Recent content by Czesziafan

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    BR uniform badges - an anecdote

    A long time ago I was told by a retired railwayman that some staff took to substituting unofficial badges for the official BR issue, and for a very good reason. When the BR corporate uniforms were first issued in 1966 the lapel badges featured a cut out arrow symbol in brass or nickel, depending...
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    Baffling inscription on antique item of railway equipment

    Many years ago I was given an old railway key (which had had business end cut off) and have always wandered what the inscription on it means. it reads: BR (W) LM. Does anyone know what the "LM" means? It looks like the old type of door key everyone had at one time but the shaft is flat rather...
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    Northern holiday special trains

    How interesting this all is. Incredible memories and information which shows just how important the railways were, and the extent to which the operators would go to satisfy passenger requirements. You do not get that now. The pattern today seems to be shorter end-to-end through services, with no...
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    Northern holiday special trains

    I saw an interesting feature on BBC North West about the so-called Wakes Weeks - the complete shutdown of towns in the North West for the summer holiday fortnight during the 1950's. It showed shots of a train of ex-LMS stock leaving Blackburn crammed to the cant rails with holidaymakers. Does...
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    Caledonian Sleeper diversions

    Interesting, and it reminds me that once, in August 1976, I was on a return ADEX from Aberystwyth to Slough, which was routed non-stop through New St.
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    Caledonian Sleeper diversions

    Has the Caledonian Sleeper ever been diverted via Birmingham New Street, or via the GW&GC line between London and the midlands?
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    Wagons Lits stock in Eastern Europe 1935, but where exactly?

    Behrend gives a date of approximately 1931-1933 for these accounts. 1625873870 Unless the photo actually shows the Westbound service: according to Behrend "the empty sleepers of the capitalists returned rapidly to Stoplce, the Polish frontier station, there to await their passengers from...
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    First memories of a London terminus?

    Paris. Arriving at the Gare du Nord on the Night Ferry in 1979 in bitterly cold weather with deep snow everywhere. Gare d'Austerlitz on a stiflingly hot June evening in 1980 waiting for hours for the sleeper down to the South. Place seemed quite sleepy and hard to believe it was in the middle of...
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    Stations where spotters were not welcome

    New Street was the only place where I had any problems. On a more positive note many railwaymen were quite happy that someone other than grumpy commuters was taking an interest in their industry and working practices. Paddington stands out as one of these. One day back in 1975 I asked a ticket...
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    Wagons Lits stock in Eastern Europe 1935, but where exactly?

    According to George Behrend in "Grand European Expresses" the WL of the pre-war Nord Express ran onto USSR metals at the Soviet border station of Niegoroloye, where passengers transferred to the Russian gauge Soviet sleepers for the journey on to Moscow, with the empty WL stock returning to the...
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    Anthracite as a locomotive fuel

    Interesting. My parents had solid fuel central heating installed in 1965, that burned anthracite grains in a gravity-feed boiler. It had to be cleaned daily, using a pair of special steel tongs to lift the white-hot horseshoe shaped piece of clinker from the bottom of the furnace. The fuel was...
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    Stations where spotters were not welcome

    Not all stations or railwaymen seemed to welcome spotters. I remember in the mid seventies there was one inspector at Birmingham New St who seemed to hate spotters. On one occasion this official, having asked to see my ticket, told me in no uncertain terms to get my train home or he would get...
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    Wagons Lits stock in Eastern Europe 1935, but where exactly?

    Think I'll put that last bit on a separate thread.
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    Wagons Lits stock in Eastern Europe 1935, but where exactly?

    I remember travel writer Christopher Portaway got into a lot of trouble with the KGB when he visited Russia in the early seventies, ending up being deported. Closer to home in the mid seventies there was one inspector at Birmingham New St who seemed to hate spotters and I remember one occasion...

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