LATEST TIMETABLE NEWS
19/03/20 - We are pleased to announce the first additional timetable for the Stoke-on-Trent simulation. Set on a very busy Weekday in 1967.
Modernization arrived in Stoke-on-Trent in the early 1960's and Stoke Power Signal Box became operative in 1966. It replaced 14 Signal Boxes and Shunting Frames and reduced some of the boxes to to a ground frame. Two of those boxes, Stoke North and Stoke Junction were double manned 128 plus lever frame boxes. It would be called by some, "Stoke Shower".
In the original planning stages a choice had to be made between using Westinghouse or a company in Europe called M&L to accomplish the project as cheaply as possible. The old saying, "You get what you pay for" certainly became true in this case. From it's inception, Stoke Power was fraught with problems and failures.
Stoke at this time was extremely busy with local "trip" traffic, through and stopping freight, as well as a main and branch line passenger services. There were approximately 5 or 6 coal mines, a Steel works at Etruria as well as the Gas works at Cliffvale. Added to that was the Pottery industry with it's need for clay plus Iron ore traffic and a brewery at Stone Jcn, (Joules). A quarry at Cauldon on the Biddulph Line turned out volumes of stone. Coupled with this, Stoke and Cockshutte Yards were extremely busy. In preparation for modernization, a lot of points and running lines were removed, much to the opposition of Signallmen, Loco men and Yard Staff. For example, prior to modernization , there was a Down Center through the station which the management of the day decided had to be removed so that the stanchions for the overhead wires could be placed for electrification. It was argued that either the Down Center should be removed or the roof taken off the station. No-one could understand the logic as to why the wires could not be suspened from the roof, but the "powers that be" won the day and the Down Center was taken out. The removal would cause tremendous "headaches" after it was accomplished. Also prior to modernization there was a connection from the down goods line into the diesel depot, but again the wisdom of others prevailed and the connection removed, hence only allowing traffic to enter and exit via the main lines. This again caused many problems.
As stated, Stoke was so busy that even though freight traffic was timed, the emphasis for punctuality was on passenger and parcel traffic. The old Motive Power Depot that was at Stoke Junction finally closed when the last steam engine was removed in 1967. Cockshutte diesel depot became the prime source of motive power as well a carriage sidings for passenger rolling stock. The station sidings at the north end of the station were reduced to one siding with a dock.
The simulation shows a Parcel Depot or as it was known, the Concentration Depot. All parcel traffic was handled in the station and it was planned to have a connection into the parcel depot to take the load away from the station, but this never became operative, even though it was shown on the diagram. The turntable at the Glebe Street end was released by a switch in the panel. This was later removed by 1967 but it is shown here as it was originally.
Stoke is only a shadow today of what it once was. The Hanley branch which is shown as a single line, used to be a double line and was known as the Potteries Loop line is now long gone. Also near where the diesel depot was, there was a double lined branch to Market Drayton. The diesel depot, carriage sidings, yards, goods lines are all gone. The Biddulph line is now closed and many of the local stations disused. Finally Stoke Power was revamped and is now a computerized Signalling Center controlling a lot more area of what it once did. The old panel is gone and it is hard to see where it was. Change rolls on.
06/03/20 - Just when we said it was a quiet period we have another timetable for your delight. Set on a Weekday in 1962/63 for the Glasgow Central Simulation. Plenty of Loco and Empty Stock Movements for you to sort out. Full details can be found <here>. and it may be purchased <here>
24/02/20 - It's been a fairly quiet period so far this year so we are pleased to announce the first one of 2020. Set in a June Weekday 2016 for the Carlisle Simulation.
This timetable is sourced from the Network Rail worrking timetable dated 01 May 2016 - Decembere 2016. A pretty modern timetable incorporating the latest motive power and stock. Owing to a runaway freight train causing a bridge collapse past Caldew Junction on the Up and Down Goods lines in 1984, this route is no longer available. The freight avoiding lines around Carlisle are now mostly out of use and most freights travel via the station. Most freights are in the hand of class 66 diesels with appearances by class 86/6, 90/1 and 92 electric locos. In the case of passenger trains, most anglo-scottish trains are in the hands of Pendolinos or Super Voyagers with appearances by 86/2 loco hauled stock on sleeper trains. DMUs cover services to Newcastle, Leeds, the Cumbrian Coast line and the Kilmarnock line to Glasgow Central. Class 37 push-pull trains also operate on the Cumbrian Coast line.
11/12/19 - Another release for December. Take yourself back just 5 years and try running the York (IECC) simulation with this Weekday 2014 timetable. 625 trains to route.
This timetable is based on the Network Rail working timetable dated May 2nd 2014 - December 2014. There are minor timing changes to avoid conflicts and some adjustments to a couple of timings around midnight to include those trains. York, as always, is a busy place, not only with passenger trains, but with numerous freight trains throughout the day. In this timetable the Loco Line gives access to and from the Fueling Point and the Siemens Depot which is a little further north and houses a fleet of Class 185 units. Prior to this timetable new tracks were laid to connect platforms 9,10 and 11 with the Leeds line for the expanded Trans Pennine services. These are not shown on the simulation and some timings and platform changes have resulted to avoid conflicts.
06/12/19 - Fancy running trains (634 of them) on a Summer Saturday in 1957 at a busy Jct location? Thanks to our writer Robert Young you now can. Set at a busy Llandudno Jct.
Overnight express passenger trains are a feature of the early hours together with parcels trains and a few freight trains. The period from 08:00 to 17:00 is dominated by a procession of passenger trains carrying holiday-makers to and from Llandudno. Owing to the limited station accommodation there, much shunting of coaching stock is required. Early DMUs were allocated to Llandudno Jn in 1956 for operation on the Blaenau Ffestiniog branch and other local services. The timetable is intended to be a 'companion' to the Chester Summer Saturday 1957 timetable, showing the activities at the other end of the line.
The most famous train running between London and Holyhead was the 'Irish Mail'. Despite its name, however, it did not convey much mail. It connected with the ferry crossings to Ireland and could run in more than one part, up to five relief trains being required at very busy times. At such times, problems were encountered with Down trains at Holyhead owing to limited platform availability and the need to clear trains quickly. This was often difficult because of the inebriated state of some of the passengers!
Most of the overnight mail was carried by the heavily loaded 02:05 from Crewe and the corresponding Up working which departed Holyhead at 19:35. Both of these trains were unofficially known as the "Mailbach" by railwaymen over the length and breadth of the line - quite an inappropriate description since "bach" means "small" in Welsh and these trains were often loaded up to 12 vehicles!
On Summer Saturdays, there was a huge amount of passenger traffic to and from the North Wales coast holiday resorts. The starting points / destinations of these trains was very varied, but principally involved places in the North of England and The Midlands. The motive power for these trains was equally varied but one remarkable feature was the vary large number of locomotives based at Patricroft used on traffic to / from the Manchester area. Also, on Summer Saturdays, a number of freight trains were retimed to run earlier than normal so as to avoid the extremely busy daytime period.
Also for your delight we also have a second timetable for Newcastle for release. Another busy one with a massive 1004 trains to route and set on a Summer Friday in 1977.
The timetable is for a Friday in early July. It represents the end of an era since within a year HSTs will start to appear on the East Coast Main Line and the North Tyneside circle will be partially closed for construction of the Tyne & Wear Metro.
Source documents for the timetable are Eastern Region working timetables sections YA, YD and YH, Newcastle Division DMU workings, ER carriage workings and various depot locomotive diagrams. Also used is a copy of local trip workings dated 1965 which has been modified to take account of the general reduction of local freight terminals in the area (such as the closure of Forth Goods Depot and New Bridge Street Goods Depot).
The main locomotive depot on Tyneside was at Gateshead. There was a small sevicing and fuelling location at Tyne Yard. A number of locomotives were stabled at Blyth and at Sunderland South Dock for local workings.
Diesel multiple units were based at South Gosforth. A few services were worked by units from Darlington. The timetable includes all the splitting and joining of units that took place at Newcastle.
Locomotive hauled coaching stock was stabled at Heaton. Almost all trains originating from/teminating at Newcastle worked to/from Heaton with their train engines and this resulted in a large number of light engine movements between Heaton and Gateshead.
The layout at Newcastle permitted arrivals and departures to use a number of routes. The timetable replicates this by giving routing instruction in the notes. Please note that some trains depart via the King Edward Bridge but then turn East to travel via Sunderland. The train ready signal will suggest a departure direct via the High Level Bridge.
Full advantage must be taken of the reversible working available on the Up and Down Main lines between Newcastle and Manors.
In 1977 there was still a large amount of mineral leading work on Tyneside. This was full and empty coal trains which were worked to control orders on a daily basis depending on colliery output. Much of this traffic would not have run on Saturdays but trains 9J92 and 9J94 demonstrate some of this work.
14/11/19 -We are pleased to announce the third additional timetable for the Warrington B.Q. Simulation.
This timetable is sourced from the Network Rail working timetables dated 10/12/17 to May 2018 and incorporates sections CL01, CL02, CZ02 and CZ08. It includes all of the updated traction for these lines including the new electric services over the Chat Moss line. Some timings have been adjusted to avoid conflicts and care needs to be taken at some of the junctions to ensure some trains are not held up.