The final mainline HST service into London is coming to an end with the launch of the May timetable changes, and we couldn’t let this pass without covering social media with your #MMLMemories.
The HST has been a mainstay on the Midland Mainline for years, operating to/from St Pancras to the East Midlands, and with the May timetable changes we will be waving goodbye to this icon of high speed train travel in the UK from the Midland Mainline.
Saturday May 15th will be the final day of HST running on the Midland Mainline, and from now until then we want to see your memories of the mighty Midland Mainline HSTs. There have been some wonderful liveries over the years, perhaps some of the best the HST has ever carried, and we would love to see those over the next couple of weeks…..
Simply share your photos on social media platforms, (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) using the hashtags #MMLMemories and #HSTonMML, whilst tagging Railcam in your posts (Hey, why not tag East Midlands Railway, WeareEMR and the 125 Group while you’re at it) and lets see as much HST as we can!
The launch of our stunning Glenfinnan camera coincides with the return of ‘the greatest railway journey in the world’, The Jacobite.
West Coast Railways Jacobite steam hauled service between Fort William and Mallaig, along the world famous West Highland Line, returns on Monday 26th April with two 84 mile round trip workings per day, 7 days a week, crossing some of the most remarkable scenery Scotland has to offer.
The Jacobite has a global following, in no large part to the feature of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct and the ‘Hogwarts Express’ in the Harry Potter series of films. Our Glenfinnan camera brings you never before seen LIVE coverage as the The Jacobite snakes its way across the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite Monument.
When and where can I see the Jacobite?
Our camera broadcasts 24/7 and our YouTube stream offers a 12 hour rewind facility, so if you have missed any of the action during the day, you can simply rewind and enjoy the sights and sound of steam all over again.
Times at camera are as follows,
(Sunday-Friday) 10:50 Fort William to Mallaig, 15:21 Mallaig to Fort William*
(Saturday) 10:50 Fort William to Mallaig, 15:21 Mallaig to Fort William*
(Sunday-Friday) 13:20 Fort William to Mallaig, 18:11 Mallaig to Fort William**
(Saturday) 15:12 Fort William to Mallaig, 19:50 Mallaig to Fort William**
If you would like to embed our YouTube stream on your website, then please contact us at email@example.com (email marked ‘Glenfinnan Camera embedding’) and we will provide you with a short accompanying text strap to include. We would love to know where our camera is being seen!
Remember, if you share it, include the hashtag #SawItOnRailcam and tag us on your social media posts.
If you would like a copy of the Glenfinnan camera press release, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org marking your email ‘Glenfinnan Press Release’
Railcam UK Ltd are proud to be partnering Locheilnet to bring live views of the world famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, as never seen before.
Railcam has over 10 years experience in bringing live lineside footage to rail enthusiasts around the world, with locations such as Crewe, Doncaster and Derby, which are rich in railway history, to more scenic locations including Ribblehead Viaduct, Ryde Esplanade & Pier (Isle of Wight), Teignmouth Estuary and York’s historic railway station.
Recently we’ve seen a huge upturn in the use of our cameras, allowing rail enthusiasts to maintain their interest in the hobby during the Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns across the UK, but our cameras have reached beyond the enthusiasts circle, with a number of other uses including keeping children entertained during lockdown, to featuring in early years classes allowing children to recognise different colours of trains, and counting the coaches!
On the back of a recent feature by the popular railway YouTuber Geoff Marshall (of All The Stations fame) featuring our popular Ryde Esplanade & Pier camera, Ali Hodnett, Network Operations Manager with Locheilnet, contacted us regarding the potential of hosting a camera overlooking Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Locheilnet has been providing Broadband to households and businesses in rural Lochaber, Scotland for almost 10 years and today have some 500 customers enjoying Superfast connections. Locheilnet has a robust and well established community business whose local Directors give their time voluntarily to ensure that their customers continue to get great service.
Chris Pellow, Locheilnet Manager added:
“Locheilnet, a local community broadband provider, is delighted to help Railcam bring footage of a very popular and loved location to the wider world.Apart from serving the nearly 500 customers in the rural areas of Lochaber, Locheilnet gladly contributes to the success of many local events such as the Six Day Trials, Glenfinnan games, Nevis Radio and of course the worldwide attraction of the osprey nest camera on Loch Arkaig. We hope that rail enthusiasts and fans of Glenfinnan all over the word, will enjoy the views through this fantastic initiative.”
Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Scotland, made all the more so after featuring in the Harry Potter series of films, Glenfinnan has alway been a bucket list location for rail enthusiasts and travellers from around the world. The legendary Gelnfinnan Viaduct was opened on 1st April 1901 and has served the northern section of the West Highland Line ever since.
The West Highland Line connects Glasgow with Fort William and Mallaig, and was a crucial artery for the local fishing industry and the Highlands economy in general, which suffered enormously after the Highland Clearances of the 1800s. The line is used by passenger trains operated by ScotRail between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig, usually Class 156 diesel multiple units. Additionally a number of charter services visit the West Highland Line throughout the year.
Friend of Railcam, Rail Historian and host of the popular TV series The Architecture The Railways Built, Tim Dunn said,
“I’ve spent a significant chunk of the last few months travelling to see fascinating railway buildings for ‘The Architecture The Railways Built’ on TV – but now this Railcam has been launched there’s almost no need to go and see Glenfinnan at all! At least I’m not going to get extremely wet, as I have done every other time I’ve been to see this incredibly historically important structure. It’ll be fun seeing Live Chat reactions from all over the world when the ‘Harry Potter’ trains steam over too…”
Harry Potter fans will be well aware of the Hogwarts Express, which crosses the viaduct in the popular films, but the real life service is known as The Jacobite, which is operated by the West Coast Railway Company with their fleet of LMS Stanier Class 5 locomotives, or ‘Black 5’s’. Two return trips per day operate during the season, between Fort William and Mallaig, a majestic sight that is enjoyed by thousands of travellers each year, and one that we are delighted to bring to many thousands more via our live camera stream. Another popular visitor to look out for will bee the luxury Royal Scotsman, operated by Belmond with specially liveried GB Railfreight Class 66 diesel locomotives. You never know, if you look really hard, you may spot a light blue Flying Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe……
Railcam Director Adrian Bradshaw added:
“At Railcam, we have a wish-list of iconic UK railway locations, which we would love to be able to bring to our members. We are delighted to be able to tick one of those off the list today! A few years ago, this wouldn’t have been possible, but teaming-up with Locheilnet has enabled us to broadcast from this remotest of locations – in glorious ultra-HD! We feel sure that the spectacular views will find new audiences around the world, not just from rail enthusiasts, but from anyone with an interest in the fabulous Scottish Highland scenery. For our own subscribers though, the main attraction will be the famous Jacobite steam service which runs over the line every year. No doubt the legions of Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise Glenfinnan and will be able to watch steam services crossing the famous curved viaduct, just as the Hogwarts Express did in the movies. In short, Glenfinnan has something for everyone!“
Glenfinnan Camera will be available to ad-free to Railcam Supporters, and free to view for all Railcam members via the Railcam website. There will also be a stream available via the Railcam YouTube page.
Launch date Sunday 25th April, 10am UK time
Railcam UK Ltd operate a network of railway themed live streaming cameras, based in the United Kingdom. Since 2009 we have grown from a small enthusiast group with a single camera in Preston, to a globally accessed rail enthusiast hub with in excess of 100 cameras both owned and maintained by Railcam, and guest cameras from around the world. The Railcam portfolio has expanded to include access to train schedules and live signalling diagrams to accompany the viewing experience. Despite the growth, Railcam UK is still run by a dedicated group of rail enthusiasts and relies on the sterling efforts of its team of volunteers.
An extremely popular social media community has grown over the years and now boasts 45k YouTube, 25k+ Facebook and 15k+ Twitter followers/subscribers, this to add to 40k+ Railcam members.
The Severn Valley Railway is launching an exciting new service for supporters and visitors – a network of livestream cameras with a round-the-clock feed showing rolling stock movements at key locations along the line. The camera feeds will go live on the SVR’s official YouTube channel at 9am on Wednesday 14th April.
Head of marketing and communications Lesley Carr explained: “We’ve worked in partnership with expert livestream consultants Railcam to install and set up our network, which gives viewers a grandstand view at various locations across the railway. Railcam’s expertise has been crucial in terms of deciding on the best positions to site the cameras, and ensuring that the microphones don’t capture conversations but do capture all the excitement of heritage locomotives coming and going.”
“We are thrilled that our livestream service is up and running in time for our first special event of 2021. The Spring Steam Up starts on Thursday 15th April, and you’ll be able to view all the train movements at key locations on our 16-mile line.”
The heritage railway, based in Worcestershire and Shropshire, has two cameras located at Kidderminster station and two at Bewdley. There’s one with a view across the line from The Engine House at Highley, and another at the line’s northern terminus at Bridgnorth station with a view over the loco yard and platforms. As well as providing a fascinating and free viewing facility for the public, the camera network has an important role to play in assisting the smooth operation of the railway.
The SVR’s senior duty officer Dave Brattan has welcomed the initiative: “We’ve been hoping for something like this for a long time. These cameras will significantly improve the way the duty officer will be able to manage the day-to-day running of the train service and improve how we deal with any delays, to help keep our passengers happy and more informed. Duty officers will be able to see what’s happening in these locations in real time, which will help us when we are recovering delayed services.”
Railcam’s director Adrian Bradshaw said: “Heritage railways are an important part of what we do at Railcam UK and the Severn Valley Railway has always been right up there on our wish list. For Railcam, the SVR is ideal, offering both steam and classic diesel traction, a busy timetable and plenty of attractive locations to consider. We are delighted therefore, to have been able to work with the fantastic people at the SVR, to bring to our viewers and the wider internet audience, some of the best that the UK heritage scene has to offer.”
“The SVR project is by far our biggest single install, with six cameras on the SVR and a seventh, which is exclusive to Railcam viewers, covering the main line at Kidderminster. The project has been very much a joint effort between Railcam UK and the SVR, and we would like to thank all involved for making a complex scheme a pleasure to be involved with.”
Railcam are delighted to be partnering with the world famous Severn Valley Railway to bring our biggest ever ‘single location’ installation, with a total of seven (thats a coincidence!) live cameras.
Taken from Branch Lines – The SVR Supporters’ Newsletter……
The SVR livestreaming to your home
The SVR will soon launch a new service for supporters and visitors – a network of livestream cameras, operating 24 hours a day, at key locations along the line. As well as providing a fascinating and free viewing facility for the public, the camera network has an important role to play in assisting the smooth operation of the Railway.
Head of communications and marketing Lesley Carr told Branch Lines more:
“The installation of the cameras was completed this week, and we’re undertaking some final testing and configuration. We hope to launch the livestream feeds from our six cameras very soon, ideally in time for the Spring Steam Up event starting on 15th April.
“We have two cameras each at Kidderminster and Bewdley, plus one at Highley and one at Bridgnorth. Using the SVR’s YouTube channel, you’ll be able to see and hear all the comings and goings at these locations. Working closely with our partners RailCam, we’ve made sure that microphones don’t pick up conversations, although you will hear all the excitement of the trains arriving and departing!”
The Railway’s senior duty officer Dave Brattan has welcomed the initiative:
“We’ve been hoping for something like this for a long time. These cameras will significantly improve the way the duty officer will be able to manage the day-to-day running of the train service and improve how we deal with delays, to help keep our passengers happy and more informed. Duty officers will be able to see what’s happening in these locations in real time, which will help us when we are recovering delayed services. However, it will still be helpful to the duty officer team if operational staff can continue to inform us about delays, in the same way as they currently do.”
Keep an eye on social media in the near future for an announcement that the cameras are live.
The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that totals just six cameras. Well fear not, Railcam have taken the opportunity to install a third ‘exclusive to Railcam supporters’ camera, more details on this will be announced soon…..
Our thanks go out to the entire SVR team, who have worked extremely professionally and promptly to get this project signed off in a very short time frame. Our install team, who prepared everything prior to spending three days at the railway installing a huge amount of kit, giving up their own free time and completing the work ahead of schedule.
An official launch date is still to be confirmed, as a number of back office features are set up between Railcam and the SVR, but a joint announcement will be made in due course.
A unique photographic narrative with unpublished colour images
An in-depth and exhaustive examination on how the 142s were maintained, serviced and operated
Detailed coverage of the various interior fittings and layouts
Superbly written and researched, this is essential for the historian, train enthusiast and modeller
A review of scale 142 Pacer models produced is included
The British Rail Class 142 Pacer was an attempt to produce a cost-effective train to replace the worn-out and elderly first-generation BR Diesel Multiple Unit fleet that had been introduced in the late 1950s.
The Class 142 concept was a marriage of proven bus technology, traditional railway chassis and powertrain by utilising modular Leyland National Bus Bodies mounted on a substantial steel underframe and powered by conventional underfloor diesel engines.
They came at a time when the network was lacking in investment, and when first introduced from 1985 onwards, they presented a fresh, bright and clean image, breathing new life into many suburban and rural services. Unfortunately, soon after introduction, there were serious reliability problems, which necessitated much re-engineering and design issues.
However, the British Rail Class 142 Pacer became a familiar sight across the network. With the remaining ninety-four trains now all past their thirtieth birthday, the fleet is due to be retired by 2020.
Book Review by Railcam’s Adrian Bradshaw
Martyn Hilbert has carved out a reputation for entertaining and informative books, geographically covering most of the North West. This latest title is slightly different in two ways. Firstly, it doesn’t cover a specific area, focusing instead on the famous/infamous Pacer units and their deployment all over the network. Secondly, it departs somewhat from the “album” format of previous titles.
Class 142s are not, it is fair to say, everybody’s cup-of-tea. Love them or hate them though, they have played a huge role in keeping rural lines ticking over since the 1980s, when the first-generation DMUs bowed-out. Without the “Pacers”, some branches may not have survived the doldrums which preceded the rail boom of more recent years. With the Pacers now consigned to history too, now is the time to take a look back – fondly – on what was undoubtedly a successful design.
The first part of this book covers the background to the design: the reasons for reviving the “railbus” idea, the early prototypes and finally the production and introduction of the units. After a brief look at the depots that serviced the units, for the second half of the book we move into more familiar territory with a pictorial record of the units in the various places they served.
Most of Martyn Hilbert’s books feature largely his own photographic work, and this is no different. Martyn has an eye for an interesting shot, where the train forms only part of the interest. Many of the scenes that feature these DMUs are unrecognisable today, making for a fascinating and nostalgic look at several areas of the country where 142s were an everyday sight.
In short, whether you liked or loathed these units, this book is an interesting and informative read, full of cracking photos, which demonstrates the author’s deep knowledge of the subject matter. Recommended.
One of the undoubted successes of a very different 2020 season was the Staycation Express. Operated by Locomotive Services Ltd under the Rail Charter Services banner, heritage diesel traction with MK3 first class coaches were utilised on the world famous Settle – Carlisle line, the first time a scheduled diesel hauled service has graced the line for many years.
The 2021 edition takes a very different look, with new traction, a new livery and a new destination! Heritage diesel locomotives are to be replaced by recently retired HST sets, complete with a striking new livery. In addition to this, you will now be able to enjoy a longer ride as the late morning departure from Skipton will now run right through to Carlisle.
‘The Staycation Express’ Summer 2021 season Thursday 4th March 2021
Following the success of ‘The Staycation Express’ last year plans are currently being finalised for the 2021 season including new rolling stock and an expanded route. Features include:
Route expansion through to Carlisle
A newly refurbished classic InterCity 125 train with 5 coaches
All leather reclining first class seating
Large pictorial windows and power points
Enhanced catering buffet counter and premium ‘at seat’ dining car
Dynamic fare pricing
Covid secure Perspex screens between every bay of seats
New branding and livery
The train will run two return trips a day between Skipton, Settle, Appleby and Carlisle daily except Fridays between mid July and early September (dates/times still to be finalised) The rough timings are:
0930 Appleby to Skipton
1130 Skipton to Carlisle
1500 Carlisle to Skipton
1730 Skipton to Appleby
Adrian Quine – Director of Rail Charter Services Ltd said: “A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to build on the success of The Staycation Express last year. We are working closely with our partners and stakeholders with innovation at the heart of everything we do and look forward to announcing further initiatives soon”
We anticipate making further announcements regarding the train livery, exact timetable and on-board service offerings in April.
You may have seen driver training/route refreshers commencing this week, captured by our cameras, with former East Midlands Railway HST power cars 43058/059 working from Crewe to Carlisle, along the Staycation route.
HSTs will be retiring in May 2021, after 39 years of service on the Midland Main Line
Record breaking Power car repainted in its legacy colours
The Power Car will be preserved by the National Railway Museum in York
East Midlands Railway and Porterbrook are paying tribute to the iconic HSTs by painting power car 43302 into the Intercity Swallow livery and reinstating its original number 43102.
Operated by East Midlands Railway (EMR) and owned by Porterbrook these much-loved trains will be retiring after 39 years of service on the Midland Main Line, making way for newer fleets to join EMR in time for the May 2021 timetable change.
Power Car 43102 famously broke the Intercity World Speed Record in November 1987 when it reached 148.5mph between Northallerton and York during a test a run. Although it was formally renumbered to 43302 by its previous operator, today it regains its original number 43102 and the livery it carried when it broke the record.
To this day the HST remains an iconic piece of British engineering and a much-loved part of the railway while continuing to serve passengers on the Midland Main Line. It remains a true testament to TCB Miller and his design team at the BR Railway Technical Centre in Derby, who took the train from concept to working prototype in 2 years.
Upon its retirement in May, after 43 years’ service, this Power Car will be donated by Porterbrook to the National Railway Museum in York, joining power car 43002 which carries the name ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’.
Neil Bamford, Fleet Director for EMR said: “The team at our Neville Hill depot in Leeds have been working hard behind the scenes to strip unit 43302 of its current livery, repaint it in its legacy colours and reinstate its original number in homage to the ‘end of the HST’ era.”
“What an incredible way to pay tribute to the HSTs and the magnificent efforts from all our staff, who have operated and maintained the fleet over the years.
“I personally remember as a 19-year-old, way back in 1980, going on HST commissioning runs from Derby to Darlington, putting the trains through their paces and doing various tests before they entered into service, such happy memories.
“This is a fitting way to recognise the end for this iconic machine; a massive slice of railway heritage and history.”
Neil Foster, Fleet Services Director for Porterbrook said: “EMR and Porterbrook have worked closely together for many years to collaboratively manage the iconic HST fleet, these trains are much loved by the millions of passengers they have carried over the decades.
“Today’s event was a great way to mark the role played by HSTs in transforming the Midland Main Line into one of Britain’s premier rail routes. With their reputation for comfort and speed these icons of British engineering re-invigorated rail travel between Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London.
“Celebrity power-car 43102 will proudly display its original livery whilst it continues to serve EMR passengers, before undertaking its next journey to a new home at the National Railway Museum to be reunited with Sir Kenneth Grange.”
We are absolutely thrilled to finally announce the addition of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway webcams to Railcam.
Another project that has been long in the making, and was made even longer by the Covid pandemic, has finally come through. We welcome the already very popular trio of cameras at Porthmadog Harbour Station, Minffordd and Tan Y Bwlch to our already extensive heritage offerings from across the UK.
The Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow gauge railway with almost 200 years of history, taking you on a 13½-mile journey from the harbour in Porthmadog to the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Our historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls, round tight bends (even a complete spiral) clinging to the side of the mountain or tunnelling through it.
The Welsh Highland Railway is the UK’s longest heritage railway and runs for 25 miles from Caernarfon, past the foot of Snowdon and the picture postcard village of Beddgelert, then through the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog. Passengers ride in some of the most comfortable carriages on any heritage railway in the UK, including first class Pullman luxury and freshly-cooked food delivered to your seat.
The webcams are available to all Railcam members now, and also via the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway website at www.festrail.co.uk, where you can also keep up to date with all the very latest news from the railway.
Fingers crossed for the return of services to both the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway, and all our heritage partners, later this year.
We have seen comments many times in the past from Railcam members and subscribers saying ‘Oh, I didn’t realise I could do that’ or ‘I didn’t realise that was a feature on Railcam’. So we have put together our first 3 tutorial videos to explain a few of the options you may not realise are available to you…
Firstly we look at Registration, Login and Subscriptions….
Secondly we explain all about the cameras and chatroom options….
And finally we look into the often daunting Diagrams and Schedules…. (It’s a lot easier than you think!)
Are there any other parts of the Railcam site you would like explaining in more detail? Drop a comment below and we will see what we can do.