RAILDATE: the weekly newsletter of the Hursley Park Model Railway Society: http://www.ibmhursleyclub.org.uk/ss/hpmrs/


The history of the Metropolitan-Cammell Blue Pullman units can be compared to a ride on a roller-coaster - indeed, the ride of these trains was likened at the time to that very fairground attraction, and their entry into service and success on the line followed a similar pattern.

Referred to in the past (perhaps incorrectly) as the forerunners of the HSTs, the Blue Pullmans were not alone in having the advantage of a fixed formation, and the associated quick turnaround times made possible thereby.

But where they did point towards the future was in the standard of service provided. While, at the time, this was only available to a select (some might say a privileged) few, in later years, the speed and passenger facilities demonstrated by the sets would become the norm. As such, Blue Pullman showed the way.

How and why the sets came about, their construction, testing and introduction, are all covered in this detailed work, most of the information and many of the photographs appearing in print for the first time.

Accompanied throughout by facts, figures and anecdotes, "Blue Pullman" will be of interest to anyone with an interest in the BR Modernisation Plan, the London Midland and Western Regions in the 1960s, and the story of the Blue Pullmans itself.

"Blue Pullman" by Kevin Robertson Price: 19.95 ISBN: 0954485963 168 pages, hardback, with 180 illustrations, including colour and black and white photographs and detailed plans for the modeller.

Order post-free from: Kestrel Railway Books P.O. Box 269 Southampton SO30 4XR


Plans to reopen Cambridge to St Ives/Huntingdon:


The Lidlington village site has memoirs and photos of the Cambridge-Oxford railway line in the 1950s, before dieselisation:


More on the Great Central Railway - this time in Leicester:


Mike Morant has another selection of eclectic transport pix available:


Chris Dadson's British Heritage Railways - Floreat Vapor:


The 60007 site:


Beulah has upadted its online DVD site. There are now 400 more DVD titles available covering transport, farming, fairs and history:


In particular, the number of British Transport Films titles available on DVD has recently expanded with two releases from the BFI. These have been long awaited (3 years in the making) and contain a mixture of old favorites such as Blue Pullman, Elizabethan Express and Snowdrift at Bleath Gill, combined with titles such as Cybernetica and This Year London which only survived for a short while on VHS:


Some people are interested in roads...!


Nick Wheat's campaign to have a memorial erected for the pilot killed in the Millthorpe Air Crash has borne fruit:

http://www.millthorpeaircrash.org.uk/ (click on Memorial Garden)


The Indian Railway Enthusiast site:


And finally... from Renaud (Ron) Olgiati...

Heard somewhere on London Underground:

"We are now travelling through Baker Street, as you can see Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don't think about things like that."


APT-P Driver 'Tommy Farr' Retires:

Virgin's fastest driver on the West Coast, Tommy Farr, has retired in style with his speed record still intact. Tommy set a record of 1 hour 53 minutes and 52 seconds for a non-stop 184-mile run from London to Manchester on 20 September 2004. He then went on to shave a further 16 seconds off the speed record on the return journey to London.

It was appropriate that one of Tommy's last passenger train duties was at the controls of 29 April's 12:45 Pendolino from Manchester to London, with which Tommy arrived early into London's Euston station.

The son of a Stockport railwayman, 65-year-old Tommy, who now lives in London, joined British Railways on 9 July 1956 and worked at the London area locomotive depots of Camden, Kentish Town, Cricklewood and Euston. He learned his craft on steam locomotives and drove diesel and electric trains before taking the Advanced Passenger Train - the first in Britain to tilt - from London to Preston. In recent times he has been in charge of the Virgin Pendolino and has also spent time training other drivers.

Speaking at the launch of the West Coast Pendolino timetable last year, Tommy said: "I never thought I would see the day when tilting trains were back on track in Britain."

Tavistock line reopening backed: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/4556177.stm

Councils back London rail links: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4546955.stm

Forth rail bridge to close for a week: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4556913.stm

Gel solution to coal dust problem: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4199561.stm

Rail firm doubles fare dodge fine: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4553515.stm

Staff to strike over ticket row: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4543845.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4562855.stm

Rail guards set for strike action: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4559939.stm

Tube workers protest at violence: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4543227.stm

Tube reliability targets not met: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4543421.stm

Brian Hall spotted this about the Corris Railway: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/4552763.stm

TV and Radio

Discovery's programmes are no longer included, but their daily schedules are here: http://tinyurl.com/3fczf
Sun May 22 1730-1830 Channel 4 'The Airships' Third in a documentary series
Sun May 22 1830-1930 Channel 4 'Time Team Digs...the Modern Age' A look at past digs
Mon May 23 1900-2000 BBC4 'Days That Shook the World' Wright brothers an Apollo 11
Mon May 23 2000-2030 Five 'Massive Machines' Farm machines
Mon May 23 2320-2420 BBC2 'Imber - England's Lost Village' Lost to the MoD
Tue May 24 0215-0315 BBC4 'Days That Shook the World' The Wright brothers and Apollo 11
Tue May 24 2300-2400 BBC4 'Himalaya with Michael Palin'
Wed May 25 2240-2340 BBC1 'Imagine...a Short History of Tall Buildings' 3/3


See Mainline Steam Tours page for up-to-date info on many of these tours, and others, often with timings.

For up-to-date information on many of the tours mentioned in RAILDATE (and others) often with timings, see the Steam Tours pages at: http://www.uksteam.info/index.shtml
All details are correct to the best of my knowledge. No responsibility is taken for inaccuracies or changes.
Fri May 20 ? Paddington Films presents British Transport Films
The Picture House, Windsor Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon * * * * CANCELLED * * * *
Fri May 20 - Sun May 22 ? Swanage Railway: Swanage 120
Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the opening of the branch http://www.swanagerailway.co.uk
Fri May 20 - Sun May 22 ? Churnet Valley Railway: Diesel Gala http://www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk
Sat May 21 ? Main Line Steam - Cathedrals Express
Oxford & Worcester & return ('King Edward I')
mailto:info@steamdreams.co.uk http://www.steamdreams.co.uk
Sat May 21 - Sun May 22 1030-1630(Sat) 1000-1600(Sun) Salisbury & South Wilts Railway Soc Model Railway Exhibition
Michael Herbert Hall, South Street, Wilton, Salisbury 1030-1630 (Sat), 1000-1600 (Sun)
Sat May 21 - Sun May 22 ? Didcot Railway Centre: Steamdays http://www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk
Sat May 28 ? Crich Tramway Village: 50th Anniversary Cavalcade http://www.tramway.co.uk
Sat May 28 - Sun May 29 1030-1730(Sat) 1000-1700(Sun) Risborough & District MRC RAILEX
Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Harvey Road, Aylesbury Bucks 1030-1730 (Sat), 1000-1700 (Sun) http://www.rdmrc.nildram.co.uk
Sat May 28 - Mon May 30 ? Didcot Railway Centre: Spring Holiday Activity Steamdays http://www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk
Sat May 28 - Mon May 30 ? Great Central Railway: Day Out with Thomas http://www.gcrailway.co.uk
Sat May 28 - Mon May 30 ? Churnet Valley Railway: Whit Bank Holiday Service http://www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk
Sat May 28 - Sun Jun 05 ? Eastleigh Lakeside Railway: Day Out with Thomas http://www.steamtrain.co.uk
Mon May 30 1330-1700 Woodbine Cottage Garden Railway
Church Lane, Off Danes Road, Awbridge, near Romsey (Grid reference: SU 320326) 1330-1700
Entrance and unlimited train rides: 2.00
Teas and stalls including books, bric-a-brack, produce and bring and buy
Proceeds to Cancer Research UK
Tue May 31 1930 West Somerset Railway Association, Bristol Branch
BAWA, Southmead Road, Filton
The Welsh Highland Railway - Tony Ward 1930 for 1945 start; admission 2.00 http://www.wsra.org.uk/
Wed Jun 01 ? ITS Transport History Workshop
Institute of Railway Studies & Transport History, York 1400hrs
Imperial railways, railway imperialism
Gary Goldfinch
Steel in the Sand: The History of Egypt and its Raillways
Di Drummond (Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds)
Railway development and British imperialism: cultures of dominant technology?
All welcome - refreshments will be served.
All workshops held in the Yorkshire Rail Academy at the NRM
Please use either public entrance to the NRM and tell staff at the desk that you are attending the IRS&TH workshops
Thu Jun 02 - Sun Jun 05 ? Dean Forest Railway: Day Out With Thomas
Sat Jun 04 1030-1530 Reading Rail-Bus 2005 (Collectors' Fair)
Rivermead Leisure Complex, Richfield Avenue, Reading 1030-1530 Free Routemaster bus from Reading station http://www.tobaz.co.uk
Sat Jun 04 ? Main Line Steam - Cathedrals Express
Weymouth & return ('King Edward I')
mailto:info@steamdreams.co.uk http://www.steamdreams.co.uk
Sat Jun 04 ? Peak Rail: Pie & Pea Supper and Real Ale Evening http://www.peakrail.co.uk
Sat Jun 04 - Sun Jun 05 ? Didcot Railway Centre: Steam and Railcar days http://www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk
Sat Jun 04 - Sun Jun 05 ? Kew Bridge Steam Museum: Kew Bridge Model Boat Show http://www.kbsm.org
Sat Jun 05 1000-1500 Romsey Signal Box Open Day 1000-1500; Admission free (donations welcome!)
Romsey Infants School, Plaza Parade, Winchester Rd, Romsey
Car park in school grounds
AGM at 1530
Sun Jun 05 ? London Country Bus Rally - Hertford http://freespace.virgin.net/ian.smith/buses/CBR/CBR01.htm
Sun Jun 05 ? Great Central Railway: Quorn Swopmeet http://www.gcrailway.co.uk
Sun Jun 05 ? Peak Rail: Steam - Story - Song - Special http://www.peakrail.co.uk
Cheers, Howard. editor@raildate.co.uk

© HPMRS 1996,2005. All Rights Reserved