On Shed…..Steam Tube’s Monthly Magazine. December 2015 Edition


” Preserving the steam locomotive legacy.. and more..on film”

Front Page

4965 Rood Ashton hall slips on Old Hill bankGreat Western Hall class No. 4965 Rood Ashton Hall loses her footing on Old Hill bank tonight hauling the return leg of the Oxfordshire Explorer back to Tyseley.                             (C) Andrew Edkins


Welcome..and news…

Editor’s Selection:

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
Christian Wolmar…
Around the World in 80 Railways. ( No 65: Lötschberg Pass Railway – an Alternative View..Courtesy Tim Hitchcock..))
30742 Charters

Welcome..and news…

A warm welcome to this December issue of “On Shed”. Its a pleasure to welcome new members..and we hope that you find the friendly ambience to your liking.

In this edition, we take a look back at the highlights of the many photographs, videos  and blogs uploaded to Steam Tube during the past few weeks….

Also , a visit to India, and see the progress of steam preservation courtesy Rail Tube’s India correspondent Rajendra B Aklekar.

Michael Wenn Williams  asks the question  “Could this be the cheeriest railway in Britain?”.. and answers it…  And look out for details of Michael’s “Combat Trains” programmes on The History Channel.

This edition of “On Shed” includes the usual suspects(!!). If you would like to see something included especially, please do let us know. We are always open to suggestions….

But first……An Invitation To Dine With Flying Scotsman!

“Dear Steam Tube member,

You may already be aware of the programme offered by the National Railway Museum to celebrate the return of iconic locomotive “Flying Scotsman” to the mainline.

One such event is Dining with Flying Scotsman, and is available during the NRM’s Flying Scotsman season ( 25th March to 8th May 2016) The £85 per person (basic price… but expect to pay a little more to cover Steam Tube invited speakers)


  • Exclusive hire of the atmospheric Great Hall from 7pm to 11.30 pm
  • A welcome drink on arrival
  • A delicious Flying Scotsman-themed 3-course menu
  • Photo opportunities around the world’s most famous locomotive

This package is for a minimum of 50 guests and is subject to availability. Additional extras such as themed entertainment, special dining options and AV will be available to enhance this package further, contact our team to discuss your event enquiry. ”

We would like to know how many members would consider attending this event, if we at Steam Tube could arrange it..

Minimum number is 50…and since dates are going to be in short supply, and since this is a never to be repeated prestigious event, your earliest indication would be appreciated.

Please not that once we have the required minimum number of guests..( and the sooner we make our  desire known, the better!!) we would like to make full payment at the time of booking.

What a brilliant opportunity this is to be able to get up close and personal with the world’s most iconic locomotive….and what  a wonderful occasion this will be for Steam Tube members to get together to enjoy , not just the past history of the steam age, but to look forward to more of the same in the future.

In the first instance, if you could let us know soonest, then we can see whether this is a viable event for us to be involved with..

Kind regards,

Peter S Lewis and Andy Thompson

Co-founders and co-owners www.steamtu.be.”

Editor’s Selection(1)

A report by JL Singh of Indian Steam Railway Society….

XIII National Stem Congress – Special Steam Run– By JL Singh

As part of the XIII National Steam Congress, a special run by a steam hauled train from Delhi to Rewari was organised by ISRS on the 22nd of November 2015, a day after the formal session of the Congress.  The intention was to give delegates and any other member of the public an opportunity to travel on a steam hauled train and also to see Rewari steam shed.
The special train with Locomotive No. 6171 WP/1 at its head steamed out of Delhi Cantt. station a little after 10.30 in the morning of a pleasant sunny day.  Apart from the delegates of the Congress, it was good to see the Member Mechanical of the Indian Railways Board, Mr. Hemant Kumar, on the train.  While a number of delegates spent some time on the locomotive footplate, Mr. Alexander Karnes and Mr. Phil Christopher, live steam buffs from the USA, rode on the locomotive for the entire route.  Locomotive 6171 can be seen in all its glory in the picture below outside Gurgaon station en route to Rewari.

Inline image 1

The train ran through all stations at a good speed, touching 60 kmph a few times but keeping to 45-50 kmph most of the time.  First stop was a brief halt at Patuadi Road followed by another at Khalilpur where precedence was given to a regular train.  The train pulled into Platform No. 3 of Rewari station a little after 1.00 p.m.

Without losing any time, delegates walked across the yard to the steam shed a little distance away.  In the shed, they were greeted by the Fairy Queen in all its steaming glory.  The locomotive ran up and down the BG line inside the shed not worried about the 160 years since its commissioning.  While most delegates used the steaming Queen as a good photo opportunity our two American friends used the time on the locomotive.  Although no other locomotive was in steam, they had been laid out for display.

The picture of the Fairy Queen at Rewari on the 22nd can be seen below.

Inline image 2

A film produced and directed by Vikas Arya on the renovation of Rewari shed was shown.  Souvenirs of the National Rail Museum were also available for sale and it was noted that a large number were sold.

After spending about two hours and a half in the shed, delegates came back to the special coach for lunch.  The return journey (unfortunately by diesel) started at 4.00 p.m.  The saving grace was that the trailing window of the special coach gave a panoramic view of all stations as they sped past the speeding train.  The setting sun only added to the spectacle.

Inline image 3

Akbar – Shah-en-shah of Steam

On the occasion of the XIIIth National Steam Congress organized by the Indian Steam Railway Society – WP 7161 ‘Akbar’ made a special run between Delhi Cantonment and Rewari Jn. We were able to chase the train and catch it at a few spots en route.

(Courtesy: Shashanka Nanda… wdp4 on YouTube)


Editor’s Selection (2)

The Trains Now Departed – and the line that never closed. Could this be the cheeriest railway in Britain? (Michael Williams)


THE CARRIAGES are shabby and have seen better days – and the service is sparse, with just five trains each way over its 75-mile length. Some of the stations have primitive facilities, with barely enough shelter to shield passengers from the cutting winds that blast down from the Pennine hills.

Yet I’m thinking this summer morning that there can hardly be a cheerier railway on the network. My packed 10.49 train from Lancaster to Leeds is positively buzzing , with the chatter of a party of children returning from a school trip in the Lake District and the gossip of shoppers off to market day in Skipton to buy local delicacies such as home-made parkin and Yorkshire curd tart.

The upbeat mood is set off to perfection when the Pennine sun bursts from the clouds as we pass Ingleborough – one of the many glorious sights along this most scenic of Britain’s railways. And here is another group of passengers who depend on the line daily – a group of perspiring cyclists who edge their expensive steeds delicately onto the train.

There is nobody more euphoric than my travelling companion Gerald Townson, general secretary of the local rail users group, who has just been informed officially that the service is going to improve for the first time since 1989. “You could have scraped me off the ceiling when I heard the news,” he tells me in his delightfully undiluted Yorkshire accent.

In my latest book The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into the Lost Delights of Britain’s Railways, I write about the sad loss of some of our loveliest railways. Thank goodness this one was spared the axe.

For around a century, the Morecambe-Leeds route was a busy railway full of expresses and stopping trains. In its glory days, the farming communities in the spectacular countryside along the line were within easy reach of the great cities of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and mill workers from the West Riding poured in their hundreds of thousands to resorts on the Lancashire coast.

Late trains on Saturday night brought revellers home from dances in Morecambe’s Central Pier ballroom and in summer Irish labourers crossed to Heysham and travelled for “hiring day” in the great sheep and cattle market at Bentham. Hikers headed for Bell Busk station, the gateway to Malhamdale, and the more energetic to Clapham, where they could hoof it up Ingleborough. Each tiny station had its own goods yard and cattle dock – all gone now, as have nearly all the little wooden signal boxes. So it is a marvel that the line is still with us – yet its charms are the most underrated in Britain.

Now the five trains a day each way between Morecambe and Leeds will increase to seven, with an extra one on Sundays. It may not seem much on the scale of the 20,000 trains that run on the national network each weekday. But for this group of remote farming towns and villages strung across the hills between north Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales, it is a lifeline – and an affirmation of a future that has seemed precarious ever since the local railways were devastated by Beeching in the 1960s.

It also is a triumph for a group of local folk who jealously guard their railway and cherish it – arguably more than any of the various official operators who have been in charge over the years. This means not just lobbying for a better train service, but rolling up their sleeves to make the line more attractive – painting the stations, designing the posters, planting station gardens, and generally banging the drum for the line in the local area and beyond.

Luckily, there’s backing from the pro-rail Lancashire County Council which supports the line through what’s known as a community rail partnership. But in essence, keeping the railway flourishing is a matter of hard graft from local folk, including the local postmaster, the former parish vicar, a group of retired teachers – and anyone else who wants to muck in. None of the stations along the line is staffed, but you wouldn’t know it – so well groomed and cared for is their appearance.

At the heart of the line is Bentham station, which helps keep this delightful market town in the heart of sheep country on the national transport map, despite the paucity of its train service. Luckily the main station building didn’t get razed or sold off in the economies that have afflicted the line over the years, and the locals have achieved things that the railway operators would never have bothered about – or afforded.


The platform is adorned with flowers in tubs – a riot of petunias and geraniums – as well as a specially commissioned series of paintings and maps reflecting the local topography and activities. The station garden is immaculate tended by local volunteers – with planting sponsored by businesses in the town, keen to see their station flourish. It’s all protected by the CCTV system installed by Townson and volunteers. “It cost £2,000 and took just 14 hours to install, says Gerald “If we’d waited for the rail industry to install it, it would probably have cost a fortune.” Now Gerald is nominated for an award at the prestigious 2015 ceremony of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships http://www.acorp.uk.com/Community Rail Awards Main 2010.html

The labour of love in turning what was once a forlorn and semi-derelict station into a community focus for the town has paid off handsomely in that it was recently deemed fit for the cermonial arrival by train of the town’s Carnival Queen.

The local newsletter reported the event under the headline “QUEEN ARRIVES AT BENTHAM STATION” It continued: “The Queen was greeted by the mayor and crowds cheered and applauded her arrival from the platforms and bridge. The Friends of Bentham Station pop-up café appeared in the station building and on the sunny but breezy platform – and patrons were able to enjoy cakes made by the Friends, served on Hyacinth-Bucket quality paper plates and a variety of drinks befitting any such festive occasion.”

But not everything is perfect. At the book-lined home of Jack Warbrick, the membership secretary of the Lancaster and Skipton Rail Users’ Group and a former English master at the local grammar school, I join some of the committee as they shoot the breeze on the key issues affecting the town and its railway. There’s much to discuss over strong Yorkshire tea and delicious scones with jam, made by Jack’s wife Pam.

Many of the issues are common to other rural communities around Britain. One of Bentham’s banks has just closed, leaving the town with a solitary branch. Will this go, too? The choice of shops in the high street is diminishing, forcing people to travel further for their weekly essentials. David Alder, the postmaster and one of the leading lights supporting the railway, talks about some of the difficulties running a rural post office. He has just got the news that the Post Office will no longer permit the sale of Premium Bonds over the counter.

Increasingly locals are having to travel further for specialist medical care – and youngsters need to be able to get to college in Lancaster or West Yorkshire, – otherwise Bentham will become depopulated of the brightest of the next generation. All this makes the local railway an ever more essential lifeline. Would Bentham’s last big factory – making fire brigade hoses – have such an international profile in a town without a station?

But the meeting ends on a playful note, with David suggesting a promotion in the form of an acronym using the first letters of The Bentham Line, which would run: “Through Homely Encampments, Beautiful, Entrancing Natural Terrain, Hills and Moorland. Life, Industry, Nature Everywhere.” It merits a round of applause.

As I wait for my train back to Lancaster, several of the committee turn out to wave goodbye, pressing into my hand their latest enticement to use the railway – a set of specially commissioned pamphlets featuring local walks in the enchanting countryside bordering the railway.

Soon, with the new train service, we visitors will be able to spend ever longer days sampling the delights of the Bentham line. And for locals, with a new last train back from Leeds at 7.30pm, that prospect of a return to the days when you could go out for a night at the cinema in Leeds or jitterbugging in Morecambe edges just that little bit closer.


Michael Williams is author of On the Slow Train and On the Slow Train Again, published by Arrow Books. (The latter includes a chapter dedicated to the Bentham Line.) His newest book The Trains Now Departed: Sixteen Excursions into the Lost Delights of Britians Railways is published by Preface, a division of Penguin Random House.

In connection with “Steaming to Victory”, Michael’s blog includes details of a new series on The History Channel… called Combat Trains (www.michaelwennwilliams.co.uk)

“Here are some pictures of me filming in Churchill’s top-secret railway HQ at the disused Down Street station in Mayfair. (It was very dirty and spooky down there!)..









Here’s the schedule:

 “Nazi Railways” will be airing for the first time this Wednesday 25th November at 9pm. This will be on H2 which you can find on Sky Channel 531, Virgin 273, BT 330 and TalkTalk 330. Following this, episodes will then air every Wednesday up until the 16th December, where there will be a Christmas and New Year break before starting again from 6th January. So the schedule will look like this:
Nazi Railways – Wednesday 25th November @ 9pm
The Death Railway – Wednesday 2nd December @ 9pm
Ambulance Trains – Wednesday 9th December @ 9pm
The American Civil War – Wednesday 16th December @ 9pm
Precious Cargo – Wednesday 6th January @ 9pm
Secrets & Lies – Wednesday 13th January @ 9pm
World War I – Wednesday 20th January @ 9pm
World War II – Wednesday 27th January @ 9pm
As well as the above, each episode will also be repeated five times each week. The timings for the first episode are below, and will repeat at the same day of the week and time for each following episode:
Thursday 26th November @ 2am
Thursday 26th November @ 2pm
Thursday 26th November @ 7pm
Sunday 29th November @ 11pm
Monday 30th November @ 3am
As said above, each episode will repeat in the same time slot each week.

Steam Tube Photographic Highlights(31,880 in Library!)

 Blaenavon Steam Gala 2015 1Blaenavon Steam Gala 2015 3British Railways Standard Class 5 number 73082 “Camelot”"Camelot"

"Camelot"At Churston 24/10/15The Dartmouth Express 24/10/15The Dartmouth Express 24/10/15

201403220801514615DMK1344 GALATEAIMG_5789 TANGMERENCS steamloco

image'Bongo' B1 Bounding Along (Saturday 21st Nov 2015)B1 61306 Mayflower at Chester 21 Nov 20151 Passing Trains at Kinchley Lane 1

1 Passing Trains at Kinchley Lane 29F at Loughborough9F at Quorn 245305 at Quorn

Steam Tube Video Highlights(7,170 in Library)

Bluebell Railway - Giants of Steam 2015 - Sheffield Park StationBluebell Railway - Giants of Steam 2015 - Kingscote StationBluebell Railway - Giants of Steam 2015 - East Grinstead Station(Part 1) ~ Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway Autumn Gala 2015 (Including New Section)

West Somerset Railway Autumn Steam Gala 2015 (Part 1)LMS 5MT 44871 and 45407 at Swinton Railway Station with 'The Tin Bath'Mid Hants Railway 2015 Autumn Gala from the Lineside Part 3Mid Hants Railway 2015 Autumn Gala from the Lineside Part 2

44871 & 45407 in the sun on The Tin Bath 1/11/15Main Line 2014 Pt1Main Line 2014 Pt2Steam on the Oberalp Pass (Switzerland) – Part 1

44871 & 45407 haul the Tin Bath 1 Nov 20156201 and 6000 star in the Tyseley Open Day - The Great Western Line Up2015A Duchess To London - 46233 On The London Explorer - 2015Duchess of Sutherland 14th November 2015

Severn Valley Railway - 'Manor 50' - Hampton Loade StationSevern Valley Railway - 'Manor 50' - Arley StationSevern Valley Railway - 'Manor 50' - Highley StationSteam on the Oberalp Pass (Switzerland) – Part 2

Steam on the Oberalp Pass, watch the driver & fireman at workManor 50 ~ Severn Valley Railway 14 & 15/11/2015GWR 4965 - Erupts Up Old Hill Bank - The Oxfordshire Explorer - 201545407 on 1Z88 'The Bath Christmas Market' at Eastleigh on 26/11/15.

Steam Tube Blogs(487 in the Library)

Go Compare (Dave Wilson, Steam Age Daydreams)


In the ‘green’ corner, ‘not to be moved’, we have the classic Great Western mixed traffic engine ‘Modified Hall’ No.6990 Witherslack Hall. Weighing in at 122.5 tons the Halls carried 4000 gallons of water and 6 tons of coal. They were a quarter of an inch more than 63ft.  long, with 6 ft. driving wheels, a boiler pressure of 225lb. sq. in. and a Tractive Effort of 27,275lb. The Hall class were designed by C. B. Collett, built at Swindon, and numbered 329 in total.

Simmering gently, in the ‘black’ corner, is the LMS version of the go anywhere do anything engine, Stanier’s Black 5 No 45305. No.45305 is 7.5inches longer than No.6990, weighs a little over two tons more carries 3 extra tons of coal and delivers a Tractive Effort of 25,455lb, 1,820lb less than No.6990 Witherslack Hall. 842 Black 5s were built 427 of them by outside contractors. The first engine to enter service was No.(4)5020 and she was built by Vulcan Foundry. The largest number were built, not by the LMS, but by William Armstrong & Co., who constructed 327 of them.

I worked on the Black 5s, but not on the Halls, I worked on the Standard 5s too, even a B1 once, from Leeds to Cleethorpes and back. When it comes to ‘which one is best’ – well you pays yer money and makes yer choice – me I like the Black5s

For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. “Gricing” 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

100 Trains….the journey so far….

100 Trains. THE global charity event of 2016.

What? A series of charity walks, and rolls (for wheelchair users), along the route of a 50,000km RTW train journey.

Why? To raise vital research funds for ataxia research, and as a vehicle to unite ataxia sufferers, supporters and charities worldwide

The journey will start on the 23rd of January next year, with a Walk’n’Roll through Hyde Park in London (my 50th birthday & I can’t think of a better way of marking the occasion). Everyone, whether a London resident or visitor, ataxia sufferer or not, is invited to join me for a gentle stroll through London’s finest park.

Ataxia UK

Ataxia UK is the national charity for ataxia in the UK. They are working very hard to find a cure for one, or all, ataxias by 2020.

They are very confident that a cure will be found (their 2020 Vision). A wee bit too late for me personally perhaps? But I’ve met many people in wheelchairs (both adults and children) who are also affected by ataxia, and it breaks my heart to think that future generations will also suffer from a condition that could be totally preventable.

A cure WILL be found. Of that I am sure. Research funds just need to be found first.

So please support the 100 Trains Global Walk’n’Roll in any way that you can. Thank you!

Please sponsor this event

*Paypal will convert to your currency of choice.


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):

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)

New & ReBuild News.

Hengist: Latest news at http://www.72010-hengist.org/

Latest progress on P2’s Facebook page…..

Latest News Here

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.

Latest News…HERE

Claud Hamilton:

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


1498 Preservation Group

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.

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 September 2015..and beyond..can be found  at  Railway Herald


On This Day In History



Great Western Railway of England commences series production at its Swindon Works of ’Hall’ Class 4-6-0 steam locomotives, of which there will eventually be 339.


Underground Electric Railways Company of London officially opens its notable new headquarters building at 55 Broadway, above St. James’s Park tube station, designed by Charles Holden.


The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway publicly inaugurates England’s first suburban surface railway electrification system on its South London line, known as the “Elevated Electric” (overhead wire 6.7 kV a.c. at 25 Hz)

01/12/1954      British Railways launches its modernisation plan.


The Severn Railway Tunnel under the Bristol Channel was opened to trains, making it the longest railway tunnel in Britain.

1/12/1990         Channel Tunnel breakthrough….


13 people die and 41 are injured in an accident at Barnes Station caused by a signalling error.

03/12/1927       Official opening of London Post Office Railway.

04/12/1957      Accident at Lewisham (90 fatalities. 176 injured)


O. Winston Link, American photographer who documented the end of steam locomotive use on the Norfolk and Western Railway in the 1950s born.

17/12/1915        The St Bedes Junction rail crash in England kills 19 people.


The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway in Ireland, opens between Westland Row, Dublin (now Dublin Pearse railway station) and Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire). It uses the standard gauge.


Grand Central Railway, a new rail operator, inaugurates passenger services from Sunderland to London King’s Cross.


Henry Fowler is appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Midland Railway, succeeding Richard Deeley


The London Underground Jubilee Line Extension is finally fully operational.  with the start of services at Westminster tube station, although through running has been in operation since November….


The New Zealand Government Railways become the first major railway to place a 4-6-2 steam locomotive into service, having ordered thirteen Q class from the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia


The Hawes Junction train disaster in Cumbria, England, occurs when a busy signalman forgets about a pair of bank engines waiting at his starting signal and he then allows two trains into the one block section


Radstock to Frome Railway Project

Latest News from this group can be found HERE


Christian Wolmar…

Book review: The English Railway Station

With the author’s permission, Steam Tube ..and Rail Tube ..is able to offer to its valued members and readers an opportunity to get a signed copy of one of Christian Wolmar’s excellent railway histories…

Serious students of railway history will already know of the writer’s expertise in gathering the facts, and putting them altogether into a coherent whole..so why not get your personally signed copies of his best selling works..

We have a limited supply… indicated by the accompanying (number)..and price…

(unless otherwise stated, all titles are HardBack, in very good condition ..used in displays at events)

Engines of War (3) (£15-00)

Great Railway Revolution (2) (£15-00)

Fire and Steam (4) (£15-00)

Fire and Steam (Audio Book) (1) (Total Length 14 hrs+ Read by Christian Wolmar) (£15-00)

Iron Road-The Illustrated History of the Railways (2) (£15-00)

Blood Iron & Gold (3)   (£15-00)

Blood Iron & Gold (Audio Book)(1) (Total Length 15 hours.Read by Michael Tudor Barnes) (£15-00)


CW The Great Railway RevolutionThe Iron Road (2014)Fire and Steam (2008)Engines of War (2012)Blood, Iron and Gold (2010)

Around the World in 80 Railways. No 65:Lötschberg Pass Railway – an Alternative View

(Courtesy Tim Hitchcock ..Timsvideochannel1 on YouTube)

“Join the driver for a trip along the legendary Lötschberg Pass railway. See the wonderful Swiss scenery bathed in glorious autumn sunshine. This version was filmed from a superbly restored “Blue Arrow” light electric railcar from both the passenger compartment, and the driver’s cab, including views of the driver at work.”



The Railway Preservation Society of Japan (RPSJ) hosted a triennial congress of the World Association of Tourist Trams & Trains (WATTRAIN) in Saitama, Japan

The theme of the 2015 Conference was “Sustainability – Inspiring the Next Generation” of our tourist and heritage trams and trains. An impressive list of speakers from all over the world  addressed the conference over two business days. The full programme included tours to Japan’s railway museums with journeys by Shinkansen (Bullet) trains together with preserved steam hauled trains.

This is a taste of the Business Days at the Congress…

Saturday 24th. October

The sessions took place in the conference Hall of the Railway Museum.

9.30 – 10.30 WATTRAIN Annual General Meeting

Morning Sessions chaired by: David Morgan. Panellist: Stefano Benazzo

10:30 – 10:45 Welcome words by David Morgan and Mr. M. Oshida (UK – Japan)

10:45 – 11:15 Sergio Rodriguez Zubieta (Arg.). Title: “Sustainability in tourist trains”

Coffee break

11:30 -12:00 Courtney Wilson (USA). Keynote Speech: Patron’s Address


12:00 – 12:30 Chris Le Marshall (Australia). Title: “Wheat belt Heritage Rail – Achieving Sustainability by Delivering a Social Dividend”

12:30– 13:00 Mr. Suga (Japan). Title: “Railway Heritage Preservation in Japan – a Brief History”

13:15– 14:45 A light lunch will be served outside the conference hall of the Railway Museum. There will also be a short visit to the museum.

Afternoon Sessions Chaired by: Chris LeMarshall. Panellist: Ian Leigh

14:45 – 15:15 David Morgan (UK).Title: Reviewing and Redefining Sustainability

15:15 – 15:45 Stefano Benazzo (Italy).Title: ?

15:45 – 16:15 Gabriel Asenjo (Arg.)Title: “The permanent challenge of reducing costs in steam locomotive restoration”

Coffee Break

16:30– 17:00 David Madden (UK). Title: “The future of coal”

17:00 – 17:30 Hiroyuki Ishikawa (Japan) Title: “Restauration of Class C11 steam locomotive at Oigawa Railway”

17:30 – 18:00 Bob Laprelle (USA) Presentation and announcement of WATTRAIN Frisco, Texas – USA. Title: “Starting Over: Taking a Fresh Approach to Building a Museum in the 21st Century”

 End of the first business session day



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.

APHTRO Conference took place in Bangkok, Thailand, 20(optional), 21-23 October 2015.
Please visit our website for news updates http://www.aphtro.org/

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Blaenavon Steam Gala 2015 2

Blaenavon Steam Gala 2015.(C)David James