Oliver Cromwell delights main-line tour fans – but disappoints the MNR
Bressingham resident, Britannia
Late on the evening of May 11 the loco and support coach no. M17019 arrived at the Mid-Norfolk Railway's Dereham station where they stayed until departing for
The Pacific was due to return to the MNR and operate the heritage line's Sunday trains on May 17, but due to 'unforeseen circumstances' the loco remained at Crown Point and the MNR had hastily to withdraw its publicity for the prestigious steam-hauled service.
The following Saturday, May 23, Oliver Cromwell worked a second railtour, the RTCo's Dorset Coast Express from
More hungry journeys
incurred the wrath of commuters and politicians when it axed its dining cars.
Now on-train eating has become even rarer. With the start of the new timetable
on May 17, East Midlands Trains removed the catering trolleys from
trolley service was subcontracted to a catering firm and EMT was quoted as
saying "Catering on the
FL eyesore leaves Ipswich
of use and grimy, Freightliner no. 47370 has languished at
Crown Point – Yarmouth via Reedham
1V29 10:08 Yarmouth – Norwich via Reedham
1V18 12:06 Norwich – Yarmouth via Reedham
1V41 13:10 Yarmouth – Norwich via Reedham
1V26 14:18 Norwich – Yarmouth via Acle
5V26 15:40 Yarmouth – Norwich Crown Point via Acle
May 23, the first working of the season, DRS no.47832 Solway
Princess was on duty, while no. 47501 Craftsman was in charge
the following Saturday.
Train punctuality better than ever
Network Rail has announced
that between April 2008 and March 2009 train punctuality on
Top TOCs were c2c Rail (95.3%) and Chiltern (95.2%). Results for the operators serving our region are:
7: First Capital
9: National Express
'Arrived on time' means a trains arrived at its destination within 5 minutes
for commuter services and within 10 for long distance services.
OHL damage ends Bank Holiday on sour note
As if the Liverpool St – Shenfield bus replacements weren't enough inconvenience for
Bank Holiday travellers, another ‘wires down’ incident occurred on the evening
of Monday May 25 when the pantograph of no. 90010, powering the 17:30
Liverpool St - Norwich, was damaged on the up road, bringing the train to a
stand at Ardleigh level crossing.
For the rest of the evening Ilford –
Unofficial action disrupts EMT Sunday trains
East Midlands Trains between
May Gurney wins rail work nearer home
May Gurney, based in Trowse near
The best yet – but not perfect, says FLUA
The Fen Line Users’ Association has welcomed the May 2009 timetable for the King’s Cross – Cambridge – King’s Lynn route. It represents the most significant alteration to the GN route timetable for at least 15 years and sees some peak King's Cross –
The from King’s Cross is extended to Ely and the runs through to
Booking a seat? Fork out a bit more!
From the start of the new timetable on May 17 NXEA has begun charging for seat reservations on
A National Express spokesman said: "We find that people are often reserving multiple seats as they're not sure which train they are going to catch. By asking people to pay for a seat reservation, seats will no longer be left empty with a reserved sign, therefore being made available for other customers to use."
The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association feared that booking clerks could expect regular abuse when they ask for the supplement.
The charges do not apply to advance purchase, first class and season tickets.
Nenta passengers end their day out on early-morning coach
Although Nenta Traintours are renowned for early starts and late returns, passengers on the Torbay Coast Boat Train on April 18 got an even longer day out than they’d bargained for.
All went well on the outward trip (1Z47), which left
Now running about 21/2 hours late, the train couldn't proceed past Ely because of an engineering possession between Ely and
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge and Miniature
Hunslet arrives at Yaxham
Hunslet 0-6-0ST no.3193, purchased from the Lavender Line by Norfolk Heritage Steam Railway Ltd (NRS NewsletterMar/Apr 2009), arrived at Mervyn Mayes’ Yaxham yard on May 11, but without its boiler.
NSHR’s target is to raise sufficient money to fund the 48-ton loco’s substantial restoration to full working order. A major expense will be bringing the boiler to the high standard required for its ten-year certificate. Donations and enquiries about the loco and its owning group should be addressed to:
NHSR Ltd, 10 Walnut Tree Meadow, Stonham Aspal, Stowmarket,
New group to take on J21’s restoration
Beamish, the North of England Open Air Museum, has placed its NER J21 0-6-0 no. 65033, which has been stored on the North Norfolk Railway for several years, in the care of the newly-formed Locomotive Conservation and Learning Trust. The Trust aims to raise funds to overhaul the 1889-built locomotive so that it can be operated on other heritage lines.
Also in the Trust’s care is Beamish’s NER bogie tools van No. 5523, which is to be restored and converted into a mobile exhibition and educational space.
Quad-Art set to come out for a week
From Saturday July 4 to Sunday July 12 the North Norfolk Railway will hold a Quad-Art Set week. The Quad-Art set will be in normal passenger service on each day. A second train formed of standard ex-BR stock will also operate, while a DMU will work the day's last two trains. There will be no extra charge for this event.
With all that’s been happening on the North Norfolk Railway, it’s easy to overlook a nearby line. The North Norfolk Model Engineering Club has operated its 5”-gauge line for four summer seasons at the NNR’s Holt terminus, last year extending the track to 1000ft. Current work includes electrifying signals and points and improving the workshop area and the lineside.
The NNMEC tries to work as many Sundays and NNR ‘red service’ days as possible throughout the summer, weather permitting and subject to engine and driver availability.
N7 tank visits the MNR
The predominantly diesel Mid-Norfolk Railway has enjoyed two weekends of LNER steam-hauled services. On April 25-26, and over the May 2 - 4 Bank Holiday weekend, N7 0-6-2T no. 69621was in action on the Dereham – Wymondham line. The recently-overhauled N7 is owned by the
Weekends in July and August should see the return to the MNR of BR(W) 0-6-0 pannier tank no. 9466.
Contract will bring MNR track improvements
The Mid-Norfolk Railway has won a contract from Network Rail for on-track machine training. To prepare for the programme, contractors assisted by MNR volunteers are laying and replacing track at Wymondham’s run-round loop and the new passing loop at Thuxton. Once the new track has been ballasted and tamped, NR trainees will learn how to operate track machines for a number of weeks at a time.
Ashmanhaugh extension opens
After hard work by the Ashmanhaugh Light Railway’s track gang, Honda-powered no.1 Thunderbox was first along the new ‘back straight’ section on April 22.
The newly-extended circuit is nearly half a mile long. It was formally opened on Sunday May 3, the railway’s first open day of 2009, by Norman Duffield. Norman, who used to work on the now-defunct Little Melton Light Railway and is an Honorary Life Member of the ALR, drove no.4 The General through a ribbon to take the first public train around the full circuit. A three-train service was laid on to cater for the day’s crowds, many of whom had come after hearing the railway featured on Radio Norfolk's Treasure Quest.
A recent arrival at the ALR is 'No.2', a 1/3-scale model of a 2ft-gauge Shay built by Edwin Peck of
Away from the Tracks
Poster hoard turns up trumps for Fakenham woman
A collection of railway posters which which lay undisturbed for years in the attic of Fakenham woman Mo Blundy has fetched more than £22,000 at a Christie's auction.
The thirteen posters were originally collected by Ms Blundy's uncle who worked in the printing industry in the 1920s and 1930s. They included Frank Mason's The Flying Scotsman which sold for £5,625, and other work by some of the country's most celebrated poster artists.
Move over NXEA – here comes the Cambridge-Norwich bullet
Could the 1845 Eastern Counties line from Ely to
Mr Brown stressed the property advantages of better communication. "You only have to look at the effect which the Victorians had on the districts in which they built their new railway lines," he said. "Houses, commerce and wealth always follow. Many new houses are being planned but no one has thought about communications. Many trains in the region take longer than they did in the nineteenth century."
Haulier spreads the M&GN word
The M&GNJR Society, which supports the North Norfolk Railway, is being publicised to road users by haulage firm David Bletsoe-Brown Transport. The Kettering-based haulier has taken delivery of two new curtain-sided trailers which bear the M&GNJRS emblem and a message about the Society's activities. The trailers will be used throughout
Raise a wagon load of cash, urges Bramley Line
The Bramley Line, which aims to restore trains to the mothballed March – Wisbech branch, needs to raise the money to pay Network Rail’s legal fees, after which it can obtain a lease and set to work to reopen the line. At its recent AGM, the society launched a ‘Raise a Wagon Load of Cash’ appeal, asking supporters to save loose change, e.g., 1p, 2p and 5p coins. Postal donations should be addressed to to:- Raise a Wagon Load of Cash Appeal, The Wisbech & March Bramley Line Ltd., Suite 9, Old Bank Chambers, Dartford Road, March, PE15 8AQ.