The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society





No.163 Spring 2013



Front Cover


The photo, taken by Martin Fisher, shows 87007, which now belongs to Bulgarian company BZK, at Dimitrovgrad, Serbia on 25th August 2012.


If you wish to see your photo on the front cover of Trans Pennine, email it with details to the Magazine Coordinator, David Whitlam.

Committee Briefs


Membership Renewal


We would like to thank all those members who have renewed their subscription for 2013.  It is not too late to rejoin – simply send your cheque for £6, payable to the Pennine Railway Society, to Tony Caddick, our Membership Secretary, at the address shown at the front of the magazine, or renew your subscription at a social evening.

For those of you who are not rejoining, this will be the final magazine you receive.  In these circumstances we thank you for your past support and hope you may consider rejoining the Pennine at some future time.


Social Evenings


Robin has produced an excellent programme of social events for 2013.  Come and join us on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at the Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster (approx. 12 minutes walk from Doncaster BR and buses available from Doncaster Interchange).  We have a well-furnished, private, function room.  All welcome, members and non-members.  Details of the programme are shown elsewhere in this organ.  Meetings start at 20.00hrs prompt.


Annual General Meeting


This year’s AGM was held at The Salutation in Doncaster on Sunday 6 January 2012, attended by 14 members (apologies for non-attendance by Committee Members Robin Havenhand and Tony Booth).

Key points from the meeting where:


Chairman’s Report

Robin referred to the many Society activities in 2012, including sales stalls at Sandtoft and Pudsey containing the model bus collection donated to the society, and the work of Geoff Bambrough and Phil Lowis in enabling these to go ahead, and a visit to Barrow Hill.

Tony Booth and David Whitlam had worked to enhance the Society Website which now allowed access to many back issues of our magazine (see update from Tony later in the Committee Briefs).

The year 2014 would see, in the autumn, the 40th Anniversary of the Society.  The Committee, in consultation with members, would work towards ensuring a suitable and memorable celebration of this nostalgic event.


Meetings Report

Robin thanked all those who had given presentations at our social evenings of such quality, including a debut by Gavin Morrison, who enjoyed it so much he immediately offered to return in 2013, Ken Grainger, Les Nixon and others too numerous to mention, and those members and friends of the Society who had attended in record numbers.

He advised members of the programme of speakers and other events at The Salutation in 2013.  This would also appear in Railway Magazine.

The Committee was now focused on obtaining equipment to enable speakers to show digital presentations if they so required and David and Linda Bladen had agreed to progress this and report likely costs to the Committee.


Visits – 2013

Visits in 2013 were likely to include Barrow Hill and to the “Tower” in Doncaster, housing a large amount of railway memorabilia.


Magazine Coordinator’s Report

David thanked those who had forwarded him items for inclusion in 2012 editions of Trans Pennine and welcomed further contributions in 2013.

He was planning to use Microsoft Word, rather than Publisher, to format magazines in 2013, and to ask those members whose e-mail addresses were known whether they would wish to receive e-mail sent copies of future magazines.


Membership Report

Tony reported a slight increase in membership, now numbering around the 80 mark.  He thanked those who had already rejoined for 2013 and welcomed further applications to join.


Treasurer’s Report

John presented his statement of the Society Accounts as at 31 December 2012, which showed a record balance (surplus!).

He thanked members for their continued support by renewing their membership, Geoff and Neil Taylor for their fund raising through sales of raffle tickets at social nights (and Geoff for providing prizes and Phil Lowis for sometimes carrying them) and Geoff and Phil at our sales stands.

In terms of the purchase of a digital projector, he would work with the Committee to ensure funds would be available without impact on the membership.


The Committee 2013

The Committee was re-elected en-bloc for 2013.  A proposal by the Committee that David Bladen and Linda Bladen be invited to join the Committee was passed unanimously.


Open Forum

The meeting agreed a way forward to enable digital presentations to take place at our social evenings.

David and Linda Bladen to cost purchase of an appropriate digital projector for use at The Salutation.

·         Committee to agree method of funding of purchase without impacting our membership

·         David Whitlam to contact those members whose e-mail addresses were known to assess their interest in taking part in a digital   photographic competition

·         A trial digital photographic “members” event would be held at our meeting on 21 August (co-ordinated by David Bladen), and if successful a digital photographic competition to be held at our final meeting in December 2013

The 2013 Andy Dalby Memorial Trophy and Pennine Slide Competition would not be open to digital entries.  This policy would be reviewed for 2014 in light of the success of digital events in 2013.


President’s Address

Geoff congratulated all who had contributed to a successful 2012 and looked forward to further enjoyable occasions in 2013.

He welcomed David Bladen and Linda Bladen back onto the Committee.


Magazine Archive Summary (from Tony Booth)


There are currently 55 issues of Trans Pennine available for viewing on the Pennine Railway Society website -

The committee decided that we try to reproduce 146 magazines (No. 1 to No. 146 - Winter 2008).  Issues for 2009 will be added next year and so on.

Of the 91 remaining magazines I have access to most of them from my own and Tony Caddick's collection.  However, Issues 1 to 11 are of rather dubious quality in regards to scanning and OCR reading.  This is mainly due to paper quality and production methods in our formative years.

I would imagine that copies of these old issues held by members will be in similar condition to mine and Tony's.  Just in case, perhaps any of you who have these old magazines would check on the quality and let me know if they may be suitable for reproduction.


Pennine Shield


Congratulations to the Dore Loco Group on winning the 2012 Pennine Shield.

The three teams entering were the Pennine Railway Society (47 points), Dore Loco Group (72 points) and Great Pretenders (PRS MkII) (62 points).


London Underground 1863-2013


London Underground celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2013, opening on 18 January 1863.

Key Facts:

Length of Network – 402Km

Cars in Fleet – 4134

Stations Served – 270

Most Platforms – Baker Street (10)

Most Escalators – Waterloo (23)

Longest Escalator – Angel (60 metres)

Busiest Station (passengers per year) – Waterloo

Busiest Line (passengers per year) – District Line



Clarification - John Sanderson


Members may have noted that a John Sanderson was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to horse racing.

We can confirm it is not our Treasurer but, coincidently, a former Clerk of the Course of Doncaster Racecourse.

Members will not, therefore, have to bow (or curtsy in the case of Linda Bladen) in front of our Treasurer, unless they choose to do so of their own volition, or address him as “Mr” or “Sir”.


Channel Tunnel Railfreight Trial


An Alstom Prima 11 loco has been tested between Calais and Folkestone, part of a determination to encourage more tunnel freight traffic without necessarily using Class 92s.


Chiltern Bats Protected


Chiltern Railways plans for a Marylebone – Oxford service via High Wycombe and Bicester have been agreed after threats to bats in Wolvercot Tunnel were overcome with a deterrent lighting system to keep them out of danger when trains pass through.


Blackpool Tram Overcrowding


Passengers have complained the new Flexity trams are often overcrowded, possibly affecting future hotel bookings in the peak season.  Twelve vehicles are normally allocated to service.


Ordsall Chord


Network Rail plans to connect Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria stations with the Ordsall Chord, providing extra capacity on the network and also a new direct service through the city centre to the Airport.  If approved, work will start late 2014 and be completed in late 2016.


Metro Expansion


Agreement has been reached to extend the Midland Metro from Birmingham Snow Hill, via the city centre, to New Street station, a new fleet of trams and a larger depot at Wednesbury.  The new section of line will open in 2015.


‘S’ Stock on the Hammersmith


New sub-surface ‘S’ stock have entered service on the Hammersmith & City Line.  ‘S’ stock have already replaced 50-year old ‘A’ stock, the oldest on the Underground, from the Metropolitan Line.

The last fleet to be replaced by ‘S’ stock will be the ‘D’ stock on the District Line, built in the early 1980s.




Intercity Express Programme – Rethink?


The Agility Trains consortium is to build 596 vehicles, to be assembled at a new plant in County Durham.  However, the option for a further 270 vehicles for East Coast may not be proceeded with as leasing company Eversholt Rail is prepared to refurbish and upgrade the electrically-hauled Mk4 fleet to allow another 20 years of life.


Severn Valley Railway – Franchised Services


Franchised services could be operated on the SVR by London Midland or Chiltern Railways as the connection with Network Rail’s tracks at Kidderminster is controlled from Saltley and the SVR signalbox at Kidderminster functions as a fringe box to the Network Rail system.


Railway Heritage Awards – Burntisland


The Burntisland Old Station platform has won the Network Rail Partnership Award (with Fife Historic Building trust).  How many remember the “Burntisland Bellower” railtour from Sheffield (picking up at Brightside for Friday night drinkers), with organisers including the late Neil Webster, which never even stopped at Burntisland!

Pennine member Pete Wesley joined at Mexborough on the Friday evening and never left the train until returning the following evening – he’d really gone nowhere!


HS2 – Phase 2 Routes Announced


The preferred routes from Birmingham to Manchester and to Leeds have been announced.  The Y-shaped extension will head north at Water Orton, with new stations at Manchester Airport (by the M56 between Warburton Green and Davenport Green), Manchester (alongside Piccadilly station), Toton, Sheffield (Meadowhall) and Leeds (New Lane in the South Bank area).

There will be a “dedicated link” at Crewe to meet up with Liverpool and Glasgow bound standard trains.  Improved links will also be built between Meadowhall, Sheffield centre and Dore.

The line to Manchester will divide at a triangular junction south west of Altrincham, with the right hand spur continuing to Manchester Piccadilly and the left to a junction with the WCML south of Wigan for trains off HS2 to access Preston and beyond.


Metro News


A business case is to be made for a city Metro in Bristol.  If approved the first phase would see trains restored on the Portishead route and a half-hourly service introduced on the Severn Beach line.

Manchester Metrolink proposes to build a second route across the city centre, a 1.3Km link from a junction near Victoria station via Cross Street to St Peter’s Square.



Bombardier Boost


Transport for London is expected to order up to 82 Bombardier Class 378 vehicles, to strengthen the Overground fleet from 4 to 5 cars and provide 5 additional trains.


Swindon and Kemble Expansion


Work has started to restore double track railway from Swindon to Standish Jcn on the route from London to Gloucester (the line beyond was not singled by BR).  Extra capacity will be necessary during electrification of GWML when Bristol Parkway and the Severn Tunnel are closed and South Wales trains are diverted via Gloucester.


Wimbledon Loop Trains Saved


Passengers travelling to central London from stations on the Wimbledon Loop will not have to change trains at Blackfriars from 2018 following intervention by DfT to ensure it continues to operate as part of Thameslink’s core services.


TfL Diesel Service Saved


The only TfL rail service run by diesels, from Gospel Oak to Barking is not in plans for electrification 2014-19.


Siemens Vectron Success


Successful tests have taken place in the Channel Tunnel with a Siemens Vectron locomotive to gain certification


Light Rail News


Not much has happened in Blackpool over the winter with the new Flexity trams settling down and providing a reliable service in their first season of Fylde coast wind, rain and snow.  Stored Balloon car 701 was reactivated last November and fitted with a Snowplough at one end and saw use during January`s wintry weather with its former advert base yellow livery being well suited to its new role.  Balloon 723 has also been fitted with a plough but has not seen any use yet.

Twin set 272/T2, still resplendent in their 1960s cream heritage livery, worked a private hire for the Fylde Tramway Society on Saturday 29th December - the first visit of a twincar to Fleetwood Ferry since November 2009.

The 1st official naming of a Flexity took place on Friday 15th February when 002 was named “Alderman E E Wynne” in honour of the long standing former councillor and chairman of the transport committee.  The name in gold letters is at each end under the windscreen.


On the MANCHESTER METROLINK two extensions have recently opened - The line to Oldham Mumps was extended to Shaw & Crompton last December but the more significant opening was the East Manchester line to Droylsden on 11th February.  This line now takes trams through the former terminus in the undercroft at Piccadilly station out to the temporary terminus at Droylsden with a stop at Etihad Campus serving Manchester City`s impressive football ground.

The latest of the New M5000 trams to arrive from Bautzen in Germany was 3064 on February 16th.

With deliveries of the new trams mounting the future of the original T68 fleet is looking grim.  With the opening of the two recent extensions the remaining trams are now almost exclusively to be found running in coupled pairs on the Altrincham / Bury direct service.

The status of the T68 fleet as of January 2013 is as follows:-

1001 - Withdrawn August 2012

1002 - In service

1003 - In service

1004 - Withdrawn May 2012

1005 - Withdrawn June 2012

1006 - Withdrawn August 2012

1007 - In service

1008 - Withdrawn June 2012

1009 - In service

1010 - Withdrawn September 2012

1011 - Withdrawn April 2012

1012 - In service

1013 - In service

1014 - In service

1015 - Withdrawn September 2012

1016 - In service

1017 - In service

1018 - Withdrawn August 2012

1019 - Withdrawn September 2012

1020 - Withdrawn November 2012

1021 - In service

1022 - In service

1023 - In service

1024 - In service

1025 - Withdrawn January 2013 but in use as a winter “Ice breaking car” with a special pantograph for frost clearing duties

1026 - In service

T68A cars 2001 to 2006 are all still in service.


Sheffield Railwayana Auctions


At the Sheffield Railwayana Auction (now owned and run by Great Central Railwayana Ltd) held at the Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Gateway Centre on 15th December 2012 the following locomotive nameplates all sold for £5,000 or more:

·         A nameplate, BLENHEIM, with CASTLE CLASS appendage, from the GWR 4073 Castle Class 4-6-0 No 5073 originally named Cranbrook Castle but renamed Blenheim in January 1941 in honour of the fighter-bomber used in the early years of World War II.  A long time Shrewsbury loco and later at Bristol Bath Road, Taunton, Cardiff Canton and Cardiff East Dock from where it was withdrawn on 26 February 1964 and sold for scrap to Hayes at Bridgend the following 24 April - £26,000

·         A nameplate, FOWEY HALL, from the (GWR) 6959 Modified Hall Class 4-6-0 No 7905 built at Swindon and named after the Hall at Fowey in Cornwall.  Allocated new on 29 April 1949 to Laira, it moved in 1959 to Banbury from where it was withdrawn in May 1964.  Sold for scrap to Cashmores at Great Bridge, it was taken into their yard on 4 September 1964 - £7,600

·         A nameplate, HEATHERDEN HALL, from the GWR 4900 Hall Class 4-6-0 No 6946 built at Swindon in December 1942 and named in March 1946 after the Hall adjacent to Pinewood Film Sudios at Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire.  At Cardiff Canton by January 1948 and later Pontypool Road from where it was withdrawn in June 1964 and sold for scrap to Birds Commercial Motors at Risca on 18 August 1964 - £6,200

·         A nameplate, HINDFORD GRANGE, from the GWR 6800 Grange Class 4-6-0 No 6875 built at Swindon in April 1939 and named after the Grange four miles north-west of Oswestry in Shropshire.  At Pontypool Road by January 1948 and later Taunton, Penzance, St Blazey, Cardiff East Dock, Southall and St Philips Marsh from where it was withdrawn on 10 March 1964 and sold for scrap to Hayes at Bridgend on 23 April 1964 - £5,000

·         A nameplate, HONG KONG, from the LMS Jubilee Class 7P 4-6-0 No 5611 built at Crewe in 1934 and named on 24 December 1936, becoming BR 45611.  Allocated new to Camden on 27 July 1934 and later Kentish Town, Crewe North, Holbeck, Nottingham and Derby from where it was withdrawn in September 1964, sold for scrap to Cashmores at Great Bridge and taken into their yard on 6 December 1964 - £14,200

·         A nameplate, IRON DUKE, from the BR Standard Class 7 Britannia 4-6-2 No 70014 built at Crewe and named when built after the nickname of the 1st Duke of Wellington.  Allocated new to Norwich on 2 June 1951 and later Stewarts Lane where it regularly worked the Golden Arrow express, Trafford Park, Neasden, Annesley, Llandudno Junction, Willesden, Crewe North and South and Carlisle Kingmoor from where it was withdrawn on 30 December 1967 and despatched to T.W. Ward at Inverkeithing for scrap on 12 March 1968 - £15,000

·         A nameplate, JASON, from Class 76 26049, later 76049.  New to Mexborough in October 1952, Gorton Works 1056, withdrawn November 1980 from Reddish and cut up by C F Booth at Rotherham in March 1983 - £5,275

·         A nameplate, OSBORNE, from a London & South Western Railway O2 Class 0-4-4T No 206 built at Nine Elms Works in September 1891.  In SR days it was one of the first two of the Class transferred to the Isle of Wight in May 1923 where it was renumbered W19 and named after the House in East Cowes built between 1845 and 1851 as a summer home for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  Withdrawn from Ryde in November 1955, it was cut up at Ryde Works by 25 February 1956 - £7,600

·         A nameplate, TASMANIA, from the LMS Jubilee Class 7P 4-6-0 No 5569 built by the North British Locomotive Co, Works No 24127, in 1934 and named on 10 February 1936, becoming BR 45569.  Allocated new to Crewe North on 15 August 1934 and later Rugby, Derby, Kentish Town, Saltley, Holbeck and Patricroft from where it was withdrawn in April 1964 and cut up at Crewe Works by 1 May 1964 - £9,000

·         A nameplate, THE RIFLE BRIGADE, from the LMS Royal Scot Class 7P No 6146, built by the North British Locomotive Co, Works No 23641, in 1927, becoming BR 46146.  Originally named Jenny Lind in 1928 after the pioneer Midland Railway locomotive class, it was renamed on 5 May 1936.  Allocated new to Crewe North in November 1927, it had numerous changes of shed with lengthy stays only at Edge Hill, Bangor and Camden, finishing its days at Willesden from where it was withdrawn on 27 November 1962 and cut up at Crewe Works by 12 March 1963 - £9,600



Groudle Glen and Dhoon Quarry


Paul Slater


During a holiday in the Isle of Man in August 1995 Chris and 1 went to the Groudle Glen Railway, which was holding a gala evening as part of the Isle of Man International Railway Festival.  The line's main station at Llen Coan is reached by quite a long walk from the Manx Electric Railway’s station at Groudle, situated alongside the coast road; the path leads through a narrow wooded gorge, which for the occasion was decorated with coloured lights.

The evening proved very popular, and the trains were crowded.  An intensive service was being worked, on a steeply-graded stretch through the woods and then out along the coast to Sea Lion Rocks halt, situated high above the sea.  The train on which we rode to Sea Lion Rocks was double-headed, with 0-4-0T no. 3 “Rishra” on loan from the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway piloting the Groudle Glen Railway's own 2-4-0WT “Sea Lion”.  Another of the Groudle Glen Railway's engines, 0-4-0WT no. 9 “Jack”, stood with steam up on an adjacent track, and on a siding was four-wheel diesel no. 1 “Dolphin”.

After the journey through the shady woods, the evening sun shone warm at Sea Lion Rocks, and there was a crowd of people around the halt above the sea.  Another locomotive from the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway, vertical boiler 0-4-0 no. 1 “Chaloner”, was waiting to haul our train back to Llen Coan.  There were only a few minutes before departure, just time for me to alight and take some photographs of the three engines in the picturesque sunlit setting.  I was doubtful whether “Chaloner” on its own had sufficient power to haul the train up the steep gradient through the woods, but in the event it seemed to experience no difficulty.

Back in the leafy surroundings Llen Coan, there were more crowds than ever.  We waited to see the next two departures.  The first was headed by 0-4-0WT no. 9 “Jack”, and the second one was hauled by “Chaloner”. My final photograph at Llen Coan was of “Sea Lion” and “Rishra” standing ready to take out the next train to Sea Lion Rocks.  There was a long queue waiting as we set off for the walk back up to the road.

An extra item of interest that evening was the operation of a shuttle over the Manx Electric Railway between Derby Castle and Groudle to connect with the steam trains at Llen Coan; an illuminated tram was used, which made a most attractive picture as the evening drew on and dusk came down.

Next day, after riding on the Snaefell Mountain Railway and looking at the huge waterwheel and old lead mines at Laxey, we drove to Dhoon Quarry, where a side-turning off the coast road to Ramsey crosses the Manx Electric Railway on the level next to a wide grassed area.  As part of the Railway Festival, 0-6-0T “Caledonia” of the Isle of Man steam Railway was working two special trains over a stretch of the Manx Electric Railway.  We had already seen the first train depart from Laxey, and now we saw the second one arrive at Dhoon Quarry, “'Caledonia” running quietly down a steep gradient with its single car; I photographed it at the crossing, then “Caledonia” uncoupled and took water before running round its train.  Power-car 21 passed with a trailer on a regular Douglas - Ramsey working.  At last “Caledonia” set off back to Laxey, working slowly bunker-first against the gradient.  When the train had gone, we left Dhoon Quarry and drove on to Ramsey; the sun was dulled by haze, but the afternoon was very warm and still, and a bathe in the oily-calm sea off the pebble beach was very enjoyable.  Before we finally returned to Douglas, we followed some narrow, twisting lanes to find first the impressive standing stones of Cashtal yn Ard and then the ruined tumulus known as King Orry’s Grave.



Tosca’s Travels

(Beer and Bashing Abroad)


Part 23


A few days away bashing.  I decided to travel around a bit so got my passes for quite a few countries.  I started by making my way to Bruxelles.


Thursday 2nd December 1999

91020 Doncaster – Kings Cross

EMU 319383 Kings Cross Thameslink – Blackfriers

EMU 319431 Blackfriers – London Bridge

EMU 465037 London Bridge – Waterloo East

Eurostar 3230 & 3229 Waterloo – Bruxelles Midi

SNCB 2125 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 2709 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi

SNCB 2016 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 2333 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Nord

SNCB 2247 Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 2205 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi

SNCB 2720 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Nord

SNCB 2725 Bruxelles Nord – Aachen Hbf

DB 103201 Aachen Hbf – Koln Hbf

DB 103111 Koln Hbf – Nurnburg Hbf

A good start to the trip with 6 winners, especially happy to get 2 successive 103s.  No beer tonight as I was on the overnight.  At Nurnburg our loco came off and another portion was shunted on top of us.  Luckily I was awake to get the loco as it re-engined at Passau.  Then into Austria for the first time.


Friday 3rd December 1999

DB 101129 Nurnburg Hbf – Passau Hbf

OBB 1044288 Passau Hbf – St Polten Hbf

OBB 2143013 St Polten Hbf – Herzogenburg

OBB EMU 4020231 Herzogenburg – St Polten Hbf

OBB 1044036 St Polten Hbf – Wien Hutteldorf

OBB EMU 4020036 Wien Hutteldorf – Wien Sudbahnhof Tief

OBB 2143021 Wien Sudbahnhof Ost – Bruck an der Leitha

OBB 1142641 Bruck an der Leitha – Wien Westbahnhof

Tram 4002 Wien Westbahnhof – Wien Sudbahnhof

OBB 2143070 Wien Sudbahnhof Ost – Simmering-ostbahn

OBB EMU 4020002 Simmering-ostbahn – Wien Sudbahnhof Ost

OBB 1142668 Wien Sudbahnhof – Wien Meidling

OBB 1044058 Wien Meidling – Wiener Neustadt

OBB 2143016 Wiener Neustadt – Loipersbach-Schatendorf

OBB 2143027 Loipersbach-Schatendorf – Wiener Neustadt

OBB 1142668 Wiener Neustadt – Felixdorf

OBB 1042682 Felixdorf – Wiener Neustadt

OBB 2143030 Wiener Neustadt – Pitten

OBB DMU 5047087 Pitten – Wiener Neustadt

OBB 1142705 Wiener Neustadt – Wien Sudbahnhof

Tram 4081 Wien Sudbahnhof – Wien Westbahnhof

OBB 1044286 Wien Westbahnhof – Buchs SG

A second overnight on the trot.  I ate at Westbahnhof station before boarding the Budapest – Zurich train.  I missed a shunt doing this which I hadn’t realised was booked.  I bought a couple of beers from a shop on the station – Goller Bier which was ok.


Saturday 4th December 1999

Into Switzerland.  To visit the excellent Rhatische Bahn.

SBB 11674 Buchs SG – Sargans

SBB EMU 540074 Sargans – Chur

Rhb 644 Chur – Domat/Ems

Rhb 613 Domat/Ems – Chur

SBB 460114 Chur – Landquart

SBB 11281 Landquart – Chur

Rhb 624 Chur – Felsberg

Rhb 625 Felsberg – Chur

SBB 11273 Chur – Landquart

SBB 11133 Landquart – Chur

Rhb 617 Chur – Felsberg

Rhb 702 Felsberg – Chur

SBB 460082 Chur – Landquart

SBB 11279 Landquart – Chur

Rhb 616 Chur – Felsberg

Rhb 619 Felsberg – Chur

SBB 460116 Chur – Zurich Hbf

SBB 460110 Zurich Hbf – Zurich Flughafen

SBB 450031 Zurich Flughafen – Oerlikon

SBB 450013 Oerlikon – Zurich Hbf via Hardbrucke

SBB 460078 Zurich Hbf – Bern Hbf

BLS 465003 Bern Hbf – Spiez

SBB 460111 Spiez – Thun

BLS 179 Thun – Bern Hbf

SBB 11149 Bern Hbf – Basel SBB

Having had an excellent days bash so far, I chose to head into Germany and find a hotel.

DB 101104 Basel SBB – Freiburg Hbf

I checked into a hotel near to the station and had a Chinese meal on Freiburg Hbf.  Then I had time to do a few moves.

DB 110459 Freiburg Hbf – Denzlingen

DB 218315 Denzlingen – Elzach

DB 218315 Elzach – Denzlingen

DB 110469 Denzlingen – Freiburg Zahringen

As I was leaving Denzlingen a 218 passed.  I knew it couldn’t be 315 as it hadn’t had time to get to Freiburg and back. I quick check of the timetable showed I would have 50 minutes at Zahringen.  I bailed and luckily there was a bar near the station.  Ideal, and a couple of Warsteiners later I was back for the 218.

DB 218483 Freiburg Zahringen – Freiburg Hbf.

After all that it was back to the hotel for some well-earned rest and a not too early start the next day.  29 winners for the day and a good selection of stuff.


Sunday 5th December 1999

Up at 07.30, nice hot shower and a buffet breakfast.  Decided I would finish in Luxembourg tonight.

DB 110447 Freiburg Hbf – Denzlingen

DB 143958 Denzlingen – Freiburg Hbf

DB 110471 Freiburg – Offenburg Hbf

DB 110352 Offenburg Hbf – Karlsruhe Hbf

DB 218296 Karlsruhe Hbf – Rastatt

DB 218294 Rastatt – Karlsruhe Hbf

DB 110470 Karlsruhe Hbf – Heidleberg Hbf

DB 143129 Heidleberg Hbf – Mannheim Hbf

DB 111151 Mannheim Hbf – Mannheim Friedrichsfeld

Walk Mannheim Friedrichsfeld to Mannheim Friedrichsfeld Sud

DB 143340 Mannheim Friedrichsfeld Sud – Mannheim Hbf

DB 143936 Mannheim Hbf – Ludwigshafen Hbf

DB 110351 Ludwigshafen Hbf – Saarbrucken Hbf

DB 141399 Saarbrucken Hbf – Jagersfreude

DB 141139 Jagersfreude – Saarbrucken Hbf

DB 141215 Saarbrucken Hbf – Dillingen Hbf

DB 141420 Dillingen Hbf – Merzig

DB 110216 Merzig – Trier Hbf

DB DMU 628505 Trier Hbf – Luxembourg

Arrived Luxembourg around 21.00 and checked into the Carlton.  Then went to the Italian restaurant opposite and had a meal washed down with some Italian wine for a change.


Monday 6th December 1999

Today’s plan was to cane in some winners in Lux before heading to Liege for the night.

CFL 3013 Luxembourg – Mersch

CFL 3009 Mersch – Luxembourg

CFL 3002 Luxembourg – Cents-Hamm

CFL 3015 Cents-Hamm – Luxembourg

DB 181209 Luxembourg – Wasserbillig

DB DMU 628488 Wasserbillig – Luxembourg

CFL 3005 Luxembourg – Cents-Hamm

CFL 3002 Cents – Hamm – Luxembourg

CFL 3011 Luxembourg – Mersch

CFL 3010 Mersch – Luxembourg

CFL EMU 2020 Luxembourg – Cents-Hamm

CFL 3607 Cents-Hamm – Luxembourg

SNCB 2001 Luxembourg – Arlon

CFL 1801 Arlon – Luxembourg

CFL 1816 Luxembourg – Mamer

SNCB EMU 161 Mamer – Luxembourg

CFL 3617 Luxembourg – Betzdorf

CFL 3609 Betzdorf – Luxembourg

CFL 3009 Luxembourg – Trois-Ponts

SNCB 5510 Trois-Ponts – Liege Guillemins

Checked into the Metropole Hotel and then went in search of food and drink at the Taverne St Paul.  Had 2 beers -  Verhaege Dutchess de Bourgogne and Ellezelloise Quintine.


Tuesday 7th December 1999

Up very early to cover the commuter trains around Liege, not very successfully as it turned out.

SNCB 5540 Liege Guillemins – Milmort

SNCB 2321 Milmort – Liege Guillemins

SNCB 2328 Liege Guillemins – Liege Jonfosse

SNCB EMU 268 Liege Jonfosse – Liege Guillemins.

Only 1 winner out on the 5 commuters I viewed. I went back to the hotel for breakfast and then started to make my way home.

SNCB 1315 Liege Guillemins – Leuven

SNCB 2250 Banking out of Liege Guillemins

SNCB 2720 Leuven – Bruxelles Central

SNCB EMU 823 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi

SNCB 2118 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Central

SNCB EMU 387 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Nord

SNCB 2106 Bruxells Nord – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 2117 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Nord

SNCB 2013 Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles Midi

SNCB 2759 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 2137 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi

Eurostar 3213 & 3214 Bruxelles Midi – Waterloo

Tube Waterloo – Kings Cross/St Pancras

91005 Kings Cross – Doncaster


After a really good few days today was disappointing.  However, winners in Belgium were getting hard to find, or so it seemed.  13 years later I am still scoring locos there, although it is now new stuff.

Still, the trip produced 81 winners and a new Eurostar.  It also introduced me to Austria, a country which I now visit frequently.  It would be another 6 months before my next trip……..



Pennine Observer Notes


Eastern Region


Recent sightings at Doncaster have been:

Nov 22   67028 Standby

                66131 Engineers

                66955, 66562 Freightliners

                66016, 66725 Intermodal

                60059, 66102, 66728 Light engines

                37610/37618 Test train

                66198 Empty stone

                66181 Stone

                66249 Sand

                66096 Empty limestone

                66010 Rails

   66529/200/701/704/709/714/715/726/730/740/744/745/746 Coal

Nov 29   67019 Standby

                66042 Rails

                66537, 66543 Freightliners

                66129, 66169, 66711 Intermodal

                66061 Gypsum

                60063, 66097, 66142 Light engines

                66218, 66249 Sand

                66709 Slurry

                66046 Empty stone

                66213 Empty limestone

                66184 Stone

    66043/544/704/715/723/728/739/745 Coal

                320307 West Yard

Dec 5      66077, 66955 on container trains

                66080, 66744, 66745 on coal trains

                66518 on p.w. train

                66746 on goods train

                08669 shunting

                66042 light engine

                66168, 66249 in yards

                67019, 67022 Standby

Dec 6      67019 Standby

                66039 Empty MEAs

                66152, 66714 Intermodal

                66534, 66572 Freightliners

                66007 Empty box wagons

                60063, 66012 Light engines

                70011 Cement

                66117 Engineers

                66169 Gypsum

                66052 Sand

                60071 Empty stone

Dec 6      66080 Empty limestone

   66213/598/704/705/720/740/741/744 Coal

Dec 13   67030 Standby

                66512, 66514 Freightliners

                66067 Rails

                66021 MEAs

                66152/66016, 66044, 66725 Intermodal

                70013 Cement

                66004 Empty limestone

                66052 Sand

                60009/47804 Charter Cambridge - York

   66112/509/711/714/715/717/718/720 Coal

                66042 Light engine

Dec 20   67028 Standby

                66067, 66174, 66729 Intermodal

                66566, 66594 Freightliners

                60015, 66108 Rails

                66012 Gypsum

                66151 Empty stone

                60054 RHTT wagons to York

                66618 Limestone

                66164, 66717, 66724, 66726, 66733 Coal

                66108/66102/60017 Decoy to Toton

Jan 3       67028 Standby

                66568, 66562 Freightliners

                66120/66137 Rails

                66055 Gypsum

                66213, 66238 Light engines

                66002, 66743 Intermodal

                66008 Sand

                66124 Empty limestone

                66701, 66709, 66715, 66722, 66724, 66746 Coal

                66090 Stone

Jan 10    66516/66571 Freightliners

                66080/726 Intermodal

                66513 Ballast wagons

                66111 Rails

                66008, 66509 Light engines

                66729 Slurry

                66019 Stone

                66097 Sand

                66168 Empty limestone

   66184/213/547/701/717/733/735/744 Coal

Jan 17    67008 and 67024 Standbys

                66516/66541, 66572 Freightliners

                66141 NLUs ex Wabtec

                66144, 66711 Intermodal

                66063 Engineers

                66513 Ballast wagons

                66126, 66163, 66717, 66738 Light engines

                66099 Rails

                66160 empties to Mountsorrell

                66508, 66551, 66560, 66729 Coal

Jan 24    67020 Standby

                66501, 66589, 66570 Freightliners

                66169, 66736 Intermodal

                47580 Wabtec

                66213 Light engine

                66112/66085/66009 Rails

                66160 Gypsum

Jan 24    66125 Empties to Mountsorrell

                66705 Empty slurry

                66148 Empty limestone

                66142 Sand

   67019 Dragging failed 91104 on Edinburgh - Kings Cross

                60020 Stone

   66118/413/506/530/715/717/731 Coal

                66086 Auto ballasters to Eastleigh

                08724 Wabtec shunter

Jan 31    67021 Standby

                47580 West Yard

                66534, 66505/66954/66592 Freightliners

                66068, 66726 Intermodal

                66070/66133 Rails

                66148 Gypsum

                60059, 66050, 66085, 66164 Light engines

                66103 Sand

                66054 Stone

                66037, 66124 Empty limestone

                66711 Slurry

                66519, 66552, 66003, 66131, 66744 Coal

Feb 7      67019 Standby

                66590, 66538 Freightliners

                66034, 66738 Intermodal

                60079, 66047, 66063 Light engines

                60092 Rails

                66054 Stone

   66509/518/530/003/721/731/953 Coal

Feb 14    67020 Standby

                67008 Route learning

                66563, 66562/66572 Freightliners

                66207, 66708 Intermodal

                60039 Collecting wagons from Wabtec

                66158 Light engine

                60100 Oil tanks

                66160 Steel

                66007 Stone

                66415, 66518 Binliners

   66114/148/519/550/621/713/744 Coal

                66101 Rails

                66007 Stone

                66086 Empty limestone

                60092 Empties to Mountsorrel

Feb 21    67019 Standby

                66176 Light engine

                66047, 66726 Intermodal

                66517, 66591 Freightliners

                66109 Rails

                47853/37608 t. & t. engineers train

                66545, 66953 Binliners

                66074, 66164 Steel

Feb 21    66172 Empties to Mountsorrel

                66604 Empty limestone

                31190/31452 Light to Wabtec

   66063/134/161/514/551/527/595/956/706/724/727/742/743 Coal

Recent sightings on the Gainsborough – Barnetby line have been:

(On coal trains unless stated otherwise)

Nov 17   66015, 66129, 66201, 66701, 66702

Nov 19   66060, 66074, 66197, 66714

Nov 20   66714, 66745

Nov 22   66060, 66079, 66745

Nov 26   66043, 66097, 66137, 66174

Nov 28   66200, 66728

Nov 29   66060, 66137, 66732, 66745

Nov 30   66115, 66137, 66745

Dec 3      66137, 66197, 66200, 66740

Dec 5      66193

Dec 6      66137, 66186

Dec 7      66055, 66181, 66200

Dec 8      66181, 66200; 66741 on goods train

Dec 11   66046, 66068, 66115, 66743

Dec 13   66046, 66068, 66182

Dec 14   66182, 66745

Dec 15   66068, 66125; 66720 on goods train

Dec 17   66733

Dec 18   66091, 66733

Dec 24   66077, 66111, 66162, 66206, 66743

Dec 27   66004

Dec 28   66059; 66744 with 1 wagon

Dec 29   66004, 66059, 66111; 66729 on goods train

Jan 1      66126, 66701

Jan 2      66111, 66701

Jan 3      66016 on oil train

Jan 4      66184, 66192, 66701

Jan 5      66144, 66181; 66746 on goods train

Jan 7      66744

Jan 8      66035, 66181; 66703 on goods train

Jan 9      66034, 66135

Jan 10    66174, 66744

Jan 11    66074, 66078

Jan 12    66078, 66132, 66174, 66192, 66742  66729 on goods train

Jan 15    66174, 66730

Jan 20    66078, 66577 on p.w. trains

Jan 21    66121

Jan 22    66081, 66094, 66129, 66183, 66250, 66717

Jan 25    66181, 66714

Jan 26    66181/544/701/704; 66705 on goods train

Jan 29    66092, 66127, 66129, 66701

Feb 1      66089, 66118

Feb 2      66158, 66509, 66701; 66733 on goods train

Feb 5      66204

Feb 6      66156, 66701

Feb 9      66077/127/160/721; 66724 on goods train

Feb 10    66623 on p.w. train

Feb 12    66008, 66100, 66148, 66549, 66744

Feb 13    66016, 66112, 66149, 66156, 66746  60059, 66005, 66116 on oil trains

Other recent sightings have been:

Nov 2     66143 on Tilcon at Hull

Nov 3     66512 and 66544 on coal trains at Clarborough

Dec 1      66614, 66746 at Scunthorpe

Dec 10   66164 on engineers train at Cottingham

Jan 31    66505/954/592 on triple header Freightliner train

Feb 2      66125, 66200 at Tees Yard

Feb 4      60091 at ‘Potters’ Selby

Feb 15    66170 on Tilcon at Hull

Locos seen at Peterborough on 4 November were 66704/707/717/742/709/703/010/128 and 60010.

Locos noted at Scunthorpe Steelworks on 1 December were 63, 72, 94, 90, 58, 29, 95, 92, 14, 51 and BR locos D2653, 08782 and 20056.  07012 hauled a Branch Line Society brake van tour of the works.

Locos seen at Peterborough on 5 January were 66701/702/731/743/238 and 20096/905/901/314.

Locos noted at Toton on 5 January were 66097/099/056/003/120/110/225/009.


Midland Region


Locos seen at Saltley on 12 January were 66416, 66534, 66566 and 70009.

Locos noted at Carnforth on 16 February 08485, 33029/30, 37214/516/668, 47270/772, 57006.  Seen on the same day was 57308 at Preston on Thunderbird duty.


Railtours and Charter Trains


Locos seen on railtours and charters have been:

Dec 1      (“Yorkshire Christmas Festivities”) 47760, 47854

Dec 8      (“Edinburgh Christmas Special”) 47760, 47854

Dec 15   (“The Short-Haired Bumblebee”) 66021, 66089

Dec 22   (“Carols in Beverley Minster”) 66149, 66199

                (“The Thames Angerman”) 66096, 60092

Jan 5      (“The High Marnham and Tinsley”) 66103/154

Jan 12    (“The Enigmatic Logistician”) 37259/611/425

Feb 2      (“The Esk Valley Panorama”) 66162/137/197/085

Feb 16    (“Lancastrian Steam Special”) 47237/760, 44932

                (“Cumbrian Mountain Express”) 86259


Egyptian Diary


Another 3 months have flown by I managed 2 visits to Luxor station in December, the first on Saturday the 1st in the afternoon between 15.00 and 17.00.  It was one of those quiet periods, pigeon on the platform, newspaper trolley full of newspapers awaiting the arrival of the next Cairo train, and a dog walking around on the tracks.  Locos noted, 3979 on shed, 3110 standby loco, 3944 the station pilot, 3924 arrived with a local train and 3865 worked the local back to Quena.  So all locos being EMDs except one Henschal.  Not sure whether I mentioned before but the platforms are of the British standard and not the low European type.  At next visit on New Years Eve, the station this time very busy with people going home for New Years Eve, soldiers, policemen and Egyptians of all descriptions.  This visit a bit earlier than the last at between 13.00 and 15.00, locos noted this time, 3207 off shed and onto the 15.00 to Cairo, all stations, 12 hour trip.  Previously 3162 had departed on the 13.00 to Cairo, in between those departures a prison train arrived behind 3072, I attempted a photo but was ushered back by a policeman, and so being sensible I found the nearest seat and sat down.  Other locos 3982, 3113, 2122 on shed, 3969 arrived with a local from Esna, which is south of Luxor, that backed out of the bay platform and the loco then went on shed, with 3865 going onto the train for its departure to Esna, 3167 standby loco, 3644 arrived from Quena which is north of Luxor, with the usual 3944 as station pilot.  So a good couple of hours, the only other loco that day was one of the new American built ones 2435, these are a much larger loco in profile than the other Egyptian types, and are called Obamahs by the drivers.  No (66s) that day.  A good night was had later at the English pub in Luxor, “The Kings Head” the guy that runs it has German connections, so we had Jager Bomber and Gas Chamber cocktails, no political correctness here!  Followed by the local Stella beer brewed in Egypt.  First sighting of 2013 was an Obamah 2403 on the 12th, and a narrow gauge sugar cane loco, we were in a taxi at the time, the driver was going around the filling stations to find petrol, it’s in short supply and one we visited had this sugar cane loco parked by the side.  Not sure if it was in the queue or just happened to be there.  The taxi driver said it was British built, unfortunately I did not have a close look or get a photo, but it looked like one of our diesel mechanical with con rods to a gearbox.  Next visit to the station was on the 2nd February again between 13.00 and 15.00, more of the usual, but this time an arrival from Cairo with 3026, this loco in a black and red livery, it went on shed and the stock moved to the carriage sidings with station pilot 3944.  A (66) 2136 on the 13.00 to Cairo, departing at 13.30.  2122 an Adtranz loco on shed pilot duty again, this is a Co-Co, not the sort of loco you would expect for shed pilot duties.  The station was very busy on this visit also with Egyptians from Cairo taking a holiday in Luxor, outside the station lots of passengers, porters with running barrows full of suit cases, and local buses.

Also for the aviation enthusiasts in the Society we have had Egyptian air force Mig21s over recently, the first I have seen flying.



Pennine Quiz No. 151


‘Great Central’ quiz by Paul Slater


1              Where was the Great Central’s works in Manchester?

2              Name the preserved Great Central 4-4-0.

3              Who succeeded H. Pollitt as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Central?

4              What was the first station north of Woodford Halse?

5              Give the BR number of the preserved Great Central 2-8-0.

6              Where did the connection to Banbury diverge from the Great Central main line south of Woodford Halse?

7              Name locomotive 60156.

8              Which town has stations named Central and Lea Road?

9              Where did the Hull & Barnsley / Great Central Joint connect with the Midland / Great Central Joint?

10           Name locomotive 62666.

11           Where did the connection to the Great Central main line diverge from the Great Western / Great Central Joint?

12           Which town has stations named Town and Docks?

13           What traffic now uses the stub of the direct Retford – Lincoln line?

14           Name the large signalbox where three lines meet west of Barnetby.

15           Where did the connection from the Great Western / Great Central Joint join the Great Central main line?

16           What town had stations named Town and Pier?

17           What was the LNER class number of the Great Central 0-8-4 tanks?

18           What was the first station north of Lincoln on the line to Barnetby?

19           Name the stations on the South Yorkshire Joint and Midland / Great Central Joint at which the passenger service operated by the Great 
   Central stopped.

20           Name the only main town in Wales served by the Great Central.

21           Leicester North, the southern terminus of the preserved Great Central Railway, is within sight of the remains of which former station?

22           What was the nickname of the fast Annesley – Woodford Halse coal trains?

23           Which company beside the Great Central operated the West Riding & Grimsby Joint?

24           Name the stations still open between Sheffield and Worksop.

25           Name the tunnel between Retford and Gainsborough.



Pennine Quiz No. 150


The Answers


1              Brush 310 and Crewe 202

2              81

3              D2002

4              2,750hp and 2,580hp

5              D1702 – D1706

6              D1734, D1671, D1908 and D1562

7              D1746 (6 changes – D1746, 47551, 47153, 47551, 47801, 47551, 47774)

8              47079, 47484, 47500 and 47628

9              47500, 47573, 47576, 47581, 47582, 47583

10           47840 Rail Blue, 47847 Large Logo Blue, 47851 Green Livery and 47853 XP64 Livery

11           D1628 (47046)

12           47452

13           47522

14           47472 and 47533

15           47216 became 47299

 16           47522 Doncaster Enterprise

                47421 and 47424 The Brontes of Haworth

                47434 Pride in Huddersfield

                47760 Ribblehead Viaduct

                47673 York Intercity Control

17           47738 and 47725 Bristol Barton Hill

                47490 and 47805 Bristol Bath Road

                47816 Bristol Bath Road Quality Assured

                47001 City of Bristol (unofficially)

18           47844 Derby & Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry

                47973 Derby Evening Telegraph

19           47973 Derby Evening Telegraph

                47574 Lloyd’s List 250th Anniversary

                47853 Rail Express

                47847 Railway World Magazine

                47573 The London Standard

                47785 The Statesman

                47142 Traction (unofficially)

                47851 Traction Magazine

20           47614, 47617/677

21           47356 to 57001

22           47849 and 47844, 47705 and 47225

23           47192, Railway Age Crewe

24           47798 Prince William


The Winner


Congratulations to the winner – Ken King.



Pennine Meetings 2013


Meetings are held at The Salutation Inn, South Parade, Doncaster starting at 20.00 Prompt on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.


Wednesday 20th March 2013

Pete Sargieson


Wednesday 3rd April 2013

Glen Williamson


Wednesday 17th April 2013

Ken Grainger

‘Cheshire Lines’


Wednesday 1st May 2013



Wednesday 15th May 2013

Bernie McDonough


Wednesday 5th June 2013

Trevor Evans


Wednesday 19th June 2013

Rob Hay


Wednesday 3rd July 2013

Andy Barclay

‘The slides of the late Peter Fox’


Wednesday 17th July 2013

Graham Lightfoot

‘4 Rivers’


NB - The Pennine Slide Competition will now be on Wednesday 2nd October not 6th November.





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



Next Issue


The Summer 2013 issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on Wednesday 19th June would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by no later than Wednesday 22nd May - THANK YOU.  If you can, please email your contributions to



Tyres & Wires


John Wade remembers those jolly trolley days in 50s Barking...


These days, if you switch from your petrol or diesel car to one that is electrically powered, you are considered to be a real friend of the earth.  But back in the 1950s and early 1960s, when green was a colour associated more with traffic lights than the environment, hundreds of environmentally- friendly buses were sadly scrapped in favour of diesel-powered vehicles.

These were the long-lamented loves of my 1950s’ childhood: the trolleybus.

Trolleybuses were a kind of cross between a tram and a motor bus.  Trams had flanged wheels like a railway engine and ran on rails like railway lines (except that they were embedded into the streets).  They were powered by electricity picked up from a single pole that ran along an overhead wire.


Moving traffic jam

They were big and lumbering, and because they were restricted to their rails, their inflexibility in being able to steer around things got in the way of motor traffic.  What was needed was a vehicle that could be cheaply powered by electricity but which had the manoeuvrability of a motor bus.

I only have only two memories of trams.  One is of sitting on a hard wooden seat when I was around four or five years old with my father saying to me, “Remember this and you’ll always be able to say you rode on a London tram.”  The other is of workmen tearing up the tramlines in my town.  Enter that true transport of delight, the trolleybus.

By and large they were the same size and shape as a motor bus, usually double-deckers.  Having normal rubber tyres rather than metal wheels on rails, they could steer around obstacles.  Their power was picked up from a network of overhead cables, but they needed two wires, because they didn’t have metal rails to complete the electric circuit in the way trams did.

Not that there was anything really new about trolleybuses.  The first one, called an elektromote, ran in Berlin way back in 1882.  They spread throughout Europe and arrived in Britain in 1911, when Leeds and Bradford were the first to operate fleets.  Soon there were around 50 fleets running around the country, with London being the largest.

I lived at Barking, now a Greater London borough, but in those days a town in Essex, and one that was served by London Transport Central Area buses.  Those were the red ones.  As a child, I’d been on holiday to Bournemouth, where I’d seen yellow trolleybuses, and I’d heard rumours that there might be blue ones in Walsall and green ones in Nottingham.  But for me the only true colour for a trolleybus was red - the kind I travelled on to school every day.

While many of my school friends became train spotters, standing on cold railway station platforms and writing down the numbers of passing locomotives, I became a bus spotter.  And if you thought all buses were the same, you never heard a group of London schoolboys in the 1950s discussing the difference between the RT and the RTL, the extra six-inch width of the RTW, the roof height of the RLH, which allowed it to go under low bridges, the RF, RFW, T, TD...

But in the end it was the London Transport trolleybuses that won my heart.  They weren’t like other buses.  For one thing they had two extra rear wheels at the back, making six wheels in all.  They also had a strange flat front with no sign of a bonnet to house the engine, and inside downstairs the seats right at the front faced backwards. They ran smoothly and - thanks to the electric, rather than petrol or diesel engine - almost silently.  They simply hummed along the road, with the occasional exciting splutter of sparks from overhead.  Unsuspecting and slightly deaf pedestrians often found a trolleybus sneaking up on them when they were least expecting it.


On the doorstep

I lived on a main road and they ran past my front door.  There was a deceptive bend in the road just outside my house and new drivers, not accustomed to it, often took it too wide.  The result was that the arms that picked up current from the overhead wires would spring off and the bus would roll to a halt.

That was when the driver and conductor had to jump off and pull out a long bamboo pole from under the bus.  Together they would wrestle it upright and, looking like a couple of demented fishermen, they would hold it at the base with the top waving and wobbling in the air as they fought to hook the arms back onto the wires again.

The two routes that ran past my house were the 691 and 693, which were actually the first trolleybus services introduced to the area, beginning in 1938.  The 691 went from Barking Broadway, through Ilford to Barkingside which, despite its name, was not beside Barking but several miles from it.  The 693 also started at Barking Broadway and went through Ilford to Chadwell Heath.

I remember when, after several months of collecting and marking off bus numbers (found in gold just above the front wheel), I and my fellow bus spotters were mystified about two that appeared to be missing from the 691/693 fleet.

So we wrote to London Transport to ask where they were - and received a polite letter to say they were being serviced and would be back on our routes soon, which they were.  I wonder how many big corporations these days would take the time and effort to reply to a bunch of schoolboys over such trivial matters?

We were also confused as to why many of the buses on our routes had tinted windows.  What I later discovered was that trolleybuses on the 691 and 693 routes had originally been built for use in South Africa.  The Leyland company built 25 for Durban, while AEC had made 18 for use in Johannesburg.  But the war had intervened and the buses ended up in London, where the tinted windows, made to reduce the glare of the South African sun, were a little less appropriate.

Interestingly - at least to a geekish bus spotter of the time - these buses were built with front exits for use in South Africa, although those exits had been sealed up by the time they started working on the London Transport routes.  Entry and exit was by the usual red London bus means of a rear platform with a pole up the middle on which to hang.


Pointing the right direction

At Ilford Broadway, a mile up the road from where I lived, the 691’s route took it straight ahead past the station, while the 693 turned right into the High Street.  This necessitated a set of points for the overhead wires that worked much like those on a railway track.  They were operated by pulling a large brass knob that protruded from a box on one of the wire-supporting poles.

To ensure that each bus went in the right direction, the two routes ran alternately.  As the 693 went over the points and turned right, the conductor would lean out of the back and pull down the knob to change the points so that the following 691 could go straight ahead.  The conductor of that bus then changed the points ready for the next 693.

It was, of course, a major temptation for small boys to climb on each other’s shoulders to reach up and pull down the brass knob to change the points back again.  So when the 693 arrived, the driver would turn the bus right and the arms would try to go straight on.

The London Transport trolleybuses were gradually withdrawn during the latter years of the l950s, and my beloved 691 and 693 trolleys hummed their way into obscurity on the evening of August 18 1959.  They were replaced mostly with Routemasters.  In North London trolleybuses ran for a few years longer.

When the wires were torn down outside my house, I sneaked out in the night and nicked a bit of the cable as a souvenir.  Those of you who are still small boys at heart won’t be surprised to learn that, half a century later, I’ve still got it.


This article is reproduced from the February 2011 issue of Best of British, a monthly magazine available from newsagents and on subscription.  Please visit or call 01778 342814 for further information.



Summer Saturdays 1962


The table below records the loco sightings of the late Peter Fox at Sheffield on 23rd June 1962.

We will print more of these sightings when space permits.


23rd June 1962 at Sheffield






Arrival Time


Departure Time




Loco (coaches)




















2 late

D6732 to D100 (9)






On Time

45594 (10)






On Time

D28 (11)






11 late

60941 to D114 (10)






10 late

45639 (10)






3 early







6 late/4 late

D40 (12)






5 early

D34 (11)






On Time

D161 (8 + 4)






4 early

D41 (11)






5 early

D35 (12)






4 late

D87 (11)






On Time







6 late

D108 (10)






8 late

61435 to 42756






On Time

44753 (10)






On Time

D148+D22 (11)






8 early

73166 (10)






On Time

60855 to D37 (8)






On Time

D27 (10)






1 early

D16 (11)






1 late

D94 (11)






16 late

45656 to 61435 (10)






2 late

73068 (10)






2 early

D36 (10)






1 early

D45 (9)






2 early

D33 (11)


Weston SM




23 late

73015 (10)






10 early

45690 (8)






4 early

45575 (10)






4 early

73024 (10)






1 late

D131 (11)