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Published by membersonly, 2018-04-07 03:10:02


8th July 2017

Issue Number 1284 (Items 1343 - 1444 I&ssMueRN1u1m1b-eMr 1R216281) (E-BLN 57 PAGES) 8 July 2017


Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society (founded 1955)

Membership Enquiries: [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677
British Isles news from members;7a2n8i6n7te7rnational section is also available.
Opinions herein are not necessarily those of the Compilers or the Society.

BLN 1285 is dated Sat 22 July; contSriobcuiettiyo.nSsocmieutys.t be received by Wed 12 July.

Paper BLN 1285 is expected to be delivered on Sat 22 July and e-BLN 1295 is out Fri evening 21 July.

Date Event Details BLN Lead Status

Sat 15/7/17 The Pickering Paxman HST; IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW 1282 KA OPEN

Sat 22/7/17 18.00 - 20.30 Loughborough to Mountsorrel with PLEG 1283 AW OPEN

Sat 29/7/17 Signal box visits, Bury St Edmunds & West Anglia area 1283 NG OPEN

27 to 30/7/17 Scottish Minor Railways Update in BLN 1280.931 1272 TV Enquire

Fri 4 to 5/8/17 Northumberland (Park) Nocturnal Navigator 23.59 - 05.30 1279 KA OPEN

Sun 20/8/17 *NEW* Yorkshire Minor Railways visits - 09.00 see below 1284 AS *OPEN*

Sat 2/9/17 The 565 Special, NW England - SW Wales Update BLN 1281 1280 KA OPEN

Sat 9/9/17 … Greendale Rocket; Heartlands Park/Princess Royal Centre 1282 JE OPEN

Sun 10/9/17 MR Fixture & Sandbach - Alsager railway walk (afternoon) TBA TBA Claimed

Fri 22/9/17 Swindon & Cricklade Railway 12.00 Track & traction tour TBA TBA Claimed

Fri 22/9/17 *NEW* Conducted signal box visit to Liverpool Lime Street 1284 BC OPEN

Sat 23/9/17 Southeastern Metrolander; 07.30 -20.00 with SE Trains 1283 JE OPEN

7 & 8/10/17 BLS Animal tracker: Minor Railway weekend Beds & Bucks TBA TBA Claimed

Wed 25/10/17 Morning & afternoon guided Ashover Light Railway walks TBA TBA Claimed

AS-Alan Sheppard, AW-Andrew Wilson, BC- Barney Clark, JE-Jill Everitt, KA-Kev Adlam, NG-Nick Garnham, TV-Terry Velvick.

1343] The Pickering Paxman .UPDATE. Sat 15 Jul: First Class is full. With huge thanks to EMT and the

Etches Park Depot team, our tour will be hauled from Derby (05.30) to Etches Park Depot by EMT's
own 08899 and the NR yellow liveried 08417 (both confirmed). The 8-car HST is booked to traverse the
Old Carriage Wash Road, and return by the Pilot Siding (neither covered before by our tours) then the
Goods Lines (avoiding Derby station and partly closing in Dec) and St Mary's crossover, under its own
power. Next Chesterfield P3 at 06.52 (estimate) & Sheffield as booked. Special advance fares: Derby -
Etches Park depot - Chesterfield single £29 or Derby - York return is £39 (for the Wensleydale Railway
event, Class 60 expected). Standard class fares from £69 (no extra cost for those already booked) for
the whole day including the extra track, shunters, through to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and
Whitby (P2). Participants who prefer an extra hour in bed rather than enjoy the rare lines and locos
can travel with the compliments of EMT on the 06.27 Meridian train from Derby to Chesterfield P1
(06.45)! The Whitby visit is now AFTER Pickering. The original booking form (BLN 1282) can be used
but please make it clear if booking part fares, names of all participants etc. Https:// is a
new one which is also available with the e-BLN email. Please help to publicise and fill this special trip.
TOUR RAFFLE: There are 25 prizes including four different cab rides (full list with this e-BLN email).

ABOVE: 08899 in a previous livery with 08417 (Mark Coney). BELOW: In its new livery (Martin Ward).

1344] BLS Sales: 'Platform 5' UK Metro and Light Rail Systems including London Underground: This
replaces and adds to the listings previously in the Platform 5 Pocket book 'EMUs'; RRP £17.95. £14 if
reserved by midnight Mon 10 Jul, collected and paid for on our 15 Jul railtour or £16 posted. Also
(hopefully) Tram Atlas Mitteleuropa covering the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. RRP
£17.95, our price £16; please indicate interest for both to Mark Gomm, Sales Officer, (back page).

1345] The Rothley Rodder, Sat 22 Jul: (BLN 1283.1235) While bookings remain open for this tour from
Loughborough (GCR) through to Mountsorrel with other interesting track too, please note that the
£10 advance purchase day rover 'add on' to the tour ticket is now only available to buy until 11 Jul.

1346] Wolds Way Lavender Railway, Sun 20 Aug 09.00: (MR p22) Kentrail Enthusiasts Group Track
Plans Vol 3 (BLN 1220.MR190) Wintringham, Malton, YO17 8HW, (SE 874744).
A tour (or two) before public running starts at 10.00 of this unique 7¼" gauge line, which used to carry
the cut lavender. Workshop Siding, turntable, Wood Siding, Flower Drying Siding, run round loop,
dead end (dead head?) siding, some now disused, and the public run. £10 includes admission, the
tour, hot drinks and scones. Cheques: 'Branch Line Society' to Alan Sheppard (with e-mail address or
SAE), 186 Anlaby Park Road South, Hull, HU4 7BU. Please advise if you can provide/require lifts (how
many and where from). Queries: [email protected] After it is intended to visit the 7¼" Cedarbarn
Railway (MR p21) Pickering (runs 11.00-15.00) where special arrangements might be possible and the
standard gauge Yorkshire Wolds Railway at Fimber (MR p9) - the present run is to become a siding.

1347] The Greendale Rocket, Sat 9 Sep: Booking form: BLN 1282, or
on our website. This tour from Burton-upon-Trent, Tamworth, Birmingham New Street/
International and Milton Keynes is as advertised with some track believed never used by
passenger trains before: Hams Hall Departure Line from the east (crossovers before and
after), also in the Washwood Heath, Heartlands Park and Wembley areas etc. As our 'Cat &
Dock' report shows 'on the day extras' can be expected. One of the Caldeonian Sleeper AC
locos is now booked between New Street and Wembley rather than 86259, 'Les Ross'.

X.103] Liverpool Lime Street box visit, Fri 22 Sep: Thanks to Barney Clark, expressions of interest are
invited, date confirmed, details to be advised. BLS members only, limited numbers; an on the day cash
charity donation applies. High-vis orange jacket required. Bookings/queries (note underscore) to
Barney at: [email protected] or 1 Onslow Rd, Richmond, TW10 6QH with two SAEs.

1348] Southeastern Metrolander, Sat 23 Sep: (Details BLN 1283 or on website.) UPDATE: It will be
possible to join/leave this tour at London Victoria where the break is roughly 13.00 to 13.45.

1349] ‫ الأردن‬Jordan (dʒɔːrdən) again! (BLN 1284.1332) Https:// is a link to Simon
Mortimer's 'Flickr' gallery of our railtour with 279 photos and, at the end, 19 short videos with sound.

BELOW: The recent BLS/LCGB Jordan tour, a group photo at Aqaba Port (Andy Davis 14 May 2017).

1350] South Devon Railway, Totnes: (BLN 1283 1239) Totnes Riverside featured in the railway's
leaflets from ROP 5 Apr 1969 (as the Dart Valley Railway). Over the years its name has varied in similar
material and in 1978 it was advertised as just Riverside. By the following year that had become
Riverside (Totnes) with several variations after. When heritage trains stopped using the BR Totnes
station from 1989, the station was renamed Littlehempston and became Littlehempston Riverside in
1992 and Totnes (Littlehempston) in 1994. Several derivatives of this name existed until the 2016
timetable where it was called Totnes Littlehempston. The 2017 timetable now has Totnes (Riverside)!

1351] Nene Valley Railway (NVR), Ferry Meadows station: Renamed 'Overton for Ferry Meadows' in
the public timetable and on the name board from 1 Jan 2017 with a ceremony on 1 Jun 2017 as part of
the NVR 40th anniversary celebrations. LMSR 4-6-0 46100 'Royal Scot' was on hand visiting for the
anniversary. This is the fourth name carried by the station. OP 2 Jun 1845 as Overton, it was renamed
Orton Waterville on 1 Aug 1913 and CP 5 Oct 1942 (regular timetabled services) CG 28 Dec 1964.
The station ROP as Ferry Meadows 27 May 1978 on the NVR (the line through it ROP 4 Jun 1977).

1352] Margam East Jn - Ogmore Vale Extension - Margam Abbey Works East Jn - Margam Moors Jn:
TCP Wed 19 Apr to 25 Jun 2017 (incl); the 03.52 (SSuX) Swansea to Paddington PSUL that is booked to
use it ran main line. It was TCA at the west end due to a failed point that was plain lined (see 'Wales').

1353] Heald Green North Jn - Heald Green South Jn: (BLN 1281.1028) TCP again Mon 22 May 2017
due to further points failure at the former (see NW section); passenger trains diverted via Stockport.

1354] LUL Circle Line and H&C lines, (BLN 1283.1243 update) Following the Grenfell Tower fire near
Latimer Road station: On 14 Jun Praed Street Jn to Hammersmith (incl) was closed all day; normal
service ran on 15th & 16th. On 17th the line closed after 11.15. From 18 to 25 Jun 2017 (incl) a 15 minute
frequency shuttle service ran between Hammersmith and Wood Lane using both tracks reversibly
(relevant points locked), with the signalling operating in the normal direction of travel and 'Restricted
Manual Operation' in the other direction. Praed Street Jn - Wood Lane (excl) and five intermediate
stations: TCP after 11.15 on 17 Jun until 25 Jun 2017 due to concerns about collapse and falling debris.

1355] Immingham West Jn - Killingholme (2m 01ch): (BLN 1280.942) On 22 Jun a DBC working from
Doncaster Up Decoy Yard made a ballast drop, it was on the branch from around 11.00 to 16.00.

1356] London Underground, Lancaster Gate station (Central Line): (BLN 1272.18) ROP 26 Jun after
TCP since 4 Jan 2017 for lift replacement. (Previously TCP 3 Jul to 13 Nov 2006 for lift modernisation.)

1357] Tulse Hill Jn - West Norwood Jn and Bromley Jn - Birkbeck (incl) - Beckenham Junction (excl):
TCP 29 Jun 2017 (London Bridge to Beckenham Junction service) - ASLEF 'Southern' overtime ban.

1358] Fort William Oil Terminal: (BLN 1279.819) A Colas Class 56 trial train from Grangemouth Ineos
ran Sun 2 Jul with discharged empties returning Mon 3 Jul; previous train 28 Mar 2017 (DBC worked).
A link to a picture of the train on the way to Fort William (and see later…).

1359] Blackburn King Street DMU Depot: (BLN 1278.743) On Monday 3 July 2017 the track was
commissioned and a connection (10m 08ch) to the Down Through Siding; renamed 'King Street Siding'.

1360] South Tynedale Railway, Lintley Halt (exclusive) - Slaggyford station (incl): (BLN 1282.1136)
The railway expects the 1½ mile extension to ROP Tue 25 Jul 2017 (private event 24th Jul), a week later.

1361] Redcar Central (excl) - Saltburn (incl) and Redcar East, Longbeck & Marske: (BLN 1281.1035)
Amendment: TCP Fri 28 Jul to Tue 1 Aug 2017 (incl) for relaying of Saltburn West Jn. The new layout
will give priority to the Boulby branch rather than Saltburn and eliminates an interesting layout at the
junction. Redcar Central crossover will be used by turning back passenger trains to Darlington etc.

1362] Saltburn West Jn - Skinningrove/Boulby: TCG Fri 28 Jul to Tue 1 Aug 2017 (incl) - previous item.

1363] Westerleigh Jn - Wooton Bassett Jn: TCP/TCA 19 Aug to 15 Sep 2017 extends to: Patchway Jn /
Filton Jn - Stoke Gifford Jn - Westerleigh Jn - Yate (excl) / Wootton Bassett Jn and Bristol Parkway:
TCP/TCA 2 until 15 Sep 2017 for works on the new platform at Bristol Parkway and electrification.

1364] Filton West Jn - Stoke Gifford Jn: TCG/TCA 2 until 15 Sep 2017 as a result of the previous entry.

1365] Breich: NR is proposing closure of this station on the Shotts line with
only 138 recorded journeys in 2015/16. Trains: (SuX) 08.04 to Edinburgh and 18.38 to Glasgow Central.

1366] BLN 1283: The paper edition achieved a new record size of 36 pages (23,859 words), 532 copies
were printed; for the first time ever e-BLN (free with paper BLN) went out to 1,000 email addresses.

1367] BLN PERIODIC QUIZ (3): The stations/features below may be open, closed or abandoned…
1: The Society ran railtours 'The Intrinsic Treacle Eater' in 1986 and 'The Devonport Docker' in 1994.

What was especially significant about these tours?
2: Which branches had trains known locally by these name: Billy, Bumper, Dandy, Dodger & Donkey?
3: Many stations were, at some stage, designated as 'for' somewhere. Which stations were 'for':
…..Deddington, Llay, Ferndown, Kinlochleven, Sandringham, Pwllheli Holiday Camp?
4: What was unique about North British Glen locomotive No62467 in its class?
5: Which is the odd one out: Barnoldswick, Brixham, Eye, Methven, Moffat, or Uppingham?
6: What started in Milton, was often defaced, finished nationally (BR) at Emerson Park, and is now
…..used only on Heritage etc lines?
7: Which town had three passenger
…..stations and three engine sheds
…..with the same suffixes in BR days?
8: What is common to steam locos (BR
…..Nos) 5070, 32331, 46256 & 60119?
9: Only two of this type of loco were
…..built into BR ownership. One was
…..A1A-A1A and the other Co-Co.
…..What were their numbers?
10: RIGHT: Where is this? [Quiz set by
…… Robert Green answers in BLN 1285.]

1368]: Please Resume Your Seats! BLN 1282.1178 asked members if anybody else had been able to
complete a scheduled end to end journey on a normal service train using the same seat but having to
leave the train for an ECS move meaning it was not possible to rejoin at the original alighting point.
Needless to say our members rose (from their seats) to the challenge...

 On Sun 4 Jun, owing to a shortage of train crew (guard), 1M46 ('Dalesrail' Preston to Carlisle via
Hellifield) terminated at Clitheroe and continued as a very short term planning service operated ECS
5M46 Clitheroe to Hellifield (the rarest bit too!). There it resumed as 1T46 Hellifield to Carlisle.
Meanwhile a road coach conveyed passengers between Clitheroe and Hellifield to re-join the train.

A member once caught the 06.12 Worcester Shrub Hill to Stratford-upon-Avon via Birmingham
Snow Hill which incidentally has 32 intermediate stops (every one except Bordesley), some by request.
On leaving Droitwich Spa, and after the doors had been locked, it was announced that due to a failed
freight train on the Kidderminster line it would run non-stop to Birmingham New Street instead (bad
luck if anyone wanted Hartlebury etc!). Being a well powered Class 172 DMU it shot up the Lickey and
made very good time indeed. After New Street it ran ECS and recessed before resuming the booked
path at Tyseley (our member beat it there on a Dorridge train from Moor Street and rejoined). This
was fortunate as otherwise many children would have been late for school in Stratford-upon-Avon.

At Banbury (old layout) a train to Marylebone once arrived on P3 out of sequence with the earlier-
timed southbound CrossCountry departure behind. Passengers were required to leave the Chiltern
unit which shunted ECS into bay P4, where they could reboard (thanks!) as the CrossCountry passed.

Another member offers walking over the footbridge and rejoining the same train (a Cl 158 intended
to do Plymouth to Penzance), although unscheduled as it was turned back to Plymouth at Saltash, and
had to run over a crossover not passed for passenger use (apparently). The GWR main line was closed
further west due to signalling problems; he had to amuse himself elsewhere for the rest of the day.

In a similar vein, recently your GS caught a Class 378 at Headstone Lane for Euston. Noting people
waiting on the slow line platform at Harrow & Wealdstone, he left the 378 and crossed over to
immediately catch a Southern Cl 377/2 to Wembley Central (extra 'haulage'). This ran non-stop for a
brisk walk to the DC platforms to rejoin the same 378 to his intended destination, Willesden Junction.

Not scheduled end to end, but in BR days a
single car DMU used to run in service early from
Plymouth to Liskeard main line to form the first
branch train from Liskeard bay P3 to Looe.
The ECS bit was the frustrating part (as indeed it
has been on most railtours to Looe)! In 1974 your
Editor asked the driver if he could stay on as he
was doing a two week 'All Line Rover'. The driver
asked to see his ticket (because he had never
seen one before) .… "Well it does say 'All Lines' ….
You had better stay on!" he said, so the converse
of our original contributor's suggestion applied in
this case! LEFT: 1961 One-Inch 7th series OS map.

1369] Points & Slips: ●BLN 1283.1238] Also previously in BLN since 27 Dec 2016, delete the last entry
of the 'Significant Passenger Suspensions' table, (London Bridge) Spa Road - Bricklayers Arms Jn which
effectively ROP 27 Dec 2016 as a through route with the first part of the Bermondsey Diveunder.
On 4 Sep 2017, connections between Kent and Sussex lines reopen. ●1239] On the South Devon
Railway Ashburton Junction signal box was commissioned in May 2016 (not 2017). ●1252] Loco 20066
(No82) left Scunthorpe Steel Works for Hope Cement Works on 15 Feb 2016, so would have been
there during our railtour of Sat 23 Feb 2013. Does anyone on that tour know if it was seen from the
tour please? ●X.94] The back references to this item in e-BLN about the Clipstone triangle should have
been (BLNs 1260.1293 & 1277.614). ●1269] Barking - Gospel Oak: The line was closed Sundays 4 Jun
until 2 Jul and then additionally on Saturdays from 8 until 23 Jul. (This is the Gospel truth.)

Item ●1283] With regard to the 'New Found Out' siding - there are quite a few pubs in the country of
that name and it has also been used for new coal seams. ●1298] Our 1957 'The Yorkshireman' railtour
map was misformatted by the Editor in e-BLN 1283 sent out on 22 Jun (with apologies to Dave
Cromarty, the cartographer). The correct version was substituted the following morning and is
repeated (in the otherwise unchanged e-BLN 1283) with e-BLN 1284 for anyone who has the incorrect
one. ●MR104] Our Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway tour was on 6 Nov 2015 (not 2016).

Item ●1330] The green heritage bus 'KYY 957' used between Epping, North Weald and return on our 4
Nov 2016 Epping Ongar Railway fixture was an AEC (Associated Equipment Company) 'RT' Regent III
RT3228 (so now you know!), not a Routemaster.

1370] Sleaford: A new mosaic has been installed at the station, designed by local artist Louise Hill,
using work by pupils from Ancaster School based on their local knowledge, funded by Sustrans and the
Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership. The station footbridge is due to be refurbished over the
summer. The 100 space, barrier-controlled Grantham Road car park can now be accessed from 06.00
daily, with parking available late into the night for only £2 daily and free on Sundays. The extended
opening responds to the early departure of the first train, as its proximity to the station and low cost
make it ideal for commuters and rail passengers. After 18.00 the barrier is closed to incoming cars but
raises to let cars out. The nearest alternative car park is alongside the station at Station Rd at £5 a day.

1371] Market Harborough: (BLN 1283.1260) NR held a drop in session about the improvement work
on 27 Jun. The Market Harborough Railway Association also held a 'New Station Presentation' on 5 Jul,
with four NR guests. The cost of the (descoped) upgrade, which began on 3 Jul, has now risen to £54M.
Stage 1 is construction of the new eastern car park, initially 300 spaces, on the opposite side of the line
to the current car park, accessed by a new road on that side of the railway bridge. Stage 2, due to be
finished by the end of 2017 (Heroic!), is constructing the new straighter alignment west of the existing
tracks and the start of station works, including a new footbridge with lifts between the two extended
platforms. Stage 3 involves a blockade to connect the new alignment and complete the station works.
Extra platform shelters will be built, and 200 spaces added to the new car park. The main ticket office
will remain where it is, in the Grade II listed Victorian building, with more ticket machines. Disruption
to rail users should be minimal - no more than two weekends in spring 2019; most of the work can be
done alongside the operational railway. Stage 4 is completion of station works and larger car park.

1372] Charing Cross LU: (BLN 1272.46) The Northern Line ticket hall reopened on Monday 26 Jun, with
Night Tube services calling again from the night of Friday 30 Jun.

1373] Paddington: (BLN 1283.1263] Shortening P11 available length was delayed from 8 May to 3 Jul.

1374] Gunnersbury: On 23 Jun a member on a westbound District Line train made a quick revision to
his plans when the Train Operator announced that it would be terminating at Gunnersbury instead of
Richmond, as it was 20 minutes late. Having griced the crossover on the return from Gunnersbury, he
returned to Turnham Green to find another train would be turning short at Gunnersbury. In addition
some westbound Piccadilly Line trains were running over the District Line track. Your Regional Editor
also noted a westbound Piccadilly Line train on the District Line at Hammersmith recently and suggests
this may be to reduce congestion at Acton Town caused by Piccadilly Line crew changes.

1375] Stockwell: (BLN 1278.719) On the first of the booked diversions to Stockwell of the 06.54 SuO
from High Barnet, the train reversed in Kennington siding as normal and on the next two occasions it
used Kennington loop, as subsequently when booked to reverse at Stockwell. However on 25 Jun it
did run per the Timetable Notice and reverse at Stockwell, using the crossover on its north departure.

1376] Thameslink: (BLN 1283.1270) The service through London Bridge to Charing Cross will be
suspended from Sat 24 Aug to Sat 2 Sep inclusive. Work to be undertaken will see P6 at London Bridge
brought into use as a Down 'Charing Cross' platform and commissioning of the final alignment of the
Charing Cross lines between London Bridge and New Cross. They will be designated 6 Down,
7 Reversible and 8 Up as far as Spa Road Jn, then Down Kent Fast and Up Kent Fast passing through
the Bermondsey dive under. The temporary facing crossover on the London side of London Bridge
that currently allows Down trains to access P8 will be removed. Up to Down turnback arrangements
will be provided in P7-9 and mid-platform signals in P6 and 7 for Down direction working; they already

exist in P8 and 9 for Up trains. Connections between the Kent and Sussex lines will also be restored
between London Bridge and Spa Road Jn. From Mon 4 Sep contra-peak trains will resume calls at
London Bridge. Whether SE's Hastings trains diverted via Redhill for 'normal' engineering work will
revert to Charing Cross is not known. Remaining OOU for commissioning over Xmas/New Year will be:

 P1 and 2 for passenger use.
 P3 to 5, which are disconnected from the operational tracks and will become: (P3) Up Cannon

Street, (P4) Down Thameslink and (P5) Up Thameslink.
 3 Line London Bridge to New Cross, most of which has been the temporary Down Charing Cross and

will be converted back to the Up Cannon Street.
 4 Line, likewise for conversion from the temporary Up Charing Cross to Down Thameslink.
 5 Line, to be the Up Thameslink.
 The Southwark Reversible from Spa Road to North Kent East Jn.
 Sussex Fast lines between Spa Road and Bricklayers Arms Jn.

No2 Line and London Bridge P2 will be converted back to the Cannon Street Reversible (Up only at the
moment). During work on the Cannon Street and Thameslink sections of London Bridge station,
Duke Street Hill and Tooley Street, which run along the north side of the railway, have been closed
eastbound. TfL's website gives their reopening date as Feb 2018.

As previously reported (BLN 1280.948), from Tue 29 Aug to Fri 1 Sep, some Southeastern services will
be diverted to Waterloo International via the Stewarts Lane flyover between Linford Street Jn and
Nine Elms Jn. These can easily be found in RTT by searching for 'SE trains' at London Waterloo.
The diverted trains are those that normally run between Ashford and Charing Cross via Tonbridge,
advertised non-stop between Sevenoaks and Waterloo and running via Lewisham and Nunhead.
They will make an unadvertised call at Denmark Hill (not Peckham Rye as previously reported) for
drivers' route conductors to join or alight and are booked to run via the Windsor Reversible in and out
of Waterloo. No platform is shown but they are expected to use P21. Guards do not need conducting
as, from Sevenoaks inwards, trains run under DOO conditions. It is not clear how SE trains will be
dispatched from Waterloo as SWT station staff are not trained in DOO working. GBRf locomotives
have been seen on Stewarts Lane flyover, so it is assumed that their drivers will be conducting.

Hastings trains are diverted to Victoria, non-stop to/from Orpington via Herne Hill; this is unusual as
diverted services normally run via the Catford loop. Many of the foregoing services have very poor
paths, with journey times to match. For example, Down Hastings trains are looped at Kent House to be
overtaken. Tunbridge Wells trains will run to Cannon Street, calling at all stations to New Cross via
Lewisham; these replace both Sevenoaks and Orpington local services, which are halved in frequency.
Orpington to Victoria local services are retimed to accommodate diverted trains. Several of the
running lines are shown wrongly for the diverted trains. First trains to London will run somewhat later
than normal, unless early trains are omitted in error.

1377] Waterloo: (BLN 1279.857) The former International platforms were recommissioned from 3 Jul.
P20-24 are connected to the Windsor Lines at International Jn by bidirectional Windsor Relief Lines
1 & 2. Arrival into these platforms is from the Up Windsor Line via either Windsor Relief Lines 1 or 2 or
from the Windsor Reversible Line via Windsor Relief Line 2. Departure from these platforms is from
either the Windsor Relief Line 1 to the Down Windsor Fast Line or via the Windsor Relief Line 2 to the
Windsor Reversible. There is also an unelectrified North Siding accessed from Windsor Relief Line 2.

New platform lengths allow for trains up to 246m in length after making allowance for a 2m buffer
stop stand back, a 1m allowance for combining and splitting and provision of adequate sighting of the
platform starter signals. Permissive working is permitted in all platforms. The same official notice
giving the starting date of these changes also states that traction current has been energised between
Linford Street Jn and Nine Elms Jn, so presumably this line had been unavailable to electric trains. Note
this is an interim phase; the tracks are to be shortened at the London end to enlarge the concourse.

1378] Hartlepool Bay Platform P? (E-BLN 1270.X.186) After our excellent AV Dawson Middlesbrough
railtours on Sun 25 Jun some 16 members could be found on the 17.55 (SuO) arrival at Hartlepool.
This did indeed run into the bay platform at the latter to reverse (with thanks to those who made it
happen). 'Left to chance', it happened on exactly half of the previous eight Sundays - there is no reason
why the train cannot turn back on the through platform, nearer the station entrance, because it is
booked to return to Darlington five minutes later with no conflicting workings in either direction.

Interestingly the signal theatre indicator on the approach to Hartlepool appeared to show the bay as
'1', but the station public platform screen shows P2, (and the through platform as P1), like TRACKmaps
Vol 2 p45A (Oct 2016) and the Sectional Appendix. Does anyone know what this theatre indicator
shows for the through platform? No platform numbers are displayed at Hartlepool station itself.

RTT had this train booked into P2 (with all through workings using P1), but after it had run this
changed to P1 (in bold, compatible with the theatre indicator); however, the through workings do not
change to bold. There are only two trains each week that can use the bay - the SuO through workings
between Darlington (dep 11.07* and 17.15) and Hartlepool (dep 12.05* and 18.00), both Northern
operated. If the morning working is on time it would need to recess in the bay. At other times any
journey between Darlington and the Durham Coast now requires a change at Eaglescliffe or
Thornaby. These are the only franchised services between Stockton Cut Jn and Hartburn Jn, although
open access operator Grand Central trains between King's Cross and Sunderland run that way.

*The morning workings are the only ones all week to serve Tees-side Airport (and in each direction).

1379] NER Signal Boxes named 'Junction' cont; King George Dock Junction (Hull): (BLN 1283.1277)
(TA 136293) This controlled the convergence of the lines from Holderness Drain North and Holderness
Drain South SBs from the west, and the divergence of the lines to King George Dock and Saltend to the
east. King George Dock, ceremonially opened by King George V on 26 Jun 1914, was owned jointly by
the NER and the Hull & Barnsley Railway (H&BR). Holderness Drain North lay on the NER goods lines
(OG 1 Aug 1914) parallel to the former NER Withernsea line encircling Hull. This goods line is still open
but single track east of the former Bridges Jn. Holderness Drain South lay on the ex-H&BR line from
Alexandra Dock, (OG 1 Aug 1914?) but taken OOU in Sep 1973. The location that the 1991 edition Cook
and Hoole NER Historical Maps show as King George Dock Jn is actually Holderness Drain North.

BELOW RIGHT: King George Dock Junction box taken from a passing brakevan (as you did). An official
Society brakevan trip from Hull to Saltend and back on 27 Oct 1972. There were 15 participants who
had to report to Hull 'East End Yard'. (Angus McDougall). BELOW (LEFT): Jan 1967 (Mick Nicholson).

NEXT PAGE: With thanks to Dave Cromarty, a plan (which is not mean to be definitive) showing the
Hull Eastern Dock area locations. (This is rotatable and can be magnified when downloaded.)

Not to scale Dock Jn SB
Pre-grouping ownership 1 Drypool Goods King George Dock
North Eastern 2 Southcoates Jn
Hull & Barnsley 3 Southcoates station To Withernsea
Joint H&BR/NER 4 Burleigh Street Jn, later Bridges Jn
Stations 5 Alexandra Dock SB (Signal Box) N
To Hull 6 Southcoates Lane SB
7 Holderness Drain South SB To Saltend
To Hull 8 Holderness Drain North SB
9 King George Dock Jn SB CSD
10 Marfleet station


4 6 8

1 5 79
To Victoria Dock
Alexandra Dock

See inset King George Dock

River Humber

1380] Guisborough: 'Guisbro' on the maps
BLN 1283.1277 mentioned the junction box
at Guisborough in the Guisborough
Junction (Middlesbrough) item! Hutton
Junction SB, Guisborough (NZ 611153) was
opened when the Middlesbrough &
Guisborough Railway extended eastwards
to link up with the Cleveland Railway (CR)
when that opened from the Tees to the
Skelton ironstone mine (23 Nov 1861). It
was impossible to continue further into the
town so a connection was made from
Hutton Jn to the CR line at Belmont Jn (see
left). ABOVE & LEFT: The Cleveland Railway
(CR) project. Note that the railway did not
plan to cross the Tees by a bridge, which would have been an unacceptable obstacle to navigation, but
by a train ferry. The NER took over the CR in 1865 and its duplicate route west of Belmont Jn did not
last long. This is hardly surprising as the 1 in 44 ascent from Ormesby (now Marton) to Nunthorpe
(although most of the freight, being ironstone, went downhill to Middlesbrough) seems tame in
comparison with that from Flatts Lane Jn, Eston to the summit south of Normanby, which varied
between 1 in 34 and 1 in 25. [Your regional editor remembers as a boy the noise the daily freight made
pounding up the incline to Normanby brickworks (CA 3 Oct 1966)]. Dates have been quoted for the
closure ranging from as early as 1866, which seems improbable, to 1873. 1871 seems the most likely.

Hutton Jn was not far from Hutton Gate station and about half a mile short of Guisborough station,
which was thus left at the end of a short 44ch branch. Guisborough station SB closed 18 Mar 1932;
Hutton Jn SB was renamed Guisborough and the branch was worked under its control. The double
track branch was converted to two parallel single lines, the former Down line becoming the Goods line
and the former Up line the Passenger line. No tokens or track circuiting were provided, so the entire
branch came within the station limits of Guisborough SB.

Your Regional Editor would welcome views on whether or not this was unusual. [Some similarities with
the Stourbridge branch but shorter - Ed?] ABOVE: The branch on the 1955 7th Series One-Inch OS map.
Trains between Middlesbrough and Loftus (and Whitby) calling at Guisborough did not run-round
there but propelled between the box and the station in the appropriate direction. The box worked to
Nunthorpe East (where the Battersby line diverged) in one direction and to Boosbeck in the other.
The writer is unaware of any pre-1932 photos of the box, so cannot say if it carried the word 'Junction'.

ABOVE (BOTH): The junction for Guisborough in the 1960s, the half mile double track branch is off to
the left in both pictures. Straight ahead the line continued to join what is now the Boulby branch on to
Loftus and Whitby (approaching the latter from the north). In the second picture, the signal has three
arms, left to right: Goods and Passenger lines into the station and to Boosbeck SB on the Brotton line
ahead. The branch passenger line was reached by a slip point at the diamond - left picture (M Burns).

1381] Blackpool North: (BLNs 1239.1563) Coincidentally, of course, Virgin Train's application to run
three return services to Euston from May 2018 using Pendolinos comes as Alliance Rail Holdings
announced that it has been unable to secure Pendolinos for its planned service approved by the ORR
in 2015. Alliance, a DB owned Arriva company, and the ORR have agreed that its contract will lapse on
30 Jun 2017. The company is seeking approval to operate up to six daily services each way from early
2019 with Class 91 and 7-coach Mk 4 rolling stock from the ECML. They have a design speed of
140mph but would be restricted to 110mph pending work on the route speed for non-tilting stock.
To maintain competitive end to end journey times of about three hours, intermdiate calls would be
reduced to Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham & Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes. Virgin is
working on how their Pendolinos can stop at the first two stations where platforms are too short.

1382] Electrification: (BLN 1282.1167) Recent observations are that some OLE structures have been
erected between Moses Gate and Bolton but otherwise very little progress is evident. Bolton bay P2 is
confirmed OOU [30 May-12 Aug], the north end of P1/3 is being rebuilt and some blockwork is in place
for reinstated P5. At Kirkham both junctions were in situ with nearly all of the fast lines lifted between
temporary stop blocks. [It is likely to stay like that until the remodelling for higher speed during the 11
Nov 2017-18 Mar 2018 line closure.] Ground preparation/drainage works have begun for the new
platform but no construction was evident. Some steel work has been erected before Poulton-le-Fylde
where the OOU platform sections have now been removed. Although the junction here has gone the
Up Fleetwood home signal and disc controlling the trailing crossover on the branch remained in situ.

1383] Styal Line: (BLN 1283.1279) For those who 'mist' it, as well as the railway bridge over Fog Lane
just south of Burnage station mentioned, the one at Mauldeth Road was also replaced on 3 March.

1384] Heald Green North Jn: Repeated problems with the points resulted in multiple failures on 6, 13
and since 24 Mar, culminating in TCP from 30 Mar until 1 May. The junction to/from the Airport is
controlled by three point ends. Two of these are the problem switches moving the switch diamond
(a feature being removed from modern layouts). It is one of only two of this particular type of points
on the London North Western route. Originally there was a defective switch on one of the diamonds
requiring new switches and crossings each end. Since reinstallation, variances in track gauge, geometry
alignment and extreme temperature changes have meant that it had not been possible to set up the
points operating, despite input from NR experts. The track geometry needs to be corrected before the
points equipment can be set and they had to be secured in the 'reverse' position. They have been kept
in 'reverse' during the day (allowing access to/from the Airport line) and released at night to facilitate
possessions and diversions if required. In practice nearly all trains, and all the PSUL passenger services
booked via the Styal line have run via Stockport instead again since 22 May. Up to 27 May alone 2,000
delay minutes had been attributed to this problem which is actively being worked on by engineers.

1385] Ditton: (BLN 1283.1286) Commissioning of the new Alstom Train Care Centre, trackwork and
signalling was postponed from 18 Jun. The local press reported that the facility opened on 29 Jun to
repaint Pendolinos. It is an impressive 20,000m2 structure on a 30 acre site with a significant branch.

1386] East-West Rail: A public consultation has opened on Phase 2 (Oxford - Bicester Village - Bedford
(main) and Princes Risborough - Aylesbury - Milton Keynes). You have until 11 Aug to make your
views known. Https:// has more, in particular go to the first website mentioned which
is This is blocked by some anti-virus systems but is safe and accessible
via the first link. There is an amazing scalable map with a very detailed account of the work needed
(click on each location for details). For those not online write to 'FREEPOST EAST WEST RAIL
CONSULTATION' (must be in block letters); it may be possible to request printed information. There
are also 10 local 'drop in' peripatetic events along the route from 10 to 21 Jul to give oral feedback.

1387] Sheringham: (BLN 1279.927) On 6 and 7 Jun a series of crew training and assessment runs for
the forthcoming dining service were timetabled, though only two of the 11 return paths were used
each day. These seem to have run well and not affected the normal passenger service. Timings to/from
Cromer were from Sheringham (NNR) between 08.32 to the last return at 20.16. Presumably there is
less restriction on use of the crossing at Sheringham now - it is part of the GP surgery car park there.

1388] Berney Arms: (BLN 1269.2257) A visit was paid on 16 Jun. As previously reported, the Berney
Arms pub that the station is named after has been closed for some time after suffering from vandalism
and wholesale theft of the wiring, piping and fittings. However, local people are now restoring it with a
view to reopening (no date yet). They have opened a café in an outbuilding of the pub and serve hot
and cold drinks as well as breakfasts, burgers and other food, all at very reasonable cost. There is no
alcohol licence at present. All proceeds go towards restoring the Berney Arms. Customers benefit from
free mooring (the pub has no road access). Check the Berney Arms Facebook page for regular updates.

(BELOW: the 'station' looking towards Great Yarmouth - John Cameron 16 Jun 2017).

BELOW: The actual Berney Arms itself,
under restoration. Note that the water
level (just off picture right) in the 'Broads' is
higher than the surrounding land.

LEFT: 1960 OS 7th Series One-Inch map.

NEXT PAGE TOP: A Yarmouth to Norwich
train pulls stops at the request of John
Cameron on 16 Jun. Most fares to/from
Berney Arms are the same as Yarmouth
and travel is allowed via there or Cantley
to/from Norwich. In 2015/16 there were
1,016 documented passenger journeys.

1389] Gorleston-on-Sea: The station site has recently been recognised with a blue plaque installed by
Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage Group at Station House, the former station hotel and the most appropriate
place for the plaque currently. It was unveiled by Tony Mallion who spoke about his family's links with
the station. His grandparents, Ernest and Kathryn Mallion, moved to Gorleston in 1933 when
Mr Mallion was appointed as a signalman there. Tony Mallion said that the railway and station did
much to influence the growth of southern Gorleston. It opened in 1903, despite strong objections from
nearby residents worried about losing land and property value! The 12¼ mile Yarmouth South Town
to Lowestoft Central line had 8 stations open at some points in its history, including Gorleston Links
and Gorleston North. In 1959 BR proposed ending passenger services but retained a limited service
due to protests. The station CG 3 Jul 1967 and CP 4 May 1970 with the line. It was approximately on
the major roundabout that forms the junction of the A47 dual carriageway relief road and Victoria Rd.
A feature of the station was its extensive goods yard and carriage sidings. (Great Yarmouth Mercury)

1390] Bury St Edmunds: Greater Anglia completed works on Bury St Edmunds station in Oct 2016.
500m of canopies and roof glazing have been cleaned, repaired and repainted and the same length of
platform resurfaced with improvements to level and drainage. Brick repairs have included cleaning,
retanking and renewal of rendering. All windows and sandstone parapets have been repaired.

1391] Luton: (BLN 1277.642) Luton Borough Council has approved the planning application for the
2.2km line from the airport, the fifth busiest in the UK, to Luton Airport Parkway (not connected to
the national network). It will replace the bus shuttle service and is due to open by the end of 2020.

1392] Oxford: (BLN 1280.976) As an early part of the Oxford Phase 1 project, the Up & Down
Passenger Loop south of the station was slewed further east of the Up Main from 63m 00ch to 110m
south of 63m 20ch from 26 Jun. North, the provision (reinstatement) of an extended freight loop or
third road towards Wolvercot Jn (BLN 1273.186) on an alignment significantly west of the current
running lines remains in abeyance. Track was laid then partly removed, mostly unballasted and missing
a critical bridge over a stream. This cannot be commissioned until Oxford is resignalled (in progress).
On 28 Jun the West Midlands/Cemetery Sidings were being lifted (Down side south of the station).

1393] Oxford Station: A 30 Jun consultation from Oxford City Council Draft Oxford Station SPD
illustrates one of the three short listed designs for a £125M rebuild of the station. The track layout
shown retains the middle through lines and platform loops with a full length island platform either side
(so four through full length platforms). A shorter fifth outer bay platform on the west side faces
London. This explains the lack of facilities for the current bays P1 & 2 and is one reason for 'pausing'
electrification to Oxford; presumably the current resignalling has passive provision for the new layout?

Included is a new building fronted by a public square, inspired by King's Cross, with a multi-storey car
park, bus interchange, hotel, new housing and an improved Botley Road underbridge just south of the
station. Removal of trees in front of the existing station and demolition of the nearby youth hostel
would be required. A competition was launched in 2015 to draw up the plan - and three companies'
designs were eventually used to produce this final plan. A 116-page plan has been developed by NR,
Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council to create an Oxford gateway with the new station.
Public consultation is to 25 Aug, see to give your views (more interesting track?)

1394] Oxford - Marylebone: (BLN 1272.72) Chiltern Railways is celebrating six months of extended
services to Oxford. They say the results so far show that the line is encouraging more rail travel - with
95,000 additional journeys between Oxford and London in the six months (18% growth - criterion not
stated). Since Oxford Parkway OP 25 Oct 2015 three million journeys have been made on the new line.

1395] Folkestone Harbour: (BLN 1215.1260) There is a lack of information on the date of physical
disconnection of the branch, where the end of the operational railway now is and if any further land
still belongs to NR. The Sectional Appendix 19 Mar 2016 is unsurprisingly out of date (and the only
change then was switching off of the CAB Secure radio system in the area). It shows the line and the
three berthing sidings OOU; the connection into Folkestone East Train Road 3 is shown as clipped and
padlocked. The three trainroads, nearer the main line, are still used for stock stabling as observed last
month. Photos confirm the report (BLN 1283.1294) that there is now no track in the station area.

A member asks: What then is the current legal status of the branch and separately the station area?
What has been the practical effect (if any) of the 'closure' approved by the ORR (BLN 1215.1260) on
(dated) 31 Jul 2014 and when did it actually happen? The closure notice was
seen displayed at Folkestone Harbour on 24 Aug 2014. Presumably they were also at Folkestone West,
Folkestone Central and Sandling as the ORR also required. Has the line now been formally abandoned?

1396] Plympton: Plymouth City Council has commissioned a study into a possible station here.
Specialist consultants will explore the anticipated demand and potential sites, likely cost and also the
frequency of current services on the line and at nearby Ivybridge (with 50,023 passengers in 2015/16).

1397] Heathfield: (BLN 1257.986) The 'Newton Abbot to Heathfield Railway Revival Group' Chairman,
Michael Cooke has publicised aspirations to reopen this OOU line to passenger traffic. CP 2 Mar 1959,
it enjoyed a freight traffic resurgence from Dec 2011 to Apr 2015 with intermittent timber trains from
Teigngrace to Chirk. Stakeholders including the People Parry Mover operator and the local MP have
expressed interest but NR points out that the branch would require significant investment.

Exeter St David's Dep 09.08 11.29 14.35 16.59 1398] Okehampton: (BLN 1282.1190)
The Sunday service did not run on 4 Jun
Crediton Dep 09.18 11.39 14.49 17.09 and just ran from Exeter St David's from
11 Jun LEFT (rather than St James Park)
Sampford Courtenay Dep 09.54 12.13 15.18 17.43 until further notice - last day Sun 10 Sep.
The journey time for the 26m 65ch has
Okehampton Arr 10.07 12.26 15.35 17.56 been extended from 44 mins to about an
hour (however, Barnstaple services are
Okehampton Dep 10.20 12.29 15.45 17.59 unaffected) with insufficient time now to

Sampford Courtenay Dep 10.32 12.41 15.57 18.12

Crediton Dep 11.05 13.14 16.32 18.45

Exeter St David's Arr 11.17 13.26 16.42 18.56

[BLN 1284]
run to Exmouth Jn reversing siding and back using one DMU. The reason for all this is that the line
speed on the Dartmoor Railway has been reduced from 55mph to 25mph, perhaps because their
dispensation to run at a greater speed than 25mph has expired. Reportedly 25mph is the default speed
for 'private track' although it is not a 'light railway' as far as is known. The dispensation needs renewing
periodically and 'OkeRail' say that the speed restriction has nothing to do with the track condition.

1399] Where is this train going? Travelling by SWT towards Salisbury (from Waterloo), stops were
announced at Castle Cary and Yeovil Pen Mill. Only after the driver had enjoyed his break came the
announcement confirming that the service ran through to Waterloo. [There are alternative, quicker
services from the earlier stations to London and the train changes reporting number at Pen Mill - Ed.]

1400] The Longest Yard: From 3 Jul to accommodate Class 165 DMUs on the Severn Beach branch, the
operational length of Avonmouth Up platform was amended to 90yd (incredibly one yard longer than
before!), its Down platform to 100yd and Severn Beach to 94yd. It is suspected this will only involve a
bit more white-lining (or minor repositioning of fences and posts) on platforms far longer than the
previous maximum usage (Class 158/9 3-car?) required. This information was conveyed by urgent
'wire' the week before, suggesting Turbos would appear from 3 Jul as part of the GWR stock changes.

1401] Midland Metro: (BLN 1274.305 with map) Plans for the £200M Wednesbury to Brierley Hill
extension have been hand delivered to the Secretary of State for Transport [saves the cost of a stamp.]
Dudley town centre would be a 40 minute tram journey from Birmingham Curzon Street HS2 station.
Full funding now needs to be secured; the cost benefit is put at a £2.50 return for each £1 invested.

1402] Onibury: On 17 May NR announced that the crossing (22m 68ch) northeast of Ludlow carrying
the A49 primary road was to have an emergency closure from 1 - 10 Jul due to its poor condition and
resulting accident risk. Local residents were angry that prior notice [6½ weeks - Ed!] or consultation
('cutting the village in half') was not forthcoming and that traffic will have an almost 60 mile detour.

PREVIOUS PAGE: The Honeybourne temporary micro-platform '3' on the Long Marston branch.
ABOVE: The Long Marston end of the platform from a
departing train to London contrasts with the mega structure
footbridge (one of the many support is on the left). (Both David
Guy 17 Jun 2017.) LEFT: A train at the platform (press release).

1403] Long Marston: The Class 230 prototype 'D'-train
(repaired after the fire damage) made test runs from 14 Jun
between Evesham and Moreton-in-Marsh. On 20 and 21 Jun
passengers were carried on the train from Honeybourne
station (a special small temporary scaffolding and wood
platform on the Long Marston line) to the 'Rail Live 2017' trade
exhibition at Quinton Rail Technology Centre, Long Marston.
Here they used the existing platform near the North Entrance Gate. To travel a (free) admission ticket
for the trade only show was required, plus a valid train ticket to Honeybourne - on which GWR were
giving a 15% online discount - (no other way of arriving there was acceptable) and a free timed ticket
for the shuttle which could be booked online.

Services operated at about 09.30, 10.40 and 11.50 from Honeybourne, returning from Long Marston
at 13.00, 14.40 and 16.05. All ran as booked and the event closed at 16.00. This gave connections
from/to Paddington and Worcester. Demonstration rides from the site were also available. Speed on
the branch is 25mph but passengers could appreciate the acceleration and high quality of the ride.
The modular 'D'-Train engine design has allowed rapid development of a battery version,
demonstrated hourly at Long Marston.

[BLN 1284]
1404] Perry Barr: The Down goods loop here, accessible only from the Down Soho line in the Bescot
direction, has no regular booked use and adjacent vegetation is encroaching over the line. However a
Pathfinder railtour ran through it on Sat 10 Jun on route from Birmingham New Street to Stafford.
Your Editor well remembers being taken to the adjacent Perry Hall Park, to see the railway as a child
and watching this loop being constructed for electrification. The trackbed was carved out of the
cutting wall which was held back by interlocking metal plates that are still doing the job. There used to
be an Up Loop (from memory between Perry Barr North and South Jns where the terrain was flat).

1405] Birmingham New Street: Phase 4† & 5†† resignalling transfers control from New Street PSB

North/South panels to the West Midlands Signalling Centre, †Stour and ††Proof House Workstations:

†Soho South Jn - Tipton station. †Perry Barr West Jn - Perry Barr North Jn.
†Galton Jn - Smethwick West Jn. ††Hamstead - Duddeston (excl).
†Soho South Jn - Perry Barr South Jn. ††Aston North Jn - Gravelly Hill X/O (excl).
†Soho North Jn - Soho East Jn. ††Aston South Jn - Stechford North Jn (excl).

[† = Commissioning is expected from Wed 27 Dec 2017 and the other lines (††) from Wed 3 Jan 2018.]

●Soho North Jn Down Through Siding will be upgraded to a running line: the Down Soho Goods Loop.
●Soho North Jn Up Through Siding will be realigned and upgraded to a passenger running line, part of

…the extended Soho North Curve. 'Soho Curve North Jn' will be at its present north entrance

...(Up side). The connection from the present Up Through Siding back to the Up Stour will be removed.
●Albion Sidings will remain OOU; the facing connection from the Down Stour Line has been plain lined.
●The speed over the electrified trailing crossover from the Up to Down Stour lines (5m 70ch) will be

…increased from 5mph to 15mph and the area will be renamed Albion Jn.

Track Circuit Block applies on all lines with axle counters and lightweight LED signals on main running
lines. Down direction signals will have odd numbers and Up even numbers. There will be a flashing
aspect signal sequence for trains taking the Stourbridge line at Galton Jn from the Down Stour.

A local member comments: The remodelling at Soho North Jn seems a good idea as there's been a
temporary speed restriction over the diamond crossing (which will be removed) for a year or two.
It now seems to be modern practice to provide signalling to allow reversal of passenger trains at the
nearest station. There is no provision to bring a bank engine behind a train at Perry Barr West Jn
anymore. I do not know if banking is still authorised on the Soho Road line. The bank engine used to be
able to approach from either Perry Barr North or South Jn, bank the train without being attached and
drop away between Soho East and North Jns before running on into the Down Through Siding.

1406] York Yard North: Was named Severus
Junction prior to Oct 1938, probably the only
junction in the country to be named after a
Roman emperor, and maybe the only one in the
world. [Hadrian had a BLS railtour named after
him of course!] LEFT: York North Yard signal
box and overbridge on 24 Oct 1970 (Angus
McDougall). The emperor Septimius Severus
was born in what is now Libya in AD 145. After a
distinguished army career, he seized power in
193. Late in his reign he travelled to Britain,
strengthening Hadrian's Wall and invaded

Caledonia (Scotland) in 208, reoccupying the Antonine Wall. He fell ill in late 210 and died in early 211
at Eboracum (York). As he lay dying, he little knew that 1,600 years later he would be immortalised by
coniunctas Severi (the junction of Severus), even if a century later he was expunged from railway

history when that was renamed Septentriones areae viarum ferrearum in Eboraco (the north of the
open space of iron roads in York ie York Yard North) by the Societas viarum ferrearum Londinii et
inter septentriones et orientem Angliae (the company of iron roads of London and between North
and East of England - the L&NER). Apparently the Romans expressed themselves in this long winded
way Thanks to Dave Hawkings for converting the Regional Ed's very rusty Latin. (The overbridge here
actually carries Water End Road; Severus Avenue is someway away.)

1407] Dublin Broadstone: (E-BLN 1283.1244) This terminus CP 18 Jan 1937 (and not 1 Jan; timetabled
services) with the last train on 16th and CG 10 Jul 1944. The line was then used for access to the loco
shed and wagon repair shops and probably for delivery of bus fuel after 10 Jul 1944. It CA 8 Apr 1961.
A Railway Preservation Society of Ireland tour traversed the remains of the line on 7 Oct 1972.

1408] Waterford Bilberry: (BLN 1283.1319) The 15 May 2005 reported passenger train was the first to
Bilberry (BLN 995.MR99). However, regular (only monthly and only advertised locally) 'Sunset Express'
public excursions ran during summer 2005, Thursday evenings at 19.30 from Kilmeadan on 16 Jun,
21 Jul, 18 Aug & 15 Sep 2005 (BLN 999.MRI50 and Summer / Autumn 2005
PSUL). The line was lifted for road works after the 2005 summer season (BLN 1007.MR254). No further
services ran until summer 2010 when regular service was restored from 12 Jul 2010 - but only as far as
Grace Dieu (just short of the former junction). The line to Bilberry was not reopened then and the next
passenger trip there known to our correspondent was 11 Jun 2016, an IRRS special (from Kilmeadan),
after the final regular public trip that day (unless anyone knows otherwise!).

1409] Castle Rock: (BLN 1270.1269) The C1970 signal cabin with 10 levers was demolished on 8 May.
BELOW: The signal cabin with a somersault signal behind on 21 Jul 2007 (Angus McDougall).

1410] Interesting Points: On Sat 10 Jun there was single line working over the Up Road between
Laois Traincare Depot and Ballybrophy. Crossovers 865 & 755 were used for Down trains (Laois Depot
Down Main - Up Line - Ballybrophy P2). The 08.10 Hazelhatch & Celbridge to Grand Canal Dock on
20 Jun unusually used the Down Main through the Gullet rather than the Up Main. Crossovers 706
(Inchicore), 710 & 712 (Gullet/Islandbridge Jn) were used to access the Phoenix Park Tunnel (as there
is only access from the Up Main). If the Belmond train is in Cork station, service trains will use P5 and.
trains from Dublin then use 540 crossover in Rathpeacon Tunnel. On Tuesdays P5 will be used by 14.00
& 17.00 ex-Heuston and 17.20 & 20.20 ex-Cork. On Thursdays P5 will be used by 08.00 Mallow to Cork,
10.00 Heuston to Cork and 13.20 Cork to Heuston. On 21 Jun the 14.20 Cork to Heuston failed at
Charleville, with passengers being accommodated on the 15.20 Cork to Heuston. The latter used loop
P3: crossovers 590, 591, 595 & 594 (Up to Down, Down to Platform, Platform to Down & Down to Up).

ABOVE: Bundoran North Junction and cabin with loco 71 hauls the 12.00 Enniskillen to Omagh
on 30 Sep 1957 which was the last day of passenger service (John J Smith).

[BLN 1284]
1411] Bundoran Junction: The Downpatrick Railway has restored Bundoran North Junction Signalbox.
In its working life, the cabin used to control the north end of the triangular Bundoran Junction in
Kilskeery, County Tyrone, formerly a major junction for the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) network.
Trains, including the famous 'Bundoran Express' diverged here to places like Omagh, Enniskillen,
Fintona Junction (where the famous horse tram operated the half-mile Fintona branch), and the
seaside resort of Bundoran itself, before the entire line was closed on 30 Sep 1957, nearly sixty years
ago. The cabin was formally opened to the public by veterans of the old GNR(I) Railway on Sat 3 Jun,
along with other invited guests. The box is not yet operational and no timescale has been set for this.

Railway CCE, David Crone, said: Very little of the railway infrastructure from the west of the province
survives so we are delighted to have restored this significant piece of railway heritage. While Bundoran
Junction station survives as a private dwelling, we didn't think any of the small signal cabins still survived
until a chance discussion with one of our members and a Fermanagh local on a boat in the middle of Lough
Erne! He told us that the former Bundoran Junction North cabin had been saved to be used as a garden
shed in a Fermanagh home. The top half of the signal cabin had lain for over 50 years in an orchard in

Ballinamallard where it had been put to use as a very
superior summerhouse but had suffered somewhat
in later years due to age and the orchard becoming a
bit overgrown. The location was known to a few ex-
GNR veterans in the area who kept the cabin's
survival and details of the exact location a well-
guarded secret.

When the site came due for re-development the
owners were very keen to see the cabin saved, and
our friends from the Headhunters Railway Museum
in Enniskillen helped us recover it in 2011. Initial
inspection revealed that although the base was
rotten, the vast majority of the structure was sound
and would be suitable for restoration and a new use.
This has involved rebuilding the entire base of the
cabin, building a new brick base using reclaimed
bricks, as well as sourcing an original lever frame
from our friends in Irish Rail, that returns the cabin to
its original purpose of controlling the track and
signals in our station. ABOVE X2 & LEFT: The cabin
at the Downpatrick & County Down Railway, the
'possible extension to St Patricks' looks promising
on the diagram… (Martin Baumann 18 Jun 2017).

1412] Inchcoonans: Gates are erected at either side of the brickworks siding for the protection of
passengers using the right of way across the rails. After dark, and during fog and/or falling snow, the
goods porter must shut and lock the gates while shunting takes place (at least in the 1937 Appendix!).

1413] Signalling a bit under PARR? Network Rail's Polmadie And Rutherglen Interlocking Renewals
Project involves replacing signal heads with new LED type signals between now and Dec 2017 on:
●Cambuslang (97m 24ch) to Gantry 'H' in the Glasgow Central Eglinton St Jn area (101m 48ch).
●Rutherglen Central Jn (0m 00ch) to Dalmarnock (1m 01ch).
●Muirhouse Jn (1m 19ch) to Larkfield Jn (101m 01ch).
●Carmyle (1m 42ch) to Rutherglen East Jn (-0m 04ch).

1414] Breich: OP 9 Jul 1869 it was
named after the nearby Breich
Water; the village arrived after the
station. With finances in mind, NR
is carrying out a public consultation
into the future of the station. It is
unstaffed with no parking facilities,
has one train per day in each
direction, six days a week and 2.6
passengers per week on average.
The nearby village of Breich is two
miles west of Addiewell and nearly
three miles east of Fauldhouse
stations. It is served by two BlueBus
Limited (71 and 77) bus services.
No significant housing development
is anticipated in the Breich area in
the near future, suggesting that
demand for public transport is unlikely to increase dramatically. The Shotts route is being electrified
and brought up to modern standards. NR estimates that about £1.4M would be required at Breich.
Their view is that this does not present an appropriate nor responsible use of resources. NR concludes
that closure of the station is the best option and is seeking views from the public and stakeholders.

ABOVE: A train calls at Breich in Apr 2017 (ACG Thomas).
BELOW: The 1961 One-Inch map; Breich is arrowed, Fauldhouse lower left and Addiewell top right.

[BLN 1284]
ABOVE: The 1983/84 Shotts line passenger timetable when Breich had the same service as the other
stations on the line - basically every two hours off peak with some extra commuter services.
On Saturdays the last train (not shown above) left Edinburgh later than in the week. Note that the
through journey, by first generation DMUs on their last legs, took around 94 minutes, the track was in
poor condition and there was no Sunday service. Electrification would have been unimaginable, as
would the present service of two trains an hour each way. The 'fast' ones now take around 64 minutes
(not intended for end to end journeys). Livingstone South station OP 6 Oct 1984 turned the tide.

1415] Addiewell: A replacement footbridge will be constructed next to the existing bridge with passive
provision for future lifts. This is part of the Shotts line electrification due to be completed in 2019.

1416] Millerhill: The new £30M depot is on schedule to open this autumn. It will be a cleaning and
stabling point for electric and diesel stock for Edinburgh to Glasgow services via Falkirk, Edinburgh to
North Berwick/Dunbar and Edinburgh to Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa services. There are carriage washing
and Controlled Emission Toilet facilities with a staff and train crew accommodation building. The Up
Millerhill Line became bi-directional from the depot departure road to Niddrie South Jn from 11 Jun.

ABOVE: Errol station on 17 Jul 1992 (Angus McDougall).
1417] Errol: This station, built in 1847 by the Dundee & Perth Railway, CP 30 Sep 1985 but this was not
the end of the story. Our correspondent came across a flyer exhorting folk to: Travel by rail direct from
Errol Station, on the occasion of the launch of John Beech's book 'The Story of Errol Station' on Sunday
3 October 1993. Three services were to call in each direction, 12.42, 14.42 and 16.55 to Glasgow
Queen Street and 12.55, 14.55 and 16.55 to Aberdeen. A vintage bus would provide a free service
between Errol village (The Cross) and the station to meet the trains, and the refreshment room was
open 'all day; free entry to car park and museum'. Errol Station Trust operated the station as a railway
heritage centre and tearoom from 1990 until 2000; the building is now a private dwelling. Like many
other stations, Errol was some distance from the place it served, and was not unique in leading to the
development of a separate community bearing the suffix 'Station'. [Including Drakelow Power Station!]

1418] St Andrews Links: A report highlights the benefits of re-opening the five-mile branch from
Leuchars to the Fife town (CP 6 Jan 1969, the same date as the Waverley Route). [ABOVE: The line on
the 1945 OS One-Inch 'Popular' map.] However, the St Andrews Rail Link campaign (StARLink), founded
in 1989, is still waiting for a bid to be lodged to fund the detailed study required before ministers will
consider the scheme. Research commissioned five years ago showed the line costing up to £71M
would cover its operating costs and provide faster journeys to Edinburgh than by road. The latest
report, by consultants Peter Brett Associates, said that re-opening would boost St Andrews' golf and
tourism. It would assist the University of St Andrews' aim of becoming the UK's first carbon neutral
university and be far less complicated than other routes such as the Borders Railway. Most is in open
country, with only one viaduct required and one road to cross.

1419] Tain: (BLN 1282.1211): 'Platform 1864' restaurant in the station building actually opened nearly
two years ago. In fact the 'Friends of the Far North Line' held an AGM there on 17 Jun 2016.

1420] Grangemouth: The branch is being electrified (masts are up) to the intermodal freight terminal.
After the recent (temporary hopefully?) loss of the Fort William and Lairg oil traffic, aviation fuel still
runs to Prestwick BP terminal (on the Up side north of the airport station) usually TFO, sometimes
three trains a week, arriving just after 10.00 and leaving about 13.00. The other main flow is to Carlisle
then in portions on to/from Dalston, the first station on the Cumbrian Coast line where the sidings on
the Up side at the station are too short to take a whole train. This results in 2-3 train movements daily
(SuMX) at the terminal. There are still thought to be trains to Kilmarnock, Riccarton (reportedly once a
month on average, generally a Monday) and occasional aviation fuel to Sinfin for Rolls Royce at Derby.

BELOW: 'Oil is not lost', very slick work by our member Nick Jones who just happened to be passing at
the right time. A train of aviation fuel from Grangemouth at Prestwick terminal on the morning of
Thu 22 Jun with Colas 70082, as an Glasgow to Ayr Class 380 EMU passes (both top right). NEXT PAGE:
Detail of the wagons and pipes used for unloading; the loco waits while this is completed; the train
was there from 10.10 to 12.58. The yellow supports are for some airport runway landing lights.

ABOVE : A Colas Class 56 at Fort William next to the oil terminal, with its recently polished rails. The
discharged tank wagons on Monday 3 Jul 2017 before returning to Grangemouth - see item 1358.
RIGHT: The train at Fort William (both Ian Langley).

1421] Edinburgh Trams: Due to flooding at Gogar on 7
Jun, Airport trams terminated at Edinburgh Park and
used the trailing crossover to the east of the stop in
service to return to the city. On 9 Jun Robbie Williams
played at Murrayfield Stadium (think of a drunken hen
party 40,000 strong and you'll get the idea …). The only
unusual service that could be identified was a tram
running ECS from Gogar depot to (presumably)
Haymarket non-stop and then returning via the
Haymarket loop and the crossover there for stations out
to the Airport. [Did our correspondent Take That? - Ed]

[BLN 1284]
1422] Stirling work: On Sun 4 Jun the 11.48 to Edinburgh Waverley departure platform changed from
P10 to P8 ('8' was flashing on the screens). The 14.06 ex-Edinburgh Waverley terminated in P10 at the
blocks. On Mon 5 Jun the 16.41 Alloa to Glasgow Queen Street departed P9 on time at 16.53 and was
routed via the Up Passenger Loop. The signal at the south end showed 'L' with a single yellow and had
been for a while. The 18.28 Alloa to Glasgow Queen Street used Cambus Loop (to cross the 17.34 from
Edinburgh Waverley to Alloa). The 18.48 from Queen Street terminated at Stirling in P7 and formed
the 20.21 return. On Tue 6 Jun, the 20.21 Stirling to Queen Street started from P7.

1423] Elgin: A new £2.1M grey metal footbridge (with lifts for members who collect them) has been
installed at the Aberdeen end with clearances and parapets built to electrification standards! Single
(presumably three aspect) LED signals have been installed that end. The one on the Aberdeen bound
platform is commissioned and has a 'feather' for the yard. The one on the Inverness platform was
hooded recently. It will allow bidirectional working through P2. It wasn't clear where the colour lights
are controlled from. The existing semaphores and signal box still control the Inverness end. Departing
trains draw forward to the box to collect the single line token; arriving trains stop there to drop it off.

1424] Forres: (BLN 1280.1000) By mid Jun one new track had been laid but was not connected at
either extremity of (but, of course not alongside) the current single track through the existing station
which is due to close from Sat 7 Oct. The new long 'dynamic' loop includes the whole length of the
'new' straight alignment (the original passenger line until 1863 which thereafter 'avoided' the present
passenger station and also accessed the goods depot). A new road overbridge has been provided to
access the new station's north platform among other things. The road approach to the new station will
cut through the existing station on the level somewhere between the station building and signal box to
join the existing Station Rd approach. The new layout is due to OP Tue 17 Oct 2017. On 29 May,
15A points on the Goods Yard Line at 0m 396yd and the track in the yard were removed. 15B points
from the Goods Yard to the single line (0m 455yd) were secured OOU until commissioning on 17 Oct.

1425] Isle of Skye: Although closed over a
century ago, remains of the British
Diatomite Co railway can still be
seen. Diatomite is a finely-grained mineral
formed from the skeletal remains of
diatoms, a type of algae. It is used in
products including metal polish, paint and
toothpaste. It was discovered in Loch
Cuithir, at the north east end of Skye, in
1886 and extraction began soon after. The
operation became more large-scale and
commercial towards the end of the 19th
century, under the British Diatomite Co. A
2ft gauge railway, about three miles long
was built from Loch Cuithir (NG 477596)
down to the coast at Invertote (NG 521605).

ABOVE: The site of the large coastal factory at Invertote where the Diatomite was taken by rail for
drying and grinding looking west. [The question is can you count the line if you do it as a fossil?]

A Six-inch to the mile OS 1901 map of the line which can be magnified (delete
the text box in front). It appears that the line was horse or human powered, but a steam loco may
have been in operation from about 1905. Diatomite was dried at Invertote and transported from Skye
by puffer. These moored in the bay, with the diatomite brought out to them by skiff. What appears to
have been an inclined plane runs from the cliff top down to the shore.

LEFT: A close up of Invertote shoreline,
this time looking south (compare with
above). (All taken by Louise Turner in
spring 2009).

'Railscot' website states that the
railway came into use in 1890, but this
seems doubtful. Information at the
Skye Museum of Island Life is that
commercial extraction did not begin
until 1898 and 'Historic Environment
Scotland' has a letter dated 13 Jan
1898 to James McLeod of Glasgow,
requesting a supply of rails.

WW1 brought operations to an end in
1915. Diatomite working was revived from 1950 until 1961, but with the material taken by lorry to Uig.
As a lightly-built railway that mostly followed the natural
surface of the moorland, the line is not easily detected
along its full length, but is more obvious in aerial
photographs. At about its mid-point the railway ran through
a shallow cutting (RIGHT) and once that has been located it
is easier to see on the ground where the line was. Along
some sections, and particularly behind the few houses at
Lealt, a fence line follows the course of the railway. For
much of the way the trackbed is very soft and wet, only the
greater density of reeds indicating where the trains used to
run. BELOW: Incredibly rails and sleepers survived in 2009.

ABOVE: Part of the trackbed inland which can still be made out.

1284 WALES
1426] Maesteg: From 22-25 May the 22.36 from Cardiff was diverted via the Vale of Glamorgan line.
On one of these days signalling problems resulted in a late departure from Cardiff. The train became
the first since the line reopened to leave Bridgend after midnight on a previous day's service, reaching
its Maesteg destination at 00.29. Passengers commented that it would be great to have this service
every night (presumably on time!) especially Saturdays, when the last service from Cardiff is at 21.12.

1427] Odd Services: The 12.50 ex-Fishguard Harbour arrives in Cardiff Central P0 from the west to
form the 15.34 to Ebbw Vale. The 20.34 Cardiff to Ebbw Vale is booked (FSSuX) as a Class 175 DMU
and originates from Milford Haven. The non-stop Swansea to Cardiff service continues to run in the
new timetable. Usually a single Class 153, it leaves Swansea at 10.06 SSuX and is the 05.56 from
Shrewsbury via Central Wales. The Cardiff arrival is 11.07 to form the 11.14 semi-fast back to Llanelli.

1428] Interesting Points: Although the great majority of the Cardiff Area Resignalling project work was
completed over Christmas, outstanding items continue. From 25 Jun, a new facing crossover and
associated signalling was commissioned (9671 points), connecting the Up Engine & Carriage Line to
Line 'E' at Cardiff West Jn. On the same date, further west, the points at Margam East Jn from the Up
Main to Down Main and Ogmore Vale Extension lines, OOU since 11.00 on 18 April (then temporarily
plain lined), were restored. Until the points were repaired Up trains for Margam Yard from the west
had to be top-and-tailed from Port Talbot and reversed in from Margam Moors Jn at the Cardiff end.

1429] Crimewatch: At 23.40 on 25 Jun, the Little Mill signaller reported loss of track circuits and point
detection on both lines. The 23.05 ex Hereford was set back to Abergavenny and terminated there.
Investigation confirmed the cause to have been theft of around 4m of telecoms cable, of minimal
scrap value. Temporary Block Working (TBW) was implemented at 07.24 and remained in place until
midnight, with an emergency possession then taken until 05.00, but further delays and problems were
encountered, with TBW reinstated for the start of the next day's service, and normal working finally
resumed late 28 on Jun. The disruption was immense including some HST cancellations on the North
Cotswold line as ECS from Bristol could not reach Hereford in time for certain departures.

ABOVE: A fine selection of semaphore signals north of Craven Arms station in rural Shropshire as the
17.16 Cardiff Central to Holyhead (due there 21.41) passes non-stop at 17.54 on Mon 3 Jul 2017. The
Down Goods Loop is just past the box on the right followed by the trailing crossover. (Richard Putley)

1430] Festiniog & Blaenau Railway (F&BR): Blaenau Ffestiniog (CP 4 Jan 1960, ROP 22 Mar 1982) is on
the site of the former GWR 'Central' station, and the disused single track remains in situ as far as
Trawsfynydd Lake Halt. An empty space next to the sharp curve at Tan-y-Manod marks the site of the
engine shed; the passenger station closed in 1883 when the GWR took the 1' 11¾" (or thereabouts!)
gauge Festiniog & Blaenau Railway over, converting it to standard gauge. The next F&BR station was at
Tyddyn Gwyn, and was replaced at the time of conversion by a new GWR station a little further south,
(Manod). A single course of stonework is all that today remains of the platform, the track disappearing
under gorse. Modern houses block the station entrance. Nothing remains of Teigl Halt, in what is now
a jungle next to a little crossing. OP 1932, the Halt was named after the adjacent river, which is crossed
a few yards further on by a high bridge. Llan Festiniog was the F&BR terminus; parts of the platforms
survive under the grass and bushes, but the nearby building looks too modern to be the station house.

1431] Swansea Red Light District: (BLN 1282.1213) The new P1 & 2 friction stop blocks, commissioned
14 May, have not changed the stopping point for trains; the red stoplights remain in the same position.

1432] Cambrian Coast: Automated on-board announcements between Machynlleth and Pwllheli are,
to be polite, painful. On a recent journey, even our non-Welsh-speaking English correspondent was
cringing at the pronunciation of the place names. Tywyn, for example, came out as 'Tewin,' a village in
Hertfordshire, and, as for Penrhyndeudraeth, he never did quite work out what she was calling it.
Given that ScotRail manages to provide announcements with a Scottish accent, it surely cannot be
beyond the wit of ATW to use someone who can actually pronounce the names, with or without a
Welsh accent? Compounding the embarrassment, the system is not apparently linked to any global
positioning system, and ignores the many request stops. Penhelig was thus announced as Aberdovey,
Tywyn became Fairbourne, and so on. The system thus believes the train to have reached its
destination long before it actually gets there, which does mean customers are spared the strangulated
pronunciations for the latter part of the journey. Other irritating ATW features are the addition, after a
short pause, of 'thank you' to most announcements and Manchester coming out as 'Anchester'.

1433] Tailpiece, East Usk Yard: On 27 Jun redundant track was being lifted and removed, but hidden
from the main line view by HHA wagons. It is now no longer possible to attach a brakevan to Birdport,
trains and they now have to be 'top & tailed'. Was this the final freight working to use a brakevan?

MR111] Taunton Model Engineers, Somerset (MR p23) (BLN 1112.MR91): A member visited this
society's track site at Creech St Michael on Sunday 11 June. There was no steam on site, but a Steam
Gala was due on 25 June. The Society has to vacate the site in September - Creech St Michael Parish
Council will not renew the lease. On 2 July their website gave the final confirmed running day as
Saturday 8 July 12.00 to 17.00 (times provisional) with a query over possible running on 23 July, 13 and
28 August, but 'closed' thereafter. Subscribers to our free BLS 'Branch Line' email service received early
notification of this. They have the same problem at their other Vivary Park site in Taunton (with the
elevated railway) although public running there is shown on the website until at least 10 December.

MR112] North Yorkshire Moors Railway, North Yorkshire (MR p9): There is a new signalling practice at
Pickering station. As soon as the single line token has been returned from an Up Passenger train to
New Bridge signal box (1,614 yards north of Pickering station), the signaller returns to the signal box
and immediately presses a button on the south end of the block shelf. This rings a bell on Pickering
station, one ring for a train signalled into Platform 1, two rings for a train signalled into Platform 2.

MR113] Golden Valley Light Railway, Derbyshire (MR p14) (BLN 1026.MR180): In connection with the
Midland Railway - Diesel Gala (below), on Saturday 17 June the railway was operating a continuous
service. At work was 4wDH 'Darcy' (BD3753/1980) with three covered man-riding coaches. The adult
fare was £2.50. The two stub sidings beyond the platform at Newlands Inn have been removed and
the ground fenced off. Presumably to replace these, a siding has been laid over the former alignment
approaching Newlands Inn platform, OOU since 2013 when the running line was straightened here.

ABOVE: New Bridge signal box north of Pickering, 28 Aug 2004 (Angus McDougall).

MR114] Midland Railway - Butterley, Derbyshire (MR p8): On 17 & 18 June the railway held a Diesel
Gala, offering some rare track. Beyond Ironville Junction, trains ran to the MR/NR boundary at Codnor
Park Junction, instead of the usual terminus - the run-round loop at Riddings. At Swanwick Junction,
platform 4, trains were running between the former Swanwick Colliery branch to/from Hammersmith,
and also the west end connection to the 'main line'. At Butterley 'Driver for a Fiver' using a Class 08
was available on the normally unused platform line, towards Hammersmith and as far as the signal by
the crossover onto the running line. Otherwise, a two train service ran - crossing at Swanwick
Junction. A visit was made on the Saturday. Working the Swanwick Colliery branch (know as Greenhill
in the timetable) was unique hydraulic transmission two-car class 127 DMU M51625/M51591. The
11.10 working from Hammersmith, in a very special way, proved the train to be aboard for BLS
members, as the end of line at Greenhill was well and truly covered (as pictured in e-BLN 1283.X.96)!
At work, taking it in turns on the main line, were Class 20s D8059, D8188, 20205; Class 56s 56081,
56104; 45041 and 47401. These worked 'top & tailed' and sometimes double headed on two rakes of
BR Mk2 air-conditioned stock (not the best on a very warm day and no air-con - but necessary for air-
braking for the class 56s). At Butterley, 08331 provided the 'Driver for Fiver' - replacing the unavailable
12077. However, 08331 itself failed with a bad oil leak and then retreated to Swanwick Junction.
Other diesel locomotives were on display at Swanwick Junction and the Princess Royal Class
Locomotive Trust West Shed was open for viewing. An adult day rover ticket (a pink Edmondson) was
£18. Trains were generally moderately loaded, but not too crowded and mostly ran to time.

BELOW: Midland Railway - Butterley: The unique Class 127 DMU rests in Swanwick Junction P4
during the diesel gala (Peter Scott 17 Jun 2017).

MR115] Mid Hants Railway, Hampshire (MR p6): Our roving reporter visited this well-known railway
on Sunday 30 April - a cloudy but dry day. The 'blue' timetable was in operation. The 10.50 ex-Alton
was hauled by 4-4-0 'Schools' Class 925 'Cheltenham' with 5 ex-BR Mk1 coaches. The other train was
hauled by 2-10-0 BR 9F 92212 with four ex-BR Mk1 coaches and an ex-SR coach. This day marked the
40th anniversary of the line opening as a private preserved railway. At Ropley, both the carriage shed
and locomotive works have viewing platforms. The 10¼" gauge miniature railway at Ropley was not
open -the leaflet states 'selected days' only. [Thought to be Saturdays and special event days - MR Ed.]

MR116] Tinkers Park, East Sussex (MR p16) (BLN 1264.MR167): A visit was made here, in fine weather,
on Saturday 3 June for the annual Steam Rally This popular event, now in its 52nd year attracts large
crowds. Operating on the 2ft gauge Great Bush Railway was 0-6-0WT 'Sao Domingos' (OK11784/1928)
with one coach - in push pull formation. The train ran as far as the lower field and short of the level
crossing - the line on the other side of the crossing was blocked with building materials. The loop at
the loco shed is in the process of being extended to accommodate two train operation with a
proposed extension into the woods, although this is some time off. The Organ Museum Halt has been
removed. There were also several locos on display around the loco shed area. The 7¼" Miniature
Railway was in operation from 11.00 and ran on request. Romulus type 0-4-0 'James' (built by TMA in
Birmingham in 1976) was in operation. It is now owned by the Claude Jessett Trust and all donations
go to Cancer Research. This line, although short, was relaid over the winter with a firmer hardcore
base and levelled slightly for an easier run. Trains are propelled back to the joining/alighting station.

BELOW: Tinkers Park: The 7¼" miniature railway during the annual steam rally (Rod Bryant 3 Jun 2017).

[BLN 1284]
MR117] Leighton Buzzard Railway, Bedfordshire (MR p12) (BLN 1271.MR251): A partly sunny Sunday
21 May found our roving reporter at Pages Park station in plenty of time for the 10.30 departure,
which was worked by 0-4-0WT No11 'P C Allen' (OK5834/1912) with coaches 12, 17 & 11. The stock
was shunted out of the yard via the long headshunt. Other locos were then pulled out by NG23 4wBE
(BD3702/1973). No80 4wDH 'Beaudesert' was the standby loco at Pages Park. At Stonehenge the short
7¼" gauge miniature railway was operating with 'Pam' 6wBE and one sit-astride coach.

MR118] St Annes Miniature Railway, Lancashire (MR p19) (BLN 1243.MR176): Despite the lack of any
printed or recent online material, a member took a punt on Saturday 6 May and found this railway up
and running. The line is on the seafront at St Annes on the Fylde coast, a short distance south of the
pier. The 10¼" gauge line follows a simple 'rectangular' circuit, running around a rather tatty miniature
golf course. There is a small building on the far seaward side with a short siding into a rolling stock
shed. The shed adjoins an artificial tunnel with spooky characters painted on the inside. The fare was
£2 for a single circuit, payable at a kiosk which doubles as an ice cream stall and booking office for the
adjacent trampoline park. No tickets were issued. Trains ran on demand with a blue locomotive
hauling open carriages, each with facing seats.

BELOW: St Annes Miniature Railway: 'St Annes Express' (Severn Lamb 1973) stands in the station.
(Peter Zemroch 6 May 2017).

MR119] Pugneys Light Railway, West Yorkshire (MR p26) (BLN 1280.MR70): A visit was made to this
7¼" gauge railway, located in Pugneys Country Park, on Saturday 27 May. Following a period of closure
the line has been reactivated, with a large amount of work undertaken over the winter months on the
trackwork. It runs from near the Country Park Offices along one side of the lake. In use was D1671,
a Class 47 petrol loco (ex-Brookside Garden Centre) on a three coach set, and a second train with
a loco based on 'Ivor The Engine' hauling two coaches in green livery. Trains were well patronised with
a return fare of £2. The Country (car) Park is £1 per hour. An excellent location with friendly staff.

MR120] Poole Park Railway, Dorset (MR p15) (BLN 1274.MR23): The Friends of Poole Park (FPP), the
community charity recently awarded a 30-year lease to operate the 10¼" gauge railway, has secured
the track from former operator Chris Bullen. FPP chairman Michael Collins said: There is a little bit of
repair work needed, a few days, no issue at all. Because we didn't have the track we couldn't make any
firm commitment to anybody about purchasing or hiring. We have found many companies, who
through different arrangements will provide us with an engine and rolling stock. FPP's long-term plans
are ambitious - with a number of community programmes, a 300m extension, a new visitor centre and
a separate new station. Subject to FPP member agreement, the railway should reopen by mid-Jul.

MR121] Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Isle of Wight (MR p6): This line was visited on Saturday 3 June by
our roving reporter, when the 'blue' (one loco) timetable was in operation. This was the last day of the
school half-term holiday. BR standard 2-6-2T 41298 (Crewe/1951) was working with six coaches. Sister
loco 41313 (Crewe/1952) has been overhauled on the mainland at the East Somerset Railway and
started passenger operation there in June before moving to Haven Street later this year. The ex-Tube
stock on the Island's National Rail line is now older than either of these locomotives! The railway will
be meeting the new SWT franchise holder for talks about prospective plans to extend their trains into
Ryde St John's station. This depends on a new passing loop being built at Brading, so that the current
double track between Ryde St John's Road and Smallbrook Junction would no longer be required.

1434] FIXTURES REPORTS; Preston Walk, Sat 3 Jun: (Detailed map (ABOVE: A shocking discovery.)
and notes will be with e-BLN 1285) Pictures and report are thanks to
our member Chris Parker. 10 participants met walk leader Paul
Steane at Bamber Bridge station in warm sunshine to explore
tramroad/railway heritage just south of Preston, generally before
and after lunch respectively. The first part was largely concerned
with the Lancaster Canal Tram Road. Opened 1803 to link the north
and south sections of the Lancaster Canal, it was only to be
temporary pending the construction of flights of locks, but the canal
company never prospered sufficiently to carry this through.
Buildings at an angle to the main (old A6) road south of the station
indicated the site of a tramroad level crossing. A short walk along
local roads brought us to a similar later site - Brownedge Crossing on
the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) Bamber Bridge to Preston direct
line, CP/CA 1 May 1972, but the keeper's distinctive cottage survives.

We then entered a public nature reserve based on much of the area's network of redundant railway
trackbeds. Its name 'Preston Junction' hardly does it justice as it extends well north of that location,
renamed Todd Lane Jn in 1952. We soon reached the junction site; nothing remains of the passenger
station (CP 7 Oct 1968 when Preston - East Lancs and Preston - Liverpool services were adjusted to
connect at Preston, instead of Todd Lane Junction station). However, at road level there is a short
terrace of railway workers' cottages, unusual in that the station master's house is built on to one end!
We took to the road briefly here before re-joining the tramroad, part of the National Cycle Network
but also well used by walkers and runners. It acts as a peaceful buffer zone preventing the roads on
either side linking up to become 'rat runs'. Through the foliage on our right we could pick out part of
the Penwortham Incline abandoned 1820 when the present route on an easier gradient replaced it.

This led to the River Ribble bridge, a concrete replica of the original timber structure which it replaced
in 1965 (ABOVE). At least one stone sleeper block forms part of the south abutment while others lie on
the river bed near the north bank. The northernmost bridge span is not horizontal as it is the foot of a
second incline which ascends through Avenham public park. Beyond is largely lost but in Garden St,
just east of Preston station, a stone bridge abutment survives , possibly in public ownership as an
Engineer's Line Reference Code 'LJR/00' is painted on it (BELOW). There is (of course!) a website with a
list of these codes but 'LJR' has so far escaped. An update has been sent!

[BLN 1284]
Following a lunch break in and around the station we met on the 'rare' P7, the ELR side of Preston,
hence the eastwards curve at its south end. Former railway land to the east is a car park and shopping
mall. We viewed what remains of the ELR formation before returning to Avenham Park and rejoining it
at its own Ribble bridge which marks the north end of the 'Preston Junction' reserve. The ELR bridge
provides good views of the tramroad and WCML bridges up and downstream respectively. It led us to
the site of Whitehouse North Jn where we took the west curve, opened in 1900 to allow trains off the
former West Lancashire Railway (WLR) Southport line to be diverted to the ELR station. Joining that at
Whitehouse West Jn we passed under the WCML bridge which still has its full complement of 6 tracks.

A short section of road walking where the line has been lost to redevelopment brought us to a further
railway triangle; Middleforth, Penwortham and Ribble Junctions were the apexes. Curving wooded
embankments remain on all three sides and within them is a former caravan site now mainly occupied
by modern chalet-style 'park homes'. It has a secluded air even though a public footpath bisects it,
passing between bridge abutments at each end; this was our route! A further short road stretch
brought us to the river again; the decking of the WLR bridge across it has long gone but the stone piers
remain and support a pair of pipelines (BELOW). Immediately downstream is the 1759 built now Grade
II listed Penwortham road bridge (closed to vehicles these days). Crossing this, we followed a tarmac
path approximately on the course of the WLR to the site of its terminus, Fishergate Hill from 1904. It
lost its regular passenger traffic to the ELR station in 1900 (above) but remained a goods depot until
1965, covering a large site now completely redeveloped. Fishergate Hill GP Surgery occupies the
passenger station site. All that remained was to walk up the eponymous hill to the present station
passing over the Preston Dock branch of which only glimpses can be seen.

Thanks to Paul Steane for a most interesting walk, detailed notes, the map distributed before and his
walk commentary. All helped make sense of a complex area, also for his sense of timing as, following a
fine day, the heavens opened about 5 minutes after we finished! Preston is a city which owes much to
its railway heritage for its present outdoor recreational facilities and has used it to good advantage.

1435] The Cat & Dock, Thu 15 Jun: By Dicky Irvine. This was my first Society midweek tour and my first
time reporting on the events of the day, so I suppose you could say I lost my virginity twice on one day.
Stafford was full of virgins (Pendolinos and Voyagers) as we sat waiting time for our 07.20 start.
When we did get the all clear, an eagle-eyed punter spotted an incorrect routing. Fancy trying to send
us down the Down Slow when we wanted some Fast action; almost a false start! It did however allow
the bonus viewing of 88004 in full electric mode on the morning Tesco (every little helps!).

After the reset the green was given at 07.25 and off we set from P6 to the planned Down Fast, with
66432 leading the way and 68026 as tailgunner. The first bit of rare track was only moments away, the
tour taking Norton Bridge East Chord in the unusual Down direction, hence covering the crossovers
'fore and aft' in the process. Some of the travellers [for Gypsy Lane station perhaps?] queried that
there were no timing sheets, but these arrived by stone…not literally, but just as we passed through
Stone station. Then the Axiom Rail wagon maintenance facility was passed on the left by Sideway Jn;
one day we really must go to their evocatively named 'Gas Freeing, Purging & Steaming Sidings'.

By now those rare tracks were coming thick and fast. Stoke P2 was traversed in the usual direction, but
then the weaving started, first a step or two to the right to cover the Up Goods, and then a jump or
three to the left at Cliffe Vale Jn to cover the rest of the Down Goods to Grange Jn; there was no
hands on the hips at any point. This was an incredibly rare move, a Kev Adlam 'on the day surprise',
special formerly used by freight trains from Cockshute Sidings, the local yard, to Crewe etc. This came
as a surprise/shock to some who joined later at
Crewe and then rather wished they had gone to
Stafford instead! TICKET & MILES by Jim Sellens.

Not wanting everyone to become too excited too
early, it was time for a rest, in the form of 20
minutes or so in Alsager Up and Down Goods Loop
with more crossovers 'fore and aft', waiting for a
pair of EMT Class 153 DMUs and an LM Class 350 to
pass. So on to Crewe for our first reversal in P12
where the tailgunner fired up in magnificent style,

Stafford P6 Crewe P12 31m 14ch with the rest of the participants

Crewe P12 Gresty Green Through Sdg 01m 12ch now boarded. Heading south and

Gresty Green Through Sdg Down Salop Sdg Headshunt 00m 32ch west, Gresty Bridge TMD came

Down Salop Sdg Headshunt Gresty Green Reception Line 00m 35ch into view; it rather felt as though
Gresty Green Reception Line Preston Fylde Jn, Shunt Line 57m 57ch the train was leaning to the left as
Preston Fylde Jn, Shunt Line Ormskirk 15m 67ch many tried to see any brand new
Ormskirk Preston Riverside Stop Board 17m 22ch Class 68s, however only 68030
Preston Riverside Stop Board Liverpool Lime Street P7 37m 16ch was visible. Crossing to the Down

Salop Siding/Through Siding [NB: Some line names have changed since TRACKmaps.] it was time for a

bit of hokey-cokey, in and out of the Headshunt and then the Gresty Lane Down Arrival Siding, both

locomotives taking their turn. Unfortunately, someone at Crewe Pre-Assembly Depot hadn't read the

script and a Track Machine was in the path of our intended routeing … one for another day there.

By now stomachs were starting to rumble and the promised 09.50 start time for bacon rolls caused a

mass stampede to the buffet. Fortunately those in Coach 'H', the only coach south of the buffet (your

roving reporter included) had a much shorter queue to negotiate. The tour manager, needing to get

back to base in Coach 'A', was even heard to talk of requiring rare lines through the buffet queues.

ABOVE: What a difference 54 years makes! From the Geoff Plumb Collection. GWR Grange Class 4-6-0
No. 6803 'Bucklebury Grange' at Crewe Gresty Lane shed with a 2883 Class 2-8-0 in 1949. The small
two-road straight shed was to the left of the picture, the 'Grange' facing towards it. It was a sub-shed
of Wellington (Salop), code 84H and closed in Jun 1963 (Derek Plumb - Geoff's father).

Next it was time for the longer route to Warrington, but being a BLS tour, clearly a more interesting
journey than those Pendolinos would take. Via the Down Salop, out of the darkness there is light, the
Down Manchester Independent tunnel leading us on to Sandbach, to cover the Middlewich line with
its 20mph line speed. Passenger lines were rejoined at Northwich West Jn, before Hartford CLC Jn to
Hartford Jn [which has lost its 'LNW' name suffix] was used back to the WCML. Warrington P4 was
negotiated in fine style, with the much sought after slip back to the Down Fast at the north end of
Bank Quay being covered, before an extended run to Preston via Earlestown and Newton-le-Willows.

The 'Cat & Dock' route (where more than one option exits), based on work by Martyn Brailsford and Alan Sheppard:
Stafford P6 - Down (Dn) Slow - Stafford N Jn - Dn Fast - Norton Bridge E Chord - Stone Jn - Stoke-on-Trent P2 - Up
Goods - Cliffe Vale Jn - Dn Goods - Grange Jn - Kidsgrove Jn - Alsager Up & Dn Goods - North Stafford Jn (Crewe) - Up &
Dn Potteries - X/O to Up & Dn Potteries Loop (8m 14ch) - Crewe P12 (rev) - Up & Down Loop - X/O (L) after Shrewsbury
Line Jn - Up Nantwich*- X/O (R) - Dn Nantwich**- Dn Salop Sdg - Gresty Lane Dn Through Sdg † (rev) - Down Salop Sdg
Headshunt (rev) †† - Gresty Lane Dn Siding Arrival*** (rev) - Gresty Lane Jn - Dn Salop Independent - Salop Goods Jn -
Dn Manchester Independent - Sandbach P3 - Middlewich - Northwich S Jn - W Jn - Hartford CLC Jn - Hartford Jn -
Acton Grange Jn - Dn Main - Warrington S Jn - 1st X/O (L) to Dn Passenger Loop (P4) - Dn Fast - Winwick Jn - Earlestown
P4 - Up Chat Moss - Newton-le-Willows Jn - Lowton Jn - Golbourne Jn - Dn Fast - Wigan NW P5 - Balshaw Lane Jn -
Dn Slow - Skew Bridge Jn - Dn Goods - Preston Dn & Up Goods Loop - Shunting Line to Blackpool line first overbridge
(Ashton St) (rev) - X/0 (0m 33ch) - Dn Slow - Up Goods - Skew Bridge Jn - Ormskirk (rev) - Skew Bridge Jn - Dn Goods -
Preston South Jn - Ribble Steam Railway, Riverside Station stop board (rev) - Preston S Jn - Up Goods - Down Slow -
Preston Ribble Jn - Up Slow - Balshaw Lane Jn - Wigan NW P4 - Springs Branch (Slow Lines) Jn (5m 57ch) - Up Slow -
Springs Branch Jn (5m 25ch) - St Helens Central - Ravenhead Dn Gds Loop - Edge Hill P2 - Liverpool Lime Street P7.

FORMER NAMES: *Up/Main Salop, **Dn/Main Salop, †Through Sdg, ***Reception Line, ††Gresty Lane Sdg Headshunt.

The intended routeing at Wigan via the Down Slow, Passenger Loop and back to P5 was scuppered by
slightly late running of the tour and also a Virgin service, so it was a flyer to Preston behind the Class
66. Not an issue, but best to go slow, Slow lines that is at Balshaw Lane Jn, and then like being in third
class, the sought after Down Goods from Skew Bridge Jn (actually the whole train was first class!).
What's happening here, weren't we supposed to stop there as the train cruised through Preston RES
(Rail Express Systems - parcels, post and charters for the young members) platform, and just kept
going? I think it was either one of those, 'the driver needs to collect his sandwiches from the Preston
Power Box' moments or he wanted to get a finer view of St Walburge's Catholic Church at Preston
Fylde Jn from the Shunting Line. Top 'on the day' bonus track and shows the need to stay awake and
pay attention at all times. We then cover the Down Slow and Up Goods to reach the booked route.
Then it was off to our first destination Ormskirk 'termini', unusually loco-hauled, passing the beautiful
village of Rufford and a bouncy bus, Class 142, and various barges stationed in Fettlers Wharf Marina.
The Good Beer Guide was reviewed and a village pub noted for future reference. Our Up arrival at
Ormskirk was actually 'down' by a few minutes, and with the particularly short platform, stewards
ensured that no-one opened an incorrect door and fell out. Following the short interlude which
included passengers trying to get the elusive photo of the advertised 13.24 to Preston with the Class
68 in the background, it was time to get the Cat to the Dock with a change of headcode and direction.

ABOVE: Our Cat & Dock tour on the Ormskirk branch (Mike Birtles).
Over the PA, there was even an announcement that the buffet was closing as the track to the dock was
so rare the buffet staff didn't want to miss it. More 'out of the darkness there is light' moments as we
exited Fishergate Tunnel on the Preston Dock branch and over the A5072 at Strand Road level
crossing, weaving our way alongside the River Ribble to beyond the Ribble Steam Railway Riverside
station platform. Photographers lined the route looking for that perfect Big Cat or Shed shot.

[BLN 1284]

ABOVE: View from the cab of 66432 leading our 'Cat & Dock' tour towards the fearsome looking 1:29
gradient Preston Dock (Ribble) Branch, alongside Preston station to the right. 150112 is at P1 with, the
12.23 from Manchester Victoria to Blackpool North. (All pictures Geoff Plumb unless specified).

Even Big Cats can be unsteady on their feet but, after slipping (even on dry rails with sanders in use),
we safely made our way back up the 1:29 incline to station level at Preston, powering off to our final
destination of Liverpool Lime Street. Again routed via the Slow lines we finished off the Up Goods to
the south of Preston and the Up Slow to Balshaw Lane Jn. Hitting top pace on the Up Fast, the
cheetah-like Class 68 took us to Wigan and then via Springs Branch Slow Lines Jn, on to the St Helens
line for our final highlight of the day, Ravenhead Down Goods Loop. All went to plan and we were
tickled by seeing the left feather being given and taken, allowing the red pen to come out for many.
Finally the run to Liverpool Lime Street arriving 16.02, for the train to 'when empty return to Crewe'.
This was for its main purpose over the next few days, the annual Three Peaks Rail Challenge by Rail.

BELOW TOP: Still descending the gradient and on a sharp left-hand curve, the tour is about to pass
under the Waltons Parade roadbridge as it heads for Fishergate Tunnel and Strand Road Level Crossing
along the Ribble Branch. As seen from the cab of 66432 (leading). The light picks up the streaks on the
windscreen from the wipers - they seemed to be etched in and impossible to remove, unfortunately.

BELOW LOWER: The 140 yd Fishergate Tunnel as the train heads for Strand Road Level Crossing.

ABOVE: After picking up the Ribble Steam Railway Pilotmen the 'Cat & Dock' is on
Strand Road level crossing. (The NR boundary is this side of it.)

PREVIOUS PAGE, LOWER PICTURE: Our photographer photographs a photographer photographing our
photographer! The tour has passed over the Maritime Way level crossing and is on Ashton Swing
Bridge over the entrance to the former Albert Edward Dock, now a leisure marina. The bridge is shared
by rail and road (Navigation Way), but is closed to road traffic during rail movements! (See also BLN
1283.X92 picture.) ABOVE: On the same bridge (David Tillotson). BELOW: 1:25,000 map 1937-51 of
Preston Dock. Preston Fishergate Hill station (see walk report) is just left of the bottom right corner.

NEXT PAGE TOP: View to the side at the same point, looking west towards the River Ribble.

BELOW: After Strand Road crossing heading west and leading towards Preston Dock. The gates are
supported on rather grand posts and have to be opened and shut manually. Left is the Ribble Steam
Railway headshunt (they can also run to the NR boundary), the exchange sidings are round the bend.

ABOVE: The Class 66 end of the train on the non-NR section of the Preston Dock branch (Ian
Mortimer). BELOW: Beyond Preston Riverside station near the end of the Preston Dock branch.

ABOVE: Meeting a Merseyrail train at Ormskirk, this end of the platform is shown as P2 and the south
as P1 - not reflected in online systems or the Sectional Appendix! (Ian Mortimer). BELOW: Rufford to
Midge Hall is the last token operated section of the West Lancashire Line - just a token gesture now.

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