The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society
No.156 - Summer
Front Cover - Photo taken by Glen Williamson was the winner of
the Andy Dolby Memorial Slide Competition held on 4th May 2011.
It shows 142004 at Stainforth on a Scunthorpe to Sheffield service
on 6th January 2011.
Peter Fox Remembered
In a ceremony on Platform 5 at Sheffield station,
on Sunday 15 May, Grand Central's HST power car 43484 was named "Peter
Fox 1942 - 2011 Platform 5". The naming ceremony was performed by
Peter's widow, Doreen assisted by Platform 5 director Andrew Dyson.
After be naming, family and colleagues were treated to a run from
Sheffield to Derby via Toton, with power cars 43484 and 43423
providing the power.
Pictures of the event can be seen at
Barrow Hill Visit
We are pleased to announce that we will be visiting Barrow Hill on
Wednesday 22 June 2011. This has proven to be an enjoyable evening
event in previous years. The price will be £6.00 but you must make
your own way there. You are asked to arrive at Barrow Hill by 6.45pm in
time for a 7.00pm start.
Please advise Robin Skinner if you wish to attend. Also Robin and
various other members will be providing lifts from Doncaster and
Sheffield Halfway tram terminus. We look forward to
seeing you there.
Sheffield Supertram Visit
We also pleased to announce a visit to the Sheffield Supertram Depot
and Control on Wednesday 13 July 2011 at 11.00am. Numbers will be
strictly limited. Contact Robin Skinner for further information.
Final whistle Blown en Barry Monks
Long standing friend of the
Pennine, Barry Monks has retired after 45 years at Sheffield Wednesday
FC. Recently he has been on maintenance, before that caretaker. He
also had a spell as kit man when Howard Wilkinson was Manager.
Having seen 24 Managers and 9 Chairmen, Wednesday languish in the
old Third Division (at least they have never entered the 4th Division
unlike neighbours Utd).
Look out for Barry on Thursdays at Doncaster Station
The Weymouth Tramway has been formally closed for any operational use
by Network Rail. It once travelled through the streets of the port
from a junction on the main line to the harbour (your Treasurer
travelled on this 5 years ago on the Channel Islands Boat Train
Express, SR Pacific steam hauled from Waterloo with the engine change
at Weymouth for tank engine haulage to the Quay, for the boat to
Guernsey and Jersey).
Built in 1865 it closed to regular passenger traffic in 1987.
Arriva Arrives on Malta
Our Maltese correspondent Dom Collins tells us that 3 July 2011 will
see transport operation on Malta pass to the ownership of Arriva who
plan to introduce a network of services operated by new vehicles.
This will see the withdrawal of the famous old buses, some dating as
far back as 1932.
Fatties Avoid Desiro's
The "larger'' commuters on South Western Train's Portsmouth-Waterloo
route are complaining about the seat width on the Class 450 Desires
with their five seats across in a two-plus-three
formation. They try to avoid the ''skinny-seat'' trains whenever
Major Projects Get the Green Light
Major schemes announced by the Transport Secretary include;
consultation on HS2 first phase from London
to Birmingham and Lichfield.
** Electrification of the GW main line into Wales, to Cardiff and to
Bristol. The frequency of trains between Paddington and Bristol TM to
increase to 4 Per hour.
** Agility Trains to build the electric and
bi-modal replacements for the HST'S for the GW and ECML, bimodal sets
switching to diesel mode beyond Cardiff
An open-access application from Grand Central to run trains on the
WCML between London and Blackpool was turned down.
East Coast's new timetable in May will see the end of restaurant
cars meaning that on the national network only 3 First Great Western
trains each day will carry a restaurant car.
Timetable changes include a four-hour Flying Scotsman (05.40
Edinburgh-King's Cross) and new services to Harrogate and Lincoln.
The Lincoln service will be only one daily train each way, other
previous proposed services
terminating at Newark, meaning that Class 180 Adelante units will not
be required. Additional trains to York and the Lincoln service will
be provided by HST'S. An evening train to Skipton will be electric.
There will be l1 new non-stop daily services between York and
Chiltern Mainline Launch Delayed Engineering overruns have
delayed the introduction of Chiltern's accelerated services between
Birmingham Snow Hill and Marylebone until later in the year.
The delayed Docklands Light Railway extension from Canning Town to
Stratford should open in Spring 2011, with test trains already inning.
The East London Railway is complete with the opening of the western
curve north of Dalston Junction allowing overground trains to run on to Canonbury and
Highbury & Islington.
Croydon Tramway Boost
A further 10 trams are to be acquired for the
Croydon Tramway linking Croydon with Wimbledon, Elmers End,
Beckenham and New Addington. Second hand vehicles have not been
ruled out although European companies have been invited to submit
proposals to supply the extra trains.
Original vehicles were supplied by Bombardier.
New Eurostar Logo
Eurostar has launched a new logo to reflect future
growth of the service beyond France and Belgium following the
introduction of international access in 2010.
International competition comes closer, particularly from Deutsch
Bahn who will be able to run short coupled ICE units (200m) through
EM Trains Class 222 refurbs
A refurbishment programme will cover the entire fleet of East
Midlands Trains Class 222 Meridians.
The fleet consist of 17x5 cars, 6x7 cars and 4x4 car sets formerly used by Hull
Trains,, a total of 143
Grand Central lodges two Track Access
Open access operator Grand Central has lodged two track access
applications with the ORR with the intention of speeding up its
West Riding services between London and Bradford.
Pontefract may lose out because one application is granted GC
trains will be diverted and no longer call there, although Mirfield
would be added instead.
The other application is set to intensify the competition on the etc
ECML because wants its Sunderland trains to make an additional stop at
Doncaster. Its West Riding services already call there but the first
stop for Sunderland trains from London has always been York.
However, the ORR may not approve the applications and even then
everything would depend on Network Rail being able to adjust be
timetables and paths.
Hitchin Flyover approved
Approval has been given to
build a flyover at Hitchin, north of the stations to carry the
diverging Cambridge line and allow the abolition of the present
flat junction. Completion date is early 2014.
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel has finally opened completing the
excellent renovation of St. Pancras Station.
It is a fine 5-star hotel (was prices to match). £10k per night will
guarantee you the ultimate in luxury, with butler service.
Perhaps Robin can arrange a London weekend with a stay at the hotel
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Complete
The Ecclesbourne Valley railway in Derbyshire reopened the
Wirksworth branch in full to Duffield on Friday 8th April with a gala on the
Saturday and Sunday. The gala featured visiting BR Class 2MT
locomotive No. 78019.
Flight facility Grants
The Dept of Transport has withdrawn Freight
Facilities Grants, intended to help freight move to rail, in England
and Wales. They have, however, been reprieved by the Scottish
Group may withdraw from in Great Western early due to the delay in
the introduction of Intercity Express, now expected in
2015/16, and weak revenue.
New Stanstead Fleet
The Stanstead Express services from Liverpool Street were to be run
solely by new Class 379's from May 2011. The trains
were built by Bombardier at Derby. Although 120 vehicles were built,
only 10 x 8 car trains will be needed due to downturn in air traffic.
The other 40 vehicles will go into service on the Cambridge to London
Bombardier has orders for new London Underground rolling stock but is
awaiting a decision from the Transport Secretary on the contract to
build new vehicles for Thameslink.
The 2011 Budget saw approval for redoubling the GW line between
Stroud and Kemble and the building of the Ordsall Chord in central Manchester
which will allow through running between Piccadilly and Victoria
Glasgow subway Improvement
upgrading of the Glasgow Subway, including new trains, has been
approved. The circular Glasgow Subway, originally a cable railway, is
the third oldest in the world. For some years it was branded "Underground'' but the original name has now been reinstated.
Edinburgh's floundering tram project may see ten trams leased to
Transport for London for the Croydon Network.
The Edinburgh system, now not expected to open before mid-2013 at
the earliest is likely to serve only the section between
Edinburgh Airport Haymarket, with the cross- city centre corridor along
Princes Street to St Andrew Square not seeing trams for several years
No date is yet being considered for the section onwards to Leith.
Light Railway Moves
The Transport Minister has approved two further tram routes in Nottingham,| southwards
from Nottingham station to Chilwell / Beeston and Clifton. Funding
has also been given for detailed development of a
tram-train route linking Sheffield and Rotherham for hybrid vehicles
equipped to run on railways and tramways, using the Meadowhall
tramline from the city centre and then run via a new junction to a
freight line connecting Tinsley and Rotherham Central station.
Lovers of old
rolling stock may wish to visit the Island line (average age 73
using ex London Underground stock) or Merseyrail (average age 32
No comment on average age of Pennine members!
Andy Dalby Memorial Slide Competition
The Andy Dalby Memorial Slide Competition was held on 4th May 2011
will a total of 40 slides entered. The result was as follows:
lst Glen Williamson - 142004 at Stainforth for on a Scunthorpe to Sheffield
service on 6th January 2011 (see front cover)
2nd - Chris Tyas - 60163 Tornado at Joan Croft Junction on Saturday 18th April 2009 when
3rd - Maurice Ockleford - 45212 at Pickering on 4th August 2004
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to Nick Dalby who
presented the prizes.
Supertram Engineering Works
Major track renewal
work over the 4 day Easter holiday on the Delta junction at Park
Square saw an unusual diversion on the YELLOW route with city bound
trams being diverted through the depot (and tramwash) to the stop at
Cricket Inn Road for a replacement bus forward to the city
Because trams on the truncated BLUE and YELLOW routes on the other
side of the blockade would be unable to access the depot enough
trams had to be allocated to cover all the workings over the holiday
period and on Good Friday the following trams were allocated.-
MEADOWHALL - CRICKET INN ROAD - 105, 108, 125.
CASTLE SQUARE - MIDDLEWOOD - 106, 113, l 18.
CASTLE SQUARE - MALIN BRIDGE - 103, 104, 117.
116 was the spare tram and all were stabled overnight in the Brook
Square underpass near the university stop.
SHEFFIELD STATION - HALFWAY
- 110, 112, 114, 120, 121.
l19 was the spare at Sheffield Station where the trams were also
Blackpool Tram News
The tramway finally reopened for the 2011 season on Good Friday but
due to the ongoing and delayed upgrade works could only operate
between Pleasure Beach and North Pier.
Even this was a challenge as the trams were unable to load or unload
after Central Pier heading north as they ran through a fenced off
site The next section from North Pier to Cabin then reopened on Friday 6tt
It is hoped to open the section north to Little Bispham by the
Spring Bank Holiday with the remaining works thorough Cleveleys and
Thornton Gate completed by mid July to enable trams to run through
to Fisherman's Walk at Fleetwood for the summer season.
Sheffield Railwayana actions
At the Sheffield Railwayana Auction held at
the Derbyshire County Cricket Club's Gateway Centre on 12th March
2011 the following locomotive nameplates and worksplate all sold for
£5,000 or more:
** BRASS WORKSPLATE: "GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY Co. SWINDON No. 721 Jan 1878.
An extremely choice builders plate from a
Dean 1076 "Buffalo'' class double-framed 0-6-0ST/PT, two hunted and
sixty-six of which were built between 1870 and 1881. This plate came
from loco No. 1286 which was withdrawn in April 1930 from Newton
Abbot and scrapped shortly afterwards at Swindon Works.
plates are extremely uncommon as the completely ceased to plate their
locos from about 1911 and at the same time also adopted the policy of
removing plates from existing locos presumably to hide their age - £7,800
** LOCO NAMEPLATE: LOUGH MELVIN as carried by a 5' 3'' gauge
0-6-4T built by Beyer Peacock No 7138 in 1949 and delivered in 1951 to the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern
under a hire purchase agreement. Out of use in 1957 when the line
closed and purchased by the Ulster Transport Authority in 1959. It
became their No 26 and was designated Class Z retaining its name. It
spent some time at Adelaide shed and also worked on the Belfast dock
lines. On May 28, 1960 it was used to haul a two coach Irish Railway
Society special train from York Road to Antrim,. Lisburn and across
the former Belfast Central Railway to Queen's Quay, the tour
eventually terminating at Great Victoria Street. This was recorded as
the first passenger working of an ex- SLNCR locomotive in the
ownership of the UTA taken into Northern Ireland Railways' stock in
1968 and withdrawn the me year. Subsequently scrapped - £5,100
LOCO NAMEPLATE: "THE KING'S ROYAL RIFLE
CORPS" as carried by Fowler Royal Scot class 4-6-0 LMS No 6140, BR
46140 Built by the North British Locomotive Company No. 23635 m
Originally named ''HECTOR'' in 1928 and renamed in 1936. It was
reboilered in 1952. In 1955 It was allocated to Longsight but
finished its days at Carlisle Kingmoor being withdrawn from there in
November 1965. It went to J. McWilliam & Sons, Shettleston, where it
was cut-up in the following March £16,600
** LOCO NAMEPLATE: THE
TERRITORIAL ARMY 1908-1958 as carried by British Railways "Britannia''
Class 7MT 4-6-2 pacific No. 70048 built at Crewe Works in July 1954.
Named to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the
TA. The nameplates were unique in that they were the only
double-liners fitted to the class and they were also unusually made
At the start of its career it was one of a batch of
five shedded at Holyhead but it finished its days at Carlisle
Kingmoor being withdrawn there in May 1967. It went to I. McWilliam
Shettleston, where it was cut-up in the October. £11,200
GWR BRASS COMBINED NAME AND
NUMBERPLATE: GLASTONBURY 3324. As carried by Dean GWR "Bulldog''
Class 4-4-0 No. 3324 built at Swindon in December 1899. In order to
clear the coupling rod heads this loco was one of the first batch of
forty-one built will curved frames similar to the Duke's class. Withdrawn from Didcot in June 1935
and scrapped at Swindon Works -
**LOCO NAMEPLATE: "THE BUSH" as carried by LMS Northern Counties Committee (later Ulster
Transport Authority) 5' 3', gauge
Class W 2-6-0 No. 91 built at Derby in 1933. Four locos were
constructed there under order 0/8207 although the boilers were
supplied by Crewe. The name was not applied until 1935 The design was
based on that of the LMS 2-6-0 4T's except that this class had 6'0"
driving wheels. It was withdrawn in 1965 and scrapped: £6,200
During our Annual stay with a friend in Runcorn, I had a day out on my
own riding the rails The train that I caught at Runcorn station was a class
350 Desiro electric multiple- unit - a new type for me - on a
Birmingham - Liverpool service. Immediately after leaving
Runcorn the line crossed the Manchester Ship Canal and the
River Mersey on a high bridge, and then curved round to the west on a
long viaduct. I glimpsed 66576 in a container depot on the outskirts
of Widnes. After a few miles of running through open country on the
quadruple-track line we reached the suburbs of Liverpool. I saw
66060 in a siding at Speke Junction.
The only stop before Liverpool Lime Street was Liverpool South
Parkway, a big new station situated where a connection from the
former Cheshire Lines Committee route from Manchester swings in past
the disused Allerton motive power depot. The four tracks continued
into the city, and at one point I enjoyed a view across close-packed
rooftops to the distinctive shapes of Liverpool's two cathedrals.
At Edge Hill rejoined the route of the original Liverpool and
Manchester railway. There were sidings. a viaduct, an old name board
in the maroon colour of the London Midland Region, and a depot where l
saw 08611 in Virgin livery and 57314 bearing the name of Arrive
From Edge Hill the line led through tunnels a deep cutting to
It was over twenty years since I was last at Lime Street, and I took
the opportunity to do some filming and photographing. The station is
impressive, with an arcaded entrance and an overall roof consisting
of two huge arches.
Statues of Ken Dodd and Bessie Braddock adorn the concourse. A
variety of units were on Northern local workings, an East Midlands
158 departed for Norwich and 185's were on services to Scarborough,
but I concentrated on the Pendolinos for Euston - I saw 390025
"Virgin Stagecoach'' 390046 "Virgin Soldiers'' and 390050
"Virgin Invader" - and on the green-and-grey Desiro's on the half- hourly
service to Birmingham.
I had a snack lunch in one of the several bars and stations cafes,
and went outside to photograph the station facade.
The morning had been intermittently sunny, but the weather was now
overcast, and it felt decidedly chilly for August a contrast to the
warmth inside the station. I bought a return ticket to Liverpool
South Parkway, as I had decided to do some photography there, and I
was soon on my way out of Lime Street on board a Desiro bound for Birmingham. Liverpool South Parkway is the station for John lemon
Airport; it has four platforms and an extensive glass-fronted
concourse. The station is served by the Desiro's on the
Birmingham route as well as by East Midlands Trains to Nottingham and Norwich and local trains on the former Cheshire
Lines route to Manchester: Pendolinos pass through at speed, and the Scarborough
trains taking the Manchester line also do not stop
I took a photograph of the station frontage
as well as several trains, and I had a drink in the station cafe.
Rain began to fall, and the day felt autumnal. I sheltered on the
platform, and was soon riding on another Desiro back to Lime Street.
Across the city rooftops, beyond the cathedrals, the sky was
I had another drink in one of the bars at Lime Street.
390010 "Decade of Progress'' and 390026 "Virgin Enterprise'' were
on services to Euston. The last photo I took that day was of the
Birmingham train in which I returned to Runcorn: unlike the previous
three Desiro's in which I had travelled this one was full as it was
now rush hour. The train called at Liverpool South Parkway and then
Runcorn; the sun shone as I walked back to our friend's home along the
towpath of the Bridgwater Canal, and it was a pleasant end to my day of
riding on Desiro's.
What the Papers Say
Who approves of these ridiculous new trains?
Many of the 400,000 people expected to travel into London by train
for the royal wedding will be riding on a High Speed Train 125, the
backbone of Britain's intercity services. These diesel trains, which
have a locomotive at each end are reliable, comfortable and
spacious, but they are entering their fourth decade and need
replacing. The good news is that the Department for Transport is on the
case. Last month Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, confirmed
that he was going ahead with the Intercity Express Project (IEP)
with an initial order of 500 new coaches, built by Hitachi, to
replace the ageing HST'S.
More will follow. The innovative bit of the project is that most of
these new trains will be bi-modal; capable of being powered by
electricity or the huge onboard diesel engines.
The bad news is that nobody - and I have talked to dozens of people
- in the rail industry thinks this is a sensible idea It was
presented as a clever solution to Britain having a lower proportion
of electrified railways than any major country in Europe. So once
the wires run out at, say, Cardiff , the train will use its powerful
diesel engines There are far too many obvious objections to this
cunning plan to list here. Suffice to say, it is expensive and environmentally perverse to carry around three heavy diesel engines
for five car trains on only small sections of the journey.
The alternative of having diesel locomotives waiting at the
changeover point, a common solution across the world, was
dismissed on the spurious ground that it would take nine minutes to
hook them up, whereas it could be done in two or three.
Moreover, having big diesel engines humming loudly underneath the floor of a
cramped carriage does not make for a relaxed journey.
This is a king-size procurement disaster that will not only place
an enormous burden on taxpayers and rail passengers but make train travel less pleasant up to the halfway mark of the
present century. Europeans will laugh, again at our incompetence.
Mr. Hammond has repeatedly said that civil servants are not the
right people to specify new trains. Quite right, and yet this
project has been drawn up by civil servants, with the help of a
million of consultancy bills. Time for Mr. Hammond to set up an
independent rail agency staffed by professionals to procure
equipment. They could start by ensuing this new order hits the buffers
and just buy a few off-the-peg electric trains. Simple.!!!
This article appeared in the "Thunderer" column of the Times, dated
Friday 22 April 2011.
(Beer and Bashing Abroad)
The early part of 1996 saw me doing more moves at home in the UK
This included chasing a few class 86's and 87s, doing a railtour| with some
31's, 86's and 56045 and doing diesel galas at the Torbay and
Dartmouth and Bodmin Railways.
I also drove to Cardiff as 37254 was
out on a Sunday on the Merthyr Tydfil line. This was also the year that
the European championships were held m England. I saw 3 games. at
Leeds where Bulgaria and Spain drew, at Old Trafford where Germany
hammered the Russians 3-0 and at Hillsborough where Denmark easily beat
Turkey. The Hillsborough Kop has never looked so good as all the
Danish fans proudly waved their red and white colours However between
the quarter finals and semifinals I flew on holiday to Egypt. I watched
the semifinal against Germany whilst on a cruise down the Nile. I
didn't do any bashing on the trip but did pop to the stations at
Aswan and Luxor. The trains were very basic without glass in the
widows and filthy. I also didn't get the loco numbers as they were
written in Arabic Once back in England I went on another railtour,
this time to Fort William with 31146 and 31166 doing most of the train.
We also had 37025, 31255, 56058, 90128, 90140 and the last leg from
Preston to Stockton was my old favourite 31434. It put up a stirring
run on load 10 absolutely storming out of Preston. It was the last
time I ever had the beast but it was a fitting way to end. In the end
I had 2272 miles of it.
Eventually though I got Itchy feet and had to do a trip over to
Belgium, I also had a bit of time in the Netherlands and Germany.
Saturday 26th October 1996
91010 Doncaster - Kings Cross
I then did
some pubs around Victoria - Turks Head (Fullers London Pride), Star
Tavern (Fullers ESB), Fox and Hounds (Harveys Sussex Bitter) and Orange
Brewery (1/2 SW1/1/2 Pimlico Porter.
Having had 4 pints it was off on the boat train to Ramsgate.
EMU 1565 Victoria - Ramsgate
Sunday 27th October 1996
At this stage
in my life I was more into football then I had ever been so my plan
was to go to the Netherlands and watch a game. I had one particular
game in mind!
SNCB 1601 Oostende - Bruxelles Midi
SNCB 2012 Bruxelles Midi - Namur
SNCB 2018 Namur - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 1184 Bruxelles Nord - Roosendaal
NS EMU 8460 Roosendaal - s'Hertogenbosch
Booked into the hotel at "den boss'' and then back to Tilburg for the match.
NS EMU s'Hertogenbosch - Tilburg
I caught a bus from the station to
the ground. On the bus was a lad with a Man Utd shirt. I opened my jacket to reveal the luminous Sheffield Utd shirt I was wearing and
he asked me in broken English what it was. I explained and he told
me he was a Breda fan but wasn't wearing yellow (Breda's normal colours)
as it would make him a target for Tilburg's hooligans. Tilburg and
Breda being only 21 km apart this was a local Derby. He wanted to know
which side I was going in, so as I was wearing yellow I said the
Breda end, so he asked me to join him and his mates. Had a good laugh
and watched a reasonable game, though Breda lost 2-0.
Afterwards one of the Dutch lads asked what I was doing next and I
said going for a beer to the Kandinsky. They had never heard of it,
so surreally an Englishman (me) took some Dutch lads to the best bar
in the next town to where they lived. They thought the place was
amazing with all the different Dutch and Belgian beers on offer. I
had a 50c1 bottle of Raaf Witbier followed by a 35cl bottle of T'ij Natte. Then
I walked back to the station with the guys and joined
them on the train to Breda as I was going to see if I could pick up
a couple of winners!
NS 1629 Tilburg - Breda
NS 1624 Breda -
NS 1603 Eindhoven - s' Hertogenbosch
s'Hertogenbosch - Eindhoven
NS 1315 Eindhoven - s'Hertogenbosch
Monday 28th October 1996
Off to Luxembourg via Germany today so up
early. (Hence no late beers last night)
NS 1648 s'Hertogenbosch -
NS 1160 Eindhoven - Heerlen
NS DMU 178 Heerlen - Aachen
DB 110253 Aachen Hbf - Aachen West
DB 111119 Aachen West -
DB 111140 Aachen Hbf - Koln Hbf
DB 143582 Koln Hbf - Koln
DB 218140 Koln Deutz - Koln Trimbonstrasse
DB 218150 Koln
Trimbonstrasse - Koln Deutz
DB 111137 Kohl Deutz - Koln Hbf
143815 Koln Hbf - Koln Deutz
DB 218137 Koln Deutz - Koln Hbf
110274 Koln Hbf - Koln Sud
DB 215|98 Koln Sud - Euskirchen
DB 215056 Euskirchen - Odendorf
DB 215110 Odendorf- Euskirchen
215043 Euskirchen - Kall
DB 215037 Kall - Gerolstein
Gerolstein - Trier Hbf
DB DMU 628466 Trier Hbf - Luxembourg
successful day with the winners but was quite tired when I got to Lux,
so much so that I again rejected the beer move as I wanted to be up
early to cover the morning peak and see if I could get any 3600
flat irons that were needed.
Tuesday 29th October 1996
Up early, breakfast could wait until about
SNCF 16695 Luxembourg - Bettembourg
SNCF 16682 Bettembourg -
CFL 3606 Luxembourg - Mersch
CFL 3620 Mersch - Luxembourg
CFL EMU 2012 Luxembourg - Berchem
3601 Berchem - Luxembourg
DB 181210 Luxembourg - Trier Hbf
628465 Trier Hbf - Luxembourg
SNCB EMU 303 Luxembourg - Namur
Had a beer in the buffet at Namur, Lamot Horse Ale, I know which part
of the horse it was too as it was awful.
SNCB 2334 Namur - Gembloux
SNCB EMU 305 Gembloux - Namur
Tried another beer, as the old saying goes if you fall off, get back
on the Horse. Well I didn't do the Horse but the Dubuisson Bush beer
SNCB 2330 Namur - Lustin
SNCB EMU 392 Lustin - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 1187 Bruxelles Nord - Antwerpen Central
Booked into the Hotel Florida as usual in Antwerpen and then went
out to have a few beers.
Did two very good bars: - Bierenbak - had Wildebroc Vaartlander and
Riva Lucifer. Then went to the famous Kulminator - had Floreffe
Dubbel and Van Eeke Pater.
And I was pretty drunk, don't know if it was tiredness or the
strength of the beers but it put paid to my 6am start.
Wednesday 30th October 1996
I struggled out of bed to make the
07.45 from Antwerpen.
Breakfast was waved.
SNCB 2508 Antwerpen Central - Berchem
SNCB 1 190 Berchem - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 2151 Bruxelles Nord - Bruxelles Central
SNCB 2106 Bruxelles
Central - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 2136 Bruxelles Nord - Bruxelles
SNCB 2023 Bruxelles Central - Bruxelles Midi
3218/3217 Bruxelles Midi - London Waterloo
Tube Waterloo - Embankment, Embankment - Liverpool
86215 Liverpool St - Norwich
The purpose of going to Norwich was
twofold. Firstly the Blades were playing there that night. Secondly
it was the Norwich beer festival. The Blades managed a 1-1 draw,
whilst before the game I managed to do 7 pubs having 7.1/2 pints, and
yet I was nowhere near as drunk as I was in Antwerpen the night
before. Figure that one out if you can!
Thursday 31st October 1996
Had a lovely lie
in at the B&B I had booked. A good hearty breakfast too. Then at
I| went to the beer festival. Stayed until late afternoon, were it
was time to head home.
DMU 158858 Norwich - Peterborough
91027 Peterborough - Doncaster
good trip was 30 new engines for haulage, lots of new beers and a
new ground visited too: Highlight was the 2 hours I spent with the
Dutch lads drinking in the Kandinsky. Low point was making my way
back to the hotel from the Kulminator as I was completely gone. I
remember wondering if I was going the right way but eventually saw a
sign for the station.
The following week at work I met Stephanie, we hit it off so well
that within the year we were married. Although this curtailed the
trips for a while I still managed to get abroad now and again.
Penning Observer Notes
Recent sightings at Doncaster have been:
Feb 21 70010 with 66555
24 67016 Thunderbird 66096, 66074, 66402 Intermodal 66199, 66555,
66717, 66723 Coal
66422 Route learning 66516, 66517 Freightliners
66142 mean 66180 Rails 57004 Light engine 66710 Gypsum 66117 Sand
Mar 3 67016 Thunderbird 66074. 66130, 66715 Intermodal 66046 empty
MBA's 66710, 66951, 66165, 66703, 66705 Coal 66089 Rails 66404 Gypsum
66002, 66727, 66187 Light engines 66572, 66542, 66532 Freightliners 66141 Stone 66151 Auto Ballasters 66056 Sand 67019
Barrier coach 57308 in Wabtec
Mar 10 67016 Thunderbird 66057, 66101,
66577 Light engines 66213, 66728, 66084 Intermodal 66536
Freightliners 66095 Sand 66732 gypsum 31106 Network Rail train
66145 Stone 66721 Coal slurry 66404, 66013, 66167, 66714,
66707, 66727, 66621 Coal 66554 collecting wagons from Wabtec 456933
waiting departure from Wabtec
Mar 12 66056 Intermodal 66714, 66722,
66079 Light engines 66139, 66184, 66096 Engineers 66050 Iron Ore
66502, 66534 Freightliners 67016 dragging 91117 and stock 66191
Plasmor blocks 66067, 66192, 66510, 66404, 66614, 66707, 66131,
66548, 66607, 66602, 66515 Coal Mar 17 67016 Thunderbird 66019,
66065, 66404 Intermodal 67027 Light engine 66187, 66016, 66527 Coal
66730 Gypsum 66607 Limestone 66575, 66534 Freightliners 66727 Coal
slurry 66150, 66174 Steel 666127 Sand
Mar 24 67016 Thunderbird
66146 Rails 66572 Route learning 66722, 66041 Gypsum 66718, 66090,
66067, 66170, 66560, 66527, 66717 Coal 66577, 66502 Freightliner's
66732 Intermodal 66152 Cars 321419 into Wabtec
Mar 26 67019 Thunderbird
66088, 66044 Intermodal 60039 Ballast 66623, 66166, 66719, 60084,
66717, 66019 Light engines 66201 Sand 66141, 66095 Engineers 66107
Iron Ore 66540, 66954, 66955 Freightliners 66191 Plasmor
66090/539/595/513/136/546/067/528/1 18/ 525/701/524/140/184/031/616
Coal Mar 31 67019 Thunderbird 66002 Rails 66096 Cars 66717, 66508,
66518, 66404, 66713, 66060, 66007, 66952, 66141, 66607, 66725 Coal
66181, 66160, 66024, 57314, 66571 Light engines 66433 + DVT 82105
66044, 66401 Intermodal 66720 Gypsum 66592 Freightliner 66621
Limestone 66174 Sand 66722/66726 empty scrap wagons
Apr 7 66198, 66 l83 Engineers 66029 Sand
66023 Light engine 67019 Thunderbird 66717, 66518, 66206, 66709,
66952, 66193, 66514, 66719, 66585, 66732 Coal 66075/66047 Rails
66533, 66591, 66563 Freightliners 661 12, 66404 Intermodal
66622 Limestone 66720 Gypsum
Apr 14 67025 Thunderbird 66061, 66134,
66403 Intermodal 66538 Freightliner 66621 Limestone 66054 Stone
66404, 66024, 66606, 66141, 66529, 66511, 66704 Coal
Apr 16 67028
Thunderbird 66061, 66146, 66085 Intermodal 66616, 66161, 66024,
66605, 66557, 667|, 66952, 66031, 66529 Coal 47760 Back up for 4492
66501, 66562, 66572 Freightliner's 66605, 66126, 66094, 66550,
60084, 66004, 66403 Light engines 66088/66124/66016/66134 Doncaster
66152 Engineers 66025 Steel
66596 empty fly ash tanks
Apr 28 67028Thunderbird 66086, 66159,
66708 Intermodal 66053 Rails 66538, 66568 Freightliners 66025,
66084, 66606 Light engines 60013 Steel 66621 Limestone 66403, 66722,
66192, 66546, 66585, 66525, 66703 Coal
Apr 23 67028 Thunderbird
66083 Rugby - Mossend, 66418 Daventry - Grangemouth, 66596 Binliner
66133 Sand 6673 1/66718/66721/66727 Tyne Dock -
66705/66722/66715/66730 Doncaster Decoy
- Tyne Dock
66403, 66554, 66084, 66555, 66137, 66604, 66713 Coal 66605, 66131,
66141 Light engines
Apr 28 67017 Thunderbird 66071 Rails 66035,
66016, 66581 Intermodal 66588 Freightliner 66595 Light engine 66527
one wagon 66529, 66706, 66715, 66063, 66709 Coal
May 5 67028 Thunderbird 66097 Rails 66183, 66079, 66580 Intermodal
66706, 66715, 66140, 66250, 66165, 66530, 66732, 66560, 66554,
66528, 66581, 66090, 66238 Coal 66501, 66517 Freightliners 66716,
66705, 66015 Light engines 66145 Gypsum 67027 watts support coach
21268 66621 Limestone empties
66 105 Stone 66088 Sand
May 12 67026 Thunderbird 4492 Excursion York -
Stratford on Avon 66012 Rails 66710, 66086, 66531, 66130, 66524,
66732, 66140, 66527, 66520, 66506, 66717, 66707
66542, 66541 Freightliner, 66152, 66093, 66732 Intermodal
37604/37059 Track measurement train 37409 with inspection saloon
66250 Sand 60045 Stone 66621 Limestone
Recent sightings on the
Gainsborough - Barnetby line have been:
Mar 1 66131 and 66710 on coal
Mar 2 66110, 66705, 66709, 66710 and 66714 on coal trains
4 60049 on oil train 66167 and 66182 on coal trains
Mar 5 66027,
66167, 66182, 66508, 66553 and 66709 on coal gains 66090 on iron ore
Mar 6 66008 on goods train 66078 on paw. train 66090 and 66174
on iron ore trains 66131 on coal train Mar 8 66066 and 66702 on coal
trains 66528 on goods train
Mar 9 66528 and 66727 on coal trains
l1 66 194, 66552 and 66707 on coal trains
Mar 12 60039 on steel train 66050 on iron ore train 66192, 66194,
66596, 66721 and 66732 on . coal train Mar 13 66016, 66096 and 66118
on coal trains 66174 on iron ore train 60045+66238 light engines
Mar 14 66067 and 66707 on
Mar 15 66707 and 66709 on coal trains
Mar 16 66194,
66707 and 66717 on coal trains
Apr 1 66701 on coal train
Apr 2 66083
and 66717 on coal trains
Apr 5 66604, 66708, 66709, 66717 and 66732
on coal trains
Apr 6 66031, 66604 and 66732 on coal trains
66708 light engine
Apr 7 66031, 66708 and 66709 on coal trains 66176
on oil train
Apr 11 66404 and 66732 on coal trains 66713 on goods
Apr 13 66704 and 66713 on coal trains 66723 on goods train
14 66404 and 66704 on coal trains
Apr 15 66704 on coal train 66723 on goods train
Apr 16 66557 on coal that
Apr 18 66061. 66511, 66585
and 66713 on coal trains
Apr 19 66061, 66702 and 66713 on coal
Apr 20 66061, 66094, 66606 and 66713 on coal trains
66061, 66094, 66702 and 66713 on coal trains
Apr 22 66031, 66702 and
66713 on coal trains 66705 on goods train
Apr 23 66183, 66604 and
66713 on coal trains
Apr 25 66024, 66183, 66706 and 66709 on coal
Apr 29 66183, 66706 and 66709 on coal trains 66737 on goods
Apr 30 66024 and 66183 on coal trains 66706 and 66715 light
Other recent sightings have been:
Mar 5 66044+661
10+66122+66168 light engines at
Eaton Lane Crossing
Mar 9 66518 on coal train at Hare Park Junction
Apr 2 66078 and
66081 on goods trains and 66114 on coal train at Swinton 47786 and
47760 at Cleethorpes 66120, 66523 and 66552 in Immingham
Reception Sidings, 66075, 66037, 66725 at Barnetby. Apr 9 66165 on steel train at Eaton
Apr 13 66501 on container train at Adwick 66080 on
Tilcon service at Hull Apr 16 66025 on steel train and 66191 on
Plasmor train at School Lane Crossing
Apr 27 66531 on tanker train
at Wakefield Kirkgate 66004 on oil train at Leeds 66156 on container
train at Adwick
Apr 30 92005+66006 light engine at Adwick
noted in Scunthorpe Steelworks on 4 March (BLS railtour) were
66094, 66068, 66078, 66056, 66126, 66138, 66041, D2853, 07012, 20066
On 24 March, 70004 was seen at Bristol Parkway on a MGR train and
57602 worked the Penzance to Paddington sleeper (57604 worked the
ECS at Paddington).
Locos noted at Derby Research Centre on 21 March were
56303, 37059, 97301, 97303, 86901, 86902, 97304, 73139, 31422 and
Locos seen in the Kingsbury area on 5 April were 66066, 96597 and
Locos noted at Bescot on 24 April were 66213, 66008, 16155, 67018,
66156, 66059, 66121 and 08605.
Other recent sightings have been:
Feb 21 90044 working 12.30 Birmingham NS -
Mar 19 70006 on stone train near Loughborough
in Edinburgh on 29 March were 67030 on 22G13 708 Edinburgh/Edinburgh/
Fife Circle, 67003 on 2L69 Edinburgh/Cardenden and EMT 43054/076 on 1450
Railtours and Charter Trains
seen on railtours and charters have been:
Feb 19 (Cumbrian
Crusader IV) 20309, 37409, 37667, 57004, 57601, 66417 and 66418
4 (BLS tour of Scunthorpe Steelworks) 1438
Mar 12 (Kings Cross -
York VSOE) 67008 and 67017
Mar 26 (Newcastle - Kings Cross charter)
67002 and 67030
Apr 2 (The Humber Explorer) 66096 and 60074
Apr 16 (York and the Line That Time Forgot) 67005 (The Great Britain
IV Railtour) 4492 Dominion of New Zealand (60019)
Apr 23 (The Trent
Explorer Railtour) 66157 and 66119
Apr 24 (Another Trent Valley
Railtour) as above
Apr 28 (Cathedrals Express) 6201 Princess
Apr 30 (The felled Explorer) 47786 and 47804
Locos working at the Great Central Railway Mixed Traffic Gala on 12/13 February were D8098, 37255, 08629,
D4067 and 45305.
Locos used at the East Lancs Railway Steam Weekend were 80072,
80080, 71000 and 46443.
Locos working at the Mid Hants Steam Spring Gala on 25March were
31806, 5224, 9017, 45379, 73096, 92212, 953, 850 13717.
Locos used at the Great Central Railway 1960's Gala on 9th April were
48624, 45305, 1450, 45160, D123, D1705 and D8098.
Locos working at the East Lancs Railway Small Engine weekend on 9
April were 1370 (Peckett), D3232 (08164), 20087, 80080, WD132
"The Sapper", 08479, 08700, D2062, D2956 and 4002 (industrial
Locos used at the Wensleydale Diesel Gala on
10 April were 20020, 20166, 26010, 47715, 55019 and 03144.
In service on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway on 16 April were
E50170/59303/E51360 and BR Standard 78019 on Wirksworth to Duffield
trains and E79900 (Ex test car IRIS) and Andrew Barclay 2360 + DMU
E51505on Wirksworth to Ravenstor trains.
Steam locos working at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway Easter Steam
Gala on 23 April were 1438, 47406, "Bellerophon'' and "Fulstow''
Locos used at the NYMR's 1751 Anniversary of the Whitby - Pickering
Line on 30 April were 44871, 92214, 71000, 69023, 60007, 45428,
45212, 45407, 76079 as 76084, 80072 as 80135 and replica of No. 9
Locos working at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Rail Ale Festival on 13
May were steam 47406 and diesel 09012.Locos working at the Nene Valley Railway on l5 May were
(which was named ''LOCOMOTIVE & CARRIAGE INSTITUTION CENTENARY 1911-2011" at Wansford before working the 13.20 Wansford/ Peterborough
and 14.20 ret), 31108 and class 4MT 44422.
Pennine Quiz No. 144
Class 50 Names
The English Electric Class 50 diesel locomotives carried 51
different names during their working life. Can you list, in
alphabetical name order please, the other locomotives (steam, diesel
or electric) that carried the same names, officially or
Pennine Quiz No. 143
1 Anstruther 2 Cowlairs
3 Buckhaven 4 Inverkeithing
5 Kirkintilloch Basin
6 Lauder 7 Musselburgh
8 Tayport 9 St. Andrews
10 Whiteinch 11 Galashiels
12 Grangemouth 13 Eastfield
16 Dundee Tay Bridge
20 Carlisle Canal
Penning Quiz No. 143
lst Ken King
2nd Malcolm Bell
3rd Ian Shenton
Congratulations to all the winners.
Pennine Meetings 2011
Meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South
Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 on lst and 3rd Wednesday of each
Wednesday 15th June 2011
Wednesday 6th July 2011
Andrew White "A Film Evening'
Wednesday 20th July 2011
Wednesday 3rd August 2011
Wednesday 17thAugust 2011
Wednesday 7th September 2011
Wednesday 21st September 2011
'Enjoyable Pictures through the years'
I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions
to this issue: Tony Caddick, John Dewing,
Ken King, John Sanderson, Robin Skinner, Paul Slater, and
The Autumn 2011 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for
publication on 2 l st September. Would contributors please let the
coordinator have their information by no later than
Wednesday 17th August - THANK YOU.
can email your contributions to email@example.com
The Jacobite Experience
Recognised as one of the top railway journeys of the world, Richard
Henson found plenty lo enjoy on the round trip from Fort William to
There is no greater pleasure for a nostalgia buffoon to
climb aboard childhood Demotes with the sight of a powerful piece of
machine from a bygone era smell of smoke from the engine fire,
sounds of whistle and steam, and touch of preserved interior
you enter the carriages. But I was to discover that nostalgia is not
confined to those of us of advanced years when I took a journey on
The Jacobite Express out of Fort William, in the West Highlands of
Scotland. Our party of four had based ourselves in a secluded
cottage overlooking the ruins of Castle Urquhart on the shores of
Loch Ness, its tranquility only broken by the occasional passing RAF
Tornado. Up bright and early on the day of our train journey, the
most wonderful sunrise over the mountains beyond promised a fine day to
come. Nestling m the shadow of the right Ben Nevis, we purchased our
tickets from Fort William's railway station, an austere 1970s'
structure built entirely of concrete. We treated ourselves to First
Class for what was billed as one of the great railway Journeys of the
Strolling onto the platform, we got our first sight of Lord of the
Isles, ex-LNER 62005 K1 Class, 2-6-0, whose black paintwork shone in
the morning light as if she had just rolled off the production line. As
the engine puffed and hissed in preparation, the line of carriages
their deep red livery waited patiently. The baggage/brake van
doubled as a souvenir shop offering books, videos and railway-related
mementos to passengers while they were boarding The ladies in our
party settled comfortably in "Julie", our carriage for the next few
hours sampling complementary tea and biscuits whilst we men stalked
the platform snapping away with our cameras and soaking up the
A shrill blow of the whistle, a cry of "all aboard" and departure was
imminent. Passengers hurried to their seats and placed belongings in the
racks overhead, and Dennis - our host for the day, dressed in West
Highland Railway uniform began to relate the history of the
railway and the region He explained why there are so many
enthusiastic youngsters on board Just a few short years ago, the
train, some of its staffed the Glenfinnan Viaduct along the line were
featured in one of J K Rowling's Harry Potter books. Clunk and
judder, the couplings took up the slack between the carriages as the engine pulled
away, and we gradually packed up pace Soon up to speed we settled
into the rhythm of steel on steel as the wheels passed over the joints
of the track The tempo took me back to my school days when my
English teacher would read out W.H. Auden's poem Night Mall as she
tapped out the beat on her desk "diddly-do diddly-da, diddly-do
diddly-da..." This is the Night Mail crossing the border, Bringing the
cheque and the postal order , which was memorably set to Benjamin
Bntten's music in the 1936 GPO Film Unit documentary about a London
Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) mail train.
Passing the Nevis Distillery, we skirted the shore of Loch Linnhe,
glistening m morning sunlight, and soon reached a steel swing bridge
that passes over the Caledonian Canal as it enters the loch. From
here we observed a flight of eight locks, known as Neptune's
Staircase, built by engineer Thomas Telford for his canal that lake
the west and east coasts Time to take a few pictures, I made my way
to the carriage door and dropped the window's glass panel on its
Sticking my head out, I felt the air rushing into my face, recalling
the Seaside Special from my home town of Eastwood, in
Nottinghamshire, to Mablethorpe, on the Lincolnshire coast -
before Doctor Beeching's axe fell.
I was, once again, that young boy
stood on tip-toe, excitedly peering out of the widow, eyes
squinting against the onrush of air peppered with insects and
smoke and soot Sixteen miles out and the magnificent
Viaduct came into view. Built entirely of concrete, a hundred feet
high and 1,248 feet long, with 21 spans of fifty feet each, its
curve enables you to see both ends of the train at once.
It allows an
impressive view of Loch Shiel. It is here that Bonnie Prince Charlie
raised the Jacobite standard from which the railway takes its
name, during the uprising of 1745, and where his monument can be
Soon after, we reached Glenfinnan Station, carriages disgorging passengers for a twenty
minute break. The Harry Potter connection
became even more apparent as youngsters clambered onto the engine
doorplate to have their pictures taken with railway staff, who
happily posed and signed autographs as they were elevated to film star status.
With barely time to visit the railway museum at this station, the
engine pulled away promptly. A series of tunnels and viaducts led us
to a wild and rugged landscape that was the inspiration for Sir Walter
Scott's Rob Roy and Ivanhoe. Across Loch Ailort is Inverailort
House, home to the first Commando training camp in 1940, before they
moved the short distance to Achnacarry Castle, by Loch Arkaig, in
A striking monument here poignantly overlooks the craggy terrain
where they honed their skills.
main. It is easy to see why this landscape inspired writers and film
makers with backdrops such as the beautiful white-walled,
black-roofed Our Lady of the Braes, a Catholic church perched on the
hillside at Polnish (used in the film"Local Hero"
"Highlander") and the white sands of Morar (featured in "Local Hero" and
The train quickened as it sped towards the end of our outward journey
to Mallaig. Gorgeous Glens, majestic mountains sweeping down to the
sea, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the railway at Loch an Uamh -
tree-covered islands that are all that remain locally of the once
great Macedonian forests - along with man-made tunnels, bridges and
sea walls, delivered a constantly changing vista to delight the
traveller at every point along this great journey.
The railway arrived in
Mallaig m 1901, turning a sleepy settlement into a busy fishing port.
We arrived here at 12.25 to find a bustling car ferry terminal
leading to Skye and the Outer Hebrides. It is here that the road and
rail networks meet at the end of Rathad nan Eilean, the "Road to the
After a stretch of the legs around the town and cup of tea at the
Fisherman's Mission, we were ready for our return trip. With no
turntable at Mallaig, the engine was coupled at the opposite end of
the train and we departed, tender-first. There was still much to see
as we steamed back through wild and wonderful territory, the
entire 82-mile round trip memorable for special features that included
the country's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, deepest loch, Loch Morar,
most westerly station at Arisa1g, and shortest river, the Morar.
Now in its 26th year of running, the Jacobite Express is a first
class experience, for which West Coast Railways can be congratulated.
Return of a King
Edward Evans harks back to a regal age of steam travel
On a cold,
bright April morning in 2006, a friend and I stood on a draughty
platform at Pontypool We were the first to arrive but within an hour,
a small crowd had gathered at the south end of the station The
occasion was the passage through the station of the ex-GWR 4-6-0
King Class locomotive No 6024 "King Edward 1" hauling a train northwards
in celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom
Brunel. Built at Swindon, the celebrated King class locos first
appeared in 1927. Designed by C B Collett, chief mechanical engineer
to the GWR the first, No 6000, was named "King George V" after the
reigning monarch. The entire class of thirty carried the names of
the Kings of England in descending order, ending with N0.6029 King
Stephen, and were the most powerful express passenger locomotives in
Great Britain Finished in Brunswick green, with copper-capped
chimneys and brass safety valve bonnets, they represented the besti British
mechanical engineering. Owing to their heavy axle load, they were
restricted to the Paddington - Birmingham and Paddington -
Plymouth routes. Soon after completion, the senior member of the
class, King George V, was shipped to America as Britain's
representative at the Fair of the Iron Horse organised by the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. From then on, the King carried a bell on
buffer beam and cab-side medals to commemorate the event. One of the
best places to see the Kings at work was on the sea wall between
Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth on summer Saturdays in the 1950s. Even
those holidaymakers out for a leisurely stroll on the path that
ran parallel to the railway, and with no more than passing
interest in an express train, could not fail to be moved by the sight
of a majestic King hurrying westward to Plymouth.
In 1962, the Kings were withdrawn from service, replaced by the more
erricient diesels. In 1968, British Railways finally dispensed with
steam engines altogether and for three years, steam was banned from
the metals of British Railways. The ban was lifted m 1971. This
meant that some famous privately owned caged lions could be let
loose on selected routes At first, timings for these steam runs were
not made generally available to the public. Fortunately, I knew an
insider, who informed me that King George V would be hauling the
Bulmer's Cider Train of ten Pullman cars south from Hereford and
would pass through Pontypool Road. It was a pleasant October morning
in 1971. The sight of the passing King was brief, but worthwhile. The
people who looked after the engine had done a fine job and it sparkled
in the autumn sunshine. The old King seemed to run effortlessly
through the platform and in a minute or so disappeared around the
curve to Newport.
King George V was a regular performer on special excursions on the
Newport - Hereford line in the 1970's. On one occasion it stopped at
Pontypool, much to the delight of the multitude of subjects, including
boys of all ages wanting to pay homage to the regal visitor. The
engine hasn't run for some years now owing to the condition of her
Pontypool Station today is nothing more than an island platform
reached by a subway. In the 1960s, during the rationalisation of Britain's
railway system, it was reduced to the status of a gloried
halt. The GWR buildings and station canopy were swept away, sidings were
lifted and an air of gloom pervaded.
In its heyday there were bay platforms, one for Monmouth and one for
the Vale of Neath, at each end of the station. There were signal
boxes either side and one in the middle. The station had a
refreshment room inhabited by fussy lady waitresses dressed in
bombazine black. At Pontypool Road the north to west express - to
Plymouth and to Manchester - stopped for a few minutes to make
connection with local services. Only occasional passenger trains
running between Newport and Manchester call there nowadays And the
station is now called Pontypool and New Inn. On April 18 2006, when the
other King was due, someone was in contact with a friend on the train
that had left Bristol Temple Meads at 9 30. The King had stopped for
water at Magor. At 10.40, a freight tram heading north, drawn by a
Class 66 diesel, clattered through the station. Anticipation was rising, photographers were at the ready.
Ten minutes later, we heard it. Suddenly. out of sight around the
curve, there came the unmistakable bark of a GWR exhaust. Then
another, and another The train, which I believe had been checked by a
signal, was picking up speed. 'The exhaust became louder as King Edward
1 with its rake of 11 coaches passed beneath the road bridge
to the south.
A plume of steam and black
smoke blasted thirty feet into the sky. Engine working hard, it had
just surmounted the long drag from Newport. Again, gunshot exhaust
from the engine reminded everyone that this was a GWR King showing
us what it could do even at 76 years of age. Approaching the
platforms the driver shut off power. Some thought the train would stop
but were disappointed when the regulator was opened and the
fully-loaded train strode purposefully off towards Little Mill and
the north. Seeing King Edward 1 at Pontypool was a memorable sight.
What we saw that day was an example of the best of British
workmanship - a stirring reminder of our glorious industrial past. The
old railway workshops of Britain turned out locomotives for over a
hundred years and built engines for many countries. Britain gave
railways to the world, which poses the question why don't we build
them at home today? It is ironic, but the diesel locomotive that
hauled the freight main through Pontypool ten minutes before the King
arrived was built in Canada! Vivat Rex! - Long live the King!
Efforts to save a Battle of Britain commander's namesake are
seeing light at the end of the tunnel
Until a year or two ago the name of
Sir Keith Park was scarcely remembered. It would probably have
remained thus except for a vigorous campaign to place his statue m
Trafalgar Square This brought to attention the crucial role he
played during the Battle of Britain as commander of 11 Group, the
front line fighter squadrons based in south east England. Sir Keith
Park could have lost the Battle of Britain and brought WWII to a
rapid and unpleasant conclusion if he had made a few bad decisions
in the summer of 1940.
Fortunately, his character and experience
equipped him perfectly for those few weeks when the world turned on
the outcome of the air battle over southern England. Born in New
Zealand, Park had served with the Anzacs at Gallipoli before joining
the Royal Flying Corps, engaging in dogfights above the Somme.
Between the wars he worked with Lord Dowding to establish Britain's
air defence system, which survived the pressure of many weeks of enemy
attack - always being present in enough strength to deny the enemy
victory while never exposing his squadrons to the risk of total
defeat. Such tactics won him few friends, and he was removed from his
position when the battle subsided.
In November, 2009, a statue of Air Vice-Marshal Park was unveiled on Trafalgar Square's
hitherto vacant fourth plinth. In September it
will be replaced by a permanent bronze version in nearby Waterloo
Place. There had, however, already been something dedicated to Sir
Keith Park - a locomotive. In 1946, the Southern Railway introduced
a class of express locomotives. The first 48 were named after towns in
the West Country and as the next batch was intended to work between
London and Kent, they took the names of the men, machines, airfields
and squadrons of the Battle of Britain. The 53rd in the series (originally
No.2lC153, later to become 34053) was named Sir Keith Park by Air
Vice-Marshal Park at Brighton railway station on September 19th
Initially, it hauled expresses such as the Golden Arrow from
Victoria to Dover, subsequently moving west to finish its working
life based in Bournemouth, working trams between Waterloo and
Weymouth. It was withdrawn from BR service m 1965 and sent for
scrap. Most scrap yards cut up new arrivals without delay, but Woodham's, of Barry,
in South Wales, was busy cutting up wagons, and
left more complex locos to rust in the sidings. Over time,
preservation groups came forward to buy the locos that had escaped
the gas torch, naturally choosing those in best condition first.
It was 18 years before Sir Keith Park was moved to Hull, then Crewe
and then to an open site near Chippenham. At each location attempts
at restoration were made, while wind and rain took their toll on one
hundred tons of steel. Finally it was sold as spares to assist in the
restoration of another class member. It looked as if the end was
but what was left of the loco was sold, again for spare parts, to
Southern Locomotives Ltd, a Swanage-based restoration group. They
had successfully restored several ex-Barry wrecks, though there was
no commitment that this would ever happen to Sir Keith Park.
time was on its side; Britain had woken up to the debt it owed the
man and a generous sponsor agreed to fund a significant part of the
cost of restoration, typically around £500,000. Southern
Locomotives has a fleet of eight locos, four of which operate on the
Swanage Railway. It also raises money by selling shares in the company,
allowing it to employ a core staff supplemented by volunteers and
specialist contractors. It uses a modern workshop owned by the
Swanage Railway capable of holding three locomotives, and equipped
for much of the heavy engineering required to build an express steam
engine. So now, 45 years after its working life appeared to be over,
Sir Keith Park is being rebuilt, the wheels are fitted to the frames,
boiler repairs are proceeding and a new tender is being assembled.
There is more to do and more money needed but with lots of support,
it may steam again in the autumn to mark the seventieth anniversary of
the Battle of Britain.
These articles are reproduced from the May 2010 issue of Best
of British, a monthly magazine available from newsagents and on
subscription. Please visit www.bestofbritishmag.co.uk or call 01778
342814 for further information.