Monthly Archives: October 2012

Forthcoming Events – Chasewater Railway – Sunday November 4th 2012

Chasewater Railway – Sunday November 4th 2012

With thanks to oakparkrunner

Always Red Events – We’ll Meet Again Autumn Winter Affair – 4th November 2012 Chasewater Railway

by sharon TAYLOR

Chasewater Railway and Always Red Events invites families and vintage fans to return to Chasewater and step back in time for a little November Nostalgia with their Autumn Winter Affair.

The event on 4th November 11am -4pm, will include 30 local exhibitors selling affordable and boutique vintage clothing, jewellery, accessories, home wares, arts, crafts gifts, & handmade items in a heated, indoor venue. There are also cupcakes, confectionery hot food and refreshments. It’s a grand day out for all the family with children’s games, face painting, competitions, bouncy castle, giant Jenga, Connect Four and entertainment with Jolly Joey.

For the grownups we have Strictly Jitterbug will be dancing on the railway platform. Speakeasy Cocktails bars are working some mixology magic with themed cocktails and alcohol free mocktails made the old fashioned way. String of Pearls, Jailhouse Rockers and Chicken Shack Boogie Boys return for an afternoon jampacked with of live entertainment!

Just for the girls the Pop Up Vintage Salon will be offering hair and make-up from just £5, including victory rolls, beehives, waves and curl sets (think Marilyn Monroe or Dita Von Teese). They also apply false lashes for just £6 and specialise in perfect eyeliner flicks and red lips (to pre-book beauty sessions email There’s also the vintage ‘photo booth’ where you can have your photo taken and receive two vintage prints for £10 on the day.

The Sidings Tea Room will be serving a Sunday carvery and afternoon tea, call to book your table in advance contact Jenny at The Sidings Plus a day at the railway would not be complete without the trains and there will be Chasewater Railway’s full service running throughout the day. With free parking and free entrance it’s an absolutely spiffing vintage day out! (Donations for Chasewater Railway will be kindly received though.)

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway – Secretary of State for Transport Visits Wirksworth

  Secretary of State for Transport Visits Wirksworth

Secretary of State in the cab of one of the railway’s locomotives at Duffield.

 Hails ‘Tremendous Success’ of Ecclesbourne Valley Railway’s Reopening

Wirksworth, 26 October 2012: Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, visited the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway today to witness how the railway has been restored from a state of complete dereliction to a vibrant transport link for the town of Wirksworth and surrounding villages.

The Secretary of State with EVR team members at Wirksworth. Left to right, Martin S. Miller, General Manager; Mike Evans, Director; Mike Jacob, locomotive owner; Graham Walker, volunteer locomotive driver; Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport.  

On what was the very first visit to a private railway, the Secretary of State was taken for a tour of the whole line, allowing him to witness its transformation over the past decade. As Member of Parliament for the Derbyshire Dales, the Secretary of State had visited the line on several occasions in the early days of its restoration but while his last journey was in a guards van along an overgrown and partially abandoned line, today’s journey was in the railway’s Royal Saloon, where afternoon tea was served.

“We are delighted to have welcomed the Secretary of State to our railway today” remarked Martin S. Miller, the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway’s General Manager. “This is a proud moment for us, especially as the Secretary of State is not only our member of parliament but a good friend to our railway” he added.

In addition to a tour of the line, the Secretary of State discussed a variety of issues facing the line to Wirksworth and met several of the railway’s volunteers, whose efforts were praised as, in a true example of the Big Society, the railway’s team of 200 volunteers not only brought the line back to life but operate it today.

The Secretary of State praised the railway’s management and volunteers for the significant impact the railway has had on tourism and local businesses in the Ecclesbourne Valley and was presented with a special brochure describing the railway’s restoration and its crucial role in the economic life of the locality.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1898 ‘Atlantics’ Great Northern Railway – London Brighton & South Coast Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1898 ‘Atlantics’

Great Northern Railway – London Brighton & South Coast Railway

990 in early LNER days

H.A.Ivatt’s No.990, which emerged from Doncaster Works in the summer of 1898, was the first 4-4-2 tender engine to run in this country.  This type had already established a firm footing in the USA, and this was no doubt the reason for the nickname ‘Atlantic’ which has always been applied to engines of this wheel arrangement.

No.990 subsequently received the name ‘Henry Oakley’ and was unique in that it was the only GNR engine ever to bear a name until almost the close of that Company’s independent life, when Gresley’s two ‘Pacifics’, which appeared in 1922, were likewise honoured.

After extended trials with 990, ten more of the class were built in 1900, Nos.949, 950 and 982-9.

No.271, which followed in 1902, was a much more powerful engine, in that although similar in appearance to the 990s, it was provided with four high pressure cylinders in place of the two carried by the earlier examples.  It remained the only engine of its class, and after various modifications it ended up with two inside cylinders only, in the form in which it remained until scrapped in 1936.4433 in early LNER days

Also in 1902 appeared No.251, the pioneer of the larger and better known class of Atlantics which did so much yeoman service on the GNR main line for very many years.  This engine was provided with a much bigger boiler, and was the largest passenger engine in the country at the time.  Another essential difference between the new engine and the ‘small Atlantics’ was the wide firebox extending over the whole width of the frames.  The large grate which it was thus possible to provide was one of the contributory reasons for the success of the design.  Whilst 251 was undergoing trials ten more of the small class appeared in 1903, Nos. 250 and 252-60, after which the enlarged version came out in considerable numbers between 1904 and 1910, eventually totalling 94 engines.  The numbers were 251, 272-301, 1300, and 1400-61.  The last ten were built new with superheaters and had sundry other improvements.  Eventually the remainder of the class was also superheated.

There were a few add deviations from the standard design amongst these engines.  No. 292 was built as a 4-cylinder compound, and was scrapped as such in 1927.  No. 1421 also started as a 4-cylinder compound, but was converted to a standard 2-cylinder simple in 1921.  No. 279 was rebuilt as a 4-cylinder in 1915, but reverted to two cylinders in 1928.  No. 1419 acquired a ‘booster’ to the trailing wheels in 1923, a small auxiliary engine to assist in starting, but this was not greatly successful, and the apparatus was later removed.  Finally, No. 1300, which was a 4-cylinder compound constructed by the Vulcan Foundry in 1905, and which differed considerably from the standard class in appearance, was converted to 2-cylinder simple in 1917, and scrapped in 1924, the first of the class to go.

By 1946 all of the small-boilered Atlantics had been taken out of service, and withdrawal of the large ones had already begun in 1945.  All except Nos. 292 and 1300, however, were included in the 1946 renumbering scheme as 2800-91, although many of them never actually carried these numbers.  Seventeen survived to be incorporated in BR stock in 1948, but only No. 62822 was actually renumbered as such.  This engine, the last to remain in traffic, was scrapped in 1950.

The originals of both small and large designs, Nos. 990 and 251, have been preserved in their old GNR colours, but No. 990 is not exactly in its original condition, as it acquired, in common with others of its class, an extended smokebox.

When D.E.Marsh, who had been at Doncaster when the ‘251’ class came out, and probably had a hand in their design, went to the LBSCR, he built eleven almost exactly similar engines for that line, Nos. 37-41, originally un-superheated, in 1905, and another six, with superheaters, in 1911-12, Nos. 421-6.  Most of the latter outlasted their GNR antecedents, one of them remaining in service until 1958 as BR No. 32424.  This was the last ‘Atlantic’ type engine in regular service in this country.3258 pic by M.Peirson – LNER Encyclopedia

Dimensions as finally running:

GNR 990 class – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders – 19”x 24”,  Pressure – 170 lb.,  Tractive effort – 15649 lb.,  Weight – 60 tons,  LNER classification – C2,  LBSC & SR classification – NA,  BR classification – NA

GNR 251 class – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders – 20”x 26”,  Pressure – 170 lb.,  Tractive effort – 18735 lb.,  Weight – 70 tons,  LNER classification – C1,  LBSC & SR classification – NA,  BR classification – 2P

 LBSC 37-41 – Driving wheels – 6’ 7½”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 20070 lb.,  Weight – 68¼ tons,  LNER classification – NA,  LBSC & SR classification – H1,  BR classification – 4P

LBSC 421-6 – Driving wheels – 6’ 7½”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 24520 lb.,  Weight – 68¼ tons,  LNER classification – NA,  LBSC & SR classification – H2,  BR classification – 4P

GNR 4-4-2 Class C2 “Klondyke” no. 990 “Henry Oakley” at Doncaster Works open day on 27th July 2003.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation

Some Early Lines – Chard Branch Line

Some Early Lines

Chard Branch Line

The 4.45pm Taunton – Chard Central slides out of Hatch, headed by 7436, on June 9, 1961.   M.J.Fox

The Chard Branch Lines were two railway lines in Somerset, England, that met end on in Chard. The first was opened in 1863 by the London and South Western Railway as a short branch line from their main line. This approached the town from the south. The second and longer line was opened by the Bristol and Exeter Railway in 1866 and ran northwards from Chard to join their main line near Taunton.

From 1917 they were both operated by one company, but services were mostly advertised as though it was still two separate lines. It was closed to passengers in 1962 and freight traffic was withdrawn a few years later.

Chard Central.  9718, with two derelict looking coaches, leaves the weed-choked platform with the 4.07pm for Chard Junction in 1961.  M.J.Fox


 The local railway network

The London and South Western Railway (LSWR) opened its first station serving Chard at ‘Chard Road’ in 1860 on its new Yeovil and Exeter Railway. The Chard Railway Company was established in 1859 and work started on the branch line from Chard Road to the town on 1 November 1860. The following March the LSWR agreed to purchase the company, a deal that was completed in 1864. The line was opened to the terminus at Chard Town on 8 May 1863 (the original station was renamed ‘Chard Junction’ in 1872).

Chard had been connected to Taunton in 1842 by the Chard Canal but early proposals to convert the canal into a railway line failed to materialise. Instead the Bristol and Exeter Railway (B&ER) opened a line parallel to the canal on 11 September 1866 using powers initially granted to a Chard and Taunton Railway Company by an Act of Parliament in 1861. In the following year the B&ER purchased the little-used canal for £6,000 and closed it. The B&ER line was single track and connected a new ‘Chard station’, to the B&ER’s main line at Creech St Michael. Intermediate stations were situated at Hatch and Ilminster, but another was opened at Thorn in 1871.

3787 on an early morning Taunton – Chard train leaving Thornfalcon in June 1962.  M.J.Fox

The LSWR was built to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge but the B&ER was a 7 ft 0 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm) broad gauge line until 19 July 1891 when it was converted to standard gauge. Other branch lines around Taunton had been converted between 1879 and 1882 but the Great Western Railway (GWR, which had amalgamated with the B&ER in 1876) left the Chard branch as a broad gauge line to prevent the LSWR requesting access to Taunton. The LSWR extended its line to the B&ER station two months after it had opened and it was then operated as a joint station. During World War I the GWR undertook to work the line from Chard Joint station to Chard Junction station from 1 January 1917, although separate signal boxes were maintained until 1928.

In 1923 the LSWR was itself merged into the new Southern Railway (SR). Two additional stations were opened in 1928 on the GWR section. Both railways were nationalised in 1948 but were initially managed as two separate regions – the GWR becoming the Western Region and the SR became the Southern Region. A fuel shortage in 1951 led to the line being temporarily closed from 3 February to 7 May. Eleven years later passenger services were withdrawn permanently on 10 September 1962 and the line closed completely between Creech and Chard on 6 July 1964. Public goods traffic was retained at Chard until 1966.

3787 climbs throatily out of Ilminster with a train bound for Chard in March 1962.  M.J.Fox

Canal News – Hallowe’en – what’s on and coming soon

Halloween Nights

Halloween in Shankhill  After dark on October 31st

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright Sarah777 and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 26 October – 27 October 2012

This Halloween, visit the Museum’s eerie gas-lit village where little devils and mini ghosts and ghouls can trick or treat in SAFETY along the Museum’s cobbled streets, collecting sweets as they go.

6.30pm – 10.00pm

There is plenty for the family to see and do with activities including; street theatre performances, circus skill games, magic tricks, balloon animal making, face painting, fire juggling and meeting birds of prey.

Enjoy a sing along with the pianist in the Bottle & Glass Inn or for a more spiritual experience visit the mystics and psychics.

Come along in fancy dress and join the musical parade through the Museum’s village and you could win a prize for best dressed adult or child.

*This is a pre purchase only event.

Tickets are now on sale

Book your tickets online or call 0121 520 8054


Adults £14.95

Senior £11.95

Young People £7.95

Carer £7.45

 Halloween children’s boat trips through Dudley Tunnel

The northern entrance to Dudley Tunnel on the Dudley No. 1 Canal, next to the Black Country Museum.  © Copyright Martin Clark and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

31 Oct 2012

16:30 pm – 20:30 pm

Have a Hallowen to remember with a spooky boat trip through Dudley’s spooktacular underground caverns.

You’ll meet the wonderful Groovy UV Entertainments Company and their amazing ‘glow in the dark’ Halloween puppets. There’ll be incredible lightshows, great family entertainment and the kids are guaranteed lots of fun.

Prizes for the best fancy dress.

Please book early to avoid disappoinment.

Shugborough October 2012 – Valerie Daft

Art and walking in Birmingham

28 Oct 2012

10:30 am – 14:00 pm

Celebrate the art of walking with a day of walks, talks and feasting in Birmingham.

This unique event has been organised in collaboration with the National Trust, the Canal & River Trust, IKON Gallery and The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

It’s a unique and exciting opportunity for the public to experience a relaxed walk through Birmingham whilst appreciating great art.

The day starts at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, where people can discover how walking inspired many Romantic artists including the enchanted wanderer Thomas Fearnley in the exhibition In Front of Nature: The European Landscapes of Thomas Fearnley. This will be followed by an autumnal stroll along a scenic stretch of the Birmingham canal to the popular cultural haven, Brindley Place.

The next stop is the Ikon Gallery (Birmingham’s leading contemporary art gallery) for Sunday lunch followed by a tour of the fascinating exhibitions, Yael Bartana: And Europe Will Be Stunned and Arefin & Arefin: The graphic design of Tony Arefin.

Date: Sunday 28th October 2012

Start times: 10.30am or 11.30am

Price: £20 per person includes lunch at Ikon Gallery’s award winning café/ £5 per person without lunch. Booking is essential.

Further Information/ Bookings:

Telephone: 0121 414 2261


Brindley Wharf, Birmingham

Located between the rear of the International Convention Centre and Brindley Place. A beautifully restored section of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN).  Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright Graham Taylor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Forthcoming Attractions – Annual Wirksworth Model Railway Exhibition Weekend

Annual Wirksworth Model Railway Exhibition Weekend

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October 2012

A sunny day at Wirksworth Station

About this Event

This annual event features model railway layouts and traders at three venues in the town as well as at Wirksworth Station. The railway will be running trains to support the exhibition, allowing visitors to travel to Wirksworth by train from anywhere in the country!

Pullman Buffet

The new Pullman Buffet will be open for the service of teas, coffees, light refreshments, hot and cold meals, snacks and Bacon Butties!

Opening Times

Wirksworth Station: 09:30 – 18:00

Duffield Station: 10:00 – 17:15

Pullman Buffet: 10:00 – 18:20 (Sat) and 16:30 (Sun)

Exhibition Times: 10:00 – 17:00 (Sat) and 10:00 – 16:30 (Sun)


The timetable for the Wirksworth and Duffield line for the event will be as below.

Depart Wirksworth 10:20 12:20 14:20 16:20 18:20 (Sat)

Depart Idridgehay 10:38 12:38 14:38 16:38 18:38 (Sat)

Depart Shottle 10:42 12:42 14:42 16:42 16:42 (Sat)

Arrive Duffield 10:50 12:50 14:50 16:50 18:50 (Sat)

Depart Duffield 11:10 13:10 15:10 17:10 19:10 (Sat)

Depart Shottle 11:19 13:19 15:19 17:19 pass (Sat)

Depart Idridgehay 11:25 13:25 15:25 17:25 pass (Sat)

Arrive Wirksworth 11:43 13:43 15:43 17:43 19:43 (Sat)

The first train from Duffield on Sunday departs 4 minutes later due to a main line connection.

The timetable on the Wirksworth and Ravenstor line will be half hourly as below. Some services will be steam-hauled.

Depart Wirksworth 10:55 11:25 except 15:55 16:25

Arrive Ravenstor 10:00 10:30 12:55 16:00 16:30

Depart Ravenstor 10:05 10:35 and 16:05 16:35

Arrive Wirksworth 10:10 10:40 13:25 16:10 16:40

A model railway layout (Photo: Oliver Hodgkinson)

The Exhbition

The exhbition will take place at three venues in the town – the Town Hall, the Parish Rooms and the Memorial Hall. It includes specialst model railway trade stands, secondhand railway books, DVDs, railway art, an EVRA stall, a tombola and refreshments.

Late Saturday Train with Fish and Chip Special

There will be an 18:20 departure from Wirksworth on Saturday to allow visitors to stay later at the exhibition. Ordinary day rover and single tickets are valid on this train.

This train will also form a Fish and Chip Special. Travel down the valley, receive a portion of the national favourite on arrival at Duffield and have them onboard for the return journey. £5.00 return including food. Advanced booking before the day is essential. Book online now from our Online Ticket Office.

An evening train at Duffield


Tickets are valid all day on both the Duffield and Ravenstor lines on the day of purchase. Single and intermediate station fares are available.

Rail Day Rover

Adults Concessions Children Family (2+3)

£10.00 £9.00 £5.00 £25.00

Model Rail Entry

Adults Concessions Children Family (2+2)

£4.50 £3.50 £3.50 £11.00

Tickets for the exhibition can be purchased from any of the three venues or from Wirksworth Station.

Visitors wishing to purchase a combined rail and exhbition ticket will receive the concessionary rate for the rail travel.

N.B. Photographs of layouts are representative. A particular layout portrayed may not feature in this year’s event.

WyvernRail PLC, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. Wirksworth Station, Coldwell Street, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. DE4 4FB. 01629 823076. © 2012

197 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Winter 1996 – Part 2

197 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Winter 1996 – Part 2

From the Board Room

David Bathurst – Chairman

Despite the fact that the festive season is getting ever nearer and the 1996 operating season has drawn to a close, there is no holiday period for the Board. Indeed, the Board has already agreed the pattern of train operations for 1997 to enable publicity leaflets, posters, etc. to be prepared.  Moreover, it has been agreed that the 1996 fare structure be retained, as the current ticket prices seem to have been pitched at just (perhaps exactly) the right levels and have been accepted by the travelling public.  It is pleasing indeed to watch prospective passengers, particularly those with family groups, buying tickets without feeling the need to complain about fares, how different from the days when many (maybe a majority) took one look at the fares and left the station without more ado.

With the help of our Publicity Officer, we aim to raise public awareness in 1997.  Indeed every member – whether a working member or otherwise – is a potential publicity officer in his/her own right.  We need to preach the Railway’s gospel, or at least ensure that its leaflets and publicity materials enjoy maximum exposure!

The Board has recently considered a variety of matters concerning the Railway, and some of these are outlined briefly below.

The ex LNWR ‘Paddy’

Following discussions with relevant members, the Board has formally acknowledged that the proper (or even partial) restoration of this vehicle is beyond the current or anticipated resources of the Railway, both in financial and manpower terms.  In its present condition, the vehicle is dangerous and a liability to the Railway.  Accordingly, the Board has agreed to try to find a more suitable home for the vehicle, which is to be advertised in the railway press for disposal.  Any such disposal would be on the basis of a commitment to restoration by the recipient.  Obviously, the Board would prefer to see it go to an organisation enjoying the necessary resources and expertise to bring it back into use.


The board is examining in considerable detail the income/expenditure profit/loss profile of the rallies held in recent years.  There is much work associated with the organisation of our rallies, a lot of it out of view of the membership or the public.  The burden now being felt by a small minority of key members (who already have their own responsibilities for operation of the Railway) is becoming unacceptable.  For these members, the rallies are no longer an enjoyable challenge.  They have become more of a nightmare.  I am not prepared to allow this situation to continue.  I am not prepared to see our members and colleagues reaching a state of despair, which has happened on a number of occasions during 1996.  With Lichfield DC seeking for the first time to impose charges for hire of Chasewater Park for rallies in 1997, the Board is taking the opportunity of looking afresh at the Railway’s policies and options regarding future rallies.  The Rallies Organiser has been so successful in generating participant interest in our rallies that we have become vulnerable through a shortage of members prepared to make a direct contribution to rally organisation.  We have become a victim of, and hostage to, our own success.  If the Board’s aspirations come to fruition, we will have vastly increased public support for the rallies, but without the hassle experienced over recent times.  Our aim is to return to a situation where our rallies are enjoyed by the public, by the participants, and – more particularly – by our own members.

Invalid Toilet

The Railway’s Policy Statement includes a commitment to the provision for the disabled and our stations, buffet and trains are all accessible to people with mobility difficulties.  The one remaining omission is the provision of a disabled toilet and the Board has noted with pleasure that this will be available in good time for the Santa Specials in December.  The opportunity is being taken to ‘repair’ some defects in the plumbing system, hopefully with an improvement for the olfactory senses.

New Shop / Bric-a-Brac

The Board has given its support for a scheme whereby the recently adapted portacabin immediately next to the buffet at Brownhills West will become the new, enlarged, shop.  Shop sales, and children’s toys in particular, have increased markedly during 1996 thanks to the introduction of an enhanced commercial policy.  Consideration is being given to the use of other accommodation as a bric-a-brac shop.

Traction Inspector

The Board has formally endorsed the appointment of David Walker as the Railway’s Traction Inspector, although this is without prejudice to the Railway maintaining a relationship with other competent persons who have been prepared to assist in the past.  A driver and two firemen have already received their ‘ticket’ and further assessments are to be made in 1997.

Lichfield District Council

A lengthy letter has been received from Lichfield District Council in relation to the many matters which have been the subject of representations from the Railway since the Council became our landlords in 1993.  The Board’s preliminary impression is that the Council has failed to recognise or appreciate our concerns and that response is wholly unsatisfactory.  The Railway’s views will be communicated to the Council at an early date.

Christmas: Santa Specials

We are hoping for our most successful Christmas programme ever, providing the icing on the cake to complete a highly encouraging year.  Santa Specials will run on Sundays 15th and 22nd December, providing an opportunity for our ‘absentee members’ to visit the Railway and to judge for themselves what changes have taken place since their last visit.

P Way News

Arthur Edwards

In the autumn/winter plans for the P Way gang over the 1996/97 period is the laying of the sidings by the bottom compound.  This is expected to take up most of the winter months.  Some work has already commenced on laying out the first two roads with the first set of points going in after the Santa Specials.  The time scale for laying in the point work is expected to be around three months so that they should be up and running for the start of the next running season.  As the 1997 season will be starting early – the last week in March – and going through to the end of October, the P Way gang has a shorter period to get more things accomplished, therefore as our membership grows hopefully more volunteers will boost the numbers in the gang.  During this period it is also planned to lay 4 x 60ft lengths of rail on the extension so that the sleepers which are already in place can be keyed up and not tossed into the lake.  If the number of bodies available gets to a sufficient number, the causeway bank can be relaid with 60 ft lengths so if any able bodied volunteers are out there you can always find us on either a Saturday or Sunday, so don’t feel shy.

The weedkilling planned for the end of summer has had to be postponed due to the weather conditions not being suitable for it.  As the weedkiller has been purchased we should be able to spread it at the beginning or middle of March prior to the commencement of the new season.  This should be followed by a second application approximately half way through the running season so as to keep on top of the perennial problem of weed encroachment onto the track.  There are signs that some of the hedging planted several years ago is starting to take hold so that it should provide a permanent barrier along some of the more exposed fence line.  Further plantings should gradually fill out any gaps so making trespass onto the line more difficult.  I’d like to thank all the volunteers who have helped us during 1996 and look forward to seeing you in 1997.


Some Early Lines – Narrow Gauge Great Orme Tramway

Some Early Lines – Narrow gauge

Great Orme Tramway

Lower terminus of Great Orme Tramway.  © Copyright Duncan and Gareth Alderson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The Great Orme Tramway (Welsh: Tramffordd y Gogarth) is a cable-hauled 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge tramway in Llandudno in north Wales.

This is Great Britain’s only remaining cable operated street tramway and one of only three surviving in the world. It takes passengers from Llandudno Victoria Station to just below the summit of the Great Orme headland. Operation of the tramway differs from the better-known San Francisco system in that it is not a cable car but rather a street running funicular (similar to the Lisbon system), where the cars are permanently fixed to the cable, and are stopped and started by stopping and starting the cable. As one car is ascending, the other is descending, and they meet midway. The tramway was opened on two stages: the lower section on 31 July 1902 and the upper on 8 July 1903. The two sections operate independently, with two cars on each section which are mechanically separate.

Llandudno – Great Orme Tramway

The tramway starts in the town and goes all the way to the summit of the Great Orme. This photo is about half way back down, where the tram re enters the built up areas.  © Copyright Paul Allison and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The lower section is built on or alongside the public road and has gradients as steep as 1 in 3.8. The cable on this section lies below the road surface in a conduit between the rails. The bottom half of the section is single track, but above the passing loop it has interlaced double track. In comparison, the upper section is less steep, with a maximum gradient of 1 in 10, and is single track apart from a short double track passing loop equipped with Abt type points to accommodate the cable. The original power house, at the Halfway station between the lower and upper sections, was equipped with winding gear powered by steam from coke-fired boilers. This was replaced in 1958 by electrically powered apparatus. In 2001, the entire Halfway station, its control room and its power plant were completely rebuilt and re-equipped.

Passing Loop, Lower Section, Great Orme Tramway

This shows the rails at the lower section passing loop of the tramway. The cars are permanently attached to the cable, which runs beneath the slot in the centre rail. The overhead wire and trolley are used only for communication purposes and do not supply electrical power.  © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The tramway uses four tramcars, in service since 1902. An overhead wire telegraph was formerly used for communication between the tram and the engineer-driver in charge of winding the drum, and has been replaced with an induction-loop radio-control system.

The tramway has three main stations, the lower station named “Victoria” after the hotel that formerly occupied the station site, the middle one aptly named ‘Halfway’, and the Great Orme Summit station. Passengers must change trams at the Halfway station.

The Summit Complex , Great Orme

The Summit Complex sits at the top of the Great Orme in Llandudno. The building was originally known as “the Telegraph Inn.” The Complex houses a gift shop, cafe bars and restaurants. The Summit can be reached by tramway, cable car and by road. During the World War two the hotel was used for signalling purposes and became RAF Great Orme Radar Station.  © Copyright john driscoll and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Great Orme Tramway

Taken from the tram barn at the halfway station.  © Copyright Chris Andrews and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

   The Great Orme Experience

So much to see – The view from the Great Orme’s 679ft (207m) summit are breathtaking- from Snowdonia and Anglesey, all the way to to the Isle of Man, Blackpool and the Lake District.

So much to discover – The Great Orme is a wonderland of nature and history. Look out for the two varieties of butterfly which are unique to the area, the wild Kashmir goats and the rare flowers.

Explore the headland’s amazing Bronze Age copper mines, the Iron Age fort and the Stone Age remains. Visit the 6th century St Tudno’s Church. Or simply breathe in the fresh air and beauty.

The Great Orme Tramway

The Great Orme Tramway was built in 1902 to take passengers from Llandudno to and from the summit of the Great Orme. It is Britain’s only remaining cable operated street tramway and one of only three surviving in the world.  The tramway uses four tramcars, all of which have been in service since 1902.   © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Forthcoming Events – Cannock Chase & Brownhills Area

Coming Soon in Cannock Chase & Brownhills

196 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Winter 1996 – Part 1

196 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Winter 1996 – Part 1

From the Editorial

In putting the Winter edition of the Chasewater News together I am wondering where to start this Editorial.  As this is the anniversary of my first full year as Editor of our members’ mag I have seen the number of articles which have been submitted grow along with the distribution of the Chasewater News.  To the members who have contributed articles not yet published I would like to say a big thank you for your efforts, and that I still have them ready to put into the magazine.  To all the members who have old memories of the Railway in its formative years and who have thought about putting pen to paper, please do so.  Part of the Editor’s role is to take submitted articles in whatever form that they arrive in and see that they are in a presentable form for publication, and as you have probably seen in the odd edition that even with a spell-checker I have still dropped the odd clanger or two when it comes to spelling.

On membership matters we now have a total of 305 members with a newsletter distribution of over 150 copies to individual households.  This must be the highest number that we have had for many a year.  I would like to welcome all new members who have joined since the last newsletter and hope that you will enjoy being a member of the Railway.  I am looking forward to our newsletter reaching the 250 distribution mark.  As the readership increases I can start to look at the possibility of things such as colour front covers and possibly some colour prints inside the magazine instead of the current black on white format.  This of course is only possible as the quantity published grows and the scales of quantity come into effect.

The past years have seen a major turn around in the fortunes of the Chasewater Railway, from languishing in the doldrums for a number of years in the late 70s and early 80s we now have a railway which gives pleasure to hundreds of visitors every years.  Many comments have been passed by the visiting public on ‘how friendly the people are at Chasewater’, and ‘how it reminds tem of railway preservation in the old days’.  This I feel is due to the positive efforts of all the working members and also the membership at large who have helped to push the message that the Railway is alive and well and growing!

In looking forward to 1997 we have put in place possibly our most ambitious programme of steaming days yet.  With more work being carried out on the restoration of the locomotives, both steam and diesel, the Railway can look forward to being able to run different locomotives throughout the running season, and let Asbestos have a well earned rest for maintenance and repairs.  Chris Chivers.

Loco Shed News

With the completion of the shed heating it is hoped that life will be much easier for the locomotive volunteers, and there are mutterings from Andy Mould that the forge will finally be put back into working order.  Personally I think he’s just looking for somewhere to cook his bacon and keep his tea hot!  Also  during the recent shunt round, the North Eastern brake is now residing in the shed road and has been dubiously named the ‘917 and Neilson support coach’ and during the recent bad weather it has seen rather more bodies using it for a mobile rest-room than usual!

Steam Locomotives

No.4 Asbestos – Still the mainstay of the Railway for steam haulage and at the moment only requires the usual maintenance necessary for any steam locomotive.  She is expected to be in traffic during the Santa Specials.

No.5 Sentinel – With the arrival of the replacement links the repairs to the chain are well under way, and it is hoped to have Sentinel steam tested before Christmas.

No.11 Alfred Paget – The restoration of this engine continues at a pace.  The ¾” steel plate for the repairs to the front steam chest and boiler saddle has been acquired and cut to the required profile.  The broken pieces of the steam chest have been removed and sections have been cut away ready for the welding in of the new sections.  The boiler has been fully painted in primer and all the protruding studs on the firebox have either been removed awaiting replacements, or have been given a thick coat of grease as a rust preventative measure.  The locomotive is due to be moved into the shed before Christmas so that work can continue under cover over the winter months.  Further fund raising is being actively pursued by Janet Whittaker as the members on site can testify; ‘I’ve even been ‘mugged’ myself by the lady in question!

S100 – The work continues at a steady pace with new pins for the brake hanger assemblies being manufactured on-site.  The wheels should be back under the frames in their correct order before Christmas so that space can be made for the Neilson.

Diesel Locomotives

L&Y No.1 – Nearly all the new bearings for the gear box have now been acquired and the magneto and carburettor are nearing completion ready to be mounted on the engine.  The main body has been partially stripped down to be needle gunned and primed n red oxide.  The brake assembly and sand boxes have been moved to the shed to receive attention during the winter.  Once the engine is completed it is the intention to mount it in No.21 for a period of test running.

No.21 – An attempt to start the engine running on No.21 was made during the autumn without success.  There are still some problems with the cylinder heads and it seems that two new head gaskets will have to be found, as well as having the heads trimmed.  It is a possibility that the 4J0 engine nearing completion at Dormans will be brought to Chasewater for testing in No.21; this has still to be confirmed.

DMU Set – The DMU set has been partially painted in BR green and this is expected to be completed as soon as the weather improves.  The Company’s power car received a donation of £380 from the will of the late Geoff Young, with many thanks to his widow Brenda.

Carriage & Wagon Notes

Tony Wheeler

It has been some time since I have done anything from the carriage and wagon front for the Chasewater News, so here is a brief report on the ongoing restoration projects in hand at the present time.

Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln Coach – The restoration of this coach is still ongoing.  Work is now being done on the underside of the frames with cleaning and painting taking place.  A broken panel on the guard’s door and two broken drop windows and frames have been replaced.  These were caused by vandals at various times during the autumn.  Due to the relatively minor damage caused we have still been able to concentrate on the braking gear and continued applying several coats of paint to the body as and when the weather has permitted.

Midland Brake Van – Work has re-started on this vehicle with the replacement of the missing roof boards.  This was followed up by the roof being re-covered to keep out the worst of the weather.  The missing end panels were replaced, along with some of the side panels being cleaned and undercoated.  The membership had a whip-round and £66 was raised towards the cost of the roofing for this vehicle, with the balance of the expenditure, £39.75, being made up by the Company.  The cost was as follows:  Roof felt – £73.32,  Screws – £6.96,  Paint – £19.47.  With many thanks to all who donated.