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Published by membersonly, 2018-03-17 02:09:59

1298

3rd February 2018

Issue Number 1298 (Items 195 - 300 &IsMsuRe2N2u-mMbRer3102)68 (E-BLN 59 PAGES) 3 Feb 2018

BRANCH LINE NEWS

Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955

WEBSITE ADDRESS: branchline.uk

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

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

……………… BLN 1299 is dated Sat 24 FeSbo[cNieBty:.3SoWcieEtEyK. GAP] Contributions must be received by 14 Feb

195] New BLS Fixtures: Our members have repeatedly asked for as much notice of new fixtures as
possible to make arrangements and we do attempt to release them for booking as soon as we can.
Those which can be booked on our website (fully securely with cards) are now released as soon as
possible. This means they may not appear in BLN until up to 13 days later; 20 with a three week BLN
gap. Booking forms are no longer issued (the savings help cover website running costs and it is much
less work for your volunteer Committee). Moving with the times, to further modernise the Society
and appeal to young people (the future of the BLS), for new fixtures details on release sign up to:

Branch Line https://goo.gl/bLftF2 (automatic acceptance) and receive emails when new fixtures
are released (available to non-members too), or watch: Our website Forum/fixtures pages, or join
BLS Facebook (800+ members) https://goo.gl/6JVpSv BLS Twitter https://goo.gl/Ttpum2
(1,330+ followers) or WNXX Interactive https://goo.gl/S5BDtU forum. Fixtures details will, of
course, appear in the next available BLN. Please email [email protected] with short
term news etc to make the Branch Line service useful. NOTE: Under the new 2018 European Union
General Data Protection Regulation we are not able to use the e-BLN email list for extra emailings.

Date Event and details BLN Lead Status
1298 JE *OPEN*
Sun 25/2/18 08.30-14.30 Newcastle: T&W Metro tour UPDATE BELOW

Sun 25/2/18 16.50-17.30 Tanfield Railway - Terrace Jn - Marley Hill Depot 1298 JE *OPEN*

24-25/3/18 The Sussex Salopian track & traction tour to Bognor Regis 1295 JE OPEN

24/3/18 PM PM Bognor Regis, Hotham Park 12¼" gauge railway tour  1296 JE OPEN

25/3/18 AM 08.00-10.00: Crewe Heritage Centre tour (see e-BLN 1296) e1296 JE Enquire

Sat 7/4/18 Late morning visits to 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park Railway 1298 TV *OPEN*

Sun 15/4/18 10.15-15.15: Crich VERY Comprehensive repeat tour 1296 JE OPEN

20-24/4/18 5 day tour: Finnish freight lines that might be finishing 1290 IS OPEN

Sat 28/4/18 Save the day for another mainline Society Railtour TBA TBA Claimed

3 to 5/5/18 Island of Ireland Thur - Sat: FULL WITH A FULL WAITING LIST 1295 KA CLOSED

Sun 6/5/18 Dublin Irish Rail mainline tour - please notify further interest 1295 KA Notify
Sat 12/5/18 The 565 Special - Take 2 with WCR & Colas Class 37s 1298 JE *OPEN*
Sat 2/6/18 PM: The Arlington Explorer Eastleigh Works track/traction 1297 JE OPEN

Thu 14/6/18 The Nosey Peaker, DRS Cl 37s Stafford 08.30-Crewe 17.00 1298 JE *OPEN*
Sun 1/7/18 Ketton Cement Works, Rutland, all day track & traction event TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 21/7/18 Middlesbrough Goods, AV Dawson, (new) track & traction 1297 JE OPEN

Sun 5/8/18 Standard gauge Scottish minor railway, save date TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 25/8/18 NEW: Adrian Shooter's Beeches Light Railway, Oxfordshire TBA TBA Claimed
Mon 27 Aug Summer Scunthorpe Steeler tour No16 (Bank Holiday Mon) TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 27 Oct PROVISIONAL 2018 AGM, Yorkshire weekend with film show TBA TBA Claimed

IS-Iain Scotchman, JE-Jill Everitt, KA-Kev Adlam, TV-Terry Valvick,  = book online at branchline.uk

X.12] .CHARITY SILENT AUCTION:. An accompanied VIP footplate ride experience for two people on
an East Midlands Trains HST. All money raised to 'Railway Children' **Minimum reserve £700**.
An exclusive offer for Branch Line Society members! EMT is offering the opportunity for a lucky bidder
to experience the wonders of a VP185 powered (or MTU after May, or both) HST footplate experience
in exchange for a charitable donation to Railway Children (which can be gift aided). The winning bidder
and a friend/relative will be accompanied by a senior member of the EMT operations team who will
act as your expert guide for the day while you enjoy a driver's eye experience in the cab of a HST at
speeds up to 125mph. This is a rare treat that normally falls into the Money can't buy category… but
for you it can, and comes with an added charitable feel-good factor! How much is this once in a
lifetime opportunity worth to you? Maybe you would like to win it as the ultimate present for a friend?

Surely this is an opportunity not to miss‽ A mutually suitable date will be agreed with the winning
bidder, as will the format for the day regarding start time/location and services to be covered.
Examples of previous charity footplate rides have involved a full return trip along the amazing Midland
Mainline between Nottingham and London, and a trip from Derby Etches Park via Beighton to
Sheffield, then to St Pancras, on to Cricklewood Depot, back to St Pancras, Nottingham and Derby.
EMT will make it bespoke for you (rare track at Etches Park and/or Cricklewood are possible).
Bids by email to [email protected] with 'BLS Footplate Ride' in the header. The body
of the email need only state the amount of the bid and contact details (Name, email, phone number).
Anybody submitting a bid must be over 18 and have the funds available to pay into a 'Just Giving' site
at the close of the auction. Children aged eight and over are eligible to participate in the footplate ride,
however they must be well behaved and accompanied by a responsible adult friend/relative. Full
details of requirements for the day will be explained in detail prior to the event. Due to the nature of
the cab environment, applicants must be able bodied to access the cab from ballast level. The highest
bid as at midday Wednesday 28 February 2018 will win! Contact will be made directly with the winner
via the details provided. Details of the day out will also be shared in a future BLN - it could be you!
PREVIOUS PAGE: Two random members, winners of a previous Society EMT charity auction, (who arrived in
the HST cab ECS from Derby Etches Park) at Sheffield P8 before heading off to St Pancras. (Martin Ward)

ABOVE: Our Pickering Paxman HST tour with EMT on 15 Jul 2017 at Grosmont (North Yorkshire Moors
Railway) under the former Scarborough Falsgrave signal gantry (BLN 1297.167). (Geoff Plumb)

96] Tyne & Wear Metro Tour, Sun 25
Feb: UPDATED With thanks to our
member John Cameron and Nexus
(Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport
Executive). Please give this your
support as it might lead to further
tour/s in future. South Gosforth P2
depart 08.49; outline: Four Lane Ends - facing crossover -
Benton P1 (rev) - South Gosforth P1 - Stoneyhurst Road
Siding (rev) - trailing crossover - South Gosforth P2 -
Tynemouth P2 (rev) - trailing crossover - South Gosforth
P1 - Pelaw Siding - Monkseaton P2 - facing crossover -
siding (rev) - South Gosforth P1 - Stoneyhurst Road
Siding (rev) - trailing crossover - Airport (break 12.00 to
12.58 with better facilities than at St James) - Jesmond Jn
- Manors P1 Spur - Stoddart Street Sidings (rev) - facing
crossover - St James (rev) - Tynemouth - Pelaw Sidings
(rev) - Regent Centre facing crossover - Regent Centre
Siding - South Gosforth P1 arrive 15.43. For the
'avoidance' of doubt Gosforth West Jn - Gosforth East Jn via the bidirectional single track Gosforth
Depot Avoiding Line has been disused for some years. It was used for diversions years ago but the
speed was so slow an adequate service could not be run and the points were prone to fail.
ABOVE RIGHT: South Gosforth P2 a train heading north, from the Control room. (Ian Hughes Jan 2018)

BLS Members only, maximum 128 places, £50 each, £5 reduction for under 18s (accompanied only).
Please book on our website (you must be logged in) for immediate confirmation to greatly assist your
volunteer Committee. Postal bookings, cheque/CPA to Jill Everitt per back page with SAE. To follow…

197] Tanfield Railway, Sun 25 Feb, c16.00: Old Marley
Hill, Gateshead, NE16 5ET, (NZ 209 572) (MR p9)
https://goo.gl/rDbKOb Just 9 miles (23 minutes) from
South Gosforth this historic, interesting 2½ mile long
standard gauge line has an 'On the Waggon' special
event. Brakevan rides on a freight train can be enjoyed
as well as the normal service train with steam haulage. £10 per person for the public ride (pay the
railway on the day). .At the end of service, John Cameron has arranged a Society short private trip,.
.from 16.50 to 17.30, to cover the rare curve from Terrace Jn to Marley Hill Depot.. £6 per head for
our charter only, book online (preferred) or post with SAE to Jill Everitt. Book for others with their
full name and membership number. If you require (as possible) or can offer lift/s, on a cost sharing
basis, from South Gosforth, please advise in the booking page comments section and how many.

X.13] 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park Railway, Sat 7 April: (BLN 1288.MR168, picture e-BLN) Our well
known members Terry and Elizabeth Velvick have kindly arranged a Society visit to this 10¼" gauge
railway which only opened in March 2016 on the A339 Newbury Road, Headley, Hampshire, RG19 8JY,
(SU 509 635). The visit is expected to begin late morning, £4 per head (pay on the day cash only), non-
members welcome, charge for the railway and admission (the other children's activities are not
included!) a considerable saving on the normal adult admission of £9.95. The café will be available to
purchase refreshments. Not available on line, to book: please send an A5 size SAE to Terry at 75 Castle
View Gardens, Westham, Pevensey, BN24 5HS by 17 March. BLS Fixtures Terms & Conditions apply.

NEXT PAGE TOP: Tanfield Railway, the rare curve; a passenger train from Marley Hill (left) in Jul 1979.
The passenger run is now where the two black wagons are; the Bowes wagons are on that railway!

THIS PAGE BELOW: A Society visit to the Tanfield Railway on 14 Jul 1990, one of a number in the area,
based around the Gateshead Garden Festival. The train is at Marley Hill before departure.

NEXT PAGE TOP: The highlight of the trip was a propelling run to the buffers east of Marley Hill over
the former flat crossing over the passenger line on the stub of the original Bowes Railway. A well
known member from Quinton is maximising the track on the end balcony. Marley Hill signal box is
right and Marley Hill station is just past the loco off to the left of the picture. (All Ian Mortimer)

NEXT PAGE LOWER: On the former flat crossing, in the distance is Terrace Jn; the (nowadays rare)
curve round to Marley Hill is left. The tour also went to the Marley Hill west end buffet stops. Not rail
served at the end, Marley Hill Colliery, closed on 3 Mar 1983 (between the dates of the two visits).

198] 'The 565 Special - Take 2' - Sat 12 May: With a WCR Class 37 (requested)
Carnforth - Crewe then TWO Colas Rail Class 37 locos (over 600 miles of Class 37
haulage, subject to availability). All profits and all raffle income will be donated
to the Midlands Air Ambulance, Stroke Association and Hope House Children's
Hospice. There will be a buffet with hot/cold drinks, breakfast rolls, freshly
prepared sandwiches, snacks and light refreshments in Standard Class; First Class
includes complimentary light refreshments. A wide range of real ales will be
available. Provisional route/timings validated by WCR and bid to NR: Carnforth
(05.45) - Lancaster (05.58) - Preston (06.25) - Wigan NW (06.49) - Warrington BQ
(07.05) - Crewe (08.00) - Stafford (08.33) - Lichfield Curve - Wichnor Jn - Castle Donington - Syston
Curve - Peterborough - Ely - Bury St Edmunds - Stowmarket Up & Dn Gds Loop (rev) - Norwich (2 hour
break) - Wymondham - Ely West Curve - Peterborough - Leicester - Nuneaton North Chord - Canal
Farm Jn - Lichfield - Stafford (20.17) - Crewe (20.52) - Warrington BQ (21.40) - Wigan NW (21.56) -
Preston (22.21) - Lancaster (22.46) - Carnforth (22.58). Standard Class £89; First Class Plus with
complimentary light refreshments £139/Table for Two £295. Under 18s: £5 reduction all fares (must
be accompanied). Booking via our website greatly assists your volunteer Committee (log in if you are a
member) or post to Jill Everitt with an SAE. Queries to Jill too please. IMPORTANT: Please indicate
where you plan to board/leave (can be changed); special requests will be accommodated as possible.

BELOW: 37254 & 37175 in Crewe Up & Down Loop waiting to take the first BLS/'565 Special' to
Carmarthen via Chester. Looking south, P12 is on the right and P11 is left. (Geoff Plumb 2 Sep 2017)

199] The Nosey Peaker, Thu 14 Jun: We are delighted to announce an exciting loco hauled railtour,
our annual prelude to the Three Peaks Challenge by Rail, raising money for Railway Children. Operated
by Direct Rail Services (DRS), it traverses unusual lines in the North West, with a leg stretch break and
photo stop at Reddish South! Five First Class open coaches will be available (max 210 capacity), hauled
by three DRS Class 37s operating (2+1) in top 'n tail formation, subject to availability. There will be an
on train raffle with all proceeds donated to Railway Children and a buffet service of hot breakfast rolls,
hot cold drinks and light snacks. Note that the train terminates at Crewe. Validated route bid to NR:

Stafford P1 08.30 (PU) - Dn Slow - .Basford Hall Dn Fast Independent - Sorting Sidings North Jn -
South Yard Bypass. - Crewe P12 09.00 (PU/rev) - .Crewe PAD No2 Road (rev) - Down Manchester
Independent - Stockport P4 - .Dn Fast. - Manchester Pic - Ordsall Chord - Manchester Vic 10.30 (PU)
- Ashton Moss North Jn - Denton Jn - Reddish South (break) - .Heaton Norris Up Goods Loop. -
Stockport - Buxton (rev) - .Buxton XYZ Sdgs (rev) - Peak Forest. - New Mills South Jn - .Dn Cheadle Lp.
- Northenden Jn - Altrincham - Northwich - Sandbach - Up Manchester Loop - Crewe P1 17.00 (SD).

Only £59 members, non-members £71, which includes a hot drink. To assist your volunteer Committee
please book on line at www.branchline.uk for immediate acknowledgement or ask someone to do
this for you (needing your full name and membership number). Paper booking forms are no longer
printed. Postal bookings to Jill Everitt with cheque/CPA ('Branch Line Society') with email address/SAE.

1298 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
200] Kellingley Colliery Branch Jn (SE 5318 2334) - Kellingley Colliery (SE 5189 2364): (BLN 1288.1829)
CG; the final spoil train left for Killingholme 08.07 Fri 24 Nov 2017 (previously ROG Mon 21 Aug 2017).

201] Dean Forest Railway, Norchard Low Level (9m 58ch) - Middle Forge Jn (9m 33ch): CP (regular
booked public workings) after last running Sun 26 Nov 2017. Now used on special event days only.

202] Immingham West Jn - Killingholme (2m 01ch): (BLN 1288.1830) NRU; the last spoil train from
Kellingley Colliery arrived 12.06 Fri 24 Nov 2017, the final Peak Forest stone (to top the spoil) train
arrived 17.27 Thu 6 Dec 2017 returning at 22.32. On Fri 15 Dec a trial spoil train ran at 01.56 from Bow
Olympics Depot arriving 09.48; the wagons returned to Scunthorpe BSC Yard at 13.41. This may
become a regular flow but there have been no trains since. The branch previously ROG 21 Aug 2017.

203] Aln Valley Railway, Alnwick Lionheart; diverging points past station platforms (NU 2002 1218) -
Shed/workshop headshunt (NU 2014 1224): (BLN 1297.114) CP after last Santa special on Sun 17 Dec,
last normal day of service Sun 17 Sep 2017. The final 6½ chains of the previous run in to the shed
headshunt is no longer part of the passenger run which now curves round further north on the incline
down to the original branch trackbed. The headshunt can have rolling stock stabled at its extremity.

204] Aln Valley Railway, Alnwick Lionheart; diverging points past station platforms (NU 2002 1218) -
Bridge 6, (NU 2070 1203), temporary terminus (on Alnmouth - Alwick branch): (BLN 1297.114) OP/
ROP Thu 28 Dec 2017, special event 'Mince Pie Specials' first train 11.00 then hourly until 15.00,
pre-booking not required (also 29th and 30th). This extends the run from 20ch to 45ch (31½ch of this is
'new') and will be used for future public runs. Unballasted track extends about 200yds past Bridge 6.

205] Epping Ongar Railway, Stonards Hill (9.0km) - 7.8km post (before Coopersale Common Bridge):
(BLN 1298.115) ROP first train 31 Dec 2017 (closure was only one day - engineering works overran).

206] Porth (excl) - Treherbert (incl) and 7 intermediate stations: TCP/A at 15.43 Sun 21 Jan due to a
landslip in very heavy rain with about 50 tonnes of debris near MP 16¾; ROP 19.00 Wed 24 Jan 2018.

207] Fort William Jn - Mallaig (incl) and 9 intermediate stations; TCP/A Mon 22 until Sun 28 Jan 2018
(first train 18.21 Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig arriving on time at 23.35). On 22 Jan the leading axle
on the front bogie of the 06.03 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street 2-car DMU derailed due to a 1,000
tonne landslip (19m 20ch) between Lochailort and Glenfinnan. A NR Road Rail Vehicle took the five

passengers to waiting taxis (so there was a silver
lining). The landslip was a large washout of the
hillside from about 70yd above, 5-10yd wide
with flooding in the cess; the boulders and slurry
washed down the hillside had overwhelmed the
drainage system. On 26 Jan, after the line had
been cleared, a WCR Class 37 took the rerailed
DMU to Fort William at 5mph. The track was
relaid on 27 & 28 Jan. (Pictures all Network Rail.)

208] Limerick (0m 56ch) - Ennis (excl) & Sixmilebridge station: TCA Sat 27 Jan 2018 to further notice
(some weeks expected); flooding at Ballycar Lough. It similarly TCA for 110 days in 2014 & 40 in 2016.
209] Preston, Fylde Jn - Kirkham North Jn - Blackpool South (incl) and eight intermediate stations:
(BLN 1275.365) ROP Mon 29 Jan 2018 (after TCP 11 Nov 2017) following infrastructure, electrification
(to Kirkham North Jn) and resignalling works. Control is from Manchester Rail Operating Centre, (new)
Blackpool Workstation. Phase 2, from Kirkham North Jn to Blackpool North, is due to ROP Mon 26 Mar.
210] Birmingham, Washwood Heath, Heartlands Park: (Former Metropolitan Cammel Works.) The rail
link CA after what is thought to have been the final working left on Mon 29 Jan 2018 at 10.32 to
Nottingham Eastcroft. The site (required for a HS2 depot) has recently been cleared of stock; Boden
Rail Engineering is relocating to part of East Midlands Trains Nottingham Eastcroft DMU Depot.
211] Epping Ongar Railway, Stonards Hill (9.0km*) - Epping Forest (9.4km*): (BLN 1296.12) ROP is
now expected Sat 10 Feb 2018 after TCP 4 Nov 2017 following the disappearance of trackside signs.

212] Ely North Jn - King's Lynn (incl) & three stations: TCP (TCG?) due Mon 12 until Fri 16 Feb 2018
(half term) for work costing £1m on the double track six span Great Catch Bridge (73m 61ch) north of
Ely North Jn. It includes strengthening with 24 steel plates to maintain present line speed and painting.

213] Londonderry, Foyle Valley Railway: (BLN 1264.1708) The Railway Museum expects to reopen in
May and plans, initially, short rides in County Donegal Railways Joint Committee railcar No12.

214] Aberdeen (excl) - Dyce (excl): NR is consulting on TCP 11 May - 20 Aug 2018 (the latter is when
local schools start back after the summer holiday) for redoubling work (Schoolhill and Hutcheon Street
Tunnels are not included) - when the line was singled some bridges were rebuilt for one track.

215] Springburn: Up Springburn line (0m 61ch) - Sighthill East Jn & Sighthill East Jn, Down Springburn
(0m 56ch) - (0m 59ch): CP from Sun 20 May 2018. These are Connections of Strategic Importance
between Springburn P1 & 2 and the Bellgrove line. The connections are currently used by trains
between Cumbernauld and Dumbarton/Balloch reversing in P1 & 2. In the new timetable all trains
from/to the Bellgrove line terminate/start at Springburn in bays P3 & 4 (at present P3 is only used by
the 22.44 (SuX) from Balloch; P4 has no booked use). The new pattern of service will be Glasgow
Queen Street HL - Edinburgh, half-hourly EMUs via Springburn, Cumbernauld and Falkirk Grahamston.

X.14] Hamworthy Jn - Hamworthy Quay: (BLN 124.239) It has been reported that stone traffic will
finish, probably in April, some of the stone is shipped to the Channel Islands and the contract has
ended or will soon. The stone terminal, which is near the main line end of the branch, may be cleared
for housing development. (Previously ROG Wed 25 Jan 2017.) There is no other traffic on the branch.

1298 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]
216] TRACKmaps, Vol 1 Scotland: Edited by Martyn Brailsford, 6th Edition, 26 pages, various Heritage
lines. IOM & Glasgow Subway, RRP £12.95. Fully revised and updated since the last edition 10 years
ago. Subject to a min order of 80: £11.50 including P&P with a further significant discount if collected
and paid for on a tour. Email interest to our Sales Officer, Mark Gomm [email protected] or
post a Cheque/CPA (Branch Line Society). Order being placed 5 Feb, postal copies sent out on receipt.

217].WANTED!.Unwanted/Duplicate Christmas Presents: Anything suitable as a prize for our on train
charity raffles (or, if very choice/valuable, for auction) greatly appreciated. Please contact Paul Stewart
or Tim Wallis. Every prize is donated, as are the tickets even so every penny goes to the good causes.

218] PSUL 2018 - UPDATE (1) (with thanks to Richard Maund) 218]
Minor retimings are ignored, the latest version of PSUL can always be found on our website.
Page 6: [Junction Road Junction - ] Covered Way west end - Gospel Oak Junction: use
ceases from 21 May 2018 - this entry will be deleted in future editions.
Page 8: Seven Sisters Junction - South Tottenham - Tottenham South Junction: 2U00
05.30 Liverpool Street - Enfield Town expected to resume via this route from 26 May 2018.
Page 11: Golborne Junction - Lowton Junction - Parkside Junction: electrification of
Chorley route is not now expected to be before the December 2018 timetable change.
Page 13: Reading East Main Junction, 8421 points - Reading Southern Junction
(Reading Low Level line): Saturdays: add: 1V47 12.03 Gatwick Airport - Reading.
Page 14: Norchard Low Level - Middle Forge Junction ground frame: delete reference to
regular services (no timetable booked service in 2018) and transfer to special events page 22.
Page 21: Contact details: Railway Preservation Society of Ireland: 028 9337 3968.
Page 22: Horsted Keynes entry to read: … to limit of former line towards Ardingly.

219] BLN 1297 Quiz: (BLN 1298.127) We asked a simple question: Which national network station with
through lines does not have through passenger trains but separate services that arrive and depart each
end of the station? However our members, with a reputation to maintain, don't do 'simple' and can
always be relied on to make things complicated. Ellesmere Port was the station (singular). However,
Alton and Matlock also meet the criteria. In both cases the heritage railway runs into the NR station at
the opposite end to the normal passenger services. This is distinct from Sheringham, East Grinstead
and Paignton, with separate stations (Okehampton applies when GWR run summer Sunday services.)

Alton is now similar to the arrangements in place from the start of electric services on 4 Jul 1937 until
the Mid-Hants line CP 5 Feb 1973. There may have been the occasional through train/railtour, and
there were regular diversions while the Bournemouth line was being electrified and resignalled in the
1960s, but changing at Alton was normally required. The situation of electric meeting steam or diesel,
requiring passengers usually to change trains, has applied elsewhere, including Birkenhead Park
(3 May 1903 to 13 Mar 1938), Maidstone West (28 May 1939 to 18 Jun 1961), Royston (6 Feb 1978 to
14 May 1988) and Hooton (30 Sep 1985 to 2 Sep 1993). At Maidstone West, EMUs began running to
Paddock Wood on 12 Jun 1961, but the steam timetable was operated for the first week, so a change
of train was probably still necessary. At most other places where electrification ended part way along a
line, steam or diesel trains continued to provide a through service. Rock Ferry became an end-on
interchange when Birkenhead Woodside closed, at least after Hinderton Field Sidings closed
(according to Swift) but it is thought there wasn't a running connection between the Liverpool and
Chester lines until electrification was extended to Hooton.

As the Central Line was electrified to Epping, a change of trains was needed at Leytonstone (5 May to
13 Dec 1947), Woodford (14 Dec 1947 to 20 Nov 1948) then Loughton (21 Nov 1948 to 25 Sep 1949).
However, there remained a few through trains between Liverpool Street (main line) and Epping; the
last reference to these in PSUL was in the 1970/71 edition. Even after electrification to Ongar in 1957
it was still necessary to change at Epping, because only a short four car train was used on the Ongar
shuttle. That was all that was required for the number of passengers and the power supply would not
support a full length train to Ongar. However, it is thought that there were through workings to/from
Loughton at the beginning and end of service. For many years it was usually necessary to change trains
at Hainault, but there may have been exceptions. Although not a National Rail station, normally there
are not through passenger trains between the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland lines at Porthmadog.

220] Points & Slips: ●BLN 1296.17 & 1297.129] Regarding the Carlton Road Jn to Junction Road Jn link
between the Gospel Oak to Barking line and the Midland Main Line: The West Thurrock to
Oxwellmains empty cement train which sets off just before midnight, is often routed via the West
Anglia line to Cambridge and then Peterborough and Melton Mowbray to regain its normal path.
The 28 Dec departure referred to in BLN actually went that way. So the normal train was cancelled, but
a different VSTP (Very Short Term Planning) schedule https://goo.gl/s4sJy5 was used for the train.
As can be seen, it did not use the line in question. Unfortunately this website cannot confirm the
routing of the loaded train that morning as it did not report properly. It was photographed at
Millbrook (south of Bedford) https://goo.gl/X8AB67 that day, so must have used the line in question.
Thus the link was used on the morning of 28th but not the early hours of 29 Dec.

The Charlwood House website http://www.charlwoodhouse.co.uk/ retains data for 400 days. It also,
reportedly, picks up more VSTP schedules and late changes (by checking the relevant sources more
often). It also shows 'off route' reports when trains divert from their booked path.

●1297.120] The 05.30 (SO) from Liverpool Street to Enfield Town has run via Stoke Newington since it
last went via the South Tottenham PSUL route on 30 Apr 2016. ●133] The second pictures of the work
at Derby station on Fri 12 Jan captured a now relatively unusual working - the one weekday train that
uses the short bay P5 (being abolished with the remodelling). The 16.07 (SSuX) from Crewe is due to
arrive at 17.26 then forms 17.52 to Nottingham; three arrivals and four departures are also booked
Saturdays with none Sundays. ●143] The Grade II* Great Northern Railway Warehouse that is to be
redeveloped is the one at Deansgate in Manchester. ●167] English Heritage claimed the Grade II listed
signal gantry formerly at Scarborough Falsgrave box was 'the very last cross-track semaphore signal
gantry in use on Britain's main line railways'. Harrogate North box https://goo.gl/vU86uf is the last.
The Down Siding used to pass underneath it (probably more lines too) - it still does although disused
with the connection to the Down Main plain lined. The former Northstead Carriage Sidings were west
of the Whitby line going north out of Scarborough. ●169] The York - Bournemouth train mentioned
was curtailed to run between York and Banbury during the winter 1959-60 timetable, which started
2 Nov 1959 rather than 14 Sep due to a printers' strike! The train, 10.19 from York and 15.21 return
from Banbury, was formed of a BR North Eastern Region 4-car DMU. ●187] On our 6 Jan 2018 tour at
Scunthorpe, the rare crossover used after the BOS Gantry was Points 151 to 149 rather than at 160.

221] Transport for the North (TfN) (BLN 1297.128) Has outlined its ambitious Northern Powerhouse
Rail 'emerging vision'. The proposed investment (extra to BLN 1297 list), related to HS2: A new Leeds
- Bradford - Manchester line. Manchester Piccadilly: 8 through services - unspecified - per hour, (not
clear if this is HS2 or conventional rail). Hope Valley line upgrade. Leeds/Sheffield - Hull upgrades.

The plan identifies seven 'corridors of opportunity' - some are vague aspirations, including: 'Southern
Pennines' corridor: (i) proposed improvements from the Port of Liverpool to the Humber Ports, via
Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Sheffield City Region (ii) 'Strengthening cross-border movements'
into the East Midlands. 'Connecting the Energy Coasts': exploring ways to improve travel between
some of the UK's vital non-carbon energy and research assets in Cumbria, North Lancashire, North
Yorkshire, the North East and Tees Valley. In the short term, TfN has begun a rolling programme lasting
until 2021 to introduce integrated and smart ticketing across the north of England.

The think tank 'IPPR North' claims in a new study that planned transport investment in London is 250%
higher per person than in the north of England and this is 'indefensible'. The calculations are based on
data from the Treasury and the Infrastructure & Projects Authority: London: £4,155; West Midlands:
£3,029; North West: £2,439; South East: £1,307; East Midlands: £1,134; East of England: £1,134;
South West: £984; North East: £855; Yorkshire & the Humber: £844. The North: (North West, North
East, Yorkshire and the Humber) average is £1,600; all regions: £1,955. IPPR North considers that as a
statutory body TfN needs to be given similar powers to TfL so it can encourage business investment
and borrow for its own infrastructure, instead of 'going cap in hand to central government'.

222] Christmas Brush, 2 Dec: Due to space/time pressure this tour report has been deferred to BLN 1299.

223] Capolago - Generoso: A member is trying to trace another he met on our Christmas Brush railtour of 2 Dec who
had written an article about this Swiss line and was the first Brit to ride on it. Please get in touch via your BLN Editor.

1298 EAST MIDLANDS (John Cameron) [email protected]
224] Midland Main Line: On 22 Jan from 14.14 until the end of service a fault with the bidirectional
signalling meant that Up and Down services ran on the Down and Up lines respectively between
Market Harborough and Kilby Bridge Jn. The Up & Down slow was also in regular passenger use
between Kilby Bridge Jn and Wigston North Jn. Those lucky enough to be caught up in it did some rare
crossovers! [The term 'Bang Road' refers to travelling wrong direction without bidirectional signalling.]

225] NET: Tramlink Nottingham - that operates Nottingham Express Transit - lost almost £1M a week
during the year to Mar 2017, according to their annual report just released. Over £3 was lost per
passenger trip with auditors warning that the company might be unable to pay its debts in the future.

Turnover increased by £15M to £60.6M with a loss of £48.5M; Tramlink Nottingham said that this was
due to an impairment charge (reduced value of an asset). The report is the first full year of operation
of the extended NET system. A spokesman for Tramlink Nottingham said that (paraphrased) the debt
reflects the construction and infrastructure costs of completing the two new lines and buying new
trams. The expanded network is operating successfully and is fully financed for the duration of the
concession. Debt was reduced by £4.8M in the most recent period and they have stated that they will
continue to meet all requirements of their contract, which is due to run until 2034. A Nottingham City
Council spokesman said that they had no current concerns of the viability of the company.

226] Grimsby Light Railway: (BLN 1293.2283) On Tue 16 Jan a track recorder was recorded traversing
the line from Immingham East Jn (07.42) to Marsh West Jn (08.08); it then visited Barton-on-Humber.

227] Nottingham: The widely reported station fire that started at 06.30 in the ladies toilets on Fri 12
Jan was the worst fire in Nottingham for 20 years. Fortunately the City's main fire station had been
relocated a few hundred yards away in London Road just a few weeks earlier! Thanks to the prompt
and appropriate actions of the Fire Brigade, damage to the heritage part of the station was relatively
light and will be easy to repair. Most damage was to the southern concourse area, opened as part of
the £60M station upgrade in 2014, and the stairs leading to some platforms.

A reduced service ran over the weekend with the full train service resuming on Mon 15th. By the next
day the area around the bottom of the stairs from P7 was boarded up, as was the footbridge beyond
the stairs to P5/6. The whole of the new part of the station including the booking office was sealed off
with police tape (arson is suspected). Forensic investigators could be seen working in the closed off
areas. The toilets, First Class lounge and 'Pumpkin' were all closed with no running water, but a notice
on the latter directed passengers to the buffet on P1-3. Temporary truck mounted toilets were behind
P7. Numerous staff were selling tickets from portable machines. EMT accepted booking reference
numbers while the ticket machines were not available for the collection of pre booked tickets at the
station. P7 was only accessible via the centre bridge and extra time may be needed to reach it.

228] Retford: From 19 Jan the trailing crossover east of the low level platforms has been OOU; one set
of points was plain lined due to a track defect. It is used by some trains from Sheffield terminating in
P4 to cross ECS to P3. These have instead been running to High Level P2 via the Thrumpton West Jns
to Retford Western Jn PSUL route. The trains are: (SuX) 05.56 Sheffield to Retford and 07.01 back to
Leeds, 17.23 from Sheffield (returns as 18.14 to Doncaster); SuO 13.27 & 21.06 from Sheffield and
14.25 & 22.01 return. There have been delays as they are booked in to the Low Level for a reason!

1298 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]
230] Waterloo: (BLN 1290.2030) P19/20 have been taken out of use for work that will last several
months, with trains diverted to P21/22. Charters that would normally use P19 will not be diverted, to
avoid the risk of sewage discharge on to the concrete trackbed in the former International platforms.

229] Thameslink: (BLN 1297.138) London TravelWatch would like the central section added to the
Underground map, but TfL has refused to do this. ('Evening Standard'). Meanwhile the 09.54 Bedford
to Three Bridges and 12.29 return (only) have been running through London Bridge station (P4 & 5)
Tuesdays to Fridays (check if travelling specially) regularly for route learning . On Wed 24 Jan turning
left at Blackfriars Jn it used the Down Snow Hill Spur; the Down Snow Hill (middle of the three lines)
was then distinctly rusty. At East Croydon a whole posse of rail staff alighted from the cab. On Fri 27th
the train actually ran via the Down Snow Hill; the Passenger Information Screen at London St Pancras
International was confused that day showing two 10.54 trains to Three Bridges, one as 'delayed'. From
Mon 29 Jan far more Thameslink services have been running via London Bridge.

231] Catford Loop: From 14.00 on 5 Jan non-EMU traffic was banned on the Up Line over Bridge 474
over Catford Hill/South Circular Road (8m 07ch), due to severe corrosion to an edge main girder.
A series of possessions was booked to carry out plating work, due to be completed during a closure of
the line on 11 Feb. Freight trains run via Redhill or Herne Hill. When the Redhill route is blocked, there
is dispensation for up to six freights a day to pass over the bridge at a maximum speed of 10mph.

232] Crossrail: (BLN 1296.136) https://goo.gl/T5TR6B is a real time signalling diagram (click on the
train codes) at Paddington. GEML possessions continue over ten weekends from Jan to Mar. Apart
from completing the remodelling of Gidea Park sidings and connecting to the new route at Pudding
Mill Lane, other work will include installation of new lifts and footbridges at Seven Kings, Manor Park
and Maryland. Platform canopies at Chadwell Heath, Goodmayes and Ilford will be repaired and NR
will replace 8km of overhead wiring between Ilford and Manor Park. The carriage washer in Gidea
Park Siding 4 has been removed during remodelling. It is now proposed to install a temporary washer
in the Shunt Spur at the country end. This will be removed when the Class 315 EMUs are withdrawn.

233] Northern Line Microgricing: Thanks to Bill Lynch. Since the last guide (BLN 1270.3055, Dec 2016) the
evening peak service duration has been lengthened. To help achieve this, some trains now reverse at
Golders Green and Finchley Central short of the northern termini. With TfL's difficult financial position and
a surprise fall in passenger numbers, plans to buy additional trains for the Northern and Jubilee Lines
appear to have been abandoned. Instead the emphasis is now on making best use of the existing fleet.

The main microgricing impacts of the changes are: ❶ A few turnrounds re-appear in Golders Green centre
road in the evening peak. ❷ Golders Green Northbound Loop is reduced to once a week. ❸The link from
Finchley Central P2 towards Mill Hill East gains its first booked use our compiler has seen (to overtake a
terminated train in P1 and in daylight during British Summer Time!).

The current WTT (No 57) is available from https://goo.gl/opEix4 and dated 29 Jan 2018. Running numbers
of trains otherwise difficult to identify on the day are shown below in [square brackets].

 = Known recent use, also for turn backs in service during planned engineering blockades.

•East Finchley, Moorgate, Mornington Crescent, Charing Cross & Stockwell crossovers: NRU.
•Euston long crossover; King's Cross connection to Piccadilly Line: Engineering trains only.
•Hampstead crossover: ECS only.
•Edgware: P1: SSuX first arr/dep 06.21¾/06.28¼; SO gaps arr 00.40-05.34½, dep 01.50¼-05.42¼; SuO gaps
arr 01.02¾-07.35, dep 01.12¾-07.46. P2: Gap in arrivals SSuX 05.45-07.00¾.
•Golders Green: P4 (=P3) southbound arrivals: SSuX 05.44½ [154]; SO 00.30 [114], 05.44½ [212], 07.35¼
..[002], 13.56¼ [042], 16.17¼ [021]. P3 northbound departures: SSuX 05.59½, 06.07½, 06.15¾, 07.07¾,
..07.17¼; SO 06.07¾, 06.47¼; SuO 03.46½, 07.52¾. P4 southbound departures: SSuX 05.37, 05.45,
..08.34¼, 08.46¾, 09.02¾, several 17.48-19.05¼; SO 05.36, 05.45, 07.35¾, 13.56¾, 16.17¾; SuO 07.12¼. Reports
..have yet to deny that these always take the leftmost route at the platform end (No17 points); the alternative
..route just beyond (No19B slip) appears to take ECS only.
P2 (=P1) southbound departures: ECS only (in opposite direction).
P1 arrivals via Northbound Loop: NRU - No Regular (booked) Use.
P3 (=P4) northbound arrivals via platform-end crossover (22 points): All terminating trains, ie: SSuX
plenty .08.25¼-10.27, plenty 17.39¼-19.39¾, 23.29½, 23.53¾FO, 23.57¼FX; TWThFO 00.15¼, 00.42¼, 00.54;
SO .00.07¾, 00.17¾, 00.42¼, 23.29½, 23.43¼, 23.57¼; SuO 00.19, 00.44¼, 00.55¼, several 22.49-23.55

P3 arrivals via Northbound Loop: SuO 23.32 [007].
•High Barnet P1: Arrivals SO gap 00.56¼-05.32¼; SuO gap 01.20¼-07.10¼. Departures SSuX first dep 06.23½;
..SO gap 00.50½-05.22½; SuO gap 01.26½-06.59¾.
•Finchley Central: P3 arrivals from Mill Hill East: All trains continuing south: MO 00.20¾; MTWThO all
..05.46¾-09.46¾, all 16.59½-19.46½, 23.47½; TWThFO 00.02¼, 00.16, 01.15¾; FO all 05.46¾-09.46¾, all 16.59½-
..19.46½, 23.47½; SO 00.02¼, 00.16, 01.15¾, all 05.46¾-06.58½, 23.47½; SuO most 00.02¼-01.15¾, 07.13¾,
..07.28¾, 23.46¾. (All terminating Mill Hill East trains turn round in P1.)
P2 departures towards Mill Hill East: SSuX 19.20½.
P1 northbound arrivals: All trains terminating at Finchley Central or Mill Hill East: SSuX plenty until 09.46¼,
plenty 17.03-19.45¾, 23.47¾; SuMX 00.01¾, 00.15¾; SO plenty 05.16-07.01, 23.47¾; SuO all until 00.46¼,
several 06.48-07.32, 23.50.
•East Finchley: P3 arrivals: All terminating southbound trains: SSuX 09.26½, 09.38½, several 23.26¼-
..(SuMX) 01.18¾; SO several 23.33¾-(SuO) 01.18¾; SuO several 22.17¼-close.
P2 departures: SSuX several until 06.40½, four 07.28½-08.07¾, 1659; SO several 05.12-06.57; SuO several
06.23¾-08.41½, 09.50¼.
•Camden Town: P1 arrivals via Charing Cross: Gap SSuX 06.59¾-11.03¾.
P3 arrivals via Bank: gap SSuX 07.01½-11.03¾ (except 08.48¾, 09.21½).
•Kennington: P2 departures: SSuX 06.01¾, 06.11¾, 07.07¼, plenty 07.31½-09.43, plenty 16.42-19.53¼;
…MTWThO several 23.20¾ to close; FO 23.20¾, 23.29¾, 23.54½; SO plenty to 06.11¼, 23.20¾, 23.29¾, 23.55;
…SuO plenty 00.24¼-07.30, 22.34¾, 22.54½, several 23.32 - close.
P1 arrivals: SSuX plenty to 09.31½, plenty 16.31¾-19.49¼; TWThFO 00.20½; SO plenty 00.30½-06.52¾; SuO
.plenty 00.31½-08.35¼.
•Morden: P2=P1 arrivals: gaps SSuX 07.00 [162] - 09.00½ [160], 15.58¾ [005] - 18.50¾ [163]; SO 01.24 [211]
..- 06.21 [041]; SuO 01.07 [263] - 08.00¾. P2 departures: Gaps SSuX 08.50¾-10.15¼,17.08½-20.30¼;
..MTWThO 23.21½ - close; FO gap 23.21½ - (SO) 00.37½; SO 03.07½-05.00; SuO 03.30-05.30. P5 arrivals:
..Gap MTWThO 23.55 [015] - (TWThFO) 00.59¾ [136].

234] Kew Gardens Underground Railway: A little known narrow gauge line used to run under the
gardens to supply coke to boilers used to heat the Palm House. Wagons were moved by hand until
1950 when the line was electrified. However it closed a decade later as new oil fired boilers were
installed in a different location and the tunnel now houses hot water pipes. To locate the tunnel route
visit Kew Gardens after it has snowed and look for the line of grass without snow! (IanVisits website)

(ABOVE: Both former Ministry of Information - out of copyright.)

235] Barking - Gospel Oak: (BLN 1297.118) With full reopening on 15 Jan, late evening services are
now every 20mins instead of every 30mins. Testing of the new OHLE will continue and as soon as this
is complete and after new Class 710 EMUs are delivered and tested, driver training will commence.
They will then enter passenger service as soon as possible with platform extensions opened, so there
may be a period of mixed DMU and EMU operation. The road bridge at Crouch Hill station still has to
be raised to provide the current standard of clearance for the OHLE and this will require a line closure
on 7/8 Apr. Meanwhile the lifts at Blackhorse Road have still not been brought into use as the
NR designed alarms are unable to communicate with the LUL equipment in their part of the station!
The longer 4-car EMUs should run nearer the line extremities at both Gospel Oak P3 and Barking P1

236] Lea Valley: (BLN 1287.1743) During a possession on 6/7 Jan a new bridge was lifted into position
on the former goods lines alignment over the River Lea Navigation near Tottenham South Jn. This will
be used for the new third track between Angel Road and Lea Bridge, but is wide enough for a fourth.

237] LUL Station Usage: A data enthusiast has created an interactive map https://goo.gl/k7fgom
showing daily passenger usage at each station, although presumably only those tickets etc that
register at the automatic barriers. Waterloo is busiest with over 330,000 passengers per day.

1298 NORTH EAST (Geoff Blyth) [email protected]
238] Lynemouth: (BLN 1296.42) There have been various methods of working since the mothballing of
the Power Station and only Newsham (formerly Newsham South) signal box on the Blyth & Tyne is
open continuously. Hirst lane Level Crossing (3m 21ch) on the Lynemouth branch is now Train Crew
Operated. In practice it will be operated by the shunter as at Cambois (2m 10ch) on the North Blyth
branch. The 1956 built Lynemouth box is privately owned by the Power Station and was previously
owned by the Ashington Coal Co, NCB then Alcan (as was the former Alcan Junction Cabin before
control was transferred to Lynemouth in Aug 1986). Lynemouth is staffed but they are on other duties
at the moment and just use the cabin as a welfare room. Formerly when unstaffed the points were left
set for the Alcan (smelter) plant with one train working on the Down line from Ashington to Alcan.

239] South Shields: (BLN1 295.2512) £100M is the cost of the entire South Shields 365 Masterplan
programme to 'transform South Shields town centre'. The new £21M one platform Metro interchange
is part of it. The Metro Maintenance & Renewals Skills Centre (completion due in early 2019) beyond
is to be connected to the network. It will be able to hold two trains inside and another three outside.

240] Grand Central (GC) almost farewell: Before the Grand Central HSTs came off lease at the end of
2017 destined for EMT, and were replaced by the ex-GWR Adelantes, a member rode to Sunderland
and back. His previous GC trips had been between London and York only. The 08.03 from King's Cross
and 17.31 return were taken to ride on both sets in use. Wed 20 Dec was a free day and advance
tickets were available at reasonable prices. He took the 06.29 HST from Reading (before the 06.44 that
National Rail advised was an adequate connection) so arrived at KX in good time to find the train in P5
and take some pictures. Real Time Trains advised that it had been there since before 07.00 but the
crew were still preparing the train. Only the first-class coach door next to the buffet at the front of the
train was open; customers with cheaper tickets had to wait on the platform! First Class was not very

busy but there were plenty of Standard Class reservations.

The Durham coastline was very attractive and the sun managed to
shine through even. At Sunderland our member took a few pictures
from the car park overlooking the Wear bridges (as featured in the
Platform 5 book) then rode on the Metro to the Airport, back to
South Gosforth (where he was told he wasn't allowed to take
pictures), round to North Shields and walked to the ferry 'Pride of
the Tyne'. Crossing the river to South Shields, it was then on the
Metro to Heworth for a Northern Class 156 to Newcastle before



[BLN 1298]
returning to Sunderland for dinner in the 'William Jameson' and the train south. The southbound set
was our 'Grand Farewell' railtour HST set. On the Mon, Wed and Fri it started from Sunderland, Tue
and Thu London etc. The staff were cheery distributing the usual complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits,
pretzels etc. Northbound there were also GC 10th anniversary chocolates. (PAGE BEFORE LAST)
PREVIOUS PAGE UPPER: Grand Central HST First Class coach interior. (All pictures by Stuart Hicks.)
PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: Grand Central First Class HST coach at London King's Cross.
BELOW: The Grand Central HST used on our Grand Farewell tour (as evidenced by the buffers)
southbound at Finsbury Park a few days later on the 08.42 from Sunderland (due King's Cross 12.31).

241] Going round the bend without PSUL: A member reports that PSUL 'has the power to put him off
travelling over curves with a sparse but permanent service'! However, he was gifted two on 24 Jan,
during a trip along the Durham coast. An on time arrival in Newcastle on the 07.00 from King's Cross,
for the next coast service to Nunthorpe, left him with forty minutes to fill. However the next Hexham
train was shown as being re-platformed to east end bay P1, in which his Nunthorpe service was also
standing. Though there were only two minutes to departure, the Hexham train was held a further
eight minutes for an Up HST to reverse in P7 and precede it eastwards - to correct a reverse formation
and put the First Class at the King's Cross end. Thus our member was able to travel on the Hexham
train from High Level Bridge Jn to Greensfield Jn and King Edward Bridge East Jn to King Edward
Bridge South Jn for the first time, having travelled the other curves many years before. Alighting at
Metrocentre, the late running gave him just two minutes to join a return train to Newcastle P8 - and a
further two minutes before departing P1 again on time where the Nunthorpe train was still standing.



[BLN 1298]
X.15] Swalwell Jn: (BLN 1297.141) With particular thanks to a member Swalwell Coal Disposal Point,
operated by Johnson's (Chopwell) Ltd had two ex-BR Class 11 locos, so it is not a Class 08 in the picture
[tut tut]. When the Disposal Point closed in 1987 the original Metrocentre was already open, further
east. However, the Swalwell site was required for development of the open air retail park built to the
west of the covered shopping centre. Angus Mcdougall's e-BLN 1297 picture (PREVIOUS PAGE UPPER)
actually shows Derwenthaugh Jn in the foreground with the Derwenthaugh branch trailing in (note no
crossover there). The bridge is over the River Derwent; Swalwell Jn can just be seen in the distance by
the trailing crossover but the current crossover is thought to be slightly further east of this.

The NCB's Derwenthaugh 'system', ran south for a few miles south west on the west side of the River
Derwent. Formerly with its own rail served staiths, in its last years there was a small coke works, a coal
stocking site and Clockburn Drift Mine. This had quite a long surface narrow gauge line with 'Paddy
Trains' the miners rode in and continued in to the drift underground with diminutive locos for the
small tunnels. Visiting enthusiasts were sometimes allowed to ride on the surface section of the line.

PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: The narrow gauge line with a coal train emerged from the drift; the locos
really were this colour, there was thick mud and white dust everywhere. (Angus McDougall 3 Apr1980)

1298 NORTH WEST (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
242] St Bees: (BLN 1248.60) A consultation period by https://goo.gl/Ktd18t the West Cumbria Mining
Co about their new deep £165M undersea Woodhouse Colliery off St Bees Head expires on 17 Feb.
The proposal goes to the County Council planners in March. If approved work could start next winter
with a view to completion in 2020 for full production in 2023.

The company has already spent £23M in preparation and planning. Surveys indicate that the coal is
very high quality suitable for producing steel which, with the recent increase in prices, reportedly
makes the project viable. All transport would be by rail with an underground conveyor to the site of
Mainbank colliery in the Pow Beck valley. PREVIOUS PAGE: Map showing the location of the proposed
mine and rail loading facilities (West Cumbria Mining Press Release).
243] TPE: A member recently travelling in a Class 350 EMU Anglo-Scottish service noted that it was
timed at 100mph maximum. He wonders whether the much-predicted speed of 110 was ever achieved
and, if so, when it reverted to 100. [These EMUs are destined for West Midlands Railway.]
244] Woodhead Route: A new company https://goo.gl/79QG9i Grand Northern, is planning to rebuild
the line between Manchester and Sheffield, as a 'rolling highway' including East West Coast
Intermodal Freight and Intercity Passenger rail services. Economic benefit of over £3.5bn regionally
and £10bn nationally is expected, at no cost to the tax payer. [Railway Mania is alive and well - Ed?]
245] Liverpool Lime Street: (BLN 1297.144) A member understands that (new) P1 & 2 were to be
realigned to allow new P3 & 4 to be extended. Another adds that present P2 (new P1) will be
lengthened out towards the Russell Street single bore tunnel and access to the present P1 would then
be part way down the platform which is why it is being abolished. The track diagrams are not to scale.

246] Metrolink: (BLN 1297.147) With the new 28 Jan timetable, Airport services were extended from
Deansgate-Castlefield but via Market Street (rather than the Second City Crossing as Metrolink
originally had said they would be) to Victoria middle line. Through trams now frequently run through
the centre platform at Deansgate-Castlefield, previously mainly used for airport trams turning back.

Early morning Airport trams 03.00 to 06.00
(SSuX) and 07.00 (SuO) still terminate at
Deansgate-Castlefield. Also the new timetable
the second 'rare' Altrincham P2 (left hand side
on the approach to the end of line) is now in
regular use, other than Sundays, to improve
reliability. Altrincham P2 is used by Bury services
which run 07.00 to 20.00 weekdays and 09.00 to
18.30 Saturdays but not on Sundays. Altrincham
P1 is used by all Piccadilly services. Trams stop
nearest the buildings and the exit. LEFT: A Bury
service in Altrincham P2; right are Network Rail
P3 & 4. (John Cameron 31 Jan 2018.)

ABOVE: An Airport tram at Victoria middle platform, Sun 28 Jan, the first day of service. (Angus McDougall)

In the new timetable services from MediaCityUK run to Etihad Campus (instead of terminating at
Piccadilly) but the previous Altrincham to Etihad Campus services now stop at Piccadilly. Sunday
services generally continue an hour later, with the last outbound trams from Manchester City Centre
at midnight like on weekdays (Saturdays they operate until 01.00). The network map has been
amended (PREVIOUS PAGE MIDDLE) with the reintroduction of coloured lines and numbered flags.

247] Bolton: Electric trains are not now expected until the 9 Dec timetable change. Unexpected
running sand and hard rock in the vicinity of old uncharted shallow mine workings have slowed
electrification work. 1,700 base foundations have been installed between Bolton and Euxton Jn but
another 200 are required and overall 30% have been unsuccessful at the first attempt. There was also
significant extra work and delay due to the burst water main at Moses Gate (BLN 1288.1828).

1298 SOUTH EAST - NORTH (& EAST ANGLIA) (Julian James) [email protected]
248] Reedham (Norfolk): Unsurprisingly with resignalling, new infrastructure replaces the present
unusual track layout (visit it while you still can) with a conventional trailing crossover for trains from
Berney Arms. This will all be east of the present two crossovers and run over the path of the present
Down line to Haddiscoe, which will be removed. The Berney Arms and Haddiscoe facing divergence
routes will be new facing points a short distance east of the new trailing crossover with a new
alignment returning to the present to Haddiscoe just under the existing overbridge. The trailing
crossover partly in the station area and the Up Refuge Siding go. Permissible speed on Reedham curve
is intended to be raised from 20 to 30mph and line speed Reedham to Somerleyton from 60 to 70mph.

249] Manningtree: (BLN 1289.1946) Greater Anglia is reported to be reviewing its proposal to build a
depot near Manningtree on the former ICI Brantham site as technical issues and negotiations with the
landowner have held up completing a deal. A decision on the project is due in the 'Spring'.

250] Tilbury: (BLN 1295.2530) The Power Stations were east of the port not west. The plans show the
proposed rail link runs from the existing freight terminal link at Tilbury West Jn, eastwards then north-
east alongside the NR route for about 1km, then curves south into the new facility (OP due mid-2020).

251] Thames Haven, Coryton: (BLN 1188.1035.) Press
releases provide further detail on the ownership and
intentions for the former oil refinery site which is
being redeveloped as the 415 acre Thames Enterprise
Park in support of the existing Thames Oilport. It will
have a new central hub with an amenity, training and
skills centre, a 'Food Park' and an 'Energy Park' with
the cleaning up of this significantly contaminated site
and environmental improvements. The investment is
by Greenergy with iSec (sic), a privately owned and
funded property company, the development arm of
Marcol. The Food Park will be for cold/chilled food
processing, manufacture, processing and distribution.

The Energy Park is intended to be for small and
medium sized businesses to research and develop
new energy industry techniques and technologies.
Planning consent for decontamination of the 114 acre
site was given in Apr 2017 with demolition of Coryton
Refinery (commissioned 1953 and closed in 2012) due
by Nov 2017. A 'potential' rail freight terminal is
included (but no guarantee any trains will run!).

On 21 Jul 1986 six participants in a Society visit to
Mobil Coryton Oil Refinery and Terminal had a
'cracking' railtour riding on the loco (other Society visits took place on 22 May 1982 and 8 Aug 1989).

ABOVE LEFT: The rail loading terminal from the top of the refinery. (All Ian Mortimer 21 Jul 1986.)
BELOW: Another view from the top of the refinery, the loco is approaching the former Coryton station
- part of the Corringham Light Railway OG Jan 1901; OP Jun 1901; CP Mar 1952, remaining section
taken over by Mobil Oil Company Sep 1971; the last train (of bitumen to Landarcy) left 19 Dec 2008.

ABOVE: View from the loco running through the refinery.
BELOW: The tour loco at the end of Thames Haven sidings headshunt

ABOVE: The pièce de résistance of the trip was the former passenger platform at Coryton station.

BELOW: 1945 6th Series OS one inch map. The Thames Haven branch runs along the north bank of the
River Thames across the bottom, of the map., The Corringham (top left) section of the Corringham
Light Railway was lifted in 1952 after passenger closure (including its two sides of the triangle shown
here at the junction) - most of the rest of the line was used by the refinery.

BELOW: The disused (ex-A1014) level crossing, shown above. (Both Iain Scotchman 16 Jul 2017.)
ABOVE: The disused and overgrown sidings at Coryton refinery, from the level crossing.

[BLN 1298]
252] Hadley Wood: In mid December locally displayed posters by the Hadley Wood Rail User Group
sought response to GTR's timetable proposals citing as good (with a smiley) the increase of calls per
hour from two to four and as bad 'long and awkward gaps from London after 11.27pm'. At least one
more late train was sought after this time, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.
253] Wolverton: (BLN 1296.57) As part of its efforts to prevent ''the wholesale and unjustified
demolition of the railway works buildings within the Wolverton Conservation Area'' Heritage England
has initiated a Judicial Review of Milton Keynes Council's decision making process regarding the 20 Dec
permission to demolish the works. Unless the Council and St Modwen both indicate that they will not
oppose the quashing of planning permission, Heritage England will seek leave for a hearing by the High
Court. Meanwhile trackwork was underway on a storage area for six Class 315 units off lease in Dec.
254] Oxford: Work is progressing slowly on new platform canopies. That on P2/3 is now covered,
except for the section past the lift. P1 has only a short section of roof but it is beyond the station end
of trains. There is a lot of fitting out on the underside still to do (cosmetic panelling, lights and PA etc).
255] Hanborough: Unstaffed, it had 236,600 passengers in 2015-16. GWR has acquired the modular
temporary building with a ticket hall, toilet, waiting area and retail unit from Abbey Wood for the
station. GWR has offered £100k towards the £250k installation costs, local Councils and the Cotswold
Line Promotion Group £25k; it is hoped the other 50% will come from NR's station development fund.

ABOVE: There is more to extending platforms than meets the eye; Twyford P2 & 3 country end.
NEXT PAGE UPPER: Restoring P2 at the London end. (Both Mike Blakeley Jan 2018.)

256] Twyford: (BLN 1297.136) As at 22 Jan: On the Main Lines the 06.01 ex-Didcot and 06.09 (SSuX)
ex-Newbury are booked to use P2. In the evening the 17.07, 18.07 (both to Frome) 19.35, 22.21, 22.50
& 23.20 from Paddington are booked P1. Otherwise P3 & 4 on the Relief Lines are used by all stopping
services. Almost all of these are now one or two 4-car Class 387 EMUs. However, P1 is being extended
at the country end by 3 car lengths. The London end is not being touched. P2 was cut back at the
London end by about 50m during erection of OHLE gantries and is having that section replaced. P3 was
not affected by the cutback to the adjacent P2 but is also being extended by about 8m at the country
end. P4 remains at it was although its usable length for Reading to Paddington services is reduced by
about 3 car lengths due to the curve of the connection to the Henley-on-Thames branch.

1298 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
257] Ashford: NR has begun installing new signalling equipment allowing the international platforms
to accommodate Eurostar Class 374 e320trains. The platforms are also being adapted to permit use by
European-width trains. Eurostar began phasing the Siemens e320 sets into service in May 2017 but
were unable to call at Ashford leading to fears that Ashford could see a reduction in the already
meagre Eurostar services. It is intended that the new trains will call from 1 Apr requiring the new
signalling system. When Ashford International was rebuilt in the 1990s, the international platforms
were not built to full European standards because Class 373 Eurostars ran on normal UK tracks.

258] Lewes: Our correspondent has always found Lewes to be an interesting town to wander around
and been interested in its complex railway history and the mysterious platforms named 'Pinwell'
(a road and an area of Lewes) and 'Ham'. Some weeks ago, he came across a remnant of the original
route to the first terminus in Friars Walk, which he had not spotted before, an old bridge, still
completely in situ, at Pinwell Road, just north east of the current station. (NEXT PAGE: Every home
should have one? A room with a view - the location is thought to be TQ 4171 0991 under Pinwell Rd
itself - picture by Jim Fergusson.) The bridge goes nowhere today and is blocked off with a car park the
other side. New housing with the gardens is taking over the old track bed.

Looking at the old OS 6" maps on-line, it was not part of the realigned Lewes to Uckfield Line (opened
1868 to replace the original alignment via the Haywards Heath line), which was elevated and a short
distance to the east. So, he believes the tracks below this bridge ceased to be used by passenger trains
(but retained as goods sidings) when the present Lewes station was built in 1857 (rebuilt with slightly
realigned platforms in 1889 in conjunction with realignment of the Eastbourne line southwards). This
prompted him to find what is planned at Lewes for the so-called Second Brighton Main Line via
Uckfield… A direct lengthy tunnel is planned from Hamsey under the Downs most of the way to
Falmer. No wonder it's so expensive! Lewes would only be served by Eastbourne trains via a spur off
the new line near Hamsey onto the line from Haywards Heath.

259] Guildford: The Borough Council is to set aside £300k in its 2018/19 budget to fund a feasibility
study for a new station in Park Barn just under 2km beyond the divergence westward of the North
Downs line to Reading, itself about 0.5km north of Guildford station. Both Surrey University and the
Royal Surrey County Hospital have indicated that poor accessibility has impacted on their ability to
recruit and retain staff. The hospital is just south of the line at this point; the major part of the
University further east. It is considered that the new station would be a focal point for increased
investment at the 'Guildford West' site. The funding is intended to enable the council to take the
Guildford West Station project through GRIP Stages 3 (option selection) and 4 (single option
development) targeted to be built between 2022 and 2029, with the earliest opening in or after 2024.





[BLN 1298]
260] Redhill: PREVIOUS PAGE thanks to Martyn Brailsford, a trackplan before/after the recent changes
commissioned on 2 Jan, after a 10 day complete closure, to increase capacity (particularly for Reading
services) and operational flexibility. Bidirectional P0 with permissive working from either direction
takes 12 coaches as does bidirectional P2 & 3. P1 became an 8 coach bay, with permissive working,
mainly for GWR Reading - Gatwick services. P0 is accessible from/to all three lines to the south with a
separate connection off the Up Reigate line. Off Peak only the Tonbridge and Reigate to London
services seem to use P0 in spite of what online systems have been showing! Redhill platform indicators
at Redhill are not always correct either. The disused Post Office and Down Siding have been removed.

A suggested final Redhill south layout https://goo.gl/w3VKju (in the public domain) involves removing
the link from P3 to the Down Reigate line. The trailing Reigate line crossover would be replaced by a
facing one; with bidirectional running on the Down Reigate after it to P1 & 2 and indirectly to P0 (the
Up Reigate accesses P0 directly). A new line from the Gatwick direction crosses the Down Reigate,
then joins the Up Reigate in to P0. More parallel moves, increased flexibility and capacity would result.

261] Eastleigh: (BLN 1297.107) The Works has been sold by Key Property Investments (KPI), a joint
venture between developer St Modwen and Kuwait-based Salhia Real Estate Company, to the
Corporate Pension Fund, clients of Savills Investment Management, represented by property
consultancy Savills. The estate was sold for £20.6M, reflecting a net initial yield of 8%. Eastleigh Works
is a 47.4-acre site predominantly let to Arlington Fleet Services Ltd. The site comprises over half a
million square feet of warehousing, a three-storey office building and open storage areas. Nick Kay,
development director at St Modwen, said: 'Since acquiring the site in 2002, we have added significant
value over the years, taking it from a vacant complex of redundant buildings to a fully occupied, well
managed rail-orientated industrial estate'. Tom Scott, director in the investment team at Savills,
added: 'The warehouse space is well let after considerable asset management undertaken by the
previous owner, and there is considerable scope for more value to be added in the future.'

262] Wallowing in Wallers Ash: On 12 Jan, the third of the 3 days of RMT strikes that week, with a
special service in place, our member caught the 09.46 to Basingstoke at Eastleigh (thought to be the
08.59 ex-Portsmouth Harbour). It ran via Wallers Ash Up Loop to be overtaken by a Southampton to
Newcastle CrossCountry service. This was booked via the loop every two hours in the strike timetable,
although at least once used the Up Slow Line between Allbrook and Shawford instead (and using a
fairly rare crossover at Allbrook). When, as seems likely, further strikes occur, there should be chances
to do Wallers Ash Loop again (SSuX). The trains concerned can be identified from taking about
10 minutes longer to reach Basingstoke than if the move isn't booked as this particular CrossCountry
service only runs two-hourly. It is very rare to have planned passenger services via Wallers Ash Loop.

263] Getting Cross Over a Fallen Tree: On 18 Jan our member caught the 05.20 Southampton Central
to Waterloo at Eastleigh as usual and was surprised to note the train in front, a CrossCountry Voyager,
had diverged towards Chandlers Ford so realised something was wrong. His train arrived on time in
Eastleigh P1 on the Up Slow, and sat for 56 minutes because a preceding Cross Country ECS Voyager
had collided with a large tree and been damaged between Allbrook and Shawford, on the Up Slow.

When his train eventually left it crossed to the Up Fast as booked, then one mile north at Allbrook,
took the facing crossover, No428 points, to the Down Fast, running under Simplified Bidirectional
Signalling to just beyond Winchester station before regaining the Up Main to terminate at Woking
well over an hour late. This is the first time in over 40 years of commuting and travelling from Eastleigh
that he has even been aware of a passenger train taking 428 points, it is normally absolutely black with
rust and he always assumed it was disconnected! In the last decade he has only noticed evidence of
use (a slight line in the rust) once after engineering works, perhaps a loco running round its train.

264] Yarmouth IoW: (BLN 1297.158) The IOW Press report on the arrival of the Bakerloo line car said it
was taken to Hamstead for use as a bungalow. Transport from Newport Quay was a Foden steam lorry
belonging to Westmore's of Newport, whose principal business was that of coal merchants. Amazingly
the lorry survives in preservation, our correspondent encountering it at the Doncaster Works
Sesquicentenary (150th anniversary to save anyone looking it up). Hamstead is on the west side of the
Newtown estuary, the Newtown River running north into the Solent 6km east of Yarmouth.

It was an estate owned by John Nash, architect and friend of George IV. After the King's death, when
Nash fell rapidly from favour, the estate was used commercially for a short period, and a very
extensive industrial tramway system was constructed, one or two slight remains of which can still be
found. However, our correspondent thinks Hamstead is inaccurate. At the end of the 1920s one of
those 'shanty towns' of the period was built at Cranmore, a kilometre or more south west in the
Yarmouth direction. This was a far more likely destination, but in 1972 a very comprehensive search,
coupled with local enquiries, drew a blank. Had it simply rusted and been condemned? Had it gone to
help the WWII scrap drive? Was it still there so heavily built over it was not recognisable?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

265] Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway, Sat 31 Mar: SA15 5YS, (SN493072), Easter public trips 11.00-16.00.

266] RPSI, 13 Oct: (Provisional) tour to Ballina via the non-passenger Manulla Jn connection (& Westport).

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

1298 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]
267] Bristol Parkway: (BLN 1297.153) The combination of new track on his doorstep and the extended
holiday season was too much for your General Secretary to resist. On Tue 2 Jan he was to be seen at
Bristol Parkway noting that the local 16.24 service (14.50 from Great Malvern) to Weymouth was late
and, stopping at all stations to Temple Meads, would delay the 16.34 CrossCountry service on its way
to Temple Meads. He pondered that this would be an ideal opportunity for P1 (only commissioned on
31 Dec) to be used to recess the Weymouth service and, for once, the signaller agreed. 150926 duly
arrived in P1, was passed by the Cross Country set, and then the new separate southern exit from P1
towards Filton was successfully red-penned. Was this the first passenger use of P1? On Sun 7 Jan he
was back again when, on the 14.36 Great Malvern to Weston-super-Mare, he was delighted to be
routed into P1 from the east. This allowed the following CrossCountry, due to depart at 16.00, into P2
before the Weston-super-Mare service left P1 at 15.56; previously it would have been held outside.

268] Cornwall: Although the £146M plan to re-signal all of Cornwall (well the railways at least) with
control from Exeter PSB has been officially 'paused', a smaller project has begun to improve capacity
that will meet the franchise agreement with GWR for the Dec 2018 timetable change (with a half-
hourly service). On completion 10 minute headways will be possible west of Plymouth. Seven level
crossings are also being 'upgraded' and some existing equipment refurbished.

Amey has won the £6M contract for the works from Plymouth power box fringe at St Germans to
Lostwithiel. A new signal section will be introduced at Menheniot between St Germans and Liskeard
with a home and distant signal on both lines, controlled from Plymouth. Another intermediate signal
section will be introduced at Bodmin Parkway, roughly half way between Largin and Lostwithiel, with
Up and Down signals [not actually semaphores though!] either side of the station. At Bodmin Parkway,
two 'Off' train dispatch indicators will be provided and, on the Down line, a white and green banner
repeater. This section has three-stage commissioning, with Plymouth panel alterations scheduled for
February followed by re-control of the Bodmin area in March and the rest in April. Consequently some
of the benefits will be available during summer 2018 even before the timetable change.

The £9M Par to St Erth contract (stages GRIP 4b to 8) has been awarded to Amey. Par to Truro has
enough signal sections. Truro to St Erth will be converted from absolute block to track circuit block and
axle counters (presumably mixed?). Three new sections will be provided at Chacewater, Redruth and
Gwinear Road with home and distant signals at each. No changes are needed between St Erth and
Penzance. It will be commissioned in one go with a half-term line closure from 13 until 15 Oct 2018.

269] Heathfield: (BLN 1284.1397) NR has told the Heath Rail Group (HRG) that providing they can find
the funding for rolling stock and a Heathfield Park & Ride station, they will ensure that the line is in
working order for the group (a remarkable offer). The move brings closer the possibility that regular
passenger trains might once again be seen on the 4 mile branch from Newton Abbot. NR will formalise
the arrangement by granting a long term lease to HRG with the option to buy the track bed outright at
a later date. HRG hope to secure sufficient funding to resume a passenger service by 2020.

270] Marsh Barton: (BLN 1295.2536) Good news for those still requiring the trailing crossover onto the
Alphington Road branch, previously reported as scheduled to be removed. The possession south of
Exeter St Thomas has taken place, the crossover remains in situ and it even received maintenance.

271] Exeter St Davids (BLN 1269.2265) Contracts have been signed for construction work to start on
the new DMU maintenance facility. It includes offices and staff facilities and will be located adjacent to
the existing maintenance facilities in preparation for an expanded DMU fleet in the region. Works are
expected to commence in the spring and be complete by early summer 2019.

1298 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]
272] University: Ever since your BLN Editor was passenger No1 (with ticket 00000) at 06.00 on Mon 8
May 1978, this station has done well and in 2015-16 had 3,383,086 recorded journeys; which is 5.5%
growth in 12 months. Perhaps surprisingly this is more than Crewe (3,085,684) even. At times the
platforms become seriously overcrowded so there are plans to rebuild it on a larger scale (but 12
platforms are not expected!)

273] Dudley: (BLN 1297.164) The Very Light Rail Innovation Centre will be off Castle Hill, not Castle St.
There were actually two passenger stations at Dudley - both essentially island platforms - originally
independent but alongside each other ('trading' in BR days as a single station). Walsall line trains used
the LNWR station (east side) and so did not need to reverse in and out of the station. South of the two
stations (a train's length north of the tunnel mouth) was the junction between the GWR (ex-Oxford
Worcester & Wolverhampton) and LNWR (ex-South Staffordshire Railway). Until April 1967, however,

the layout was such that direct through running was
possible southbound from the LNWR, through two trailing
connections into the Up (southbound) GW line, controlled
by the GW Dudley South box.

In the opposite direction, however, there was no
equivalent facing connection from the GW Down line.
Trains had to start from (or run into) the GW station,
propel back through a crossover on to the Up GW (towards
the tunnel), and then reverse again over one of the trailing
connections - now used in the facing direction - to reach
the LNW side. This manœuvre was necessary for GW
passenger trains towards Birmingham Snow Hill via Swan
Village, including those through to/from stations on the
line south towards Stourbridge (a number of what would
now be called commuter services) - although in BR days the
southbound trains could call at the LNW island platform to
save time. The same manœuvre applied (until April 1967)
for freights coming from the GW line for Bescot yard (but
they could run direct in the opposite direction). LEFT: 1938
six inches to the mile OS map, Wolverhampton via
Priestfield is off top left, Walsall/Dudley Port Swan Village
top right and Stourbridge Junction/Old Hill to the bottom.

[BLN 1298]
ABOVE: Dudley in 1960, one inch to the mile OS 7th Series map. Key to spotting which line is which:
◊Light green spot: To Wolverhampton via Priestfield (Freightliner Terminal headshunt).
◊Dark green spot: Link to Dudley Port (High Level) now just 'Dudley Port', Low Level was beneath!
◊Blue spots: The present Wolverhampton (High Level) to New Street Stour Valley line, the station
..northwest of Dudley Port (HL) is now Tipton, Albion is closed next is now Sandwell & Dudley station.
◊Yellow spot: Line to Wednesbury Town, Walsall and Bescot Yard.
◊Pink spot: Line via Great Bridge South to Swan Village and Birmingham Snow Hill,
◊Brown spot: Midland Metro line (former GWR Wolverhampton Low Level to Birmingham Snow Hill).
◊Purple spot: Line through Windmill End to Old Hill (Birmingham to Stourbridge Junction line).
◊Orange spot: To Stourbridge Junction. The open station bottom right corner is now Langley Green,
..the station shown as open to passengers (red dot) north of its junction was latterly Blowers Green

The GW line through Dudley lost its local passenger service between Wolverhampton, Priestfield and
Stourbridge Junction (through the site of the later Freightliner terminal) from 30 Jul 1962 but
continued to have through passenger trains until Mar 1967 (website PSUL archive). Local trains from
Old Hill continued to use Blowers Green - Dudley, and trains ran to and from Birmingham Snow Hill
via Swan Village, until 15 Jun 1964, when the GW (west) side of the station lost its services. Delay in
withdrawal of passenger services from the Walsall line resulted in the LNW side of the station not
closing until 6 Jul 1964. There were, however, some subsequent excursions - Dudley Zoo was a very
popular destination for excursion trains from various West Midland stations. A member recalls a
return evening excursion from Dudley to Coventry in the early 1960s which ran (from the LNW side)
via the rare Bescot south to west curve and the then little used Aston - Stechford link!

The signal box in the e-BLN 1298 photo only opened 16 Jul 1967 and was more or less opposite the
midpoint of the LNW island platform - it took over the role of the former GW South box (which had
been just off the bottom of the photo) and the former LNW No1 box (renamed East in 1935) - but it too
closed, from 5 Jun 1988. Both the two goods depots which had been in the area illustrated in the
photo (Town, ex-LNW, between the LNW and GW lines north of the stations, and Castle, ex-GW,
beyond and to the west of the GW passenger station - swallowed up by the Freightliner terminal)
closed 1 Aug 1966. The Freightliner terminal (FLT) layout was connected on 16 Jul 1967 (with the new
signal box) but regular services did not start until 6 Nov 1967 - the Glasgow route. Newcastle services
began a week later and Stockton a week after that; the opening 'ceremony' was held on 16 Nov 1967.
The final train left on 29 Sep 1986 as the Birmingham FLTs could cope with all the traffic. The former
FLT site can be seen again after extensive devegetation work for the Brierley Hill Metro extension.

BELOW: A couple of recent pictures of Dudley Freightliner Terminal/stations site cleared of vegetation
for Midland Metro extension work. Compare with e-BLN 1297.164. (Thanks to a BLS Member.)

274] Midland Metro: The next phase of the branch to Wolverhampton station begins in March. Pipers
Row will be closed to traffic during construction and it is anticipated that this second phase will be
completed in summer 2018 when the road will re-open. The line will not open to passengers until the
rebuild of Wolverhampton station is completed in 2020 (actually only two years away, of course).

275] Telford: (BLN 1294.2424) After the Christmas break work on the new station footbridge began in
earnest. A temporary ramp has been built to take passengers from P2 up to the existing footbridge.

1298 YORKSHIRE (Graeme Jolley; Geoff Blyth for North & East Yorks) email addresses elsewhere.
276] York: The National Railway Museum is to undergo a £50M renovation, the biggest in its 40-year
history. It is hoped that the seven-year project will enable the museum to attract over a million visitors
per year. The Victorian Great Hall is to be renovated and a new 'Wonderlab' created to educate the
younger generation on railway science and engineering. Leeman Rd, splitting the site, will be rerouted
to bring the two elements of the museum together and allow a new Central Gallery to be built.

277] Drax - the end of coal traffic: (BLN 1297.170) After May the last coal fired 'Unit 4' (of the six) will
be converted to biomass and be available for generation by the end of this year. This is a 'low cost'
conversion of the existing dual-fired unit to just burn biomass during times of high electricity demand.
278] Doncaster, Low Ellers Curve: (BLN 1296.100) This is omitted in the latest (14th Edition) June 2015
'Rail Atlas of Great Britain & Ireland' by SK Baker (p44 upper inset) but was shown on earlier editions
and is undoubtedly a 'Baker' line; see TRACKmaps Vol 2 p17C (Oct 2016). The bidirectional 1m 01ch
single track line links the South Yorkshire Joint from Maltby at Low Ellers Curve Jn (15m 55ch from
Brancliffe East Jn) with Potteric Carr† Jn (153m 78ch from King's Cross) on the Up side after crossing
over the East Coast Main line. Until the Dec 2016 extension of bi-directional signalling right through
the Up side of Doncaster station, railtours from the south doing the curve would generally have had to
reverse in the sidings, which on occasions had been full, to head south again (without rather
complicated special arrangements). It could be approached from the north, but only via the Up Goods
or Transfer Line followed by a Reception Siding (and one of the four has to be clear). Extending the
bi-directional signalling along Doncaster Up side facilitates ECS movements from the new IEP Depot.

†Carr (from Old Norse kjarr meaning a swamp) is quite a common railway name in the area. It is a type
of waterlogged wooded terrain, a stage in development from an original reedy swamp to a forest.

279] Derwent Valley Light Railway: Another BR Eastleigh Engineering Society (BLN 1297.131) visit was
on Sat 14 May 1966 to this standard gauge commercial railway (CP 1926) which had avoided grouping
and nationalisation. The train, a single BR Mk1 coach, had been brought in especially from York sidings
via the Foss Islands Branch. 03075 headed the trip from Layerthorpe to Wheldrake, about 8½ miles
and by then the end of the line. There were a couple of old parcels (?) vans on the railway but little
else. Wheldrake station was in good condition as a private residence. Our member bagged a footplate
ride back to York, noting that the 'Deadman's treadle' was securely wedged down! The railway was
(in)famous for its track being totally obscured by vegetation. At Murton 30ch is preserved (MR p9).

280] Arksey Loop: On 27 Dec a broken rail on the Down Main presented as a track circuit failure.
All Down services from Doncaster were diverted through the loop while a repair was made. Some
passengers will have been delighted with their loop - but most will have been loopy about their delay!

281] Grand Central: The Office of Rail & Road have declined GC's application to run an early morning
Wakefield to King's Cross service, a return from London at 21.50, and to stop at Peterborough. The
application did not reach the required ratio on ORR's 'Not Primarily Abstractive' revenue test. GC, now
with 10 Adelante DMUs, has since applied to serve Scunthorpe, Barnetby, Habrough, Grimsby and
Cleethorpes. This would not require any more East Coast paths; instead pairs of Adelantes would split/
join at Doncaster to/from Bradford and Cleethorpes with 10-car formations from/to King's Cross.

282] Wath Curve: (BLN 1297.169) This had a 'regular' post-war passenger service which, alas, expired
too early to feature in PSUL: an SO 09.55 Manchester Piccadilly - Scarborough Londesborough Road
and 10.00 return summer Saturday dated service. It last ran by this route on 2 Sep 1961.

X.16] ABOVE: Hull station is a paragon of virtue, new retail units 20 Jan 2018. (Alan Sheppard)

283] Swinton/Aldwarke Jn: (BLN 1297.169 with map) A member has researched the changes in the
area. The critical date is not 25 Jul 1965, which was immaterial as far as the train routing changes were
concerned, but Mon 5 Apr 1965. 'Modern Railways' Oct 1965 (and BLN 38 & 42!) was misleading in
stating that 'Since 26 July 1965 trains have been re-routed from the Swinton Junction - Mexborough
Junction spur….' The routes were changed when the Aldwarke Jn crossovers OP 5 Apr 1965.

①Aldwarke Jn North-East <=> South-West 'crossover' superseded the Swinton Jn - Mexborough No1
curve. Sheffield Midland - Doncaster services were diverted via Aldwarke Jn without prior Ministry of
Transport approval. Services booked to call at Kilnhurst West and Swinton Town were thus diverted to
call at Kilnhurst Central instead. According to 'Railway Magazine' for Jul 1965 a substitute bus service
had to be provided to maintain a service for Kilnhurst West and Swinton Town in the Doncaster
direction. According to 'Modern Railways' (above) a retrospective closure proposal under Section 56 of
the Transport Act 1962 needed to be published. The deadline for objections to this alteration was
advertised as 14 Sep 1965 - five months after actual withdrawal of the trains!

Swinton Jn - Mexborough No1 was 'temporarily' CA. Mexborough No1 - Mexborough No2 lost all
passenger services apart from the Manchester Piccadilly to Cleethorpes (Penistone to Scunthorpe
SuO) newspaper train via Barnsley, until it was withdrawn from 5 Jan 1970.

②Aldwarke Jn North-West <=> South-East 'crossover' superseded the Dearne Jn - Mexborough West
- Mexborough No3 route and York - Sheffield Victoria services were diverted via Aldwarke Jn. Dearne
Jn - Mexborough West SB was CA on this date (5 April 1965); Mexborough No1 - Mexborough No3 CP.
No station closed and it did not affect passengers (only a dedicated enthusiast would have noticed
even!) but an analogous retrospective closure proposal had to be published for the two curves as well.

284] Filey Holiday Camp (BLN 1297.168): The 1:25,000 OS map clearly shows the two islands, each
with a platform both sides, extending almost half way to the junction. https://goo.gl/b1f6M6 is an
interesting report from the Railways Archive website (with a passenger track plan of the branch) into a
buffer stop collision here on Sat 25 Aug 1956. What is most notable is its concise and clear style and
that the personnel involved are named, in addition it only took 38 days to investigate and publish!

[BLN 1298]
This is in complete contrast to today when reports take months, sometimes even more than a year,
run to tens of pages with all sorts of information such as what an accident report is and what all the
terminology means. Our correspondent holidayed at the camp in the summers of 1964 and 1965,
travelling from/to King's Cross, so the information regarding the routes avoiding Hull Paragon station
changing by 1965 explains why he's been puzzled over the routes taken for the past 53½ years!

285] Selby: The facing connection from the Up line at Selby South Jn to the former Up 'Staggs' Sidings
was removed on 21 Jan and the Up line plain lined (174m 8ch to 174m 6ch). The trailing connection
from the former Sidings was removed on 28 Jan and the Up line plain lined (173m 60ch to 173m 58ch).

286] Selby/Goole - Hull: (BLN.1253.602) From 3 Apr it is intended that control of Howden to Hessle
and Saltmarshe SB to Gilberdyke will be transferred to York ROC 'Brough' (a new) workstation.
The following boxes will be abolished: Saltmarshe, Green Oak Goit GB (gate box), Gilberdyke Junction
Oxmardyke GB, Broomfleet, Cave Crossing GB, Crabley Creek, Brough East, Welton GB and Melton
Lane. Green Oak Goit has a temporary building rather than a gate box and is classed as 'MCG' (Manned
Level Crossing (gates) operated locally by a signaller or crossing keeper). It is possible that Crabley
Creek will become a gate box due to legal complications, as the road leads directly into a farm but
serious consideration is being given to replacing the crossing with an overbridge. The new workstation
will interface with boxes at Selby to the west, Goole Bridge south west and Hessle Road east.

1298 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
287] Going Down Under: The outgoing (to Australia) Irish Rail Chief Executive Office, David Franks, has
published an extensive shopping list of what he thinks Irish Rail needs. Most are not funded and in the
case of the locomotive repowering informed sources suggest this project has been abandoned.

Urgent renewals: ●Key components of the DART electrification system. ●Signalling at Kilkenny, Cork,
Waterford and Clonsilla (and potential major spend on Limerick to Ballybrophy and Waterford routes).
●Pearse station roof (work started). ●National Train Control Centre. ●Station dilapidation repairs.

Dublin-Cork/Belfast: ●Journey time/frequency improvements with 100mph line speed on the latter.
●Continuation of ballast cleaning programme (allowing higher line speeds). ●Limerick Junction extra
platform. ●Level crossing closures on the Cork line. Fleet: ●commitment to fund heavy maintenance
programme. ●Re-introduction of the 2700 fleet, [stored since 2012]. ●Initial order of 100 new hybrid
vehicles, with a new depot at Maynooth. ●Repowering the locomotive fleet.

DART expansion: ●Electrification. ●Re-signalling and level crossing closures on the Maynooth line.
●Capacity enhancements in the central area (Docklands, Connolly, Glasnevin Jn). ●Extension of four
tracking on the Kildare line to Heuston. ●Northern line capacity measures to support Enterprise, outer
commuter and DART additional services. Improving Customer Satisfaction: ●Replacement of
customer information systems (station, on board and mobile applications). ●Complete station
accessibility programme - 28 stations outstanding. ●Introduce CCTV Security Centres.

The current Irish Prime Minister is a former Minister of Transport who was heavily anti rail and pro
road. David Franks has been quoted that Limerick - Nenagh - Ballybrophy and Limerick Junction to
Waterford should be closed to passengers as they are not viable but he worded it to make it clear that
(as usual in the Irish Republic) the politicians would be responsible for such a decision:

'Two or three routes may be better served by alternative public transport. Each passenger journey on
the Nenagh branch now consumes €850 of public subsidy. Limerick Junction - Waterford, the [Ennis -
Athenry] Western Rail Corridor and Wexford - Rosslare have very little revenue.' Franks acknowledges
that the future retention of these routes is very much a political choice, but he argues that a decision
needs to be made on properly funding their operation and maintenance if services are to continue.
https://goo.gl/n6SZ1V has more with detail about Irish Rail's financial situation and challenges.

288] Londonderry: (BLN 1291.2160) The Translink Chief Executive Chris Conway recently claimed that
construction of the new station would start in 3-4 months with a view to opening in 2020. However, he
explained that unfortunately proposals to have trains running directly into the old station shed were a
non-runner due to 'rail regulations'. He claimed that trains must terminate 5m from a safety buffer
with an extra 25m of rail run-off beyond that buffer. The old shed at 60m long is too short. The plan is
to bring the trains to the side of the old station and use the shed for other purposes. Mr Conway said
the new station will be the most modern in Ireland and be able to accommodate the Belmond Grand
Hibernian train. Do we agree about buffers? - it all depends on how train approach speed is regulated.

1298 WALES (Paul Jeffries) [email protected]

ABOVE: Alexandra Dock Jn, the Welsh Wizard Pathfinder railtour 19 Apr 1997 on the Courtybella line.
289] Courtybella Loop, testing times: (BLN 1297.179) This item and e-BLN pictures in brought back
memories for a former Newport resident who had to stop at Mendalgief Road level crossing on his
driving test (June 1988). He had just completed the emergency stop test a little way south of the
crossing and was starting off again towards the crossing when the lights started. Even then, trains over
the crossing were quite rare (possibly weekly?) and very slow moving. So it was an unexpected 'break'
in the middle of the test (which he did pass!). No he didn't take a photo as he was not quite sure what
the driving instructor would have said and was even too nervous to make 'small talk'! They both just
sat there waiting for the train to crawl by. Fortunately he had done the branch, to Newport Dock
Street Royal Gwent Coal Concentration Depot, on the Monmouthshire Railway Society 5 Apr 1986
'Risca Cuckoo', so did not have the dilemma of abandoning the driving test for a footplate ride.

From 26 Jan 1991 this branch was truncated west of the level crossing becoming 'Courtybella Siding'
(but still single track). It was visited by Pathfinder's Welsh Wizard railtour https://goo.gl/SpkfGt on
19 Apr 1997 (involving clamping a great many points!). This went as far as possible - the end of the
branch was blocked by wagons. Our member believes that the line then still served the adjacent
Whiteheads steel works, although already a shadow of its former self. In 2005/6 the line was mostly
redoubled forming the long run-round loop described in BLN 1297. This probably coincided with the
run-down of Whitehead works, with the siding no longer needed for loading/unloading. Also at that
time there had been an upturn in traffic at Newport Docks traffic, with locos being delivered, and Mk 1
coaching stock going to Sims Metals. Closure of Godfrey Road yard led to the loco stabling, fuelling and
signing-on facility being relocated to sidings adjacent to the dock access line. With traffic increasing on
the main lines, it was less acceptable for traffic from the docks direction to reverse or wait on the
Relief lines; hence the re-doubled Courtybella loop was essential to transfer traffic between the docks
and Alexandra Dock Jn sidings without encroaching on the Relief lines.

BELOW: The then single track end of line was blocked with loaded wagons. (Both Nick Jones 19 Apr 1997.)

290] F(f)lint: On 22 Jan new facing followed by trailing points were installed OOU in the Down Main
line between 190m 78ch & 191m 05ch. The form parts of new facing and trailing crossovers (both OOU
pending commissioning) collectively known as known as F(f)lint Jn on the Chester side of the station.

1298 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
291] Douglas Bay Horse Tramway: (BLN 1297.173) (MR P32) The Department of Infrastructure's (DOI)
planning application for new temporary stables by Derby Castle on part of the former Summerland
complex has been approved for a period of five years. However, the historic Summer Hill stables (with
conducted tours available again‡) will be used again in 2018 although, but with their imminent sale,
the DOI was initially unable to reach agreement with Douglas Borough Council over this. An application
to have the stables listed continues but will take time. (Strathallan Tram Depot also needs major work
to make the structure safe.) As at 26 Jan no work had been carried out on the temporary stables or on
(rebuilding) Strathallan Depot. It is not known when the work will start or when the temporary
building might come into use but it looks very unlikely that it will be ready for the start of the 2018
season on 29 Mar. The horse tram service is advertised until 4 Nov, a real surprise, which does not fit
with the plan to start work on refurbishing the Promenade in Sep (needing planning permission too!).

[‡ Meet the Trammers: Sats 31 Mar, 7 & 21 Apr, 5 & 19 May, 9 & 23 Jun, 14 Jul, 4 & 18 Aug, 22 Sep & 27
Oct: 10.00 & 11.00; 28 Jul 12.30, 13.30 & 14.30; 8 Sep 17.30, 18.30 & 19.30; 13 Oct 10.00, 11.00 & 12.00.]

1298 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
X.17] West Highland snow: BELOW: A Glasgow train on Banavie swing bridge with a light dusting of
snow - perfect day for a trip out on the train from your local station…. (All Nick Jones 20 Jan 2018.)

ABOVE: Tulloch - this picture would make a very difficult jigsaw puzzle! BELOW: The Engineers' Siding.
NEXT PAGE: Tulloch again - "Please stand behind the yellow line and allow all the passengers to alight

before attempting to board, spread out along the platform and use all available doors…"





PREVIOUS PAGE UPPER: Corrour, 72 miles from Craigendoran Jn, had 11,092 passengers 2016-2017.
PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: 37516 on snow plough duties at Corrour. BELOW: Train leaving Corrour, but
not to worry there is another one in four hours… The snow fence to the right has seen better days.

292] Cupar: The OOU West Siding on the Down side was due to be removed from 23 Jan. The trailing
crossover between Up and Down Main lines was to be clipped out of use in the normal position.
293] Edinburgh Trams: The first fares revision for two years takes place on 25 Feb. Single City Zone
tickets rise by 10p to £1.70; an adult single to the Airport increases by 50p to £6. City Zone return
tickets stay at £3.20 as do Airport open return tickets (£8.50). Day rover tickets, which include all
Lothian buses, remain unchanged: £4 (or £3.50 after 18.00 £3.50 also with Lothian night buses until
04.30) for the City Zone and £9 to the Airport. Child fares are unchanged. Anytime Edinburgh fares by
train to Edinburgh Gateway then tram to the Airport remain remarkably good value: Single: £2.40
(Senior Railcard £1.60); Anytime Day Return: £3.60 (£2.40); Off-Peak Day Return, £2.70 (£1.80).

1298 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott) [email protected]
MR22] Leighton Buzzard Railway, Bedfordshire (MR p12) (BLN 1286.MR136): The extension of this 2ft
gauge railway beyond Stonehenge to Double Arches has been given a boost by a £47,000 grant from
the LEADER (Rural Development) fund - work has already started clearing the trackbed. £34,000 will go
towards the estimated £150,000 cost of the project, with the remainder being used to build a new
coach and make improvements to the facilities at Stonehenge Works. The grant has enabled the
Railway to commit to buying the track needed to reach the immediate goal of the top of Munday's Hill,

some 140 metres from Eastern Way (the road the railway once crossed to access the Double Arches
quarry). Once opened the extension will feature a gradient of 1 in 27 and a rare section of double track
narrow gauge railway. Aside from the extension, the Railway has agreed a 250 year lease for the whole
line with Arnold White Estates, which owns the local sand quarries and much of the land over which
the railway runs. The partnership has also resulted in an immediate cash injection for the railway and
the promise of additional investment as and when the quarries are worked out and redeveloped.

MR23] Bluebell Railway, East Sussex (MR p6): 17 March 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the
railway closing - the final trains ran on 16 March 1958. This is a very significant occasion in the history
of the Bluebell Line, marking the end of one era and, significantly, the beginning of a new one.
In recognition, a special 'Sulky Service*' timetable will be running for part of February and March,
culminating in line closure themed events over the weekend of 17 and 18 March. On 16 March 2018,
the Railway will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the last train service from East Grinstead to
Lewes. The railway will be working with schools on a local history project and recreating the historic
journey of that last train. This journey will be for invited guests only, and it will include people who
travelled on that final train 60 years ago or were connected with the line during that period. On 17 and
18 March 2018 the Railway will invite the public to experience elements of 1958 and explore what that
year means to the Railway. A visit to the Railway on that weekend will include opportunities to take
tea in 1950s style, a mini guided tour in areas not usually open to the public and, if you were born in
1958, travel at 1958 prices - equivalent to 20p per ticket, now worth £4.50 (shillings are not required!).

*Madge Bessemer granddaughter of Henry Bessemer, who introduced his process for making steel
from pig iron, lived at North Chailey, close to the East Grinstead to Lewes Line. An agreement dating
from 1905 with the London Brighton & South Coast Railway permitted a private gate from their house,
for easy access to the local station. Deemed as a loss maker, BR proposed the line for closure in 1954
and despite strong local opposition this was approved in February 1955 and the last timetabled regular
passenger train ran on 28 May 1955. Then Miss Bessemer discovered, in the Schedule of the 1877 and
1878 Act of Parliament authorising the line, a clause that 'Four passenger trains each way daily to run
on this line with through connections at East Grinstead to London, and stop at Sheffield Bridges (sic),
Newick and West Hoathly'. The British Transport Commission (BTC) had to reinstate trains which it did
from 7 August 1956 but not stopping at Kingscote or Barcombe as they were not named in the act.

Predictably the pathetic service, nicknamed the 'Sulky Service' with a single coach, did not connect at
East Grinstead with trains to and from London. The case went to the House of Commons and a Public
Enquiry into the closure followed in 1957 when BR was severely criticised. However the BTC persuaded
Parliament to repeal the special clause (above) of the original Lewes & East Grinstead Railway Act.
Services were then withdrawn again from 17 March 1958. All this attracted national media attention,
and with the efforts of the Talyllyn and Ffestiniog in mind, three students discussed creating the Lewes
& East Grinstead Railway Preservation Society and running summer weekend trains. A local newspaper
nicknamed it the 'Bluebell Line', further local publicity about a possible re-opening led to a trackbed
walk from Horsted Keynes to Newick & Chailey, with an inaugural meeting at Haywards Heath on
15 March 1959, chaired by BR employee, Bernard Holden, later a Bluebell Railway General Manager….

MR24] West Clare Railway, County Clare (MR p26) (BLN 1187.MR119): Para. 3.6 (page 36) of 'Railway
Safety Performance in Ireland' https://goo.gl/Xy7L54 has a list of the eight heritage railway operators
in Ireland, which are required to hold current and validated safety cases under the Railway Safety Act
2005. They are: Difflin Lake Railway (15" gauge at Raphoe), Fintown Railway (3' gauge), Listowel
Monorail, Waterford & Suir Valley Railway (3' gauge) and the Irish Steam Preservation Society
(3' gauge at Stradbally). The Cavan & Leitrim Railway (C&LR), Tralee & Dingle Railway (T&DR) and the
West Clare Railway (WCR) are listed as having 'not yet received a Safety Management Certificate from
the RSC and were reported as being non-operational in 2016'. It is known that the C&LR (last ran
August 2014) and the T&DR (last ran September 2009) have both been out of use.

However, listing the WCR as non-operational was a surprise. When checked in early January, the
Railway's web site www.westclarerailway.ie carried no update since 8 April 2016, showing opening
times for 2016 - but not for 2017. Trip Advisor https://is.gd/G5UsmS rather gives the impression that
it is closed. The Industrial Railway Society (IRS) bulletin 1008 (January 2018) has a report on the railway
dated 10 July 2017. This states that Trains are only run for pre-booked coach parties or for other
groups of twenty or more. So it appears the railway has definitely closed as far as ordinary passengers
are concerned and will therefore be deleted from 'Minor Railways'. The IRS bulletin report also adds:
'Permission has been granted to cross the main road. A temporary platform will be built on the Kilkee
side and the rails on the older North line lifted and placed in the gap between the current limit of
operation on the Kilkee line and the Moyasta station. The crossing is to be laid before the Santa
Season starts in December'. Reports from any members who have recently visited the railway or more
information would be very welcome. The Commission for Railway Regulation has also advised that this
list (above) was also valid for 2017 with a ninth addition: the 3' gauge Lullymore Heritage Railway.

MR25] Yeovil Railway Centre, Somerset (MR p6): With various parts of the country suffering from
snow, our roving reporter visited on Sunday 10 December (where it was only raining!). 0-4-0ST 'Lord
Fisher' (AB1398/1915) was pushing brake van W35923 (actually 950603) and railcar trailer 59515 from
their Platform 4 at Yeovil Junction station down the running line. The elevated 5" gauge miniature
railway was not in operation. The entrance gate man seemed very surprised that our reporter wished
to pay money to enter - all other visitors were using 'plastic' […aren't £5 and £10 notes plastic now?]

MR26] Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway, Gwynedd (BLN 1297.183): The Railway is
thinking of a further phase in the redevelopment of the route towards Bala. A feasibility study has
been commissioned from Trawsfynydd station yard to a roadside terminus at the summit of the Cwm
Prysor Pass where the A4212 road has taken over the trackbed. It is around 5½ miles long. However,
the track terminates at Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station siding and there is little ballast either. It is
interesting that the feasibility study apparently does not cover the section between the Nuclear Power
Station siding and Trawsfynydd station yard. The land may have been sold off by BR, but is largely clear
except for a farm shed just south of the power station siding. Three or four small bridges may need
replacing but the rest of the civil engineering is thought to be in good condition. The line runs along a
two mile ledge high above Cwm Prysor with incredible views and the curved Cwm Prysor viaduct near
the summit would be the cream on the cake! A Transport & Works Order may be needed to re-acquire
land for the route. This is a longer term project after the initial section from Blaenau to Trawsfynydd is
opened so the existing permissive footpath along most of it is likely to remain for quite a while yet!

[BLN 1298]
PREVIOUS PAGE: Trawsfynydd Lake Halt (1934-1960 RIP) comes to life on 11 Oct 1969 for the RCTS/
LCGB Festiniog Railtour (with one 'f') https://goo.gl/bbrS59 it also visited Dyserth. (Angus McDougall)

MR27] Great Central Railway, Leicestershire (MR p7): On 13 & 14 January, scaffolding (intentionally)
fouled the Up line during building work at Rothley Carriage Works. Traditional Single Line Working with
a Pilotman was brought in between Swithland Sidings and Rothley to maintain the two train hourly
service, (Ivatt 2-6-0 46521 and a Class 101 DMU). This involved Up trains setting back over the rare
Swithland Sidings trailing crossover to continue north on the Down line and call at Rothley Platform 2.
The crossover's only previous passenger use was by our BLS/PLEG 22 July 2017 'Rothley Rodder' tour.

MR28] Watford Miniature Railway, Hertfordshire (MR p18) (BLN 1286.MR142): As expected, this 10¼"
gauge railway did not operate on Christmas Day, but was due to do so on Boxing Day and until early in
the New Year. The new operator has erected a calendar of 2018 operating dates: Saturdays, Sundays
and Bank Holidays all year plus School Holidays. On Sunday 14 January our roving reporter visited
when a steam outline 0-6-0D plus 4w tender was operating with the dark red quin-artic set of coaches.
Fares were £2 for all classes. In contrast the 1972-1975 fare was 3p! The layout appears unaltered.

BELOW: Swithland Sidings, looking north towards Loughborough the DMU having reversed on the Up
Main, runs on to the trailing crossover to reach the Down Main where it reversed again running wrong
line to Rothley. The Down Goods Loop is left; note the indication of the upper ground position signal.

NEXT PAGE: Rothley looking south towards Leicester North. (Both Tom Gilby 14 January 2018.)


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