THE MAGAZINE OF THE PENNINE RAILWAY
RENEWAL OF MEMBERSHIP
We would like to thank all those members who have renewed their
subscription to the PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY for 1997. For those who
have forgotten to renew, or, more likely, been too busy, you will be
delighted to know it is not too late. Simply send your £4.50 fee to
our Membership Secretary, Captain Caddick at the address shown
above. You will be instantly rejoined and be sent a free 1997 PRS
For those who do not rejoin, this will be the final magazine you
will receive. In these circumstances we thank you for your valuable
support and hope that
you decide to join again some time in the future.
END OF BR
The evening of 31 March 1997 saw the end of BR. BR now no longer
runs trains with the final of the 25
franchises to operate transferring from
ScotRail to coach Operator National Express.
There was a champagne celebration on the final Glasgow-Edinburgh and
OH! MR PORTER
Many "original', members of the Pennine will remember
Geoff Bambrough holding
an Equity union card, a thespian.
Several members have said they saw Geoff on the 1970 Morecambe &
Wise Show repeated this Christmas.
He appeared under the name Eric Porter. Are they by chance related?
Pennine bus expert Gerry Collins reported an increase in buses in
the Lincoln area recently. This will explain why an entire page of
CEEFAX was devoted to cancellations of Central Trains services.
Services affected included Nottingham-Lincoln, Derby-Birmingham and
Rugby-Stafford. The Lincoln-Doncaster service was abandoned
No wonder it was taken over by a bus operator.
VIRGIN HITS THE BUFFERS
Richard Branson's Virgin Group has lost out on a chance to run a new
high-speed rail-line to Heathrow, taking passengers from Moorgate.
Airport operator BAA
said it proposed
to run a central London link as a sister service to its £400m
Heathrow Express link from the airport to Paddington. The £30m
second link would go from St Pancras, stopping at
West Hampstead, Ealing Broadway, and Hayes and Harlington.
BLAME THE TROTS, NOT ME t BRIAN
SOUTER - STAGECOACH
It is well documented that South Worst Trains, run by coach operator
Stagecoach, were cancelling 39 services
a day on commuter lines into Waterloo from Surrey, Hampshire and
Dorset after 71 drivers took voluntary redundancy in a campaign to
Chairman of Stagecoach, Brian Souter, blames deliberate attempts at
sabotage by a small number of militants within the workforce "a
hot-bed of Trotskyites with Stone-Age attitudes" who were
responsible for a jump in the number of drivers reporting sick on
routes where new work rosters were being introduced.
He also said "A high proportion of complaints are from people who
have nothing to do when they get into the office in the morning.
They sit down and write to SWT".
SWT has promised its services will be back to normal after Easter.
SWT was due to explain itself to MP's in the all-party Commons
Transport Committee but despite Labour opposition,
the Tories voted to scrap the meeting because of the general
Guard Andrew Watson was sacked after telling passengers their
cramped conditions were down to his "fat French peasant bosses and
smelly foreigners". The Ashford, Kent to Charing Cross service is
run by French owned Connex South Eastern.
Mr Watson was previously reprimanded for kicking an "abusive"
passenger off a train. He was a Rail
UP THE ROVERS
Soccer devotees will have noticed a rise in the paltry attendance
figures at Doncaster Rovers. David Bladen and son Alex have found
something better to do than hang around the Station.
However, looking to the future Alex is asking poor David, "where is
Rushden & Diamonds, where is Hednesford, where is Welling. Will you
take me? What does Vauxhall Conference mean?
BUS COMPANY TAKES OVER CENTRAL TRAINS
Birmingham based Central Trains has been bought by bus giants
National Express. At least Robin Skinner can list on his CV being a
former member of the Sheffield Transport Group, a bus preservation
society. If he needs any training on driving buses, he need only ask
The final stage of the Robin Hood Line between Nottingham and
Worksop is set to be completed and 4 new
stations will be built, at Shirebrook, Creswell, Langwith and
Whitwell, on the currently unused stretch of line between Mansfield
Woodhouse and Whitwell. Work should be finished by May 1998.
Residents on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway living at
Grosmont are furious at the soot which blackens their washing and
the constant noise from the engines. The Railway has promised to let
off less smoke in the village and curb the trains' whistles.
RAILTRACK REGRETS NO TRACK
A rail service cannot run because it has been replaced by a road.
Railtrack says the line isn't closed, but the service is suspended
until the year 2001. The line in question runs between Watford Jcn
and Croxley Green. Near Croxley Green the track ends where an
embankment has been demolished.
A 06.20 train ran until March, but with no return journey. Railtrack
has used a novel measure to avoid closure regulations. The A412 dual
carriageway is now where the line used to be.
RUN OVER THAT
The body of a 28 year old woman lay between the rails for 4 hours in
February as drivers were ordered to continue running rush hour
trains. The woman was hit by a train near Billericay on Great
Eastern's Shenfield to Southend. line, run by private bus company
The company denied this was done to preserve profit and avoid
penalty payments if the service was delayed. A spokesman said this
was done in the interests of rush hour passengers who otherwise
would have suffered very severe delays.
Dr MARJE SKINNER
Hooray Sooty from Doncaster asks Marje whether Eurostar services
will extend beyond Paris because he doesn't like smelly Parisians.
Dr Skinner replies that a Eurostar ski train will run to the French
Alps next winter, departing every Saturday at 07.53 arriving
at Bourg St Maurice at 17.00, with a pick up
point at Ashford and a planned stop at
A special preview train has already run. Eurostar is building
rolling stock to operate an overnight weekly service in 1999.
CHUNNEL MAY KEEP BLAZE PERIL WAGONS
Eurotunnel wants to resume freight traffic with open wagons
rather than introduce fireproof covered cars at a cost of £126m. The
company says it will improve evacuation procedures and make greater
cheeks on vehicles carried on the wagons.
On 20 February passengers on South Worst Trains arrived at its 176
stations to be told "put your money away" as an apology after weeks
of disruption to
Provided a ticket was issued at a SWT station, passengers could
travel free anywhere on "BR". The offer was not -publicised in
RAILTRACK TO INVEST
Railtrack will spend £4m per day for the next 10 years to create a
system "that is second to non".
This will include £1.5bn on the WCML and £40m to restore the Forth
Bridge, along with 49 stations
getting more than each. Track modernisation
will enable Eurostars to run beyond London and up to Scotland.
LONDON UNDERGROUND SELL-OFF
The Government, if by a miracle it is re-elected, proposes to sell
off London Underground, returning the proceeds to the buyers to
re-invest -in the property they have just bought. The Treasury will
pay the buyer to take the Underground from its responsibility.
A whole package of Improvements are said to include a Helpline for
passengers stranded by cancellations owing to shortage of staff, a
money back guarantee for everyone held up in a tunnel for more than
2 hours, a policy of keeping passengers informed when the escalators
are out of order, giving them. the option of going by bus; smart new
air-steward type uniforms for station personnel; a new logo; Musak;
easy to read timetables; and simple to operate ticket machines where
the booking hall has been leased out as a shopping mall.
From day one they will be investing heavily in glossy questionnaires
that will be handed. out on every station by smiling girls wearing
smart pillbox hats and sashes. The rolling stock will be painted.
Later the owners will look at such matters
as sweeping out the carriages and mending broken seats.
The sale will be a bargain as nobody knows the "real" value or even
how to start calculating the worth of something that requires £1.2bn
to bring it up to
standard and hundreds of millions of pounds more on an annual basis
to keep it
For your money you will get 500 plus trains, in varying condition,
244 miles of track, 106 miles of tunnel, 302 escalators, 64 lifts,
11 separate lines, and 16,500 staff and assorted cats.
Possible buyers include Branson's Virgin Group, Stagecoach, the
second largest bus operator in the UK, owning the major bus
companies East London and Selkent (and also South Worst Trains);
National Express, which owns Gatwick Express, Midland Mainline,
Railways, ScotRail and Central Trains, and
French-based utilities company Cega Connex- which owns South Eastern
and South Central.
Other possibilities include a management buy-out; Sea Containers;
the Go-Ahead Group arid
Prism Rail, or a combination of some of those mentioned.
Welcome to the Winter edition of Trans Pennine.
Those of you who have visited Doncaster station recently, will have
noticed that yet another small bit of railway history has
disappeared. I am referring to the mural which used to adorn the
subway to the platforms. Painted about twelve years ago as part of a
government "work creation" scheme, the mural depicted life and work
in Doncaster. As a work of art it was never in the Rembrandt class,
but it did provide a colourful and cheery welcome to the town and I
suppose it was inevitable that as the industries depicted on the
mural have disappeared, then the mural itself had to disappear as
well. Somehow, advertisement covered walls will not be the same.
You may also have noticed a change to the style of this edition of
the magazine. A member mentioned at the AGM that he found the
typeface used, Times New Roman, difficult to read without his
glasses. As an experiment I have changed the type to Arial which I
am told is clearer and easier to read - I await your views!
A couple of magazines ago, I wrote that a national newspaper had
reported that "Rover"-type tickets issued by PTE's were under
threat. Ian Shenton has passed a leaflet to me which seems to bear
this out. In January, West Yorkshire PTE withdrew four of its
popular 'Metro DayRover' tickets, the Adult Train and Bus, Half-Fare
Train and Bus, Adult Bus and Half-Fare Bus. In future, the only
ticket available will be the Family DayRover which can be used by
one adult or a group (up to 5 people, including 2 adults). The cost
is £4.40, which is reasonable for a group, but represents a hefty
increase on the previous price for a 'single' ticket. Just the thing
to get people out of their cars and back on to public transport!
Finally, the next issue of Trans Pennine is the 100th and to mark
the occasion, I would like to make the magazine a "bumper edition".
Any articles, especially from those who haven't contributed to the
magazine before, will be gratefully received
from the Committee
Annual General Meeting of the Pennine Railway Society was held at
Corporation Brewery Taps, Doncaster, on Sunday 12 January 1997, and
was attended by 16 members.
The main points arising from the meeting were as follows:
* The present committee members will continue in their current
* The financial position of the society remains stable.
* Membership remains at around the 65 mark, however, it was
felt that the society might benefit from trying to attract new
members. Geoff Bambrough has agreed to undertake a publicity "drive"
and will produce membership forms and posters, as well as notifying
the local media of our meetings.
* The society's attempts to organise trips for members
continue to be thwarted. Health and Safety legislation is often
quoted as the reason for visits to railway installations being
curtailed. After much discussion, a proposal from the floor was
accepted that if any member wishes to arrange a "get-together` for
other members, for example, at a preserved railway or open day, then
the "Notice Board" section could be used to publicise this.
* Clarification of the rules for entering the slide
competitions was requested. The two main provisos are :- 1) Any
railway-related subject may be entered, including foreign railways,
trams and light-rail systems. 2) Slides taken at any time may be
entered but must be the entrant's own work.
* In an attempt to boost the number of entries received,
committee members are now welcome to enter the magazine quizzes.
(This will not, of course, apply to your Editor, as he already has
The committee would like to thank all members who attended the AGM
for their vote of confidence and their contributions and suggestions
for the future running of the society.
When Chris and I
walked down to the end of the platform at Fort William, 4-6-0 no.
44767 "George Stephenson" was getting ready to depart. This was
Chris's first train-ride to Mallaig, but I had travelled on the
steam train eleven years earlier, and it had been hauled by the same
locomotive. In 1985, however, the train had been composed of
green-and cream stock and was named the "West Highlander"; now the
stock was maroon, and the train was named the "Jacobite". The
locomotive's smokebox number plate and shed plate had been painted
blue to match the old Scottish Region colour of the "Jacobite"
Mallaig - Fort William.
watched 37401 "Mary Queen of Scots" arrive with the overnight sleeper
from Euston, then we got on board the "Jacobite" and found our
seats. Soon the train was away, passing the former North British
signal box at Mallaig Junction with its semaphores, and diverging
from the West Highland route to Glasgow. In the yard alongside the
Mallaig line were shunter 08630 of Motherwell depot and the other
locomotive which would be working the "Jacobite" during the summer,
BR Standard 4-6-0 no. 75014.
Looking back as the train headed for Banavie, I could see Ben Nevis
standing out against the blue sky; cloud was already building up in
the west, however, and I expected it to be raining before our ride
on the "Jacobite" was over. At least we had done better than the
last time I was in Fort William, as far as the weather was
concerned; in 1985 there had been a lot of rain, it had been cold,
and I had never got a glimpse of the upper part of Ben Nevis.
The "Jacobite" halted briefly at Banavie. The previous evening I had
walked as far as Banavie from the hotel where we were staying at
Corpach, and had noticed that, although the swing bridge over the
Caledonian Canal was the same as it had been in 1985, the North
British signal box had been replaced by a new radio signalling
centre, opened - according to the plaque on its wall - in 1988.
After Banavie, the "Jacobite" passed the end of the Caledonian Canal
at Corpach, ran on past a large factory, and then kept close to the
shore as far as the head of Loch Eil. Beyond here, the line began to
climb into the mountains, "George Stephenson" working noisily.
From the famous curved concrete viaduct at Glenfinnan there was a
glimpse of the well-known view of Loch Shiel and the monument to the
Jacobite uprising of 1745, and then the train was climbing again to
Glenfinnan station. We had a short wait here to pass a "Super
Sprinter" on a regular Mallaig - Fort William working and to allow
passengers to visit the small museum at the station. A girl piper
serenaded the alighting passengers, and there was time to take
photographs of the engine.
Beyond Glenfinnan the line continues to climb, and where it runs
close beside the Mallaig road, the "Road to
the Isles", there is a good place for photographing the steam
trains, which I had discovered eleven years earlier. After reaching
the summit, the train ran downgrade, then followed an undulating
course through the mountains, with beautiful views. We passed
Lochailort station, where in 1985 there had been a photo-stop in
pouring rain, laboured loudly up Beasdale bank, and halted briefly
at Arisaig, where "George Stephenson" had waited to pass 37409 on
run close by the sea brought us to Mallaig, where a gentle drizzle
was failing. There was time for lunch, then a stroll down to the
harbour to look at the fishing boats and watch the Skye Ferry
depart. Once, the Mallaig line carried a heavy traffic in fish. In
the 1950's, according to books I have read and photographs I have
seen, the line was worked largely by K1 and K2 2-6-0s, and it is
appropriate that one of the locomotives which has regularly worked
the steam trains to Mallaig in recent years is a preserved K1,
Back at the station, a "Super Sprinter" named "Bonnie Prince
Charlie" had arrived from Glasgow, and "George Stephenson" was
getting ready to depart. As in 1985, the run back to Fort William
was done in the rain, with the locomotive working tender-first. We
were now sitting near the back of the train, and it was possible to
get good views of the engine working hard as it hauled the
"Jacobite" up the gradient round the curve at the end of Glenfinnan
Next morning, we drove to Glenfinnan to have another look at the
"Jacobite". At the visitor centre near the monument, we studied the
displays which tell the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie's doomed
uprising of 1745 and its tragic aftermath; then Chris went back to
the car and I climbed the path up the hill behind the visitor
centre. The viewpoint on the hill affords a beautiful prospect of
the Glenfinnan monument standing at the head of Loch Shiel, and is
also an excellent vantage point for the railway line across
few other photographers climbed the hill and joined me at the
viewpoint. At last I heard the sound of an engine blowing off steam,
and "George Stephenson" came into sight. It slowly crossed the
viaduct, then climbed the gradient to Glenfinnan station, locomotive
and train making a magnificent picture high on the mountainside.
While the train was standing at Glenfinnan, we drove on ahead of it
and stopped at the place where I had photographed "George
Stephenson" in 1985. We did not have long to wait before 44767 was
in sight, working quite hard with its six carriages on the climb out
of Glenfinnan. Standing on a hillock beside the "Road to the Isles",
I watched the "Jacobite" approach, pass by me in a short cutting,
and then pull away into the distance on a long curve through the
mountains. I am very glad not only that the highly scenic - but
surely uneconomic - Mallaig extension has escaped closure, but also
that steam trains now run regularly once more in such a beautiful
part of the country.
The Pennine Quiz
Thanks to John for
compiling this edition's quiz which, in his own words, "will not be
too difficult but, at the same time, take a bit of effort to
complete". Hmm, we shall see! Entries to the editor by May 17th,
1) Which loco was involved in the accident at
12) Which two locos
hauled the Royal Train to
Caernarfon on 20 June 1969?
On which line was Clifton Moor station?
What was the maiden name of Isambard Brunei's mother?
4) On which date was 3rd class accommodation
re-designated as 2nd class?
5) What was the name of LNER loco 62471 ?
6) Which named express was previously known
as the "10.30 Limited" ?
7) When did the Swansea and Mumbles
8) Which TV personality helped to launch the
new London - Southampton shuttle service?
9) Which class 08 hauled the "Wigtownshire
Wanderer" into Ardrossan Harbour station?
10) When did Glasgow Central station open?
11) What was the original name of A4 Pacific 60008?
13) When did the Edzell - Brechin line close to
14) What was the cost, in 1961, of a 'packed meal'
from BR refreshment rooms? (The meal
consisted of pork pie, cheese roll,
marshmallow and fruit.)
15) Who designed Charing Cross Station Hotel?
16) What was the shed code of Heaton Mersey
17) What was the name given to cheap overnight
travel in 1953 between Glasgow St Enoch -London St Pancras and Edinburgh -
When did the first DMU service run in Scotland?
How long was Burdale Tunnel?
When did Selkirk station close to traffic?
When did the Euston Station Hotel close?
When was. the sleeper service introduced between London Kings Cross
What name was originally allocated to D812
Where were the cast iron- arches which support the roof of St
Pancras station made?
What was the name of the l st class Pullman observation car which
ran during the summer season, between Glasgow and Oban?26)
In which year was the overall roof at Malton station demolished?
Who named 37407 "Blackpool Tower"?
Which station was recently used in the BBC TV series "Making Tracks"
What was the original gauge size of the Sand Hutton Light Railway,
Near which station is Hibel Road tunnel?
The Pennine Christmas Quiz No.88
Voice of the North
Colonel W Yolland 1854 - 1885
First East Anglian Regiment
Canadian Pacific Railway Company
46256 Sir William A Stanier FRS
Tay Bridge disaster
1029 Western Legionnaire to Western Legionnaire (double 'N)
Fireman J Carswell
13 November 1957
17)111 is the figure given in the "Accident Register " in the book
'Railway Detective' however, it has been pointed out that R.T.Holt's
book, 'Red for Danger', states 112 were killed in the Harrow
accident, with a further 10 dying later from their injuries. Either
answer was accepted!
19) Alfred Fletcher
20) Spath, near Uttoxeter, 5 February 1961
21) 63 ft 6ins
22) Norman McKillop
23) 24 December 1910
25) R J Billington
27) D9009 Alycidon
32) London, Ontario
33) Arley, on the Severn Valley Railway
34) Harold Morris
37) 144ft (Severn Tunnel)
38) 9ft 1 in.
40) Whooper swans
41) Devonshire Tunnel
42) British Empire Exhibition
44) Birmingham Snow Hill
45) 12 October 1980
46) Lamphey Castle
47) Serpell Report
49) Kent & East Sussex Railway
50) 5 November 1988
The winner was John
Dewing, with Ken King in
second place and Ian
Shenton in third.
Well done gentlemen, and thanks again to Malcolm
Bell for setting the
What the Papers Say!
The main items of railway interest in the papers have been the
problems experienced by South West Trains, and the reports of heavy
job losses following MTL's take-over of Regional Railways North
East. MTL issued a "Special Brief" on February 10th, outlining its
ambitious plans for rail services in the area. Pete Wesley has
kindly supplied a copy of the brief for inclusion in Trans Pennine -
I will leave you to ponder on how cutting 1500 jobs will help the
company achieve its aims,
Issued Feb. 10th 1997 - to be communicated to all staff as soon
MTL Rail Limited has today been awarded the passenger rail franchise
for Regional railways North East by the Franchising Director, John
MTL Rail Limited is a division of MTL Trust Holdings Limited and
will manage both Regional Railways North East and Merseyrail
Peter Coombes, Chairman of MTL Trust Holdings Limited, new owners of
Regional Railways North East, today promised
improvements in services and investment in rolling stock, stations
On the day MTL Rail Ltd was awarded the rail passenger franchise, he
made a commitment to customers to focus on their priorities of
punctuality, cleanliness and better service delivery.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to grow Regional Railways
North East. We have agreed service improvements with the PTE's
(Passenger Transport Executives) and will be investing in a number
of areas including new rolling stock, extra services and better
security," he said.
investment of around £65 million in mainly new rolling stock,
including 16 new trains (worth £48 million) to replace electric 308s
on Leeds, Bradford, Ilkley and Skipton lines.
* variety of improvements
aimed primarily at replacing and refurbishing Pacer fleet.
to increase train miles, station stops in PTE areas, clockface
timetabling, TransPennine services between Leeds and Manchester
increased from three to four trains per hour.
* investing £3.5 million
in station improvements, further £400,000 on improved security
increase number of trains per hour between Leeds and Manchester from
3 to 4 and purchase additional rolling stock.
* introduce business
class accommodation on principal TransPennine services.
speeding up the service
more trains stopping at: Wombwell, Elsecar, Chapeltown on
Sheffield/Barnsley route; Kirk Sandall, Hatfield and Stainforth on
Doncaster/Scunthorpe route; Darnall on Sheffield/Retford route.
through trains to Adwick from Sheffield via Doncaster.
Sunday services to Meadowhall (40,000 extra train miles).
to providing service to new station at Millhouses on
* feasibility of new fast servic
Tyne and Wear
more trains to stop at Manors on Newcastle/Morpeth route.
Sunday services Sunderland to Newcastle (service to run for 14
* more Sunday trains through to Metro Centre from Sunderland,
Newcastle, Middlesborough and Darlington.
* feasibility of providing:
+ more clockface, faster services
+ additional trains to Metro Centre (weekdays)
+ new service Morpeth/Blyth (re-open Tyne line for passengers)
+ upgrading of five Pacers to use on Sunderland/ Newcastle NEXUS
* feasibility of improving services between
Stalybridge and Manchester Airport
* co-operation with Greater Manchester PTE in looking for
opportunities to expand passenger services from Manchester
hourly peak stopping services between
Leeds/Huddersfield (Saturday trains to call at Ravensthorpe)
four trains per hour between Leeds/Manchester operate new hourly
Brighouse/Elland (when necessary investment completed to upgrade
feasibility of a park-and-ride scheme in Leeds area and new enquiry
office at Huddersfield
Your editor has one
comment and one question: One comment.
Hmm, we shall see!
What on earth is "clockface timetabling"? Answers on a post card
Something slightly different, now. The following article is from
the Fire Brigade magazine 'in Attendance' thanks to John Thompson
for the cutting.
Mechanical chameleon unveiled at Bristol Docks
The launch took place recently at Bristol Docks rail lines, of a
unique safety vehicle which will dramatically improve the emergency
response to incidents in Britain's longest railway tunnel. Developed
by Railtrack Great Western and Avon Fire Brigade, the Severn Tunnel
Road/Rail Emergency Vehicle is both a lorry and a railway vehicle.
It transfers from road to rail via special ramps at the tunnel
entrance and can carry rescue teams and equipment to a trapped train
in record time.
Engineering consultant Paul Kerslake, who managed the project for
Railtrack, stressed: "There's no other emergency vehicle like it in
the country. It provides a far more flexible response in the event
of an incident and, thanks to its flat steel floor, can be adapted
for a variety of uses as the need arises."
Designed by Renault Trucks, Bristol, the bright yellow vehicle looks
like a lorry - but it has special wheels which allow it to run on
the tracks. it is capable of
carrying 12.5 tons of equipment in a canvas-sided box enclosure, and
comes complete with loading pallets and a fork-lift truck attached
at the rear. Owned by Railtrack, it will be housed at the fire
brigade's headquarters in Avonmouth and driven by trained fire
officers. In addition to the Severn, it could also be used in the
Box and Chipping Sodbury tunnels and other inaccessible rail sites.
During the official hand-over ceremony, Railtrack Great Western
Director Martin Reynolds said: "This project marks the first time
that control of a section of railway line has been given to the
emergency services. Previously, firemen would have to wait at the
tunnel entrance until a Railtrack or train company representative
arrived. Now they can ring the signalman, take possession of the
site and save valuable time." It's a perfect example of our ability to work in partnership with
local authorities throughout the zone on a wide range of safety
issues," Martin continued. "Many people contributed to the idea of a
mechanical chameleon - which first saw the light of day in 1991 and
I would like to thank everybody who helped turn it into reality."
Guests at the ceremony included Avon Chief Fire Officer Andy
Waiters, Renault Trucks Bristol General Manager Mike Jakeways and
representatives from Gwent Fire Brigade, Avon County Council, and
the Avon Ambulance service. They saw the vehicle transfer from road
to rail and watched as fire-fighters unloaded and demonstrated the
One of the first people to become involved with the project was John
Buxton, now Cardiff Railway's Managing Director. When he was
appointed BR's Project Director for Safety Planning in 1991, he had
already adapted a tunnel maintenance vehicle - Avon Fire Brigade's
Ernie Coghlan suggested adapting the idea for emergency use and the
task was given to engineers Paul Beard and Paul Kerslake.
Paul continued: "This vehicle is pad of a three-stage emergency
response system. Stage one consists of an "alumi-cart" (a
rail-mounted, four-wheeled go-kart) and two trailers, to carry extra
firemen and paramedics into the tunnel. Stage two is the vehicle -
the main rescue
appliance which takes specialist equipment to the scene - and stage
three is a Land Rover and rail trailer with 5-ton carrying
capacity." Avon Fire Brigade's Divisional Commander Ernie Coghlan added: 7he
vehicle will be a great help in the event of an incident, and I'm
sure other emergency services will be impressed by it's versatility.
It provides quick access into the tunnel and, if we need extra
equipment, we can radio through, collect it and make a return trip."
The vehicle is one of many safety improvements within the four-mile
Severn Tunnel. An £11 million refurbishment programme is underway
and by the end of 1997, Railtrack Great Western will have installed
a range of equipment - including a new ventilation system and
pumping equipment on site.
Finally, just to show there is no bias against MTL, the cartoon
below appeared in 'Private Eye,"
Rotherham (and Sidcup!)
Rotherham? Why Rotherham? Because at a recent Pennine meeting, a
member suggested I tackle somewhere local! It's also the place where
I work at the moment and it's somewhere you can get to by train
quite easily. The other (main) reason is that a planned visit to
pubs near Chairing Cross a couple of weeks ago came to nothing. I
had been in Sidcup for an aunt's funeral and had decided to stop off
in London to research this column, on the way back home (it's what
my aunt would have wanted!). I was booked on the 20.00 departure
from Kings Cross so if I left Sidcup about 5pm , I would have plenty
of time for research.Alma
Tavern, a Good Beer
Guide-listed pub very close to the station, for a pint or two of
Young's. The clock behind the bar said 6.50pm but I assumed it was
wrong and sat down with my pint, GBG and A to Z, to plan my
itinerary for when I got to Charing Cross. A couple sat down at the
table next to me and as I glanced across at them, I caught sight of
the man's watch - it said 6.54pm! By now, a sense of panic was
beginning to develop! A polite enquiry confirmed that it was indeed
6.54. Downing my pint incredibly quickly (it would be a criminal act
to waste Young's Special), I dashed to the station in time to see
the 18.55 service departing on its way to Charing Cross. A frantic
perusal of the timetable showed that the next departure was at 19.20
to Cannon Street. Where? I wasn't sure I had ever been to Cannon
Street! It was impossible to go via the Bexleyheath loop as the
trains were disrupted following the previous week's derailment at
Bexley. There was nothing to do but retire back to the Alma for a
second, more leisurely pint and get my breath back. If you do get to
Sidcup, the Alma is highly recommended! A comfortable, wood-panelled
place, serving a good drop of Young's, alongside Courage Bitter and
Things started to go wrong at the wake, when my watch stopped and I
didn't realise it (it was rather a good wake!) I left my cousin's
house at what I thought
was 5.15pm, made my way into Sidcup, and stopped off at the
Thankfully, the 19.20 left on time and made swift progress to
London. A dash to the Tube at Cannon Street and a fortuitous
connection at Monument got me to Kings Cross at 20.05. Another
stroke of luck was that services outbound from the Cross were
delayed by 15 minutes, owing to points problems at Finsbury Park.
Thus I made the 20.00! 91001 had a storming run northwards and I got
back to Doncaster just 5 minutes late - just time for one in the
And so to Rotherham. The town, in my opinion, does not have many
good pubs in the centre. Most have been turned into neon-lit, noisy
disco-bars, but then, so have thousands of other places nationwide!
Our first port of call will probably cause CAMRA-purists to throw up
their hands in horror, but I make no apologies, so here goes!
Nellie Dene's is
the former Bridge Inn on Chantry Bridge. It recently re-opened, as
an "Irish" pub, after a lengthy closure. "Irish" pubs are springing
up everywhere, but this is one of the better ones, being
independently owned and, what's more, serving some excellent beer.
Old Mill's beers feature, with Old Mill Bitter and Nellie Dene
Bitter both available. Nellie Dene is the paler and weaker of the
two, more of "summer ale" - in fact, the GBG states that it is only brewed from
April to October, but the bar staff assured me that Nellie Dene is
available for the pub all year round. This will be good news for one
of my Korean colleagues, who has developed quite a taste for it!
Another Korean colleague has developed quite a liking for Finnigan's
Stout, (Old Mill Blackjack by another name), which along with
Finnigan's Red Ale (Old Mill Bullion), is also on sale. Hot food is
available and there is live music at weekends.
On the other side of
Centenary Way from Nellie Denes is the Kingfisher. Head
back towards the station and turn right by the Phoenix Hotel (George
Street) - there is a subway at the end of the road which comes out
by the pub. This small but friendly establishment was taken over by
Old Mill in 1992 and was among the brewery's earliest tied houses.
The walls are decorated with many prints of kingfishers, including a
certain steam locomotive! The beer's not bad either - on my last
visit, Old Mill Bitter, Bullion and Blackjack were all available and
if you fancy a game of pool, there is a table available. Catering at
that time was limited to sandwiches. Turn right from the
Kingfisher, and a wander in the direction of Masbrough, through the
subways under the roundabouts which make up Centenary Way, will
bring you to the Moulders
Rest on Masbrough
Street, about 200 yards from Rotherham United's football ground.
This is another comfortable and friendly pub, serving Stones Bitter
and a guest beer. Cask conditioned Stones is a beer which in my
experience, is often served "green" in many pubs i.e. it is served
as soon as it is delivered and is not left for a day or two for
secondary fermentation to complete. Happily, this is not the case at
the Moulders - I've never had a bad pint of Stones in there. The
guest beer too, is well looked after, and is usually from one of the
smaller independent brewers, beers from Ridley's, Exmoor and Smiles
having been sampled this year. Good value food is available and
there is also a pool table, which has seen regular Anglo-Korean
Our final port of call
is the Rhinoceros on
Bridgegate - an odd name for a pub! For directions from the
Moulders, see the map! The Rhino is a recent addition to the
J.D. Weatherspoon chain of pubs, one of the first in our area, and is
a long, narrow single-bar place, converted from a shop. There are
usually four real ales available (one of which is a 'guest) and a
real cider. Weatherspoon's have a policy of selling at least one
beer at a promotional price - on my last visit, Younger's Scotch
Bitter was 99p a pint - and guest beers are priced according to
their strength. Good food is available all day. The Rhino is a
popular meeting place and does tend to get very busy in the evening,
with large gentlemen in bow-ties at the door, so an early visit is
So that's Rotherham. Not quite as exotic as London's West End, but
probably cheaper! If I am ever near Charing Cross in the future I
will have another go at preparing a rail-ale guide and who knows - I
may even go back to Cannon Street!
We begin in Lincoln, where on December 3rd, 60026 and 60027 were
noted heading oil trains through the station.
Immingham on December 14th saw 084051632, 37059 17061718, 47221,
5603910851117, 6002210541067 stabled at the depot.(please
excuse your correspondent, Ed), and
with 47758 as insurance, she was hauling an empty train from Heaton
to Kings Cross, partly as a test-train and also to position the loco
in London for the "Deltic Reunion" railtour' from Kings Cross to
York on January 2nd.
On the 17th, again at Lincoln station, 60003 and 60070 were in
charge of oil trains. The following day at Doncaster, 56100, 58014,
58033 and 59201 were noted on coal trains, 37694+56068 and 56110
were in charge of freights, 08587 and 08682 were shunting and
475841737 were stabled.
Noted at Peterborough on the 21st of December was 47762 which was at
the head of a Kings Cross Carlisle charter. The same day at Eaton
91020 14.05 Leeds - KX
91023 12.00 Edinburgh - KX
91027 13.30 KX - Leeds
43048+43167 'Highland Chieftain'
43111+43113 up 'Northern Lights'
43014+43071 12.46 Waterloo - Edinburgh
well-publicised failure at Berwick the previous month, D9000 'Royal
Scots Grey" made a very welcome reappearance before a sizeable crowd
of well-wishers at Doncaster, on December 22nd. On a bitterly cold
evening (not unlike January 2nd 1982), the sound of "Napiers" was
heard once again. Droning melodiously in the cold night air
The "Duck and Weasel" railtour took 33116+33051 from Kings Cross to
York, via Doncaster, Huddersfield, Blackburn, Copy Pit and
Castleford. Unfortunately, on the return journey down the ECML
33116 expired near Colton Junction. Despite 37710 being sent from
Doncaster to assist, 33051 took the train and 'dead" 116 on to Kings
Cross - a tremendous effort for a loco almost at the end of its
Also on the 28th, at Horbury near Wakefield, 47225 and 47290 were
Into the New Year, now. On the 2nd of January, the aforementioned
Deltic railtour with D9000 at the head, was just about the
only train on time at snowy Doncaster. After visiting some of its
old haunts at Hull, Leeds, Harrogate and York, "RSG" was displayed
on the turntable at the National Railway Museum, next to the "Big
Blue" Deltic prototype - a magnificent sight! Your correspondent
states that he will leave readers to their own imaginations, as to
the sound effects as both of "RSG's" engines were restarted in the
museum, before returning to the station and then on to Kings Cross.
He also hopes that this magnificent engine has a long and happy
return to the main line. (There
is no truth in the rumour that your correspondent was tired and
emotional on this occasion- he's always been like this about Deltics!
Meanwhile, back in the real world, at Hull on the same day,
37694 was stabled at Paragon station after being employed on
snow-clearing operations on the Scarborough line. (The effort of
clearing snow must have been too much for the 37, as 47331 came to
collect it on January 11th).
Gyrator' railtour (Who thinks
up these names? Answers on a postcard to the Editor) utilised
59103/201/206 for its perambulations around South and West
Yorkshire, on January 4th.
At the end of January, 60017 was sighted at Leeds on the 30th,
working a 'Tilcon' train to Hull. 47584 worked a Birmingham - York
service before returning on a York - Poole train. Similarly, 47847
headed a Poole York before returning on a York - Bristol TM.
47747/774/785 were noted at York depot, while 47721 was sighted at
The following day, the Birmingham - York and Poole York trains were
in the care of 47840 and 47841, and 4773817471781 were at York
Some of Hull's residents had a scare on the 7th of February, when
37706 and three wagons came off the rails just yards from homes in
the Newbridge Road area, near to the entrance to Hull Docks. The
12 wagon train had come from Mostyn in North Wales, and the tanks had
been used on the outward journey to carry acetic anhydride, a
toxic and flammable substance. Fire appliances were called and roads
in the area were sealed-off. Railtrack is investigating the cause of
the incident, which happened on a stretch of line where a 10mph
speed limit is in force, however, the single track line through the
docks area is notorious for vandalism and children trespassing.
A member in the Willesden area on the 14th of December, noted 37233,
47146/258/278/281/284/294, 92002/012/030 at the depot, while at
Northampton, 31201/512/514, 47501 were in evidence.
On the 25th of January, Pathfinder's 'Rock 'n' Robin' railtour saw
the first working of a class 56 on the 'Robin Hood' line.
EWS-liveried 56105 worked from Bristol to Buxton via Sheffield and
the Hope Valley,
Stockport and Birmingham, to Bristol. Noted stabled at Buxton were
08915, 31255, 37071/185/413/509/518, 60045/057.
The much-travelled pair of "Cromptons" 33051+33116 also paid a visit
to the 'Robin Hood, line. They were on their way from Kings Cross to
Scarborough, via Sheffield, on the 33111 Charters 'Robin Reliant'
railtour on February 15th The 33s ran light-engine from York to
Scarborough (56066 following behind hauling the charter) before
returning the train via Doncaster and Lincoln to Kings Cross.
The 'Rooster Booster railtour, organised by Pathfinder, ran between
Bristol and London on the 14th of December. 56032 hauled the train
from Bristol to Stratford-on-Avon, where 58005 took over for the
journey to Guilford. From there, 33051+73136 took the train on to
Kensington Olympia before being replaced by 60064 for the run to
Northampton. 37505+20075 were next on-duty, hauling the train to
Birmingham where 56032 was on-hand for the leg (pardon the pun!)
back to Bristol. While all this was happening, 60009/60076/60099
were noted at Oxford and 08664, 37065/703/709/798,
47287/304/376/812, 58044 were sighted in the Didcot/Reading area.
On December 21st, 'The Festive Fiasco' railtour ran in the London
area. 31407 took the train from London Victoria, via Tattenham
Corner, to London Bridge. 37194 then took the tour from London
Bridge to Victoria, before 33019 completed the journey by working
Victoria - Sutton - Streatham - Victoria. Whether the tour lived up
to its title or not, is not reported! Locos operating Gatwick
Expresses during the day were 7320212071209 while the Orient Express
was powered by 73114+73129.
At London Victoria on the 8th of February, there was an unusual
sight amongst the 73s (205/210/211) on Gatwick Express services.
47784 'Condover Hail' was at the head of Orient Express - 73108
having worked the stock into the station. (Your observer reported
several other "beasts" outside the station, namely RML's
2408/2632/2708 on route 73 and RML2754 on route 38 - your observer
considers this form of transport much more civilised than using the
Most preserved lines tend to hibernate during the winter. The Great
Central is an exception, and held a winter gala on February 8th.
Locos working were 5231, 30777 'Sir Lamiel', 46229 'Duchess of
Hamilton', 750297he Green Knight', 92203, 92212.
Many thanks to Tony Caddick, John Dewing and
Paul Slater for their contributions.
meetings at the Taps (20.00 start) are as follows:
Wednesday 2 Apri111 1997
'An evening of videos and slides"
Wednesday 16 April 1997
'An evening with Neil'
Wednesday 7 May 1997
John Davis and Keith Brown
'The Sheffield Roadshow"
Wednesday 21 May1997
The Annual Pennine Slide Quiz
"Chris Tyas asks the questions"
Wednesday 4 June 1997
Speaker to be confirmed
Wednesday 18 June 1997
Speaker to be confirmed
FOR LOCOMOTIVE ALLOCATION
Loan of full year volumes of "Railway
Observer" or "Modern Railways", 1968
onwards - I am willing to loan material
exchange. Contact Tony Smith on
Retford (01777) 701627
East Lancs Railway Special Events
May 3/4/5Thomas the Tank Engine
May 10/11Vintage Vehicle
Teddy Bear's Picnic
Oct 4/50Thomas the Tank Engine
Autumn Steam Gala
With thanks to Stuart Earl. Members are advised to confirm the above
events are on before setting out on a long journey! Phone
0161-764-7790 (weekends) or 0161-2535111 (Mon-Fri)
The next edition of
Trans Pennine will (hopefully!) be produced in June. Please have all
contributions to the editor by May 17th.