TRANS PENNINE

The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society

No.158 - Winter 2011

                                                                                     

 Committee Briefs

Season’s Greetings
The Committee of the Pennine Railway Society join together in wishing all our members, their families and their friends a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.  We thank you for your support and friendship during 2011.

 Membership Fee
With this magazine you will find a renewal of membership form and we are pleased to announce that we are able to maintain the annual membership fee at £6 for yet another year.
We hope you feel this continues to be excellent value for money and look forward to you rejoining your society in 2012.

Calendar
A 2012 calendar is included with this magazine which we hope you will welcome.
The calendar shows the dates of the AGM and social evenings in red.
The following special dates have been underlined:
·  Sunday 8 January – Annual General Meeting
·  Wednesday 2 May – The Andy Dalby Memorial Slide Competition
·  Wednesday 7 November – Pennine Slide Competition
·  Wednesday 5 December – Pennine Shield Round 2

 Annual General Meeting
You are invited to attend the society’s Annual General Meeting which will be held on Sunday 8 January 2012 at 12.00 noon at our usual venue of the Salutation in Doncaster.
This is the opportunity for you, the members, to have a say in how you wish the society to be run and to form a plan of events for 2012.  It will also provide an opportunity to socialise with friends you may not have seen for some time.
Any member who wishes to raise an issue is welcome to advise this to our Chairman, Robin Skinner, or to any other committee member, in advance of the meeting.

Social Evenings
Members are reminded of our social evenings, arranged by Robin, which are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month.  The early 2012 programme is shown elsewhere in this organ.  Entertainment begins at 20.00 in our private, well-appointed function room.  Non-members are also welcome to attend.  A fine range of fine ales is available from the bar

Signalling Revolution Proposed
Plans have been unveiled for the entire railway system to be controlled from 14 centres by the 2040s resulting in the closure of 800 signalling centres, panels and boxes.
The plans include:

·  Didcot to regulate the entire Great Western network in England, from Penzance to Bristol and Paddington and as far north as the outskirts of Birmingham, where Saltley will take over

·  The WCML to be controlled from Glasgow (Cowlairs), Manchester, Saltley and Rugby

·  East Anglia to be controlled from Romford

·  York will cover North East England from the Wash to the Scottish borders and all the ECML in England

·  The enlarged Thameslink network to be controlled from Three Bridges as far as Bedford, the boundary with Derby

·  Wales will be controlled from Cardiff, from Severn Tunnel Jcn to Holyhead

·  Scotland will be controlled from Glasgow and Edinburgh

·  Derby will control the MML north of Bedford and associated routes in the East Midlands

·  A Rail Operating Centre will also be built at Basingstoke and Gillingham

Breakthrough for Regular Continental Freights
DB Schenker have successfully run a train made up of larger European-sized wagons on HS1.  This will pave the way for regular services from east London to the Continent, via Dollands Moor, on the DB Schenker network.

Pendolino Fleet Returns to Original Strength
An additional Pendolino has gone into service with Virgin Trains, effectively replacing the set written off at Grayrigg in 2007.  It started life as a nine-car set although two more cars have been built for it and will be inserted by the end of 2012 when 31 of the 52 train fleet will also be lengthened to 11 cars.  Three more new 11-car Pendolinos will be added to the West Coast fleet at the end of 2012 when the new franchise is due to begin.
A five-car Super Voyager Class 221 has been transferred to services between London and North Wales, allowing some trains to Chester and Holyhead to be lengthened to ten cars.
New trains will be manufactured at Savigliano, Italy with Alstom at Preston supplying power modules.

Trevor Dean
We are sad to report that Trevor Dean passed away on 26 October 2011.
Trevor was a long standing member of the Pennine and was a keen supporter of the locomotive preservation scene with interests in a “Jinty” steam locomotive and Class 40 diesel.
We send condolences to his family and friends.

District Line to Harrogate?
Plans have been revealed to electrify the Harrogate line using trains soon to become redundant on the London Underground District Line.  Side-contact conductor rails would be installed.  650v “D” stock, all due to be withdrawn in 2014/15 when full “S” stock replacement has been completed by Bombardier in Derby, would be converted to 750v and two dual-voltage sections would be constructed on the approaches to York and Leeds.

GWML Improvements
Improvements to the GWML over the next decade include:

·  Electrification from Paddington to Oxford, Newbury, Bristol and Cardiff

·  File additional platforms at Reading

·  Intercity Express trains taking over from most of the HSTs

·  Crossrail trains heading west from Paddington to Heathrow

·  Redoubling most of the route between Oxford and Worcester and restoring double track on the entire South Cotswold line to Cheltenham with the redoubling of the line from Kemble to Swindon

Chiltern Acceleration
Chiltern Railway’s accelerated service between Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street was finally launched in September.  The fastest services will be loco-hauled stock, spare after Wrexham & Shropshire ceased trading.  There will be four such “silver trains” daily.

Franchise Timetable Revised
Details of a revised franchise timetable have been announced.  These include:

Previous End Date  New End Date
East Coast    late 2012    December 2013
FCC      31 March 2015  September 2013
FGW      31 March 2016  April 2013
Greater Anglia  20 July 2013    July 2014
Northern Rail    15 September 2013  April 2014
FTP Express    1 February 2012  April 2014
Virgin Trains    31 March 2012  Under discussion
Greater Anglia is a new contract due to start 5 February 2012 and has been awarded to Dutch company Abellio, who already shares the Northern and Mersey franchises with Serco and operates London buses.

 Refurb for ScotRail Junipers
The 40 ScotRail Junipers Class 334 are to be refurbished with work carried out at Kilmarnock-based Brodie Engineering.  Exteriors will be painted in the Transport Scotland designed “Soltaire” livery gradually appearing on all ScotRail trains.

New Role for Virgin Thunderbirds
Six surplus Virgin Class 57s are to be transferred to Network Rail to haul snow and ice clearing trains on the third rail network south of the Thames.  Their nameplates bearing the names of characters from the TV puppet series will be removed and auctioned.

Class 172s Enter Service
Bombardier Class 172s entered service between Worcester, Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon from September, replacing ex-BR Class 150s some of which will be cascaded to FGW and Northern and some left surplus.

Community Railways Booming
The number of passengers travelling on Community Railways has soared.  The top ten for growth are:
· Truro – Falmouth
· Bristol TM – Severn Beach
· Derby – Matlock
· Arun Valley (Three Bridges – Ford)
· Par – Newquay
· Exeter – Barnstable
· Paddock Wood – Strood
· Liskeard – Looe
· Plymouth – Gunnislake
· Oxenholme – Windermere

RATP Takes Over Manchester Metrolink (Quietly)
It has been confirmed that French transport operator RATP has taken over the Manchester Metrolink concession from Stagecoach Group to run until July 2017.  A brief notification was announced by the Stock Exchange.  Stagecoach did volunteer that it is not planning any changes to its concession to run SY Supertram in Sheffield.

Edinburgh Trams – Update No 150?
Councillors in Edinburgh have now voted to restore the future tram route between Haymarket and St Andrew Square having previously rejected it.

DLR Opens Second Stratford Line
In advance of London Olympics 2012, DLR has added a 6Km link to Stratford from Canning Town

London 2012 Javelin Service
The Javelin service for the 2012 Olympics will see 8 trams an hour running St Pancras – Ebbsfleet, two of which will extend to Ashford and one to Faversham, increased to 12 per hour for the evening “bump out” period, with an all-night shuttle between St Pancras and Stratford.

Tram Expansion
·  TfL has ordered 6 new trams for Croydon from Swiss company Stadler, to be in traffic by summer 2012.  The vehicles will be longer than the existing Bombardier cars, requiring lengthening of some stops.
·  Work has started on the new 14Km Metrolink to Manchester Airport.

The Germans Are Coming – Later
To enable technical details to be completed, DB has abandoned plans to launch services to London in time for the 2012 Olympics, but will be offering services from the end of 2013.  ICE trains will run between London, Rotterdam and Amsterdam and London, Cologne and Frankfurt.  Trains will run to Brussels and divide there into portions for the Netherlands and Germany.

Freight Terminal Restored
Lafarge Cement has restored a rail freight connection at Northfleet to the main north Kent line and expects new sidings to come into use in February 2012.

New TPE Electrics
It is expected that an order will be placed for 10 four-car EMUs to take advantage of further electrification in the North West, particularly between Manchester and Preston, to be delivered from autumn 2013.  Siemens is currently the preferred bidder.

Thameslink Gap
Slippage of the Thameslink rolling stock programme will result in First Capital Connect not returning its sub-leased Class 377s to Southern on time.  Southern is preparing to order 130 extra vehicles to fill the gap.

Move to Electrify Voyagers
There is a proposal to electrify the CrossCountry Voyager fleet by inserting an additional car bearing a pantograph into sets to enable the 57 diesel electric unit to become fully electric on those sections of the CrossCountry network where overhead wires exist.

St Pancras “International”
Our Indian correspondent, Geruptah Singh Collinswallah reminds us that the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) was modelled on St Pancras and opened in time for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.  Its dome was the first built in India and the station is worth a visit if in the city.

Borders Update
The Borders Railway between Edinburgh and Tweedbank is to be completed by Network Rail after private contractors lost interest.  The service should still start on time, in 2014.

Kensington (Olympia) Cut
London Underground is to cut weekday District Line services to Kensington (Olympia) but increase capacity on the Wimbledon branch.  The service will continue to operate at weekends and to major weekday events at the exhibition centre.

New Key Projects
The new five-year Control Period starting 2014 proposes electrification of the MML from Bedford to Sheffield, North TransPennine, Cardiff Valleys and Strathclyde.

Strain Lines
Our Welsh correspondent Rhys Collins tells us that a bicycle railway (Velorail) where passengers pedal will run for 8 miles between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfyndd Lake.  Volunteers have reopened the former railway line, closed in 1992, to carry the five 5-seater Velorail carts.

Victoria - Zambia
The new president of Zambia, chain-smoking father of eight, Michael Sata, 74 was once a cleaner at Victoria station in London!  He plans to sweep the country even cleaner.

Pennine Slide Competition
The Pennine Slide Competition, held at The Salutation on 2 November, was this year judged by Glen Williamson (last year’s winner).  A total of 40 high quality slides were entered and the result was as follows.
1st  Glynn Gossan  GW Tank 5224 climbs North   Street Bank on the Mid Hants Railway with the   11.00 Alresford – Alton service on 22 May 2010
2nd  Glynn Gossan  M7 Tank 30053 at Corfe Castle   with the 10.30 Norden – Swanage service on 29     June 2008
3rd  David Whitlam  47810 at Cockwood Harbour   with the 18.40 Plymouth – Paddington service on 21   June 2001
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all who entered and to Glen for judging.  The winning slide can be seen on the front cover and the third slide features on the 2012 calendar.

 Sheffield Railwayana Auctions
At the Sheffield Railwayana Auction held at the Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Gateway Centre on 10th September 2011 the following locomotive nameplates all sold for £6,000 or more:
·  LOCOMOTIVE NAMEPLATE: “WINDSOR LAD” carried by Gresley LNER A3 class 4-6-2 Pacific No. 2500 later 570 and then 35 becoming 60035 under BR.  It was built at Doncaster as works number 1790 and was the first of a batch of nine which completed the building of the class.  It entered traffic on the 10 July 1934 and was allocated to Haymarket.  In 1937 it went to Aberdeen for a week and in 1961 spent four months at Carlisle Canal before returning to Haymarket from where it was withdrawn on 4 September 1961.  It was scrapped at Doncaster Works.  One of the few plates from locos in the class to feature the later “Gill Sans” lettering.  The horse “Windsor Lad” won both the St. Leger and the Derby in 1934; the former in a time that has never been bettered to this day - £8,000
·  LOCOMOTIVE NAMEPLATE: “HINTON MANOR” carried by Collett GWR “Manor” class 4-6-0 No. 7819 built February 1939 at Swindon.  Its first shed allocation was Carmarthen but in July 1943 it transferred to Oswestry, where it could still be found in the 1950s and in March 1963 to Machynlleth.  Transferred to its last shed allocation at Shrewsbury, in January 1965.  It was withdrawn in November 1965 and acquired by Woodham's, Barry, in May 1966.  Sold to Severn Valley Railway, Bridgnorth, and left as the 31st departure from Barry in January 1973 - £9,800
·  LOCOMOTIVE NAMEPLATE: “IVANHOE” carried by Churchward GWR Saint Class 4-6-0 No. 2981 built at Swindon with half-cone boiler in June 1905 as an unnamed 4-4-2 No. 181.  First shed allocation was Newton Abbot.  Named in 1907 and fitted with a full-cone boiler with superheater in October 1910.  Rebuilt as a 4-6-0 in July 1912.  In August 1950 it was allocated to Banbury and it was withdrawn from there in March 1951 and scrapped at Swindon.  Together with its matching CABSIDE NUMBERPLATE: “2981” (2) - £15,000
·  LOCOMOTIVE NAMEPLATE: “LOCH LONG” carried by the Gresley LNER K4 class 2-6-0 loco No. 3441 then 1993 becoming 61993 under BR.  The first of a class of six three cylinder locos built specifically for use on the West Highland Line, “LOCH LONG” entered service on 28th January 1937 and quickly showed itself capable of hauling 300 ton loads to Fort William without assistance.  Its boiler pressure was increased to 200psi in June 1937 to enhance uphill speeds.  Due to their design being specifically for a line with very specialised requirements, no further K4s were built.  Following dieselisation, it ended its days on goods work at Thornton Junction shed and was withdrawn from there in October 1961.  Scrapped at Halbeth Wagon Works, Dunfermline, in March 1962 - £10,100
·  LOCOMOTIVE NAMEPLATE: “25 SQUADRON – BATTLE OF BRITAIN CLASS” as carried by Bullied Southern Railway “Battle of Britain” class 4-6-2 Pacific built at Brighton in April 1947 and originally numbered 21C160 and then 34060 by BR.  It was rebuilt in November 1960.  In the 1950s it could be found at Exmouth Junction but was withdrawn in July 1967 from Salisbury being scrapped at Cashmore's of Newport in April 1968.  Together with MATCHING CREST showing the coat of arms of The Royal Air Force the Roman numerals XXV “Squadron” and carrying the motto “Fereons Tego” (Striking I defend).  The squadron was formed at RAF Montrose in September 1915 moving to France in February 1916, flying F.E.2bs on fighter and reconnaissance duties.  They gave way to D.H.4 bombers in 1917.  During WWII it flew Blenheims on night patrols, which were replaced by Beaufighters and later Mosquitos.  By the closing stages of the war, the squadron was almost entirely committed to bomber escort missions.  The squadron was eventually disbanded in April 2008 - £25,000
·  LOCOMOTIVE NAMEPLATE: TRIMBUSH” carried by Peppercorn LNER design A2 class 4-6-2 Pacific No. 60536.  A development of the A2/2 class with shorter wheel base.  Built at Doncaster works number 2027 and entered traffic on the 14th May 1948.  New to Copley Hill and then to New England before becoming resident at Haymarket.  In November 1961 it moved to St. Margaret's but returned to Haymarket the following May and back to St. Margaret's in the October.  It was withdrawn from York in December 1962 and cut-up at Doncaster Works.  “Trimbush,” the racehorse, was the winner of the 1947 Doncaster Cup. - £9,000
·  LOCOMOTIVE NAMEPLATE: “HATTON CASTLE” carried by Pickersgill Class F Great North of Scotland Railway 4-4-0 design.  GNSR No. 50, LNER Nos. 6850 and 2278, finally BR 62278.  LNER/BR Class D40.  Built by the North British Locomotive Company in October 1920.  Until the coming of the B12 4-6-0s in 1931 the D40s were used on the most important express passenger services although they also had to take their share of goods and branch line workings alongside the other classes.  Withdrawn from Kittybrewster shed in August 1955 and scrapped at Kilmarnock Works - £6,500

Tosca’s Travels
(Beer and Bashing Abroad)
Part 19
After the trip to the Isle of Man it was straight off to Belgium but this time via different route.  After doing 43113 & 43095 to the Cross; I caught EMU 1561 from Charing Cross to Ashford.  There I caught the coach that used “Le shuttle” to get to Calais.
Wednesday 22nd July 1998
Eurotunnel 9011 Cheriton – Coquelles
I wasn’t able to get the number of the rear loco.  The coach dropped me off at Calais Ville station.  The next train
was the 17.45 Arras so I had to change at Hazebrouck to get to Lille.
SNCF
16518 Calais Ville – Hazebrouck
SNCF
16541 Hazebrouck – Lille Flandres
SNCB 1206 Lille Flandres – Namur
SNCB EMU 316 Namur – Luxembourg
Thursday 23rd July 1998
Late into Luxembourg and the pre-booked Carlton Hotel, so I had late start after a big breakfast.
SNCB
5519 Luxembourg – Mersch
CFL 3606 Mersch – Luxembourg
DB
181225 Luxembourg – Wasserbillig
CFL 3620 Wasserbillig – Luxembourg
CFL 3610 Luxembourg – Cents-Hamm
CFL 3602 Cents-Hamm – Luxembourg
CFL
1812 Luxembourg – Capellen
SNCB EMU 198 Capellen – Luxembourg
SNCF
16673 Luxembourg – Bettembourg
CFL EMU 2011 Bettembourg – Luxembourg
SNCF
16691 Luxembourg – Thionville
SNCF
15058 Thionville – Luxembourg
DB
181203 Luxembourg – Bettembourg! (on the 19.16 Luxembourg – Port Bou)
CFL EMU 2015 Bettembourg – Luxembourg
SNCB
2017 Luxembourg – Namur
SNCB EMU 419 Namur – Liege Guillemins
A long day but some good winners.  Just around the corner from the Metropol Hotel in Liege was a nice bar – La Pierre Levee.  I had a nice bottle of Trappist Westvleteren abt 12 beer.  I then turned in as I wanted to be up for the Liege commuter trains.
Friday 24th July 1998
SNCB 5513 Liege Guillemins – Liege Jonfosse
SNCB EMU 361 Liege Jonfosse – Liege Guillemins
SNCB
2373 Liege Guillemins – Liege Palais
SNCB EMU Liege Palais – Liege Guillemins
SNCB 2146 Liege Guillemins – Herstal
SNCB EMU 728 Herstal – Lier via Aarschot
SNCB
6283 Lier – Berchem
SNCB EMU 806 Berchem – Mechelen
SNCB
2243 Mechelen – Wetteren
SNCB 2225
Wetteren – Dendermonde
SNCB
2231 Dendermonde – Wetteren
SNCB
2213 Wetteren – Dendermonde
SNCB
2233 Dendermonde – Gent St Pieters
SNCB 2749 Gent St Pieters – Bruxelles Midi
SNCB
2022 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Central
SNCB
2250 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi
SNCB
2760 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Central.
SNCB
2730 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi
SNCB
2005 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 2014 Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles QL
SNCB
2013 Bruxelles QL – Namur
Whilst at Wetteren after arriving on 2243 I noticed a guy that had also been sitting on the train get off and wait for the one in the opposite direction.  Ah ha! I thought, a fellow crank.  I was not wrong.  His name was Richard Howe and he had the gen that tomorrow’s Kyak trains around Dinant were 5401 and 5205.  I needed both so binned my plan to stay in Gent for the night and ended up in Namur.  Fortunately Namur had an excellent beer bar called the Eblouissant – I had a couple of beers – Silly la Devine and St Louis Framboise.  Called at the excellent friterie outside the station then retired for the night.
Saturday 25th July 1998
SNCB 5401 Namur – Houyet
SNCB
5205 Houyet – Dinant
SNCB
5404 Dinant – Bertrix
SNCB 5205 Bertrix – Libramont
SNCB EMU 352 Libramont – Namur
On arrival at Namur the International train was 30 late so I retired to the Station buffet.  None of the rancid Horse
Ale this time, instead I had a very acceptable La Gauloise Blonde.
SNCB 2011 Namur – Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 2114  Bruxelles Nord – Gent St Pieters
SNCB
6311 Gent St Pieters – Merelbeke
SNCB EMU 390 Merelbeke – Gent St Pieters
SNCB 2133 Gent St Pieters – Brugge
SNCB
2025 Brugge – Gent St Pieters
SNCB EMU 596 Gent St Pieters – Bruxelles Midi
After getting off 2025 at Gent my plan was to find a hotel.  No chance, Gent Festival.  So knowing that there would be somewhere in Bruxelles, be it at a price I jumped on the next unit to Midi.  I booked into one of the cheap hotels near Midi and picked the Falstaff Bar out of my beer guide to go for a meal.  Luckily the hotel hadn’t been as much as I thought it would be because the Falstaff isn’t the cheapest place to eat.  I went for the traditional moules & frites and had a bottle of Hoegaarden with it.  After the meal I called at the excellent Au Labourer bar for a bottle of Mort Subite Geuze.  Then off to my hotel for a well earned sleep.
Saturday 26th July 1998
SNCB 2753 Bruxelles Midi – Gent St Pieters
SNCB
2741 Gent St Pieters – Berchem
SNCB
2125 Berchem – Bruxelles Midi
SNCB 1501 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Central
SNCB 2122 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi
Eurostar 3209/3210 Bruxelles Midi – Waterloo
91009 Kings Cross – Doncaster
Another good trip with 33 new locos for haulage including the shuttle loco.  It was good to get back to Belgium again.  However with fatherhood on the horizon I thought I wouldn’t be doing much bashing for a few years so with the baby due in January I arranged a short trip in December.  It had been a while since I had been to Denmark so I made plans for my next trip.

Memories of the SMJ
Paul Slater
The Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway (SMJ) was a minor cross-country line, most of which was situated within the south-western part of Northamptonshire.  It had been formed from three even smaller concerns, and was never busy or profitable.  Its “main line” ran from Ravenstone Wood Junction, in the middle of nowhere to the west of Olney on the Bedford-Northampton branch, via Towcester, Woodford Halse, Penny Compton and Stratford-upon-Avon to a junction with the Evesham loop, the Barnt Green-Ashchurch line, at Broom.  Towcester was the hub of the system, and there were branches from there to Blisworth and to Cockley Brake Junction on the LNW Bletchley-Banbury branch.  The whole system had at one time enjoyed a passenger service, but the section between Towcester and Ravenstone Wood Junction had not seen regular passenger trains since the end of the 19th century.  Latterly, passenger trains, a handful per day, operated from Blisworth to Banbury and from Blisworth to Stratford-upon-Avon, but these were withdrawn in the early l950s, and the SMJ as I knew it was a freight-only single-track line from Ravenstone Wood to Stratford, with a branch from Towcester to Blisworth; the Banbury branch had closed completely by the time I became acquainted with the SMJ, as had the section between Stratford and Broom.
The SMJ, with its infrequent goods trains, was not worth the attentions of a young “spotter”, but I would sometimes see its trains incidentally while watching workings on one of the main lines which it crossed.  A day beside the West Coast main line at Roade would normally include three or four goods trains passing in the distance on the Ravenstone Wood-Towcester section of the SMJ, and an afternoon at Penny Compton would bring one or two SMJ freights as a change from the frequent Western Region trains on the Paddington-Birmingham main line.
I understand that WD 2-8-0s from Woodford Halse shed were regular motive power on SMJ freights, especially at the western end of the line, but I never saw any; all goods trains that I saw on the SMJ were hauled by 0-6-0s.  4Fs from Bedford and Northampton sheds predominated, but once I saw a Bedford 3F on an SMJ freight at Penny Compton, and once a 4F from Gloucester shed appeared.
Once, prior to attending a Shakespearian performance at Stratford with our parents, my brother and I paid a quick visit to the small open-air engine-shed there; it was a sub-depot of Tyseley shed in Birmingham.  There were a Western Region 2-6-2T and a “Hall” 4-6-0 in the station approaches, a Western Region 2-8-0 from Severn Tunnel Junction shed in South Wales on a siding by the station, buffer-to-buffer with a 4F, and two more 4Fs were being coaled.  The three 4Fs were 44219 from Northampton and 44266 and 44317 from Bedford.

Class 50 Naval History
Glyn Gossan
As it is now some 20 years since the demise of the Class 50s on the main line, I have recently read a book about Warships (vessels not the other diesel class) after which several Class 50s were named.  I found it of interest and hope that the following info may be of interest to other Class 50 fans.
HMS Furious (50034), First World War vessel, converted from a battle cruiser, rebuilt to a carrier in 1916.
HMS Eagle (50043), first dedicated aircraft carrier, converted from a Chilean battleship and unique as being the only
carrier with two funnels.
HMS Dreadnought (50001), built in 1906 as the first “super battleship”, 22,000 tons and 11" thick armour plate.
HMS Renown (50029), one of three battle cruisers retained after Word War One, also survived World War Two and scrapped in 1948.
HMS Warspite (50014), fought in Jutland during World War One and also survived World War Two.
HMS Rodney (50021), one of two new 35000 tons battleships with 16" guns launched in 1925.  This was one of the ships which eventually sank the “Bismarck”.
HMS Ark Royal (50035), arguably the most famous name of the class; the carrier which launched the Swordfish plane that disabled the German battleship “Bismarck” which was sunk by the “King George V” and “Rodney”.
HMS Vanguard (50024), was Britain's last battleship, built in 1946 and scrapped in 1960.
HMS Courageous (50032), a carrier that was sunk by a U boat within days of the outbreak of World War Two.
HMS Glorious (50033), another carrier, sunk off Norway in 1940 by the German battleships “Sharnhorst” and “Gnieusenau”".
HMS Hood (50046), probably almost as famous as the Ark Royal; this battleship built in 1920, met her end being sunk by the “Bismarck” in 1941.
HMS Exeter (50044), fought at the Battle of the River Plate, leading to the scuttling of the German ship, the “Graff Spey”, in 1939.  The “Ajax” and “Achilles” were also in the battle.
HMS Royal Oak (50017), sunk by a U boat in 1939.
HMS Victorious (50036), the only carrier modernised to carry jet aircraft
HMS Invincible (50025), fought in the Falklands War in 1982, built 1980 to replace the “Ark Royal”, built in 1950 and
retired in 1978.
To avoid confusion it must be pointed out that there are a few names that have been used by more than one “version” of vessel.

Pennine Observer Notes
Eastern Region
Recent sightings at Doncaster have been:
Aug 18  66555/731/741/201/006/131/530/721 Coal 66207, 66199, 66162, 66711 Intermodal
66249 Rails
66541, 66566 Freightliners
66706 Gypsum
67020 Light engine
66142 sand
Aug 25 
67030 Thunderbird
66152, 66201, 66230, 66710 Intermodal
66002, 60011 Rails
66505, 66541 Freightliners
66519/098/131/726/125/702/525/520 Coal
66168 Stone
66067 Sand
Sep 1   
67030 Thunderbird
66008, 66080, 66736 Intermodal
66014 Rails
66595/553/720/009/714/050/506/513/728/530 Coal
66516, 66538 Freightliners
66249 RHTT   
66077 Gypsum   
66125 Sand
Sep 15   
67026 Thunderbird
37607 with DVT 82102   
66701/707/736/103/513/548/716/175/080       Coal
66191 Rails       
66558, 66570 Freightliners   
66007, 66109, 66155, 66732 Intermodal   
66525, 66142 Light engines  
66125 Gypsum   
66033 Sand 
66043 Stone
Sep 22   
67008 Thunderbird   
66039, 660060, 66112, 66741 Intermodal   
66504, 66534 Freightliners   
66602/106/716/736/051/550/713 Coal   
66014, 66085 Stone
Sep 29   
67008, 67022 Thunderbirds
60096 Rails
66706/713/716/707/741/66552/551/520 Coal
66514, 66593, 66501 Freightliners
66133, 66060, 66108, 66738 Intermodal   
47245, 47580 e.c.s. to Carnforth
60019 Limestone  
66083 Stone   
66152 engineers

Oct 2    66599, 66547, 66511, 66530, 66711, 66067,     67022 and 67008

Oct 6    67001, 67022 Route learning

67026 Thunderbird

66041, 66717 Intermodal

66156 Rails

66563, 66502 Freightliners

66164 Stone

66018 Gypsum

47854/47580 Charter

47601/47826 Charter

66506/552/055/139/037/061/114/738/707/     715/741/720 Coal

Oct 13
   
67001 Route learnin

67022 Thunderbird

60041, 66119, 66188, 66717 Intermodal

60010, 60085 Rails

66565, 66593, 66502 Freightliners

66115/741/725/118/530/701/715 Coal

66050, 66014 Gypsum

60019 Limestone

66132 Sand

66002 Aggregates

Oct 15    66725 on coal train

66011+66172 light engine

Oct 20    67026 Thunderbird

67001 Route learning

66086, 66035, 66717 Intermodal

66150/722/713/585/524/711 Coal

66213, 60065 Rails

66540, 66412 Freightliners

66004, 66201 Gypsum

66002 Limestone

66121 Stone

66010 Sand

 57314 Wabtec

Oct 23    67001 Thunderbird

Oct 27    67025 Thunderbird

66129, 66067, 66206, 66727 Intermodal

66503, 66535 Freightliners

 66088 Light engine

66150, 66009 Gypsum

66156 Limestone

66010 Sand

66014 Stone

66703, 66715, 66728, 66739, 66741 Coal

66087, 66198 Rails

Nov 3    67001 Route learner

67022 Thunderbird

66742 Parked in West Yard

66139, 66158 Gypsum

66150, 66071 Rails

66516, 66503 Freightliners

66054, 66065, 66732 Intermodal

66622, 60019 Limestone

20096, 20142 RHTT

66705, 66707, 66710, 66201, 66555 Coal

66238 Light engine

66010 Sand

66013 Stone

Recent sightings on the Gainsborough – Barnetby line have been:

Sep 1    66713/714/720/728 on coal   trains

Sep 2    66706 on goods train

66714, 66720 and 66728 on coal trains

Sep 3    66050, 66057 and 66728 on coal trains

Sep 4    66007 and 66050 on coal trains

Sep 5    66162, 66711 and 66714 on coal trains

Sep 6    66087 and 66711 on coal trains

Sep 7    66057 and 66714 on coal trains

Sep 8    66035, 66711 and 66714 on coal trains

66169 on oil train

Sep 9    66117/162/711/721/729 on coal trains

Sep 11    66075/129/158/162 on coal trains

Sep 12    66063, 66701 and 66736 on coal trains

Sep 15    66107/512/701/707/713/66736 on coal trains

Sep 16    66107/707/713/717 on coal trains

Sep 19    66053/117/129/713/717/736 on coal trains

Sep 20    66050/106/117/129/701/713/717/736 on coal     trains

Sep 22    66050/117/119/716/736 on coal trains

66076 on oil train

66710 on goods train

Sep 23    66132, 66716 and 66736 on coal trains

Sep 26    66019/050/117/707/713 on coal trains

66717 on goods train

Sep 29    66041/117/706/707/716/725 on coal trains

Sep 30    66041/707/713/716/741 on coal trains

66717 on goods train

Oct 1    66114 and 66117 on coal trains

Oct 3    66080/117/230/715/716/720 on coal trains

Oct 6    66055/080/230/716/741/951 on coal trains

Oct 7    66050/111/715/716 on coal trains

Oct 10    66055, 66715 and 66725 on coal trains

Oct 14    66140 and 66715 on coal trains

Oct 15    66117 on coal train

66728 on goods train

Oct 16    60049 on ballast train

66117, 66120 and 66193 on coal trains

Oct 17    66092 and 66713 on coal trains

Recent sightings at Peterborough have been:

Aug 21  66191, 20302, 20304, 66403, 66416, 66743,     66723, 66726, 66741, 66711, 66726, 66730     and D9000

Oct 2    20302, 20305, 66728, 66727, 66723-725,       66706, 66741, 66710, 66714 and 66191

Oct 7    66746, 66743, 66735, 66710, 66719, 66710,     66721, 67002 and 67028

Oct 21    66741, 66740, 20301, 20302, 20304, 20305,     66212 and 67001

Other recent sightings have been:

Sep 7    66057 and 66720 on coal trains at Clarborough

Sep 14    66063, 66158 and 66721 on coal trains at Rushey Sidings

Sep 21    66129 and 66158 on coal trains at Clarborough

Sep 23    08750 at Ilford
90035 at Colchester

66431 at Stowmarket 66562, 66502, 66563, 66540, 66030, 86501,     90044 90045, 66510, 66588, 31285, 90048 at     Ipswich
37607 and 47818 at Norwich
90002-004, 90006-008, 90010-012 and       90015 on Liverpool Street – Norwich service

Sep 28    66117, 66523 and 66710 on coal trains and     20189+20142 light engine at Rushey Sidings

Oct 5    66050, 66117, 66591 and 66706 on coal       trains at Clarborough

Oct 12    66004 and 66706 on coal trains and 66106     with 2 wagons at Clarborough

Oct 25    Ex Works DBS liveried 60054 in Aldwarke    Yard

On 28 October 322483, one of Northern’s ‘new’ EMUs, was observed at Doncaster on the 12.26 to Leeds.  The unit, still in unbranded Scotrail base blue livery, is one of 5 transferred down from Scotland.  Their former duties on Edinburgh/North Berwick duties having been taken over by brand new class 380 EMUs.
Due to two class 91s being used for overnight high speed pantograph tests the following diagram was covered by an FGW HST set from Monday 30 October to Friday 4 November: 08.30 Kings Cross – Newcastle, 12.25 Newcastle - Kings Cross, 16.33 Kings Cross – Leeds and 19.15 Leeds - Kings Cross.  On the Tuesday morning 43163/041 were seen at Peterborough on the 08.30 and also at Doncaster on the following day on the 19.15 ex Leeds.  43163's name of “EXETER POWER SIGNAL BOX” seems a bit incongruous on the ECML?

London Area
Locos noted in the Wembley/Willesden area on 20 August were 67018, 90047, 66089, 66058, 66593, 67002, 66059 and 66562; also 90020 and 90036 were seen at Euston.

Midland Region
Locos noted in the Crewe area on 20 August were 70010, 66542, 66030, 66168, 66194, 60040 and 60011.  On the same day at Warrington were 67022, 31601, 97304, 66136, 66135 and 66183.
Locos seen at Derby Research Centre on 7 October were 37423, 31422, 73139, 08893, 08417 and 31452
Locos noted in the Washwood Heath area on 23 October were 66571, 66505, 66588, 66590 and 66517; also 73134 and 56301 were seen near Burton.
Locos seen on 29 October were 92001, 92015, 92019 and 92031 at Crewe, 66511, 66530, 66531, 66528, 66597, 86610, 86630, 70003, 70005, 70011 and 70006 in Basford Hall area, 92001, 92015, 92019 and 92031 at Bescot, 66558, 66104, 66618, 66037, 66541, 66412 and 66534 in Wolverhampton area, 66024, 90048, 66059, 86632, 86610 and 86607 at Liverpool Edge Hill, 66526 and 66623 at Bordon Hill and 08943 at Central Rivers.

Scottish Region
Locos stabled at Edinburgh Waverley on 28 September were 67017 and 90028.  67005 worked the 17.08 Edinburgh - Edinburgh (Fife Circle) and 67011 worked the 17.21 Edinburgh - Cardenden.

Railtours and Charter Trains
Locos seen on railtours and charters have been:
Aug 20  (“The Limestone Cowboy”) 92042, 66122,     66121 and 92016
Aug 21  (Kings Cross – Cambridge Charter) 70000
Aug 30  (“Scarborough Spa Express”) 70013
Sep 2    (Northern Belle) 47590 and 47832
Sep 28    (Railtourer Steam Special) 48151
Oct 1    (“The City of York”) 90028 and 67017    (“Tees Goblin”) 66008 and 66112
Oct 8    (“The Peaks and Fells Explorer) 47854 and     47237
Seen whilst travelling on 8 October were 47845/500/854/237/746, 20311/314, 33030, 08485, 66957/075/423/158/132/850, 37668/516/214/608/218/038/229, 222011/008/017, 142061/023/053/049/025/084, 158857/774/856, 150134/207/137, 333013, 156482/501/479/478/420, 390048/027/015/008/040/035, 175102, 153304/324/316.
Oct 28    (Private Charter) 90049
Oct 29    (“Another Rivers Tour”) 66206 and 66118

Preserved Railways
Gerry Collins (Pennine Bus reporter) enjoyed a holiday on the IOW and travelled from Wootton to Smallbrook Junction behind ex military industrial 0-6-0 loco “Waggoner” hauling a rake of 4-wheel restored vintage coaches.  Also running was No. 24 “Calbourne” with a similar rake of 4-wheel coaches.  Both trains were full and No. 8 “Freshwater” was noted in the yard.  Gerry said it was a well run railway, but still waiting the cash to build Wootton Station, so at the moment a grounded SR BY van serves as a platform shelter.

Locos used at the Peak Rail Shunter Day on 3 September were D2854, 06003, D2953, 03113, PWM654, 08016, 03099 and D2199 giving brake van rides and D8 and 68013 on the Rowsley – Matlock service.

Locos working at the North Yorkshire Moors Diesel Gala on 17 September were D5061, 73136, 33012, 20107, 20096, 31264, 31128, D7628 and steam 45428.

Locos used at the Mid Norfolk Diesel Gala on 24 September were 56302, 59001, 59101, 31438, 37219, 37003, 50019 and 31235.

Locos working at the NYM Autumn Steam Gala between 30 September and 2 October were 63395, 45428, 44767, 49395, 92214, 825, 7822 and 92214.

Locos used at the Nene Valley Diesel Gala on 2 October were 33201, 14029, 37503, 20107, 56303, 45060, 31108, 31190 and 08022.

Locos working at the Great Central Steam Gala on 8 October were GWR 4953, 30777 “SIR LAMIEL”, 34007 “WADEBRIDGE”, 47406, LMS 8624, S&D 88, 63601, 78019.

Locos used at the Spa Valley Diesel Gala on 21 October were 37254, 33063 and E6047 (73140).

Locos used at the Tyseley Locomotive Works Open Day on 23 October were Pannier Tanks 9600 and L94 (7752).  Also on display were 46201, 4936, 4965, Peckett No. 1 (all in steam), 5593 and 5043.

The weekend of 21/22 October saw the return to traffic, on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, of superbly restored 33035 resplendent in BR blue livery.  Due to a problem with the coaching stock the Crompton hauled DMU cars E50599/E59303/W51360.  DMU M51188/E50170 handled services on the Ravenstor branch.

Trip to Tyseley
The following were seen on a trip to Tyseley on 8th September 2011:
Derby 172214
Burton 56301/302, 26011, 37697
Water Orton 66605
Lawley Street 66565/572/588
New Street 350107/124/249/256/258/262, 390001/013/018/020/027, 90045
Moor Street 172337/338, 67015, 150002/003/010/014/106, 168111, 31601
Tyseley Depot 172211/215/333/339/342/343/344
Tyseley Station 150005/011/012/015/019/104/109/124/214-216, 168001/005/107/109/110/215-217, 165010/017/021, 153354/364/356, 172345, 66566/571/024/535/604/084, 67012

Pennine Quiz No. 146
Geoff Bambrough

1  Which 2 D800 Series ‘Warships’ appeared in blue   livery during their latter days?

2  In the pilot modernisation scheme, the British   Transport Commission authorised orders for a total   of 14 new diesel-hydraulic locomotives for the   Western Region across 3 classes:- namely D600s,   D800s and D6300s.  How many locomotives of each   of these classes were ordered (i.e. class by class   totals) to arrive at the total of 14?

3  D812 carried the name ‘The Royal Naval Reserve’,   but what other name was originally allocated to the   locomotive but never carried?

4  Only 2 of the D800 Series ‘Warships’ were cut up at   Cashmores, Newport.  What were the numbers of   the 2 locomotives disposed of in this way?

5 Which D800 Series ‘Warship’ was the only one to   be withdrawn while still in green livery?

6  The Bristol Siddeley-Maybach MD650 series   engines were fitted from new to all of the Swindon-  built ‘Warships’ , except one, which entered traffic   fitted with experimental Paxman ‘Ventura’ engines,    What was the number of this loco?

7  In the days of 4-digit reporting numbers on the   Western Region, if a ‘Warship’ was carrying a   reporting number of ‘0F77’ where should its   destination be?

8  March 1963 saw the first allocation to the Western   Region of a ‘main-line’ (non-experimental, non-  shunter) diesel electric locomotive.  What was the   locos number?

9  Which of the ‘Westerns’ appeared initially in   ‘Golden Ochre’ livery?

10  Which ‘Western’ was numerically the second of the   Swindon ‘Westerns’ to appear in maroon livery?

11  Which ‘Western’ was withdrawn in 1974 as a result   of the tragic Ealing accident?

12  Which ‘bridge’ was the fuelling point for   Paddington?

13  On 17th March 1975 which ‘Western’ was entrusted   to ‘drag’ steam locomotive 6229 ‘Duchess of   Hamilton’ on its journey from Butlin’s Minehead to   Swindon Works?

14  Which tunnel passed through on a journey to Exeter   marks the boundary between Somerset and Devon?

15  Which 3 ‘Westerns’ were the only ones never to   carry maroon livery?

16  On a rail journey between Dawlish and Teignmouth,   how many tunnels would you pass through?

17  Which ‘Western’ had its nameplate changed in 1967   in order to correct a spelling error?

18  Which was the 100th Type 4 diesel locomotive   manufactured by Brush at Loughborough?

19  Which was the last Class 47 to be built by Brush in   the Falcon Works?

20  Sulzer-engined Class 47s were, between 1966 and   1969, derated to 2580b.h.p., but what b.h.p. were   they derated from?

21  Which Class 47 was specifically prepared for the   XP64 prototype passenger train in 1964?

22  As part of the ‘GWR 150’ celebrations of 1985   Class 7 no. 47508 had its name changed to ‘S.S.   Great Britain’.  What was its name before the   change?

23  The Class 47 locomotive which received TOPS no.   47545 had previously been allocated a different   TOPS no. which it never carried, what was the no. it   never carried?

24  In June 1975 a Class 47 spotted in East Anglia   carrying train identification ‘1N28’ would be   working which inter-city express?

25  In December 1975 a Class 47 spotted on the East   Coast Main line carrying train identification ‘1A09’   would be working which inter-city express?

26  What shape were the works plates on Class 47s   constructed at Brush, Loughborough?

27  What shape were the works plates on Class 47s   constructed at Crewe Works?

28  Which 6 consecutively numbered Class 47s were   allocated to the Southern Region between 1966 and   1968?

29  47007 was named ‘Stratford’ on 15th November   1986, which famous ‘motif’ cast in metal was   mounted above the nameplate?

30  Which was the first of the Class 47 fleet to be   painted in Network South East (red, white, blue and   grey) livery?  (The loco was painted in this livery   prior to a special naming ceremony.)

Pennine Quiz No. 145

 

The Answers

1  Tickle-Cock Bridge

2  Three Arch

3  Heck Ings

4  Cryant Grange 4-6-0

5  1838

6  Mauretania

7  Torquay Pullman

8  Churchward in 1904

9  1925

10  4-6-2 Flying Fox, 4-6-0 Pendennis Castle, Kings Cross

11  £100,000

12  71.8 mph

13  1852

14  1893

15  61445

16  The Commercial

17  The Midland Railway removed the points

18  1966

19  1968

20  48s 1d 3rd Class, 72s 2d 1st Class

21  Crofton

22  Corrour, Scotland

23  Harringworth

24  Shrewsbury

25  1952

Pennine Quiz No. 145

 

The Winners

1st  Ken King
2nd  John Dewing
3rd  Ian Shenton

Congratulations to all the winners.

Pennine Meetings 2012

 

Meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Wednesday 4th January 2012
Jim Sambrooks

 Sunday 8th January 2012
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - 12noon SALUTATION INN

Wednesday 18th January 2012
Paul Micklethwaite

Wednesday 1st February 2012
Andy Barclay

Wednesday 15th February 2012
Steve Gay
'Railways in a Yorkshire Landscape'

Wednesday 7th March 2012
Ian Waller

Wednesday 21st March 2012
Ken Grainger
'Sheffield Victoria and Great Central War Memorial'

Wednesday 4th April 2012
Keith Glossop

Wednesday 18th April 2012
Andrew Watts

 Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Geoff Bambrough, Tony Caddick, Gerry Collins, John Dewing, Ken King, Phil Lowis, John Sanderson, Robin Skinner, Paul Slater, Les Stevens and Tosca.

Next Issue
The Spring 2012 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on 21st March would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by no later than Wednesday 15th February - THANK YOU.  If you can email, please your contributions to david@whitlam145.freeserve.co.uk.

“Excuses please”
Figures reveal £200m cost of fare dodging on the railways

Fare dodgers are depriving the rail network and other passengers of an estimated £200m a year, according to figures published by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) which represents Britain’s train operators.
Fare dodgers who choose to travel without buying a ticket are estimated to be making more than 110,000 train journeys each and every day on the rail network.
The figures come as train companies publish a list of some of the more memorable excuses used by passengers caught travelling without a ticket.
Examples of excuses given by fare dodgers for not buying a ticket include:-
·  “I’m related to the queen so I don’t need a ticket.”
·  “I'm in the Zimbabwean SAS, on covert ops.”
·  “Don't you know who I am?”
·  “What's a ticket?”
·  “Do I need a ticket? I thought the railway was free.”
·  “If the ticket man doesn't see me then I don't need one.”
·  “I’m a freeman of the land, I don’t recognise the law and the law does not apply to me.”
·  An adult travelling with a child ticket said “I thought I was a child until I was 21.”
·  A passenger claimed he did not buy a ticket because “I didn't think you would accept my fare."
·  “I thought by hiding in the luggage rack you wouldn’t see me.”
The hundreds of millions of pounds lost every year due to fare dodging is money train operators could otherwise invest in improving services for passengers.
It is estimated that the £200m currently lost every year due to fare dodging would be enough to:
-  Lease over 1,300 extra commuter carriages, or;
-  Lease around 800 extra inter-city carriages for longer distance journeys, or;
-  Pay for the upkeep of around 380 stations for the next five years.

Train companies have a number of safeguards in place aimed at ensuring that customers unable to buy a ticket are not given a penalty fare.  Staff are regularly updated about ticket machines which may not be working and other circumstances which may prevent people from buying tickets.  Passengers should check with their train operator what its policies are on ticketing and fare evasion.

David Mapp, Commercial Director for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said:

“It’s frustrating for the vast majority of honest passengers who do pay for their ticket when fare dodgers’ selfish actions suck millions of pounds out of the railways each year.  That’s money both train companies and passengers alike would rather see going back into further improving services.

“Train companies deal with fare dodgers in a fair but firm manner.  Where there is a genuine reason for someone travelling without a ticket, train companies will always use their discretion.  Strong deterrents are in place to ensure that the vast majority of passengers don’t end up paying for the few who think they can get away without buying a ticket.  As these excuses show, there are always some people who choose to spend time thinking up an excuse rather than buying a ticket.”

Based on evidence from train companies’ initiatives to detect fare dodgers, ATOC estimates that between 3% and 5% of journeys made on the network every day are made without tickets.  Applying the conservative lower estimate of 3%, 40.7m journeys were made last year by fare evaders.  Multiplying the number of journeys by the average price paid for a ticket, £4.89, ATOC estimates that around £199million is lost to fare evasion.

Train companies and Network Rail spend £1.25bn every five years on renewing and maintaining the country’s train stations.  £200m represents around 15% of that expenditure.  There are just over 2,500 stations in the country.  Therefore, £200m would pay for the equivalent of the upkeep of around 380 stations for the next five years.

For £200m per year, it is estimated that train companies could lease and maintain around 1,300 extra train carriages of the type typically used for commuter trains or around 800 extra carriages of the type typically used for inter-city trains.

This was a Press Release issued by ATOC on 19 September 2011.

Blackpool Farewell
Tony Caddick
By the time these notes appear in print the world famous Blackpool Tramway will have closed for its final winter of rebuilding works to enable it to reopen next Easter as a new modern light rail system.  The old system was due to run for the final time on Sunday 6 November after which most of the old fleet will be leaving for new homes hopefully.

News

 

The first of the new BOMBARDIER FLEXITY 2 trams arrived via Hull docks at the new Starr Gate depot in the early hours of a wet and windy 29 August.  Carrying fleet number 001 the shiny new tram was unveiled in a blaze of publicity to the worlds press and invited guests on a very dull and windy Thursday 8 September.  The event itself was superbly organized by Bombardier but in a nice nod to the past guests were invited to travel to the depot from Pleasure Beach in either Brush car 632 of 1937, English Electric original series 1 d/d car 700 (now rebuilt with extended platform/powered doors) of 1934 and E/E series 2 d/d 717 of 1935 resplendent in its original livery.  After its showbiz style unveiling 001 made two return trips to Pleasure Beach on the northbound line for the invited great and good.  Since then it has made regular outings to Pleasure Beach with just the one trip thus far to Little Bispham.  This trip, before the start of the daily normal service, was undertaken to confirm clearances on all the rebuilt stops on the Starr Gate - Little Bispham section.  Once all the outstanding work is completed on the section north to Fleetwood, hopefully by Christmas, the new trams will have the system to themselves and all the testing will culminate in a final period of “ghost” running before the new service starts next Good Friday.

Word still has it that all the redundant trams have found new owners but this will soon have to be confirmed as the Blackpool Transport Services MD has stated that all sold cars must be off the premises by the end of November as part of the Rigby Road tram depot is to be converted for use by buses.

Two confirmed imminent moves to the National Tramway Museum at Crich are Boat car 607 of 1934 and “Jubilee” decker 762 rebuilt in 1982 as an OMO tram from E/E car 714 of 1935 and therefore the last double deck tram built in the UK.  607 is currently undergoing its first ever major overhaul funded by the NTM and therefore may have the dubious distinction of being the last tram to be overhauled in the Rigby Road workshops.

Final Weekend

Thankfully the final weekend (5/6 November) was blessed with glorious sunny weather and hundreds of enthusiasts from all over the country descended on the resort to pay homage to the old system.  Two tours ran on the Saturday - Tramways Monthly used boat car 600 (thankfully wet weather substitute 631 not needed) and heritage balloon car 717 on a morning/afternoon tour; later an afternoon/evening tour by the Lancastrian Transport Trust utilized their own 1970s liveried balloon car 715 and Standard car 147.

The final day saw two farewell tours both utilizing the two remaining serviceable twin-car sets.  The morning/afternoon tour by Tramways Monthly used 672/682 and the final afternoon/evening tour by the Fylde Tramway Society were blessed with 675/685 and the wonderful 70s liveried 715 again.  There was hardly a dry eye in the crowd as 715 trundled back to depot up Lytham Road at 10 o'clock for the last time.

Other cars in use on the final day were:-

·  Brush cars 631, 632

·  Centenary Cars 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 648 (645 failed at Bispham around noon and was replaced by 643)

·  Balloon Double Deckers 707, 709, 711, 713, 718, 719, 720, 724, 761

·  Illuminated Cars 733/734 (Western Train), 736 (Frigate), 737 (Trawler)

As usual during this year’s Illuminations season all the single deck cars were replaced between 16.00/18.00 by the double deckers so the final few hours were all in the hands, we thought, of the balloons.  Thoughts by now were turning as to what car would work the final booked service when, around 21.00ish, 711 developed a problem with its platform doors and was replaced in service for one last night of glory by Twin-car set 672/682.  As the taken over duty involved the SECOND last service car (23.16 Little Bispham - Manchester Square) and that rebuilt balloon 707 (a car modified for the new system) was the booked last car 15 minutes later all the enthusiasts voted with there feet and made for set 2!  Thankfully with a willing crew everybody managed to cram on somehow and were all finally disgorged at Manchester Square at 23.40 to view the twin depart to depot and a very uncertain future.  Almost as an anti climax 15 minutes later 720, an un-needed relief tram as it turned out, and 707 arrived and rolled down Lytham Road and screeched round the sharp corner into Hopton Road and onto Rigby Road depot.

So appropriately at 23.59 balloon car 707 brought the curtain down on 126 years of street tramway operation in the UK.  As far as Blackpool is concerned the new light rail era starts next Easter but for now.....After all these years of faithful service its Goodbye old friends.

P.S.

On Tuesday 8 November “Jubilee” decker 762 was put on a low loader for its journey to Crich and was safely unloaded at its new home the following day.

Photo - 717 and 715 at the Pleasure Beach on Saturday 5 November (taken by David Whitlam)