Issue 251 OUT NOW!


Bahamas is back! Top Awards for top railways! Duchess of Sutherland to kicstart Great Britain XII! The 251st issue of Heritage Railway magazine has got the lot! 

As ever, this month’s issue is packed with the best features on our heritage railways, our Railwayana column, up and running guides, the latest news and much more!

If you’d like to read this edition of HR, then you can cut to the chase and download the digital version, order the print magazine, or better yet save those pennies and subscribe to Heritage Railway. Here’s what to expect this month…

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Part 4 of Brian Sharpe’s fantastic series looks at the greatest steam engineers of the 1850s.


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Adam Carpenter shares his experiences of volunteering as a booking clerk and porter at the Epping Ongar Railway.


The Ivatt Diesel Re-creation society has just launched an appeal for £100,000 towards a project to build a replica of Britain’s first main line diesel locomotive service in regular service.

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PLUS! All the main line news, your headlines, Platform shows off your views and check out our guide to railways running this season!

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Headline News 6

■ Soaraway Broadway success makes Glos Warks best in Britain 

■ Great Central Railway saves and buys Class 50 No. 50017 Royal Oak

Mayflower sparkles in unique double-header with British India Line

■ New company to restore Toddington’s ‘forgotten’ Standard 4MT

■ West Coast announces new steam trips to Stratford this summer

News 10

■ Great Central Railway winter steam gala blows away the blues 

■ Met No. 1 to haul final District line steam specials in central London

■ New-build Standard 3MT No. 82045 moves on to SVR metals for completion at Bridgnorth Works

■ Welshpool gains £95,000 grant for enhanced visitor facilities

■ West Somerset sells Large Prairie to Dart Valley to help cut liabilities

■ Class 92 named in honour of the late Sir William McAlpine 

■ Three guests and double-headers lined up for SVR spring steam gala

Flying Scotsman to visit Swanage

Main Line News 56

Tornado’s February 9 trip cancelled, but now all set for future tours 

■ Council rejects Cameron’s museum plans for A4 and K4 on appeal

Clun Castle test run to ‘springboard’ Vintage Trains’ tour programme

With Full Regulator 64

Don Benn describes the performance of No. 44871 on two main line runs in December 2018 and May 2010


Subscribe Today 30


LNER B1 4-6-0 No. 61306 Mayflower pilots SR Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35018 British India Line with the ‘Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express’

Main Line Itinerary 62
Steam and heritage diesel railtours

Railwayana 68
Geoff Courtney’s regular column

Platform 94
Where your views matter most

Up & Running 96
Guide to the railways running in the autumn

The Month Ahead 106


Designated charter network capacity

In the latest in our series examining the issues of operating special trains on the main line with heritage rolling stock, Andy Castledine looks at what the future is likely to hold for pathing – and the processes and implications required in planning. He also shares the view of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s Graeme Bunker-James on the matter.

Life in the booking office

In the latest in our Volunteers Blog series, which charts life at the sharp end on our heritage railways from the perspective of an individual, Adam Carpenter shares his experiences of volunteering as a booking clerk and porter at the Epping Ongar Railway on the popular Essex line.

Great steam engineers of the Nineteenth Century part four: The 1850s

In the 1850s, rail companies grew bigger. Brian Sharpe outlines how the locomotive superintendents of the emerging rail firms faced different challenges, but many stayed in their roles for considerable periods.

A 1967 camping coach holiday

In words and photographs, Trevor Gregg vividly recalls his 1967 camping coach holiday at
Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, that included visits to Lostock Hall, Wigan Springs Branch, Crewe South and Birkenhead sheds.

The plan to re-create a D16/1

Following the ground-breaking purchase of an appropriate pair of bogies at a key plank in the project, as we reported in our last issue, the Ivatt Diesel Re-creation Society has just launched a nationwide appeal for £100,000 towards its project to build a replica of Britain’s first main line diesel locomotive service in regular service – D16/1 LMS 10000. Robin Whitlock looks back at the history of this much-lamented and sadly extinct pioneer class and the
rapidly-progressing project to build a new one in order to fill a major gap in the UK’s heritage fleet.

Contents: ‘Black Five’ No. 45212 returned to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway on January 15 after tyre turning at Toton depot. Hauling West Coast Railways’ support coach Mk.2 BFK
No. 35508, the train is seen crossing the River Don in Sheffield. The interesting composition includes the locomotive’s exhaust, blue sky, weir, birds and foliage – and most notably, the Grade 2 listed Norfolk Bridge, a road crossing built in 1856 for the Duke of Norfolk. ALAN WEAVER 

Cover: LNER B1 4-6-0 No. 61306 Mayflower and SR Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35018 British India Line storm past Salterwath at 50mph on the climb to Shap summit with the Railway Touring Company’s ‘Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express’ on February 2. BRIAN SHARPE


Rich dividends reap a just reward

THE ‘Broadway Effect’ – which saw passenger levels on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway soar by an astounding 42.5% following the opening of its northern extension to the fabled yellowstone tourist honeypot – has deservedly brought the Heritage Railway Association’s Annual Awards (Large Groups) to the Cotswold line.

Since Broadway station opened on Good Friday last year, both the line’s officials, tourist chiefs and local traders and shopkeepers – have been astonished by the public response and soaring influx of visitors into the town, which vastly exceeded all expectations.

The trains carried more than 144,000 passengers – compared with 101,000 in 2018 – sending records tumbling in a domino effect. Not only was the impact brilliant for the heritage line, but phenomenal for the town’s economy, too. 

Furthermore, tickets sold at the booking offices and online, soared by 49% to slightly more than 125,300.

Surely there is now a robust business case for public assistance to help the railway extend into the former halt at Cheltenham High Street? Imagine the immense commercial benefits for all sides – Broadway visitors taken into the heart of Cheltenham town centre and its shops, and vice versa. Here, there is a veritable treasure chest just waiting to be unlocked.

Then, what about the long-mooted northern extension to Honeybourne, where the station on the Oxford to Birmingham line has already been prepared, and there appears to be no major engineering difficulties along the rest of the road apart from overbridge maintenance? Yes, the flat Vale of Evesham does not offer anything like the best scenery on the former GWR Stratford-upon-Avon to Cheltenham route, but a main line connection would make Broadway eminently ‘do-able’ for day trips by steam from London or elsewhere. What would traders make of an extra 4-500 visitors pouring into their town, at any time of the year? 

And if Stratford, the original goal of the revivalists four decades ago, is ever reached, ‘gold mine’ would be an understatement. 

The huge success of the Broadway extension has again showed the world just what heritage railways can achieve for the greater good, far beyond the enthusiast sector. Its results should now boost widespread support, including that of local councils and grant-funding bodies for the push into towns and tourist centres by other heritage lines. 

The Llangollen Railway’s building of its new Corwen Central station will again reap dividends for all concerned, and if any reader can help in any way, now is the chance to get on board with the next ‘big one.’

I was similarly delighted by the presentation of the Annual Awards (Small Groups) to the Helston Railway, for its marvellous re-creation of the original GWR pagoda building at Truthall Halt. 

Cornwall is a county steeped in history at every twist and turn, and while they might have been forgiven for settling for a modern functional ‘bus shelter’ at their first reopened station, the revivalists have excelled to re-create a part of local heritage and add to the Duchy’s legacy. 

At 14 miles, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is now established as a big player, but Helston has demonstrated that small can also be beautiful, too!

Robin Jones, Editor

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