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10th November 2018

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Published by membersonly, 2018-11-09 04:15:07


10th November 2018

Number 1316 (Items 2291 - 2426 & MR 216 - MR 224) (E-BLN 69 PAGES) 10 Nov 2018


Respice in praeteritum, praesens et futurum

Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955

Membership Enquiries, Alan Welsh [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01382 728677

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

BLN 1317 is dated Sat 24SNocoievty;.pSloecaiestye. send all contributions in by Wed 14 Nov.

Date Event and details  = Please Book Online BLN Lead Status

Sat 17 Nov 08.29 The Screaming Valentas charity HST tour with EMT 1315 MG OPEN

Sun 25 Nov 09.30 Perth, for Highland Line Signal Box Visits Part 2 - FULL 1313 NJ FULL

Sat 8 Dec Carnforth Charity Cracker FULL WITH A FULL WAITING LIST 1312 MG FULL
Sat 5 Jan 19 09.30 to dark Scunthorpe Steelworks No17 tour - 90% FULL 1314 MG OPEN

Sun 27 Jan Save the date, The Looebrush Main line railtour to Cornwall TBA TBA Claimed

Sun 24 Feb Save the date, Tyne & Wear Metro railtour Part 2 TBA TBA Claimed

Wed 27 Feb South coast heritage railway with shunter haulage TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 23 Mar Save the date, railtour via the Marches line to Weymouth TBA TBA Claimed

30/31 Mar Save the date, North Wales narrow gauge weekend TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 6 Apr Save the date, provisional track railtour to East Anglia TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 13 Apr Weston, Nantwich Methodist Church & Willaston Railways TBA TBA Claimed

16-19 May Island of Ireland IV (2019) - reserve the dates TBA TBA Claimed

Thur 13 Jun Save the date, annual Pre-Peaks Challenge Railtour TBA TBA Claimed

7 and 8 Jul Sun and Mon; save the dates for Devon service train tracker TBA TBA Claimed

26 and 27 Jul Provisional Society railtour in southern Austria (Carinthia) TBA TBA Claimed

15-17 Nov Provisional, Barrow Hill AGM weekend with Sunday railtour TBA TBA Claimed

.. MG=New Bookings Officer .Mark Gomm - for contact details see back page, ; NJ=Nick Jones.

2291] 2018 AGM Update: Our 63rd AGM at the Middleton Railway, Leeds, on Sat 27 Oct was well
attended as were the three days of excellent supporting fixtures. The meeting voted to keep the
Society subscription rates at their present level for the May 2019-2020 period and to appoint our
member Chris Totty from Jersey (a retired banker) as the members' independent accounts examiner.

Dr Mark Gomm was elected as your new Fixtures Bookings Officer, replacing Jill Everitt, meaning that
Graeme Jolley is now your Sales Officer. Phil Wieland replaces Ian Delgado as Society Website Officer
with Mark Haggas and Darren Garnon replacing Helen Cromarty and Graeme Jolley as two of our five
'ordinary' Committee Members (as opposed to titled Officers).

In Kev Adlam's absence John Cameron very ably presented the Fixtures report in the traditional style
including many statistics and pictures of some of our diverse (in format and geographically) events
since the last AGM. The visuals are available with e-BLN. Three pictures showed the transformation of
'Molly', the Society's standard gauge 4-wheel riding vehicle, now looking very smart in British Rail
Hanson Blue - see e-BLN - as participants in our Clitheroe Cement Works event discovered. Highlights:

●76 very varied fixtures took place in the 49 weeks between the 2017 and 2018 AGMs (overleaf);
some (such as AV Dawson, Middlesbrough, Arlington, Ketton and Ribblesdale) involved multiple trips…

Branch Line Society fixtures operated between 18 Nov 2017 AGM & 27 Oct 2018 AGM

1 18 Nov 2017 Ciné Film presentation & buffet 39 2 Jun Arlington Explorer railtour Eastleigh

2 18 Nov Whitechapel Wayfarer railtour 40 9 Jun Great Bush Railway railtour

3 2 Dec Christmas Brush railtour 41 9 Jun Bentley Miniature Railway tour

4 17 Dec Grand Farewell railtour 42 10 Jun Sopwith Camel railtours

5 6 Jan 2018 Scunthorpe Steel Tracker No15 43 13 Jun Class 37 photographic evening

6 21 Jan Haigh Hall Miniature Railway 44 14 Jun Nosey Peaker railtour

7 21 Jan Thompson Park Railway 45 22 Jun Llandudno/Conwy Valley SB visits

8 13 Feb North Humberside signal boxes (SB) 46 1 Jul Ketton Cement Works railtours

9 25 Feb Tyne & Wear Metro railtour 47 11 Jul Cornwall STP Two day Tracker

10 25 Feb Tanfield Railway trip 48 20 Jul Barrow Hill Wheelbarrow tour

11 7 Mar Brough - Hull Paragon SB Visits 49 21 Jul AV Dawson Middlesbrough tour

12 8 Mar Abergele - Rockcliffe Hall SB Visits 50 2 Aug Spa Valley Railway railtour

13 24 Mar Sussex Salopian railtour 51 3 Aug Bangor Area SB Visits

14 24 Mar Hotham Park Railway tour 52 4 Aug Wester Pickston Railway railtour

15 25 Mar Sunday Salopian railtour 53 5 Aug Invergarry & Fort Augustus Railway
16 25 Mar Crewe Heritage Centre railtour 54 18 Aug Scunthorpe Steel Tracker No16

17 7 Apr 4 Kingdoms Railway trip 55 15 Aug Blenheim Park Railway railtour

18 14 Apr North Humberside Signal Box visits 56 25 Aug Beeches Light Railway railtour

19 15 Apr Crich Tramway Traverser railtour II 57 27 Aug Marching Crompton railtour

20 15 Apr Goodluck Lead Mine trip II 58 27 Aug Moor & Mawr, Cynheidre trip

21 20 Apr Finland five day railtour 59 8 Sep East Herts Miniature Railway tour

22 21 Apr Gwili Railway brakevan trip 60 8 Sep Hatfield House Miniature Railway

23 28 Apr Inverclyde First Aider railtour 61 8 Sep Vanstones Woodland Railway

24 3 May Bradford - Hebden Bridge SB visits 62 9 Sep Paradise Wildlife Park - Rex Express

25 3 May Peatlands Park Railway 63 9 Sep Bangs Galore & Gunpowder Railway

26 3 May Belfast - Dublin & Dublin area 64 9 Sep Royal Gunpowder Mills 2'6" gauge

27 3 May Luas Green Line Extension 65 9 Sep Land Train guided tour of site

28 4 May Borderline Signal Box Visits 66 29 Sep Llangollen Railway brakevan trip

29 4 May Dublin - Sligo - Ballymote - Sligo - Dublin 67 29 Sep Coate Water Warbler railtour

30 4 May Ballymote Miniature Railway (walk) 68 30 Sep Ribblesdale Cement railtour

31 4 May Cavan & Leitrim Railway railtour 69 12 Oct Bangor - Holyhead SB visits

32 5 May Peatlands Heritage Railway railtour 70 18 Oct Derby New Track Tracker

33 5 May Lough Boora Discovery Park visit 71 21 Oct Andover Anchovy railtour

34 5 May Dunsandle station (Loughrea branch) 72 26 Oct Kirklees Light Railway railtour

35 5 May Salthill Leisureland Express (Galway) 73 26 Oct Caphouse Mining Museum trip

36 5 May Glenlo Abbey Hotel railway carriage 74 26 Oct West Yorkshire Tracker

37 6 May Fairview Failte Irish Rail railtour 75 27 Oct Middleton Railway railtour

38 12 May 565 Railtour 76 27 Oct Middleton 'behind the scenes'

●£110,504 was donated to a variety of good causes, including heritage railways.
●'Railway Children' was our largest beneficiary receiving £42,487 for use within the United Kingdom.
●30 different members have organised fixtures.
●49 members have volunteered as stewards in the period between the 2017 and 2018 AGMs.
●Claimed early 2019 dates for your diary are in the fixtures grid, plus a possible July day out for 'Molly'.
●For our 65th Anniversary AGM in 2020 something really special is being planned and outside England.

[BLN 1316]

ABOVE: In the beginning... 'Molly' seen on the Wensleydale Railway as purchased by the Society - the
4-wheel arrangement enables tight curves to be negotiated (Kev Adlam). BELOW: Looking very smart
after much volunteer time and effort in AV Dawson red at Arlington Works, Eastleigh (Kev Adlam).

ABOVE: Ex-works, a Hanson sponsored repaint
at Barrow Hill (Martyn Brailsford 29 Aug 2018).

2292] Volunteer/s Wanted! One or more to
design and/or produce souvenir tickets for
our fixtures - expenses incurred for materials
such as ink and card fully reimbursed. Please
contact our member Jim Sellens informally at
[email protected] to discuss. Your
chance to make your mark on our tickets!

2293] Tickets Please! ABOVE: The very first
souvenir ticket produced and printed by Jim
Sellens that was all his own work. Previously,
after a trial sample, he had designed some for
our First Great Western and TPE tours with
printing outsourced. They have been a dramatic improvement on those previously available and the
format has remained the same since. 20,570 tickets later Jim has decided that it is time for a change
(after the Ruby Vampire tour of 4 Nov). Many thanks Jim for all your time and hard work on these.

X.158] The Ruby Vampire Railtour, PRESS STATEMENT: The Branch Line Society's Ruby Vampire
charter, operated by West Coast Railways and raising money for Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes,
was subject to a low speed derailment on DB Cargo infrastructure at Dee Marsh Reception Sidings, on
Sunday 4 November 2018. One axle on a Mk1 carriage was derailed; no injuries occurred and all
vehicles remained upright. Passengers were moved to Wrexham by rail for onward connections or to
Chester and Crewe by rail later in the day. The derailed vehicle was successfully re-railed on site by DB
Cargo BRUFF† team from Wigan and was left on site pending inspection.

Branch Line Society would like to acknowledge the professionalism of the West Coast Railways team
and the response teams from DB Cargo and Network Rail in resolving the incident promptly, safely and
successfully. Combined with the previous week's Ruby Shoesday charter, in conjunction with
Merseyrail, the two events have raised over £8,000 for the good cause.

[† Bruff was a company which built a type of vehicle capable of running on both road and rail; normally
used to travel by road to aid a derailed rail vehicle or to travel to the nearest road access for a remote
work site. Some say 'BRUFF' is an acronym for British Rail Universal Fault Fixer.] BELOW: Class 47
leading approaching Wrexham General after reversal via Gobowen trailing crossover. (George Jones.)

NEXT PAGE TOP: Our Ruby Vampire railtour heads north through Wrexham General P3 on the way to
a six hour visit to Dee Marsh Sidings with the Class 33 on the rear. (George Jones, 4 Nov 2018.)

2294] Archived BLNs: Thanks to Martyn Brailsford, aided and abetted by Lisa Sheppard, logged in
Society members can now access old BLNs as listed below. On the home page go across the top banner
to 'Archive'; on that page (in the top left 'Category' box) select 'BLN', 'BLN Index', 'BLN International' or
'BLN Pictorial'. Your search (which is of the document titles not contents) can be refined using the top
right box - for example a specific year. 'Paper Copy' in the left box brings up A4 and (if available) A5
paper copies of BLN and BLNI which can then be separated by putting 'BLN' or 'BLNI' in the right box.
All the documents can be downloaded and saved (to allow searching of contents) or printed too.

All BLNs are available from Jan 2013 (BLN 1176) to date, non-redacted. The Information Commissioner
has advised the Society that, as all BLNs from Oct 1955 until Dec 2012 were only originally issued in
paper format (without people's consent to publish their personal details online), these must all be
removed before posting electronically. This is a great deal of work and has to be checked (thanks for
this, Lisa). Martyn has now done Oct 1955-Dec 1975 (BLN 1-100 First series and 1-288 Second series).

Also currently available as single files: 1955-1964 and 1965-1974 (zip file in years) - as well as by
individual years from 1955 to 1970 (1971-1975 is in quarters). NEW: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017
can each be downloaded as one document covering the whole year; this makes searching on a
particular year (once on your device) much easier. 2018 etc will follow when the year is complete.

Branch Line Reviews 1-3 are available with 1964 BLN and No4 & 5 with 1965. It is hoped to have all
available Indexes on the website - currently there are 1955-1958, 1969-1975, 2013-15 and 2017. There
is a cumulative index document as well as individual years - note indexes were not produced every
year. Finally we now have volunteers kindly checking the 2016 BLN/BLNI index which will take a while.

2295] Farewell and thank you from Jill Everitt: I have been overwhelmed by the kind words from
fellow members since I stood down as Bookings Officer. I would like to thank all those who have
emailed, written and spoken to me for their compliments and understanding. While it may seem
unfair to single out individuals I would like to record special thanks to William Graveson and Graeme
Jolley for their BLS wisdom and to Ian Delgado for his support, assistance, patience and website
design, all of which helped me do a better job. I will soon complete a full handover to Mark Gomm
and I wish him well in his new role as Bookings Officer. With warmest wishes to you all, Jill.

1316 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

2296] Bicester, east of Gavray Jn (18m 46ch, Up Bletchley and 18m 48ch, Down Bletchley*) - west of
Claydon L&NE Jn (17m 75ch*) REVISED: (BLN 1311.1737) NRU; TCA from 07.00 Sun 21 Oct 2018 for
track lifting for East West Rail Phase 2 and HS2 construction. Our Sun 10 Jun 2018 'Sopwith Camel'
trips are thought to be the final trains. Reopening expected 1 Sep 2022. [*from Bletchley Flyover Jn.]

2297] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered
BLN Start (incl) Reopens Location (stations exclusive where bracketed) [bold = closed now]

1314.2066 28 Sep 28 Unknown CairnGorm Mountain Railway, 'Base Station' - Ptarmigan
1311.1736 20 Oct 18 10 Nov 18 Aintree; [(Aintree) from 29 Oct] - (Ormskirk)
1302.702 27 Oct 18 19 Nov 18 *Bristol East Jn - Stoke Gifford No1 Jn; Filton Jn - Patchway Jn;

Feeder Bridge Jn - Dr Day's Jn & Narroways Hill Jn - Severn Beach
1300.441 19 Nov 18 23 Nov 18 (Theale) - Westbury North Jn/Fairwood Jn (last significant closure)
1312.1835 17 Nov 18 24 Nov 18 (Worcester) Norton Jn - (Moreton-in-Marsh)
1311.1736 12 Nov 18 17 Dec 18 Bank Hall station (back reference has the Merseyrail closures)
1314.2070 6 Oct 18 ?? Dec 18 Woolwich Ferry; North Woolwich - Woolwich
1299.337 10 Dec 18 Greenford West Jn - Greenford East Jn - Park Royal - Old Oak Common West CP
1315.2209 25 Dec 18 1 Jan 19 *Severn Tunnel Jn - Stoke Gifford No1 Jn
1315.2210 23 Dec 18 3 Jan 19 *Westbury-Heywood Rd Jn/Fairwood Jn/Trowbridge/Warminster
1297.123 16 Feb 19 24 Feb 19 (Three Bridges) - (Brighton)/(Hove)/(Lewes)
1313.1945 20 Oct 18 XX Apr19 Reedham Jn - Berney Arms request stop - (Great Yarmouth)

2298] Wolverhampton Logistics Centre: (BLN 1311.1728) - previously Wolverhampton Steel Terminal
until 23 Nov 2017. The £6M new terminal building OG Wed 24 Oct 2018 with the first arrival. The DBS
Management train ran from Doncaster (08.59/16.27) that day to the terminal (11.10/14.01) for invited
guests with 67029 for a ceremony/lunch. 48,000 tonnes of steel (3,324 coils) can now be stored here.

2299] Ayr P4 (excl) - Stranraer (incl) and Maybole, Girvan & Barrhill stations: (BLN 1315.2272) TCP on
the evening of Mon 27 Aug 2017 due to the dangerous condition of the Station Hotel. ROA/P Thur
1 Nov 2018 with a route proving Departmental Working at 02.02 from Mossend Down Yard to
Stranraer (10.53/10.56) arriving back 14.15. An ECS DMU from Kilmarnock at 09.47 reached Stranraer
11.55 to form the one passenger train, 16.59 to Glasgow Central; the only other passenger train was
18.13 Glasgow Central to Stranraer (20.54). A very limited service ran until Mon 5 Nov then all
eight Stranraer services operated each way, but the Girvan short workings, giving the station one train
per hour, continued to be buses. At Ayr only bidirectional P4 is available as a through platform; P3 is
still a 4-car bay at the north end. Townhead EMU Sidings south of Ayr on the Up side TCA Tue 28 Aug
after departure of the 22.57 ECS working to Glasgow Central and (amending BLN) remains closed.

2300] Llangollen Railway; Carrog (excl) - Dwyrain Corwen/Corwen East: (BLN 1315.MR206) TCA after
last use on Sun 4 Nov 2018 until the extension to Corwen Central with the new station there opens
(target Easter 2019). Dwyrain Corwen/Corwen East CP after departure of the 15.50 to Llangollen.

2301] Cricklewood South Freight Siding: (BLN 1315.2222) Recommissioned 6 Oct after being OOU long
term; final track preparation with a 'Beaver' tamper was on 1 Nov. ROG Mon 5 Nov 2018; 66552 with
35 coal fish wagons - not 'goldfish' Pike - (ex-MGR coal hoppers with new box bodies) from March,
Whitemoor Yard Local Distribution Centre 05.03; reaching Cricklewood 09.01 and leaving 19.10 after
loading with inert spoil (Whitemoor 00.05). Initially a daily train is expected (SSuX) to/from Whitemoor
for eight weeks.

2302] IR, Ballybrophy Bay P1 - Birdhill (excl) with three stations: TCP/A from Mon 5 Nov expected
until Mon 10 Dec 2018 due to cable theft preventing trains from splitting at Nenagh (they can't be
signalled) and poor quality track. Driver shortages had caused some trains to be cancelled before this.

ABOVE LEFT: Cricklewood South Freight Siding on 1 Nov, naturally the driver of the 'Beaver' tamper
wanted to go up to the new north end stop block; the Midland Main line is off picture to the left.
BELOW LEFT: The road is set for the first inwards train of empty wagons. ABOVE & BELOW RIGHT: The
first train is loaded on the first day. (Robin Morel - who wants to know when Kev is bringing 'Molly'?)

MAP PREVIOUS PAGE: The confluence of lines on the south west outskirts of Alton near Butts Bridge
(1:25,000 map 1949). The Alton to Winchester line, now the Mid Hants Railway, runs top right to
bottom left between Alton and Medstead & Four Marks. The lifted line (CA 1 Jun 1936) top left with a
residual branch into 'Treloar Cripples Home' (CA 31 Jul 1967) - was there a cripples siding perhaps? -
was the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway. It was famous for 'Buggleskelly' which was Cliddesden
station for the 1937 film 'Oh Mister Porter'. The final section of the Meon Valley line section, running
alongside and just south of the Winchester line, finally CA (to Farringdon) from 5 Aug 1968.

2303] Mid Hants Railway; Alton P3 (incl) and NR connection - Medstead & Four Marks (excl): TCP/A
expected after running on 1 Jan 2019 for six months to construct a new Butts Road underbridge with
changes to the A339 junction, near the former Butts Jn (where the lines from Fareham via the Meon
Valley, Basingstoke and Winchester once met). Services will run Medstead & Four Marks - Alresford.

X.159 West Somerset Railway: TCP (whole railway) is expected from 2 Jan until Mon 1 Apr 2019.

1316 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

2304] Spare BLNs: Your Editor will bring some complimentary recent editions on our Sat 17 Nov
Screaming Valentas tour that may be of interest for members who don't take paper BLN to look at.

2305] The Modern Branch Line Society: We are delighted to report that the Society featured in Nov
Modern Railways in three places. First was Martyn Brailsford's regular monthly 'Trackwatch' column on
p79 which also included his new Derby track plan (in BLN 1308 of 21 Jul). Alan William's article about
Oxford on p72 included Martyn's new track plan with BLN 1307 of 7 Jul 2018 'courtesy of Branch Line
News'. We also included the previous layouts, of course. Last and definitely least, on p21 your GS and
Editor (back of head just visible) are at the rear of the 10¼" gauge Hydrogen powered train at the 4 Oct
Derby RVE exhibition. Yet more gas trouble caused a 4 hour delay with rides - the Hydrogen cylinder
was delayed in traffic, then repairs were required to the gas controller; gas can be difficult to control.

2306] PSUL 2018 - UPDATE (4) (with thanks to Richard Maund)

Minor retimings are ignored, the latest version of PSUL can always be found on our

website The previous update, a four page supplement with BLN 1309; is not repeated.

Page 5: add: Sleaford North Jn - Sleaford South Jn (Sleaford avoiding line) {new entry} ¶
Diversionary use: East Coast trains when diverted via Gainsborough instead of Retford -
none shown in current timetable but will apply Saturdays and Sundays 10/11 November to
1/2 December 2018 inclusive.

Page 6: Old Oak Common West - Greenford - Northolt Jn: amend note: Old Oak Common
West to Greenford West Jn is to be closed; from 10 December 2018, these trains will be

diverted, at Greenford, and run to and from West Ealing (only).

Page 8: Seven Sisters Jn - South Tottenham West Jn and South Tottenham East Jn -
Tottenham South Jn: service resumed from 18 August 2018 but diverted or suspended on
many Saturdays subsequently.

Page 10: Bare Lane Jn - Hest Bank Jn: delete 2H01 14.51 SSuX Lancaster - Morecambe -

Page 10: Frodsham Jn - Halton Jn: restart of regular services postponed to May 2019.

Page 11: Clitheroe - Hellifield Jn: DalesRail service suspended most Sundays on account
of a Northern TOC/RMT staff dispute.

Page 12: Langley Jn (Up) - Langley South Jn (via Up Hertford spur): suspension of
services north of Watton-at-Stone postponed until May 2019.

Page 19: Doncaster Black Carr Jn - Bessacarr Jn: diversionary use by southbound East
Coast trains Saturdays/Sundays 10/11 November to 1/2 December 2018 incl.

Page 19: Kilkenny: Lavistown South Jn - Lavistown North Jn: A505 07.10 SuX
Waterford - Dublin Heuston retimed to 07.05.

2307] Points & Slips: ●●BLN 1314.2194] Peggy Ellis, who wrote The Train to Christmas Town, the basis
of the Dartmoor Railway Christmas services and also those on the Weardale Railway, is the wife of Ed
Ellis (Edwin Earl Ellis Jr), Chief Executive Officer of Iowa Pacific (IP) which leases the railways. The use
of her book from 2017 onwards (instead of the 'Polar Express' of previous years) is because IP is being
sued by the Polar Express 'franchise' owners - for alleged underpayment of licence fees by various IP
subsidiaries (here and in the USA) in recent years.

●●2187] Several members kindly report that in steam days, and as late as the 1970s, many lineside
fires ('controlled burning', or at least hopefully so) were deliberately started to protect embankments
etc from accidental fires ignited by steam locos! It was part of British Rail's systematic P'way
maintenance system; generally fires were held twice a year particularly in June. One result of this was
shown by Ivo Peters in his classic films of the Somerset & Dorset Railway which always had lovely
displays of wild flowers on the embankments as they flourish after a burn back with all the ferns gone.
The system became redundant with the motorisation of the gangs covering much larger areas with
fewer men. It's only in more recent times that 'green tunnels' have developed on the railways
(the non-NR Okehampton branch being a prime example). Farmers used to burn stubble too after the
harvest but this was outlawed due to dense smoke sometimes causing serious road traffic accidents.

●●2213] On British Rail Western Region (noted for being 'different') trains were not classed as 'mixed'
but carried 'tail traffic'. A member's local train (when he was a nipper) of this type was MWFO 13.30
Up arrival at Porth with one or two vans of gold top milk for the local Joseph James Dairy. They came
from the Southwest. Harris Sausage Factory wagons from Calne to Chippenham and milk tanks from
Hemyock to Tiverton Junction in Devon were also carried on passenger trains. As late at 1978 at least,
an evening DMU working from Nottingham to Crewe had a parcels van attached to the rear from
Nottingham London Road (the former LNER passenger terminus then still used by British Rail for
parcels traffic, even with its own Class 08 shunter) at Nottingham (Midland) station. You could then do
the connection from London Road on the Class 08 loco, with a friendly driver (and most were).

●●2290] Did you spot this one? The Sheffield Train Leaflet included with e-BLN had a mistake with
one of the stop names. On the cover line diagram it is shown as 'Meadowhall Tinsley/South',
fortunately on the network map and timetable inside it is, correctly, 'Meadowhall South/Tinsley'.
2308] All Our Yesterdays: From Branch Line News No569, p261 dated 10 Sep 1978; BR = British Rail.

1316 EAST MIDLANDS (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
2309] Nottingham Express Transit (NET): On 18 Oct a campaign to improve road safety in the city was
launched by NET. It urges motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to take care where trams operate,
illustrating the importance of following traffic signals and road markings. At the heart of the campaign
is a video featuring accidents and near misses caught on CCTV, highlighting an
increase in the number of road traffic collisions involving trams over the past 12 months. Although
nobody was seriously hurt in the incidents shown, they did significantly disrupt tram services,
inconveniencing NET customers and other road users. Of course people could always leave their cars
(free) at the Park & Ride locations and take advantage of the very reasonable fares instead.

2310] NET Queens Walk: The latest WTT suggests the crossover is no longer available in the early hours.

2311] Clifton South: Booked use of non-preferred Platform 'B' (with thanks to 'Gensheet'). From
Phoenix Park SuX: 06.19 (arr 07.05); 06.49 (07.35); 18.25 (19.11); 18.55 (19.41) & 20.52 (21.38). SSuX:
06.36 (07.22); 09.25 (10.11); 09.55 (10.41) & 14.42 (15.28). SuO 09.27 (10.13) & 09.57 (10.43). SuO:
06.32 (07.20) & 18.52 (19.38). Departures from Clifton South SSuX: 19.21, 19.51 & 21.41. SSuX: 07.15,
07.30, 07.45, 10.21, 10.51 & 15.37. SO: 07.16, 07.31, 07.46, 10.22 & 10.52. SuO 19.41 to Shipstone St.

2312] Market Harborough: (BLN 1315.2214) A member travelled through here on the 19 Oct. The Up
side sidings were indeed disconnected. Track laying has begun with a short length of new concrete
sleepers for the new Down line just south of the future convergence north of the station, but ballast
spreading on the formation for both new tracks has taken place over a greater length from the station
north to this future convergence. On 10 Aug 2014 another member travelled on the 06.25 Derby to
St Pancras International. It crossed from the Up Main to the Up & Down Slow at Wigston North Jn and
continued along the Down Main to regain the Up Main at Kettering North Jn. He had thought that the
Up Main would have been regained at the recently removed Market Harborough Jn. That junction was
used by all trains from 14.14 until the end of service on 22 Jan 2018 (BLN 1298.224). Ironically this was
due to a fault in the bidirectional signalling but both of the recently removed crossovers were in use.

2313] Nottingham: A group or railway enthusiasts, with a BBC cameraman, recently visited the disused
former double track Thurland Street tunnel formerly to Nottingham Victoria station (CP 4 Sep 1967).
Built in the 1890s it is nearly a quarter of a mile long. A video (50 seconds).

2314] Barnetby: From 06.00 on Mon 29 Oct until 23.59 on Sat 8 Dec 2018, P1 is out of use for gauge
enhancement work (see next item). All services are to be routed into P2 during the closure.

2315] Immingham: (BLN 1312.1848) As well as the Hexthorpe Jn (Doncaster) to Killingholme gauge
enhancement work in progress, Associated British Ports is investing £36M in Immingham container
terminal, with proposals just revealed for a fifth Humber port at North Killingholme. The regauging
involves 29 'interventions'. These include platform alterations, trackside changes with demolition and
rebuilding of bridges at East Halton Road and Eastfield Road, between North and South Killingholme.
Eastfield Rd bridge is closed from 15 Oct until April; traffic is diverted around the back of the refineries.

2316] Ambergate Jn: (BLN 1315.2216) Connected with remodelling, by 31 Oct the north end Up
Passenger Loop access point was clipped OOU and the south (egress) point rail crossing plain lined.

1316 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]
2317] East Croydon: (BLN 1315.2224) ('London Reconnections') shows a Nov
2016 version of the sort of layout proposed for Selhurst/East Croydon but is not the final scheme.

2318] Gospel Oak - Barking: (BLN 1315.2218) Passenger and ECS EMUs have been barred from bay P1
at Barking. EMU test trains may only enter during London Underground engineering hours subject to
prior agreement by LU, which suggests there may be an interference issue with LU signalling. Note on
Saturdays 13 London Overground DMUs are currently booked to use P7, with a few on Sundays and
one or two in the week. P8 is booked, and used by, Gospel Oak services once or twice daily.

2319] Crossrail: (BLN 1315.2221) The Government has made £350M of short term repayable financing
available to TfL for the year 2018/19 to help cover the cost overrun. The Rail Minister has said that
discussions between TfL and the Government are underway as to how any additional funding will be
provided, with London - as the primary beneficiary of Crossrail - bearing any additional costs through a
financing arrangement. Independent reviews have been commissioned into Crossrail Ltd's commercial
practices, cost projections and governance. Meanwhile NR has confirmed that it is still proposing a
partial blockade at Liverpool Street from 4 to 31 Aug 2019 to extend P16/17 and remove P18.

2320] Liverpool Street: There will be no GEML services between here and Ingatestone/Billericay (and
to Southend Victoria/Southminster from 29 Dec) from 23 Dec until 1 Jan inclusive, with the usual
replacement bus services to Newbury Park (for the Central Line). This is due to work in the Liverpool

Street - Stratford area, OHLE renewals in the Forest Gate area, bridge works in the Gidea Park/Harold
Wood area and Crossrail works in the Shenfield area. The Romford - Upminster service will also be
suspended. However from 10.30 on 27 Dec a TfL Rail service will run between Romford and Shenfield.
On Boxing Day a half-hourly Stansted Express service will run between Stratford and Stansted Airport.

2321] Heathrow Express: (BLN 1302.724) The planned takeover of operations by GWR from 1 Aug has
been delayed until later this year. This is due to delays in approving the safety case for operations
through the Heathrow branch tunnels. ('Railway Observer')

2322] Lea (Lee) Valley: (BLN 1311.1751) In late Oct the new independent third line, bypassing Copper
Mill (North) Jn, seemed largely complete except through Tottenham Hale. South of here it was wired
except for a gap at the already installed junction (6m 73ch) with its associated facing crossover, north
west of Lea Bridge station. North of there OHLE masts and spans were mostly in place. (See poster on
next page, pictured by Stuart Hicks recently at Enfield Lock station.)

2323] London Bridge: As part of the station rebuild, Stainer Street, which runs underneath the station
linking Tooley Street with St Thomas Street, has been converted into a pedestrian walkway.
The original brickwork has been cleaned and repointed, an artwork of three polished steel domes is
suspended from the ceiling and new retail units will open soon. has photos.

2324] London Overground Ticket Offices: (BLN 1314.2094) London TravelWatch has deferred a
decision on whether to agree to the closure of 51 ticket offices. This is to allow time for further
analysis of responses after over 7,500 objections were received. However it considers that usage of
the offices is sufficiently low to be at a level where it would not object to the closures.

2325] Cricklewood: (BLN 1315.2222) Brent Council is to hold a marketing event this month for
potential bidders for the contract to construct the new Brent Cross West station. The new station is
required to be completed, commissioned and handed over for operational use by May 2022.

BELOW: Paddington P6 & 7 has a new gate line each end - the country (footbridge) end. (Stuart Hicks.)

2326] Paddington: (BLN 1312.1849) A gate line, with a series of wide gates, is being installed at both
ends of P6/7 used by Heathrow Express. Paddington New Yard was taken OOU from 16 Oct, although
it is not thought to have seen any revenue-earning traffic since it was reinstated. In addition to the
usual Christmas shutdown, the line will be closed between Paddington and Slough/Heathrow
/Greenford on 23, 24 and 30 Dec, with various replacement bus services in operation. Unlike during
previous closures, long distance trains will terminate at Reading, with no diversions to Waterloo or
Marylebone. The Greenford branch service and Acton Main Line, West Ealing and Hanwell stations
will also be closed from 27 to 29 Dec inclusive, with a reduced service to and from Paddington.

2327] Sutton Link: This is the name of a proposed new public transport link between Merton and
Sutton and TfL is consulting until 6 Jan. Three options (of 180 considered)
have been identified. Options 1 and 2 run on-street from South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood to
Sutton town centre and could be Tram or Bus Rapid Transit operated. Option 3, which TfL considers to
be the least effective, converts the NR line from Wimbledon to Sutton via St Helier into a tram route.

2328] Ultra Low Emission Zone: To improve air quality, this will be introduced in the area currently
covered by the Central London Congestion Charge from 8 Apr 2019. A heavy charge will be levied on
vehicles that do not meet stringent exhaust emission standards. has details.

2329] Victoria: The Central side of the station will be closed from 22 Dec to 04.00 on 2 Jan 2019 (incl)
for track renewal work at Battersea Pier Jn. Many trains will be diverted to London Bridge, with no
Gatwick Express service and a replacement bus service between Victoria and Clapham Junction.

1316 NORTH EAST (Geoff Blyth) [email protected]
BELOW: The state of P2 (no booked service) at Teesside Airport, 14 Oct 2018. (David Sheppard.)

2330] T&W Metro: The new £21M South Shields Interchange (BLN 1295.2512) is progressing and the
roof is now installed. The project started earlier this year and is Phase Two of the £100M 'South
Shields 365' regeneration masterplan. The existing Metro station closed for five weeks while work took
place; services instead terminated at Chichester until 3 Nov (BLN 1313.1942). Work is on schedule and
the interchange is due to be completed by summer 2019, after which the present Metro station will be
closed and demolished. At Newcastle Airport in the year up to Mar 2018 almost 1M journeys were
made. The number has increased for six consecutive years, due to the additional destinations available
from the airport as well as the North East itself becoming a more popular destination for visitors.

2331] St James (incl) - Tynemouth (excl): All day on Sat 17 & Sun 18 Nov until about 18.30 (time varies
at different stops) no trains will run to allow for OHLE renewal work. At Tynemouth trains are
expected to turnback in P2 from the north and depart over the trailing crossover there in service.

2332] Teesside Airport: A member visited this station on Sun 14 Oct to catch the weekly train, and was
shocked by how much the disused Down platform has deteriorated since BLN 1305.1053.

2333] Stockton & Darlington Railway Centenary: (BLN 1291.2139) Your Regional Editor has found
some more pictures of this historic event in 1925, click on individual pictures to enlarge. (with pictures of the future King George VI and his consort Queen Elizabeth.) and the pièce de résistance, a 19 minute long film on the British Film Institute website (with other interesting films, the early
days of the F(f)estiniog Railway is very good). Note the freedom with which people could just stand
on the track then; at 9min 30sec is No910, the only loco to take part in all three commemorations
(1875, 1925 & 1975). This film appears to have been very much a public relations piece for the LNER
as the locos of the other three pre-grouping companies taking part don't seem to feature at all.;

1316 NORTH WEST (John Cameron) [email protected]

2334] Blackpool North: (BLN 1314.2106) LEFT: The specialty local variation
of 'No smoking' signs spotted by a couple of members. (Stephen Ebbs).

2335] Liverpool Lime Street: The recently opened new P1 is used by
Northern Class 323 EMUs to/from Crewe. These only take 2 hours 15
minutes with a mere 29 intermediate stops via Huyton, Eccles Manchester
Airport & Sandbach. Alongside, the track has been lifted from the old P1.
For those who really enjoy rail travel, basement bargain £3 Advance Tickets
are available for the end to end journey (or £2 with railcard)!

2336] Merseyrail: A full size replica of a new carriage is advertised to be at
Liverpool Lime Street station until 18 Nov with daily tours 07.00 to 18.30
(19.30 Tuesdays). Alternatively has 6 video clips
about the Class 777 EMUs; delivery is due from mid 2019.

2337] Bolton: (BLN 1312.1862) On 27 Oct the latest sections of OHLE to be
energised were the Up and Down Bolton Lines between Windsor Bridge
South Jn and Buckshaw Parkway; Lostlock Jn, the Up and Down Hindley Lines and the Up and Down
Darwen Lines at Bolton West Jn. This includes all lines at Salford Crescent and Bolton.

2338] Wigan - Southport: On Suns 28 Oct & 4 Nov the whole line was closed at short notice for work
on Parbold Level Crossing, causing the re-routing of our 'Ruby Vampire' tour on Sun 4 Nov. Instead of
running from Southport to Wigan it was rescheduled to return via Hall Lane and Olive Mount, and
would have then used the very rare crossover at Bootle Jn in both directions (once used by Grand
National Race specials to/from Aintree and Lime Street - Southport DMUs and their predecessors) had

the tour not been delayed at Dee Marsh Sidings. Between these two Sundays an hourly service ran
instead of the normal two trains per hour, with a 10 minute 'Engineering Allowance' at Parbold in both
directions - was there single line working perhaps? BELOW: The possession of the Wigan lines on
28 Oct at Southport station; P4, 5 & 6 had stabled shut down Northern DMUs. The yellow Merseyrail
EMU set is on Southport Carriage Siding No10, now only accessible directly from the Southport station
and no longer via South Jn. Taken during the break in our 'Ruby Shoesday' railtour. (John Cameron.)

2339] Wigan Wallgate: Recently our correspondent noted that bay P3 is quite possibly unique - unless
anyone knows differently. There are no signs informing passengers of P3 and no directions to it. There
is not even a '3' at the platform but it does have an old style destination indicator at the buffer stops.
2340] Fiddlers Ferry: (BLN 1313.1980) Halewood car trains are now routed via Warrington Arpley
(reverse) and Ditton East Jn to free up paths through Runcorn for the new Chester - Halton Chord -
Liverpool (almost) hourly service. This was to start in Dec but is postponed to May 2019 due to TfW's
(Transport for Wales) DMU shortage. The new traffic is good news for the line past Fiddlers Ferry
Power Station (which itself has to close by 2025 at the latest). Ditton Foundry Sidings - Dollands Moor
trains are often staged at Warrington Yard and run that way. The line is busier than it was, also with
inward coal (from Redcar Bulk Terminal) and limestone plus outward Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD)
Gypsum at Fiddlers Ferry.
2341] Warrington: On 29 Oct 6V35, the 09.48 Clitheroe Castle Cement to Avonmouth working, after
losing 132 minutes between Langho and Blackburn, went forward and then activated the Dallam Up
Fast Line 'Gotcha' monitoring system with a significant wheel flat. The driver was advised to proceed at
10mph along the WCML (!!) to Acton Bridge for train examination, which lost another 93 minutes.

The defective wagon was then taken off the train which was cancelled at Northwich. Among the knock
on effects the 10.52 Edinburgh to Euston Pendolino set back into Warrington P3 and returned north,
running via Eccles and Manchester. The 13.03 Blackpool North to Euston set back into Warrington P1
before taking the bidirectionally signalled Up Slow in the Down direction back to Winwick Jn then
across to Manchester. The 12.00 Glasgow to Euston was held at Warrington until an EMU made it
through to Hartford, a route proving ECS special confirming that there was no track damage. Virgin
runs two ECS workings from Preston to Manchester Longsight via Eccles to maintain route knowledge.

2342] Accrington: On Sun 30 Sep the 09.05 train from Blackpool North terminated in Accrington P1, at
09.54 returning in service at 10.29 via the trailing crossover west of the station as did the 11.29
(ECS from Blackburn). Buses were provided to/from Leeds. The same moves were scheduled for 4 Nov.

2343] Crewe: (BLN 1313.1977) The connection to the Up Fast at 157m 00ch from Arriva Train Care
(formerly LNWR) Depot at Basford Wood Ground Frame, Crewe was last used 'about five years ago'.
A Mobile Operations Manager was then present to allow trains to pass to/from the site, departures
were routed via Stafford. The normal route at the Crewe station (north) end (157m 53ch) was
unavailable because the point on the Up Through Siding, to the rest of the Arriva Train Care site, was
being renewed. During the week of 8 Oct 2018 the 'strategic' south end crossover received attention,
but it is not known if this is to bring it up to a standard to use or due to a problem on the Up Fast.

2344] Sandbach/Alsager: On Sundays 28 Oct, 4 & 11 Nov Crewe P1-4 and the lines to Stoke were
under possession. On 28 Oct a RailVac machine was working in P1. The Up Manchester line was
blocked to electric traction with no access between P5 and the Manchester lines. Northern local
services from Manchester turned back in Sandbach P2 or 3, arriving over the Manchester end facing
crossover (162m 68ch) and used the link between the Down Wilmslow and Sandbach P3 both ways.
Slightly out of area but at the other end of the possession, at Alsager, services from Stoke took the
facing crossover at 1m 70ch in service on arrival to turnback in Up P2 before 'pottering' off back to
Stoke. We have covered this crossover and the trailing one at the Crewe end of Alsager station on at
least one recent Society tour travelling from Stoke to Crewe via Alsager Up & Down Goods Loop.

1316 SOUTH EAST - NORTH & EAST ANGLIA (Julian James) [email protected]

2345] Oxford: (BLN 1315.2236) Hinksey Yard footbridge was observed in pedestrian use on 30 Oct.

2346] Werrington Jn: (BLN 1309.1549) Test drilling/digging for the grade separation project has been
going on for months; now wildlife barriers have been installed and the field where the equipment and
site offices are to be located has been cleared. This is in the 'V' of the junction between Up Slow and
Down Spalding. No clearance work has begun in the wide space between Down Fast and Up Stamford.

2347] Reedham: (BLN 1313.1986) From 29 Oct the Up & Down Yarmouth single line between
Reedham station and Reedham Jn was renamed the Down line and the former Down line removed.
The removal is where the Down line used to run in between Up & Down Yarmouth and Up Main.

The future layout will then simply comprise a new trailing crossover east of the station, installed (OOU)
by 29 Oct further east of the station crossover on TRACKmaps. Previously there were three lines and
three crossovers with six sets of points. Running between Up & Down Yarmouth and Up Main, it is
presumably a long crossover. Details would be welcomed. East of the new crossover a new set of
facing points was installed (the new Reedham Jn). secured OOU in 'reverse' to access the Down
Lowestoft. Interestingly there is a 20mph restriction from these points back to the Down Lowestoft
line in that direction (is this temporary or permanent?). On the Up line the speed restriction is 40mph.

This fits with the current temporary Reedham Jn-Yarmouth closure; most signals are decommissioned.
The single track from Yarmouth via Berney Arms is now theoretically available to a temporary stop
block facing east (12m 53ch) or 19ch past the start of the new Reedham Jn. A further 19-day Norwich -
Yarmouth/Lowestoft line closure is expected in April for further works/signalling commissioning.

2348] Whittlesford Parkway: (BLN 1302.750) Usage is expected to grow to serve new science parks
but road access on either side of the station is inconvenient, while the Imperial War Museum, Duxford,
1¼ miles to the west, lacks any regular public transport. In April, Rail Future East Anglia (RFEA) hosted
a meeting with the local rail users group, Greater Anglia and parish councillors, on publication of a
'Whittlesford Parkway Station Masterbrief' by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP). Then in July,
RFEA attended a project stakeholder workshop. It hopes that the GCP will adopt the report, and fund
improvements needed to turn Whittlesford into a model travel hub for the area. (Rail User Express)

1316 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
2349] Lymington: (BLN 1314.2130) On 24 Jul the branch was operated by a Class 158 DMU, as it has
been sporadically, for some years. On recent occasions your Regional Editor has seen Class 450 EMUs
on the service. Our member observes that the branch is partially worked by Weymouth train crews.
Do they have any other diesel workings to keep up their traction knowledge (Corfe Castle excepted)?

2350] Mayfield: Part of the extended station building on the 'Cuckoo Line' is
for sale with Knight Frank (Tunbridge Wells) 01892 515035 at a guide price of £899,995. It is a brand
new 3-bed, 3-bathroom conversion of the Down side booking hall and associated buildings, but not the
north end attached station house. Comparing photos of the original station with the agent's, and
examination of the floor plan, indicates that the single storey building has been extended, at an angle,
at the Down end. A lower ground floor has been created below the original footings or from any cellar
that may have existed. Presumably this gives a floor level at, or lower, than the former track level.

2351] Newhaven Marine: (BLN 1314.2126) On 18 Oct a member visited and found that Lewes and
Newhaven Town and Harbour signal boxes remain open. Newhaven Town box looked particularly
decrepit. Some new LED signals have been installed on the branch and the last semaphores have gone,
though a disc shunt signal remains at Newhaven Harbour. It would have been used to signal a train
from the Up platform into Newhaven Marine. Most, if not all, of the previous colour light signals
remain in use. The tracks in and out Newhaven Marine continued to be blocked by sleepers across the
rails and red lights. It appeared possible to signal a train into Newhaven Marine, if that block was
removed, but not out again, because the arm has been removed from the starting signal. It is not
possible for a train to reverse in the Down platform at Newhaven Harbour, but there is a position light
shunt signal on the starting signal. Realtime Trains now shows 5C54 reversing at Newhaven Harbour
signal NH40, on the single track towards Seaford. It is probable that the tracks were blocked during the
August possession, reported at BLN 1309.1511, so no train would have used the line thereafter.

When seen on 22 Oct, Newhaven Harbour Jn - the conventional double junction formed of two points
and the flat diamond - now run to a new single set of points leading to Newhaven Marine platform
road (facing on departing Newhaven Marine). Catch or trap points exist between the new turnout and
the convergence with the Up Seaford. So the double slips, run round (3 Siding in TRACKmaps) and
disused siding (No4 Siding in TRACKmaps) have all gone. The track in place has conductor rails. Access
continues to be blocked by a sleeper and red light. None of the new signals is yet commissioned.

Of interest, Lewes signal box has three exterior nameboards; the one on the Up end is 'Lewes B' (there
used to be four boxes, 'A' to 'D'). At Seaford departures on the recorded public address are announced
as from P2 still (the National Rail station map shows it as P1), although it is many years since the P1
track was removed; the Sectional Appendix shows no platform number. The branch from Newhaven

Harbour Jn was singled on Sun 16 Jul 1973, Seaford box was retained (initially with two platforms) but
the box could be switched out and by Mar 1973 there was only one platform. At Bishopstone station
(where our renowned member No13 was once the stationmaster) the extant platform is shown as P1.
Bishopstone Beach Halt (as it was at the end) 49ch to the west on the branch finally CP 1 Jan 1942.

NEXT PAGE: Newhaven Harbour Jn on 18 Oct 2018 looking southeast from the level crossing beyond
Newhaven Harbour station. Straight on is the new layout to Newhaven Marine with Newhaven Signal
Box on the right and the Seaford branch round to the left reducing to single track. (Greg Beecroft)

2352] Reading - Newbury: Electric working is due to start in Jan with one Turbo diagram retained.
This allows the last four Class 166s to move to Bristol for Cardiff etc services. From observation
Reading to Newbury shuttles require two units, so it is possible an Electrostar and Turbo will alternate
although a correspondent has not seen a 166 on the Berks & Hants for months. 41 of 45 Class 387s will
be diagrammed, stabling at Swindon Cocklebury Sidings instead of Maidenhead (no longer available).

2353] Farnborough Main: On 20 Oct the 16.09 Waterloo to Portsmouth via Eastleigh was delayed by
an unusual manœuvre to avoid the effects of a points failure. The xx.35 trains normally travel Down
Fast, crossing to the Down Slow at Farnborough North Jn to call at Farnborough Main and then back
to the Down Fast at the country end crossover. Leaving Woking on time the train slowed for the Fast
to Slow crossover much earlier than normal to be followed by the announcement that 'Owing to a
points failure we could not cross for the Farnborough stop'. However, the train did call; but how?

Further announcements stated it would run past and then reverse into the station using the country
end points. This it did and, after the call, continued 9 minutes late to Basingstoke on the Down Slow
recovering 1 minute. A minor inconvenience for those travelling further, but it saved the Farnborough
contingent far more than having to go to Basingstoke and then back! The train an hour before was
unaffected and those an hour and two hours after were just 2-3 minutes late there.

2354] Eastleigh: Some weeks previously, our same member experienced a change of line on a
Portsmouth to Waterloo via Eastleigh working. At Eastleigh these serve P3 or P2 and usually cross to
the Up Fast immediately beyond the station but sometimes travel to Allbrook, ⅞th mile north, on the
Down Fast. On this occasion it ran to Allbrook on the Down Slow, which was most unusual indeed.

2355] Fareham: The 23-26 Oct SWR strike days threw up a couple of interesting situations. The service
between Southampton and Portsmouth is shown as two trains every three hours, though Saturday is
shown as Southampton to Fareham only (P2 bay). Two trains (Basingstoke 18.41 and Eastleigh 20.08)
are shown as terminating at Fareham at 19.32 and 20.30 respectively. The latter is the normal day
service from Waterloo which is scheduled to use Fareham P2 bay in any case on non-strike days.

2356] Wallers Ash: (BLN 1314.2132) On 18 Oct the Up Passenger Loop was back in service. On 23 Oct
the CrossCountry 09.46 Southampton Central to Newcastle passed a SWR Class 450 EMU in the loop.
To ensure it was not an optical illusion, on 24 Oct our member took the 08.59 Portsmouth Harbour
(Eastleigh 09.46) to Basingstoke (10.26) service which did indeed recess into Wallers Ash Up Loop to
allow the CrossCountry to pass. A northbound container train has also been seen in the Up loop. The
same day was general chaos due to a signal failure at Woking/Surbiton with pre-recorded messages
conflicting with the LED screens and the controller's station announcements. Our reporter suggested it
would help if the meaningless pre-recorded messages (trains 56/92 etc minutes late) were turned off,
but apparently this could only done by 'control'. So, why not contact 'control'? Blank faces all round!

There has been some talk about extending both Wallers Ash loops. It is possible this would be a return
to the situation sometime until, it is believed, in the 1960s. Prior to this the loops extended further
south, however the condition of a minor underbridge (SU 5003 3817) was causing concern, particularly
under the fast tracks (the centre two). It was decided that, rather than rebuild the bridge, the fast lines
would be realigned to the slow lines and the loops shortened to suit*. The Running Department
obviously had no wish for a speed restriction on this fast section of track so the realignment was over
easy curves but involved shortening the loops considerably. This was not too much of a problem at the
time as freight traffic was diminishing and container (intermodal) trains had barely started. (*Note the
laughable fact that signalling changes were once cheaper than building bridges - Regional Editor.)

2357] Southampton: (BLN 1314.2131) Further proposed work, additional to the extra new lead into
Southampton Western Docks, is a new scissors crossover between Millbrook and Redbridge. This will
connect the Arrival and Departure Line and the Depot Reception Siding No1 between the convergence
of the wagon storage sidings and the depot reception sidings. The Arrival and Departure Line on
TRACKmaps will be renamed the Redbridge Goods. Depot Reception Siding No2 will gain a new
connection east towards the wagon storage sidings, which is now known as Freightliner Middle Area.
This connection will pass the scissors crossover on the field side, the side remote from the main lines.

2358] Poole: NR proposes to reduce the length of No1 and No2 sidings (10 and 9 on TRACKmaps
respectively) by 58yd to permit a footpath connection to be provided between the station and a
residential development site. Presently 220yd, neither is long enough for a 10-car train and only No1 is
electrified. Pedestrian access to Poole Stadium will also be provided. Nearer the station and in the
course of the proposed footpath, the station car park may be used for a residential development.

1316 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]
2359] Dawlish: (BLN 1315.2247) More information is now available on the works proposed by NR to
improve the resilience of the railway. Urgent repairs to breakwaters at four locations along the coast
will start next month for six months after they were identified as being in a poor state of repair. The
breakwaters are at Boat Cove, Coastguards Point, Colonnade Underpass and Langstone Rock. Along
with these repairs by BAM Nuttall, Arcadis (another leading engineering company) will continue to
investigate whether loose material from the top of the cliff above Parsons Tunnel at Holcombe may be
removed to stabilise the cliff and therefore reduce the risk of landslips in the short-term.

2360] Swindon: The first passenger trains worked to Swindon with electric traction on Sun 28 Oct and
routinely from 29th. Up trains from Swindon were due to run with electric traction from Mon 5 Nov.

2361] West Somerset Railway (WSR): A meeting held on 31 Oct to discuss future 'mainline' services
between Minehead and Taunton was described as an 'overwhelming success' by the Minehead Rail
Link Group. About 140 people attended and many speakers were met with applause. West Somerset
Railway's Chris Austin announced that the railway was seeking funding for a trial 60-day period next
summer for a connection from Taunton to Bishop's Lydeard. The Rail Link Group supported the move
as a 'useful first step' towards an end to end service between Minehead and Taunton, A talk was
delivered on the experience of the Swindon - Westbury route, where passenger journeys were well

above the expected figure. The original single car train has been replaced by a three car DMU.
Since the meeting the WSR has formally submitted a bid to GWR's Customer & Communities
Improvement Fund, supported by the Local Enterprise Partnership, but is in competition with
hundreds of others from around the Great Western Network. The result should be available in late
2018 and the service could start at the end of May. GWR already offers through tickets from staffed
stations to the WSR via Buses of Somerset route '28' from the recently refurbished Taunton station.
2019 is the WSR 40th anniversary as (quote) "the operator of England's longest heritage railway".

UPPER: West Somerset Railway Minehead, 28 Mar 1976, 'Victor' on a 13.00 reopening Members'
special to Blue Anchor before the first advertised service. Mileage is from Paddington via Box. LOWER:
GWR pannier tank No6412 on the first public train leaving Dunster. (Both Ian Mortimer 28 Mar 1976)

2362] Money going into Filton Bank: (BLN 1315.2000) Requadrupling began in Feb 2015; recent
activity has been focussed on reinforcing a huge retaining wall in Easton, and the construction of the
new platform at Filton Abbey Wood with track installed through it. During the current three week line
closure from 27 Oct until 18 Nov, NR has up to 350 engineers out at once working round the clock on
the 4½ mile line with 57 engineering trains running. Works include track drainage and new signalling.
An interesting effect of the closure is some HSTs being temporarily stabled at Stoke Gifford IEP Depot
(instead of St Phillips Marsh) for example for the residual Hereford - London HST worked services.

More weekend work is scheduled for late Nov/early Dec; the new signalling and pointwork is due to be
commissioned from Mon 19 Nov. Trains are expected to be able to use the new tracks by mid Dec with
improved timekeeping by separation of non-stop and local services. Timetable enhancements between
London and Bristol are expected from May 2019, but there is no longer the intention to enhance the
Bristol to Cardiff service. (Note Severn Bridge road tolls end on 17 Dec and rail fares rise again in Jan.)

Meanwhile a member, who was a signaller in the area in the 1970s and 1980s, has expressed surprise
at the new layout (BLN 1315.2000). He notes the absence of connections between Down Main to
Down Relief and Up Relief to Up Main at Dr Day's Jn (though, as he notes, the new Horfield Jn has
these). In previous four track days these connections were used extensively to avoid clashes at Bristol
East Jn between Down trains to Temple Meads P3 & 4 and Up trains from P5 & 6 for Bath. [NR would
like to have remodelled Dr Days Jn but it was removed from the scheme to make it affordable - Ed.]

1316 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]
2363] Bromsgrove: Following significant damage to pointwork in the early hours of Mon 22 Oct the
points at the Birmingham end of P3 were secured in the 'Reverse' position meaning that Cross-City
Bromsgrove terminating services could not turnback in their usual P3. For a week until Mon 29 Oct,
when the damage had been repaired, they all took the facing crossover (5m 18ch) at Bromsgrove
North Jn to turnback in P1 or 2 instead. This crossover, at the foot of the Lickey Incline, was the one all
trains heading south would take to be able to call at the previous Bromsgrove station when it used to
have just a very short single bidirectional platform on the Up line only; the crossover they took back to
the Down line has since gone. This reminds your Editor of a family trip from Worcester Shrub Hill to
Birmingham New Street about 10 years ago on a Class 150 DMU. The conductor (whom he knew very
well) explained over the Public Address to passengers that the train would not call at Bromsgrove that
day because of an engine failure. This raised expectations that it would take some interesting track to
pass this failed engine, but instead it was straight through on the normal line with no sign of the failed
engine anywhere. When the conductor appeared he was asked where it was - answer underneath you!

2364] Chase Line: Wiring is now complete except for the Up Walsall Slow and Down Walsall Slow
(Pleck Jn - Walsall South Jn). Foundations are in place for the footbridge at the former Bloxwich Level
Crossing and platform extensions. An energisation notice at Rugeley Town station still shows 8 Oct,
although earthing bonds are still in place (a significant stretch of non-live OHLE wire was stolen).

2365] Dorridge: From 29 Oct at Dorridge North Jn the points (119m 38ch) on the Down Dorridge line
(the trailing connection of the Up & Down Passenger Loop to the Down Dorridge line) were renewed
14yd further north. New points were provided on the Up & Down Passenger Loop (119m 35ch),
the facing connection of the Up & Down Passenger Loop to the Up & Down Goods Loop crossover.
The Up & Down Goods Loop has been OOU since last year for lengthening works.

2366] Hatton - Tyseley: No doubt connected with the Dorridge Goods Loop lengthening project, there
was unusual single line working on the Up Dorridge line all day Sun 4 Nov. An hourly Chiltern Moor
Street to Marylebone train service was provided, with some stations bus served. West Midlands Trains
services were all replaced by buses. There were unadvertised stops at Hatton and Tyseley in both
directions to pick up and set down the Pilotman (or should that be Pilotperson nowadays?). Down
trains to Birmingham used the facing crossover at Hatton North Jn (112m 54ch) and the rare trailing

crossover (125m 50ch) south of Tyseley South Jn to join and leave the Up Dorridge respectively. There
was a good attendance of members, particularly those who are bidirectional, for this unusual event.
On Realtime Trains etc trains did show P1 at Dorridge but no platform number was shown elsewhere.

2367] Hams Hall Jn (32m 3ch‡): (BLN 1313.1938) From 19 Oct, due to damage rectification following
the 12 Sep derailment, temporary alterations have been made until Dec 2018. ●Hams Hall Headshunt
has been taken OOU and disconnected. ●The points forming the trailing connection into Hams Hall
have been temporarily renewed as trap points in the same location. ●The points forming the
connection between Hams Hall East Arrival line and the Departure/Runround line and ●The points
forming the connection between the Departure/Runround line and the Hams Hall Transfer line have
both been replaced with plain line, allowing through running on the Departure/Runround line. ●A new
temporary stop block of sleepers chained to the rail has been installed beyond the signal on the Hams
Hall East Arrival line. ●A new temporary stop block of sleepers chained to the rail has been installed
past the signal on the Hams Hall East Transfer line. [‡Miles from Derby via Kingsbury & Whitacre Jns.]

2368] Birmingham Interchange: This new HS2 station is to have two island platforms 415m in length
(over ¼ mile each) with four platform faces and additionally two centre 'high speed' lines for non-stop
trains. It is claimed that it will be the 'best connected place in the UK' by rail, road and air - Euston will
be 38 minutes away. It will serve Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham
International station by an automated people mover. The station will be fully integrated with other
local buses, taxis and private vehicle options, new rapid-transit 'Sprint' buses and 'Metro trams'.

2369] Perry Barr: Much of the former rail served SPD (parcels) depot at Perry Barr South Jn is now
demolished. The correspondent remembers Izal Palvans working to there! For those that don't know,
these vans for carrying lavatory roll pallets were originally called 'Lavpals'. The name was rearranged
to become 'Palvans'. The scratchy Izal toilet paper was impregnated with Izal disinfectant (Phenol
based - a by product of the coal industry). Every sheet was printed with 'Now wash your hands' (and in
some cases, 'Property of British Railways'!); during WWII cartoons of Hitler were printed on it.

2370] Roade: (BLN 1271.3142) Plans for the proposed 600 acre Northampton Gateway Strategic Rail
Freight Interchange were not accepted by the government's Planning Inspectorate for consideration.
This was because some hard copy plans did not match electronic plans and there were inconsistencies
in the cross referencing and appendices. The applicant will now resubmit revised plans.

2371] Ticket Gates: From 31 Oct Birmingham Snow Hill, Five Ways and University along with, further
afield, Northampton, Milton Keynes Central, Bletchley, Hemel Hempstead, Watford Junction and
London Euston stations will have staffed gatelines all day from first to last trains. It is estimated that
fraudulent rail travel costs the industry about £240M per year.

2372] Stratford-upon-Avon - Honeybourne: It seems that that Warwickshire County Council's
indifference to this rail reopening project (costed at £75M about five year ago) now extends to
switching Section 106 funding (from housing development) intended for the railway project to a
new South Western Relief Road instead. A developer is also proposing 3,100
new dwellings on the former Long Marston aerodrome - additional to those being constructed on
part of the former MoD Long Marston base site. They are all clear of the trackbed (believed to be a
protected route), preserving the current 'Greenway' combined cycle/bridle/footpath but a proposed
bridge over it is not to current NR standards. However, more Section 106 money may be available.
The local paper reports that the new road originally budgeted for £30M then £70M is now
approaching £100M. If anyone is interested objections to the road have to be lodged by ;15 Nov.;

2373] North Cotswold Line: (BLN 1312.1835) Trains are replaced by buses from 17-24 Nov between
Worcester Shrub Hill and Moreton-in-Marsh to facilitate platform extension works at Pershore,
Honeybourne and Evesham for IEP trains (they are running now with selective door opening).

2374] Longbridge: OP 8 May 1987 with the Birmingham Cross-City Line (your BLN Editor was on the
first passenger arrival) and now with 963,000 passenger journeys a year, the station is having a £1.7M
update. Carried out by NR it is funded by Birmingham City Council for completion in spring. The front
of the station will be refurbished with roof covering and glass replaced and an extended canopy
installed. Some of the station is to be demolished and a larger concourse created with new flooring,
a new façade, automatic doors, ventilation system, a new accessible toilet and ticket counter.

1316 YORKSHIRE (Graeme Jolley; Geoff Blyth for North & East Yorkshire)
2375] Bradford Interchange: (BLN 1315.2257) On 22 Oct NR began extending P3 & 4, working overnight.

2376] Pilmoor - Malton: (BLN 1285.1528) The following instructions have come to light for working
the short piece of line between Malton East and Scarborough Road (Malton) boxes:

Working of Traffic to and from the Yorkshire Bacon Factory when Scarborough Road Signal Box is
closed: During the time Scarborough Road Signal Box is closed, to enable traffic to pass to and from
the Yorkshire Bacon Factory, the Up Branch line [towards Malton East] between Malton East and
Scarborough Road Signal Boxes must be worked as a single line in accordance with the Regulations for
Working Single Lines by One Engine in Steam. The key to release the point lever at the ground frame
controlling the Bacon Factory Siding points is attached to the 'One Engine in Steam' train staff.
The Down Branch signals at Scarborough Road Box do not apply to movements made under this
arrangement on the single line. The Up Branch signals (except No23 disc) at Scarborough Road Box will
be left off when that box closes. No21 points (Up to Down Branch Crossover) will be clamped normal
when the box is closed and No23 disc signal may be passed at danger.

Your Regional Editor has not encountered this situation before, where one track of a double track
section worked by Absolute Block can also be worked as a 'one train working' (in modern parlance)
single line with a train staff. Do any knowledgeable members know of other examples of this?
This interesting quirk had disappeared by the time of the weekly notice for 12 to 18 Sept 1964:

Malton East: Working of Traffic to and from the Yorkshire Bacon Factory:
One engine in steam working is in operation and the key to release the point lever at the ground frame
controlling the Bacon Factory Siding points is attached to the One Engine in Steam train staff.

Scarborough Road Signal Box is thought to have closed in Oct 1964 just before the line did. Certainly
there would be no need for it as the entire line west of Amotherby had CA 10 Aug 1964, with traffic
remaining only for Brandsby Agricultural Trading Association at Amotherby, open until Fri 19 Oct 1964
(the last train ran 16 Oct 1964) when the contract ended and the rest of the line from Malton East CA.

2378] Tram Train: (BLN 1315.2290) On arrival at Cathedral stop, terminating tram trains from
Rotherham Parkgate use the facing crossover in service to reach the departures platform.

On Thur 25 Oct, ahead of the first advertised public departure from Cathedral at 09.39, a special with
Citylink tram train 399204 ran for dignitaries, guests and the media who joined at Nunnery Depot.
It ran directly to Parkgate where Jo Johnson, Minister for Transport, and Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City
Region Mayor, unveiled a plaque marking the start of the service. Returning to Cathedral, 399204 was
then one of four Citylink tram trains used on the first day (three are needed for the timetable). 399203
operated the first public service, Cathedral to Parkgate and return; 399201 & 399202 also ran.

Catastrophically, the first day of operations came to a halt shortly after 15.00 when a lorry carrying gas
canisters went through a red light and collided with tram train 399204 which had authority to proceed.
Quite inappropriately in the circumstances it was branded 'Ability Handling'. This was at the road
crossing between Attercliffe and Woodbourn Road on the long established Meadow Hall 'Yellow'
route as the tram train was returning from Parkgate to Cathedral. The front section of 204 rose in the
air and was derailed in the collision and pushed 20ft off the track at an angle of 40 degrees to the line.
The Citylink vehicle sustained significant damage - the driver's cab in particular.

ABOVE: Rotherham Parkgate stop with a tram train looking north towards the end of line, the NR line
is behind the fence, towards Aldwarke Jn (left) and Rotherham Central (right). (Angus McDougall)

Four people were reported as injured of the 90 on the tram train; one required hospital treatment.
After the collision, the service (and the Yellow route) were entirely suspended until Fri 26 Oct at 09.30.
Society members, some in the area for our AGM, were waiting at various stops to do the new service
but there was no indication from passenger information displays that it was not running and tickets
could still be purchased. It was perhaps fortunate that a (much stronger) tram train rather than a
normal tram which, of course, run at this location - otherwise there could have been some serious
injuries or worse, particularly for the driver, from this major collision. 399204 was returned to Nunnery
Depot overnight where - after conclusion of the investigation into the collision - it will be assessed
before repairs to bring it back into service. (Twists to solebars or frame members may have occurred
and be irreparable in which case it might be cannibalised.) Track repairs also had to be made.

Meanwhile the tram train service is one vehicle down after just one day. There are seven Citylink
vehicles in Sheffield; four with special wheel profiles are allocated to the tram train service, and three
are needed for the timetable with one spare. The others are used on other parts of the network and
would require a bogie swap to work on the line to Parkgate. Even though the collision had nothing to
do with the tram-train pilot as such (other than it was a tram train involved) that didn't stop the
sensationalist 'Tram train crashes on first day in service' type of headlines (although it was actually the
lorry that crashed - the driver admitting liability for going through a red traffic light).

2377] With thanks to Martyn Mapman Brailsford, a 'landscape' format

…………………………………………………… revised track plan to include the Tram Train; OP Thur 25 Oct 2018.

ABOVE: Parkgate headshunt beyond the platform can accommodate a tram train. (Angus McDougall)

2379] Chapeltown Central: (BLN 1312.1895/e-BLN 1314.X.147 photo) CP 7 Dec 1953; CA 7 Mar 1966.
Remarkably No15 Home signal bracket was intact on 23 Sep 2014 at least, in the woods on public land.

2380] Leeds: A development to improve the look and feel of the station has been announced by NR
and the East Coast Main Line Railway Board. A new transparent Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE)
roof will be installed in time for the UCI (Union Cycliste International) Road World Championships,
21-29 Sep 2019. The structure will replace the dark and tired wooden roof over the main southern
concourse which connects with New Station St. The light-weight design is the first of several upgrades
to be announced at Leeds Station in the coming weeks. [At our recent AGM it was noticeable how dark
the station is, particularly when waiting for a TPE train at P16 east end it was almost impossible, due to
very poor lighting, to read the literature in the goody bag kindly provided by the Middleton Railway.]

2381] Brighouse: On Mon 22 Oct, due to Calder Valley signalling work, Leeds - Dewsbury - Brighouse
trains crossed from the Up L&Y to the Down L&Y at Bradley Wood Jn and terminated in P1 here.

1316 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
2382] Portrush: (BLN 1314.2160) The rare P2 is expected to be used by all trains until sometime in
Dec. P2 buffer stops have been moved about 8m further from Coleraine. Now is your chance!

2383] Castlerock: The station footbridge was removed on 27 Oct and taken away for refurbishment.
Meanwhile a temporary footbridge has been erected to replace it.

NEXT PICTURE: Work at Portrush station; the recently lengthened P2 (and track) is the only one now in
use. It looks as though P1 (right) may be similarly treated in future. (All Martin Baumann 15 Oct 2018.)

PREVIOUS PICTURE: Portrush P2 in the other direction, looking back towards Coleraine.

2384] Whitehead: On Thur 25 Oct the International Railway Safety Council visited the RPSI museum by
private charter on CAF unit 3004; the first taking passengers to the RPSI site. BELOW: Matthew Wilson.

2385] Belfast Central: (BLN 1315.2265) The main running in boards were changed to 'the other name'
on 20 Aug. On Fri 26 Oct the 18.15 Bangor to Belfast Central service terminated in P3 instead of P2.
Consequently the 17.35 Larne Harbour to Belfast Great Victoria Street, with your Ireland Editor on
board, unusually used P4 and the Down to Up crossover at the south end of the station on departure.

2386] Portadown: On 27 Aug a large new station car park opened. This has completely covered the
formations of the lines to Omagh/Londonderry and Armagh making future reopening difficult if not
impossible. Although reopening of the Omagh line is extremely unlikely, reopening of Portadown to
Armagh is periodically mentioned as a long term aim by Translink.

2387] Dundalk - Newry: On 21 Apr 1979 a Dundalk to Belfast freight train was hijacked by terrorists
and stopped at about milepost 65. A bomb then destroyed loco 046; some debris was never removed
and a loco roof section remains by the track. It is clearly visible from passing trains on the Down side.

2388] Dublin Pearse: (BLN 1296.71) The first weekend possession for the €17M station roof repairs
project was 27/28 Oct. Subsequent dates of works will be confirmed, with the next weekend work
taking place in late Jan 2019. Work is scheduled to continue until Apr 2020 and a total of 13 weekend
closures will be necessary. has pictures, details and a video from Irish Rail.

2389] Looas? Allilooia! During 'Storm Ali' on 19 Sep there was a loo stop between George's Dock and
Busáras on the LUAS Red Line when a 'Portaloo' type of building suffered from the wind and became a
bit too portable, blowing off on to the tracks. It was removed before the service became bogged down.

2390] Dun Laoghaire: Bay P3 has no booked passenger use since the new timetable began on 9 Sep.

2391] SLW: This operated on the Down Line between Portlaoise and Portarlington on Sat 3 Nov.

2392] Limerick Junction: (BLN 1215.2262) The Down Main is now OOU until the new €3.5M platform is
complete. Its booked trains, 06.15 (SSuX) Cork - Heuston and 14.25 & 16.25 Cork - Heuston plus 13.45
Tralee - Heuston (all SuO) must operate via the current (Up side) bidirectional platform line.

1316 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]

X.160] Upper Douglas Cable Tramway: (BLN 1315.2267) The tramway's second mention in BLN. The
surviving tram, joint No72/73, on the horse tramway. ABOVE: As darkness is falling in 1993, propelled
by a Land Rover! BELOW: The '73' end operating under battery power in 1998. (Both Geoff Brockett.)

2393] Douglas Bay Horse Tramway: (BLN 1314.2191) Sun 21 Oct was the final day of services running
on double track for the entire length between Derby Castle and the Sea Terminal before promenade
works started. An enhanced timetable with special events took place including several runs of double
decker '18', the return to service of enclosed saloon '27' after overhaul and an eight tram cavalcade.

After much past debate including suggestions that the line would close or only run from Derby Castle
to Broadway, with the section to the Sea Terminal permanently closed, it was finally decided to retain
the Derby Castle to Broadway route with a single track on to the Sea Terminal including passing loops;
(with some new track to do). Contracts have finally been signed and all funding is now in place.

The highlight of 21 Oct was an eight tram cavalcade (one more than the MER 125 Cavalcade on 8 Sep)
from Derby Castle to the Sea Terminal and back. Kewin & '1', Douglas & '12', Andrew & '18', William &
'27', Philip & '36', Nelson & '42', Rocky & '44', Torrin and '45' were all in operation. It was also the first
day back in use for saloon 27 which had only returned to Strathallan Depot two days before after its
high quality rebuild at Derby Castle MER sheds (with the initial bodywork taking place at an Isle of Man
joinery firm). In a non-standard livery - very similar to that carried by MER trailer '59' - of Blue, Ivory
and Teak, the tram looks set to turn heads when the tramway runs again in 2019. The final advertised
service, 13.30 from Derby Castle returning from the Sea Terminal at 13.50, was taken by Rocky with
car '36'. As is always the case during special events, double decker '18' was in service at various points
in the day - including with two horses - and it also ran the very last service on the old formation with
Kewin doing the honours. Between the cavalcade and the final 'Ten Pound Special' there was at least
one unadvertised round trip to get cavalcade participants back to the Sea Terminal. It is currently
planned that the Tramway will resume service on 25 Apr 2019 but this may be subject to alteration
depending on the Promenade reconstruction works which have now started. It also isn't known how
far the trams will run in 2019 but it is expected to only be from Derby Castle to Broadway (there could
be some temporary arrangements to do for trams to change lines, then and more later).

1316 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
2394] Larbert: (BLN 1313.1943) On Fri 19 Oct, the 11.02 Larbert to Glasgow Queen Street started
from bidirectional P2, where it had arrived from Edinburgh Waverley, and then travelled in the up
direction along the Down Perth, crossing to the Up Perth at Larbert Jn, controlled by signal ECL 456.

The line north of Larbert was closed for electrification works. Passengers from Larbert towards
Edinburgh Waverley were conveyed by road to Falkirk Grahamston for onward train connections
(although due to the 'cyclical' nature of the service passengers from Falkirk Grahamston to Larbert
could still travel by train!). This was booked for all Larbert to Glasgow trains from 14 until 21 Oct.

2395] Sparks effect for Benhar: The OHLE was due to be energised from Midcalder Jn to Addiewell
TSC (Track Sectioning Cabin), then to Holytown Jn at 06.00 Sun 4 and 12.00 Sun 11 Nov respectively.

2396] Dunkeld & Birnam: At 22.26 on 29 Oct the Dunkeld signaller advised that a track circuit on the
Single line had failed and a noise was heard from the track as the 19.04 Inverness to Inverness rail
head treatment train (RHTT) traversed the section heading south. At 22.55 after a visual assessment of
the line, the signaller advised they had found three rail breaks and multiple sleepers damaged.
S&T and P'Way were on site at 23.15. The RHTT was detained at Perth to allow a fitter to examine it
(67004 and two wagons). At 01.45 the Track Engineer advised that they believed the train had derailed
on trailing No13 points (for the Up Sidings) and re-railed on trailing No16 points (the south end of the
loop) traversing the Up Loop through P1. The fitter reported flats on most of the wheels (having had
new wheels on 27 Oct), and that there was evidence it had definitely de-railed. The RAIB attended.

The first affected train, the 20.15 Inverness to Glasgow on 29 Oct, terminated at Dunkeld & Birnam at
22.38. On 30th buses were provided between Perth and Pitlochry. Repairs were quite complicated and
'hampered' by equipment problems and Single Line Pilotman Working (Stanley Jn - Pitlochry) from
Thu 1st over the normally unidirectional Down Passenger Loop. Normal service resumed on Fri 2 Nov.

BOTH: Benhar Jn in Apr 1980 with a pair of Class 20s on the 'Benhar Branch' to Polkemmet Colliery
(which closed in 1986) in the background; Glasgow is to the left and Edinburgh is right. (Ian Mortimer.)

2398] Aviemore: (BLN 1306.1277) Aviemore Down Refuge Sidings were to be taken out of use from
Mon 5 Nov 2018 until Fri 20 Apr 2019 to facilitate the loop extension and associated signalling works.

[BLN 1316]
2397] Breich: (BLN 1315.2271) At a recent talk attended by a member it was confirmed that the
station, mainly serving a small village, is to have an hourly EMU service from 2019. In view of the poor
past use of the service, perhaps NR/ScotRail should have letters to give out to any non-travelling
Breich public in the style of Staff Disciplinary documents: 'You are charged with the under mentioned
irregularity: that you failed to travel on your expensive new train service after £2.4M had been spent
on it in accordance with the stated desire of the populace to have Breich station kept open!'

X.161] ABOVE: Stirling North Signal Box looking north, it is believed that resignalling from 21 Oct (for
electrification) during the recent closure saw the last semaphore signals replaced by LED colour lights
with the disc shunt signals remaining. On 11 Dec 2017 nearest the camera is the frost covered Down
North Siding, then the Down Main, Up Main and two Centre Sidings to P4 & 5 north bays with hand
points (only used for ECS stabling and stock servicing). Far right are the Down and Up Kincardine lines
from Stirling P6 & 9 to Alloa and Dunfermline (round the bend). The interesting single track link
between the Kincardine and the Highland Main Lines can be seen with the associated trailing crossover
to the Down Main in the distance. All have since been electrified except the North Siding. (Nick Jones.)

2399] Third time lucky, or déjà vu (again): At 09.54 on Sun 21 Oct, the driver of the 09.40 Inverness to
London King's Cross (full length) HST reported that a signal on the Up Main line at Inverness had
reverted from green to red as they approached. The driver was unable to stop and passed the signal at
red. There was no apparent reason for the reversion. However, TPWS activation brought the train to a
stand on the 1:60 gradient and the driver was unable to gain traction to overcome it. As a result, the
train was set back to Inverness to attempt to gain sufficient traction to climb the incline (OK, take a
run at it). Again the HST came to a stand on the gradient and once again set back to Inverness. A third
attempt to ascend the gradient was granted at 11.00 and the train passed Culloden 88 minutes late at
11.16. It was terminated at Edinburgh 89 minutes late at 14.51. A Mobile Operations Manager
confirmed that railhead conditions were no worse than to be expected for the time of the year.

2400] Stirling work: OHLE energisation from Larbert Jn to Dunblane and Alloa was due to take place
on 4 Nov with neutral sections at Larbert Jn (109m 38ch) and Stirling (118m 79ch). No electric traction
was permitted to operate towards Larbert Jn from Carmuirs West or East Jns until further notice.

2401] Perth: On 24 Oct a car transporter carrying Range Rovers struck a railway underbridge at Perth.
Two of the cars were 'converted' into open-tops! The road was closed for about an hour while the
police tidied up the debris. The railway was closed between 08.05 and 08.43.

2402] Grantown-on-Spey East: (BLN 1291.MR201 - multiple pictures in e-BLN) Revack Estate owner
Karen Blessington is behind the £2.2M redevelopment of the derelict former Speyside Line station into
'Grantown East: the Highland Heritage and Cultural Centre'. The station, on the Great North of
Scotland Railway (and now painted in that railway's colours) from Boat of Garten to Craigellachie,
CP from 18 Oct 1965 and the line CA 4 Nov 1968. The last signalman, now 95 years old, James Telfer
dropped the green flag at 13.32 on 2 Nov 2018 exactly 50 years to the minute after the last train ran
on 2 Nov 1968. He was the last person to leave the station. An addition is The Revack Railway, a 7¼"
gauge miniature which can take up to 36 passengers at once over a now open 656yd route (but not on
the original trackbed) and is to be extended to more than ⅝ mile; it has a Lister miniature steam loco.

Perhaps even more eye-catching - certainly for motorists on the nearby A95 - are the two old Mk I
railway carriages on the trackbed between the two platforms dating from 1958 & 1960, converted into
a restaurant. Used as a restaurant in Devon in the 1990s, they ended up at a Stratford-upon-Avon MoD
base where they were purchased from. The Grantown East project planning application, submitted in
Sep 2014, was granted in Dec 2016. Key throughout has been to employ staff from the local area and
Grantown based. AW Laing has been the contractor on the entirely privately funded project.

2403] Fort William On 22 Oct the sleeper was 355 minutes late arriving due to engineering works,
between Dalmuir and Dumbarton, overrunning and adhesion problems from Ardlui to Crianlarich.

2404] Kyle Line: (BLN 1313.2029) A temporary railway signalling system has been operating since
20 Oct allowing road vehicles more time to use the road replacement 'railroad' diversion while
maintaining railway safety. Due to the nearly 18 mile long signalling section, from Kyle of Lochalsh to
Strathcarron, lengthy queues were building up on the road for the 'Single Lane (road) Working'. It had
even been seriously suggested that rail services be replaced by coaches for the duration of the work.

NR has installed temporary stop boards and an automatic warning system for trains approaching
Stromeferry to be brought to a halt before the road diversion which is all of 2ch long (48m 39ch to
48m 41ch). Essentially a section of the line has been turned into a (very) elongated temporary level
crossing. New equipment and additional staff help to reduce the impact of the road closure.
The changes allow far more time for road convoys to operate and closure times should be reduced to
about 20 minutes per train. This is all for work on the rock face above the A890 Stromeferry Bypass.

2405] Inter7City: (BLN 1316.2269) ScotRail has come up with a solution to several problems with their
new HST sets. Bicycles welcome, super fast acceleration, no complaints about uncomfortable seats or
short platform problems; maintenance is cheaper (like running costs) and easier - PTO... (Nick Jones.)

1316 WALES (Chris Parker) [email protected]
2406] New franchise: The handover from ATW to TfW on 14 Oct can truly be termed 'seamless' as
there was little immediate change, not even in staff uniforms! This was evidently much to the
disappointment and disillusionment of some; a TfW manager had to be wheeled out to the media to
'manage expectations'. One innovation which attracted adverse comment in the Marches was the
return of bilingual announcements (or one, at least) to English stations after several years absence.
With a lengthy Welsh version taking precedence, non-Welsh speakers complained that they were kept
listening anxiously for what they assumed to be an important announcement of service disruption.
They were not impressed when what followed was an equally lengthy English translation which boiled
down to 'Welcome to Transport for Wales'! The 17.20 (SSuX) Crewe to Cardiff Central has 48 possible
calls on its 6 hour 17 minute 198m 53ch journey - nonstop announcements even when uni-lingual‽

2407] Timetables: With the start of the new franchise on 14 Oct, reprints of at least numbers 1 to 4 of
the previous Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) timetable booklets have been issued with new covers branded
Trafnidiaeth Cymru/Transport for Wales (TfW) but still dated as valid from 20 May 2018 to confuse
future historians! Unlike their predecessors, there is no electronic version to download, though that
facility is promised for the next timetable change in December. The front covers carry the message:

Welcome to Transport for Wales, your new train operator. Please bear with us as we roll out our new
brand. The timetable information in this booklet remains unchanged and for more information or to
buy tickets, visit our website. All inner pages remain exactly the same as the ATW
booklets, still carrying all their references to ATW including web addresses [oh dear!] - particularly
unfortunate as ATW's website closes completely on 13 Nov after which its home page with a link to
the TfW site will presumably disappear. Whether Booklet 5 (Valley Lines) has had similar treatment is
unconfirmed; ATW had already issued an autumn edition of this valid from 10 Sep (BLN 1314.2180).

X.162] ABOVE: (BLN 1315.2280 with map) Walking on water (well, almost); Llyn Celyn Reservoir and
the trackbed of the Bala - Blaenau F(f)estiniog Central branch looking west towards Arenig on the
1:50 gradient, rising in this direction. (This and the next picture both Chris Parker, 16 Oct 2018.)

ABOVE: Looking west towards the dam (built on the site of Tyddyn Bridge Halt) and Bala. Interestingly
the reservoir is rather fuller than on a 15 Sep visit where it was possible to walk somewhat further.

2408] Class 230s: (BLN 1306.1238): TfW's first 'new' rail vehicles, five Vivarail 3-car diesel/battery
hybrid multiple units converted from Underground 'D78' stock, are now due to come into service on
the Wrexham - Bidston line in summer 2019. They should also see use on the Conwy Valley line but
only as a stopgap for the period 2019-21 pending the introduction of higher spec units. They are to be
maintained at a 'repurposed facility at Wrexham' (the former Wrexham & Shropshire installations in
the easternmost of General's unnumbered pair of south end bay platforms) by locally recruited staff.

2409] Blaenau Ffestiniog: This station is earmarked by TfW for flagship investment, a choice of phrase
possibly inspired by the wind-powered 'Spooner's Boat' (a gravity and wind
powered inspection vehicle with a sail) on the adjacent Ffestiniog Railway. The FR hopes investment
can be dovetailed with the long overdue provision of permanent buildings on its platform here.

2410] ERTMS: The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has published an interesting interim report regarding an incident on 20 Oct 2017. Around 23.00 on the previous night, an
automatic software reset or 'rollover' was triggered when the ERTMS signalling equipment on a train
at Machynlleth station automatically requested a movement authority already allocated to another
train. This occurs 10 to 12 times a year on average and established procedures to resume normal
service were followed. However on this occasion temporary speed restriction (TSR) data for the Coast
line, which ERTMS enforces, failed to reload. Perhaps fortunately (!) all 7 TSRs then in force were for
level crossing sighting rather than engineering reasons as it resulted in the 08.52 Machynlleth -
Pwllheli service passing through a 19mph♣ TSR between Barmouth and Llanaber at about 50mph.

[BLN 1316]
Its driver reported the matter (those of three earlier trains had not!) and several unsuccessful
attempts to reload the data followed. Normal working was eventually resumed at 15.50 after the data
had been removed and manually re-entered as per system provider advice. Additional checks have
since been introduced, including daily verification by local maintenance staff that TSR details are being
transmitted to trains. The RAIB's investigation continues. [ ♣This apparently odd figure is an imperial
conversion from 30km per hour; ERTMS only recognises metric values as noted in BLN 1315.2275.]

2411] Severn Tunnel, pull wire to be pulled: Apart from a brief period in the 1940s (BLN 1315.2278)
for WWII this has always effectively been a long single block section with its own particular hazards.
It therefore has what amounts to a 4¼ mile long communication cord - a pull wire running along the
Down side wall of the tunnel. When operated, this puts the protecting signals to danger and initiates a
visible and audible warning at Wales ROC, also indicating which of the 63 wire sections which make up
the system has been pulled. The Severn Tunnel Pull Wire System was installed at a time (does anyone
know the date?) when reliable communications in tunnel environments were problematic. However
there is now reliable GSM-R radio coverage in the tunnel and OHLE marker information identifying the
location of a train in the event of a failure or emergency can be relayed to the signaller via GSM-R call.

NR is therefore proposing removal of the pull wire on or before 2 Dec 'to reduce the exposure of
maintenance staff to hazardous environments'. In any case it is not compliant for use with the
(presently corroding from disuse!) OHLE system, should it eventually be energised, and would require
replacement with an alternative modern equivalent capable of offering immunisation compliance.
Chipping Sodbury and Cockett tunnel also had manually operated alarm wires to alert the signaller.

2412] Jet off to the Rhondda Tunnel: (BLN 1311.1812) About half the length of the Severn Tunnel, this
had no pull wire system but was evidently just as hazardous! It was closed prematurely because of its
(alleged) condition and, having seen supporting photographic evidence, your Regional Ed has had to
suspend his disbelief at the present proposals to reopen it for cyclists and walkers.

A local member has provided further recollections of it, the last of his several journeys being the most
memorable. On a date lost in the mists of time he arrived at the then Neath General from the Vale of
Neath line and caught the 2.35pm train to Treherbert via Aberavon (Seaside) and Cymmer Afan, as
you do, shown in the timetable as a through train to Cardiff General. A 6-car DMU, It left on time from
the Up Bay platform despite being too long for it! This was during a heatwave so all the drop windows
were open; indeed it was pleasantly cool entering the Rhondda Tunnel. Part way through, a high speed
jet of water from the tunnel wall shot through the open window and all over him! Thankfully he dried
out quickly after leaving the tunnel and enjoyed an uneventful journey onward to Cardiff.

2413] Aberystwyth - Carmarthen (BLN 1308.1481): The feasibility study report into reopening was
published on 19 Sep. Here's what you get for £330k. Overall it contains few
surprises, but in identifying eight major geographical challenges which would need to be faced it omits
one very obvious one - a difficult and expensive replacement route into Aberystwyth! It does also note
that TfW's promised replacement higher spec rolling stock would be essential to cope with the long
1:44 Trawscoed bank and estimates that an end to end journey time of 85min (once well over 2 hours)
would be possible with stations at Llanilar, Tregaron, Lampeter, Llanybydder and Pencader.

Estimated capital cost of the 56 mile line is £775M but low levels of local population and, therefore,
economic activity are seen as restricting likely demand, giving an estimated benefit to cost ratio of
(even allowing for the usual underestimates of such reports) a poor 0.43; it is readily apparent that the
scheme does not present a positive economic case. As such the scheme is only likely to be progressed in
regard to wider societal needs and strategic aims. Undaunted, the campaign group Traws Link Cymru
Chairman responded It clearly shows that this project is not pie in the sky and all now depends on the
political will from the Welsh and UK governments - who by late Oct still had yet to comment!

However, similarly positive reactions have come from their local members. If it does come to pass,
there is the prospect of some Manchester Piccadilly to Milford Haven services operating over the only
part of the Manchester & Milford Railway ever to carry regular traffic, Aberystwyth-Pencader Jn (site).

2414] Valley Lines: The draft Transport and Works Act Order for transfer of lines from NR to TfW is
surprising in that the applicant for the lease is the new franchise operator, Keolis Amey Cymru, (but as
intended does include an infrastructure company). All Valley Lines except Barry, Penarth, Vale of
Glamorgan and Ebbw Vale are included as are the remaining active and mothballed freight lines which
branch from them and also the South Wales Main Line between Cardiff Central and Cardiff East Jn.
2415] Shrewsbury: From 26 Nov, NR will carry out repairs to the P4-7 canopies inclusive. On 14 Dec
refurbishment of the Dana footbridge which carries a right of way above the station begins when it
closes to pedestrians, with a diversionary route in place. Work is expected to be complete by summer
2019. These are listed structures and the canopy work is part-funded by the Railway Heritage Trust.

2416] North Wales Coast: On the
Shotton - Colwyn Bay section (both
exclusive), which was resignalled at the
end of March, a considerable number of
redundant signals are still in situ; colour
lights bagged over and semaphores with
arms (but not the spectacle castings)
removed. One member is surprised that
removal of these assets was not part of
the job and wonders if they are going to
be removed or just left as a maintenance
liability. He points out that when signal
posts are left to rot, they have a habit of
falling down and blocking lines, as on
17 Nov 2014 at
Newbury. This is not great when train
detection is by axle counters rather than
track circuits! Potentially harmful armless
semaphore posts left for years beside
operational lines are nothing new, of
course; in North Wales your Regional Ed
particularly remembers them at Betws-y-
Coed and Denbigh in the late 1960s.

LEFT: Armless fun at Holywell Junction.

2417] Oswestry: Shropshire Council (SC)
has transferred (donated) the Grade II
listed station building freehold to Oswestry Station Building Trust (OSBT), an independent body
working alongside Cambrian Heritage Railways. The building houses railway displays, a pharmacy,
offices and Buffers Restaurant which only opens for special events. It was restored in 2006 by the
former Oswestry Borough Council but now requires roof and other repairs costing an estimated £650k.
OSBT has already had preliminary discussions with Heritage Lottery Fund and is looking at creating
educational interpretation and making parts of the building available to schools and businesses,
possibly for corporate events with railway experiences combined. It has requested a £30k grant from
SC to help secure other funding.

2418] Rebranding: (BLN 1313.2042): A new nameboard design with different typeface and small TfW
logo on a white background with red strip along the top edge is being trialled at Wrexham General.

ABOVE: The now disused Up Goods Loop and Up Siding are far left, with the Down Goods Loop far
right (don't get down if you didn't do it). The decommissioned Grade 2 listed signal box is seen in the
centre background. (Nick Jones).

2419] Amlwch: (BLN 1315.2282) The span removed after the bridge strike is reported to remain in the
contractor's yard at Gwalchmai (between Llangefni and Valley) awaiting NR's decision as to its future.
Although concerned, the chairman of Lein Amlwch (the Anglesey Central Railway support group) is
optimistic that it will not directly affect the restoration scheme which is confined to north of Llangefni.

On Thur 11 Oct, our very peripatetic photographer member, in the area for our signal box visits the
following day, set out to visit some locations along the branch. From Gaerwen Level Crossing it was
easy to work out where the branch left the main line by the remaining Down-facing disc on the Up
Line. This marked the branch connection points but these have been plain-lined and the overgrowth
beside the Up Main gives no trace that rails may remain underneath. He stopped at the overbridges
near the start of the branch (SH 4802 7071) & (SH 4738 7080). It was just possible to make out rails but
again the vegetation is very dense. He continued beneath Llangefni underbridge (SH 4586 7544) just
hours before the lorry strike occurred! It was then still intact but fenced off both ends.

ABOVE: The site of Gaerwen Jn which was
off right just before the semaphore signal;
the branch ground disc signal is still in situ
between the two tracks - looking towards
Holyhead. Picture taken from Gaerwen
public level crossing. (All contemporary
pictures taken by Nick Jones 11/12 Oct
2018 unless specified.)

LEFT: 1960 One-inch 7th Series showing the
Amlwch branch junction. Gaerwen station
closed to passenger traffic 14 Feb 1966.

Llangefni is the largest intermediate town
on the branch and has been proposed by
the Welsh Assembly for reopening to
passengers, with an hourly DMU service to
Bangor. The yard is now a large car park.
The station buildings remain intact, with at
least part of the main building in
residential use. The old goods shed is 'The Last Trading Post' furniture shop. A footpath leads from the
northwest corner of the car park and the railway boundary fence is missing. The Afon Cefni
underbridge (SH 4564 7588) is intact, with rails, but has no deck and is securely fenced off. Looking
back south from here, the station platform can be seen. Dense vegetation then covers the line to
about SH 451 765 beyond which it is clear with the Lon Las Cymru cycle path on its west side.

ABOVE: Approaching Llangefni station, platform left - honestly (!) - with the B5109 overbridge beyond.

ABOVE: The other side of Llangefni station with the B5109 overbridge on the left.
BELOW: Llangefni Goods Shed.

[BLN 1316]

ABOVE: Llangefni, railway bridge (SH 4564 7587) looking through the track to the Afon Cefni (river).

At the edge of Cefni Reservoir it is crossed by a footpath level crossing (SH 4472 7736). The railway
causeway north of here is evidently well-used as a footpath, providing a means of crossing the
reservoir. This path continues north to SH 4450 7792 where it crosses another footpath. North of here
minor vegetation clearance has apparently recently taken place, to the cattle creep (SH 4436 7832)
beyond which the line is blocked by a fence and extensive vegetation. Our member therefore did not
visit the section through Llangwyllog, although the Lein Amlwch group has recently carried out a major
vegetation clearance project on part of it.

NEXT PAGE TOP: The bridge and causeway over the Cefni Reservoir which all date from 1951

NEXT PAGE LOWER: Llangwyllog station building (7m 10ch). (Angus McDougall 1 Sep 2017)

ABOVE Rhosgoch, Shell Ground Frame and the connection (further away line) to the former oil depot.

Beyond Rhosgoch at Shell Ground Frame (15m 51ch from Gaerwen Jn) there was a trailing connection
with an oil terminal private siding on the west side. The ground frame is intact as is most of the track
as far as the Shell boundary fence, although a few short sections have been disturbed by what appears
to be recent laying of gas pipes. Inside the fence, track has been mostly lifted although a few rail
sections survive. The ad-hoc nature of the lifting suggests it may have been done 'unofficially'!

At Amlwch itself, the run-round loop (originally a 4-road exchange yard) survives immediately west of
the A5025 level crossing (the first of four in the town). Immediately north is the old station site, now a
caravan dealership. The old goods shed survives and is presumably used by the caravan business.

All four level crossings in Amlwch retain rails, and gates survive at the two that originally had them
(marked 'G' in TRACKmaps Book 3, Jun 2018.) Approaching the former Octel works, a footpath crosses
the line (SH 4461 9333). From here the Loco Holding Siding can still be seen diverging to the left just
before the line reaches the terminal gate. The works, falling into dereliction, is still securely fenced but
through the gate it can be seen that all track in the terminal beyond the weighbridge has been lifted.
The works closed in Mar 2004; has a full history. CP from 7 Dec 1964, the last
freight train on the branch ran on 11 Oct 1993 with a final tour on 16 Oct 1993.

NEXT PAGE TOP: Amlwch goods shed almost looks like a chapel.

NEXT PAGE LOWER: One of the four level crossings in the town.

ABOVE: Associated Octel internal railway Jun 1989, with wagons far middle right.
(All historical pictures by Ian Mortimer.) BELOW: The same location in Oct 2018.

ABOVE: The weighbridge just inside the gate looking seaward. BELOW: A branch crossing in 1989.

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