THE MAGAZINE OF THE PENNINE RAILWAY
SILVER JUBILEE YEAR
Please note the new address of our Chairman, Robin Skinner as shown
in the panel above. (if you are connected to the answerphone, you
will hear a suave, sophisticated voice message. This, of course, is
obviously not Robin, it is just for the benefit of his
Our Lincoln transport correspondence, Gerry 'Roadcar' Collins tells
us that coincidentally, house prices in Lincoln have risen sharply
since the news of Robin's departure.
Renewal of Membership Fees
We would like to thank all those members who have renewed their
subscription to the PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY for 1999. For those who
have forgotten to renew or, more likely, too busy~ you will be
delighted to know that it is not too late to rejoin.
Simply send you £4.50 fee, made payable to the PENNINE RAILWAY
SOCIETY to our Membership Secretary Tony Caddick at the address
shown in the above panel. You will be instantly reinstated as a
member and be sent a FREE 1999 PRS diary.
For those of you who are not rejoining this will be your final
magazine. In these circumstances we sincerely thank you for your
valued support and hope that you may consider rejoining the PRS at
some time in the future.
Members are reminded that contributions for inclusion in the TRANS
PENNINE magazine should now be sent to the Magazine Editor, Tony
Booth, at the address in the above panel.
All correspondence will be gratefully received. Please note that
information can now be sent to Tony by e-mail.
Annual General Meeting
A successful and well-attended AGM was held at the Corporation
Brewery Taps, Doncaster on Sunday January 10th 1999.
All the committee were re-elected and the proposal that Tony Booth
becomes Magazine Editor was approved.
Members are reminded that 1999 sees the 25th Anniversary (Silver
Jubilee) of the PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY - a rare achievement. A
number of Special Events were discussed at the AGM and the following
are being actively discussed:-
A Celebration Lunch on the Midland Railway, Butterley on Saturday,
October 9th 1999. Further details are included on the
A Silver Jubilee Slide Night on Wednesday October 201h 1999.
A display at Doncaster Library during September/October 1999. A
display area has been provisionally booked for November 1st to 6th.
A Commemorative Issue of TRANS PENNINE magazine.
Would members please let Tony Booth have any information for
inclusion in this issue as soon as possible. We are looking for
things like Sighting Lists for Pennine Visits over the fast 25
years, memorable moments with the PRS and any other items of
historical interest REMEMBER. We need YOUR
contributions to make this Silver Jubilee issue worthwhile.
Issue of special 25th Anniversary Mug (Not Robin!).
Issue of special 25th Anniversary Pens.
We would particularly like to see as many members and their families
on the train from Butterley in October.
STOP PRESS!! - EDITOR'S FIRST SCOOP
LONG A WAITED ARTICLE FROM YOUR
PRESIDENT ON PAGE 13
A Virgin Newcastle-Bristol express recently ground to a halt outside
Tamworth and had to towed into Birmingham New Street The reason
-'The locomotive ran out of fuel'.
Virgin Trains said one of the two HST power cars had broken down, so
that the remaining working unit used more diesel fuel. Onward
passengers had to wait another two hours for the next scheduled
Will anyone be able to go anywhere on New Year's Eve 19991 Will
anyone be able to afford the prices likely to be charged at
establishments which remain open!
Now the Metropolitan Police have asked London Transport to close
down the entire network on the big night *to prevent vast and
potentially dangerous crowds gathering in the centre of the
They feel that the alternative, which is to have only some stations
and trains operating (London Transport expects half ifs 7000 strong
workforce to be on holiday or of sick with *a bad back') would be
'too dangerous~. Then there's the possibility of signal failures
caused by the Millenium Y2K Computer Bug There’s also the
possibility of passengers harming each other by blowing squeakers
and party poppers!!. Incidentally there is an army of men touring
the country checking computers for the Millenium Bug. They are known
as the 'Millenium Buggers.
Trains Slower than in 1922
Rail chiefs are 'massaging' timetables so much that some
journeys are now slower than the steam trains of 1922. The
privatised firms are 'padding out' schedules to avoid paying hefty
fines and compensation to passengers for late arrivals. In some
cases it is virtually impossible for services to be late, even if
there were infuriating delays.
Some are even slower than before World War 1. For example, in 1910
it took an average of 28 minutes to travel from Motherwell to
Glasgow: this fell to 20 minutes in 1922, but today’s expresses are
scheduled to cover the same distance in 35 minutes. The St.
Erth-Penzance journey to 20 minutes in 1910 and 12 minutes in 1912.
It now takes an average of
On the GNER, northbound trains to Scotland between Kings X and
Peterborough are scheduled to take around 45 minutes while those
heading southbound are allowed up to 61 minutes.
It takes 9 to11 minutes for a train to travel up hill from Penzance
to St Erth. On the down hill return they are allowed to take up to
Anglia Railways and its parent company GB Rail are planning a
series of services that could see their trains running as far afield
as Southampton and Northampton. A Chelmsford-Basingstoke link,
serving the revamped “Feltham for Heathrow Airport” station and
running every two hours could start in autumn 1999.
The services are to be among the first to take advantage of the
“open access” approach to the national network. They would operate
without subsidy and be over and above franchise requirements.
Following presentation of the Society accounts at the AGM by our
Treasurer, which proved in healthier condition than him, they were
successfully audited by Sheffield auditors Owen Moore and Moore.
THE CAVAN & LEITRIM RAILWAY
by Paul Slater
The Cavan & Leitrim was a notable example of the once numerous
Irish narrow gauge railways. The line was based at Ballinamore. One
branch ran to Dromod, on the Dublin-Sligo main line, another to
Belturbet where It connected with a branch of the Great Northern
Railways line from Belfast to Londonderry and a third branch ran to
Drumshanbo and Arigna.
The Cavan & Leitrim was one of the last Irish narrow-gauge lines to
function, closing in 1959. It remained steam worked to the end,
using not only its own 4-4-0 tank engines but also locomotives
displaced from other narrow-gauge lines, which had already closed.
2-4-2 tanks of the Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway and 2-6-2 tanks
of the Tralee & Dingle Railway were among those that were filmed
working on the Cavan & Leitrim in its final years. At Arigna was
situated one of Ireland's very few coal mines. The coal produced was
of poor quality~ suitable only for power stations, but it provided
valuable traffic for the line.
The Cavan & Leitrim did not have the steep gradients and mountain
scenery of some other Irish narrow-gauge lines, although ranges of
high hills rise near Drumshanbo and Arigna. However, the line had a
picturesque quaintness, with its slow mixed trains including old
carriages with end balconies which gave them quite a Wild West
appearance, and the coal trains on the Arigna branch running
alongside and across country roads without any fences or gates. The
line was filmed on several occasions, favourite locations being
Ballinamore Station and the roadside stretches of the Arigna branch.
A short section of the Cavan & Leitrim at Dromod has been
reconstructed, and during a recent holiday in Ireland Chris and I
made a point of going to see it An 0-4-2T locomotive named 'Dromod'
operates a summer weekend steam service over half a mile of track to
a temporary terminus at Clooncolry. It was mid-week when we called
at Dromod, and the trains were not running; however, the station was
open to visitors, and a small diesel locomotive stood at the
platform with a single carriage. An engine shed and water tower have
been built at Dromod. It is hoped eventually to extend the railway
another five miles to Mohill, where the station is being restored.
On another day, when we drove as far as Ballinamore from the seaside
village where we were staying we looked for further remains of the
Cavan & Leitrim. Near Arigna we passed the coal-fired power station
that was built to use the produce of the mines once the railway had
closed; the power station appeared to be derelict and on the
hilltops above Arigna numerous wind turbines represented a modern
form of electricity generation. We could see no trace of the
roadside railway between Arigna and Drumshanbo, but the track bed of
the line at Drumshanbo was obvious, now made into a road, with the
station, a goods shed and a water tower still standing.
We had our lunch in a pub in Ballinamore. The barmaid confirmed that
the signs that decorated the premises were from the railway, and
when I asked if there was anything left of the station, she queried
it with another customer, a man of about my age, she herself being
too young to remember the Cavan & Leitrim at Ballinamore. The other
man told me that the station had been incorporated into a school,
but the station house was still occupied, In due course I walked
along the main street of the town, and at the far end I found the
station house. It was immediately recognisable, a red brick gabled
building very like the restored station at Dromod. On the end wall
of a house nearby, a large mural depicted Cavan & Leitrim 4-4-OT
'Kathleen' standing with a train in Ballinamore station. 'Kathleen'
has been preserved and I saw it is a museum in Belfast fifteen years
ago during my first holiday is Ireland. Where the tracks, engine
shed, yards and workshops at Ballinamore had once stood, there were
now school buildings and playing fields, and a small car park with
an ornamental fountain. Behind the school I recognised an old goods
Later, I waited in the car park, admiring the fountain and thinking
about the narrow gauge trains, while Chris went shopping. On our way
back to the coast we would look at some stations on other lines, and
we would buy a disc of Irish songs and instrumentals which would be
my musical souvenir of this holiday. I had enjoyed my glimpses of
the Cavan and Leitrim Railway.
Long Journey Home
by John Dewing
On Saturday October 18th 1998 I attempted to return home from
Carlisle to Cottingham (Hull) after covering the Cumbrian Coast
This was certainly a day out to remember.
I had originally intended to travel via Newcastle on the 17.24 but
due to flooding at Hayden Bridge this train was cancelled.
I was advised to catch to 17.55 Carlisle to Leeds, which I duly
boarded. The train (156488) departed at 18.10 and arrived at Kirby
Stephen at 19.05. This was the start of the troubles.
A major points failure at Blea Moor resulted in a 3-hour stop. The
guard, (definitely not a Yorkshireman), was not at all helpful when
asked questions about the reason for delay and the likelihood of any
progress. 'Leeds will sort you out” or “I’ve no idea how long the
delay will be' was all the information he imparted on the
passengers. Eventually at 21.10 the 16.23 Carlisle/Leeds
(142076/156419) was backed on to our train, which then proceeded as
far as Ribblehead 'wrong line working’. We then crossed over to the
correct path and proceeded to Leeds. The guard on the other train (A
grand Yorkshire Lass) took over and was most helpful. Names and
destinations were taken and a promise that taxi's to our final
destination were being organised by the supervisor at Leeds. We
arrived in Leeds at 23.25, some passengers being over 5 hours late.
By this time, of course, my train to Hull was long gone but the
Leeds supervisor had arranged a taxi for me to get back home to
Cottingham. Three Cheers to Northern Spirit for their customer
services. I finally arrived back home at 01.15…. a quick journey
Severn Valley Diesel Gala
by Chris Tyas
It's 05.25 on a Saturday morning and the alarm is ringing in my ear.
Ifs time to get out of bed and get ready as today we are going to
Kidderminster for the Severn Valley Diesel Gala- I have to be on the
first bus into town as I have arranged with Robin Havenhand to be
picked up at Waterdale at 06-30. My old friend Maurice Broadhead is
on the bus, something of a coincidence as I am to meet Geoff
Broadhead later in the day at the Severn Valley. We have a chat
about his recent trip to Germany, where he and a friend have been
bashing steam on the main line.
All too soon the bus is in town and, after bidding Maurice farewell,
I get off before walking along to Waterdale, where I await Robin- He
arrives on time and we set off for the motorway. Happily the traffic
is not too bad and we make good time to Kidderminster, in fact there
is time for breakfast before the first train of the day at nine
o'clock. While I am waiting for Robin to buy a ticket I notice a
lorry outside the station with 'Jinty' 47327 on the trailer - I grab
my camera and get a shot of the loco before it departs.
The first train of the day is hauled by the visiting Deltic D9019,
the load being six coaches plus class 50 D444 on the back of the
train. This is no easy load for a Deltic operating on one engine,
but having left Kidderminster about ten minutes late, we make a
spirited run to Bewdley where we are booked to wait for the goods
train to pass with the class 25.
Leaving Bewdley on time, the Deltic copes very well with the load
and is stood waiting time at all stations, although the loco has to
be worked very hard up Erdington Bank, between Hampton Loade and
Bridgnorth. It certainly makes a change to hear a Deltic working
hard on a preserved line, as the usual loads are not over-taxing for
such a powerful machine.
Upon arrival at Bridgnorth, we have a few minutes to look in the
shop. We meet Martin Hall who is buying a Severn Valley Railway tie
which, as he is a working member of the railway, will no doubt come
in handy in the future as part of his uniform! Our next trip is to
be behind 'Black Five' 45110 from Bridgnorth to Hampton Loade, where
we cross platforms for the train back to Bridgnorth with 50015.
Geoff and Martin decide to retire to the pub for a liquid-lunch, but
I decide to have a run with D444 back to Hampton Loade, where
'Mogul' 2968 is waiting to take me back to Bridgnorth. I always find
it amusing that preserved railways always have to put steam locos on
service on diesel gala days - I wonder what the steam buffs would
have to say if a diesel was to work during a steam gala?
Back at Bridgnorth, D9019 is waiting to depart on its next trip to
Kidderminster. We travel as far as Arley, where class 17 'Clayton'
D8568 stands ready to form the shuttle to Kidderminster. It has been
more than nine years since my last trip behind this loco and it is
having to work very hard with the light three-coach train.
D9019 is waiting at Kidderminster to go back to Bridgnorth, but this
time with a lighter load. This is yet another uneventful run and we
wait time at all stations en-route. 500 15 is to be our next loco,
which we take as far as Highley. There is time for a cup of hot tea
and a biscuit though in Geoff’s case its half a cup of tea, as he
manages to throw the other half over himself (Hope your hand gets
better soon, mate!) D1013 soon arrives to take us back to Hampton
Loade, where D9019 is just arriving and we cross the platform to
have another run behind the Deltic_ D821 is coupled to the front of
the train at Bewdley. I think the two drivers are trying to prove
something to each other as we shoot past Foley Park like a bat out
of hell - to say that the speed increased rapidly would be something
of an understatement'
At Kidderminster, D9019 runs round the train in readiness for its
next trip back to Bridgnorth. Sadly, this will be our last trip
behind the Deltic today. Martin has already departed for home and
Geoff and I will leave the Deltic at Hampton Loade, where we will
meet up with Robin who is travelling behind D444 on a final trip to
It’s a swift departure from Kidderminster as Robin is giving a lift
to a couple of lads who need to catch the 20.49 departure from New
Street to Euston. We make Doncaster in time for the bus home, but
first it's a pint at the Paddock and then bed!
The Pennine Quiz No. 96
by Ken King
1 . What is the length of a class 325 driving car?
2. How many arches are there on Kentish Town Viaduct?
3. For what purpose are the station buildings at Ballachulish
now being used?
4. In which town was Hibel Road station?
5. Who was CME of the LMSR immediately before William Stanier?
6. What is the name of The Snowdon Mountain Railways
locomotive No. 12?
7. What was the gauge of the Leek & Manifold Light Railway?
8. Which line is promoted as The Bittern line?
9. Which is the nearest station to Turners lane Junction?
10. What was the name of the ship, which brought the first class 66
11. Where did the 1300 Plymouth - Leeds make an unscheduled stop on
August 18th, 1995?
12. Which station opened in 1944 served Radway Green R.O.F?
13. What was the date of the head - on collision at Crowden?
14. Which branch line has a logo depicting Chapple
15. Including the Royal Mail platform how many platforms does
Stafford station have?
16. What were the numbers of the first two classes 90s to visit
17. What is a GUV.?
18. Who named class 427/1 unit 1409 Operation Perseus?
19. What was the number of the first class 92 to be used on a
20. What was the value of Railtrack shares on 31st December 1998?
21. Name class D30 62418.
22. Which railway company has its locomotive works at Boston Lodge?
23. Which named train has the reporting code 1S57?
24. Which company designed the Midland Main line livery?
25. On what date was Hams Hall Freight Terminal opened?
26. Which town used to have stations called St. James and Malvern
27. Which class 86 was partially streamlined and reached a speed of
28. Which locomotive works was locally known as "The Tank"?
29.. How many Deltics were named after racehorses?
30. Who was locomotive Superintendent of the M.S.& L Railway from
1859 - 86?
Quiz No. 95
1 Between Haverford West & Milford Haven
2 Obstruction Danger
3 1 mile 24 yards
4 The Master Cutler
6 28 May 1995
8. Stoats Nest
9. Sir Frank Ree
12 Barmouth Viaduct
14 Lord Montague of Beaulieu Motor Museum
15 Saint Blaise Church 1445 - 1995
17 Alfreton & Mansfield Parkway
18 12 August 1996
19 2 October 1991
20 Class 58
21 Class 442
22 Middleton Railway - Leeds
24 23 June 1997
25 92039 Johann Strauss (Father Son)
26 York Station
27 47163 47164
28 Huddersfield - Sheffield
29 10 February 1997
30 Belgrave and Birstall
3 1Warwick Avenue
32 Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Rly
33 Commence 14 Oct 1936 End 31 October 1980
34 9006 9030
35 4.5 miles
36 Sir Peter Vanneck
37. 31 January 1995
40. Great Eastern Railway
Winner overall was John Dewing with Ken King gaining second place
and Malcolm Bell in third spot. Many congratulations gentlemen!
PLEA FROM EDITOR - ANYONE PREPARED TO DO A QUIZ FOR THE SUMMER
1998 Slide Competition
The Annual competition was held on October 7th 1998 and judged by
Derek Porter, who has our thanks for his patience and acumen. The
lucky winners were:
1st Chris Nicholson - Class 121 DMU at Chappel
2nd. Tony Brown - 60059 on freight at Templeborough
3rd. Andy Dalby - 75078 on KWVR
(Apologies for delay on this item - it was lost in my file. Ed.)
On Dec 5 the Bristol - Newcastle and return working was in the hands
on Deltic D9000.
]an 02 37703
Noted at Peterborough on 11th November were 31166 31142 37025 58007.
Steam loco 6018 (real number 6024) was in steam at Kings X on a
charter train on November 22nd.
On 22nd November the 17.40 Leeds - Kings X hauled by 89001 was
delayed at Wakefield for 50 minutes while the local fire brigade put
out a fire in the SMOKERS COACH!
Noted at Peterborough on 28th November were 37274 31423 31166 56131
56094 58002 while 37705 was at Hull Paragon on the same day.
47722 with a rake of Anglia (Turquoise) stock hauled a Norwich -
Newcastle charter on December 5th.
Saturday sightings on the Barnetby - Gainsborough line before
passenger workings include:-
Dec 5 37109 Dec 12 56025 Dec 19 37156
Jan 09 56058 ]an 16 47363 lan 23 37671 Jan 30 56027 Oil trains
through Lincoln were hauled by.
Dec 31 6001660050
Jan 12 6002760061
Jan 13 60027 60046 60093
Jan 19 60019 66050 (freight)
Jan 20 60019 60053
Jan 26 60049 60046
Jan 27 60049 60059
Feb 04 60047 60060
Feb 08 66033 66060 (both freight) 37411 with inspection coach
Feb 12 37372+37411
Noted at Peterborough on December 8th were 56132 37713 37242 47523
31420 31142 58021
Again we go to Peterborough on December 29th where 37106 37116 37221
60003 56119 56087 56037 56055 58004 58030 08516 31154 and 31255 were
Noted at Immingham Depot on 2nd January were 08442 08632 08824 08886
37110 37344 37705 37892 47277 47319 56008 56014 56043 56093 60019
66028 passed through Lincoln (presumably crew training) on10/12
17/12 and 05/01.
Noted at Ulceby on Feb, 06 were 56102 (coal) 53128 (cargowaggon)
60059 (Iron ore).
On Feb 4th there were major delays at Doncaster due to high winds
which brought down OHL south of York. Some trains were cancelled and
47744 47772 and 31514 were seen dragging empty stock to York. The
10.00 Glasgow - KingsX hauled by 91024 was running 133 minutes late.
On Feb 10 Peterborough was host to 08516 and 31420 shunting with
37013 37505 37883 56119 on the stabling point
Seen at Ipswich on Jan 23 were 86221 86250 86220 86233 86215 86237
86218 and D9000 on Norwich - Liverpool St services.
Also noted at Ipswich were 47258 47289 47301 47370 47234 47197 47270
90143 90147 86637 47099 47373 and 86609 while Norwich Crown point
was host to 57001 47323 and 08870.
On Jan 28 the Hull Executive HST was rescued by 56088 when the HST
set failed between Doncaster and Goole.
Mainline blue liveried 58002 still with I Z58 Worksop Aberdonian
stickers from 3 years ago was an unusual sight in BSC Aldwarke
sidings on lan 13. Fragonset's 31468 (Jan 15) and 31452 (]an 23)
were noted on crew training duties on the Aldwarke Junction -
Rotherham Central line.
On Jan 30 86261 hauled the S&C Circular Merrymaker to York and
return. 47785 'Fiona Castle' failed at Appleby on the York -
Carlisle leg and was replaced by 37694 to Carlisle and then 37895
took the train from Carlisle to York via Hexham.
On Feb 13 the 'Pathfinder Yorkian Gargoylian' railtour was topped
with Fragonset liveried 31452/31468 and tailed by EWS liveried 60018
form York to Monk Bretton on this severely truncated remains of the
old Wath Junction/Normanton main line.
Our intrepid reporter, John Dewing, made the following observations
during a 6 day visit to the South West commencing November 22nd
47832 hauled the 23-50 Paddington - Penzance sleeper on the 22nd
with 08786 performing the shunter move at Plymouth. On the 23rd Par
hosted 37669 37263 37886 and 37680 while 37672 was noted at
Lostwithiel- On the same day 08798 08645 08663 08644 09013 and 37040
were seen at Laira TMD). On the 24th the Penzance - Glasgow hauled
by 47702 was 50 minutes late due to the driver needing 12 hours
sleep! On the 25th 60059 37510 37670 37158 47761 47791 47787 47789
were noted at Exeter.
The Aberdeen - Plymouth arrived at Exeter on one power car (43103)-
The other power car (43097) had a major oil leak and was covered in
oil. Passengers thought they were in for loco haulage when
37410137158 arrived from Riverside but Unfortunately these went
straight on to the depot The errant power car was eventually
restarted and allowed to leave 1 hour late Noted in the area on the
26th/27th were 37158 37510 47711 37671 47849 37047 37798 37411 47847
47812 47701 47812 47841 47848 37680 47832- 47849 was 35 minutes late
from Penzance due to cows on the line!
On Dec 617 47811 hauled the Paddington - Penzance Night Riviera' and
37906 37680 375 10 were noted at Lostwithiel. The 08.48 Penzance was
cancelled due to no stock being available due to a previous inward
working cancellation. Noted at Plymouth were 08786 47784 09013 08663
08644 08798 and 37689 whilst Exeter was host to 08792 37686 47742
On Feb, 22nd 37417 was noted at Reading hauling LUL stock.
Noted at Warrington on 8th November were 56109 56044 60047 60042
60090 while at Liverpool Class 47's 47829 47749 47759 4788 47767
dragging stock between Crewe and Liverpool. The 10-08 Stafford -
Liverpool was running 100 minutes late due to over run engineering
Paul Slater visited London on 10th February and noted the following
- Euston 86223 87012 87014 87021 90006 90007 47785 (Parcels) 87019
90002. Willesden 37010 37380 47750 08451 87006 08711 37704 4779.
Stonebridge Park 08617 08934. Wembley 08918 47194 66038 66059 90026
9013. North Wembley 47735. Mitre Bridge 4722. Old Oak Common 47853
47816 47830. North Pole 73118.
On ]an 2nd 37408 37421 37420 37415 37401 were noted at Chester on
the Crewe - Holyhead service.
Noted at Crewe on Jan 16th were:
37418 - 10.17 Birmingham NS - Holyhead 37408 - 12.20 Crewe -
37422 - 12.07 Birmingham NS - Holyhead 47702 - 06.36 Poole -
47789 - 08.50 Holyhead - Euston (In)
87032- Holyhead - Euston (Out)
92024 - off southbound Freightliner
90140 - on southbound Freightliner
Noted at Preston on Feb 20th were 47289 on the 05.50 Bournemouth -
Edinburgh which was taken over northbound by 86214. 47746 on the
10.40 Edinburgh - Brighton (should have been 47289-unfit) went
forward approx. 60 mins late and ran via Wigan to Manchester. 86256
brought in the 12.50 Glasgow - Poole which was taken forward by EWS
liveried 47758 as no 47/8 was available. Noted at Wembley on 10
March were 66W3 66007 66041 66059 92005 92021 and 92045
Noted at Wandsworth road on 10 March were 31420 56040 590G4 60088
66042 73104 73118 73130 73134 92005 and Eurostars 301112 3019/20
3021/2 3107/8 whilst Hither Green hosted 60033 73114 and 73141.
Paul Slater visited Barrow Hill on 16th January where, in residence,
were 37111 45060 82008 83012 D9009 D9019 E3003 and steam locos 2700
and 45593 Kolhapur. Also two industrial shunters and steam loco
48773 off the *Barrow Hill Collier' railtour.
The Great Central Railway Winter Gala on 30th January had 6990
*Witherslack Hall', 7029 'Clun Castle", 7821 'Ditcheat Manor and
92212 on passenger and goods trains.
On Jan 30th at the 'British Railways Weekend' the following locos
were in steam - 60007 76079 62005 45337 45407 80136 1450. The DMU
shuttle to the loco works was 5 1842 51813 59701 with Beverley and
Bridlington destination blinds.
On Feb 16th steam loco 45110 visited Hull with a special charter
'Business Pager' organised by Big Roy Hattersley. The train did a
circular trip Hull, Selby, Snaith, Goole, Hull.
Thanks Tony Caddick, Paul Slater, Tony Booth and John Dewing for
What the Papers Say !
A Pot Pouri of magazine
and newspaper articles
relating to the
SIGNAL FAILURES (from Private Eye)
Focus on GNEAarghl
FINGERS are still crossed at GNER (spelt 'GNEAargh')in recent ads)
that the government will ignore the company's track record and
extend its seven-year franchise on the London to Edinburgh line.
Despite having the most modem main line in Britain (upgraded in
1991) GNER has consistently missed even the soft passengers charter
targets for annual average punctuality. The latest report showed
that GNER received the second largest number of complaints~ after
Virgin; but the association of train operating companies (whose
board includes GNER chief executive Christopher Garnett) insisted
complaints had increased because 'the new customer driven railway is
encouraging more comments and suggestions and responding positively
to them*. GNER was held up as a shining example of a company that
hands out compensation claim forms on seriously delayed trains
(although no mention was made that GNER views such forms as a useful
way to gather addresses for junk-mail purposes). One Eye reader who
commutes between Durham and York gives an insight into what really
happens when a passenger complains to GNER, Fewer than half the 31
GNER trains he used during October arrived no more than five minutes
)ate. His 50 minute journey was delayed more than 90 minutes three
times and once by 155 minutes, partly because GNER locomotives
caught fire twice in as many weeks. He felt entitled * to a refund
on his £206 monthly season ticket.
GNER's exemplary complaint service swung into action after only six
weeks of unexplained delay and just one reminder from the
complainer. 'We at GNER cannot in all fairness prevent delays to our
services caused by Railtrack,' wrote Christopher Wright of GNER
customer relations, before admitting GNER was responsible for
reliability of its "trainsets". He added: 'I would advise that our
equipment is man-made and mostly manufactured by outside industry It
will, as with any other technology, be prone to human error in
manufacture and maintenance.* He concluded no refund would be paid,
as the 12-month average punctuality figures had not been officially
published. (They will register arrivals at London and other termini,
not punctuality in the York area.).
Other passengers may also feet cheated. In January 1997 GNER and its
parent company, Sea Container's hyped an imminent order for two
tilting express trains, to be delivered within two years., and plans
to convert 45 sleeping carriages into extra rolling stock for
daytime trains. Two years later the converted carriages have yet to
appear and the tilting trains, now due, have not even been ordered.
GNER's failure this time is due to a man-made franchise bid by a
rival company. Sea Containers had high hopes of securing the 1
5-year west coast franchise - involving a big fleet of tilting
trains to which the GNER pair would be a cost-effective addition but
Virgin severely undercut Sea Containers. From being prepared to buy
the new trains *even if we are compelled to stick with seven years~,
Sea Containers changed tack, threatening not to order them unless
the government met its demand for a 15-year GNER franchise.
Arguing for an extension must surely be a waste of GNER's time, even
though the government has invited proposals from train companies.
Sea Containers~ last annual report describes its involvement with
Burma's tourist industry, and it is official UK government policy
not to encourage trade with Burma because of its human rights
record. A labour government would never award a franchise to a
company with such connections. Or would it?
Lying on the rails
Finding themselves with nothing to shout about from the rooftop's,
some rail businesses are shouting from the rooftops anyway - and
keeping the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) very busy.
For example, the ASA upheld a complaint against a Railtrack advert
that claimed the privatised system had generated 'the first
substantial growth in rail travel in a generation'. Men it was
pointed out that rail travel grew similarly in the late 1980is,
Railtrack tried to argue that the gap from 1988 to 1998 could be
defined as a generation- Given that pregnancy among 10 year olds is
not yet the norm, the ASA ordered Railtrack not to repeat the daft
claim. Virgin Trains, meanwhile, has adopted the Stalinist maxim
that anything is possible as long as you say it has happened.
Striking posters in red and black tell people to rejoice at the
improvements they are witnessing under the new regime and those to
come under the 15-Year Plan- We've started reducing the confusing
number of ticket option!.,* says one poster hoping the plebs won't
realise how many extra tickets Virgin has introduced. Virgin has
promised the ASA it will not repeat an advert in which it claimed,
with no factual basis at all, to run more trains each weekday
between Holyhead and London. Things began to go awry in February
1997 a month before Virgin took over the west coast franchise,
Virgin is committed to moving quickly to restore customer confidence
in the service, by achieving 90 percent punctuality for most
services within a year from take-over. 'After 18 months Virgin's
12month average punctuality is still below 90 percent on all its
routes, with only 74.4 percent of Anglo-Scottish expresses 'on
time' in the year to September 1998.
To excuse Virgin's spectacular failure to keep its promise, Richard
Branson complained to the Times that *virtually no money was spent
on track and rolling stock` on the west coast line by British Rail
in its fast 20 years. Oh dear. Between 197314 and 199314 BR invested
nearly half a billion pounds on the route, at current prices~ on
items such as new locos and carriages in the 1980s, extra
electrification in the 1990s, creating Milton Keynes station and
rebuilding the tracks at Crewe. Were it not for the process of
preparing the line so Branson could play with it the route's
modernisation would be finished already. Despite the ageing
infrastructure, BR handed the line to Railtrack in 1994 with not a
single speed restriction in force.
Virgin has already had its knuckles rapped for claims it made in the
Times and the ASA criticised a travel promotion which 'had caused
unnecessary disappointment` to travellers.
Thameslink might also have disappointed travellers if anyone had
believed its leaflet boasting of trains 'every 15 minutes~. The
company said this was a 'concise' description of its service. But as
the ASA found: *Sometimes intervals between trains were more than 30
minutes in duration and only two trains departed in each hour.'
A complaint against Connex SouthCentral was upheld as the ASA was
unhappy with a poster proclaiming 'Connex express every half an
hour' between London and Brighton. Regular passengers ~t think
'Connex express` a contradiction in terms, but the ASA objection
centred on the chunks of the day when the trains are not
It's not only passengers who are not amused by the rail companies!
attempts to con them. The ASA has upheld two complaints against
Great Eastern Railway over publicity for fares between Ipswich and
London- The complaints were made by. -- Anglia Railways!
Happy Christmas from Railtrack
The season of goodwill to all shareholders is approaching and as
usual passengers are expected to give generously of their time,
patience and money. Christmas, you see, is traditionally seen by the
rail industry as open season for messing passengers about.
As well as the almost total suspension of services for two days,
this year unprecedented hurdles are being placed in the path of
In November rail regulator John Swift belatedly realised rail
companies had not complied With their obligation to publish
Christmas timetables at least 12 weeks ahead He said.---The position
has now been reached where, on many routes, customers cannot
reliably plan or book their travel arrangements over Christmas and
New Year.' (As punishment the companies had to give the fearsome
regulator 'a report).
Railtrack said the situation was "due to the over intensive
programme of heavy engineering work planned over Christmas"
That programme will disrupt many journeys - but at the same time
long distance fares will be increased. From 18 December to 1 January
there will be no supersaver tickets Passengers will have to buy more
expensive saver fares, even for journeys that involve switching from
trains to buses at Railtrack's convenience.
Railtrack has chosen to work at the giant Manchester Piccadilly
station on 19 and 20 December, ensuring the station is dosed for one
of the busiest weekends of the year. Travellers from the south, many
laden with luggage and presents, will switch to buses at Stockport
and arrive in Manchester much later than normal. Passengers
travelling from Birmingham to Manchester, for example, will be
caught up in this hassle and have to pay £26.10 instead of the usual
£ 19.50 for the privilege. The buses will he laid on by North
Western Trains~ so connections With Virgin services may not be
guaranteed (as when buses were provided for rail passengers between
Wilmslow and Stockport recently).
Railtrack is causing more and more disruption to passengers during
the year while information becomes harder to find There are now no
weekend timetables in the official guide to InterCity services,
which itself is becoming harder to obtain. Yet the rail industry is
making unprecedented use of computers and information technology
capable of planning train timetables and dispersing information
rapidly at the press of a few buttons.
Railtrack and its contractors are improving engineering productivity
by investing in new machinery which works faster and needs fewer
operation. This has already helped drive down operating costs (by 4
percent in the first half of 1998). Passengers might expect to
benefit from these efficiencies through less disruption to journeys
from engineering work and clearer information being provided further
in advance. But that would be a selfish assumption, especially at
Christmas when everyone should remember the poor and needy like
Railtrack shareholders and directors who have to make do with six
month profits rising by a not very Scrooge-like 13 percent to £224m
and dividends up by 10 percent Bah humbug indeed!
Normal service will be resumed (From The Guardian)
It was a normal day at the office at Virgin Rail; Britain's biggest
and most criticised railway franchise. Flooding along the line near
Gloucester had caused, considerable delays, there had been numerous
track circuit failures throughout its vast network from Aberdeen to
Penzance and back to London, causing delays of at least 10 minutes.
An irate businessman from Shrewsbury who had missed his plane
connection to Brazil had been put up overnight at a hotel near
Heathrow at the company's expense You might say business as usual .
From a modest first floor office tucked away behind the main
concourse at Euston station, Virgin Rail's chief executive, Brian
Barrell sits in a small office at the nerve centre directing
operations. It is the most unpretentious part of Branson's empire.
No swept-back approach through potted palms and plush carpets. Entry
is via Railtrack's customer relations desk up a flight of stairs,
and past a few half empty offices. Lavish it is not....the old
railway lives on here.
Mr Barrett spends an hour each day dealing with a list of 'pinch
points' in the system over the previous 24 hours, From a selection
prepared by his team, he follows up each problem, like the
Gloucester flooding, punching the telephone, trying to get
explanations. It sounds like a case of locking the stable door after
the horse has bolted, but Mr Barrett believes that stag like to feel
that 'someone is taking an interest in what they are doing and that
personal intervention might ensure that the difficulty does not
occur again - or that if it does, it Will be dealt with in a
Mr Barrell aged 53, is cheerful and straightforward. like his boss
Richard Branson, his face is covered in hair. But it is thick and
grey-black not finely trimmed, giving him the look of a friendly pub
landlord. Like his boss, he is rarely out of sweaters, but Marks and
Spencer, rather than designer label.
He came to Virgin after 10 years as director of marketing at Forte,
where, he says, his greatest triumph was helping to design and set
up the Travelodge hotels, 'bringing affordable accommodation to the
public'. He had decided to retire at 50, but found the challenge of
running Virgin Rail 'Irresistible' ' Have patience, he appeals to
Virgin's thousands of daily customers, we will get it right in the
He is honest He has to be. There is no point in hiding behind
excuses. 'The view is still around that privatisation of the railway
is a bad thing It is entirely fight that the railway should he
criticised for its current performance But it should be fairly dear
that given the current trend, either the wrong franchises have been
chosen, or there is a structural problem militating against our
Train operators are unhappy about pointing the finger at Railtrack,
particularly when, in Virgin's case, it has a revenue sharing deal
with Railtrack to operate the west coast main line between London
and Glasgow. But Mr Barrett has no qualms in saying 70 per cent of
delays are due to 'circumstances outside our control' .
Poor track and poor maintenance work top the list In other words,
the culprit is Railtrack. Mr Barrett is running his clapped-out
rolling stock on a clapped-out railway.
Barrett cites numerous instances where Railtrack fail to deliver
track paths on time, leading to a considerable build-up in delays on
Virgin services, which are predominantly long distance, but says
cautiously. We have to team to live together.'
He is prepared to put up his hand and say, yes, the passenger can
blame Virgin if a train breaks down or if staff do not turn up for
work the most notorious example being when half the labour cabinet
failed to get to Blackpool on time.
'None of us deliberately set out to run poor services, but if the
problems relate to shortage of staff, immediate remedial action is
dearly possible,' he says. We have a limited spare capacity to deal
with surges in demand but we can't prevent people with a ticket from
travelling.* Branson took over Britain's two most extensive rail
franchises some two years ago. At first the tactic was to blame the
old regime- When that failed, the organisation promised jam
tomorrow, new rolling stock and 140 mph tilting trains. But these
are bound to bring teething troubles.
Barrett's answer has been to put his trust in staff to make things
work as best they cam If the system breaks down, managers lay on 150
extra taxis at Euston station, while staff have been commended for
rebooking a passengers onward flight from Heathrow to Greece using
their own credit card.
Barrett puts it this way. 'it means staff using their own
initiative. We are seriously trying to dig ourselves out of this
hole and there is a massive expectation that the 2,900 we employ
will get it right"
Mr Barrett says that everybody knows that the captain of a plane is
in charge. On a train, it is the driver, who is at present powerless
to communicate with passengers. But that will change when the new
rolling stock comes on stream.
Come the spring the company will have refurbished the 30yeaT-old
rolling stock it was handed by British Rail. Better ventilation, new
upholstery and toilets will be on some 90 units which will be
scrapped when they are replaced by 126 trains at a cost of £970
million in time for the summer schedules of 2001.
Virgin has often been criticised for higher-than-inflation fare
rises. Being largely outside the 50-mile London radius, within which
fares are regulated, it can escape sanctions from the rail franchise
director, though not his adverse comments.
The standard return from London to Manchester, one of Virgin's most
popular routes, went up 13-7 per cent last year from £95 to £108.
Similar increases have been notched up on the route between
Glasgow and London.
In his defence, Mr Barrett produces a list of 'red hot' tickets
which can be bought from a fortnight in advance. You can travel, for
example, between London and Liverpool for £ 16 return, and from
London to Glasgow for £25 return. About 25 per cent of its use these
deals but the aggravate many others who have always regarded the
industry as a walk-on railway, and want to buy a reasonably priced
ticket on the day of travel.
The remarkable surge in Virgin's operation has been in first class
travel, which amounts to 40 per cent of its business. Barrett is
unapologetic about championing first class, and the fact that
standard rail travellers can cat in the dining car only if they pay
the full fare. 'The first class ticket gives the holders the right
to free drink, plus the meal. They must be afforded special
treatment. He believes that the industry is over regulated with too
much red tape, a view almost certainly held by an increasingly
frustrated Mr Branson. Virgin and other franchisees are committed to
in~ far more than we need to satisfy our franchise requirements,' Mr
Barrett says, *yet we are subject to a mindboggling array of rules,
which if we break them, could result in franchise termination'.
Is this the voice of a company in defiant mood, or the views of
somebody about to pull the plug? Certainly not, retorts Mr Barrett.
We have not come so far along the way that we are about to call a
halt Golden times are ahead and we will there to enjoy them.
But key people in the industry detect that Branson may be getting
tired of the damage his rail arm is doing to the Virgin brand. The
industry's other big player is Stagecoach, whose chairman, Brian
Souter, has taken a 49 per cent share in Mr Branson's rail business
which at the time valued Virgin Rail at £280 million.
If at any time over the next two years Mr Branson calls time, expect
Stagecoach to start pulling the pints.
Focus on fares
A rare consolation for passengers when British Rail was being
privatised was the guarantee that the cost of certain tickets would
not increase faster than the rate of inflation. So much for
Passengers in the south east were shocked last autumn when Opraf,
the office of passenger rail franchising, announced that it was
allowing most London commuter franchises to raise price-capped
season tickets by more than inflation - 2 percent more in several
cases. Now another *protected' fare, the long-distance saver ticket
is also mutating
Opraf ostensibly protects the saver from abuse by the likes of
Virgin Trains, whose intention is to force passengers to buy tickets
valid on Virgin services only. Yet Virgin has banned savers on early
evening departures from Euston. For passengers who have to travel at
this time it means a huge price rise: they have to buy standard
return tickets instead of savers (even if travelling to London at
off-peak times)- A saver from Manchester to London, for example,
costs £46.50, but a standard return costs £108 - a rise of 132
percent Not bad for a fare the Tories promised would not rise by
more than inflation.
In the small print on the savers' regulations is a loophole allowing
their prohibition in evening peaks, practically inviting companies
to rip off passengers who thought their ticket was safe. Great
Western Trains has now banned savers on peak trains out of
Paddington. it reduced the saver fare by 5 percent as compensation,
but this is no consolation to people now forced to buy standard
returns instead of savers. Residents of western Cornwall, for
example, may have to buy £111.00 standard returns as the last train
of the day to Penzance on which the £55 saver is valid leaves London
Virgin meanwhile is creating more complications with new local
tickets valid on Virgin services only. These undercut established
fares only by a quid or two, but Virgin keeps all the income instead
of sharing it with other operators. For journeys from Stoke-on-Trent
to Stockport; for instance, Virgin has introduced six new tickets.
Staff must explain them to passengers while queues grow at the
If other operators follow suit even simple local journeys could
become impossibly confusing. This would then increase the incidence
(already widespread) of clerks and the rail inquiries phone line
failing to advise customers of cheapest fares. The regulating
authorities are doing nothing to stop this, preferring to criticise
staff and fine the inquiries service for poor performance.
Curiously, Virgin Trains displays posters boasting 'Booking a train
ticket should be simple. So we've started reducing the confusing
number of ticket options. We've also started removing the baffling
terms and conditions you've encountered before. ' Is this the same
Virgin Trains that has introduced heaps of confusing new tickets?
Mobile phone terrorist cut off
(from The Guardian)
Thursday the Virgin journey from York to Taunton was as crowded and
uncomfortable as we've come to expect In our compartment an
obnoxious young man was engrossed in al most non-stop phone
conversations which he conducted in loud and self-important tones.
There were angry mutterings, polite requests for him to switch the
mobile off, all to no avail. Shortly before Derby, an elderly man
stood up and, shouting to attract attention, told him if he didn't
switch the off it would be thrown out of the window. 'I didn't pay
to suffer your inane waffle from Newcastle to Plymouth.' At this
everyone broke into spontaneous applause, though the mobile
terrorist appeared to take no notice until another grey beard
entered the fray, courageously wrestling with him and forcing him to
put the phone away.
A wave of jubilation now swept through the crowded carriage as if a
victory had been won against a minor Pinochet. The rest of the
journey was a good deal more chatty than usual with a feeling of
wartime camaraderie in the face of a common foe. As we approached
Gloucester the phone rang again but such was the hostility he pushed
his way into the corridor and we could see him answering It outside
1999 Meetings Report
20th January 1999 - An excellent show from Peter Marsh covering a
wide area with slides ancient and modern. Also some Blackpool Trams
especially for your Membership secretary.
3rd February 1999 - Glen Williamson created a FIRST in 25 years of
Pennine slide shows. Slides of Smoky Russian Diesels. Our previous
East European correspondent~ Mr Sanderson (Polish Ice Speedway
specialist) looked on in amazement and awe. He has now decided to
stick to horse racing and Eurostar.
17th February 1999 - Derek Porter, as always, gave a thoroughly
interesting show on Classes 50 55 56 and 58. Especially poignant
were several 'cradle to grave' shots of 56's being built and, after
a criminally short service life, scrapped.
WEST" (or East) The choice is yours.
by Andy Dalby
As many of the Pennine Railway Society members will have noticed,
more foreign railway slides are appearing during the slide shows and
competitions at the Taps. In my case the reason for this is the
dwindling interest in the rail system of the UK.
My first venture abroad was to the Netherlands in 1981 chasing
EM2's, one of the few 'exports' from British Rail. Sadly now only
one EM2 remains in Holland, 150 1 (ex BR 27003). On occasions this
loco does work Railtours and has also worked some service trains on
special occasions, the last day of the through services from Den
Haag (The Hague) in Holland to Koln (Cologne) in Germany in May 1995
being an example. Since my first visit in 198 1 my interest with
foreign systems has increased to a point where 1 prefer to go abroad
rather than to do anything in this country. Only family commitments,
money and lack of time restrict my movements further afield.
There are many ways of introducing yourself to the rail systems of
Europe - One of the best ways being to do a tour with 'Along
Different Lines', a travel firm which deals with tours to many rail
systems in Europe, and, if you fancy it they have arranged a trip to
PERU !!! this year, (Paddington Bear, Beware). Closer to home ADL
run trips to Belgium covering depots, lines that don't normally
carry passenger trains, Antwerp docks for example. They try to use
unusual motive power to haul the tours, for the haulage crowd
(myself included). The depot visits are normally unsupervised,
sometimes the time spent in the depots can be a little tight but
normally you can spot most of the locos and still have time to take
photo's. This is one good way of finding out other countries
systems, locos etc.
First thing to mention is the need for a passport At one time there
was a British Visitors Passport valid for a year but now these no
longer exist so a ten-year passport is needed. They can be obtained
from the passport office in Liverpool, for people living in the
Doncaster area, either by post or by hand (over the counter). It is
possible to get them on the day but you have to show that you are
going abroad within the next few days. Cost of passports is £2 1.00
by post or £3 1.00 if you turn up in person to get one over the
counter. Visa's are not now required for the EU countries but some
of the old Eastern Block countries still require visa's, some that
have to be obtained in advance. Certain Pennine members can assist
with info on the subject. As you are all aware, travelling to Europe
can be done by train from Waterloo International (how long the name
will stay like this if the French get their way, Waterloo being one
of their defeats in wartime long ago). Eurostars run to Paris and
Brussels all year and to various French ski resorts in winter. An
example of cost to Brussels £79.00 return, you must stay a Saturday
night or three nights during the week. The booking offices at
Doncaster, Sheffield and Leeds can book on Euro-stars. GNER have an
'add on fare' from Doncaster of £24.70 taking you to Waterloo.
Flying is another way to get there. KLM UK fly from Sheffield to
Amsterdam. Virgin fly Stansted to Brussels, Easy-Jet fly Luton/
Liverpool to Amsterdam/Nice/ Barcelona, BA and BM fly to various
European destinations too many to list.
Fast ferries run to Ireland, Holland and Belgium from British ports
like Holyhead, Harwich PQ and Dover. From Dover to Oostende the
ferry costs £25.00 for a five-day return. P&O North Sea Ferries run
from Hull to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, the ways of getting there are
once again too long to list
If you are prepared to drive to Dover the tunnel Shuttle service
takes you to Calais in 30 - 35 minutes, it can be cheap at 3 am. If
you enjoy bus/coach journeys, Euro-lines coach firm runs from London
to over 250 destinations in the EU.
If anyone decides to try *Pastures New', people like myself, Neil
Taylor, Rob Havenhand, Paul Micklethwaite and Andy Jessop can give
help and advice on locos, getting there, hotels etc.
You can also go 'tourist mode' using the railway to visit places of
interest travel on some spectacular lines (the lines in the Alps
being some of the best I've seen)
One magazine that's currently on the go 'Today's Railways', gives
information on the foreign systems with railtour guides, articles on
signals, new buildings, new services, loco information, in fact
anything to do with the DB, AG, SNCB, CFL, CP, RENFE, DSB, FS, PKI,
OBB, BILS, CD, ZSR, to name but a few.
If there is interest in foreign railways I'll try and put together a
few articles on various countries for future Pennine magazines.
As the saying goes 'Take the Plunge', You may be surprised.
Gans roon thu Toon!
by David Bladen
Ok, you can stop panicking now. I haven't given up beer and there's
no need to sell your brewery shares - Rail Ale is back!
As most of you are probably aware, I am now employed by Ed's
Wonderful System at the new Customer Service Delivery Centre
(affectionately known as the 'Death Star') in Doncaster, as a member
of the Mobile Resources Team. The team's task is to plan and monitor
the usage of the company's locomotives and wagons and my particular
role is overseeing the fleet of hoppers and open wagons. I am also
heavily involved with planning the disposal of the company's
remaining vacuum braked wagons.
When I first started the column, I bemoaned the fact that I did not
get around as much as I used to. This has all changed and I've done
a fair bit of travelling whilst I've been with EWS. Don't, however,
run away with the idea that this must be a heaven-sent opportunity
to gather material! In-line with all railway companies, EWS rightly
enforces a very strict no-alcohol policy for staff on duty, but
overnight stays are a feature of the job and once railway business
is concluded for the day, it's time to get out of the hotel, have a
wander around and hopefully find a decent pint, which brings me
neatly to the subject of this article.
Newcastle is not a city I have visited much, however, recent trips
to various yards, collieries and power stations in the north east,
plus a seminar at the University of Northumberland have rectified
this shortcoming. I am very impressed with the city centre - it has
some magnificent architecture, superb shops and rather good Indian
and Chinese restaurants. Best of all, it has some excellent pubs
within easy walking distance of the station! If you do decide to
stop off for a beer or two, I would suggest you invest in a map
before embarking on your wanderings. The pubs described are all in
different directions from the station and I visited them on
different occasions, added to which, street-name signs are not
Newcastle council's strongest point!.
Our first port of call is one you will not need a map for! The
Head of Steam is directly opposite the station entrance on
Neville Street If you expect to find a place full of railway
memorabilia, then you may be disappointed. Minimalist is how I would
describe the decor of this establishment' This, together with bars
on two floors, gave the place an initial . cocktail -lounge" feel,
however, some excellent Hambleton Bitter soon dispelled that
impression. Black Sheep Bitter, Tetley's and John Smiths were also
on sale during my visit. Jazz features very highly here and the
barman told me that a number of excellent jazz acts perform at the
On Westgate Road next to the New Tyne Theatre, you will find the
Bodega. This pub has been impressively restored in recent times
and has justifiably won several CAMRA awards for the quality of the
interior. Wood-panelled booths are a feature and the ceiling boasts
two beautiful stained-glass domes, reminiscent of the buffet at
Manchester Victoria in its heyday. The pub is very popular with
Newcastle United fans and this is demonstrated by the pump-clips on
the bar - Mordue Geordie Pride is sold here under the name 'No. 9",
in honour of someone called Alan Shearer - who he? (though if he
wanted to sign for Doncaster Rovers, I would have no complaints) I
have to say, I don't care what the beer is called - it's rather
drinkable and, at £1.70, not too badly priced for a city-centre
venue. Good food is also available - the chip butties come highly
Standing at the Newcastle side of the High Level Bridge nest~ ling
in the shadow of the castle, is the Bridge Hotel. I think
it's the only pub I've been to which can boast what appears to be a
turret no doubt in homage to its more illustrious neighbour. The pub
had been neglected for a number of years but, like the Bodega, has
now been superbly restored internally. It is a plush and comfortable
place, with several distinct seating areas. Locally produced beers,
including Mordue and Four Rivers, feature and guest beers are also
on sale. Well worth a visit.'
And so to the final pub in this brief tour and, in my humble
opinion, the best It makes me wish I'd visited Newcastle sooner! The
Crown Posada on Side can only be described as an unspoilt
gem. Boasting a magnificent original interior, with an ornate
ceiling mirrored walls and some wonderful stained glass panels, this
tiny place has very few concessions to the 2011 century. There are
no TV's or jukeboxes to disturb you but occasionally, 'piped' music
comes courtesy of an old Dynatron record player perched precariously
on the bar, alongside a pile of equally ancient records. A varied
selection of beers graces the many pumps on the bar, behind which is
a carved mahogany gantry, and the 'stotty" bread sandwiches provide
a welcome respite to those whose palates can't face another 'Carvery
of the Day'. The one drawback to the place is that it is at the
bottom of a steep bill and it's a fair slog back to the station, but
if you only have time to visit one pub in Newcastle, brace yourself
for some exercise and visit the Crown Posada, before some clown
takes it in to their head to 'modernise' the place.
by Geoff Bambrough
Being a regular attendee at Pennine social evenings I never cease
to be amazed at the quality and variety of the slides shown by our
guest speakers, many of whom are members from the midst of our
society. Although the photographer did not realise at the time of
pressing the shutter, he was in the words of `Sooty' (not to be
confused with the one of Harry Corbett vintage) taking an Historic
shot chief '. These 'Historic shots` sometimes take a few years to
mature, but in some cases owing to the 'speed of charge' can develop
within just a few months of the original exposure.
I recently came across two albums full of my own 'Historic shots' ,
all of the 5-x 3---black and white variety mostly taken with a
Coronet box camera and dating from around 1960. The memories that
these photos stirred up in my mind makes these photos priceless to
Amongst the examples that I found were:
A. Many examples of non-class 08
diesel shunters eg. D2046, D2047, D2-218, D2253, D2267, D2506, D2610
B. Various photos of D50XX Sulzers at
work, on shed, and in the case of D5051 awaiting scrapping at
C. Many pre-Tops numbering examples are in
evidence with many of the Brush Type 4's also in the two-tone green
livery which is unfortunately not enhanced by black and white photography.
D. Many of the diesel photos were taken in
Scotland and feature D61XX and D85XX locos.
E. Other locos of the past are prominent e-g D5703
in Crewe Works D9537 at Cardiff, 10001 and DP2.
F. Of particular interest to some Pennine members
may be D400 - D404 brand new within the confines of Crewe works.
In those days steam locos were obviously uppermost in my interests
as is demonstrated by the following list of locos photographed:
4707, 6855, 6903, 7037, 30911, 31799, 31807, various West Countries
and Battle of Britain Classes, 45512, 45697,45742, 47202. 8F's etc.
Doncaster scrap line features with 42526, 60014 Silver Link, 69523
(now preserved), a line of 695XX locos, all in evidence at various
points In time.
The above is by no means a comprehensive list of all the photos in
the albums and I am sure that 1 have many other photos taken around
the same time which are hopefully lurking away in boxes, cases,
folders awaiting their turn to join my historic shot collection.
This collection being much smaller than it ought to have been, owing
to the fact that one roll of 120 film only produced 8 photos (if I
remember correctly), whilst an exorbitant charge for developing and
printing was in force. This, together with my limited income at the
time and the desire to trip off to Derby, Crewe, Birmingham,
Manchester and London etc. in search of further new underlining in
the combined has taken a heavy toil on the quantity of photos
I am particularly pleased that I have recorded on film the occasion
when 'Clun Castle' came to Doncaster, and similarly 'Flying
Scotsman' working through Stairfoot near Barnsley on a excursion.
There were however many more railway occasions that I witnessed but
did not record on file, just ten of which I have listed in the
1. 30850 Lord Nelson (1 week after official
withdrawal) at Leeds City behind a 'Patriot' class on passenger
2. 45600 Bermuda when it appeared at the
head of my return excursion to Barnsley from Blackpool- (N.B.
Haulage to Blackpool in the morning was carried out
by a Brush Type 2 D5686 I think).
3. 61017 Bushbuck when it appeared at
Barnsley Court House to haul me to Doncaster on the soon-to-be
discontinued service train.
4. Numerous occasions ~ locomotives entered
Don aster Plant Works for the final time prior to being cut up. This
was a particularly sad time as many of the locos were
being 'spotted by me for the first time A much more pleasant
occasion was that of outshopped locos some of which appeared to
glisten if the sun was shining.
5. My school railway society trip around
Birmingham and Wolverhampton depots. NB. 16 Kings were spotted
during the day, two of which we had for haulage. Also many of the
locos were truly historic (NB The year was 1959)
6. The magnificent locos which used to
grace Crewe especially the Princess Royals and the Semis (Duchesses
or Coronations). The sight of the Semis on the Royal Scot and
Caledonian was a commonplace sight but one that I never committed to
7. The time when I went around
Thornaby (another railway society visit) with steam still firmly
established but new diesels starting to make their mark.
8. Another occasion was a trip
to Farnborough behind The Flying Scotsman from Sheffield on The
Farnborough Flyer for the air display. Southern Steam was still in
service, however the camera did not come out
9. For a long period whilst
living in Barnsley I visited Doncaster Works on virtually a weekly
basis and witnessed numerous brand new diesel locos posing perfectly
near the gates outside the paint shop. Various classes were
involved, but each one failed to attract the attention of my camera
10. Much of my school holidays were spent
locally (in Barnsley, where I lived at the time), Cudworth and
Worsborough being two of my favourite haunts, both easily reached by
push bike from home. 1Irealised recently however that I never took a
photo on any of these visits. Hence photos of the Waverley,
Thames-Clyde express and 25KV electrics are all omitted from the
The above by no means covers all the missed opportunities but will
hopefully stimulate at least one of your fingers into
shutter-release mode so that the same fate does not befall you in
later years. Repaints into new liveries, renumbering and reclassifications
(eg. Class 57), naming and de-naming track rationalisation and
station refurbishment are further reasons to get your shutter
Who knows, in a few months you could 'take the stage at the 'Taps' in
front of an appreciative audience where you may become one of an elite
few who's photo have stimulated renowned railway historian "Sutty" into verbal approval, as the shout of 'Historic Shot Chief' reverberates around the room.
No. 4 - Back Track
Back Track is published by Atlantic and currently costs £2.95 per
issue. Subscription rates are £35.00 for 12 issues, which includes
15% discount on the full range of Atlantic Books. Subscribers can
also pay a little more and have their magazine specially packaged for
£40.00 per 12 issues.
Backtrack claims to be 'Britain's leading Historical Monthly', quite
what that means is anyone's guess, and I suppose if they were asked
to qualify the statement they would point to the all round quality
of the magazine. unless they know something about the circulation
figures that we don't.
The March issue is Volume 13. No.3 so ir's been going a bit longer
than some but not very long by the standards of Railway Magazine. At
some stage in its history it incorporated Modellers Backtrack but quite
where the modellers section is in the magazine is a mystery. I found
only one 'scale drawing` in its 51 pages.
The photography is good with plenty of colour prints and variety.
There are good photo articles in colour on the following subjects:-
Collett's Six Coupled Radial Tanks and Essex Electrics,
Across the Mena to Anglesey, Atlantic's of the LNER, North British
Steam Banking Tanks, Midland Viaducts and Rolling Stock Focus. As
these, I suppose. could be of interest to the modeller it you were
building your own as opposed to running your own layout Four good
feature articles include Hastings Line Dieselisation, The Electric
Trains of Newcastle, The Lame Lines Troubled 'rimes and Waterloo &
Riverside (Liverpool Docks).
There are also regular features such as Readers Forum, Book Reviews
and, quite interestingly, editorials from guests.
VERDICT: - Overall Backtrack is a broad historical railway monthly
which covers pre-grouping & the big four and right up to the 60/70's
(and 80's in the case of Hastings Diesels). In parts it is a good read although
with so many similar publications on the market I wonder how long it
would survive if the market began to shrink. This is the fourth
magazine I have reviewed in the last year. First Steam World, second
British Railways Illustrated, Third Steam Days, and know Backtrack.
The theme of these four is very similar but the style is very
different It may come as no surprise to the reader that I have also
reviewed in my order of preference. I can't help thinking that
currently having four magazines of this type on newsagents shelves
is a bit of a luxury and that's not counting Railway World, Railway
Magazine and Traction which have similar overlapping contents but mixed
with modern day information on either preservation or current railway
news. What do you think? Write and let me know.
In the next edition of Trans Pennine I will review the oldest tide,
Railway Magazine. It may be the oldest but it is, and always has
been, up there among the best .I wonder how long it will take me to
review all the railway enthusiast's magazines. I have already done
four and I can think of another nine without really looking.
As you may have gathered from the opening pages I have moved to a
place called Bourne. It does not have a railway station, at least
not since the M&GN Joint line dosed in 1959. So why Bourne? Well, my
wife originates from a small hamlet not far from Bourne, and it's
very handy for Peterborough as I now work at Kings Cross.
Travelling daily from Lincoln to Kings Cross over time would have
taken its toll, so by moving to South Lincolnshire I have halved the
journey time As the crow flies the ECML is only a few miles west
(Stoke Bank-Essendine), Humm's book shop in Stamford is only five miles away
and, oh yes, Delaines pass by the end of the road (sorry Gerry)
every 30 minutes.
Anyway, enough of where (and why) I live, it's time to talk about
Merrymakers in this edition, so here goes.
The origins of Merrymakers probably stems from trains to race meetings,
seaside specials to Cleethorpes and Skegness and, indeed,
fishermen's specials early on Sunday mornings to the depths of
Lincolnshire, particularly from the Sheffield area. In the early
1970's as a new angle was spun on day trips and the Holiday Preview Trip
was born, the title soon becoming Merrymakers. The idea was that on
a Saturday. spare locomotives, usually Class 47s and coaching stock
(10 or 11 Mk 1's with a buffet car) which would usually be stood
spare in sidings were utilised.
In our area there were three Eastern Region divisions, Sheffield, Doncaster
Each had a rake of spare Mark 1's allocated
respectively to Nunnery CS in Sheffield, Neville Hill CS in Leeds
and either Cleethorpes or Hull in Doncaster division. So we had an
excellent choice of trains usually in early spring and autumn. I
have pulled out of my publicity drawer a Sheffield Division Holiday
Preview leaflet for Autumn 1994. There were 11 trips between 27th
August and 2nd November, to such destinations a Windsor, Weston
super Mare, Ayr, Bournemouth, Torbay Steam Railway, etc.
This is where a lot of the original Pennine members would be
on the dates concerned. The wall at Chesterfield, Platform 5 at
Sheffield Midland would not have so many regular faces as they would
all be on the Holiday Preview or Merrymaker.
As far as the Pennine Railway Society is concerned 1974 was our
inaugural year 25 years ago. Merrymakers were great days out around
which to organise club trips and as I worked in the Divisional Manager's Passenger Section at Doncaster with the people who
organised these trips. I would be able to arrange the Pennine trips
around the Merrymaker long before the trains were advertised to the
After a rummage in the box (they are now stored in a plastic storage
box under the desk in one of the spare bedrooms) I came
across 4 trips in 1981/2/3 quite quickly:-
Saturday 9th May 1981
0620 Cleethorpes 2347
0630 Grimsby Town 2336
0750 Doncaster 2207
1150 Cardiff 1810
25 people on the trip visited Cardiff Canton at 1200, Margam at 1400
and Landore at 15.30. People on the trip included S Payne, M
Bloomer, F Heyes P Stojanovic, G Dawson, P Wesley, B Needham, D
Bladen, L Bladen, K Connell (3), D Whitworth, T Caddick and A Sadd.
OK Coaches conveyed us around South Wales and I believe we visited
Radyr on the way back to Cardiff. If any member has detailed
sightings for this visit please send them to the editor for publication.
On June 415/6 we did an overnight Merrymaker to Kyle of Lochalsh,
out via the Highland Line and re turn via Aberdeen. Timings were as
2142 Fri Cleethorpes 0913 Sun
2153 Grimsby Town 0901
2206 Habrough 0843
2217 Barnetby 0833
2235 Scunthorpe 0814
2245 Crowle 0802
2332 Doncaster 0720
0925 Sat Inverness 2115
1436 Sat Kyle of Lochalsh 1536 Sat
We took 25 Pennine members including P Stojanovic, D Whitworth, G Collins~ G Dawson,
S & D Payne, F Heyes~ T Caddick
P Wesley, D & L Bladen, S Taylor, R Peach (3) T Needham, R
Skinner, D Whitlam, A Watts, K King and T Helliwell.
visited Inverness depot on the Saturday morning and hit the
town (Inverness) on Saturday evening !! A Chinese restaurant
if I remember.
On August 201h 1982 we headed off for Oban and Mull leaving Doncaster at 23 15 on Friday night and arriving at Oban at
0723 Saturday. Departure from Oban was 2000 Saturday arriving back in Doncaster at 0449 Sunday. We took only 10 in the
party on this trip but it included a Mr. P. Sutton (yes, the Mr.
Sutton) who parted with the then princely sum of £15.00 to regale
us with his company.
On Saturday 26th September 1981 we went ftom Sheffield to Eastleigh
0800 Sheffield 2245
1227 Eastleigh 1658
1710 Southampton 1827
Visiting both the works and the MPD at Eastleigh we took 24 people
including J Reader, R G Butcher, A Phillips, G Bambrough (who he),
R Skinner, N Swift J Sanderson (with money belt), T Needham, P Wesley
(2), K Connell (2), T Booth and M Bloomer.
Of course, on most trips there was the added incentive of the 'BUN
RUN'. Myself, G Bambrough, J Sanderson, Sue Taylor, even Tony Booth
and, of course, Pete Barsby (of limited fame) did Bun Runs by the
dozen at this time. In fact most Merrymaker trips that had a party
of Pennine members on board had a Bun Run element to them.
Quiz Question. What is a 'Bun Run?'. No prizes for the first person to
get the right answer other than a mention in the next issue of
Trans Pennine- If you have done a Bun Run you are exempt from this
Thanks to Steve Payne from Lincoln for the lists of numbers seen on
trips discussed in this issue. I will pass them on to readers in the
June edition. Meanwhile, if you have any memories of Pennine Trips
and list of sightings, please send them to the editor. We would like
to put together a section on your memories in the 25th Anniversary
issue later in the year.
All meetings are held at the Corporation Brewery Taps,
Cleveland Street Doncaster and commence at 20.00 hrs.
Wednesday April 7th
Wednesday April 21st
Wednesday May 5th
Wednesday May 19th
Wednesday June 16th Chris Day - 'Steam in China'
The next edition of Trans Pennine will be published at the end of
June 1999. Please let me have your contributions by 14th June. Thank