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


The Alnwick Branch by Bartle Rippon

The historic town of Alnwick sits almost midway between Newcastle and Berwick in the county of Northumberland. Although close to the east coast main line, it was served by a branch line for nearly 120 years. Along with its famous castle and gardens, Alnwick boasted a majestic trainshed, all the more remarkable for being on a mere branch line.

The short, double-track line from Alnwick joined the main line at Alnmouth station, and had a passenger service that was steam-hauled for almost its entire life, with the exception of approximately the final six months. The fascination of the author with the line, where he spent much of his early youth, and many years of enjoyable research, has culminated in a history that revisits the old branch, commencing at Alnmouth with its engine shed and goods yards, and following the journey to Alnwick.

As well as personal accounts and recollections, the book includes a selection of previously unpublished photographs showing the several types of steam locomotive to be found at Alnmouth's engine shed, the steam- hauled passenger trains to and from Alnwick, and the railway's infrastructure. This is a fascinating follow-up to the author?s previous book on the Amble branch, copies of which are still available.

Softback: 80 pages with over 100 photographs and drawings 273 x 215mm ISBN: 978-1-905505-11-1 Price: 12.95 http://www.kestrelrailwaybooks.co.uk

The Reconstruction of Euston Station by Peter J Wilde

Published by the Historical Model Railway Society, and available from them at an introductory price of 7.99. Orders to Peter at the HMRS Museum and Study Centre, Butterley Station, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3QZ. http://www.hmrs.org.uk/


The British Transport Films Collection 18-disc box set

This impressive 18-disc box set collects together all nine volumes of the BFI's celebrated British Transport Films DVD series, fully illustrating the wide range of subjects the BTF Unit imaginatively covered for over three decades. Released in a beautifully illustrated box containing slimline cases and a booklet with extensive notes and full credits for each film, this remarkable collection will not only delight the transport enthusiast, but provides a unique insight into the changing social history of Britain from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Over an incredible 38 hours and 125 films, The British Transport Films Collection covers it all. From the very first BTF film Berth 24, to rare gems such as E for Experimental, The Travolators and Old Sam the Signalman to travelogues revealing a changing Britain like This Year London and Letter for Wales and to much-loved classics like Blue Pullman, Elizabethan Express, Terminus and John Betjeman Goes by Train, there's something here for everyone.

As always, the films on this collection have been digitally remastered from the best available films preserved at the BFI National Archive.

Release date: 1st December 2008 RRP: 99.99 / cat. no. BFIVD806 / Cert: E UK / 1950-1983 / black and white, and colour / English / 125 films / 38 hours approx / 18 x DVD-9 / original aspect ratio 1.33:1

BFI DVDs are available from the Filmstore at BFI Southbank, London SE1 and by mail order or online at http://www.bfi.org.uk/


The Skipton - East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership (SELRAP) is campaigning for the reopening of the Colne - Skipton line, and has placed a petition on the 10 Downing Street website. Anyone wishing to sign it should go to: http://www.selrap.org.uk

Similarly - a reminder from Peter Nicholson, Trustee of the North Somerset Heritage Trust regarding the reinstatement of the Radstock-Hapsford Junction-Frome line. He writes: "We've been battling away on this for the past 20 years (much of the track is still in place even) but we now have only a few days left before the go-ahead for housing development on the Radstock site could scupper everything once and for all. B&NES (Bath & North East Somerset) has now put the hearing back until 26th November giving us just a while longer to gain support by increasing the numbers of those on the petition, now more than 550 but we need 1,000+." http://www.northsomersetrailway.com/

Peter also advises that he has heard from the BBC regarding repeats of "Down Your Line" on BBC4. Six of them (it's not known exactly which ones) will be going out on BBC4 at 8.30pm on Thursdays, starting on Thursday 13th November with the East Anglia programme, presented by Nick Crane of Coast fame (see below). They will be under the title "Beeching's Tracks".

A railway themed calendar has been produced for 2009 by the A4 Locomotive Society featuring their engine, 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley. http://www.sirnigelgresley.co.uk

This week's Railway World is something of a clip show, but no less interesting for that. It also has a distinctly Aussie feel, now being fronted by two presenters from downunder, Jonathan Newton and Hailee Forde. You can also win five TRC DVDs in a simple-to-enter competition. http://www.therailwaychannel.com/

A reminder that Terry Bye produces an excellent monthly newsletter, Coupe News, for anyone interested in Pullman Car services over the years. To be added to his circulation list, email pullmancarservices@yahoo.co.uk

Ivor the Engine website http://www.smallfilms.co.uk/ivor/ (Spotter: Neil Kearns)

Ralph Rawlinson's Railway Roundup

Coventry and Warwickshire: Later this year, BBC Coventry & Warwickshire will be remembering the age of steam and the lost railways of Coventry and Warwickshire. They are looking for any memories, photographs and stories of that region's rail network - particularly those of lost or closed railway stations. http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/about/guestbook2.htm

Midland Main Line: In answer to a question in Parliament about the prospect of electrifying the MML, the new Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon said "I take a close and deep personal interest in the Midland Main Line and certainly share my predecessor's enthusiasm for electrification. It is something that the Department will be looking at very closely."

Peterhead: The Peterhead Capacity Study, looking at the future expansion of Peterhead, has recommended that the former Formantine and Buchan Railway route in Aberdeenshire should be protected from development as it could be reopened in the future. The Cruden Bay line should also be safeguarded in the study looking at the development of the port in the next 20-30 years.

Network Rail and Heathrow: The ORR is to cut 2.4bn from NR's budget at the Government announces plans to make 'best use' of transport networks whilst the Transport Secretary say cabinet colleagues should be free to make their own judgment on Heathrow's third runway. http://tinyurl.com/57yq9d

Rother Valley Railway: The 'missing link' between the Kent & East Sussex Railway at Bodiam and Robertsbridge is being rebuilt by volunteer members of the Rother Valley Railway. At Robertsbridge work is underway on constructing a platform on the eastern side of the station car park. The bay platform formerly used by Tenterden services still exists as an engineers siding but is separated from the RVR by the station car park. http://www.rvr.org.uk/html/updates.html

Cheddar Valley Railway: This line must be unique in that it has its two 'support groups'...

The Cheddar Valley Railway Walk Society has long maintained the trackbed from Yatton to Cheddar and is slowly realising its ambition to extend the route to Wells. A section of the Cheddar-Wells line has been opened between Rodney Stoke and Draycott, and attention has now turned to improving an existing length of path between Wells Leisure Centre and Wookey Hole Road and at Haybridge. It is hoped that, in the future, this section can be extended from Haybridge to Easton. http://www.cheddarvalleywalk.org.uk/

The Strawberry Line aims to convert the line from Clevedon to Cranmore into a network of safe paths for both walkers and cyclists. The spine of the network is not actually one old line but two: Clevedon-Yatton and Yatton-Wells-Witham. http://www.thestrawberryline.co.uk/

Bradford: Between 24th October and 3rd November Network Rail completed 8.5m of improvements at Bradford Interchange removing an historic bottle neck. The work, imvolving track and signals, will speed up journey times and allow trains from Halifax and Leeds to enter and leave the station at the same time

Russia: Study to look at Berlin - Moscow Talgo service. http://tinyurl.com/6o5fcv

India: Thousands take joyride in Kashmir's first train. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200810311511.htm

The ambitious plan of the railways to link Kashmir with the rest of India,

however, may be in a limbo as it is now planning to connect the inaccessible Ladakh region. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20081028/main8.htm

Indian Railways's cash registers jingle as airlines bleed. http://tinyurl.com/5d4bp3

Delhi to have three more stations. http://bruno.penandscale.com/2008/11/delhi-to-have-three-more-railway.html

Vietnam: The Vietnamese government says it is planning to build two new railway systems in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City at the cost of nearly $15 billion. It says it hopes to help ease the overloaded traffic system in the country's two booming cities. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081006/ap_on_re_as/as_vietnam_railways

Last year the Vietnamese authorities approved plans to build a $33bn rail link between the capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in the south. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6334117.stm

World's best ever landing? You won't believe this... http://elrellano.com/videos_online/2596/el-mejor-piloto.html (Spotter: Nick Wheat)


Level crossing incident in North Wales: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/7695124.stm http://tinyurl.com/6cwakj

Fatal level crossing collision near Grange over Sands: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/7706393.stm

Railway carriages become holiday homes: http://tinyurl.com/5zt8na

Shoreditch signalbox gets a makeover: http://www.officeforsubversivearchitecture.com/de/press/intact/intact4.htm

Crossrail gets 230m BAA funding: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7707338.stm

TfL costs projects including DLR to Dagenham Dock: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7712002.stm

Hunstanton line to reopen...? http://tinyurl.com/6cznq8

Etches Park depot upgrade: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/7701713.stm

41 more stations to be staffed at night in rail safety drive: http://tinyurl.com/6flpq6

Train spotters risk arrest: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7713448.stm

Crowding closes tube station: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7704113.stm

Cairngorm Mountain Railway - Scottish taxpayers face 50m bill: http://tinyurl.com/6fg6as

Railway projects do little to stimulate the economy: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f551e6fc-a61d-11dd-9d26-000077b07658.html

Tornado - first main line run: http://tinyurl.com/5msm6g http://tinyurl.com/5jt284

Railway history uncovered at Butterley: http://tinyurl.com/6a5wdy

Thomas the Tank Engine goes off the rails: http://tinyurl.com/697uct

1m project to rebuild a Patriot: http://tinyurl.com/6esn3j

Tempelhof airport closes: http://tinyurl.com/6btlvr

Runway overshot at Lanzarote: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7701975.stm

Spotters: Richard Buckby, Neil Kearns, Ted Millward, Reg Nerps

TV and Radio

Sat Nov 08 1425-1455 BBC2 'Fred Dibnah's Made in Britain'
Sun Nov 09 2000-2100 BBC4 'The Edwardians in Colour: the Wonderful World of Albert Kahn'
Mon Nov 10 1930-2030 BBC4 'The Edwardians in Colour: the Wonderful World of Albert Kahn'
Tue Nov 11 1830-1930 BBC1 South 'QE2 Farewell: South Today Special'
Wed Nov 12 1930-2000 BBC4 'Railway Walks' The Highlands
Wed Nov 12 2000-2010 BBC4 'Snowdrift at Bleath Gill' BTF film
Thu Nov 13 1900-1930 BBC2 'James May's 20th Century'
Thu Nov 13 1930-2000 Five 'How Do They Do It?' Tunnel boring
Thu Nov 13 2030-2100 BBC4 'Beeching's Tracks' Nicholas Crane in East Anglia
Thu Nov 13 2100-2200 Five 'Danger Men' The Red Arrows


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 and also http://railwayherald.co.uk/railtours/
All details are correct to the best of my knowledge. No responsibility is taken for inaccuracies or changes.
Fri Nov 07 ? Kettering and District Locomotive Society
The Cornmarket Hall, London Road, Kettering
Mike Lee: Railways of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire in the 1950s & 1960s
Starts 7.45pm, tickets 3.50 http://www.nwfa.mmu.ac.uk/
Fri Nov 07 - Sat Nov 08 ? South Devon Railway: Diesel Gala http://www.southdevonrailway.org
Sat Nov 08 ? Eastleigh Lakeside Railway: Fireworks Spectacular http://www.steamtrain.co.uk/
Sat Nov 08 - Sun Nov 09 ? Hampton Court MRS Tolworth Showtrain
Tolworth Recreation Centre
Sat Nov 08 - Sun Nov 09 1030-1700(Sat) 1030-1600(Sun) Wadebridge Model Railway Exhibition
Wadebridge School, Gonvena Hill, Wadebridge 1030-1700 (Sat), 1030-1600 (Sun) http://www.wadebridge34007.co.uk
Sun Nov 09 1030-1700 Poole & District Model Railway Society Exhibition
Ashdown Technology College, Ashdown Road, Canford Heath, Poole 1030-1700
Tue Nov 11 ? 'SS Shieldhall' greets the QE2 for the last time
Departs 0500 - tickets available at 30
Solent Steam Packet Services Ltdhttp://www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk
Tue Nov 11 ? Remembrance Day at Platform 3 Marylebone Station 'Valour' will be in attendance (to be moved into position the previous evening
Opportunity to view the stained glass windows in the Landmark
Hotel (formerly the Great Central Hotel)
Tue Nov 11 ? Lynton & Barnstaple Railway: Armistice Day http://www.lynton-rail.co.uk
Sat Nov 15 1000-1600 Winchester Book Fair 2nd hand, rare, antiquarian and collectable books, maps, etc
The Saxon Suite, Winchester Guildhall 1000-1600
Sat Nov 15 1030-1700 White House Model Railway Group Model Show Rail 2008
The White House, 45 The Avenue, Hampton, Middlesex 1030-1700
Sun Nov 15 - Mon Nov 16 1000-1700(Sat) 1000-1600(Sun) Solent Model Railway Group Exhibition
Oaklands Community School, Fairisle Road, Lordshill, SO16 8BY 1000-1700 (Sat), 1000-1600 (Sun)
Adults: 2.50, OAP: 2.00, Under 16: 1.50, Under 5: Free
Family (2+2): 6.00
HPMRS member Derek Gillkerson will be present with New Stanton
Sun Nov 16 ? Walk the coastal section of the West Somerset Railway
West Somerset Steam Railway Trust in conjunction with St
Margaret's Somerset Hospice
Walkers can give all the sponsorship to the WSSRT or to split between the Heritage Carriages Project and the Hospice http://www.wsr.org.uk/walk2008.htm
Sat Nov 29 - Sun Nov 30 ? Swanage Railway: 1960s Weekend http://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/
Wed Dec 03 1400 Institute of Railway Studies & Transport History, York
British Railway Finances Before 1914 by Peter Fletcher (IRS&TH) and John Dodgson (LSE)
Starts 14.00
All welcome, light refreshments will be served
All workshops held in the NRM's Search Engine research and study facility
Cheers, Howard. editor at raildate.co.uk (spam-proofed)
Previous issues of Raildate are at: http://steam.to/raildate
This page includes a master catalogue of items that have appeared in previous editions of Raildate.
(C) Howard Sprenger and Hursley Park Model Railway Society 2008.
The external edition of Raildate may be freely distributed without permission as long as no changes whatsoever are made to the original document distributed by the Editor. You can subscribe to the external edition here: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/RAILDATE/

© HPMRS 1996,2008. All Rights Reserved