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


Things have been pretty busy at Kestrel lately...!

Sutton Scotney - Life at a Country Station by Kevin Robertson

Of the countless books on railway subjects that have appeared over the years, only a few have explored the subject from the point of view of a working railwayman. "Sutton Scotney - Life at a Country Station" fits neatly into this category, being based on the author's numerous interviews with former railway staff who worked at Sutton Scotney station.

This is not a book of facts and figures, but an accurate representation of a typical day in the life of a country station. The duties of the staff are described, together with the various characters who inhabited the station and how they dealt with mundane events as well as the more unusual ones. In particular, we follow the career of one man, Ernie Penny, who served at Sutton Scotney from 1947 to 1964.

Written in an easy-to-read style, and following on from the success of the first two books in the Great Western Aspects series (further details below), "Burghclere Signalman" and "Winchester (Great Western) - A Snapshot in Time", this new book will have an equally wide appeal.

Sutton Scotney - Life at a Country Station by Kevin Robertson Softback: 60 pages ISBN 1905505000 Price: 7.95

Full details are on the website: http://www.kestrelrailwaybooks.co.uk

Great Western Aspects is a series of small booklets, each one of which looks at a particular aspect of the Great Western Railway in some detail. So far, three books have been published in the series: 1) Burghclere Signalman 2) Winchester (Great Western) - a Snapshot in Time 3) Sutton Scotney: Life at a Country Station

The fact that all so far have been about the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway should not be seen as setting a pattern for the future - it is merely a reflection of the material to hand.

In fact, we would be delighted to hear from anyone who has an idea for a booklet of this size (between 40 and 60 pages) on any aspect of the Great Western Railway, its constituents and its successors. If you have an idea please get in touch with us at info@kestrelrailwaybooks.co.uk with a brief synopsis and an idea of the pictures you have available.

Typically, the kinds of subject covered will be too large for a magazine article, but too small for a standalone book. In time, Great Western Aspects will build into a comprehensive series on the GWR, and given suitable material, will also be repeated for other large railway companies.


All activities celebrating the Brunel bicentenary (including two new two pound coins from the Royal Mint) are described on a dedicated website:


A set of very nice Brunel stamps has been released from Royal Mail. There are six designs depicting: The Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash Box Tunnel Paddington Station PSS Great Eastern Clifton Suspension Bridge Sounding Arch Bridge, Maidenhead

http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/jump2?catId=22900465&mediaId=22900492 http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/content1?catId=22900492&mediaId=23800504

Issue 44 (March 2006) of West Somerset Express, the unofficial online newsletter of the West Somerset Railway is available here:


A varied and idiosyncratic site from "Mr B" (who he?)


Mark Herriott has set up a website that features the new Blue Pullman:


An email group exists for those who are interested in class 310 EMUs:


And another one for class 312 EMUs:


The Great Western Archive:


For sounds of steam - you need...


Neil Kearns spotted how to move a crash-damaged loco (in the middle of a freight train!)


Neil also brings news of steam on the Chilterns over the weekend 1st-2nd April, celebrating the centenary of the railway line through Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield:


Become a part-owner of the Bluebell Railway. Coming later this year, the opportunity to buy shares in the Bluebell, as they plan to launch their 4m share issue to raise the funds to complete the extension to East Grinstead. Background information:


Ilderton station, Northumberland, was converted to a restaurant ("The Station House") in 1993 by Chris Donald, editor of "Viz" and supporter of the Alnwick-Alnmouth preservation scheme. The restaurant has now closed and the station is a private residence, the owners of which have this excellent website:


A company called Translink has submitted a bid to reopen the lamented Woodhead route for roll on/roll off HGV traffic with passenger services to follow later:


Ralph Rawlinson's review of high speed trains services in Europe

Part 2 Italy After years of slow progress, the 18bn Italian Treno Alta Velocita (TAV) network is finally starting to take shape. The 126 mile Rome-Naples high speed line opened for limited services in December and the first section of the Milan-Turin HSL (79 miles) opened in time for the Winter Olympics. A T-shaped network is being developed with around 620 miles of HSLs running east-west Turin-Milan-Bologna-Venice and north-south Milan-Bologna -Florence-Rome-Naples. Of the latter, the Florence-Rome 'Dirrettissima' has been complete since 1978, although it is being upgraded for 186 mph operation with 25kV AC, rather than Italian standard 3kV DC). Work is also under way on the 3.8bn Milan-Bologna (138 miles) and Bologna- Florence (49 miles) sections. Standard traction for the TAV network will be the proven ETR500 dual-voltage sets. Some services are also worked by Trenitalia's ETR480 dual-voltage tilting EMUs, due to be joined by the next generation of Pendolino EMU from 2007.

Interested in Stagecoach buses?


You can even build your own paper Stagecoach bus models:


An informative site on Melbourne's trams, together with links to other tram sites around the world.



The reopening of the railway line between Sandbach and Wilmslow has been delayed to enable the completion of infrastructure improvement works. The line will now not open until early June whilst vital testing work is carried out on a new signalling system. The line has been closed since December and was due to reopen on 26 March, once the existing life-expired signalling system was replaced by a new computer based interlocking system. However a number of compatibility issues between the Italian system and the UK railway nfrastructure have meant further testing is required to enable completion. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4759976.stm

Lobby to save Severn Beach line: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4757154.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4762230.stm

Track work begins on Settle and carlisle: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/4754434.stm

Echoes of the Great Train Robbery: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4761952.stm

Railway staff learn sign language: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4754684.stm

Arriva's transport profits fall: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4765828.stm

South Korean rail strike: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4761380.stm

TV and Radio

Discovery's programmes are no longer included, but their daily schedules are here: http://www.discoverychannel.co.uk/_listings/ and http://discoverywings.co.uk/_listings/
Sat Mar 04 1400-1500 UKTV History 'Coast' East coast of England
Sat Mar 04 1700-1800 UKTV History 'Coast' East coast of England
Sat Mar 04 2100-2200 UKTV History 'Coast' East coast of England
Sat Mar 04 2200-2300 UKTV History 'Coast' The summary
Sun Mar 05 0700-0100 (D+1) UKTV History 'Coast' All day roller Coaster
Sun Mar 05 1650-1755 Channel 4 'Scrapheap Challenge Scrappy Races' Vehicles made from junk
Sun Mar 05 1905-2000 BBC4 'The Spitfire' 70th anniversary of the WWII fighter
Sun Mar 05 2305-2335 BBC1 'Rail Cops' Documentary on the British Transport Police
Mon Mar 06 1930-2000 BBC1 South 'Inside Out' 70th anniversary of the Spitfire
Mon Mar 06 1930-2000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's railways in the 1930s
Mon Mar 06 2000-2100 Five 'Ultimate Combat Helicopters' Top choppers
Mon Mar 06 2330-2400 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's railways in the 1930s
Tue Mar 07 0930-1000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's railways in the 1930s
Tue Mar 07 1230-1300 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's railways in the 1930s
Tue Mar 07 1930-2000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's fishing industry
Tue Mar 07 2330-2400 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's fishing industry
Wed Mar 08 0930-1000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's fishing industry
Wed Mar 08 1230-1300 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's fishing industry
Wed Mar 08 1930-2000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's cotton industry
Wed Mar 08 2330-2400 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's cotton industry
Thu Mar 09 0930-1000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's cotton industry
Thu Mar 09 1230-1250 Channel 4 'Small Railway Journeys' County Donegal
Thu Mar 09 1230-1300 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Britain's cotton industry
Thu Mar 09 1930-2000 ITV1 Meridian 'The Way We Were' A look back at bygone events
Thu Mar 09 1930-2000 ITV1 West 'Secret Underground' Calamine mines in Somerset
Thu Mar 09 1930-2000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Cornwall's mining industry
Thu Mar 09 2330-2400 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Cornwall's mining industry
Fri Mar 10 0930-1000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Cornwall's mining industry
Fri Mar 10 1230-1300 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' Cornwall's mining industry
Fri Mar 10 1355-1530 Channel 4 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' 1952 Ealing comedy
Fri Mar 10 1930-2000 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' The role of the church
Fri Mar 10 2330-2400 UKTV History 'Nation on Film' The role of the church


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 Mar 03 - Sun Mar 05 ? Mid-Hants Watercress Line: Spring Steam Gala http://www.watercressline.co.uk
Sat Mar 04 1030-1700 South Hants MRC Portsmouth Model Railway Exhibition
Admiral Lord Nelson School, Dundas Lane, Ocean Park,
Portsmouth 1030-1700
Sat Mar 04 1030-1700 Abingdon & District MRC Model Railway Show
White Horse Leisure & Tennis Centre, Audlett Drive, Abingdon 1030-1700 http://www.abingdonmrc.org.uk/exhibition
Sat Mar 04 1000-1700 Northampton Model Railway Show
Moulton School, Pound Lane, Moulton, Northants 1000-1700 http://www.northamptonmodelrailwayshow.co.uk
Sat Mar 04 - Sun Mar 05 1030-1530 Stafford Railway Collectors Fair
GEC, St Leonard's Avenue, Stafford 1030-1530
Sat Mar 04 - Sun Mar 05 1000-1700 Cardiff Model Raiway Exhibition
UWIC Assembly Hall, Cardiff 1000-1700 both days http://www.cardiffmodelrail.org.uk
Sat Mar 05 1000-1600 Romsey Signal Box Open Day 1000-1600; Admission free (donations welcome!)
Romsey Infants School, Plaza Parade, Winchester Rd, Romsey
Car park in school grounds http://www.romseysignalbox.org.uk
Sun Mar 05 - Mon Mar 06 1000-1700 S&D 40th Anniversary of Closure: Railway Enthusiasts Fair
Bath Green Park Station
Special Guest - ex-S&D 2-8-0 7F 53809 1000-1700
Mon Mar 06 1945 West Somerset Railway Taunton Group
The Great Western Staff Association Club, Taunton station 'Freight and Steam: North and South' - Quentin Hawkes
Starts 1945 http://www.wsra.org.uk
Sat Mar 11 - Sun Mar 12 1030-1700(Sat) 1000-1630(Sun) Romsey & District Railway Modellers Society 'Romsey 2006'
Crossfield Hall, Romsey, Hants 1030-1700 (Sat), 1000-1630 (Sun)
Sat Mar 11 - Sun Mar 12 1000-1700(Sat) 1000-1600(Sun) Basingstoke & North Hants MRS Model Railway Show
Aldworth Science College, Western Way, Basingstoke
Look out for Treneglos (North Cornwall): http://www.staffordrailwaycircle.org.uk/treneglos/index.php 1000-1700 (Sat), 1000-1600 (Sun) http://www.hants.org.uk/bnhmrs
Sat Mar 11 - Sun Mar 12 1000-1700 Wyre Forest MRC Kidderminster Model Railway Exhibition
Wyre Forest Leisure Centre Glades Arena 1000-1700 both days http://www.wyreforestmrc.cjb.net
Sat Mar 11 - Mon Mar 13 ? Australian Model Railway Association Exhibition
Melbourne, Australia
Sun Mar 12 ? Churnet Valley Railway: Victorian Sunday http://www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk
Fri Mar 17 - Sun Mar 19 ? West Somerset Railway Spring Steam Gala 2006 Part 1
Somerset and Dorset Railway 40th anniversay of closure
Aiming to operate up to ten locos typical of the S&D
Full nine-coach set of maroon Mk1 coaches from FM Rail
Proposed to rename the WSR stations after long-lost S&D ones
Opening of Taunton Model Railway Group clubhouse at Bishops
Lydeard during the Gala http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/
Sat Mar 18 1030 Solent Railwayana Auction
The Community Centre, Mill Lane, Wickham, Hampshire
Viewing from 0800, 500 lots, sale starts 1030 http://www.solentrailwayana.com/
Sat Mar 18 - Sun Mar 19 0930-1800(Sat) 0930-1700(Sun) Nottingham East Midlands Model Railway Exhibition
The Harvey Hadden Sports Complex, Bilborough Park, Nottingham 0930-1800 (Sat), 0930-1700 (Sun) http://www.nbmrs.freeserve.co.uk
Sun Mar 19 1000-1630 Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society Model Railway Exhibition
Fernham Hall, Fareham, Hants 1000-1630
Cheers, Howard. editor@raildate.co.uk
Previous issues of RAILDATE are at: http://steam.to/raildate This page includes a master catalogue of items that have appeared in previous RAILDATEs.
(C) Howard Sprenger and Hursley Park Model Railway Society 2006.
The external edition of RAILDATE may be freely distributed without permission as long as no changes whatsoever are made to the original document distributed by the Editor.

© HPMRS 1996,2006. All Rights Reserved