East Midlands [EMD]


Welcome to the East Midlands branch of the RCTS which was founded in 1951 in Leicester

It started in Leicester before moving to Nottingham in the early years. Meetings were held at a number of locations mainly close to Victoria station ending up at the Nottingham Mechanics at their former location nearer to the city centre then transferring to the current building when it opened in 2004.

We meet regularly on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from September to April and also organise occasional visits to places of interest in the summer

What's on


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Robin Gibbons
tel:  0758 405 0262
email: eastmidlandschair@rcts.org.uk

Dave Coxon
tel: 07704 409065
email: eastmidlands@rcts.org.uk, eastmidlandsweb@rcts.org.uk

Meeting reports

20 years of high-speed railways in UK – David Hanger

25 Apr 2024

On 23rd April, for the final meeting of the 2023-24 session, David Hanger presented his talk ’20 years of high-speed railways in UK’ to the Branch. David’s talk discussed BR’s…

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Deltics – 1965 to the present day

10 Apr 2024

On 9th April Richard Walsh from the Deltic Preservation Society presented his talk which was divided into three parts The reason why the Deltics came into being; when/how they were…

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An A to Z of Great Central locomotives

03 Apr 2024

On 26th March Bob Gellatly presented his talk ‘An A to Z of Great Central locomotives’ The presentation began by looking at the designs of Charles Sacré, Thomas Parker, and Harry…

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Branch AGM 2023

23 Mar 2024

On 12th December Chairman Robin Gibbons opened the AGM at 7:00 pm, with notices and one apology for absence. The minutes of the 2022 AGM were approved, and the Chairman thanked…

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San Francisco cable cars – Tom Ingall

18 Mar 2024

On 12th March Tom Ingall gave us the remarkable story of San Francisco’s cable cars – 150 years of ‘climbing to the stars’. His talk comprised a look at the…

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A brief account of electric traction systems – Dave Saunders

28 Feb 2024

On 27th February Dave Saunders presented his comprehensive talk about the development of electric traction systems on the world’s railways In a fascinating talk Dave began with examining the benefits…

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Challenging gravity, steep railways – Felix Schmid

17 Feb 2024

On 13th February Professor Felix Schmid talked to us about the adhesion between wheel and rail (i.e.friction) and the history of early railways where even the famous Isambard Kingdom Brunel…

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All aboard the Master Cutler – Chris Youett

24 Jan 2024

On 23rd January Chris Youett was due to present his talk ‘All aboard the Master Cutler’ but unfortunately due to technical issues he was unable to do so In lieu…

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The Ripley Rattlers – Kurt Hatton

11 Jan 2024

On 9th January Kurt presented a fascinating talk about the trams which ran between Nottingham and Ripley between 1913 and 1933 which were known as the Rattlers. Kurt traced the route taken…

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Railways at the dawn of Nationalisation – Robin Mathams

05 Dec 2023

On 28th November we welcomed back Robin Mathams from the Sutton Coldfield Railway Society who shared the Moseley photographic collection from of one of their former members. This was a real…

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The Waverley Route – Dennis Lovett

17 Nov 2023

On 14th November at our first afternoon meeting of the session, Dennis Lovett described in detail the route from Edinburgh to Carlisle known universally as ‘The Waverley Route’ which was closed…

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Irish Surprises – Colin Boocock

25 Oct 2023

Colin presented a talk based on his various visits to both Southern and Northern Ireland from 1956 to the present day In an excellent presentation Colin explained how the railways…

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The LMS Patriot Project – John Hastings-Thomson

12 Oct 2023

On 10th October we held our first afternoon meeting when John introduced the Project to build a new Patriot class locomotive to be known as The Unknown Warrior’. The reason…

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The history of the Mansfield to Worksop Line – Denis Hill

27 Sep 2023

The presentation was part of a project by the Robin Hood Line Community Rail Partnership to celebrate the Midland Railway between Mansfield and Worksop. The talk took a brief look…

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The Statfold Barn Railway – Graham Lightfoot

21 Sep 2023

Graham kicked off the 2023-24 session with a presentation on Statfold Barn, the attraction near Tamworth, which is now a popular venue for a variety of interests, with an active…

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A miscellany of original slides 1960s – 2000s steam and diesel – Richard Binding

10 May 2023

For our final meeting of the 2022-23 season, we welcomed back Richard Binding who had a more than usually eclectic selection of slides to show. We do not get many…

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Three decades of changes on the footplate – Lee Davies

13 Apr 2023

On 14th April Lee Davies presented ’Three decades of changes on the Footplate’. This was a review of his career to date working for the railway in the UK. Starting off…

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Great Central Railway signalling – Tom Ingall

29 Mar 2023

On 28th March Tom Ingall presented a fascinating talk about the development of the signalling on the GCR over the last 50 years. He explained in animated diagrams the fundamentals…

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Five decades of derailment investigation Worldwide – Mike McLoughlin

16 Mar 2023

On 14th March Mike McLoughlin talked to us about derailment investigation starting with the BR Research Division who set up a derailment Investigation team in 1967 when derailments were mounting due…

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The Trent Valley Railway – Robin Mathams & Dave Barrett

01 Mar 2023

On 28th February Robin Mathams & Dave Barrett gave a very well researched and detailed talk about the origins of the railway between Rugby and Stafford known as the Trent Valley…

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The Leek and Manifold Light Railway

15 Feb 2023

On 14th February Paul Blurton gave a comprehensive talk about the Leek & Manifold Light Railway which recounted the history of the line from its opening in 1904 to its eventual…

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First in Derbyshire – the Ilkeston Tramway 1903-1931 system – Stephen Flinders

26 Jan 2023

On 24th January Stephen Flinders gave a very entertaining talk entitled ‘The first in Derbyshire – the Ilkeston Tramway 1903-1931 System’ The presentation follows the development of the tramways around parts of the world…

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The 1923 Grouping – Robin Gibbons

13 Jan 2023

This was originally planned to be a presentation by Peter Davis, author of a recent book “F W Webb’s Three -Cylinder Compounds” on the subject matter of his book. However,…

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Branch AGM

08 Dec 2022

The Branch AGM took place on 6th December where the Chairman gave his very positive review of the Branch’s progress during 2022 and the varied and interesting programme of meetings.…

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NR’s New Measurement Train and the IM fleet

25 Nov 2022

On 22nd November Brendan Rice presented a very interesting and thoroughly absorbing talk about Network Rail’s New Measurement Train and the other vehicles in the Infrastructure Monitoring fleet at the RTC.…

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The Crich Tramway Museum

10 Nov 2022

On 8th November Frank Bagshaw gave a very interesting talk about the history and development of the Crich Tramway Museum in Derbyshire, which included a detailed history of a large…

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Bulleid’s Pacifics

29 Oct 2022

On October 25th Colin Boocock talked to us about some of the more controversial aspects of Bulleid’s activities. For example, why did OVB not pursue the ideal of a 2-8-2…

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The railways and steamers of the Clyde

18 Oct 2022

On 13th October David Shirres presented an interesting talk about the history of the numerous railway companies in the Cyde area and their close ties to the Clyde steamers

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Ivatt Atlantic Passenger Locomotives of the GNR

17 Oct 2022

On 27th September Bob Bramson gave a wide ranging and detailed study of the GNR Atlantic locomotives introduced by the Great Northern Railway The lecture reviewed the events that led to…

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The 10000 locomotive re-build project

17 Oct 2022

For our first meeting of the 2022-23 season on 13 September, Tony Ellershaw, chairman of the Ivatt Diesel Re-creation Society gave us a summary of the original locomotives and their…

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GNR Colwick to Basford (backline) and the Derbyshire extension

27 Apr 2022

On April 26th Hayden Reed presented a talk about the GNR in Nottingham in particular the route between Basford and Colwick. A very interesting and well researched comprehensive talk covered…

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Bradshaw’s Guide and an early railway tour

13 Apr 2022

On 12th April Robert Mee gave an interesting review of George Bradshaw’s career and his development of the famous guide consisting of early railway timetables. This was followed by an illustrated…

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ECML Kings Cross to York

23 Mar 2022

On 22nd March Stephen Gay presented an illustrated talk about the lower part of the ECML by way of a journey from Kings Cross to York. Numerous anecdotes and poetry readings…

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Network Rail’s On Track Machines

09 Mar 2022

On 8th March Paul Long presented a very interesting and informative talk about the various vehicles which are used and operated by NR. From the New Measurement Train HST to…

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Mail by rail and tram

23 Feb 2022

On 22nd February the Rev Peter Barham gave an excellent talk about the history of carrying the mails by train. But most interesting, and I imagine a subject unknown to most…

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Hydrogen Trains

10 Feb 2022

On 8th February David Shirres gave an excellent talk about the practicalities of using hydrogen as a fuel for rail vehicles. The idea that hydrogen is the answer to everything was…

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The Royal Train

26 Jan 2022

Geoff Griffiths was the Royal Train Manager for seven years. On 25th January he gave us an insight into the planning and running of the Royal Train and included many…

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High Marnham & Melton RIDC test tracks

12 Jan 2022

On 11th January 2022 Peter Ellis gave a very comprehensive and detailed talk about NR’s two test tracks. Peter explained the background to the establishment of the two Railway Innovation…

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Annual General Meeting 2021

04 Jan 2022

The branch AGM was held on 21st December 2021 by Zoom. The chairman advised that face to face meetings, which recommenced in September, were restricted to one per month with a…

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The Railways of Paris

31 Dec 2021

On 14th December Michael Bunn delivered a very well researched talk via Zoom, relating the construction of the various railways within Paris including with the peripheral railways (inner and outer). He…

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Prehistoric Railways

28 Nov 2021

At the live meeting on 23rd November, Trevor Griffin described the many industrial plate ways and gang ways which were built in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire before 1825 and their visible…

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Narrow Gauge Steam in Nepal and Pakistan

28 Nov 2021

On 9th November Geoff Warren gave an interesting talk via Zoom about the little known railways and locomotives in the far reaches of India in the 1980s Geoff’s photography was…

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Beeching – Hero or villain?

26 Oct 2021

Dave Saunders presented an interesting and enlightening talk which revealed that Dr Beeching was not the villain that he is most remembered as rather he was an innovative and forward looking…

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Advances in coaching stock design 1950-2020

12 Oct 2021

Dave Tooley described the very interesting development of BR coaching stock from Mk1 through to Mk5 and also included the Voyager family and the class 180s. The meeting was well attended by 40 members…

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Poetry & Times of Kirkby-in Ashfield Loco Sheds and Sidings

28 Sep 2021

Dr David Amos gave a very entertaining account of the life and times of Kirkby in Ashfield shed accompanied by poems and music which originated from local celebrities. Unfortunately the attendance…

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28th January 2020 · Stratford on Avon & Midland Junction

28 Jan 2020

Presenter: Barry Taylor On 28th January Barry Taylor presented “The Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway (SMJ)”. The idea of a railway across rural Northamptonshire and Warwickshire was conceived to carry…

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14th January 2020 · Oxford to Paddington

14 Jan 2020

Presenter: Richard Binding Richard Binding was our first speaker of 2020 on 14th January to continue his journey along the Great Western mainline towards London. He started at Oxford with…

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17th December 2019 · Annual members Christmas evening

17 Dec 2019

On 17th December the branch held its annual members Christmas evening with coffee and mince pies. A number of members showed short series of slides covering preserved steam at the…

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10th December 2019 · 125 Group – Preserving an HST

10 Dec 2019

Presenter: John Zabernik of the 125 Group Recent events brought a significance to the topic on 10th December when John Zabernik of the 125 Group presented “Preserving a HST”. He…

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26th November 2019 · Restoration of a GNR station building

26 Nov 2019

Presenter: Brian Howes of the Friends of Gedling Station On 26 November Brian Howes of the Friends of Gedling Station informed us of the plans for restoration of the GNR…

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12th November 2019 · B17 Spirit of Sandringham – the continuing story of achievement

12 Nov 2019

Presenter: Brian Hall Brian Hall returned to the branch on 12 November to present “B17 Spirit of Sandringham – the continuing story of achievement”. Starting with a description of the…

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22nd October 2019 · Leicester & Swannington Railway

22 Oct 2019

Presenter: Bill Pemberton of the Leicestershire Industrial History Society On 22 October Bill Pemberton of the Leicestershire Industrial History Society presented the “Leicester & Swannington Railway” tracing the history of…

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8th October 2019 · Branch AGM

08 Oct 2019

The branch held its AGM on 8 October with a total of 22 members present, a slight increase on recent years. The Secretary announced updates to the annual report including…

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10th September 2019 · An Eighth Colour Rail Journey

10 Sep 2019

Presenter: Paul Chancellor, Colour Rail Paul Chancellor opened the new meeting season on 10 September with “An Eighth Colour Rail Journey”. The theme for the evening was based on the…

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23rd April 2019 · ‘O.Winston Link and the North & Western Railway’

23 Apr 2019

Presenter: Bob Gellatly Our speaker for last meeting of the season on 23rd April was Bob Gellatly with “O. Winston Link and the Norfolk and Western Railway”. Starting with the…

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9th April 2019 · ‘Diverted – Wakefield – Leeds via Huddersfield, Barnsley & Castleford’

09 Apr 2019

Presenters: Phil Lockwood & Enid Vincent On 9th April Phil Lockwood and Enid Vincent presented a further instalment in their “Diverted” series. This time travelling from Wakefield to Leeds via…

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