The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society

 No.145 - Autumn 2008

Committee Briefs

Final Resting Place .

On Saturday 23 August 2008 Andy Dalby’s ashes were scattered, by his family, under the AlA Locomotives support coach at Swanwick on The Midland Railway, Butterley. Members of the AIA Loco Ltd and the Pennine were also present.

Social Evenings at the Sally

Nights are drawing in quickly. Unless you are flash fitted your photo opportunities will be more limited.
Why not come to our social evenings at The Salutation, South Parade, Doncaster, on the lst and 3rd Wednesdays of every month, 20.00 start.
Robin has drawn up an exciting programme of events for the autumn - details elsewhere in this organ. One of the many highlights will be the Pennine Slide Competition, judged this year by Chris Theaker (so he can’t win this year).
The Pennine Slide Competition will be held on Wednesday 1 October 2008. If you have slides, bring 5 of your best along. If not, just come and see the quality.
Trophies and cash prizes for the winners.
Don’t be late, Wednesdays at 8.

Flint - UK’s Best Station

Our Welsh Correspondent, Rhys Jones, proudly tells us that Flint Station (Y Flint) has been named UK Station of the Year at the National Transport Awards in London.
It has recently benefited from a £2m facelift and now even boasts a waiting room.
The station, on the North Wales Coast line out of Chester, does not boast a buffet. There is, however, a tattoo parlour outside the main entrance.

Brief Encounter Derailed

After 130 years, the sleeper service between London and Cornwall is calling a halt to strangers sharing compartments.
Pennine veteran, Geoff Bambrough, reminds us that the steamier side of an encounter in a train berth was memorably depicted in Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie “North by Northwest” when Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint passionately clinched on the couchette.
First Great Western will abolish this practice within a year.
Couples will be able to book a twin berth for £30 each, but lone passengers will have to pay £40 and enjoy the pleasure of their own company.
First Group is considering a similar arrangement on its London - Scotland sleepers.
How well this arrangement will be policed to avoid a lone passenger inviting a newly found friend on board to “see my etchings” and “share costs” remains to be seen.
French railways are having none of this - anything goes on their sleepers.

High Speed Turbulence

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly was recently asked at Transport Questions in Parliament by Coiffed Michael Fabricant (Con, Lichfield) “Can she understand that it is not much fun standing on a platform if a high-speed train sucks you off‘?”
She replied to Mr Fabricant that “such an experience would indeed not be much fun”. Really!

Air France Eyes Move to Railways

Air France is holding talks on a joint venture that could lead to it offering high-speed rail travel. It is discussing a possible tie-up with Veolia, a French utility firm that also runs several rail services (it also empties the bins in Sheffield).
The airline could cut fuel costs by moving some services onto rail. It would run trains from its hub airport in Paris to other European destinations. It will focus on international travel as under EU plans, legislation is set to free up the international rail passenger market in 2010.
Veolia has previously run public rail franchises in several countries worldwide under the now defunct Connex brand.
It now runs continental Europe’s largest private freight service and several rail connections.

ECML Plans for December 2009

National Express East Coast has announced expansion plans from December 2009, involving direct services to Lincoln, Harrogate and Bradford.
It also plans to use Class 180 Adelante l25mph diesel trains in addition to its existing fleet of refurbished diesel and electric trains, and not MK3 coaches with electric or diesel locos as first thought.
There may also be one train a day extending to Cleethorpes - oh for the days years ago “Deltic on Cleethorpes”.

Grand Cuts at Grand Central

Late May 2008 saw troubled Grand Central cut the number of trains because of technical problems.
The company introduced a belated daily service from Sunderland to Kings Cross via Teesside and North Yorkshire in December 2007.
It was then forced to reduce operations because of a series of “major component failures”, with the power car fleet. Some services were cancelled, others starting and terminating at York, with passengers ferried to other destinations by road.
North of York Grand Central trains serve Thirsk, Northallerton, Eaglescliffe and Sunderland.

Angel Trains Sold

Britain’s largest fleet of rolling stock, including Virgin Trains Pendolino, has fallen into Australian hands after a consortium led by Babcock & Brown emerged as the long awaited buyer.
Angel Trains had a stock of 4500 vehicles.

Contest to Design New Routemaster

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a contest to design a new version of the Routemaster bus, according to Pennine’s bus expert Gerry Collins of Lincoln.
Key features include an open platform to allow passengers to get on and off quickly and easily, a good use of interior space, disabled access and green technology. Routemasters were phased out of regular service by the end of 200 as they were inaccessible to wheelchairs or pushchairs, a move promoted by then Mayor Ken Livingstone.
No new bendy bus contracts will be renewed, and they are due to disappear from London’s roads by 2015.
The competition closes l9 September 2008.

Nuneaton Chord

A new £40m link enabling height trains to cross the WCML at Nuneaton without disrupting passenger trains is being planned by Network Rail.
Known as the Nuneaton North Chord, the new one mile long line is part of the work to upgrade the Peterborough - Nuneaton freight route.
Work should start before summer 2009 and be completed by December 2010.

Class 377 Tested on Thameslink Route

First Capital Connect has tested a Class 377 Electrostar ahead of the introduction of similar trains on the Bedford - Brighton Thameslink route in March 2009.
FCC will take delivery of 23 similar four-car trains being built by Bombardier at Derby. Electrostars will operate as eight-car trains, with 12-car trains introduced by 2011.

“Bullet Train” Runs on HS1

A Hitachi-built “bullet train” Class 395 has done St Pancras International - Ashford, on trials, in 32 minutes. The units have a service design speed of l40mph. High speed services between St Pancras and the Kent coast will start December 2009.

End of Bletchley

Bletchley train maintenance depot has closed. London Midland now runs the franchise, having taken over from Silverlink.
From December, London Midland is phasing in the fleet of 37 Class 350/2 Desiros, maintained by Siemens at Northampton. They will replace the Class 321s which had been serviced at Bletchley.

New Look Class 91

The first Class 91 to be repainted in full National Express East Coast livery has made its public debut. A future quiz question - it is 91111.
All the fleet will be repainted by Wabtec at Doncaster.


NRM marked the 70th anniversary of the world speed record for steam traction by re-uniting Mallard with Bittern, Sir Nigel Gresley and Union of South Africa on 5/6 July 2008.

Royal Visit to SVR

The Prince of Wales and the glamorous Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla) travelled over the Severn Valley Railway on 10 June 2008 in the Royal Train hauled by King Class 6024 “Kmg Edward I”, the first time had been steam hauled on a preserved line.
The celebrity couple were visiting areas of  Worcestershire affected by serious flooding in 2007. The standby loco had been LMS 6201 “Princess Elizabeth”.

Duchess of Sutherland to Visit Bishops Lydeard

20 August 2008 should see 6233 “Duchess of Sutherland” haul a “Cathedrals Express” From London Victoria - Bishops Lydeard. It will hand over the train to a West Somerset Railway loco for the onward journey to Minehead.

Alloa Back on Map

English soccer fans of Alloa Athletic will be delighted to hear of the reopening of the line to Alloa. Alloa now has an hourly passenger service to Stirling and Glasgow, and spotters will be able to view coal trains, re-routed from the Forth Bridge, to Longannet power station.
The first passenger train at Alloa was a steam special hauled by “The Great Marquess”.

43048 - Terry Miller MBE

One power car, 43048, on the first HST to be rebranded in East Midlands Trains livery has been named after an engineer who played a key role in the development of the now legendary HST.

Stobart Heads for Highlands

Eddie Stobart Ltd is one of two major haulage companies allocated funding by the Scottish Government to provide two new freight services from the Central Belt to Inverness.
It follows the Daventry - Grangemouth Tesco traffic launched in 2006. Stobart will transport Tesco goods between Grangemouth and Inverness.
John G Russell will run a Coatbridge - Inverness rail height service.

Nuneaton Anger

In order to provide a faster service to London on the WCML, Virgin Trains will, from the December timetable, cut its off-peak services into London.
From December all fast trains from Nuneaton to London will stop after 09.00. Currently Nuneaton has at least one fast train per hour during the day. In future passengers will have to go via Northampton.

Longer Pendolinos

The Dept for Transport has selected Virgin Rail Projects Ltd as its chosen bidder to help introduce longer Pendolino trains on the WCML.
It will help bring into service 31 longer trains and 4 new trains, with extra vehicles ordered from Alstom by the DfT.
There will be 4 new 11-car Pendolinos and 62 carriages to lengthen 31 existing trains from 9 to 11 cars.

Tram Train Trials

Tram trains could be running on the Sheffield f Penistone - Huddersfield line by the end of 2010. The aim is to evaluate the potential for running tram trains on main rail routes which could then link into street-running systems such as the Sheffield Supertram network.
Five trains will be built.

Temple Mille Faithful

With the demise of non-HS1 compatible Class 37 and 73 rescue locos - another Eurostar is now used for this purpose - the only conventional speed traction on Temple Mills Eurostar depot is a Class 08 shunter which is used for internal route learning as well as movement of Eurostars.
Maintained under contract by EWS, the depot’s smoke detectors have to be de-activated whenever it works in the shed. ,
To cope with 3000 extra services a year which will need to run from 2012 to cater for extra passenger demand, 4 new sidings will be needed at the depot.

Sheffield Railwayana Auctions

At the Sheffield Railwayana Auction held at the Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Gateway Centre, on 14 June 2008 the following locomotive nameplates all sold for £8,000 or more:
*   “FISHBOURNE” as carried by the LSWR 0-4-4T class 02 loco No 178 built at Nine Elms in December 1889 - £11,500
*   “BONNIE DUNDEE” as carried by the LNER 4-6-2 Pacific A1 class loco No 60159 built at Doncaster entering service in November 1949 - £19,250
*   “SIR HECTIMERE” as carried by the SR 4-6-0 N15 “King Arthur” class loco No 798 built at Eastleigh in June 1926 - £8,000
*  “SANDWICH” as carried by the LNER 4-6-2 Pacific A3 class loco No 2504 built at Doncaster entering traffic in September 1934 - £8,000
*   “PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL S. N. CO.” as carried by the SR 4-6-2 Pacific “Merchant Navy” class loco No 21C6 built at Eastleigh in December 1941 - £28,500
South West Trains auctioned 17 nameplates removed from Class 442 “Wessex Express” EMUs to raise fluids for the Naomi House Children’s Hospice near Winchester in Hampshire. The 17 nameplates were all sold and raised nearly £6,000 for the hospice.
The total auction of 500 lots made a total of £267,431.

Front Cover

The photo on the front cover shows 45112 “The Royal Army Ordnance Corps” on display at Barrow Hill on 22 August 2008 at the ‘Rail Power 2008’ event. 
The loco was later used on the shuttle trains - its first workings for some time. (See Pennine Observer Notes for full list of locos used that day.)

Last Train to Rushden
by Paul Slater

The last regular passenger train to Rushden ran late in the evening of Saturday June 13, 1959. I was fifteen. I had thought for some time that the branch-line to Rushden and Higham Ferrers would close in the not-too-distant future, as few people used it and the local buses were more
convenient; but I loved trains, had done so for as long as I could remember, and I was saddened at the idea that our little pull-and-push would soon cease to trundle in and out of the town. My fellow train-spotters and I called it the “Rushden gusher”, and some of my most interesting
exclusions in search of engine numbers had begun with the short ride to Wellingborough on the two-coach branch train.
All day the whistles sounded as the train puffed back and forth between Wellingborough and Higham Ferrers. It was past eight o’clock when my brother and I walked down to the station to see the train and take a last trip. The sun, which had blazed all day, was going down, but was sun hot, and the red-brick town shone with a warm, ruddy light. We bought return tickets to Higham Ferrers. It was the train before the very last one; the booking-office was unusually crowded, and there were many people waiting on the platform. The train came round the curve into sight, preceded by the sound of its whistle, and when it stopped we got in. There were four carriages instead of the usual two, and the tank engine was sandwiched in the middle. There was not much to see on the mile-and-a-half ride to the terminus, just the rusty siding to the closed gasworks,
then fields and the backs of a few houses. Just before the final station there were explosions as the train ran over detonators.
Higham Ferrers station was built of stone and stood on the edge of the little town. There were one or two sidings, terminating in a row of poplar trees. We got out. The engine was sizzling quietly, and my brother took a photograph of it. The Ivatt class 2 2-6-2 tanks which had
been the mainstay of the branch passenger service had recently been replaced by BR Standard locomotives and it was 84007 which was working on the last day; it had been decorated for the occasion, with humorous slogans chalked on it.
We got back in the train and it started off again the way it had come. There were more detonators outside Rushden station. We watched the train steam away through the twilight, then walked home. The sun had gone down now, but the warmth of the day oozed from the buildings, and the streets smelled of dust and hot bricks. Every day for the past month we had been expecting a thunderstorm, but there had been none, each day the hot sunny afternoon turned slowly into a golden evening and then, eventually, into a calm blue twilight.
When the last train came, it was after ten o’clock. I had gone to bed, but was laying awake waiting. My bedroom faced towards the railway, and all the family came in to listen. The windows were open wide and the curtains drawn right back, but the room was stifling hot, as it often was at this time of year when it caught the evening sun for the last few hours.
We first heard the train as a whistle growing gradually louder. I got up and leaned out of the window. The air outside was cooler, and scented with flowers. It was nearly dark, but there was a greenish afterglow lingering in the north-west, silhouetting the rooftops in the next street. We
heard the noise of the train wheels, then that and the whistle both stopped the train reached Rushden station. There were more detonators, and the sound was much more impressive from up here than from close at hand, a series of reverberating explosions.
The sounds carried very clearly in the still evening; I could follow the progress of the train to Higham Ferrers by the sudden silences as it passed under bridges and even at two miles range the whistle and the detonators as the train started back on its last journey were perfectly distinct. By the time it left Rushden station again, the sounds were quite loud. I heard the engine start, then the whistle began and eleven reports boomed out, the last fusillade of detonators, echoing one after the other through the summer dusk and finally subsiding to leave only the farewell shriek of the whistle dying away.
On the Monday I read in the local paper of the celebrations usual on these occasions - the jokes and the singing and the toilet-rolls flying like streamers from the train windows - but at the time, from my bedroom, I was conscious only of the beautiful stillness of the evening and the sadness of the explosions and the final receding whistle. Rushden would continue to have the occasional excursion train, and goods traffic on the branch would not end for another ten years, but the “Rushden gusher” would nm no more. The last train to Rushden remains one of my most vivid memories of adolescence.

The Somerset and Dorset Revisited
by Glynn Gossan

Of all. the lines that are no longer around, the Somerset and Dorset is the one above all others that I wish I had had the opportunity of seeing, and travelling on. I don’t know exactly what its attraction is, as the line was closed long before I really ever knew of its existence. The line has had plenty of publicity over the years since its closure, largely due to the excellent photography, and books, of the wonderful Ivo Peters. I think it is because it was fundamentally a single line run almost as an elongated branch for much of the time. Then on Summer Saturday’s it was transformed into a cross country main line, with double headed trains giving wonderful locomotive combinations travelling through superb countryside, taking holiday makers to and ‘dom the Dorset coast. Combinations such as Standard 4s and West Country Pacifics were common place on these Summer Saturdays, and must have been a truly memorable sight, and sound. For me, one of the most amazing services on the whole system once ran on the line, and that was the Exmouth - Cleethorpes, and return, service. It seems quite unbelievable that such a train ran.
The Pines Express was, of course, the line’s premier service, and I do envy Ivo having photographed the train so many times.
Returning to the line these days is something that I do when in the area. I just have to pay my own pilgrimage to Bath Green Park Station, and although obviously not the same, credit must be given to Sainsbury’s for the renovation of the station, and particularly its roof, so at least visitors can get some sort of feeling of what it must have been like when trains ran. After all, we have seen so many other wonderful lines, and stations, completely removed from the face of the earth.
The shed area has now been taken over by the Homebase sector of Sainsbury’s, and there is absolutely no trace of the railway there now. Until fairly recently, access was still available to the trackbed between the station and the site of Bath Junction, but sadly time has now taken its toll, and nature, together with encroachment from the adjacent car dealers, means that there is little to see now. The odd bridge parapet is all there is now, and the site of Bath Junction itself shows nothing of its past.
A linear path starts just beyond the junction, and a walk is possible up to the location that used to be Devonshire Tunnel. This has now been filled in and levelled; to the degree that there is no sign it ever existed. Since my last visit, a few years ago, Sustrans has opened up a foot and cycle path from a point that I’m not exactly sure of, somewhere south of Coombe Down Tunnel, through the site of Midford station, to Wellow. The idyllic location of Midford Goods Yard, just north of _ the station, is now so overgrown as to be hardly recognizable, but a walk through the short tunnel takes you through the station, where the platform is still in. place, but nothing else.
The big surprise since my last visit was to find Midford viaduct completely clear of foliage, where the foot and cycle path crosses the old Limpey Stoke branch famously used for the filming of “The Titfield Thunderbolt”. I even managed on my recent visit, to persuade my wife to walk down the trackbed towards Wellow, thinking about the many times the Pines Express had taken this very route. At Midford the station building is now a privately owned house, and the platforms are still intact, although filled in. There is still an original lamp post on the platform and a station signpost, and all in all, is still a pleasant place to visit. The current inhabitant is both used to, and pleased to oblige with, requests to take photos of the station building. Midsomer Norton is the site of a budding preservation group, with the station virtually intact, and the signal box in the process of being rebuilt. A short stretch of track has also been re-laid with the ultimate aim of, I believe, reaching Chilcompton.
So far, I have only managed to visit locations at the northern end of the line, and it is my hope to revisit these, together with other locations elsewhere. I did manage to call in briefly several years ago at Evercreech Junction, but sadly have no photographic record. I do regret not managing to emulate the great Ivo Peters whilst the line was open, as it was truly a unique and sadly missed railway, which undoubtedly ran through superb scenery.
Let the memories of the Somerset and Dorset live on forever.

Tosca’s Travels
(Beer and Bashing Abroad)  Part 7
So that’s a Kayak (June 1992)

Tuesday 9th June 1992
Another trip with Dave Reed and Ian Parkinson to the Low Countries & Germany. 43058 Sheffield - St Pancras (other power car was dead) EMU 1529 Victoria - Dover WD
SNCB 2120 Oostende - Bruxelles Midi
SNCB 2752 Bruxelles Midi- Bruxelles Central
SNCB 2151 Bruxelles Central ~ Bruxelles Midi
SNCB 2157 Bruxelles Midi - Bruxelles Central
SNCB 1188 Bruxelles Central - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 1602 Bruxelles Nord - Aachen Hbf
DB 103225 Aachen Hbf- Koln Hbf
DB 140671 Koln Hbf- Hannover Hbf
A few hours sleep on the overnight Bonn - Berlin train followed by a rancid hour spent in a bar on Hannover station surrounded by Druggies, Hookers and Pimps. Kept a tight grip on my bag I can tell you. Glad when the return overnight arrived.

Wednesday 10th June 1992
DB 114495 Hanover Hbf- Koln Hbf
DB 218131 Koln Hbf- Koln Hansaring
DB 140838 Koln Hansaring - Koln Hbf
DB 111144 Koln Hbf- Koln Deutz
DB 215037 + 215129 Koln Deutz - Kohl Hbf
DB 218133 Koln Hbf- Koln Hansaring
DB 111196 Koln Hansaring - Koln Hbf
DB 111134 Koln Hbf- Koln Deutz
DB 218145 Koln Deutz ~ Koln Hbf
DB 111191 Koln Hbf- Koln Deutz
DB 111153 Koln Deutz - Koln Hbf
DB EMU 420808 Koln Hbf- Koln Deutz
DB 218143 Koln Deutz - Koln Hbf
DB 140837 Koln Hbf - Koln Deutz
DB 215036 Koln Deutz - Koln Hbf
DB 111127 Koln Hbf- Koln Deutz
DB 110415 Koln Deutz - Koln Hbf
DB 140840 Koln Hbf- Koln Deutz
DB 215135 Koln Deutz - Koln Hbf
DB 1 11188 Koln Hbf- Koln Hansaring
DB 1 11195 Koln Hansaring - Koln Hbf
DB 215118 Koln Hbf- Euskirchen
DB 215016 Euskirchen - Bonn Hbf
DB 215116 Bonn Hbf- Bonn Duisdorf
DB 215113 Bonn Duisdorf- Bonn Hbf
DB 1 10133 Bonn Hbf- Remagen
Booked into the Hotel Westfalschisthof at Remagen.
DB 212233 Remagen ~ Arhweiler
DB 212233 Arhweiler - Heimersheim
DB 212035 Heimersheim - Arhweiler
DB 212253 Arhweiler - Remagen
DB 110355 Remagen - Bonn Bad Godesberg
DB 110444 Bonn Bad Godesberg - Remagen
DB 1 10338 Remagen - Bonn Hbf
DB 110116 Bonn Hbf- Remagen
DB 110160 Remagen - Bonn Bad Godesberg
DB 140582 Bonn Bad Godesberg - Remagen
DB 110261 Remagen - Bonn Mehlem
DB 114488 Bonn Mehlem - Remagen
DB 111105 Remagen - Andernach
DB 1 101 17 Andernach - Remagen
DB 110440 Remagen - Bonn Hbf
Found a bar near Bonn Hbf that served a nice pork chop with chips all washed down with a few bottles of Hoegaarden.
DB 111085 Bonn Hbf- Remagen
39 new engines in the day. I know there are lots of ned leaps and I can imagine some of the purists tutting but Germany is that vast and with so many engines to get I got as many as I could at the time. I’m glad I did because since then there are 100s of d/emus that have taken over a lot of
work and some electrics like the 140s were dedicated to freight a long time ago.

Thursday 11th June 1992
DB 110128 Remagen- Andernach
DB 110264 Andernach - Remagen
DB 1 10262 Remagen - Koblenz Hbf
DB 141411 Koblenz Hbf- Cochem
DB 181205 Cochem - Trier Hbf
DB 141112 Trier Hbf- Trier Sud
DB 141405 Trier Sud - Trier Hbf
DB 141402 Trier Hbf- Trier Sud
CFL 1817 Trier Sud - Luxembourg
SNCF 15009 Luxembourg - Thionville
SNCF 16687 Thionville - Hagondange
SNCF 16675 Hagondange - Thionville
SNCF 15015 Thionville - Luxembourg
CFL 3620 Luxembourg - Petange via Hollerich
CFL 3604 Petange - Luxembourg via Esch
CFL 1820 Luxembourg - Cruchten
CFL DMU 204 Cruchten - Luxembourg
SNCF 15039 Luxembourg - Thionville
SNCF 15029 Thionville - Luxembourg
Had a Chinese meal in a very good restaurant near to the station. Then turned in for the night. As usual when in Luxembourg stayed in the Carlton Hotel.

Friday 12th June 1992
SNCF 15043 Luxembourg - Thionville
SNCF 16690 Thionville - Hagondange
SNCF 16687 Hagondange - Thionville
SNCF 15030 Thionville - Luxembourg
CFL 1801 Luxembourg - Lintgen ,
CFL EMU 2021 Lintgen - Luxembourg
CFL EMU 2006 Luxembourg - Wasserbillig
CFL 1802 Wasserbillig - Luxembourg
DB 181220 Luxembourg - Trier Hbf
DB 181219 Trier Hbf~ Saarbrucken Hbf
DB 218372 Saarbrucken Hbf- Sulzbach
DB 218386 Sulzbach - Saarbrucken Hbf
DB 110436 Saarbrucken Hbf - Koblenz Hbf
DB 111094 Koblenz Hbf- Koln Hbf
DB 140834 Koln Hbf- Koln Hansaring
DB 111185 Koln Hansaring - Koln 1-Ibf
No hotel tonight decided on an overnight instead.
DB 110151 Koln Hbf - Heidelberg
Heidelberg at 3am wasn't too bad, better then Hannover was. Had 3/4 of an hour there. Found a burger place that sold bottled lager so had a chilli burger and a drink.

Saturday 13th June 1992
DB 103145 Heidelberg - Koln Hbf
DB 110373 Koln Hbf - Aachen Hbf
SNCB 2349 Aachen Hbf - Liege Gullemins
SNCB 2201 Liege Gullemins - Namur
SNCB EMU 433 Namur - Dinant
Went to Dinant to do the kayak trains. These ran each summer Saturday morning for 100s of people who used the train to get to Houyet and then Kayaked back up the river.
A kayak is a type of canoe by the way.
SNCB 5213 Dinant - Gendron Celles
SNCB 5211 & 5212 Gendron Celles - Gedinne
SNCB DMU 4505 Gedinne - Dinant
SNCB EMU 410 Dinant - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 1184 Bruxelles Nord - Antwerpen Central
SNCB 6296 Antwerpen Central - Berchem
SNCB 6326 Berchem - Antwerpen Central
SNCB 1208 Antwerpen Central - Berchem
SNCB 6298 Berchem - Antwerpen Central
SNCB 1190 Antwerpen Central- Berchem
SNCB 1201 Berchem - Gent St Pieters
SNCB 1803 Gent St Pieters ~ Brugge
SNCB 6314 & 6266 Brugge - Gent St Pieters
SNCB 5107 Gent St Pieters - Bruxelles Nord via Denderleeuw
SNCB 2743 Bruxelles Nord - Oostende
Time for a St Louis Kriek bier before catching the ferry; which was Reine Astrid.

Sunday 14th June 1992
Arrived Dover at the ungodly hour of 04.00. Caught the boat train to London and then had to hang about until 08.25 for the first train to Doncaster, which was 91013.
Another excellent trip with 92 new engines for haulage. However the next trip for the annual Train, Tram and Bus weekend would beat that!

Robin's Review

‘Moors Line’ is the magazine of The North York Moors Historical Railway Trust. To you and me the NYMR, which runs from Pickering to Grosmont and more recently on certain dates through to Whitby on Network Rail Infrastructure.
The NYMR is one of the leading preserved railways in the country and now very much in the Premier League along with The Severn Valley, KWVR, and The Torbay Steam Railway etc.
The magazine retails at £2.50 and is A5 size and consists of 64 pages plus the cover.
A good 80%+ of the photographs are in colour. The Moors Line is published four times a year in January, April, July and October. The edition reviewed is No156 Autumn 2007. Which suggests the magazine is in its 39“‘ year of publication dating back to 1969.
The Magazine like most starts with a contents page followed by an editorial written by the editor followed by "View From The Chair" from the Company Chairman, followed by "General Managers Jottings" by none other than The General Manager ....
This is followed by the usual regular news features starting with; ‘Motive Power News'; this gives a very comprehensive list of locos associated with the NYMR stating whether in traffic or not and what overhaul is ongoing or due. This list covers 26 steam locos and 13 diesel locos. The Carriage and Wagon report follows in a similar format. Then Signalling and Permanent Way each have their own separate reports.
The LNER Coach Association then have a two page report on The Gresley and Thompson carriages they are restoring to their former glory in Teak. Along with the North Eastern Locomotive association report who also have a two-page report on their activities at the NYMR.
There are two pages of Area Group activity reports including details of former Pennine member Mr P Barsby who runs the South Yorkshire Area Group (SYAG) based at The Salutation.
Although he didn’t submit a report for this edition his name and details are shown.
The centre pages are colour pictures submitted by members followed by Four articles “The Saga of Bridge 31” “The Art of The Possible”, “The Garden Locomotive Is Now On Its Way To Pastures New”, “Regulations and Indignation” and “Demolition Trains”.
Other regular features appear to be "The Lamberton Locomotive Trust", "The NYMR Archives", "Mail Van" (letters), and last but not least "Diary", again Mr Barsby gets a mention.
VERDICT:  Phew all in all an excellent magazine but then it should be it appears to be sponsored by The Heritage Lottery Trust; but even so lots of interesting stuff and excellent value at £2.50. I would say one of the best Heritage Railway magazines I have read so far.
THANKS: To John Dewing, Pennine Member for Cottingham for providing this copy of Moors Line.

Pennine Observer Notes

Eastern Region
Recent sightings on the Gainsborough - Barnetby line have been:
Jul 3 66142 on coal train
Jul 5 66087 and 66178 on coal trains
Aug 11 66005, 66100, 66123 and 66144 on coal trains
Recent sightings at Hykeham have been:
Jun 20 60051 light engine
Jun 25 66079 on oil train
Jul 3 60025 on oil train
Jul 4 66723 on container train
Jul 9 66720 on container train
Jul 14 60024 on oil train
Recent sightings at Melton Ross have been:
Jun 28 60014 and 60076 on iron ore trains  60094 on steel train  66009, 66061, 66081, 66171 and 66581 on coal trains  66089 on oil train
            60043+60007+66091 light engine
Jul 12 60026 and 60079 on iron ore trains  66009 and 66079 on coal trains
Other recent sightings have been:
Jul 19 66157 on coal train at Scunthorpe
Aug 13-19 67024 Doncaster Thunderbird
67023 Newcastle Thunderbird
Overhead line problems caused severe disruption to the Norwich Liverpool Street services on 9 to 11 June. A reduced service operated between Norwich and Ipswich on 9°‘ and l0”‘. Services just got back to near normal on 11 June when 3 rail workers were injured south of Ipswich causing more heavy delays and cancellations. Locos seen parked with their trains at Norwich during this period were
90001, 90004, 90005, 90006, 90007, 90010, 90012 and 90020. 47818 and 47813 were on Norwich depot.
Locos seen at Barnetby on 16 August were 66005, 66046, 66078, 66097, 66201 and 66206 on coal trains, 60021 and 60096 on iron ore trains, 60066 on oil train and 60100 on steel train.

Western Region
Locos seen on the Bristol TM - Weymouth service have been:
Jun 21 67002 and 67021
Jul 12 67005 and 67006
57602 was on the 23.45 Paddington - Penzance sleeper on 11 July.

Midland Region
Locos seen on the Wrexham & Shropshire service between Wrexham - Marylebone have been:
Jun 28 67014 with 67013
67015 with 67025
67017 with 67001
Jul 16 67001 with 67017
67012 with 67015
67014 in bay at Wrexham
Noted at Anglesey Aluminium Works on 19 July was 60031.
Locos seen at Carlisle on 25 July were 66611, 66544, 66602, 66429, 57313, 66584, 66056 and 57316.
Locos noted at Carlisle on 29 July were 66533, 66523, 57305, 66419, 57326, 66056 and 66415.
Locos seen at Carlisle on 13 August were 66523, 66120, 66520, 66430, 66197, 66509, 66547 and 57307.

Southern Region
Locos noted at Eastleigh and Southampton Freightliner Terminal on 7 July were 08077, 08482, 08575, 08624, 08691, 08745, 09019, D2991, 37417, 59002, 66006, 66046, 66059, 66069, 66091, 66148, 66153, 66162, 66174, 66516, 66541, 66566, 66574, 66576, 66579, 66587, 66593, 66594 and 66601.
Locos seen at Eastleigh and Southampton Freightliner Terminal on 9 July were 08077, 08575, 08482, 08624, 08691, 08745, 09019, 58007, 58011, 58049, 59104, 59206, 66006, 66051, 66076, 66115, 66133, 66148, 66152, 66153, 66182, 66535, 66567, 66574, 66575, 66580, 66593, 66594, 66601 and 66713.

Railtours and Charter Trains
Locos seen working on railtours and charters have been:
May 26 (“Scarborough Spa Express”) 34067
Jun 21 (“The Par Snip”) 67006, 66182 and 66050 (Cranmore 150 - Quarry Gala Weekend Shuttles) 66200 and 59001
Jun 22 (Cranmore 150 - Quarry Gala Weekend Shuttles) 66200 and 59102
Jun 28 (Kings Cross - Keighley) 47832 and 477121
Jul 9 (Waterloo - Weymouth Charter) 34067
Jul 30 (“Scarborough Spa Express”) 45690
Aug 5 (“Scarborough Spa Express”) 48151
Aug 12 (“Scarborough Spa Express”) 70013
Aug 13 (“The Da1esman”) 30777
Aug 16 (“Meridian Mariner”) 37059, 37423 and 47712
Aug 23 (Woking - Butterley) 67003 and 67021

Preserved Railways
Locos working at the Middleton Railway 250th Anniversary on 7 June were 1210 Sir Berkeley and 1601 Matthew Murray.
Locos seen on the Mid Norfolk Railway on 8 June were D8069, 31438, 47596, 50019, 56040 and 08631.
Locos noted at the North Norfolk Railway on 10 June were 90775 (working), 65462, 69621, 34081, 12131, 79960, 31207, D5580 and D2063.
Locos used at the Keighley & Worth Valley 40th Anniversary Steam Gala on 28 June were 1210 Sir Berkeley, 1704, 957, 47279, 41241 and 90733.
Locos on display at the Tyseley Open Day on 28 June were: Steam- 4110, 4936, 4953, 4965, 5043, 7029, 7752, 7760, 9466, 9600, 45305, 45593, Cadbury’s No 1, No 14, No 670, narrow gauge Howard and William Hedley.
Diesel and Electric - 13029, 08616, 31190, 33202, 37260, 40118, D1755, 47580, 47770, 47828, 57307, 86259, 87031 and Parry People Mover 139001.
Locos working on the Snowdon Mountain Railway on 1 July were No 2 Enid, No 6 Padarn, No 9 Ninian, No 10 Yeti, No 11 Peris and No 12 George.
Locos seen at Llanberis Lake Railway on 2 July were No 2 (working), Una (in steam), No 1 and No 12 Llanelli.
Locos noted at Penrhyn Castle Industrial Railway Museum on 3 July were Kettering Furnaces No 3, Watkin, Fire Queen, Vesta, Hawarden, Charles, Hugh Napier, No 1, Haydock and Acorn.
Locos seen at Swanage Railway on 8 July were 80078 (working), 30053, 34028, 80104, 08436, D3591 and D6515.
Locos used at the Dean Forest Railway Diesel Gala on 12 July were 08473, D9555, 31466 and 27066.
Locos working at the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Diesel Gala on 19 July were 08054, 08773, D2203, 47004, 33109, D5600, D9513 and 31119.
Locos used at the Barrow Hill ‘Rail Power 2008’ event on 22 August were 6430, MSC No 70, Met Tank No 1, 3440 City of Truro, Peckett 2000, 78019, 20121, D9520, 20096, D1023, 37275 and 45112.
Locos working at the Midland Railway Butterley ‘Works Open Day’ event on 23 August were 92214, 53809, 73129, 16410, 80098, 31108, 08590 and D2138.

Long Marston

Locos present at the Long Marston Open Day on 7 June 2008 were:
56011 86226, 86242, 86260, 87011 87023 , 56021, 86228, 86245 86401 , 87013 , 87025  08345, 08447'l', 08517, 08668, 08728, 08736, 08813, 08827, 08869, 08928, 20016, 20032, 20057, 20072, 20081 20088, 20138, 20215, 20902, 20903, 31301*, 31423*, 31437*, 3 1439*, 37683, 37696, 37898, 47701'l‘, 47746, 66722, 73201, 86205, 86215, 86217, 86223 86229, 86230*, 86231, 86234, 86235, , 86246, 86247, 86248, , 87002, 87003, 87004, , 87014, 87017, 87018, , 87027, 87028, 87029, 86250 87006 87020 87030 , 86251, 86258 , 87009, 87010; , 87021, 87022 , 87032, 87033 87034.
 * The Class 3 ls and 86230 were located in the “A Yard” so not easily visible, although it is understood that the 31s were brought out into a more visible location on the Sunday.
86218 and 86232 have arrived on site since the open weekend. 'I' - since left the site
Note: Industrial locos not included in list.

Coaches and units present on 7 June 2008:  
1211,1252,1254,1256,l966,197l,33l2,3366,3374, 3438,3746,3749 4614,5789,5797,5853,5869,5913, 5925,5936,5965,5971,5976,598l,6001,6008,60l3, 6035,6046,6064,6l17,61l9,6l22,6124,6l37,6l46, 6160,6162,6l70 6173,6183. 6356,6357. 9500,9503,9505,9506,9509,9521,9524,9539. 10226,10231,10233,10240,10242,10249,10250,l0253 10259. 10710. 11005,1l006,l1007,110ll,l1018 ll026,ll040,ll042 ll052,11058,11064,11097. 12008,12017,12022,12029,12036,12045,12047,l2054, 12058,12059,12063,12065,12083,l2087,l2092,l2094, 12095,12101,l2104 12124,12l28,12l34,l2139,l2142 l2144,12156,12l58,12l60 12163 l2165,12172. l7l44,l7l70. 21092,2523l,25735 34531,35006 40402,40403,40416,40419,40434_ 40723,40732 44065,44088,44089. 82108,82110,82111,82l13,82116,82l20,82l22,82123, 82l24,82125,82128,82129,82131,82l37,82138,82140, 82141,82l42,82144,82l47,82148,82l49,82150. 96l8L 96602-09. 977351 (Mark 1 FO). DMU's: 51909, 54271 (stored) 51352, 59505, 51376 (operational) EMU: 390033 (nine vehicles).

There was a charter train 'from London Euston to Long Marston which was operated by Class 66 locomotives 66182/66081. Stock used was a mix of mark 1 and mark 2s 5276, 5366, 4902, 1863, 5040, 4927, 5009, 3107, 3140, 80041, 3112, 3122 and 21272.

Stratford on Avon Broadway Railway

Stratford on Avon Broadway railway also operates from the site. They had on show industrial steam and diesel locomotives, also their preserved coaches.

Steam Locomotives

Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0 ST “Met”
Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0 ST “Swanscombe”
Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn 0-4-0 ST “Agecrolt No 135

Diesel Locomotives

Barclay 0-4-0 DM “Mulberry” 70047
Fowler 0-4-0 DM “ROP Chorley N04
Sentinel 0-4-0 DH “Jean”
English Electric 0-6-0 DH “Hippo”


Ex GWR 4777 ~ Collett Third Corridor
Ex LMS Army Number 3322 Third Open
BR Covered Carriage Truck CCT S1927
Ex BR RBR 1966 and 1971RestaurantBuffet
Ex BR TSO Mark 1 4614, Mark 1 SK 25231, 25631,
Mark 1 BCK 21092, Mark 1 BSK 35006.
Also present on sight was a couple of rare coaches which have not been seen for a number of years BR Mark 1 BG 80665 last seen in public over 20 years ago.
GWR Royal Saloon no 9006 last seen in public over 10 years ago.

Old Sightings

Maurice Ockleford

23 April 1961

51A (Darlington)
90430 64821 68007 68754 90014  61353 68024  65880 
67742 90217 60869 67628 60040  69007 60025  90704  
62008 61224 68744 63395 62003  62039 90172  61025  
67763 69021 60017  60833 68079 61321 62058  90011
90082 60803  60972 60060 69017  61382 67750  68006  
61031 60848  90396 90341 62718  60941 62047  69004 
43072 67777  60954 61032 60850  90445 90057  62733  
63654 68019  68047 80097  67755 62002 61030  63391
90615 90405  65865 61080  68050 69022 46408  6l304  
65860 68060  68052 90014  61476  68023 68037 69018
69002 90373  62064 62004  61176  60412  62036 67765
61338 90155  63389  60967 43102  43129  43050 46477
46475 46483  76021 80101  43099  D2318 D2304 D2309 
D2305 D2307 D2320 D2109 D2617 D2617 D2107 D5104 
D2702 D3230 D2317 D3456 D2319 D2306 D2108 D2079 

51F (West Auckland)
63351  63340  65733  65731  63403  64719  68708  64982
64835  64756  68692  63443  63353  63398  76049  78016
64979  64862  64969  63407  76046  77003  77002  76050
76045  64927  63446  63459  64848  D2l54

52K (Consett)
63359  63455  63342  63439  61016  63427  63354  63433
63406  63357  63418  63346  63404  D3942

52C (Blaydon)
63386 63352 63356  63362  63434 63378 61199 63413
63400 67636 63431  63366  68014 67634 64713 69023
63444 61241 63377  63381  63441 63368 69025 68095
67653 63376 63387  61035  63453 63394 60887 D2321
D2247 D204 68010  63429   63458 61322 63390 61216
63363 63437 60918 61019

52B (Heaton)
26501 67646 60904 67647 60132 60137 67641 60539
67683 60807 60940 64856 68702 64939 65864 67642
60979 68713 60085 64864 60078 60926 64926 D2050 
D3243  D26   67654 60073 60932 67645 69026 64931
 64910 64945 46474 60116 60511 65869 77014 60538
43126 D2105 60147 64842 60923 64816 60976 60978
68732 69028 D2047 D2164 D279  D270  D3244  D3076
60929 67651 60910 60812 64871 67658

52E (Percy Main)
65807  65858  65812  65837  65791  65842  65802  65821
65795  65839  65825  65813  65814  65852  D2044 D2055 
D2166  D3241  D3939

52F(n) Blyth
64814  65875  65811  65797  65815  65789  65819  65792
65794  65786  65867  65881  64846  65879  65851  65882
65857  65889  65863  65804  133673  132104  192097

52F(s) Blyth
65801  65838  65808  65861  46473  65799  65876  65834
65891  65800  65033  65810  46471  65877  65862  65845
65691  D2093

52H (Tyne Dock)
65693 68743 65668
64851  68029
92062  92063  63468
63474  63423  63471
64852  63384  68031
D2061  D23 15
65695  69024  68704  65663  69921
63460  65670  63466  61906  63856
63470  92061  92098  92097  63464
63463  63755  63465  63760  64921
D2147  D2314  D2162  D2080

52G (Sunderland)
65817  65835  65873  65832  65871  65841  65878  65833
65854  65823  64710  67689  63467  67673  63469  64825
65850  70024  64854  68041  68016  68058  68048  68044
64707  64704  65782  63410  68054  61267  63383  63442
D2231  D3150 64701 63419  63414  68021  65830  68711
61884  67645 64853   64858  64700  64942  65892  64847
43100  68051 68951   65818  63457  64849  43015  68032
65805 61275  68057   63454  68715  90067  63412 63380
68055 63392  65846   61061 63421   68056  65820  90344
68053 68737  63440   90016 63397   D2322  D3672 D2230 
D2205 D2204 D2232  D2068  D2076 D2070 D2206  D2078 
D3149 43053 63422  68703 68698    90092 63415

90048 90434 90466 60808 69006 65760 43101 64758
65741 63396 60915 63447 64857 90603 68740 65768
90517 90022 90452 61259 63450 63409 61987 65790
43057 68729 65859 65853 63370 63344 90027 90461
63445 65776 90459 90377 90098 61034 65743 60960
63371 43075 69019 63426 63428 63432  63382 90240
90465 65788 65773 90462 61218 61173 63366 64861
61303 65753 64845 63430 63349 65763 90086 90074
64870 61986 64859 61220 68695 63355 60946 63405
64730 61844 63411 90479 63367 65868 65747 90481
90406 67759 65745 68688 68039 60809 63388 65855
65755 67766 63373 63417 90500 64725 90091 61257
65720 90435 63451 65761 65751 65772 90426  90593
63424 65757 60901 65778 68721 64850 63369 65756
61818 67764 64855 90081 63401 65769 63375 90273
68689 63435 60154 63347 43070 63420 65774 65870
62001 63452 63393 90132 64818 64706 63343
D3142 D3146 D5106 D5100 D5151 D5110 D5149 
D5106 D5150 D313 D3147  D3148  D3144  D3140  D3145
63364 65884 63374 60916

51J (Northallerton)
78015  78010  78011  78012  78014

Pennine Quiz No. 133
Ian Shenton

Find the names and numbers of Steam, Diesel and Electric Locomotives with a BR number and that have run on BR tracks, with the words YORK, DONCASTER, or  SHEFFIELD in them (Official names only).
Ian has found 24 locos with York, Sheffield or Doncaster in their names (I hope this helps! !).

Pennine Quiz No. 132
The Answers

1. Ivatt LMS 4MT 2-6-0
2. Fowler Class Five 2-6-0s
3. Class 158
4. GER F7 2-4-2T
5. Class 421
6. Class 56
7. Class 55 ‘Deltic’
8. Class 50
9. Class 13
10. Classes 26 and 27
1 1. Class 28
12. GCR Robinsons 0-6-0s
13. Classes 24 and 25
14. Classes 81-85
15. Class 66
16. Class 220 Voyager
17. Early Class 31 with no headcode panel
18. LNER Raven Pacifics
19. Class 90
20. Class 33 built to Hastings Line profile
21. BR 9F 2-10-0
22. Gresley A4 Pacific
23. Class 37
24. Class 206
25. Class 14
26. Classes 201, 202, 203, 205 and 207
27. Class 76
28. SR U Class 2-6-0
29. Class 40
30. Class 59

Pennine Quiz No. 132
The Winners

lst Ken King
2nd Ian Shenton
3rd= Malcolm Bell
3rd= John Dewing
Congratulations to all the winners.

Pennine Meetings 2008
All meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 on lst and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Wednesday 17th September 2008
Glynn Gossan

Wednesday lst October 2008
Judged By Chris Theaker

Wednesday 15th October 2008
Martin Bromley
‘Sheffield Vic - Marylebone’ Is the Master Cutler a South Yorkshireman?

Wednesday 5th November 2008
Andy Barclay

Wednesday 19th November 2008
Les Nixon
‘Modern Traction Part l’

Wednesday 3rd December 2008

Wednesday 17th December 2008

I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: John Dewing, Glyn Gossan, Maurice Ockleford, John Reader, John Sanderson, Ian Shenton, Robin Skinner, Paul Slater and Tosca.

The Winter 2008 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on 17th December would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by Wednesday 19th November - THANK YOU. Remember, you can email your contributions to

Era of the Trainspotter

The trainspotter and his passionate number-fuelled world -full of expressions like copping, cabbing, gricing and shed-bashing - began to emerge in Britain in 1943.
The appearance and subsequent growth of legions of boys and young men dedicated to the cause of taking down engine numbers coincided with the publication by a young railway employee of a pocket-sized book containing the numbers of most of the Southern Railway's locomotives,
their classes and shed allocations.
The author of this simple book of lists, Ian Allan, had been presented with the opportunity to pursue his interest in steam trains by being taken on as a clerk at Waterloo Station. But as the Second World War soon began and Ian’s work planning advertisements for excursions had to stop, he was moved to the publications department where he learned how to organise the print and production of Southern Railway magazine.
Having to handle enquiries from the public, he used a notebook with the numbers of most of the Southern’s locos and rolling stock, which he thought would prove popular if available to others sharing his great interest in railways.
With a print bill of £42 to produce 2,000 pocket books and an advert in Railway World magazine costing 5s/6d, Ian quickly attracted nearly 2,000 postal orders of a shilling. From a profitable start, the lan Allan publishing empire began... and further locospotter books emerged covering the Great Western Railway, the LMS and the LNER Thousands of his ABC books were being purchased. It seemed every lad in the land owned an Ian Allan Train book even though at ten bob each in the mid-1950s they took some saving up for.
In the 1940s and 1950s, trainspotters weren’t considered anoraks, although many seemed to wear very identifiable outfits and were never without a Box Brownie camera and a top pocket full of pens!
When spotters laid pennies on the tracks of the West Coast mainline at Tamworth in 1944 so that passing trains would flatten them and subsequent nationwide publicity that ‘collecting train numbers was a rage sweeping the country’, it lead to the formation of the Ian Allan Locospotters’ Club to keep them in order. Members had to sign a pledge of good behaviour on railway property. There were branches the length and breadth of the country and many of the 260,000 members would enjoy going on Ian Allan steam specials to collect more numbers of wonderful engines.
Trainspotting was - and still is - an innocent pursuit yet the disappearance of steam From the national network lead to an inevitable decline in interest. For the cost of a ld platform ticket, the sight and sound of Stanier Pacifics, Halls, Castles and Britannia's was sheer bliss - the diesels were never quite the same.

The Soho Pool

Lawson Stevens, USA

My brother and I would sit on the low brick wall at the end of Park Grove, waiting for the goods train that would bring the Soho Pool back to life. To the left of us, below the embankment, the single track curved gradually under the Factory Road Bridge, then disappeared from view as it made its way to the London Midland and Scottish Railway’s main line. To the right, the single track multiplied into the marshalling yard that ran parallel to Park Road, and terminated near the tram depot at Hockley Brook.
The Soho Pool was a busy place. It was here that the goods wagons were loaded, sorted out, and shunted into the many sidings to make up goods trains for onward movement from the city of Birmingham to other destinations throughout Britain.
The sorting out and shunting went on day and night, every day of the year, it brought a noisy, dirty, smoky and sulphurous stability to the lives of the people who lived right next to it. For this was 1940s England, long before the environmentalists succeeded in saving us From the rich, sensual experiences that characterised our everyday lives.
From the wall, we could watch it all: for that was the point where the ancient 0-6-0 locomotive would rest in a simmering, steaming, smoking state of restlessness, waiting for the signal from the switchman to dispatch more wagons into the yard. And when it came, it exploded into action, belching smoke in tumultuous staccato bursts, as it propelled the wagons forward, beyond the points that selected the track; then, screeching to a halt, sent the uncoupled wagons on their way - wagon banging on wagon in cacophonous protest as their buffers absorbed the shocks and slowed them down to a gradual stop. So it went on, incessantly: for commerce, factories, schedules, and timetables were relentless taskmasters, with little concern for the working poor who lived along the Pool. And they in their turn would never have thought of complaining, for it had always been part of their lives; and when the Pool was busy, Birmingham was busy, and people had jobs.
We used to watch from the wall regularly on our visits to my aunt and uncle, who lived next house but one to the Pool. And on one very special occasion, my uncle surprised us by prevailing upon the engine driver to give us a ride in the cab. Over the wall we went, down the embankment, and up into the fiery hot interior, to experience the thrill of a lifetime, with a bone jarring ride in and out of the marshalling yard, finding out first hand, what it was like to work in the cab of a steam locomotive. I’m still fascinated by the steam railways of my childhood years, but the noise, heat, and physical demands of maintaining balance were so exhausting that it cured me of ever wanting to be an engine driver.
At night, as we lay in bed, we would listen to the sounds of the completed goods trains leaving the Pool for their destination - the hoot from the locomotive to signal the start; then the steady, rhythmic chuffing of smoke from the chimney as a train got underway the brief reddish glow in the night sky as the locomotive passed close to the window; and the long, slow cadence of the wagon wheels as they crossed the joined tracks and switches on the way to the main line. It was that every day familiarity and comfort, which signalled the close of the day, and the promise of more to come. And it never kept us awake for long, as the silence of inactivity would have.
Some thirty years later, I came back to England, to visit those places so fondly remembered from my childhood days - to a Birmingham I no longer knew or recognised. Gone were my aunt and uncle, gone was the Grove and all the houses on it, gone was the wall, and gone was the Soho Pool, without any sign to show that it ever existed. Only the Factory Road Bridge remained as a monument to the days when steam railways were such an everyday part of people’s lives. Gone, but not forgotten, for I can still conjure up the sights and sounds from my store of memories - whenever I have a mind.

Both these articles are reproduced from the November 2006 issue of Best ofBrit11rh, a monthly magazine available from newsagents and on subscription. Please visit or call 01778 342814 for further information.