Railway Performance Society Magazine - Milepost

Milepost Magazine

'Milepost' is the quarterly magazine of The Railway Performance Society, issued in January, April, July and October every year.

It is published in A5 format and usually runs to 72 pages of news and articles. See below for the contents of our last three issues.

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Browse below to see a summary of articles published in the last few editions of Milepost.



In the July 2018 edition, Martin Robertson reviews recent fast runs on the WCML, XC services on the ECML, Class 185 from Leeds to Huddersfield, Class 158 on the West Coastway line, Class 175 on the North and West route, Eurostar to St Pancras, and Scotrail in the central belt and the Highland Line.  

Virgin Driver explains in detail the driving techniques for Class 390s on the WCML. Frank Collins describes his travels early in 2007, and it’s interesting to compare what has changed over the intervening years. 

Derek Wilson describes his travels on excursions and charters in the 1980s and covers the Cambrian line, the Redmire branch, the WCML and his travels in Ireland and on the KWVR. 

Michael Rowe covers steam operations in the south west on lines long since closed. This covers the MSWJ, the Salisbury and Dorset Junction Railway, the Taunton to Barnstaple line, the LSWR route from Plymouth to Okehampton, services in north Cornwall and trains out of Ilfracombe. 

Overseas, Alan Varley covers the routes from Paris to Bordeaux and Mulhouse to Troyes and Strasbourg. Ian Umpleby continues his travels in Switzerland – this time in summer. 

Following earlier correspondence, David Maidment describes his notable 200,000 miles of steam travel between 1951 and 1968

We look at the use of WCRs diesel locomotives on the Windermere branch in June. Paul Jeffries describes a trip in Canada where trains running 30 hours late is commonplace. We look again at recent developments with the GWR IETs, and describe the initial problems with the introduction of the Thameslink timetable. We finish with some recent steam runs from Sean Emmett in the south-west. 

In the “End of British Steam” supplement we look, on a regional basis, the final two years of British steam with over 230 logs and cover:

 The Fifteen Guinea Special

Eastern Regions: ECML with A1, A3, A4s and visitors 

London Midland Region: WCML with Royal Scots, Black 5, Duchesses Britannias and visitors, and on the Cumbrian lines 

Midland Main line with Royal Scots and Britannias’ 

Scottish Region between Buchanan St and Aberdeen via Forfar 

Western Region on main lines and the Cotswolds line with Castles, Kings, Granges, Counties, Halls and visitors 

Settle & Carlisle and Yorkshire – We cover a number of lines with various classes of locomotives.

  In the April magazine, Martin Robertson covers the West of England and SWR main lines, the Chiltern route, GWR, EMT, HS1, Scotrail, XC and Virgin West Coast. David Ashley lists recent Fastest Times with the Class 800s and shows how they are settling in.  

 Derek Wilson describes his experiences behind Class 37s 

David Pawson explains how powerful UK steam locomotives are and finds out what can be done to improve them. 

Ian Umpleby recalls his time spent in Switzerland in the winter of 2016 

Martin Robertson describes his travels on the ECML in 2017 and Nigel Smedley recalls a near-perfect HST run on the MML. John Rishton shows recent speed increases on the Calder Valley route and David Ashley recalls his search for 110mph with Class 387s.   

In the January 2018 magazine, Martin Robertson reviews recent action on the WCML, ECML, Chiltern, Cross Country, TPE, and the Pinhoe-Honiton and Glasgow-Larbert routres, together with HST activity on the Cornish main line.

Derek Wilson recalls travel problems mainly on rail-tours in the diesel era.

Michael Rowe examines in detail Gerald Aston’s travels in South Wales, particularly during a tour just prior to nationalisation, in 1947.

Michael Burrow reviews a trip in Australia, and Frank Collins describes trips from Milan and Napoli to Rome. Alan Varley examines recent extensions to the TGV Atlantique branches.

Martin Robertson examines one of the first electrically operated services between Waverley and Queen Street, and Andrew James compares the steam to diesel transition on the ECML in the early 1960s. “Swede-basher” wonders whether the GWR “Castles” were over-rated, by comparing their operation with performance on other lines. We celebrate the 500,000th log on the RPDF data-base.

In the IET supplement we consider first impressions of the introduction of the Class 800s on the GW main line, and the Mass Timing Day supplement looks in detail at operations on the WCML between Preston and Carlisle, together with extensions to Wigan and Lockerbie in June 2017.


In the October magazine, Martin Robertson covers WCML, ECML, TPE, Northern, XC, Chiltern and Southern services. John Rishton remembers his commuting on MML with HSTs in 2003.

Noel Proudlock documents steam journeys between York and Scarborough and Charles Foss describes the route from Liverpool Exchange to Preston by steam.

Malcolm Simister explains the recently-completed Victoria’s Regional Rail Link in Australia, and Bill Long describes the Nurnberg-Ingolstadt High Speed Line,

John Heaton provides further analysis of the controversial 110mph claim during the final year of steam on the Southern Region, together with further recollections from David Lloyd-Roberts, John Sparkes and Don Benn. Frank Price describes the celebrations of the anniversary 50 years later.

Jeremy Hartill describes his experiences of Class 508s between Chester and Liverpool, and David Stannard examines performance on the Crewe-Manchester line. David Ashley reports on the introduction of Class 707 emus on SWT and SWR, and describes some journeys between Preston and Windermere in the 1950s. John Rishton compares the acceleration of Class 90, 91 221 and HSTs between Doncaster and Leeds, and Ian Umpleby discovers the recent improvements on the Shrewsbury-Gobowen line. Alan Sprod describes the recent completion of the Lahti cut-off in Finland.

Rail Performance Data Foundation Logs Database

The Rail Performance Data Foundation (RPDF) owns the database on behalf of the RPS. The database contains almost half a million entries dating from Rocket's performance in the Rainhill Trials in 1829 to the present day. Use of data is free to members and available to others on payment of a small fee. For more information on the database click here

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