It’s a fairway to Carnoustie

IMG_2385There are a number of wonderful outposts of mechanical signalling along the East Coast Main Line north of Edinburgh, notably Arbroath and Stonehaven, but one I had not previously visited was Carnoustie, world-renowned host of golf’s  Open Championship on no less than eight occasions.

Taking advantage of another ScotRail “Club 50” £17.00 flat fare offer while staying in the Scottish capital, a day trip to Carnoustie on Wednesday, 5 February 2020 also gave me the chance to take a pleasant walk alongside the golf links and railway to visit two of Britain’s least used stations, Golf Street and Barry Links. Continue reading “It’s a fairway to Carnoustie”

A Wherry last goodbye

IMG_1935All good things come to an end, and so it does this weekend for the marvellous signal boxes and semaphore signalling along the Wherry Lines from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, which have at least lasted a year longer than planned, owing to delayed commissioning of the new signalling.

Regular readers of this blog will know I have made numerous visits to the area over the past three years to record the changing scene, so no surprise then that I felt I must pay my respects to what is being lost by visiting the area on the final day of services to Great Yarmouth before its three-week shut-down. Continue reading “A Wherry last goodbye”

Heritage signalling in East Lincolnshire

IMG_1613Time may almost be up for mechanical signalling along the 23½ miles of route between Norwich and Lowestoft, but some 100 miles further up the East Coast the era of semaphores lives on along an almost identical length of line.

The 23¾ miles of route from Boston to Skegness are home to no less than six signal boxes, three of which have secure futures as they are all Grade II Listed, and four of which still control semaphore signals. Continue reading “Heritage signalling in East Lincolnshire”

Basils at Brundall

IMG_1307As there are just two weeks left to savour semaphore control of the Wherry Lines from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, this felt like the moment to pay a farewell visit, and attempt to see some Class 755 action at the same time.

Introduction of the new Stadler bi-mode units has been little short of disastrous and the spate of last minute cancellations continues, with workings cancelled on my 16 January 2020 visit including the 11.36 Norwich-Great Yarmouth, with the 12.55 to Lowestoft being heavily delayed. Continue reading “Basils at Brundall”

Britain’s fastest growing stations 2019

IMG_9407Aside from looking at the fluctuating list of our least used stations, one of the other fascinating aspects of the annual ORR station usage statistics is to examine those stations which have seen most growth in passengers, and attempt to identify any pattern to the changes.

Having already reviewed our least used stations, I have now taken a look at those stations seeing most growth in 2018/9 compared to the previous year. The table below lists the 29 places on our network that saw passenger numbers rise by more than 50% year-on-year. Continue reading “Britain’s fastest growing stations 2019”

Britain’s least used stations 2019

IMG_1171Just like everything else about our railways, be it timetables, electrification or new rolling stock, it was running late. But 14 January 2020 has finally seen publication of the Office of Rail & Road’s (ORR) eagerly-awaited station usage statistics for 2018/9.

While there are no surprises amongst the busiest stations – with Waterloo continuing to top the list at 94.2 million entries and exits – the surge in traffic at Redcar British Steel (40 passengers in 2017/8 rising to 360 in 2018/9 prior to closure in December 2019) has led to new joint winners of the accolade for Britain’s least used station! Continue reading “Britain’s least used stations 2019”

In search of 313201

IMG_0932An October 2019 visit to Bognor Regis and Littlehampton had reminded me that the South Coast currently plays host to our oldest mainline EMUs – the fleet of 19 Class 313 units, which transferred from London Overground to Southern almost a decade ago (May 2010) and dates from 1976-7.

Having seen the interest their departure from Great Northern services had attracted, it seemed high time to spend a day travelling on Class 313 “Coastway” services to photograph the vintage units in action, and in the hope of coming across celebrity unit 313201 in its BR corporate blue and white livery. Continue reading “In search of 313201”