No.103 - SPRING 1998

 

COMMITTEE SHORTS

RENEWAL OF MEMBERSHIP FEES

We would like to thank all those members who have renewed their subscription to the PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY for
 
1998. For those who have forgotten to renew, or, more likely, been too busy, you will be delighted to know it is not too late. Simply send your 4.50 fee to our Membership Secretary, Captain Caddick, at the address shown above. You will be instantly rejoined and be sent a free 1998 PRS diary.
For those who do not rejoin, this will be the final magazine you will receive. In these circumstances we thank you for your valuable support and hope that you decide to join again at some time in the future.

DONCASTER ROVERS R.I.P.

The publication of this edition was held back so we could bring you the news that Donny Rovers had lost their league status. However, hope lingers on as on
 4 April they beat Hull City 1-0. Hull are now so bad that should a miracle occur it will be they and not Donny who will enter the Conference. Recently Donny sacked all their training staff and told the players just to turn up on matchdays. Perhaps they should have thought of this earlier.
Either Donny or Hull will be replaced by the glamourous Halifax Town.

QUOTES

"Picture an imaginary line from the Bristol Channel to the Wash. Above that line we have the beer-drinking, chip-eating, council-house dwelling, Old Labour-voting masses" - Brian Souter. Chairman of Stagecoach, describing his customers.

"Some services have been cut In a bid to reduce overcrowding on trains In the London area" - Spokeswoman for South West Trains.

Dr. Marje Skinner

"Dear Marje, people keep telling me I am hone stop short of East Ham what does this mean?## ~name and address supplied.

"Dear Sutty, the answer lies on the District Underground line out of Upminster. Woof Woof - Marje"

Bramall Lane

A recent Item in the Sheffield Star stated that "Long-standing plans to turn Bramall Lane into a dual carriageway are set to be dropped in favour of a bus lane and cycleway". Chairman Skinner assures us It Is the road and not the football ground which is referred to.

Motor on the Line

A driver was baffled when his speed suddenly dropped from 50mph to 25mph. He stopped the train, walked back down the line and found one of the train's electric motors. The 3ft long one hundredweight power unit had dropped off. It fell off a Networker train passing Chelsfield in Kent.

Now French-owned Connex South Eastern is having to modify its
 93 similar trains to ensure no more motors part company. In the meantime top speed is reduced from 75mph to 60mph. This incident is the latest in a growing and ever more bizarre list of reasons for delayed trains.

Recently, a driver with Connex South Central refused to take a service from Brighton to London because he was cold. The heating had broken. down. Then a locoman with the same company cut short a journey because he had to collect his children from school.

RATS Get A Taste for Power

Friday 13 February - The Great St Albans Power Failure. Fifty trains were caught up in chaos on the Thameslink service through the centre of London between Bedford and Brighton. It was caused by suicidal rats chewing the power cables. This was the third time in a month that rats had devastated commuter journeys.

Thameslink chief Euan Cameron said "Commuters can help by not throwing bits of food out of windows. That attracts the rats in the first place"

Germany Calling

Germany is now closer to London than Glasgow. You can now catch the Eurostar from Waterloo to Brussels on six services a day with onward connections on the Thalys train to Aachen and arrive in
 4 hours 44 mins. This coincides with the opening, of the Lille to Brussels high speed line.

Eurostar Figures Soar

Eurostar carried a record number of passengers in February. Over 460,000 travelled between London, France and Belgium, a 12% increase on January
 1998 and 16% up on February 1997. Overall 1997 saw 23% more people travel on Eurostar than in 1996.

It Is rumoured British Airways wants to take over Eurostar and construction of the high-speed link from London to the Coast. This however would give them 90% of the London-Paris traffic and will be opposed by smaller airlines.

Inverness

English Welsh and Scottish Railway has opened a train-crew depot In Inverness to meet a rise in local freight.

Tinsley

31 March
 1998 saw the final closure of Tinsley. A social event to mark the closure was held in the Railway Club, Sheffield, on 4th April 1998.

Train Name

Great Eastern Class
 
321# 321439 was named 'Chelmsford Cathedral Festival' on 23 March in a ceremony at Liverpool Street station.

P
endleton Station

A public meeting is to be held on 8 April into the proposed closure of Pendleton station, Greater Manchester. The station has not been used since being damaged by fire more than three years ago.

Wales and West Smoking, Ban

Smoker Bambrough our President will not be using Wales and West train services after 24 May. From that day smoking will be banned.

Early Saver

Thameslink has introduced an Early Riser fare from Bedford and Luton to King's Cross Thameslink. It is 20% cheaper than the normal fare. Tickets must be booked In advance and the journey made before 7am.

Midland Route

Railtrack has been ordered by the Health and Safety Executive to
repair poor track on the line between Nottingham and Chesterfield.
Failure to do so could result in a criminal prosecution under the
Health and Safety at Work Act.

SHIPLEY STATION

Shipley station in West Yorkshire been stripped of its last remaining Midland Railway platform canopy. The canopy, on a Bradford-bound platform, had to be demolished so that the platform could be raised to a safe standard height. Nearby Bingley still retains its Victorian canopies, which were refurbished last year.

High Peak

Class 60, 60002 of EWS was named "High Peak" at the quarry on 23 February. The quarry, 1000 feet up in the Peak District, produces three million tons of limestone a year. Last year about half was sent out by rail but this year that figure Is expected to be higher.

A major contract to supply materials for Manchester Airport's second runway is all, going by train.

Class 
66

The first of EWS's new fleet of Class 66 diesel electric locos near completion. The locos are being built by Electro Motive, a division of the US car giant General Motors In London, Ontario In Canada. Number 66001 was due to be handed over on 23 March. It will be shipped to Britain, probably via New York, In April and will arrive in EWS livery. EWS has ordered 250 of the locos at a cost of 300 million. Delivery of the main fleet starts In July.

Pulp

A trial load of wood pulp has been successfully hauled 300 miles for Britain's largest manufacturer of tissue paper. EWS took the pulp in
 16 wagons from. Sheerness port in Kent to Kimberly Clark's mill at Barrow. The mill was opened in 1967 and rail connected but little use has been made of the siding. Now the company, which transports 17,500 tonnes of pulp a year by road from Sheerness is thinking of making a permanent switch to rail.

Cut-Price Euro Connections

Eurostar has relaunched its special connecting fares to encourage passengers to take the train from the regions to Paris, Brussels or Disneyland Paris via London and the Channel Tunnel.

Eurostar Is-being promoted in areas served by GNER, Virgin Trains, GW Trains, Wales and West, and Midland Mainline. Special connecting return fares between regional stations and Waterloo include Leicester 19 and. Leeds or Bradford or York 26.

Last Post

T
he last Travelling Post Office train has run into Glasgow Central station. Postal services now use the Railnet terminal at Shieldmuir near Motherwell. It Is served by nine trains a day operated for Royal Mall by Rail Express Services, part of EWS.

Royal Mall has also been granted planning permission for a Railnet terminal at Bristol Parkway. It is expected to open early next year,

Paper Freight

Railfreight Distribution, now part of EWS has won a contract to transport 15,000 tonnes of paper from Switzerland to a distribution centre in Ely, via the Channel Tunnel.

Music that Moves the Yobs

Vandals and troublemakers have been driven away from Shiremoor station on the Tyneside Metro - by the sweet sound of classical music.. Orchestral and choral excerpts from Delius's Hassan pounded out for 12 hours a day. The yobs just couldn't stand it.


Editor's Notes

Welcome to the Spring 1998 issue of Trans Pennine.


Yes, it's me again! I know I wrote that Decembers magazine would be my last, but having been completely underwhelmed by offers to take over the editorial "hot seat" I've been persuaded to carry on for a while longer!! I've also taken the opportunity of introducing some changes to
the layout of the magazine - your comments, good bad would be welcome.
At the AGM in January, it was pointed out that next year will be the 25th anniversary of the Pennine and discussion turned to how we should mark our Silver Jubilee. One suggestion was that we re-create the society's early trips to London. I have to admit that these were before my time (I've only been a member for 18 years), however, from all accounts, they are the stuff of Pennine legend. At the end of a trip to London, the party would retire to a hostelry near Kings Cross, the Bell, for a couple of pints and a cabaret. The cabaret usually took the form of "exotic dancing" by young ladies whose physical attributes gave a new meaning to the phrase "a pair of 37's". These performances were so engrossing that a certain pipe smoking member would (allegedly) often end up doing an impression of a steam loco storming Lickey!
I believe the Bell has long since gone, and the exotic dancers must be grandmothers by now, so an authentic recreation is probably not possible, but that doesn't stop us from marking an important milestone in the society's history. Any suggestions as to how we go about it will be warmly received by the committee.
David Bladen

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Pennine Railway Society was held at the Taps on the 11th of January, and was attended by 19 members. The main points arising out the meeting were as follows:-
Dave Whitlam has decided to step down as Fixtures Secretary. He feels that in view of the complete lack of opportunities to visit railway installations following privatisation, the position has become unnecessary. He will, however, remain on the committee.

Membership of the society remains stable, 67 members having re-joined.

The financial position of the society is sound, enabling the committee to consider the purchase of a new slide projector

(Since the AGM, the society has managed to purchase a new projector, a Leica Pradovit. In common with other modem projectors, this will only accept straight magazines - please bear this in mind if you have offered to give a slide show - loan magazines are available from Chris Tyas)


On the Shap route in 1968

Paul Slater

During the first half of 1968, when the last steam locomotives in normal use on British Railways were coming to the end of their working lives, I made a series of excursions to the West Coast Main Line. I was living in Leeds at the time, and as I had not yet bought a car, I used the railways a good deal for travelling. My job left me one Saturday off in four. I was friendly with a girl in Newcastle and liked to see her on my free Saturdays, but as she often could not see me, I arranged alternative plans for my Saturday excursions. I found an interest in travelling across to the West Coast Main Line and seeing the last steam locomotives at work; as I did not at that time foresee the growth in railway preservation, I did not know that in a few years I would see steam engines at work frequently, and there was a real nostalgia in my trips.
On the first full Saturday out in 1968, in January, I got as far as Wigan and saw one or two trains on the mainline, but the only steam locomotive which I managed to photograph was a "Black 5" on station pilot duty at Manchester Victoria.
In February I did a much more ambitious trip. I caught the morning Leeds - Glasgow express and rode on it as far as Carlisle. The weather in Leeds was unexceptional, but up on the Settle and Carlisle line there was deep snow, and it was a spectacular journey, the hills and moors all white, and curtains of icicles lining the track in many places. After lunching in Carlisle, I returned south on the West Coast Main Line; My train hauled by a "47''. was bound for Euston, and made its first stop at Lancaster.
The sun came out once we left Carlisle; soon snow began to lie beside the line again, and the crossing of Shap Fell was impressive in the bright but wintry conditions. As we sped down the bank to Tebay, we passed a northbound goods train with an engine at each end; the head locomotive was definitely a diesel, but I was unsure of the banker, as it seemed to be making too smoke for a diesel but not enough for a steam locomotive! There followed a spectacular stretch through the Lune Gorge, and then we were through Oxenholme; and there was no doubt about the Grayrigg banker, as a BR Standard Class 4 4-6-0 was in the siding as we sped past.
At Lancaster, the station pilot, a "Black 5" stood with steam up. I got off the Euston express and was soon retuning north as far as Carnforth on a Barrow-in-Furness train. I had some time to wait before a DMU came in from Morecambe to take me back to Leeds, so I walked out along the road to where I could see signs of activity at Carnforth engine-shed. I was unprepared for what I found: row upon row of steam locomotives! I walked happily among the nearest ones and photographed the rest from a path which led conveniently outside the railway fence over a slight hill just beyond the shed. 4-6-Os nos. 44874 and 44894 were in steam on the siding next to the main line, while in the "graveyard" nearer the road were BR Standard 4-6-Os nos. 75020, 75021, 75058, and 75062, 2-8-0 no. 48757, 2-10-0 no. 92009 - an old friend from years earlier, as it had been one of the first "9F"s allocated to Wellingborough during my boyhood trainspotting days in Northamptonshire - and the first "Britannia" Pacific I had seen for many months, 70031 "Byron". Other steam engines, both active and derelict, were in evidence in the yard on the other side of the shed building.
Eventually, I tore myself away from my steam nostalgia, and walked back to the station. It was a pleasant journey back to Leeds in the fading winter light, my thoughts full of the locomotives and landscapes I had seen during the day, and the first part of my ride dominated by the snowy peak of Ingleborough. A final bonus was the sight of a "9F" heading a westbound goods at Keighley; the last steam engines had left Leeds (Holbeck) the previous autumn, but obviously the occasional one still worked in from Lancashire..
In March, I managed to visit my girlfriend in Newcastle - it was a very pleasant day, but not relevant to this article! - and I photographed the last steam locomotives at two sheds near Leeds, Royston and Normanton. In April, I went on another long train trip. I went to Wigan again, and while waiting for an express to take me north, I was rewarded by the sight of a "9F", 2-10-0 no. 92069, coming through with oil tankers. I took the express as far as Oxenholme; the Grayrigg banker, 4-6-0 no. 75027 was there, and I got off and walked back to take photographs. I got two of it from the adjacent road bridge, one with a diesel of the then new "50" class speeding past with a Glasgow Euston express. Then I returned to Oxenholme station for a train from Windermere which would take me back to Carnforth and the connection for Leeds. Six years later, in October 1974, I photographed 75027 again, but this time working passenger trains on the Bluebell railway.
In may came the last trip of the series. I took a Morecambe DMU as far as Carnforth, then changed to a Windermere train which I rode as far as Kendal. I had lunch there, then walked out of the town to the east until I came to the main line. Earlier I had noticed that there was no engine waiting at Oxenholme, so I knew that I would not see the hoped-for sight of a steam banking engine in action. The next time I saw a steam locomotive banking a train in the rear was in August 1972, on the Foxfield light railway in Staffordshire. However, that day in May 1968, I did manage to photograph two trains on Grayrigg bank, a "47" on a Euston - Carlisle express and class "40" no. D231 "Sylvania" on a parcels train, and I enjoyed the pleasant surroundings of the Westmoreland hills before walking back to the attractive town of Kendal for tea. I rode the train back to Carnforth and took some more photos of the derelict engines on the shed. Now, of course, it is a living steam museum; then, it seemed a sad place, and a muted blast on a chime whistle on the other side of the shed struck a melancholy note.
As far as I can remember, I saw one more steam locomotive in action on BR that summer, and that was a Standard class 4 4-6-0 with a goods train at Skipton as I returned from a holiday in Edinburgh at the beginning of July. A few weeks later, I rode for the first time on a steam train of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, and that was the start of my interest in railway preservation. It was several years before I saw the Shap route again, and by then it was a very different railway, being electrified and closely paralleled by the M6 motorway. And the girlfriend? I visited her in Newcastle a few more times, but I saw her for the last time during the first summer of the nineteen-seventies. She is part of my memories of the late sixties, like my excursions to see the last steam locomotives in regular use on the Shap route.

A final bonus was the
sight of a "9F" heading a
westbound goods at
Keighley....

Deltic-bashing East Lancs style (or Gateshead re-visited!)

Chris Tyas

Saturday 31st of January 1998. The alarm goes off at 06.10. I start to wonder why I am getting out of bed on a cold morning like this on my day off. I catch the 06.45 bus to town and rush to the station to catch the 07.06 Midland Mainline service to Sheffield. The train arrives at 07.09 with power cars 43052 leading and 43045 on the rear. We get a signal check at Aldwarke Junction whilst a late-running DMU in front clears the section, and arrive at Sheffield with just enough time to catch the 07.35 to Manchester formed by 158788. Another signal check, this time at Edale - is someone trying to tell me something?
Despite the cheek, arrival at Piccadilly is on time and a short walk takes me to the tram station. Engineering work means that everything is departing from the "set down only" platform - it seems that the tram system is failing to pieces already! I board a tram for Bury and during the journey, just for a change, encounter two 5mph slacks due to broken rails. A 5minute stroll at Bury brings me to Bolton Street station, where I spend 10 on a members "Day Rover'. Now, time for breakfast before the 10.00 departure. Slight problem though - the gate to platform 2, where the cafe is situated, is closed, even though the cafe itself is open! The staff are probably wondering why they have no customers! I walk over the road to Victoria's Sandwich Shop for a bacon butty.
At 09.45, Hughes "Crab* 42765 backs onto the stock, then shunts it from platform 2 to platform 3. At 09.58, someone opens the gate to platform 2 where the cafe is - brilliant timing, especially as there was a departure from Bury at 09.00. At 10.00 prompt, our train departs on its journey. As we approach Ramsbottom, I can see Deltic D9019 waiting in the other platform. I join the train and find a nice warm compartment in the front coach. As we leave the station, we pass the local park where two or three football matches are taking place. Quite a few of the non-participants and some of the players bum to watch our departure.
After arrival at Bury, there are about twenty minutes in which to run the engine round, before the 11.00 departure. Having coupled the loco back on to the stock, a fault is discovered on the ETH requiring both power units to be shut down so that rectification work can be carried out. When it comes to restarting, one of the units will not start due to low oil pressure. It is decided to make this trip on one unit, but there will be no train heat. We manage to keep to time to Rawtenstall and back, but it soon gets very cold in the coaches. A decision is made to replace D9019 on the13.00 service, with the loco servicing crew attempting to repair the Deltic. The replacement engine is none other than D1501 "Gateshead" - just like old times on the East Coast! I make a round trip with D1501 and on arrival back at Bury, it is plain to see that the gallant efforts of the servicing crew have been unsuccessful, so D1501 will work for the rest of the day. I have one more round trip with the 47, then decide to head for home early.
At the tram station, I find that two trams are being coupled together to form the next service to Piccadilly. The autocouplers will not work and the service is cancelled - I have to wait for the next one! 158770 forms the 18.19 departure from Piccadilly to Doncaster. The only thing missing from the day is not being able to go into the Great Northem Bar at Peterborough, to be served by the Chinese barman now what was his famous saying? "Ha! Duff on Creeforpes, more beers?"


The Pennine Quiz No.93
David Bladen

Bit of an easy one this! Answers to the editor by 30 May, please! 
Offers to set quiz 94 also gratefully received!

1) 
What is a capuchon?

2) 
Trowse Swing Bridge carries an electrified line into which city?

3) 
What was the original class designation for Class 33/1, never adopted?

4) 
In which year was the first Standard Class 4MT 2-60 delivered?

5) 
What is the wheel arrangement of a 'Mikado' type of locomotive?

6) 
A specific locomotive was allocated to haul Southern Railway's royal trains - what was its    class and number?

7) 
Pontypridd used to be an important junction on the former GWR, but what was the original owning company?

8) 
What is the function of a short -armed signal with horizontal red, white and red stripes surmounted by the letter 'C' ?

9) 
Which line in London formed the world's first tube railway, but was later closed?


10)
How many Robinson 2-8-Os were bought by the GWR from the government?

11)
Three Spires Junction is on the northern outskirts of which city?

12) Bogie flash guards are fitted to which specific sub-class of locomotives?

13) Which LNER steam locomotive carried the name "Cuddie Hedrigg?

14)
What role did 'Bumper Harris' play in the history of London Underground?

15)
What does the coaching stock code 'RMBT' signify?

16)
Which Class 52 carried a misspelt-spelt nameplate for many years?

17)
At 1275 yards, the Harrington Viaduct is reputed to be Britain's longest brick-built structure - which company built K?

18)
What two types of engine are fitted to the Class 37/9 sub-class?

/9
On which railway did a train known as the 'Pilling Pig' run?)

20)
What type of transmission did the experimental 'Fell' locomotive have?

2/)
What livery was carried by the first-built Class 52 'Western'?

22) Clifton Down Tunnel is in which city?

23) Name 86 6/3

24) In steam days, trains on Copy Pit Summit often needed a banker - which depot supplied
the last Class 8F 2-8-0's for this duty in /968?

25)In which year did the first Class 59 arrive in this country?


Pennine Quiz No.92
the answers!


/)  550/6 'Gordon Highlander
2)  32/8
3)  45/29
4)  Stewarts Lane
5)  Edinburgh Haymarket
6)  Paddington
7)  Chris Milner
8)  59003
9)  / July /946
10) 1973
11) Dartmouth
12) 'St Dunstans'
13) Masbury - Shepton Mallet
14) George Townsend Andrews
15) 50007 'Sir Edward Elgar'
16) Steam Locomotive Operators Association
17) Glasgow St Enoch - Stranraer
18) 113 1/2miles
19) Elephants
20) 18000
21) 31
22) St Pancras (Cambridge Street)
23) 89001
24) North Staffordshire Railway
25) 3' 9.5" (1156mm)
26) Newport
27) 1986
28) Peterborough
29) D2851
30) Inverurie
31) 40106
32) 15 January 1936
33) 98 miles
34) D9005
35) WR 1600 class
36) 27 November 1965
37) Richard Branson
38) Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway
39) 'Charles Jones'
40) Camden
41) 8d (3 1/2p)
42) 'Oxcroft Opencast'
43) Hugh Smellie
44) Hull Cannon Street
45) Liverpool
46) Paddington - Bristol Temple Meads
47) 50015 'Tulyar
48) Thomas Hardy
49) 12' 10"
50) Havre


Winner overall was John Dewing, with Ken King gaining second place and Ian Shenton in third. Well done gentlemen, and thanks again to Malcolm Bell for setting the quiz.


 

What the Papers say!

Railnews is a paper which hasn't featured in these columns before, so when an article about one of our local stations appeared in the January edition, written by -Chris Amott, it was an opportunity not to be missed
Rumour has it that the resident tramp once played for Man Utd.
The line from Sheffield to Hull is not the most attractive in the land. Not in its early stages anyway. Cranes hover like vultures over the rusting hulks in many scrapyards. Stone walls and bridges are smudged with soot, the legacy of an industrial past in all-too-evident decline.
The picture begins to change four stops out. On one side of the line a sluggish river meanders through open fields. On the other side of the line are the handsome Victorian buildings of Mexborough station in Yorkshire stone blasted clean of soot and graffiti.
Melissa Hazel, on duty today, emerges from the back of the ticket office with a thick wedge of kitchen paper in one hand. She has been cleaning the inside of the double-glazed windows. "it's a good opportunity while they're unscrewed for the painters, " she says, showing characteristic thoroughness.
She is 22 and arrived from Doncaster in one of the few years when the station didn't win an award. The manager made it plain that this was not on. Normal trophy winning would be expected to resume as soon as possible.
And it did. Regional Railways North East recently voted Mexborough as its best-kept small station. Again. Four years ago it took the national title after being runner-up in 1991 and '92.
There have been customer care awards, too. Richard Ellis (now at Barnsley) won one for ferrying passengers down the line to Swinton in his Nissan Cherry during last year's bad weather. Gary Morgan was commended for rushing from the ticket office and helping to rescue someone who was drowning in the nearby canal.
Prize money from one award or another paid for the fish tank in the waiting room. A most unusual tank it is, too. Instead of a cube it looks more like a tube - a vertical tube shaped like a miniature lighthouse.
During my visit, it was almost covered over by a paintstreaked sheet. The decorators were in, making the place look even more spick and span. Melissa drew the sheet slightly to one side and we came face to face with a particularly large and lugubrious golden carp.
Fish are more common in dentists' waiting rooms, renowned as they are for having a calming effect. But never has that quality been more needed than the day a prize bull escaped from a nearby field and rampaged up and down the platform.
Passengers were ushered inside while Melissa frantically phoned the farmer. "Bulls we can do without," she says, "but we can usually get hold of the horses."
Horses?
"Yes, they sometimes escape when the kids are on holiday from school and open the farm gates. They gallop around the car park for a while, then calm down."
The manure they leave behind could come in very handy during the summer months when the platforms are lined with colourful flower tubs and hanging baskets.
Melissa and her colleagues on different shifts, Shahin Khan and Nick Stevens, can forget about watering those baskets until the spring. Now all they have to do is concentrate on is feeding the fish, rounding up stray horses, selling tickets, helping passengers with heavy bags over the footbridge, keeping the place immaculate and rubbing regular applications of Brasso on the war memorial honouring the railwaymen of Mexborough who died in the First World War. There are 34 names. "The brass rail's gone a bit dark because of the rain," says Melissa, unnecessarily apologetic. I'll have another go at it later."
Despite her love of cleanliness and good order, she has a soft spot for the station's resident tramp. "He's lovely," she says. "A real gentle giant." His name is Brian and rumour has it he once played for Manchester United. His chosen headgear is a woollen tea-cosy. "Sometimes he goes in the gents for a wash," says Melissa, "but if I lock it at night, he just goes in the ladies instead and strips right off."
Mind you, since the bull went walkabout, the female passengers at Mexborough have become virtually unshockable.

Private Eye continues to lambaste privatisation in its 'Signal Failures' column, written by "Dr B Ching"


Focus on connections

The debate on an integrated transport policy initiated by John Prescott seems premature given that the rail system isn't capable of co-ordinating with itself, let alone with buses, cars ferries and other forms of transport.
A rail network (as opposed to a collection of isolated railways) should enable a passenger to travel swiftly between any two stations even where there is no direct train. But Britain's privatised railway has abandoned this principle. If a train arrives late, the chances are that its "connecting" service will have left already.
Yet again, the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (Opraf) is to blame. Before it drafted its passenger service requirements (PSRs) for each franchise, Opraf promised that allowances will be made for trains which are delayed in order to waft for the arrival of specific connecting services". But, as the Rail Users Consultative Committee for Wales, a Tory-appointed watchdog, laments in its annual report: "Allowances had not been made in any PSR received by the committee. Provisions for connections are wholly inadequate in all PSRs received, provisions for delayed connections are unacceptably omitted from all PSRs... The committee expressed its deep concern at the manner in which Opraf progressively diluted its initial commitments and undertakings and by that jeopardised future travel opportunities for rail passengers."
The result is that people have missed ferry connections to Ireland and suffered delays of up to 12 hours. The policy also hits commuters, like the 'Eye' reader who travels from Chippenham to work in Oxford, changing at Didcot. `The train arrived in Didcot just in time for the Oxford train to pull out as we were all trying to cross the platform to it. The stationmaster said he was not able to hold it," he wrote in a letter of complaint. He was half an hour late for work because Thames Trains had not been prepared to hold the Oxford train even 30 seconds. Another time he was 90 minutes late because Great Western Trains had not held a train.
The non-connection policy is not limited to connection between different train operators. For every delayed train, the company responsible for the delay must pay a fine under the ludicrous penalty and bonus system devised to keep the fragmented rail network running. Delaying a train to await a late connecting service helps customers - but cost the train's operator money.
Previously, experienced staff held connections at their discretion, taking into account the likely number of people needing the connection, the length of time till the next service, how late the incoming service was running etc. Occasionally they got it wrong, and it was to tackle such problems that the private sector, with its "superior" management skills, was drafted in.
"Euston, we have a problem.
Now, however, we simply have a public service run to suit bureaucrats and managers with no regard to customer's needs at all. Opraf could easily exempt operators from fines for delays in the interest of connecting passengers, but it is far too removed from everyday life to understand the impact of its policies on passengers. If there must be fines, surely they should be on operators who do not hold connections? If the fines and bonuses resulted in 99.9 percent of trains arriving on time, this connections issue would be immaterial. In practice trains are not significantly more punctual than they were under British Rail, despite the private rail companies receiving twice as much subsidy and despite the threat of fines.

Rail Ale

Goes on the Supertram

David Bladen

Sheffield's Supertram system has been one of the more controversial additions to public transport in South Yorkshire in recent years. Costing many, many millions of pounds and causing severe disruption to city-centre business during its construction, the system was finally completed in 1995. Passenger levels and revenues have been slow to rise, not helped in the early days by a convoluted ticket system which meant it was cheaper to buy tickets from shops rather than at tram-stops. These tickets then had to be validated before use, providing the Australian- built validating machine at the tram-stop was working and there wasn't an enormous queue in front of you! Battles over public funding for the system have raged in the political arena and the courts, and privatisation has arrived in the shape of Stagecoach, who will shortly become responsible for the operation of the trams.
Despite all of this, the trams are a very pleasant way to get around. The 25 units, manufactured by Siemens-Duwag in Dusseldorf, are comfortable, quiet and where the route allows, fast. It was somewhat of a surprise to me to find that quite a few Pennine members have not yet sampled the Supertram. The aim of this article is therefore to provide a beery incentive to use the system, although I must say, in balance, that there are also quite a few Pennine members who need absolutely no incentive whatsoever!
There are three main routes from the city centre, to Meadowhall, Middlewood and Halfway, with branches to Malin Bridge and Herdings Park from the fast two routes, respectively. I am happy to say that decent beer can be found in eight GBG-listed pubs near tram stops and armed With a one-day Travelmaster, it is possible to visit them all in a fairly short space of time. This is not recommended, however, as there are no loos on the trams!
We will start at Midland station and head off to the furthest pub on the Middlewood and Malin Bridge route before returning to the city centre. Take a tram from the station heading towards Middlewood or Malin Bridge, alight at the Bamforth Street stop, cross the road and walk down Bamforth Street. At the bottom, turn left on to Penistone Road and you will see the New Barrack Tavern. This is an ex-Gilmour's house, a fact proclaimed by the pub windows and the architectural style, namely, a tile-bricked facade to the building. The large bar boasts an impressive array of handpumps, dispensing beers from the smaller independent breweries, and a blackboard lists the many foreign bottled-beers which are on sale. More blackboards detail the extensive home-cooked food menu, and the Tavern is very highly regarded in this respect. On my last visit I finally managed to sample Barnsley IPA, and well worth the wait it was, too!
If you can drag yourself away from the culinary and beery delights on offer at the Tavern, head back to Bamforth Street and take a tram towards the city centre, this time getting off at Shalesmoor. Adjacent to the stop is the Cask and Cutler.
This place re-opened in late /993 after some years of neglect and since that time it has become a veritable mecca for real ale devotees (and beer spotters) - on my last visit, the blackboard behind the bar proclaimed that over /500 different beers had been sold. The landlord and landlady take their beer very seriously and are keen CAMRA supporters. Inside, the pub is dark and quiet, there being no jukebox or electronic games to disturb the conversation - another bonus is a large, comfortable no-smoking room where you can enjoy your pint without the dangers of passive smoking. The beers on sate (usually 6) come from the small independent brewers and there is also a fair selection of Belgian bottled-beers. I tried some Isle of Skye Pale Ate when last in - very moreish. Meals are available from 12.00 to 14.00 Tuesday to Friday and between 17.30 and 18.30. Monday to Friday (the pub is shut Monday lunchtime). Sunday lunch is also available.
The C&C is another place that is hard to leave, but leave you must, for there are more delights to be sampled! Over the busy junction, on Shalesmoor itself, is the Ship, possibly the most northerly tied house of Nottingham's Hardys and Hansons brewery.
The first thing that strikes you on walking up to the pub is the rather impressive front of the building, a legacy of the time when the pub was owned by long-gone Tomlinson's brewery, raised brickwork still proudly proclaiming 'Anchor Beers'. Inside is a comfortable U-shaped lounge decorated with nautical memorabilia, the staff are very friendly, and a rather nice drop of hand-pulled Kimberley Bitter is on sale.
From the Ship, turn sharp left into Dun Fields, continue to the end where you turn right into Green Lane, pausing to look at the impressive portico entrance to Tyzack's Works, then follow the road for about 150 yards before forking off left into Alma Street. Here you will find the Fat Cat.
Back in 1981, the Fat Cat became the first of the real ale free houses in Sheffield, introducing to a willing public the delights of brews from the smaller independents, bottled beers from overseas and a no smoking room. Although other places such as the New Barrack Tavern and the Cask and Cutler have come on the scene in recent years, the Fat Cat continues to prosper, providing a wide range of interesting beers at reasonable prices. A later development has been Kelham Island Brewery, situated at the back of the building. Two or three beers from the brewery are usually on sale in the pub alongside the various guest beers and food is available at lunchtimes. The Fat Cat
is also very handy for Kelham Island Industrial Museum which, if you have any interest in Sheffield's metalwork related past, is definitely a place worth visiting.
If you have any energy (or capacity!) remaining, you can continue to walk into the city, via Bridge Street and Snig Hill, otherwise return to Shalesmoor, catch a tram into the city centre and alight at Castle Square. Directly opposite the stop is the Banker's Draft, a fairly new addition to the Sheffield pub scene. The building was once a bank and was acquired by the Weatherspoon pub chain, for conversion into a rather plush outlet. The beer range varies, but there is always a low-priced "special offer', usually a bitter from one of the national breweries, and food is available. The place can get very busy in the evenings and large gentlemen are employed to keep out undesirables!
If you've survived this far, part two of this trip is possibly better left for another day - remember what I said about looless trams!
... you could end up with something white on your collar - and it won't be dandruff!
The next port of call is a fair way out of the city - about 30 minutes journey and is the Milepost at Crystal Peaks, on the Halfway route. This is a fairly new pub, built to serve the shopping centre and the many new housing estates which have sprung up in the area. Although of modern design, the pub has an attractive and comfortable feel about it. The pub is owned by the Wolverhampton and Dudley brewery, which may seem strange for a pub on the outskirts of Sheffield, however, W&D are expanding at a brisk pace and are actively seeking new outlets in the north, having bought Cameron's Brewery in Hartlepool and 51 associated pubs in M2. Banks's Best Bitter is on sale and is dispensed through electric pumps - a standard method in Banks's pubs. A guest beer, often from Cameron's, is usually available on hand pump, however, it had run out when I was fast there - still I'm rather fond of Banks's Best Bitter! Food is served throughout the day, and there is a large conservatory where children are welcome. Incidentally, the section of Supertram track from the end of White Lane through to Birley Lane is actually in North East Derbyshire. Derbyshire County Council have expressed an interest in extending the Halfway route into the county, but whether this will happen remains to be seen! We now turn our attention to a couple of pubs on the Meadowhall route. From Meadowhall, hop on a tram for the short run round to Carbrook. Leave the stop, walk down between the factory and the supermarket, and more or less opposite you on the other side of Attercliffe Road, partially hidden by the new Abbey National building, is Carbrook Hall.
Carbrook Hall can trace its history back to the early 1600's, the period of the English Civil War and commemorated on a 'blue' plaque by the entrance. Indeed, the decorations inside reflect the 'Roundheads and Cavaliers' theme, not that this is any way a "theme pub" - the building has many interesting historical features, particularly the front room, which boasts oak panelling, a decorated ceiling and a magnificent fireplace. Oh, and Stones Bitter and Magnet Ale , just in case you'd forgotten why you went in the pub in the first place. Fullers London Pride was the guest beer during my visit, worth trying if only to see a southern beer served with a head! A word of warning - above the entrance is a dovecote, complete with doves, and if you're not paying attention, you could end up with something white on your collar - and it won't be dandruff!
The final pub to visit is the Cocked Hat on Worksop Road, somewhat awkwardly placed between the Don Valley Stadium and Attercliffe stops, and nestling in the shadow of the stadium. Walking from Carbrook only takes about ten minutes and gives you a chance to appreciate the massive transformation that this area has undergone in recent years, from steelworks to technology parks. To reach the pub, continue along Attercliffe Road towards the city centre, and once past the stadium, bear left into Leeds Road - the pub is on the corner junction with Worksop Road.
The Cocked Hat is a small, comfortable pub, owned by Marston's and filled with many items related to the brewery. Old photographs of Attercliffe also adorn the walls, starkly illustrating the changes in the district. There are also many souvenirs of athletic events, somewhat ironic given the less than-fitness-enhancing-activities that usually take place in a pub! Marston Bitter and Pedigree are on sale and the frequent special brews produced by Marston's under the 'Head Brewers Choice' scheme, are also sold. These specials can be a touch on the expensive side, but offer the chance to try some different styles of beer.
Thus ends a brief guide to the Supertram. It is worth a trip especially if, like me, you are a Doncaster ratepayer who could end up subsidising the thing for the next thirty or forty years!


Pennine Observers Notes

Eastern Region

Back to November 1997, for light engine workings on the Gainsborough - Barnetby line. before the start of the Saturday passenger service:-37676+47711; 15th - 56065; 22nd - 56049; 29th 37899. Locos noted in December were 30th - 56124; 27th - 60015, and in January, 47331 on the 3rd, 56073 on the 10th and 37707 on the 17th.
Noted at Ulceby on the 22nd of November were 60064 on an oil train and 60082 on an iron ore train.
Now to Barnby Lane crossing at Claypole, where on the 29th 47335+47316 were rioted heading a Freightliner working and 47702 hauled a goods train.
A member at York on the 12th of December noted 47701 which had arrived at the head of a service from Poole..
A member visiting Immingham depot on December 13th noted :- 08824, 47711, 56056/071/124, 60004/078/087
Into the New Year, now. 47748 arrived at Sheffield some 5 minutes early on January 2nd, having worked the 09.00 Poole - York. The loco was then declared a failure, having suffered a suspected coolant leak. RES 47721 was summoned from Derby and took the train forward after a delay of about an hour, and then worked the 16.43 York - Bristol return working. The following day, the final Class 31 railtour, A1A Charters "The Long Goodbye" took place in storm force winds, but this did not bother 31466+31465. They worked from Blackpool North, via Sheffield, to Barnetby, where the locos departed to Immingham for fuel. (A member took the opportunity at Barnetby to note 37716, 56121 and 60050) 37114+37098 then took the tour forward to Cleethorpes, where the 31's rejoined the train for the return to Blackpool via Peterborough, Leicester, Birmingham and Chesterfield. This could be the last Class 31 passenger working, however..?? Watch this space! Passing through Lincoln at the head of a weedkilling train on the 7th of January was 58017.
On the 14th, mindless idiots caused delays at Cottingham by placing a ramp for disabled passengers across the track. The 18.58 Hull - Scarborough service struck the ramp, which became stuck under the train. Passengers eventuality continued their journey by coach. The 20.02 Hull - Bridlington and 21.18 Bridlington - Hull trains were cancelled as a result of the incident.
Back to Immingham, where on the 17th, the depot played host to :-08405/445/466/632, 37003/211/334, 47277/3/5, 56033/097/116, 60022/050. Later in day at Peterborough, were 31113/273, 37370, 56073/078, 580/3/035. Passing through were 37248+37057 at the head of Hertfordshire Railtours "East Coast Diversion" tour, which ran from Kings Cross to Newcastle via Lincoln, Gainsborough, York, Stockton and Hartlepool, before returning via the ECML. 56109 hauled the train on the York - Newcastle - York section.
On the 19th, your editor arrived at Swinton for his train home, to find that 47763 had failed in the station at the head of a Low Fell - Plymouth parcels train. 56053 duly arrived to provide assistance. Services from Doncaster to Sheffield suffered some disruption as a result, with some being diverted along the 'old road' through Kilnhurst. The following morning on his way to work, your editor noted 08925 passing through Doncaster town centre, fortunately on the bark of a low-loader lorry!
Double tragedy struck the railways on the 20th of January. In the first incident, a 55-year old farmer was killed as he crossed the track near Goole. He was hit by a Sheffield - Hull train. which led to delays of up to 1.1/2 hours, with some Hull trains being diverted via Selby. In the second incident, a 60-year old deaf woman and her dog were killed by a London Newcastle train, as they crossed the ECML at a track crossing south of Grantham. The train involved was terminated at Grantham. Delays of up to 1.1/2 hours again ensued as a result, with 91004 being pressed into service to form an additional KX - Edinburgh service.
Also on the 20th, 47817 and 47845 were noted at York, having worked trains from the southwest, and 47777 was sighted passing light-engine through Eaton Lane crossing.
On the 23rd, 47812 and 47701 were sighted at York, services from the southwest again being the reason, 56101 was noted hauling a freight train, through Grantham.
Back to Eaton Lane crossing, where on the 28th, 47772 passed through light-engine. The following day, 47475 powered an oil train through Lincoln.
56099 was noted working light-engine on the Gainsborough - Barnetby line prior to the passenger service on the 31st of January. The following week, February 7th, 37675 was on duty.
February 10th saw 47812 at York with a southwest service, while later in the day, 37686, 56064 and 60031 were sighted at Tyne Yard and Lincoln had 56120, 60040/046/052 passing through on oil trains.
In the Peterborough area on the 11th, 085/6/538, 31146/163/166/273/306/465, 56044, 58039 were stabled at the station and 37212 was in the sidings at Conington.
A Birmingham - York service was cancelled at Derby on the 12th, due to loco failure. 47703 eventually brought the empty stock to York via Doncaster, to form the 11.43 York - Poole, which left about an hour late. 47817 was also noted at York on a southwest service. Later in the day, at about 7pm, 56010+56108 were sighted heading a southbound Freightliner through Doncaster.
Much to your Membership Secretary's amazement on the 12th of February, 31203+31420 were spotted on a rake of MEA wagons in British Steels Aldwarke sidings, the first such sighting for many years. He wonders what is next - Class 20s on scrap trains?
47777 brought empty stock into Hull on the 14th, ready for a 'Rail UK steam charter to Carlisle. 44767 was the steam loco for the journey, although 47774 was attached to the train, in case of failure. On the homeward journey, 47777 returned the train from York to Hull.
On the 17th, 47839 and 47847 were sighted at York on southwest services, and 56010+56031 headed a southbound Freightliner through Doncaster, again at around 7pm.
A press announcement on the 26th of February trumpeted 10 million worth of investment being poured into the RRNE fleet over the next 18 months. 38 TransPennine Express sets will be refurbished, with such features as new seating, upgraded toilets, enhanced air-conditioning, table lamps, curtains and power points for laptop computers. (Your editor would just settle for the 07.17 turning up on time, once in a while!) Improvements are also planned for East Coast services between Hull and Scarborough, which should please your East Yorkshire correspondent, JR Dewing, who would be more than happy to see the back of the Class 142 "boneshakers"!


Midland Region

Fragonset 47701 was sighted on the 16.43 York Bristol on the 23rd of December, whilst a sister loco was also on hire to Virgin Trains, working the 12.17 Manchester - Plymouth on Saturday 27th of December.
A correspondent out and about in the Midland Region on the 22nd of January note the following:- Leicester 47344, 60006/047; Nuneaton 31420, 86638+86635 on freight trains, 87012/015/016/017/020, 90012/014; Coventry 47826 on a Poole - York; Northampton 31188/462, 47712; Milton Keynes (passenger trains) 86209/236/256/258, 870/510/71020/030/034, 90005/ 009/011/013/01; (freight/parcel/mail) trains) 37603+ 37604, 47194/624, 58050, 60095, 86416/254/602+ 603, 90125/131//4/, 90134+92034 (the first pairing of a 90 and a 92 that your correspondent has witnessed) 51347+51332 (Bedford - Bletchley DMU) and Eurostar set 3311+3312.
Two intrepid Pennine punters set out on a 2-for-1 "Virgin Day Out ticket on the 31st of January. The 09.17 Manchester - Paddington left Piccadilly behind 47854. Problems with the loco, en route, necessitated an engine change at Birmingham, to 47825 'Thomas Telford'. Also, by this time, Virgin control realised they had no engine at Paddington for the return working (14.18 Paddington - Edinburgh) therefore the train left New Street with 47825 at the front and 47843 attached to the rear. 47843 duly worked the 14.18 (could this be the answer to Branson's engine reliability problems?) After a quick blast with RMLs 2278 and 2419 (buses, Gerry) and a pint in the 'Head of Steam' at Euston, an on-time departure with Virgin-liveried 90012 on the 15.50 Euston - Manchester resulted in a punctual joumey with no problems (miracles do happen


Southern Region
Eurostar sets noted at Vauxhall on the 14th. of February were:
3005+3006 11.43 Paris - Waterloo
3205+3206 13.57 Waterloo - Paris
3224+3230 14.23 Waterloo - Brussels
3019+3020 empty stock working
Later in the day, at Kensington Olympia, 47831 worked the 14.20 Brighton - Manchester, 37402+33202 double-headed a freight train and 47245 passed through light-engine.
Pathfinder Tours "Garden of England" railtour took 73/3/ +/0/ on a tour of Kent, from Victoria to Dover, on the 14th of February, giving most of the Pennine punters on board their first glimpse of the impressive Dollands Moor Channel Tunnel freight terminal. 92001/002/008/009 kept company with soon-to-be-homeless 47186/201/297/355 (R.I.P Tinsley MPD?)

Preserved Railways
The Great Central's winter steam gala was held on February 7th. 1264, 6990 'Witherslack Hail', 8752, 30777 'Sir Lamiel' and 34039 'Boscastle' were working passenger and demonstration mail trains.

Many thanks to Tony Caddick, John Dewing and Paul Slater for their contributions.

Notice Board

Pennine Meetings
Forthcoming meetings at the Taps (20.00 start) are as follows:

Wednesday 1 April 1998
To be confirmed

Wednesday 15 April 1998
To be confirmed

Wednesday 6 May 1998
Tony Smith

Wednesday 20 May 1998
Slide Quiz

Wednesday 3 June 1998
To be confirmed

Wednesday 17 June 1998
To be confirmed

Thanks to Stuart Earl, we have some forthcoming dates for special events on the East Lancashire Railway

April 18-19 The Roaring Forties"
(40th anniversary of the class - ail services hauled by
Class 40s)
May 2-4 Thomas the Tank Engine
May 9-10 Traction and Vintage Vehicle
July 4-12 Diesel Week
August 8-16 30th Anniversary of the end of steam
August 31 Teddy Bears Picnic
September 12-13 Diesel Theme Days
October 3-4 Thomas the Tank Engine
October 24-25 Autumn Steam Event
November 28-29 Santa Specials
December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 Santa Specials
To confirm these events before setting out on a long joumey, phone the railway on 0161-764-7790

The next edition of Trans Pennine will he produced in June. Please have contributions to me by 30 May. Thank you!