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Published by membersonly, 2019-05-30 18:07:05

1329

1st June 2019

Number 1329 (Items 1242 - 1390 & MR 86 - MR 100) (E-BLN 75 PAGES) 1 Jun 2019

BRANCH LINE NEWS

Respice in praeteritum, praesens et futurum
Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955
branchline.uk https://m.facebook.com/BranchLineSociety/

Membership Enquiries, Alan Welsh [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677

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

…………… BLN 1330 is dated Sat 15 Jun :e-BLN 1330 is out FRIDAY 14 Jun;: contributions by Wed 5 Jun

THIS MAY BE YOUR FINAL BLN!: (if you have not renewed your membership)

Date Event and details ciety.Soc=iePtyle. ase Book Online BLN Lead Status
Sat 1 Jun
10.30 Exbury Garden/14.45 Netley *EXTRA PLACES AVAILBLE* 1327 MG OPEN

Sun 9 Jun The Sunday Yicker Crewe 09.30-19.10 Class 31/:37: tour Below MG OPEN

Wed 12 Jun All day Liverpool Lime Street Saveaway Tracker (Tom Gilby) 1326 TG OPEN

Thur 13 Jun The Conwy Cat Track & Traction tour; Crewe to Chester Below MG OPEN

Fri 28 Jun Blyth & Tyne Box visits (e-BLN 1328) FULL WAITING LIST 1328 NJ FULL

Sat 29 Jun 17.30 The Seaton Surveyor comprehensive tram tour Below MG OPEN

7 and 8 Jul Sun & Mon; Devon service train tracker NOTIFY INTEREST 1326 MH Notify

Sat 13 Jul K&ESR The Andrew Wilson (Brillo) Memorial Charter 1328 MG OPEN

Sat 20 Jul Tour to four freight locations APPLY FOR WAITING LIST 1327 MG APPLY

Sat 27 Jul The return of Thunder Vac 50008 (D408), circular tour Below MG OPEN

Sun 28 Jul The Steel City Special, Sheffield Supertram WAITING LIST 1325 MG APPLY

26 - 28 Jul Society rare track tour in south Austria 1318 PG OPEN

Sat 10 Aug Type 3 to the Sea, loco hauled tour Crewe - Portsmouth Below MG OPEN

Sun 11 Aug The Tri County Triple Tractor; Crewe - Lancaster 3 x Cl 37s Below MG OPEN
Mon 26 Aug 09.30-18.30 Scunthorpe Steeler No19 APPLY WAITING LIST 1328 MG APPLY

6 - 8 Sep Save the dates; Society Track & Traction railtour in Norway TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 14 Sep Save the date; provisional track tour to East Anglia, re-dated TBA TBA Claimed

Sun 6 Oct Save the date for a main line railtour TBA TBA Claimed

15 - 17 Nov Provisional, Barrow Hill AGM with fixtures, talk & Sunday tour TBA TBA Claimed

7-10 May 20 Save the dates for Island of Ireland V weekend (see below) TBA TBA Claimed

MG = Mark Gomm; MH = Mark Haggas; NJ = Nick Jones; PG = Paul Griffin; TG = Tom Gilby; Contacts: back page.

1242] :The Sunday Yicker, Sun 9 Jun (1):: A charity auction item on this tour is a visit to Central Rivers
Depot. Subject to online safety certification it includes: ●Administration: The Offices and Reception area,
Training Department, Restaurant & Welfare facilities, Operations Block (Ops Control & Production offices),
Fleet and Planning office (VEMS & AVIS introduction) and Rotables component repair facility. ●Production
facility: Wheel Lathe Plant, Heavy Maintenance facility (Train Lift, Mechan Jacks, Windhoff Powerpack Lift
Table, Cummins Powerpack and Voith Axle replacement facility), Major Exam and Roof Access roads, Light
Maintenance roads with underframe access and train-side access, Train Tilting maintenance and test road,
Train Service Exam and Underframe cleaning/Biohazard cleaning road, HVAC Test and rectification area.
●Internal Voyager Tour (Walk through a Voyager on maintenance - subject to availability). ● Yard and Fuel
Point facility: Fuel Point and reception road, Automated Vehicle Inspection System, Car-wash plant,
Voyager stabling roads. ●Class 08 Shunter move (footplate experience) - subject to availability.

1243] :The Sunday Yicker, Sun 9 Jun (2) UPDATE:: Updating BLN 1325.645 for participants: Included is
Crewe South Jn electrified Shunt Neck, Stone Jn trailing X/O, Sideway Jn Dn Passenger Loop - Stoke P2 - Up
Goods at Stoke North Jn, then at Cliffe Vale Jn right across to the Down Goods to Grange Jn. Also Alsager
Up and Down Goods Loop, Crewe North Jn EMU Stabling Siding. Dallam Royal Mail Terminal (RMT), south
short bay P3 then into Dallam Yard No1 Siding, Dallam RMT P2 & P1 and Up Slow in Down direction to
Winwick Jn. Then Down Slow at Golborne Jn, Springs Branch No1 Jn, Down Goods to WN51 signal, reverse
behind WN55 signal. From WN55 signal via the Up Goods to Bamfurlong Jn; Haydock Branch Jn - Haydock
Branch (NR boundary). Liverpool: Crown St Jn Up Slow - Lime Street P1, Garston Chord, Garston Departure
Line. Ditton West Jn No2 Reception Line. Up Slow - Crewe P12. On the day Adlam surprises also possible!

X.56] :The Conwy Cat, Thur 13 Jun UPDATE:: Latest route/timing information (final timings will come with
tickets): Crewe P12 08.19 - Dn Slow - 158m 73ch - Dn Fast. Hartford Jn Dn Slow. Ditton Reception Sdg No2.
Lime Street P6 09.30/42. Halewood (Jaguar Cars) Reception Line No1. Halton Jn - Frodsham Jn. Through
Ellesemere Port. Hooton Long Siding (end of line). Chester North Jn - South Jn - Down Slow - Roodee Jn.
Mostyn Up Goods Loop (in both directions). Rhyl Down Main. Llandudno Junction P1 (possible photo stop)
in Down direction. Bangor Down Main. Holyhead Carriage Siding. Holyhead 13.56/14.48 (break). Bangor Up
Main. Llandudno Junction P1 in the Up direction. Roodee Jn Up Slow - Chester P4 16.36.

1244] :The Seaton Surveyor; Sat 29 Jun, 17.30-20.30:: (BLN 1328.1119), No14, is a 1904 ex-Metropolitan
Electric Tramways (not Railway) type 'A'. The fares including a hot drink and bacon roll are: BLS members
£25, U18s (must be accompanied by a fare paying adult) £12.50; non members supplement £5. Those
signed up to our email message service were notified on 11 May. Online booking is very helpful, or please
ask someone to do this for you. Otherwise cheques payee 'Branch Line Society' or CPA to Mark Gomm per
back page with BLS Membership No/s (non-members welcome), and an email address or First Class 'C5'
(minimum) SAE. Please advise if you can help with lifts from/to Axminster station and how many, or if you
would like one. Bus 885 connects Axminster with Colyton, Seaton and Beer, particularly for those wanting
to travel on some earlier service tram runs, visit the Beer Heights Light Railway or the exhibition there.

1245] :The Return of Thunder Vac; Sat 27 Jul, UPDATE:: Derby departure (07.57) connects with the 05.48
ex-St Pancras (Derby 07.42) with a backup Long Eaton pickup (08.09). A Skipton set down (17.43/53) may
also allow a photo stop; Sheffield set down (20.18) connects with London trains. [Times are provisional.]

1246] :Type 3 to the Sea; Sat 10 Aug:: A low flying highly unusual Crewe to Portsmouth and return tour,
with www.hovertravel.co.uk Hovertravel. The City of Portsmouth, the UK's only island city, has numerous
museums (including the Royal Navy Museum) and two cathedrals. It is the gateway to the Isle of Wight by
the world's only all year regular commercial hovercraft. The fully accessible 78 seat hovercraft takes you
between Southsea and Ryde in just 10 mins, flying across the water with 800,000 passengers per year.

Our train of West Coast Railways (WCR) Mk1 stock with three WCR Class 37s with two expected to lead to
Portsmouth, with one on the rear and a different pairing leading on the return journey.
Unusual track has been requested (including Baker level Coventry North Yard No1 Road which is due to be
remodelled item 1342) with four hours at Portsmouth. Thanks to Hovertravel, there are special off train
options. With one, new water is available - a Hovercraft charter off its booked service route to Lee-on-the-
Solent to visit the Hovercraft Museum! We are raising funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
(RNLI), who save lives at sea and along our shores 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There will be a selection
of hand pulled real ales, a RNLI Souvenir/ Gift shop, a charity raffle and an original nameplate auction,
along with many other surprises! A Buffet Car will serve hot snacks, sandwiches and hot/cold drinks.

Requested route: Crewe P5 (PU 05.23) - Stafford P4 (PU 06.15) - Colwich Jn Up Slow - Curborough Jn Up
Fast - Amington UF to US - Nuneaton P5 (PU 07.05) - Rugby - Milton Keynes - Watford Junction P9 (PU
09.10) - Wembley European Freight Operating Centre (No2 Reception and Departure requested) -
Willesden No7 Jn - Acton Wells Jn - South Acton Jn - Kew East Jn - Virginia Water - Woking - Brookwood
DS to DF - Basingstoke - Wallers Ash Down Loop - Shawford P3 - Eastleigh Dn Carriage Sidings - Botley -
Cosham Jn - Fratton P3 - Portsmouth & Southsea P2 (SD 12.50) - Portsmouth Harbour P3 (SD 12.56).

Portsmouth Harbour P3 (PU 17.06) - Fratton - Havant - Haslemere P3 (UPL) - Guildford P8 - Wokingham
- Reading Spur Jn - Reading Low Level Line - Reading P14 (SD 19.01) - Didcot Avoiding Line - Oxford P4 -
Oxford Dn Passenger Loop - Banbury P1 - Leamington Spa Dn Main - Coventry P4 - Coventry North
Yard* - Nuneaton P2 (SD 21.30) - Stafford P5 (SD 22.23) - Norton Bridge Dn Slow - Crewe P12 (SD 22.47)

FARES: ●Adult Standard Class £89.00. ●First Class Plus with light refreshments £139.00. ●First Class Table
for two supplement per person £15.00. ●U18s £45 reduction (must be accompanied by a booked adult).
●Non BLS members £12.00 premium all fares. (*Note Coventry North Yard is subject to final approval.)
Off Train options, arranged by Hovertravel with 'Visit Portsmouth' and 'Visit Isle of Wight' A percentage of
the revenue will be donated to the RNLI, thanks to Hovertravel. Both Griffon 12000TD hovercrafts ('Solent
Flyer' and 'Island Flyer') are expected to be in use. U18s must be accompanied by a fare paying adult.

>Option 1, The Princess Anne: Bus Portsmouth Harbour to Southsea Hoverport, then by one of the two
hovercrafts to Lee-on-the-Solent Hovercraft Museum, with two hours on site. The Hovercraft will perform
a capability demo en route which is not to be missed! www.hovercraft-museum.org £35 Adult; £20 U18.

>Option 2, The Cosham Completer: Additional Class 37 mileage to Eastleigh. Portsmouth Harbour P3 (PU
13.05) - Cosham - Eastleigh P3 (SD 13.59). After a leg-stretch break, return to Portsmouth: Eastleigh P2 (PU
16.13) - Cosham - Portsmouth Harbour P3 (SD 16.57). Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway near Southampton
Airport Parkway station www.steamtrain.co.uk should be running. Mainline train only: £10 Adult; £5 U18.

>Option 3, Gunwharf Premium Outlet/Emirates Spinnaker Tower/Old Portsmouth including the historic
harbour: A guided walk courtesy of 'Visit Portsmouth'. £0.01 to facilitate mandatory advance booking.

>Option 4, Bus from Harbour Station to the D-Day Story Museum: www.theddaystory.com Told through
the personal accounts of people who were there and brought to life through stunning audio-visual
presentations alongside iconic objects from the Museum's collection. £9.50 Adult; £4.60 U18.

>Option 5, Hover to the Island: Return trip to the Isle of Wight by Hovercraft on the Griffon 12000TD
hovercrafts. Plan your trip to 'red pen' both crafts! £20 Adult; £10 U18.

>Option 6, Underground Flyer: Take a return flight to the Isle of Wight by Hovercraft and enjoy a return
trip on the Island Line to Shanklin, featuring the unique Class 483 EMUs. £24 Adult; £12 U18.

Off train options MUST be pre-selected and paid for at time of booking, please book online or per 1244.

1247] :The Tri County Triple Tractor; Sun 11 Aug:: Thanks to WCR, following 'Type 3 to the Sea' our 3 Class
37s lead together from Crewe to Lancaster across three counties - Cheshire, Greater Manchester and
Lancashire. Regrettably, your Sunday roast may need to be put on hold or fed to the dog. With advance
notice, maybe Chef Mike R O'wave can save the day? All profits donated to the RNLI. Standard Class (only)
£25; U18s £12.50 reduction (must be adult accompanied); non-members £12 extra. Book as 1244 above.

Requested route: (single trip only) Crewe P12 (PU 12.13) - Warrington Bank Quay P3 (PU/SD 12.39) -
Wigan North Western P5 (PU/SD 13.00) - Preston P3 (PU/SD 13.18) - Lancaster P1 (SD 13.45).

1248] :Island of Ireland V; Thur 7 - Sun 10 May 2020:: Avoiding the two Bank Holidays when hotels
and flights are expensive. Provisionally Thur 7th train Dublin Heuston (07.35) to Westport (rare track
at Athlone) for a coach to the 15" gauge, 700yd, Westport House Express and 3ft gauge Bog Train
near Crossmolina, then train from Ballina to Dublin. Fri 8th is a group day out from Dublin on Irish Rail
to the Nenagh and Waterford lines (Kilkenny all three sides of triangle). Sat 9 May is earmarked for
our third Irish Rail rare track tour. Sunday is reserved for a coach trip from Dublin to the Downpatrick
& County Down Railway, dropping off at Belfast City Airport for evening flights, and Belfast Lanyon
Place. These are dates for your diary - do NOT book hotels/flights that cannot be changed.

1329 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
['Significant' route infrastructure and service changes, past and proposed; openings and closures]

1249] Wolverhampton; Portobello Jn - Bushbury Jn&Oxley, Stafford Rd Jn-Bushbury (Oxley) Jn: (BLN
1328.1124) TCA, (Down direction) 02.57 Fri 29 Mar, ROA 09.44 Sun 12 May 2019 after new pointwork
was installed. The 5mph temporary speed over the junction switch diamond has been withdrawn.

1250] Overpool station: (BLN 1311.1736) Down P1 (to Ellesmere Port) is TCP Sat 27 Apr to Sat 15 Jun -
Phase 10 of the Merseyrail platform and track alterations for the new rolling stock. Passengers from
Liverpool/Hooton direction travel through to Ellesmere Port non-stop, returning to alight at Overpool
P2. Passengers from there to Ellesmere Port change at Little Sutton (Cheshire!) and double back.

1251] Cromer Jn - Sheringham (NR incl) and West Runton: (BLN 1328.1136) ROP Wed 22 May 2019
(TCP Sun 31 Mar originally to Sun 5 May for reconstruction, lengthening, widening and improvement
of Sheringham platform costing £1M). The delayed reopening was due to a fault in a batch of platform
beams, then signalling problems. On Wed 8 May the possession was lifted for the return Sheringham
North Norfolk Railway (12.00/12.56 - 24 min early) to Cromer (12.21/12.36) dining train.

1252] Sheffield Supertram; Shalesmoor (excl) - Middlewood/Malin Bridge (incl) & 6 stops (Area 2):
(BLN 1328.1127) TCP Sun 2 Jun, due until Thur 18 Jul 2019 (incl) to replace rails installed in the 1990s.
Trams (Blue Route from Halfway) turnback in Shalesmoor outbound platform, traversing the trailing
crossover on departure. The Yellow Route from Meadowhall Interchange runs as far as Cathedral.The
Hillsborough (excl) - Middlewood/Malin Bridge peripheral sections have been TCP since Fri 19 Apr.

1253] Londonderry: (BLN 1323.462) Target opening for the new station is Tue 22 Oct 2019; a line
closure is expected before to connect up/commission the new track and signalling. The new P1 buffer
stops are 6ch nearer Coleraine than current P1 and new P2 buffer stops are 3ch nearer Coleraine than
new P1. It is significantly further northeast than the present station (OP 24 Feb 1980), which as well as
being a longer line, is well worth doing. The new station returns the line to the pre-1980 Londonderry
Waterside station route, (the building is being refurbished but the platforms are outside the shed).

1254] Havant Jn - Chichester (excl) & six stations: TCP Sat 26 Oct - Sun 3 Nov (incl) a half-term closure
for engineering works. [Extends to Barnham (excl) both weekends and Sundays 10, 17, 30 Nov & 1 Dec.]

1255] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered

BLN Start (incl) Reopens Location (stations exclusive when bracketed) bold = closed now

1322.242 28 Sep 18 Unknown CairnGorm Mountain Railway, 'Base Station' - Ptarmigan
1326.918 16 Mar 19 Unknown Llandudno Jn - Blaenau Ffestiniog [ROP to Llanrwst by 2 Aug??]
1328.1128 19 Apr 19 *Sheffield Supertram (Hillsborough) - Middlewood/Malin Bridge
1328.1137 25 May 19 3 Jun 19 *Wickford Jn - Southend Victoria
1322.247 28 May 19 3 Jun 19 *(Kettering) - Market Harborough - Wigston North Jn
1316.2303 3 Jun 19 Mid Hants Railway; Alton P3 - (Medstead & Four Marks)
1328.1332 2 Jan 19 Late Jul 19 *(Dyce) - (Inverurie)
1328.1133 4 May 19 19 Aug 19 *Inverurie - (Huntly)
1326.788 15 Jun 19 19 Aug 19 (Lisburn) - (Portadown)
1328.1196 26 Jul 19 24 Aug 19 *Cowley Bridge Jn - (Taunton); Cogload Jn - Worle Jn/Weston-S-M
1325.655 9 Nov 19 16 Nov 19 Reedham Jn - Berney Arms request stop - (Great Yarmouth)
20 Oct 18 Mar 2020?

1329 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

1256] HST Farewell: (BLN 1327.1051) A Midland member, delighted to have acquired a Senior Railcard
recently [no need to take his wife on a Two Together anymore!], decided to say goodbye to the GWR
HSTs with a trip to Malvern (Great choice) on the last day, Sat 18 May. His journey to Euston was
uneventful, likethe tube to Paddington; where the platform was not yet displayed. So he walked up to
the only HST in the station, and settled into a window seat in the sixth row of coach 'A' 20 minutes
before the 11.22 departure time. Timing was good until Didcot, where the train turned north slowly;
and came to a stand near Oxford. An announcement blamed a slow running steam train in front -
a signalling fault was also admitted to later. There were many photographers recording the train, but
few enthusiasts aboard. A deer was seen bounding through fields near Kingham, where three cyclists
alighted; that won't be so easy on an IET (bike reservations are compulsory). An announcement was
made that the train would terminate and reverse in Worcester Foregate Street station; later amended
to Shrub Hill, where arrival was 37 minutes down. The train recessed in the 'Long Siding' at the London
end of the station Down side, to allow a diverted Plymouth to Manchester Voyager to pass through
non-stop (DMU 172222 was stabled on the centre road). The return trip was uneventful, but back at
Paddington the platform ends were crowded with over 200 enthusiasts/photographers recording the
departure of HSTs (P1-4) 43188, 162, 009, & 198 [Including our Malvern member David Guy - BELOW
AND NEXT PAGE]. Horns were blown vigorously on departure; after the last train left, the watchers
broke out in a round of applause. It was all rather quiet after that....

1257][With thaks to Richard Maund.]PSUL 2019 - UPDATEXX X][With thanks to Richard Maund]

Minor retimings of a few minutes either way are ignored but the latest version of PSUL can
always be found on-line via www.branchline.uk/PSULintro.php The following alterations are
additional to those given in BLN 1326 and incorporate the changes in the 19 May 2019 timetable

Page 5: Trent East Jn - Toton Centre: add 1V81 0545 SO Sheffield - Reading

Page 5: Attenborough Jn - Toton Centre: add 1Y03 0601/0603 SuX Sheffield - Nottingham

Page 5: Trent Jns (Gainsborough) - Wrawby Jn: amend heading to: Gainsborough Central -
Wrawby Jn

Page 5: Allington West Jn - Allington North Jn: add: Saturdays 20 July until 7 September
2019: 1S01 0753 Derby - Skegness; 1S02 1140 Skegness - Derby; 1S04 1235 Skegness -
Nottingham; Sundays until 8 September 2019: 2S09 0900 Nottingham - Skegness; 2S14 1227,
2A58 1622 Skegness - Nottingham

Page 6: Greenford LUL Bay Jn (South Jn) - Northolt Jn: 2V27 1102 SSuX South Ruislip -West
Ealing retimed to 1055

Page 6: Sudbury Jn - Willesden West London Jn: delete 2Y24 1954 SSuX Birmingham New
Street - Euston; add 9Y24 1805 SSuX Liverpool Lime Street - Euston

Page 6: Willesden Suburban Jn - Kensal Green Jn: delete 2N69 0015 TWThFSO and 2N68
2359 SSuX Stratford - Willesden Junction Low Level

Page 6: add: [Junction Road Jn - ] Covered Way west end - Gospel Oak Jn (62) LC02 {service
restored} 2J34 2313 SSuX Barking - Hampstead Heath - but note it was retimed to terminate at
Upper Holloway until at least 31 May 2019

Page 7: Factory Jn - Stewarts Lane Jn - Grosvenor Bridge Jn (south-eastern side): delete
2K64 0828 SSuX Gillingham - Victoria

Page 8: Brixton Jn - Canterbury Road Jn - Cambria Jn: amend reporting number of 1807
SSuX from Victoria to 1F84

Page 8: Seven Sisters Jn - South Tottenham West Jn and South Tottenham East Jn -
Tottenham South Jn: the one train has not run by this route during current timetable period
and looks unlikely to do so soon

Page 9: King Edward Bridge South Jn - Gateshead High Level Bridge Jn: amend Table 26
trains to: Mondays to Fridays: 1S49 0925 FX Penzance - Dundee (until 5 September 2019);
1S49 0925 ThX Penzance - Dundee (from 9 September 2019); 9E16 1625 Liverpool Lime Street -
Newcastle; 1E64 1745 Reading - Newcastle; 1M76 1935 Newcastle - Birmingham New Street;
9M18 2001 Newcastle - Liverpool Lime Street; Saturdays: 1S49 0940 Newquay / 1125 Plymouth
- Dundee; 9E16 1625, 9E20 2025 Liverpool Lime Street - Newcastle; 1E64 1745 Reading -
Newcastle; 9M18 1958 Newcastle - Liverpool Lime Street; amend Table 48 trains to: Mondays
to Saturdays: 2N16 0803 SX, 1N56 0820 SO Carlisle - Newcastle; 1N53 0618 Saltburn - Carlisle
(train uses this route leaving Newcastle); 1N73 1808 Newcastle - Prudhoe

Page 9: add: King Edward Bridge North Jn - Gateshead Park Lane Jn (44) YD03 {service
resumed} [common with previous entry between King Edward Bridge East Junction and
Greensfield Junction] 2N02 0600 SuX Newcastle - Nunthorpe

Page 9: Darlington North Jn - South Jn (via main lines outside station): add: 9M05 0700 SO
Newcastle - Liverpool Lime Street; 1P22 1018 SO, 1P24 1117 SO Newcastle - Manchester Airport

Page 10: Bare Lane Jn - Hest Bank Jn: amend service to 2C99 0530 SuX Lancaster -
Morecambe (via Carnforth) (service now just this one train)

Page 10: Warrington Bank Quay - Walton Old Jn - Acton Grange Jn: amend service to:
Departures from Warrington Bank Quay to the Runcorn East line: Mondays - Fridays: 0746,
0945, 1045, 1147, 1245, 1346, 1420, 1446, 1520, 1646, 1845, 2046, 2238; Saturdays: 0546,
0748, 0946, 1046, 1147, 1245, 1446, 1618, 2046, 2350; Sundays: 1009 and hourly until 2003

Arrivals at Warrington Bank Quay from the Runcorn East line: Mondays to Fridays: 0621,
0646, 0745, 0827, 0845, 0947, 1044, 1139, 1235, 1345, 1437, 1538, 1639, 1736, 1747, 1840,
1930, 1939, 2027, 2043, 2127, 2150, 2224, 2348; Saturdays: 0622, 0646, 0745, 0829, 0849,
0928, 0946, 1039, 1139, 1235, 1345, 1439, 1526, 1540, 1640, 1735, 1844, 1927, 1939, 2030,
2042, 2225, 2249, 2348; Sundays: 1020, 1126, 1230, 1332, 1427, 1528, 1627, 1727, 1930,
2031, 2128, 2227, 2331, 2355

Caledonian Sleepers also use this route, apart from the following exceptions: (i) southbound
Inverness/Aberdeen/Fort William; (ii) Glasgow/Edinburgh in both directions on Sunday nights.
Page 10: Clitheroe - Hellifield Jn: amend service until 8 September to: Sundays: 1M46 0840
Blackpool North - Carlisle; 1M76 1748 Carlisle - Blackpool North (from 15 September resumes
printed service)

Page 11: Heald Green North Jn - Heald Green South Jn: add: 1H41 0613 SSuX Liverpool
Lime Street - Wilmslow; 1F92 0748 SSuX Wilmslow - Liverpool Lime Street; amend 2E37 2320
SO Wilmslow - Manchester Victoria to 2F19 2322 SO Wilmslow - Manchester Piccadilly

Page 11: Didcot West Curve Jn - Foxhall Jn: add: 2L01 0351 MSSuX Oxford - Reading

Page 11: [Harrowden Jn - ] Irchester South (site) - Souldrop (site) [ - Sharnbrook Jn] via
Sharnbrook Tunnel: add Belmond British Pullman excursion on Saturdays from Victoria to
Chesterfield for Chatsworth House and 1C98 0731 SSuX Derby - St Pancras International

Page 12: Reading East Main Jn, 8421 points - Reading Southern Jn: delete 1O56 0632 SO
Reading - Gatwick Airport; add 1E44 1214 SuO Guildford - Newcastle

Page 12: Reading New Jn - Reading Spur Jn: add 1O56 0632 SO Reading - Gatwick Airport;
delete 1E44 1214 SuO Guildford - Newcastle

Page 13: [Crediton - ] site of Coleford Junction - Sampford Courtenay - Okehampton: add:
Sundays until 8 September 2019: 2K02 0857, 2K04 1100, 2K08 1426 St. James Park -
Okehampton; 2K10 1705 Exeter St. Davids - Okehampton; 2J03 0953, 2J05 1214 Okehampton
- St. James Park; 2J09 1552, 2E27 1756 Okehampton - Exeter St Davids
Delete reference to Granite Line Ltd from notes

Page 13: add: Norchard Low Level - Norchard, Middle Forge Jn ground frame [Dean Forest
Railway] {service resumed} Yellow dates: 1025 Norchard - Lydney Junction; 1535 Lydney
Junction - Norchard; Purple dates: 1110 Norchard - Lydney Junction; 1545 Lydney Junction -
Norchard These details are subject to confirmation See also entry on page 22 .

Page 13: Worgret Junction - Norden [Swanage Railway]: add Saturdays until 7 September
2019: 1L11 1117, 2G03 1312, 2G05 1512 Wareham - Corfe Castle; 2G02 1210, 2G04 1445,
1L66 1545 Corfe Castle - Wareham

Page 14: Little Bridgeford Jn - Heamies Bridge: amend service to: Mondays to Fridays:
1F31 0552, 1F43 1218 and hourly until 1F53 1718 Birmingham International - Liverpool Lime

Street; 1U33 1146, 1U45 1746, 9K90 1852, 1U53 2149 Euston - Crewe; 9F54 1549 Euston -
Liverpool Lime Street; 1D19 2252 Birmingham New Street - Holyhead; Saturdays: 2U21 0637
Northampton - Crewe; 1U29 0946, 9F46 1149, 9K38 1910 Euston - Crewe; 9F50 1349, 9F52
1449, 9F54 1549, 9F56 1649, 9F58 1749 Euston - Liverpool Lime Street; 1F57 1919
Birmingham International - Liverpool Lime Street; Sundays: 1F51 1635 Birmingham New Street
- Liverpool Lime Street; 1F24 2121 Euston - Liverpool Lime Street; 1D33 2240 Birmingham
International - Holyhead; 1H77 2151 Euston - Manchester Piccadilly

Page 14: Norton Bridge Jn - Yarnfield Jn (Norton Bridge East Chord): amend service to
1G60 0912 SSuX Crewe - Stoke on Trent - Birmingham New Street; 1H22 0901 SuO
Birmingham New Street - Manchester Piccadilly; 1K44 0917 SuO Birmingham New Street -
Stoke on Trent - Crewe

Page 14: Bushbury Junction - Portobello Junction: add 9K10 0604 SO Northampton - Crewe

Page 14: Wolverhampton Crane Street Jn - Portobello Jn: add 1G44 1513 SuX Shrewsbury -
Birmingham New Street; amend Saturday service to: 2J00 0610 Wolverhampton - Walsall; 1G10
0813, 1G44 1513 Shrewsbury - Birmingham New Street; 1J74 2045 Birmingham New Street -
Shrewsbury; add Sunday service: 1L73 1012 Liverpool Lime Street - Birmingham New Street;
1G84 2108 Crewe - Birmingham New Street

Page 14: Darlaston Jn - Pleck Jn: 2J00 0638 SO Wolverhampton - Walsall retimed to 0610

Page 15: Soho South Jn - Perry Barr North Jn: amend service to: Mondays to Fridays: 2I47
0645 and hourly until 2I85 1847 Rugeley Trent Valley - Birmingham International; 1W70 0709
and hourly until 2C29 1918 Rugeley Trent Valley - Coventry / Euston; 2A80 0526, 2K54 0749
Birmingham New Street - Walsall / Rugeley Trent Valley; 9K48 0612 and hourly (except 1424)
until 9K70 1723 Euston - Rugeley Trent Valley; 9G37 1803, 9G43 2003, 9G48 2230, 9G49 2330
Euston - Wolverhampton; Saturdays: 9K10 0604 Northampton - Crewe; 9K46 0640
Northampton - Rugeley Trent Valley; 9K48 0624 and hourly until 9K70 1724 Euston - Rugeley
Trent Valley; 1J74 2045 Birmingham New Street - Shrewsbury; 1Y10 0606, 1Y22 0813 and
hourly until 2Y29 1914 Rugeley Trent Valley - Euston; 2I51 0753 and hourly until 2I85 1846
Rugeley Trent Valley - Birmingham International; 1G10 0813, 1G44 1513 Shrewsbury -
Birmingham New Street; Sundays: 2K58 1011 and hourly until 2K56 2208 Coventry - Walsall /
Rugeley Trent Valley; 1Y52 0914 Walsall - Euston; 2C07 1011, 2C11 1111, 2C15 1211 Walsall -
Coventry; 2C19 1241 and hourly until 2C47 1941 Rugeley Trent Valley - Coventry; 2Y55 2150
Rugeley Trent Valley - Northampton; 2K57 2252 Rugeley Trent Valley - Birmingham New Street;
1L73 1012 Liverpool Lime Street - Birmingham New Street

Page 15: Birmingham Grand Jn - St Andrew's Jn - Bordesley Jn - Lifford East Jn - Kings
Norton Jn: delete 1M20 0607 SO Worcester Shrub Hill - Birmingham New Street

Page 16: Embsay - Bow Bridge loop: transferred to "occasional use" section on page 22.

Page 16: Copley Hill East Jn - Copley Hill West Jn: amend departures from Leeds to:
Mondays to Fridays: 1C15 0519, 2A01 0524, 2N00 0534, 2N04 0748, 2N31 2028, 2N34 2230,
2N38 2310; Saturdays: 2A01 0524, 2N00 0534, 2N04 0748, 1V64 1611, 2A31 2028, 2N40 2244;
Sundays: 2N01 0846, 1V50 0900, 2N03 0930, 2A65 1025, 2N05 1031, 1C43 1050, 2N07 1148,
2N11 1348, 2B11 1421, 2B15 1621, 2N17 1648, 2N19 1749, 2N21 1848, 2N23 1948, 2N25
2048, 2N29 2237

Page 17: Woodburn Jn - Tinsley North Jn ( - Rotherham Central Jn): delete 1B96 2153 SO
Manchester Airport - Doncaster

Page 17: Aldwarke North Jn - Thrybergh Jn - Mexborough East Jn: delete 2C57 0543 SuX
and 2R57 1205 SuX Sheffield - Doncaster or beyond; 1B96 2153 SuX Manchester Airport -
Doncaster; 2C76 1653 Hull - Sheffield; 1J55 2033 Bridlington - Sheffield; 2C62 0951 SO, 2C83
2248 SO Hull - Sheffield; 1J45 1000 SO Scarborough - Sheffield; add: 1W45 1225 SuX Sheffield
- Bridlington; 1J43 0832 SuX, 1J45 1035 SuX, 1J49 1335 SuX, 1J55 2035 SSuX Bridlington -
Sheffield; 2C83 2248 SSuX Hull - Sheffield; 1B92 1953 SO Manchester Airport - Cleethorpes

Page 17: Milford Jn - Burton Salmon Jn (site) - Castleford: amend 1P47 2319 Manchester
Airport - York runs FSSuX; add: 1P05 0242 SSuX Manchester Piccadilly - York; delete: 1B36
1647 SuX Preston - York; amend 1V46 0620 York - Plymouth does not run until 7 September

Page 17: Ferrybridge North Jn - Knottingley West Jn: diversionary use applies Monday to
Friday nights

Page 18: Shaftholme Jn - Knottingley West Jn: diversionary services to read: 1N35 2200
MTWThFO Kings Cross - Newcastle; 1D36 2235 SuO / 2333 MTWThFO Kings Cross - Leeds

Page 18: Doncaster Flyover East Jn - Loversall Carr Jn: delete 1A70 0756 SSuX Bradford
Interchange - Kings Cross
Page 19: Cowlairs North Jn - Cowlairs East Jn: add services: Sundays 23 June until 25
August 2019: 1Y29 0808 Edinburgh - Oban; 1Y30 1711 Oban - Edinburgh
Page 19: Newton Station East - Newton East Jn (Newton South Connecting Line): delete
1S40 0905 SuO Manchester Airport - Glasgow Central
Page 19: Mossend East Jn - Mossend North Jn and Holytown Jn - Wishaw Central Jn:
delete ‘note’ (Dalmuir - Whifflet services no longer expected to extend to Wishaw)
Page 19: Mossend South Jn - Mossend East Jn: add 1C60 1450 SuX Ayr - Edinburgh
Page 19: Holytown Jn - Wishaw Central Jn: add 1S37 0531 SSuX Euston - Glasgow Central;
1C60 1450 Ayr - Edinburgh
Page 20: Inverness Rose Street Jn - Welsh's Bridge Jn: delete complete entry (the only
passenger trains over this section are now Royal Scotsman tours)
Page 20: Leckwith Loop North Jn - Leckwith Loop South Jn: amend 1V64 1931 SSuX
Manchester Piccadilly - Carmarthen extends to Fishguard Harbour
Page 21: Aylesbury Vale Jn - Quainton Road: delete entry - the shuttle service is not running
in 2019. However, UK Railtours specials will run between Marylebone and Quainton Road on
Sunday 25 and Monday 26 August 2019
Page 22: add:
Embsay - Bow Bridge loop [Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway]: trains use this section if
stock blocks the loop line at Embsay
Sheringham North Norfolk Railway station - Sheringham Network Rail station [North Norfolk
Railway Mainline Cromer Dining Trains]

1258] Do you like your track rare, well done or steamed? As usual there were Society members on
the Railway Touring Company's Great Britain XII steam (mostly) hauled tour this year 27 Apr to 5 May.
Rare track is done while watering the locos, keeping out of the way of fast trains and avoiding gauge
problems. Some scheduled loops were not done and others were done that were not scheduled!

Sat 27 Apr; Paddington - Bristol - Plymouth: ●Maidenhead Up Relief P4, Dn direction. ●Reading P14,
Down (Dn) direction. ●Wantage Rd - Challow Dn Relief. ●Bristol East Depot Goods Loop, Dn direction.

Sun 28 Apr; Plymouth - Bristol TM - Westbury - Minehead: ●Weston P1 Up direction. ●Bristol TM
Up Through in Up direction. ●Dn Trowbridge - Westbury P2. ●Norton Fitzwarren Jn - Bishops Lydeard.

Mon 29 Apr; Taunton - Bristol - Hereford - Wrexham - Preston: ●Taunton Dn Relief P2, departure in
the Up direction (arrived ECS). ●Down Pilning Loop. ●Dn Relief, Severn Tunnel Jn - Maindee East Jn.
●Hereford Loop (Maindee East Jn - Maindee North Jn). ●Panteg Up Goods Loop. ●Shrewsbury Down
Main, non-platform road. ●Shrewsbury Dn Main shunt south at Crewe Jn to Up & Down Platform P4
(very rare direction over trailing X/O). ●Chester, Up Slow Roodee Jn - Chester South Jn - Up Fast. ●Dn
Slow Golborne Jn - Springs Branch Slow Lines Jn - Dn & Up Passenger Loop - Wigan NW P5 - Up Main.

Tue 30 Apr; Preston - Edinburgh: ●Carnforth No1 Up & Dn Goods. ●Penrith P3 (Down Slow Penrith
South - North Jn) ●Beattock Summit Down Passenger Loop. ●Lockerbie Down Passenger Loop.

Wed 1 May; Edinburgh - Aberdeen: ●Dn Fife - (&) Thornton North Jn Dn Pass Loop. ●Dundee Dn
Through (both ways). ●Camperdown (59m 66ch) & Dundee Central Jn (second 0m 38ch) trailing X/Os.

Thur 2 May; Edinburgh - Stranraer - Ayr: ●Edinburgh Portobello Jns - Niddrie W Jn - Craiglockhart
Jn - Slateford Jn. ●Mossend East Jn - Mossend North Jn. ●Whifflet South Jn - Sunnyside Jn (a first for
steam haulage in modern times). ●High Street Jn - Down City Union - Shields Jns. ●Brownhill Down
Passenger Loop. ●Falkland Dn Goods Loop. ●Kilkerran Up Loop. ●Girvan Up and Down lines. ●Both
lines at Barrhill, Glenwhilly and Dunragit loops (not bidirectional). ●Stranraer P2 arrival and departure.

NEXT PAGE: Loch Ryan during the Great Britain XII railtour; '44871' taking water at Stranraer station.
A spectacular picture by Stuart Hicks taken from the Castle of St John on Thur 2 May 2019.





ABOVE: The ghostly scene at Ayr station with the Station Hotel wrapped in plastic,
taken from the 'Great Britain XII' railtour, Thur 2 May 2019. (Stuart Hicks.)

Fri 3 May; Ayr - Dumfries - Settle - Scarborough: ●Newton-on-Ayr No1 Reception (south end to
reverse). ●Newton Jn - Mauchline Jn. ●Carlisle P3 Up direction. ●Hellifield Up Gds Loop. ●Whitehall
Southwest Jn - Engine Shed Jn. ●Castleford - Milford Jn. ●Milford Dn Pass Loop. ●Scarborough P1.

Sun 5 May, Scarborough - Birmingham - Didcot Parkway: ●Scarborough P1. ●Sherburn Jn -
Gascoigne Wood Jn. ●Milford Up Pass Loop. ●Hambleton W Jn - Hambleton S Jn. ●Brightside Up E
Slow. ●Dn Derby Gds, Castle Bromwich Jn - Landor St Jn. ●Landor St Jn - St Andrews Jn. ●Extended
Up & Dn Dorridge Pass Loop in Up direction with X/Os. ●Leamington Spa, Up Cherwell Valley (non
platform line). ●Reservoir Jn (facing X/O) - Dn Cherwell Valley - Banbury North Jn - Down Banbury Gds
Loop (P1) Up direction - Banbury South Jn - Banbury Depot Jn trailing X/O. ●Dn Oxford Relief (P4) Up
direction, trailing X/O south of station - Up Oxford - Hinksey No1 Reception line. ●Didcot Parkway P5.

1259] The Angus McDougall Photographic Competition 2017-18: (BLN 1299.308) A reminder that,
thanks to the generosity of our well known member, Angus McDougall, a former Society chairman of
20 years 'standing', there is an annual BLN Pictorial competition with a cash prize (and fame for the
winner!). To keep you all in the picture, all photos appearing in British Isles BLN and BLN Pictorial
between our 2017 and 2018 AGMs have been considered, regardless of the date they were actually
taken. This took much longer than expected - there are hundreds. Your BLN Editor (who spends a
considerable amount of time looking at, and editing, railway pictures but hasn't taken any himself for
many years) took advice from three former Society Chairmen, in alphabetical order: William Graveson,
Robert Green & Angus McDougall himself. Thanks to all three for their time and diligence on this task.

Pictures taken by Angus and our official Society photographer Geoff Plumb (a professional) were
excluded - there were many very interesting ones taken by them. The winner is member Nick Jones for
his portfolio taken 20 Jan 2018 after heavy snow on the West Highland Railway at Tulloch and Corrour.
Seven of them appeared in e-BLN 1298.X.17 (between Items 291 and 292) dated 3 Feb 2018. Five more
were in BLN 1299.X.23 dated 24 Feb 2018. Congratulations to Nick, the competition was very strong!

1260] Points & Slips: ●●BLN 1324.MR40] The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's annual report
shows a 42% increase in passenger numbers to 144,000 since the Broadway extension opened at
Easter 2018 when 4,000 alone travelled. Gross income from all areas rose 41% from £1.7M to £2.4M.

●●BLN 1327.954] In paper BLN regarding the Abellio Group, 'Spoorween' should have been
'Spoorwegen' (Railways in Dutch). ●●1003] To reassure readers that a certain Liverpool junction has
not undergone a sex change; it is still 'Olive' and not as in the Southport Champion report 'Oliver'.

●●BLN 1328.1132 & 1133] TCP of Dyce - Huntly is expected to Sun 18 Aug 2019, with trains running
again on Mon 19 after commissioning of the re-doubled track and the new signalling.

●●1140] A member suggests that Ynysybwl is better pronounced 'Un-is-u-bull'; at least 'Lady Windsor
Colliery' was easy to pronounce. ●●1141] Another member 'pedantically' [two 'l's though, Peter, not
one] points out in the BLN 1328 cartoon there was (and still is) no apostrophe [with an 'e' not a 'y'] in
'pedants'! Should it not be pedant's or pedants' possessive‽ Maybe a beginners'/beginner's group?

●●1141] BLN 1328 'Religious Education' corrected the name of the day after Good Friday (as Easter
Eve or Holy Saturday), but the proper name of the Sunday that weekend is Easter Day. There are five
more Sundays in Easter, leading up to Ascension Day, a Thursday. (Book of Common Prayer, 1662.)

●●1174 & 1176] Now a Chemistry lesson: Gypsum - hydrated calcium sulphate (CaSO4. 2H2O) and
anhydrite - hydrous calcium sulphate (CaSO4), are the major minerals in the sedimentary rocks of rock
gypsum and the harder rock anhydrite respectively. Gypsum consists of calcium, sulfur*, oxygen and
water but anhydrite consists of calcium, sulfur* and oxygen. When exposed to water, anhydrite
readily transforms to the more commonly occurring gypsum by absorbing water. This is reversible,
gypsum forms anhydrite by heating to around 200°C at normal atmospheric conditions. [*International
agreed name, but Sulphur is in regular use and the USA city is also spelt 'Sulphur' Springs.]

1261] Railway Track Diagrams, Ireland: With thanks to Mike Bridge of TRACKmaps, members on our
recent Island of Ireland IV trip received the very pleasant surprise of an updated March 2019 Ireland
booklet kindly produced specially for the weekend. In return for this, please notify additions or
amendments to Martyn Brailsford [email protected] as soon as possible. A few spare
copies may appear in our railtour raffles in the category of money can't buy as they are not for sale.

1262] My First Railway Memories (6): By Keith Flinders. Until I was four, I lived in the centre of
Nottingham and my pushchair was hauled up the passageway called Weekday Cross everyday at 12.32
to watch 'The Master Cutler' (from Sheffield Victoria to London Marylebone, usually hauled by a 'B1')
burst out of Parliament Street Tunnel onto the former Great Central Railway viaduct that now carries
Nottingham's trams past Broad Marsh. My father was a railwayman and we had a lineside allotment, a
'Dig for Victory' wartime survivor, on the edge of the track east of Sneinton Jn level crossing on the
line to Lincoln. I learned to toddle and jump from sleeper to sleeper, though too young to realise why
it was always facing oncoming trains! Then I sat at the trackside, waving to every engine driver and
playing with potatoes. That was in the days when Health and Safety was just called Common Sense.

1329 EAST MIDLANDS (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
1263] Castle Donington: From 13 May the crossover and connection (123m 33ch) to/from Castle
Donington Arrival and Castle Donington Departure lines (the loop on TRACKmaps 4 p13C - Dec 2018)
leading to the East Midlands Distribution Centre was named Castle Donington Jn. This facility is on
the Power Station site (Castle Donington Marks & Spencer Distribution Depot on TRACKmaps). The
naming better distinguishes it from the new nearby East Midlands Gateway branch and its junction.

1264] Nottingham Express Transit: (BLN 1326.797/8) A £3.5M project to fully refurbish the 15 original
Bombardier Incentro trams by the end of the year is underway. They date from opening in 2004 and
were previously refreshed in 2013/14. The first was revealed on 10 May. It includes a major mechanical
overhaul and a new look to match the newer (2015) Citadis trams acquired for the extensions.

Floors and all interior fittings are replaced to improve reliability, comfort and accessibility. Service
delays have at times been caused by their unavailability. One tram will be out of service at a time for
the upgrade. They are the only second generation trams that have been assembled in Great Britain.

1265] Leicester: 'The Leicester Line Speed Improvement Project' aims to save 30 seconds on the
Section Running Time for trains in both directions between Wigston North Jn (96m 02ch) and all
Leicester station platforms (99m 07ch).The present low line speed at Leicester South Jn is due to the
layout constraints beneath London Road Bridge and condition of the existing switches and crossings.

The current signalling overlap arrangements at the north end of P1 & 2 are such that the existing
derogation cannot be varied to accommodate the 40mph approach speed from the south to P2 as the
project had originally intended. As well as the time saving other benefits include direct access from P1
to the Up & Down Goods, and reinstating a true four track railway at the north end of the station. The
proposal removes access to Fox Street Sidings, and also recovers the headshunt, used by over long
freight trains as a run round facility when a train is too long for Humberstone Road sidings.

1266] Most expensive bus fare? Our Treasurer was checking the Barton-on-Humber to Hull bus
services as part of a Northern day trip. National Rail journey planner shows the buses but gives a single
fare of £40.10! This has to be the train fare going round the long way but, even so, it must give some
people a bit of a shock! Fortunately, Stagecoach journey planner shows that the actual fare is £5!

1329 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]
1267] Crossrail: (BLN 1328.1155) An analysis by the National Audit Office (NAO) reveals that a lack of
oversight and multitude of contracts added £2.5bn to construction costs. The use of 36 contracts to
build the central section meant companies had to be compensated for delays when another firm fell
behind schedule, with a compensation bill of £936M. The report also says that the decision to test the
new trains in tunnels that were not finished was of little value and put construction work even further
behind. It adds that Crossrail is having to re-hire staff as significant work remains, but is struggling to
fill about 170 vacancies. The head of the NAO said that throughout delivery, and even as pressures
mounted, Crossrail Ltd clung to the unrealistic view that it could complete the programme to the
original timetable, which has had damaging consequences. Bond Street station may not be completed
for another two years, with even the design of the station not expected to be completed until Sep or
Oct. The priority is to get the platform areas in a position to support train operation.

NR has awarded contracts for new or enhanced ticket halls at West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington and
Southall to Hochtief. Contracts have also been awarded to Graham to undertake the same work at
Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway and West Ealing. The work, together with step-free access, is
scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.

On Sun 19 & 26 May Crossrail units ran between the east end of the new tunnels and Stratford P5/8.
As a result TfL services used P9 (Up) and P10A (Down) and ran non-stop between here and Ilford. From
the new 19 May timetable, the Sunday service was amended. All 4tph run through to Shenfield,
previously 2tph terminated at Gidea Park, with Greater Anglia's Southend Victoria trains calling at all
stations Romford to Shenfield. Also Liverpool Street - Norwich trains now serve Stratford on Sundays.

1268] 55 Broadway: (BLN 1283.1268) TfL is to sell a long lease on the 1929-built, Grade I listed ex-LT
Headquarters. The buyer will decide whether to progress previous plans to turn it into flats. ('Buses')

1269] Barking - Gospel Oak: (BLN 1328.1158) The much-delayed introduction of Class 710/2 EMUs
took place on Thur 23 May, two units entered service at 11.36 and 12.05 from Gospel Oak. This
followed further software updates and conditional approval to operate in passenger service by the
Office of Rail and Road on 11 Apr. There are 13 conditions/restrictions on their use. These two units
are now covering most of two of the three cancelled diagrams on the line. The other diagram stays
cancelled for now while the performance of the units in service is monitored. Additionally, the other
units now have to receive software upgrades and complete their fault-free mileage accumulation.

BELOW: 55 Broadway above St James's Park station, as can be seen. (Angus McDougal 25 Nov 2011.)

ABOVE: 55 Broadway, the board room - or if it's a dull talk, the bored room. (Angus McDougall 4 Feb 2014.)

1270] Barking Riverside: (BLN 1320.39) Network Change approval has not yet been granted, as there is
an outstanding unresolved objection to the project. However work on the new track layout in the
Ripple Lane area has started, as this is not affected by the issue.

1271] Hammersmith: (TRACKmaps 5 p44A - Nov 2008) Due to Piccadilly Line track replacement works
over all three days of the 25-27 Spring Bank Holiday weekend, westbound Piccadilly trains from Barons
Court P2 turned back in Hammersmith P2 & 3. The service frequency was such that one platform
alone would not have coped. Barons Court Lay By Siding was used effectively as a scissors crossover.
Each end it has a facing and trailing crossover. At the east (City) end, it is facing from the Westbound
Piccadilly line and trailing into the Eastbound Piccadilly line. At the west end the Siding it faces the
Eastbound Piccadilly line and trails into the Westbound Fast line (as the Westbound Piccadilly is then).

The pattern was that from Barons Court (P2) westbound services alternated between Hammersmith
P2 and P3 (so quickly some members had difficulty keeping track!). Trains running to P3 to turnround
received a right 'feather' at Barons Court P2 and ran through the siding in passenger service
westbound to terminate in Hammersmith P3. Trains running to Hammersmith P2 did the siding on
departure eastbound to Barons Court P1. Thus it was possible to 'pocket' this siding in both directions
with all four connections very quickly. The siding has also been done on previous railtours and is used
as a westbound loop by Train 242 arr Hammersmith 00.05 (TWThFO) and Train 355 arr 00.16 (SO).

1272] Arnos Grove: A member asks if the facing crossover Westbound to P3 is actually used by Train
140 SuO (arr 04.54½). Does anyone have any recent experience please? It was rather rusty last year.

1273] Hackney Wick: (BLN 1306.1168) The rebuilt station has won an Institute of Civil Engineers
London award in the Community Benefit category.

1274] HS2: (BLN 1327.971) On 20 May the OHLE at the south end of Willesden Euro Terminal was
recovered. At Euston the entrance to the Underground has now been moved outside the station, with
a seating area installed in place of the original entrance, separating the LUL and mainline stations.

The trackbed of the Old Oak - Park Royal line is to be used as a dedicated lorry route linking the
compounds at Old Oak Common and the Victoria Road tunnel drive site. ('Transport Briefing')

1275] London Bridge: Due to a track circuit failure in the area on 15 May, the 15.36 Plumstead
Carriage Sidings - Cannon Street ECS was diverted into P8, from where the 16.15 Cannon Street -
Slade Green started. To call at New Cross and St Johns as booked, it ran via the Southwark Reversible
in the Down direction, a route that is normally the preserve of the Rainham - Luton Thameslink trains
in the Up direction. While standing in London Bridge P8 from 16.00 to 16.22, all up Charing Cross
trains were forced to use P9. Before remodelling, the old P6 was rumoured to be the busiest platform
in Europe, but at least the Up Passenger Loop was available for non-stop ECS workings. In those days,
any train terminating short normally did so in the old P2 but, with the Thameslink lines now in the
middle of the formation, the decision to do so has to be taken further out. Now, when there is a
turnround in P8 caused by late running, which is not uncommon, Up Charing Cross trains back up.

1276] Waterloo: http://bit.ly/2MmyqP9 is a 37½ minute 1961 film here. Some scenes are obviously
staged, but an interesting view of a time when convicts and coffins were carried on passenger trains.

BELOW: It is 'plain' to see that this that this crossover is out of use at Wimbledon West Jn, on 22 May;
the pointwork nearer the camera is also clipped and scotched. The smaller track section ahead is the
replacement - when rotated through 180o; the further is the defective removed section. (Geoff Noakes)

1277] Wimbledon West Jn: (BLN 1321.163) After discovery of a cracked crossing on 19 May, '757B'
points were plain lined. This prevented movements from the Up Slow/Up Fast on to the Up St Helier
Line (towards Streatham). It mainly affected DB Cargo freight services from Tolworth. Most unusually,
trains to Hoo Jn on 20 May and Cliffe on 21st were diverted via Earlsfield. They continued via the long
ladder crossing over the mouth of Clapham Yard and the Windsor Lines at Clapham Junction to the
Up Ludgate line, regaining their booked route at Longhedge Jn. Trains in the other direction were not
affected and normal working resumed on 23rd after overnight installation of a new crossing.

1278] Royal Oak: (BLN 1325.670) The Mayor of London has vetoed plans to relocate Victoria Coach
station here. ('Buses')

1329 NORTH EAST & YORKSHIRE (Geoff Blyth) [email protected]
1279] Tram Train: (BLN 1327.985) Stagecoach has kindly confirmed to BLN that................ tickets: £4
Adult; £2.65 Railcard; £2 Child (Sheffield or Meadowhall stations) are valid long term on all of Tram
Train/Supertram. The tram only £4.20 Dayrider ticket is currently valid on Tram Trains to 2 May 2020.

1280] York: (BLN 1327.983) 'York Press' and 'Heritage Railway' magazine, the basis of this item,
apparently repeated an inaccurate press release regarding the archaeological remains (re)discovered
near the site of the 1841 joint York & North Midland and Great North of England Railway station. The
passenger facilities have been evident since they were built, now the offices of the City of York Council,
but with some internal alterations. The recent office block demolition unearthed remains of the goods
warehouses, further south; hence the presence of a wagon (not loco) turntable. The warehouses were
built after the passenger station opened and their use, together with the developing passenger traffic,
caused congestion. An additional arch was therefore cut through the city wall in 1845.

1281] Newcastle: At Newcastle Central station on Mon 13 May the station piano had gone (perfect for
playing the end of Schubert's unfinished symphony). The space was empty where it once stood. A
search of the rest of station failed to locate it. Perhaps too many locals had been playing out of 'Toon'?

1282] Azumas: (BLN 1327.988) The new Class 800 entered service on 15 May; 9-car 800113 was on the
11.03 King's Cross to Leeds, and 16.01 return. LNER staff handed out goody bags with a limited edition
print, peppermint flavour sweets, an Azuma pen, a coach layout overview and a Pritt Stick. The train
staff were presented with little gifts in boxes by junior management after it arrived. As promised the
first Azuma from Hull ran on 16 May. Apparently four units are available for traffic. Two more are
undergoing maintenance (perhaps with seats being changed) and others are for driver training. The
next Leeds diagram should be introduced in late June, with subsequent diagrams at weekly intervals.

Roger Ford (Oct 2018 'Modern Railways') states that the issue restricting the units to diesel mode on
the northern ECML is interaction with the Solid State Interlockings at York ROC and also further north.
Colton Jn is given as the most southerly point affected. It appears that it will be at least August before
electric mode can be used to York. LNER has no plans yet to run Azumas north of Hambleton South Jn.

In Jun 'Modern Railways' Roger Ford gives an extensive explanation of the limitations on numbers of
trains drawing current in individual sections of OHLE (power upgrades pending) and how this effects
Azuma substitution of existing electric services, and of HSTs and the need to preplan which bimode
services change from electric to diesel and back. Signalling capacity is not the greatest restriction as
delays to single trains can cause bunching which may exceed the acceptable draw from the overhead.

1283] T&W Metro: Long ago there was a plan to expand the system with a line from Percy Main to
Backworth, more or less on the alignment of the former Blyth & Tyne Railway (B&TR) line down to the
River Tyne. However, nothing materialised. Rumours are now circulating that this may be resurrected
as part of a circular route via Benton and Manors Curve (which would presumably need remodelling to
make it suitable for regular passenger trains), serving the main office and shopping areas. This would
have the additional advantage of halving the time taken to transfer stock between Gosforth depot and
the new temporary Howdon depot when that opens. It is thought that the first stage would be the
construction of a two track metro line from Percy Main to Backworth, alongside the North Tyneside

Steam Railway. East of Northumberland Park stop there appears to be just enough room for a rather
tight west to south curve, where the course of the Blyth & Tyne Railway goes over the Metro.

Unfortunately the course of the former curve between Percy Main station and Percy Main North Jn
has been partly obliterated by housing. However, there is room for a quite gentle curve further west.
If the project to (re)double the South Shields line is completed on time and on budget, which it looks
as though it will be, money has allegedly been promised to build a line to Sunderland via Washington.

This would affect the future of the Leamside line (Ferryhill - Pelaw) reopening of which is one of the
(very expensive) options being considered by NR to divert freight off the ECML. Presumably a system
of dual usage, similar to that used between Pelaw and Sunderland, would be required. If the Leamside
line was to be reopened and electrified, Metro stock would have to be dual voltage 25 kV ac/1500 V
dc. [If the Durham Coast line is ever electrified, Sunderland - Pelaw would be converted to 25 kV ac.]

1284] Morpeth: On Wed 8 May the 17.45 Metro Centre to Chathill used Morpeth Down Slow for the
15.00 King's Cross to Stirling, running 18 min late, to pass. This delayed the Chathill train by five mins.

1285] Stockton: (BLN 1291.2139) On 2 Jul 1925 the future King George VI unveiled a plaque on the
building (Bridge House, 48 Bridge Road at St John's Crossing, Stockton) where the first Stockton &
Darlington Railway (S&DR) passenger was said to have been booked. The plaque carries the London
& North Eastern Railway coat of arms together with those of the towns of Stockton and Darlington and
reads: 'Here in 1825 the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company booked the first passenger, thus
marking an epoch in the history of mankind'. Sadly, thieves removed and broke the plaque in 2013. It
was heated and forcibly folded to hide the inscription, with the obvious intention of selling it for scrap.

PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: A very recent picture
of Bridge House, St John's Crossing, Stockton.
(Angus McDougall 4 May.) LEFT: Original plaque.

Fortunately this was thwarted, but the thieves
smashed the plaque and tossed it into a beck. It
was dredged out and passed on by police to
William Lane Foundry, Middlesbrough, in the
former Ironmasters' District, for safe keeping and
possible restoration. This is the last traditional
foundry in the area and was visited by Michael
Portillo on his 'Great British Railway Journeys'.

BBC 'Look North' ran a feature about the foundry
and fortunately several people noticed the
plaque in the background of some footage. This
in turn reignited interest in restoring it, so an
exploratory meeting of interested parties took
place in Feb 2018. Unfortunately the plaque was
not insured by the Bridge House charity, which
owns the building - now a hostel for the
homeless and was estimated to cost £2,000 to
repair. LEFT: The new plaque. (Press releases.)

The Friends of the S&DR began crowdfunding to
restore the plaque, assisted by a large
anonymous donation, and also grants from the
Railway Heritage Trust and Stockton Council.

It was so badly damaged that only the outer
frame could be salvaged, although the fragments
of the centre were used to make a pattern for a new cast, so that it looks like the original. 'It was
difficult because, if you look at it, the frame is slightly out of kilter, and so we had to make the new
inner bit to match the old frame,' said foundry staff. The replacement plaque, mounted on the wall of
Bridge House, was unveiled on 27 Sep 2018, the 193rd anniversary of the opening of the line.

[BLN 1329]
1286] Middleton-in-Teesdale: On 31 Jan 2018 the former station master's house was badly damaged
by fire, which left parts of the building structurally unsound. The owner, Durham County Council, has
applied to demolish it. A woman charged with arson is due to appear at Durham Crown Court in June.

The 7m 39ch branch from Tees Valley Jn on the Darlington - Barnard Castle - Kirkby Stephen - Tebay
line was opened 13 May 1868 by the Tees Valley Railway, later absorbed by the NER. It served no
towns of any size, so the branch never carried many passengers and proposals to extend it to Alston
never bore fruit. However it was a destination for ramblers' excursions: High Force waterfall, 4 miles
northwest of Middleton, with a 71ft drop http://bit.ly/30J3go7 carries the largest volume of water
over an unbroken drop in England when in spate (BELOW). Since completion of Cow Green reservoir in
1971, to supply Teesside heavy industry, flow has reduced - the right hand channel rarely carries water.

Most branch traffic was stone from local quarries; Middleton Quarry ¼ mile southeast of the station
and Crossthwaite Quarry one mile northwest. Park End Quarry, ¼ mile beyond Crossthwaite, lasted
only a short time. Middleton Quarry closed about 1930 and Crossthwaite in Apr 1971, although rail
traffic ceased in 1951 and the quarry track was lifted in 1952. Middleton-in-Teesdale village is in
County Durham, but the station (now Dale View Caravan Park) was on the other side of the River Tees,
in Yorkshire. The branch CP 30 Nov 1964 and CA 5 Apr 1965. The original stationmaster's house was
only single storey and accommodated his office and the booking office. A second storey had already
been added by 1 Mar 1888, when further alterations to the station were authorised.

PREVIOUS PAGE BOTTOM: Middleton-in-Teesdale in 1955, the continuation top left to Crossthwaite
Quarry once went further to Park End Quarry. http://bit.ly/2W1W96u shows the whole branch.

ABOVE: 67646 & 42639 at Middleton-in-Teesdale on Sat 25 Apr 1964; the RCTS 'North Yorkshireman'
railtour http://bit.ly/2WeGy8y (which was incidentally the final passenger train to Hawes).

BELOW: Propelling out (hence the signals) prior to shunting. (From original slides by Geoff Plumb.)

1287] Hydrogen Powerhouse: Tees Valley Combined Authority has been awarded £220k to develop a
bid to the Government's Office for a fleet of Low Emission Vehicles hydrogen powered road vehicles
with new refuelling infrastructure. Teesside apparently produces 50% of the UK's hydrogen. It would
allow cars, buses, bin lorries [only bins?] 'and even trains' to be powered by the 'emission-free super
fuel'. Will the vehicles generate hot air, one wonders… [Cold water might be poured on that idea.]

1288] Northern Ghost? The Spirit of Franchises Past (with apologies to Charles Dickens, and Scrooge in
particular) lives on at York. P5 is still graced by a train stop marker for 'Northern Spirit' - deceased
26 Apr 2001, after which it was rebranded as Arriva Trains Northern. May it Rest In Peace on its pillar.

ABOVE: Spirit in The Sky on York P5 looking south, hats off to our observant member for spotting it;
perhaps the spirit of British Rail lives on - make do and mend if possible? (Richard Maund May 2019.)





1289] Blyth & Tyne: (BLN 1323.414) The Transport Secretary claims that funding is available to start
the [no doubt very lengthy] process of restoring passenger services to the line and that he is waiting
for Nexus (the Transport Authority for Tyne and Wear) to come forward with a proposal. He says the
region already has funding in place to begin 'the first phase' of the scheme having received £10M from
the Government's 'Transforming Cities Fund'. He wishes to give Nexus 'control' of the line, meaning
the infrastructure, in the same way as it currently controls the T&W Metro. This would result in freight
traffic (alumina from North Blyth to Fort William, biomass from Port of Tyne to Lynemouth Power
Station and residual coal from Battleship Wharf) once again running over a Nexus line, in the way that
freight to Coxlodge (Rowntrees) and Callerton (ICI explosives traffic) used to run in British Rail days.

1290] Hull: Station posters suggest the roof replacement project was due to be completed by Ma 2019.

1291] Bridlington: (BLN 1328.1164) A member has been a long term user of this station since the
1950s. He can still remember 'D49' 62700 'Yorkshire' sitting in P6 on a stopping train to Hull in
Jul 1958. (D49 was a steam locomotive class and not Class 45 'The Manchester Regiment'!). He saw the
two excursion platforms (P7 & 8, dating from around 1912) in regular use and thinks that the track was
lifted quite recently. The platforms had been cut back at the buffer stop ends in association with
various roadworks in the past 2 or 3 years. However, the bulk of them remained, with both track and
semaphore signals (still lit and controlled from Bridlington South Signal Box), certainly well into 2018.

He thinks that lifting occurred probably in late 2018 or early 2019 after a very long time out of use.
He believes the last time he used them (P7 he thinks) was on a 30 May 1988 Rail Rambler excursion
from Preston arriving 12.08 and returning 17.45. The fare was £7.50 return [about £20 now] -
including from as far as Blackpool North or Colne by connections. Our member is the proud owner of
the BR North Eastern Region tangerine sign that hung over the common entrance to P7 & 8.

BELOW: Passenger information screens 1991 style at Bridlington, noted for its flora displays. By then
the footbridge was only to P4 ('P1' to its left was covered over as bays P1-3 were closed.) 24 members
went to High Marnham Power Station open day on the morning of Sun 7 Jul 1991. Arrangements had
been made for an afternoon Hull to Bridlington service to go into P8... (All three Ian Mortimer.)

ABOVE: Bridlington Sun 7 Jul 1991 and by special arrangement the 16.20 to Hull departs from the end
of P8 with 24 BLS members on board. BELOW: Meanwhile another unit was stabled in P7.

1292] Masb(o)rough? A member asks if anyone can explain why the railway has always referred to
Rotherham 'Masborough', rather than 'Masbrough'. He points out that the Ordnance Survey favours
Masbrough and there is a Masbrough St in the town centre. A 'Topographical Dictionary of England',
published 1848, uses the spelling Masbrough, so it is not as if the spelling has changed over the years.

Numerous local businesses use the name Masbrough. The Midland station, Rotherham Masborough,
CP 3 Oct 1988 but the present Rotherham Central station was Rotherham & Masborough from 1889
until 1950. Railway documents and data continue to refer to 'Masborough', in respect of junctions and
the freight terminal. He continues: 'One can imagine Whittlesey Parish Council having little influence
over how the railway spells the name of their station, but did nobody in Rotherham attempt to correct
the railway companies' spelling?' Your (NE) Regional Editor, straying SE, notes Wikipedia claims that
the railway uses Whittlesey's older spelling and there is a Whittlesea Society (and a Whittlesea Straw
Bear Festival Procession - a resurrected 'historical' event), so perhaps a little more justification there.

1293] Shaftholme Jn - Knottingley West Jn: Railfuture Yorkshire is pressing for reopening of the
'Askern Branch'. Although primarily a freight line, most Grand Central Bradford Interchange - King's
Cross passenger trains use it, and it is also a diversionary route for the East Coast Main Line and the
Doncaster - Leeds line. The town of Askern (population 11,500 plus 5,000 in surrounding villages) is on
the A19 which is notorious for its congestion and has housing built right up to the road, making it
impossible to widen. A further 1,000 houses have not long been built here with more planned.

A recent survey revealed many people travel to West and South Yorkshire to work. Railfuture Yorkshire
considers reopening Askern station with a Doncaster - Askern - Pontefract - Leeds service would
provide a useful commuter service and reduce road traffic. The land needed for the station platforms
and car parks has already been secured, and the cost of a new station is estimated at only £1.1M -
probably not a lot in terms of today's prices, but one doubts it will be forthcoming in the near future.

1294] Darlington: On Wed 8 May a northbound double Voyager set was split in P4 (Down platform);
the rear set went south to Reading in service as the 17.06 (16.35 from Newcastle starting back short of
its origin). This caused a following Down Voyager to use P1 (the usual Up platform) northbound.

1295] Horden: BLN 1321.166 of 26 Jan 2019 stated that work was due to start on the new station 'in
the next few weeks'. However, a member visited the site on 6 May and reports that there are none of
the usual contractors' or Durham County Council signs one would expect with this type of project.
Some vegetation has been cleared, but it is not clear this has anything to do with the building work.
The car park was supposed to be the first part built, but there was no sign of work on that even.
The station must open by March 2020 to meet the DfT New Station Fund 2 requirements.

1329 NORTH WEST (John Cameron) [email protected]
1296] Frodsham - Halton Jn: For those wanting the Frodsham Single (it's not actually 'Halton Curve')
on a service train after our 'Conwy Cat' 13 Jun tour, there is a 17.30 from Chester, a peak train. It is
£5.90 (Railcard £3.90) single to Lime Street (18.20) via Runcorn or return on the 18.37 Lime Street to
Chester (19.28) for £7.50 Anytime return; Railcard £4.95. Off-Peak fares are £6/£3.95 respectively.

For the very frequent and faster Merseyrail EMU services, online systems only show 'Anytime' returns
from Chester - Liverpool all day, even at Weekends, for £7.50 (Railcard £4.95) with no Off-Peak fares.

However, an Off-Peak Day Saver allows unlimited travel on the whole of Merseyrail, including Chester
to Liverpool via Merseyrail only, for just £5.30 - no railcard discounts. It allows unlimited third rail
[monorail?] travel until 06.30(!) and after 09.30 Mon-Fri, all day at weekends and Bank Holidays.
The ticket used to be 'hidden' on the Merseyrail ticket machines, the excuse at the time was that as a
new ticket the machines took time to be updated, although it is prominent now. There are still printed
notices attached to the TfW ticket machines at Chester advising how to buy that ticket. It will be
interesting to see if they remain now that TfW are running their own Chester - Liverpool service.

Wouldn't it be good to have a normal ticket valid on both routes as on other parts of the network?

[BLN 1329]
ABOVE: The 17.23 Liverpool Lime Street to Bristol Temple Meads on Sun 10 Aug 1975. A Class 40 is
hauling a Class 86, on the then double tracked 'Halton Curve' (as it was), approaching Frodsham Jn
from Halton Jn. Note the mirror image in the glass down the far left of the picture. The train also
reversed on the Chester triangle by propelling round the station avoiding line to reach the Crewe line
(quite common then). The West Coast Main Line was closed due to the 'whisky and soda' accident at
Weaver Jn involving a Coatbridge to Southampton Freightliner train carrying whisky and a Runcorn to
Wallerscote ICI tanker train of caustic soda. It took a long while to clean up the mess. (Ian Mortimer.)

1297] Merseyrail: The £11 Family Day Saver ticket is being promoted for a family of up to 5 (1 or 2
adults with children 5-15) for just £11; under 5s are free, of course. There must be one adult but it
doesn't say there has to be any children. It gives unlimited travel on the Merseyrail network, (including
the Northern operated 'Northern City Line' - to Garswood, Newton-le-Willows or Hough Green), all
day at weekends and bank holidays plus weekdays before 06.30 and after 09.30. It comes with the
best of British luck in trying to get under 5s or teenagers out of bed in time for trains before 06.30!

1298] Clitheroe: Unreliable rail services over the past year have seen passenger usage drop at all
stations on this line. 'Planned' Sunday cancellations (engineering work and staff not wanting to work,
both ongoing), Saturday strikes and services frequently turning back from Manchester Victoria at
Blackburn have all been factors. The passenger decline ranges from 4.6% at Clitheroe to 14.7% at
Langho. On the first Sun of the new timetable, 19 May, the Blackpool - Clitheroe - Carlisle 'DalesRail'
train and return both actually ran but all the hourly Clitheroe trains to/from Victoria were cancelled.
Bank Holiday Sun 26 May fared better with only the 15.45 ex-Manchester and 17.25 return cancelled.

1299] Buxton: (BLNs 1327.997) More details have emerged about the £14M remodelled reversing
sidings. A disused council tip was used by NR to lengthen the sidings by ¼ mile so that DB Cargo and
Freightliner can lengthen Hindlow and Dowlow trains from 18 to 26 wagons to carry up to 2,500
tonnes of stone per train. Details of how far the 13 Jul UK Railtours trip reaches would be of interest.

[BLN 1329]
1300] Carnforth: The colour light starting signal protecting the junction for the Barrow line and Leeds
line at the western end of P2 has been replace. It remains under the control of Carnforth Station
Junction Signal Box. The station was the setting for most scenes in the David Lean film'Brief Encounter'
and now boasts a café and bar, a museum, children's play area, a small cinema and bookshop, all
staffed by volunteers. There is also a very good shop selling garden railway models and equipment.

1301] Crumpsall: (BLN 1321.178) Over Easter weekend the Bury line was closed for installation of
three new points at Crumpsall. One trails into the inbound track (to Manchester) from the new bay (at
present trackless) at the south end of the stop on the inbound side. The other two points form a new.
facing crossover for services from Trafford Park to access this bay from the south from early next year
to turnround. The new points are shown as 'under construction' on TRACKmaps 4 p48N - Dec 2018.

1302] Skelmersdale: (BLN 1290.2042) Lancashire County Council's cabinet is commissioning an outline
business case for a new station here, which will then be put to government. It will determine if a town
centre branch station, connecting to the Wigan to Kirkby line, would be affordable, deliverable in a
reasonable time and value for money. A previous study concluded that the project - which would be
likely to see the station built on the former Glenburn College - is technically feasible. The plans are
clearly very ambitious; the document cover has a picture of a Pendolino running under the wires!

1303] Manchester Airport: There are concerns that the introduction of 5-car trains (or five plus a loco)
will affect capacity. P1-4, the NR platforms, have permissive working for passenger trains and range in
usable length from 214yd (P1) to 220yd (P4); signals split each in half. Thus a 4-car train can come into
the outer 'B' end while another 4-car is in the 'A' (buffer stops) end. But a 5-car train in the 'A' section
fouls the signal overlap so that the 'B' section cannot then be used by another train, even a 2-car set.

Platforms cannot be lengthened; there is no siding for ECS. The May timetable continues interworking
of Middlesbrough and Newcastle services providing 40 min turnarounds which has improved
reliability. This takes up platform capacity so, to leave platform space for other services, they are 3-car
Class 185 DMUs. However, this will end when the longer loco-hauled sets and bi-modes take over.

1304] Hagfold & Bescar Lane; the long & the short of it: These stations with 44,708 and 3,766
passengers respectively in 2017-18 are no 'longer' having platform extensions. It is presumed that this
is to save money. Hindley, Daisy Hill, Atherton, Swinton & New Lane will 'shortly' have extensions.

1305] Bolton Virgins: (BLN 1328.1180) At 00.01 on Sun 13 Jan 2019 a blanket 75mph emergency speed
restriction was imposed for electric traction between Windsor Bridge South Jn (1m 55ch) at the
Manchester end to Euxton Jn (25m 31ch) on the Up Bolton and the Down Bolton. No lineside boards
were provided so the restriction would not be known to those on trains (traincrew excepted!).
By sheer chance, it was withdrawn at 00.01 on Sun 19 May for the new timetable! Since then TPE has
reverted to running via Bolton rather than through Eccles and Wigan NW. However, they are not yet
calling at Bolton because TPE Class 350 EMUs are not yet certified by NR to run on this line at 100mph!

Differential (EMU) speeds now apply from about 3m 40ch (Agecroft) to 9m 64ch (Bolton south) and
from 11m 45ch (Bolton north) to 22m 15ch (Chorley). Classes 185 & 390 are not permitted to travel at
EMU category speeds and must observe the lower limit (75mph except 80mph stretches on the Down
line from 7m 51ch to 9m 56ch and 12m 2ch to 20m 53ch). This means that current TPE paths do not
allow time to call at Bolton. Once TPE's units receive the necessary clearance for 100mph running on
the line, there may be more delay while the timetable is amended and re-issued! Due to overcrowding
problems on TPE services, once the Bolton station calls are reintroduced it is planned that passengers
will not be allowed to board TPE services at Bolton to travel to Manchester, the Airport or vice versa.

SuO the 08.25 Glasgow Central to Manchester Victoria is routed non-stop from Preston via Eccles as is
the 22.10 (22.13 SuX) Edinburgh to Manchester Airport. The 22.48 (SuO)/23.10 (SSuX) Manchester
Airport to Carlisle ECS also runs via Eccles; presumably these are for TPE route knowledge retention.

1306] Rainhill: A plaque commemorating the significance of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway is to
be unveiled outside the station. It is sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the British
Institution of Civil Engineers, and their companion organisations from the USA, the American Society of
Civil Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The success of the 'Rocket' at the
1829 Rainhill Trials set the pattern for steam locomotive development and the world's railway network
for the next 150 years. When the 'Rocket' reached 30mph, it became the fastest means of travel - until
then a galloping horse was all that was available to man. This success at Rainhill is often described as a
quantum leap in the history of travel, transport and speed, as well as in industry.

1307] Access for All: (see 1369) North west stations receiving funding during CP6 are Birkenhead Park,
Broad Green, Chorley, Daisy Hill, Handforth, Hillside, Hunts Cross, Irlam, St Michaels & Todmorden.

1308] Allerton: From 17.30 hours on Thur 10 Jun, New Overhead Line Equipment on Allerton Traction
Maintenance Depot Departure Roads 5 and 6 is scheduled to be energised at 25,000 Volts ac.

1329 SOUTH EAST - NORTH & EAST ANGLIA (Julian James) [email protected]
1309] Felixstowe: (BLN 1327.1016) The branch was closed from Sat 25 to Tue 28 May inclusive for
remodelling with commissioning of the new layout and signalling. Ipswich - Woodbridge had buses
(but none at all at Westerfield) instead of trains for three days with a train service on Tue 28 May.

1310] Banbury: P1 & P4 are now used by some through trains SSuX. The 06.01 Guildford - Newcastle
plus 09.43, 11.43 & 16.24 Marylebone - Stratford-upon-Avon are booked for P1 in the Down direction.
There are no through Up trains but the 22.12 and 23.30 from Birmingham Snow Hill terminate in P1.

Up P4 is booked for 13.43 Marylebone - Stratford-upon-Avon (Down direction) along with 10.40 &
12.43 ex-Stratford-upon-Avon & 14.55 ex-Birmingham Moor Street, all Up to Marylebone. [Gensheet]

1311] Cambridge: (BLN 1324.572) On the P8 side, new No4 & No5 Reception Sidings were to enter into
service on 12 May. These seem to be next and parallel to No3 Reception Siding, the north end diversion
of which, and connection to the former Washer Road track, were the subject of the previous BLN item.

1312] Ipswich - Saxmundham: (BLN 1322.310) The East Suffolk Travellers Association (ESTA) has
responded to the third consultation on the proposed Sizewell 'C' Power Station. It stresses the long-
term benefits of rail investment, but makes the point that EDF can reasonably be expected to pay only
for enhancements needed as a direct result of power station construction. Thus, a passing loop in the
Wickham Market area may suffice for construction trains. However, complete redoubling between
Melton and Saxmundham - or, ideally, Woodbridge and Saxmundham - would bring longer term
benefits for passengers, with the additional work funded by other bodies such as NR, the Local
Enterprise Partnership and the Train Operating Company. ESTA also supports proposals to increase the
line speed for freight trains over level crossings, proposals for remodelling Saxmundham Jn, and for a
park and ride with a bus facility on the A12 just north of Darsham station. ESTA does question the
alleged need to strengthen Norwich Road and Bramford Road bridges in Ipswich. (Rail User Express)

1329 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
1313] Faversham: (BLN 1314.2125) The Grade II listed footbridge between St Catherine's Drive and
Station Rd at the east end of the station reopened on 10 May. The local MP attended a celebration at
St Catherine's Church and reopened it at 12.00. It will now be open during Faversham Hop Festival (no
requirement to hop over), and can cope with large numbers, not possible before due to its condition.

1314] Newhaven Marine: (BLN 1319.2772) A member ended up in Newhaven on private business and,
finding his meeting ended early, visited the station to see its current status. A couple of workmen
there needed assuring he was not management (being in a suit, a rare event for BLS members!). They
told him that Southern are going through formal closure procedures and putting Newhaven Marine
out of its misery. From 1 May, the final bookable fare from the station (to London Boundary Zone 6)
was removed from the fares system, although the SailRail tickets might still be in there somewhere.

1315] Barnham - Havant: From 26 Oct to 3 Nov and over the following three weekends, life expired
level crossing equipment will be replaced at Basin Road, Stockbridge Road (both just east of Chichester
station), Brook Lane and Bosham (either side of that station) and 1m 33ch of track is to be renewed.
During half term weekdays, 28 Oct to 1 Nov buses replace trains between Havant and Chichester.
Barnham and Havant will be closed on 26, 27 Oct, 2, 3, 10, 17 & 30 Nov and 1 Dec (all weekend dates).
1316] Woking: South Western Railway is to take over operations of Woking Up Yard. From 18 May the
following alterations were to take place and be commissioned at the same time:
No3 Dead End Road shortened by 45m.
No4 Dead End Road removed and recovered, including plain lining one set of hand points.
No5 Dead End Road shortened by 25m.
New buffer stops installed for No3, 5 and 6 Dead End Roads.
New 10m 'Hop Up' platforms between No3 & 5 Dead End Roads at the buffer stop end and at 4-car,
….8-car & 12-car positions and a single 'Hop Up' platform at the buffer stop end of No6 Dead End Road.
No3, 5 & 6 Dead End Roads will then be able to accommodate 4, 8 and 12 car trains.
1317] All Our Yesterdays; Hamble (1): From BLN 1001.664 of 17 Sep 2005...

To add, 'Disused Stations' records that the fuel oil trains ran to Weymouth Quay from Hamble Depot
(not a refinery) up to twice a week until finishing in Sep 1983 and were to supply ships in the harbour.

PREVIOUS PAGE: 1961 OS one inch to the mile map. The 'HALT' is Hamble on the Southampton to
Portsmouth line and the branch can be seen going down to the oil terminal on Southampton Water
with the jetty (no railway shown on it). Top left is the branch into the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley

1318] Hamble (2): Hamble Road Round Ground Frame (7m 10ch), which controlled access to the oil
depot branch, was brought into use on 15 Jul 1918. The branch was last seen in use during Aug 1985,
worked by a British Rail Class 08 locomotive. The last private internal loco, a Hunslet (6950/67), was
transferred to BP's Kent Refinery at Grain in May 1989, at which time it was said to have been last
used at Hamble about four years earlier. That loco had arrived there in 1968 and had clocked up
26,898 miles on the 1½ mile long branch! A photograph in the Southern Evening Echo of 29 May 1989
showed it standing on track with its connecting rods removed, presumably ready for transfer to Grain
Oil Refinery. It survives, named 'Louise', now in preservation on the Elsecar Steam Railway.

On 7 May 2019 a member visited to check the remains of the branch to the former BP Oil terminal
traversed many years ago on our Society 'Hants Branches' tour of 22 Sep 1973. Hamble Rail Trail
closely parallels the route but does not start from the station. The branch was disconnected from the
Up line (a trailing connection) just west of Netley station several years ago. However, surprisingly, the
track is completely intact but very overgrown. When your Regional Ed visited soon after Railtrack
began the whole route had been cleared of growth, he suspected as the line was covered by a general
lineside vegetation clearance contract and the contractor could access this line without a possession!

From Hamble station our member walked down to the first of the 'new' roads which leads to the
Hampshire Constabulary Offices, a convenient point to join Hamble Rail Trail. As it became apparent
later, this was the only road crossing at which the track had been covered by a black top. Notices
actually on the track state basically 'The railway line is not a footpath and is dangerous' but also
interestingly 'Shell-Mex is not the occupier under the Occupancy Act 1984', so presumably it is still NR?

BELOW: Our 22 Mar 1975 'Hampshire Railtour' http://bit.ly/2WxbOPI arranged by Terry Velvick,
at the B3397 Level Crossing; it went to a few other interesting places too! (Ian Mortimer.)

Following along across the B3397 Hamble Lane, the track is clear though, of course, the flangeways are
well filled with debris; the closed Hamble airfield is left with much newish housing right. The track,
correctly check-railed, crosses another new road, Tudor Close. The airfield is now a vast open space
with games facilities and its car park accessed by the appropriately named Spitfire Way, again with the
crossing correctly engineered. There is a set of points (switch rails removed) for what was a loop, but
the other end was not seen, presumably lost in the undergrowth. There is yet another crossing, Baron
Road, with the track correctly check-railed before crossing Hamble Lane again and entering the depot.

The short section to the depot gate can be described as immaculate, even if rusty. According to the
gatemen, most of the track inside had been removed [by Sep 1988 in fact] although a short section
survives with a buffer stop visible from the emergency exit gate [this stabled the internal loco before it
went to Grain Oil Refinery in May 1989 and was not lifted]. Has the line ever been officially closed?

The latest Section Appendix of 2 May 2015 shows 'Siding and Ground Frame Secured out of use' but as
we are learning, this doesn't necessarily mean much and it's actually disconnected in practice (above).
An eminent closure guide shows: 'taken out of use, signalling removed and/or points clamped in
1985?' referring to BLN! The final railtour was the Southern Electric Group/Railway Correspondence &
Travel society 'Hampshire Hog' http://bit.ly/2YLzOfh of 20 Jul 1985 so may have been the final train?

1319] Hamble (3): In the 1970s and 80s, there were plenty of railtours covering many freight lines but
generally only to the British Rail limit. This often left significant lengths of branches not red penned but
the BLS had a cunning plan … This was to contact the site owner and request footplate rides over the
section their locos had running powers on. Not quite that simple, of course, but after some negotiation
over access and safety issues, most locations approached allowed this for small parties in those days.

The Hamble branch was a good example where main line tours covered only part of the branch,
leaving those aboard looking longingly at the rest hidden behind the Depot gates (TRACKmaps 5 p29 -
Nov 2008). With suggestions of closure (correct), one of your Society's high flying 'industrial visits'
organisers approached BP, anticipating the nature of such a site might cause concerns. Fortunately,
these were easily resolved, the wheels were oiled and a visit on Sat 2 Feb 1985 was agreed for 20.

FOLLOWING: Pictures from our standard and narrow gauge 2 Feb 1985 Hamble trips. (Ian Mortimer.)

ABOVE: A well known keen member, middle right, from Quinton (Birmingham) notes the loco details.

ABOVE: The unusual 1' 8" narrow gauge line, almost half a mile long, out on the jetty.

THIS PAGE: The riding vehicle on the jetty line; we trust someone took a note of the 'haulage'.
The other side of Southampton Water (above) the oil fired Fawley Power Station was generating.

Amazingly the whole party was accommodated in one trip on their 0-6-0DH loco northwards through
the main gates and across the airfield. Their running limit was about half a mile from the main line but
achieved overlap with tours. The loco then took our party back through the gates to the southern end
of the standard gauge, just short of the jetty, before terminating in the loco shed. It was then intended
to ride on a flat truck over the 1' 8" narrow gauge railway ⅜ mile out above Southampton Water on
the jetty but the battery-electric loco was also flat (the battery that is)! Never mind, people power
saved the day with half riding out and half riding back, end to end, on the flat truck (apologies to those
who are bidirectional). BP Oil was profusely thanked for making these facilities available.

1320] Newbury - Kintbury: The underbridge carrying the railway over the River Kennet at Barnard's
Lock† near Newbury was replaced between 00.10 on 4 May and 05.10 on 7 May. The project was
unusual as the main parts of the bridge deck were built on site. Due to the proximity of the River
Kennet, a specially made pontoon was used, creating more space to manœuvre parts of the structure
into place. The bridge was erected with the help of a crane put together at the site using a smaller
crane, a sixth of its size. The larger crane lifted four bridge sections into place to make up the 40m
main stretch of the bridge. Each of the four parts weighed 105 tonnes (50 tonnes of concrete with
steel section reinforcement). The line reopened as planned on 7 May. (†Barnett's Lock on the OS map.)

1321] Winchester: A developer wants to demolish the former Winchester Chesil stationmaster's
house, 'Prospect House' on Magdalen Hill. The house had been owned by the city council since it
purchased railway land in the 1960s but was sold on last year. The chairman of 'Didcot, Newbury and
Southampton Revival' said the development would not affect plans to reopen the railway

1328 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]
1322] St Erth: (BLN 1327.1050) The lengthened and much widened St Ives bay P3 was due to reopen
on Sat 1 Jun after closure for 25 days since Tue 7 May for reconstruction and track remodelling.

BELOW & NEXT PAGE: Three pictures of progress on the St ''Erth works''. (Julian James Tue 21 May.)

ABOVE: Looking towards Penzance and BELOW: Towards Plymouth. The new bay platform track will
effectively be on the course of the former 'Dock' or 'P4' line at buffer stops end at least.

1323] Tytherington: (BLNs 1318.2653 & 1319.X.178) Reopened to goods traffic on 29 Nov 2018, trains
on this interesting 6¼ mile Gloucestershire branch are sporadic; it has a history of hibernation. After an
interval with no traffic, aggregate trains ran to Appleford Sidings on Mon 1 & Wed 3 Apr. Thu 11 Apr
there was one to Banbury Road Sidings, Oxford Parkway then Appleford again Tue 23 & Wed 24 Apr
and Wed 1 May. However, no other trains ran during May, so if you need it and a tour pops up book!

1324] Bristol Freightliner Terminal: (TRACKmaps 3 p6B - Jun 2018) Known as 'South Liberty Siding' at
120m 40ch with a run round loop this is just south of Parson Street station and the Portishead branch
junction on the Up side. Originally opened by British Rail in 1974 and closed in 1992, Sat 5 Jun 2010
marked the reopening of Bristol's Freightliner terminal with an initial three year contract to remove
one million lorry road miles transporting 8.96M bottles of wine annually by rail. There are trains to/
from London Gateway (mainly), Felixstowe North and occasionally Southampton. When the Severn
Bridge Tolls went in Dec 2018 there was extra road traffic from/to South Wales. Due to losing three
significant contracts, the terminal is to close again at the end of July; remaining work transfers to
Wentloog (between Cardiff and Newport). [Ironically the ending of the Severn Bridge tolls has
facilitated this.] Some feel the closure is to release the site for a new rail served aggregate terminal.

1325] Portishead: (BLN 1327.1041) NR has released plans for passenger reopening (part of the Bristol
MetroWest programme). Included is 3¼ miles of new single track from the new Pill Jn (125m 72ch) to
Portishead (129m 11ch). The proposals do not affect the existing Royal Portbury Dock freight paths.
Some doubling is proposed and extension of the former Bedminster West Carriage Wash Line to form
a new Down Goods Loop with a turnout (119m 40ch) back onto the Down Main west of Bedminster.

Parson Street Jn (120m 28ch) is revised with a new trap point and enhanced signalling for the exit
from South Liberty Siding (see 1324) but stays as a single lead with the double track beyond retained
to Ashton Jn and the token system removed thereafter [no tablets at Pill then]. New signalling is
controlled from Didcot, Thames Valley Signalling Centre.

BELOW: The 25 Sep 1976 Oxford Railway Society 'Bristol Area Branch Line Tour' http://bit.ly/311NxAK
at Portishead where it reached the points before the then domestic coal depot. In 1976 Bristol must
have been rather bigger than it is now as the tour visited Gloucester Docks, Sharpness and
Tytherington (the first tour there after the branch had been relaid and reopened). (Ian Mortimer)

The new Pill Jn (MP 125m 72ch) is nearer to Bristol than the former Portbury Dock Jn (126m 32ch).
Beyond are parallel bidirectional single lines left to Portishead (one train running) and right to Royal
Portbury Dock. Beyond Pill Jn at 126m 13ch is Pill, the only intermediate station, a single platform on
the left of the line to Portishead. Like the new Portishead single platform which is on the right, it will
be 126m long to take five 23m length vehicles.

Permissible speed through Pill Tunnel is raised from 20 to 30mph and Pill Jn will be a 30mph for either
route in both directions. On the freight only line, speed between Pill Jn and the NR Portbury boundary
will be 30 mph and between Pill station and Portishead station the line speed will be a mix of 50 and
75mph with 15 mph in Portishead station. Remember that the project was 'descoped' to make it more
affordable. Just before Portishead, Moor Lane Crossing is to be replaced by a new overbridge.

Subject to the industry consultation, the project then requires a Development Consent Order (DCO).
North Somerset Council will make an application in summer 2019 and does not need a public enquiry.

1326] GWR Resignalling: Over the 11/12 May weekend, NR commissioned new LED signalling with
detection by axle counters between Bristol North Somerset Jn and Corsham (98m 26ch) just east of
Box Tunnel, the boundary with Didcot, Thames Valley Signalling Centre (TVSC) Swindon Workstation.

Resignalling also extends from Bathampton Jn towards Westbury interfacing with Westbury Signal Box
Panel 'A' just before Bradford-on-Avon. Full bi-directional signalling is provided between Thingley Jn
and North Somerset Jn on the Chippenham to Bristol Temple Meads line. Control migrated from
Bristol Signalling Centre (PSB) at Temple Meads railway station to the new TVSC Bath Workstation,
interfacing at North Somerset Jn with TVSC Bristol Temple Meads Workstation! At Bathampton Jn the
Up Passenger Loop was renamed Up Bathampton Loop (it is still signalled to passenger standards).
On the Bath side of Oldfield Park, the former Down Goods Loop became the Down Bath Goods Loop.

This leaves Bristol Signalling Centre just controlling from the Bristol side of Nailsea & Backwell station
to south of Bridgwater via the main line and via Weston-super-Mare with no immediate resignalling
plans. Bristol box near Temple Meads bay P1 buffer stops would need to be demolished for that bay to
be extended and/or to reinstate two bay platforms towards 'Brunel's Old (terminal) Station for the
London IETs. This was originally part of electrification but the plans appear to be no longer 'live'.

1327] East Somerset Jn: (BLN 1278.769) After the serious derailment on 20 Mar 2017, the direct
(bidirectional) connection of the Merehead branch to the Up Westbury line (120m 73ch) was plain
lined. All traffic to/from the main line used the parallel, fortunately bidirectional, Up/Down Branch
Loop. The direct connection has now been reinstated and was very shiny passing on Mon 13 May.

1328] GWR Network: GWR has produced a new map, dated Apr 2018. As before there is a GWR map
one side with a copy of the full network map on the other. As well as rail routes, shipping services to
Ireland and in Scotland (but not cross Channel) and certain bus routes are shown. The GWR side
differentiates between GWR managed stations and those managed by other operators but, perhaps
surprisingly, does not show the heritage lines with which there are through ticketing arrangements.

1329] So long (long) HST's: (BLN 1327.1051) After over 40 years on the Great Western Main Line, the
last regularly timetabled full length HST ran on Sat 18 May, the 18.30 from Paddington to Taunton via
Bath, Bristol TM and Weston, extended to Exeter St Davids. Seat reservations were required to travel
and an 18.32 IET also ran to Taunton (which overtook the HST at Reading) for 'normal passengers'.

1230] Tisbury: A well travelled member [one of many] reports the 1892 L&SWR 'Tisbury Gates' hut has
been restored and smartly painted in Southern green and cream with a large 'TISBURY GATES'
nameboard trackside. Non operational, it is at Tisbury West Crossing (97m 11ch) Up side (ST 934 281).

NEXT PAGE: Tisbury Gate Hut after refurbishment looking towards Tisbury and Waterloo. (NR.)

1331] Dawlish: (BLN 1323.447) NR has awarded the contract for the construction of Phase 1 of the
new £80M Dawlish sea wall to BAM Nuttall with work starting at the end of May. The government said
that the new, taller sea wall will provide increased protection for the next 100 years. [Time will tell...]

1329 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]
1332] Walsall Pleck Jn - it's that crossover again: (BLN 1228.1200) (TRACKmaps 4, p21A - Dec 2018)
The possibility of a dewirement at the non-electrified crossover is not just theoretical, there is past
history here. This crossover was originally electrified in the original 1960s scheme but when Pleck Jn
was relaid over Easter 2002 it was moved further south so the overhead line electrification (OHLE) was
no longer overhead at the crossover. There was no urgency to restore it as the crossover wasn't being
used by electric trains. Signallers were notified that it was blocked to electric traction but the
restriction wasn't in the Weekly Notice and there was no lineside sign. (OHLE may be restored in CP6.)

Sometime before 2007, disruption at Walsall caused an EMU to be terminated at Bescot. It was then
sent to Pleck Jn to cross over and return to Birmingham. While using the aforementioned crossover it
brought the wires down. It seems that when instructed to cross the train at Pleck the signaller
expected a DMU and the driver wouldn't have been aware of the restriction. When the Society visited
the former Walsall panel box in Jul 2013 there was a notice not to use the crossover for electric trains.

Another correspondent remembers the incident well. He was sat downstairs in his office (in the then
operational Walsall Power Box that overlooked the crossover). He doesn't know what made him get
up and look but could see a Class 323 EMU on the Down Slow (still just about on the wires over the
junction at this point). Instantly realising something was very wrong, he went to go upstairs to find out
what was happening. The signalman was heard to tell the driver to set back. Before our reporter could
do anything, the driver started the move, the pantograph ran off the wires, sprung up in the air and
just as day follows night it then ripped the wires down all around the train!

1333] Lichfield: At Trent Valley station, a small buffet has replaced the office provided when the
station was rebuilt for the Virgin customer assistant who dispatched the morning peak trains - the
public side of the counter barely has room for two customers to pass. Free standing lift towers were
erected on both platforms over the weekend of 12 May as part of the 'Access for All' schemer here.

At Lichfield City the platform toilets have gone, or at least are neatly boarded up, but the sign above
remains. There is no external indication that the disabled toilet in the waiting room is now available to
all, although a notice above the power door implies it has to be released by station staff. In the new
timetable the number of terminating trains has been reduced (to eight on weekdays, one Saturdays
and none on Sundays). They use the facing crossover (electrified!) at Lichfield City Jn (once for the
Walsall via Brownhills line) to turnround in P2. Most services are now extended to Lichfield Trent
Valley where more passengers now make connections between the High and Low Level services.

1334] Worcestershire Parkway: (BLN 1323.459) The impressive new station has progressed; the high
level North Cotswold Line platform (for 10-car IETs) is almost complete. The two low level CrossCountry
platforms are less so. Opening is expected Sun 15 Dec with the timetable change but schedules are
now in the system. Most GWR and all Birmingham - Cardiff services will call, including the new 06.13
(SSuX) Bristol TM to Stansted Airport (arr 11.40) with no return service but unusually a Class 170 on
the Bristol to Gloucester route. Before the timetable change it started at Gloucester and still does SO.

1335] Duddeston: The new Cross City Line EMUs are due to start operating in 2021 but no work is yet
evident on the construction of the new depot here. (TRACKmaps 4 p20 - Dec 2018 shows the depot.)

1336] Ironbridge (1): (BLN 1327.1058) NR took an all line possession of the branch for devegetation
work from 06.00-18.00 on Mon 20 until Fri 24 May. This is prior to the two steam specials on Sun 9 Jun.

1337] Ironbridge (2) - Talk is Cheap; Railways are Expensive: (BLN 1315.2255) A new passenger
service for the branch is at the heart of new proposals to redevelop the power station site. Harworth
Group, which bought the former power station site last year, has fine tuned its previous proposals for
the site based on feedback from their Oct 2018 public consultation. They were presented at the site's
pumphouse (which is being retained) on 22 May. The railway would be a major part of the plans and
could 'potentially' be used for 'heritage' services, freight transport and a commuter rail service. At the
end of May work began on demolishing the power station, which is expected to take 27 months. The
'landmark' cooling towers are included in the demolition. There was very strong opposition to them
when they were built in the early 1960s and recently local calls for them to be listed and retained!

A phase of sand and gravel extraction from the site quarry starts next year with work on construction
of the first of 1,000 homes following in 2021. Space for leisure activities, employment and a school is
included with a planning application expected to be submitted in the autumn.

1338] Turnback at Worcester! (BLN 1323.457 with pictures) After commissioning of the Henwick
Turnback Facility and the test light engine on 11 Feb 2019, the first ECS working was on Tue 9 Apr
(cancelled on 8th due to late running - see later) when the 14.21 GWR IET from Paddington terminated
at Worcester Foregate Street P1 at 16.45. It then went forward to Henwick ECS at 16.48 where it
recessed until 17.14 then formed the 17.26 back to Paddington. Previously this train had to rush back
to Shrub Hill to hide in the Long Siding (Down side at the London end of the station) and back again in
the time. This was for a Great Malvern to Westbury then a Birmingham New Street to Great Malvern
train to call at Foregate Street P1. As it is only single track between the two Worcester stations, and a
change of end was needed three times on this ECS working, it is not surprising that if anything was
running even slightly late it was curtailed at Shrub Hill. Now, of course, there is only one change of end
in the Turnback Facility and the Paddington train has actually made it to Foregate Street most days
since. In Dec Paddington to Worcester services are due to go hourly so increased use can be expected.

In the new timetable the 20.00 (SuO) Birmingham New Street to Foregate Street P1 (20.55) service
recesses ECS at Henwick to form the 21.18 from P1 to Birmingham Moor Street. As no service uses P1
in the interim it is suspected that this is for West Midlands Railway train crew familiarisation purposes.



[BLN 1329]
A remarkable event on Thur 23 May was Vintage Trains 17.42 Birmingham Moor Street to Worcester
steam hauled dining special with 7029 Clun Castle. Fares were from £60 return (non-dining Standard
Class); the rare track was not vintage but very new. So that steam could lead in both directions and use
the Worcester triangle to turn, it arrived at Shrub Hill P2. Vintage Train's 47773 ('The Queen Mother')
hauled it through Foregate Street P1. Then passengers could enjoy Henwick Turnback Facility from
19.36 to 20.01 without interrupting their meal - its first passenger train (with our FS on board). The
siding is well constructed to a high specification with passenger standard semaphore signalling, track
circuiting, a facing point lock, low impact lighting and a walkway to change ends. After reversal it
returned to Moor Street. Both runs were via Kidderminster, no other rare was track included. PS: Your
fairly local BLN Editor notes most 'locals' pronounce 'Henwick' without the 'w' and 'distants' with it.

PREVIOUS PAGE: 7029 'Clun Castle' & 47773 both in green on the train at Moor Street. (Kev Adlam.)

1339] New Street: Not to be outdone by other stations, there is a very smart white Yamaha baby
grand piano on the main concourse near the top of the P4/5 escalators, sponsored by a local dealer.
Our member heard it before seeing it passing through on 21 May - was it playing the Walsall Concerto?

X.57 West Midlands Metro: Showing that BLN is up to date, Thur 30 May was the 20th anniversary of
the line opening. BELOW: 'Birthday tram' No19 (No20 is having batteries fitted) with staff who were
presented with certificates for serving 20 years. NEXT PAGE: Members of the Passenger Panel (one just
happens to be a BLS member) had the chance to drive a tram from a siding to the wash - there have to
be some advantages. A different siding each time was it? View from the driver's seat on Wednesbury
Depot Siding No8, looking towards the wash and Wolverhampton. (Peter Humphries 30 May 2019.)

1340] Rugeley: On Sat 18 May the 22.19 Birmingham to Rugeley TV was an EMU as it then runs ECS
via Walsall and the 'direct' route to Wolverhampton to stable for a Sunday service. The first full day of
electric services, Sun 19 May, had planned bus replacements between Hednesford and Rugeley.

1341] Tamworth: The station recently received new London Northwestern (note one word) Railway
signage. The stairwell between P1 and P3 is still held together by scaffolding following the instability
reported last year and no work appears to be in prospect. A banner obviously meant for south of
Rugby about through trains to Wolverhampton, Runcorn and Liverpool was quickly removed. Water
Orton has also recently received new West Midlands Railway signage but so far Wilnecote has not.

1342] Nuneaton - Leamington: (BLN 1328.1203) Coventry City Council has awarded contracts worth
£12.3M to complete Phase 1 of the NUCKLE (Nuneaton - Coventry - Kenilworth - Leamington Spa)
scheme to increase frequency on the Nuneaton to Coventry (only) line from one to two trains per
hour. This involves building the new Coventry bay platform to the west of the A429 Warwick Road
overbridge at the Birmingham end - so quite a walk from the entrance and particularly from P4. The
DfT is contributing £5M towards the new bay with local sources paying the rest. Coventry north sidings
will be reconfigured with associated signalling and OHLE works, and a new trailing crossover installed
south of Coventry Arena for extra trains to run for events. GRIP 4 outline design work is underway.
[Our 10 Aug Crewe - Portsmouth railtour may be your only chance to do the existing North Yard No1...]

Midlands Connect is working with the DfT and local partners to update the business case for enhancing
capacity between Coventry and Leamington - partial redoubling with a second platform at Kenilworth.
A business case, part of the Midlands Rail Hub scheme, is due to be presented to the DfT this summer.

1329 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
1343] Belfast: (TRACKmaps 6 p18C - Feb 2004) The last Londonderry to Belfast Central/Lanyon Place
(delete as required) service of the day is booked to take the facing crossover at York Road North Jn, to
use the bidirectional Down line in the Up direction and call at Yorkgate P2 instead of the usual P1. It is
the last train at the station and allows any passengers quicker egress so the station can be locked up
for the night. Our Fixtures Secretary made the move on Thur 16 May using a Belfast to Mossley West
day return, only £3.50 for almost 18 miles in total. Donegall (sic) Quay Loop has no regular booked
passenger use at present. At Belfast Lanyon Place (Belfast Central according to the suspended - as in
hanging - platform numbers) some members observed local trains running south through P2 that
evening, now usual in the peaks. P2 was once the preserve of the Dublin 'Enterprise' services, the
north connection used to be rare. On 16 May the 19.25 Larne Harbour to Great Victoria Street ran
south through Down P4 for no obvious reason in the Up direction; all four platforms are bidirectional.

During the weekday peaks there are now evening departures from Lanyon Place P1 at 16.35, 16.55,
17.15, 17.35, 17.55 and 18.15 all stations to Bangor. These take the bidirectional Up line north in the
Down direction to the trailing crossover before Titanic Quarter and cross to P2 (the Down line there)
where a starting signal past the Belfast end of P2 signals that turnbacks would be possible. The 'local'
evening shuttles to Bangor (and back) connect with fast trains from the Portadown line via Great
Victoria Street to Bangor which then only call at Titanic Quarter, Holywood & Bangor West. This gives
an impressive six arrivals at Bangor from Belfast 17.00-18.00. In the weekday morning peak local trains
run to Great Victoria Street or beyond, but Bangor still has 12 departures between 07.00 and 09.00.

1344] Bangor: The 08.47 (SSuX) from Lisburn is booked to arrive in the rare short bay P1 on the
southwest side of the station at 09.53, where it stables all day until forming 16.17 to Portadown (so it
is evident if this departure is going to happen as booked). The bay was shortened to make space for
the adjacent bus station and is quite a walk from the ticket barrier at the end of P1 & P2 - hence its
restricted use. On Thur 16 May our two peripatetic members successfully made this P1 departure but
surprised the station supervisor by letting the 15.57 to Belfast go - they explained why. The guard on
the 16.17 later greeted them with "so you are the two who have come to Bangor specially to do
Platform 1..." Word had spread among the local railway staff that the Branch Line Society was in town.

1345] Larne Harbour: Rare P2, the shorter left one on arrival is used by the 17.06 (SSuX) ex-Great
Victoria Street. This runs non-stop in 17 minutes from Lanyon Place to Carrickfergus compared with
25 minutes for an all stations service. A 6-car DMU, it runs to the buffer stops at Larne Harbour P2 to
stable overnight forming an early morning departure. Also noted, the 17.35 from Larne Harbour was in
Magheramorne Loop for the 17.06 ex-Belfast to pass it on the main line. On 16 May our two
peripatetic members discovered that the Off-Peak Day Return from Belfast was only £8 for 54m 60ch
on this most interesting and very scenic branch! The conductor was at pains to point out that they
would have to wait at Larne Harbour from 18.03 until 19.25 for a train back and seemed surprised that
anyone would want to do that! [All rail staff encountered were very friendly and chatty, clearly they
don't normally encounter many enthusiasts and were pleased to do so.] However, it was possible to
escape by walking just ⅔ mile to civilization at Larne Town for refreshment, then the 19.16 to Larne
Harbour P1. North of Larne Town the single line soon splits into two bidirectional tracks, one for each
Harbour platform. The emergency crossover (facing from the P2 line) was, unsurprisingly, very rusty.
From 23 Jun 1974 the end of the branch, Glynn - Larne Town (1st station) - Larne Harbour (D415024 -
grid) closed after passage of the 09.55 Larne Harbour to Belfast York Road (a terminal station that
itself CP 17 Oct 1992). They worked very quickly in those days and it was replaced by a new line further
inland (Larne Harbour station moved southwest) in time for the 12.15 Larne Harbour to York Road!!

South of Whitehead on the left going to Larne, some disconnected track remains north of Whitehead
Tunnel which was the Down line after doubling in 1929. From 29 Aug 1994, due to coastal erosion, all
trains ran through the tunnel with single line working. From 28 Nov 1994 double track was restored
from Carrickfergus north to 12m 20ch at Kilroot. However, it was deemed too expensive to reinstate

the double track any further north so the reinstated and slightly realigned former Up line, bypassing
the tunnel, became the present bidirectional line and the tunnel line closed. Amending BLN 1003.752
of 15 Oct 2005, the whole branch closed for works after traffic on Fri 3 Jun 2005 (rather than from
Mon 6 Jun) with double track extended north to 12m 47ch opening to passenger traffic 13 Feb 2006.

1346] NIR Microgricing Railtour: Combining the above gives (SSuX): Belfast GVS 15.02 (or the 'other'
station at 15.12) - Bangor P3 (15.43) then from P1 at 16.17 - Lanyon Place (16.48/16.55) P1 north -
trailing X/O - Titanic Quarter (P2) 16.58/17.04 (P1) quite a walk - Lanyon Place (P2) 17.08/17.16 (P4) -
Larne Harbour (P2) 18.03/19.25 (P1) - Lanyon Place (through P4 southbound) - Great Victoria Street
(20.38). Great Victoria Street 22.40 - Mossley West (23.03/23.28) - Yorkgate P2 - Lanyon Place 23.41.

1347] Lisburn: (BLN 1327.1068) The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland Whitehead to Dublin train
on Thur 9 May operated via the Lisburn crossovers as expected; the 10.15 from Portadown ran via P3.

1348] Cork: The last train of the day from Dublin usually takes the facing crossover at the station end
of Cork Tunnel to arrive in P5 (the penultimate train is being cleaned in P4); there are equivalent early
morning departures to Dublin from P5. Recently on a weekday, the 14.00 ex-Dublin arrived (on time at
16.35) into P5 to form the 17.25 return as the 16.55 Cork to Mallow was booked from P4 - normally
used by Dublin trains. Of note with the line upgrade programme the 06.15 (SSuX) Cork to Dublin is
now booked non-stop in 2¼ hours exactly for 165¼ miles, an impressive 73.4mph start to stop average
but there is no equivalent Down train. The surprise on Mon 20 May was the 16.30 from Cobh shown as
arriving at the south end of Cork P5 at 16.54, although our members couldn't wait to see if it did as
they had a bus then plane to catch! The 16.35 arrival from Dublin was already in residence on P5 (until
17.25) and hadn't left much space at the south end, even for a 2-car DMU. Does this actually happen?

As the stock for the 16.55 (P4) to Mallow had not arrived by 16.48, might it even be the train from
Cobh running through? Cork station southern entrance is now open, but its new bus interchange is not
yet ready. That afternoon a schoolboy played Bach's Toccata and Fugue perfectly on the station piano.

1349] A real Corker: The National Transport Authority has published the Cork Metropolitan Area Draft
Transport Strategy, with an exciting vision for sustainable transport in the Cork area. Included is a
strategy for the future of Cork Commuter rail, which will now go out to public consultation. The plans:
♣ Eight new stations on the Mallow, Cobh and Midleton lines.
♣ Double tracking the Midleton line.
♣ DART-style frequency on all three Cork Commuter lines.
♣ Future electrification.
♣ Through running at Cork Kent station, and improved integration with other modes.
www.nationaltransport.ie has more details. Passenger numbers are increasing. Cork to Cobh with five
stops is 24 minutes by rail for 11½ miles, the same time as by car when the roads (13 miles) are clear.
The generally hourly bus service is scheduled to take 39-46 minutes according to the time of day.

1350] Ballybrophy: It has been reported that the 15.30 (SuX) Dublin to Limerick calls at bidirectional
P4, the furthest east. Is there any particular reason for this? The platform numbering is strange here,
P2 is the other face of this island on the Down side and also bidirectional, P1 is the unidirectional Up
platform for Dublin and the adjacent Nenagh line short bay at the north end is naturally P3. Its run
rund loop has been lifted, the associated pointwork removed and the line cut back slightly.

1351] Limerick Junction: The new Down platform for Cork is progressing well with lift towers and the
passenger bridge installed. It will be interesting to see if connectional times to/from Limerick change
when it opens as some are now very tight, but are maintained. On 16 May the station was staffed for
the 22.33 to Cork with a live station announcement for all the passengers - just three BLS members.
However a good number from Dublin transferred to the connecting Limerick service. The strategic
connection between the Dublin - Cork and Waterford - Limerick lines here (P1 to Waterford Line Jn at
21m 56ch) is now used by the 07.40 (SSuX) Thurles and 16.25 (SuX) Dublin Heuston, both to Limerick.
Additionally are (SuX) the 05.30 & 08.55 Limerick to Dublin; all four reverse in Limerick Junction P1.

X.58] ABOVE: Youghal station was the terminus of a 20m 63ch branch east of Cobh Jn. Although well
situated on the seafront (behind photographer) it closed to regular passenger services 2 Feb 1963. Far
left is the signal cabin (no signal boxes in Ireland) at the Cork end with the former end of line off right.

BELOW: The back of the signal cabin, the main passenger platform with run round loop leading to the
turntable was in front with a bay this side. (Both Will Davis, May 2019.)

1352] Western Corridor goes North? Irish Rail has engaged consultants to undertake a business case
study on the viability of Athenry to Tuam and/or Tuam to Claremorris as future operational railway
lines. The terms of reference have been established by the Department of Transport. The study will
involve public consultation, which begins in June. [If you need, the track make your wishes known!]

1353] Mallow: The 20.25 (SuX) Cork to Dublin Heuston is reportedly booked to call at bidirectional
Mallow P3 (20.49), taking the rare passenger line north out of P3 - does it in fact and if so why please?

1354] Dublin Heuston: (TRACKmaps 6 p2A - Feb 2004) From Tue 7 May until Mon 22 Jul 2019, Rule
Book Section 'T' Part Four protection arrangements will be applied to Guinness Sidings Roads 4, 5 & 6.

This temporary closure is required to facilitate enabling works for the National Train Control Centre
project. Heuston Hand Points HN-HP-01, which provides entry and exit to the Guinness Sidings will be
clipped, locked and scotched to provide access to Roads 1, 2 & 3 only for the duration of the works.
The Permanent Way Inspector at Heuston will retain the key for the points clip padlock.

1355] For the Single-Minded: Single Line Working operated over the Up Line between Lisduff facing
crossover (72m 58ch) and Thurles trailing crossover on Sats 11 & 18 May for the upgrade programme.

1329 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
1356] Horse Tramway: (BLN 1328.1211) In early May the temporary marquee was rapidly installed
and its track (an extension north) completed with the first trams arriving for stabling on 21 May. Manx
Electric Railway diesel powered No34 was surprisingly used to clear the tracks before testing and horse
training began. [Previously it has run on the Snaefell Mountain Railway, the IOM Steam Railway and, of
course, the Manx Electric Railway.] After testing and training, public services began on Fri 24 May, as
hoped in time for the frenetic two week TT races from 25 May. It ran from 10.00 until 15.00 (but
advertised until 16.00 which understandably irritated our Port Erin member who travelled specially
and then missed it) and no fares were charged on the first day.

Horse trams run over just 500yd of track from Derby Castle to Kings B&B. This is about half way
between Summerhill and Switzerland Rd; it had been hoped to reach the latter. An interesting clip (or
is that a clop?) http://bit.ly/2EvkAn5 (6⅓ min) shows single line working on the seaward side line
(presumably one horse in steam) although it is possible that the land side line could be used on other
occasions. From 25 May £1 per trip was charged and 'Go Explore Cards' accepted. There is no specific
timetable 'they just run up and down' (quote). Although the run will be extended in stages, the full
length is not expected to be open until 'next year'.

1357] Snaefell Mountain Railway: It is understood that single line working has been in force between
Laxey and Bungalow (with a crossover in use) for engineering works. However, it is not known which
line, what the work was, or if it continues. The timetable is basically half-hourly; Table 'C' for example is
12 return trips from Laxey 10.15-15.45 which can be run with just three cars; other timetables tend to
vary the hours of operation. Extra untimetabled cars run on busy days.

During the Tourist Trophy (TT) Races (25 May-7 Jun), and the Festival of Motorcycling (17-30 Aug),
special 'TT Rider' tickets offers very good value day rovers. Ramsey or Douglas to Bungalow/Snaefell is
only £14 or Laxey to Bungalow/ Snaefell £12. Bungalow is on the TT course, of course, and the A18
level crossing there can be closed to rail traffic, with the service split. Passengers walk across between
two separate tram shuttles with the lower crossover in passenger use on arrival. Snaefell Mountain
Railway has right hand running so the lower crossover is facing and the upper one trailing. However,
the upper section is operated with 'one tram in electric' - bidirectional running on one line so the
trailing Bungalow crossover is not used.

The TT is an extremely busy time on the Isle of Man in general; the locals either hibernate or go away
on holiday! Accommodation is fully booked and much more expensive. Public transport is difficult and
uncomfortable with long waits for electric trams and limited space on the steam services.


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