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22nd October 2016

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Published by membersonly, 2018-05-01 00:21:54


22nd October 2016

Issue Number 1267 (Items 2006 - 2102 & MR 202 - MR 210) (E-BLN 46 PAGES) 22 Oct 2016


Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society (founded 1955)

Membership Enquiries: [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Ave., Epsom, Surrey, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677

British Isles news from members, an international section is also available.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or the Society.

BLN 1268 is dated 5 November all conStoricbieutyti.ons must be received by 26 October

Date Event Details BLN Lead Status
1264 JC OPEN
Sun 23/10/16 Crich Tramway Village 10.15 second rare track visit 

Sun 23/10/16 Goodluck Mine Tram 15.00 tramway trips - 11" gauge 1265 JC OPEN

Fri 4/11/16 Epping Ongar Railway 08.30 Very comprehensive tour 1257 DG OPEN

Sat 5/11/16 East Kent Railway/AGM 08.30 Very comprehensive tour 1257 DG OPEN

Sat 5/11/16 BLS 2016 AGM, 12.00 to 15.00, Shepherdswell Village Hall 1265 TW OPEN

Sat 5/11/16 18.00-20.30 Ian Mortimer's presentation & interval buffet 1257 DG OPEN

Sun 6/11/16 Kent & East Sussex Rly 08.30 Extensive railtour 1257 DG OPEN

Sat 19/11/16 Fisherman's Friend Explorer 10.30 Blackpool Heritage Trams 1265 KA FULL

Sun 20/11/16 Penrhyn Railway 11.00 Comprehensive railtour 1266 JC OPEN

Sun 11/12/16 The Rylstone Cowboy 11.50 & 14.50 (option 'C' is full) 1265 KA OPEN

Sat 17/12/16 Proposed long-distance main line tour NOW POSTPONED TBA TBA TBA

Mon 26/12/16 Boxing Day 10.00 private 10¼" railway in Worcestershire 1261 PS OPEN

Sat 7/1/2017 Scunthorpe Steel Works (09.30 - dark) Extensive railtour 1265 PS FULL

Sat 14/1/2017 Vossloh Voyager railtour 08.00-17.00 London Waterloo 1267 JE *OPEN*

To Be Advised Jordan Hejaz Railway Full details and date pending 1250 IS Notify

19-21/5/2017 Annual long weekend - Republic of Ireland 'mixed' gauges 1265 KA Notify

DG-Darren Garnon, IS-Iain Scotchman, JC-John Cameron, JE-Jill Everitt, KA-Kev Adlam, PS-Paul Stewart, TW-Tim Wallis.

2006] BLS 2016 AGM, Sat 5 Nov 12.00: The Final AGM Notice and Treasurer's 2017/18 subscriptions
report are enclosed (downloads with e-BLN). The notice has venue details, agenda and nominations.
NOTE: 08767 is due to work on our special train and also for PLEG at 10.00.

2007] Vossloh Voyager railtour, Sat 14 Jan 2017: Our first mainline tour of 2017 is with South West
Trains from London Waterloo (approx 08.00/17.00) raising money for the Railway Benefit Fund,
covering very rare track in three depots/yards and more. A booking form is enclosed (e-BLN
subscribers need to print it please) These tours are proving very popular so early booking is advised!

2008] Chairman's Message: To anyone who travelled on the Society charter on the Welshpool &
Llanfair Railway on 15 Sep 1956 and/or the 'Yorkshireman' railtour of 2 Jun 1957. Please get in touch
with me (contact details per back page) so that your honourable status can be recorded in relation to
our celebration of 60 years of railtouring. While not compulsory, if you also have time to let me have
any reminiscences you have of those events that will be very much appreciated!

QUESTION: Apart from the involvement of the BLS what did these two railtour have in common - Ed?

2009] Dean Forest Railway, St Mary's Halt (8m 41ch*) (SO 6343 0254): A single wooden platform
north of the A48 level crossing on the east side of the line adjacent to the boating lake. CP after last
being available for use (request stop) on Sun 10 Nov 2013 due to poor usage, the proximity of Lydney
Town station and trespass issues. Originally 'Lydney Lakeside', the heritage line was extended south
there on 18 Aug 1991 (formal opening ceremony 8 Sep 1991) but trains initially stopped a coach length
short due to access problems. The platform was in use (possibly for the first time) on 14 Dec 1991
when a special train ran to access St Mary's Church (to the west of the line) for an 18.30 carol service;
passengers were advised to bring a torch! It was advertised for normal use with access from Sun 5 Apr
1992, the start of that year's public services. The stop was renamed 'St Mary's Halt' from Sun 9 Apr
1995, the start of season, in anticipation of services extending to Lydney Junction. This was actually
delayed until 2 Jun 1995. (*Mileage from Berkeley Road Jn via the Severn (rail!) Bridge and Lydney Jn.)

BELOW: St Mary's Halt 15 Sep 2012; D9521 & D9555; the footpath is on the right. (Gareth James )

[BLN 1267]
2010] Shipley South Junction - Crossley Evans Scrapyard: (BLN 1266.1922) CG/connection severed.
Final outward scrap train (DC Rail with 56081) was Fri 24 Jun 2016 to Cardiff Tidal Sidings via Leicester.

2011] Brighton, Volk's Electric Railway, Aquarium - Marina (both incl) and Halfway (Paston Place)
station: (MR p16) TCP after running on 4 Sep 2016; track was lifted over the following two weeks. ROP
is expected Jun 2017 after reconstruction with new stations at Halfway and Aquarium also new car
sheds, all financed by a £1.65M Heritage Lottery Fund grant. The 1m 05ch railway is 2ft 8½in gauge.
Some pictures old and new including the famous 'Daddy Longlegs'.

2012] Darlaston Jn - Walsall Pleck Jn: (BLN 1258.1063) ROP 10 Sep 2016; used only by the once weekly
unidirectional 'PSUL' London Midland 06.38 SO Wolverhampton to Walsall. It then forms the 07.31 to
Wolverhampton via Birmingham New Street. This continues in the new December timetable.

2013] Birmingham, Soho North Jn - Soho East Jn: (BLN 1258.1064) CP from 10 Sep 2016 after ROP Sat
28 May 2016, then usually used by the 06.38 SO Wolverhampton to Walsall train (previous entry).

2014] Southend Pier Railway, North Station - South Station (both incl): (MR p17) 3ft gauge and
2,180yds long; ROP at 12.00 Wed 5 Oct 2016 after TCP from 10 Jun 2016 for replacement of cracked
pile caps, mostly on the eastern side where the railway runs. Note that the long-term future of the
railway is not certain. Options are being considered for a new system to replace the current railway - although a rail based option remains a possibility. (See back page also.)

2015] Farington Jn, Lancashire Enterprises Sidings: (BLN 1266.1919) The TIPLOC code is LEYLBLM and

now referred to as Leyland B Leyland, which stands for 'Leyland British Leyland' (Motor Corporation)!

The first (of three normally MSSuX) ECS DMU workings in was Mon 3 Oct; 23.20 from Preston. The first
(of three) departures was 04.56 (26 minutes early) on 4 Oct. Initially 18 DMU vehicles were stabled/
serviced (see NW Section). This coincides with the Blackpool North line closing to passenger services
long term from 3 Oct between 23.00 (SSuX) and 06.00 (SMX)/08.00 (SuO) for electrification works.
Thus the overnight trains to Manchester Airport (etc) continue to run Saturday & Monday mornings.

2016] Cambrian Coast Line, Tywyn - Barmouth (both excl) and four intermediate stations: TCP on the
early morning of 4 Oct until midnight on 9 Oct due to fire damage to Barmouth Bridge (see 'Wales').

2017] Ratcliffe North Jn - Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station: (BLN 1263.1611) ROG 4 Oct 2016 (after
months of no traffic), inward limestone from Tunstead and coal from Immingham (the latter daily SuX).
The weeds had been cleared and the stop signs had gone; on 8 Oct the plant was in 'light steam'.

2018] Neath & Brecon Jn - Onllwyn 'Washery'/Open Cast Disposal Point: (BLN 1266.1923) ROG first
train Wed 5 Oct 2016 (after TCG since 14 Sep due to a landslip at 7m 54ch); coal to Coal Products Ltd
Immingham Briquetting Works. A train of coal from Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen also arrived for blending.

2019] East Lancashire Railway, Burrs Country
Park station: (BLN 1259.MR111) Ceremonial
opening with 'Flying Scotsman' Thur 13 Oct
2016. OP (public) due 1 Jan 2017. A single
platform (SD 8001 1283), west of the line off
Woodhill Road; north of Bury, past the second
(Burrs) Viaduct over the River Irwell.

RIGHT: Special opening plaque (Kev Adlam)

[BLN 1267]
2020] Antrim (excl) - Coleraine - Londonderry; Coleraine - Portrush and seven intermediate stations:
TCP expected Wed 2 Nov 2016. The last passenger service from Londonderry is at 19.33 (the 6-car off
the 17.10 from Belfast (GVS) returns ECS as the final train); the 19.10 and 21.10 from Belfast run to
Coleraine only. Antrim - Coleraine (incl): ROP is expected Mon 7 Nov; Coleraine - Portrush: ROP Mon
14 Nov and Coleraine - Londonderry: ROP Mon 21 Nov 2016. Londonderry panel, Coleraine and
Castlerock signal cabins and Castlerock loop all close on 2 Nov. The new Bellarena loop opens 21 Nov.

BLN 1267.2021] FIXTURES REPORTS, Signet Solutions, Sun 4 Sep: Derby Railway Technical Centre is
now host to many railway and non-railway businesses. Signet Solutions occupy a small part of the site
and provide training in signalling technology to a wide range of companies in the UK railway industry
and from abroad. Eleven members walked from Derby station to meet our friend Major Ian Hughes of
Green Dragon Rail for a second visit to Signet's facilities. BLN 1245.2082 has a report on the first. After
the customary refreshment, the tour proceeded round the rooms devoted to different generations of
signalling technology. A training weekend for heritage railways staff and volunteers was in progress.
The first room contained the entrance-exit panel from BR's first (1985) Solid State Interlocking (SSI) -
computer based rather than relays, at Leamington Spa. SSIs were originally interfaced to a panel
(ABOVE: Andrew Harris) as well as the now more common workstation screens. The interlocking
cubicle (an equipment rack 19" tall) was next to the panel and course delegates can be trained to deal
with simulated faults generated from a laptop plugged into the system. The Leamington installation
was replaced after 20 years by updated WestCAD interlockings controlling a bigger area - a BLS party
visited the workstation based control room there on 5 Dec 2015 (in August 2016 control was
transferred to the West Midlands SCC).
There were also several rooms containing relay interlocking technology with facilities for introducing
faults for trainees to find and fix. This included equipment that would normally be located in a central
relay room, at level crossings and in lineside location cabinets.
(BELOW: A bank of ex-BR relays dating from 1998 - Andrew Harris.)

[BLN 1267.2020 - cont.] BELOW: The inside of a point motor. (Andrew Harris)

Another room had the heavier trackside hardware that technicians would need to work with -
including examples of point motors, signals and Train Protection & Warning System transmitters. It
was interesting to learn that there is no reflector behind the bulb in a signal head to prevent sunlight
giving a false aspect. Having mastered faultfinding in the warm dry training room, trainees would find
the real trackside world more challenging. There are manual signal box instruments and equipment,
mostly for the heritage railway sector.
Outside, the group was shown a mechanical lever frame connected to a facing point with detection
slides to confirm the point blades had moved as intended before the associated signal could clear. Ian
had to leave us to do a teaching session, so the tour ended with a look (from the outside) at some of
the other buildings at the technical centre. A donation was made to the Royal Navy & Royal Marines
Charity as a 'thank you' to Signet and Green Dragon for a very interesting and enjoyable visit.

ABOVE: The remote Fintown station, Fintown Railway, County Donegal. (Kev Adlam 10 Sep 2016)
BLN 1267.2022] The Donegal Discoverer, Saturday 10 Sep: Originally envisaged as a day coach tour
from Londonderry/Derry, the number of participants meant that two cars were hired instead. There
were also no trains between Derry and Coleraine due to engineering work. Five flew into Derry (which
has few flights and closes after Saturday lunchtime) from Stansted and
Liverpool, three just for the day; the airport was the best place to hire cars
which actually suited participants better. Two had stayed overnight in
Derry; one arriving via Dublin, covering his remaining NIR track needs en
route, and the other came by train and boat. A pickup was made at the
station and we left before the roads were closed for the 'Apprentice Boys
of Derry No Surrender Parent Club' parade, taking the road to Letterkenny
(of significant past railway interest; two lines and three stations).

[BLN 1267]
LEFT: The driving position and controls _ showing the
1940s cutting edge technology. (Glen Wells 9 Aug 2016)

BELOW: Our beloved treasurer, Ian Mortimer, reaches
the end of the line! 'Head of the Lough'; the buffer stops
are behind the train. It looks as though another
participant is pleased to be there too! (Kev Adlam)

The scenery became wilder along the R250 road towards
Fintown. The remains of the County Donegal Joint
Railway (CDJR) branch (CP 15 Dec 1947) from Stranorlar
to Glenties were seen in the valley on our left after we
were joined by the R252 from Ballybofey/Stranorlar. In
Apr 1910 the line had three passenger services SuX each
way, taking 70-90 minutes to do the 24½-mile branch.

The group was in good time for the 11.00 departure
from Fintown, the first of the day and had no difficulty
finding the railway. There was more difficulty finding
some staff (!); the 3ft gauge 4-wheeled loco, attached to
one end of the 1940 vintage ex-CDJR railcar, was

thrumming away in the shed but nobody was in sight. It was a beautifully warm and sunny day (yes,
this really was NW Ireland!) and a reasonable complement of 'normal' passengers appeared. The crew
took the loco and railcar out of the shed (ECS - no BLS members even), brought it to the platform and
set off for the other end of the line alongside Lough Finn in outstanding scenery - about 2¼ miles to
the 'Head of the Lough'. We were, unusually, allowed to alight for photos and negotiated a closer
approach to the buffers. The line ends just before a crossing with the R250. Apparently, there are no
significant obstacles to extending 8½ miles further to Glenties (other than money and possibly the
farmers who move stock across its course). The railway is in much better shape than we had expected
from earlier reports and it seems likely it will run in 2017. Note for those who only do 'Baker' lines: it is
indeed on p78 (14th Edition)!
Returning to the station, the 'normals' decanted before the train continued on rare track beyond the
fence marking the end of Fintown Railway property right up to the buffers this east end. The station
house, once the local doctor's surgery, is unoccupied with the windows boarded up but the railway
hopes to buy it eventually and make it their headquarters. Then it was a 'shed branch special', into that
building and almost touching the roller shutter door at the far end then back to the platform.
BELOW: Driver's view along Fintown shed branch on a different day. The combined ticket office
/shop/drinks room is right, and the platform is further right off the picture. (Glen Wells 9 Aug 2016)

Now behind schedule (it had been hoped to do the shed before the 11.00 departure), it was decided to
abandon visiting the Owencarrow viaduct (BLN 1261.1377) and have a leisurely drive to Raphoe and
lunch. A brief stop was made near the R252 junction to photograph the 4-wheel Belgium tramway
trailer from Charleroi, now residing in a private garden, (BELOW TOP LEFT: Glen Wells, 9 Aug 2016 -
with apologies for the slight cock-up in the picture.) before heading to Ballybofey and Stranorlar (the
CDJR HQ). Having no idea where the railway had been, nothing that looked like a former station was
seen but looking at maps after it appears to have been immediately after the river bridge which
separates the two towns.

[BLN 1267]

At Oakfield Park (Difflin Lake Railway) your

representatives set off behind 0-4-0 DH loco No2 'The

Earl of Oakfield', riding the normal full outer 4½ km

circuit of 15" gauge track in the usual clockwise

direction. Negotiations with the crew then took place

regarding unusual track, as the organiser had not

heard on this matter from the manager. The crew set

off to inspect the sections requested. The

intermediate loop line west of Trout Lake was
unavailable due to overhanging vegetation and one
pair of points on one triangle was immovable.
However, a special circuit of the small eastern loop
was kindly made, covering the rare connection
between Wrights Hill North to South Jns and then
Long Run North to East Jns, the first passengers (we
were told) to achieve this and naturally from the BLS.
The staff here very kindly pushed loco No1 'The
Duchess of Difflin', an 0-4-2 tank, out of the shed as a
group photo centrepiece (next picture).

BELOW: The impressive locomotive shed/carriage shed/works at the 15" gauge Difflin Lake Railway.
Our group poses with 'The Duchess of Difflin'. Geoff Blyth (our BLN North East Regional Editor) who
organised this day is in the cab. Far right is part of the main 4½ km public run. TOP OF NEXT PAGE:
Oakfield Park station with the 'shed' (above) behind the two coach train. (Both Ian Mortimer)

With plenty of time in hand, it was off to Coleraine, where one participant went to his hotel and the
other five made a return journey on the six mile Portrush branch. Two more were dropped off at their
hotel on the outskirts of Portrush; the remaining four drove to Belfast for their flights home. Three
stayed another day to do the Giant's Causeway Railway. Again, there had been suggestions about its
survival due to deteriorating track. Admittedly, the points seemed rough and were taken very gingerly
but apart from that, the line is in quite good condition. It was re-laid with former main line track, so is
far more robust than required for a narrow gauge railway. A great trip that just missed two curves at
Difflin but they would probably have required advance engineering work to be done. Thanks to Geoff
Blyth for all the arrangements (including the nice weather) that worked well, and to two previous
groups of members who had visited and 'trained' the very friendly staff at Fintown in what to do!

BLN 1267.2023] Fancott & Bedford MES, Sun 18 Sep: (BLN 1208 p171) 'Britain's Last Pub Railway' the Fancott public house, Toddington, Beds was visited by our party of 19 at
11.30. First opened in 1975 at 10¼" gauge, it was closed from 1986 to 1996 reopening with 7¼" track.
The current owner purchased it in 2000. In March 2015 a serious fire at the thatched roof pub
destroyed the railway's shed, locos and stock. It ROP on 4 Jul 2015 with borrowed stock and the shed
layout revised from three to four shed roads and some minor station layout changes. The shed roads
lead into two platforms. At the other end of the station, a triangle and line through the middle joins to
a single-track 1,000yd circuit, which has a short branch to the steaming bays. They are for occasional
visitors as the railway has no steam loco itself. The third side of the triangle bypasses the station.

The fixture opened with two short formation runs for participants to cover all four shed roads to their
limits. The train was then doubled up and covered the
main line several times via all the station access
roads. On one run, a propelling movement took place
down the steaming bay road as far as possible. The
visit was noteworthy for the organiser in that all
resident locos (two) and all available rolling stock was
used and all track was covered (perfection!);
something he had not previously accomplished here.

[BLN 1267. 2023 -cont.] At 14.00 a group of 20 visited
Bedford Model Engineering Society's Summerfields
Railway (MR p12) near Haynes,
Beds (BLN 1238.MR122). The Society, founded in its
present form in 1968, can trace its origins back some 20
years earlier. The railway has had a somewhat
peripatetic existence finally settling on its current site
(its third) here in 1993. The layout (7¼" with sections of
mixed 5½" track) has a four-platform Haynes End North
terminal station near the car park and clubhouse which offers refreshments. The platform roads all
end in a turntable accessing the steaming bays. In the opposite direction beyond the station, just past
a signal box on the 'Down' side, is a five-road shed accessed via a headshunt and a traverser. A double
track 'main line' leads up hill to a complex layout at Hammer Hill Junction station with three
concentric loops connected by a series of crossovers, some used by 'service' trains (at busy times
'normal' passengers have to change trains here and miss their overlap) and others considered
'rare'. There is a four-road shed, turntable and loading line. Within the main loop at Hammer Hill is an
elevated 5¼/3½" gauge line, the Winterhill Railway. The society's members provide steam and petrol
locos, at least one is owned by the society itself.

Control at Haynes End North is by the signal box with Hammer Hill Junction supervised by a local
Operations Manager (MOMs next?). Once clear of Haynes End North, the drivers appeared to exercise
considerable autonomy over route selection operating the crossovers by an electro-pneumatic system
as they approach. This is not as scary as it sounds as speeds are limited and there are good lines of
sight throughout the network. It enabled us to cover all the main lines and 'rare' crossovers.

All participants left Haynes End North on one special train (22 adults including driver and guard made
a considerable load especially up the gradient). After several (different) circuits at Hammer Hill
Junction, the train returned to Haynes End North where the headshunt and shed road were covered
as far as the traverser. The train then returned to Hammer Hill Junction where participants were able
to travel on the remaining track, sometimes by direct negotiation with the driver concerned. All track
on the high level Winterhill Railway was also covered (three people at a time on the three available
trains), including an inner loop accessed by moveable sections of track rather than conventional
points. By the end of the day all available track was covered including Haynes End North's four
platform lines. Many thanks to our member Bill Davis for the excellent arrangements.

BELOW: 'I am sure that we did lay some track here you know!' - Apedale Light Railway. (Brian Elliott)

[BLN 1267]
2024] Apedale Valley Light Railway, Sun 2 Oct: (MR p23) This 2ft gauge line (OP 14 Aug 2010) is to the
west of the Potteries in Apedale Country Park. On a lovely, thankfully dry, autumn morning a full party
(18) visited. There was a repeat performance in the afternoon, both with the very suitable rather 'cosy'
'Hayfield & Whaley Bridge Light Railway' coach to reach every nook and cranny of the complex railway!

The 500yd public run is from Silverdale station north to Apedale Road, with rounding loops each end
so unusual track is difficult to get. We last visited, again twice, on 30 Oct 2011 (report BLN 1153 p34)
and the railway has expanded considerably since. The track map was particularly useful! The Moseley
Railway Trust here aims to 'preserve, conserve and interpret' industrial narrow gauge railways.

At 10.30 prompt, loco DH887 (BD3756/1981) propelled the coach to the buffers at Silverdale station
(adjacent to Apedale Heritage Centre, the site of its former colliery). Then it was off through the run-
round loop to the other end of the line at Apedale Road station. A swift run-round allowed the other
loop and end of line to be visited (again the coach was against the buffers). This very friendly railway
fully understood our needs and all track that was suitable for a passenger train or not occupied by the
vast collection of stock was visited. As in 2011, a thorough meticulous operating plan was followed.

The single connection to the rest of the railway was taken just north of Silverdale station. The tour first
visited the Aurora Works (the two lines nearest the main line; the curvature and clearances were too
tight on the third). Aurora North Shed followed (all three roads going well inside on No1 nearest to the
main line) with engine 13 (MR11142/1960) taking over. The two locos followed each other around all
morning, swapping over to keep dwell time to a minimum as running round was not possible at most
locations. Very efficient! Road 'Brian', was also visited (named after a member) behind the shed with
an embankment to one side, it is a headshunt for three other lines. (BELOW: John Cameron).

[BLN 1267.2024 -cont.] (ABOVE: In the north siding at 'Loos Loop' (not a loop yet!) - John Cameron.)

ABOVE: Now we know why it's called a 'Field Railway'! On the left Gary
Lonsdale takes stock and to his right, Martyn Brailsford (with glasses) is
plotting. This is the end of the headshunt for the Trench Tramway
(which the other green loco is standing on); top left is the 1:13 climb up
the 'Ski Jump' to the Waterhouses Triangle area. The 'top level' line runs
left to right in front of the copntainers. (RIGHT: Approcaching this
headshunt from the other direction, the Trench Tramway trails in left.)

'Brian' suitably traversed, it was off south for a left turn past the site of
the future museum (where foundations are laid and the four tracks built
to the entrance) to become the first ever passenger train on the Field
Railway. This is east of the main run, built to recreate and remember
the important role of such narrow gauge railways in WWI. The well
attended public re-enactment days are impressive and well worth a
visit. This lightly laid large railway has a complicated layout. Starting on the top level the traverser and
sidings were passed on the right before reaching the future 'Loos Loop' at the extremity, currently
north and south dead end sidings (top picture on previous page).

On return, the tour turned right at 'Waterhouses Triangle South Jn' to cross the North to East Curve
there at right angles on the level reaching the points for the sidings at Brian's Barn, a Field Railway
container. Backtracking to reverse at the South Jn, the tight curve 'down' (literally at 1:13 and known
as the 'Ski Jump') was cautiously followed to the third branch extremity which is the headshunt for the
Trench Tramway. It disappeared under long grass (lower picture on previous page).

Here Vanguard (RH195846/1939) and a 6-seat riding vehicle were waiting and made three return trips
(with full overlap) to take the whole group along the 'Trench Tramway'; even more lightly laid than the
rest. There are good views of some recreated typical WWI trenches. The first trip struggled in the long
grass but, with skilful driving and sanding, it became progressively easier. Thankfully, all was quiet on
the Western Front! Finally, it was up the 1:13 incline this time (had it been wet this would not have
been possible) to the remaining Waterhouses Triangle East to North Jns side, over the flat crossing in
the 'other' direction to complete the most interesting layout which is due to be further expanded.
Returning far behind the front line, the tour finished back at the main station. The spotters were taken
around the site by the knowledgeable and very friendly volunteer staff who helped identify the many
locos as the afternoon participants started to arrive. Containers were opened revealing yet more locos.

ABOVE: Passing the trenches, appropriately on the
Trench Tramway, which was done in groups of six at a
time. The participants waiting top right are near the head
shunt shown in the previous picture. This section is very
reminiscent of the closed Duchal Moor Grouse Shooting
Railway (BLN 1255.842, with picture in e-BLN 1253.X36).

Many thanks to our member John Cameron for
organising this fantastic visit and to the railway (Simon
Lomax particularly) for hosting us. As usual with our
visits, we knew we were on to a winner when the drivers
and guard said that it was the first time that they had been to some of the places on a train!

2025] Another Quiz Answer: (BLN 1266.1934) Which passenger line in the British Isles currently has
trains calling at ten consecutive stations with names all beginning with the same letter of the
alphabet? Answer: Join a westbound Piccadilly line train at Osterley via Heathrow Terminal 4 and you
will pass through ten consecutive stations starting with the letter 'H' before you return to Osterley.

2026] Going for Gold: London Midland has fitted dramatic vinyls to platform name boards (a gold
background with white letters) where Olympians and Paralympians have won gold medals. Spotted so
far are Bedford St Johns, Bedworth, Bromsgrove, Hemel Hempstead, Kidderminster, Leighton
Buzzard, Northampton, Stone and Stratford-upon-Avon. (BELOW: a sign of the times - Press Release)

2027] Railstaff Awards 2016: (BLN 1264.1677) Kev Adlam did very well to reach the final with his
nomination and represented the Society at this prestigious railway industry event at the Ricoh Arena,
Coventry on 8 Oct. The winner was Bill Cooke who has raised over £460k for various charities. His
Annual Charity Partners Golf Day is hugely supported by the rail industry. Crystal Danbury of Chiltern
Railways and Luke Gardener from TPE (who plans our railtours with them) were runners up.

2028] Points & Slips: BLN 1264.1703] With the severance of the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway until the
end of November north of Birkhill station, the SRPS have their stock based there with temporary
facilities so that it can still access the main line. 1266.1921] Although TRACKmaps Vol 4 p12C has 'Miles
from Cockshute Jn' on the Market Drayton Line (Silverdale/Madeley Jn), it is thought that the mileage
is actually from the former Newcastle Jn north of Stoke-on-Trent (19m 35ch). 1932] The disused signal
cabin on Dundalk station platform was moved from Dundalk Central (Jn). 1944] 14 JRA wagons were
moved from Chaddesden Sidings to Spondon (but not by DC Rail, who did move them on to Willesden
Euro Terminal on 9 Oct). 1971] The 'Toomer Loop' was referred to in the Chatham 'Central' branch
item. The refusal by the SER and the LC&DR to provide a connecting service at Strood was of growing
concern to the Rochester and Chatham inhabitants who had to walk along Canal Road from the LCDR's
Rochester Bridge Station in the High Street to the SER's Strood Junction Station. In 1876 this resulted in
the Mayor of Rochester, Alderman Toomer, invoking the help of the Railway Commissioners, who
ruled that the companies would be liable to penalties if such a service was not re-introduced. Needless
to say it was, and it became known as 'The Toomer Service', a phrase that still survives today. The
ex-LC&DR bridge was relaid during WW2 in case the other bridge was damaged or destroyed but there
is no evidence of any use at this time.

[BLN 1267]
Item 1936] In Q4: Although Rutland is currently the UK's smallest county, Clackmannanshire was
historically the smallest (and the location of Forest Mill station, (CP 1930) originally 'Kincardine' until
east of Alloa on the Stirling and Dunfermline line). There was a later Kincardine on the cioast line that
now runs past Longannet. 1956] This item about the Stockport to Stalybridge and associated lines
reminds a local member that there was a time when, due to a weak bridge, loco-hauled trains were
prohibited between Guide Bridge and Stalybridge. Then the York to Aberystwyth (and return) mail
train, which conveyed passengers, ran via Ashton-under-Lyne, OA&GB Jn, Ashton Moss South Jn,
Crowthorn Jn and Denton Jn, to reach Denton and Stockport. (See PSUL 1973/4 for example.)

2029] The Long and the Short of It: A member feels it might be interesting to compile a list of the
longest and shortest non-stop passenger journeys for each TOC. He suggests Preston to Oxenholme as
the longest for Arriva Northern (10.44 SO Preston to Windermere, one Down train). For Virgin Trains
Euston to Warrington appears to be the longest and Haymarket to Edinburgh shortest. Over to you…

2030] Tuxford: (BLN 1265.1830) ●Chesterfield (later Market Place) to Edwinstowe OP 9 Mar 1897
(there was a ceremony the previous day). ●Edwinstowe to (Lincoln) Pyewipe Jn OP 15 Dec 1896
(Langwith Jn to Pyewipe Jn OG 30 Nov 1896 for coal traffic worked by the GER to the London area).
Therefore, it is correct to say that Chesterfield to Lincoln was not completely open until 1897.

●Chesterfield Market Place to Shirebrook North (previously Langwith Jn) CP 3 Dec 1951.
●Shirebrook North to (Edwinstowe) Clipstone East Junction and Ollerton to (Lincoln) Pyewipe
Junction both CP 19 Sep 1955 (Sat 17 Sep was day of the last trains).
●Clipstone East Jn to Edwinstowe: CP 2 Jan 1956 (survived for trains to/from Nottingham Victoria).
●Shirebrook North to (Lincoln) Pyewipe Jn was retained for summer only use (final trains 5 Sep 1964).

2031] Bevercotes Colliery: (BLN 1265.1830) The saleable output was negligible from 1958 (2,047 tons)
to 1960 (359 tons). Production from the Parkgate seam commenced in Jan 1961 when 116,377 tons
were mined. There were (then) no preparation facilities at Bevercotes which were built in 1965, so the
coal had to be moved out by rail to other washeries. Production ceased again on 23 Dec 1961 for shaft
renovation work (It had only been sunk in 1954-58) due to deterioration of its lining from water ingress
as an incorrect grade of concrete was used. From 1962 to 1963/4 (the accounting year-end changed
meantime), there was no production, then several years of minimal output. 1964/5: 654 tons; in
1965/6: 1,129 and 1966/7: 7,735. BR Eastern Region recorded traffic as ceasing in January 1962 and
resuming in August 1965. In 1967/8, at last, 124,685 tons was mined - but it fell away again and
production ceased again from July 1968, 'due to adverse geological conditions'. (NCB geologists were
past masters at being unable to foresee these problems - as at Cynheidre, Selby etc). Full-scale
production did not resume until July 1971. In 1985/6 finally 1.04M tons was produced by 1,335 men at
what was supposed to have been the 'World's first push button pit'.

Production at this unsuccessful pit finally ceased in spring 1993, but three trains a week continued -
removing coal stocks to the Bolsover Coalite plant. The last train ran 18 Jun 1993 (Rail 29 Sep 1993)
when the branch TCG. The shaft was filled and the ground facilities all demolished at the end of 1993 -
but substantial coal stocks remained and were removed by rail in 1996/7 (BLN 866.43) - the last train
was on 26 Sep 1997. On 9 May 1998, (not 9 June) Boughton Jn points were secured OOU. Trains could
then only run when authorised by the then Railtrack LNE Zone Production Manager.

Our correspondent disputes that the Bevercotes branch was built cheaply; BR's Eastern Region having
facilitated an article about it for Railway Magazine May 1960. The problems encountered by Tuxford
RDIC in recent times when considering it for part of their test track included drainage, very steep
cuttings and unstable embankments. The renovation work required would have been considerable.

2032] Nottingham: Following its £60M redevelopment, the station won the 2016 national 'best large
station award' on 22 Sep, beating off competition from others including Huddersfield and Reading.

[BLN 1267]
2033] NET: Named 'Most Improved System' at the 2016 Global Light Rail Awards, NET impressed the
judges by returning to 98 to 99% performance levels just a few months after more than doubling the
network in August 2014. NET was also 'highly commended' in Team of the Year category and praised
for work with the Branch Line Society to run two very successful and well received charity Tram tours!

2034] Little Bowden: A new £1M stepped footbridge has been approved over the Midland Main Line.
It replaces the pedestrian crossing (considered to be one of the most dangerous in the East Midlands)
closed by NR in August 2015 on safety grounds. People wishing to cross the railway currently have to
use an underpass in Scotland Road. Step free access is not possible without demolishing some houses.

2035] CRP Needed not CPR: To improve rail travel in Bassetlaw and Northern Lincolnshire a petition is
seeking financial and practical support for a new Community Rail Partnership (CRP) for 11 stations.
(These are Shireoaks, Worksop, Retford, Gainsborough Lea Road and Central, Kirton-in-Lindsey, Brigg,
Barnetby, Market Rasen, Saxilby and Lincoln). TOCs and others are obliged to work with CRPs, which
have been very successful and beneficial elsewhere. Please see and sign!

2036] Great Glen! The former Midland Railway station 'Glen' until 18 Jan 1897, (OP 1857; CP 1951; CG
1964) is to be converted into offices and residential accommodation after approval from Harborough
District Council's planning committee. The station building will be retained with its external
appearance largely unaltered.

2037] Barking - Gospel Oak: (BLN 1266.1947) A 'Modern Railways' article gives more information on
the current work. Between Upper Holloway and Crouch Hill 200m of track was lowered during the
weekend possessions in April and May. Four further sections are being lowered during the closure:
320m includes Crouch Hill tunnel, 160m between Gospel Oak and Upper Holloway and 150m of the
Harringay curve. However, the most challenging section is 1,750m between Blackhorse Road station
and Yunus Khan Close (just south of Walthamstow Queens Road station). In just over a mile there are
17 overline structures, with track lowering required by as much as 500mm at some locations. It is this
work that has caused the eastern section of the line to be closed for longer than the western end. At
Walthamstow Queens Road the platforms have to be both lowered and extended to accommodate
4-car EMUs. This is being carried out by NR but TfL is responsible for the platform lengthening at the
other stations. Extensions are being built at Harringay Green Lanes, South Tottenham and Gospel Oak
while at the other stations disused platform sections will be reinstated. Automatic ticket barriers will
be installed at Woodgrange Park and Wanstead Park and lifts at Blackhorse Road. At the Pretoria
Avenue overbridge just east of Blackhorse Road slab track will be installed, as the trackbed has to be
lowered by 160mm and there is a sewer 200mm below the existing track level. Slab track will also be
installed in Crouch Hill tunnel and current plans envisage that it will be installed throughout the
Barking Riverside extension. Materials are all brought in by train, therefore one line has to be closed
at a time for lowering, starting with the Up (westbound) line. Signalling is being immunised, but only
minor changes are needed to signals. Passive provision is being made for resignalling in CP6 (2019-24).

2038] Brentford Branch: (BLN 1259.1202) Having already committed up to £750k to draw up detailed
designs, Hounslow Council has approved plans to identify £1.8M for NR to complete a more thorough
review of its proposal to reinstate passenger services. 3tph would operate between a station in
Transport Avenue, Brentford and Southall. ('Get West London' website)

2039] Crossrail: (BLN 1266.1948) A new connection (11m 60ch) has been provided in the Stockley Jn
Up Airport Relief Line to access Stockley East flyover, when it is commissioned at the end of the year.

2040] Crystal Palace: Bay P3 is used by the 07.55 SSuX to London Bridge (arrives ECS). Since it was
built this platform has always had some late night LO terminators (stabling overnight for morning
departures). Arrivals/departures use it when Sydenham to West Croydon is closed but, as far as our
member is aware, this is the first use by daytime departures in the regular timetable, or by Southern.

BLN 1267.2041] Lewisham: From 9 Oct light engines and loco-hauled trains were barred between
Lewisham and Lewisham Vale Jn because of severe corrosion of the metal supports of bridge 111B
where they meet the concrete bases. This is the 'temporary' rather ramshackle looking bridge built
following the 4 Dec 1957 Lewisham rail crash. (In dense fog an EMU to Hayes stopped at a signal under
the bridge and a following steam train to Ramsgate crashed into it having failed to slow/stop at the
caution/stop signals before. Sadly, 90 people were killed and 109 admitted to hospital. The bridge
came down onto the steam train (ABOVE) The line underneath was closed for a week and the bridge
for five weeks.) Back in 2016 bridge repairs were expected to take 5 to 7 weeks. This is an unfortunate
location; Nunhead to Lewisham is the main route for freight traffic to/from north Kent and Angerstein
Wharf. The main diversionary route is via the Medway Valley, a lengthy detour for Angerstein Wharf.

2042] LUL Track Diagram: An interesting geographically correct track diagram
which can be magnified, shows closed stations and has enlargements of congested areas.

2043] LUL 24 Hour Service: (BLN 1264.1732) Following the Jubilee Line (below), the next line will be
the Northern, on which services will commence on the night of Fri 18 Nov. These will not serve the City
branch or Mill Hill East and there will be the usual test empty running the previous weekend.

2044] Jubilee Line Micro-Gricing: The last such guide (BLN 1163.689) was in Jun 2012, when there
were early-morning public departures from Neasden over its north end trailing crossover, but it was
always dark when the Stratford Market crossover was used. The current WTT is number 14; although
dated 6 Sep 2015 (for the originally intended start of 'Night Tube'), it did not operate until Mon 26 Sep
2016 and then the all-night element was the usual ECS test running over the first weekend. All running
lines, crossovers and platforms are in passenger use all day every day except the following, for which
the booked passenger service is given. Arriving train running numbers are shown in [square brackets].

• Stratford depot 'west' X/Os (geographically south) end (facing) and Neasden (facing), Charing Cross
branch, connections with Bakerloo Line, connection at Neasden with northbound Met Line: NRU.
•Crossovers at Canary Wharf (both), London Bridge, Waterloo, Finchley Road and Neasden (trailing):
no booked use, but may turn trains back in service when line blocked at opposite end.
•Trailing crossover at Stratford depot 'west' end, connections at Neasden and Wembley Park with
southbound Metropolitan Line and southernmost crossover at Stanmore: staff and ECS only.

• Stratford and Stanmore: platforms are rotated but at quiet times there are some very long gaps.
•Stratford, arrivals at (P number) via facing crossover at Stratford depot east end: TWThFO 00.10¼
[350] (13) then most to end of 'M-Th' service, ie TWThFO [321] (14), [305] (15), [310] (14), [305] (13),
[367] (15), [322] (14), [302] (13), [320] (14), 01.10½ [312] (13); SO 00.06¾ [310] (14), 00.13 [351] (15),
00.30 [353] (14), 02.00¾ [143] (14), 02.30¾ [130] (14), 02.50¾ [132] (14), 03.50¾ [140] (13), 04.00¾
[315] (15), 04.30¾ [340] (14); SuO 00.06¾ [307] (14), 00.13 [344] (13), 00.30 [346] (15), 02.10¾ [164]
(14), 02.50¾ [152] (14), 03.30¾ [156] (14), 04.10¾ [162] (14), 04.50¾ [352] (14), 05.30¾ [323] (14),
06.10¾ [317] (14), 07.00¾ [360] (15), gap, 23.40¼ [345] (14), then most to end of 'Sunday' service, i.e.
[346] (15), [350] (14), [351] (15), [360] (13), [352] (14), [353] (15), [355] (14), [356] (15), 00.24¾ (MO)
[357] (13). BLN 1255.803 discussed the factors behind these routings.

•North Greenwich, P2 westbound arrivals: Staff & ECS only; public arrivals when line blocked to west.
P2 eastbound departures: SSuX 05.29½; TWThFO 00.36¾ (BLN 1254.667 reported access denied).
P2 east-to-west turnrounds: SSuX 4+tph 06.45¾-22.38; SO 4tph 08.16-22.38; SuO 4tph 09:58½-
19.22¾. (Thanks to our member Bill Lynch for the 'significant' amount of work spent on this.)

2045] New River Crossings: The Mayor of London has announced long term plans for three new
crossings of the Thames in east London. These are a pedestrian and cyclists' bridge between
Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, a road tunnel at Silvertown and an extension of the DLR from Gallions
Reach to Thamesmead. Also being considered are a new riverbus service between Canary Wharf and
North Greenwich and extension of the yet-to-be-built LO line to Barking Riverside on to Abbey Wood.

2046] Exceeding expectations: Lea Bridge station ROP 15 May (BLN 1257.1001) with use expected to
be about 350,000 passengers annually by 2031. However, in the ten weeks after opening it was at the
equivalent of about 250,000 per year! This is expected to triple when the service is doubled to 4tph in
2018. TfL has monitored use of the pedestrian link between Hackney Downs and Hackney Central
which cost £5M to build and opened in Jul 2015 (BLN 1238.1448). It was expected to reach 3,700
passengers per weekday in four years, but a year after opening is 4,700. However, this includes
passengers using it as a route between Hackney Downs station and the town centre. (Railfuture)

2047] Thameslink: (BLN 1266.1952) From 10 Oct a new OOU facing crossover (2m 40ch) was installed
between the Down Sussex Slow Line and Down Sussex Fast Line between Bricklayers Arms Jn and New
Cross Gate. From 17 Oct a new OOU facing crossover was to be installed (4m 14ch) between the Down
Charing Cross Line and the Up Cannon Street line between Blue Anchor and North Kent East Jn.

2048] White Hart Lane: TfL has applied for planning
permission for a major station upgrade with a new
entrance and ticket hall. Tottenham Hotspur football club
has requested that the station be renamed Tottenham
Hotspur for the opening of their new stadium in 2018, for
which TfL would charge £12M. Such name changes are
not often agreed, but there is an historical precedent in
the area as the Piccadilly Line station at Gillespie Road
was renamed Arsenal in 1932. ('Evening Standard')

2049] Tweedmouth - Coldstream - St Boswells: The
North Eastern Railway (NER) part of this branch, OA
Tweedmouth to Sprouston 27 Jul 1849. This predated
the opening of the Royal Border Bridge and was unique in
being the only line owned by an English company to cross
the border into Scotland, although only for a short
distance. (Note that the Midland, GNR and NER were part
owners of the Forth Bridge Railway.) Conversely, the

[BLN 1267]
Caledonian Railway (CR) and especially the
North British (NBR) penetrated significant
distances into England; the CR nearly reached
Maryport and the NBR occupied most of the
huge area of Northumberland between the
ECML and the Newcastle to Carlisle line.
Although Coldstream is in Scotland, its station
was about 1½ miles southeast at Cornhill-on-
Tweed in Northumberland (PREVIOUS PAGE
ABOVE RIGHT: 1952/55 7th Series 1" Map; the
England/Scotland national border follows the
River Tweed. The double track bottom left is
towards St Boswells, top right is to Berwick-
upon-Tweed; the single track went to Wooler,
Alnwick (reverse) and Alnmouth). The extension from Sprouston OA 1 Jun 1851, making an end-on
'junction' (change of ownership) with the NBR at Sprouston Jn about a mile further west, where the
line crossed the Mellendean Burn. This change was still evident over a century later; the regional
editor remembers the extreme contrast between the beautifully maintained Scottish Region stations,
with their powder blue paint, and the appalling state of the BR North Eastern Region stations,
especially Coldstream, which had clearly not seen a pot of paint for decades.

Norham station TD15 2LW (NT907467)
six miles from Berwick-upon-Tweed
and about a mile out of the village, is
for sale. (ABOVE LEFT: 1952/55 7th
Series 1" Map; the River Tweed is still
the national border here.) After it
had CA 29 Mar 1965, the stationmaster
purchased it, lovingly maintaining and
restoring the Grade II listed buildings
for the public to enjoy until 2010. It first
came onto the property market in 2013 (some really
good pictures) but has since been
cleared of the owner's large collection
of railwayana, though items like
lampposts and signage remain. It is
now up for sale again for £355k 01665496006
a 'development opportunity'. The 3-bed
house includes an 'engine shed', goods warehouse, platform, waiting room, signal box, ticket office
and more station buildings. It would be sad if it were to be swept away or turned into a caravan site or
suchlike. ABOVE: Norham station 14 Aug 2002. There was once double track, the other platform is on
the left behind the wooden building hidden by greenery. (Angus McDougall).

2050] Get a Grip 3! (BLN 1265.1839) Northumberland County Council's Cabinet has approved NR's
latest study, confirming that restarting daily services on the Blyth & Tyne line (Newcastle to Ashington)
is feasible. The next stage (GRIP 3) involves assessing and selecting the option that delivers the
Council's requirements and that the scheme can be delivered at the right cost. Detailed design work
could start in Oct 2018 and construction four months later. Trains could be running by early 2021.

[BLN 1267]
2051] Cramlington: Northumberland County Council is considering relocating the station, which is in
the lowest category, based on patronage and income, on the national network. Although on the ECML,
it is only served by Northern generally hourly (SuX) to Morpeth and Newcastle/Metrocentre. Only 1%
of local commuters travel by train, lower than the county average and well below the average of 7.4%
for England. In 2014/15 there were 89,070 recorded passengers, which compares poorly with 316,068
at Morpeth; a smaller urban area but a 'railhead' with the benefit of Arriva Cross Country and Virgin
Trains East Coast services. The new station would be about 300m further south, next to the retail park
and shopping centre, within walking distance of the main industrial employment areas. Various train
operators are planning to increase the service between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Providing a new
station with modern facilities might help persuade them to call at Cramlington!

2052] Horden: Durham County Council is seeking the views of local residents on a proposed new
station here, to improve local travel links, job and economic prospects in East Durham. Various places
were considered but Horden was chosen because (i) it is mid-way between Hartlepool and Seaham
stations (nearly 13 miles), (ii) it is near the main residential centre of Peterlee and would also serve
Horden, Shotton Colliery, Easington Colliery, Easington Village and Blackhall Colliery and (iii) over
60,000 journeys a year are predicted. The preferred site is South East View.

2053] Stockton: The TJ Thomson (shown wrongly as 'Thompson' in the Sectional Appendix) scrap yard
south of Stockton station off Oxbridge Sidings, where many class 08s and other locos met their final
fate, has CG. Does anyone have a date of last train, please; there has not been one since 3 Apr 2016 at
least? It is understood that the large site is to be built on, although plenty of scrap was noticed when
passing on 8 Oct. In Dec 2000 a £520k grant was awarded for iron and steel rail loading facilities here.

2054] Darlington: The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced that it will build a state-of-the-art
charter train for 'Tornado' from Mk3 carriages currently running in East Anglia. They will be extensively
refurbished and equipped with air conditioning, central door locking, controlled emission toilets and
power at each seat. Surprisingly, all carriages will be fitted with opening windows so that passengers
can still experience the sound of Tornado working hard! The train will carry additional water to extend
the engine's range to around 200 miles and is expected to enter service towards the end of 2019.
Tornado will undertake test runs in spring 2017 (with the full support of the train operator DB Cargo)
with a view to 90mph operation on selected routes to fit in better with the modern railway.

The Trust is seeking a new site in the Darlington area with larger facilities for new steam locomotive
construction, maintenance, operation and education. This would be main line connected with the
potential for a turntable and a carriage shed for the new train. Initial discussions have been held with
Darlington Borough Council, NR and the Heritage Lottery Fund - all are supportive. This presumably
means leaving the current site, the truncated remains of the Depots branch, OG 28 Sept 1825. The
Trust's next new steam locomotive after the class P2 No2007 'Prince of Wales' will be a class V4 2-6-2
mixed traffic locomotive - Sir Nigel Gresley's last design - followed by a V3 2-6-2 tank engine.

2055] Metrolink: Following completion of Second City Crossing track work on 13 Sep, the overhead
was installed by 6 Oct. Some roadworks need to be finished. The Eccles service is still wrong on maps!

X.160] Trafford Park Branch: On 13 Oct the £350M extension of 5.5km from Pomona on the Eccles
line (where there is passive provision of concrete track support in the viaduct at the junction) was
approved. The Secretary of State for Transport made a Transport & Works Act Order which had been
applied for on 11 Nov 2014. The new line runs along Trafford Wharf Road, Warren Bruce Road, Village
Way, Park Way, Barton Dock Road and terminates at the Trafford Centre. Construction could start by
the end of the year and it may be open in 2020. There will be six new stops: Wharfside, Imperial War
Museum, Village, Parkway, EventCity and Trafford Centre. When open Metrolink will extend to 106.5
route km (66 miles). BELOW: The route of the new line (Press Release).

2056] Merseyside: Some station nameboard oddities were noticed by a member recently:
'Aintree alight here for Aintree' - so good they named it twice?
'Bebington for Lady Lever Art Gallery and Port Sunlight Village' and
'Port Sunlight for Port Sunlight Village & Lady Lever Art Gallery'. Do you choose a station based on
which attraction you wish to visit first? (Odd also that one has an ampersand but the other an 'and'.)
James Street: P2, only used during engineering work (e.g. 3 Jan to 29 May) and disruption, has the
prefix 'Liverpool', with signage in the old BR (London Midland region) double sausage format.
Lime Street: Main station concourse signs are 'to Low Level Station' but there is no such sign there.

2057] Leyland: Late on Mon 3 Oct a member by chance watched history in the making (are you ready
for this?) with the 23.20 ECS working leaving Preston south, but did not immediately realise the
significance. 150140 & 150271 had terminated at Preston P4 on the 22.23 from Manchester Victoria
via Chat Moss and then moved forward to couple to 156424 & 156443 on the 21.43 from Barrow-in-
Furness. He remembers seeing the driver studying his docket very carefully as he approached the
south end cab of the 23.20. It was the first ECS into 'Leyland B Leyland' (see 'Head Lines'), the new
temporary DMU depot. The second train was the 00.05 ex-Preston with 150146 (22.59 from Colne),
150223 & 153332 (23.12 Blackburn to Preston; previously 22.44 Clitheroe to Blackburn) and 142058
(22.51 from Morecambe). The third and final train (00.57 from Preston) was 153317 & 156486 (23.17
Manchester Victoria to Preston via Chat Moss). Eighteen vehicles in total were stabled overnight.

For the benefit of future railway historians, departures on Tue 4 Oct: The 04.56 ECS departure to
Preston arrived there 05.10 to become the 05.19 to Barrow-in-Furness (142058 & 156443). The 05.18
ECS to Blackburn via Preston formed the 06.20 to Clitheroe (150140 & 153317) and 06.07 ECS to
Clitheroe (153332 & 156486) for the 06.45 Clitheroe to Manchester Victoria via Bolton. The 05.28 ECS
to Blackburn via Preston was 150146, 150223, 150271 & 156424. At Preston 150146 & 150223 were
detached to become the 06.00 to Colne and 06.05 to Manchester Victoria via Bolton respectively. The
other two units continued ECS to Blackburn to form the 06.27 to Manchester Victoria via Bolton.

2058] Rufford: Between 17 and 22 Oct the signalling was renewed at the station which has a
unidirectional passing loop on the single line between Preston (Farington Curve Jn) and Ormskirk.
Although the service is more frequent than it was, only one DMU is used so there are no scheduled
crossing moves normally. During the work the level crossing was closed to road traffic (with pedestrian
access maintained) and all trains temporarily used the Up Main line (P2) in both directions.

2059] St Albans Abbey Branch Going West? Hertfordshire County Council is proposing two bus rapid
transit 'lines', one linking Hemel Hempstead and Hertford via St Albans and Hatfield and, alarmingly,
the other on the route of the present Watford Junction to St Albans Abbey branch. The objective is to
support growth in local plans to 2031 and 'resolve the east/west connectivity deficiencies', stated to
include a 'new connection' between the WCML, MML, ECML and Hertford Loop and West Anglia at
Hertford East. See p31 and 32 in particular.

2060] Shenfield: (BLN 1266.1972) A local member confirms that the diverging routes at Gidea Park Jn
were indeed de-electrified, an equivalent of 'plain lined' for electric trains, from 04.00 on 26 Sep. They
are due to be re-electrified from 04.00 on 31 Oct. Diesel powered trains can still cross between the
Main and Electric lines here. Together with the changes at Shenfield, (which apply until May next year)
all electric trains to and from Chelmsford (and further afield) must be routed via the Main lines east of
Seven Kings Jn. These temporary changes create a severe reduction in operational flexibility on the
four track mixed traffic railway between Stratford and Shenfield. Quite apart from confining freights
to the Main lines between Shenfield and Gidea Park Jn if diesel hauled, or Seven Kings Jn if electric
powered, it is temporarily not possible to switch services to the other pair of tracks if a train fails in
this section. Services to the Southend line will now conflict with Up trains at the east end of Shenfield.
Before rush hour services largely alternated between this route and the diveunder. NR will have

[BLN 1267]
considered all the options to complete the necessary and very complicated work safely, within the
timescale and budget while minimising the disruption and maintaining the best possible service - Ed.]

2061] Crossrail: There will inevitably be a 'downside' to any project. As with the Paddington line, the
GEML carries significant freight, which would be difficult to confine to the Main lines. Although the GW
has a higher maximum speed and more 'Intercity' services, the GE line has a more intense suburban
service. One wonders how much operational flexibility will be possible once Crossrail services start.
It may be that more flexibility will be allowed on the GW main line than on the GE line. Your Regional
Editor had the privilege of a cab ride through the Channel Tunnel when it first opened and before
'Le Shuttle' started. The 'TransManche Super Train' as it was then called, ran at a higher line speed and
achieved a significantly shorter transit through the tunnel than is now permitted with the mixed traffic
passing. This is a damaging journey time loss in a time sensitive market that will probably persist for
ever. Crossrail's impact too on present services will have been modelled in the business case analysis
and journey time increases and flexibility reductions costed against the benefit of the new service.

2062] Ely: (BLN 1265.1854) Rail capacity at Potter Logistics terminal has been increased with 5.7km of
extra track over 13 new sidings on 10 acres for rolling stock storage at this high security site. The
existing Papworth Sidings have been connected by a new single line to the new Southfarm Sidings.
An aerial view (below) shows the surprising curvature of the new sidings and that their alignment close
to each other will limit their use to just storage. The sugar factory was bought by the company in 1981.
Another 15 acres is planned for development. Potter Logistics' commercial director said he expected
the site's success to provide a blueprint for their other rail served terminals at Selby (ex-sugar factory)
and Knowsley (between Kirkby and Rainford) where the Wilton bin trains are loaded. BELOW: Potter's
Ely terminal (Press Release). The Cambridge to Norwich line runs straight from mid left to top right
over the River Ouse Queen Adelaine rail bridge. The King's Lynn line curves off alongside the river and
the March/Peterborough line curves to the left inside, behind the stored ex-Gatwick Express EMUs.

2063] AGA becomes AEA: Abellio Greater Anglia Ltd ceased trading at 01.59 on 16 Oct 2016, and a
new franchise (Abellio East Anglia Ltd) commenced at 02.00. [What about that minute?]

2064] Oxfordshire Day Ranger: (BLN 1265.1849) The comprehensive May 2016 GWR 'Ranger and
Rover Tickets' leaflet confirms that this ticket is valid on GWR, CrossCountry and Chiltern services.

2065] Banbury: (BLN 1258.1119) On 10 Oct the 18.56 to Bournemouth (ex-Manchester) arrived in P4,
the Up Banbury Platform Loop, instead of the usual P3 where a passenger was receiving urgent
medical attention. The 19.12 to Marylebone (ex- Snow Hill) also left from P4. Passenger trains entering
this new through platform from the north are still quite rare. On Sun 2 Oct CrossCountry trains from
the north were alternately terminating in/returning north from, P1 & P4. Some trains terminating in P4
from/returning to, the south (GWR) usually travel most of the platform if they are four or more cars.

2066] Crimewatch - Banbury North Signal Box: Parts of the lever frame were stolen on the evening of
Thur 6 Oct. If you are made aware of the location of the missing parts, or are offered them for sale,
please contact Rachel Parker (NR) immediately at [email protected] 01908 781851.
ABOVE: When the box, in pristine condition, was operational during a Society visit (John Cowburn).

2067] Petworth: The station, two miles from the town, was on the single track LB&SCR Pulborough to
Midhurst branch (CP 1955; CA 1964). It was rebuilt in 1892 to accommodate the Prince of Wales and
his friends on their visits to Goodwood and other country estates. The wooden building was derelictfor
at least 14 years before being converted to an 11-bed house in 1980 and has received a major £700k
restoration project over the past 11 years. There is also refurbished B&B accommodation for 11 in
fourconverted Pullman carriages (from Marazion, Penzance). It had been on the property market as a
going concern for £1.5M due to the owner retiring. Now withdrawn from sale,
is an unusually well illustrated report. Https:// has 36 pictures and more information.
For accommodation details/bookings (or just afternoon tea) 01798 342346.

[BLN 1267] TOP: The fine restored Petworth station exterior on 31 Aug 2013. (Angus McDougall)
ABOVE, LOWER: A publicity shot. (Press Release)

2068] Snodland: This station building, dating from the 1856 opening of the Medway Valley line, has
been restored (and re-staffed after over 20 years). Car parking and a bus turning facility are provided.

2069] Staines - Reading: Progress on the platform extension project towards the end of Sep:
 Egham: Both platform extensions at the London end have started.
 Virginia Water: Country end extensions. A new footbridge is also being erected at the London end.
 Longcross: The 8-car long platforms are not being extended (less than 9,000 passengers in 2014/15).
 Sunningdale: Extension work in progress at the Country (Reading) end.
 Ascot: London end extensions to all three platforms, initial marking off only; signals need moving.
 Martins Heron: London extensions appear complete on both platforms but they were fenced off.
 Bracknell: Work had started at the Country end of both platforms.
 Wokingham: On the Up side, work has started (ground cleared and marked off) at the Country end.

2070] Bristol, Ashton Gate; The Second Half: (BLN 1266.1975) The surprisingly complex history of this
unremarkable halt continues to generate memories from members. The official position on opening,
reopening and closure remains a matter for research but is probably best not attempted due to the
transient nature of the location. However, in more recent times a member recalls that Hertfordshire
Railtours 5 Sep 1981 'Severn Freighter' traversed the Portishead branch to Ashton Gate where
participants were able to alight. The itinerary stated 'football traffic re-commenced to Ashton Gate
from 29 Sep 1970'. BLN 169 p2, reporting the start of the local service from North Filton Platform for
home games (from 31 Oct 1970), implies that trains for incoming supporters had been running for
longer, so this 'ROP 29 Sep 1970' was not necessarily the first - just one that happened to get reported
(in Dec 1970 Railway Magazine).

Another local correspondent recalled that the 'regular service' for the home team fans on match days
ran from 31 Oct 1970 to 16 Dec 1972 with a flat fare of 15p single or return. Away team excursions
benefitted from 'extra time' until the end of the 1973/4 football season. Usage of Ashton Gate was
deleted from PSUL from 1975/6 edition - although the compiler advises that use seemed to have
ceased by the previous football season. 'Quick' suggests that the final train may have been an
excursion from Leeds on 16 Feb 1974. No evidence has appeared for later use.

2071] TransWilts: In 29 Sep 2016 this route (essentially Swindon to Westbury via Melksham) was
designated a statutory Community Rail Service by Rail Minister Paul Maynard. This allows the active
Community Rail Partnership, formed in 2010 by a range of local groups and stakeholders, to work with
Great Western Railway to have a greater input into how the trains run. The service has improved
considerably since local community involvement began, when it had reached a low ebb of just two
daily. Six new services began on the line in 2013 and two more are planned for May 2017. (Melksham
had 51,851 passengers documented in 2014/15, a dramatic improvement over 23,930 in 2013/14.)

2072] Patchway's IEP escape route: Weekly Operating Notices for w/c 17 Oct indicate that a new set
of trailing points were to be installed on the Down Tunnel line (112m 63ch), providing an emergency
exit from the IEP depot. They will remain clipped, scotched and padlocked OOU until further notice.

2073] Stafford (1): By the end of August the electrified Stafford Up bay siding (southeast station
corner) was OOU with a 'stop board' and wooden sleeper across the track. A little further south, also
on the London end Up side, the 1960-built Stafford No4 signal box was demolished over the weekend
of 24/25 Sept. On 15 Oct the 1952-built Stafford No5 box (Down side north of station) had scaffold
round it and some of the roof had gone. (Both were visited by the Society on 20 Jul & 19 Nov 2014.)

2074] Stafford (2): (BLN 1264.1767) The ex-LMS (Shropshire Union) line to Wellington via Newport CA
past the headshunt for Universal Grinding Wheel (UGW) Co's Siding (also 'Universal Abrasives') from
1 Aug 1966. This residual branch, the first section electrified even in the 1960s, is thought to have been
shortened from 23 Nov 1969. The connection from the former Up Wellington line at Stafford No5
signal box was taken OOU from 23 Aug 1970 when the Down line become a siding leading to UGW.
The ¼-mile branch was served by the Stafford Class 08 pilot loco and in the mid/late 1970s regularly
stabled a rake of silver 33-tonne MGR coal wagons at weekends and overnight. The final railtour was
our 'Salopian' on 3 Jun 2001, a two-car class 156 DMU. On 20 Jul 2001 the line was taken OOU beyond
the private siding connection (+traffic had ceased there some time before); the remaining section was
used as a siding. This was known as 'Salop Branch Siding', a single track with a run-round loop on the
east side. It was refused for a railtour in 2002. Since 2010 the alignment has had houses built over it
for about 250m beyond the buffer stops and WG Bagnall's loco works on the opposite side from UGW
has been demolished. The overhead electrification supports were removed at the end of April 2014.
NRU for over 13 years, the branch CA 29 Aug 2015 as it was not included in the Stafford resignalling
project. The junction point was plain lined on 28 Aug 2016 with all track lifted and removed by 7 Oct.

BLN 1267.2075] Norton Bridge: (1): Our 7 Oct 'Cliffe Hopper' railtour was thought to be the first
northbound passenger train on the single-track reversible East Chord (OP 29 Jul). However, it was used
by Stafford to Stoke-on-Trent passenger diversions on the morning of Bank Holiday Sun 28 Aug (due
to the point removal mentioned in the previous item). However, our tour was the first to do the full
length of the extended Stafford Goods Loop and the first loco-hauled train and tour on the East Chord!
(2): Little Bridgeford Jn - Searchlight Lane Jn - Lower Heamies (Down Slow): The 13.01 Birmingham
New Street to Liverpool Lime Street went this way on Sat 15 Oct - as booked SO. Thanks to Richard
Maund (PSUL) for the information. The statutory two BLS members were aboard who had met by
chance at Stafford. It happens as the 12.10 (SO) Euston to Chester is booked on the Down Fast then.

2076] Rugeley Trent Valley: The 'Middle Siding' Stafford end connection is spiked OOU. This siding is
the 'loop' with a ground frame each end, next to the single reversible (P1) Up & Down Cannock line.

2077] Birmingham New Street: P11 returned to use and P10A to its full operating length on 2 October
as planned. For the first time in a long while all 12 platforms are now operational. For those who like
to escalate their directionality interest, at the weekends all 52 escalators run in the reverse direction
to the rest of the week 'to maintain functionality'. Does anyone claim then all in both directions yet?

2078] Camp Hill: Local rail services such as over Birmingham's Camp Hill line could be reinstated under
plans for the London Midland franchise. The DfT revealed that it was ordering rail operators to work
with local councils and the new West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to consider whether it
was possible to re-open the line, which links Kings Norton, Kings Heath, Moseley and Birmingham City
Centre. It is used for long distance services (see PSUL) and freight but local passenger services ended in
the 1940s. The WMCA has already said it hopes to talk to Government about re-opening it. This could
also mean re-opening Moseley and Kings Heath stations. WCMA has received £4.4bn to deliver on
plans to ensure the region's economy grows with HS2. (Hampton-in-Arden to Whitacre, please!)

2079] Herefordshire stations: The possibility of new stations at Pontrilas (CP 1958) half way along the
24 mile Hereford to Abergavenny section without a station and Withington (CP 1961), between
Ledbury and Shelwick Jn, (Hereford) was discussed in Hereford on 12 October. The Chairman of the
Heart of Wales Line spoke on the topic at the event organised by 'Rail and Bus for Herefordshire'.

2080] Birmingham: The National College of High Speed Rail, is on target to open in September 2017.

2081] Ironbridge: At Madeley Jn the branch and its connections were extremely rusty on 11 October.

2082] Stourbridge Town: According to the DfT, in the year-to-end May 2016, approximately 600,000
journeys were made on the branch compared to the 497,000 documented in the previous year.

2083] Wolverhampton - Walsall: The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership has outlined plans to
apply for £29M of funding over the next five years for the re-instatement of a direct rail service. Plans
include new stations at Rose Hill Willenhall where land has been acquired and James Bridge Darlaston.
The demand generated by these stations is the basis for achieving viable passenger numbers overall.

X.161] Https:// is a detailed chronology with

many links avaialable. Three lines are included: (i): Worcester to Hereford; (ii): the branch to

Ashchurch via Upton-upon-Severn and Tewkesbury and Ashchurch and (iii): the branch to Leominster

via Bromyard. Feedback and additions to [email protected] would be welcome.

2084] Londonderry: (BLN 1254.717) Local politicians and Translink announced recently that they are to
transform the old station (CP 1980 regular services) into a £26M 'transport hub' with car parking and
bike hire; an apparent reversal of the previous position. Public consultation in 2014 identified the
existing station as the preferred site; work will start in two years and is to be complete 'by 2020'. It has
been suggested that the trainshed cannot be reused, so the line may be shortened by around ¼ mile.

X.162] ABOVE: (BLN 1266.1932) Shanes Castle Railway; a Society visit on 28 May 1990. (Ian Mortimer)
The 3ft gauge railway OP May 1971 and CP at the end of the 1994 season.

2085] Bellarena: (BLN 1260.1336) The plaque unveiled on 28 June by the Queen was removed within
24 hours because of vandalism fears. Translink are reported to be considering the best way to mount
the plaque at the station 'within the context of the simple layout of the halt and its dramatic setting'.

2085] Enniscorthy: On 18 Sep the Down Cattle Bank Siding was reduced to 228m buffer stop to signal.

2087] Belmond train: (BLN 1263.1648) The new train made its first run in service on 30 Aug departing
Heuston at 14.20 for Cork. The 2016 programme (from €3,318 to €12,973 per person) is fully booked!

2088] Coleraine - Londonderry/Portrush: Coleraine is bidirectionally signalled. NIR runs an hourly
service from Belfast Great Victoria Street to Coleraine, alternating to Derry and Portrush. There are
connections to/from Portrush out of/into the Derry trains (and additional workings, too). Through
Portrush trains return to Coleraine as a connection, back to Portrush and then run back to Belfast.

A recent visitor makes the following observations. Crossings take place every 30 minutes at Ballymena
and Ballymoney but not at Coleraine, where through trains from/to Belfast use P1 (station west side),
the 'Down' platform, and Portrush connections use P2, the 'Up' platform (east side). An awkward level
crossing at the northwest end of the station has a road junction right on the crossing, requiring five
lifting barriers. Through Belfast trains use the facing crossover connection on to the Portrush branch.

Long term (subject to funding) it is intended to increase the Derry service to hourly. Castlerock is the
last non-heritage place in the UK where lower quadrant somersault signals, once common on the
former GNR lines in Lincolnshire, are still in regular use. There are somersault signals at Portrush but
the cabin is normally switched out (with the signals pulled off and P1 in use) and opened only on
special occasions, such as for the steam specials, to enable the loco to run-round (in P3) and for two
trains to be present together. The new long loop at Bellarena will facilitate the hourly service to Derry.
(The Derry line was always single west of Ballymena).

[BLN 1267]
At 10 Sep the new loop had been laid from the east end points as far as the road crossing at the west
end of the station, where it comes to an abrupt halt. A length of ballasted track had been laid west of
the crossing and some rails were lying on the ballast west of there, but there was no sign of the points.
The line between Coleraine and Derry was completely closed over the weekend of 10/11 Sep (during
our visit!) for an emergency joint exercise between NIR and the City of Derry Airport, entitled 'Falcon'
and work on a new Bellarena relay room.

An engineering closure of all lines initially west of Antrim (including the Portrush branch) is scheduled
from 2 Nov (see Head Lines) for remodelling and resignalling. Coleraine, Castlerock and Derry cabins
close (21 Nov date covered in Head Lines.). The project has been delayed as NIR found out that they
needed planning permission to alter Bellarena crossing. The line will be controlled from new
workstations in Coleraine station building. As your correspondent does not recall seeing any new CCTV
cameras at Coleraine, the cabin may be retained to operate the five level crossing gates. Portrush
cabin remains - the only mechanical one left on NIR. This will presumably require specially trained staff
to operate it when required. There will also be an issue with fitters competent to work on the
interlocking. It is possible that NIR hire in such staff as required from NR. A knowledgeable member
suggests that in the future the only source of such skills will be UK preserved railways! One wonders
what procedure will be used to certify them [Signet Solutions? - see visit reports - Ed.]. Portrush P2 is
very rusty and presumably rarely sees use. However, the Royal Portrush Golf Club will host the British
Open from 18-21 July 2019 for the first time since 1951. This is a huge event and NIR will no doubt run
the maximum possible train service, suggesting that very rare P2 may see use (block your diary now!).

2089] NIR Microgricing: Oct 2016, Mondays - Fridays except if shown, GVS = Great Victoria Street.
●Londonderry P2: 06.05 & 19.10 ex-GVS, 16.13 to Coleraine & 17.55 return, 19.33 & 21.33 to GVS.SO:
06.35 to GVS and 19.10 return. ●Coleraine north crossover: 06.05 & 17.10 GVS to Londonderry; 16.13
Londonderry to Coleraine & 17.55 return. ●Killagan Loop: 06.05 GVS to Londonderry; 16.46 & 17.46
Belfast Central to Londonderry. ●Magherabeg Loop: NRU. ●Carrickfergus P3 South end: 07.25 ex-
Central; 08.10 & 08.35 to GVS. ●Carrickfergus P3 North end: NRU. ●Magheramourne Loop: 06.45 GVS
to Larne Town, 15.55 & 17.02 ex-Larne Harbour. ●Larne Harbour P2: 07.32 to GVS, 17.05 ex-GVS.
●Bangor P1: 07.17 to Lisburn; 17.55 ex-Central. ●Lisburn P2/3 south exit: NRU. ●Portadown*P3 north
departure: 07.00, 07.20, 11.15 & 20.45 to Bangor. SO: 07.45 & 11.15 to GVS; 18.15 & 20.45 to Bangor.
SuO: 11.45 & 13.45 to Bangor. ●Portadown*P3 north arrival: 06.35 ex-GVS, 09.27, 16.57, 18.27 &
18.57 ex-Bangor. SO: 10.30 ex-GVS, 16.57, 17.37 & 19.27 ex-Bangor. SuO: 09.27 & 11.27 ex-Bangor.
●Portadown* south Down (from Dublin) to Up crossover: NRU. ●Newry Up to Down crossover:
06.15 & 18.02 Portadown to Newry. ●GVS Dublin Reversible line to P1: 08.47 & 16.32 Lisburn to
Bangor. ●GVS P1 south: 07.31, 07.51 & 08.11 Bangor to Portadown. ●Bellarena Loop: (from 21 Nov)
Down P2 (southeast side in use since 21 Mar 2016) trains to Londonderry; Up (new) P1 (northwest
side) trains to Belfast. (*Booked platforms at Portdown but note that these are not always followed.)

2090] Wemyss Bay: (BLN 1239.1602 and back references) On 6 Oct the 14.57 to Glasgow Central left
from P1. (BELOW: Two views of this train, and the very fine station; P1 is to the right of the train - Greg
Beecroft) This was the first use of P1 since it was taken OOU on 19 Jan 2015 in connection with station
renovation. The track has platforms both sides; some days since reopening all arrivals and departures
have used it. The un-numbered timber platform to the left is the disused luggage platform. This
second platform was not used regularly, if at all, by passengers, being for transfer of luggage between
train and boat. This was quite a separate activity from the transfer of freight, which was by means of a
siding onto the pier. The trackbed of this siding, at lower level than the passenger station, is still there.
The luggage platform is shorter than the passenger one and partly of timber construction. The freight
siding was used mainly for coal for the steamers, as bulky cargo.

[BLN 1267]
2091] Greenock Central: Bidirectional signalling was to be introduced from here (123m 38ch) on the
Down line to Wemyss Bay Jn (121m 28ch) from 17 October.

2092] Glasgow: A summary of an article in 1 Aug 'Rail Engineer': On New Year's Day 1842, the citizens
of Glasgow were able to walk through the newly constructed 1159yd tunnel into Queen Street station,
at their end of the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway. The tunnel was whitewashed and gas-lit especially
for this fund raising event for those injured building the railway (charity events are not new!). Then the
station OP 21 Feb 1842 with four trains a day between the two cities taking 2½ hours.

The railway company had originally intended to approach Glasgow by a bridge over the Monklands
Canal and build a station just north of the present one. However, the canal company opposed this, so a
tunnel under the canal with a 1:44 gradient was required. This was too steep for locomotives of the
day so, until 1908, trains were hauled up by cable; descending trains had a special brake wagon.

This steep tunnel continues to present operational and maintenance problems, although the canal has
long gone mostly now buried under the M8 motorway. Yet the canal company's objection gave
Glasgow its Queen Street station, closer to the city centre than originally planned. It soon proved
woefully inadequate for its increasing traffic and was rebuilt between 1878 and 1880 (sounds familiar).
The tunnel, whose original southern portal was just south of Cathedral Street, was shortened by 153yd
to create a new station throat and platform extensions. The wrought-iron arched roof was built at this
time. Queen Street low level station, part of an east west line was excavated and OP 15 Mar 1886.

In the 1970s, 1.8km of concrete slab track (an innovation then) was installed to reduce maintenance in
the heavily used tunnel. This was replaced during the 141-day engineering blockade (20 Mar to 6/7
Aug this year) as it was near the end of its design life. This was the first UK use of the Slab Track Austria
system, installed in the 918m Queen Street High Level tunnel. Station use is expected to grow from
20M to 28M passengers annually by 2030, and to accommodate longer trains, Queen Street
(Scotland's third busiest station) is being rebuilt. Other 1970s developments are in the way; Consort
House and the adjacent station hotel extension, both obscure the station frontage. Next year, they will
be demolished when the rebuild starts to reveal the arched roof and increase the station's footprint.
There will be a bigger concourse, improved access and passenger facilities with longer platforms.

Platform lengthening is in two stages. Firstly re-modelling of the station throat, with platform
alterations during the blockade. Seven-car EMUs will be able to operate from Dec 2017 and eight-cars
from Dec 2018. The second stage is the major station rebuild with concourse end platform extensions.
This, and the tunnel slab track replacement, is about half a million man-hours of work costing £60M;
equally split between the tunnel and station work. It took two years to plan, the main constraint was
the need to keep one line through the tunnel operational at all times for deliveries. NR considers it to
be the largest piece of engineering work on the Edinburgh to Glasgow railway since it was built.

Track renewals north of the tunnel (3km of track, five point ends and refurbishment of four more)
started as soon as the possession had been taken. This restricted movements into the tunnel; slab
track work could not start properly until this phase was complete. Other work north of the tunnel was
the demolition of Gourlay Street and Fountainwell Place bridges at the end of May for electrification
clearance, during a three-day window when train movements were not required through the tunnel.

A 13-week programme to reconfigure the station throat (plan: BLN 1263.1659) began with demolition
of 2,000m3 of platform and construction of 642m of platform walls. 615m of new track was laid in the
station and seven new switches and crossing (S&C) units on timber sleepers; built off-site to check
components and methodology. Four slab track tunnel S&Cs were replaced and 455m of new drainage.

Other station work included new housing for the upgraded signalling, a new signal gantry and 19 OLE
structures with associated wiring. New standards were provided for lighting and the station PA system,
previously hung from the station roof but which could not remain there after electrification.

The project team took advantage of the station closure to excavate the platform wells beyond the
current buffer stops. As there is no space to extend platforms until the station is rebuilt, these were
filled with polystyrene blocks and resurfaced for easy excavation during the station rebuild.

Unlike Winchburgh tunnel (where 338m of slab track was installed in a 44-day blockade from 13 Jun to
26 Jul 2015) the Queen Street work required the removal of previous slab track. With the
unprecedented nature of this work, there was a trial in December to confirm the proposed
methodology; 20m of the track, was removed and temporarily replaced with ballasted track. Other
works in advance included the removal of redundant tunnel cables and, at the top of the tunnel,
provision of a cut-off drain into a sewer to minimise water flow into the tunnel. To accommodate new
dispatch arrangements for the Class 385 units, new equipment is being fitted for platform staff to
operate indicators for closed door (CD), right away (RA) and train ready to start (TRTS).

The blockade had to be ready to accept ballast trains through the tunnel. While almost all heavy
materials were delivered and removed by train, some were also supplied through the site compound
at Queen Street station, where lorry weight was limited due to the bridge over the Low Level line.
A part-road closure was taken on the Cathedral Street bridge over the station to supply materials,
including pumped concrete and the bricks and coping stones for platform re-construction.

The only time that work did not go to plan was when unexpected services were found in the platforms.
An original cable haulage system pulley wheel was also excavated, a reminder of the tunnel's heritage.

It will be some time before passengers notice a difference. The first new Class 385 EMUs should enter
service in August next year with the full Edinburgh to Glasgow seven-car formation service in Dec 2017
(27% more seats than the current six-car Class 170 DMUs). By Dec 2018, a full eight-car service should
be introduced, 45% more seats than at present. The Glasgow to Edinburgh journey will be 42 minutes.
Not long afterwards the new Queen Street station will be complete.

1267 WALES
2093] Welsh Government Cap in Hand: The Welsh Government has announced that regulated fares
within Wales will be capped to rise by no more than the RPI index until the end of the current Arriva
Trains Wales franchise in Oct 2018. This is the third year in succession that such a cap has applied.

2094] Barmouth Bridge: On 4 October the driver of the 05.07 Machynlleth to Barmouth observed
bridge timbers on fire at Pier 80, following overnight work replacing longitudinal timbers. The train
crew were unable to extinguish the flames, and the fire brigade initially used water from the train's
tanks, until pumps were brought in to extract estuary water. They remained on site, employing a boat
to soak the timbers from the underside. Significant localised damage was sustained, the DMU and two
others were trapped north of the bridge and ran between Barmouth and Pwllheli. Trains otherwise
terminated at Tywyn. The pedestrian walkway remained open; repairs were completed by 10 Oct.
It has been revealed that there are plans for significant work to be carried out on the bridge in 2018.
NEXT PAGE TOP: The section of timbers that were being replaced. NEXT PAGE BOTTOM: After the fire-
damaged sction had been removed and before the replacement timber was installed (NR).

2095] More inflammatory news: Also on 4 Oct, the fire service had to be summoned to Caerphilly
station to attend the 17.01 Cardiff Central to Rhymney train after an engine caught fire, causing smoke
to enter the passenger saloon of coach 55722. The train was blocking the Up line and the following
train, the 17.02 Penarth to Bargoed eventually terminated in the bay (P1). The down line reopened at
18.31 and the damaged train was taken to P1 before finally departing at 20.44 for Canton.

2096] Cardiff Central: (BLN 1265.1893) During a Valleys platforms engineering possession on the
weekend of 8/9 October, a ballast train arriving from the Queen Street direction on Saturday evening
became the first to enter the new P8. Following the possession, a sleeper has been placed across the
track at the east end. On the other side of the station, the new crossover from P2 to the Up Main now
appears in the Sectional Appendix but has yet to be brought into use,

[BLN 1267]

2097] Llandudno: P1 is OOU from 3
Oct to 25 Nov but the block can be
given up in an emergency.

2098] North & West Line:
(BLN1266.1992) Station buildings are
still standing at Tram Inn opposite the
signal box with extensive foliage cover
and Penpergwm survives altered as a
private residence.

2099] Margam Halt: (SS783868) This
was a locally-advertised stopping place
on the South Wales main line, serving
the adjacent steelworks. OP 4 Feb
1948 and CP 2 Nov 1964 with the
other local stations. Although long
fenced off, and no longer accessing a
works entrance, the lengthy concrete
station footbridge still crosses all
tracks, with concrete steps down to
platform level, although the platforms
have gone. No doubt the bridge will
follow, when the electrification works
reach this far west.

LEFT: The rather isolated Margam Halt
on the South Wales main line; 1938/55
revision of the 6" to the mile map. Of
note, although this is all one map
sheet issued at the same time the
revision varies top and bottom as is
self evident!

MR200] West Somerset Railway, Somerset (MR p6): A visit was made to this well-known lengthy
railway on Tuesday 20 September. Access was via Somerset Bus '28' (Taunton to Minehead service)
from Taunton station; this runs half-hourly Mon-Sat and hourly on Sundays. It calls at Taunton station
(south side going towards Minehead, north side on return) and stops directly outside Bishops Lydeard
station when WSR trains run. The 11.05 from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead train was formed of a 3-car
class 115 DMU (W51859/W59678/W51880) in a smart green livery. Travel on this afforded two
benefits - an unobstructed front seat view of the whole journey and a rare Minehead P2 arrival!
After departure of the steam hauled 14.25 train from P1, the DMU shunted from P2 to 1, to form the
15.25 Minehead departure, which was used to return to Bishops Lydeard and hence Taunton. Also
running were two steam hauled trains, with GWR 4-6-0 6960 and SDJR 2-8-0 53808 powering.

BELOW: West Somerset Railway, the class 115 DMU forming the 11.05 from Bishops Lydeard has
nicely reached the buffers in the 'rare' Minehead platform 2. (Peter Scott 20 Sep 2016)

[BLN 1267]
MR201] Dean Forest Railway, Gloucestershire (MR p6): A visit was made on Saturday 24 September.
Two special railtours of the line (advertised in BLN 1265.1901) took place at 10.00 and 14.00 - these
used single-unit railcar 'Iris' (M79900) which was visiting the line from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.
A £5 supplement on top of the railway's normal rover ticket secured a place on one of the two trips.
Leaving at 10.00 from Norchard High Level P3, the train ran forward to Parkend, where it ran through
the level crossing to reach the sleepers over the line on both headshunts before returning via the 'non-
preferred' platform at Parkend. At the other end of the line, the gates at the NR boundary were
reached via the Down platform line. After another reversal the run-round loop was taken to reach the
siding beyond the signal box.

The train crew worked very hard to achieve the numerous reversals and point clampings required, for
which the BLS members on board were most appreciative. Class 08 D3937 operated some of the
standard timetabled trains before these were later amalgamated with a steam 'charter' service
operated by GWR 2-6-2T 5541. Due to the high number of party bookings on 28 September, 'Iris'
supplemented the main service train (five BR MK1 coaches with 2-6-2T 5541). On this day a visiting
party of Signal Engineers were granted access to see the various signalling installations. These
comprise staffed working signal boxes at Norchard and Lydney Junction, and Parkend box, which is
being fitted out. A guided tour of the workshops was also provided to see the restoration projects.

BELOW: The Dean Forest Railway, GWR 2-6-2T 5541 departs from Lydney Junction
over Station Road crossing with the 12.05 to Parkend; while the single car DMU
'Iris' (on loan) waits with a later working. (Peter Scott 29 Sep 2016)

[BLN 1267]
MR202] Mid Suffolk Light Railway, Suffolk (MR p8) (BLN 1259 1226/7): A visit was made to the replica
Brockford station on Sunday 11 September, of their 'September Steam Railway Gala' weekend. This
event brought an end to the Railway's 25th anniversary year events. Four locos were in steam and from
11.00 a roughly 20 minute interval service was run to Dovebrook Halt at the eastern end of the 21ch
demonstration line. Initially Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T (1700/1938) 'Wissington' and ex-LNER Y7 0-4-0T
No985 'topped & tailed' two vintage four wheeled coaches, ex GER brake third No13 (MSLR No12) and
composite No. 287 (MSLR No13). Ex-GER four wheeled first No140 was unable to join them owing to a
'passcom'/brake fault. Ruston and Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel, named 'Alston' was parked at Brockford. Later
departures had the coaches propelled from (and pulled back to) Brockford by Cockerill 0-4-0VBT tram
engine (2525/1906) and Bagnall 0-4-0ST (2565/1936). The latter gave passengers a good view of the
line ahead towards Dovebrook from the large leading end windows of the brake van.

At Dovebrook the Barton House Railway from Wroxham had set up their 'Roving Railway' portable 7¼"
gauge line, on the continuing trackbed of the MSLR towards Aspall, for about 75 yd. Rides on this were
free and an Edmondson ticket was issued date stamped on a truly vintage machine. Their train
consisted of LNER 2-6-0 4698 'Loch Rannoch' and two sit-astride coaches. Back at Brockford there was
a small display of old road vehicles; the chassis of the railway's own loco, Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T
No1604, was seen in its ongoing rebuilding state and the newly enlarged engine shed was nearing
completion of internal fitting out. The Southwold Railway Trust had a stand promoting their recently
approved plans for a visitor centre, with a 3ft gauge demonstration line and 7¼" gauge miniature
railway at Southwold. BELOW: Taken from Brockford station platform looking east towards
Dovebrook Halt (Angus McDougall 24 Apr 2015). The original Brockford & Wetheringsett station was
slightly further west on the original 19 mile Mid Suffolk Light Railway from Haughley to Laxfield which
CA 28 July 1952. An authorised extension to Halesworth was started but not completed.

[BLN 1267]
MR203] Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum, Hampshire (MR p18) (BLN 1248.MR6): Sunday 14
August saw our roving reporter at this location on a bright sunny day. The 2ft gauge line was operating
with 4wDM 'Ashby' (MR8694/1943) and one bogie coach. The track layout is unaltered from previous
reports - the top loop has still not been started and possibly may never come to fruition. The new
management of the Museum has put some of the land near the main road entrance up for sale and a
planning request for an industrial site is currently pending. Steam locomotive 0-4-0ST 'Wendy'
(WB2091/1919) is currently 'out of ticket' and requires work on its axles. Steam road engines were
hauling a passenger carrying trailer around the site. The 7¼" gauge miniature railway was out of use as
some track had been lifted to enable a new boiler to be installed for the museum.

MR204] Alan Keef Limited, Herefordshire (MR p18) (BLN 1221.MR194): See
The annual charity open day at this company's works at Lea Line near Ross-on-Wye took place on
Saturday 17 September (the first for two years, as the 2015 event was cancelled). Admission was £6
and the event was very well supported - being busy even just after opening time at 11.00. A number of
projects were underway, including new build Baldwin 'Lyn' for the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway and
a Ryde Pier Drewry Railcar for the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Passenger rides were available on the
works railway from outside the workshop up to the loco shed behind the works. 0-4-0ST 'Woto'
(WB2133/1924) and 0-4-0ST 'Peter Pan' (KS4256/1922) took turns hauling one 4w covered coach,
titled 'Hayfield & Whaley Bridge Railway' (thought to be a temporary line). A new branch line is under
construction, with earthworks virtually complete, down to a new house being constructed adjacent to
the works. Refreshments were available along with a number of sales stands. A good number of
familiar faces were noted - railway owners (both public and private), journalists and enthusiasts.

MR205] Hayling Seaside Railway, Hampshire (MR p18) (BLN 1246.MR201): Our roving reporter made
a visitation on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August. Travelling to the railway, he noted South West Trains
(run by Stagecoach) was operating a Saturday service - but the '30/31' bus service from Havant (also
operated by Stagecoach) was only operating a Sunday service, although with cancellations and heavy
delays due to multiple roadworks. At Beachlands the concrete surface of the new platform appears
completed, as is the ramp. Fencing, shelter and trackwork remain to be completed. At Eastoke Corner
the new shed/workshop is progressing, but still has no track inside. In use was steam outline 0-4-0DH
No3 'Jack' (AK23/1988) with four bogie coaches.

BLN 1267.MR206] Perrygrove Railway, Gloucestershire (MR p18) (BLN 1189.MR134): A gala was held
on this 15" gauge railway on Saturday & Sunday 17 & 18 September - the first day coinciding with the
open day at Alan Keef Limited (see MR206 above) - when this reporter visited. An intensive service was
operated with 'Service', 'Mixed', 'Shuttle' and 'Goods' trains. The 'Service' train, formed of four covered
coaches, ran over the whole line from Perrygrove to Oakiron, as did the 'Mixed' train, which was
formed of one covered coach and some goods wagons. The 'Shuttle' (offering some very rare track)
and 'Goods' trains ran only between Perrygrove and Rookwood stations. Formed of 0-4-0 No27 'Soony'
(J Nemeth/2012) and one open coach, the former departed from the run-round loop at Perrygrove and
ran into Rookwood P1. Here the loco ran-round and then propelled the coach through P1 to reverse at
the Oakiron end and return through P2 and into the siding. Our reporter asked if the train could run to
the far end of the siding, and this request was granted by the friendly driver and guard! After laying
over while two trains passed at Rookwood, the loco propelled the coach out of the siding into P2 and
then hauled it back to Perrygrove run-round loop. Working the other trains in rotation, sometimes
doubled headed, were: 0-4-0TT 'St Egwin' (Exmoor Steam Railway 312/2003) and 0-4-2T 'Monty'
(Exmoor Steam Railway 300/1996) both visiting from the Evesham Vale Light Railway, 0-6-0T 'Sandy'
(Exmoor Steam Railway 301/1996) visiting from the private Wotton Light Railway with home locos 0-6-
0T 'Spirit of Adventure' (Exmoor Steam Railway 295/1993) and 0-6-2T 'Anne' (Exmoor Steam Railway
323/2004). Adult (unlimited riding), was £7, which was very reasonable for what was on offer.

X.163] Lea Bailey Railway (LBR): (BLN 1260.1370) More very choice 2ft gauge track was available at
this obscure location also on 17 & 18 Sep hidden in the Forest of Dean, close to Alan Keef (MR 204)
and the Perrygrove Railway (previous item). Information was sent out with e-BLN 1255; open:

Download tThere is more information on website. The line
runs from Lea Bailey Goldmine (80yd inside
a tunnel) then makes a sharp right angle
bend left onto the standard gauge trackbed
of the Mitcheldean Road & Forest of Dean
Junction Railway, (later GWR). This line was
built from Whimsey (Cinderford) to
Micheldean Road on the Hereford, Ross &
Gloucester Railway, but never used north of
Drybrook Quarry which branch opened in
1885. Passenger services ran from Drybrook

Halt south from 1907 until
1930. The north section
remained dormant. The
very friendly LBR is
regulated by the Mines Act
so once a year some rock
has to be mined (but not
gold - they are no fools!).
No rides are permitted on
the railway but their
members can now receive
driver training on open
days. ABOVE LEFT: the BLN
Editor, a new LBR member,
drives (under training);
well known BLS/LBR man

[BLN 1267]
Terry Velvick, from Eastbourne is the trainee guard having previously driven. This is along the standard
gauge trackbed towards Drybrook. In true BLS tradition, both sides of the loop and to the end of line
were naturally covered. Rails are on site for a possible significant future south extension. LOWER LEFT:
The Editor is now guarding as the train (being driven by a third BLS member, there were quite a few
about) turns sharp left off the Gold Mine branch onto the standard gauge alignment (which continues
straight ahead towards Mitcheldean Road ). The gold mine tunnel mouth was reached where the roof
becomes too low to take the Simplex locomotive inside, let alone a driver! (BLN 1213.MR114) had an
extensive report on the LBR with historical background. (Pictures by Martin Connop Price 17 Sep 2016)

MR207] Watford Miniature Railway, Hertfordshire (MR p18) (BLN 1249.MR10): With a few micro-
seconds to spare, our roving reporter, on the way home, visited this 10¼" gauge railway on Sunday 28
August. In use was steam outline 'Thomas' 4wPH (M Stuart/1976), with the tender off a steam loco
built by Willis. Passenger stock was a quin-artic set of open coaches in blue livery. This ran from the far
platform - the near platform appeared to be out of use. The track to the near loco shed was shiny, but
the tracks to the two other sheds were covered in vegetation. 'Conway Castle' 4w-4wDH (Fenlow/
1972) was on standby. All shed doors were closed and no other stock was externally visible. Passenger
loadings have apparently been adversely affected by the rebuilding of the adjacent paddling pool etc.

MR208] Stapleford Miniature Railway, Leicestershire (MR p19) (BLN 1229.MR36): A visit to this 10¼"
gauge railway on Sunday 28 August, during their Open Weekend, found it very busy. The previous
weekend a tree had fallen across the line and needed to be cut up and the track relaid. Two trains
were in service with five locomotives and both platforms in use - with the triangle used to turn locos.
Adult fares were £2 per single trip for which card tickets were issued and collected before boarding. A
'three trip' ticket for £5.25 was a paper ticket clipped each time. The Syston Scouts Band travelled on
the 15.30 trip armed with their instruments and gave a moving performance (!) accompanying the
train throughout its journey - quite a sight as the music drifted over the rolling Parkland! Opening
dates for 2017 are 10/11 June and 26/27/28 August.

MR209] Statfold Barn Railway, Staffordshire (MR p24) (BLN 1064.MR67): See below for a recent plan
(download E-BLN on to your device to rotate it through 90o or 270o) which is thanks to Martyn
Brailsford (includes information kindly supplied by Tom Gilby). Your correspondent was one of 1,600
with an invitation on Saturday 10 September to the Enthusiast's Day and Traction Engine Rally. No less
than 18 locos were in steam, with many trains double headed or top and tailed - there were even two
trains on the Garden Railway. Some major track changes have taken place since our visit of 30 March
2014 (report BLN 1207 p147). The 2ft 6in gauge track has gone and the two running lines were working
independently apart from the single track balloon loop. At Statfold the three platform lines run to the
turntable and the layout at the signalbox end has been altered giving two facing and two trailing
crossovers with an extended headshunt giving access to the Garden line.

Tracklaying for the new 3ft 6in Tramway has begun - the two road depot track is laid and will run to
Oaktree Halt. A new turnout for a Branch line crosses the Tramway. Cogan Halt is located at the
balloon loop and a train off the Upper Field ('High') line can overtake another train here and use the
loop first. At the Grainstore, DIY track was possible inside the otherwise empty two road shed
alongside (not done by our trip). Two pump-trolleys side-by-side were available on a have-a-go basis.
Inside the Grainstore was Burton and Ashby Tramcar No14, recently repatriated and undergoing
conversion to battery power. It will then operate on the new Tramway. A popular attraction operating
on the Upper Field line was 'The Goose', a replica of an American truck-derived Railcar, but using a
Morris lorry chassis and seating 18. The particular attraction for BLS members is that it has to be driven
forwards so, after picking up at P3, it proceeded onto the (remote controlled) turntable, turned, and
continued to the balloon loop and back. There is a 'Giant Miniature Weekend' over 6 & 7 May 2017.


BLN 1267.MR210] Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Powys (MR p30) (BLN 1250.MR25): BLN
1193.MR188 reported that in 2013 Castle Caereinion loop was basically only used for Driver
Experience trains and during the annual September Gala. The main loop was Cyfronydd (closer to
Llanfair Caereinion), then used to cross trains when the public timetable showed a two train service
running. However, the 2016 timetable suggests that Castle Caereinion, rather
than Cyfronydd, is now the normal crossing loop when a two train service is operating except for 'pink
timetable' days (TWThO in August) when Cyfronydd appeared to be used. Both loops saw extensive
use during the September 2016 Gala. Half barriers and warning lights are now installed at Castle
Caereinion crossing. According to a local press report (Oswestry & Border Chronicle, 16 April 2015),
they were brought into use at the start of the 2015 season because of increasing road traffic and were
entirely funded by the railway. For westbound trains, activation is by a plunger on the station platform
(there is no platform on the loop line). Eastbound trains activate them automatically but there is a
further plunger near that side of the crossing to inhibit this if necessary. It was previously an open
crossing in common with all others on the line but with trains flagged across. A similar installation has
been considered for the other classified road crossing at Dolarddyn, but no action has yet taken place.


X.164] PREVIOUS PAGE: (BLN 1265.MR178) The South Tynedale Railway at the former standard
gauge Alston terminus on 2 Oct; at Easter services are due to be extended from Lintley Halt (3¼
miles) to Slaggyford (4½ miles). (All pictures Ian Hughes) ABOVE: Loading materials for the extension;
Alston level crossing at the end of September. BELOW LEFT: The extension a couple of hundred yards
beyond Lintley viaduct looking north towards the A698 (B6292 on map below) road bridge.

railhead (at the end of September) about ¼
mile beyond the road bridge in the picture
next to it; looking north towards
Slaggyford. LEFT: 1951/52 one inch map
showing the standard gauge Alston
(bottom right) to
Slaggyford (top
left) section (CA 3 May 1976), Lintley is
marked. The South Tynedale Railway
would like reopen the whole 13 mile
branch to Haltwhistle - does anyone have
the required £22M spare?


Please mention the BLS when booking or enquiring.
Details must be checked with the organisers.

2100] Churwell Woodland Railway: Clark
Spring Wood, Community Field Centre,
gate off Westwood Side, Morley, LS27 7UQ.
(SE 2654 2934). About a mile to walk from
Cottingley station. Probably too late for
2016, but a new 7¼" ground level railway,
that first ran for the public on 10 Sep. It is
scheduled to run on the second and fourth
Saturday of the month 14.00-16.00 from
March until the end of October; 50p per trip. Trains run from Troll Bridge Halt
terminus returning via a balloon loop. Halloween (fully booked) and Santa specials are running. Follow
the path from the dipping pond towards the road to 'Westonwood Side', there is a notice board on the
right. Go through the barriers; cross the road and follow the path, the railway is on the right.

2101] Rudyard Lake Steam railway 29 to 31 Oct: (MR p23) Rudyard Road, Leek, ST13 8PF (SJ956579).
An unusual chance to ride behind a steam loco for the full 1¼ miles of this 10¼" gauge line after dark,
of former standard gauge trackbed departures at 17.00, 18.00 & 19.00 01538306704.

X.165 The North London Railway Historical Society, Wed 9 Nov 14:15:
Keen House, 4 Calshot Street, London, N1 9DA. 020-7837-254 a few
minutes walk from King's Cross/St Pancras. (If the door is locked, ring the
lower door bell.) 'The Network South East Story' by railway entrepreneur,
ex-BR manager Chris Green who perhaps more than any other
spearheaded the railway renaissance in London and the South East. The
venue opens half an hour before hot drinks available. The very sociable
Society was founded in 1989, produces an illustrated journal three times a
year, holds five meetings a year, guests are welcome, and additional
'outings'/visits. Membership is £18 per year (£15 if over 65). For more
information, samples for journal etc see website.

2102] Appleby Frodingham Railway Preservation Society, Scunthorpe Steel Works: For those unable
to come on our now fully booked 7 Jan trip; steam-hauled brake van tours (by donation on the day) of
approx 4 hours to the more obscure parts of the massive site, minimum age 10 years. Includes a shed
visit (refreshments and toilets available). Departs 11.00 from the AFRPS platform Sun 1 & Sats 28 Jan,
25 Feb, 25 Mar & 22 Apr. Advance booking required [email protected] or 01652 657053. 

[BLN 1267]
X.166 Southend Pier Railway: (MR p17) This 3ft gauge 1¼ mile line on the World's longest pleasure
pier is open 08.15 to 18.00 (SSuX)/20.00 (SSuO) until 4 Nov then 09.15 to 17.00 MTX until March 2017
plus all school and public holidays except Christmas Day. Last entry one hour before closing. Trains
leave the shore end on the hour and half hour (until one hour before closing) and the pier end at
quarter to and quarter past the hour until 15 minutes before closing (sic). £4.50 return, £2.50 (senior,
disabled and carer/student with ID); £11.50 family (2A&2C) all day ticket £6.50/£3.30/£16 respectively.

X.167] .STOP PRESS. Norton Bridge station closure proposal: On 19 October the Department for

Transport (motto: 'Moving Britain Ahead') commenced consultation on their proposal to close the
station (which has not had a train service since 23 Feb 2004) on or after 15 Oct 2017 and to withdraw
the rail replacement bus service that has run since. The cost of building a new station is put at £18M,
and it would only serve a population of 600. Additionally, the further cost of a new station in terms of
increased journey time and 'increased performance risk' for other rail passengers is put at £19.7M. The
proposal states that a consequence of the station closure is that the bus service (to Norton Bridge)
would no longer need to be provided, saving a subsidy of £40K per year. The 38 return bus journeys
per week average one passenger per bus. The vast majority of passengers are concessionary pass
holders travelling free not rail passenger - the average number of rail passengers per week is two.
Ticket sales may now increase by those wanting souvenirs! The anytime single from Norton Bridge to
Stafford is £1.30. Really good value is the Norton Bridge single to Stone at £1.60 which allows a bus
ride to Stafford then train from there to Stone (the train fare from Stafford to Stone is £3). Tickets are
available on line. Interested people have until 3 Feb 2017 to make their representations on the closure
proposals. Https:// has more. One wonders how much the closure procedure is costing!


Membership: Alan Welsh, 22 Treemount Court, Grove Ave., EPSOM, KT17 4DU. [email protected] 01372 728677.
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Assistant Distribution Officer: Ronald Jackson, 67 Lakenheath, LONDON, N14 4RR. [email protected]
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Publications / Society Cartographer: Martyn Brailsford, 18 Queen St. Brimington, CHESTERFIELD, S43 1HT [email protected]
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There are 4 ordinary Committee members, Graeme Jolley & Dave Cromarty plus:
Helen Cromarty [email protected] and
William Graveson [email protected]
Fixtures Secretary: Kev Adlam, 53 Kemble Close, Wistaston, CREWE CW2 6XN. [email protected] Twitter: @BLSGeneralSec
General Secretary: Tim Wallis, 10 Sandringham Road, Stoke Gifford, BRISTOL, BS34 8NP. [email protected]
Chairman: John Williamson, 'La Marguerite', Croit-E-Quill Rd., LAXEY, Isle of Man, IM4 7JD. [email protected]
Treasurer: Ian Mortimer, 69 Malmesbury Road, Cheadle Hulme, CHEADLE Cheshire SK8 7QL. [email protected]
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