Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Post Office Railway

I admin various web locations looking at individual themes relevant to The Forsythe Collection (a large part of which is at York). One is called Railway Philately on Facebook. A new upload shared the picture below and said "Mail by rail, should - famously - include the Royal Mail's own electric tube railway under London. Now mothballed. One of the 1927 units is on display in National Railway Museum York. Here it is on 26th February 2013. Two electric power units sandwich a low slung carrier with containers for the mail (white item). See".  Explore further at .

Monday, 22 July 2013

An A4 and a Royal Birth

The NRM knows about co-incidence. is the breaking news about the new Royal Baby. Inside it however Prince Charles' schedule for today saw him being hauled by an A4 into the NRM Great Hall.

Also see .

Monday, 15 July 2013

Mallard 75

Everyone at the NRM will be very relieved that the Mallard 75 event is proving very popular and with lengthy queues (water and fruit provided) to see the engines. The event I read has far outstripped the 2012 Railfest.  There are some leads like the NRM's own take. A Daily Mail report. The Daily Telegraph story. I have not been myself but did go to Shildon to see the finished Dominion of Canada. Trip advisor has given very good reviews. More or less co-incidentally all the closure stories have been put to bed.

On he 19th July the NRM reported that 140,000 people had visited the A4s at York since 3rd July. A Flickr album for the event is here.

Slipped into the NRM Twitter feed on the 12th July was confirmation that Paul Kirkman who has been acting director since November 2012 is now confirmed in the post as director. " As we see record figures for we're happy to announce appointment of new Director, Paul Kirkman, who joined last Nov on secondment". 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Eastern Region E Numbers

This piece of study directly relates to the Forsythe Collection in the NRM Search Engine archives. The text in an earlier version was previously in my own website. When this upload was made another one went to Facebook Notes.

Corrected to 21.06.2013


For a fuller understanding of British Railways pocket timetable practice, an appreciation of the regional referencing systems used is beneficial. Once these systems can be listed a picture of what was issued becomes clearer. In the following paper an attempt to catalogue the known use of ER references is undertaken. The system was not totally constant throughout the period, but the core annotation was an E number. Earliest use may be E400 in 1951.

The pattern that follows consists of the E numbers in numerical order followed by the timetable name, and the extremities of the known dates to which the number was applied to this issue. The known dates reflect my collection. Thus some WYPTE lines may appear to cease to use the E number earlier than the probable actual date of May 1982. This reflects missing timetables. It will also be possible to guess where dates may be extended by comparing sequences. This has not been done nor has a full account of different timetable types been made. Some cryptic notes about type for individual entries may be seen as my working notes.

Obviously anomalies exist. Perhaps the most intriguing arise in the later 1980s. At this time, York took over promotional responsibility for certain LMR lines, and so E numbers exist for routes like the Cumbrian Coast. Likewise Birmingham took over Anglian Provincial/Regional lines and ceased using E numbers. The routes which it appears can claim the longest E number life are former ER routes which were not passed to the Birmingham office (the former NER routes had operated their own system references prior to the ER takeover).  So, some NSE routes carried on using E numbers for a period, thus E408 was used continuously for Cambridge route timetables between at least 1957 and 1988. Another group of candidates (as time has passed) come from North Eastern local services (see below).

E numbers remained in use by some sectors for a very long time as careful perusal of the list will show - essentially, I believe, material from the York publicity office (CAS EAST >RRNE> Northern Spirit>Arriva Trains Northern) will carry E numbers (despite the fact that once York was the NER office!). E41, E61, E63 and E65 rival E408 above in lasting a solid 30 years from 1972-2002 which since this was a period of continual change in many respects, as our leaders tell us, was some achievement. In 1987 a new series from E1 was issued for Intercity cards. These show how E numbers are being issued off the former Eastern region. I am fairly definite E numbers came to an end when in 2003 ATN moved to a new 1/3 A4 timetable format. Timetables issued in the autumn of 2002 were the last to carry them. This usage is not yet entirely reflected in this table which was first prepared in the early 1990s.

E numbers were not universal on the Eastern Region though nearly so. Another system known in the late 1950's used PP/xxx/xx as the identity mark. Early Paytrain guides appear under a C numbering scheme (c1970). Timetables also carried other reference numbers, most noticeably a BR35xxx/xx number. This too was often static for decades.

The arrival of feedback (and even unsolicited donations of relevant material) is a good excuse to do some updating so it is encouraged. In this regard I wish to thank Duncan Burnett of Sheffield.

E1    Scunthorpe-Doncaster-London IC card                      1987-1993
E2    Retford-Newark-London            IC card                 1990-1993
E3    Scarborough-York-London    IC card                       1987-1993
E4    Bradford-Leeds-London IC card                            1988-1993
E5    Boston-Grantham-London                IC card            1987-1993
E6    Sunderland-Newcastle-London    IC card                   1988-1993
E7    Durham-Darlington-London               IC card           1989-1993
E8    Yarmouth-Norwich-London   IC card                        1987-1988
E8    Middlesbrough-Darlington-London     IC card              1989-1993
E9    Ipswich-Manningtree-London  IC card                      1987-1988
E9    Peterborough-London   IC card                            1992
E10    Diss-Stowmarket-London   IC card                         1987-1988
E10    Grimsby-Lincoln-London                      IC card      1989-1993
E11    Huddersfield-Wakefield-London   IC card                  1988-1993
E12    Harrogate-London             IC card                     1988-1993
E13    Edinburgh-Berwick-London                     IC card     1988-1993
E14    Aberdeen-Dundee-London    IC card                        1988-1993
E16    Hull-London             IC Card                          1990-1993
E17    Aberdeen-Edinburgh-Newcastle   IC card                   1989-1993
E18    Darlington-Newcastle-Glasgow              IC card        1989-1990
E18    Glasgow-Newcastle-York IC card                           1991-1993
E19    Edinburgh-Newcastle-York      IC card                    1989-1993
E20    Edinburgh-Newcastle-Peterborough  IC card                1989-1993
E21    Leeds-Manchester-Liverpool   (E170 cross refs on tt)     1981-1982
E22    Durham-Darlington-York       IC card (from E30)          1991-1993
E23    Darlington-Durham-Newcastle   IC Card (from E31)         1991-1993
E26    Scotland-North East-Cleveland-London IC Ubt              1989-1991
E27    Yorkshire-Humberside-London                              1989-1991
E30    Durham-Darlington-York       IC card (onto E22)          1991
E31     Darlington-Durham-Newcastle   IC Card (onto E23)         1991
E39    Lincoln-Nottingham                                       1984
E41    Hull-Scarborough or vv                                   1972-2002
E42    Spalding-Peterborough                                    1972-1980
E42    Lincoln-Spalding-Peterborough/Cambridge                  1980-1982
E42    Doncaster-Cambridge or Peterborough                      1983-1992
E43    Doncaster-Cleethorpes                                    1976-1986
E43    Leeds/Sheffield-Doncaster-Cleethorpes                    1989
E43     Cleethorpes-Manchester Airport                           1998-2002
E44    Barton on Humber - Cleethorpes                           1974-1976
E44    Hull-Cleethorpes Humberlink                              1981-1998
E45    Sheffield-Retford-Cleethorpes                            1972
E45    Retford-Cleethorpes                                      1976-1977
E45     Huddersfield-Lincoln                                     1998-2002
E46    Newark-Cleethorpes                                       1972-1992
E47    Lincoln/Grantham-Skegness                                1972-1986
E47    Derby-Skegness                                           1989-1992
E48    Lincoln-Sheffield                                        1972-1974
E48    Sheffield-Lincoln/Cleethorpes                            1978-1984
E48    Sheffield-Retford-Lincoln/Cleethorpes                    1986-1992
E49    Grantham-Nottingham                                      1972-1987
E50    Sheffield-New Mills                                      1977-1982
E51    Hull-Goole/Selby(-York/Leeds)                            1978-1993
E52    Huddersfield-Clayton West-Sheffield                      1972-1982
E52A    Huddersfield-Clayton West-Sheffield                      1972
E53    Leeds-Harrogate-York                                     1972-1982
E53A    Leeds-Harrogate-York                                     1972
E54    Leeds-Goole                                              1972-1982
E55    Leeds/Bradford-Ilkley                                    1972+1973-1982
E55A    Ditto  but West Riding issue                             1972
E56    Sheffield-Pontefract-York Paytrain issue?                1972?
E56A    Ditto                     West Riding issue              1972
E56    Ditto                                                    1973?-2002
        by now title is York-Sheffield (this line has a very
        complicated tt history)
E58    Chelmsford-London                                        1986
E59     Hull-Sheffield                                           1998-2002
E60     Hull-Doncaster/Leeds                                     1998-2002
E61    Newcastle-Darlington-Teesside or Middlesbrough-Gateshead MC  1972-2002
E62    Bishop Auckland - Saltburn                               1972-1974
E62A    Ditto             Darlington                             1974-1981
E62     Ditto             Saltburn (some are from Stanhope)      1989-1993
E62    Darlington-Saltburn                                      1974-1981
E62     Newcastle/Bishop Auckland-Saltburn                       1998-2002
E63    Newcastle-Carlisle or Sunderland-Carlisle                1972-2002
E63a    Hadrian's Wall Bus                                       2000
E64    Newcastle-South Shields                                  1972-1981
E65    Middlesbrough-Whitby                                     1972-2002
E66    Newcastle-Berwick-(Edinburgh) or Berwick-Newcastle       1972-1993
E66     Chathill Newcastle                                       1998-2002
E67    Newcastle-York                                           1989-1991

E68-70 are unknown

E71    Ipswich-Felixstowe/Lowestoft                             1972-1987
E72    Cambridge-Ipswich                                        1972-1988
E73    Norwich-Cambridge                                        1972-1988
E74    Norwich-Yarmouth-Lowestoft                               1972-1988
E75    Norwich-Sheringham                                       1972-1988
E76    Ipswich-Norwich-Yarmouth                                 1975-1976
E77    Kings Lynn-Ely                                           1976-1982

E78-79 are unknown

E80    Windermere-Oxenholme                                     1987-1991
E81    Wickford-Southminster                                    1972-1981
E81    Carlisle-Barrow in Furness                               1988-1992
        York by now has lost the Southminster line
E82    Sudbury-Colchester                                       1975-1979
E83    Eastern Counties and the North  (see onto E178)          1958-1962
E83    Colchester-Clacton-Walton                                1972-1979

E84-89 are unknown

E90    Leeds/Bradford-Skipton                                   1972-1982
E91    Leeds-Bradford-Hebden Bridge                             1972-1981
E92    Leeds-Huddersfield-Marsden                               1972-1982
E93    Doncaster-Selby-York                                     1972-1991
E94    Leeds-York                                               1972-1982
E94    Sheffield-Doncaster-Cleethorpes/Hull                     1991-1992
E95     Leeds-Wakefield-Doncaster                                1973-1981
E95    Sheffield-Retford-Lincoln/Cleethorpes                    1990
E96    Leeds-Selby                                              1972-1981
E97    Leeds-Barnsley-Sheffield                                 1972-1982
E98    Sheffield-Doncaster                                      1972-1983
E99    Doncaster-Goole                                          1972-1980

E100-103 are unknown

E104    Newcastle-the Coast                                      1972-1976
E106    Leeds/Bradford-Ilkley                                    1968-1969
E108    York-Cardiff                                             1971-1973

E109-121 are unknown

E122    Leeds-Hull                                               1968-1980

E123-131 are unknown

E132    Newcastle-Doncaster                                      1972-1982

E133-135 are unknown

E136    Bradford-Leeds-London    (see also E156)                 1970-1987
E137    Leeds-London card                                        1986
E138    Leeds-Scarborough                                        1971-1990

E139-143 are unknown

E144    Leeds-Halifax-Liverpool                                  1971-1982
E146    Leeds-Bradford-Skipton-Morecambe                         1972-1978
E146    Leeds-Morecambe/Carlisle                                 1978-1993
E148    Leeds-Manchester card                                    1972-1973
E150    Newcastle-Durham-London    card                          1969-1978
Ditto                           folder                         1978-1984
E150    Sunderland-Newcastle-Durham-London Folder HST            1986-1987
E152    As next but card                                         1970-1973
E152    Hull-London (Folder CI and HST)                          1974-1987
E154    York-London                                              1968-1971
E156    Bradford-Leeds-London KC card and card folder (see also E136) 1970-1981

E157-159 are unknown
E160    As next but card                                         1968-1979
E160    Hull-Leeds-Liverpool (Folder CI)                         1980-1981
E162    Chesterfield-Sheffield-Liverpool cards                   1972-1974
E162    Humberside-South Yorkshire-Liverpool                     1980-1986
E164    Teeside-London KC card+HST card                          1969-1979
Ditto                  HST folder                              1978-1981
Ditto   Cleveland-London KC  HST Folder                          1981-1984
Ditto                        Intercity small folder (v.rare!)  1987-1988
E166    North East-West Country                                  1975-1976
E168    North East-South Wales                                   1974-1975
E168    North East-South West (Folder CI and HST)                1977-1985
E168    North East-Cardiff                                       1976-1977
E170    Newcastle-Liverpool     (fundamentally)                  1979-1999
                as MXE170 it was still being issued in 2003
E174    Leeds-Rotherham-Sheffield                                1970-1972
E178    Eastern Counties - East Midlands and the North           1969-1979
            (see from E83)
E180    York-Selby-London                                        1970-1983
E180    York-London                                              1983-1986
E180    Scarborough-York-London                                  1986-1987
E180    York-Leeds                                               1998-2002
E181    Leeds-York only, card folder                             1972-1973
E181    Leeds-Carlisle/Morecambe                                 1998-2002
E182    Leeds-Harrogate only, card folder                        1972-1973
E184    Leeds-Huddersfield only, card folder                     1973
E185    Leeds-Wakefield only, card folder                        1973
E186    Leeds-Sheffield only, card folder                        1973
E187    Leeds-Doncaster only, card folder                        1973
E188    Sheffield-Doncaster only, card folder                    1973
E189-199 are unknown

E200    Doncaster-Sheffield- Lincoln  - Eastern Counties         1973-1979
E202    Inter City Services to and from Stevenage                1975-1977
E202    Principal Train Services Stevenage HST Folder            1979-1980

E203-207 are unknown

E208    Royston-London                                           1974-1977
E210    Knebworth-London                                         1974-1977
E212    Brookmans Park-London                                    1974-1976
E214    Old Street-Drayton Park card                             1976
E216    Hertford-Hitchin                                         1976
E218    Welwyn Garden City-Moorgate   GN Electrics folders       1976-1981 
E220    Hertford North-Moorgate GN Electrics folders             1976-1981
E222    Wood Green-Moorgate GN Electrics folders                 1979-1981
E224    Royston-Kings Cross GN Electrics folders                 1978-1981
E226    Peterborough-Huntingdon-London   (Yourtrain)             1978-1981
E226    Peterborough-Huntingdon-London (Folder CI+HST+Intercity) 1982-1988
E228    Royston-Cambridge                                        1978-1981

E229-299 are unknown
E290    Named Trains from and to (ER London termini)             1957-1962

E300    Inter City Services from Newcastle Sunderland Durham     1972-1978
E300    Inter City from Leeds                                    1983-1986
E301    Inter City from Newcastle/Durham                         1983-1984
E302    Inter City Services from Darlington Hartlepool Middlesbrough 1972-1976
E302    Inter City from Doncaster                                1973-1985
E303    Inter City Services from Sheffield and Chesterfield      1972-1983
E304    Inter City Services from Hull                            1972-1973
E304    Principal Train Services from Selby                      1983
E305    Principal Services from LLS and Fenchurch Street         1969-1972
E305    Inter City from Wakefield                                1984-1985
E306    Inter City Services from London Kings Cross              1971-1975
E307    Inter City Services from Peterborough and Grantham       1969-1970
E307    Ditto without Grantham                                   1972-1979
E308    Inter City Services from Doncaster                       1972-1977
E309    Inter City from Hull                                     1985

Huge gap to E400


E400    London-Hull/Leeds/Bradford/Harrogate                     1951-1961
E402    London-Ely-Kings Lynn-Hunstanton                         1959-1964
E403    London-Sheffield                                         1956-1969
E403A    Ditto     card                                           1959-1960
E403    Ditto                                                    1970-1971
E404    London-Cleethorpes                                       1955-1980
E404    Cleethorpes-London                                       1980-1988
E405    London-Doncaster                                         1957-1960
E405    London-Doncaster-Scunthorpe  (See onto E437)             1968-1975
E406    As next but also Scarborough-Saltburn                    1955-1964
E406    London-Bridlington-Filey                                 1967-1968
E406    London-Peterborough-Doncaster-Scunthorpe   (see from E437) 1976-1977
E407    London-Lincoln                                           1959-1965
E408    Cambridge-London   (various folders and cards)           1957-1976
E408    Kings Lynn-London   (see also E450)                      1976-1988
E409    Bury St Edmunds-London                                   1956-1960
E409    London-Spalding-Louth                                    1964-1965
E409    London-Grimsby                                           1970
E410    London-Scunthorpe                                        1956-1961
E410    Cambridge-London                                         1988-1989
E411    London-Huddersfield/Halifax                              1956-1964
E411    London-Huddersfield                                      1966-1967
E412    Yarmouth-Lowestoft-London  or vice versa                 1956-1984
E412    Yarmouth-Diss-Manningtree-Stowmarket-London              1985
E412    Yarmouth-Norwich (and others)-London                     1985-1987
E413    London-Clacton                                           1970-1971
E414    London-Berwick Upon Tweed                                1958-1964
E414    London-Colchester-Clacton (see also E417)                1971-1973
E414    London-Colchester                          1970-1971+    1973-1981
E415    London-Gainsborough                                      1961-1963
E415    London-Kelvedon                                          1973-1976
E415    London-Marks Tey                                         1981-1982
E416    Sheffield-Penistone-Manchester                           1960-1969
E417    London-Clacton/Walton  (see also E414)                   1952-1967
E417    Huntingdon-London                                        1972-1976
E418    Colchester-London (see also E414) or vv                  1956-1966
E419    London-Sheringham                                        1956-1965
E419B    London-Norwich (no other stats, see onto E448)  1963 card 1964 CILF
E419    Ipswich-London                                           1970-1971
E420    Chelmsford-London                                        1956-1962
E420    London-Witham                                            1962-1980
E421    London-Southend                                          1972-1975
E421    London-Southend Victoria                                 1976-1981
E422    Maldon East-Witham and connections                       1960
E422    London-Walton on the Naze       (see onto E426)          1972-1981
E423    Braintree and Bocking-Witham  (see also E435-6)          1958-1960
E423    London-Harwich                                           1972-1981
E426    Clacton-Shenfield                                        1980-1981
E426    London-Chelmsford-Walton                                 1981-1982
E427    London LLS-Harlow Town card                              1962
E428    Ely-Norwich                                              1963-64
E430    Barking-Gospel Oak (see also E456)                       1981-1982
E431    Colchester-Clacton-Walton                                1963
E432    London-Norwich (see from E449)                           1966-1973
E432    Norwich-Diss-etc-London                                  1973-1982
E433    Ipswich-Chelmsford                                       1963-1980
E435    Braintree-Witham-Maldon (see from E423)                  1962-1963
E435    Maldon-Witham                                            1964
E436    Braintree-Witham (folders and cards)                     1970-1982
E437    London-Peterborough                                      1964-1965
E437    London-Peterborough-Retford                              1969-1974
E437    Retford-Peterborough_London                              1975-1976
E437    London-Peterborough-Doncaster-Scunthorpe   (see onto E403)  1976
E437    Scunthorpe-Doncaster-London (Folder HST)                 1979-1982
E438    London-Retford                                           1967-1968
E439    London-Barnsley                                          1964-1982
E439    Sheffield-London HST folder                              1983-1984
E440    London-Rotherham   (folders and cards)                   1964-1971
E440    Sheffield-Chesterfield                                   1982-1991
E442    Grantham-Lincoln                                         1959-1960
E443    Sheffield-Dronfield-Chesterfield                         1983-1984
E443    Hull-York card                                           1985-1986
E444    Hull-New Holland                                         1959-1960
E445    Lincoln-Cleethorpes                                      1963
E446    London-Chesterfield                                      1964-1971
E447    Norwich-Mundesley-Melton Constable                       1959-1960
E448    London-Norwich (only stats see from E419B)               1964-1965
E448    London-Colchester   Intercity small folder               1984-1988
E449    Wickford-Southminster  see onto E81                      1958-1960
E449    Norwich-London (see also E432) (no other sta)       1967-1968+1981-1985
E449    Ditto cards                                              1970-1980
E450    Boston-Lincoln                                           1959-1960
E450    Kings Lynn-Ely-London     (see onto E408)                1972-1976
E451    Norwich-Yarmouth-Lowestoft (see onto E74)                1958-1959
E452    Norwich-Dereham-Kings Lynn/Wells                         1959-1964
E452    London-Bishop's Stortford                                1975-1981
E453    Romford-Upminster                                        1958-1960
E454    Sheffield-Barnsley-Leeds                                 1963-1969
E455    Lincoln-Derby                                            1961
E456    Yarmouth-Lowestoft                                       1958
E456    Kentish Town-Barking  (see E430)                         1960-1961
E456    Liverpool Street-Shenfield                               1976
E458    Cambridge-Harwich and Bury-Marks Tey                     1959-1960
E458    London -Billericay-Southend Victoria                     1976-1977
E460    Cambridge-Peterborough-The North                         1961
E460    London-Southend Central   (see also E421)                1977-1981
E461    Audley End- Bartlow                                      1958-1963
E461    London-Wickford-Southend Victoria (see also E421)        1981-1982
E462    Trains from Sheffield for Businessmen                    1968-1969
E464    Sheffield-Penistone-Huddersfield                         1968-1969
E465    Sheffield-Grimsby-Cleethorpes                            1966-1969
E468    Norwich-Dereham-Kings Lynn                               1968-1969

    gap to E474
E474    Norwich-Sheringham                                       1967-1969

E476    Cambridge St Ives                                        1968-69
Huge gap from E477  to E522 save
E484    Manor Park-Liverpool Street                              1959

E522    Doncaster-Sheffield                                      1956-1965
E522    Sheffield-Doncaster-Hull                                 1972-1984
E523    Doncaster-Scunthorpe                                     1959-1966
E524    Sheffield-Barnsley                                       1960-1964

E525    Dronfield-Sheffield/Chesterfield                         1965

E526-528 are unknown

E529    London-Worksop                                           1960-1961
E530    Lincoln-Retford-Sheffield                                1966

    huge gap till

E603    Liverpool Street-Rochford    Peak Hours Services card    1970-1971
E605    Liverpool Street-Brentwood    Ditto                      1970-1971
E606    Liverpool Street-Ingatestone  Ditto                      1970-1971
E607    Liverpool Street-Marks Tey    Ditto                      1970-1971
E610    Liverpool Street-Chingford    Ditto                      1978
E611    Liverpool Street-Weeley       Ditto                      1970-1971
E612    Liverpool Street- Thorpe le Soken  Ditto                 1970-1971
E617    Liverpool Street-Kelvedon      Ditto                     1970-1971
E619    Liverpool Street-Chadwell Heath Ditto                    1970-1971

Copyright R N Forsythe              

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Culture minister re-assures

Thanks to my FB friend Thomas Edmondson for link

This is at least encouraging - Culture Minister says 'Museums not closing'

followed up with

The solution to the national museum funding problem .

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Archbishop of York is concerned

The controversy over the future of the National Railway Museum at York is now in the Archbishop of York's in tray .

Saturday, 8 June 2013

The Story Reaches Breakfast

The last news story on BBC Breakfast this morning a few minutes before 10 am. The plight of the Science Museum Group with the A4s to the fore. The museum contributor was David Fleming head of the National Museums on Merseyside. Of course my solution to the NRM was not there. It can stay a free museum by removing it from government and making the rail industry pay. A win win situation.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Ian Blatchford on the BBC

Worth making a headline although it is discussed two posts down. Today it has been the head of the Science Museum Group with a dire statement on BBC.  Let me say clearly if the situation is that bad, there is enough money in the British rail industry to carry its own museum paid by a levy on players in that industry. And if they don't want to do it, government could force them. You want to run, own, maintain trains on the network. You will pay this levy. And if the museum is made more accountable, no bad thing.

And then in the same day one reads a closure denial also a BBC report.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A Daily Mail Story

A good read and some wonderful pictures. But do you agree with the thesis?

The paper says

Record-breaking steam locomotive Mallard goes on display with two sister trains for first time to mark 75th anniversary of 126mph journey

  • In a scene not witnessed since the Thirties the three trains sit beside each other at York's National Railway Museum
and it is based on Bob Gwynne's from the Museum's quote.
'This is a very special sight because here we have a scene that hasn't been seen since the 1930s. We haven't seen this for 75 years or so.' 

How accurate is this? Surely at any time through to the mid 1960s, A4s could have assembled en echelon? If the debate is about garter blue and skirts, one of them on display is not in that state. And even if you focus on that, presumably it was possible into the 1940s. The 25th aniversary of the record was in 1963. I shall look into what if anything was done then. Of course, the Germans think the record is theirs.  As you can tell I am simply uncomfortable when Daily Mail hype carries away a museum.One of two of the people who have left comments with the paper have wised up to this.

Then I opened Wikipedia and was reminded "On the weekend of 5 July 2008, Mallard was taken outside for the first time in years and displayed beside the three other A4s that are resident in the UK, thus reuniting them for the first time since preservation."

David Farms was there and wrote this "Sunday 5th July. Wikipedia is not totally correct though. Mallard in Steam having been outside on a number of occasions prior to this date, Sir Nigel Gresley in steam as stand by for the "Special" and Bittern cosmetically restored as Silver Link were displayed for about two hours outside NRM. Mallard having pulled a "Special" from Doncaster. After that I believe. it took the special to Scarborough and back. Scarborough council having paid for the turntable there to be renovated."  The question now is whether in 2008 there were three or four together at York?

And whilst you look into this an interesting resource is here.

 I grant that when the six are together that will be a novelty that cannot have happened since at least 1963 when Mallard was withdrawn.

A Railway Magazine feature  August 2013 p14 details a late occasion when six BR A4s were together. It was May 12th 1966 at Aberdeen Ferryhill shed. 

Alarm Bells Ring

From my Facebook

Would it seem like a decade of mismanagement exemplified in the 4472 restoration and the allegedly cost free Mallard party that gets you to this
? For the railway museum I say cut it loose from government and hand it to the railway industry and the enthusiast.

Despite my great admiration for the NRM those who follow this blog will wise up to the thought that my own exposure to the inner workings of the operation and my reading of the media have led me to the conclusion it has been management light for quite some time. Over the last decade or so the parent SMG group has been in the same dock (reflect how Andrew Scott had to move from York to London to cover another's hiccup).  Now if this report is anything like accurate, the inevitable cannot be postponed for a lot longer.

I think there is a solution, I have given it above. But regardless of what I think, the real importance is that there is a proper debate. The NRM has fought shy of the media for about eight months now. That is not how you have a debate. Why does not the Institute of Railway Studies organise a proper debate in York about the future of the museum?  I have every reason to be concerned with a vast amount of my life's work there. However we did put safeguarding clauses into the sale contract against a change of circumstance.

Other reporting (please send links) The Science Museum Group boss with a worrying message.  York MP calls for a debate.


Monday, 27 May 2013

Dominion of Canada + Director Interviews

The finished job. 4489 at Shildon today 25th May 2013.  And more or less same time frame, the position for Museum Director is now advertised rather than acting Director. I believe Paul Kirkman is in the running and is probably front runner. The Guardian posted the advert on the 25th April 2013. And see here.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

NRM Development E news 1

Not every piece of news I get from the NRM I report on. But this first issue of a new newsletter is worth flagging over several self evident fronts.

The outgoing address NRM Development News

The Reply to

The content as delivered today:


Welcome to your new enewsletter from the NRM Development Team. Down the Line will bring you all the latest news and updates from the museum to show how your support really is making a difference to the work we do.

We will bring you details of upcoming projects and exhibitions that you can support, and information about special supporter events that we have planned for you throughout the year.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

New Look Station Hall
After two years of securing funds for the renovation of our Station Hall, we are pleased to announce that the project is now complete. Since moving the locos in 2011 and creating a new entrance to the space, we have focussed on objects, lighting and installations to recreate the sights and sounds of a working station. The Royal Platform is now richly decorated to display our collection of majestic royal carriages. Our passenger platform has been brought to life with objects and stories given to us by the public as part of our Station Stories hunt. Sound recordings are helping to tell the story of a running goods depot; while the chance to watch Nightmail and Terminus brings a whole new visual element to the space. An in depth account of the
project can be found in Ruth's blog.

Mallard 75
Our main focus so far this year has been raising sponsorship to reunite the six surviving A4 Pacific Class locos as part of the Mallard 75 celebrations. On 3rd July 2013 we will launch a spectacular series of events to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mallard achieving the world speed steam record. The centrepiece of the programme will be a one off grouping of the A4s around the turntable at the National Railway Museum, but will also include a unique exhibition It's Quicker by Rail at our Art Gallery, breathtaking lighting of the six locos as part of the Illuminate York festival, and a spectacular finale event and line up at our sister site in Shildon. Donors to the Mallard 75 project will receive special access to the A4 collection, and a certificate of recognition for any contribution made. Remember to visit our website for all the latest Mallard related news and announcements. To find out how you can support the Mallard 75 celebrations, please contact the development team.

Remember to  visit our website for all the latest Mallard related news and announcements:

Dates for your diary

2 May: Evening of Family Fun
This unique event will give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the Museum's most popular activities after hours.  With free steam rides, live drama performances, craft activities to take home, and a tour of the royal carriages, there is something for everyone.
*Please note that this event is for NRM Patrons and Corporate Partners only. To find out about the benefits of these schemes and how you can join, please contact the team:

23 May: Annual Dinner
This evening is an opportunity for us to welcome supporters and friends, old and new, in recognition of their tremendous ongoing support. We strive to position ourselves at the heart of the modern industry and debate, and trust that you will find the evening a great networking opportunity with other industry leaders.
*Please note that this event is for NRM Patrons and Corporate Partners only. To find out about the benefits of these schemes and how you can join, please contact the team:

7 June: Wilton Power Station Tour
An exclusive behind the scenes tour of Wilton International Site at Middlesborough. Guests will be taken on a plant tour of Sembcorp Main Power Station, the Control Room and Rail Head, and visit to the Transporter Bridge.
*Please note that this event is for NRM Patrons only. To find out about the benefits of this scheme and how you can join, please contact the team:

3 July: Mallard 75 Great Gathering Gala Dinner
Enjoy a drinks reception in Station Hall and exclusive preview of our new art exhibition, then move into the Great Hall for a unique chance to dine surrounded by the six surviving A4 locomotives. Hear the story of the Great Gathering from those who made it happen, and enjoy a sumptuous three course meal and coffee. Tickets for this spectacular event, at a cost of £75 each, are limited so book yours now:

14 September: Railways change lives
In partnership with The National Archives, we'll be holding a one-day conference at York to look at how railways have changed our lives, drawing on the archives and collections of the National Archives and our museum. Tickets, at a cost of £50, are limited and available on a first come, first served basis so book now at or download the full programme and speaker list here:
Note: On Saturday 7 September, The National Archives will host the same conference programme at Kew so that people from London and the South East can attend. Visit their website for details and to book online:

For further information on any of the above events, please contact the team directly. Thank you for your continued support. It is very much appreciated by everyone here at the museum

Best wishes,

The Development Team
t: 01904 686 285

Offers for supporters

Bachmann Midland Models
We would like to offer supporters the opportunity to purchase two of these exclusive models at a reduced price. Platinum Midland Compound £130 (save £40) Standard Midland Compound £110 (save £30)

Contact for more details

Great British Loco Pin Collection
A landmark tribute to our greatest British locomotives, each of these pins is an original, unique design, celebrating the greatest British locomotives of all time. Every pin comes with its own fascinating fact card, providing more of each train's story.

Find out more here:

Mallard 75 Memorabilia
A new range of exclusive Mallard 75 products will be available to purchase in the NRM shop from Saturday 30 March. The collection incorporates artwork designed around the loco's 4468 number, using Mallard's dynamic and beautiful new colouring.Visit the shop here:

Don't forget to add this email address to your safe senders list
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ. Tel 08448 153139 |