New toys and visitors

Statfold and Chasewater: a great way to start the season. This year’s first open day at Staffordshire’s narrow gauge heaven was yesterday, 29th March; it was also the weekend of the Chasewater Industrial Gala

Graham's new toyWhat will be new at Statfold (there’s always something)? Mr Lee has been busy with the track – there’s a new loop on the 2′ gauge line at Oak Tree, doubling its capacity, and it now connects to the balloon loop at the far end, so that trains on both lines can run the full length of the layout, round the loop and back along their respective lines. And there’s a new loco, in the splendid shape of Hudswell Clarke 972 of 1912, an 0-6-0 tender engine.

Gervase and ColinThey’ve been busy with the layout at Chasewater too, tidying up the track at the entrance to Brownhills West. Unfortunately the work wasn’t completed in time – no “bay to bay” trains for Colin McAndrew. But he’s got a new companion for the weekend, in the (unusual) shape of visitor Gervase. Gervase is a Sentinel – an early one, dating from 1928, a conversion of a 1900 Manning Wardle, with side rods rather than the chain drive of later machines. We’d better go and have a look – perhaps Sunday’s weather will be good too? It was…

“Rail Diaries” pages will appear in due course. In the meantime, the above tasters will have to do…

Statfold Barn Railway
Chasewater Railway

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