RAILDATE: the weekly newsletter of the Hursley Park Model Railway Society: http://www.ibmhursleyclub.org.uk/ss/hpmrs/



On Thursday 5th January, my wife and I were privileged to be on board the new "Blue Pullman" train for its first ever run - a test run before it goes into revenue-earning service on 12th January. We joined the train, still smelling of freashly-applied Nanking blue paint, at Derby, and travelled to Manchester Piccadilly via the Hope Valley line and the Hazel Grove chord. From there we followed the Standedge Tunnel line to Huddersfield, then via Wakefield, Rotherham and Chesterfield back to Derby while we enjoyed an excellent four-course meal.

Needless to say, a trip on this train comes highly recommended by yours truly, and I was genuinely surprised to see how reasonable the prices will be when the train goes into service. Details of forthcoming trips are here (some are booked up already!)



Ralph Rawlinson spotted this about the Brighton-Ashford service...

A new upgraded service between Brighton and Ashford commenced on 12th December, reducing the previous journey time by 35 minutes to about one hour and forty-five minutes, with the additional benefit of no changes of train. The new service will also provide a more convenient link to Eurostar services at Ashford and the future fast services into London. To celebrate, Southern are offering passengers the chance to apply online for free return tickets (limited to 100 per day) for travel between Ashford and Brighton on selected days in 2006:


Railway images by Alan Chambers:


Steam train operation to Parkend is scheduled to commence on Saturday 25th March with a "Steaming back to Parkend" weekend. Both 9681 and 1450 plus the autotrailer will be operating on both days. On Sunday 26th, the Royal Forester Dining Car train will also operate to Parkend, with a special Mothering Sunday luncheon service. If you have any queries or want to make a booking for the Royal Forester, please phone the usual number: 01594 845840, but please note that this will be open only at weekends during January and February.


West Somerset Express - Issue 42 (January 2006) is now available from:


The Bluebell Railway's 2006 timetables and 2006 Special Events list are now available. Public trains run on 267 days next year, and the majority of running dates will see at least two trains running, with one if them being a vintage train (using either Victorian or pre-grouping 1920s carriages). Highlights of the Special Events list include the February Branch Line weekend, a goods trains weekend, Giants of Steam in October, with the visit of "City of Truro" being the first time on a preserved line that it will appear alongside the Bluebell's "Earl of Berkeley", the other surviving GWR outside-framed 4-4-0. The year's enthusiast events conclude in November with what should be the biggest gathering yet in preservation of members of a single class, with 6 Stroudley Terriers, all of them around 130 years old, steaming together!


The Britain's Lost Railways discussion group recently threw up a host of sites with information on London's lost tube schemes. There is material on Wood Lane underground station here: http://www.alphalink.com.au/~drednort/woodlane.html

A Google search on the Northern Heights line from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace resulted in: http://pages.britishlibrary.net/overground/heights/ http://www.urban75.org/london/alexandra.html http://www.urban75.org/london/alexandra1.html http://www.davros.org/rail/culg/northern.html http://underground-history.co.uk/northernh.php http://underground-history.co.uk/northernh2.php http://underground-history.co.uk/northernh3.php http://www.loveplums.co.uk/Tube/Northern_Heights_2.html http://www.zymurgy.org/exrailway.html

Finally, there is a portal to London's railways (LT, BR, heritage) at: http://www.londonrailways.net/links.htm

New Modelex website:


Thanks again to Ralph Rawlinson fopr this week's International news...

Spanish High Speed Lines (AVE) The first high speed link in Spain opened between Madrid and Seville in 1992, with the second between Madrid and Lleida some eleven years later in 2003.

Madrid - Toledo Scheduled services commenced on 16 November this year. Ten return trips operate per day; the first departures are at 0650 from both Madrid and Toledo with the last trains leaving Madrid at 2150 and Toledo at 2120. The train on the first official test run covered the 70km (43 miles) between the two cities in 35 mins cutting some 30 mins from the previous journey time.

Under construction/planned: Madrid to Valladolid is being built with Madrid to Barcelona at the project stage.

Denmark The Copenhagen Metro was opened in 2002 and a line to the International Airport is expected to ready early in 2007. Plans have been submitted for a further extension comprising a nine mile underground circle line. This so-called City Loop will have 17 new stations and is expected to be completed by 2012.

The history of streecars: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blstreetcars.htm

San Francisco streetcars: http://www.sfmuni.com/cms/mms/aboutmun/histcars.htm

El Paso streetcars: http://www.trainweb.org/elpasocars/

New Orleans streetcars: http://www.atneworleans.com/body/streetcars.htm

Subways, trams etc in Japan: http://www.subways.net/japan/

Cincinatti streetcars, interurbans and railroads: http://homepage.mac.com/jjakucyk/Transit1/

How's your Polish? http://www.polskieautobusy.com.pl/


The owner of Colne Valley Railway in Castle Hedingham is retiring and the future of the attraction looked uncertain. Now the Colne Valley and Halstead Railway Trust can buy it thanks to 999,500 of lottery funding: http://tinyurl.com/e2khe

TV and Radio

Discovery's programmes are no longer included, but their daily schedules are here: http://www.discoverychannel.co.uk/_listings/ and http://discoverywings.co.uk/_listings/
Sat Jan 07 0700-0100 (D+1) UKTV History
Industrial Archaeology programmes virtually all day
Sun Jan 08 0000-0120 BBC4 'The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover' O Winston Link
Sun Jan 08 0250-0410 BBC4 'The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover' O Winston Link
Sun Jan 08 0700-0100 (D+1) UKTV History
Fred Dibnah programmes all day
Sun Jan 08 1445-1500 BBC Radio 4 'The History of Blacksmithing' 1/5 Making the tongs
Sun Jan 08 1655-1755 Channel 4 'Scrapheap Challenge Roadshow'
Mon Jan 09 1235-1250 Channel 4 'Small Railway Journeys' Blackpool trams
Mon Jan 09 1915-2000 Five 'Superships' World's largest supertanker
Mon Jan 09 2000-2100 Five 'Megastructures' The Channel Tunnel
Mon Jan 09 2000-2100 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Tue Jan 10 0010-0100 BBC4 'Great Railway Journeys' Tokyo to Kagashima
Tue Jan 10 1300-1400 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Tue Jan 10 2000-2100 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Wed Jan 11 1300-1400 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Wed Jan 11 2000-2100 Five 'Warplane' The Bomber
Wed Jan 11 2000-2100 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Thu Jan 12 1230-1250 Channel 4 'Small Railway Journeys' Rural railway in County Donegal
Thu Jan 12 1300-1400 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Thu Jan 12 2000-2100 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Thu Jan 12 2100-2200 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Victorian Heroes'
Fri Jan 13 0800-0900 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Victorian Heroes'
Fri Jan 13 1300-1400 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Fri Jan 13 2000-2100 UKTV History 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'


See Mainline Steam Tours page for up-to-date info on many of these tours, and others, often with timings.

For up-to-date information on many of the tours mentioned in RAILDATE (and others) often with timings, see the Steam Tours pages at: http://www.uksteam.info/index.shtml
All details are correct to the best of my knowledge. No responsibility is taken for inaccuracies or changes.
Sat Jan 07 1000 Railway Photographic Fair
Kidderminster Railway Museum
Starts 1000
Sat Jan 07 - Sun Jan 08 1100-1700(Sat) 1000-1700(Sun) South Wales Model Show
Rhondda Sports Centre, Ystrad-Rhonda, Rhondda Cynon Taf 1100-1700 (Sat), 1000-1700 (Sun)
Sat Jan 07 - Sun Jan 08 1000-1700(Sat) 0930-1700(Sun) Little Midland Society Model Railway Exhibition
The Winding Wheel, Holywell Street, Chesterfield 1000-1700 (Sat), 0930-1700 (Sun)
Sat Jan 07 - Sun Jan 08 1000-1700 Preston & District MRC Model Railway Exhibition
Foster Refectory, University of Central Lancashire 1000-1700 both days
Mon Jan 09 1945 West Somerset Railway Taunton Group
The Great Western Staff Association Club, Taunton station
Photographic Competition: slides/prints - railway & 'other'
Starts 1945 http://www.wsra.org.uk
Wed Jan 11 1945 Stoke Film Theatre: Archive on Wheels... On the Rails 160th Anniversary of the North Staffordshire Railway
Interviews with experts, old Knotty workers, memorabilia and lots of archive footage
Free Admission - starts 1945 http://www.stokefilmtheatre.fsnet.co.uk/
Sat Jan 14 - Sun Jan 15 1000-1700(Sat) 1000-1630(Sun) Bognor Regis MRC Model Railway Exhibition
Felpham Community College, Felpham 1000-1700 (Sat), 1000-1630 (Sun)
Sat Jan 14 - Sun Jan 15 1000-1800(Sat) 1000-1700(Sun) Chiltern MRA Model Railway Exhibition
Alban Arena, St Peter's Street, St Albans 1000-1800 (Sat), 1000-1700 (Sun) http://www.cmra.org.uk
Sat Jan 14 - Sun Jan 15 ? Ecclesbourne Valley Railway: Diesel Days
Class 37 on incline and Class 31 to Gorsey Bank http://www.e-v-r.com
Sat Jan 14 - Sun Jan 15 1100-1700(Sat) 1100-1700(Sun) North Fylde MRC Model Railway Exhibition
Milton Street Community Centre, Blakiston Street, Fleetwood 1100-1700 (Sat), 1100-1700 (Sun)
Wed Jan 18 1945 Stoke Film Theatre: Archive on Wheels... On the Lines
The story of the British tram footage over 100 years, plus lots of interviews and memorabilia
Free Admission - starts 1945 http://www.stokefilmtheatre.fsnet.co.uk/
Sat Jan 21 0930-1700 Astolat MRC Model Railway Exhibition
Methodist Church Hall, Woodborough Road, Guildford 0930-1700 http://www.astolatmrc.co.uk
Sat Jan 21 1030-1730 Brambleton MRC Model Railway Exhibition
Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden 1030-1730 http://www.brambleton.co.uk
Sat Jan 21 - Sun Jan 22 1000-1700(Sat) 1000-1630(Sun) City of Canterbury MRS Model Railway Show
St Anslems School, Old Dover Road, Canterbury 1000-1700 (Sat), 1000-1630 (Sun)
Sat Jan 21 - Sun Jan 22 1000-1700 Bentley Model Railway Group Calne Model Railway Show
White Horse Leisure Centre, Calne, Wilts 1000-1700 both days http://www.calnemrs.org.uk
Sat Jan 21 - Sun Jan 22 1000-1730(Sat) 1000-1700(Sun) Leamington & Warwick MRS Model Railway Show
Mylton School, Mylton Road, Warwick 1000-1730 (Sat), 1000-1700 (Sun)
Sat Jan 21 - Sun Jan 22 1000-1700 Pennine MRS Model Railway Show
Huddersfield Technical College, Portland Street 1000-1700 both days
Wed Jan 25 1945 Stoke Film Theatre: Coal... The Sneyd Pit Disaster, 1942
A tribute to the men who lost their lives
Interviews with historians and local people linked with the tragedy, plus photos and archive film
Free Admission - starts 1945 http://www.stokefilmtheatre.fsnet.co.uk/
Sat Jan 28 1030-1730 Egham & Staines MRS Model Railway Exhibition
Manorcroft School, Wesley Drive, Egham 1030-1730 http://www.egham-staines-mrs.co.uk
Sat Jan 28 1000-1630 Sodbury Vale MRC Model Railway Exhibition
Yate Community Centre, Station Road, Yate 1000-1630
Sat Jan 28 - Sun Jan 29 1030-1730(Sat) 1000-1700(Sun) Southampton Model Railway Exhibition
Eastpoint Centre, Burgoyne Road, Thornhill, Southampton 1030-1730 (Sat), 1000-1700 (Sun) http://www.hants.gov.uk/smrs
Sat Jan 28 - Sun Jan 29 1000-1700(Sat) 1000-1630(Sun) Erith MRS Model Railway Exhibition
Temple Hill Primary School, St Edmund's Road, Dartford 1000-1700 (Sat), 1000-1630 (Sun) http://www.erithmrs.org
Sat Jan 28 - Sun Jan 29 1000-1700 Normanton & Pontefract RMS Model Railway Exhibition
New College, Park Lane, Pontefract 1000-1700 both days
Cheers, Howard. editor@raildate.co.uk

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