PHOTOS are welcome, either digital images on CD-ROM or as low-res thumbnail samples by e-mail, prints or transparencies.
Golden moment for Moseley Trust n A ‘Golden Track Screw’ proved a major milestone for the Moseley Railway Trust, marking the end of phase one in construction of its new 2ft gauge railway at Apedale, Staffordshire.
Phase one of the line, which will be known as the Apedale Valley Light Railway, runs from a station at the Apedale Heritage Centre to Apedale Road, around 500 metres away.
Further phases will see the railway running on a former mineral railway trackbed further into the Apedale Community Country Park
Tracklaying has been carried out by volunteers from the Trust and while the main running line is now complete, much further work remains to be completed, including fitting point levers and locks, ballasting and tamping.
Trust Chairman, Phil
Robinson, fitted the Golden Track Screw and afterwards paid tribute to the volunteers whom he said had worked through the hardest winter for 30 years. “Their dedication and camaraderie is reflected in this railway, which will make a major contribution to tourism in Staffordshire and the regeneration of the local area,” he added.
Passenger trains are expected to start running in the summer with a Grand Opening Gala planned at Apedale on 18 -19 September during which the official opening ceremony will take place.
The MRT hopes to get a VIP to ‘cut the ribbon’ and have at least one visiting steam locomotive in use. For more details of the project log onto www.mrt.org.uk.
Phil Robinson performed the Golden Track Screw ceremony.
Cliff takes the helm n Regular Narrow Gauge World contributor Cliff Thomas has been appointed Chairman of the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Society.
Cliff, a member of the line’s Senior Committee for many years, took up his post on 13th March, succeeding Mervyn Leah who has stepped down after eight years in office. Alistair Chisholm has taken on the new post of Vice-Chairman.
Mervyn Leah told the meeting that he felt eight years was a long enough time to spend, as an unpaid volunteer, in such a demanding role. He will continue to look after the Railway’s marketing, and to act as official media spokesman, as well as continuing as an operating volunteer.
In recognition of Mervyn’s achievements, culminating in the successful celebration of the Railway’s 90th anniversary last year, he was presented with a bound facsimile copy of The Times for 20th November 1919 – the date of the opening ceremony on the line.
A special commemorative book was also presented, including a facsimile of the contemporary Leighton Buzzard Observer report on the opening day, and a photo souvenir of the 2009 events.
Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway General Manager Paul Lewin was among those giving Easter footplate rides on Quarry Hunslets ‘Lilla’ and ‘Britomart’ at the Ffestiniog’s Tan y Bwlch station over Easter. The station has recently received attention with a brand new kids’ play area and a refurbished café. “Tan y Bwlch was definitely the highlight of another successful Bank Holiday weekend,” company spokesman Andrew Thomas said later. Meanwhile as Narrow Gauge World went to press the Welsh Highland Railway was gearing up for a Royal Visit, her Majesty The Queen set to unveil a plaque at the line’s Dinas station on 27th April.
NARROW GAUGE WORLD – No 69
Snow joke on Snowdon n Easter passengers on the Snowdon Mountain Railway found snow still on the mountain at Clogwyn, the first station down from the summit – normally by April, Snowdon is virtually clear of snow and the permanent way team can reach the summit. However, this April has seen them digging through massive drifts much further down the mountain so trains can reach Clogwyn, with on some days even this not possible. The railway hopes for mild weather so the Hafod Eryri summit building can be commissioned for early May. Penrhyn coach complete n Volunteers at the Penrhyn Railway have finished constructing open quarryman’s coach R at Felin Fawr Works. The first batch (A to J) of these iconic coaches were built by deWinton and delivered to the railway in 1879 and 1880. Between 1902 and 1908 a further six (K to P) were built at Felin Fawr Works with coach Q built at the works in 1927. Therefore the new vehicle takes the letter R and has been built to the later design which featured slatted seats and additional tie-rods. The coach is being painted Penrhyn ‘red brown’, manufactured at Coed Y Parc, Bethesda by Bradite, which has supplied the Felin Fawr Works with paint since the 1930s. Fire at Boston Lodge n Ffestiniog Railway Buffet car no114 was slightly damaged in a fire at the Boston Lodge workshops in February. The fire service was called as a precautionary measure, but the fire which is believed to have started in the vehicle’s heating system, was already under control. Teifi’s silver milestone n The Teifi Valley Railway will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a Gala on 17th July marking the first train that ran on the line when it was opened. The line is planning to have as much of its fleet as possible in action at the event. Barnstaple van returns n On 4th Februrary Lynton & Barnstaple Railway van no 23 moved on its own wheels for the first time since 1936. The van only took a short trip, from the loading dock at Woody Bay station to the headshunt, to allow the trenching of new telephone cables under a siding on the site.