HPMRS Raildate Roundabout

Contents : Contents Bottom of page : [Bottom_of_page] Raildate : Raildate


by Howard Sprenger (unless otherwise credited)

More things culled from RAILDATE MEMO, plus anything extra that's come my way.

A Different Railway

From Lawrence Hanney:

Fancy a railway with "real food, real ale and real music for real people"? Last Wednesday Charles Wilson, I and a couple of friends had a trip to Hungerford to visit the Railway Tavern, a newly-refurbished inn run by our old friends Charlie and Jackie Marsden, late of the Lunnways, Winchester.

The pub is situated right next to Hungerford station which is on the West of England main line, and for the railway enthusiast there is a surprisingly regular procession of HSTs, local turbo DMUs and stone trains. (If you live there, the sound of the barriers lowering across the level crossing in the middle of the night for the nth empty stone train to clatter across leaves something to be desired, so Jackie tells me!)

For sunny days there is a brand new patio and terrace, and as ever, Charlie's beer and Jackie's food are really excellent. Friday and Saturday nights are live music nights - at other times Charlie has a good range of '70s tapes on.

The pub itself is surprisingly comfortable, considering most of the furnishings are plain polished wood, and there is the usual collection of wooden picnic tables/benches and sun umbrellas on the patio.

Hungerford is not difficult to get to via the A34 and A4 if you choose your time to go through Newbury, or you can go via "pretty" routes up the Tarrant or Bourne Valley, or via Burbage, possibly taking in Crofton Beam engines en route. It is a pretty town, with the railway, the River Kennet and the Canal passing through it, and the Railway Tavern is an excellent place for refreshment. Give it a go!

The Maunsell Locomotive Society

The Maunsell Locomotive Society, based at the Bluebell Railway in Sussex, has made it into cyberspace. Hopefully you'll find our site interesting and informative, it's at:


There are details of all our engines, our restoration progress, an online newsletter, competition and so on. By the way, you can Email me if you want to be added to our regular news update list as well

Bulleid home page


Bulleid steam news...


William Howe Biography


A short biography of William Howe (1814-1879), inventor of the "Stephenson" reversing link motion by William L. Howe, M.L.G.E., M.Inst.F.

Flying Scotsman


Class 4 Preservation Trust

On behalf of the Class Four Preservation Trust, I would like to announce the opening of the Standard Tank Class 2-6-4 4MT 80136 Homepage at:


Complete with pics and information of the preservation of this loco.

Class 37

A new Gallery of Class 37 photos taken at Warrington and Barnetby: http://www.byteseye.demon.co.uk/

Class 47

For a truly disgusting picture of 47475 coming out of Marston Tunnel:


Wirksworth Branch Passenger Trains

Spotted by Nick in RAIL magazine, and a subject close to my heart...

Wirksworth Passenger Trains set for 1998 Restart Steve Knight, RAIL magazine - June 4-17

Wyvern Rail Limited has announced that direct train services between Derby and Wirksworth could start running next year.

The company has already obtained a Light Railway Order for the branch line between Duffield and Wirksworth. Services would be operated by a DMU, supplemented by steam hauled trains at weekends and during summer holidays.

The company is finalising its operational requirements which will include a local track access agreement from Railtrack and the agreement of a Safety Case.

Wyvern Rail hopes to offer a "total rail option" to the local community and tourists alike with the seasonal steam operations supplementing the daily commuter service. The proposed link will give the local population a daily train service for the first time since passenger services were withdrawn in 1947. The 14 mile journey will also include 5 miles of main line operation between Derby and Duffield.

Paul Tomlinson, Vice Chairman of Wyvern Rail, said "The proposed steam shuttle between Derby and Wirksworth is particularly exciting, offering the prospect of main line as well as branch line running at reasonable fairs without the need to pre-book tickets".

Transport links will will be provided to local attractions and the track will be maintained to a standard capable for use by freight trains.

"The company has already made enquiries concerning the purchase of the necessary rolling stock and diesel railcars", added Mr Tomlinson, "All the rolling stock will have to be approved by Railtrack, while steam locomotives will be hired on a seasonal basis. Although we intend to purchase most of our equipment, Wyvern Rail would still be interested in hearing from any group or individual with rolling stock - of main line standard who might be interested in relocating to Wyvern Rail.

Rugeley Town Services

Some of you may be aware that services on the Birmingham-Hednesford line have now been extended to Rugeley Town. The silly thing is on arrival at Rugeley Town the units then go ecs to Rugeley Trent Valley for the driver to change ends. Under the new journey planner do a trip from Rugeley to Rugeley Town and the planner tells you to go to Lichfield T.V then into New Street and catch a service to Rugeley Town journey time 2 hours 12 minutes.... :)

News from Bury St Edmunds

St Edmundsbury Borough Council's cycling initiative includes plans to make a network of cycle routes in Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds, as well as links to surrounding villages.


These pages show proposals for a 'backbone' cycle route and footpath scheme using the former railway line.



North Western Trains

North Western Trains now offers a real-time connection to its computer used to record train running, in the form of a 'station board' for each station, refreshed every 60 seconds with the latest reported information. The stations with a departure board are...

Manchester P., Shotton, Colwyn Bay, Llanfairfechan, Ty Croes, Deganwy, Stockport, Fflint, Llandudno Jc., Bangor, Rhosneigr, Llandudno, Crewe, Prestatyn, Conwy, Llanfair PG, Valley, Llanrwst, Chester, Rhyl, Penmaenmawr, Bodorgan, Holyhead, Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Note: this is an experimental service: neither North Western Trains or this Web site takes any responsibility for the effects of any inaccurate information given. Virgin Rail services to and from London Euston are not included, nor are South Wales and West Railway trains. http://www.totalweb.co.uk/dweb/nwales/nwgoods.htm#board

North Wales Coast Line


is the address of my latest North Wales Coast Line picture report, based on my afternoon of Monday 4 August, and including 87 101 on a service passenger train and a funny-coloured HST car, as well as some class 37s and other observations... comments welcome.

Bluebell Railway


East Lancs Railway Diesel Gala

Nick Wheat's photos of the East Lancs Railway diesel gala:


And somebody else's:


Keighley & Worth Valley Railway


Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway


Spey Valley Railway

For me, no holiday in the Highlands would be complete without at least a visit to, and preferably a journey on, the Spey Valley Railway. I didn't manage the latter, but spent a happy half-hour pottering round Boat of Garten station, and finding out their plans for expansion.

They have laid track as far as Broomhill, including constructing at least one new bridge, and reconstructed Broomhill Station. They are not yet ready to run a service, though; much of the rail they acquired was "crippled" and only suitable for use in sidings. They still have to complete a turning-loop at Broomhill, and get permission from the railway inspectorate to run a service, but would love to be up and running by next summer. However, they are, the man at Boat of Garten told me, desperately short of volunteers.

They do hope, eventually, to extend the line to Grantown-on-Spey. My mother doubts they will succeed, because of the new road which has cut the railway line in half, but they have plans for a bridge, which I hope will prove feasible. At the moment the new track peters out a few hundred metres on from Broomhill Station, no buffers or anything - it looks rather odd.

I do hope they will succeed in their plans for expansion - and if any of you want to go and work as a volunteer on a private railway for a week or so, you know where you will be welcome!

Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway

Just a brief announcement that I've created a news, information and photograph site on my homepages, mainly dedicated to the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway and related topics. I hope it will be of interest to readers of this newsgroup. There's also a photo page for S&KLR photos and another for other travel/rail photos I've taken - I hope to keep this topical - includes a photo of 73101 working the VSOE through Rainham, Kent yesterday for example. Finally there's also a brief description of the S&KLR in French, Dutch and German which I hope to expand in due course.


Five cancellations and one service delayed 80 minutes at Sittingbourne's Steam Railway today as a result of grass fires. Eighty firefighters in attendance. Further info on:


The South Devon Railway


Midland Railway Trust's Golden Valley Light Railway (Narrow Gauge)


Bure Valley Railway


Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway


The Ffestiniog Railway


Ashton Court Estate Miniature Railway

Operated by the Bristol Society of Model and Experimental Engineers, this miniature railway is open from 12.00-17.00 on the following days: 27 July, 3/17/24/25/31 August, 7/21 September and 5/12 October.

Use Clifton Lodge entrance off the A369, first right and then right again.

Get a copy of their handout from me.

South Tynedale Railway News - August 1997

1) Work is nearing completion on the three quarter mile extension from Gilderdale to Kirkhaugh. Construction of Kirkhaugh station platform is completed and all of the track is laid. At present, it is hoped to start the necessary repairs to the Whitley Burn Viaduct, just before Kirkhaugh station, within the next six months, here some of the stonework requires attention and a new concrete deck will be constructed on the top of the viaduct. With the help of contractors, it is hoped this can be completed over the next couple of months and subject to Railway Inspectorate approval this part of line will open to passengers sometime during 1998, depending on progress. Watch this space for more details.

2) It is intended to extend the line from Kirkhaugh to Slaggyford (2.25 miles) during the next 5 to 10 years, to relay the track and rebuild Slaggyford station.

3) A survey by a firm of consultants and the local Tynedale District Council have stated that the extension of the line from Slaggyford to Haltwhistle would increase passenger figures from the present 25,000 per year to about 110,000 and would be a major tourist attraction for the area. This would form a direct railway link between Hadrian's Wall and the North Pennines Area around Alston.

The only snag is funding and it is known that between $10 million and $12 million is needed to relay track, rebuild stations, new road/rail crossings and viaduct repairs. A new railway bridge is needed near Haltwhistle, where the new Haltwhistle by-pass road has cut away part of the old railway embankment.

The South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society at present has about 300 members, of which about 30 of these do most of the work, to operate trains, to maintain locomotives, to work on the extension of the line and to maintain the track on the South Tynedale Railway. (See also our advertisement in the "Help - Your Railway Needs You!" feature in "Steam Railway Magazine" September 1997 issue.)

Like all other preserved railways, the Society needs more voluntary working members to assist with the operation of the railway, i.e. to train as a guard, signalman or locomotive driver or steam locomotive fireman, or as ticket clerk at Alston Station, to keep trains running from Easter to October and in December each year. Particularly during weekdays, as well as weekends during the Summer months.

The railway is also looking for new working members to help with the maintenance of the present track and structures, locomotives and rolling stock, and to assist other existing members with the construction of the extension of the line towards Slaggyford.

Assistance is also required with "Behind the Scenes" work, e.g.helping out on the railway society sales stall at local model railway exhibitions, and with publicity of the railway and by helping to distribute railway leaflets around the U.K.

Annual membership to the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society currently costs $8 for adults or $4 for children under 18 years of age. Members receive the society newsletter "Tynedalesman" every 3-4 months containing news about the railway.

If you are interested in becoming involved then contact Chris Shaw, Volunteer liaison officer, at Alston Station, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3JB or contact me, Daniel McIntyre by E-Mail (jy40@dial.pipex.com) for a membership form, giving your full name and present private address and I will also include a 1997 railway timetable leaflet. Let me know if you are willing to assist with any of the above named tasks. Arrangements can be made for training.

I can also provide a 1997 bus and train services leaflet about how to get to Alston by public transport and a leaflet describing the town of Alston and the area together with other attractions nearby, if required.

You can write to Mr. S. G. Dyke, S.T.R.P.S. Secretary, c/o Alston Station, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3JB. Or you can telephone Alston tation on (01434) 381696 (Daily from 10 am to 5 pm).

The information above has been provided by Daniel McIntyre, who is the Publicity Officer for the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society.

Travel Links

Here are some new travel links that might be of some interest.


British Railways Publicity

Our webpages at....


now include a synopsis for a proposed study of British Railways publicity that we would like to undertake. Readers are welcome to study this. Anyone able to offer institutional/publisher/patronal support is welcome to contact myself. A considerable amount of other work in various areas to support this proposal can be shown (not least our own collection of some 50,000 items). Additionally should anyone reading this feel that it would be worthwhile to draw attention to this to another audience, I would be grateful if other relevant addresses could be supplied.



I did not realise how many trains were painted. I am not sure what to make of this site, it seems odd to paint a train when you know it will be removed. It just seems like a chronic waste of money all round.

(This is quite an "interesting" site in all honesty, despite the dubious nature of the "art" - Nick)

Researchers and Information Seekers

Hello all researchers and general information seekers. I have a large collection of material - in excess of 7500 items, plus approx 8000 shed/works visits, send a 3 1/2 1.44 floppy in an SAE to:

Steve Perkins, 135 Bleak Hill Road, Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands, B23 7BS



I am now moving to a new job and railUK is moving with me. You may of seen my post to uk.railway about the site move to Demon. railUK will now be at http://www.railuk.demon.co.uk and as of the end of this week the old URL will no longer work, please could you amend your pages accordingly.

I do have a list of approximately 60 sites that will be added to railUK during my holiday between jobs, for now I have updated the look of the site and added a form for reporting new web sites and amendments.

Bryan Jones, railUK

Railways Online


Well worth a quick couple of minutes worth of viewing!

Steam Classic Magazine


British Library's Catalogue Online


Web Sites

When I read in RAIL that they were planning an article about the Web, I emailed them offering to make a webpage with their links on it, so users wouldn't have to type them in. I got a reply from Mel Holley which ignored that part of my letter, or maybe just failed to understand it, so I thought I'd have a go at my own article instead, and try to beat them to it. I've stuck roughly to present-day rail sites to keep in a reasonable size - so please let me know what you think, about


Suggestions, complaints, flames ... at least I should get some email:-)

The Transport Web

The Transport Web is introducing search engines on its major information. Currently this includes Transport Links, Magazines, Publications, Official Bodies and its comprehensive Software Guide. Entries can be made on these information databases free of charge.




David Stevenson's Train Page


alt.railroad.steam Newsgroup

A newsgroup (alt.railroad.steam) dedicated to all things related to steam railways has been created. While the railroad might indicate a North American bias the group is intended to be truly global. The choice of name fitted with the existing alt.railroad group in the alt.hierachy. Relevant cross postings from all railway related groups would be welcome.


The Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society Web Site. Owners and Operators of 35028 Clan Line.

uk.railway Newsgroup

The FAQ is available at:


Known Railway-Orientated Newsgroups

  rec.models.railroad, misc.transport.rail.americas,
  misc.transport.rail.australia-nz, misc.transport.rail.misc, aus.rail,
  bit.listserv.railroad, uk.railway, alt.railroad

UK Railway News Mailing List

There is now a mailing list intended for up-to-the-minute UK railway gen. Simply send a mail message to "majordomo@drogon.net" and place "subscribe rail-gen" in the body of the message. Sometime after this you will receive a welcome message. You are then a part of the list and will receive any mail sent to it.


And here's one satisfied customer...

>Well Hoppy's mailing list came up trumps again today, and probably >helped to swell the numbers of bashers on the 09:06 Paddington to >Birmingham, and 14:06 return to Reading. For many, this was their first >Deltic Service train since 1981, for others I suppose, this was their >first Deltic Service train. Needless to say a Deltic+7 showed it can >really fly (when the driver gave it a bit of umph).

And another...

Yes, I was there today when the Deltic got a round of applause at New Street, and I've as usual put together my thoughts in words, pictures and this time a little sound!


Images Available

I have a selection of images available at the site below:


Mail Order Railway Videos


Model Railway Newsgroup (UK)


Model Railways UK


2mm Gauge society

Amended URL:


G Scale Garden Railways

Please visit my new WWW site, which has a page on G Scale garden railways as well as one on the Harz metre gauge steam railway system in Saxony, Northern Germany. There are links to other sites too. Please send me any comments by private email.


Garden Railways


Garden Railway On-line Magazine


Large Scale Modelling in the USA

While I was staying with friends in the USA recently, I was invited to see the garden layout of one of their neighbours. Called "Pop's Fall River Railroad", it is owned by Rosse Hemeon, and includes steam, diesel, electric street tramway and a cable car.

This type of modelling seems to be very popular over there, and is usually to a scale of 1:22.5 (also known as G-scale - it's the same scale as LGB).

Due to their size, the models are very impressive, and most come with a digital sound system that replicates the noises you'd hear from the real thing - even down to the idling noises when the locos stop!

For those interested to find out more, here's a selection of web sites. The first is a generic site which covers most aspects of this type of modelling in the USA and includes links to other related sites. It is sponsored by the American "Garden Railways" magazine:


The rest may be linked from this site, or they may not (I haven't checked):


The Taunton Model Engineers

As from SUNDAY 6th JULY the Taunton Model Engineers will have a new look! It will also be easier to find your way around the site with better links to other parts of the site. The OILY RAG, issue 50, will be published and there will be much more information on the club. If you haven't already visited the site, go and do so now, support the Taunton Model Engineers!!

Subscribe to the Oily Rag for FREE!!

Join the Club!!

And much, much more!!!

So visit it now at it's new location!!....


e-mail: TauntonME@AOL.COM

Irish Railways

For information on railways in Ireland, visit my web page at:


French Locomotives and Stock

If your interest is in French locomotives and stock, then have a look at the latest selection of photos on:


Railway Museums in the Netherlands


Letter from Iberia

Well - extracts from a couple...

 The railway simulation firm, SIAM, have moved on the web.  They are now
 and they have a number of links to other sites, which may be of
 There are some icons at the following location:
 for Windows 3.1, with other pages at the same site for other operating
 environments.  I found the 'icolib4b.zip' file (which is almost a
 megabyte ZIPPED!) has quite a few showing trains, company logos, etc.
 Note that these icons aren't really free, as you are supposed to take
 out a licence for their use within 30 days.  If you load them, there's
 a readme file explaining the situation.

Ken tells me he's planning a trip to the UK in September - look forward to seeing you if you get a chance to pop in...

Places to Visit on the West Coast of America

We didn't get to visit any full-size railroads on this trip (although I did watch the Grand Canyon steam train returning to its depot one day). It seems to be the rule, rather than the exception, that places of interest have their own web pages, so here's a selection of URLs that I picked up on my travels. If you are planning a trip to the States, it's really worth doing a search on the Internet beforehand.

California State Railroad Museum and Jamestown Railtown 1897: http://www.csrmf.org Sonoma Traintown: http://www.traintown.com Napa Valley Wine Train: http://www.freerun.com/napavalley/outdoor/nvwinetr/nvwinetr.html Grand Canyon Railway: http://www.thetrain.com Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad http://www.ymsprr.com

East Broad Top Railroad

The EBT is last original narrow gauge railroad east of the Rockies as well as the oldest surviving narrow gauge line in America. The EBT homepage contains documents and pictures detailing the historcal significance of the line. Please visit and learn more about this highly historic line.


USA Railway Decals and Clipart


CP Rail Operating Instructions

Thanks to Nick Robson, who has donated a copy of the CP Rail (that's Canadian Pacific) General Operating Instructions to the HPMRS library. It's an interesting book, although it's not the sort of thing you'd want to read from cover to cover. It's currently in my office if anyone would like to borrow it, but at some stage, I shall be putting it in the trunk in the railway room with rest of the library.

Polk's Model Craft Hobbies Catalogue

Nick has also donated another interesting book to the library. It is the 1944 edition of the HO Model Railroads catalogue from Polk's Model Craft Hobbies of 314 Fifth Avenue, New York.

Apart from the range of products listed within its pages (including flexible track many uears before it was available in the UK) it provides a fascinating insight into railroad modelling during World War 2.

Anyone who still believes that the USA had a pretty easy time of things during the conflict should think again. In this catalogue, model railroading is heralded as a "defense hobby". "It teaches many of the technical skills and the ability to handle tools so necessary to today's defense efforts", we are told.

"In the time elapsing between commencement and publication of this catalogue, the infamy of Pearl Harbor made its impress upon American history... Model railroading with its 'high percentage' of metal consumption has been severely affected. Many items listed herein have 'gone to war'".


"What're ye doin' Paw?"

"Ah'm jes doin' mah bit for Uncle Sam bah bildin' this HO Varney Articulated 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone that I got from Polk's fer only 64 dollars, son."

The Oxford Bus Page


Proposed Bus Newsgroup

A bus newsgroup is currently being envisaged and is actively under discussion on uk.transport and uk.railway newsgroups. Watch this space...

Trains on the Internet


Railway Homepage



A new web page has been uploaded which describes the differences between British and American railway/railroad terminology. It's hoped to expand it further in the future, so any additions, comments, or criticisms are welcome. Please check it out at:


Cut-price Books


Secondhand Books on UK, North America and European Railways

All books are categorised and give details on price and condition. http://www.kentnet.co.uk/fsfish

Railroad, Subway, and Tram Maps


Top of page : [Top_of_page] Contents : Contents Raildate : Raildate

© HPMRS 1997. All Rights Reserved