Sun and semaphores on the South Coast

IMG_8922Two remarkable outposts of mechanical signalling are the neighbouring West Sussex resorts of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, which have somehow outlived a re-signalling of the Mid-Sussex Line south of Horsham.

That 2014 exercise saw the elimination of signal boxes at Billingshurst, Pulborough and Amberley, but left the two coastal termini untouched and consequently stuck in a delightful time-warp, as seen in the following photos taken on 22 October 2019. Continue reading “Sun and semaphores on the South Coast”


Britain’s last co-acting semaphores

IMG_9191Co-acting signals were once a fairly common feature of our railways, but are now an endangered species. There are only three remaining examples on the national network, of which one will disappear early next year and another is threatened by potential electrification and re-signalling.

These duplicate signals were installed where a driver’s sighting of a signal was adversely affected by a curve in the line, or by an intervening over-bridge or other obstruction, as this photo-tour of Britain’s surviving trio – Cantley, Helsby and Greenloaning – will hopefully illustrate. Continue reading “Britain’s last co-acting semaphores”

Wherry Lines Class 66 and 755 action

IMG_9227Paying a return visit to the Wherry Lines, principally to photograph Cantley’s famous co-acting signal, it was good to see more evidence of the new Class 755 units than on my visit to Lowestoft at the beginning of the month.

After the ending of Class 37 operations it was also good to see some loco action on my 23 October 2019 visit, in the shape of a Class 66-worked Railhead Treatment Train (RHTT) operating its seasonal circuit from Stowmarket. Continue reading “Wherry Lines Class 66 and 755 action”

Baltic beauties

IMG_8804Last month’s return to the wonderful Harz metre-gauge network prompted me to pay a long-overdue first time visit to two more of the steam-worked narrow gauge railways in eastern Germany, both on the country’s attractive Baltic coast.

This charming duo is the 24km (14.5-mile) 750mm gauge Rügensche Bäderbahn (RBB) or Rasender Roland (“Raging Roland”), running along the south side of Rügen Island from Putbusto Göhren, and the 15.4km (9.6-mile) 900mm gauge Mecklenburgische Bäderbahn or Molllibahn (Molli), linking the town of Bad Doberan with the Baltic coast at Kühlungsborn West. Continue reading “Baltic beauties”

Britain’s most easterly semaphores  

IMG_8370After my return last month to Britain’s most southerly semaphores at St Erth in Cornwall, it was time for what will probably be my final visit to our most easterly semaphores, namely those at Lowestoft Central.

The end of a 23½ -mile long Wherry Lines route from Norwich is signalled until next February (2020) by an attractive 1885-vintage Great Eastern Railway box with a  61-lever frame, which is thankfully arousing interest in its preservation from local people. Continue reading “Britain’s most easterly semaphores  “

Nine Wherry distants signalling the line

IMG_8203Class 37-haulage may finally be at an end on the Wherry Lines, but there are still a few months left to appreciate another charming aspect of these routes from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

What operator Abellio describes in its timetable leaflet as a “Victorian era signalling system” was due to have been replaced in the Spring, but the usual delays in any railway infrastructure project means the semaphore signals will now survive until a three-week shut-down in February 2020. Continue reading “Nine Wherry distants signalling the line”