The Branch Line Society

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The BLS Central/Northern Finland freight line railtour pauses at Kaskinen in April 2018
[© Iain Scotchman 2018]

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
7th March 2020
to Monday
9th March 2020

Open for booking

The Parkinson Package

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


Saturday
7th March 2020


Open for booking

The Fenny Crompton

An easy day out positioning move railtour operated by West Coast Railways (WCR), hauled by a WCR Class 33. A Class 47 will also be provided on the rear for train heating. Rare track highlights include Fenny Compton Dn loop in the Up direction and Bescot Up & Dn Through Siding (No 1 road requested).


Sunday
8th March 2020


Open for booking

The Devonian Crompton

Operated by West Coast Railways (WCR), this charter will feature a pair of Class 33s at the sharp end, hauled by 71A Locomotive Group’s 33012 and a WCR Class 33. Our London departure is from Victoria and return is to Waterloo, as we set out to cover classic Class 33 routes. Our unusual destination is Coleford Junction on the line to Okehampton, but with a few twists and turns along the way for good measure!


Monday
9th March 2020


Open for booking

The Park Royal Parkinson

A re-positioning move railtour operated by West Coast Railways (WCR), hauled by a WCR Class 33. A Class 47 will also be provided for train heating and reversals. Rare track highlights include Royal Oak Siding, Old Oak Common Reception Line, Coventry Carriage Sidings, Coventry North Yard and Sideway Loop.


Friday
13th March 2020
to Sunday
15th March 2020

Open for booking

The Aire Freshener

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


Friday
13th March 2020


Open for booking

The Little North Western Grid

This charter will feature a Colas Class 56 at the sharp end, and a WCR ETH Class 47 for our reversals. Our departure is from Carnforth and is a one-way journey to Doncaster, ahead of our main event on Saturday 14th March.


Saturday
14th March 2020


Waiting List

The Power of Aire

This charter will feature a much sought-after Colas Class 70 with a WCR ETH Class 47 inside, supported by a Colas Class 56 for our reversals. The rare track highlights include Selby Curve, Ferrybridge Wagon Repair Depot, Drax Power Station, Gascoigne Wood Sidings, Doncaster Carriage Sidings and Sudforth Lane Sidings.

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
15th March 2020


Open for booking

The Eric and Ernie

This charter will feature a Colas Class 56 and a WCR ETH Class 47 for our reversals. Our departure is from Doncaster and is a one-way journey back to Carnforth, via Copy Pit and Morecambe. The rare track highlights include Selby Curve and Whitehall Road Engineers Sidings.


Saturday
21st March 2020


Open for booking

Kernow Spring Funiculars

By popular demand, a weekend repeat of the very successful recent society trips on two significant funicular railways in Cornwall, which the public are not ordinarily permitted to ride on.

This fixture is for members only.


Sunday
22nd March 2020


Open for booking

North Cornwall Miniature Railway All Liner

A members only 'all available lines' visit to this new railway which only opened on 18th August 2019 near St Teath, between Wadebridge and Camelford.

Update 29/01/20: Now taking bookings from non-BLS members too.


Thursday
2nd April 2020


Open for booking
Pay on the day

North Stafford Jn - Stoke Jn Signal Box Visits

A repeat of our oversubscribed 4 Oct 2016 visits to some of the eight boxes between North Stafford Jn and Stoke Jn.

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
18th April 2020
to Sunday
19th April 2020

Open for booking

The Combined Crompton

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


Saturday
18th April 2020


Open for booking

The BRCW Bunny

With a Class 33 top and tail with a WCR Class 37. Rare track includes Hanson Padeswood Sidings, Warrington Canal Sidings, Wrexham Up Bay 2, Oakleigh Sidings (and triangle), Latchford Sidings and the route from Warrington Arpley past Fiddlers Ferry through to Ditton Reception Sidings. This charter also offers the exceptionally rare opportunity for a loco-hauled tour into Wrexham Central.


Sunday
19th April 2020


Open for booking

The Hot Cross Crompton

A Class 33 top & tail with a WCR Class 37 and only four coaches. Rare track includes the Knowsley Freight Terminal branch, Birkdale Sidings and Kirkdale Carriage Sidings. A unique chance to travel loco-hauled on parts of Merseyrail.


Saturday
25th April 2020


Open for booking

The Andrew Wilson (Brillo) Memorial Charter

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce a spring charter on the delightful Kent and East Sussex Railway. The charter will traverse the much requested Rolvenden Carriage Shed Road No.2, Tenterden headshunt 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.


Saturday
25th April 2020


Open for booking

The East Kent Rods

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce an add-on spring charter on the delightful Kent & East Sussex Railway to compliment the Andrew (Brillo) Wilson Memorial Charter which is running on the same date earlier at the nearby Kent & East Sussex Railway. The charter will provide a rare haulage opportunity for both 08502 and 08676.


Sunday
26th April 2020


Save the date

Unusual Home Counties event in planning

No further details are available at present.


Thursday
30th April 2020
to Sunday
3rd May 2020

Save the date

Island of Ireland V weekend

Please note the change of dates to avoid a tour clash (previously advised as Thursday 7th May to Sunday 10th May 2020).

No further details are available at present.


Saturday
2nd May 2020


Save the date

All day 'stand alone' Dublin based Irish Rail tour

Please note the change of date to avoid a tour clash (previously advised as Saturday 9th May 2020).

No further details are available at present.


Thursday
21st May 2020
to Sunday
31st May 2020

Save the date

Northern Sweden Railtour

Update 31/10/19: Please note the change of date (previously advised as Sunday 31st May 2020 to Sunday 7th June 2020

The plan is to use loco-hauled stock with a restaurant car to do freight lines and non-passenger curves in Northern Sweden not covered by recent tours.

Update 20/02/19: Urgent update in e-BLN 1346, please respond by 29 February


Wednesday
3rd June 2020
to Friday
5th June 2020

Notify interest

Tom's Comprehensive Kent Connector

Our latest service train tracker has been carefully planned (subject to checking the May 2020 timetable) and will be led by Tom Gilby to cover all available lines in Kent. Over 900 miles of rail travel in three days with like-minded company. It includes almost all lines, every possible crossover with rare moves and is a good social occasion in, hopefully nice weather with plenty of daylight.

This fixture is for members only.


Friday
26th June 2020
to Sunday
28th June 2020

Open for booking

The Niedersachsen Explorer

A three day BLS tour of freight lines of the Osthannoversche Eisenbahn in northern Germany by loco hauled train.

Update 04/02/2020: Now open for bookings from non-members too.

Update 16/02/2020: Now also taking single day bookings (limited availability).


Saturday
15th August 2020


Save the date

Lengthy private 15" railway in Buckinghamshire

No further details are available at present.

This fixture is for members only.


Monday
31st August 2020


Save the date

Bank Holiday Scunthorpe Summer Steel Spectacular (No.21)

No further details are available at present.

This fixture is for members only.


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