Just published to “Geoff’s Rail Diaries”, an account with pictures and video of our trip to the Forest of Dean last Saturday, to visit the Alan Keef open day and the Lea Bailey Light Railway. Viewers of the video will discover how the Lea Bailey EIMCO got its name “Whistling Pig”… Visit “Alan Keef and the Whistling Pig” – now!
Not every visitor to the Geoffspages blog will know what they have in common. Simply, they’re all narrow gauge railway locomotives – one steam, one petrol-engined, and…. Peter Pan is well-known and well-travelled; Dalmunzie much less so, in both respects, and the Whistling Pig? Who knows? PP was in action at the Alan Keef open day today, with his friend Woto. Dalmunzie, not in working order, was on display, pre-renovation. At the nearby Lea Bailey railway, a couple of diesels coughed and chugged up and down the short-but-interesting track to the mine entrance, but the star turn was undoubtedly an EIMCO compressed air-powered mines loco, which scuttled back and forth in fine fashion, its exhaust making a curious whistling sound. Given its basic shape, the name is entirely appropriate.
A “Geoff’s Rail Diaries” page will appear in due course (but not before I’ve done the Statfold page), including video (with sound, of course) of the remarkable yellow pig.
The Forest of Dean is a great place for narrow gauge railways – especially when Keefs hold their annual open day. Star attraction is the completed “Barber”, the locomotive built in 1908 by T Green of Leeds for the Harrogate gas works railway – it’s ready for the journey back to South Tynedale and its return to steam. Nearby is the Lea Bailey Light Railway, where there’s a real narrow gauge industrial feel to operations. We’ll look in at Clearwell Caves too, to have a look at the locomotives there (including Lea Bailey’s Hunslet), before visiting Perrygrove, where the annual gala is in full swing, with visitor St Egwyn from the Evesham Vale line. There will be a full set of photos in a day or two, when I’ve had time to put a “Rail Diaries” entry together – but not tomorrow, we’re visiting the Severn Valley for their gala…