On Shed..January 2018 Edition


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


Now features at  Wonderful World of Trains & Planes, Birmingham


Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

A K4 class locomotive “en route” to Fort William.(C) Robin Coombes

Welcome…and news
Editor’s Selections:
1. Warley Model Railway Exhibition 2017 (Chris Spencer)
2  Vintage Trains Community Benefit Society
3.California to Texas! Historic Santa Fe Locomotives Arrive in Frisco
(Museum of The American Railroad)
4. Don’t turn CSMT into a ghost building.(Rajendra B Aklekar)
5. Oliver Cromwell’s last thrash.(Paul Salveson)
6. The World’s First Solar Train
7 The Kingston Flyer

100 Trains….the journey so far….
Steam Tube Photographic File
Steam Tube Video Vault
Steam Tube Blogs. Memories of Crewe Works (Part 1)(railwayblogger)
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… Railway Historian.
Around the UK’s Heritage Railways A – Z “G”
30742 Charters
Back Page.

Welcome … and  news

A warm welcome to the January 2018 edition of “On Shed”, the monthly review magazine of all things steam preservation (well, quite a lot!).

We are now into our 10th year! Steam Tube (now a Facebook page)  had its humble beginnings in January 2009..with just a handful of members, and grew steadily, with a core of regular contributors, peaking at 1,554 members. The archive library contained over 30,000 images, and 7,000 videos of varying lengths! Photographs and videos can still be uploaded to our Facebook page HERE. Please feel free to add, share and comment!

The Editor’s Selections are worldwide! Concerns over iconic CSMT, are addressed in an open letter from Rail Tube regular Indian Railways correspondent Rajendra B Aklekar….What is to become of the Kingston Flyer ? …. A Solar Powered train? (Both items from New Zealand..) And the account of the 4 historic Santa Fe locomotives arriving in Frisco.(US).

The regular items are featured here too..So if you want to know of the progress of various rebuild projects, or when the next mainline (UK) steam railtour is scheduled, the necessary information is in this edition of “On Shed”.

So, please enjoy this month’s contents! (Suggestions as to content  are always welcome.

Peter S Lewis. “On Shed” – Editor


Editor’s Selections: 1. Warley Model Railway Exhibition 2017 (Chris Spencer)

Editor’s Selection 2. Vintage Trains Community Benefit Society.

Share Offer in a new British Mainline Railway Company
To learn more about Community Shares and the Benefit Society, please watch this short video:

Editor’s Selection 3: California to Texas! Historic Santa Fe Locomotives Arrive in Frisco.(Museum of The American Railroad)

It’s been nearly three decades in the making! Four historically significant diesel locomotives have finally arrived at their permanent home at the Museum of the American Railroad, three of which came from the Santa Fe Railway’s historic collection. Their arrival is the culmination of a successful partnership between two railroad museums 2,000 miles apart – a project that began before our historic move to Frisco.
In the 1970s, the Santa Fe Railway began searching the system for the last survivors of its earliest examples of diesel locomotives. Management deemed them worthy of preservation and an important link to the railroad’s iconic heritage. Included were three locomotives built by different companies during the fledgling years of diesel production which ultimately led to the demise of steam. They were stored at the railroad’s massive Albuquerque shop complex and eventually donated to the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) in Sacramento in 1986.
In 2009, as part of a restructuring of its collection, CSRM began to look for new homes for select locomotives in the Santa Fe Collection. The Museum of the American Railroad (MAR) was thought to be a perfect fit for preserving and presenting the units because of Santa Fe’s heritage in Texas and MAR’s move to a larger more prominent facility in Frisco. However, MAR needed to make significant progress on construction of its planned facilities before acquiring the locomotives.
With additional exhibit track completed late last year, the CSRM locomotives were officially gifted to MAR and readied for transportation to Texas. They embarked on a month-long 2,000 mile journey through the American Southwest. Arriving earlier today, they join the Museum of the American Railroad’s priceless collection of first–generation diesel locomotives, and now make up the largest gathering of preserved Santa Fe motive power in the nation. Ranging in age from 66 to 78 years old, the new acquisitions represent a huge leap in technology from steam to internal combustion.
On October 6, the locomotives were carefully loaded onto heavy duty flat cars because of their age and condition. They were then tied down by CSRM mechanical forces and inspected by the railroads. The process required two weeks of work. The loaded cars began their trek to Texas on November 13, departing Sacramento on Union Pacific Railroad’s line to Stockton. There, they were transferred to BNSF Railway, over which they would travel the rest of the way to Frisco, with layovers in Barstow, Clovis, Amarillo, Tulsa, Madill, and Sherman.
Funding for the project was provided by the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust. The railroads graciously provided transportation and TTX made four flatcars available at reduced rates. Our thanks for their generosity and to the many employees that insured the success and safety of the move. We are indebted to these organizations, without whom this project would not have been possible. Additional funding is being provided by the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society.
Special thanks to the California State Railroad Museum for their gift of the locomotives and support of our efforts in North Texas – a partnership that benefits historic railway preservation on a national level. The new acquisitions add value to the visitor experience and enhance the Museum’s offerings as an educational resource and cultural tourism destination.
We are proud to preserve part of BNSF’s legacy and rich history of the Santa Fe Railway. A fourth locomotive was also gifted by the California State Railroad Museum, a 1949 General Motors model F-7B that will be cosmetically restored as a booster unit to the museum’s existing Santa Fe F-7A. The pair will be aesthetically matched to represent motive power during Santa Fe’s legendary Streamliner era in the 1950s. Such locomotives could be found pulling theTexas Chief between Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Chicago.
Further information about the four locomotives can be found here.  Details of their restoration will be announced in the near future.
The Museum of the American Railroad is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable corporation chartered in the state of Texas in 1962. The mission of the Museum is to enrich the lives of others through meaningful, relevant programs and exhibits that relate the history & technology of the Railroad and its profound impact on American life and culture.
(Above) The four historic diesel-electric locomotives are shown passing through the Arizona desert near Kingman on the Barstow, CA to Clovis, NM leg of their journey over BNSF, November 24, 2017. Photos courtesy of Kenneth Gengler.

Editor’s Selection 4. Don’t turn CSMT into a ghost building.(Rajendra B Aklekar)

Dear Mr Railway Minister,

Don’t turn CSMT into a ghost building.

I have been one of the strongest supporters of railway heritage and have been one of the key persons behind that now-flourishing heritage gallery at the UNESCO-listed CSMT station, formerly Bombay Victoria Terminus.

A large number of things in the gallery on display today, if I remember correctly, have been gathered by me from various suburban stations on the Mumbai-Thane line over the years now, since this (the Great Indian Peninsula Railway or GIP Railway, now called Central Railway since 1951) is the country’s first passenger railway line and I feel that every relic here is a central piece of India’s railway history.

I had to pester, cajole, fight, write and get involved with scores of railway officials over the years to move those relics, some Herculean by weight requiring labour and transport and some Herculean by red-tape in the railway administration, into the gallery.

Allen & Turner Lamps from Masjid Bunder station bridge that have now been painted brown and welcome you at the entrance of the gallery, GIP Railway plaques from old DC electric masts at Bhandup, Basel Mission 1865 original Manglorean Tiles from CSMT station, GIPR wrought iron signage brackets from Bhandup booking office, Tucker & Reeves bolt safe from Mumbra and much, much more. What could not be saved has been documented and that forms the crux of my book ‘Halt Station India, the Dramatic Tale of Nation’s First Lines’ now  into its fourth imprint. Most of the demolitions and vanishing relics along the original line have been taken note of, documented and photographed where ever possible.

All said and done, the point I want to make is that I have been in full form to support all that is railway heritage almost my entire life, but the idea of converting the entire CSMT building into a museum somehow does not go down well with me. It does not gel well and something is wrong somewhere with the whole concept.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Images courtesy: Rajendra B Aklekar

Converting the entire building into a museum is against the very ethos of the building.

The CSMT building was constructed between 1887 and 1888 as a central head office for the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, now called Central Railway. The offices were earlier scattered at various places and need wad felt to bring them together under one roof. It was built magnificiently so that the Agent of the railway, the top-most official, who is now called the General Manager and his team could sit here and run the railway. Till today, 119 years later, he continues to sit in the same office, overseeing operations. His select team, bloated over the years due to expansion of railway and related work, sits with him in the building. His office has been the key one taking all crucial decisions on railway operations across the Central Railway zone, that includes a network spread over Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. It is the main theatre of railway working of the country’s first and busiest zone.

Removing him and his team out of the building will be like removing the context of the building for whom it was built. Its like taking out film shows from a theatre and decorating it to celebrate the glory of films in the empty shell of the theatre. Celebrating the cause, without keeping it alive. This should never happen.

All I want to say is that the idea of getting the CSMT building converted into a museum can be of no good if the building itself is vacated. It can be implemented with the railway offices working inside. The best option would be to keep select key offices in the building and move the rest out if you really insist. For example, the first and ground floors of the building could be the museum and the second floor could remain to continue as General Manager’s Office, a legacy of the building. And any time, a functional building is always best maintained than emptying it and making it into a ghost building where one will have difficulty to garner funds to maintain it in the given set up of railways.

The idea of converting the entire building into a transport museum sounds good but is not just impractical but also dangerous. The Railway Minister should rethink on this before taking a final call.

Rajendra B Aklekar.

Editor’s Selection 5. Oliver Cromwell’s last thrash.(Paul Salveson)

It would be a lamentable lapse of The Salvo not to mention the last ‘proper’ BR steam run over Shap, given that the 50th anniversary is almost up on us. On a very cold Boxing Day, 1967, Carlisle Kingmoor shed turned out Britannia Pacific 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ to work a football special to Blackpool. Carlisle had a fine record of turning out highly polished locos to work football specials for United’s away matches. Some years before, ‘red semi’ or if your prefer LMS Stanier pacific ‘City of Carlisle’ worked a much-photographed special to Preston and I can remember admiring her on Lostock Hall shed. But I digress.

This was a very special occasion indeed as it was just days before the end of steam at Kingmoor and this was to be the last steam-hauled passenger train worked by Carlisle engines and men. Somehow Vern Sidlow and myself managed to get from Bolton to Preston in time to walk out towards Todd Lane Junction to photograph the special ‘going round the loop’ from Preston via Todd Lane, Lostock Hall and Farington Curve Jc so it was heading back towards Blackpool (South). It was a freezing but sunny morning and the sight of ‘Cromwell’ hauling 13 coaches was inspirational. Sadly it was so cold my shot was useless and even Vern’s had a bit of a wobble on it. I’m not sure what we did then – Preston on Boxing Day didn’t have much to offer. We probably went home. But we were determined to join a large party of steam enthusiasts that evening to travel back to Carlisle – the last booked passenger steam over Shap. How we would get home from Carlisle in the middle of the night didn’t even enter our heads. We set off from Blackpool South at a modest pace and that generally continued after Preston through Lancaster and up Grayrigg. The performance was unspectacular. The driver, with a big enough load for a ‘Brit’ decided to stop at Tebay for a banker to get us over Shap.

This did seem highly optimistic, expecting anything to be in steam on a Boxing Day evening, within days of the shed closing completely. Sure enough, no assistance was available. What happened after that was as though we had a completely different crew at the helm. We set of from Tebay to an amazing display of fireworks from Cromwell’s chimney as we hit the 1 in 74 climb up to Shap summit. The ‘Brit’ was worked hard but professionally up the hill and we breasted the summit in great form. The run downhill to Carlisle was equally thrilling with speeds well into the 80s. On arrival at Carlisle we camped down in the station refreshment room on the down side, which the station staff had kindly kept open for us. That was it – and the final end of steam was less than eight months away. (More self-indulgent reminiscences on 50th anniversary of end of steam to come. You have been warned).

Editor’s Selection 6: The World’s First Solar Train….

World-first solar train now leaving the platform in Byron Bay with zero emissions
What is claimed to be the world’s first fully solar-powered train is operating on the New South Wales North Coast.
A refurbished 70-year-old ‘red rattler’ is running on a three-kilometre stretch of disused rail line at the popular tourist destination of Byron Bay.
It made its maiden trip yesterday with almost 100 passengers on board.

Electric bus solar system

The $4-million project is the brainchild of multi-millionaire businessman Brian Flannery, who owns a resort in the area. He said:

“Hopefully it attracts people to Byron Bay,” .
I think international tourists will come here to have a look at this world’s first solar train.
“So let’s see, in five years’ time they’ll probably still say I’m mad, but it’s a bit of fun.”

Tim Elderton, from the Lithgow Railway Workshop, was tasked with building curved solar panels and a battery system to power the train.

“Basically it’s electric bus technology that we’ve re-engineered to adapt to a train,” he said.
“Of course the major difference is it’s got solar panels on the roof so it can recharge itself.
“For those cloudy days we’ve also got 30 kilowatts of solar panels in this [station’s] roof here so we can also plug it in. “On a sunny day like today we can do about four or five trips before we have to plug it in.”

Modern technology and old-world charm

It has been 13 years since a train has run on the disused track between Casino and Murwillumbah.The New South Wales Government closed the North Coast line in 2004, citing low passenger numbers.
But the Byron Bay Railroad Company’s Jeremy Holmes said the alternative lifestyle haven was an ideal place for a project that combined modern solar technology with the old-world charm of a heritage train.

He said:

“I think everyone knows that Byron’s very conscious about anything to do with the environment.It’s really nice to be able to run a train that’s zero emissions and powered by the sun.”

But it might be premature to call this the dawn of an new era in rail travel.

Tram infrastructure a possibility

Longer trips than this one — 10 minutes to cover three kilometres or so — would require regular recharging stations along the route, but Mr Flannery said the technology might be suited to inner-city trams. He said:

“A lot of the tram networks of course have overhead wires and they’re electric but they’re powered off the grid from overhead. But in a case where you want to build a tramline without that infrastructure, I think you could.At various stations you could top the train [or tram] up.”

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-16/world-first-solar-train-the-brainchild-of-byron-bay-millionaire/9265522

Via: Clive Moore

Via Tim Fischer..

For seven days since Sat 16 Dec 2017 the world’s first solar powered shuttle railmotor has been successfully operating at Byron Bay on the northside. I provide this as an update and it is a popular breakthrough and  I have to say a great pointer to the future! OK I am biased.

Byron Bay Railroad Company has restored an out of action heritage train, is fully repairing three kilometers of railway line, is reinvigorating and preserving an out of action rail corridor and providing an affordable public transport solution for locals and visitors. All at no cost to ratepayers, at no cost to government at any level. The train will operate on energy from the sun, with a diesel engine used solely as a back-up, and solar panels on the train and storage shed will generate the equivalent amount of energy required to operate the train daily, charging the on-board battery bank.

Editor’s Selection 7: The KIngston Flyer

It’s been confirmed the Kingston Flyer steam train will be remaining in its home town beside Lake Wakatipu.There were concerns the classic train set might be broken up, after being sold to mystery buyers.
A mystery consortium of local investors bought the operation this year, but the gates have remained closed.
And while there was talk of relocating the heritage trains, it’s been confirmed they’ll definitely be staying.
Engineer Neville Simpson, who has been employed to assess the condition of the two steam locomotives and seven heritage carriages said:

“The work that needs done to get them done to get them back up and running is reasonably substantial, but achievable.” 

He’s working with a small group of volunteers to clean up the classic train set.
It’s hoped to have one locomotive “in steam” by February – the first anniversary of the death of longtime driver Russell Glendinning.
The full restoration bill could run into the millions, but investors are working on a business plan for a new tourism operation.
There’s certainly a long way to go, but there is hope that one day the ticket office will again be open for business.
Newshub. (http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/12/kingston-flyer-steam-train-will-stay-at-home.html)

100 Trains….the journey so far….


Steam Tube Photographic File

Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoor Image may contain: train, sky and outdoor

An A4 Takes the Curve..and..Around the Turntable Great Western style.(Robin Coombes)

Image may contain: cloud, sky, train and outdoor Image may contain: train and outdoor

Great Western Cavalcade, and Token Exchange. (ALL images Courtesy: Robin Coombes)

Steam Tube Video Vault

Monarchs Of The Mainline – U.K Steam Train Review 2017.(Marsh Steam Videos™)

My mainline review for 2017 features my favourite shots taken across England and as usual a decent selection of locos and locations all feature in this video. As always a big thanks to all the operators and volunteers for their relentless effort which without wouldn’t make this video possible ! All locos and locations are captioned on screen.

A big thanks to all my subscribers and viewers for your comments and support throughout the year, I am struggling to respond to comments at the moment due to my new work commitments and unfortunately this will impact on next year’s outings, though there will still be videos throughout next year albeit on a smaller scale.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Video Highlights

* Flying Scotsman reopening the S&C
* Double Headed Panniers
* An A4 Class over Sapperton (60009)
* 46115 ‘Scots Gaurdsman’ final run before overhaul
* 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ returns to the mainline
* 45690 ‘Leander’ awakens Miles Platting

Locomotives featured

45690 ‘Leander’
GWR Pannier Tank 9600
GWR Hawksworth Pannier Tank 9466
5043 ‘Earl Of Mount Edgecumbe’
34052 ‘Lord Dowding’
46100 ‘Royal Scot’
60009 ‘Union Of South Africa’
60163 ‘Tornado’
46233 ‘Duchess Of Sutherland’
46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’
45699 ‘Galatea’
60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’
35028 ‘Clan Line’
70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’
B.R STD 4 ‘76084’

The best of St Nicholas steam trains with Bratislava Albatross 498.104.(Dominik Schön)

5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe heads into the sunrise with the Christmas White Rose 9 Dec 2017.(John Edkins)

A Severn Valley Snowstorm – 7714 On The Christmas Luncheon Train – 2017 (Marsh Steam Videos™)
Pannier tank 7714 cuts a lonely figure as it battles it’s way through heavy snow on the Severn Valley Railway. Shots like these are rare in the UK, so I was glad my gamble paid off as I was about 30 minutes away from getting marooned as the intensity of the snow increased and the roads became treacherous. I hope you enjoy.
LE JARDIN FERROVIAIRE DE BUYSSCHEURE (30/09/2017)Philibru Production.
Located in the north of France between Saint-Omer and Cassel, the railway garden of Buysscheure, with its twenty trains in motion, makes you travel through a succession of landscapes and animations for the delight of children and … great . This magic garden which we owe to Francis Lalau, an enthusiast of train of garden which, with his team in realized a small marvel. On board ! Watching preferably in HD and widescreen

Echills Wood Railway 2nd December 2017.(Chris Spencer)

Steam Specials, July – December 2017.(Ronik24)
Compact collection of nostalgic clips from this summer, autumn and winter featuring:- 750 mm Saxon class IV K 99 1542 making a unique guest appearance for three weekends in summer on the Austrian 760 mm narrow gauge Ybbstalbahn Bergstrecke heritage line including trestlework bridges very rare in Central Europe, July 30.- Vienna Prater Liliputbahn, October 15 (mostly diesel scenes, as I took photos of the steamer).- 93.1420 of Verein Neue Landesbahn on the Kaltenleutgebner Bahn – an abandoned branch line from Vienna Liesing station through Perchtoldsdorf in Lower Austria to Waldmühle. Runs on November 12 and December 3 supposed to promote revival of the railway. An Amercian school bus connected to the local Christmas market (the intended London Routemaster had had an accident and was out of service).- 498.104 “Albatros” on its yearly international run from Veselí nad Moravou (Czechia) via Myjava (Slovakia), this time as a big loop from/to Bratislava in one day – so sadly not that many photo opportunities on the picturesque diesel line as the years before. Luckily, wintery conditions prevailed on December 2, and the sun made it through the fog.

Steam Tube Blogs
Memories of Crewe Works (Part 1)(railwayblogger)(Original post and associated photographs appear HERE.)

Following my first 12 months with British Rail Engineering Ltd at Crewe Works in the training school I embarked on a further 2 years in the main Works from August 1975. If my memory serves me right, the Works employed around 5,000 people at that time. I would like to share some of my Crewe Works memories with you.

Welding and Plate Shop

The works were still building locomotives. At the time, the first of the High Speed Train power cars were being built in the Erecting Shop or 10 shop as it referred to. The Welding and Plate Shop was my first workshop assignment. It was adjacent to the Fabrication Shop and was under the control of the Superintendent, Dennis Dooley. Mr Dooley was renowned for being a strict disciplinarian. Apprentices had to wear green overalls and were very visible amongst the general workforce. If Mr Dooley spotted a ‘green overall’ that he didn’t recognise, he would challenge you and ask what your business was in his workshop! He would administer a severe verbal ‘ticking-off’ warning you to stay out in future unless you had authority to be there.

An impact on my railway career

In the Welding and Plate Shop, I was assigned to Frank Jones. One of the jobs I remember Frank doing was welding up damaged sections of traction motor carcasses. These castings were very heavy and had to be lowered onto the workbench using an overhead crane. One day I was assisting Frank manoeuver a carcass into position when the crane driver inadvertently lowered the carcass too quickly trapping one of Frank’s hands underneath. I immediately signaled to the crane driver to raise the carcass up. With his hand released, I clearly remember Frank calmly saying ‘Stupid Bugger!’ as he removed his welding gauntlet. His fingers were badly crushed and there was a significant amount of blood. I accompanied him to the medical centre.Frank had worked at Crewe Works since before World War II. He told me that his chargehand and him were the last two people left who had worked on Tank Assembly at the Works during the war in the very workshop we were in. At that time, workshop conditions were thoroughly unpleasant. The atmosphere was full of welding fumes which were trapped in the building by the blackout precautions. His chargehand was three weeks younger than Frank and both were just a couple of months away from retirement aged 65 in the Winter of 1975/6. He was looking forward to this period of his life and wanted to enjoy his passion for fishing. Due to his injury, Frank was off work and I was transferred to another area of the workshop. I didn’t work with Frank again and indeed I never saw him again.Some weeks later I was walking through Crewe town centre when I bumped into his chargehand. I asked after Frank specifically if he had made any prize fishing catches. His chargehand said that very sadly Frank had died just three weeks after retirement. I was stunned. This lovely man had worked all his life and had no time to enjoy his retirement. Although only 17 at the time, I made the decision that there was no way I would work full-time until I was 65. My father taught me I should save and that I should live within my means. Over the years since Frank’s death, I have made provision for early retirement. This lovely man unwittingly had a major impact on my career decision.Fabrication ShopMy next move was into the Fabrication Shop. Here I was accompanied by Training School friends. This included Steve Dodd also known as ‘Doddy’. Doddy in my view was one cool dude because he played in a rock band. A fellow member was Mike Atchison who had been at college with me. Mike was training to be an electrical engineer as well but within the Signal and Telegraph Department of British Rail at Gresty Road near Crewe station.One day at college, Mike produced a portable cassette machine and said to me ‘Listen to this’ recording. The room was then full of the sound of rock music and it sounded incredible! As the music died away I said ‘Who was that?’ Mike said ‘It’s us’. I said I’d never heard of a group called ‘Us’. Mike laughed and said ‘No it’s us – me, Doddy and the lads’. I was very impressed! Mike recently made contact with me again after nearly 30 years. I remember on one occasion on the Fab. Shop Doddy being perched on the top of a large fuel tank from a Class 47, welding in new sections to replace rotted areas. Doddy was one of a number of my friends in the Works who nicknamed me ‘Cockney Rebel’ because I was a Southerner and it didn’t matter I was from Hertfordshire not London.


There was new build taking place within the fabrication shop with the webbing for the sides of the new High Speed Train power cars being held in jigs so they could be welded. To improve their welding skills apprentices spent time in the Welding School. This was located at the far end of the works opposite the General Stores, formerly the paint shop during the days of steam. Our tutor there was Roy.One of the exercises was to weld two test pieces of steel plate, the edge of which had been prepared with a forty-five degree chamfer. The aim was to achieve a homogenous weld. The way to see how successful this had been was to take the welded plates and secure them in a vice with the weld level with the top of the jaws. The next bit was great therapy to release any anger or pent-up emotion. You picked up a large sledgehammer, aimed carefully and swung, clouting the top plate and splitting the weld clean down the middle. Roy would inspect the weld to see whether there were any blow holes or slag inclusions. Over a two-week period Roy taught myself and others to electric arc weld, braise and gas weld – a skill I’ve used many times since in my life. Although I’m a bit rusty now!I would dearly love to know if anybody reading this knows Roy surname and can post it in the comments below please.

Traction Shop

All too soon my period in the Fabrication Shop was up and I moved to the Traction Shop. Superintendent Towers was in charge and he had a reputation of being very strict too. This workshop used to be an erecting shop and was where the Class 52 Western diesel hydraulic locomotives were constructed in the 1960s.Change of use to the overhaul of electrical machines resulted in the pits between the railway lines in the Workshop being filled in. A rumor that has prevailed for many years was that name and number plates from steam locomotive scrapped in the works we used as hard core in the pits before being covered by cement.During my time in the Traction Shop I was put with a guy who overhauled tap changes on the 25kv transformers from Class 86 and 87 electric locomotives. This was the first time I encountered a feeling of resistance against imparting information. The guy I was to work alongside said to me ‘You’re one of those Engineering Apprentices that don’t like to get their hands dirty’. As I was training to become a professional engineer I was expected to learn by watching and not to get directly involved. However, my view was that you can’t just learn by standing back and watching others. Plus I like to help people wherever I can. You have to get stuck in and get your hands dirty. I insisted that I wasn’t like some of my predecessors. I welcomed the chance to assist him and learn how to use the tools. His attitude changed completely and we got along famously ever after.

Crewe Works Memories

At ‘Brew Time’ I would sit with the guys and enjoy the banter even when it was directed at me as ‘one of them who don’t get their hands dirty‘.One day I was approached by an electrician who had a football card game. There were squares on the card each containing the name of a football club. You selected the club, initialed the box and paid over 5p. When all the squares were sold, a covered up square at the top of the card covered by blue tape was revealed to show the winning club. The guy said to me did I want the last square? I protested that I only had 4½p so would have to decline his kind offer. ‘Don’t worry’, he said laughing, ‘You can pay it from the winnings’ so I handed over my 4½p. He walked off only to start swearing. Turning round he said. ‘You’ve only gone and bloody won’. He handed me the winnings where upon I gave him back ½p!The Traction Shop overhauled traction motors, generators and auxiliary electrical machines. Seeing these stripped down and helping with their reconstruction supplemented my college learning of how these machines operated.The workshop always smelt of the varnish that was used to insulate armatures and coils from the machines. These parts once rewound and the electrical coils were then dipped in enclosed vats of insulation varnish that had been warmed. Air was evacuated and the resulting vacuum sucked the vanish into the windings ensuring they were fully insulated. Once dry, the components were re-installed into the machine carcasses and tested.My Traction Shop training lasted about two months before I moved on to the Metallurgy Lab and Steel Foundry which I will cover this in Memories of Crewe Works (Part 2).


Tornado…The Story so far…

Travel with No. 60163 TornadoTornado’s packed main line diary for the beginning of 2018 includes:
  • Saturday 24th February 2018 – ‘The North Briton’ – Cambridge to Carlisle and return (Tornado comes on at Doncaster) –  A1SLT promoted tour – bookings through UK Railtours
  • Saturday 24th March 2018 – ‘The Sulis and Sarum Express’ – West Midlands to Bath and Salisbury – A1SLT promoted tour – bookings throughUK Railtours
  •  Saturday 14th April 2018 – ‘The Ebor Flyer’ – London to York – FIRST 90MPH RAILTOUR –  A1SLT promoted tour – bookings through UK Railtours
Bookings by debit or credit card are via our ticket agents UK Railtours on 01438 715050 www.ukrailtours.com  or through www.a1steam.com.The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.

New & ReBuild News.

General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Societygsn-nameplate_5
Work continues on the General Steam Navigation project with this months highlight being the first photos of the freshly cast nameplates. The nameplates are being made for us by ProCast in West Yorkshire who are the best company for the task. These were kindly sponsored by 2 of our members Mr Paul Williams and an anonymous sponsor. The nameplates are on schedule to be completed in time for the societies AGM in March where we hope to have them on display. Continue Reading..

The Clan Project..72010 Hengist

Patron: The Hon Sir William McAlpine, Bt 
President: Mr James Baldwin IEng, MIET, MIGPP, Dip Eng Mgmt
Chairman: Allan Jones

The Brighton Belle

Keep in touch with the restoration…and the count-down to the launch of excursions on the mainline  HERE


Update on the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive

The project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive will be holding a number of roadshows in 2018 with the first at the London Transport Museum on Saturday 13th January 2018. Following on from the roadshow in London, there will be a showing of ‘Tornado – the 100mph steam engine’ and ‘Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built A Steam Engine’, along with guest presenter Tom Ingall, who was the Director, Producer and Narrator of these documentaries. Entrance into both the P2 Roadshow and the special viewing is free. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced that it will be holding a number of presentations on the project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales in 2018.

The class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikado’ locomotives were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.  Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt in 1943/44 and scrapped by 1961. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (registered charity and builders of famous new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class over seven years at an estimated cost of £5m. The project will demonstrate how the design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design techniques, enabling the new locomotive to deliver its full potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.

The first Roadshow is at The London Transport Museum, where all attendees will receive complimentary access to the Museum Galleries on the day, followed at 14:00hrs by a viewing of ‘Tornado – the 100mph steam engine’ and ‘Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built A Steam Engine’. Entrance to both the roadshow and the special viewing is free.  Each presentation will feature key Trust personnel including Mark Allatt (P2 Project Director) and David Elliott (Director of Engineering) and will cover the background to the project, progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. The presentation will start promptly at 11:00hrs until 13:00hrs on each of the days listed below and are open to existing supporters and interested members of the public:

  • Saturday 13th January 2018 – The London Transport Museum, London
  • Saturday 10th February 2018 – The Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough
  • Saturday 3rd March 2018 – The Principle Hotel, York
  • Saturday 7th April 2018 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
  • Saturday 19th May 2018 – Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield
  • Saturday 9th June 2018 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
  • Saturday 8th September 2018 – Derby Conference Centre, Derby
  • Saturday 3rd November 2018 – Manchester – venue to be confirmed
  • Saturday 8th December 2018 – Hilton Leeds City Hotel, Leeds.

Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high and over 840 people have already signed up to the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month or more) covenant scheme since its launch.  In addition to this core scheme, funds have been raised through The Founders Club (over 360 people have donated £1,000 each – target 100 people, now closed), The Boiler Club (well over 130 people have pledged £2,000 each – target of 300 people), The Mikado Club (over 180 people have pledged £1,000 each – extended target of 200 people/£250,000), The Cylinder Club (over 65 people have pledged £1,000 each – target 100 people), Dedicated Donations (over £220,000 from existing supporters sponsoring a variety of components) and the sponsorship of the locomotive’s distinctive front-end by The Gresley Society Trust. This means that the project has already received pledges of £2.7m – 54% (including Gift Aid) of the £5m needed to complete the new locomotive by 2021.

Progress building Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive continues at Darlington Locomotive Works and includes:

  • Frame plates for engine and tender rolled and profiled; engine’s frames erected at Darlington Locomotive Works; all major engine frame stays, brackets, horn blocks, axle boxes and buffers cast (44 in total); over 1,000 fitted and driven bolts ordered and delivered, approximately 800 now fitted to the frames
  • All 20 wheels for engine and tender cast and proof machined; roller bearings for all engine and tender wheelsets and engine axles (including crank axle), tyres and crank pins delivered, tender axles, tyres ordered and first wheelset complete
  • Preliminary discussions held with boiler manufacturers and forged foundation ring corners manufactured and machined; start made on boiler fittings with castings for combined injector steam and delivery valves
  • Study into ride and suspension completed using rail industry standard Vampire® software; finite Element Analysis completed on re-designed crank axle to ensure locomotive complies with modern standards; assessment and notified body appointed to oversee certification – first site visit made
  • Cab erected and cab side window frames fitted; engine footplating and splasher kits delivered and permanently fitted to frames
  • Smokebox door pressed details made and door completed, door frame manufactured, smokebox delivered and erected; chimney cast and fitted
  • Crosshead castings ordered
  • Boiler cladding assembly jig built, cladding crinolines and hoops rolled and fitted to jig, cladding sheets procured, rolled and being fitting to the jig
  • Tender frame construction under way, axlebox and other tender castings ordered from William Cook Cast Products
  • Nameplates and chime whistle delivered
  • Over £1.3m spent, £1.7m raised and £2.7m pledged of the required £5m.

The projects objectives for 2018 are to:

  • Complete No. 2007’s wheelsets
  • Continue the boiler procurement
  • Order the cylinder block
  • Design and order the first motion parts
  • Progress work on the tender
  • Commence the electrical design.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:

“The past four years have seen dramatic progress toward our aim of completing new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales by 2021. No. 2007 is already at the stage Tornado was nine years into the project. We are holding a series of free roadshow presentations in 2018, starting in London at the London Transport Museum, to promote the £5m project and at each we will cover the background to the project, our progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. These presentations are open to anyone interested in the project and we are encouraging our existing supporters to bring along interested family and friends.”

“Now is the time to get on board this ground breaking project and help the Trust to raise the £5 million needed to ensure its completion in 2021.”



US Projects

“Big Boy”

Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) T1 Steam Locomotive Trust
Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2
Project 6029 (Beyer Garratt 6029 ex-NSWGR)

Latest news from The Project 6029 blog HERE

Victorian Steam Locomotive Company.

LMS Ex inspection 45036

The short term aim is to have a fully restored chassis and then rebuild it as a saloon in the long term , she is located at Tanat Valley Light Railway (TVLR)

Andrew Barclay 2352…
Restoration Progress on Andrew Barclay No. 2352

Restoration Progress on Andrew Barclay No. 2352

First 2018 Volunteer Work Week (5 March 2018 – 11 March 2018)

Tanat Valley Light Railway Company
SY10 9HW Nantmawr, Shropshire

More details HERE

6880 Society (6880 “Betton Grange”)


(6880 Society Image)

The 6880 Society (a registered charity, No. 1100537) was formed in 1998 with the sole intention of recreating a Great Western ‘Grange’ class locomotive. While many of the other Great Western classes survived into preservation, none of the ‘Grange’ class escaped the breaker’s yard cutting touch. Therefore the group was set up to create Betton Grange, which when completed will become the 81st ‘Grange’. Many members of the society bring with them the skills and knowledge from a previous project, which was the successful restoration of ex-Barry scrapyard large Prairie No. 5199. This locomotive is now one of the star performers of the Llangollen locomotive fleet.
With the completion of the cab for 6880 (just in time for the Crewe works gathering in 2005) and the acquisition of the boiler and other parts later in the same year, the attention focused on the completion of the main frames and extension frames, the latter arriving in April 2011  since then we have successfully appealed for the funds to have the cylinders cast using polystyrene formers. The casting taking place in October 2014 and now fitted to the locomotive. Our twice monthly working parties continue to work on the refurbishment and acquisition of parts, which, as they are fitted bring us nearer to finishing the ‘bottom half’ of the locomotive.



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 January 2018…and beyond…can be found  at Railway Herald

5043 at Honeybourne 4th October 2014

On This Day in History.


In  January 2012, the then Secretary of State for Transport announced that the creation of a new high speed rail network for the UK would go ahead, providing vital infrastructure links and boosting the economy for generations to come.


Opening to traffic of the Gotthard Tunnel (15 km (9 mi)), completing the Gotthardbahn in Switzerland


First of an eventual 863 Great Western Railway 5700 Class 0-6-0 pannier tank steam locomotives to C. B. Collett’s design completed at its Swindon Works, England


All major railways in Great Britain are amalgamated into the “Big Four” companies, the Great Western Railway, London and North Eastern Railway, London, Midland and Scottish Railway and Southern Railway, under terms of Railways Act 1921

01/01/1948     The UK’s railways were nationalised.

01/01/1905     The Trans-Siberian Railway officially opens..allowing travel from Paris to Vladivostock in 21 days

??/01/2003 The electrification of the Trans-Siberian Railway, a project begun in 1929, is completed.

CW To-the-Edge-of-the-World

Get your copy here

01/01/1915       The Ilford rail crash in England kills 10.

01/01/1932       William Stanier appointed CME of the LMS succeeding Ernest Lemon


The national railway operator in the Republic of Ireland, Great Southern Railways, with responsibility for the southern part of the Irish railway network is merged into a new national transport operator, Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ).


A CIE loco hauled service arriving Cobh, Co Cork. May 1980


British Railways adopts a new corporate identity including the name British Rail and the ‘double arrow’ symbol.


First Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST steamed, earliest of 377 built for war service to British Ministry of Supply order


Creation of SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français), bringing the principal railway companies of France together under government   control.

??/01/1933       London Underground diagram designed by Harry Beck introduced to public.

03/01/1917       The Ratho rail crash in Scotland kills 12 people.

05/01/1997   Further British train operating companies begin operation of their passenger service franchises as part of the privatisation of British Rail: Anglia Railways (GB Railways); Great Eastern (First Group); Virgin CrossCountry; and WAGN (Prism Rail).

Cross Country at Dawlish August 2013

A Cross Country service at Dawlish. August 2013


Full freight and passenger service is restored through the Channel Tunnel, just short of two months after a devastating fire.


The Hixon rail crash occurs when a low-loader road transporter is struck by an express train on an automatic half-barrier level crossing at Hixon, Staffordshire, England. 11 people are killed. This has repercussions on the arrangements for automating level crossings on British Rail.

09/01/1900         The first through passenger train goes from Cairo to Khartoum

05/01/1969      Last trains over the Waverley Route from Edinburgh in Scotland to Carlisle.

09/01/1886       The first GWR coal train runs through the 4 ½ mile Severn Tunnel

11/01/1864     The South Eastern Railway opens Charing Cross Station. Sir John Hawkshaw  designed the station.

12/01/2009    Official opening of Docklands Light Railway London City Airport branch extension under the River Thames to Woolwich Arsenal

16/01/1961     Eastern Region of British Railways takes delivery of D9001, the first production “Deltic” class diesel locomotive

19/01/1918     The Little Salkeld rail accident in England kills 7 people

19/01/1993   The British Coal and British Rail (Transfer Proposals) Act is passed. allowing the Secretary of State to issue directives to boards – such as the British Railways Board – as to the disposal of holdings ,previously prevented by earlier Transport and Railways Acts. One of the first directions issued under the law by a Secretary of State was the creation of Railtrack PLC, thus paving the way for the Railways Act 1993, which privatised British Rail.

20/01/1838   The Grand Junction Railway introduces the first ever travelling post office

21/01/1905     O. S. Nock, English railway author and signalling engineer (d. 1994)

??/01/1865   The first train departed to Nice from St. Petersburg.

23/01/1955     Sutton Coldfield train disaster, England: a passenger train rounds a sharp curve too fast and derails; 17 people die as a result.

23/01/1911   The Pontypridd railway accident in South Wales kills 11 people

24/01/1955     British Transport Commission produces a report on Modernisation and Re-Equipment of British Railways which proposes the large-scale replacement of the steam locomotive by diesel and electrification together with major resignalling projects

26/01/1921   The Abermule train collision was a head-on collision which occurred at Abermule,     Montgomeryshire, Wales on 26 January 1921, killing 17 people. The crash arose from misunderstandings between staff which effectively over-rode the safe operation of the Electric Train Tablet system protecting the single line. A train departed carrying the wrong tablet for the section it was entering and collided with a train coming the other way.

26/01/1998   The Konkan Railway , India opens. This 741-kilometre line connects Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka States, from Mumbai to Mangalore.     59 stations, 91 tunnels, 179 major bridges, 1,819 minor bridges.( Longest Bridge : Across Sharavati river in Honnavar (2065.8 m) Tallest Viaduct : Panval Nadi (64m. high). The project was completed in 7 years.

Courtesy: Konkan Railway website.

27/01/1911  James Joseph Allport was born. In 1850  appointed General Manager of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, and took up the same post in the Midland Railway in 1853. Apart from three years when he was managing director to Palmer’s Shipbuilding Company (1857-1860), he retained this post until 1880. Oversaw the development and growth in importance of the Midland Railway, and was instrumental in the building of the company’s Main Line to London (to St. Pancras) and the Settle to Carlisle Line. He retired in 1880, at which point he joined by board, and died in 1892.

29/01/1959:     Fog brings transport chaosDense fog – the worst for seven years – has brought road, rail and air transport in many parts of England and Wales to a virtual standstill. Many long-distance trains from London were cancelled. Suburban services were also seriously disrupted.

Radstock to Frome Railway Project

Latest News from this group can be found HERE

Christian Wolmar… Railway Historian.

Christian Wolmar is a regular speaker at conferences, meetings and seminars both in the UK and abroad on transport and, specifically, rail matters. He often speaks at conferences on the latest development in the rail and transport industries and gives lectures on all his rail history books

Christian gives around 30 talks per year and has spoken all around the country, as well as in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, France, the United States and Australia where he has twice been invited to provide his expertise. He has given two lectures at the Royal Geographic Society.

Around the UK’s Heritage Railways A – Z..  “I”



The World Alliance of Tourist Trams & Trains

Latest Newsletter: HERE

Catch up on the latest news at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1534918893466735/

New Europe Railway Heritage Trust Logo

NERHT is a voluntary society founded in 1999 to help railway preservation in the former Soviet Union and the other ex-Communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Access the latest Eastern Star newsletter: HERE

30742 Charters

Latest News from Martin Creese….
Find 30742 Charters on Facebook at www.facebook.com/30742charters

Back Page.

(One of)The four historic diesel-electric locomotives are shown passing through the Arizona desert near Kingman on the Barstow, CA to Clovis, NM leg of their journey over BNSF, November 24, 2017. Photos courtesy of Kenneth Gengler.(See Editor’s Selection 3 above)