The Branch Line Society

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68026 on our Cat & Dock tour (15th June 2017) on the Ormskirk branch.
[© Mike Birtles 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.


Saturday
18th May 2019


Closed

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


Closed

Island of Ireland IV Day Four - The Cork Stopper

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce its second unusual lines charter train in conjunction with Irish Rail. Traversing unusual lines in County Cork and County Kerry, there will be a leg stretch break in Tralee and a photo stop at Mallow.

Highlights of this tour include the Cork station avoiding line, the remains of the former line to Youghal at Midleton (and the rarely used non-preferred platform), Killarney avoiding line, engineer's sidings at Cobh / Banteer / Rathmore, and a number of other crossovers / little used platforms particularly Tralee P2.

Note: Bookings for this fixture are open to all - it is not necessary to have booked on any of the other three days.


Saturday
1st June 2019


Open for booking

Exbury Eucryphia

Thanks to our member Rod Bryant, a visit probably starting at 12.00, to the 12¼" gauge, 1¼ mile long, Exbury Steam Railway at Exbury Gardens, Beaulieu, SO45 1AZ. Courtesy of Exbury Estates and railway management we will have two trips covering the very rare station avoiding triangle and the 2018 deviation.


Saturday
1st June 2019


Open for booking

Royal Runabout

To follow Exbury, Rod Bryant has kindly arranged a comprehensive 'all available lines' railtour including rare track, of the complex interesting 10¼" gauge (public run 1,000yd) Royal Victoria Railway, Royal Victoria Park, Netley


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.

UPDATE 09/05/19: This tour is now expected to be hauled by a WCR Class 37 operating in top 'n tail formation with Class 31 31128.


This fixture is for members only.


Wednesday
12th June 2019


Notify interest

The Liverpool Lime Street Saveaway Tracker

Our member Tom Gilby is kindly leading a sociable group of like minded members on service trains the day before our 'Conwy Cat' tour, with summer daylight until 22.00. Meet Liverpool Lime Street or Liverpool South Parkway armed with an All Zones 'Saveaway' ticket for an all day intensive microgricing itinerary, devised to cover all 10 platforms and eight expected crossovers on the approaches to the remodelled Lime Street.

This fixture is for members only.


Thursday
13th June 2019


Open for booking

The Conwy Cat

Updated routing, click on fixture for further details.

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. 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.


Friday
28th June 2019


Notify interest
Pay on the day

Blyth & Tyne Signal Box Visits

With thanks to the indefatigable Nick Jones, the plan is to visit all/most of: Newsham, Bedlington South, Bedlington North, Winning, Freemans, Marchey's House signal boxes and possibly North Seaton and Hirst Lane gate boxes too.

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
29th June 2019


Open for booking

The Seaton Surveyor

With thanks to Simon Mortimer, a summer sojourn by the sea at this 2' 9" gauge, 2¾ mile long, tramway along the lovely River Axe estuary, mostly on the old branch. It follows public service, but in daylight hours, for full operational flexibility.

The comprehensive itinerary includes Colyton Wall Siding, Colyford siding (bay), Riverside Depot Roads 1-4 and the recently completely altered approach to the new Seaton terminus with all FOUR platform roads.


Sunday
7th July 2019
to Monday
8th July 2019

Notify interest

The Devon Triangle of Doom Tracker

Following last summer's Cornwall Service Train Tracker, our member Mark Haggas will kindly lead a group covering the railways of Devon over two long summer days. All possible track on a service train is included from Plymouth (five London end platform approaches) to Axminster & Tiverton Parkway. Also all branches with Okehampton (one reason for a Sunday and Monday) and as many of the rarer/less common platforms and crossovers as possible. The Gunnislake branch and Plymouth country end are in Devon, but were done last year.

This fixture is for members only.


Saturday
13th July 2019


Open for booking

The Andrew Wilson ('Brillo') Memorial Charter

UPDATE: Postponed to Saturday 13th July (was Saturday 5th May). See fixture details for further information.

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.


Saturday
20th July 2019


Waiting List

The Luca Pezzulo Express

This rather special and unusual Branch Line Society loco hauled charter, operated by West Coast Railways, will be visiting FOUR freight installations in the Network Rail London North East zone. From a traction perspective, we will feature a WCR Class 37 operating in top 'n tail formation with a Colas Rail Class 37.

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.


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

Updated routing.

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


Full

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


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.


Saturday
10th August 2019


Save the date

Loco hauled tour Crewe - Portsmouth

No further details are available at present.


Monday
26th August 2019


Waiting List

Scunthorpe Steeler No.19 railtour

With over 100 miles of standard gauge track to choose from; 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). An extensive full day summer railtour, and it is hoped to include the new line and realignments of its junctions at either end.

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.


Friday
6th September 2019
to Sunday
8th September 2019

Save the date

Society Track & Traction railtour in Norway

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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