Marcus' Model Railway Journey

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41312 heading through Kinchley Lane , GCR Autumn Gala, 2.10.22.

December 3rd, 2022

Inside The Train Shed

A parcel arrived for ETHNON RAIL today.

So what's in the box?.........


1 x Bachmann 36-049 OO Scale People - Trackside Maintenance Workers
1 x Bachmann 36-050 OO Scale People - Permanent Way / Trackside Workers
24 x Bachmann Track 36-601 Double Straight (Interchangeable with Hornby R601)
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Class 47 Diesel 47712 Artemis​

This model locomotive was a present from Neonlake to me on Fathers Day 2020.

In January 2006 charter operator FM Rail revived the Blue Pullman brand, repainting two Class 47s and a set of Mark 2 carriages into the original Nanking blue livery.

After FM Rail ceased trading, they were operated by Cotswold Rail from February 2007.

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December 3rd, 2022

Carlisle to Newcastle line set to reopen after train derailment​


Concrete pour to form new deck of Petteril Bridge after freight train derailment in Carlisle

Direct train services between Carlisle and Newcastle and Carlisle and Skipton are being reinstated from the start of service next Wednesday, 7th December.

Services have been suspended since 19th October, when a major freight train derailment at Petteril Bridge junction caused a large amount of damage to a Victorian-era railway bridge, railway lines, and signalling equipment.

Until services restart, rail-replacement buses will continue to operate.
Aerial shot of derailed wagons being recovered.

In the derailment, five wagons of a train travelling between Clitheroe and Carlisle, each filled with 80 tonnes of powdered cement, came off the track.

That resulted in the complete closure of the Tyne Valley line between Carlisle and Newcastle and the Settle to Carlisle line between Carlisle, Appleby, and Skipton.

In its initial report into the derailment, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch found that it was most likely caused by a fault with a train wheel.
Aerial shot of the new bridge deck.


Engineers are in the final stages of repairing the damage, which included installing a new reinforced-concrete bridge deck. It took over 25,000 hours of work to restore the lines, and included the following:
  • recovery of the locomotive and 11 of the 14 wagons involved in the derailment;
  • using a giant vacuum to remove 80 tonnes of powdered cement from three wagons that needed recovery by crane;
  • replacing 80 metres of damaged track;
  • installing 400 metres of cabling for signals and points;
  • replacing two points switches;
  • pouring 125 tonnes of structural concrete into 16 tonnes of metal reinforcement cages that were used to repair the damaged bridge over the river.
Night working to build the new bridge deck.


Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said:

“I’m sorry to passengers who’ve faced much longer journeys over the last seven weeks while we carried out our emergency railway repairs. I know how frustrating rail delays can be on people’s lives and we’ve worked tirelessly to get the routes restored as quickly as possible.

“This has been a very complex recovery and repair job. When it’s complete this major railway junction will be better than new and will provide more reliable journeys for passengers and freight for years to come.”

Kerry Peters, regional director at Northern, said:

"We have been working very hard with Network Rail to reopen the railway at Petteril bridge following the freight train derailment in October.

“Work will be completed next week and Northern train services will be able to resume on both the Tyne Valley and Settle to Carlisle lines. We’d like to thank our customers for being patient during this disruption and everyone involved in getting our passengers moving again.”

Sharon Kennedy, Environment Agency environment manager, said:

“The Environment Agency incident response teams provided support to the initial rail incident and the ongoing recovery work to ensure minimum impact to the environment . This example shows how we can work together at pace to respond to a critical incident to support safe rail infrastructure, protect the environment and manage flood risk to the public.”

Anne Ridley, from the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, said:

“This incident has highlighted the importance of the railway to our communities and local residents. We welcome the news that the complex recovery and reinstatement operation is on target for re-opening of services to and from Carlisle for passengers on the Tyne Valley and Settle-Carlisle routes. Thank you for everyone involved in the operation and to the rail replacement bus companies and their drivers for helping passengers to get to their destinations”
December 3rd, 2022

TransPennine Express Receives Two Awards At Golden Spanner Awards​


Class 185

At the Golden Spanner Awards, TransPennine Express (TPE) is celebrating receiving two trophies alongside Siemens and CAF.

The operator obtained a gold and bronze award for two of its train fleets.

The Class 185 trains, manufactured by Siemens, won gold in the 1st Generation diesel multiple unit category.

The bronze was awarded to the Nova 2/Class 397s, manufactured by CAF, in the 2nd Generation New inter-city category.

The awards were held at The Grand Connaught Rooms in London and saw the celebration of improvements in train reliability.

Winners were based on data provided by train companies on train reliability across the past 12 months.

For these awards, Gold was given for most reliable, Silver for greatest percentage improvement, and Bronze for the fastest time for recovery after an incident.
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Nova 2/Class 397

Paul Staples, TPE’s Fleet, Safety and Service Delivery Director, said:

“I am very pleased to see two of our rolling stock fleets recognised for their reliability and the speed with which they allow us to recover service when things do go wrong. The two fleets are the product of close and complex collaboration between large teams at TPE, Siemens, CAF, Alstom and Eversholt Rail.

“Our Class 185 units have been for many years and remain a critical, core part of the railway in the north of England and our Class 397 units, introduced just three years ago, have made their mark as a fast, comfortable, modern way to travel on our longer distance services between Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“These awards are testimony to the dedication and effectiveness of the many colleagues in the team as well as the inherent capabilities of the trains, and I offer my congratulations for securing this recognition and my gratitude for everything they do for TPE’s customers every day.”

Matt Colclough, Siemens Mobility Customer Services Operations Director, said:

“It is an honour to have our Class 185s given the top award at the Golden Spanners for a seventh year in a row. The teams at Ardwick and York take real pride in their work maintaining the trains and this award is a fantastic recognition of this.”

Dave Lowe, Managing Director at CAF Rail UK commented,

“We are very pleased to have been recognised in these important awards. Not only do they reflect the hard work of our manufacturing colleagues, they also show how effectively our engineering and support teams can work seamlessly with their partners in the train companies to ensure day to day operations are delivered to the highest possible standards. We look forward to working with TPE on continued improvement of the fleets service and reliability.”
December 4th, 2022

Major changes to West Midlands Railway services from 11th December​


From Sunday, 11th December, there will be substantial changes to train services operated by West Midlands Railway.

The changes are because of the national twice-yearly timetable change which will affect the departure times and frequencies on some of the railway’s routes.

Services on the following routes will be significantly retimed to provide a more robust service:
  • Birmingham to Shrewsbury;
  • Walsall to Wolverhampton via Birmingham;
  • Nuneaton to Leamington Spa.
Between Birmingham New Street, Northampton and London Euston there will be a new half-hourly service operated by West Midlands Railway’s sister company, London Northwestern Railway.

Between Birmingham New Street, Walsall, and Tame Bridge Parkway there will be a new ‘clock-face’ timetable with departures from every 15 minutes.

There will be increased connections between Rugeley Trent Valley and Birmingham International.
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West Midlands Railway Class 196 at Shrewsbury Station

Anyone intending to travel by West Midlands Railway after 11th December should check their journey times before they travel.

Train services on West Midlands Railway in the first week following the timetable change are also likely to be disrupted because of industrial action.

Jonny Wiseman, WMR customer experience director, said

“These changes have been carefully planned to provide a more reliable, robust timetable for our customers.

“On some routes the new timetable will mean departure times have changed significantly so I am urging our customers to check their journeys carefully to avoid being left behind.”
December 4th, 2022


Here's the proposed track plan for the station on the layout, it's not to scale and subject to change.

It is based on a Great Western Railway station, it will have up and down express roads running through the centre of the track layout, with the two platforms located on loops and there will also be a small goods yard.

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December 4th, 2022


YouTube Channel News


The Channel now has 13 subscribers, I thank all those that have subscribed so far.

Update on videos, Neonlake has taken receipt of all the video and sound files and will use his editing talents to produce a 'fit for purpose' upload.

I keep saying this, but hopefully, we may have our first video uploaded soon. :)
December 5th, 2022

Mid-Suffolk Light Railway awaits return of refurbished steam locomotive boiler​


1604 on the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway

Nearly 15 years since the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway (The Middy) started a project to restore Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 saddle tank No.1604, next Thursday, 8th December, the final stages will be in sight when its boiler returns from outside contractors.

Once the boiler is back at the railway’s workshops at Brockford, it will be united with the rest of the locomotive to make sure that all components fit together correctly.

Final testing and certification of the locomotive can then take place.
Mid-Suffolk 1604 waiting for its boiler


Although the locomotive will not be steamed on December 8th as certification will not have taken place, it will be close to ready-to-run condition.

The restoration team hopes that 1604 will be operational sometime next year.

When 1604 is back in operational condition, it will be re-numbered as No.4 since it will be the fourth locomotive to have been owned by the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway.

Like 1604, the previous three, Nos 1, 2 and 3, were all built by Hudswell Clarke of Leeds but all were scrapped in the 1920s, soon after the London and Northeastern Railway took over the Mid-Suffolk.
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The boiler of Mid-Suffolk 1604


During its working life, 1604 spent over 40 years working at the British Sugar Corporation factory at Bardney in Lincolnshire, having been there since new in 1928.

The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway sees the introduction into operational service of its own steam locomotive is a major step forward in securing its future.

As well as being an attraction in its own right, it will also reduce the cost of hiring in steam locos whenever the railway holds an open Steam Railway day as, like everything else, hiring costs are getting no cheaper.

John Durrant, the railway’s Locomotive Superintendent said,

“There have been many times when people doubted if it could be done, understandable as she is coming up to 100 years old, but here we are entering the final straight of bringing 1604 back into traffic”.
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Hudswell Clarke Works No 1604 No 4 0-6-0ST​


1604 at the Mid Suffolk Railway – March 2003

This locomotive was built in 1928 by Hudswell Clarke at a cost of £1,560 following the placing of an order by the Dyer Company.

It spent all of its working life at the Bardney sugar beet factory in Lincolnshire.

The factory was constructed on a 98 acres site which was purchased in 1927 for £6,000 and construction of the factory was completed later that year.

During these early years, sugar beet was primarily supplied by rail.

From the southern growing region, as far as Boston, up to 4 trains would supply between 30 – 40 wagons each day.

A British Rail pilot would shunt them into the factory sidings.

In 1930 the owners of the factory changed its name to The Lincolnshire Sugar Company which in 1936 became part of the British Sugar Corporation Ltd.

The corporation was dropped from the name in 1982.

In 1990 the company was sold to Associated British Foods and in 2001 the plant closed.

An idea of the size of the operation can be gained from some factory consumption figures for 1934 where it consumed whilst producing 750,000 sacks of sugar and pulp.
  • 25,000 tons of coal
  • 950 tons of coke
  • 9,800 tons of limestone
A train would deliver employees from Lincoln three times each day ready to commence on shift.

It would wait at Bardney station for returning passengers leaving their shift.

The last passenger service by British Railways between Bardney and Louth ran in November 1951 and the line was closed in 1960.

In 1993 the Bardsley factory sponsored the cost of demolishing the railway station at Bardsley and rebuilding it at the Nene Valley Railway in Peterborough.

In 1954 a new diesel was purchased to operate at the factory.

In 1970 1604 was taken out of service and the following year British Rail delivered the last truck of sugar beet. Previously up to 250 wagons were delivered each week by three or four trains.

In 1975 the locomotive moved to the Nene Valley Railway before going to the Kirton Museum in Lincolnshire in 1981.

The locomotive now resides on the Mid Suffolk Light Railway (MSLR) at Brockford.

The MSLR was originally planned to cross Suffolk from Haughley on the Great Eastern Railway (GER) main line to other GER connections at Halesworth, Needham Market and Westerfield.

The line as built was curtailed 19 miles short of Haughley and the branch to Needham was abandoned before construction started.

The railway was bankrupt before it opened and then struggled before being absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway in 1924.

The line closed in 1952.

In 1990 a group was set up with the aim of preserving the memory the MSLR on the site of the old Brockford Station cattle dock.

This became the base for the Mid Suffolk Light Railway of today.

Locomotive 1604 is of a type that ran on the old MSLR which is why the locomotive was acquired and will be renumbered as a MSLR engine.

It is currently being restored.

In June 2018 the rolling chassis of the locomotive was moved on the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway as a test run.

Following what was considered a successful test of the bottom half the work will now concentrate on the boiler.
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December 5th, 2022

Fine and 6 months HGV ban for driver who got stuck under Brighton main line bridge​


Stoats Nest bridge strike, Coulsdon, 7th July 2022

A driver has been banned from driving lorries for six months as a result of getting his lorry stuck under a bridge carrying the Brighton Main Line through Coulsdon in Surrey.

At about 2.30pm on 7th July this year on the A237 Brighton Road, just outside Coulsdon South station, the lorry became wedged under Stoats Nest bridge, an iron girder bridge that carries the fast lines for express trains to Gatwick Airport, Haywards Heath, and Brighton.

Because of the nature of the bridge, it had to be closed until the lorry could be removed, leaving just two tracks open for the whole Brighton Main Line.

The lorry was not removed until 8.45pm, resulting in disruption to trains until the end of the day’s services from Eastbourne in the south to Bedford and Cambridge in the north.

In late November, the driver appeared before the South East Traffic Commissioner, where he received a six-month HGV driving ban.

That followed an earlier appearance in court where he received a means-tested £715 fine and given six points on his licence for driving without due care and attention and contravening a traffic sign.
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Stoats Nest Bridge from the south

Network Rail’s route director for Sussex, Katie Frost, said:

“Well over 400 trains and thousands of passengers from across the South were disrupted by this single error of judgement, and it brings home how important it is for professional drivers to check the heights of their lorries and their routes before setting off.

“Network Rail seeks to recover costs for incidents like this one and we work closely with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner and Metropolitan Police to tackle drivers who damage our bridges.

“The fine and the ban won’t make up for the costs of the disruption but they send a message to other drivers that it’s never worth running the risk.”

Sergeant Alex Burlison from the Commercial Vehicle Unit at the Metropolitan Police Service said:

“Far too often we are deploying resources to deal with these incidents which are wholly avoidable with each collision having the potential for fatal consequences.

“These drivers are entrusted to drive some of the largest vehicles on the road and it is only right that should they be involved in a collision with infrastructure of any description that they are placed before the courts.”
December 6th, 2022

Rail Mission takes part in AusRail 2022 in a bid to showcase UK innovation, expertise and opportunities

Leading UK rail companies are in Australia and New Zealand to take part in the first in person rail mission since 2019.


The national conference and exhibition of the Australasian Railway Association

Monday 5 December - Wednesday 7 December

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane

The UK government and Rail Industry Association have taken 11 top UK rail companies to the leading rail event which is taking place from 5th to 7th December

AusRail is the leading rail conference and exhibition for Australia and New Zealand and this year the UK government and the Rail Industry Association are showcasing 11 top UK rail companies in a bid to demonstrate the UK’s innovation and capabilities whilst exploring market opportunities.

The international event is taking place in Brisbane and will see industry colleagues attend from Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe.

Taking part in an exclusive programme in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, the UK delegation will take part in roundtables and will also hear directly from and tour the following:
  • City Rail Link
  • Auckland Light Rail
  • KiwiRail
  • Melbourne Metro Station
  • Invest Victoria
  • Austrade
  • Sydney Metro
  • NSW Rail Operations Centre
  • Queensland Rail and Trade
  • Investment Queensland
The cohort will explore the substantial ANZ pipeline with its £100billion+ investment in transport infrastructure.

Rail Mission will represent the UK’s leading innovator in creating metropolitan spaces demonstrating why they are the partner of choice when it comes to clean growth projects within the rail sector.

Australian and New Zealand rail ecosystems are flourishing with their two-way approach to heavy rail for freight and suburban metro networks with further investment moving into light rail.

The aim of the mission is to create a special opportunity for UK companies to connect with both Australian and New Zealand markets, decision-makers and industry stakeholders.

Louise Cantillon, British Consul General and UK Deputy Trade Commissioner, Australia and New Zealand said:

“Rail made the UK’s industrial revolution possible and rail can lead the green industrial revolution. The UK is a world leader in rail innovation and we are capitalising on our expertise to drive clean growth and investing in the industries of tomorrow.”

“Free Trade Agreements have been negotiated in Australia and New Zealand, so the timing of this in-person trade mission is ideal. Through these agreements, companies will be able to make contacts, build relationships and maximise opportunities.”

UK rail companies making up the Rail Mission cohort are:
  • Railway Industry Association (RIA)
  • AMCL
  • AssessTech Ltd
  • CU Phosco Australia
  • Dura Composites
  • First Class Safety Control
  • GOS Tool and Engineering Services
  • Hird Group
  • IPEX Consulting
  • PriestmanGoode
  • Resonate
  • VIP Polymers
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December 6th, 2022

Remote monitoring keeps watch over UK’s fifth most-bashed rail bridge​


Stuntney Road bridge at Ely in Cambridgeshire

A railway bridge in Cambridgeshire that is notorious for being the fifth most-struck railway bridge in Britain has been fitted with remote condition monitoring equipment that in the event of a bridge strike allows the bridge structure to be inspected and the amount of deck movement to be measured.

Stuntney Road bridge at Ely in Cambridgeshire has been struck 12 times over the last 12 months.

The deck of the bridge has now been fitted with L.B. Foster’s In View Bridge Strike Monitoring solution to check the bridge’s condition remotely in the event of any future strikes.

Using solar-powered CCTV, the monitoring program can inspect the bridge for damage caused by collisions around the clock.

When an impact occurs, the magnitude and direction of bridge deck movement will show up on the monitoring equipment.

An operator will then log into the system’s online portal to view a series of images that show the bridge structure and tell-tales.

These will allow the operator to determine whether the structure is safe for trains to continue to operate until a bridge strike examiner can perform a full in-person assessment.

Leading edge telltale on Stuntney Road bridge in Ely, Cambridgeshire

An essential part of the solution is that bridge movement can be easily identified. L.B. Foster’s unique tell-tale is designed so that any movement in the bridge is amplified on the target with markings to indicate both vertical and horizontal displacement.

By comparing images before and after a reported strike, any movement in the bridge can be quickly identified, thereby allowing the bridge strike nominee or examiner to quickly and easily assess whether it is safe for trains to continue to operate.

According to Network Rail, in the year 2021-2022, there were 1,833 bridge strikes across Britain’s rail network that cost Network Rail almost £12 million in delay and cancellation fees.

That is an increase of 13% over the previous year and coincides with an increase in post-pandemic traffic.

L.B. Foster Company, the supplier of the InView Bridge Strike Monitoring solution is a global solutions provider of engineered, manufactured products and services that builds and supports infrastructure.

Mike Hull, Head of Special Projects, L.B. Foster Europe says:

“Bridge strikes are a costly problem for the railway causing delays to train services and the road network while damage is repaired. When a bridge strike occurs, the railway company has a responsibility to act to ensure the safety of passing trains.

“Our InView Bridge Strike Monitoring is designed to reduce the time taken for an initial bridge inspection after an impact, reducing the duration of bridge closure and delay to trains which in turn reduces compensation costs.

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail said:

“Bridge bashers cause serious safety issues on the transport network for both road and rail users. Every incident can delay tens of thousands of passengers while we inspect the bridge and repair any damage – creating a huge cost from public funds.”
December 6th, 2022

Govia Thameslink Railway completes first tranche of Southern fleet modernisation​


377108 with seating removed ready for the upgrade also Selhurst Depot 171801 having a carriage removed

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has completed a comprehensive modernisation programme for Southern Railway’s fleet of 75 Class 377/4 trains.

The trains are leased from the Rolling Stock Leasing Company, Porterbrook, and represent a key milestone in a five-year, £55 million programme by Porterbrook. whose investment in the programme could rise to £100 million.

Future enhancements could include passenger priorities such as information screens and at-seat charging and power points, and engineering features designed to streamline maintenance and improve reliability.

Electrostar Upgrade – 377108 stripped for installation of new facilities

In total, Govia Thameslink Railway and Porterbrook are enhancing 270 trains, the UK’s biggest fleet of “Electrostars”, to the same standards of modern passenger facilities and technical equipment.

At 18 years old the 377/4s are among the oldest and the largest sub-class in the fleet.

The upgrade programme is being carried out by Govia Thameslink Railway’s own engineering team at its Selhurst depot in South London, using technical processes designed by Alstom.

New power sockets, information screens, and energy-saving LED lighting will be installed and passenger-counting technology will be fitted.
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