The Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society

Autumn 2013


                                  MAGAZINE No. 165 Autumn 2013



Front Cover

The photo, taken by David Whitlam, shows 33035 at Wirksworth after working the 15.10 departure from Duffield on Saturday 22nd October 2011, its first day of passenger working on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

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

Malcolm Bell

It is with great regret that we have to announce the passing away of Malcolm Bell at the age of 67, after a long illness. Malcolm had been a member of the Pennine since the mid-seventies taking part in many trips. He also enjoyed taking part in the quizzes; he also compiled quizzes and articles for the magazine. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Social Evenings - Autumn 2013

Robin has arranged one of our best ever programmes for our evenings at The Salutation, South Parade, Doncaster (1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month - start at 8pm prompt).

Events include:

2nd October - Pennine Slide Competition; bring along 5 of your best slides; trophies and cash prizes to be won; prestigious award

6th November - Les Nixon (now a regular guest)

4th December - Pennine Shield Quiz Competition (featuring teams from the Pennine and Dore Loco Group)

18th December - Digital Photo Competition (see item below)

A full list of presentations is shown elsewhere in the magazine.


Members Digital Night Review

The meeting on the 21st August saw the Society present the first Member’s Digital Night. The audience all agreed that the night had been a success.

We have had a number of digital events where our guest presenter has brought a show but as this was the first time we had run a member’s night we were looking to learn lessons about the best way to organise them in the future, including how to run a digital competition.

12 members supplied images either before or on the night. We had set a limit of 25 per member and the number supplied by each member actually varied from 9 to 25. Had there been spare time to fill, some members had brought more than 25 images. These were not needed. We showed 235 images in total.

7 members supplied their images in advance of the night. Some were emailed, some were passed over on a memory stick or DVD and one was supplied as a PowerPoint presentation. The remaining 5 members brought memory sticks on the night.

We had stated that images should be no more than 1200 pixels on the longest side, in common with many camera clubs. For those images which we received in advance the images were checked and the size changed. For those on the night there was not sufficient time. We therefore showed them as they were.

The first half of the show was made up of the images supplied in advance. This allowed some time before the show started and in the two intervals to set up and be ready to show the images brought on the night. This worked well but clearly would not have worked if everyone had brought them on the night.

So all in all the night went well and everyone enjoyed it. Many who submitted images told us they enjoyed being able to see them on the big screen for the first time. For future events and for the planned Digital Competition on 18th December in particular, we will review how we can make it easy for images to be produced before the night and whether a pixel limit needs to be set.

If anyone has any ideas please speak to David or Linda Bladen at one of our meetings or email us on

We will provide details of how to enter the competition during November. If any member who cannot make it to the regular meetings wishes to enter the competition, please send an email to David/Linda at the above address and we will then email out instructions when they become available.

The Pete Fox Collection

Thanks to Andy Barclay for presenting slides from the collection of the late Peter Fox at our meeting on 3 July. We were delighted that Peter's widow, Doreen, came to the meeting.

Thameslink Fleet

The Siemens-led consortium has been awarded the contract to build the new Thameslink fleet, ahead of Derby-based Bombardier. The fleet will consist of 1140 Desiro City vehicles to form 285 four-car sets.

Infrastructure Investment

Funding has been agreed for projects for:

  • electrification of Barking - Gospel Oak (ending the need for diesel trains on London Overground)
  • the Oxford - Bedford link
  • completion of the electric spine for freight from Southampton to the Midlands and beyond
  • electrification of the Great Western Main Line to Swansea plus the Cardiff Valley lines
  • electrification of the Manchester-focused Northern Hub

New Merseyrail Fleet

Merseytravel is setting out funding to replace the Merseyrail fleet of Class 507 and 508s, built in the late 1970s and which have only about 5 more years of economical life left. Merseyrail has an operating concession until 2028 (a consortium of Serco and Abellio - previously NedRail).

Barrow Hill

A successful society visit to Barrow Hill took place on 26 June, with 23 members taking part. We again had access to all areas including the DPS shed.

Thanks again to Mervyn Allcock for facilitating the visit. The society made a substantial donation to the Barrow Hill Engine Shed Fund. Thanks also to Geoff Bambrough for the raffle (where nearly everyone won a prize - and we still made a profit!).

Virgin Turned Down

Network Rail has refused requests from Virgin Trains to allow it to run trains to Shrewsbury and Blackpool North from December due to shortage of paths. The operator has appealed to the Office of Rail Regulation.

Rail Replacement Buses - Barnsley

Our Barnsley correspondent, "Yorkie" Collins, reminds members that rail replacement buses leave Barnsley at the lay-by next to the booking office on Schwabisch Gmund Way.

Selby Delay

Disruption to services caused by the landslip at Hatfield has caused postponement of the replacement of the swing bridge at Selby, a key diversionary route, and renewals to three other bridges on the route to Hull, until 26 July - 7 September 2014.

New Stations

Construction is to begin on four new stations, Lea Bridge, Ilkeston, Newcourt (Exmouth Branch) and Pye Corner (near Newport). It is hopeful that Kenilworth can be restored, whilst trains are already calling at Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway (between Wilmcote and Stratford).

Metrolink Extension

The new section of Manchester Metrolink extending to East Didsbury has opened.

Class 378s To Be Strengthened

Bombardier is to build 57 more Class 378 vehicles to allow all those trains operated by London Overground to be extended from 4 to 5 cars. The East London line will be the first to benefit at the end of 2014.

Light Rail Proposal Dropped

Plans to convert the Watford Jcn - St Albans Abbey branch have been dropped due to "significant obstacles".


HS2 Progress

Whilst the Government is committed to HS2, opposition is mounting due to ever increasing budget forecasts and doubts over estimates of benefits.

The proposed link in London from HS2 to HS1 and the Continent will be by means of a single track already in use.

Hatfield & Stainforth Unblocked

The line from Doncaster to Cleethorpes and Hull via Hatfield & Stainforth, closed in February due to a colliery landslip, was re-opened on 8 July, earlier than original estimates.

Stonebridge Railway Support

Support is gaining to reinstate the Stonebridge Railway to link the Coventry - Birmingham mainline and the routes from Birmingham to Derby and Nuneaton and Leicester and lines around Birmingham to HS2 and Birmingham Airport.

The "Whitacre Link" would connect Whitacre Jcn with Hampton-in-Arden.

Tram-Train Go Ahead

The first tram-train service will run from early 2016 between Rotherham Parkgate and Sheffield city centre using both the existing tramway and the National Rail network.

Three tram-trains are being built by Vossloh. Network Rail will build a new junction at Meadowhall South, the heavy rail line from Meadowhall South to Rotherham Central and Rotherham Parkgate will be electrified, new platforms built at Meadowhall South and Rotherham Parkgate and Rotherham Central's platforms extended.

German Arrivals Agreed

DB has been awarded a certificate to run passenger services through the Channel Tunnel with Siemens Velaro trains with "distributed traction" rather than power cars at each end.

Currently Eurostar's have a power car at each end and carry a second driver during Tunnel transits due to the rule that trains should be capable of dividing and being driven out of the Tunnel separately from each portal.

However, its London services are unlikely to start before 2016.

It is estimated that 43% of the Tunnel's capacity is unused.

Hitchin Flyover Opened

The flyover for Cambridge trains has been opened at Hitchin, taking down trains over the ECML, avoiding conflicting movements blocking three tracks.


Bullets For ECML

The new fleet of trains for the ECML will be built by Hitachi at Newton Aycliffe. The Class 800 trains will be modelled on Japanese "Bullets". A total of 270 train carriages will be built to enter service in 2019, cutting journey times between Kings Cross and Edinburgh by 18mins to 4hrs 5mins.

Folkestone Harbour Plans

The former Folkestone Harbour and station, derelict since 2003, are owned by former SAGA boss Roger de Hann. He wants to develop an extensive housing and seafront area on the site, leading to the loss of the historic station, viaduct and harbour. Many remember the famous incline out of the Folkestone Harbour station.

North West Electrification - Switch On

The catenary between Manchester and the WCML at Newton-le-Willows and Lowton Jcn is due to be energised. Electric trains will run between Manchester Airport and Scotland from December, with Class 350/4 Desiros based at Ardwick replacing diesel-powered Class 185s.

Electrification to Blackpool North will be completed by May 2016, Ordsall Lane to Manchester Victoria by December 2014, Manchester Victoria to Preston (Euxton Jcn) and Stalybridge and Guide Bridge to Stalybridge by December 2016.

End of Trent PSB

As part of the programme of resignalling in the Nottingham area, Trent signalling panel was switched out on 19 July, after regulating trains for 44 years.

Edinburgh - Glasgow Queen Street Electrification

Completion of the Edinburgh - Glasgow QS line is due for completion in 2016. A new Edinburgh Gateway interchange station will be built at Gogar and a new depot provided at Millerhill.

Eurostar New Routes In 2015

Eurostar plans to introduce an all-year service between London and the south of France, following successful trials to Lyon, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, from 2015.

Mallard 75 Events

Two follow up events will see the six surviving A4s from the Great Gathering at the NRM; an Autumn Great Gathering in York 26 October - 8 November and Great Goodbye in Shildon 15-23 February 2014.


Light Rail News

The good news keeps coming in Blackpool with the hopeful prospect of an agreement in sight to end the fraught relationship between Blackpool Transport Services (BTS) and the Lancastrian Transport Trust (LTT) that has existed for the last couple of years. Negotiations are still in progress but as an act of good faith BTS allowed the movement of two of the LTT's most priceless trams, Vambac Coronation 304 and OMO 8, back into Rigby Road depot after many long months in outside storage. Hopefully a final conclusion can be agreed which will allow the rest of the trusts collection under cover back home at Rigby Road.

Latest news on the BTS heritage fleet concerns boat car 602 which has just been returned to service after 3 years in store and has been outshopped in a unique livery of red and cream to represent how a boat car would have looked in the pre 1930s corporation colours.

On METROLINK after a comparative lull T68 car 1024 was withdrawn in August leaving just a dozen of the class left in traffic plus T68As 2001/3.

Finally in a nice nod to the past, MIDLAND METRO have repainted one their T69 cars in a Birmingham Corporation Tramways heritage livery to commemorate 60 years since the old Birmingham system closed in July 1953. Car 11 is due to be unveiled in a special ceremony at Snow Hill station on 23rd August.

Sheffield Railwayana Auctions

At the Sheffield Railwayana Auction held at the Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Gateway Centre on 8th June 2013 the following locomotive nameplates all sold for £5,000 or more:

  • A locomotive nameplate, CITY OF ST ALBANS, from the LMS Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2 No 6253, BR 46253, built at Crewe in 1946 and named when built. Allocated new to Camden on 14 September 1946 with later spells at Carlisle Upperby and Crewe North from where it was withdrawn on 23 January 1963 and cut up at Crewe Works by 13 May 1963 - £20,500.
  • A locomotive nameplate, EASTON HALL, together with its matching cabside and smokebox numberplate, 4995, and a shed plate 81D for Reading, from the GWR 4900 Hall Class 4-6-0 built at Swindon in February 1931. A long time Reading engine, it moved towards the end to Oxford and Southall from where it was withdrawn on 8 June 1962 and cut up at Swindon Works in the August - £6,500.
  • A locomotive nameplate, FORD CASTLE, from the LNER B17 Sandringham Class 4-6-0 No 2817 built at Darlington in November 1930 and named after the Castle near Coldsteam, home to Baron Joicey an LNER director. Rebuilt at Darlington in December 1946 and re-classified to B2 Class with B1 type boiler and raised footplate which necessitated removal of the rear mounting brackets from the nameplates. Renumbered 1617 in 1946, becoming BR 61617. A long time Cambridge loco, it was withdrawn from there on 11 August 1958 and cut up at Stratford Works - £5,800.
  • A locomotive nameplate, HIROLA, from the LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 No 1023, BR 61023, built at Darlington, Works No 2003, in April 1947 and named after a species of antelope found in Kenya to southern Somalia. At Heaton by January 1948, its later sheds included Darlington, Ardsley, Copley Hill and Low Moor from where it was withdrawn on 31 October 1965 and sold for scrap to Hughes Bolckows at Blyth, entering their yard on 16 February 1966 - £6,000.
  • A locomotive nameplate, MANITOBA, from the LMS Jubilee Class 4-6-0 No 5558, BR 45558, built by the North British Locomotive Co, Works No 24116, in 1934 and named in October 1936 after the Canadian Province. Allocated new to Camden on 5 July 1934, its later sheds included Crewe North, Willesden, Holbeck, Patricroft and Newton Heath from where it was withdrawn by 15 August 1964 and cut up at Crewe Works by 14 November 1964 - £8,000.
  • A nameplate, OCEAN, from the LMS Jubilee Class 4-6-0 No 5730, BR 45730, built at Crewe in 1936 and named when built after the Royal Navy battleship (1898-1915) mined in the Dardanelles. Allocated new to Rugby on 16 October 1936, it spent most of its life at Carlisle Kingmoor, finishing its days at Carnforth and Warrington Dallam from where it was withdrawn by 5 October 1963 and sold for scrap to T.W. Ward at Beighton - £7,600.
  • A locomotive nameplate, SIR ONTZLAKE, with King Arthur Class appendage below, from the SR N15 Class 4-6-0, the first of the final batch of the Class built at Eastleigh in March 1926, SR No 793, becoming BR 30793. A long time Stewarts Lane loco, it moved towards the end to Feltham and Basingstoke from where it was withdrawn by 1 September 1962 and cut up at Eastleigh Works by 15 September - £7,200.
  • A locomotive nameplate, WILLIAM CAWKWELL, from the London & North Western Railway Experiment Class 4-6-0 No 2269, LMS 5484, built at Crewe in December 1906 and named after the LNWR General Manager 1858-1874 who became a Director in 1873 and Deputy Chairman in 1884. It was withdrawn in August 1931 - £6,000.

At the beginning of September Great Central Railwayana, who organised the auctions at Derby, announced there will no more Sheffield Railwayana Auctions at Derby.

The SRA brand will be incorporated into the GCR auctions held on a quarterly basis at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. These auctions are usually held in January, April, July and October.

The Dearne Valley Railway

Paul Slater

The Dearne Valley Railway was a minor line which served the Yorkshire coalfield. It was nominally independent, but was actually worked by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. It ran from junctions with the Lancashire and Yorkshire at Shafton and the Hull and Barnsley at Brierley south-eastwards to flying junctions with the Great Northern and Great Northern / Great Eastern Joint lines south of Doncaster. Connections to the Swinton and Knottingley Joint and the South Yorkshire Joint afforded the Lancashire and Yorkshire access to those routes. The Dearne Valley was primarily a coal-carrying railway, but it had a passenger service between Wakefield and Edlington, calling at a number of unstaffed halts and operated for several years by steam railmotors. There were halts at Ryhill on the Lancashire and Yorkshire’s Deane Valley Junction line, between Wakefield and Shafton Junction, and on the Dearne Valley Railway itself at Grimethorpe, Great Houghton, Goldthorpe, Harlington, Denaby and Edlington.

Most of the Dearne Valley line closed in 1966, but ten years later I photographed double track in a cutting at Goldthorpe and running past Yorkshire Main Sidings signalbox near Edlington; the trackbed was easily visible behind Cadeby Colliery, the disused but still impressive viaduct across the Don Valley near Conisbrough made a dramatic feature in the 1andscape and the flying junctions south of Doncaster had been adapted to serve the junction of the Lincoln line with the East Coast Main Line. In 1979 I took a photograph at the site of Grimethorpe Halt, with railway tracks in the foreground and Grimethorpe Colliery in the background. Three years later, I photographed the deep cutting at Havercroft, on the Dearne Valley Junction line, near the site of Ryhill Halt.

The remaining collieries served by the former Dearne Valley Railway were eventually all closed, and the last stretches of the line were lifted. A new main road was built along the course of the Dearne Valley line past Grimethorpe, and near Darfield I saw what looked like a colliery memorial, with a wheel mounted on a plinth, commemorating the opening of this road. In 2005 I walked along an empty trackbed at Goldthorpe, and near the wheel which stood as a memorial to Yorkshire Main Colliery a line of bushes showed the course of the line past the site of Edlington Halt: the passenger service from Wakefield, worked in its latter years by an Ivatt class 2 2-6-2T and a push-pull set, had been withdrawn in 1951. A few bridges over minor roads still stood at the eastern end of the line.

A big girder span across the East Coast Main Line south of Doncaster, now carrying trains from the Lincoln line, and the imposing viaduct at Conisbrough are reminders of the Dearne Valley Railway. The bridge which used to take the line across the A1(M) Doncaster by-pass has gone, but the remains of embankments can still be seen.

Tosca’s Travels

(Beer and Bashing Abroad)

Part 25

Having a few trips to Belgium over the years I had covered the vast majority of the hauled passenger track. Therefore when Mr Taylor gave me the gen about a "Mercia Tour" doing some freight track I was interested. There were also a number of freight locos that would be on the tour. I therefore planned a long weekend to take in the tour.

Thursday 14th September 2000

91029 Doncaster – Kings Cross

Tube Kings cross – Waterloo via Leicester Square

Eurostar 3015 & 3016 Waterloo – Bruxelles Midi

SNCB 2714 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Nord

SNCB 2751 Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 1328 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Nord

SNCB 2715 Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 2124 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Nord

SNCB 2727 Bruxelles Nord – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 2731 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi

SNCB 2726 Bruxelles Midi – Gent St Pieters

SNCB 6237 Gent St Pieters- Gent Dampoort

SNCB 5108 Gent Dampoort – Gent St Pieters

SNCB 6307 Gent St Pieters – Merelbeke

SNCB 6225 Merelbeke – Gent St Pieters

I had 40 minutes to kill so had a beer – Union Zulte, in the station buffet at St Pieters.

SNCB 1318 Gent St Pieters – Antwerpen Central

I checked into the Hotel Florida and then went for something to eat and a couple of beers. I chose to go to "t’Stamineeke" and had one bottle of Bie brewery Zatte Bie and one bottle of Oerbier from Dolle Brouwers. Not a bad day. Nedding around Brussels produced 7 new plus one in Gent. Just a pity that the 51 turn I went to cover was dud.

Friday 15th September 2000

I was up quite early to cover the inbound P trains but I didn’t have any luck at all.

SNCB EMU 481 Antwerpen Central – Berchem

I sat and waited for an inbound winner….and waited……and waited…..nothing doing!

After a couple of hours I knew I could take a unit to Antwerpen south to pick up the last inbound P train from Puurs. Even that turned out to be dud.

SNCB EMU 809 Berchem – Antwerpen Zuid

SNCB 2505 Antwerpen Zuid – Berchem

SNCB 1308 Berchem – Antwerpen Central

At last a winner, back to the hotel for breakfast and then checked out.

SNCB EMU 447 Antwerpen Central – Berchem

SNCB 1312 Berchem – Antwerpen Zuid

SNCB 1323 Antwerpen Zuid – Berchem

SNCB 2106 Berchem – Mechelen

SNCB 2739 Mechelen – Muizen

SNCB 2102 Muizen – Mechelen

SNCB 2704 Mechelen – Leuven

SNCB 2732 Leuven – Bruxelles Nord

SNCB EMU 482 Bruxelles Nord – Charleroi-Sud

I had gone to Charleroi to cover the evening P trains on the Couvin branch. As I had an hour it again became "beer time". The "Cuve a biere" was the venue of choice and I had a Union Watneys Scotch and a Ciney Special 10.

SNCB 6278 Charleroi-Sud – Yves Gomezee

SNCB 6243 Yves Gomezee – Walcourt

SNCB 6217 Walcourt – Yves Gomezee

SNCB 6278 Yves Gomezee – Charleroi-Sud

SNCB EMU 486 Charleroi-sud – Liege Guillemins

I checked into the Metropole and then headed out of town to the wonderful Vaudree at Angleur.

SNCB 679 Liege Guillemins – Angleur

Whilst in the Vaudree I dined and had a few beers – Abbey des Rocs Brune, Westverleteren 8, Van Vollenhovens stout and Arcen Grand Prestige. I was quite merry when heading back to the station and was chuffed when the day ended with another winner.

SNCB 1316 Angleur – Liege Guillemins

Saturday 16th September 2000 – Mercia tour

I got up feeling surprisingly good considering the previous night’s beer and the early start. The tour was starting at Leuven so first job was to get there.

SNCB 1328 Liege Guillemins – Leuven

SNCB 2249 Banking out of Liege Guillemins

First move on arrival at Leuven was to get something to eat as it had been too early for breakfast in the Hotel. Then onto the tour which started with a dud loco but was to get better.

SNCB 6246 Leuven – Aarschot

SNCB 5503 Aarschot – Antwerpen Oost via Kontich

SNCB 7001 Antwerpen Oost – Bundel Zuid yard

SNCB 7506 Bundel Zuid yard – Y Bayer

SNCB 7103 Y Bayer – Liefenshoek

SNCB 7001 Liefenshoek – Bundel Zuid yard

SNCB 7103 Bundel Zuid Yard – Canada yard

SNCB 7001 Canada yard – Kallo

SNCB 7103 Kallo – Y Zwindrecht fort

SNCB 7001 Y Zwindrecht fort – Bundel Zuid Yard

SNCB 7103 Bundel Zuid yard – Antwerpen Dam depot

SNCB 2340 Antwerpen Dam depot – Gent St Pieters via Lokeren & Dendermonde

SNCB 2340 Gent St Pieters – Leuven via Mechelen

An excellent tour and a few beers were had on the train but I didn’t record them down. On arrival back at Leuven a few of us who were staying in Liege caught the train back, another winner, and then met up for a meal in the Chinese near to the Metropole.

SNCB 1326 Leuven – Liege Guillemins

Sunday 17th September 2000

I decided to head off to cover the kayak trains this morning before making my way home; had breakfast in the hotel then out for a unit to Namur.

SNCB EMU 468 Liege Guillemins – Namur

SNCB 5301 Namur – Houyet

SNCB 5201 Houyet – Dinant

SNCB EMU 424 Dinant – Namur

SNCB 2006 Namur – Bruxelles Midi

SNCB 1325 Bruxelles Midi – Bruxelles Central

SNCB 1606 Bruxelles Central – Bruxelles Midi

Eurostar 3217 & 3218 Bruxelles Midi – Waterloo

Tube Waterloo – Kings Cross via Oxford Circus

91002 Kings Cross to Doncaster

It had been an excellent trip with 26 winners, a load of new beers and meeting a load of the guys on the tour such as Andy Sutton, Denzil Morgan, Duncan Jennings, Andy Reid, Stuart Clarke and loads more who have remained friends. They have also provided very useful sources of gen over the years. My next trip was to be only just over a month away to Germany. Whilst there, I decided to go adventuring and decided on having a short trip into a new country – The Czech Republic.


Pennine Observer Notes

Eastern Region

Recent sightings at Doncaster have been:

May 30 67016 Standby

70013 Limestone

66414, 66517, 66543 Freightliners

66138, 66732 Intermodal

66129, 67006 Light engines

66523, 66596, 66957 Binliners

66041, 66170 Steel

66204 Sand

60019 Bitumen tanks

60059, 66106 Rails

66155 Engineers

56301/31601 to pick up 31452 from Wabtec

66006, 66065, 66078, 66112, 66148, 66150, 66524, 66527,
66528, 66548, 66553, 66561, 66595, 66702 Coal

Jun 6 67024 Standby

47853 Route learning

66572, 66587 Freightliners

66167, 66702 Intermodal

66206, 66095 Rails

66066 Light engine

66523, 66548, 66550 Binliners

60091 Stone

66027, 66138, 66171 Steel

66093 Gypsum

60039 Empties to Mountsorrel

66003, 66006, 66074, 66161, 66187, 66518, 66544, 66604, 66707, 66721, 66728 Coal

Not so much coal today as nothing can get into Drax for a few weeks due to track works around the Knottingley area and inside Drax Power Station. A light engine failed at Templehurst Junction (probably 47853) causing a tail back for about an hour to traffic travelling north. The Hull - Sheffield and a Grand Central were held in platforms 3 and 4 whilst East Coast trains queued up from Balby Bridge.

Jun 13 67005 Standby

97304/37419 t.&t. track measurement train

66301/66430 t.&t, Engineers train from Hatfield

66199/66134 t.&t. Engineers train to Hatfield

66533/562, 66572 Freightliners

66077, 66709 Intermodal

60035 Rails to York

66035 Light engine

66120, 66169 Steel

66069 Sand

60091 Stone

66523, 66596 Binliners

66183/67024/66145 Rails to Toton

66081 Rails to Eastleigh

66006, 66066, 66079, 66097, 66187, 66507, 66525, 66530, 66546, 66604, 66617, 66714, 66732, 66735, 66746 Coal

Jun 20 67005 Standby

66134 Light engine

66111/66043, 66087 Rails

66094, 66720 Intermodal

66515, 66530, 66553 Binliners

66017 Sand

66162 Stone

66152, 66167 Steel

66414, 66588, 66589 Freightliners

66004, 66014, 66097, 66102, 66232, 66510, 66544, 66554, 66623, 66710, 66728, 66745 Coal

Jun 22 66423, 66733, 66714, 66743, 66301 at RMT.

Jun 27 67024 Standby

56301 West Yard

66558, 66591 Freightliners

66044, 66713 Intermodal

66002 Light engine

66057, 66144 Steel

66171 Rails

66530 Binliner

66060 Sand

66162 Stone

60015/60082 Auto ballasters

66176 Gypsum

66201, 66512, 66514, 66519, 66520, 66545, 66956, 66716, 66732 Coal

Jul 4 67026 Standby

37423 Track testing to Hatfield

66037, 66703 Light engines

66416, 66564 Freightliners

66079, 66746 Intermodal

66013, 66066 Steel

66084 Sand

66006, 66727 Gypsum

66419, 66520, 66553 Binliners

66009/66148, 66207 Rails

60091 Stone

66025, 66109, 66142, 66198, 56301, 66510, 66515, 66526, 66548, 66585, 66614, 66713 Coal

91114 recently named Durham Cathedral

66702, 66710, 66718, 66176, 66089, 66954 in Belmont area

Jul 18 67016, 67024 Standby

66221 Rails

66564, 66587 Freightliners

66092/66021 Engineers

66176, 66746 Intermodal

66614 Spoil

66096, 66737 Gypsum

66058 Sand

66136 Stone

66008, 66134 Light engines

66074, 66098, 66546, 66554, 66557, 66718, 66728 Coal

Aug 8 67021, 67027 Stand by

66142, 66171, 66717, 66735 Light engines

66748 Light engine to Tyne Dock

66099, 66117 Rails

66414, 66568/66954 Freightliners

57314/57601 E.C.S. to Cambridge

60010, 60019, 60079 Tanks (diverted due to Nottingham station closure)

66156, 66742 Intermodal

66509, 66518, 66080, 66084, 66706, 66722, 66953 Coal

66619 Empty limestone

Aug 11 66704 and 66707 in Belmont area

Aug 15 67021, 67027 Standby

56312, 31190 West Yard

66151 Rails

66605 Limestone

66504, 66587 Freightliners

66230 Sand

66213 Steel

66176 Stone

66162, 66598 Engineers

66101 Light engine

66710 Gypsum

66118, 66725 Intermodal

60019, 60059 Tanks

66030, 66140, 66185, 66519, 66530, 66546, 66722, 66727 Coal

Aug 22 67021, 67027 Standby

66061, 66561, 66595, 66606, 66732, 66735 Coal

66517, 66587 Freightliners

66151, 66705 Intermodal

66111 Gypsum

66238 Sand

66158 Stone

60092 Tanks

Recent sightings on the Gainsborough – Barnetby line have been:

(On coal trains unless stated otherwise)

May 12 66040, 66115

66080 on goods train

May 13 66027, 66040, 66008, 66058, 66133, 66145, 66510, 66526, 66743

66110 on goods train

66051 light engine

May 14 66007, 66019, 66024, 66040, 66107, 66604

66016 on goods train

May 15 66019, 66024, 66090, 66135, 66145, 66518, 66528, 66743

66059, 66181 on oil trains

66112 on goods train

May 16 66008, 66058, 66090, 66135, 66743

66059 on goods train

May 17 66019, 66080, 66526, 66705

May 18 66076, 66523, 66551, 66848

66113 on steel train

66121 light engine

May 20 66040, 66051, 66129, 66138, 66160, 66221, 66551, 66582, 66719

66112 on goods train

May 21 66080, 66138, 66145, 66151

66016 on steel train

66104 on goods train

May 22 66019, 66074, 66121, 66138, 66744

60028, 66012 on oil trains

66008 on goods train

May 23 66024, 66051, 66080, 66145, 66712, 66744

66008 on oil train

66016 on goods train

May 24 66011, 66019, 66078, 66121, 66145, 66712

May 25 66613

May 26 66076, 66148, 66191, 66522

66142 on goods train

May 27 66074, 66078, 66087, 66193, 66553, 66705

66012 on goods train

May 28 66076, 66082, 66121, 66152, 66705

66232 on goods train

May 29 66108, 66121, 66142

66074 on oil train

May 30 66006, 66078, 66142, 66148, 66232, 66743

66008, 66093 on goods trains

May 31 66078, 66087, 66142, 66232, 66715, 66743

66116 on steel train

Jun 1 66075

Jun 2 66006

66206 on oil train

66046+66155 light engine

Jun 3 66006, 66012, 66085, 66181, 66198, 66707, 66728

66523 on goods train

66204+66005 light engine

Jun 4 66012, 66143, 66161, 66728

66125+66080 on goods train

Jun 5 66003, 66012, 66111, 66181, 66143, 66518, 66707

66012, 66232 on oil trains

66027 on goods train

66125 on steel train

Jun 6 66161, 66181, 66198, 66585, 66707

66027, 66138 on goods train

Jun 7 66083, 66100, 66143, 66181, 66553

66008 on goods train

66067 light engine

Jun 9 66167 on goods train

60017+66139+66194+66232 light engine

Jun 10 66003, 66139, 66154, 66143, 66194

66151 on goods train

66126+66140 light engine

Jun 11 66041, 66065, 66127, 66714, 66717, 66732

Jun 12 66047, 66065, 66143, 66181, 66706

66232 on oil train

Jun 13 66041, 66066, 66154, 66525

66120 on steel train

Jun 14 66041, 66083, 66554, 66706, 66714

66082 on steel train

Jun 15 66731+66732 with 1 wagon

Jun 17 66094, 66130, 66230, 66728

Jun 18 66035, 66085, 66130, 66136, 66139, 66197, 66728, 66743

66087 on goods train

Jun 19 66197, 66230, 66707

66116, 66138 on oil trains

Jun 20 66076, 66102, 66232

Jun 21 66085, 66102, 66127, 66152, 66201, 66726, 66743

Jun 22 66743 with 1 wagon

Jun 23 66004

Jun 24 66089, 66142, 66167, 66186, 66716

66533 on goods train

66018 light engine

Jun 25 66017, 66082, 66085, 66089, 66732

Jun 26 66069, 66109, 66110, 66514

66067 on oil train

66030, 66094 on goods trains

Jun 27 66069, 66098, 66109, 66137, 66545, 66716

Jun 28 66548, 66716

Jun 29 66116 on goods train

66716+66731 with 1 wagon

Jun 30 66077, 66165

66116 on goods train

Jul 1 66034, 66077, 66165, 66713

66003 on goods train

Jul 2 66030, 66107, 66165, 66207, 66531, 66727

66003 on goods train

Jul 3 66003, 66188, 66713, 66727

66058 on p.w. train

Jul 4 66147 on goods train

Jul 5 66060, 66238, 66848

66002 on goods train

Jul 6 66107

66110 on steel train

Jul 8 66003, 66025, 66068, 66077, 66107

Jul 9 66025, 66087, 66107, 66162

Jul 10 66003, 66025, 66076, 66117, 66712

Jul 11 66003, 66025, 66041, 66130, 66712, 66716

Jul 15 66019, 66085, 66138

Jul 16 66099, 66138

Jul 17 66060

Jul 18 66061, 66074

Jul 19 66080, 66715, 66720

Jul 21 66162

Jul 22 66006 on oil train

66085, 66707

66712 light engine

Jul 23 66006 on oil train

66092, 66230, 66545

Jul 24 60017 and 66078 on oil trains

66099, 66140, 66707

Jul 25 66164 on oil train

66070, 66745

Jul 26 66078 on oil train


Jul 27 66140

Jul 29 66015, 66099, 66172, 66197, 66704, 66707

66053 on oil train

Jul 30 66012 an 66114 on oil trains

66099, 66704

Jul 31 66012 on oil train

66099, 66172, 66197, 66707

Aug 1 66012 on oil train

66099, 66110, 66519, 66704

Aug 5 66015, 66722

Aug 6 66090, 66150, 66181, 66722, 66732

Aug 7 66092, 66119, 66150

Aug 8 66092, 66150, 66732

Aug 10 66092

Aug 11 66090 and 66142+66117 on p.w. rains

Aug 12 66149, 66722, 66746

Aug 13 66091, 66746

Aug 14 66020

Other recent sightings have been:

May 25 66553 and 66557 on coal trains and 66204+66232 light engine at Retford

May 31 66704, 66717, 66709, 66736, 66724, 66711, 66735, 66053, 66104 and 66018 at Peterborough

Jun 1 66074, 66595 and 66712 on coal trains, 66067 on steel train and 66082 light engine at Melton Ross

66702 at Potters Selby

Jun 15 66085, 66170, 66510, 66714 and 66848 on coal trains at Barnetby

June 17 66136 on coal train at Stow Park

Jun 22 66848 on coal train at Tetheringrass Lane Crossing

09201, 66528, 66066 and 66085 at Knottingley

Jun 28 66713 at Potters Selby

66430 and 66301 at York

66104 at Tyne Yard

Jul 6 66107 and 66548 on coal trains at Cherry Holt Crossing

Jul 9 37423 and 56301 at York

Jul 13 60074 on steel train, 66009 on goods train and 66525 on coal train at Haxey

Jul 20 66114 and 66560 on coal trains and 66712 light engine at Rat Hole Lane Crossing

20189, 20142, 20314 and 20311 at Peterborough

Aug 10 60099 and 66078 on iron ore trains and 66161 and 66722 on coal trains at Melton Ross

Aug 11 66749, 66751, 66703, 66713, 66717, 66721 and 66722 at Peterborough


Western Region

Recent sightings have been:

May 31 66165, 66192 and 08572 at Didcot

31190 at Bath Spa

66540, 66592 and 59202 at Swindon

66168 at Chippenham

66954, 59201, 59203 and 66117 at Acton

Jul 1 57605 on Penzance - Paddington sleeper and 08644 at Penzance

Jul 2 57603 on Paddington - Penzance sleeper at Penzance

Jul 4 66187 on freight at Exeter St. Davids

66065, 66181, 67001, 66619, 70018, 08499, 08683 and 56084 at Cardiff Canton

66057 and 66116 at Port Talbot

08795 at Landore

66081 at Newport

66204, 66065, 66005, 66023 and 67029 at Didcot

59201, 66051, 66175, 66015 and 66738

Midland Region

Recent sightings have been:

May 25 66304, 47847, 57003 and 47810at Crewe

Jun 1 Thunderbird 57309 and A4 60009 at Preston

Jul 10 08454 and 08611 at Longsight

66184 and 66553 at Ashburys

Southern Region

Recent sightings have been:

Jun 18 66538, 66566, 66572, 70009, 08530, 66560, 66501, 66570 and 66568 at Southampton

73207 and 73212 at Eastleigh

Aug 10 92003, 92044, 92027 and 66151 at Dollands Moor

73206, 73205 and 66047 at Tonbridge

66731, 66846, 66514, 66539, 55129, 66096 and 66054 at Hoo Junction

66129 at Voltare Rd Jct

Scottish Region

Recent sightings have been:

Jun 25 37516, 47501 and 08615 at Craigentinny

67008 at Edinburgh

08305, 08788 and 67021 on sleeper at Inverness

Jun 26 66606 and 67007 on sleeper at Aberdeen

90021 and 67008 at Edinburgh

Railtours and Charter Trains

Locos seen on railtours and charters have been:

May 25 ("The Welsh Mountain Statesman") 57313, 97304, 97303, 57326

Jun 22 ("The Loopy Doughnut") 66148, 60019

Jul 16 ("The Scarborough Spa Express") 45231, 47760

Jul 20 ("VSOE") 67028, 67019

Jul 24 ("The Scarborough Spa Express") 45699, 47760

Aug 1 ("The Scarborough Spa Express") 46115, 47760

Aug 10 ("The Kent Odyssey") 73205, 73141, 66738, 73119

Preserved Railways

Locos used at the Wensleydale Diesel Gala on 8 June were 55002, 37250, 66301, D6700, 03144 and 47715.

Locos working at the Derwent Valley Light Railway Centenary Gala on 17 July were D2245, D5165, PLUTO and 03079.

London Visit

Membership Secretary, Tony Caddick, who had a day out in London on 20th July to sample a ride on the mayor's latest vanity project the much vaunted NEW BUS FOR LONDON "Borismasters".

He reports, for all the Pennine bus fans who have not yet sampled the Borismasters, they are certainly high spec vehicles with almost a retro feel to the interior. During the day a conductor is rostered whose main task, as most punters now have Oystercards, seems to be to supervise the open rear platform. The buses took over route 24 in July and are due to take over the popular route 11 from Victoria to Liverpool Street in September.

Egyptian Diary (with a Difference!)

Hi, the only thing of interest that I have regarding the locos in Luxor, is that the EMDs were built in 1965 in Canada. I didn't manage to visit the station during May, it was rather warm with 40c temperatures and a day in June it was 49c. So undercover of darkness we slipped into Britannia on the night of 12th June, as we stepped down from the plane it wasn't the green, green grass of home, but the dark wet and windy tarmac of Gatwick Airport. That's not all, the hire car we had booked didn't work out, the last train to Portsmouth had already gone and the hotel at Gatwick had no rooms available, so it was a long night in the airport before we could get the National Express to Portsmouth at 05.00. After that the weather changed for the better with sun warmth and dry grass, wonderful I felt at home!

Onto the railway front, with us staying in Portsmouth I thought a trip to Eastleigh would be good, I hadn't seen any 70s, so on the 20th I had a couple of hours on the station, no 70s but as we passed the works 57301/306/310 were seen, 73207/212 stabled by the station, 66021 marshalling ballast wagons and 66044/148/169/238/247, 66571/592 and 60049 on through freights. Then on the 29th we travelled to see our daughter in Leicester, a very interesting trip, we had pre booked with Southern and got a really good deal, the train was from Portsmouth to Wimbledon change onto First Capital and then through south London to St Pancras. We alighted at Wimbledon only to hear that our connection had been cancelled, panic!, we had 45 minutes to get to St Pancras!, so we caught the District Line to Edgware Road and the Hammersmith to St Pancras, thought that was better than the tube when we had Diana's heavy suitcase to drag. Arrived 15 minutes late so ran for the Leicester train, not knowing where to run, St Pancras didn't look like it did last time I was there, finally found the escalators to East Midlands trains and jumped onto the Leicester train waiting to go, we could relax! I did get a shot of my first Croydon tram at Wimbledon. Locos noted 66192 at Woking, 66519/585, 66720 to Leicester. Decided a trip to Derby was a must, a bit of a pilgrimage, we would go there on Saturdays in the 60s. Locos noted 66161/176, 73101, 31106/233/454, 37604/607/902, 08417/899, 86901/902. Derby station 66599, 57313/57601, 56312, 60091. A couple of hours and then walk to the bus station for a bus to Stapleford, on route 37411 cab in pub car park on Siddals Road. I did a bit of Ancestry at Stapleford taking photos etc and having a couple of pints in pubs with family connections. 2 pounds a pint, Marstons IPA, the cheapest I found. Being so close to Toton I had to have another pilgrimage, walked along Black Pad to see Toton from the hill. Not very busy, a sad sight of its former self (I don't think it has much of a future!). DB sign on the shed, (did something happen in 1939-45, I seem to have forgotten). Anyway locos noted, 08480/578/630/632/653/701/738/

939, 58023, 66034/038/047/078/087/138, 66522/535/597 and all the redundant 60s, 67 of them, very sad! Next to Lincoln on the 10th July to see our other daughter. Locos noted 60079, 66079, 66544, 66701, also at Beeston we passed a Northern Belle special with 47s in charge, I think 47862 in Northern Belle livery and the other in DRS livery. Then on the 18th we found ourselves on Basingstoke station, (a family thing, don't ask!); anyway the 70s appeared,70008/019, also 66183, 66420, Returning to Portsmouth 73141/208, 08495, 66024/193, 70001/017/018, 57310/312. So as they say here in Egypt, "It is written" I saw my first 70s! Close to ending we had a fantastic day on the Mid Hants with haulage behind 50027, another first. Nice to see the Network Southeast livery. Then on the 9th August an earlier start to catch the 05.50 Portsmouth - Gatwick Airport, change Three Bridges, 377443, 377177 doing the honours. Flight home aboard Easyjet's brand new A320 G-EZWM.

For the ship enthusiast the Japanese Navy visited Portsmouth during our stay and we were able to go aboard the "ISOYUKI", with "KASHIMA" and "SHIRAYUKI" there also.

And finally I had a ride along the old trackbed from Fareham to Gosport, in a very smart First Bus, it is now a Bus lane, but not a guided one. Best regards. Steve, Egyptian correspondent.


Pennine Quiz No. 153

Midland Region

Paul Slater

1 Where did the Higham Ferrers branch diverge from the Midland Main Line?

2 Where were Midland tank engines used for shunting until 1966, because of an old agreement?

3 Which town had stations named London Road and Midland Road?

4 Which other joint line joined the Midland / Great Central Joint at Braithwell Junction?

5 Name the pub which used to be at Moorthorpe station

6 Which station appears in the works of D.H. Lawrence under the name Sethley Bridge?

7 Which shed housed the lightweight locomotives used on the Halesowen branch?

8 Where did the Huntingdon branch diverge from the Midland main line?

9 Which town had stations named Bridge Street and Midland Road?

10 Where did the Northampton branch diverge from the Midland main line?

11 Name the pub at Eastwood which bears a plaque stating that it was the birthplace of the Midland Railway?

12 Which author, born in Rushden, put the Higham Ferrers branch into his fiction more than once?

13 Which shed housed the banking engines used on the climb to Peak Forest?

14 Where did the Stratford-on-Avon & Midland Junction Railway diverge from the Northampton branch?

15 Where can the winding engine from Swannington Incline on the Leicester & Swannington Railway be seen?

16 Which four companies beside the Midland operated the South Yorkshire Joint?

17 Where did the Swinton & Knottingley Joint diverge from the Midland main line?

18 Why were only lightweight locomotives used on the Kettering – Cambridge service?

19 Which shed housed the banking engines for the Lickey Incline?

20 On which branch did Midland 1F tanks regularly work the passenger service in the 1950s?

21 Which two companies beside the Midland operated the Cheshire Lines Committee routes?

             22 What caused the closure of the Severn Bridge?

23 Which company beside the Midland operated the Halesowen branch?

24 Which company beside the Midland operated the Swinton & Knottingley Joint?

25 Name the pub at Ratby which stands beside the trackbed of the Leicester & Swannington Railway and has some railwayana, including a length of old track


Pennine Quiz No. 152

The Answers

1 Polmadie

2 Tan-y-Manod

3 Fochabers Town

4 Abercynon

5 Ascot

6 Radstock

7 Stafford

8 Carlisle London Road

9 Easingwold

10 Gateshead

11 New Cross Gate

12 Kettering

13 Milngavie

14 Leamington

15 Hull Botanic Gardens

16 Sheep Pasture

17 Hayfield

18 Auchinleck

19 Galashiels

20 Inverkeithing


22 Melton Constable

23 Moat Lane

24 Bordesley Junction

25 Consett

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 18th September 2013

Robin Patrick

‘Hobsons Choice’

Wednesday 2nd October 2013


Wednesday 16th October 2013

Mick Barstow

‘GNER White Rose Eurostar's (A Driver’s Story)’

Wednesday 6th November 2013

Les Nixon

Wednesday 20th November 2013

Rhys Jones

Thursday 28th November 2013

Pennine Shield Round 1 at Dore Loco Society

Wednesday 4th December 2013


Wednesday 18th December 2013

Digital Photo Competition



I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to this issue: Linda/David Bladen, Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Ken King, Steve Payne, John Sanderson, Ian Shenton, Robin Skinner, Paul Slater and Tosca.


Next Issue

The Winter 2013 issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on Wednesday 4th December would contributors please let the coordinator have their information by no later than Wednesday 6th November. If you can, please email your contributions to If you are posting your contributions, it would help if you could post it in instalments and not leave it all to the last day – THANK YOU.


"I didn’t like being indoors..."

Stan Brittain successfully lived every boy’s dream of life on the footplate

I worked from the age of 14 in a factory making brass taps and even before that I had worked part time on a poultry farm and delivering newspapers.

Lots of boys wanted to be engine drivers years ago but I kind of drifted into being one. I didn’t like being indoors, so I chose life on the footplate.

The day I started in 1949 at 7am, I was taken into the loco shed. This was an alarming combination of smoke thick in the air, a roaring fire in the rest room and gas lighting throughout - I soon got used to it.

There were about 30 engine cleaners and that was the job you started at - very dirty but we had some fun. We worked what you might term ‘interesting’ hours - a 48-hour week, with two weeks on days, followed by two on nights. This consisted of four 12-hour shifts, plus four hours on Friday 7pm to 11pm. We were paid £1.15s for days and £3.3s for nights.

As well as cleaning engines, we occasionally helped the boilersmiths (very noisy) or the brick archer who built the brick arches in the fireboxes, and sometimes these were very hot, so we had to watch out.

I progressed to fireman after six or seven months, starting in the shunting yards, of which there were several in Wolverhampton. Then I moved onto local freight trains, fast freight and finally to Express Passenger trains.

Long hours

I enjoyed the freight work. Sometimes on cold nights we would put onions or spuds in the crook of a hot pipe to produce a hot addition to our sandwiches. Sometimes we took a fry-up - bacon, eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms, which we cooked on the shovel. And, yes, I can taste that fry-up now.

On the freight trains we used to go ‘double home’ as we called it. We worked our way to London Southall on a night trip and to Reading or Didcot on days.

These trains ran at 45mph, with several pick up and drop points and could take eight or nine hours to do the journey. In between we booked off at the hostel for about 12 hours.

We went to work at all hours of the night and day - 2am or 3am in the morning, 6pm or 7pm in the evening and at weekends. It was very hard if you were a football fan, for instance but it had its good points. There were beautiful sunrises in summer and magnificent sunsets, and even the mists and frost in the winter could be beautiful.

Bad trips

Some of the worst trips were when we had poor coal or a clinkered up fire when a freight engine had been out a long time. You had to work hard to maintain steam pressure.

Worse still were the traumatic moments with suicides and attempted suicides, flooded tracks, and being stuck in snow drifts (for four hours on one occasion).

I once got soaked to the skin while filling the water tank on the tender when the canvas pipe doubled up and on another occasion I fell into a mushroom tank (a water tank on a pedestal) when the chain stuck and I climbed up in the dark. Again I got soaked but I still had to fire the engine.

This (as the driver told me) was all part of my education. I wouldn’t run up there so fast in future.

Eventually I had six of my 17 years on steam as a driver before I moved on to the diesel engines, then electric locos, with the last six or so years in the comfort (but a lot less exciting) of an air-conditioned electric express.

I have been retired nearly 14 years now, but still enjoy exchanging happy (and not so happy) memories with my old colleagues.


Going underground

As Roger Redfern explains, building the Blea Moor tunnel was bad enough - maintaining it was a nightmare

Construction of the improbable line across the roof of the Pennines from Settle to Carlisle was long and expensive. It began in 1869 and the line opened in 1876. Around 6,000 men worked on the line, building it by hand. Hundreds died during the work - the exact death toll is unknown but 80 alone died in a smallpox outbreak.

Much has been written about the crossing of Batty Moss by building the Ribblehead Viaduct, but the bleak Blea Moor was to provide another challenge in 1870. The Crag of Blea Moor is at 1,753 feet and the moor was too high to allow a cutting, so tunnelling was the only answer. The work took five years and the tunnel ended up 400 yards longer than originally planned.

Its total length is 2,629 yards and at its deepest it lies 500 feet below the moor top.

Three vertical shafts were sunk to allow several tunnelling team to work at a time - the shafts became ventilators but the tunnel was always notorious for being filled with smoke in the steam days. The vents persuaded many ramblers that volcanic activity was taking place as they reeked into the open air. Wind direction would badly affect the time it took for the smoke to clear.

Later track maintenance workers found the conditions terrible and it was made worse by the damp and acidic conditions in the tunnel where rails might only last five years (compared to 20 in the open air). The gangers put wet rags over their mouths and noses and poked around with sticks to find the position of the rails as their lamps were useless in the acrid pall of smoke.

Passengers were affected too. They would lean out of the windows as trains crossed the steep western slopes of Widdale Fell, taking in the broad views of upper Dent Dale. After crossing the lofty arches of Artengill and Dent Head Viaducts the train entered the short cutting at Mossy Bottom before plunging into the tunnel. Carriage windows were rapidly slammed shut...

Happy days

I was a passenger on a steam special heading south from Carlisle in 1968. On a cloudy October afternoon we were hauled by No. 4472 Flying Scotsman and after the long climb over Ais Gill there was a scheduled stop just beyond the south portal of the Blea Moor tunnel to take on water from the still-operating water tower at the lineside. Most of the passengers got down to watch while an oily-faced Alan Pegler (then, the owner of the locomotive) oversaw operations from the footplate. The BR inspector, who also rode the footplate on such special occasions, went round the driving wheels, feeling the bearings for hot spots. A whistle blew, everyone climbed aboard and off we went towards the grand curve of Ribblehead Viaduct.


The name game

Naming a new locomotive series was quite an art. Kate Chester-Lamb looks at some of the results

Where could you find Winston Churchill next to Morgan le Fay or Westminster Abbey beside Albert Hall? For the answer, we need to hark back to the days of steam. While most of us could name locomotives such as the Mallard or the Flying Scotsman the imagination and inventiveness that went into naming the steam engines that travelled our railways is often forgotten.

The earliest engines carried names but not numbers, and when numbers did arrive the names were retained.


During WWI all names with a German connection were removed. The London and North Western had a red line scored through the name of the Germanic and fitted the new name (Belgic) below it. No name was too trivial for this treatment - 956 Dachshund became Bulldog. In WWII the Great Western changed the names of Italian Monarch and Japanese Monarch.

Tribute was paid to famous aircraft such as Spitfire and Hurricane - Ogmore Castle became Defiant (units operating the Boulton Paul Defiant shot down more enemy aircraft than any other night fighter in the winter of 1940-41). Another loco was dubbed Fighter Command. Others were named after squadrons. The Home Guard had an engine named in its honour too.

Class system

Different classes of engine were given related names. The Castle Class of GWR included Ludlow Castle, Totnes Castle and Sarum Castle. The Earl group of names including Earl of Dudley and Earl of Bathurst was originally assigned to a class of rebuilt locomotives - but the Earls in question complained and their names were assigned to the more modern Castle Class.

Sometimes the nature of the name was reflected in the design of the name plate itself. The Hunt Class engines of the London and North Eastern all carried a fox above the name of the hunt.

The London and North Eastern had several engines named after football teams with a small football cast in to the nameplate, flanked in later days by team colours. Some of these plates ended up at the clubs concerned after the locos were scrapped.

Those Royal Scots of the London Midland and Scottish were named after regiments and carried the regimental badge above the nameplate.

Some of the more unusual names were those chosen by the North British railway (later part of LNER). The names came from Walter Scott including Kettledrummie and Cuddie Headrigg from Old Mortality, Wandering Willie from Redgauntlet and Caleb Balderstone from The Bride of Lammermoor. The GWR also named some of their Saint Class engines after his novels Rob Roy and Ivanhoe.

Knights of old

The Southern Railway named a number of locomotives after King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Someone must have scoured all the Arthurian legends as there are 74 listed. Some of the more obscure are Sir Harry le Fise Lake and Sir Urre of the Mount. The women feature too, Queen Guinevere, Elaine, Vivian and the wicked Morgan le Fay all appearing on the list.

The practice of naming locomotives carried on into the diesel age, but now seems to have degenerated into a form of advertising. The last steam locomotive built by British Rail was appropriately named Evening Star, bringing an end to an era.


Doing the ton...

The late Edward Day remembered a special excursion on the railway

The Stephenson Locomotive Society (SLS) was founded in 1909 and on May 23 1959, it celebrated its 50 anniversary in style with a high speed rail tour between London and Doncaster. I took part in the tour, as a member of the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society.

Our locomotive was a streamlined A4 Pacific locomotive (60007 Sir Nigel Gresley). Gresley himself had designed this style of train in 1935 to work the new Silver Jubilee service. Some 35 engines of the type were built at the LNER’s Doncaster works where Gresley was the Chief Mechanical Engineer.

The locomotive had had a recent overhaul at Doncaster and been run back in. It was now in tip-top condition and was coupled to a carriage stock of eight recently overhauled units. The train was driven by Bill Hoole one of the best of the King’s Cross enginemen, albeit close to retirement and, it is said, a few strings were pulled to ensure that he was able to drive the Golden Jubilee Special.


In order for the train to exceed the speeds normally reached on the East Coast mainline at that time, ‘double-block’ working would be in force on the return journey because a high speed performance was expected. ‘Double-block’ meant that if signals were at clear the line was without constrictions for twice the normal distance, as a very fast train has a considerably longer braking distance.

The train departed promptly at 9.48am and travelled the East Coast mainline through Hitchin, Peterborough and Grantham, then stopped for a short while. It then proceeded to Barkston South junction and took a little diversion through Lincoln and Gainsborough then back onto the mainline. It arrived at Doncaster a minute early at 12.52pm.


The passengers embarked on a five hour tour of the Doncaster works prior to the return journey. I recall seeing withdrawn steam locomotives there. We then gathered at 5pm awaiting our 5.46 departure.

The train was on schedule at Newark, but two minutes late at Grantham. It was on the stretch between Grantham and Peterborough that the fastest speed was expected. I remember the train going faster and faster with everything flashing past. A point just beyond Stoke Tunnel represents the high point with a downhill gradient thereafter. The train’s speed rapidly increased, culminating in 110mph at Little Bytham in Lincolnshire - a magnificent achievement.

The train reached King’s Cross five minutes early at 8.05pm. The 156 miles from Doncaster to King’s Cross had taken two hours, 17 1/2 minutes, representing an average speed of 68mph.

It was a wonderful journey I will always remember...

(With thanks to Jennifer Wittridge, Edward Day’s daughter.)