Subject: RAILDATE 14th January 2011
From: "Howard Sprenger" <>
Date: 14/01/2011, 18:08
To: "Yahoo Raildate" <>

RAILDATE: the weekly newsletter of the Hursley Park Model Railway Society:



Moves are afoot to reinstate the Little Eaton to Ripley line:

A recent exploration of Connaught Tunnel, North Woolwich:

And one of Catesby Tunnel on the Great Central main line:

Lots of very interesting stuff on Tony Griffin's Bus, Lorry & Railway

A huge collection of disused railway pictures:

Mike Morant has uploaded a batch of 1953-1955 Irish images:

Also 99 Dutch rail and tram images, mostly from the early 1950s, but there
are a few from subsequent decades.  There are Blauwe Tram images (NZH, The
Blue Tram) and quite a few of the Rotterdam steam tramway whilst it was
still active as opposed to the heritage version that runs today.

Sam's Telecomms Index, which includes sections on railway
telecommunications and related documents:
(Spotter: Richard Buckby)

View the location and movement of passenger trains throughout the UK.  A
new online train tracker can be viewed at:

Similarly, a road travel reporting website that provides up-to-date road
traffic information.  Data is updated every 5 minutes using sensors placed
on motorways and major A and B roads.

Kestrel Railway Books:
Kestrel Railway books on Twitter:
Kestrel Railway books on facebook:


Following on from last week's link to a mountain biker's trip report of an expedition
along the track of the Yosemite Valley Railroad, I've been in touch with him, and got
links to some of his other expeditions.  His name is Joe Peralta, and although he's
put a lot of trip reports on the Web, not all are linked in any way, and not all
involve exploring old railroads.  Nevertheless, they are all are very readable.
These are the start pages for each trip, but be warned, sometimes Joe is so keen to
get back on his bike that he doesn't finish his reports!  (I'm starting with the one
I mentioned last week.)
Yosemite Valley Railroad:
Cycling the Mojave Road:
The Tailwind Tour - Fort Mojave to Las Vegas and beyond:
Las Vegas, Sacramento and the Oregon, California & Eastern Railway:
LAX to Needles via Route 66:

Joe's other reports involve motorbikes rather than mountain bikes, and are
linked from here:
They include "Racing a Locomotive":



Steam on the Great Central on 3rd January:
(Spotter: Ted Millward)

An auto train on the Great Central on 8th January:
(Spotter: Ted Millward)

Heritage group targets return of railway to Oswestry:

Cambrian Heritage Railways - Llynclys:

Two videos of the Ecuadorean Railways.  The first shows the track being
reconstructed at Nariz Del Diablo, the zigzag section where the line
climbs up the side of a mountain.  The other is a ride on a railcar from
Sibambe (6,024ft altitude) 81 miles to Alausi (7,700ft) at an average
gradient of 1 in 21. In order to achieve this the line first ascends the
switchback at Nariz Del Diablo which involves two dead end sections with
points.  The second part of the ascent at a maximum gradient of 1 in 18
involves a sweeping ascent of a cliff face with two horseshoe curves.
(Spotter: Ralph Rawlinson)

Not a video but a 1936 BBC radio programme featuring the sounds of the
Royal Scot, Cheltenham Flyer and Silver Jubilee:
(Spotter: Ralph Rawlinson)

A feast of US locomotive chimes:
(And follow side links for others)


Ralph Rawlinson's Railway Roundup

Freight Operators
On 31st December 2010, Devon and Cornwall Railways Ltd (DCR), owned by
Iowa Pacific Holdings, were granted a freight operating licence by the
Office of Rail Regulation.  IPH's UK subsidiaries also include Weardale
Railways and Dartmoor Railway.  In addition, the company operates six US
short lines.

London Underground
Northern Line Wandsworth Council has agreed the 203m extension of the
Northern Line west from Kennington to Clapham Junction including two new
stations at Nine Elms and Battersea.  The iconic Battersea Power Station,
decommissioned in 1983 and in poor condition, will be made structurally
secure by the end of 2016 including the complete restoration of the four

London Overground - ELL
On 31st December 2010 the buffer stops at the northern end of Dalston Jn
station were removed to allow test running and driver training.  TfL are
confident that passenger services on the extension to Highbury & Islington
will start running from 28th February 2011.

Four-tracking of the route across Welwyn Viaduct is not now seen as a
solution to the capacity issues at the southern end of the ECML but
doubling the current two track railway between Huntingdon and Peterborough
is.  It could cost about 112m, but Network Rail claims it would provide
benefits nearly 2 times its bill.

Midland Metro
The first phase of the scheme to run trams through Birmingham city centre
to New Street station has been completed.  Precast concrete beams of a
bridge that will bring services off the existing approach to Snow Hill
station have been placed over Queensway using a former rail bridge
abutment and pier.

S&DJt Bath - Midsomer Norton
The Bath Chronicle reports that Sustrans have given new award to volunteer
Frank Tompson, head of project

Stourbridge - Walsall
Further to previous posts, Centro are continuing with their plans for a
rapid transit system linking the existing Midland Metro at Wednesbury to
Stourbridge via Merry Hill and Brierley Hill.  However, to reduce costs,
they are now looking at a sharing tracks with Network Rail (as already
happens on the Tyne & Wear Metro between Pelaw and Sunderland).  This
would allow freight trains to use a reopened Stourbridge-Walsall line,
avoiding congestion elsewhere.

Network Rail claim that the new grade separated junction at Norton Bridge
on the WCML (Raildate, 26th November) together with signalling and track
enhancements would deliver each hour two extra trains between London and
the NW, one extra between Birmingham and Manchester plus one additional
freight path.

Manchester Oxford Road
A 750,000 overhaul is planned next summer for this Grade 2-listed

Liverpool Airport
Up to 16 daily TPEx trains from Scarborough/Yorks/Leeds and Huddersfield
now call at Liverpool South Parkway where a dedicated bus service links
every 20min direct to the airport.  This is in addition to NR, LM and EM
services which already call.

L&Y/LNWJt Longridge branch
The year-long transformation of the former branch terminus station from
Preston into a heritage centre has been completed.  Block paving has been
laid next to the platform to simulate track.

Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog Railways
The WHR and FR are seeking to raise more funds for infrastructure and
rolling stock to build on what has already been achieved.

Channel Tunnel
Mobile phone reception is to be made available in the Channel Tunnel in
time for the 2012 Olympics.

How are things in the Central American state of Guatemala?  No so good
railway wise according to this site!

The high-speed 'Sapsan' train between Moscow and St Petersburg, described
by Russian Railways (RZD) as the only profitable domestic rail service in
Russia, celebrated its first anniversary in December 2010.  Currently the
existing line, upgraded for 155mph operation in places, is used but this
has prove unpopular with residents in small towns who claim it has
resulted in the loss of many stopping trains.  Plans to build a new
dedicated 410 mile high speed line have now been unveiled.  Trains would
travel at up to 250mph reducing the journey between the two cities to 2

This site contains facts and figures on JSC Azerbaijan Railways revealing
that their total length is 2,929 km, 2,100 of which are operational:

An engineer's impressions and pics of the railways around Kuala Lumpur:

Construction of the new Fengyuan Railway Station in Greater Taichung, part
of the 'Taichung Metropolitan Area Overpass Railway Project' is scheduled
to be completed by 2016.



The new class 70 dropped at Newport docks:

Derby war memorial plaques rededicated:

Cable theft at Middlesbrough:

Repairs to Britannia Bridge:

Top firm's fears over scrapped rail grants:

Freight Facilities Grant to continue for 5 years:

News of Peckham Rye station old waiting room:

Man arrested after bicycle thrown on to live rail in Hampshire:

Stourbridge rail service records near 100% reliability:

'Ugly' revamp of Haymarket gets go-ahead:

Japanese signs at Moreton in the Marsh:

SWT driver retires with 50 years service:

Chepstow to welcome extra trains:

Fatality on Aberdare branch:

FR in snow:

Glasgow station is in the good books with travellers:

Major re-signalling and track-laying scheme to transform Glasgow-Paisley line:

Major maintenance works for the Dundee - Aberdeen line:

Tornado's boiler to return to Germany:

10m plan to build P2 loco:

Milestone is reached in G5 steam locomotive project:

French snow clearance:

Further delays to Cambridge guided busway:
Delayed so badly that Stagecoach have removed the guide wheels from the
buses allocated to the services

Stagecoach orders:

RAF Hercules moved by road for preservation:

Temporary Red Funnel terminal in Southampton Eastern Docks:

Spotters: Richard Buckby, Neil Kearns, Reg Nerps, Ralph Rawlinson


14/01/11    BBC2  1830-1900
           "Great British Railway Journeys" Llanberis to Holyhead

15/01/11    BBC4  2000-2100
           "Timeshift: The Modern Age of Coach Travel"

16/01/11    BBC2  1900-2000
           "James May's Toy Stories"  Longest Hornby railway ever

16/01/11    Channel 5  2350-0050
           "Ripped from the Cockpit: BA Flight of Terror"

17/01/11    BBC2  1830-1900
           "Great British Railway Journeys" Newcastle to Chester-le-Street

17/01/11    Channel 5  1930-2000
           "How Do They Do It?"  Keeping Edmonton Airport open in snow

18/01/11    BBC2  1830-1900
           "Great British Railway Journeys" Durham to Grosmont

18/01/11    BBC4  1930-2000
           "The Beauty of Maps"  Maps of London

19/01/11    BBC Radio 4  1100-1130
           "Red Arrows Rookies"

19/01/11    BBC2  1830-1900
           "Great British Railway Journeys" York to Saltaire

19/01/11    BBC4  1930-2000
           "The Boats That Built Britain"  Square riggers

20/01/11    BBC2  1830-1900
           "Great British Railway Journeys" Batley to Sheffield

20/01/11    Channel 5  1930-2000
           "How Do They Do It?"

20/01/11    Channel 5  2000-2100
           "Secrets of the Blitz: Revealed"

21/01/11    BBC2  1830-1900
           "Great British Railway Journeys" Langley Mill to Melton Mowbray


For up-to-date information on many of the tours mentioned in Raildate (and
others) often with timings, see the Steam Tours pages at:

All details are correct to the best of my knowledge.  No responsibility is
taken for inaccuracies or changes.

10/01/11-   National Railway Museum
16/01/11    Nostalgic Cinema - screenings of rarely-seen railway-related
           films from the NRM collection

15/01/11-   St Albans Model Railway Exhibition
16/01/11    The Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans AL1 3LD
           1000-1800 both days

22/01/11    Manchester Victoria signalling school layout operating day
           National Railway Museum, York

23/01/11    Bristol 0-Gauge Show
           *** A week earlier than previously advertised ***
           UWE Exhibition & Conference Centre, Filton Rd, BS34 8QZ

06/02/11    Romsey Signal Box Open Day
           Admission free (donations welcome!)
           ex-Romsey Infants School, Plaza Parade, Winchester Rd, Romsey
           Car park in old school grounds

Cheers, Howard.
editor(at)  replace (at) with @

Issues of Raildate up to and including 18th December 2009 are at:
This page includes a master catalogue of items that have appeared in
previous editions of Raildate.

(C) Howard Sprenger

The external edition of Raildate may be freely distributed without
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