Favourite photo-spots: Lostwithiel

IMG_1066Among a number of marvellous locations in Cornwall to savour GWR-style lower quadrant signalling, one of the most attractive must surely be the delightful town of Lostwithiel, standing on the banks of the River Fowey, with its station and signal box situated just over the 16th century Lostwithiel Bridge from the town itself.

Lostwithiel’s 1893 GWR signal box, known as Lostwithiel Crossing, boasts a 63-lever frame and gained a Grade II Listing in 2013 for being one of 26 “highly distinctive” boxes that were selected for listing in a joint project undertaken by English Heritage and Network Rail. Continue reading “Favourite photo-spots: Lostwithiel”

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A Wherry nice day out

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Heritage traction, mechanical signalling and good beer make the Norfolk Broads a distinctly attractive place to visit, not just for those interested in boating, but also for those who fancy remembering British Rail of the 1970s and 1980s, travelling in Mark III coaches to the distinctive roar of English Electric Class 37 locomotives.

Pictured top are 37419/425 approaching Acle on 1 June 2018 with the 13.17 Great Yarmouth-Norwich service

For the past four years a pair of Class 37s, on hire from Direct Rail Services, has top-and-tailed a three-coach “short set” on regular weekday services from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, as well as seasonal summer Saturday services to Great Yarmouth. Continue reading “A Wherry nice day out”

Favourite photo-spots: Oulton Broad North

IMG_0165For its combination of manual signalling, interesting scenery and the regular chance of Class 37-haulage, there can be few places in England more attractive for rail enthusiasts than the Wherry Lines in Norfolk, linking Norwich with the seaside resorts of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

This 46¼-mile network features a total of nine manual signal boxes, two of which also operate swing bridges, a weekend-only request stop (Buckenham), and Berney Arms, one of the remotest and quietest stations (albeit without any signalling) in the whole of England. Continue reading “Favourite photo-spots: Oulton Broad North”

Slow Way Round (SWR) to Corfe Castle

IMG_0414Basingstoke to Wareham is 96 miles on the direct route via Southampton Central, but take a new summer Saturday “seaside special” and the distance becomes exactly 150 miles, while the journey time increases from around one hour 40 minutes on the main line to almost four hours!

Two years after previous franchisee South West Trains took the welcome and innovative step of launching a summer Saturday service from Basingstoke to Weymouth via Yeovil Junction and Yeovil Pen Mill – with bargain fares of £5.00 return from places in Dorset like Gillingham and Tisbury – South Western Railway has not only revived that service this year, but has gone one better. Continue reading “Slow Way Round (SWR) to Corfe Castle”