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.

RPS MEMBERS; You can download electronic versions of Milepost by logging in with your username and password. An extra 'MILEPOST ONLINE' submenu will appear in the navigation bar on the left hand side of the screen. This has links to the electronic versions. Adobe Acrobat software will be required to read these documents. In the event that the extra submenu does not appear, you may either need to login, or request an upgrade of your user status.

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




In the July magazine, Martin Robertson reports on new fastest times on the WCML, ECML. GWML, North Wales coast, XC, Chiltern and Trans-Pennine. He also reviews recent developments on the newly-electrified lines in Scotland’s central belt. Mike Burrow examines developments over the Stranraer-Ayr line over the last 50 years.

David Lloyd Roberts recalls his travels behind loco-hauled Class 33s in the 1970’s on the line between Waterloo and Exeter in Devon, and again with Class 159s in 2018. 

Michael Rowe has been looking through the RPS archives and found cross country “port to port” services recorded by AJ Wrottesly in 1933 and Gerald Aston in 1954. The routes from Swansea to Cheltenham, Banbury, Nottingham, Sheffield and York, and Swansea to Llandovery, Shrewsbury, Crewe, Stockport and Leeds. We also look at trains through Lansdown Junction, Cheltenham on summer Saturday in 1959. Andrew James examines some test runs behind 46441 from Sheffield to Derby. 

Sean Emmett recalls his travels in India in 2011, and Alan Varley describes punctuality on the LGV Atlantique in France. 

In the News section, Bill Long describes the replica 2-4-2 tank being used on the Welsh Highland Railway between Beddgelert and Rhyd Ddu. Noel Proudlock explains the use of timetable allowances on the Eastern Region. David Ashley tries to find the shortest distances to achieve a 60mph average speed., and to consider whether these are likely to be improved with new, faster rolling stock. This seems unlikely, as any benefits of faster acceleration seem to be countered by more cautious braking. John Rishton has his first encounter with the refurbished District line D78 stock between Bletchley and Bedford. Bevan Price describes journeys over the re-opened Halton Curve, and David Ashley describes initial “Norwich in 90” trips. We describe recent GW record attempts, and Jeremy Hartill gives his annual report of services over 100mph in the UK. We look again at recent IET developments, including their introduction on the ECML, the possible enhanced GW timetable in December, and the possible upgrading of Class 800 to 802 levels of power..


In the April magazine, Martin Robertson covers the WCML, ECML, Trans Pennine, Cross Country and Scotrail services in his article on Fastest Times. Paul Walker describes his travels on the ECML which he covered on two “All Line Railrovers” in 2018. Bill Hemstock describes peak operations on the Underground, and Richard Neville Carle travels around London on modern stock. Nigel Smedley explains the operation of EMT trains during the Derby closure and the diversions via the Erewash Valley line in 2018. 

“Swedebasher” describes the multiple duties of the V2 station pilots from the 1940s and 1950s

 Bill Long describes the Austria’s new Westbahn railway. 

Our correspondence columns cover a considerable number of topics, including the power of steam, the achievement of average speeds of 60mph by steam and 100mph by modern stock. Paul Jeffries expands on his experience of modern travel in Canada. 

In the News section we cover recent rail-tours by Classes 47, 67 and 68, and Flying Scotsman and Tornado. Baard Covington describes the introduction into service of the Class 717s on the Great Northern lines.



In the January 2019 edition (Milepost 39¾) Martin Robertson covers both the East and West Coast main lines, Southern services to the south coast, the Edinburgh-Aberdeen route, the Festiniog railway and the Madrid-Alicante route in Spain. We look at recent developments around the introduction of the IETs, including the electrical services from Didcot to Swindon, and onwards to Bristol Parkway. Bill Hemstock compares IETs on the Berks and Hants line with Class 165s, and Frank Collins looks at their introduction in Cornwall (and also the 2+4 HSTs)

Derek Wilson recalls his travels behind Class 20s on rail tours from the 1980s onwards.

Andrew James recalls services around Market Harborough in steam days. 

Alan Varley describes the cross-country services in France, from Lyon to Montpellier and Toulouse, and from Nevers to Bourges and St Pierre des Corps Peter Smith remembers his travels in North America between New York and Toronto and from Toronto and Vancouver. 

There is considerable correspondence covering a number of steam topics that have appeared in recent magazines. 

An unusual run behind an XC HST from Bristol to Birmingham is described by David Adams, and David Ashley reviews the recently-introduced Virgin services from Blackpool to Euston. 

There are also two supplements covering our Mass Timing Days in July 2018 from Reading to Bristol and Cardiff

 In the October magazine David Ashley reviews recent developments with the IETs on the GW main line, and Sean Emmett covers their introduction into the south west (as a supplement).Virgin Driver describes Voyager driving techniques on the north Wales main line to Bangor. Martin Robertson covers WCML, GW, TPE and Scotrail in his Fastest Times article. Frank Collins covers recent developments with electric traction between Glasgow and Edinburgh and between Preston and Blackpool. David Adams describes driving techniques following the introduction of EMUs on services to Bromsgrove and on the Lickey Incline. John Rishton covers an XC service with an unusual stopping pattern from Exeter to Bristol.  

Swedebasher describes experimentation with gas turbine locomotives in the 1950s and compares subsequent performance with Class 52 diesel hydraulics. Noel Proudlock recalls his journeys to work behind Class 31/4s in the 1980s. 

Following the publication of the "final years of BR steam" supplement in July, members recall their final journeys: Frank Price describes the Belfast Boat Express in 1968, Sandy Smeaton on the WCML north of Carlisle and Derek Wilson on the ECML in 1962/63.Frank Price commemorates the 50th anniversary by travelling behind Galatea over the S&C line. Sean Emmett covers Clan Line's exploits in the south west this summer

David Lloyd-Roberts describes his German journeys in 2017


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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