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Crossing the road

The days to the May Gala are ticking down fast (May 13 & 14) and hence the rate of working has also picked up tempo. A Must Do job was to finish the new loading pad and the trackwork connecting it to the rest of the railway system. Not as straightforward as it sounds, because the tracks have to cross the main site access road. This road is also used by our neighbours with regular HGVs – so it not only had to be done in a day, it also had to be done right. Fortunately, everyone worked really hard, and we were rewarded to the site of the ever-faithful Ruston No.29 exploring yet another new bit of railway. No.29 is a real workhorse, and has probably been the first loco on most of the railway system at Apedale. At the opposite end of the spectrum is LBU class Ruston number 497542 of 1963; this one is very much a “back of shed” loco, but we had a party who had come all the way from Argentina to see it (apparently). So, it was extracted and given a run. At least one regular member had never even seen it outside before – so he was happy! Steam trains on three days next weekend – it’s a Bank Holiday. Likely to be the Joffre’s first outing of the year – the wood pile will therefore shrink dramatically over the weekend.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 22 April 2017

Easter 2017

Well, folks, that was Easter 2017. The weather was distinctly mixed (can we have a refund, Met Office), but lots of interesting stuff happening at Apedale. We have received the first visiting loco for the May Gala. This is a rather splendid Kerr, Stuart Wren which lives at Statfold, but arrived at Apedale after an outing to Beamish. If you think that makes it a well-travelled loco – that’s nowt. It’s also been across the Atlantic ocean twice! ISC on the tank is Imperial Smelting Company, a firm near Bristol which began in the First World War making mustard gas. We have therefore issued rubber gloves and NBC suits to the crews allocated to the Wren. The Wren arrived alightly before the new loading arrangements at Apedale were completed – this is a concrete pad, which will make loading and unloading locos to road transport much quicker and – most importantly – safer. The pad is in place, and just need connecting to the main railway system. This sounds simple, but it involves crossing the main site access road, and the levels are, to put it mildly, all over the place. In between all of this, we ran a lot of passenger trains, and entertained many passengers – the Easter Bunny even made an appearance. Finally, the Wren has now been put into store in the sheds – but it will be in steam for a photo charter on May 7th – look up 30742 charters on Facebook for more details.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 17 April 2017

Tickets for the Stanhope Gala

An important announcement regarding tickets for the Stanhope Gala – 13 & 14 May. We aren’t doing advance tickets by post for this event – BUT you will be able to buy tickets from the shop at Apedale for the event from this weekend. It’s a great way to beat the queue on the day. Tickets are just £6 for adults, £3 for children 3-16 and there’s a family ticket at £15 (2+2). We’ve also re-vamped the Access All Areas passes aimed at serious enthusiast photographers – £20 buys you access to the whole site for both days of the event plus the Friday set-up day – including access outside the public hours PLUS unlimited train rides and footplate rides on the locos. Only a limited number of passes are made available, and again these can be bought in the shop beforehand or from the gate on the day.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 13 April 2017

Easter Approaches

Just a quick reminder that we’re running trains Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. The Easter Egg Hunt is on – can you spot the eggs from the train? We’re also hoping to have some donkeys on site giving rides. Trains will run from 1130 to 4pm each day, and it’s just £2.50 for adults, £1.50 for kids 3-16.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 11 April 2017

A Sunny weekend

A glorious sunny weekend has seen our first Steam Trains of the season, with the Hudswell Carke doing the honours. We hosted a 70th Birthday – happy Birthday, Mr Birch – and the birthday boy enjoyed taking the controls of the loco (under supervision, of course) for a couple of hours. Wearing a white shirt was a gutsy move, but he seemed to get away with it.
Meanwhile, various projects have pushed on. The FR coach now has completed drawgear at both ends, and just to prove it, we used the Hudswell to shunt it round the yard – the first time it’s moved with steam traction since leaving North Wales (Wot? No Double Fairlie? – the coach was heard to mutter). In the workshop, work has started in earnest on Motor Rail 1320 – this is the 1918 loco which was rebuilt to quarry condition, and will be restored, with the support of a PRISM grant, to the condition in which it worked in industry. It is fair to say that some of the bolts haven’t been out since 1918, and seem quite determined to stay that way, thank you.
Next Weekend, it’s Easter Egg Hunt with steam trains on Saturday, Sunday and Monday – what could be better?

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 9 April 2017

2017 season starts HERE

This Saturday is the first day of the 2017 operating season – the first train is at 1130, and then every half hour until 4pm. It’s looking to be a great year; we’re celebrating the centenary of our favourite steam loco – “Stanhope” – at the May Gala, and we have the first-ever Diesel Gala in October. We’re running every Saturday now until October, plus Bank Holiday Mondays and some Sundays. Visit here for the full timetable. Fares are unchanged at just £2.50 adults, £1.50 kids – what’s not to like? Come on down and enjoy a train ride down the Valley.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 28 March 2017

Two Wrens for the Gala

The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to confirm two more visiting locomotives for the 2017 railway gala at the Apedale Valley Light Railway.
Continuing the theme of the event – which is the Kerr, Stuart locomotive company of Stoke-on-Trent – is Kerr, Stuart 3128. This is one of the iconic “Wren” class locomotives. This locomotive has had a particularly interesting career, including crossing the Atlantic four times! It was built in 1918 for a factory at Avonmouth which supplied Mustard Gas to the British forces fighting in the First World War; after the end of hostilities, the factory became the National Smelting Company producing zinc products. In 1959, the loco was exported for preservation to Canada. The loco was returned to the UK in 2013 and was restored at the Statfold Barn Railway to full operating condition. It was returned to its owner in Canada; tragically, problems in Canada prevented its operation, and it returned to Statfold in 2016.
The visit to Apedale will be the first time that this locomotive has operated away from its Statfold base; the Trust wishes to thank Graham Lee, Henry Noon and the Statfold team for allowing the locomotive to attend the event.
The second locomotive is also a Wren – but a much more recent incarnation. The modern successor to the old Kerr, Stuart company is the Hunslet Engine Company, based at Statfold Barn Their number 3905 of 2005 is named “Jennie” and is now based at the Amerton Railway, near Stafford. Owned by the Gully family, the locomotive has previously visited a number of UK narrow gauge railways, but will be a first-time visitor to Apedale. The Trust is grateful to the Gully family for facilitating the loan of this fascinating locomotive.
Phil Robinson, Moseley Railway Trust Chairman said “Having two Wren class locomotives on site at Apedale will be really exciting. This is the design of locomotive which most people associate with Kerr, Stuart. We think that having five Kerr, Stuart designed locomotives in operation is a record in preservation. It will be fascinating to compare two locos which are very similar in design, yet are 87 years apart in age. This must surely be another record – the longest production run of a product design!”
The “Stanhope Steam Gala” will be held on May 13 and 14. Admission will be £6 adults, £3 children.

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

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 21 March 2017

2017 February - Talyllyn's Spring Outdoor Week 2017 progress report

Tasks completed during Spring Outdoor Week


Nant Gwernol


Quarry Siding


Milepost 4-4 1/4



Investigating an issue with a joint in the crossing, this involved dismantling part of it.

Milepost 2 1/2

Digging out the blocked and choked drain east of milepost 2 1/2 (3 days of very muddy digging)


Resetting 3 platform edging slabs

Hendy Bridge

Ty Mawr Bridge

Rail Stacks


Wharf Cutting

Tree inspection


Keith would like to take this opportunity to say thank you very much to everyone who took part in Spring Outdoor Week 2017. The weather was less than ideal at times and it was suggested that there might be a trades description issue with the word “Spring” however there were plenty of daffodils, snowdrops and primroses to cheer the Gang up.

Thanks are also due to the support teams who facilitated the making and delivery of the gang’s sandwiches, produced an excellent meal for the gang on the Tuesday evening, the evening entertainment providers, and digger drivers.

Update by Keith Theobald.

Photos by Tony McIlwrick and Keith Theobald.


Brynglas re-laying - removing old track
Brynglas re-laying - down to the mud ready for new ballast, sleepers and rail
Brynglas re-laying - nearly done!
Abergynolwyn west end - turnout work
Rhydyronen platform edging
Hendy Bridge repointing work

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 19 March 2017

FR117 has an outing

It’s been a Big Weekend for the FR117 coach project. The bogies were fitted last weekend and the air connected up. The new electrical system has been tidied up to the extent that the coach could move; this involved the usual wrestling match with flexible conduits which seemed to take their inspiration from irate boa constrictors. With that done, it was time to summon an air-brake fitted diesel loco and Give It a Go. It’s fair to say that this was a bit of a nervy moment; however much measuring takes place, it’s always good to see things work in reality. The first step was to make sure that it would fit through the shed door – remember, it has changed a LOT since it was put in the shed. Then, careful checks were made as the coach traversed the sharper points in the yard, and onto the station. Measurements of stepping distances were made, and this needed a run down the mainline to Apedale Road platform. This also allowed a test of the new passenger emergency valve, which was found to be very effective. All seemed to go quite well, so the coach has now been returned to the shed. The electrical work is well advanced. Key stages now are the repaint and cleaning/refitting all the interior. However, we’re pretty confident that FR117 will now carry passengers at Apedale during the forthcoming operating season.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 19 March 2017

An anniversary

So, everyone, 17th March – what’s special about that? Apparently it some sort of Saints Day, popular in Bord Na Mona land. But the real significance of 17th March 2017 is that it is 10 years to the day since the first piece of track of the Apedale Valley Light Railway was laid. Looking back at the photos, it is remarkable how the site has changed in the intervening years. I could make a comment about changes to the people, but best not. What is encouraging is that, of the people in the photos, all are still Trust members and almost all are still regular volunteers at Apedale. You know who you are, chaps!

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 17 March 2017

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Plate frame Simplex


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