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10th January 2015

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Published by membersonly, 2018-05-04 00:49:27


10th January 2015

Issue Number 1224 (Items 1 – 125 and MR 1– 6) (28 PAGES) 10 January 2015


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, an international section is also available.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or of the Society.

BLN 1225 is due on Saturday 24 January; all contributions must be received by 14 January

Date Event Visit Type BLN Lead Notes

To be advised SVR signalling Hands on two day 1224 NJ Notify
(a weekend) experience. practical course
below interest

Sun 18/01/15 BLS 750V Tracker 09.32 Merseyrail railtour 1221 KA Enquire

Fri 20/02/15 Embsay & Bolton Comprehensive 1224 GW Notify
NOW OPEN Abbey Railway brakevan tour.
below interest

Sat 28/02/15 Scunthorpe Steel 10.30 Brakevan Tour 1219 PS Open

Fri 6/03/15 Lakeside & 10.00 Rare lines and 1224 KA NOW

NOW OPEN Haverthwaite Rly. diesel operating day below OPEN

Sat 7/03/15 Nene Valley/ Ferry Repeat comprehensive 1224 GW NOW

NOW OPEN Meadows Railways tours / Swedish railcar below OPEN

Sun 8/03/15 Chasewater 2ft & 10.00 Comprehensive 1224 PS NOW

NOW OPEN standard gauge railtours viewing etc. below OPEN

Fri 13/03/15 North Norfolk 11.00 Steam hauled 1224 KA NOW
NOW OPEN Railway brakevan railtour
below OPEN

Sat 21/03/15 GW Tracker tour IV Thames Valley Reading TBA KA Claimed

Fri 17/04/15 11.00 West Brakevan Tour full 1224 RG NOW

NOW OPEN Somerset Railway length of line (6 hours) below OPEN

Sun 19/04/15 TPE DMU Tracker NW - S Scotland - S&C TBA KA Claimed

Mon 20/04/15 11.00 repeat West Brakevan Tour of full 1224 RG NOW

NOW OPEN Somerset Railway length of line (6 hours) below OPEN

Mon 27/04/15 K&WV Railway Re-dated railtour 1207 KA Full

Sun 03/5/15 Moreton Park, 12.00 & 14.00 Track 1224 SP NOW

NEW Moreton-on-Lugg and Traction raitour below OPEN

8-10/05/15 Channel Islands Railway weekend 1213 KA Full

GW-Glen Wells, KA-Kev Adlam, NJ-Nick Jones, PS-Paul Stewart, RG-Robert Green, SP- Stephen Phillips.

1] Page Numbers: Your Committee and BLN team have agreed that from this edition these will no
longer be used; instead all items will be numbered, (as is the case with International BLN) to allow
for future developments (see centrefold) and more news space. To assist those printing e-BLN, the
total number of pages in each edition will be given at the top of the front page as above.

2] Severn Valley Railway Signalling Experience: Following our very successful signal box visits
(BLN 1221.1772) members will be able to attend a special Society SVR signalling weekend

experience, No previous experience is necessary! Saturday is a full training

day with an evening practice session. Sunday is (supervised) working one of the SVR's seven signal

boxes. An absolute bargain at £90 and the closest that most of us will get to the real thing! It is
necessary to be a SVR member (£20 adult £15 senior). Please send expressions of interest now with
2015 date availability to: Nick Jones: [email protected], 07768631867 or to 57,

Blar Mhor Rd, Caol, Fort William, PH33 7HR. The date will be chosen to suit the most people.

3] Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway, Friday 20 February: Near Skipton, BD23 6AF.

(SE007533). A proposed comprehensive brakevan trip of this over 4 mile

long line in lovely Yorkshire Dales countryside near Skipton. Expressions of interest (details will be
sent out to applicants mid-January) to Glen Wells [email protected] 01754 797902

(SSuX 20.00 to 21.00) or post (with SAE) to 48 Eastville Avenue, Rhyl, Denbighshire, LL18 3TN.

4] Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, Friday 6 March: A BLS/PLEG
joint rare track DMU charter and then all four operational diesel locos are working a private
operating day. At 10.00 their Class 110 DMU departs most unusually from Haverthwaite carriage
shed to East Tunnel headshunt then reverses beyond Haverthwaite West Tunnel via the station
run round loop and Lakeside station (run round loop to stop blocks). See timetable below for
rest of the day using Mk 1 stock with Class 20 20214, WD70272 / AD601, a 1945 Derby built War
Dept. 0-6-0DE (Class 11 design), Class 03 03072 and Class 03 D2117 concludes the day.
Haverthwaite station restaurant will be open with a selection of drinks and snacks for sale on the
loco-hauled rake. All inclusive Day Rover: £22 (BLS/PLEG members), £25 non-members payable
in advance only including souvenir ticket, track map and stock list. A minimum of 50 bookings are
required. CPA or cheques payable to Branch Line Society (not 'BLS'), and queries to Kev Adlam
per back page. For all bookings (and below) please supply an email address or SAE (2 for an
acknowledgement). First come first served on what is expected to be a very popular event.

*Starts from depot *DMU DMU 20214 20214 WD WD 03072 03072 D2117 D2117

Haverthwaite 10.00 11.33 11.50 12.48 13.00 13.53 14.05 14.58 15.10 16.03

(Newby Bridge) 10.52 11.21 12.02 12.36 13.12 13.41 14.17 14.46 15.22 15.51

Lakeside 10.58 11.15 12.08 12.30 13.18 13.35 14.23 14.40 15.28 15.45

5] Nene Valley Railway, Saturday 7 March: (see BLN 1206 p122 report) A repeat of last March's
very successful visit has been arranged using the Swedish railcar 'Helga' including the 10¼" gauge
700 yd Ferry Meadows Miniature Railway (hopefully all available track, the loop at Gunwade
Lake station and sidings etc. at Ham Lane station). The NVR route includes all loops, and the
Fletton Branch (NR boundary). It is hoped to use the Civil Engineers’: 4w Plasser to return from
Yarwell Mill to Wansford for an extra payment of £5 on the day. Early booking is advised; 44 limit
(railcar capacity). Cheque/CPA and enquiries to Glen Wells as above; £25.00 members, £30.00
non-members including lunchtime soup, a roll and tea or coffee at Wansford.

6] Chasewater Railway, Sunday 8 March: WS8 7NL (SK 0324 0728). A comprehensive tour of
the standard and 2ft gauge lines on a non-public day, starting at 11.00 (after English breakfast
with hot drink included in the cost) and concluding mid/late afternoon. Includes loops and as many
lines and sidings as possible; note Brownhills West layout was altered last summer and is different
from that shown in Minor Railways Track Plans Vol. 2 dated 23 June 2013. Brakevans/riding van

according to number (min 30 required) with 1958 built D2911 North British Loco 0-4-0DH 27876
on the standard gauge. Optional signal box visits, special railway museum /workshop opening,
refreshments available. Members £22 all inclusive; non members £25. Bookings to Paul Stewart.

7] North Norfolk Railway, Friday 13 March: See: Steam hauled brake van
special (NB: max 25 participants), with the immaculate Hudswell Clarke 1700 0-6-0ST (1938) ex-
British Sugar loco, Wissington; Connection Norwich 09.45; Sheringham bay
P3 (11.00), loop to Holt P2 stop block; through P1 to the rare sidings behind the platform (subject
to occupancy) and Bridge Road carriage depot throat. Then leg stretch at Weybourne and to
headshunt (reverse), back road No6 ('PW Siding' on trackMAPS) the most significant one and not
covered by our 15 June 2013 trip. Then Sheringham main line and through P1 to the NR limit, back
to P2. £25 members only; Bookings to Kev Adlam. Profits to the NNR and Wissington.

8] West Somerset Railway, Friday 17 & Monday 20 April: Thanks to Robert Green, there will
be separate diesel (TBA) brakevan trips both with the same itinerary on two non-public days over
the full length of this 22½ mile branch. Bishops Lydeard (BL) 11.00 to approx 17.00 (Taunton bus
connections from/to London/Midlands). BL sidings (No1 requested), and rare track, much not
visited before by passenger carrying trains, at: Williton, Washford, Dunster, Minehead and the
whole Norton Triangle (see BLN 1223.1849). Members £45 including hot drinks; £5 reduction
for Triangle Trips participants of 26 October 2014. Max 40 per tour; sorry no under 16s. All
applications should state preferred day (if any), which will be confirmed to you by the end of
February; also name, membership number, email address or supply an A4 size SAE (two for an
acknowledgement) and contact phone number. Those on the short waiting list must now confirm,
otherwise first come basis. Apply to Robert Green, 1 Paganel Way, Minehead, TA24 5HA.

9] Moreton Park Railway IX, Sunday 3 May: Off the A49 between Hereford and Leominster,
HR4 8DS (SO 5029 4644). Thanks to our local member Stephen Phillips and the D2578
Locomotive Society, our 9th visit has been arranged. At participants own risk, as before it covers all
safely available track on this delightful 1m 22ch standard gauge former military railway branch,
including the stone terminal and to the mainline connection at Moreton-on-Lugg. (See
TRACKmaps Vol.3 p27E August 2010 and for track plan, previous photos
and information.) Open wagon and van or Shark brakevan, (bring umbrella and a folding chair if
needed!). Subject to availability, haulage is intended to include D2302, D2578 and 03145
(confirmation can be provided nearer the date if required). Photo stops (not near the main line).
Advanced booking is required, £15 cash only pay on the day, ask about junior or family rates.
Bookings: please specify 12.00 or 14.00 trip or both, names of all participants (for site security) and
if you are a BLS member (non-members welcome) to Stephen at [email protected]
(preferred) or write (with SAE) to 'The Lakes Cottage,' Whitestone, Hereford. HR1 3NE; 0 1432
850572. All bookings will be confirmed (ring if this is not received).

10] 1224 FIXTURES REPORTS: Highland Main Line Signal Boxes, Saturday 22 November
2014: (60/21- 25) After meeting some participants off trains at Perth the day started at the modern
looking but actually 1961 built Stanley Jct. box _ see e-BLN Pictorial; formerly for Forfar and
Aberdeen etc. (CP 4 September 1967 and CA beyond Forfar; some society brakevan trips and tours
ran before the latter CG 7 June 1982). This much reduced box only controls the end of the double
track from Perth where Down trains can be set back and recessed on the Up line. Seven miles north
of Perth and a contemporary of the latter's Power Box, it uses levers and track circuit or tokenless
block to control motorised points and colour light signals. The 45 lever Steven’s frame, the modern
Tokenless Block instruments and an Individual Function Switch (IFS) panel were of interest.
Dunkeld box was next at Dunkeld & Birnam station. A conventional brick and timber box with a
relatively recent corrugated metal roof and double-glazed windows but traditional vertical beading
to the woodwork; originally a 35 lever McKenzie & Holland (McK&H) frame and IFS. It had
similar instruments to Stanley Jct. Some nice lattice post semaphores were seen, the particularly tall
Up Starter (see e-BLN Pictorial) having an unusual arc shaped metal 'stop' to preventing it rising
too far and 'looping the loop' ! There was a disused tablet/token exchange platform. Downstairs the
electro-mechanical interlocking was visited. Isolated Dalwhinnie was next, bigger than Dunkeld, a
modernised wooden construction on a brick base with double glazing (essential here!) and a tiled
roof. A 20 lever McK&H frame with IFS panel was in place but there were Tyers’ frame castings in

the locking room (with 'NER YORK' cast lettering), along with an old-style but actually new and
not yet installed cable tensioning wheel. A more conventional magnetic needle block instrument at
the Blair Atholl end and modern block instruments at the Kingussie end of the frame in the cabin
were also noted. There are standard BR upper quadrant signals controlling part of the section that
was redoubled over Druimuachdar Summit (at 1,484ft the highest location on NR) in the 1970s
from Blair Atholl during the North Sea oil boom and can signal up to three trains at once in the
same direction. Kingussie box is an all-wooden structure to the north of the station on the Up side
with galvanised steel steps up to the cabin and a privy extension at one end. A corrugated roof but
no double glazing completes the structure. The compact 18 lever frame has a horizontal straight
locking bar frame and electro-mechanical interlocking. The 'electrics' and 'electronics' look quite
modern too, maybe from after the 2013 flooding. The Dalwhinnie end block instruments look
modern and there is just an enunciator bell at the Aviemore end. The box also controls the level
crossing north of the station under direct vision. A CCTV monitor gives an excellent view of the
south of the station facing Aviemore, allowing the signalman to check Down trains are complete.
Aviemore has a wooden exterior and a corrugated metal roof with galvanised metal steps to the
cabin and double-glazing. There is a 1971 McK&H 30 lever frame working the station area in the
middle of the 1979 vintage 'NX' (entrance/exit) panel (only BR could do that!) also installed in the
large cabin at a skew angle across the width of the cabin floor. The latter controls the section from
Kingussie to the south edge of the Inverness panel area but not Aviemore (it works 'NX' to the
adjacent Aviemore station frame!); possibly a unique situation? There are loops at Kincraig, Carr
Bridge, Slochd, Tomatin and Moy (the last two only 3¼ miles apart) some added for the 1970s'
upgrade. The frame had several white (spare) levers and as well as the station area it controls the
Strathspey Railway connection (used mainly by the Royal Scotsman but only ECS!), via a brown
king lever, points and signals. The locking room contained upgraded electronics, electrics and the
usual mechanicals. Participants in this interesting and enjoyable day donated £275 to a local
children's charity as a 'thank you'. An interesting website:

11] Strathspey Railway (SR), Sunday 23 November 2014: (60/26- 28) A smaller party met at
10.00 after inspecting the delightful Aviemore station for a comprehensive morning walking tour on
a non-operating day. The layout is due to change here with removal of the original SR platform (CP
after use on 23 July 1998 since when trains have run to the more suitable NR station P3) and
installation of a passing loop to increase capacity for galas and special trains. After looking at the
ground frame, turntable and layout Aviemore Speyside (Garve box with Wick frame) was visited.
This typical Highland box not yet fully commissioned has a 21 lever McK&H frame. A Tyers’
token instrument was in place and instruments for the railway's electronic weighbridge. The group
viewed the signals (standard BR), pointwork, interlocking mechanisms, telegraph system and
rolling stock in the impressive, large and modern 'Roy Hamilton* Carriage Shed.' Boat of Garten
(South) box has 30 levers, working telephones, a Tyers’ token instrument and a Siemens (shades of
future past) foot plunger. A green lever controls interlocking with North box depending on whether
it is 'switched in' or not. Unusual periscope type mirrors are fitted at one end of the box, an SR
innovation so this well situated box gives an extensive view of the line both ways. Boat of Garten
(North) is similar to Aviemore (SR) but is all wooden. Six of the 20 levers work, including a king
lever locking it in or out of use. Outside there is a token exchange platform and a nearby interesting
co-acting upper quadrant signal. The party learnt much about this lovely railway during the 5½ hour
visit and were pleased to donate £100 to the signalling fund. Hopefully our next visit might be a
DMU tour of the recently extended line and rare track (BLN 1216.1285). *For our newer members,
Roy Hamilton (who sadly died in 2003) was a well known and popular Society Committee
member who organised Scottish railtours and was a BLN Editor and Vice President; he was
passionate about the SR and had a second home at Boat of Garten.

12] BLS/L&CI Yuletide Tracker, Sunday 21 December 2014: (60/31) FGW ran no less than
seven charity Santa trains, using a festively decorated 2-car 150234 with suitable window decals; at
roughly hourly intervals from Newton Abbot to the former Heathfield station. They were packed by
locals with many excited children, having sold out very quickly. Due to our previous charity work

and Tracker tours with FGW the Society was honoured to be asked to be involved in the day. Much
interest was shown in our Society publicity and sales stand at Newton Abbot booking hall, staffed
by your Publicity Officer, General Secretary and Editor. With 40 advance bookings and those made
on the day we managed to more than fill our allocation of 75 seats on the final enthusiasts' train at
15.55. In daylight, and driven by a lady FGW driver dressed as an elf (!), there was a photo stop (at
participants' own risk) in the Up platform at Heathfield (CP 2 March 1959, Moretonhampstead
branch) before running to the end of line (4m 07ch) then back through the run round loop (Down
platform). At Newton Abbot the former P9 line was taken to the buffers, (once the Motorail
terminal, and previously the bay for the branch and Teign Valley services to Exeter, it used to be
separated from the main station by the through lines). There was a great Christmas atmosphere,
FGW staff and passengers alike had an enjoyable but hectic day. Our mini-raffle for rear cab rides,
donations, tickets, sales of window decals etc. helped to raise a total of £5.5k for Dame Hannah's
Trust, a local charity that helps people with a range of disabilities. The timber trains (which run
round at Heathfield) from Teingrace where there was a good supply of logs to Chirk Kronospan still
operate but less frequently and the three year contract has nearly finished. Only one had run in
December with occasional trains from Exeter Riverside Yard. There is also timber to Chirk from
Baglan Bay, Carlisle Kingmoor Yard and Ribblehead. The day reminded one member of 5 July
1970. The 4th had been the Society West Wales Railtour (see BLN 1221.1666) on which word had
spread about the last trains to Bovey (Tracey) a further 2¼ miles beyond Heathfield the following
day, causing some to have a very long diversion home! Four last DMU trips were run by BR
Western Region from Newton Abbot and carried quite a few members, some camping the night in
local fields! The line had already CG 4 May 1970. A member asks if, with 16 letters, is
'Moretonhampstead' the longest single word in an English station name?

13] Great Bulkington Railway, Friday 26 December: (60/32) With thanks to member Alan
Absolom, a select group participated in our first ever Christmas fixture prior to the railway's annual
Boxing Day fund-raising afternoon for Macmillan Cancer Support. This is attended by most of the
village and even featured on Radio Wiltshire. Our Christmas 'party' was given several exhilarating
runs of the 1,000ft line round a large private garden and, after getting 'the feathers' the rare
Bulkington Halt loop (specially cleared of stock) platform using a battery powered 'Class 20' with a
sound chip. A class 08, 45 and GWR pannier were seen in the shed/workshop. Members then
enjoyed seasonal refreshments with superb hot local Wiltshire sausages and were pleased to make a
£40 donation. Next public running is Easter Monday 6 April from 13.00, pre-booking is not
required. The railway is adjacent to Bulkington Village Hall on the corner of Mill Lane and High
St., SN10 1SW, (ST 946584). Email the Editor for a copy of Martyn Brailsford's BLS track map.

14] Volunteer Wanted! The Fixtures Secretary is seeking a member to audit the standard gauge
Heritage Railways that the Society has visited over the years (and when this happened) to create a
list of those not visited or that are due for a revisit. Other factors such as significant changes and
additions to the layout could be noted too. Anyone who would like to discuss this project is asked to
email Kev Adlam per back page (if no email telephone 01270 662396 SSuX 20.30 to 21.30).

15] BLN 1223: Apologies to all who take paper BLN for late arrival as most unusually the SAEs
failed to arrive. Another set of envelopes was used with a special dispatch thanks to our volunteer
team on 22 December. The first set did turn up and were used for this BLN. Branch Line recipients
were notified by special email and a copy of BLN 1223 was made available to view on our website.
If anyone else wishes to receive Branch Line, for updates (roughly weekly) that don't make BLN;
just email (from where you wish to receive it) [email protected].

16] E-BLN 1223: Arrived on time as usual just after 07.00 on Friday 19 December. E-BLN 1224
comes with the December 2014 updated BLS Scunthorpe Steel Works map (with thanks to Martyn
Brailsford and Alan Sheppard); anyone else who would like to see it please email the Editor.

17] BLN 1225: With thanks to member Richard Maund it is anticipated that the new 2015 edition
of PSUL will be posted out to all full members with BLN 1225 and specially to those who only take
e-BLN. The latest updated edition is always available at

18] BLS Twitter Accounts: For those not aware 'Twitter' is a free online social networking service
enabling users to send and read short messages (tweets) of up to 140 characters. (For the cynics,
remember how dubious some were about steam engines and railways in the early days.) It started in
July 2006 and has more than 500M users; over half are active including two Society accounts; our
Fixtures Secretary, Kev Adlam, (his previous position address)
and Publicity Officer, David Clark: Through these addresses anyone
can follow these interesting tweets which include pictures, short notice fixtures updates, information
and unusual happenings about railways generally. To tweet or retweet messages requires
registration. The Twitter service handles over 1.6bn search queries a day.

1224 HEAD LINES: Record of Openings and Closings
19] Telford Steam Tramway: (BLN 1222.1783) From 6 December 2014 ran for the public
(special events pre-booked Santa specials), normal public operation is from 3 April 2015.

20] Midland Metro; Priestfield (excl.) - The Royal (incl.) tram stops: (BLN 1216.1297) ROP
16.00 on 16 December 2014 after the concrete had set! (TCP since 6 September 2014 inclusive for
replacing rails.) On departure for Birmingham Snow Hill trams temporarily use the new trailing
crossover in service south of 'The Royal' (the former trailing north crossover has been lifted). This
line was further TCP 27 - 29 December (partially 27th – 29th) due to a broken down tram. Beyond to
Wolverhampton St. Georges remains TCP. At Snow Hill only the left line on arrival is in use.

21] Jubilee Line; Waterloo - Finchley Road (both incl.) & 6 intermediate *stations: TCP 26 to
30 December 2014 inclusive for work on the tunnels [London Underground].

22] London Underground; Praed St. Jct. - Embankment (excl.) via Victoria / Hammersmith
District plats. (excl.), & Cromwell Curve East Jct. - Cromwell Road Jct. & Turnham Green
(excl.) - Gunnersbury Jct. & Earls Court (incl.) - East Putney & West Kensington East Jct. -
Kensington (Olympia) & Minories Jct. - Aldgate (excl.) & intermediate stations* including
East Putney (inclusive) to Wimbledon (excl.): TCP 26 to 30 December 2014 inclusive for track and
drainage work at Earls Court and work on Victoria station. (*Some, on other lines, partially closed).

23] Piccadilly Line, Arsenal: TCP 27- 30 December 2014 inclusive for station work. [LU.]

24] Millerhill South Jct. (5m 72ch) - End of Line (6m 52ch): (BLN 1180.328) former Bilston
Glen branch: ROG 31 December 2014 (TCA since 23 February 2013 for Borders Railway work), a
reversing facility with a bidirectional run round loop at the south end of the Millerhill triangle.

25] Reading; Westbury Line Jct. (36m 17ch) - Reading High Level Jct. (36m 50 / 71ch) -
Whitehouse Jct. (37m 53ch) (Scours Lane) - OA Sunday 4 January 2015 Reading Viaduct or
Elevated Railway, the new permanent route of the Up and Down Main Reading - Didcot lines. A
view from the 08.00 Paddington to Penzance, the first passenger train.

26] Severn Valley Railway; Bewdley station (incl.) - MP 140¼: TCA after running on 4 January,
ROP due 14 February 2015. A total possession by the Severn Trent Water Authority for
replacement of the 1906 Victorian Elan Aqueduct water-carrying large pipes under the railway (SO
7761 7818) which is severed here (two original 42" and two of 60" diameter pipes added between
1919 and 1961). Road-railers will operate there from Bewdley station car park works compound.

27] Tottenham Court Road station: Central Line (P1&2) only, TCP is due from 5 January to 29
November 2015 inclusive for station upgrade and Crossrail work [London Underground].

28] Christmas Quiz Answers: (BLN 1223.1844) Electrified lines which are signalled to allow moves
by electric traction (so they are not just junction overruns) and where all regular (at least once a
week) passenger services are provided by diesel trains, in the current timetable, include:
(1) Edinburgh, Portobello Jct. - Niddrie South Jct. - Newcraighall station (inclusive).
(2) Glasgow, Springburn station (excl.) - Sighthill West Jct. - (just short of) Cowlairs South Jct.
(3) Motherwell, Mossend South Jct. - Mossend East Jct.
(4) Ayr station 40m 49ch (excl.) - Stranraer line 40m 79ch (EMU reversal & depot access).
(5) Newcastle E.Jct.- High Level Bridge Jct.- Greensfield W. Jct.-King Edward Bridge E.- S. Jcts.
(6) Newcastle, King Edward Bridge North Jct. - King Edward East Jct. A PSUL route like (5).
(7) Carnforth North Jct. - Down Furness line 0m 52ch for access to electrified sidings.
(8) Preston, Fylde Jct. - Fylde (Blackpool) line (0m 63ch).
(9) Skipton station (exclusive) - Up Shipley Main, electrified beyond station as a headshunt.
(10) Leeds station (exclusive) - Neville Hill (depot access).
(11) Doncaster, Flyover West Jct. - Flyover East Jct. - Loversall Jct. (the PSUL 'service' is a HST).
(12) Manchester, Castlefield Jct. - Trafford Park West Jct. (football special EMUs are not weekly).
(13) Stockport, Edgeley Jct. No.1 - Hazel Grove station - Up Buxton line (2m 35ch).
(14) Lowton Jct.-Newton-le-Willows Jct.-Earlestown East-South Jcts.-Winwick Jct.,WCML route.
(15) Newton-le-Willows Jct. - Parkside Jct. (route electrified with Manchester - Glasgow service).
(16) Liverpool, Edge Hill station (excl.) - Waterloo Branch Jct. (1960s electrification).
(17) Liverpool, Hunts Cross West Jct. - Allerton (CLC) Jct. (the Hunts Cross Chord).
(18) Crewe North Jct. - Crewe Steelworks (159m 41ch) Chester line depot access.
(19) Crewe South Jct. - Gresty Green (1m 41ch) Shrewsbury line.
(20) Rugeley Trent Valley station (P1) (14m 52ch) - Cannock Line (14m 13ch).
(21) Wolverhampton North Jct. - Oxley (143m 65ch) Shrewsbury line depot access.
(22) Birmingham, Perry Barr South Jct. - West Jct. (PSUL football special EMUs are not weekly).
(23) Coventry North Jct. (0m 00ch) - Down Bedworth line (0m 45ch) stabling siding access.
(24) Coventry South Jct. (8m 45ch) - Kenilworth line (8m 20ch) reversing and siding access.
(25) Nuneaton P6/7 (MR Arley/Water Orton line) - Hinckley/Leicester Line (0m 39ch).
(26) Bletchley P5 & 6 - Bletchley East Jct. - (0m 21ch) depot access.
(27) Peterborough station (exclusive) - Down Slow / Down Stamford - Helpston Jct.*
(28) Norwich, Thorpe Jct. - Wensum Jct. (and slightly beyond).
(29) Manningtree North Jct. - Manningtree East Jct. (Ipswich (etc.) - Parkeston direct services).
(30) Bedford station excl. (16m 60ch)-Up/Down Bletchley (16m 40ch) Jowett EMU siding access.
(31) St. Pancras International (Midland Mainline) incl. - Kentish Town Dock Jct. North.
(32) Ore station (excl.) - east end crossovers (former EMU Depot access/ turnback siding).
* Has a different Engineers' Line Reference from the ECML and is effectively a different route.

29] Near Misses: Not quite qualifying for the list in the previous item but worthy of note:
(1) Warrington South Jct. - Walton Old Jct. - Acton Grange Jct.: Qualified up to 13 December 2014
but is now the booked route of some electric hauled Anglo-Scottish sleeper trains (PSUL 2015).
(2) Stansted North Jct. - East Jct.: Qualified for the list prior to 21 July 2014 (BLN 1210.847).
(3) South Tottenham East Jct. - South Tottenham West Jct.: a DMU service but fails to qualify due
to the unidirectional PSUL once weekly EMU, the 05.31 SO Liverpool St. to Enfield Town.
(4) Brockenhurst Jct. - Lymington Pier: worked by DMUs Mondays to Fridays and EMUs SSuO.
Are any electric passenger trains booked via the electrified Balshaw Lane slow line deviation?

30] Doncaster, Up East Coast Slow: Has a surprising number of booked passenger trains (most
electric so (11) above does not extend to Loversall Carr Jct.). They are Doncaster departures to
King’s Cross from Leeds (except where shown): SSuX 07.19 & 07.56 (both ex-Hull), 08.11, 09.17,
hourly to 18.17 then 19.16 & 14.25 (both ex-York); SO: 08.37; SuO 17.18, 18.18, 19.19 and 20.20.

31] MR/NER Track Plans: Keith Preston has 200 photocopied mainly MR, with some NER,
station and junction diagrams available in a 3'x2' folder in return for a suitable donation to the
Vintage Carriage Trust ( K&WVR). He can bring them on the 750V Tracker tour 07423075747.

32] Additions & Alterations: The Tanfield Railway (BLN 1222.1785) last ran passenger services
between Causey Arch and East Tanfield on 24 December 2012 prior to the lengthy closure for
engineering work. Middlesbrough Goods: (BLN 1222.1800) the original junction was Old Town
Jct. rather than Middlesbrough Old Jct. Dublin, North Strand (Road) Jct.: (BLN 1223.1867)
Stephen Johnson's Atlas & Gazetteer of the Railways of Ireland includes 'Road' in the name without
provenance; although it also appears as such in some publications, there are others of repute that
exclude it. The IÉ working timetables of 20 January 2013 and 28 July 2013 in both the Schedule of
Permanent Speed Restrictions and Table 02 exclude Road. The most recent evidence suggests the
official name excludes Road (and almost certainly always has), so the original item (BLN
1221.1670) and TRACKmaps were correct. In Bletchley RMC (BLN 1221.1686), the letters stands
for Ready Mixed Concrete Ltd. (not Roadstone Mining Company) which was taken over by a
Mexican company CEMEX in 2005. Finally the Midland Railway (BLN 1223.1875) was formed
on 10 August 1844 (rather than 1944 of course; becoming part of the LMS on 1 January 1923) by
the merger of The Midland Counties, the North Midland and the Birmingham and Derby Jct.
Railways. They met at the three way junction of Derby which then became the headquarters,
locomotive and eventually carriage works (also the mile post datum 0m 00ch).

33] Midland Cities: (BLN 1223.1879): There was an exact parallel to 'Nottingham City' at
Sheffield, where the ex-LMS station was also suffixed 'City' by BR from 25 September 1950 then
changed to Midland from 18 June 1951. Our member has never seen any photographic evidence of
signage using the City suffix at either. Chesterfield (ex LMS) station was suffixed St. Mary's
between the same dates then Midland. Derby’s main station very appropriately was Midland from
25 September 1950. The MR suburban station half a mile north at Nottingham Road was, in the
maroon and cream era, also prefixed Derby but at some point prior to closure on 6 March 1967
(presumably to avoid passengers alighting at the wrong stop) the 'Derby' was rather messily painted
out on the running-in boards and totems. Bristol Stapleton Road similarly lost its 'Bristol' prefix.

34] Not the first First Great Western 1st refurbishment: (…but maybe the last). The current first
class HST vehicle refurbishment features the decorative use of the initials GWR. The seat backs at
head level have a prominent GWR in the middle, the saloon partitions have a decorative surfacing
with many small discreet GWRs as the repeated pattern and signs in the toilets are headed GWR
without any reference to that being the issuing authority. The W is in a larger, and therefore taller,
font than the G and the R, giving a lozenge effect. Most of the sets are due to be replaced by IEPs in
two years or so; some HSTs are to operate as shorter formations in Scotland.

35] Network South East (NSE) Clock: Once widespread in the area, the huge 5'-1" (1.55m) wide
iconic double sided mechanical-digital clocks weigh about 58kg with 6 flaps each side and are
visible from a considerable distance. Integral fluorescent light tubes illuminate the digits for night
viewing. See To buy a working second hand one for £750 or for a free
computer re-creation with optional 'clicks', ambient sound and train horn:
There was no standard model but many variants. The NSE brand was created by Chris Green in
1986 and was dismantled with privatisation from 1 April 1994 onwards.

36] London & SE Rail Map: From 14 September edition (orange background) the main change
was renaming the Bedford to Brighton and Wimbledon loop routes as Thameslink (Southern, GE,
GN and SE were unaltered). A further 14 December 2014 edition, with a light brown background,
shows the extended network of SE services via HS1, Charing Cross SE services not calling at
London Bridge also planned engineering work for Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road. As
before, on the London map, the routes from Croxley to Rickmansworth, Paddington to South
Ruislip, Wandsworth Road to Battersea Park and Tulse Hill to Streatham Hill are not shown as
having any (limited) service. The only such routes being the District branch to Kensington Olympia
and the Southern service round the Wimbledon loop and the former peak hour SE service from
Blackfriars to Herne Hill which is now shown to Denmark Hill. On the L&SE map Ipswich to
Mistley, the Southern via Eastleigh also Gatwick Express and FGW (both to Brighton) still appear.

37] Access for All: (BLN 1209.789) Transport Briefing reports further stations to receive upgrades
in the current CP5 as Brondesbury, Teddington, Palmers Green, Coulsdon South, Shortlands,
Plumstead, Selhurst, Carshalton, Bexley, and Alexandra Palace.

38] Beckenham Junction - New Beckenham: (BLN 1223.1881) To clarify, this route is now only
used by the 04.50 SSuX Tonbridge to Charing Cross; the 00.15 Charing Cross to Tonbridge runs
main line. So it reverts to the 'quality' of passenger service it enjoyed prior to 29 May 1995 - a
single unidirectional 'unsocial hours' train (possibly for route knowledge retention as it is used for
diversions). At least the train will be advertised (without specifying the route) unlike its long-ago
predecessor. It is not clear whether the previous weekday round trip (believed to be for berthing
stock between peaks) will reappear after London Bridge remodelling is complete (January 2018).

39] Crossrail (BLN 1223.1883) (1) GW Main Line: Installation of points at each end of the new
loop at Old Oak Common East and points 8276B for a new connection to the Colnbrook branch was
postponed and did not take place over the Christmas holiday. Although official information shows
the new Stockley viaduct being available from 07.00 on 27 December, Realtime Trains suggests
that it was brought into passenger use from 31st. Until that date Heathrow Connect services were
shown as using the Main Lines to and from the Airport branch.
(2) Hayes & Harlington: Crossrail Ltd. has applied for planning permission for a new steel and
glass station building to the north of the station on a site currently occupied by commercial
property. It is to be much more visible and prominent than the existing station. In addition:

• A new footbridge with four new lifts to provide step free access to every platform.
• A new waiting room on P4/5.
• Platform extensions and new canopies.
• New lighting, customer information screens, station signage, help points and CCTV.
(3) Chadwell Heath: Construction of a new turnback siding between the Up and Down Electric
Lines was completed by 04.00 on 29 December. It is secured OOU until April 2015. It will
eventually be used for reversing Up (ECS) trains running out of Ilford depot.

40] Croydon Tramlink: (BLN 1221.1695) December Underground News reports on Trams 2030,
a plan to cope with a forecast doubling in passenger demand. The first priority is to build the
Dingwall Road loop by 2018 to reverse additional trams from the east. Four additional trams are
due in 2015 to boost the Wimbledon service. These will fill the Therapia Lane depot and thought is
being given to expanding the depot or stabling trams elsewhere. A further increase in capacity on
the Wimbledon branch requires doubling of the Wandle Park flyover and a turnback facility near
Reeves Corner; perhaps also at South Wimbledon. The latter could also become a terminus for a
future Sutton branch. Finally longer tram vehicles will be required or coupled pairs of trams.

41] District & Piccadilly Lines: (BLN 1222.1795 also Head Lines this edition) A late change was
made to the 26 to 30 December arrangements following union objections to the operation of
Piccadilly Line trains to Ealing Broadway. Those trains were diverted to Northfields over the
normal Piccadilly Line tracks with an additional call at Turnham Green. Ealing Broadway was
served by a two-train shuttle to and from Ealing Common, reversing in the depot at the latter.

42] Docklands Light Railway: In an 8 December press release to mark the transfer of the
operating franchise to KeolisAmey Docklands Ltd., TfL announced service improvements. From
early this year a 12tph off-peak service to Woolwich Arsenal and between Bank and Lewisham
until 23.30 daily will be introduced. Three-car trains will be introduced between Stratford and
Canary Wharf at weekends. A general 12tph off-peak service will be introduced by 2017.

43] East Croydon: The Your Local Guardian website reports that Croydon Council has held talks
with NR with a view to renaming the station Croydon Central, reviving the name of the short-lived

terminal station in the borough. Readers’ comments are universally critical of the proposal,
branding it a waste of money and pointing out that the station is not in the centre of Croydon!

44] Hamleys Toy Shop: The IanVisits website reports on the opening of a mock up tube station in
the basement of the Regents Street store. It comes complete with the cab of a 1972 Tube Stock car,
renumbered 1760 to reflect the date that Hamleys first opened.

45] Liverpool Street: (BLN 1222.1810, 1207.584): Works are proposed to remodel Bow Jct. to
enable more trains to use the Electric Lines into Liverpool St. Most Crossrail trains, except for a
handful of peak services, will have disappeared underground by this point so capacity will be
available. P18 is to be taken out of use so that P16 and P17 can be extended to take the new 9-car
Crossrail trains, although they will actually be of 12-car length. As previously reported, the Draft
Anglia Route Study suggests that additional platforms could be provided. In detail, these are:
(1) New P0 in the shopping area (west side of the station), but may require P1 to be shortened.
(2) Three new platforms between P10 and P11, one adjacent to P10 and two in the taxi rank area.
(3) Remodelling of the existing P1-10 within the western train shed to allow provision of an
additional three 12-car length platforms or an additional two 12-car and two 10-car platforms.
(4) An additional terminal station to the north within the area of NR owned land next to Shoreditch
High Street station on the East London Line. [Come back Broad Street; all is forgiven? - Ed.]
The Anglia route study should have been published in December 2013 but actually came out in
November 2014. The deadline for responses is 3 February 2015 and the final document is to be
published in the summer. Anyone can comment, see:

46] LUL Track Retrieval Device: A 16 December TfL press release reports on the introduction of
a new device designed to retrieve items dropped on the track by passengers. It enables staff to
retrieve safely small, high-value items such as mobile phones, electronic devices and handbags
from the track. It is designed to be used without having to turn off the power supply and without
staff having to step down on to the track. Recorded dropped item episodes increased by 62%
between 2009/10 and 2012/13, although minor incidents dealt with quickly are often not recorded.
There is also a rising trend of passengers attempting to retrieve items themselves. The press release
quotes a figure of 195,000 hours of delay in 2013, presumably to passengers, not to trains.

47] LUL Working Timetables: New WTTs were introduced on several lines from 14 December to
coincide with the national timetable change. The most significant changes are:
(1) Circle, H&C and District Lines: At Barking all H&C services reverse in the sidings apart from
three trains using the bay platform for route knowledge purposes. All District Line reversal is in the
bay. Between the peaks SSuX, 07.30 to 20.00 SO and 11.00 to 09.00 SuO half of the District Line
trains previously reversing at Tower Hill are extended to Barking. During the same period SuO
trains scheduled to reverse at Barking are extended to Upminster. Cannon Street station (recently
the only LUL station closed on Sundays) is now open all day seven days a week.
(2) Metropolitan Line: All daily off-peak services from Uxbridge now run to Aldgate instead of
alternately to Baker Street and Aldgate. This increases the Aldgate service to 12tph and with Circle
and H&C trains gives an even 2½ min. interval between Baker St. and Liverpool St.
(3) Northern Line: Introduction of the new Transmission Based Train Control (TBTC) signalling
system has enabled some acceleration. An extra three trains (total 96) are required for peak services,
probably the maximum availability until more trains are purchased. The last time 96 trains were
scheduled was in the October 1964 WTT (Underground News). A steady decline then set in lasting
for many years. The northbound morning peak service segregation has been reversed; Bank branch
trains generally operate to the Edgware branch and Charing Cross branch trains to High Barnet/Mill
Hill East. During the morning peak the northbound Bank branch operates 26tph and 22tph on the
northbound Charing Cross branch. Otherwise there are 24tph in the central area in the busiest hour
of each peak, with up to 30tph on the Morden branch. The normal daily service pattern outside the
weekday peaks is 20tph throughout except on the Mill Hill East branch.

48] The Surrey Iron Railway/Road (SIR): Map courtesy of Croydon Online. Actually a 4'-2"
gauge double track horse-drawn toll iron plateway although the first company in the world to have
'Railway' in its title. Initially 8½ miles long from the River Thames at Wandsworth to Croydon it
was built to serve the industrialised Wandle Valley as the roads were so poor. Open from 1803/5 to
1846, it mainly carried coal, lime, building materials, manure, corn and seeds (not passengers!).
Traffic was lost to the Croydon Canal which opened in 1809 and subsequently to railways which
could take heavier locomotives and loads much faster. A member explored the route on 10
November with thanks to Don Kennedy for historical information and directions. Starting from
Wandsworth, The Causeway, a footpath runs parallel to the now un-navigable River Wandle,
passing under the ex-LSWR line 200yd west of Wandsworth Town station (on the subway wall of
which is an impressive, restored L&SWR 1886 pediment). The footpath reaches Armoury Way near
the site of the now totally lost and infilled River Wandle Basin, from where the SIR began.
Described as probably Britain's first public railway; Royal Assent to its Act of Parliament was
given on 21 May 1801. The associated dock and canalised section of the Wandle to the Thames
opened on 9 January 1802. The line opened formally on 26 July 1803 but was not completed until
March 1805. Thought to be single track at first, by June 1806 it was said to be double; the 4'-2"
gauge was to the outer faces of the iron plate rail flanges on stone sleeper blocks. Traffic ceased on
31 August 1846 and the land was sold to the LB&SCR in June 1847. Some was used for the West
Croydon to Wimbledon Railway and then London Tramlink between Waddon Park and Waddon
Marsh and at Mitcham.

The Causeway to Armoury Way trackbed is now
inaccessible. From the latter the SIR continued along
what is now Ram St., past the former Young’s Ram
brewery, now being redeveloped. Cemented into the ex-
brewery wall are a number of SIR stone sleeper blocks
with drilled holes to support the rails; the only original
artefacts along the entire route. It crossed Wandsworth
High St. and continued along the east side of Garratt Lane
for nearly two miles past Earlsfield station to
Summerstown. The very wide pavement is probably a
SIR legacy. Garratt Lane makes a curious dog-leg just
before passing under the LSWR at Earlsfield and it is
possible that the SIR may have been altered accordingly,
as when the London & Southampton Railway original
main line was built (OP 12 May 1838), the SIR was still
operating. From Garratt Lane it ran along Summerstown
(the B235) and at the end of that road crossed Plough
Lane. The SIR continued along what starts as a broad
footpath west of Lambeth cemetery (not actually in
Lambeth!), petering out at an industrial estate. An
unsignposted diversion through the industrial estate is
needed, regaining the route where it passed under the
Wimbledon to Tooting railway just east of Haydons
Road station. The route passes new housing and
parkland on the left and a former sewage works on the
right. At the end of Boundary Rd., the SIR continued
along Mead Park and then Byegrove Rd. to cross Colliers
Wood High St. close to the Underground station. The
River Wandle (right) follows the railway route quite
closely, usually out of sight behind buildings. South of
here the exact alignment is briefly lost but resumes at Christchurch Rd. It continues on the east side
of this road, crossing the junction with Merantun Way. This road was built on part of Merton Park
to Tooting line route near the site of Merton Abbey station, (CP 3 March 1929, CG 5 May 1975,
latterly domestic coal). Continuing south on Christchurch Rd, the SIR continued straight ahead

along Church Rd. to its end, then initially along Church Path and to the right side of another
footpath, Baron Walk. It crossed the latter just before Baron Walk itself and crosses Croydon
Tramlink near Mitcham stop. From this point to Waddon Marsh tram stop the modern tramway is
on the route of the SIR (other than the bridge over the NR line at Mitcham Junction!). Nothing
remains of the Mitcham (Town) or Beddington Lane Halt former LB&SCR stations. The SR’s
original Waddon Marsh Halt (where our reporter recalls the signalman issued tickets through a
ticket window in the end of the signal box) has also totally vanished; it was perhaps 50yd northwest
of the present Tramlink stop. Here the SIR veered away eastwards, following what is now Factory
Lane and an anonymous, little footpath into Cornwall Rd., continuing left into the street called
Pitlake. The SIR terminated here, roughly under the Jubilee Way flyover, adjacent to the tracks of
Tramlink and the West Croydon-Sutton line (TQ 3185 6575). It connected here with two other
(1) The Croydon, Merstham & Godstone Iron Railway: OG 24 July 1805 to Merstham but never
reached Godstone; our member believes much of the course of the line was obliterated by the M23
and two sections incorporated into the Brighton Main Line.
(2) The Croydon Canal Co.’s tramroad: OG in, or just after, 1809 from Pitlake to the Canal Co.’s
basin just under a mile away. The latter site is now occupied by West Croydon station and the
eastbound Tramlink track from Reeves Corner tram stop (close to Pitlake) to West Croydon station
essentially follows this tramroad.

49] Hackbridge Branch: (Originally Hack Bridge.) To follow this SIR 1¼ mile branch from
Mitcham return by tram to Mitcham Junction, then walk north along Carshalton Rd and first left
into Willow Lane. Immediately after crossing over the Mitcham Junction to Streatham line and
Tramlink, steps on the left (TQ 2796 6770) lead down to Tramway Path. (The Tramway Path north
of this bridge to Mitcham was only adjacent to the SIR.) Southwards the path gradually merges into
London Rd. in the vicinity of The Goat public house (TQ 2820 6716). The SIR continued to
Hackbridge on the west side of London Rd., the very wide pavement probably a SIR legacy and
crossed London Rd. into a small industrial estate near Hackbridge station (ex-LB&SCR).

50] Callerton Parkway: (BLN 1223.1871) A Metro park & ride stop also for Newcastle Airport
which is just three minutes away by Metro. It is exactly on the alignment of the former North
Eastern Railway Ponteland and Darras Hall branch, but south of Callerton Lane level crossing (the
original station was north). There is a short deviation at Woolsington, between Callerton and
Bankfoot, where a noise-reducing embankment was built on the original alignment to separate the
Metro line from some houses. The original Callerton had a single platform as only the Up line was
laid between Coxlodge and Ponteland, although the earthworks and structures on the branch were
built for double track. The NER's anticipated increase in traffic which would have justified
doubling the whole branch didn't happen until 1991 when the Tyne & Wear Metro took over!

51] Metrolink: (1). Deansgate-Castlefield stop: On 17 December the new island platform and
loop track opened; this is now both the inbound and outbound platform during demolition (a three
week job which started on 5 January) and improvement of the former outbound platform. From 19
January, the Exhibition Footbridge closes and the First St. stairs off Whitworth St. West reopen.
Some stop access improvement work is at night (when trams do not run) until the end of February.
(2) East Didsbury: Each platform is used alternately (previously mainly the left one on arrival).
(3) Someone should get a Rocket! The New Year started 4 minutes late in Manchester as a tram
pulled into Piccadilly on the stroke of midnight delaying the firework display to mark the start of
2015. They were not supposed to be running then and it had to be moved from the fall out zone.

52] Hamilton Square: Posters from the 1940s-60s have been found behind old cladding during
refurbishment. Their condition was very poor but they have been photographed and documented.

53] Mid Cheshire Line: The Leaf Fall was difficult on this line as they fall at different rates and
are of different juiciness. Dry leaves tend to blow away but after some very slippery experiences,
including one day where a train tried to stop at Plumley but slid straight through (the driver reversed
back with permission): Northern agreed with NR that the Rail Head Treatment Train would run at
30mph (and on the Chat Moss line) rather than the standard 60mph. This seemed to do the trick as
most of the black mulch on the rail heads disappeared within three to four days.

54] Reddish South: The Friends are proposing a service from Stockport to
Salford Crescent calling at Reddish South, Denton, Manchester Victoria, Salford Central and
Salford Crescent. (How about a circular route using the new Ordsall curve? _ Northern Ed.)

55] Hazel Grove: The 11.57 (SuX) from Norwich regularly uses P1 (as booked). The SuO 22.05
from Southport is booked to terminate in P2 but did so 1/3 times at the start of the new timetable.

56] Ripley - Derby: A member explored this ex-MR branch in early November. At Kilburn and
Little Eaton there is virtually nothing left of the stations situated by level crossings. Coxbench
looks like a station and is a well-maintained residence on to the main village road. A matching
station building extension has been built. Its intact single platform is visible from the former level
crossing. To the south the station master's house Station House is a well-cared for private property.
A mile north of Derby station the main buildings (unmistakably MR) of St. Mary’s Goods Station
are intact; tastefully refurbished as part of an industrial estate. This station's WW1 War Memorial
(22 staff were lost in the conflict) is now mounted on the main building at Derby station P1.

57] Nottingham North East Re-signalling Scheme: Lincoln line control to 16m 02ch (the old BR
London Midland / Eastern Region boundary) is to transfer to the East Midlands Regional
Operations Centre (EMROC) Derby, which will interface with Newark Castle box. Lowdham,
Fiskerton Jct., Staythorpe Crossing signal boxes and Fiskerton and Rolleston stations' LC gate
cabins will be abolished. Fiskerton crossover was removed over the weekend of 29/30 November.

58] Corby Glen: OP 1852 as Corby by the GNR at 97m 07ch on the ECML, it was renamed 'Corby
(Lincs)' in 1937 and Corby Glen in 1947 (to avoid confusion with Corby, Northants). The station
houses and goods yard loading bank exist; all traces of the station have gone.

59] Denton Branch: Northwards from Woolsthorpe Canal Wharf (Grantham Canal, owned by the
GNR), this also GNR ironstone branch trackbed is a very pleasant sylvan footpath for about two
miles, mostly on embankment, intersecting with a footpath crossing near Muston village. Beyond
there it is an unobstructed unofficial path (no warning notices) for another mile to the A52 and its
relentless traffic, across which a Leicestershire County Council public footpath sign directs the
walker through a NR gate to a public footpath set of steps up to the Nottingham to Grantham line,
adjacent to the site of Belvoir Jct. Here the branch joined this line: the junction faced Nottingham.

60] Derby: On Sunday 8 February, there is a booked possession of the Main lines between Derby
Station North Jct. and St Mary's North Jct. Down trains are due to use the Down Goods line from
Derby station to St Mary's North Jct. (129m 00ch), and Up trains the Up Goods line between
Breadsall (130m 58ch) and Derby station. EMT services are currently shown as taking the Up
Goods at Breadsall; XC services do not include Breadsall as a timing point (but may do the same).

61] Derby Litchurch Lane: On 11 December Mayor of London Boris Johnson opened a £1.6M
Crossrail iron bird integration train test facility at Bombardier's rolling stock assembly centre. It
was inspired by the aviation industry, where advanced pre-production testing takes place in a
simulated environment. This is the first new building investment at Litchurch Lane for many years,
none of the existing structures was long enough to take a complete Crossrail Aventra train, at
205m one of the longest on the network and taking 1,500 passengers.

62] Nottingham NET Track laying on the 17.5km Phase 2 extensions was completed on 11
December. 3,800 sections of rail, weighing over 2,100 tonnes, 71,000 fastenings, 14,200 m3 of
concrete and 35,000 tonnes of ballast have been used on the two new lines to Chilwell and

63] Nottingham Express Tramway trackplan: With thanks to our Publications officer, Martyn
Brailsford. Station Street stop is due to be replaced by 'Nottingham Station' and note the crossover
south of Bulwell stop. When complete there will be 32 route km with 51 tram stops including
seven 'park & ride' sites providing up to 23M passenger journeys a year. For a 3½ minute time
lapse video of the Phase 2 extensions see: A June opening is predicted.

64] Fakenham: On 10 December the Melton Constable Trust (which is behind the charitable
Norfolk Orbital Railway) purchased 3.5 acres of land at Pudding Norton for £24k at auction, after
unsuccessful attempts in 2009. The 440m length south of Fakenham (East) includes two bridges,
one with three arches over the River Wensum. The long term objective is to extend the Mid Norfolk
Railway from Dereham to Fakenham. Their interesting website:

65] Shenfield: (BLN 1223.1900) Correspondents have reported that the additional platform at
Shenfield will not need to be numbered '0' [The original comment was very tongue-in-cheek -Ed!].
It will be beyond and sharing an island with P5 west of the station with the main buildings,
probably created by piling the sloping embankment to make level space. To minimise demolition,
P6 will be slightly to the south-west of P5. The plans can be found at Vol.2
(sheets 81-83). On completion the normal platform use at Shenfield is intended to be: P1 Up
Southend, P2 Up Main, P3 Down Main. (These three as at present.) P4 Down Southend. P5/6
Crossrail. Southend trains would run via the Main Lines south-west of Shenfield, effectively
segregating the railway and keeping Greater Anglia and Crossrail apart. It is possible there will be
reinstatement of all of the sidings west of P5, some of which are OOU. The new sidings may be east
of the station, possibly in the space between the main line and the diveunder to Mountnessing Jct.
needing the land to be built up there, as it is a sunken road with small light industrial premises.

66] Shenfield - Billericay: Work started a few months ago in the woodland between the diveunder
line and the Southend line, east of the main line, and Shenfield on a new footbridge carrying a
minor footpath over both lines. Work has now started just west of Billericay on what is clearly
going to be another footbridge to replace a footpath crossing which has a 30 mph limit.

67] Luton - Dunstable: (BLN 1189.1034) On 22 November our correspondent explored the guided
busway. Whilst on the ex-GNR trackbed the modern busway stops do not correspond to former
stations, unlike the Cambridge busway. All trace of Luton Bute Street station, adjacent to the
current MR station has gone, but the first half mile of the GNR trackbed southwards is a bus only
road, including passing under a GNR brick overbridge. Going west Chaul End Halt, (TL 0631
2218) on the east side of Chaul End Lane was a temporary World War 1 unadvertised station which
served a munitions factory, between Clifton Road and Stanton Road stops. White Lion stop is about
a quarter of a mile west of the totally vanished site of Dunstable Town station and it is not obvious
where the short spur into Dunstable’s goods facilities ran. At Portland Ride (as in Portland Cement),
the busway takes the former freight branch (once a triangular junction here), now a bus-only road,
to Houghton Regis Cement Works, to the next stop. Returning to the GNR route, just before
Portland Ride, the original passenger line trackbed continues straight ahead as a well-surfaced foot
and cycle path to the former bridge over Watling Street (the A5), on the other side of which was the
now vanished Dunstable North (LNWR) station on their line to Leighton Buzzard. Bus Service A
westbound (out of Luton) covers the whole guided busway on ex-GNR trackbed, except from
White Lion to do a circuit of Dunstable town centre, rejoining the busway at White Lion a second
time then continuing to Portland Ride and the end of its route at Houghton Regis Parkside. Service
A eastbound to Luton, takes a loop through Dunstable town centre so misses part of the busway
from College Road (before White Lion stop) to Church St. Only Service E towards Luton calls at
White Lion and covers that half a mile of eastbound ex-GNR busway.

68] Bicester: (BLN 1216.1325) Chiltern Railways has reported that both tracks on the new chord
were laid in December. It is on a 1:33 gradient (steeper than the Lickey Incline) and will have a
40mph restriction. Work has started on the concrete footings for the new Bicester Town station
where both platforms will take 8 cars. A footbridge (not yet open) replaces a footpath and is said to
give views of both main lines and the chord. Elsewhere 23km of newt fencing has been installed!

69] Croxley - Watford Junction: (BLN 1214.1177) The Watford Observer reports that cost of the
rail link has risen from £130M to £230M and that London Underground could take over its

construction. Refurbishment of the line between Lower High Street and Watford Junction has been
added to the scope as has a power supply upgrade. Start of work has also been deferred from 2014
to spring 2015. It appears that as specified it will not at first be possible to operate a Watford
Junction to Rickmansworth service. Your Sub-Editor detects in this summary, as will time-served
observers of project delivery, three words instancing the dominance of Hope over Planning.

70] Watford Junction: From 03.20 on 29 December 2014 the new signalling was commissioned,
controlled from 'Watford Workstation' at Wembley Mainline Signalling Centre with closure of the
PSB (visited on three dates by over 70 members last year). The first passenger train was the 03.40
LM Milton Keynes Central to London Euston service. The St. Albans Abbey branch ROP the same
date as planned with its new running connection after being TCP since 29 November 2014.

71] Oxford: The Oxford Preservation Trust announced in a poster displayed locally that
investigation work and trial cleaning of the 1851 rail swing bridge over the Sheepwash channel was
to take place from 15 to 17 October 2014. NR's hand-operated bridge (CP 1 October 1951; CG 5
April 1984) carried the L&NWR Varsity Line (Cambridge) to Rewley Road station and still has
isolated tracks on it; visible from Up (and possibly Down) trains on the east side approaching
Oxford from the north. The works were to assess the condition of the bridge and provide
information on possible repair techniques and materials. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

72] Reading: (BLN 1223.1902) (1). Platform 8: From 4 January the Bristol end of Down Main
Loop P8 was to be in use with an available platform length of 315m for Down trains (Up 270m).
(2). Elevated Railway: Much attention was given to track and formation west of the station most
weekends prior to the Christmas works (with buses to Reading West). The elevated railway seemed
complete including the third track up the London end. The Festival Line viaduct spans were
complete across Cow Lane but not the embankment beyond as it drops down under the Main Lines.
(3). Reading Station: This is essentially complete but the track in P3 is being relaid. New signals
have been installed and bagged waiting commissioning at the country end of P7, P8 and P10.
(4). Station Environs: At the Caversham entrance four trees have recently been planted (delayed
from the Queen’s visit!). On the town or south side the front has been paved and is looking more
presentable. Also complete is the slope down to the western taxi and drop off area. The tatty
building to the south of this is still not demolished.

73] Goring & Streatley: From 4 January the Reading end of Down Main line P1 was to be brought
back into use. The available length of the platform is 144m.

74] South Lynn - Sutton Bridge: At the River Great Ouse four pairs of large circular iron piers
continue to stand in the river which once supported the M&GN railway bridge (CA 2 March 1959);
immediately south of the Clenchwarton Road bridge (the old A47) west of South Lynn. The east
side abutment has BRB Residuary markings: 'PMY1 0M 0C' which is Peterborough to Melton
Constable and Yarmouth, section 1 (as far as South Lynn Jct.) section 2 is from there to Yarmouth
Beach station. Bridge examiners used stencils and quick-drying paint to mark the bridges, 0M 0C is
a 'default' setting and this certainly isn't a datum point; this major bridge can be identified by name
rather than mileage. The modern A17 road is on the M&GN trackbed from west of here to Sutton
Bridge (River Nene), a former road/rail swing bridge but road only since 1959. Intermediate
stations at Clenchwater, Terrington and Walpole have been obliterated by the A17.

75] Spalding - Bourne: (CP from 2 March 1959; CG 5 April 1965) North Drove: (TF 2094 2127)
In early August, the station had gone but there was a blue brick weighbridge hut and a large,
dilapidated wooden goods shed; a rare survival in eastern England of a timber railway goods shed
of historic interest and significant industrial archaeology. For an interesting detailed September
2013 illustrated report see: A planning application is pending to renovate and
convert it to residential use and also redevelop the whole site. Two station cottages next door are
private residences. This station served the village of Pode Hole, half a mile north. North Drove is

the lengthy dead end road running south west for several miles into Deeping Fen, on the western
side of North Drove Drain. Counter Drain: (TF 1784 2087) A very isolated spot, the station has
gone, but its house is a private residence. To the west, across the former road level crossing the
single track girder bridge exists nearly 50 years after closure, which carried the M&GN over the
Counter Drain; the trackbed now concreted over. 100yd further west it also crossed the River Glen
Navigation and on 31 March 2007 our correspondent photographed the two surviving bridge piers
on his own boat-charter, covering the River Glen from Surfleet, Sea’s End Tidal Doors to 2 miles
upstream of Tongue End. Twenty: (TF 1544 2046) The station building (extended onto its intact
platform) is at the end of the short Station Road off the A151. The station house has M&GN-pattern
barge boarding. The hamlet looks as if it has about twenty inhabitants. One source attributes its
name to the Twenty Foot Drain (completed 1638 and soon destroyed during the Civil War in 1642).
Bourne (TF 0961 1982) was a GNR-owned station, lines radiating four ways with main line train
services provided by the M&GN. The intact main station building is a nursery; an altered single
storey red brick structure. There is a weighbridge hut at the former yard entrance. The station house
'Red Hall' was possibly the most amazing booking office ever in the UK, already centuries old
when it came into railway ownership, a magnificent pile:

76] Bourne, again! Probably designed by John Thorpe (ca 1565-1655), an Elizabethan architect of
repute with 1605 being the favoured build date. The first tenant was Gilbert Fisher, a London
grocer, who had amassed a sufficient fortune to finance such an ambitious project that would give
him a standing in the community and there is evidence that he lived there in some style. The
property passed to the Digby family in the early 17th century; Lady Catherine Digby was the last
member of the family to live there until her death in 1836. Subsequent usage included a private
boarding school for young ladies, until sold in 1860 to the Bourne and Essendine Railway Co. for
use as the station booking office and stationmaster’s house. Their attempt to pull down the Red Hall
in 1892 to build freight sidings created public outcry with letters to newspapers, articles in learned
magazines and, more importantly, a public petition, which forced the company to shelve its plans
and the building was saved. When CP in 1959, the dilapidated hall was offered for sale at £1 but
with no takers there was another attempt to pull it down until Bourne United Charities acquired the
freehold in 1962 and implemented an extensive programme of restoration. Red Hall reopened in
1972 for public use and as BUC’s own offices. It has been Grade II listed since 1977.

77] Ramsgate: The East Kent resignalling has led to changes; the new running line names:

Up Stour from Ramsgate towards Minster (former Up Main).
Down Stour from Minster towards Ramsgate (former Down Main).
Down Thanet from Dumpton Park towards Ramsgate (former Down Main).
Up Thanet from Ramsgate towards Dumpton Park (former Up Main).
Layout changes include the following on the Minster side of the platforms:
Depot Reception West (TRACKmaps Down Siding West) now has a trailing connection into
the Down Stour on the Minster side of the carriage wash as well as between it and Ramsgate
station. See 'Ramsgate' on left column of:
The facing crossover permitting access to P2 has been moved to the Minster side of the
convergence of New Sidings 1, 2 and 3 (New in name only).
Exit from No1 Siding (No1 Layby in TRACK maps) and New Sidings 1, 2 and 3 to Up
Siding West (No14 Slip Road in TRACKmaps) requires use of the running line from P1 and
P2 towards Minster, though there are now two facing crossovers to the Up Stour (and no
separate trailing crossover to Up Siding West).
The main consequence of these changes is that the two running lines with sidings on either side
have far greater flexibility of use by moves in both directions. At the Dumpton Park end:
The exit from the depot is changed in that moves from Road 5 upwards have their own
headshunt separate to that for moves from Roads 1 to 4.
Depot Reception East (TRACKmaps No4 Layby) has lost its crossover connection from P4
but has its own trap points, as do Roads 1-4 on the Dumpton Park side of their convergence.

78] Rochester: From 5 January a new trailing crossover between the Down and Up Chatham Main
lines was to be installed at 33m 29ch and secured OOU until further notice. It is just on the London
side of the facing entry to the Down Siding. In early December your Sub-Editor noted visible work
on the new station was limited to formation widening on this embankment side only.

79] Bristol Power Box: (BLN 1223.1909) Before the Bristol resignalling BR had proposed that
either the line from Yate to Bristol East via Mangotsfield would be closed or the four tracks from
Filton Jct. to Dr Days Jct. would be reduced to two. In the event, Mangotsfield closed as a through
route in January 1970. Before then the Sectional Appendix instructed drivers of Down trains at
Yate South Jct. to expect to be routed either via Westerleigh West Jct. or Mangotsfield, and could
accept either route. When Bristol PSB opened in stages four tracks remained in use from Filton
Jct. to Dr Days Jct. From 20 February 1984 (BLN 485.37 with track plan) this route was reduced
to two tracks with realignment for higher speeds. The relief lines were retained north of Dr Days
Jct. to just before Lawrence Hill, as now, with a then new slew to the main lines at 0m 71ch.

80] St. Austell: On 22 November 2014 the trailing crossover at the London end of the station
(covered in both directions on our GW III Tracker railtour on 10 May last year) was noted to be
clipped and padlocked OOU, it was controlled from a ground frame at that end of P2. The 1906 St.
Austell Signal Box (a Grade II Listed Building) remains at the country end of P2 partly boarded up
and deteriorating; the local signalling has been controlled from Par since 22 March 1980. The new
footbridge and lifts were very nearly complete and there is a local campaign to save the old lattice
girder footbridge which is part of the Grade II Listed Station.

81] Penzance: The Long Sea Siding (TRACKmaps Vol. 3 p10B August 2010) has been re-laid and re-
extended out to 326m 19ch and is estimated now to be long enough to hold a full length HST. The line
had been badly damaged and considerably truncated due to the Christmas 2013 storms and flooding
(although even before then it had already been shortened due to the track condition) hence our GW III
Tracker railtour was only able to cover a short then remaining section.

82] Wednesbury: (BLN 1223.1871) The Midland Metro Great Western Street stop is on the site of
the former GWR Wednesbury Central station (the suffix was added by BR in 1950 when the ex-
LNWR station was renamed Wednesbury Town). Wednesbury Parkway is mostly on the ex-GWR
goods yard though the Birmingham bound stop is close to the site of the Up goods loop exit.

83] Dudley: The Express and Star reports that a new £20M tram train passenger service could be
open within five years between Dudley Port (low level) and the site of the town's former station (CP
6 July 1964, then a freightliner terminal until 1988) at the bottom of Castle Hill (convenient for the
town centre, zoo, Black Country museum and Dudley Canal Trust who all support the plan) and
possibly even extend to the bus station. Warwick Manufacturing Group wants to use the route to
trial the next generation of tram trains and open a multi-storey National Centre for Development of
Very Light Rail Technology at the new station. About 45 people would be employed, overseeing the
pilot service and developing the technology. A double track line could be installed on part of the
currently disused Walsall to Stourbridge line from Dudley Port to the town. One track would be
used for the passenger service; the second to develop the tram trains. Dudley Council and Centro
are supportive. A business case is being worked up and potential funding investigated. This is
designed to provide a link with Birmingham via the existing Dudley Port (formerly High level)
station on the Wolverhampton line. It is separate from the proposed extension of the Midland Metro
from Wednesbury (using the best of the original T69 trams). Your editor remembers trips to Dudley
(for the zoo and its miniature railway OP 1938-1992) as a child, from the previous Snow Hill
station in Birmingham via Swan Village and Great Bridge South. There is still an overgrown hand
painted sign on the wall of the former Down platform at Dudley Port Low Level station 'ZOO
NEXT STOP'! Dudley is a large town (over 80,000) not to have a railway. There was an item
about the Walsall to Stourbridge line possibly reopening for passengers in BLN 40 years ago!

84] Alvechurch: (BLN 1219.1550) A sub-editorial visit was made on 19 December taking a 6 car
Cross City line service to Redditch. The new platform is P1 for Birmingham and apart from the
impressive new footbridge with lifts, only has a standard London Midland type shelter. The very
large pile of earth from the major excavations for the work still dominates the adjacent field. P2
(formerly P1 and then only one!), now for Redditch, has the original station building. The new
Sectional Appendix confirms the renumbering but online systems have them the other way round!

85] Birmingham New Street: Transport Briefing reports the redevelopment cost has increased
from £661M to £708M in the last quarter due to extensive renewal of defective concrete in the
original station structure, asbestos removal and tenant relocation. Further expense is anticipated.
The GRIP 4 single option selection was originally £483M, although more offices, a concourse
extension and improved bomb blast protection have been added to the project. The original concrete
roof is being removed and the large atrium is expected to open in September with work on the
station redevelopment now 80% complete. NR is spending a further £217M on the Grand Central
development, a new John Lewis department store and refurbishment of the Pallasades shopping
centre above the station, all funded by Birmingham City Council.

86] Daventry DIRFT: (BLN 1220.1630) Work is continuing on the Phase III development which
is now fully consented. The first buildings are expected to be finished by the end of 2016. A new
railway bridge and embankment have recently been completed for it.

87] Bromsgrove: There were further track and signalling alterations from 27 December in
connection with construction of the new station. Trains (NB includes passenger trains) requiring
banking are routed to the Up Goods line, a re-laid, re-aligned and renamed version of the former
Up Goods Loop further west from the Up Main line (to Birmingham).

88] Midland Metro: On 19 December a sub-editorial visit was made to see progress on the New
St. extension which is supposed to open this year. The grassed area outside No1 Snow Hill was
fenced off. Double track was complete and embedded in the road surface from just short of the
Colmore Circus end of No1 Snow Hill along Bull St. to Temple Row. The line towards New St. was
complete from Temple Row to the end of Bull St. with a crossover just before Bull St. stop. The
platform was edged but not surfaced (used as a storage compound). In Corporation St. the line
towards New St. was also complete and embedded in the road from the North Western Arcade to
just short of New St. The platform edging for New Street station stop was finished both sides of the
road; rails (with a crossover) were embedded in the road surface as far as the Midland Hotel. Rails
for both lines were being laid on the curve around the back of Waterstones in Stephenson St.

89] Norton Bridge: (BLN 1218.1480) A new trailing crossover between the Up and Down lines
was to be installed (OOU) on 27 December at about 2m 46ch between Norton Bridge North Jct. and
Stone Station. This is for the new Yarnfield Jct. part of a single lead that will allow a route from
the Fast Lines to Norton Bridge without using the flyover that is now being constructed.

90] Stechford: This is one of 26 NR stations sharing £60M from further Access for All funding in
CP5 (to 2019). Detailed costs and design work for each station will now be drawn up by NR.

91] Sheffield Supertram: The Sheffield Telegraph advises that this £60M project should now be
running by early 2017. Although originally announced in 2009 it has been delayed several times,
the most recent spring 2016 target was recently postponed due to design work complications. The
Stagecoach operated service is for three tram trains an hour running between Rotherham and
Sheffield, joining Supertram at Meadowhall South. The pilot will run for an initial two years with a
view to making the route permanent and tickets will be fully integrated with Supertram.

92] Douglas Horse Tramway, Douglas (MR p12): Plans to relocate the 1876 built tramway on
Douglas Promenade are likely to cost around £4M, according to Manx Infrastructure minister Phil
Gawne. He revealed the cost to the Island's House of Keys in November 2014 following closure of
the extended public consultation. Douglas Promenade refurbishment is a massive undertaking and
the Manx Government is reassessing all options. Issues include the horse trams, bus stops, traffic
flow, pedestrian crossings and providing shared use areas. There was a huge public response to the
consultation and resulted in different ideas for consideration. A decision on the tramway location
has yet to be taken but it will operate normally on its old route for the 2015 season at least (mid
May to mid September); anyone who has not experienced this is advised to do so!

93] Translink Budget Cut: As with all departments in Northern Ireland (NI) the Department for
Regional Development has been consulting (until 29 December) on how to implement the 20% cuts
required under the draft budget settlement announced by the Department of Finance and Personnel.
Translink's funding falls by £15M to £58.9M which includes NI Railways, Ulsterbus and Metro
(Belfast City buses). There is reportedly little scope for staff savings (ticket office opening hours
have already been reduced) and it is feared that if significant service cuts are implemented there
could be a downward spiral of declining passenger numbers after recent years have shown dramatic
growth. It is thought that the Larne and Newry lines and off peak services are at greatest risk. NIR
has 206 route miles (once 900 miles) and serves 54 stations with 48 trains.

94] Rare Moves: (1) Londonderry: In the new November 2014 timetable, P2 (furthest from the
River Foyle) has booked use SSuX by six trains, the 06.05 and 19.10 arrivals from; and 19.33 and
21.33 departures to Belfast as well as the 16.13 to Coleraine and 17.55 return. Saturdays the 06.35
to and 19.10 from Belfast are booked for P2 but none on Sunday as a spare set stables there all day.
(2) Coleraine: The crossover just north (relocated March 2013) is only used SSuX by four trains,
the 06.05 and 17.10 Belfast to Londonderry, the 16.13 Londonderry to Coleraine, and 17.55 return.
(3) Larne Harbour: P2 (inland side) is used SSuX by the 07.32 to Belfast and the 17.05 return.
(4) Carrickfergus: P3 (the loop) is used from/to the south only; SSuX by the 07.25 from Belfast
Central, the 08.10 and 08.35 (empty ex-Depot) to Belfast Great Victoria Street, and the 07.35 from
Newry (returning empty to Belfast but note that it does not run beyond Belfast in July and August).
(5) Bangor: P1 (on the Up side) is used SSuX only by the 07.17 to Lisburn and the 17.55 from
Belfast Central (which forms the next day's 07.17 and is spare in P1on Saturday and Sunday).
(6) Portadown: There is now an 06.15 Portadown to Newry from P1 (Up, to Dublin). It returns as
the 06.55 to Bangor and is booked to use P2 from 07.09 to 07.18. The 07.35 Newry to
Carrickfergus (Belfast Central only in July and August) is booked to use the crossover south of
Portadown and call at P1 before using the crossover at the north end to re-cross to the Down line.
(7) Killagan Loop: 16.46 and 19.46 Belfast Central to Coleraine.
(8) Other Loops: The loops at Magherabeg, Killagan and Magheramourne have no scheduled use.

95] Dublin Connolly - Newcomen Jct.: On the 14 and 15 November Sligo trains were using this
route which has no booked passenger use due to flooding at Drumcondra. This may have been quite
limited, given that the link is only accessible from P7 at Connolly.

96] Ennis: The controlled colour light distant signal for Up (south) trains approaching from Gort
was replaced with a reflective fixed caution board in August 2014. This was because of repeated
theft of copper cable to the signal. It is at Curravorrin, 1¼ miles before Ennis. The inability to give
information on the status of the home signal protecting entry to Ennis station has necessitated a
increased approach speed. The 60mph restriction has been changed to 45mph for Up trains only so
increasing the running time to the detriment of a service already uncompetitive with road.

97] Glasgow Subway: (BLN 1218.1488): On 19 December 2014 Strathclyde Partnership for
Transport approved a £17M contract for targeted upgrading of the Subway tunnel lining. Work will
start this year and is expected to take two to three years including trackbed repairs. Most of the
work is to be done outside normal traffic hours rather than have a complete shutdown. This is the
largest single award of the £300M modernisation project; most of the repairs will be on the
Buchanan Street to Hillhead section and Shields Road to Kinning Park also has a high priority.
Contracts for new rail and track chainage are also in place.The Subway modernisation programme
began in July 2011 with a complete overhaul of Hillhead station. To date refurbishments have been
completed at Partick, Kelvinhall, and Ibrox, with work underway at St. Enoch station. Work will
begin to modernise Govan and Buchanan Street stations in the first half of this year.

98] Argyle Line: (BLNs 1220.1643/6): Our member has some observations on the new train plan.
The new Lanarkshire timetable is presumably efficient operationally, but is most odd. The service
pattern through Glasgow Central Low Level is different eastbound and westbound. All trains via
Carmyle now run via the low level line, but eastbound they come from Dalmuir via Singer and
westbound they go to Milngavie. Eastbound trains from Milngavie run to Motherwell via
Hamilton, with alternate trains continuing via Whifflet to Cumbernauld. The equivalent westbound
services via Hamilton are to Dalmuir via Yoker. Trains between Dalmuir and Larkhall run via
Yoker eastbound (incidentally waiting in Central LL for four or five minutes until xx21/51,
resulting in a gap of 14 or 15 minutes after the previous departure) and via Singer westbound. As
most passengers are likely to be travelling locally or to and from stations between Rutherglen and
Hyndland this variation in east and westbound services is probably of no great
consequence. However, it must be confusing for those travelling across Glasgow, who may find
they have a through train in one direction, but not in the other! Electrification of the Carmyle line
has included Langloan Jct. to Coatbridge Jct., although it is currently exclusive of the latter!
According to a posting from a Motherwell signaller, the wires are not
connected up at Coatbridge Jct, so the line from Langloan is not yet available for electric traction.

99] Garriongill Jct.: (BLN 1122.878): A member passing on 12 December 2014 noticed that the
frog in the facing points from the Up Main line here to the former Coltness branch had been plain
lined. The branch, latterly used for opencast coal traffic from Watsonhead (of which there was
little) and rusty for some time now, is therefore not accessible. The related main line trailing
crossover was still in position. Does anyone have a date when traffic last ran; the line was taken out
of use or the frog plain lined?

100] Mauchline flooding: On Sunday 21 December the 22.12 Glasgow Central to Carlisle ran into
floodwater, a few feet deep, half a mile south of Mauchline in a cutting. Fire service personnel
attended with the evacuation of the 2-car Class 156 unit and one passenger was injured (BBC NEWS
22 December). Passenger services were withdrawn between Kilmarnock and Dumfries until start of
service on 24 December. The first freight train through that day was the 17.05 (from 23rd)
Hunterston HL to Fiddler’s Ferry coal, passing Mauchline at 19.58.

101] Millerhill: On Saturday 13 December 2014 Compass Tours Festive Scotsman (which sadly
may be their last tour), 1Z41 the 06.07 from Saltburn to Aberdeen (P6), ran (as booked) with at least
three members on board via the Down Slow beyond Durham to allow 2A52 the 06.21 (also
coincidentally from Saltburn to Newcastle) to pass. It also took Crag Mill Loop (south of Berwick-
upon-Tweed) to allow 1S03 the 07.10 Leeds to Aberdeen to overtake. From Prestonpans (with a
brief stop probably to pick up a Route Conductor), the tour ran via Monktonhall Jct. on the double
track electrified route to Millerhill East and West Jcts. then after Newcraighall station, Niddrie
South to West Jcts, and the Edinburgh Suburban line round to Haymarket West Jct. This was due
to a path not being available through Edinburgh at this busy time. 1Z42 the return 15.43 Aberdeen
P6 to Redcar ran through Waverley station as booked but did include the Thornton
Up Passenger Loop to allow 1B40 the 15.25 Inverurie to Edinburgh (non-stop Leuchars to

Haymarket) to pass. The booked recess in Granthouse UPL was not made as the service due to
overtake, 1E28 the 19.00 Edinburgh to Doncaster was running late. Use of the diversionary route
past Millerhill Yard has been rare recently, the last recorded passenger service diversions being on 4
and 11 February 1989 (BLN 601.21) but a railtour used the route as recently as 19 May 2012
(Steam Dreams The Cathedrals Explorer). In 2001 the route was considered unfit for passenger
trains and refused for railtours due to the state of the track which has since been improved.
Newcraighall (exclusive) to Millerhill West Jct. is due to ROP from 6 September 2015 with the
Tweedbank line, talking of which….

102] Borders Railway: (BLN 1221.1755): Rail installation, which started on 6 October 2014, was
quoted as 75% complete in NR's 18 December online update. The rail installation train was at
Ferniehurst, just south of Stow, where the operation was put on hold during late November (after
local schoolchildren were taken to watch rails being laid at Stow on 24 November), following an
injury to a member of staff while offloading sleepers. Work had resumed by the 18 December, with
bottom ballast and sleeper laying taking place before rail installation is due to start again during the
week of 12 January. There should then be a clear run through to Tweedbank where the rails are due
to reach in early February (barring heavy snow). Handover of the line is still expected in June 2015
for service from 6 September. The project is certainly keeping Scunthorpe Steel Works rail plant
busy. A time lapse video of Hardengreen Bridge construction:

103] Queen Street LL Diesels (BLN 1223.1931): A member has among his collection the working
timetable of Mandatory Train Services between Glasgow, Helensburgh, Oban, Mallaig and
branches dated 7 May 1973 to 5 May 1974 inclusive (or until further notice). According to this, the
17.25 Fort William to Edinburgh was booked to call at Glasgow Queen Street Low Level from
21.38½ to 21.40½ on SO from 9 June until 22 September 1973 and then stop at Cowlairs signal
C.13 from 21.58 until 22.13 to detach the Glasgow portion. On these dates the train is shown to be
hauled by two class 25 or 27 locomotives and have a maximum load of 480 tons, whereas on all
other dates the train is shown to run to Queen Street High Level and be hauled by one class 25 or 27
locomotive with a maximum load of 300 tons. It appears therefore that the reason for running via
Low Level on these dates was that the train was too long for the platforms at High Level. From
passenger timetables, it appears that the train ran via Low Level on peak summer Saturdays in at
least 1969 and 1972-1975 (other timetables were not to hand) after which the Fort William Sleeper
ran to and from Euston instead of Kings Cross, Mossend becoming the regular marshalling point.

104] Sleep Easier Now: (BLN 1216.1344): Our West Highland Line (WHL) agent has supplied
notes on the new Caledonian Sleeper franchise presentation given by Serco to Lochaber Transport
Forum on 27 November 2014. The contract is for 15 years from 1 April 2015; new coaches built by
CAF in Spain should arrive in 2018 (refurbishment of the existing fleet could open a can of worms).
The current operational model of 16-coach trains, one each for Highlands and Lowlands, will
continue, but capacity will be slightly increased. Euston platform capacity restricts further
strengthening. All vehicles will be the same length (at present Sleepers are 23m whilst seating and
buffet cars are 20m). Business Class en suite and shower facilities will give a larger compartment
but new airline-style flat beds will take less space per passenger in Standard Class; the practice of
shared compartments will cease. One disabled accessible berth will be provided on each pair of
sleeper coaches. Catering (at Fort William only?) will be managed by the prestigious Inverlochy
Castle. The current rotation of eight 8-car sections through Inverness for maintenance will no longer
apply, giving more flexibility to alter capacity on each of the sections to cater for fluctuations in
demand. Some maintenance will still be undertaken at Inverness. The seated coach from Edinburgh
to Fort William will continue as now, and continue to accept local passengers (and ScotRail tickets)
on the WHL. Class 73/9 locos are being reconstructed by GB Railfreight. These are lighter Route
Availability 5 so will not be as severely speed limited as Class 67s on the WHL. Train timetables
will not change much, but the northbound Fort William portion will run earlier from Edinburgh, to
give a connection at Crianlarich into the first Glasgow to Oban train (07.18 SSuX and 10.15 SO
from Crainlarich). Boarding at starting stations will begin earlier, particularly at Euston. Up to £6M

from the £30M Scottish stations fund is ring-fenced for sleeper station upgrades. A first class
lounge is being installed in Inverness. Waiting rooms at other stations are being upgraded, jointly
with Abellio. Showers at Crianlarich (specified in the Invitation to Tender) will be by arrangement
with the hotel (though the general view of the meeting was that there would be no demand for
showers at 07.00 at Crianlarich and it would be better to provide facilities at Oban). Customer
information totems with touch-sensitive screens are planned for each station. All stations will
remain controlled by ScotRail (NR in the case of Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central). A
new website has been developed and will be launched, with a marketing campaign, this month (for
journeys from April onwards). Friends of the WHL have volunteered to check it. Tickets will be
available up to one year in advance. Dynamic pricing will be used to fill off-peak berths. Questions
were put to Serco and are paraphrased:

Q: Will control issues (late trains or ferry connections) be passed over to Serco by Abellio?
A: Serco will centralise control with Abellio and NR all together in the Glasgow HQ.
Q: Has the option of routing one of the trains via Birmingham been looked at?
A: This presents difficulties but may be reviewed in the future.
Q: Is an arrangement with Eurostar, for through tickets to/from Europe, being looked at?
A: There could be potential in this.
Q: When will staff arrangements be finalised?
A: Negotiations with ScotRail are ongoing. Serco work with Abellio at Northern Rail and
Merseyrail and have a good relationship. Staff issues are being handled by HR departments.
Q: With the coaches costing around £150M and the promised government grants less than this, how
will Serco finance the funding gap?
A: Coaches will be owned by a finance house (but not an existing rail leasing company).

105] Reston and East Linton: (BLN 1222. 1833): A member writes: Reston overbridge, next to
the station site, is 11m 27ch from Berwick and this is the site shown on one of the report's maps.
East Linton's old station footbridge at 34m 13ch is near enough.

106] Meadowbank: (BLN 1223.1930): Our member also supplies the following research: The first
edition of Quail’s Scotland atlas has the following for the Abbeyhill Loop: Abbeyhill Jct. 0m 31ch,
London Road Jct. 1m 03ch, Lochend Jct. 1m 31ch, changes of mileage at 1m 36ch = 0m 36ch and
1m 06ch = 1m 76ch before the ECML is reached at Craigentinny Jct. 2m 16ch. Meadowbank is
shown between the two changes at 0m 40ch. Ignoring the Abbeyhill Jct. distance, which is way
out, the distances tally to 1m 36ch which is the site of Lochend South Jct. The 0m 36ch would
appear to be an error as there is no obvious westbound 'zero' on any of the three joining routes and,
coincidentally, this is almost exactly the Piershill Jct. to Lochend South Jct. distance. The 1m 06ch
distance is incorrect as the Abbeyhill Loop is 13 chains longer than the ECML, so it should be 1m
03ch. If the 0m 36ch is measured from London Road Jct., it works out at 0m 33ch, in which case
everything would fit but the Meadowbank distance would then be 0m 37ch! Today, the reposted
Powderhall line puts the station site at 0m 42ch from Powderhall Branch Jct.

1224 WALES
107] Ebbw Vale Parkway: (BLN 1223.1870): Is on the site of the former 'other' Victoria station.

108] Rhymney Lower branch: (BLN 1221.1756): Continuing northwards on this Brecon &
Merthyr branch, the path continues up the valley, but from near the site of Cwmsyfiog Colliery
Halt, the trackbed is lost beneath the new A4049 road. The engine house of Elliot Pit is now a
museum, well worth a visit and free of charge. From near White Rose, the course of the line is a
footpath, passing through New Tredegar station site (SO 1430 0320), its platform site marked only
by a mound. Beyond here, the line was blocked by a landslide which closed the line from 14 March
1930, the GWR building a new spur which opened six months later to serve McLaren colliery
across from Tir Phil on the ex-Rhymney Railway line. The footpath detours around the landslide,
past the unadvertised New Tredegar Colliery Halt and ends at McLaren Colliery Platform; no

trace remains of either. Modern housing blocks the route; including one on the site of Abertysswg
station (SO 1308 0546) and featuring a Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway cast-iron trespass sign!
The trackbed can then be followed as a cycle and foot path, ends short of Rhymney Lower (SO
1206 0628); the former branch terminus platform and station building still stand, but it appears
empty and in poor condition. Tracks continued towards the iron works but there is little to see.

109] New Year’s Day: There has been much adverse media comment about the lack of Boxing
Day rail services, but the Cardiff Valleys suffer even worse, with no trains on New Year’s Day
either. Regional Railways had suspended services on this date when it was not a major shopping
and sporting event date, an anomaly written into the Valley Lines franchise OPRAF Passenger
Service Requirement and never amended. Consequently only the Maesteg branch, (South Wales &
Western franchise) and the Vale of Glamorgan and Ebbw Vale lines, (ROP after the days of
OPRAF), enjoy New Year’s Day services. [Does this explains the poor Sunday services too?- Ed.].

110] Pye Corner / Ebbw Vale: (BLN 1221.1678) Although not due to open until 14 December,
failure in its vicinity of 153327+153362+150213 forming 2F74 the 18.40 ex-Ebbw Vale Parkway
on 12 December resulted in loss of internal and external lighting, leaving passengers stranded in the
dark. After a long delay, it was assisted to Pye Corner at 21.15, where the unlucky (or lucky in BLS
terms) passengers were disembarked and transferred to taxis. 2N29, the 19.35 ex-Cardiff Central,
did not reach Ebbw Vale until 23.00 (due 20.32). Normal usage of Pye Corner did commence on 14
December, but not without teething problems. The customer information system was not initially
operable, whilst the ticket vending machines, besides being unable to accept credit cards, were
dating tickets ten days ahead of the true date! The Ebbw Vale line extension work began on 8
December; the 'first sod' cut on 10th. Construction of the inclined lift to the town centre continues.

111] Cardiff Queen Street: (BLN1223.1937) P1 & 5 signalling was commissioned on 30
November. Early morning ECS workings to Pontypridd and Aberdare began using the new P5 track
the following day as did freight from 8 December. As planned, passenger services used the new
platforms from start of service on 14 December. The following day a GWR-style bench on P5 was
dedicated to the late Tom Clift (once GM of the Valley Lines franchise). Down Rhymney and
Coryton services using P2 incur a noticeable time penalty due to the low-speed crossovers at both
ends. The new ticket office has one window for ticket sales but two windows inside the barrier-line
for excess fares, reflecting the difficulty facing Conductors in collecting revenue at busy times.

112] Pontypridd: Gauge testing of the new bay P1 took place on 30 November, and passenger
working commenced on Monday 15 December with the 09.26 ex-Barry Island, forming the 10.39
return. Trains have not initially been able to proceed to the buffer stop, with temporary stop marker
placed part way along. The whole bay will accommodate six coaches.

113] Swansea: On 23 November three new sidings, constructed for the Maliphant IEP Depot were
partially commissioned and tested. They can stable four HST trains. High Street sidings adjacent to
the main line have been taken OOU and this area will be redeveloped as the rest of the IEP depot.
Nine HST sets currently stable each night at Swansea and there is space for five at Landore.

114] Optimists (#1)? Local media reports that a group of enthusiasts hope to excavate the 3,443-
yd Rhondda Tunnel to attract tourists and create a cycle route. The item does not explain the
tourist potential of a near 2-mile underground passage! Older BLN readers will recall that it was the
perilous state of this single track tunnel which caused the Civil Engineer to abruptly suspend all
traffic between Treherbert and Cymmer Afan on 26 February 1968. A tediously slow replacement
bus service operated over the top of the mountain until the closure date of 14 December 1970.

115] Optimists (#2)? A further local news report concerns ambitions to restore the Carmarthen /
Aberystwyth line, led by a campaign entitled Traws Link Cymru. The matter was raised in
Parliament in December, and the Secretary of State for Wales has promised a meeting. Although

parts of the trackbed have been built on (and part is the Gwili Railway), the group estimates the link
could be restored for a figure of around £650M and, drawing analogy with Scotland’s Borders Line,
suggests that the possibility of EU convergence funding be explored.

MR1] Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway, Torfaen (MR p9): The 2-car class 108 DMU (56270 /
51942), which had been stored at the railway since purchase, has been sold to a new owner. It left
the railway in mid October for the Mid Norfolk Railway, to be overhauled and returned to service.

MR2] Volks Electric Railway, East Sussex (MR p16) (BLN 1212.MR102): Plans have been
revealed for the demolition of the 130 year old sheds on the railway, to ensure it can keep operating.
It had been hoped that the Victorian buildings could be restored - but the structure is beyond repair.
The plans are part of a £1.5M makeover and it is hoped this will preserve its future for another 100
years. A bid for Heritage Lottery Funding will be completed in June 2015 and a decision is
expected in September. As well as plans for a £488k replacement shed, the money would allow the
restoration of three trains and carriages, which would increase capacity. A planning application for
the replacement of the shed has now been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council. The
workshop, next to Peter Pan's Playground, is used for the daily maintenance of the railway's rolling
stock. The shed has been altered and extended over the years but has now fallen into a state of
'serious disrepair', while much of the maintenance cannot be undertaken within the existing shed
because of a lack of space. The current building does not meet Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate
safety requirements and it is believed that even a repair on a like-for-like basis would fail to meet
those standards. The redesign would also incorporate a gallery allowing members of the public to
view the restoration of the trains and learn more about the site's history and heritage. The new
building will be fitted with the latest fire-proofing and anti-graffiti technology as it has attracted
arsonists and vandals in the past. Peter Williams, spokesman for the Volk's Electric Railway
Association, said: The council has managed to keep the railway going under difficult conditions
since 1948. This lottery funding will ensure that the railway will run for at least 50 years and more
than likely for a hundred years. It will help to continue the fantastic legacy that Magnus Volk left
the town. It is also hoped it can be extended an extra 400yd east to Brighton Marina, although the
City Council said that this merely remains an aspiration.

MR3] Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway, Greater London (MR p17) (BLN
1218.MR168): The railway opens for 2015 season on Saturday 21 March - but there is much work
to be done before then. There is a passenger coach to build, a station platform to extend, a new
siding to lay and some point-work to attend to, preparatory to commencing (re) building the line to
Hampton. Join the Metropolitan Water Board Railway Society to help, see:!

MR4] Eastleigh Lakeside Railway, Hampshire (MR p18) (BLN 1200.MR5): Special events
during 2015 are: 29 March Spring Steam Gala, 5 April Easter Egg Hunt, 24 & 25 May (also 4 & 5
July and 5 & 6 September) Day Out With Thomas, 27 June Hampshire Autistic Charity Event, 19
July Summer Steam Gala, 16 August Day out with Teddy (All Children with Teddies ride free
accompanied by an adult), 23 August Southern Railway Engines Day, 20 September Small Engines
Gala, 31 October Halloween, 12, 13, 19 & 20 December Santa Specials.

MR5] Move down the Aisle? As part of the celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of the
arrival of railways in Derby, a special service was held in Derby Cathedral on 25 October 2014. The
Dean of Derby, the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum and the Railway Mission, with the support of
Derby City Council and the Derby Telegraph, invited all who wished to celebrate the contribution
of the railways to the City and County to join them at the event. The address was given by Rt. Hon
Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport. For the event, perhaps uniquely, a
miniature railway was laid in the cathedral. The Lord-Lieutenant, Willie Tucker and the Secretary
of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, rode down the aisle on the railway,
along with the Mayor, Councillor Shiraz Khan and Derby Rail Forum chairman Colin Walton! A
packed Cathedral and regional television cameras were there to witness the unusual start to the

service, which was conducted with wry humour by the Dean, the Very Revd. Dr John Davies DL,
waving a guard's green flag to give the driver permission to drive down the aisle. Arriving safely at
the terminus in front of the Bakewell Screen, the distinguished passengers alighted and took their
places for the service. It was a splendid occasion, with readings by David Horne, Managing
Director of East Midlands Trains (EMT), prayers led by the Revd. Ralph Coleman, Chaplain to
EMT and an address by Patrick McLoughlin. Afterwards, the Mayor of Derby hosted a reception at
the Council House. See: although the train was headed by a Midland Railway
4-4-0 (in BR lined black and numbered 40682), motive power was provided at the rear by (what
was probably a battery-electric) model of the LMS diesel 10000. Passenger stock was one sit-
astride coach and the gauge appears to be 7¼". See also: [It certainly makes a
change from a wedding dress train going down the aisle! – Ed.]

MR6] Foyle Valley Railway & Museum, County Londonderry (BLN 1096.698): It has been
reported that this location, owned by Derry City Council (DCC) may close in early 2015 and in any
case has been unable to maintain its booked opening hours recently. The 2014 TripAdvisor reviews
make sad reading referring to tracks overgrown with weeds, run down rusty locomotives and
carriages but do also praise the friendly museum staff and 'well ordered exhibits' inside. There are
warnings about the advisability of parking cars in the area! The 2 December 2014 Derry Journal
reports that a decision on the future of the site will be made after March as part of regeneration
plans for the area. The North West of Ireland Railway Society are 'deeply concerned' that the
railway museum building constructed with £360k of EU funding two decades ago is being
considered for alternative use. They say DCC has failed to promote the attraction, and it doesn't
even come up on tourist websites. They are also concerned about what will happen to the historic
railway artefacts if the site closes. Two miles of 3ft gauge track runs south west towards Carrigans
laid on the ex-Great Northern Railway (Ireland) 5'-3'' gauge formation of the Londonderry to
Strabane line (CA 15 February 1965). Trains ran on the 3ft gauge between 1989 and July 2000 with
short Santa workings in December 2000 (and a private charter on 24 August 2001) but nothing
seems to have run since. Admission to the museum is free. See:

This is provided as a service to members and details must be checked with the organisers.
116] January Sales: London Midland: 15% off advanced tickets at c2c:, half price day returns purchased 7 days or more in advance, online only.
ATW Club 55: 4 January to 28 February, £23 (£28 FO), £1 less for Senior
& Disabled Railcards; add-ons available (Worcester, Marylebone, Manchester and Merseyside).

117] Unusual Transport Systems: By our member Rod Bryant; the new updated 2015 version of
this unique booklet will be available on our Merseyrail tour, or post free from the Sales Officer
(address below) with four extra pages and at £5 no price increase! A fascinating collection of small
gauge railways, monorails, inclined planes, Fixed Ferris Wheels, Guided Busways, Pods, and public
railways etc. too short (or too narrow gauge) to make Minor Railways. New this year is travelators
(eg at the Crown Jewels London!). Location, gauge, length and contact details are given.

118] National Railway Museum York: The UK's largest railway museum with over 1M exhibits
covering 300 years. A few minutes' walk from York station (also a direct
route from the station footbridge) 10.00 to 17.00, free entry. Churchill's Final Journey, exhibition
30 January (50 years after his funeral) to 3 May, with Battle of Britain 4-6-2 Pacific loco SR
21C151 (BR 34051) Winston Churchill and its 'V' for Victory formation of three headcode discs.
Also the baggage van that conveyed his coffin from London Waterloo to Handborough, now the
first station on the Cotswold line after Oxford, for burial at nearby St. Martin's Church, Bladon.

119] Shackerstone - Stoke Golding, Saturday 31 January: Railway Ramblers, one off chance, a
conducted 8½ mile walk of the Battlefield Line (also guided museum and signal box visits), Stoke
Golding station site (SP 3912 9722), goods shed and junction for the direct line to Hinckley fully
completed (including the other junction at SP 4073 9274) but which never carried a train. Meet

10.15 at 'The White Swan,' High St., Stoke Golding, CV13 6HE (SP 3978 9735). No6 bus at 09.49
from Nuneaton bus station stand C1 arrives 10.03 (or 10.03 from Hinkley at 10.18) for car shuffle.
£5 payable by 20 January. Book by 'phone 01942 815960 then please post cheque payable to 'P.
Earnshaw' to 10 Manley Crescent, Westhoughton, Lancs. BL5 3HR supplying a 'phone number.

120] Romsey Signal Box, 7 & 8 March: Public open days 10.00 to 16.00 in association with the
150th Anniversary of the opening of the Sprat & Winkle line (Redbridge - Romsey - Andover) on 6
March. Located in the grounds of the former school, off Plaza Parade, Winchester Road, SO51 8JA
(SU 3591 2135), it is an 800yd walk from Romsey station or Park at Nightingale Surgery.

121] Isle of Man, Rush Hour: 3 to 6 April; four days of intensive enthusiast events on the railways
over Easter. Manx Heritage Transport Festival: 29 July to 2 August; five days celebrating the
IOM Transport Heritage (not just railways). Both are very good times to visit.

122] Richmond Light Railway, Saturday 15 August: (BLN 1218.MR174) The only 2015 event at
this interesting new 2'-0'' gauge quarter of a mile circuit line near Headcorn in Kent. Summer
charity steam fair, rides, new items to see and more motive power running than in 2014. Further
details will be advised when available with priority booking arrangements for BLS members.

123] Heart of Wessex Day Ranger: What is unusual about this ticket is Pilning being a boundary
station even though it now only has two passenger trains a week; the 08.32 SO to Cardiff and the
15.41 SO to Taunton. The other boundaries are Parson Street, Severn Beach, Yate, Swindon,
Melksham, Westbury, Pewsey and Weymouth. Valid for one day's unlimited travel after 08.20
weekdays, anytime weekends and bank holidays; £19 adult, Railcards £12.55, Child £9.50, (cheaper
than the new adult off peak Severn Beach to Weymouth day return of £22.60!).

124] Pump Trolley Experiences: Nene Valley Railway, Wansford to Ferry Meadows and back
(total 7m 28ch) by arrangement using a restored GER pump trolley. This is fully supervised for up
to three people who must be physically fit and over 18, (do enough members qualify?!) and takes
about two hours. See: , 01780 784444.

125] East Yorkshire Round Robin: A one day circular tour after 08.45 (two together after 09.30)
SSuX, anytime weekends and bank holidays. York - Scarborough - Hull - Selby - York. Start at any
intermediate station in either direction, break of journey allowed. £23 adults, £15.20 railcards. Valid
on TPE, Northern Rail, East Coast and Hull Trains.

Distribution: Dave Monger, 6 Underhill Close, GODALMING, GU7 1NU. [email protected], 07592 585230.
Branch Line: Nick Garnham, [email protected]; Subscribe: [email protected].
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General Secretary: Tim Wallis, 10 Sandringham Road, STOKE GIFFORD, BS34 8NP, [email protected].
Chairman: John Williamson, 'La Marguerite' Croit-E-Quill Rd., Laxey, Isle of Man, IM4 7JD. [email protected].
SALES: Mark Gomm, 84 Mornington Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT, ST1 6EL [email protected], 01782769960 (daytime).
NEWS TEAM: Wales: Paul Jeffries, 54 Heol Erwin, CARDIFF, CF14 6QR. [email protected].
S.E. England / East Anglia / Ireland: Julian James, 58 Nelson Road, WORTHING, BN12 6EN. [email protected].
London: Geoff Brockett, 155 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, LONDON, E18 1NA. [email protected].
Midlands & S.W. England: Brian Schindler, 15 Sudeley, Dosthill, TAMWORTH, B77 1JR. [email protected].
N. England: Graeme Jolley, 3 Laurel Cottages, Rencell Hill, LAXEY, Isle of Man, IM4 7BJ. [email protected].
Scotland: Bob Watt, 18 Kilmailing Road, GLASGOW, G44 5UJ. [email protected].
Minor Railways (British Isles): Peter Scott, 93 Josephine Court, Southcote Rd, READING, RG30 2DQ. [email protected].
International: Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ. [email protected].
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