TRANS PENNINE

The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society
 



No.14 - May 1977

NOTES FROM THE COMMITTEE

We would like to thank all members who have responded to the appeal for rail news in magazine number 13. The response has been fantastic and if kept up will help us provide the best possible magazine. On the subject of the magazine we would also like to thank all who have told us how much they enjoy reading "Trans Pennine", such praise makes all the hard work very worthwhile,

All members who joined or rejoined the society in the first three months of the year receive a membership diary on payment of their subscriptions. As supplies of these diaries have now been exhausted new members joining after the beginning of April will receive a membership card as proof of their payment.

As promised in the last "Trans Pennine" we include the first of our new feature "Talk Point" which we hope will prove very interesting and we look forward to hearing your views on the subjects to be featured.

Those of you who attended the London trip will be aware of the fact that a preserved bus was used as transport between depots. The bus was loaned to us free of charge and the driver gave his services free. We feel this made for an "interesting" day out, but we wish to make it clear that it has always been the policy of this society to refuse to hire coaches for our visits and this policy will continue In the future.

FUTURE EVENTS


Sat.21st.May - North-East by rail from Doncaster. To include Darlington, Thornaby and Gateshead.
Times available on booking.
Members £5-50 (child £2.75),Non-Members L5-75 (child £3-00)

Sun,29th.May -Crewe Works-meet Goddard Street entrance 14.20.
Members 25P,Non-Members 40p.

Wed. 1st.June -Social evening at the Masons Arms Doncaster 19.30.

Fri.10th.June -Social evening at the Cock Tavern, Phoenix Road, Euston.

Fri.10th.June -Inverness by rail from Doncaster. To Include Lochgorm.
Sat.11th.June - Depot 11-00 (Sat) and coach tour to Loch Mess to see the Monster.
Prices on application (before 28th.May).

Sat.25th,June -Derby Works- meet Siddals Road entrance 10.45. Members 35p,Non-Members 55p.

ALL BOOKINGS TO TOM HELLIWELL

WARNING Please do not turn up for visits without booking in advance as you may have to be turned away if the visit is fully booked. Numbers are limited to that on the permit as British Railways byelaws require,

COVER PHOTOGRAPH
Our second picture shows 'Britannia’ class pacific 70012 11JOHN OF GAUNT" of Norwich Thorpe depot (32A) heading the Liverpool-Harwich boat train through Darnall in the summer of 1958. An ex-works Cravens parcels DMU can be seen over the first vehicle In the train.
Once again we would like to thank Mr. Jack Davis for the photograph.


LOCOMOTIVE STOCK ALTERATIONS

London Midland Region 
08025-CH,08069/78/9-CH,08282-BC,08300-CH,08465-BC
08469/90/665/927-CH, 25092/189-CW ,25192-L0, 25302, 45056-CW.
Scottish Region-NIL
Western Region 
37131/43-TI,37247-CF,37268-CF
Locomotives withdrawn 08111,08117,08119,08596,D1010,D1013,D1023, D1041,D1048.

DMU Reallocations 50139/97-NH 50372/4/85-NH, 51272/92-ER ,51454/8o4.HN,
56115~ER, 56118/27/9-NH, 56424-ER, 5908l-NH

DMU's Withdrawn 50495, 51949,
EMU's 17ithdrawn 4001/2
EMU's Renumbered 4601-4617,4603-4618,4605-4619, 6045 to 6053, 5943 to 5951.
EMU Reallocations 4277~4299-SU, 4617-4669-WD, 4670-4754-SU,5748-SG,
5943-5951-WD, 6054-BI, 6070-RM, 7353-7356-WD

COACHING STOCK
Vehicles withdrawn: 15003/33/207/8/69/312/5Y7/20/4/6/36/42/51/6/61/3/5/70/1/2/5/8/413/44/79/83/93,15501/61/4/7/8/70/2/4/9/82/3/98,15600/3/23/77/83/94,
15701/5/6/10/3/22/4/7/35/6'/8/44/50/2/60/2/6/77/85/91/4,15804/17/21/4/5/7/41/74/8/81/91/6/8/9, 15902/7/8/14/53/6/91,16035/7/85,16222/44/6/52,24013/35 24152/95,24203/24/33/69,24316/61/79/89/90/3, 24419/52/81/91,24504/88/91, 24610/8/56/68, 24706/20/3/34/57/68/70/2/9/80,24806/14/37/7002/8,24901/9/13/34/ 42/3/51/66/9/88/91/0, 25047Y63/71/3/89/96,25103/10/8/22/38/9/65/6/73/85, 25235/66/73/9/,25473,,25652/4/65/6,25907/8/14/8/44/6/8,26097,26189, 26203/4
34069/85, 34130/5/42, 34260,34455/7/62/7, 34596/98, 34602/5/10, 34731/9/41/4/8/90, 34846/9/55/7/60/4/72/3/80/7/8/95, 34900/1/2/3/61/2/3/4/6/46/7/89/99 35027/78/85/8/91/4/6/7 35104/6/9/12/41/5/9/53/64/6, 35212/6/7-22 6/9/33/9/64, 35382, 80528.,80662/92, 81348,86171, 86223/97,86466,87017,87163/73/87,87240,87330, 87854, 87988, 92106, 94113/31 94200/11, 94848,1259(CCT),1302/3/65(GUV), 70673/87, 70701/17/8,30972, 31017, 31364, 31922, 35537, 37029, 37148,37242,S239,
S351/87/95,S419/35,S1078 S1471,S1581, S1627, S1697, S1389, S1945, S2159, S4603, 141 (BG), 1336(Siphon C). 4/6(RUO), 1014/6/7(RSO),1026(RUO), 2637 (SLSTP) 3022/6/9/41/53, 3826/76,4128,4346,4814,9278,13074,13170,13203/4/42/3/50/82/
15037,15194,15219,15321/53,15584, 15704/83/6/8/9/95-8,15800/6/12/3/4/9/31/79 16038,21134,24307/25,24540,24690/5,24833/42 76,24907/61/93,25006/6 1/6/7, 25164/3/75/80 25205/25/6/8, 25663,25803,34045,34114,34921,35147/50,35214,35254/9,80962, 86520, 86873, M310E, E332/3/46E, E1306/66.37120, S366, S1837, W1319.

Vehicles Reinstated:

25637, E25637, 31255, E87554, E87655

New: Vehicles

12151//2/5/63, 80382/3

BUS/RAIL INTERCHANGE 
In the last edition of "Trans-Pennine" we made reference to a new bus/rail interchange station at Knowsley Street, but we, forgot to say the station site is in Bury. Bury Bolton Street station which is to be closed under the scheme was the headquarters of the East Lancashire Railway and a fine example of the company’s coat of arms can be seen in the entrance hall .


TALK POINT No.1 WHICH WAY?

On May 2nd.1977 a slight revision of British Rails services in the South Yorkshire area as is happening, all over the country will see no significant improvement in services offered to the General Public in fact people using Rotherham and Mexborough stations travel to London will have great difficult in deciding which way to travel via Sheffield to St. Pancras or via Doncaster to Kings Cross Looking at the facts what do you think!
via Sheffield - St. Pancras.

This route has one major advantage which in today’s circumstances would. normally override anything else and that is Its cheaper but only slightly at about 5%

Out of fifteen Inter City trains daily Sheffield to St. Pancras only four trains provide connections of less than half an hour at Sheffield, these are the 07.20  09.00 16.00 & 18.03 departures, and from Rotherham we -are graced with seven connections of less than half hour and one through train at 09.54. In the other direction Mexbrough is graced with only three decent connections at Sheffield on the 11.01 15.01 & 19.00. Departures from St. Pancras. Rotherham is again better off with eight connections of half an hour or less from St. Pancras at Sheffield.

The best journey times are St. Pancras –Mexborough 3hrs.15 Mins and St. Pancras- Rotherham 3 hrs. dead., both achieved off the 11.01- St. Pancras -Sheffield which gives a five minute connection in Sheffield.

These journey times can only be described as tedious and unattractive. One more point on this route is that whilst Rotherham has retained its through service to London the return train in the evening does not now stop and so runs non-stop Sheffield to Leeds. Now that’s what I call stupidity.

via Doncaster- Kings Cross.
By far the better route for people. travelling from Mexborough and at certain times of the day a marked improvement from Rotherham. Out of eighteen InterCity day time trains Doncaster to
King Cross ten make reasonable connections at Doncaster from both Rotherham and Mexbrough journey times vary ass follows over the tea trains chosen.

                                       Fastest.                     Slowest.
ROTHERHAM-KX.            2hrs.36 mins.            3hr.19 mins.
MEXBROUGH-KX.           2hr.24                        3hr.07 mins.

The fastest two trains leave Rotherham at 10.30 and 17.42 and arrive at Kings Cross at 13.07 and 20.06 respectively.

From Kings Cross there are nineteen day time Inter City trains to Doncaster of which nine make reasonable connections at Doncaster with timing variations as follows:-

                                        Fastest                     Slowest.
ROTHERHAM KX.             2hr.44 mins.              5hr.51 mins.
MEXBROUGH KX.            2hr.33 mins.              4hr.40 mins.

On the fastest train you depart Kings Cross at 13.00 and arrive at Mexborough 15.33 and Rotherham 15.44.
On the whole a marked improvement on the service offered via Sheffield especially when you consider that connections via Doncaster where taken up a maximum of forty minutes and not thirty minute as via Sheffield. So take your pick, personally speaking I would say It depends on what your taste Is, if you want to get there quickly I would go via Doncaster but if you've cot all the time in the world then I would go via Sheffield. So what do you think BR right or wrong In Its policy of charging less via Sheffield and which way would you go'.-- Your comments in letter form for intended publication and addressed to the editor would be appreciated.

SURVIVING BULLEID PACIFICS

An article in the "Why and Wherefore" section of the May 1977 edition of the "Railway Magazine" states that 15 Bulleid Pacifies "have so far survived the end of steam and the cutters torch including 5 at Barry scrapyard. A visit to Barry on 12th.April revealed not 5 but 22 Bulleid Pacifies. The locomotives concerned are as follows WC~34007- "WADEBRIDGE”, 34010 “SIDMOUTH” , 34027 “TAW VALLEY”, 34028” EDDYSTONE” 34046 “BRAUNTON”, 34041 “HARTLAND”, 34105 “SWANAGE”,
BB,34053 “SIR KEITH PARK", 34058 “SIR FREDERICK PILE” , 34059-“SIR ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR”, 34067 “TANGMERE",
34070-“MANSTON”, 34072 “257 SQUADRON”  34073 –“249 SQUADRON”.
MN- 35006 “PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY”, 35009 “SHAW SAVILL” 35010 “BLUE STAR”
35011 “GENERAL STEAM NAVIGATION”, 35018 “BRITISH INDIA LINE”, 35022 “HOLLAND-AMERICA LINE",
35025 “BROCKLEBANK LINE”, 35027-“PORT LINE",

Altogether there are 127 steam locomotives and 2 diesel locomotives remaining in Woodham Bros. yard in Barry.

FOOTPATH PLAN FOR DISUSED LINES
Seven disused railway lines in the Rotherham area may be included in a county network of footways and bridleways in South Yorkshire. The lines under consideration are:-
The Droppingwell Colliery branch at Blackburn (GCR)
WaIeswood –Holbrook: (GCR), Kiveton Bridge-Norwood (MIDLAND)
Thurcroft-Silverwood Colliery (GC/H&B/MID.Joint),
Laughton-Anston (GC/MID.Joint and S,YORKS.Joint}*

LONDON GROUP NEWS

Although the first trip organised by the London Group was at as successful as it might have been it proved a very busy and fruitful day. We travelled by BR "Merrymaker" excursion to Swansea, Cardiff and Newport.
A second visit, this time to Eastleigh Works and shed is proposed for 2nd.July,and as soon as plans are made details will be passed on to Tom Helliwell for booking to commence. Please watch for developments in the next "Trans-Pennine".

Our next social evening is a slide show at the “Cock Tavern", Phoenix Road, Euston on Friday10th,June at 19.30,All members not going on the Inverness trip are welcome to attend.

NOTES AND NEWS

Eastern Region

Unusual sightings at Doncaster in March included 47090, “Vulcan” on a freight on 26th March, and 44009 “Snowdon” on a train of coal empties on 31st.March.On 6th April Landore Class 37, 37308 was awaiting entry to Doncaster Plant and Class No's 4o002/196 were noted passing through the station light engine.

A return Rotherham United Footex was noted awaiting departure from Chesterfield on 9th April, the 11 coach train hauled by 47295,On 10th, April 56001/6/7 were seen at Shirebrook MPD. Apparently other Class 56 locos had recently been stabled at Shirebrook but all have had trouble with the cab heating blowing cold only,

On Easter Monday 11th April a Mexborough-Belle Vue excursion was in the charge of 40069(GD).Other-r specials noted that day included a Chesterfield-Bridlington behind 37091,and a Banbury-Scarborough was hauled by 45003(TO).

Crewe based Class 25,21,055 was a rare visitor to Lincoln on 13th April hauling a freight.

Class 56, 566011 was noted at Darnall on 15th.April working a commissioning trial train,4X31,10.00 Broughton Lane Peterborough West Yard. The train consisted of Pullman Car E330 and 12 BBA's (air-braked bogie 'bolsters) loaded with rails, On the same day sister engines 56023/4 were noted undergoing maintenance in Darnall diesel depot.

The Kings-Cross-Cleethorpes services seem to have their share of troubles. On 13th April the 08.30 from Kings Cross arrived at Lincoln 20 minutes late headed by 40050 and 47546,

The return working, the 12.56 ex-Cleethorpes was still hauled by the same pair with both locomotives working. On 18th April the same train was headed by 31423 which also powered the 17.16 ex-Kings Cross


A points failure at Aldwarke Junction on 8th.April blocked the Rotherham Masborough-Mexborough line and the 17-15 Cleethorpes-Sheffield ran via Rotherham Central and Woodburn Junction but didn’t set down in Rotherham.

Foreign Brush 47,47080 11Titarill passed Doncaster with a car train on 16th.April.On the same day 55004 failed at Retford whilst working the 08~00 Kings Cross-Edinburgh and was replaced by 47363 which worked as far as Doncaster where an unidentified Deltic took over. Departure from Doncaster was 73 minutes late.

Canton Class 47,47248 was noted on York MPD on 16th.April,whilst 40100(HM), 37101(MR), 08864(ex-Wath),were sighted on Thornaby depot, and green Class 47,47195 was on Gateshead between turns on a West Ham football special, Later the same day Longsight Class 40,40120 was noted at Peterborough.

On 20th.April 56003 was noted at Tinsley being shunted on the top shed by a Class 31,whilst 56012 worked onto the running shed under its own power. BR's latest imports 56025/6 were noted at Lincoln on 22nd, April towed by 31259 en-route from Harwich to Tinsley. The two 56s stayed overnight in Lincoln.

Although not as well known as Crewe or Doncaster, the old GER Works at Stratford deal with a wide variety of motive power as well as a few industrial shunters. In the Works on 23rd.April were 03047,08958,31014/122, 31179/257,37060,46042 47064/165/255/287/407/493. Noted on the depot on the same clay were 08230/232/241/26 08/408/440/442/527/541/547/552/554008627/363/957/958,03009/081, 40113,31002/3/4/5/7/12/3/5/7.

Converted Class 08,TDB966508 formerly D3035 of 6D Shrewsbury fitted with miniature snow ploughs appears to be a permanent fixture at Lincoln East Holmes Yard where it has been for more than a year.

On 29th.April 4760l was noted heading south through Rotherham Masborough with empty hoppers whilst on 30th.April Doncaster built 56031 was resplendent in ex-works condition outside the Works .On 1st May locos outside the works included 03162,08111/117/119/239/771.

London Midland Region

One of the last remaining Class 24s,24133 was seen on a freight at Trent Junction at 22-30 on 15th.March.The station pilot at Manchester Piccadilly on 28th.March was 40082.Other 40s noted that day were 40079/108 at Stockport Edgeley,40116 at Ashburys, and 40135 at Buxton. Gloucester RC&W Parcels Unit M55988 was on a Manchester Piccadilly-Buxton service on 28th.March.

Green Class 47,47365 was spotted at Small Heath on 2nd April on a freight working. Class 24 24047 was noted working at Winsford Salt Sidings on 13th April whilst 24063/91 were seen working through Crewe station and 24036/73/80/84/87 were on the Crewe South scrap road.

HST '253022 was noted on Crewe diesel shed yard on 13th.April,and 98 locomotives were in evidence in the Works including 47088 “Samson” and 47076 “City of Truro” ,and 40043 was being cut up.

West Coast Electrics 81001/2 86008/20/1 were noted working Aston Villa specials to Manchester for the Football League Cup Final, Second Replay on 13th.April.

On 23rd. April 44004/8 were noted at Toton whilst EMU 313001 was a most unusual sighting in the sidings at Loughborough, presumably on its way to Derby for attention.

Western Region

A number of Class 25s have been noted. working the Crewe-Cardiff services. On 26th.March 25055/6 were in action, as was 25219 on 13th April. Class 47, 47306 was on Cardiff Canton depot on 26th. March alone with A.7078 "Sir Daniel Gooch",117081 "Odin*,and 47087 "Cyclops".

A Doncaster-Plymouth excursion on 11th April was headed by 47041, whilst a Mexbrough-Paignton "Merrymaker" was hauled by 47173.
Canton Class 08508/353/4 were on duty at Cadoxton and Dinas Powis respectively on 12th.April.

We cannot let Western news -pass by without a report on a Class 52. On 22nd.April Pennine members visiting Old Oak Common had the pleasure of seeing, D1022  “Western Sentinel" on the depot, although it was minus name and number plates and most of the cab fittings. Also on the depot was 47091 “Thor”


Scottish Region

Class 47,47413 headed a Grantham-Edinburgh excursion on 26th.March.On the same day 03056 and 37158 were noted at Berwick. The following were noted on Polmadie on the same day-06007,08279/343/~8/621 08718126,20002/15/96 20103/5/6/22/3/5,20201,24121,25oo4/12/98/230 449 26oo9/18/23,27212,37i46/9,37204,4oo72,47o45/211/424.

Southern Region

A Worksop-Weymouth excursion on 2nd.April was hauled by 47275 On the same day 31209 off Bristol Bath Road was noted at Eastleigh where it was being used for crew training runs. Noted at Millbrook that day was 55001 whilst 33028/33 were seen at Southampton Central.

On 7th.April whilst 33209 was shunting the 08-30 Gillingham-Chatham Dockyard trip freight a radio active flask became derailed and blocked the main line for a considerable time, and to make matters worse for the Southern Region the 12-11 SZ85 Plumstead-Hoo Junction freight consisting of 33023 and 28 wagons was derailed at Dartford.

On 11th.April 47215 arrived at Eastbourne with a special from Worksop. On the same day 33062 worked into Eastbourne with a special from Walsall. Also noted that day were 330113,73005,and 73129,whilst Brighton was host to 09003,09009,73001,730o4,73113,73118,73131,and 47075.

Several Class 47s were noted at Eastleigh on 12th.April including 47082 "Atlas" ' 47249,47317/8 and 47483.Locomotives outside Eastleigh Works were 07002,08031/36o,33017/36,33208,731o6/9,whilst on Eastleigh Shed were 070o6/1o 08287,31296,33108,73112,74eo2/6.

~n 16th.April the "Solent Express-* Barnsley-Portsmouth Harbour "Merrymaker" was hauled throughout by 47278.On that day 08030,33005,33118/9 and 73L01 were noted at Basingstoke whilst D2901,08201,and 74007 were at Eastleigh, with 31209 at Fratton.

Class 73 Electro-Diesel 73116 was noted hauling an inspection saloon at Brent Junction on the Midland main line od'23rd.April,The PRS visit to Hither Green on 23rd.April revealed four stored Class 71 electrics, 71004/9/13/14,but the most popular sighting was a British Airways VC 10 which flew over the Pennine party. Also on the depot were 0876o,ogoo6, 33034/-,A5/46/51/58/65,33201/2/3,73132 and 73137.

On 29th.April 09001 was sighted at Clapham, whilst 08154/152/3849 09002/17,33043/51,33201sand 73124/131/135/138 were seen at Norwood Junction the same day, and 09003 and 73140 were at Brighton. On 29th.April 47525 arrived in Brighton with a special from, Boston.

For the above information we are indebted to the following Messrs Mellors, Ratcliffe, Skinner, Swift, Bridger, Needham, Payne ,Barnes, Sanderson, Wild, Pett, Collins, Davis and Plenty.

STOCKSBRIDGE CENTENARY 
The Stocksbridge Railway which links the BSC Works at Stocksbridge with the BR Woodhead line at Deepcar near Sheffield celebrated its Centenary on 14th.April. Although the line is worked by locos loaned from the BSC the Stocksbridge Railway Co. is still an independent company which runs between two nationalised industries.

BEHAVIOUR ON VISITS

on the recent visit to London installations one or two of the younger members climbed onto locomotives at Old Oak Common. In future we would ask members to keep off all locomotives unless they have been given permission by the British Railways guide to enter the cab.

COMPETITION NUMBER FOUR
Winner of competition number four was Mr. D. Wallace, 80,Bellhouse Road, and runners up were Mr.B.Taylor,20,St.Georges Square, Forest Gate, London E.7.,and Mr. Gerry Collins 10 Waverley Avenue, North Hykeham, Lincoln. The answers are as follows: 1 -Liverpool Overhead Railway. 2-Metropolitan Vickers, Gas Turbine number 18100 3-600/660 and finally 750V DC 3rd, rail and overhead, with flywheel driven generator for gaps in 3rd.rail. 4-North Eastern Railway 5-Given the nickname by drivers of the Netherlands State Railways and officially named by British Railways. 6-C-21  7-Blue trains  8- 1954 9-Staffordshire Industrial Museum, Shrugborough Hall 10~South Tyneside.

COMPETITION NUMBER FIVE

Below are listed fifteen names carried at some time or other since 1948 by British Railways locomotives. Can you put the correct numbers to these names?
First prize is £2 with second and third prizes of £1 each. All entries to reach Jon Davis,81,Bowden Wood Crescent, Sheffield 9 before 26th.May.

1-ARCHIMEDES  2-ST.PETERS SCHOOL YORK A.D.627  3- CROYDON 4-VISCOUNT CHURCHILL 5- NINGWOOD
 6- BLACK PRINCE  7- SILVER FOX  8- MAGNIFICENT 9- MELD 10- -SHREWSBURY 11 -ISLE OF MAN  12- CRAWLEY GRANGE 13- GOLD COAST   14-STEPHENSON (2 locos)  15- LLOYDS

DERBY WORKS OPEN DAY

The PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY is hoping to have a stall at the Derby Works Open Day on Saturday 10th.September.Would anyone wishing to help or has items which could be used for sale on the stall please contact any of the Committee members as soon as possible

THE VALE OF RHEIDOL RAILWAY

Constructed by Messrs. Pethick Bros. of Plymouth the railway was opened for traffic in 1902.Now it is the last remaining line of BR entirely operated by steam traction. The line is 11.3/4 miles in length linking Aberystwyth and Devils Bridge and is 1 foot 11.3/4” gauge. There are3 steam locomotives and 16 passenger carrying coaches some of which are open sided.

Originally a private company absorbed firstly by the Cambrian Railway in 1913 and then the GWR in 1922,1t was taken over by BR in 1948. The line operates on a seasonal basis from early April to October each year. At the peak seasonal period six services a day are run each way.

The three locomotives are 2~6-2 tank engines, number 7-Owain Glyndwr 8-Llywelyn,both dating from 1923,and number 9-Prince of Wales, built by Davies and Metcalfe of Romiley, Manchester for the opening of the line in 1902.Each locomotive is capable of hauling six coaches up to the terminus of Devils Bridge, 680 feet above sea level. The last 4 miles are a continuous climb at a ruling gradient of 1:50.

During the Second World War services were withdrawn, but were restored in July 1945. Since then improvements have been made to the terminus at Devils Bridge and the line has been routed into the former Carmarthen Bay platforms at Aberystwyth station.

Passenger journeys have steadily increased over the last 15 years, and in 197reached an all time record of 179,200 .Last year because of the very dry summer services had to be restricted at the peak period but journey figures still reached 155,000.

Engine number 9  in its 75th season of operation has recently been completely overhauled.

THE WATERCRESS LINE

The Secretary of State for Transport has granted Winchester and Alton Railway Limited a Light Railway Order. As a result completion of purchase from BR of 10 miles of the former Winchester-Alton Mid-Hants "Watercress" line between Alresford and Alton, on which miles of track remain from Alresford to Ropley also takes place. The Company can now start running trains for crew training purposes in anticipation of operating tourist services from May using steam engines. This is the first time a Light Railway Order had been granted direct to a private company taking over a closed BR line. The line was closed by BR in February 1973.A public share Issue was launched in May 1975 to save the whole of the 17 mile line with the intention of reinstating a daily commuter diesel service, supplemented at weekends with steam hauled tourist trains, but the minimum needed was £625,000. Even so £100,000 was raised, the most a railway preservation scheme has ever achieved.

In the long term Winchester and Alton Railway Limited which is supported by the Mid-Hants Preservation Society Limited will replace miles of track which has been lifted between Ropley and Alton thus reconnecting the line to BR. Current cost of used track Is £21,000 per mile.

The Society is acquiring a collection of steam locomotives mainly of Southern origin and a number of ex-BR coaches have also been purchased.