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Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Flying Scotsman

The National Railway Museum recently announced that locomotive 46115 Scots Guardsman, will be replacing 4472 Flying Scotsman as the locomotive to pull the Olympic Flame from York to Thirsk on 20 June 2012. Scots Guardsman is one of only two remaining LMS Royal Scot Class 4-6-0 locomotives and featured in the 1936 film, Night Mail.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Plans are being drawn up to preserve historic parts of the Great Western main line.

English Heritage is teaming up with National Rail while it modernises the track to protect old structures and buildings along the line.

The 116-mile (187km) line was built 176 years ago by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to open up trade routes.

It runs from London through Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire to Bristol.

Network Rail is spending £350m on expanding and electrifying part of the Great Western main line over the next five years.

Views wanted
At the same time English Heritage is drawing up a list of bridges, tunnels, viaducts and other buildings along the line which it thinks are of particular importance and need protecting.

It has identified 50 buildings and structures as deserving closer attention and is now consulting the public to see which Victorian structures they love most.

People have until 9 May to make their comments.

Emily Gee, head of designation at English Heritage, said: "While the whole Great Western railway is historically remarkable, statutory listing is warranted for its buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

"After carefully examining the documentary evidence and the structures themselves, it is likely that certain further bridges and other railway buildings will merit listing, and others might be upgraded to better reflect their importance.

"English Heritage is working closely with Network Rail and their professional advisers - and now the public - to fully understand and protect the most special aspects of this significant Victorian railway achievement, to help prepare it for its next exciting phase."


Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

On track to save railway history

THE future of Swindon’s most historic railway sites are set to be safeguarded as part of a project by English Heritage.

Swindon grew as a railway town on the pioneering Great Western route, which was built 176 years ago by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Earlier this month, Network Rail began work on electrifying part of the historic line as part of their 10-year improvement plan, due to be completed by 2017.

In response to this major infrastructure project, English Heritage, with the support from Network Rail, are consulting on the historic and architectural significance of a number of historic railway buildings, bridges and tunnels along the 116 miles of track of the Great Western main line.

Of the 50 buildings and structures which have been identified as deserving closer attention, six have been identified in the Swindon area.

On the list are Ermin Street’s roman bridge, Swindon Station island platform building, the Railway Works subway entrance on Station Road, Swindon Road overbridge, the Bourton Overbridge and the Bourton Church Overbridge.

Patrick Hallgate, route managing director for Network Rail Western, said: “The Great Western Railway is undergoing the biggestinvestment since it was built by Brunel to deliver faster, greener, more reliable services with additional seats for passengers.

“Electrification will improve links between towns and cities and, critically, help stimulate economic growth across the region.

“We recognise the historical and heritage significance of this railway, which is why we’re working closely with English Heritage now to make sure that any sensitive structures are safeguarded ahead of construction.”

The consultation runs for three weeks until May 9 and will help confirm the part these played in the development of the line and provide evidence of their significance.

Following the consultation, English Heritage will recommend to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport which should be designated.

Swindon Council, Steam and the Railway Heritage Trust are among some of the bodies being consulted as well as railway enthusiasts and the general public.

Emily Gee, head of designation at English Heritage, said: “While the whole Great Western Railway is historically remarkable, statutory listing is warranted for its buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

“After carefully examining the documentary evidence and the structures themselves, it is likely that certain further bridges and other railway buildings will merit listing, and others might be upgraded to better reflect their importance.

“English Heritage is working closely with Network Rail and their professional advisers — and now the public — to fully understand and protect the most special aspects of this significant Victorian railway achievement, to help prepare it for its next exciting phase.”

wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

The Bakerloo Line was rumoured to have been built to service the needs of a few London businessmen who needed to get to Lord's Cricket ground in super-fast time.

While this has never been confirmed, the famous route (which is coloured brown on Harry Beck's iconic tube map) has a dark history.

The idea for the line came about in 1865 to run between Waterloo and Great Scotland Yard.

It might sound crazy now, but it was proposed to be a pneumatic railway - which means the rolling stock would be fired through tunnel by air pressure!

Work on the line started in June 1898 and was bank-rolled by shady mining entrepreneur Whitaker Wright. Mr Wright, is turned out, was Mr Wrong.

Described as a swindler who indulged in sharp practices, Wright dodged his way through life until his dubious financial operations caught up with him.

According to Wikipedia:

On 26 January 1904, Wright was convicted of fraud at the Royal Courts of Justice and given a seven year prison sentence. He committed suicide by swallowing cyanide in a court anteroom immediately afterward.
The inquest also revealed that he had been carrying a revolver in his pocket, presumably as a backup: he was never searched as the security was weaker at the Royal Courts, which were of course Civil Courts, the trial being held there as it was deemed likelier that the special jury required would be less prejudiced against the accused than a normal jury at the Old Bailey criminal court, which was in the City.

In spite of his financial errors, there was a great outburst of grief at his funeral at Witley where he is buried.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

A 1940s steam locomotive will arrive at a Dorset seaside resort later, 46 years after it was banned from travelling along the route because of its bulk.

In 1966, Clan Line, which weighed 150 tonnes, was prevented from travelling past Wareham as it was too heavy for the single branch line to Swanage.

Smaller locomotives hauled its occupants to the resort instead.

Swanage Railway Company chairman Peter Sills called it "the greatest preserved Southern Railway steam locomotive".

It was built at Eastleigh, Hampshire, during 1948 and withdrawn by British Railways a year after its failed trip to the seaside.

The journey can be made today because under-bridges on the rebuilt Swanage Railway were strengthened during the early 1990s to carry Merchant Navy class steam locomotives.

Mr Sills added: "It will be great to finally welcome Clan Line to Corfe Castle and Swanage 46 years after it was prevented from running down the branch line from Wareham because of the British Railways locomotive weight restriction policy of the time.

"Named after Merchant Navy shipping companies, locomotives like Clan Line hauled long express trains from the capital to the coast, so this 12-coach excursion train from London to Swanage is very fitting and has great historical resonance."

It is due to pass through Wareham at 12:58 BST, running into Corfe Castle at 13:37 and arriving in Swanage at 13:53.

wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

‘Banned’ locomotive makes return trip

A 1940s ‘Orient Express’ steam locomotive will haul a prestigious excursion train from London to Corfe Castle and Swanage today – 46 years after British Rail banned the massive engine from running down to the Purbeck seaside resort.
Hauled by the 150-tonne Southern Railway Merchant Navy class Bulleid Pacific No. 35028 ‘Clan Line’ – built at Eastleigh in Hampshire during 1948 – the 12-coach ‘Royal Wessex’ departed London’s Victoria station this morning.

In 1966, Clan Line hauled another excursion train from London bound for Corfe Castle and Swanage – but the massive locomotive could not travel further than Wareham because it was too heavy for the single branch line down to the Purbeck seaside resort.

Now the mighty Clan Line can haul UK Railtours’ Royal Wessex excursion train all the way to Corfe Castle and Swanage because under-bridges on the rebuilt Swanage Railway were strengthened during the early 1990s to carry Merchant Navy class steam locomotives.

Swanage Railway Company chairman Peter Sills said:

“It will be great to finally welcome ‘Clan Line’ to Corfe Castle and Swanage 46 years after it was prevented from running down the branch line from Wareham because of the British Railways locomotive weight restriction policy of the time.

“‘Clan Line’ is a really marvellous machine and is widely considered to be the greatest preserved Southern Railway steam locomotive of them all.”

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Underground, Overground: A Passenger’s History of the Tube, by Andrew Martin, Profile, RRP£14.99, 320 pages

If you were looking for the quintessential London Underground experience, you could do worse than take a Waterloo & City train from Waterloo Station to Bank.
Granted, “The Drain” – as the line is known – consists of just two stations, and by riding the only completely subsurface line on the system you would miss out on one of its contradictory pleasures: that moment when light pours into the train as it emerges from a tunnel on to a stretch of dusky Zone 3 track.
But on less romantic measures, it ticks all the boxes. The two stops serve commuters bound for the City, just as the earliest Underground lines were created to do, and it ploughs its way through a tunnel more than 20ft below ground, thus earning the moniker “Tube” (unlike the “cut-and-cover” lines closer to the surface).
In Underground, Overground, Andrew Martin celebrates the Waterloo & City line, along with the rest of the Tube network. Using history, engineering for dummies and personal anecdote, he shows how London’s expansion was driven by the Underground, and how the Underground was driven by a succession of hard-headed visionaries, whom he calls the Tube Martyrs.
From Charles Pearson (1793-1862), who hoped an underground rail system would improve the lives of the poor by letting them live on London’s greener outskirts and work in the centre; to Charles Yerkes (1837-1905), the American rapscallion of the Victorian period who wooed women and railway investors alike, leaving the former rather happier than the latter; to Frank Pick (1878-1941), a dour-seeming aesthete who designed the Tube’s roundel, that bisected bull’s eye recognised the world over: none was quite satisfied with what he had wrought.
Nor are the Tube’s passengers entirely happy; they’ve been complaining about hot and crowded trains for more than a century. At least today’s carriages have large windows, unlike the coffin-like cars of the City & South London line (now the Bank branch of the Northern Line).
Martin, an author and a journalist who wrote a column for the Evening Standard about the Tube in the late 1990s, is no Underground apologist. He earns the lay reader’s trust by dismissing as awful a number of novels and films set on the Tube, and keeps it by admitting the foibles of this cobbled-together system, on which we creak around sharp bends because the private companies that built the lines tried to run them under public streets, to avoid paying landowners for their freeholds.
Seeing Martin puzzle his way through the history is half the fun, as are his lively interlocutors. When he asks a platform guard at Bank why the two moving walkways next to the Waterloo & City line work in parallel in the mornings, taking passengers to the street, but not in the evenings, when only one switches to run in the opposite direction, the response is sharp: “Because there’d be an almighty bloody pile-up at the barriers, wouldn’t there?”
The book suffers from the occasional descent into the style of a ramblers’ guide, complete with the terror it inspires of taking a wrong turn and finding yourself utterly lost. “Let us follow a London, Chatham & Dover train over that bridge in 1865,” Martin writes. “On reaching Ludgate Hill it descends into a tunnel and runs north through the new Snow Hill Tunnel to connect with the Metropolitan at Farringdon.”
Elsewhere, the language is beautiful. In describing the origins of Euston, St Pancras and King’s Cross, the termini of overground railways barred from driving further south into central London, he writes, “the railways were alighting on the New Road like birds perching on a branch”.
Now, as Crossrail and the Thameslink do away with those old mainline railway restrictions, how will Charles Pearson’s solution – the Underground – fare? Crossrail will ease capacity on an overloaded network, but that could be undone by population growth.
Martin is not dewy-eyed. His answer to the capacity crunch? “The Tube made [London] too big and it remains too big ... Get everyone who hasn’t got a good excuse for being in London out of it.”
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

PLANS to bring the Great Central Railway to Mountsorrel are well on track thanks to another charitable boost.

The Mountsorrel Railway Project has been awarded the Loughborough Round Table’s 10th monthly £260 giveaway.

The project has reached a point where progress is only limited by the available funds but already 40 per cent of the new track has been laid by volunteers who have even restored and partially rebuilt the bridge which allows the railway to pass under Wood Lane.

Local schools and community groups have also been involved encouraging children to become ‘Wildlife Warriors’ and help nearby wildlife.

Project leader Steve Cramp said: “The Loughborough Round Table grant has come at the perfect time and will be put to very good use indeed.

“With phase two complete and over half a mile of track laid along the branch line, our focus has turned towards raising the remaining £13,000 we need to buy enough rail to reach Wood Lane on the outskirts of Mountsorrel.

“This is a tremendously exciting time for the many community volunteers involved with the project.

“So much work has gone in over the last four and a half years and it’s gratifying to see us edging closer to completion.”

James Tyler, chair of Loughborough Round Table, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Mountsorrel Railway Project and have been impressed with what has been achieved so far.

“It is fantastic to see how the local community has been involved, and we look forward to seeing the project completed and operational.”

Any local charities wishing to apply for the remaining months of the 260 giveaway should apply online via the Loughborough Round Table website at http://www.loughboroughroundtable.org.uk

wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Hosting the Olympic Games is supposed to be not just a proud national moment, but also a wealth-creating event.

As money pours into the hosting country, and more directly the city, everyone should benefit.

But not if you belong to one of the families living in Brazil's favelas.

An estimated 1.5 million families in the shanty towns around Brazil's major cities Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are literally getting in the way of renovation projects for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Bulldozing of homes in Favela do Metro, Rio de Janeiro, has already begun, with hundreds of families forced to relocate. Human Rights Watch is warning of violations and abuses.

Concerns about treatment of the poor by Brazilian law enforcers are, sadly, nothing new - but who would have suspected that, this time, they were being set an example by a Labour-controlled council here in Britain?

News broke last week that Newham Council had offered a Stoke-on-Trent housing association the "opportunity" to house up to 500 of Newham's most vulnerable families.

Newham's letter said that the private rental sector was "overheating" because of the onset of the Olympic Games and "buoyant young professionals market," and that the council could no longer afford to house tenants on its waiting list - ie the officially homeless.

Surprisingly, Stoke's Brighter Futures Housing Association did not jump at the chance.

"I think there is a real issue of social cleansing going on," said CEO Gill Brown.

"We are very anxious about this letter, which we believe signals the start of a movement which could see thousands of needy people dumped in Stoke with no proper plan for their support or their welfare."

Stoke was already overstretched, she said, and experiencing strains on resources which had already led to pressure on local services, the collapse of vulnerable neighbourhoods and the rise of "divisive right-wing extremism."

Stoke MP Tristram Hunt agreed that an influx of what he calls "Olympic exiles" would be a huge problem.

"The 2012 Games are bringing huge riches into London," he said. "The least those boroughs could do is look after their poor and needy."

But never fear, Boris is here. Mayor Johnson will not, he says, allow the "Kosovo-style social cleansing" of London.

Which might sound a little more convincing had it not been the government Boris supports - in as much as he can ever be said to support anyone but Boris, of course - which caused the problem in the first place, by placing a cap on housing benefit.

When the cap was announced in 2010 concerns were raised that exactly this kind of situation would result.

They were ignored.

As Westminster North MP Karen Buck says, Newham's case is the tip of the iceberg - and other London councils are going the same way.

"What is so worrying is not that this is Newham's fault, but that if a very poor borough in east London feels itself so desperate that it has to try and find accommodation as far away as Stoke, what is that telling us about demand?

"We know from London councils that 88,000 households have private rents above the new limits for housing benefit and in theory these families were meant to find new homes in places like Newham. Obviously, even before the housing-benefit cuts have really begun to bite we have seen that this policy will unravel."

Those of us in the prime of life will remember Westminster's Dame Shirley Porter, of blessed memory.

Porter's housing committee shuffled the homeless and what they saw as other undesirable elements likely to vote Labour - like nurses and students - around the district, forcibly removing many to "safe" Conservative wards.

This ended with the edifying spectacle of young families being forced to live in tower blocks which should have been condemned, including one where birds made nests out of asbestos.

In fact shoving around the poor to suit the plans of the richer has a very long and dishonourable history, which often chimes with developments in that other very bad idea - capitalism itself.

From the 16th century, the movement towards enclosure stole land and traditional rights from the poorest.

The needy were literally pushed around, too, before the 1840 Poor Law, when individual parishes were charged with the care of the poor within their parish boundaries - which were tangible and visibly marked.

There are still painted marks on old pillars and beams recording these ancient limits, and stories of drunks, beggars and abandoned mothers-to-be being given a short sharp shove over them, making them instantly someone else's problem.

London's poor have been getting in the way of money-making schemes en masse for centuries, too.

Construction of the ultimately unprofitable St Katherine's Dock, in what became the East End, alone displaced 11,300 people and destroyed ancient buildings.

In 1840 the London and Blackwall Railway built train lines through Poplar and Stepney with a spur line to Bow. The building of four miles of track meant the demolition of almost 3,000 existing homes.

If we want to see what happens when the poor are ghettoised and separated from essential resources we need look no further than to the dark history of "outcast London."

The East End left behind after the gentry's exodus was described by the writer John Henry Mackay as "a hell of poverty. Like an enormous, black, motionless kraken, the poverty of London lies there in lurking silence and encircles with its mighty tentacles the life and wealth of the city."

Matters were only made worse when the collapse of traditional industries made the area a centre for unemployment and sweated labour.

And then waves of Irish migrants fleeing starvation and oppression were also driven onto the unforgiving streets of the city of "dreadful night."

Having little or no capital, most were restricted to poorly paid casual work, which tended to be concentrated in already overcrowded areas.

In the East End many able-bodied Irishmen were forced to join the desperate "call-ons" at the docks, and search for affordable lodgings for themselves and their families in the dockside slum communities.

There is evidence that some English working men, already struggling hard themselves for a livelihood, regarded Irish incomers - as they often did women workers - with hostility and as an economic threat. As Marx noted: "Every industrial and commercial centre in England possesses a working class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians.

"The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life. In relation to the Irish worker he feels himself a member of the ruling nation and turns himself into a tool of the aristocrats and capitalists of his country, thus strengthening their domination."

I'm sure today's Olympic exiles could expect a better welcome from the people of Stoke than these exiles of Erin, but you don't need to be a political economist of Marx's stature to work out that, when already struggling areas are put under yet more pressure, no good is likely to come of it.

What a pity our expensively educated government is seemingly so immune to the lessons of history.


wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

TRAINS could be running on a restored railway track between the Potteries and Moorlands by next year.

Work on connecting Leekbrook to Endon is now nearing completion, with the first steam train expected to run this summer.

But linking up the five-mile stretch between Endon and Stoke-on-Trent will take longer, partly because of structural issues.

The project – which has been awarded a £1.65m government grant – is a partnership between Moorland & City Railways and Churnet Valley Railway.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

We are alarmed to discover that Transport for London funding cuts threaten the future of the London Transport Museum (Editorial, 30 April). Swingeing cuts of £1.5m a year have left the museum starved of crucial income. As a result, dedicated outreach work is set to be shelved. The entrance fee has recently been hiked and future rises have not been ruled out, jeopardising access for poorer Londoners. Seven valued posts are being abolished and staff now fear for their jobs. The future of the school visits programme, which has enabled hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to learn about transport safety, has not been guaranteed.

The London Transport Museum's collection is of huge cultural importance and its exhibitions and events for children and families are pioneering. A considerable number of its visitors are from overseas, so it is a key part of London's tourism offer. London's rich transport heritage has been well served by this acclaimed museum; curtailing its growth would be an act of cultural vandalism. We urge Transport for London to reinstate the £1.5m it has cut and preserve the full story of London's remarkable transport system for the benefit of all our communities.
Tony Robinson, Christian Wolmar, Manuel Cortes General secretary,Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Breaking the rules: Harry Beck and the London tube map
By Leo Kent

Harry Beck broke convention when he designed the London tube map.



This month the London Transport Museum is putting on a new exhibition called Mind the Map. While public transport maps of all varieties will be on display, the main focus is going to be on the London underground map and the profound effect it’s had not just on cartography but on the design world in general.

Humans Invent spoke to senior curator of the London Transport Museum, Claire Dobbin, about the history and evolution of this iconic map.

The tube map has certainly become part of popular visual culture and even a symbol of London itself

Harry Beck was the original designer of the tube map that laid the foundations for what we see in use today. Although there have been changes over the years since his 1933 design, on the bottom right-hand corner of all modern tube maps it says, “This diagram is an evolution of the original design, conceived by Harry Beck in 1931.”

The evolution of the Tube Map

It is precisely the fact the map is diagrammatic and not geographically based that makes it such an inspired design. Dobbin says, “The genius of Beck was that he realised that the exact geographical or topographical course of the line is not necessarily essential to the underground passenger. What is important is the direction you’re going in, how many stops and where to get off.”


How the tube map looked before Beck's design in 1913.

Maps preceding this had been topographically and geographically based which meant they were generally cramped, messy and ultimately, hard to decipher. Dobbin says, “In the 1932 map by Fred Stingemore -the preceding map to Beck’s – the central area in particular is so cluttered that it is very hard to see the name of certain stations.”

Some argue that the diagrammatic approach is misleading by not being geographically accurate and while this maybe true if you were using the map to navigate overground it serves its intended purpose- as an aid to navigate through the underground system. Dobbin says, “A good map caters specifically for its usage, in the best possible way. When it was first introduced in 1933, Beck’s diagrammatic map embodied the very essence of modern functionalism that underpinned the Underground’s design philosophy.”

Function over form

To keep the design neat Beck imposed a rule that the lines could only go horizontally, vertically or at a 45 degree angle (such as the Northern line once it is south of the river) though the changes in direction were formed by curves.

Since 1933 new underground lines have been created and because Beck’s design was so simple it has been easy to add to the map without causing too much clutter.

Harry Beck's tube map which was released in 1933.

Beck was in control of the tube map design until 1960. Throughout these 30 years he carried on making small alterations such as swapping the symbol for interchange stations from a diamond to a circle and changing the colours of the different lines. From the 1960s onwards numerous designs were tried such as Harold Hutchinson’s that took out the curves found in Beck’s maps and used more cramped text lettering. This map proved unpopular and within a couple of years designers were returning to Beck’s maps for inspiration.

The tube map, with its neat, modernist design is visually very appealing but the reason for the map’s success is down to its practicality.

He realised that the exact geographical or topographical course of the line is not necessarily essential to the underground passenger

Dobbins says, “The London tube map is one of the most widely recognised maps in the world, it has inspired artists and cartographers, been the subject of academic debate and has been printed on more products than Beck could have thought imaginable. It has certainly become part of popular visual culture and even a symbol of London itself – but none of these things provide a more appropriate measure of the diagrammatic map’s success than the fact that it is still in use – fulfilling the function it set out to 80 years ago.”
Other cities across the world have been inspired by Beck’s design, most notably Sydney whose map, despite the overall course the lines take, looks almost identical to the London one. Interestingly, one place where Beck’s diagrammatic map was introduced without success was on the New York subway.

Diagrammatic vs Geographical

Dobbin says, “In New York, in 1972, there was a diagrammatic map that was very short lived, it wasn’t very popular. It was considered a design classic but the passengers didn’t necessarily find it that easy to use so they reverted back to a more geographical map.”

For anyone interested in learning more about transport maps, the Mind the Map exhibition (which has a collection of over 4,000 maps) runs until 28 October at the London Transport Museum.

wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

From classic car rallies to music festivals, there are events to suit all ages, tastes and budgets in Grimsby and Cleethorpes this spring.

Whether you are looking for family fun at the seaside, or a day hiking at the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival there is something for everyone.


  1. Festival of flight: The Red Arrows will fly over Cleethorpes.

One of the most eye-catching events coming to the area is the Cleethorpes Festival of Flight on June 9-10 which features none other than the famous Red Arrows aerobatic display team.

Back on terra firma Grimsby is hosting a fabulous Mela festival with a multicultural mix of music, dance and food on June 3.

Other performing arts events to look out for include the Children’s Theatre Festival in Cleethorpes and live classical music from the Grimsby Symphony Orchestra.

One event that is popular with all ages is the annual Folk and Cider Festival at Cleethorpes Light Railway’s Lakeside Station.

This year’s event promises to be the best yet with more than 60 ciders, over 16 live bands and steam trains running on the first two days of the three day event.

Adam Cowood operations and commercials manager at the railway said: “It is bigger and better than ever. We have more music, more ciders and it should be a really nice, family-friendly event.”

The festival, which runs from May 25-27 offers an eclectic range of musical acts from the foot-stomping folk of headliners Merlin’s Keep (described as a rustic Mamas and Papas with a social conscience) to blues rocker Starvin’ Steve.

As well as the acts appearing on the main stage there will also be buskers and other acts performing throughout the festival site.

Adam said: “There will be music going on all over the place as well as the main stage. It all adds to creating a really warm atmosphere and there is something that everyone will enjoy.”

The other big draw is of course the wide range of ciders on sale – 62 at the last count.

Adam said: “We have got a wide range, from mainstream ciders right through to ones created by little breweries and everything in between. We’ve got still, sparkling, cloudy, scrumpy and just about anything you can think of – we’ve even got beer infused with apples.”

For full details of the festival visit http://www.folkandcider.co.uk where you can also buy CDs by some of the performing artists.

And for more information on the other events happening in Grimsby and Cleethorpes this spring check out our list below.

Mela Festival

June 3, 11am-4pm, People's Park, Park Drive, Grimsby, DN32 0EE. Free entry

Combining the colour and flamboyance of Bollywood with the best of British, the Mela Festival is a celebration of multiculturalism.

You can sample authentic Indian and Chinese cuisine, stroll around the craft stalls and take part in a range of dance and music workshops.

Other performances include a Sikh martial arts display and a set from an Indian Elvis.

There will be a children’s area and rock climbing wall.

Waltham Windmill

Open weekends and bank holidays, Brigsley Road, Waltham, Grimsby, DN37 0JZ, 01472 752122. Adults £1.50, children £0.75

Offering a picturesque setting, restaurant, railway carriage cafe and a number of shops, the six storey Victorian windmill offers something for everyone.

And over the next month it is also hosting a number of special events.

These include a classic car day on May 7, a family fun day on June 3 and a concert and fireworks display to mark the Diamond Jubilee on June 4.

Other attractions at the site include a miniature railway, local artist and a woodturner.

Folk and Cider Festival

May 25-27, Lakeside Station, Kings Road, Cleethorpes, DN35 0AG, 01472 604657. Free.

With more than 60 different ciders and 16 bands this year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever.

The three-day event features an array of top folk acts including headliners Merlin’s Keep, singer songwriter Joe Solo and skiffle group Ploughman’s Bunch.

Ciders on sale include Bulmers, Westons and Brothers as well as a number of local tipples.

There will also be steam trains running on the Saturday and Sunday.

Fireman Sam

May 6, 1pm, Pontypandy Rocks, Grimsby Auditorium, Grimsby, DN31 2BH, 01472 311300. £15.

Fireman Sam and his friends are coming to town with a spectacular new stage show.

Watch the hero next door as he tries to save Pontypandy’s first ever music festival from disaster.

With great songs, daring rescue and fun for the whole family this is a show not to be missed.

Cleethorpes Festival of Flight

June 9-10, Seafront, Cleethorpes, 01472 327183. Free.

The world’s leading air display team are jetting into Cleethorpes for this year’s spectacular Festival of Flight.

A host of military, civilian and vintage aircraft will take to the skies over the two-day event and there is also plenty of fun back on terra firma.

A trade village will also be set up along the promenade from Brighton Slipway to Cleethorpes Leisure Centre, to provide visitors with everything from food and refreshments to memorabilia and models.

Grimsby Farmer’s Market

Every third Friday (next May 18), 8.30am-3pm, Victoria Street, Grimsby. Free.

With the Lincolnshire’s rich farming, fishing and food producing heritage it is no surprise Grimsby Farmer’s Market is well worth a visit.

At this time of year there is an abundance of fresh produce ranging from hand-reared pork and lamb, handmade cheeses, honey and even ostrich meat.

The next event is on May 18.

Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival

May 26 to June 10, various locations, 01507 609740. Free to £5.

Now in its eighth year the UK’s third biggest walking festival is the perfect way to explore the beautiful unspoilt Lincolnshire Wolds.

There are over 90 guided walks to choose with routes to suit any age, fitness ability or interest.

From gentle afternoon strolls ending in ice cream parlours to hardcore 10mile hikes through some of the area’s more challenging terrain you are sure to find something to suit.

As well as the stunning countryside many of the walks also focus on the Wold’s rich history and heritage.

These includes walks that take in the town of Louth, a short stroll uncovering Tennyson’s link to Gunby Hall and a Dambusters walk around a working RAF base.

Cleethorpes Children’s Theatre Festival

June 5-10, various locations, 07974 263538. Tickets/price: Shows, children £5, adults £4. Workshops £3.

Cleethorpes will come alive during half-term with a series of chlidren’s theatre performances and drama workshops.

Events will take place throughout the town from the Earthbound Misfits performing beach theatre’ on the sand to the Finger and Thumb Theatre company’s captivating shadow puppet production Circus Bear at the Discovery Centre.

There will also be workshops on circus crafts and open air performances of the Billy Goats Gruff and The Hare And The Tortoise.

Pillar Pleasure Ride

May 7, 10am-noon, Pelham’s Pillar, Caistor, 01472 587838. £8 North Lincs Riding Club members, £10 non members.

This picturesque pleasure ride offers equestrians a rare chance to ride through the idyllic private woodlands surrounding Pelham’s Pillar.

There are two circular routes of five or twelve miles.

Hard hats and chin straps must be worn by all riders and children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

There is also a chance for those on foot to go up the famous Pillar itself.

Grimsby Symphony Orchestra: Romantic Movements

May 26 from 7.30pm, Grimsby Town Hall, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HX, 01472 233 712. £12 adults, £6 children.

Conducted by Neville Turner the orchestra will run through a delightful programme including pieces by Schubert, Puccini, Beethoven. Mendelssohn and Brahms.

The concert features clarinet soloist Christian Rowlands and flautist Elizabeth Whitehead.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Plan to rebuild Southwold railway and Wenhaston station

The old railway station at Wenhaston was demolished after the line stopped in 1929

Related Stories

Railway enthusiasts in Suffolk are hoping to restore a line which closed more than 80 years ago.

The Southwold Railway Trust has applied for planning permission to restore half a mile of track, build a new station at Wenhaston and open a visitor centre.

Trains stopped running on the line in 1929 and much of the track was dismantled during World War II.

Simon Pitcher from the trust said it was a "once in a lifetime" chance to try and restore part of the route.

The line opened in 1879 and originally ran from Southwold to Halesworth.

Victorian design
The station at Wenhaston was abandoned and the original site is now privately owned.

A replica will be built nearby, if planning permission is granted by Suffolk Coastal District Council.

"The railway station that we're hoping to build would be something that would be designed to fit in to the landscape that would replicate the Victorian building that was originally there," said Mr Pitcher.

"It would enable a little bit of the railway to reopen with trains that are in keeping with the original character of the line.

"The Southwold Railway was a very eccentric railway built on a 3ft gauge, so a smaller gauge than normal British trains, and in that sense was unique in England."

Mr Pitcher said the charitable trust had the chance to purchase a piece of land on which the line used to run.

A public meeting discussing the plans will be held at Wenhaston village hall on 10 May.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Southwold train trust’s plans for Wenhaston station

Staff Reporter 
Saturday, May 5, 2012 
12:00 PM

 A STRETCH of railway that last saw trains running more than 80 years ago could be brought back to life under plans drawn up by a group of enthusiasts.

The Southwold Railway Trust has tabled a planning application with Suffolk Coastal District Council for land in Blyford Lane, Wenhaston.

Its members are hoping to reinstate a half-mile stretch of track in the direction of Blythburgh.

Since 1994, the trust has been exploring whether the Victorian Southwold-Halesworth 3ft gauge branch line, via Wenhaston, Blythburgh and Walberswick, could be reopened.

In 2007, it submitted a plan for a slightly revised version of the entire original route which operated between 1879 to 1929 and closed because of stiff competition from buses.

But the scheme ran into the buffers after being rejected by Waveney District Council.

The trust’s new plans would include rebuilding the old Wenhaston station and constructing a visitor centre, which could feature a cafe and museum.

However, some villagers have expressed concerns about the plans – expressing concerns about the potential impact on the surrounding countryside.

As a result, the parish council is holding a public meeting at the village hall at 7.30pm on Thursday to allow people to air their views.

A representative from the Southwold Railway Trust will also be on hand to answer any questions.

The group’s publicity officer, the Rev Simon Pitcher, said they hoped it would be a chance to allay people’s fears. “It is only a small scale project,” he said. “Alongside the track we will create a linear nature reserve to enhance the environment for the benefit of the wildlife. There will then be a footpath alongside the railway line where people can walk.

“The railway here was quite unique – it was built to a smaller scale than the normal railway. The top speed was only 15mph and that’s what we would re-create. It also wouldn’t be open all the time. It would be an occasional thing on a similar model to the Mid Suffolk Light Railway. It’s not going to be 365 days a year.”

Mr Pitcher, who is the rector of Southwold, said they planned to run one steam engine and coach along the track.

“We hope it will a positive benefit for the community and part of the plan is that it might offer an opportunity to teach apprenticeship engineering skills,” he said. “There should be educational benefits for all schoolchildren. It won’t just be for railway enthusiasts.”

Lillian Spindler, chairman of Wenhaston with Mells Hamlet Parish Council, said members had not yet discussed the application but realised some villagers might object and encouraged people to attend the meeting to learn more.

Villager Robert Montague said the proposed site was “totally unsuited” to such a project.

“The natural peace and beauty of grazing marshes are increasingly rare and constantly under threat,” he said.

“Suffolk needs to cherish and protect these, rather than to lose them to developers.”

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

There are no ordinary lives," said Ken Burns of those who served in a global cataclysm so momentous that the filmmaker simply entitled his 2007 documentary "The War."

Many who served in so many different ways during World War II are gone now.

Some took their stories with them.

But not this one.

Your childhood is spent on the move, dodging German bombs. One night you're crouching in the family's backyard bomb shelter, feeling the earth shake. The next night you're sheltered in a subway with thousands of other Londoners as your city burns overhead.

You develop a keen ear for the wail of an air raid siren. The drone of bombers overhead, the rumble of impacting bombs, and the flash of searchlights and anti-aircraft guns become as familiar as thunder and lightning.

Then, your house takes a direct hit, and you join the ranks of some 250,000 homeless people.

Such was life on the home front during World War II for Frances Ritsky-Oswitch-Kluter, of Orange.

And as Kluter recently recalled, surviving an ordeal that became known as the London Blitz of 1940-1941 wasn't much different than enduring the risks facing soldiers on the battle front.

Only she couldn't shoot back. Just survive.


A childhood of bombs and the BlitzFrances Ritsky-Oswitch-Kluter remembers a childhood spent dodging bombs and wondering if she'd live to see the next day during the London Blitz of World War II.Watch video
As the 67th anniversary of VE Day (May 8), the end of World War II in Europe, approached, Kluter looked back on those years with a self-described sense of "poignant sadness" for a childhood forever lost.

She was the only child of a Jewish tailor and a mother who had previously lost a Canadian fiance on the battlefields of World War I.

Kluter said that when the war started in 1939, she initially regarded her family's hasty trips to their backyard bomb shelter as "incredibly exciting. I thought it was an adventure."

That ended the night her house exploded as she and her parents crouched in the shelter.

In Kluter's written memoirs, she recalled that night: "A huge explosion. Everything shakes. The table tilts towards me. My mother grabs me. The corrugated tin roof of the shelter starts to dent inwards. 'Will it fall on my head?' I am crying now and I am scared. Another explosion. The smell of fire and burning. Ambulance sirens scream."

Kluter said that after that night she and her family took cover in London's underground subway stations where she fought her own fears and head lice. "It was very depressing time for a small child," she said. "There was no feeling of tomorrow. There was no feeling of permanence."

She realized how fortunate they were after her uncle, his wife and their baby daughter were killed in a bombing raid. "The rescuers found my uncle with his arms wrapped around his tiny family," she said.

The Blitz would claim more than 41,000 Londoners, injure nearly 50,000, and destroy 46,000 dwellings.

Kluter's family suffered from the war in other ways. She said all of her father's relatives from Lithuania died at the Nazi's Auschwitz concentration camp. "My father had this terrible dream one night and he woke up screaming," she said. "He knew that night that his family had been murdered."

The renowned British spirit helped pull her through. "You didn't know from day to day whether you'd be alive or dead, but the British people are incredibly resilient," she said. "Wonderful stuff. Stiff upper lip. Damn the Jerries, we're going to win this bloody war."

Frances Ritsky-Oswitch-Kluter, far left, is shown with some friends who endured the devastation of the London Blitz.
When the children of London were evacuated for their own safety, Kluter spent two years living with a woman in rural England until she could rejoin her family when her parents moved to Leeds.

There, they celebrated VE Day in 1945 with dancing, laughter and what Kluter described as utter euphoria after six long years of war. She recalled, "Everybody was screaming, and there were little flags everywhere, and there were bonfires and effigies of Hitler that they burned, and we roasted potatoes."

She got married in 1955, then she and her husband, Stanley Oswitch (who died in 1982), a polymer chemist, emigrated to Seattle, Wash., with their two sons. They later came to Cleveland when he took a job with the Ferro Corporation.

Kluter got remarried, then divorced, and has served for 25 years on Orange Village Council.

She said it took her a few years to get over her resentment of Germans, and the urge to dive under the nearest table whenever she heard a thunderstorm -- so reminiscent of those bygone bombers.

But the memories remain vivid, along with an enduring appreciation of life.

"Since the night that the bomb dropped on our house, this is what I say every day: 'Thank you, God,' " Kluter said. "No matter what has gone on in my life, look how lucky I was to have survived."


Most Americans, outside of Hawaii, didn't have to endure aerial bombardment during World War II. But they coped with their own hardships and home front realities of the war, as best they could.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

A specially brewed spicy tipple will be unveiled at the Blue Anchor Inn tonight, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the opening of Helston Railway.

The ale, called “Fireman’s Fury,” will be launched at 6pm this evening by pub landlord Simon Stone.

The original Helston branch line, which connected the town to mainline services to London, was closed in 1964.

Barbara Barnes, from the Helston Railway Preservation Society, which is working on renovating and reopening the old line, said: “We are very lucky in having in Helston one of the foremost small working breweries based at the Blue Anchor Inn.

“This is one of the oldest original Inns in Britain that continues to maintain a working brewery and has been brewing for 600 years on this site.

“Its famous Spingo Ales are going to be joined by a new recipe which has been brewed to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Helston Railway in 1887.”

A mile of the Helston Railway track runs through the 750-acre Trevarno Estate, which was closed to the public two weekends ago.

Trevarno acts as the starting point for tourist trips on the line, but the society insists that the estate’s closure will not affect their operations.

Richard Barnes, society chairman, said: “When the estate was open we weren’t actually running passenger services.

“No we’ve lost the footfall from Trevarno, but we can offer them the rides.”

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

On track for long-awaited railway dream



RAILWAY chiefs are realising a ‘20-year-dream’ after securing a land deal to develop historic tracks near Stafford.

The Amerton Railway has been trying to buy the land it has used at Amerton Farm and Craft Centre for decades.

The firm is now set to purchase the field through which its nar- row gauge railway runs after farm boss Paul Williams agreed to sell it to the Staffordshire Narrow Gauge Railway charity.

The charity, which preserves and runs narrow gauge locomo- tives in Staffordshire, is holding an open day on Saturday to cele- brate the historic deal.

Visitors will be able to ride behind a host of Staffordshire steam engines, including renowned 115-year-old engine Isabel.

Railway chairman Derek Luker said: “It will be a day of celebra- tion and a great chance to thank all those who have helped make this dream come true.

“It is also an opportunity to show the county’s tremendous rail- way heritage which is steadily becoming a really popular tourist attraction.”

Stan Highfield, Mayor of Stafford, will cut a celebratory ribbon at 1pm to herald “the next 20 years of narrow gauge railway her- itage preservation in Staffordshire”.

The event comes two decades after the then-mayor of Stafford Salome Dainton opened the railway and made a speech from Isabel’s footplate before taking a trip along the line.

Cash funding for the deal has come from donations from members and friends of the railway and a mortgage.

Isabel, built in 1897 by Bagnalls of Stafford, will be giving rides on Saturday between noon and 5pm. The steam engine is now fully restored and will operate at weekends along Amerton Rail- way’s mile-long track.

Historic county engines built in Stoke-on-Trent, Burton-upon- Trent and Tamworth, varying in age from five to 100 years old, will also be on display. 

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

It may bear more of a resemblance to an ancient sewing machine than an historic steam engine, but classic locomotive Puffing Billy drew plenty of admiring glances when it stopped off at Sheringham at the weekend.

A replica of a locomotive built in 1813 to haul coal from Wylam Colliery, Northumberland, Puffing Billy was on loan from Beamish Museum in County Durham.
Manned by a crew in Edwardian train drivers’ garb, the engine spent the Bank Holiday weekend puffing slowly up and down the tracks at the North Norfolk Railway’s Sheringham station.

Other attractions laid on as part of the event included busking on the platform and, at Holt Station, volunteers in Edwardian dress holding steam and hat-making workshops.
North Norfolk Railway event co-ordinator Chrissie Rayment said Puffing Billy, the original of which is in London’s Science Museum, had proved a hit with station visitors of all ages.
“It has been a really busy weekend,” she added. “And we have even had people extend their holidays especially to see Puffing Billy.”
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

AN ARTEFACT dating back to the 19th century has been installed at the Epping Ongar Railway.

Discovered on the building site next to Ongar railway station, the iron weighbridge was unearthed by workmen on the McCarthy & Stone construction team.

Dating back to 1889, the long-lost Great Eastern Railway (GER) cart weighbridge was donated back to the railway and has now been installed at the station entrance, much to the delight of railway manager Simon Hanney.

"We knew it had been ordered by the GER but, due to its size, it would have fallen out of use after the withdrawal of the horse and cart and its fate was unknown," he said.

"We had hoped that it would still be buried somewhere on the site, and are very grateful to McCarthy & Stone's site manager for accommodating our request to keep an eye out for both this and any other items of interest."

The site of the new McCarthy & Stone flats is where the Ongar Goods Yard was based until 1968.

Traders would have brought their goods to the yard, which would have been weighed on the weighbridge, before being put on a train and taken into London.

GER would have then sent an invoice to the trader to cover the transportation costs of their goods.

The artefact was found under asphalt, which has helped preserve its detail.

"When it was found, the site team took great care to remove the cast iron weighbridge and we were delighted when they also chose to donate it to our heritage railway," said Mr Hanney.

"Our specialists have since removed the many layers of asphalt to reveal the original detailing, including the manufacturer's name and date, which exactly matches the date it was ordered."

The heritage railway is on course to open on May 25, bringing to an end four years of restoration work.

The discovery of the weighbridge has also prompted McCarthy & Stone to name its new complex of 60 assisted living apartments, as Weighbridge Court.

"Protecting the proud heritage of the communities in which we build is something that is very important to us," said Sharon Callcut, marketing manager for McCarthy & Stone.

"We always aim to select names for our development that reflect the culture and history of the area and in this case Weighbridge Court seemed to be a very fitting title."

For more information about the railway visit eorailway.co.uk and for details on the new properties visit mccarthyandstone.co.uk

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
The London Transport Museum is a fantastic example of a museum that has worked hard to generate funding through commercial sponsors and individuals (Letters, 3 May). Transport for London still provides generous financial support. But TfL's own funding from government has been cut, so we need to make billions of pounds in savings across TfL to protect essential frontline transport services and investment. Our contribution to the museum must, therefore, reduce to more sustainable levels. By 2014-15 our contribution will have been cut by £1.5m, but this still leaves an extremely generous level of funding from TfL and phasing the changes over four years allows the museum time to build alternative sources of funding. We must also face up to other realities. For example, we need to align entry salary levels at the museum with those paid elsewhere in the cultural and museum sector. We are proud of the Transport Museum. It tells a compelling story of how transport shapesLondon and will continue its invaluable educational activities. We would be delighted if the Transport Salaried Staff Association and other individuals with an interest would join the many other contributors to its funding and success.
Vernon Everitt
Transport for London
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Classic motorbike show set for Crich

Published on Tuesday 8 May 2012 17:08


CRICH Tramway Village is holding its second Classic Motorbike Show this year on Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20.


The show is open to all types of classic motorbike built before 1972. There will be club stands, trade stands, and timed vehicle parades, with the classic bikes driving though the Village’s recreated period street, weaving in and out of the vintage tram service.

Event organiser Malcolm Wright said: “The Tramway Village creates a unique atmosphere for vehicle rallies with its recreated village street and rides on vintage trams.

“After the success of last year, we are now holding the event over two days.”

For more details and to register for the two-day event, contact Crich Tramway Village on 01773 854321 or visit the website http://www.tramway.co.uk.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Were you an apprentice at the British Rail Swindon Works Training School?

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the British Rail Works Training School in Swindon, which opened in 1962 and survived until 1993.

The School was designed to cater for 150 apprentices for their first year of railway experience and was fully opened on the 17th September 1962.

The School took apprentices from the Works and also from the wider Western Region – apprentices who would later work as maintenance engineers at the various depots across the region, from Paddington to Plymouth.

A reunion get-together for all ex-apprentices is planned for the 22nd September 2012, at the STEAM museum in Swindon. The group have created their own Facebook group which now has 270+ ex-apprentices with collections of photos and year lists.

The group are now trying to track down as many ex-apprentices as they can.

They also have recently found a piece of video footage of the School (from 1967) which can be viewed


If you know the whereabouts of any apprentices from Swindon Works between 1962 and 1993 but specifically 1965, 1966 and 1973 please visit the Facebook page and contact John Baker.

wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed



Were you an apprentice at the British Rail Swindon Works Training School?

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the British Rail Works Training School in Swindon, which opened in 1962 and survived until 1993.

The School was designed to cater for 150 apprentices for their first year of railway experience and was fully opened on the 17th September 1962.

The School took apprentices from the Works and also from the wider Western Region – apprentices who would later work as maintenance engineers at the various depots across the region, from Paddington to Plymouth.

A reunion get-together for all ex-apprentices is planned for the 22nd September 2012, at the STEAM museum in Swindon. The group have created their own Facebook group which now has 270+ ex-apprentices with collections of photos and year lists.

The group are now trying to track down as many ex-apprentices as they can.

They also have recently found a piece of video footage of the School (from 1967) which can be viewed


If you know the whereabouts of any apprentices from Swindon Works between 1962 and 1993 but specifically 1965, 1966 and 1973 please visit the Facebook page and contact John Baker.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

10/05/2012 - Hydrovane works with Blackpool Transport to upgrade heritage trams

Hydrovane’s Transit division has supported Blackpool Transport Services Ltd with the design and installation of replacement Air Supply Modules (ASM) to support upgrades to the world’s oldest electric street tramway.

Dating back to 1884, the tramway connects the North and South Shores in Blackpool, Lancashire and is an iconic part of the town’s attractions. By the turn of the century it was clear that modernisation was needed, and impending legislation on accessibility meant that traditional high-floor trams could not continue in service.

In 2009, work began on the tramway infrastructure to bring it up to modern light rail standard.

Application Details
As part of the upgrades to the tramway, ten heritage double-deck trams have been retained and modified to supplement new, low-floor vehicles and to provide open-top and illuminated journeys along the track.

Modifications to the heritage vehicles include the replacement of braking systems and the installation of pneumatic doors to ensure they comply with the latest accessibility requirements.

Ten ASMs from Hydrovane Transit, each featuring a 504 based compressor, provide high quality air at 10bar (147psi) for the operation of the tram systems.

The high flow rate of the ASM means that only one unit is required per vehicle. The distribution of the air is managed by a multi-system protection valve and a pressure switch, this arrangement prioritises the 7bar (100psi) air supply to the tram braking system over the 10bar (147psi) required to control the pneumatic doors. 

Quality and reliability is of particular importance in the braking system to prevent damage to valves and other components. Any air pressure failures could result in the deployment of the trams’ emergency braking system.

The compressor is a modified version of Hydrovane’s industrial unit, and is designed with features such as external filtration to ease servicing and improve suitability for use in extreme conditions.

Rather than traditional, large and heavy DC motors, the ASM is driven by a more lightweight, reliable and versatile AC motor powered by an inverter pre-programmed ready for service.

Inclusion of Hydrovane’s own twin canister dryer ensures the supply of dry air, as any moisture in the system could lead to problems further down stream including reduced lubrication, corrosion and freezing.

Ease of installation
As the compressors were to be located under the floor of each tram, and due to the importance of maintaining the heritage features of each vehicle, it was vital to make installation as simple as possible.

Hydrovane therefore designed each ASM to be easily installed below a service hatch in the floor of each vehicle. Each package supplied by Hydrovane was complete with all of the equipment required for the installation, from the compressor itself through to hoses, air reservoirs and fittings.

John Houghton, team leader in the tram engineering department at Blackpool Transport Services explains: “The decision to choose Hydrovane was based on its engineering expertise, which has been consistently demonstrated throughout this project.

“The bespoke design of the ASM was the ideal solution to our compressed air requirements. The new compressors are smaller, more lightweight and maintenance friendly than the original units, providing a more efficient operation and reduced service costs.

“We’ve developed a good working relationship with Hydrovane. Its engineers are easy to deal with and are always willing to lend a helping hand.”

To date, seven of the heritage trams have been modified, with a further three due for completion in early 2012.

For further information, please contact:


Claybrook Drive
Washford Industrial Estate
B98 0DS

Tel: +44 (0) 1527 525522
Fax: + 44 (0) 1527 521140
Email: hydrovane@compair.com 
Web: http://www.hydrovane.co.uk


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