RAILDATE 2023.03.24

Your free weekly guide to what's happening, what's new and what's on.

To subscribe to the email, please send a blank email to: raildate+subscribe@groups.io

Raildate is a collaboration between the editor and a number of contributors. Please think about supplying links that you spot. The contact email address is: raildate.co.uk@gmail.com

The latest Raildate is always at https://latest.raildate.co.uk

There are sections on:

UK Rail News


East Midlands



North East



South East




Rail Industry

International Rail News











South Africa



Other Transport Modes





Thank you to this week's contributors.

The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

The location of this little 0-4-0 diesel was a story in last week's Raildate. Where is it? (Photo taken 2013)

Please email your answers to raildate.co.uk@gmail.com. I think it was built in 1950 but haven't found any more. If you know more details of the loco's history, please share them for next week's edition.

Last week's Where is this?

This ramshackle British Rail shed and loco D2955 survived well into the 1980s. Where is it?

Answer: Holyhead Breakwater, North Wales. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: David Mant, Peter Davies, Paul Hopper, John Czyrko, Bob Joshua, Peter Tisdale, Dave Winter.

The 1.7 mile breakwater took 28 years to build, opening in 1873. 7 million tonnes of stone were taken from an adjacent quarry on a railway that was later isolated from the network.

Then began the never-ending task of maintaining the breakwater. Andrew Barclay diesels D2954 and D2955 were the final locos dedicated to the task, and later enjoyed the honour of carrying BR TOPS numbers 01 001 and 01 002.

The Sisyphean task continues but road vehicles took over in the 1980s and the locos were broken up on site by O.R.Davies of Holyhead between 9-21 February 1982. The quarry is now Parc Gwledig Morglawdd Caergybi (Breakwater Country Park).


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 -:- An abandoned railway station near a town in Spain that is home to just 500 people and a record-breaking Arctic facility that goes deep below the surface

Agatha Christie's Marple -:- The sleuth investigates her friend Elspeth McGillicuddy's claim to have witnessed a murder being committed on a passing train during a rail journey, but everyone is stumped by the lack of a body. Mystery, starring Geraldine McEwan, Pam Ferris, Niamh Cusack, John Hannah, Amanda Holden, Griff Rhys Jones, David Warner, Jenny Agutter and Rob Brydon

Agatha Christie's Poirot -:- The Belgian sleuth is asked to vet potential suitors vying for the hand of an Australian heiress and discreetly accompanies her on a rail journey aboard the Plymouth Express, only to find himself investigating a jewel theft. Mystery, with David Suchet and Julian Wadham

Amazing Railway Adventures with Nick Knowles -:- From Lao Cai on the Chinese border, via the misty mountains around Sa Pa, Nick Knowles heads south on a sleeper train to bustling Hanoi during his exploration of Vietnam. From there he travels on to the port at Haiphong, gateway to beautiful Ha Long Bay

Amazing Railway Adventures with Nick Knowles -:- The presenter explores Malaysia via three train journeys. First is a short hop to the Batu Caves with their rainbow-painted steps. Then Nick boards the jungle train from Mentakab to Gua Musang, taking in an elephant sanctuary. Finally, he enjoys a high-speed trip from arty Ipoh to cosmopolitan Penang

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor embarks on a global journey, beginning in Paris, where he meets up with a friend who explains the finer points of French social etiquette. In Germany, Tony compares a gentle spin in a replica of the first automobile with an exhilarating blast in the latest Formula 1 car. Then it's over to Hungary, where capital Budapest is now very different from how it was under communist rule. Lastly, Tony heads towards Turkey, which straddles Asia, where he explores Istanbul's spice markets and visits the main train station where renovations have uncovered ruins dating back to 400BC

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor heads to Japan, taking the bullet train to Kyoto and meeting young people there who are rebelling against the traditional corporate lifestyle expectations of Japanese society. Tony then travels through the world's longest - and deepest - undersea rail tunnel, emerging in the thick snow of Hakodate.

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor heads to Thailand, where he emerges from the Chiang Mai train station to find himself amid a Buddhist ceremony in which the town's citizens offer gifts to monks from the local temple, with Tony joining the monks to grasp what their daily life entails. Crossing the border into Malaysia, he instantly sees echoes of British rule everywhere, before ending in Kuala Lumpur, where he discovers a city of wild contrasts

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor travels across Australia, begins his trip by boarding a sea plane to fly over Sydney before taking a sleeper train to a farm deep in the Outback where herding is done by helicopter. From there, Tony heads to the north of Queensland to learn about the uncertain future facing the world-famous Great Barrier Reef

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The actor travels across India and Burma, beginning in Delhi, where he visits one of the city's oldest markets, before taking a ride on the Himalayan Mountain Railway and being taught the proper way to imbibe at the Glenburn Tea Estate. He then crosses the Bay of Bengal into Burma, trying his hand at pottery and learning about toddy palm wine, finishing at the ancient city of Bagan

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The final stage of his journey takes the actor to America, where he rides the rails across the country, beginning in San Francisco before jumping aboard the famous California Zephyr bound for Denver, Colorado. Heading to Louisiana, Tony finds out from the mayor of New Orleans how the city has been rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina, and then concludes his trip in New York City

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The presenter takes to the tracks on a whirlwind journey around South East Asia, beginning in Myanmar, and travelling via Bagan and Bangkok, before arriving in Kuala Lumpur

Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson -:- The presenter tours Latin America, travelling from Buenos Aires and via the Amazon rainforest to Machu Picchu

Britain and the Sea -:- David Dimbleby investigates the importance of the sea to trade and to the individual livelihoods of coastal communities. He sails along the west coast of Scotland, starting at Craobh Haven and along the Crinan Canal, a waterway designed by East Lothian engineer John Rennie to take 120 miles off the journey from the west coast to Glasgow and safely avoid the turbulent waters around the Mull of Kintyre. He also climbs aboard the last working sea-going Clyde puffer, where he earns his keep shovelling coal in the steam room, and reflects on the role played by the river in both trade and shipbuilding

Brunel: The Man Who Built Britain -:- The story of the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the man who designed the world's fastest railway, longest suspension bridge and largest ship. Over 150 years on from his death, this film goes back in time to explore the extraordinary stories behind Brunel's greatest creations, including the Great Western Railway and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The film also explores the wider story of what kind of Britain Brunel's genius was able to flourish in


We welcome links to publicly available online news items and videos from anywhere in the world.  Despite its name, Raildate covers all transport modes, including also bus, tram, air, and marine.  

Raildate may be freely distributed without permission as long as no changes whatsoever are made to the original document distributed by the Editor.

The main Raildate website https://raildate.co.uk includes a history of Raildate by the founding editor Howard Sprenger and archived editions from 1996 to the present.

Facebook members are encouraged to join the Raildate group.

©  Matthew Shaw 2023