Most of our news comes from railway RSS feeds - if your railway has a feed, please let us know.
The Amerton Railway staged a very successful Wren Gala over the weekend of 22th and 23rd June where three Kerr Stuart Wrens 3114/1918, Peter Pan 4256/1922 and Pixie 4260/1922 operating a variety of passenger and goods trains on the newly extended one mile line. Pearl 2 and Isabel were also in steam, but it was the Wren’s that completely stole the show! This is probably the first time that three Wrens have been in steam together for upwards of 50 years. The three engines were lined up every evening for photographers. The railway carried around 2000 passengers over the two days and there were dozens of photograghers in the fields.
Peter Pan and Pixie departed on the Sunday evening, with Pixie continuing on back to Belgium, but 3114 will stay with stay aty Amerton until around October and will be steamed on selected Sundays hauling demonstration goods trains
Posted by David Lloyd-Jones on 9 November 2002
Two collisions with cars on road crossing within three days has raised safety questions about Isle of Man’s 3ft gauge Manx Electric Railway. Many of the road crossings on the 17.1/4 mile double track route between Douglas and Ramsey are totally unprotected. Although, the island’s Director of Public Transport David Howard said: ‘There are no plans to review safety at tram line crossings, following two accidents, one at Fairy Hill in Laxey, and the other at the Liverpool Arms on the Onchan, Baldrine Road’. He added: ‘the tramway has been there since 1893 without safety barriers, and there are no new plans to put any up’. The first accident occurred on Friday, 2nd August 2002 when MER tram No.22 was derailed after it was in collision with a car in Laxey at the Old School Hill crossing. Both the Police and fire crews attended the scene shortly after 7.10pm. The BMW car driven by a Laxey man was pinned against the hedge by the tram, which was leaning at 45 degree angle. Neither car driver, tram crew or the two passengers on board suffered serious injuries following the collision. Director of public transport David Howard said: ‘it would appear a car failed to give way at a tram crossing like they are supposed to.’ The tram was not badly damaged and was back in service the following. The second collision took place three days later on Monday 5th August 2002 at the Liverpool Arms on the Onchan, Baldrine Road. Again nobody was injured and again the collision involved MER tram No.22 hitting a Subaru Impreza.
Posted by David Lloyd-Jones on 9 November 2002
The historic 44 year old 10 1/4” Stapleford Miniature railway, at Stapleford park near Melton Mowbray, Leics, UK will again be open to the public during summer 2003. The first public opportunity announced will be the “Stapleford Steam 2003” charity event.
The date is the 14th 15th June 2003
As usual, the railway will operate alongside a steam rally with vintage vehicles, traction engines, beer tent and refreshments etc and you can even spend the weekend camping up here on the rally field if you want!!
All 5 1/5th scale steam locos based at the SMR will be running across the 2 days. The big 2 American locos will feature from late lunch time on both days
Running through nearly 2 miles of heavily engineered line including a substantial tunnel and “long drag”, at scale line speeds, it is a rare chance to witness the sight of a GWR Saint class exiting Box tunnel!!!! or New York Central Niagara alongside a NKP Berks, all but the latter saddly long departed in full size.
More info and poster of event on www.fsmr.org.uk
Posted by Nigel Spencer on 13 November 2002
Fox the oldest steam lcomotive on the railway, built by Brian Taylor in 1987, has recently re entered service after having her main driving wheel tyres turned. Whilst the wheelsets where removed from the locomotive the opportunity was taken to fettle up the locomotives valve gear and improve lubrication to the axlebox horns in an effort to reduce wear and tear in these areas.
Since returning to service the locomotive, whcih generally runs the highest mileage for the year, has been afar sweeter and smoother machine to drive.
The railway is not neglecting its diesel locomotive either and plans are afoot to retire the 1947 Dorman 2DL Engine, which had previously been used in the Hudswell Clarke locomotives at Blackpool Pleasure beach, with an newer Ford unit. Whilst the Dorman still proves servicable it is becoming less than ideal as it is no longer capable of been able to pull a summer passenger train, which is now often 6 coaches or more at busy times, should circumstances call for it.
Other loco news from the KLR is that Owl the Avonside style Heisler has now been winterised and is unlikly to be used again before the 2003. This is largely due to the fact she is not as yet fitted with steam heat apparatus, a requirement for service trains once the Pennine winter takes hold.
As a result of this the Santa Special services are likely to be in the very capable hands of Hawk the Meyer assisted by Fox. the latter locomotive is primarily there to ensure full heating of the coaches however it will more than likely add its own considerbale power to the proceedings!!!
KLR Newsletter Co Editor
Posted by Stuart Ross on 21 November 2002
1918 World War1 Motor Rail in 1-hour prime-time television programme. – 29 November 2002