The Branch Line Society

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A run past on the impressive 'Ten Arch' stone viaduct in the suburbs of Amman
during our Jordan tour 10th to 15th May 2017. [© Iain Scotchman 2017]

Fixtures

The Society maintains an active programme of varied outdoor fixtures, and these are run primarily for members. In some cases, especially mainline charter trains, we are pleased to accommodate non-members.

Members receive 24 newsletters per year giving advance notification of events, and benefit from priority booking and discounted fares. You can normally re-coup your membership fee on just one fixture and some fixtures are for members only, so
join us today!

If you are not a member and would like to be kept informed about our fixtures, please click here.


Click on a fixture name below for more details, and to book or notify interest.

Please note that although dates are given as far in advance as possible (in order to allow a measure of planning by intending participants to take place), they must be treated as only provisional until an event is actually open for bookings, as changes can and do occur.


Friday
20th July 2018


Open for booking

The Springwell Wheelbarrow

PLEG in association with the Branch Line Society is delighted to announce the opportunity to enjoy haulage behind Class 08 08879 on Friday 20th July 2018 at Barrow Hill.

Starting at 18.00, the shunter will undertake three return trips along the Springwell branch. The expected assisting loco will be Class 02 02003.


Friday
20th July 2018


Open for booking

The East Midlands Wheelbarrow

Branch Line Society in association with PLEG is delighted to announce the opportunity to enjoy haulage behind Class 08 08879 on Friday 20th July 2018 at Barrow Hill.

Starting at 18.30, the shunter will cover four items of unusual track. Firstly, the charter will visit both sidings on the brickyard side of the site before being the first passenger working over the two new, fully relaid sidings adjacent to the Coal Stage. These new sidings have been commissioned in readiness for the outstabling and servicing of EMT rolling stock during the Derby blockade. The sidings are expected to be used by EMT for the first time on Saturday 21st July. The expected assisting loco will be Class 02 02003.


Saturday
21st July 2018


Open for booking

Middlesbrough Goods (Old Town Branch)

A further opportunity for members to visit the 100-acre Middlesbrough terminal, get up close to the company's locos and enjoy a journey around the site's rail connected facilities. The highlight will be 08774 (now away for repair) and, with huge thanks to Cobra Railfreight, 01567 'Elizabeth' (TH276v 4wDH of 1977), hauling our recently refurbished mess van 'Molly' for passenger rides.

The charter is expected to visit the purpose built Automotive Steel Terminal (approach road), Ayrton Dry Bulk Terminal (unloading facility road), North Sea Supply Base Wharf (inland road), Tees Riverside Intermodal Park (inner road) and the NR boundary (Metz Bridge outlet road). These are all different tracks to those covered last year. Visitors will enjoy a short presentation about the fascinating company, with the chance to purchase light refreshments before an important safety briefing.


Thursday
2nd August 2018


Open for booking

Spa Valley Railway Rare Track Excursion

Spa Valley Railway, Summer Diesel Gala, Rare Track Excursion, Thu 2 Aug: Queen Mary Brake Van with shunter locos.

Tunbridge Wells West 12.45 (time to be confirmed), Tunbridge Wells West Yard/throat as possible, East/ West Sidings & Headshunt, Groombridge Up and Down Loop and to Eridge in the 'wrong' direction, Ashurst Up & Down Spur (No1 & 2 Carriage sidings) & Engineers Siding, Eridge P3 and the line south of station. Estimated finish time 17:00-18:00.


Saturday
4th August 2018


Open for booking

Wester Pickston Winkle Picker

14.00-16.00: (MR p28) Glenalmond, Methven, Perth, PH1 3RX - a large area, (NN 9842 280).

Thanks to the Scottish Model Engineering Trust (Perth Model Engineers) Wester Pickston Railway. An all (practicable) line PRIVATE Society visit featuring at least two locos; there are only 4 public open days per year. It will particularly concentrate on sections of the extensive intricate layout opened since our June 2016 visit with some only available since April 2018!

Includes the new full outer loop from Pickston to Ducks End and triangle there (one side is not part of the public ride) Ducks End station new through lines and new double tracks sections. The track plan http://smet.org.uk/track is thanks to the Railway. The main line route is now over a mile with additional permutations of branches and spurs. This 5"/7¼" railway with extensive earthworks, tunnels and bridges is in a deeply rural forest setting and is an ideal place to stop off for those going to the Invergarry & Fort Augustus Railway next day.


Sunday
5th August 2018


Full

Invergarry & Fort Augustus Railway

12.30 start https://goo.gl/dq7M9G Invergarry station, South Laggan, near Spean Bridge, PH34 4EA, (NN 3041 9841).

One of the UK's most remote and interesting standard gauge railways (CP 1 Dec 1933; CA 1 Jan 1947), over ¼ mile of the North British Railway Fort Augustus branch at this former station, originally to be a double track main line to Inverness. Footplate rides on Ruston & Hornsby 4wDM 236364 (1946) https://goo.gl/6Q07SP and/or 4-seat LESMAC engineers trolley 99709 901002-4 (2006). The Gauge 1 model railway should be on view. The long island platform, nowhere near Invergarry of course, was built to take the royal train.

There is no public running so this is a rare and unique chance.


This fixture is for members only.

This fixture has now reached capacity and regrettably, no more bookings can be taken.


Saturday
18th August 2018


Open for booking

Summer Scunthorpe Steeler railtour No.16

Please note the change of date (27th August previously advised)

Scunthorpe Steeler No.16. Sat 18 Aug 09.30-18.30: (report/pictures: BLN 1297.197) Over 100 miles of standard gauge track; a great way to see an operating integrated steel works and 24-hour industrial railway at close quarters set in 200 acres (totally unspoilt by tourism).

Connects with 09.06 TPE arrival from Manchester and 19.08 return at Scunthorpe, connections from/to London, Birmingham etc.) 09.30 prompt at the AFRPS platform until about 18.30. An extensive full day summer railtour with a break at the AFRPS shed (view and photo the locos).


This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
25th August 2018


Open for booking

Blenheim Park Railway

09.30-10.30: Blenheim Park Railway, Woodstock, OX20 1PP.

A private comprehensive railtour of this 15" gauge 1,000yd railway in the magnificent Blenheim Palace grounds before public running. It complements our 12.00 Beeches Light Railway visit on the same day.


This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
25th August 2018


Open for booking

Beeches Light Railway, Oxfordshire

12.00-16.00. 15 mins walk from Heyford station.

Thanks to Martyn Brailsford and the railway's owner, Adrian Shooter, we have been invited to visit his delightful 1' 11⅝" gauge line - based on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR). It only opens a few times each year to selected railway societies etc. and, although we will be sharing with others, Adrian is happy to allow some rare moves. The main motive power is an original DHR steam loco, but a Post Office Railway train should hopefully be running! A highly recommended barbeque is included, hot and cold soft drinks in pleasant surroundings and a chance to view the interesting collection close up.

Please note: Booking will close at the end of July, or when full.


This fixture is for members only.


Monday
27th August 2018


Open for booking

The More and Mawr

Update: Now open to all, not just those on The Marching Crompton railtour.

We are delighted to announce a special riding visit to the Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway www.llanellirailway.co.uk as an add on event to our The Marching Crompton railtour operating on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 2018. Strictly limited to 200 bookings, vintage transport from the Swansea Bus Museum will meet us at Llanelli station and transfer passengers to and from the former Cynheidre Colliery site.

During approximately one hour on site, which opened to the public in September 2017, you will enjoy a short journey in a Mark 2 RFO hauled by ex-Dutch Railways English Electric 0-6-0DE NS625 and Rolls Royce “Sentinel” 10222. In addition to the ordinary running line, we will operate south of the platform as far as the point that gives access to the main shed. Although only a short extension of the ‘normal’ run, this would be the first time that any passengers will have been over this section in preservation and quite possibly the only occasion it will be used!


Monday
27th August 2018


Open for booking

The Marching Crompton

August Bank Holiday - Monday 27th August 2018

Please note the change of fixture (was previously advertised as Scunthorpe Summer Steeler which has moved to Saturday 18th August)

An easy day out 'Track & Traction' loco-hauled railtour with West Coast Railways (WCR) and '84G Railtours' featuring two Class 33 locomotives on The Marches. There is an opportunity in an extended break to visit the heritage Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway (see separate fixture The More and Mawr on the same day) or enjoy leisure time in Cardiff or Llanelli. Route highlights include the Leckwith Loop, Briton Ferry Sidings, Swansea Avoiding line as well as through lines at Hereford, Newport and Shrewsbury plus many Goods Loops.


Saturday
8th September 2018
to Sunday
9th September 2018

Save the date

Minor Railways in Hertfordshire and Essex

No further details are available at present.


Saturday
15th September 2018


Save the date

Loco Hauled Railtour - Multiple Freight Terminals

IMPORTANT: Now deferred until 2019

No further details are available at present.


Saturday
29th September 2018


Open for booking

Coate Water Warbler

Coate Water Country Park, SN3 6AD, (SU 179 827), three miles south east of Swindon station.

With thanks to North Wilts MES here since the elevated line began in the 1960s. Simon Mortimer has kindly arranged a special train on a non-public day with a view to covering all the running lines https://goo.gl/D2JeDR (track plan) at this 1,400yd long 5"/7¼" line. These include the Old Loop (not used for public running), Inner Loop, Outer Loop and Extension Loop with several scissors crossovers, platform roads and the Richard Jeffries Bypass line (not used for public running). The routes can vary slightly on public days but one visit would not give them all and it would be difficult to cover all the platform lines and crossovers etc. Battery electric and/or internal combustion locos expected, possibly double headed if support permits. The 'normal' public run is over 1,200 yards and does not include many of the elements above. Extra branches and sidings will be sought as practicable. Teas, coffees and biscuits included; estimated finish 15.30/16.00.


Sunday
30th September 2018


Save the date

Save the date for a trip with 'Molly' in the north of England

No further details are available at present.


Sunday
21st October 2018


Open for booking

The Andover Anchovy

Andover & District Model Engineering Soc, Winchester Road (B3420), SP11 7HT, (SU 379 418) about 3¼ miles south of Andover station.

With thanks to Simon Mortimer. Andover MES was founded in 1945 and moved to their current site near Wherwell in 2009. Set in woodland in the Test Valley, it was an old WWII munitions site; original Nissen huts survive including the club house and workshop. The original ground level line see https://goo.gl/ziA6kB was a 430yd dual gauge 5"/7¼" loop (black on this plan); in 2012 a 820yd 7¼" extension opened (light blue); in 2016 a further 520yd (dark blue) of 7¼" with yet another extension (red) in 2018 - so new that the exact length is unknown! With passing loops, there are about 1½ miles of ground level track. Also the elevated 2½"/3½"/5" line https://goo.gl/kvMSib (extended to 450yd in 2017) should be available. The general public are not admitted to this site.

Starts 12.00 to meet MES members and survey the site. At about 13.00 during the MES lunch break https://goo.gl/qJtgJ4 is a recommended pub a mile away before our visit resumes. It includes trips around all the circuits/loops and shorter offshoots as practicable.


Saturday
27th October 2018


Save the date

Provisional 2018 AGM long weekend with events in Yorkshire

No further details are available at present.

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
17th November 2018


Save the date

East-West Midlands Railtour - a very unusual first

No further details are available at present.


Sunday
24th February 2019


Save the date

Save the date for a railtour in the north of England

No further details are available at present.


Thursday
16th May 2019
to Sunday
19th May 2019

Save the date

Island of Ireland IV (2019)

No further details are available at present.

This fixture is for members only.


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