The Branch Line Society


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BLN Pictorials

#253 Posted on: 09 February 2019 at 17:57 by Paul StewartType: Public

In case you had not noticed, there are a couple of fairly new BLN Pictorials in that section of our website for logged in members to see. Angus McDougall has kindly supplied 25 pictures and text about some of the British First Generation Tramways still running in the 1950s - see if your town or city is included. Secondly, Dave Cromarty has kindly produced a BLN Pictorial on the West Midlands Metro extension to Wolverhampton station which is due to open when rebuilding of the station is complete. Thanks to our member Phil Logie for preparing and loading these - a new one is due soon... Also thanks to Phil, there are 2018 Fixture reports up to the end of October on our website.

Blackpool Tram Tour Saturday 26th January 10.30-17.30

#237 Posted on: 11 January 2019 at 07:52 by Paul StewartType: Public

Saturday 26 January 'Blackpool Balloon' tram tour (in e-BLN and on our website) includes some significant sections not covered by our 'Fisherman's Friend' Blackpool tram tour of 19 November 2016 and even some which are not wired! It was not finalised in time for paper BLN so if you know anyone who might be interested do tell them and, preferably, book for them via our website please. Northern have managed to provide a regular train service at Blackpool on Saturdays and there are Virgin Train services as well with some very good value advance fares such as Birmingham New Street (07.25) to Blackpool North £6.25 with railcard (through train). For the return in the evening book from Preston, with a single from Blackpool (North or South).


#181 Posted on: 15 November 2018 at 22:07 by Mark HaggasType: Public

A couple of new fixtures are now open for booking.

On Sunday 3rd February 2019 our Class 47 top 'n tailed Looe Brush Railtour is now available to book. There are various track highlights and accommodation is limited by certain parts of the the route.

Additionally the previous day a one way trip 'The Positioning Move' is available to assist participants in joining the tour with a bargain fare of only £40 - again various track highlights are included.

Full details of these two new fixtures can be found on the Fixtures page.

Hatton - Tyseley SLW Sun 4 October

#172 Posted on: 30 October 2018 at 18:13 by Paul StewartType: Public

On Sunday there is unusual lengthy single line working between Hatton North Jn (112m 54ch) and 125m 50ch with an hourly Chiltern service all day, supplemented by buses for some stations and instead of the West Midlands services.

In the Down direction the facing crossover at Hatton North Jn will be used in the rare direction to the Up Dorridge, with trains returning to the Down Dorridge again at the 125m 50ch trailing crossover, north of Acocks Green in the rare direction.

RTT confirms use of the Up Platform 1 at Dorridge in the Down direction with unadvertised stops at Hatton P2 and Tyseley P2 to pick up and set down the pilotman (should that be pilotperson these days?)

Bidirectional people are expected to report for duty and the crossover at 125m 50ch is relatively rare.

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BLS Andover Visit Sunday 21 October

#163 Posted on: 09 October 2018 at 06:15 by Paul StewartType: Public

The group are making a great effort for us with 'all available locos' and 'all available track' we have 31 going on this leisurely timed visit but there is room for more (a very extensive railway with no public running)....

Andover Anchovy: Sunday 21 October 12.00: Andover & District Model Engineering Society, Winchester Road (B3420), SP11 7HT, (SU 379 418) about 3¼ miles south of Andover station. With thanks to our member Simon Mortimer. Andover MES was founded in 1945 and moved to their current site near Wherwell in 2009. Set in woodland in the Test Valley, it was an old WWII munitions site; original Nissen huts survive including the club house and workshop. The original ground level line see was a 430yd dual gauge 5"/7¼" loop (black on this plan); in 2012 a 820yd 7¼" extension opened (light blue); in 2016 a further 520yd (dark blue) of 7¼" with yet another extension (red) in 2018 - so new that the exact length is unknown! With passing loops, there are about 1½ miles of ground level track. Also the elevated 2½"/3½"/5" line (extended to 450yd in 2017) should be available.

The general public are not admitted to this site. Starts 12.00 to meet MES members and survey the site. At about 13.00 during the MES lunch break is a recommended pub a mile away before our visit resumes. It includes trips around all the circuits/loops and shorter offshoots as practicable. £15 non-members; £10 members; Under 18s (must be accompanied by adult) £5/£10 book on our website.

Southeastern Day Rover Saturday 6th October

#153 Posted on: 03 October 2018 at 10:17 by Paul StewartType: Public

£20 Adult, accompanying Child £1 up to 4 per adult (no further discounts) for unlimited travel on Southeastern services (INCLUDES HS1) all day Saturday There is a challenge to cover the entire network in the day (see link). Available on line and at Southeastern ticket offices plus London Victoria, Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye, Nunhead, St Pancras International and Abbey Wood only.

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High Flyers at Derby

#140 Posted on: 26 August 2018 at 12:38 by Paul StewartType: Public

From 27 August to 3 September passenger trains have been authorised to travel between Way & Works Jn and the new Service Platform (P7), via the (NEW) Derby Pilot Siding/Line. Note with renaming it has, correctly, become singular and all you keen members who did it before 27 August now will need to do it again! It is understood that P7 will not normally be used by passenger trains after full commissioning at Derby.


#122 Posted on: 19 July 2018 at 20:43 by Mark HaggasType: Public

A number of new fixtures are now open for booking.

On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September, there are minor railways in Hertfordshire and Essex 'all available track' fixtures at multiple locations.

Following on from the success of our recent society visit to Hanson Ketton Cement Works, Sunday 30th September is an 'all available track' fixture at Hanson's Ribblesdale Cement Works.

Sunday 24th February 2019 is a key date to save in your diary for a railtour in the north of England.

Also - for members only - on Friday 3rd August there are signal box visits in the Bangor area.

And finally a reminder of the combined BLS/PLEG track/traction tours at Barrow Hill Engine Shed on the evening of Friday 20th July, bookings close at 23:59 on 19th July!

Full details of all these new fixtures can be found on the Fixtures page.


#119 Posted on: 06 July 2018 at 22:00 by Mark HaggasType: Public

Two new minor railway fixtures are now open for booking.

On Saturday 29th September, there is an all running lines tour of the miniature railway at Coate Water Country Park with thanks to the North Wilts Model Engineers Society.

And on Sunday 21st October, there is an all available track tour of the Andover & District Model Engineers Society's track near Wherwell.

Full details of all these new fixtures can be found on the Fixtures page.

Ketton update

#115 Posted on: 29 June 2018 at 16:04 by Kev AdlamType: Public

08580 has now arrived at Ketton and us been unloaded and tested

For those of you who may need a cold drink on Sunday before or after your ride, we are offered a lovely welcome at the appropriately named Railway Inn, Church Street, Ketton, PE9 3TA

300 year old Grade II traditional village local with a beer garden. Choice of ales including local JHB. On Sunday it is renown for parsnips and Yorkshire Pudding nibbles on the bar.

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