Branch Line Society
Branch Line Society
Branch Line Society
Tue 24 May 2016
Dullingham 200500. © Tim Whelan EMT 156403 on Peak Rail at Rowsley South with Branch Line Society East Midlands Tracker Railtour from Derby, forming the second passenger train over the connection from Network Rail at Matlock, 26.08.12. (Photograph © Iain Scotchman with permission and trackside escort). 507001 750V Tracker Railtour at Southport 18/01/2015

Society Tours, Trips and Visits

The Society maintains an active programme of varied outdoor fixtures, and these are run primarily for members. In some cases, especially major train charters we are pleased to accommodate non-members. A summary of planned events can be found at the foot of this page.

Members receive 24 newsletters per year (UK and International versions area available,) priority information, booking preference, lower fares, a free annual copy of Passenger Services Over Unusual Lines and valuable discounts on sales. Some fixtures are 'members only' Join the Society today!

Our Next Railtours

Turbo Prop Tracker Saturday Sat 2 July 2016
Class 170 Farewell Sunday Sun 3 July 2016

The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce its next exciting twin-charter in conjunction with TransPennine Express (TPE), saying farewell to the Class 170 DMUs before they move to Chiltern Railways.  Using 2 x 2-car Class 170, this exciting and highly unusual charity fund raising railtour includes many highlights, whilst providing a wide variety of sidings and crossovers.  All profits will be donated to TPE's nominated charities Prostate Cancer UK and Railway Children.  As usual, our fund raising activity will be supported by a raffle, a quiz and the opportunity to purchase souvenirs of the trip.  It is anticipated real ales will be available for sale for part of the journey on Sunday.  Our ROUTE, validated by TPE, is as follows:

Turbo Prop Tracker – Saturday 2 July
Manchester Airport P4 (PU 18.10) – Longsight DGL – Mayfield Loop – Manchester Piccadilly P13Manchester Oxford Road P1 (PU 18.37) – Glazebrook DPL – Warrington Central (RM) – Warrington Central Carriage Sidings (RM) – Warrington Central (RM) – Manchester Oxford Road P2 (RM) – Trafford Park West Reversing Siding (RM) – Manchester Oxford Road P1 (RM) – Eccles UGL (RM) – Manchester Victoria P6 – Philips Park South Jn – Stalybridge (RM) – Gorton Dn Goods – Ardwick East Jn (Up Line) – Manchester Piccadilly (SD 21.23 / RM) – Longsight Up & Dn Goods – Manchester Airport P4 (SD 22.12)

TPE Class 170 Farewell – Sunday 3 July
Manchester Airport P4 (PU 09.25) – Manchester Piccadilly (PU 09.48 / RM) – Guide Bridge Up & Dn Loop – Romiley – New Mills UGL – Chinley South Jn – Great Rocks – Buxton XYZ Up Relief Sidings (RM) – Great Rocks Dn & Up Through Siding – Chinley East Jn – Sheffield – Brightside Up & Dn Goods Loop – Kilnhurst Up Goods – Cadeby Up Goods – Doncaster 2 Way Goods – Adwick – Carcroft Jn – Skellow Jn – Hatfield & Stainforth – Barnetby Dn Goods – Grimsby Pasture Street Loop – Cleethorpes P3 (SD / RM) – Fuelling Apron (RM) – Cleethorpes P4 (RM) – Carriage Wash (RM) – Cleethorpes P3 (PU / RM) – Scunthorpe – Bentley Jn – Hexthorpe Jn – Sheffield – Hazel Grove P1 – Stockport Dn Goods – Manchester Piccadilly (SD 18.24).

Chinley to Buxton and return is subject to final confirmation of route conductor availability.  All timings are provisional.  Passengers wishing a longer break at Cleethorpes will be able to alight before the shunting commences.  The return from Cleethorpes to Manchester Piccadilly will be a special timed run aiming to complete the 113.25 mile journey in less than 2 hours and 10 minutes via the Doncaster avoider.


Turbo Prop Tracker - Saturday only - BLS member Standard Class fare £30.00
TPE Class 170 Farewell – Sunday only -  BLS member Standard Class fare £70.00
COMBINED FARE FOR BOTH DAYS – BLS member Standard Class fare £85.00

Accompanied under 16s benefit from a £5.00 reduction in all fares whilst non-members are subject to a £12.00 surcharge.

Please note that we are unable to accept bookings from unaccompanied under 18s.  Priority will be given to those booking for both charters.  First Class is limited to only eight seats per set – please enquire if you wish to book First Class.

Turbo Prop Tracker Saturday 2 & TPE Class 170 Farewell Sunday 3 July 2016  Turbo Prop Tracker Saturday 2 & TPE Class 170 Farewell Sunday 3 July 2016 (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

All bookings using this form should be sent to Kev Adlam, Fixtures Team, Branch Line Society, 53 Kemble Close, Wistaston, Crewe CW2 6XN. If you do not have an email address please provide a stamped self-addressed envelope with your booking, and a second if an initial acknowledgment of receipt is required. All queries should be directed to Kev Adlam, by email to or by exception telephone on 01270 662 396 Monday to Friday only between 20.30 and 21.30. Note that tickets are NOT transferable and no smoking is permitted aboard the train. The Society will not accept any liability arising from changes imposed by any third parties (either before or on the day) or any consequences of any late running that may occur. Please note no refunds will be entertained on cancellations within 48 hours of the tour. Tickets will be sent out seven days before the tour – where possible this will be an e-ticket with a souvenir ticket being provided on the train.

Jordan Hedjaz Railway Tour
10-17 November 2016 provisionally

Jordan Hejaz RailwayThe increasing variety and expanding range of our BLS fixtures reaches a new level… A chance to broaden your horizons and try something completely different along with some familiar faces in amazing landscape! 73,500 British Nationals safely visited this fascinating historic Kingdom in 2014. The 1,050mm (approx 3'5½"!) gauge Hejaz Railway, the target of several notorious demolition attempts by Lawrence of Arabia, ceased operations in 2011. Recently excursions (Saturdays only) for locals have become available from the capital, Amman to El-Jiza which are available to tourists but poorly advertised. Charters are operated north to Mafraq and south to Qatrana. South of Qatrana to Menzil the former line is reportedly OOU. With thanks to our member Iain Scotchman, expressions of interest are invited, from members and non-members as soon as possible, to assess the viability of a BLS diesel charter (BLS T&Cs apply) on a cost sharing basis. For an idea of distance, it is 95 miles by road between each end. The line would be covered over two days, based at Amman Airport Hotel, (British Airways & Royal Jordanian Airlines direct Heathrow flights). Iain is also investigating with his Jordanian contacts the possibility of travelling further south to the Aqaba Railway Corporation section, which transports phosphates to the port of Aqaba (over 150 miles from Qatrana by road; the railway is much longer). Note this is only an aspiration at present.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2016:  The possibility (not booked yet) of riding the much sought after Aqaba Railway freight lines from the central Jordan potash mines to the Red Sea port of Aqaba via Wadi Rum has arisen. Realistically, more time is required to investigate this; therefore, the decision has been taken to re-date the trip from 10-17 November (provisionally). It is not certain how many days would be needed, probably five. It is evident that more people will come for the enhanced itinerary (cheaper per head). Provisional itinerary:

 · Day 0: Arrive Amman, direct or via Israel (interesting loco-hauled services option available). 
 · Day 1: JHR Amman (museum and Depot visit) - Al Mafraq - Amman - El-Jiza.
 · Day 2: JHR - El Jiza - Qatrana (first three nights in Amman Airport Hotel if available).
 · Day 3: Qatrana to El-Abyad Mine (closed?) - El Hasa (probable northern limit of ARC operations) train if these links are actually operational/easily restorable or coach if not. Overnight in Karak?
 · Day 4: ARC El-Hasa Mine - Ma'an - Depot visit ? Overnight in Petra?
 · Day 5: Ma'an - Aqaba Potash Terminal - Wadi Rum - Aqaba port, Depot visit. Stay in Aqaba.
 · Day 6: Aqaba to Amman by coach. Potential Petra etc add-on.

Queries and notifications:

BLS Jordan Tour Brochure  BLS Jordan Tour Brochure (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Planned Future Events
Date Event Visit Type BLN Contact
(click to email)
31/05/2016 Sutton Coldfield MES 18:30 Comprehensive visit 1254 Kev Adlam Open
Scottish Minor Railways Aberdeen/Perthshire 1246 Terry Velvick Notify
10/06/2016 Glaschu Tracker Full day on public services 1256 Kev Adlam Open
11/06/2016 Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway, 2ft gauge 09:00-12:00 1256 John Cameron Open
12/06/2016 Nottingham NET tour 09:00 Newly Extended Tracker II 1255 Kev Adlam Open
16/06/2016 Middleton Railway 18:00 very rare track fixture 1257 Kev Adlam Open
23/06/2016 Achilles Heel Trekker 10:30 Crewe-Watford Junction 1256 Kev Adlam Open
24/06/2016 Guided railway walk NEW 10:30-13:00 Hitchin TBA Bill Davis Open
Docklands Explorer 22:55 Friday-Saturday morning 1256 Glen Wells Open
02/07/2016 Turbo Prop Tracker 18:10-22:12 Manchester area 1255 Kev Adlam Open
03/07/2016 TPE Class 170 farewell Tracker railtour 09:25-18:24 Manchester Piccadilly to Cleethorpes 1255 Kev Adlam Open
09/07/2016 Chiltern Tracker III railtour Chiltern Railways railtour TBA TBA Claimed
19/07/2016 Derby Roundhouse 14:00 Conducted tour and bus to: 1257 John Cameron Open
19/07/2016 Eggington Junction to Derby Friargate GNR trackbed walk 1257 John Cameron Open
04/08/2016 Spa Valley Explorer III 13:30 Brakevan railtour 1256 Glen Wells Open
29/08/2016 NEW Save the Date Loco hauled Bank Holiday Tracker TBA TBA Claimed
BLS 61st AGM weekend Kent area, 4 fixtures open 1257 Darren Garnon Open
Jordan Hejaz Railway BLS Tour (3'5½" gauge) Special train 150+ miles of rare lines in Jordan
Provisional new date (enhanced)
1250 Iain Scotchman Open

Please note that although dates are given as far in advance as possible, in order to allow a measure of planning by intending participants to take place, they must be treated as only provisional until an event is actually opened for bookings, as changes can and do occur.

Further tours are in the planning stages.

Participation in any Society event is subject to the Society's Standard Booking Terms and Conditions for Fixtures

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