Thursday, September 22, 2011

On Shed October 2011 edition

    "Preserving the steam locomotive legacy..and more..on film"

October 2011 Edition.

Front Page.

The Fellsman
Ex LMS 8F locomotive 48151 Gauge O Guild pictured making the climb up to Aisgill summit with the return working of The Fellsman.(C) Andrew Edkins

Welcome..and site news. Review new Features.(Documentaries)
Steam Tube Photographic Highlights
Steam Tube Video Highlights
Talyllyn Slate Railway (Wales) circa 1950 - "Railway With A Heart Of Gold" Ella73TV2 on YouTube
New railway artist James Green
On This Day In This Month In Railway History
The Lives of Female Waiting Room Attendants at
London Bridge Station in the 1860,1870s... (TurnipRail)
A Summer of Strain: An Olympic Task for Rail Infrastructure
Christian Wolmar- September 2011 Newsletter

Welcome..and site news...

TFC and Shedmaster extend a warm welcome to all to this October 2011 edition of "On Shed".
We are especially pleased to be able to welcome the new members to Steam Tube, bringing our membership to 694. Some of the new members have connections with Alaskan Railways, Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, the NSW Rail Transport Museum,the Richmond Vale Mining Museum,
the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway,  the BC Forestry Museum, the Fillmore & Western Railway,California, the Jefferson Railway, and China. In future editions of On Shed, we shall endeavour to include more details on these, and other railways. We hope to be able to include many more videos and photographs of overseas steam action.Thanks to all Steam Tube members who
provide excellent coverage of their local mainline and preserved steam action . Thank you again to all of you who provide us with the evidence of your enthusiasm for steam locomotion.

How are we doing
It is our aim to make Steam Tube "The Home of Steam on the Net". Your comments about how we can continue to build on our reputation- and content- are gratefully accepted and appreciated.
There is no doubt in our minds that the quality of the images and videos has increased noticeably.
We appreciate your sterling efforts in getting the steam action to Steam Tube.
Please keep it up!

Steam Tube documentaries
We haven't had too many offerings of documentaries, although it could be said that the clips some of you upload , with their excellent captions are really in this genre. But if you feel able to put a voiceover, or commentary, on your films, then we shall be pleased to see them!

Over the last month, we have had some most interesting uloads....We are particularly pleased to have had Cherie Stihler join us, and acquaint us with archive footage of Alaskan railways..
And Peter Hemy's atmospheric photographs take us back to a lost age too.

Calendar Competition..
Entries for the 2012 Steam Tube Calendar will close on September 30th 2011.
Submissions for the Steam Tube Yearbook will be accepted for a whle longer.....
More later!

We like to keep the membership involved and informed. So e-mails are sent out fairly regularly...but not too regularly to irritate you, we hope. We are taking steps to make sure that you receive the communication from Steam Tube that you wish to receive.

So, now, on with this month's edition......


Steam Tube Photographic Highlights
15,354 images at 21/09/11
checking no 7 overRepairs to Std4 #76017, MHR Ropley boiler shop, 16 August 201146115bath spr express 17-8-11
Nov 2010 trains 028Scotts Guardman48151_Gauge O Guild_The Fellsman_At Billington5024/5051 Plymouth 2007
Neasdens Finest5029 & 4492 on 'The Mayflower'92203.Weybourne.18.8.11A1_60163_The Caledonian Tornado_through Moses Gate stn
6233 at Holyhead6233 at Crewe5521 Boscarne 2/9/11E1 - Chena
Carriage shop, Ropley, Mid Hants Railway, 20 September 20116233 at Tebay, March 200770013 at Kirton Lime Sidings6024,Bristol Temple Meads

Steam Tube Video Highlights
3,262 videos at 21/09/11
The Cumbrian Mountain ExpressSummer Of Steam,20116024 slips to a stand on CockettShakespeare Express hauled by 5043 Earl of Mount of Edgcumbe 21 Aug 11
Cockett tries to defeat 6024 again....and fails!!!35028 "Clan Line" VSOE 3rd August 2011 Bradford-Upon-AvonShibanxi - Bagou and Croquet(NotTheFatController)71000 The Carmarthen Cavalier 29-08-2011 HD
71000 Duke of Gloucester on -  The Carmarthen Cavalier -  29/08/2011Steam Train Festival of the 3 Valleys (CFV3V) 2010 Mariembourg in Belgium (part 1)34067 Tangmere & 70000 Britannia New Malden. 04/09/2011The Torbay Express - 4th September 2011
(HD) The Torbay Express 71000 Duke of Gloucester WSM 04/09/11Steam-hauled Royal MailNene Valley Railway's - East Meets West, Autumn Steam Gala, Sat 10 Sept 2011 pt1Steam in the South West
Steam Locomotive - French Railway2011 Shakespeare Express compilation with 6201 4965 5043 4936Steam through Honeybourne 17th September 2011(3)Train Plowing

Talyllyn Slate Railway (Wales) circa 1950 - "Railway With A Heart Of Gold" Ella73TV2 on YouTube

This film is an account of the Talyllyn Railway, a historic narrow-gauge slate carrier in Tywyn, Wales, and its operation by a preservation society who saved it from being sold for scrap. Although the release date is 1965, it was actually filmed in the early 1950s. Academic Film Archive of North America director Geoff Alexander visited the railway in June, 2009 as part of the process of preparing the film for uploading:

"Opened in 1865, the Talyllyn railway was the first narrow-gauge steam railway opened specifically for industrial hauling by steam. Since saving the railway in the late 1940's, hundreds of individuals have been involved in keeping it running, and visitors are welcome to ride ( The passion for the railway on the part of the Society is extraordinary. Volunteers are classed in three groups: adults, adolescents, and children, and a significant number of marriages and children have happened as a result of the social interaction among society members. I found the Talyllyn experience to be a culture with a passion for preservation. Filmmaker Kit Davidson gave the Society the right to use this film to raise funds, and they sell the DVD in their shop. When I arrived, the four people cleaning the locomotive spontaneously started whistling the theme to this film, written by Judd Woldin. The railway is easily visited by rail from virtually any point in the UK, as connections can be made to the town of Tywyn, in Wales, where the Talyllyn Railway is located."

For more on the filmmaker, visit

This movie is part of the collection: Academic Film Archive of North America

Director: Carson "Kit" Davidson
Producer: Carson "Kit" Davidson
Production Company: Carson "Kit" Davidson
Sponsor: David Richards

Note: this film and its description noted above were sourced from


New railway artist James Green
We have  an abundance of good railway artists,  today we have a new one breaking onto the scene, James Green.  His paintings  appear even at this early stage  to be up there with the best.   This early success  is helped  by his technical background ensuring that visually all the components of the engines he paints are totally correct. Mix this with the experience James has gained over the years painting landscapes then you have the perfect mix for a great railway artist.

James achieves his paintings not by traditional oils or watercolour but by mixing acrylic inks and gouache together applied with both paint brush and airbrush onto canvas in his own distinctive style.  So affective is this technique his paintings are often mistaken for photographs. 

Here are a selection of James' paintings....
(photo 1) 'Tornado' By artist James Green - unbelievably this was James' first ever attempt at painting a steam train!

(photo 2) 'Tornado' close up' As you can see James does not shy away from detail!

(photo 3) 'Snow at Stowe' A glimpse into the future commissioned by CSRE(Chinese Sourced Railway Equipment),  this painting by James Green shows how the West Coast Mainline could look in a few years time.
(photo 4) 'Epic' Painting in progress, this should end up being a masterpiece showing a powerful double header 'Duke of Gloucester' and 'Oliver Cromwell' around 80% complete this gives a good insight into how James builds up his paintings. The end result should be nothing more then breathtaking

You can buy signed Limited editions of all of James' work from his website  from just £39 mounted and £55 framed. His website also has a interesting 'work in progress' section which enables you to view what James is currently painting, you can also view past works to see how he built them up from start to finish.
On This Day In This Month In Railway History

Sir Henry Fowler succeeds George Hughes as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway

The Great Western Railway of England, abolishes second-class rail fares (first- and third-class remain).

Nigel Gresley (later Sir Nigel) becomes Locomotive Engineer, Great Northern Railway
A Sign of the Chimes
Chime whistle blasting, Sir Nigel Gresley approaches Tempsford Crossing on the Up 'The Tynesider' on 27/11/10. It was about 25 mins late but had an easy schedule into the Cross.(C) Dick Bodily

The first ever Express d'Orient passenger train service leaves Paris for Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), by way of Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Giurgiu, then, with passengers crossing the Danube by boat, a second train from Rustchuk to Varna, and from there by boat Espero to Constantinople. The train is officially renamed Orient Express in 1891

04/10/1976 :
New train speeds into service.
British Rail began its new 125mph High Speed Train (HST) service today. The first London-Bristol service arrived three minutes early.
The Inter-City 125 has been introduced to provide a regular high speed service between Cardiff, Bristol and London.
British Rail will extend the HST service to other major cities over the next two years.
Powered by two diesel motors the Inter-City 125 has recorded a top speed of over 140mph in trial runs, making it the fastest diesel-powered train in the world.

With specially-composed music by David Gow and no commentary, Overture One-Two-Five was the last complete production to be shot on 35mm film by British Transport Films. It was produced to mark the introduction of the new Inter-City 125 High Speed Train services between Paddington and Bristol. Presented here to guide you to the BFI website where you can buy the entire BTF DVD Video collection at

At least eight people are confirmed dead and 160 injured after two trains collided near Paddington Station in west London at the height of the morning rush hour.

A Thames Trains 0806 BST from Paddington to Bedwyn in Wiltshire collided with the incoming 0603 BST Great Western 125 express train from Cheltenham at 0811 BST.
Investigations revealed how 31 people died and dozens were injured because of a head-on collision when one of the trains passed a red signal.

Public inquiries were headed by Scottish judge Lord Cullen. He made dozens of safety recommendations and concluded Railtrack, the company then in charge of rail infrastructure and its investment, had failed to respond to earlier warnings about signalling problems.
For more details  read Adrian Vaughan's book "Tracks to Disaster"(2002)

The directors of the Liverpool and Manchester company held a competition called the "Rainhill Trials" to find the most suitable locomotive.The winner was Robert Stephenson's Rocket which was awarded the prize of £500
"Rocket" at Sheringham 1993 (C)Adrian Vaughan

Accident at Harrow and Wealdstone (112 deaths)

Newsreel footage of the aftermath of the 1952 Train Crash at Harrow & Wealdstone Station, which claimed the lives of 112 people and injured hundreds more.

Anatole Mallet, inventor of the Mallet locomotive type, dies. (b. 1837).

The London and South Western Railway in England completes experimental installation at Grateley on its West of England main line of automatic semaphore signals controlled by track circuits and pneumatics, the first such scheme in the United Kingdom

Charfield railway disaster: London, Midland and Scottish Railway night mail train crashes into shunting goods train following signal passed at danger at Charfield , Gloucestershire: 16 killed
Read the full report here...

Death of Sir Daniel Gooch

18 die as a result of the Shrewsbury rail accident on the London & North Western Railway when a sleeping car train is derailed passing through Shrewsbury station, England, at excessive speed

Hansard Extract...

Shrewsbury Railway Accident.

HC Deb 29 April 1908 vol 187 cc1245-6

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether in view of the Report by Colonel Yorke on the cause of the fatal accident at Shrewsbury on the 14th October last, to the effect that Martin, the engine-driver, must have been overcome by sleep while the train was passing Crewe bank at a high speed, and therefore failed to see the signal and apply the brake in time, that Martin had been out of bed the whole of the previous night and most of the preceding four nights, with the exception of the 12th, he intends to take steps to prevent such overworking of engine-drivers, and what these steps are.

MR. CHIOZZA MONEY(Paddington N.)
At the same time may I ask the Secretary to the Board of Trade whether his attention has been directed to the fact that the official Report upon the recent Shrewsbury railway disaster attributes the accident to the deceased driver falling asleep on the footplate through overwork and lack of proper and regular rest; if he can state what representations have been made to the railway company concerned; and what steps the Board of Trade purpose to take in order to protect the travelling public from similar disasters.

The point to which Colonel Yorke drew attention was the frequency with which Driver Martin had been put on night duty, and he suggested that it would seem to be a wise precaution to prevent the driver of an express train being out of bed for two nights in succession, or, at any rate, to limit the number of such nights in any one week. The Board of Trade are in communication with the London and North-Western Railway Company regarding this and the other recommendations contained in the Report, and I need hardly say that the matter will receive careful and persistent attention.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that men of experience have declared it is not uncommon for engine-drivers, owing to strain of working at nights, to dose and even fall asleep on their engines?

That is what Colonel Yorke reports.

Has the attention of the hon. Gentleman been called to a large meeting of engine-drivers and firemen at Crewe the week before last at which the idea of an engine-driver going to sleep on an engine, and particularly one travelling fifty or sixty miles an hour, was condemned as absolutely impossible, and at the same time was it not the decision of the men that the failure of the brakes was most probably the cause of the accident?

I have seen a report of the meeting.

Was it not discovered that the brakes were in perfect order?

I think the whole ground is covered by the Report.


Henry Ivatt, Chief Mechanical Engineer of Great Northern Railway of England 1896-1911 (b. 1851).


Turnip Rail

The Lives of Female Waiting Room Attendants at London Bridge Station in the 1860,1870s... (TurnipRail)

Before the 1880s the number employment options for women on Britain's railways were small and included charwomen or office cleaners, waiting or refreshment room attendants, carriage lining sewers, polishers or gatekeepers. There were only a limited number of positions available because most railway companies only employed the wives of injured or deceased railwaymen as an act of charity. Indeed, very few jobs in this period were given to the daughters of railwaymen.

With this in mind, I decided to try and find the staff records of some female waiting room attendants to discover more about their lives and circumstances. Thus, in my search I came across thirteen that worked at the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s (LB&SCR) London Bridge Station in the 1860s and 1870s. It is not certain which waiting room they worked in, as 1872 it was noted that there was a separate ‘ladies waiting room.’ Thus, this implies that men and women were separated when waiting for trains there.[1]

The thirteen women were appointed between 1861 and 1878. However, as attendants came and went, it has been determined that anywhere between three and six were posted there at any one time. Pay was low and all earned between 10 shillings and £1. Yet the majority received 18 shillings throughout their employment. This was not a terrible income, but would only have enabled them to have an acceptable, if frugal, standard of living.

From the records it is clear that that the historiography was correct in suggesting that the majority the attendants were the wives of deceased or injured railwaymen. Of the thirteen women, nine were widows. Four had been married to Station Masters, one to a head porter, another to a travelling ticket inspector, another to guard, and, lastly, one to a policeman. The position of one of the widow's husbands is unknown. Only one attendant, Emma Hubbard, acquired the position due to her husband, a ticket inspector injured in an accident at New Cross Station, being injured.

The positions that the husbands held is important as they were seemingly a factor in their widows receiving employment as waiting room attendants. Firstly, all the husbands were working within the company’s Traffic Department, and as the waiting rooms were under its remit, it was only appointing its own employee's wives. Secondly, all the husbands' had high status jobs and suggests that the 'respectability' and 'trustworthiness' of a family was a factor in the women's employment. Widows whose husband's had jobs that were deemed of low respectability, such as porter, platelayer or gatekeeper were seemingly missing from the list (and others seen in the files). However, given that London Bridge Station was one of the LB&SCR’s main stations, it could be suggested that the company prioritised appointing individuals who had ‘respectable’ husbands there, and that elsewhere there was no such distinction.This requires more research

The ages of the attendants on appointment varied. The oldest appointee was Elizabeth Croft, who was simply ‘recommended by Mr Hawkins,’ and was fifty-six. The youngest were Ellen Membray, who was the widow of a guard, and Mary Ann Thompson, the widow of a policeman, who were both twenty-eight. Seven of the appointees were between the ages of 35 and 45. What this fact implies is uncertain. Were these women appointed to the London Bridge Waiting Rooms because their ages meant that they had more life experience making them more suitable for the work? Or perhaps the management did not employ younger women for fear of the male railway workers being distracted (a concern seen on another railway). This may even suggest that railway workers were more likely to be killed or die in their middle ages. Ultimately, the answer is uncertain.

The attendants left employment a number of ways. Six resigned. The shortest career belonged to Sarah Ann Adams, the widow of a Station Master at Queen’s Road, who, after being appointed in April 1877, resigned her post in November 1878. Indeed, this was after a promotion to Charwoman in May of that year. Three of the individuals, Elizabeth Lanfair, Rachel Vicary and Ellen Reece, all resigned their posts in 1900 and 1901 after twenty-five, twenty-two and twenty-four years respectively. While not having a pension, all received money from the company’s benevolent fund. Vicary's record shows that she received only a third of her wages, her income dropping from 18 to 6 shillings per week. This equated to £15 12/- and was a wage that would have barely paid for her living.

What is striking is that five of the individuals left employment because they were incapacitated, usually after a short period employment. No details are given as to the cause of their ill-health, so we can only surmise. Nevertheless, considering that the wages paid were low, the working hours were long and the fact that their employment periods were short, it may suggest that health issues like malnutrition and fatigue may have played a role. Indeed, the fact that such a high proportion of the women became ‘incapacitated’ shortly after engagement, does support the thesis that the nature of the work was taking its toll.

Lastly, one individual, Emma Hubbard, was fired in January 1875 after two and a half years of employment for losing £595 from the waiting room.

Thus, this small survey reveals that the women of the LB&SCR’s London Bridge Waiting Room staff were typically widowed, had had husbands who were in ‘respectable’ posts, received low wages, poor working conditions and were very likely to suffer from health problems as a result of their employment. However, the very sad fact is that in a world where men were expected to be the breadwinners, that this employment, which was given merely as charity, was better than the women's alternatives of destitution or even the workhouse.

[1] The Lancaster Gazette, and General Advertiser for Lancashire, Westmorland, Yorkshire, &c., Saturday, August 17, 1872, pg. 7

[2] All information taken from: The National Archives, RAIL 414/764-779, London Brighton and South Coast Staff Records, 1861-1901

More excellent railway history here...

A Summer of Strain: An Olympic Task for Rail Infrastructure

When London opens its arms, train platforms and carriages to the millions of spectators for the Olympics, will it be ready? Liam Stoker catches up with the capital's transport plans and potential problems that could derail the proposed gold medal services.
London's failed bid to host the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, eventually won by Sydney, Australia, was subject to lofty criticism regarding the rail infrastructure and how it would cope with an influx of spectators.
The successful bid to host the 2012 games resolved these fears with significant improvements made to a host of rail services, including the London underground and the high speed line more commonly used by Eurostar.
The Olympic Delivery Authority, established to oversee the fulfilment of London's Olympic Games, established a first edition of its transport plan as early as 2007, outlining precisely how the 7.7 million spectators will reach their desired venues.
Although the problems posed by London's already existing rail infrastructure may not be as difficult to resolve as those affecting the city's troubled road network, Transport for London (TfL) has referred to the work as 'challenging'.
Some 33 venues make up the successful bid, with the majority located in London and the surrounding areas with a central focus point of Stratford, situated in East London.
Owing to improvements in rail infrastructure, amendments of current services and the addition of the high speed Javelin, established especially for the games, a total of ten public transport rail lines will feed into Stratford by 2012 resulting in an arrival every 15 seconds.

Importance of the Javelin

"The successful bid to host the 2012 games resolved these fears with significant improvements made to a host of rail services."
The Olympic high speed Javelin service was regarded as an integral element of London's successful bid to host the games, improving public transport to the Stratford area that was previously considered as 'poor' by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The service will be run between St. Pancras International and Ebbsfleet International stations via Stratford International, a stones throw from the Olympic Park. The service will operate on the existing high-speed 1 line, more commonly used by Eurostar services that will not call at Stratford International during the course of the games.
The British Class 395 trains that usually operate on the line will continue to do so, offering spectators a high speed service to the Stratford site from international rail connections.
Eight trains an hour will operate between St. Pancras International and Ebbsfleet internationals, with a further three trains operating between 11pm and 1am during the course of the games, providing the capacity to transport 25,000 fans an hour. The service itself will be capable of transporting spectators from St. Pancras to Stratford in just seven minutes.
Although the games will take place during the summer, a time when demand for rail services in London traditionally dips, some 240,000 spectators are due to arrive at Stratford every hour, which combined with an extra 500,000 tourists expected in London, will place local transport links under considerable strain.

Underground on top

An essential element of catering for spectators has been ensuring that London's extensive underground is running efficiently.
"Some 33 venues make up the successful bid, with the majority located in London."
As such, between 2006 and 2011 £1bn has been invested annually, with station refurbishment and track upgrades ordered across the network. In total, £6.5bn has been invested in upgrades and the extension of services to provide a legacy of improved transport links for when the Olympics and Paralympics has finished.
Underground lines that service important sites have seen their capacity increased, with the Jubilee line receiving a 46% increase and the Central line also receiving extra services.
The driverless Docklands Light Railway (DLR) will also have its capacity increased by 50%, whilst the line will also be extended to Woolwich and Stratford International to provide the service for Olympic spectators.

Rolling out new rolling stock

In order to cater for the increased services and line extensions, fresh rolling stock has been ordered. The high speed Javelin service, increased for the duration of the Olympic Games, will receive 29 new Class 395 trains, whereas other services will not only receive more rolling stock, but also improved rail cars.
Bombardier received the majority of contracts handling rolling stock improvements, with the manufacturing company chosen to contract 1,738 new cars for various London underground services, with deliveries scheduled between 2008 and 2015. In addition, London's new overground service will receive 44 new Class 378 units from Bombardier.
The DLR line, subject to numerous improvements in the lead-up to the games, will receive newly designed trains in order to fulfil the expected demand. The increased service will benefit from 55 new cars that are designed in a three-unit format, which offer 50% more space for passengers over traditional models.
Although plans to cater for spectators flocking towards London have been planned with all due care and attention since 2007, the growing concern is not for the spectators, but for commuters who travel into the city on a daily basis.

Problems on the horizon?

Recent estimates have predicted substantial delays on London underground and mainline services traditionally used by those who commute from London suburbs.
Travel advice issued by London2012 for businesses has suggested that during peak hours in the morning and early evening, delays of more than an hour could be possible on the Jubilee, Central, Northern and DLR lines for the duration of the games, while mainline services into London Liverpool Street station could be delayed by 15 minutes.

"The Olympic high speed Javelin service was regarded as an integral element of London's successful bid."
The announcement of such delays was met by dismay by some commuters, with TfL admitting to requiring a 30% drop in daily commuters in order to reduce such waiting times. The organisation responded by issuing advice for businesses specific to areas of demand, such as Stratford and Kings Cross, hoping to encourage commuters to work from home or use different transport methods.
The plea was echoed by transport minister Norman Baker, referring to the games as a 'once in a generation test' for the transport infrastructure, who urged commuters to travel to work differently after modelling predicted a further three million trips to be made on 3 August 2012 in addition to the 12 million journeys made by commuters on an average working day.
It is hoped that cooperation between businesses and employees, with some choosing to work from home or alter their working hours slightly to avoid times of huge demand, some strain could be lifted off the network in order to compensate for Olympic traffic.
"Of course Government has to play its part - at the Department for Transport (DfT) we'll be cutting our travel footprint by half during the Games, with similar initiatives across Whitehall. But all businesses need to play their part too, there's plenty of help and advice out there, so no excuse why we can't reduce the amount we travel during the 17 days of the Games," said Baker.

For more on this feature, go to

Christian Wolmar- September 2011 Newsletter

Dear subscriber

Itturned out to be a busy time during the holidays. The proposed 8 per cent faresrises caused quite a storm on a quiet August day and I ended up not onlycommenting on the Today programme from beside the pool in Italy but alsowriting a piece for The Times (here) and another for the Sunday Telegraph (here). Ihave also written about the rises in the latest Rail magazine but that is not yet on the site
 The key point about the fares rises is thatthe regulated fare system was originally intended to protect passengers whohave no choice but to use the railway but is now by the government to reducethe taxpayers’ bill for the railways. Moreover, as I point out in The Times this is a risky strategy for apolitician representing commuterland but perhaps Philip Hammond reckons he willbe long gone out of transport when the next election comes up.
 The phenomenon of growth on the railways,though, is remarkable. Certainly I was wrong to think that it would be slowthis year because of the sluggish economic performance. Like  many industry watchers, I’m struggling toexplain the 6 per cent growth this year. Certainly the low fares rises helped,as did high petrol prices, but since the growth is across the board, in allthree main markets, that does not explain it all. And yet, given that so manyfranchises are now in cap and collar arrangements, the growth is slower thanthe TOCs bid for.
 The risk for the industry will be if oilprices go down as the fares go up in the New Year. That might dampen anygrowth, just as the companies are preparing their franchise bids. It’scertainly going to be interesting.
 There’s two new Rail columns as usual. The first is an examination of recentarguments by both pro and anti HS2. They do reflect a level of desperation onboth sides. The notion, for example, that a million jobs will be created by HS2has absolutely no basis support in the report on which it is based and yet isflashing up on the pros’ website. Similarly, using the Chinese high speed line crash as an argument against the lineis equally fatuous. Read more here
 The other Railarticle is my annual ‘school report’ on the rail industry which, as ever,distributes its share of bouquets and brickbats. Sometimes being a commentatoris good fun
  I amoff for ten days in America to give talks on my Engines of War book in Washington and a couple of towns places inPennsylvania and then will return to, hopefully, finish my history of US railroads.Lots of talks coming up in October and November, starting with one to EnfieldRailway Society on October 4th. All talks are now listed in thecalendar on my home page and I tweet them, too, so do follow me on@christianwolmar.
 In my usual effortto clear the space under my bed, here’s a real pre-xmas: a hardback copy ofFire & Steam, plus the 90 minute DVD based on the book for £13 plus £3postage and packing. Can’t do better than that. Just pay by PayPal to oremail me. As mentioned previously, my book on the London Underground PPP is nowavailable as a Kindle download for £6 here  .
 Please keepclicking on the ads on the site as it pays for the maintenance. Thankfully, seems to come up less often now than the hi-vi vest ads.

Christian Wolmar
an excellent history of the usage of railway lines in conflict" - The Telegraph

Order your copy here...


Canfranc Estacion

"Antonioorga" on YouTube uploaded a couple of videos of this location....and this had the effect of causing some research on the subject...
Wikipedia has a paragraph or two....

This small village (altitude 1190 m.) was largely created due to the inauguration of a railroad crossing the Pyrenees on 18 July 1928. The trains continued running until an international train accident destroyed the bridge at nearby L'Estanguet and severed the link on 27 March 1970. Canfranc Estación is most well known due to the rumours of "German gold" arriving here during World War II (see external link below). Also, British espionage smuggled information and people from Vichy France to the consulate in San Sebastián through Canfranc since the nearer Irún bordered with occupied France.
The train station is the highlight of the village and was used during the filming of Doctor Zhivago. There has been talk for some time of reopening international train traffic between France and Spain[1], but until that time the area is profiting from its nearness to the ski resorts of Candanchú and Astún. The current population is 454.
The tunnel is being used for the Laboratorio subterráneo de Canfranc (Canfranc underground laboratory).

A fuller account of the history of this fascinating location...and the stories it can tell...are to be found
Here are the two video clips........

Thank you Antonio for these two films. We shall wait for developments as time goes by...


And finally, from Kristian Gough....
5029 'Nunney Castle' & 4492 'Dominion Of New Zealand' (aka 60019 Bittern) seen passing Dawlish along the famous sea wall on the outward run of 'The Mayflower' 17/09/11
5029 & 4492 on 'The Mayflower'

Till next month.................

Peter S. Lewis
On Shed
(C) P.S.Lewis 2011