Shred`s UK trips.

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by shredder1, 28 Mar 2017.

  1. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Yes thank you it really is an amazing railway, they had the brake tender out again, it really looks the part
     
  2. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    One closer to Manchester would be helpful too
     
  3. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Leighton Buzzard Railway. Saturday 2nd June 2018.

    Another early start, with the alarm set for 04.00. I was heading for the Leighton Buzzard Railway, it was nearly 20 years since I last visited the railway and things have certainly changed since then.

    I`d booked an advanced ticket £18.00 return from Manchester Piccadilly to Leighton Buzzard, booked on the 05.25 Virgin Pendolino, but it was cancelled, so I had to catch the 05.55 instead. I was still in plenty of time before the railway opened though.

    I walked out through the town to Pages Park and stopped at a café for breakfast on the way through. My first stop on arrival was the locomotive depot to catch locos steaming up, I was given permission to go around the depot, and the railway had quite a collection of locos on display. Steamed up outside the depot was Andrew Barclay 0-6-0T “Doll”, who was on duty for the day.

    I was still however a little early for the first train but found entertainment in Pages Park in the form of various exercise machines arranged in a circuit around the Park, a very innovative idea by the local council, which many others have also followed.

    Once the railway did open proper, I took a few rides up and down the line to Stonehenge Works behind “Doll”, the railway also had a diesel operating on a second train. It was a real ale event and I couldn’t help but try a few extremely good ales, including a pint of Black Buzzard.

    Stonehenge Works has improved a lot since my last visit and a good display of loco and stock were to be seen, the line is also an interesting one with a number of road crossings that two linesmen flag to stop cars, and allow trains to cross, unusual in these days of staunch health and safety. The railway in addition has plans to extend another mile and possibly to the Arches eventually.

    I had a lovely visit and will try not to make it too long before I return, a big thank you to all the volunteers at the Leighton Buzzard Railway for making my day so enjoyable and well done on a great event, thank you,

    http://www.buzzrail.co.uk/

    The journey down there
    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...94891611356.1073743075.100001125840218&type=3

    Exercise in the park
    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...90928278419.1073743074.100001125840218&type=3

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...99628277549.1073743076.100001125840218&type=3
     
  4. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    A weekend around the Mendips, (Day 1).

    Bristol, Bath, East Somerset Railway, Midsomer Norton and Westbury. Friday 8th June, Saturday 9th June 2018.

    A long weekend around the Mendip Hills. My son Lee had bought me a Steam Train Ride Gift Experience for Christmas and since he now resides in the Home Counties, we`d arranged to meet up in Bath on the Saturday. I`d chosen a day on the East Somerset Railway,

    t was the only one in the options that I`d not travelled on, although I had visited the site back in the late David Shepherds era. I travelled down from Manchester on Friday night after work, by Cross Country service, changing at Bristol Temple Meads for a Bath GWR service, and arriving into Bath just before 22.00. I stay for two nights in the Bath Backpackers, ideal for the railway station and not too bad an accommodation as far as hostels go.

    On changing trains at Bristol, I couldn’t help but notice the influx of Azuma 800`s now taking over, although there were still plenty of HST around, for the moment at least. I slept well the first night and was up showered and out by 06.00. I initially made my way to Bath Green Park the former S & D railway station, now lovingly restored thanks to Sainsbury`s, the last time I photographed this magnificent building was in the 1980`s on slide film, so it was nice to catch up and get a few updated photographs.

    I returned to Bath town centre for breakfast in a local café and then spent an hour on Bath Spa railway station and by luck just in time to see Black 5 45212 pass through the station with its support coach. Lee and his partner were staying in a village out towards Wells, what they call Glamping, (I`ll explain later). I met them just after 09.00 and jumped in the car with them for our trip to the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore.

    It didn’t take us long to drive down there and the weather was glorious, (LMS) Ivatt Class 2MT, 2-6-0 46447 was operating on the day. I`ve always been a great Ivatt and later Riddles fan, such a uniquely designed loco. I had a few trips up and down the line and was impressed how far the railway had now extended, it still has a mainline connection and runs as far as Mendip Vale, from Cranmore, with intermediate stations at Cranmore West, and Merrifield Lane a distance of 2.5 mile, although it seems much longer.

    The station at Cranmore is well preserved and has an excellent giftshop and café, while visitors can also explore the engine sheds and workshops located at Cranmore West. I was well behaved and didn’t buy anymore railway books although I did spend £62 on fridge magnets, they had a full collection of S & D totem signs, so I had no chance.

    We had an excellent visit and my son later drove me over to see his accommodation for the weekend, his Glamping tent. It was set in a campsite at Priddy, the Moor View Luxury Canvas Camping, with a Barrington Bell Tent complete with a double bed, fire built into the tent, hammock and all the cooking facilities. It looked quite good for the weekend actually and I stayed and had a few local ales with them.

    They later dropped me off near Chilcompton, as I`d heard a group were trying to revive the old station site, but I was unable to find it, I then walked down the former Somerset and Dorset track-bed to the Southern portals of Chilcompton Tunnels, but I had to divert back to the road to walk into Midsomer Norton, my next port of call.

    Midsomer Norton is home to the Somerset and Dorset Heritage Railway, quite a remarkable site with a new extension in the making towards Chilcompton cutting and tunnels. I managed to talk to a few of the volunteers on site but the railway wasn’t operating on my visit, but I will return. In the yard was the Sentinel vertical -boiled locomotive in LMS livery, it looked absolutely amazing. Definitely a place worth visiting if you are in the region.

    I later walked into Midsomer Norton village centre, a lovely locality and took tea in a high street café before returning by bus to Bath. I decided at this point to take a train out to Westbury, always had been a good freight location and I wasn’t disappointed with plenty of action from class 66`s and 70`s on the Saturday evening.

    I returned to the Bath Backpackers as the light was fading, it had been a very eventful day and nice to catch up with the family down there.

    Friday Evening Bristol Temple Meads

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...09270779918.1073743101.100001125840218&type=3

    East Somerset Railway

    https://eastsomersetrailway.com/

    Somerset and Dorset Heritage Railway

    https://www.sdjr.co.uk/

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...96950671150.1073743107.100001125840218&type=3
     
  5. AnthonyRail

    AnthonyRail Member

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    Nice to see you’re getting south, did you have a look for shepton mallets former railways stations
     
  6. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Sadly not, I need to explore that region more Anthony.
     
  7. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    A weekend around the Mendips (Day 2).

    Bath, Westbury, and Bristol. Sunday 10th June 2018.

    Another early start and departure from the Bath Backpackers Hostel, it had been good, they even had a few guitars in the common room and I had a bit of a jam with one of the lads one night.

    Bath Spa railway station doesn’t open until 07.30 on a Sunday morning and I struggled finding somewhere for breakfast also. I`d decided to go back to Westbury. I was surprised to still find trains moving in the yard including a pair of class 70`s and a few class 66`s plus a bonus, the Cathedrals Express passed through behind a West Coast Railways Class 37 and you could certainly hear her coming.

    I later returned to Bristol Temple Meads, the weather was again glorious and I spent a few hours photting and soaking up the sun, before boarding a train to Bristol Parkway. Bristol Parkway is quite a decent station for photography now that they have opened up the new platform and made the stabling point more visible. No less than 7 Freightliner class 66`s were parked up.

    I later returned directly to Manchester on a Cross Country Voyager, arriving back in the City for around 19.00, it had been a fantastic weekend with great weather again, many thanks for reading.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...94677228044.1073743110.100001125840218&type=3
     
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Sounded like a good weekend Mr Nick :)
     
  9. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Thank you very much, yes lovely Kite
     
  10. Mattydj60

    Mattydj60 New Member

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    Chilcompton station project - here you go http://www.sdjrchilcompton.co.uk/

    Oooh, you'll upset the locals, calling Midsomer Norton a village. Its definately a town (with a Town Council and a Mayor)
     
  11. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Many thanks for the link, yes of course a town, lovely place too.
     
  12. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Tanfield Railway Gala, (Day 1). Saturday 16th June 2018.

    Friday night and I was away sharp from the office and soon down to Manchester Victoria on a TPX 185 bound for Newcastle on Tyne, it doesn’t take long these days and I was soon up in the Northeast. I noticed on the way through Leeds a Scotrail 172 in the platforms and while passing the NRM at York, I saw SR Merchant Navy Class, 35018 British India Line parked up with its support coach.

    I arrived into Newcastle by around 21.00, it was a lovely sunny evening and I spent some time on Newcastle’s palatial Central station, before checking into the Albatross Backpackers Hostel on Granger Street, a 5-minute walk away from the station. I`ve stayed at the Albatross before while I`ve been in the city and always found it very good, indeed I had a 4-bed dormer all to myself on the Friday night.

    After a good nights sleep I was showered and out of the Backpackers for 07.00, buses out to the Tanfield Railway are not very early on a Saturday, the first bus out of Eldon Bus Station was at 08.15, the X30, I did however manage to find an earlier bus, an X6 to take me to Sunniside, near the Tanfield Railway station and I walked down the line from there, this took me right into Marley Hill, just in time to catch the locos steaming up.

    A total of 5 locos were in steam, these included, visiting locos National Coal Board, Lambton railway Austerity’ No. 60, Central Electricity Generating Board, Dunston Power Station No.15 and resident locos, Sir Cecil. A Cochrane, Keighley Corporation Gas Department No. 2, Joicey Collieries No. 3, Twizell, Armstrong Whitworth diesel electric Reyrolles No. 2 on shunt release in Marley Hill yard, and National Coal Board, Backworth railway No. 49 (on static display).

    I do like the Tanfield Railway and it was sometime since I last visited. The price for the gala was a mere £10 a day on a senior ticket and visitors have access to just about everywhere on the railway. I took a number of rides up and down the line in a variety of restored coaching stock. A new depot and platform`s are in the process of being built at Tanfield West station, while I also paid a visit to the unique waggon-way Causey Arch.

    The carriage sheds at Marley Hill had an excellent café, book stalls and model railway displays. The Tanfield Railway have an excellent collection of industrial locomotives in the yard and various sheds and visitors have a free access to all areas, the staff are always very friendly and on event days the railway is very busy with plenty of train action on both the running lines and the depot yard.

    I caught the last bus back into Newcastle which was 18.20 for the X30, to Newcastle Central station for another few hours photting before returning to the Backpackers.

    I`d got friendly with 3 of the lads at the hostel who knew each other, a lovely set of guys who happened to have a few guitars with them, needless to say we had a bit of a jamming session in the common room, and a few beers before retiring for the night, it had been a first great day.
    .

    The Tanfield Railway

    https://www.tanfield-railway.co.uk/

    The Causey Arch

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causey_Arch

    York and Newcastle Central, Friday 15th and Saturday 16th June 2018.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...77563196422.1073743112.100001125840218&type=3

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.1736462786401233.1073743113.100001125840218&type=3
     
  13. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Tanfield Railway Gala, (Day 2), Sunday 17th June 2018.

    After a reasonable night’s rest at the Albatross and a fantastic evening with some great lads, I was up, showered and out for 07.00, on Sunday mornings the first X30 left Eldon bus station at 07.30, so I made sure I caught that one. Bright sunshine greeted me at Marley Hill and I`d decided to go lineside mainly on this second day.

    The Tanfield Railway offers some excellent opportunities for lineside photography and I took full advantage of these, some very good locations can be accessed from public footpaths. I was again up and down the railway in various locations, another visit to the yards and depot and a ride on the trains, a great second day and also visited the site of Bowes Bridge depot, which I remember from my 1960`s combines as being listed as a sub shed for Gateshead. A truly remarkable and historic railway, in a region where it all started.

    I caught the 15.08 X30 bus back into Newcastle, an hourly service on a Sunday. On entering Newcastle Central station, a TPX 185 was about to leave for Manchester and I caught it. I didn’t notice on the way up to Newcastle on Friday night but I was diverted via Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley line, I alighted at Manchester Victoria, the service then continued to Manchester Piccadilly and on to Manchester Airport, an interesting diversion.

    A total of 5 locos were in steam, these included, visiting locos National Coal Board, Lambton railway Austerity’ No. 60, Central Electricity Generating Board, Dunston Power Station No.15 and resident locos, Sir Cecil. A Cochrane, Keighley Corporation Gas Department No. 2, Joicey Collieries No. 3, Twizell, Armstrong Whitworth diesel electric Reyrolles No. 2 on shunt release in Marley Hill yard, and National Coal Board, Backworth railway No. 49 (on static display).

    A big thank you to all the staff at the Tanfield Railway for a fantastic gala and a very enjoyable weekend.

    The Tanfield Railway

    https://www.tanfield-railway.co.uk/

    York and Newcastle Central, Friday 15th and Saturday 16th June 2018.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...77563196422.1073743112.100001125840218&type=3

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melli...61516391360.1073743114.100001125840218&type=3
     

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