.Issue Number 1270 (Items 3017 - 3121 &IssMueRN2u3m4 b- eMr R1226482) (E-BLN 46 PAGES) 3 Dec 2016
BRANCH LINE NEWS
Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society (founded 1955)
Membership Enquiries: [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Ave., Epsom, Surrey, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677
British Isles news from members, an international section is also available.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or the Society.
BLN 1271 is dated 17 Dec and is followed by a 3S-owceieetyk. gap; contributions must be received by 7 Dec
Date Event Details BLN Lead Status
Sun 11/12/16 The Rylstone Cowboy 11.50 & 14.50 (option 'C' is full) 1265 KA OPEN
Mon 26/12/16 Boxing Day 10.00 private 10¼" railway in Worcestershire 1261 PS OPEN
Sat 7/1/17 Scunthorpe Steel Works (09.30 - dark) Extensive railtour 1265 PS FULL
Sat 14/1/17 Vossloh Voyager tour 08.40-18.42 London Waterloo 1267 JE OPEN
Sun 29/1/17 Leyland SME 09.30-11.30 'All Line' Track Tour 1270 KA OPEN
Sun 29/1/17 Burnley & Pendle MRS 12.00 Comprehensive railtour 1269 KA OPEN
Sat 25/2/17 North Tyneside Steam Railway: 12.30-15.30 Track/Traction TBA TBA Claimed
Sun 12/3/17 Bodmin & Wenford Rly Track & Traction - save the date TBA TBA Claimed
10 to 15/5/17 Jordan Hejaz Railway Revised details - see below 1270 IS NOTIFY
Thur 18/5/17 IÉ Service Train Tracker Rare track by service trains TBA TBA Claimed
18 to 21/5/17 Long weekend - Dublin / Republic of Ireland 'mixed' gauges 1265 KA Notify
Sat 18/11/17 AGM - Liverpool area Long weekend with railtour TBA TBA Claimed
IS-Iain Scotchman, JE-Jill Everitt, KA-Kev Adlam, PS-Paul Stewart.
3017] Sales News: TRACKmaps Vol 2, Eastern (yellow cover); the network on the east of Britain
(London north to the Scottish border). Generally the NR London North East and East Anglia Routes,
Tyne & Wear Metro, Sheffield Supertram, some Heritage and leisure lines. NEW fully revised 2016
4th edition, 72 pages with 51 pages of schematic colour maps, an index map, detailed key, full index
(over 4,000 locations) and lists of Engineers' Line References with Line of Route codes. It is edited by
our Society Publications Officer and Cartographer Martyn Brailsford. NOW AVAILABLE; cover price
£15.95. The first 150 copies can be bought at the very special discounted rate (which also supports
your Society) of £11.00 collected on the Rylstone or Vossloh Voyager tours. Please email Mark
Gomm (or write) per back page. IMPORTANT: Members only, (max 2 per member), please advise
membership number. Posted copies: cheque (payee Branch Line Society)/CPA for £12.50 per copy.
3018] 2016 & 2017 AGMs: The draft minutes of our 2016 Shepherdswell AGM are included with this
BLN and as a download with e-BLN; please send any comments to our General Secretary, Tim Wallis as
soon as possible. As mentioned therein Sat 18 Nov 2017 is targeted for the next AGM (the most notice
ever given of the date!) with an evening cine film presentation and buffet; part of a long weekend of
fixtures. A MerseyRail tour is proposed for the Sunday with minor railway visits on the Friday (at least).
3019] Leyland Society of Model Engineers, 09.30-11.30 Sun 29 Jan: (MR p19) Worden Park, Leyland,
PR25 3BD, (SD538209). A comprehensive BLS visit to the 900yd, 7¼" complex ground level and 3½/5"
elevated line before our 12.00 Burnley visit. £11 each, bookings Kev Adlam. https://goo.gl/O2D2Qs
has location, https://goo.gl/b8Rt5V track plan/elevations. There is a good indoor meeting programme.
3020] IÉ Service Train Tracker, Thur 18 May: Extending our long weekend in the Republic of Ireland to
four days, a day out is being planned based on arriving at Dublin Airport by about 09.30 for unusual
Dublin area track by service trains. This will be led by Kev Adlam with Paul Stewart andTim Wallis.
3021] BLS/LCGB Jordan Railtour 10-15 May 2017: With thanks to our member Iain Scotchman and
with the support of the Locomotive Club of Great Britain, we are delighted to present details of this
once in a lifetime BLS five day railtour with many extras. It traverses the full length of Jordan from
Al-Mafraq in the north on the Hejaz Railway through Amman, Al-Qatrana and Ma'an to the Port of
Aqaba Railway in the south west to the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea). Iain has significant experience of
travelling in Jordan and there will be other familiar BLS faces on this unique trip. Expressions of
interest as soon as possible to Iain at [email protected] please to ensure viability - for details &
map see the e-BLN 1269 download or send an SAE and request to the BLN Editor for a printed copy.
●FIRST PAGE TOP LEFT: The OOU Aqaba Railway Corporation line north of El-Hisa mine.
●FIRST PAGE TOP RIGHT: Former tourist train at Wadi Rum, Japanese-built 2-6-2 and GE U17C Co-Co.
●FIRST PAGE LOWER: Crusader castle at Karak.
●PREVIOUS PAGE UPPER: Wadi Rum.
●PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: Jordan, Hejaz Railway limit of 'operations' at Qatrana.
…. and now for something completely different:
ABOVE: Penrhyn Quarry Railway the extension platform at Felin Fawr. The railway once continued
under the bridge as it may do so again (Ian Mortimer during our comprehensive railtour of 20 Nov).
1270 HEAD LINES
3022] Bethesda, Coed-y-Parc, Penrhyn Quarry Railway: (BLN 1190.1062) (MR p29) From 17 Sep 2016
the running line was extended 100yd south on the original railway route to a new Felin Fawr terminal
platform (SH 6151 6629) on 'Ogwen's Siding' west of the line just south of the minor road overbridge.
(For 17/18 Sep 2016 open weekend the line was temporarily extended under the bridge, then lifted
afterwards.) Public running is generally via the main line avoiding the previous platform in the loop.
BELOW: OS 7th Series 1" map 1948-59 showing the former extensive Penryhn slate quarry narrow
gauge network. The present limits of operation of the 'demonstration' heritage railway are between
the two orange arrows on the former main line to Port Penrhyn (which is just east of Bangor).
The railway's expansion plans are impressive and this is backed up by the number of coaches under
construction (there is even a buffet car from the South Tyndale Railway) and workshop facilities.
The former standard gauge Bethesda station, the terminus of a five mile branch from Bangor, is top
centre (CP 3 Dec 1951; CA 20 Oct 1963). The main road shown is the A5. See https://goo.gl/3ZI4vO
for some history of the railway and https://goo.gl/BVJS3e for some interesting pictures.
3027] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered
BLN Start (incl) End (incl) Location (exclusive where bracketed) [bold = closed now]
1198.1659 15 Feb 2013 Sat 10 Dec (Oxford Parkway) - (Oxford) ROP with new timetable
1268.2121 Sun 25 Dec Wed 28 Dec Cardiff Central station and all radiating lines/(Newport)
1268.2114 Sat 24 Dec Thur 29 Dec London Paddington - (Ealing Broadway) & Heathrow (T2 & 3)
1268.2115 Sat 24 Dec Mon 2 Jan Greenford - West Ealing (West Ealing station ROP 2 Jan)
1269.2221 Sat 24 Dec Mon 2 Jan (Chadwell Heath) - (Ingatestone) / (Billericay)
1269.2223 Sat 24 Dec Mon 2 Jan Romford - (Upminster)
1269.2222 Sun 25 Dec Mon 2 Jan *East London, Bow Jn - Gas Factory Jn
1269.2220 Sun 18 Dec Mon 2 Jan *Winwick Jn - Earlestown South - Earlestown East Jn
1269.2219 Thu 22 Dec Mon 2 Jan *(Eccles) - Deal St Jn/ (Salford Crescent) - Castlefield Jn
1268.2120 Sat 24 Dec Tue 3 Jan (Maidenhead) - Bourne End - Marlow
1257.979 7 May 2016 Feb 2017 Tottenham: South Jn - East Jn & West Jn - Seven Sisters Jn
1253.554/5 4 Jun 2016 Feb 2017 (Barking) - South Tottenham - (Gospel Oak from 24 Sep 16)
1251.334 9 Feb 2016 Mar 2017? (Carlisle) - (Armathwaite); to end March 2017 (provisional)
1266.1930 Fri 24 Mar Fri 31 Mar *(Chester) - (Wrexham General)
1266.1928 Tue 3 Jan Mon 29 May (+/- Birkenhead North) - Liverpool Loop - (+/- Hamilton Sq.)
1222.1799 20 Dec 2014 Jan 2018 (London Blackfriars) - (London Bridge) Thameslink work
1222.1799 20 Dec 2014 Jan 2018 (London Bridge), Spa Road - Bricklayers Arms Jn
3023] London Trams, East Croydon (excl) - Harrington Road (excl)/Addington Village (excl) & Arena
(incl) - Elmers End (incl) & 9 other stops: (BLN 1269.2241) TCP from 06.15 on 9 Nov until 17 Nov 2016
(incl) following the Sandilands derailment. A reduced Wimbledon - East Croydon service operated with
very limited services: Beckenham Junction - Harrington Rd and New Addington - Addington Village.
3024] Blackfriars Jn - Southwark Jn - Reversible Blackfriars Spur - Metropolitan Reversible - 'in/out'
Cannon St. Line - Cannon Street ('South Jn'): (BLN 1265.1232) From 04.00 on 28 Nov 2016, as part of
the Thameslink Project (stage WA08), the signalling and track on the Metropolitan Reversible Line
(NRU since 27 Aug 2016) was to have been taken OOU and designated a 'High Street' environment.
3025] Cardiff Central - Newport, Gaer Jn: (BLN 1269.2224); TCP 25 Dec to 28 Dec (incl) - final answer?
3026] Saltney Jn - Wrexham General (excl): (BLN 1266.1930) TCP/TCA is due 24-31 Mar 2017 (incl) to
commission the redoubled section; 5m 38ch of Up line Saltney Jn (212m 6ch) - Rossett Jn (206m 48ch).
1270 BLN GENERAL
3028] Branch Line Society,
LRT/Tram System Diagrams 2016:
The Compiler, Martyn Brailsford,
thanks members who have kindly
pointed out amendments to the
atlas (an e-BLN 1268 download):
(1): Blackpool North: RIGHT: The
extension (plan thanks to Martyn).
A Transport and Works Act Order is
being made without the need for a
public enquiry. The four junction
points and two diamonds on the
existing line were installed with the
2006/12 modernisation. The siting
of these may cause a sequence of
stops around North Pier and Talbot
Square.not seen before anywhere.
(2): Blackpool: Bispham stop ('Station' according to the building's portico) has staggered platforms.
(3): Tyne & Wear Metro: Just east of Monkseaton a facing crossover (not shown) accesses the loop.
(4): Croydon Tramlink: The trailing crossover between the curve out of Wellesley Road and Dingwall
Road is clear of the curve. Note that the crossover shown in the e-BLN photo is actually in George St;
this links Wellesley Road (that eastbound trams turn out of) and Dingwall Road which trams from the
east may one day turn into. The second Croydon loop is on hold while 'Westfield' resubmits their
redevelopment plans for the Whitgift Centre (BLN 1266.1953). It is wondered if they are having second
thoughts as Centrale shopping centre with its own tram stop is probably enough for Central Croydon!
(5): Manchester Metrolink: Exchange Square has an island platform.
3029] Platform Tickets - the Punchline: (BLN 1269.2231) If any member needs one from an SWT
station and the clerk does not know how to issue them, they should select 'Other Tickets' from the
menu, then 'Manual Fares' and then 'Platform Ticket'. They are 10p each. If East Midlands Trains uses
the same ticket system, as they probably do, it will be the same. Our correspondent has only had one
person ask for them at his station in five years. This person seemed more surprised when our
correspondent didn't bat an eyelid but asked him how many he wanted! He usually issues one when
the system reaches a round thousand in ticket numbers or interesting numbers such as 88888!
3030] Overhead Line Electrification (OLE) for Railways Goes Live: (By Garry Keenor) The 4th Edition, a
158 page production, is available to download https://goo.gl/23s2dp free. It is well illustrated and
well indexed with plenty of detail; although inevitably technical, the style is readable and interesting.
The author aims to give an introduction to all types of OLE systems for railways, all developments are
covered with examples of UK systems. It includes tram systems, light and heavy rail, low speed and
high speed. All abbreviations are explained and technical and other terms defined in the text.
Our member and your Editor found it very interesting and written in a style pitched at an intelligent
level. It is not too technical but is not dumbed down either and will be of interest to many members.
ABOVE: Cottam Power Station, all quiet at the coal unloading hoppers (Major Ian Hughes 18 Nov 2016).
3031] Come back coal, all is forgiven? The 'French Interconnector' is not a spy thriller but a nominally
2GW bi-directional electricity grid link between the UK and France (the highest capacity submarine
cable in the world!). Generally electricity is imported by the UK 97.5% of the time. However,
demonstrating the great 'potential' of the link, recent French nuclear reactor problems has, resulted in
the UK exporting up to 2GW, at times it would normally be importing the same (not necessarily a good
thing as this raises electricity prices). An extra 4GW (6.5% of capacity) is therefore sometimes required
in the UK and much of this is coming from the residual coal fired plants. However, there were many
times this summer when no electricity was coal generated. Https://goo.gl/EVjDy gives 'live' grid data.
Eggborough Power station was, very surprisingly, observed to be working when passed on the UKRT
'Humber Vogue' tour of 29 Oct. Two units are on 'Supplemental Balancing Reserve' and the other two
remain in commercial use. There has been a general recent increase in coal traffic by rail (SSuX):
Hunterston High Level: Between one and three trains daily to Drax, via Hexham and the East Coast.
Killoch Open Cast Disposal Point: Daily coal train to Eggborough also via Hexham and the ECML.
Greenburn Open Cast Disposal Point: (e-BLN 1269.2290) Up to three daily to Drax/Ratcliffe (ECML).
North Blyth, Battleship Wharf: Two coal trains daily to West Burton 'A'.
Newcastle, Tyne Coal Terminal: Up to three coal trains daily to Drax.
Ferrybridge 'C' (CLOSED) Destocking, one to three trains to Fiddlers Ferry; inward coal for blending.
Cottam: Had been sending coal to Ferrybridge 'C' - but not much rail traffic at present.
Ratcliffe: Two daily from Immingham (Humber International Terminal) plus Greenburn trains.
Aberthaw 'B': Up to seven trains daily from Tower/Cwmbargoed/Avonmouth, three on Saturdays.
Uskmouth 'B' (Fifoots): Up to three trains (each with 1,200 tonnes of coal) daily from Avonmouth.
Coal movements (up to 1,800 tonnes per train) can be very variable and short term; Portbury received
an inwards train of coal last week and Cottam had one from Battleship Wharf. There has been a knock-
on effect increasing oil and limestone rail traffic to power stations and outward fly ash/FGD-Gypsum.
3032] Points & Slips: (Note: most of these slips and ambiguities were corrected in e-BLN 1269.)
BLN1269.2214] On 19 Nov, about 60 Gwili Railway members/shareholders reached Abergwili
Junction on a special 2-car DMU but stopped short of the northern end of the platform. There is still
no firm public opening date as a ballast regulator needs to be hired to complete the works, these are
apparently in short supply. This can be seen in the picture BELOW (Julian James) taken from the A4243
Dolgwili Road bridge over the line on 19 Nov (after the special had run) looking south towards
Carmarthen. The north end of new curved platform, run round loop and ground frame can be seen.
Item 2216] 'Grand Dock' should be 'Grand Canal Dock'. 2251] With thanks to a York member, the
Londonderry Railway (East Durham) was taken over by the North Eastern Railway from 7 Oct 1900
(not 1898). To clarify, Pallion, Jobling's Glassworks and Deptford Coal Siding were on a branch south
of the River Wear from Hendon Jn; some is part of the Tyne & Wear Metro South Hylton branch.
BELOW: Sunderland Deptford Wharf coal siding; Jobling's Glassworks behind (Ian Mortimer Sep 1974).
Item X.178c] In e-BLN Nick Jones' evocative picture of Oulton Broad North, showing work on the
platform alterations, was taken on 27 Jul 2016, not 8 Jun. 2274] At Norton Junction the motorised
semaphore formerly controlled by Gloucester Power Box was on the approach to the junction from
Worcester Shrub Hill rather than Abbotswood Jn. On 15 Nov it was then still a semaphore although
further work took place the following weekend so it might be worth rechecking! 2279] One of our
members was the Officer in Charge of the Pioneer Regiment work party that installed Leeming Bar
loop for the Wensleydale Railway in about 2001. At the time the line was owned by Railtrack and
maintained on behalf of the MoD by them. Our member believes that the MoD has given up on trains
now, so very much doubts the 'Private' Siding Agreement is still in place. Usual movements were
Armoured Personnel Carriers between Redmire and Ludgershall with equipment swapping between
training areas. Modern tanks have never been carried on our railways as they are too wide.
The Pioneers had to be very careful of the single line at Leeming Bar as it was very 'frail'; it was a bit of
a drag taking possession as there was no road access to the token cabinet, which was on the section
signal on the Redmire Reversing line at Castle Hills Jn off the East Coast Main Line. Our member's next
railway escapade was the line from Umm Qasar to Immam Abbas (Shaiba) Junction but that as they
say is another story….
Item 3010] Egginton was twice spelt as Eggington - did the Editor have egg on his face? The 1981 built
Uttoxeter signal box is west of Pinfold Crossing, not at the station. 'Level collars' should be 'lever
MR232] According to the Oxford English Dictionary 'sewage'
is the waste water and material carried in sewers but
'sewerage' is the provision of drainage by sewers. Therefore
we have sewage treatment plants not sewerage treatment
plants - the stuff that interests our members!
LEFT: (No connection with any of the above, of course!)
submitted by a member with the comment 'says it all'
...courtesy of ' The Spectator' 20 Feb 2016.
3033] HS2: On 15 Nov, the Government issued further
information about the route. Phase 2a, from the West
Midlands to Crewe is due to open in 2027 - six years earlier
than first planned. Phase 2b, from Crewe to Manchester
PLAN BELOW - Press release; also from the West Midlands to
the East Midlands - South Yorkshire (east of Sheffield with a
Chesterfield spur and to Leeds with a branch towards York),
will open in 2033. The depot earmarked for Golborne, will
now be sited north of Crewe, at Wimboldsley.
3034] Light Fingered with Rail: Ten people were arrested on 9 Nov over the theft of an estimated £2M
of disused railway from locations in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and the West
Midlands. Warrants were executed at a dozen South Yorkshire addresses, including houses and scrap
metal dealers, part of British Transport Police's Operation Ultimatum. Investigations are ongoing and
anyone with any information should contact them 0800 405040 or text 61016 in strict confidence.
1270 EAST MIDLANDS
3035] Spondon: The track has reportedly been recovered from the internal section of the former
power station exchange sidings inside the gate. They were once worked by three 200V DC electric
locos that could run off the very limited trolley wire provided or (mostly) battery . Coal came in HTO
wagons, generally from Cotgrave Colliery for the 'A' station (built in the 1920s). 18 members had a trip
on 18 Apr 1981 over the branch just before it closed, one of four visits that day in the area arranged by
your now Editor. The 1959 built Spondon 'H' 30MW gas turbine plant, was notable and unique for
having a thermal efficiency greater than 100%! - impossible physically of course but this was the case
'financially' as it primarily produced steam for the adjacent British Celanese cellulose acetate plant.
BELOW: The BLS visit with a rather younger General Secretary in white in the rear loco cab. For the
benefit of junior members 'CEGB' is Central electricity Generating Board (Ian Mortimer 18 Apr 1981).
3036] Langwith Whaley-Thorns: (BLN 1268.2139) As well as the new Thoresby Colliery Jn semaphore
signal reported, another one (NX2) has been erected north of this station (south of Norwood Crossing)
next to the Down Mansfield line. Does any member know when as it may be NR's newest semaphore?
BELOW: The new signal (16 Nov 2016), thanks to John Cameron for making a special trip to investigate.
3037] Nottingham Express Transit: (BLN 1246.2193)
Nottingham City Council is investigating options for
connecting the network with the new HS2 hub,
planned for Stapleford. The Government assumes
that local links to HS2 will include a NET stop. This
would be an extension from Toton Lane Park and
Ride. Other extensions to Long Eaton, East Midlands
Airport and even Derby will also be considered.
3038] Sleaford: From 30 Nov the barrow crossing at
the west end of the station between island P2 & 3
and P1 was to be fully fenced and fitted with gates
released by Sleaford East Box signaller. Telephones
were installed to the box. It is good that this once
common railway feature is not to become extinct.
3039] Newark: (BLN 1268.2141) Newark Castle level
crossing is CCTV supervised, rather than obstacle
detectors; as at the other stations on the line that
previously had signal boxes. It is also reported that
the station buildings have now been let, thought to be for a café. Newark North Gate/Northgate: The
sign at the car park entrance has 'Newark Northgate', as does the NCP car park and road signs in the
local area, but the station signage and National Rail website have it as two words: 'North Gate'.
A similar anomaly seems to have existed at Derby 'Friargate', where the street outside is 'Friar Gate'.
3040] Ilkeston: (e-BLN 1268.X.169) The new 85m long footbridge which at three metres is wider than
usual (provision for passenger growth in width perhaps?) was to be installed in Nov with electrification
clearance, steps and the usual massive ramps. A previous footbridge, since demolished, ran alongside
the road bridge, accessing the original station. There will be two four-car platforms; a 90-space car
park to the east with smaller facilities to the west for disabled passengers, motorbikes, taxis and
bicycles. The £10.5M station will be managed by EMT although it will be served by more Northern
services. A photo shown as 7 Nov on p9 of Dec Modern Railways has one set of steel steps of the new
footbridge in place. These bridges are lifted in stages, parts being suitable for week night possessions.
3041] Market Harborough: (BLN 1228.454) The £46M station remodelling and straightening of the
alignment as a prelude to electrification (!) is due to start in summer 2017 for spring 2019 completion.
Car parking will be increased and the platform lengths approximately doubled. The new platforms will
be standard height (the present ones are too low). The 1884 station building will be retained.
3042] Gainsborough Lea Road station: EMT recently erected a 'Welcome to Gainsborough' sign here.
3043] Scunthorpe: The 'Scunthorpe Telegraph' has an online petition calling on the government to.
.ensure that rails for HS2 are ordered from the local steelworks, to help protect the plant's future and.
.preserve local jobs ( and the internal railway system!). PLEASE SIGN HERE: https://goo.gl/6OoLuh....
3044] East Midlands Re-franchise: https://goo.gl/FbyrQa The DfT has released the new franchise
prospectus; the deadline for expressions of interest is January with short listing in March. Invitations to
tender are issued in May and due to be returned in August. The contract is due to be awarded in Mar
2018 and starts on 22 Jul 2018. It will be for between seven and 15 years.East Midlands Trains (EMT)
now employs 2,095 staff, has a fleet of 94 trains, serves 133 stations and manages 89 stations. There
are 26M passenger journeys per year and 5M season ticket holders. The average fare is £14 and total
revenue is £407M. Latest passenger satisfaction figures are 86%. The DfT is looking for a franchisee
who can 'capitalise on infrastructure investment'. Highlighted are:
Bedford to Corby redoubling and planned electrification.
Dore West Jn to Dore Station Jn: planned redoubling.
Station improvements allowing 240m long trains at some Midland Main Line (MML) stations.
Derby area remodelling.
Market Harborough, Leicester south and Derby to Sheffield: increased line speeds.
Rolling stock improvements, quality although capacity is also a priority.
Improvements to station environments, including at smaller stations.
On-board free Wi-Fi, improved mobile coverage and mobile electronic ticketing.
The document confirms that Barton-on-Humber services and stations will transfer to the franchise.
3045] Duckmanton: (BLN 1269.2236 with map) In this Bradshaw's 1920 guide should have been 1910.
Passenger services via the curve started 1 Oct 1907. In 1914, for example, these all-year trains ran:
8.10am SuX: Lincoln Central - Nottingham Victoria [with through carriages for Marylebone].
6.08pm SuX: Nottingham Vic - Langwith Junction [with through carriages Marylebone - Lincoln Central].
3.10pm WSO: Bolsover - Heath.
3.43pm WSO: Heath - Ollerton [express connection from Marylebone] plus summer only:
TThSSuO from 4 Jun, daily from 1 Jul: 7.30am Leicester Central - Cleethorpes (7.35am SuO), back at 7.20pm.
SO from 4 July: 11.38am (Nottingham) Arkwright Street - Cleethorpes, returning at 8.40pm.
The south to east curve lost its passenger service with the WWI cuts from 1 Jan 1917 - latterly only a
[Marylebone -] Nottingham - Lincoln service. There was then a discontinuity until the service between
Nottingham and the Dukeries stations via the Mansfield Railway (i.e. not Warsop) started 2 Apr 1917.
On 17 Jun 1961 the RCTS (Sheffield Branch) 'North Derbyshire' half-day DMU railtour ran:
Chesterfield Midland Goods (1.30pm) - Brampton (next item) - Chesterfield (Horn's Bridge) -
Avenue Sidings - Alma Jns - Holmwood Jn - Alma Jns - Williamthorpe - Heath - Duckmanton South Jn
- Duckmanton East Jn - Arkwright Town Jn - Arkwright Town - Arkwright Colliery (branch) -
Arkwright Town (photo stop - last train to 'call') - Arkwright Town Jn - Duckmanton East Jn -
Staveley Central - Markham Colliery - Seymour Jn - Staveley Town - Hall Lane Jn - Dunston & Barlow
North Jn - Cobnarwood Jn - Nesfield - Cobnarwood Jn - Monkwood - Cobnarwood Jn - Chesterfield
Canal - Chesterfield Central (6.50pm). (Although only 37m 48ch in total an amazing itinerary.)
3046] Chesterfield: The Brampton branch has been turned into a footpath, possibly opening in May,
2016 between the station (SK388714) and Boythorpe Road (SK377710), can anyone confirm this date?
3047] Derby: New platform summary departure screens scroll between two pages, each of five trains.
1270 GREATER LONDON
3048] You Don't Ever Get Down on the Underground: (BLN 1269.2247) Regarding our Northern
Editor's report of his pre-AGM exploits at Queen's Park (Bakerloo Line), our local Regional Editor has
pointed out that LUL does not have 'Up' and 'Down' lines. The reference to 'Down' line should say
southbound. An arrival from the south into P2 is a useful move to recover from late running. So long
as no southbound train is blocked, 10 to 15 minutes can be saved compared with a North Shed ECS
shunt. That is why 'rusty rail workings' are timetabled, to make sure the routes work when needed!
Queen's Park southbound and northbound lines are between the Up DC Electric and Down DC Electric.
3049] You're A Star at Waterloo: (BLN 1269.2240.2) It is not correct to say that there was actually a
single approach track to the five international platforms at Waterloo. It was possible for Eurostar to
use the Up Windsor line and the Down Windsor Fast line, as well as the Windsor Reversible Line,
between Nine Elms and International Jn, from where two tracks ran into P20 to 24. In practice, trains
were scheduled on the basis that all Eurostar trains normally used the Windsor Reversible Line and
SWT did not. Therefore, the Eurostar service had to be timed as if Waterloo were at the end of a
single-track branch line from Nine Elms (!). The track alterations now being carried out are mainly to
increase operational flexibility with scope for parallel moves in and out of P20 to 24.
There was some benefit to Eurostar in having a succession of arrivals followed by a succession of
departures, because that reduced the number of times each day the routes used by passengers to and
from the platforms had to be reconfigured for arrivals or departures. The ramps and escalators
between the platforms and the departures level immediately below were reversible. When passengers
were arriving, the exit from the departure lounge was locked and screens were opened to direct
everyone down fixed ramps to the arrivals level a further floor below. Among the reasons why the
international terminal was not quickly put to domestic use was that the escalators and ramps to the
platforms were worn out and only able to cope with arrivals OR departures. There was not the
capacity to accommodate passengers wishing to reach and to exit the platforms at the same time.
Apart from platform access issues, various proposals to use Waterloo International for domestic
services could not be progressed, because the Windsor Reversible Line did not provide adequate
capacity and SWT was fully utilising the other tracks. Sadly this included not being able to divert some
Southeastern and Thameslink services there (via Linford Street Jn) during the London Bridge works.
3050] Waddon - Croydon Aerodrome branch: (BLN 1269.2243) 'Old Maps' https://goo.gl/vjIKRm
shows that the area was omitted from maps while operational (as often the case for military facilities).
The former branch is clear on post-war maps though; the junction faced Sutton rather than Croydon.
BELOW LEFT: It is believed that the branch ran from the main line (upper blue arrow) southwest of
Waddon station (off map top right) with the junction facing Sutton, followed the curve round the
wood and then was straight until the end of line (lower blue arrow). This OS six-inch 1932/33 revision
shows that the buildings were mostly pre-existing and were probably 'requisitioned' for WW2 to form
National Aircraft Factory No1. See back references for more information. BELOW RIGHT: A plan of the
factory, which benefits from enlargement, courtesy of Colin Ockenden of the Croydon Airport Society
https://goo.gl/mwiOBY showing the internal railway sidings. 'Stafford Road' has 'B.M. 174.18' on the
OS map and Coldharbour Lane is to to right of the factory. It is now a business centre/industrial estate.
3051] Crossrail: (BLN 1269.2246) West Ealing bay P5 was to be extended to 132m and thus able to
accommodate a 4-car train. Unusually this was to take effect from 17.00 on Mon 28 Nov; presumably
the work was to be finalised between the peaks. The latest bulletin for local residents on work at
Southall continues to refer to 'rebuilding of Platform 0' [presumably for proposed Brentford service!].
A 'Rail Engineer' article gives details of Crossrail signalling. The Central Operating Section (COS) will run
from a point between Portobello Jn and Westbourne Park in the west and Abbey Wood/Pudding Mill
Lane Jn in the east, over which Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) moving block signalling
will be deployed. On the GWML, Crossrail trains will operate under the supervision of ETCS Level 2 as
an overlay to existing lineside signalling to Airport Jn and Heathrow. For trains going to Maidenhead/
Reading, there will be conventional signalling with Automatic Warning System (AWS)/Train Protection
Warning System (TPWS) west of Airport Jn. This will also apply on the Great Eastern Line to Shenfield.
The planned service through the COS (presumably only during the peaks) is 24tph. At the west end
14tph will turn back at Westbourne Park, with 2tph to Hayes & Harlington (bay P5), 4tph to
Heathrow, 2tph to Maidenhead and 2tph to Reading. At the east end there will be an equal split of
12tph to both Abbey Wood and Shenfield. The specification is for 110 second headways, with
60 second dwell times at Paddington and Liverpool Street, putting trains 50 seconds apart, something
that can only be achieved using a moving block signalling system. Secondary train detection in the COS
will be by axle counters for engineering trains and failure of the CBTC equipment on a passenger train.
Platform screen doors will be provided in the below ground stations for ventilation strategy and to
keep heat in tunnels and out of stations, so the latter do not need to be air-conditioned. Platform
screen doors and train doors will be opened and closed at the same time, synchronised and controlled
by the signalling system. Above each platform door will be a customer information screen.
A new 'auto reverse' facility is being provided at Westbourne Park to turn back the ECS of the 14tph
Paddington terminators from the east in the reversing sidings. Leaving Paddington the driver will
select 'auto reverse' and walks back through the train, obviating the need for drivers to 'step-up'. By
the time the train gets back to Paddington (about a mile) the driver should be in the other cab to form
the next eastbound departure. This facility can be used to turn round a full 30tph service. Auto reverse
may also be used in Abbey Wood stabling sidings and for any intermediate reversals within the COS.
At Westbourne Park the transition between CBTC and ETCS will take place on the move at up to
50mph. If a transition to ETCS fails, multiple aspect signalling will still be in place, enabling Crossrail
trains to run under conventional signalling using AWS/TPWS. There is a risk that, other than on the
Heathrow branch, ETCS will not be available in time for the opening of Crossrail. Accordingly enhanced
TPWS will be installed between Paddington and Stockley Jn as far as the NR boundary during the Dec
shut down on the GWML. This will be available until ETCS is ready. On the GEML transition between
CBTC and conventional signalling will, for the most part, be made while stationary in Stratford station.
There will be three overlay signals in each direction. COS signalling will be controlled from a Route
Control Centre at Romford ROC. This will also control the OHL equipment and tunnel ventilation.
The COS junctions will be controlled by Westrace MkII interlockings and simple automatic route setting
will be used. A rule-based suggestions screen will give the signaller options in the event of an incident.
The signaller will be able to change minimum dwell times at stations and trip times, which all go
through the train regulation system to ensure even spacing of trains in the COS and right time
presentation to NR. At Abbey Wood there will be a simple interface with the NR signalling system for
the transfer of engineering trains. A backup control centre will be available in a separate building
should anything happen to the Romford facility. Initial testing of the on-train control equipment will be
at the Old Dalby test track and then, in late 2017, the section of route between Canary Wharf and
Abbey Wood will be used for extensive live testing of the CBTC systems with multiple trains.
3052] Romford ROC: (BLN 1269.2244) Amending this report, on 7 Nov new interlockings and IECC
computers at Romford took over Stratford to Romford in preparation for the track and signalling
changes required for Crossrail. However, the signallers are still at Liverpool Street IECC, where the
existing workstations have been upgraded to the latest 'Resonate' (new name for 'DeltaRail') IECC
Scalable version, allowing workstations to be located remotely from the equipment being controlled.
The reason for this is that Liverpool Street and West Anglia work stations are not affected by Crossrail,
and the operators don't want to split the control area. The long term plan is of course to move the
whole of Liverpool Street IECC to Romford ROC, but Crossrail won't pay for that, so it will be later.
3053] Underground Modelling: The world's largest Lego store has opened in Leicester Square. Among
the life size models is an LUL 'S' Stock car with a cab at each end. Despite being of reduced length and
having part of the side missing (to see in), it still took 637,903 bricks and 4,000 hours to build! At the
store entrance is an 'iron' gateway marked 'Public Subway' with a Leicester Square roundel. The
various models include further roundels and a system map - all well worth seeing.
3054] New Use for Old Underground Cars: A 'D' Stock car has avoided being scrapped or converted
into a DMU by becoming a library in Coopers Lane School, Grove Park. (BELOW: Kev Adlam) All
classrooms here are named after LU stations! Perhaps the library should be 'Bounds Green' or
'Oakwood' (we won't press that)? This follows the purchase of a 'C' Stock car by Plumcroft Primary
School, Plumstead in Aug 2014 for an outdoor classroom - will the children be lining up to get in (Kew
Gardens?). Your Editor suggests Hanger Lane for the cloak room, Fairlop for the school hairdresser,
Ickenham for the sick bay; perhaps the school should be renamed 'Grange Hill'? The children had best
avoid 'Barking' or 'Caning Town'.
3055] Northern Line Micro-Gricing: The last guide was Mar 2010 in BLN 1108.195. The current WTT is
No56; although its cover date is 6 Sep 2015 (the original intended start of 'Night Tube') but it did not
operate until Mon 6 Nov 2016, with the usual night test running the first weekend. All running lines,
crossovers, slips and platforms are in passenger use throughout service hours every day except the
following, for which the complete booked passenger service is indicated. Running numbers of trains
which might otherwise be difficult to identify on the day are shown in [square brackets].
•Finchley Central crossover P2 to Mill Hill East line; crossovers at East Finchley, Mornington Crescent and
..Charing Cross; Euston loop: NRU - no regular (passenger timetabled) use.
• Moorgate and Stockwell crossovers: NRU, but turnbacks in service when line blocked to south.
•Edgware P1: Gaps SO 01.05¼-05.34¾; SuO 01.12¾-07.35. P2: gap in arrivals SSuX before 06.10¾.
P3: gap in arrivals SSuX before 07.13.
•Golders Green P4 (=P3) southbound arrivals: SSuX 05.44½ ; SO 00.30 , 05.44½ , 07.35¼
.., 13.56¼ , 16.17¼ .
..P4 southbound departures: SSuX 05.37, 05.45, 08.34¼, 08.46¾, 09.02¾; SO 05.36, 05.45, 07.35¾, 13.56¾,
..16.17¾; SuO 07.12¼. Your contributor assumes these take the leftmost route at the platform end (No17
..points) rather than the apparent alternative route just beyond (No19B slip); can anyone confirm/amend?
P2 (=P1) southbound departures: ECS only (in opposite direction), but likely in service (along with
Northbound Loop into P3) when line blocked to north.
P1 arrivals via Northbound Loop: NRU.
P3 (=P4) northbound arrivals via platform-end X/O (22 points): SSuX several 08.25¼-10.27 ([065, 043,
131, 060, 061, 062, 063, 065]), 18.01¾ , 18.26¾ , 18.41¾ , 23.29½ , 23.57¼ ;
TWThFO 00.15¼ , 00.42¼ ; SO 00.07¾ , 00.17¾ , 00.42¼ , 23.29½ , 23.43¼
, 23.57¼ ; SuO 00.19 , 00.44¼ , 00.55¼ , 22.49-23.55 ([017, 142, 005, 057, 041]).
P3 arr. via Northbound Loop: SSuX 10.15½ , 18.12½ ; TWThFO 00.54 ; SuO 23.32 .
P3 northbound departures: SSuX several 05.59½-07.17¼; SO 06.07¾, 06.47¼; SuO 03.46½, 07.52¾.
•Hampstead crossover: ECS only, but turns trains back in service when line blocked to south.
•High Barnet P1: Gaps in arrivals SO 01.15-05.32¼; SuO 01.20¼-07.10¼. Gaps in departures SSuX before
..06.23½, SO 00.50½-05.22½; SuO 01.26½-06.59¾.
•Mill Hill East: Overnight gaps SO 01.13 dep-05.18¼ arr; SuO 01.13 dep-06.50½ arr.
•Finchley Central P3 arrivals from Mill Hill East: All southbound trains not terminating: MO 00.20¾;
..MTWThO all 05.46¾-09.46¾, all 17.16½-19.31½, 23.47½; FO 00.02¼, 00.16, 01.15¾, all 05.46¾-09.46¾, all
..17.16½-19.31½, 23.47½, 23.56¾; SO 00.02¼, 00.16, 01.15¾, all 05.46¾-06.58½, 23.47½; SuO several
..00.02¼-01.15¾, 07.13¾, 07.28¾, 23.46¾. (All terminating Mill Hill East trains reverse in P1.)
P1 northbound arrivals: All trains terminating at Finchley Central or Mill Hill East: SSuX plenty 05.16-
09.46¼, plenty 17.15-19.33½, 23.47¾; SuMX 00.01¾, 00.15¾; SO plenty 05.16-07.01, 23.47¾; SuO 00.01¾,
00.16, 00.32¼, 00.46¼, several 06.48-07.32, 23.50.
•East Finchley P3 arrivals: All terminating southbound trains: SSuX 09.26½, 09.38½, several 23.26¼-(SuMX)
..01.18¾; SO several 23.33¾-(SuO) 01.18¾; SuO several 22.17¼-close.
P2 departures: SSuX several 05.12-06.40½, 07.31½, 07.40½, 07.58¾, 08.07¾, 17.11; SO several 05.12 -
06.57; SuO several 06.23¾-08.41, 09.50¼.
•Camden Town P1 arrivals from Charing Cross line: Gap SSuX 06.59¾-11.03¾.
P3 arrivals from Bank line: SSuX plenty until 07.01½, 08.48¾, 09.21½, plenty 11.03¾ onward; SO gap
00.48-06.08; SuO gap 00.48-07.40¼.
P1 arrivals from Bank line: gaps SO 00.42-06.00½; SuO 00.43½-07.46.
P2 departures via Bank: gaps SO 00.19½-06.01; SuO 00.19½-07.18¼.
P4 departures via Bank: gaps SO 00.25¼-05.46; SuO 00.25¼- 07.23¼.
Overnight gaps via Bank combine to apply throughout to and from Kennington.
•King's Cross Loop (connection to Piccadilly Line): NRU, but routinely carries engineers' trains.
•Kennington P2 departures: SSuX 06.01¾, 06.11¾, 07.07¼, plenty 07.31½-09.43, plenty 16.42-19.36;
..MTWThO several 23.20¾ to close; FO 23.20¾, 23.29¾ 23.55; SO plenty to 06.11¼, 23.20¾, 23.29¾ 23.55;
..SuO plenty 00.24¼-07.30, 22.34¾, 22.54½, several 23.32-close.
P1 arrivals: SSuX plenty to 09.31½, plenty 16.43¾-19.28¾; SuMX 00.20½; SO plenty 00.30½-06.52¾; SuO
•Morden P2 (=P1) arrivals: Gaps SSuX 07.00 -09.00½ , 16.16¾ -18.02½ ; SO 01.17½
..-06.21 ; SuO 01.07 -08.00¾.
P2 departures: Gaps SSuX 08.50¾-10.15¼, 17.41¼-19.59¾; MTWThO 23.21½-close; FO gap 23.21½-(SO)
00.45; SO 03.07½-05.00; SuO 03.30-05.30.
P5 arrivals: Gap MTWThO 23.55  to (TWThFO) 00.55¾ . (Our thanks to Bill Lynch for all this.)
3056] Paddington - a new service: From the 11 Dec timetable change a 'new' service labelled 'GWR'
appears in the schedules running seven days a week, twice an hour in each direction, from 02.13 to
23.14 with no booked stops to Stansted Airport. Closer examination reveals that they have not built
'Crossrail 3' while no one was looking; it is a bus service to 'Stansted Airport Bus Stop' [code: XTH].
Even closer examination shows that the timetable is identical to the long term National Express coach
route 'A6'. Interestingly the timetable of the latter is far less precise - first and last buses are shown
with 'approximately every 30 minutes' for the rest - what would be the reaction if the rail companies
tried that one? None of the intermediate coach stops is shown on the rail schedule and it does rather
'clutter' the Paddington arrivals and departures list on Realtime Trains etc.Interestingly in the new
timetable both GWR and National Rail journey planners continue to send passengers to Stansted via
the Underground to Liverpool Street taking about 95 minutes (in practice a quicker connection might
be possible). The 'GWR' bus is scheduled for 104 minutes in the middle of the night and 137 minutes
for the 17.31 departure. The question is would compensation be payable if a bus is significantly late?
3057] Farringdon: (BLN 1266.1950) 'Underground News' reports that the sidings and signalling were
decommissioned from 15 Aug and removed. The main line points were plain-lined over the weekend
of 24/25 Sep. Presumably the wagons there in early September were for recovery of materials.
1270 ISLE OF MAN
3058] Snaefell Mountain Railway: (MR p12) (BLN 1254.722) The 17 Nov 'Manx Independent' paper
reported a Freedom of Information request for the accident report into the runaway with almost total
destruction of tram No3 on 30 March this year. The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture
refused the request citing that significant harm would be caused to the reputation of the Health and
Safety at Work Inspectorate if the full report was to be released. A summary was made available which
revealed shortcomings in the recording of inspections and maintenance of the parking brake and
failures in the way changes to railway infrastructure were managed. Changes had been made to the
track layout at the summit (BLN 1260.1344) - trams arriving at the top temporarily dropped passengers
outside the summit hotel rather than the newly created drop off point which was not then complete.
Tram No3 had been moved onto the Down line to allow another tram to stop at the summit station for
passengers to alight. The report states that it was parked about 10m further down the line than
previously. Had it been in the usual position it would have rolled into the buffer stops. The tram was
also unattended contrary to standing instructions. No one is to face prosecution over the incident.
1270 NORTH EAST
3059] West Auckland: According to that authoritative railway journal 'Big Issue'(!), Cockfield Fell,
between Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle, is England's largest scheduled ancient monument; one
of the most important early industrial landscapes in Britain. Its windswept slopes enclose four Iron Age
enclosures, medieval field patterns, the relics of centuries of mining, two disused railways and several
earlier tramways. It claims it is the site of Britain's first recorded colliery, as the Bishop of Durham
licensed mining in 1303. However, the Stephenson Locomotive Society and Waggonway Research
Circle 'Timeline for early railway developments' https://goo.gl/rLkVo3 states that the first document
referencing a 'sea coal' mine relates to Cossall in Nottinghamshire in 1283 (with many references to
use of coal from 1228 onwards). So Cockfield Fell is a relative Johnny-come-lately! It was served by an
early railway, the S&DR Haggerleases (later Butterknowle) branch OG 1 May 1830 (BLN 1256.910).
3060] Hartlepool: Can anyone please confirm from an actual visit if there are platform numbers or
passenger information screens and, if so, is the bay P2 and the reversible through platform P1?
X.186] BELOW TOP: South Hetton Colliery, County Durham, in Sep 1974 (Ian Mortimer).
BELOW LOWER: Hartlepool reversible through platform, thought to be P1 (previously P2) looking
south towards Stockton. The bay is at the far end of the platform on the right; left is the disused
former P1. The layout was altered in 1973 to enable through trains to use the other platform in both
directions and the footbridge was removed in the late 1990s. (All John Cameron, Sun 31 Jul 2016.)
ABOVE: The south bay platform on the Down side, thought now to be P2 (formerly P3), the platform
numbers are believed to have changed with the Nov 2010 Durham Coast resignalling. This bay has two
booked passenger trains per week, SuO 11.07 and 17.15 from Darlington returning from Hartlepool at
12.05 and 18.00 respectively which continue in the new timetable. No platform numbers were evident
from the pictures but there appears to be a Passenger Information Screen which may show them.
BELOW: The station looking north with the bay on the left in the foreground; all services (provided by
Northern and Grant Central) are booked to stop. The right hand (Up) line is used by freight workings,
diversions and special trains including our 'Tale of Two Ports' railtour southbound on 29 Aug this year.
1270 NORTH WEST
3061] Port of Manchester Railtour, Tue 12 Sep 1972: (BLN 1269.2254) One of our members who
participated in the tour only noted Trafford Wharf depart 18.00, arrive 20.15 (scheduled not actual
times) and fare 80p. He suspects that no itinerary was produced as he does not have one. Does anyone
have any actual route details, marked maps photographs or notes please? ABOVE: The 9 Sep 1978
'Manchester Navigator No2' tour of the Manchester Ship Canal lines, which was advertised in BLN; not
surprisingly there were quite a few (still familiar) faces, allowing for the passage of 38 years. The route
of this tour https://goo.gl/YTBPCT is documented. Note the interesting 'plank shunting' to enable one
locomotive to run round a train that is too long for the loop. (Ian Mortimer, who kindly organised this
private tour with the late Malcolm Borrowdale and was naturally directing operations from the cab.)
3062] Northern Trains: Events are being held to obtain 'customer' feedback about seat types for the
98 new trains on order [some might sit that one out]. Further events are promised to gauge opinion on
other service features. Also promised: 243 trains upgraded to 'as new', 2,000 extra services SuX plus
400 extra on Sundays by 2019, free on-board WiFi for all from 2018 and a faster interurban network.
3063] Ordsall Chord/Northern Trains: NR expects the new line to OP Sun 10 Dec 2017 (timetable
change) with services using it from a range of locations to Manchester Airport and what are described
as 'new connections into Manchester from the Calder Valley'. EMUs will also run via Bolton between
Manchester and Preston. From 2018 Northern expects to introduce an hourly Manchester Airport to
Newcastle service (which will be an extra service each hour between Leeds and Newcastle) and six
trains an hour between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale. Two of these should use the new Bay P4.
TPE are aiming for a 'weekday service' seven days a week which is double the existing Sunday service.
ABOVE: A bridge under construction for Ordsall Lane Curve, from a passing train (John Cameron Nov 2016).
BLN 1270.3064] Manchester Piccadilly: Local railwaymen who died fighting in WWI have been
honoured with a new memorial here (BELOW: John Cameron.) Their families, transport officials and
army veterans gathered on 4 May this year for the unveiling of the new tribute by rail enthusiast and
former Conservative deputy leader Michael Portillo. Wreaths were laid before the memorial, which
bears the names of 87 men who died, aged between 18 and 45 and who all worked for the LNWR at
the Goods Depot. It replaces a bronze plaque which disappeared 50 years ago during a station
renovation - to the 'great shame' of the industry. This new commemoration has come about thanks to
a tireless campaign by train managers Andy Partington and Wayne McDonald. Aided by the Railway
Heritage Trust, the Virgin Trains colleagues spent five years searching war archives, travelling to the
Western Front and contacting relatives.
3065] Preston: On Sat 12 Nov a member on the 09.17 to Crewe saw 3-car DMU 185143 on the 09.02
to Manchester Victoria (non-stop via Chorley) in south bay P4C. An incoming heavily loaded train,
presumed to be from Victoria, arrived into the adjacent bay P3C. This was a 4-car DMU (142048 &
150141) forming the 09.23 limited stop service, again to Victoria via Chorley. The Class 185 easily
fitted into P4C, but the four car set of older shorter carriages, was a very tight fit in P3C. The north end
of 142048 was several feet from the buffers, and the leading wheels of 150141 a shorter distance from
the track circuit board at the south end, but the overhang from the carriage put the cab windows right
up by the exit signals. Our member considers it very unusual to find two services side by side in these
bays. An incoming Ormskirk service forming the 08.43 return, normally using bay P3C, arrived and
departed from through P2! Services ran to Manchester Victoria due to work at Ordsall Lane Jn.
X.187] Manchester - Preston: Https://goo.gl/m07yCCC is a 3min 25sec video clip from NR about the
electrification work required on this line and https://goo.gl/U5qksd is a 1990 cab ride (43m 22sec).
3066] Preston Trams: (BLN 1269.2256). The 14 Nov 'Lancashire Evening Post' carried an article giving
the now approved times for Trampower to run trams after consultation with local residents,
businesses, a school and a place of worship. These are Mondays to Fridays 19.30 to 21.30, weekends
and bank holidays 10.00 - 16.00. A local member was curious about the article which mentioned 'the
site being based in Deepdale St and Fletcher Rd', so investigated [that's what local members are for -
Ed!]. The application seems to be for street running in Deepdale St; about 500yd running past only
small businesses and factories to Fletcher Rd. It does not, from what our member can see, appear to
be the intention to use the Longridge branch trackbed or the ex-Deepdale Coal Depot at this stage.
3067A] Shaw & Crompton bay: Some double trams have been running SSuX into the bay platform
(further than singles do) and various members have confirmed this. This is now advertised as 'all
weekday services from 30 Nov until 23 Dec' from 07.00 to 19.00. BELOW: A double tram in the bay on
14 Nov (Ian Mortimer). A reminder that passenger screens at stops indicate double trams ('dbl').
It is Shaw & Crompton to East Didsbury service 'H'. Until Sat 26 Nov only single trams had been used
on Saturdays, but that day all were doubles. The Metrolink web site advises that the use of double
trams on this service finishes on 23 Dec. Castlefield-Deansgate to East Didsbury service 'K' (SSuX
07.15-19.30; SO 09.30-18.30) runs from the centre platform there via the westbound crossover.
3067B] Lancaster: An interesting train is the 10.29 (SSuX) Preston Northern service to Windermere
booked to take the facing crossover south of Lancaster and wait there in P5 (Up Passenger Loop No2)
from 10.50 to 11.00. The 08.30 London Euston to Glasgow Central calls 10.54/56 in P3, overtakes and
connects with it. This continues unchanged in the new timetable. The Windermere train then goes on
to do the Down Windermere line south of Oxenholme and the new direct connection into P3 there.
1270 SOUTH EAST - NORTH (& EAST ANGLIA)
3068] Challenge Martyn! (LEFT) With the
Oxford Parkway to Oxford line ROP
11 Dec 2016 a member asked for a map
showing the connections over the years
between the LNWR 'branch' (originally to
Oxford Rewley Road, CP 1 October 1951,
CG on the 5 April 1984; latterly a coal
concentration depot) and the parallel
Birmingham / Worcester to Oxford GWR
main line. There were various exchange
sidings north of the GWR station (shown
on the 1902 Railway Clearing House
Junction Diagrams, looking like a 'scissors'
type connection); however these were
not normally used for through trains
including passenger workings.
Our member wanted to find out the
route that he took on a through
Cambridge to Oxford train through
Bedford and Bletchley just before
passenger closure from 1 January 1968
(Bedford to Bletchley was reprieved and
remains open of course). One of the
reasons for falling passenger numbers
then and closure was that it had become
much faster to make a through journey
The answer to the query is that the WWII
1940 running connection would have
been taken. Until then at least,
Cambridge services operated to Oxford
Rewley Road terminus. The connection
was moved half a mile north to Oxford
North Jn with the Oct 1973 resignalling
on opening of Oxford Power Box when
the former BR Western Region Oxford to
Bicester MoD section was also singled.
Thanks to Martyn for the map and to
Richard Maund for additional data.
3069] Gidea Park (BLN 1267.2060) 'Your
local correspondent' confirms that Gidea
Park Jn crossovers have been re-
electrified, as his EMU to Southend
Victoria crossed from the Down Electric
to the Down Main here on 20 Nov on
return from a certain very special 'live'
event in Blackpool.
BLN 1270.3070] Shenfield: (BLN 1269.2260) The country ends of P4 and P5 and the single line loop
towards Mountnessing Jn and Billericay have been blocked as the result of a possession taken from
23.05 on 4 Nov. The first section of track had been laid in the new P6 by 19 Nov, further track-laying of
new Crossrail sidings and the future Chelmsford Loop has also been underway.
3071] Brentwood - Shenfield: (BLN 1269.2260). A local member feels that the 'frequent' replacement
buses between these stations will struggle to provide any reasonable service in the rush hour and will
take many times the three minutes allowed for the train. Space for buses is very limited at both
stations. The route via the main road involves negotiating the most congested junction in Brentwood
and the only feasible alternative route is via the fairly steep Priest's lane, a residential road that is not
very wide. Some rather dissatisfied customers are predicted but our member accepts there is no viable
alternative. Shenfield commuters will still have the fast services to London so will not be so affected
(it is not practicable for them to call additionally at Brentford in place of TfL services) but those for
Romford or Ilford are unlikely to have a good experience.
3072] Felixstowe branch: (BLN 1268.2167) The closure of six level crossings on the Westerfield side of
Trimley station will require a T&W Act Order additional to that for other works. NR will provide a new
bridleway bridge and public right of way diversions. From the Westerfield direction, Thorpe Common
crossing will require new footpaths on a 300m alternative route, Grimston Lane crossing 270m on
existing roads, Trimley crossing (not at the station) 1km on new footpath and existing roads, St Martins
and Gun Lane crossings use of the new bridge with shorter diversions and Keepers Lane a 1.7km
diversion mainly on new footpaths. It is not clear if all six closures are essential to the scheme.
3073] Maidenhead: (BLN 1269.2264) Following the installation of a new connection west of the
station to the new Maidenhead Loop further points were to be installed for 21 Nov on the Up Relief as
part of a new crossover, secured OOU at present. During the Christmas closure the country end of the
station layout, except the Main Lines, is to be completely re-modelled. This explains why the Marlow
branch is TCP from 24 Dec to 3 Jan (both inclusive):
(1): Two new connections will be provided for future access to the stabling sidings and secured OOU.
(2): A new separate crossover between the Maidenhead Loop and the Up Relief line will allow future
…….access to the new sidings from the Up Relief, P4. Six redundant points will be removed.
(3): A new single end point west of Maidenhead, previously installed on the Up Relief will provide
…….access to the new Maidenhead Loop.
(4): The Marlow branch will connect into the new Maidenhead Loop via new points.
(5): A new Engineers siding between the stabling sidings and Marlow branch convergence will connect
…….into the Maidenhead Loop via another crossover, with a new ground position signal at 24m 32ch.
(6): A new reversing siding will be installed between the Down and Up Relief lines. Three new points
…….will give access to the new siding and the Down Relief will be slewed where necessary.
(7): Further west again a new crossover will be commissioned between 24m 66ch and 24m 73ch
…….between the Up Relief and Down Relief lines. [Note: final use of the old layout is on23 Dec.]
3074] Calvert: A member has provided an insight into present use of the terminal at Calvert, operated
by FCC Environmental. There are four paths per day SSuX in and out, with trains from four locations:
01.43 arrival: (MX) With spoil (timetabled from Northolt) but nothing has run from there for a while,
actually from Bow or Willesden Euro Terminal (WET). Recently the path was used by Ilford depot
trains. The empties return to WET, Wembley European Freight Operating Centre (EFOC) or Bow.
11.55 arrival: Ex-Bow/Acton (Wembley EFOC MO) spoil; the empties returning at 18.28 to Wembley.
12.55 arrival: Ex-Cricklewood with household rubbish - the 'bin train' - the empties return at 19.14.
.All are Class 66 operated by DBC; the 01.43 arrival and 10.06 departure can be a DC Rail Class 56.
16.55 arrival: Ex-Cricklewood or Willesden ET, spoil run by GBRf (Class 66) returning 22.10 to Acton
Lane reception (tripped to the Euro Terminal at 08.30 next working day) or Cricklewood
Not all four trains will operate every day but on most days at least two of them will run.
1270 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH
3075] Polegate Crossing: The 1883 LB&SCR signal box (closed 16 Feb 2015) was demolished over the
weekend of 12/13 Nov. A local group had tried to save it but encountered difficulty with access.
3076] Fareham: A recent visit revealed that, with resignalling, all west end points have been renewed
in what appears to be an identical layout to before. On 27 Oct, during the nine-day Fareham closure,
an empty aggregate train passed northbound through Haywards Heath, the diverted return working of
a Chichester delivery where the stone sidings were inaccessible from the west during the closure.
3077] Three Bridges: Also on 27 Oct, a train of loaded container flats was on the track adjacent to the
shed in the new Three Bridges depot (Brighton line Down side). The German legends on the containers
suggested a components or spares delivery for the new class 700 EMUs stabled there. A second rake of
empty container flats was on the track next to the Down Main to Brighton.
3078] Southampton: Arriva-owned Alliance Rail Holdings has started a consultation into plans for a
new open access rail service between Southampton and London Waterloo. It would begin in
Dec 2017, initially seven off-peak trains, adding two peak services in 2018. Class 442 units would be
used at first, the company has said. Each would provide 600 seats. Once the consultation has been
carried out, Alliance Rail Holdings plans to submit a formal application to the Office of Rail and Road.
3079] Horsham: From 28 Nov the new Horsham Field sidings were to be commissioned adjacent the
Down and Up main (the Dorking route). There are six 750DC third rail electrified sidings west of the
line, each approximately 258m in length and suitable for up to 12 Car EMUs.
3080] SE Freight: Construction materials supplier Day Group has renewed a contract for DB Cargo UK
(DBC) to haul sea-dredged aggregates and 'incinerator bottom ash' for a further 10 years. The ash
trains run from Newhaven to a processing facility at Brentford, then return to Newhaven carrying
recycled aggregates in what DBC says is an 'unusual two-way rail movement of bulk products'.
Separately, aggregates are transported from Cliffe on the Isle of Grain to depots at Battersea in
London, Crawley, Purley and Tolworth. The contract renewal announced on 9 Nov covers operation of
more than 15 trains a week, which DBC said was the equivalent of 190 lorry loads a day. There is
provision for the operation of additional services, including to other concrete plants. (Railway Gazette)
3081] Ashford: In mid-Nov the Belmond British Pullman made an 07.00 Ashford International to
Victoria run as a 'free' service to commuters. The stock, dating back to the 1920s, is the sister of the
Venice Simplon-Orient Express. Travel firm Belmond put on the service to treat commuters on a
90-minute journey via Charing, Maidstone, Otford and Swanley to London Victoria. Some had
registered for the journey after seeing a social media campaign, while others had a surprise upgrade.
Commuters were treated to a free three-course breakfast and musical entertainment! (BBC News)
3082] Merstham - Redhill: From 28 Nov, a new facing crossover, OOU, was to be installed between
the Down and Up Redhill lines, the country end being adjacent to Holmethorpe substation, apparently
north of that TRACKmaps at 22m 02ch.
1270 SOUTH WEST
3083] Tetbury - you 'herd' it here: The goods shed and the adjacent cattle pens at Tetbury, the only
surviving structures, are being restored and extended as a performance and arts venue. ['Animal Farm'
on the opening night perhaps?] The blue engineering brick built shed is being extended with a pavilion
south of the (previous) platform end in blue brick to an original design. The glazed gable windows in
the main block have been completely restored. The road side canopy is also being restored.
BELOW: Four pictures taken on 19 Nov (Julian James). Good comparative views are in 'GWR Country
Stations' by Chris Leigh as follows: GWR Country Stations, p77 (other parts of station p44) GWR
Country Stations – 2, p83 two views (other parts of station p57, 58 & 85), Modern branch Line Album,
J M aughan, also has on p17 a view showing location of the goods shed relative to the other station
buildings. BLN 1252.478 has further general information with more and pictures in e-BLN 1251.426.
BLN 1270.3084] Building bridges with the locals in Barnstaple: Work to make safe and reopen the
distinctive ex-railway River Taw iron bridge (ABOVE: David Smith) at Rock Park was to be completed
recently after significant delays. The works to the pedestrian and cycle route had been due for
completion in March, the delay exposing Devon County Council to much local criticism. It formerly
carried the spur* linking the still operational 'Tarka Line' from Exeter to Barnstaple with the Devon
and Somerset Railway (later GWR) Barnstaple to Taunton line. *OP 1887 to the former GWR
Barnstaple Victoria Road terminus, CP Jun 1960/CA Mar 1970.
ABOVE: The former complex of lines in the Barnstaple area. A 1961 1:25,000 map, top left was the
Ilfracombe branch (CP Oct 1970) and below it the line to Bideford, Torrington and Halwill Junction
(CP Oct 1965). Lower right is the GWR line to Taunton (CP/CA Oct 1966). Barnstaple Junction is of
course now 'Barnstaple' station terminus of the remaining operational line to Exeter (southeast off the
bottom). The terminus station near the centre of the map is the GWR 'Barnstaple Victoria Road'
CP Jun 1960 and CG/CA Mar 1970. The refurbished bridge featured above is the southern (inland) one
over the River Taw. Not shown is the former Lynton & Barnstaple Railway (CA Sep 1935) that came in
from the northeast, middle of the top of the map along the white strip of land heading southwest then
curving round to terminate alongside Barnstaple Town station which is by the castle top left corner.
3085] Stonehouse: The recent spate of studies into reopening stations in the South West continues,
with Bristol City and Gloucestershire County Councils examining the potential for developing services
from Bristol to Yate and Gloucester. The scheme has found positive support from the local MP and
residents in the Stonehouse Local Plan consultation. The Town Council had sought funding previously
for a study (with consultants proposing positive benefits in 2002) for a reopened station on the
Birmingham to Bristol mainline. Passengers currently need to use the existing Stonehouse station
(which very nearly closed in Oct 1975) on the Gloucester to Swindon route, or travel to Cam & Dursley
where car parking is regularly full. Stonehouse (Midland Railway) OP 8 Jul 1844; 'Bristol Road' was
added over a century later by BR in 1951 to distinguish it from the ex-GWR station at Burdett Road.
The station was the Nailsworth branch interchange (further connecting to the MR Stroud branch) with
the actual junction to the north. There were separate mainline and branch platforms (shown by the OS
as two separate stations) connected by a covered walkway. The station CP 4 Jan 1965, CA 3 Jan 1966.
[BLN 1270] ABOVE: 1930-46 New Popular 1" map Stonehouse (Midland Railway) 'Bristol Road' (after
1951) is shown as (and also annotated as) two stations. The covered link between the separate
platforms of the one station is shown in black - gricers of the time might have had to wait for a railtour
or such like to achieve overlap with the main line at Stonehouse Jn. The still open Stonehouse (GWR)
'Burdett Road' (after 1951) station is to the east on the Gloucester (off map top left) to Swindon (off
middle right) line, the 'Golden Valley' or nowadays 'South Cotswold' line. Some of the many stops on
the Chalford auto train service can be seen on it. Far middle right are the two stations at Stroud, the
through GWR station in Russell Street above and the MR terminus in Cheapside (end of a 1 mile single
track branch) below. To reach the MR required a change of train at Stonehouse (MR) and Dudbridge.
The latter was on the single track 5¾-mile MR Nailsworth (southeast off to the bottom right) branch.
3086] Missing Parsons Report: A contributor writes that he recently purchased the British Railways
Atlas 1947 (Ian Allan, 2nd edition) which includes several Railway Clearing House diagrams. However,
there is no sign of Parson Street station (OP 19 Aug 1927), or on the Bristol RCH diagram. [The latter is
not an omission as it is dated 1911, similarly it should not appear on the Pre-grouping 1923 Atlas - Ed].
Parson Street station is shown in Cooke's Atlas of the GWR (1947). Our correspondent assures us of
the existence of the station from personal experience: He was at Merrywood Grammar School in the
1950s overlooking Malago Vale Sidings, in the distance, near Parson Street. He and his friend
sometimes went to the station at lunchtime, despite not being allowed to leave school premises!
1270 WEST MIDLANDS
3087] Bromsgrove: (1): Two plaques were unveiled here on 11 Nov in honour of engineers who
ensured that Bromsgrove would have a railway station. James Edward McConnell and Captain William
Scarth Moorsom were commemorated at the event organised by The Bromsgrove Society, supported
by the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IME). In 1836 Captain
Moorsom was tasked with constructing the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway and built the Lickey
Incline. Unable to find UK engines that could tackle it, he imported them from America. In 1855, Loco
Superintendent James McConnell conceived and built a new more powerful banker which he called
'Great Britain'. He was also a founding member of the IME, becoming chairman; the organisation still
thrives today. He worked under George Stephenson who became president of the Institute.
(2): Vintage Trains 'Pannier Ramble IV' made a booked pathing and water stop in the currently rare P1
(most westerly) on Saturday evening 12 Nov on its return from Worcester to Tyseley Warwick Road.
(3) Platform Use: Since resignalling from 7 Nov online platforming at the new station appears to be
correct. Generally all Up trains (to Birmingham) have been using inner P2 on the west island (as has
been the case since the station opened on 12 Jul) and Down trains P4, the outer platform of the east
island that only opened on 7 Nov with the new Down Loop. On the afternoon of Tue 8 Nov it became
impossible for any trains to climb the Lickey due to leaf residue; the 15.40 LM service from Hereford
terminated in P1 and a CrossCountry train from Plymouth in P2. The following day the 13.43 from
Hereford, running late, unusually called at P1 to allow a non-stop train to overtake through P2.
From 10 Dec 2017 extended Cross City EMUs are due to turnback in centre P2&3 enabling the facing
/trailing crossovers to the north to be covered in service. By then through services will generally
use/call at outer P1 & 4. Currently once a week an ECS Class 172 DMU runs from Birmingham New
Street to Bromsgrove (P3) to form an interesting SO 11.14 from P3 via the new recently installed
trailing crossover, booked non-stop to New Street. In the afternoon the opposite happens with an SO
16.19 from New Street to Bromsgrove (P3), again booked non-stop, which returns ECS to New Street.
3088] Saltley: The old shed site was being sold to European Metal Recycling to extend their scrapyard,
but little appeared to have happened until recently. However, there is now a temporary fence across
the bank engine siding and the scrapyard fence appears to have been removed so the sale may have
been completed. The siding is occasionally use by scrap trains; propelled in by a DBC Class 66.
3089] Malvern Wells: This is based, with permission, on an article written by one of our members for
the Cotswold Line Promotion Group (BLN 1269.3014) 'Cotswold & Malvern line News' magazine. Track
layout alterations and improvements have been carried out between Great Malvern and Malvern
Wells to replace worn out assets and improve reliability. This involved a total line blockade from 18 to
22 Jun and over the following three weekends. It was the first significant alteration to the track and
signalling here for well over 30 years and was due to the need to replace the life-expired crossover
used by Great Malvern terminating trains (other than HSTs) to cross ECS from the Down to Up line.
The new replacement crossover was installed nearly ¼ mile north, closer to Great Malvern and,
significantly, a completely new 2-aspect colour light LED signal was installed (129m 50ch) on the Up, a
train length past this crossover towards the station. A train terminating at Great Malvern and running
ECS to Malvern Wells to reverse can now cross to the Up line and wait while the previous service is
still in the section ahead. Previously the line had to be clear for four miles to Newland East signal box.
This releases the Down line for the next service to Hereford much earlier.
Other work included replacement of two semaphore signals near Malvern Wells Peachfield Rd (picture
e-BLN 1269.X.179) with 'modern standard semaphores' and the entry and exit points of the Down
Goods Loop (there is no booked goods traffic; it is used by a few ECS trains!). The signal between the
loop and the Down Main was reduced in height requiring centre pivoting of the arm to keep it out of
the loading gauge. The redundant Up side 'Engineers Siding' opposite Malvern Wells signal box has
been mostly removed and a significant section of both running lines and the loop was relaid.
The unique 'lock & block' signalling system (BLN 1257.1022) for the signal line through the tunnels to
Ledbury was to be replaced later. The instruments are destined for the National Railway Museum.
During the work Hereford to Great Malvern trains were replaced by buses with a reduced service
between the latter and Worcester Foregate Street. There was single line pilotman working on the
Down line for 11 days (in total) between Newland East and Great Malvern P2, Up trains using the rare
trailing cross-over at Newland East. The Up line through the two Malvern stations was used by
engineering trains. Despite platform screens and announcements giving the altered platforms some
passengers were still taken by surprise ("I don't believe it!" moments) and some were left behind!
The sheer number and variety of engineering trains involved in the work caused much local interest,
especially the delivery of new pointwork, held at an angle on special S&C wagons to keep within the
loading gauge; a long queue of returning engineering trains lined up at Malvern Link at times.
BELOW: The unusual sight that greeted passengers at Great Malvern for Worcester at their usual
platform on the morning of Sat 18 Jun; however, it was a simple case of switching platforms and
crossing over to the other one for a wrong direction departure. No expense was spared to stop anyone
who needed the Class 66 haulage from trying to board this train! (All pictures David Guy Jun 2016.)
BELOW: Malvern Link, a train to London Paddington train calls at the 'wrong' platform; note the
gradient rising to Great Malvern in the distance (the stations are only 1m 11ch apart). Here there were
no barriers and, despite the passenger information screens being correct, the man circled on the right
is on the wrong platform. His next passenger train would be in five days time. Malvern Link is so
named as an extra horse had to be 'linked' on to stage coaches to pull them up the hill. To the right
(yellow arrow) was once a bay platform for the local service with six stops to Worcester Shrub Hill.
[BLN 1270] ABOVE: Malvern Wells, the Down Main and Goods Loop are temporarily missing.
[BLN 1270] PREVIOUS PAGE BOTTOM: Malvern Link, looking towards Great Malvern. At one point the
engineering trains stretched all the way between the two stations on the Up line (hopefully in the right
order!). Note that very endangered species, the barrow crossing, at the foot of the platform ramps.
ABOVE: After the work was finished; an Adelante Class 180 which terminated at Great Malvern is
crossing ECS from the Down to Up line via the repositioned new Malvern Wells trailing crossover.
The Down Goods Loop is on the right; the new centre pivoted semaphore signal is seen close up.
3090] (BLN 1262.1544) On 24 Nov 230001 built from ex-LU 'D78' stock bodyshells and
bogies, was moved by road to Tyseley Locomotive Works ready for mainline testing. Then, following
mileage accumulation and crew training, it should enter service on the Coventry to Nuneaton line.
The DMU features automatic engine cut out when stationary to save fuel and modular engines which
can be maintained at the trackside to reduce ECS movements. Initially a two car set, a third middle car
will be added soon with a range of seating and interior configurations for testing. This is compatible
with PRM-TSI (for our two readers who don't know, with apologies to the rest of you, that is of course
Persons of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability) so can run beyond 2020.
3091] Five Ways - Ashchurch (excl): From 7 Nov, this route with Lifford Curve and to Hazelwell on the
Camp Hill was resignalled with control (including that of the Redditch branch) transferred from Saltley
and Gloucester PSBs to two new workstations at Saltley West Midlands Signalling Centre. The former
Oddingley gate box (62m 60ch) (BLN 1260.1328 with picture) was decommissioned on 25 Oct and
after 108 years in the one spot found itself at Shottle on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway the next
morning where it will eventually signal the loop and station. Since the previous resignalling in 1969 it
had housed the Annett's Key Lock instruments in the box. The crossing gates were normally closed to
road traffic and the Crossing Keeper could remove the keys to release the gates if no train was
approaching. Removal of the key turned the protecting signals to red - a simple but effective system.
ABOVE: 'Before' 60001 passing Oddingley manual gate box with the 11.41 Westerleigh to Lindsey Oil
Refinery discharged oil tanks. This picture was taken from a public path (7 Oct 2014 Rob Pritchard).
BELOW: 'After' the site of Oddingley box (right of track by the new steps), between Abbotswood Jn
and Stoke Works Jn in mid-November. The approaching CrossCountry voyager is heading for
Birmingham and the Rail Head Treatment Train heading south was 70 minutes early. (Richard Putley)
3092] Four Ashes: (BLN 1266.1973) The Up Goods Loop (OOU since Jul) is now back in operation.
3093] Birmingham New Street: On Fr 19 Nov (as a result of the annual German Christmas Market) a
record number of 221,000 passengers used the station. The very next day this rose to 230,000. The
new ticket barriers may also have something to do with it! CrossCountry are running two extra trains
(SO) 20 Nov to 17 Dec at 21.52 to Nuneaton and 22.03 to Derby. These use Voyager units that would
normally have finished service; some Nuneaton pasengers were surprised to have such a 'posh' train.
[Class 170 DMU anytime - Ed.] All of New Street's platforms have now been refurbished and a new
'southern hub' pedestrian exit (only) to Hill Street has opened. It is available from all platforms via
Navigation Street footbridge (which is now being clad) and is also an emergency fire exit.
3094] Tickets Please! A ticket machine was installed at Stone during the week beginning 14 Nov.
On 23 Nov Hartlebury was having one fitted on the Birmingham platform, has anyone spotted others?
Paradoxically these modern machines at quieter stations issue tickets far quicker than the earlier ones
(already at busier stations) - printing two at the same time. They can also issue from or to any station.
1270 YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE
3095] Pullmen! (BLN 1260. 2252) In summer 1957 the 'Queen of Scots' Pullman left King's Cross at
noon, was non-stop to Leeds (3.28pm), reached Edinburgh Waverley 7.53pm and Glasgow Queen
Street at 8.55pm. There was also a Yorkshire Pullman, (with portions from/to Harrogate, Bradford
Exchange and Hull) and the Harrogate Sunday Pullman (without a Hull portion). The Tees Tyne
Pullman also ran on the East Coast main line, Up in the morning, returning from King's Cross 4.50pm.
The London to Edinburgh fare was £5 return with a Pullman supplement on the 'Queen' of 8s 6d (eight
shillings and six 'old' pence = 42½p now), each way; it was not well supported by Scots. (No comment!)
The summer 1963 timetable shows similar times for the Queen of Scots Down train, the Up working
left Glasgow QS 11.00am, Harrogate was reached at 3.41pm and King's Cross 7.45pm. They ran SuX
except Mon 5 Aug (a bank holiday in Scotland). The Pullman supplements then started at 2s 0d (two
shillings - now 10p) between Glasgow and Edinburgh or Harrogate and Leeds or Darlington second
Class. However, first class varied - 3s 0d (15p) Glasgow to Edinburgh, 2s 6d (12½p) Leeds to Harrogate
and 3s 6d (17½p) Darlington to Harrogate. Similar anomalies are found on other journeys so it is not
only modern fares that can be complicated! The longest journey Glasgow to King's Cross had a second
class supplement of 9s 6d (47½p) or 17s 6d (87½p) first class. Note that in 1963 you had to be under 14
to qualify for half price! As well as the rather complicated fares table there is a list of journeys that
could be reserved (the longer distance sections). It was noted that 'The number of passengers carried
is limited to the seating accommodation available ' - no standing then! Additionally 'The Pullman Cars
are the property of the Pullman Car Company'. The supplementary fares for passengers between non-
reservable intermediate stations were payable to the train Conductor. (See e-BLN download for more.)
In those days, of course, there was the flat railway crossing at Retford as well as Newark. It must have
been interesting with the many holiday trains to the east coast. A member took the 'Elizabethan' non-
stop to Edinburgh, a good train, via York centre roads also the Darlington and Newcastle 'avoiders'.
The main line was via Selby then, of course, sometimes with diversion via Knottingley and Ferrybridge.
3096] 'Introduding' Sheffield Tram Train: (BLN 1266.1981) From 26 Nov the 'Parkgate Tram Transfer
Line' between Parkgate Jn* (5m 59ch from Woodburn Jn), and Parkgate tram stop (0m 14ch from
Parkgate Jn) was to be "introduced" OOU until commissioning. It will be for use by tram trains only and
is shown as having a significant headshunt (thought to extend about a further 4ch to around 18ch).
Control will be from York ROC, Rotherham workstation.
Also from 26 Nov the 'Sheffield Tram Transfer Line' from Tinsley North Jn* (2m 61ch from Woodburn
Jn) to NR/Sheffield Supertram boundary (0m 14ch) was to be "introduced OOU until commissioning.
It will be for use by tram trains only; the NR section will be worked by track circuit block
(from Woodburn Junction signal box) and the Supertram section by line of sight under Nunnery
Control. (*all points have raised check rails). The latest forecast for start of services is now summer
2018, a further 18 month delay; originally the tram trains were due to start running in 2015
3097] Hull Trains: Having secured a track access agreement until Dec 2029, a £60M order has been
placed for five new bi-mode Class 802 Hitachi trains to be built at Newton Aycliffe, owned by Angel
Trains and expected to come into service in 2019. There are 327 seats per train, 20% more than the
current Class 180 Adelantes. With a top speed of 140mph and better acceleration, journey time
reductions are possible if the infrastructure is upgraded. They will be maintained by Hitachi at its new
Bounds Green facility and can be converted to electric only operation if necessary.
3098] IÉ Fares: Iarnród Éireann has announced new fares from 1 Dec following a determination by the
National Transport Authority (NTA). There is no increase at all to Intercity single and return fares.
Intercity adult and child weekly fares increase by 2%. Dublin Short Hop Zone single, return and weekly
fares are unchanged for the vast majority of customers. The NTA have completed the restructuring
process for fares in the Dublin Short Hop Zone so that the fare a passenger pays is more closely linked
to the distance they travel. Out of over 1,200 origin/destination journeys, fares will reduce for 225
journeys, and increase for 36 journeys. In addition, Sallins/Naas (from 1 Dec) and Kilcock Station (from
1 Jun 2017) will be in the Short Hop Zone, reducing fares significantly. Monthly, including Short Hop
Zone and annual season tickets (Taxsaver) increase by an average 4%. Cork Commuter fares will
increase by 1.5% to 2%, with the exception of the top distance zone which will be unchanged. Daily
and weekly 'Leap' travel card capping in the Dublin Short Hop Zone and Cork Commuter area will
increase by a maximum €0.30 for adult daily travel and €1.50 for adult weekly travel.
3099] Coleraine - Londonderry: (BLN 1269.2281) At Castlerock, from 00.11 on Tue 1 Nov, the Down
Line Passing Loop was permanently removed from operational use and partially removed. Track was
plain-lined within a week of the line closure and the Down platform cut back and fenced off.
The signalbox is to be demolished but this had not happened by mid-Nov. Bellarena loop is now
complete including the track across the road. The crossing has been changed from half to full barrier.
From 05.30 on Mon 14 Nov the Portrush branch came back into use. The branch has been converted
to One Train Working (No Staff). The driver's authority to proceed onto the Portrush single line at
Coleraine is now clearance of CE325 signal to green or the clearance of CE327 signal to green, with
appropriate route indication. Portrush Signal Box has been downgraded to a Shunt Frame. Special
Instructions will be issued for when more than one train at a time is required to be on the branch.
Control of all signals prefixed 'CE' was transferred to the Coleraine Signalling Control Centre (at the
station) from 05.30 on Mon 7 Nov, Coleraine Signal Box then became redundant.
3100] Belmond train: (BLN 1268.2) After the seven 2016 tours the train ran from Dublin to Thurles and
back during the week beginning 31 Oct for IÉ staff involved to experience the services provided.
3101] Glasnevin Jn - Islandbridge Jn: (BLN 1269.2216) Before ROP 21 Nov 2016 the last regular,
booked passenger service, (SuO) ran on 23 Sep 2001. Short-term use during Heuston remodelling was
limited to the section from Heuston P10 to Islandbridge Jn. Before 2001, regular booked services were:
Kingsbridge/Heuston - Dun Laoghaire Carlisle Pier boat trains on weekdays (and Sundays until
seasonally bus replaced). This service was withdrawn from 11 Oct 1980 with closure of the Dun
Laoghaire Carlisle Pier branch for DART electrification works.
From 10 Jan 1988 the line regained a regular Sunday service which ceased from July 1989.
From 25 Oct 1993 a scheduled (by weekly circular rather than working timetable) relief train ran on
Irish public holiday Mondays (if followed by a normal working day). These last ran on Mon 1 Jun 1998.
An advertised regular SuO service was restored on 8 Jun 1998 but, last ran on 23 Sep 2001 (as above).
3102] Lybster: (BLN 1269.3000) With apologies, in the April 1910 timetable the afternoon train left
Lybster at 3.45pm not 4.45pm. It reached Wick at 4.35pm to form the 5.00pm return; SO there was an
extra trip at 6.15pm from Lybster, returning from Wick at 7.20pm. The 1922 Bradshaw shows trains
(all SuX) from Lybster at 7.10am, 1.00pm and 6.15pm and from Wick at 11.30am, 4.15pm and 7.20pm.
The picture of the restored Thrumster station in e-BLN should have been credited to Greg Beecroft.
3103] Glen Douglas: (BLN 1269.2213) Regarding the resumption of rail traffic, by chance a member
recently spent a weekend in Portsmouth - mainly looking round the Historic Dockyard etc. On the
harbour tour the guide mentioned the new ordnance loading point in the middle of the harbour built
specifically for the new aircraft carriers; considerable dredging work had been required for them to
reach it. They also said this was so that the ships did not have to return to the Clyde to be re-stocked.
Our member wonders if, after initial loading, that will be it (for rail traffic) Glen Douglas rail traffic.
3104] Fodderty: (BLN 1269.2297) A member asks what is the purpose of the (Radio Electronic Token
Block) Token Exchange Point (TEP) at the former Fodderty Jn*. It seems too far (2m 11ch) from
Dingwall to serve the same purpose as the TEPs on the approaches to Crianlarich and Georgemas
Junction. There is no equivalent TEP on the Far North line. The nearest is at Evanton, six miles away,
although there may often be long section working to Invergordon.
There are TEPs, only used in the Up direction, on the approach to Crianlarich, at Fillan on the Fort
William line and Lower Crianlarich on the Oban line. That is so that when trains couple at Crianlarich,
the rear portion does not have to wait at Tyndrum until the first portion has arrived. Similarly on the
approaches to Georgemas Junction there are TEPs at Halkirk (from Helmsdale) and Bower
(from Wick) but not on the Thurso line (at least, not shown in the Sectional Appendix). *Your Editor
and a quite a few other members were on the 'Great Britain VI' railtour between Kyle of Lochalsh and
Inverness on Fri 26 Apr 2013 and had a considerable booked stop at 'Fodderty Jn' which enabled a
service train to leave Achnasheen behind us. Secondly, at times DMUs to Thurso/Wick and Kyle have
run as one train to Dingwall and split there; maybe it facilitates this in reverse with trains combining at
Dingwall if necessary? Fodderty Jn to Dingwall is not much further than Halkirk to Georgemas Jn.
3105] Montrose: Montrose Port Authority (MPA) has joined with Angus Council, NR, DB Cargo and
port stakeholders in a bid to reopen the local railhead, part of the 'Tay Cities Deal' which would receive
£400M to support economic growth in Tayside and Fife. The redundant eight acre site with road, rail
and sea access is in good condition with the potential to be easily developed. MPA has invested £15M
in the port since 2011 with major upgrades to quays on the north and south sides of the harbour.
3106] Coatbridge Curve: As part of the ongoing Rutherglen and Coatbridge electrification works,
Coatbridge Jn to Langloan Jn is blocked to electric traction in both directions until further notice.
3107] Muir of Ord TMD: (BLN 1266.1986) In 1989 BR's Inter City Manager (Highlands) lived north of
Inverness and had an office near to the station. On 7 Feb he travelled to work by train as usual, walked
from the station to his office to be greeted by his staff saying 'The Ness Bridge is down'. He uttered
some words of surprise to the effect that he had only just come over the bridge – yes, on the last train!
Between 08.00 and 09.00 Pier 4 was undermined by floodwater and came down with the arch each
side; 12 hours later Pier 3 fell with its south arch. The manager was responsible for setting up the
alternative arrangements while the bridge was being replaced; services recommenced 14 May 1990.
The 06.35 to Wick and Thurso (a separate portion for each) had departed as had the 06.55 to
Kyle of Lochalsh and the 07.18 freight to Lairg. This meant that all the passenger trains and a
Muir of Ord grain train (where there is a cereal silo) were on the far side - with five sets of coaches and
six locos to work north of Dingwall.
Ten weeks later the temporary depot at Muir of Ord opened (ABOVE: track plan with thanks to
Martyn Brailsford, note the right hand running here.) This used a second hand 24m long maintenance
shed then recently decommissioned at Barassie after completion of electrification to Ayr (BR was
renowned for reusing equipment, making do and mending). A 23m inspection pit was dug which
accommodated a single Class 156 vehicle. On dry days the DMUs remained coupled but they were
often split during inclement weather (in the Highlands?) to close the shed doors!
The transfer (by road between Inverness and Invergordon) of new stock for 'old' included removal of
the grain wagons from Muir of Ord. This allowed the grain sidings to be used to store some InterCity
coaches bought over for charter work. The 'Hebridean Heritage' stock also came here for maintenance
although usually stabled in sidings at Dingwall. Amending BLNs 604.30c & 1266.1986: Class 156 DMUs
were used on the first and fourth daily departures from Dingwall to Kyle and the first and second from
Kyle. Only the second and third trains from Dingwall and third and fourth from Kyle were loco-hauled
in the summer. From Oct 1989 all Kyle trains were Class 156, achieved by reducing the Far North
services to a single 2-car set; passengers for Wick changed at Georgemas Junction on three services
and for Thurso on one. There were far fewer passengers on the lines at that time of year.
By agreement with the local authority (when emergency planning permission was granted)
Muir of Ord depot site was cleared within two months of the new Ness Viaduct opening. Sadly freight
traffic never really recovered, the depot site is now occupied by housing but the grain sidings survive.
Cardiff Central 29 Dec: 1270 WALES
3108] Cardiff Central: (BLN 1268.2197) It is confirmed that the Christmas
P0 Platform Loop possession works include, commissioning P8 and allowing Up trains in
P1 Line A passenger service to enter P0 from the west in service. All platforms will be
P2 Line B. bi-directional, and the lines will receive new designations (LEFT). A crossover
Up Main Line C. is to be installed at a future date for Up trains to depart P4 to Queen Street.
Down Main Line D
P3 Line E 3109] St Fagans: In an unusual incident at lunchtime on 8 Nov, a large 30mm
P4 Up Barry Relief crack was discovered in Goddards Bridge over the River Ely at St Fagans. The
P6 Up Barry Down line was reopened after just over an hour and a train trapped on the
P7 Down Barry Up line was eventually allowed to proceed at 5mph. All Up freights and HSTs
P8 Down Barry Relief were diverted via the Vale of Glamorgan line for the rest of the day. Specialist
fabricators made an overnight repair by welding a plate over the crack.
3110] Cardiff Valleys: Sunday services in the Rhymney Valley are to be improved from 8 Jan, with an
additional train in each direction between Rhymney and Cardiff, plus four extra trains each way
between Ystrad Mynach and Cardiff. Penarth also benefits from an additional train each way.
3111] Wrexham General: (BLN 1261.1446) The Dot to Dot café, opened in connection with the late
lamented Wrexham Shropshire & Marylebone Railway service, closed in late August. The weekly
British Transport Police drop-in surgery (very apt for a 'General') now takes place in the booking office.
3112] Chester & Holyhead line: (BLN 1269.3002) Information regarding tracks east of Connahs Quay
remains elusive but correspondents replying have drawn attention to John Swift's invaluable 1950s
layout plans, (Signalling Record Society), with the dates the following tracks were taken out of use:
●Muspratts Sidings to Bagillt: Slow lines taken OOU 24 Oct 1965.
●Bagillt to Holywell Jn: Up slow 7 May 1967; Down slow 23 Feb 1968.
●Holywell Jn to Mostyn Down slow 27 Oct 1966;+ Up slow 28 May 1967.
●Colwyn Bay No2 to Llandudno Junction No1: (Not No2.) Up slow 3 Jul 1967; Down slow 30 Jul 1967.
●Foryd Jn to Rhyl No2 Up slow 31 Aug 1970. Llandulas Signal Box closed on 15 Aug 1967.
Another learned society, the Railway Performance Society, has confirmed a quirk of the Chester &
Holyhead line; there are cumulative errors in the positioning of mileposts. Up to Holywell Junction the
posts underestimate the true mileage by around 2ch, but west of there the difference increases.
The 240½ milepost at Llandudno Junction station, for instance, understates the true mileage by 9ch,
at Bangor some 12ch have gone missing, and Holyhead is fully 16ch further than the milepost reading.
3113] Carmarthen - Aberystwyth: (BLN 1269.3005) The Welsh Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and
Infrastructure has confirmed that the planned feasibility study will be recommended to the National
Infrastructure Commission for Wales, for possible inclusion in the future transport finance plan.
1270 MINOR RAILWAYS
MR234] Minor Railways Supplement No3 (BLN 1268.MR211): Members may have been confused by
some of the symbols in the printed version of the supplement included in the body of paper BLN 1268.
Despite the best efforts of the Editor, these did not reproduce correctly. So, for the square, read a club
symbol and for the star, read a spade symbol! [Sadly one of those cases when a spade is not a spade -
we will use a different technique to avoid this inadvertent transposition in future - with apologies Ed.]
MR235] Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, Oxfordshire (MR p7): The railway was, without any
warning, served an eviction notice by Cemex on the evening of 31 October 2016. It was given just 10
working days to move seven carriages and wagons from a section of track to the southwest of Chinnor
station, or Cemex would move them to the Birmingham area. Despite the railway having used the
track for over 25 years, Cemex, owners of the former Chinnor cement works site and associated land,
issued the written legal threat via their solicitors. The railway had met Cemex and their land agent a
few days beforehand but there was no warning of any legal action mentioned, as the railway
volunteers were already planning to move the carriages, but not at such short notice.
Cemex wish to redevelop the land. It is believed that they have a developer interested, but developer
requires the entire site, including the former track-bed and area that the railway has used for many
years. The track-bed of the former Watlington branch from the buffer-stops half a mile southwest of
Chinnor station to the M40 at Aston Rowant, has been reserved for railway use in the South
Oxfordshire planning policy RUR 11, which states: Proposals for the redevelopment of the former
Chinnor Cement Works will be permitted provided that they: (vii) provide for the continued operation of
the Chinnor/Princes Risborough railway line and protect the former line to the south west from
development. Any scheme should provide for the continued operation of the Chinnor/Princes
Risborough railway line and not prejudice the future use of the disused part of the line to the south-
west. If Cemex gets its way, an extension to an Aston Rowant M40 railhead will no longer be possible.
MR236] Cambrian Heritage Railways (Oswestry), Shropshire (MR p7) (BLN 1269.2212): The railway
opened another extension to their running line on Saturday 5 November. This was a further 10 chains
south, taking the railway to only 3 chains short of Shrewsbury Road overbridge (18m 61ch). It ends
behind the Shell petrol station - on a lower level, and adjacent to where the footpath leaves the
trackbed and starts to rise up to the bridge (pictured in e-BLN 1269.MR2212). This is the current head
of steel and further extensions are planned over the next two years to Weston Wharf - almost another
ABOVE: Cambrian Heritage Railways, the refettled line south of Oswestry (Major Ian Hughes 23 Aug 2016).
mile towards Llynclys station. A member duly attended on this day when a Gala was taking place to
commemorate the last passenger services from Oswestry in 1966. In steam was Andrew Barclay 2261
of 1949 - an ex-NCB Scotland locomotive, which spent many years from 1974 in Thomas Muir's yard at
Easter Balbeggie in Fife. The station buildings were open for information about the current phase of
the rebuilding works and refreshments, including Stonehouse Beer from nearby Weston Wharf.
Trains ran on demand along the newly extended line, which was only completed on Friday 4 November
ready for the arrival of the Mayor of Oswestry (Paul Milner) at 12.00 for a special ride over the line
MR237] Welsh Highland Railway, Gwynedd (MR p29) (BLN 1268.MR220): (Rheilffordd Eryri) On
19 October a member, photographing his last few North Wales closed stations/sites, made some trips:
●Hafod Ruffydd: (Spelt per Boyd's map), the logical place for this was at a minor level crossing now
located within Beddgelert Forest, about a mile north of the modern Meillionen station (from where
our reporter walked). There are, unsurprisingly, no remains of a station to be seen. It appears to have
served two farms: Hafod Ruffydd and Hafod Ruffydd Isaf (= 'Lower'). He has never seen a photo of the
station but the WHR (1923-36) spelt it Hafod Ryffydd on Bell Punch tramway tickets with all the halts.
●Pitt's Head: This halt was at the summit of the line, 650ft above sea level, a particularly bleak and
open spot - with some rain, which came on extra heavy especially for our reporter! It served an upland
farm called Ffridd Uchaf (now a holiday let, with the welcoming sign on the adjacent farm gate: 'Smile -
you are on CCTV'). The name in English derives from a large, peculiarly-shaped, boulder adjacent to the
site of the halt which, when viewed from the north, looks like the profile of a human head with a
prominent nose, believed to be likened to William Pitt the Younger (or Elder - it really is 'the Pitts'.…).
There is no sign of a platform north of the bridge which takes the parallel main road over the WHR, or
footpath access - to the south is a slate-slab pillar which may once have supported a water tank.
●Bettws Garmon: (Correct spelling but should have been Betws Garmon as the village now is = the
prayer house of (St) Garmon.) The derelict shell of the building of this original 'North Wales Narrow
Gauge Railways' (NWNGR) station survives, looking much as Tryfan Junction did before it was restored.
However, the track is fenced-off from the derelict building, suggesting the railway no longer owns the
plot of land on which it stands, therefore restoration would seem to be unlikely. The station stood at
the north end of this thin, straggly long one-street village, quite close to the cemetery (single tickets?).
●Quellyn: Our reporter photographed this temporary station on the NWNGR on 18 April 2015. In the
NWNGR house style for stations, albeit bricked up it was fairly near to Snowdon Ranger station, and
only open 1877-1878. He didn't see the station this time (the refreshment trolley blocked it!). After
138 years of disuse has it been demolished? It is named after Llyn Cwellyn (correct spelling now) lake.
●Nantmor: Was the 1923-26 halt on the same site as the present Nantmor station (south of the minor
road level crossing), or north of that level crossing, or at the next underbridge about 200yds south?
(Our reporter has visited and photographed all three locations.) Per 'Clinker' it opened as Aberglasyn
and was renamed Nantmor on and from 9 July 1934, closing with the line in 1936.
MR238] Bala Lake Railway, Gwynedd (MR p29) (BLN 1254.764): The Bala Lake Railway Trust is
developing plans to extend the 2ft gauge railway into Bala town centre. In late October it published
revised plans for the route. Working in partnership with the Highways Agency, it is now planned that
the railway will use a tramway section across the River Dee bridge (similar to that found on the Welsh
Highland Railway across Britannia Bridge in Porthmadog). One of the most important aspects of
preparing for the extension of the railway into the town has been the Economic Impact Survey. During
the season, passengers have been surveyed and their responses are now being analysed. However, the
views of local businesses are also of vital importance, and so invitations were sent out for a meeting
with the Trust and market survey agency at Llanuwchllyn station on 13 October. Nineteen businesses
attended and a very useful meeting was conducted. Their response was extremely positive and it was
very reassuring that the railway is regarded as the premier tourist attraction in the area. Meantime,
detailed complex discussions with Natural Resources Wales and the Highways Department continue.
MR239] Nene Valley Railway (NVR), Cambridgeshire (MR p8) (BLN 1268.MR214): Unfortunately, not
only does the printed leaflet differ from their website, but the names used in the section of the 2016
printed leaflet headed 'Timetables' differ from those shown on the map and the 'Welcome aboard'
section. A public timetable is usually taken by 'serious' chronologers as the definitive version
(and certainly not station nameboards, which can be very variable - to forestall any observations on
that quarter). The 2016 NVR printed timetable page of their leaflet gives their Peterborough station as
Peterborough NV. (same as 2015), while the other two stations carry no 'for....' suffixes: in other
words, the 'new' names only appear on the map and in descriptive material (so they may be like some
of the 'descriptive' but not official suffixes 'Bradshaw's Guide' tended to add in its earlier days), not in
the timetable nor on the website. Whether that constitutes re-namings or not is a moot point.
As an aside, in 2015, Yarwll was 'Yarwell Station' on the map but 'Yarwell Junc.' on the timetable;
this year it was 'Yarwell Junction' on the map and 'Yarwell Junc.' on the timetable. If the map is going
to be used (as in MR214) as the arbiter, then this also has been renamed..... which just shows how
unreliable the whole thing is. It will give future railway historians headaches for years!
MR240] Swanage Railway, Dorset (MR p6): Norden Gates level crossing, over the access road to
Wytch Farm oil field and car park, was officially 'opened' on 6 October by High Sheriff of Dorset,
Sir Philip Williams. The work marks the completion of the 18 month restoration and upgrade of three
miles of track to within a quarter of a mile of Worgret Junction and the main line to Wareham.
The level crossing has taken the railway four years and more than 3,000 hours of design, building and
testing work to complete. A trial DMU service to Wareham is due to commence in June 2017.
MR241] Pugneys Light Railway, West Yorkshire (MR p25) (BLN 1232.MR59): Apparently, this 7¼"
gauge railway, running in Pugneys Country Park, last ran in September 2015. It has not run this year
and is currently closed. It had been hoped to open in August this year but this was not possible due to
a new lease being drawn up by the Council. However, a lot of work has taken place over the summer,
including track relaying etc. It is now hoped that the railway will reopen at Easter 2017.
X.188] Bristol Harbour Railway: (MR p6) BELOW: Port of Par Bagnall 0-4-0 ST 'Judy' in action giving
public rides on Sat 14 May 2016; to the right is 'M Shed' Museum, trains were running along the quay
to SS Great Britain. The harbour is to the left of the rail mounted dock side cranes (Chris Davis)
MR242] The Nocton Estate Light Railway: (BLN 1269.230) This was actually a Lincolnshire potato
railway that began with four miles of army surplus track after WWI and reached over 30 track miles
(23 miles on the Estate), mostly on Nocton Fen which was otherwise inaccessible. In the 1950s about
17,000 tons of food was produced, mainly potatoes for Smith's Potato Crisps. Sugar beet was sent out
after 1927 when Bardney Sugar Factory opened (via the standard gauge and Lincoln although the
factory was adjacent!); animal food stuff came in by rail. The main line was so busy it was eventually
laid with 60lb*/yd rail compared with main line bullhead rail at 95lb/yd. (*lb = pounds in weight.)
There was a large board covered in green baize with the railway marked and a field plan. Each field
was numbered and every wagon number was attached to a pin. Movements were recorded by a traffic
controller. The railway ran to the Lincoln to Sleaford line north of the present Metheringham station
near the former Nocton & Dunston station (CP 1955). Here were estate workshops, a mill and an
engine shed. There was a 'dock' to unload produce into lorries or standard gauge rail wagons (a loop
siding off the Lincoln to Sleaford line). Tractors progressively took over the work of the railway which
CA July 1969. See 'The Lincolnshire Potato Railways' by Stewart E Squires' (Oakwood Press).
A member reports that some years ago the Nocton Estate Light Railway passenger coach was awaiting
restoration in the 2ft gauge Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway Ingoldmells (new) stock shed. The Sand
Hutton Light Railway (18" gauge) coach was there and their two Ashover Light Railway (1'11½" gauge)
coaches. Our member also saw the first two aforementioned there on 26 Jul 2009 and 31 May 2010.
BELOW: The Nocton Estate Light Railway: 1950/55 OS 1" Seventh Series map shows the network on
Nocton Fen. Bardney Sugar Factory is top right (on the former Great Northern Railway direct line from
Lincoln - top left off map - to Boston/Skegness). There was no narrow gauge railway bridge over the
River (Witham) so sugar beet from the Nocton Estate was transhipped to standard gauge wagons for
the 17 mile trip via Lincoln! The standard gauge double track on the left of the map is the still open
'Joint Line' between Lincoln and, to the
south, Metheringham and Sleaford. The
narrow gauge (2ft?) Nocton Estate Light
Railway had a branch over the mainline
that extended south west running
alongside the road track to Glebe Farm
(LEFT). Note the 'B' road level crossing.
Nocton Hall was first used during WWI
for convalescence of wounded American
Officers. In WW2 it was an American
military hospital then the RAF took it
over developing an extensive hospital in
the grounds (shown in black on map
above). It reverted to private use in the 1980s. In 2004 there was a major fire which left the building in
a derelict state. Does any member have any experience of this railway or know of anyone who did?
Please mention the BLS when booking or enquiring.……..1270 CONNECTIONS……….Details must be checked with the organisers.
3114] Crewe to Ballywatermoy: Northern Ireland Railways in the 1940s by Shaun A Martin, just
out.'With his wartime experiences fresh in his mind Lt Colonel Malcolm Ross arrives in Belfast in 1946
to take up the post of Chief Officer of the Northern Counties Railway. It is through his eyes that we
view life on the railway in the immediate post war years. Malcolm meets various grades of railway
staff who share their stories with him. Through the developing relationship between Malcolm and his
Secretary, Hazel, a farmer's daughter from Ballywatermoy in County Antrim, a snapshot is revealed of
life in Ulster during post war austerity years. Both have suffered tragic personal loss and have to come
to terms with their past. Welcome to the age of ration books, petrol coupons, currency restrictions
and customs on the Irish border.' A member knows the author and vouches for the railway detail being
accurate and extensive. £10, available from eBay and some booksellers - perfect stocking filler.
3115] Christmas Virgin: Virgin West Coast & East Coast Off-Peak tickets seem to be valid on any
train from 23 Dec - 2 Jan inclusive as usual (check individual services); this may apply to other TOCs.
3116] Christmas Present: During the 24-29 Dec (both incl) Paddington closure, (Head Lines BLN 1268):
Hereford - Evesham stations; Gloucester/Cheltenham: GWR tickets valid via Birmingham to Euston.
Hereford - Oxford stations: GWR tickets valid via Oxford and Chiltern to London Marylebone.
Swansea, Stonehouse and the West of England: GWR tickets valid via Reading for Waterloo.
Ealing Broadway terminating trains: Valid London Underground via Notting Hill Gate to Paddington.
Fri 23 Dec to Mon 2 Jan (incl): Off-peak/Super Off-Peak tickets are valid on any GWR train (and above).
3117] Cumbria Round Robin: Not just at Christmas either, a one day circular tour in either direction
available from any intermediate point with breaks of journey allowed. Lancaster - Barrow-in-Furness -
Whitehaven - Carlisle - Oxenholme - Lancaster. 10% discount on the Ravengalss & Eskdale Railway. No
time restrictions, Adult £29.80, Child £14.90, Railcard £19.65 (Two Together after 09.30 SSuBHX).
Northern, TPE and Virgin Trains. Note: No Sunday service between Barrow and Whitehaven.
3118] London Transport Museum, Late Debate: 'Designing the Tube', Thu 26 Jan: 18.45-22.30 Covent
Garden Museum, 'pop-up' designer's Studio. One of the events for the 'Designology' exhibition with
some of the finest minds behind London's underground design. A fun packed evening of circuit training
for the brain, interactive debates, talks and workshops, alongside our iconic museum collection, music,
a bar and explore the 'Designology' exhibition. Adults £12 concessions/ LTM Friends £10. To book and
more details/other events: https://goo.gl/nStLW1 two tickets for the price of one on early bookings
3119] Dover Western Docks: Visit the old station (Dover Marine until 13 May 1979), CP 19 Nov 1994;
CA 22 Jul 1995, now Cruise Terminal 1 (CT17 9DQ). The historic building is normally
only open to cruise passengers and private events. The 'White Cliffs Christmas'
https://goo.gl/2Q9Bb2 is here until 2 Jan. Dover Christmas Market opens FSSuO
until 19 Dec then daily to 24th. Father Christmas and Ice Skating Rink are available
at various times. Shuttle bus (£3 return) from Dover Priory station; see timetable.
3120] Comprehensive Rail Times, Winter Edition 2016: By Vic Bradshaw-Mitchell.
For those who hanker after a paperback timetable with all the national network
scheduled passenger services. 234mm x 174mm (just under halfway between A5
and A4 size) in two volumes; 11 Dec 2016 to 20 May 2017 - limited print run direct
order only, no trade. Due 8 Jan 2017 (to allow time for checking); £26 plus £5.75
P&P. Middleton Press, Easebourne Lane, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9AZ or via
X.189] BLN 1270, Guess the Location: Below and what is the purpose of this Wickham's Trolley full of
BLS members and trailer? Answer in BLN 1271. (Ian Mortimer 9 Dec 1980 - with snow on the ground.)
3121] .BRANCH LINE. IMPORTANT: Due to family illness please send any time sensitive contributions,
urgent news or items, particularly which cannot wait until the next BLN to the BLN Editor temporarily.
Fixtures Secretary: Kev Adlam, 53 Kemble Close, Wistaston, CREWE CW2 6XN. [email protected] Twitter: @BLSGeneralSec
General Secretary: Tim Wallis, 10 Sandringham Road, Stoke Gifford, BRISTOL, BS34 8NP. [email protected]
SALES: Mark Gomm, 84 Mornington Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT, ST1 6EL. [email protected] 01782 769960 (daytime).
NEWS TEAM: Wales: Paul Jeffries, 54 Heol Erwin, CARDIFF, CF14 6QR. [email protected]
South East England, East Anglia & Ireland: Julian James, 58 Nelson Road, WORTHING, BN12 6EN. [email protected]
London: Geoff Brockett, 155 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, LONDON, E18 1NA. [email protected]
West Midlands: Brian Schindler, 15 Sudeley, Dosthill, TAMWORTH, B77 1JR. [email protected]
East Midlands: John Cameron, 10 Friar Gate Court, Friar Gate, Derby, DE1 1HE. [email protected]
South West: Mike Newman, 19 Plover Close, Worle, WESTON-Super-MARE, BS22 8XB. [email protected]
North East England: Geoff Blyth, 26 Trafalgar Way, Queens Park, BILLERICAY, CM12 0UT. [email protected]
Scotland: Mike McCabe, Lawrenceholme Barn, Oulton, WIGTON, CA7 0PH. NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: [email protected]
North West, Yorkshire, Humberside, & IOM: Graeme Jolley, 3 Laurel Cottages, Rencell Hill, LAXEY, IOM, IM4 7BJ. [email protected]
Minor Railways (British Isles): Peter Scott, 93 Josephine Court, Southcote Rd, READING, RG30 2DQ. [email protected]
E-BLN (Distribution and download problems only): (GENERIC ADDRESS) [email protected]
Editor/Head Lines: Paul Stewart, 4 Clarence Close, MALVERN, WR14 3HX [email protected] 01684562862 07790652351.
Published by the Branch Line Society, 10 Sandringham Rd, Stoke Gifford, BRISTOL, BS34 8NP. ISSN 1354-0947