The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society


No.156 - Summer 2011

Front Cover -
Photo taken by Glen Williamson was the winner of the Andy Dolby Memorial Slide Competition held on 4th May 2011.
It shows 142004 at Stainforth on a Scunthorpe to Sheffield service on 6th January 2011.

Committee Briefs

Peter Fox Remembered
In a ceremony on Platform 5 at Sheffield station, on Sunday 15 May, Grand Central's HST power car 43484 was named "Peter Fox 1942 - 2011 Platform 5". The naming ceremony was performed by Peter's widow, Doreen assisted by Platform 5 director Andrew Dyson.
After be naming, family and colleagues were treated to a run from Sheffield to Derby via Toton, with power cars 43484 and 43423 providing the power.
Pictures of the event can be seen at

Barrow Hill Visit
We are pleased to announce that we will be visiting Barrow Hill on Wednesday 22 June 2011. This has proven to be an enjoyable evening event in previous years. The price will be 6.00 but you must make your own way there. You are asked to arrive at Barrow Hill by 6.45pm in time for a 7.00pm start.
Please advise Robin Skinner if you wish to attend. Also Robin and various other members will be providing lifts from Doncaster and Sheffield Halfway tram terminus. We look forward to seeing you there.

Sheffield Supertram Visit
We also pleased to announce a visit to the Sheffield Supertram Depot and Control on Wednesday 13 July 2011 at 11.00am. Numbers will be strictly limited. Contact Robin Skinner for further information.

Final whistle Blown en Barry Monks
Long standing friend of the Pennine, Barry Monks has retired after 45 years at Sheffield Wednesday FC. Recently he has been on maintenance, before that caretaker. He also had a spell as kit man when Howard Wilkinson was Manager.
Having seen 24 Managers and 9 Chairmen, Wednesday languish in the old Third Division (at least they have never entered the 4th Division unlike neighbours Utd).
Look out for Barry on Thursdays at Doncaster Station (veteran's day).

Weymouth Tramway (Weymouth Quay)
The Weymouth Tramway has been formally closed for any operational use by Network Rail. It once travelled through the streets of the port from a junction on the main line to the harbour (your Treasurer travelled on this 5 years ago on the Channel Islands Boat Train Express, SR Pacific steam hauled from Waterloo with the engine change at Weymouth for tank engine haulage to the Quay, for the boat to Guernsey and Jersey).
Built in 1865 it closed to regular passenger traffic in 1987.

Arriva Arrives on Malta
Our Maltese correspondent Dom Collins tells us that 3 July 2011 will see transport operation on Malta pass to the ownership of Arriva who plan to introduce a network of services operated by new vehicles. This will see the withdrawal of the famous old buses, some dating as far back as 1932.

Fatties Avoid Desiro's
The "larger'' commuters on South Western Train's Portsmouth-Waterloo route are complaining about the seat width on the Class 450 Desires with their five seats across in a two-plus-three formation. They try to avoid the ''skinny-seat'' trains whenever possible.

Major Projects Get the Green Light
Major schemes announced by the Transport Secretary include;
** Formal consultation on HS2 first phase from London to Birmingham and Lichfield.
** Electrification of the GW main line into Wales, to Cardiff and to Bristol. The frequency of trains between Paddington and Bristol TM to increase to 4 Per hour.
**  Agility Trains to build the electric and bi-modal replacements for the HST'S for the GW and ECML, bimodal sets switching to diesel mode beyond Cardiff and Edinburgh)
An open-access application from Grand Central to run trains on the WCML between London and Blackpool was turned down.

East Coast's new timetable in May will see the end of restaurant cars meaning that on the national network only 3 First Great Western trains each day will carry a restaurant car.
Timetable changes include a four-hour Flying Scotsman (05.40 Edinburgh-King's Cross) and new services to Harrogate and Lincoln. The Lincoln service will be only one daily train each way, other previous proposed services
terminating at Newark, meaning that Class 180 Adelante units will not be required. Additional trains to York and the Lincoln service will be provided by HST'S. An evening train to Skipton will be electric.
There will be l1 new non-stop daily services between York and London.

Chiltern Mainline Launch Delayed Engineering overruns have delayed the introduction of Chiltern's accelerated services between Birmingham Snow Hill and Marylebone until later in the year.

DLR Update
The delayed Docklands Light Railway extension from Canning Town to Stratford should open in Spring 2011, with test trains already inning.

ELR Complete
The East London Railway is complete with the opening of the western curve north of Dalston Junction allowing overground trains to run on to Canonbury and Highbury & Islington.

Croydon Tramway Boost
A further 10 trams are to be acquired for the Croydon Tramway linking Croydon with Wimbledon, Elmers End, Beckenham and New Addington. Second hand vehicles have not been ruled out although European companies have been invited to submit proposals to supply the extra trains.
Original vehicles were supplied by Bombardier.

New Eurostar Logo
Eurostar has launched a new logo to reflect future growth of the service beyond France and Belgium following the introduction of international access in 2010.
International competition comes closer, particularly from Deutsch Bahn who will be able to run short coupled ICE units (200m) through Channel Tunnel.

EM Trains Class 222 refurbs
A refurbishment programme will cover the entire fleet of East Midlands Trains Class 222 Meridians.
The fleet consist of 17x5 cars, 6x7 cars and 4x4 car sets formerly used by Hull Trains,, a total of 143 vehicles.

Grand Central lodges two Track Access Applications
Open access operator Grand Central has lodged two track access applications with the ORR with the intention of speeding up its West Riding services between London and Bradford.
Pontefract may lose out because one application is granted GC trains will be diverted and no longer call there, although Mirfield would be added instead.
The other application is set to intensify the competition on the etc ECML because wants its Sunderland trains to make an additional stop at Doncaster. Its West Riding services already call there but the first stop for Sunderland trains from London has always been York.
However, the ORR may not approve the applications and even then everything would depend on Network Rail being able to adjust be timetables and paths.

Hitchin Flyover approved
Approval has been given to build a flyover at Hitchin, north of the stations to carry the diverging Cambridge line and allow the abolition of the present flat junction. Completion date is early 2014.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel has finally opened completing the excellent renovation of St. Pancras Station.
It is a fine 5-star hotel (was prices to match). 10k per night will guarantee you the ultimate in luxury, with butler service.
Perhaps Robin can arrange a London weekend with a stay at the hotel thrown in!

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Complete
The Ecclesbourne Valley railway in Derbyshire reopened the Wirksworth branch in full to Duffield on Friday 8th April with a gala on the Saturday and Sunday. The gala featured visiting BR Class 2MT locomotive No. 78019.

Flight facility Grants
The Dept of Transport has withdrawn Freight Facilities Grants, intended to help freight move to rail, in England and Wales. They have, however, been reprieved by the Scottish Government.

FGW Worries
First Group may withdraw from in Great Western early due to the delay in the introduction of Intercity Express, now expected in 2015/16, and weak revenue.

New Stanstead Fleet
The Stanstead Express services from Liverpool Street were to be run solely by new Class 379's from May 2011. The trains were built by Bombardier at Derby. Although 120 vehicles were built, only 10 x 8 car trains will be needed due to downturn in air traffic. The other 40 vehicles will go into service on the Cambridge to London line.
Bombardier has orders for new London Underground rolling stock but is awaiting a decision from the Transport Secretary on the contract to build new vehicles for Thameslink.

Expansion Approved
The 2011 Budget saw approval for redoubling the GW line between Stroud and Kemble and the building of the Ordsall Chord in central Manchester which will allow through running between Piccadilly and Victoria stations.

Glasgow subway Improvement
Substantial upgrading of the Glasgow Subway, including new trains, has been approved. The circular Glasgow Subway, originally a cable railway, is the third oldest in the world. For some years it was branded "Underground'' but the original name has now been reinstated.

Tram Transfers
Edinburgh's floundering tram project may see ten trams leased to Transport for London for the Croydon Network.
The Edinburgh system, now not expected to open before mid-2013 at the earliest is likely to serve only the section  between Edinburgh Airport Haymarket, with the cross- city centre corridor along Princes Street to St Andrew Square not seeing trams for several years yet.
No date is yet being considered for the section onwards to Leith.

Light Railway Moves
The Transport Minister has approved two further tram routes in Nottingham,| southwards from Nottingham station to Chilwell / Beeston and Clifton. Funding has also been given for detailed development of a tram-train route linking Sheffield and Rotherham for hybrid vehicles equipped to run on railways and tramways, using the Meadowhall tramline from the city centre and then run via a new junction to a freight line connecting Tinsley and Rotherham Central station.

 Vintage stock
Lovers of old rolling stock may wish to visit the Island line (average age 73 years using ex London Underground stock) or Merseyrail (average age 32 years).
No comment on average age of Pennine members!

Andy Dalby Memorial Slide Competition
The Andy Dalby Memorial Slide Competition was held on 4th May 2011 will a total of 40 slides entered. The result was as follows:
lst  Glen Williamson - 142004 at Stainforth for on a Scunthorpe to Sheffield service on 6th January 2011 (see front cover)
2nd - Chris Tyas - 60163 Tornado at Joan Croft Junction on Saturday 18th April 2009 when working "The Yorkshire Pullman"
3rd - Maurice Ockleford - 45212 at Pickering on 4th August 2004
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to Nick Dalby who presented the prizes.

Supertram Engineering Works
Major track renewal work over the 4 day Easter holiday on the Delta junction at Park Square saw an unusual diversion on the YELLOW route with city bound trams being diverted through the depot (and tramwash) to the stop at Cricket Inn Road for a replacement bus forward to the city centre.
Because trams on the truncated BLUE and YELLOW routes on the other side of the blockade would be unable to access the depot enough trams had to be allocated to cover all the workings over the holiday period and on Good Friday the following trams were allocated.-

CASTLE SQUARE - MIDDLEWOOD - 106, 113, l 18.
116 was the spare tram and all were stabled overnight in the Brook Square underpass near the university stop.
 SHEFFIELD STATION - HALFWAY - 110, 112, 114, 120, 121.
l19 was the spare at Sheffield Station where the trams were also stabled overnight

Blackpool Tram News
The tramway finally reopened for the 2011 season on Good Friday but due to the ongoing and delayed upgrade works could only operate between Pleasure Beach and North Pier.
Even this was a challenge as the trams were unable to load or unload after Central Pier heading north as they ran through a fenced off work site The next section from North Pier to Cabin then reopened on Friday 6tt May
It is hoped to open the section north to Little Bispham by the Spring Bank Holiday with the remaining works thorough Cleveleys and Thornton Gate completed by mid July to enable trams to run through to Fisherman's Walk at Fleetwood for the summer season.

Sheffield Railwayana actions
At the Sheffield Railwayana Auction held at the Derbyshire County Cricket Club's Gateway Centre on 12th March 2011 the following locomotive nameplates and worksplate all sold for 5,000 or more:
An extremely choice builders plate from a Dean 1076 "Buffalo'' class double-framed 0-6-0ST/PT, two hunted and sixty-six of which were built between 1870 and 1881. This plate came from loco No. 1286 which was withdrawn in April 1930 from Newton Abbot and scrapped shortly afterwards at Swindon Works.
GWR builders plates are extremely uncommon as the completely ceased to plate their locos from about 1911 and at the same time also adopted the policy of removing plates from existing locos presumably to hide their age - 7,800
** LOCO NAMEPLATE:  LOUGH MELVIN as carried by a 5' 3'' gauge 0-6-4T built by Beyer Peacock No 7138 in 1949 and delivered in 1951 to the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway under a hire purchase agreement. Out of use in 1957 when the line closed and purchased by the Ulster Transport Authority in 1959. It became their No 26 and was designated Class Z retaining its name. It spent some time at Adelaide shed and also worked on the Belfast dock lines. On May 28, 1960 it was used to haul a two coach Irish Railway Society special train from York Road to Antrim,. Lisburn and across the former Belfast Central Railway to Queen's Quay, the tour eventually terminating at Great Victoria Street. This was recorded as the first passenger working of an ex- SLNCR locomotive in the ownership of the UTA taken into Northern Ireland Railways' stock in 1968 and withdrawn the me year. Subsequently scrapped - 5,100
** LOCO NAMEPLATE: "THE KING'S ROYAL RIFLE CORPS" as carried by Fowler Royal Scot class 4-6-0  LMS No 6140, BR 46140 Built by the North British Locomotive Company No. 23635 m October 1927.
Originally named ''HECTOR'' in 1928 and renamed in 1936. It was reboilered in 1952. In 1955 It was allocated to Longsight but finished its days at Carlisle Kingmoor being withdrawn from there in November 1965. It went to J. McWilliam & Sons, Shettleston, where it was cut-up in the following March 16,600
** LOCO NAMEPLATE: THE TERRITORIAL ARMY 1908-1958 as carried by British Railways "Britannia'' Class 7MT 4-6-2 pacific No. 70048 built at Crewe Works in July 1954. Named to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the TA. The nameplates were unique in that they were the only double-liners fitted to the class and they were also unusually made of aluminum.
At the start of its career it was one of a batch of five shedded at Holyhead but it finished its days at Carlisle Kingmoor being withdrawn there in May 1967. It went to I. McWilliam & Sons. Shettleston, where it was cut-up in the October. 11,200
GWR BRASS COMBINED NAME AND NUMBERPLATE: GLASTONBURY 3324. As carried by Dean GWR "Bulldog'' Class 4-4-0 No. 3324 built at Swindon in December 1899. In order to clear the coupling rod heads this loco was one of the first batch of forty-one built will curved frames similar to the Duke's class. Withdrawn from Didcot in June 1935 and scrapped at Swindon Works - 37,000
**LOCO NAMEPLATE: "THE BUSH" as carried by LMS Northern Counties Committee (later Ulster Transport Authority) 5' 3', gauge Class W 2-6-0 No. 91 built at Derby in 1933. Four locos were constructed there under order 0/8207 although the boilers were supplied by Crewe. The name was not applied until 1935 The design was based on that of the LMS 2-6-0 4T's except that this class had 6'0" driving wheels. It was withdrawn in 1965 and scrapped: 6,200

by Paul Slater

During our Annual stay with a friend in Runcorn, I had a day out on my own riding the rails The train that I caught at Runcorn station was a class 350 Desiro electric multiple- unit - a new type for me - on a Birmingham - Liverpool service. Immediately after leaving Runcorn the line crossed the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey on a high bridge, and then curved round to the west on a long viaduct. I glimpsed 66576 in a container depot on the outskirts of Widnes. After a few miles of running through open country on the quadruple-track line we reached the suburbs of Liverpool. I saw 66060 in a siding at Speke Junction.
The only stop before Liverpool Lime Street was Liverpool South Parkway, a big new station situated where a connection from the former Cheshire Lines Committee route from Manchester swings in past the disused Allerton motive power depot. The four tracks continued into the city, and at one point I enjoyed a view across close-packed rooftops to the distinctive shapes of Liverpool's two cathedrals.
At Edge Hill rejoined the route of the original Liverpool and Manchester railway. There were sidings. a viaduct, an old name board in the maroon colour of the London Midland Region, and a depot where l saw 08611 in Virgin livery and 57314 bearing the name of Arrive Trains Wales.
From Edge Hill the line led through tunnels a deep cutting to Lime Street.
It was over twenty years since I was last at Lime Street, and I took the opportunity to do some filming and photographing. The station is impressive, with an arcaded entrance and an overall roof consisting of two huge arches.
Statues of Ken Dodd and Bessie Braddock adorn the concourse. A variety of units were on Northern local workings, an East Midlands 158 departed for Norwich and 185's were on services to Scarborough,  but I concentrated on the Pendolinos for Euston - I saw 390025 "Virgin Stagecoach''  390046 "Virgin Soldiers'' and 390050 "Virgin Invader" - and on the green-and-grey Desiro's on the half- hourly service to Birmingham.
I had a snack lunch in one of the several bars and stations cafes, and went outside to photograph the station facade.
The morning had been intermittently sunny, but the weather was now overcast, and it felt decidedly chilly for August a contrast to the warmth inside the station. I bought a return ticket to Liverpool South Parkway, as I had decided to do some photography there, and I was soon on my way out of Lime Street on board a Desiro bound for Birmingham. Liverpool South Parkway is the station for John lemon Airport; it has four platforms and an extensive glass-fronted concourse. The station is served by the Desiro's on the Birmingham route as well as by East Midlands Trains to Nottingham and Norwich and local trains on the former Cheshire Lines route to Manchester: Pendolinos pass through at speed, and the Scarborough trains taking the Manchester line also do not stop there.
I took a photograph of the station frontage as well as several trains, and I had a drink in the station cafe. Rain began to fall, and the day felt autumnal. I sheltered on the platform, and was soon riding on another Desiro back to Lime Street. Across the city rooftops, beyond the cathedrals, the sky was brightening.
I had another drink in one of the bars at Lime Street.
390010 "Decade of Progress'' and 390026 "Virgin Enterprise'' were on services to Euston. The last photo I took that day was of the Birmingham train in which I returned to Runcorn: unlike the previous three Desiro's in which I had travelled this one was full as it was now rush hour. The train called at Liverpool South Parkway and then Runcorn; the sun shone as I walked back to our friend's home along the towpath of the Bridgwater Canal, and it was a pleasant end to my day of riding on Desiro's.

What the Papers Say

Who approves of these ridiculous new trains?
No one
by Christian Wolmar

Many of the 400,000 people expected to travel into London by train for the royal wedding will be riding on a High Speed Train 125, the backbone of Britain's intercity services. These diesel trains, which have a locomotive at each end are reliable, comfortable and spacious, but they are entering their fourth decade and need replacing. The good news is that the Department for Transport is on the case. Last month Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, confirmed that he was going ahead with the Intercity Express Project (IEP) with an initial order of 500 new coaches, built by Hitachi, to replace the ageing HST'S.
More will follow. The innovative bit of the project is that most of these new trains will be bi-modal; capable of being powered by electricity or the huge onboard diesel engines.
The bad news is that nobody - and I have talked to dozens of people - in the rail industry thinks this is a sensible idea It was presented as a clever solution to Britain having a lower proportion of electrified railways than any major country in Europe. So once the wires run out at, say, Cardiff , the train will use its powerful diesel engines There are far too many obvious objections to this cunning plan to list here. Suffice to say, it is expensive and environmentally perverse to carry around three heavy diesel engines for five car trains on only small sections of the journey.
The alternative of having diesel locomotives waiting at the changeover point, a common solution across the world, was dismissed on the spurious ground that it would take nine minutes to hook them up, whereas it could be done in two or three.  Moreover, having big diesel engines humming loudly underneath the floor of a cramped carriage does not make for a relaxed journey.
This is a king-size procurement disaster that will not only place an enormous burden on taxpayers and rail passengers but make train travel less pleasant up to the halfway mark of the present century. Europeans will laugh, again at our incompetence.
Mr. Hammond has repeatedly said that civil servants are not the right people to specify new trains. Quite right, and yet this project has been drawn up by civil servants, with the help of a staggering 27 million of consultancy bills. Time for Mr. Hammond to set up an independent rail agency staffed by professionals to procure equipment. They could start by ensuing this new order hits the buffers and just buy a few off-the-peg electric trains. Simple.!!!
This article appeared in the "Thunderer" column of the Times, dated Friday 22 April 2011.

Tosca's Travels
(Beer and Bashing Abroad) Part 17

The early part of 1996 saw me doing more moves at home in the UK This included chasing a few class 86's and 87s, doing a railtour| with some 31's, 86's and 56045 and doing diesel galas at the Torbay and Dartmouth and Bodmin Railways.
I also drove to Cardiff as 37254 was out on a Sunday on the Merthyr Tydfil line. This was also the year that the European championships were held m England. I saw 3 games. at Leeds where Bulgaria and Spain drew, at Old Trafford where Germany hammered the Russians 3-0 and at Hillsborough where Denmark easily beat Turkey. The Hillsborough Kop has never looked so good as all the Danish fans proudly waved their red and white colours However between the quarter finals and semifinals I flew on holiday to Egypt. I watched the semifinal against Germany whilst on a cruise down the Nile. I didn't do any bashing on the trip but did pop to the stations at Aswan and Luxor. The trains were very basic without glass in the widows and filthy. I also didn't get the loco numbers as they were written in Arabic Once back in England I went on another railtour, this time to Fort William with 31146 and 31166 doing most of the train. We also had 37025, 31255, 56058, 90128, 90140 and the last leg from Preston to Stockton was my old favourite 31434. It put up a stirring run on load 10 absolutely storming out of Preston. It was the last time I ever had the beast but it was a fitting way to end. In the end I had 2272 miles of it.
Eventually though I got Itchy feet and had to do a trip over to Belgium, I also had a bit of time in the Netherlands and Germany.

Saturday 26th October 1996
91010 Doncaster - Kings Cross
I then did some pubs around Victoria - Turks Head (Fullers London Pride), Star Tavern (Fullers ESB), Fox and Hounds (Harveys Sussex Bitter) and Orange Brewery (1/2 SW1/1/2 Pimlico Porter.
Having had 4 pints it was off on the boat train to Ramsgate.
EMU 1565 Victoria - Ramsgate
Sunday 27th October 1996

At this stage in my life I was more into football then I had ever been so my plan was to go to the Netherlands and watch a game. I had one particular game in mind!
SNCB 1601 Oostende - Bruxelles Midi
SNCB 2012 Bruxelles Midi - Namur
SNCB 2018 Namur - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 1184 Bruxelles Nord - Roosendaal
NS EMU 8460 Roosendaal - s'Hertogenbosch
Booked into the hotel at "den boss'' and then back to Tilburg for the match.
NS EMU s'Hertogenbosch - Tilburg
I caught a bus from the station to the ground. On the bus was a lad with a Man Utd shirt. I opened my jacket to reveal the luminous Sheffield Utd shirt I was wearing and he asked me in broken English what it was. I explained and he told me he was a Breda fan but wasn't wearing yellow (Breda's normal colours) as it would make him a target for Tilburg's hooligans. Tilburg and Breda being only 21 km apart this was a local Derby. He wanted to know which side I was going in, so as I was wearing yellow I said the Breda end, so he asked me to join him and his mates. Had a good laugh and watched a reasonable game, though Breda lost 2-0.
Afterwards one of the Dutch lads asked what I was doing next and I said going for a beer to the Kandinsky. They had never heard of it, so surreally an Englishman (me) took some Dutch lads to the best bar in the next town to where they lived. They thought the place was amazing with all the different Dutch and Belgian beers on offer. I had a 50c1 bottle of Raaf Witbier followed by a 35cl bottle of T'ij Natte. Then I walked back to the station with the guys and joined them on the train to Breda as I was going to see if I could pick up a couple of winners!
NS 1629 Tilburg - Breda
NS 1624 Breda - Eindhoven
NS 1603 Eindhoven - s' Hertogenbosch
NS 1617 s'Hertogenbosch - Eindhoven
NS 1315 Eindhoven - s'Hertogenbosch

Monday 28th October 1996
Off to Luxembourg via Germany today so up early. (Hence no late beers last night)
NS 1648 s'Hertogenbosch - Eindhoven
NS 1160 Eindhoven - Heerlen
NS DMU 178 Heerlen - Aachen Hbf
DB 110253 Aachen Hbf - Aachen West
DB 111119 Aachen West - Aachen Hbf
DB 111140 Aachen Hbf - Koln Hbf
DB 143582 Koln Hbf - Koln Deutz
DB 218140 Koln Deutz - Koln Trimbonstrasse
DB 218150 Koln Trimbonstrasse - Koln Deutz
DB 111137 Kohl Deutz - Koln Hbf
DB 143815 Koln Hbf - Koln Deutz
DB 218137 Koln Deutz - Koln Hbf
DB 110274 Koln Hbf - Koln Sud
DB 215|98 Koln Sud - Euskirchen
DB 215056 Euskirchen - Odendorf
DB 215110 Odendorf- Euskirchen
DB 215043 Euskirchen - Kall
DB 215037 Kall - Gerolstein
DB 215038 Gerolstein - Trier Hbf
DB DMU 628466 Trier Hbf - Luxembourg
A successful day with the winners but was quite tired when I got to Lux, so much so that I again rejected the beer move as I wanted to be up early to cover the morning peak and see if I could get any 3600 flat irons that were needed.

Tuesday 29th October 1996

Up early, breakfast could wait until about
SNCF 16695 Luxembourg - Bettembourg
SNCF 16682 Bettembourg - Luxembourg
CFL 3606 Luxembourg - Mersch
CFL 3620 Mersch - Luxembourg
CFL EMU 2012 Luxembourg - Berchem
CFL 3601 Berchem - Luxembourg
DB 181210 Luxembourg - Trier Hbf
DB DMU 628465 Trier Hbf - Luxembourg
SNCB EMU 303 Luxembourg - Namur
Had a beer in the buffet at Namur, Lamot Horse Ale, I know which part of the horse it was too as it was awful.
SNCB 2334 Namur - Gembloux
SNCB EMU 305 Gembloux - Namur
Tried another beer, as the old saying goes if you fall off, get back on the Horse. Well I didn't do the Horse but the Dubuisson Bush beer was excellent.
SNCB 2330 Namur - Lustin
SNCB EMU 392 Lustin - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 1187 Bruxelles Nord - Antwerpen Central
Booked into the Hotel Florida as usual in Antwerpen and then went out to have a few beers.
Did two very good bars: - Bierenbak - had Wildebroc Vaartlander and Riva Lucifer. Then went to the famous Kulminator - had Floreffe Dubbel and Van Eeke Pater.
And I was pretty drunk, don't know if it was tiredness or the strength of the beers but it put paid to my 6am start.

Wednesday 30th October 1996
I struggled out of bed to make the 07.45 from Antwerpen.
Breakfast was waved.
SNCB 2508 Antwerpen Central - Berchem
SNCB 1 190 Berchem - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 2151 Bruxelles Nord - Bruxelles Central
SNCB 2106 Bruxelles Central - Bruxelles Nord
SNCB 2136 Bruxelles Nord - Bruxelles Central
SNCB 2023 Bruxelles Central - Bruxelles Midi
Eurostar 3218/3217 Bruxelles Midi - London Waterloo
Tube Waterloo - Embankment, Embankment - Liverpool St
86215 Liverpool St - Norwich
The purpose of going to Norwich was twofold. Firstly the Blades were playing there that night. Secondly it was the Norwich beer festival. The Blades managed a 1-1 draw, whilst before the game I managed to do 7 pubs having 7.1/2 pints, and yet I was nowhere near as drunk as I was in Antwerpen the night before. Figure that one out if you can!

Thursday 31st October 1996
Had a lovely lie in at the B&B I had booked. A good hearty breakfast too. Then at I| went to the beer festival. Stayed until late afternoon, were it was time to head home.
DMU 158858 Norwich - Peterborough
91027 Peterborough - Doncaster
A good trip was 30 new engines for haulage, lots of new beers and a new ground visited too: Highlight was the 2 hours I spent with the Dutch lads drinking in the Kandinsky. Low point was making my way back to the hotel from the Kulminator as I was completely gone. I remember wondering if I was going the right way but eventually saw a sign for the station.
The following week at work I met Stephanie, we hit it off so well that within the year we were married. Although this curtailed the trips for a while I still managed to get abroad now and again.

Penning Observer Notes

Eastern Region
Recent sightings at Doncaster have been:
Feb 21 70010 with 66555
Feb 24 67016 Thunderbird 66096, 66074, 66402 Intermodal 66199, 66555, 66717, 66723 Coal
66422 Route learning 66516, 66517 Freightliners 66142 mean 66180 Rails 57004 Light engine 66710 Gypsum 66117 Sand 66034 Engineers 66019 Stone
Mar 3 67016 Thunderbird 66074. 66130, 66715 Intermodal 66046 empty MBA's 66710, 66951, 66165, 66703, 66705 Coal 66089 Rails 66404 Gypsum 66002, 66727, 66187 Light engines 66572, 66542, 66532 Freightliners 66141 Stone 66151 Auto Ballasters 66056 Sand 67019 Barrier coach 57308 in Wabtec
Mar 10 67016 Thunderbird 66057, 66101, 66577 Light engines 66213, 66728, 66084 Intermodal 66536 Freightliners 66095 Sand 66732 gypsum 31106 Network Rail train 66145 Stone 66721 Coal slurry 66404, 66013, 66167, 66714, 66707, 66727, 66621 Coal 66554 collecting wagons from Wabtec 456933 waiting departure from Wabtec
Mar 12 66056 Intermodal 66714, 66722, 66079 Light engines 66139, 66184, 66096 Engineers 66050 Iron Ore 66502, 66534 Freightliners 67016 dragging 91117 and stock 66191 Plasmor blocks 66067, 66192, 66510, 66404, 66614, 66707, 66131, 66548, 66607, 66602, 66515 Coal Mar 17 67016 Thunderbird 66019, 66065, 66404 Intermodal 67027 Light engine 66187, 66016, 66527 Coal 66730 Gypsum 66607 Limestone 66575, 66534 Freightliners 66727 Coal slurry 66150, 66174 Steel 666127 Sand
Mar 24 67016 Thunderbird 66146 Rails 66572 Route learning 66722, 66041 Gypsum 66718, 66090, 66067, 66170, 66560, 66527, 66717 Coal 66577, 66502 Freightliner's 66732 Intermodal 66152 Cars 321419 into Wabtec
Mar 26 67019 Thunderbird 66088, 66044 Intermodal 60039 Ballast 66623, 66166, 66719, 60084, 66717, 66019 Light engines 66201 Sand 66141, 66095 Engineers 66107 Iron Ore 66540, 66954, 66955 Freightliners 66191 Plasmor 66090/539/595/513/136/546/067/528/1 18/ 525/701/524/140/184/031/616 Coal Mar 31 67019 Thunderbird 66002 Rails 66096 Cars 66717, 66508, 66518, 66404, 66713, 66060, 66007, 66952, 66141, 66607, 66725 Coal 66181, 66160, 66024, 57314, 66571 Light engines 66433 + DVT 82105 66044, 66401 Intermodal 66720 Gypsum 66592 Freightliner 66621 Limestone 66174 Sand 66722/66726 empty scrap wagons
Apr 7 66198, 66 l83 Engineers 66029 Sand 66023 Light engine 67019 Thunderbird 66717, 66518, 66206, 66709, 66952, 66193, 66514, 66719, 66585, 66732 Coal 66075/66047 Rails 66533, 66591, 66563 Freightliners 661 12, 66404 Intermodal 66154 Stone 66622 Limestone 66720 Gypsum
Apr 14 67025 Thunderbird 66061, 66134, 66403 Intermodal 66538 Freightliner 66621 Limestone 66054 Stone 66404, 66024, 66606, 66141, 66529, 66511, 66704 Coal
Apr 16 67028 Thunderbird 66061, 66146, 66085 Intermodal 66616, 66161, 66024, 66605, 66557, 667|, 66952, 66031, 66529 Coal 47760 Back up for 4492 66501, 66562, 66572 Freightliner's 66605, 66126, 66094, 66550, 60084, 66004, 66403 Light engines 66088/66124/66016/66134 Doncaster MPD to Carlisle 66152 Engineers 66025 Steel 66596 empty fly ash tanks
Apr 28 67028Thunderbird 66086, 66159, 66708 Intermodal 66053 Rails 66538, 66568 Freightliners 66025, 66084, 66606 Light engines 60013 Steel 66621 Limestone 66403, 66722, 66192, 66546, 66585, 66525, 66703 Coal
Apr 23 67028 Thunderbird 66083 Rugby - Mossend, 66418 Daventry - Grangemouth, 66596 Binliner 66133 Sand 6673 1/66718/66721/66727 Tyne Dock - Doncaster Decoy 66705/66722/66715/66730 Doncaster Decoy - Tyne Dock 66403, 66554, 66084, 66555, 66137, 66604, 66713 Coal 66605, 66131, 66141 Light engines
Apr 28 67017 Thunderbird 66071 Rails 66035, 66016, 66581 Intermodal 66588 Freightliner 66595 Light engine 66527 one wagon 66529, 66706, 66715, 66063, 66709 Coal
May 5 67028 Thunderbird 66097 Rails 66183, 66079, 66580 Intermodal 66706, 66715, 66140, 66250, 66165, 66530, 66732, 66560, 66554, 66528, 66581, 66090, 66238 Coal 66501, 66517 Freightliners 66716, 66705, 66015 Light engines 66145 Gypsum 67027 watts support coach 21268 66621 Limestone empties
66 105 Stone 66088 Sand
May 12 67026 Thunderbird 4492 Excursion York - Stratford on Avon 66012 Rails 66710, 66086, 66531, 66130, 66524, 66732, 66140, 66527, 66520, 66506, 66717, 66707 Coal 66542, 66541 Freightliner, 66152, 66093, 66732 Intermodal 37604/37059 Track measurement train 37409 with inspection saloon 57311  Wabtec 66250 Sand 60045 Stone 66621 Limestone

Recent sightings on the Gainsborough - Barnetby line have been:
Mar 1 66131 and 66710 on coal trains
Mar 2 66110, 66705, 66709, 66710 and 66714 on coal trains
Mar 4 60049 on oil train 66167 and 66182 on coal trains
Mar 5 66027, 66167, 66182, 66508, 66553 and 66709 on coal gains 66090 on iron ore train
Mar 6 66008 on goods train 66078 on paw. train 66090 and 66174 on iron ore trains 66131 on coal train Mar 8 66066 and 66702 on coal trains 66528 on goods train
Mar 9 66528 and 66727 on coal trains
Mar l1 66 194, 66552 and 66707 on coal trains
Mar 12 60039 on steel train 66050 on iron ore train 66192, 66194, 66596, 66721 and 66732 on . coal train Mar 13 66016, 66096 and 66118 on coal trains 66174 on iron ore train 60045+66238 light engines
Mar 14 66067 and 66707 on coal trains
Mar 15 66707 and 66709 on coal trains
Mar 16 66194, 66707 and 66717 on coal trains
Apr 1 66701 on coal train
Apr 2 66083 and 66717 on coal trains
Apr 5 66604, 66708, 66709, 66717 and 66732 on coal trains
Apr 6 66031, 66604 and 66732 on coal trains 66708 light engine
Apr 7 66031, 66708 and 66709 on coal trains 66176 on oil train
Apr 11 66404 and 66732 on coal trains 66713 on goods train
Apr 13 66704 and 66713 on coal trains 66723 on goods train
Apr 14 66404 and 66704 on coal trains
Apr 15 66704 on coal train 66723 on goods train
Apr 16 66557 on coal that
Apr 18 66061. 66511, 66585 and 66713 on coal trains
Apr 19 66061, 66702 and 66713 on coal trains
Apr 20 66061, 66094, 66606 and 66713 on coal trains
Apr 21 66061, 66094, 66702 and 66713 on coal trains
Apr 22 66031, 66702 and 66713 on coal trains 66705 on goods train
Apr 23 66183, 66604 and 66713 on coal trains
Apr 25 66024, 66183, 66706 and 66709 on coal trains
Apr 29 66183, 66706 and 66709 on coal trains 66737 on goods train
Apr 30 66024 and 66183 on coal trains 66706 and 66715 light engines

Other recent sightings have been:
Mar 5 66044+661 10+66122+66168 light engines at Eaton Lane Crossing
Mar 9 66518 on coal train at Hare Park Junction
Apr 2 66078 and 66081 on goods trains and 66114 on coal train at Swinton 47786 and 47760 at Cleethorpes 66120, 66523 and 66552 in Immingham Reception Sidings, 66075, 66037, 66725 at Barnetby. Apr 9 66165 on steel train at Eaton Lane Crossing
Apr 13 66501 on container train at Adwick 66080 on Tilcon service at Hull Apr 16 66025 on steel train and 66191 on Plasmor train at School Lane Crossing
Apr 27 66531 on tanker train at Wakefield Kirkgate 66004 on oil train at Leeds 66156 on container train at Adwick
Apr 30 92005+66006 light engine at Adwick
Locos noted in Scunthorpe Steelworks on 4 March (BLS railtour) were 66094, 66068, 66078, 66056, 66126, 66138, 66041, D2853, 07012, 20066 and 08994.

Western Region
On 24 March, 70004 was seen at Bristol Parkway on a MGR train and 57602 worked the Penzance to Paddington sleeper (57604 worked the ECS at Paddington).

Midland Region
Locos noted at Derby Research Centre on 21 March were 56303, 37059, 97301, 97303, 86901, 86902, 97304, 73139, 31422 and 31452.
Locos seen in the Kingsbury area on 5 April were 66066, 96597 and 66595.
Locos noted at Bescot on 24 April were 66213, 66008, 16155, 67018, 66156, 66059, 66121 and 08605.
Other recent sightings have been:
Feb 21 90044 working 12.30 Birmingham NS - Euston
Mar 19 70006 on stone train near Loughborough

SScottish Region
Noted in Edinburgh on 29 March were 67030 on 22G13 708 Edinburgh/Edinburgh/ Fife Circle, 67003 on 2L69  Edinburgh/Cardenden and EMT 43054/076 on 1450 Aberdeen/Kings Cross.

Railtours and Charter Trains
Locos  seen on railtours and charters have been:
Feb 19 (Cumbrian Crusader IV) 20309, 37409, 37667, 57004, 57601, 66417 and 66418
Mar 4 (BLS tour of Scunthorpe Steelworks) 1438
Mar 12 (Kings Cross - York VSOE) 67008 and 67017
Mar 26 (Newcastle - Kings Cross charter) 67002 and 67030
Apr 2 (The Humber Explorer) 66096 and 60074
Apr 16 (York and the Line That Time Forgot) 67005 (The Great Britain IV Railtour) 4492 Dominion of New Zealand (60019)
Apr 23 (The Trent Explorer Railtour) 66157 and 66119
Apr 24 (Another Trent Valley Railtour) as above
Apr 28 (Cathedrals Express) 6201 Princess Elisabeth
Apr 30 (The felled Explorer) 47786 and 47804

Preserved Railways
Locos working at the Great Central Railway Mixed Traffic Gala on 12/13 February were D8098, 37255, 08629, D4067 and 45305.
Locos used at the East Lancs Railway Steam Weekend were 80072, 80080, 71000 and 46443.
Locos working at the Mid Hants Steam Spring Gala on 25March were 31806, 5224, 9017, 45379, 73096, 92212, 953, 850 13717.
Locos used at the Great Central Railway 1960's Gala on 9th April were 48624, 45305, 1450, 45160, D123, D1705 and D8098.
Locos working at the East Lancs Railway Small Engine weekend on 9 April were 1370 (Peckett), D3232 (08164), 20087, 80080, WD132 "The Sapper", 08479, 08700, D2062, D2956 and 4002 (industrial diesel shunter).
Locos used at the Wensleydale Diesel Gala on 10 April were 20020, 20166, 26010, 47715, 55019 and 03144.
In service on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway on 16 April were E50170/59303/E51360 and BR Standard 78019 on Wirksworth to Duffield trains and E79900 (Ex test car IRIS) and Andrew Barclay 2360 + DMU E51505on Wirksworth to Ravenstor trains.
Steam locos working at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway Easter Steam Gala on 23 April were 1438, 47406, "Bellerophon'' and "Fulstow''
Locos used at the NYMR's 1751 Anniversary of the Whitby - Pickering Line on 30 April were 44871, 92214, 71000, 69023, 60007, 45428, 45212, 45407, 76079 as 76084, 80072 as 80135 and replica of No. 9 PLANET.
Locos working at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Rail Ale Festival on 13 May were steam 47406 and diesel 09012.Locos working at the Nene Valley Railway on l5 May were GBRf 66716 (which was named ''LOCOMOTIVE & CARRIAGE INSTITUTION CENTENARY 1911-2011" at Wansford before working the 13.20 Wansford/ Peterborough and 14.20 ret), 31108 and class 4MT 44422.

Pennine Quiz No. 144

Class 50 Names

The English Electric Class 50 diesel locomotives carried 51 different names during their working life. Can you list, in alphabetical name order please, the other locomotives (steam, diesel or electric) that carried the same names, officially or unofficially?

Pennine Quiz No. 143

The Answers

1 Anstruther 2 Cowlairs 3 Buckhaven  4 Inverkeithing  5 Kirkintilloch Basin   6 Lauder  7 Musselburgh

8 Tayport  9 St. Andrews 10 Whiteinch 11 Galashiels  12 Grangemouth  13 Eastfield  14 Kipps

15 Reedsmouth  16 Dundee Tay Bridge  17 Lennoxtown  18 Montrose  19 Jedburgh   20 Carlisle Canal

21 Slade   22 Dalkeith   23 Duns  24 Milngavie  25 Aberfoyle

Penning Quiz No. 143

The Winners
lst Ken King
2nd Malcolm Bell
3rd Ian Shenton

Congratulations to all the winners.

Pennine Meetings 2011
Meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 on lst and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Wednesday 15th June 2011
Martin Fisher

Wednesday 6th July 2011
Andrew White  "A Film Evening'

Wednesday 20th July 2011
Neil Taylor

Wednesday 3rd August 2011
Geoff Bambrough

Wednesday 17thAugust 2011
Rob Hay

Wednesday 7th September 2011
Robin Havenhand

Wednesday 21st September 2011
Robin Patrick  'Enjoyable Pictures through the years'


I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Ken King, John Sanderson, Robin Skinner, Paul Slater, and Tosca.

Next Issue

The Autumn 2011 Issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on 2 l st September. Would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by no later than Wednesday 17th August - THANK YOU.
Remember you can email your contributions to

The Jacobite Experience
Recognised as one of the top railway journeys of the world, Richard Henson found plenty lo enjoy on the round trip from Fort William to Mallaig

There is no greater pleasure for a nostalgia buffoon to climb aboard childhood Demotes with the sight of a powerful piece of machine from a bygone era smell of smoke from the engine fire, sounds of whistle and steam, and touch of preserved interior fittings as you enter the carriages. But I was to discover that nostalgia is not confined to those of us of advanced years when I took a journey on The Jacobite Express out of Fort William, in the West Highlands of Scotland. Our party of four had based ourselves in a secluded cottage overlooking the ruins of Castle Urquhart on the shores of Loch Ness, its tranquility only broken by the occasional passing RAF Tornado. Up bright and early on the day of our train journey, the most wonderful sunrise over the mountains beyond promised a fine day to come.  Nestling m the shadow of the right Ben Nevis, we purchased our tickets from Fort William's railway station, an austere 1970s' structure built entirely of concrete. We treated ourselves to First Class for what was billed as one of the great railway Journeys of the world.
Strolling onto the platform, we got our first sight of Lord of the Isles, ex-LNER 62005 K1 Class, 2-6-0, whose black paintwork shone in the morning light as if she had just rolled off the production line. As the engine puffed and hissed in preparation, the line of carriages in their deep red livery waited patiently. The baggage/brake van doubled as a souvenir shop offering books, videos and railway-related mementos to passengers while they were boarding The ladies in our party settled comfortably in "Julie", our carriage for the next few hours sampling complementary tea and biscuits whilst we men stalked the platform snapping away with our cameras and soaking up the atmosphere.
A shrill blow of the whistle, a cry of "all aboard" and departure was imminent. Passengers hurried to their seats and placed belongings in the racks overhead, and Dennis - our host for the day, dressed in West Highland Railway uniform began to relate the history of the railway and the region He explained why there are so many enthusiastic youngsters on board Just a few short years ago, the train, some of its staffed the Glenfinnan Viaduct along the line were featured in one of J K Rowling's Harry Potter books.  Clunk and judder, the couplings took up the slack between the carriages as the engine pulled away, and we gradually packed up pace Soon up to speed we settled into the rhythm of steel on steel as the wheels passed over the joints of the track The tempo took me back to my school days when my English teacher would read out W.H. Auden's poem Night Mall as she tapped out the beat on her desk "diddly-do diddly-da, diddly-do diddly-da..."  This is the Night Mail crossing the border, Bringing the cheque and the postal order , which was memorably set to Benjamin Bntten's music in the 1936 GPO Film Unit documentary about a London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) mail train.
Passing the Nevis Distillery, we skirted the shore of Loch Linnhe, glistening m morning sunlight, and soon reached a steel swing bridge that passes over the Caledonian Canal as it enters the loch. From here we observed a flight of eight locks, known as Neptune's Staircase, built by engineer Thomas Telford for his canal that lake the west and east coasts Time to take a few pictures, I made my way to the carriage door and dropped the window's glass panel on its leather strap.
Sticking my head out, I felt the air rushing into my face, recalling the Seaside Special from my home town of Eastwood, in Nottinghamshire, to Mablethorpe, on the Lincolnshire coast - before Doctor Beeching's axe fell.
I was, once again, that young boy stood on tip-toe, excitedly peering out of the widow, eyes squinting against the onrush of air peppered with insects and stinging smoke and soot  Sixteen miles out and the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct came into view. Built entirely of concrete, a hundred feet high and 1,248 feet long, with 21 spans of fifty feet each, its curve enables you to see both ends of the train at once.
It allows an impressive view of Loch Shiel. It is here that Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the Jacobite standard from which the railway takes its name, during the uprising of 1745, and where his monument can be seen.
Soon after, we reached Glenfinnan Station, carriages disgorging passengers for a twenty minute break. The Harry Potter connection became even more apparent as youngsters clambered onto the engine doorplate to have their pictures taken with railway staff, who happily posed and signed autographs as they were elevated to film star status.
With barely time to visit the railway museum at this station, the engine pulled away promptly. A series of tunnels and viaducts led us to a wild and rugged landscape that was the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy and Ivanhoe. Across Loch Ailort is Inverailort House, home to the first Commando training camp in 1940, before they moved the short distance to Achnacarry Castle, by Loch Arkaig, in 1942.
A striking monument here poignantly overlooks the craggy terrain where they honed their skills.
 main. It is easy to see why this landscape inspired writers and film makers with backdrops such as the beautiful white-walled, black-roofed Our Lady of the Braes, a Catholic church perched on the hillside at Polnish (used in the film"Local Hero"  "Highlander") and the white sands of Morar (featured in "Local Hero" and "Highlander.")
The train quickened as it sped towards the end of our outward journey to Mallaig. Gorgeous Glens, majestic mountains sweeping down to the sea, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the railway at Loch an Uamh - tree-covered islands that are all that remain locally of the once great Macedonian forests - along with man-made tunnels, bridges and sea walls, delivered a constantly changing vista to delight the traveller at every point along this great journey.
The railway arrived in Mallaig m 1901, turning a sleepy settlement into a busy fishing port. We arrived here at 12.25 to find a bustling car ferry terminal leading to Skye and the Outer Hebrides. It is here that the road and rail networks meet at the end of Rathad nan Eilean, the "Road to the Isles."
After a stretch of the legs around the town and cup of tea at the Fisherman's Mission, we were ready for our return trip. With no turntable at Mallaig, the engine was coupled at the opposite end of the train and we departed, tender-first. There was still much to see as we steamed back through wild and wonderful territory, the entire 82-mile round trip memorable for special features that included the country's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, deepest loch, Loch Morar, most westerly station at Arisa1g, and shortest river, the Morar.
Now in its 26th year of running, the Jacobite Express is a first class experience, for which West Coast Railways can be congratulated.

Return of a King
Edward Evans harks back to a regal age of steam travel

On a cold, bright April morning in 2006, a friend and I stood on a draughty platform at Pontypool We were the first to arrive but within an hour, a small crowd had gathered at the south end of the station The occasion was the passage through the station of the ex-GWR 4-6-0 King Class locomotive No 6024 "King Edward 1" hauling a train northwards in celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Built at Swindon, the celebrated King class locos first appeared in 1927. Designed by C B Collett, chief mechanical engineer to the GWR the first, No 6000, was named "King George V" after the reigning monarch. The entire class of thirty carried the names of the Kings of England in descending order, ending with N0.6029 King Stephen, and were the most powerful express passenger locomotives in Great Britain Finished in Brunswick green, with copper-capped chimneys and brass safety valve bonnets, they represented the besti  British mechanical engineering. Owing to their heavy axle load, they were restricted to the Paddington - Birmingham and Paddington - Plymouth routes. Soon after completion, the senior member of the class, King George V, was shipped to America as Britain's representative at the Fair of the Iron Horse organised by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. From then on, the King carried a bell on its| buffer beam and cab-side medals to commemorate the event. One of the best places to see the Kings at work was on the sea wall between Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth on summer Saturdays in the 1950s. Even those holidaymakers out for a leisurely stroll on the path that ran parallel to the railway, and with no more than passing interest in an express train, could not fail to be moved by the sight of a majestic King hurrying westward to Plymouth.
In 1962, the Kings were withdrawn from service, replaced by the more erricient diesels. In 1968, British Railways finally dispensed with steam engines altogether and for three years, steam was banned from the metals of British Railways. The ban was lifted m 1971. This meant that some famous privately owned caged lions could be let loose on selected routes At first, timings for these steam runs were not made generally available to the public. Fortunately, I knew an insider, who informed me that King George V would be hauling the Bulmer's Cider Train of ten Pullman cars south from Hereford and would pass through Pontypool Road. It was a pleasant October morning in 1971. The sight of the passing King was brief, but worthwhile. The people who looked after the engine had done a fine job and it sparkled in the autumn sunshine. The old King seemed to run effortlessly through the platform and in a minute or so disappeared around the curve to Newport.
King George V was a regular performer on special excursions on the Newport - Hereford line in the 1970's. On one occasion it stopped at Pontypool, much to the delight of the multitude of subjects, including boys of all ages wanting to pay homage to the regal visitor. The engine hasn't run for some years now owing to the condition of her frames.
Pontypool Station today is nothing more than an island platform reached by a subway. In the 1960s, during the rationalisation of Britain's railway system, it was reduced to the status of a gloried halt. The GWR buildings and station canopy were swept away, sidings were lifted and an air of gloom pervaded.
In its heyday there were bay platforms, one for Monmouth and one for the Vale of Neath, at each end of the station. There were signal boxes either side and one in the middle. The station had a refreshment room inhabited by fussy lady waitresses dressed in bombazine black. At Pontypool Road the north to west express - to Plymouth and to Manchester - stopped for a few minutes to make connection with local services. Only occasional passenger trains running between Newport and Manchester call there nowadays And the station is now called Pontypool and New Inn. On April 18 2006, when the other King was due, someone was in contact with a friend on the train that had left Bristol Temple Meads at 9 30. The King had stopped for water at Magor. At 10.40, a freight tram heading north, drawn by a Class 66 diesel, clattered through the station. Anticipation was rising, photographers were at the ready.
Ten minutes later, we heard it. Suddenly. out of sight around the curve, there came the unmistakable bark of a GWR exhaust. Then another, and another The train, which I believe had been checked by a signal, was picking up speed. 'The exhaust became louder as King Edward 1 with its rake of 11 coaches passed beneath the road bridge to the south.
A plume of steam and black smoke blasted thirty feet into the sky. Engine working hard, it had just surmounted the long drag from Newport. Again, gunshot exhaust from the engine reminded everyone that this was a GWR King showing us what it could do even at 76 years of age. Approaching the platforms the driver shut off power. Some thought the train would stop but were disappointed when the regulator was opened and the fully-loaded train strode purposefully off towards Little Mill and the north. Seeing King Edward 1 at Pontypool was a memorable sight. What we saw that day was an example of the best of British workmanship - a stirring reminder of our glorious industrial past. The old railway workshops of Britain turned out locomotives for over a hundred years and built engines for many countries. Britain gave railways to the world, which poses the question why don't we build them at home today? It is ironic, but the diesel locomotive that hauled the freight main through Pontypool ten minutes before the King arrived was built in Canada! Vivat Rex! - Long live the King!

Risen from Rust
Nick Thompson
Efforts to save a Battle of Britain commander's namesake are seeing light at the end of the tunnel

Until a year or two ago the name of Sir Keith Park was scarcely remembered. It would probably have remained thus except for a vigorous campaign to place his statue m Trafalgar Square This brought to attention the crucial role he played during the Battle of Britain as commander of 11 Group, the front line fighter squadrons based in south east England. Sir Keith Park could have lost the Battle of Britain and brought WWII to a rapid and unpleasant conclusion if he had made a few bad decisions in the summer of 1940.
Fortunately, his character and experience equipped him perfectly for those few weeks when the world turned on the outcome of the air battle over southern England. Born in New Zealand, Park had served with the Anzacs at Gallipoli before joining the Royal Flying Corps, engaging in dogfights above the Somme. Between the wars he worked with Lord Dowding to establish Britain's air defence system, which survived the pressure of many weeks of enemy attack - always being present in enough strength to deny the enemy victory while never exposing his squadrons to the risk of total defeat. Such tactics won him few friends, and he was removed from his position when the battle subsided.
In November, 2009, a statue of Air Vice-Marshal Park was unveiled on Trafalgar Square's hitherto vacant fourth plinth. In September it will be replaced by a permanent bronze version in nearby Waterloo Place. There had, however, already been something dedicated to Sir Keith Park - a locomotive. In 1946, the Southern Railway introduced a class of express locomotives. The first 48 were named after towns in the West Country and as the next batch was intended to work between London and Kent, they took the names of the men, machines, airfields and squadrons of the Battle of Britain. The 53rd in the series (originally No.2lC153, later to become 34053) was named Sir Keith Park by Air Vice-Marshal Park at Brighton railway station on September 19th 1948.
Initially, it hauled expresses such as the Golden Arrow from Victoria to Dover, subsequently moving west to finish its working life based in Bournemouth, working trams between Waterloo and Weymouth. It was withdrawn from BR service m 1965 and sent for scrap. Most scrap yards cut up new arrivals without delay, but Woodham's, of Barry, in South Wales, was busy cutting up wagons, and left more complex locos to rust in the sidings. Over time, preservation groups came forward to buy the locos that had escaped the gas torch, naturally choosing those in best condition first.
It was 18 years before Sir Keith Park was moved to Hull, then Crewe and then to an open site near Chippenham. At each location attempts at restoration were made, while wind and rain took their toll on one hundred tons of steel. Finally it was sold as spares to assist in the restoration of another class member. It looked as if the end was nigh, but what was left of the loco was sold, again for spare parts, to Southern Locomotives Ltd, a Swanage-based restoration group. They had successfully restored several ex-Barry wrecks, though there was no commitment that this would ever happen to Sir Keith Park.
Finally time was on its side; Britain had woken up to the debt it owed the man and a generous sponsor agreed to fund a significant part of the cost of restoration, typically around 500,000. Southern Locomotives has a fleet of eight locos, four of which operate on the Swanage Railway. It also raises money by selling shares in the company, allowing it to employ a core staff supplemented by volunteers and specialist contractors. It uses a modern workshop owned by the Swanage Railway capable of holding three locomotives, and equipped for much of the heavy engineering required to build an express steam engine. So now, 45 years after its working life appeared to be over, Sir Keith Park is being rebuilt, the wheels are fitted to the frames, boiler repairs are proceeding and a new tender is being assembled.
There is more to do and more money needed but with lots of support, it may steam again in the autumn to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

These articles are reproduced from the May 2010 issue of Best of British, a monthly magazine available from newsagents and on subscription. Please visit or call 01778 342814 for further information.