THE MAGAZINE OF THE PENNINE RAILWAY
The Committee of the PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY join together to wish
all our members and their families a very happy Christmas and a
Prosperous New Year, and we thank you all for your support and
friendship in 1996.
With this magazine you will find a renewal of membership form.
Unfortunately the increased costs that affect us all also has an
effect on the running of our Society. one of our main points of
contact with our members is through this magazine, and I am sure you
will agree that David's 1996 magazines have been excellent, both in
quality and in quantity of pages. We will strive to maintain this in
As a result in increased costs, regretfully we have had to increase
membership fees for 1997 by 50p to £4.50. We never like to increase
fees but it will guarantee the financial security of the Society we
hope you understand.
Once again, all members in rejoining the Society will receive a FREE
1997 PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY pocket diary.
Annual General Meeting
The Society's AGM will be held on Sunday 12 January 1997t in the
Corporation Brewery Taps, Doncaster. The AGM will start at 12 noon.
This is the opportunity for you, the members, to meet friends and to
have a say in the running of the Society.
Chunnel Remembered - Robin Le Skinner
There'll be carloads of Louise's
From Parisienne Stripteases
Importing foul diseases
And modern French Wells Fargos
Sending juggernauts with cargoes
Of French legs and escargots
And men's scent.
Marje Skinner - Fastest?
Our Agony Aunt, Marje Skinner has received an unusual problem
One member who wishes to remain anonymous says whilst being a rail
enthusiast has a fear of speed and therefore has for years travelled
behind Class 31s whenever possible. He now has to spend time in
London and asks "Which is the fastest stretch of line on the London
Marje replies : "Dear Mr Taylor, average speed on the Tube's 244
miles of track is 20.5mph. The fastest underground stretch is on the
Victoria Line between Finsbury Park and Seven Sisters where trains
can reach 57mph.
But the fastest stretch on the system is the 4 miles above ground on
the Metropolitan Line southbound between Chalfont & Latimer and
Chorleywood, where trains can travel as fast as the 70mph limit"
Richard Branson has pledged himself to bringing "airline standards
of service" to his CrossCountry InterCity network. Trains may now be
diverted from Brighton to Glasgow because of fog; there will be
three hour waits at Paddington because the 12.15 from Paddington is
still in Exeter with engine trouble; there will be carousel chaos at
Kings Cross; and passengers' luggage will be sent to Dundee when
they are travelling to Bournemouth.
Marie Skinner - Longest?
One member who wishes to remain anonymous asks Dr Skinner "One of
the platforms at Pontypridd station was once said to be the longest
in the UK. Is this still true."
Marje responds "The longest in the UK used to be that which joined
Manchester Victoria's platform 11 and Manchester Exchange's platform
3 at 2194ft. However, Rhys, it ceased to be functional with the
demise of Exchange station, though it was still in being as recently
as the early Nineties.
Colchester claimed the honour but its official length was reduced
from 1981ft to 1920ft, leaving Gloucester's rebuilt Platform holding
the record with an impressive length of 1977ft 4in approximately
Anna Gloag of Stagecoach is worth £168 million. Anna, along with her
brother Brian Souter, started with 2 buses in Perth in 1980. She is
now the richest woman in Britain after the Queen. Richard Branson's
entry in this category was not accepted.
Pennine's Royal aficionado, Tony Caddick, says that a Union Flag
raised in Ivybridge to mark the Duchess of York's 37th birthday was
lowered when local British Legion members said she did not deserve
such an honour.
TC states that after all we've heard about Fergie's
love life they'd be better off flying a pair of her knickers from
Sad but True
Thankfully the Eurostars are back on track. However on the first
service off Waterloo on recommencement of services, there were no
bona-fide passengers from Waterloo, and only 2 joined at Ashford.
American tourist Mrs Marvel Crumpacker and her daughter.
Wet in Wales
Spotters can now visit Wales in safety on Sundays. Pubs in Dwyfor,
Gwynedd are now open for the first time on Sundays for 115 years.
The district was the last place in Europe with a Sunday ban until a
local referendum ended it.
Peter Watson was chairman of the rolling stock leasing company
Porterbrook after a management buy-out and before resale. He
collected £4m after Investing i125 000 and worked one day a month
for 8 months.
He is now employed as the £143,000 boss of AEA Technology, the
atomic research business being prepared for privatisation.
Chunnel was Sinking Ferries
Before the fire 45% of all cross Channel travellers were using the
tunnel, with some analysts predicting this to reach 60%in 1997.
This has been achieved by a fierce price war on car-carrying trains
and a change in ownership of the British arm of Eurostar passenger
trains marketing the service more aggressively as an alternative not
only to ferries but Continental flights.
Prism Rail Bosses in the Money
Ten founders of the fledgling railways operator Prism Rail are
receiving £7.4m of new shares following the takeover of two
franchises covering more than 1500 miles.
Prism Rail now operates SW & W Railway and Cardiff Railway in
addition to running LTS Rail.
Investigators probing the Channel Tunnel blaze will examine the
design of wagons carrying lorries.
These wagons are open at both ends and have latticework- sides. Each
train has 28 vehicle carrying wagons each able to take one 44 ton
HGV. Drivers ride in an enclosed carriage.
The freight wagons are not enclosed in order to save weight. If they
were it is estimated the length of trains would have to be cut from
28 carriages to seven, slashing revenue each train makes from about
.£8000 to £2000.
All 1600 people working for European Passenger Services have been
asked whether they want to take voluntary severance. The move
follows the takeover of EPS by London and Continental, the
consortium which won the contest to build and operate the new
Channel tunnel high speed link.
Part funding of the building of the 68-mile link will come from
Two train operating companies are to spend £450m on their fleets.
Connex Rail, a French-owned company which has won the franchise to
run South Eastern Trains has pledged to spend £400m replacing its
entire fleet of slam-door trains within 10 years, and Great Western
Trains has agreed with Angel Train Contracts a £50m repair and
upgrading of its fleet of high-speed trains.
Connex's first priority is to replace Class 411 coaches by 1999,
with Class 421 and 423 trains replaced later.
Papier mache shaped human figures travelled on Regional Railways
North East trains between Bridlington and Hull as part of a
community arts project. Others stood or sat at station platforms
dressed as Yorkshire people who spent their holidays in Bridlington
100 years ago. We wondered why there were so many sightings of
Pennine President Geoff Bambrough on that line.
Welcome to the Winter edition of Trans Pennine.
As I write these notes on November 18th, "winter" has arrived in the
shape of a few snow showers, and accompanying those showers is the
inevitable disruption to public transport. It always amazes me that,
for A nation obsessed with the weather, the British seem singularly
unable to cope with its effects!
Earlier today, I was on the platform at Thorne North station waiting
for a train back to Doncaster. A railman popped his head out of the
booking-office door and asked me if I was going further than
Doncaster because: "All the trains from there are disrupted". When I
mentioned that this was to be expected as there had been a snow
shower, he replied, "Ah, this year it's different". "Why's that?" I
asked. "Because this year we're allowed to blame Railtrack!" The
joys of privatisation!
It just remains for me to thank everyone who has contributed to the
magazine over the past year and wish all members and their families
a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
Notes from the Committee
The Annual General Meeting of the Pennine Railway Society will be
held at Corporation Brewery Taps, Doncaster, on Sunday 12 January
1997, commencing at 12.00 and all members are invited to attend.
The AGM, which usually lasts about 11/2 hours, will commence with a
report by the present committee on the year's happenings, followed
by open discussion which encourages the membership to have a say in
the running of the society and also enables individual members to
stand for election to the committee.
Any member who has a topic for inclusion on the agenda is asked to
contact Robin Skinner before the AGM.
It is also the time of year when we invite all members to renew
their membership and you will find a renewal form at the back of the
magazine. The subscription for 1997 is £4.50 - rising costs have
forced us to increase last year's level by 50p, however, the
committee feel this is still a modest amount and would like to
remind members that all money is ploughed back into the society e.g.
Trans Pennine, diaries and quiz prizes. If you do wish to renew,
please send your form and money to Tony Caddick.
Finally, the committee would like to thank Mike Preston at the
'Taps' for continuing to make the concert room available to us, and
all members for their continued support. Have a Happy Christmas and
a prosperous New Year!
The 1996 Pennine Slide Competition.
The annual slide competition was held on Wednesday, October 2nd at
the Taps. Paul Slater once again took on the difficult task of
judging the 60 entries, ably assisted by Dave Whitlam, who sorted
the slides, operated the projector, and generally kept things going!
The winner was Andy Dolby, with a shot of 7or Valley" at Kirkby
Stephen, at the head of a Carlisle - Brighton charter. In second
place was Tony Caddick with a slide of 47750 at Corkwood Harbour
heading a Plymouth - Low Fell parcels train, whilst a shot of
railways in the Swiss Alps earned Neil Taylor third prize. Well
done, gentlemen, and thanks again to Paul and Dave for their
Cromford and High Peak
by Paul Slater
One of the most unusual steam specials I ever rode on was over the
unique Cromford and High Peak line in Derbyshire, in May 1959, when
I was fifteen. The excursion took place on a Sunday, but we were
told about it at school, and the master who ran the school Railway
Club organised a small party from those pupils who expressed an
interest. I already knew about the Cromford and High Peak, a curious
goods-only line which crossed high country on the southern fringe of
the Peak District and used stationary engines and cable worked
inclines as well as conventional locomotives and trains. The last
part of the Cromford and High Peak line closed in 1967, and since
then its trackbed has been converted into a footpath and cycleway
known as the High Peak trail. I have often walked and cycled on the
trail in recent years, and have seen several films and videos
featuring the line. I am pleased that I took the opportunity, back
in 1959, to ride on it and observe it when it was still functioning
as a railway.
The excursion to the Cromford and High Peak was probably arranged by
a national group such as the Stephenson Locomotive Society or the
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. A diesel multiple unit
was chartered to take the party up to Derbyshire; the train started
at Northampton, and along with others from school who were on the
trip, I joined the multiple unit at Wellingborough. Diesel
multiple-units had not long been introduced, and now that I have
travelled in them so many times over the years, it is strange to
recall that the excursion to the Peak District in 1959 was the first
time I rode in this sort of train, and it was a great novelty.
The multiple-unit travelled via Leicester and Derby to Matlock and
then over the highly scenic main line that used to run through the
Peak District to Manchester. After Millers Dale the train took the
Buxton branch and, reversing at Buxton, followed some lines which
are nowadays only used by stone traffic, but which in those days
were still open to passengers. The multiple-unit ran southwards from
Buxton on the line to Ashbourne, climbing higher and higher into
upland limestone country which seemed very strange and atmospheric
to me, past the present day start of the High Peak Trail and on to
Parsley Hay, nowadays a cycle hire centre but at that time the
junction station for the Cromford and High Peak fine. The line had
originally continued north-westwards past Buxton. to Whaley Bridge,
but that section had long been abandoned, superseded by the Buxton -
Ashbourne line, and in 1959 the Cromford and High Peak began at
The multiple-unit did not stop at Parsley Hay, but turned on to the
Cromford and High Peak and ran along the single-track fine as far as
Friden brickworks, the wheels grinding and squealing around the
sharp curves. The train halted at Friden and we all alighted; in the
loop stood the steam special, a mixture of brake vans and open gods
wagons hauled by ex-North London 0-6-OT no.58850. It was quite
unlike any other train I had ever travelled on and the engine, now
preserved, was something of a museum piece even then. We all milled
about in the confined space between the two trains, a warning shout
was given that the multiple-unit was going to move, and I had a
moment's panic as I stumbled and fell back against it, dangerously
close to some wheels. however, the diesel remained stationary, and
we all climbed into the special. I got into an open goods wagon
which promised a pleasant ride, the weather being warm and sunny.
The special set off, and began to wind its way around the limestone
uplands. The sun shone, the countryside was new to me, and the ride
was enjoyable as well as unusual. I noticed the extremely sharp
curve at Gotham, several quarries and lime-works, and, standing on
sidings, a number of old locomotive tenders used for transporting
water to isolated houses and industrial sites along the line. The
Cromford and High Peak was not built to carry limestone or water,
but these were two of its main types of traffic in its final years.
The Cromford and High Peak included the famous Hopton incline, at 1
in 14 the steepest gradient in the whole country worked by
conventional locomotives. Our special descended Hopton cautiously,
the vacuum brakes of the wagons grinding on, then 58850 worked hard
on a rising gradient through a rock cutting and then into a tunnel,
where those of us in the open wagons got the full benefit of the
The special terminated at Middleton, and we all got down on to the
trackside. The site was dominated by the engine house for Middleton
incline, with its tall chimney; the engine-house and winding engine
have been preserved, but where there is now the Middleton Top
visitor centre, in 1959 there were sidings and a small engine-shed
for the locomotives which worked westwards to Parsley Hay. On the
day of the special, the only locomotive in Middleton shed was U94"
0-6-OST no. 68030, and I can remember several of us from school
climbing on it.
We all had to walk the remaining length of the Cromford and High
Peak, down the 1 in 8 Middleton incline, along the level stretch to
Sheep Pasture, then down Sheep Pasture incline to Cromford Wharf. It
was a walk of several miles, but the scenery was impressive, the
weather at the end of a sunny spring afternoon was beautiful, and I
enjoyed the novelty of the mass walk along that unique railway. As
it was Sunday, no traffic was moving between Middleton and Cromford,
but the two cable-worked inclines were fascinating even when still
and silent. There was a small engine shed at Sheep Pasture, like
Middleton a sub-shed of Rowsley depot, then coded 171); unlike
Middleton shed Sheep Pasture shed was closed and locked, but through
a gap in the door we could see 0-4OST no.47007, a representative of
a small class of LMS dock shunters. This locomotive would be used
during the week for working trains between Sheep Pasture and the
bottom of Middleton incline.
At Cromford Wharf were the workshops of the line, now restored as a
railway museum, also a small sub-depot of Rowsley shed. On the day
of our visit this housed another U94" 0-6-OST, no. 68013, which
would have been used for workings between the bottom of Sheep
Pasture incline and the junction with the Manchester main line at
High Peak Junction.
We did not walk on to High Peak Junction but stayed in the vicinity
of Cromford Wharf it was a beautiful spot in the golden evening
sunshine, and I expect I was quite glad of a rest after the long
walk from Middleton. A "Jubilee" 46-0 speeding past on the main line
with an express for Manchester caused a little excitement, and then
a convoy of buses arrived for us. We were driven back to Matlock
Bath station., a "Royal Scot" 4-6-0 hurried through with an express
for St. Pancras, and then the diesel multiple-unit arrived to take
us back to Northamptonshire; it had presumably returned empty from
Friden via Parsley Hay and Buxton.
Soon we were heading south again, through the beautiful spring
evening. A point of interest on the homeward journey would be the
large number, of Midland and early LMS engines dumped at Derby
awaiting withdrawal. I have been to Derbyshire many times since
then, and have often visited the trackbed of the Cromford and High
Peak., the steam special over the quaint old line is still one of my
more memorable excursions.
Pennine Quiz- Christmas No.88
by Malcolm Bell
I find it very difficult to believe it's twelve months since I last
sat typing out the Christmas Quiz - but yes, it's that time of the
year again! Malcolm has set 50 questions to exercise the old grey
matter over the festive period, and just in case it's New Year
before you get round to it, the closing date is February 15, 1997.
2) Who was the longest serving railway inspecting officer?
3) D6703 carried a nameplate which was boarded over and never
unveiled. What was the name?
4) If a Deltic experienced wheelslip, what colour light glowed
on the driver's panel?
5) In which year was the Act of Parliament authorising the
construction of the Middleton to Leeds railway?
6) What was the maximum speed of a class 71?
7) Which company presented the bell to A4 4489?
8) The writer Charles Dickens was involved in a railway
accident as a passenger. Where did it occur?
9) Which town had stations called Central, Market Place and
10) Preserved examples apart, which was the last LMS 'Coronation'
class to be withdrawn?
11) Where was Britain's only railway disaster with no survivors?
12) Which was the only 'Western' to have its nameplate changed
during BR ownership?
13) Name the fireman who accompanied 'Coronation' 6220 (actually
6229) on its tour of America in 1939.
14) D5500 was the first main line diesel electric loco to be
delivered to the Eastern Region. On which date did it make its first
booked passenger working?
15) Sir Josiah Stamp of the LMS was made Baron Stamp of where?
16) What was 47901 originally numbered when built?
17) How many passengers were killed in railway accidents in 1952?
18) Before 1927, where was the Ulster Express's" mainland
destination from Euston?
19) What was the name of LMS 'Claughton' 5908?
20) Where was BTs first automatic half-barrier installed?
21) What is the overall length (over buffers) of a class 47?
22) Who was the ex-Haymarket driver who wrote books and magazine
articles under the pen-name "Toram Beg?
23) What was the date of the Hawes Junction disaster involving two
light-engines and a down 'Scotch Express'?
24) What was the BR number of the only 'Black 5' to be fitted with
Stephenson's outside link motion?
25) Who was Chief Mechanical Engineer to the London, Brighton and
South Coast railway from 1890 to 1904?
26) Which BR steam shed had the code 1B?
27) What was the first number of the loco named after the winner of
the Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup in 1949?
28) Which was the first 'West Country/Battle of Britain' class loco
to be rebuilt?
29) The paintings of Terence Cuneo are noted for the inclusion of
30) Which is the nearest station to Thornhill LNW. Junction?
31) What wheel arrangement did a 'Baltic' loco have?
32)The new EW.&S. class 61s are to be erected in which town?
33) Which station is the fictional 'Hatley' in the TV series "Oh, Dr
34) Who was the last Shed Master at Bath TMD, serving from 1956 to
the closure of the S&D?
35) What was the BR number of the LNER B17/B2 which carried four
different nameplates during its lifetime?
36) 'Wren', now in York Museum, was built for Horwich Works'
internal narrow gauge system. How many of its type were built?
37) How many feet below Ordnance Datum is the lowest point on
38) What is the overall width of an HST power car?
39) On West Country/Battle of Britain' class locos, what was the
horsepower of the steam turbine used to power the loco's electric
40) What type of birds attacked a council chairman at a recent DMU
41) Leaving Bath green Park on the Somerset and Dorset, what is the
name of the first tunnel?
42) In 1924, 'Caerphilly Castle' was exhibited alongside 'Flying
Scotsman' at which exhibition?
43) Which loco was used in a 10Omph arranged crash to demonstrate
nuclear flask container safety?
44) Which city station is situated between St. Chads Circus and
Colmore Circus roundabouts?
45) On which date was Barmouth Viaduct closed for repairs to sea
46) What name was originally carried by 'Castle' class loco 7005,
'Sir Edward Elgar'?
47) Which report published in January 1983 caused concern about the
future of Britain's railways?
48) Near which city centre is Mutley Tunnel?
49) Which railway features in the TV series "No Bananas"?
50) When did the last timetabled BR steam train run on the Vale of
Rheidol Railway, before its sale?
Pennine Quiz No.87 - The Answers
1) Dovey Junction and Borth
4) St. Gatien, Harvester
5) The Lord Mayor of London
6) 112 St. Simon
7) Birmingham Snow Hill
15) Stratford Works
17) The Talisman
22) Colchester Town
24) 7 (It has been pointed out that 47587 carries the name "Ruskin
College Oxford', which is one of the University's colleges,
therefore I would have also accepted 8 as the
I am sorry to say that only one entry was received for the quiz and
that was from John Dewing. I know there has been postal
disruption in various parts if the country in recent weeks and it is
possible that other entries have failed to get through - if yours is
one of those, please accept my apologies. Thanks again to Ken King
for setting the quiz.
the Papers Say!
Nothing about the Channel Tunnel fire in this column! (Well, apart
from a couple of cartoons reproduced below) No, what caught my eye,
when I was fishing around for snippets for this edition, was a full
page article in the Express about how Sindy has finally seen the
light, and developed an interest in railways. the article was
written by Toby Moore, the Transport Editor - thanks to Uncle
Whitlam for passing it on to me.
Private Eye - cartoonist Tom Husband
Private Eye - cartoonist Geoff Thompson
Fashion-tracking dolls model the latest in anorak chic
It'll be Thomas the Tank Top next. Sindy and boyfriend Paul have
been recruited to put the go-go into day-glo. Blame Oasis. The
Gallagher brothers' taste for naff nylon anoraks with stripes has
convinced trainspotters that trainspotting is trendy,
"It's really groovy now," said a spokeswoman for the National
Railway Museum at York, which has launched an initiative to change
the image of trainspotting.
The museum hopes that Sindy's fetching day-glo orange anorak and
plasticised denims will strike a cord with preteens, altering the
popular perception of trainspotters as nerdy loners with a style
bypass and, shall we say, modest social skills.
"We want to make the public aware that trainspotting is an
acceptable and pleasant way to pass the time, rather than being
the butt of jokes," the spokeswoman added. The museum now plans to
conduct a major survey into attitudes to trainspotting.
The dolls' clothes, from new designer Suzanna Leighton, are intended
to offer the trainspotter "functional but funky outfits"- her words
- to wear in all weathers. Including, presumably, the windswept
platforms of Crewe.
The museum spokeswoman said Noel and Liam Gallagher and Pulp's
Jarvis Cocker were already role models for anorak chic. She thought
part of it was down to the arrival of Eurostar trains through the
Sadly, toymakers Hasbro have no plans to produce more than a handful
of the Sindy-and-Paul-Go Trainspotting outfits. They will not be
manufactured for sale unless there is a huge demand.
There may well be. Research suggests that Britain harbours at least
two million trainspotters, though many probably keep it quiet. Their
numbers include a bishop and several Ws.
"There is so much more to an interest in trains than taking down
numbers," said Andrew Scott, director of the National Railway
Museum. "Railway fans are not boring people with nothing else in
their lives. Who could accuse Michael. Palin, or Victoria Wood, of
A spokeswoman for Sindy said that Vogue was "very keen" to run a
fashion spread of the supermodel in her new gear. The doll has
already appeared in the MTV magazine Blah Blah Blah. "For Sindy,
life is an adventure - she has always been on top of the trends,"
There are no firm plans to add the latest fashion worn by Sindy to
the shops, mainly because most of it is already there. An industry
expert said the Britpop bands had already made "functional fashion"
the thing to be seen in. And nylon, she reckoned, was enjoying a
renaissance beyond the platform gate.
View from a trainspotter
Lifelong trainspotter Nicholas Whitaker believes the hobby has
become a soft target because it is politically incorrect to make fun
"There's a complete national obsession with us," he said. I don't
know about these latest outfits, but you're not going to stand on
platforms or crawl around trains dressed in a three-piece suit. It's
not the biggest crime in the world to wear nylon slacks and Hush
Author Mr Whitaker, who is writing a novel with a trainspotter as
hero added: "A lot of people like me started in the 1960s. I was 11.
It was the done thing then, peer pressure as much as anything else.
I should think one in three boys trainspotted from about the age of
eight. Most never stopped. It's such a powerful influence.
"People think it's just jotting down numbers, but I think in the
final analysis it's an excuse for people to be social with each
other. The thing about trainspotting is you can do it either on your
own or not. There's a lot of camaraderie. Even now, the friends I've
got I made then.
"There's this big myth about trainspotters being asexual, with the
whole thing a substitute for girls. It's true a lot of spotters do
it to get out of the house - but their wives are usually glad
Those of you who are frequent travellers on London's Underground
system will have noticed the 'Poems on the Underground' series. The
Scottish Arts Council thought this was excellent idea and, some
years ago, commissioned the poet Edwin Morgan to write a series of
poems for the inauguration of Glasgow's refurbished Underground
system. Edwin sent in this sample but it caused such alarm in the
Strathclyde Transport Executive that they decided against using the
The Subway Piranhas
Did anyone tell
you that in each subway train
there is one special seat
with a small hole in it
and underneath the seat
is a tank of piranha fish
which have not been fed
for quite some time.
The fish become agitated
by the shoogling of the train
and jump up through the seat.
The resulting skeletons
of unlucky passengers
turn an honest penny
for the transport executive,
hanging far and wide in
Ale goes roamin' 'roon' Reekle!
(Translated - Your editor and his Good Beer Guide have been to
by David Bladen
When I began this column a while back, I wrote that editorial input
could be limited because yours truly does not get about as much as
he use to. Happily, I had an opportunity to rectify this, thanks to
a week's holiday (yes, the Koreans have allowed me a holiday!) and a
GNER 'Daypex' ticket to Edinburgh.
My plan had been to spend a couple of hours at Edinburgh Airport,
photographing the aircraft bringing delegates to a NATO conference,
followed by an hour in the city photographing buses (sorry, Gerry!)
then visit a couple of hostelries near the station (purely to
research this article, of course) before catching the 19.00
Edinburgh - Kings Cross home. I had my ticket, I'd phoned the
airport to confirm that the spectator's gallery would be open, and
lan McCaskill had said it would be cold but sunny (lan's never wrong
- well, not usually!). However, as a famous Scot once wrote, "The
best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agleyll ............
The day did not have an auspicious start. As I waited at the
station, 91012 was coupled on to the test-train and left heading
north. A fellow passenger remarked that this was possibly not a good
idea as '12 had failed at Hambleton the previous week while on test,
blocking the ECML for more than 11/2 hours. Shortly afterwards,
GNER-liveried 91025 arrived at the head of a similarly liveried rake
of stock, forming the 08.07 to Edinburgh. It was the first time that
Id seen the new colour-scheme in daylight - I only hope it grows on
Departure was on time and we made rapid progress to York, where the
test-train and 91012 were safely parked at an adjoining platform,
although there were several people peering intently underneath the
loco. The onward journey north was equally rapid and took place in
glorious autumn sunshine - good old lan! Beyond Newcastle, however,
things began to gang aft agley! Threatening clouds as we approached
the border were a foretaste of things to come. The closer we got to
Edinburgh, the worse the weather became and arrival in the capital
(seven minutes early) coincided with a very heavy snow shower. I
decided to photograph 91025 in the snow, but the light-meter thought
otherwise and suggested a setting of f2 at a fortnight!" I pressed
the shutter release anyway, more in hope than expectation.
Undaunted, I set off for the airport - lan had said there might be
the odd shower brushing the coast and I was hopeful that by the time
I reached Turnhouse the weather should have cleared.
Wrong! Not only did the shower continue but along came some friends
to join in. The few things moving at the airport seemed to be
snowploughs. A Boeing 757 and an Airbus 320 landed in flurries of
snow and spray but it was obvious that any aircraft not fitted with
an autoland system would have to divert. Sure enough, an airport
official confirmed that the military aircraft had diverted to
Leuchars. So now, what to do for six hours? One of the conditions of
a 'Daypex 'ticket is that you can only use specified trains- if you
want to use another train you pay the full fare, so going home early
was out of the question. The snowfall had started to ease but it was
still gloomy and my fight-meter confirmed photography would be a
waste of time and film. I decided to return to the city, do some
sightseeing and visit a couple more pubs than previously planned -
again, purely in the interests of research, you understand! The
result is the Rail Ale Guide to decent pubs near Waverley.
The first port of call is the Guildford Arms on West Register
Street. Leave the station via Waverley Steps, cross Princes Street
and the pub is behind 'Burger King. The Guildford is a large, plush
pub, very much in the style of the London 'Gin palaces', with ornate
ceilings and walls, polished woodwork, a separate 'Balcony Bar' and
a comfortable dining area. Scottish beers from Belhaven and
Caledonian were on sale, along with several English offerings. A
word of warning - the head barman has a wicked sense of humour. When
I asked him what sandwiches were on offer, he replied, "Dead cow,
dead pig, dead fowl and dead milk. " Pardon? "Beef, ham, chicken and
cheese! " The beef sandwich, Scottish beef by the way, was
From the Guildford, turn right onto Princes Street then after about
150 yards, right into North St David Street. First on the left is
Rose Street and 200 yards on the right you will find the Rose
Street Brewery. This is a small, plain pub with an upstairs
restaurant and a microbrewery attached. Two beers are brewed - Auld
Reekie 80/- and Auld Reekie 90/-.(Auld Reekie by the way is Scottish
slang for Edinburgh - don't ask me why!) Rose Street Brewery tends
to be pooh-poohed by CAMRA anoraks because the brewery is owned by
Carlsberg Tetley and the beers are brewed from malt-extract. Don't
let this put you off, however - the 80/- was absolutely spot-on. A
further bonus was being invited to join a small party of American
and Japanese tourists in a look at the brewery. There isn't a great
deal to see but the brewer more than made up for that with a very
informative talk on how his beers are produced. The Japanese
visitors especially were very impressed!
Turn right out of the pub and continue along Rose Street. Turn right
into Castle Street, cross George Street then turn left into Young
Street. Fifty yards on the left is the Oxford Bar. This is a
tiny, basic and very friendly place, where beers from Maclay,
Belhaven and Caledonian were on sale. Catering is limited to hot
pies from an old style glass pie oven, but on a very cold day, a hot
Scotch (mutton) pie and a pint by the fire in the back room is one
of fife's more subtle pleasures!
The walk to the next venue is quite lengthy, but takes you past
Edinburgh Castle and into the very interesting Old Town. Turn left
out of the Oxford and walk along Young Street, before turning left
into Charlotte Street. This will take you back to Princes Street,
which you cross and then head off down Lothian Road before turning
left into Kings Stable Road. At the end of this road turn left into
Grassmarket. Just on the left is the 'Scotch Whisky Heritage
Centre', a rather touristy title for what is one of Edinburgh's more
interesting attractions the queue of people waiting to get in
testified to its popularity. Carry on along Grassmarket before
turning left into West Bow.
The place we are heading for is the Bow Bar,
which is a single-room hostelry that is actually on Victoria Street,
the continuation of West Bow. The wood-panelled walls of the pub are
covered with many interesting brewery mirrors and several railway
signs. Other notable attractions are the bank of traditional
air-driven beer dispensers and one of the biggest selections of
single malt whiskies I've seen in a long time. In fact, a wee dram
of 25-year old Glenmorangie was my chosen tipple in here, (it had to
be wee, given the price!) although I could have picked any one of
six real beers which were available.
The final venue is on the way back to the station and is the
Halfway House on Fleshmarket Close. Turn right out of the Bow
Bar, walk up Victoria Street and at the top turn right into Lawn
Market. At the crossroads continue straight on into High Street and
past the City Chambers before turning left into Cockbum Street.
Fleshmarket Close is on the right, about 100 yards along. The
Halfway House got its name from being halfway down (or is it up?)
one of Edinburgh's steepest flights of steps. Sadly for those
wishing to get to the station after visiting the pub, the way is up!
Still, the pub is worth a visit, being a small, friendly, crowded
L-Shaped room, with a large collection of railwayana on the walls.
Beers from Belhaven were on offer, but I settled for a half of the
guest ale, Orkney Dark Island - the Good Beer Guide describes this
beer as deceptively drinkable and I did not want to risk falling
asleep on the train and waking up at Kings Cross! To get back to the
station go up the steps, pause for breath, then turn right and
follow the road round. Straight on at the crossroads will take you
onto Waverley Bridge and the entrance to the station is on the
right. Thus ended a very pleasant day, despite the weather.
Transport back was in the capable hands of 91013, and no, I didn't
end up at Kings Cross! Oh, and the famous Scot who wrote those
lines? Robert Bums!
The North's Clapham
Junction for Freight
by lan Shenton
A short stretch of track in North Yorkshire, from Monk Fryston to
Burton Salmon (approximately two miles), on the Sheffield to York
fine, is one of the busiest areas in the country for freight.
At the Monk Fryston end are lines to the north, which go to Church
Fenton and on to York, and lines to the east which head off for
Gascoigne Wood, Selby and Hull, with a connection to the East Coast
Main Line at Thorpe Willoughby. At Burton Salmon the line diverges
to the west, for Castleford, Leeds, Normanton and Healey Mills, and
to the south for Ferrybridge, Knottingley Doncaster, Sheffield and
The area is not easy to reach by public transport. South Milford is
the nearest station (2 miles) and is served by trains from Leeds,
Selby and Hull. There is an hourly bus service from Pontefract to
South Milford, calling at Burton Salmon and Monk Fryston, and West
Riding Buses run an hourly service from Leeds bus station to Selby,
which passes Monk Fryston.
Vantage points at Monk Fryston are the A63 overbridge and side-road
overbridge. The former is better for photos of trains from the
south, the latter is better for trains from the north. At Burton
Salmon the A162 overbridge is handy for photographing trains from
the north and west but not too good for trains from the south. Be
careful crossing the road as it is very busy! There is also an
automatic-barrier level-crossing at Hillam Gates, midway between
Burton Salmon and Monk Fryston, but this spot is not very good for
Signalling on the line is 3 and 4 aspect colour lights, the fine
speed is 20 - 60mph depending on the type of train, and all
crossovers are at Monk Fryston for lines to the East and West.
Monk Fryston is the hub of the Selby Coalfield. Coal is brought to
the surface at Gascoigne Wood, where it is processed before being
distributed to power stations along the Aire Valley (Drax and
Eggborough), the Worksop area (West Burton and Cottam), the
north-west (Fiddler's Ferry) and occasionally to Didcot. Household
coal goes to North Wales and Scotland and slurry is sent to the
Coalite plant in Nottinghamshire.
Other coal flows passing Monk Fryston are opencast coal from the
northeast and West Yorkshire and imported coal landed at Teesside,
Hull and Immingham.
Steel trains to and from South Wales, the Midlands, Wakefield and
Blackburn can be seen along with oil empties trains to Immingharn
and Port Clarence (Teesside), empty and full acid-tank trains going
between Hull (Saltend) and Mostyn (North Wales) and building block
trains travelling between Peterborough and Heck. The following is a
record of a visit to Monk Fryston on October 9th, 1996, between 09,
15 and 14.30:
Selby - Aire Valley MGR's, National Power: 59202/203/204/206
Selby - Aire Valley MGR's, LoadHaul:56065,60014
Imported coal, LoadHaul:56068/102/107/110
Selby - East Midlands MGR's, Mainline Freight.. 56131,
Spoil train (2 empty/2 full trips), LoadHaul 56063
Acid empties to Hull: 37885
Aire Valley - Immingham. oil empties: 37698
Steel empties: -56061/084/098,60078
Tees Yard - Warrington freight, Transrail 56029
Building -block empties to Heck: 56027
'Royal Scotsman' charter, RES 47783
Sheffield - York and return services: 142074
Leeds - York via Castleford and return, route learning 142072
Footnote: There are two pubs in Monk Fryston - I haven't tried them,
maybe another day!
Pennine Observers Notes
We start with a report from Joan Croft Junction where on August
27, 47848 and 91027 were noted at the head of expresses and 60038
was in charge of an oil train. Later that day at Thorpe Gates, 56055
headed an oil train and 60007 was noted at the head of an MGR.
Healey Mills on August 29, saw the following locos :08677,
37225/677, 47287/347/523/976 The following day, the 09.00 Poole-York
arrived at its destination behind 47814.
In the Scunthorpe area on the 31st, 60091 headed an ore train,
08824, 37689, 56109 were in the LoadHaul depot, BSC locos 45/76
"topped and taile& a steelworks tour train, 46/47 did the same with
a goods train, 1438 gave brake-van rides at the Appleby-Frodingham
Railway Preservation Society's depot, BSC 31/50/51/77/11igh Line 5
were in the British Steel depot and 34/44/53/71/79 were operating in
Into September, now. The 14th saw 56063 working a southbound
Freightliner through Hougharn At Peterborough on the 26th were
31466, 37220/377/715, 56091/123, 58005 while at Immingham depot on
the 30th, 08388/445, 37335/708, 47221/277/550, 56120, 60021/026/ 090
The 11.43 York - Poole was hauled by 47807 on October 1st, with
56037 and 59202 noted heading freight trains through Sheffield later
in the day.
Joan Croft Junction again features, this time on October 4th.
91010/015/019/021/024 were noted on ECML passenger workings, 47788,
86419 were on parcels trains, 56027 headed a block train, 56097 was
on a coal train, 60025 hauled an oil train, a goods-train was in the
care of 60068 and finally, for good measure, 37517 passed through
light-engine, Thorpe Gates later in the day saw 56068,
58008/029/049, 59202 on MGR workings and 60098 on a mineral train.
The 150th anniversary of the Hull to Bridlington railway was marked
by an exhibition of "Railway Memories" at the Hull Street Life
Museum starting on the 6th of October. Posters, tickets and
photographs were among the artefacts on display at the museum, which
is located in the High Street, off Lowgate. The entire signal 'box
from Cottingharn North is also on display, having been rebuilt
inside the museum.
The 07.55 Birmingham - York service arrived at York behind 47812 on
the 10th. On the 12th, 47290 was sighted at the head of a northbound
Freightliner at Eaton Lane crossing, closely followed by 43062+43089
which formed the 12.46 Waterloo - Edinburgh Eurostar connecting
service. Also that day, 56112 was sighted at Brough and Hull Docks
on freight workings,
86210 was noted at York on October 19th, powering a North Eastern
Railtours charter from Morpeth to Kings Cross.
D9016 brought back fond memories for many members during October and
November, when it was stabled at Doncaster shed during crew training
trips. One particularly tired and emotional committee member thought
he was dreaming when he saw a two-tone green Deltic on the shed in
Back to reality! On November 2nd 43062 again worked on the 12.46
Waterloo - Edinburgh Eurostar service, this time paired with 43013.
GNER-liveried 91s have started to make an appearance - 91019 was
noted at Eaton Lane crossing on November 9th, at the head of the
14.05 Leeds - Kings Cross.
Crewe Works held an open day on August 17th. Locos noted were:-
20032/042/072/187/188/ 215, 37066/333/419/425/603/668/699, 40145,
86604, 87101, 90017/ 126, 92002, D 172, D 1041, D 1102, D 1842,
46229 'Duchess of Hamilton', 46441, 48151, 70000 'Britannia',
71000 'Duke of Gloucester'.
On September 14th, Warrington Bank Quay was visited by a member who
noted, 37087/413, 56047 /049/092/127, 60037, 86222, 87011,
Saltley Depot on the 21st, played host to 37610/612,
47166/196/216/218/303. The following day, at Birmingham New Street,
were 47818/828, 86260.
To Manchester Piccadilly, now, where on September 28th, 47807/810,
86206/252/255/260, 87003, 90004/005 were sighted at the station.
90004 had expired whilst working the 14.50 Euston - Piccadilly and
was rescued by 87017, the train arriving some 70 minutes late. The
same day, 37402/414/417/421/422/429 were operating Crewe - North
Wales services and 37087 was sighted at Chester on a freight
Wolverhampton, on October 1st, hosted 47848/ 851, 86207/214/259/260,
87001/002/004, while sightings further down the line, at Birmingham
New Street, the same day, were 37142+37178 (light-engines), 47814,
86212/244/247, 86621 +86678 (freight working), 87014/029, 90009.
Back to Manchester, where on the 4th of October, 86206/212/214/233,
90010/021 were at Piccadilly station. At Liverpool Lime Street that
day were, 47829, 86102/216, 87024/031.
Member Phil Lowis spent a rather interesting week in a cottage right
next to the West Coast Main Line, at Orton in Cumbria. Built in 1846
by the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway for use by platelayers, the
two-bedroomed cottage is presently owned by Mr Gordon Harris, a
retired Southern Railway guard, and his wife, who live next door A
week's stay cost Phil £75, but the cottage can be let on a daily or
weekend basis. Further details are available from Mrs E A Harris, 1
Orton Moor Cottages, Orton, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 3SB, Tel: 015396
24369. Sightings by Phil during the week 12th19th October were
086/087/090/130/158/178, 47210/736/976, 56010/ 093/099/132,
Carlisle on the 24th saw, 3114211, 37071/214, 47312, 56004,
86214/233/252/417/426, 87028, and on the 25th, 60037/058, 86212,
90020/125 were also sighted.
On Saturday November 2nd, 'A1A Charters' ran the "Merry Men"
railtour. 31405+31420 worked the train from Preston to Nottingham,
where 37047+31462 provided the motive power for the trip from
Nottingham to Mansfield. This is reported to be the first
loco-hauled passenger train on the new "Robin Hoo& line. The next
leg of the journey took the route
where 31405+31420 were reunited with the train for the journey back
On the 26th of September, a member out-and-about in the region
noted:- Norwood Junction/Selhurst, 73136/140; Three Bridges,
33038/046/047051; Brighton, 09025 station pilot, 47828 on the 14.20
Brighton - Manchester Piccadilly.
A 'Railtourer' charter to Canterbury on October 5th was headed by
47785. 47725 was the loco allocated for the return working.
On the 12th of October, 'Gatwick Express' services were in the hands
of 73202/203/204/206/210/212. 47769 was stabled at Clapham Junction
An intrepid trio of Pennine punters travelled on the 'Statesman'
charter to Fort William on the weekend of 25th-27th October. 86241
provided the power from Kings Cross to Edinburgh. allowing
"overnight beers" (our correspondent's phrase!) in Edinburgh, before
37424 worked the Edinburgh-Oban-Crianlarich-Fort William leg of the
tour. An overnight stay in "beautiful downtown Fort William" (our
correspondent is obviously still tired and emotional after seeing
the Deltic!) ensued before 37424 returned the train to Edinburgh,
where 86241 was waiting for "an
extremely fast run" (more emotion!) back to Doncaster.
The Llangollen Railway had 4806 and 7822 'Foxcote Manor' working
trains between Llangollen and Carrog on August 17th.
On the 26th of August, 901, 34101, 45428 60007 were noted working
trains on the North York Moors Railway, while at the Great Central,
1450, 30777 'Sir Lamiel' and 34039 'Boscastle' were working trains
between Loughborough and Leicester North.
The Severn Valley Railway's "Autumn Steam Gala" was held on the
weekend 21 st/22nd September. Locos in steam (*night-working) were
600*, 2968, 3442*, 5029, 5764, 6024 7325, 7714, 7802, 46443, 46521,
60009, 80079. DMU 51935+52064+59250 was also in use.
"Wheels in Motion" was the theme on the Keighley and Worth Valley
Railway on October 12th. Operating during the day were
'Bellerophon', 1054, 45596, 48431, 75078, 80002.. DMU 51565+50928
operated between Keighley and Ingrow West.
Many thanks to Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Phil Lowis and Paul
Slater for their contributions.
Forthcoming meetings at the Taps are as follows:
Sunday 12 January 1997 - 12.00
The Annual General Meeting of the Pennine Railway Society
Wednesday 15 January 1997
Chris Theaker "Theak-a-boo 2"
Wednesday 5 February 1997
Ken Grainger "A journey from Sheffield Victoria to Nottingham
Victoria, via the Chesterfield loop"
Wednesday 19 February1997
Derek Porter "A Rail Miscellany"
Wednesday 5 March 1997
Members' Slide Competition Bring four slides for judging by
everybody - cash prizes!
Wednesday 19 March 1997
Pete Wesley "Pete's Pictures"
The next edition of Trans Pennine will be produced in March.
Please have all contributions to the editor by February 16th.