Lovely little locos

Another visit to another favourite 2’0″ gauge line, the Apedale Valley Railway, which held a steam gala earlier today. There will be lots more photos (once I’ve worked through them all) and an account of the visit on Geoff’s Rail Diaries; in the meantime, here are three ‘newcomers’. The German-built O&K, with its neat little tender, spent its working life in Argentina. Avonside Ogwen was repatriated from the USA a few years ago, and Edgar is a ‘new-build’ replica of a (French) Decauville locomotive. A multinational railway!

Apedale Valley Light Railway

The pumping station

A visit to a open day at the old pumping station, in Shrewsbury’s Coleham district. The old pumping engines have been lovingly restored – so have their boilers – and are steam-operated at fairly regular intervals. Outside the building, there’s more of interest, including steam-powered garden railway trains, a 7¼” miniature railway and a 2′-gauge line. Great fun!

Coleham Pumping Station

And here’s the movie:

Buxton and New Mills – day out by rail

Tuesday 26 July: we’re off on a fairly leisurely day out, by rail to Buxton (a pleasantly scenic journey), then to New Mills, where (as well as lunch) we’ll find, if we can, the Millennium Walkway. It’s rather spectacular! A hidden gem, which I suppose is inevitable, given that it’s in a gorge. The photos below may give a flavour of our day; for more rail photos, and more on the journey, visit ‘Buxton and New Mills‘ on Geoff’s Rail Diaries

New Mills Millennium Walkway

View OS map of New Mills on Streetmap

Purple Pacific

Not sure how 34027 Taw Valley earned this distinction (or deserved this fate, depending upon ones standpoint). Painted purple, and renumbered 70, it will be named Elizabeth II in early June to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee. We were at Bridgnorth station for an hour or so this afternoon (entertaining grandchild) and there it was. I’d better take a photo. Amongst others present: as-yet incomplete standard class 3 2-6-2T no. 82045, pannier tank 7714 ready with a southbound departure and the former D9551 growling happily (they were known as ‘teddy bears’, apparently) as it trundled back and forth.

220 years later

In May 1996 I visited Ironbridge power station, where a replica of Trevithick’s 1802 steam locomotive was being demonstrated. The replica was built by apprentices at the GKN works at Hadley, in Telford, and was in action on plateway rails (steel angle) laid on the sleepers, between the rails of the power station’s oil siding. There is some uncertainty about the original – Trevithick’s 1804 Penydarren locomotive is generally acknowledged as being the world’s first steam railway locomotive. It seems that a locomotive was built in 1802, but whether it steamed successfully seems to be lost in the mists of time. The replica seemed to work OK, apart from needing to be bump-started if it was allowed to stop on top (or bottom) dead centre…

The power station has since closed and been demolished – all that remains is the 400kV switchgear house, and the railway tracks which brought the fuel.  Yesterday afternoon I visited the site to view, learn about, and have a ride on a rail vehicle at the very opposite end of the time scale – the ‘Revolution VLR’ (Very Light Rail), a new and very ‘green’ vehicle which could be in the vanguard of a revival in the fortunes of local rail services. The former oil siding is now in use as a demonstration track for this remarkable railcar. There will be more about this most interesting afternoon on “Geoff’s Rail Diaries”; in the meantime here are a couple of photos which bridge a 220-year span over powered rail transport.