Robin Higgs OBE: a personal tribute



Robin Higgs OBE (left) stands alongside another legendary railway enthusiast, the late Sir William McAlpine, at Alton station on Saturday, 20 November 2010. McAlpine had been invited to unveil a plaque marking completion of the station re-signalling project.

Five years ago I took my first step towards becoming a regular volunteer on the Mid-Hants Railway when I attended an introductory event at Alresford. Along with a group of other would-be volunteers, I was then taken by train to Ropley, where a sprightly gentleman in his 80s introduced himself to me and enthused about the Watercress Line. Continue reading “Robin Higgs OBE: a personal tribute”


A tractor in the Rhymney Valley 


As the era of Class 37 haulage on the Wherry Lines in Norfolk draws to a close, it is very heartening to see these 1960s machines make a welcome reappearance on a South Wales route where they have not worked since December 2005.

While the current single weekday return from Rhymney to Cardiff Central is not as easy to photograph as the regular Norwich-Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft services, it is possible for a visitor to the area to get two different and decent shots of the evening service. Continue reading “A tractor in the Rhymney Valley “

No SWR return to Corfe Castle


IMG_0363A year after its experimental summer Saturday services to Corfe Castle were heavily blighted by RMT industrial action, this year’s resumption seems to have got off to a pretty dismal start.

Despite their huge popularity, the entire timetable was cancelled without warning on Saturday (6 July) apparently due to train crew shortage, so ruining a planned day out to Weymouth or Corfe Castle for many hundreds of intending passengers. Continue reading “No SWR return to Corfe Castle”

Wonderful Whittlesea


IMG_5823.jpgIt has been described by local Railfuture campaigners as “one of the strangest and most unwelcoming stations in East Anglia” but is nevertheless a place well worth visiting for its signalling interest and for the frequency and variety of passing rail traffic.

Whittlesea station, less than ten minutes east of Peterborough on the busy cross-country route to Ely, serves a growing settlement, curiously known as Whittlesey, with a well-sited but poorly-equipped station and a sparse stopping service. Continue reading “Wonderful Whittlesea”