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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
LONDON — An L.S. Lowry painting has matched a world record price for the artist at a London auction, Christie's auction house said Wednesday.

Christie's said "Picadilly Circus" fetched 5.6 million pounds ($8.8 million) at an auction of 14 Lowry oil paintings.

That matched the previous record set for Lowry's work in May 2011 with the sale of "The Football Match."

The auction house had estimated "Picadilly Circus" would sell for between 4-6 million pounds ($6.3-$9.5 million).

The 1960 piece – one of Lowry's rare London works – captures the bustling scene around the capital's iconic landmark.

In total, the Lowry collection garnered 17.7 million pounds ($27.8 million).

Adding to a banner night for sales of the late artist's work, Sotheby's said it had sold Lowry's 1953 depiction of commuters, titled "Railway Platform" for 1.1 million pounds ($1.7 million).
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Much has been written about new signalling schemes on Network Rail, London Underground and elsewhere. The wonders of modern electronics and computer control make fascinating reading even if the cost creates considerable adverse comment on occasions.

Main line and metro railways are not alone in having challenges for controlling an ever-increasing growth in traffic. The UK’s heritage railways are the most prolific in the world and there seems no stopping the emergence of new schemes for the reinstatement of abandoned lines. However, these railways have to conform to the signalling rules for what are generally classified as Light Railways, which, while restricting speed to a maximum of 25mph, nonetheless demand safe systems of operation and control.

The Swanage Railway is typical of the challenges that such lines face. Starting with not much more than a long strip of brown field land, the rebuilding of the railway so that trains could run again took many years. Sorting out the signalling requirements was perhaps an even more significant project and the IRSE Minor Railways section visited the railway on the 15 October to see what had been achieved.

The Wareham to Swanage Railway

Opened in 1885, the line connected the country town of Wareham with the Dorset coast resort of Swanage with a passing loop and station at Corfe Castle. Flourishing for many years, particularly with holiday seaside traffic, it gradually succumbed to growing car ownership and eventually closed in January 1972. The local population had fiercely resisted the closure and efforts to get the line re-opened began almost at once. However the demolition contractors moved in quickly and the line was dismantled from Swanage as far as the Furzebrook sidings serving Wytch Farm Oil field, some 2 miles from Worgret Junction near Wareham. This stub end has proved to be fortuitous in that a mainline connection was retained.

The station buildings at Swanage and Corfe Castle were left although increasingly subject to dilapidation. The preservation society had a daunting task but an ally was found in Dorset County Council who realised that a re-instated railway might offer a solution to the growing traffic problems in Corfe Castle and Swanage. The County Council bought the track bed and thus the route was now secure.

Swanage station was refurbished and by 1979, track was relaid to Herston on the outskirts of the town. Sidings and the old engine shed enabled small steam locomotives and ex BR coaches to commence a short shuttle service. In 1988, the line was extended to an entirely new station at Harmans Cross where a loop was provided for run round purposes.

The big leap forward came in 1995 when the line extended to Corfe Castle and beyond to the park & ride at Norden. The railway became part of the transport system for the district carrying local travellers and holiday makers as well as enthusiasts wanting a steam train ride. Additional locomotives and rolling stock were obtained but the lack of signalling limited the number of trains that could be operated.

Signalling the Line

Initially the run round loops and siding connections were operated by ground frames and hand points. A train staff was initially used for the single line control, but this is limiting when more than one train is in operation. The passing loop at Harmans Cross was time consuming to operate and it was decided that proper signalboxes would be needed at Harmans Cross, Swanage and Corfe Castle. A heritage railway must be mindful of the image it is trying to portray and thus electronic interlockings and colour light signals are not generally used even if they could be afforded.

The gradual modernisation taking place on Network Rail throws up redundant equipment and our heritage railways make good use of this. Mostly it comes free of charge but with the railway paying for delivery to site. A whole variety of signalling equipment can be obtained this way ranging from lever frames, circuit controllers, electric locks, relays, point rodding, signal posts / arms and level crossing equipment. Some railways have obtained complete signalbox structures. Getting the bits is not normally the problem; designing the circuits / mechanical layouts, installing and testing the equipment and getting it commissioned to the required safety standards is where the time, professional skill base and finance are required.

Harmans Cross

To operate a reliable two train service required this location to become a fully signalled passing loop. The signalbox has been sited on the Up side just north of the station and was a new construction in traditional L&SWR style. Sound foundations ensure that the structure can withstand the mechanical stresses associated with lever pulling. The frame came from Gunnersbury and is of Stevens manufacture with 22 levers having lever locking, i.e. the locking tappets are directly operated by the levers’ movement. Underneath is the usual mixture of cranks and pulleys secured to a bedding plate. A partitioned area forms the relay room and power supply. Old style shelf relays control all the vital circuitry.

The box has two Tyers electric key token instruments for the single line sections to Swanage and Corfe Castle. When the box is open, tokens are exchanged with the drivers in the normal way. However, if only one train is in operation, the box can switch out for long section working between Corfe Castle and Swanage using Tyers No 6 Tablet Instruments. A ‘King Lever’, released by Corfe Castle and Swanage, enables Harmans Cross to switch out by clearing Up and Down signals for the Down platform. The king lever, when finally reversed, frees the tablet to be extracted and handed to the driver for the train to proceed. The king lever then prevents any untoward operation of levers until the box re-opens whence the process is reversed.

Other levers connect the rodding to the loop points and their facing point locks at each end of the station. There are two sidings used to store rolling stock not needed for the day’s service. Signals are upper quadrant distant, home and starters plus disc signals to control shunting movements. The distant signals are pulled only when the box is switched out. The signal arms are mounted on lattice posts, which were fabricated by Swanage Railway volunteers. The box was started in 1995 and completed in 1997.

Swanage

A signalbox had existed here but was demolished when the section from Corfe Castle became ‘One Train Working’ towards the end of BR operation. When the line reopened, ground frames controlled the reinstated run round loop and sidings. This was adequate at the time but very limiting, with no direct access to the bay platform for passenger trains. Thus the decision was taken to build a new signalbox, this time sited on the Down side as insufficient space existed at the original box location because the land was leased out by the Council.

Box construction followed a similar pattern to the one at Harmans Cross, with the same high standard for mechanical and electrical installation being achieved, but with a Westinghouse A2 frame of 40 levers from Brockenhurst B. This type of frame has catch handle locking where the tappets are moved by both the pulling and release of the catch handle when the lever is reversed. Tyers key token instruments control the working to Harmans Cross but when that box is switched out, a Tyers tablet instrument controls the working to Corfe Castle. Two king levers allow the box to be switched out with both Up and Down signals pulled off for the main platform, a tablet being in use for long section working to Corfe Castle. This arrangement is the minimum facility for operating a single DMU train service in the evenings.

Corfe Castle

A signalbox was provided at Corfe Castle for the line opening in 1885. This was located on the Down platform and had 11 levers. Of timber construction, it lasted until the 1950s when it became unstable and was replaced by a 12 lever frame located in the old Porters’ Room within the main station building on the Up platform. This continued in use until the line closure when the room was locked up. Fortunately the demolition contractors failed to find the frame and it remained in situ. When the re-laid line reached Corfe Castle in 1995, all trains to and from Norden used the Up platform and thus signalling was not needed. By 2005, the increasing train service demanded that the passing loop should become operational and the frame was restored, re-locked and brought back into use with either tablet working to Swanage or key token working to Harmans Cross. One train working with a train staff was used for the short section to Norden where the loop exists only for engine run round purposes.

A vision to restore a signalled mainline connection at Worgret plus the increasing number of charter trains arriving from the national network meant that the Porters’ Room signalbox was inadequate. The decision was made to build a new signalbox on the site of the original one and equip it so that it could remotely control the loop at Norden and its adjacent level crossing as well as providing the interface to the mainline signalbox – currently at Wareham but eventually to be at Basingstoke.

Contractors were engaged to build the box foundations but the main structure has been done entirely by volunteer labour. The frame is a 32 lever Westinghouse A3 style being made up of recovered equipment from both Brockenhurst A and Broadstone. Both had been stored in wet conditions for some time and the steel levers were very rusty, an emery machine being needed to bring them back to mint condition. The underside locking area has a mass of cranks, rodding, pulleys and wires that exit under the platform face – not the easiest of places to work. A relay room accommodates all the relays, wiring and power supply, all installed to a very high standard. On the operating floor are three single line machines: a tablet machine for long section working to Swanage, a token machine for working to Harmans Cross and a new ‘No Signalman’ machine for the short section to Norden.

Summary and Future Plans

Signalling the Swanage Railway has been a major achievement. Most of the work has been done by volunteers with no previous signal design or installation experience. The enthusiasm and dedication are an inspiration for all. There is more to do however. The track was extended from Norden to meet the remaining branch line at Motala where opposing points protect movement between the Heritage Line and Network Rail, thus allowing charter trains to run through under special arrangements.

Dorset County Council is keen to establish a regular ‘Amenity Service’ from Swanage to Wareham. This will entail running a DMU train beyond the present Norden station up to the main line at Worgret Junction and into Wareham station. Network Rail, in the process of designing the resignalling of the Dorset Coast line, were prepared to include a signalled connection to the Swanage branch for a cost of £3 million. Such is the difference in costing between the commercial railway and the heritage sector! Fortunately, the county council has agreed to underwrite the cost. This will provide the junction control signals and also signals down the branch to enable a train to be clear of the main line even if the section to Norden is occupied. The exact arrangements for the necessary token working are still being worked out.

The loop at Norden must remain as the park and ride service is key to the heritage railway income. The points and signals may be motorised and the adjacent level crossing equipped with full barriers and CCTV surveillance, all to be controlled remotely from Corfe Castle box. Wareham station does not currently have a bay platform so occupation of the main line by Swanage trains will need to be a slick operation. A bay might be provided if the service is a success. All of this has still to happen but 2013 is the aim.

Thanks are expressed to Mike Walshaw and Mike Whitwam who not only have done much of the work but also gave their time freely to show us around this amazing resurgence.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
BR First Generation Diesel Railbuses
Evan Green-Hughes
This new volume written by rail expert Evan Green - Hughes provides readers with everything they need to know about the BR First Generation Diesel Rail buses.

The railway industry in the mid-1950s faced a number of challenges. One of these problems was the rapid introduction to service of large number of new diesel and electric locomotives and multiple-units, many of which were untried and untested, whilst at the same time facing a rapid deterioration of the industry's finances as passenger and freight traffic declined. Whilst there had been limited line closures from the 1920s onwards, this was still the period before the Beeching report when wholesale line closures were not on the agenda and thus the railways sought a solution, using modern traction, for the most lightly-trafficked lines.

The answer was the small four-wheel diesel rail bus. Thus, in the late 1950s, a total of 22 units were acquired for passenger service (plus three for departmental use)from no less than six different manufacturers (including one based in Germany)for these lines. The units were allocated to the Eastern, Midland, Scottish and Western regions, where they saw service on a number of lines, including Cambridge to Mildenhall, the Saffron Walden branch, the Braintree branch, Crieff to Gleneagles, Bedford-Northampton, Hitchin-Bedford, Ayr-Kilmarnock, Tetbury-Kemble, Beith-Lugton, Padstow-Bodmin Road and Yeovil Town to Yeovil Junction.

Many of the lines for which they were built were to close, many a result of the Beeching 'axe', and thus the rail buses had a relatively short life. All the passenger vehicles were withdrawn by the late 1960s, although no fewer than six survive in preservation (including four of the German-built examples); two of the departmental units also survive in preservation.

This new reference guide includes information on allocation history, livery variations, coupling codes, under frame detail, number sequences and a whole host of other information. Illustrated throughout with 150 mono and colour photographs it will also include scale drawings of the main types.




Southern EMUs Since Privatisation
in Colour for the Modeller and Historian
Bruce Oliver
It is now almost two decades since the process of Privatising the railway industry in Britain started and, for the lines inherited by the four Train Operating Companies in southern England, the period has witnessed a considerable transformation. Only one of the four original franchisees - South West Trains - remains, although even here there have been considerable changes to the company's liveries over the years, whilst both Southern and South Eastern have seen more than one franchisee in place. The fourth operator - Gatwick express - no longer exists, having been subsumed into an enlarged Southern operation.   Alongside the myriad liveries that resulted from this process, there has also been a revolution in the rolling stock operated. In the mid-1990s, when the franchises were first let, traditional slam-door stock was still widely in use. Over the next decade, however, this equipment was gradually withdrawn, to be replaced by brand-new classes such as the 444s and the 450s, whilst even some of the older non-slam-door stock, such as the Class 442 'Wessex Electrics', were withdrawn from their traditional routes and reallocated to other services. With the recent withdrawal of the final units from the Lymington branch, no slam-door stock is now in service over the Southern electrified network.

Portsmouth-based Bruce Oliver has been recording the changing face of EMU operation in Southern England for many years. His previously unpublished photographs have appeared in two earlier and successful volumes in the 'For the Modeller and Historian' series - the first covering the contemporary EMU scene with the second, published in 2010, covering the years prior to Privatisation. This third volume provides the link between the two earlier volumes in covering the evolution of the EMU fleet and its liveries from Privatisation through to the modern age.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
A poster commemorating the ‘Bennie Railplane’ is to go on permanent display at Milngavie station.

The extraordinary contraption even ran in Milngavie for several months in the 1930s, but failed to secure funding for further development.

George Bennie’s railplane was a form of rail transport – albeit powered by propellers.

His prototype ran over a 120-metre line in Milngavie which was demolished for scrap in the 1950s.

Despite its appearance, the Railplane was not a monorail as it used both an overhead running line and a guide rail below.

ScotRail, the train operator, is putting the famous poster on display.

It had been presented to Milngavie in Bloom by the Milngavie Book & Arts Festival.

The image captures the futuristic elegance of Bennie’s creation which was intended to run above conventional railways.

John Yellowlees, ScotRail’s external relations manager, said:

“It is sad that George Bennie, who died in 1957, was not able to deliver his vision.

“But I think he would be mightily impressed that Milngavie now has a half-hourly direct service to Edinburgh.”

Rona Miller, of the Milngavie Book & Arts Festival, said:

“The image on the poster promoted this year’s festival. We are delighted that it will have permanent home at Milngavie Station.”
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
The heritage Ecclesbourne Valley Railway ran the first Wirksworth to London service, and the first through train from Wirksworth for 64 years, on November 26th.

With 37 fare-paying passengers and a baby on board, the EVR Thames-Eclesbourne Express connected with an East Midlands Trains’ service at Duffield.

East Midlands Trains agreed to start their service from Chesterfield as opposed to its normal starting point of Derby, and made a special stop at Duffield to pick up EVR passengers.

The train operator even sent someone to the station to give out goody bags to the passengers.

Neil Ferguson-Lee from the EVR said :

“We are now beginning to build up that (Wirksworth through traffic) market and the Thames-Ecclesbourne Express showed the way forward.”

Next June will see Shottle, the EVR’s fifth station, open to passengers for the first time since 1947.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
TV programme on tramways


Published on Friday 2 December 2011 20:43

FILM footage held by the National Tramway Museum in Crich has been used as part of a documentary about the history of trams to be screened on television on Monday.

Museum curator Glynn Wilton has also been interviewed by the documentary- makers, as well as tram enthusiasts Richard and Anne Wiseman.

The programme is on Monday at 9pm on BBC 4.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
Move along the car! Timeshift takes a nostalgic trip on the tram car and
explores how it liberated overcrowded cities and launched the age of
commuter. The film maps the tram's journey from early horse-drawn
carriages on rails, through steam to electric power.

Overhead wires hung over Britain's towns and cities for nearly 50 years
from the beginning of the 20th century until they were phased out
everywhere except Blackpool. Manchester, the last city to lose its trams
was, however, among the first to reintroduce them as the solution to
modern day traffic problems.

The film includes a specially-recorded reading of his short story Leeds
Trams by Alan Bennett and contributions from Ken Dodd and Roy Hattersley

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017zqw8

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017zqw8/broadcasts/upcoming
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
Flying Scotsman’s Expensive Return To service - Now Scheduled for ‘Late Spring’
The purchase and overhaul of the National Railway Museum’s Iconic steam locomotive, No. 4472 Flying Scotsman now looks as though it could cost up to FOUR MILLION POUNDS.
The National Railway Museum has announced that the restoration of Flying Scotsman is expected to be complete by late spring 2012.
The iconic locomotive was expected to be completed during the summer of 2011 but unfortunately the project was delayed due to the discovery of a number of additional defects.
These were not spotted while the engine was under repair over the last five years and the engine was presented to the public and financial supporters last May. At this unveiling, it was anticipated that the engine would be operating on the main line by September but cracks were found in the frames, and the wheels also required attention.
The engine was dismantled and remedial work to the frames is currently underway at Riley & Son (E) Ltd in Bury and is focusing on ensuring that the locomotive is in a condition to be able to run for decades to come. The work due to take place on Flying Scotsman in the next few weeks includes the fabrication and installation of a new mid stretcher, the machining of the axle boxes, the manufacture of a new middle motion bracket and the repair and installation of the horn guides.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
Railfest 2012 - York
The National Railway Museum will host “Railfest 2012” a celebration of Britain’s railways. The nine-day event will take place June 2-10, 2012 and will offer the opportunity to visit locomotive cabs and ride behind several steam engines. There will also be a trade show and family activities during the celebration. The following locomotives have been announced but may be subject to change. Many more locos will be added to this list in the months leading up to the event.

A4 No.4468 Mallard
A3 No.4472 Flying Scotsman
LNWR Webb No.790 Hardwicke
LNER No.60163 Tornado
GWR No.3717 City of Truro
No.6229 Duchess of Hamilton with matching coach
Shropshire & Montgomeryshire 0-4-2WT Gazelle
Schools No.925 Cheltenham
RSH No.1 Castle Donington
A4 No.60007 Sir Nigel Gresley
9F No.92203 Black Prince
Peckett No.2150 Mardy Monster
Peckett No.2012 Teddy
Tysley 0-6-0PT No.L94
Webb No.1054 Coal Tank
No.55002 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Prototype HST
LMS Jubilee Class No.45596 Bahamas
LB&SCR Brighton Belle brake car No.88
Hunslet No.1786 Courage / Sweet Pea
More information will be available at the Railfest 2012 website: http://www.nrm.org.uk/PlanaVisit/Events/railfest2012.aspx
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
TRAIN enthusiasts are being given the opportunity to learn more about the area’s 1950s steam engines as part of the Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society’s latest lecture.

‘Steam around Stockport and Manchester in the 1950s’, an illustrated presentation by John Hilton, will take place at Altrincham Methodist Church Hall, Barrington Road, on Friday, December 9. The lecture begins at 7.30pm.

Admission to the presentation is free for AERPS members and £3.00 for non-members. Seasonal refreshments are included in the admission fee
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
BR First Generation Diesel Railbuses
Evan Green-Hughes
This new volume written by rail expert Evan Green - Hughes provides readers with everything they need to know about the BR First Generation Diesel Rail buses.

The railway industry in the mid-1950s faced a number of challenges. One of these problems was the rapid introduction to service of large number of new diesel and electric locomotives and multiple-units, many of which were untried and untested, whilst at the same time facing a rapid deterioration of the industry's finances as passenger and freight traffic declined. Whilst there had been limited line closures from the 1920s onwards, this was still the period before the Beeching report when wholesale line closures were not on the agenda and thus the railways sought a solution, using modern traction, for the most lightly-trafficked lines.

The answer was the small four-wheel diesel rail bus. Thus, in the late 1950s, a total of 22 units were acquired for passenger service (plus three for departmental use)from no less than six different manufacturers (including one based in Germany)for these lines. The units were allocated to the Eastern, Midland, Scottish and Western regions, where they saw service on a number of lines, including Cambridge to Mildenhall, the Saffron Walden branch, the Braintree branch, Crieff to Gleneagles, Bedford-Northampton, Hitchin-Bedford, Ayr-Kilmarnock, Tetbury-Kemble, Beith-Lugton, Padstow-Bodmin Road and Yeovil Town to Yeovil Junction.

Many of the lines for which they were built were to close, many a result of the Beeching 'axe', and thus the rail buses had a relatively short life. All the passenger vehicles were withdrawn by the late 1960s, although no fewer than six survive in preservation (including four of the German-built examples); two of the departmental units also survive in preservation.

This new reference guide includes information on allocation history, livery variations, coupling codes, under frame detail, number sequences and a whole host of other information. Illustrated throughout with 150 mono and colour photographs it will also include scale drawings of the main types.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
Britain's Historic Railway Buildings:
A Gazetteer of Structures and Sites
Gordon Biddle
Britain's Historic Railway Buildings is a magisterial reference work on the historic structures on Britain's railways in England, Scotland and Wales. First published in 2003 by OUP the author will bring the book fully up to date to provide a new book on the subject. In the last few decades the value of Britain's railway heritage has become increasingly important, and today thousands of structures are listed or scheduled.

This book includes over 2,300 of these structures, each of which is given a detailed description, supported by photographs, maps, a survey of the evolution of structures, summary of the listing process, a list of important buildings lost, biographical details of leading railway engineers and architects, glossary of terms; bibliography and index. Many structures still play an active part in railway operations but this book also covers structures no longer in active use. In this book the reader will find detailed information about the history of all the surviving historic railway structures in Britain, arranged in geographical order, large and small, from Brunel's pioneering Thames Tunnel to the modernist Tooting Bec Underground station, the monumental Forth Bridge to the small but delightful footbridges; gasworks and stations; viaducts and signalboxes - a multitude of structures paying tribute to the verve and drive of one of Britain's great industries of the last 200 years.


Latest Review

"As evidenced in Geoff Courtney's feature on pages 74/75, it is a common misnomer that railway heritage is the exclusive domain of the railway heritage sector. Our still-great national network still relies on classic buildings, bridges and infrastructure that date from the first century of steam and yet cannot be bettered.

In so many ways, therefore, Network Rail may be viewed as one great heritage railway. A great starting point to fully appreciate that fact in its finest detail is Ian Allan's magnificent new second edition of Gordon Biddle's Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, first published in 2003.

Divided into regions with maps and subdivided into counties, it lists every key surviving historical structure, from great main line stations to obscure bridges and tunnels, and even railwaymen's houses. Many of the entries are covered in colour or black and white pictures.

Each entry contains essential information about construction, architecture and use, both past and present, and listed building status.

Forget the price - for the sheer amount of painstaking research to produce the meticulous detail that has gone into this book, it is the bargain of the year.

In short, it is nothing less than a 2011 Domesday Book of British railway heritage treasures, and not only is it an essential ready reference guide, but also a joy to browse and discover the jewels on your doorstep or the places you intend to visit. Highly recommended."

Reviewed by: Heritage Railways
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Volunteers, many of them current or retired railway staff, at Crew Heritage Centre fear that all of their good work may be lost to the next generation if the local council sells the site’s lease to an unsympathetic buyer.

There is still 30 years left on the CHC lease, but the council is looking for someone to take it on a 125 year lease once the current lease expires, without the existing clause that the site has to remain as a museum.

The centre was opened by the Queen in 1987 and is home to 3 working signal boxes and numerous steam, diesel and electric locomotives, including the unique tilting APT.

It is also used to stable steam locomotives between main line running.

Crewe’s railway heritage goes back decades and includes not only the famous Crewe works, but also local heroic train driver Jack Mills, who was attacked trying to defend his mail train in 1963.

Such was the emotion surrounding Jack that cinemas refused to show the film Buster in the town.

Locals are also worried that the town’s Christ Church, built by the Grand Junction Railway company in 1845, could also be closed if money cannot be raised to carry out much needed repairs. It was the first railway funded church to be built in Crewe.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
TV programme boosts museum hits


Published on Thursday 8 December 2011 10:11

The National Tramway Museum received welcome exposure through the BBC4 ‘Time Watch’ series this week.

The Freeview channel broadcast an hour-long programme ‘The Golden Age of Trams on Monday evening.

Although the museum was not overtly named within the programme itself, featuring in the end credits, this did not prevent viewers picking up on the connection and seeking out the museum’s web site.

The website hits in the hour after the programme saw a remarkable increase of just over 160 per cent.

Daily web hits rose by 65.5 per cent from the previous Sunday to the Monday when the show was broadcast. Hits to the website continued to grow further on the Tuesday with a six per cent increase.

Glynn Wilton, museum curator said: “For years we have been aware that trams have largely ignored by historians and many calls from TV companies have simply been to include ‘a bit about trams’ in a transport programme. “I’ve been trying to convince programme makers for years to do a tram documentary and the response has been tremendous, the website hits have been a revelation.”
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
AN action plan is being drawn up to preserve 82 historic structures in danger of being lost to future generations.

Wrexham Council has published its buildings at risk review, identifying scores of old pubs, memorials, gates, signs and graveyards that need preservation.

The authority has also drawn up a strategy to be put before councillors next Tuesday to ensure the historic structures are not forgotten and left to languish in obscurity.

Council chiefs have reduced the number in the at risk category by 29% from 2002 by negotiating with owners and through conversion, re-use and repair.

Now the council is keen to ensure the others – like the medieval bridge at Holt – will not go to waste and have ranked them on a four-tier sliding scale from “grave risk” to “vulnerable”.

Structures in the grave risk category include The Dymock Arms in Penley, which was damaged by fire, and the vertical winding engine house at Wynnstay Colliery.

Plas Newydd at Ruabon and Fenn’s Moss Peat Processing Works in Bronington were classed as extreme risk, with some graves at All Saints Church, Gresford and the Seven Stars pub, Wrexham, categorised as at risk.

Vulnerable structures included the Cup and Saucer hydraulic ram at Erddig and Ruabon railway station.

In many cases the council has drawn up a tailored action plan to approach private owners, encouraging them to adopt a maintenance routine and explore options to develop or secure funding to renovate the structures.

Wrexham also has seven council-owned listed buildings at risk and 35 buildings identified as being in a vulnerable condition which they will look to protect.

In a report, head of community Lawrence Isted said: “Regular maintenance and inspection of an historic property allows for the early identification of problems, saving both time and money in the long term. The cost of undertaking routine maintenance and minor repairs when necessary will inevitably be less costly and disruptive than extensive repair, both in financial terms and with regard to the loss of traditional materials and features.

“Where historic properties are left to fall into disrepair, the decay of the original fabric can follow quickly, often resulting in major damage and the need for full replacement of features.”
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
THE Electric Railway Museum has been handed one of the highest railway preservation accolades possible.

The Heritage Railway Association (HRA) chose it as the winner of the Small Groups Award in recognition of its efforts to preserve less fashionable stock.

The museum, opened in 2008, aims to promote the heritage of all electric trains in the UK is run entirely by volunteers with donations made by the public.

It recently began restoring a Advanced Passenger Train Prototype, which held the UK rail speed record of 162.2 mph - set in 1979 - for 23 years.

Chairman Graeme Gleaves said: "I cannot thank all the volunteers who have worked effortlessly to make this happen enough.

"I am so proud of each and every one of them; we have built an outstanding team that have turned the site from a storage depot to a viable museum and this award is something for us all to share and celebrate.

"The award is testament to everything we have worked so hard to achieve over the last few years and proof what we are doing is not only the right thing, but that the results are being noticed far beyond our own perimeter fence."

Heritage Railway magazine editor Robin Jones said the museum could become a real tourist attraction.

He said the museum's volunteers were involved in preservation in its purest form and were saving essential items for future generations.

"Given the right degree of support and backing from the powers that be, the museum should take off as a major and unique visitor attraction for Coventry while providing a fantastic and unrivalled education resource," Mr Jones added.

Electric Railway Museum is open for visits throughout the year subject to prior notice and hosts regular open weekends.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
Local people in Victorian times were generally delighted when the railway arrived to connect them with the outside world, bringing untold benefits. Unfortunately, before they could get the trains, they got the navvies who built it and who could prove very disruptive to local life.

The navvies – an abbreviation of navigator as they were the direct descendants of the men who built the canals – were a special breed of labourer, highly skilled and resourceful, but wild and prone to drunken binges. They were not local  but rather would travel around the country working wherever railways were being built which in some periods such as the 1840s and 1860s was pretty much everywhere.  There were at the peak some 200,000 navvies, who did all the hardest tasks on the railways, such as tunnelling, blasting and cutting and left the more menial tasks, such as taking away spoil, to local labourers.

The navvies outdrank, outfought and outrioted the local labourers whom they despised. Cecil Torr, the author of Small Talk at Wreyland published in the First World War, described how his grandfather’s complaints during construction of the line from Newton Abbot to Moretonhampstead in Devon in 1864. There was fighting al night and ‘the villains stole poor old Xs fowls…there is not a fowl or egg to be got hereabouts’. It was not all bad though. Torr’s grandfather spoke of one ‘fine built tall like a fellow as you ever saw, and nicknamed the Bulldog’. The fellow slept in a barn, and spent his whole 5s 6d (27.5p) wages at the public house on a Saturday night.  The disruption, however, was short lived. Navvies built railways extraordinarily fast by today’s standards and a small branch line such as this one would be completed in a couple of months after which the contractor, together with all his men, would move on to the next site.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
Some may find this site interesting-

http://www.steamindex.com/

(If you get diverted to the weblink advertisement and can't get back, try putting 'steam index' into google.)
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
------ EH.NET BOOK REVIEW ------
Title: Locating the Industrial Revolution: Inducement and Response

Published by EH.NET (December 2011)

Eric L. Jones, /Locating the Industrial Revolution: Inducement and Response/.
Singapore: World Scientific, 2010. vii + 272 pp. $68 (hardcover), ISBN:
978-981-4295-25-3.

Reviewed for EH.Net by Dan Bogart, Department of Economics, University of
California -- Irvine.

The Industrial Revolution is often modeled as a national or continental
phenomenon.  The most common questions are why did Britain industrialize
first and not France, or why Europe and not Asia? However, there is a case to
be made that the Industrial Revolution was a regional phenomenon. Here the
classic question is why did northern England industrialize and southern
England not. Southern England was more densely populated and had significant
manufacturing ca.1700. Its de-industrialization poses a puzzle.  

Eric Jones’s most recent book, /Locating the Industrial Revolution/,
studies the British Industrial Revolution from the perspective of the
north-south divide. One of its main arguments is that pre-railway transport
improvements led to more integrated product and factor markets within England
and that once trade costs declined industry began to concentrate in the North
and leave the South. The northward shift in manufacturing was gradual and
out-migration from the South too slow to maintain southern living standards
by the mid-nineteenth century.  Industrialization was painful for some in
southern England.  A key question is whether the North had an initial
comparative advantage in manufacturing because of natural resource
advantages. Jones argues that endowments like coal did not decidedly favor
the North. The argument is three-fold. First, the South had some natural
resources, like timber. Second, it could have imported the resources it did
not have, especially once transport costs declined. Third, southern decline
included industries that did not use coal, including consumer goods
industries. Although doubts are raised about the significance of coal, Jones
does not put the argument entirely to rest. For some industries, like iron
production, the North must have had a comparative advantage. It is possible
that once these coal-using industries became concentrated in the North, firms
in other industries found it economical to locate nearby. Thus there may have
been little southern manufacturers could have done to stem the northward
shift in industry. The key issue is whether location of workers in all
sectors, including consumer goods, was largely dependent on endowments or
whether other factors, like business practices, mattered too. In my opinion,
the issue needs to be settled with fresh data and econometric techniques.

Jones offers an alternative theory -- that southerners failed to
“respond” to northern competition, noting a lack of dynamism in its
manufacturing sector. The reasons for its sluggishness are not made entirely
clear.  Culture and institutions are referenced as being important factors
in the industrial revolution as a national phenomenon, but they are not shown
to have a bearing on the regional divergence.  For instance, Jones gives a
critique of the landowning class, emphasizing their predilection for
fox-hunting, conspicuous consumption, and bullying of the poor. While there
is no denying that some landowners had these characteristics, it is not clear
that southerners expressed them more than northerners. Perhaps what is most
crucial is the relative size of the landowning class in the South. Pursuing
the issue further it is not clear that blood sports and the peculiar social
practices of landowners were growth retarding during early industrialization,
no matter how repugnant they are to modern sensibilities. Jones argues that
blood sports absorbed too much of the energy and capital of southern
landowners. That may be true, but one could also argue that Britain’s
landowning class played some role in propelling industrialization. They did
provide much of the capital for transport improvements after all.

Borough and guild resistance to innovation is another classical explanation
for southerners’ failure to respond. Jones gives the example of the Exeter
Weavers Company increasing its enforcement of anti-competitive practices as
northern competition intensified. Although guilds are not the main focus of
the book, they do raise some interesting questions for the north-south
divergence. Perhaps there were some key differences in industrial practices
within Britain, as there were across countries.

Transport improvements are an engine of change in Jones’s analysis.
Infrastructure improvements in rivers, roads, and canals were indeed
significant from 1700 to 1830. Equally important, there were technological
changes in carriages and road-building and improvements in the structuring of
transport firms.  The end results were a large decline in transport costs
within road transport and large transport cost savings from shifting to
canals and rivers. As one goes deeper there are some complications however.
First, we lack estimates of the effects of transport improvements on
industrial location or occupation in pre-railway Britain. Second, there is
often an implicit assumption that transport changes were equal within the
North and South. This may be incorrect. The North had more canals than the
South and there is some evidence that southern counties spent less
maintaining and improving local roads compared to northern counties.
Intra-regional transport advantages could explain why the north was more
responsive to the opportunities provided by a unified national market.

Jones has an interesting chapter relating to current debates about the
differential fertility of the upper class. Greg Clark has argued that the
rich in Britain had more children and were carriers of preferences more
favorable to work and thrift.  Jones uses a study of his own ancestry to
illustrate that the downwardly mobile tended to have fewer children. Some of
the poorer members of the surrounding community also turned to criminal
behavior.  The intention of the case study is not to settle the debate about
fertility patterns and their implications for preferences, but rather to add
some illustrations to the statistical abstractions offered in other studies.

Overall, /Locating the Industrial Revolution/ is a welcome contribution to
the literature. Most importantly, it incorporates and emphasizes spatial
analysis in studying the industrial revolution. Those interested in the
sources of industrial success will profit from its reading.

Dan Bogart has recently written “Did the Glorious Revolution Contribute to
the Transport Revolution? Evidence from Investment in Roads and Rivers,”
/Economic History Review/ (November 2011), as well as other work on
Britain’s transport development during industrialization.

Copyright (c) 2011 by EH.Net. All rights reserved. This work may be copied
for non-profit educational uses if proper credit is given to the author and
the list. For other permission, please contact the EH.Net Administrator
(administrator@eh.net). Published by EH.Net (December 2011). All EH.Net
reviews are archived at http://www.eh.net/BookReview.

Geographic Location: Europe
Subject: Economic Development, Growth, and Aggregate Productivity, Industry:
Manufacturing and Construction, Urban and Regional History
Time: 18th Century, 19th Century
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
The Victorian Advanced Transit System By Paul Delplanque on Dec 15, 11 06:00 AM

During the 1970s through to the 21st century there has been much discussion over whether Teesside should have a light railway system, the Cleveland Advanced Transit or CAT as it was known. It seems that this idea has all but died now and yet over 100 years ago our Victorian ancestors not only planned such a thing for Teesside, they actually built it.

The map from 1898 showing the full extent of the tramway system intended for Teesside. The lines intersect with all the major railway stations and even anticipate a suburban expansion into the countryside south of Linthorpe and Acklam

The Victorians have often been depicted in the media as being old fashioned and conservative and yet when it came to building towns and cities they were anything but. In the Victorian era Teesside was a new frontier and the towns within it were expanding at a rapid rate. Towards the end of the 19th century an entrepreneurial Victorian company decided that what Teesside needed was an integrated transport system.

Electric trams running along Newport Road, Middlesbrough on the very first day in 1898

The idea was to link all the major railway stations on Teesside with a rapid transport system and in the 1890s the state of the art form of transport was the electric tram operated by the Imperial Tramways Company. The electric tram idea was brand new having only been introduced in America a few years before. It was quiet (when it was new) clean with no smoke or horse droppings and above all cheap to run. The original concept for the system on Teesside was ambitious and would see a service that would encompass most of the communities, as they then existed.

The terminus at North Ormesby, but the line was intended to extend from here all the way to Grangetown

The line, which opened in 1898 ran from Norton Green down Norton Road where it connected with a railway station on the line that once ran to South Durham Steel Works. Continuing through Stockton High Street and then over the new Victoria Bridge built 1887, the line connected with Thornaby Station which was still new having been completed in 1882. Running towards Middlesbrough the line then connected with the railway station at Newport before running into central Middlesbrough. Here it crossed with a line running from Linthorpe to the not yet built Transporter Bridge passing Middlesbrough railway station before running on to North Ormesby where it terminated.

The importance of help for Middlesbrough's hospitals before the NHS was put on track by the appearance of this decorated tram in 1925 for Middlesbrough's charity carnival

However, the original plans unearthed in our archive shows that the system was to be even larger than this. There was to be a line running all the way to Yarm passing the station at Eaglescliffe and then terminating at Yarm Railway Station. Eastwards beyond North Ormesby, the line was to run into South Bank and Grangetown. Southwards the line was to extend beyond Linthorpe and amazingly travel all the way to what is now the A174 Parkway somewhere between Acklam Road and Marton Road.

A recently discovered photograph of the very last tram to run on Teesside in June 1934. It ran along Linthorpe Road from the Transporter, hence it is only a single decker because it had to go underneath the Albert Bridge. Image supplied by Alan Dowson

This is possibly the most significant of all the planned developments for the line because it suggests that if the Victorians were planning to build a tramway over what was open fields, then perhaps this area had already been earmarked for expanding Victorian suburbia. Imagine; brand new Victorian villas set in a semi-rural Arcadian environment with an efficient tramway to transport you, a very attractive proposition for the expanding professional and middle-classes then living in Teesside.

Unfortunately not a recently discovered colour photograph of trams on Teesside, these are at Beamish Museum. However, it gives us a better impression than the black and white pictures of how these vehicles actually appeared when they were in their prime.

The whole ambitious network as originally envisioned may not have been completed, but the Victorians still had a working integrated transit system while our generation has been talking about it for three decades with no result. Is this a case of Victorian entrepreneurs versus late 20th century local authorities? If so the Victorians were the winners.

http://rememberwhen.gazettelive.co.uk/2011/12/the-victorian-advanced-transit.html
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Photo: Michael Wilmore.Record visitor numbers at Kent & East Sussex Railway
13 Jan 2012 ⋅ by A. Samuel ⋅ in Heritage, Rail News ⋅ 0 Comments Kent’s best loved steam railway, The Kent & East Sussex Railway in Tenterden, welcomed 100,000 visitors in 2011.

This is an increase of 7% on 2010′s numbers.

The railway’s General Manager Graham Baldwin said:

“We are delighted that in times of recession our visitor numbers are increasing.

“With the continued support of our 400 volunteers and tourism partners we hope 2012 will also be a good year for the railway.

“Our great value family tickets and popular events programme have contributed to our success and this year we will be adding a number of brand new events which include for families ‘Rock with the Tots’ starring childrens’ TV favourite Fifi Forget-me-Not and her best friend Bumble, a WW1 living history event and in August a sixties revival weekend.”

For more information on the railway or to book tickets, visit http://www.kesr.org.uk.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
THE owners of a railway attraction in York have secured permission to make improvements which they hope will draw in more visitors.

City of York Council has approved plans to extend the length of the platform at the Derwent Valley Light Railway at Murton, allowing a former British Rail carriage to “fit more comfortably”, and to make the entrance to the station more “customer-friendly”.

The scheme will also see a replica cattle dock being installed at the site which the applicants said would “create an educational part of the station” and offer an “improved customer experience”.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
MORE than 3,000 visitors flocked to the Chiltern Model Railway Exhibition in St Albans this weekend.

The annual event held at the Alban Arena, St Peters Street, attracted 15 per cent more visitors than last year, exhibition manager David Crossley said.

He said model railway enthusiasts were able to browse new demonstrations such as a hands-on soldering exercise for children.

Mr Crossley added: "It takes an awful lot of effort to put it on every year, but at the end it feels worthwhile to see how much people get out of it, especially those who watch the demonstrations."

The exhibition displayed 25 model layouts of railways from all over the world, and provided children with periscopes so they could make the most of viewing the demonstrations
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Saturday 12th November 2011 saw the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, Minor Railways Section (MRS) hold their biennial technical seminar at Kidderminster Railway Museum, next to the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) in Worcestershire.

It’s an appropriate venue with audible heritage reminders throughout the day; the hiss of steam and thud of slam doors; the café below the lecture hall with an ebb and flow of banter that coincided with the departure of trains; the kids on outings knocking seven bells (literally) out of the block instruments in the museum below.

It was all very atmospheric.

Some sixty five members and guests from various minor railways around the UK attended the sponsored, free-to-attend event with the overall theme being “Signalling the Link”.

With the President and Chief Executive of the Institution present, Major Ian Hughes acted as the master of ceremonies and formally introduced a wide range of speakers, arranging for questions at the end of each session.

Redundant materials

David Helliwell, MRS Chairman, gave an introduction to the Section and the event. He was followed by Ian James Allison, Founding Chairman of the MRS, who outlined the history, achievements and highlights of the Section over the past two years.

Martijn Huibers, MRS Secretary, spoke about “The disposal of redundant Network Rail materials and the way forward”.

With the real prospect of a significant amount of equipment being made available by the largest heritage railway in the UK (Network Rail), it was appropriate that protocols were in place to manage this.

Martijn appealed to the minor railways to participate in a scheme that would allow surplus equipment to be made available to colleagues. He also gave details of the planned Section visit to the Netherlands in July 2012.

With a wealth of practical knowledge from the ‘inside’, Charles Weightman, Network Rail HQ, spoke about “Making the connection to Network Rail from other railways” with detailed examples of how this has been achieved or planned for the future.

Following the mid-morning refreshments, the proceedings expanded the day’s theme.

Dominic Beglin, Peak Rail S&T, (and of which more of later in the day) spoke regarding “The project to connect Peak Rail to the National Network (Pitfalls – Problems – Plans)” whilst Craig Donald, North Yorkshire Moors Railway S&T, gave an insight into “Signalling the Link between NYMR and NR, what has been achieved to date and the future plans for future development”.

Off piste, Grahame Taylor, Tern Systems Ltd, gave a rapid-fire summary of his TERN system, a simple, cost effective processor-based aid for Train Controllers and a story that has been running for the last 25 years. A live demonstration using GPRS ran through the day on the TERN trade stand.

Quentin Macdonald, Quaestus (Poppleton) Ltd, had a tale of two links and the issues encountered along the way with Network Rail at Cae Pawb – the flat crossing on the Welsh Highland Railway – and at UK Coal’s Butterwell open cast site.

Time-critical deadlines

A buffet lunch courtesy of the event’s sponsors was provided following questions and all members and guests were afforded plenty of time to indulge.

There were opportunities for viewing the museum and station, the trade stands and the Kidderminster (SVR) Signal Box before returning for the afternoon sessions.

After lunch Kevin Weston, Longleat Railway S&T gave an account of the installation of “A Level Crossing for a Narrow Gauge Railway”.

It’s not just the main line network that has to deal with time-critical deadlines. Kevin showed that many considerations are common to all railways regardless of size.

Ian Hughes then outlined the progress towards a Minor Railways safety passport which is 100% in line with HSE guidance specifically for the minor rail sector.

Much closer to home – in fact, within a few hundred yards – John Phillips, Severn Valley Railway S&T, gave his take on the nearby Network Rail Resignalling and the “Interface to the SVR” demonstrating the challenges and changes required to achieve correctly signalled routes between the two railways.

Guideline Documents

As master of ceremonies, Major Hughes ran the proceedings with an iron hand and not a minute was lost, to the extent that the afternoon tea queue arrived early at its destination, wrong-footing the caterers for a moment.

A select number of exhibitors occupied the prime position next to the tea queue. The steady, not hurried, pace of tea pouring ensured that everyone had time to see every stand.

On show were Señalización Ltd, Henry Williams Ltd and Green Dragon Rail Ltd.

Stuart Marsh of Signal Aspects Ltd was there with an array of LED devices along with his narrow gauge point machine that had been heroically manhandled up the fire escape.

Following refreshments, the proceedings continued with the Section Chairman David Helliwell, who is also the MRS Document Co-ordinator.

He spoke about the production and management of Guideline Documents associated with signalling and telecommunications, the progress achieved to date and how different railways and individuals could assist in the development;

In a final reference to the theme of the day, David Barnes, Spa Valley Railway, spoke about how the railway was reopened between Groombridge and Eridge in Kent and how this project was achieved.

Golden envelope

Then came the award ceremony complete with golden envelope. Mike Tyrrell, MRS Award Organiser, introduced this year’s finalists for the Volunteer S&T Technician of the Year award.

This is designed to encourage greater interest in railway signalling and telecommunications within the volunteer sector whilst increasing the awareness of the IRSE and its Minor Railways Section.

With the support of the rail engineer magazine, the award is administered by the Minor Railways Section of the IRSE and is targeted at volunteer S&T individuals from minor and heritage railways who are over the age of 16.

They must be actively working in the maintenance, installation, testing or design of S&T equipment and systems.

The winner receives nominal ownership of the Winner’s Trophy for the period of one year and £100 in cash, a commemorative certificate and commemorative miniature trophy together with one year’s free membership of the IRSE at an appropriate grade.

They will also be awarded attendance at a leading Industry Training School for relevant identified training and the opportunity to work with other S&T staff on other minor/heritage railways for experience and further understanding.

The Section is grateful to Charles Hudson MBE, for donating a single line train staff as the trophy and John Francis, for chairing an independent committee to review all the applications for the award and to select the award winner.

Out of a wide range of candidates the finalists were Dominic Beglin of Peak Rail & Churnet Valley Railway, Shawn Sanders of the Great Central Railway and Michael Sargent of the Bluebell Railway.

John Francis provided background about all the three finalists at this event, after which Charles Hudson opened the envelope and announced Dominic Beglin as the winner before awarding him the prizes.

Postscript

A closing address was given by Claire Porter, President of the IRSE, about the successes of the Section and the potential to develop further in the near future.

The Section is also grateful to the sponsors of this event, Signal Aspects Ltd, Señalización Ltd, the rail engineer magazine, Henry Williams Ltd, Green Dragon Rail Ltd, TERN Systems Ltd and Centregreat Rail Ltd.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Dedicated Swanage Railway volunteers and staff are carrying out major £100,000 drainage system replacement work at Swanage station – the first time such extensive work has been carried out at the Victorian terminus since the steam days of British Railways almost 50 years ago.

Taking eight weeks to complete, the extensive work involves lifting the railway tracks, digging out the clay underneath to a depth of up to six feet – together with the old post-war drainage system – and laying a new drainage system made of modern and more effective and efficient materials.

While trains are not operating to and from Swanage because of the civil engineering work, a diesel rail bus shuttle train service is still running at the other end of the relaid Purbeck Line – between Norden Park & Ride and Corfe Castle stations on Saturdays and Sundays until 26 February, 2012 (inclusive).

The Swanage Railway Company’s volunteer chairman Peter Sills said:

“This is a major £100,000 investment in the infrastructure of the Swanage Railway so the trains can keep running well into the future because our tracks require a good drainage system to stay in the very best condition.

“When the first volunteers started to rebuild the Swanage Railway from nothing at a disused Swanage station in 1976, they inherited a derelict and blocked drainage system after British Rail ran down, closed and then demolished the branch line railway in 1972.

“We’re using modern drainage system materials – such as permeable plastic membranes – which the Victorian designers of the Swanage branch line back in the early 1880s could never have dreamed of. The last time the Swanage station drainage system was upgraded was probably around 50 years ago during the days of British Railways,” explained Mr Sills.

Over the past two years, the Swanage Railway has invested more than £200,000 in relaying a mile of new track between the limits of Swanage station and Herston Halt on the outskirts of Swanage – track that was originally laid during the early days of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The diesel rail bus shuttle trains depart Norden Park & Ride and Corfe Castle every 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays between 10.45am and 3.55pm until 26 February, 2012 (inclusive).

Tickets are £1 for an adult single and £2 for an adult return – with children travelling free of charge.

Full steam train services are due to resume between Norden Park & Ride, Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross, Herston Halt and Swanage on Saturday, 3 March, 2012.

After 35 years of rebuilding work, the Swanage Railway now carries more than 200,000 passengers a year and has become the most visited paid-for attraction in Dorset.

The award-winning Swanage Railway operates some 2,800 trains a year, mostly steam-hauled, with those trains clocking up a total of almost 17,000 miles – that is two thirds of the way around the world.

Contributing around £10 million to the Purbeck economy, profits from the Swanage Railway’s train services are ploughed back into the development and extension of the heritage railway and its facilities.

The Swanage Railway is run by some 500 regular volunteers – assisted by a team of more than 30 paid staff – and the value of the volunteers’ work is some £2 million a year if they were paid.

Full Swanage Railway service and special event details are available from the Swanage Railway on 01929 475207 – or by visiting http://www.swanagerailway.co.uk.
 

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