Subject: Raildate 22nd July 2011
From: "Howard Sprenger" <>
Date: 22/07/2011, 14:11
To: "Yahoo Raildate" <>

RAILDATE - your free weekly guide to what's happening, what's new and what's on

*** Due to a weekend away, next week's Raildate will be published on Wednesday 27th July ***


Some of you will already have heard the very sad news that Ralph died suddenly on 29th June
while walking in the Lake District near his home in Morecambe.  He suffered a fatal heart

Although we never met, Ralph had been a friend of mine for several years, and he was a stalwart
of many online discussion groups, not least the Bygone Railways group which he owned and
moderated.  Our association became closer, however, when he began sending me regular
contributions for Raildate, to the extent that I added a section devoted entirely to his news
items - "Ralph Rawlinson's Railway Roundup".

The first time I featured a dedicated section for Ralph's news was in the 11th July 2008
edition, but he had been sending me snippets for several years before that, and although he
sent me a regular file every Monday evening, I augmented these news items with others that he
had sent to discussion groups during the previous week.

On 27th June, his usual weekly missive failed to arrive, but it wasn't until a couple of days
later that I dropped him a little reminder.  My email was to go unanswered, but the 1st July
issue of Raildate was sent out with three items that Ralph had posted to discussion groups in
the week since the previous edition.  I assumed that Ralph had gone away on holiday for a
little while, and expected that I would hear something from him again after a couple of weeks.

It was, therefore, a great shock to learn last weekend that Ralph had passed away - an
announcement appears here (you can leave a tribute here if you wish):

His funeral, held last Tuesday, was "a simple but very dignified ceremony", and evidently
Ralph's wife was completely unaware of what he "did upstairs on the computer".  She was
geninuely touched to hear of the messages of sympathy from the railway fraternity.

Ralph had an encyclopaedic knowledge of old railway lines, and was often called upon to provide
information about them - not least to the Railway Walks programmes made by Julia Bradbury for
the BBC.  His knowledge was encapsulated in his softcopy "Gazetteer of Lost Lines", from which
he was only to happy to provide information to anyone who wanted to know more about a
particular line.  Although we have lost the author, one hopes that this body of knowledge can
be preserved and maintained in the future.

Nigel Callaghan has set-up a Memorial Fund for anyone who would like to make a donation towards
a permanent memorial to Ralph (a bench on a railway trail has been suggested).  If you would
like to contribute you can do so by BACS to Sort Code: 20-92-08, A/C No: 93530191.

I'm always grateful to contributors, and none more so than to the regulars who are mentioned
every week, but for us, there will be no more railway news from Ralph, and Raildate will be the
poorer for it.

Thank you Ralph.  R.I.P.


The current GWRA Online Auction is now live and can be viewed here:

BBC article on the Bishop's Castle Railway:
And a blog about the Crumlin Viaduct:
(Spotter: Mike Price)

Loco Roster Mid Hants Railway:
(Spotter: Neil Kearns)

London Overground extension to Clapham Junction:

Another recent Butterhouse tunnel exploration:

An interesting thread on the National Preservaton forum regarding the fate of ex-LNWR, 30-Ton,
Cowans-Sheldon steam breakdown crane.  The current situation is that the crane is now the
property of a scrap dealer, and strenuous efforts to save it are underway.  This crane is of
great historic importance, being the oldest extant breakdown crane in the country, and the last
"old-type" Cowans Sheldon crane ever built.

The Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum, Calne, Wilts:
Their own website is currently being redesigned:

The Medway Queen:
(Spotter: Ted Millward)



Remarkable 3D printing:
(Spotter: Larry Schwartz)



Plan for nationwide resignalling:

Change of date for closure & rebuilding of A27 bridge south of Romsey:

The death of British train building?

Petition signed by 50,000 people handed to Parliament:

Bombardier could still win Thameslink stock contract:

HS2 high speed rail link flawed, says think tank:

UK rail tickets are losing travellers money and need redesigning:

Kenneth Grange: at the forefront of British design (including InterCity 125):

Campaign for improved Cambridge-Lynn service:

Hull Trains maintenance problems:

Arnside viaduct re-opens:

RAIB report on near miss during snow clearance:

Revised RAIB report on Moreton on Lugg LC fatality:

Death by Health & Safety Jargon Buster:

Big improvements down the line for Perth railway station:

Mallard to return to the National Railway Museum in York:

Thomas involved in a road accident:

DLR line closed by lineside fire:

Eurostar boosted by US travellers:

Italian high speed rail line goes ahead:

Overvecht station installs "transfer accelerator":

New lease of life for Kenya's 'lunatic' railway:

Possible investment in Kenya Railways:

Vossloh to supply Rotherham tram-trains:

Offenders to clean up borough's canal network:

Air Southwest to cease operations in September:

Sea Plane centenary on Lake Windermere:

Fairford Air Tattoo:

RAF Voyager Airbus A330-200:

Spotters: Richard Buckby, Neil Kearns, Reg Nerps, Mike Price, Glynn Waite


23/07/11    Channel 4  1930-2100
           "The Space Shuttle's Last Flight"

24/07/11    BBC1  1930-2030
           "Countryfile"  Includes the Wensleydale Railway

24/07/11    BBC4  2000-2100
           "Britain Through A Lens: The Documentary Film Mob"

24/07/11    BBC2  2100-2200
           "Space Shuttle: the Final Mission"

25/07/11    BBC Radio 4  1100-1130
           "The Lunatic Line"  Story of the 600-mile Kenya/Uganda railway 2/2

25/07/11    BBC4  2100-2200
           "Regional TV: Life Through a Local Lens"  The rise of regional broadcasting

26/07/11    BBC2  1900-2000
           "Coast"  7/8 Denmark

26/07/11    BBC4  1930-2000
           "Grand Tours of Scotland"  Using a 19th century tricycle 2/6

26/07/11    BBC4  2000-2100
           "The Camera that Changed the World"  ...of documentary film-making

26/07/11    BBC4  2200-2300
           "The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon"  2/3

27/07/11    BBC4  2000-2030
           "Time to Remember"  Newsreels from the '20s and '30s

27/07/11    BBC4  2030-2100
           "Britain on Film"  Archive film

28/07/11    BBC2  1900-2000
           "Space Shuttle: the Final Mission"

28/07/11    Channel 5  1930-2000
           "How Do They Do It?"  Making wool and Lego bricks

28/07/11    Channel 5  2000-2100
           "Air Crash: Heathrow Emergency"  BA crash-landing in 2008

28/07/11    BBC2  2100-2200
           "Town with Nicholas Crane"  1/4 Ludlow

28/07/11    BBC2  2320-0020
           "James May on the Moon"  40th anniversary of the first moon landing

29/07/11    Channel 5  2000-2100
           "Danger: Diggers at Work"  4/6 Diggers doing things...

29/07/11    BBC2  2100-2200
           "The First World War from Above"


All details are correct to the best of my knowledge, but no responsibility is accepted for
inaccuracies or changes.

23/07/11    Winchester: guided walk exploring the route of the DN&S line
           Includes a chance to go inside the disused Chesil railway tunnel
           1115-1245 and 1415-1545
           Advance booking required - Adult: 5.00, Child: 1.00

23/07/11    Manchester Victoria signalling school layout operating day
           National Railway Museum, York

23/07/11-   Camrail 2011
24/07/11    Saint Margaret's Hall, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 1DE
           1100-1730 (both days)

23/07/11-   Ecclesbourne Valley Railway: Wirksworth Bus Event

29/07/11-   Inland Waterways Association National Festival
31/07/11    Shobnall Fields, Burton-upon-Trent

30/07/11    Barnstaple Model Railway Club Exhibition
           Christ Church Hall, Bear Street, Barnstaple, EX32 7BU

30/07/11    Chumleigh Model Railway Group Exhibition
           Chulmleigh Town Hall, Fore Street, Chulmleigh, EX18 7BR

30/07/11-   Swanage Railway: Swanage Regatta and Carnival

31/07/11    Middleton Top Winding Engine, Cromford & High Peak Rly
           Engine in motion 1300-1630

31/07/11    Churnet Valley Railway: Cream Tea & Steam

01/08/11    Peak Railway Association (Sheffield Branch) Slideshow
           The Harlequin Pub, 108 Nursery Street, Sheffield S3 8GG
           The Hope Valley Tunnels, Ted Hancock

06/08/11-   Ecclesbourne Valley Railway: Classic Vehicles Meet

06/08/11    Cromford Steam Rally

06/08/11-   Leawood Pumping Engine Steaming Day, Cromford Canal
07/08/11    Engine in motion 1200-1700

06/08/11-   Peak Rail: 1940s Weekend

06/08/11-   Cleveland Model Railway Club Exhibition
07/08/11    Redcar & Cleveland College, Corporation Road (A1085), Redcar
           1000-1700 (Sat), 1000-1600 (Sun)

07/08/11    Twyford Waterworks: Rural Crafts

07/08/11    Romsey Signal Box Open Day
           Admission free (donations welcome!)
           ex-Romsey Infants School, Plaza Parade, Winchester Rd, Romsey
           Car park in old school grounds

07/08/11    Provincial Society Rally
           Stokes Bay, Gosport

07/08/11    Middleton Top Winding Engine, Cromford & High Peak Railway
           Engine in motion 1300-1630

Cheers, Howard.
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(C) Howard Sprenger 2011.