The Branch Line Society


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#653 Posted on: 18 April 2021 at 14:46 by Mark HaggasType: Public

The Summer Syphons - Friday 2nd July 2021 to Monday 5th July 2021 - Important Update

We are delighted to confirm that The Summer Syphons will be opening for Society member bookings on Monday 19th April at 19.00, as previously indicated. A reminder that seating will be allocated in line with Government guidelines in place at the time and our Travel Safe procedures. Where possible, families, household groups and those in ‘social bubbles’ from separate households should make a single booking for their entire party. Please rest assured we are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment on board, whilst adhering to all Public Health regulations. Our team will be following an enhanced programme of cleaning for your safety. Of course, if you cannot book as a group but still have seating preferences, then they should be stated in the notes section as normal.

We are delighted to announce a number of important changes, based on input from both our customers and partners.

On Friday, we now expect to run direct from Glasgow to Mauchline Jn via Kilmarnock (Through Road requested) with an additional pick up at Dumfries circa 12.50. At Carlisle, we will say goodbye to one of the DBC Class 66s and 2 x DRS 37 will take us forward from there. On Saturday, we are delighted to add the Mapperley Goods Branch and the former Stanton Works to the specification, with the consequential removal of Belmont Yard (which is deferred to a project later in the year). On Sunday, the pilot loco in the Tunstead area is on track to be a rather special feature! Finally, on Monday, we expect to operate top 'n tail throughout with an additional set down at Metro Centre circa 15.45. We have requested the addition of Greenfoot Goods Loop.

Finally, in response to significant positive feedback, we have made the decision to only open the full four day package on Monday. Single day tickets will be available from Wednesday 21st April, from 19.00. Of course, provision will be made in the seating allocation to provide opportunity for members who can only travel on certain day(s). This will significantly reduce the complexity for members to undertake their bookings next week, and will help ensure an accurate number of seats are made available for single day passengers after we have completed our reconciliation of Monday's sales.

It is important to reiterate that not all seats will be made available for sale next week, as current Government guidelines require our passenger numbers to be reduced. We will continue to monitor the situation with the support of our partners, and expect that as lockdown easing stages progress, that additional capacity will become available for both four-day packages and single days.

We look forward to your support in helping maintain the amazing work of Martin House Hospice, and would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners at DB Cargo, DRS and SRPS for their continued support of this exciting project.


#651 Posted on: 12 April 2021 at 18:39 by Mark HaggasType: Public

Monday 12th @ 19.39: Three Peaks from a Seat 2021

We are aware that some people may not have received a confirmation email and there may be a delay in the sending of these while the system catches up. You should still have received your payment confirmation email from WorldPay which shows you have booked and paid.

Please note that the confirmation emails shows Thurs 10th for the date irrespective of which day you have booked. This is only a cosmetic issue and is because we have used one fixture for booking multiple days and the first day is classed as the fixture date by the system. The day shown against the Class/option is the day you have booked.

Tuesday 13th April 17:03: The East Kent Rods

We have moved the fixture opening time of The East Kent Rods from 19.00 to 20.00 on Wednesday 14th April to avoid clashing with bookings for the Andrew Wilson Memorial Charter which will still open at 19.00.

Tuesday 13th April 19:43: The Thanet Thunderer

We are aware that a small number of people may not have received a confirmation email and there may be a delay in the sending of these while the system catches up. You should still have received your payment confirmation email from WorldPay which shows you have booked and paid.

Please note this message was originally posted at 19:39 BST, however the system is currently displaying it as 18:39 GMT due to an issue we are investigating.


#649 Posted on: 11 April 2021 at 17:49 by Mark HaggasType: Public

Please accept our apologies for the delay in announcing pricing for our June and July events whilst we awaited the 12th April Government announcement to confirm Stage 2 of lockdown easing has been met, and any impact that may have had on available seating capacity and therefore our fares. If you find an event you wish to participate in is full, please do add yourself to the waiting list to express your interest. Pricing for the following events can now be viewed on the Fixtures page:

- Three Peaks from a Seat.

- The Thanet Thunderer.

- The Summer Syphons.

Although single bookers are welcome, group bookings of 4, 5, 6 or more consisting of your social bubbles will enable us to optimise the safe capacity of these events.


#640 Posted on: 05 April 2021 at 17:51 by Mark HaggasType: Public

Further to today’s Government announcement confirming Step 2 of Lockdown easing will proceed Monday 12 April, we are delighted to confirm that bookings will open:

- Three Peaks from a Seat at 19.00 on Monday 12th April.

- The Thanet Thunderer at 19.00 Tuesday 13th April.

- The Andrew Wilson (Brillo) Memorial Charter at 19.00 Wednesday 14th April.
- The East Kent Rods at 19.00 Wednesday 14th April.

- Romsey Horticultural Tramway at 19.00 Thursday 15th April.

- The Summer Syphons at 19.00 Monday 19th April.

Please ensure wherever possible you book in groups of family, friends and those in your social bubble to optimise safely the available capacity. Note that The Summer Syphons will open, initially, for members only.


#635 Posted on: 29 March 2021 at 19:14 by Mark HaggasType: Public

The Society is pleased to announce further details on three new fixtures for your diary allowing you to plan ahead, and where necessary secure (refundable recommended) overnight accommodation:

Three Peaks from a Seat 2021 - Thursday 10th June 2021 to Saturday 12th June 2021

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce a rare opportunity to enjoy over 1200 miles of double-headed LSL Class 37 haulage from the comfort of a Mark III Inter-City liveried first class carriage - covering a wide area of England, Wales and Scotland over three days.

The Summer Syphons - Friday 2nd July 2021 to Monday 5th July 2021

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce The Summer Syphons, a four day event raising funds for Martin House Hospice. Operated by DB Cargo using SRPS Mark One coaching stock, our special train will feature across the weekend Class 66s provided by DB Cargo and Class 37s provided by Direct Rail Services.

The Thanet Thunderer - Saturday 31st July 2021

A rather special Summer outing to the Kent seaside town of Margate with 50008 Thunderer and friend. This charter will feature a mix of top 'n tail and double-headed English Electric Class 50's.

Please view the Fixtures page for more information and details on when bookings are planned to open.


#629 Posted on: 12 March 2021 at 21:26 by Mark HaggasType: Public

The BLS Silesian Explorer - Friday 18th June 2021 to Tuesday 22nd June 2021

Wrocław, the historical capital of the Silesia region of SW Poland, has a complex of lines connecting the many rail routes converging on the city, most of which are freight-only. In conjunction with Polish tour operator Turystyka Kolejowa, the BLS are pleased offer a five-day railtour around Wrocław as well as rare freight lines in the surrounding area, highlights being the much sought-after Żmigród Test Track located north of the city and freight branches including Jerzmanice Zdrój, Gostyń, Murów and Krapkowice. The tour will start and end in the city of Łódź, hauled by a ex-PKP SM/SU42 diesel locomotive, with preserved SM30 locomotive to assist with the reversal required in the Wrocław area – all in the company of other BLS members!

Please view the Fixtures page for more information and to book.


#626 Posted on: 05 March 2021 at 20:29 by Paul StewartType: Public

BLS Sales: Our member Joe Brown's excellent new Liverpool & Manchester Railway Atlas (First Edition) is now available and covers a large area of the North West. As well as Merseyside and Greater Manchester, the maps cover most of county of Lancashire extending to Blackpool, Fleetwood, Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Colne, Chorley, Warrington, Chester, Northwich & Buxton.

Many tram systems are included as are the numerous extensive colliery and industrial railways. A4 hardback, 256 pages; 180 map pages in the usual Joe Brown style and a 70 page index (that is more than the London Railway Atlas has).

See for more details.

The cost to BLS members, including UK P&P, is only £21. (Cover price is £30.)

Your Sales Officer, Graeme Jolley, now has the atlas in stock. If you have already expressed interest no further action is required, electronic and postal invoices are being sent out. If you have not expressed interest but now wish to order email Graeme per Contacts Page as soon as possible.

Note our Website Sales Page has now been fully updated...


#625 Posted on: 02 March 2021 at 16:57 by Paul StewartType: Public

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this appeal.

The good news is that £297,000 was raised in total so the work for the Bala Lake Railway extension into Bala will go ahead and there is £21,000 over available to help fund the next phase of the extension.

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#623 Posted on: 24 February 2021 at 08:05 by Paul StewartType: Public

The Bala Lake Railway is trying to extend by ¾ mile from their present terminus into Bala itself.

The town's flood defences are being upgraded at a cost of £6.5M and work for the extension can be incorporated at an addition cost to the railway of £276,000. Well less than £20,000 remains to be raised but the deadline is this Sunday 28th February.

Please see for details and to help.

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Railway Cinema Night

#622 Posted on: 22 February 2021 at 17:12 by Paul StewartType: Public

As part of Wales Week London, Railway Benefit Fund is hosting an online Railway Cinema Night. Michael Portillo journalist, broadcaster of the Railway Journeys series and former politician, will discuss historic rail links in Wales and the mainline to London.

Noel Dolphin will discuss the current importance of rail links to Wales and the recent works to improve connections with the rest of the UK.

This will be followed by the historic 1959 British Transport Films short documentary Under the River, which examined the Severn Tunnel's complex construction. A short Q&A session will follow the film.

A unique event to learn about the history and current importance of the railway in the region, as well as the engineering challenges in the Severn Tunnel. See

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