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Christmas Quiz - the answers

I We hope that you found the Quiz somewhat diverting and took your mind away from the truly awful telly offering. Inevitably, there are some debatable answers – but here goes with the “official” version. You will recall that the task is determine if the place is real or fictitous; if real – where? If Fictitous – where does it appear?

 1.  North Pole – a real place. Formerly the depot for Eurostar, it has now been taken over by Hitachi for maintaining the new InterCity Express trains. The depot is located alongside the Great Western mainline just outside Paddington. The depot was built on the site of North Pole Jcn, which formerly linked the GW mainline with the West London Line via Kensington Olympia. The junction itself was originally named after a local pub.

2. Lake, The Lake and Lakeside Loop (three places) – all three real. Respectively, on the Isle of Wight, one the North Warwickshire Line (Birmingham to Stratford) and the Rudyard Lake Railway.

3. Crouch End. An interesting one! The intent of the question was that it was a fictional place, and was the tube station shown in “Shaun of the Dead”. However, there WAS a real station, on the line from Finsbury Park to Alexandria Palace. The platforms still exist, and the footpath is worth a visit!

4.    Hobbs End. Fictitious – this was the station used for Quatermass and the Pit (what ever happened to B&W telly??).

5.    West Ashfield   fictitious. This is a mock-up station used by LUL to train staff. It is located in Ashfield Houe in West London. It is astoundingly life-like.
Bonus question: 4 & 5 can be found in close proximity. Where? The answer is derived from the fact that Hobbs End is also one of the station names used on a model railway used by LUL to train staff, and is also located in Ashfield House.

6.    Junction Road Junction. How could that be anything other than Real? On the Gospel Oak – Barking line near Gospel Oak (north London), provides a link to the Midland Main Line.

7.    North Haverbrook (bit of a clue – not actually a railway as such….). This was the town in The Simpsons episode “Marge vs the Monorail”. An object lesson in urban transport planning for us all. It was a documentary – right?

8.    Westbourne Oak. Fictitious – a tube station used in the film version of Paddington.

9.    Mobil Avenue. Also fictitious – an american transit station used in The Matrix Revolutions. The name is an anagram of Limbo, and hence will be familiar to any commuters on the Brighton main line.

10. Bungalow – real, on the Snaefell Mountain Railway. Frequently seen in videos of the TT races just before the crash and the subsequent air ambulance bit.

11. Gorsafawddacha’idraigodanheddogleddollônpenrhynareurdraethceredigion. Real – sort of. A commercially-inspired re-name of a station on the Fairbourne railway. Wikipedia tell us that it translates to the Mawddach station and its dragon under the northern peace of the Penrhyn Road on the golden beach of Cardigan Bay. 

Bonus question: What would this score in Scrabble? This question caused some head scratching. There are several versions of the correct answer.

Nil – because the word is far too long. Good answer to a daft question.

Nil – because the word has too many “D” letters to be played. Also true.

108 – a good answer in the spirit of the question.

But it was then pointed out that as this is a Welsh place name, the Welsh scrabble set should be used. The word is still far too long, and cannot be played (but this time because you run out of the letter G). The score would, I believe, be 103, but that is open to some debate depending on how the various digraphs are counted. However, this news story would seem to suggest that not many Welsh scrabble sets have been sold. 

12. Milford. The intent was Fiction, it’s the station in Brief Encounter (filmed, as everyone knows, at Carnforth). However, it was overlooked that it’s also a station on the Portsmouth Direct line near Guildford. I wonder if that station is also in black and white and populated by people with smuts in their eyes?

13. Hatley. Fiction – the station used in “Oh Mr Porter”, shot on the Severn Valley Railway.

14. Hollerton Junction (which is also served by which heritage railway?). Fiction – The Archers, and it’s served by the Blackberry Line. Young Henry has been taken for a trip on the Blackberry line and sadly was not pushed under the wheels of the train.

15. Grumbly – Fiction. The headquarters of the  Merioneth and Llantisilly Rail Traction Company Limited, who operated Ivor the Engine. 

16. Pen Cob. Real – a short lived station on the Ffestiniog Railway near Boston Lodge.

17. Decoy. Real – a still extant set of sidings just south of Doncaster. Allegedly got its name because it was intended as a “decoy” to attract enemy bombers from the main marshalling yards. Since it was very close to the main yards, and WW2 bombers counted “in the same county” as a direct hit, it is unclear how much of a decoy it really was.

18. Arlesburgh West. Fiction – the terminus of the Arlesdale Railway on the Isle of Sodor (where Thomas lives).

19. Vauxhall Cross. Fiction – seen in the Bond film “Die Another Day”.

20. Mornington Crescent. Obviously fictional, unless one is in Nip, in which case…...I will offer a relatively safe Gants Hill.

So, a winner? Not an easy one. Mr Alan Fryer, the Trust PWay Engineer was the first person with a nearly full set of answers. But Mr Geoffrey Ingram raised the issue of Welsh Scrabble. So I’m going to call them Joint Winners. Well done, chaps and a (serious) thank you to those who also entered. Sadly, I do not have a picture of Mr Ingram, but Alan can be seen in characteristic pose explaining reality to a buffer stop.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 6 January 2017


The Moseley Railway Trust is delighted to announce that they are the recipients of a PRISM grant from Arts Council England.
The grant, for more than £13,000, will be used to fund the restoration of a historic diesel locomotive in the Moseley Railway Trust collection. The locomotive was built by the Motor Rail & Tramcar Company Ltd of Bedford in 1918 as their number 1320. It was built as a 40hp locomotive intended for operation by the British military light railways which served the front lines of the First World War. No.1320 was a “protected” locomotive – that is, the bodywork was intended to give some protection to the crew from enemy fire. However, No.1320 did not leave Bedford until September 1918, and hence was too late to see any active service in the First World War (which ended in November 1918).
As with so many such locomotives, it was sold second-hand (having probably never been used by the military!) to a Hertfordshire gravel quarry, where it had a hard (but productive) life in industry until it was preserved in 1978. It is now owned outright by the MRT following a bequest by its late owner in 2012.
When new, this locomotive would have been fitted with a Dorman 4J0 petrol engine. However, when at the quarry, it was heavily rebuilt with the current Dorman 4DWD diesel engine. At, or around this time, the bodywork was changed to give the loco its current appearance.
The locomotive will be sympathetically restored to the condition in which it worked at the gravel quarries. The history of the locomotive that is the subject of this appeal typifies the whole history of narrow gauge railways in industry; it was built for military use, but spent its working life in civilian hands. The quarry company rebuilt and adapted the locomotive to meet their own needs.
When complete, loco 1320 will form an interesting contract with another 40HP Motor Rail locomotive in the Moseley Railway Trust collection – no.1369, which is still in “military specification” condition.
It is planned to complete the restoration of No.1320 during 2017, which will allow the locomotive to be demonstrated at the Moseley Railway Trust’s 2018 Tracks to the Trenches event, which will take place in July 2018.

Phil Robinson, Chairman of the Moseley Railway Trust, said We are really grateful to Arts Council England for their support. This restoration project will be delivered by our volunteer members, so not only will the loco be restored, but our members will be able to learn new skills and pass experience to our younger members.

Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 9 January 2017


Plenty going on at Apedale at the moment; the closed season is when the rate of working needs to increase – if nothing else, it stops us freezing solid. The steam locos all had a ride around the yard today in order to get the Joffre ready for its boiler exam. It also took the opportunity to test a modification to a set of points which had caused that loco some issues in the past – all seems to be well now. Road 3 of the Red Shed is being re-configured to form a dedicated charging bay for the battery locos. In the past, we have had the chargers on a rail wagon. However, due to the linear nature of railways, getting the right loco near the charger wagon has proven to be nearly impossible. Battery locos are easy to drive and economical, and hence it makes sense to use them whenever possible for yard shunting. The Red Shed has been re-roofed recently (indeed, it now has a souble skinned roof), and hence is pretty dry, but a “tertiary roof” has been added over the site cleared for the chargers just to make sure that water and electricity don’t meet. There’s still more to be done – like actually installing most of the chargers – but it’s looking good so far.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 21 January 2017

Let there be light

Another busy weekend at Apedale. A major shunt on Sunday was needed to extract the Howard petrol loco; this left the yard looking as though a diesel gala was in progress. The Diesel Gala isn’t until 7 & 8 October, and hopefully will be rather better attended. The Howard needed to go onto the inspection pit for attention to its sanding gear. Meanwhile, in the shed, the Ffestiniog Coach has gained its first working light fitting (the previous lights were recovered by the FR for their own vehicles). We are using 12v LED fittings, which will run off an on-board battery. As you will note, electrical lighting caued some wonderment to one of our members. He comes from Manchester, so not too surprising. Very much a prototype fit, we will now proceed to fit all six such lights. As part of the testing/development phase, a non-battery 12v supply was needed, so hence the writer’s ancient train set controller was extracted from the loft and pressed back into use. This controller is, in fact, older than the coach itself (or the coach body at least – the underframe dates back to 1926).

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 29 January 2017

2017 January - Long Weekend Working Party Progress Report

20-23 January 2017



The morning was spent completing the fitting of the motion to William Finlay and placing in its final position. We also tidied up around ‘William’ and removed the surplus packing material from the museum and stacked it appropriately. We carried out a line inspection between Wharf and Pendre as well as removing a large quantity of grass and weeds growing in the ballast. An audit of the sleepers at Wharf was also carried out.


Saturday was ‘Line inspection day’. We made a start at Abergynolwyn, first we went to Nant Gwernol, then to Quarry Siding. The hedging gang who were carrying out some prep work with a train kindly gave us a ride back to Abergynolwyn for lunch. After lunch we drove to Brynglas and inspected the line between there and Quarry Siding. While the line inspections were being carried out others used the pole saw to remove overhanging branches on the same sections.


On Sunday we split the available gang between leaf removal with the leaf blowers and future work planning linked to further line inspection work. We also took a quantity of scrap to Wharf and obtained additional fuel for the leaf blowing gang. The leaf blowing gang started at Quarry Siding and headed west. We remove the leaves for several reasons including fouling the drainage and making line inspections very difficult. The leaves in places along the line collect in huge drifts nearly a foot deep. Line inspections were carried out between Pendre and Hendy Bridge and Rhydyronen and Brynglas.


The day was spent continuing with the leaf removal west of Dolgoch and clearing the drains. They made excellent progress and by the close of play they were about 100metres west of 4 ½ milepost.

Very many thanks to everyone who came along to enjoy three days of sunshine and help with tasks outlined above. The weather was a little chilly at times but it did not stop the good work. Many thanks again, your assistance is much appreciated.

Forthcoming opportunities to help your railway:

  • Long Weekend 10-13 February 2017

  • Spring Outdoor Week 25 Feb -5 March 2017

Advance notice is always very helpful!

Report by Keith Theobald

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 January 2017

2017 January - Hedgelaying

28th and 29th January


Volunteering on a heritage railway does mean opportunities to learn some unique skills – usually related to engines, carriages or track. One new skill a large gang decided to learn last weekend was hedgelaying. Properly managed native hedges provide us with a good sheep-proof fence, look more traditional than wire fencing, create wildlife habitats and help prevent soil erosion.

A couple of regular volunteers had taken part in hedgelaying courses and they offered to teach others their skills. A good cross section of volunteers came along - drivers, guards, firemen, various committee members, outdoor gang members and people who just fancied trying something new. The majority of the gang were women, possibly something unique in the heritage railway world! Although it did mean we had plenty of tea, coffee, biscuits and cake.

The aim of the weekend was to continue the hedgelaying already achieved along Doldeheuwydd Bank, between Brynglas and Dolgoch Stations. The exisitng blackthorn bushes had grown high, blocking the views from the train up towards Cader Idris. The bushes were cut back and selected branches were ‘pleached’ – laid down horizontally and interwoven with upright stakes to form a framework for new growth. Over the next couple of years the new shoots will be cut and trained to form thick hedges. New bushes will be planted in the gaps.

The gang worked in two teams – one to work on trimming back the bushes and one to take the accumulated ‘boscage’ by train to the dumping site near Dolgoch. Volunteers rotated between teams to get a break - it’s hard work sawing branches, pleaching and bashing in stakes! Everyone had a great time and we’re looking forward to the next hedgelaying weekend.

Many thanks to Becky, Dave, Keith and Chris for organising a brilliant weekend.

Article by Karen Willans. Photos by Sarah Freeman, Keith Hayes, Martin Lester, Karen Willans and Andrew Young




The hedgelayers and train with plenty of boscage to collect
Laying branches
Pleaching a branch ready to lay
Saturday hedgelaying progress
Geting rid of the boscage from the hedgelaying by the lineside
Halfway there - Saturday progress
Sunday's section before work begins
Pleached branches
Pleaching with an axe
Loading up the boscage train
The Hedgelaying Gang and their work in progress
Hedgelaying - newly improved views up Doldeheuwydd Bank
Final view of the weekend's work as the last of the boscage is loaded up

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 January 2017

Driver Experience Dates

We have released the dates for the “Tracks to the Trenches Driver Experience” days for 2017 – they are Friday 24th March, Sunday 26th March, Monday 3rd April, Monday 24th April, Friday 8th June, Monday 26th June, Friday 7th July. We may add further dates later in the year depending on enquiries received. Full details are here

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 2 February 2017

Training on the Trains

We have had a Training and Assessment day at Apedale. This has focussed on re-assessing a group of mainline passenger drivers and Guards. We are required by law to have a training and assessment regime which is every bit as rigorous as a mainline operator. The days of “if the face fits, you can be a Guard” are long gone. Whilst this regime can be quite onerous, it does mean that both our volunteers and the management team know exactly who is authorised to do what job, and everyone is trained and assessed against a common set of standards – no favouritism and none of “clique problem” which afflicts some organisations. It also means that any of the volunteers can become part of the training process – but acheiving the necessary standard takes some time and commitment. A spin-off benefit is that we have documentation demonstrating the competence of our people, which is useful when Apedale locos visit other railways – we can demonstrate the competence of the crews which may accompany the loco. We are always looking for new volunteers, please get in touch here.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 5 February 2017

Diana at May Gala

The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to confirm arrangements for the 2017 railway gala at the Apedale Valley Light Railway. This year’s gala, to be held on May 13 and 14, will mark the centenary of the Kerr, Stuart locomotive “Stanhope”. Kerr, Stuart were a Stoke-on-Trent based locomotive manufacturer – so “Stanhope” is now preserved less than five miles from where it was built. However, the intervening century saw it work in England, Scotland and Wales!
The gala will be themed around Kerr, Stuart products, and the visiting locomotive line-up will reflect this. The Trust looks forward to welcoming Phil Mason and his locomotive “Diana” to the railway. “Diana” will also mark its centenary in 2017, and is the only “Sirdar” class Kerr, Stuart loco in Europe; there is one other preserved in Namibia. “Diana” was used on the long-closed Kerry Tramway in Wales, and now operates on the Bala Lake Railway. The locomotive steamed again in 2015, 65 years after being taken out of traffic.
Further visiting locomotives are under negotiation and will be announced in due course; suffice to say that the Trust is aiming to have the largest-ever gathering of Kerr, Stuart locomotives in preservation at Apedale in May! There will be the usual supporting cast of model railways and trade stands, plus military re-enactors in the recreated World War One trench system.
The Trust will also be launching a new book telling the story of “Stanhope” and its’ astonishing survival – the loco owes its survival to an argument between two well-known personalities from the early years of narrow gauge preservation!
Phil Robison, Moseley Railway Trust Chairman said “We are all looking forward to bringing Diana home to Stoke-on-Trent; the Stanhope Steam Gala looks like being another really good weekend at Apedale. The MRT has developed a reputation for top-notch railway galas, and we are expecting this to be no exception!”
The “Stanhope Steam Gala” will be held on May 13 and 14. Admission will be £6 adults, £3 children.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 7 February 2017

Press Release - Talyllyn Railway is 'Loving It Local' over Half Term

We’re ‘Loving It Local’ during the half term week between 18 and 26 February 2017.


Twice as many trains will run, at half the usual fares, as part of the Railway’s annual thank you to the local community. Called ‘Love It Local’ there will also be children’s activities at Tywyn Wharf station during the week including a colouring competition.

Trains will depart for Nant Gwernol from Tywyn Wharf station at 10.30 am, 11.40 am, 2 pm and 3.10 pm and all fares are half price. In addition, Kings Café at Wharf station will be open all week serving hot and cold meals, and the Quarryman’s Caban at Abergynolwyn station will be open for snacks and light refreshments.

Chairman of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society Ian Drummond comments:

‘We deeply appreciate all the support given to the Railway by the local community during the past year, and one of our aims is to build more links into the future. This Railway has served the local community for 150 years, and we hope it will continue for many more. Therefore, this is our way of saying thank you and this year we’ve made it bigger and better than ever. We hope that many people will come along and join us during the week whether it’s to ride the train, have a meal or simply say ‘hello’, you will be more than welcome’.

On Saturday 25 February there will also be an opportunity for those interested in getting involved in volunteering on the Railway with their ‘Try Your Hand’ day.

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

Photo by Ian Drummond.


No 2 Dolgoch at Tywyn Wharf station, complete with Welsh daffs

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 11 February 2017

2017 February - Loco Working Party Update

Update from 4/5 Feb working party at Pendre


No 2 Dolgoch was the main focus of the working party. The plugs, blast pipe and blower ring were refitted. New gauge glasses were fitted, the ashpan overhauled and refitted, firebars replaced and new brake blocks put on. The smokebox and firebox got a fresh coat of paint. The loco was hydraulic tested to check the plugs don’t leak.

No 4 Edward Thomas has had the inside cab, buffer beams and running plates painted.

No 7 Tom Rolt’s safety valves were lapped, and the dome cover refitted.

Thanks all for your hard work.

Photos by Mike Morris.

Painting inside No 4 Edward Thomas' cab
Brake block replacement work on No 2 Dolgoch - why they need replacing!
Brake block replacement work on No 2 Dolgoch - new block

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 13 February 2017

Talyllyn Railway Press Release - More Historic Milestones

 On 19th February 1867, two months after the first public passenger trains ran on the Talyllyn Railway a new timetable was issued.


This was significant because it makes the first mention of Rhydyronen station, two miles from Tywyn and the original intermediate station on the line.

The timetable also shows that now all trains originated from Tywyn and returned back from Abergynolwyn. Previously trains had started from Abergynolwyn and returned from Tywyn. It is believed that the reason for this was that work on the construction of the locomotive shed at Tywyn Pendre station had now been completed. This makes this probably the oldest continuously used narrow gauge locomotive shed in the world.

To mark this 150th anniversary a photo was organised at Tywyn Pendre station featuring the railway’s original locomotive No.1 Talyllyn, itself 152 years old, and the Railway’s current General Manager, Tracey Parkinson, who was dressed in suitable Victorian garb for the occasion.

In the photo Talyllyn Railway General Manager, Tracey Parkinson, is seen in conversation with Andy Crookell, the fireman of locomotive No.1 Talyllyn on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the locomotive shed at Tywyn Pendre seen in the background.

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk (subject: Website%20query) or phone 01654 710472.

Photos by Barbara Fuller





Tracey Parkinson chats to the fireman of No 1 Talyllyn outside Pendre Shed
No 1 Talyllyn at Rhydyronen - marking 150 years since the station opened

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 20 February 2017

Press Release - Talyllyn Railway Has Record Week Despite Doris

The Talyllyn Railway had a record February half-term week carrying nearly 33% more passengers than the same period last year.


Even Storm Doris failed to reduce the passenger numbers with trains able to keep running through the bad weather.

Under the branding ‘Love It Local’ the Railway encouraged residents in the area to come and take a ride on the train and discover the facilities on offer. In anticipation of additional passengers the Railway ran more trains than it had previously run during the February half term week. There was also a range of children’s activities at Tywyn Wharf station.

Saturday 25 February saw a ‘Try Your Hand’ day for those interested in volunteering for the many tasks that need to be done to keep the Railway running.

The following week a band of intrepid volunteers were involved in a week of outdoor maintenance carrying out jobs on the track and elsewhere. They too kept going in the face of what were often appalling weather conditions to get the work done.

General Manager, Tracey Parkinson, commented:

‘This is a tremendous start to the new season. We were worried when we saw the weather forecast for the week that passenger numbers might suffer, but thanks to our dedicated operating volunteers and those who maintain the infrastructure we kept the wheels turning. Our café was also busy serving food from breakfast time until the last train returned. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves. We also signed up many new members for the Preservation Society and had several new volunteers, so we count the week as a huge success’.

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


Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 9 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

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

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 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

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

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

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 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

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

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