The Branch Line Society

Guest

  
455732 & 455870 arriving at Waterloo P19 to form the stock for our Vossloh Voyager
rail tour on 14th January 2017 [© Geoff Plumb 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!

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
2nd December 2017


Open for booking

The Christmas Brush

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce an exciting loco hauled charter train in conjunction with Brush Type 4 Fund, operated by West Coast Railway Company (WCRC), traversing much sought-after curves, loops and lines in the Thames Valley area, with a brief visit 'down' to Southern metals for added interest! The nine-coach train will be hauled by two Class 47 locomotives operating in top 'n tail formation, with one Class 47/7 and one Class 47/0 requested, subject to availability. As usual, there will be an on-train raffle with proceeds donated to Brush Type 4 Fund and Railway Children. There will be a buffet car serving hot food including delicious breakfast rolls, drinks, snacks and light refreshments. At least two real ales are expected to be available for sale. First Class Plus passengers will additionally benefit from complimentary morning tea / coffee with a Danish pastry, and in the afternoon, tea or coffee with savoury of the day and a selection of fine cakes. There will be some festive treats available for all passengers!

Please note: Standard Class is now full, and only First Class seats (with refreshments) remain.

Sunday
17th December 2017


Open for booking

The Grand Farewell

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce an unusual HST charity charter train in conjunction with Grand Central (GC), traversing much sought-after curves, loops and sidings! The six-coach train will be powered by two GC liveried Class 43 power cars. There will be an on-train raffle with proceeds donated to 125 Group, whilst profits from the charter will be split evenly between Railway Benefit Fund and Railway Children. There will be a Buffet Car serving a wide range of sandwiches, drinks, snacks and light refreshments. At least two real ales are expected to be available for sale. First Class passengers will benefit from an at seat service with breakfast of porridge and a hot breakfast roll, lunch of soup and sandwiches and an afternoon cream tea, accompanied by complimentary tea, coffee, fruit juice, water and snacks throughout the day. Standard Plus passengers will travel in a declassified First-Class coach offering an enhanced passenger environment, additional space and a free voucher for a hot drink from the Buffet Car. Grand Central has been operating three HST sets since the commencement of passenger operations on 18 December 2007, and these will be returned to Angel Trains for re-deployment in the near future. This charter marks the end of the first chapter of operations and celebrates the 10th birthday of Grand Central. Subject to availability, free Wi-Fi will be available throughout the train.


Saturday
6th January 2018


Full

Scunthorpe Steel Works railtour

Make an early New Year resolution (to go on more BLS fixtures) now and book our first one of 2018. It is a good time to visit, as internal traffic is quieter after Christmas. An interesting and unique experience, enjoy it while you still can, and strike while the iron is still hot, at one of the UK's final 24 hour operational integrated steel works set in 200 acres (totally unspoilt by tourism). Over 100 miles of standard gauge track and a great way to see an operating steel works at close quarters. 09.30 prompt at the AFRPS platform until dark (about 16.30). An extensive full day railtour with a break at the AFRPS shed (view and photo the locos). Subject to engineering work, Birmingham, Liverpool and London (etc) rail connections are available. Maximum 47, first come first served, £41 MEMBERS ONLY, includes food and drink in the break, a detailed track map, stock list and souvenir ticket. Our tour supports the good work of the AFRPS. Book online or by post with an SAE (two for an acknowledgement) to Jill Everitt (see Contacts page). Queries and any specific line requests in advance only ASAP to Paul Stewart (see Contacts page).

This fixture is for members only.

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


Sunday
25th February 2018


Save the date

Save the Date - interesting fixture

Save The Date, Sunday 25 February 2018!

Save the date for an interesting fixture in the planning.

No further details are available at present.


Friday
20th April 2018
to Tuesday
24th April 2018

Open for booking

Central/Northern Finland Freight Line Rail Tour

Please note: in addition to booking online, participants are required to download and complete the manual booking form which requires additional information to be supplied.

During the July 2017 PTG Southern Finland tour it was learnt that several lengthy freight lines in Central and Northern Finland are threatened with closure, potentially within a year. These lines are: Kontiomäki to Ämmänsaari (92km), Jyväskylä to Haapajärvi (164km under threat) and Seinäjoki to Kaskinen (112km).

Freight only lines comprise about 30% of the network (over 1,700km), and while a few see regular heritage services in the peak summer months, the vast majority are railtour territory. Timber and minerals are the main traffic, but lengthy lines mean high maintenance costs and it takes very little to tip the balance between profit and loss. Several lines have closed recently. Passenger services are also under scrutiny, with several lines under very definite threat of closure quite possibly within the next year or so.

Bookings are now open for a loco-hauled train over these and other nearby freight/passenger lines, with the route as follows:

   Tour Day 1 - 20 April: Jyväskylä - Haapajärvi - Pyhäkumpu - Iisalmi.
   Tour Day 2 - 21 April: Iisalmi - Otanmäki - Talvivaara - Kajaani.
   Tour Day 3 - 22 April: Kajaani - Ämmänsaari - Kontiomäki - Oulu.
   Tour Day 4 - 23 April: Oulu - Raahe - Ykspihlaja - Alholma – Seinäjoki.
   Tour Day 5 - 24 April: Seinäjoki –Kaskinen - Seinäjoki.

For further details, including a map, please refer to the manual booking form. Click on the tour title for a button to click to download this.

All tour participants are recommended to have full travel insurance taken out BEFORE making any booking and to be in possession of a valid European Health Insurance Card.

Thursday
3rd May 2018
to Sunday
6th May 2018

Save the date

Island of Ireland four day 'long weekend'

Island of Ireland four day 'long weekend'; *NOT YET OPEN*

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
12th May 2018


Save the date

Save the Date - Mainline Railtour

Save The Date, Saturday 12 May 2018!

Save the date for a possible mainline railtour with 565 Railtours, West Coast traction & Colas Class 37s.

No further details are available at present.


Thursday
14th June 2018


Save the date

Save the Date - Annual Pre-peaks Trekker

Save The Date, Thursday 14 Jun 2018!

Save the date for the Annual Pre-peaks Trekker - a loco-hauled charity railtour.

No further details are available at present.