Subject: Raildate 20th May 2011
From: "Howard Sprenger" <>
Date: 20/05/2011, 14:08
To: "Yahoo Raildate" <>


Vinter's Railway Gazetteer, ISBN 978-0752460116, The History Press

Jeff Vinter has spent 27 years exploring and researching old railways that you can walk and
cycle.  He started the project in 1983 when he first began to lead walks for the South Western
Area of Railway Ramblers, and it all continued from there.  The book consists of 168 pages and
is generously illustrated with maps, black and white photographs, and 16 full colour plates.
It is divided into sections for each country - England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland - within
which the entries for each route are listed by county.  Six-figure grid references are given
for the start and end of each walk, together with codes that indicate whether it is open to
walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and whether it is suitable for wheelchair users,
pushchairs, etc.

Published by the History Press, the book can be ordered from any high street bookstore, or
Amazon, or directly from the author.  The RRP is 9.99 but watch out for post and packing
charges.  If you want a copy signed by the author, send a cheque value 9.99 payable to "Jeff
Vinter" to his home address, 1 Victoria Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 7HY.  (Jeff asks if
you will please get his name right - it is Vinter, like "winter" but with a "v' - and not one
of the other variations that frequently arrive on cheques!)

(Via Ralph Rawlinson)



Heritage transport at North Blyth:
(Spotter: Richard Buckby)

The Dolgarrog Railway Society:

Another victim of the Fotopic debacle is Andy Gibbs, whose photos have now largely been moved
to Zenfolio:

Steam Index, a website covering (mainly) steam locomotive history through numerous links to
other sites:
(Spotter: Richard Whitbread)

A look back at 1986 - the Domesday Project:

The Bally Hooley Steam Railway, Port Douglas, Queensland:



Stockport (Heaton Mersey) to Derby via the High Peak:
(Spotter: Nick Wheat)

Great Central in the 1960s:
(Spotter: Ralph Rawlinson)


Ralph Rawlinson's Railway Roundup

Online Maps
Sustrans has launched a mapping app that details over 25,000 miles of walking and cycling
routes in the UK.

Britain's Railways
Transport secretary, Philip Hammond has called for a crackdown on what he says are out-of-date
working practices and excessive wage demands for tens of thousands of rail workers.

London Underground
Partial closures, mainly between West Hampstead and Stanmore, necessary to implement the
Jubilee line's signalling upgrade, are scheduled to take place over seven weekends from 15th
May to 26th June.  Testing of the new Transmission-based Train Control System, claimed to
increase speeds and reliability through exact pinpointing of each train's position, was carried
out over the Easter weekend.  Final testing, in readiness for a planned 33% increase in
capacity (equating to an additional 12,500 passenger per hour) is still to take place.  A new
timetable is to be introduced in phases, starting with an initial increase from 24 to 27 trains
per hour from July 2011.

A scheme to introduce mobile phone coverage on London Underground trains (reported in Raildate
last October) has been dropped, but plans for wi-fi hotspots at 120 stations will go ahead.

Docklands Light Railway
TfL is proposing to extend the the Lewisham line to Forest Hill with intermediate stations at
Ladywell, Medusa and Catford.

Details of the SelTrac S40 automatic train operation system can be found at:

Metropolitan Water Board Railway
As reported last week - details of the society, including a map, at:

Cotswold Redoubling
Buses will replace trains from 28th May to 6th June 2011 as Network Rail works to commission
Charlbury to Ascott-under-Wychwood, the first stage of the track-doubling project.  A second
closure takes place between 16th and 23nd August 2011 for the commissioning of new track and
signalling between Moreton-in-Marsh and Evesham.

GWR North Somerset Line
Plans for the future development of this line fall into four distinct camps.  There is the the
North Somerset Railway Company (NSRC) formed by a group of enthusiasts in 1987, whilst a
shared-use cyclepath (part of Colliers Way NCN24) between Radstock and Great Elm was completed
by Sustrans in the summer of 2006:

Bath & NE Somerset Council would like to see Radstock station site utilised for housing and/or
a supermarket, and finally, last year Norton Radstock Regeneration Company announced a new
scheme to build a light rail line between Radstock and Kilmersden, now supported by two Lib-Dem

The bricks from the signal box at Mells Road on the Radstock-Frome line were buried after it
was demolished in the late 1960s.  They were subsequently unearthed and have been re-used to
build a water tower at Cranmore on the East Somerset Railway.

Ministers have been urged to plan an alternative main line into the West Country after a
Government report warned that transport links need to be protected from the impacts of climate

Cyfarthfa Ironworks Tramroad and Bridge, Merthyr Tydfil
The world's first cast iron railway bridge, the Pont y Cafnau (bridge of troughs), is to be
commemorated at a civil engineering conference in Merthyr Tydfil on 21st May 2011.  An
information panel created for the event will be installed along the Taff Trail.  The 47ft iron
truss bridge over the River Taff in Merthyr Tydfil was designed by Watkin George and built in
1793 to support both a tramway and an aqueduct to carry limestone and water into the the
Cyfarthfa Ironworks.  A Grade II* listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument, it is also
the world's earliest surviving iron railway bridge.

GWR Monmouth - Chepstow
In November, the Forest of Dean Council gave its approval for a traffic-free shared path along
4 miles of the disused Wye Valley Railway between Tintern and Wye Valley Junction.  At that
time, a similar agreement by Monmouthshire County Council (who control the west side of the
river) was still awaited, but it was assumed that it was just a formality as only a short
section is on the Welsh side (although it does include the north end of the new bridge).  This
assumption has proved to be too optimistic.  Monmouthshire CC's planning department has been
accused of jeopardising the plans after the project lost the Lottery funding awarded to it
because the authority has yet to decide on planning permission.

Wroxham signalbox
The 1900 Grade II listed GER box alongside the Norwich-Cromer line at Hoveton & Wroxham station
closed in 2000, but still contains its 50-lever McKenzie & Holland frame.  It was moved back
20ft to improve signal sighting in 2007, and after being leased from NR by Wroxham Signalbox
Trust, the Railway Heritage Trust agreed to contribute to its restoration.  It is now a museum
and is open on some weekends.  Since 2000, the Cromer branch has been controlled by Trowse
Swing Bridge signalbox.

GWR Shrewsbury - Chester line
More than 100 new homes could be built on part of the old Cotton Hill yard north of Shrewsbury
station.  Network Rail was given permission to dispose of the entire 9-acre site in 2007.

NSR Stoke - Leek Brook Jns
The Moorlands & City Railways are about to begin refurbishment of the Leekbrook East Jn -
Stoke-on-Trent line to allow through freight from Cauldon Low in 2012.  By the beginning of
May, half the 450,000 worth of shares in the project had been sold.  Also under consideration
are extending the Churnet Valley line from Oakamoor to Alton and reopening the line that ran
north from Leekbrook to Leek.

Rugby Signalling Control Centre
Atkins has won a contract from Network Rail to resignal eleven miles of the Northampton Loop
between Mill Lane Jn, 67m 20ch (north of Northampton) to Watford Lodge Tunnel, 78m 52ch (east
of Rugby).  When commissioned control of the twin-track line will pass from Rugby PSB to Rugby

Morecambe's Midland Hotel is chosen as one of the four best former railways hotels in Britain. (Click arrows on picture to see the other three)

NER The Wooler Line
Mindrum station, complete with goods shed and cattle dock, was on the market for 450,000 in
June 2010 but now they are asking 379,000 for the station with the goods shed quoted
separately at 179,950.  (They are still wrongly claiming that the goods shed was an engine

Jernbaneverket, the Norwegian national rail administration, has appointed engineering group
Ramboll to assess the feasibility of a high-speed line between Oslo and Trondheim.

With a population of 15m, the Kolkata (Calcutta) metropolitan area is the eighth largest
megacity in the world.  Siemens is to supply the complete railway electrification system for a
new 15km long east-west metro line serving twelve stations.

The 10.8km Shiziyang tunnel under the Pearl River, part of the 140km high-speed line from
Guangzhou to Shenzshen and Hong Kong has been completed.  Train operation is due to start in
2012, whilst a link to the national network will eventually reduce Beijing-Hong Kong journey
time to 8hrs.

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation is planning to develop an iron mine at Mary River in the
extreme North of Baffin Island.  They propose to transport the ore from the mine site to a port
by a 149 km long mineral line, the first railway on the island.



McNulty report on rail system:

New boat train service to Southampton Docks:

First Great Western optimistic about future of sleeper:

Project Miller - NRM prototype HST to run again?

Man tries to board train with pony in Wrexham:

Steam Railcar 93 entry into service 28th May:

Swanage Railway diesel Gala:

Monsal Trail - new route for the Peak District:

Full steam ahead with Potton Shannon campaign:

Remembering Stockton Railway Station:

Edinburgh tram in price scrapping investigation:

Chef Executive of Edinburgh tram project resigns:

Walk through Hindhead Tunnel (A3):

Bus hijacked in Londonderry:

Spotters: Richard Buckby, Neil Kearns, Reg Nerps


21/05/11    BBC4  2230-2300
           "Julia Bradbury's Canal Walks"  3/4 The Kennet & Avon Canal

22/05/11    BBC2  1910-2000
           "Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections"  3/6 Super tankers

22/05/11    BBC4  2000-2100
           "The Secret Life of the National Grid"  3/3

23/05/11    BBC4  1930-2030
           "A303: Highway to the Sun"  Basingstoke to Honiton by road

23/05/11    BBC4  2030-2100
           "Julia Bradbury's Canal Walks"  4/4 The LLangollen Canal

24/05/11    BBC4  1930-2000
           "Britain by Bike"  The Isle of Wight

25/05/11    BBC Radio 4  1100-1130
           "Going on the Gallopers"  A look at Carter's Steam Fair

27/05/11    Channel 5  2000-2100
           "Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers"  2/8


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.

21/05/11-   Winchester Cathedral: "Models & Music"
22/05/11    GWR model railway and local GWR exhibition
           At the Undercroft, next to the Education Centre in the Inner Close
           Admission by donation - proceeds to the Cathedral Music Fund

21/05/11-   Ecclesbourne Valley Railway: Steam Weekend
22/05/11    Includes Bachmann Model Club "Trackside 2011" event, 21st May

28/05/11    Manchester Victoria signalling school layout operating day
           National Railway Museum, York

28/05/11-   Winchester Cathedral: "Models & Music"
29/05/11    GWR model railway and local GWR exhibition
           At the Undercroft, next to the Education Centre in the Inner Close
           Admission by donation - proceeds to the Cathedral Music Fund

28/05/11-   Hayle Model Railway Club Exhibition
29/05/11    Hayle Day Care Centre, Commercial Road, Hayle, TR27 4DE
           1000-1600 both days

28/05/11-   Aylesbury Railex

28/05/11-   Ecclesbourne Valley Railway: Wirksworth Carnival Open Days

29/05/11-   Middleton Top Winding Engine, Cromford & High Peak Rly
30/05/11    Engine in motion 1300-1630

04/06/11-   Leawood Pumping Engine Steaming Day, Cromford Canal
05/06/11    Engine in motion 1200-1700

05/06/11    Twyford Waterworks: Industrial Railways & Communications

05/06/11    Romsey Signal Box Open Day
           Admission free (donations welcome!)
           ex-Romsey Infants School, Plaza Parade, Winchester Rd, Romsey
           Car park in old school grounds

05/06/11    Andover Bus Rally

05/06/11    Cheltenham Coach Rally

05/06/11    Middleton Top Winding Engine, Cromford & High Peak Rly
           Engine in motion 1300-1630

05/06/11    Churnet Valley Railway: Alf Tunstall Classic Bus Rally

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

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(C) Howard Sprenger 2011.