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More things culled from RAILDATE up to 03/04/98, plus anything else that's come my way.

Albert Hall

Steam railway enthusiasts spent 28 years restoring a historic locomotive - and then found it was the wrong one. For almost three decades the train buffs believed they were working on Great Western Railway locomotive number 4983 Albert Hall, but days before the massive restoration job was complete, staff at Birmingham Railway Museum discovered the engine was actually number 4965 Rood Ashton Hall. The museum bought the 4-6-0 mainline locomotive from a steam engine scrapyard in Barry, South Wales, for 3,000 in 1970.

Fund raising and dedication helped restore the rusting hulk but as the painstaking work neared completion, engineers spotted tell-tale signs which showed the locomotive was an impostor. Many internal components on the engine were stamped "4965" - the number of Rood Ashton Hall.

An investigation revealed the Albert Hall locomotive was scrapped by British Railways at Swindon Works in 1962 and its identity, including name and number plates, switched to Rood Ashton Hall, which was in for repair.

The Editor of Steam Railway magazine, Robin Jones, said: "It is a tribute to the professionalism of the restoration team at the Birmingham Railway Museum. They spotted the tell-tale signs which indicated that Albert Hall was not as it should be. It is remarkable in view of the fact that most of them were aged 19 and under, and would not have been alive when this 'error' occurred at Swindon works."

Museum staff have now nicknamed the engine Rood Albert Hall.

GWR No 6000, King George V

A painting by the late Geoffrey Wheeler, along with some semi-technical comments. If you have not seen artwork like this before, I think you will agree that it is very good. Click on 'King George V' in the Table of Contents at:


"Leader" and other strange constructions


D2334 (Class 04 shunter)



Class 37


Class 50



The owners of D9000 are concerned about the wildly-inaccurate stories that have been circulating on the Internet for the last month or so about trains the loco is supposedly going to work. Every one of these stories has been untrue. It is equally untrue that the trains referred to have been cancelled. You cannot cancel what was never arranged in the first place.

Of particular concern is that some people have parted with their hard-earned cash for non-refundable Apex tickets on some of the trains mentioned and have enjoyed a day's Spoon haulage for their trouble. Wasn't Doncaster to Peterborough enough?!

You should be aware that most of the so-called information about our locos on the Internet is complete garbage. My cat could give you more reliable gen... and I don't have a cat.

The Friends of D9000 are setting up a dedicated phone line with effect from 1st February to provide reliable information about what's happening with Muriel, Hilda and Doris. Its number will be published shortly in RAIL.

In the meantime, disbelieve all rumours and only book seats on Deltic-hauled trains that are announced in the railway press or by reputable tour promoters...unless you're secretly into 47s and don't want to admit it to your mates.

PS. D400 is not working the VSOE on Saturday, nor is it servicing the Mir space station.

I was at Birmingham NS to see D9000 depart with the afternoon train to Reading, and I've put up a page of pictures:


It is now 'official'. Deltic No. 22 is the booked locomotive for *all* 18 Brum - Ramsgate diagrams this year, starting on May 30th. It will also be doing other workings (as yet unnanounced) whilst out-shedded at Saltley depot.

Departs Brum 06:58. Departs Ramsgate 12:16 (11:26 according to provisional timings). Loco change at Birmingham, where a Sparky takes the train onwards to Edinburgh (Deltic would not have sufficient fuel for the whole trip, in case of the non-availability of a Sparky btw).

EM2 Locomotive Society

The EM2 Locomotive Society, owners and operators of E27000 'Electra' and Drewry Railbus RDB998901 at the Midland Railway Centre and the Middleton Railway respectively, can be found on the Midland Diesel Group homepage:


AC Locomotive Group

(Owners and supporters of 81 002, 82 008, 83 012 and 85 101)


Bluebell Railway 1998 Timetable

The Bluebell Railway's visitor information for 1998 is now available on the www at our greatly expanded web site, at its new address:


In addition to our regular service of steam trains operating on over 200 days this year, there are also: * Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Trains for that ultimate meal out * Vintage Goods Trains: Saturdays in May, August and September * Vintage Branch Line Trains run in addition to normal timetabled trains on still more days this year

See the web site for more information, including the full timetable, or e-mail me to receive regular, up-to-date, news reports from the all-steam, largely volunteer-run, Bluebell Railway.

Richard Salmon - Richard.Salmon@rd.bbc.co.uk http://www.rhbnc.ac.uk/~zhaa009/bb/bluebell.html

Great Central Railway

In addition to LNER B12 from the North Norfolk Railway and a full supporting cast it is now hoped to operate B1 No1264 following the signing of a 5 year contract between GCR and the Thompson B1 Trust. This will give the rare sight of two LNER apple green-liveried locomotives operating together.

To ensure that this happens, GCR shed staff led by Tom Tighe will be carrying out work on the B1's boiler and subject to this work being successful the engine will work throughout the gala.

In addition to the intensive timetable there will be four TPO trips with a mail drop at Quorn (11.08, 12.38, 14.53, 16.23hrs) on each southbound run using a different engine for each trip. 30777 will operate a parcels train on the down main at Quorn at frequent intervals over the whole weekend.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Last Friday before the start of the running season coaches needed to be moved from Pickering to Grosmont. An ECS train of some 13 coaches was planned from Pickering on Friday 20th March. In view of the load (and because the Class 50 is still drained for winter) 24081 was paired with D7628. After a test on Thursday they were dispatched on Friday to pick up the train.

All went well on the way back with the two Sulzers slogging away with 13 on. But once past Levisham on the climb up Newtondale the Class 24 shut down. The driver opted to stop rather than attempt the climb with a single Class 25 + 13 coaches plus dead Class 24. Grosmont shed then tried to send D7541 to the rescue but couldn't start it (flat batteries).

And so they dispatched a Class 08 + Class 11 to the rescue. Plus lots of water because the Class 24 had shutdown with loss of water pressure. On the way to the rescue the Class 11 also shut down (blocked oil filter - loss of oil pressure) but this was fixed on arrival at the point of rescue. The water level on 24081 was topped up, and all four engines were working.

What a train!!! Class 11 + Class 08 + Class 24 + Class 25 + 13 coaches!!!

Wonder if anybody got a photograph!!!

Talyllyn Railway and the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum

New, official web pages...

Talyllyn Railway: http://www.talyllyn.co.uk/

Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. http://www.talyllyn.co.uk/ngrm/

The Talyllyn Railway, based at Tywyn, Gwynedd, is a steam-worked, narrow gauge line built in 1865. In 1951 it became the world's first preserved railway, and it still retains much of its original character. It is maintained and operated mainly by volunteers.

The web site includes details of the 1998 timetable, special events and fares, how to get to the railway, more detailed information about the railway's route and history, and regularly updated news from the line.

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum (registered charity No. 1040128) is located at the railway's terminus at Tywyn Wharf and contains a fascinating collection of locomotives, wagons and other relics from Wales and further afield.

Richard Huss, Webmaster, Talyllyn Railway

Welsh Highland Railway

1998 Timetable and calendar of events is now available at:


Those interested in developments relating to the withdrawal of support for the Welsh Highland Railway by the Snowdonia National Park Authority may care to view:


The efforts of anyone who decides to follow it up with a letter of objection to the authority will be gratefully received by the railway, and those who ride on it in the future!

Fairbourne & Barmouth Railway

The Fairbourne & Barmouth Railway's four steam locomotives (2-6-2T "Yeo", 2-6-4T "Russell", 0-4-0ST "Sherpa" and 0-6-4ST "Beddgelert") all passed their annual steam tests today. "Russell" was tested as an 0-6-0 today as its pony and bogie trucks are being modified to accept new bearings. Both driving wheels and pony trucks have been re-profiled.

"Yeo", "Beddgelert" and "Sherpa" were all driven to Porth Penrhyn today. Road access to Porth Penrhyn was blocked by high tides, preventing the Jewson's lorry from making its' delivery. Materials were transfered from lorry to a freight wagon and hauled to P. Penrhyn by "Beddgelert". The Porth Penrhyn cafe is currently undergoing a major refurbishment.

To improve "Beddgelert"s steaming the grate has been raised which on today's evidence seems to be working. Subject to supply, we intend to continue using Welsh steam coal. At the Fairbourne Terminus the new Tea Room is now nearing completion. This building controls access to the new Rowen Indoor Nature Centre which has now passed its Zoo inspection. We believe that this second attraction is necessary to attract visitors in today's increasingly competitive tourism market.

The railway has received many enquiries from Germany this week following an article appearing in a German newspaper about Fairbourne's steam driving courses. Anyone interested in a footplate course can write to Fairbourne & Barmouth Railway, Beach Road, Fairbourne, Gwynedd, UK, LL38 2PZ. Tel +44 (0)1341 250362. Fax +44 (0)1341 250240.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway


South Tynedale Railway

The 1998 timetable is at:


UK Heritage Railways


Collectors' Corner

The present site (Euston) is now closed. Rumour has it that the new site is in York and will probably be the old Co-op site, wherever that is, and it will hopefully be open before Easter.

If you're interested, I went to visit (to make sure it closed) the Euston site of Collectors Corner. It was closed yes, but dumped in front of building was various bits of metal from which I could work at part of a proper signal, odds fishplates, assorted clamps, and other undeterminate bits. A help-yourself pile of leftovers.

Virtual Trip Up The ECML


West Coast Main Line


Toton Depot Open Day

Toton Depot will be having a open day on 29 and 30 August 1998 - definitely a date for the diaries. According to Rail magazine, a Class 66 loco will be on display along with 37350 (D6700) which is being restored to green livery. Rail will be offering coupons for half priced entry.

Manchester Piccadilly, 24th January





There's an interesting article, with photos, about GNER catering in the Yorkshire Post today - it's on the Web at:


RailTrack - Timetables

I'm just planning a journey using the RailTrack website, and they have made a couple of significant improvments. You can now specify number of changes you'll accept and - best of all - you can specify "Not London".

RailTrack - Signalling

I saw in either the Times or the Torygraph this morning (can't remember which!) that the oil-fired signal-lamps between Yeovil Pen Mill and Yeovil Junction are finally to be replaced by battery-operated ones. Those responsible for keeping them maintained seemed to be torn between sadness at the end of an era and gladness that they no longer had to do a rather tiring chore.

The paper seemed to think that these were the last oil-fired signal- lamps on the main line railways - anybody know if this is so? I expect there are still some on preserved railways, but that is another story.

DN&S in Winchester (1)

During the time that I lived in Winchester I tried on several occasions to find remains of the camps line, as part of my general interest in the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton line. The junction where the camps line left the DN&S was to the North of Chesil tunnel (and not easy to find!), as follows (for anyone with local knowledge or access):

1) Between Chesil Tunnel and (recently removed) Easton Lane bridge:

Go down North Walls, straight on into Easton Lane; after the First In Last Out pub, take the first on the right. Enter dead-end section straight ahead, which suddenly ends in what looks like a twitten, with brick walls on both sides. This is Winnall Down Farm (long gone) 's footbridge over the DN&S, with the cutting backfilled up to the bridge on both sides. The tunnel is on your right (gate in fence open some weekends for close-up view of tunnel), on your left the grassy backfill slopes down to cutting-floor level where the cutting is blocked by some white houses with pine trees next to them (this is relevant... read on!)

In Kevin Robertson's (et al) DN&S book this area is shown, together with a line of small pine trees curving away to the right from the DN&SR, which followed the route of the Camps line; so the trees visible at that point now provide continuity in the then & now comparison. (junction OS Grid Ref. SU490297).

2) Railway underbridge at disused (original) road where byass subsequently went (also disused now):

Before the M3, the Winchester Bypass and Easton Lane formed a cross-roads just below where M3 Junction 9 now is; approaching said junction up Easton Lane from the city centre, there's a very new small roundabout where turning right takes you into a new Tesco's or similar: this is being built (1996) on the site of the bypass (193x-198x)? prior to the M3. A path goes along the western edge of the new superstore, heading towards Spitfire Bridge; at the lowest point of this path there is a large, blocked-off brick underbridge through the bypass's embankment. Unless I'm very mistaken this must be a relic of the camps line. BTW this bridge features on OS Landranger maps prior to 1990. More BTW, it's possible that the new landowners (Tesco etc) have demolished it within the last year, if they built directly over it. (Grid reference SU495301).

3) Railway embankment at Larkwhistle Farm (on road from A31 roundabout to Easton):

The camps line used to cross the road from Magdalen Hill Down to Easton before running parallel to it down a steep hill (see Robertson et al for mention of accident at said hill) with a sharp right curve at Larkwhistle Farm at the foot of the hill. Embankment is clearly visible behind farm buildings, from the road. (Grid reference SU515302).

DN&S in Winchester (2)

Richard Griffin wrote...

>During the time that I lived in Winchester I tried on several occasions >to find remains of the camps line, as part of my general interest in the >Didcot, Newbury & Southampton line. The junction where the camps line >left the DN&S was to the North of Chesil tunnel (and not easy to find!), >as follows (for anyone with local knowledge or access):

I would have said that the line left well before then, a little bit further up the line towards the Winnall Industrial Estate, near to where Winchesters Coke Gas factory would have been. This can be found if you continue up Easton Lane. The lane zig zags over a bridge, which crosses the DNS. To the left would have been the coke gas factory, and it is from here that I believe the camp line left the DNS.

>This is Winnall Down Farm's footbridge over the DN&S, with the cutting >backfilled up to the bridge on both sides. The tunnel is on your right >(gate in fence open some weekends for close-up view of tunnel), on your >left the grassy backfill slopes down to cutting-floor level where the >cutting is blocked by some white houses with pine trees next to them

The right hand side of the bridge has now been filled in, and I believe, the tunnel has now been blocked. And on this landfill there is now a church.

(Howard's bit - it's a Jehova's Witness hall - they don't seem to mind you wandering into their car park to have a look at the tunnel.)

>2) Railway underbridge at disused (original) road where bypass >subsequently went (also disused now):

Not sure. Since the bypass was built in the 1930s, this underpass would have been built at the same time, most likely for farm traffic. I don't know, but it might have been used for the camp line.

>Embankment is clearly visible behind farm buildings, from the road. >(Grid reference SU515302).

According to my father, the embankment mentioned, existed until about 5 years ago, when the locals used to keep pigs on it!!!

Last Midland Railway Employee?

It has been suggested to me that a local railway man, Bill Rich, who died last week may have been the last surviving employee of the Midland Railway taken over in 1922 by LMS. Does anyone know otherwise or has anyone any relevant further information?

Colin Alsbury, Kettering, UK

Railways of London & South East England


Steam on the Met

Saturdays 16th & 23rd, May. Sundays 17th & 24th, May. Bank Holiday 25th of May.

Services: Amersham, Rickmansworth and Watford at about hourly intervals. (Subject to change.)

London Underground Jubilee Line Extension


3D Schematic Drawings London Underground Tube Stations


Preserved Railways in Ireland

Anybody planning a holiday in Ireland this year should look-up the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland web page on:

for details of steam-hauled trips from Belfast and Dublin.

European Railway Picture Gallery


Edmonton Radial Railway Society


Royal Hudson Unofficial Homepage, Canada


Dutton Bay Tramway


The Railroad Page


Historic Railway Disasters


Railway Technical Web Pages

(For those interested in the science, technology, planning, maintenance and operation of railways)


Railway Technology


Routes International

Routes International is fast becoming the largest public transportation-related reference site on the Internet with members in 54 countries at present. You are cordially invited to visit and discover all the features waiting for you at the site below. The following is a small sample of what's awaiting you.

- 1000s of links to all modes of 'people' transportation - Heritage and Museum sites worldwide any mode. - Travel & Accomodation sites. - Support Industries, Unions, Alternate Transportation, Associations & Interest groups. - Transpo-E-Mail-Connector? - Bulletin Board - Trivia, Ticket Gallery, Chat Line, Stories, - Bookstore - and much much more...

Make Routes International your gateway to the world of public transportation.


uk.railway FAQ


The FAQ covers the following topics:

- Passenger company codes - A to Z of excuses - Coach TOPS Codes - Guard's bell codes - Questions & Answers - Routeing Zones - Tickets Zones - SPAD Signals - Railway signs - Depot vantage points - Railway acronyms - British & American terminology - Railways in the Arts - Locomotive, DMU & EMU nicknames + SR codes - Steam Engine nicknames - Line and livery nicknames - Company & organisation nicknames - Unofficial Newsgroup Charter

Matlock Railway Club


Historical Model Rail Society


Internet Magazine for Garden Railway Enthusiasts


Contributions to: info@grail.co.uk

Value-priced railway videos


British Transport Films

A number of British Transport Films are now available from 'Beulah', which incorporates the video collection previously marketed by FAME. The full catalogue is online at:


Como Shops March 1998 Updated list of Out-of-Print Railroad Books




Sheffield Railway Auctions


Railway Pictures


Andy Clarkson's Railway Website


The Unofficial GB Railway Enthusiast Web Site


The Phantasmagoria Photo Gallery

Check out http://www.phantas.demon.co.uk/index.htm

British Modern Traction Railtours & Railwayana


Railway-studies Mailing List


Family Hobbies Railway Site


Live Web Cam Sites

Are there are any set up in stations anywhere in the world? There seem to be 100s of sites some of which update every 20 sec. If you're in to buses the one from Colchester:


is next to a bus stop with VR's coming and going all day.

This page contains links to such things:


They're almost all in the USA, including one at Tehachapi, and one that looks onto a departure board (bizarre!) If you are looking for live Webcams showing railroad and/or street cars try this webpage:


The "observation car" has links to international sites. Also visit the webpage of the New York,Ontario & Western Ry.H.S. at:


for links to American webpages.

The Ordnance Survey


"Post-War Railway Passenger Travel"

Whilst looking for something else, I came across the following letter in the "Railway Gazette" for 17 November 1944. Whilst part of what the writer has to say is no longer appropriate, other bits still ring bells! The writer was one J. MacInnes Jnr. The title is "Post-War Railway Passenger Travel".

"Sir,--Might a member of the travelling public be allowed to state some post-war objectives in the field of railway passenger travel, which, though relatively cheap to achieve and free from the objections raised by Sir William Wood to more grandiose proposals, would do much to encourage railway travel among Britons and foreigners alike? The main needs as I see them are:

1. Real punctuality, to be assured by accurately calculated schedules and provision of sufficient relief paths; by longer platforms and enforced limiting of trains to capacity of stations used; and by restriction of "end access" coaching stock to trains making infrequent stops, where slower working can be tolerated.

2. Standardised times for steam services as well as electric.

3. Real through services to and from branch lines instead of loosely-timed connections, and exploitation of shortest available routes, for example, Paddington-Banbury-Kineton-Stratford-on-Avon; Birmingham-Rugby-Olney-Cambridge; Glasgow-Ardlui-Tyndrum-Oban.

4. Complete integration of adjoining stations, for example, at Oxford, Wrexham, Appleby.

5. Diversion of trains from a minor to a major station in the same town, for example, at Leicester (Belgrave Rd./London Rd.); Banbury; Stamford; London (Marylebone/St. Pancras). (Often the earthworks and even tracks already exist; elsewhere the change can be made on Sundays though not on weekdays, as already at Glasgow.)

6. Provision of bus terminals at railway stations as a matter of course, to form a travel centre in every town.

7. Joint advertising of rail and road services, using the 24-hour clock, in handy timetables.

8. Removal of anomalies from the railway fare system, and use of a sliding scale to produce lower rates for short distances."

As an inhabitant of Leicester, where two new bus stations are situated at the opposite end of the town from the railway station and where the bus timetables provided at the railway station are a good guess rather than accurate guidance, I am especially struck by 6 and 7.

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