Monday, 6 April 2015
As some of you will know the Chase Line that Runs from Walsall, through Ryecroft Junction, Bloxwich, Cannock, Hednesford to Rugeley TV is undergoing pre-electrification work. Some bridges have been rebuild and in places track is being lowered to enable the Overhead Wire structures to be put into place. All work is due to be completed by 2017.
The chase line was constructed and was part of the South Staffs rail line and although outside the general scope of the South Staff Rail website thought Id post some pictures of the work being undertaken this Easter. More can be found at my Flickr account by clicking here
The main work this Easter included lowering the track through platform one and Park Street Bridge Walsall and under bridges at Bloxwich rd, Forest Lane and the Viaduct across the canal to enable sufficient clearance for the wires.
© Dave Cresswell 2015
Sunday, 1 March 2015
I have discovered today that all the pictures from the blog entries have been replaced by a grey triangle.
On investigation It turns out when Picasa and Google accounts merged, the blog pictures were stored in one of the albums and this got deleted by accident by me.
Ive re-added some pictures to the recent blogs where Ive been able to quickly. As my blogs go back some years would be too time consuming to do.
I realise that your reading of my past blogs will not be as informative without the visuals and can only apologise for my error in not fully understand the close tie-ins between Picasa and Google blogs.
Dave Cresswell March 2015
Saturday, 1 February 2014
My last blog was written after a stroll down the old South Staffs Rail line towards Brownhills. That was June 2014 and since then we have had autumn and winter pass by and today as I write this it’s starting to feel like spring.
As spring brings new life to plants and nature we all start to get excited in planning for summer holidays, the warmer weather (hopefully!) and days out.
Rail enthusiasts are also getting excited in our area and beyond because during half-term week this month (February) there are engineering work diversions for Cross Country Trains between Birmingham and Burton and Birmingham and Nuneaton.
During the weekdays Cross Country will be running some of their Birmingham – Burton – Derby & onwards service along the Cross City line via Lichfield City and Alrewas. Network Rail have asked and consulted with London Midland to reduce the frequency of services on the cross city line to accommodate these diverted services on what is already a very busy route. The revised Cross City time-table can be found here http://www.londonmidland.com/download/92410.5/170214-cross-city/ . So that’s one diversion over the former South Staffs line between Lichfield City and Burton upon Trent.
The really more exciting route for enthusiasts and others alike is that passenger trains to and from Nuneaton are to run via the Sutton Park line through Ryecroft Junction, Aldridge towards Water Orton and Castle Bromwich. Some Cross Country Nottingham – Cardiff services as well as Birmingham – Leicester (and onwards) passenger trains will mix in between the regular freight trains on this route. You may well be lucky to travel through platform 3 at Walsall going north now the link has been re-opened and re-signalled although I suspect most will be through platform 1. On the return you could be through what was platform 4 or platform 2 which is the most likely route.
Driver route knowledge updates have been under way for some time and indeed our friends of the Sutton Park line have witnessed this and the railcar in use. Click here to see their report http://loco-park.blogspot.co.uk/
Overall I think many people are going to buy a rail ticket just to travel on this area of the rail network that doesn’t see passenger diverted services often.
Whilst its not easy to give you a complete run-down here of what passengers services will use the diverted Sutton park Route here is a link to Realtime Trains website that many people use, showing some services through Park Lane Jn West Mids.
I’m away in Dublin the first part of the week but hope to traverse it both ways later in that week.
For those who like taking pictures you can get close to the Sutton Park line via the Streetly Gate at Sutton Park and walk down to the public crossing across the line. However whilst it’s a public right of way across the line please observe the usual safety precautions. I know its common sense but have seen people in the past standing in the middle of the four foot taking a picture without any due care or attention to approaching traffic on the line from other direction.
Enjoy this unique opportunity whilst you can but remember safety first for you, passengers and crew of these diverted trains as the line is going to be busier than normal.
Dave Cresswell – February 2014
Saturday, 29 June 2013
The view across the canal navigation.
I finished the walk off then by popping into the Hussey Arms near Brownhills Common (pictured below) for Cheese & Potato Pie (in pie pastry) and a pint.
Details about the South Staffs Railway can be seen at http://www.southstaffsrail.co.uk where you will find fascinating facts and more pictures past and present.
Comments are welcome on this or any of my blogs but please do not include links to other sites as they are automatically treated as spam and may get deleted.
Dave Cresswell – Summer 2013
Sunday, 13 January 2013
Most young lads when I was young wanted to be an engine driver or a signalman on the railway. Many took up train spotting so they could get nearer to their passion. Train spotting wasn’t really an interest for me but how the railway operated was.
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Back in the 1970’s before Virgin Trains, Cross Country, London Midland and all the other multitude of train operating companies (TOCs) we had an organisation called British Rail. This organisation ran the trains, maintained the track and signalling and all the employees belongs to one organisation, had road learned all the routes around the area they were based in etc.
It was a cold and frosty morning as this picture depicts but when you see even an engineering train on the line which last had a train on in 1993 you can understand the feeling of a new birth of a railway even though a very limiting one.
I returned later in the day and took more pictures which you can see at our South Staffs Rail website
The work on this stretch of line will still allow for the extension of the Midland Metro should the plans on running it over the Dudley Area of the South Staffs line to Walsall not be pushed back even further. The current working making this a turn back siding will cause less disruption to traffic movement through the lines at Bescot but also enable quicker turnaround of coal trains between the Sutton and Chasse lines.
These views expressed here are my own as I see things and not those of the South Staffs Rail Group in general Dave Cresswell
Monday, 1 October 2012
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Wednesday, 18 July 2012
Whilst station outlets and on board catering has changed there is an open market for delivering good quality food and drink at a reasonable price to the travelling public. And if it can offer something different like Moor Streets “Centenary Lounge” and at Snow Hill “Refreshments by Centenary Lounge” then that can only be good for business as well as the discerning public who like to be treated special. The manager of Centenary Lounge tells me that plans are far ahead for opening an establishment at Stourbridge Junction Station in the very near future and of course that was part of the Great Western Railway who knew how to do things in style.
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Saturday, 14 April 2012
“Rail travel reaches 90-year high” – That’s the headline in the industry newspaper “Railnews April 2012”
The railways these days is far from British but we all want to get from A to B on time at reasonable cost if possible but do we really care what the train company is called that tries to fulfil our requirements?
But of course if we do that the Treasury surely will lose out on monies because people wouldn’t be paying high taxes in fuel duties or tax on insurance premiums? If they travel by more economic public transport means.
Thursday, 2 February 2012
Saturday, 31 December 2011
For more on the South Staffs Railway line and group go to www.southstaffsrail.co.uk
Monday, 5 December 2011
For more info on the South Staffs Railway please click here southstaffsrail.co.uk