railway (GWR) was among those which continued to operate mixed trains.
https://goo.gl/7NCFp4 may be of interest but is not 'definitive'. It suggests that regulations applicable
to mixed trains were withdrawn in 1972 by which time they were very unusual. However, they could
still be operated under Regional Instructions if necessary. Does anyone know when the final mixed/tail
traffic trains operated on the GWR or BR (WR) and nationally (other than in engineering possessions)?

There is still a UK example of a mixed train; the 2ft gauge Hythe Pier Railway (MR P18), said to be the
oldest continually running pier train in the world (since 1922), regularly carries diesel fuel to the pier
head for the ferry. The 1,500L tank on an unbraked goods wagon is attached to the passenger train.

2448] Tailpiece: (BLN 1316.2307) The item brought back memories for a member who, in the 1970s,
was a schoolboy commuter on the Cheshire Lines Committee main line (Manchester - Warrington -
Liverpool). On one of these occasions he caught the 18.34 express from Manchester Piccadilly as far
as Warrington Central, always formed of a 4-car suburban DMU. This started in through P13 or 14 at
Piccadilly where it had terminated after arrival from Liverpool. (P13/14 were much less busy then;
imagine trying to timetable a turnback working in the through platforms today!) It was quite common
for the Mayfield Class '08' shunter to attach a bogie parcels van onto the rear of this train which would
be conveyed by the DMU all the way to Lime Street. This too lasted at least until 1978 (when he left
school). He doesn't know of any other workings on this line which regularly carried parcels vans.

1317 EAST MIDLANDS (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
2449] Lincoln: Siemens has announced that they have industry certification for work on wheelsets,
bogies and suspension components which will be undertaken at its Lincoln site. It is understood that
the first job will be servicing Eurostar bogies at this facility, followed by the Desiro City fleets.

2450] Immingham Bulk Terminal: Associated British Ports has agreed a major new deal with British
Steel in which the port will invest £65M at the Terminal and take over its operation from British Steel.
This is described as helping to support the long-term future of steel manufacturing in the region.

In 2013 the Port of Immingham handled 68,000 container units, but by 2017 this had grown to
183,000. This explains the gauge enhancement work (BLN 1316.2315) and proposed new Killingholme
facility. The growth is, in part, due to the rise in the number of Regional Distribution Centres across the
M1/M62 corridor, which use the Humber Ports. The need for investment to keep up with demand has
been clearly demonstrated. Following the £14M investment in ABP's intermodal terminal at the Port
of Hull last year, within months new regular sailings by Samskip and I-Motion to ports of Amsterdam
and Ghent were announced. ABP expect that the latest Immingham investment could support further
growth of around 50% by 2020. Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole handle over 65M tonnes of
cargo between them each year worth about £75bn. [25M tonnes is carried by rail to/from Immingham
- the UK's biggest Railfreight source, about 30% of the total carried or 260 trains per week).] The
Humber ports support 34,900 jobs locally and contribute £2.5bn to the UK economy. Over £130M was
invested with Drax Power at Immingham and £25M at Hull in two new rail served biomass terminals.

2451] Wellingborough North Jn: The facing points (65m 30ch) from the Down Fast to the Down Goods
Loop are to be temporarily removed from 24 Nov 2018 until Thur 27 Dec 2019, with no access to the
Down Goods Loop from the south but there will still be access to Down Sidings 1 & 2 from the north.

1317 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]
2452] Barking - Gospel Oak: (BLN 1316.2318) Testing of the new Class 710 EMUs ceased after 27 Oct
due to software issues on the trains, but restarted on 16 Nov. Bombardier was contracted to hand
over the first unit in Jan 2018 but the first one is now expected to enter service next month, probably
as a relief (it will be a relief too). The Class 172 DMUs now working this line are actually leased to West
Midland Trains, but are sub-leased back to Arriva Rail London (ARL). However on 10 Nov a second unit
was sent to Bombardier, Ilford and the rest are still due off lease at the end of the year. This has left
just six units for six diagrams, with an increase in cancellations and resulting gaps in service. On the
weekend of 17/18 Nov two diagrams were removed from the service to allow for pre-planned
maintenance and this will also happen on subsequent weekends. Two half-hourly replacement bus
services will run at weekends until Sun 23 Dec, after which a full replacement bus service will operate
until at least 1 Jan (except 25/26 Dec). This will continue until ARL has enough Class 710s to operate
the full rail service, expected to be in Feb. The line is not equipped with OPO mirrors as the Class 172s
are fitted with CCTV cameras, making short-term replacement by any other units difficult.

ABOVE: The 10.57 PSUL to Paddington via Park Royal at South Ruislip P3 on 20 Nov 2018; there were
six passengers who 'all appeared to be enthusiasts!' BELOW: At London Paddington P14 before its
non-stop run to High Wycombe, taken from the H&C platforms. (Both Ian Mortimer 20 Nov 2018.)

2453] Park Royal: (BLN 1299.337) A final reminder that the Chiltern PSUL passenger service ceases
over this route after running on Fri 7 Dec. Realtime Trains shows the return train from Paddington as
now stopping additionally at South Ruislip, Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield. Closure notices and
procedures are not required because this was allowed for in the HS2 hybrid parliamentary bill. Route
learning specials have been running (up to four round trips daily) between South or West Ruislip and
West Ealing bay P5. In the new timetable from Mon 10 Dec the train (SSuX) leaves South Ruislip at
11.02 (now 10.57) and is booked to arrive West Ealing 11.20 and return at 11.47; it is booked non-stop
to High Wycombe (12.27; now 12.30). RTT also shows a Greenford train reversing at West Ealing from
11.23 to 11.27. If correct both trains will be in the bay at the same time, which is possible as it is long
enough (132m) for 2x2 car DMUs and has permissive working for passenger trains (reports welcome).

Of note this will bring regular timetabled passenger services to 12ch of track between Greenford West
Jn and Greenford (LUL) Bay Jn. From 1 Jan 2019 Old Oak Common West Jn is to be severed (next item)
but the HS2 tunnel vents next to the Park Royal route have been redesigned to allow for reopening.
Chiltern has suggested a service (possibly from Milton Keynes via Aylesbury) to Old Oak Common HS2
station, although their present franchise expires on 11 Dec 2021. As mentioned previously, Greenford
West Jn to Greenford East Jn to Park Royal remains open to freight, as does the Greenford South Jn
to Greenford East Jn curve, although initially nothing will be booked between West and East Jns.

2454] HS2: (BLN 1315.2219) The Wycombe Single Line will be severed on 1 Jan, with track panels
removed at 3m 38ch and 3m 57ch. From 3 Feb control of Park Royal Jn and the remaining section of
the Wycombe Single Line (renamed Wycombe Siding) will transfer from Thames Valley Signalling
Centre (TVSC) to Greenford signal box. A remote IECC workstation will be installed in the signal box
controlling Smartlock interlocking at TVSC. Presumably this is the first time that signalling control has
been transferred from one of the new regional control centres to a humble signal box! The Wycombe
Siding will be signed out of use, but it will be possible to restore it to use at any time if it is required for
spoil removal/HS2 construction. In a possession on 23/24 Feb the points at Old Oak Common West Jn
will be recovered and buffers installed at the end of the Wycombe Siding.

NR is also consulting on changes at West Ruislip, where the Up Side North Sidings are to be removed
to make way for the HS2 Northolt Corridor tunnel portal. No2 was covered to the buffer stops on our
13 Aug 2016 'Wycombe Wanderer' Chiltern railtour. Work to decommission and recover the sidings
will take place between Dec and Feb. The sidings are currently used to stable a Chiltern train between
the peaks and a separate project will provide a replacement, which is likely to be achieved by
modifying the turnback siding at Wembley Stadium. The sidings are also used for splitting engineering
trains going in and out of LUL's Ruislip depot that are too long to fit in the Down Spur. A further
project will provide a facing crossover between the Main Lines and a trailing connection from the
Down Main to the Down Spur to allow full length trains to run without splitting. Beyond the crossover
there will be a trailing connection from the South East Reception line of the HS2 West Ruislip Railhead
into the Up Main. Further west, East Denham Jn will be created, with a trailing crossover between the
main lines and a facing connection from the Up Main to the HS2 North West Reception line.

2455] Barking: Due to the large current drawn and the limited feeder capacity, a restriction has been
placed on freight trains passing during the morning peak to prevent overloading the system and
affecting other trains. Between 06.00 and 10.00 no more than two electrically-hauled freight trains per
hour are permitted irrespective of direction. In practice the only regular working through here is the
DB Cargo car train between Dagenham and Mossend, which is normally Class 90 worked and GBRf
sometimes uses a Class 92 on the Garston car trains. Neither run in the peaks. ('Railway Observer')

2456] East Croydon: (BLN 1316.2317) 'London Reconnections' https://goo.gl/esg54E has an updated
indication of the possible new layout here (reproduced on the next two ages overleaf - the dotted lines
is either removed or to be removed track). Norwood Junction station is not included, but the article
suggests it will have six tracks with four platform faces and new bridges to replace the narrow subway.



2457] Crossrail: (BLN 1316.2319) According to a driver involved in the testing, it could be as long as
next May before there is sufficient confidence in the train software to allow Class 345 EMUs to operate
to Heathrow. The 'Evening Standard' reports that the delayed opening of the core section will cost TfL
nearly £200M in lost fares and advertising revenue next year.

[BLN 1317]
2458] Deep Tube Upgrade Programme: (BLN 1309.1525) The High Court has rejected the appeal by
Bombardier and Hitachi against the award of the contract for new Piccadilly Line trains to Siemens,
allowing the deal to go ahead. ('Rail Technology Magazine')

2459] St Pancras: (BLN 1312.1853) A new memorial https://goo.gl/qDb7Sd was unveiled on 8 Nov on
the Grand Terrace outside the old booking office. Unusually it consists of a series of vitreous enamel
tiles listing the job titles of staff from the station, hotel and goods yard who died in WWI and WWII.

2460] Docklands Light Railway: (BLN 1294.2397) The Budget included an announcement that the
Government will allocate £291M from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to support construction of
over 18,000 new homes in east London through investment in the DLR. An article on the 'ianVisits' blog
gives details of how this will be spent. 14 additional trains will be purchased, presumably to be added
to the existing order for 43 trains; Beckton Depot will be expanded and there will be a contribution to
the redevelopment of Poplar Depot. This will include a new housing development over the depot and
new bridge links over Aspen Way to Canary Wharf. A new station will be built at Thames Wharf,
roughly half way between Canning Town and West Silvertown on the Woolwich Arsenal branch.

Passive provision was made for this station when that part of the branch was built in 2005, with a
straight, level section of viaduct. It will serve the Thameside West development in an area now mostly
industrial, but is earmarked for at least 4,500 new homes. The funding is conditional on the money
being spent by Mar 2023. This means housing construction is expected to come after the station is
built, as the housing land is needed first to support the construction of the new Silvertown road
tunnel. That work is expected to take until 2024, when housing development can then start.

BELOW: East Ham station, an Eastbound train (with a poppy) turning back in the Westbound platform
to return to Upminster over the trailing crossover ahead due to a line closure towards central London.

[BLN 1217]
2461] East Ham: On 3/4 Nov a large part of the LUL Sub-Surface network was closed to allow testing of
the new Communications Based Train Control signalling. Of particular interest to one member was the
Upminster to East Ham shuttle, which used the trailing crossover just off the platform ends at the
latter to return trains in service towards Upminster. The use of this crossover in passenger service is
rare, although there are now further proposed dates for its use on 5/6 Jan and 9/10 Mar, but note that
LUL works are always quite susceptible to short notice cancellation.It was noticeable at East Ham and
Barking, and indeed on the trains themselves, that many passengers did not appear to understand the
announcements and paid little or no attention to displays which meant they sometimes went off on
little trips they were ill prepared for! Some ran on to trains at East Ham breathless to have 'made it'
and looked very surprised to suddenly go east, despite copious posters, displays and interminable
announcements of this prospect. A group of four elderly gentlemen travelling west on our member's
first train appeared quite content sitting and chatting at East Ham and indeed very sanguine on
returning from whence they had come, only appearing to register when instead of the bright lights of
London beckoning they had just departed Dagenham Heathway going the other way!

BELOW: View past the now leading cab of train at East Ham preparing to return east over the trailing
crossover (visible) back to Upminster; weekend works closed the line west towards central London.

ABOVE: East Ham trailing crossover set and cleared for a train to return in service back to Upminster.
The Fenchurch Street to Southend etc line is in the background right. (All Simon Mortimer.)

2462] Gunnersbury - Richmond: NR is to install TPWS to enable the new Class 710 EMUs, which are
not fitted with tripcocks, to operate over this section. The new Train Stop System equipment will be in
the same locations as the existing tripcocks to allow interworking with LUL District Line trains.
A similar installation has already taken place between Queen's Park (presumably actually Kilburn High
Road) and Harrow & Wealdstone where London Overground and Bakerloo Line trains interwork.
The work starts in Dec due completion by Aug 2019. Once done it is intended to remove tripcocks from
the existing Class 378 EMUs which are currently used to Watford Junction and Richmond.

2463] Heathrow Express: (BLN 1316.2231) After 'Hexit' negotiations GWR took over operations on
Thur 1 Nov. This was low key, but many HEx staff were in new uniforms (with a special joint GWR/HEx
badge). The service is expected to carry a record breaking 6.5M passengers this year and 100 staff
have transferred to GWR. Some ticketing changes are not expected to take place until 25 Nov.

2464] Paddington: (BLN 1316.2326) As well as at the London end, a gate line has been installed at the
P6/7 footbridge entrance as shown in the e-BLN 1316 photograph. The Christmas Paddington station
and line closures are for renewal of a junction near Southall, although it is not yet known which one.

2465] LUL Sub-Surface Lines Resignalling: (BLN 1309.1523) The planned implementation date for the
first section of the new CBTC signalling continues to recede into the future, with a report on SE Gen
suggesting it may be well into next year. In order to recover some lost time, the first section could be
expanded to include Hammersmith/Finchley Road to Euston Square. The Network Change for the
revised Possession Key Switch for the NR/LUL connection at Barking has been agreed.

2466] Pigeons meet their Waterloo: Aria, a Harris hawk, (does he do vertical takeoffs?) is being used
twice a week for two hour patrols to harry pigeons away from the concourse at Waterloo station.

2467] ….And Finally: At 11.47 on 1 Nov signalling was lost on all lines at Ilford. Unlike the usual
problem of rats chewing through cables, in this case the fault was eventually traced to a rat inside a
location cabinet! The power to this had to be discharged to allow the rat to be removed, which was
achieved at 13.46. However it was then found that the rat's presence had caused two fuses to blow
(rats!) and it was 14.59 before full signalling was restored. Until that time almost no trains passed
through the area and the incident resulted in 113 cancelled trains and 2,290 delay minutes.

1317 NORTH EAST & YORKSHIRE (Geoff Blyth) [email protected]

2468] Area Transfer: 'Yorkshire' is now included in the 'North East' BLN section with Geoff Blyth as
Regional Editor so that Graeme Jolley can concentrate on the East Midland, IOM and BLS Sales.

2469] T&W Metro, South Gosforth - Shiremoor: All day on Sun 2 Dec, due to engineering work there
will be no trains. Services arriving from the east at Shiremoor will use the facing crossover into P2.
There will be no moves of interest at South Gosforth but access to the depot will be restricted, so that
some trains will return there earlier than normal, leading to a reduced service in the late evening.

2470] T&W Metro, St James - Tynemouth: All day Sat 8 & Sun 9 Dec until about 18.30 (time varies at
different stops), no trains run to allow for OHLE (overhead line electrification) renewal. At Tynemouth
trains turn back in P2 from the north (coast) and depart in service over the trailing crossover there.

2471] Azumas, or protecting people from themselves: (BLNs 1311.1759 & 1282.1163] 'The Times'
reported on 26 Oct that these new trains will not enter service on the East Coast Main Line until 'some
point next year'; three of the 65 sets on order were originally due to start in public service on 4 Dec.
In October it emerged that the hybrid trains would be able to run in diesel mode only north of York
because their powerful electromagnetic currents cause lineside signals to fail. Further problems
emerged this month when the Office of Rail and Road said that authorisation to run the trains would
be 'paused' over safety fears. It turns out that the connecting cables in three groups, one above the
next, between the carriages could be used as a sort of rope ladder for trespassers to reach the OHLE,
where they might electrocute themselves (!) - a concern described as 'bizarre' in the House of Lords.

Class 395 Javelins and Class 800 IETs on the GWR have the same design (although the OHLE is higher)
but had already been approved before this concern emerged. So there is now another issue where
something is 'safe' in one part of the country but 'unsafe' in another - as with the joining and splitting
of trains with passengers on board which is quite safe and fine if you happen to be in Oxford for
example. There is no news on how this will be resolved. A solution would be to make the cables
longer, so that the loop is too low down to make a ladder, but that would no doubt create new issues.

2472] OHLE: The existing ECML power supply is inadequate to support the combination of the Azumas
and the 2021 timetable changes, increasing from 6 to 8 trains per hour (tph) between King's Cross and
Doncaster, and from 5 to 6tph between Doncaster and Newcastle. NR proposes to upgrade the power
supply between Bawtry (147m 57ch from King's Cross) and Edinburgh. New power feeds will be
provided at 'Hambleton Jn' (which one is not specified) and north of Berwick-upon-Tweed at Marshall
Meadows, with other changes. This will be delivered and commissioned from Oct 2019 to Nov 2021.

The 2020 Initial Train Service Specification (ITSS) for the 2021 timetable, defined by the DfT remit is:
Electric-capable trains operating under electric traction wherever OHLE is available. No electrically
hauled freights. Local electric services included (ScotRail & Northern). Specification:

London North Eastern Railway all to/from King's Cross: ●Leeds 2tph fast. ●Edinburgh 2tph alternating
fast/semi-fast. ●Newcastle stopper 1tph. ●Harrogate, Lincoln or Middlesbrough (semi-fast) alternate
hours plus in a peak hour. ●Leeds and Newcastle alternate hours. ●Sunderland one train per day.
TransPennine Express ●Colton Jn - Newcastle 1tph. ●Colton Jn - Edinburgh 1tph.
Open access operators all to/from King's Cross: 1tph & 5 daily, Hull, Edinburgh and other destinations.

2473] Lines West of Consett (Part 2): (BLN 1312.1856) The line distances shown in the table as being
from Bishop Auckland are actually from Parkgate Jn, Darlington via Bishop Auckland.

2474] Horden: (BLN 1300.465) NR has issued a Network Change, formally proposing the station to the
east of South East View at 78m 1455yd (78m 66ch, Leeds to Newcastle mileage via Harrogate, Ripon
and the Durham coast!). Other locations at 78m 1145yd (the original Horden station site), 79m 50yd
(Blackhills Farm), 79m 300yd (Sea View South) and 79m 750yd (Sea View) were rejected for various
reasons. The station needs to be in operation by March 2020 to meet the funding requirements
specified by the DfT as part of the New Station Fund 2. Construction is estimated to take a year.

The impact of services calling at Horden station between 07.00-09.00, 11.00-13.00 and 16.00-18.00
has been analysed. To avoid retiming trains at Newcastle, where pathing is of course critical, the
timings south of Pelaw were amended where necessary. Wherever possible, the overall journey time
was kept the same by reducing pathing times and dwell times at stations. Indicative running times and
indicative headways were calculated for Nunthorpe - Carlisle services. In the Down direction
(to Carlisle) journey times were increased by up to 1½ mins; in the Up direction (to Nunthorpe), up to
3 mins (both excluding dwell times). Changing rolling stock from Class 142 to Class 156 increased the
cumulative journey time by ½ min. This was mitigated by reducing dwell times at Middlesbrough or
Marton and reducing pathing times at Brockley Whins or Pelaw.

The additional call at Horden had no overall impact for most of the services in the Down direction
because pathing and/or dwell times could be adjusted while still remaining compliant with minimum
times defined in the rules. However, Up services would require an increase in journey time as they
already had minimum dwell times and no pathing time that could be reduced. Some adjustments were
required such as a Tyne & Wear Metro service to South Hylton departing Regent Centre one minute
earlier and adjusting a crossing at Nunthorpe with a train from Whitby. However, no solution was
found to the conflict between 14.57 Hexham to Battersby and 16.12 Tees Dock to Felixstowe South
freightliner crossing from the Up Goods No1 at Thornaby East Jn, other than the passenger train not
calling at Horden and thus running a little earlier. At present the trains pass each other further east.
This point of this item is to prove that nothing is ever as simple as it might first appear!

2475] Ferriby - Gilberdyke: (BLNs 1298.286, 1310.1683 & 1315.2283) From 04.05 on Mon 26 Nov the
infrastructure from 5m 40ch (between Hessle and Ferriby, mileage from Hull) to 20m 52ch (between
Eastrington and Howden) and from Gilberdyke Jn (0m 00ch) to 4m 79ch (just before Goole Swing
Bridge) is due to be resignalled and re-controlled to the new Brough Workstation in York ROC.
The £50M (originally £34.5M) new signalling and train detection is to be commissioned on 23 miles of
track after a weekend closure over 24/25 Nov. This was postponed from 1 Apr due to problems with
level crossings not interfacing with the new signalling. Another weekend line closure is planned for 1/2
Dec to commission Broomfleet, Oxmardyke, Eastrington, Green Oak Goit and Saltmarshe level
crossings. Five signal boxes close between Saltmarshe and Melton Lane (both incl); Crabley Creek
becomes a gate box. Four other gate boxes close and 11 crossings will have 'newer technology' fitted.

It is unfortunate that there will be no trains over two pre-Christmas weekends (although the Northern
strikes reduce Saturday services anyway). However, with the implementation previously deferred at
short notice when the displaced staff were already preparing to relocate or retire, NR had to recruit
and train temporary staff to cover some of the boxes and wishes to realise the improvements and
savings from the investment. With almost all the boxes controlling level crossings in flat terrain, they
cannot be switched out and left unstaffed (BLNs 1313-15 have reports of our recent visits to them).

2476] Teesport: PD (Powell Duffryn) Ports invested £3M in the intermodal terminal in 2014. A second
Scottish service has been announced, on top of the five times weekly service to Coatbridge (06.57
ex-Tees Dock Terminal; 04.59 from Coatbridge) each with over 30 containers on average. (There are
also weekday services to Leeds & Felixstowe and from the 'BSC Export Berth' to Mossend, Trafford
Park & Seaforth terminals). Teesport container traffic is growing considerably, more than any other UK
port in 2017. The latest service connects with daily P&O Ferry links from Zeebrugge and Rotterdam to
Teesport. Earlier this year P&O Ferries increased its existing service capacity by 25% in response to the
market. Vessels also arrive at Teesport every 30 hours from the Baltic and every 48 hours from Poland.

PMAC Energy has announced plans for a £250M waste to energy plant at Redcar Bulk Terminal,
turning household and commercial waste into so called 'green' fuel, to be exported and to power the
plant itself. If the plan comes to fruition, it may generate rail traffic into the terminal.

2477] Colton Jn: (BLN 1315.2256) A member has reassured your Regional Editor that the points would
not have had to be worked manually* for the BR Eastern Region General Manager to be the first to
grice the new line. The 13 Mar 1983 work commissioned the new Selby Diversion NX panel in York PSB
and the Colton Jn interlocking. BR(ER) Signalling Notice 119 states that the new Colton Jn was laid in
on this date but not brought into use, so it was physically in situ. All the interlocking would be tested
on this commissioning weekend, together with the panel. The panel would be temporarily amended
with paper overlays to show what was currently operational, with the line to Hambleton East Jn still
under possession. So one should interpret '…Colton Jn was connected up' as meaning 'made ready for
use'. [*As 125mph turnouts with 89m long switch blades, manual operation would be interesting!]

2478] Pilmoor - Malton: (BLN 1285.1528 with maps/pictures) We are fortunate that our local member
Charles Allenby recalls the instructions for the Malton East - Scarborough Road Jn 'One Engine in
Steam' train staff (BLN 1316.2376) being issued and seeing the Up Starter in an 'off' position, with the
Malton East fixed distant underneath. The crux of the problem in establishing the exact date is that he
has never been able to discover when Goathland Summit Box (on what is now the NYMR) closed;
it was in either 1962 or early 1963. What, one may ask, has that to do with Scarborough Road Box?

At the time of Goathland Summit SB closing there was a long term vacancy at Scarborough Road SB,
which was probably not surprising. There was activity first thing in the morning, then a long wait until
the pick-up returned sometime in the afternoon, with the occasional trips by the Malton pilot to/from
the Yorkshire Bacon Factory siding to 'cure' the boredom. On being made redundant at Goathland
Summit SB, the signalman there, one Jack Hugill, was allocated to Scarborough Road SB on the
understanding he could travel there on the (based on the 1963 summer timetable) 7.26am Goathland
to Malton train, which arrived at 8.10am. Charles has the Scarborough Road Signal Box Train Register
Books from March 1963 until closure. Mr Hugill signed on at 8.40am on the days the 'pick-up' freight
for Kirbymoorside and Husthwaite Gate (Coxwold from Oct 1963) ran. Initially daily, this ran MWFO
from 15 Apr 1963, after the closure of Malton shed two days earlier. It ran TThO just to Amotherby for
the BATA (Brandsby Agricultural Trade Association) traffic; on these days he signed on at 10.30am
(catching the 9.17am train from Goathland, arr Malton 10.01am). Mr Hugill returned to Goathland on
the 4.08pm FX/4.42pm FO train from Malton. If the pick-up was late returning he had to wait until the
6.23pm train from Malton, although this seems to have been relaxed towards the end, when a relief
signalman took over to enable him to catch the earlier train. Other trains ran occasionally on the
branch outside these hours such as the Ampleforth College passenger specials at the start and end of
term (BLN 1285.1528), which required cover at Scarborough Road SB by relief signalmen.

Coming from Goathland, it was impossible for Mr Hugill to arrive at Scarborough Road SB any earlier
than 8.40am; whether he walked from Malton station or was provided with a bicycle is not known.
This meant that there would be times when it was necessary for the Malton station pilot loco to serve
the Yorkshire Bacon Factory when Scarborough Road SB was unstaffed. It seems highly likely that the
'One Engine in Steam' train staff was introduced at this time to cover the situation, particularly on
Tuesday and Thursday mornings when the box didn't open until 10.30am.

Once the line west of Amotherby CA 10 Aug 1964 the BATA 'pick-up' ran SSuX, with Scarborough Road
and Amotherby block posts both opening at about 10.30. The train now left Malton about 1.30pm,
arriving back an hour later. In theory, 'One Engine in Steam' working could now have been instituted
between Malton East and Amotherby. However, that would have meant either converting the points
at Scarborough Road Jn to hand operation (as trains reversed there) or retaining the box as a ground
frame. Furthermore, it was possible that trains would still need to operate west of Amotherby, which
would then have been impossible with the 'pick-up' running. Indeed, special freights ran to Coxwold

and Kirbymoorside on 10 and 14 Aug to collect the remaining wagons, and an engineer's train ran
west of Amotherby on 12 Oct 1964 - one week before complete closure of the line. Given the short
3 month duration of the BATA traffic until the contract expired, it wasn't worth changing the signalling.

The only unusual incident during the period between 10 Aug and 16 Oct was a block failure on 5 Oct
between Scarborough Road and Amotherby while the pick-up was at the latter, necessitating the
Malton station master acting as pilotman. The fault was not repaired until 8 Oct.

Scarborough Road SB and Amotherby (not a signal box, but nonetheless a block post with the Tyer's
No6 token machines in the office and the signal and point levers contained in a cabinet on the
platform) both closed on 16 Oct 1964 - and not prior to that. Amotherby closed at 2.14pm, when the
'pick-up' arrived back at Scarborough Road, and the latter at 2.19pm, when Malton East sent the
'Train out of section' bell code. Mr Hugill remained at Scarborough Road until the last day, signing off
with the words 'FINIS' in the Train Register. It is thought there was still a need to serve the Yorkshire
Bacon Factory Siding for a short while after 16 Oct; hence the weekly notice for 12 to 18 Sept 1964,
but it is not known when this traffic ceased. [Thanks to Charles for the incredible precise detail - PAS.]

2479] Hatfield: When the Colliery 'collapsed' financially in Jun 2015 (the spoil tip famously collapsed in
2013 closing the line past it for several months), the Official Receiver dissolved the connection
agreements with Network Rail. A Short Term Network Change with the Up Reception, Up Arrival and
Bunker Lines and the connections to/from the Up Slow to be temporarily Out Of Use (OOU) expires on
9 Jan 2019. NR Route Freight Management has reassessed the site and deemed it to have no future
freight traffic potential. They have therefore proposed informally that it be permanently abandoned.

1317 NORTH WEST (John Cameron) [email protected]
2480] Liverpool - Middlesbrough push pull, pull out: TPE has announced that this new service due to
start in Dec is deferred to spring 2019, due to a technical issue. (TPE is one of the eight Train Operating
Companies that are not allowed to make any 'major' timetable changes, until May 2019 anyway.)

2481] Fiddlers Ferry: (BLN 1316.2340) The Halewood car trains are temporarily routed via Runcorn again.

2482] Bootle Jn - Aintree: NR have withdrawn their proposed Network Change to take the North
Mersey Branch OOU. Once used by Grand National Specials, it will remain under long-term possession
which Meresyside transport officials feel is the best way of safeguarding the route for potential future
passenger use. In reality much of the track is missing, having been stolen by metal thieves.

2483] Wigan Wallgate: (BLN 1316.2339) A member advises that Wigan Wallgate bay is un-numbered.
When he last caught a public train there, there was a blackboard on the concourse advertising the
departure as being from 'the bay' and the announcer also used the term 'bay'. Luckily there were
station staff on hand to translate this for non-enthusiast passengers! Interestingly the Sectional
Appendix refers to the platforms as 'Up', 'Down' and 'Bay' - online systems give them numbers.

2484] Hooton: The same correspondent points out that Hooton also has an un-numbered platform
which members will know is used for starting and terminating (non-EMU) excursions. Bizarrely, this
very rarely used non-electrified platform is actually the station's main platform, with the entrance and
buildings, meaning that passengers normally have to cross the footbridge for every train. It is not
shown as a platform in the Sectional Appendix but the lift refers to it as 'Platform 0'.

2485] Liverpool & Bury Railway: 20 Nov was the 170th anniversary of the Liverpool - Kirkby - Wigan -
Bolton - Bury (Market Place 1866-88; Knowsley Street from 1888) - Heywood - Castleton line. The
Railway formed in 1845 and OP 20 Nov 1848, as part of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway following
mergers. It ran from Liverpool Exchange on a joint line with the Liverpool, Ormskirk & Preston Railway
before branching off via Kirkby - possibly a through station again to Skelmersdale one day?

2486] Warrington: (BLN 1316. 2341) On 28 Oct 6E10 failed at Acton Grange and was assisted by the
loco from 6V35 (66755). On this occasion the 10.40 Glasgow to Euston turned back at Warrington BQ,
while the 10.52 from Edinburgh and 13.03 ex-Blackpool were diverted at Golborne via Manchester.

X.163] Carnforth: LEFT: As our 8 Dec fixture
approaches with West Coast Railways here is a
passenger train on 3 May 1982 at Crag Bank
station then the end of the internal line in
'Steamtown' days. (Ian Mortimer.)

2487] Metrolink (1): Two cheap 'Early Bird'
tickets have been introduced in a pilot scheme.
They are available until Christmas Eve, are
aimed at easing congestion, boosting the
'nighttime economy' (!) and helping part-time
shift workers in the run-up to Christmas. [24 hour services next?] A recent study carried out by traffic
data company INRIX found that Manchester is the second most congested city in the country - and 19th
in Europe. The 'Early Bird' is a £1 single which must be bought before 07.00 allowing unlimited
Metrolink travel. However, the final journey must be completed by 07.30 - allowance will apparently
be made if service disruption delays a timetabled journey beyond this time.

The 'Early Bird Plus' is £3, must also be bought by 07.00 and allows unlimited Metrolink travel for
completion by 07.30, then again from 13.00 to 15.30 and from 19.00 until the last tram. Both are only
available on the 'Get me there' app and not as paper tickets from Metrolink machines.

(2): The Armed Forces can now travel free on Metrolink out of uniform after 09.30 SSuX, all weekend,
Armistice Day, Remembrance Sunday and Armed Forces Day if a military ID card is carried. Veterans
carrying their veterans badge or military ID and Cadets in uniform can also travel free on those three
special days too. For the 100th armistice anniversary, all trams carried Poppies before Remembrance
Sunday; tram 3020 named 'Lancashire Fusilier' also carried poppy wreaths in the cabs.

2488] Ardwick: On the 6 Nov a strategically located broken rail, which was difficult to mend, blocked
4 of the 6 lines south of Manchester Piccadilly for most of the day. A reduced TPE service ran between
Victoria and Airport via Ordsall Chord. Virgin Trains ran a thinned out service between Piccadilly and
Euston. Northern Blackpool North/Lime Street - Airport and Piccadilly - Hazel Grove services were
cancelled. Buxton trains made extra stops and there were supplementary rail replacement buses.

1317 SOUTH EAST - NORTH & EAST ANGLIA (Julian James) [email protected]

2489] Norwich - Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft: (BLN 1301.603) Commissioning of resignalling and some
of the infrastructure changes will involve a further closure, of 19 days, and is scheduled for spring 2019
- NR being no more specific. This will provide 66 new LED signals, electric operation of 22 points,
elimination of 27 others, 3m 14ch of new track with 6 public level crossings modernised, 7 signal boxes
closed and platform extension at Brundall. There is major simplification of the layouts at Lowestoft
Yarmouth, Reedham Jn and Brundall Jn. The resignalled and remodelled layout will include:

●Brundall Jn: Now a conventional double junction for the Acle line with a diamond and, between the
staggered platforms, a trailing crossover (to be removed) becomes a single lead with new trailing
crossover east of the in-use part of Up P1. Divergence to Yarmouth increases from 15mph to 25mph.

●Reedham Jn: (Layout description BLN 1316.2347.) The junction is able to be passed at 40mph with
20mph* over the curved approach to Reedham swing bridge and 20mph on the Great Yarmouth line.
(*An apparent change from BLN 1298.248.) The track previously used by trains from Reedham to
Berney Arms has been relaid on its existing alignment, but, as the new Down Lowestoft, the new
(long) trailing crossover for trains from Berney Arms runs across the formation of the previous (lifted)
Down Lowestoft. Though this provides a wide six-foot way like that through the platforms, which have
always been further apart than required for the double track, both tracks converge and then diverge to
pass under the overbridge east of the station. This does not compromise the new 40mph permissible
speed; fast trains to Lowestoft only call at Oulton Broad North between Norwich and Lowestoft.

●The two routes to Great Yarmouth are to be renamed the Acle Single and the Reedham Single.

●Great Yarmouth: Track has already been removed from P1 but the Down side carriage sidings will
remain. The Up side siding will be removed. The present facing crossover between the running lines
will remain with a new trailing crossover east of it. Access to P4 will be by a new turnout in an almost
unchanged position. All other junction work will be removed, except the trailing release crossover
between P2 and P3. Operational length of P2 remains 282m, while P3 and P4 reduce from 282m and
268m to 180m and 174m respectively (the new P3 and P4 starter signals are nearer the buffer stops).

●Somerleyton: The trailing crossover has already been removed from 30 Oct 2017 (BLN 1292.2239).

●Reedham & Somerleyton: The staffed swing bridge boxes retain lever frames but gain new panels.
An interesting feature spotted is that at least one of the detonator placers on the approach to
Reedham swing bridge is mechanically connected to a ground mounted Westinghouse motor (usually
seen part way up signal posts) permitting electrical control to be easily transferred to a new panel.

●Lowestoft: The station retains three platforms with a trailing crossover between the running lines
just west of the access to P4 (note P1 is disused and trackless). Unlike Yarmouth it gains 'Train Ready
to Start' buttons. The only other running lines crossover will be the new facing crossover west of the
west end access to the sidings, which was installed some time ago but is OOU until commissioning.
The route to the sidings from the Down line, across the Up line, nearer the station and involving two
double slips, has already been partially removed. The extensive sidings and also at Yarmouth are
shown with little/no change (but they are OOU, the connections retained for potential future need).

Although some features have gone since our 2012 and 2015 signal box, level crossing and swing bridge
visits, there is still much of interest that will go, including the residual sections of the old track layouts.
Also 'top & tailed' loco operated trains still intermingle with the Class 153 and 156 DMU services.

2490] Lowestoft: The entrances to the station concourse through the high wall some way beyond the
buffer stops have been closed for many years and access is from the north side through the modern
and attractive booking hall. The high wall carries the large 'Lowestoft Central' BR Eastern Region dark
blue enamel sign on the street side, a feature of the view of the station exterior. Now the wooden
double doors in the wall are to be replaced in original style and brought back into use. The area behind
the buffer stops is currently a rather spartan quadrangle but the opportunity will arise to make better
use of it, Community Rail referring to it as the creation of a new public exhibition space. Craftsmen
from an Oulton Broad based specialist joinery company, MS Oakes, are building three sets of arched
doors, having removed the badly decayed originals. Temporary fences are in place at the station.

2491] Oxford: (BLN1314.2010) Currently on weekdays, most north bound GWR services are booked to
use the new Down Relief, as are about half of the CrossCountry services. Weekends has more booked
on the Down Relief (see online systems). A member monitoring OpenTrainTimes/maps in real time
notes that several CrossCountry services have taken the Down Oxford, and not the Relief, as booked.

The starting signal (OD2375) at the north end of Oxford P4 just gives a 'proceed' aspect for the Down
Relief as the principal route (BLN 1311.1767) with no theatre indication and a 'proceed' aspect with
theatre indication 'D' for the 25mph restricted crossover to the Down Oxford Main. If your see a 'T'
the train is going in to the Down Oxford Turnback Line (jump on quickly if it's a passenger train!!).

2482] Bicester - Oxford: Three years after first (partial) reopening, 7M journeys have been made; 2.5M
at Oxford Parkway and 4.5M at Bicester Village. ('Proposed Passenger Schemes' website.)

2493] Bicester Village - Bletchley: (BLN 1316.2296) Track lifting for the East West Rail upgrade began
at various locations soon after Gavray Jn - Claydon L&NE Jn TCA from Sun 21 Oct. By 3 Nov the single
track was lifted west of Bicester Eastern Perimeter Road Level Crossing (18m 25ch) towards Bicester.
The trackbed has been gated off but track was still in situ across the road and eastwards for a distance,
but had been lifted at Launton crossing (17m 12ch) by the former station (CP 1 Jan 1968). Track is also
lifted in various places east of Claydon on towards Bletchley and works compounds are appearing.

2494] Ely: The Ely Southern Bypass opened on 31 Oct removing A142 traffic - particularly heavy goods
vehicles, and is a more direct route, from Chatteris (west) and Littleport (north) to/from Soham (east),
on the busy level crossing and low underbridge (now reduced to a 'C' road) north east of Ely station.

2495] Harwich Town: For quite a few years the Manningtree shuttle (a four car EMU) has stopped a
fair distance short of the platform end. During the summer the station has been undergoing repairs
and the train now runs to within about eight/ten feet of the platform end, so anyone needing the far
end of the line can now do it with ease. It is unclear if this change is permanent or just while the
Manningtree end of the platform is repaired. The shell of a new passenger shelter is on the part being
repaired at present, but this may be in connection with the soon to be introduced five car units.
2496] Hertford loop: NR is proposing to extend the usage arrangements at the ERTMS National
Integration Facility (ENIF) on the Hertford Loop, after a six month hiatus, from 1 Jan 2019 to the
Principal Timetable Change Date in 2027. It is located from 21m 22ch to 26m 25ch, on the Down
Hertford line, between Molewood Jn and Bragbury Jn crossovers (installed specially for bidirectional
running), either side of Watton-at-Stone. The facility had been available from mid-2013 to mid-2018.

2497] Waterbeach: (BLN 1307.1299) Plans to relocate Waterbeach station have been formally
approved after being supported by South Cambridgeshire District Council's Planning Committee.
Councillors voted to agree to proposals from developer RLW Estates at their September meeting.
This approval was subject to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
deciding whether to call in the decision and make it himself. However, the authority's planning team
has now received confirmation that the decision will not be called in and so the Planning Committee's
approval stands. ('Cambridgeshirelive' believes opening will be in 2021.) The plans will see the station
moved to a new location to the north east of the village (population 5,166 in the 2011 census).

It is a key planning policy objective for a major housing development. RLW Estates is a joint venture
working on the eastern half of the proposals for a new town north of Waterbeach. In June this year it
submitted plans for up to 4,500 new homes on land between the former barracks north of the village
and west of the railway. A public consultation was carried out between June and July and responses
received are now being analysed. Separate developers, Urban and Civic, have submitted a different
planning application for 6,500 homes on the western half of the site, focussing on the former barracks.

The permission given to relocate Waterbeach station includes a two-platform station with platforms
long enough for 8-car trains, two pedestrian bridges, including one with lifts, and a shuttle bus service
between the village and relocated station. (Transport Briefing.) The current service is basically hourly
with extra peak workings SSuX, over 440,000 passengers are recorded for 2016-17. The present 95yd
long platforms are staggered either side of the level crossing; facilities are minimal. The station is only
three miles north of Cambridge North; it will be interesting to see if much traffic has been abstracted
by that new station (partly justified by 10,000 new dwellings in nearby 'Northstowe' new town).

2498] Ultra Accessible Stations: A member reading recent items on inaccessible stations (British Steel
Redcar and Smallbrook Junction) suggests two in East Anglia for consideration as the most accessible:

>Harwich International is unusual with public level crossings at both ends of the platforms (although
all road/walking arrivals have to pass through a security barrier to access the station). If you want to,
you can then walk across the Manningtree end crossing, up the platform end ramp/path to P1, along
its length and down the ramp at the Harwich Town end and turn across the other level crossing and up
the ramp to P2/3. Unfortunately, the Manningtree end access ramp from these platforms is not
available and you have to leave it via the stairs/lift to the footbridge to exit the station. It is believed
that P1 is a public right of way as there are offices on it connected to the maritime side of the site.

>Stowmarket on the Norwich line is a fairly normal two platform station. However the Norwich bound
platform has three public entrances; a combined ramp/step access at the Norwich end, the usual
access through the booking office almost adjacent, and a step only access in the middle of the
platform. All three open onto the main station forecourt. The Ipswich bound platform has a ramp
access at the Norwich end and a combined ramp/step access in the middle of the platform.

These give access to different areas not easily connected by a public road. All five are normally open,
even when the booking office is closed (so don't expect ticket gates any time soon). Each platform also
has a gated step access point opening onto the two car parks, but these are almost always locked shut.

2499] Reading: (BLN 1308.1433) Progress has been made on Cow Lane underbridge, with the new
deeper level carriageway dug out to the west of the current road. It is unclear whether this will take
traffic both ways (it doesn't look wide enough) or if a single line of traffic will simply be switched to
that while work is done on the London side span. NR recently issued a press release update on the
works. From this, it may be correct that the existing side will be retained for cycles and pedestrians
and that the new deep road will be two way. Work is due to be completed by Feb/Mar 2019.

2500] East Anglia: The £2.2bn* Control Period 6 funding (1 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2024) confirmed this
month for Essex and East Anglia for renewing and maintaining existing infrastructure is split as follows:
£950M to maintain and operate the network.
£400M to renew or refurbish nearly a quarter of the track.
£350M to improve signalling and level crossings, including major works at Clacton and Cambridge.
£250M for bridge works, embankments, cuttings/structures and refurbishment of Liverpool St roof.
£200M to complete Great Eastern (south) OHLE renewal and similar work on the Fenchurch St lines.

Not included are capacity projects like Ely North Jn (BLN 1305.1059) and developments eg Wisbech
reopening (BLN 1309.1551). [*National total is £31bn for England and Wales and £3.7bn for Scotland.]

1317 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
2501] Christ's Hospital - Shoreham-by-Sea: ('Steyning Line'; CP 7 Mar 1966) The embankment carrying
the former line into Shoreham-by-Sea between the River Adur and the road overbridge immediately
west of the junction with the Shoreham-by-Sea to Lancing line has been dug away over some weeks,
revealing its chalk construction. This is to increase the land for flats that are being built in the triangle
between the River Adur (below water level!), the former line and the existing south coast railway. The
development is protected by new defences. This part of the line was latterly a branch from the south
to Beeding cement works (last train 22 Sep 1980), where some sidings, off the running line, remain
embedded in concrete. Further north construction of the dual carriageway Southwater bypass some
years ago removed another significant section of embankment at the south end of that village.

2502] Seaford: (BLN 1316.2351) Branch singling from Newhaven Harbour Jn is given in two different
BLNs as from Sun 16 Jul 1973; Seaford box was retained (initially with two platforms) but the box could
be switched out. The Mar 1973 date for reduction from two platforms to one may apply to passenger
use only but there is conflicting information as to what happened and when. A Rail Magazine (661)
article of 12 Jan 2011 by Chris Leigh states the P1 track was 'removed' in 1975; BLN 269 (12 Mar 1975)
reports only one platform in use by then. BLN 273 (7 May 1975) mentions that two platforms had not
been needed for passenger trains from the start of the May 1974 timetable.

However, a member who worked in Croydon Control from 1980-84 thinks that there were still ECS
shunt and stabling moves then, with the box opened in the morning and evening for these. A
signalman doing late turns at Seaford opened up for the evening peak then closed the box while
carriage cleaning was carried out then reopened for the end of service for stabling trains. The Southern
Railway E-group reports the P1 track as partly dismantled on 2 Mar 1984 but the starting signal was
still lit. The signal box was then reported as 'leaning at a precarious angle' (with photographic proof).
The 1991 Signalling Record Society diagram shows a single track branch with both platforms (this
doesn't mean there was track in them though!) and an Up Siding, recording that the box was
permanently switched out from Jun 1996 and closed 18 Jan 2002 with demolition later the same year.
Oct 1994 Quail agrees and, by Sep 2002 Quail, it was shown as just a single track branch with one
platform. Any further information welcome!

It is thought that the new signalling is to be commissioned in Mar 2019, with the closure of Newhaven
Town, Newhaven Harbour and Lewes signal boxes and transfer of control to Three Bridges ROC.

2503] Theale - Aldermaston: NR is well known for being at the cutting edge of English language
evolution. The latest word they have invented, in a Weekly Operating Notice, is 'passengerisation'.
It applies from 24 Nov to Towney Down Goods Loop (which we had a 'brush' with on 2 Dec 2017). The
word was used in 2010 when Wokingham Borough Council's Great Western Route Utilisation Strategy
included 'Oxford loops passengerisation'. Then there is 'de-passengerisation' with a rather different
meaning, presumably 'detrain'; and 'decouple' for 'uncouple'. Will 'passengerisation' catch on? Well,
'connectivity' and 'passive provision' have, making 'bustitution' legitimate‽ (with apologies to AOMcD).

1317 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]

ABOVE: Filton Abbey Wood P4, Day 1, Mon 19 Nov 2018, the 09.16 Taunton to Cardiff Central departs
north from the newly opened platform. (All in this section by Dr David Guy, 19 Nov 2018.)

2504] Filton Bank, on the money: ('old' and 'new' track plans BLN 1313.2000) To the surprise and
delight of some members especially your local GS, the re-quadrupled layout was in use (seemingly fully
so) from Mon 19 Nov after the three week engineering closure rather than in early Dec as NR had once
suggested. Well done NR and all concerned. Logged in members can also find the detailed 'before' and
'after' track diagrams on our website. Go across the Home Page to 'More Options' then down to 'Track
Diagrams' - 'Wales & Western' - 'Filton Bank' (you will find a few others too!). The first passenger train
to use the new Up Filton Main was 05.20 Bristol TM to Cardiff Central train (via Bristol Parkway P4
reverse) and the first to call at Filton Abbey Wood's new P4 at 06.09 was 05.53 Bristol TM to Cardiff
Central. The 06.24 Bristol Parkway to Penzance was the first passenger train on the Down Filton Main.

ABOVE: The now less common connections north of Filton Abbey Wood. The Bristol Parkway lines are
right and those to Severn Tunnel are left. BELOW: A northbound CrossCountry service through P2.

ABOVE: Looking south towards Bristol Temple Meads with the new P4 on the right. Right to left the
line names are now: Down Filton relief, Up Filton Relief, Down Filton and Up Filton as before 1984!

Nonstop trains between Bristol Parkway and Temple Meads generally use the reinstated 'Main' lines.
The separate Up and Down connections at the new Horfield Jn can be done in each direction by trains
between these stations that call at Stapleton Road and/or Lawrence Hill. The once common Filton No1
Jn crossovers north of Filton Abbey Wood don't appear to have changed and will normally see less use
than before. Note, however, that Realtime Trains (RTT) showed the 12.30 Cardiff to Portsmouth on
19 Nov as using Filton Abbey Wood P1 (so using the now uncommon crossover) rather than P3 unlike
earlier services from Cardiff. At the time of writing RTT was showing P1 as the booked route for
services yet to run but they were adjusted after (emboldened) and shown as running via P3. Services
from Filton towards Newport mostly use the new P4 but RTT shows some have operated via P3 or P2 -
maybe the Thames Valley SCC at Didcot was trying out all available options on day one?

2505] Dawlish: (BLN 1316.2359) An insight in to the NR operational management of the sea wall
area... On Tue 7 Nov the Mouchel automated storm advance warning system (installed in 2007), which
uses Met Office data and information on sea conditions for the sea wall section, generated a Black
alert from about 03.30 (Wed). This was only the second ever Black alert - the worst type - the last
being on 3 Feb 2014 when the line was breached the following day and remained closed to 4 Apr 2014
for repairs. Back in 2018, a series of conferences was held and preparations made for likely closure of
the route between Exeter St Davids and Newton Abbot. [It is possible to turnback trains from Exeter
at Dawlish Warren and from Newton Abbot at Teignmouth leaving only Dawlish with no trains at all -
PAS.] By 13.00 (Tue) the alert had reduced to Red, but for a longer duration. It was agreed that the
23.45 (Tue) Paddington to Penzance sleeper would be the last service to pass, over the bidirectional
Up Main in the Down Direction, with another loco at the rear in case the train had to return to Exeter.

The forecast model at 01.00 (Wed) confirmed
the Red warning, but for a shorter duration.
The sleeper reached Newton Abbot at 03.53
(37 mins early!) with the Route Infrastructure
Maintenance Director (RIMD), and no issues
were encountered.

The rear loco returned to Exeter at 04.06,
with the RIMD, passing Dawlish Warren
04.24, after when the route was blocked. An
amended service plan was put in place. Later
a route proving train provided by Great
Western Railway, again with the RIMD
aboard, ran from Exeter St Davids to Newton
Abbot, where it arrived at 07.24. It returned
at 07.28, taking the Up Main line in both
directions. Flooding was encountered at
Dawlish station, and two small sites of ballast
washout were found. A possession was granted at 08.00, examination and remedial work was carried
out. Both lines were available for traffic without restriction at 09.53. On 8 Nov a series of conferences
were held due to Amber and Red alerts being forecast for the Dawlish sea wall between 16.30 and
20.30, followed by a Blue warning for spray until 21.30 (= CrossCountry Voyager workings stop).
Revised service plans were drawn up, and watchmen appointed with trains accompanied by
Permanent Way staff between 17.45 and 21.10 in accordance with the protocol for that risk level.

2506] Go to the WC&P: North Somerset County Council has applied for planning permission to build a
1.4km shared walking/cycle path largely on part of the Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway (CA
May 1940; used for wagon storage until 1942). This would link Wick St Lawrence to Kingston Seymour
with a diversion over Tutshill Sluice as the original railway bridge over the Congresbury Yeo River has
gone. It forms part of a planned coastal walking/cycling route from Brean to Clevedon reducing the
distance between Weston and Clevedon town centres by about four miles for non-motorised traffic.
An expression of interest of up to £650k for the project has been given approval by the Department of
Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs. A full business case will be submitted if permission is granted.

2507] Electrification: On 13 Nov it was reported that 21 IET units were restricted to diesel-only mode
due to a backlog of pantograph inspections at North Pole. Meanwhile, with the occasional electric
service running between London Paddington and Swindon, NR announced that Swindon Cocklebury
Sidings 1, 2, 3 & 4 Cocklebury Through Siding and connections to/from the Up Swindon Reception and
Up Swindon Passenger Loop have live OHLE. Electric passenger running west of Swindon is expected in
the New Year but Stoke Gifford depot is expected to be prioritised to assist with the pantograph issue.

2508] Dorset: NR has a renewals and maintenance budget of over £2bn in CP6 (Apr 2019 - Mar 2024) a
20% increase on CP5. This includes renewals at Templecombe and Wilton, reducing the risk of landslips
at Gillingham Tunnel, Crewkerne, Honiton Tunnel and Three Arch Bridge, repairing and strengthening a
bridge near Dorchester and renewing the Bournemouth area third rail power supply.

2509] Portbury: (BLN 1313.2001) Since the suspension of Mk 5 (Caledonian Sleeper and TPE) stock
movements due to a bogie problem, Cardiff & Avonside Railway Society reports a further movement
on 18 Sept. It was purposely slow along the branch, unusually taking 33 minutes from Pill to Ashton
Gate Jn token point signal (normally 15 to 20 mins) reportedly due to damage to a previous working
from overhanging vegetation. The West of England Combined Authority is also reinvestigating a light
rail tram scheme for Portishead as relaying would not be required although the installation costs of
OHLE through the four tunnels on the line remains a concern.

1317 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]

2510] Bescot slumbers: (BLN 1306.1207) The plans for the new NR sleeper factory here have changed
significantly to move the noisy part to the eastern end of Bescot Down Yard nearer Sandy Lane and
Tame Bridge Parkway station. This follows extensive consultation and considerable local opposition to
the original plans. A new access road has been added to keep traffic away from local housing. The
plans will be resubmitted to the local council for approval after a further round of consultation. Bescot
remains the preferred site for the factory, despite the opposition, due to its central location on the UK
rail network. It replaces one at Washwood Heath where the site is required as part of the HS2 depot.

2511] Henwick: (BLNs 1294.2422 & 1302.765) The new 313m long 'turnback line' (121m 74ch) south
west of Worcester Foregate Street station on the site of the former Up Refuge Siding has been OOU
since commissioning on 27 Nov 2017. It is track circuited, has a full length staff walkway, lights and a
brand new semaphore signal post with a theatre route indicator and starter and working distant arms.
The brand new point rodding runs, with automatic lubricators, to its trap point and the access point in
the Up line are each only about 180m long but round a curve (picture e-BLN 1294.2422) so when the
signallers pulled the levers they were at risk of pulling their backs too (we are not pulling your leg). The
good news is that on 5 Nov the Orange Army was installing a point motor to turn the problem round.

2512] Kidderminster: (BLN 1314.2145) At a 6 Nov station open day here an artist's impression of the
new £4.3M station was revealed by Worcestershire County Council. There are four work phases when
the station (with 1.6M passengers per year) will undergo dramatic redevelopment with a completely
new glass fronted building and an improved forecourt. Phase 1, including initial survey and
preparatory work, is in progress and continues until the end of Dec. Phase 2 beginning in Jan 2019
involves forecourt works and the installation of a temporary ticket office. Phase 3 is demolition of the
existing now inadequate 1970s station building with its replacement taking shape. The final Phase, for
completion in autumn 2019, will see the fit out and opening of the new building with landscaping and
the final surfacing of the footpaths, access road and removal of the temporary ticket office. A £13.4M
scheme which would have mirrored the SVR station buildings was abandoned due to lack of finance.

2513] Market Drayton: Müller, the well-known yogurt manufacturer, is based here adjacent to the
Wellington - Nantwich route (CA 6 Mar 1967). A senior manager approached Railfuture to support
their campaign for re-instatement, at least in one direction (Nantwich or Wellington). The German
company uses railways extensively to transport their products and they would like to do so in the UK
as well. The Shropshire Railfuture representative is liaising with the Müller UK counterpart to identify
how to support the effort. So can we expect a Müller 'Light' Railway if the company fights its 'corner'?

2514] Commonwealth Games: Major improvements for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games
will include a completely new £40M concourse for University station (3.4M passengers 2016-17), and
significant improvements at Perry Barr (629,000 passengers) near the stadium, with a new £20.5M
bus/rail interchange. Perry Barr is considered to be the 'worst' station in the West Midlands.

University's new concourse will be at the opposite end of the station from the present one with a new
bridge from the platforms to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (the largest hospital in Europe) and over the
Worcester & Birmingham Canal to the University campus, also available to non-rail users. One limiting
factor has been the need to avoid damaging the remains of Metchley Roman Fort, a Scheduled Ancient
Monument, requiring a thorough archaeological investigation before full design could be undertaken.

2515] Coventry: ❶As part of the 100 year armistice remembrance on 11 Nov, the names each soldier
from the City who fell in the Great War have been inscribed along the footbridge wooden handrails.
A large vinyl of a soldier on the car park side glass windows promoted the memorial. This was an
unusual idea but quite impressive and a credit to the City. (These black life-size profiles of British
soldiers with distinctive helmet and rifle drawn have been used on many lampposts throughout the
country.) ❷Catching up with Birmingham New Street and rather behind work now in progress at
Wolverhampton, an £82M plan for expanding the station was approved by the City Council on 15 Nov.

It includes a new building, a second entrance at the western end and a 634-space multi-storey car
park. The development provides extra capacity but will not adversely impact on highway safety or the
existing 1962 built Grade II listed building (whatever you might think of it if you get sent to Coventry!).
A second footbridge will connect all four platforms which are to be lengthened and a bus interchange
connected to the station will be created. Passenger numbers have tripled since 2003 to 7.4M per year.

2516] West Midlands Metro: (1) The next stage of the Brierley Hill extension project is underway with
utility investigation works along the proposed route to confirm the locations of existing services ahead
of the construction. These are taking place in Dudley town centre and involve some small excavations.
(2) On the Centenary Square extension, preparatory work for tramway installation continues along
Pinfold Street. Utility diversions are complete and concrete has been poured for the 'floating' track
slab which minimises tram vibration in this narrow built up street. (3): At Grand Central all trams
continue to depart from arrivals P1 via the trailing crossover in service due to the extension work.
On Sat 17 Nov an operative was observed in a high vis vest stopping road traffic while trams used the
crossover by setting up temporary barriers across the road alongside the normal departure P2. Despite
clear signs and recorded announcements, some passengers inevitably wait on the wrong platform.

2517] Worcestershire Parkway: (BLN 1303.860) Construction continues apace with visible progress.
During the five day May Bank Holiday blockade of the line (to install a new railway bridge over the
A4040) the single track here was realigned with new sleepers and rail installed. This included passive
provision for a second high level platform (P4). Over half of the piles needed for P3 (North Cotswold
Line) are complete; this 265m platform will accommodate a GWR 2x5 car Class 800 train. The car park
and bus stop foundations have been laid and the steelwork for the station building, bridge and lift
towers erected with glazing installed on the bridge over the Birmingham to Cheltenham line.
Completion is planned for end of Dec with passenger opening on 19 May 2019 (timetable change).

2518] Malvern Wells: On Sun 11 Nov the 13.37 London Paddington to Hereford IET (800005) was on
time at Great Malvern at 15.23 but then encountered a points failure. It is understood that it ran,
extremely unusually, via the very rare Down Goods Loop incurring 32 minutes delay while this was
sorted out. S&T were soon on the scene and resolved the problem before the next passenger train
here at 17.05 which ran normally (unfortunate for the local members who were on rare track standby).

1317 YORKSHIRE

2519] Area Transfer: 'Yorkshire' is now included in the 'North East' BLN section with Geoff Blyth as
the Regional Editor so that Graeme Jolley can concentrate on the East Midlands, IOM and BLS Sales.

1317 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
2520] Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway: (BLNs 1313.2018 & 1314.2077) Although passenger
facilities on goods trains may have ceased to be advertised from the dates quoted (passengers being
encouraged to use the company's buses), the goods trains continued to carry a passenger/brake
vehicle as the L&LSR did not own any goods brake vans! Occasional passengers/gricers presenting
were issued with tickets and duly carried, until the end of all rail services in 1953. This is confirmed by
contemporary enthusiast reports, for example O H Prosser in 'Trains Illustrated' Dec 1951. He travelled
to Letterkenny on a goods train, and found that the same arrangement applied on weekdays between
Londonderry and Buncrana, which had passenger trains at the time on Saturdays and Sundays only.

2521] Fares: following a determination by the National Transport Authority, revised fares apply on
some services from 1 Dec. Dublin Short Hop Zone: monthly and annual fares reduce by 5.8%, and
multi-operator (bus, rail in zone and Luas) by 6%. For IR and DART monthly fare drop from €154 to
€145, with the annual fare reducing from €1,540 to €1,450. There are zone adjustments (with fares
mostly reduced by as much as 7.9%). However, there are some increases of up to 3.3% preparing for a
'short distance fare' (about 4.4km or less) with longer trips charged consistently at a '90 minute fare'

across all public transport. The aim is to achieve fare integration and simplification across all modes of
public transport in the Dublin area. From 1 Dec Luas fares will be the same as buses with Peak and Off-
peak fares the same, most fares are frozen or reduced; the €1 city centre off peak fare is withdrawn.
Monthly Luas only tickets will increase from €110 to €121 and annual from €1,100 to €1,210.

To further help integration, the Authority is introducing a new annual €600 add on ticket for the Dublin
region for annual ticket holders on services starting outside the area. These will cover the entire Luas
and Dublin City bus networks. Leap cards (introduced in 2011) remain significantly cheaper than cash
tickets and have daily, weekly (both frozen for 2019) and Leap 90 capping. A Leap 90 card applies to
two or more journeys within 90 minutes of each other, a discount is given on further journey/s that
start within 90 minutes of the first one starting - this is independent of daily and weekly capping.

The total annual Dublin fare revenue, about €500m, is estimated to increase by about €1m in 2019.

Intercity: Most singles reduced 5% for the second year in a row - now cheaper than in 2012. Economy
1 and 2 single and day returns merge; average 2.6% rise. Student tickets at ticket office increased by
up to 13.6% to encourage online purchase at lower fares to manage demand. No change to the most
common monthly/annual seasons; others up by a maximum of 1.7%. Cork Commuter: Leap Card fares
leap by 0 to 1.8%, cash fares up to 4.8% (avoidable by leaping instead). Local family fares unchanged.

BELOW: Some corking semaphore signals (recently gone) of the type once common on Irish Rail,
at the east end of Cork station, looking towards Cobh/Midleton. (Martin Baumann 25 Feb 2015.)

2522] Heuston: The IR board has approved construction of a €130.5M national train control centre here.

2523] IR Timetable changes: (BLN 1314.2162) https://goo.gl/gtbHPD proposed from 9 Dec include:
♣ Maynooth - Connolly: Earlier first train 05.58 (SSuX) from Maynooth and 6 extra trains, a half-hourly
off-peak service all day until 21.00 (SSuX), and from 08.00-19.00 (SO) with 13 extra trains. There are 11
additional trains on Sundays starting earlier at 08.00 and running until 23.00 (half-hourly 11.00-19.00).
♣Drogheda - Connolly: Three extra services (SSuX) each way resulting in at least two trains per hour
for most of the day and some extra calls intermediately in the peaks. With 11 more Sunday trains the
service is now hourly in both directions all day.
♣M3 Parkway - Clonsilla: Hourly branch shuttle on Sunday operates until the 24.00 (quote!) arrival.
♣Grand Canal Dock - Phoenix Park - Hazelhatch (bay): All day hourly off-peak service (SSuX) to 23.20.
♣Sligo - Connolly: An additional service runs (SSuX) each way.
♣Rosslare Europort - Connolly: Retimings and minor changes.
♣DART: A more even Saturday service, minor retiming and a new 06.52 Connolly to Malahide (SSuX).

2524] Cork (CK); signalling the end of semaphores: Over Fri 16 & Sat 17 Nov the semaphore signals
remaining in the station (picture in e-BLN 1317) were renewed with colour light and directional
position light shunt signals. These include Colour Light Signals CK73, CK74 & CK75 at the Cobh end of
P1, 2 & 3 respectively. Position Light Shunt Signals CK84 controlling the Coaching Yard Sidings and
CK87 for the Balloon Siding [not to be blown up out of proportion] were also commissioned.

2524] SLW: Heading further south west, on Sat 24 Nov this was on the Down Line Thurles - Lisduff.

2526] Youghal: (CP, timetabled, 4 Feb 1963; CG 2 Jun 1978 except beet, handled until 30 Aug 1982;
used by occasional passenger specials until 17 May 1987.) IR has said that reopening the branch past
Midleton is 'not realistic' and would require a full refit but is supportive of a new greenway along the
route. IR added that the existing network is underfunded and they will not consider reopening lines

until the whole network is properly funded. Local
debate on the greenway development of the
track bed has centred on the viability of a railway.
The Green Party say a cycle and pedestrian route
(requiring 4m width under Transport
Infrastructure Ireland guidelines) will kill off any
hope of the rail route being established. Cork
County Council backs plans for an almost 14 mile
green route linking Midleton and Youghal which
includes the villages of Mogeely and Killeagh. CIÉ
Property is facilitating a study by Cork County
Council on the establishment of the greenway.

LEFT: At the end of the Youghal branch, 26¾
miles east of Cork, was a turntable (once found at
many terminal stations in the Irish Republic) for
turning diesel locos with a single at cab one end.
It also allowed the end of line to be completed
with half-spinnage, was it full of BLS members?
(Train drivers in Ireland are generally extremely
friendly.) The station from the end of line, looking
back towards Cork. The Irish Railway Record
Society 6 Jul 1985 tour. NEXT PAGE TOP: After
turning on the turntable at the far end, the loco is
on the Cork end of the train ready to return from
The final passenger train from Youghal ran on
17 May 1987. (Ian Mortimer.)

X.164] BELOW: Trooperslane, a lesser known/photographed station on the Larne branch, between
Greenisland and Carrickfergus, taken from the level crossing footpath. (Martin Baumann 26 Oct 2018).

2527] Customer satisfaction: https://goo.gl/KukDdd Despite problems with reliability since the

opening of the cross city Green Line extension on 9 Dec 2017 the vast majority of passengers

remain satisfied with the service, according to a recent National Transport Authority survey. Luas,

Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Irish Rail and DART passengers were all questioned with the tram system

coming out on top. 96% of passengers questioned (but on a low sample size) were satisfied with the

service; 2% less than in 2017. Over all transport modes 93% were satisfied with the service (2% up on

2017). 304 Luas passengers responded; 47% were very satisfied (up 5%) and 49% were fairly satisfied

(down 8%). The ease and convenience of Luas was the main reason for satisfaction with the service.

Overall perception was that the system had remained the same in comparison to the previous year.

1317 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
2528] Manx Electric Railway: Following the end of the season on Sun 4 Nov, the MER has been quite
busy. On Mon 5 Nov works tram '33' was in use with tower wagon '56' and the OHLE was removed
from above the Up and Down tracks north of Groudle, (Pole 122 to 152) and was receiving attention
with the supports at the top of each pole (crossbars?) being replaced. Possession of both tracks was
between Pole 118 and 157. The tower wagon '56' is now stored under tarpaulin outside Laxey
blacksmiths' workshop. As '33' was north of the removed wires, it couldn't return to Douglas, and may
now be in Laxey shed. On Tue 6 Nov, in the morning, green Wickham '22' was seen with a full load of
orange jacketed staff on the main line outside Derby Castle shed. Later on, still on Tuesday, a car
drove off the road at Howstrake, over the tram tracks, and straight into a MER pole (possibly Pole 92)
(BELOW: - Press release).

On Wed 7 Nov, a car was in collision with what Manx Radio described as a 'service tram' on the level
crossing outside King Edward Bay House (between Poles 29A and 30). From the photo, (NEXT PAGE
TOP LEFT: Press Release) this appears to have been the green Wickham which was out and about on
Tuesday. Later on in the same day, a lorry became caught on tram wires on the main road crossing in
Laxey Village, close to the Mines Tavern. (NEXT PAGE TOP RIGHT: Press Release.)

2529] No Cabbage: The troubled diesel-electric loco No21 continues to prove less than reliable for IOM
Transport. Nicknamed 'Cabbage' in the IOM press, 'cabbage' is one thing you can't have even though
there is a cab each end... A test run to Port Erin took place in September after reassembly there
following the return of the bogies. If readers will remember (it is a long saga), these had been to the
'Big Island' (Britain) for a very protracted renewal (wheelsets) and repair (the rest of the bogies).
Unfortunately it appears the test did not go well as on 16 Oct the loco was lifted again and the bogies
returned to the Big Island. Purchased secondhand for some £420k it arrived in Dec 2013; to date about
£247k has been spent on repairs etc - the total cost similar to that of buying a brand new one initially.
BELOW: Off the rails, languishing at Douglas bus station cabbage patch recently... (Jenny Williamson)

1317 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
2530] Dalmuir: (BLN 1306.1144) Regarding the comment about only one door of DMUs being opened
here, a random member from Banavie recently travelled south and took special note. As usual it was a
6-car DMU (4 from Mallaig plus 2 from Oban that had joined up at Crianlarich) and as usual only one
door was opened at Dalmuir. Our investigative journalist specifically asked the guard the reason for
this and he was quite chatty. The guard confirmed it is because, with the front of the train at the car
stop board, the rearmost door would overhang the platform so they cannot release all the doors.

It would be possible to stop the train ahead of the board (there is plenty of space to do so and still
keep the front door on the platform) and then open all 12 doors but this is not currently authorised.
However, there doesn't appear to be any direct safety reason for not doing this. He couldn't see why
they don't just move the board a few metres down the platform. Possibly (our member's speculation),
the location of the board is related to the driver's display screens for driver-operated EMU doors.
These presumably don't apply to the Class 156 DMUs as the guard controls the doors. A solution could
be separate marker board for 156s - no doubt there is much paper work and risk assessment involved.

1317 WALES & THE MARCHES (Chris Parker) [email protected]
2531] Pennawd Diwygiedig/Revised Heading: This better reflects that the Chester - Newport, Central
Wales and Wrexham Central - Bidston lines, operated by Transport for Wales (TfW) are all included.

2532] Blaenau Ffestiniog & Trawsfynydd Railway Society: (BLNs 1297.183 & 1298.MR26): Subject to
ratification at its AGM on 3 Feb 2019, and following the demise of the Trawsfynydd Railway Company,
this Society is to be relaunched as the Bala & Ffestiniog Railway Heritage Trust. This member owned
charitable body hopes to establish an operating base at Maentwrog Road or in the vicinity of the
former power station siding at Trawsfynydd Lake. www.balaffest.org.uk is the new website.

2533] Window box 170 miles from the Lawn‡: NR is applying for derogation in respect of OHLE
infrastructure installation at the bridge carrying the Cardiff Bay line over the South Wales main line
close to MP 170 at the east end of Cardiff Central. The Project Team's final design for this does not
comply with the group standard for 'window box' clearances - a minimum of 450mm between any
train with an openable window and any fixed asset on the infrastructure, at the height where a
person's head may be. They require a letter of support from each TOC that operates passenger trains
under the bridge. The letter must state either:
(1): The operator does not run any passenger stock with openable windows in the area, or
(2): They do have openable windows but they have mitigations in place against reduced clearances, eg
restrictions on how far the window will open, warning signs/announcements, train staff awareness.

Seemingly option 2 should apply to all except CrossCountry; TfW currently operates Mark III stock and
GWR still has some HSTs both with droplights, then of course we have the charter operators! ‡The
traditional name for Paddington concourse is 'The Lawn', beneath which lies the mileage datum point.

2534] Stock shortages: This is one of the problems that TfW has inherited, currently worsened by the
leaf fall season affliction of wheel flats. Service reductions on Sat 3 Nov were therefore announced,
including no trains on the Conwy Valley line; two hourly service all day Wrexham - Bidston; Chester -
Manchester Piccadilly/Airport services cut back to Oxford Road; two services to/from Pembroke Dock
and one to/from Fishguard Harbour cancelled; a few individual early morning and mid to late evening
services also curtailed or cancelled. Other than in Manchester, bus replacements were to be provided
for all cancelled services. The Conwy Valley branch (always bottom of the pile) was also bus replaced
on 8, 9, 15 to 20 Nov (etc); on Thur 8 this was announced as being because of 'an issue with the train
crew'. No repetition of this was planned for Sat 10 Nov; instead for most of the day TfW services
to/from Birmingham International were cut back to Wolverhampton with passengers directed to
other operators' services. However the cuts were far worse on Sat 17 including as above (but far more
in Southwest Wales); the Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury short workings and Shrewsbury - Crewe locals
did not run and only one train made it each way between Llandrindod Wells and Llanwrtyd instead of
four. Sadly the cancellations were so short notice that many were not shown in online planners the
previous day. Part of the problem is that ATW was supposed to be a 'no growth' franchise but did!

2535] Treherbert - Cymmer Afan (BLN 1316.2412): This CA from 26 Feb 1968 due to the condition of
Rhondda Tunnel, but a rail replacement bus service was provided. On 19 Mar 1970 a member used it.
W55025 was on the 11.08 Bridgend to Cymmer Afan, arriving 4 minutes late at 11.46. Passengers
quickly transferred to South Wales Transport single-decker No1033, leaving on time at 11.50, calling at
Blaengwynfi at 12.00, reaching Treherbert 12.28 no less than 22 minutes early. He can't confirm when
the bus service was withdrawn but this is likely to have been 14 Dec 1970, the official rail closure date.

[BLN 1317]
2536] Shrewsbury: (BLN 1309.1565) NR has amended proposals for what remains of Coton Hill Yard.
Only Sidings 1 and 2 are now to be removed; No3 is to be retained for the detachment and temporary
storage of defective rolling stock, and stabling charter trains. Siding 4 (furthest from the running lines)
and the Loop (the Virgin ECS turnback line referred to in the last report) are also unaffected.

2537] Trecwn: (BLN 1288.1886) The branch (OOU from 13 Feb 1995) from Letterston Jn (281m 58ch)
on the Fishguard Harbour line to this former Royal Naval Armaments Depot site - classified as a
'Strategic Connection' - remains mothballed as does its internal 2'6" gauge rail system with links to all
56 storage bunkers. Once the biggest underground secret arms depot in Europe, it closed in 1992 and
was sold in 1998. It is thought the last railtour was 14 Oct 1989, the Monmouthshire Railway Society's
'Robeston Rumbler'. Plans by the new owner to store nuclear waste there were dropped because of
public opposition. In 2002 ownership passed to Manhattan Loft Corporation (MLC) which in 2015 was
granted planning permission for a biomass power station. Again this was in the face of opposition from
environmental groups, particularly as the fuel was expected to arrive by 53 HGV road deliveries daily.
However no work has ever commenced and in Aug 2018 the local county councillor requested talks
between MLC, the local authority and the Welsh Government. MLC declined to comment. Meanwhile
there are recent plans to possibly use the standard gauge lines for secure storage of an anticipated
large amount of withdrawn rolling stock that will be 'flooding' the vehicle storage market soon.

2538] Dee Marsh: (Item 2431 earlier) Following the Sun 4 Nov derailment experienced by the Society's
'Ruby Vampire' tour on the Reception line here, freight traffic resumed on Wed 8 Nov with the arrival
of the 10.29 from Margam at 19.32, 42 mins late; this in fact represented a 28 min recovery since
passing Gobowen! Your Regional Editor can hear these steel trains passing his house.

2539] Timetables (BLN 1316.2407): A South Wales member confirms the reprint of timetable No5 with
TfW covers but ATW innards. Oddly, the 'start date' has reverted to 20 May, although the tables are
those from the 10 Sep ATW reissue including, for example, the off peak Ystrad Mynach terminators.

2540] Aberdare: The branch was closed between Cwmbach and Fernhill on 12 Oct when the Afon
Cynon overflowed due to heavy rain from Storm Callum. 31 passengers travelling on the 10.41 Barry to
Aberdare Class 150/2 unit were rescued from the flood by the local fire brigade using ladders and
walkways during the early afternoon, as it was unsafe to move the DMU. (Cardiff & Avonside Rly Soc.)

2541] Grovesend Colliery Loop Jn - Hendy Jn: This double track PSUL, the Hendy Loop, connecting the
Central/ Heart of Wales Line with the Swansea District Line was used by the 16.18 Shrewsbury to
Cardiff Central train on Sun 18 Nov, diverted due to engineering work. It ran direct from Pontarddulais
to Port Talbot Parkway direct where there was a 20 minute wait for time; Cardiff Central was reached
on time at 21.37. Other Central Wales line trains this day ran between Shrewsbury and Pantyffynnon
only with bus connections to/from Swansea via Llanelli but the 16.18 from Shrewsbury was the
second and last train of the day so would have otherwise run ECS to Cardiff anyway. An interesting
effect of this was that Pontarddulais had this one train all day plus two rail replacement buses in each
direction, one duplicating this train. This bus left Pontarddulais at 20.01 and the train at 20.04, but the
former wasn't booked to reach Cardiff Central until 22.43 (train 21.37 including the 20 minutes at Port
Talbot). The curve is otherwise used in both directions by special public services between Cardiff and
Builth Road for the four day Royal Welsh Show at the end of July each year. The Hendy loop was used
by the 10.46 and 15.09 Cardiff Central to Shrewsbury and 12.04 and 16.18 return on Sun 8 Mar 2015.

1317 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott) [email protected]

NEXT PAGE TOP: Epping Ongar Railway - 'Hampshire' DEMU 205205 approaches North Weald from
the Ongar direction with a working to Epping Forest. (Peter Scott 23 Apr 2018)

NEXT PAGE LOWER: Fri 4 Nov 2016 looking towards Epping from the footbridge; we had the railway to
ourselves for our Kent AGM fixture - the signal box really does lean slightly to the left. (Ian Mortimer)



MR225] Epping Ongar Railway, Essex (MR p8): In connection with the Presidential Address of the
Transport Ticket Society on Saturday 20 October, a visit was made in bright sunshine to this line by our
Roving Reporter and other members. The North Weald - Ongar service was operated by Metropolitan
Railway E class 0-4-4T No1 and three ex-BR coaches. The Epping Forest shuttle was single car DMU
55033. A recent May 2018 stock addition at North Weald is LT 1959 stock coach 1031, a driving motor
car. Various ex-LT single and double decker buses were running from Shenfield and Epping stations.

MR226] Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex (MR p16) (BLNs 1312.MR170): A member paid a visit here on
Wednesday 24 October, prompted by seeing that both railways were in operation on the same day, as
mentioned in BLN 1315.2284 (BLS visit report with pictures). At least five other Society members were
there (he saw four and someone else saw the other!). There were a fair number of other visitors on
site, although the trains were not that busy. Our member reached the site by taking the Greater Anglia
train from Stratford to Enfield Lock and then a 249 bus north to Waltham Cross before walking east
along the main road. Returning later, he headed south along the canal to Enfield Island and reached
Enfield Lock station from the east to take the 15.49 back to Stratford. There are two lines on the site:
the 7¼" gauge Bangs Galore & Gunpowder Creek Railway and 2' 6" gauge WARGM (Hidden) Railway.

Our reporter arrived about noon and having paid his admission was directed to a caravan where the
WARGM Railway tickets are sold for the four departures (at 12.15 and hourly to 15.15). After some
reluctance he was sold the 14th (he thinks of 16) tickets for the 12.15 departure. A speedy walk
brought him to the station (which is not very well signposted, but at the northern end of the 7¼"
gauge railway) in time to take a couple of pictures before taking a seat at the rear (with the first BLS
member). The train set off a few minutes late (staff chatting on platform) for an interesting run along
the line. At the far end a gentleman emerged from the tented building that is one of the railway sheds
(not accessible to the public) and informed passengers about the development and building of the line,
and about locomotive and coaches. All (he said) were from Trecwn, with the two passenger carrying
vehicles since rebuilt. He drew attention to the old church pews used as seats. The two vehicles are
not obviously separately identifiable. In the centre of the train was a guard's van. These are their only
three passenger carrying vehicles currently, and the only locomotive capable of working the train.

Explanation over and the locomotive having run round, the train returned to the starting station where
the run-round loop is south of the station (due to the adjacent River Lea and perimeter fence).
By request our members were permitted to remain onboard into the loop, while the locomotive ran
round again. At a pinch the service could operate every 40 or 45 minutes. The northern end platform is
sited next to the shed, because in the long term there is the possibility of a further extension north.

On the miniature railway no tickets are issued - money is simply collected from the queue before
boarding. The battery locomotive here is home-built by the driver and conveys three (so one
passenger - our reporter - as well as driver and guard), pulling two other ride-on vehicles with room for
around eight more. The track is quite rough, being simply laid on the ground, which they are not
allowed to dig into as a contaminated and historic site. The return trip, with run round at the far end,
takes around ten minutes and another run-round is needed before the next departure. Other than the
trains though, our reporter found the Royal Gunpowder Mills site disappointing. [It is a relatively new
site under development, nowhere near covering its running costs - just 25% in 2011 - with investment
needed. However, the Land Train tours are fascinating, comprehensive and instructive - BLN Ed.]

Governmental use ended in 1991; an 80 acre area of the north site is listed as Waltham Abbey Site of
Special Scientific Interest and most of the rest of the 180 acres is a scheduled ancient monument.
There are many historic buildings mostly in a state of disrepair, although some have been modified for
use as exhibition spaces. 21 buildings are listed, eight at Grade I and II*. There are interesting displays
about gunpowder and the munitions prepared locally, including the propellant for some post war
rockets (with examples of these rockets). Also a large display of small arms and similar munitions.

ABOVE: The electric tram runs round at Wilson's Folly on the 7¼" gauge with some historic buildings in
the background, the public run to Main Lab station is off to the left. (All Stuart Hicks 24 Oct 2018.)

Much of the northern end site is given over to alder trees (which were used for charcoal) and nettles,
which seem to like cordite and a nature reserve. One tower has been converted to a look out and has
some pictures of badgers and foxes captured on infra-red cameras at night, along with the variety of
bird and water life that can be seen. There are remains of the network of canals to see, including a rare
canal cross 'roads' junction that was used to move the gunpowder round the site, using human motive
power for safety reasons (horses' shoes might throw off sparks). There are some traces of the
extensive 18" gauge internal railway that once operated.

NEXT PAGE BELOW: Some of the original 18" gauge internal industrial railway by a canal side building.

MR227] Great Central Railway (Nottingham), Nottinghamshire (MR p8): A visit was made to this line
on Sunday 28 October - the first time for several years for our correspondent. The date was chosen
because it was their 'Anything Goes Weekend' with use of 08784 advertised for Sunday (which
happened). Our correspondent drove to, and parked at, Rushcliffe Halt where coffee was taken before
the trains arrived. Running at even hours from Ruddington were 125 Society's 41001, with five of their
coaches and 47292. On its return journey 08784 was attached to pull the whole train (nothing else
under power) back from Ruddington South Junction into Ruddington. Our correspondent then made a
complete round trip from Ruddington to Loughborough East Junction (scheduled 11.55 but actually
leaving about 15 minutes late and with a lengthy wait at Rushcliffe for the 13.00 steam departure)
with another short run behind 08784 and eventually got back to Rushcliffe about 45 minutes late.
Bacon and sausage sandwiches (£2.50 each) and a variety of hot food, and hot & cold drinks, were
available from one of 125 Society's buffet cars. Services alternate hours (starting 11.00 at Ruddington)
were formed of three vacuum braked Mk1s and a MK II coach (with windows in the end) hauled and
propelled by Austerity steam loco 2890, which was not behaving and ran late. A variety of other
motive power - mostly diesels and industrial steam - and (mostly) Mk II coaches were stabled in sidings
at Ruddington, along with two MK III sleepers and a wooden GCR coach awaiting restoration.



X.165] Andover Model Engineering Society, Sun 21 Oct (BLN 1316.2421 with track plan). ABOVE: The
first ever train on the extension only completed a few minutes before. BELOW: Coming off the
extension at the 'other' Fullerton Jn where five lines meet. (Chris Manley, one of the first passengers.)

ABOVE: Grantchester Woodland Railway. (Peter Scott 14 Oct 2012.)

MR228] Grantchester Woodland Railway, Cambridgeshire (MR p13) (BLNs 1095.MR136 & 1236.1216):
This is owned and operated by the Cambridge Model Engineers and located off Fulbrooke Road on the
western side of Cambridge. It is normally only open from 13.30 to 17.30 on the second Sunday of the
month from April to October. The Southern Federation of Model Engineering Societies held a special
event on Saturday 8 September; our Roving Reporter attended. Passenger trains were departing from
both platforms 1 & 2. At least 17 locos (mainly 7¼" gauge and steam) were available on passenger and
goods trains. Colour light red/green signalling is in use with route indicators. A push button on signal
posts can be used by drivers to change the route. The 3½"/5" gauge elevated track is still out of use.

MR229] West Lancashire Light Railway, Lancashire (MR p19) (BLN 1253.MR54): The 'Southport
Champion' of 12 September 2018 reported that work was to 'start soon' on 212 new homes at Hesketh
Bank. Persimmon Homes will redevelop the former Alty's Brickworks on Station Road - next to this 2ft
gauge railway. The development will be called Douglas Gardens. It is stated the development has been
sensitively planned to reflect the surrounding environment and includes pedestrian links and safe open
spaces. The development is in two parts - one of the former brickworks site and the other on adjacent
fields. Both parts will run down to the River Douglas and provide the first portion of West Lancashire
District Council's planned linear park, running along this length of the river. The railway will continue to
operate as normal with access eventually being provided via the new adopted roads on site.

[BLN 1317]
MR230] Bure Valley Railway, Norfolk (MR p21) (BLN 1257.MR91): This 15" gauge railway runs
between Wroxham and Aylsham, along the trackbed of the former GER line, from Wroxham to
County School, with a 1960 BR built connection forming a near 180o curve near Reepham to the
M&GNR Norwich City branch. The Bure Valley Railway opened as a 15" gauge line on 10 July 1990 and
has had a number of owners since. The 15" gauge station at Wroxham is close to the National Rail
station, but connections are variable. The former signal box survives and is available for visits.
On Sunday 1 September our Roving Reporter travelled the 8¼ miles from Wroxham to Aylsham on the
11.10 departure. Motive power was No7 2-6-2 'Spitfire' (Winson 14/1994) with nine bogie coaches.
The other train was being worked by No6 2-6-2 'Blickling Hall' (Winson 12/1994) also with nine bogie
coaches. All stock is kept and maintained at Aylsham, where there is a workshop and loco shed.

MR231] Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway, Carmarthenshire (MR p9): The railway has received the
support of British Steel in the form of over 700 yards of track. Members of the Army's 507 Specialist
Team Royal Engineers (Rail Infrastructure, 507 STRE) have been laying some as part of a training
exercise. Darren Cole, British Steel's UK Supply Chain Account Manager Rail, said: We're delighted to
be supporting the extension of the Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway. It's a superb example of a
heritage railway and we're proud its locos, and many visitors, will be travelling on British Steel rails.

MR232] Llangollen Railway, Denbighshire (MR p9) (BLN 1315.MR206): The Carrog to Corwen move by
road of the ex-Weston Rhyn signalbox top was on 25 October https://goo.gl/mQwSwm (go down).

1317 FIXTURES REPORTS (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

2542] The Colonel Stephens Explorer, Kent & East
Sussex Railway (K&ESR); 6 Nov 2016: By Darren
Garnon. Special thanks to Mr MR, Peter Scott, for
allowing publication of one of his famous track plans
in BLN, as a one off, kindly adapted and marked up by
Martyn Brailsford (red in e-BLN, thicker black in BLN).
It shows the detail in Peter's track plans such as his
latest, Volume 4, which covers 95 minor railways in
British Isles outside England and Wales and is only
available directly from Peter (see BLN 1316.2424).

The breakfast rolls at the K&ESR were already legendary following experience gained by the organiser
during his initial Society railtour of the railway on Sun11 Oct 2015. So by 08.30 the buffet area was
crammed; approaching 100 BLS members and K&ESR staff enjoying a sumptuous start to the day.

By 09.00, the two car DMU (50971 & 51571) that was the main part of our booked traction for the day
was loaded and ready for the 'off'. Leaving Tenterden Town we headed north east towards the cleared
extremity of End Siding (the former running line to Headcorn) then No3 Siding where, for the first time
in several decades, a stored Class 25 locomotive had been moved to allow us a few vital additional
yards. The end of End Siding achieved, we progressed to the Loco Shed & Workshop where the two
roads had been made available to us, the highlight being passage inside the shed on Road 2. It actually
passes right through the shed to a siding the other side, an objective for a future tour here perhaps?

With three significant lines completed, it was time to progress down to Rolvenden where our first
target was a reversal before the station to traverse the ultra-rare and specially cleared Orpins Siding.
Once traversed to the stop blocks we reversed at signal R21 in Rolvenden loop. Our first aim here was
the very short but very unusual loop neck ('NK' on the plan), naturally creating an exodus of railtourers
from one end of the DMU to maximise coverage. 'NK' achieved, we reversed back to Up loop shunt
signal (R11) to traverse the Loco Shed & Workshop roads. Here, our progress would be on a 'best
endeavours' basis and to the credit of the K&ESR team we went inside the shed on both Roads 1 & 2.





It was now 10.50, and the DMU departed for our next track at Wittersham Road where on arrival we
did the complete Through Line to reverse at signal W13. Here participants could see Norwegian steam
locomotive '376' shunting engineer's stock ready for our planned movements over the P'Way Sidings.
After completing the headshunt, a sleeper pile prevented us from traversing more than half of the
Machine Siding, but the long Back Road into the car park (fortunately carless) was fully completed.

Participants were in need of a leg stretch so the DMU retraced its tracks before departing via the
Through Road towards Northiam where a 30 minute break was booked and '376' appeared again. The
tour re-commenced with a manœuvre into Northiam Station Siding (to the blocks) via signal N4 then
back into P1. Loco '376' returned rolling stock into that siding then proceeded to the front of our train
and attached. Our next leg to Bodiam was steam hauled; provoking conversations on board the train
questioning when our last steam hauled fixture had been (quite possibly the Wissington Wanderer of
13 Mar 2015). For some (BELOW by DG) the excitement was too much... [Does it count if you are
asleep? are there members with separate 'wakeage' and 'sleepage' records for their track coverage‽]

Bodiam would mark the limit of our operation (the K&ESR boundary, 3m 20ch from Robertsbridge) on
the day, with passage onward to Junction Road not proving possible. The last train to progress further
onto the Rother Valley Railway section had run on 25 May 2015 during a three day gala. The out of
use section (still so in 2018), just a single track and requiring maintenance, extends to 2m 26ch. One
day it is hoped the line will run through to the new Robertsbridge station.

At Bodiam was the important matter of a loop, siding and dock to consider and the DMU would not be
doing the honours! It proceeded to the limit of operations and reversed into the Back Road Siding
where participants alighted and passed to the platform, here '376' and brake van M360327 awaited.

Our tour was then propelled (via the limit of shunt) into the Cattle Dock Road reaching the buffer
stops, before returning to the platform. This was repeated until all participants had scratched that very
required track, after which '376' and the brake van re-coupled to the DMU for the run back to
Rolvenden. Despite the cold, many participants took the opportunity to remain on the brake van for
an unusual run and view of this lovely original light railway behind the steam loco.

It was now 16.00 and the light was fading fast but for the organiser one of the key highlights was still
to come. At Rolvenden the tour reversed to the Carriage Shed where those of us on our Oct 2015 tour
had unfinished business. That day Road 4 (only) at the then very newly opened shed had stored stock
and there had been insufficient time to move it. We were back to put that right! Loco '376' was
detached and Roads 4 and 1 were negotiated by the DMU. Then, at the request of your BLS stock list
compiler, who had noted this loco as being particularly elusive, 1958 built Ruston 'Number 1' was
attached to the front of the train to pilot us into Road 3. The K&ESR 'National Buffer Stop Collection'
was also appreciated close up - each line has a deliberately distinctly different type! The Carriage Shed
Reception Line, Run-round, Headshunt and the single slip were all fully covered - no slip ups here.

Back at Tenterden the loop was traversed to reach End Siding again. The 'permanently' stored stock
on the Pullman Siding had been cleared for t he finale; it was traversed to the end and for an encore
part of the S&T Siding, the limit being denied by a Mk1 coach. The tour had taken 8 hours and for
many this had been the final fixture of our three day 2016 AGM weekend in the Southeast. Most had
long journeys home ahead of them but everyone came away with the satisfaction of clearing much
new track on each of the three railways we had visited and where nothing had been too much trouble.
It is pleasing to record that £2,000 was contributed to the K&ESR as a result of our fixture. Many
thanks to our local Kent member Darren Garnon, South West BLN Regional Editor, recently elevated to
the Committee, for another meticulously planned and executed, comprehensive and most enjoyable
day. We look forward to your next offering with great anticipation!

BELOW: The end of Rolvenden carriage shed headshunt; a warning to over the top extremity gricers.

ABOVE: Tenterden Town with a nice sunny day in prospect. BELOW: Wittersham Road Machine
Siding (after a double shunt), 'Back Road' is behind the ballast pile; the steam loco is in the platform.

ABOVE: 'Did you take a wrong turning? - That is the station car park not a train park...' The bemused
signaller looks on. Wittersham Road (station platform left) on 'Back Road' extremity with no buffer
stop even to hinder progress! NEXT: A series of late afternoon pictures at Bodiam station where the
loop (no platform), 'Back Road' and Cattle Dock were all fully covered, partly steam-hauled.
BELOW: Gary Lonsdale at the end of the platform next to Kev Adlam is 'taking stock' of the situation.

ABOVE, BELOW and REST OF PHOTOS: The DMU is in 'Back Road' and the stock normally in the yard
is in the loop (left). (All pictures in this report are by Ian Mortimer Sun 6 Nov 2016)


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