RAILDATE 2022.12.02

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The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

A Soviet military map from the previous Cold War showing railways, an airfield, and various industrial targets. Where is it?

Readers of Cyrillic have an advantage. Please email your answers to raildate.co.uk@gmail.com

Last week's Where is this?

An aerial view of a railway junction. Where?

Answer: Shrewsbury. Also known by railway people as Salop and Welsh-speakers as Amwythig. Congratulations to Richard Maund, Howard Sprenger, Chris Callaghan, Andrew Nummelin, Chris Howard, John Gilby, Peter Davies, and John Musselwhite for their correct answers.

The station platforms extend over the River Severn [1], and Severn Bridge Junction signal box [2] - "Salop box" - is the world's largest mechanical box. The adjacent GWR and LNWR sheds [3] were on the left of the picture. The GWR shed code was - yes, you know - SALOP. There were carriage & wagon works [4] and Abbey Station [5] of Colonel Stevens' Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Light Railway (the "Potts"). The Severn Valley railway [6] formerly curved away left at Sutton Bridge Junction. Off picture below, the Sentinel works built deisel shunters for industry.

Today, the Online Transport Archive lives in the heart of the town at The Square, and Transport for Wales has an operational depot at Coleham [7], stabling yellow-liveried Class 37s.


UK television listings with a transport theme for the next eight days

Click me to open/close [Online only, not in the weekly email]

Abandoned Engineering -:- A town in West Virginia that fell victim to the pace of change when steam trains became obsolete and an underground complex in Italy that had been abandoned for nearly 2,000 years

Abandoned Engineering -:- The world's most impressive disused railway bridges, including the biggest wooden trestle bridge in the world, which was closed down due to hurricane damage

Antiques Road Trip -:- Travelling to the final auction in Congleton, Cheshire, Charles Hanson discovers an impressive collection of railway memorabilia hidden on a school roof, while Catherine Southon uncovers the story behind the once-lost plans drawn by celebrated garden designer Capability Brown

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor goes on rail journeys around the globe, jumping on and off trains to find adventure and face challenges, while exploring the history and culture of each place he visits

Buster (1988) -:- Fact-based crime drama about the life of Buster Edwards, a member of the gang responsible for the Great Train Robbery. Going on the run after the notorious heist, he flees to Mexico with his family. However, his homesick wife struggles to adapt to her new life, leaving the outlaw with a difficult choice. Starring Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Sheila Hancock, Larry Lamb and Ralph Brown

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris arrives in Mombasa to follow what was surely the greatest railway endeavour of the entire colonial era - the so-called Lunatic Line. His plan is to follow the now-crumbling line right across Kenya to the shores of Lake Victoria, discovering how the constructors overcame obstacles in their bid to make East Africa part of the British Empire

Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys -:- Chris embarks on a trip across Ukraine, where he travels on the most bizarre rail vehicle he has ever encountered. In Kiev, he learns about the forced famine of the 1930s, meets a soldier from the ongoing civil war and visits the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Coastal Railways with Julie Walters -:- The actress travels around the UK coast by train, beginning by boarding the famous Jacobite steam train for a trip along Scotland's West Highland Railway, famously featured in the Harry Potter movies. Along the way, Julie learns about herring gutting and blowing up railway lines, and meets a traditional Scottish storyteller on the Isle of Skye

Combat Trains -:- Auschwitz survivors explore the railways' part in the Nazis' plans to commit murder. Documentary exploring the role of trains in major conflicts of the past 150 years

Combat Trains -:- Exploring how Lawrence of Arabia used guerilla warfare against the Ottoman Empire's railways. Plus, two secrets hidden under New York's Grand Central Terminal - President Roosevelt's personal train that brought him secretly into the city, and a M42 generator that it is claimed Nazi spies tried to destroy

Combat Trains -:- From the trench to the home-front hospital, a medical historian retraces the train journey made by wounded soldiers during the Second World War. Documentary series exploring the role of trains in the major conflicts of the past 150 years

Combat Trains -:- The astonishing accounts of four railway journeys that changed history, including the perilous expedition that made a young Winston Churchill world famous

Combat Trains -:- The story of the Great Locomotive Chase - an attempt by northern spies to steal steam locomotive The General during the American Civil War

Combat Trains -:- Veterans and historians tell the story of the Thai-Burma railway and the countless prisoners of war and slave labourers who died building it

Destroyed in Seconds -:- Footage of a dragboat racer ejecting while travelling at 165mph, a 100-ton train crashing into a bus, and a skydiver cartwheeling out of control. Ron Pitts presents a documentary series investigating the natural disasters and accidents that have caused excessive damage, from tornados to plane crashes

Destroyed in Seconds -:- Heavy rains flood Utah and destroy neighbourhoods and an eight storey building collapses in the Filipino capital Manila. Plus, trains crash at a dangerous intersection and a stealth bomber interrupts a picnic

Devon and Cornwall -:- In this special Christmas episode, the volunteer lifeboat crew at Clovelly prepare their village's decorations, including a mile of lights from top to bottom of the village, and a Christmas tree made from ocean rubbish that washed up on the seashore. Further inland, it is festive full steam ahead for the volunteers on the Dartmouth Steam Railway, who are busy transforming a locomotive and 10 carriages into a steam train of over 50,000 lights, while a farmer at St Mabyn is busy working on mulled cider

Extreme Engineering -:- Danny Forster examines the $18billion Gotthard Base Tunnel project - a 35-mile passage through the Swiss Alps that will be the world's biggest rail tunnel on its completion in 2017

Grand Tours of Scotland's Rivers -:- Paul Murton explores the upper reaches of the river Spey - Scotland's third longest river - and travels through Badenoch to a hidden love nest, before working up steam on a heritage railway

Great American Railroad Journeys -:- Michael Portillo arrives in the city of Los Angeles, where he heads for the Warner Brothers studio, before taking a walk down the famous Walk of Fame. Outside of the city, Michael travels to San Marino to visit The Huntington, a cultural and research centre with libraries, galleries and over a dozen botanical gardens

Great American Railroad Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his railroad travels through southern California. In the port of Monterey, he raises the Bear Flag of the one-time Republic of California, and above it, the Stars and Stripes. He also tours Hearst Castle in San Simeon, and stops off at a former cattle ranch outside Santa Barbara

Great American Railroad Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his tour of Los Angeles, joining the locals for Mexican Independence Day, and discovering the secrets of backyard oil drilling in a county that is home to the largest urban oil field in the US. Moving on to Laguna Beach, he learns how artists from the east coast travelled west on the Transcontinental Railroad to found a colony of painters attracted by the beautiful coastline and glorious light to paint outside

Great American Railroad Journeys -:- Michael Portillo nears the end of his 1,000-mile rail journey from Reno, Nevada, to San Diego in southern California. In this final leg, he joins the US Navy Pacific Fleet, birthplace of the elite flying academy Top Gun. Aboard the Pacific Surfliner, he arrives first in the coastal town of La Jolla, where he takes to the water in a kayak to explore the 75 million-year-old caves. In San Diego, he picks up the trail of the industrialist John D Spreckels, who built a pavilion to house the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world - which Michael is invited to play

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Armed with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook, Michael Portillo embarks on another journey around the country to discover how the railways have affected people and communities, and the legacy they have left behind. He begins in Manchester, where he finds out how the world's first industrialised city produced a revolutionary political movement, and learns about the railway workers who founded one of the most successful football clubs of all time. Along the way, the presenter does the washing in Port Sunlight - a model village on the Wirral - and hears stories about the aptly named George Francis Train's time in Birkenhead, Merseyside

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey around north-west England by celebrating Victorian trade with the Preston Guild, and then heading to Rochdale to learn about a pioneering movement to improve the lives of working families. The presenter also follows in the tracks of many 19th-century industrial employees who made day trips to Hebden Bridge to walk in the Calder Valley

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey around north-west England in the elegant resort town of Southport, where the railways provided thousands of holidaymakers with the chance enjoy the fun of the fair. On his journey around some of the region's larger towns, the presenter uncovers the history of Victorian entrepreneurship in Wigan and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in Bolton, before heading to smaller Leyland to get behind the wheel of a 100-year-old commercial vehicle

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo continues his journey to Leeds by travelling through Buckinghamshire, meeting one of the Second World War's most secret agents at Bletchley. In Olney, he learns about a poet whose words are still sung today, and explores the first purpose-built railway town at Wolverton. His last stop is Newport Pagnell, where he tackles the ancient craft of vellum-making

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo crosses into West Yorkshire to begin the next leg of his journey, visiting the Worth Valley and the home of the three Bronte sisters, who were early investors in the railway industry. He then heads to Oakworth to find out how its station and tracks were used in one of the most popular films ever made, and in Bradford discovers the ways in which 19th-century workers saved to buy a home. The presenter finishes in Halifax, where he learns how the railways contributed to the town's success

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on a railway journey through the Republic of Ireland from Co Kerry to the city of Galway. On the first leg, he travels from Killarney to Cobh, sampling 19th-century delicacies and exploring a stunning landscape that achieved fame due to rails and royals

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the final leg of his journey through the Republic of Ireland, travelling from Athlone to Galway. Along the way he examines historic jewellery with royal connections, encounters a people's king and meets up with a traditional Irish singing group

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the first leg of a journey from Southampton to Wolverhampton, beginning by being taught how to set a table aboard the luxury liner Queen Elizabeth. In the village of Netley he finds the remains of an extensive military hospital built by order of Queen Victoria, and ends his travels in Basingstoke, where he learns out about a pitched battle between townspeople and the Salvation Army

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the first leg of a journey to Leeds, beginning at London's Euston station. He finds out what happened to the once proud Euston Arch and heads to Camden to see how goods were transported by rail, road and canal. He reflects on the Harrow rail disaster of 1952 and visits a country estate in Tring, Hertfordshire, before alighting at Cheddington in Buckinghamshire, which is close to the scene of 1963's Great Train Robbery

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo embarks on the next stage of his journey in which he travels from the naval hub of Portsmouth to Grimsby docks. On the first leg, he helps feed the crew of Britain's newest battleship, discovers how the Victorians planned to repel a possible French invasion and learns there is a well-established industry in an unlikely location

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo explores the scenery of rural and coastal Scotland as he travels from Stirling to John O'Groats. On the first leg of his journey, he learns about a Scottish hero, visits a Highland Games and discovers how an impressive piece of Victorian engineering ended in tragedy

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo follows in the footsteps of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel as he travels from London to Newton Abbot in Devon. He begins by taking a trip from Paddington station to Warminster in Wiltshire, along the way learning about a Victorian asylum, giving a historic horse a facelift and making malt the 19th-century way

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo journeys from Dufftown to Aviemore, learning how Victorian whisky trains were raided by robbers. He also travels along one of Scotland's most impressive viaducts and discovers that life is not always sweet on a shortbread production line

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo reads the riot act in Preston, and discovers four mill workers were shot dead at a protest in 1842. In Darwen, he traces developments in interior design from wallpaper to paint, before exploring the Victorian industrial landscape of Salford in the paintings on LS Lowry. He finishes his leg of the journey on Kersal Moor, where he discovers the poetry of Edwin Waugh and twists his tongue around the Lancashire dialect

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo starts off in Exmouth on the final leg of his journey to Newton Abbot. Along the way, he goes out to sea with an RNLI lifeboat crew, visits a stormy coastal railway and has an encounter with his boyhood hero

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo starts off in Invergordon on the final leg of his journey to John O'Groats. Along the way, he learns how one man's vision helped bring train travel to the Highlands, discovers how farming has changed since Bradshaw's day and hears the remarkable tale of Scotland's Victorian gold rush

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo takes the high-speed line to Stratford in east London to explore the legacy of the Olympic Park and explores Spitalfields, an area of the city that has been home to many immigrants through the centuries. He ends this leg of his journey at Victoria underground station, where he finds out about the massive makeover currently under way

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Charleville, Co Cork, to the city of Waterford, along the way finding out about the ancient art of making butter, attempting to learn the basics of Ireland's oldest game, and riding on the Duke of Devonshire's Victorian railway

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from London's King's Cross to Peterborough and discovers how a derelict part of the capital is being rejuvenated. He also puts in a shift at a Cambridgeshire brick factory and meets members of an immigrant community linked to it

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Newbridge in Co Kildare to Roscrea, North Tipperary, visiting the Irish National Stud in Tully, discovering how harsh life was for the Irish poor and investigating an astronomical feat of Victorian engineering

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Salisbury in Wiltshire to Castle Cary, Somerset, visiting a world-famous tourist spot that has been captivating visitors since the Victorian era. He also takes to the air in Yeovil and tries his hand at clothmaking the 19th-century way

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Spalding to Grimsby, along the way learning about how Lincolnshire farmers utilised the railway to improve their harvests, visiting the impressive cathedral in Lincoln and looking to the future of rail freight

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from St Helens to Knutsford, finding out about modern glass-making and how techniques invented in the Victorian era to construct buildings such as the Crystal Palace have evolved and are powering a new architectural revolution

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Victoria station to Abbey Wood in south-east London. Along the way he learns how volunteer Victorian firefighters liked a tipple, discovers that 19th-century sewage pumps were a marvel of design and puts in a shift at the oldest fish market in Britain

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Welshpool, Powys, to Aberystwyth in Ceredigion. He experiences Victorian entertainment in one of Wales's best-loved resorts, hears how the railways took the country's textiles into the most exclusive households and unleashes the power of a 19th-century engineering triumph

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels from Woking in Surrey to Clapham Junction in south London. Along the way he gets close to some precious Victorian botany at Kew Gardens, tries his hand at croquet and discovers a very surprising 19th-century place of worship

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo travels on London's first railway and admires the remarkable brick viaduct on which it was built, before taking a tour underneath its arches with a Victorian map showing the poverty of those who once lived there. The Docklands Light Railway takes him to Greenwich, home to the tea clipper Cutty Sark, before he ends this leg of his journey in West Silvertown

Great British Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo tunes into the music of the mills and collieries of Victorian England by joining a brass band in Honley, West Yorkshire, before stopping off in Holmfirth to learn about a tragedy that led to a tourist boom in the town. The presenter then crosses into Derbyshire to pay homage to railway engineer George Stephenson at his resting place in Chesterfield, before concluding his journey at Chatsworth House, which was one of the first stately homes to welcome visitors by rail

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the final leg of his journey, Michael Portillo rediscovers a once-famous poet in Nottingham and travels on a railway line resurrected by popular demand after falling victim to Beeching's cuts. He finds out how Doncaster rail workers shaped British political history, before reaching his final destination of Leeds, where he auditions at Britain's oldest continuously working music hall

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the next leg of his journey from Co Kerry to Galway, Michael Portillo travels from the city of Kilkenny to Athy in Co Kildare. Along the way he tries his hand at cutting marble in the Victorian style, uncovers 19th-century Ireland's surprising industrial heritage and learns how the railways helped bring motorsport to the masses

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the next stage of his journey to Leeds, Michael Portillo sets off in Leicester, where he finds out about the hunt for Richard III's remains. Michael works his passage on the Great Central Railway from Rothley to Loughborough, where he learns about a family that has been casting bells in the town since 1839

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the penultimate leg of his journey from Stirling to John O'Groats, Michael Portillo travels from Inverness to Plockton. Along the way he rides on one of the country's most picturesque railways, visits Scotland's smallest station and learns what a spa break in the Victorian era comprised

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the penultimate leg of his journey Michael Portillo travels from Lynton to Exeter. He gets up close to a piece of natural history, visits a garden used as a viewing platform for public hangings and examines a timepiece like no other

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the second leg of his journey from Stirling to John O'Groats, Michael Portillo travels from Dundee to Aberdeen. Along the way he learns how Queen Victoria used to hide from her subjects and discovers why some factory workers went deaf

Great British Railway Journeys -:- On the third leg of his journey from London to Newton Abbot, Michael Portillo travels from Taunton to Minehead. Along the way he explores a church, finds out just what it takes to operate a 19th-century signal box and summons all his strength to move a 110-ton steam locomotive

Great British Railway Journeys -:- The next part of Michael Portillo's journey from London to Leeds begins in Northampton, where Victorian methods have been used to make shoes for more than 130 years. The ex-politician then heads to Warwickshire, learning about the legacy of Dr Thomas Arnold at Rugby School and finding out how Coventry's craftsmen learned to adapt to survive, before ending this leg of his trip in Nuneaton

Great Continental Railway Journeys -:- Michael Portillo braves the freezing temperatures of the Baltic Sea and finds peace paddling a canoe on the Lakes of Finland. On his journey from the Latvian capital Riga to Tampere in Finland, he encounters medieval knights in Tallinn, grills sausages in Helsinki and samples cloudberry liqueur in a hot tub. He later arrives in Estonia, where in the setting of a ruined 13th-century cathedral he learns how the Baltic countries demonstrated their desire for independence from the Soviet Union with a 'singing revolution'

Japan Railway Journal -:- 2022 marks 150 years of railway operations in Japan - see how Tokyo Station is now more than just a transportation hub and a place that continues to evolve as the gateway to Tokyo.

Japan Railway Journal -:- Yagan Railway in Tochigi Prefecture is a small railway company with nine stations and four train cars - see how the company plays a vital role in connecting the Tokyo area and Fukushima Prefecture.

Mega Shippers -:- In Texas, the process of unloading a 726-tonne column requires everyone's attention, while in London, a rail worker sends 22 train carriages of cement across the city

Oli Wyn -:- The crew prepares the train for its next trip

Robbery (1967) -:- A criminal hatches a plot to rob the overnight mail train from Glasgow, assembling a gang of thieves and breaking a currency expert out of jail. Although the gang gets away with millions, a simple mistake while dividing up the loot puts the police on their trail. Drama, inspired by the Great Train Robbery, starring Stanley Baker, Frank Finlay and James Booth

Runaway Railway (1966) -:- A group of youngsters trying to save a railway line from closure are tricked by crooks planning a robbery. Children's adventure, starring John Moulder-Brown and Kevin Bennett

Scrapheap Challenge -:- Robert Llewellyn presents from the Great Dorset Steam Fair as 16 teams showcase their 'welly wangers'. They compete to see whose device can throw a Wellington boot the farthest with the most accuracy. Taking on the reigning champions is the house team - Scrapheap All Stars

Steam Train Britain -:- At the South Devon Railway, Andy Leech and Liz Turner host afternoon tea for 44 passengers. In East Lancashire, volunteer Chandra Law takes on the new role of Stationmaster

Steam Train Britain -:- Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway are celebrating their annual Victorian Weekend, while in south Devon, silver service waiter Andy Leech runs the three-course Sunday lunch

Steam Train Britain -:- Great Central Railway's Scott Manley takes a rainy busman's holiday working as a guard at Bury, while a team of volunteers in Wales try to keep the line clear of overgrown plants

Steam Train Britain -:- On the Welsh Highland Railway, a newly built Pullman carriage is on its way to Caernarfon Station and a Saddle Tank Loco is being completely restored on the East Lancashire Railway

The DART: No Ordinary Day -:- Behind the scenes of the Dublin Area Rapid Transit electric railway, capturing ordinary and extraordinary days through the experiences of those who work and travel on it. Featuring the time the system came to a standstill after a delay resulted in passengers mass evacuating from trains and walking along the track, as well as following the team managing the thousands of passengers en route to the Ireland v Armenia match at the Aviva Stadium

The Restoration Man -:- George Clarke meets a man in Northumberland who bought a Victorian railway station, with the intention of converting it into a family home. He has managed to keep his budget down by doing all the building work single-handed at weekends, but the project has been threatened by planning restrictions. George also looks into the history of the station, and finds out why it never fulfilled its potential as part of the area's rail network

The Yorkshire Dales and the Lakes -:- In the Dales, train fireman Martyn Soames prepares for one of the most scenic railway journeys in England, from Settle in Yorkshire to the Cumbrian capital of Carlisle. Farmers John and William Dawson are fighting to save the Dalesbred sheep from decline. In the Lakes, Debbie and Andy North are taking on one of Alfred Wainwright's hill walks - the assent to the top of Barrow

Train Cruise -:- We travel northeast on the JR Hachinohe Line and Aoimori Railway - feel the Earth's power at a huge lawn, get a rush from the mega music of the Tsugaru shamisen, and see the Nebuta Festival of Lights.

World's Greatest Train Journeys from Above -:- Norway's Bergen line, running from Bergen to Oslo, is filmed from the air as it passes along the fjords of Western Norway, rises to the snowy Hardanger Plateau, and descends through deep forests. Along the way, we learn how a dedicated team of people keep the line open in a challenging environment: clearing snow and ice, deterring wildlife, and repairing damaged trains

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys -:- A trip through the Peak District at full steam, pulled by the Royal Scot, one of the finest locomotives ever built. On the way from Crewe to York, the train travels over Chat Moss on a line built by Robert Stephenson, which once served the famous Rocket. Bill Nighy narrates

World's Top 5 -:- Five of the world's most impressive trains are pitted against one another in a variety of key categories


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