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


1st June 2019

1329 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
1358] Control Period 6: Network Rail plans to spend more than £4bn in Scotland between 1 Apr 2019
and 2024 (from a budget of £42bn across the whole network). The priority is to improve reliability and
performance. There is a 20% increase in spending on operations, maintenance and renewals.

'Definite' plans for Scotland in the five year period include:

●Carstairs, renewals with line speed improvements on the WCML, Glasgow and Edinburgh routes.
●Edinburgh and Perth 'signalling renewals'.
●Glasgow Central, Clyde Bridge refurbishment (£13M).
●Over 256 other structures are to be renewed or refurbished.
●Repair or renewal of over 560 miles of track.
●Glasgow Queen Street (high level) completion of upgrade and rebuilding.
●Aberdeen - Inverness completion of the Improvement Project.
●Dunbar, second platform project with step free access.

Projects currently 'being explored' include:

●'Developing' Lothians & Borders (previously the Edinburgh Suburban Enhancement Programme).
●7Cities 'Connectivity' (was Greenhill Jn remodelling and Dunblane to Perth Corridor Enhancement).
●Scotland East to England 'Connectivity' (East Coast Main Line corridor enhancement).
●Edinburgh Waverley western approach enhancements.
●East Kilbride/Barrhead corridor enhancements.
●Far North Line corridor enhancements.

1359] Kinross: Transport Scotland has confirmed it will look into proposals to introduce a direct rail
link between Edinburgh and Perth. Perth, Hilton Jn - Cowdenbeath North Jn CP 5 Jan 1970, trains
were diverted via Fife to build the M90 motorway. Recently the Labour/Independent group at Perth &
Kinross Council has proposed setting aside £150,000 from its budget for a study into the rail link.

1360] Aberdeen - Stonehaven: (BLN 1325.754) Over the 27-28 Apr weekend NR finally commissioned
the first phase of the £13.6M project to increase capacity with signalling improvements for the
introduction of additional trains from the 19 May timetable change. New LED signals and axle counters
were commissioned with the closure of Newtonhill signal box (230m 59ch) and transfer of area control
to Aberdeen signal box. This had been delayed from 18 Mar. The project involves track and signalling
improvements with the installation of a new crossover at Craiginches in Phase 2 to reduce the number
of freight trains travelling north towards Aberdeen station (just to run round to go south again)
improving operational flexibility and allowing more passenger trains (local ones in particular) to run.

1361] Kintore: (BLN 1312.1907) Work started on 4 Mar with vegetation clearance for construction of
the new two platform station at Kintore to break up the 10½ miles between Dyce (6m 20ch) and
Inverurie (16m 72ch). The immediate population of the town is about 5,000. The line, now temporarily
closed from 4 May, is due to reopen after redoubling and resignalling on Mon 19 Aug. The new station
is scheduled to open with the Dec 2019 timetable change. There will be three or four peak-hour trains
between Aberdeen, Kintore and Inverurie with an off-peak half-hourly service. The 108¼ mile
Aberdeen - Inverness journey is also to eventually be reduced to two hours.
Local residents have been urged to take part in workshops to develop ideas for potential artwork, to
include soft landscaping and small scale artist installations leading up to the station. A historic bench,
originally from the station before being lost and then cropping up again at an auction, will be returned.

The original Kintore station (NJ 791 166) was 13m 29ch from Aberdeen and its three platform faces
still remain today (two through platforms for the main line and a bay for the Alford branch -
pronounced 'Afford' locally). Although not directly affected by the new station, it remains to be seen
whether they will survive redoubling. Although the main platforms were obviously designed for double
track, it's possible they might foul modern gauge clearance requirements? This station CP 7 Dec 1964.

The new station is about a quarter of a mile further north (NJ 789 169). This site was formerly a saw
mill, served by a branch off the station goods sidings. The trackbed of this very short branch, and the
start of the Alford line as it skirted the southern edge of the sawmill site, survive as informal footpaths
and can be walked although these will presumably be obliterated by the new station. The redoubling
sees the neighbouring Boat of Kintore AHB crossing upgraded to MCB-OD (BLN 1259.1246). has detailed plans, which includes some interesting history, photographs and
'timeline' maps showing how the site has changed over time. is an old 25" to the
mile OS map (allow time to load and zoom in). There is a good aerial photograph from 1969 at showing (from bottom to top) the level crossing, station, junction for the Alford
branch, off right, and the sawmill branch with the main line to Insch and Inverness, off to the left.

1329 WALES & THE MARCHES (Chris Parker) [email protected]
1362] Class 230s: (BLN 1324.631) TfW is now satisfied that, in the absence of end doors, there is
sufficient room to walk alongside these units should an emergency evacuation be necessary in single
track tunnels on the Conwy Valley line. The plan is that they will initially only work Wrexham - Bidston,
then be phased in on Crewe - Chester services and finally the Conwy Valley line. ('Modern Railways')

1363] Global Centre of Rail Excellence: (BLN 1306.1344) This grandiosely titled proposed rail testing
facility has now been approved by Neath Port Talbot (NPT) Council cabinet members as a joint venture
with Powys County Council and the Welsh Government, seen as a 'major step forward'. The disused
Nant Helen opencast site, near the NPT/Powys border, remains the preferred location, to be linked to
the Onllwyn branch. It is proposed to have train testing circuits like at Velim in the Czech Republic.

1364] 'Castle' HSTs: One of these 2+4 sets reached West Wales for the first time on 30 Apr, when GWR
operated a Bristol St Philip's Marsh - Carmarthen traction handling experience working. 'Railway
Herald' advised that this was preparing for their regular use on this route. However, no extra GWR
services have been identified in the new timetable and there have been social media rumours that
some of these units may be subleased to TfW for a short period. This would cover the loco powered
Manchester - Holyhead and also some Cardiff - Holyhead services during the replacement or
refurbishment of the existing fleet. Certainly the Weekly Operating Notice records that HST 2+4
stopping position marker boards were to be introduced on P3 and P4 at Cardiff Central from 4 May.
However, these may be connected with existing use of the short HSTs on Taunton - Cardiff diagrams?

1365] TfW publicity: TfW has launched a publicity campaign to highlight its efforts to improve rail
services in Wales and the Borders. This includes a one minute TV advert with
staff and 'fleeting' behind the scenes views, including Alstom's Class 175 Chester maintenance depot.

1366] Penyffordd: (BLN 1328.1229) Anticipation of Padeswood cement works traffic resuming may be
premature. The training workings referred to were by DB Cargo who recently won back the Dee Marsh
steel traffic contract from Freightliner. It is unknown if a Padeswood contract has been awarded yet.

1367] Rhymney - Penarth: (BLN 1327.1091) Despite there being no prospect of it being implemented
for a while, NR has now accepted the Vehicle Change for the use of Class 769 hybrid units between
Cardiff Central and Penarth. At the same time training runs for the reintroduction of Class 37 hauled
services between Central and Rhymney began on 9 May; 'Railway Herald' 642 has a photograph.

1368] Brynamman - Pontardawe: This section of the ex-Midland Railway (MR), originally the upper
end of Swansea Vale Railway (SVR) was explored on 27 Apr. At Brynamman, the sites of both MR/SVR
[East] and Great Western Railway (GWR) stations [West] - respectively east and west of the A4069
road - are now vacant. The latter was once used to park and store fairground vehicles and equipment.

There used to be a connection between the two branches but not the passenger platforms. Although
the 'West' platform was on the north side of the connection 'East' was a separate terminal platform
south side of that line. NEXT PAGE: 1960 one-inch map showing Brynamman's two stations (when CP).

ABOVE: From the 1913 OS 25" to the mile map of Brynamman; showing the two branch termini either
side of (you will never believe this…) Station Road - perhaps it should have been 'Stations Road'? The
upper most line was the single track connection between the two lines under the bridge. The Midland
(originally Swansea Valley) Railway terminus to the right - 'East' - platform was below the straight track
which is at an angle to the through line beneath 'Station'; S.B. = Signal Box and S.P. = Signal Post.

All trace of Cwmllynfell station (at the north end of the village) has also gone but the trackbed
southward for about a mile is now a tarmacadamed path around the east side of the village. Gwys
appears to be a name adopted by the railway; the station actually served Cwmtwrch Uchaf village
which was perhaps too hard to spell! It took its name from the Afon Gwys, a tributary of the Afon
Twrch. Again no trace of it remains. The trackbed northwards climbs out of sight behind some houses
but somewhere thereabouts was Caelliau Colliery Branch Jn (255m 72ch) where the MR/SVR owned
mineral branch to Black Mountain Colliery diverged (256m 54ch from St Pancras, presumed via
Wigston South Curve, Nuneaton flyover, Whitacre, Droitwich GWR, Worcester Foregate Street GWR,
Hereford north curve, Brecon and Ynysygeinon Jn. Unless you know different of course!).

Cwmtwrch Well Halt was a wooden platform opened by the LMS in 1935 serving Cwmtwrch Isaf.
Unsurprisingly, no trace remains, houses and gardens occupying the former railway. At Gurnos, the
Gurnos Wagon Works & Engineering Co premises are extant, adjacent to the trackbed of the MR/SVR
Clayphon Wharf goods branch, now a formal tarmacadamed footpath. This was not explored but is
believed to continue through to Clayphon Wharf and the ruins of Ynyscedwyn Ironworks. To the south,
the new A4067 has absorbed the trackbed through Ystalyfera and Pontardawe station sites.

1369] Access for All: Nationally, 73 stations have been selected for funding of major improvements
under this scheme from a £300M budget during CP6 (2019-2024). The following Wales and Marches
stations are included: Abergavenny; *Barry (Town); Caerphilly; *Cathays; Cwmbran; Flint; *Llanelli;
Ludlow; Shotton; Tenby; *Trefforest. [*deferred from CP5 as with over a third of all the CP6 funded
projects]. Unsuccessful bids include Ruabon where there is no step free access to the northbound
(Down) platform of a station which had an estimated 95,670 users in 2017-8, an increase of 236%
since 2002. The footbridge's listed status, despite removal of its canopy and other rationalisation over
the past 50 years, is a complication. However, local campaigners are exploring other avenues. 'Access
for All' began in 2006 and has delivered over 200 step-free routes into stations. Following rail industry
nominations, the latest station improvement projects were selected on criteria including passenger
numbers weighted by area disability, value for money and factors such as local proximity to a hospital.

1370] Abergavenny: On Sun 12 May at about 11.15 the 10.34 TfW Cardiff to Manchester Piccadilly
service struck fallen power cables at approximately 24m 40ch, between Penpergwm and Abergavenny.
It was allowed to proceed after the driver examined the train and reported no issues but Hereford -
Maindee Jns was blocked to subsequent traffic from 11.20 till 13.51. A light aircraft had crashed on to
the parallel A40 dual carriageway after hitting an electricity pylon, bringing the cables down on to NR
infrastructure in the process as well as cutting power to neighbouring properties. Fortunately the road
was traffic free at the time and the three aircraft occupants escaped with minor injuries.

1371] Llandudno Junction: This is another illustration of the increasingly historic nature of the
Sectional Appendix. The long disused Quay Siding and Glan Conwy Freight Depot sidings are heavily
overgrown with trees and clearly unusable. However, they are still shown in the Appendix as available.
There is nothing to the contrary in the Weekly Operating Notices either, again not unusual nowadays.

Meanwhile, in micro platform gricing news, an 8m section of P3 (Up & Down Main), approx 80m/4ch
from the Up end, is OOU until further notice due to 'emergency works' (specific details welcome).
A temporary sign on P3 enables drivers to stop trains clear of the closed off section and train managers
are to make on-board announcements warning passengers intending to alight there; assuming that
they can get a word in edgeways between Ruth's automated bilingual announcements of course.

1372] Whitland: (BLN 1311.1813) The now rare bay P3 is available again with one weekly arrival and
departure by summer dated services. 25 May until 8 Sep the 08.35 (SO) Pembroke Dock arrives P3 at
09.38 SO then shunts ECS to P1 to form the 10.05 to Swansea. This allows the 09.40 Carmarthen to
Tenby onto the branch at 09.54. There is good news for bidirectional members, SuO 19 May to 8 Sep a
19.58 ECS from Carmarthen forms the 20.37 departure from Whitland P3 to Pembroke Dock.

1373] Pembroke Dock: IETs are spreading their wings, as well as Long Marston (item 1385) and
Newquay they will be on GWR's SO summer dated 07.23 Swansea to Pembroke Dock (09.44), 10.01 to
Paddington 'Pembroke Coast Express' (15.30 - 5½ hours on a hard seat, the same time as to Penzance)
plus 08.45 Paddington to Pembroke Dock (14.12) and 14.55 return (Paddington 20.30). It will be
interesting to see how long they are. The IETs only call at Saundersfoot, Tenby, Manorbier, Pembroke
and Pembroke Dock on the branch (HSTs called at all eight intermediate stops, even the five request
stops). An Explore West Wales Day Ranger is a good way of covering all the lines west of Carmarthen;
Adult £13; Railcard £8.50; after 08.45 weekdays (Two Together 09.30), all day weekends & Bank Hols.

MR86] 1329 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott) [email protected] MR86]




High Legh Miniature Railway, High Legh Garden Centre, Knutsford

7¼" O 700yds SJ700836 01925 756991

(Line reopened 13/04/19)


Blunsdon Miniature Railway, Swindon & Cricklade Railway

5"/7¼" E 85yds SU110897 01793 771615

(New line opened 02/2019)


6 Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust Amend length to: 0.74 (Extension opened 19/05/19)
9 Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway Amend length to: 0.21 (Extension opened 27/04/19)
9 Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway Amend  to: 01495 707448
15 Kingsbridge & District Light Railway Amend length to: 340yd (Parkside extension opened 20/10/18)
16 Chappel Miniature Railway Delete entry (Closed. Last ran 23/12/18). To be replaced by new line
16 Colne Valley Miniature Railway Amend layout to: C. Amend length to: 400yds (Amended layout

opened 23/03/19)
17 Lodge Farm Park Railway Amend layout to: D. Amend length to: 600yds (Extension opened

19 Knees Woodland Miniature Railway Amend length to: 260yds (Extension opened 06/04/19)
22 Blenheim Park Railway Amend  to: 01993 810530
22 Cutteslowe Park Miniature Railway Amend layout to: C. Amend length to: 500yds (Extension

opened 07/04/19)
25 Littlehampton Miniature Railway Amend  to: 01903 719876

MR87] Battlefield Line Railway, Leicestershire (MR p7): This railway runs over the former LNWR & MR
joint line, from Nuneaton to Moira Junctions and its Coalville branch (junction at Shackerstone).The
section presently in use runs south from Shackerstone (8m 24ch) via Market Bosworth (10m 61ch) to
Shenton (12m 46ch) - mileage is from the former Moira West Junction. BELOW: GWR 2-6-2T 5542
stands at Shackerstone Platform 2 with the 13.45 departure to Shenton. (Peter Scott 4 May 2019.)

A visit was made to the Battlefield Line on the afternoon of Saturday 4 May. Operating, on loan for the
season from the South Devon Railway, was GWR 2-6-2-T 5542 with a train of four ex-BR MK1 coaches.
Trains sampled were the 13.45 from Shackerstone to Shenton and 14.20 return from Shenton. These
both used platform 2 at Shackerstone and were only lightly loaded. All three stations boast
refreshment facilities; those at Shackerstone are branded 'Victorian Tea Room' and provided a nice tea
and cake for our reporter after his trip.

Shackerstone is the railway's headquarters with a two road shed and workshop, along with operating
signal box. Some locos and stock are also stabled on the prongs of the former Moira and Coalville lines
north of the station. Market Bosworth was originally the most important intermediate station on the
whole line, serving the modest market town. The railway now has full access to the station, with a
small car park on the Down (east) side of the line. The platform in use is on the Up (west) side, while
the main station building is on the other platform - but not in railway use. The signal box here is not
yet in full working order, but a siding is under construction to allow a locomotive to shunt release short
workings from Shackerstone during the railway's 50th Anniversary Steam Gala on 18-20 October this
year. There is no passing loop here yet; the line through the Down platform is only a siding. Shenton
has a station building on its one platform on the Down side - the track layout is formed of a simple run-
round loop. An adult all-day ticket was £12 for which a white coloured Edmondson ticket was issued.

MR88] National Railway Museum (NRM), York (MR p9): A visit was made on Saturday 4 May travelling
with an 'East Yorkshire Round Robin' ranger ticket. Running on the standard gauge demonstration line
was 0-4-0DH D2860 (YE 2843/1961), operating this weekend instead of the usual steam loco. The fare
was £4. Trains now only run as far the NRM gate (although for your money you do have two short
trips), as no one admits to owning the tracks beyond (our reporter was told) and can give permission
for passenger trains to use it - although 'Flying Scotsman' had left that way the previous week!

BELOW: Colne Valley Miniature Railway - the scale of the work carried out over the winter at the
Colne Valley Railway is clearly visible here. Behind the new station for the 7¼" gauge miniature railway
is the new entrance building. (Peter Scott 5 May 2019.)

MR89] Colne Valley Railway & Miniature Railway, Essex (MR p8 & p16): A visit was made to this
railway on Sunday 5 May. A new road entrance and car park opened with the start of the 2019 season
on 23 March. This is to the south of the site, closer to Sible Hedingham. The previous road entrance to
the north is now closed. There is a new entrance building where tickets are purchased, which also
contains a small shop and toilets. The 7¼" gauge miniature railway has been reconfigured to
accommodate changes at the railway. The previous return loop and station have been completely
removed, to be replaced in due course by a new building - the 'Cubitt Skills Centre'. The line now runs
to a station behind the new entrance building, via a tunnel with sheds either side. There is a triangle
here, which on this day was used to turn the train [so done in passenger service?] before returning to
the station - there is no run-round loop. This new station and section opened on 23 March. The other
end of the Miniature Railway is unchanged. Trains of four sit-astride coaches were operating with
4w loco 'Clive' every 15-20 minutes from just before 11.00. On the standard gauge trains were running
every 40 minutes from 11.30. These were comprised of 0-6-0ST 190 (HE3790/1952) with three BR MK1
coaches (TSO/FO/BSK) and used platform 2. Admission to the site is £10 and allows unlimited riding on
both railways. BR 'Priv' tickets holders can obtain a ticket for a generous £2.50.

MR90] East Lancashire Railway, Lancashire (MR p8): At the end of March, work started on Rawtenstall
station's £600,000 redevelopment. The scheme aims to improve facilities for users of the Railway and
more general visitors. A new L-shaped platform canopy spanning the entire length and width of the
station will be added, along with the construction of a new 37m fully accessible station building with a
cafe, kitchen, activity/community room, tourist information centre and toilet and baby changing
facilities. Included are alterations to the existing station building, expansion of the Buffer Stops Bar and
relocation of current toilet facilities. The final phase will see the creation of a new station forecourt
including landscaping, sheltered cycle stands and picnic areas. Mike Kelly, Chairman of the Railway,
said: The design will keep the station's traditional appearance, while boasting modern, high quality
facilities. This is a great example of partnership working alongside Rossendale Borough Council and
Lancashire County Council, which I hope will see thousands of additional visitors using the new facilities
and hopefully travelling on the railway.

MR91] Yorkshire Wolds Railway, East Riding of Yorkshire (MR p9): After two years work the railway
has been granted a EU funded 'Leader' programme grant of £75,000, which will enable it to start work
on extending the short running line at Fimber. The project will cost almost £100,000 and will treble the
length of the run. The money funds ground works, ballast, a platform base and equipment.

MR92] Wensleydale Railway, North Yorkshire (MR p9): The Railway has received a National Lottery
Heritage Fund grant of £368,000 for a project, which will see the restoration of the Leeming Bar
station building, delivery of an education and community engagement programme and provision of
heritage-themed activities. The project focuses on restoring the station house to how it would have
looked in the 1920s, telling the story of the Wensleydale Railway from its creation in 1848 to the
present day. A wide range of heritage based activities will be delivered, where the public can discover
and experience life at a busy country station in the interwar period. Leeming Bar station dates from
1848, when the line was first built. Threatened with demolition in the 1960s, it was Grade II listed,
which protected it from destruction; currently much of the building is out of use with no public access.

MR93] Handforth Model Engineers, Cheshire (MR p13): This site has not apparently been reported in
BLN before. The Society operates ground level (7¼" gauge) and elevated railways in Meriton Road Park,
Handforth. The ground level track is formed of a circuit of 230 yards. A dedicated member paid a visit
on a warm sunny Sunday 28 April. One loco and one coach were in operation carrying passengers on
the 7¼" gauge. The main purpose of his visit was to travel from the new station and platform loop that
was built recently. Trains do two loops passing through the platform both times, with the station
bypass line only being used for a two train service. The elevated track was also in use with a Class 08
numbered 721. Fares were by donation. Recent additions are a spur into the clubhouse/workshop and
a turntable being constructed. A friendly club and well worth a visit if in this area of South Manchester.

ABOVE: Handforth Model Engineers - a local dog supervises the departure of 47632 from
the new platform. (Rod Bryant 28 Apr 2019.)

MR94] Ness Islands Railway, Highland (MR p28) (BLN 1311.MR162): The future of this 7¼" gauge
railway is now more secure after it was sold to Highland Hospice. A spokesman for the charity said on
12 April: We are delighted to announce that we have bought the Ness Islands Railway in Whin Park,
Inverness. This popular and much-loved attraction has been built up to the success it is by the late
Ian Young and his wife Jan and their children and grandchildren. We are honoured that they have
entrusted us with continuing Ian's legacy and we hope we can keep the railway running for many
years to come. All proceeds from the business will go towards funding hospice care in the Highlands.

MR95] Hythe Pier Railway, Hampshire (MR p18) (BLN 1326.MR50): The ferry is facing a new threat of
closure only two years after it was saved. In mid February operators Blue Funnel Ferries were informed
that Hampshire County Council was ending the annual subsidy of about £80,000 on 31 March 2019.
This kept the service going thereby cutting congestion on the A326 and other nearby roads.
The operators have urged Southampton City Council to find the money needed to save the service
from closure. Blue Funnel Ferries bought the service from White Horse Ferries in 2017 and have since
spent £40,000 on improvements - annual passenger journeys have risen more than 12% to 195,000.

MR96] Teifi Valley Railway, Ceredigion (MR p29) (BLN 1286.MR140): The following appeared on the
website by early May: Work has been progressing tirelessly in a bid to reach Pontprenshitw station.
Sleepers, ballast and rail have been laid ... we are progressing well and it should not be much longer
before our trains can carry passengers to this destination as we only have about 130 yards to go.

MR97] Clifton Rocks Railway, Bristol (BLN1283.1301): The railway has been purchased by Bristol
businessman Ian Johnson, who is currently in the process of transforming the Clifton Observatory,
another landmark in the area owned by him. After opening a museum, event space and café at the
Camera Obscura site, Ian now has his sights set on restoring the railway. Opened in 1893, in its first
year it was used by around 400,000 people and was thought to be the only four-track funicular built
into rock in the world. Closure came in 1934 - but this did not mark the end of its use as in 1939 it was
employed as an air shelter and secret transmission base for the BBC during WWII. Since then it has
remained empty, although The Clifton Rocks Railway Trust, formed in 2002, has protected it and
opened it to the public on a handful of days every year, including the popular Bristol Doors Open Day
(and our Society 2011 AGM visits). The railway and cave were owned by the Avon Gorge Hotel until Ian
purchased at the end of April 2019. He is looking forward to working with the Clifton Rocks Railway
Trust, and getting the museum opening seven days week, and gradually restoring the property.

ABOVE: Clifton Rocks Railway inside the top station (Angus McDougall - 14 Oct 2011, our AGM visit.)

MR98] Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, Kent (MR p19) (BLN 1316.MR219): The season started
on the last day of March 2019 and the railway runs every Sunday to the end of September, plus Bank
Holiday Mondays and some Wednesdays. Santa Trains run in December. On Easter Eve, Saturday 20
April, our Roving Reporter found 0-4-2ST 'Melior' (KS4219/1924) at work with a train of four bogie
coaches. 2019 is the Golden Anniversary of the handover by Bowaters to the Locomotive Club of Great
Britain. It is understood that a special event is in preparation - possibly in the autumn. The 5" gauge
line at Kemsley Down was not operating when viewed in the afternoon. The boiler for 0-4-2ST
'Premier' (KS886/1905) is due back on site in the near future.

MR99] Kirkintilloch Model Engineers, North Lanarkshire (MR p28) (BLN 1050.MR164): The Society has
a ground level 3½/5/7¼" gauge railway in the grounds of Colzium Lennox Estate at Kilsyth. A member
visited on Easter Monday, 22 April, and found the railway in operation. This was a special service for
the Easter holiday, but normal running is on the first Sunday of the month, if the weather is suitable.
The train in use was 0-6-0T 'Joel', a 7¼" gauge coal-fired steam loco, with a single sit-astride passenger
vehicle. A ride comprised two circuits of the track. There is no admission charge, or any set fare for the
train, and no tickets are issued. Passengers (or their parents) are asked to put a voluntary donation in
the collection box. The weather being very fine, there was a steady flow of 'weans' wanting a ride.
The passing loop is out of use - the only non-passenger track is the branch to the traverser and loading
banks. On Sundays there is an hourly bus service to Kilsyth from Glasgow, Buchanan Bus Station.

MR100] Ayrshire Railway Preservation Group, East Ayrshire (MR p10): This Group operates at the
former Dunaskin Iron Works at Waterside and a dedicated member made a visit on Sunday 5 May.
In steam was 0-4-0ST No10 (AB2244/1947) with a brake van giving rides. After entering into an
agreement with Hargreaves (the owner of the line between the Network Rail boundary at Waterside
[52m 70ch] and Chalmerston) they have been permitted, on and from 12 August 2018, to run for a
half mile towards Chalmerston. The rest of the branch to the Opencast at Chalmerston is still available
for traffic but currently 'mothballed' (last coal train 10 July 2012). The Railway Group has undertaken
much resleepering to bring the line up to passenger standards. The ticketing arrangements have
changed this year and on entering the site you are asked what time train you wish to use, with a train
every 20 minutes and tickets colour coded for each trip to avoid crowds; this new system works very
well. During the winter the narrow gauge railway from a peat moss at East Kilbride was obtained with
the aim of operating a line in the future. A friendly welcome awaits anybody interested in industrial
railways. A good selection of food was on offer in the café - admission price with a ride is £7 adult.

1329 FIXTURES REPORTS (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

1374] The Rossington Recycler, . FROM TO M Ch

Sat 13 April 2019: By Terry Cotter. Passenger loading point End of line (Rossington) 0.12

The weather forecast on the evening End of line (Rossington) Rossington Colliery Jn Loop.. 1.10½.
of the 12th concerned me as this was
Rossington Colliery Jn Loop.. End of run round loop 0.67
warning of 'frost' which, as far as
End of run round loop Rossington Colliery Jn Loop 0.67
Southeastern is concerned, is now a
Rossington Colliery Jn Loop Passenger loading point 0.78½
severe weather event! My commute

to work the previous week had been badly affected by this new excuse, sorry event! Anyhow, despite

seeming much colder than the previous week, my 05.38 departure to St Pancras was on time and

allowed me to make my booked departure from King's Cross to Doncaster. As often happens to

members travelling to or from a Society event, a rare crossover was unexpectedly bagged in the form

of Sandy North Jn Down Slow to Down Fast (only booked use weekday early hours per the excellent

UT Tracker website). [ABOVE: Mileage thanks to Pogo.]

There were four identical trips on the branch with departures at 10.00, 11.15, 12.30 (the one I was on)
and 13.45. Each was met by a complimentary bus provided by Black Prince buses departing from

Doncaster bus station adjacent to the railway station
30 mins before the tours departed. For those
interested, the buses used alternately were Volvo
'TRR 814R' and Mercedes 'P441 SWX'; the latter
displayed 'BLS' in its destination display! [NEXT PAGE]
On arrival at the recycling plant it was time to check
in and, if desired, partake of refreshments available
from a mobile van thoughtfully provided for the day.

[LEFT: Souvenir ticket designed by Amy Nash.]

From 6 Apr, a week before, the branch with its loop (and headshunt along the west side of the East
Coast Main Line) became a private siding. Engineer's Line Reference FWR2 ceased to exist. The new NR
boundary is 151m 78ch - just north of the loop, beneath the A6182 'Great Yorkshire Way' overbridge.
The NR part is still called 'Rossington Colliery Branch' then it becomes 'Rossington Private Sidings'.
Before booked departure time, participants were allowed to walk over to the internal loco 08527
(which saves main line trains having to be top & tailed or propelled on the branch) for a photo. This
was under controlled conditions - before boarding our very smart looking (both outside and inside)
riding vehicle 'Molly' for the trip. It began by heading towards the buffer stops at the end of the
remaining line near the site of the former Rossington Main Colliery. Coal production ended on 31 Mar
2000 due to the many geological faults in the coal seams and the pithead gear was demolished in
2007. The spoil tip was reworked, extracting more power station coal that was removed by rail as was
the spoil (inert capping for part of Roxby tip near Scunthorpe). The landscaped site is now
disappearing under a housing development. After reversal, it was back to the boarding point and
onwards, curving sharp right to follow the River Tome (on the left) with Rossington Drain to our right.
Approaching the East Coast Main Line at Rossington Colliery Jn Loop the main line connection came in
left from Doncaster. Our line split to form a run round loop and we proceeded towards the buffers
(well, actually sleepers before the buffers) at the other far extremity of the branch near the ECML.

Return was, of course, by the other side of the run round loop not covered on the outward journey.
Memories of the last two railtours to the area were shared by participants as we returned again to the
other end of the line. They were 'The South Yorkshire' on 15 Oct 1989 with the Institute of Mining
Engineers - picture BLN 1326.770 - doing the branch and Pathfinder's 26 May 2001 tour which didn't.
Then it was back to the embarkation point and, for most, the bus back to Doncaster.

Another excellent high quality well supported event run jointly with PLEG, on a branch line that some
had thought they would never be able to do. Thanks to everybody involved in making this happen.
The day also raised £4,000 for local good causes nominated by ECO Power Environment. Much of the
branch has been relaid and there is a train of inert waste most weekdays to Roxby which is good news.
However, due to the cost of transporting 'Molly', a repeat of our trips is very unlikely to happen.

ABOVE: Two of our stewards, left Mike McCabe (rear) and right Mark Haggas 'tick off' participants on
arrival - in the nicest possible way. All Pictures by Society Photographer, Geoff Plumb 13 Apr 2019.

BELOW: The sandwich and refreshment van arranged specially by Kev for the occasion.

ABOVE: Approaching the present end of line (the guard, a certain Mr K L Adlam, waves the driver on).
BELOW: Looking towards to the colliery site and new housing; the power cables are a useful marker.

ABOVE: The other end of the line, the headshunt at the south end of the run round loop by the ECML.
BELOW: 'Molly' about tospeed past an Azuma going north on the Down main towards Doncaster.

ABOVE: Loversall Carr Jn, an Up Grand Central Class 180 Adelante heads for London with the A6182
'Great Yorkshire Way' overbridge in the background. The branch connection to NR is seen left (still part
of the private sidings now here). BELOW: A little further south. Both looking north towards Doncaster.

ABOVE: So just what is the collective noun for a group of BLS stewards?
BELOW: Our hard working train crew who made these well organised trips such a success.

1375] South Cheshire Miniatures, Sun 14 Apr: By
James Beal. On a cold dry April day 23 miniature
members met to ride three varied lines, all within
five miles of Crewe; a few had been to Rossington
the day before. Our member Neil Lewis put
together a well organised and relaxed itinerary
which went like clockwork. Three different gauges
were travelled, using three different types of
traction and the character of each line was entirely
different, as is often the case with minor railways.
The first was the Crewe & Weston Railway. This unusual private 9½" gauge ground level line runs
round two sides of the friendly owner's large garden. A later extension runs along one side of a small
field. There is only one public charity open day a year (13 Jul this year - see BLN 1327.1111 for details).

Arriving a few minutes early, the signs were good as the owner was trying out the route, including
every loop and siding. The ECS proving run complete, the fixture started on time with Roanoke internal
combustion loco 'Bert' hauling two bogie coaches. Even with only four passengers on each train, the
group was dealt with quickly and efficiently, every passenger covering every line in both directions.
This included the turntable, most of the length of the two shed roads, and reaching the end of the
exterior siding. The latter involved hand shunting a bolster wagon to allow the loco to kiss the buffers.

99% coverage achieved, the group enjoyed coffee and cake, available for a small donation. This started
a theme for the day, with each venue having hot drinks and sweet treats available.

NEXT: Two pictures of the railway. All pictures and souvenir ticket - TOP LEFT - are by Neil Lewis.

[BLN 1329]
Our convoy was slightly early at the nearby next venue and were rewarded with tea, coffee and
biscuits in the clubhouse while the miniature engineers raised steam and ran proving runs.

This was at South Cheshire Model Engineering Society, Willaston (the venue of our Fixture Secretary's
first ever Society fixture on the evening of Fri 8 Oct 2010 near his home!). Conveniently located behind
a pub near the Premier Inn, the society, here since 1991, has a well established 2½ acre site with two
elevated running lines totalling ¼ mile. The outer is mixed 3½/5" gauge and is compressed into a sort
of 'n' shaped circuit, with the covered steaming bays in the centre. The very rare inner, a simple oval
(all inside one leg of the 'n' of the elevated outer line) means that only one circuit at a time is normally
used - except when we visit! The outer line has public running on the first and third Sundays of the
month until Sep. 12.00-13.00 is diesel running usually then, as available, steam from 13.00-16.00.

Our visit was a private one so members were treated to unlimited rides on both circuits. This was
taken up with enthusiasm as there was haulage to be had. Steam engines 1506, 61379 'Mayflower'
and 44832 plus battery-electric 67027 were all sampled. The locos were beautiful scale models of
mainline examples and all the rolling stock used ran on the 5" track. There was some spirited running
up to the maximum line speed of 8mph, which also showed off the impressive semi-automatic three
aspect signalling system. A walking tour of the shed & steaming bays rounded off the visit. What next?
Well, it was a Sunday and none of us had been to church up to that point. Our convoy departed for a
former Wesleyan School, now a church hall, just over a mile away in Nantwich.

PREVIOUS PAGE: Two photos from the South Cheshire Model Engineering Society layout.

BELOW & NEXT TWO: 'The Church With The Train' showing the very narrow gap.

Mark Haggas, my group's driver (thanks again, Mark!) managed to park opposite the old school. We
were greeted by wisps of steam coming from behind the metal railings. A small loco and two coaches
were sat ready to depart, from Platform 7¼, one of the two stations at 'The Church With The Train'.

This was one of the more eccentric railways that I have visited. It runs from the front yard to the back
yard of the church hall, passing through a storage shed and an extremely narrow side passage on the
way. The line is almost straight with no point work, but the entertainment factor is high thanks to the
unusual location. The owner started building the line about 12 years ago. It has public running during a
kids club, 10.00 until 12.00 every Saturday all year round. Rides are free but donations to charity are
welcome - over £10,000 has been gathered. Popularity meant that 7¼" rails were added outside of the
original 5" track - the latter is rarely used now. A surprisingly chunky ⅓ scale model of a Kerr Stuart
Joffre class is the main motive power and was the traction for our visit. A small battery loco is available
to cover but rarely needed. More coffee, tea and cake was provided and extra runs were offered. And
then, it was time to go. Many thanks to the Lewis family for their excellent organisation and efficient
stewarding and to all the railways for hosting us. A most interesting and enjoyable day.

Details must be checked 1329 CONNECTIONS (Paul Stewart) [email protected] .Please mention BLN.

1376] Adlington, Lancs; Sun 16 Jun: Explore canal towpaths and disused railways, led by Vern Sidlow.
Adlington station 12.07 (11.20 ex-Blackpool North). Bring food, wear strong footwear and rainwear!
1377] Hope Cement Works 90th Anniversary Open Day, Sat 1 Jun: Free entry; Breedon Cement, Hope
Works, Pindale Rd, Hope, S33 6RP. LNWR 0-6-2T Coal Tank No1054 will 'run' a short distance along the
internal standard gauge railway occasionally but there will be no rides available. Quarry and Works
tours 09.30-16.30; the Works Museum is open 10.00-22.00 from 29 May until 5 Jun at Earle's Club.
On 1 Jun park at Hope Sports Club, S33 6RD for free shuttle bus to/from the works and Hope station.

1378] Manchester, Mayfield station tours: (BLN 1299.368 of 24 Feb 2018 has report with pictures.)
With well known tour guide and author, Jonathan Schofield, recommended by many BLS members -
do one while you still can (the site closes for major redevelopment). Near Piccadilly station/tram
stop. All 13.00 Sun: 9 & 23 Jun; 28 Jul; 4, 11 & 25 Aug. Only £10 still book at

1379] Fintown Railway: (Fixture report: BLN 1267.2022 of 22 Oct 2016) (MR p26) This remote 3 foot
(original gauge) 2¼ mile long heritage line is required by those who 'only' do 'Baker' (see p78 top right
of the 14th edition). It is on the trackbed of the original County Donegal Joint Railway Stranorlar to
Glenties branch at Fintown station. Operating dates are 1, 2 & 3 Jun then Thur-Sun in Jun; daily in Jul
& Aug and Thur-Sun until 15 Sep (incl). If making a long journey check 00 353 7491 73068 (from UK).

1380] Wareham - Corfe Castle, Sats to 7 Sep: (BLN 1328.1234) SWR from Wareham 11.17 (06.35 ex-
Waterloo) & 15.03 (14.51 ex-Poole) to Corfe Castle returns 12.10 (Poole arr 12.54) & 15.44 (Waterloo
arr 20.19). Sample day returns (Corfe Castle): Wareham Adult £5; Family 2A & 2C is double the adult
fare in each case. Weymouth £10; Poole £7; Yeovil £12; Salisbury £14. First Class is available, Railcard
discounts apply. Book at or national stations. [Return fare supplement, only for
those with national tickets, to Swanage £10 Adult, £5 Child at Corfe Castle station or pay on the train.]

1381] Gartell Light Railway: (MR p23) (TRACKmaps 5, p36D - Nov 2008) Common Lane, Yenston,
BA8 0NB, (ST 718 218) 1¼ mile walk from Templecombe station. A 1,359yd intensively worked (20
minute service with three trains) 2ft gauge steam and diesel railway; working main line signals. Part
is on the ex-Somerset & Dorset Railway main line. Public running 10.30-16.30: Suns 30 Jun‡, 28 Jul‡,
29 Sep & 27 Oct‡ plus Mon 26 Aug. Café and railway shop. ‡Running days at Midsomer Norton...

1382] Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust: (MR p6) (TRACKmaps 3, p13E - Jun 2018) Midsomer
Norton (South) station, Silver St, BA3 2EY, (ST 664 536). Extended to one mile (BLN 1328.1134 from
18 May; operating days (bold = steam otherwise diesel): 2, 15, 16 & 30 Jun; 13, 14 & 28 Jul; 10, 11 &
25 Aug; 7, 8 & 22 Sep, 13, 26 & 27 Oct; 10 & 24 Nov & 1 Jan 2020 (usually 11.00-15.30); Santa Specials

1, 8 & 15 Dec. Non-special event Adult Rover £6; 3-15 years £3, Under 3s & dogs free. The authentically
restored station opens Suns 10.00-16.00 for viewing, museum, wartime pillbox, buffet coach, gift shop
and second-hand bookshop. Mons viewing only, buffet 10.00-15.00; shop and museum 13.00-16.00.

1383] Southend Cliff Railway: (BLN 1309.1510) (MR p34) This 130ft long 4' 6" gauge single track
funicular, with one car, runs 130ft from Clifton Terrance (just 650yd walk from Central station) down a
gradient of 1 in 2.3 to Western Esplanade, SS1 1DT, (TQ 881 851) near the pier. After our BLN 1309
item, there has been a volunteer influx! It now runs seven days a week 10.00-18.00 (winter to 15.00),
01702 618747 to check. Known locally as the 'Cliff Lift', it is owned and maintained by Southend-on-
Sea Borough Council. Each single journey is only 50p up/down and a range of inexpensive souvenirs
are available. All income helps maintain the railway and Southend Pier, now being renovated
andrepaired, and its 2,180yd 3ft gauge railway. New pier trains (plural) are expected to be ordered.

1384] Crystal Palace High Level Station Subway; Sun 16 Jun: (BLN 1243.1915)
the Grade II* listed last remaining part of the former station is open to the public (with a craft market
in it!) for the Crystal Palace Festival. Two other dates will be between 13-22 Sep for Heritage Open
Days (see website from 20 Aug). It is on the 'Heritage at Risk' register and needs considerable repair.
There is no electricity or running water and it is open to the elements each end. The subway is kept
locked to protect it from damage as it is hidden out of sight. Access is managed by two councils,
Bromley and Southwark. 'Friends of Crystal Palace Subway' have reinstated safe access via steps off
Crystal Palace Parade on the Southwark side, enabling thousands of people to visit in recent years.

1385] Long Marston: On 19 & 20 Jun the 2019 'Rail Live' rail industry outdoor exhibition is at Quinton
Rail Technology Centre (OK, Long Marston to you). Now the branch has been relaid and reballasted to
a high standard (BLN 1323.379), GWR is operating through trains from Paddington both days at 07.05
(IET) and 10.36 (Turbo), Honeybourne 09.02/12.23; Long Marston arr 09.51/13.14 respectively. Return
trains are at 13.30 (Turbo) and 16.50 (IET) - Honeybourne 14.14 and 17.37. No ECS movements are
shown on the branch and it is thought that the IET will stable there - perhaps part of the exhibition
even. All call at Reading, Oxford and Honeybourne and the first from Paddington serves Didcot too.

Peak fares on the 07.05 from Paddington: £89 return; First Class £169; (for comparison Paddington to
Honeybourne is £82 and £162.60). Super Off-Peak fares on the 10.36 are £56.90; First Class £116.60
(Paddington to Honeybourne is £49.90 and £110.20). Reading: £68.60; First Class £109.60 and £31.30
First Class £74.50 respectively. Tickets will also be available from Didcot, Oxford and Honeybourne.
They had not been released when BLN closed but it is likely that a ticket for the industry exhibition will
be required to travel. See and for the trains.

1386] The Downs Light Railway, Sat 22 Jun 14.00-16.00: is the website plan
(or see BLN 1279.921 plan), Downs School, Brockhill Rd, Colwall, WR13 6EY, (SO 7593 4329); 950yd
walk from Colwall station. This interesting school railway of unusual 9½" gauge is running with steam
for Malvern Civic Society's 'Midsummer Malvern' programme. You do not have to be a Civic Society
member to go. Adults £5 - on the day charity donation; U10 free, refreshments available. 'The World's
oldest private miniature railway' (1925), with an incredible tunnel! The unusual railway is operated by
children (under supervision) at the school as a school 'hobby club' regular extra-curricular activity.

PREVIOUS PAGE UPPER: This DLR is not the Docklands Light Railway but a 'BLS Special' on the Downs
Light Railway, Bank Holiday Mon 6 May. It's been a few years since those particular members attended
a school and aren't the train crew young these days‽ 'James Boyd' (as in Welsh Narrow Gauge History
book author) is the motive power. ABOVE: A double header circles the playing field. (David Guy.)

1387] Wensleydale Railway, Sat 29 Jun: Advance notice; a two train timetable is planned, one train
hauled by a visiting DRS locomotive, with at least one passenger train using the new Leyburn Loop.

1388] The Merchant of Avon, Sun 28 Jul, 11 & 25 Aug, 8 & 22 Sep: West Coast Railways 'The Stratford
Experience' Burton-on-Trent (09.33/19.08), Tamworth (10.00/18.51), Coleshill Parkway (10.19/18.24)
& Tyseley (10.46/17.54) to Stratford-upon-Avon (11.40/16.18) via Henley-in-Arden with Kingsbury Jn
- Whitacre Jn and Landor Street Jn - St Andrews Jn in both directions by steam from only £26 return
(all stations) - the off-peak return from Burton without a railcard is £21.65! With Stratford P2 occupied
by the steam train running round, P3 will be used by the 12.07 Chiltern arrival from Marylebone and
12.19 return (similarly when other steam trains are present). The train makes a trip (12.41/15.04) from
Stratford to Snow Hill (13.41/14.01) via Solihull returning 15.04 via Henley-in-Arden (from £11 single,
£16 return). Both trips combined: £25 single/£38 return. See WCR website/pay on the day as available.

1389] Railway Preservation Society of Ireland; Cobh Rambler, Sat 5 Oct: 071 & 201 Class locos in
multiple (for first time ever) on sections: Dublin Heuston - Cork - Cobh - Cork Avoiding line - Mallow -
Killarney - Heuston with photo stops €70 to book online or print postal form.

1390] Irish Rail Rovers: The four consecutive day 'Trekker' ticket is an incredible bargain - unlimited
travel on all Irish Rail and 'Enterprise' trains from Dundalk (inclusive) south, including Dublin's DART
network for only €110 (now about £97) Adult only the same price as in 2014 (in Euros at least!!).
No peak or other restrictions. With careful planning it is possible to cover the whole basic network in
the four days. From ticket offices only and starts on the day of issue; it even works the ticket barriers.

A Dublin All Day DART Rambler gives unlimited local train travel within the Howth, Balbriggan,
Sallins & Naas, Kilcock and Kilcoole area network, for one day €12 Adult, €20 Family or seven days
(if you want mileage accumulation on all the units!) for an Adult €27 - no peak restrictions.

●Bookings: Mark Gomm, 84 Mornington Rd, STOKE-on-TRENT, ST1 6EL. [email protected] 07983 541887.
●Fixtures Sec: Kev Adlam, 53 Kemble Close, Wistaston, CREWE, CW2 6XN. [email protected] @BLSGeneralSec
●Sales Officer: Graeme Jolley, Dolbryn, Penegoes, MACHYNLLETH, SY20 8NN. [email protected] 07484 646542.
●Paper BLN Problems: Dave Monger 6 Underhill Close, GODALMING, GU7 1NU. [email protected] text/ring Editor.
●Editor: Paul Stewart, 4 Clarence Close, MALVERN, WR14 3HX. 01684562862 07790652351. [email protected]
●Published by the Branch Line Society, 10 Sandringham Rd, Stoke Gifford, BS34 8NP. ISSN 1354-0947

X.59] Guess the Location; BELOW: Two pictures of a nameless station - where is it? (Stuart Hicks.)

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