The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society
No.133 - Autumn 2005
Pennine Slide Competition
The eagerly awaited Pennine Slide Competition will this year be held on Wednesday 5 October 2005 at The Salutation.
In a change to the rules, everyone will now be able to enter up to 5 slides.
Even more chances for you to win a prize.
Roasted on GNER
23 June 2005, the hottest day of the year, saw a power failure in overhead lines in the Huntingdon area.
A number of trains were delayed, and the world’s press reported particularly on the 14.55 Newcastle – Kings Cross service when air-conditioning failed, passengers fainted, broke windows, and were evacuated into a field. Emergency refreshments were flown in by Cambridgeshire Police helicopter.
Phone on the Tube
Avid user Robin Skinner tells us that mobile phones will work at all 275 Tube stations within three years, and he can’t wait.
The new technology may also make it possible for passengers to use mobiles in tunnels and laptops in deep-lying stations.
Vale of Glamorgan
Our Welsh correspondent, Rhys Jones, tells us that passenger services have returned to the Vale of Glamorgan for the first time in 41 years with the opening of a new link from Bridgend to Cardiff.
The link also provides the train services to Cardiff International Airport, which is now served by a new station at Rhoose.
Services are run by Arriva Trains
The prat up who came up with the idea of calling train passengers “customers” must have moved into the retail trade.
Some large centres are now calling shoppers “guests”.
And these people get paid salaries!
Commuter Train Tax
Passengers could be priced off crowded rush-hour trains under controversial plans for “congestion charging” on the railways.
They would be forced to pay a hefty supplement to use the peak-time trains – typically the ones they need to get them to and from work.
Train bosses say higher prices on the most-used services will be necessary if Government plans for satellite road tolls of up to £1.34 a mile for motorists lead to a massive switch to rail.
“Smart card” tickets would track passengers’ progress from the platform to individual trains and charge them accordingly.
The Government wants to see rapid progress in the process to replace the ageing HST fleet.
An invitation to train builders to tender for the manufacture of new diesel powered trains is expected to be issued in early 2006.
The fleet of 125mph trains is now around 30 years old and have been the rolling stock mainstay for First Great Western, which has the largest fleet, Midland Mainline, GNER and, until recently, Virgin Cross Country.
Royal Ascot at York
The procession of trains heading north on Tuesday 14 June 2005 taking race goers from London to the Royal Ascot meeting held at York were delayed due to a supermarket trolley being places on the tracks.
Fortunately the delay to the chartered Orient Express was minimal.
Hell at Holloway
Football fans visiting the soon to be opened new Arsenal FC stadium at Ashburton Grove are set for inconvenience if travelling to the 60,000 capacity stadium by Tube.
The Underground station serving Ashburton Grove is Holloway Road, which is lift only, without escalators.
Current plans on match days are for an “exit only” station, meaning fans will be able to arrive by Tube but will not be able to use the station for the return journey. The station cannot cope with large numbers of passengers.
The condition of the building of the stadium was an upgrade of the Tube station. This has not been done and an original estimate of £5.5m has risen to £110m.
Cow Halts Train Seven Hours
On 17 July an Edinburgh – Bournemouth Virgin Trains service was delayed for more than 7 hours outside Oxford after the train struck a cow causing its brakes to be locked.
The 220 passengers on the train finally arrived into Oxford station after midnight, where coaches and taxis were laid on. A further 25 trains were delayed.
Pennine members enjoyed an “exclusive” visit to Barrow Hill on 12 July.
A total of 29 members were shown around all parts of the complex, including the roundhouse, and the impressive Deltic Preservation Society “shed”.
Our thanks to Robin and Chris for organising the visit, to Mervyn Allcock and the staff at Barrow Hill foe allowing us to visit, and to our friends from FAST (Felix and Sheffield Transport) Tours for providing transport by preserved bus, particularly Ian Jones (MFI) who may be entered for “driver of the year” award.
Members are invited to visit Barrow Hill for their gala weekends on 8/9 October (steam) and 15/16 October (diesel) when the roundhouse and turntable will be fully operational.
See the Pennine Observer Notes for a list of the locos seen on the night and Page 9 for the ‘team photo’.
Who or what are Customer Hosts, you may ask.
Well on Midland Mainline they are the catering staff in MMs bars.
We prefer the universally accepted titles of “trolley dollies” or “tarts with the carts”. Why can’t they still use these names?
West Coast Veterans Bow Out
Friday 10 June 2005 saw the last scheduled loco-hauled West Coast train ease into Longsight depot, the 09.38 Euston – Manchester hauled by veterans 87010 and 87002. The end of the line for the 87s.
Two Class 90s will remain on standby for West Coast, and the class will work Caledonian Sleepers and freight.
Now, apart from a couple of diesel Voyager trains to Holyhead, all West Coast trains are scheduled for Pendolino working.
Eurostar has revealed passenger numbers rising by 8% in the first half of 2005, carrying 3.68m passengers against 3.41m in the same period last year.
It again broke market share records by carrying 69% of air and rail travel between London and Paris in May.
Your treasurer (a regular user) endorses the quality of the service. Where does he get the money?
Robin Worrall Skinner
The veteran Pennine member, who wishes to remain nameless, reminds us of the occasion some years ago at a buffet to celebrate the Pennine Shield when Robin was stood holding a fork in one hand and a sausage in the other and someone shouted out “Prick with fork”.
The WCML signalbox at Colwich has now closed and will now be demolished.
Night Sleepers Under Threat
There are concerns in the south west of England that the overnight Sleeper trains may be withdrawn when the new Greater Western franchise is awarded.
The SRA says the service may not represent good value for money because of low passenger demand.
ScotRail has recently gained four more Class 170s from sister company Hull Trains. These units will be used on longer distance services but their arrival will allow a shuffle of the fleet that, by late summer, is expected to allow replacement of the unusual use of Class 90s hauling Mark III formations on the Edinburgh – North Berwick service.
The only loco-hauled stock that will remain with ScotRail is the fleet used on Caledonian Sleeper services – 53 Mark III sleepers and 21 Mark IIs – lounge and seated cars.
All are based at Inverness for maintenance. They are hauled by EWS locos (electrical and diesel as appropriate) contracted in.
Trans Pennine 1
In this edition we are reprinting items that originally appeared in magazines 45 (September 83) and 46 (December 83).
Trans Pennine 2
November will be a busy month for the magazine coordinator, he will be going to Kent for his son’s wedding and then into hospital for an operation on his foot, so he will need to produce the magazine earlier than usual. He will require all your contributions by Wednesday 2nd November.
Trans Pennine 3
The slides that go with Tony Caddick’s railroving article were supplied by Chris Theaker.
On the front cover there is 61264 crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct on the ‘Jacobite’.
Just above the article it is 37427 at Crainlarich on the Edinburgh - Fort William.
Railroving in the New Millenium
The last time I had an ‘All-Line’ Rover was many years ago when loco-hauled trains with Class 33s and 50s were still to be had and things like nasty ‘Voyagers’ were a dream in a young Richard Branson’s head, so the thought of having one in 2005 never crossed my mind. However a long held desire to have a ride on the West Highland Sleeper with a Class 37 doing the business and the rumour of 67s taking over sooner rather than later changed things. The original plan was to utilise a ‘Freedom of Scotland Travelpass’ coupled with a London - Carlisle Saver until it was realised that the ‘Freedom’ ticket was only valid in the seated accommodation between Edinburgh and Fort William. As two nights accommodation had already been booked in Fort William plus Sleeper berths on the overnight from Euston, a joint decision was made to scrap the original plans and upgrade to an All-Line Rover. Despite the complications of cancelling and re-issuing tickets the GNER staff at York could not have been more helpful- a complete contrast to the dire response at First ScotRail Telesales (potential sleeper travellers be warned!!!).
So a bright Sunday 5th June started with 91109 09.00 Edinburgh / Kings Cross from Doncaster to Kings Cross for a ‘fill-in’ move from Liverpool Street to Manningtree with ex Virgin ‘Old Friends’ 90013 14.30 Liverpool Street / Norwich and 90002 15.00 Norwich / Liverpool Street.
After a nice evening meal in the ‘Wetherspoons’
at Liverpool Street came one of the highlights of the week – in the
era of fixed formation trains the Caledonian Sleeper stand out as
proper ‘massive’ trains. Indeed with 90034 at the buffers having
brought the stock in then
sixteen coaches plus 90017 at the ‘country’ end the train
only just fits onto the longest platforms at Euston. The 2 Fort
William sleepers are at the north end of the train with the 6 coach
Aberdeen and 8 coach Inverness portions behind. After watching
87002 depart on the 19.35 Euston / Wolverhampton, 90017 eased its
way out of Euston at 20.12.
Of course engineering works often close the WCML on Sundays and we had been warned to expect a diversion via Stockport and Manchester and sure enough the train turned off onto the Manchester line at Colwich and soon we were arriving in Platform 4 at Stockport. With the train doors remaining closed the friendly shunter told me that the beast being attached to our 90 was 67019 and we were soon on our way via Manchester Piccadilly and the rare line for loco-hauled trains at any time over the last few years - Atherton. A red light at Wigan North Western and the news that we would be held there for at least an hour convinced me that now was the time to retire to the comfort of sleeper car 10706. A brief glimpse of the watch at Preston with the 67 being detached confirmed we were now very late before I dropped off again. The next thing I know we were rolling through the tunnel at Haymarket just as the sun was rising over Edinburgh. As we pulled into Platform 11, 67002 and royal 67005 were waiting to take over the Inverness and Aberdeen portions.
As it was such a beautiful Monday morning and we were so late arriving (nearly 2 hours late), I decided to get up and view the action just as the familiar growl of a Class 37 could be heard in the distance. 37427 duly backed its 2 day coaches onto the 04.50 Edinburgh / Fort William and after running round we were away through the waking Edinburgh suburbs. The advantage of being so late was of course being able to move into the First Class lounge car and view the magnificent West Highland line in its full glory at Breakfast time! One of the highlights of the journey was passing 37261/31190 at Armchair and Tarbet on the ‘Royal Scotsman’, a ‘31’ on the West Highland?, who would have thought it!
After booking in at our hotel the rest of the itinerary was:-
156492 to Glenfinnan for a spot of hill climbing to photograph B1 - 61264 crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct on the ‘Jacobite’
156447 back for a blast of 37427 on the 19.55 Fort William / Edinburgh to Corrour for 156496 back to Fort William on the 18.20 Glasgow Queen Street / Mallaig
Tuesday dawned bright and sunny for a ride to Mallaig and back on the Jacobite with 61264 - the B1 sounding magnificent on the curves and climbs on the West Highland extension. Another blast on the 19.55 Fort William / Edinburgh but this time for the ‘man of steel’ move to Rannoch with 37417 for 156447 back completed the day.
Wednesday dawned in typical West Highland fashion as grey and drizzly as 156447 on the 6.05 Mallaig / Glasgow was taken to Queen Street passing the late running ‘beds’ at Bridge of Orchy with 37427 back in charge. To keep the loco-hauled theme going a quick walk over to Central for 91125 on the 12.00 Glasgow / Kings Cross was the next move to enable 90028 and 90035 to be sampled on the North Berwick’s. The day was completed by a very enjoyable journey on GNER’s ‘Highland Chieftain’ service to Inverness - 43112/167 making an impressive assault on the stiff climbs at Druimuachder and Schold arriving in Inverness on time to view 67004 on the 20.40 Inverness / Euston.
A nice room in the ‘Wetherspoons Lodge’ at Inverness took us into Thursday and a chance to ride on a required railway - The Strathspey Railway at Aviemore – BR Standard 80105 did the honours and a nice journey too with some splendid Scottish scenery. 170417 whipped us quickly back to Inverness for a bit of an explore (refurbished bus station and a new ‘Meadowhall like’ shopping centre next to the station were viewed) before boarding 67007 on the 20.40 beds to Euston for a few beers in the lounge car to Perth before retiring to the comforts of sleeper car 10666.
The beers must have had an effect as I never felt the shunt at Edinburgh as the three portions were put back together as the next thing I knew it was Friday morning as we rolled into Euston 30 minutes early!! The long walk from the back of the train revealed 90034 at the business end - what a beast!
What to do in London when Euston is full of Pendolinos and you are booked for an overnight stay in Bristol? A quick tube ride to Victoria saw quite a few old ‘slam-door’ EMUs in service but not going anywhere particularly exotic so a move to Lymington Pier was decided on to sample the ‘heritage’ EMU service recently introduced.
A nice new 377303 to Clapham Junction for 1497 on the branch was very rewarding. 2405 to Basingstoke for 165125 to Reading for 43041/43035 to Bristol completed the afternoon before 43127/43172 was taken to Bath for a spot of liquid refreshment and another new class of DMU back to Bristol - an ‘Adalante’ 180102 - wow!!!
I would like to say a good nights sleep was had in Bristol but it wasn’t (bleedin’ stag parties) so Saturday started as the final day somewhat bleary-eyed for 153302 to Cardiff for a blast on the Cardiff – Rhymney service. On Saturday all 3 diagrams are booked for Class 37 haulage and a nice selection of 37408 (EWS), 37411 (BR Green) and 37425 (BR large-logo blue) were sampled. Rhymney is not the most interesting of places but the many stations and curves and gradients on the line means lots of thrash and a most enjoyable journey in comfortable stock - current plans see the locos and stock being replaced at the December timetable change - sample it while its there!
A comfortable journey in the ‘TGS’ on 43165/43128 on the 14.30 Swansea / Paddington for a quick tube to Kings Cross to make 91117 in the 18.00 Kings Cross / Edinburgh was the final move of a very good week.
Of course the good old days of locos on every train have gone forever and will never return. The overnight trains are the obvious ones to go for but as I write this article the Paddington / Penzance Sleeper is under threat but the Scottish ones seem fairly safe at the moment! I suppose the thing that did surprise me was how much I enjoyed the HST on the Highland main line. Even the 156 rides on the West Highland too - must be the scenery or the beer or old age! Either way my Railrover in the millennium was most enjoyable - perhaps again next year!!!
Nottingham Express Transit
I read in “Railway Magazine” that the new tramway system in Nottingham was suffering from delays and cost over-runs during construction, but was slowly progressing, and I decided that as soon as I knew it was operating, I would go and have a ride on it, having already sampled the South Yorkshire Supertrams, the Manchester Metrolink and the Midland Metro. The report of the official opening of the tramway duly appeared, and on the Saturday of the Easter weekend 2004 I set off for my first ride on the Nottingham Express Transit, to give it its proper name.
The tramway runs from Station Street, near the main station in Nottingham, through the city centre to a northern terminus at Hucknall, with a short branch from Highbury Vale to Phoenix Park. At Hucknall the trams connect with trains on the Robin Hood Line, which runs alongside the tramway for several miles, and it was this part of the transit system that I decided to look at first.
I drove to Mansfield Woodhouse and caught a train from Worksop, alighting at Hucknall. My first ride on one of the new trams was as far as Bulwell, where the tram-stop, as at Hucknall, is alongside a platform on a single-track section of the Robin Hood Line. I stayed there for a little while, and then rode on another tram as far as David Lane, the first stop beyond the junction with the Phoenix Park branch at Highbury Vale. Alighting here, I dropped my camera, which broke, and further photography was impossible. I decided to return to Hucknall on the next tram, buy film in the Tesco supermarket near the station, and - having ascertained that the Nottingham Express Transit and the Robin Hood Line were both operating on the Bank Holiday Monday - return in two days time with my wife’s camera.
The train I caught at Mansfield Woodhouse on the Monday was almost empty. During the ride to Hucknall I looked at the remains of other railways, for this part of Nottinghamshire has a complicated railway history, with three companies building competing lines. I first travelled on the Robin Hood Line four years ago, but that was not the first time I rode into Nottingham by train from the north, for in 1961 I travelled on a slow and almost empty train from Sheffield Victoria, hauled by a B1 4-6-0 and stopping at all stations, down the old Great Central main line, now long gone. That was during a day-trip from my home in Northamptonshire a year before I left school, and may well have been the first time I saw the hilly industrialised countryside on the borders of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire which has since become so familiar to me.
From Hucknall I made the same journey as on the Saturday, but I stayed longer at David Lane, where an old footbridge over the Robin Hood Line was a good vantage-point for photography, and I also used both the branch and “main line” platforms at Highbury Vale. I found the trams - jointed like bendy-buses, and consisting of five short sections - fast and smooth, with impressive acceleration. The basic livery was grey, but many carried advertisements; the subdued colours of the tram-stops contrasted with the Lincoln green of the Robin Hood Line stations at Bulwell and Hucknall. The trams carried conductors, from whom tickets could be bought; a fare of two pounds bought a day’s unlimited travel. On the two days I travelled the trams were very well used, several of them having standing room only.
Between Bulwell and Hucknall the tramway is single track, with passing loops at the stops; alongside the tramway runs the single track of the Robin Hood Line. Two of the tram-stops on this section, Butler’s Hill and Bulwell Forest, carry the names of long-closed stations on another vanished railway, the Great Northern line from Nottingham to Sutton-in-Ashfield and Shirebrook; a few remains of this can still be seen in the area, and in fact at Kirkby-in-Ashfield the present Robin Hood Line uses the alignment of the old Great Northern line for a short distance. South of Bulwell, both railway and tramway become double track, and from the old footbridge at David Lane the quadruple track looked quite impressive; near here was Basford station on the Midland line from Nottingham to Mansfield and Worksop, the forerunner of the Robin Hood Line.
A year later, I returned for another Easter Monday ride on the Nottingham Express Transit; by now, I had bought a new camera to replace the one I had dropped at David Lane, and another change since my previous visit was the fact that the trams all now carried names. I rode on 209 “Sid Standard” from Hucknall to Butler’s Hill, on 211 “Robin Hood” from Butler’s Hill to Bulwell Forest and on another tram to Basford. I noticed that the old footbridge at David Lane had been closed, but a new footbridge at Basford gave me a viewpoint for photographing trains and trams on the quadruple-track alignment. From Basford I rode on 207 “Mavis Worthington” as far as The Forest, on a part of the tramway new to me. Beyond Basford the nature of the tramway changes noticeably, as instead of running alongside a railway through the outer suburbs it twists and turns through inner-city streets between terraced housing. The Forest has three platforms, and is situated on a steep hill alongside a park; I found it a good place for photographing the trams.
I returned to Hucknall on 214 “Dennis MacCarthy”, packed to the doors. At first I did not retrace my outward journey, as the northbound and southbound tracks of the tramway
separate and run along different streets, forming a loop or one-way system. Progress along the streets was slow, but after the tramway had joined the other track and curved down to run alongside the Robin Hood Line, the increase in speed was dramatic. The tram slowly emptied and I managed to get a seat. If the Worksop train I was intending to catch at Hucknall overtook the tram, I knew I would miss it and would have to wait for a Mansfield Woodhouse service half an hour later; but there was no sign of a train catching up the tram, and I had several minutes at Hucknall before the “Super Sprinter” arrived.
I enjoyed my three visits to the Nottingham Express Transit, and I look forward to having further rides on the new trams.
No 29 “SHEFFIELD TRANSPORT STUDY GROUP JOURNAL”
As a young boy growing up in Sheffield the transport in and around Sheffield had a profound effect on my outlook on life, particularly as my parents did not have a car until I was 10 years old, in fact public transport in a lot of cases is not as good as it was.
Recently a group called the “Sheffield Transport Study Group” came to my notice so I joined. They produce a journal four times a year.
The current edition is June 2005 which is issue 41, which would suggest they have consistently produced four editions a year as they have just celebrated their 10th anniversary.
The magazine is A4 size in format but is produced on A3 paper folded in half. The current edition consists of 44 pages including the cover. The layout is over the full page rather than in columns.
The first page has a list of group officials and a list of contents followed by the editorial and minutes of the Annual General Meeting.
There are many different articles covering buses, trams, railways and light railways in the Sheffield area.
The railway articles include ‘More on Cravens’, Cravens works in Darnall Sheffield built many railway vehicles over the years operating all over the world. An article entitled ‘Railway Enterprise in Sheffield’ looks at an article from the Sheffield Independent newspaper of Saturday September 27th 1902. ‘LNWRs New Warehouse in Sheffield’. A visit to The Dearne District Light railway in 1929 with pictures! A picture of Class 76s waiting dismantling at Coopers Metals in 1983.
There are also articles on trams. Including an interesting article about dewirements and rough track on the Sheffield - Rotherham tram route accompanied by heated correspondence between both undertakings. Buses are also covered including an interesting article on how a German prisoner of war came to be arrested on a service 85 from Gainsborough to Sheffield at the junction of Staniforth Road and Attercliffe Road in 1940.
Photographs are black and white and unfortunately not of excellent quality.
Not withstanding the age that has to be a consideration. It looks like the photos are photocopied rather than scanned.
To read the Sheffield Transport Study Group Journal you have to join the group. Membership is £12.00 per year and details are available from J.G Francis, The Elms, School Road, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 3AT.
VERDICT: If you are interested in any aspect of the history of transport in Sheffield and environs then I would recommend this journal. The content is excellent and informative. The presentation alas I believe would benefit from scanning photographs, but as with any society you rely on the facilities members and friends have…
Pennine Observer Notes
Recent sightings at Hykeham have been:
Jun 2 66219 on coal train
Jun 6 66030 on container train
Jun 9 66132 on coal train
66158 on container train
66220 and 66707 on p.w. trains
Jun 13 66125 on container train
Jun 16 60047 on oil train
66220 on container train
66704 on ballast train
Jun 21 60001 on oil train
66045+66069 on test train
Jun 27 66024 on container train
Jun 28 60022 on coal train
66243 on goods train
66616 on oil train
Jul 7 66006 on ballast train
66081 on coal train
Jul 11 66214+66241 on coal train
Jul 14 66069 on coal train
66710 on ballast train
Recent sightings at Lincoln have been:
Jun 6 66183
Jun 8 66199 on coal train
66610 on tank train
Jun 10 66124 on coal train
Jun 15 66610 on oil train
Jun 24 66211 on coal train
37609 light engine
Jul 28 60012 on tank train
Other recent sightings have been:
May 28 66706 at Retford
Jun 4 60040 on coal train, 66097 on ballast train, 66158 on goods train, 66215 on steel train and 66573 on container train at Dormer Green Crossing
Jun 6 60040 at Saxilby
Jun 7 66019, 66095 and 66097 on coal trains at
Jun 11 60063 Scunthorpe - Tees Yard steel slabs
Jun 13 66706 and 66042 at Retford
Jun 16 60036 Jarrow - Lindsey oil tanks
Jun 18 60005 on goods train and 66187 on stone train at Wymondham Crossing (near Melton Mowbray)
Jun 20 66011 and 66095 on coal trains at Barnetby
Jun 21 60017 Jarrow - Lindsey oil tanks and 60082 Scunthorpe - Tees Yard steel slabs at Joan Croft L.C.
Jun 25 66103 on Ealing Broadway - Preston Docks at Greenfield Lane.
Jun 28 60054 Jarrow - Lindsey oil tanks at Joan Croft L.C.
Jul 1 60022 Roxby - Bredbury ‘Binliner’, 60015 Immingham - Wolverhampton steel and 155344 19.29 Doncaster to Leeds at Doncaster Stn
Jul 9 66534 on freightliner at Retford
66229 at Heck
Jul 11 60012 Jarrow - Lindsey oil tanks and 37608 + 37602 T/T 18.15 Derby - Newcastle SERCO Railtest at Joan Croft L.C.
Jul 13 37602 + 37608 T/T 17.19 Neville Hill - Swindon SERCO Railtest and 60062 Roxby - Bredbury “Binliner” at Swinton
Jul 15 60028 Roxby - Bredbury “Binliner” at
Kirk Sandall Junction
Jul 16 66568 on freightliner at Retford
66069 at Heck
Jul 21 60013 Immingham ore terminal - Santon ore terminal, 60099 Immingham – Santon, 60036 westbound oil tanks from Immingham and 60059 eastbound oil tanks to Immingham all seen at Barnetby
Jul 25 66008 on Tilcon to Hull
Jul 29 66032 on Tilcon to Hull
Locos noted working Liverpool Street - Norwich services have been:
May 20 86235, 90012, 90003, 90009 and 90001
Jun 10 90014, 90003, 90001, 90007, 90036, 90012, 90015 and 90019
Jun 11 90001, 90007, 90008, 90013, 90015 and 90019
Aug 6 90002, 90005, 90008, 90009, 90010, 90011, 90013 and 90019
47818, 47714 and 47813 worked on Great Yarmouth services
Seen at Ipswich on 10 June were 66508, 66514, 66571, 66577, 66574, 57011, 57017, 47370, 90041.
Noted on a trip to London on 19 June were 66043 and 66188 at Leicester, 66045, 66195 and 66240 at Brent, 67013 at Kings Cross and 90037 at Euston.
Seen on a trip from Doncaster to Manchester on 2 August were 31285, 66011/048/619, 43073/075, 170108, 142007/023/030/032/0538/058/067, 150211, 390006/015/037, 156426/429, 175115/001/007/103, 158798/771/780/810/800/813/830/754/758, 323229/225/230/234/235, 220020/024/027 and 92013.
Noted at Norwich Crown Point on 6 August were 86218, 86232, 86234, 86260, 87007, 87027 and 47810. Stabled in the station were 37059, 47316 and 47818. On the same day 47303, 47370, 57001, 66535, 66569, 66570, 86622, 86638 and 90044 were at Ipswich.
Locos noted on Nuneaton - Wolverhampton ‘Drags’ have been:
May 28 57301, 57308, 57310 and 57313
Jul 17 57309, 57315, 57316 and 57313
Jul 30/31 57302, 57304, 57305, 57308 and 57313
Aug 6 57301, 57303, 57305, 57308, 57313 and 57316
Locos noted on Crewe - Liverpool ‘drags’ have been:
Jul 17 57303, 57304, 57310 and 57312
Jul 30/31 57301, 57306, 57307, 57309, 57311 and 57314
Seen at Warrington on 29 July were 92002, 92043, 67006, 67017, 67018, 60017, 60072, 66016, 66089, 66093, 66097, 66103, 66131, 66132, 66122, 66199 and 66223.
Noted at Rugby on 6 August were 66043, 66144, 66207, 66218, 66505, 66512 and 66518.
Railtours and Charter Trains
Locos use on charters between London and York for the Royal Ascot race meeting were:
Jun 14 (Kings Cross - York) 67017
(Victoria - York) 67015
Jun 15 (Kings Cross - York) 67024
(Victoria - York) 67015
Jun 16 (Kings Cross - York) 67005
(Kings Cross - York) 67017
(Victoria - York) 67015
(Kensington Olympia - York) 67012
Jun 18 (Kings Cross - York) 67017
Locos seen working on other railtours and charters have been:
May 30 (Multi Coloured Swap Shop) 59206, 92010, 66608, 66951 and 60088
Jun 4 (The Settle & Carlisle Rambler) 47703 and 47832
Jun 11 (Kings Cross to Scarborough charter) 71000 Duke of Gloucester
Jun 18 (The Snowdonian I) 37406 (tour actually went to Blackpool because of the poor condition of the loco)
Jun 25 (Downham Market to Carlisle charter) 67015
Jul 7 (Scarborough Spa Express) 5972 in place of failed 4472
Jul 9 (The Yorkshireman) 4936 ‘Kinlet Hall’
Jul 15/16 (The Celtic Freighter) 66036, 37229, 37029, 66045, 92027 and 66232
Jul 26 (Gloucester to Newcastle charter) 67012 and 67004
Jul 30 (The Edinburgh Flyer) 67030
Locos working at the North Norfolk Diesel Gala on 11 June were D5207, 31162, 31207, D3930, D3935 and DMU 51218/56062
Locos used at the Keighley and Worth Valley Diesel Gala on 18 June were D5054, 33029, 37214, 37605, 31452, E6005, E6006 and shunters D226, D23 and D2511.
Locos working at the “Steam 2005” event at the Stapleford Miniature Railway on 18/19 June were 2943 “Hampton Court”, 5565 “Victoria”, 751 “John H. Gratton”, 752 and 6019.
Locos used at the Churnet Valley Railway Steam Gala on 25 June were 3440, 9642, 6430 and 68030.
Locos seen on the PRS trip to Barrow Hill on 12 July were:
steam locos:- 45593/506, 41708, 70000
electric locos:- 85101, 89001, E3003, 82008, 84001, E3035
diesel locos:- D2853, D2868, D2302, 03066, D3000, 08869/928/948, D4092, 12082, D9500, 20066/096/119/121/132/902/906, 25067, D5300, 26011, D5528, 31407/411/412/417/433/460/524/602, 33035/111, 37079/201/242/510, 40013, 45060/105, 47053/229/480/575/628/707/709/717/780/832, 55002/015/019/022, 56006, 58001,
electro diesel:- 73138
plus industrial steam & diesel.
Pennine Quiz No. 121
Which stations did these named train services operate between in the British Rail Timetable 14th May to 30th September 1990.
1 The Loreley
2 The East Anglian
3 The Britannia
4 The Borderer
5 Galloway Enterprise
6 Ayrshire Trader
7 Tyne Trader
8 Tyne Enterprise
9 The Cambrian Coast Express
10 The Snowdonian
11 The John Peel
12 Cathedrals Express
13 Cotswold and Malvern Express
14 Pembroke Coast Express
15 The Brunel
16 Atlantic Coast Express
17 The Mary Rose
18 The Victory
19 The Royal Wessex
20 The Lord of the Isles
21 The Orcadian
22 Hebridean Heritage
23 The Lochaber
24 The Hibernian
25 The Heart of Wales Rambler
Pennine Quiz No. 120
1. Derby to Matlock
2. Lilac and white
5. 148 mph
7. 1055 gallons
8. 40192 + 50007
11. 80098 & 45041
12. 1210 yards
13. 60 mph
14. County of Suffolk
15. Bouzfield Works, Stockton on Tees
18. 1484 feet
19. Exeter Central to Exmouth
22. Sea Eagle
23. Madge Wildfire
25. East Riding of Yorkshire
Pennine Quiz No. 120
1st Malcolm Bell
2nd Paul Slater
3rd Ken King
Congratulations to all the winners.
On the next page you will find details of the remaining meetings and visits for 2005
The ‘Team Photo’ taken at Barrow Hill on 12 July.
(The photo can also be viewed on the Pennine website.)
Pennine Meetings 2005
All meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Wednesday September 21st 2005
Wednesday October 5th 2005
PENNINE SLIDE COMPETITION
(5 slides per entrant)
Wednesday October 19th 2005
Wednesday November 2nd 2005
‘Trains from the Lineside 2002-2005’
Wednesday November 16th 2005
‘40 Years of Photography Part 4’
Wednesday December 7th 2005
Wednesday December 21st 2005
Members Slide night
Thursday 15 September - the visit to the private premises in Doncaster is fully booked. Robin will be organising more visits so if you want to go make sure he has got your name on his waiting list.
Saturday 22 October 2005 – visit to Shildon for the Deltic Day. Travel by shared cars, or make your own way by rail.
I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Andy Barclay, Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Phil Lowis, Steve Payne, John Sanderson, Robin Skinner Paul Slater and Chris Theaker for supplying the slides printed on the front cover and on Page 3. (I confess the other photos are mine.)
The Winter 2005 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on 7th December (see the Trans Pennine 2 item in Committee Briefs on Page 3). Would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by Wednesday 2nd November - THANK YOU. If you can send hand written items in earlier it will help considerably. Remember, you can email your contributions to email@example.com.
Anything Special Coming? Is it a Steamer?
(from magazine 45)
Say a name like Tommy Cooper or Yozzer Hughes and you get replies of ‘Jus like that’ or ‘Gizza Job’. Well, I would reckon that even phrases like that pale into insignificance when the camera toting rail enthusiast is out looking for Main Line Steam Specials. You only have to look at your camera and up will stroll the local who knows it all. ‘What is it today?’ he’ll ask and being the polite type you tell him and off he strolls again, still wondering why hundreds descend on Saturdays just to photograph a smelly kettle.
If somebody had said to me two years ago, or even eighteen months ago that by May 1983 I would be shooting all over the country photographing Black 5’s, Jubilees or Standard tanks, I would have told them not to be so daft. Unfortunately it is true. Well not exactly unfortunately. Even Gerard Smith or ‘Ballymoss’ of the DPS (who?) is up to his neck in cine film of Duchess of Hamilton and other steam locos. It is with him that I travel from Chester to Ribblehead, from Broomfleet to Giggleswick.
Only last weekend (May 28th), I was out with him and his mother and was able to increase my tally of ‘TV personalities not required for sight’ by one. PARDON?? Well last Saturday was a Cumbrian Mountain Pullman, Northbound, (a CMP-N). If you are getting lost now, give up and have a mental breakdown somewhere else! Steam haulage was from Carnforth to Hellifield by Jim Bowen, no sorry not yet!! by 5690 ‘Leander’ and from Hellifield to Carlisle by the ever present (on the S & C anyway), Duchess of Hamilton. We arrived at Arkholme, on the Carlisle-Leeds line, just in time to see 31322 and a tanker train pass eastwards. The CMP was by now designated by me a CMP N-E, because it was the eastern leg of a northbound train. Would it surprise you if I told you that it was late. 50 minutes after it should have appeared it was sighted on the horizon. Now, this bridge we were standing on runs over what was Arkholme Station, but which is now a private house, much improved and looking much better than when BR owned it. As Leander approached, the houseowner and his family came out to view it from their back garden, the platform! I nearly missed my shot... ‘Ere, don’t I know you? No, it wasn’t Benny off Crossroads, nor even Bernard Manning. The owner of the house was, and still is, Jim Bowen off TV’s ‘Bulls-Eye’ and ‘The Comedians’. Shame we couldn’t stay for tea(!!!) our task was awaiting us.
As we drove off towards Horton-in-Ribblesdale to await the Duchess, the typical S & C weather moved in, overcast, windy and rainy. Later the same day, at Shotlock Hill Tunnel, just north of Garsdale, I managed another first, (SHUT IT!). Photographing a steam locomotive while the rain is blowing horizontally is no mean task! The last view of Duchess was at New Biggin, north of Appleby. We hung around for a short time to photograph the southbound passenger working with 31410 again, followed a while later by 47532 on the 16.00 Leeds-Carlisle.
From previous experience I know just how bad the S & C can be. If any of you were mad enough to be in the Ais Gill area on Saturday 12th February you will know what I mean. On that delightful (!!) day, 1000, the NRM’s ‘Midland Compound’ along with 5690 ‘Leander’ were to work a southbound CMP, yes this is it folks, a CMP-S. The pair working from Carlisle to Hellifield and 2005 & 5407 working from Hellifield to Carnforth, (CMP S-E).
The Doncaster-Rotherham unit that I was travelling on had barely got out of Doncaster when the CMP-S was mentioned. In fact it was the subject of much pleading by two or three ‘steam buffs’. It seems that there were a few unfortunates who had tickets for this special, but couldn’t get to Carlisle the normal way via Leeds. Doncaster couldn’t muster up a unit to work the 08.00 Doncaster-Leeds for them to connect with the 08.57 Leeds-Carlisle. It was fortunate for me that these poor souls were doing their pleading with the guard right next to my ear. They had been told at Doncaster to get this unit to Sheffield and change at Sheffield (hope you’re listening Robin), on to the Nottingham-Glasgow. This was booked to arrive in Carlisle about 20 minutes after the special was due to leave. Hence all the arm waving and kneeling, not to mention licking of boots. They wanted the guard to have a word at Sheffield to see if the special could be held at Carlisle to connect with their train.
At Rotherham I met Gerard Smith and passed this ‘tit-bit’ of information on for processing. So off we went, not knowing how far along the S & C we would get. We stopped off at Gargrave to photograph 47547 on the 10.00 Carlisle- Leeds and the following Anhydrous Ammonia tank train with 31290 in charge.
Those of you who know the S & C will be aware of the road, the B6479, which runs parallel to the railway right from Settle to Ribblehead Viaduct. We got as far as the viaduct with no problems at all, the roads being completely clear of snow, a shame the same couldn’t be said about the fields. They were there somewhere! We risked going further north, not expecting to get any further than the Dent area. However...
Approaching Dent we had two options. One, risk going via Dent Station and on to Garsdale by the notorious ‘coal road’, or go to Garsdale by the slightly longer, but safer, Hawes road i.e. the B6255 on to the A684. Due to ‘adverse weather conditions’ we chose the latter route. As it turned out this was the right route, the ‘coal road’ being blocked again. Round Garsdale the roads were getting narrower due to a build-up of snow in the curbs and against the walls, but we decided to press on and risk going to Ais Gill itself. Just north of the summit, near Ais Gill Viaduct, there is a road bridge and we chose to position ourselves here. We, that is Gerard, his mother and late father and myself chose our spots and waited. And waited, and waited. It looked as though the train was going to be late after all. It was. Nearly 60 minutes late and when you are standing for over an hour in snow your feet tend to get a little cold. To pass the time I set about counting the cars parked around Ais Gill. I lost count at 115. Eventually we saw smoke in the distance, far across Mallerstang Common. Slowly the
train came closer and closer. There was lots of clicking and it had gone past. So, what now? It was back to the car and a race to Ribblehead Viaduct. Needless to say we won. More photos.
That was it, or so I thought. I was expecting Gerard to go after 2005 and 5407, but instead he asked what I wanted to do. Well, there was no choice was there?
We all leapt out of the car at Gargrave as 1000 was already in sight. This was the L/E run from Hellifield back to the NRM. L/E is not strictly true as it did have LNWR brake no. 5155 in tow. Back to the car and we raced it to Skipton, overtaking it on the Skipton by-pass. So we headed for Crosshills, near Keighley. Out of the car again as it was in sight. Then it was all over. A steady drive home. The topic of conversation was of course the Midland Compound and what would happen to it now. I was under the impression that this outing was to be it’s last, but wait….. News has recently filtered through that 1000’s last steaming, before becoming a static exhibit, will be in late September. Provisionally, the 28th, when it will work a BR charter from York-Manchester Victoria and return.
What have I to look forward to then? Well, it shouldn’t be too long before ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ reappears. I will be, hopefully, off chasing it on the lesser spotted Cumbrian Mountain Pullmans and other SLOA specials. I’d better be off for some film then!
Bellowing to Nowhere
(from magazine 46)
A number of intrepid Pennine members recently travelled on the BC Railtours “Burntisland Bellower”. This was the second train organised by BC, their first one running to Newquay earlier in the year. On that occasion we had 40 minutes to look round Newquay before turning for home. Many said that was too long. BC took our advice and so it was decreed that this train would have no destination and although named “Burntisland Bellower” was certainly not going to stop there.
As the train was not due to leave Mexborough until 00.17 on Saturday 1st October, several members took refreshment in the appropriately named “Hope” club in Mexborough. The evening got off to a good start with Pat Duddy winning the raffle.
Following the customary fish and chips we ambled down to a deserted Mexborough station. On time the “Bellower” crawled round Mexborough curve, with boilered 31s 31327/291 in charge. We were horrified when the train accelerated after rounding the curve. Stranded at Mexborough at 00 .15 is not recommended, but fortunately the train eventually pulled up, with just a couple of coaches remaining on the platform.
The train proceeded to Doncaster (00.39) where several other members joined, led by the Pennine’s Religious Adviser, the Reverend Andrew Watts (Balby Parish), to Wakefield Westgate, welcoming our cricket expert (pro-Boycott) Ken King, and on to York (arr. 02.04 dep. 02.42). The delay at York was the result of detaching a BSK, which had developed “flats” between Sheffield and York.
On leaving York, Rev. Watts led the group in a delayed “Midnight Mass” and we prayed for Class 26s to be waiting for us at Edinburgh. We drowsed, the names of Marylebone, Euston and Kings Cross ringing in our ears - a boisterous game of Monopoly was being played.
We were all awakened by a heavy shunt in the early morning. Further investigation showed we were in Alnmouth Sidings detaching the BSK, which had been attached at York to replace the “flat” BSK. This vehicle was detached as a result of a complaint common only to railway vehicles and cricketers - a “hot-box”. The axle was so hot it required the services of a fire extinguisher, operated by one of the intrepid organisers, Geoff Hurst (not the one who scored 3 in the 1966 World Cup Final, but the one who hails from Worksop). We left Alnmouth at 06.12, 53 minutes down.
A spirited run to Edinburgh meant our arrival was only 29 minutes late, and yes, our prayers had been answered in full, 26001/006 (both XOS) were waiting to take over. There was just enough time to buy a selection of morning papers, each containing their own ‘Coronation Street’ world exclusive I ignored the front pages and turned to the inside for the more irrelevant news to see if Russia had invaded Poland, or if Tony Benn had joined the SDP.
The engine change was slow and we left Edinburgh at 08.02, 36 minutes late and we headed north on a glorious early autumnal morning. We crossed the wonderful Forth Bridge and headed for Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath, places I thought only existed on Pools Coupons.
The “Bellower” stormed through Thornton Yard where 20099/220/221/224, 08570/732 and 26010 were on view and then via Thornton West and South Junctions, we headed back down the coast. Burntisland was passed at 09.27 and we all agreed it was a wise decision not to stop.
26001/006 stormed back across the Forth Bridge, 70 minutes after we crossed it a first time and headed towards Glasgow via junctions unpronounceable after even a sniff of the Barmaids Apron - Gartcosh and Gartsherrie. As we arrived at Mossend Yard we sighted Kettle 4472 - The Flying Haggis. Thankfully this was not put on the front - our 26s were replaced by choppers 20149/202. We left Mossend at 10.59 - 21 minutes down - and passed Motherwell Depot, with 37125/145/150/154/155/166 and travelled through Hamilton. It is not long since the Pennine ran a trip to Hamilton MPD, but now there is not a sign that the MPD ever existed. I suspect ‘demolishment’ was undertaken by local Academical supporters.
There were screams and jeers as the Bellower passed Polmadie as 40152/155 arrived with a train of tanks. The train headed down the Ayrshire Coast and there was substantial bellowing at would-be Open Golf Champions playing the links at Troon. As we passed Prestwick we were crossed by a landing Pan-Am jet - the railway line is almost on the runway. Several regretted that our aircraft experts were not on board the train to advise us what types of aircraft could be viewed.
We approached Ayr and to a man we were hoping for a diversion into the station and, with it being 12.30, an opportunity for an orange squash, or even perhaps for the ‘alkies’ on board, a shandy. Sadly we passed Newton Junction at 12.33 and headed for Maunchline.
Our Class 20s were not performing too well and in fact 20202 was in a bad way (I’m the same!). However Carlisle was reached successfully at 14.48 (47 minutes late). Here was the first opportunity to leave the train since Edinburgh (6 3/4 hours ago) and the loco change was viewed. Two ‘Rats’ arrived, 25051/239 to take the train to Newcastle and in doing so lost 17 minutes. Newcastle was reached at 16.42 (65 minutes late).
It was here that the presence of Rev. Watts again helped us. Unbeknown to our members on the train, our Chairman Robin Skinner had planned to join the train there, but had got fed up of waiting and travelled south on an earlier HST. Surely an Act of God. Many of us have been unable to ‘lose’ Robin for some years - Rev. Watts is able to achieve assistance from ‘above’. I hope those who benefited buy our vicar a glass of wine next time they meet.
At Newcastle the ‘rats’ were replaced by the 31s that had brought us from Sheffield to Edinburgh earlier in the day and we returned via the ECML to York, Leeds, Wakefield and Doncaster. We arrived in Doncaster at 19.49, greeted with the familiar sight of police, dogs and soccer supporters. Apparently the supporters (from Chelsea and Crystal Palace) were friendly since they had just shared a round of ‘knuckle sandwiches’ with each other. The Police were advised that our train did not contain hooligans, but train spotters (an angelic breed). We arrived a Mexborough at 20.04 - l9 hours and 43 minutes after departure.
We returned to the ‘Hope’ club and were asked where we had been. Nobody spoke.
Finally, thanks to the organisers of BC Railtours, Neil Webster and Geoff Hurst, to those who ran the buffet and the bookstall, who all worked hard to make the excursion so enjoyable, and thanks to the Pennine members for travelling. I’m looking forward to the next trip even if that goes nowhere.
My recommendation for bravery goes to Pete Wesley of Mexborough who never left the train from boarding at Mexborough to alighting at Mexborough - he read every other person’s newspapers!
South Yorkshire Railways 1970-84
(from magazine 46)
This is the first of a series of articles dealing with railway events and services in the South Yorkshire area, from 1970 to date. These articles discuss the rights and wrongs of closures, withdrawals, service alterations etc. and also the progress, or as some would argue, the lack of progress, made by the railways of South Yorkshire since 1970. You may find that you disagree with what has been said or you may have something to add. If you do then let’s hear your points in letters to the editor. Also if you have any press cuttings or other material that may help these articles, please forward them to Robin Skinner.
Part I 1970
The beginning of 1970 saw the end of passenger services on the Woodhead route that had been operated by electric locomotives, Class EM1 and EM2, between Sheffield Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly. The last full day of services was Sunday January 4th 1970, with the last westbound service being the 22.15 Sheffield Victoria - Manchester Piccadilly worked by EM1 no. 26056 ‘Triton’. This should have been the last passenger train through Woodhead Tunnel, however, due to a freight train derailment near Hadfield earlier that evening, the 21.10 Manchester Piccadilly - Sheffield Victoria had left in the form of a DMU, via the Hope Valley. This understandably infuriated the many enthusiasts who had gone to Manchester specifically to ride on the last electric hauled passenger train eastbound over Woodhead (the word ‘bash’ had not been invented then, or haulage for that matter!). A number of them held a sit-in in the Station Managers office. Eventually the Station Manager, not wanting a Greenham Common situation on his hands, managed to get control’s agreement to run a special. This left Manchester Piccadilly at 23.10, hauled by E26054 ‘Pluto’, running wrong line around the destruction at Hadfield, to arrive in Sheffield Victoria at 00.44.
A sad end to a service that had begun 16 years earlier, on the 14th of September 1954, when 27000 ‘Electra’ hauled the inaugural special from Sheffield Victoria to Manchester Piccadilly (then called London Road). On board were the Chairman of the British Transport Commission, Sir Brian Robertson, the Lord Mayors of Sheffield and Manchester and other civic dignitaries. So much had been promised in those early days, and yet by January 1970 it all lay in ruins.
Many would argue that this was a retrograde step, but right from the start the Woodhead electrification had had it’s problems, the biggest of all being the Second World War. If the war had not happened then the story might have been different, but as
it was, the war must have delayed completion and implementation by nearly ten years. By 1954 the first stage of the west coast electrification between Crewe and Manchester was only five years away and BR had adopted 25kV AC as standard for electrification, whereas the Woodhead route was 1500V DC.
Another valid reason was that BR wished to combine it’s Sheffield operation on one station and undoubtedly the most suitable for this would be Midland, as it had more platforms and also connecting services to most parts of the country. So some years earlier the Master Cutler Pullmans via Retford to Kings Cross, the York - Bournemouth and DMU local services to York, Doncaster, Cleethorpes, Hull and Lincoln had been diverted into Midland, via a new spur at Nunnery. The only other service left using Sheffield Victoria up to the 3rd January 1970 was the ‘North Country Continental’ Harwich PQ - Manchester Piccadilly boat train. This too, was diverted into Sheffield Midland from 5th January 1970. Also the Huddersfield - Penistone service was extended to run into Sheffield Midland by reversing at Nunnery. This, until 1983, was the only regular passenger service to run through Sheffield Victoria and up to Penistone.
Sheffield Victoria itself closed completely in the early hours of the 5th January 1970 and has only reopened since on the odd occasion when, due to engineering work or flooding, Sheffield Midland has been closed. On that day a new DMU operated service commenced between Sheffield Midland and Manchester Piccadilly that in many ways was inferior to the electric service.
In 1968 there were sixteen trains a day between the two cities, but only thirteen in May 1970 and the average journey time had been extended by five minutes to one hour. But it should be argued connections were much better concentrated on one station, rather than having passengers trudging through the city from Midland to Victoria, a situation which today makes changing trains in Manchester seem wholly outdated and wasteful.
In the early 1970s, many provincial services were operated by DMUs and, as now, required a subsidy of some sort to bridge the gap between receipts and operating/infrastructure costs. This was done in the form of Grant Aid from the then Minister of Transport, Mr Fred Mulley (ZZZZZZZZZ……). In a statement to the House of Commons on December 18th 1969, Mr Mulley announced grants for 1970 for services in this area. These were as follows:- 3 year grants – Doncaster- Cleethorpes £191,000, Retford - Cleethorpes £65,000, Doncaster - March £396,000; 2 year grants - Huddersfield - Clayton West/Penistone £130,000, Penistone - Sheffield £44,000, Manchester - Chinley - Sheffield £41,000; 1 year grants - York – Doncaster - Hull £136,000, Leeds - Barnsley - Sheffield £245,000, Leeds - Rotherham - Sheffield £95,000. He also announced grants for other services over the whole of the country, to a total of £58 million. Since the 1968 and 1974 Acts, British Rail has received a Public Service Obligation grant that is one sum of money covering everything, rather than specific amounts of money being allocated to specific services. Support by local councils and passenger transport executives is still however given to specific services.
1970 also saw the launch of the ‘Highwayman’, a service designed to capture business from express coaches. This train ran between Finsbury Park and Newcastle and cost £1 15s (£l.75) that compared with a coach fare of £1 l8s (£1.90) and the normal KX - Newcastle second-class single fare of £4 6s (£4 30). However, the journey time was advertised to take just under 6 hours compared to the then fastest Deltic inter-city journey time of 3 hours 35 minutes. Refreshments were a problem and both trains were booked to stop at Doncaster for at least 15 minutes so that the passengers could stampede the Gold Cup and St. Leger bars. The inaugural runs on May 4th 1970 saw Class 40 no. 356 on the up train and Class 40 no. 256 in charge of the down train (no wonder the journey time was so long!).
Advance bookings were essential and to be fair to you Class 40ites the train did run via the coast into Newcastle.
The 1970 timetable was very different to that of today, on the ECML, with the Tees-Tyne, Yorkshire and Hull Pullmans still running. The Aberdonian was a night train from Kings Cross to Aberdeen conveying through coaches to Fort William. The Flying Scotsman left KX at 10.00 and arrived in Edinburgh at 15.48, Deltic hauled. Doncaster had only 22 trains to London in 24 hours, the fastest being the Tees-Tyne Pullman which left Doncaster at 11.00 and ran non-stop to Kings Cross arriving at 13.12. Also the 07.17 Newcastle - Norwich and return 15.30 Norwich - Newcastle ran daily, as did the overnight 23.31 Edinburgh - Colchester, (which left Doncaster at 04.50 and ran via Peterborough) and the 17.12 Colchester - Glasgow Queen St. Both these trains were usually worked by Class 37 locomotives south of Doncaster or York and Class 40s north of York.
There were only 16 trains a day from Doncaster to Sheffield with none going through to Manchester Piccadilly. The West Country holiday train from Hull to Paignton was a train in it’s own right, not a portion. Departing Hull at 22.55, it then left Doncaster at 00.08 and ran via Sheffield picking up additional coaches that used to stand in platform 7 bay from about 23.00. The train arrived at Paignton at 06.55.
There were 15 trains a day from Sheffield to London St. Pancras, the fastest being the Master Cutler taking 2 hours 40 minutes, which was 5 minutes slower than it’s 1968 timing into Kings Cross. On it’s run to St. Pancras, the Cutler called at Leicester only. Of those 15 trains, one came from Glasgow ‘The Thames-Clyde Express’, which left Glasgow at 09.35 calling at Sheffield at 15.54 and running via Nottingham to St. Pancras where it arrived at 19.11. The time of 9 hours 36 minutes was not specifically designed to get you there quickly, but nevertheless provided a valuable service from Midland and Glasgow and South Western route stations. Also, three other trains originated at Leeds and ran through to St. Pancras (today there are 13 trains and on a Monday to Friday all start at Sheffield).
In 1970 Sheffield also had two sleeping car services. One left Glasgow 22.50 arriving at Sheffield at 05.12 and running by way of Nottingham, Leicester and Northampton to London Euston arriving at 10.21. In the return direction the train left Euston at 21.00 and ran as the up train, to arrive in Sheffield at 01.17 and Glasgow Central at 07.59. The other sleeper service ran overnight from Bristol to Newcastle and vice versa. It left Sheffield at 23.21 for Bristol and 00.31 for Newcastle.
Sheffield had it’s own Motorail service in the summer months to Newton Abbot, running on Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Saturdays. As mentioned earlier, the ‘North Country Continental’ boat train was a very different train to the one of today, having been transferred to Sheffield Midland and the Hope Valley line on the 5th January 1970. It left Harwich PQ at 07.33 and ran via Ipswich, Ely, March, Lincoln and Retford arriving in Sheffield at 12.42 and going forward to Manchester Piccadilly, where it was due at 14.02. It then returned from Manchester at 14.40, Sheffield at 15.55 and arrived in Harwich Parkeston Quay at 21.06. This train was often hauled by a Class 37 locomotive throughout and was unique in the fact that in the formation was a Gresley Buffet.
As you can see the railway and it’s services in South Yorkshire were very different in 1970 to today and 1970 doesn’t seem long ago does it?
A Visit to the Watercress Line
(from magazine 46)
On Easter Monday 1983 I took my parents for the third time to visit the Mid-Hants Railway, the ‘Watercress Line’, at Alresford. Not quite so impressive as the Bluebell, the leading steam line in Southern Region territory, the Mid-Hants is much more accessible from my parent’s home in Northamptonshire, as good fast roads lead almost the whole way there and by-pass the only major towns en-route, Northampton, Oxford and Winchester.
The car park in the former goods yard at Alresford station was already full when we arrived, so we had to find our way to the overflow car park in a school playground. We had not yet had lunch, so went to a cafe in the main street. The Mid-Hants line gets it’s nickname from the growing of watercress in the vicinity, and sure enough starters at lunch was watercress soup and the main course included watercress among the vegetables!
With lunch over, we went to the station. We decided that I would buy a single ticket to Ropley, the other end of the line, while my parents went back to the car and drove up the Alton main road which runs parallel with the railway, meeting me at Ropley. There was a queue for the train, business being brisk on this cool, showery bank holiday, but at last I got on board. The locomotive was rebuilt Bullied Light Pacific no. 34016 ‘Bodmin’, which had hauled me to Ropley and back when I first rode the Mid-Hants on Easter Saturday 1980: years before, in April 1973, my father and I had seen 34016 undergoing restoration at Quainton Road in Buckinghamshire.
We had to wait for an incoming train off the single track to Ropley and this soon appeared, double-headed by ex-Longmoor Military Railway 0-6-0ST no. 196 ‘Errol Lonsdale’ and tender first Southern Region class ‘U’ 2-6-0 no. 31806. Then we were off, the smoke and steam from ‘Bodmin’ rolling away across the Hampshire countryside once we were clear of the cutting at Alresford. I looked for my parent’s car on the main road, but in fact they were behind the train and could see the engine’s steam ahead of them as they drove to Ropley.
All too soon we were slowing for Ropley, the 1 in 80 gradient at the approach to the station making 34016 work a little noisily even with it’s light load; I look forward to seeing the line extended eastwards towards Alton to give the locomotives more of a run. In the other platform at Ropley stood another S.R. 2-6-0 no. 31874, now named ‘Brian Fisk’; it is very similar in appearance to 31806, but that is a ‘U’, classed 4P3F, while 31874 is an ‘N’, 4P5F. Both types were used widely throughout the S.R., on both freight and passenger trains, and on checking back through my train-spotting records I find that I originally saw 31874 at Hither Green shed in 1958.
Old LSWR. lower-quadrant semaphores make Ropley a photogenic station; I had snapped ‘Bodmin’ running round in 1980 and 31874 heading off into the evening with the last train on Easter Saturday 1982, and this time there was the added interest of a double-header, as 31874 was coupled ahead of 34016 for the journey back to Alresford.
Outside the station, I met my parents. My mother got chatting to a girl on the sales stand, while my father and I looked at the locomotives in the shed and sidings. Pride of place was taken by streamlined ‘West Country’ no. 34105 ‘Swanage’ and rebuilt ‘Merchant Navy’ no. 35018 ‘British India Line’.
We decided to wait and see the next train arrive from Alresford. Before long we heard it corning, the locomotives working hard on the gradient, and then it was pulling into the station, this time 31806 piloting ‘Errol Lonsdale’. A plume of steam rose, white against a huge dark rain cloud that was approaching ominously from the west, and then the two locomotives uncoupled and took water separately. My father and I watched them, and then went back to the car. On previous visits to the Watercress Line we had also managed to see something of interest in the Hampshire countryside, Watership Down and the earthworks on Beacon Hill in 1980, and the ancient Danesbury Camp in 1982 - this time we were going to Gilbert White’s village, Selbourne. Soon the railway was left behind. I wonder if we shall be there again at Easter 1984?