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Published by membersonly, 2018-05-12 01:28:27


8th August 2015

Special supplement to e-BLN 1238 BLN Pictorial 8 August 2015

This issue of BLNP focusses on BLS events both recent and from earlier years, but we turn first to our Minor Railways activities and in particular to a visit made
by a member to the Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society (KFRPS) site at Leven, which was reported on in BLN 1233.MR63.

Left : The former RAF locomotive 400
River Eden, built by North British
Locomotive Company, waits to
depart from the KFRPS terminus. The
line terminates at the depot behind
the photographer and will depart
away from the camera, propelling the
brake van.
Right: This apparently rural view
belies both the nature of the site (the
former 20-acre Kirkland Yard) and the
comparatively short length (around ½
mile) of this interesting line.

Left : A general view of the depot site. The platform shown in the previous picture is beyond the
loco and beyond that is the depot building, built with substantial financial assistance from the
Heritage Lottery Fund and Entrust. For more details of the site's history see
and for their open days on 6 & 27 September and 25 October, see [Photos :
Greg Beecroft]

Next page :

Staying (just) in Scotland, Greg Beecroft has also kindly provided this photo of Ruston 0-4-0 DM
'Meg of Saughtree' taking a large group of members to the rare loading dock siding at Saughtree
station on the occasion of the BLS visit on 10 July 2015. The picture is taking looking towards
Hexham. The visit is reported in detail in item BLN 1238.1414.

Previous page :
Many years before the Bury Bubble Tracker of 19 July, to be precise on 14 November 1987, the BLS 'Irwell & Mersey Rambler' tour ran from Crewe to Bury
Bolton Street and on to Liverpool Lime Street, returning to Crewe via Manchester, Stalybridge and Stockport. The route was a very complex one and full details
can be found on the excellent Six Bells Junction website at This was before today's more stringent safety rules and before the tour reached
Bolton Street, then a newly fledged preservation site enabled by the opening of Bury Interchange, it stopped adjacent to the BR Bury EMU depot where
participants were able to alight and view the third-rail DC units (we assume the power was switched off!). Note the tasteful (?) orange and brown GMPTE livery
on the two units to the left, contrasting with the rather more restrained BR blue and grey of the two to the right. [Photo : Ian Mortimer]

Next page :
The tour standing at Bury Bolton Street where a 20 minute break was taken before continuing on the circuitous route to Liverpool Lime Street. [Photo : Ian

Previous page :
The report (BLN 1237.1355) of the Tyne and Wear Metro 40th anniversary events prompted a member to send in pictures of a BLS visit on 31 March 1979 to the
then T&W test track. The test track was only in existence for some 5 years and part of its alignment is now occupied by the Stephenson Railway Museum. In this
photo we see prototype unit 4001 in the original (pre-1996) cadmium yellow and white livery, at the temporary platform next to the depot.
[Photo : Ian Mortimer]

Next page :
4001, rather optimistically sporting a 'Monument' destination blind, waits while members view the depot. It was to be well over two years before Monument
gained a service, with the opening of the Haymarket to Heworth section on 15 November 1981, some 15 months after the first public service from Tynemouth
to Haymarket started on 11 August 1980. [Photo : Ian Mortimer]

Previous page :

The BLS 'Thameslink Tracker' tour on Sunday 12 July 2015 (report in the current BLN) visited parts of the network which are often little known, and as is
frequently the case with BLS tours, rarely if ever reached by passenger trains. Our first Thameslink Tracker picture shows perhaps the outstanding highlight (or
more accurately, very low light!) of the day, with the tour train standing in Smithfield Carriage Siding 2. The last known tour at this location was the SEG 'Spirit
of the Present' railtour on 27 March 1993, and before that the only previously documented tour was in the middle of the night of 28-29 May 1990, run by the
SEG and BR to celebrate the opening of the then St Paul's Thameslink station. Tour organiser Gordon Mackley comments: This tour was run to open the (then
named) St. Paul's Thameslink on 28th to 29th May 1990 and was organised by myself on behalf of BR jointly with the Southern Electric Group. This was a most
unusual tour in that it operated almost completely during the hours of darkness! The original idea was that it would be the first train to enter the new station
on the stroke of midnight (hence the name). Unfortunately the possession overran but the train was still the first ever to use the station in the early morning of
29th. May. The train was formed of 2x class 319 sets, both of which had manned trolleys for refreshments through the night. The tour also featured non stop
runs from Bedford south including non stop through Farringdon southbound (never done on any other passenger train to my knowledge and not possible
northbound at all), the only passenger train into both Smithfield Sidings and a specially authorised 100mph run on the SE main line between Ashford and
Tonbridge when the line speed was only 90. Needless to say the overrunning possession necessitated a number of on the night revisions to the itinerary but all
planned objectives were met and some additional routes also covered. The arrival back at Charing Cross (the only visit there by a 319?) was late and was in the
early morning peak giving some commuters quite a shock as bedraggled enthusiasts alighted from this strange power door train (all peak trains were at that
time slam door SE EPB/CEP/VEP) with SC 455 stock only coming in the off peak.

Photo : official Society photographer Geoff Plumb

Next page :

A montage of photos from NR's Mobile Operations Manager, Robin Morel :

Top left : The entry to Bedford Jowett sidings.

Top right : Jowett sidings, north end EMU siding stop block.

Bottom left : Well, we hate to stop short but the tour train was ... electric! This is the line from Bedford to Bedford St. Johns and Bletchley, looking south.

Bottom right: Reversal at the London end of Luton Carriage siding, on the Up side south of Luton station. The non-electrified Cripple Siding (actually a loop)
joins in (right). Crescent Road Yard (Lafarge Aggregates) is extreme right and immediately behind the photographer is a double slip point.

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