Number 1321 (Items 129 - 234 & MR 8 - MR 16) (E-BLN 67 PAGES) 26 Jan 2019
BRANCH LINE NEWS
Respice in praeteritum, praesens et futurum
Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955
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 1322 is dated Sat 9 Feb; please send contributions by Wed 30 Jan. Normally :E-BLN:
is released the Thursday evening before but the time cannot be guaranteed..All queries about BLN and
e-BLN production/release time should be sent to the BLN Editor please and not to any other person.
130] A Special Welcome! To our recenctileytyjo. iSnoecdietsye.cond USA member; our 1,751st member in total.
Date Event and details = Please Book Online BLN Lead Status
Sat 26 Jan 10.30 Blackpool tram tour :NOW FROM RIGBY ROAD : BELOW MG *OPEN*
Sat 2 Feb
Sun 3 Feb The Positioning Move Lancaster to Bristol TM (one way) 1317 MG OPEN
The Looe Brush tour; Bristol-Cornwall APPLY WAITING LIST 1317 MG FULL
Fri 8 Feb NE England Signal Box Visits, Bowesfield area BELOW NJ *OPEN*
Sat 23 Feb 17.00 Woodhorn Railway: APPLY FOR WAITING LIST 1318 MG FULL
Sun 24 Feb Tyne & Wear Metro tour, 08.40-16.05; WAITING LIST 1317 MG FULL
Wed 27 Feb The Swanage Shunters; APPLY FOR WAITING LIST 1318 MG FULL
Sun 10 Mar Ashton Park Railway, Bristol & other fixture(s); save date TBA TBA Claimed
Sat 23 Mar The Marching Crompton II, Class 33 track & traction tour 1318 MG OPEN
Sat 23 Mar The Weymouth Walkabout to Weymouth Quay etc 1318 TG OPEN
Sun 24 Mar The Ruby Vampire - The Second Bite; APPLY WAITING LIST 1318 MG *FULL*
30 - 31 Mar Save the date, North Wales narrow gauge weekend TBA TBA Claimed
Sat 6 Apr Save the date, provisional track tour to East Anglia TBA TBA Claimed
Sat 13 Apr Provisional tour from the East Midlands NOW POSTPONED TBA TBA Claimed
Sun 14 Apr Weston, Nantwich Methodist Church & Willaston Railways TBA TBA Claimed
Sat 4 May K&ESR The Andrew Wilson (Brillo) Memorial Charter BELOW MG *OPEN*
16-18 May Island of Ireland IV - A FEW PLACES LEFT THUR, FRI & SAT 1319 KA NOTIFY
Sun 19 May Cork - Dublin Heuston (for evening flights) rare track tour TBA TBA Claimed
Thur 13 Jun Save the date, annual Pre-Peaks Challenge Railtour TBA TBA Claimed
Sun 16 Jun Father's Day Fawley Hill Railway tour after public running TBA TBA Claimed
7 and 8 Jul Sun and Mon; save the dates for Devon service train tracker TBA TBA Claimed
26 - 28 Jul Society rare track tour in southern Austria NOTIFY INTEREST 1318 PG Notify
Mon 26 Aug 09.30-18.30 Scunthorpe Steeler No18 railtour TBA TBA Claimed
KA = Kev Adlam; MG = Mark Gomm; NJ = Nick Jones; PG = Paul Griffin; TG = Tom Gilby; Contacts on back page.
The Society appreciates that occasionally passengers' circumstances change and they may no longer be
able to travel. You must advise the organiser as soon as you are aware of this fact. Refunds will be
considered up to 7 days before the date of travel. Requests within seven days of travel will be considered
only in extreme mitigating circumstances. The Society normally levies an administration fee of 10% (unless
advised otherwise) from any cancelled booking in respect of abortive card handling charges etc.
131] Refunds for Cancelled Bookings: Above is from our 'Standard Booking Terms & Conditions for
Fixtures. The full Ts & Cs are on our website. From the Home Page, go to 'Archive' and put 'Terms' in
the right hand box or alternatively click the link at the bottom of every online booking submission.
On our 5 Jan Scunthorpe tour there were four cancellations just after the final details went out and
within the 7 days. Despite a significant waiting list and previously turning other members away, only
two from the waiting list were able to go at short notice (understandably). By then we had already
advised the number expected (for lunch) and the estimated donation we were making to the AFRPS.
We have a 7 day policy (which is more generous than most railtour operators) because of the potential
problems if large numbers cancel at the last minute. It also shows why it is well worth applying for
waiting lists for fixtures when they are 'full' particularly if you might be able to attend at short notice.
132] :The Blackpool Balloon, Sat 26 Jan 10.30-17.30:: A Blackpool Tram tour with a balloon double deck
tram. :Rigby Road: 10.30; a break is included with the finish due there by 17.30. It is booked (subject to
circumstances on the day) to cover Rigby Road and Starr Gate depots, North Pier centre road, Thornton
Gate centre line, Fisherman's Walk X/O, Fleetwood Ferry inner & outer loop, Bispham centre road and
Starr Gate wash road/headshunt. Diesel powered Engineering Tram No754 will pilot on two non-wired
lines: Manchester Square X/O & Blundell Street, as far as safely possible. All proceeds to Heritage tram
operations and restoration projects. £40 members, £52 non-members. U18 (must be with an adult) £20
discount. Book online only now. Train services: Blackpool North: At least hourly, Northern services run on
Saturdays 08.38-18.38 plus Virgin Trains; with an hourly service at Blackpool South also 09.49-17.49.
133] :NE England Signal Box Visits, Fri 8 Feb:: 10.00 Tees Box then Bowesfield & Urlay Nook boxes, both
due to close in March (items 164/165) and possibly, Shildon & Heighington. High Viz vests/stout footwear
required, limited numbers, bookings to Nick Jones [email protected] (two underscores).
Please advise if you are coming by train/car; on the day cash charity donation (£5 per box) applies.
X.3] The Andrew Wilson ('Brillo') Memorial Charter, Sat 4 May:: In conjunction with the Preserved
Locomotive Enthusiasts Group (PLEG). A spring Society charter on the delightful Kent & East Sussex
Railway. Formed of passenger stock (not brakevans) it will traverse the much requested Rolvenden
Carriage Shed Road No2 and includes a full line return trip between Tenterden and Bodiam. Haulage
interest is provided by the much sought after 08888 enjoying its first advertised run at the railway - or
indeed anywhere ever? (PREVIOUS PAGE: now as D4118 - picture thanks to Chris Stuchbury,) A 'Top &
Tail' loco (D9504 expected) will assist with the reversals. This charter has been re-named after our
friend, and BLS member, 'Brillo' who sadly passed away earlier this week.
Details were not confirmed in time for paper BLN 1321 if you know of anyone who does not see e-BLN
who might be interested. Requested route: Tenterden Town (approx 12.00) - Rolvenden - Wittersham
Road - Northiam - Bodiam - Northiam - Wittersham Road - Rolvenden - Rolvenden Carriage Shed
(Road No2 requested) - Rolvenden - Tenterden Town (approx 15.00). Fare for all £20, Under 18s (must
be accompanied by an adult) £10. It would be a great help if you could book on-line please, or ask
someone to do so on your behalf. If you cannot do so please post a cheque (payee 'Branch Line
Society') or CPA to Mark Gomm per back page with your BLS Membership number if you have one
(non-members welcome) with an email address or SAE. Any queries to Mark also. BLS Ts & Cs apply.
X.4] The Weymouth Quay branch: BELOW: Aug 1977 with the traditional local spectator sport of
'bouncing the cars out of the way of the boat train'. Note the Class 33 bell. (Ian Mortimer.) Tom Gilby is
leading an exploration of the line during the break here on our 23 Mar railtour (details at BLN 1320.3).
1321 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
134] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered
BLN Start (incl) Reopens Location (stations exclusive where bracketed) bold = closed now
1317.2434 5 Aug 18 20 Jan 19 *(Clitheroe) - Hellifield South Jn [SuO PSUL service] NOW ROP
1317.2435 25 Aug 18 Unknown *Heaton Norris Jn - Guide Bridge Station Jn [SO PSUL service]
1318.2558 25 Aug 18 Unknown Gainsborough Trent East Jn - Wrawby Jn [SO service]
1314.2066 28 Sep 18 Unknown CairnGorm Mountain Railway, 'Base Station' - Ptarmigan
1314.2070 ? Feb19 Woolwich Ferry; North Woolwich - Woolwich (ROP delayed)
1311.1736 6 Oct 18
1311.1736 19 Jan 19 28 Jan 19 *(Liverpool Central) - (Hunts Cross)
1319.2709 2 Feb 19 11 Feb 19 (Blundellsands & Crosby) - (Southport)
1297.123 10 Feb 19 17 Feb 19 *(Derby) - Ambergate Jn - Matlock/Chesterfield South Jn
1311.1736 16 Feb 19 25 Feb 19 *(Three Bridges) - (Brighton)/(Hove)/(Lewes)
1319.2710 11 Feb 19 25 Feb 19 Sandhills Jn - (Freshfield)
1311.1736 7 Mar 19 11 Mar 19 Lewes - Keymer Jn/Montpelier Jn/Seaford/Willingdon Jn
1317.2441 2 Mar 19 23 Mar 19 (Rock Ferry) - (Hooton)
1313.1945 30 Mar 19 West Somerset Railway, Bishops Lydeard - Minehead
1311.1736 2 Jan 19 UNKNOWN Reedham Jn - Berney Arms request stop - (Great Yarmouth)
1311.1736 20 Oct 18
1311.1736 25 Mar 19 3 Apr 19 (Hooton) - (Chester P7)
1311.1736 7 Apr 19 15 Apr 19 Bidston East Jn - West Kirby, no DMUs to/from Bidston station
1316.2303 15 Apr 19 23 Apr 19 (Bidston) - West Kirby, DMUs expected to run to/from Bidston
27 Apr 19 6 May 19 Bidston East Jn - New Brighton
Late Jul 19 Mid Hants Railway Alton P3 - (Medstead & Four Marks)
2 Jan 19
135] Clitheroe (excl) - Hellifield South Jn: (BLN 1317.2434) ROP Sun 20 Jan 2019; which has last run on
29 Jul 2018. A Sunday only PSUL service 08.41 & 15.35 Preston to Hellifield and 10.30 & 17.15 return.
136] Newport, Bird Port Rail Terminal (2m 19ch) - Uskmouth B (Fifoots) Power Station (3m 07ch) &
private sidings beyond: (BLN 1231.698) The final coal train ran here from Avonmouth on 16 Jan 2017
with 66555. Final generation from coal was then at 20.30 on 2 Apr 2017. It is being converted to burn
non-recyclable waste (made in to so called 'energy pellets'); generation is due to restart at the end of
2020 with a plant life of 20 years. Coal traffic had run intermittently again since 9 Mar 2015. The
393MW power station had previously closed in May 2014. Built in 1959, it is the oldest and least
efficient UK coal fired power station but also one of the cleanest with low Nitrogen Oxide burners,
Desulfurisation equipment and could burn biomass and coal. Emissions are considered to be close to
Carbon Neutral! It does not extract water from the River Usk, or dump waste water but uses treated
sewage water; clean energy indeed! Regular metals traffic runs to Bird Port, mostly from Llanwern.
1321 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
137] 2018 Leeds AGM Draft Minutes: These were issued as a supplement to BLN 1318 (8 Dec 2018),
electronically with e-BLN, and can be found on our website document archive. It is for our 2019 AGM
to approve them but any comments should be sent to the General Secretary (back page) ASAP please.
138] WANTED! Unwanted/Duplicate Christmas Presents: Anything suitable as a prize for our tour
charity raffles (or, if very choice/valuable, for auction) greatly appreciated. Please contact Tim Wallis
or Paul Stewart. EVERY prize is donated, as are the tickets, so every penny goes to the good causes.
139] Points & Slips: ●●BLN 1320.7] 30 Mar-2 Apr was Easter 2018, of course; this year it is 19-22 Apr
(when Peter Scott's 2019 'Minor Railways' guide is expected to pop through your letter box). However,
the Norwich - Yarmouth and Lowestoft resignalling scheme commissioning with ROP Reedham Jn -
Yarmouth and Berney Arms station (TCP since 20 Oct 2018) is now deferred to an unknown date.
●●35] Although Little Sutton station is served by Merseyrail and is beside the Mersey, the population
would be beside themselves at the thought of the village being in Merseyside - it is in Cheshire, just.
●●44] On LUL Sub-Surface Lines the proposal from Mar 2020 is a Peak service of 28tph on the north
side of the Circle and 30tph (rather than 20tph) on south side; this is currently under review. These are
respectively combined Circle, H&C and Met and combined Circle and District totals.●●46] The first
freight train encountered at South Greenford was the DBC-worked Cricklewood to Calvert train of
household waste containers ('Binliner') and not inert spoil, which GBRf runs in the afternoon.
X.5] ABOVE: Two 'society' locos (465015 & 018) at Zürich Altstetten, they are rare in the Zürich area;
even the driver took pictures! BLS = Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon Railway. (Martin Baumann 3 Jan 2019.)
140] TRACKmaps Book 4, Midlands & North West; Edited by (our) Martyn Brailsford: The new fully
revised 4th (Dec 2018) Edition, cover price £15.95, will be available from Graeme Jolley, your Sales
Officer, on our 3 Feb Looe Brush tour for just £11 (collected, cash preferred; exact money if possible
please). Or by post per back page, £13 with P&P; CPA or cheque payee 'Branch Line Society' (not
'BLS' please). It is reorganised in a more logical and easier to appreciate way and now includes the
Chiltern Lines and Barnt Green south to Eckington with new layouts such as Derby, Norton Bridge,
Bromsgrove, Blackpool, Ordsall Chord, Darwen, Bolton, Ashton Moss North Jn, Huyton, Soho N Jn,
Frodsham Single, Garston Chord, Wolverhampton Logistics Terminal, Kettering - Corby etc (you
get the idea). NET has its own page now and there is a page of military railways. Future layouts are
shown (for example) at Duddeston EMU Depot, Trafford Centre Metrolink and the Midland Main
Line requadrupling. There are numerous line renamings. Every member should have a copy!
141] Silent Charity Auction: ABOVE: One only, 6ft x 4ft framed whiteboard all East Midlands Trains'
(EMT) 2007 routes - the spots will be removed - with inserts of complex areas. A massive bespoke EMT
wall mounted 'Quail'. All money to 'Railway Children' via the Three Peaks Challenge. A unique high
quality item and a nice centre piece for any self respecting line basher's office/man cave/shed. Reserve
£100, email/text bids to Kev Adlam (back page) by midnight 21 Feb, buyer collects, Derby, near station.
142] Uneven (odd) through trains: (BLN 1320.19) There is a 15.12 (SuX) York to Barrow-in-Furness
through train with 22 intermediate calls via Bradford Interchange and Burnley. Another without an
equivalent through train in the other direction is 19.10 (SSuX) Ellesmere Port to Manchester Victoria.
In the opposite direction DMUs start for Ellesmere Port at Warrington BQ or Helsby.
143] Boxing Day (BLN 1320.42): A member who read the South Western Invitation to Tender (ITT)
from cover to cover (beyond the call of duty, sir) noted the franchisee was not required to run any
Boxing Day trains; a Sunday service (minimum) was required other Bank Holidays. Fortunately, South
Western Railway has exceeded that. He cannot remember what the TPE and Northern ITTs said but
was probably similar. Any promised Boxing Day services are the DfT speaking with forked tongue.
ABOVE & LEFT: At meeting this morning (Thur 24 Jan) in
Sandbach Dave Ellis, Corporate Partnerships Manager
for Railway Children, presented Kev Adlam representing
the Branch Line Society, with a framed print marking
the achievement of £200k raised. (Railway Children.)
144] British Power Signalling Register: https://goo.gl/EGmoxW is the latest fully updated Jan 2019
version, with thanks to the Signalling Record Society (BLN 1317.2548). It highlights network changes
over the last 12 months and ongoing historical research. The compiler, our member Andy Overton,
is always keen to make new contacts, particularly amongst signalling contractors, as he sometimes
struggles for details of new commissioning. It is a free resource (you don't have to be a member) but
only as good as the information received so please pass it on to relevant and interested people.
Aimed at the enthusiast and professional signalling engineers, it is a list and historical analysis (all in
one place) of all power signalling equipment installations commissioned in Britain from 1883 to date
excluding London Underground and metro networks: ●All signal box, local control & ground switch
panels of any kind with button or switch control. ●All associated interlocking. ●All power frames.
145] Post-Postscript: (BLN 1320.20) Retford P1 has had a postbox for as long as a local member can
remember. Once, it was possible to post directly into letter boxes on the side of mail trains that called
at Retford, or elsewhere, for a ½p ('post' 15 Feb 1971) stamp supplement to normal postage.
Grantham has a box and there is one on Leicester Down island platform at the foot of the stairwell.
There is a wall mounted 'VR' box is on the back of the (single) bidirectional platform at Malton. Further
afield Glenfinnan has one, which is emptied Mondays to Saturdays, in the wall of the station building
(Down platform) and Rannoch, has a free standing version also on Down P1 (northbound platform,
with right hand running,). Your BLN editor feels that it is now time to stamp on this topic, to be frank.
146] Unusual Track (UT) - now even more Unusual: For those not familiar with Ian Delgado's Unusual
Track website, it provides comprehensive details of specific passenger trains in Britain scheduled to
traverse sections of track that are a bit on the unusual side. These lines are normally freight only, little
used platforms and lines, loops and crossovers not normally covered by most service trains.
However, a major problem with the site was the difficulty of keeping it up to date. As some of you will
be aware, the old Unusual Track website was not updated much over the last couple of years while its
compiler worked on another major project. With the compiler's involvement in this now complete,
attention has turned back to Unusual Track. A brand new UT website has been developed and is in
place with significant new functionality, and most importantly, will always be up to date. This has been
achieved by automation, including listing the entries and is no longer reliant on an individual ploughing
through masses of data identifying and painstakingly typing out services of potential interest and then
uploading them to the website. Just like the old site, the new one is primarily aimed at those who 'do'
Quail, but will also be of interest to those who (perhaps sensibly‽) only 'do' Baker.
As well as the promise of being kept up to date, the new website features a map-based interface
which is being expanded. The new site also is an easy means of recording and viewing online which
track you personally have completed. There will no need to highlight paper track diagrams laboriously
with a red pen, which has to be done when a new version is published. You will also be able to view
your track done online from anywhere with the internet without having to carry reams of paper.
(Please note that track diagrams for all NR infrastructure will be added progressively and may not
necessarily include non-NR sites. The initial focus will be on areas where there have been substantial
recent changes as this information is not necessarily yet readily available in other publications.)
Another significant feature of the new site is that the information presented can be tailored to meet
your own needs, so you are no longer faced with information that is of no interest. For example, the
diary page that summarises all upcoming rare track opportunities can be filtered to show those pieces
of track that you have not yet done, allowing you to focus in on track that is really important to you.
For entries of interest, individual schedule details (down to each timing point) can be examined
without cross-checking them with another site. Email alerts (unsubscribe anytime) of particularly
interesting rare track opportunities are available; regrettably this cannot be individually tailored.
Finally, you can make your own searches for UT entries, and not be restricted to the numerous pre-
prepared scripts that identify unusual opportunities. This is particularly useful if there is a 'common'
piece of track that is eluding you or if no script yet exists for a crossover which especially interests you
(new scripts are constantly added). The new UT site can also be your online journey planner!
As the new site is resource-intensive with significantly-improved features over the old one, a small
charge (£12 pa) is made for its use to cover running costs, with any excess income donated to charity.
The current charity supported by UT Tracker is https://goo.gl/sDeLEh Children with Cancer UK.
Before you subscribe, try it free of charge for 30 days, with no obligation (as the new website is
interactive you will need to register for the trial period). The new site is https://UTtracker.com (note
the new address) - or simply click on 'Unusual Track' under 'More options..' on our Society website as
before. This will take you to the Home page of the new site where you can run a demo, start the free
trial, or subscribe straight away. If you like what you see, please spread the word to others who may
be interested. [With thanks to our member Ian Delgado - a very impressive and useful resource - PAS.]
1321 EAST MIDLANDS (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
147] Scunthorpe: With thanks to Gary Lonsdale, a 'spotting list' of stock he saw during our 5 Jan visit is
available by email on request to your BLN Editor but does not include the AFRPS base. A member has
asked for a list of dates of our railtours at the steelworks in recent years. Always happy to oblige...
●27 Nov 2010 ●2 Jun 2012 ●9 Aug 2014 ●28 Mar 2016 ●18 Aug 2018
●5 Feb 2011 ●1 Dec 2012 ●23 Aug 2014 ●7 Jan 2017 ●5 Jan 2019
●14 May 2011 ●23 Feb 2013 ●28 Feb 2015 ●6 May 2017 ●26 Aug 2019
●24 Nov 2011 ●4 Jan 2014 ●19 Sep 2015 ●6 Jan 2018 (●4 Jan 2020?)
148] The Thin Blue Line at Market Harborough: Work is well underway on the Line Speed Project and
blue lines now mark where the future platform edges dissect the current ones. From the Rockingham
Road Underbridge the new lines will cut through the existing Down platform passing onto the former
LNWR alignment and the new platforms. Northwards the lines separate to pass beneath Great Bowden
Road bridge, the down line on the LNWR side, the existing formation is resumed before the ornate
footbridge in Great Bowden. At first plans (since descoped to reduce cost) envisaged both tracks taking
the LNWR formation and the original Midland Railway route (open 1880 to 1885), avoiding the curves
over the Peterborough Line bridge. At Little Bowden a new footbridge has replaced the foot crossing.
Between Tue 28 May and Sun 2 Jun (both inclusive), the Midland Main Line is to be closed between
Kettering and Leicester. NR is installing almost two miles of track on a straighter alignment (although
not as straight as it was originally going to be reducing costs to £53M). During the six day closure, the
new tracks will be connected to the existing ones with commissioning of new signalling. It is intended
that the realignment will be available from start of service on Mon 3 Jun. (A warning to those who still
need the existing layout - we were all in that position once.) The project also involves a new footbridge
with lifts at Market Harborough, major platform straightening, alterations and extensions.
A reduced East Midlands Trains service runs via Corby (a good job they redoubled Kettering to Corby
and put all those extra signals in to Manton Jn then!). Market Harborough will be served by coaches.
Market Harborough, a series of pictures by Tom Gilby on Sun 20 Jan 2019.
FIRST PAGE TOP: Down P1 looking north where there had been a previous British Rail realignment.
In each case the blue line shows the position of the realigned platform edges!
FIRST PAGE LOWER: P1 looking south - the new Up P2 will be to the left of the blue line with the track
to the right. No wonder they removed Market Harborough Jn just south of the station last year!
SECOND PAGE TOP: Further north on P1 looking towards Leicester, the new Up P2 will be to the right
of the line and the track to the left.
SECOND PAGE LOWER: Up P1 looking south, new P2 will be left of the line. The 'feathers' on the
signals were for the former crossovers at Market Harborough Jn as part of the bidirectional running.
PREVIOUS PAGE UPPER: North of Market Harborough station looking south. The lines will separate
beneath Great Bowden Rd bridge; right is the new Down line (LNWR side). The two parts of the bridge
were built at different times. PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: From the bridge looking (further) south, site of
the former Market Harborough No3 Jn for the Northampton line (off right). The station is background
top right; the new car park moved from the Down side. Those who were on https://goo.gl/WYeH94
the 15 Aug 1981 final special DMU from Northampton to Market Harborough and return might
achieve their 'overlap'; with the realignment. It turned back in Market Harborough Up (Northampton
line) platform and didn't go over the junction - but did use a rare facing crossover on arrival instead!
149] Wymington Deviation: The bidirectional Up & Down Slow line from Sharnbrook Jn (56m 52ch) to
Harrowden Jn (66m 68ch) was used by all passenger trains on Sun 13th and 20th Jan. The hallmark is
calling at Wellingborough P3. This line is being redoubled and (along with the Fast Lines) electrified
150] Kettering: From 20 Jan a new set of facing points was to be provided, 120yd from the original set
which were to be clipped and scotched to allow access to Kettering Engineering Siding 1. A temporary
line in the siding was to be provided, accessing the new Kettering Depot construction area.
151] Grimsby Light Single: This has recently been in the news for all the right reasons. First steps in an
ambitious bid to open up the underused line on the South Humber bank are being made after funding
was secured to look into modernising the route. The five mile single track between Immingham and
Grimsby runs through North East Lincolnshire's largest economic development zone. Recently traffic
has been very sparse with the two signal boxes on the line open 'as required'. Essentially it is 'strategic'
to allow access to Immingham (origin or destination of around a quarter of all UK rail freight) if the
Ulceby route is not available. Unfortunately it is 20mph restricted and has very limited capacity. Due
to Christmas gauge enhancement work on the normal route via Ulceby to Immingham, unusually the
boxes were open and 16 freight trains used the line from 20.00 on 23 Dec to 14.40 on 24 Dec 2018.
Our 'Links & Loops Tracker' of 12 Oct 2013 was the last Society railtour to do the Grimsby Light Single.
152] Boughton Jn: (BLNs 1265.1830 with track plan & 1267.2031) A member reports that the junction
point work was removed during the early part of Jan, disconnecting the remains of the Bevercotes
branch. One mile of the branch was retained for potential train storage as part of NR's Tuxford Rail
Innovation & Development Centre when the rest of the branch was abandoned from 1 Apr 2012.
153] Northern Derby: (BLN 1320.19) Northern has served Derby for years to maintain train crew route
knowledge. The southbound train used to run in the early morning. On an unrecorded date some years
ago, a correspondent was on the 21.03 CrossCountry train from Birmingham to Sheffield due to leave
Derby at 21.46. Some two minutes after the booked departure time, Northern's only northbound train
of the day rolled in late and was allowed to proceed in front, calling at Chesterfield and Dronfield!
154] Derby L&NW Jn: A member who regularly travels the line reports that he recently did the new Up
Tamworth Slow to Down Tamworth Slow crossover three times in six days. He wondered if it was
perhaps to minimise use of the scissors south of P3&4. Rather confusingly perhaps at first sight, there
are also 5mph reminder boards at the south end of P3&4 (what would these apply to?).
155] Barton-on-Humber: (BLN 1305.1032). A member had recently found out that the branch DMUs
are refuelled and maintained at Leeds, Neville Hill Depot, on an ad hoc basis and not on a regular
weekly pattern. The strange thing is that the branch is worked by TPE crews on behalf of Northern
Trains and TPE have a fuelling point at Cleethorpes but this is only for the use of TPE trains! [Maybe
things will change if the branch becomes part of the East Midlands franchise in future?]
1321 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]
156] Crossrail: (BLN 1320.43) https://goo.gl/eM4Kus on 'London Reconnections' website has a
detailed analysis of the delays that have occurred and the work that still needs to be done. It suggests
that the earliest realistic date for services to start through the core section is 15 Dec, with an opening
in 2020 looking more likely. Meanwhile an 'Evening Standard' article https://goo.gl/8SjzJs with photos
reports that Bond Street station is months from completion, without floors, ceilings, escalators, a fire
safety system or permanent power supply. In more bad news, 'New Civil Engineer' reports that money
set aside by TfL to develop Crossrail 2 will be used to part fund completion of the Crossrail (1) works.
The new Ealing Broadway staircase to P2/3 (Up Main and Down Relief) opened on 8 Jan.
157] Croydon Tramlink: TfL has awarded Engineering Support Group Ltd a contract to install an
automatic braking system which will bring a moving tram to a controlled stop if it exceeds the speed
restriction at certain locations. This was one of the main recommendations of the RAIB report into the
9 Nov 2016 fatal derailment at Sandilands (BLN 1269.2241) and is the first such installation on a UK
tram system. It is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. All RAIB recommendations
specific to TfL have been implemented or are being progressed. This includes a 'driver protection
device' (operational since Sep 2017) which alerts when drivers shown signs of distraction or fatigue.
158] Farringdon LUL: The trailing crossover is due to be taken out of use (OOU) from 27 Jan and
removed during overnight engineering hours over the following three weeks. Partially within the
platforms, the conductor rail gaps have long been a cause of arcing as shoes of trains pass.
159] Paddington: (BLN 1317.2464) NR has made spending a penny free of charge at the station now.
160] Photos of Closed Stations etc: See https://goo.gl/EtR3U7 although some are several years old.
161] HS2: (BLN 1320.47) West Ruislip Up Sidings decommissioning did not happen. Work has started
for the demolition of two multi-storey office blocks (The story unfolds!) at the front of Euston station.
162] London Overground Ticket Offices: (BLN 1316.2324) London TravelWatch (sic) has objected to
the closure of 24 of the ticket offices put forward by Arriva Rail London on the grounds that the level
of transactions exceeds DfT closure guidelines by being in excess of 12 per hour. These offices are at
Brondesbury, Bush Hill Park, Camden Road, Carpenders Park, Clapton, Dalston Junction, Dalston
Kingsland, Hackney Central, Hackney Downs, Homerton, Honor Oak Park, Imperial Wharf, Kensal
Rise, Shepherd's Bush, Shoreditch High Street, Silver Street, Southbury, St. James Street, Surrey
Quays, Turkey Street, Watford High Street, West Hampstead, White Hart Lane and Wood Street.
At stations where they have agreed closure, London TravelWatch require mitigation measures in
respect of ticket machine performance and services for passengers with reduced mobility.
163] Wimbledon West Jn: (BLN 1320.50) The unusual routeing of Down trains over the Up St Helier
line here is 'guaranteed' as it is caused by a defect on the facing points nearest Wimbledon P9, which
have been secured in the normal position. Repairs are not expected to take place for some months.
1321 NORTH EAST & YORKSHIRE (Geoff Blyth) [email protected]
164] Urlay Nook: (BLN 1320.54) An 'early' response was received about the now unusual motorised
boom level crossing gates with rubber tyres on the road surface. The motors are electrically driven.
It was quite a busy rail location when the Royal Navy ordnance stores (northeast of the signal box)
were served from sidings north of the main line, east of the box. The Navy internal railway ran
northeast to southwest. Urlay Nook gate box is due to close from 25 March with conversion of the
level crossing to Manually Controlled Barriers with Obstacle Detectors, controlled from York ROC.
165] Bowesfield Junction: (BLN1313.1973) This substantial signal box is due to close with transfer of
control (without resignalling) to York ROC on 25 Mar. The first box dated from 1863, probably with
opening of the Hartburn branch (below). Named Bowesfield Lane it was on the north side of the line.
In Oct 1876 it was replaced by a larger box, Bowesfield Junction, south side of the line, because of
quadrupling and forthcoming opening of the Castle Eden branch (below) no doubt. The box controlled
a level crossing across ten lines; one wonders just how the gates worked. Presumably the horses and
carts of the time didn't have many opportunities to cross, which is no doubt why it was replaced by an
underbridge later that year. The present box once controlled a layout far more complex than now.
The landscape format sketch plan is thanks to Dave Cromarty; inset to it is the 1963 BR track plan. Of
note Bowesfield West to Hartburn West curve O 11 Feb 1901 and CA as a through route 18 Jan 1903.
ABOVE: 1950 one-inch 7th Series map showing the Bowesfield area; Stockton station is top middle
The Mar 1905 structure had a 130 lever frame and was modernised and relocked in Feb 1959. It was
reduced to 45 levers in 1984 and to 36 in 1986. The lever frame was removed entirely in Apr 1989.
Four lines from the west and two from the east once met here. On the west side (north to south):
Hartburn branch: the curve to Hartburn Jn (O 1 May 1863), the current Newcastle line. Castle
Eden branch to Wellfield and Sunderland via Redmarshall. Eaglescliffe line. Bowesfield branch.
●The Castle Eden branch didn't actually go through Castle Eden; a relative latecomer it OG 1 May
1877 to Carlton (renamed Redmarshall 1 Jul 1923) West Jn on the former Clarence Railway line to
Shildon (Simpasture Jn). The continuation from Carlton South Jn to Wellfield OG 1 Aug 1878. Both
routes OP 1 Mar 1880, although somewhat nominally at this end of the line as it avoided Stockton.
The curve to Carlton West never carried a regular passenger service. The line to Carlton West Jn was
electrified at 1500Vdc by the North Eastern Railway (NER) for freight traffic as part of the Shildon -
Newport (west of Middlesbrough) scheme. It came into use on 1 Jul 1915 on just the section between
Simpasture and Bowesfield West and was extended in stages, the full system not being implemented
until 10 Jan 1916. By the 1930s coal traffic had reduced considerably, partly due to the worldwide
recession and partly to the decline of the South West Durham coalfield as the seams were worked out.
As the system then became uneconomic and the overhead wiring needed replacing, the line reverted
to steam haulage from 1 Jan 1935. A room for the electric switching gear was constructed at the
western end of Bowesfield box, which today now houses the signal box toilet!
●Eaglescliffe line: This is the original Stockton & Darlington (S&DR) Railway (O 28 Sept 1825) east of
the Yarm Road (A1027 now) overbridge. In 1873 the NER started work to quadruple this line. Between
Stockton Cut Signal Box (by the A1027 overbridge, east of the present day junction of that name) and
Bowesfield was completed in 1875/76. West of Bowesfield reverted to double track from 10 Jul 1983.
●Bowesfield branch: This served the factory of that name, which had been built on Yarm Road in 1946
for the American construction machinery company LeTourneau. It is not known exactly when the line
was opened. In 1947 Metropolitan-Vickers (Metrovick) acquired a lease on the works, which was used
initially for steel fabrication work. In Nov 1949 they formed a joint venture company with Beyer,
Peacock & Co to design and manufacture diesel, electric and gas turbine locos. The Bowesfield site
was chosen as Beyer's Gorton works (Manchester) was fully occupied building steam locos.
Diesel locos were built for export to Western Australia and electrics for Brazil, New South Wales and
South Africa. The only ones built for British Railways (BR) were the 20 Metro-Vick Type 2 diesel
electrics (BR Class 28) in 1958-59. They had a Co-Bo wheel arrangement - unique in BR practice and
uncommon in other countries. They were not a success and the entire class was withdrawn from
service in 1967-68. The experimental 25kV AC loco E1000 was built here by converting the gas turbine
loco 18100. Work commenced in Jan 1958 and was completed by Oct. In Dec 1960, it was announced
that the works was facing closure due to a lack of orders, and in Feb 1961 the joint venture company
was liquidated. The works closed shortly afterwards and was taken over by the Visqueen company, a
manufacturer of polythene films. It seems somewhat unlikely that such a company would use rail
freight. Your Regional Editor does not remember the branch looking rusty in the early 1960s but it may
have been used as a headshunt at the junction end and hence given the appearance of being used.
East of Bowesfield Jn (north - south): Stockton Corporation Wharf Middlesbrough (to Saltburn).
●Stockton Corporation Wharf: This was the original S&DR line, O 28 Sept 1825 but passenger services
operated only west of St Johns Crossing (the road was named Bridge Street) after becoming loco
hauled, (instead of by horse) probably from 1 Oct 1833. This station CP 1 Jul 1848 on OP of South
Stockton, later Thornaby, on the Middlesbrough line. Stockton Corporation Wharf became South
Stockton Goods Depot. Rebuilt 1 May 1877, it was visited by our 24 Mar 1973 'South Durham No2'
tour (LEFT), which wrongly referred to it as
'South Shore'. It was remodelled and
modernised around 1960 and was the first
of 7 new freight concentration centres
opened by BR North Eastern Region. The
1877 shed was dedicated to inwards
traffic, and a new 60,000ft2 shed built for
outwards traffic. Beyond St Johns Crossing
CA 9 Oct 1972. The last revenue earning
train to the Goods Depot ran 15 Mar 1985
and it was 'forcibly' CA 28 Jun 1985 by
vandals cutting the rails (see BLN 541-4).
They must have been remarkably well equipped! The line was finally disconnected on 28 Sept 1986.
●Middlesbrough line: (The original 'Port Darlington') O 27 Dec 1830. The S&DR did not run passenger
trains after the opening special but a local merchant provided a private horse drawn service. The Act of
Parliament specified that the River Tees bridge should have one arch 72ft wide and at least 19ft above
low water mark. This was the world's first railway suspension bridge, which weighed only 113 tonnes -
less than the loads it was expected to carry. It was a dismal failure; the bridge flexed so much that the
unstiffened deck rose like a static wave in front of the loco! Traffic was restricted to four wagons at a
time, spaced 27ft apart by chains. In the summer of 1833, as a temporary solution, the bridge was
propped up in mid span by wooden trestles placed on the river bed. It was replaced by a conventional
wrought iron girder bridge, designed by Robert Stephenson and opened on 27 May 1844.
By the late 1870s this section had become a bottleneck and a contract was awarded on 21 Oct 1880
for a second bridge carrying the Goods Lines, completed in 1882. In 1906 a new steel girder bridge,
carrying the Main Lines, replaced the 1844 bridge. When the section west of Bowesfield reverted to
double track on 10 Jul 1983, the Goods Lines were then connected only to the Hartburn branch. The
Goods lines over the 1882 bridge had been taken out of use by 1 Nov 1986, supposedly temporarily,
but on 25 Jul 1988 were secured OOU pending removal. The bridge was demolished in 2008/09 and
replaced by a new steel and concrete structure. The foundations of the original 1830 suspension
bridge were discovered during the construction. By May 2010 work had begun on relaying the track
but progressed slowly. A Christmas 2010 possession was thwarted by heavy snow, but the tracks over
the Main Lines bridge were finally taken OOU 24 Dec 2011. NEXT: Aug 2012 plan by Rodger Wilkinson:
The Main Lines were connected to the new track on the former Goods Lines alignment, over the
rebuilt bridge and opened on 27 Dec 2011. The slew (11m 09ch to 11m 47ch) was 5m shorter.
Your Regional Editor couldn't believe his luck as this reinstated section was the only significant gap in
his coverage of the Goods Lines, having once been on a brake van trip which ran round just west of the
bridge. Bowesfield was the busiest box on Teesside and is said to have been the busiest on the North
Eastern Railway. A century ago it signalled about 700 trains a day, the vast majority being freights.
The other most likely candidate would have been the east end of Newcastle. However, although it had
probably the most intensive NER passenger service, there probably wasn't so much freight through
Newcastle Central. Most freight north of Newcastle was coal, running directly to staiths on the Tyne
or at Blyth. Of the neighbouring boxes to Bowesfield in the early 1960s, Eaglescliffe North, Hartburn
and Thornaby East were open continuously. Bowesfield West was a very short lived box. Redmarshall
South was open as required between 7.05 am and 9.20 pm Mondays to Saturdays.
166] Horden: (BLN 1317.2474) The new station has been granted planning permission. Work is due to
start in the next few weeks, with the station expected to open in spring 2020. It needs to open by
March 2020 to meet the requirements specified by the DfT as part of the New Station Fund 2.
PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: South Shields, the new T&W station under construction, as viewed from the
old one (looking towards Newcastle). (All pictures in this section are by Rodger Wilkinson in Dec 2018.)
THIS PAGE ABOVE: The current end of line (sidings OOU) with the remains of the BR station to the left.
THIS PAGE BELOW: Past this end of line, the former turntable pit area was once the very end; looking
across the River Tyne - from River Drive (the B1344). (Compare with the pictures in e-BLN 1318.2593.)
ABOVE: In the other direction towards Newcastle from River Drive, the former sidings area beyond the
present South Shields Metro terminus. The new Metro Maintenance and Renewals Skills Centre is
under construction. BELOW: Remains of the former BR station (just one brick wall west of the tracks).
167] South Shields: (BLN 1318.2593) The new interchange platform, south (short) of the existing stop
[if you need it, visit while you still can], is largely complete. Finishing work is still required and the
interchange building is far from complete. The Metro lines once continued past South Shields stop to
the River Drive overbridge (near the former turntable pit; an area now covered in spoil) but have been
cut back for construction of the new Metro Maintenance and Renewals Skills Centre. The foundations
are in place. West of the site is a brick wall which was part of the former BR station (CP 1 Jun 1981).
168] Widdrington Sidings: (BLN 1319.2740) A member took careful note passing on a train recently.
The sidings for the opencast disposal point have not been used for a long time. They are all thick with
old rust, overgrown with grass and have many saplings growing between the tracks. At the south end
some track has been removed from the throat, preventing access from/to the main line. This appears
to be an example of points being plain lined and track removed without being reported in the Weekly
Operating Notices. Thus necessary publications such as the Sectional Appendix are not updated and
infrastructure which no longer exists in operational form is shown as being still available for use.
In conclusion the BLN 1319 item thus referred to the engineer's train running to Widdrington station.
Please can all members send reports to Regional Editors if they see significant connections removed
or points plain lined, as this may be the only way we can accurately record when such lines were
actually taken out of use. As elsewhere, we cannot necessarily rely on official documentation!
169] Clayton West: (BLN 1320.124) The Kirklees Light Railway visit report, particularly the 1963 photo
of the DMU, prompted a member's memories of the branch in BR days, especially the rather unusual
operating arrangements to accommodate parcels traffic. On his 10 Jun 1977 visit, a Rail Express Parcels
road vehicle there was as characteristic of the station as the 2-car DMU. He believes that a mail order
company had a distribution depot near Clayton West that generated significant parcels traffic. As a
result, the branch was not worked by a DMU shuttling to and from Huddersfield but units from quite a
wide area would work in passenger service to Huddersfield and then on to Clayton West to pick up
parcels. BELOW: Clayton West 10 Jun 1977 looking west towards Huddersfield. (Greg Beecroft.)
[From memory they were not advertised as through passenger trains in 1974 and sometimes only
limited space was left for the few passengers - PAS.] This avoided extensive transfer of parcels
between trains at Huddersfield. Our member recalls that the unit (picture in e-BLN 1321) was based at
Hull, and no doubt departed with deliveries for East Yorkshire. DMU diagramming must have been
quite complicated. It may be that the branch survived so long because of the parcels revenue and coal
traffic from the two mines. (The branch had previously been reprieved from closure on 20 Apr 1966.)
Can any member provide details? The summer 1962 timetable shows through trains to Huddersfield
or Bradford Exchange via Cleckheaton (L&Y station) with no advertised exotic through workings. The
Kirklees Light Railway built their engine shed and workshop on the trackbed in front of the old station
building. Their station is now west of the original terminus and with a shorter platform-plan BLN 1320.
170] Skipton - Colne: The 'Steer' group recently submitted an 11 month £1M feasibility study into
reopening to the Transport Secretary (possibly equating to GRIP 3 - only another 5 to go). Responding
to a question by Lord Graves in the House of Lords, the Junior Transport Minister confirmed that the
Minister had received it and that a decision is imminent. Lord Graves praised the work by the Skipton
East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership in keeping the dream alive. He claimed the scheme: ...could
provide a significant freight route across the north of England within three or four years at a fraction of
the cost of the major new schemes in the southeast or London. If there is a favourable decision soon,
and work starts quickly, the route could perhaps help to alleviate the inevitable congestion on the
Calder Valley Line if and when electrification starts on the Trans Pennine route via Standedge.
The scheme is probably relatively inexpensive in comparison with some others and would enable the
Minister to demonstrate he is investing in the North of England and offset some of the political
damage caused by cancelling the Kettering to Sheffield electrification.
171] Otterington: This was the only intermediate station between Thirsk and Northallerton, and OP
31 Mar 1841 with the line. The station buildings (except the station master's house) were demolished
and replaced by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) in 1932-33 with quadrupling. Unusually,
the signal box was designed to complement the station building. The station CP 15 Sept 1958 and
CA 10 Aug 1964 but (unlike the other wayside stations between York and Darlington which closed at
the same time) it was not demolished but retained as a storage depot.
BELOW X2: Otterington, as most will recognise from passing on trains. (Angus McDougall 14 Aug 2002.)
Now a private house, Otterington station is Grade II listed by Historic England for the following
principal reasons: ꚚIt is a little altered example of a rural wayside railway station. ꚚArchitectural
design: a streamlined aesthetic (very up to date for 1932) moderated by neo-Georgian detailing.
ꚚThe station building, weighbridge office and signal box form a well preserved suite of structures with
complementary architectural design. The buildings were renovated by the owner, who reinstalled a 20
lever LNER frame, appropriately badged for the layout diagram above it and copied from original plans
at the National Railway Museum. BELOW: Goldsborough station, 21 Mar 1998. (Angus McDougall)
172] York - Harrogate: (BLN 1308.1459) The former Goldsborough station house has been acquired by
the owners of the proposed Flaxby Park housing development. However, their claim that the station
will reopen as the new Flaxby Parkway Park & Ride station should not be taken as meaning anything
will happen in the near future. A planning application for the development has been submitted and is
on Harrogate Borough Council's website. From documents submitted to the Local Plan Examination,
there are disagreements between the developers and the Council, so there is clearly a long way to go.
1321 NORTH WEST (John Cameron) [email protected]
173] Manchester Metrolink Quiz Answers: (BLN 1320.69) With thanks to our member Peter Dawson.
(1): The NR station with two platforms with one is used exclusively by Metrolink is Navigation Road.
(2): Planned tram stops that never opened are Manchester Street, Oldham and Wet Rake, Rochdale.
(3): The two Manchester city centre closed by Metrolink were High Street and Mosley Street.
(4): There were 26 trams originally delivered for Metrolink Phase 1.
(5): The voltage of the Altrincham line before 1971 was 1,500V dc (then converted to 25kV ac).
(6): The unit hired for Project Light Rail in Manchester in 1989 was from the Docklands Light Railway.
(7): The original name of Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop was G-Mex.
(8): The first section of Metrolink system opened to passengers was Bury to Victoria.
(9): This first section of Metrolink opened on 6 Apr 1992 (nearly 27 years ago now!).
(10): The Queen officially opened the first part of Metrolink (by then Bury - Altrincham) on 17 Jul 1992.
174] Metrolink (1): On the last two Saturdays in Nov, and probably the first four in Dec, services were
diverted away from the Second City Crossing after about 09.00 until the end of service. All trams used
the Piccadilly Gardens route to avoid congestion caused by Christmas Market crowds in Albert Square.
175] Metrolink (2): Three men have been jailed for a total of over 10 years for their part in thefts from
ticket machines on Metrolink at the end of 2017. On six separate occasions 25 machines were broken
into with more than £13,000 in bank notes stolen and resulting in a total repair bill of almost £140,000.
X.6] BELOW: Allerton Jn on 6 Jan 2019 with Liverpool South Parkway P2 & P3 (London end) bottom
left and new signalling commissioned 2 Jan. The Hunts Cross Chord is behind the now closed Allerton
Junction Signal Box (middle right) with the entrance to Allerton Depot off to the left. (George Jones)
ABOVE: Damaged tram - scrape marks, dents and a small panel has fallen off. (Phil Dooley 8 Jan 2019.)
176] Metrolink (3): At about 11.20 on the morning of 8 Jan a member was a passenger on a bus in
Church Street in the centre of Manchester when the driver announced he could proceed no further.
His right turn into High Street was blocked by stationary tram 3051 travelling to Altrincham via Market
Street. Exiting the bus it became clear that the tram, which had some damage, had experienced a side
on collision with a BMW car which was parked nearby, showing front to rear evidence of a collision.
177] Metrolink (4): (BLN 1310.1652) The zonal ticketing came into force on 13 Jan. As well as changes
to tickets for Metrolink journeys it affects through train plus Metrolink tickets from outside Greater
Manchester. Previously travelling from London to Old Trafford Metrolink stop, for example, the ticket
was to 'Old Trafford Metrolink'. Now it is to 'Metrolink Z1-2'. Strangely, these tickets are only available
for travelling from a railway station to a Metrolink stop and not the other way round
178] Crumpsall: (E-BLN 1319.X.177) Work has started on the new bay platform for the Trafford Park
services to terminate in when that line opens next year. Phase I: (completed) included: ◊A new track
level pedestrian crossing. ◊Demolition of the pedestrian ramp, redundant lift shaft and the footbridge.
◊A new set of steps on the Bury bound platform. ◊Improved lighting and CCTV. ◊New overhead line
poles and wires. Phase 2: (about to start) ◊Track laying in the new bay. ◊Lengthening the Manchester
bound platform. ◊New shelters. ◊New access ramp and steps from Crumpsall Lane with track
crossings. ◊New lighting. ◊Signage. ◊CCTV. ◊Driver facilities. ◊A new Crumpsall stop equipment room.
179] Irlam: OP 2 Sep 1873 (renamed Irlam & Cadishead 1 Aug 1879) on the Cheshire Lines Committee
(CLC) Manchester Central - Liverpool Central line. A new alignment OG 9 Jan 1893; OP 26 Mar 1893
parallel, and at a higher level, was built for construction of the Manchester Ship Canal along with a
new station - the original station on the previous alignment closed. In Aug 1954, it was renamed Irlam
for Cadishead and then Irlam on 6 May 1974. After 25 years of dereliction the station building was
extensively restored, thanks to a local businessman, and now houses 'The Station House' café bar and
museum. It is packed with railway related artefacts and decorated in a '1920s train station theme'.
The café sells freshly prepared snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; it is well worth a visit. There
is a customer information screen, a cycle hub and a 60 space car park. The outside of the station
building has also been restored to a high standard including the original CLC water fountain with the
Irlam Coat of Arms. On the Liverpool platform is a mural depicting a train with various famous people
connected with Irlam and Cadishead. As well as TV actors and sports stars, railway pioneers George
Stephenson, Robert Stannard Senior (who built the 18" gauge railway system on Chat Moss and the
temporary railways on the Moss for construction of Stephenson's Liverpool to Manchester Railway),
and Sir Edward Watkin. This mural is duplicated on the side panels of the disused bridge that carried
the original alignment at a lower level) at Irlam which can be seen from passing trains.
NEXT: A recent series of pictures taken at Irlam station by John Cameron.
NEXT PAGE LOWER: the disused bridge that carried the original alignment, which was at a
lower level and can be seen from passing trains on the bridge in the background.
NEXT PAGE: An 1897 six-inch to the mile map. Irlam station is bottom left, Manchester is off top right;
the original railway alignment and station were to the north side with a gap where the embankment
was removed for the Manchester Ship Canal. It then still served the Cooperative Wholesale Society's
Irlam Soap & Candle Works, built here in 1894 with an internal railway, due to the proximity of the
railway and ship canal. SP = Signal Post; MP = Mile Post.
ABOVE: Irlam platform side of the station building, the drinking fountain (left) is dated 1872.
180] Halton Chord: (BLN 1313.1980) Actually the 'Frodsham Single' since 19 Feb 2018, TfW route
learning trains have been running (they need to learn to Liverpool Lime Street as well). The May 2019
schedules are now online, with broadly one train per hour between Chester and Lime Street seven
days a week needing two train sets and taking about 47 minutes each way. The more direct Merseyrail
EMUs take about five minutes less but with many more stops. Of note are 06.19 (SO); 06.35 (SSuX) &
19.09 (SSuX); 19.10 (SO) trains from Wrexham General through to Lime Street and a 17.37 (SuX)
return. There is a two hour gap in departures from Chester between 17.30-19.27 and from Liverpool
between 18.38-20.38 but interestingly not Sundays! From 7 Feb 1994 the Chord was singled by BR
becoming unidirectional towards Liverpool. The last tour to do it towards Frodsham Jn before then
seems to have been Hertfordshire Railtours' (the original lot) 'Pennine Perambulator' on 16 Oct 1982.
181] Newton-le-Willows (BLN 1272.3172) Our BLN printer, who is local, reports that the new station
buildings finally opened on Sun 13 Jan. Described as 'very impressive', there is a new subway, stairs
and lifts for step free access, a bus interchange, extended car park facilities and a new booking hall on
the south side of the station. Completion of the £18.9M project was originally due in Mar 2018.
The station upgrade is intended to support development of the nearby former Parkside Colliery site.
182] Proposed Timetable: May 2019 should see full introduction of Northern's Dec 2017 timetable
enhancements, delayed by the Bolton electrification being two years late. Many of the services
included have been operating since May/Dec 2018. However additionally Northern has applied for:
Preston - Chorley - Manchester Victoria: Additional SuX hourly services to replace existing services
... between Blackpool North and Manchester Victoria.
Blackpool North - Hazel Grove/Buxton: Trains run to/from Macclesfield SuX and Stoke-on-Trent on
... Sundays, with a few services operating to/from Stockport seven days a week.
Leeds - Bradford Interchange - Manchester Victoria/Oxford Road: Extended hourly to the Airport.
Blackpool North - Leeds: A few are extended to/from York seven days a week.
Stalybridge - Huddersfield: One path per hour lost but retaining a few peak trains Manchester
...Piccadilly - Huddersfield serving Mossley, Greenfield, Marsden & Slaithwaite (TPE served off-peak ).
Southport - Bolton - Alderley Edge: Two new morning and evening peak services.
Wigan - Atherton - Victoria: Hourly frequency every day (= four trains per hour to/from Manchester).
Manchester Piccadilly - Hadfield: Extra trains except on Sundays.
Piccadilly - Greenbank & Piccadilly - Chester: Extra trains via Altrincham providing two trains per
...hour Greenbank - Manchester SuX; hourly SuO. [NR previously refused this due to lack of paths.]
Windermere - Oxenholme: A few extra services (SuX) to supplement present hourly service.
Blackpool North - Bolton - Airport: A few extra services to extend hourly service earlier/later.
Cumbria - Wigan - Eccles - Airport: Hourly (8 Barrow and 4 Windermere) which replace the present
...Southport - Manchester Airport services over the 'Castlefield Corridor'.
183] Manchester: The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has published a 'Draft Delivery
Transport Plan 2020-2025'. It includes projects already announced, in progress and even completed
such as Bolton electrification, Calder Valley and Hope Valley improvements, the Trans Pennine
upgrade, Salford Central and Mills Hill station upgrades, Trafford Park Metrolink extension, 27 more
trams and increased Metrolink capacity (Bury - Altrincham, Shaw & Crompton - East Didsbury &
Etihad Campus - Ashton-under-Lyne). There are also many unfunded 'ambitions'. Greater Manchester
is looking to central government to devolve funding and powers to make these possible. The plan
includes further Metrolink extensions and tram-train services. The long term aim is for 50% of all
journeys to be by public transport, walking or cycling by 2040. Projects for the next 5 years include:
Potential 'heavy rail' stations: Include ●Cornbrook; ●Western Gateway; ●Golborne; ●Glazebrook;
●Kenyon; ●Dewsnap; ●Gamesley; ●Stanley Green; ●High Lane and ●Slattocks.
Potential tram/train stops: Include ●White City; ●Timperley East; ●Gatley North; ●Adswood;
●Pendlebury; ●Baguley; ●Cheadle; ●Little Hulton and ●Dobb Brow.
Rail capacity improvements: Corridors under study: ●Warrington Central line; ●South Manchester
(ready for HS2); ●SE Manchester; ●Chat Moss/West Coast; ●NW Manchester and ●NE Manchester.
Electrification: Manchester - Stalybridge (subject to the final scope of Trans Pennine Upgrade) and
Bolton - Wigan. The latter involves 6m 21ch of double track, Lostock Jn to 14m 14ch is already live.
Castlefield corridor capacity enhancement including Manchester Piccadilly P15 & 16 (the DfT has
been sitting on NR's Transport & Works Act Order Application for this since 14 Sep 2015 - they want to
get their finger out and nail it instead of pointing to the 'digital railway' as an excuse not to fund it.)
Port Salford freight branch ('proposed' on Baker's Atlas 14th Edition p99 with a triangular junction).
Hattersley (possible station south access) to Godley Green pedestrian and cycle bridge connection.
Potential Metrolink stops: Elton Reservoir (Bury line) and Cop Road (Oldham & Rochdale line).
Potential Metrolink extensions: Davenport Green and Manchester Airport Terminal 2. Frequency
improvement between Piccadilly and Victoria. Early development of 'route alignments' for Metrolink
extensions to Stalybridge, Port Salford and Stockport (or tram-train for the last).
Tram-Train: Pathfinder projects, Manchester Airport - Wilmslow and Altrincham - Hale.
Mobility Hubs and Park & Ride: Upgrades including East Didsbury and Rochdale.
184] Not at Three Bridges: NR is refurbishing the three Grade II listed railway bridges over Great Ducie
St and Victoria St, west of Manchester Victoria station. They will be grit blasted to expose the metal
structures, then repaired before repainting them 'to their former glory'. Train services are unaffected.
185] Crewe: Most Chester TfW shuttles now use P10 rather than P9 and Manchester to Euston trains
P1 instead of P5. Derby trains turnback in P3 and London Northwestern Railway Euston services in P4.
1321 SOUTH EAST - NORTH & EAST ANGLIA (Julian James) [email protected]
186] Cheshunt: On Sun 13 Jan from 12.24 until close of service three trains an hour terminated in
Cheshunt Down P2, where no service normally terminates, due to an engineering blockade just north
of the station. When this was booked to occur last year, those attending just after dawn had the
privilege of being among the first to discover (along with Anglia Trains generally) that in fact NR had
plain lined the requisite crossover but hadn't made this development widely known! Consequently all
trains then went ECS to Broxbourne (reversing over a regularly used crossover) and returned to
Cheshunt already on the Up Cambridge line. Therefore a little scepticism pervaded the approach to
the recent terminating services but early reports suggested the infrastructure had been restored and
on the day remote monitoring on the likes of Realtime Trains and RailCam confirmed the reversals as
planned. This prompted a quick drive [our reporter is not noted for driving slowly] to Waltham Cross
for an epic total 12 minute round trip! It never fails to amaze just how bewildered passengers are by
such events, one chap at Cheshunt asked your correspondent: 'When is the train to Roydon?' (Reply...
'Today it's buses north of here...') The chap then began searching the platforms to find his bus.... until
it was tactfully pointed out that convention demanded that this would leave from the car park!
[Not a Railbus then…] Reversals in Cheshunt P2 are expected but mornings only of Sun 3 and 17 Feb.
187] Norwich: TRACKmaps Book 2 p7a (Oct 2016). The four sidings trailing into the Down Main after
Trowse (Lower) Jn approaching Trowse, and known as Victoria Sidings (no relation to the ex-Norwich
Victoria station branch), have been intact but disused for many years. It is now proposed that 250m of
each be recommissioned and electrified. Mess facilities for drivers and accommodation for security
guards is proposed. Use by the new Stadler 'FLIRT' (Fast Light Innovative Regional Train) is intended
from June this year; an ambitious target as it appears likely track relaying will be needed too.
X.7] BELOW: Maldon East & Heybridge station (BLN 1320.840). (Angus McDougall 29 may 2016.)
PREVIOUS PAGE TOP: The line is 'possessed' with stop boards north of Cheshunt crossing, the EMU
terminated in Down P2. Note the train door camera top right. (All Simon Mortimer Sun 13 Jan 2019.)
PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: The other end of the train in P2 now for Liverpool Street; bay P3 is left.
BELOW: The road is set for the Up Cambridge line across the recently reinstated (ahem…) trailing
crossover. Those with good eyesight might make out the platforms for Waltham Cross and even then
Enfield Lock stations ahead as well as five signals (green, double yellow, yellow and two reds). The line
via Turkey Street to join the Enfield Town line at Bury Street Jn goes off to the right at Cheshunt Jn.
188] Colchester: On 3 Jan, the 20.38 Liverpool Street to Colchester Town surprised a member on it in
two ways at Colchester. Firstly, as it was late its booked P1 (21.40/41 - the Down Passenger Loop - was
occupied as usual by the 21.51 DMU arrival from Peterborough. Instead his train went into P4 at 21.57
a move he had not seen in service before. This involves passing the length of P3 on the Up Main in the
Down direction. Secondly, the driver must have thought he was driving a 4-car Class 321 rather than
eight, as he stopped with the second set still on the crossover from P3 and opened all the doors.
This caused some consternation among those trying to alight from the rear set! Unfortunately, our
member was too preoccupied with crossing to P2 on the Down Main for the following Norwich train to
see how this was resolved. The DMU from Peterborough arrived on time; forming the 22.11 ECS to
Norwich Crown Point, as booked ahead of 21.30 London to Norwich (Colchester 22.28/29).
189] Hertford North - Watton-at-Stone - Stevenage: (BLN 1318.2617) The May Great Northern train
schedules are now online and shows residual Down through trains SSuX at 23.20, 23.37 & 00.17 from
Moorgate and Up from Stevenage at 04.22 to King's Cross plus 05.02, 05.32 & 06.06 to Moorgate. The
ECS runs to/from Letchworth so the Up trains will use the †Up Hertford spur at Langley Jn (see PSUL).
Mondays to Fridays Watton-at-Stone also has all day twice-hourly trains from/to Moorgate turning
back with hourly bus connections to (25 mins) and from (20 mins) Stevenage - this could be done with
one bus - the train takes 7 mins for the 5m 09ch. There is an additional twice hourly 'fast' Stevenage -
Hertford North bus (30 mins compared with 13-15 mins by train), needing two buses. The 23.50 bus
from Stevenage is extended to Bowes Park (arr 01.00), calling at every station after Hertford North.
Hourly all day through trains are shown on Saturdays, but half-hourly on Sundays (because they can!).
†Down trains (and weekend Up Stevenage turn-backs) will use the bidirectional Down Hertford spur.
1321 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
190] Tonbridge: Seen as the destination display on a rail replacement bus on Sun 13 Jan: 'Choo, choo!
I am a train!' No, you're not, you're a bus. And the Class 375 you're replacing does not go choo, choo.
Sad to say, said bus was at the local bus stop in front of a nearby supermarket because Kent County
Council's work to reorganise the bus stops and the traffic arrangements in front of Tonbridge station,
started on 25 Jul 2018 'for three months', still hasn't finished in the middle of January. Is this display on
the front of a bus more or less puerile than the announcements in the toilets of Virgin trains?
191] Wokingham (BLN 1320.87): While working for British Rail's Southern Region South Western
Division in around 1990/91, a correspondent attended a meeting to discuss replacing Station Road
level crossing with a bridge. Despite the road junctions on either side, a solution had been found.
We are still waiting.... The 'Molly Millar' pub adjacent to the station was renamed the 'Station Tap' in
Apr 2018. It has had several names over the years, most including the word 'Railway'.
192] Eastleigh - Fareham: (BLN 1299.387) The study, commissioned by Fareham Borough Council and
carried out by NR, has concluded that a new station at the 6,000 home Welborne development would
be 'well used' and 'technically feasible'. Initial worst-case scenario cost estimates are between £19M,
for the first phase with a single station platform serving the current single line, and £78M, for it to be
double tracked with two platforms at a later date. The report details that no funding will be available
from either NR or South Western Railway and any cash would need to come from local public sources
such as the borough council or the Solent LEP. There is a possibility of contributions from Highways
England if the scheme can demonstrate reduced traffic on the M27. A Highways England spokesman
said: Enhancements to rail facilities always have the potential to help improve the performance of our
roads and reduce congestion. A new station to serve Welborne and the surrounding area could have a
positive impact on future traffic flow once the housing development is complete. The plans for
Welborne also include shops, a health centre and three primary schools. (The News, Portsmouth.)
193] Ashford: Part of the Chart Leacon depot site is to house Southeastern trains when the operator is
ousted from the Hitachi depot in Station Road to make way for new Thameslink trains. The former
shunters' office, a warehouse adjoining the main complex, and the northernmost three road shed built
in 2005-06 will go to make room for five stabling sidings. The rest of the Works complex is unaffected
by the current plans. The site has sat mothballed for almost five years. NR has submitted a planning
application with Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to reinstate derelict sidings at Chart Leacon.
A Thameslink website statement: To support Govia Thameslink Rail (GTR) providing the Thameslink
service, a decision was taken by the DfT to make the existing Hitachi depot at Ashford available to GTR.
GTR will require three months to prepare for the start of the new services to Maidstone, meaning the
stabling needs to be fully operational by Sep before the Thameslink trains are rolled out in Dec. Chart
Leacon opened in 1961 and was owned by Bombardier when it closed in 2014, ending Ashford's only
surviving link with its railway heritage. The site is currently in third party ownership and attempts to
acquire it by agreement have failed, but an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 has been
made to ensure NR can reopen the Works. In its planning application lodged with ABC, NR has applied
for permission to demolish the existing structures at the sidings, as well as building a two-storey staff
accommodation block and 36 parking spaces. Only the sidings are earmarked for development by NR;
the rest of the site is to remain mothballed. Ashford's Local Plan (to 2030) shows that 100 homes are
proposed for land next to the former depot, fronting Leacon Road. (Kent Online.)
194] Basingstoke ROC: This is not yet a signal 'box', or control building (with a 'c'), but just a Control
(with a 'C') building. There are Control office staff (and probably many administrators). The separate
Basingstoke New Area Signalling Centre (ASC) was commissioned 16 Apr 2007 with the Dorset Coast
NX (entrance/exit) panel. Signal box nomenclature seems to vary inconsistently over the years and
round the country. The old (1966) Basingstoke Power Signal Box (PSB) was an 'ASC' before closure.
The New ASC opened in stages and the 'Old' 1966 PSB/ASC did not close until a later stage-2 Apr 2010.
Its Dorset Coast Panel controls between Woking Box (London end of Farnborough) and just south of
Battledown Flyover (Southampton line) where Eastleigh Box takes over, to Salisbury Panel (Grateley
country end) and to Thames Valley Signalling Centre, just short of Southcote Jn on the Reading line.
A physically separate West of England Panel was first commissioned in the New ASC on 27 Feb 2012.
This NX panel controls west from Tisbury London end (Salisbury panel) and was extended west in
stages to eventually interface with Exmouth Junction box (at the country end of Cranbrook).
A third physically separate Poole NX Panel was commissioned 19 May 2014, (and now controls
between Bournemouth box at Parkstone country end and Dorchester South box at the London End of
Moreton). So there are now three separate NX panels in the New ASC but no VDU-based signalling,
and no signalling functions have been transferred to the ROC as yet.
On the subject of suffixes NR don't seem to be able to make up their minds consistently as to what
'ROC' stands for, even though they invented it. Over recent years they have published official notices
(WONs, signalling notices, Appendix pages etc) variously describing the abbreviation to mean correctly
Rail Operating Centre, but also incorrectly: Railway Operating Centre, Rail Operations Centre, and
even Regional Operations Centre. No doubt 2019 will bring another new variation...
1321 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]
195] Rhubarb, Rhubarb: (See our website: Home More Options Track Diagrams Wales &
Western Filton Bank or TRACKmaps Jun 2018.) Lawrence Hill gained an interesting new service in
the GWR 1 Jan new timetable. The 15.54 SSuX Bristol Parkway to Bath, PSUL direct train now calls
there. It then runs via 'Bristol Loop' the correct name for what is often unofficially called, particularly
by enthusiasts, 'Rhubarb Loop' or 'Curve', avoiding Bristol TM. Our member made further enquiries
and it was explained that the stop allow the 16.00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington to go
in front to Bath Spa. The local service now runs faster than previously due to the Filton Bank track
enhancements. Another reason for the stop is to improve operational flexibility. If this train was on the
Down Filton Fast line, it could only be routed to the Down Bristol Loop and not the bidirectionally
signalled Up/Down Bristol Loop. However from the Lawrence Hill stop (on the Down Filton Relief), a
train can then be routed to either of the Loop lines. The Up Filton Main is bidirectionally signalled
beyond the ladder south of Lawrence Hill station giving access to or from either Bristol/Rhubarb Loop.
196] Westbury: (BLN 1320.11) The possession to renew, resignal and 'stretch' Westbury North Jn
overran by a day. All went well until near the end of the 12 day possession due to end on Fri 4 Jan at
03.00. The first sign of trouble was just two hours earlier, with a request for additional time for cabling
and testing. NR managed to reduce the possession to restrict the impact to just Westbury P2, but
following various conference calls the whole possession was extended by 11 hours until 14.00. At
14.00, it was decided a design modification was required and this was promptly implemented and the
block was lifted at 23.15. Within an hour it was reported that up to 20 routes had failed and engineers
were redeployed who in turn identified a defective cable and a life expired fuse. Repairs were affected
in time for normal service on Sat 5 Jan. 83 trains were cancelled as a consequence of the overrun and a
further 193 trains delayed. In anticipation of normal services replacement buses were not on standby
and had to be hastily arranged. However, this all shows the importance of the rigorous testing regime.
197] Waterloo - Weymouth: Online schedules have appeared for a SWR Saturday service between
Waterloo and Weymouth again this year via Woking, Salisbury and Yeovil Junction (reverse) then
Yeovil Pen Mill (reverse) to reach Weymouth via Dorchester West. It is not yet known if or when a
portion will continue to Corfe Castle (as on a few non-strike dates last year). However, the difference
from last year it that it is booked throughout the timetable from 25 May to 14 Dec. At present the
schedule shows that it is formed from the stock of the 20.26 (FO) Exeter St Davids to Waterloo (23.55)
which spends the night in P6 then: 06.35 Waterloo to Weymouth (10.29) via Salisbury and Yeovil.
12.10 Weymouth to Yeovil Junction (13.04) and 14.12 return (Weymouth 15.06) then 16.54 to
Waterloo (20.19) via Salisbury. The final leg is 20.50 Waterloo to Salisbury (22.20) and ECS to Depot.
198] Wareham: Possibly relevant to the previous item, the Swanage Railway website mentions that it
plans to operate a diesel service to/from Swanage in 2019, days of operation and timetables will be
announced in 'early 2019'. Interestingly some diesel loco-hauled schedules have now appeared online
operated by West Coast Railways MFSuX from 21 May until 14 Dec 2019, from Swanage 10.23, 12.14
& 14.33 returning from Wareham 11.15, 13.01 and 15.15. SuO they are 10.27, 14.27 & 16.27 from
Swanage and 12.04, 14.04, 16.04 & 18.01 from Wareham. There are no Monday or Friday schedules.
1321 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]
199] West Midlands Rail Strategy: This report was published in Dec 2018 as the region's rail network
has significant challenges, is operating close to capacity, and needs 'transformative' investment to be
fit for current and future purpose. The 'Midlands Rail Hub' is a plan for more frequent services to
operate across the Midlands by 2032. The Rail Investment Strategy sets out West Midlands Rail
Executive's (WMRE) ambitious plans to expand local rail services and stations in partnership with
Midlands Connect, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and the rail industry, and to maximise the
benefit of HS2 to the region. It has 7 main components, driven by their value to the local economy:-
❶West Midlands franchise and other franchises 'quick wins', 2018-2026: Delivery of the ambitions
and commitments of the WM rail franchise, co-managed with the DfT. These include enhanced Cross-
Birmingham services, better Sunday and evening services, new Camp Hill, Leamington to Nuneaton
and Walsall to Wolverhampton services, new stations, more train and car park capacity, improved
reliability and easier access to stations.
❷High frequency '6-4-2' rail services: Setting minimum frequency standards of 6, 4 or 2 trains per
hour at WM stations, matched to the region's evolving economy, population and travel markets, with
earlier, later and overnight services and 24 hour access to Birmingham Airport. These will build on high
frequency services such as those already in place on the Snow Hill and Cross City lines.
❸Midlands Rail Hub, 2026-2032: Making the case now for up to 10 extra paths per hour across the
West Midlands and Birmingham, in partnership with Midlands Connect, TfWM and the rail industry.
❹High growth rail corridors, 2018-2032: Developing rail services in corridors with the population and
economic growth, including Wolverhampton - Coventry, Cannock - Walsall - Birmingham, Tamworth/
Nuneaton - Birmingham, Birmingham South - Worcester/Hereford and the Snow Hill Lines.
❺HS2: 2026/207 & 2033: Supporting the delivery of both phases of HS2. Maximise the benefits
generated by capacity released on the existing rail network, and Interchange at Birmingham Airport.
❻Radical change towards 2047: Starting work now to identify radical infrastructure change beyond
HS2 and Midlands Rail Hub. Consider more new rail services and connections to support economic
growth, the impact of major development proposals such UK Central Hub, and how to relieve strategic
rail capacity constraints on key routes such as the Wolverhampton to Coventry corridor.
❼Rail-freight development/growth: Supporting TfWM and other WMRE partner freight strategies,
maximising shared benefits for passenger and freight services of capacity released by HS2. Integrate
passenger service aspirations with growing freight flows and employment at new freight interchanges,
and gain shared benefit from infrastructure investment. Work with industry partners begins to scope,
develop, cost and fund schemes to unlock this essential to the future prosperity of the West Midlands.
200] Curzon Street HS2: (BLN 1318.2647) Ground clearance and preparation works are progressing for
the new station as is demolition of the fairly new UNITE Curzon Gate Student Accommodation, on the
approach to the platforms, said to be the largest building on HS2 that will need to be demolished. The
nearby Fox and Grapes Pub is also going as is Castle Bromwich Business Park, buildings at Bromford,
Washwood Heath, Saltley & Network Business Parks and Duddeston. They are mostly industrial and
warehousing units, but do include residential properties around the Washwood Heath depot area.
Not being demolished but undergoing renovation is the original Grade I listed 1838 Curzon Street
station (open to the public for two weekends in Sep 2018). Member 161 regularly enjoyed the facilities
of the staff canteen in that building during his period employed by BR in Birmingham, around 1961/62.
201] Wolverhampton: (BLN 1320.100) Regarding DBC's Logistics Centre (the former Steel Terminal),
the new track layout is correct in the Dec 2018 TRACKmaps Book 4. However, since that went to print
its compiler has reviewed new evidence and feels the line into the new shed is No9 then between the
sheds runs 10 (done by the 22 Dec 2018 'Festive Frolic' railtour) and 11 while 12 runs into the old shed.
202] Tame Bridge Parkway: On 20 Jan NR removed the P2 Wrexham & Shropshire Railway 'Stop' Car
Board. The open access Railway actually eased operations after last running on 28 Jan 2011!
203] Lichfield Trent Valley: Site clearance has begun for the two lifts to be installed for step free
interchange between the low level West Coast Main Line (P1&2) and the high level Cross City Line P3.
The work was previously announced in 2014 but became a victim of the Hendy report. Construction
work for lifts has also already started on a similar scheme at Kidsgrove (BLN 1318.2579) more recently
agreed. The lifts at Lichfield should be completed by the spring and be operational by early summer.
204] Great Malvern: A proposed rent increase by West Midlands Railway for the popular café on P1 at
the station could force the business to close. The company wants to raise the annual rent for Lady
Foley's Tea Room from £3K per annum to £10K as part of a new lease to begin on 5 Jul. The café is
named after Lady Emily Foley, who in the 19th Century had a waiting room built for her personal use
which is now the café. She was a major influence in the station built being built. The café, which is
worth visiting, has been run by Margaret Baddeley for 20 years; now in her 70s she would like to pass
it on to her daughter who helps her. The tea room has been commended many times and compared to
the famous tea room at Carnforth for its charm and ambience. The railway company advises that rents
on some of the premises located on stations have not increased in 25 years. However, the present
turnover will not support such an increase and the premises are far from ideal for its function. Thanks
to the local press, Civic Society and Friends of Malvern's Railway, public opinion is being mobilised.
1321 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
205] Drivers Still Wanted! (BLN 1320.104) The ongoing driver shortage along with recent DART service
enhancements have resulted in continuing cancellations, especially on DART and Cork local services.
This is why IR took the unusual step of recruiting drivers by public advertisement rather than the usual
internal selection (applications closed on 14 Jan, sorry you've missed the boat). There are 42 vacancies.
206] Ballybrophy - Limerick: (BLN 1316.2302) The 07.45 (SSuX) Nenagh to Limerick continues to be
replaced by a bus as far as Birdhill, at least until 1 Feb, but not due to driver shortage. The 06.30
Limerick to Ballybrophy service is a pair of units that split at Nenagh. The front one then continues at
07.38 to Ballybrophy and the rear forms the 07.45 Nenagh to Limerick. However, cable theft prevents
trains from splitting there (they can't be signalled); poor quality track is also given as a reason.
207] NIR: https://goo.gl/75XyME is the 2019 Network Statement, published 30 Mar 2018, for the
current Working Timetable. It is lacks detail compared with most mainland Europe operators or NR.
There is information on current and future projects. ♣Londonderry: Completion of the new station
seems to have slipped to Jan 2020. ♣Lisburn West: (ie reopening Knockmore station; 104m 08ch - last
call 25 Mar 2005), is 'on hold'. First proposed to reopen in 2016, Translink purchased land in the area
in 2014. ♣Donegall Quay - Yorkgate double tracking is also 'on hold'. ♣Bellarena: (BLNs 1271.3209 &
1275.437) The proposed Up Engineer's siding/s are shown to be constructed between Aug-Nov 2019.
1321 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
Mode 2017* 2018* 66 % 208] Passenger numbers: 2018 was a successful
Horse 73,954 80,606 +9% year for the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, Manx
Steam 121,422 113,197 Change -7% Electric Railway and Snaefell Mountain Railway with
Snaefell 63,175 76,434 +6,652 +21% increased passengers recorded throughout the year
MER 227,826 244,863 -8,225 +7% on all lines. (*Single journeys except return on The
Total 486,377 515,100 +13,259 +5.5% Snaefell Mountain Railway.) The only line operated
+17,037 by Isle of Man Railways with reduced passenger
numbers, by 7%, was the Isle of Man Steam Railway though across all lines there was a 5.5% increase.
The Snaefell Mountain Railway grew the most - not a surprise as the 2017 season was shorter with
suspension of the service after the 4 Aug 2017 runaway. 76,434 return journeys were made, up (and
'down'!) by over 13,000. In its 125th anniversary year the Manx Electric Railway was up 7% to 244,863
journeys (from 227,826 in 2017). Douglas Bay Horse Tramway continued its upward trend since the
IOM Railways took on the operation with 80,606 journeys - up 6,652. Steam Railway passenger
numbers were down 7% from 121,422 to 113,197. A total of 515,100 journeys were recorded on the
island's heritage railways and tramways, 28,723 higher (5.5%) than 2017's figure of 486,377. For those
who don't know and were wondering, the 'Go Explore' rover tickets are like credit/ debit cards and are
electronically checked by the conductor (even on the Horse Tram!) which records each journey.
The possible reason for the reduction in numbers on steam services was a lack of resources. During
your Regional Editor's time on the railway the lack of working steam locos meant that it was not
unusual to cancel the two trains in the middle part of the day - especially so if there was a dining train
or driver experience train running as there were simply not the locos to cover all the duties. From
discussions with his ex-colleagues this has been very apparent again during 2018. On the plus side the
IOM Government has been working hard to increase the number of cruise vessels calling at the island.
When these calls are made passengers are actively encouraged to obtain 'Go Explore' tickets and
special trains and trams run for the cruise vessel passengers. This has had the effect of increasing
passenger numbers but at the expense of 'normal' passengers due to the limited accommodation.
209] IOM Steam Railway: From our local correspondents. Regarding steam locos in 2019: No8 'Fenella'
should be operational - her boiler certificate expires in 2020. No12 should also work (but her certificate
expires this May), she may be kept going with repaired boiler from No10 'G H Wood'. No13 'Kissack'
and No15 'Caledonia' are both serviceable. No4 'Loch' has been receiving attention and her boiler was
expected to arrive 'in the New Year'. No10 'G H Wood' (See 12, above) needs a fair bit of work, so her
boiler may be 'borrowed'. No11 'Maitland' still needs a lot of work to be done. Diesel locos: No18 'Ailsa'
is serviceable and has been in use recently. No21, nicknamed 'The Cabbage' (BLN 1317.2529) is still out
of use. Her bogies were expected back after further adjustments, but... who knows?
210] Horse Tram Breaks: (BLN 1318.2652 - pictures in e-BLN) By the start of Jan two separate short
sections of the tramway had been lifted as part of the Douglas promenade work. (1): From the bottom
of Summerhill towards the Derby Castle car parking area (but not encroaching onto the road access to
the parking spaces and pub). This is where the tracks were on the landward side of the road. Two way
road traffic was still able to pass on the seaward side. (2): From south of the bottom of Summerhill the
tracks have been dug up for 50-100yd, but traffic is still able to pass on the roadway on either side.
The southerly extent of horse tram track removal is now (late Jan) well south of 'The Queens' hotel.
211] Snaefell Mountain Railway Brakes: (BLN 1320.106) The IOM Department of Infrastructure (DOI)
was fined £18k in Dec after admitting five health and safety breaches in court linked to the 4 Aug 2017
tram runaway through the main road crossing at Bungalow. None of those charges related to the
braking system although the incident occurred when power was lost to the tram's rheostatic brakes.
It has now come to light that on 11 Apr 2018 the Health & Safety at Work Inspectorate issued an
Improvement Notice ordering the DOI to fit failsafe brakes by 31 Mar, before the 2019 season.
It says: Significant improvements to equipment, maintenance procedures and operating instructions
made following the investigation of an incident on the railway on August 4, 2017 have - subject to the
application of appropriate maintenance and operational standards - significantly improved the levels of
safety on Mountain Railway services. However, investigation of the incident by an independent
railways engineer has identified that the installation of a fail to safe braking system would be a
reasonably practicable measure. As no fail to safe systems are currently installed on Mountain Railway
trams they are not therefore constructed to a level that is as safe as reasonably practicable.
Each of the trams … should also be tested to a documented test regime. The Health & Safety at Work
Inspectorate will not permit any tram to enter service for 2019 until a report demonstrating the
successful installation has been completed and supplied to them.
The DOI is quoted in the same article: Maintenance improvements and design enhancements to the
three separate existing braking and control systems were implemented as a consequence of the
investigation. The development of the additional fail to safe track braking system was recommended
by industry specialists and supported by the HSWI in preparation for the 2019 season.
1321 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
212] Ladies only: (BLN 1320.121) Sugar Loaf Halt was not the only station which adult men were
'prohibited' from using. In the May 1982 Working Timetable the 11.10 Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness
had a column note: On Saturdays stops at Balnacra Level Crossing Gatehouse to take up wives of
Railway Employees. The 17.55 return had a similar note to set them down. Our correspondent recalls
that, in the 1970s, there were other crossings served similarly; he believes that Rogie was one of them.
213] Perth: (BLN 1318.2655) From 13 Jan as part of the Muirton Yard Project (= Perth New Yard) the
access points were reinstated at 152m 27ch. The yard remains OOU until at least 31 Aug 2019 with a
chained sleeper and stop board at the yard entrance (152m 34ch). The significance of the date is that it
is over 6 months so the assets can remain off Network Rail's operational business rate assessment.
214] The Magnificent Seven: (BLN 1320.110): ScotRail's HSTs are marketed as 'Inter7City' not 'InterCity 7'.
216] West Highland Line: GBRf have extended their contract with Liberty British Aluminium for three
more years. This is to move alumina from North Blyth to Fort William. The Class 66 hauled working are
timed to leave North Blyth at 06.25, arriving Fort William at 20.45, with the return empties leaving
08.07, arriving back North Blyth at 20.39, six days a week. There had been talk of the plant being
supplied by ship (via Corpach) directly from Foynes, Ireland, where Alumina is refined from Bauxite.
The ships sail round the north of Scotland to Blyth! The terminal was there for Lynemouth Smelter
(closed 29 Mar 2012). Invergordon Smelter closed in Jan 1981 and Kinlochleven in Jun 2000. There is
no other regular West Highland freight now - the Aluminium ingots have been dispatched by road for
years now. One problem with West Highland Line freight is that the short loops limit the train lengths.
215] Ayr: The former Traction Maintenance Depot is being demolished. The site has reportedly been
purchased by Ayr United FC (whose Somerset Park ground adjoins) for training pitches and car parking.
217] 'Muleing' things over: Alumina loading/unloading (at Blyth and Fort William respectively) relies
on a cable between the tracks to move the wagons forward. Is this a 'mule' (an actual vehicle on rails)
or a ropeway? [What happens at Scunthorpe Foreign Ore Terminal with the tippler wagons in use?]
218] IBM: (BLN 1319.2806) After the excitement over the recent 'closure' of the station there is a
question over its opening date. BLN 339 forecast OP Mon 8 May 1978, with the summer timetable.
However, Jul 1978 'Railway Magazine', 'Railway Observer' and 'Quick' gave OP Tue 9 May - copied by
ever since. RO (but not RM) explained that the Monday had been a local holiday so the opening was on
the Tuesday. A local member questions that as local Council websites now show all public holidays as
on Mondays (except Good Friday, Christmas and New Year as necessary), it may have been different in
1978 of course. He was living in Glasgow in 1978 where there were certainly no Tuesday holidays.
'Britain's Growing Railway' (6th edition - 2017) also gave OP as 8 May 1978 (but may not be reliable)
Does anyone have any further information about the first date IBM was severed (and source) please?
219] Edinburgh Trams: 2018 was another record-breaking year with a 10% increase in passengers to
7.3M in 12 months. This excellent result was partly achieved by a higher frequency service. Extra
'queue buster' services also run during the peaks with trams as frequent as every 3 minutes at times.
1321 WALES & THE MARCHES (Chris Parker) [email protected]
220] Little Mill Jn - Usk - Monmouth Troy: (BLN 1307.1336) According to Wales Online and BBC News,
the proposal for a walking/cycle trail to use part of this former line also now includes the 256 yd Usk
Tunnel east of the station site. At Little Mill Jn (north of Pontypool & New Inn) the facing crossover
and a short siding - for tampers only - at the start of the line (CP Glascoed - Monmouth 20 May 1955).
221] Llanwern progresses: (BLN 1318.2673) The first stage planning application was approved by
Newport City Council on 9 Jan. The 1.6km major events stabling line (MESL - latest candidate for the
BLN abbreviation list?) is also to be used to test DMUs assembled at the nearby CAF factory (under
construction) and could be extended to 4km if the second stage (BLN 1314.2185) is approved. TfW
states it originally intended to submit a single application to cover the entire scheme before opting to
concentrate on the MESL first to obtain 'earlier benefits such as the acceleration of employments'.
222] Llanwern regresses: At 00.31 on 12 Jan the previous evening's 18.06 Rotherham to Cardiff Tidal
freight was reported as having struck and run over cables hanging from three consecutive OHLE (not
yet live) gantries on the Down Relief line near Llanwern East Jn. The incident was first designated as
attempted theft or damage but at 03.24 this was changed to cable theft (OHLE) after a MOM reported
pieces of metal, saw marks and copper dust on the Down Relief at 154m 19ch; the damage extended
25ch further west. Anti-trespass alarms were sounding in Tata Llanwern Works and the power cables
had been pulled out of all the gantry CCTV cameras. This sorry tale ended rather more impressively as
an emergency possession of the Up and Down Relief lines was taken at 07.16 and handed back at
11.30 after the freight had been moved to East Usk Yard and the damaged OHLE made safe.
1321 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott) [email protected]
MR8] Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, Gloucestershire (MR p7): The Railway was
running Mince Pie Specials on Boxing Day, 26 December. In operation was the 'green' timetable with
three trains running over the full length of the line between Cheltenham Race Course and Broadway.
A full round trip was sampled on the 11.00 departure from Toddington, which was formed of BR Class
37 D6948 and seven ex-BR MK1 coaches. This then formed the 12.05 from Cheltenham Race Course
and the 13.20 from Broadway (although the staff followed the new 2019 timetable and dispatched the
train from Broadway at 13.30!). The steam heating boiler on D6948 was in operation, although the day
was fairly mild for the time of year - with mostly light cloud and a little sun.
ABOVE: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway - Class 37 D6948 at Cheltenham Race Course
with the 12.05 to Broadway. The fir trees are pathognomonic of an ex-Great Western Railway country
station and show the site of Bishop's Cleeve station; it was next on the line. (Peter Scott 26 Dec 2018.)
The other two trains were worked by GWR 4-6-0s 7903 'Foremarke Hall' and 7820 'Dinmore Manor'.
7903's train was heavily loaded each time it was observed, with a number of pre-booked coach parties.
This train also had a buffet car in operation, but that on D6948's train was unstaffed. By contrast,
D6948's first two trains were lightly loaded, mostly patronised by Class 37 followers and other
enthusiasts. Trains crossed at Gotherington and Toddington, and at least the 12.05 ex-Cheltenham
used Winchcombe platform 1 in the unusual direction (both platforms there are bidirectional). At
Cheltenham Race Course, platform 2 now appears complete, although the only access is via the foot
crossing at the Toddington end of the station. At Broadway, the buffet just needs internal fitting out
before completion. The footbridge is complete over the line, but lacks any steps on either platform. An
all day adult rover ticket was £18 for which a blue Edmondson card ticket was issued. With the
opening of the Broadway extension last year the railway had 43,000 extra visitors. The 2019 timetable
and events calendar are now on the website.
MR9] Alford Valley Railway, Aberdeenshire (MR p28) (BLN 1319.MR248): The Railway's Facebook
page contained a 17 November 2018 update on the current situation with this closed 2ft gauge
railway. The railway was closed due to safety concerns relating to the track and it is believed that work
will be needed to bring this up to standard and that will require funding. Because the Railway is
currently a private company the options for sourcing funding are very limited - it would need to be a
private investor. If the Railway was a Charitable Trust or similar it would open up the possibility of
funding assistance from many sources. Following a recent meeting with the owner, it seems there is a
desire to pass on the business to a local organisation that can run it as some kind of trust and this is
arguably the best chance to save the Railway. To create a situation where the Railway is sustainable it
needs to diversify, not just relying on train fares for income, this is something that a local trust working
with other org anisations in the Alford area could achieve. There is still work to do, meetings are
planned with the people who inspected the track and it is likely another inspection be needed.
X.8] Glenfinnan Woodland Miniature Railway: (BLN 1320.MR7) Pictures by local member Nick Jones
on 19 Jan 2019. NEXT PAGE TOP: A viaduct on this new 7¼" gauge railway at Glenfinnan station.
NEXT PAGE LOWER: Site of future rare track … the engine shed. BELOW: Trackbed ready for the track.
BELOW: The End!
MR10] Steeple Grange Light Railway, Derbyshire (MR p14) (BLN 1318.MR233): The correct opening
date of the Middleton extension was Sunday 16 September 2018 (with apologies from the MR Ed).
MR11] Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway, Falkirk (MR p10): A member attended the annual winter Diesel Gala
on Saturday 29 December. The usual timetable was in operation for this event, with round trips from
Bo'ness to Manuel scheduled hourly 09.30 to 16.30. This is a tight schedule with turn rounds of only
six minutes at each end and locomotives exchanged at Bo'ness. With fine weather, there was an
exceptional turnout, but the event draws haulage enthusiasts from far and wide, because there are
normally 'guest locomotives' from the freight companies in service. This year 56302 from Colas and
66428 from DRS were in use, together with resident diesels 27001, 37067 and 47643. As usual, 47643
was on the Bo'ness end of the train throughout, to provide heating.
The main attraction for our correspondent was the 12.30 round trip, worked by Swindon InterCity
DMU Sc51043 + Sc59404 + Sc51017, which was originally used from Glasgow to Ayr and Stranraer.
It has been restored to its original condition, at an amazingly high standard. The interiors were
completely gutted to allow asbestos to be removed, so needed to be completely rebuilt and refitted.
This extended to commissioning new moquette to the original patterns. The DMU trip used platform 2
(the bay) on arrival and departure, because the locomotive-hauled train was occupying platform 1.
That required the usual inhabitants (Mk 1 courier coach 80221, banana van B882517, Mk 1 Post Office
stowage van 80437 and Southern Railway parcels van 1856) to be shunted to the station loop.
A member of staff stated that passenger use of platform 2 normally happens on steam gala days when
two trains are in service. On 19/20 May; 9/10 Jun; 21/22 Jul; 1, 15/16 Sep & 20/21 Oct the 15.35 the
DMU is scheduled to operate the 15.35 from Bo'ness and likely to use platform 2. As for the second
Birkhill platform - its retaining wall has been in place for some time. Footbridge foundations (which
were surplus materials from West Calder station as a result of electrification) have been constructed.
The footbridge itself is in several (large) pieces, freshly painted, on wagons in the yard at Bo'ness
MR12] Cornwall at War Museum, Davidstow Airfield, Camelford, Cornwall (MR 1235.MR86): This
Museum is on part of the former WW RAF Davidstow Moor Airfield near Camelford. A new 2ft gauge
line is under construction; track has been laid and is being extended with the idea of creating a WWI
inspired 'Trench Railway', although stock is of a later period. 4wDM (MR8882/1944) was on site by
May 2015, but had not been operational. It has been undergoing attention to several issues and with
these now apparently corrected, it hauled a former 4w MOD van along the short line in mid-October.
MR13] CairnGorm Mountain Railway, Highland (MR p32) (BLN 1314.2066): Highlands and Islands
Enterprise (HIE) has taken over the running of the Railway (TCP 28 September 2018) and Snowsports
Centre. CairnGorm Mountain Ltd (CML) was placed into administration in November due to
'unsustainable cash-flow problems'. Its parent company, Natural Retreats, had a 25-year lease. Staff
and other assets will transfer to the new company, trading as Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited.
The new company will honour season tickets purchased for this winter season. HIE already owns the
site, but had leased it to an outside operator. The business and assets of CML have now been sold by
the administrators, Campbell Dallas. Charlotte Wright, HIE chief executive, said the immediate focus of
the new operating company was to ensure the best possible experience for visitors this winter.
The deal will protect jobs and bring stability to the business, which plays an important role in the wider
local economy. Situated high in the Cairngorms near Aviemore, CairnGorm Mountain and its Funicular
Railway has been owned by the public agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise since 2008. In 2010,
HIE was criticised by MSPs for failures which led to spiralling construction and running costs of the
Railway. HIE provided £19.42M towards the £26M cost of the Railway, which opened in 2001.
Wilmslow-headquartered Natural Retreats bid for and won a 25-year lease to operate CairnGorm
Mountain in 2014. The company has been running the site through the business CairnGorm Mountain
Ltd. The following year, Natural Retreats began consulting on a planned, estimated £15M revamp of
the centre. However, over the years it has been criticised for how it has run the Snowsports Centre,
including a decision to remove ski tows from an area called the Ciste. Last year, Aviemore Business
Association announced a proposal to mount a community buyout of CairnGorm Mountain. This effort
is now being led by Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust.
MR14] Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, Oxfordshire (MR p7) (BLN 1313.MR183): The railway
ran Mince Pie Specials on 29, 30, 31 December & 1 January at 11.00, 12.30, 14.00 from Princes
Risborough (returning an hour later from Chinnor, also 10.30 from Chinnor and an apparently
unadvertised 15.30 ex-Princes Risborough) at the usual £10 seniors, £12 adult fares. Our reporter
visited on Sunday 30 December, arriving at Princes Risborough via Oxford and Haddenham & Thame
Parkway at 10.53 and taking their 11.00 service - and later leaving for Marylebone (the MR Editor also
visited, but sampled the afternoon trains). Complimentary hot drinks and cordials, plus mince pies and
biscuits were provided on the journey from Chinnor. Trains are worked 'top and tail', as the run-round
facility (not a loop as such) at Princes Risborough is not yet available (although the track-work looks
complete and at Chinnor the run-round loop beyond the station was blocked by stabled stock). It was
planned to feature diesel 37227 but owing to this being indisposed 08825 was utilised instead - at the
London end with GWR 2-6-2 5526 at the country end. Rolling stock was their usual four ex-BR MK1
coaches: BSK 35337, TSO 4584, RMB 1845 and TSO 4902. Visible in the yard beyond the station at
Chinnor were DMUs 55023/24, Class 17 D8568, shunter 08011 'Haversham' and the sick Class 37,
along with 3-CEP 1198 and their fifth coach BSK 34671. The trains observed were well patronised and
well heated by 5526 - indeed the MR Ed's 15.00 from Chinnor had so much steam in the corridor
adjacent to the RMB it was impossible to see to pass through the corridor connection!
BELOW: Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway - 08825 heading the 10.30 ex Chinnor waits for the
crossing keeper to walk forward and open the gates at Horsenden Lane level crossing. GWR 5526 on
the rear of the train is obscured by leaking steam from train heating pipes. (Peter Scott 30 Dec 2018.)
ABOVE: From BLN 438 p67 (18 Mar 1982)...
MR15] Shrewsbury Abbey Miniature Railway, Shropshire (BLN 438, item 39): Perhaps the longest BLN
outstanding follow-up to date (1982)? Yards from the extant Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway
(S&MR) Shrewsbury Abbey platform (on the edge of the car park), opposite the Abbey itself, the
miniature railway last noted on 18 March 1982 remains very visible even though closed '30 years ago'.
The 7¼" gauge track starts (finishes?) just inside an archway directly off Abbey Foregate, this section
has survived as it is set in concrete. (BELOW: Sketch plan with thanks to Dave Cromarty.)
From the archway, the track splits into a nowadays dead-end straight-on open air-section and a line to
the right that enters a building. Amazingly, the point still operates cleanly and the track continues
inside the building, much to the annoyance of its occupants. They welcomed your peripatetic member
in and recalled when the railway still operated with a 'King Great Western' steam locomotive,
suggesting that the 'old guy out the back' would know more. They bemoaned the track underneath
their carpets as their machinery becomes caught in the rails when they move it! Out the back, all track
has been lifted and the 'old guy' was not around, but the old trackbed was followed, the line curving
along the fence eastwards roughly opposite the S&M platform. There is now a small wooden shed over
the trackbed but it otherwise remains a distinct alignment to the side with a dilapidated breeze-block
'shed' at the end still identifiable. The open-air track appears to be griceable (for, say, 50 yards?) but
the section inside the building would require arrangements with its occupants to lift their carpets and
1 S&MR station (renovated)move their machinery! This interesting area
with the S&MR station is a short walk from
2 HousesShrewsbury station and is worth a visit.
3 Cannock House (flats)There is a full sized semaphore signal to the
1 2 3
Railw4ay left of the entrance into the building (the grey
56 8 4ndoo-tt6icoenaLbtiohgveeh:ptlani)n, wdituhsatrbiraidgleucsaset metal
SignaANl DaCtANbAuL CilOdMiPnAgNY'e. ntrance
LEFT: (1): S&MR station (renovated).
(2): Houses. (3): Cannock House (flats).
(4-6): Buildings in light industrial use.
CSD (7-8): Garages with offices above.
MR16] Crich Tramway Village, Derbyshire (MR p32) (BLN 1306.MR122): Reopening after the closed
Winter season will be on 16 March. The Octagon structure at Wakebridge will be repainted during the
closed season as part of its restoration for use as a new interpretation space. Also being restored is the
Wakebridge former Birmingham tram shelter. These works are part of a wider Heritage Lottery Fund
supported project that will bring further enhancements to the Museum's Woodland Walk for 2019.
Cabin Crossing is receiving a new hard standing for pointwork and overhead component maintenance.
[PAS addition].The big winter project this year is the relaying of track at Glory Mine, with the stub
track reinstated on a like for like basis to the very end of line. This line had been out of use for several
years and the dense overgrown foliage had to be removed before it could be used again. The old
trackwork and ballast were removed with the new track bed in place by Christmas. 280 tonnes of fresh
ballast was placed and compacted to the correct levels. New track will also be installed, the overhead
poles repainted and the overhead wires reinstated. This is expected to be ready for the start of season.
ABOVE: The former Shrewsbury Abbey station building with the eponymous Abbey in the background.
Certainly a very handy station for anyone wanting to go to the Abbey or, of course, visit...
BELOW: Shrewsbury Abbey Miniature Railway: Left on the far side of the door step is a working
point with weighted lever; on the right is a full size semaphore signal. (Both Dave Cromarty Dec 2018.)
ABOVE: The line inside an industrial unit and, through the double doors, beneath the carpet -
would it be an underlay? It is not a road rail vehicle on the right, sadly. (Mark Wallis Dec 2018.)