THE MAGAZINE OF THE PENNINE RAILWAY
No.108 - Summer 1999
Due to a major
refurbishment at the Corporation Brewery Taps we are no longer,
after many years, able to use this venue for our social evenings
(the breweries can't leave anything alone).
Army Ship Out Trains
Trains too Wide and too Wet !!!
First Group, owner of North
Western Trains, has abandoned the cut price from Manchester Airport
to Euston. Virgin's monopoly on the Inter City route has been
New Class 66's for Freightliner
Leaving the seaside village
in County Sligo where we were staying, Chris and I headed north into
Donegal. Beyond Ballyshannon it was new territory for both of us. At
the county town we took the coast road westwards, passing between
Donegal Bay to the south and the Blue Stack mountains to the north,
then turned of on to a lesser road through the hills. Donegal is
Ireland's most northerly county, although it is part of the Irish
Republic, not Northern Ireland; already we had decided that we liked
it very much.
European Rail Focus
No. 1. Luxembourg.
by Andy Dalby
Luxembourg's rail system,
also known as the CFL, is one of the smallest systems in Europe.
There is less than 200 miles of railway line, most of it electrified
at 25Kv AC. Although a small system, Luxembourg can be one of the
only countries that have motive power from three other countries
using its system. During the day loco's and units from Belgium,
France and Germany can be found in Luxembourg station as well as
their own locos and units.
March 6 37384
by John Dewing
13. What is the height
of the highest railway summit in Great Britain.
Rail firms are hiring
vintage locos from MUSEUMS to meet soaring passenger demand. They
claim they can't afford the "rip-off" prices for new trains charged
by the three rolling stock leasing companies.
Right Sort of Excuse
The Technical Touch
(Extract from GNER Magazine)
It's good to know that all over the GNER network Technical Riding Inspectors or "train doctors" are on hand should a technical problem arise. Simon Brooke meets the man who ensures the trains keep moving.
Almost exactly ten years ago Roger Senior applied for a new job. The management at what was then British Rail's InterCity East Coast division, had been considering the perennial problem of what to do when a train breaks down mid-journey. If a fault appears when the engine is at the depot it can easily be mended, but what happens when something goes wrong at a station or even in the middle of the countryside?
The title of the job that Roger Senior applied for, and was given, is Technical Riding Inspector although he and what has now become a team of six, are commonly known as "train doctors". "Our job is to keep the trains moving when they fail en route and get them back into service as soon as possible," he explains over a cup of tea in his office at Doncaster station.
A lot of our work is preventative - picking up on faults before they become serious - and most of it is on the run. The engineers and fitters at the depots only get the trains at night when they are not working. We work on them when they are on the track travelling at 125 mph".
Roger's shift will start at either am, noon, pm or 2.30 pm and he immediately reports to the GNER Control Centre at York, where he will be given details of any problems that have arisen. It might be something reported from the previous day, or something that has been discovered that morning when the service starts up. It might even be a call from a driver who is experiencing technical problems as the train is moving.
We ride up and down the system moving from train to train or station to station," says Roger. "You might be working on a train when you get a call to go to another which is in trouble. We travel by train - the driver will stop alongside the failed train and we'll get off, run along the track, get on and start work. Occasionally, you might get a taxi if the train is miles from anywhere."
The six "train doctors" are stationed along the GNER system and, in theory, each covers a certain stretch of track but, in practice, Roger finds himself working from London to Edinburgh. One difference since privatisation is an increase in passengers, which means greater pressure on the "train doctors" to keep the trains going, but this has to be balanced against other factors, as safety is paramount.
Having left his office, we find ourselves, half an hour later, sitting among the dials and controls of the disabled rear-end cab of a train hurtling up to Darlington, where there might be a problem with the service. I ask how many different things can actually go wrong with a train? Roger smiles: "How long's a piece of string? Basically there are more things can stop a train than keep it going. Everything fails saf~ - in other words the train won't move if there is a serious technical hitch. When we get to a train we usually have a rough idea what the initial problem is from what the driver has already told us. Then there are also what we call 'rogue trains - you fix one thing and something else goes." Not surprisingly, when he arrives at a failed train, Roger usually finds the driver and Customer Services Manager very glad to see him. "Often they know what the fault is but can't work on it, because it's not their responsibility and they're not trained to do so." But how often does he have to give up? "Rarely. If it's something like the main fuse blowing we can't mend that on the track, so we have to get a rescue engine or another train to push it to the next station." Although Roger started as an electrician, Technical Riding Managers are relatively new and there are few of them. "The whole train is our responsibility~ from buffer ends: the air conditioning, catering equipment, brakes, fights, and we just have to keep the thing going with whatever - rubber bands, bits of string," he jokes. "Obviously we have to travel light and move fast carrying just a tool kit, so improvisation becomes second nature."
One common problem is "flats", where, because of sharp braking, a wheel has become ground down on one side so that it is not perfectly round and therefore makes a bumping sound in the carriage above. The day before we met, Roger's recent cases included an overheated axle and a boiler. Surely only steam engines have boilers? "The boiler is in the trains catering car," he explains. "So if something goes wrong with it, there's no tea and coffee - now that is serious."
Focus on Railtrack - 1998
RAILTRACK's corporate policy for 1998 - being a bastard to its own customers - appears to have backfired.
Of course the customers in question - the operators of passenger and freight trains - are powerless to trouble Railtrack and have no choice but to pay vast sums (much of it from the public purse) to use a network that hardly justifies its premium fees.
Aware of its customers' impotence, Railtrack took to slagging them off in public in a bizarre attempt to influence the rail regulator's review of Railtrack charges. As if this act itself were not outrageous enough, the criticisms levelled at the operators actually applied first and foremost to Railtrack When Railtrack finance director Norman Broadhurst moaned that operators are incentivised to "cut costs and fill trains to maximise revenue', he forgot to mention that Railtrack's policy is to, er, cut costs, fill tracks and maximise revenue.
Following the same tack chief executive Gerald Corbett publicly accused operators of causing too many delays and failing to invest. He seriously suggested they cut the number of trains to improve punctuality, when the obvious need is for Railtrack to invest some of its own money in creating more track. Corbett's allegations fly in the face of statistics showing that Railtrack's mismanagement of the network has been responsible for up to 80 percent of minutes of delay on some routes.
Corbett knows most operators were given only seven years to reap the benefits of any investments, which could in any case be undermined by recession or competition. In complete contrast, Railtrack is here to stay and its income from train operators is effectively guaranteed by the state - yet Railtrack's investments are few and far between. (Even for the west-coast line upgrade Railtrack demanded, and will get, a slice of Virgin's profits.) This did not stop Railtrack chairman Bob Horton claiming his company had "made good headway on our £17bn 10-year investment programme". Where?
Railtrack is painting stations and renewing some worn-out bits of the network, but this comes out of the housekeeping budget. And Railtrack is slacking, even here. Its original replacement rate for rails indicated each rail must last 128 years; but a recent recruitment advert headed "Help us to stop spending money" explained that Railtrack aims to refocus its spending "towards enhancing the life of our current assets and away from renewals".
A rare example where Railtrack genuinely invested money (£13m of its £2.5bn annual income) was in Buckinghamshire, where Chiltern Trains desperately needed more slots for services. But Railtrack botched even this modest upgrade and Chiltern is considering cutting a tenth of rush-hour trains because Railtrack is not providing enough capacity.
The new regulator, Chris Bolt, was unimpressed with Railtrack's subterfuge. He has announced that Railtrack is making far too much money on routine maintenance expenditure that involves no commercial risk. He wants Railtrack's assets revalued at little more than their original sale price in the great Tory give-away - a third of their current market value.
What effect this has on Railtrack's notorious reluctance to grow its own business remains to be seen (the new charging methods start in 2001). But the regulator's lashing was worthwhile just for the enjoyable reaction from Railtrack's normally smug boardroom. Corbett said the review was "disappointing" and petulantly predicted that the new methods could prevent Railtrack completing the fast fine to the Channel tunnel. The regulator was not fooled and said Railtrack should only have embarked on such a project as a self-standing undertaking.
Railtrack had already used that project as an excuse to demand money up front for creating more slots on the cramped London to Edinburgh line on the ground that the Chunnel line had taken Railtrack to its borrowing limit. In other words, the more Railtrack spreads its wings the remoter becomes the prospect of any serious investment in the lines Railtrack was formed to manage and upgrade. Surely another good reason Railtrack should not be allowed to muscle in on London Underground's semi-privatisation?
Millennium Steam Cavalcade gets Green Light
(from The Record - Shildon Community Paper -9 April)
Plans to hold another Steam Cavalcade in Shildon were confirmed recently at the British Travel Trade Fair in Birmingham.
Dubbed as "The Great Millennium Cavalcade of Steam", the prestigious event will be held on August 26th, 27th and 28th next year and is set to attract over a million people to the town.
The Cavalcade will be the culmination of a four-month North Eastern festival running from May to September celebrating railway heritage in the area, the birthplace of steam travel. It will also celebrate the 175th anniversary of Timothy Hackworth riding Locomotion on the Shildon railway line in 1825. When the last cavalcade was held in 1975 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary more than 350,000 people watched the trains pass in a single day.
Up to now 40 famous locomotives including the Flying Scotsman, Mallard, Green Arrow, Locomotion and The Rocket have been invited to take part.
Plans for the Cavalcade nearly ground to a halt when it failed to win a National Lottery award last year but it has now been taken up by a private company, Rail 2000 Management Services Limited, with support from local authorities and the Federation Brewery in Gateshead.
The event is being spearheaded by David Champion, Chairman of the AI Tornado Trust which is building Britain's first steam locomotive sincethe 1960's at Darlington.
David told the Record "Losing Lottery support was obviously a big disappointment but Geordies like George Stephenson don't like to be beaten, so we've raised the cash to put on this spectacular event anyway. This will be Britain's biggest railway event for the Millennium7'
60.000 grandstand seats, 50,000 other seats, 1000 first aid marshals, 35,000 vehicle parking spots to date, a radio station, 5 hours satellite TV time, 1000 hand portable radios and a mile and a half of fibre optics are amongst the staggering statistics that form part of the provisional plans for the Great Millennium Steam Cavalcade to take part in Shildon and district at the end of August year.
Because of the sheer size of the event, organisers have setup Rail 2000 Management Services Ltd. to organise the Cavalcade which is described as "likely to be the biggest event in the country after the Millennium Dome"
Plans are now well advanced to bring upwards of forty "Icons of the railway era to travel between Shildon and Darlington in what must be the very last working Steam Cavalcade due to the advanced age and deteriorating operating conditions of many of the famous locos.
Mallard, the record-breaking locomotive will definitely be coming to the event but sadly will probably have to be helped along in the parade due to her age.
She will be joined by The Flying Scotsman, the Rocket, Green Arrow and many others, including the most famous children's loco of all time "Thomas" the Tank Engine.
A spokesman for Rail 2000 spoke of the provisional plans in an exclusive interview with The Record.
Coming by Rail
It is likely that most of the locomotives will be brought up to the area by rail, some on the back of Steam Specials running from all over the country.
They will then be stored at secret locations around the district until the event, when they will slip onto the Bishop Auckland - Darlington line in reverse order and steam backwards to the starting point at Shildon. The actual cavalcade will take over two hours to pass by and will extend the whole length of the fine from Shildon almost to North Road Station in Darlington.
Four immense grandstands will be constructed at Shildon, Heighington, Whiley Hill and Darlington.
Unlike the 1975 cavalcade there will be no free viewing areas as the whole line will be fenced off well away from the line and will be well patrolled to stop people sneaking in.
Although not fixed yet, the organisers anticipate admission charges being around £15 plus parking charges and they are keen to stress that tickets must bought in advance. "Anyone turning up without a ticket, whether local or from a distance will be refused admission" said a spokesman. "There wll be no facilities for paying on the day".
Plans for distributing the tickets have yet to be finalised but it is likely that they will be available from travel agents, main line stations and direct through the media and the Internet.
Organisers are expecting event to be a complete sell out but conservatively say that they hope to sell 200.000 tickets. In reality the Cavalcade will attract over a million people to an area where "There is a significant shortage of accommodation" and "Land will be money".
In order to carry out the festival of steam, Rail 2000 will have to negotiate a four day "possession order" on the Bishop Auckland - Darlington Line which will mean that normal service trains will he unable to run.
Apart from the actual Cavalcade there will be lots of other events going on in the cordoned off area which may extend as far away from the line as the Recreation Ground. Marquees, Fairgrounds, Exhibitions and Children's events are only a few of the ancillary attractions now being planned by the management company. Such is the degree of planning that "It will be very difficult for anyone outside of the organised event to come here and make a fast buck" said a spokesman.
Before the actual Millennium Cavalcade on August 26th, 27th and 28th. 2000 there will be a series of theme events which organisers hope will include, amongst others, a scouting day and a day for the disabled.
Clashes as strikers clog Eurotunnel
By Gary Finn
THOUSANDS of British holidaymakers suffered a chaotic end to their bank holiday yesterday after French strikers blockaded the Eurotunnel rail link.
French rail and cheek-in staff protesting over pay and conditions caused long delays when they sealed off entry lanes to Eurotunnel's Calais departure terminal with private cars.
More than 3,000 cars and 200 coaches, mainly British families returning from a weekend break on the Continent, were stranded for almost eight hours.
The strikers sealed off access by driving about a dozen of their own cars across toll booth lanes at Coquelles, near Calais. In bad-tempered scenes, some determined British drivers managed to break the blockade by pushing through an alternative entry-point to the check-in area.
At one point, two buses and a handful of cars forced their way through the barricades, prompting altercations between workers and waiting motorists. One man was taken to hospital in Calais.
The blockade started shortly after am yesterday and was in place for about five hours before the first handful of cars was allowed to board a limited service to Dover on the cross Channel rail link.
Eurotunnel said clearing the backlog of passengers through a reduced check-in and a partial Le Shuttle service added another three or four hours to the journey times of those held up by the blockade.
With queues stretching at least 4 km on to motorways, tired families had to endure another few hours creeping towards Calais- some took about eight hours to get through.
Travellers hoping to find assistance from French authorities were told the problem was of their own making.
A spokesman for the Calais border police said: "Although the problems have arisen from an internal dispute at Eurotunnel, the traffic jams are being made worse by the fact that British passengers are choosing to stay in the road queues rather than finding alternative ways home.
"They fear the ferries are all booked up and are determined to stick it out in the queues until things are moving again."
At the Cheriton Eurotunnel terminal near Folkestone in Kent, hundreds of travellers to France were delayed because fewer Le Shuttle trains were running.
Problems m France were compounded because ferries and hoverercraft alternative cross-Channel routes, were heavily booked over the bank holiday.
Meanwhile, motoring organisations said British roads were "quieter than usual", with damp and cool weather given as the reason for fighter May bank holiday traffic.
EWS threatens to shunt £400M trains to sidings
by Joanna Walters -Sunday May 16, 1999
Britain's leading rail freight operator claims it will be forced to postpone accepting delivery of new trains worth £400 million or sell some abroad if it is not given more space on the railways.
English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS) has sparked a furious row by complaining it is in danger of being squeezed off the network
EWS chairman Ed Burkhardt accused Railtrack, the privatised company that owns all track and signalling in the UK of failing to commit investment to accommodate the huge growth in rail freight forecast for the next decade
EWS expects to double freight traffic, now 21 billion gross tonne miles a year, in the next five years, and triple it in 10 projections that have been endorsed by the Government.
But Burkhardt said unless Railtrack expanded the already overcrowded network, EWS would be flooded with deliveries of new wagons, already on order, that it would have nowhere to operate. He said he would either have to hold back delivery or take them and flog them in Europe'.
The company has ordered 250 locomotives from Canada, worth £250m, and 2,500 wagons from the ex-British Rail Thrall Europa works in York, worth £ 150m, to be delivered over the next five years.
The new equipment is designed to modernise and expand EWS's fleet and help it diversify into areas of freight traditionally carried by lorries.
But Burkhardt pointed out that although Railtrack has said it will accommodate fteight needs, it has neither produced the plans nor committed the necessary investment to show it will do so.
Robin Gisby, freight director of Railtrack, admitted that the vast bulk of the £600m investment his company planned for freight was still 'under discussion' with EWS and the Government, which is expected to provide grants to support big freight projects. We think we can fit all known passenger and freight demand on the network over the next five years,' Gisby said.
Train Passengers' Complaints Hit Record Levels
From the Press Association
Tuesday June 1, 1999 7:07 pm
Complaints about train services on the busiest commuter routes rose to record levels last year, passenger watchdogs have revealed.
The main cause of complaint was "thousands upon thousands of late trains", said the Southern England Rail Users' Committee. There was also an increase in complaints about dirty trains and about toilets being locked and out of service.
The committee said it received 1,996 complaints in the 12 months up to March 1999, compared with 1,752 in 1997-98, 1,024 in 1996-97 - and just 655 in 1995-96. As many as 77% were about three train companies - South West Trains, Connex South Central and Connex South Eastern.
South West Trains, which operates to south of England destinations out of London's Waterloo station, was the subject of the highest number of complaints - 627.
Separate figures from the Central Rail Users' Consultative Committee (CRUCC) showed that 65,000 of SWT's trains were 5-30 minutes late in 1998-99 and 3,825 were more than 30 minutes late.
Connex South Central had 51,679 trains which were between five and 30 minutes late and 1,831 more than 30 minutes late. On Connex South Eastern, 55,304 were 5-30 minutes late and 1,872 more than 30 minutes late
"We are obviously very concerned about these figures," said CRUCC research manager Andy Burns.
"These figures reflect the statistics we are seeing nationally and also show the massive deterioration in performance over all".
Last week, Railtrack announced £428 million annual pre-tax profits but admitted that it had reduced annual delays for which it was responsible by only 2% last year rather than the target figure of 7.5%.
visits the 4 M's (Malta, Manchester and Melton Mowbray!)
by David Bladen
"Malta? Not exactly renowned for its trains, is
In an earlier, 'Rail Ale' article, I covered some of the pubs near to Manchester's Piccadilly Station. An overnight stay in the city in late February for a computer course, gave me an opportunity to sample some of the better pubs near Victoria, but as I left my hotel and trudged through Manchester's legendary pouring rain on a cold and blustery evening, my enthusiasm for research very nearly waned! (No pun intended!)
The first port of call was the Beer House on Angel Street, just off Rochdale Road (1). This basic, no-nonsense ale house was formerly a Tetley pub, the Weavers Arms, which was sold off into the free trade in the late 80's, and has been a frequent entrant in the GBG ever since - I think it is fair to say that the number of people crowding in on a wet Monday night is testament to its popularity. The beers on sale were many and various, and included a large range of Belgian and German beers, both bottled and draught, with alcohol by volumes that owed more to rocket fuel than brewing - I settled for a very drinkable pint of Moorhouse's Black Cat Mild - some of us had to get up early the following morning!
From the Beer House it was out into the back streets for the short walk to the Pot of Beer on New Mount Street (2). This is a recently refurbished pub and, like the Beer House, has been sold into the free trade by a major brewer, in this case Marston's. Now boasting bare floorboards and exposed brickwork, the Pot specialises in serving beers from the ever growing number of Britain's micro-breweries. Dispensing methods are also novel in that as well as many handpumps on the bar, there is a stillage set into the wall behind the bar from which beers can be served by gravity. Sadly for me, there were no beers available straight from the barrel - the barmaid explained that they had had a very busy weekend and run out of supplies! As it was, I had absolutely no complaints about the Bateman's XB dispensed from the hand pump. Another unusual feature of the Pot is that it specialises in Polish (as in Poland, not Mr Sheen) cuisine. The list of dishes on the menu looked very tempting but, again sadly for me, they had stopped serving food at pm. (Looks like chips for tea!) One final, and completely useless fact about the pub - the gents are reputed to be the smallest in the city!
Once more into the wet night and back onto Rochdale Road for another short walk to the Marble Arch (3), home of the Marble Brewery. There is a great deal of history to this pub. Built in 1888 by the long-gone McKenna's brewery, it eventually passed to Wilsons, who covered up the magnificent glazed brick walls, ornamental fireplace and barrel-vaulted ceiling. After years of neglect, the pub passed into the free trade where it established itself as a Mecca for those who like a good pint, and a great deal of effort has gone into restoring the superb interior. Brewing started in December 1997, in the back concert room and at the time of my visit, four of the eight beers brewed were on sale- Halves of ChorIton Bitter, IPA and McKenna's Revenge, a porter, were tried and very much enjoyed. A word of warning abut the pub- as well as impressive internal fittings, there is also a mosaic floor, which slopes down from the door towards the bar, and can be slippery if you are wearing wet shoes. The barmaid told me a rather dubious tale about one inebriated customer stepping through the door from the wet street and sliding right past the bar before ending up in a heap in the back room. How true this is I don't know, but I kept a expectant eye on the door as people came in, just in case there was a repeat performance!
It was time to head back to the hotel, but by now the rain had stopped, so I headed off for a night-cap at the Hare and Hounds on Shudehill (4). This pub is a traditional mixture of wood panelling, linoleum floors, leaded-glass windows and tiled walls, and is favoured by an older clientele. There is one main bar with two rooms off - be careful if you go in the front snug as most of the seats are claimed by regulars. There is no worse sound in the world than, "0y, you'll cop it. That's Bert's seat, and has been for fifty years!" It doesn't matter that Bert popped his clogs some time back, it's still his seat! Seriously, though, the place is friendly and comfortable, if a little smoky. Beers on sale were Tetley Bitter, Tetley Dark Mild, and Holts Bitter and as I sat with my pint, I wondered how the pubs I had just been in, situated as they are in a largely non-residential area undergoing major transformation, survive, but survive they do, thanks to a loyal following who appreciate good beer, and I for one hope they continue to survive,
One final recommendation in the area is not a pub, but a curry cafe, one of the few still remaining in the area, and an ideal place for lunch. The AJ Faisal tandoori is situated on Thomas Street (5). Welcoming and unpretentious, the cafe is open from 11 am to pm and is very popular, both with the area's Asian community and workers from nearby office buildings. A piping-hot bowl of chicken curry set me back just £2.70 and a naan bread the size of a small county was 40p, excellent value, and certainly beats having to put up with soulless hotel food!
And so to Melton Mowbray. Again not a place that is frequented by railway enthusiasts but, you never know, you might just end up on a railtour there, so it's as well to be prepared. Why was I there? Well, EWS offered me the chance to spend a week on a management course at Scalford Hall, some three miles north of the town. The course consisted mainly of teams attempting to move themselves and several large objects over obstacle courses (Just like being back in the air force), with the odd lecture thrown in, however, it was a lot of fun and certainly made a pleasant change from wrestling with the obstacle course that is managing the EWS wagon fleet. The timetable for the course was such that training didn't finish until early evening, and by the time you had showered, changed and had dinner, there was little time or inclination and certainly no public transport available for an evening in the flesh-pots of Melton, so it was into the hotel bar (all keg, enough said!) for a couple of pints and some serious winding down.
On the last evening, and in a collective decision-making process that would have astounded the training staff, the thirteen of us on the course decided to forego dinner in favour of hiring a small fleet of taxis in which to escape in search of Melton's highlife. In a place which is awash with pubs, (as is befitting a small market town), Melton has three entries in the GBG, along with two "try also's", so I was quite hopeful of finding some decent ale. One place in the town I would not recommend is the Kings Arms on Nottingham Street.
One of the hotel staff had said this would be the ideal place for us to meet up in the town, but their idea of an ideal place did not match mine. Basically a kids pub, with an overwhelming sound system, it did offer Mansfield Bitter on hand pump, and my half was quite drinkable, however, it soon became apparent that a number of us did not want to linger there too long and we decided to go our separate ways, arranging to meet later at the Bricklayers Arms, a long-standing GBG entry.
I headed first to the Mash Tub, also on Nottingham Street. This is a single bar pub, with a split level drinking area and a mixed. clientele. Although the guide states Banks's Bitter and Mild are served on hand pump, only the bitter is now available, the staff blaming lack of demand for the demise of the mild. The bitter was good, but rather expensive at £1.74 a pint. I left the pub and after peering at a faded tourist guide map in the Market Square, got my bearings for Burton Street on which another two GBG-listed pubs are situated. Incidentally, if you do go to Melton by train, the station is situated off Burton Street.
The Boat is very much a local's pub. You could tell that by the way everyone stopped talking when I went in - ook I really hate that! However, the Doncaster Rovers sweatshirt again saved the day, and when I sat down with my pint of Burtonwood Bitter, a couple of men at the next table started talking to me about football. (There are no doubt some of you out there who would say that as a Rovers supporter, I am not qualified to talk about the subject!) The beer was alright, but then I've never really rated Burtonwood, so it was soon time to bid farewell to my new acquaintances and pop up the road to the Crown.
The Crown turned out to be a bustling, lively place, probably made more so by the presence of both hen and stag parties in a courtyard at the back of the pub. Throughout my stay, there was a procession of strangely-dressed people wandering into the bar for drinks, and a great deal of cheeky banter, but this only added to the lively atmosphere. The beers on sale were again not amongst my favourites, being Everards Tiger and Beacon, but my pint of Tiger was pleasant enough, if not spectacular, and I enjoyed the watching the antics of the revellers.Back to the tourist map for the location of my next destination, the White Hart on Sherrard Street. This pub turned out to he a Marston's house, decorated in "Brewers Tudor" fashion, inside and out. The internal decor must have been done some time ago, because it looked very tatty and, combined with a shortage of customers, contributed to giving the pub a rather decrepit feel. No qualms about the beer, though. The Pedigree was in absolutely tip-top condition, but even so, I decided to head off-to the final rendezvous to meet the others.
And here in lies the culmination of a not very successful evening! I could not find the Bricklayers Arms! Believe me, this had nothing to do with the amount of beer consumed - honest! The tourist map did not show Timber Hill, on which the pub is situated, and there was no-one around to ask for directions. Had I thought about it, I could have asked someone in the White Hart before I left - I knew the pub was near the Safeways supermarket, but that's not much help if you don't know where Safeways is in the first place! After twenty minutes wandering around, I headed off back to the taxi rank and went back to Scalford Hall on my own.
Three things really "ground it in" the following morning. Firstly, the others found the Bricklayers! Secondly, closing time there was definitely a "movable feast" with last orders finally called somewhere around midnight. Thirdly, in the taxi on the way into the station, we passed Safeways. Had I turned right out of the White Hart, instead of left, I would have found the supermarket about 150 yards on, just round a bend.
I'll know next time!
From Conception to Millennium
September 1825 - September 2000
This is the story of Stephenson and Hackworth,
Midwives in attendance at Railways birth,
Locomotion and Rocket enshrouded in steam.
Darlington to Stockton, the "Ultimate Dream".
Crowds cheered, a man with a red flag in the lead,
The first Iron Horse, 8 miles and hour the average speed.
The track rampant, sweeping far, world wide,
Bridging rivers, valleys, through mountain side.
Small trains carrying Victorians to the coast,
For cream teas, and dainty triangles of toast,
Huge engines, wheels shouting, clickety clack
Glowing fires, trailing smoke from their stack.
Diesel Electric, fast, sleek and clean
Replaced the dirty, noisy, but romantic steam.
Tilting trains that hum, no clickety clack
Stephenson and Hackworth, benevolently sigh,
Look down, chests out, proud heads held high.
IT'S "SHILDON 175"
David Champion, Operations Director of Rail 2000, the Company putting on the M1lennium Steam Cavalcade in Shildon was at the Shildon Civic Hall last week when he presented the up to date plans for the prestigious Millennium event to the Town's residents.
The main Hall had been transformed into a cinema for the evening by Shildon's Millennium Committee and a promotional video was shown showing the plans for the August Bank Holiday steam spectacular.
Answering a question from the audience, Mr. Champion said "The last Cavalcade become commonly known as the 'Shildon 150'. Already these exciting plans are becoming known as the "Shildon 175' ".
Mr. Champion revealed that over forty locomotives were already negotiating to steam in the cavalcade which will take over three hours to pass from Shildon to Darlington North Road.
In answer to a query from the floor, the clearly enthusiastic Mr. Champion revealed that there was to be a limit on the numbers allowed to attend the event, but there would be discounts for local residents on the admission prices.
At the last Cavalcade members of the public were allowed to stand on the lines next to the powerful locomotives. New health and safety regulations mean that at the 175 celebrations members of the public will have to be kept away from the lines.
Councillor Walter Nunn welcomed Mr. Champion to the presentation in his role as Chairman of the Shildon Millennium Committee. Virtually all the available seats in the auditorium were taken up.
Mr. Champion revealed that all the details for the Steam Cavalcade were being tidied up at the moment and complete plans are to be revealed in a spectacular launch during June of this year.
"If you thought the last Carnival was impressive, then wait until the Shildon 175 " he said.
(from "The Record". Shildon Community Newspaper April 9 1999),
No doubt several member are now computerised and are ardent Web Searchers.
There are literally thousands of rail oriented sites throughout the world and the UK is not a the back of the queue when it comes to quality sites.
A few which may interest readers are:
Deltic Preservation Society www.dps.mcmail.com
Unofficial GB Rail Enthusiasts www.gbrail.org.uk/
Coaching stock/loco sightings www. users. zetnet. co.uk/railpages
General Railway Issues www.rail.co.uk
Most of the above sites have "link" pages where you can log into more and more and more sites.
Two sites which may be of interest to our Treasurer are:www.sportinglife.co.uk and www.racefonn.co.uk.
If any member knows of any other interesting sites please let me know and I will circulate the information to other members.
Would any members on the net please let me have their email addresses and I can compile a register of these for further information.
I am currently working on a Web Site for the Society, so if there are any experts out there please make contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
No. 5 The Railway Magazine
Railway Magazine is probably the most famous Railway publication ever in Britain even today in a sea of railway publications available it is a market leader, in fact the Motto on the front of the May edition says "Britain's Best Selling All Round Rail Title - Now Bigger and Better Than Ever "
Quite how that claim is justified I don't know, presumably they know the circulation figures.
The May 1999 edition is No 1177 Volume 145 a far cry from the first edition published in July 1897 102 years ago as you read this! The current edition is priced at £2.70 per issue (Subscriptions are 1 year - £32.40, 2 years - £64.80, years £88-20) and includes 104 pages plus free maps.
The Magazine is divided up into sections:- NEWS, FEATURES and REGULARS.
NEWS which includes 40 pages has 11 pages of Headline News, 10 pages of Steam News, 6 pages of Operation News and pages on Metro News Narrow Gauge, Traction and Stock, Network News and Classic Traction. Which is a comprehensive coverage of Railways Today.
FEATURES includes "Practice and Performance" which is the longest running railway series in the world and first appeared in 1901, covering locomotive performances with stop watch timings. In its 98 year history it has only had six people writing it including two people who in history are probably the two most famous railway author's to have lived, CJ Allen and OS Nock. Peter Semmens is the current writer of the column. Also included in features are the following articles "25 years of West Coast Wires", "One of Heinz's Black Fives", "The Flying Scot the world forgot", "FUJI Atmospheric Railways Competition The Winners", "Welcome to Freemarket Central". Six articles in all.
REGULARS includes amongst many other headings Railway Answers (originally called "Why and Wherefore" running for over 100 years before its name was changed). Readers Forum, Timetable News, All Change, Traction Update, Rails In Parliament, Coming Events, Reviews and Classified Ads.
'100 Years Ago" is also a column that appears in the Regulars section. This is short looks into the past divided up into 100 years ago 50 years ago and 20 years ago. This article is written by john Slater, Editor of the Magazine in the 1970's and 80's and who is now an editorial consultant for railway magazine.
Pennine members who have been around since the early days will remember that we used to advertise Pennine Events in the "Trips and Meetings" column, particularly in the period 19751984. However for a short time in this period The Pennine was barred from publicising its events in these column by Mr Slater because he had received a letter of complaint from a non member who could not get on a trip because it was fully booked. The rules (RULES) stated that to advertise free of charge in Railway Magazine our trips had to be open to non members, which indeed they were. Some months later we convinced Mr Slater that our visits were open to non-members, however regardless of the status of the applicant once we had received the required number on the Permit i.e. 20,25 or 30 we exceeded that at our peril. The Railway authorities at that time could do far more damage to the activities of the Pennine than Railway Magazine, therefore if the trip was fully booked it was fully booked.
Anyway back to the plot, Railway magazine is today I believe still one of the best if not the best on the market covering every aspect of railways except Modelling. I have many volumes of Railway Magazine on my bookshelf both bound and in binders, and hundreds more waiting to be bound cash permitting. In fact I did not miss an issue until about 8 years ago (What - Since 1897. Ed.) when I got side-tracked onto other railway Publications. But having studied Railway Magazine in depth for the purpose of this article, I now subscribe again to this most famous of publications, seriously wondering again for how long the Railway Enthusiast can enjoy such an abundance of publications on the market.
In Robins Review we often refer to the claims and slogans of individual magazines, but have been unable to back that up with circulation figures.
The following figures were printed recently in their respective publications:
STEAM WORLD in 1998 exceeded 21,000 sales per month. RAIL currently in June 1999 sells 33,368 copies fortnightly.
If anybody has details of other circulation figures please send them to Robin as it would be interesting to build up a picture, oh and please include details of the source of the figures.
In the next issue of TRANS PENNINE I'll be looking at another publication that's been around a long time but not as long as Railway Magazine, and its the first review from the Ian Allen stable, its title is RAILWAY WORLD.
In previous editions of Trans-Pennine, we have looked at Pennine Trips on a particular theme well this month we've had a letter, yes a letter! Its from one of our Lincoln members Steve Payne and it lists what was seen on Pennine Trips mentioned in this article to Doncaster Works on the 23rd September and 14th October 1979. He writes as follows:
Following our discussion at a recent Pennine meeting, I have found the details for the 23rd. September and 14th October 1979 trips around Doncaster Works and shed. Deltics, 31's DMUs were unfortunately not recorded.
The lists are as follows:
Class 03017,034,047,371. Class 08-114,115,128,131,146,166,184,331,401,444,459,745.
Class 37-052,088,089,108,138,141,144,202,210,218,259, 284, 303.
Class 40-058,066. Class 47-212,217.
Class 56-004,008,021,029,030,039,064,065,066,067,068, 069, 070,071,072, 073,074,075,076.
Class 71-004,011,013.(On Scrap road 004,011 seen at Hither Green earlier in year).
Class 501(DNBS) 61184,61185,61189(Conversion to battery locos)
Class 122-(13MBS) TDB9753 10 (Route Learner)
Class 08-ADB 968011(08119)(Non Powered Snowplough).
Class 08-114,128,131,133,146,166,184,331,401,420,444,459, 745,876.
Class 37-024,051,052,088,089,095,101,108,138,139,141,144, 153,169,170,218,252, 259,298,299,303,
Class 56-029,030,039,064-078(New Build).
Class 501-(13MBS) 61184,61185,61189,97703(61182), Battery Locos.
Class- 122 (DMBS)-TDB975309,TDB9753 10 (Route Learning Cars).
Class 08-ADB 968011(08119) Non Powered Snow Plough.
SUMMARY:- September Total 68. October Total 73.
03,08 and 37s more in evidence in October, but the 40s had disappeared, presumably to scrap. The 50s were still rotating through the plant, and two more new 56s had been laid down 077 and 078. 56077 appeared at the 1980 Rainhill trails, the 71 and 74s were lined up for the scrap yard! Hoping this is of interest.
Thanks Steve that's exactly what we want so if any other members would like to tell us what was seen on club trips send your letter to Robin or the Editor. CHEERS.
Pennine Anniversary Lunch - 09/10/99
Would participants please note that the balance of the meal cost (£7.95) is due for payment by Wednesday August 4th 1999.
Please make out cheques to Pennine Railway Society and send to Chris Tyas at either his home address, or at the Wednesday meeting. Chris will also accept cash at the meeting.
Donations to cover fuel for the preserved bus will be collected on'the journey. Thanks to all members for their response.
All meetings are now held at The Salutation Hotel, South Parade, Doncaster and commence at 19.45 hrs.
Wednesday 7 July 1999 TONY CADDICK, Entertainment at its best!
Wednesday 21 July 1999 ROBIN SKINNER, Another of the old ones( It'll be Geoff Bambrough next).
Wednesday 4 August 1999 JOHN SANDERSON. (Well yes, the one and only).
Wednesday 18 August 1999 STEVE PAYNE. (From Lincoln with slides).
Wednesday 1 September 1999 ROBIN HAVENHAND, (The man to entertain us Tonight).
Wednesday 15 September 1999 MORRIS OCKLEFORD. Title to be announced.
Wednesday 6 October 1999 PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY SLIDE COMPETITION 1999. Bring your best slides along. One of the best nights of the Year!
Wednesday 20 October 1999 PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY SILVER JUBILEE MEMBERS SLIDE NIGHT. Bring along your best slides taken on Pennine Trips and of Pennine members over the last 25 years
STOP PRESS !!!!!
At a Special Committee Meeting on Tuesday June 29th it was agreed to hold further meetings at THE SALUTATION HOTEL, SOUTH PARADE, DONCASTER.
The committee is aware that the new venue is not as near to the railway station as we would have liked but at the end of the day it came down to financial considerations.
The room at the "Sal' is excellent for our style of meeting and another bonus is secure free storage for our equipment.
We hope that all members will continue to support our meetings and look forward to you at the "Sal".
You will notice that we have changed the start time to 7.45pm. This slightly earlier start should benefit members who have to return to the Station (Approx. 10/15 mins walk) at the end of the meetings. Several bus services come and go from outside the Salutation to Duke Street bus area (2 minutes from station).
I would like to thank the following for their contributions to this issue::
Andy Dalby, Paul Slater, David Bladen, John Dewing, John Sanderson, Robin Skinner, Steve Payne & Chris Tyas.
The Autumn Edition of Trans Pennine is due for publication by Monday 4th October 1999, Contributions should be in the Editor's possession by Friday September 24th at the latest.
Up to the time of publication 1 have received NOTHING from members relating to the promised "Anniversary Issue---. If I do not receive information such as trips lists, memories, anecdotes, etc. from years gone bye then 1 cannot publish them !!!. If members want an "Anniversary Issue" they must be prepared to contribute.
Walking Route from Doncaster Station.
Left outside station, under subway and straight through Frenchgate Shopping Centre. Straight ahead up Printing Office St. and then left and right into Wood Street Left at top of Wood Street. Turn right after the Civic Theatre into South Parade- Salutation (No. 30 on map) is 100 yards on right. Go upstairs to Function Room.
Bus Service No. 170 - Cantley, runs from the bottom of Duke Street Gust up from McDonalds) at 19.00 19.15 19.3 0. 19.45 20.00 20.15 and stops at Regent Square (opposite Salutation). Return from outside Salutation approx. every 15 minutes.