THE MAGAZINE OF THE PENNINE RAILWAY
The Committee of the PENNINE RAILWAY SOCIETY
join together to wish all our members and their families a very
Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. We thank you for your support and friendship in 2000.
Membership Fees Unchanged
With this magazine you will find a Renewal of
Membership form. We are pleased to announce that, once
again, membership fees remain unchanged at £4.50 for a
We hope you will rejoin the Society in 2001 by
simply completing the renewal form and returning it with
a cheque for £4.50 made payable to the “Pennine Railway
Society" to our Membership Secretary, Tony Caddick, at
the address shown on the form. You may also rejoin at
our social evenings at the Salutation Hotel or at our AGM
Annual General Meeting
Please refer to Robin’s section at the back of the
magazine for details of the Society’s AGM.
This is an opportunity for you, the members, to have a say
in how you wish the Society to be run. It is also a chance
to socialise with friends you may not have seen for some
Free 2001 Diaries
All members rejoining for 2001 will receive a free
Pennine Railway Society pocket diary.
Yet another good reason to renew your membership.
The Curse of Skinner
A former oddball Bishop of Durham moves to York
Cathedral. Chairman Skinner moves from Kings Cross to
York Control (GNER)
The same result - DISASTER!!
We have recently had:-
The tragic derailment of a Kings Cross/Leeds train
at Hatfield and an enormous over reaction
resulting in hundreds of speed restrictions affecting services
throughout the entire network following a
Flooding on a
scale not seen since records began, affecting many services,
including closure of the ECML north of York.
A 22.00 St.
Pancras/Nottingham train taking nine hours (including transfer to a
bus at Kettering).
A derailed freight train damaging four miles of
track, closing Northampton station for days.
A derailment at
Bristol leaking 1,500 gallons of diesel over the track.
Resignation of Railtrack boss Gerald Corbett with the prospect of a
hefty “golden sod oft” payment.
A mail train hauled by 67002
mounting a coal train at Lawrence Hill Station, Bristol.
of Sheffield/Doncaster line for days due to flooding.
Tiverton/Exeter St. David’s, the Barnstaple branch, Welshpool to
Newtown and Leeds/ Shipley routes for days.
Weybridge/Staines service (Unit 1885) at Virginia Water narrowly
missing a Reading/Waterloo train.
Derailment of a Virgin express
Temporary immediate closure of WCML from Gretna to Law
First Group has said it will team up
with Netherlands Railways to bid for UK rail franchises. It will bid
for South West Trains and Thameslink franchises.
Misery Line firm
loses big franchise
French owned Connex has been ordered to give up
the South Central network to Govia, the company which already runs
Thameslink. It will rename the network "New Southern Railways”. The
firm is a partnership of the Tyneside based GoAhead group and a
French consortium part owned by SNCF
Windfall for Railtrack
Shareholders Good news through all the chaos. Railtrack has awarded
shareholders increased dividends by an above inflation rise of 5%,
to 9.75% per share.
Prescott in the Air
Two Jags Johnny will be
pleased to know that our RAF boys will call their VC10 refuelling
plane “Prescott”. apparently it’s because the plane can fuel two
Jaguars at once.
Rumour has it that J2J is to head up a new
government to be known as the Ministry of Where Can We Lay The
Trains getting later
Even before the fallout from Hatfield,
more trains were running late. Between June and September the worst
performer was Chairman Skinner’s beloved GNER with a fall of 9% in
services run to time compared to the same period in 1999.
Committee member Chris Tyas tells us that a “Fat Czar” is to be
appointed in Scotland to encourage fitness amongst its overweight
Our general transport guru, Gerry Collins
from Lincoln, tells us that a fleet of 20 buses, hardly ever used,
has added a further £2,6m to the dome’s huge debt mountain. Some
£50,000 a week has been spent keeping the buses on permanent standby
in a car park near the Greenwich site in case the Jubilee line
extension breaks down, they have been used on average once per week
transporting visitors between the Dome and Stratford, Canning Town
and Greenwich stations.
Trains to Run on Time by 2020 (the year!!)
Michael Want, Chief Executive of the Shadow Strategic Rail
Authority, has told the Public Accounts Committee of the target to
have l5 trains out of 16 running punctually within the life of one
of the new rail operator franchises, That could be in 20 years!!
The annual Pennine Shield quiz competition is again
under way, with the final round at the Sal on 20th December. Our
team of experts, comprising Tony Caddick, Robin Havenhand and Paul
Sutton, came an excellent equal second (out of three) at the first
round held at the home of the Dore Loco Group
Mobile Phone Rage The
recent Hatfield over reaction has varied the familiar dawn chorus of
‘Tm on the train” to, in many cases, "I'm still on the bloody train" Incidentally, our mole at GNER tells us that railway
inefficiency has reached such heights, or depths, that it now
belongs in the language of comparison. “Slower than a Doncaster to
London express train” was a simile recently used in the House of
More Leaves on the Line
The recent adverse/severe weather
conditions have caused more leaves on the line delaying trains.
Unfortunately, on this occasion, they have been attached to tree
New Year Eve
abolished in London
There will be few New Years Eve celebrations in
London this year due to “safety fears". The fireworks display will
be brought forward from midnight to 5.00 pm. Victoria, London Bridge
and Waterloo stations will close at 6,00 pm. There will be trains
but passengers will not be allowed to board them until they reach
outlying suburban stations. The Underground will close down up to 60
stations in the central area from 4.00 pm. If the stations were open
they would attract too many people!. They are supported by the
Health and Safety Executive.
It’s Leeds to Blame
Northem Spirit is
to be summoned to the Strategic Rail Authority to explain the
cancellation of 2.788 services in a two month period ending mid
September 2000. The company blames the redevelopment of Leeds
station for many of the problems.
Express and South West Trains have taken new Juniper electric
trains, built by Alstom, out of passenger service. Only a small
number were in service and faults had been discovered during their
limited running. In October c2c withdrew Electrostars because of
Port wins £15m Grant
A £l5m grant has gone to the
Bristol Port Company to refurbish a large section of the disused
Portishead branch, provide a new rail link into the Royal Portbury
Dock and build a new terminal. The nine mile branch leaves the
Bristol - Taunton line at Parson Street.
New Scottish Link
open the six mile route from Alloa to Stirling have been announced,
The route was mothballed in the mid l960’s. This will allow ScotRail
to run direct services between Alloa and Glasgow, Railtrack has also
applied for funding to reopen the Alloa route further to Dunfermline
for freight trains. This would enable freight from the south towards
Fife and north east Scotland to avoid the Forth Bridge where there
are weight restrictions.
Thameslink explained its
emergency timetable with the following statement:- “We are aware
that journey times are taking up to 15 minutes longer than our
special timetable provides for. However, to insert this extra time
into the schedule would further reduce the number of trains we can
run and increase overcrowding. We trust that passengers will
understand that in order to protect the present level of service ,
some trains will run up to l5 minutes late.” Make of that what you
by Paul Slater
During the school holidays I
sometimes used to go trainspotting for the day at Peterborough.
Sometimes I went with my brother, sometimes with other boys,
sometimes alone. These visits began in the mid-1950s and continued
at irregular intervals until the end of the decade. At the time, the
railway line along the Nene valley from Northampton to Peterborough
was still open, and my usual way of getting to Peterborough was to
catch a bus from near my home in Rushden, alight at the junction of
the Raunds road at the bottom of the hill beyond Higham Ferrers, and
walk the short distance to Irthlingborough station.
As far as I
remember, passenger trains on the Northampton-Peterborough line
were, in the second half of the hauled 1950's hauled by 4F 0-6-0's,
2P 4~4-0‘s and B1 4-6-Os. The trains stopped at all stations, with
the exception of Castor. As far as Thrapston the station signs and.
nameboards were London Midland Region red, but horn Thorpe
Waterville onwards they were Eastern Region blue. Two or three
trains would be passed during the joumey, and there might be a few
more engines to be seen at the East station at Peterborough, but the
main interest of the day began after the walk through the city
centre to the North station.
It was a very different place from the
present Peterborough station. At either end of it, there was a sharp
curve in the main line, and trains passing through were restricted
to 20 mph, it had an overall root, underneath which the atmosphere
seemed permanently dark and smoky. There was a great deal to be
seen, and my favourite vantage point was the north end of the big
down island platform; from there, the three main platforms could be
watched as well as the north end bays, the goods lines outside the
station and the line from East station to Stamford and Leicester.
Peterborough was not the only place where I watched trains on the
East Coast Main Line, but the North station offered plenty of
opportunities for concentrated number collecting, and I have many
happy memories of my times there. I remember my parents remarking on
the smell of coal-smoke I brought home with me after a day at
Peterborough, and I have read since then that the locomotives on the
East Coast Main Line did indeed use a type of coal which produced a
particularly pungent smoke. I remember my annoyance, when, through
being at the wrong end of the station, I missed a change of engines
on an express, and I recall the excitement, mixed with fear, the one
time I saw a train, a fast goods, come lurching round the curve and
through the main platforms at well above the speed limit.
favourite memories of Peterborough are of the Pacific locomotives on
the named expresses, and one particular incident comes to mind.
Among the group at the north end of the island platform one morning,
a boy said that he had dreamed the night before that 60027 "Merlin"
would come through on the "Elizabethan", The A4's were my favourites
of the Pacifics, and "Merlin", based at Haymarket shed in Edinburgh,
was one I had not yet seen.
The "Elizabethan", which at that time
was a non-stop express running in the summer only between Kings
Cross and Edinburgh, was due through Peterborough in the southbound
direction some time around the middle of the day; there were excited
shouts when it duly appeared, and the A4 hauling it proved indeed to
be 60027. An amazing coincidence? Not really. I assume the boy was
telling the truth and did not have "inside information", and. it was
not very surprising that a trainspotter should dream about an engine
he wanted to see, I am sure I have done it myself The "Elizabethan",
unlike other prestigious named trains such as the "Heart of
Midlothian", the "Flying Scotsman", the "Queen of Scots" and the
"Northumbrian", was invariably A4 hauled, and it was worked
alternately by engines from Kings Cross and Haymarket sheds.
Scottish Region engines were rare as far south as Northamptonshire
but the "Elizabethan" was guaranteed to produce one frequently. The
34 A4’s were at that time about equally shared between Kings Cross,
Gateshead and. Haymarket sheds, so there could not have been more
than about 25 engines in the "pool" from which the locomotive
hauling the "Elizabethan" that day had to come. It was certainly
intriguing, and enjoyable, for us to see "Merlin" on the working
which the dreamer had foretold, and that episode at Peterborough is
one which I like to remember; but the odds against it happening,
were not very great.
Railways and Canals
by Graeme Wade
Quite often, when you are
travelling by train, you see a stretch of water, not necessarily a
river, meandering along without, apparently, any rhyme or reason as
to why it is there. You may also see a narrow boat on it or a river
cruiser, and wonder where the people on it are going, or where they
have come from.
The purpose of this short article is not so much to
do with the canals themselves, that is a subject of its own, but
more to do with the railway bridges over the canals and rivers. The
railway traveller rarely if ever, sees the bridges unless they are
approached around a sharp bend, but they form an important part of
railway history, and are, in many cases, important architectural
features in their own right.
This article is going to take a trip
from Lincoln to Nottingham by water, rather than by the railway, a
trip of around two days, depending upon the tidal section of the
River Trent and the timing of the tides at Torksey and Cromwell, and
some 90 kilometres or 55 miles, approximately twice the distance by
rail, which only takes an hour or so, describing, as we go, the
various railway bridges we pass under.
About an hour and a half out
of Lincoln the first railway bridge is at Saxilby. This is quite an
interesting metal structure, crossing the Roman Fossdyke (the oldest
manmade canal excavation in the country, dating back to 120 AD) on
the skew and giving the rail passenger a fine view down the Fossdyke
towards the pedestrian bridge crossing the Fossdyke between the Sun
and Ship public houses, This is a former railway bridge, having
graced the platforms at Newark, so it is believed.
the tidal section of the River Trent at Torksey, the traveller
upstream gets a look at the Torksey viaduct some half a mile
downstream, which used to carry the line from Saxilby past Cottam
Power Station and oil to Torksey oil terminal. There was a certain
amount of publicity recently about its future, but the hoo-ha seems
to have died down again.
However, we are going upstream and apart
from the Dunham road bridge (no tolls for river traffic) the next
crossing of the river is by Fledborough viaduct, which used to carry
the Skellingthorpe to Worksop, line past High Marnham power station.
Not only is this an impressive cast iron structure with substantial
columns when viewed from the level of the River, it has a
substantial viaduct as well. Alas, trains no longer run over it.
It’s all a bit different when one gets to Winthorpe, near Newark, as
the ECML crosses the river on a substantial metal girder bridge near
the Newark level crossing and just before entering Newark Nether
Lock. The noise of trains going over the bridge when you are on the
water below gives lie tithe suggestion that the GNER expresses are
"stealthy". This site has, of course, been the subject of much
change recently. The bridge has been removed and replaced over the
August Bank Holiday weekend in a mammoth exercise and at a cost of
some £8 million. Will this new bridge last as long as the old one?
Following passing through Newark Nether Lock we then pass under the
Newark Castle to Lincoln line and pass the buttresses of the former
connecting line between the Lincoln line and the ECML
then leaves the River for a distance, but returns briefly near
Burton Joyce so there is a chance to see something as we are
rounding the l8O-degree bend here.
The next view of the railway
from the River Trent is at Colwick, where the river passes under a
substantial single span cast iron bridge carrying the Grantham line
from Nottingham and manufactured in Lincoln by Thomas Clayton and
Shuttleworth in l85O, so says the builder’s plate. Recently
restored, this makes a fine sight as you pass underneath, but its
originality has been affected by a certain amount of concrete
infilling, presumably to give added strength but this does not
detract from its appearance. However, at 149 years old it is a fine
advertisement to the skill of its builders and has a great local
interest. It is also of interest because of the substantial viaducts
curving from it to the east, one leg travelling to Grantham via
Radcliffe on Trent, the other curving to the south of Nottingham and
at some time forming a turning triangle.
We are in to urban
Nottingham now, apart from a brief interlude past Holmepierre Point
and after turning off the River between the Nottingham Forest and
Notts County grounds at Meadow Lane Lock we pass under the
Nottingham-Lincoln line adjacent to Nottingham station before
turning through a tight right angle to pass under the former Great
Central viaduct, which still exists and leads to the former
Nottingham Victoria station, alas no more, Amazingly, this 55-mile
journey has taken something like 14 hours and has provided us with
some interesting sights, not just of interest to railway
enthusiasts, but to people of all interests, from archaeologists to
Ambling along at 4 mph (or something like 6.89
kmph as we are now told in the wonderful world of the EC, as the
speed limits on the River now tell us) gives one a different view of
the world and lets us look at what we miss when we go by train or
Incidentally, a marvellous place to see the ECML diversions,
when we get them, is from the Fossdyke between Woodcocks and
Saxilby. The "Isabella" is available for hire on these occasions!
Railway Photography in Winter
by Antony Brown
It’s that time of year again when railway photographers will
have either packed their gear away in hibernation until British
Summertime comes around again, or will have dusted off the tripod,
located the cable shutter release, donned the thermals and ventured
intrepidly off to sample the delights that winter photography can
bring. Personally I take the latter course of action and rarely do I
regret it for, although it can be hard work, railway photography in
the winter months has much to commend it, and is often rewarding.
one is lucky enough to chance on a sunny day I believe (contrary to
what some photographers claim) that the winter sunlight has an extra
special quality that is rarely evident in the summer months, and
because the sun is often low in the sky those wonderful golden shots
are possible when the light illuminates the side of a loco or train
(indeed in high summer landscape photographers usually shoot early
in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the flatness
induced by the harsh, direct, midday sun) It is an interesting
juxtaposition that a sharp cold winters day can produce beautifully
warm tones that can make the landscape seem to glow,
photographers a tripod may be considered an unnecessary encumbrance,
however with limited daylight hours it becomes an essential piece of
equipment if one is to extract full value from a winter day's
photography. lncidentally, when buying a tripod go for one with a
quick release platform that can he permanently attached to the
base of the
camera. There is nothing worse than dashing off a railtour or a
rare, unexpected, drag and having to fumble around screwing the
camera onto a tripod platform under pressure in cold, dark
conditions; you will more than likely miss the shot altogether or
end up with a cross threaded tripod bush in your camera baseplate or
One advantage of shooting after dark is that there is no
need to travel far to get interesting pictures, as even the most
mundane of units can look good when illuminated by the local station
lighting. I always find it useful to bracket exposures quite
liberally when shooting at night. Experimentation is the key, and
try to write down the details of each exposure. A few cautionary
words however, while I personally have had no interference from
station staff, I have read of photographers being realised
permission to use tripods, or even take pictures at certain
stations, so be wary.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
on a Branch Line to Nowhere
Mike Carter retraces a rail route of his
in search of the magnificence and
he remembers as an awestruck lad.
from The Observer -
Sunday June 25, 2000
The first thing
I did on arrival at Birmingham's New Street station was pay a visit
to W.H. Smith`s for a pocket book containing locomotive numbers.
couldn't find one. "Excuse me, do you still sell those little train
spotting books?" I asked the assistant.
"I don't think we sell that
type of thing any more," she said, looking at this 35-year-old man
as if I'd just asked for the latest copy of Nuns In Rubber. "I'll
ask my manager."
"DAVE, DO WE HAVE ANY OF THOSE TRAINSPOTTING BOOKS
LEFT?" she shouted from one end of the shop to the other. The bustle
stopped and _dozens of pairs of eyes bored into me with a mixture of
vilification and pity. I looked around for my friend, Tom, who had
driven me to the station. He had dropped behind a counter and become
engrossed in a magazine for the concrete industry. As a boy, I had
been a trainspotter. Now that innocent noun has carved a place for
itself as a pejorative and lay somewhere between paedophile and
rapist in the nation's collective conscience. I left the shop
quickly. Without my book!
A quarter of a century earlier, the
station was the focal point of my troubled life. Back then, in the
space of 12 months, cancer hollowed out my beloved grandmother, my
grandfather died, and my uncle James, who'd had such an influence on
me, suffered a fatal stroke. On the way back from James's funeral,
father announced he was leaving my mother. Shortly afterwards, my
mother was diagnosed with cancer. Not a particularly good time. I
was fat, lonely and miserable, and witnessing an ordered life
crumble into chaos and dust.
Every Saturday I would buy a platform
ticket and just sit, watching. I fell in love - with the noise, the
diesel fumes, the possibility of travel, of getting away, putting
distance between myself and a life that had become unfamiliar and
full of conflict. Somebody else's life. Somebody else's script.
saved my pocket money and progressed from platform tickets to,
tickets- to travel. I would pitch up at the ticket office at New
Street, empty my pockets and ask how far my money would take me.
Often, it was just to Wolverhampton or Stafford, but sometimes I'd
get as far as Crewe or Doncaster, with their bustling locomotive
works and engine sheds - spotting paradises.
In the summer, I’d
purchase a Railrover ticket, which gave me unlimited travel for a
week. Sometimes I'd be gone for two or three days at a time. I could
nearly always end the evening on a train travelling overnight and
get some sleep but; on more than one occasion, I had to get my head
down in the warm embrace of a waiting room. I had become obsessed.
My parents worried, but they had other things to occupy them. It
felt good to get away. To be sitting on a train. Going somewhere,
anywhere, as long as it wasn‘t home, where people shouted and cried
and said wild, dangerous things.
One summer's weekend in 1975, aged
11, I undertook a trainspotter's pilgrimage. I headed north to
Crewe, home of Crewe Works, one of the largest locomotive works in
the world, occupying 365 acres. From Crewe, across the Pennines to
Doncaster, to the fabled 'Donny' Works, where generations of train
builders had turned out legendary engines. From Doncaster to
Darlington, and then on to Shildon, the location then of one of
Europe's biggest wagon-building plants but, more importantly, the
venue for The Railway Cavalcade, a celebration of 150 years of
railways. Shildon was not chosen lightly for the honour of hosting
this festival. It was outside the Mason's Arms pub in the town that
the first public passenger train departed in T825 for Stockton on
the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
On that Sunday, I sat and
watched a procession of trains go by: Stephenson's Rocket, the
Flying Scotsman, Mallard, Great Western Castles and Southern Region
Bullied Pacifics; a pantheon of steam locomotives. Also on display
were contemporary British-built locos, still setting the standard
the world over, It was a sublime day, embracing the past, and
looking optimistically to the fu.
During the following 25 years, my
love of trains never diminished, although when I discovered beer and
girls the attraction of sitting on a freezing platform lost its
allure. Now, curious to see what had happened in the time I'd been
away, I under took that same journey. From Birmingham, I headed
north on a Virgin train, through the tunnel that leads away from New
Street. It felt good to be travelling on a train again, not
commuting or on business, but just for the sake of it. Ahead was a
cartoon mouse hole of bright light, and the infinite possibilities
that travel brings.
I found the
guard and asked him what working on the modem railways was like. I
told him I was writing a piece for The Observer. He stiffened, and
told me that he had signed a contract forbidding him from talking to
the press. I'd be arrested if Virgin found out what I was doing. He
scuttled off, leaving me feeling a little seditious.
The approach to
Crewe used to be memorable for spotters. The four tracks fanned out
into a vast marshalling yard. There was Crewe Diesel Depot, where
you were guaranteed to see dozens and dozens of locomotives.
raining when I got to Crewe this time. The marshalling yard had
shrunk considerably and in it were columns of vandalised and
neglected coaches. At the diesel depot, a dozen locos stood idle.
Half of them had broken windscreens or had their-side panels ripped
off to reveal missing engines - emasculated giants. It was a
depressing sight. I stood on the platform in a flurry of wind and
water, the overhead cables fizzing and humming. This trip had seemed
a good idea at the time, but I was beginning to have regrets. When I
used to come to Crewe, I felt part of it. Now, I felt like an
outsider. The trains looked like Portakabins on wheels. Each train
carried a different livery; a private affair, The staff, in their
Virgin Puffa jackets, looked like they'd be more at home serving
fries and Whoppers.
The next day I headed for the site of the old
British Rail Crewe Works. In 1837 the first station was opened by
,the Grand Junction Railway Company, but it was not until 1843, when
the GJRC decided to site its workshops at Crewe, that the town was
born. At its height, the works employed 30,000 people and made some
of the finest trains the world has seen. The ubiquitous HST’s that
ply their trade all over the country were made at Crewe. During the
last 20 years, the works has been run down and what little remained
was sold to the private sector. Adtranz, the company which took
over, employs around 1,000 people, largely engaged in collision
repair or refurbishment. No locomotives are made.
Part of the old
works is occupied by a huge Safeway store. In the car park there is
a steam tank engine, painted in the supermarkets corporate colours
and surrounded by rubber matting for children to play on.
hidden behind Safeway is the Railway Age, a small heritage centre to
celebrate 150 years of the railways in Crewe. It would be easy to
miss. On one of the sidings is the prototype of the Advanced
Passenger Train. During the late Eighties, the APT tilting train was
developed at Crewe, at enormous cost to the taxpayer, to achieve
greater speeds on the twisting line to Glasgow. Early trials were
successful, but there were problems with the tilting mechanism and
it was abandoned by a government with no vested interest in the
future of train building. In 2002, Richard Branson's new Pendolino
tilting trains will enter service on the West Coast Main Line and
run past the rusting museum piece at the Heritage Centre. Virgin has
invested £592 million in these trains. The tilting mechanisms are
being built by Fiat in Italy, the bogies in Switzerland, and they
are being assembled in the old Metro Cammell Works in Birmingham by
Alstom, a French company.
I left Crewe heading for Doncaster in a
box painted yellow with green sploshes. The seats were made of thin
foam and all passengers faced the same way. Just like when you go
back to your old school and find the seats and desks ludicrously
small, so it is with these local trains. The interior was finished
in a dull, utilitarian grey and, with sliding electric doors and no
openable windows; the train was like a hermetically sealed tube. It
was so quiet and smooth that even the clickety-clack of the wheels
on the tracks was annulled.
While changing trains at Sheffield, I
talked to one of the men in the uniform of Midland Mainline. He used
to work at the vast Tinsley marshalling yard, just outside the Steel
City. Now he stands on the station all day "meeting and greeting,
smiling at customers and being as helpful as possible". "I am known
as a customer services supervisor," he continued, forcing a grin. "I
can't even go for a piss without some 23-year-old graduate manager
asking me where I've been."
Another customer services operative told
me that, when trains ran late, it can quickly descend into chaos.
"The different companies' timetables do not connect with each other
like they used to," he said. "It just becomes a free- for-all, and
we are here to apologise for it all."
At Doncaster, I saw my first
trainspotters. I approached, telling them what I was up to. They
recoiled, becoming defensive The media had been brutal towards
"railway enthusiasts", they said, correcting my terminology, and
they had no desire to provide further ammunition.
One of my abiding
memories of spotting was sitting at Doncaster Station, listening for
the shrill sound of the twin Napier engines of a Deltic. Silently,
more than 100 tons of metal would creep into view and then erupt
furiously in' a maelstrom of full-open throttles and crashing
coaches, the entire station shaking to its foundations. Seconds
later, all that was left was the wind and a red taillight,
disappearing bewitchingly into the night. It was magnificent.
that night I paid a visit to Doncaster Works. Up until the
mid-Eighties, more than 5,000 men were employed there. The last
locomotive to be built there, a Class 58, rolled off the production
line in 1987. Now there are around 300 men employed there, based in
a tiny part of the old site, mostly on contracts to refurbish wagon
wheels and respray coaches.
I stood outside the gates that had
teemed with life on my last visit. Opposite was the plant public
house, now boarded up. I spoke to one of the security guards,
patrolling the desolate site.
"It's such a bloody waste," he said.
"I started here as a crane operator in 1985. There were more than
5,000 here then. I was asked; "How old are you?" I told him I was
26. He replied: "You'll still be working here when you’re 65." Two
years later, the plant was effectively closed down and I‘ve been
working as a security guard ever since. I earn £3.60 an hour,
working a 75-hour week to survive'
That night, in my B&B, I read an
article about the 270 Class 66 locomotives that have been ordered,
to be operated on
British freight workings, by English, Welsh
& Scottish Railways, now the sole mover of freight in
Britain. Freightliner excepted. The supplier of this
massive order is - General Motors of Ontario. I also read
about the fleet of 30 new Class 67 locomotives. The
supplier? - Alstom at Valencia, Spain, as sub- contractors
for General Motors. It seemed the nation that invented the
train was now importing them by the depot load. From
Doncaster to York, the home of The National Railway
Museum, and until recently, the site of York Railway
Works, closed down in 1995. Finally on to Darlington,
where I waited for the train to Shildon, the place where
the railways began and my journey would end. I waited.
And waited. And waited.
After 30 minutes, a station official appeared in an ankle-length
greatcoat and military cap (Robin Skinner? -
Ed). The train had failed. It wasn't coming. No train was
coming. One of the features of train operators having to
lease rolling stock is that when they break down there is
no replacement. It does not make economic sense.
And so it was that I turned up in Shildon, the birthplace
of trains, in a minicab. It was howling a gale and the sky
was firing a horizontal salvo of frozen bullets. The last
time I was in Shildon, at the great Cavalcade, the works
employed 3,000 people. The interim history carried a
depressingly familiar leitmotif.
In 1982, BREL, announced that it intended to close the
150-year-old works, then still one of the most profitable
in the country.
Despite petitions from Sedgefield Borough Council,
the closure went ahead. Unemployment in the town shot
up to nearly 50 per cent, and 355 people were chasing
every job vacancy in the area. Businesses folded, shops
closed and the value of property plummeted. An entire
generation moved away to seek work and never returned.
Schools closed, crime soared and the social and health
implications of such disastrous levels of unemployment
began to bite savagely. Today Shildon, where it is
possible to buy a house for £6,000, is showing signs of a
But if you popped into The Mason's Arms and asked
the locals about The Closure, you would still generate
emotions of bitter and visceral intensity. In the
unrelenting rain, I went to stand at the spot where I
watched the trains go by all those years ago. The sidings
had been ripped up, and only weeds flourished. I had seen
enough and was regretting coming back. I wanted to go
At Doncaster, waiting for the train to London, I saw a
lad taking numbers and photographs at the end of the
platform. I approached him and said hello, difficult
enough when you are 35, grubby from four days of
travelling, and the recipient of your attentions is a
schoolboy. His name was Michael, he was 14, and he
came from Liverpool.
I asked him why he went trainspotting. He replied that
he liked the power, the speed and the noise. He asked me
if I liked writing. I couldn‘t answer him. I asked him about
his photography. He talked about the dusting of snow on
the Pennines that morning, and how marvellously the
winter sun reflected off it. A dusting. Reflecting winter sun. He
We talked about trains. Michael told me he loved the
old Class 47s, but hates the new Class 66s. "They're so
boring," he said. I told him how I used to love the old
Class 40s, and hated the then new 47s. "They were so
characterless," I said. We agreed to differ.
After a while, I told Michael how my spotting began
when things at home had started to go wrong. He told me
he had started spotting three years previously, just about
the time his parents had split up.
My train pulled in and I climbed on board. I stood at
the door to wave him off I was tired and jaded and
unshaven. His nascent eyes were full of the future;
sparkling and beaming. He wished me luck. I said 'Good
luck to you, too.'
PENNINE QUIZ No. 103
1 On what date was Horwich Parkway station
2 Between which two stations is Guildford Viaduct?
3 On which station would you find a buffet called
“Jack the Treacle Eater?
4 Which station on the London Underground system
has the most escalators?
5 In which year was the line from Exeter St. David‘s
to Exeter Queen Street opened?
6 Which line is marketed as the ‘Cuckoo Line'?
7 What was Sir Herbert Walkers middle name?
8 What was the former name of I.O.W. locomotive
9 Who succeeded David Mitchell as Minister of
State for Transport?
10 Which depot symbol was depicted by a hammer and anvil?
11 What was the number of the first locomotive
through Toton's new paint shop?
12 Where exactly is The Bickington Steam Railway?
13 Between which two stations did 'The Tyne Trader'
14 The Docklands Light Railway was officially
opened by HM Queen on what date?
15 Which unit ran on the first Hull Trains service out
of Hull on 23d October 2000?
16 Which pre-grouping railway had the initials
DN & S.R.?
17. What was the length of Weedley tunnel?
18 Which stations are at either end of the
19 Which current London Underground station was
originally to have been called Woodstock?
20 No. 76114 was the last steam locomotive built at
21 Which locomotive was named ‘Audrey Newton'
for one day only?
22 What was the name of Director' class locomotive
Terry Waite named which unit on 8th March
What was the value of Railtrack shares at 31st
'Red dwarfs sierra' is an anagram of which LNER
What is St. Anne's No.3 tunnel also known as?
From which station did the 'Fast Belfast depart to
On what date did John Prescott open the EWS
Customer Delivery Service Centre at Doncaster?
In the absolute block signalling system what does
the code 5-5~5 represent?
Which was the first Class 153 to be painted in
First North Western livery by Wabtec?
Where is the only remaining signal box on the Redmire branch?
Which LNER. class A2 was named after the
1944 "Oaks" winner?
Which two "Jubilees" had the same names as
winners of the "2000 guineas"?
Which named train left Euston at 11.50 am and
arrived at Manchester London Road at 3,20 pm?
Between which two stations is Bo-Peep tunnel?
At precisely what time was a one minute‘s silence
observed at GNER main line stations on October
How many tunnels are there between Dawlish and
What is the gauge of the Amberley Chalk Pits
Which is the highest station on the London
Underground network at 490 feet above sea level?
What was the cost of the Passenger Timetable
covering the period 80' May 1978 to May 13th
Where in 1920 were two aspect colour signals first
In which year was the new Exeter signalling
What was the former name of Leicester North
station on the Great Central Railway?
The Marylebone Great Central Hotel used as
headquarters of the BRB from 1948 was reinstated
in 1992 as a hotel under what name?
What was the former name of the Mid Norfolk
In which year was the fire at Vic Berry‘s Western
Boulevard site at Leicester?
Which class 47 locomotive was named' WA.
Camwell' on one side only for one day only?
On what date did regular services commence on
the Robin Hood line between Nottingham and
What is the name of North Norfolk's Railway
Class 37 D6732?
Which station doubled as Buggleskelly in the
1937 film 'Oh Mr. Porter'?
PENNINE QUIZ No. 102
l . Tuxford
2. 2 feet
3. High Peak Junction
4. Pitsford and Brampton
7, Robin Hood Line
12, Midland Main Line on the Northern approach to
Sharnbrook Summit, south of Wellingborough
13. Sykes Junction
14. Langwith Whaly Thorns
15. East Holmes
17. Kings Sutton
18. Wrawby Junction
19. Peterborough Spital
20, High Dyke Junction
21. Ais Gill
22, Church Lane Crossing
23. Market Rasen
24. Hopton Incline
25. Ivanhoe Line
Joint lst John Dewing and Ken King
3rd Ian Shenton
The cheques will be sent shortly in plain brown
Oct 03 60026 66039 on Oil Trains
Oct 05 60013 60026 60049 on Oil Trains
Oct 06 60036 60039 on Oil Trains
Oct 24 60005 on Oil. 56051 Light Engine
Oct 30 Lincoln was at a standstill following storm
damage, except for an empty Central Trains 153 moving
on the centre road at the station and over the High Street
Three more 153’s, 2 Central Trains 158’s
and a Northern Spirit 142 were stabled in the platforms.
Nov 15 60018 60045 60049 on Oil Trains
Nov 16 60018 60042 on Oil Trains
Nov 17 60005 60042 60087 on Oil Trains
Nov 23 60049 60070 60090 on Oil Trains
Nov 24 60077 60091 on Oil Trains
Noted at Immingham on Nov 04 were 37334 37344
37383 56019 56040 56047 56055 56069 56079 56081
56084 56125 and 60005
On Oct 04 56087 + 56041 were noted on a freight
working at Stow Park.
60093 and 66203 were working freights at Eaton Lane
Crossing on Oct 12,
56095 and 56096 were on freight duties on Oct 14 at
On Nov 06 91015 and 91029 were noted running at
reduced speed on northbound GNER expresses and
60002 on cargowaggons.
The Gainsborough - Barnetby line has recently been used
as a diversionary route and the following have been noted:
Nov 10 66007 on Freight
Nov 11 60018 and 66 017 on Steel and 60045 on Oil.
The light engine movement before the Saturday passenger
service on the Gainsborough - Barnetby line no longer
seems to run - it was last noted on Jul 22 (56102).
On 02 Dec the following were noted in the Retford area
on the GNER Saturday Emergency Timetable.
91002 14.05 Darlington/Kings Cross
91004 13,00 Kings Cross/Darlington
91012 13.05 Darlington/Kings Cross
91013 12.00 Kings Cross/Darlington
Noted at Peterborough on 10 Oct were 08516 08538
58021 58031 56081 and 56113
On 14 Oct Tyne Yard was host to 66098 66101 66102
66203 67012 and 67022 whilst 47757 was acting as Newcastle
On 21 Oct 37219/37370 was on a Sandite train through
York station and 4472 “Flying Scotsman” passed through
on a charter.
47790 was also noted on the Lincoln/Edinburgh “Railtourer”
On 23 Sept 66104 90005 90031 90037 and 92042 were
noted at Warrington BQ whilst Saltley was host to 66185
and 66238. on the same day 56018 58046 60051 66037
66195 were at Leicester.
Noted at Crewe on 24 Sept were:
47845 08,45 Birmingham NS/Preston
47725 08.00 Euston/Liverpool (Fwd from Crewe)
47726 09.15 Preston/Euston (to Crewe)
87033 09. 15 Preston/Euston (Fwd from Crewe)
47 575 10.52 Birmingham NS/Liverpool
47733 14.42 Liverpool/Euston (to Crewe)
87015 14.42 Liverpool/Euston (Fwd from Crewe)
On Saturday 14 Oct passengers on the Manchester/Chester route could sample three generations of DMU’s.
The three diagrams were in the hands of?
12.24 ManPicc/Chester Coradia 175105 (Very Posh)
13.24 ManPicc/Chester Strathclyde 101695 (V Old)
14.24 ManPicc/Chester Pacer 142023 (VeryUncomfortable)
Among the chaos at Manchester Piccadilly station on 28
Oct after the Hatfield derailment and consequent speed
restrictions, all services were “up the spout", especially
Virgin XC services,
For 5 glorious minutes at 13.40 the
station was host to just;
101677/685 Platform 1
101689 Platform 2
101654 Platform 3
“Reliable 1950’s traction amongst the chaos”
On Saturday 02 Dec the MetCamm 101’s were still
hanging on. With more Class 175’s being accepted into
traffic the rumour machine is in full swing regarding the
retirement date for these venerable 40 year old stalwarts.
The end of this year is a possibility but in the meantime
they are still the booked traction on the Manchester/
Marple/Hope Valley/Sheffield services. Noted on this day
101663 (51201/4347/1412) 10.16 Sheffield/ManPicc
101632 (53170/3253) Cal Livery 09.43 ManPicc/Sheff
101676 (51205/1803) 10.43 M2mPi¢c/Sheffield
101653 (53228/1426/4358) 11.34 Marple/ManPicc
101695 (51226/1499) Strathclyde 11.54 Marple/ManPicc
Chaos still ensued on Virgin services, typically Euston/
Manchester trains taking over 4 hours to complete the
journey. 87003/016 and 90002 were noted on these “pre -
On 10 Oct 59201 59205 and 73128 were noted at Hither
Green with Dollands Moor being host to 37170 37376
665013 66019 66077 66145 66227 92007 92009 92016
92017 92027 92033 and 92043
Noted at Collingham on Oct 01 was steam loco 35028
“Clan Line” on the “Merchant of Lincoln” special with
47776 attached at the rear.
The following locos were on view at the Barrow Hill
Open Day on Sunday 08 Oct-
03066 03094 03170* 07001* 07013 08507 08668 12082*
20056 20094 20096 20135 D8000* 20904* 20906*
25067 26011 D5300 31105 31107 31524 33002 D6508
33023* 33029 33035 33053 33057 37111 37194* 376l0*
45060 45105 50002 50023 50050 D1023* D9009 56098*
66250 E3003 82008 E3035 84001 85101.
Locos marked * were being used on brake van rides.
Pathfinder Tours “Calder Revolver” railtour on 23 Sept
had a good selection for haulage bashers, namely:
66008 Deepcar/Tinsley Yard
60097 Tinsley Yard/Bradford Interchange
56120 Bradford/Manchester Vic/Preston
92032 Preston/Birmingham New St.
On 21 Oct the “Railtourer” Excursion from Skegness to Edinburgh was
hauled by 47761 outward and 47790 (a Scottish “Bess” engine) return.
28 Oct saw the HRT “The Humber Docker" railtour from London to Hull
KGV Dock, Saltend and Monk Bretton. Locos used on the tour were
67017 67026 47635 and 66159, the tour did not call at York due to
late running and was 2 hours late at Peterborough. On 02 Dec the
Pathfinders “Grassington Excursion" was hauled by 56058/56127 from
Cardiff to Rylestone and return whilst the Nenta Tours Norwich to
York excursion was in the hands of 67006. The Severn Valley Railway
Gala on 30 Sept was host to 31108 37906 50007 56006 57012 D431D449
D821 D1013 D1023 D1524 D8000_ Steam Locos 7714 48773 and 80079 with
DMU’s 52064 56208. (51935/51941/59250 ran an evening Fish and Chip
Special). At the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Gala on 08 Oct working
locos were 828 34101 44767 60007 60532 62005 65894 75029 80135 and
No. 29. Furness Rly No. 20 was on the Levisham/Pickering shuttle.
The KWVR Steam Enthusiasts Weekend on 21 Oct was host to No. 85
48431 51218 (on freight) 78022 plus diesels 20189 D803l and Railbus
WHAT THE PAPERS SAY
Trains hit by rise in thefts
by Ray Massey - Daily Mail - 09 Nov 2000
getting less reliable and more dangerous, industry watchdogs
Passengers are also facing a steep rise in
crime, particularly robberies and sex attacks. The gloomy picture
was painted in separate reports from the Strategic Rail Authority
and Railtrack's own safety arm.
The crime report showed that 1,084
people were robbed on the railways in the year to September,
compared with 744 for the previous 12 months. Some 687 passengers
were physically assaulted and 350 sexually assaulted.
A major new
problem was a wave of incidents where youths snatched mobile phones,
mostly from passengers on commuter lines in London and the South
East. Overall robbery and violence offences rose from 1,754
incidents to 2,121.
The report says the increase in sexual offences
may be due to changes in the way they are reported, but admits:
"Train and station operators must continue working with the British
Transport Police to reduce these attacks." The number of passengers
seriously hurt as they tried to get on or off also increased
dramatically, possibly due to overcrowding, The figure reached 22,
compared to 13 the previous year and 1 l in 1998-99.
In the first
half of this year 44 people died in accidents, up from 36 in 1999,
Of` those, 29 were hit by trains and eight were electrocuted while
trespassing_ Four died at level crossings, one was killed leaning
from a platform and two fell or jumped from bridges.
period covered by the report, one man has died after falling as he
boarded a train, and another was killed alter falling from a
platform. Four people were also killed in the Hatfield crash last
The SRA's punctuality report showed that only three of the 36
franchised lines - Great Western, Gatwick Express and Cardiff
Railway - managed an improvement in timekeeping in the three months
to mid-October, And that was before the major programme of track
repairs - triggered by the Hatfield crash - threw services into
chaos, Cardiff Railway was up 4 per cent, Gatwick Express up 2 per
cent and Great Western up 1 per cent.
At the foot of the table, GNER
showed an 11 per cent drop in punctuality, followed by North Western
Trains and Cross Country, down 9 per cent, and Anglia Inter City,
West Coast Trains and Northern Spirit, down 8 per cent. Overall
performance was worse than in the previous year, Last night the Rail
Passengers' Council said the two reports made "grim reading".
National director Anthony Smith said: "There needs to be more
bobbies on the beat around stations, more visible staff, CCTV on
trains and more investment in security to cut crime and make
passengers feel more secure." On poor punctuality, he said "It is
getting worse, and they can't blame leaves on the line. We need a
One of the few signs of progress came with a
reduction in the number of collisions and derailments, and of
instances of trains passing signals at danger, But Railtrack's
safety and standards directorate said it accepted those improvements
were "cold comfort" in the wake of the Hatfield crash.
statistics for SPADS (signals passed at danger) are particularly
significant as they have been the centre of attention ever since the
October 1999 Paddington crash, caused by a train passing a red
light_ Serious SPAD's were 35 per cent, lower than the average for
the last four years, and the number of less serious SPAD's fell for
the first time since records began.
Rail regulator Tom Winsor told
the Paddington crash inquiry yesterday that Railtrack's contract had
been drawn up “in a hurry and imperfectly" in 1995. He said it had
also been done "on the basis of imperfect information" and the
company had been given little incentive to improve the network.
Accidents at Bristol and Northampton
Locowatch - November 2000
Delays to passengers increase as repair work for Northampton &
Bristol will take 14 days.
travelling in the Bristol and Northampton areas, already suffering
delays through emergency speed restrictions, are destined for more
chaos as repair work from yesterclay's derailments will take two
weeks. Work on reopening the railway through Northampton Station is
taking place, after a Freightliner train to Garston Dock in
Liverpool derailed damaging four miles of track.
But Railtrack says
it will be two weeks at least, before rail services return to
normal. Silverlink are currently operating bus shuttles to Milton
Keynes and Rugby, from where passenger can catch West Coast services
The wagons from the Freightliner service which derailed
were removed from the site by 8,30 pm yesterday evening.
spokeswoman told LocoWatch this morning that we (Railtrack) "are
hoping to have one of the southbound lines open between 6.30 am and
8.30 pm tomorrow, to allow Silverlink to run a reduced service." The
lines will then close again until 6.30 am on Monday morning to allow
permanent way staff to have total possession of the line and repair
the track. A limited service will then operate between the same
times all next week, with a final all-weekend position taking place
between 8,30 pm on Friday 8th December until 6.30 am on Monday 11th
Although the official cause of the accident is not yet
known, initial indications suggest that the track and ballast had
become saturated with the recent flooding, causing uneven rail
The derailment of an EWS coal service to Avonmouth in the
Bristol area is likely to cause fewer problems to passengers. The
line is still blocked this morning as engineers try to recover the
locomotive, Class 60 No. 60088. The wagons on the train were
re-railed and removed yesterday evening. Provisional estimates are
that the line will 'reopen early tomorrow (Friday) morning. Findings
of the initial investigations suggest that the driver of the MGR
service may have passed a RED signal. The protecting catch points
then brought the train to a stand by detailing the locomotive, as
they should. Railtrack South West has told LocoWatch that "single
line working was in place further along the route and there is a
possibility that the signalling system may have been affected by
this." The investigation continues."
Steel Blue - Welcome Corus Silver Locotrack - November
Steel no longer being in existence, since the name change to Corus,
the two British Steel liveried Class 60 locomotives (Nos. 60006 and
60033) have looked rather out of place.
The livery was unveiled and
the locomotives named “Scunthorpe Ironmaster" (60006) and "Tees
Steel Express" (60033) in a special ceremony held with the
Scunthorpe Steel Complex several years ago. Since then the
locomotives have roamed across the country, from the North East to
Wales, working a wide variety of services, not just metals traffic.
The change of name to Corus brought with it the opportunity to
change the livery and give the two locomotives a new, fresher look.
After a special repainting job was carried out on 60033 at the Toton
TMD paint shop, the first locomotive in the colour scheme was
unveiled to the visiting press at the Nottinghamshire depot on
Friday 24th November 2000.
Only time will tell, as to how the livery
stands up to the everyday operations on the railway, but 60033 earns
itself a place in the record books as being the first UK locomotive
to display a Internet address with in the livery! The website for
the Corus Group is written underneath the Corus logo on the cab
60006 still remains in the British Steel blue livery,
although the locomotive should enter Toton paint shops shortly to
appear in the new silver livery. Congratulations to EWS for not
repainting them into maroon and gold!
Wisconsin Central To Sell EWS
as it Fights Ed's Comeback?
by Eddie Bellass - Locotrack Dec 3 2000
Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation seems to be battling on
two fronts as it tries to dispose of its non- USA rail companies
English, Welsh & Scottish Railways and Tranz Rail Holdings Limited,
New Zealand, and the possibility of the company even selling the
Wisconsin Central RR itself.
Former Chief Executive Ed Burkhardt,
deposed in a sudden coup in August 1999 but still a major
stockholder, appears to be making a comeback attempt. His attempts
to rally support and possibly regain some control of WCTC before
these major disposals take place prompted the WCTC board to issue
the following statement on 29th November, through PR Newswire.
"Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation today announced it has
mailed a letter to its stockholders urging them to support the
Company in its program to realize maximum stockholder value and
reject the hostile consent solicitation by Edward A. Burkhardt and
his group of dissidents.
In the letter, the Company states that its
financial advisors have contacted major US railways and other
potential purchasers with respect to the sale of its North American
operations. The Company also notes that its financial advisors are
actively pursuing the disposition of the Company' 23.7% interest .in
Tranz Rail Holdings Limited and its 42% shareholding in English
Welsh & Scottish Railway Limited.
With respect to our North American
operations, through Goldman Sachs, we have contacted major US.
railways and other potential purchasers. We are meeting with and
providing information to interested parties and if we are able to
obtain fair value, we will promptly recommend a transaction for
interest in Tranz Rail Holdings Limited is being presented to
potential purchasers in the New Zealand market by Deutsche Bank AG,
which we engaged as agent for the sale of this asset. If we can
obtain a fair value for our shares, we will promptly sell our
interest in Tranz Rail. In the meantime, we strongly support Tranz
Rail management's program aimed at disposing of its non-core
With respect to our 42% shareholding in English Welsh &
Scottish Railway Limited ("EWS"), Goldman Sachs, which we engaged as
agent for the sale of our interest, has created an offering
memorandum for the sale and is presenting it to potential
purchasers. If we can obtain a fair value for our shares, we will
promptly sell our interest in EWS.
Recently, a dissident group
calling itself the "Wisconsin Central Shareholders Committee to
Maximize Value" distributed documentation proposing the removal of
all the members of your Board. “IN OUR OPINION, ANY CHANGE IN YOUR
BOARD OR MANAGEMENT AT THIS TIME WOULD SERIOUSLY INTERRUPT OUR
ONGOING STRATEGIES AND WOULD DELAY OR PRECLUDE TRANSACTIONS OF
POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT VALUE TO STOCKHOLDERS........... "
statement concludes by listing a series of allegations of
mismanagement made by the Burkhardt-led hostile, dissident group.
WCTC 's response claims that that most of this took place while Ed
Burkhardt was still in charge as chairman, president and chief
executive officer of the company. and were approved by him. It urges
stockholders to support the current Board and reject the Burkhardt
bid to return.
This saga looks set to continue over the next few
Heavy Haul dedicates locomotive to company and traffic
- Dec 03 2000
For the first
time on the privatised railway a specific loco, identified by number
has been allocated to one customer's flow.
The mould of general use
locos was broken by Freightliner on November 29th, when the first of
the brand new Freightliner Heavy Haul Class 66/6s, No. 66601 was
dedicated to the Blue Circle Industries traffic from Earles (near
Hope in the Peak District) to discharge sites at Weaste, near
Manchester and Dewsbury.
The event was marked by the naming of No.
66601 “The Hope Valley" in a ceremony at the BCI Dewsbury terminal
on Wednesday November 29th. The cast plate with the 'o' of Hope
finished in Blue Circle blue, was unveiled by Gareth Ward, works
manager at the Hope base. Freightliner, with the aid of three
drivers now based at Hope, Glen Book, Gary Morse and Andy Croft and
travelling engineering team Turners, plan to keep No. 66601 on the
BCI traffic unless the loco is required for major programmed
maintenance or requires unscheduled attention following failure, in
which case another of the Heavy Haul locos will deputise.
the Freightliner/BCI contract covers the operation of 11 trains each
week, seven to Weaste and four to Dewsbury. However, one of the
strengths of this dedicated operation is flexibility, if BCI wish to
amend the weekly schedule providing resources permit this will be
done. Services from Hope are formed of PCA wagons in BCI livery. For
the Dewsbury flow they operate in block consists of 36 wagons which
are split on arrival. They are then unloaded side by side, directly
into silos for road shipment to local customers.
Due to Dave
Bladen’s change in job responsibilities and ensuing pressure of work
this article is held over until the next issue. .
No 11 RAIL
published by EMAP Active -;§ Ltd and retails at £2.30 per issue.
Subscriptions are currently £57.20 for 26 issues per year, as Rail
is published every two weeks, Rail is currently at issue no 397.
becoming fortnightly Rail took a bold step never taken before as all
the other established periodicals were monthly, and indeed some at
different periods in their history had been every two months.
has yet decided to follow Rail and that I believe is a toss up
between the attitude of the publisher and the space on the market.
At the time it was a bold move but it appears to have paid off, only
time will tell.
At 72 pages it is without doubt a Modern Image
publication looking purely at Today’s railway news. Generally
divided into two parts.
Regulars and Features. Regulars covers news aimed at today’s railway
enthusiast and indeed today’s railway professional. Covering-
Comment - Editor Nigel Harris commenting on Today’s railway to the
slogan “Putting Britain’s Railway First”. Network News sixteen pages
of bang up to date news. Infrastructure News two pages of news on re- engineering,
signalling, buildings and other railway structures. This section, I
believe, will expand post Hatfield.
Regional news covers what you
would think are the areas of the different Railtrack Zones except
there is one for purely London and the fact that they have Shireoaks
in the Midland Zone when it is in the London North East Zone!
Christian Woolmar the former Independent transport correspondent.
This column is headed by the slogan “No nonsense informal opinion
about the Railway- from policy to platform” .Open Access” Four
excellent pages of
letters in the middle of the magazine not tucked away at the end.
Industry Insider is one page Eight pages of Fleet News compiled by
Pip Dunn gives up to date coverage of the stock situation. Inter
City Crossword covers half a page and appears to be sponsored by the
Inter City TOC’s. Heritage News is two pages of bang up to date
news. Arrivals and /Departures looks at people and appointments on
the railway. (My one and only appearance in Rail was when I left
Central trains in 1997 to work for GNER).
This is followed by eight
pages of adverts of which four are professional recruitment ads for
the railway industry. And finally Stop and Examine the back page
which looks (or laughs) at the general media portrayal of the
railway and other ditties like weed watch.
There are also four
excellent feature articles. In the current edition "Transport is the
spine of the country" an interview with Lord Macdonald Transport
minister.” Ribblehead - The rebirth of a remote station" (A good
community spirit article. I always find this sort of thing works
very well at some stations and not at others. It depends on who you
get staff wise and the attitude of the local community. When I
worked In Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire on The Robin Hood Line it
ranged from excellent to bloody awful. Also there’s “‘Weaver to
Wavertree Resignalling" and Teesside Class 56’s at work.
If I was writing this column ten years ago I would have said that
Rail was an out and out Gricers Magazine. Now ten years is along
time in the life of a railway periodical and wow! how Rail has grown
up! There has been a complete change to the Editorial staff and rail
is completely into the current railway scene both operationally and
politically. Its coverage of Hatfield was second to non, but then it
is published every two weeks so the news should always be red hot!.
It is now a very different magazine to nearly every other
publication on the market except Modern Railways but even Modem
Railways is more technical and highbrow Rail has in many ways
matured into an ' excellent publication due in no small part I am
sure to the backing of its publisher EMAP Active Ltd. As a railway
magazine it dares to be more political and controversial than its
contemporaries to the extent that there is more political comment
and indeed interviews with politicians and railway industry leaders
than anyone else. Therefore it has managed to corner a big section
of the market that no other section of railway media has yet
achieved. So be warned, only read RAIL if you are interested in the
politics of Railways. The Romance is to be found in other
publications! CIRCULATION. The latest figures I have for Rail are
from 1999 33,368 copies fortnightly.
In thinking what I was going to write for the Christmas 2000
edition of TransPennine, my mind was diverted by the fact . that
also at this time of year I am preparing my questions for our home
round of this years Pennine Shield. Won again by the Pennine Railway
Society in 1999 our aim is of course to win it again this year! If
you get this in time the final is again this year at the Salutation
Inn South Parade Doncaster at 2000 on Wednesday 20th December 2000.
Come along we encourage the audience to have a go on some of the
questions. The quiz has now been going for over 20 years.
currently taking part are The Pennine Railway Society , South
Yorkshire Railway Photographic Circle , and The Dore Loco Society .
Other teams that have taken part in the past are The Doncaster
Railway Circle , The Sheffield Transport Group ,and Great Central
Society Sheffield Branch.
The current Pennine team is Tony Caddick
Captain, Robin Havenhand and Paul Sutton. So come along on the 20"`
and cheer on your team.
Thanks to Gerry Collins for stepping in at short notice to judge the
competition due to Chris Nicholson’s illness. The results were: lst.
Glen Williamson - Royal 44798 at Bessacarr Lane on a diverted East
Coast drag. MetCamm DMU 101683 at Blaneau Festiniog. 2nd_ Tony Brown
3rd. Derek Porter Brand new 58001 at Doncaster Works.
All meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South
Parade Doncaster at 2000 on the first and third. Wednesday of each
2001. Derek Porter.
Sunday7th January 2001
Annual General Meeting.
2001. Morris Ockleford
2001 Neil Taylor.
2001. Trefor Evans.
March 2001 Members Slide Competition.
21st March 2001. Steve Hall
Diesels Late 70s Early 80s.
4th April 2001
Tony Smith (Crowland).
2001. Ian Waller.
2nd May 2001.
Pennine Slide Quiz.
l6th May 2001. Chris Nicholson.
I would like to thank all those who have come forward to do a show this
year an excellent programme. The programme for the second half of
the year is coming along well however there are still vacancies so
if you are interested please get in touch with Robin Skinner.
Christmas and a successful New year to you all.
with access to the web the following sites may be of interest:
www.locowatch.co.uk for up to date news of the rail scene in a
“newspaper” type format. www.clique.co.uk for anyone looking for old
or out of print books. www.bookbrain.co.uk for anyone buying books
over the net - searches for cheapest source of any title.
www.abrail.co.uk. Look at the Webring links on the index page of my
site. They will lead you to l00’s of sites with a rail based
interest throughout the UK and rest of the world, including model
rail. Happy Surfing!!
I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions:
Antony Brown, Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Ken King, John Sanderson,
Robin Skinner, Paul Slater, Graeme Wade.
APOLOGY Some time ago a member kindly sent me a quiz which I intend
to use in a future edition. Unfortunately, when I transferred the
details to my hard disk, I omitted to include the name of the
compiler. I do not like to publish a quiz without giving due credit
to the compiler and I would be pleased if the compiler would reveal
himself to me (literally of course!).
The first question of the relevant quiz is:- 1. In which year was
the “Speller” amendment introduced.
I must also apologise to Andy Barclay and Peter Hall for not
including their excellent summary of GNER Dragged Trains in this
issue. It will certainly be published in the Spring 2001 edition of
SOCIAL EVENING - 20 DECEMBER Please note that the above social
evening will now be held at the Railway Hotel, adjacent to Doncaster
BR station. The meeting will form the final round of the Pennine
Shield Quiz and will start at 19.45hrs. The change of venue is due
to a “double booking” at the Salutation. All other meetings will
continue to be held at the Salutation. We apologise for any
inconvenience caused by the change of venue on the 20th.
MEETING - 7 JANUARY 2001 Please note that the above AGM will be held
at the Salutation at 12 noon. We lookforward to seeing you there.