” Preserving the steam locomotive legacy.. and more..on film”
Dawlish Warren Railway Station (Added by GRAYSON ANDREW CATTLE)
Steam Tube Photographic Highlights
Steam Tube Video Highlights
Steam Tube Blogs
100 Trains….the journey so far….
Tornado…The Story so far…
New & ReBuild News.
B & O Railroad Museum TV
Mainline Steam Schedule
On This Day in History.
Radstock to Frome Railway Project
Around the World in 80 Railways. (No 61:)
Welcome to this August edition of “On Shed”.
Last month’s news included the sad passing of Ian Allan, and Sir Nicholas Winton, both remembered for , in their separate ways, saving lives… as the following appreciation notes…
Ian Allan (June 29 1922 – June 28 2015)
Sir Nicholas Winton (19th May 1909 – 1st July 2015)
Two Men, Two Lives……Countless Lives Saved.
A month ago, two eminent gentlemen passed away. Both of them , in their own particular way, had beneficially affected the lives of thousands, if not millions. One of them saved thousands from dying of boredom, the other had saved hundreds from dying..at least prematurely.
Ian Allan was employed by Southern Railway. His first book, almost an accident, since Southern Railways didn’t want to bother with listing numbers of their locomotive stock , was ABC of Southern Railway Locomotives(1942), printed at his own risk…
Who was to know that within very few years thousands of schoolboys..and others.. were to embrace a whole new hobby..trainspotting!
The enduring image is one of a group of schoolboys..in uniform and wearing the obligatory cap..gathered at the end of platforms, taking numbers in their notebooks, and then checking off the relevant detail in their Ian Allan book.
I confess to being in possession of an Ian Allan book. But the railway was not close enough to where I lived, but I did manage, with a friend, to cycle a few miles to a location near Hatton Station…and on another occasion, a group of us travelled to Birmingham Snow Hill where we spent the best part of the day watching the comings and goings..most notably the Blue Pullman, and some expresses headed by GWR Castles, I think.
The decline of steam did rather take the edge off “spotting”, but in more recent times, this interest in the railways has led to many acquiring cameras… and now sites such as “Steam Tube – The Home of Steam on the Net”… are filled with images and videos of current steam action on both the mainline and at heritage railways around the world.
Whether this interest would have been maintained without Ian Allan’s books we will never know. But many will be glad he did what he did, and when he did it!
669 people will fondly remember the man who did what he did in 1938.
Without Sir Nicholas Winton’s involvement, 669 children would most likely have suffered the fate of many others in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia.
Seizing the moment, he was able to arrange for a series of trains (8 in all..known as Kindertransport) to take 669 Jewish children to safety in England. Sadly, a group of 250 scheduled to leave Prague on 1st September 1939, were unable to depart.Their fate can only be imagined..
His own modest attitude to this act of courage (he always maintained that Trevor Chadwick’s role was more dangerous than his own) meant that this event never really hit the public headlines until 50 years later , when a That’s Life programme on BBC TV, reunited many of the surviving children..now adults..with Sir Nicholas. An emotional moment indeed.
On 19 May 2014, Winton’s 105th birthday, it was announced he was to receive the Czech Republic’s highest honour, for giving Czech children “the greatest possible gift: the chance to live and to be free. “ The award ,made on 28 October 2014, was the Order of the White Lion (Class I) , and was presented by Czech President Miloš Zeman.
Interestingly, the Czech government had nominated him for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize.
On 1 September 2009, a special “Winton Train” set off from the Prague Main railway station. The train, composed of one or two steam locomotives (out of a set of six) and carriages used in the 1930s, headed to London via the original Kindertransport route. On board were several surviving “Winton children” and their descendants, who were welcomed by Winton in London. The occasion marked the 70th anniversary of the intended last Kindertransport, due to set off on 3 September 1939 but prevented by the outbreak of the Second World War..
Of interest, in the context of affecting people’s lives, Sir Nicholas said, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, on 28 October 2014, that he thought he had “made a difference to a lot of people” and went on to say, “I don’t think we’ve learned anything… the world today is in a more dangerous situation than it has ever been”
In a 2015 interview Winton said that he had become disillusioned with religion during the war as he could not reconcile religious movements “praying for victory on both sides of the same war”. Winton went on to describe his personal beliefs, “I believe in ethics, and if everybody believed in ethics we’d have no problems at all. That’s the only way out; forget the religious side.”
Well, he was certainly a man of principle and active compassion..and could look back on a life that echoed his motto “If It’s Not Impossible..” now the title of the book about his life, by his daughter Barbara Winton.
So, two men whose names have passed into history.
But their legacy remains. And many will be thankful for that.
During this edition of On Shed, we shall be introduced to Monisha Rajesh….of whom , more in a later edition.
Otherwise, the usual features are here for you to enjoy!
Steam Tube Photographic Highlights(31,324 in Library)
Steam Tube Video Highlights (6,936 in Library)
Steam Tube Blogs
Not so great railway journeys.. another episode in the excellent series from Dave Wilson.
Many of you will be familiar with the show, Great Railway Journeys, fronted by the unctuous Mr.Portillo, a man who who likes nothing more, than to congratulate himself for not closing the Settle – Carlisle route. I suspect very few of you reading this know what Portillo had to say about history; speaking at the 1995 Tory party conference said he wanted to see; “a return to a history of heroes, not the sociological flim-flam that passes for history”. In other words he wanted ‘propaganda’not history.
Today, ‘heritage’, or ‘history’, is little more than a tool in the adman’s locker and something to be plundered for political spin – what is purveyed as ‘heritage and ‘history’ is the Portillo version, the ‘sociological flim-flam’ bit, well that’s just for whinging lefties, the PC brigade, and Ivory Towers academics. And as for the bits where our leaders were doing very naughty things, well that’s air brushed out, just as it was in Orwell’s 1984.
Moving on, around 1990 /1991, when David Smith’s West Coast Railway Co. were running the Carnforth – Sellafield shuttles, I enjoyed a few miles on 48151’s footplate, on one of the return trips, just for old times sake. In this photograph, Mr. Smith’s Stanier 8F 2-8-0 No.48151, is in charge of the ‘up’ Fellsman, at Ais Gill, on the Settle – Carlisle line, on a very warm summer day in 2014.
For those of you who asked:
The printed edition of “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children” – is now on sale.
Below, is the link to it.
(All views expressed are those of the author)
100 Trains….the journey so far….
The last few months have been very trying for Iain McGeachin. As followers of this blog will know, Iain had to cut short his two earlier attempts to go around the world in 100 train journeys.
He has since been diagnosed with ATAXIA, which is a degenerative condition..
According to the ATAXIA website, “The word “ataxia”, comes from the Greek word, ” a taxis” meaning “without order or incoordination”. The word ataxia means without coordination. People with ataxia have problems with coordination because parts of the nervous system that control movement and balance are affected. Ataxia may affect the fingers, hands, arms, legs, body, speech, and eye movements. The word ataxia is often used to describe a symptom of incoordination which can be associated with infections, injuries, other diseases, or degenerative changes in the central nervous system. Ataxia is also used to denote a group of specific degenerative diseases of the nervous system called the hereditary and sporadic ataxias which are the National Ataxia Foundation’s primary emphases.”
So, Iain has had to rethink his life…but is now more determined than ever to complete his goal..and actually do the whole trip, from the start, early next year. And while he’s doing this, he will be drawing attention to ATAXIA, and raising funds for Ataxia research.
He told “On Shed “….I will now do the WHOLE trip again, and use the journey to raise funds for Ataxia UK, and to raise awareness of ataxia worldwide. I have already been
in touch with representatives of the national ataxia charities in Australia and Italy, just tentatively, but it now looks like the journey will also be used as a way of uniting ataxia supporters worldwide (early days still, but a plan is formulating to travel/meet up with ataxia reps/sufferers/supporters as I go).
In the meantime, we can support his effort by doing our online shopping ……HERE
Also, an upcoming event that might be an opportunity to show support for ATAXIA sufferers..
City Bridges Challenge 2015
Please join us for an exciting 6 mile guided walk across London’s bridges. Raising funds for one of the rare genetical conditions that affects 10,000 people in the UK, you will have the chance to make a lasting impact on the charity’s work. We have an option of two routes available. Route one is 3.6 miles and Route Two is 6.3 miles.
The walk will start at Old Paradise Garden near Lambeth Bridge. Check in will open at 10:30am and the walk will begin at 11am.
To request a Fundraising Pack and Register (to get your free t-shirt), please contact us on 0207 582 14440207 582 1444.
We look forward to seeing you at our walk!
20th September 2015
Tornado…The Story so far…
Tornado’s packed main line and heritage railway diary for the rest of 2015 includes (see www.a1steam.com for details):
- 7th July (new date) – ‘The White Rose’ King’s Cross to York with D9009 Alycidon and return with No. 60163 Tornado – A1SLT booking through UK Railtours
Tornado approaching Newark….07/07/2015(Peter Bowler)
Filmed at Swayfield and Sandy(Dave Wadley)
- 12th July – ‘The Torbay Express’ – Bristol to Kingswear and return – Torbay Express
- 26th July – ‘The Torbay Express’ – Bristol to Kingswear and return – Torbay Express
Tornado on The Torbay Express 26th July 2015(Shirley Turner)
- 2nd August – ‘The Torbay Express’ – Bristol to Kingswear and return – Torbay Express
- 8th August – The Golden Age of Travel lunchtime excursion – Belmond British Pullman
- 11th August – 2nd September – Nene Valley Railway, Peterborough
- 23rd September – London Victoria to Bristol and return – Belmond British Pullman
- 26th September – ‘The Silver Jubilee Talisman’ London to York, Darlington and Newcastle – A1SLT booking through UK Railtours
- 6th November – The Golden Age of Travel lunchtime excursion – Belmond British Pullman
- 8th December – Christmas Lunch – Belmond British Pullman
- 12th December – Christmas Lunch – Belmond British Pullman
- 31st December – ‘St. Mungo Anniversary Tour’ – York to Newcastle and return – A1SLT (details tbc)
The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado follows the rules of the railway and only goes where
New & ReBuild News.
Project Miller 41001 Returns!.
US Union Pacific Big Boy 4014
Latest News..and Video..HERE
The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) T1 Steam Locomotive Trust
More information at: http://prrt1steamlocomotivetrust.org/news.php
Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2
Photo courtesy B & O Museum
Latest News on Facebook..HERE
Project 6029 (Beyer Garratt 6029 ex-NSWGR) Up to date information regarding steam locomotive 6029 in Canberra, ACT Australia. Beyer Garratt 6029 is an EX NSWGR locomotive and was a member of the largest, and most powerful class in Australia. The restoration to full working order has been undertaken by volunteers in Canberra.
Fund our Frames!
Donate just £5 to help to get this project started. We are starting with the buffer beam, We have been quoted a cost of £1300. Thats if 260 people donate just £5, we will be able to see the first part of a Claud for over 50 years.
We aim to build and operate the Great Eastern Railways legendary 4-4-0 D16/2 “Claud Hamilton” steam locomotive, No.8783 to be named “Phoenix”.
The Claud Hamilton group is now linked to the Whitwell and Reepham Railway, Providing expert help and a home base for the locomotive in the future.
To read about the “Ground Up Club”, and the latest news about the V499 project, go to
As you are all aware we have finally got agreement in order to be able to secure 1498s future however there is still a long way to go, we need to find her a secure long term home and to this end we are currently in talks with heritage railways more details on this will be released as and when known. However before this can happen we need your help we need to raise an awful lot of money in order to purchase the unit and then move it off the E O R, so please folks consider helping us to secure 1498’s future. We need your help so please donate to us the address for donations is on this page so please help us and remeber everything you donate large or small helps us to secure her future everything goes to buy move and restore 1498. Please help us please donate today. Many thanks 1498 Preservation Group.
You can now donate to the group through this Facebook page by visiting the DONATE tab above and then clicking donate or via this link
B & O Railroad Museum TV:
Each month the B&O TV Network, starring actor Michael Gross, spotlights a moment in B&O Railroad history. Take a journey into the past and view one or all of these episodes posted on YouTube.
Mainline Steam Schedule
This listing is offered in good faith, so there is no guarantee offered or implied.
Please confirm running with the relevant tour operator.
And adhere, please, to Network Rail’s photographic guidelines…..HERE
The tour schedule for August 2015..and beyond..can be found at Railway Herald
On This Day In History
Great Western Railway (Great Britain) takes delivery of its first ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0 express passenger steam locomotive from its Swindon Works, No. 4073 Caerphilly Castle
The world’s first underground tube railway, the Tower Subway, opens in London, England. On its first trip, 12 people travel 450 yards(411meteres) in 11(eleven) seconds.
Volk’s Electric Railway, the first of its kind in Britain, opens at Brighton.
British Government takes control of railways as a wartime measure
Steam locomotive power was withdrawn from British Rail
Regulation of Railways Act
This act introduced government regulation to the railways
Measures contained in the Act were;
- No railway to be opened without notice;
- Returns to be made by railway companies;
- Appointment of Board of Trade inspectors;
- Railway byelaws to be approved by the Board;
- Prohibition of drunkenness by railway employees;
- Prohibition of trespass on railways.
The Wennington Junction rail crash in England kills 8 people14/08/1927 Royal Scot class of locomotives introduced
A rail crash in Weedon kills 10 people
17 Aug 1857
West Somerset Railway Company incorporated by Act of Parliament
Daniel Gooch takes up his position of Locomotive Superintendent of the GWR.
Publication in the United Kingdom of the Railways Act 1921, which provided for the amalgamation of British railway companies into four large groups, “The Big Four”, with effect from January 1, 1923
Birth of Daniel Gooch at Bedlington, Northumberland
The Sevenoaks railway accident in England kills 13.
The first train operates over the regauged Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway using 1 ft 3 in (381 mm) gauge equipment
Great Western Railway begins using its Fishguard terminus in Wales for boat trains in connection with the Cunard steamships on Atlantic routes as a first port of call.
Latest News from this group can be found HERE
Around the World in 80 Railways(No 61 India)
Monisha Rajesh is a journalist/blogger who is currently on a round the world trip….by train. Her blog is entitled: Around The World in 80 Trains.
This, with her permission, is the latest entry….
“Shortly before half past six, the Regionale creaked and began to inch away from Platform 10 at Milano Centrale. The station’s arched ceiling slid back like a sunroof, allowing a blaze of orange light to ignite the carriage. Wet with sweat, I peeled myself off the seat and tugged down the window as fellow passengers pulled open doors, wiped their foreheads and fanned themselves with copies of Metro. Within a few minutes the train had gained pace, and a steady blast of air was beginning to make the ride more comfortable when a grand Frecciarossa high-speed train slammed past in the opposite direction, making our flimsy regional train rattle in its wake.It would be two hours to Verona, so I picked up my Kindle on which Tim Parks was teaching me about the fiddles and frustrations of the country’s railways in his book Italian Ways. I soon put it down again and stared out at the vineyards rolling past the window, the bushes glowing in that wonderful evening light that Italy laps up and in which it basks. suitably reflective mode, I conceded that I was obsessed with trains. Five years ago I stepped off the Charminar Express in Chennai and marked my 80th train journey around India. Armed with nothing but a 90-day rail pass, an outdated map, and extraordinary naivety, I had travelled 24,855 miles – the circumference of the Earth – reaching the southern, western, northern and easternmost extremities of India’s railways.
Leaning out of doorways, perching on steps and sleeping in the odd linen cupboard, I covered the length and breadth of the country in four months and was drawn into its warm embrace by the whole railway family – from her royal highness the Deccan Queen and the sleek and chic Durontos, to the puffing and panting toy trains and thundering Rajdhanis. I hung from the badly behaved Mumbai commuters, had sweet dreams in the Indian Maharaja’s double bed, and witnessed orthopaedic surgery on the world’s first hospital train. But it was through the cast of characters who wandered the aisles, snored in the bunk above me or chatted by my side that I came to understand how the railways had earned the nickname “The Lifeline of a Nation”.
A little secret: when I first arrived in India, I didn’t care for trains. They were simply the cheapest and most practical way to travel (my rail pass cost £350 for 90 days, the same price as a first-class return from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh Waverley – and that price included sleeper services and most of my hot meals). But when I was back home in London writing my book, something changed: I found that I was magnetised by the sound of wheels on steel. Scrolling through television channels, I’d perk up like a meerkat at any programme about trains; at night, the distant hoot of the overland service through Finchley and Frognal felt like the mother ship calling me home.
So, a few weeks ago I left my job, packed my bag and boarded the 14:31 from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. Having travelled around India in 80 trains, the most obvious, albeit daunting, next step was to take on the world. Unlike Phileas Fogg and Passepartout (from whom I stole my idea) I don’t have a bet to win: the journey is not a race. I’ve never understood the bizarre need to complete a route in the fastest time possible. Why waste an opportunity to absorb all that a place and its people have to offer by shooting in and out? I could travel around the world in 10 trains; I could do it in a hundred if I wanted to. Eighty, I thought, was a nice round number that would make the journey a challenge – but not an impossibility.
In the coming months, having already travelled extensively in Europe, I’ll make my way to Moscow via Riga for the big one (although I plan to take the trans-Mongolian, dipping south at Lake Baikal to Ulan Bator and on to Beijing, rather than the trans-Siberian). I have sketched out various journeys in Asia – through Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan – followed by a route across North America, from the Rocky Mountains to the deserts of Arizona. I will obviously have to “cheat” and fly across the Pacific Ocean.
Much of the trip remains open: I want there to be spontaneity. But the penultimate leg of the trip should take me winding across China and on to the ancient route of the silk traders through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Visas permitting, I will return to Europe through Iran and Turkey, and would like to conclude the trip with the Venice to London route. And I will be sending regular dispatches to the Discover section of The Sunday Telegraph. Why do all this by train? For me, flying is expensive and boring, while car journeys are cramped and tedious. Trains, on the other hand, take the traveller into the nooks and crannies of a country and into the heart of its people. They are a microcosm of society, embodying literal class division: in India I could eat hot cornflakes with the ambassador to The Hague in a first-class carriage, then 36 carriages along, sit on wooden slats sharing pears in paper bags with a farmer from Gujarat. On trains I feel free: if I’m late, I can always catch another – and I can carry as much luggage as I like, with liquids in opaque bags. I can eat my own sandwiches, go for a wander, even move seats should I object to my companion.
When I set off, my goal was to spend the next 10 months finding out whether the charm and character of India’s railways extends around the rest of the world. Our British trains have lost the sparkle and spirit of their heyday, reduced to little more than a tired, delayed, grossly expensive form of transport for jaded commuters. But perhaps the glory of rail travel survives in other countries and undoubtedly there are pockets of the world where trains continue to play a vital role in enabling communities to survive and countries to thrive. With a one-month second-class Eurail pass in hand, I began my journey through Europe. From Paris I snaked down to Limoges and Clermont-Ferrand, weaving between forests and trundling over rivers tumbling through the Massif Central to Béziers, before curling down to Barcelona and blasting across to Madrid on the high-speed Ave opposite Rosita and Emily, two sleeping pensioners whose mouths had dropped open so far I could see the black plastic on their false teeth.
From Madrid I sat upright overnight to Lisbon, arriving with a sense of awe and a cricked neck, then circled the Douro Valley and back across Spain, hugging the coastline to Cannes, and spending the last week hopping between Milan, Verona, Florence and Rome . A Eurail pass is worth it if you’re planning a series of long-distance journeys: it pays for itself in five or six train rides. And if you have a fixed itinerary, reservations can be made anywhere from 90 days in advance. But it has its restrictions. I don’t like rigid plans and my best moments have come through serendipitous encounters with other travellers dishing out advice and redirecting me at a moment’s notice. I don’t know what I’m doing next week, let alone in 90 days’ time – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. With a rail pass, though, this presents a few problems.
At Milano Centrale I met Marie, a 50-year-old designer from New Zealand. She and I struck up a friendship through a session of mutual sighing and eye-rolling at the inability of Italians to form a queue – a queue, by the way, for a ticket to get into a second queue, so you can then sort out your pre-bought ticket.That’s Italy for you. I like it, though, because it’s as close as I have come to anything vaguely resembling the insanity of Indian Railways in terms of bureaucracy. Marie pushed her sunglasses on to her head and pulled a face: “You think a rail pass gives you freedom, but actually it’s the opposite. When you make a booking you have to stick to it or you end up queuing forever to change your booking and only get some of the money refunded.”
And that’s if you’re lucky. Trenitalia agents in Florence refused to change tickets I’d booked two days earlier in Monaco by SNCF, which refused to amend a booking made two days before that in Valencia by RENFE. Each insisted the other was responsible for voiding the tickets that were no longer needed and that any refunds had to be requested by post. Needless to say, I’ve racked up a fortune on reservation fees, ranging from €5 for a seat from Avignon to Cannes, to €35 for a high-speed service from Mannheim to Prague. Owing to temporary track replacement and repairs, there were no trains between Munich and Prague when I wanted to do that journey , forcing travellers on to a five-hour-long coach journey – my idea of hell. So I took an unplanned and long-winded route via Mannheim and, just before midnight, boarded the 10-hour overnight service to Prague. It was the first sleeper service of my journey, and I cleaned my teeth, picked my way back to my bunk and slid into my sleeper sheet, plumping my fleece into a pillow. My companion flipped off the switch and wriggled around below for a few minutes until his even breathing told me he was asleep. I lay blinking at the ceiling. As the air conditioner hummed and the train relaxed into a gentle rock, a familiar feeling came over me. It was the unmistakable feeling of coming home.
Monisha’s latest book…. Around India in 80 Trains..
“On Shed” will be keeping tabs on Monisha’s progress, and towards the end of the year, we hope to have an interview with her………….
WATTRAIN , APHTRO
At this very moment in time someone will be riding a heritage tram or train somewhere in the world and it is WATTRAIN’s aim to ensure that this will be the case for many years to come. Although different countries may have different laws and cultures, our heritage trams and trains all face the same sorts of issues; finance; restoration costs; Insurance; volunteer shortages and other similar things. WATTRAIN is here to bring organisations together, to allow them to learn from each other, passing on new ideas and also showing others what to avoid on their way to succeeding in their efforts.
If you or your organisation agrees with what we are trying to achieve, please consider joining us in our endeavours details can be found on our membership pages.
Although there are many activities in the heritage and tourist railway sector in the Asia – Pacific region, they are busily advancing their plans separately; it seems there is little co-operation between countries. On the other hand, the international co-operation has been achieved and succeeded in the other rigion: Europe, North and Latin America and Whole World. It is essential to establish and improve regional co-operation. This should be closer, more frequent and appropriate at the local level than worldwide level. APHTRO, Asia Pacific Heritage and Tourist Rail Organisation will mainly help the improvement of our treasured heritage railways and museums by forming a co-operative organisation to unite the countries. It will provide a forum where we can share experience and exchange ideas, advice and information in many aspects. APHTRO is able to act an important role and contribute to the growth and development of the heritage and tourist railways in the Asia – Pacific region.
Booking for this year’s APHTRO Conference
in Bangkok, Thailand, 20(optional), 21-23 October
is open now.
Your attendance will be wrmly welcomed.
Please visit our website for details;
Find 30742 Charters on Facebook at www.facebook.com/30742charters
Welsh Highland Railway trip, 19 July 2015.(C) Tony Wood