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.
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Our Next Railtours
Starting at 22.00 and finishes after a visit to Beckton Depot visit at 07.32 Saturday morning, the weekend of maximum daylight. Accommodation now available for non-members and a repeat trip is not envisaged. Stratford International rare P2 departing 22.00; covering considerable very rare track on the DLR (not available at any other time). Includes Bank Turn Back Siding, Stratford Middle Road both ways, Mudchute P3 and Beckton Depot etc. Breaks include an hour at Beckton (24-hour supermarket with toilets). Cost £40, non-members £50. Bookings, with names of each person and cheque or Card Payment Authority payee 'Branch Line Society' see http://goo.gl/Oje70q to Glen Wells, 48 Eastville Avenue, Rhyl, LL18 3TN. Advise email address or send sae (two for acknowledgement) if no email. Any queries: email@example.com if no email: ☎ 01745797902. Please help us to fill this unusual railtour which is also raising money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care service.
Turbo Prop Tracker Saturday Sat 2 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
TPE Class 170 Farewell – Sunday 3 July
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 2 & TPE Class 170 Farewell Sunday 3 July 2016 (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
The Branch Line Society is delighted to announce its next exciting charter in conjunction with Chiltern Railways. Using a 3-car Class 165, this exciting and highly unusual charity fund raising railtour includes many highlights, whilst providing a wide variety of sidings and crossovers including Oxford Parkway. The project effectively completes our coverage of unusual lines on the Chiltern network until the Banbury remodelling and Oxford Parkway to Oxford sections are completed. All profits will be donated to Chiltern Railway's nominated charities Railway Children and Home Start. As usual, our fund raising activity will be supported by a raffle, a quiz and the opportunity to purchase souvenirs of the trip. We plan to provide a trolley service of drinks and light refreshments, and real ales will be available for sale.
Our ROUTE, validated by Chiltern Railways and bid to Network Rail, is as follows:
Marylebone (PU 10.53) – Wembley – Northolt Down Loop – West Ruislip Up Sidings (RM) – South Ruislip (RM) – West Ruislip Down Spur (RM) – West Ruislip (RM) – High Wycombe P1 bay (RM) – High Wycombe Engineers Siding (RM) – High Wycombe P1 bay (SD 13.15 / PU 14.35 / RM) – High Wycombe ME139 signal (RM) – Princes Risborough UML – Bicester Village – Bicester Depot Goods Loop – Oxford Parkway (RM) – Banbury Road Sidings (RM) – Oxford Parkway (RM) – Bicester Village Run Round Loop – Bicester South Junction (RM) – Bicester North (RM) – Bicester North Engineers Siding (RM) – Bicester North (SD 17.40 / RM) – High Wycombe P2 (SD 18.10 for 18.34 loco hauled back to Birmingham) – West Ruislip (SD 18.30) – Marylebone (SD 19.00).
All timings are provisional.
Wycombe Wanderer booking form (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
A Tale of Two Ports
We finish August with a very special loco-hauled charter train operated by GBRf featuring two Class 66/7 locomotives operating in top 'n tail mode. The two main highlights are the significant branches to the Port of Sunderland where we expect to proceed beyond the Network Rail boundary and to the Port of Tyne where we also expect to proceed beyond the Network Rail boundary. A leg stretch and photographic break have been scheduled for Newcastle. Our coaching stock will be air-conditioned Mark Two vehicles supplied by Riviera Trains.
A donation for private owner infrastructure access will be made to Port of Sunderland's nominated charity, Seafarers UK www.seafarers.uk and similarly to a charity/charities nominated by the Port of Tyne. As usual, our fund raising activity will be supported by an on train raffle with a range of exciting prizes. A catering service will provide a range of cold drinks, snacks and light refreshments. There will be an opportunity to purchase souvenirs of the day, and at least three real ales will be provided. Participants will receive the usual souvenir ticket, a comprehensive tour brochure including a detailed route description, track map and timing sheet to aid their enjoyment.
Our ROUTE, validated by GBRf and now bid to Network Rail, is as follows:
Crewe (PU 06.15) – Stoke-on-Trent (PU 06.45) – Colwich – Lichfield Chord – Burton Up Goods – Derby (PU 08.00) – Beighton Jn – Ferrybridge North Jn – York (PU 09.30) – Darlington Down Bypass – Ferryhill (RM) – Norton-on-Tees East Jn* – Cliff House Down Goods Loop – PORT OF SUNDERLAND (RM beyond Network Rail boundary) – Ryhope Grange (RM) – Sunderland P1 – Boldon North Jn – PORT OF TYNE (RM beyond Network Rail boundary) – Boldon West Jn – Pelaw Down Goods Loop – King Edward Bridge North Jn – NEWCASTLE (break) – High Level Bridge – Pelaw Up Goods Loop – East Boldon Up Loop – Sunderland P4 – Hartlepool Up Main – Norton-on-Tees West Jn* – Ferryhill (RM) – Darlington Up Goods – York (SD 19.15) – Ferrybridge North Jn – Moorthorpe Up Goods Loop – Masborough Jn – Up Canklow Goods – Derby (SD 20.45) – Burton Down Goods – Lichfield Chord – Colwich – Stoke-on-Trent (SD 22.00) – Crewe (SD 22.30).
* Routing at Norton is subject to box opening. Route and timings are provisional and subject to validation by Network Rail.
A Tale of Two Ports booking form (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Jordan Hedjaz Railway Tour
The 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).
Queries and notifications: firstname.lastname@example.org
BLS Jordan Tour Brochure (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Planned Future Events