TRANS PENNINE

THE MAGAZINE
OF THE
PENNINE
RAILWAY

SOCIETY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.112 - Summer 2000

 

Committee
Briefs

 

 



Social Events

There may be other attractions on a summer night but Robin has booked excellent entertainment, including himself for our summer social evenings held at the Salutation Hotel, South Parade, Doncaster (seven minutes walk from Doncaster Station) on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.
We have a private room in a very well run establishment, with a good selection of ales available. A programme of events is itemised elsewhere in this organ. Please come along and bring a friend (or two).
Don’t forget the Railport Open Day at Doncaster on Sat/Sun July 15/ l6th., and the annual Sandtoft Gathering on Sunday July 30th. Our Lincolnshire bus guru, Gerry Collins, says Sandtoft is a major national event and not to be missed!! Turn up and buy your committee members a drink in the Real Ale Tent.
Chris Tyas is arranging a “social” on the East Lancs Railway in the autumn. Look out for, or ask Chris, for further details.

Help Me!!!!!

Chairman Skinner, currently residing in a “pad” in York following his despatch by GNER to the nether (sorry, northem) regions, recently asked a “Sharon” in W H Smith’s for directions to the Self Help books. She said that if she told him it would defeat the object of the exercise!
He has suffered a number of problems and complained to his landlord, to quote:-
 “I want some repairs done to my stove as it has backfired and burnt my knob off"
“The person next door has a large erection in his back garden which is unsightly and dangerous”,

Too Wide
The introduction of the new “state of the art” Class l75’s was delayed because the final design of the carriages proved wider than the original specification.
The units will run in north Wales and from Manchester to Lancashire and Cumbria.. Platforms, tunnels and signs will have to be trimmed by Railtrack for First North Western trains, leased from Angel Train Contracts.

Brighouse on Line

After 30 years without a service, Brighouse is back on the rail map, linked to Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds.
 Two curves, mothballed for over 10 years, have been reopened with a signal box at Greetland Junction to provide a direct link between Halifax and Huddersfield.

153308

This single car unit was badly damaged on May 08 when hitting a car transporter at a crossing on the Par - Newquay line.

EWS Fleet

By the time you are reading this article, EWS will have taken delivery of all it’s 280 new diesel locomotives.
The latest Class 67’s will be used mainly on mail trains and possibly ScotRail sleepers north of Edinburgh/ Glasgow.
The last 11 Class 66 locos will be delivered from General Motors Canada along with 5 of the Freightliner Class 66/5’s.
Some of the future 66/5’s will be for Freightliners new Heavyhaul contract with Railtrack.
The next order due for completion by GM will be the 7 Class 66/7’s for GB Rail.
GM has completed the order for 250 locos in 26 months. In comparison, it took nine years for BREL/Electroputere to complete the 135 Class 56 machines.
This must give us a clue as to why we now have no loco production in the UK.

Eurostar Crash

On June O5 Eurostar sets 3101/3102 derailed near Arras in northern France at a speed of around 156 mph.
The train remained upright and more than 500 passengers and crew escaped serious injury. Four people were treated at the local hospital suffering from shock, but were able to continue their joumey with the other passengers.
The driver immediately stopped all other trains in the area by using his automatic radio alert function fitted to these sets. No other trains were in the vicinity.
It is thought that the train remained upright because of its articulated bogies which give the train a “rigid” feel, combined with its low centre of gravity.

Prescott Quotes Our beloved champion of the working class made the following comment at the recent Rail Summit.
“I will certainly be keeping up the pressure, as well as the Regulator and the SRA. There will be no easy rides for anyone, except for ONE person - the PASSENGER”
Are we to believe that Railtrack are spending all the promised £ 29 billion to satisfy ONE person???.
 If so, who will be that lucky person? - I wish it were me, but no doubt the honour would go to the DPM himself as an alternative to his TWO JAGS.

Comeback for “Southern Railway”

It is understood that Govia is to bid for the South Central Network (currently run by Connex) at the next round of franchise bids.
Provisional plans include massive fare reductions, new services, upgraded lines and major station improvements.
Branding will follow the old Southern Railway Malachite and Olive green with traditional Southern “lettering” and “target” station signing.

Where is the Laptop???

You may remember that in the Winter 1999 issue I reported that John Sanderson had been submitting his “Committee Brief’ notes on a floppy disk done on a LAPTOP.
This process has now stopped and his back to biro and ruled paper. What has happened to his conversion to modern technology or did I make a mistake in the previous issue.
Perhaps I should have said “John’s notes have been compiled BY A LAPTOP not ON A LAPTOP!!. Either one is a possibility - perhaps we’ll never know? (Editor)

PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY
ON THE
WORLD WIDE WEB

The Society now has a web presence
which can be found on
www.abrail.co.uk/pennine.htm

Please give it a view and let me have
your comments. What would you like to
see on YOUR PAGE.

This is part of the Editor’s
website www.abrail.co.uk/index.htm
which currently comprises databases
covering the latest stock situation on the
UK rail system.

Metrolink

by Paul Slater

 

 

I boarded a tram for Broadway at the subterranean platform below Piccadilly Station. This was only my second ride on the Greater Manchester Metrolink, and there was still a great novelty about it. On my previous trip I had found that, unlike the South Yorkshire Supertram, the Metrolink does not carry conductors from whom tickets can be bought; this time I made sure I had enough change for a return to Exchange Quays, and fed my coins into the machine.
In its tunnel below Piccadilly Station, the Metrolink vehicle seemed like an underground train, but once it was on its way, and had emerged into the daylight, it felt more like a tram. Until I rode on the South Yorkshire Supertrams, I had known trams only in museums, on the Blackpool promenade, on the Isle of Man, and in continental cities; it seemed very strange to be riding one through the traffic of an English city centre.
I alighted at the island platform at Piccadilly Gardens, where the Metrolink divides, the Bury line curving away to the right. Trams passed frequently, pulling up at the platform and then departing, crossing roads and threading their way among pedestrians with warning blasts on their pleasant sounding chime horns. I thought the white and green livery of the Metrolink was very attractive and took several photographs. Some of the Manchester trams carry names, and among the ones I snapped at Piccadilly Gardens were 1020 "The David Graham CBE" and 1024 "The John Greenwood". Near the platforms stands a sculpture, showing a man in a warlike attitude with his wife and children cowering at his feet, which I managed to include in the foreground of some of my photographs of the trams.
Back at the platform I was able to give directions to a lady who was confused by the Metrolink, and then I boarded a tram for Altrincham which took me on a ride through the streets of the city centre. I alighted at St. Peters Square, where I photographed another named tram, 1015 "Sparky", passing another sculpture; this shows a group of men and women, and is in slightly less naturalistic style than the one in Piccadilly Gardens. The next tram I boarded was heading for Broadway on the newly opened Salford Branch, which is due to be extended to Eccles. The tram passed the entrance to the former Central Station, an impressive station with a huge arched roof once the terminus for Midland and Cheshire Lines committee trains, now an exhibition centre, and then climbed steeply away from the street on to a viaduct. The tramway now became more like a railway, with the colour light signals. After G-Mex Station, the tram picked up speed, and ran fast on an elevated section to the big island platform at Cornbrook. On one side was the disused high level approach to Central Station; I had not realised that line from Piccadilly and Oxford Road to Warrington and Liverpool was now running beside the Metrolink on the other side, and I was taken by surprise when a "Trans Pennine Express“ passed close beside the tram, followed shortly afterwards by 90037 on a goods train.
The Salford line diverged from the Altrincham route, and climbed to pass over the Bridgwater Canal. After Pomona Station the tramway swung sharply right to cross the Manchester Ship Canal, then dropped to street level among tall new buildings. The next station was Exchange Quays; this was not a photogenic location, and after alighting from tram 2006 and snapping it departing for Broadway, I quickly crossed to the other platform and rode on tram 2002 back to Pomona.
I knew of Pomona from a song on one of my folk music records, "The Flowers of Manchester", which I would play once I was home again. The song refers to the Pomona Palace, a long vanished dance hall. Pomona Station is a brand new island platform on a viaduct, with the `Manchester Ship Canal on one side and the Bridgwater Canal on the other. There are many new buildings to be seen in the old dock area, and in the distance is a view of Manchester city centre. Trains passed on the railway to Liverpool, and tram 2004 made an impressive picture as it crossed the bridge over the Ship Canal. I had the station to myself; no one else boarded or alighted while I was there.
 I rode on tram 2006 back to Piccadilly Gardens; it was crowded with schoolchildren, and a young girl seemed fascinated by my camera. At Piccadilly Gardens I took a final photograph, of tram 1025 passing the sculpture, and then I rode the Metrolink again for the short distance to Piccadilly Station and the "Trans Pennine Express" back to Meadowhall. I would enjoy the ride through the Peak District, to my mind the most scenic joumey in England, and I would look forward to making another photographic foray to Manchester and the Metrolink.
 

Pennine Quiz
No. 101


West Coast Main Line or thereabouts) 

by Malcolm Bell 


1. On what date did Push/Pull operation using DVT's from Euston commence.
2. Where did these trains work too initially.
3. What was the name of LNWR Webb compound No. 1301
 4, What colours did the Furness Railway paint it's coaching stock.
5. 46245 City of London was the first Coronation to be painted by BR in red livery. In what month and year.
6. Which depot could be found at the end of Glebe Road.
7. Ownership and responsibility for WCML passed to Railtrack on what date.
8. On December 20 1979 who was the driver who took the A'I'P-P to a record 160 mph.
9. In which year was the Euston - Watford 650v DC electrification opened.
10. February 1910 saw the introduction of a service called "City to City". Between which two stations did it run.
11. When introduced in June 1957 how long did the Euston - Glasgow run of "The Caledonian" take.
12. It is now Manchester Piccadilly. What was its previous name.
13. On what date did the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway combine with the LNWR.
14. Name Claughton 4-6-0 No. 207. ‘
15. In 1933 a Royal Scot class 4-6-0 toured Canada and the USA. It was supposed to be 6100 "Royal Scot". In reality it was which Scot in    disguise.
16. What is the height of Shap Summit.
17. What was the first number allocated to 83015.
18. On June 29"‘ 1937 Driver Clarke took 6220 Coronation up to 113/114 mph. Who was his fireman.
19. Travelling north up the WCML Grayrigg Bank begins with the crossing of which river.
20. Who succeeded Bowen-Cooke as Loco Superintendent of the LNWR.
21. Which was the first WCML electric locomotive to carry a name.
22. Travelling North from Carlisle, where were the first set of water troughs.
23. How far were these water troughs from Carlisle Station (to the nearest 1/4 mile).
24. In July 1910 a train called "The Budd", after it's sponsor, ran between Euston and Keswick. To what type of event, taking place in Keswick was it taking its passengers.
25. In March 1970 approval was granted for the electrification of the WCML from Weaver Junction to Motherwell.
To the nearest million, what was the estimated cost of this project at the time.

Pennine Quiz No. 100

The Answers

 

1. Railway World
2. 45212
3. Bluebell Railway
4. Hengist
5. South Tynedale
6. 3005 3006
7. 66137
8. John McCririck
9. North York Moors
10. First Great Eastern
11. 20901, 20902, 20903.
12. 92025.
13. River Clyde.
14. E3096 &E33O0
15. Autun, France.
16. Holbeck Depot.
17. 8
18. Severn Valley.
19. New Connaught Rooms, Holborn, London
20. Adderley Hall
21. LNER 4472 Flying Scotsman.
22. Isle of Wight Steam Railway
23. 10
24. 21
 25. 3’ 6”
26. Wagon &Carriage superintendent
27. Reginald Munns
28. 1 9 1 6
29. Colchester and Walton, Eastem Region
30. 29/08/1850
31. 6.8 miles
32. Home
33. Market Harborough &Kettering
34. 1963
35. Michael David Rix
36. Mitcheldean Road & Forest of Dean Junction Rly
37. 47054 Xancidae
38. 4MT Tank 80103
39. 61057
40. 506 yds
41. 3705s+37047, 60008 Rylestone Branch
 42. 90024
43. 380
44. Between Oxenholme & Penrith
 45. Entrance to Crewe Works
46. Pseudonym of author of “The Railway Children”
47. Ernest Marples
48. Clan Cameron
49. Sir James Inglis
50. 2/-

The Winners!!!!!

lst. Mr Ken King
2nd Mr John Dewing
 3rd. Mr Paul Slater
Congratulations Gentlemen -
As usual the cheques are in the post.

 

Pennine Observers Notes

 

 


 

Eastern Region:
Our East Yorkshire correspondent is sad to report the return 142/144 units to the Hull/ Bridlington line for the start of the summer timetable. They are being used on the Sheffield/Bridlington services from which they were previously banned.
Noted at Ulceby on 01 April were -
56081 on Cargowaggons
60062 on Oil Tanks
60097 on Iron Ore
60022 60083 60088 and 60090 on Coal
Sightings at Lincoln include -
05 April 60020 and 60026 on Oil trains 66076 on Cargowaggons
06 April 56069 on Cargowaggons 60026 on Oil 66001 on Cars
07 April 56094 on Cargowaggons 60020 on Oil
10 April 60050 and 60093 on Oil
11 April 37379 + 37667 on Aventis Weedkiller 56060 on Cargowaggons ' 60076 on Oil
14 April 60037 and 60054 on Oil
20 April 66066 on Cars
Light Engines seen on Gainsborough-Barnetby line before Saturday Passenger services:
01 April 66184
08 April 56102
15 April 56102
29 April 60046
06 May 60052
13 May 56102
20 May 56105
27 May 60096
Noted at Barnetby on 13 May were: 56007 56078 56110 and 66060 on Coal
60052 and 60083 on Iron Ore
60026 and 60032 on Oil
66193 on Ballast
Noted at Lincoln recently have been:
05 May 66147 on car transporters
23 May 56087 on cargowaggons 66077 on oil 66141 on car transporters
26 May 66198 on car transporters
31 May 66196 on oil
At Eaton Lane Crossing on 31 May our correspondent noted 47270 on a Freightliner and Eurostar units 3303/4 on the 18.57 York/Kings Cross.
New Class 333 Units from Spain appear to be passing through Doncaster on the 08.30 Saturday morning 6E98 Wembley - Wakefield Europort service, Recent sightings have been -
March 18 333001
April 15 333002
April 29 333003
May 13 333004
Wrawby Junction on 03 June was host to:
60083 Iron Ore
60088 Iron Ore
60023 Oil
60052 Steel 661115
Cargowaggons
56048 Light Engine
Engineering work at Whitehall Junction on 01 May saw all Leeds/KX GNER services diverted via Normanton involving dragging from Wakefield Westgate to Leeds. 47749/781 and 782 performed admirably. The new “White Rose” Kings X/York GNER service using the ill fated “North of London” Eurostar sets commenced on Tuesday 29 May. Units 3301/3302/3303/3304 in GNER livery (pvc sheets) were seen on various services. 3309/3310 has also been in use as the “spare set” covering maintenance of the GNER sets. In your correspondent’s opinion these sleek and impressive units give the best ever ride yet on the ECML. Far superior to the ill designed and cramped Mk 4 stock and better even than the highly comfortable Mk 3 HST stock. It is also impressive to see the whole of a platform at Doncaster filled with ONE extremely long train, something not seen for many years.
6M47 the 08.55 Aldwarke/Wolverhampton steel working is nowadays, like most EWS workings, booked for a Class 66. Recent exceptions have been: 
Wed 19 April   56134
Thurs 20 April 56134
Fri 21 April     56058
Wed 26 April  56095
Thurs 04 May  56091
Mon 08 May   56089
Wed 17 May   56105
Wed 24 May   56117
Present at Knottingley on June 17 were 08499 56031 26087 56094 56110 56134 66002 66056 66058 66063 66068 66072 66086 66196

 Midland Region:
Your editor spent the early evening of 02 June at  Warrington and noted the following freight workings
56059 Stanlow - Humber empty tanks
66131 Mossend -Chirk timber
60017 Ayr - Bescot loaded MGR
86602/6 Ipswich - Coatbridge Freightliner
66066/37710 Ayr - Fiddlers Ferry loaded MGR
66177 Arpley - Mossend Enterprise
66111 Hardendale - Margam Lime covhops
66073 Mossend - Garston empty cartics
20306/11 Valley - Carlisle nuclear flasks
86627/614 Coatbridge - Ipswich Freightliner
60079 Ayr - Fiddlers Ferry loaded MGR
60100 Empty MGR
66143 Cardiff - Mossend Enterprise
66122 Carnforth - Bescot Departmental (Rails)
Saturday 27 May should have been the last day for Class 37 hauled trains, Class 101 “Met Cam” DMU's and Class 309 “Clacton” emu’s for First North Western. These were to be followed by the mass introduction of new Class 175 "Coradia1" DMU's and a general cascade of sprinters and pacers to eliminate “heritage” traction..
Observations however disproved this statement and the following services were noted in the Manchester area:
101680 53163/53204 9.13 Sheffield/Man Picc.
101653 51426/54358 8,46 Man Picc/Sheffield
101681 51506/51228 9.46 Man Picc/Sheffield
101657 53211/54085 11.10 Rose Hill/Man Picc.
101662 53228/54055 11.18 Man Picc/Rose Hill
101679 51224/51533 12.26 Man Picc/Chester
101661 51463/54365 15.59 Stalybridge/Man Vic.
101659 51213/54352 16.37 Man Picc/Alderley Edge
101681 51228/51506 18.46 Man Picc/Sheffield
309624 worked various services and carried the headboard “Class 309’s - The End??‘?”. (Sadly for those fast and stylish emu’s it was). Monday 29 May brought in the new timetable but NO new DMU's. Unit 101683 worked the 10.14 Sheffield/Man Pico., while 101653 and 101657 were stabled at Man Picc_ with 101654 stabled at Chester. 37420 worked the 10,07 Birmingham NS/Holyhead and 37429 was on the 12.19 Crewe/Holyhead.
These two “tractors” plus 37412/415 covered the Class 175 replacement duties during the first week of the new timetable. By 01 June “Clacton's” 308613/616/624 had been shunted to Longsight for removal. By 02 June they had gone!!.
A visit to the North West on 02 June produced the following sightings:
101685 (Green) 10.43 Man Picc/Sheffield
47829 11.17 Man Picc/Bristol
90146 11.53 Euston/Liverpool
87024 12.18 Euston/Glasgow 
37429 14.15 Crewe/Holyhead
            16.46 Holyhead/B’ham NS
            20.50 B’ham NS/Chester
37412 17. 18 Crewe/Holyhead
37420 17.34 B’ham NS/Holyhead
90142 15.38 Glasgow/Euston
86256 15,08 Paignton/Preston
86214 17.10 Edinburgh/B’ham NS
86209 20.28 Macclesfield/Euston
47828 21.01 Preston/B’ham NS
90146 19.18 Euston/Carlisle
101683 was observed in the rain at Crewe waiting to work the 22,19 Crewe/Bangor. How much longer these 40+ year old units (a fine tribute to Met Cam Birmingham) remain in service remains to be seen. If the replacement units last half as long they will be a bargain.
June 10 at Peak Forest found 60007 on a stone train, 66159 in the quarry sidings and 08599, 60006, 60027, 60036, 60079, 66007 and 66140 on the depot, 'On the same days at New Tupton, Chesterfield the following were noted:
37695 Light Engine
37801 PW Train
56091 MGR Coal
60071 Oil
66190 Steel Scrap
At Carlisle on April 08 were 37216 56089 56091 56110 66024 66043 66070 66117 66186 86225 86253 92009 and on May 01 the following were present at the same location 66013 66028 6604766098 66208 66227

Scottish Region:
 A correspondent on a 3 day trip to Scotland on Mar 26/27/28 noted the following workings:
90037 Euston/Edinburgh sleeper
37430 Edinburgh/Fort William sleeper
47738 Edinburgh/Aberdeen
90040 Euston/Glasgow sleeper
37413 Freight at Arrocher
37606 Freight at Upper Tyndrum
37511 Freight at Shean Bridge
37428 Fort William/Edinburgh sleeper
47829 Glasgow/Poole
On a visit to the Edinburgh/Glasgow area on June 13/14 your editor observed (as well as numerous local EMU/ DMU’s) the following; Haymarket - 170402/3/4/5/9/11/12/13/14/15 with 37520 on Royal Scotsman duty.
Millerhill - 66038 66074 66200
Motherwell - 37092 37408 37411 37423 37424 37425 37430 37667 37674 37717 47640 47749 47758 47773 66041 66054 66095 66103 66111 66173 66182 66208
Mossend Yard - 37405 37503 37603 60085 66001 66047 66061 66112 66115 66155 66208 86212 86607 86609 86611 86615 86628 86634 86637 86638 86639 90020 90144 90145 92011 92013 92021 92034
Paisley Gilmour St. - 66072 66133
Polmadie - 334006 334008 47634 47733 47775 86252 (Anglia Livery) 90143
Ayr - 08441 66037 66048 66069 66072 66077 66133 66160 66201
On the return joumey steam loco 75014 with Fragonset 31190 (inside) was noted at Carlisle northbound with a rake of West Coast Railway stock.

Southern:
Region Noted at Southampton Freightliner Terminal on April 15 were 47233 57001 57004 57007 57008 08475.

Railtours:
22 April - “Cleveland Crusader” was hauled by preserved locos 37028/37038 top and tailed with Loadhaul liveried 56027 for York/Seal Sands.
06 May - “Oil Leake” was top and tailed by 56131/58016 on the route Birmingham NS/Burton/Lichfield/Burton/ Coalville/Leicester/East Leake (on old GC Main Line to Nottingham Victoria)/Leicester/Burton/Lichfield / Brownhills/Birmingham NS.
20 May - “Cheshire Phoenix” was hauled by 5 different locos: 
47206 Southampton - Crewe
60067 Crewe - Chester
56112 Chester - Warrington Bank Quay
57010 Warrington BQ - Middlewich - Sandbach - Crewe
47234 Crewe - Southampton

Preserved Railways:
Midland Railway Centre “Goods 2000” on 20 May produced 45133 on BR Goods Train.
Steam loco 7445 on vintage goods train and steam loco 1163 “Whitehead” on brake vans. Narrow gauge loco “Berry Hill” was also seen on “secret Train” of ex MOD vans.
At the Great Central Railway Spring Gala on 29 May steam locos 34039 “Boscastle”, 60800 “Green Arrow” and 63601 were working trains. Working on the Middleton Railway 40th Anniversary Gala on June 12 were steam locos 1210 Sir Berkley, 1625 Cockerill, and 2409 King George (from Gloucs/Warks Rly). Diesel locos on show were 7051, D631 Carroll and 1786 Sweet Pea. At the official opening the Birthday Cake was cut by the Lord Mayor of Leeds.

Special Events:
 On Saturday May 27 John Dewing visited the last “Steam on the Met” 7 between Amersham and Watford which produced steam locos 61572 62005 41312 9466 plus 20227 and “Sarah Siddons” (No. 12). The event was well worth the £10.00 day ticket. Well organised, well attended with helpful staff despite a cloudburst and thunderstorms. (Better than going to Wembley). Sadly he had to endure the company of “football yobs” on his return HST joumey to Hull.
Newton Abbot Transport Festival on May 13/ 14 was host to GWR Pannier Tank 9600 on shuttle between Exeter, Newton Abbot, Paignton and Heathfield. Also on Sunday the Pathfinders Tour sported 31601 and_31602 with 66009 and 66108 for top and tailing on the Meldon Quarry branch. Class 60 not allowed on the branch. On display at Newton Abbot were 66199, 67009 and 4472 “Flying Scotsman” (on a tour). Vintage buses were in operation from the station to the Festival on the racecourse.
 

Rail Ale
Hits the high "C's"

(Carlisle, Chester and Canada)

by David Bladen

Question: What do a trip to Carlisle and London Buses have in common?
Answer: You wait ages for one and then two come together!
In my case, ages means more than 15 years. In an earlier `Rail Ale` article, I mentioned about the length of time between my first trip to Eastleigh and my second some nineteen years later. It’s a similar story with Carlisle. In the early 1980`s I was never away from the place. There was the `Hadrian Flyer‘ Deltic railtour in 1981, memorable for the number of Pennine members who nearly had an early appointment with their maker, as a class 25 driver decided to move his loco through the assembled throng of photographers during a photo stop at Hellifield.
Then there was the Pennine trip to Kingmoor Yard one cold, wet and miserable Saturday morning, to view a class 25 which Mr Sanderson was considering purchasing for preservation. Having decided that the wreck on offer might not be such a good investment, the party then retired to a pub in Carlisle, the Crown on Botchergate, to spend the rest of the day doing something infinitely more interesting, like drinking beer.
And finally, there was the trip organised by the vicar of St Nicholas’s in Blackpool, my mother-in-law’s local church. The Reverend had been summoned to an ecclesiastical shindig in Carlisle to meet some visiting bishops. He thought it would be a good idea to combine that with a parish outing, so he set about chartering a train for a “GodEx”. Linda and I were in Blackpool that weekend so we went along.
British Rail provided a ‘Derby Heavyweight’ unit, which made the trip via the S&C, and an excellent day was had by all. Unfortunately, on the way back, a points failure at Blackburn delayed the train for about two hours. That might not have been so bad had it not been a very hot day. As it was, the train came to a stand on a stretch of track opposite a couple of pubs and within sight and smell of Blackburn’s two breweries, Matthew Brown and Thwaites. Although the poor vicar could in no way be blamed for this, he did have to put up with comments on the lines of: “Reverend, that bit in the Lord’s Prayer about ‘Lead us not into temptation’ - run that by me again!”
My recent trips have again been to look at surplus rolling stock in Kingmoor, but this time with the aim of disposal rather than preservation. There were a number of wagons and vans which had been stood in the yard for a long time, and these needed to be removed because they were hindering Railtrack’s plans to increase the capacity of the yard. My job has been to arrange transfer of the various wagons to Currock and Upperby yards for storage or scrapping. The timings of site meetings at Kingmoor with Railtrack’s representatives have meant overnight stops at the Regal Cumbrian Hotel, just outside the station (sadly. no real ale) and thus the opportunity to go in search of some decent beer. Carlisle`s unusual claim to brewing fame is that it was the home of the Britain’s state-run brewery. The First World War provides the background to how the government came to be involved in brewing. The Carlisle scheme arose out of the rapid growth of munitions work in the area. Concern about levels of drunkenness and the impact this was having on productivity brought radical measures. In 1917 all the breweries and public houses in Carlisle were brought under state control. A Government appointed board proceeded to shut down many of the pubs and build replacements on a large, rather spartan, scale. These houses were put under management, rather than tenancy, to ensure that tight control of drinking was maintained, and were supplied by the snappily named Carlisle and District State Management Scheme Brewery. Theakston's bought the brewery in the early 70s, however, its survival was short-lived as Theakston's itself was bought by Matthew Brown, which in turn succumbed to the clutches of Scottish and Newcastle in 1985. Nowadays, the brewery is the site of halls of residence for the University of Northumberland's Carlisle campus.
There is very little evidence left today of the state’s involvement in brewing in Carlisle, a situation compounded by the amount of redevelopment being undertaken in the city centre. I was taken aback somewhat on my first trip as I turned the comer from Citadel Square into Botchergate. Large sections of one side of the street had completely disappeared. The Crown was still there, but it had been transformed into a neon-illuminated sports bar. Needless to say, I didn’t bother to go in to see what had changed over the years!
I headed instead for the Woodrow Wilson, a Weatherspoon’s pub on Botchergate converted from a former co-op store. Inside, the decor is formulaic Weatherspoon, this one being done out in the comfy chair/library variation. As part of a nation-wide chain and therefore more or less the same all over the country, the pubs could be described as unimaginative, however, they do serve some good beer at reasonable prices and this one was no exception. Thwaites Best Mild was on offer at 99p a pint and I had no complaint about either the price or the quality. On a cold, wet Wednesday night, the place was quite crowded which just goes to show Weatherspoon’s must be doing something right. I had another 99p’s worth of Thwaites, and then headed off into the night.
More or less opposite the Woodrow is the Caledonian Cask House. This is a large open-plan bar, where the emphasis seems to be on the younger end of the market. There are quite a few monitors mounted on the walls with a succession of videos advertising the delights (7) of the video jukebox. I don't know what the music was like but one of the videos was excellent, featuring as it did (for some very obscure reason) footage of planes taking-off and landing at San Francisco Airport in the late 70’s. The film of obscure aircraft belonging to equally obscure airlines did a lot to take my mind off the mediocrity of the beer. Courage Director’s was the only hand-pulled offering and to be quite honest I’ve had better pints. (On my second visit to Carlisle, the place was closed for refurbishment, so I might have some better news to report alter my next trip.)
The rest of the pubs on Botchergate seemed equally uninspiring and as the rain was beginning to come down quite heavily, I decided to return to the hotel. On the comer of Botchergate and Citadel Square is the Griffin, a converted bank now operated as a John Barrass outlet. I had passed this place earlier, but the presence of large gentlemen on the door had indicated this was not a place I would be at home in, despite large signs proclaiming ‘Traditional Ales’. I chose to ignore my earlier misgivings and went in, but it didn’t take much to realise I should have known better!
A lot of thought and work and, doubtless, money, has gone in to refurbishing the interior of the building but the loud music totally destroyed the ambience that such opulence should create and I think it is the sort of place which is probably best visited at lunchtime or early evenings. The ‘Traditional Ales’ turned out to consist solely of Theakston's Bitter. It was alright, but at £1.80 a pint, grossly overpriced. I drank up quickly and returned to the hotel for an early night. The thought of a second visit to Carlisle didn’t exactly till me with joy, but duty calls. The weather on my second trip was much better and it was quite a balmy evening as I set off from the Regal Cumbrian to find the other two pubs shown in the Good Beer Guide as being near the station.
The Boardroom on Castle Street is a recently renovated pub nestling in the shadow of the cathedral. Its original name was the ‘Board’, a reference to the type of beds used by the monks who inhabited the cathedral in medieval times. The pub is decorated with photos of old Carlisle and has a comfortable, welcoming feel to it. Beers on offer were Theakston's Bitter and Courage Directors, but unlike the offerings on my earlier trip, both were in excellent condition, and quite reasonably priced.
I left the Boardroom and made my way through the centre of Carlisle to the Howard Arms on Lowther Street, adjacent to the Lanes shopping centre. There is a superb tiled frontage to the pub which apparently was covered up for more than 60 years before being ‘re- discovered Inside, a number of small rooms surround a central bar, at the back of which is a display of bottles from the state brewery. The pub is also home to a couple of rugby clubs and there was definitely a boisterous and lively air about the place. Beer choice was limited to Theakston's Bitter, however, it was very drinkable and reasonably priced at £1.50 I had a second pint then headed back to the hotel in a much better frame of mind than when I had arrived. Maybe Carlisle wasn’t such a bad place after all!
A few weeks later and it’s off to Chester to look at more wagon disposals. Well, Ellesmere Port actually.
EWS is looking to get rid of the 100-plus wagons stored in the East Yard there and in my capacity of wagon executioner-in-chief I was due to meet the regional engineer with whom I would compile the death warrants.
My hotel for this visit was located in Chester and as the city has always been a place I wanted to spend some time in it was with a sense of anticipation that I set off on the journey.
My ticket routed me via Liverpool, as I had been due to go via Allerton for a meeting. The meeting had been postponed, but I didn’t bother to change my ticket, as it would give me the opportunity to travel on some lines on the Wirral that I hadn’t covered previously. Mr Branson provided 47847 and some coaches in place of the booked HST for the short journey to Sheffield, where I changed for the Central Trains service to Liverpool, surprisingly formed by 150125.
Arrival in Liverpool was punctual and I picked my way through the building site that is Lime Street station, then down to the lower level platforms for the Merseyrail unit to Chester.
I was quite shocked by the state of Chester station when I arrived, The Merseyrail platforms were tatty and filthy (obviously the commuters into Liverpool don’t count for a lot) and many of the tracks in the rest of the station were heavily overgrown with weeds. Considering Chester is one of England’s premier tourist hot spots, I wonder what overseas visitors must make of the mess.
The station is some way out of the city and although there is a frequent bus service into the centre (free to rail travellers) perusal of my A to Z showed me I could visit three of the GBG-listed pubs without too much of a detour from a straight walk into town.
First stop was the Union Vaults at the comer of Union Street and Egerton Street. From the outside, the pub looks authentic and that impression is not dispelled when you walk through the door - wooden floors and panelling, with carpet only in the “best end”. It was small and cosy, with friendly bar staff dispensing Greenalls Bitter and Plassey Bitter, which comes from the brewery of that name at Eyton near Wrexham. The Plassey was very tasty and, at .£l.7O, not badly priced. I was intrigued by what looked by a bar-billiards table along one of the walls. It looked like bar billiards but there were none of the little “mushrooms with sticks” which are a feature of that game. Curiosity got the better of me and I asked a man who was just about to start playing. He gave me a look that said, “Bloody tourist” and then quietly explained that this was bagatelle, a variation of bar billiards that is unique to Cheshire. I have to say it’s a new one on me.
The pub next door to the Union couldn’t be more different. The Mill Hotel is a modem plush hotel converted, unsurprisingly, from a mill. The bar is a beer- drinker’s delight, where bow-tied bar staff dispense excellent and reasonably priced beer from a bank of handpumps. A large marker board shows the long list of forthcoming beers and there is a smaller board where patrons are invited to add their suggestions. House beers come courtesy of Coach House. I ordered a pint of Gunpowder Strong Mild, but this ran out alter about two pulls on the pump handle. The Coach House Premium, however, was a worthy substitute and great value at £l.5O.
The hotel is very popular with organised coach parties and if it only has one fault, it is the aroma from the huge bar meals which were being frequently served. I was very, very tempted to indulge, but EWS had already arranged dinner for me at my hotel. (A supposed ‘Mongolian barbecue’, about which the less said, the better!) When my next visit to Chester comes around, I think I shall be asking for a room at the Mill. The final pub in the trio did not live up to its GBG billing as being ‘well worth seeking out’ and I have to say that I won’t be making a second visit. The Talbot on Walter Street was a bit of a strange place. Very much a local’s pub, everything went quiet when I went in. It must be something to do with being a Burtonwood pub. (Avid readers of this column, if there are such people, may recall I had a similar experience in a Burtonwood pub in Melton Mowbray last year.)
I bought a pint of Burtonwood Bitter, which tasted okay, and sat down. I hadn’t realised that I’d left my mobile phone switched on in my briefcase - it rang and the pub once more descended into silence as several pairs of eyes once again gave me a look that said ‘Bloody tourist’. I scrabbled about in my papers trying to answer the blasted thing. What is even more annoying is it turned out to be a wrong number! I smiled weakly, drank my beer as quickly as I could and left with as much dignity as I could muster. I swear that as I left, somebody cheered. They sure know how to make you feel welcome in Chester!.
And so to Canada. Not all of it you understand - just Toronto, and definitely not a place you will end up on a railtour from the UK. Linda, Alex and I spent a week there and for transport enthusiasts there is a great deal of interest in the city. The Toronto Transit Commission operates a fleet of streetcars (trams to you and I), buses and subway trains, and there is an extensive service of suburban trains operated by GO Rail, and I have to say that the whole network comes as close to an integrated transport system as any I have come across before.
Within downtown Toronto, the streetcars and subway are the main means of getting around. There are two subway lines, the Bloor-Danforth, which runs east to west and the Yonge-University-Spadina, which forms a north-south ‘U’-shape. The streetcars run east to west within the city centre and there are interchanges at major subway stations. The bus fleet seems to operate mostly in the suburbs and services are centred on the subway stations, many of which are dedicated ‘small-scale’ interchanges. The cost of getting around is very cheap. A flat fare of CDN$2 (about 90p when we visited) will take you either one stop or from one side of the city to the other (about 35 miles at its widest). If you need to change from a subway train to a bus or Streetcar, or vice-versa, you simply get a paper transfer ticket from a machine or the driver as proof you have already paid.
The main railway station in Toronto is Union Station, which deals with suburban and mainline services, and the interior of this building can justly be described as magnificent, with its tiled cathedral-like roof and supporting pillars. I had hoped to take some photos on the platforms, but entry to them is not permitted unless you are a ticket holder and then only when a train is actually standing at the platform.
Passengers must wait in the specially designated areas at the entrance to each platform and are only allowed to board the train once the alighting passengers are clear. Quite why this system is operated I don’t know, however, it didn’t seem to be causing any hold ups. As we walked from the station to the CN Tower, I did manage to get a couple of shots of one of GO Rail’s General Electric locos as it arrived with its rake of double-deck suburban stock. For once I wished I’d had a video camera and microphone. The noise this loco ‘was emitting was something else!
And as for the beer? Well mostly lager-style brews from the big Canadian companies such as Molson and Carling, however, there are actually real ales to be found. Toronto is the most cosmopolitan of all Canadian cities and its multi-cultural background is reflected in the diversity of beers which are produced by the estimated 60 microbrewers in the Greater Toronto area. The average night-time temperature of -l2°c, together with the occasional blizzard did tend to put the dampener on serious pub-crawling, so evenings were spent in the hotel bar, with Alex happily watching live ice hockey on the giant TV screen.
An opportunity to try somewhere else came on the Saturday of our visit. I had planned to spend all day at the airport with my camera but it got so cold in the afternoon my camera started playing up and I made an early return to the city. Linda and Alex were spending the day exploring Toronto’s many shopping malls and we had arranged to meet back at the hotel in the late afternoon. I decided to go for a bite to eat and possibly sample a decent pint or two. Once again, the Rough Guide proved invaluable in tracking down a decent watering hole.
C’est What? is a small basement bar near to Union Station, at 67 Front Street East. The guide had said that up to 28 microbrews were on tap, including some brewed on the premises, but when I descended the stairs into the bar, the last thing I expected to see was a bank of 10 handpumps on the counter! The barman seemed amused when I asked if they were working, but at least I didn’t get a look that said, “Bloody tourist”_ One of the pump clips was marked Arkell’s Bitter, but this was not the product of the small Swindon brewery, rather it was one of a range of beers produced by the Wellington Brewery of Guelph, Ontario. I ordered a pint (yes, Canada is very civilised) of Arkell’s and a sandwich and sat down to examine my surroundings.
Comfy armchairs and low tables were the order of the day for furniture and the walls were covered with posters for many different beers. One' particular brew advertised was ‘Ganja Ale’ and the poster prominently featured a drawing of a large leaf of unknown origin! I wasn’t sure whether this was a spoof or not. From a room at the back of the bar came the sound of live jazz and I was told that CDNS4 would gain me admittance, however, the waitress had just arrived with my beer and sandwich and I was slowly thawing out by a heater so I opted to stay put. The Arkell’s was excellent though it came as quite a surprise to be told by the barman that the alcohol content was 6.5%. So it wasn’t just the heater that was making my cheeks glow! The ‘Ganja Ale’ did exist but was unavailable (and they wouldn’t tell me what it contained!) so next to be sampled was a half of hand pulled wheat beer from another Ontario microbrewer, Creemore Springs. This was sharp and very refreshing but, like the bitter, rather on the strong side at 7% abv.
It was by now obvious that I couldn’t try too many more beers if I was going to get back to the hotel without falling in a snowdrift, The last beer to be sampled was a porter from the bar’s own brewery. This was almost jet black in colour and had a wonderful nutty taste. Definitely very moreish, but Toronto Maple Leafs against Montreal Canadians was the featured ice hockey match on the hotel screen and I had promised Alex he could watch the whole game. Time to go! Now, if only Robin could organise a permit for Toronto shed..!
 

What the Papers Say

 

 

Bloody Intolerable  - Steven Morris  - Daily Mail 25 1 May 2000 

 A SENIOR railway executive has admitted he sometimes drives to work instead of taking the train because he cannot risk being late for meetings.
Richard Middleton, Railtrack’s £125,000-a-year commercial director, went on to brand road and rail congestion in London as "pretty bloody intolerable".
Mr Middleton, who was speaking of today's national rail summit also criticised the high cost of travel, saying paying passengers were not getting a fair deal.
A railwayman for 25 years, Mr Middleton used his personal experiences of commuting to and from the capital to illustrate his allegations.
He said overcrowding on his train home from London Waterloo to Kingston upon Thames was so bad that he sometimes had to push his way on to the busy carriage.
"We've just got to have more money for investment", he added. "We can't just price people, off trains and put them on the roads because the roads can't cope either.
"It is a pretty tough problem and it has got to be addressed now. Congestion around London on road and rail is pretty bloody intolerable".
Mr Middleton went on to say that the problem was endemic all across the network not just in London, and could not simply be "magicked away".
His remarks were being interpreted yesterday as a "shot across the bows" for the Government, as Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott prepares to open the rail summit at the QEII centre in Westminster. Railtrack, which has responsibility for the infrastructure of the network, has been at loggerheads with the Government in recent years.
The company, which made profits of more than £300million last year, has attracted criticism for not ploughing enough of its own money back into investment and development.
In turn. Railtrack has claimed the network desperately needs more Government money to help provide an efficient service.
In his briefing, on Tuesday Mr Middleton, 44, argued that Railtrack had done all it could to improve its own performance and had won some praise from the rail regulator.
He was appointed to his post three years ago, becoming the company‘s third commercial director in three years.
The appointment was seen as an attempt by Railtrack to steady the ship and much was made of Mr Middleton's many years of first-hand experience on the railways.
He is no stranger to controversy, however, attracting criticism in the wake of the Paddington disaster when - 15 days after the crash - he dismissed concerns about safety as "hysteria".
To the fury of bereaved families and survivors of last October's tragedy, he insisted changes had been made to ensure Paddington was safe, adding: "It is time for the hysteria around rail safety to be calmed down-Rail is a safe mode of transport".
He was later credited with stepping in to save a military band which had been told to leave the spot on Paddington station where it had entertained passengers for 100 years.

"Decent" compensation for disrupted train travellers.
David Norris - Daily Mail 26 May 2000

Train passengers hit by delays and cancellations are to get better compensation, it emerged at a national rail summit yesterday.
'Where performance falls below acceptable levels, passengers should receive a decent level of compensation] said Mike Grant, chief executive of the Watchdog Strategic Rail Authority.
Suffering travellers will be able to ask for cash instead of having to accept vouchers.
Holders of weekly season tickets - in addition to those with monthly and annual passes - will be compensated for periods of poor performance. Compensation for one-off delays of more than 30 minutes will also be available to season ticket holders.
The authority, meanwhile, wants rail companies to improve their performance so that 15 trains out of 16 reach their destination within ten minutes of the scheduled time on long distance routes and within five minutes on other journeys.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott indicated at the summit that he is ready to bail out ramshackle railways with millions of pounds of extra public money.
The network is getting .£ l.3billion in subsidies this year. But the present plan is for the subsidies to dwindle to nothing by 2005 and industry chiefs are warning that income from fares alone will not be enough to fund the massive investment needed to stop the rot.
Mr Prescott told the summit in London, attended by rail company bosses "Government money can lever in a lot of private money". It was a clear hint that there could be a huge injection of public money, provided the industry increased its own investment.
The Rail Passengers' Council told the summit fares have soared on average by an inflation busting 15 per cent in four years as private operators have squeezed travellers to try to make up for the fall in subsidies.
Over the last 30 years, the average price of a ticket has gone up by 40 per cent in real terms.
But in return, passengers have seen only marginal improvements in late and cancelled trains, according to the council. It said 91.95 per cent of trains ran to time, against 91.43 per cent a year earlier, with cancellations falling by 0.1 point to 1 per cent of services.

Commuter outcry as train firm fined over bad service rakes in record cash
By David Norris Industrial Correspondent - Daily Mail 16 June 2000

ONE of Britain's worst performing rail companies has announced record profits despite a slump in its standard of service.
Commuters reacted angrily to the figures from South West Trains, which showed that operating profits have jumped from £33.8million to £39million.
It means SWT, which runs local and long-distance trains from the southwest into Waterloo, now tops the earnings league for all Britain's 25 privatised train operators.
Only last week the firm, owned by transport giant Stagecoach, appeared on the Strategic Rail Authority's list of the 13 worst rail operators in Britain.
Companies were measured on how many of their trains reached their destinations on time. SWT managed to run only 79 per cent of its trains on time during the six months to the end of March - a slump from 84 per cent in the same period last year.
The firm was also fined £4million by the authority last year for its dismal performance on punctuality and for running trains with too few carriages, making them overcrowded.
Despite the punctuality figures, the chairman of parent company Stagecoach, Brian Souter, said it had been 'another excellent year with further strong growth in passenger numbers'.
He added: 'Looking forward, rolling stock, and infrastructure peak capacity constraints face SWT and we believe these will be key considerations in the refranchising process now under way'
He added that Stagecoach remains 'fully committed to the UK rail industry provided we can earn sensible commercial returns for our shareholders"
Chief executive Keith Cochrane pledged that SWT would "continue to strive" for punctuality improvements. But some commuters in London yesterday were not impressed with SWT's profits, City banker John Bancroft, who commutes from Ascot, Berkshire, said: 'This is nothing short of a scandal. The trains are late and dirty and nothing, has improved since privatisation. They should give passengers a refund.' Rail pressure groups were reluctant to attack the SWT profits. They said that subsidies to the privatised train operators are being reduced each year, and will disappear altogether by 2005.
It means the firms have to make profits in order to invest in new trains and equipment. Many of the 25 train operating companies blame Railtrack, which owns the track and the signalling, for some of the delays.
Official figures show that nearly half the hold-ups are down to track and signal failures, over which the train operators have no control. Meanwhile, Stagecoach is preparing to fight off challengers who want to take over the South West Trains franchise when it expires in 2003.
At least six rivals, including French owned Connex, which runs trains in Kent and Sussex and is also under fire over its appalling punctuality record, are known to be interested.
Stagecoach's shares fell sharply yesterday after the parent group reported a fall in profits compared to last year. The group has seen shares suffer over the past six months, and yesterday shares dropped ten per cent - down 7p to 63p.
Taking into account the costs of acquisitions and disposals, pre-tax profits were £l82.3million against £210.4 million last time.


ROBIN’S
REVIEW

No 9 TRACTION

 


Traction is published by Warner Group Publications based in Bourne very near to where I live.
The June issue has 58 pages with pictures in Black and white and colour. Priced at £2.80 per issue, subscriptions are £33.60 for twelve issues. Traction’s claim is to be “The only monthly devoted to classic Diesels and Electric's "Past and Present".
The Editorial by David Brown is called Platform Starter, nothing political in this editorial just sheer enjoyment of what the magazine is about - “A refreshing change".
The regular features include, News, Preservation News, Taking Stock plus Railtour File, Showcase (Photo Feature), Fleet Report, TPO (Letters), Modern Railwayana / Models and Review.
There are also seven different articles covering the Diesel and Electric scene. My favourite in this issue is "On Location - The Newton Abbot to Kingswear Branch", excellent black and white photography of Warships and a Hymek taken by John S Whiteley.
In the early 1960s, the time when I, as a young boy was first taken to Dawlish Warren on a family holiday, Westerns Warships, Hymeks, North British Warships as well , were the order of the day. From then on I never looked back with my spotting.
The front cover also shows 47080 Titan pulling away from Newton Abbot with a Western waiting to follow.
"Class 50s North of The Border", also with Black and White photographs looks at the Class 50s on the WCML up to 1974. "North British Class 21/29s" looks at their short working life in Scotland having been rejected south of the border. "The Smaller Diesels of British Rail Part 2 The Leeds Connection", looks at Hunslet's, Hudswell and Clarke. "West Yorkshire Class 308 Twilight", "East Largin Viaduct" and "Swindon from Warship to Waterloo" are also interesting articles.
Traction is not a Magazine I have read regularly, however I can see how it appeals to the Diesel and Electric Enthusiast with a very good mix of old and new and preserved, not forgetting the modeller. "Learning the Electrics" is an interesting article by a driver recounting his training on 81-83 and 85-87s.
I have been unable to determine the circulation of Traction, however, we are now at edition 68, which suggests it has been going about 5.1/2 years.
The magazine is also involved in the Railtour Scene in that they and Mercia Charters ran a joint railtour “The Practical Joker “ on 01/04/00, and a good day out was had by all despite being three hours late back!
VERDICT - Traction is a good magazine, however, everything in it can be found in whole or part in other publications, therefore it’s a matter of preference. Clearly some people do prefer it, its certainly not heavy and the Editorial team and contributors clearly are Enthusiasts in their own “write” not just earning a living. Oh and very refreshingly it's not embroiled in politics.


ROBIN’S RAMBLE.

 

 


 


Visits to Swindon Works, one of the premier workshop sites in the country along with Doncaster, Derby and Crewe were never  frequent. Swindon did however have its own PR/B in Yellow.
Swindon also had considerable disadvantages compared to the other three. By the late 1970's it was a shadow of its former self, all the diesel hydraulics had gone bar a few waiting preservation and secondly it was difficult to get to from South Yorkshire.
The first visit to Swindon we look at was Saturday February 3rd 1979 (The 20'" anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death) at 11.00 for a party of 30.  People on the trip included N Bolland, P Barsby, I Sanderson, T Helliwell, T Booth, D Gee, B Sterry, E  Porter, M Bloomer, I Wishaw, S Payne, A Needham, P Savage D Denton, M Jacobs and R Skinner.
Getting to Swindon from South Yorkshire was only just possible for 11.00.
Sheffield Dep 06.15
Gloucester Arr 08.56
Dep 09.27
Swindon Arr 10.20
However, if I remember correctly I think I went overnight from Doncaster and had breakfast somewhere on Praed Street near Paddington Station.
The alterative was a very tight 10:48 arrival from Paddington,.
The next visit to Swindon was on a Friday. Swindon had stopped doing visits on a weekend limiting possibilities to a Monday -Friday.
Despite this we still attracted 22 members on the visit, on Friday 20"‘ November 1981 (Which must have been the anniversary of someone's death!) The trip was at 10:45 and included amongst others, T Needham, TA Dean, M Bloomer, Dave and Linda Bladen, S Taylor, T Booth, P Barsby, F Heyes, G E Collins, S Payne, T Caddick, R Richards, A Pett, B Cresswell, T Helliwell, A Ashman, R Gleadell, and M Turner .
In November 1981, unless you went overnight from Doncaster via London or 23:59 Sheffield -St Pancras the earliest arrival via Gloucester was 1046 too tight.
The third and final trip to Swindon we are looking at was on Friday 20"‘ May 1983 at 1045. By 1983 there was a hill HST service running on the ECML and GWML, as well as the MML and the following journeys were available.
Sheffield Dep 06:00
Cheltenham Spa Arr 08129
Dep 0930
Swindon Arr 10.33
 or
Doncaster Dep 06:50
King’s X Arr 08:56
Paddington Dep 09:35
Swindon Arr 10:35
Members on the trip included M D Turner, M Bloomer, D Cawley, D Whitlam, A Watts, B Cresswell, K King, S Taylor, F Heyes, R Heyes, T Booth, J Boothroyd, I Jones (MFI) and H Cooper. Unfortunately I have no records of loco’s and stock seen on these visits, however, a good guess would be that it was all units and withdrawn loco’s on the scrap line.
It is also interesting to compare those difficult early morning journeys to Swindon to today's timetable. For example if we were to have had a visit to Swindon on Friday 26"‘ May 2000 what would our options be, alas not overnight to Kings X or St Pancras.
Doncaster Dep 06:35
Sheffield Dep 07:03
Gloucester Air 09:24
Dep 09148
Swindon Arr 10:35
Not bad, and it's possible to arrive much earlier via London, either MML or GNER, but even better, Sheffield people can leave at 05:27, changing at New St and Cheltenham and arrive at Swindon at 09:14 via Virgin XC.
Some would say the service is worse because of the loss of the overnight trains, but that is more than compensated for by the greater frequency of early morning trains both into London and on First GW from Paddington to Swindon!!
Swindon Works today has mostly been demolished and built on, however, a small pan of the site is being converted into a museum. I wonder if we’ll see a Castle in bits or a Western being overhauled. Will it be a working museum? Lets hope so!
If any member has details of what was seen on these trips or any others that they would like to share please send to Robin Skinner.
THANK YOU

Pennine Meetings:

 

 


 

First of all an apology to Chris Nicholson and all who turned up for his show on May I l7"‘ . The show was cancelled at the last minute due to the decorators being in the room and the Landlord being away on holiday. The Landlord has apologised for the inconvenience and, so far, all looks okay for the future.
Secondly an apology from me for missing the details of June and July Meetings from the last edition of Trans-Pennine. 
All meetings are held at the Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster at 1950 on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Wednesday July 5th 2000               Tony Caddick
Wednesday July 19th 2000             Robert Hay.
Wednesday August 16th 2000        Robin Skinner
Wednesday September 6th 2000
   Phil Baker
Wednesday September 20th 2000
 Rhys Jones.
Wednesday October 4th 2000
.       Pennine Slide Competition judged By Chris Nicholson,
Wednesday October 18th 2000
      Chris Theaker.

If any member would like to do a show or knows anyone with an interesting collection of Slides or Films please contact Robin Skinner. THANK YOU

Editor’s Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Malcolm Bell, David Bladen, Tony Booth, Tony Caddick, John Dewing, John Sanderson, Robin Skinner, Paul Slater, Ian Shenton.

The Autumn 2000 edition of TRANS PENNINE is due for publication by Monday October 2nd 2000. Contributions for this issue should be in the Editor’s possession by Monday September 25th 2000 at the LATEST

Editors Plea - Again Once again I am asking for members help in making the production of YOUR magazine a viable continuing proposition. We have a nucleus of around 70 members, all of whom have an obvious interest in the many and varying aspects of railways. Why not share your specialist or general interest with other members? Let me have an article for publication on any rail related subject. If each member did one article every 10 years I would not need to put in this plea every issue!
REMEMBER - IT’S YOUR SOCIETY AND YOUR MAGAZINE

Pennine Meetings Those eagle-eyed members will note that our meeting on Wednesday 2nd August has been omitted from the list of events There is a meeting that night and the Speaker is Paul Slater.