Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway, Thorne, Nr Doncaster
Latest News Page January 2013

Happy New Year to Everyone

First Train of 2012 in Thorne Memorial Park

From the Archives of 2012. Jordan has the honours of taking the first train of 2012 through the very improvised tape. The passengers giving a wave as the first train prepares to depart from the Thorne Central Station on Platform 1. Little did I and six plus other members realise the trouble and strife that was going to beset us in 2012 resulting in us not being around in 2013 to take part in the new seasons events on the Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway. Very much a repeat of 2000 at Sandtoft when what now seems to be a symbol of bad fortunes that follows us around a sort of dark cloud. In 2012 this bad fortune followed us to another venture that I had devoted seven years of dedicated voluntary work and expense to supporting but that's another story which will certainly be included in my memoirs.

Work continues on the Scissor Crossing into the New Year

4th January 2013 work continues in Thorne Memorial Park on the miniature railway to install a scissor crossing to enable a figure of eight circuit for train journeys. When we renewed and redesigned the former layout on the Sandtoft Miniature Railway the Railway Engineering Inspector and the insurance company advised against the use of facing points unless there was no choice as on this scale and especially with a mixed gauge track facing points and X crossings were a potential derailment hazard.  To the right the laying of the 5 inch gauge track on the inner circuit has now been completed in readiness for the new members 5 inch gauge rolling stock that should be in service for Easter 2013. One of thing that we had to do at Sandtoft was fence off the railway from the visitor areas, that is not in the park at Thorne. 

Coaches awaiting the start of the 2013 season on the CCLR

The 2013 operating season begins on the 5th and 6th January then every weekend thereafter for further information Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway No trains on the CCLR or buses were operating on New Years Day but the donkey's were busy in the mild sunny weather in a Cleethorpes that was packed out no car parking spaces by lunch time.   

Developments in Nottingham

The fortunes of passengers of rail passengers seems to have a similar black cloud that hovers above rail fares. Not a very good start to 2013 for many as the fares yet again go above the inflation level. The two views of Nottingham station platform 2 were taken just as 2012 was in its last days before the fare increases were to come into effect. Passengers using Nottingham Station face some disruption as reconstruction of the main entrance take place to the right we see an artists impression of what it will look like when the dust settles. This is the first time I have been on Nottingham station a station of character but sadly a noisy and a station filled with the smell of diesel fumes from trains standing in the station what a pity electrification has not yet reached here yet.

Whilst the rail network continues to use the polluting and noisy rolling stock the Nottingham tramway system enters phase two.  The construction of NET Phase Two will take three years first started in January 2012 with work being completed by late 2014, when it will open to the public. The works will be phased and completed in sections along the two new routes. It is very interesting to see the new route developments if you copy and paste this URL link you will see how the system will expand using the quiet and efficient modern trams are going to start the journey above the tracks and platforms of the Nottingham Railway Station: 

Ironically Nottingham operated electric transport with the first tramway that opened on the 1st January 1901. By 1936 the electric trolleybus had taken over fully from the trams. The last trolleybus ran on the 1st July 1966 thus allowing the diesel engine to rule until the first phase of the new tram system opened on the 9th March 2004. Perhaps our forefathers were not so wrong in using electricity for public transport even the trolleybus is set (so far) to return to Leeds to help Leeds reduce its pollution levels and provide a more attractive form of modern transport. Like the tram the trolleybus has seen a major facelift in many of the cities and towns around the world, just takes the UK to catch up.  Click here to see the latest trolleybus developments

Could this be the end of the Grimsby Immingham Tramway Remains

A visit on the 1st January 2013 revealed that the remains of the former Grimsby Immingham Tramway is now under threat. The tramway closed in 1961 but remains were to be found in several locations many at the location as you see above. At one time it was possible to see some grooved tram rail as it curved around to run alongside the main railway line. This may have been removed in the 1990's when a gas pipe line was laid.  The tram shelter on Queens Road has survived against all odds as have the very unusual concrete traction poles. Work has now started on a major scheme on land next to the former track bed that linked the road section to the former tracks that ran alongside the railway line between  Immingham Docks and Grimsby.

Above left is the entrance to the site  which has now been totally fenced off and CCTV cameras put in place. Middle is the top part of the traction pole with insulator hanging down after the span wire was removed. To the right two poles that once had a span wire between them to carry the main overhead running wire. With surveyors level markers now in place for a new roadway these poles are now possibly going to be removed. Any chance of a Grade 2 listing?

Nearer to Grimsby on Gilbey Road a single tram track laid on this bridge part of which takes the road over the Great Coates Sidings and line from Grimsby Docks connects to main line from Doncaster to Cleethorpes. The street lamp in the middle photograph is not all it seems as it has been inserted into the cut off remains of a steel traction pole that once supported the tramway overhead power lines. 

A map of the tram route. In the middle the residents of these houses up until 1961 were along the tram route, as one resident told me he grandparents remember when everything used to rattle in the houses. To the right is the Grimsby terminus of the tramway. The trams had permission to go over the famous Corporation Bridge but the extension never took place due to the delays in the building of the bridge. 

A view of the Grimsby end of the Corporation Bridge. The tramway that operated between Grimsby and Cleethorpes was never connected to the Grimsby Immingham system but there are remains of the tramway shed dating from 1925. Stagecoach now operate their fleet of motorbuses from the former tram depot that still contains the original tram tracks, 

Progress with the steam  locomotive Remus 28th January 2013

The steam locomotive Remus built in 1983 that once operated on the now closed Sandtoft Miniature Railway and from 2000 at the Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway until 2012 is still undergoing a major overhaul. In the left photograph we see Madeline Roberts posing for a photo shoot. Madeline is singer and presenter on the Doncaster Radio Station Sine FM. To the right we see Jordan with the newly repainted cladding. The chassis of the locomotive is presently with Harold Dyson who originally built the locomotive. 

The boiler cladding, a trick of photography using flash the all are painted the same colour the first one is the same shade as the other four. To the right the cab and the side tanks still in the process of being lined out by Jordan.

The Sheffield Supertram system in the snowfall Monday 21st January 2013

Towards the end of January after such a mild start to the month the third week reminded us of winter snow with some heavy falls as can be seen here at Sheffield. More photographs appear on the "Robert Ashton" Facebook taken on Monday 21st January 2013. 

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