No.103 - SPRING
RENEWAL OF MEMBERSHIP
We would like to thank all those members who have renewed their
subscription to the PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY for 1998. 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 1998 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 at some time in the
DONCASTER ROVERS R.I.P.
The publication of this edition was held back so we could bring you
the news that Donny Rovers had lost their league status. However,
hope lingers on as on 4 April
they beat Hull City 1-0. Hull are now so bad that should a miracle
occur it will be they and not Donny who will enter the Conference.
Recently Donny sacked all their training staff and told the players
just to turn up on matchdays. Perhaps they should have thought of
Either Donny or Hull will be replaced by the glamourous Halifax
"Picture an imaginary line from the Bristol Channel to the Wash.
Above that line we have the beer-drinking, chip-eating,
council-house dwelling, Old Labour-voting masses" - Brian Souter.
Chairman of Stagecoach, describing his customers.
"Some services have been cut In a bid to reduce overcrowding on
trains In the London area" - Spokeswoman for South West Trains.
Dr. Marje Skinner
"Dear Marje, people keep telling me I am hone stop short of East Ham
what does this mean?## ~name and address supplied.
"Dear Sutty, the answer lies on the District Underground line out of
Upminster. Woof Woof - Marje"
A recent Item in the Sheffield Star stated that "Long-standing plans
to turn Bramall Lane into a dual carriageway are set to be dropped
in favour of a bus lane and cycleway". Chairman Skinner assures us
It Is the road and not the football ground which is referred to.
Motor on the Line
A driver was baffled when his speed suddenly dropped from 50mph to
25mph. He stopped the train, walked back down the line and found one
of the train's electric motors. The 3ft long one hundredweight power
unit had dropped off. It fell off a Networker train passing
Chelsfield in Kent.
Now French-owned Connex South Eastern is having to modify its 93 similar
trains to ensure no more motors part company. In the meantime top
speed is reduced from 75mph to 60mph. This incident is the latest in
a growing and ever more bizarre list of reasons for delayed trains.
Recently, a driver with Connex South Central refused to take a
service from Brighton to London because he was cold. The heating had
broken. down. Then a locoman with the same company cut short a
journey because he had to collect his children from school.
RATS Get A Taste
Friday 13 February - The Great St Albans Power Failure. Fifty trains
were caught up in chaos on the Thameslink service through the centre
of London between Bedford and Brighton. It was caused by suicidal
rats chewing the power cables. This was the third time in a month
that rats had devastated commuter journeys.
Thameslink chief Euan Cameron said "Commuters can help by not
throwing bits of food out of windows. That attracts the rats in the
Germany is now closer to London than Glasgow. You can now catch the
Eurostar from Waterloo to Brussels on six services a day with onward
connections on the Thalys train to Aachen and arrive in 4 hours
44 mins. This coincides with the opening, of the Lille to Brussels
high speed line.
Eurostar Figures Soar
Eurostar carried a record number of passengers in February. Over
460,000 travelled between London, France and Belgium, a 12% increase
on January 1998 and
on February 1997. Overall 1997 saw 23% more
people travel on Eurostar than in 1996.
It Is rumoured British Airways wants to
take over Eurostar and construction of the high-speed link from
London to the Coast. This however would give them 90% of
the London-Paris traffic and will be opposed by smaller airlines.
English Welsh and Scottish Railway has opened a train-crew depot In
Inverness to meet a rise in local freight.
31 March 1998 saw
the final closure of Tinsley. A social event to mark the closure was
held in the Railway Club, Sheffield, on 4th April 1998.
Great Eastern Class 321#
named 'Chelmsford Cathedral Festival' on 23 March in a ceremony at
Liverpool Street station.
A public meeting is to be held on 8 April into the proposed closure
of Pendleton station, Greater Manchester. The station has not been
used since being damaged by fire more than three years ago.
West Smoking, Ban
Smoker Bambrough our President will not be using Wales and West
train services after 24 May. From that day smoking will be banned.
Thameslink has introduced an Early Riser fare from Bedford and Luton
to King's Cross Thameslink. It is 20% cheaper than the normal fare.
Tickets must be booked In advance and the journey made before 7am.
Railtrack has been ordered by the Health and Safety Executive to
repair poor track on the line between Nottingham and Chesterfield.
Failure to do so could result in a criminal prosecution under the
Health and Safety at Work Act.
Shipley station in West Yorkshire been stripped of its last
remaining Midland Railway platform canopy. The canopy, on a
Bradford-bound platform, had to be demolished so that the platform
could be raised to a safe standard height. Nearby Bingley still
retains its Victorian canopies, which were refurbished last year.
Class 60, 60002 of EWS was named "High Peak" at the quarry on 23
February. The quarry, 1000 feet up in the Peak District, produces
three million tons of limestone a year. Last year about half was
sent out by rail but this year that figure Is expected to be higher.
A major contract to supply materials for Manchester Airport's second
runway is all, going by train.
The first of EWS's new fleet of Class 66 diesel electric locos
near completion. The locos are being built by Electro Motive, a
division of the US car giant General Motors In London, Ontario In
Canada. Number 66001 was due to be handed over on 23 March. It will
be shipped to Britain, probably via New York, In April and will
arrive in EWS livery. EWS has ordered 250 of the locos at a cost of
£300 million. Delivery of the main fleet starts In July.
A trial load of wood pulp has been successfully hauled 300 miles for
Britain's largest manufacturer of tissue paper. EWS took the pulp in 16 wagons
from. Sheerness port in Kent to Kimberly Clark's mill at Barrow. The
mill was opened in 1967 and
rail connected but little use has been made of the siding. Now the
company, which transports 17,500 tonnes of pulp a year by road from
Sheerness is thinking of making a permanent switch to rail.
Cut-Price Euro Connections
Eurostar has relaunched its special connecting fares to encourage
passengers to take the train from the regions to Paris, Brussels or
Disneyland Paris via London and the Channel Tunnel.
Eurostar Is-being promoted in areas served by GNER, Virgin Trains,
GW Trains, Wales and West, and Midland Mainline. Special connecting
return fares between regional stations and Waterloo include
Leicester £19 and. Leeds or Bradford or York £26.
The last Travelling Post Office train has run into Glasgow Central
station. Postal services now use the Railnet terminal at Shieldmuir
near Motherwell. It Is served by nine trains a day operated for
Royal Mall by Rail Express Services, part of EWS.
Royal Mall has also been granted planning permission for a Railnet
terminal at Bristol Parkway. It is expected to open early next year,
Railfreight Distribution, now part of EWS has won a contract to
transport 15,000 tonnes of paper from Switzerland to a distribution
centre in Ely, via the Channel Tunnel.
Music that Moves the Yobs
Vandals and troublemakers have been driven away from Shiremoor
station on the Tyneside Metro - by the sweet sound of classical
music.. Orchestral and choral excerpts from Delius's Hassan pounded
out for 12 hours a day. The yobs just couldn't stand it.
Welcome to the
Spring 1998 issue of Trans Pennine.
Yes, it's me again! I know I wrote that Decembers magazine would be
my last, but having been completely underwhelmed by offers to take
over the editorial "hot seat" I've been persuaded to carry on for a
while longer!! I've also taken the opportunity of introducing some
the layout of the magazine - your comments, good bad would be
At the AGM in
January, it was pointed out that next year will be the 25th
anniversary of the Pennine and discussion turned to how we should
mark our Silver Jubilee. One suggestion was that we re-create the
society's early trips to London. I have to admit that these were
before my time (I've only been a member for 18 years), however, from
all accounts, they are the stuff of Pennine legend. At the end of a
trip to London, the party would retire to a hostelry near Kings
Cross, the Bell, for a couple of pints and a cabaret. The cabaret
usually took the form of "exotic dancing" by young ladies whose
physical attributes gave a new meaning to the phrase "a pair of
37's". These performances were so engrossing that a certain pipe
smoking member would (allegedly) often end up doing an impression of
a steam loco storming Lickey!
I believe the Bell has long since gone, and the exotic dancers must
be grandmothers by now, so an authentic recreation is probably not
possible, but that doesn't stop us from marking an important
milestone in the society's history. Any suggestions as to how we go
about it will be warmly received by the committee.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Pennine Railway Society was held
at the Taps on the 11th of January, and was attended by 19 members.
The main points arising out the meeting were as follows:-Dave
Whitlam has decided to step down as Fixtures Secretary. He feels
that in view of the complete lack of opportunities to visit railway
installations following privatisation, the position has become
unnecessary. He will, however, remain on the committee.
Membership of the society remains stable, 67 members having
financial position of the society is sound, enabling the committee
to consider the purchase of a new slide projector
(Since the AGM, the society
has managed to purchase a new projector, a Leica Pradovit. In common
with other modem projectors, this will only accept straight
magazines - please bear this in mind if you have offered to give a
slide show - loan magazines are available from Chris Tyas)
On the Shap route in 1968
During the first
half of 1968, when the last steam locomotives in normal use on
British Railways were coming to the end of their working lives, I
made a series of excursions to the West Coast Main Line. I was
living in Leeds at the time, and as I had not yet bought a car, I
used the railways a good deal for travelling. My job left me one
Saturday off in four. I was friendly with a girl in Newcastle and
liked to see her on my free Saturdays, but as she often could not
see me, I arranged alternative plans for my Saturday excursions. I
found an interest in travelling across to the West Coast Main Line
and seeing the last steam locomotives at work; as I did not at that
time foresee the growth in railway preservation, I did not know that
in a few years I would see steam engines at work frequently, and
there was a real nostalgia in my trips.
On the first full Saturday out in 1968, in January, I got as far as
Wigan and saw one or two trains on the mainline, but the only steam
locomotive which I managed to photograph was a "Black 5" on station
pilot duty at Manchester Victoria.
I did a much more ambitious trip. I caught the morning Leeds -
Glasgow express and rode on it as far as Carlisle. The weather in
Leeds was unexceptional, but up on the Settle and Carlisle line
there was deep snow, and it was a spectacular journey, the hills and
moors all white, and curtains of icicles lining the track in many
places. After lunching in Carlisle, I returned south on the West
Coast Main Line; My train hauled
by a "47''. was bound for Euston, and made its first stop at
The sun came out
once we left Carlisle; soon snow began to lie beside the line again,
and the crossing of Shap Fell was impressive in the bright but
wintry conditions. As we sped down the bank to Tebay, we passed a
northbound goods train with an engine at each end; the head
locomotive was definitely a diesel, but I was unsure of the banker,
as it seemed to be making too smoke for a diesel but not enough for
a steam locomotive! There followed a spectacular stretch through the
Lune Gorge, and then we were through Oxenholme; and there was no
doubt about the Grayrigg banker, as a BR Standard Class 4 4-6-0 was
in the siding as we sped past.
At Lancaster, the station pilot, a "Black 5" stood with steam up. I
got off the Euston express and was soon retuning north as far as
Carnforth on a Barrow-in-Furness train. I had some time to wait
before a DMU came in from Morecambe to take me back to Leeds, so I
walked out along the road to where I could see signs of activity at
Carnforth engine-shed. I was unprepared for what I found: row upon
row of steam locomotives! I walked happily among the nearest ones
and photographed the rest from a path which led conveniently outside
the railway fence over a slight hill just beyond the shed. 4-6-Os
nos. 44874 and 44894
were in steam on the
siding next to the main line, while in the "graveyard" nearer the
road were BR Standard 4-6-Os nos. 75020, 75021, 75058, and 75062,
2-8-0 no. 48757, 2-10-0 no. 92009 - an old friend from years
earlier, as it had been one of the first "9F"s allocated to
Wellingborough during my boyhood trainspotting days in
Northamptonshire - and the first "Britannia" Pacific I had seen for
many months, 70031 "Byron". Other steam engines, both active and
derelict, were in evidence in the yard on the other side of the shed
Eventually, I tore myself away from my steam nostalgia, and walked
back to the station. It was a pleasant journey back to Leeds in the
fading winter light, my thoughts full of the locomotives and
landscapes I had seen during the day, and the first part of my ride
dominated by the snowy peak of Ingleborough. A final bonus was the
sight of a "9F" heading a westbound goods at Keighley; the last
steam engines had left Leeds (Holbeck) the previous autumn, but
obviously the occasional one still worked in from Lancashire..
In March, I managed to visit my girlfriend in Newcastle - it was a
very pleasant day, but not relevant to this article! - and I
photographed the last steam locomotives at two sheds near Leeds,
Royston and Normanton. In April, I went on another long train trip.
I went to Wigan again, and while waiting for an express to take me
north, I was rewarded by the sight of a "9F", 2-10-0 no. 92069,
coming through with oil tankers. I took the express as far as
Oxenholme; the Grayrigg banker, 4-6-0 no. 75027 was there, and I got
off and walked back to take photographs. I got two of it from the
adjacent road bridge, one with a diesel of the then new "50" class
speeding past with a Glasgow Euston express. Then I returned to
Oxenholme station for a train from Windermere which would take me
back to Carnforth and the connection for Leeds. Six years later, in
October 1974, I photographed 75027 again, but this time working
passenger trains on the Bluebell railway.
In may came the last trip of the series. I took a Morecambe DMU as
far as Carnforth, then changed to a Windermere train which I rode as
far as Kendal. I had lunch there, then walked out of the town to the
east until I came to the main line. Earlier I had noticed that there
was no engine waiting at Oxenholme, so I knew that I would not see
the hoped-for sight of a steam banking engine in action. The next
time I saw a steam locomotive banking a train in the rear was in
August 1972, on the Foxfield light railway in Staffordshire.
However, that day in May 1968, I did manage to photograph two trains
on Grayrigg bank, a "47" on a Euston - Carlisle express and class
"40" no. D231 "Sylvania" on a parcels train, and I enjoyed the
pleasant surroundings of the Westmoreland hills before walking back
to the attractive town of Kendal for tea. I rode the train back to
Carnforth and took some more photos of the derelict engines on the
shed. Now, of course, it is a living steam museum; then, it seemed a
sad place, and a muted blast on a chime whistle on the other side of
the shed struck a melancholy note.
As far as I can remember, I saw one more steam locomotive in action
on BR that summer, and that was a Standard class 4 4-6-0 with a
goods train at Skipton as I returned from a holiday in Edinburgh at
the beginning of July. A few weeks later, I rode for the first time
on a steam train of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, and that
was the start of my interest in railway preservation. It was several
years before I saw the Shap route again, and by then it was a very
different railway, being electrified and closely paralleled by the
M6 motorway. And the girlfriend? I visited her in Newcastle a few
more times, but I saw her for the last time during the first summer
of the nineteen-seventies. She is part of my memories of the late
sixties, like my excursions to see the last steam locomotives in
regular use on the Shap route.
A final bonus
Deltic-bashing East Lancs style (or Gateshead re-visited!)
sight of a "9F" heading a
westbound goods at
Saturday 31st of January
1998. The alarm goes off at 06.10. I start to wonder why I am
getting out of bed on a cold morning like this on my day off. I
catch the 06.45 bus to town and rush to the station to catch the
07.06 Midland Mainline service to Sheffield. The train arrives at
07.09 with power cars 43052 leading and 43045 on the rear. We get a
signal check at Aldwarke Junction whilst a late-running DMU in front
clears the section, and arrive at Sheffield with just enough time to
catch the 07.35 to Manchester formed by 158788. Another signal
check, this time at Edale - is someone trying to tell me something?
Despite the cheek, arrival at Piccadilly is on time and a short walk
takes me to the tram station. Engineering work means that everything
is departing from the "set down only" platform - it seems that the
tram system is failing to pieces already! I board a tram for Bury
and during the journey, just for a change, encounter two 5mph slacks
due to broken rails. A 5minute stroll at Bury brings me to Bolton
Street station, where I spend £10 on a members "Day Rover'. Now,
time for breakfast before the 10.00 departure. Slight problem though
- the gate to platform 2, where the cafe is situated, is closed,
even though the cafe itself is open! The staff are probably
wondering why they have no customers! I walk over the road to
Victoria's Sandwich Shop for a bacon butty.
At 09.45, Hughes "Crab* 42765 backs onto the stock, then shunts it
from platform 2 to platform 3. At 09.58, someone opens the gate to
platform 2 where the cafe is - brilliant timing, especially as there
was a departure from Bury at 09.00. At 10.00 prompt, our train
departs on its journey. As we approach Ramsbottom, I can see Deltic
D9019 waiting in the other platform. I join the train and find a
nice warm compartment in the front coach. As we leave the station,
we pass the local park where two or three football matches are
taking place. Quite a few of the non-participants and some of the
players bum to watch our departure.
After arrival at Bury, there are about twenty minutes in which to
run the engine round, before the 11.00 departure. Having coupled the
loco back on to the stock, a fault is discovered on the ETH
requiring both power units to be shut down so that rectification
work can be carried out. When it comes to restarting, one of the
units will not start due to low oil pressure. It is decided to make
this trip on one unit, but there will be no train heat. We manage to
keep to time to Rawtenstall and back, but it soon gets very cold in
the coaches. A decision is made to replace D9019 on the13.00
service, with the loco servicing crew attempting to repair the
Deltic. The replacement engine is none other than D1501 "Gateshead"
- just like old times on the East Coast! I make a round trip with
D1501 and on arrival back at Bury, it is plain to see that the
gallant efforts of the servicing crew have been unsuccessful, so
D1501 will work for the rest of the day. I have one more round trip
with the 47, then decide to head for home early.
At the tram station, I find that two trams are being coupled
together to form the next service to Piccadilly. The autocouplers
will not work and the service is cancelled - I have to wait for the
next one! 158770 forms the 18.19 departure from Piccadilly to
Doncaster. The only thing missing from the day is not being able to
go into the Great Northem Bar at Peterborough, to be served by the
Chinese barman now what was his famous saying? "Ha! Duff on
Creeforpes, more beers?"
The Pennine Quiz No.93
Bit of an easy one this! Answers to the editor by 30 May, please! Offers to
set quiz 94 also gratefully received!
is a capuchon?
Trowse Swing Bridge carries an electrified line into which city?
3) What was
the original class designation for Class 33/1, never adopted?
4) In which
year was the first Standard Class 4MT 2-60 delivered?
5) What is the
wheel arrangement of a 'Mikado' type of locomotive?
6) A specific
locomotive was allocated to haul Southern Railway's royal trains -
what was its class and number?
used to be an important junction on the former GWR, but what was the
original owning company?
8) What is the
function of a short -armed signal with horizontal red, white and red
stripes surmounted by the letter 'C' ?
9) Which line
in London formed the world's first tube railway, but was later
many Robinson 2-8-Os were bought by the GWR from the government?
Spires Junction is on the northern outskirts of which city?
12) Bogie flash guards are fitted to which specific
Which LNER steam locomotive carried the name "Cuddie Hedrigg?
role did 'Bumper Harris' play in the history of London Underground?
does the coaching stock code 'RMBT' signify?
Class 52 carried a misspelt-spelt nameplate for many years?
yards, the Harrington Viaduct is reputed to be Britain's longest
brick-built structure - which company built K?
two types of engine are fitted to the Class 37/9 sub-class?
railway did a train known as the 'Pilling Pig' run?)
type of transmission did the experimental 'Fell' locomotive have?
livery was carried by the first-built Class 52 'Western'?
22) Clifton Down Tunnel is in which city?
23) Name 86 6/3
24) In steam days, trains on Copy Pit Summit often needed a banker -
which depot supplied
the last Class 8F 2-8-0's for this duty in /968?
25)In which year did the first Class 59 arrive in this country?
Pennine Quiz No.92
/) 550/6 'Gordon Highlander
4) Stewarts Lane
5) Edinburgh Haymarket
7) Chris Milner
9) / July /946
12) 'St Dunstans'
13) Masbury - Shepton Mallet
14) George Townsend Andrews
15) 50007 'Sir Edward Elgar'
16) Steam Locomotive Operators Association
17) Glasgow St Enoch - Stranraer
18) 113 1/2miles
22) St Pancras (Cambridge Street)
24) North Staffordshire Railway
25) 3' 9.5" (1156mm)
32) 15 January 1936
33) 98 miles
35) WR 1600 class
36) 27 November 1965
37) Richard Branson
38) Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway
39) 'Charles Jones'
41) 8d (3 1/2p)
42) 'Oxcroft Opencast'
43) Hugh Smellie
44) Hull Cannon Street
46) Paddington - Bristol Temple Meads
47) 50015 'Tulyar
48) Thomas Hardy
49) 12' 10"
Winner overall was John
Dewing, with Ken King gaining
second place and Ian
Shenton in third.
Well done gentlemen, and thanks again to Malcolm Bell for setting
What the Papers say!
Railnews is a paper
which hasn't featured in these columns before, so when an article
about one of our local stations appeared in the January edition,
written by -Chris Amott, it was an opportunity not to be missed
Private Eye continues to
lambaste privatisation in its 'Signal Failures' column, written by
"Dr B Ching"
Rumour has it that the resident tramp once played for Man Utd.
The line from
Sheffield to Hull is not the most attractive in the land. Not in its
early stages anyway. Cranes hover like vultures over the rusting
hulks in many scrapyards. Stone walls and bridges are smudged with
soot, the legacy of an industrial past in all-too-evident decline.
The picture begins to change four stops out. On one side of the line
a sluggish river meanders through open fields. On the other side of
the line are the handsome Victorian buildings of Mexborough station
in Yorkshire stone blasted clean of soot and graffiti.
Melissa Hazel, on duty today, emerges from the back of the ticket
office with a thick wedge of kitchen paper in one hand. She has been
cleaning the inside of the double-glazed windows. "it's a good
opportunity while they're unscrewed for the painters, " she says,
showing characteristic thoroughness.
She is 22 and arrived from Doncaster in one of the few years when
the station didn't win an award. The manager made it plain that this
was not on. Normal trophy winning would be expected to resume as
soon as possible.
And it did. Regional Railways North East recently voted Mexborough
as its best-kept small station. Again. Four years ago it took the
national title after being runner-up in 1991 and '92.
There have been customer care awards, too. Richard Ellis (now at
Barnsley) won one for ferrying passengers down the line to Swinton
in his Nissan Cherry during last year's bad weather. Gary Morgan was
commended for rushing from the ticket office and helping to rescue
someone who was drowning in the nearby canal.
Prize money from one award or another paid for the fish tank in the
waiting room. A most unusual tank it is, too. Instead of a cube it
looks more like a tube - a vertical tube shaped like a miniature
During my visit, it was almost covered over by a paintstreaked
sheet. The decorators were in, making the place look even more spick
and span. Melissa drew the sheet slightly to one side and we came
face to face with a particularly large and lugubrious golden carp.
Fish are more common in dentists' waiting rooms, renowned as they
are for having a calming effect. But never has that quality been
more needed than the day a prize bull escaped from a nearby field
and rampaged up and down the platform.
Passengers were ushered inside while Melissa frantically phoned the
farmer. "Bulls we can do without," she says, "but we can usually get
hold of the horses."
"Yes, they sometimes escape when the kids are on holiday from school
and open the farm gates. They gallop around the car park for a
while, then calm down."
The manure they leave behind could come in very handy during the
summer months when the platforms are lined with colourful flower
tubs and hanging baskets.
Melissa and her colleagues on different shifts, Shahin Khan and Nick
Stevens, can forget about watering those baskets until the spring.
Now all they have to do is concentrate on is feeding the fish,
rounding up stray horses, selling tickets, helping passengers with
heavy bags over the footbridge, keeping the place immaculate and
rubbing regular applications of Brasso on the war memorial honouring
the railwaymen of Mexborough who died in the First World War. There
are 34 names. "The brass rail's gone a bit dark because of the
rain," says Melissa, unnecessarily apologetic. I'll have another go
at it later."
Despite her love of cleanliness and good order, she has a soft spot
for the station's resident tramp. "He's lovely," she says. "A real
gentle giant." His name is Brian and rumour has it he once played
for Manchester United. His chosen headgear is a woollen tea-cosy.
"Sometimes he goes in the gents for a wash," says Melissa, "but if I
lock it at night, he just goes in the ladies instead and strips
Mind you, since the bull went walkabout, the female passengers at
Mexborough have become virtually unshockable.
Focus on connections
The debate on an integrated
transport policy initiated by John Prescott seems premature given
that the rail system isn't capable of co-ordinating with itself, let
alone with buses, cars ferries and other forms of transport.
A rail network (as opposed to a collection of isolated railways)
should enable a passenger to travel swiftly between any two stations
even where there is no direct
train. But Britain's privatised railway has abandoned this
principle. If a train arrives late, the chances are that its
"connecting" service will have left already.
Yet again, the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (Opraf) is to
blame. Before it drafted its passenger service requirements (PSRs)
for each franchise, Opraf promised that allowances will be made for
trains which are delayed in order to waft for the arrival of
specific connecting services". But, as the Rail Users Consultative
Committee for Wales, a Tory-appointed watchdog, laments in its
annual report: "Allowances had not been made in any PSR received by
the committee. Provisions for connections are wholly inadequate in
all PSRs received, provisions for delayed connections are
unacceptably omitted from all PSRs... The committee expressed its
deep concern at the manner in which Opraf progressively diluted its
initial commitments and undertakings and by that jeopardised future
travel opportunities for rail passengers."
The result is that people have missed ferry connections to Ireland
and suffered delays of up to 12 hours. The policy also hits
commuters, like the 'Eye' reader who travels from Chippenham to work
in Oxford, changing at Didcot. `The train arrived in Didcot just in
time for the Oxford train to pull out as we were all trying to cross
the platform to it. The stationmaster said he was not able to hold
it," he wrote in a letter of complaint. He was half an hour late for
work because Thames Trains had not been prepared to hold the Oxford
train even 30 seconds. Another time he was 90 minutes late because
Great Western Trains had not held a train.
The non-connection policy is not limited to connection between
different train operators. For every delayed train, the company
responsible for the delay must pay a fine under the ludicrous
penalty and bonus system devised to keep the fragmented rail network
running. Delaying a train to await a late connecting service helps
customers - but cost the train's operator money.
Previously, experienced staff held connections at their discretion,
taking into account the likely number of people needing the
connection, the length of time till the next service, how late the
incoming service was running etc. Occasionally they got it wrong,
and it was to tackle such problems that the private sector, with its
"superior" management skills, was drafted in.
"Euston, we have a problem.
Now, however, we
simply have a public service run to suit bureaucrats and managers
with no regard to customer's needs at all. Opraf could easily exempt
operators from fines for delays in the interest of connecting
passengers, but it is far too removed from everyday life to
understand the impact of its policies on passengers. If there must
be fines, surely they should be on operators who do not hold
connections? If the fines and bonuses resulted in 99.9 percent of
trains arriving on time, this connections issue would be immaterial.
In practice trains are not significantly more punctual than they
were under British Rail, despite the private rail companies
receiving twice as much subsidy and despite the threat of fines.
Goes on the Supertram
Supertram system has been one of the more controversial additions to
public transport in South Yorkshire in recent years. Costing many,
many millions of pounds and causing severe disruption to city-centre
business during its construction, the system was finally completed
in 1995. Passenger levels and revenues have been slow to rise, not
helped in the early days by a convoluted ticket system which meant
it was cheaper to buy tickets from shops rather than at tram-stops.
These tickets then had to be validated before use, providing the
Australian- built validating machine at the tram-stop was working
and there wasn't an enormous queue in front of you! Battles over
public funding for the system have raged in the political arena and
the courts, and privatisation has arrived in the shape of
Stagecoach, who will shortly become responsible for the operation of
Despite all of this, the trams are a very pleasant way to get
around. The 25 units, manufactured by Siemens-Duwag in Dusseldorf,
are comfortable, quiet and where the route allows, fast. It was
somewhat of a surprise to me to find that quite a few Pennine
members have not yet sampled the Supertram. The aim of this article
is therefore to provide a beery incentive to use the system,
although I must say, in balance, that there are also quite a few
Pennine members who need absolutely no incentive whatsoever!
There are three main routes from the city centre, to Meadowhall,
Middlewood and Halfway, with branches to Malin Bridge and Herdings
Park from the fast two routes, respectively. I am happy to say that
decent beer can be found in eight GBG-listed pubs near tram stops
and armed With a one-day Travelmaster, it is possible to visit them
all in a fairly short space of time. This is not recommended,
however, as there are no loos on the trams!
We will start at Midland station and head off to the furthest pub on
the Middlewood and Malin Bridge route before returning to the city
centre. Take a tram from the station heading towards Middlewood or
Malin Bridge, alight at the Bamforth Street stop, cross the road and
walk down Bamforth Street. At the bottom, turn left on to Penistone
Road and you will see the New
Barrack Tavern. This is an ex-Gilmour's house, a fact proclaimed
by the pub windows and the architectural style, namely, a
tile-bricked facade to the building. The large bar boasts an
impressive array of handpumps, dispensing beers from the smaller
independent breweries, and a blackboard lists the many foreign
bottled-beers which are on sale. More blackboards detail the
extensive home-cooked food menu, and the Tavern is very highly
regarded in this respect. On my last visit I finally managed to
sample Barnsley IPA, and well worth the wait it was, too!
If you can drag yourself away from the culinary and beery delights
on offer at the Tavern, head back to Bamforth Street and take a tram
towards the city centre, this time getting off at Shalesmoor.
Adjacent to the stop is the Cask
This place re-opened in late /993 after some years of neglect
and since that time it has become a veritable mecca for real ale
devotees (and beer spotters) - on my last visit, the blackboard
behind the bar proclaimed that over /500 different beers had been
sold. The landlord and landlady take their beer very seriously and
are keen CAMRA supporters. Inside, the pub is dark and quiet, there
being no jukebox or electronic games to disturb the conversation -
another bonus is a large, comfortable no-smoking room where you can
enjoy your pint without the dangers of passive smoking. The beers on
sate (usually 6) come from the small independent brewers and there
is also a fair selection of Belgian bottled-beers. I tried some Isle
of Skye Pale Ate when last in - very moreish. Meals are available
from 12.00 to 14.00 Tuesday to Friday and between 17.30 and 18.30.
Monday to Friday (the pub is shut Monday lunchtime). Sunday lunch is
The C&C is another place that is hard to leave, but leave you must,
for there are more delights to be sampled! Over the busy junction,
on Shalesmoor itself, is the Ship, possibly
the most northerly tied house of Nottingham's Hardys and Hansons
The first thing that strikes you on walking up to the pub is the
rather impressive front of the building, a legacy of the time when
the pub was owned by long-gone Tomlinson's brewery, raised brickwork
still proudly proclaiming 'Anchor Beers'. Inside is a comfortable
U-shaped lounge decorated with nautical memorabilia, the staff are
very friendly, and a rather nice drop of hand-pulled Kimberley
Bitter is on sale.
From the Ship, turn sharp left into Dun Fields, continue to the end
where you turn right into Green Lane, pausing to look at the
impressive portico entrance to Tyzack's Works, then follow the road
for about 150 yards before forking off left into Alma Street. Here
you will find the Fat
Back in 1981, the Fat Cat became the first of the real ale free
houses in Sheffield, introducing to a willing public the delights of
brews from the smaller independents, bottled beers from overseas and
a no smoking room. Although other places such as the New Barrack
Tavern and the Cask and Cutler have come on the scene in recent
years, the Fat Cat continues to prosper, providing a wide range of
interesting beers at reasonable prices. A later development has been
Kelham Island Brewery, situated at the back of the building. Two or
three beers from the brewery are usually on sale in the pub
alongside the various guest beers and food is available at
lunchtimes. The Fat Cat
is also very handy for Kelham Island Industrial Museum which, if you
have any interest in Sheffield's metalwork related past, is
definitely a place worth visiting.
If you have any energy (or capacity!) remaining, you can continue to
walk into the city, via Bridge Street and Snig Hill, otherwise
return to Shalesmoor, catch a tram into the city centre and alight
at Castle Square. Directly opposite the stop is the Banker's
Draft, a fairly new
addition to the Sheffield pub scene. The building was once a bank
and was acquired by the Weatherspoon pub chain, for conversion into
a rather plush outlet. The beer range varies, but there is always a
low-priced "special offer', usually a bitter from one of the
national breweries, and food is available. The place can get very
busy in the evenings and large gentlemen are employed to keep out
If you've survived this far, part two of this trip is possibly
better left for another day - remember what I said about looless
... you could
end up with something white on your collar - and it won't be
The next port of
call is a fair way out of the city - about 30 minutes journey and is
the Milepost at
Crystal Peaks, on the Halfway route. This is a fairly new pub, built
to serve the shopping centre and the many new housing estates which
have sprung up in the area. Although of modern design, the pub has
an attractive and comfortable feel about it. The pub is owned by the
Wolverhampton and Dudley brewery, which may seem strange for a pub
on the outskirts of Sheffield, however, W&D are expanding at a brisk
pace and are actively seeking new outlets in the north, having
bought Cameron's Brewery in Hartlepool and 51 associated pubs in M2. Banks's Best Bitter is on sale and is dispensed through electric
pumps - a standard method in Banks's pubs. A guest beer, often from
Cameron's, is usually available on hand pump, however, it had run
out when I was fast there - still I'm rather fond of Banks's Best
Bitter! Food is served throughout the day, and there is a large
conservatory where children are welcome. Incidentally, the section
of Supertram track from the end of White Lane through to Birley Lane
is actually in North East Derbyshire. Derbyshire County Council have
expressed an interest in extending the Halfway route into the
county, but whether this will happen remains to be seen! We now turn
our attention to a couple of pubs on the Meadowhall route. From
Meadowhall, hop on a tram for the short run round to Carbrook. Leave
the stop, walk down between the factory and the supermarket, and
more or less opposite you on the other side of Attercliffe Road,
partially hidden by the new Abbey National building, is Carbrook
Carbrook Hall can trace its history back to the early 1600's,
the period of the English Civil War and commemorated on a 'blue'
plaque by the entrance. Indeed, the decorations inside reflect the
'Roundheads and Cavaliers' theme, not that this is any way a "theme
pub" - the building has many interesting historical features,
particularly the front room, which boasts oak panelling, a decorated
ceiling and a magnificent fireplace. Oh, and Stones Bitter and
Magnet Ale , just in case you'd forgotten why you went in the pub in
the first place. Fullers London Pride was the guest beer during my
visit, worth trying if only to see a southern beer served with a
head! A word of warning - above the entrance is a dovecote, complete
with doves, and if you're not paying attention, you could end up
with something white on your collar - and it won't be dandruff!
The final pub to visit is the Cocked
Hat on Worksop Road,
somewhat awkwardly placed between the Don Valley Stadium and
Attercliffe stops, and nestling in the shadow of the stadium.
Walking from Carbrook only takes about ten minutes and gives you a
chance to appreciate the massive transformation that this area has
undergone in recent years, from steelworks to technology parks. To
reach the pub, continue along Attercliffe Road towards the city
centre, and once past the stadium, bear left into Leeds Road - the
pub is on the corner junction with Worksop Road.
The Cocked Hat is a small, comfortable pub, owned by Marston's and
filled with many items related to the brewery. Old photographs of
Attercliffe also adorn the walls, starkly illustrating the changes
in the district. There are also many souvenirs of athletic events,
somewhat ironic given the less than-fitness-enhancing-activities
that usually take place in a pub! Marston Bitter and Pedigree are on
sale and the frequent special brews produced by Marston's under the
'Head Brewers Choice' scheme, are also sold. These specials can be a
touch on the expensive side, but offer the chance to try some
different styles of beer.
Thus ends a brief guide to the Supertram. It is worth a trip
especially if, like me, you are a Doncaster ratepayer who could end
up subsidising the thing for the next thirty or forty years!
Pennine Observers Notes
Back to November 1997, for light engine workings on the Gainsborough
- Barnetby line. before the start of the Saturday passenger
service:-37676+47711; 15th - 56065; 22nd - 56049; 29th 37899. Locos
noted in December were 30th - 56124; 27th - 60015, and in January,
47331 on the 3rd, 56073 on the 10th and 37707 on the 17th.
Noted at Ulceby on
the 22nd of November were 60064 on an oil train and 60082 on an iron
Now to Barnby Lane crossing at Claypole, where on the 29th
47335+47316 were rioted heading a Freightliner working and 47702
hauled a goods train.
A member at York on the 12th of December noted 47701 which had
arrived at the head of a service from Poole..
A member visiting Immingham depot on December 13th noted :- 08824,
47711, 56056/071/124, 60004/078/087
Into the New Year,
now. 47748 arrived at Sheffield some 5 minutes early on January 2nd,
having worked the 09.00 Poole - York. The loco was then declared a
failure, having suffered a suspected coolant leak. RES 47721 was
summoned from Derby and took the train forward after a delay of
about an hour, and then worked the 16.43 York - Bristol return
working. The following day, the final Class 31 railtour, A1A
Charters "The Long Goodbye" took place in storm force winds, but
this did not bother 31466+31465. They worked from Blackpool North,
via Sheffield, to Barnetby, where the locos departed to Immingham
for fuel. (A member took the opportunity at Barnetby to note 37716,
56121 and 60050) 37114+37098 then took the tour forward to
Cleethorpes, where the 31's rejoined the train for the return to
Blackpool via Peterborough, Leicester, Birmingham and Chesterfield.
This could be the last Class 31 passenger working, however..?? Watch
this space! Passing through Lincoln at the head of a weedkilling
train on the 7th of January was 58017.
On the 14th, mindless idiots caused delays at Cottingham by placing
a ramp for disabled passengers across the track. The 18.58 Hull -
Scarborough service struck the ramp, which became stuck under the
train. Passengers eventuality continued their journey by coach. The
20.02 Hull - Bridlington and 21.18 Bridlington - Hull trains were
cancelled as a result of the incident.
Back to Immingham, where on the 17th, the depot played host to
:-08405/445/466/632, 37003/211/334, 47277/3/5, 56033/097/116,
60022/050. Later in day at Peterborough, were 31113/273, 37370,
56073/078, 580/3/035. Passing through were
37248+37057 at the
head of Hertfordshire Railtours "East Coast Diversion" tour, which
ran from Kings Cross to Newcastle via Lincoln, Gainsborough, York,
Stockton and Hartlepool, before returning via the ECML. 56109 hauled
the train on the York - Newcastle - York section.
On the 19th, your editor arrived at Swinton for his train home, to
find that 47763 had failed in the station at the head of a Low Fell
- Plymouth parcels train. 56053 duly arrived to provide assistance.
Services from Doncaster to Sheffield suffered some disruption as a
result, with some being diverted along the 'old road' through
Kilnhurst. The following morning on his way to work, your editor
noted 08925 passing through Doncaster town centre, fortunately on
the bark of a low-loader lorry!
tragedy struck the railways on the 20th of January. In the first
incident, a 55-year old farmer was killed as he crossed the track
near Goole. He was hit by a Sheffield - Hull train. which led to
delays of up to 1.1/2 hours,
with some Hull trains being diverted via Selby. In the second
incident, a 60-year old deaf woman and her dog were killed by a
London Newcastle train, as they crossed the ECML at a track crossing
south of Grantham. The train involved was terminated at Grantham.
Delays of up to 1.1/2 hours
again ensued as a result, with 91004 being pressed into service to
form an additional KX - Edinburgh service.
Also on the 20th,
47817 and 47845 were noted at York, having worked trains from the
southwest, and 47777 was sighted passing light-engine through Eaton
On the 23rd, 47812 and 47701 were sighted at York, services from the
southwest again being the reason, 56101 was noted hauling a freight
train, through Grantham.
Back to Eaton Lane crossing, where on the 28th, 47772 passed through
light-engine. The following day, 47475 powered an oil train through
56099 was noted working light-engine on the Gainsborough - Barnetby
line prior to the passenger service on the 31st of January. The
following week, February 7th, 37675 was on duty.
February 10th saw 47812 at York with a southwest service, while
later in the day, 37686, 56064 and 60031 were sighted at Tyne Yard
and Lincoln had 56120, 60040/046/052 passing through on oil trains.
In the Peterborough area on the 11th, 085/6/538,
31146/163/166/273/306/465, 56044, 58039 were stabled at the station
and 37212 was in the sidings at Conington.
A Birmingham - York service was cancelled at Derby on the 12th, due
to loco failure. 47703 eventually brought the empty stock to York
via Doncaster, to form the 11.43 York - Poole, which left about an
hour late. 47817 was also noted at York on a southwest service.
Later in the day, at about 7pm, 56010+56108 were sighted heading a
southbound Freightliner through Doncaster.
Much to your Membership Secretary's amazement on the 12th of
February, 31203+31420 were spotted on a rake of MEA wagons in
British Steels Aldwarke sidings, the first such sighting for many
years. He wonders what is next - Class 20s on scrap trains?
47777 brought empty stock into Hull on the 14th, ready for a 'Rail
UK steam charter to Carlisle. 44767 was the steam loco for the
journey, although 47774 was attached to the train, in case of
failure. On the homeward journey, 47777 returned the train from York
On the 17th, 47839 and 47847 were sighted at York on southwest
services, and 56010+56031 headed a southbound Freightliner through
Doncaster, again at around 7pm.
A press announcement on the 26th of February trumpeted £10 million
worth of investment being poured into the RRNE fleet over the next
18 months. 38 TransPennine Express sets will be refurbished, with
such features as new seating, upgraded toilets, enhanced
air-conditioning, table lamps, curtains and power points for laptop
computers. (Your editor would just settle for the 07.17 turning up
on time, once in a while!) Improvements are also planned for East
Coast services between Hull and Scarborough, which should please
your East Yorkshire correspondent, JR Dewing, who would be more than
happy to see the back of the Class 142 "boneshakers"!
Fragonset 47701 was
sighted on the 16.43 York Bristol on the 23rd of December, whilst a
sister loco was also on hire to Virgin Trains, working the 12.17
Manchester - Plymouth on Saturday 27th of December.
A correspondent out and about in the Midland Region on the 22nd of
January note the following:- Leicester 47344, 60006/047; Nuneaton
31420, 86638+86635 on freight trains, 87012/015/016/017/020,
90012/014; Coventry 47826
on a Poole - York; Northampton 31188/462,
47712; Milton Keynes (passenger
trains) 86209/236/256/258, 870/510/71020/030/034, 90005/
009/011/013/01; (freight/parcel/mail) trains) 37603+ 37604,
47194/624, 58050, 60095, 86416/254/602+ 603, 90125/131//4/,
90134+92034 (the first pairing of a 90 and a 92 that your
correspondent has witnessed) 51347+51332 (Bedford - Bletchley DMU)
and Eurostar set 3311+3312.
Two intrepid Pennine punters set out on a 2-for-1 "Virgin Day Out
ticket on the 31st of January. The 09.17 Manchester - Paddington
left Piccadilly behind 47854. Problems with the loco, en route,
necessitated an engine change at Birmingham, to 47825 'Thomas
Telford'. Also, by this time, Virgin control realised they had no
engine at Paddington for the return working (14.18 Paddington -
Edinburgh) therefore the train left New Street with 47825 at the
front and 47843 attached to the rear. 47843 duly worked the 14.18
(could this be the answer to Branson's engine reliability problems?)
After a quick blast with RMLs 2278 and 2419 (buses, Gerry) and a
pint in the 'Head of Steam' at Euston, an on-time departure with
Virgin-liveried 90012 on the 15.50 Euston - Manchester resulted in a
punctual joumey with no problems (miracles do happen
Eurostar sets noted
at Vauxhall on the 14th.
of February were:
3005+3006 11.43 Paris - Waterloo
3205+3206 13.57 Waterloo - Paris
3224+3230 14.23 Waterloo - Brussels
3019+3020 empty stock working
Later in the day, at
Kensington Olympia, 47831 worked the 14.20 Brighton - Manchester,
37402+33202 double-headed a freight train and 47245 passed through
Pathfinder Tours "Garden of England" railtour took 73/3/ +/0/ on a
tour of Kent, from Victoria to Dover, on the 14th of February,
giving most of the Pennine punters on board their first glimpse of
the impressive Dollands Moor Channel Tunnel freight terminal.
92001/002/008/009 kept company with soon-to-be-homeless
47186/201/297/355 (R.I.P Tinsley MPD?)
The Great Central's
winter steam gala was held on February 7th. 1264, 6990 'Witherslack
Hail', 8752, 30777 'Sir Lamiel' and 34039 'Boscastle' were working
passenger and demonstration mail trains.
Many thanks to Tony
Caddick, John Dewing and
Paul Slater for their contributions.
Forthcoming meetings at the Taps (20.00 start) are as follows:
Wednesday 1 April 1998
To be confirmed
Wednesday 15 April 1998
To be confirmed
Wednesday 6 May 1998
Wednesday 20 May 1998
Wednesday 3 June 1998
To be confirmed
Wednesday 17 June 1998
To be confirmed
Thanks to Stuart Earl, we have some forthcoming dates for special
events on the East Lancashire Railway
April 18-19 The Roaring Forties"
(40th anniversary of the class - ail services hauled by
May 2-4 Thomas the Tank Engine
May 9-10 Traction and Vintage Vehicle
July 4-12 Diesel Week
August 8-16 30th Anniversary of the end of steam
August 31 Teddy Bears Picnic
September 12-13 Diesel Theme Days
October 3-4 Thomas the Tank Engine
October 24-25 Autumn Steam Event
November 28-29 Santa Specials
December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 Santa Specials
To confirm these events before setting out on a long joumey, phone
the railway on 0161-764-7790
The next edition of Trans Pennine will he produced in June.
Please have contributions to me
by 30 May. Thank you!