Branch Line Society
Branch Line Society
Branch Line Society
Sat 23 Jul 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

Wycombe Wanderer
Saturday 13 August 2016

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.


BLS member Standard Class fare £65.00

Accompanied under 18s 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.

Wycombe Wanderer  Wycombe Wanderer booking form (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

All bookings using this form should be sent to Jill Everitt, Fixtures Team, Branch Line Society, 4 Barnside Way, Moulton, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 8PT.  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 Jill Everitt, by email to or by telephone to Kev Adlam on 01270 662 396 Monday to Friday between 20.30 and 21.30 only please.

A Tale of Two Ports
Monday 29 August 2016

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 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 LoopPORT 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. 


Member - Standard Class £89.00
Member - First Class £129.00

Accompanied under 18s 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.

A Tale of Two Ports A Tale of Two Ports booking form (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

All bookings using this form should be sent to Kev Adlam, Fixtures Secretary, Branch Line Society, 53 Kemble Close, Wistaston, Crewe, Cheshire 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, preferably by email to  or by telephone (if essential) to 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 approximately 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 20 JULY 2016:  Details of the tour as presently offered are given below. These are still undergoing work by JHR and we hope they will not change significantly.

The tour will be offered on a train-only basis, starting from Amman on 10 November 2016, ending in Aqaba Port on the Red Sea on 14 November.  Cost of the tour will be £700. A minimum of 25 bookings are required and if this is not reached by the cut-off date of 30 September, the tour will be cancelled.

Tour Outline
Outline details of the tour are as follows with two sections of the tour operated by British-built steam locos: Details can be found at
Day 1 10 November:
Amman Station, visit to Museum and locomotive depot / workshops requested, train to Al Mafraq (60km) and return to Amman station – Steam. Buffet lunch at Al Mafraq can be arranged.
Day 2 11 November:
Train from Amman station to Al Jiza (37.5km, Steam)(2 Hrs), Buffet Lunch can be arranged. Train onwards to Qatrana (Diesel) – 3.5 Hrs (67km). O/N stop.
Day 3 12 November:
Train south of Qatrana to Aqaba Railway to Ma’an.  El Hasa mine branch requested, along with train finishing the day in the former JHR station.  O/N stop.
Day 4 13 November:
Train from Ma'an – to Wadi Rum (7 Hrs, 120km). Visits to ARC loco depot and Aqaba Phosphate terminal line requested. O/N stop. Here Bedouin-style campsites with all facilities and entertainment are available or Bed and breakfast facilities are available Rum Village. - See more at:
Day 5 14 November:
Train from Wadi Rum to Aqaba Port. Visit to Aqaba loco depot requested.  End of tour.
Day 6 15 November:
If required, return to Amman by scheduled bus (NOT part of tour package), the fastest taking 4 hours (see or other travel / tourist options.

Queries and notifications:

BLS Jordan Tour Brochure  BLS Jordan Tour Brochure
BLS Jordan Tour Brochure Update 20 July 2016  BLS Jordan Tour Brochure - update 20 July 2016

Planned Future Events
Date Event Visit Type BLN Contact
(click to email)
04/08/2016 Spa Valley Explorer, 14:00 Brakevan railtour 1256 Glen Wells Open
13/08/2016 Wycombe Wanderer Chiltern Railways Tracker Tour 1259 Jill Everitt Open
20/08/2016 NEW - Signal Box visits 09:45 Harrogate to York line 1260 Nick Garnham Open
21/08/2016 Afternoon Mountsorrel railway walk; a branch running day 1260 Tom Gilby Open
28/08/2016 Weston Wharf Railway Near Oswestry; morning railtour 1260 John Cameron Open
29/08/2016 NEW - A Tale of Two Ports loco hauled tour Crewe 06:15 - York 09:30 - Ports of Sunderland and Tyne branches 1259 Kev Adlam Now Open
03/09/2016 NEW - Derby RTC visit 09:30 Signet Solutions visit
merged with 04/09/2016
1259 Paul Stewart Open
04/09/2016 NEW - Derby RTC visit 09:30 Signet Solutions coducted visit 1259 Paul Stewart Open
10/04/2016 Londonderry to Fintown and Difflin Lake Railways etc. TBA Geoff Blyth Planned
10/09/2016 Valley Line Tracker (2) Rare track by service train 1260 David Clark Open
18/09/2016 Summerfields Miniature Railways (Bedford MES); Fancott Miniature Railway visit under investigation TBA Bill Davis Planned
23/09/2016 Douglas Horse Tramway tour, 11:25-14:00 1262 Graeme Jolley Planned
30/09/2016 Eastleigh Lakeside Railway, afternoon railtour 1258 Jill Everitt Planned
02/10/2016 Apedale Valley Railway NEW 10:30 &13:00 railtour 1261 John Cameron Open
07/10/2016 SAVE THE DATE: potential loco-hauled tour; branch closing 1262 TBA Planned
04/11/2016 Epping & Ongar Railway 08:30 Very comprehensive tour 1257 Darren Garnon Open
05/11/2016 East Kent Railway / AGM 08:30 Very comprehensive tour 1257 Darren Garnon Open
05/11/2016 Evening presentation by Ian Mortimer with interval buffet 1257 Darren Garnon Open
06/11/2016 Kent & East Sussex Rly 08:30 Extensive railtour 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
26/12/2016 Boxing Day 10:00 private 10¼" gauge railway in Worcestershire 1261 Paul Stewart 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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