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Turtle Tricks

A bit warm down the Valley this weekend – more suited to eating ice cream than working on railways! Nonetheless, progress was made on several fronts. We are providing a temporary railway for the North Norfolk Railway’s World War One event next weekend – called Tracks and Trenches, which is a strangely familiar title. We’re providing two locos – the Tin Turtle and and 20hp open tractor – plus a number of wagons. The locos have been extracted, tested and cleaned ready for the voyage East. Meanwhile, work has continued on MR1320 - which is a close cousin of the Turtle. The engine has reached the “gory oily bits stage”, allowing a view of the big ends, mains and camshaft not seen for many, many years.




Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 18 June 2017

2017 June - Peter Sam's Party

Peter Sam and friends joined us for his party at Abergynolwyn Station on Thursday 1 June.


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It was an early start for Peter Sam and Duncan as they set off in the morning sunshine with their special double headed train from Wharf. Rusty’s engineering train followed up soon after. Ivo Hugh and Rheneas joined in, with the engines whistling madly at each other as their trains passed through. The platform and sidings at Abergynolwyn were very full at some points with all the trains going in and out. Great fun to watch and try and work out what was happening next! Luckily the Thin Controller was on duty to make sure everyone behaved.


 


There was plenty for everyone to do. For the craft lovers there were all sorts of painting, badge making and drawing activities.  Quite a few brightly painted pebbles were added to the new Fairy Glen down the Discovery Path our Tracksiders have created. See if you can find it next time you explore Abergynolwyn Station – it’s well hidden! The legends of the Skarloey Railway were read out for the younger (and young at heart) visitors. You could also get your face painted or try and win the ‘Spot Peter Sam’ competition.


 


As well as the visiting Skarloey engines, we had miniature railway rides along the platform and Peter Sam’s free station shuttles. Rusty’s shuttles between Abergynolwyn and Nant Gwernol kept the Nant Gwernol Station Master busier than usual.


 


Down at Wharf the Llechfan Garden Railway was running plus our young Tracksiders were manning activity stalls.  All in all, a busy, fun day out in lovely sunshine for visitors and volunteers alike.


 


Join us on Thursday 24 August for the next Peter Sam’s Party! Many thanks as always to the volunteers who go to a lot of effort to organise this fantastic event.


Photos by Barbara Fuller, Darren Turner and Karen Willans.




The Talyllyn Railway is the owner of locomotives Talyllyn, Dolgoch, Sir Haydn, Edward Thomas, Douglas, Midlander and Tom Rolt which were written into the Rev. W. Awdry’s stories as Skarloey, Rheneas, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Duncan, Rusty and Ivo Hugh.


  


Peter Sam and Duncan's train going through Pendre
Peter Sam and Duncan's train on Dolgoch Viaduct
Rusty's train at Abergynolwyn
Craft activities at Abergynolwyn Station
Miniature train rides along Abergynolwyn platform
Ivo Hugh running round at Nant Gwernol
Peter Sam and Rheneas pass each other at Abergynolwyn
Duncan pases through Abergynolwyn watched by a few admirers
Rusty's shuttle gets the 'Right Away!'
Ivo Hugh approaching Brynglas Station during the afternoon
Peter Sam back in the shed at Pendre at the end of a busy, but fun day

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 5 June 2017

Working in the sun

The dismantling of Motor Rail 1320 has taken a major step forward with the main components being craned out of the frame. The frame is now elsewhere for shotblasting, and the engine is in a cradle for further work. The photo of the wheels serves to remind of a key reason for undertaking this project. We have received an offer for the old wheels from Gillette, as the flanges are sharper than any of their razors. This is not, by a long way, the only project happening at Apedale. For example, the large Pechot wagon featured large in these notes a while back, at a time when it was using up weld consumables at a formidable rate. After a bit of a hiatus, the wagon has now been finally assembled and finish painted. We are reminded that it dates from 1888, which makes it one of the oldest – if not THE oldest – vehicle on site.



Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 4 June 2017

Gala Success

Moseley Railway Trust celebrates successful Stanhope Gala – and looks to the future
The Moseley Railway Trust held the annual railway gala at the Apedale Valley Light Railway on May 13 & 14. The theme for the 2017 event was to mark the centenary of the Kerr, Stuart locomotive “Stanhope”. Kerr, Stuart were a firm of locomotive builders based in Stoke-on-Trent – just a few miles from Apedale.
Three visiting engines attended, two built by Kerr, Stuart, and the third built to a Kerr, Stuart design. With the home-based fleet of Stanhope and a further 1916-built Kerr, Stuart loco, it is believed that this was the largest gathering of Stoke built locomotives in preservation.
The Gala attracted over 1000 visitors. Phil Robinson, the Trust Chairman said “We are very pleased with how the Stanhope Gala went. On behalf of the Trust, I’d like to express my thanks to the visiting loco owners and also to all our volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the weekend a success”.
The centenary of Stanhope was marked with various cakes – edible by humans and edible by engines. The owner of Stanhope – or the “current custodian”, as he described himself – Dr John Rowlands made a speech describing the remarkable story of how the loco survived into preservation. It was a close-run thing! This story has been put into print in a new book written by Phil Robinson and published by the Trust.
Looking to the future, there will be a new enthusiast-focussed event in October. The Diesel Delights weekend – 7 & 8 October 2017 – will see many of the Trust’s collection of internal combustion locos in action. Some will haul passenger trains – in some cases, these will be the first-ever passenger working for locos over fifty years old!
In 2018, the Trust will hold the third of the popular Tracks to the Trenches events, themed around the First World War. The site will be transformed into the Western Front for the weekend – July 13, 14 & 15 2018. The Trust would be pleased to hear from potential exhibitors of WW1-appropriate items, particularly road vehicles.

More details of the Trust and the Apedale valley Light Railway can be found on Facebook or here.


Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 1 June 2017

MR1320 and the Coach

In between running a steam service, and hosting “Diana” having a last running day before she heads off to Amerton, various other projects have been moving forward at Apedale. The engine of MR1320 has now been stripped back to “block” stage, using the loco frame as a very convenient mobile workstation. It’s fair to say that the condition of many components is as bad as was feared. In particular, the radiator elements are very poorly and also very non-standard compared to other Motor Rails. It looks like someone will have the job of assembling some 22,000 fins onto new radiator tubes. The cylinder liners are also in bad condition, which would largely account for the poor running of the engine. If anyone has any Dorman 4DWD liners down the back of the sofa, do get in touch. Meanwhile, the FR117 coach project is rapidly approaching completion. The coach was taken for a comprehensive test run on Saturday, followed by the slightly scary brake testing process. This all went extremely well, to the point where the project manager was seen to smile slightly at one point.


Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 29 May 2017

412 years of history

A busy weekend at Apedale preparing for the Stanhope Steam Gala. All three visiting steam locos are now on site, which inevitably means a mega-shunt to get them all safely into the shed. Also part of the mega-shunt is clearing the main shed out to allow the floor to be cleaned so that it is safe to allow visitors in to view trade stands and model railways. In between all of this, normal project works have continued. The large Motor Rail no.1320 is rapidly shrinking as it is stripped down for its restoration – this is not terribly photogenic. On the other hand, the FR coach has been painted and looks rather splendid. Sunday has seen us hosting a photo charter for 30742 Charters – the sun shown and everyone seems to have had a jolly good time. The opportunity was taken to line up all the Kerr, Stuart locos. Simple maths tells us that there is 412 years of history in the photo. Wikipedia tells us that 1605 was the year of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder plot. Draw your own conclusions!

 



Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 7 May 2017

Talyllyn Railway Press Release - Tracey Parkinson to become General Manager of East Lancashire Railway

The Talyllyn Railway today announced that their General Manager, Tracey Parkinson, will be leaving on 7 July 2017 to take up the position of General Manager of the East Lancashire Railway.


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During her time on the Talyllyn Tracey has spearheaded many developments and innovations on the Railway. News of her impending departure has been greeted with regret on the Railway, but also wishing her well for the future.


Commenting on Tracey’s appointment to her new role David Ventry, Chairman of the Talyllyn Railway Company, said:


‘We are sad to see Tracey leave after her time with us. She has brought a fresh perspective on many aspects of the work here and will leave the Railway in a much improved situation. However, more than that, Tracey has won a place in people’s hearts and we will miss her as a person, for her warmth and enthusiasm, her willingness to get stuck in to even the most menial chore and her ability to listen and make people feel valued. These are qualities I have no doubt will serve her well at the East Lancashire Railway and I am sure she will be a great success there.’


Tracey herself says:


‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Talyllyn and we have made positive steps to strengthen the sustainability of the Railway, with growth in passenger numbers and revenue. I am confident that the team here will continue in this way and deliver the very best for the Railway.’


Mike Kelly, Chairman of the East Lancashire Railway, said:


‘The appointment of our General Manager comes at a crucial juncture in sustaining the East Lancashire Railway’s recent upward growth in visitor numbers and revenue along with managing a number of exciting and important station developments which it is hoped will culminate in securing a cross platform connection to the mainline station at Castleton, Rochdale. Achievement of these challenges will consolidate the ELR as a premier North West leisure destination offering a unique heritage experience for our many hundreds of thousands of visitors.


Tracey was an outstanding candidate and comes to the ELR with an abundance of heritage, mainline and customer care experience along with an impressive portfolio of organisational improvements wherever Tracey has worked.


Tracey is rooted in heritage and is a key part of the heritage family nationally and we are very pleased to welcome Tracey as our new general manager to the ELR later this year’.


Also commenting on her departure, Ian Drummond, Chairman of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, stated:


‘Tracey has made a great impact during her time with us and we are very sorry to see her go. However, now we are going to be looking forward and seeking to find the right person to continue the work here. Tracey has helped us put in place many new strategies, and has also kick-started a number of initiatives which we wish to see continue and bear fruit. In recent months we have been working to develop a future vision for the Railway, and this will help guide us in our future decisions. It is our firm desire to see the Railway continue to move forwards and be at the forefront of the Heritage Railway movement.’


Following Tracey’s departure David Ventry will be standing in as Interim Managing Director until a new General Manager is in post.


The photo shows Tracey Parkinson on the footplate of ‘Captain Baxter’ with fireman Will Smith during Talyllyn Railway’s Grand Finale Gala in July 2016. Photo by Darren Turner.




For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk


 


Tracey Parkinson on the footplate of ‘Captain Baxter’ in July 2016

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 2 May 2017

Stanhope Steam Gala

Just to confirm a few key bits of information about the Gala weekend – May 13 & 14. Opening times are 1100 to 1700 both days, with last admission at 1600. Ticket prices are Adults £6, children (3-15) £3 and a family (2+2) £15. The ticket includes one round trip on the railway – further train tickets can be bought if so desired. There are still a few Access All Areas tickets available at £20. Tickets can be bought in advance from the shop at Apedale this Saturday 6th May – or just turn up on the day! We will have six locos in steam – the three residents plus visiting engines from Amerton, Bala and Statfold, model railways, sales stands, the ever-popular Titanic Brewery, living history people in the WW1 Trench – and more.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 2 May 2017

Talyllyn Railway Press Release - Local Rotarians Honoured for ‘Race The Train’

Tywyn Rotary Club were recently honoured with an award for organising ‘Race the Train’


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There was a special gathering at Tywyn Wharf station on Thursday 20 April 2017, when past and present members of the Rotary Club of Tywyn were honoured by the awarding of the Wallasey Cup, presented by District 1180 of Rotary International Britain and Ireland for the best club project for organising the ‘Race the Train’ event for the last 33 years. Godfrey Worsley, for many years the Race Director, originally came up with the idea for the main race, which has become internationally famous, and features runners ‘racing’ a Talyllyn Railway train between Tywyn and Abergynolwyn and return, a total distance of some 14 miles.


Since it started in 1984 the event has grown hugely and now attracts runners from all over the world eager to take part in this gruelling challenge. Runners wanting to beat the train have to complete the course in under 1 hour 47 minutes. Over the years the race has raised over a quarter of a million pounds for charity.


The event now features a variety of different races over a number of distances to suit different abilities, which has added to its popularity. This year’s event is scheduled to take place on Saturday 19 August 2017, and the Tywyn Rotary Club is looking for volunteers to help assist with the event.


For more information about the race please visit their website at www.racethetrain.com.




The photo shows local Rotarians past and present gathered at Tywyn Wharf station to be presented with the Wallasey Cup for their organisation of the ‘Race The Train’ event.


Left to Right: Maciek Wood-Kaczmar, John Derry, Lawrence Garvey, Ritchie Owens, Graham Clarke, John Lloyd Jones, Anthony Pearson (President), Elwyn Price, Tracey Parkinson (General Manager Talyllyn Railway), Godfrey Worsey (Former Race Director), George Watson (Current Race Director), John Sidebotham, Nancy Clarke (Senior Vice President), Elfyn James, Paul Cartwright, Peter Saunders, Stephanie Purcell.


(Photo: Darren Turner)


For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk or phone 01654 710472.


 


 


Local Rotarians past and present gathered at Tywyn Wharf station

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 April 2017

Talyllyn Railway Press Release - Passing of David Woodhouse MBE

On Friday 21 April 2017 the funeral was held at St Cadvan’s church in Tywyn for the Talyllyn Railway’s former Traffic and General Manager, David Woodhouse MBE.




The service was led by Talyllyn volunteers Rev Nigel Adams assisted by Sue Whitehouse, and was attended by family and friends including a sizeable contingent from the Talyllyn Railway both staff and volunteers, as well as representatives of the Heritage Railway Association.


At the start of the service the current Talyllyn Railway General Manager, Tracey Parkinson, laid a special key token on the coffin marked for the journey between Earth and Heaven. The service also included a tribute from David’s son Tim, who spoke of his father’s love for railways and the Talyllyn in particular.


David was an early volunteer on the Railway when he was employed by the Midland Red Bus Company, and was the guard on the original Coronation specials which were run in June 1953 for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth. He became increasing involved in the operational side of the Railway and was appointed Traffic Manager in 1966. With Bill Faulkner as Managing Director and John Bate as Chief Engineer this was to be the management team which oversaw the Railway during one of its greatest periods of expansion, including the extension to Nant Gwernol which opened in May 1976.


In his role as Traffic Manager David became one of the most recognised figures on the Talyllyn, universally known as ‘Traffman’. He did much to improve the operational standards on the line, and for his inspection trips along the Railway the blockmen even had a special bell code to warn each other of his whereabouts. However, at least one blockman was caught out having sent the ‘Traffman leaving section’ code through to have a voice behind him saying “No he hasn’t!”.


In 1982 David was appointed the Railway’s General Manager until his resignation in December 1992. However, he then went on to work with the Heritage Railway Association for many years, but remained resident in Tywyn.


Among his other achievements was the establishment in 1969 of the Great Little Trains of Wales marketing panel, which still promotes and represents the narrow gauge railways of Wales today. In recognition of his services to the Welsh tourist industry David was awarded the MBE in 1989. He died after a short illness on 11 April 2017 aged 84, leaving his widow Margaret and children Richard John, Tim and Sam.


Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society chairman, Ian Drummond, commented:


“David’s passing marks the breaking of another link with our past. For those of us who came to the line in the 1960s, 70s and 80s David was very much part of the fabric of the Railway, and indeed in many ways was the Talyllyn. Under his influence the Railway very much became what we know it today, particularly in terms of its operational professionalism.


We have been delighted to have David back on the Railway in an official capacity in recent times. These included the re-enactment of the Coronation Specials for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2013 when he was interviewed by the BBC, although unfortunately that segment was not broadcast. He was also present for our ‘Road to Adventure’ gala in May last year when we celebrated forty years since the opening of the line to Nant Gwernol. He will be much missed, and the turnout at his funeral marked the respect with which he was held. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time.”


 




The photo shows David Woodhouse (left) with Gareth Jones on the occasion of the re-enactment of the original 1953 Coronation trains in 2013. David was the guard on the original trains and Gareth the fireman. Photo: Ian Drummond.


For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk or phone 01654 710472.


David Woodhouse (left) with Gareth Jones in 2013

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 April 2017

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