The Branch Line Society

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On 18th March 2017 starting from Kings Cross, our Bound for Craigy railtour HST set was hauled
through Bounds Green and Craigentinny depots by their resident class 08s. [© Geoff Plumb]

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.


Saturday
23rd March 2019


Closed

Rio Grande Railway

Fixture CANCELLED due to circumstances outside of our control. All participants already booked will be refunded.

Previously known as Weymouth Bay Miniature Railway.

Thanks to John Cameron, a 10¼" gauge 550yd circuit with a two platform station loop, turntable & shed branch. Another option for our break during our Marching Crompton II fixture.


This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
23rd March 2019


Closed

The Weymouth Walkabout

Tom Gilby has kindly agreed to lead a leg stretch walk during our Weymouth break via the Weymouth Harbour Tramway to Weymouth Quay station, all disused but intact. Some of the Weymouth & Portland Railway trackbed might be possible too.


Saturday
23rd March 2019


Closed

The Marching Crompton II

An exciting 'Track & Traction' loco-hauled railtour with West Coast Railways (WCR) and '84G Railtours' featuring Class 33 haulage on The Marches with a 90 minute (approx) Weymouth lunch break. Highlights include: Up Tunnel Loop, Up Pilning Loop, Rhubarb Curve, Bathampton UPL & Westbury Up Reception feature on the way and Westbury Dn Reception, (Bristol) East Depot Goods Loop, Bristol Parkway UPL, Up Charfield Loop, Lydney DGL, Llanwern Service Line, Abergavenny UGL, and Sutton Bridge UGL on the return.

Update: Tour is now booked to run through East Usk Yard (a different line has been requested to that done by 'The Positioning Move' on 2nd February) and there is now an additional pick up at Severn Tunnel Junction Platform 4 at 09.10 before doing the Up Tunnel loop and Up Pilning Loop. At Weymouth, platform 3 is now expected.

A WCR Class 33 leads to Weymouth with a WCR 47/57 providing heat from the rear. On return, in conjunction with the 71A Locomotive Group, 33012 will double head with the WCR Class 33 to Crewe.


Sunday
24th March 2019


Closed

The Ruby Vampire - The Second Bite

The second bite at an easy day out 'Track & Traction' loco-hauled railtour with West Coast Railways (WCR) booked to feature two Class 33 locomotives operating top 'n tail exploring the North West and the DC network on Merseyside. Highlights include Chester Goods No 2, Bidston Stabling Siding, Chester Curve, Wrexham Up Bay and the much sought after strategic connections at Bootle Jn AND Southport.

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
30th March 2019


Open for booking

St.Michael's Meander

With the kind agreement of the owner operator Brett Rogers, a visit to his private 7.25" miniature line that forms a broadly 1/2 dumb bell in his own grounds at St.Michael's in Tenbury Wells. The line is a few hundred yards and is a classic garden railway.


Saturday
13th April 2019


Open for booking

The Rossington Recycler

Branch Line Society and PLEG are delighted to announce a rather special visit to the ECO Power Environmental site in Doncaster (the former Rossington Colliery site). Using Class 08 08527 as our traction, hauling our mess van Molly (which can carry 50 passengers), the trips will cover all available lines of the recycling facility, including both loops adjacent to the East Coast Mainline through to the end of the siding.


Sunday
14th April 2019


Open for booking

South Cheshire Miniatures

A relaxing day visiting three miniature railways. Starting with the unusual and larger 9½" gauge Crewe & Weston Railway. Open to the public only at the annual church fete, and in the delightful grounds of a private residence, just a couple of miles from Crewe station. A 10 min car ride then takes us to the South Cheshire Model Engineering Society. This friendly railway has a ¼ mile outer 3½"/5" track with a small inner elevated 2½/3½/5"gauge track. Our final miniature is 'The Church with the Train', a 75yd straight track in the grounds of Nantwich Methodist Church. We'll enjoy a ride behind a scale 7¼" gauge model of a Kerr Stuart 'Joffre' 0-6-0.


Friday
26th April 2019


Open for booking

The Bo'ness Bonus

This single journey forms the first part of a rather special long weekend of loco-hauled railtouring with Direct Rail Services (DRS) in partnership with Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS), who are providing our coaching stock and catering service.

Featuring a DRS Class 66 from Manuel on the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway (B&KR) to Crewe via Edinburgh and Shotts, our route highlights include the connection from the B&KR to the national network, Linlithgow UPL, Edinburgh Suburban Line, Beattock UPL, Quintinshill UPL, Carlisle Kingmoor Yard and the Eden Valley Goods Loop. A loco from the SRPS Diesel Group will haul the train from Bo'ness to Manuel. Subject to the usual caveats, DRS will seek to supply a Class 66 that has not previously worked in passenger service.


Friday
26th April 2019
to Sunday
28th April 2019

Open for booking

The Full Package

Please book this fixture if you wish to participate in ALL THREE DAYS of this long-weekend.


Saturday
27th April 2019


Open for booking

The Gourock Growler

This out and back journey is the highlight of a rather special long weekend of loco-hauled railtouring with Direct Rail Services (DRS) in partnership with Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS), who are providing our coaching stock and catering service.

Featuring a DRS Class 88 from Crewe to Mossend Yard, on arrival at Mossend the Class 88 runs to the rear and 2 x DRS Class 37 attach to the front of the train to form the main train traction back to Carlisle, where a Class 88 leads home! Subject to the usual caveats, DRS will seek to supply a Class 88 that has only worked on heritage line passenger services. Two large logo Class 37s have been requested.


Sunday
28th April 2019


Open for booking

The Sunday Shed

This single journey forms the conclusion of our special long weekend of loco-hauled railtouring with Direct Rail Services (DRS) in partnership with Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS), who are providing our coaching stock and catering service.

Featuring a DRS Class 66 from Crewe to Polmont, our route highlights include Mossend Down Yard and three sought after loops on the Edinburgh & Glasgow main line. Subject to the usual caveats, DRS will seek to supply a different Class 66 to Friday's project, and one that has not previously worked in passenger service.


Saturday
4th May 2019


Open for booking

The Andrew Wilson ('Brillo') Memorial Charter

In conjunction with the Preserved Locomotive Enthusiasts Group (PLEG). A spring Society charter on the delightful Kent & East Sussex Railway. Formed of passenger stock (not brakevans) it will traverse the much requested Rolvenden Carriage Shed Road No2 and includes a full line return trip between Tenterden and Bodiam. Haulage interest is provided by the much sought after 08888 enjoying its first advertised run at the railway - or indeed anywhere ever? A 'Top & Tail' loco (D9504 expected) will assist with the reversals.

This charter has been named after our friend, and BLS member, 'Brillo' who sadly passed away earlier this week.


Thursday
16th May 2019


Open for booking

Island of Ireland IV Day One

Day one of our next Island of Ireland adventure starts in Belfast with the 06.05 Translink service to Derry / Londonderry, where we take a short walk over the bridge to Foyle Valley Railway Museum to view the exhibits and enjoy morning coffee. Our executive Ulsterbus Coach will pick us up from here and take us to Donegal Railway Heritage Centre for a guided visit and informative talk. There will be an opportunity to purchase lunch, before continuing by coach to Castlerea to visit Hell's Kitchen Museum, famous for being the home of locomotive A55 and many other exhibits. There will be time to enjoy a cold drink in the adjacent bar, before continuing by our coach to Athlone. Here, we take Irish Rail services to Dublin Heuston and then on to Cork. Our service from Heuston to Cork is expected to use Charleville Down loop.

This fixture is for members only.


Friday
17th May 2019


Open for booking

Island of Ireland IV Day Two

Day two of our next Island of Ireland adventure starts in Cork at 07.00 with a journey by Irish Rail services to Galway via Limerick Jn and Ennis, along the Western Corridor. There is ample time for lunch in Galway before we head to Thurles again via Limerick Junction for afternoon coffee. The town is approximately a ten minute walk from the station. We return for the 18.57 departure to Colbert which traverses the limited use Limerick Junction Avoiding Line, before making our way back to Cork via Limerick Junction for the evening.

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
18th May 2019


Open for booking

Island of Ireland IV Day Three

Day three of our next Island of Ireland adventure begins in Cork at 07.30 with a full day exploration of the area by executive coach. We start by heading off to Clonakilty Golf Club to ride on the two funicular railways, before calling at West Cork Model Railway Village to view the exhibits and enjoy a private charter on their road train. Next, we make our way to Tralee, to view the stored exhibits of the Tralee and Dingle Railway before moving on to Listowel to ride on the rather unique Lartigue Monorail, and view the museum. Finally, we take the ferry from Tarbert to Killimer to take a ride on the West Clare Railway and visit the Moyasta Musuem, where we expect our private charter to be diesel hauled, before heading back direct to Cork to conclude our special day.

This fixture is for members only.


Sunday
19th May 2019


Save the date

Island of Ireland IV Day Four

A charity Irish Rail DMU railtour exploring unusual lines starting at Cork to Dublin Heuston, for evening flights home or stay overnight. Details will be announced in a separate fixture once confirmed.

This fixture is for members only.


Sunday
9th June 2019


Open for booking

The Sunday Yicker

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce an unusual short formed loco hauled charter train traversing unusual lines in the North West, with a leg stretch break and photo stop at Liverpool Lime Street. The train will have only three Standard Class and one Brake Composite coaches available and will be hauled by a WCR Class 33 operating in top 'n tail formation with Class 31 31128.

This fixture is for members only.


Thursday
13th June 2019


Open for booking

The Conwy Cat

Following on from the success of The Cat & Dock and Nosey Peaker charters in previous years, the Branch Line Society is delighted to announce an exciting loco hauled charter train in conjunction with Railway Children, operated by Direct Rail Services (DRS), traversing the scenic North Wales coast, with a short leg stretch break and photo stop at Blaenau Ffestiniog and a photo stop at Llandudno. There will be an option to alight at Betws-y-Coed for a circa one-hour break, where it is planned to arrange a visit to the adjacent museum and miniature railway. The charter covers the new bidirectional Up Mostyn Goods Loop in both directions, passes through Ellesmere Port from East to West (giving a very small section of rare track) and covers the Frodsham Single line (formerly known as the Halton curve) from Halton Jn to Frodsham Jn.


Sunday
7th July 2019
to Monday
8th July 2019

Save the date

Devon service train tracker

No further details are available at present.

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
20th July 2019


Save the date

Class 37 main line hauled unusual lines railtour

No further details are available at present.


Friday
26th July 2019
to Sunday
28th July 2019

Open for booking

The Carinthia Explorer - All Three Days

Now taking bookings from non-BLS members too.

Please book this fixture if you wish to participate in ALL THREE DAYS of this long-weekend.


Friday
26th July 2019


Open for booking

The Carinthia Explorer - Day One

Now taking bookings from non-BLS members too.

Motive power steam engine 93.1332. Klagenfurt - Weizelsdorf for museum railway to Ferlach and heritage tram or railcar to Historama, the second largest transport museum in Austria. Ferlach - Klagenfurt - St Veit an de Glan - Launsdorf for the 17km freight only line to Eberstein and Klein St Paul. We expect to continue 2km to the Weitersdorfer Cement Works. Return to Klagenfurt for an evening visit by coach to ride the Lendcanaltramway.


Saturday
27th July 2019


Open for booking

The Carinthia Explorer - Day Two

Now taking bookings from non-BLS members too.

Motive power ex-OBB electric loco 1245.05. Klagenfurt - St Veit an der Glan avoiding line (freight only) - Nostalgiebahnen in Kärnten depot (with two class 2061 diesels) - Feldkirchen – Villach Hauptbahnhof – Rothenthurn - Villach avoiding line - Villach Westbahnhof, then complete circuit(s) of the enormous Villach Süd Yard, including all the freight curves and connections. Further reversals at Arnoldstein and Rosenheim. Return via the Villach High level lines and the Autoverladestelle (vehicle loading) platform to Klagenfurt by the main line.


Saturday
27th July 2019


Open for booking

The Return of Thunder Vac

A rather special circular tour charter in partnership with Hanson & Hall Rail Services Solutions for the much anticipated return of 50008 (D408) 'Thunderer' to mainline passenger operation, working over the beautiful Hadrian's Wall line AND the scenic and heavily engineered Settle & Carlisle Line. An extended lunch break of around three hours has been requested at Carlisle. Built by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry Works, Newton-le-Willows in 1968, 50008 is last recorded as working a mainline passenger charter in November 1991, not long before withdrawal in June 1992.


Sunday
28th July 2019


Waiting List

The Steel City Special

We are delighted to announce a special charity charter exploring the Supertram network and reaching areas not normally accessible to the public, including the limited use tracks of 'The Delta' in both directions and will include a visit to the recently opened Rotherham Parkgate Tram Train extension.

This fixture is for members only.

This fixture is now full. If you wish to be added to the waiting list please click on the tour name and click on the "Join waiting list" button - there is no need to send an email.


Sunday
28th July 2019


Open for booking

The Carinthia Explorer - Day Three

Now taking bookings from non-BLS members too.

Motive power almost certainly steam at both sites. Coach from Klagenfurt to the Gurktalbahn heritage railway (Triebach-Althofen to Pöckstein Zwischenwässern) for a return charter train, then by coach to Mauterndorf for the Taurachbahn heritage railway; 14.00 departure to St Andra, specially extended for tour passengers only to Tamsweg over a little used 2.1km connecting line. Return to Mauterndorf for coach back to Klagenfurt, or wait at Tamsweg for a service train (at own expense) to Unzmarkt for mainline connections.


Monday
26th August 2019


Save the date

Scunthorpe Steeler No.19 railtour

No further details are available at present.

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
14th September 2019


Save the date

Provisional track railtour to East Anglia

Note: re-dated from Saturday 6th April

No further details are available at present.


Friday
15th November 2019
to Sunday
17th November 2019

Save the date

Provisional Barrow Hill AGM weekend with Sunday railtour

No further details are available at present.

This fixture is for members only.


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