BLN Pictorial - Branch Line Society


BLN Pictorial - Branch Line Society
Special supplement to e-BLN 1236
BLN Pictorial
4 July 2015
Welcome back to BLNP which, refreshed by a little sub-editorial trip to central Europe and with thanks to our ever generous contributors, is covering quite a
wide range of subjects this time.
We start with Stuart Hicks’s photo (left) of
the new and luxurious £250,000 1st Class
Pullman style observation coach, built for the
Ffestiniog railway’s 150th anniversary, which
was on display at London Paddington during
June. More information and pictures of this
impressive vehicle can be found at and on the railway’s
‘Festipedia’ page at
Another picture of the interior is at
After its display at Paddington It is touring
the country (not by rail, this is not a repeat of
1892!) and will be seen at Bristol,
Shrewsbury Flower Show (14 and 15 August),
and other venues.
It is worth noting that like BLS, the Ffestiniog
(originally in its enabling Act, Festiniog)
celebrates a 60th anniversary this year, in the
case of the FR that of its reopening to
passengers as far as Boston Lodge on 23 July
1955. The 150 anniversary commemorated by the building of the observation car is that of the commencement of passenger services in 1865, although some
rather unofficial slate truck riding facilities, both horse and gravity powered, are believed to have been available before that!
Another look back to our Channel Islands visit in May, which prompted member Rhys ab Elis to send in an interesting view (below left) of the former tram depot
at St. Peter Port in Guernsey with rails still visible, now an Island Coachways Depot. There’s another photo with the depot door open, at
and more information on this standard gauge tramway at Below right you will see our Chairman ‘in the chair’ on Friday 8 May
near Grève d’Azette station, St. Helier in a private car park (see BLN 1233.906 for full report). Less road-minded members might like to see the opinion of
Oxford classicist and poet A.D.Godley on this particular form of transport, at
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At Pallot’s Steam Museum, Jersey there is ‘the other’ former Motorail Simplex locomotive on the very rare 2ft gauge line. This ‘ex-loco’, now converted
to a brake van is seen with some outstandingly dedicated BLS members counting it for ‘haulage’ during our visit on Friday 8 May. Four laps were
completed on the circuit that only normally runs for the Public on ‘Liberation Day’ (one day per year) with Motorail Simplex 11143. There is a video of
one of those laps at
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On its way back from Scotland on Sunday 19 April 2015 our ‘S&C Desiro Tracker’ visited Garsdale, formerly the junction for the Hawes branch (track bed
right foreground) which connected at Hawes with the NER line from Northallerton. Here the train is seen approaching Garsdale from the Carlisle
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The ‘S&C Desiro Tracker’ railtour standing in the extremely rare Garsdale No3 Up Refuge Siding, again with the former Hawes/Northallerton line going off
to the right. The photographer commented that in 30 years of Settle and Carlisle lineside photography this is perhaps the most unusual thing he had
ever seen! Both Garsdale pictures courtesy of Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL) and Ian Mortimer. This report summarises the activities of the group, the UK’s largest national railway support group - FoSCL’s excellent work and achievements
was evident to tour participants both along the line and on the train.
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On Sunday 3 May members visited the Moreton Business Park railway at the former MoD site at Moreton-on-Lugg, near Hereford. In this picture D2302
powers away from the ‘B Shed’ platform end of line on the morning trip along the branch towards the exchange sidings. [Photo : D2578 Locomotive
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The railway is situated in lovely Herefordshire countryside, as shown by this photo of D2302 (nearer the camera) and D2578 making their way along the
branch with the BLS train. [Photo : D2578 Locomotive Group]
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Also on Sunday 3 May members visited the small preservation site at Titley Junction, once the meeting point of GWR lines from New Radnor, Presteigne
(both dead end branches), Eardisley (junction with the MR Hereford-Hay-Three Cocks Jn line) and Leominster (junction with the GWR-LNWR Joint
Shrewsbury-Hereford line). Stephen Phillips’s photo shows the station cat ‘pawsing’ to admire D2158 (Margaret-Ann) awaiting passengers at the station
(which was actually known as just ’Titley’ in BR days and before.)
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Another Stephen Phillips photo of the Titley Junction visit, this time of the tiny Wickham trolley car A13W with its petrol lawn mower engine (one of the
four types of motive power available) which ran numerous trips one person at a time with the driver up and down the other platform here during the
day. (For full report see BLN 1234.1033).
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The new Fimber Halt on the Yorkshire Wolds Railway (, a relative newcomer to the preservation scene with 100m of line. This was
OP 10 May 2015 (members only) and 24 May 2015 (general public). It is in Beverley Road (B1248), Fimber, YO25 3HG (SE 9109 6084), a new location
south of the original station, on the opposite side of the former B1248 level crossing, the site of the former goods sidings. An ‘opening ceremony’ was
held at 11.00 on Monday 25 May with Sir Tatton Sykes, a local Baronet. This standard gauge railway group was formed in October 2008 and has planning
permission to reopen 1 mile of track (ex-Malton to Driffield Junction Railway, OP 1 June 1853, CP 3 June 1950, most CA 20 October 1958) south to the
A166, Wetwang Green Lane. Opening times (subject to staffing) 09.00-16.00 Sundays to the end of October with loco cab rides on the last Sunday of each
month and Bank Holidays. This is on a GEC Traction diesel-hydraulic 5576 originally built for Shotton Steel Works in 1979 and latterly used for training
prisoners at HMP Doncaster (did you have to do the time to do the track?). Picture : Alan Sheppard
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You must be able to contain yourself to do rare track! This photo was taken at Hazelhurst on the Dublin to Kildare line on 18 June by Martin Baumann.
The train is an International Warehousing and Transport chartered Liner working the Ballina to Dublin North Wall container service service which started
in 2009. ’BLS’, or Bulk Logistics Solutions, specialise in food and chemical bulk transportation and global liners for bulk cargo. They are based in Hull with
offices in Dublin and Rotterdam.
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Moving finally to the Anglo-Scottish Borders, member and PSUL compiler Richard Maund sent us these pictures from Mindrum where the former station
still features on local signposting. Richard writes “The only BLN references I can find are No. 85 (first series) p. 99 (unfortunately the information there,
that the goods depot had been downgraded to a public delivery siding, gave the wrong date - it should have read 16 January 1961, as contained in
Clinker’s Register and the webpage (which is probably based on Clinker) and as affirmed by contemporary BR internal circulars such as
BR WR’s R.1534/1061; the final closure came with the closure of Wooler - Coldstream section, reported in BLN 27 (second series)); No. 218 p.13; and No.
1138 item 552. Herewith a photo of the station in its current guise, from the road, looking west (the goods shed and yard were off to the right).
Over the years, BLN readers have amused their fellow subscribers with reports of anachronistic road signs that lead to long-closed stations - vide (not
necessarily an exhaustive list!) 448-48, 469-12, 471-19, 521-63, 742-70, 731-24, 732-34, 805-566, 1090 p. 111, and 1177 p.26. Not wishing to be left out
of the roll of honour, herewith the sign to Mindrum Station, to be found at the road junction at grid ref NT858337. The station is at NT855339.”
Another member recently noticed an area in Burton upon Trent signposted as ‘Drakelow Power Station’ even though it was finally demolished in 2006.