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Meeting Reports

Thursday 14th April 2016
My Work Travels
Max Fowler

Our April meeting featured Max Fowler with the presentation “My work travels”. The author’s work takes him around the UK, his camera always to hand.
A ‘Where is it?’ quiz preceded the main presentation.
The Inverness-London HST at Blackford introduced freight and passenger workings in various liveries. Aberdeen Harbour produced a Mud Oil train arriving, Aberdeen station hosting the Virgin coaches used for Carnoustie Open Championship specials. An ex Fastline 66 at Laurencekirk, Virgin EC HST at Arbroath, Cl.67 + Fife coaches at Rosyth, 2 67s on test train at Uddingston, cl.60 on long tank train, Newport 3 car 158, coal trains for former Didcot PS, metals train at Newport, Cl.70 on Freightliner approaching Carluke, Robeston tanks double-headed near Crewe & an Alexander bodied Cl.144 at Sheffield were noted.
Other locations included Avonmouth, Bescot, Cameron Bridge, Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Stafford, Tyne Dock to Drax workings at Hartlepool, Cardiff Canton & classes 142, 143, & 150, Sandbach, Peak Forest and Cl.60s, Chester with Merseyrail 507s/508s & Crewe Basford Hall, with spotters recording every loco, coach, wagon & box number!
Trams from Sheffield, Birmingham Metro to Wolverhampton & Dublin at Connolly Station were observed.

A most interesting evening for those attending.

Thursday 10th March 2016
Portpatrick & Wigtownshire Joint Railway
Angus Rex

Our well-attended March meeting featured Angus Rex with the presentation “The Railways of Galloway”.
A comprehensive tour of the various lines then & now, highlighted the still extant railway infrastructure, particularly on the abandoned stretches. Starting at Dumfries, the final westbound service to Stranraer via Castle Douglas & Newton Stewart prefaced the route description. Stations included New Galloway, Dalbeatie, Glen Luce, Castle Douglas, Newton Stewart and its branches to Whithorn & Garlieston, the Portpatrick branch, the Kirkcudbright branch, Castle Kennedy, Dunragit, Challoch Junction, Barrhill, Pinwherry, Creetown, Stranraer Harbour & Cairnryan Military Railway, whose large marshalling yards, utilised heavily during D-Day preparations, were highlighted.

Portpatrick was the nearest port to Ireland in the early 1900s, troop trains were frequent, requiring larger locomotives than was the norm. Glen Luce viaduct, large Water of Fleet viaduct and Sorbie Creamery also featured. At Kirkcudbright, a Standard 4MT was on a passenger train. Standard 4 76xxx, 80xxx & LMS Black 5s worked the bulk of services, examples of other classes working as required. Boat trains to and from Stranraer Harbour produced ’Britannia’ Cl.7s on occasion. The Ro-Ro ferry tsss ‘Caledonian Princess’ boosted car traffic following its introduction.

A lively Q&A session followed a most nostalgic evening.

Saturday 13th February 2016
Looking back at the nineties
Hugh Gould, RCTS National President (retired)

Our February meeting featured Hugh Gould, the Society’s retired President, with the presentation “Looking Back at the Nineties”.
Hugh took us on a tour of Europe, the USA and some of his UK haunts.
Beginning at Penarth in 1990, we visited Cardiff Central, then the Staten Island ferry, saw Amtrak Electrics in New York, and NY Subway Line 1 at its northern terminus of 270 Street. Detroit Michigan Avenue station provided a Chicago service, whilst the Museum at Union, Illinois, contained tram 714 of CNSM and Shay steam locomotive, among others. Hugh stayed overnight in a Motella, on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, comprising cabooses converted into suites. Green Bay, Wisconsin, the home of No. 8, and UP ‘Big Boy’ 4017, was visited.
Amsterdam Central produced a 1200 class electric, whilst in Copenhagen Central a new Inter-City DMU was viewed.
The LT weekend specials between Amersham and Harrow-on-the-Hill featuring Pannier Tank 9466 and LT Tank No.1 were viewed.
The then current Regional Railways livery was seen, as was Channel Tunnel Shuttle line construction with a visit to Sangatte.
Stations visited included Looe, Liskeard, Falmouth, St. Ives, Stafford, Skegness, Jordanhill, Partick, Queen Street and a newly opened Larkhall.
A lively Q&A session followed.

Saturday 16th January 2016
A Photo Review of 2014/5
Keith Sanders

The January meeting was a well-attended presentation by Branch Member and Digital Group member Keith Sanders, with the presentation “A photo review of 2014/15”.
Interesting operations included empty aviation fuel tanks from Linkswood, near Markinch, shortly before RAF Leuchars closed, Fiddlers Ferry-Hunterston coal empties, Manchester ‘bins’ at Oxwellmains, and Torness nuclear flasks.
Other subjects included newly restored ”KOYLI”, the Hartlepool-Georgemas Jct. pipes, NR Test trains, one with 31106 and ex Mk2 DBSO, Borders Railway rail trains, Barnetby Semaphores, Arriva cl. 67 on Manchester-North Wales service, cl.92 on sleepers at Drem loop, and American drama students decanting at Prestonpans.
Rail tours and steam specials included 46115 “Scots Guardsman” ascending Beatock bank on GB duty, No. 9 taking the return train to York, SNG on an excursion, 46233 “Duchess of Sutherland” at Culross, “Royal Scotsman” at Longniddry, SRPS Glenrothes-Skipton and Abellio Inverness-Stirling steam special with Tornado at Gleneagles.
Franchise changes brought forth East Coast VTEC, SERCO Caledonian Sleeper, and Cl.68 on Fife Circle services.
‘Borders Railway’ opening included the Royal train and subsequent steam specials and images of five ‘Borders’ locations before, during and after construction, including Fushiebridge, Borthwick Bank and Tynehead, ended the presentation.
An active Q & A session followed.

Thursday 10th December 2015
Borders Rail - The New Railway
Colin Macdonald - Network Rail

The December meeting was a very well attended presentation by Colin MacDonald of Network Rail on “The rebuilding of the Borders Railway”.
A photographic tour of the revived railway was followed by images of the re-construction process, highlighting many of the obstacles encountered during the rebuild.
The excellent condition of the existing wrought iron bridges, and the Lothian Bridge Viaduct, both requiring minimal remedial work, greatly assisted the rebuild.
A virtual quarry was established near Falahill, the extracted rock being incorporated on the railway. Upon completion, the quarry was infilled with construction spoil from the works.
Signalling and detection procedures were explained. 42 new bridges and 95 refurbished bridges have been completed, 2 tunnels, 1.5 million tons of earthworks executed, 65 Kilometres track, 100 Kilometres of drainage installed, 10 Kilometres of new roads, & 7 new stations created. GSM-R radio system is installed.
330,000 passengers travelled in the first 3 months, more than double the forecast 160,000 estimate.
Finally, images of the opening day, with HM the Queen and the special train hauled by No. 9.
The presentation concluded with a photograph of the NR team involved in the construction.
A very active Q & A session followed.

Thursday 26th November 2015
Scottish Branch Annual General Meeting

The 2015 AGM of Scottish Branch was held during the last week of November, and was attended by 15 members. The existing Committee members were re-elected, with new Committee Member Andrew McIntyre being co-opted to the Committee.
Following reports on the past year's activities, from the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, discussion of future activities ensued.
Upon conclusion of formal business, members entertained those present with their digital and slide presentations, covering a variety of locations and themes. Messrs K Falconer, N Turnbull, S Malcolm and Mrs S Purves contributed.

Thursday 12th November 2015
Local Railway History
Ken Falconer

Our second Joint meeting with our SRPS colleagues featured the “Waverley Route” with Ken Falconer, the Branch Chairman & Treasurer.
Departing from the erstwhile Platform 10 at Waverley, a comprehensively illustrated journey down the line encompassed the stations, infrastructure and train services, both passenger & freight. The February 1963 snowfall on Whitrope Summit emphasised the operational difficulties encountered on occasion.
Examples of A3, A4, BR Class 2 2-6-0, BR 4MT, V2, B1, D51, J35, J37, C15, Gloucester DMU (later class 100), & Peak diesels featured. The photographs were predominately from Ken’s camera, with assistance from other people’s collections, and included a number of pre-nationalisation images, a 1960s timetable and a train register from one of the many signal boxes. Dismantling of the line in the 1970s was recorded.
The early 2000s marked Edinburgh Crossrail utilising the stump of the Waverley Route to Newcraighall.
2010 onwards marked the beginnings of re-generation, preparatory work getting underway, ensuring re-opening on 6th September 2015. The re-opening period images illustrated 60009 "Union of South Africa" and its train of coaches on Falahill Summit.
A revived line worthy of inclusion in the railway enthusiast’s itinerary.
An active Q & A session followed.

An evening much enjoyed by the large attendance.

Saturday 31st October 2015
Visit to remodelled Stirling Middle Box

A number of members supported a most successful visit to Stirling Middle Box following the recent remodelling.
It features the original lever frame, in addition to the electronic panel controlling the Alloa branch and including the spur to Longannet Power Station. The signallers on duty were most helpful, answering the group’s questions in a friendly and obliging manner.
The visit was arranged through Network Rail, and Ross Walker, the Stirling Mobile Operations Manager. The Branch extends their sincere thanks to Ross & Network Rail for their assistance in organising the outing.

last updated: 27/05/16