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Published by membersonly, 2018-08-02 16:26:24



Number 1309 (Items 1496 - 1617 & MR 134 - MR 147) (E-BLN 74 PAGES) 4 Aug 2018


…..B Respice in praeteritum, praesens et futurum

Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955

Membership Enquiries, Alan Welsh [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677

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

BLN 1310 is dated Sat 18 AugSuoscti;eptyl.eSaosceiestey.nd contributions by Wed 8 August.

Date Event and details BLN Lead Status

Sat 4 Aug 14.00-16.00 Wester Pickston Railway, Methven, Perth 1305 JE OPEN

Sun 5 Aug Invergarry & Fort Augustus Railway FULL/FULL WAITING LIST 1301 JE FULL

Sat 18 Aug 09.30 Summer Scunthorpe Steeler tour No16 limited space 1308 JE OPEN

 1300 JE OPEN

Sat 25 Aug 09.30-10.30 Blenheim Park Railway (15" gauge) railtour

Sat 25 Aug 12.00-16.00 Beeches Light Railway CLOSED TO BOOKINGS 1299 JE Closed

Mon 27 Aug The Marching Crompton track/traction Bank Holiday tour 1308 JE OPEN

Mon 27 Aug Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway, riding visit & extra track 1308 JE OPEN

Sat 8 Sep 10.30 Minor Railways in Hertfordshire & Essex Day 1 1308 JE OPEN

Sun 9 Sep 10.30 Minor Railways in Essex & Hertfordshire Day 2 1308 JE OPEN

Sat 29 Sep 13.00 Coate Water Railway, North Wilts MES, Swindon 1307 JE OPEN

Sun 30 Sep 10.00. 11.00, 12.00 & 13.00: Ribblesdale Cement Works 1308 JE OPEN

Sun 21 Oct 12.00 Andover Model Engineers all line style visit 1307 JE OPEN

26-28 Oct Yorkshire weekend AGM, various fixtures & film show/buffet TBA TBA Claimed

Dates after 28 Oct temporarily removed. JE=Jill Everitt, TBA=To Be Announced  = book online at

1309 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

1496] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered

BLN Start (incl) Reopens Location (exclusive where bracketed) [bold = closed now]

1300.441 16 Jul 18 6 Aug 18 (Theale) - Westbury North Jn/Fairwood Jn (and 3 later periods)

1305.1022 23 Jun 18 9 Aug 18 Sheffield Supertram: (Birley Lane) - Halfway

1306.1154 28 Jul 18 9 Aug 18 *Manchester Metrolink (Cornbrook) - MediaCityUK/Eccles

1305.1022 10 Aug 18 20 Aug 18 Sheffield Supertram: (Gleadless Townend) - Herdings Park

1298.214 12 May 18 20 Aug 18 (Aberdeen) - (Dyce)

1308.1393 25 Aug 18 3 Sep 18 *Euxton Jn/Crow Nest Jn/(Blackburn) - Windsor Bridge North Jn

1305.1022 25 Aug 18 3 Sep 18 Supertram: (Gleadless Townend)-Halfway/Gleadless-Herdings Pk.

1305.1022 10 Sep 18 15 Sep 18 Sheffield Supertram: Donetsk Way - Halfway

1309.1497 22 Jul 18 0 8 Oct 18 *(Derby) station/associated lines - new Head Lines Entries below

1308.1394 15 Sep 18 8 Oct 18 *Bristol Parkway - (Patchway)/(Filton Abbey Wood)/(Yate)/(Swindon)

1297.123 20 Oct 18 29 Oct 18 *(Three Bridges) - (Brighton)/(Lewes) CANCELLED (see item 1557)
1302.702 27 Oct 18 19 Nov 18 Bristol East Jn - Stoke Gifford No1 Jn; Filton Jn - Patchway Jn;

Feeder Bridge Jn - Dr Day's Jn & Narroways Hill Jn - (Clifton Down)

1299.377 10 Dec 18 Greenford West Jn - Greenford East Jn - Park Royal - Old Oak Common West CP

1297.123 16 Feb 19 24 Feb 19 *(Three Bridges) - (Brighton)/(Lewes)

ABOVE: The official confirmation of BLN 1306.1134 (our 2 Augu tour reached both buffer stops).

PREVIOUS PAGE TOP: A London train in Derby new P7 (as can be seen from the sign) looking south, on
departure it will take the 'Pilot Line' to the left; right is Litchurch Lane Bombardier Works line (OOU).
PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: Derby new P6 looking north and is at present trackless, P7 is far right.
The only other platform open and in use is new P5a (north) the old P6 - [beyond the yellow DVT] for
the hourly Matlock shuttle and accessed via the Goods Lines at present. (Both Ian Mitchell 30 Jul 2018)

.REVISED:: These 10 items are due to Derby remodelling/resignalling (22 Jul - 7 Oct) 78 days (not 79):
1497] Stenson Jn - Sheet Stores Junction: TROP diversionary use Tue 17 Jul to Sun 2 Sep 2018 (incl) by
a few EMT services in the small hours until 21 Jul, then all CrossCountry trains Burton-on-Trent to/
from Chesterfield or Nottingham (each two trains an hour rather than one as stated in BLN 1308).

1498] Lichfield Trent Valley High Level (excl) - Wichnor Jn: PSUL, TCP Sun 22 Jul until Sun 7 Oct 2018.

1499] Derby (excl) - Stenson Jn & Peartree station: TCP 22 Jul to 2 Sep 2018 for Derby remodelling/
resignalling. The limited Birmingham - Nottingham CrossCountry Willington services have connections
by bus to/from Derby, the rest, and long distance trains, have bus connections at Burton-on-Trent.
From 30 Jul to 2 Sep all through services between Derby and Nottingham are replaced by buses.

1500] Tutbury & Hatton (T&H) (excl) - North Stafford Jn: TCP Sun 22 Jul to Sun 2 Sep 2018 (incl). EMT
Crewe services; the Tutbury & Hatton turnback is an ECS shunt over Egginton Jn trailing crossover.
Replacement bus services run Uttoxeter to/from Derby calling at T&H and occasionally Peartree.

1501] Melbourne Jn - Sinfin Rolls Royce Oil Terminal: TCG/A 22 Sun Jul to Sun 2 Sep 2018 as above -
extra trains of aviation fuel were brought in from Grangemouth to cover the closure.

1502] Derby (new) Pilot Line and new 'P7': From 30 Jul until 12 Aug (incl) the hourly London - Derby is
due to temporarily use this line and the east side (new Service Platform 'P7') of the new island under
construction. .On Sundays only until 11 Aug only an hourly service runs through new 'P7' and the Pilot
Line in both directions [note this is a very unusual opportunity] new via Ambergate Jn to/from
Sheffield plus, oddly (only) the 05.40 (SSuX) Sheffield to St Pancras. *The 22.01 and 23.21 - (SSuX until
31 Aug) from Sheffield to Derby are both shown via Ambergate Jn, it remains to be seen if these run
on/after 13 Aug. There are no equivalent Derby to Sheffield trains other than on Sundays.

1503] Derby (excl) - Ambergate Jn - Clay Cross North Jn - Down Main/Up Main - Chesterfield South
Jn: TCP/A Mon 13 Aug to Sun 7 Oct (but see *above). Hourly London St Pancras - Sheffield trains run
via Toton and the Erewash Valley. From 3 Sep CrossCountry long distance services (2tph) reverse at
Derby to run via Toton to/from Chesterfield. Birmingham - Nottingham services run via Derby again.
There are changes to the diagrams with, for example, more trains at or via Reading to/from Scotland.

1504] Derby (excl) - Sheet Stores Jn - Trent South Jn and Long Eaton station: TCP/A Mon 13 to Sun 19
Aug 2018 (incl) - the only train services at Derby then are to/from Matlock and it is the only significant
period without an hourly London St Pancras service. Strangely Spondon station is TCP 30 Jul to 2 Sep,
despite an hourly (SuX) Newark - Long Eaton local service operating from 30 Jul to 12 Aug with ECS to/
from Spondon to reverse over the trailing crossover (any ideas why Spondon is not served please?)

1505] Ambergate Jn - Matlock (incl) & 4 branch stations with Belper and Duffield: TCP Sat 25 Aug to
Sun 7 Oct 2018. Unfortunately, NR is unable to upgrade Ambergate Jn then as hoped (BLN 1300.455).

1506].WARNING..Bristol Parkway: (BLN 1308.1394/1402) CrossCountry's temporary Derby timetable
booklet shows trains via Bristol Parkway in normal timings up to 7 Oct, with just a footnote about the
Bristol area work from 15 Sep. Presumably the Bristol timetable changes were not available in time.

1507] Sheffield Supertram, Meadowhall South/Tinsley - Tinsley North Jn (2m 61ch) 'Tinsley Chord':
The first test and gauging run (with 399202 under its own power) was at night on Thur 10 May 2018
running a third of the way towards Rotherham Central station. Next day DBC 66156 practiced rescuing
a 'failed' tram on NR tracks. Daytime running and testing to Parkgate tram stop began on 17 Jul.

[BLN 1309]
ABOVE: Southend Cliff Railway/Lift. (Angus McDougall 11 Nov 2016)

1508] Annbank Jn (43m 52ch) - Mauchline (50m 16ch): (BLN 1308.1374 & 1381) ROA Mon 23 Jul after
TCA on 6 Jun 2018 in this (Down) direction due to damage to the trailing crossover points on the Main
Lines at Mauchline. ROA was at the conclusion of the recent Dumfries to Kilmarnock engineering
closure (14-22 Jul). From 6 Jun until 14 Jul the weekly Hunterston LL to Sellafield nuclear flask train
actually ran via Barassie Jn (reverse) - Kilmarnock, then via the WCML during the main line closure.
Since 23 Jul it reverted to the Annbank route. The Sellafield to Hunterston leg normally runs WCML.

1509] Goodmayes station: TCP Sun 5 - Sun 12 Aug (incl); footbridge strengthening work. The closure is
due to the type of equipment in use and confined space at the station (3.85M passengers 2016-17).

1510] Southend Cliff Railway: (BLN 1302.696) (MR p34) ROP Sat 21 Jul 2018; TCP in May 2017 after
increasing unreliability. Known locally as the 'Cliff Lift', the 4' 6" gauge funicular has had a major overall
and is advertised as running SSuO 10.00-15.00 (check 01702 618747) 'Up' or 'Down' 50p. Volunteers
wanted! - full training given, email [email protected] or 01702 534887.

1511] Southerham Jn - Seaford (incl) and four stations: TCP Sat 18 until Mon 27 Aug (incl); part of a
£20M resignalling scheme which also includes an 'upgrade' and simplification of Newhaven Marine
(BLN 1308.1372) sidings for potential future freight traffic. In the project, signal boxes at Lewes,
Newhaven Town and Harbour are to be closed (with the end of semaphore signals), and control
transferred to Three Bridges ROC. Opportunistic maintenance work will also be carried out. A 10 min
peak, 15 min off peak bus service will be provided. The resignalling project extends to Lewes, will
facilitate train reversals there and increase main line capacity by 300% for diversionary use (when the
Brighton mainline is closed in February for example). Additionally, over Aug Bank Holiday, the power
supply is being upgraded between Lewes and Eastbourne allowing longer more frequent trains to run.

1309 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

1512] The Branch Line Society London Horse Tram System Map - Circa 1896: From original research
with thanks to our Exeter member John Yonge. Maps drawn by Martyn Brailsford - 22 A4 pages with
index map. An electronic supplement for our members with e-BLN 1309 and on the website 'Archive'.
The sheer number and complexity of lines and quality of this clear production greatly impressed your
Editor. Members who only subscribe to paper BLN can have a printed copy by sending an A4 sized SAE
(stamped 'Large') to Martyn Brailsford, 18 Queen Street, Brimington, Chesterfield, S43 1HT.

[BLN 1309]
1513] PREVIOUS PAGE TOP RIGHT: 1958 1" map of the Ribblesdale Cement Works branch, Clitheroe
to be visited on our Sun 30 Sep industrial railway fixture with 'Molly' (see BLN 1308.1368 or website
for details). Clitheroe station, bottom left, is less than a mile to walk.

PREVIOUS PAGE ABOVE LEFT: The internal railway track plan by Martyn Brailsford. The end of line is
62ch from Horrocksford Jn.

PREVIOUS PAGE BOTTOM: Cement Works Loco on at the extremity of the branch, a photo stop during
our internal tour of 11 Jun 1983 - there were three trips each for 12 members. (Both Ian Mortimer)

THIS PAGE ABOVE: Horrocksford Jn, a diamond leading to/from the Ribblesdale Cement Works
Branch which trails in from the lower right and a single slip forming a trailing crossover. The Pacer, an
ECS working from Clitheroe turning back, is about to take the slip. The line from Clitheroe to Hellifield
only has regular scheduled passenger services on Sundays, but all year. (Nick Jones 23 Jun 2017)

NEXT PAGE TOP: A photo stop at the far end of the branch on our 11 Jun 1983 railtour by the main line
(seen on the right looking towards Hellifield). (Ian Mortimer)

1514] Points & Slips: ●BLN 1307.1292] A member suggests that the station work At Mills Hill might
need to be completed by Mar 2019 because it is funded in NR Control Period 5 which ends then.
●BLN 1308.1403] East of Bristol Parkway, Westerleigh Jn to Yate South Jn is, of course, ex-Great
Western Railway (the original lot!), joining the Midland Railway Derby line at the latter. However, the
'Up' direction on that GWR section is still towards Derby with 'Down' towards Bristol Parkway.

●E-BLN 1308.X97] The 6 Jul picture of Liverpool Lime Street old P1 & P2 was thanks to our member
Neil Wilson. ●1436] The restricted bridge at Canterbury East is over 'Wincheap' (it is not a 'Street'),
this is the A28 from Ashford. ●1442] Torquay Signal Box closed from Thur 15 Nov 1984. ●1451] The
available Coventry Carriage Sidings are Road 3, used for tampers and the like, and Road 4, used for
Class 153 layovers for the Kenilworth service. There is no Road 5; OOU Roads 1 & 2 are obstructed.

●1463] In the report of a member's recent Ireland travels, those who take paper BLN need to add '&' to
'GSWR' to make it 'GS&WR' and those who take e-BLN change 'G&SWR' to 'GS&WR' (Great Southern &
Western Railway rather than the Glasgow & South Western Railway - apologies, force of habit - Ed).
In mitigation, in each case the incorrect abbreviation was correctly explained at first use!! ●1474] Sat
30 Mar 1968 was reportedly the 'official' date of the Haddington branch closure to goods traffic
according to a BR Scottish Region employee at the time. It would be the 'effective date' if freight was
normally scheduled to run on a Saturday and this was the first date that the service was not available.
However, said BR employee, when editing BLN, reportedly 'rounded' it (in BLN 99 of 7 Feb 1968) to
with effect from Mon 1 Apr 1968 - no comments about that date please. BLN 99 also mentions that by
then domestic coal trains (the only traffic) in fact ran MWFO 'as required' so not on Saturdays.

1515] PSUL - Passenger Train Services over Unusual Lines: Thanks to our renowned member
Richard Maund, the 20 Jul 2018 Supplement is now available. As there are so many changes they
are being issued as a loose 4 page supplement to paper BLN also available as a download (which can
be printed) with e-BLN, and within e-BLN itself for documentation. A reminder that PSUL is now
hosted on our website and anyone (including non-members) can access the latest version using or from the BLS Homepage via 'More options...' On the
website the latest alterations are highlighted in red and PSUL is also available back to summer 1963.

X.108]…..PSUL 2018 - UPDATE 3 (Supplement to BLN 1309 - 4 August 2018)…...

With thanks to Richard Maund. This supersedes previous updates given in BLN 1298 and
1301. Minor retimings of a few minutes either way may not appear but the latest version of
PSUL can always be found on-line via

Page 2: Web site: The links to current listings for other European countries can be found at and for the world beyond Europe at
Page 5: Services to, from and through Derby subject to alteration during major remodelling
and resignalling work until 7 October 2018.
Page 5: add: Sheet Stores Jn - Stenson Jn: diversionary use until 2 September, by
CrossCountry trains between Burton-on-Trent and Chesterfield or Nottingham
Page 5: Beighton Jn - Tapton Jn: 1Y60 2047 SSuX Nottingham - Sheffield replaced by
1Y36 2215 SSuX Nottingham - Sheffield; delete: 1Y03 0554 SO Sheffield - Nottingham, 1Y08
0711 SO Nottingham - Leeds and 1Y60 2015 Nottingham - Sheffield; during Derby
remodelling works: 1V81 0601 SSuX Sheffield - Reading retimed to 0540 but does not run
this route 3 September until 5 October; 1F00 0627 SSuX Derby - Sheffield does not run this
route until 8 October; 1F00 0627 SO Derby - Sheffield retimed to 0607.
Page 5: Trent East Jn - Toton Centre: add Diversionary until 7 October, by CrossCountry
trains between Burton-on-Trent and Chesterfield and East Midlands Trains between East
Midlands Parkway and Chesterfield
Page 5: Attenborough Jn - Toton Centre: delete: 1Y60 2043 SO Nottingham - Sheffield;
1Y64 2114 SSuX Nottingham - Sheffield replaced by 1Y34 2112 SSuX Nottingham - Leeds;
Sunday service amended to: 1Y62 2133 Nottingham - Leeds; 1Y94 2233 Nottingham -
Sheffield; 1L20 2116 Liverpool Lime Street - Nottingham; 1Y61 2101 Leeds - Nottingham
Page 5: Syston North Jn - Syston East Jn: Corby - Derby trains suspended until 3
September; thereafter: 1P68 1625 SSuX Derby - Kettering & 1M06 0926 SSuX Corby - Derby
Page 5: Thrumpton West Jn - Retford West Jn (high level platform 2): service now:
2P05 0610/0613 SuX, 1L55 2142 SuX Sheffield - Retford; 2P60 0614 SuX, 2P30 2251 SuX
Retford - Sheffield; 1L40 0656 SuX Retford - Leeds; 2B85 0912 SuO Retford - Meadowhall;
2P20 1314 SuO Sheffield - Retford; 2B52 1414 SuO Retford - Sheffield
Page 5: Corby - Manton Jn: service now: Mondays to Fridays: 1M06 0926 Corby - Derby /
Melton Mowbray; 1M61 1750 St Pancras Int. - Melton Mowbray; 1P68 1625 Derby / 1709
Melton Mowbray - Kettering; 1P10 0603 Melton Mowbray - St Pancras Int.
Page 5: Allington West Jn - Allington North Jn: additional services until 8/9 September:
1S01 0754 SO Derby - Skegness; 1S02 1140 SO Skegness - Derby; 1S04 1235 SO, 2S14
1227 SuO, 2A58 1622 SuO Skegness - Nottingham; 2S09 0900 SuO Nottingham - Skegness
Page 6: Old Oak Common West - Northolt Jn: from 10 December line between Old Oak
Common West and Greenford West Jn expected to be closed, and trains diverted between
these points to run instead via West Ealing
Page 6: Willesden Suburban Jn - Kensal Green Jn: service now: Mondays to Fridays: 2N03
0551 Willesden Jn LL - Stratford; 2N69 0015 MX, 2N68 2359 Stratford - Willesden Jn LL;
Saturdays: 2L01 0600 Willesden Jn LL - Stratford; 2N69 0015, 2M44 2345 Stratford -
Willesden Jn LL; Sundays: 2L01 0900 Willesden Jn LL - Stratford; 2M48 0015, 2M16 2300
Stratford - Willesden Jn LL
Page 6: [Junction Road Junction - ] Covered Way west end - Gospel Oak Junction:
service ceased
Page 6: Camden Road Central Jn - Copenhagen Jn (and other affected entries): diversion
of Caledonian Sleepers via East Coast route has ceased
Page 7: Pouparts Jn - Longhedge Jn: diversions have ceased
Page 7: Factory Jn - Stewarts Lane Jn - Grosvenor Bridge Jn: service now: Mondays to
Fridays: 1K84 0010 WO Victoria - Ramsgate; 2N06 0550 Victoria - Ashford Int.; 2K90 0717
Rochester - Victoria; 2U62 0756, 2U66 1808, 2U68 1838, 2U74 2002, 2U76 2020 Dartford -
Victoria; 2K64 0828 Gillingham - Victoria; 2U68 0850 Gravesend - Victoria; 2K52 1452
Dover Priory - Victoria; 2U72 1918, 2U78 2050, 2U80 2120, 2U82 2150, 2U86 2150
Gravesend - Victoria
Page 7: Longhedge Jn - Stewarts Lane Jn - Grosvenor Bridge Jn: Dorset Coast Express
this year runs ThO

Page 7: Battersea Park (platform 2) - Factory Jn: 9O02 0618 Battersea Park - Dalston Jn
retimed to 9H05 0633 SSuX
Page 8: Streatham North Jn - Streatham South Jn (via reversible fast spur): service

now: Mondays to Fridays: 1I07 0645, 1I09 0713 Horsham - Victoria; 1I11 0807 Dorking -

Page 8: Brixton Jn - Canterbury Road Jn - Cambria Jn: service now: Mondays to Fridays:
2K02 0512, 2K04 0542, 2U08 0708, 2U12 0745, 2U16 0806, 2U10 1734, 2U12 1755, 1F04
1807 Victoria - Dartford / Gravesend / Maidstone East / Dover Priory; 2U04 0606, 2U60
0735 Dartford - Victoria; 1K06 0532 Dover Priory - Victoria; 2U98 1852 Barnehurst -
Victoria; Sundays: 9Y09 0712, 9Y11 0744, 9Y15 0844, 9Y17 0914 Victoria - Sevenoaks;
2U16 0736 then half-hourly until 2U32 2336 Victoria - Dartford; 2K20 0810 then hourly
until 2K80 2310 Victoria - Gillingham / Faversham / Canterbury East; 9K90 0646, 9K92
0716 Orpington - Victoria; 2K14 0640 Gillingham - Victoria; 2U60 0702 then half-hourly
until 2U84 2232 Dartford - Victoria; 9Y94 0728, 9Y96 0758 Sevenoaks - Victoria; 2K18
0714, 2K22 0814 Faversham - Victoria; 2K26 0902 then hourly until 2K78 2202 Canterbury

East - Victoria
Page 8: Tulse Hill Jn - Leigham Jn: service now: 2I90 1617 SSuX Streatham Hill - London
Page 8: Seven Sisters Jn - South Tottenham - Tottenham South Jn: resumption date

still awaited
Page 8: Beckenham Jn - New Beckenham: service now: 1Y86 0015 ThFO Charing Cross -
Tunbridge Wells; 1Y02 0449 SSuX Tonbridge - Charing Cross (no Saturday/Sunday service)
Page 8: Ravensbourne Jn - Shortlands Jn (Catford Loop Lines - ground level): from

Victoria: x.34 SuX now x.42, x.04 SuO now x.10
Page 9: Chislehurst Jn - St Mary Cray Jn (via reversible Chatham loop): add: 1G97 1920
SSuX Cannon Street - Faversham
Page 9: St Mary Cray Jn - Chislehurst Jn (via up Chatham loop): delete: 1G95 0703
Broadstairs - Cannon Street; add: 1G95 0655 SSuX, 1G97 0719 SSuX Ramsgate - Cannon

Page 9: Bickley Jn - Petts Wood Jn (via fast Tonbridge loop): service now: 1Y86 0015
ThFO Charing Cross - Tunbridge Wells; 1Y02 0449 SSuX Tonbridge - Charing Cross; 9K04
0533 SSuX Orpington - Luton (no Saturday or Sunday service)
Page 9: King Edward Bridge South Jn - Gateshead High Level Bridge Jn: Table 26
service now: Mondays to Fridays: 1E34 0556 Derby - Newcastle; 1S49 1125 Plymouth -
Dundee; 1E64 1745 Reading / 1525 Plymouth - Newcastle; 1M99/1M76 1935 Newcastle -
Birmingham New Street; Saturdays: 1S49 0935 Newquay / 1125 Plymouth / 1147
Southampton Central - Dundee; 1E64 1745 Reading / 1525 Plymouth - Newcastle; 1V83
0623 Newcastle - Reading (from 1 October); 1O84 0643 Newcastle - Southampton Central
(until 8 September 2018); 1M76/1M99 1935 Newcastle - Birmingham New Street; Sundays:

1P71/1P46 2200 Newcastle - Manchester Apt.
Page 10: King Edward Bridge South Jn - Gateshead High Level Bridge Jn: Table 48

now: Mondays to Saturdays: 1N56 0827 SO Carlisle - Newcastle; 2N10 0618 SO Dumfries -
Newcastle; 2W30 1357 SX Hexham - Newcastle; 2W12 1145 Metrocentre - Newcastle; 1N53
0618, 1N55 0718 SO Saltburn - Carlisle; 1N57 1013, 1N59 1115, 1N63 1315, 1N65 1415,
1N67 1515, 1N69 1615, 1N71 1710, 1N73 1810 Newcastle - Hexham / Carlisle
Page 10: King Edward Bridge North Jn - Gateshead Park Lane Jn: service ceased

Page 10: Darlington South Jn - North Jn (via main lines outside station): service
now: Mondays to Fridays: 1E01 0540 Edinburgh - Kings Cross; 9M05 0708 Newcastle -
Liverpool Lime Street (from 30 July); 1P22 1015, 1P24 1118 Newcastle - Manchester Apt.;
Sundays: 1E96 1220 Edinburgh - Kings Cross; 1E19 1147 Aberdeen - Kings Cross
Page 10: Morecambe - Heysham Port: until 31 July, service only on Sundays
Page 10: Bare Lane Jn - Hest Bank Jn: service now: Mondays to Fridays: 2C00 0540
Lancaster - Morecambe - Windermere; 2H66 1451 Lancaster - Morecambe - Leeds;
Saturdays: 2C00 0540 Lancaster - Morecambe - Windermere; 2H66 1446 Lancaster -
Morecambe - Leeds; Sundays: 2Y11 1215, 2Y13 1515, 2Y15 1715 Lancaster - Morecambe -
Leeds [service subject to change or cancellation during Northern's reduced timetable until 31
July 2018].

Page 10: Frodsham Jn - Halton Jn: 2F80 0753 Chester runs until 8 September

Page 11: Golborne Jn - Lowton Jn - Newton le Willows Jn: service now: 2F17 0702 SuX,
2F21 0805 SSuX Wigan NW - Liverpool Lime Street; 2F24 1759 SuX Liverpool Lime Street -
Wigan NW
Page 11: Warrington Bank Quay - Walton Old Jn - Acton Grange Jn: delete: 0926 SSuX
departure; Caledonian Sleepers now also booked to use this route, apart from the following
exceptions: south- bound Inverness/Aberdeen/Fort William; Glasgow/Edinburgh in both
directions on Sunday nights.

Page 11: Clitheroe - Hellifield Jn: Sunday trains between Blackpool / Preston / Blackburn
/ Clitheroe and Hellifield or beyond as advertised

Page 12: Heald Green North Jn - Heald Green South Jn: add: 2E37 2320 SO Wilmslow -
Manchester Victoria
Page 12: Heaton Norris Jn - Guide Bridge Station Jn: service now: Saturdays: N 2J45
0945 Stockport - Stalybridge; N 2J44 0846 Stalybridge - Stockport (no Friday service)

Page 12: Dinting West Jn - Dinting East Jn (avoiding Glossop): the note about leaf-fall
season alteration may no longer apply - check locally

Page 12: [Harrowden Jn - ] - [ - Sharnbrook Jn] (via Up & Down Slow): service now: 1C01
0445 MO Leicester - St Pancras Int.; 1D84 2230 SuO (from 5 August) St Pancras Int. -
Nottingham; 1F86 2300 SuO (from 5 August) St Pancras Int. - East Midlands Parkway /
Page 12: Langley Jn (up) - Langley South Jn (via up Hertford spur): replacement of
Watton-at-Stone - Stevenage services by bus deferred until further notice

Page 13: Reading East Main Jn, 8421 points - Reading Southern Jn: service now:
Mondays to Fridays: 1O52 0431, 1O53 0532, 1O54 0554, 2O56 0605, 1O80 1651 Reading -
Shalford / Redhill / Gatwick Apt.; 1O40 0820 Aberdeen - Guildford; 1V62 1900, 1V68 2100,
1V71 2318 Gatwick Apt. - Reading; 2V65 2002 Shalford - Reading; Saturdays: 1O52 0400
Oxford - Gatwick Apt.; 1O54 0535 Reading - Redhill / Gatwick Apt.; 1O40 0820 Aberdeen -
Guildford; 1V64 1930, 1V66 2030, 1V67 2100, 2V75 2200 Gatwick Apt. - Reading; 2V74
2135 Redhill - Reading; Sundays: 2O60 0748, 2O64 0848, 2O67 0948 (until 9 September)
Reading - Redhill / Gatwick Apt.; 1V37 0818, 1V65 2017, 2V67 2107, 1V69 2218, 2V71
2308 Gatwick Apt. - Reading; 2V60 1743, 2V62 1843, 2V64 1943 Redhill - Reading

Page 14: Reading New Jn - Reading Spur Jn: service now: Mondays to Fridays:
1E79/1S37 0601/0602 Guildford - Newcastle / Edinburgh; 2V81 2200 Gatwick Apt. -
Reading; Sundays: 1O32 1735 Newcastle / 2033 Birmingham New Street - Guildford;
1E44/1M44 1214 Guildford - Birmingham New Street / Newcastle (no Saturday service)

Page 14: Addlestone Jn - Byfleet Jn: the Dorset Coast Express this year runs ThO

Page 14: Newhaven Harbour Jn - Newhaven Harbour [platform 3 = Marine platform]:
the mythical “passenger” train has at last been deleted from the timetables

Page 14: Sittingbourne Western Jn - Middle Jn: service now: Mondays to Fridays: 2U91
0456 Gillingham - Sheerness-on-Sea; 2K02 1712, 2K06 1812 Victoria - Sheerness-on-Sea;
2K58 0624, 2K60 0700 Sheerness-on-Sea - Victoria

Page 14: [Crediton - ] site of Coleford Jn - Okehampton: Sunday service until 9
September: from St. James' Park (Exeter) to Okehampton at 2K02 0901, 2K04 1100, 2K08
1427, 2K10 1629; returning from Okehampton at 2J03 0955, 2J05 1212, 2J09 1523, 2E27
1759 (to Exeter St Davids only)
Page 14: Norchard Low Level - Middle Forge Junction ground frame: delete reference to
regular services (no timetable booked service in 2018) and transfer special events to page 22

Page 15: Laverstock North Jn - Laverstock South Jn: the Dorset Coast Express this year
runs ThO
Page 15: add: Worgret Jn - Norden [Swanage Railway]: Saturdays until 8 September:
from Wareham to Corfe Castle at 1L11 1119, 2G03 1240, 2G05 1440; returning from Corfe
Castle at 2G02 1210, 2G04 1410, 1L66 1545

Page 15: Little Bridgeford Jn - Heamies Bridge: delete: 1F61 2136 Birmingham New
Street - Liverpool Lime Street and 9P43 1943 Euston - Preston / Crewe

Page 15: Wolverhampton Crane Street Jn - Portobello Jn: SO service restored

Page 16: Darlaston Jn - Pleck Jn: SO service restored
Page 16: Soho South Jn - Perry Barr North Jn: delete: 2K94 1846 SSuX Rugeley Trent
Valley - Birmingham New Street; add: 1612 SO Birmingham New Street - Rugeley TV
Page 16: Lichfield Trent Valley HL - Wichnor Jn: until 7 October, services diverted via
Page 17: Kingsbury Jn - Whitacre Jn: until 7 October, 1E68 1745 SSuX Southampton
Central - York and 1V50 0900 SuO Leeds - Plymouth Sun diverted via direct route
Page 17: add: Leeds, Whitehall East Jn - Engine Shed Jn: West Coast Railways'
Scarborough Spa Express "north route" alternate ThO in summer
Page 17: Calder Bridge Jn - Turners Lane Jn: 1E75 1825 SuO Plymouth - Leeds does not
apply until 14 Oct

Page 17: Hare Park Jn - Crofton West Jn: service now: Mondays to Fridays: 1A70 0756
Bradford Interchange - Kings Cross; 1D81 1627, 1D95 1954 Kings Cross - Bradford
Interchange; Saturdays: 1D91 1048, 1D93 1548, 1D81 1627 Kings Cross - Bradford
Interchange; Sundays: all four Grand Central services each way plus the following: Monday
nights/Tuesday mornings to Friday nights/Saturday mornings: 1B52 2330 SSuX
Manchester Apt. - Sheffield; 1B59 0324 MSuX Sheffield - Manchester Apt.; 2N37 2315 SSuX
Sheffield - Leeds; Sundays from 14 October: 1E75 1825 Plymouth - Leeds

Page 17: Woodburn Jn - Rotherham Central Jn: service now: Mondays to Fridays: 1E68
1745 Southampton Central / 1625 Plymouth - York; 1B52 2327/2330 Manchester Apt. -
Sheffield; 1B96 2153 Manchester Apt. - Doncaster; Saturdays and Sundays: 1B96
2153/2156 Manchester Apt. - Doncaster

Page 18: Aldwarke North Jn - Thrybergh Jn - Mexborough East Jn: service
now: Mondays to Fridays: 1W43 1024, 1W45 1224, 1W48 1524 Sheffield - Bridlington;
1W49 1624 Sheffield - Scarborough; 1E64 1745 Reading / 1525 Plymouth - Newcastle;
1B92 1953 Manchester Apt. - Cleethorpes; 1E68 1745 Southampton Central / 1625
Plymouth - York; 1B96 2153 Manchester Apt. - Doncaster; 1B63 0538 Doncaster -
Manchester Apt.; 1B65 0507 Cleethorpes - Manchester Apt.; 1O84/1V50 0725 Newcastle -
Southampton Central / Plymouth; 1J45 1000 Scarborough - Sheffield; Saturdays: 1W43
1024, 1W45 1224, 1W48 1524 Sheffield - Bridlington; 1W49 1624 Sheffield - Scarborough;
1E64 1745 Reading / 1525 Plymouth - Newcastle; 1B92 1956, 1B96 2156 Manchester Apt. -
Cleethorpes; 1B63 0538 Doncaster - Manchester Apt.; 1B65 0507 Cleethorpes - Manchester
Apt.; 1J45 1000 Scarborough - Sheffield

Page 18: Milford Jn - Burton Salmon Jn (site) - Castleford: Scarborough Spa Express uses
route each Thursday in summer
Page 18: Milford Jn - Gascoigne Wood: service ceased
Page 19: Doncaster Flyover East Jn - Loversall Carr Jn (Up line): add: 1A18 0845 SO
Leeds - Kings Cross and 1A25 1045 SuO Leeds - Kings Cross
Page 19: Loversall Carr Jn - Doncaster Flyover West Jn (Down line): service now: 1H02
1048 SuO Kings Cross - Hull (no Monday to Friday service)
Page 19: Doncaster Black Carr Jn - Bessacarr Jn: add: 2K50 1900 SSuX Sleaford -
Doncaster and 2K65 2036 SSuX Doncaster - Lincoln
Page 19: Belfast City Jn - Central Jn: Central station to be renamed Belfast Lanyon Place
from September
Page 19: Cowlairs North Jn - Cowlairs East Jn: service until 26 August: 1Y29 0808 SuO
Edinburgh - Oban and 1Y30 1711 SuO Oban - Edinburgh

Page 20: Newton Station East - Newton East Jn (Newton South Connecting Line): add:
diversionary use: Sundays until 9 September: Local trains between Glasgow Central High
Level and Motherwell / Lanark (shown on Table 225 to run via Uddingston but call at
Newton instead of Cambuslang)

Page 20: Holytown Jn - Wishaw Central Jn: add: 1S34 0557 SSuX Crewe - Glasgow
Central; delete: 1M96 1847 SSuX Glasgow Central - Manchester Apt.
Page 20: Law Jn - Shieldmuir Jn: Virgin East Coast to read London North Eastern
Page 21: Contact details: Railway Preservation Society of Ireland: 028 9337 3968
Page 22: Horsted Keynes entry to read: … to limit of former line towards Ardingly
Page 22: Groombridge Junction (site) entry: facility not available after August 2018

ABOVE: Wymondham Abbey station, Mid Norfolk Railway, on 6 Jun 2012. (Angus McDougall)

1516] Mid Norfolk Railway (MNR): (MR p8) (BLN 1305.1017) A special private train ran north from
Dereham on Fri 18 May and was the first carrying passengers over the latest extension towards North
Elmham. It was for donors, benefactors and volunteers. The latest extension from Hoe, Hall Rd
Crossing (13m 61ch*) (TF 9910 1678) to Worthing, Hoe Rd Crossing (15m 16ch*) (TF 9911 1909) is
1¼ miles long. On Sat 19 May, the first day of public services, (which will only run a few days each year)
trains were quiet, which the railway attributed to the unfortunate clash with someone's wedding in
Windsor; about 30 joined the first public train at 11.00. [*Miles from Wymondham main line station.]

At 08.30 on Sun 20 May your BLN Editor arrived at Dereham to find the station locked up but then
opened in time for the 08.45, a 2-car DMU to Wymondham Abbey and back. This is a remarkably early
train for a Heritage railway on a Sunday but runs regularly and initially he was the one and only
passenger. In the 15 minutes the Dereham station staff cooked a very nice full breakfast (takeaway) -
most welcome after the 180 mile drive - and made sure the train didn't leave without him! A poster
(almost certainly a facsimile) at Dereham showed the final BR 'Paytrain' timetable, an all day (SuX)
Norwich to Dereham shuttle calling at all stations using a single DMU and withdrawn from 6 Oct 1969.

In the last minute before the train departed, two other passengers turned up but there were no more
in either direction (intermediate stations were actually passed non-stop) or at Wymondham Abbey
(sadly) on return. A wonderful view was enjoyed from the front seats behind the driver on this former
double track section, lined by mature trees, with much wildlife (rabbits, deer, rodents and a range of
birds) evident. Back at Dereham a crowd was waiting for the next Wymondham trip at 10.20.
The front coach was full, reserved for a party, and the rear coach over half full with the general public.

Just beyond the first station, Yaxham (9m 39ch), the 2ft gauge Yaxham Light Railway is on the Up side
and runs for MNR galas and certain special events (see Facebook) - with 'Drive the Diesel' events (£3).

Thuxton (6m 73ch) signal box is normally staffed when trains run, as both platforms are then in use
with left hand running. When, rarely, the box is unstaffed the train crew operate the signals from a
local panel near the crossing. (The signals cannot be left 'clear' in both directions unlike many loops
that are 'switched out', due to the level crossing in the middle). Perhaps surprisingly it is the Up line or
'loop' that is bidirectional (the approach signal from the south has a feather right); the Down (original)
line is now unidirectional but there are plans to install bidirectional signalling. The station is fully track
circuited with an unusual mixture of semaphores and working interlocked three aspect filament colour
light signals. The cost of electricity for these is said to be significant but they must be relatively unusual
on a heritage line. [Your Editor recently noticed a working four-aspect colour light signal on the
Dartmouth Steam Railway at Goodrington.] The signalling is being further developed with a new Down
starter and the area of control, and track circuiting, extended north to Garvestone Level Crossing
(7m 39ch) which is presently locally controlled by gate staff (or the train crew). In fact most of the
crossings were staffed by volunteers this day - far outnumbering the passengers on the first trip.

Also on the Sunday, the 11.00 Dereham to Worthing Crossing was your Editor's first trip north of Hoe,
Hall Road Crossing since a 21 Apr 1979 DMU tour to Fakenham East (22½ miles from Wymondham).
The 2018 train reversed just short of Worthing and was 'top & tailed' with industrial diesel and steam
locos; an impressive on train buffet was provided and there were about 40 passengers. It then formed
a through steam hauled service to Wymondham Abbey. The line north of Dereham, always single
track and until 1964 continuing to Wells-next-the Sea, is notably more heavily engineered than that
southwards. There are taller embankments, deep cuttings and various bridge styles including some all
in concrete. The countryside is scenic and with the newly relaid track the running is noticeably faster
and smoother than the rest of the MNR where speed is generally quite restricted. Further south the
train made an unusual (booked) photo stop at the private beautifully restored Hardingham station
(5m 41ch), owned and cared for by a Norwich Crown Point Depot employee, for passengers to look
round as did a Society group on 16 June 2012. This was during visits to boxes and stations on the line in
association with Ely to Thetford signal box visits. It was good to see the progress the railway has made
since then and also plenty of volunteers in evidence, it's just a shame there were not more passengers.

BELOW: Wells-next-the-Sea, north Norfolk, the year before closure. (Angus McDougall 1 Apr 1963)

ABOVE: Snettisham signal box, naturally at Hardingham station yard. (Angus McDougall 16 Jun 2012)

1517] WANTED PLEASE! If any members have photos of firefighting trains/equipment, our friend and
member, Major Ian Hughes of Green Dragon Rail (who has assisted us in many ways) would be pleased
to have a copy please via the Editor. He is compiling a fire precautions pamphlet for steam railways.

1518] Counting Sheep; Swanupmanship: From the NR Rule Book: Where the rules and regulations
require that trains be cautioned because of animals on the line, this procedure need not be applied
providing that the animals are: ... not more than six sheep … Swans on the line: A train need only be
cautioned for a swan on the line if it is reported to be within the 'four foot' of the line concerned.

1309 EAST MIDLANDS .(NEW REGIONAL EDITOR: Graeme Jolley). [email protected]

New Postal address: Dolbryn, Penegoes, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8NN

1519] Derby (1): As reported in BLN 1308, Derby station is being remodelled and resignalled from
22 Jul until 7 Oct. During Aug, there will be temporary use of 'P7', which is the eastern face of the new
recently constructed island platform. Courtesy of our member Ian Delgado, and his Unusual Track
pages, full details of this 'P7' usage and other unusual track opportunities during and after remodelling
are available on our website. Log in as a BLS member then go to for details.

1520] Derby (2): A summary of permanent and temporary changes with remodelling/resignalling:
●29 Jul: Way & Works Jn - Derby station; the Connecting Line was decommissioned to further notice.
●30 Jul: North of Derby station (128m 00ch - 128m 09ch) all signalling was abolished and 'DY' prefixed
signals were removed. The temporary connecting line to Litchurch Lane C&W Works remains in use
until later was, in a change of plan, taken out of use in fact. All Derby station platforms were taken
OOU, except P5b (old P6b north end) with 150yd standage (for Matlock trains) and the Service
Platform (east side of the new island, P7) for London trains, the only route through Derby.

Two chained sleepers, a stop board and red light were placed south of the footbridge on P5a. The
Down Main, and Up & Down Main lines are OOU.

Special working arrangements from Way & Works Jn to Derby station, Mon 30 Jul to Mon 13 Aug:

●Trains will run to/from Derby Service Platform ('P7') via the Pilot Siding, at maximum of 10mph.
●Pilot Line permissive working is prohibited when a passenger train is between signals DY422 and
…DY459. Another train can shunt from DY422 to DY479 if the train in 'P7' has been declared ECS.
●Down Trains will arrive at DY422 signal, where, provided all conditions are met, the position light will
…give the authority for the train to proceed towards the service platform.
●Once the train has arrived into the Service Platform and passengers have alighted, the platform staff
…shall declare the train ECS.
●Passengers shall not be allowed to board the train until 5 minutes before booked departure time;
...DY476 may be cleared up to 10 minutes before booked departure time.
●When the signaller advises the platform staff that DY476 has been cleared, and this is confirmed.
…with the driver, dispatching duties may commence.
●Up trains shall proceed on the authority of DY476 provided DY476 is clear and the driver has received
…the right-away signal from the guard.
●Permissive moves are prohibited from the service platform.
●RTC South Sidings: Trains can be signalled towards DY479 signal for the purpose of reversing.

From Mon 30 Jul, Derby North Jn - St Mary's Jn / Breadsall Jn - Derby North Jn / Derby Way & Works
Jn to the new Derby Service Platform via the Pilot Siding, passenger trains are authorised to use:

●Up and Down Goods Lines from Derby North Jn to Breadsall Jn.
●Way and Works Jn to the new Service Platform ('P7'), via the Derby Pilot Siding.

1521] Derby (3): By 18 Jul the nameboard had gone from Derby Power Signal Box. New running in
signs on the new Derby P6 say 'Welcome to Derby (Midland)', only 54 years after Derby Friargate
station closed! On Mon 30 Jul the hourly London St Pancras trains were operating in and out of the
new 'P7' from the south. According to online systems the 05.45 from Sheffield to St Pancras did run
via Ambergate Jn and Derby, presumably through 'P7' with no other line open through the station.
Matlock trains were using what is now P5b, the north end of the old P6. A driving van trailer from NR's
'yellow fleet' was stabled in the middle of new P5 to separate the Matlock trains from the worksite at
the south end of the platforms. Work had already started on lifting track and dismantling platform
canopies. Passenger facilities on the new P6/7 were not in operation but the buffet on P4/5 was open.

1309 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]
1522] Feltham: NR is consulting on a proposed network change to allow construction of new stabling
sidings on part of the old marshalling yard site, to accommodate additional units being ordered by
South Western Railway. Initially the trailing crossover (14m 65ch) at the London end of the station will
be removed in Apr next year and the OOU Feltham Grid Siding will be reinstated. The final layout will
have a facing crossover at the London end of Feltham station and a trailing crossover west of Feltham
Jn forming ladder connections to a new Up/Down Arrivals Line running parallel to the running lines.
A line leading from this in the London direction will give access to 10 new stabling sidings.

1523] LUL Sub-Surface Lines Resignalling: (BLN 1308.1405) CBTC is Communications-Based Train
Control rather than Computer Based Train Control. After final testing on 1/2 Sep weekend the first
stage between Latimer Road and Hammersmith is now expected to be commissioned over 23/24 Sep.

NR is also consulting on a Network Change at Barking sponsored by London Underground Limited
(LUL). This is just to install a new LUL Possession Protection Key Switch and kiosk for use under the
new signalling system when the NR/LUL connection is used, but does indicate that the connection is
being retained despite the ending of the contract with GBRf for LUL track maintenance. The trailing
connection into P2, the Eastbound District and Hammersmith & City Line, from NR Bay Platform line
(to P1) is only used during possessions to transfer engineering trains on and off the LUL system.

1524] North Wembley Jn: (BLN 1308.1407) The junction was due to be taken out of use from 20.00 on
28 Jul. Despite the closure over three weekends for relaying, it is to remain OOU until 04.00 on 27 Dec!

1525] Deep Tube Upgrade Programme: (BLN 1308.1409) The start of this project could be delayed as
Bombardier and Hitachi have launched a High Court challenge against TfL's award of the contract to
build new Piccadilly Line trains to Siemens. ('The Times') This could affect the new Goole train factory.

1526] London PSULs: From the May timetable change the service over the Leigham Spur reverted to
the earlier practice of running one Down afternoon train, the 16.17 SSuX Streatham Hill - London
Bridge, instead of a morning Up train. Down services between New Beckenham and Beckenham
Junction and Bickley Jn and Petts Wood Jn via the Fast Tonbridge loop were reduced from six days a
week to just the 00.15 ThFO Charing Cross - Tunbridge Wells. [Bad luck if you need any of these!]

1527] Old Oak Common: (allow time to load) is an extensive virtual tour with
sound to document the GWR depot opened by the original GWR in 1906 to service steam engines and
coaches for London Paddington services. From the 1950s it serviced diesel locos then, from the mid-
1970s HSTs. Originally with four full-size turntables under one roof, the depot is a shadow of its former
self, only the carriage sheds and the more modern HST shed still stand. The original loco shed known
as 'the Factory' was demolished in the late 2000s to build the Crossrail (main) depot. Demolition of the
depot has started but it is not planned to close completely until Dec. The site is required for HS2 and
its new Old Oak Common interchange station. The photos were taken in late 2017 and early 2018.

On the 2017 visit a track gang was working by the carriage sheds, installing a new point giving access to
the shed as parts of the depot were closed. By the second visit earlier this year, the Lathe shed and
Heavy Maintenance Facility were out of use, as were the carriage sidings and Carriage Shed Roads
7-15. GWR returned their last few Class 180s maintained here at the end of 2017 and Night Riviera
sleeper stock maintenance was moved to Reading and Penzance depots. (From the tour details.)

1528] Greenford West Jn - Old Oak Common West: (BLN 1299.377) On 11 Jul a member took a trip on
the 10.57 (SSuX) from South Ruislip to Paddington Chiltern Railways PSUL. It came ECS from Wembley
Depot in to Down P3 at 10.40, departed from there, and was formed of two car DMU 165023. The
layout has, of course, changed considerably since TRACKmaps Vol 3 p19A (Aug 2010) with the Chiltern
Mainline upgrade. Access to/from the Greenford line is now only via bidirectional South Ruislip P3.

Seven passengers including our member made the 10¼ mile trip arriving London Paddington P14, the
short one by the Hammersmith & City Line tracks, two minutes early at 11.21. Everyone left the train,
including our correspondent who rejoined the 11.35 return. It left two minutes late with our member
as the only passenger on the non-stop 26½ mile trip to High Wycombe (reached two minutes early at
12.25). The ECS, booked to depart 12.35, runs direct to Aylesbury. Due to HS2 the final run of these
trains through Park Royal is on Fri 7 Dec; from Mon 10 Dec they go via West Ealing. Although the Park
Royal line then CP, Greenford West Jn - Greenford (LUL) Bay Jn (all 11ch of it!) will ROP from 10 Dec.

1529] Ripple Lane: Demolition of the redundant diesel depot and other work was carried out over the
Easter weekend as a prelude to construction of the new London Overground Barking Riverside branch.

1530] Southgate: The station was temporarily renamed 'Gareth Southgate' on 16 and 17 Jul in honour
of the England football manager. One member's goal was a ticket to Wembley Stadium from here.

1531] Thameslink: (BLN 1307.1280) An interim timetable on Thameslink and Great Northern was
introduced on 15 Jul. It aims to reduce short-notice cancellations and alterations, which had continued
at a high level, and focuses more on withdrawal of off-peak services (leaving occasional 90 minute
booked gaps at some stations) to provide as many peak services as possible. Special Stop Orders will
not be issued other than during times of disruption or if there is a particularly 'large' gap in the service.

1532] Vauxhall: On 6 Jul a new, wider staircase and lift linking P7/8 and the concourse were opened.
NR describes the lift as the busiest on the SWR network.

1533] Waterloo: For the 170th anniversary of the opening of the station (OP 11 Jul 1848), NR released
an interview with 79 year old Don Buckley, who has worked at the station since
joining as a messenger in 1953! He is believed to be Britain's longest serving member of railway staff.

1309 NORTH EAST (Geoff Blyth) [email protected]

2017 layout, not to scale. From an
original sketch by Rodger Wilkinson. STOCKTON HAULAGE CO.


DOWN GOODS To South Bank


CARGO FLEET ROAD Whitehouse Branch



Lines in use

Track in place, out of use

Track lifted


1534] Middlesbrough - Whitehouse Box: (The plan is thanks to Rodger Wilkinson and Dave Cromarty.)
NR proposes to abandon the lines to the former South Bank Coke Ovens (closed down 19 Sep 2015
and now being demolished), shown as 'Third Line' on the plan and to Stockton Haulage. Neither has
had any rail traffic for many years. This would simplify the layout, reducing it from seven pairs of
points to four. Some track would be lifted, in particular at Whitehouse LC, which is very close to a road
junction on the north side. An Oct 2017 survey showed that 860 vehicles a week were obstructing the
crossing waiting to turn at the junction, so that the barriers could not be closed. Reducing the number
of lines over the crossing from three to two would leave more space for vehicles waiting to turn.

1535] Stockton Haulage: OG 1 Mar 1985, its internal system was covered on 7 May 1989 as part of our
Cleveland Industrial Railtours. It was on the site of the former Tees Iron Works, established in 1852
which survived into the 1960s as a foundry and scrap yard. Your Regional Editor has been unable to
find a closure date for Stockton Haulage so far, BLN last reported traffic in Jan 1994 but the company
seems to have been dissolved by 2003. The Whitehouse SB - South Bank Jn Goods Lines (controlled by
Grangetown SB) were taken OOU 5 Dec 1982 (BLN 463.9A). A single line was retained with 'One Train'
regulations on the formation to South Bank Coke Ovens. It is doubtful if it was used much - or at all - as
coke was taken to the Redcar blast furnace stocking site by tipper lorries on a new dedicated road.

1536] The Whitehouse Branch: This served several private sidings, of which the most important was
the Teesside Bridge & Engineering Co. Its main access was quite awkward - from the Goods Lines
(facing east) via a flat crossing with the Main Lines. There was also a connection to the South Sidings
(formerly Station Sidings), on the south side of Cargo Fleet station (which CP 22 Jan 1990), but this was
removed at an unknown date shortly after 7 Oct 1969. The Goods Lines connection would, of course,
have been removed as part of the abolition of the Goods Lines (above), or more likely prior to it. It was
observed in Jul 1983 that the branch had been realigned to run into the South Sidings (BLN 469.45C),
which had a west facing connection to the Main Lines. However, by this time the branch and all the
sidings were rusty and there seemed to have been no traffic for some time.

1537] Middlesbrough again! (BLN 1308.1415) On three recent occasions a member has observed the
ECS of terminating TPE trains from Manchester Airport depart P2 east to take the facing crossover at
Guisborough Jn and then arrive in P1 from the east for the return service. Realtime Trains shows this is
now the booked move (rather than shunting via the West Dock as they used to). The exception is the
16.44 (SuO) Middlesbrough P2 to P1 ECS, the one train a week booked via West Dock, as a Newcastle
to Whitby service is just behind. A few TPE services turn back in service in P2 particularly late at night.
A member kindly confirmed Middlesbrough East box closed 9 Nov 1969 (Weekly Operating Notice).

1538] Tyne & Wear Metro: A new £12M computerised signalling control system is being installed in
South Gosforth Metro control room - the biggest such upgrade since the Metro opened in Aug 1980.
The current display board and button system will be replaced by a new control desk with five 65"
plasma screens, normal PC keyboard/s and mouse/s. Passenger information displays at all 60 stops will
need work to bring them back into use. This will be done as quickly as possible after the new system is
commissioned over 4/5 Aug weekend with scores of staff on duty. It is part of the £350M 'Metro: all
change' modernisation. On 4th there will be no trains Benton - St James from 20.00. All services end
about 22.30 (no replacement buses). On 5 Aug replacement buses run until services start at 10.00.

1539] Shell Jn - Wilton Branch: (BLN 1271.3166 - detailed history) There is now a sleeper across the
single line (NZ 5613 2153) just prior to the first point before the former Cleveland (Wilton) Freightliner
Terminal Level Crossing (2m 61ch) near the end of the branch. It marks the end of the headshunt, (but
was very rusty on 20 Jul) for the SITA Sembcorp Wilton '11' Energy from Waste incinerator. Here
containers of compacted household waste from Knowsley, Merseyside, are unloaded by gantry crane
just down the line. That terminal layout is a double loop, as shown diagrammatically on TRACKmaps
Vol 3 p47B (Oct 2016). However, the two new unloading loop lines are actually straight, with the
original branch bypassing them on a curve to the northwest and thereby forming a run round facility.

Southwest of the sleeper across the track, past the level crossing, all track in the closed Freightliner
terminal (last train 14 Nov 2014) is now lifted. However, track remains on the branch there, as still
shown on TRACKmaps, with a loop heading southwards to the former HMD (Hexamethylenediamine)
filling bay. Thus most (2½ miles) of the Wilton Branch actually survives and is in use or still available.
However, it remains to be seen if some of the disused section may be obliterated by the forthcoming
York Potash materials handling facility on the eastern edge of the Wilton site (BLN 1250.255). From an
artist's impression although the facility itself appears not to impinge on the formation of the line to the
former HMD filling bay, it seems unlikely that the track will remain in situ. The potash will be taken by
conveyor to Redcar Bulk Terminal for export and there seems to be no provision for any rail traffic.

NEXT PAGE: Press release, artist's impression of the York Potash materials handling facility on the
north eastern apex of the Teesside Wilton site, a previously undeveloped area. The houses bottom
right are Dormanstown on the outskirts of Redcar, with the North Sea behind the photographer,
looking southwest. The actual Potash mine is at Sneatonthorpe, south of Whitby in the North York
Moors National Park. This aims to produce 13M tonnes annually within six years. There will be no rail
involvement, all the output will be transported here by a 23-mile underground conveyor. An overhead
conveyor (shown heading off lower middle right) will go to to Redcar Bulk Terminal for transshipment.

In the picture the Middlesbrough to Saltburn line cuts across the top right corner with the former
Lackenby Steelworks to its left. The Wilton branch curves round under the 'hot metal railway' which is
on the bridge far right, middle. The Freightliner Terminal was the other end of the site (top centre)
with the former HMD branch. The long disused branch round the (ex-ICI) perimeter to the former
Chlorine Loading Area is shown as intact and clear of the new facility - this is actually the branch that
might be at risk from the development.

1309 NORTH WEST .(NEW REGIONAL EDITOR: John Cameron). [email protected]
Please send any postal items for forwarding to Paul Stewart, BLN Editor, per back page

1540] Frodsham Jn - Halton Jn: (BLN 1208.1419) Post-1975, in addition to the seasonal uses, there
were diversions in the working timetable over various periods - the last such seemed to be a period up
to 30 Sep 1990. The switch from summer Saturday evening to morning was gradual - evening in 1999,
mid-afternoon in 2000, 2001 (erroneously advertised as SuX!) and 2002, morning from 2003 onwards.

1541] Stalybridge - Stockport (for a change): (BLN 1208.1422) The line once provided a later service
from Leeds to Birmingham than the direct Midland route! The last train (in 1963) via Derby to reach
Birmingham before midnight was 17.30 ex-Leeds (arr 21.15) but changing at Huddersfield, Stalybridge
and Stockport, it was possible to leave Leeds at 18.45 and reach New Street at 22.51. Now, when
Derby is open normally a 21.11 from Leeds reaches New Street 23.36 (via Castle Donington 23.50).

1542] Metrolink: Overall punctuality over the last 12 months improved to 90.6% (89.2% last period)
ranging from 94.7% on the Altrincham line down to 86.3% on the Eccles line. Reliability was 99.5% of
the planned miles being operated, up from 99.4%! Two major issues caused problems, an overhead
line fault on the Eccles line affecting services on 10 June and on the Rochdale line a fallen tree blocked
the line close to Shaw & Crompton for a while. See TfGM website for all the individual line statistics.

1543] Crewe: (BLN 1208.1420) Although described in official reports as the 'BTP compound' the area
adjacent to the damaged wall is actually part of the station parking. The wall was 'made safe' rapidly
by the affected section being demolished, and replaced by temporary pre-cast concrete block barriers.

1544] Manchester - Bolton: The well publicised scrapping of the Northern Dec timetable changes
means that electric trains are now expected to be 'gradually rolled out' (we had hoped that might be
able to travel a little faster) in 'early 2019'. Meanwhile six wire runs were installed over 14/15 Jul.

[BLN 1309]
1545] Uncut Services: (BLN 1307.1295) At the beginning of Jun, Northern removed 168 services per
day from their timetable. On 30 Jul, 75% of these were reinstated with the rest to follow next month.

Windermere: Now full service. Blackpool North - Manchester Piccadilly/Airport: Full service
(a few peak trains had been removed or amended). Blackpool South - Colne: 17/30 cancellations
reinstated. Ormskirk - Preston: 10/16 reinstated (full timetable is hourly service, was roughly every
90 minutes before May). Blackburn - Todmorden - Manchester Victoria - Southport: SSuX one
round trip plus a short working to Wigan Wallgate reinstated next month. Lancaster - Morecambe -
Heysham Port: Full service. Kirkby - Wigan - Manchester Victoria: 4/10 reinstated. Stalybridge -
Manchester Victoria: 12/12 reinstated. Lime Street: Full service was expected from ROP 30 Jul.

The Northern website advises that the main cause of the disruption was the Blackpool North - Preston
electrification closure overrun of three weeks causing route knowledge to expire for over 400 drivers.
May timetable alterations caused more problems as did the non-electrification of the Bolton route.

1546] Blackpool Trams: Following utility diversions, the first rails on the extension to North station
were laid on Fri 13 Jul, work is 'on track' for the rails to be completed by Feb 2019. A major part of the
project is demolition of Wilkinson's store once it has been relocated to a new site. The new tram
terminus will not be ready by Easter, the date given for the opening of the extension, as it is integral to
a hotel being built in 2019. An interim temporary tram stop will now be built avoiding the building site.

1547] Liverpool Lime Street: (BLN 1307.1297) ROP Mon 30 Jul; the £140M remodelled, renumbered
and re-signalled station is now controlled from the new 'Lime Street' workstation at Manchester ROC.
Old P1 is permanently decommissioned. New P1 (old P2) is OOU until Sun 14 Oct and New P2 (old P3)
is restricted to 162m operational length, also until 14 Oct, when it will be extended to the full 220m.

RENAMINGS, Wavertree Jn - Lime Street:
●Down Main/Down Fast line Down Ditton Fast Line. .
●Up Main/Up Fast line Up Ditton Fast Line.

Edge Hill East Jn - Lime Street:
●Down Slow/Up & Down Slow line Down Chat Moss Slow Line.
●Up Slow line Up Chat Moss Slow Line.
Both Chat Moss Slow Lines, Crown Street Jn (193m 1ch) - Lime Street (193m 37ch) are bidirectional.

Wavertree Jn:
●Up & Down Reception/Departure Line Wavertree Up & Down Reception Departure Line.
●Headshunt line Wavertree Headshunt line.

●The Through Siding Edge Hill Through Siding.
●Siding 1 Edge Hill Reception Siding 1.
●Siding 2Edge Hill Reception Siding 2.

Edge Hill East Jn:
●Siding 1 Edge Hill Bridge Siding 1.
●Siding 2 Edge Hill Bridge Siding 2.

●Carriage Siding A Edge Hill Carriage Siding A.
●Carriage Siding B Edge Hill Carriage Siding B.

●Down Through Siding Down Edge Hill Through Siding.
●Up Through Siding Up Edge Hill Through Siding.

The Up and Down Waterloo Siding lines (alongside Tuebrook Sidings):
●The Down Waterloo Siding Waterloo Siding 4.
●The Up Waterloo Siding Waterloo Siding 5.

Old New Was Now (Platform alterations and renumbering) Comments

P1 OOU 169m Permanently decommissioned and track lifted
P2 P1 161m
P3 P2 162m 220m Due to be commissioned at 10.00 on Sun 14 Oct
P4 P3 160m
P5 P4 197m 220m Operating length 162m (buffer stop end) until 10.00 Sun 14 Oct
P6 P5 181m.
P7 P6 270m 154m
.Line.'X' P7 n/a
P8 P8 156m 154m
P9 P9 n/a
Line.'Y' P10 n/a 181m. In use Apr 2018 with new platform number and new length


156m Commissioned Dec 2017 first use 30 Jul 2018


270m In use from Oct 2017 as P9


General Service Pattern: P1 - No booked trains (commissioned 14 Oct).
P2 - Northern electric services via Huyton to/from Wigan and Crewe (via Manchester).
P3 - Transpennine Express services to/ from Scarborough and Newcastle.
P4 - Northern electric services via Huyton to/from Wigan and Blackpool North.
P5 - Northern electric services via Huyton to/from Warrington and Crewe (via Manchester).
P6 - Northern DMU services via Hunts Cross to/from Manchester Oxford Road/Manchester Airport.
P7 - London North Western electric services to/from Birmingham.
P8 - Northern DMU services via Hunts Cross to/from Manchester Oxford Road.
P9 - Most Virgin services to/from Euston plus occasional East Midland service to/from Norwich.
P10 - Most East Midlands service to/from Norwich plus occasional Virgin services to/from Euston.

.NOTE:. On 30 Jul at least platform numbers were wrong on Realtime Trains & National Rail websites.
Huyton based Open Rail Data showed correct platforms (booked and as used).

A local member visited Lime Street on the reopening morning, Mon 30 Jul, and everything seemed to
be running well, as predicted above, with the exception of Northern services which were the subject of
significant delays and cancellation (surprise, surprise). Old P1 has been lifted, the temporary crossover
from old P2, together with the temporary starting signals, have been removed.

New P1 (was P2) has been relaid (the last to be done) along the full length of the extended realigned
platform face right up to the entry to Copperas Hill Tunnel. However, it needs tamping and properly
aligning; it is dewired but not due to open until 14 Oct. Thus, the new single reversible P1 road
through Copperas Hill and Lime Street Tunnels is also closed but has been relaid and was being worked
on. The old crossover onto this line between these single line tunnels has been completely removed.

New P2 (was P3) is open but, since its extension (like P1) is not yet completed, it is only in use to 162m
from the buffer stops. The Up and Down Chat Moss Slow lines now generally feed P1 to P5 and the Up
and Down Ditton Fast lines feed platforms P6 to P10. This removal of unnecessary conflicting
movements through the station throat with completely relaid tracks means that, given a fair wind
from the signals, trains are moving much more swiftly through the throat to and from the platforms.

1548] Liverpool Central (HL): In the previous Merseyrail Northern Line timetable, P1 generally catered
for through trains to Hunts Cross and terminating Ormskirk trains. The latter reversed in, and
departed from, P1. P2 catered for through trains to Southport and terminating Kirkby trains which
reversed in, and departed from, P2. In the current timetable, after the Lime Street closure, Hunts
Cross and Southport trains still pass through P1 & 2 respectively, as before. However, Kirkby trains
now terminate, reverse in, and depart from, P1. Most interestingly, Ormskirk trains terminate in P1,
but then run to the reversing siding at the south end of the station, reverse, and return to depart from
P2. This manœuvre used to be common but has not been part of normal operations for many years.

1309 SOUTH EAST - NORTH & EAST ANGLIA (Julian James) [email protected]
1549] Peterborough: On 24 Jul a Transport and Works Acts Order, with conditions, was finally made
for the Werrington Diveunder which is funded already (like the King's Cross approach enhancements),
any recent announcements are not 'new' money. Work must begin within five years. BELOW: The new
lines (shown in red in e-BLN and grey in paper BLN) are on the Stamford lines side (Network Rail).

1550] Aylesbury Vale Parkway: Only 4 or 7 car trains make it to the buffers. There are only two Driver
Only Operation mirrors provided on the single platform and therefore all other length trains have to
pull up short to ensure that the driver's cab at the other end is in the correct location for mirror use.
At Bromley North for the same reason, 2-car EMUs stop at the 'wrong' far end of the 10-car platforms.

1551] Wisbech: (BLN 1301.600) Reopening from March has featured plans for a terminal station either
south of the A47 or one nearer the town centre. The latter proposal was to be abandoned but
representations by Railfuture appear to have led to a change of mind by the councils concerned.
The local plan has allocated 3,550 new homes to Wisbech to increase the population to 46,000.

1552] Needham Market: (BLN 1293.2324) A 1,400 signature petition calls on government to provide
improved access through an 'Access for All' grant for work which could include a lift or possibly a slope.
The 49 steps to the Up platform are considered prohibitive to wheelchairs and a challenge to others.

1553] Wantage Road: (BLN 1258.1113) The planned development of 400 homes at Monks Farm, south
of the railway line 1km west of the site of Wantage Road, had led to a wish for a station for the
development and the village of Grove further south, and north of Wantage. The local MP had recently
claimed that the station was becoming a 'considerably more positive prospect'. At a Vale of White
Horse District Council planning meeting in July the developer, while not against the principle, objected
to possible use of part of the development site for the station. It was reported that NR believed there
would be an unacceptable increase in use of two pedestrian crossings and that there was nothing
substantive in its plans regarding a station. The MP said another that site could be chosen.

1554] Reading West: (BLN 1308.1434) A member who uses the station semi-regularly is disappointed
with what has happened. It now means a walk around via Oxford Road for him. He understands NR's
planning application for a higher bridge for electrification was refused by Reading Borough Council
following complaints from those living nearby. It is not certain when, or if, a bridge is to be installed.

1309 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
1555] Sevenoaks: (BLN 1308.1437) The A25 bridge temporary speed restriction has been changed to
80/20. The higher speed applies to trains formed entirely of EMUs, the lower is for everything else.

1556] Redhill: (BLN 1300.478) When visited on 11 Jul to do as much of the revised layout as possible,
our member found that P0 appears to be used by Guildford - Gatwick and some Reigate - Victoria
services (which also use P2), but not the off-peak Tonbridge - London (BLN 1298.260) which was
withdrawn in May. P1a is used by the Redhill - Tonbridge service and P1b for Gatwick - Guildford.

1557] Brighton line: (BLN 1308.1369) The October nine day closure south of Three Bridges has been
cancelled. Descoped improvement work will now be carried out in the 16 to 24 Feb 2019 nine day
closure, subject to the rail industry's usual assurance reviews. The supporting 15 weekend closures
between Sep 2018 and May 2019 will go ahead unchanged. NR has consulted with the Department for
Transport and Govia Thameslink Railway 'to allow the rail industry to focus its immediate efforts on
embedding the interim timetable from 15 Jul and delivering a more dependable service'.

1309 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]
1558] Night Riviera: A very positive review in 'The Times' of the revamped
service. Our Cornwall STP Tracker participants can attest to the quality of the new service on board.

1559] Dawlish (BLN 1268.2175) NR has reported that detailed studies of the Teignmouth to Dawlish
line are nearly complete. They will lead to the detailed design of projects to add resilience to the
railway from extreme weather. NR expects to announce designs and potential future decisions in the
autumn. With DfT funding, world-leading engineers in coastal, tunnel, cliff and railway engineering
have been carrying out detailed ground investigation to understand what is happening to the cliffs and
coastline in three key areas: ❶Between Parsons Tunnel and Teignmouth where there was a serious
landslip on the cliffs in 2014. ❷Dawlish sea wall which failed in 2014. ❸The cliffs between Parsons
Tunnels and Kennaway which are unstable. NR will analyse the results which will be used to develop
detailed options for discussion with the local community, local council and DfT.

Meanwhile the Cardiff & Avonside Railway Society report that NR is looking at creating a 400m
causeway protected by rock armour into the sea between Smugglers Cove and Sprey Point, which
would then curve inland towards Teignmouth to move the railway away from the unstable cliffs where
the land could then be reclaimed. The project could cost up to £500M and take 6 to 12 months to
complete with the West of England mainline closed during this period. Completion is planned for 2021.

1560] Penzance: Online timetabled platform numbers are incorrect (including Realtime Trains and
National Rail) and do not change after the trains have run to reflect what actually happened as there is
no automatic reporting. P4 (outside the train shed on the 'seaside') and P2 are lesser used platforms.

The problem stems from the Night Riviera Sleeper booked to arrive at/depart from P4, but actually
uses P1 because at 290yd it is 44yd longer than P4 to fit the whole train in and partially undercover.
P1 does not require a conflicting move to/from Long Rock Depot. As a result of this, certain morning
and evening trains have their platforms changed as below Mondays to Fridays (assuming there is no
disruption, of course). Outside of the morning and evening Penzance is a fairly quiet station and HST
services tend to arrive and depart from P1 with local DMU services using P3 fairly consistently all day.

Sleeper arr 07.55 (08.59 MO) (booked P4, uses P1). 14.34 Paddington - Penzance 20.40 (P1, uses P2).

06.26 (06.00 MO) Plymouth - Penzance (P2, uses P4). 11.35 Newcastle - Penzance 20.54 (P2, uses P3).

09.00 Penzance - Paddington (P1, uses P2). 21.45 Sleeper to Paddington (P4, uses P1).

09.35 Penzance - Manchester (P2, uses P4). 22.10 Penzance - Plymouth (P2, uses P3).

1561] Corfe Castle (BLN 1308.1447) A casualty of the RMT industrious inaction taken on Sat 28 Jul was
cancellation of the new summer Saturday Corfe Castle service. When running, some weeks the final
train has run to Waterloo (via Weymouth), other weeks a change has been required at Salisbury.

1309 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]
1562] Bromsgrove: The new electric service began on Sun 29 Jul, the 09.03 from New Street was the
first public arrival at 09.38, returning at 09.42. All should be 4 or 6-car EMUs and are booked to
turnback in P3 using the 'new' trailing crossover on departure. The final CrossCountry services (two
each way SuX - one to Stansted Airport) called at Bromsgrove on Sat 28 Jul; from 30th they ran through
non-stop. The vast majority of passengers just travelled to/from Birmingham, though making them
crowded. However, CrossCountry Cardiff services will serve Worcestershire Parkway when it opens.
With the new service to Bromsgrove there is significantly less use of Longbridge Reversing Siding.
Bromsgrove now has 132 trains a day in total in the week compared with 44 before electrification.

1563] Wolverhampton: The subway from near the outside of the entrance under the ex-London North
Western Railway (High Level) station down to the former Low Level (Great Western Railway) station
closed temporarily from 20 May until 'summer 2019' for the station redevelopment which is gaining
momentum. On reopening, pedestrians will pop up right in the middle of the new large concourse.
Groundworks on the Metro extension are progressing well along Railway Drive towards the station.

1564] Duddeston: On 23 Jul between Aston South Jn and Duddeston the Up Vauxhall line (at the
former connection to the Vauxhall Goods lines) will be renewed and slewed across towards the former
Up Vauxhall Goods line footprint. (This is handy for those that never did the Goods Lines which did
have an occasional passenger train). The Down Vauxhall line will also be slewed across at a later stage.
Does anyone know what s happening here and why please? Previously the Sectional Appendix noted
that the Vauxhall Goods Lines were OOU and disconnected from the main lines but live overhead
remained above each line (one way of preventing cable theft!).

1565] Shrewsbury: NR proposes to recover Coton Hill Sidings 1, 2 & 3, the remains of the goods yard,
just north of Shrewsbury station on the Up side of the Chester line. They have not been used for a long
time. The line used by an ECS Virgin Voyager turning back mid afternoon seven days a week remains.

1566] West Midlands Metro: At a cost of £9k per tram, No31 was the first to receive the dramatic new
all blue livery when it entered service for the evening peak on 16 Jul; all will be reliveried. Other trams
have recently received West Midlands Metro branding internally and externally. All tram stops are also

having the new colour scheme, St Chads was first. Two battery trams, 18 and 31 are in service with a
third, 36, being tested. So you know which is which trains are to have orange liveries and buses red.

1567] Oxley: On the evening of Wed 25 Jul two lucky and rather excited society members met up on
Wolverhampton P1 for the Virgin Trains 20.37 service to Crewe, an 11-car Pendolino. Although they
had complimentary First Class tickets, in true Virgin style they were given an upgrade and invited to
join the driver in the front cab. He was a local Wolverhampton Driver Standards Manager (DSM) who
accompanied them for the rest of the evening. Despite a four minute delay at a red signal south of
Stafford, P11 at Crewe was reached on time at 22.15. After changing ends (which seemed much
further than the 291yd and involved opening 22 sliding doors), it was a fast and very interesting run in
the dark up the West Coast Main Line - but there was still much to see from the front of the train on
the ECS back to Wolverhampton P2 to reverse. Pendolinos are, incidentally, not permitted in P3 there.

Then the excitement really began with a 15mph downhill trundle (hardly requiring any power to be
applied) to Alstom UK's Oxley Traction & Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot or Midland Traincare
Centre as it is known. The 15mph speed restriction for electric trains is due to the overhead which is
only 'tram wire' type after Wolverhampton North Jn. The first Depot here was opened by the Great
Western Railway in 1907 on the Down side, opposite the Up side freight yard (where the Up Carriage
Sidings now are). At Oxley itself speed was even more cautious and Road 7 was taken on the Down
Side, the furthest arrival through line away from the main. After stopping at the end to pick up a depot
shunter, the Pendolino ran though the train wash (it did too) at a significantly higher level than the
Shrewsbury line. Then the highlight of the trip - Oxley No1 Shunting Spur which is on the trackbed of
the Wombourn(e) line, specifically the viaduct over the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal from the
former Oxley Middle Jn to Oxley Branch Jn. The latter was an unusual location where four tracks (two
from each side of the triangle) become one south to Wombourn(e) - another example was Newstead
Lane Jn at Cromer. With a train of maximum length and good yellow/orange illumination from the
Depot sodium lights the end was nigh (SJ 9017 0142) - anyone would think it had all been arranged.

Another change of ends was required to run back into Depot Road 12, much further south of the main
line, where there are two small loading and cleaning platforms on the right in the direction of travel,
not shown on TRACKmaps Aug 2013. The cab was stopped at the far end of the second one, towards
the east end of the Main Carriage Shed. A small crowd of people dressed in orange were waiting on
each to restock the buffet/First Class kitchen, clean and service the train etc. Then it shunted over the
Wolverhampton end trailing crossover to stable on the Up side. The very rusty Shrewsbury end facing
crossover (143m 49ch) for Depot access is strategic but was once used to work round a derailment.

As arranged our duo joined the driver's taxi for the short (and at this time of night fast) journey back to
the station where, after a coffee, they boarded the 21.09 ECS Pendolino from Manchester Piccadilly.
This runs past Longsight Depot (!) via Wilmslow, Crewe, Alsager and Stoke - its regular timetabled
route to maintain driver route knowledge. At 23.30 it made an unusual north departure from
Wolverhampton P4 (as booked) across to the Shrewsbury line and stabled in Oxley Down Road 5.
Meanwhile the 00.03 Arriva Trains Wales departure from Wolverhampton (23.35 from New Street)
sped by on the main. Of interest, this runs non-stop via Bescot then calls at all stations to Shrewsbury,
the only Down ATW local train on the line other than on Sundays when ATW provide all services.
The 22.32 ATW ex-Chester similarly calls at all stations Up to Wolverhampton before forming the final
departure of the day of all from there, the 00.20 back to Shrewsbury serving Telford and Wellington.

The duo observed a Pendolino running over the Depot level crossing into the Main Carriage Shed then
returned to the station with the DSM in the same taxi as before (which didn't faze the driver in the
slightest). Oxley Depot has 10 ECS arrivals between 20.14 and 02.20 (the 23.30 service from Euston to
Wolverhampton). Departures, first in, first out, start at 04.38 forming the 05.00 from Wolverhampton
to Euston. It is a much bigger site with far more facilities than would be expected from speeding by on
the main line. Of note it is all signalled by the West Midlands Signalling Centre (rather than the more
usual local Depot panel). Like most such establishments it comes to life in the middle of the night.

ABOVE: The west end of Wolverhampton Oxley Depot, Down side, looking east, around
midnight on Wed 25 Jul, Road 5 is on the left and Road 6 on the right. (Kev Adlam)

Our members are very grateful to all the very friendly Virgin Trains and Alstom staff for this wonderful
opportunity, part of a series of trips made possible by our silent charity auction (see BLN 1300.430).

1568] Kenilworth: On 20 Jul a plaque was unveiled by the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling to
mark the official station opening. 'The first opened by West Midlands Trains' - but only as it was so late!!

1309 YORKSHIRE & NORTH HUMBERSIDE (Graeme Jolley; Geoff Blyth for North & East Yorks)
1569] Trans-Pennine upgrade: In 12 Jul letter, the Secretary of State for Transport confirmed that the
Manchester to York upgrade would include 'both major civil engineering projects and electrification',
and be the biggest enhancement project on the existing network during Control Period 6 (2019-24).
It will be delivered as a rolling programme starting in spring 2019. Grayling wrote 'the key to delivering
improved journey times on what is a very circuitous route through the Pennines involves rebuilding
and relaying most of the track bed from Manchester to York'. NR has been instructed to prioritise
works which would offer the quickest benefits to passengers, such as 'straightening lengths of track to
improve line speed'. One hopes that this will include Stalybridge and Marsden (BLN 1303.874).

On 17 Jul NR confirmed that it had submitted options for the upgrade to the DfT for consideration.
The cancellations of electrification projects announced in Jul 2017 led to 'concerns being raised' that
trans-Pennine electrification might also be cancelled, although the DfT said at the time that design
work was still underway with a view to a decision being taken during 2018. The term 'concerns being
raised' is quite mild, considering the angry reaction to the cancellation of electrification to Sheffield,

such that it would now have been almost impossible politically not to approve trans-Pennine
electrification. The scope of the work is still to be confirmed but, while the focus is on the Manchester
- Leeds - York/Selby route, it is claimed to have major benefits as far as Newcastle. EMUs will clearly
increase the speed on the ECML to assist pathing, but will be of little benefit to the non-electrified
destinations of Hull, Teesside & Scarborough; bring out the bimodes! (With apologies to Mr Branston.)

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) welcomed the letter, saying it would provide suppliers with
'some certainty about the scheme in the years ahead'. The RIA believes electrification 'remains the
optimal form of traction for intensively used railway lines because it is more environmentally friendly,
reduces wear and tear on track and is more cost-effective over the long term'. The association is to
publish a report soon, suggesting how electrification costs could be much reduced. [Bring back BR?]

The long term vision ('Northern Powerhouse Rail') would see a wider programme of upgrades to
provide a network of more frequent, faster and longer trains linking the north's main cities. It was
emphasised that the focus is on developing a network to serve the whole region and not merely on
getting more people into Leeds and Manchester. The aim is to greatly increase the number of people
within a 'reasonable' one hour commute of all cities. Transport for the North (TfN) is 'working at
breakneck speed' preparing a high level plan and business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail, to be
submitted to the Minister at the end of this year. It is 'high level concepts not detailed route options'.

However, there are at present no trans-Pennine routes for container trains and indeed a lack of paths
for freight from ports to distribution centres. Freight is apparently being 'very actively' considered
under the strategy, although the CEO of TfN said he needed to 'increase his understanding of the
sector's needs'. It was suggested that reopening of the Skipton - Colne route could benefit freight
while new loops would increase capacity on the Hope Valley route and an 'old freight line'(!) could be
reopened to increase capacity between Manchester and Sheffield. The TfN consultation strategy
launched in January did not even mention Woodhead, so has there perhaps been a change of heart?

BELOW: Plans for Bradford Forster Square (press release). Years ago, before this line was shortened
and the line to Bradford Exchange terminus also truncated (and that station closed when Bradford
Interchange opened to the south), the two original stations were only a few hundred yards apart. A bit
of joined up thinking could have resulted in a single station with through trains across Bradford (it was
even given serious consideration by BR but railways were thought to be in terminal decline then).

1570] Bradford Forster Square: Plans for a £17M station redevelopment received an 86% vote of
public support in a consultation on the proposals by Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined
Authority, NR and Northern. They include replacement of the existing station building, staircase tower
and lift to Cheapside and Manor Row. The new, larger building would incorporate the arches behind
the station and new 'pods' would be installed in them to provide extra facilities. The scheme would
create better access to the city centre and the nearby Broadway shopping centre. The next step is to
appoint a design and build contractor who will work with the Council to develop the proposals further,
including preparation of a planning application for the new station early in the New Year.

BELOW: Bradford in 1957 the light green spot is the present Forster Square station (previous station
CP from 11 Jun 1990), the purple spot is Bradford Interchange (line cut back from 14 Jan 1973).

1571] Bessacarr Jn - Black Carr Jn - Doncaster: (BLN 1296.66) This PSUL route accesses Doncaster P1, 2
& 3 via the bidirectional Up (East) Slow line from/to Black Carr Jn. From 21 May the Mon-Fri service
doubled. As well as the 11.54 (SSuX) Lincoln to Doncaster (12.45) and 13.01 return, there is now a
19.00 (SSuX) Sleaford to Doncaster (20.21) and 20.36 back to Lincoln. The 14.10 SO Lincoln Central to
Doncaster (14.58/15.07 return) is unchanged; there is no service on the direct Lincoln line on Sundays.

1572] Northern rolling stock: TfN is 'co-managing' the TPE and Northern franchises with the DfT, with
input into the franchise specifications even before this was statutory. One of the most visible signs of
success was the Minister's decision to authorise procurement of new rolling stock, so the widely
disliked Pacers will go 'to scrap yards or museums' by the end of 2019. However, the Minister had little
choice as they must be taken out of use by then as they are not disability compliant. The new stock will
increase capacity on the Manchester - Leeds corridor from 850 seats/hour to 2,000 in Dec 2019.

The first of the Civity UK units are now under construction at CAF's factories at Irún and Zaragoza in
Spain. 25x2-car and 30x3-car Class 195 DMUs and 31x3-car and 12x4-car Class 331 EMUs were ordered
in Jan 2016. The DMUs will be used on 'Northern Connect' services, facilitating a cascade of rolling
stock to enable the 'complete removal' of the Pacers. The first Class 195 left Irún in early Mar for Velim
test track in the Czech Republic, and the first Class 331 arrived there early May. Northern plans to
introduce Class 195s on Leeds - Chester services in Dec. Testing of the Class 331s on the British
network begins in Aug, with the aim of achieving passenger use approval by late 2018. The first trains
are due to enter service on the Manchester Airport - Preston - Blackpool North route early next year.

1309 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
1573] Waterford: Despite the money spent on lengthening the one remaining platform (P4) to 234m a
few years ago, planning permission has now been granted for a new station extending the passenger
line by half a mile east. This is on the freight only line to Bellview Port (the start of the Rosslare Strand
line that CP from Mon 20 Sep 2010). It will be a 'transport hub for walking, cycling, bus and rail' with a
200 space car park. The new station will have two 200m long platforms and be nearer the city centre
with a new bridge built over the River Suir to the Clock Tower. The project is associated with the North
Quays development scheme. The former New Ross branch (rail traffic ceased Mar 1985) trackbed will
become an extension of the existing 'greenway' for cyclists and walkers from Dungarvan (on the
Waterford to Mallow via Fermoy route) - a very considerable walk! The present Waterford station is
to be demolished and there is even reference to extending the 3ft gauge Waterford & Suir Valley line
in to the city. Planning permission for a new Waterford station was originally granted in 2007 (when it
was a through passenger station still, of course) but this stalled in the subsequent recession.

1309 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]

1574] Douglas Horse Bay Tramway: One of the trams sold by Douglas Borough Council when it was
divested of ownership of the horse tramway looks set to start a new life off the IOM; pictures recently
came to light of it being loaded for a 'long trip'. This is enclosed saloon 28 which attracted the highest
bid in the auction (£2,800) and was the last of the sold trams to leave Strathallan Depot on 1 Feb 2017,
initially for another location on the island. Not much has been known about any of the trams which
were sold and 28 is no different with no reports of who acquired the tram or where it was stored.
The other trams sold (33, 34, 37, 39 and 40) are believed to remain on the island in private ownership.

1576] County Donegal railcars: The IOM press has run stories about No19 & 20 returning to Ireland.
IOM railway management advises there has been no meaningful discussion about their disposal.

X.109] NEXT PAGE TOP: Kissack at Castletown heading north on the 11.30 service from Port Erin to
Douglas waiting for Fenella to arrive on her way from Douglas to Port Erin. (Gary Lonsdale 26 Jul 2018)

X.110] NEXT PAGE LOWER: Manx Northern Railway No4 Caledonia at Kirk Michael station; looking
northeast at the track bed of the line on to Ramsey. (Gary Lonsdale 25 Jul 2018)

1575] Line Closures? Tynwald (the Manx Government) are looking at expenditure generally around the
island with the spotlight once again on the railways. Consideration had been given to closing the steam
railway between Castletown and Port Erin but this was ruled out. Now serious thought is being given
to saving £708k annually by closing the Manx Electric Railway between Laxey and Ramsey.
Your Regional Editor despairs of the constant political machinations which bedevil the IOM - with what
goes on in public bearing no relation whatsoever to what is actually going on behind the scenes in the
corridors of 'power'. The railways are seen by the island's population as a 'soft target' with the general
public conveniently forgetting the significant contribution they make to the island's tourist income.

1577] Diesel No21: No doubt in the future a book will be written about this saga. Our members will be
aware that the bogies are back. Eventually after trying to hide behind commercial confidentiality it was
revealed that the overhaul costs (the bogies have hardly turned a wheel in anger in Manx ownership)
were some £240k on top of the original purchase price of £420k. Does the locomotive now work? No!
According to reliable sources (and from what your Regional Editor has seen with his own eyes), a
considerable amount of work remains to be done - and with the season in full swing it would be
difficult to imagine the Douglas workshop staff having time between ordinary running repairs for the
steam locomotives to find further time to finish number 21. Still stranger things have happened….

1309 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
1578] Newton: (BLN 1308.1383) In connection with the Polmadie and Rutherglen track renewals and
resignalling, Glasgow - Lanark/WCML services are scheduled to be diverted via Mount Florida and the
Newton South Connecting Line SuO until 9 Sep. Local trains between Glasgow Central (high level) and
Motherwell/Lanark (shown via Uddingston in Table 225), call at Newton instead of Cambuslang.

1579] Kittybrewster: (BLN 1308.1469) From 21 Jul, as part of the Aberdeen to Inverness (East) Project,
new 535 points were installed on the Up & Down Single line at 0m 74ch and Hand Points 1 at 1m 31ch.
They are clamped in the reverse position (allowing access to the Waterloo Goods branch) OOU until
commissioning on 11 May 2019. Hand Points 2 (fully operational) were also installed at 1m 32ch.

1580] Powderhall branch: (BLN 1279.814) The Waste Transfer Station ceased operation in 2016. On
23 Mar 2017 Edinburgh Council Finance and Resources Committee approved the sale of the Depot to
the Housing Revenue Account for housing-led redevelopment. It is expected that decontamination and
demolition of the site (beginning in autumn) will take up to a year depending on the level of work that
is required to prepare it for future use. Meantime a security alarm system (motion detection devices)
has been installed to secure the site so don't be tempted to take your riding vehicle to do the track!

1581] Hunterston: (BLN 1301.646) Work has started dismantling the conveyor along the jetty. The
Largs & Millport Weekly News reports Peel Ports as informing Fairlie Community Council that the two
giant hopper cranes on the 1 mile Hunterston Low Level jetty will also be dismantled for scrapping.
(It had been hoped to sell them off as working cranes.) The coal conveyor belt above the A78 will be
removed. East of the A78 the Hunterston High Level coal loading facility will also be demolished. Work
is due to start on 6 Aug and is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Peel Ports are reported
as saying that train and carriage manufacturers from Europe are considering setting up at Hunterston.

1582] Stirling: As part of electrification, engineers worked 1,800 hours between 21-26 Jul on the new
A905 Kerse Rd overbridge. [The locals have been 'cursing' too because this important bridge is closed
to road traffic for six months.] Two pre-cast concrete beams each 30 to 50 tonnes and 21m long, were
lifted into position each night, with a 750 tonne crane. The old bridge was demolished in Apr, then 88
piled foundations were installed and new east and west abutments constructed to support the 14 deck
beams. The new wider structure will offer potential for the council to add a future third road lane.

1583] Glasgow Queen St: From 21 Jul, the direct access to Low Level P8 & 9 from Dundas St closed and
(for members who like such exotica - that is spelt with an 'x'.) was replaced with a temporary walkway
via the High Level concourse and P2. The main entrance remains open but will be moved further down

Dundas St. Lift access to the Low Level platforms remains from P7. Meanwhile for the last 12 months,
as part of the station redevelopments, tickets had been sold from the former Vale Pub also on Dundas
St. Those aged 5-15 in a hurry to catch their train could ask for a 'swift half'… However, this facility
closed recently and was replaced by one inside the station at the George Square end.

1584] HST: On 23 Jul a 10.00 special train, 43032 & 43168, in ScotRail livery ran from Loughborough
Brush to Inverness TMD arriving 64 minutes late - hopefully not a portent of things to come.

1585] Kildonan not dead: (BLN 1308.1468) At a meeting in Inverness on 26 Jun a representative from
HITRANS said that the 4 minute time saving from closing the station partly comes from automating the
level crossing. All trains now have to stop dead at the station anyway and sound their horn before
proceeding cautiously over the open crossing. The e-BLN 1308 picture was taken on 17 Aug 2016.

1586] Class 385: On Tue 24 Jul the first passenger workings of the new Hitachi EMU took place
(at last!) - there had been an ECS training run the previous day. A 7-car train with 385104 at the front
and 385003 behind formed the 13.15 Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh. The 3-car 385/0s have no
First Class being intended for Glasgow HL services including the Shotts line. Ascending Queen Street
incline was interesting, passing Cowlairs West in 2 min 55 sec for the 1.85 miles, despite having to ease
somewhat over that junction. The train information systems referred to 'Edinburgh Haymarket' and
'Edinburgh Waverley', rather than Haymarket/Edinburgh, is this specified? On a trip to Linlithgow and
back, your correspondent noted three 8-car Class 365 workings. There are regular training runs now.

1587] Elderslie: (BLN 1303.896): Due to Polmadie being 'wheels free', stock for the Sun 15 Jul Glasgow
/Edinburgh sleeper trains was stabled for the weekend at Elderslie terminal. This has robust secure
fencing, presumably essential to prevent the sleeping stock from becoming 'wheels free' too?

[BLN 1309]
1588] Ayr: (BLN 1305.1098) Due to the poor condition of the former 'Station Hotel', the concourse,
with its retail outlets, is now completely blocked off, as is the area in front of the hotel, where the
Cairnryan connecting bus normally stands - this now operates from the east side of the station,
adjacent to P4. Access to the platforms (all four are in use) is via the north end of the main station
building, where a temporary booking facility and guidance are available, then to P1. For traction
enthusiasts directly across Burns Statue Square from the station is a hotel bar entitled 'The Growler'.

PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: Ayr 'Station Hotel' in better days. (Angus McDougall 12 Feb 2011)

1589] Falkirk Grahamston: From 19 Jul, Class 380 EMUs worked the Queen St HL - Cumbernauld -
Grahamston services releasing DMUs for special workings to the Carnoustie Open Golf championship
weekend. At least on this day there were no loco hauled trips booked, unlike on previous occasions.

1590] Inverness: NR proposes to build a new maintenance and servicing facility for completion in
2020, on the site of the former Motorail sidings adjacent to P1. It is needed to allow improved services,
with the short HSTs and new Caledonian Sleeper stock. The sidings will each be 12 carriages long.

1309 WALES (Chris Parker) [email protected]
1591] Llandudno: (BLN 1308.1483) Regarding the signal diagram and resultant query from our visit,
it was standard practice on British Rail (London Midland Region) box diagrams for all ground discs to
be shown as miniature arms, so this should apply at Llandudno. A member is pretty sure that no
genuine miniature ground-level arms have existed anywhere on the national network for many years.

1592] Blaenau Ffestiniog: (BLN 1308.1483) Regarding the north end of the station siding/run round
loop trap points, the technical name is 'wide to gauge trap points' a 'trapped' train drops off the track
straight ahead. In the e-BLN photo this would be towards the camera from the south. They are
uncommon rather than unusual; there are other examples on the network. [Has anybody seen any?]

1593] Holyhead: On 12 Jul Rail Operations Group loco 47 813 worked an 08.23 from Derby North Dock
Sidings to Anglesey Aluminium Sidings (261m 56ch) between Valley and Holyhead, which had not
seen a train since before the Aluminium Works closed in 2009, although the former company's shunter
loco remains. The visit was to test the integrity of the track in the site, with a view to using it to store
new CAF Mk5a coaches built in Spain awaiting entry to service with TPE. The return working left
35 mins early at 16.26 suggested a favourable result. Sure enough, by 23 Jul a rake of Mk5a coaches
had reached the sidings - but by road, after arriving by ship at Immingham! A previous batch has been
in Britain since May and were transported by rail from Portbury Dock to Manchester Longsight depot,
so why these had to go by road is unclear. There will eventually be 13 sets of five coaches in total.

1594] Cambrian line: After a drop-in information event for local residents at Hanwood village hall on
16 Jul, NR is replacing 'existing rail' near there (MP4) between Shrewsbury and Welshpool, at a cost of
£200k during overnight possessions from 4 to 30 Aug. There are no planned rail service alterations.

1595] North Wales Coast Quadrupling: Thanks to our member Mike Addison. Listed in the Down
direction; a series of loops were constructed and later joined up to form the quadruple track.

North Wales Coast original quadrupling stages and dates: Open

Chester station Jul 1890
Chester Goods Lines 7 Jul 1901
Chester - Saltney Slow Lines, new junction at Saltney (old line taken out of use) 25 Jul 1903
Chester - Saltney Jn, old line reopened (Chester No6 - Mold Jn No1 became four tracks) 21 Jun 1903
Saltney Jn - Mold Jn, completed 6 Jun 1904, inspected 4 Aug 1904 for passenger use 6 Aug 1904
Mold Junction
Jul 1899

North Wales Coast original quadrupling stages and dates - continued: Open
Mold Jn No1 - No4 additional lines 7 Dec 1902
Mold Jn No4 - Sandycroft (except for Lodge 2, Cop Farm)
Sandycroft - Dundas Siding; Down Loop 3 May 1896
Queensferry new station, Down side Booking Office brought into use
Queensferry - Sandycroft Up Line opened, four tracks completed 2 Jan 1900
Dundas Siding - Queensferry; Down Loop 29 Jul 1900
Queensferry - Wepre
Wepre - Connahs Quay East 3 Jul 1898
Connahs Quay East - Flint, Muspratts Siding never widened 17 May 1896
Muspratts - Bagillt No1
Bagillt - Dee Bank Jun 1906
Dee Bank - Holywell No2; Down Loop
Dee Bank - Holywell, four tracks 7 Nov 1897
Holywell - Llanerchymor 9 Jun 1907
Holywell Jn - Mostyn No1, Up side only 21 Jun 1896
Holywell Jn - Mostyn - Point of Ayr - Gronant, Down line, completing four tracks 21 Jun 1903
Llanerchymor; Up & Down Loops 24 Jul 1898
Mostyn No1 - No2, Up side only
Mostyn No2 - Point of Ayr (Morfa); Up Loop Aug 1898
Mostyn - Prestatyn
Talacre new station opens 22 Jun 1902
Point of Ayr - Gronant Sdg; Up Loop
Gronant Siding - Prestatyn No1 Jun 1896
Prestatyn new station; new bridge & approaches opened 16 Feb 1897 15 Jul 1900
Prestatyn - Rhyl No1 13 May 1903
Rhyl station Up side 24 Jul 1898
Rhyl station Down side 14 Jun 1896
Rhyl No2 - Foryd Jn, Up side only 28 Feb 1897
Rhyl No2 - Foryd Jn - Rhuddlan Marsh, Down side only 2 Jun 1901
Foryd Jn - Rhuddlan Marsh, Up side only 28 Oct 1900
Foryd Viaduct, new lines, old lines taken out of use 1 Dec 1900
Rhuddlan Marsh - Abergele (west of station); Down Loop 16 Jun 1901
Abergele - Rhuddlan Marsh, Up line, completing four tracks
Abergele, extra lines through station 1 Jul 1901
Abergele - Llandulas Viaduct (east end); Down Goods Loop Late 1896
Abergele - Llandulas Viaduct (east end) both Down lines opened 21 Dec 1902
Llandulas - Colwyn Bay No1 never widened 17 May 1896
Colwyn Bay No1 through the station - No2
Colwyn Bay No2 - Llandudno Junction east Jul 1902
Llandudno Junction new station opened 13 Jul 1902
7 Mar 1915
22 Jun 1915

1 Mar 1908
12 Jun 1904
1 Nov 1897

1596] Rhyl - Abergele & Pensarn - final answer: (BLN 1308.1478) The mystery of when the Down Main
was moved from the separate Foryd Viaduct south bridge crossing the River Clwyd (209m 69ch - 210m
08ch) to alongside the Up Main on the north bridge is now solved! Before the Former Up Main could
become the new Down Main, a new Up Main had to be built on the trackbed of the old Up Slow:

●5 Jan 1986: Work started, deep digging and ballasting the former Up Slow. ●12 & 19 Jan 1986: More
digging, ballast and bridge work on Up Slow. ●26 Jan 1986: 33 lengths of the former Up Slow renewed.
●2 Feb 1986: Up Slow track work completed and a new signal post (signal 126) at the Abergele end.

●9 Feb 1986: New Up Main commissioned on trackbed of the former Up Slow and new signal 126.

(From signaller's notes at Rhyl); dates are all Sundays. After this, north to south the arrangement was
Up Main, former Up Main OOU, Down Main on south Down viaduct, Down Main and OOU Down Slow.

●Sun 28 Sep 1986: S&T remove cables from Down Main cess. ●Sun 5 Oct 1986: Down Main slewed
into former Up Main over Foryd Viaduct. ●Mon 06 Oct 1986: The disused Down Fast and Down Slow
tracks on Down side (south) viaduct were lifted. ●Additionally, Sun 26 Oct 1986: At Foryd Jn the Down
(south) bridge was removed which used to carry the Down Fast and Slow lines over the Foryd Pier line.

Further west, the Down Main between MP 210 and MP 211¾, was slewed south about 10ft further
away from the Up Main from Sun 10 Mar 1985 (not 1965 as in BLN 1308.1478). A week later, the
Up Main was slewed south into the former Down Main between MP 210 and MP 211¾. The reason for
this was to have both tracks under the southern span of the A548, Towyn Road bridge at Kinmel Bay.

1597] Rhyl No1: NR has donated the diagram from the closed box to Rhyl & District Model Railway Club.

1309 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott) [email protected]
REMINDER: Peter's personal 'Tesco' email address is ending; please use above address.
MR134] Welsh Highland Railway, Gwynedd (MR p30) (BLN 1307.MR123) On 5 July the 15.40 service
from Porthmadog to Caernarfon was struck by a car on Cwm Cloch Upper level crossing above
Beddgelert. The driver of the vehicle, believed to be a local resident, appears to have paid no attention
to the warning signs and drove straight on to the crossing when the train was present. The car was
pushed alongside the train for a few yards and badly damaged but its driver escaped without serious
injury. The locomotive, NGG16 Garratt No138, appears to have suffered only cosmetic damage but the
Pullman and service carriages immediately behind it will cost an estimated £5,000 to repair. The RAIB
was briefly involved but soon handed the site back to the police and Railway staff once the
circumstances were understood and the recovery operation was completed. There were no injuries to
the more than 100 train passengers but they had to complete their journey by road transport.

MR135] Kent & East Sussex Railway, Kent (MR p6): Our roving reporter visited this well-known railway
on Saturday 23 June 2018. Buses 2 & 2A combined, offer an hourly service to Tenterden from Ashford.
The 11.45 train from Tenterden was hauled by 'Terrier' 32678 with some vintage stock. The Cavell van
(No132), usually based at Bodiam, was away at the Severn Valley Railway but was expected back on
15 July. At Bodiam, showing a KESR ticket, gains a reduction to the admission for the nearby castle.
Return to Tenterden was in ex-BR bogie coaches behind 'Austerity' 0-6-0ST No25 (HE3797/1953).

MR136] Hotham Park Miniature Railway, West Sussex (MR p25) (BLNs 1289.MR183 & 1303.908 with
pictures in e-BLN): This 12¼" gauge railway was visited, in bright sunshine, by our roving reporter on
Sunday 3 June when the outer circuit was in use. At work was steam outline 0-6-0DH 'Boris' (AK80 of
2007) with bogie coaches 'Doodle' and 'Pickle'. A shed visit was kindly offered, which contained
coaches 'Bumble Around' and 'Ryan', along with the bogie engineering wagon. Also present was the
new 4w-4wBE loco, which is still being built. The fare for two circuits is still £3 adults and £2 child.

NEXT PAGE BELOW: Tanfield Railway, 0-4-0ST (HL2859/1911) runs round at Andrews House station.
(Peter Scott 1 Jul 2018)

MR137] Tanfield Railway, Tyne & Wear (MR p9): A visit here on Sunday 1 July found the timetable in
chaos. The warm dry weather and the risk of a lineside fire meant the loco was not being worked hard,
so the timetable could not be maintained. The first train of the day had apparently run as booked:
Andrews House - Sunniside - Andrews House - East Tanfield - Andrews House. But there were to be no
more trains between Andrews House and Sunniside until at least 14.40. Our reporter caught what was
the second train of the day (at around 12.20) to East Tanfield. This was formed of four coaches hauled
by 0-4-0ST No2 (Hawthorn Leslie 2859/1911). The train was delayed outside East Tanfield station for no
apparent reason. However, when it moved forward the reason was obvious - it arrived in the bay
platform! No2 had been detached and the train was drawn into the bay by another No2: 0-4-0DE
(Armstrong Whitworth D22/1933). This very welcome move was due to the main platform being out of
use with its edging slabs receiving attention. The return to Andrews House was uneventful. An all day
adult ticket was only £10. Trains were well filled, with a coach reserved both ways for a birthday party.

MR138] Porterswick Junction Light Railway, Cornwall (MR p14) (BLN 1170.MR183): This 7¼" gauge
railway runs in Hidden Valley, near Launceston. A dedicated member visited on 25 June - a quiet day at
the railway although it was hot and sunny [MR Ed: Perhaps some potential visitors had gone to the
Beach?]. The train set has changed here with the sit-astride coaches withdrawn for a more robust sit-in
type, which are sturdier. The train set is now formed by Roanoke 0-4-0 petrol loco 'Albert' with three
sit-in coaches 'Victoria', 'Elizabeth' and 'Camilla' (past, present and future queens). The track was
suffering from the heat with a little bit of distortion, but not affecting the running. The route was
changed a couple of years ago and now runs anticlockwise and, at the erstwhile Porterswick station,
the train uses the former stabling line with old stock dumped on the former running line. On quiet
days the train runs hourly 11.00 to 16.00 on the hour; in the busy school holidays it is on demand. A lot
of work has taken place over the winter with a new footbridge over the line near Porterswick station
into a Folly Garden with a rustic ruin. Adult admission was £9.95 for a very tranquil and lovely location.

BELOW: Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, River Mite in Dalegarth platform 2. (Peter Scott 4 Jul 2018)

MR139] Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, Cumbria (MR p14) (BLN 1305.MR103): This long established
15" gauge railway has now fully recovered from its disastrous fire, which destroyed the workshops,
badly damaging a number of locomotives. As briefly mentioned in BLN 1305 much work has taken
place at Murthwaite (2m 55ch). Starting in January, after contractors had cleared the ground, a three-
way point and run-loop were installed and the ground prepared for a turning triangle - located on the
valley side of the main line (left heading to Dalegarth), which has been relaid on a new alignment
closer to the former granite crusher. [From 1929 to 1953 there was a standard gauge branch from
Ravenglass to the crushing plant, the rails gauntleted either side of the 15" gauge ones.] The triangle
will reduce tender first running and will be in action for the 'Santa's Sledge' train in December.

The 12.10 departure from Ravenglass to Dalegarth is booked to be hauled by a diesel locomotive, but
on Wednesday 4 July, 'River Mite' was turned out. This was despite notices stating trains would be
reduced from the normal nine coaches to eight due to the fire risk. Departing from the normal
Ravenglass platform 1, this train passed another working with 'River Irt' at Miteside Halt and arrived in
the 'rare' Dalegarth platform 2; in the normal platform was the 12.50 departure to Ravenglass with
'Northern Rock'. The 13.30 return from Dalegarth departed from platform 2 with 'River Mite' and
passed 'Northern Rock' at Miteside. Arrival at Ravenglass was in platform 1. It should be noted
platform 2 couldn't be used by passenger trains [BLS specials excepted] as the coaches only have doors
on one side! It is used as the loco release line. Adult return is £15, but for ex-BR staff the 'Priv' return
fare is only £3.75. An unlimited seven day rover is just £60 Adult; £36 Child; £174 Family (2A & 2C).

MR140] Aln Valley Railway, Northumberland (MR p9): The Railway has announced that it has been
successful in gaining a grant, allowing it to construct a platform and run-round loop at Greenrigg -
about halfway towards Alnmouth station. At Greenrigg Halt passengers will be able to alight for a
picnic by the river, or continue on foot to discover the local wildlife. The grant award, with a 20%
funding from the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, totals £146,600. The Rural Development
Programme for England grant will cover the cost of the groundworks, trackwork, platform construction
and to purchase a coach for conversion to a café. The grant, provided through the Rural Payments
Agency, uses funds jointly provided by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and by
the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The facilities at Greenrigg will be a useful
facility for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. There is also a separate grant application pending by
Northumberland County Council for an adjacent cycleway; a response is expected in August.

MR141] Mid Norfolk Railway, Norfolk (MR p8): At the Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust's
Annual General Meeting on 30 June, it was announced that the railway had entered into a three year
contract to store rolling stock for Abellio's Greater Anglia TOC. This will involve some infrastructure
changes in the coming months - most of this work will be carried out by Sonic Railway Services in order
to deliver the required rolling stock storage capacity on time. It is not expected the work will cause any
disruption to the advertised service or events. The work will involve: reboubling the track, between
Hardingham and Kimberley Park (65ch) - (Wymondham to Dereham was single by BR), installation of
four sidings on railway land north of Kimberley Park and also a connection into Hardingham Yard.

MR142] East Links Family Park Railway, East Lothian (MR p28) (BLN 1054.MR200: A visit was made to
this 2ft gauge 1,000yd railway on 18 June 2018 - a fine day - but there were few people in the park.
The entrance fee is now £15 for adults and this includes rides on the railway, which was running about
hourly with steam outline 0-6-0DH Baguley 3014 of 1938, simply named 'The Express', with three
coaches. The park has had some development over the years with a children's fort behind the station.
The railway can be viewed from the boundary fence and photography is easy.

MR143] Snowdon Mountain Railway, Gwynedd (MR p30) (BLN 1302.MR69): The 'Daily Post' reports
that on 19 June 2018 the 10.00 train from Llanberis derailed 'at the halfway point' during its ascent.
The accompanying photograph taken by a passenger suggests that this occurred on the points at the
top end of Halfway station crossing loop.

'No one was injured… services were suspended for a short time' according to Railway spokesperson.
There is no mention of any RAIB investigation; passengers returning to Llanberis by a relief train were
concerned that no incident procedures were apparent.

MR144] Poppleton Nursery Railway, City of York: This 2ft gauge railway near Poppleton station,
forming a broadly half-dumbbell around the former LNER/BR plant nursery, recently reached its 30th
anniversary and this was marked by an open evening (BLN 1303.1003) on Thursday 5 July from 18.00-
21.00 - there was even a cake! The open evening, in balmy summer weather, saw four locomotives in
action. Visiting from the private Ripon Light Railway were Greenbat mines battery loco 2848 and Lister
7954 formerly of Lancashire Moss Irlam. The home fleet of Lister 'Loweco' and the motorised wagon
P100 also offered rides, initially around the main circuit and latterly some more detailed manœuvres.

Arriving around 18.30, events were already in full swing and two BLS participants, although others
were present, almost immediately hopped aboard at the official loading point just beyond the main
gate and took an initial circuit behind Loweco threading the greenhouses, latterly parallel with the
York to Harrogate line before regaining the stem of the circuit. It was noted that a couple of 'branch'
or 'sapling lines' linked to the main circuit by small wagon turntables while still nominally extant were
buried and clearly no longer used. This recalled your member's only previous visit on a bitterly cold
November morning in 1991 when there was no loop but the then BR track was all operational and duly
traversed, all by hand pushage in small wagons, including full spinnage! (MR Ed: the now lifted section
running alongside main line, and unfenced from it, was also covered.) After a second circuit courtesy of
the mighty motorised wagon P100 there was an interval for photos. All in all a delightful event on a
warm summer evening: railways, tea, cake and pot plants - how English could you get!

BELOW: Poppleton Nursery; motive power line up, left to right: Ripon & District LR Greenbat 2848, resident
Lister Loweco, Ripon & District LR Lister 7954 and motorised wagon P100. (All Simon Mortimer 5 Jul 2018)

ABOVE: Between the greenhouses on the main run - note the change of rail at the joint. BELOW: A
British Railways North Eastern Region, York Division point lever (the railway was once a BR line).
NEXT PAGE TOP: Only three miles to York! The single line from Harrogate is alongside and becomes
double track to York by Poppleton station (background centre), its Up platform lights can just be seen.

MR145] Launceston Steam Railway, Cornwall (MR p14) (BLN 1236.MR96): (ABOVE: Rod Bryant) On
Monday 25 June the service was departing hourly on the hour from Launceston. In use was 0-4-0
'Covertcoat' (Hunslet 679 of 1898) with three well-loaded coaches. A lovely gentle ride brought the
train to Newmills (above), the terminus, where the Farm Park was open. At Launceston, a visit was
also made to the workshops to inspect the new railcar under construction and a chat with the owner.
The planned extension will not be built for various reasons and that project was described as dead in
the water. Full access to the priory shed and museum was granted with all items of rolling stock
viewable. The adult return fare was £10.75. A nice café and shop are on offer at Launceston station.

MR146] Seaton Tramway, Devon (MR p32) (BLN 1306.1148): A visit was made to the Tramway for the
Seaton terminus station opening on Thursday 28 June 2018, which had been delayed by over-running
building works. This is a well thought out and grand tramway building, finished to a high specification,
with four boarding points on four lines inside the building. Lines 2 & 3 are normally used for service
cars, while Line 1 is used for a static exhibit. Line 4 is employed for charters or when bunching occurs
with the service - such as happened on the first day of operation. Our reporter boarded the second
tram from Line 3 and it failed just short of Colyford station due to an electrical fault and was unable to
be driven from the leading cab. A fitter attended and got the tram working, but it was being driven
from the rear cab with the driver acting as lookout - all quite exciting stuff! The tram made it to
Colyton where it was driven into the headshunt and left for the rest of the day. All the trams were full
to capacity, but they were able to cope with the demand. All the loops are left hand running. A very
enjoyable visit, despite the very hot weather. It was well worth making the journey just to see the new
station and the interesting realignment that has taken place. No sign remains of the former terminus.

[BLN 1309]
PREVIOUS PAGE UPPER: Approaching the new Seaton tram terminus Sat 21 Jul 2018; left is TESCO.
LOWER: Inside, note buffer stops and floor markings, TESCO is in the background. (Both Alan Fell).

MR147] Crowle & Thorne Moors Peat Railway, Lincolnshire (BLN 1250.MR28): With the Romney Hut
to provide a workshop and covered storage now erected, North Lincolnshire Council has agreed to
lease the adjoining land for construction of a running line, around 100 yards in length, as covered by
planning permission granted in June 2017. The route of the trackbed has been cleared and the
ex-MOD rail and sleepers have been delivered. Two diesel hydraulic locomotives, once employed in
the Peat Extraction industry at Hatfield, Thorne & Crowle Moors, are to be restored.

1309 FIXTURES REPORTS (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
1598] Aston Signalling Centre Visits, Sat 30 Sep 2017: By Stephen Atkinson. There were four separate
visits in parallel with visits to Birmingham New Street Power Signal Box. 20 members rotated between
the boxes in five groups with convenient train travel between them using nearby Duddeston station.

Aston Signalling Centre/Vauxhall Shunt Frame opened in 1957 as Vauxhall (prefix VL) with a 100 lever
mechanical frame. The box is a British Rail London Midland Region design, 'Type 15' (size number 12).
Type 15 signal boxes were designed to be modular so that structures of various sizes could be built.
Similar Type 15 signal boxes also opened in 1957 at Chapel-en-le-Frith, Deansgate Junction &Wigton.

During the 1966 West Midlands Multiple Aspect Signalling (MAS) major resignalling scheme it was
reduced to a shunting frame and renamed Vauxhall Shunt Frame. The new Birmingham New Street
Power Signal Box electrically 'released' the frame to allow movements to and from the Up Sidings,
Down sidings, Bad Wagon Line, and the Down Through Siding. It no longer controlled the Up and Down
Fast lines or the Up and Down Slow lines which were then controlled by Birmingham New Street itself.
Not controlling all the lines in front of the box was a taste of things to come!

The box was relatively busy, with movements to and from the wagon works on the Down side and the
carriage shed on the Up side, but decline was inevitable. The carriage sidings and shed finished in the
mid-1980s when maintenance and cleaning of stock transferred to Oxley depot. The layout was so
cramped that many trains (loco hauled of course then) had to be split on arrival and joined to come
out - every time. In June 1990, Curzon Street box closed and the remaining sidings were brought under
control of Vauxhall Shunt Frame. Duddeston Carriage and Wagon Works closed three years later.

The Cross-City line electrification in the early 1990s had a positive impact for the box. While Erdington,
Four Oaks and Lichfield City signal boxes were abolished in Oct 1992, a new 'eNtrance and eXit' (NX)
panel was installed in the box from 12 Oct 1992 as part of the Aston - Lichfield resignalling scheme.
To make room for this, the mechanical frame was cut back to leave 20 levers - numbers 81 to 100 -
only one fifth of the original frame [80 leavers then‽]. The remaining levers continued to control shunt
movements to and from the wagon works until its demise in 1993.

When this new panel was installed in 1992, the box was renamed Aston Signalling Centre (Aston SCC),
with the prefix (AN). It now has the unusual, (but not unique) distinction of not controlling any trains
at its location. Since the resignalling was funded by BR (Regional Railways Central), the nameboard
(a metal sign) is in the style of the early 1990s era. In contrast, the BR London Midland 'Vauxhall Shunt
Frame' nameboards remain at both ends of the box to signify the former dual use of the signal box.

When Lichfield City signal box closed the former Lichfield - Walsall route was reduced to a single track
and control transferred to Aston Signalling Centre from 25 Oct 1992. By then it was just a branch from
Lichfield to Brownhills Charringtons Oil depot (the Anglesea Siding Branch). This heating oil traffic
ceased in 2001; from 26 Mar 2005 the branch was secured OOU, the track circuit showing 'occupied'.
Vauxhall Shunt Frame itself was abolished in Aug 2000 when Proof House Jn was remodelled. The 20
levers and frame remain to this day but the diagram and associated instruments have been removed.

Aston SCC is a Grade 4 single-manned box, operating 24 hours with early, late and night shifts. The
method of working was Track Circuit Block between Aston North Jn (excl) [now reduced to Gravelly
Hill Crossover (excl) from 27 Dec 2017] to Lichfield Trent Valley (TV) Jn (excl). At the time of the visit it
fringed at Aston North Jn with Birmingham New Street Power Signal Box (but now with West Midlands
Signalling Centre Proof House Workstation at Gravelly Hill Crossover - excl) and with Lichfield TV
Junction mechanical lever box. There is no bi-directional working except for shunt movements and
trains crossing to, and terminating on, the Up side at Lichfield City, Four Oaks and Blake Street.

Terminating Down trains at Lichfield TV P3 (High Level) are manually controlled by Aston SCC but the
approach signal to the station, joint signal number TV5 and AN165, on the Down Sutton line is 'slot'
worked, shared between it and Lichfield TV Junction. A slot is a 'permission' or consent for a route to
be set, usually between adjacent panels or boxes, or into yards or sidings. Slots work in two ways:
●By preventing a route from setting until the slot has been given. ●By allowing routes to be set, but
preventing the signal from clearing (showing a proceed aspect) until the slot has been given. Needless
to say there are variations and complications to this! The line continues through Alrewas, north of
Lichfield TV Junction, using the more rudimentary absolute block method of working. Of note on the
Aston panel a laminated card notice is used to remind the signaller if the latter box is open or closed!

The control area has 3-aspect main running signals in both directions, most are automatic and a simple
version of Automatic Route Setting (ARS) is available with many controlled signals having an auto
setting. Aston SCC also has Train Operate Route Release (TORR) which means the signaller doesn't
have to pull up the signal button on the panel for controlled signals (which is the traditional practice of
replacing a signal to danger after the passage of a train). The route releases automatically ready to be
set for another train thus reducing workload at busy times. This enables the ARS function to operate.
Unlike many panels, there are no track circuit berth train describers on the main panel. Instead the
signaller uses the Control Centre of the Future (CCF), the graphical representation of real-time
operations on a VDU, with a keyboard on the panel enabling manual entry if required. There are also
no block instruments or block bells in the box.

During off-peak weekdays, there are six trains per hour north from Aston, two terminate at Four Oaks,
two at Lichfield City and two at Lichfield TV P3, the pattern repeating every half hour. Lichfield City
and Four Oaks each have facing crossovers along with Blake Street which, Monday to Saturday, has
one early morning starter (06.34 to Longbridge) and a late evening terminator (22.27 ex-Longbridge)
with their corresponding ECS movements, which entail the use of the facing crossover there.

There are also trailing crossovers at Lichfield Trent Valley, Wylde Green and the extremely rare one
between Gravelly Hill and Aston. It is also a diversionary route with regular CrossCountry PSUL and
ECS movements over the line late in the evening for traincrew route knowledge retention. Therefore
while much of the route is double track plain line, there can be many trains on the move at once to
monitor with a burst of activity every half hour when each of the three southbound trains starts out on
its respective journey within a four minute period and have to be set up in the CCF.

Thanks to NR hosts Gary Strickland, Richard Cartmell, Stuart Edwards and the duty signallers for a most
interesting visit. Special thanks to John Cowburn for the excellent arrangements; it is good to report
that £430.03p was donated to The Alzheimer's Society as a result of these and the New Street visits.

1599] Great Bush Railway, Sat 9 Jun, Tinkers Park,
Hadlow Down: (MR p16) By Geoff Noakes. 21 members
duly gathered in the Top Field adjacent to the short 7¼"
gauge rarely used miniature railway for 10.30. After
marking the attendance register and issuing souvenir
tickets our organiser, Simon Mortimer, agreed a plan of
action with Rich Fellowes from the railway to cover all
available tracks at this 2' 0" gauge 550yd long railway.

ABOVE: Great Bush Railway, Hadlow Down station run round loop looking at the buffer stops. The
wagon on the right was shunted out of the headshunt to achieve the end of line. (All Simon Mortimer)

The single coach was stabled at Hadlow Down station. Loco No14 'Albany' soon arrived and formed the
main motive power. It is named after the former Albany Steam Museum at the Forest Road Light
Railway, where there used to be an agricultural equipment museum in Forest Road, Newport on the
IOW. The premises are now occupied by Albany Farm & Garden Machinery.

Back at Tinkers Park, initially the station area, line and loop were covered with various shunt moves,
including a wagon used as a buffer stop being attached and detached as required for movement to
enable coverage of the station area to the end of line beyond. A full length run of the line was made
using the main line passing the shed area and noting the very recent loop extension works at Organ
Halt. At the other end of the line Tinkers Lane station (under construction) was reached and was
sufficiently completed, earlier that morning (!), to allow safe alighting and a brief photographic stop.

This final section is not used during the annual Gala as the field access level crossing there is too busy
with traffic. There is a single platform road (but no run round facility) and an adjacent siding, now
extended to the same length, which were both fully covered to the buffer stops before returning to
the points to the lower shed nearer the bottom field. A quick shunt here covered the connection to
this shed headshunt before the train climbed back up the bank to the site of the former Organ Halt.

The loop here has been extended westwards with the connecting crossover moved to just east of the
level crossing by the Organ Museum. Our tour took the new loop slowly and cautiously (as it was very
new track and yet to be ballasted) passing the proposed site of the new Organ Halt, replacing the
original one removed as the loop now passes over the former platform, before rejoining the main line.

ABOVE: The line describes a letter 'U' on its side; 550yd later, having gone round the 'U' bend, the tour
enters the bottom Tinkers Lane station, the other end of line. The platform is still under construction.

With the main running lines sorted, attention turned to covering the various sidings. The first were the
lower shed sidings and headshunt partially covered during the main run. These were 'DIY' with yellow
battery electric loco 'Titch' on a drive yourself basis. During these manœuvres the effect of even a
small amount of vegetation on the railhead was evident but BLS members generally make good engine
drivers and the lines were completed fully, safely and efficiently under close supervision.

After this, clearance of the main sidings by the loop and the three higher level sheds took some time
but allowed participants to travel on, and if desired drive, several locos (No5, No24 'RJ Brown', No25
'Wolf' and No4 'Mild') along with wagons. Eventually two flat wagons were left and these were used to
convey half the party at a time via various shunt moves over almost the full extent of every siding on
the north side of the line (including one not on the diagram) and the scissors crossover!
The south side siding and shed were covered in the coach with steam loco No3 'Sao Domingos'.
After taking participants into the sidings and shed, where it was noted the upper cab fitted grooves in
the rafters perfectly (no coincidence), on the south side of the main line it was back down the gradient
to return with great gusto, the crew really hammering out a barking beat on the stiff return gradient.

A final steam main line run was made before departure and the road trip to the Bentley Miniature
Railway. Rich Fellowes was thanked for his arrangements both before and on the day; a most
successful visit. Various routes were then taken by the sat-navs and map readers for this short journey;
one car followed another but ended up at 'Waitrose' - an intentional diversion by the first to 'cop' it!

BELOW: What a Great Bush (and a rather loud shirt)! The end of line at Tinkers Lane station.

ABOVE: The battery electric loco in the lower shed sidings; the mainline connection is straight ahead.
BELOW: BLS members are at the cutting edge of gricing, covered the scissors crossover variations.

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