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“...listening to the locomotives... he began to wonder if he had made the right decision...”
an ornamental lake.At the north end of the lake,the line was extended to a total of 1.2km ( 3 / 4 mile),but this twisty, steeply graded extension was rarely used by passenger trains. The railway opened with a number of locomotives including Ceawlin,a Rio Grandestyle 2-8-0 steam-outline diesel/hydraulic (with the diesel engine in the tender!),and a vaguely Brazilian-inspired diesel railcar,known only as the ‘Maroon Railcar’.The two diesels were joined in 1967 by Muffin,an 0-6-0 tender engine built by Berwyn Engineering,and in 1970 by Dougal,a tank engine manufactured by Severn Lamb. During these early years a rather unwilling sales rep was getting to know the line on occasional visits to the Longleat Estate.John Hayton came from a railway family.His father and two brothers worked on the railway,and for ten years from 1956 he worked at Appleby on the Settle & Carlisle line himself.By the mid-1960s,the industry seemed to be in terminal decline,and John left,working for a while at Shap quarry,where - listening to the last Princess Class locomotives thundering north - he began to wonder if he had made the right decision. From Cumbria,the family moved south,and John found work with a veterinary supply company based,oddly enough,in the yard of Castle Cary station on the West of England mainline.Unable and unwilling to shake the railway bug,John gradually began to
PHOTO:Photo Precision Ltd
1980s.As usual,Rio,far left,is in reserve,while Dougal departs from platform 2 and the railcar arrives on platform 1.This sort of manoeuvre was difficult in practice
Miniature Railway 1