Number 1320 (Items 1 - 128 & MR 1 - MR 7) (E-BLN 73 PAGES) 12 Jan 2019
BRANCH LINE NEWS
…………… Respice in praeteritum, praesens et futurum
Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955
WEBSITE ADDRESS: branchline.uk
Membership Enquiries, Alan Welsh [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677
British Isles news from member7s2; 8a6n7i7nternational section is available.
Opinions herein are not necessaarivlyaitlahbolsee. of the Compilers or the Society.
BLN 1321 is dated Sat 26 Jan 2019; please send all contributions by Wed 16 Jan
Date Event and details = Please Book Online BLN Lead Status
Sat 26 Jan The Blackpool Balloon tram tour with non-wired sections BELOW MG *OPEN*
Sat 2 Feb The Positioning Move TM (one way) 1317 MG OPEN
Lancaster to Bristol
Sun 3 Feb The Looe Brush tour; Bristol-Cornwall APPLY WAITING LIST 1317 MG FULL
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
Sat 23 Mar The Marching Crompton II, Class 33 track & traction tour BELOW MG *OPEN*
Sat 23 Mar The Weymouth walkabout to Weymouth Quay etc BELOW TG *OPEN*
Sun 24 Mar The Ruby Vampire - The Second Bite, SEE BELOW BELOW MG *OPEN*
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 with a difference TBA TBA Claimed
Sun 14 Apr REDATED from 13 Apr Weston, Nantwich Methodist Church & Willaston Railways
16-18 May Island of Ireland IV - *ONLY 9 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
Mon 26 Aug SAVE DATE 09.30-18.30 Scunthorpe Steeler No18 railtour TBA TBA Claimed
KA = Kev Adlam; MG = Mark Gomm; PG = Paul Griffin; TG = Tom Gilby; - contact details on back page.
X.1] :The Blackpool Balloon, Sat 26 Jan 10.30-17.30:: This was not finalised in time for paper BLN 1320, if
you know of anyone who might be interested (or can book for them, please). A Blackpool Tramway tour
with a balloon double deck tram (max 90). Meet Starr Gate Depot 10.30; a suitable break is included with
the finish due 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 road, Fisherman's Walk X/O, Fleetwood Ferry
inner and outer loop, Bispham centre road & Starr Gate wash road/headshunt. At both depots, different
roads to our last visit have been requested. In addition, using diesel powered Engineering Tram 754 to
pilot, two rare moves on lines not wired are included: Manchester Square crossover and the tracks along
Blundell Street, as far as safely possible. We are very grateful for the support of Bryan Lindop and Gary
Conn at Blackpool Heritage Trams. All proceeds from the tour will go to Heritage tram operations, as well
as supporting their exciting restoration projects. £40 members, £52 non-members. U18 (must be with an
adult) £20 discount. Includes stocklist, souvenir ticket and map. Book online or via Mark Gomm supplying
membership number/s and email or SAE. Train services: Blackpool North: At least hourly Northern service
run on Saturdays 08.38-18.38 plus Virgin Trains, with an hourly service at Blackpool South 09.49-17.49.
Advance tickets are available (eg New Street - Blackpool; back from Preston £6.25 each way with railcard).
1] :Island of Ireland IV 16-19 May:: Further to BLN 1319.2690, this weekend is filling well; Thur 16 &
Sat 18 May are limited to the coach capacity (a few places remain if anyone else is interested). Irish
Rail is validating our charity Sun 19 May unit tour. Subject to confirmation/acceptance the proposal
is: Cork P3 - Midleton P2 (rev) - station west end (rev) - Midleton P1 - Midleton Siding, east of the
station, deviates off the original Youghal branch (rev) - Midleton P1 - Cork P4 (rev) - Cobh Siding
(rev) - west of station (rev) - Cobh P1 (rev) - Cork station avoiding line - Mallow P1 (rev) - Banteer
Down side - Rathmore Down side & Siding - avoid Killarney - Tralee P2 (rev) - Killarney reversing
headshunt (rev) -Killarney bay P2 (rev)-Rathmore Up side-Banteer Up side-Mallow P3-Charleville
P3 - Limerick Junction Up Main - Thurles P2 (if country end crossover is repaired) - Ballybrophy P4 -
Hazelhatch P4 - Up Slow - Heuston Yard Carriage Siding No2 - Dublin Heuston P5 (terminate). This is
in good time for later evening flights from Dublin Airport. The tour is not yet open for bookings but
participants have been advised to book flights/boats and accommodation (Wed night near Belfast
Great Victoria Street station and then three nights near Cork station, including for the Sun railtour).
2] The Marching Crompton II - Sat 23 Mar: An exciting 'Track & Traction' loco-hauled railtour with
West Coast Railways (WCR) and '84G Railtours' featuring Class 33 haulage on The Marches with a 90
minute (approximately) Weymouth lunch break. Highlights include: Up Tunnel Loop, Up Pilning Loop,
Rhubarb Curve, Bathampton UPL & Westbury Up Reception on the way and on return Westbury Dn
Reception, Oldfield Park DGL, (Bristol) East Depot Goods Loop, Bristol Parkway UPL, Up Charfield Loop,
Lydney DGL, Llanwern Down Service Line, Abergavenny UGL, Pontrilas UGL and Sutton Bridge UGL.
A WCR Class 33 leads to Weymouth with a WCR 47/57 providing heat from the rear. On return, in
conjunction with the 71A Locomotive Group, 33012 will double head with the WCR Class 33 to Crewe.
Provisional timings/route validated by WCR and bid to NR: Crewe P12 PU 05.30 - Shrewsbury P4 PU
06.21 - Church Stretton PU 06.35 - Hereford PU 07.28 - Maindee East Jn - Up Tunnel Loop - Up
Pilning Loop - Filton No1 Jn - Filton Abbey Wood P1 - Horfield Jn - Dn Filton Relief - Lawrence Hill P2 -
Dr Day's Jn - Bristol ('Rhubarb') Loop - North Somerset Jn - Bath Spa PU 10.20 - Bathampton UPL -
Westbury Up Reception - Frome - Castle Cary P2 - Yeovil Pen Mill P3 - Weymouth P1 (90 min break
approx, SEE NEXT ITEM) - Pen Mill P1 - Castle Cary P3 - Westbury Down Reception - Bath Spa SD
16.35 - Oldfield Park DGL - (Bristol) East Depot Goods Loop - Bristol ('Rhubarb') Loop - Lawrence Hill
P1 - Up Filton Relief - Horfield Jn - Filton Abbey Wood P2 - Bristol Parkway UPL - Up Charfield Loop -
Gloucester Up Relief (a 'middle' line) - 'Down Lydney Goods Loop' - Severn Tunnel Down Relief (P1) -
Llanwern Dn Service Line - Maindee North Jn - Abergavenny UGL - Pontrilas UGL - Hereford P2 SD
20.05 - Church Stretton SD 20.50 - Sutton Bridge UGL - Shrewsbury SD 21.15 - Crewe P12 SD 22.00
BLS Members: £84 Standard; £139 First Class Plus with refreshments (table for two is fully booked).
U18 (must be accompanied by adult): £42 off all fares. Non BLS Members £12 surcharge. Important
please advise where you intend to join/alight (can be changed) for stewarding. Please book on our
Society website for an immediate confirmation, otherwise post with membership number/s and
preferably an email address or an SAE to Dr Mark Gomm,
Bookings Officer per back page. All queries to Mark by
email/text if possible please, or by post with an SAE.
3] :The Weymouth Walkabout - Sat 23 Mar:; Tom Gilby
has kindly agreed to lead a leg stretch walk during our
Weymouth break via the Weymouth Harbour Tramway
to Weymouth Quay station, all intact but disused. Some
of the Weymouth & Portland Railway trackbed might be
possible too. No charge, BLS T&Cs apply; to book please
email Tom: [email protected] or by post with
an SAE: 69 Regent St, Barwell, Leicester LE9 8GY.
4] :The Ruby Vampire - The Second Bite Sun 24 Mar:; The second bite of an easy day out 'Track &
Traction' loco-hauled railtour with West Coast Railways booked to feature two Class 33 locos, top 'n
tail exploring the North West and the Merseyside DC network, with some different track from the first
tour. Highlights include Chester Goods No2, Bidston Stabling Siding, Chester Curve, a Wrexham Up Bay
Siding (where Wrexham & Shropshire stabled and serviced trains) and the much sought after strategic
connections at Bootle Jn (with trailing X/O) AND Southport. The tour is now open ONLY to bookings by
those that had previously booked on The Ruby Vampire. IF any places are unsold after 20.00 on 23 Jan,
they will then be available at full fares (Members only: ●£89 Standard ●£129 Compartment Class). Due
to train length constraints, this charter is strictly limited to three Standard Class and one Brake
Compartment vehicle and is therefore expected to rebook rapidly. A limited service of cold drinks and
light refreshments will be on sale. No at seat service or complimentary refreshments are available. The
charter is raising funds for Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes, nominated by our Merseyrail friends.
Provisional timings and route submitted to NR: Crewe P12 (09.10) - Chester Goods No2 Reception -
Wrexham General PU (09.57) - Croes Newydd Loop (rev) - a Wrexham Up Bay Siding (rev) - Croes
Newydd Loop (rev) - Bidston P1 - Birkenhead North EMU Depot (rev) - West Kirby (rev) - Bidston
Stabling Siding (rev) - Bidston P2 - Croes Newydd loop (rev) - Chester Curve - Rock Ferry (rev) -
Chester - Acton Grange Jn - Dn Helsby - Warrington BQ Dn Slow - Wigan Wallgate - Southport P3
(break/rev) - Bootle Jn - trailing X/O - Up Bootle - Huyton - Ince Moss Chord - Earlestown P5 -
Warrington BQ P2 SD (20.45) - Up Helsby - Crewe Up Fast - Up Slow Coal Yard - Crewe P11 (21.30).
Important: Please advise where you intend to join/alight (can be changed) for stewarding. Discounted
fares only available to those on the original tour: ●Standard Class £15 ●Junior £7.50 ●Compartment
Class £55. Available to the original booker only for the same travel class and the same number
(or fewer) seats. Book at website or by post with membership number/s and email address or SAE to
Mark Gomm, Bookings Officer per back page. Queries to Mark by email/text, or post with SAE.
1320 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
5] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered
BLN Start (incl) Reopens Location (stations exclusive where bracketed) bold = closed now
1316.2434 5 Aug 18 Unknown (Clitheroe) - Hellifield South Jn [SuO PSUL service]
1316.2435 25 Aug 18 Unknown Heaton Norris Jn - Guide Bridge Station Jn [SO PSUL service]
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 6 Oct 18 By 15 Jan 19 *Woolwich Ferry; North Woolwich - Woolwich (ROP delayed)
1311.1736 5 Jan 19 14 Jan 19 *Walton Jn - (Kirkby); DMU services unaffected
1311.1736 19 Jan 19 28 Jan 19 (Liverpool Central) - (Hunts Cross)
1311.1736 2 Feb 19 11 Feb 19 (Blundellsands & Crosby) - (Southport)
1319.2709 10 Feb 19 16 Feb 19 *(Derby) - Ambergate Jn - Matlock/Chesterfield South Jn
1297.123 16 Feb 19 24 Feb 19 *(Three Bridges) - (Brighton)/(Hove)/(Lewes)
1311.1736 11 Feb 19 25 Feb 19 Sandhills Jn - (Freshfield)
1319.2710 7 Mar 19 11 Mar 19 Lewes - Keymer Jn/Montpelier Jn/Seaford/Willingdon Jn
1311.1736 2 Mar 19 23 Mar 19 (Rock Ferry) - (Hooton)
1317.2441 2 Jan 19 30 Mar 19 *West Somerset Railway, Bishops Lydeard - Minehead
1313.1945 20 Oct 18 UNKNOWN *Reedham Jn - Berney Arms request stop - (Great Yarmouth)
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
1311.1736 15 Apr 19 23 Apr 19 (Bidston) - West Kirby, DMUs expected to run to/from Bidston
1311.1736 27 Apr 19 6 May 19 Bidston East Jn - New Brighton
1316.2303 2 Jan 19 Late Jul 19 *Mid Hants Railway Alton P3 - (Medstead & Four Marks)
6] Manchester United Football Ground - Trafford Park East: (BLNs 1250.264 &1272.2514) Passenger
trains have ceased again after last running Sun 10 Dec 2017, due to lack of capacity with the increased
regular TPE services via Ordsall Chord. The final services were 14.21, 14.50 & 15.24 from Manchester
Piccadilly and 18.34, 19.08 & 19.41 from the football ground. Journey time was 9-15 minutes.
7] Reedham Jn - Great Yarmouth (excl) & Berney Arms request station: (BLN 1313.1945) TCA 20 Oct
2018; Reedham Jn (BLN 1298.248) is temporarily OOU with Norwich - Berney Arms - Great Yarmouth
services diverted via Acle. Norwich to Lowestoft services are unaffected. ROP had been scheduled
after Easter (30 Mar-2 Apr) 2019 with resignalling but this is now deferred (date not decided by NR).
8] Llandudno Jn - Blaenau Ffestiniog (incl) and 9 stations: (BLN 1318.2559 & 2821) ROP Mon 17 Dec
(TfW services then all normal) after TCP Thur 15 Nov 2018 due to the shortage of serviceable trains.
9] Gatwick Express, Gatwick Airport - London Victoria: (BLN 1319.2796) Did not run from Sun 23 Dec
until after 04.00 Wed 2 Jan 2019 due to the Battersea Pier Jn relaying and partial closure of Victoria.
10] East Croydon - Clapham Junction - Milton Keynes (all excl): This Southern service did not run from
Sun 23 Dec 2018 until Tue 1 Jan 2019 both incl due to the Battersea works affecting Clapham Junction.
11] Westbury (incl) - Heywood Road Jn/Fairwood Jn/Trowbridge/Warminster (both excl) with Dilton
Marsh station: (BLN 1315.2210) TCP Sun 23 Dec until Fri 4 Jan (incl) - an extended Christmas closure of
Westbury station to relay Westbury North Jn with minor repositioning. The work overran by one day.
12] Thingley Jn - Bradford Jn & Melksham station: (BLN 1315.2210) TCP Sun 23 Dec 2018 (Westbury
etc work); Thingley Jn - Melksham (incl): ROP Wed 2 Jan - peak service only, Swindon - Melksham
(no trains on Fri 4 Jan) with buses at other times; Melksham (excl) - Bradford Jn: ROP Sat 5 Jan 2019.
13] Derby (excl) - Matlock (P1 only)/Chesterfield South Jn & six other stations: (BLN 1319.2709) TCP
is now shown as Sun 10 - Sat 16 Feb 2019 (incl) [Ambergate Jn remodelling/resignalling]. CrossCountry
Birmingham - Derby - Chesterfield services reverse at Derby and run via Toton. Sheffield - St Pancras
is reduced to hourly and diverted via Toton; Separately Derby - St Pancras is also reduced to hourly.
1320 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
14] A New Member: On the evening of Wed 19 Dec, following a Facebook intervention by Kev Adlam,
a new member (number 3864) joined. While there is nothing unusual about a new member joining, it
brought our membership over 1,700 and rising which is double the number we had on 1 Apr 2012. The
Society is always pleased to welcome new members if you know of anyone who might be interested.
Membership starts at just £12 per year for 24 electronic newsletters and other benefits including a
posted annual copy of Peter Scott's Minor Railways booklet, access to the members' sections of the
website and the many 'members only' fixtures. Demand for paper BLN/BLNI version remains strong
and is only £40.50 per year for 24 copies by First Class post to the UK (or £45 with BLNI). This includes
e-BLN, e-BLNI, the extra e-items and access to the members' website sections as well. It is easy to join
up and pay by card via our website or contact Alan Welsh, Membership Secretary per BLN masthead.
15] New Year Facebook facelift: We are moving from our old Facebook group (which is closing
down) to a new Branch Line Society Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/BranchLineSociety/
Have a look, join for all the latest gen, including on fixtures, and 'like' us... (450 or so have already).
16] Christmas Quiz (1) Answers: (BLN 1319.2716) Thanks to Robert Green for his fifth BLN quiz...
(1): One might expect this deep tube station to be at a higher level - above the fields: ANGEL.
(2): Yr Wyddfa without the Oxbridge fellow (a don): SNOW - Yr Wyddfa is welsh for 'Snowdon'.
(3): Flocking to a Cornish Station - surprised when the train arrived: SHEPHERDS station on the Tolcarn
.Jn to Blackwater Jn line between Newquay and Truro via Perranporth and St Agnes.
(4): A girl sewist may come knocking at the door in this Glasgow urban area: (Carol) SINGER.
(5): Often on the cards but seasonally private in the Highlands: DunROBIN (Private Station) - now
.Dunrobin Castle; only open seasonally from Mar to late Oct each year (1,030 passengers 2017-18).
(6): Just right for Christmas Day in north Greater London: TURKEY Street station.
(7): Often flaming, a starting place (the answer) later commemorated by a London landmark:
.PUDDING Lane - Monument Station. (Some sources suggest that the great fire of London in 1666
.started in an adjoining street but the bakery in Pudding Lane is usually accepted.)
(8): If needed after too much (6) and/or (7), may be from a shed in South Wales or in North Somerset:
.PILL, Newport Pill Shed (86B) or a former (and future?) station on the Portishead branch.
(9): Manger animal parting of the ways but not found in its eponymous northern Episcopal see:
.Durham OX Jn which was in Lincoln, not in the Bishopric of Durham.
(10): From the east, but placed west of these - Counties, Lynn, Sutton, Worthy: THREE Counties, KINGS
....Lynn, KINGS Sutton and KINGS Worthy (apostrophes not accounted for!).
17] Points & Slips: ●●BLN 1319.2701] As expected the Chiltern South Ruislip - West Ealing bay - High
Wycombe PSUL was cancelled on Mon 24 Dec, there were no other trains at West Ealing that day.
●●2515] Cemetery Signal Box was not at Wood Green but just south of Barnet Tunnel north of New
Southgate station. It is shown on TRACKmaps (Oct 2016) as a historical location (7m 32ch) - Up side.
●●2720] The Railtour 8 Dec 'Festive Oozlum Bird' tour from Victoria did indeed do the Down Corby line
past Corby station. ●●2727] London, Canal Tunnels: Was your editor the only one to notice (after it
was too late) that 'Belle Island Jn' (0m 57ch north of King's Cross) should have been 'Belle Isle Jn'?
18] PSUL (Passenger Train Services over Unusual Lines, listing regular passenger trains over
obscure rail routes in the British Isles 2019): With thanks to the compiler, our esteemed member
Richard Maund, the paper version is enclosed with BLN. Extra copies £5 (incl P&P) with a cheque or
CPA payee 'Branch Line Society' from Graeme Jolley (per back page), or on a tour. The latest version,
updated continually, is always available to all on our website from where it can be downloaded or
printed. On the home page go across the top banner to 'More options...' and down to 'PSUL' (past
editions since summer 1963 available). The Society is pleased to have made a donation of £500 in
lieu of Richard's royalties to the National Railway Museum at York to support their search engine.
19] Uneven (odd) through trains: (BLN 1319.2786) A member's near neighbour is a commuter from
Coseley to Sutton Coldfield on the 07.19 (SSuX) Wolverhampton to Four Oaks through train. There is
a 05.24 (SSuX) Shrewsbury through train to Rugeley Trent Valley (arr 07.33) which, after Birmingham
New Street, runs non-stop via Aston to Tame Bridge Parkway (as do quite a few Rugeley services in
the day). Presumably this will cease as a through service from 19 May when Walsall to Rugeley goes
'all electric'. CrossCountry run a 07.10 SSuX (07.06 SO) Gloucester to Stansted Airport via New Street
that used to call at Bromsgrove but will serve Worcestershire Parkway (low level) instead.
Northern have the 05.40 (SuX) Lancaster to Windermere (06.39), a through service via Morecambe,
and until 9 Dec 2018 there was a 21.03 (SuO) Lancaster to Barrow-in-Furness via Morecambe train. At
Nottingham there is a CrossCountry Voyager at 06.37 (SSuX) to Bournemouth. West Midlands Trains
still run a 23.00 (FO) Birmingham New Street to Gloucester via Bromsgrove and Worcester Shrub Hill
and (also once weekly) a 19.11 (SO) Hereford to Dorridge (arr 21.24) train via Kidderminster, shown as
a Class 158 DMU (they don't have any!) - it is a Class 172 DMU not commonly seen at Hereford. In
Scotland there is the 17.13 (SO) PSUL Kyle of Lochalsh to Elgin via Rose Street Jn - Welsh's Bridge Jn.
All these have no return through equivalent. On Sundays GWR run an 11.05 Weymouth to Swindon
(via Melksham) and 13.38 return. A few years ago there was a Great Malvern to Southampton
afternoon train (SSuX), often just a single Class 153 DMU, via Stroud and Melksham reversing at
Swindon. EMT has a 05.07 (SuX) Nottingham to Spalding (06.53) via Grantham and Peterborough and
21.05 SuX (21.03 SO) return via Peterborough and the PSUL 'Syston Curve', reaching Nottingham at
23.00. SSuX it then runs to Derby but changes its schedule and reporting number so that section
doesn't meet the criteria in BLN 1319. CrossCountry still have one service from Guildford to Newcastle
and return seven days a week; the ECS runs from/to Eastleigh. In Scotland there is (SSuX) a 07.12
Kirkcaldy through to Glasgow Queen Street and also 17.33 Glasgow Queen Street to Markinch. Since
the new timetable on 9 Dec 2018 Northern run a 20.03 (SuX) Leeds to Nottingham
and 22.15 return both, interestingly, via Derby but now creating two hour gaps in
the service at Alfreton (etc). Did you know that Derby now has Northern services?
However, the Saturday trains have not run due to the strikes. Finally (for now)
Northern has (SuO) a 15.02 Carlisle to Nottingham taking almost 5 hours via the
S&C Barnsley and Alfreton with a 20 minute 'break' in Leeds. In the other
direction (also SuO) making this 194m 57ch journey are 09.19 & 14.19 Nottingham
to Carlisle taking about 4¾ hours each. Advance tickets are available (for the three
trains only) for just £20 each way or £13.20 with a railcard!
20] Postscript: (BLNs 1318. 2656 & 1319.2712) ''We are amused'' that there is a
Queen Victoria (VR) postbox on Cobh platform and another on Portlaoise Down
platform. Cardiff Central has a full sized plastic type box freely available unless the
outer doors are locked, which is rarely as there are still trains in the early hours.
There is also a traditional free standing cylindrical one outside the Penarth Road
entrance. Weston-super-Mare has a post mounted (how appropriate) box;
Grantham, Stamford and March each has a wall mounted box each on their 'P1'.
Two boxes have been reported at Carlisle (an EVIIR on P3 and a VR on P4) and
Tonbridge stations. Cambridge and Lincoln each have post boxes.
LEFT: VR postbox at Tullamore station. (Angus McDougall 15 May 1981.)
21] Christmas Quiz (2) Answers: (BLN 1319.2718) By Greg Beecroft. 21]
PART 1: 85 pairs of National Rail stations where the names differ by one letter ... there may be more:
● Ainsdale/Dinsdale ● Dalton/Darton ● Kearsley/Kearsney
● Althorne/Althorpe ● Dalton/Malton ● Kenton/Renton
● Alton/Aston ● Darlington/Harlington ● Lee/Lye
● Alton/Olton ● Dartford/Hartford ● Lye/Rye ● Lye/Wye
● Bamford/Bayford ● Darton/Marton ● Malton/Marton
● Barking/Barming ● Darton/Parton ● Malton/Melton
● Barnham/Burnham ● Deal/Dean ● Malton/Walton
● Barnham/Farnham ● Denham/Lenham ● Marton/Parton
● Barnham/Warnham ● Denton/Kenton ● Mottingham/Nottingham
● Batley/Botley ● Denton/Renton ● Otford/Oxford
● Batley/Gatley ● Diss/Liss ● Perth/Porth
● Bellingham/Billingham ● Egton/Exton ● Rye/Wye
● Bickley/Buckley, ● Falmer/Walmer ● Selling/Welling
● Billingham/Gillingham ● Fareham/Farnham ● Shalford/Shawford
● Birkdale/Kirkdale ● Fareham/Wareham ● Shalford/Shelford
● Bolton/Boston ● Farnham/Warnham ● Sheffield/Shenfield
● Bookham/Cookham ● Foxton/Hoxton ● Shepley/Shipley
● Borth/Porth ● Frimley/Trimley ● Shipton/Skipton
● Bosham/Cosham ● Goole/Poole ● Stafford/Stamford
● Boston/Moston ● Gorton/Yorton ● Staines/Strines
● Brigg/Drigg ● Hadfield/Hatfield ● Strood/Stroud
● Bulwell/Fulwell ● Hapton/Hatton ● Sudbury/Sunbury
● Buxton/Cuxton ● Hatton/Yatton ● Swindon/Swinton
● Chelford/Shelford ● Hersham/Horsham ● Wallington/Watlington
● Clacton/Clapton ● Honley/Horley ● Wallington/Wellington
● Cottingham/Mottingham ● Hooton/Hoxton ● Wareham/Warnham
● Cottingham/Nottingham ● Hope/Hove ● Whiston/Whitton
● Cowden/Howden ● Horley/Morley ● Wigton/Witton
PART 2: The 5 station sequence, each differing by one letter from the previous one, and with the fifth
station different by one letter from the first is: Fareham/Farnham/Barnham/Warnham & Wareham,
all of which are on the South East of England 750V DC electric third rail system.
22] National Passenger Figures 2017-18: The annual estimates were published by the Office of Rail &
Road on 11 Dec 2018 - the methodology is explained in their supporting documents and has been
refined over the years. Overall there was a 1.9% increase in recorded passengers to 1,730,000,000
(despite significant strikes and engineering work). Total passenger km increased by 1.4% (in both cases
driven by growth in the South East) and revenue by 5.4% - up 4% per passenger km; the extra 1.4%
due to the extra journeys made. Of interest, other than reported previously or in the national press:
As usual no Heathrow Terminals or Manchester United Football Ground figures are given (Freedom of
information requests anyone?). Okehampton is attributed 5,000 passengers (down 15.6% due to some
disruption to the dated summer Sunday service in 2017) and Sampford Courtenay had 188 (up 44).
Acklington: 82.4% growth but this is only 168 extra journeys (from 204 to 372), averaging one more
every two days (there are three trains per day SSuX - two to Newcastle/beyond and one to Chathill).
Meanwhile Chathill itself has fallen 22% from 2,770 to 2,160 - again actual numbers are small.
Most stations served by Southeastern from London Victoria have had strong growth of around 20%,
attributed to service changes at Charing Cross and Cannon Street during the Thameslink project. There
has also been a 'bounceback' in Southern passenger figures following the end of industrial action.
Abererch: On many journeys since 1970 your BLN Editor has yet to be on a train that has called at this
request stop - the first station out of Pwllheli on the Cambrian Coast Line. However 2,500 passengers
were recorded in 2017-18, an increase of 17% in 12 months (but only 366 more numerically).
Greenford branch: In the first full year of services being cut back from Paddington to West Ealing
(where connections are sometimes poor) passenger numbers have plummeted, unsurprisingly.
Greenford (NR) 150,800 down 34% from 229,870; South Greenford 26,500 down 50% from 53,110;
Castle Bar Park 80,390 down 47% from 151,940 and Drayton Green 33,580 down 67% from 102,370.
However only one 2-car DMU is now required to operate the half hourly (SuX) service instead of two
and growth at mainline suburban stations has greatly exceeded these losses.
Also unsurprisingly, where there is significant disruption due to engineering work passenger numbers
have fallen. Blackpool North is down 15% with significant falls on lines in the Bolton area, the Chase
Line (eg Rugeley Town down 25%) and on GWR where electrification is in progress. With reopening of
the Settle & Carlisle line after the landslip, passengers have returned (Langwathby is up 340% from
4,130 to 18,170 for example). Significant losses on the Cumbrian Coast line are attributed to 'severe
weather' in winter 2017, although there has been unreliability and cancellations throughout the year.
New stations have done well. For example between Coventry and Nuneaton, Bermuda Park with
28,300 gained 41% and Coventry Arena with 99,500 is up 15% (but only enough to fill the adjacent
Ricoh Stadium three times). Even Edinburgh Gateway is on the up with 387% growth (from 58,390 to
284,450) but OP 11 Dec 2016 so only had a partial 2016-17 comparator year. Some of this growth is
abstraction from South Gyle (down by 64,220 or 13%). Similarly Kirkstall Forge (OP 19 Jun 2016)
gained 59% and Low Moor (OP 2 Apr 2017) recorded a remarkable 133,060 in its first year, although it
has through Grand Central services to/from London. Cranbrook (OP 13 Dec 2015) had 104,600
passengers (+16%) and 101,360 (+17%) used Energlyn & Churchill Park which OP 8 Dec 2013.
Where services are improved, passengers follow, as from May 2017 on the Nottingham to Newark
Castle line: Carlton +17%; Burton Joyce +41%; Lowdham +18%; Bleasby +18%; Fiskerton +28% and
Rolleston 16%. Similarly all stations between Glasgow Queen Street (HL) and Anniesland via Maryhill
saw growth of up to 66% (Ashfield) in 12 months following significant improvements in 2016.
As examples of the effects of industrial action, on Merseyrail Ellesmere Port was down from 362,680
to 288,880 (-20%) and Capenhurst lost 16%. The Northern action will affect the next set of figures.
IBM dropped from 6,030 passengers in 2016-17 to 770 (down 87%). [All figures rounded in this item.]
The official Pilning figure of 478 (230 in 2016-17) is up 108% due to the station user group campaign.
23] E-BLN 2018: With thanks to our Publications Officer, Martyn Brailsford, E-BLN 2018 is available as a
single PDF document to logged in members at our website 'Archive'. At the Archive set the 'Category'
top left to 'BLN' and it is filed (top right) as 'BLNs January to December 2018 (1296-1319)' dated
01.01.2018. Thanks to all the contributors, it is a record breaking 634MB with 1,565 pages and, after
downloading, can be electronically searched. Another addition is a new index to BLN original series
No37-72 (Oct 1958-Sep 1961) and 1964, available to view/download. For a full list of Indexes, set the
'category' top left to 'BLN Index'. Life was much simpler then; BLN only had 8 pages a month to read
but members were kept busy chasing passenger lines and branches that were closing at short notice.
BLN indexes now available on our website are Oct 1955-Sep 1961, 1964 and 1969-2017 except 2016.
1320 EAST MIDLANDS (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
24] Wellingborough: (BLNs 1317.2451 & 1318.2578) The Down Goods Loop was shortened by 95m to
350yd from 27 Dec and the points in the Up Fast for the crossover from the Up & Down Slow were
repositioned to 65m 32ch. From 2 Jan the renewed and resited ('elongated') Wellingborough North Jn
was commissioned including the new main to main crossover (at 65m 27ch). The entrance/exit to
Nielsens Sidings were moved north (to 65m 64ch) and a new crossover (OOU) provided in the Arrival/
Departure Siding. Access will be maintained to the siding. The Arrival/Departure Siding Head Shunt
was relayed and shortened by 21yd with a new temporary buffer stop provided.
25] Scunthorpe: On our Sat 5 Jan steelworks railtour some alterations to the track layout were noted:
The line to former Bloom & Billet Mill Road 6E is being plain lined, disconnecting adjacent No1 Road.
The mothballed Plate Mill is now being demolished and all tracks into the former building have been
removed. This leaves a number of points that lead to nowhere, it is planned to plain line most of these
with the possible exception of points leading to Roads 23 and 24, which still partly exist.
The 'Iron Road' adjacent to 'Tube Side' has been removed including the access point.
A new through line (see bottom right of map with e-BLN) is under construction, off the line through
the former Bloom & Billet Mill, straight ahead, joining the 'Soaker Side' east of the former Soakers
building; a loop is planned about half way along it. The alternative sharply curving present line (where
the brakevans squeal) from the former Bloom & Billet Mill to the Slab Yard area is being retained.
There are still plans to alter the access to the Coal Running Road and the line leading to the Rod Mill
by plain lining two points. An unmarked detailed zoomable Jan 2019 new track plan is with e-BLN.
26] Mr Barrow Hill: Many congratulations to Mervyn Allcock on his MBE in the New Year's Honours
List for services to conservation and the community. The former British Rail depot is just a short bike
ride from his childhood home and was a favourite place for train spotting as a child. In 1989, in his
early 20s, Mervyn heard of British Rail's proposal to close the roundhouse, then a diesel depot.
Recognising its importance as the last surviving operational roundhouse in the country, he persuaded
Chesterfield Borough Council to apply for listed building status. In 1991, with just 48 hours to spare,
the listing was approved. Mervyn established the Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society to take over the
maintenance lease. Since its reopening in 1998, thanks to Mervyn's vision and passion, Barrow Hill
Roundhouse has become a highly successful commercial railway depot and award winning museum
and events venue. Now with over 60 steam, diesel and electric locos on display, it is home to 11 rail
companies and also Newrail, the University of Newcastle's centre for research into rail innovations.
The depot site has also become a safe place for apprentices to practice track laying and maintenance.
In 2016 Mervyn was instrumental in securing a £1.2M Heritage Lottery Fund grant to invest in new
visitor facilities. He is a multiple award winner and has recently been recognised by the Heritage Rail
Association for his drive and passion and determination over a 30 year period. Mervyn said: It came as
a bit of a shock, but I am very pleased and proud to receive the MBE. I accept it on behalf of everyone
who has helped me create Barrow Hill - there have been many highlights, including seeing steam
locomotives at the roundhouse for the first time. We are holding our 2019 AGM at the Roundhouse.
27] Swinderby ROC or a truly remarkable diversion? QUOTE: On 28 Dec at 20.47 the signaller at
Swinderby inadvertently replaced SY14 signal on the Up Newark line at Swinderby to red in front of
2L81, 20.31 Leeds - Sheffield. The driver was unable to stop and passed the signal at red. The driver
was fit to continue when the circumstances were explained. There was no delay recorded.
28] A Point of Information: Grantham and Retford have recently acquired 'Railpoint' touch sensitive,
information screens, at the latter inside the island platform waiting rooms. https://goo.gl/yg4KSX is at
Grantham outside the main (Up) platform building by the entrance. The screen top is about shoulder
height. Other locations such as Dorking Deepdene and Worthing now have similar technology and
they can be found at some Chiltern, Northern and TPE run stations; some are also ticket machines.
29] Croft: The granite quarry on the Up side (10m 20ch) of the Nuneaton to Leicester line between
Hinckley and Narborough, one of the largest in Europe, is coming to the end of its working life and
plans are being made to restore it. Quarrying began in 1868 and there is now a huge hole in the
ground covering 81 acres. The owners, Aggregate Industries, based at Bardon near Coalville, want to
extend it to extract another 6.3M tonnes taking up to 20 years. The firm has also sent details to
Leicestershire County Council of plans to restore the area after quarrying ends. It is proposed to import
about 22M cubic metres of inert material - up to 750,000m2 per year mainly by rail. The siding will be
relocated to run parallel with the Leicester to Birmingham line and involve consultation with NR. It is
believed that this plan is actually some three years old. A member reports that a permissive footpath is
now available alongside the quarry from its access road making a circular walk around Croft Hill.
BELOW: Croft Quarry during our 1 Dec 1986 Society visit. NEXT PAGE: The platform shown is the
former goods yard cattle dock; our present GS is lurking behind the concrete post. The main line is left.
30] Boston Docks: Two new sheds (buildings!) are being built to cope with extra rail freight traffic.
31] Leicester - Burton: Yet again a campaign has been started (or re-started?) to reopen the line
(CP 7 Sep 1964) to passengers. A meeting at Swadlincote on Thur 12 Dec attended by about 20
residents discussed forming an action group. Well, you have to start somewhere, out of small acorns...
32] Retford: On the 18 Dec a points failure prevented Up ECML services from calling at Up P1.
The 14.02 York to King's Cross ran through non-stop on the Up Main (after stopping at Retford North
to speak with the Signalman at Doncaster PSB). Passengers were taken to Newark Northgate and
advised to return on a Down service as northbound services prevented it from calling at bidirectional
Retford Down P2. The next three Up trains due to call at Retford did run via the Down platform and
then the trailing crossover at Retford South Jn; rare for timetabled passenger trains but done by tours.
33] East Midlands Gateway: (BLN 1300.453; map in e-BLN) A member took a walk to look at progress
on construction of the new 1.8 mile branch. It joins the Castle Donington line southwest of Sheet
Stores Jn and is shown on Baker's Rail Atlas (14th Edition, June 2015) p95, bottom left corner. The new
main line junction will face west. The embankments are now complete from that junction to opposite
the Hilton Hotel on the A50 at M1 J24. The final stretch into the site needs more work - there has been
a huge earthmoving exercise to create a flat area for the massive warehouses at the elevation of East
Midlands Airport runway; the rail terminal will be in a cutting at a lower level. Tracklaying has begun at
the junction end and the line appears to be initially double track, so a train will be able to wait to come
off the branch as one arrives. The formation ends abruptly alongside the Castle Donington line, no
work has yet been done on the final link or actual junction with NR.
ABOVE: Recent pictures of the new, nearly two mile long, branch to East Midlands Gateway under
construction taken by local member Ian Mitchell. Looking towards Castle Donington/Burton-on-Trent.
The junction will be top right. BELOW: View of the double track section towards the future junction.
A plan of the branch is available in BLN 1300.453 which can be found on our website archive page.
ABOVE: A new bridge near Lockington over a minor road. BELOW: Site of the new (well hidden) rail
terminal looking north, the trackbed will run down the middle with the end of line nearest the
photographer. The road top right is A50 and the M1 is to its right. East Midlands Airport is nearby.
34] Sunday Joint beefed up: (BLN 1319.2723) Peterborough to Lincoln (for the Christmas Market)
Sunday extras have run every year starting Dec 2014 after completion of line resignalling in Nov 2014.
35] Christmas Joint not beefed up: (BLN 1319.2722) On Sat 29 Dec the 17.24 Skegness to Nottingham
train was a 2-car Class 158 rather than a 6-car HST. Our member reports that it was lightly loaded as
were 12 of the 13 trains he used on that day travelling between Little Sutton (Merseyside) and Boston.
36] No More Happy Returns of the Day: From 7 Jan the NET fares structure changed with the end of
return tickets, based on 'customer feedback' aimed at 'simplifying' fares. To make a return trip on the
same day (previously £3.50) will require either two £2.30 singles (each increased by 10p from 7 Jan) or
a day ticket. These are £4 for adults from ticket machines on each platform or electronically, (£3.70
max on the Mango card or £3.60 max on the Robin Hood card, if using one operator) with no increase.
Other changes from 7 Jan included all day unlimited travel for £2.50 for concessionary pass holders
from out of Nottinghamshire - the same price as their previous equivalent return ticket, so they will
not lose out in this new fares structure. There will also be new student single, day and week tickets
costing £1.70, £3.10 and £13.50 respectively. Under 19 single cash fares are £1.20 also up by 10p.
First time buyers of monthly season tickets - or those who haven't used one for three months -
may buy one for £40 between 7 Jan and 9 Feb, saving £15 on the standard monthly ticket prices.
1320 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]
37] Angerstein Wharf: This branch has had an unfortunate history of derailments in recent years.
On 21 Dec the 11.35 to Hither Green, consisting of 17 loaded box wagons, derailed on departure.
Wagons 3 to 5 derailed and then rerailed but suffered wheel damage and wagons 6 to 9 were fully
derailed. 50m of track was badly damaged. RTT shows what was presumably the front two wagons
being removed on 27th. It was necessary to clear trees and undergrowth to allow access for a digger to
unload the seven damaged wagons. A road crane was then required to lift them on to low loaders,
allowing the damaged track to be repaired. Luckily this was the last train booked to use the line before
Christmas and probably the New Year and passenger services were not affected.
BELOW: Angerstein Wharf a Society visit on 16 Sep 1983. (Ian Mortimer.)
The next movement at Angerstein Wharf on Realtime Trains was a light engine from Hither Green on
the evening of 2 Jan, returning with wagons to Hither Green Down Yard, presumably being the
wagons from the rear of the train. Normal working resumed with the 21.48 empties from Hither Green
Down Yard, leaving loaded to Acton Yard at 04.59 on 3rd.
38] Barking - Gospel Oak: (BLN 1319.2730) The Class 378 refurbishment programme has been paused,
releasing one unit to be reformed to four cars. Following test runs on the WCML and Brighton Main
Line, this was to be tested between Gospel Oak and Barking early this month and will hopefully enter
service shortly to supplement the remaining Class 172 DMUs. However it will not be possible to
release any more units without cancelling trains on other routes. ('Freightmaster Interactive')
39] Barking Riverside: (BLN 1318.2586) The contract for the construction of the branch has been
awarded to a joint venture of Morgan Sindall and Volker Fitzpatrick. With thanks to Martyn Brailsford,
there is a track plan with this section of 'before' and 'after' the new line is constructed. The plans also
show the relatively new Barking Eurohub (BLN 1318.2583), definitely in need of a railtour‽
40] Battersea Pier Jn: (BLN 1319.2586) During the route closure here from 23 Dec to 1 Jan, 1,300m of
plain-line track and 1,800m of conductor rail were replaced. Additionally 12 switch and crossing units
were renewed and ten point motors replaced. The renewed junction is expected to last for 35 years on
a section of route used by 240,000 passengers a day according to NR figures.
41] Bethnal Green: (BLN 1312.1851) The Up Fast from Bethnal Green North Jn to East Jn was finally
reinstated from 2 Nov, after the points in the main line had been plain-lined since early on 9 Nov 2017.
Normally only booked to be used by a few late night and early morning midweek services, this section
of line saw regular use from 23 Dec to 1 Jan.
42] Boxing Day: Despite previous promises by government, only four franchised operators and five
TOCs ran services outside Scotland (and there only in Strathclyde). The following services operated:
>Heathrow Express: Heathrow T4 - Heathrow T2&3 (Central) - Heathrow T5 shuttle every 20 minutes.
>Chiltern: Marylebone - Oxford Parkway (all using P2 with bidirectional running), two trains per hour.
>Southeastern: St Pancras International - Ashford International, two per hour (Eurostar ran too).
>Southern: London Bridge to: Three Bridges (hourly)/Brighton (hourly)/Sutton (half-hourly) plus East
..Croydon (half hourly to 13.00) which thus had four trains per hour to/from London Bridge until then.
>Stansted Express: Tottenham Hale (Stratford was originally intended) - Stansted Airport half-hourly.
Although London Overground and TfL services did not run, the whole LUL network was operating
except for the Kensington (Olympia) branch and the Waterloo & City Line, with last trains at normal
weekday times. The DLR ran a 10 minute frequency on all lines with no service from Bow Church to
Stratford after 21.00. Croydon Tramlink, like the buses, had a Sunday service and the Emirates Air Line
cable car ran 08.00-21.00. No Thames Clippers ran, Congestion charges and T-Charges did not apply -
the 'T' is for 'Toxicity'. The Black Cab Boxing Day supplement was £4 per journey (private hire varied).
43] Crossrail: (BLN 1319.2735) Over the Christmas period the shell of a new footbridge was installed
across all lines at Acton Main Line, as the new entrance is to be on the south side of the station.
A similar shell was installed at West Ealing, but only over the Relief Lines, as the new entrance here
will be on the north side. As the new-build section of Crossrail will be owned by TfL, the running lines
will be named Eastbound and Westbound, rather than Up and Down [that's a relief]. This avoids any
potential anomaly with the connection of the Great Western Main Lines to the Great Eastern lines.
44] TfL Service Enhancements: The current proposals for the next few years are listed below. They are
generally low-cost or dependent on projects already going ahead, so shouldn't be affected by TfL's
financial situation. There are currently no proposals for the Croydon trams. (tph = trains per hour.)
Central Line: ●Jan 2020: Introduce Woodford - Hainault shuttle and/or reduce number of trains in
service to accommodate train upgrade programme. Small increase to eastbound peak services and the
peak shoulders with early and late service enhancements. ●Apr 2021: Further amendments to peak
service, assuming that the full Crossrail/Elizabeth Line service through Ealing Broadway is running by
then (!), plus 24tph through the central area SuO. ●Apr 2023: Possible small increase in SSuX off-peak
service with 145 or 140sec headways through the central area, plus potential increase in SO service.
Piccadilly Line: ●Dec 2020: Increase in the inter-peak SSuX and SuO 12.00-21.00 service between
Acton Town and Arnos Grove to 24tph.
Bakerloo: ●May 2019: Timetable change due to the 4tph London Overground to Watford Junction.
Jubilee Line: ●Dec 2020: Full 30tph peak service to Stratford, instead of 6tph terminating at North
Greenwich. 140sec headway Stratford - Willesden Green SO 10.00-19.00. ●Dec 2021: Peak service
increased to 32tph Stratford - West Hampstead, but this would require signalling enhancements.
Northern Line: ●Jan 2020: Faster peak run times and small increase to 31tph northbound from
Morden in am peak. ●Mar 2021: Battersea Power Station branch open with 12tph in peaks (originally
expected to open by the end of 2020). However press reports indicate that is not now expected until
Sep 2021, as the terminus has had to be redesigned because the original passenger numbers forecast
was too low. This is due to changes to the actual development at Battersea Power Station and is not
TfL's 'fault'. ●Oct 2022: 4tph serving the Charing Cross branch from Morden added off-peak SSuX.
Victoria Line: ●Aug 2019: Expand the 36tph peak service from 90 minutes duration to three hours.
●Jun 2022: Standard daily off peak service increased to 30tph. ●Jun 2023: Increase to early and late
service following resignalling of Northumberland Park depot.
LUL Sub-Surface Lines: ●Mar 2020: Peak service 28tph on the north side of the Circle and 20tph on
south side, currently under review. ●May 2021: Further increase to 30-32tph peak on the Circle Line
core sections and 24tph on the Metropolitan (Harrow-on-the-Hill to Baker Street). Some off-peak
periods on the core sections of the Circle Line increased to 27tph. ●May 2022: Peak extended and
further increase on the south end of the Met in the peaks to 28tph. ●May 2023: Final optimisation of
peaks, improved running times and increase in off-peak services following completion of resignalling.
London Overground: These changes depend on introduction of the new Class 710 EMUs, stabling
facilities and, in the case of the East London Line, upgrades to the core section signalling. ●Apr 2019:
Full EMU service Barking - Gospel Oak. ●May 2019: Additional 1tph in the peaks Stratford - Clapham
Junction and Stratford - Richmond. Euston - Watford Junction service increased from 3 to 4tph daily.
●Dec 2019: Additional 2tph on the Crystal Palace service 07.00-22.00 SSuX and 11.00-22.00 SSuO.
Additional 2tph Clapham Junction - Shepherd's Bush in the peaks, SSuX off-peak to 22.00 and 11.00 to
22.00 SSuO. These changes also require agreement with other operators and NR. ●Dec 2020: Increase
from 2tph to 3tph from 12.00-20.00 SO Liverpool Street - Cheshunt and Liverpool Street - Enfield
Town, plus pm peak period extended to 15.00-20.00 on the same routes. Two early services from
Barking before the current first trains SSuX. All these changes are speculative. ●Jan 2022: Barking
Riverside branch opens, but TfL website says services will start in 2021. ●May 2023: Extra 2tph on the
East London Line service to Clapham Junction between 07.00-22.00 SSuX & 11.00-22.00 SSuO. Also
requires agreement with other operators and NR, also a permanent solution for stabling new trains.
Docklands Light Railway: ●2019: Canning Town - Beckton '7½ tph' shuttle achieved by shortening
Tower Gateway - Beckton trains to two cars. This is dependent on Crossrail reducing DLR demand into
the City, so may be delayed. Extension of Stratford - Canary Wharf services to Mudchute in the am
peak and extending half of the Stratford - Canary Wharf services to Lewisham throughout the day.
This requires an assessment of how to reverse at Mudchute (or Crossharbour) and extra trains.
●2022/3: Stratford International - Beckton '7½ tph' service. New, higher capacity trains used on all
Lewisham and Woolwich services. ●2024 onward: The 14 new trains to be acquired under the Housing
Infrastructure Award (BLN 1317.2460) will be deployed. Full length train operation over the whole
network. Stratford - Lewisham increased from '7½' to 15tph, (30tph total to Lewisham). Stratford -
Woolwich Arsenal increased to 15tph, plus a '7½' tph Canning Town - Woolwich Arsenal shuttle.
45] Derelict London: https://goo.gl/6W8CaM tubes, trains and trams with many interesting pictures.
46] Greenford branch: (BLN 1319.2734) On 21 Dec a member visited Castle Bar Park and found that
the ticket office is again open from 07.00 to 10.00 SSuX. It is staffed by a booking clerk who otherwise
works at Paddington and only him plus a manager are authorised to work here. Because Ealing Council
subsidise the line they want the booking office open, although there are no staff at the other two
branch stations. However our member's 50p transaction (for five platform tickets) was the only sale he
had made that day, as most people want Oyster top-ups, but like most other National booking offices
they cannot do that! The centre outside the station that used to attract customers is now demolished,
and will soon be replaced by affordable housing, although there is still a low-cost supermarket nearby.
Our member with 10 others then joined the 09.48 to West Ealing where 24 alighted. The 09.57 return
was less busy; seven people alighting at Greenford, most heading for the eastbound Central Line.
That train was the last of the GWR driver's five round trips, having done some 'main line' work earlier.
Our reporter then made his way to South Ruislip to join the 11.02 Chiltern PSUL to West Ealing on its
fifth day of operation. Although the ECS arrived in good time, departure was a little late waiting for the
guard. He duly checked the tickets and Oyster cards of our member and the five other passengers as
the train headed towards Greenford and, after a brief signal halt, took the line newly reopened to
passengers round to Greenford (LUL) Bay Jn then to South Greenford. Here a Cricklewood - Calvert
inert spoil train was waiting to head north. Speed was slow all the way to West Ealing where the 2-car
DMU pulled up to bay P5 buffer stops, was emptied, shut down and locked for the GWR branch set to
arrive and depart under permissive arrangements. The 11.47 Chiltern PSUL return (booked non-stop to
High Wycombe) carried only our member and one other passenger. Another Class 66 with a Calvert -
Wembley empty spoil wagons was passed near South Greenford and the train stopped briefly at
South Ruislip, possibly to set down the guard as the passenger doors were not opened.
47] HS2: (BLN 1318.2587) Over Christmas preparatory work took place in sidings, some lines in the
Camden area and on some platforms at Euston. Work included cable laying, removal/installation of
OHLE steelwork and drainage improvement. In a 'late notice' issued on 4 Jan, (revising BLN 1317.2454)
the Wycombe Single Line from Old Oak Common West Jn (3m 30ch) to Park Royal (4m 72ch) was to
be secured OOU from 12.05 on 5 Jan, rather than the previously quoted 1 Jan. From the same date the
Up Siding nearest the main lines at West Ruislip was to be taken OOU. From 6 Jan the taxi rank at
Euston was to be moved from the basement to Euston Square Gardens.
https://goo.gl/nqpFjB is about Old Oak Common station construction. A Costain/Skanska joint venture
is responsible for site enabling works. The site measures 900m x 60m, the six HS2 platforms will be
20m below ground. There will also be eight platforms on the GWML for GWR and Crossrail trains.
Some boring news is that the tunnel towards Euston will be constructed first, then that to West
Ruislip. A conveyor belt in a tunnel will take away spoil to Willesden Euro Terminal for disposal by rail.
48] LUL's 271st Station: A mock up station named West Ashfield is in the training centre at Ashfield
House near West Kensington station, along with a model railway and some other training aids.
An entertaining video https://goo.gl/bqCXqq by Geoff Marshall (of 'All The Stations' fame).
49] Northern City Line: NR has issued a Network Change Notice on behalf of GTR for the installation of
track-based transponders, known as Eurobalises, for operation with the new Class 717 EMUs.
These will allow automatic operation of selective door opening at the four intermediate stations,
assistance in positioning of the train at Moorgate and automatic changeover between AC and DC at
Drayton Park. The Eurobalises also contain Correct Side Door Enabling to ensure the driver opens the
doors on the correct side of the train. Comments on the proposal are required by 18 Feb and
installation is planned to take place as soon as possible after this. This may explain why the units have
yet to enter passenger service apart from a handful of extra trips.
50] Wimbledon West Jn: (E-BLN 1319.X. 173 picture) Leaving Wimbledon P9 for Sutton the Down St
Helier line has been rusty recently, with all Wimbledon to Wimbledon Chase trains routed over the
bidirectional Up St Helier to Wimbledon West Jn. Here they take a previously rare trailing crossover
(7m 60ch) to the Down line. Wimbledon P9 country end signal displays a proceed aspect with a 'U'
indication. The reason for this is unknown (or how long it will continue). It seems to have started about
3 Oct and was still happening on 8 Jan. There are no operating problems unless an aggregate train to
Tolworth is unable to cross to the Down Main Slow line at Wimbledon West Jn. The crossover was
done on our 20 Apr 2002 'Wessex Essex Express' and on Mon 14 Mar 2016 with engineering works.
51] Upminster: c2c has refurbished P1 entrance (the Up Main side, bay is P1A), with a rebuilt ticket
office and waiting room. The new facilities opened on 7 Dec. Future plans include modernisation of the
main station entrance and the new ticket machines. c2c has submitted an application to the DfT's
'Access for All' fund to improve accessibility to P6 (Romford service), the only platform without a lift.
52] Terminal Terminology: (BLN 1319.2728) On 24 Nov 2016, in reply to a query, Heathrow Express
advised that Heathrow Terminals 2&3 is often referred to as 'Heathrow Central' but they refer to it as
'Heathrow Terminals 2&3' as they consider this to be clearer for their customers. Both variants are
recognised though and other train operating companies are responsible for choosing which to use.
53] ….And Finally: On 18 Dec some lucky SWR passengers did some rare track, although probably
didn't appreciate the experience. At 15.33 the 14.41 Shepperton to Waterloo arrived at Wimbledon
17 mins late due to a track circuit failure at Raynes Park. The train, a pair of Class 458 EMUs, was taken
out of service and ran ECS to Wimbledon Park depot. However station staff at Wimbledon reported
that some passengers were still aboard when the train left as they had been unable to check the rear
two coaches were empty. They remained on board until the train returned from Wimbledon Park
depot, en route to form the 15.42 Waterloo to Shepperton, starting short from Raynes Park at 16.01.
1320 NORTH EAST & YORKSHIRE (Geoff Blyth) [email protected]
BELOW: Urlay Nook signal box with motorised boom crossing gates. (Angus McDougall 9 Jan 1988.)
54] Urlay Nook: The area controlled by Bowesfield signal box includes two level crossings and a user
worked crossing on the section between Eaglescliffe and Darlington. Allens West was upgraded in
autumn 2013 from automatic half barriers (AHBC-X) to Manually Controlled Barriers with Obstacle
Detection (MCB-OD) after several 'near misses' caused by pedestrians walking round the barriers.
Urlay Nook has one of only two remaining sets of motorised boom gates in the country. The gate is
swung horizontally, with a motor driving a tyre that rolls over the road surface (pictures in e-BLN).
This crossing type was introduced by the former North Eastern Region of British Railways mainly in the
North East/Yorkshire and a few in other areas. Does anyone know: (i) When/where the first such
crossing was introduced and (ii) if the gate motor is driven electrically or hydraulically? Urlay Nook
crossing appears to have hoses leading to the motor, but they might be heavy duty electric cables.
NR originally wanted to replace the crossing with a bridge but there were unresolved issues. A plan to
close the crossing in summer 2013 was dropped, mainly due to police objections, as officers from their
Tactical Training Centre would then have a longer route to the main A66 road affecting response
times. The box was then downgraded to a gate box. The boom gates are life expired so will probably
be replaced by MCB-OD, supervised by York ROC instead of Bowesfield, until a bridge is built.
https://goo.gl/QxrfPa is a video of the gates operating - the train finally appears at 2 mins!
55] Sheffield Supertram: (BLN 1314. 2151) The system seems to have been affected more than others
by accidents damaging trams. At present four Duewag trams are running in mixed formations, with
segments from other trams. It has now been confirmed that a Citylink tram will run with parts from
two separate vehicles as a result of the recent collisions. Both 399202 and 399204 have been involved
in collisions at the same crossing between Woodbourn Road and Attercliffe Road stops.
After the latest collision, a lorry driver has been charged with driving without due care and attention
and for contravening a red light. Both trams suffered enough damage to require major repairs, for
which they may need to be sent away. To make another tram available for service ⅔ of 399202 and ⅓
of 399204 will be joined to create a hybrid tram [Cut & Shut? - an interesting dilemma for our haulage
people.] It is likely it will be numbered 399202, as that is the major contributor. [Not 399202.66 then‽]
All day tickets increased in price from 6 Jan but most fares did not. TravelMaster tickets - allowing
travel across the South Yorkshire region - rose slightly also. The Tram only Dayrider (which includes the
Tram Train service until 29 Apr 2019) increased from £4 to £4.20. A Sheffield & Meadowhall PlusBus
(£4 Adult; £2.65 Railcards) is good value as it includes the entire tram network and to Rotherham
Parkgate, also until 29 Apr 2019. English Concessionary Passes are also valid on the Tram Trains.
56] Aldwarke Jn: (NEXT PAGE: Plan thanks to Dave Cromarty. At Aldwarke Jn and Nunnery Jn the
1965 new connecting lines are shown in blue.) The series of references to the route changes in the
Rotherham/Swinton/Mexborough area (BLN 1297.169, 1298.283 and 1303.872) related primarily to
passenger services. However, BLN 1297.169 stated: 'This was the then brand new Aldwarke Jn ...
OG 7 Mar 1965; OP 5 Apr 1965'. A member has questioned the first date, and adduced cogent
evidence that it requires amplification. The layout alterations at Aldwarke [two new double track
scissors crossover connections, between ex-Midland Railway (MR) slow lines and the nearby former
Great Central Railway (GCR) lines] would have been a significant 'news item' in their own right, had
they not been overshadowed by wider ranging rationalisation in the greater Sheffield area.
Contemporary 1965 railway press references seem to have referred to Aldwarke only briefly - usually
merely subsidiary to the new Tinsley Marshalling Yard that opened later that year. A new signal box at
Aldwarke Junction (photo BLN 1319.X170) was commissioned on Sun 7 Mar 1965 controlling signals
on both the MR and GCR lines. However, the signalling notice https://goo.gl/bAi5s6 (also available as
a supplement to this e-BLN) shows that the work was to be undertaken in two stages, with the result
that the two new double track crossovers were not commissioned until the next weekend 13/14 Mar.
So, the 'OG' date should be Mon 15 Mar 1965, when freight trains (or at least route learning specials?)
might have started to use the new connections. That is what BLN 34 recorded (front page).
Ex L.N.E.R. Lines To Leeds To York
Ex L.M.S.R. Lines
New connection To Wath Mexborough
Based on an original BR sketch Swinton Town To Doncaster
plan : not to scale
ROTHERHAM MASBOROUGH To Silverwood To Worksop
To Barnsley Colliery
To Penistone Nunnery
(New connecting line)
SHEFFIELD MIDLAND Beighton Junction
Killamarsh West To Nottingham
Killamarsh Central To Staveley
To Chesterfield Midland
However, 'Railway Magazine' (Jul 1965, p423) combined the two weekends' work and BLN 43 (front
page) unfortunately altered the date to read 7 Mar 1965 to match, thus misleadingly oversimplifying
matters. Regular passenger use of the two new connections did not start until 4 Apr 1965. At that time
BR Eastern Region envisaged the new connections would eventually allow all Rotherham passenger
calls to be concentrated on Masborough (MR) station, with Central (GCR) station closing - but the long
term eventual outcome was the opposite when Central ROP 11 May 1987 along with Holmes Chord.
If any reader can supply a copy of Eastern Region Central Section 'C' Temporary Speed Restrictions etc.
weekly notice for Week 11, 13-19 Mar 1965, your Regional Editor would be very glad to hear.
57] Mules: (BLN 1319.2741; with pictures in e-BLN) A member has asked if a mule at Hatfield Colliery
operated in just one direction and the loco then retrieved the loaded wagons. It seems likely to him
that, since the loco brings the empties in, that loco would propel them in and detach. The mule would
then draw the wagons out as they are loaded - in other words the mule did the 'donkey' work...
A former Doncaster PSB signaller has confirmed that empty Merry Go Round trains ran beyond the
ground frame east of the Hatfield Colliery loading bunker. The trainman would then request the
release and the wagons would be propelled back until the rear wagon was underneath the bunker.
The mule (interlocked with the signalling) would then be requested and attached to the wagons for
loading to commence. Short trains (30 wagons) would be clear of the Up Slow line, so the loco could
run that way into the sidings at the west end [Up Yard on TRACKmaps Oct 2016] and remain until the
mule was locked away. Longer trains, introduced later, did not fit inside and the loco had to wait until
the first few wagons had been loaded. Hatfield Colliery mule could only pull trains but it appears that
the Walkeringham oil depot ones could push or pull. It is not known why Hatfield mule stopped being
used; it maybe that longer trains were introduced, too heavy for the mule to pull or it was life expired.
58] Ferryhill: (BLN 1278.729) Having been out of use for some months, since the aggregate traffic to
AV Dawson for road transfer to the new Whitby Potash Mine (BLN 1278.728) finished, the Thrislington
Quarry line is back in use. Shine was noted on the tracks at the end of Oct and again on 15 Dec, when a
rake of bogie box wagons was present in the sidings. The traffic is GBRf operated to Chesterton Jn
stone terminal by Cambridge North station, (aggregate again, not Dolomite of course) and began on
Mon 29 Oct. At least 12 trains have run each carrying up to 1,600 tonnes. There is now a daily path
(SuX) normally via Stillington, Eaglescliffe, Yarm, the ECML (York P5 at 11.00!) to Doncaster then the
Joint Line through Lincoln to Peterborough Virtual Quarry and on via Ely to Chesterton Jn (16.44).
The return empties leave at 20.50 and run on the ECML overnight arriving at Thrislington 05.16.
59] York: From 27 Dec 2018, the area controlled by York South, York North, Leeds East, Leeds West,
Leeds North West and Ardsley Workstations, previously in York IECC, was re-controlled to York Rail
Operating Centre. The area controlled by these workstations will not change. Resultant name changes:
South Kirkby Jn - Fitzwilliam: Down Passing Loop Down Doncaster Passing Loop;
................................................ .Up Passing Loop Up Doncaster Passing Loop.
Wakefield Westgate: Down Passenger Loop Down Wakefield Passenger Loop.
Wakefield Westgate South Jn - Wakefield Kirkgate West Jn: Up & Down Westgate Curve.
Church Fenton South Jn - North Jn: Up Passenger Loop Up Church Fenton Passenger Loop.
York: Loco Line York Loco Line and Loco Sidings York Loco Sidings.
Hambleton South Jn - Hambleton West Jn: Up and Down lines Up Hambleton South Curve and
..........................................................................Down Hambleton South Curve respectively.
Hambleton East Jn - Hambleton North Jn: Up & Down Hambleton North Curve.
Shipley South Jn - Shipley West Jn: Up & Down Forster Square Line Up & Down Shipley Curve.
60] Middlesbrough: (BLN 1318.2594). A reliable source confirms that diverting the two SuO TPE
services via Boroughbridge Road was initially caused by pathing constraints. Before the May 2018
timetable change TPE trains ran every two hours on a Sunday. This is now hourly with problems at
Northallerton on Sunday afternoons as LNER run as many as three trains per hour at times. Most of
the clashes were resolved but the two diverted trains were unable to call at Northallerton.
One had to avoid it altogether and the other did not have sufficient time to call there. As this involved
new route knowledge for the TPE York crews, it was decided to run both trains via Boroughbridge
Road to obtain this in both directions. An early morning ECS working to Middlesbrough is also routed
this way for route knowledge purposes. The issues were also caused by the relevant trains running in
different timings from May 2018 as a result of running via the Ordsall Curve instead of Guide Bridge.
Northbound: Until May 2018, the 14.33 from Manchester Airport called at Northallerton at 16.33/34.
The current 14.47 ex-Manchester Airport departs York 7 minutes ahead of CrossCountry's (XC) 12.14
Guildford to Newcastle and crosses to the Down Slow line to call at Thirsk 16.55 (then 3 min ahead).
The TPE passes Longlands Jn 17.01½ so can't call at Northallerton as the Guildford passes there 17.02.
Southbound: Until May 2018, the 14.23 from Middlesbrough called at Northallerton at 14.50½/51½.
The current 14.48 from Middlesbrough has been 'squeezed in' between the existing XC 12.02 Glasgow
Central - Plymouth, passing Northallerton 15.20, and Grand Central's 14.12 Sunderland - King's Cross,
which follows the TPE from Stockton Cut Jn calling at Northallerton 15.25 (public time 15.24). The TPE
train passes Longlands Jn, 15.17 on the Up Slow line. Both call at Thirsk so it was decided there was
insufficient margin for it to call at Northallerton as well, particularly as there are two LNER Up services
hard on the heels of the Grand Central service! (See pp.113/4 and 247 of Working Timetable YA03,
available online at the NR website). Many thanks to 'a retired timetable compiler' for this analysis.
This congestion will be exacerbated by the ambition to expand the service on the ECML and helps
support the case for (re)building the low level platforms at Northallerton, although this would be both
difficult (as housing has now crept right up to the line) and expensive. Regarding the future of these
TPE services, the Middlesbrough trains will continue to run to and from Manchester Airport for the
foreseeable future and will not now run to Liverpool (BLN 1317.2480) when loco haulage commences.
The current 05.43 Middlesbrough to Liverpool Lime Street is an exception. There is no agreement
with TPE to extend these services to Saltburn (BLN 1319.2748) at present even if TfN has approved a
franchise change. The idea comes and goes and some timings even appeared briefly on Realtime
Trains at one point! The Middlesbrough turn round time is quite short, and TPE has been looking at
how to improve this. However, a longer turnback, with time to run to Saltburn increases staffing costs
and probably requires a extra train. TPE will have 13 loco hauled sets for Liverpool - Scarborough and
Manchester Airport - Middlesbrough. They were precluded from ordering pure DMUs (as opposed to
bimodes) during bidding, as it was expected that all TPE routes would have significant electrification!
61] T&W Metro: ①(BLN 1313.1970) Plans for the temporary Howdon 'satellite' Metro depot were
approved by North Tyneside Council Planning Committee on 27 Nov. More than 20 other sites were
considered but the previously recommended locations in Shields Road and Benton Square were ruled
out due to limited space, ground contamination and overhead power lines. The Howdon site is
expected to be used for up to 10 years, after which it would be returned to undeveloped scrubland.
②Nexus has begun detailed negotiations with the five short listed bidders (BLN 1314.2105) vying to
design and build the new T&W fleet. The winner, due to be announced at the end of 2019, will design,
build and maintain the fleet and maintenance facilities to serve the Metro for 35 years, including the
new Gosforth depot at the existing site. They will also be responsible for ensuring a smooth transition
between the old and new fleets between 2022 and 2024.
③ITV is commissioning a new four part behind the scenes series at T&W Metro, with the working title
'Metropolis'. This is the first time that access has been granted to the cameras. It will follow the stories
of the staff, the passengers and the communities whose 'lives revolve around a unique rail network'.
It will be filmed in 2019 and information about the screening dates, when known, would be welcome.
62] Doncaster: On Fri 21 Dec four locos (66433, 20305, 37605 & 66303) were returning as 0Z66, 17.35
Doncaster Roberts Road to Crewe after tyre turning at the former location. The train reversed at
Hexthorpe Sidings, ran via the Up Hexthorpe Goods to St James Jn (Goods) then on the bi-directional
line to St James Jn (Passenger). At this point two axles on the leading bogie of 37605, the third loco in
the train, derailed and appeared to have failed to rerail, as the driver heard a loud bang. The train was
clearly running early as the driver had reported this by 17.19; a block was immediately put in place.
Trains trapped by the derailment: ●13.45 Reading to Newcastle reversed at Hexthorpe Jn and again at
Aldwarke Jn then ran via Pontefract Baghill. ●15.53 Manchester Airport to Cleethorpes terminated at
Meadowhall and returned to Sheffield to form the 18.11 to Manchester Airport. ●16.30 Sheffield to
Bridlington reversed at Hexthorpe Jn and retreated to Sheffield. ●16.24 Cleethorpes to Manchester
Airport terminated at Doncaster and formed 17.50 Doncaster to Cleethorpes. ●17.05 Sheffield to
Adwick terminated at Rotherham and returned to Sheffield. ●16.27 Tunstead to Drax (Freightliner
Heavy Haul operated) was diverted and ran round at Calder Bridge Jn.
Bridge Jn - Hexthorpe Jn, including to/from Roberts Road and Hexthorpe Yard, was still available and
traffic from the north could access both yards by running round at Decoy Down Yard.
Services provided: Northern: Hourly Sheffield - Conisbrough & Doncaster - Hull/Scunthorpe shuttles.
TPE: Sheffield - Manchester Airport and Doncaster - Cleethorpes. CrossCountry ran via Pontefract
Baghill not calling at Doncaster. Next day was similar but Northern ran its Sheffield - Doncaster (strike)
hourly service with Single Line Working over the Up Conisbrough line between Hexthorpe Jn and
South Yorkshire Jn until 17.00. The East Midlands Trains St Pancras - York service via Doncaster ran
to/from Sheffield. After rerailing and track/pointwork repairs normal service resumed on Sun 23 Dec.
63] Passenger trains to the Monk Bretton line! Before anyone gets too excited, they are not planning
to reopen this section of former Midland Railway main line to passenger traffic. Northern has regular
timetabled paths for ECS 'Pacer' workings from Holbeck Loco Sidings (FSSuX) at 10.48 (returning
14.38) to Monk Bretton Loop (11.29/13.59) but not straying off the former Midland Railway Sheffield
to Leeds main line. Of note they use the Oakenshaw Jn to Oakenshaw South Jn single track spur. The
regular freight traffic is sand in the afternoon from King's Lynn Middleton Towers to Monk Bretton
Ardagh Glass plant, previously Redfearns Glass (as in online schedules) but Rexam Glass - the earlier
owners - in the latest Sectional Appendix! It arrives via the double track Crofton East Jn - Oakenshaw
South Jn link, due to pass the former (SSuX) 15.17 or 15.37 according to the schedule used, and leaves
Monk Bretton after unloading in the evening. Northern runs specials on this well sanded lengthy
freight branch to train new drivers rather than for route learning; the equivalent of taking a learner
driver to a quiet bit of private road to practice perhaps? E-BLN 1319.X175 has pictures of 3-car DMU
144017 on the line in mid December; several trips can be made in the time allocated on the branch.
64] Newcastle: NR is undertaking
a thirteen year programme to
replace all the wooden beams on
the Grade II listed King Edward
Bridge (opened 1 Oct 1906). This is
the eighth year of the programme.
Work began late evening on
Christmas Eve and was completed
before start of traffic on 27 Dec
2018. LEFT: Work on the bridge
last month. (NR Press Release.)
65] Goole: From BLN 1302.771: It appears ... Engine Shed Jn - Mineral Jn - Goods Jn ... fell out of use at
some point after our tours [13 Oct 1990 & 20 Jul 1991] but was left intact. Unfortunately there is no
record of when... A Sectional Appendix page dated 1 May 1994 showed it as then still in use, but by
2004 a special note against Engine Shed Jn said: To/From Goole Docks. Connection Secured out of use
[OOU]. Trains may only be run when authorised by the Route Director Network Rail LNE. So it was
presumably available in an emergency if there was no access to the docks via the link from Goole SB.
The 2013 sectional appendix still carried this note, even though the line had been lifted! A member
recollects that it was severed about 2008 at the time the substantial bridge over the Dutch River was
replaced but there is nothing in the weekly notices. This member has now determined that he visited
the area on 23 Aug 2003 and took a picture of a replacement span for the bridge. It was actually lying
on the formation of the line from Engine Shed Jn and the track had been lifted. See BLN 1301.637 map.
The new bridge span can be seen on the e-BLN picture (ABOVE). A DMU is crossing the bridge above
the trackbed from Engine Shed Jn into the docks. Goole station is to the left, Thorne to the right.
The picture shows that the whole of this trackbed was a worksite. There was no road access to the left
(to Engine Shed Jn) as it is a triangle of land hemmed in by railways and the canal. The only access was
therefore from the docks and under the bridge and that must be the way the new span was delivered.
The line to Goods Jn would have been lifted to provide access for road vehicles and heavy plant.
The Weekly Operating Notice gives the dates of the work as 6-9 Mar 2004. This ties in with the 2004
date of the line being shown as secured OOU, although the 'securing' presumably applied only to the
junction points, given that the track beyond to the docks had already been lifted. So an authorisation
from the Route Director wouldn't have been of much help in running a train! The Sectional Appendix
was probably updated after 2013 in a belated tidying up exercise, when it was realised that the
contents did not match what existed on the ground. [Not an uncommon situation.]
66] George Stephenson's survey: (BLN 1318.2595) His notebook (ABOVE) shows Stephenson's survey
of fellow engineer George Overton's original 1821 Stockton & Darlington Railway (S&DR) and the
amendments he recommended. There were significant changes to Overton's design, which had steep
inclines, sharp curves and tunnels but Stephenson favoured gradual inclines and eased the curves.
Stephenson also proposed the use of spoil excavated from the cuttings to create the embankments,
avoiding the need for a tunnel Overton had recommended. This would shorten the Darlington branch
by three miles.
ABOVE: George Stephenson's Stockton & Darlington Railway Parliamentary Plan 1822.
Overton's plan relied heavily on horses and wagons on the line's completion, much like his colliery
lines in South Wales. There goods would be brought by canal part way and transferred onto wagons
then hauled by horses on iron tramways. Stephenson saw the advantage of using steam-powered
locos and stationary engines after a few successful trials on his own Killingworth colliery lines, North
Tyneside, so planned the S&DR route to best suit their adoption. Stephenson estimated the cost of his
line at just over £60,000 (£6.3m now); Overton's plans were more than £77,000 (£8M now).
1320 NORTH WEST (John Cameron) [email protected]
BELOW: An everyday scene at Manchester Victoria on 16 Mar 1975;
the Class 50 is on a train to Edinburgh. (Ian Mortimer.)
67] Weaver - Wavertree: From 00.30 hours on 2 Jan 2019 the lines from Halewood West Jn to
Wavertree Jn were resignalled with control transferred from Speke Junction and Allerton Junction
signal boxes to the new Wavertree West Workstation in Manchester ROC. The now singled and
renamed bidirectional Up & Down Garston Chord line between Allerton East Jn and Garston Jn was
commissioned (BLN 1313.1947). Its new OHLE was previously energised at 25kV on Sun 16 Dec 2018.
68] Manchester Victoria: The station opened, without ceremony, on 1 Jan 1844 now 175 years ago.
No official events were planned to mark the anniversary. However, to 'celebrate', NR carried out work
around the station until 06.00 on Tue 1 Jan, including installing an additional electrical feed for electric
trains between Ordsall Jn and Stalybridge and new OHLE installation just east of the station.
69] Manchester Metrolink Quiz: With thanks to our member Peter Dawson for submitting.
(1): At which Network Rail station with two platforms is one now used exclusively by Metrolink?
(2): Which planned tram stops near Oldham and Rochdale town centres have not been opened?
(3): Which two stops in Manchester city centre have been closed by Metrolink?
(4): How many trams were originally delivered for Metrolink Phase 1?
(5): What was the voltage of the Altrincham line before 1971?
(6): Where was the unit hired from for Project Light Rail in Manchester in 1989?
(7): What was the original name of Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop?
(8): Which was the first section of Metrolink system opened to passengers?
(9): Which year did the first sections of Metrolink open?
(10): Who officially opened the first part of Metrolink?
70] Irwell Valley: (BLN 1315.2229) A meeting has taken place in London to promote the case for a rail
service between Rawtenstall and Manchester. A report by the Centre for Economics and Business
Research describes a 'promising option' as an (initially) peak period shuttle service between
Rawtenstall and Bury using the East Lancashire Railway and a new heavy rail link from a disused
platform at Bury Bolton Street station to Castleton. Stations at Ramsbottom and Burrs Country Park
could also be used, while Stubbins and a new station at Heap Bridge are being considered as other
possible park and ride options. Transport for the North is officially considering the plans.
71] Crewe - Sandbach: For four consecutive weekends, from Sat 2 to Sun 24 Feb, NR is working on
replacing Sydney Rd overbridge, requiring a line closure. This is being carried out by NR for Cheshire
East Council and includes replacing the existing single lane bridge with a structure wide enough for two
way traffic and safer routes for cyclists and pedestrians. A closure of the railway is needed to safely
remove the existing bridge structure and lift the new, wider bridge into place with a giant crane.
The actual road has been closed from Oct last year and remains so until the end of May this year.
Virgin Trains and CrossCountry services to and from Manchester divert via Stoke-on-Trent and will not
call at Crewe or Wilmslow. Northern's train services from Manchester will start and terminate at
Alderley Edge, [although we know that turnbacks from the north can be made at Sandbach]. However
Northern Saturday services have not run south of Alderley Edge since Aug due to the industrial action
by guards (which continues every Saturday in Jan). Buses will run between Wilmslow and Crewe.
TfW services are booked non-stop between Crewe and Manchester Oxford Road via Warrington BQ.
72] Middlewich: Cheshire East Council has identified a potential station location here on Brooks Lane
Industrial Estate. In plans for up to 450 houses, renovation of Murgatroyd's Brine Pump and a 20 berth
marina, the station is shown alongside car parking provision and bus stops. However, the whole single
track line is currently restricted to 20mph (10mph at the Northwich end and 15mph at Sandbach).
73] Preston: Lancashire County Council's proposals to improve the Preston to Blackpool and the
East Lancashire line have been shortlisted in the Transforming Cities Fund. The proposal includes
creation of a new parkway station at Cottam. The county council has been given £50k to fund the
business case for the final round of submission, competing against 11 other cities for the funding.
ABOVE: Manchester Piccadilly train at Dinting on the main line platforms (as opposed to the Glossop
branch) when it was a double track line (to Sheffield) with 1500Vdc OHLE. (Ian Mortimer May 1977.)
74] Dinting West Jn - Dinting East Jn: This PSUL, avoiding Glossop, was originally part of the Great
Central Railway's double track main Manchester - Sheffield line (CP Hadfield - Penistone 5 Jan 1970).
As PSUL explains, SSuX morning and evening peak passenger services run Dinting - Hadfield - Glossop -
Dinting (morning) or vice versa (afternoon), and thus cover the complete triangle whereas between
the peaks and weekends, trains run Dinting - Glossop - Hadfield - Glossop - Dinting, missing Dinting
West Jn - Dinting East Jn. However, during the leaf-fall season, from each October to December, since
19 Sep 2005, trains between the peaks also covered the whole triangle; (convenient for 'doing' the
triangle outside the peak). This applied in 2017 but did not in autumn 2018.
75] Ashton-under-Lyne: NR carried out Christmas work including preparation work in Katherine St
tunnel for lineside cables to be laid and lineside drainage improvements near the town's station.
1320 SOUTH EAST - NORTH & EAST ANGLIA (Julian James) [email protected]
76] High Wycombe link is not to be born again: (BLNs 1228.471 & 1264.1725) Access to Marlow at
Bourne End is possible from P2 alone. Proposals to provide additional sets of points and access from
P1 are not to be taken forward by NR to the disappointment of the Marlow - Maidenhead Passengers'
Association. This would permit a half-hourly service between Marlow and Maidenhead which GWR
managing director Mark Hopwood is reported as saying the company is now prepared to consider with
change of trains at Bourne End. The study into reopening to High Wycombe (CP 4 May 1970) has
established a benefit to cost ratio of 2.06 which has again disappointed supporters. (Railwatch)
77] North Cotswold Line: (BLN 1319.2766) It has been confirmed that polystyrene blocks were used
for some of the platform extensions and not concrete blocks. At Charlbury (only) the visible vertical
sections of the latest extension faces have a fake Cotswold stone block look, to match the rest of the
platforms when they weather. When money was not so tight the reinstated Down P1 face for partial
redoubling in 2011 was built by a team of stone masons in genuine Cotswold stone!
The 2018 extensions were all completed for the GWR timetable change which was on 1 Jan 2019
rather than 9 Dec. Hanborough is no longer having Abbey Wood's old station building (BLN 1298.255)
as it was damaged too much during dismantling. However, it is now intended to install a new building
by the end of March which will be staffed on the morning shift. Hanborough passenger figures were
231,986 in 2017-18, down 2.8%, attributed to service cancellations and unreliability. More passengers
from the line generally have been driving to Oxford Parkway where parking is cheaper, the service
significantly more frequent and reliable with no evening Peak restrictions back from Marylebone.
Also at Hanborough the trackless former Down platform has recently been devegetated for a survey of
the brickwork etc to consider possible reopening. However, the platform, last used on Fri 26 Nov 1971,
is lower than the standard height now required. At Worcestershire Parkway foundations are now in
place ready to install the sections for the single high level platform (for a 10-car IET) on the Up side.
Most platforms on the line have also been resurfaced, with new yellow lines, tactile strips and coping
stones as needed. However the guard told our member (after an automated announcement told him
to walk forward to alight) that at 31 Dec they did not have the safety certificates for longer trains, so
for example his 5 car IET was restricted to three cars with the doors open at Hanborough.
78] Watford Junction: Work until May 2019 will see bay P10 extended by 90m, from 8 to 12 cars, and
the St Albans Abbey branch wooden P11 rebuilt by mid-Jan to modern standards. [Presumably 'heavy
rail' is staying on the branch then?] At P10, used by some Southern trains (SuX) and two London
Northwestern morning peak starters (SSuX), the OHLE public announcement system and customer
information screens will all be upgraded. The waiting room on P11 is closed from 17 Dec until 11 Jan.
From 6 Jan the staff walking route from P10 to Watford Yard was changed as a result of the works.
79] Peterborough: A new power operated ground frame for the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) connection
has been installed at Fletton Jn (74m 79ch) with commissioning on 7 Jan. The points at 75m 02ch have
been replaced with power operated clamp lock points and the manual frame abolished. A new 10mph
speed indicator board at 75m 03ch has a right-hand arrow for the route into the Nene Valley Railway.
80] March - Peterborough: In a £1.5M project at the two lengthy underbridges: New Bedford River
(77m 77ch-78m 15ch) and Old Bedford River (78m 41ch-78m 57ch), rotting longitudinal timbers were
replaced over Christmas (with no additional line closure required). The baseplates under the rails are
secured to these by coach screws. The normal way of holding the timbers together, as rectangular
frames by wood struts in compression and rods in tension with nuts, has been superseded with square
section steel tubes having flange plates welded at both ends. (However, subsequent work on the new
frames will lead to the screws in the flange plates being drawn out with subsequent difficulty achieving
new fastening, something not affecting previous arrangement because of inherent flexibility. Thirty NR
engineers worked a total of 2,400 hours to replace 13 pairs of timbers, repair steel work and replace
sections of track. 170 trains a day use the line and the normal 75mph line speed has been restored.
81] Foxhall Jn: From 27 Dec Didcot Power Station inlet and outlet connecting points were removed. They
were clipped, padlocked and removed from signalling interlocking from 23 Jul 2018 (Oxford resignalling).
82] Milton Keynes: The work from 23 Dec to 27 Dec 2018 was relaying of over 500m of track through
P6, with installation of new track-side drainage for 430m. Hand back was at full line speed (125mph).
83] Felixstowe: (BLN 1318.2619) New points and crossovers between Thorpe Lane level crossing and
Trimley had been installed (OOU for later commissioning) by 28 Dec 2018 on the Felixstowe single line
at: ●81m 56ch, the future Gun Lane Jn; ●82m 48ch Trimley station London end; ●82m 71ch Trimley
station country end; and ●82m 66ch on the North Quay single line country end of Trimley station.
84] Maldon: (BLN 1254.694) The retail park is finished, allowing pedestrian access to the former rail
side of Maldon East & Heybridge terminal station (CP 7 Sep 1964), once with two platforms. A local
member finally stood on the platform just 54 years too late! The wood canopy Great Eastern design
frontage is visible above the unaltered modern brick infill buildings. The platform area and infilled
track are a car park. Recent retail constructions extend beyond the canopy towards the station throat.
ABOVE: The front of the former Maldon East & Heybridge station; unsurprisingly it is Grade II listed.
(Angus McDougall 27 Apr 2015.) BELOW: A recent view of the platform side of the station (Bill Wilson).
Thatcham, Mon 31 Dec 2018, the first day of Electrostar workings on the Newbury passenger service.
ABOVE: A services to Newbury arrives from Reading. BELOW: A train to Reading. (Both Colin Duff.)
85] Meldreth & Shepreth: An interesting item from Railfuture's Rail User Express merits verbatim
reproduction: At the Dec meeting, NR examined the 'down' times at Shepreth station level crossing -
including one of 17 minutes, which caused traffic chaos. The Rail User Group will revisit this once the
new weekday timetable has bedded in. Restoration of the unofficial car park, and a ticket machine on
the Barrington side, would alleviate the problem. The meeting also discussed (quote) GTR's regrettable
failure to spend a DfT grant for cycle parking at Meldreth and Shepreth. The RUG will press for the
work to be restarted. It is aware of two very steep and implausible penalty charges at Meldreth and
Shepreth stations. One for £170 at Shepreth - a free car park! - is being contested (it did not involve
parking in a disabled bay). Unfortunately for the contractor, the penalty was imposed on a barrister!
1320 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
86] Newbury, fruits of electrification: (BLN 1319.2770) Although the bimode IETs are delayed on local
services to Bedwyn, Electrostar EMUs 387148 & 387163 first worked passenger trains between
Reading and Newbury on 31 Dec complete with their hard seats (hard luck). This was ahead of the
GWR timetable change which was from 1 Jan 2019 (rather than 9 Dec 2018). The new timetable leaflet
and PDF indicates which should be Electrostars (most, but not all, of the local Newbury services). Also
from 31 Dec 2018 automatic power changeover for bimodes with signage was introduced at Newbury.
For now Turbo DMUs continue to run on local services to Bedwyn and some Newbury locals.
87] Wokingham: A hideous 'temporary' scaffolding built high bridge over the Waterloo line south east
of the station just past Wokingham Jn replaced Tan Lane foot crossing (Wokingham Footpath 23) in
2014 and remains. The crossing was assessed as 'high risk' following several near misses, unauthorised
use and trespass incidents in 2013. It is on a double curve where sun glare can affect sighting with
70mph speeds allowed (although the junction is 30mph). Unaccompanied children use the crossing,
particularly at night and drivers are not allowed to sound train horns at the whistle boards between
23.00 and 07.00. Does anyone know what is planned to replace it and when? The footpath continues
northwest to cross the non-electrified Guildford line on a Southern Railway concrete overbridge.
1320 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]
88] Heywood Road Jn: (Item 11) Between 23 Dec and 4 Jan (incl), in connection with Westbury North
Jn renewal, through Trowbridge - Castle Cary trains reversed here in both directions. The trailing
crossover (94m 41ch) used also accesses Westbury Cement Terminal (the former cement factory site).
To facilitate this move, drivers were authorised to proceed on the authority of a position light signal.
BELOW: Westbury; a Class 47 on a diverted London Paddington to Bristol TM train rounds
Hawkeridge Curve on 3 Aug 1974. (Ian Mortimer.)
89] Swindon: (BLN 1302.760) Cocklebury East Loop (OOU since Apr 2018) returned to use on 1 Jan.
90] Electrification: From 31 Dec signs applicable to the extension of the electrified train services to
Bristol Parkway were installed at Bristol Parkway, Westerleigh Jn and Wotton Bassett Jn. From the
same date IET trains began running on electric traction in service between Bristol Parkway and
Paddington except under the infamous Steventon Bridge west of Didcot Parkway (BLN 1311.1771).
91] Mendip Branches: Freightliner Heavy Haul (FHH) has announced that it has signed a long term,
bulk rail haulage contract with Mendip Rail Ltd, a joint venture between two of the UK's largest
aggregate/cement producers, Hanson Aggregates and Aggregate Industries (AI). From Nov 2019, FHH
expects to move 8M tons of aggregate per year (107,000 wagon loads) to terminals in London and the
Southeast from Northern Somerset quarries owned by Hanson and AI. DBC has the contact at present.
92] Dorchester West (BLN 1319.2776) The suggestion that the station holds the record for the least
passenger interchanges (with 48) in the South West caused a member to write: One would expect
these to be people changing to Dorchester South. However, the ORR interchange figure for Dorchester
South is 555 - so where did the additional 507 people come from? Looking at the Bournemouth line
timetable, there is no obvious reason why anyone should alight at Dorchester South to catch a
following train. Alternate trains between Weymouth and Poole call at all stations (except Holton
Heath in some cases) and principal ones. It is not as if you need to change if travelling between Upwey
and anywhere else on the line, because the stopping train will take you there direct.
BLN Editor's comments: This is a complex area and the estimates are just that - estimates - however,
the methodology is sophisticated, improves each year and checks are applied. A 78 page document on
the ORR website explains it in detail. One problem here is that tickets are valid to/from 'Dorchester
Stations' which is, of course, either. A series of detailed passenger counts made at the two stations last
year to improve the accuracy of the split found that 26% of passengers used Dorchester West and 74%
South. So the total of 455,924 passengers is split: South 440,112 and West 158,112. This explains why
both stations are shown with identical passenger losses of -4.2% in 2017-18 compared with 2016-17.
Station interchanges are estimated using the Central Allocations File with various route options for
each origin and destination and uses a model to estimate the proportion of passengers using each
route. It does not reflect the number of passengers interchanging between the two stations but at
each so the figure for South should be higher than West. In both case interchanges are very small and
theoretical, not necessarily actual people making actual journeys but thrown up by the 'model' used.
If you request a journey between Dorchester West and South, the ever helpful National Rail website
points out that it takes 8 mins to walk it but offers journeys via Upwey (£7.60). This is to Upwey and
back not directly between West and South, of course. Upwey had 49,964 journeys in 2017/18 plus
36,575 interchanges - 1,000 a day, far more significant and genuine interchanges as an example - PAS.
1320 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]
93] Banbury - Dorridge: NR has restarted work on the Goods Loops at Fenny Compton, Hatton and
Dorridge to accommodate longer freight trains. Fenny Compton bidirectional loop (94m 50ch) will be
renewed with the exit points. An overrun neck and a new friction buffer stop will be provided (now
there's a challenge). It will be extended by 564yd to 892yd standage with 40mph running rather than
15mph in the Down direction with an also Down direction flashing yellow signal sequence, At Hatton
(111m 75ch) the Down Goods Loop will be renewed for 25mph running (10mph now). At Dorridge the
bidirectional loop (118m 75ch) is being renewed (with all the pointwork) and extended to permit a
speed increase 800% from 5mph to 40mph. A flashing yellow sequence will be provided in the Down
direction and more flexible signalling. The passenger loop will be resignalled for future 40mph running
(requiring more track work). To accommodate the extended Goods Loop the Down Dorridge Spur will
be reduced from 500yd to 90yd, the OOU Dorridge Neck and Down Dorridge Sidings will be removed.
94] Chase Line: (BLNs 1313.2005 & 1316.2364) Testing and commissioning of the Walsall to Rugeley
electrification was completed on 20 Dec for West Midlands Railway to introduce 4-car Class 350 EMUs
from 19 May 2019. The 'over £100M' scheme involved erecting 51km of OHLE, reconstructing six road
bridges and closing Bloxwich Level Crossing. Uncharted mine workings caused problems and Walsall
Park Street Tunnel required strengthening works for OHLE installation. Platforms are being extended
to accommodate the EMUs. The extensions of 5m to 15m on one end of each platform, with removal
of the ramps, are at Rugeley Town, Hednesford, Cannock, Landywood, Bloxwich North and Bloxwich.
95] West Midlands Metro: Due to overhead wire work on Sun 13 Dec there is no service Grand
Central - Soho Benson Road until 13.00. Before then there is a 15 min frequency from Soho Benson
Road to Wolverhampton (after departure trams are expected to use the trailing crossover before
Winson Green Outer Circle in service). Jewellery Quarter to Soho Benson Road stop is 1.2 miles walk.
96] Ironbridge: (BLN 1315.2255) Demolition work is due to start on the Power Station during the first
half of 2019. Contractors are being appointed and the developers Harworth are reportedly looking into
the use of the now very rusty branch to remove the waste from the site.
97] Lichfield Trent Valley: Work has begun on a £23M DfT 'Access for All' programme upgrade to
install lifts between the Cross City P3 and the West Coast Main Line P1 & P2 to provide step free
access between all platforms. The project is the result of extensive lobbying by the Lichfield Rail
Promotion Group over many years, facilitated by local MP Michael Fabricant whom they engaged.
98] Scoring Track: A recent pattern has emerged, when Aston Villa play principal matches at home, of
football specials sometimes taking fans for a ride the long way round (5m 71ch) from Birmingham
New Street to Witton. This is via Soho South Jn - Soho East Jn then the Perry Barr West Jn - Perry Barr
South Jn PSUL but not on Saturdays (when they run direct via Aston - only 4m 32ch). For example on
Tue 1 Jan, 13.40 & 14.18 Class 323 EMU services were provided - the same train looping the loop,
doing the complete circuit twice also starting and finishing at Soho Depot. When Birmingham City
played at Aston Villa on Sun 25 Nov, three trains ran via the PSUL for the local derby (should that be a
local Birmingham?) at 10.57, 11.37, & 14.50 from New Street - of note the last one continued to Aston
in service too - not much further from the ground than Witton. The normal SuO local service at Witton
is only hourly and it was a busy day for Christmas shoppers too. This day a football special 15.12 EMU
also ran from Aston to Birmingham New Street taking seven minutes (the ECS arrived via Perry Barr).
99] Birmingham Snow Hill: At a cost of £1.5M station is to have a third entrance to allow direct
interchange with the trams at St Chads stop (named Snow Hill until 1 Jan 2017). This involves opening
up another of the arches under the Victorian viaduct that carries trains and the trams. Interchange at
St Chads now involves a flight of external steps then along A4440 Queensway into Livery Street to
access Snow Hill via its (Black) Country end second entrance. Alternatively it's a longer walk along the
northeast side of the station to the main entrance (Bull Street tram stop is nearer and an easier walk).
Work is due to start in summer, with Metro and rail services unaffected during the construction, and it
will link into the existing Livery Street entrance to the station. The new entrance is expected to be in
operation in late 2019. New ticketing, security and travel information facilities will be provided in the
new third entrance. Does this mean they might re-rename St Chads tram stop back to Snow Hill?
100] Festive Frolics: The were many members on the 22 Dec 2018 Pathfinder tour which did some
interesting track, particularly in the West Midlands: ●Reading West Curve - both ways. ●Down Oxford
and Up Oxford (Oxford station centre lines). ●Coventry Up & Down Slow. ●Soho East Jn - Soho North
Jn both ways. ●Down Soho Goods Loop. ●Down Stour Goods and ●Up Stour goods (Watery Lane).
●Wolverhampton Logistics Centre (the former Steel Terminal), between the old and new buildings left
hand road (possibly now Road 9?) to end. NEXT PAGE: The Festive Frolic railtour between the new
(left) and old (right) buildings at Wolverhampton Logistics Terminal. (Mark Wallis 22 Dec 2018.)
NEXT PAGE TOP: The climb out of Wolverhampton Logistics Terminal showing the double slip. The line
off to the left with the wagons on it was once part of a through connection the Great Western Railway
Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level line which some members did do. (Mark Wallis.)
●Soho North Jn, Up Stour to the bidirectional Down Soho Curve then the new trailing crossover to the
Up Soho Curve (possibly the first passenger train to do this since Christmas 2017 commissioning?).
This route is 20mph restricted; the alternative more common Soho Curve North Jn route is 15mph.
●Down Perry Barr Goods Loop. ●Oxley Down Goods Loop.
●Cosford Down Goods Loop (5mph restricted throughout). ●Down Wellington (middle 'through line').
●Shrewsbury Down Main ('middle line') to Chester line. At Chester WCR Standard Class open carriage
4940 had recently arrived in the sidings and was visible from the station on wheel skates. It was the
one derailed at Dee Marsh Sidings on our 4 Nov Ruby Vampire railtour. ●Crewe: Up Chester facing X/O
(158m 37ch) - Down Chester - Up Chester Independent - Up Fast Independent - Up Independent -
Basford Hall Jn.
●Colwich Jn Up Slow - Up & Down
Cannock. ●Up Dudley Siding (loco on
final point) (LEFT) The red light is on
the buffer stop; the M6 Motorway is
above and just ahead is the bridge
(no track) over the Bescot to Stafford
/Wolverhampton line. (Kev Adlam.)
●Castle Bromwich Jn - Up Derby Slow
(in Down direction) - the little used
Washwood Heath Up Side Road 1 -
Washwood Heath Arrival/Departure
Line 1 - Washwood Heath West Jn -
Down Derby Goods. The 27 roads in
this yard are all very rusty and a few
hold long term stored wagons
(vegetated). The east end access is at
a lower level than the running lines
and is on a distinctly separate bridge
(shown on TRACKmaps Book 4 p16
Aug 2013) over the River Tame, while
the west end of this line is at a higher
level than the running lines. The yard
is DBC infrastructure with a gate each
end. ●Down Lifford Curve.
ABOVE: The tour during the break at Chester (Nick Lander - who kindly submitted many interesting
pictures taken from the tour that have been held over for a future BLN.)
1320 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
101] Londonderry: (BLN 1314.2159) Translink has provided a description of the new station, due to
open at the end of Oct 2019. It has a new island with two platform faces. P1 is 250m long from the
buffers and takes a 9-car (or a 6-car and a 3-car) set or the Belmond Hibernian train. P2 is 161m from
the buffers for a 6-car or 2x3-car sets. The layout includes a 256m siding (from the buffers) to stable a
9-car set. There is a single road into/out of the station with a 340m passing loop for run-round.
Depending on the location of the new buffers, the line will be shortened between 8ch and 10ch but it
is believed drivers will be instructed to stop 20m from the buffers, therefore losing another chain.
102] Irish Rail (IR) taking stock: IR plans significant investment in 2019. In Dec 2018 their CEO stated:
By the end of 2019 we will have placed an order for  Inter City Railcar intermediate carriages which
will [start to] be delivered early summer of 2021, and we will have placed an order for a significant
number of train sets which will [start to] go into service during 2023. This referred to the aspiration to
order 480 (!) DART cars by the end of 2020 for delivery starting in 2023. The first 250 vehicles will be
hybrid, either battery and overhead or diesel and overhead, with the remainder overhead only.
This is in response to annual passenger numbers increasing by 23% (37M in 2012 to 45.5M in 2017)
with a 6% increase expected for 2018. The Phoenix Park Tunnel route's success has exceeded all
expectations and from 9 Dec operates all day and later in the evening. The target is to replace the
original DART cars, the 8100 class, by 2029. Hybrid units will enable DART to be extended to Maynooth
and Drogheda, and possibly towards Kildare, without the disruption and costs of electrification.
103] taking stock: LUAS is expanding its fleet by ordering another eight 55m trams for 2022
delivery. Fitting 12m sections to extend trams 5001-26 to 55m is also expected to begin in May 2019.
104] Drivers wanted! IR is recruiting over the next five year. Drivers working 39-48 hours per week in
various shift patterns can earn up to €57k per year. Applicants must be over age 20, meet European
Train Driver Licensing requirements and have a minimum of 9 years in full time education. Attributes
required: ♣Excellent communication skills. ♣Calm in an emergency. ♣Follow rules and procedures.
♣Conscientious. ♣Customer focus. ♣Achievement orientation. (Sounds like the typical BLS Committee
member.) The selection process starts with an online application https://goo.gl/CqoqK8 (bottom)
:CLOSES 14 JAN,: assessment centres, competency based interview, rigorous medical/safety reference
checking. Full details via the link; Depots: Athlone, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Sligo & Waterford.
105] Dublin Connolly P7 - Newcomen Jn: In the 9 Dec timetable the 08.00 (SSuX) Connolly - Sligo was
withdrawn; the 08.02 Connolly - Maynooth (first stop Broombridge) is booked via this PSUL instead.
1320 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
106] Snaefell Mountain Railway: (BLN 1287.1786) The Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure (DOI)
has been fined £18k plus costs after admitting to five health and safety breaches during Aug 2017
when a tram ran out of control down the mountain, overshooting the stop at Bungalow. At a recent
court case the DOI admitted to the breaches which related to the safety of the crew and passengers -
but none of these charges related to the braking system. 17 charges (15 counts of failure to discharge
a duty and two failing to adhere to regulations) were initially made but 12 of these were subsequently
withdrawn by the Health and Safety Inspectorate with the remainder being admitted. These charges
related to staff training, the provision of speedometer and a communications buzzer.In the incident on
4 Aug 2017 Tram No2 lost braking towards the top of the mountain with eye witnesses at the time
describing the crew trying to use the emergency Fell braking system to stop it.
The tram eventually stopped just the other side of the main A18 road crossing at Bungalow. The DOI
released a statement: The government fully accepts the findings of the court and is very sorry for the
distress caused to passengers on board at the time of the incident. All recommendations from the
investigation have been implemented and significant safety improvements were made to the Snaefell
Mountain Railway before it opened this Easter. In addition to these changes, and despite none of the
charges referring to the tram's three braking systems, work is currently ongoing to install a fourth
system in addition to those already fitted. We know that the incident caused a great deal of upset and
would like to apologise to those on board at the time.
107] ...And now for something completely different... Sail of the Century, Mon 30 Aug 1982: (PAS)
This was a date I will never forget, like the birth of your first child, President Kennedy's assassination in
1963, Princess Diana's car crash in 1997 or the millennium fireworks - now when were they? The event
was preceded by an overnight 400 mile car journey from Cardiff to Glasgow with John Williamson, our
Chairman, his wife Jenny Williamson (they have much to answer for...) and another friend Rhys. This
was for our traditional annual Scottish railtour the 'Lanarkshire & Lothian Wanderer'. The 3-car DMU
visited the Grangemouth, Crombie, Bilston Glen (including, by mistake, the NCB section as the BR
driver stopped where he normally took the empty coal wagons!), Polkemmet and Coltness branches.
Sunday was the 'Trans Clyde Explorer' tour with 'Blue Train' EMU 303014 organised privately by our
long term member Douglas Blades. It included the (then) very lengthy Neilston headshunt (the very
end not electrified - yes, we did take a DMU tour there once). Unique (in the UK) 'A' frame OHLE masts
could be found - two uprights tapered to connect at their mast tops and also linked lower down by a
cross piece - do they still exist at Neilston? Kings Park Up to Down crossover (reversing in P1) was
included and just about every bit of interesting track that was then electrified in the Glasgow area
such as Shields Jn - Terminus Jn - Larkfield Jn; Rutherglen West Jn - North Jn, Balloch Pier, Hyndland
West - North Jn, Bridgeton Carriage Sidings and Hyndland Depot (both former passenger termini) etc.
Sunday evening found us at a hotel in Cockermouth. As John and Jenny were kindly giving me a lift
back home to Cardiff, it was only polite to go along with their suggestion of joining the Workington
Town (youth) Band's August Bank Holiday Monday excursion from Workington to Douglas next day.
ABOVE: Our 'Lanarkshire & Lothian Wanderer' railtour did extremely well at Bilston Glen colliery.
(Ian Mortimer Sat 28 Aug 1982.) BELOW: Douglas Blades' Trans Clyde Explorer EMU tour in the
electrified part of the sidings (and long headshunt) past Neilston station. (Ian Mortimer 29 Aug 1982.)
ABOVE: TSS Manxman prior to sailing from Workington. (All Angus McDougall unless specified.)
Besides which I have always been very fond of the Isle of Man after a very enjoyable two week family
holiday in Aug 1964 as a child (with Peel and Ramsey by steam trains and, at the latter, the Queen's
Pier Tramway) and have returned there many times over the years, so didn't take much persuading.
At Workington Docks a £9 day return to Douglas (worth £31 now) was purchased from a car used as a
ticket office. My notes record that the journey was a bit 'rough' at times - but actually that referred to
the playing of the Band rather than the crossing! My knowledge of boats is very shallow but 'TSS
Manxman' https://goo.gl/sMLRNn (launched, like me, in 1955) was being withdrawn at the end of the
week (unlike me) and was said to be the last 'Classic' boat in UK service. There were about 1,100 souls
on board - including about 20 friends and acquaintances
from the previous two days of railtouring. After leaving
Workington at the very civilized time of 09.10, a meal was
enjoyed for the princely sum of £2.56. Douglas was reached
at 13.00 by which time it had ominously become 'rough and
windy'. LEFT: Sue and Ian Mortimer on the way to the IOM.
Ian survived the trip and is now our Treasurer, of course.
I walked with some friends to Douglas Falcon Cliff Lift and
we had a ride (10p each way), my one and only time - sadly
this 5ft gauge funicular railway ceased operating after the
1990 season. Another interesting trip that day was on the
Isle of Man Railway's ex-County Donegal Railcar (another
first) two miles to Lough Ned Park Halt the first stop on the
Port Erin line in 1982 - and back (50p return) quite an
experience, my next trip in one wasn't until 2016 at
Fintown. All 11 passengers on the train were from the ship.
ABOVE: The very sad state of Douglas station, Isle of Man (Steam) Railway in 1982, there were just
11 passengers on the train all from the ship. BELOW: At Lough Ned Park Halt, such as it was.
ABOVE: Douglas Signal Box and some of the yard sidings (30 Aug 1982).
BELOW: Looking up at the 5ft gauge Falcon Cliff Lift funicular a year after closure -
the alternative stairs are on the right. (© Simon Robinson, 27 Jun 1991.)
LEFT: The cliff lift funicular in action
on Bank Holiday Mon 30 Aug 1982.
All too soon and, after a most
enjoyable day/pub crawl (but no
alcohol for me), it was time to board
'Manxman' again at 19.00 for the
19.30 return. We were just about to
set sail from Douglas when that
dreaded announcement came over
the tannoy "Is there a Doctor on
board?" Perhaps surprisingly there is
about one medically qualified doctor
for every 200 population in the UK,
so there should have been 5 or 6 of
us; if so I was the only one who
owned up (having 20 friends on
board was a factor). Anyway, I was
asked to see a 65 year old man who
was lying on the deck having a major
epileptic fit for the first time in his
life - my assessment was that this
was due to a very bad stroke. Even
though I was still at the ''Aren't the doctors young these days'' stage, my word was enough to stop the
ship sailing and just in time too. An ambulance took the poor man (and his wife) to hospital.
To say that the subsequent crossing was 'very rough' was the understatement of the year century -
breaking and falling crockery (and people) were noted at dinner. Initially this was quite amusing and
the food prices were halved as there were so few takers. However, it was soon evident that a lot of
people were becoming very ill. Interestingly my personal interest in train travel stems from being
extremely car and bus sick as a child but I have never once been seasick no matter what. The next 'call'
was to a drunk 23 year old who had fallen and banged his head - quite impossible to reason with, so I
put his (more sober) girlfriend in charge and told her what observations to look out for. For my efforts
I was given a hearty free meal (a really good way to prevent seasickness) authorised by the Chief
Officer, taken to meet the Captain on the Bridge, look at the navigation charts, medical equipment
(very primitive even by 1982 standards), radar etc and was even mentioned in the ship's log.
As we approached Workington harbour at about 21.30 (actually on time), the weather worsened; it
became extremely windy, we stopped and eventually missed the tide (they wait for no man you
know). In the end the harbour pilot was not prepared to take us in. We then set sail for the Scottish
coast and took shelter for the night anchored off Abbey Head near Kirkcudbright to await the 09.00
tide and calmer weather. It was fortunate I had enjoyed a good meal and even more fortunate that
I was not due at work in Cardiff next morning. Some sleep was possible but there were quite a few
other calls through the night for 'The Doctor' as people had not brought enough medication with them
(well, I hadn't got any either!). The experience was particularly difficult for very young or old people.
Unfortunately, no Radiotelephone messages were possible to the shore; my notes say due to the
'incorrect crystals', (or so the passengers were told - I wonder how true that was). In 1982 there were,
of course, no mobile phones, internet, email, WiFi, Social Media etc [the good old days]. It turned out
that the staff at the Cockermouth hotel I was booked in for the second night had waited up to 2am.
I did manage to negotiate not having to pay for that night but others staying nearby were not so lucky!
Going from one extreme to another, in the morning the sea was extremely calm and flat, the sun was
out and we realised just how attractive the scenery was. The subsequent sail along the Scottish coast
back to Workington was actually very enjoyable. Although the whole thing was quite an experience, I
decided that I never wanted to do anything like it ever again - even avoiding the penny chain river ferry
at Stratford-upon-Avon. I gather the Workington Town Band felt the same way. In 2002 I took a ferry
from Mallaig to Armadale (Isle of Skye), part of an excellent vintage coach trip tour, and broke the jinx.
After a second night in Cockermouth the original plan had been for a boat trip the next day (Tuesday)
on Coniston Lake. However, after disembarkation at Workington around 10.30 that day, following
11 hours on a hardly state of the art boat that was about to be scrapped, even the hardiest boat
enthusiasts had had enough and we decided to drive back to Cardiff - I never did sail on Coniston.
ABOVE & BELOW: A couple of pictures taken at Derby Castle on the day of the excursion.
1320 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
108] Inverclyde lines: Sundays until 27 Jan the line is closed at Bishopton to install rock netting in the
cuttings. Gourock and Wemyss Bay trains turnback in Port Glasgow P1, using Wemyss Bay Jn trailing
crossover on departure. The timetable gives only two or three minutes between some arrivals and
departures at Wemyss Bay, so two trains are in use, using P1/2 alternately (RTT platforming is not
correct). Recently all trains have used P1 before it was the little used one. Two ScotRail trains can,
most unusually, be present at once. (ABOVE: On Sun 6 Jan 380002 was on the 10.46 from Port
Glasgow and 314205 the 10.55 return- Greg Beecroft). Normally, there is only a second train here
when the 'Royal Scotsman' calls.
Saturdays until 26 Jan Ayrshire/Inverclyde trains are turning back at Paisley Gilmour Street; with buses
to/from Glasgow Central. Crossovers at Paisley St James, Brown Street and Elderslie East are in use.
There are track renewals at Ibrox and Hillington with demolition/rebuilding of an Arkleston footbridge.
109] Wemyss Bay: The Guardian's Ian Jack has selected the branch terminus as one of his top ten most
relaxing places: Wemyss Bay has one of Britain's most handsome stations, built to serve the trains and
steamers that connected Glasgow to the Firth of Clyde's islands and resorts. A few years ago, a local
support group opened a gallery-bookshop in one of its several empty offices. There's always something
tempting in stock. I've bought Ruskin there, and Douglas Bader. No station, possibly anywhere in the
world, has a more intellectually rewarding place to wait. [There really ought to be a Greggs too...]
110] Shut that Door! ScotRail has produced a 2 minute video to demonstrate how to open the door on
the 'new' ex-GWR now short HSTs which have yet to be refurbished. Rather than pushing a button,
alighting travellers have to lean out of the window and pull down the door handle. It admitted this
could be a challenge for passengers with mobility problems, who it urged to contact its assisted travel
helpline in advance. There are also fears that trains could be delayed if passengers forget to close the
doors behind them [as happened daily on the North Cotswold Line for the last 30 years]. They are
centrally locked between stations. The first ten of the 26 'InterCity 7' trains started running between
Scotland's seven cities on routes from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Aberdeen and Inverness on 8 Dec.
111] Signals run out of oil: While the power was off to the signalling system for maintenance between
Carstairs and Lockerbie on Sun 16 Dec, the standby generator should have cut in. This did not happen
as it had run out of fuel, causing the signals to fail - blank looks all round or at least blank signalling
aspects all round. Cue local Mobile Operations Manger trip to Abington services with a jerry can!
112] Hunterston: (BLN 1312.1905) Demolition is far slower than forecast. The top of one of the big
cranes at the end of the jetty has been removed but the other one appears to be intact still. Work does
not seem to have started on demolishing the conveyor to High Level or the loading bunker there.
The rate of progress so far is such that the project may be measured in years rather than months. With
train manufacturing not happening, the only proposal for the site so far (other than general concepts)
is dismantling offshore drilling rigs. If that happens, and there is significant local opposition on
environmental grounds, it is more likely scrap material would be removed by ship rather than by train.
113] Edinburgh Waverley: The OHLE on new east end bays P5 and 6 was energised from 27 Dec 2018.
114] Blackford: (BLN 1318.2657) A new facing crossover and trailing turnout from the Up Main were
laid (OOU) from 7 Jan for the new Highland Spring Rail freight terminal in the Up Sidings (133m 09ch).
115] Far North (of Milton Keynes) Line: (BLN 1318.2665) The far south Buckinghamshire timetablers
have been exonerated over the Inverness connection problems in the new timetable. The finger now
points to ScotRail. Responsibility for the timetables rests with the Train Operating Companies, NR's
team at Milton Keynes validate rather than initiate the schedules submitted. The validation includes
checks for conflicts between different TOC's proposals as well as at junctions and crossing places.
1320 WALES & THE MARCHES (Chris Parker) [email protected]
116] Welsh Highland Railway (WHR): (BLN 1319.2815) The WHR first started passenger business on
31 Jul 1922 between Dinas and South Snowdon (now Rhyd Ddu), over the re-fettled former North
Wales Narrow Gauge Railways (a plural railway!). That line CP 1 Nov 1916, but remained open for
freight. The complete route between Portmadoc (as it then was) and Dinas did indeed OP 1 Jun 1923 -
including the 'cross-town link' to the Festiniog Railway station. (As an aside, JIC Boyd's statement that
this link opened a week later has long been disproven by contemporary press reports.) Between
South Snowdon and Croesor Junction was new railway (although part of the trackbed had been laid
before WWI). Between Croesor Junction and Portmadoc was the rebuilt former slate carrying track of
the erstwhile Croesor Tramway and a short section of the Festiniog. The passenger service (indeed, the
line itself) had a rather precarious existence, with no winter passenger service after winter 1930/31.
The last passenger trains ran on Sat 26 Sep 1936, the date (in BLN 1320) of Mon 31 May 1937 is when
the Festiniog (as lessees of the line) finally gave up any pretence of running a freight service over it.
For more detailed information (including details of services actually run) see https://goo.gl/83PFwt
https://goo.gl/yQ9EEi is a station chronology (passenger and freight), both are by Richard Maund.
117] Blaenau Ffestiniog: (BLN 1319.2692) ROP of this line, along with a restoration of normal railway
services across the whole of Transport for Wales, on Mon 17 Dec fell most conveniently for a member
and his wife visiting on a Turkey & Tinsel break. The branch was sampled on Wed 19 Dec. The first
pleasant surprise was the fare - only £6.20 day return each with a railcard for over 61 miles. The 10.08
departure from Llandudno P1, a very rough sounding Class 150 two car set, left a few minutes late,
struggled into the Llandudno Junction bay platform and was promptly taken out of service. Within a
few minutes a train for Holyhead arrived with a second Class 150; it was detached with commendable
speed and set off for Blaenau only 15 minutes late. The slack timing from Roman Bridge through the
two mile tunnel to Blaenau enabled it to begin the return run only 7 minutes late and arrival back at
Llandudno P1 just 3 minutes down at 12.48. This is very much a real branch line, with jointed track,
flange squealing curves, remote stations and semaphore signals at Llandudno and Llanrwst. At the
latter there is also a manual exchange of single-line tokens. There are some severe gradients and, of
course, stunning views of the Conwy Valley and the dramatic slate mining landscape at Blaenau. Add
cheerful, friendly on-train staff and you have a trip not to be missed! On train WiFI is particularly good.
118] Welsh Rail Freight: (BLN 1318.2670) A member advises that the Machen Quarry gritstone traffic
is taken there by road from Craig-yr-Hesg Quarry north of Pontypridd, formerly rail served itself by a
branch from the Taff Vale main line at Pont Shon Norton Jn. The railway spelling was Craig-yr-Hesq.
119] Perambulations south of Pontarddulais: After many years a member recently revisited the
remains of the former London & North Western Railway (L&NWR) lines in this area and discovered:
Pontarddulais - Grovesend - Gorseinon: ●Pontarddulais goods shed survives in industrial use. South
of it a short section of trackbed is now a dead end industrial estate road. The trackbed is then cut by
the M4, so it is round by road to the site of ●Grovesend station (OP 1910; CP 1932). From here to the
site of ●Gorseinon station (CP 15 Jun 1964; latterly a domestic coal depot - last train to clear out
wagons 25 May 1984) is a tarmacked foot/cycle path, Llwybr Gŵyr/Gower Way. There is no trace of
either station. Our member was on the 29 Apr 1972 Dean Forest RPS https://goo.gl/d7kiAh 'Sospan
Fach' railtour which he believes was the last passenger carrying train to reach as far as Gorseinon from
the north. [Some of us did do it subsequently on Class 37 hauled incoming domestic coal trains …]
ABOVE: The Dean Forest RPS 'Sospan Fach' railtour at Gorseinon. (Ian Mortimer 29 Apr 1972.)
Gowerton - Swansea Bay: ●Gowerton (South): Still has a retaining wall and inhabited L&NWR pattern
station house. ●Dunvant: An overbridge, two platforms (one overgrown) and station house are extant.
●Killay: An overbridge, two platforms and a pub (possibly ex-station house?) on the approach drive.
●Mumbles Road: The platform stones are rearranged as low 'platforms', the trackbed slopes to road
level. ●Swansea Bay: A L&NWR blue engineering brick retaining wall is on seaward side of trackbed.
MP 8 is on the cutting side between Killay and Mumbles Road. This is not 8 miles from Swansea
(Victoria) but on the Llanelly (sic) Railway & Dock original 1865 main line from Pontarddulais.
Gowerton (South) - Llanmorlais branch: Most of the trackbed from Gowerton is Lôn Gogledd Gŵyr/
North Gower Way, another tarmacked foot/cycle path. It passes the site of Penclawdd canal basin and
the remains of Berthlwyd Colliery. Nearly all this section is built over the former Penclawdd Canal and
has useful information panels. ●Penclawdd station platform has been restored with new running in
boards on the original posts. The stone-built station house is adjacent. ●Hermon Lane crossing site
retains an inhabited L&NWR worker's house. ●Llanmorlais station site is occupied by a house; the
colliery extension trackbed is overgrown. A mile of trackbed to Crofty is a tarmacked permissive path.
120] Swansea: (BLN 1319.2820) Although Landore HST Depot is closed, HST vehicles (particularly
catering cars) were stabled, very appropriately, in the HST Sidings on 29 Dec. There are OHLE masts at
Swansea IET Depot (on the site of Maliphant Sidings) but no OHLE, and may never be. This extensive
depot, on the Down side, extends 900yd from its junction just beyond the station, north to buffer
stops, although is only five roads wide at the maximum due to the constricted site. It is on level ground
near the River Tawe as the main line towards Cardiff rises above just to its west. On 1 Jan there was an
unusual ECS IET working at 05.26 to Hereford forming the 07.45 to Paddington (arr 10.56) via Oxford.
121] That station that really has to be in Baker: (BLN 1319.2818) Before 1965, Sugar Loaf Halt was
unadvertised - for railway staff's children and wives. For example, the Winter 1960/1961 working
timetable (WTT) showed only the following stops at Sugar Loaf: 06.15 from Swansea Victoria if
required to take up only and 12.00 from Shrewsbury (at 14.33) if required FX; also FO to pick up
market passengers. [The returning market passengers (wives) must have made ad hoc arrangements
for none was provided in the WTT!] ROP in 1984 was for ramblers - initially apparently only on one
Saturday a month which, by 1987, had become summer Sundays only, advertised by pamphlet. It first
appeared in the public timetable from 17 May 1992 and became daily all-year from 28 May 1995.
1320 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott) [email protected]
MR1] Northampton & Lamport Railway, Northamptonshire (MR p7) (BLN 1297.MR13): The Railway
has been awarded two grants to help complete the southern extension from the passenger limit
(4m 20ch) over Bridge 11 (4m 31ch) to Boughton (4m 05ch*). Grants from Daventry District Council
(£15,000) and the EU's LEADER Fund (£45,160) cover 80% of the cost of refurbishing Bridge 11, a low
brick seven arch viaduct, and constructing a new station platform adjacent to the A5199 road (former
Boughton Level Crossing - 3m 75ch) and The Windhover Pub (who have kindly provided some land,
which could be used for a future station building). The Railway itself needs to contribute £18,000 and
is appealing for donations from local residents and businesses. Volunteers are also urgently needed to
join the current team and help complete the project. In particular the Railway needs anyone with
bricklaying skills to lend some of their time, even if it is just one day. To volunteer 01604 820327 (on
running days 10.00 to 16.00), email [email protected] or Pitsford & Brampton station, Pitsford
Road, Chapel Brampton, NN6 8BA. [*Miles from former Duston West Jn via Northampton Castle.]
Passenger trains cannot pass over Bridge 11 until it has been restored to passenger carrying standards.
Work will start in early 2019 and, subject to obtaining a Transport and Works Order, it is hoped the
extension will open in spring 2020. Work on the new Locomotive Shed is also progressing and 80% of
the required £12,000 needed has been raised with £1,000 from Persimmon Homes, £500 from Bellway
Homes and £400 from Waitrose's Community Matters scheme.
MR2] North Norfolk Railway, Norfolk (MR p8): A collision took place at about 11.20 on Saturday 17
November 2018 at Sweet Briar Lane Level Crossing, just west of Sheringham. The lane leads to
Sheringham Golf Club. It involved a silver Mercedes 'A'-class hatchback and GER 0-6-0 Y14 class 564,
which was running light engine (tender first) from Weybourne to Sheringham to work a dining train.
The loco was reported to be travelling at only 8mph - the car was badly damaged. The driver of the
Mercedes was uninjured and no damage was caused to the locomotive or the railway infrastructure.
Andrew Munder, the North Norfolk Railway general manager, said: As the train crossed the level
crossing it struck a car that was driving from the main road into the golf club. There are no gates at the
crossing but there are red flashing lights like any other level crossing and audible alarms. The car just
didn't stop. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said that there would be no investigation into
the incident. The 'Metro' newspaper of Monday 19 November carried a large colour photograph,
which seems to show 564 suffered a bad scratch to its smart blue GER livery on the tender.
NEXT PAGE BELOW: North Norfolk Railway - B12 8572 restarts the 10.30 from Sheringham
out of Weybourne with some vigour. (Peter Scott 14 Jun 2012.)