Issue Number 1234 (Items 1022_1124 and MR 69_79) (E-BLN 32 PAGES) 6 June 2015
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 of the Society.
BLN 1235 is due on 20 June and all contributions must be received by 10 June.
Date Event Visit Type BLN Lead Notes
Sun 7/06/15 Ketton Cement branch Track and traction railtour 1232 KA FULL
Thur 11/06/15 Snibston Museum 11.00 Colliery railway farewell 1232 PS ENQUIRE
Thur 11/06/15 Conducted railway walk PM Coalville area trackbed walk 1232 PS FULL
Sat 20/06/15 Signal box visits 09.15 Nairn - Huntly 1231 NJ Open
Sat 27/06/15 Coventry area visits 10.30 Three minor railways 1231 SM Open
Sun 28/06/15 Shardlow (Millfield) Rly. 10.00 Special BLS running 1233 PS Open
Sun 28/06/15 Kirkby-in-Ashfield 12.00 Guided railway walk 1227 TG Open
Fri 10/07/15 Whitrope Siding railway 09.00 Standard gauge railtour 1233 PS Open
Fri 10/07/15 Saughtree station tour Late morning train rides 1233 PS Open
Sun 12/07/15 Thameslink Tracker Class 11.50 Bedford - Herne Hill etc. 1234 KA NOW
*NOW OPEN* 319/4 EMU tour proforma enclosed / attached
Sun 19/07/15 East Lancashire Railway 10.00 Comprehensive railtour 1234 KA OPEN
Sat 25/07/15 Loco hauled Tracker Carnforth - Cleethorpes TBA KA Claimed
Thur 30/07/15 Spa Valley Railway 16.00 Track railtour 1231 GW Open
Sat 1/08/15 Signal box visits 09.30 Norfolk Broads area 1234 PS OPEN
Sat 8/08/14 BLS special Chemin de WHOLE 40km (25 mile) Sud des 1234 GB OPEN
**NEW** fer Touristique (France) Ardennes branch, see below
Thur 13/08/15 South Wales Valleys Conducted service train tour 1232 KA FULL
15-16/08/15 SVR signalling weekend Two day practical signals course 1224 NJ FULL
Sun 16/08/15 Rainsbrook Valley Rly. 11.00 Comprehensive railtour 1234 PS OPEN
Sun 16/08/15 Conducted walk 12.30 Rugby area trackbed walk 1234 TG OPEN
Fri4-Su6/09/15 Scottish railways Track/traction tours; provisional TBA TBA Claimed
Sat 19/09/15 Scunthorpe AFRPS 10.30 All day railtour, with food TBA PS Claimed
Sun 11/10/15 Comprehensive railtour TBA DG Claimed
Sun 11/10/15 East Kent Railway Comprehensive railtour TBA DG Claimed
Sat 24/10/15 All line railbus railtour TBA JW Claimed
14-15/11/15 Romney H. & D. Railway York NRM and events in area TBA TBA Claimed
Ribble Steam Railway
60th AGM weekend
DG - Darren Garnon, GW - Glen Wells, GB - Geoff Blyth, JW - John Williamson, KA - Kev Adlam,
NJ - Nick Jones, PS - Paul Stewart, SM - Simon Mortimer, TG - Tom Gilby.
BLN 1234 1022] HAVE YOU RENEWED YOUR MEMBERSHIP ?
A reminder that this was due on 1 May. If you have not yet renewed, please do so as soon as possible
to continue receiving your BLN/e-BLN and all the other membership benefits. Electronic only members
may have missed the renewal form that was an attachment with BLN 1230 of 4 April and needs to be
printed out. It can also be downloaded from the membership section http://goo.gl/2GdzmV of our
website. If you have any problems, please contact Alan Welsh (per masthead). REMINDER: all
members taking paper BLN can now have e-BLN free by email as well (again contact Alan for this).
1023] Class 68 Footplate Trip: Thanks to Chiltern Railways we are delighted to announce a unique
members' only opportunity to bid for a cab ride. The winner/s (who must be fit enough to climb in/out
of a cab) will ride from London to Birmingham, with a Driver Manager, in a new Class 68 locomotive on
a mutually agreeable date. This includes a balancing journey 'on the cushions' courtesy of Chiltern
Railways. All proceeds to Railway Children. Bids by email [email protected] (post if no
email) by midnight on Friday 19 June 2015. Please state bid (minimum £100) and a contact phone
number. Payment is due by cheque payable to 'Railway Children' within seven days of notification. A
joint bid with one other member is acceptable, swapping over partway. The highest single/combined
joint bid will win, and only the winner/s will be contacted; anonymity will be respected if required.
1024] Shardlow Garden (Millfield) Railway visit: (BLN 1233.900) Kinchbus's 'Skylink' runs from Derby
Bus Station bay 19 at 09.35 to Shardlow Navigation Inn (09.55), 500yd from the railway, also Leicester
St. Margaret's bus station at 08.20 via Loughborough High St. (08.48) to Shardow 09.35. Lifts are
available after Shardlow to Kirkby-in-Ashfield for our conducted railway walk there (BLN 1227.312).
1025] The Thameslink Tracker Sunday 12 July: A copy of the booking form and details for our latest
TOC tour, very unusually with a Class 319/4 EMU, is enclosed/attached. Conveniently the tour starts
from Bedford at 11.50 (back 19.59) with a break in London. Some of the very unusual lines have never
been done by passenger carrying trains before and we hope this railtour will be very well supported to
encourage other such projects in future. Please let anyone know who might be want to come. An
interesting website, with Bedford to St. Pancras track plans http://goo.gl/W8jWIO at bottom of page.
1026] East Lancashire Railway, Sunday 19 July: http://goo.gl/9rtRC 10.00 from Bury Bolton Street; a
rare track DMU charter with bubble car 55001. Booked to cover Bury Carriage Sidings and Belle Vue
Crossover then Ramsbottom sidings comprehensively, including the headshunt and both lines to the
buffer stops. After a Lunch break at Bury is Baron Street Yard south end (remodelled for the Metrolink
renewal programme a few years ago) and the approaches to the Steam Shed. Then Heywood to the
NR limit at Hopwood G.F and both sides of the loop. At Bury again, Baron Street Yard north end will be
covered before ending at the station about 18.00. Surprise pilot traction is anticipated to be used for a
small section in the Bury area! Early booking advised, as there is a STRICT limit of 50 people. A souvenir
ticket, detailed stock list and updated map will be provided. Cheque/CPAs (Branch Line Society) and
enquiries to Kev Adlam (back page). £26 members; £31 non-members. Sorry no child discounts.
1027] Norfolk Broads 'swinging' signal box visits, Saturday 1 August: With special thanks to our Essex
member Jon King. Meeting at Norwich Thorpe station 09.30 (connections from Birmingham via
Nottingham, London etc.) to visit signal boxes at firstly Trowse Swing Bridge (which also controls the
Sheringham branch), then Somerleyton Swing Bridge, Oulton Broad North, Lowestoft, Saxmundham
also possibly Oulton Broad Swing Bridge. An on the day charity donation of £25 applies. Strictly
members only queries and bookings to Paul Stewart, please advise name, email address (supply two
SAEs for postal applications), whether you have a high visibility vest (any spares and how many) and
whether you are coming by train or car (if by car how many lifts you can give please – sharing costs.).
1028] BLS Sud Ardennes Explorer, FRANCE Saturday 8 August: This 40km (25 miles) long standard
gauge branch line from Amagne-Lucquy (on the Reims to Charleville-Mezieres railway line) to
Challerange is owned by SNCF, but the only traffic now is heritage trains operated by the Chemin de
Fer Touristique du Sud des Ardennes (CFTSA). SNCF have lowered the line speed due to the track
condition that has made a round trip over the complete length of the line too long for the average
customer; the full line is traversed by only one train a year. With no traffic and deteriorating track
condition, the branch is reported as being at high risk of closure. Our members Paul Griffin and Geoff
Blyth have kindly chartered a DMU (possibly a 'Picasso') for a return trip from Amagne-Lucquy (as
close as possible to the main line junction) to Challerange. (See centre of map below,
'europeanrailwayatlas.com' reproduced with permission.) The journey (estimated start 09.00) will take
about 6 hours, with opportunities for photo-stops, and will connect back at Amagne-Lucquy with the
train to Reims at 15.37. This is a non-profit railtour, with the hire cost divided equally between the
participants. There are enough expressions of interest to ensure that the cost per head should be less
than €50 (£36), reducing as the numbers increase. Final settlement will be on the train. The nearest
large town with good transport links and plenty of hotels is the historic city of Reims. It is intended to
hire a minibus from Reims (approx. 08.00) to the railway, again on a cost sharing basis. To book send a
£20 deposit by cheque only (sorry no card payments) payee 'Branch Line Society' to Geoff Blyth, 26
Trafalgar Way, Billericay, CM12 0UT. Please include name, address, e-mail address and state if you
wish to join the mini-bus. Expressions of interest and enquiries are welcome. Please send these by e-
mail to Geoff at [email protected] NB: await advice before booking non-cancellable
travel/accommodation. For those who have never visited the interesting French railways before this is
a very good way to start and there will be many familiar faces there!
Above: A 'Picasso' single car DMU on the branch (so called because of the of-centre overhead cab like
Picasso's paintings of off centre noses on of faces). The branch CP in 1969 and these 'tourist trains'
have run since 1988. (Avec des remerciements à Le Chemin de Fer Touristique du Sud des Ardennes.)
1029] Rugby fixtures, Extra Time, Sunday 16 August: 10.30 prompt at the station front (connections
from London, Birmingham etc); then shared car/taxi to the Rainsbrook Valley Railway (Rugby Model
Engineering Society Ltd.). Their 4.5 acre site has been extended to 12 acres, leased from Rugby
Borough Council for 50 years. Work in progress includes dramatic extension of the 7¼" gauge ground
level line from 1,000m to 2,000m and the elevated (5, 3½ & 2½" gauge) track from 335m to 762m to
make one of the longest ground level and raised miniature railways in the Midlands. Phase 1 (338m)
opened in May. We have a special train, 'all available track' before public running. Return to Rugby
station for a railway walk, starting at 12.30, kindly conducted by local member Tom Gilby with time for
lunch. This follows the 1836 Midland Counties Railway over the Grade II listed 'Eleven Arches Viaduct',
to the 1899 GCR route along the old and new Oxford Canal and visits Rugby Central station concluding
about 16.00 (see report in BLN 1192 p354). Cost: railway £11.50, includes tea/coffee; the walk is free.
Advance notification only with names of all participants to Paul Stewart, per back page, including
cheque payee 'Branch Line Society' or CPA. Please advise if you are coming by train or car, (also how
many lifts you can offer/require please) and if you are doing the railtour and/or the walk.
1030] Further WSR trips: (BLN 1233.904) Following the excellent brakevan tours of the WSR last
October and this April, there have been enquiries about more trips for extra track and from those
unable to attend. In practical terms, there is not much extra track available and no date for the
Williton loop extension (then available by service train) or the Norton Fitzwarren platform siding.
(1): The complete Norton Triangle has now been done four times so might be omitted from a 5th trip.
(2): A minimum of 35-40 participants is required to make a trip viable.
(3): Specialised haulage may be possible but is likely to attract a premium.
(4): An out of season trip is unfortunately not possible due to a complete engineering possession.
(5): Any arrangement would be subject to agreement by our fixtures team and the WSR.
If you might be interested, please preferably email (or write with SAE) to Robert Green, 1 Paganel
Way, Minehead, TA24 5HA [email protected] stating your preferences but do not expect an
immediate reply until requests have been analysed! Robert will try to arrange a trip to suit most!
Below: Work in progress on the re-extension of Williton loop with a new bridge under construction to
take the Down line over a stream; looking back towards Minehead from our 17 April brakevan trip. The
Down platform at this former Bristol & Exeter Railway station is on the right. When opened in March
1862 (Norton Fizzwarren to Watchet) it was single track here, the passing loop and second platform
were added in 1874 when the line was extended to Minehead. Note the wider than normal gap
between the tracks, a reminder that the branch was broad gauge (until 1882). The loop extended in
1907 and again in 1937 was shortened and simplified in BR days (as the picture shows from the
trackless end of the platform). Fortunately, the A39 road overbridge south of the station (behind the
photographer) is therefore now wide enough for two tracks to pass under. (Photo Kev Adlam.)
1031] Unusual Track: These are anticipated but should be re-checked http://goo.gl/atct2m etc.
Ranskill & Loversall Carr Jn X/Os: 6 June, 22.00 King's Cross to Leeds SLW Down the Up Fast.
Pontypridd bay P1: 6 & 7 June, increased use by trains that normally run to/from Treherbert.
Stenson Jn trailing X/O: 7 June, 06.26 and 07.31 Derby to St. Pancras are booked to reverse.
Kentish Town P3: 7 June, Up & Down Relief line, in use in both directions.
Gospel Oak: 7 June to 12.30, Richmond/Olympia trains start from P2 (X/O Gospel Oak Jn).
Kensington Olympia: 7 June, services from the north terminate in P2 via facing X/O (3m 66ch).
Balcombe Tunnel & Copyhold Jn X/Os: 7 June, 01.00 Victoria to Brighton, SLW Down Up Main.
Haywards Heath Tunnel & Balcombe Tunnel Jn X/O: 7 June, 03.50 Brighton to Victoria booked
via P1 at Haywards Heath, remaining on the reversible Down Main to Balcombe Tunnel Jn.
Witham: 7 June, 08.00 & 09.02 ex-Liverpool St. terminate in P1, 08.47 & 09.47 return from P1.
Colchester: 7 June, 07.00 ex-Norwich terminates in P1, 08.00 & 09.00 ex-Norwich in P2.
Fenchurch Street to Basildon P1: 7 June trains cross from Down Main to Up Main via Laindon
P2. Basildon to Fenchurch Street services are shown routed Up Main to Laindon P2 to Up Main.
Witham: 9-11 & 16-18 June, 04.35 Colchester to Liverpool St. runs Up the Down line to Witham
P3 and crosses (at Witham London end 38m 34ch or Brick House 33m 24ch) to the Up Main
before calling at Chelmsford P1. Platform use at Hatfield Peverel is only shown retrospectively.
Worcester Bay P3: (To further notice) 21.46 SSuX to Bristol TM - SEE REGIONAL SECTION.
Hereford P1 south departure: (Further notice) 05.26 SSuX/05.42 SO to Barry Island (return of
the 01.58 arrival from Cardiff Central into P3 which then stables in P1. If no passengers it can
run straight into P1 from the south. Runs ECS from Canton MO). P1 is signalled for passenger
arrivals from the north/departures south only (but will be upgraded to allow north departures).
1032] FIXTURES REPORTS; Tyne & Wear (T&W) Metro Control Centre: (56/60) (BLN 1227.353) On 1
May a group of 12 met on South Gosforth station P2 where incredibly and with perfect timing battery
electric locos BL1 and BL2 (TOPS numbers 97901 and 97902) passed through, pantographs up, hauling
unit 4080 'top and tail'! It was being transferred from the non-electrified Hylton Street PW siding (an
ex-coal depot) at North Shields, (arriving there by road following refurbishment at Wabtec Doncaster)
to South Gosforth train maintenance depot, the penultimate one to return! (Picture below © Donald
Stirling.) This had been ongoing at Doncaster and is now almost complete so the trains are smart and
uniform. Greater than expected levels of corrosion to the doors and bodywork and other problems has
meant that the work has been more extensive (and more expensive) than initially envisaged. The
refurbished units will be good for another 10 years' service; replacement is due about 2025. The
earliest two non-standard T&W units, 4001 and 4002, are now to be withdrawn from service instead of
being refurbished. These were the 2 units at the T&W Test Centre at Middle Engine Lane from 1975.
The track followed the Seaton Burn Waggonway alignment and ex-Backworth Colliery Railway, with
mock up stations, tunnel and a passing loop, which was then available for special parties to ride on
(and we did!). With extension to Percy Main, this is effectively now the Stephenson Railway Museum.
The party then proceeded to the control centre (adjacent to but much higher than the station), signed
in and were taken to the control room, after being asked to be very quiet! The Duty Manager showed
the group round and explained everything. He is in overall charge during his shift, but does not operate
any of the equipment himself being 'strategic' and represents the 'TOC'. This is DB Regio Tyne and
Wear Ltd. (a subsidiary of DBS, part of Arriva UK Trains), operating the units on behalf of Nexus (Tyne
and Wear Passenger Transport Executive) who have an infrastructure manager present. The control
room houses signalling and control equipment for the Metro system with its 60 stations, except for the
Pelaw to Sunderland and the South Hylton branch sections. These are signalled by NR from Tyneside
IECC, due to the shared running on the former. A large panel takes up one side of the room which
displays the system and allows the trains to be 'tracked' (as far as Pelaw/South Shields). (The right one
third of this panel is shown below - © Donald Stirling.) Trains are under automatic control using a
'Positive Train Identification' system, although manual signal controls can be used in emergencies. At
peak times 78 out of a fleet of 96 units are required to be in operation. The high frequency of the
trains means the allowance is 30 seconds to open and close the train doors at outlying stations but
only 24 seconds in the inner area!
The system and panel are due to be replaced in about 18 months with a VDU based control, although
the exact details are not yet known. As well as the panel and signalling equipment, the room houses a
bank of CCTV monitors. These display various busy locations at stations across the network and the
staff monitor them for potential trouble or problems. They are able to switch to any of the 600 CCTV
cameras on the system and the same staff make non-automated announcements at stations and take
enquiries from passenger station intercoms. The control also houses the equipment that monitors the
network power supply. The Duty Manager answered questions and was thanked warmly for a very
interesting and enjoyable visit. As a result of which £120 was raised for Percy Hedley, a local charity
chosen by the Metro supporting disabled adults and children. Thanks also to our Derby member John
Cameron for arranging this 'different' visit; his first one! Most of the group had day rover tickets,
allowing them to experience the impressive T&W Metro first hand before and after the visit.
More of Donald Stirling's superb pictures of the visit http://goo.gl/8xacb8 (click right arrow).
ABOVE: The rural isolated Titley Junction shown above the centre of this 1947 'New Poplular' 1" to the
mile map once had passenger services in four directions. The village itself is 1½ miles north of the
station. The current 'Kingfisher Line' runs over ¾ mile west towards Kington (to just before the now
removed River Arrow bridge in the woods). The concrete platform from Burlish Halt (formerly on the
Bewdley to Stourport-on-Severn line) is stored there in sections with a view to future reassembly. This
line once continued beyond Kington to New Radnor just inside Wales which section CP 4 June 1951, as
did the branch north from Titley Junction to Presteign(e) (also just inside Wales), the actual divergence
was to the east. The Kington to Leominster line (continuing east of Titley Junction) CP 5 February 1955
and like the Presteigne branch CG from 28 September 1964. Titley Junction to Eardisley (on the
Hereford to Three Cocks Junction/Brecon line) via Lyonshall to the south shown above as a 'track of old
railway' CA 17 April 1917, was re-laid and RO 11 December 1922 and CP/CA again as long ago 1 July
1940. In April 1910, there were 4 passenger trains each day SuX, the same number as at New Radnor
on Saturdays (3 ran in the week). Presteign(e) had 4 on weekdays with a fifth WSO early evening.
1033] Moreton-on-Lugg & Titley Junction, Sunday 3 May 2015: (59-62/60) As forecast the morning
rain fortunately cleared and a dry day followed for our visits, rather important as an open wagon is
used at Moreton! The first group gathered at the delightfully remote Titley Junction station and, after
enjoying tea/coffee and a goodly supply of delicious freshly home-made cakes, a DMU trailer was
boarded, hauled by the resident Class 03 No. D2158 'Margaret Ann', this being used for the main ¾
mile runs. The access to the sidings was covered as far as available and all four routes through the
double-slip at the station throat with Vanguard 0-4-0 No10 'Bressingham' and a brake van. Further
rides sitting on benches on an ex-BR Lomac well wagon were given behind a Fowler 0-4-0 (also a No10)
in the yard, including the loading line. The fourth motive power available was a diminutive petrol lawn
mower engined Wickham trolley car (one at a time with the driver up and down a platform line).
The organiser went over to Moreton after the 11.00 train had left Titley in good time for the 12.00 first
trip there; top and tailed by Class 04 D2302 (its debut in passenger service after a long restoration
period) and Class 05 D2578. The usual professionally operated comprehensive tour of the railway
followed, covering literally every line available. This included the run beside the main Leominster to
Hereford line to the catch points (the former exchange sidings, there were at least 4 in MOD days) and
both roads of the Tarmac sidings where Class 66s now work right in, but not the 'cripple siding' which
was occupied for its intended purpose. During the shed photo break whilst the locos were changed
round, it became apparent that all was not well with D2302 (apparently an exhaust fault). It was
detached and 03 145 (the standby loco) was hastily summoned from the starting point where it had
been out on display but not intended to be used. This enabled haulage with all three locos on site
which was appreciated by a good number of those present, (even if unplanned). The 03 and 05 gave a
second run beside the main line before returning to the starting point via a couple of stubs of sidings
formerly to the yard here and 'C Shed' which was being refurbished. By now most people had arrived
for the 14.00 train and a swift change-over was effected. Meanwhile, temporary repairs had been
made to D2302 and it was used for part of the second trip, again giving haulage by all three locos and
similar line coverage. This was the Society's 9th visit to Moreton-on-Lugg so it was very creditable to
have a total of 98 participants on the two trains and we are grateful to the D2578 Group for the trips
ABOVE: The start of the Tarmac branch at Moreton from the cab of D2578. The stone loading pad is
left and the run round loop is right, see (BLN 1226.218) for the site track plan. (Ian Mortimer).
The organiser returned to Titley Junction after seeing off the 14.00 train at Moreton and a similar trip
to the first ran, starting at about 14.45, with rides on the Wickham between trains and after our final
'normal' run with the 03 hauled DMU trailer. A total of 68 participated in the Titley visits (mostly also
visiting Moreton). We are grateful to the owners, Mr. & Mrs. Hunt, for hosting us and running a variety
of trains on their ¾ mile section of the former Leominster to Kington/New Radnor branch at a station
that once had railways going off in four different directions! Special thanks again to our local member
Stephen Phillips for the excellent arrangements, allowing so many to visit both lines on the same day.
For some superb pictures of the whole day see http://goo.gl/hjX3aB switch to full screen and scroll
with the right arrow (with thanks to 'Padders').
ABOVE: Steam loco P2129 hauled two lovely North London Railway leather upholstered non-corridor
coaches converted to rigid 8-wheelers on the 22ch standard gauge railway circuit at Pallot's Steam
museum on our Friday 8 May charter. See report in (BLN 1233.906), note the special mini-headboard
in BR Scottish Region blue which was used for our Channel Island long weekend. (Peter Mallory.)
1034] Channel Islands Tracker (2): (from BLN 1233.906) (63-68/60) Saturday 9 May was Liberation
Day in Jersey and Guernsey (the 70th) with much celebration in both islands. Due to problems with
inter-island transport, the day started remarkably late for the BLS at 10.00 with the 'Saturday stroll'.
This was a two-hour conducted walk around the eastern side of St. Helier, completing the route of the
Jersey Eastern Railway (JER) from the Friday as
well as further investigation of the former German
railway lines. A short walk from the hotel brought
us to the site of St. Luke's station where the level
crossing over Beach Road was discernible from the
difference in the style of the buildings. Nothing
remains of the station and so we ambled along the
trackbed, with a deviation for an inconsiderate
tree! Arriving at the site of Georgetown station, it
was noted that a new building had been erected
on the site. The line from the JER Snow Hill
terminus to Georgetown was not rebuilt by the
Occupying Forces as they wanted to reach the
harbour instead. The party returned towards town
bearing in mind that the Germans probably laid
their track in the middle of the road. Photography
was banned during the Occupation so evidence of
where the railways went is virtually non-existent.
At Harve des Pas the line moved off the road and
along the coastal footpath that nowadays goes to the modern oil fired power station (although most
electricity is imported from France). Here the railway route is now under the present buildings so a
detour was in order. Coming round the other side of the power station, a suitable grassy mound
allowed everyone to have a look at the eastern end of the German tunnel that is now used for
transmission cables by the Jersey Electricity Company. Once on the harbour side, the western end of
the tunnel was obvious, even down to showing the marks of the planks which were used as moulds for
the wet concrete. From here the line could be traced across the French and English Harbours and the
site of the wooden trestle bridge across the English Harbour could be seen. Our ever resourceful FS
increased his Channel Islands' motive power haul by trying his hand making a splash with a small
rowing boat in the harbour specifically marked for public use so did not end up in hot water for this -
oh buoy! (Picture left, by Alan Sheppard.) Following the line to the head of the harbour and deviating
across the former bus station at the Weighbridge took the party back into town. The first building of
interest was the Lovin' Spoonful, formerly the Jersey Eastern Railway Terminus Hotel. By now, our FS
was in dire need of refreshment (caffeinated!) but everything was closed for Liberation day, an extra
Next was the former Snow Hill station, the St. Helier terminus of the Jersey Eastern Railway, now a car
park (but the wall supports of the former platform canopy are easily seen) the pillars of the front of
the canopy are at Pallot's Museum serving a similar purpose. The line here was cut out of solid rock
making a very deep and steep walled cutting with a steeply graded railway. Walking through the car
park the bridge (still in use) carrying Regent Road over the railway was viewed from rail and road level.
ABOVE: An original Jersey Eastern Railway overbridge between St. Hellier Snow Hill and (approaching)
Green Street stations. Jenny Williamson who took the shot is adamant she did not tell them to wave!
BELOW: You always get one! The same bridge from the other side, the grassy traffic island ahead was
the site of the former Green Street station both taken Saturday 9 May 2015. (Jenny Williamson.)
Since the railway closed there has been much alteration of the roads and levels in this part of town but
the site of the temporary Green Street station (open until the line was extended further into town at
Snow Hill) was noted, now in the middle of the roundabout beyond which the route eastward could be
seen. It formerly ran on a walled embankment; bridge abutments at Roseville Street and Cleveland
Road were noted, and finally the site of the level crossing over St. Clément's Road was seen. The group
returned to the hotel for refreshment. This concluded the Jersey rail related activities but the bus
enthusiasts were in for a treat as the Airport buses were not leaving from the Bus Station and so a rare
piece of road was traversed en route! (To be continued.)
1035] Minor Railways 2015: Peter Scott's 27th guide has sold so well it is being reprinted; orders can
be taken for delivery when available; £4 including postage (via Mark Gomm per back page).
1234 HEAD LINES: Record of Openings and Closings
1036] Ebbw Vale Town, Lower - Upper cable worked 'Inclined Lift': (BLN 1233.925) Described thus
rather than a 'funicular railway' it did not OP 17 May 2015 (has it yet?) and is on the other side of the
campus some distance from the station. The single car holds 18-22 people (weight limit 1,850kg) and
the track is 47m long climbing 23m in about 3 minutes with a terminal building each end. It is expected
that up to 20 journeys per hour will operate from 07.00 to 23.30 and it is free of charge to ride on.
1037] Yorkshire Wolds Railway, Fimber Halt (SE 9109 6084) and 100m of line: OP 10 May 2015
(members only). OP 24 May 2015 (general public). Beverley Road (B1248), Fimber, YO25 3HG a new
location south of the original station, on the opposite side of the former B1248 level crossing, the site
of the former goods sidings. An 'opening ceremony' was held at 11.00 on Monday 25 May with Sir
Tatton Sykes a local Baronet. This standard gauge railway group was formed in October 2008 and has
planning permission to reopen 1 mile of track south to the A166, Wetwang Green Lane. Opening times
(subject to staffing) 09.00-16.00 Sundays to the end of October with loco cab rides on the last Sunday
of each month and Bank Holidays. This is on a GEC Traction diesel-hydraulic 5576 originally built for
Shotton Steel Works in 1979 and latterly used for training prisoners at HMP Doncaster (did you have to
do the time to do the track?). [Ex-Malton to Driffield Junction Railway, OP 1 June 1853 (SE 9084 6105)
as 'Fimber', renamed 'Sledmere' in March 1858 and 'Sledmere & Fimber' in May 1859; CP 5 June 1950,
CA 2 October 1958. The final passenger trains were our Yorkshireman tour of 2 June 1957, which
included the Alne to Easingwold branch in open wagons, Kirkbymoorside etc. and a 23 June 1957 tour.]
1038] Reading, Scours Lane Jn (37m 60ch) - Reading Traincare Depot 'Connection A': Opened 1 June
2015. A country end facing connection previously installed and secured OOU from the Up Reading
Passenger Loop. Trains arriving into the depot are permitted 20mph and departing trains 25mph.
1039] Sheffield Supertram, Castle Square (excl.)-Hyde Park/Sheffield Station (both excl.) & Fitzalan
Square: (BLN 1233.923) ROP 2 June (work finished 26 days early) after TCP since 11 May 2015.
1040] Sheffield Supertram, University of Sheffield / Hospitals - Fitzalan Square (both exl.) also West
Street, City Hall, Cathedral & Castle Square stops: TCP 2 June 2015, ROP expected 28 June; Phase 7 of
the replacement of tram rails project. Shalesmoor crossover is in passenger use on departure from
Netherthorpe Road stop and Hyde Park crossover on departure from that stop for Fitzalan Square.
1234 Prospective Network and Train Service Changes
1041] Newcourt Station: (BLN 1233.927) OP was expected Thursday 4 June. The delay in opening was
reportedly due to the platform height being 25mm below specification for a Class 150 unit. TRUST took
programming of the opening date literally and was initially showing the first train as the 00.18 to
Exeter; it was later corrected to the 05.57 to Exmouth.
1042] Newcraighall North Jn - Tweedbank ('Bordersrail'): From 04.30 on Monday 8 June due to be
commissioned for driver training only and controlled from Edinburgh IECC Workstation 2.
1043] Manchester Metrolink; Deansgate Castlefield (excl.) - 'The Delta' North Jn/'The Delta' South Jn
TCP (St. Peter's Square stop CP) is due Sunday 28 June, see regional section. Trams from the south
terminate at Cornbrook or Deansgate Castlefield. Trams from the north run via 'The Delta' North Jn to
South Jn to Piccadilly and beyond. Replacement bus services will be provided. ROP of the line is
expected late August 2015. The new resited St. Peter's Square stop is due to ROP autumn 2016.
1044] Ex-Manchester Ship Canal Railway (MSCR), Ellesmere Port - Manisty Wharf (SJ 393786): CG
(coal) is expected by 30 June 2015. Two trains daily (SuX) to Fiddlers Ferry power station, imported
coal from Hunterston by costal shipping. Clearance of residual stock is likely to end earlier; no more
shipments are expected and the equipment is being removed. The final traffic on this 1¾ mile branch,
sand from Middleton Towers for Quinn Glass at Elton continues; handled at the former Cawood Coal
Container Terminal branch (SJ403775). It uses Manisty Wharf to run round but is to transfer to the
reopened and upgraded former Kemira Fertiliser (ex-UK Fertilizer) branch at Helsby. Peel Holdings, the
current owners of the track and land reportedly then want to redevelop Manisty Wharf for housing.
1045] Snibston Colliery Railway, Belvoir Road Halt & Snibston Central station: (BLN 1229.595) CP is
expected after final running on Thursday 30 July (Snibston Discovery Museum closes from 1 August),
subject to a judicial review which is expected to be determined before then. [1,200 yd ex-NCB railway]
1046] Bromsgrove station: (BLN 1233.993) OP of the new station, 450m south of the existing one, has
been deferred from 17 May to November 2015; initially using the two centre platforms (2 & 3) only.
1047] Bolton West Jn-Blackburn Bolton Jn (incl. Hall-I'-th'-Wood, Bromley Cross, Entwistle &
Darwen stations): TCP 18 July to 23 August 2015 incl. to extend the 880yd Darwen passing loop 1,430
yd south towards Bolton and 1,210yd north towards Blackburn, with associated realignment of parts
of the existing single track. This will allow a half-hourly service with a 'dynamic loop' at Darwen.
1048] Ferrybridge Power Station Jn - Ferrybridge Power Station - Ferrybridge Power Station Jn: CA is
expected by 31 March 2016 with the end of generation at the coal fired 'C' station that started in
February 1966. This Scottish & Southern Electricity plant is now reportedly 'uneconomic'. The last
railtour to traverse the power station loop was the UKRT 'The Ferry-Go-Round' on 20 October 2012.
1049] Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Laverton Stop Board (6m 74ch) - Broadway Station (4m
73ch): (BLN 1228.MR26) (MR p7): The railway advise that ROP is now expected in 2018 (not 2016).
1234 BLN GENERAL
1050] BLN 1234 milepost: To mark this, a special bookmarked electronic attachment will provide
members with copies of BLNs 1, 12 and 123 with their e-BLN 1234. (These were October 1955 & 8
January 1964; September 1956 & 1 July 1964 and 5 February 1969). There are two editions of each of
the first two because of renumbering (BLN 1228. 446). Answers to the members' questionnaire (BLN
Vol 1.12 p78) are still welcome; the Society clearly had different problems then: Q4: "Why do members
not support trips organised while at meetings they are so keen for them?" A railtour over rare bits of
the Stratford and Midland Junction Railway on 16 September 1956 had to be cancelled due to lack of
support! For our Diamond anniversary, Martyn Brailsford is working on a searchable DVD version of all
BLNs, October 1955 to December 2014 (incl.) that it is hoped will be on sale for our 60th AGM in York.
1051] A new type of railway junction: From this BLN onwards we are adopting the modern industry
abbreviation 'Jn' for Junction instead of the previous 'Jct.' (which incidentally appeared 81 times in BLN
1233) when referring to a specific actual or former junction. Stations, signal boxes, roads and suchlike
will still appear in full such as 'Junction Road Junction signal box' or 'Coombe Junction Halt'. The latter
and St. Keyne Wishing Well Halt both on the Liskeard to Looe branch seem to be the last 'Halts' on NR.
1052] National Fares Manual 21: (BLN 1225.14) A free download is now available giving revised fares
from 17 May 2015. The simple process to obtain this is the same as before. Most fares are unchanged
since the January 2015 general increase. However, some have been reduced (e.g. LM only fares from
Bromsgrove to Euston) and others increased or their validity reduced (see later Cotswold line item).
1053] Network magazine: From March this year NR's monthly 20 page house staff publication has
been available free online to the public. To see recent editions: http://issuu.com/nrnetwork
1054] NEW! Realtime Trains for Preserved Railways: http://goo.gl/hpoJSg free to register then there
is a small data charge that supports the railways and the service; see http://goo.gl/nXPPk9 for more.
1055] S&C Quiz: (BLN 1233.941) The shortest Midland Railway route from St. Pancras to Carlisle (end
of MR metals) is only some 9 miles longer than the route from Euston (with thanks again to FoSCL):
1. St. Pancras (0m 00ch) 12. Normanton (185m 11ch)
2. Leicester (99m 06ch) 13. Methley Jn (187m 34ch)
3. Trent Jn (119m 19ch) 14. Leeds, Engine Shed Jn (195m 20ch)
4. Erewash Valley line 15. Leeds, Whitehall Jn (195m 54ch)
5. Chesterfield (146m 20ch) 16. Kirkstall (198m 24ch)
6. Tapton Jn (146m 69ch) 17. Shipley Leeds Jn (205m 60ch)
7. via 'The Old Road' 18. Shipley Bingley Jn (206m 01ch)
8. Rotherham Masborough (162m 00ch) 19. Keighley (212m 06ch)
9. Swinton (167m 09ch) 20. Skipton (221m 21ch)
10. Darfield (171m 28ch) 21. Settle Jn (234m 41ch)
11. Cudworth (175m 08ch) 22. Carlisle, Petteril Bridge Jn (307m 14ch).
1056] Matters Arising: Unclear Nuclear: (BLN 1231.729) In the 'Ordnance Survey Maps' item it was
mentioned that the Berkeley/Sharpness branch has occasional nuclear flask trains. This is actually
waste from de-commissioning of nearby Oldbury Power Station, which is being dismantled. There
were two trains in March. Berkeley Power Station itself is de-commissioned and in a 'secure state' to
degrade the remaining radioactivity. BLN 1232.890] Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, Lathalmond: The
railway operation dates given have been confirmed by the railway which is in the process of being
extended by about 150yd (part already in use) from the previous buffer stops to the site boundary.
Regarding BLN 1233.906] Pallot's 2'0" gauge railway: The annual date of public operation this year
was brought forward from the normal Liberation Day (9 May) to the 4th (the Liberation Fayre) due to
the former being the 70th anniversary. Most islanders attended the celebrations in St. Helier. 930]
Bradford Jns (Bradford-on-Avon) north to west chord (both junctions controlled by Bradford Junction
box) allowing a direct run from Melksham to Bradford was used for timetabled passenger diversions
up to 21 September 1986; with a report (BLN 627.56) of other passenger use as late as 26 October
1989. It was taken OOU (and the west junction removed) over the weekend of 3/4 March 1990. 934]
The current printed GB Rail Times is reported to have most of table 71 (Stratford-upon-Avon / London
Marylebone to Hereford) missing. 935] Oban: In the new timetable there is an additional (balancing)
working SO at 05.20 from Glasgow Queen Street booked to arrive here at 08.35. Matlock-Nottingham
service: One reader kindly pointed out that 25 weekday trains in the new timetable are extended from
Nottingham to/from Newark Castle not Northgate. Also 17 Nottingham to Lincoln services have been
speeded up and there are 14 additional calls at Hykeham. 911/915/916] The connection between
Epping LU Central line and The Epping Ongar Railway (EOR) has been used by ballast specials and also
for loading rail/road vehicles etc at North Weald (where a concrete loading pad has been built) for
easier access to LU. Reportedly, LU assisted in upgrading the line for this traffic. 'Epping Forest' is the
new term for the western end of EOR service rather than the line. The LU/EOR Boundary is now at
9.5km 100m west of the stopboard (not 9.2km as shown in TRACKmaps 5 November 2008 p28).
1057] West Somerset Railway: (BLN 1233.904) 'MH' and 'BL' were used as abbreviations for this
report but the WSR, like most railways also has its own station codes. Those with a single word name
use the first and last letters and double word station names the first letter of each word:
NF - Norton Fitzwarren WN - Williton BA - Blue Anchor
BL - Bishops Lydeard DD - Doniford Halt DR - Dunster
CE - Crowcombe Heathfield* WT - Watchet MD - Minehead
SR - Stogumber WD - Washford
*Originally known as 'Crowcombe' by the WSR, it retained its single word code when later suffixed
1058] Nostalgic pictures: A great diesel locomotive selection http://goo.gl/YkgIKX from the 1960s.
1234 ENGLAND – EAST MIDLANDS
1059] Piddington: This ex-MR station, the first on the line between Northampton St. John's Street
terminus (trains diverted to Northampton Castle station after 1939) and Bedford, was visited earlier
this year. The main building, 200yd from the nearest main road, is a private residence. A polite
request to photograph it met with a friendly response. The owner has re-instated the main platform
and laid a section of track on which stands ex BR (LMR) Engineers Saloon coach TDB395279, rebuilt in
1958 from LMS coach 30088 built in 1936 (understood to be from the original 'Coronation Scot' set).
The building of red brick with its tall chimney stacks has been sympathetically conserved. The owner
has erected platform canopy support columns recovered from Lowesby ex-GNR Station for a canopy
to be built in due course; reinstatement of the second platform is contemplated. After passenger
closure from 5 March 1962, the Northampton to Piddington line remained OG until 18 March 1981
and was latterly leased to, and worked by, the MOD serving Yardley Chase Ordnance Explosives
Stores Depot, a sub-depot of Kineton. A farewell BLS brakevan trip ran on 5 March 1981, including
the North Depot lines http://goo.gl/VvvRpg (ever decreasing circles round the bunkers!).
1060] Skegness: (BLN 1211.972) Platform numbers do not show on RTT etc and those on National Rail
are 'intended' (not corrected for actual use that would need to be done manually). On 26 May men
with shovels were packing the track with ballast in the preferred P3 which had sunk and was OOU. P4
was the preferred platform instead until the morning of Sunday 31 May. On summer Sundays two
trains are unusually in Skegness at the same time so on 24 May the 11.57 Nottingham to Skegness and
15.14 return used the very rare P2. P5-7 are not used (the signals are not lit in P6&7); P1 is trackless.
1234 GREATER LONDON
1061] Paddington: A 5½ minute clip https://goo.gl/HBsyrh of the parts the pubic do not normally see.
1062] Charing Cross: (BLN 1213.1091) Sunday services restarted on 17 May and at Waterloo East.
1063] Waterloo: On 10 June the 9th Duke of Wellington will unveil a plaque on the balcony above the
concourse in honour of those who died in the battle http://goo.gl/Hn8zh2 200 years ago. Waterloo
station is not named directly after the battle, but takes its name from Waterloo Bridge, completed in
1817. Originally to be Strand Bridge, it was renamed to commemorate the battle. Can members say
which other London railway location takes its name indirectly from a 19th century battle?
1064] Crossrail: (BLN 1232.847) On 13 May it was reported that NR had laid half of the new track
between Plumstead and Abbey Wood.
1065] Barking Riverside: (BLN 1218.1448) (TQ 470 820) 90% of correspondents supported extension of
the Gospel Oak to Barking service to Riverside and TfL is now consulting on two alternative routes:
Alignment A: Consists of two separate viaducts. The eastbound line towards Barking Riverside would
leave the Tilbury line after passing under Renwick Road bridge and pass over the freight yard and
Choats Road, before continuing to the new station by the junction of Renwick Road and River Road.
The westbound line back to Barking station would cross Choats Road on another viaduct and curve left
near houses, joining the Tilbury line west of Renwick Road Bridge. This alignment requires fewer
changes to the freight yard infrastructure and could be cheaper as a result.
Alignment B: Would have both lines in parallel along a single viaduct. The viaduct would pass over the
freight sidings and Choats Road before continuing to the new station. This alignment would connect to
the Tilbury line slightly further west and would require more changes to the freight yard but would be
further away from residential areas. This option would also allow for a potential station west of
Renwick Road bridge, although this is not within the scope of the current project.
Most passengers using the new station are expected to interchange with LUL and c2c services at
Barking. Subject to the outcome of the consultation, and the final proposal being endorsed by the
Mayor of London, an application for a Transport and Works Act Order will be made in December 2015.
If approved, construction could begin in early 2017, with trains running by the end of 2020. The
consultation is open until 21 June; more details can be found at https://goo.gl/0ednFz with maps.
1066] London Underground Working Timetables: As previously advised in BLN, these are freely
available for the various Underground lines on the TfL website at https://goo.gl/0qkLnA or input
'Working Timetable' in the search box. As well as a host of minutiae of interest to the dedicated
enthusiast, major items (as asked about in past BLNs) can be deduced easily from them such as:
Platform use at Harrow-on-the-Hill.
Use of the westbound slow line between Acton Town and Northfields.
Arrivals in P4 at Northfields from Heathrow.
Platform and crossover usage at termini.
Use of North Greenwich centre road.
1067] Anglia Integrated Control Centre: Over the weekend of 23 and 24 May this was moved from
East Anglia House near Liverpool Street to the new Romford Rail Operations Centre.
1234 NORTH WEST
1068] Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI): A freedom of Information question was asked: 'What
compensation, monetary or otherwise, was MOSI offered causing them to withdraw their objections to
the construction of the Ordsall Chord rail link?' The reply: 'Prior to the public inquiry held last spring,
there had been considerable consultation between MOSI and NR about the alignment and construction
of the Ordsall Chord. The Museum argued, and NR accepted, that the Chord would have a serious
adverse effect on the Museum’s heritage setting and its beautiful listed buildings. Of particular
concern, naturally, was the impact of severing the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway: the
Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which opened in 1830. As a national museum, we take seriously our
responsibility to care for and protect our collection for the benefit of the nation, and we have always
considered our unique site to be part of that collection. However, at the same time, the Museum has
always acknowledged that the Ordsall Chord link would bring considerable public benefit for
Manchester, for the economic health of the city and for rail users across the North West and trans
Pennine corridor. As corporate citizens of Manchester, we also have a responsibility to do what is right
for the city and its future generations. After much discussion with NR on how we might best live up to
both of these responsibilities, we came to an agreement that NR would support us with a contribution
of £3M, and would work with us to open up their land on top of the historic viaducts to enhance the
experience of museum visitors. This was not 'compensation' but rather an agreement to support the
Museum to offer the public deeper connections with the history of both the site and the city. We will
bring to life previously untold stories from the early years of the railway: the excitement of the first
passengers, the lives of the early railway workers and the impact of vast quantities of goods and
livestock moving across the site. As a result of this agreement, visitors will be able to experience a
historic steam train ride, or walk all around the museum site in a complete loop, on a landscaped
walkway offering great views of Manchester and Salford and a new experience of the heritage
buildings on site. On balance, we believe that these expansions of the site and improvements will enrich
the public's understanding of the site’s significance far beyond the quite specific possibilities that a
rarely-used mainline rail connection offered us, and so we agreed to withdraw our objection to the
Ordsall Chord development plan'. MOSI would no doubt have found £3M difficult to resist. Does
anybody have details of the planned circular walking route or how the internal steam trips will run?
1069] Metrolink: (1) St Peter’s Square: (BLN 1228 .461) A multimedia presentation showing the new
stop is part of a campaign to highlight summer service changes (see Head Lines). The summer closure
is the start of a 14-month programme constructing a new, resited, expanded stop with two island
platforms and two tracks in each direction closer to the new Cenotaph. The work is planned to
minimise the impact on passengers as far as possible. The first phase to the end of August 2015
involves track and infrastructure changes so that trams can then run through St. Peter's Square
(without calling) on a single bidirectional line for the 10 month construction period. There is a final 8
week closure in summer 2016 before the new relocated stop reopens in the autumn. The Second City
Crossing route is expected to open as a through route in 2017.
(2) Trafford Park: The bosses of the famous (infamous?) TV show 'Coronation Street' have objected to
this Metrolink extension because 'squealing wheels' and 'bad vibrations' from passing trams could
disrupt filming. [Presumably the episode where a Metrolink Tram was 'launched' off the side of a brick
viaduct gave them the evidence that was needed to make this statement……? - Northern Sub-Ed.].
1070] Prescot: On 25 April a plaque was unveiled by the present Lord Derby at the station to honour
the 'Liverpool Pals' battalion stationed here during WW1. On 30 April 1915 some 6,000 men left from
Prescot station, first to Grantham, then off to Salisbury Plain, and finally on 7 September sailing from
[Folkestone to fight in Europe. Members of Liverpool Pals re-enacted the moment when the Pals
entered the station to go to war during the recent ceremony to a crowd of about 100. These Battalions
were a pioneering WW1 idea. Between August and November 1914 more than 6,000 men and boys
mainly from the business communities of Liverpool answered Lord Derby's call for volunteers to join
his 'Liverpool Pals'. Some 1,050 enlisted at St. George's Hall on 31 August 1914, the first opportunity.
1071] WCML Slow Lines: BLN 1224.29 asked if any electric services use the Slow Lines at Balshaw
Lane. The answers to this and many other questions are contained in the Working Timetable;
nowadays no longer treated as a state secret but freely available to all http://goo.gl/ZhWTBr from the
NR website. Follow trains booked as 'SL' (Slow Line) timed for either Class 390 (Pendolino) or 350 (TPE
EMU) as opposed to 185 (Pennine Desiro) and 221 (Voyager) DMUs. The current answers appear to be:
Up Balshaw Lane: None in passenger service. (All these are May timetable; sections CE01 & CE02).
Down Balshaw Lane: 21.10 SSuX (20.50 SuO) Euston - Preston & 09.00 SuO Man. Airport - Edinburgh.
Up Bamfurlong: (20/6 to 6/9 only) 18.13 SO Edinburgh - Manchester Airport; 18.52 SO Edinburgh -
Birmingham New Street; 08.00 & 10.01 both SuO Preston - Euston.
Down Bamfurlong: 05.00 SSuX, Manchester Piccadilly - Edinburgh; 19.30 SO Euston - Preston;
09.00 SuO Manchester Airport - Edinburgh; 08.40 SuO (dated), Birmingham New Street. - Preston;
10.00 SuO Manchester Airport - Glasgow & 10.21 SuO Crewe - Lancaster.
As with all such arrangements, it is the planners' ideal versus the signallers' reality on the day and that
the latter always wins. There are electric ECS movements over all four lines so the wires themselves
are reasonably well used. The Sleeper services are booked for electric traction and could use the lines.
1072] Wigan NW bay platforms: With most Liverpool services now using the through platforms, even
when terminating, the only booked departures from P3 (traditionally the 'Liverpool Bay') are the 06.03
and 06.44 (both SuX) to Lime Street. The latter is the solitary PSUL from Lowton Jn to Newton-le-
Willows Jn (not via St. Helens). The only booked arrival is the 22.45 (SSuX dated) from Manchester
Victoria. P2 has some peak hour services from and to the Bolton and Manchester lines, mostly dated
and unlikely to last beyond the electrification work on the Euxton Jn to Manchester via Bolton route.
Non-dated arrivals are 18.14 and 22.45 (both SO) from Manchester Victoria. Non-dated departures:
06.41 SSuX to Bolton, 07.57 or 07.59 SSuX to Manchester Vic. and 19.03 SuX to Lime St.
1234 NORTH EAST
1073] Middlesbrough: On the 19 May, due to what looked like a track defect in the West End Dock
line, (used for ECS reversals) the 12.33 TPE Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough forming the 15.27
return unusually reversed in P2, then traversed the crossover west of the station on departure in
service. It had arrived 10 minutes late and this helped regain time but there was a bevy of orange vests
peering at the Dock line track! P2 is reversible, booked west departures are currently: 05.44 to
Newcastle, 05.55 & 07.15 to Manchester Airport (all SuX); Saturdays: 08.32 to Hexham. Sundays: 08.27
to Darlington, 10.32 to Metrocentre and roughly hourly to 16.32 plus the 17.42 & 18.31 to Newcastle.
1234 SOUTH EAST - NORTH (& EAST ANGLIA)
1074] Hatfield - St. Albans: (BLN 1233.976) Up to now on this line the platform faces have been of
brick, concrete or slabs, but next was the timber with infill remains of Salvation Army Halt (TL163071)
and the site of a siding. Again, heading west, the platform alone exists on the right hand side, but no
building. In about half a mile the GNR trackbed passes under the huge blue brick arch that carries the
Midland Railway's main line overhead at an impressive height. Just beyond, the GNR passed under
London Road, and beyond here, on the right hand side, is the large and handsomely restored building
of St. Albans (London Road) (TL154064) GNR station, now the 'Old Station Business Centre'. The
trackbed path becomes a suburban road past the platform side, with most of the platform still existing.
Up at street level, a turning off London Road leads past the front of the station, looking down on it,
and can be photographed from that public place. Beyond London Road station, the trackbed path then
makes a short wiggle round new housing before resuming its historic course, crossing the River Ver
(hence the name Verulamium) on a high single arch bridge. The path soon ends under a road bridge
just a few yards short of the former junction with the LNWR branch from Watford Junction into St.
Albans Abbey station, which provided our correspondent's escape route via its hourly Sunday service.
1075] Slough: Slough Goods Loop, head shunt and the Estate Sidings, west of Slough station and
trailing into the Up Relief line, were to be brought into use by 16 May, for engineering trains.
1076] Reading: Your Sub-Editor traversed the Low Level Line on the 06.34 to Gatwick Airport of 15
May. Alighting at, and returning from, Wokingham permitted this to be achieved whilst waiting about
three quarters of an hour for a Swansea connection. Departing eastbound from P15, the Gatwick train
and the other 4 early morning services shown in PSUL are clearly ECS from Reading Train Care depot
and some of the inward late evening workings return there. There is a plan to increase the Reading to
Gatwick service to half-hourly including hourly through from/to Oxford via the Reading Low Level Line.
1077] Oxford - Bicester: (BLN 1233.932) Planned Introduction of trains between Oxford Parkway and
Oxford in spring next year could be further delayed by a row about noise and vibration according to
the Oxford press. The scheme, involving the relocation of proposed junction work, was approved in
2012 but the services cannot begin until Oxford City Council (OCC) discharges NR of 'Condition 19',
concerning noise and vibration mitigation. Senior rail figures hoped this would happen at a planning
committee meeting on 19 May, but it was cancelled due to major changes to the scheme. Chiltern has
warned that if the track work does not receive permission to proceed by June, it will have a knock-on
effect and there will be insufficient time to carry out works between Oxford and Parkway. A NR
representative said the planned location of a set of points had been moved to north of Wolvercot
Tunnel, next to the lake south of Lakeside. Residents fear the points would be too close to homes
worsening noise and vibrations. OCC's leader blamed the delays on NR 'bureaucracy' and its refusal to
impose speed restrictions on freight trains through north Oxford. Last year he wrote to NR sounding
out a line speed of 30mph for freights between Oxford and Water Eaton after a residents' outcry.
1078] Cowley: (BLN 1221.1712) The 13 May Oxford Mail reported the cost of providing a passenger
service between Oxford and Cowley could be as high as £450M! Chiltern Railways wishes to provide
the service by 2020. The scheme, seen as key to tackling the city's chronic congestion problems, would
serve Oxford Parkway, Oxford, a new station Oxford Science Park in Littlemore and another new
station Oxford Business Park in Cowley. However, capacity issues would arise between Kennington Jn
and Oxford North Jn. A report by NR said quadrupling this section throughout would cost between
£175M and £375M. Oxford Council puts the cost of the main station's redevelopment as a mere £75M.
1079] Cotswold Line: From 18 May some (unregulated) cheap day returns on the Hereford/Worcester
to Paddington route have been withdrawn, and others increased by up to 20% also much tighter
restrictions were imposed on off peak and super off peak returns. Similar to the Northern Rail evening
restrictions imposed a few months ago, there is a substantial increase in some fares returning in the
evening peak (when the trains are very busy with standing from London). An example is the 08.31
Charlbury to Paddington returning at 18.22 ('The Cathedrals Express' HST each way); the fare was
£33.40 and is now £62.40. This brings the Cotswold fares 'in line' with other FGW Paddington routes.
Historically this route had slower and less frequent services, formerly often requiring a change at
Oxford and the fares and easements reflected all this. In recent years stretches of double track have
been restored, and speed and frequency improved. However, Network South East and Cotswold Line
Railcards can still be used by anyone as far west as Worcester, unlike the routes via Swindon, and
cheap advance tickets have now been introduced. To be 'fare', the tickets affected are unregulated,
were exceptionally cheap and aggravated overcroding on certain morning and evening busy trains!
Anyone able to book in advance and not concerned about which train they use will find travel much
cheaper, the idea is to direct some passengers to trains which have previously been very quiet.
1234 SOUTH EAST ENGLAND - SOUTH
1080] Plumpton: The Grade II listed 1891 gate box here is scheduled to close in October, a rare
example of two pairs of gates still worked by a manual box wheel; it also has wickets. The 21 lever
frame has 3 working levers (i.e. slots on the Up and Down signals and gate locks). Individual Function
Switches control the crossover points and release. The new modernised crossing will be controlled
from Three Bridges, 20 miles away, although the locals are mounting the inevitable campaign against
this. Robin Kaye, who is helping organise a campaign to save the gates, describes them as part of the
'vernacular' of the village, one of the 'last breeding pairs' of such gates in the country. Lewes, Lancing,
Newhaven Harbour and Town signal boxes are all to remain operational for now.
1081] Reading Green Park: (BLN 1223.1905) Plans for the new station were approved by Reading
Borough Council on 29 April. It will be built on the Reading to Basingstoke line, just before Kirton's
Fram Road (SU695702), north of the M4, near the Madejski Stadium, as part of a £21.4M scheme to
improve transport networks across Berkshire. Plans include a bus interchange, a park and ride and a
multi-storey car park. West Berkshire Council raised no objections to the plans. However, Berkshire,
Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust said it was awaiting assurances that the habitats of
protected species, such as bats and grass snakes, would be preserved (this could be the start of a
slippery slope!). Construction is due to begin in October 2016 and is part of a government funded
batch of schemes agreed by the Berkshire Local Transport Body.
1234 SOUTH WEST ENGLAND
1082] Bruton: (BLN 1231.774): In RAIL Magazine 773 Barry Doe indicates that there have been
previous through trains (or portions) between Bruton and London. In summer 1956, Bruton was a stop
on the 10.30 'Cornish Riviera Express' Paddington to Penzance. This was first stop at Plymouth, so a
portion was 'slipped' approaching Westbury arriving 12.12 and then ran all stations to Weymouth,
including Bruton at 13.15. The 'Downside' (!) of this slip working was that the return portion could not
be collected at speed in the Up direction. A separate 11.40 Weymouth to Paddington train, calling at
Bruton 13.14 ran via Melksham. However, this was still only one through train to/from London a day!
1083] Bath: (BLN 1183.594) The section of the ex-Somerset & Dorset Railway bridge actually over the
GW Main line in Bath is to be demolished in February 2016, with electrification work (so visit it before
then). Blocked off to the public for many years, it re-opened on 6 April 2013 as part of the 4¼-mile Two
Tunnels cycle and walking route. It will be replaced with a new structure to maintain this route.
1084] Winterbourne: The main building of this ex-GWR station between Wootton Bassett and Bristol
Parkway still stands adjacent to the Down line to the west of the viaduct. Built to the GWR's 1898
standard design, it opened in 1903 and closed in 1963 and is in private occupation. Although difficult
to view from a public place, both platforms have long been removed. The Bristol Metro scheme could
include a local Bristol to Swindon services and Winterbourne may become a candidate for re-opening.
1085] Thornbury: (For map see http://goo.gl/m3JJwn and zoom in) a visit to this ex Midland Railway
branch found the following: Thornbury terminus has been obliterated by modern industrial units at
the edge of which the former trackbed is now a tarmac footpath and cycle way (there is considerable
support in the area for re-opening to passenger trains - Sub Ed.). Tytherington has a 'Station Lane' by
an underbridge which has in situ track but all trace of the station itself has been obliterated; men in
orange were erecting new railway fencing here at the time of the visit. Iron Acton station was by a
level crossing (one of three in the village) but all trace of the station has vanished. The Cotswold stone
station house was close. Although CA 15 September 2013 (BLN 1196.1516) the branch was weed free.
1086] Looping the Loop at Gloucester 2: (1230.651) On Saturday 16 May our correspondent returned
to observe the Paddington/Swansea trains on the Up Main and Up Relief lines. During three hours of
observation, a couple of Down trains used the Down Main non-stop through the platforms and all the
rest used the Up Main bi-directionally; nothing traversed the Up Relief (freight trains do of course).
1234 WEST MIDLANDS
1087] Stafford area: (BLN 1233.933 and map in e-BLN) Transport Briefing reports that a new siding
was installed over 1-4 May Bank Holiday weekend at Little Bridgeford alongside the WCML at Norton
Bridge, allowing rail deliveries of materials for the £250M Stafford Area Improvements Programme.
From Monday 25 May, the new Stafford Goods Loop line was installed as a non-running line its
connections OOU for later commissioning. Phase 2 of the programme involves re-signalling the
Stafford area over the forthcoming August Bank Holiday with closure of Stafford No4 & 5 signal boxes.
1088] Aldridge Electrification: Centro were keen to extend local EMUs that terminate at Walsall to
Aldridge, one of the reasons that Walsall P3 was restored as a through line with the August 2013 re-
signalling. This was reduced to a terminal platform for Birmingham EMUs after the Lichfield line closed
in March 1984 and the four tracks north of Walsall to Ryecroft Jn were reduced to two. It has recently
been reported that Centro has now decided against funding the three miles of electrification required.
In addition to this, the Aldridge Crossover (44m 73ch) re-signalled on a 'like for like' basis as recently as
August 2013, would need moving closer to Ryecroft Jn so that a new single Up platform, long enough
for at least a 4-car Class 350 EMUs, could be accommodated. A single 3-car Class 323 EMU may fit in
with the present crossover but they are required for the Barnt Green to Bromsgrove Cross-City line
extension next year. This is why extra Class 350s were built for the Walsall to Wolverhampton via New
Street service. There is speculation that the large overspend on the Priestfield to Wolverhampton St.
Georges Midland Metro work may have affected the budget available for other projects. It is thought
Aldridge might have electric trains in 2020 when NR is due to electrify the Sutton Park line for freight.
1089] Stratford-upon-Avon - Honeybourne ('S2H'): The government has decided that there is 'no
case' for upgrading the Long Marston branch and reopening the former line to Stratford-upon-Avon
as a strategic alternative to the Chiltern Route recently closed by the 350,000-tonne Harbury landslip.
It is felt to be a matter for the local authorities. Redoubling 17km of the Cotswold line from Charlbury
to Wolvercot Jn alone would reportedly cost between £160M and £200M 'before a diversionary route
of sufficient capacity between Birmingham and Oxford could be created.' This is more than twice the
cost of redoubling almost twice the length on the Cotswold line five years ago.
1090] Stratford-upon-Avon - Cheltenham Spa: A through bus has been introduced after a gap of
many years. On Sundays and bank holiday until the end of October, there are two return trips and
also short workings between Cheltenham and Greet/Broadway. Greet and Toddington are convenient
for the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway stations. Timetable and specimen fares (route '606S')
http://goo.gl/gQrWdP or 01242 25714. Winchcombe has not had Sunday buses for several years.
1091] Worcester Shrub Hill (1): The weekday 21.46 to Bristol Temple Meads normally departs from
rare bay P3, but not always. The stock arrives from Warminster into P1A at 20.27 and, once passengers
have alighted, immediately shunts over to P3. However, it will NOT shunt across to P3 IF:
(1). The Long Siding is not occupied by its usual HST set. This arrives (P1) from Paddington at 20.05,
stables in the Long Siding (20.13 to 20.48) and then runs ECS to Foregate Street to form the 20.59 to
Paddington. If the Long Siding IS vacant, the Bristol train stables there instead of P3, leaving from P1.
(2). Or if the stock is too long to fit into P3; only 70m (76yd) long although its line is a bit longer**.
(3). Or if the siding 'behind the wall' adjoining the line into P3 is occupied by a track machine.
(4). Or if the points happen to be broken on the day you chose to go there (e.g. Monday 25 May!).
**The 21.45 SSuX to Bristol TM can be a 2-car (slightly more likely) or a 3-car DMU. Any 2-car set can
be accommodated in P3, as can a 3-car Cl. 150 (which will give that extra bit of track behind the wall to
the buffers with Selective Door Opening in operation but FGW only have two of these). However, not
all 3-car sets can be accommodated; a 3-car 158, or a 2-car 150 or 158 coupled to a 153 will not fit in.
1092] Worcester Shrub Hill (2): The ancient craft of semaphore signal wiring is alive and well! On 20
May some members of the 'Orange Army' were observed rolling out wires for a new construction
signal wire run between the through platforms, down the middle of the station. This made the
characteristic mechanical signal wire sound associated with a signal being pulled 'off'. At the
Birmingham end, the short metal vertical supports have two rows of four wheels for 8 wires, reducing
in number towards the London end, passing signals etc that will be operated by different wires. It
follows the route of the recently installed new point rod run here (BLN 1210.907); the vertical supports
are next to alternate metal rod wheels (which are fixed to concrete bases). The previous signal wires
ran along the edges of both of the main through platforms. All materials are brand new. Apart from
the easier access for maintenance of putting the wires and rodding along the middle, it was a
nightmare to keep it all in the correct adjustment when it ran along the platforms. On sunny days it
was mostly in the shade, but the outer ends were in the sun causing uneven expansion (which cannot
be mechanically compensated for) resulting in many point failures to/from the middle road.
The Worcester area was the last major BR re-signalling scheme with semaphores. On 7 November
1973, Shrub Hill Jn and Rainbow Hill Jn signal boxes were closed and from 17th two reversible single
lines were introduced between Henwick and (1): Shrub Hill Jn also (2): the former Rainbow Hill Jn;
through Foregate Street station P1 and P2 respectively. Years ago Foregate Street also had its own
elevated signal box above the tracks. Although this layout has the advantage of allowing parallel same
direction arrivals and departures, delays can have a rapid severe knock-on effect and they are
bottlenecks. However, it now looks like the 1973 layout is to remain for the foreseeable future.
1093] Droitwich Spa: On 20 May it was noticed that the crossing on the Down side (at least) of the
trailing crossover immediately north of the station had been replaced with plain line and some of the
crossover removed. This crossover and the points at the Worcester end of the Down Goods Loop have
been clipped OOU for quite a while; the associated point rodding disconnected and some even
removed. It was booked to be used by an inspection saloon 'Caroline' with a Class 37 locomotive in
2013 that ended up running to Worcester to cross over. The north end of the Down Goods Loop at
Droitwich Spa Jn is in use as a short recess siding accessed from this end for tamper trains etc.
1094] Barnt Green: (BLN 1232.865) The Up Goods from Barnt Green Jn to Halesowen Jn has now
reopened. A GBRf freight was observed waiting to come off the line before Longbridge on 25 April.
1095] Birmingham New Street (1): For those interested in unusual station entrances, NR temporarily
opened Navigation Street Bridge as a station entrance on Sunday 3 May until the refurbishment is
completed in September. New steps have been installed to allow access to P1 & P12, previously not
accessible off this footbridge. This allows work on the station escalators and relieves congestion at the
platform level. The new escalators have been unreliable and fail on a daily basis. On 5 May the P8a and
9a escalators were closed off for work. Crowd control measures (man with megaphone, use of one
way entrance doors and some black/yellow 'scene of crime' style tape segregating in and outbound
passengers!) have been introduced and are very unpopular with passengers. Additionally on 11 May,
the access to the 'A' platform bridge at the Hill Street end was sealed off with crowd control barriers;
for the installation of the inevitable automatic ticket barriers, the first ever at New Street station.
1096] Birmingham New Street (2): (BLN 1232.867) P2 (OOU since 5 April for Gateway Project works)
reopened from 14.00 on Sunday 31 May. On the same date at 08.05, P3 was taken OOU until 26 July.
1097] Hatton: On Wednesday 27 May at Leamington Spa, it was announced that the 12.32 'semi fast'
Chiltern service to Birmingham Moor Street would be 'looped at Hatton'. Naturally, our member
jumped aboard and it did indeed call at P3 (used by Stratford-upon-Avon trains both ways) rather than
the booked P2 and was held for 4 minutes. This allowed the 11.15 Marylebone to Moor Street, running
14 minutes late, to overtake. Similarly on Saturday 23 May the 21.06 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow
Hill, running 11 minutes late, made the same move at Hatton during its booked call. It was held for 4
minutes in P3 while the 21.45 XC Reading to Birmingham New Street, running 7 minutes late overtook
through P2. The unusual section for passenger trains is the link from P3, Hatton Station Jn to the Down
Dorridge line and these two recent examples show it can be done (strong hint to Fixtures Secretary!).
1098] Droitwich Spa: On 20 May it was noticed that the crossing on the Down side (at least) of the
trailing crossover immediately north of the station had been replaced with plain line and some of the
crossover removed. This crossover and the points at the Worcester end of the Down Goods Loop have
been clipped OOU for some considerable time, the associated point rodding disconnected and some
even removed. It was booked to be used by an inspection saloon 'Caroline' with a Class 37 locomotive
in 2013 that ended up running to Worcester to cross over. The north end of the Down Goods Loop at
Droitwich Spa Jn is in use as a short recess siding accessed from this end for tamper trains etc.
1234 YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE
1099] Mystery Trip: On 30 May a Northern Belle £250 per head evening dinner circular tour ran from
Scunthorpe raising funds for Lyndsey Lodge Hospice. (QUOTE: 'We will not know the actual route until
a week prior to departure as this information is determined by Network Rail and is subject to other
trains using the lines. This will add to the mystery of the event for everyone (except the driver we
hope!) what you get is a wonderful 'on-train' experience'.) It was! In the event the DRS operated 11
coach Class 57 'top and tailed' train, including 2 brown Mk III sleeping cars, took an interesting route.
This started with a west departure from Scunthorpe P1 over the crossover allowing some mobility
impaired passengers to board. After Doncaster, the Up East Slow was taken to Black Carr Jn then the
Up Lincoln/Down Loco spur to Bessacarr Jn. Just before Lincoln the Pyewipe Jn to Boultham Jn curve
was followed and, after Nottingham, Attenborough Jn to Meadow Lane Jn to the (Toton) Down High
Level Line. Past Chesterfield, it was 'Old Road' to Masborough Jn and the 'normal' route to Scunthorpe.
1100] Service improvements: On 21 May Iarnród Éireann announced a new 06.15 (SSuX) Cork to
Dublin non-stop train, reaching Heuston at 08.30 SSuX (2¼ hours for over 165 miles, averaging over
66mph). This began running on 25 May and there have been consequential retiming of other services.
Previously a 06.00 SSuX train from Cork called at Mallow, Charleville and Limerick Junction with an
08.30 Heuston arrival. These stops are now made by the 05.55 (SuX) from Cork arriving Heuston at
08.20. The 16.15 FO Heuston to Waterford train via the Lavistown curve (Kilkenny avoiding line)
became train NoA518 from 15 May onwards, as Iarnród Éireann had obtained National Transportation
Authority approval to operate it permanently. Until then it was on a week-by-week relief train basis.
1101] Ballybrophy: On 29 March the loco run-round loop adjacent to bay P3 was decommissioned and
the East and West ground frames and associated points removed; in practice they had not been used
for quite a while. The buffers have been moved a little towards Dublin, shortening the bay. In the rare
event of a loco hauled train using the Nenagh line, run round must be via the Down Loop (P4) involving
reversal on the Up Main (P1) on the Dublin side of the Up end trailing crossover and (locally controlled)
branch connection. If a loco is propelling, passengers will probably be detrained but railcar specials for
sports events have used the connection carrying passengers. This move was made (remarkably swiftly)
on the IRRS 071 loco hauled tour of 10 July 2014 when the run round loop was found to be unusable.
Fortunately, passengers were allowed to stay aboard, as some had travelled many miles just to do the
connection! From the above, it will be noted Ballybrophy platform numbering in Quail 6 p3 (February
2004) is incorrect. P1 is the Up Main, P2 Down Main, P3 Up Bay and P4 the Down Loop.
1102] Dursey Island (Baoi Bhéarra): (Grid ref: Q506418) The cable car, stated to be Ireland's only one,
featured recently in Christine Bleakley's 'Wild Ireland' on ITV. It crosses Dursey Sound which has a very
strong tidal race. See http://goo.gl/Ww8GkK for operating hours; adults €8 return child €4. It operates
throughout the year 09.00 to 20.00 during the summer but in three discrete shifts in winter. Dursey
Island, 6.5km long by 1.5km wide, is at the extreme west end of the peninsula north of Bantry Bay.
1103] Limerick - Tralee: (BLN 1233.999) CP February 1963, the line CG between Ballingrane and
Listowel from 3 November 1975, Listowel to Abbeydorney in January 1977 and Abbeydorney to Tralee
in June 1978. The final weed spraying train is confirmed to have run on Wednesday 23 May 1984, a
day or two later than scheduled. It had been due to go to Foynes first then return to Ballingrane to run
to Tralee, but Ballingrane to Foynes was not covered this day, probably due to starting late from
Limerick. Ballingrane signal box still had the disused ETS machine containing tokens for the first
section of the Tralee line. At Newcastle West the platform, station building, signal box, water tower
and goods shed were all reasonably intact, only the headshuntwas overgrown; after reversal the train
set back to spray it. Lunch for the various 'passengers' was at Lixnaw before it ran through Tralee
station to set back into the bay there. Inspection cars traversed the entire route occasionally to 1987.
1104] Station Quiz: What makes Lockerbie station different from all the other NR stations in Scotland?
1105] Glasgow stations bus link: The 398 bus (free of charge for passengers with valid rail tickets)
which connects Central and Queen Street stations with Buchanan Bus station had its route changed in
April and now runs anticlockwise, i.e. in the order shown then returns to Central. Some buses at least
have a video screen behind the driver's cab bulkhead showing the order of calls, including a list of
connections available at each. At Queen Street, departures from both High and Low Levels over the
next 15 minutes or so including platform number and punctuality are shown. For Buchanan Bus
station it is 'Bus connections across Scotland'. What is shown on approach to Central had yet to be
observed. Buses run every 12 minutes for most of the day (20 minutes evenings and Sundays) starting
08.00 weekdays, 09.00 SO, 10.00 SuO (12.00 SuO after October); the last trip is 20.00 on all days.
1106] Quintinshill commemoration: (BLN 1233.903) On Thursday 21 May the 100th anniversary of
Britain's worst railway accident, involving 5 trains, was marked by events at Larbert station where the
troop special to Liverpool had started from and on which the vast majority of the 226 or so dead had
been travelling. Some 246 people were also injured in the accident. On the actual centenary, 22 May,
there were services at Gretna and Quintinshill itself. On 23rd there was a ceremony at Leith where the
Battalion HQ and two companies of the 7th (Leith) Royal Scots had come from. A further event was
held in Carlisle on Tuesday 26 May (the driver and fireman of the troop train were Carlisle men). In
1915, a stopping service from Carlisle had run to Quintinshill and was shunted by the night turn
signalman from the Down Main to the Up Main, as both Down and Up loops were occupied by freight
trains. This was to allow the first of two late running Down sleeper trains to overtake. The early
signalman had (using an unofficial local arrangement) travelled to work at Quintinshill from Gretna
Junction station on the shunted local train. He then, inexplicably (although there is evidence he
suffered from epileptic fits that can cause amnesia) accepted and cleared the signals for the Up troop
train, which came on unchecked. Normal protection procedures (even for the time) had not been
followed. Following the first collision, some railwaymen, realising that the signals had been cleared for
the double-headed Euston to Glasgow sleeper, ran along the line in a fruitless attempt to stop it. It ran
into the wreckage just after the first crash. Gas for the lighting and the wooden carriages caught fire
quickly spreading to all 5 trains http://goo.gl/Wu171G including the 2 looped goods trains.
1107] Garriongill Jn: (BLN 1233.926) The branch points were removed on Sunday 17 May.
1108] Wemyss Bay: (BLN 1231.808) The railway and pier opened for public traffic on Monday 15 May
1865, following special trains and steamers (with 'ample refreshments' at Wemyss Bay) on Friday 12
and Saturday 13 (no Sunday trains then!). The 150th anniversary was marked on Saturday 16 May
2015, in a low-key manner as the station is still under renovation and covered in scaffolding. The
'Friends of Wemyss Bay Station' (our member is one) had a display of railway paintings and models,
supplementing the historic photographs and archives they have on show in the former ladies' first
class waiting room. (The Friends are also responsible for the splendid floral displays at the station and
run a second hand bookshop in the gentlemen's first class waiting room. Should that be a first class
book shop in the second……?). One of the Rothesay ferries, MV 'Bute', was 'dressed overall' on the
11.00 sailing from Wemyss Bay and 12.00 from Rothesay and had a display of ship models on board.
1109] The Forth Bridge: (BLN 1202.235) The bid for this iconic structure to become a World Heritage
Site has been successful http://goo.gl/PXiG6p and the designation is to be applied in June. There are
three other railway World Heritage Sites: the mountain railways of India, Semmeringbahn (Austria),
Rhätische Bahn Albula and Bernina lines (Switzerland/Italy). Other World Heritage Sites, such as the
Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape include railways or former railways. However, the Forth
Bridge, which opened in 1890, will be the only railway bridge designated as a single entity.
1110] Kinghorn Kudos: (BLN 1194.1440) In another success for the Kingdom of Fife railways, the
station has been named the 'best in Scotland' in the 2014 'Keep Scotland Beautiful' competition,
receiving the top platinum award. In ScotRail's 'Adopt a Station' scheme, Kinghorn has been looked
after by two artists who tend the gardens and run an art gallery in the Down side building. A further 16
stations won Gold awards, and 252 Bronze. In 2011 Kinghorn had failed to win anything.
1111] Coatbridge Jn - Langloan Jn: (BLN 1205.425) The overhead wiring was completed and energised
on the Down and Up Coatbridge Curve lines during March (Modern Railways June issue).
1112] Cardiff Area Resignalling: A possession over the late May Bank Holiday weekend allowed
installation of new point leads in the Long Dyke area, originally to have been completed last year. This
enables new crossovers between the running lines to be commissioned on 29 June, identified as:
Pengam Jn (168m 40ch) Down Main facing crossover 9028 to Up Relief; Moorland Road Jn (168m
65ch) Up & Down Relief trailing crossover 9029; Long Dyke Jn (169m 35ch) Down Relief facing
crossover 9031 to Up Relief; and a revised Newtown Jn (169m 50ch), Up Relief trailing crossover 9033
to Down Main and Down Main facing crossover 9034 to Up Main. These will replace existing
crossovers at Rumney Bridge Jn, Pengam Jn and Newtown Jn.
1113] Ebbw Vale: In connection with the main line engineering work above, it had been intended over
the late May Bank Holiday weekend to divert all except the first and last Ebbw Vale trains to run
to/from Newport instead of Cardiff Central. However, plans were thwarted by damaged points at Park
Jn, which could not be fixed in time, and trains instead operated a shuttle service between Ebbw Vale
Town and Rogerstone, with bus connections for Pye Corner and Cardiff Central. It is understood that
the points will be repaired in June. Pye Corner station, incidentally, is served every 10 minutes on
weekdays by Stagecoach South Wales bus service 151 to Newport. As of late May, it was reported that
the incline lift at Ebbw Vale Town was not yet operating. A visitor also comments that the station
ticket machine was unable to issue a ticket to Ebbw Vale Parkway (but the train conductor was!).
1114] Abercwmboi loop: (BLN 1214.1225) The unidirectional Down Passenger loop from 21m 39ch to
21m 09ch on the Aberdare/Tower Colliery branch has been little used since the resited Mountain Ash
station (with a new passing loop and two platforms) opened on 29 January 2001. Even coal trains
normally cross passenger trains at Mountain Ash. In August 2014 it was reported that signalmen had
been asked to route the final passenger train from Aberdare, the 22.54 (SuX) to Pontypridd, through
Abercwmboi loop (which has been traversed by a couple of railtours in recent years) to keep it
operational. Does anyone know if this still happens, as it does not show up as such on TRUST or RTT?
1115] Neyland: This station (CG 2 December 1963; CP 15 June 1964) once enjoyed main line status, as
the original western terminus of the South Wales Railway. Its route from Johnston remains walkable as
a tarmac public footpath. This passes surviving crossing-keepers' cottages, now private residences, at
Rosemarket Upper LC and Westfield Mill LC, the latter displaying its GWR 'Westfield Mill Crossing' sign
in the garden. The building at Rosemount Lower has gone. Some quite complicated rail tracks can still
be found on the quayside at Neyland, now named 'Brunel Quay', with a statue of the man himself on
the site of the arrival platform. It is understood that this is a glass-fibre replica; the original was stolen
by scrap merchants. There is an hourly weekday bus service from Neyland to Pembroke Dock, where
refreshment can be taken at the excellent Station Inn, occupying the original Down side building there.
1234 MINOR RAILWAYS – 27th EDITION – 2015 SUPPLEMENT No1
MR69] NEW ENTRY p18 HAMPSHIRE
Mid Hants Miniature Railway, Ropley Station, 10¼" E 120yd (SU629324) 01963 733810
(New line OP 03/04/15)
p4 Telford Steam Railway Amend length to: 0.61 (Extension to Lawley opened 04/04/15)
p8 Epping Ongar Railway Amend length to: 5.67 (Extension to Epping Forest opened 18/04/15)
p8 Lincolnshire Wolds Railway Amend length: 1.50 (Trains no longer run south of Ludborough station)
p20 Grimsby & Cleethorpes Model Engineers Amend layout to: 'C'. Amend length to: 500yd
(Inner circuit is now covered as part of ride)
p27 Alford Valley Railway Amend to: 01975 564332
p29 Llechwedd Slate Caverns Delete entry (Line closed, last ran 12/14)
p32 Telford Steam Tramway Amend layout to: 'O'. Amend length to: 220yd (Extension OP 04/05/15).
MR70] Mid Hants Miniature Railway, Ropley, Hampshire (BLN 1230.MR39): Replacing the previous
line (which ran for the last time on Saturday 1 September 2012) at the east end of Ropley station, this
new 10¼" gauge railway opened on Good Friday, 3 April 2015. It is located at the west end of the
station; accessed through a gate near the Alresford end of the Up platform. The line is an 'E' layout of
around 120 yards. The only station, at the eastern end, is a simple single platform called 'Ropley High
Level'. There is no run-round loop. At the current western limit there is a two road shed formed of a
container. Beyond there are two possible routes for an extension, which have already been surveyed
but groundwork has not yet taken place, nor a decision made on which route to adopt. On Saturday 16
May 2015 trains were formed of 4-4wDE Patricia with one sit-in coach propelling out and hauling back
to the station. Fares are by donation. Trains started running at around 12.00 and operation is currently
on all Saturdays and during special events on the Mid Hants Railway.
MR71] Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Cornwall (MR p6): In early April 2015 it was announced that the
Railway is submitting a fresh business case to Cornwall Council for the reinstatement of the railway
alongside the Camel Trail from Boscarne to Wadebridge. The railway's Jimmy James said: 'Throughout
Bodmin and Wenford's 31 year history it has always been our objective to return the railway to
Wadebridge. In practical terms this has never been more than a dream, but the political climate has at
last been changing in favour of railway development both nationally and here in Cornwall. The railway
company is now submitting an outline business case to Cornwall Council for a Wadebridge extension.
This is a vital document, which is required to assess the feasibility and commercial viability of the
project, and the council is in favour of sponsoring it. However, the cost of such a project is beyond the
financial capacity of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway as now constituted, and would transform the
whole scale of our operations'.
The railway previously put forward plans to reinstate the line between the two towns back in 2007.
The former North Cornwall District Council gave its support for the company to carry out further
investigations along the Camel Trail, but the plans were not taken forward. The railway insists there
will be room for trains and cyclists and alternative solutions can be found at pinch-points. The last
passenger trains (with many members on) were two 4-car DMU trips from Bodmin Road (as it was
then) on 17 December 1978, over 3 months after freight traffic ceased.
MR72] Brecon Mountain Railway, Merthyr Tydfil (MR p30) (BLN 1207.MR53): A member visited this
railway on Tuesday 12 May 2015. Despite the rain, he found the first train of the day well loaded.
Motive power was the remarkable Baldwin 4-6-0 No2, with its unusual 8-wheel bogie tender, hauling
three saloons (B, C and D) and the 'caboose' style brake (E); the coaches are identified by letters rather
than numbers, and coach A was stabled in the workshop at Pant, along with an 0-6-0 diesel shunter.
Trains are allowed 30 minutes non-stop from Pant to Torpantau, including some steep climbing; after
a 10 minute run-round, the return journey is broken by a 30 minute stop at Pontsticill, with its café
and a small museum including three locomotives. The full round trip is thus allowed 100 minutes. Pant
station is a remarkable BMR construction, in the style of a Welsh non-conformist chapel, lying some
distance west of the ex-BR trackbed, which is joined around a quarter mile to the north. There are
passing loops at Pontsticill and at the former BMR terminus station (now closed) at Dolygaer; the ex-
BR Dolygaer station, a little way further on, is now an outdoor activities centre. The Torpantau
terminus is just south of an access road to the Taf Fechan forest.
MR73] Lincolnshire Wolds Railway, Lincolnshire (MR p8): On Sunday 3 May 2015 trains were formed
of 0-4-0ST 'Fulstow' (Peckett 1749 of 1928), at the northern end, and four ex-BR MKII coaches. Trains
run 1m 50ch north from Ludborough to North Thoresby. There is no run-round loop at the latter and
the end coach has been modified with a window from where the guard can supervise the propelling
movement back to Ludborough. Trains no longer seem to run south Ludborough platform. The last
round trip of the day was15.45 from Ludborough, 16.10 from North Thoresby. Class 08 D3167 was
attached at the southern end at Ludborough before departure. This was detached in the platform at
North Thoresby and went to collect the engineers' train stabled there in a short siding. It returned to
Ludborough after departure of the 16.10. Adult return was £7, (Edmondson card ticket).
MR74] Watford Miniature Railway, Hertfordshire (MR p18) (BLN 1225.MR10): The 10¼" gauge
railway, located in Cassiobury Park Watford, experienced a derailment during the afternoon of
Tuesday 7 April 2015. A number of children became 'trapped' under a coach, eyewitnesses stated.
Operator Jeff Price, said one woman was taken by her family to hospital for a cut on the head and
there were a number of 'grazed knees', but thankfully no one was seriously hurt. Daniel Reichmann,
from Edgware, who was on the train with about 10 other family members, said five minutes into the
trip there was 'a bang and a crash and a jolt'. He said there were 'a number of screams' as one of the
carriages derailed and the others behind crashed into it. Mr Reichmann (a volunteer paramedic and
part of the Reichmann family who built Canary Wharf in London) said 'About two or three children
were trapped under one of the carriages, but we managed to lift it off. One or two people were thrown
out of the carriage. There was a lot of screaming, but I assessed the children and there were no broken
bones or serious injuries. The driver was clearly shocked and immediately offered to refund the ride'.
Mr Price said the problem occurred with a faulty spring on one of the coaches, which has since been
removed from service. Watford Borough Council, which owns the park, said that the Health and Safety
Executive had been informed and would determine if further investigation or action was needed.
MR75] Belton House Miniature Railway, Lincolnshire (MR p20) (BLN 1213.MR109): This 7¼" gauge
railway runs in the grounds of Belton House, adjacent to the Children's Adventure Park; the only
railway in a National Trust property. On Sunday 26 April 2015 our reporter, noting the opening of the
biggest Adventure Park at a National Trust property and being a NT member and having a child with an
interest in such, naturally visited! He duly took a ride; the line is currently still as reported last year
with the minimal deviation at the far end, this was to eliminate the slight dip and was in fact nothing
directly to do with the putative extension. On this front, Stage II of the Adventure Park is due to open
by June and then Mardyke Miniature Railways will descend and add return loops at both ends of the
line (currently an 'E' layout). He pointed out to the staff this looked in the mind's eye like quite a task
and they suggested some wholesale deviations, nearer the river, to accommodate the loops with a
reasonable curvature. A big new station will also emerge near the new pedestrian river bridge more at
the far end, so moving the centre of operations that way. In fact it is hard to see the current station
surviving this upheaval, only the central section might remain unchanged. It was suggested all this
would be achieved by July, but 'watch our blog' associated with the Belton House website was the
suggestion. It was also intimated that a second rake of stock might be acquired; they appear to have
two Hymek locomotives, for two-train operation and increased capacity; whether this might require a
passing loop on the central section has not been determined.
MR76] Grimsby & Cleethorpes Model Engineers, Lincolnshire (MR p20) (BLN 1046.MR121): This
Society operates a ground level 5"/7¼" gauge railway at Waltham Windmill, south of Grimsby. Normal
public running is on Sundays from April to October from 12.00 to 16.00. A visit on Sunday 3 May 2015
found two trains running both hauled by steam locomotives. In use were a Hunslet tank and a 0-4-0
LSWR tank No741. A change from our reporter's 2007 visit is that passenger trains now cover the
(older) inner circuit as well as the outer circuit. This changes the layout to 'C' and increases the length
from 420yd to about 500yd. Rides were 60p for all. There is an excellent café in a former standard
gauge railway coach and free parking. The Society has planning permission for an extension, effectively
elongating the outer circuit on its north western and northern sides. This will involve a lengthy viaduct
over lower lying ground. The route has been marked out - but funding has to be found to construct it.
MR77] Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway, South Lanarkshire (MR p28) (BLN 1230 MR42): The
Railway's April newsletter reports that a tenant farmer, who in the past has blocked any extension of
the line towards Wanlockhead, has given up his lease, and the landowner, Buccleuch Estates, does not
intend to replace him with another farmer for the foreseeable future. Wanlockhead Village Council is
taking the opportunity to look at village projects previously blocked, the railway extension being one.
The Railway had arranged a meeting with Buccleuch Estates for 22 May.
MR78] Seaton Tramway, Devon (MR p32) (BLN 1206 p126): On 15 April East Devon District Council
approved the principle of the Council acquiring land at Sheep's Marsh from the private landowner
during the current financial year and entering into a 50 year lease with the tramway. This will enable
Seaton Tramway to redevelop the terminus site (part of the Seaton regeneration activities and in
keeping with neighbouring developments) and the Seaton Underfleet area planned for many years.
The tramway has been preparing a planning application for construction of its new Seaton terminus,
which will represent the biggest capital investment ever made in the tramway's history. If detailed
permission were granted, work would start in September, with opening planned for Easter 2016. The
application includes 'additional tramline' so it looks as if it might be extended closer to Harbour Road.
MR79] Post Office Railway, Greater London (BLN 1212 p269): On 22 April the British Postal Museum &
Archive announced that Severn Lamb would build the new trains to carry passengers over the small
part of the railway due to be reopened in 2016. The ride will let people take a trip through the post
office railway tunnels, as part of the site visit. Severn Lamb has almost 70 years experience creating
railway for the leisure industry, largely abroad, with clients including Disneyland Paris and Drayton
Manor Theme Park. They will be responsible for the creation of the train and associated railway for the
Mail Rail visitor attraction from design and construction, to the completion of the project next year.
1234 OTHERS' DOINGS:
Please mention the Branch line Society when booking/enquiring. A service to members and details must be checked with the organisers
1116] ScotRail: 50% discount on Off Peak/Super Off Peak tickets http://goo.gl/qnKMAu (travel out by
13 June; return by 12 July). ScotRail steam trips (BLN 1232.804) http://goo.gl/eBZzj9 01483 209888
NB: 27 June trip includes Larkfield Jn to Shields Jn and Newton Jn to Annbank Jn and Mauchline Jn.
1117] Eastbourne Military Museum, 13 June 14.00-16.00: Redoubt Fortress, Royal Parade BN22 7AQ
(sea front a mile east of the station). 'Great War Railwaymen' talk by Jeremy Higgins. £13 adults, £10
concessions, including admission, tea/coffee [email protected] or 01323 410300.
1118] Birkenhead Trams: (BLN 1181.411) Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society trams run from
Taylor Street half hourly 12.50 to 16.20; returning from Woodside 15 minutes later, this will apply for
the rest of 2015 (£2 adults, £1 child/concession). Alternate trams connect with the xx.30 Mersey Ferry
from/to Woodside. The Wirral Transport Museum is open 13.00-17.00 SSu & Bank Hols. Easter
Monday to late August, also school hols W-Su, 13.00-16.30 http://goo.gl/Q5NVkp 0151 647 2128.
1119] St. Albans South Signal Box: Next to P4 (Down Fast) at St. Albans City station, 5 Ridgmont Road,
AL1 3AJ. Open April to October, second and fourth Sunday of the month (November to March second
Sunday, not January) 14.00 to 17.00 and other dates/events per www.sigbox.co.uk website. No set
charge but donations are welcome, tea & coffee and a toilet available; five stars on Trip Advisor.
The box was built by the Midland Railway in June 1892 for quadrupling of the railway through St.
Albans. It is said to be currently the largest preserved Midland Railway box (a 42ft Type 2A) in the
country and unusually is on its original site. Closed by BR in December 1979, it was taken over on lease
from NR (which still own it) in 2006. £135k was raised and thousands of hours of volunteer effort were
contributed to restore the box and surrounding grounds in 2007/8. There are various working signals
in the 'Signalman's Garden' around the box with (on the ground floor) a signalling museum, other
railway artefacts, photographs and video. Upstairs the 1906 built 44 lever frame has been restored and
with all the appropriate block instruments and a computer simulator, can demonstrate how the box
was worked. Visitors can operate the bells and levers in the box and garden. The project received the
2010 NR Heritage restoration award (Invensys Signalling structures). Adjacent on the Midland Main
Line are frequent Thameslink EMUs, EMT Meridians and HSTs as well as cement, oil, aggregate and
infrastructure trains passing as well as the 'odd' railtour (talking of which, see booking form with this
BLN!). A St. Albans Signal Box Preservation Trust member should be on our 12 July Thameslink Tracker
with information and leaflets about the project. The Trust kindly supplied the two recent photographs.
1120] Lancashire Day Ranger: (BLN 1229.596 has full details) Current items included:
o Todmorden: New reinstated Todmorden curve hourly service.
o Darwen: current loop and single track alignments close from 18 July (see Head Lines section).
o Farnworth: Tunnel single line working (due to finish on/by Friday 2 October in practice).
o Blackpool North: due for major remodelling and resignalling (a 3 month closure from mid-
December 2016) with loss of two platforms and 'straightening out' of the rest for electrification
in 2017; two platforms will be extended to take 11 car Pendolinos. See (BLN 1233.902) re P1.
o Kirkham & Wesham: Remodelling; 'fast lines' now take longer than the slow (BLN 1202.196)!
o Huyton: Temporary three track layout (until re-quadrupling in 2017).
1121] Glenfield Railway Tunnel tours: Leicestershire Industrial History Soc. July 16-19 and September
10-13 at 10.00 & 11.30 (100yd) also 14.15 and 15.30 (400yd). Advanced booking only, full joining
advice will be supplied. Queries and applications: [email protected] or 0116 2415153.
1122] Middleton Railway, 18 & 19 July: Hunslet 150 Gala and employee reunion includes 'intensive'
passenger (and freight) running also on the Balm Road branch http://goo.gl/KY6wBo 0845 680 1758.
1123] The Wansbeck, Sat. 10 October: The Railway Touring Co. York (06.21/22.18) - Newcastle (08.50
/20.13). Includes Lynemouth Power Station and Boulby branches, the Stillington line and Norton
triangle (Teesside!) £92 standard (mostly steam hauled) http://goo.gl/2MbDq6 01553 661500.
1124] DAVID W. HUNTER: It is with great sorrow that the Society has learnt of the death of Dave
Hunter on Tuesday 26 May at Whipps Cross Hospital, London at the age of 68. Dave from Loughton
was a long term member of the Society, and a former Committee Member. A full obituary will appear
in BLN 1235. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalised, but anyone who wishes to be advised
of these should contact the Membership Secretary Alan Welsh per front page masthead details.
E-BLN ADDENDUM: Guess the location (right)
(From the final page of e-BLN 1233) this is the
archetypical branch line terminus of Watlington,
Oxfordshire. The picture was taken as recently as
1 March 2015 even though it CP 1957 and CG in
1961. The station (SU 6956 9510) was the end of
a 9 mile branch line from Princes Risborough, in
fields about a mile short of the town but looks
like a through station because it was intended to
be a cross-country line to Wallingford and
Chosley. The first 3½ miles of the line is now the
Chinnor & Princes Risborough preserved Railway.
The last 2½ miles was built as a separate branch from Chosley (GWR main line) to Wallingford (most is
also preserved) but capital was never raised to construct the central section. (Picture Iain Scotchman.)
Unusual Track, 4-7 June 2015: With thanks to Ian Delgado these should be checked first for latest
information via http://goo.gl/VL2txM and may be prone to short term alteration or cancellation:
Saturday 6 June: Down Temple Mills
Cadder Down Passenger Loop Stratford Olympic Park Jn X/O
Kilmarnock Through line Stanford-le-Hope X/O
Bickley Jn X/O Laindon country end X/O
South Croydon London end X/O Laindon P2 country end
Tonbridge London end X/O East Putney to Point Pleasant Jn
Down Fast Tonbridge Loop Kent House P1 / Up Passenger Loop
Up Fast Tonbridge Loop Streatham country end X/O
Sunday 7 June: Beckenham Junction X/O
Kilmarnock Through line Bickley Jn X/O
Mossend North Jn to Mossend East Jn Faversham London end X/O
Up Loversall at Loversall Carr Jn Deal X/O
Wakefield Westgate Down Through Stoats Nest Jn X/O
Philips Park West to Ashburys West Jns Horsham country end X/O
Rumney River Bridge Jn X/O Guildford London end X/O
Up Relief from Newport to Severn Fareham bay P2
Fareham country end X/O
Tunnel Jn including Bishton flyover
Colchester Jn X/O Havent West & East X/Os
Shenfield Country End Jn X/O Monday 8 to Thursday 11 June:
Up Temple Mills Maindee North Jn to Maindee East Jn
Abellio Greater Anglia e-BLN Quiz: Just for fun, with thanks to Mike McCabe, answers in e-BLN 1235
1. What were the names of the three Norwich termini?
2. What were the names of the three Great Yarmouth termini?
3. Which is the only section of the former Midland and Great Northern Railway on Network Rail in
regular passenger use?
4. What percentage of ticket sales at Liverpool Street are by machine?
5. How many 1500v DC sliding door EMUs were built for the Liverpool Street to Shenfield
6. Which two London termini were electrified at 1500v DC?
7. Which river does Trowse swing bridge cross?
8. Why is one of AGA's EMUs called 'Phoenix'?
9. What was the previous name of Colchester Town station?
10. What was displayed in the cab windows of Norwich allocated DMUs in the early 1980s?
11. What was unique about the Anglia franchise when the railways were first privatised?
12. What do Crewe, Romford, Wimbledon and Penistone have in common?
13. Which AGA served station is only accessible by foot, boat or train?
14. What is the former name of Harwich International station?
15. Which station did the Royal Family use when they visited Sandringham before it closed in 1970?
16. Which line is marketed as the 'Mayflower Line'?
17. When did the Abellio Greater Anglia franchise commence?
18. A partnership exists between AGA and which companies for travel to Holland, and what is it
19. Which is the only station served by AGA but not operated by them?
20. What was the name of the curve, constructed by BR in 1960 which considerably shortened the
rail distance between two Norwich terminii?
Distribution: Dave Monger, 6 Underhill Close, GODALMING, GU7 1NU. [email protected] 07592 585230.
Branch Line: Nick Garnham, [email protected] Subscribe: [email protected]
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]
Chairman: John Williamson, 'La Marguerite', Croit-E-Quill Rd., LAXEY, Isle of Man, IM4 7JD. [email protected]
SALES: Mark Gomm, 84 Mornington Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT, ST1 6EL. [email protected] 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]
Midlands & South West England: Brian Schindler, 15 Sudeley, Dosthill, TAMWORTH, B77 1JR. [email protected]
Northern England & Isle of Man: Graeme Jolley, 3 Laurel Cottages, Rencell Hill, LAXEY, Isle of Man, IM4 7BJ. [email protected]
Scotland: Bob Watt, 18 Kilmailing Road, GLASGOW, G44 5UJ. [email protected]
Minor Railways (British Isles): Peter Scott, 93 Josephine Court, Southcote Rd, READING, RG30 2DQ. [email protected]
International: Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ. [email protected]
E-BLN (Distribution problems and for image submission etc): Dave Cromarty, [email protected]
Editor/Head Lines: Paul Stewart, 4 Clarence Close, MALVERN, WR14 3HX. [email protected] 01684 562862 / 07790652351.
Printed by Deva Enterprises, Waters Edge, The Drive, Ifold, LOXWOOD, West Sussex RH14 0TD, tel: 01403 752837, [email protected]
or [email protected] . Published by the Branch Line Society, 10 Sandringham Rd, Stoke Gifford, BRISTOL, BS34 8NP. ISSN 1354-0947