Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway – Wirksworth to provide first railcar for the Bluebell Railway




Wirksworth, 30 December 2013: The Bluebell Railway has hired a two-car Diesel Railcar from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Wirksworth, Derbyshire. The set will operate some winter weekend services on the Bluebell Railway between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes whilst maintenance works take place on the line between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park.

The arrival of these railcars will represent a first for the Bluebell railway as they will be the first ever to visit the line: Passenger services were withdrawn in 1958 and diesel railcars seldom ventured into Sussex.

The two carriages have been refurbished maintained and repainted by volunteers from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group.Over the past decade, this group of youthful volunteers has created a facility at Wirksworth dedicated to the restoration and operation of Diesel Railcars (also known as Multiple Units) ranging from the 1956-vintage railcar ‘Iris’ to a Cross-Country railcar restored in 2013 to concours standard from a bare body.

Mike Evans, head of motive power for the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway said “It is great that the hard work of our youthful DMU Group can be appreciated not only at home, but also on other important preserved railways such as the Bluebell.”

Passengers will be able to enjoy the Sussex scenery through the driver’s cab for the first time during January and February.1505_lo

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1918 – ‘Clan’& ‘Clan Goods’ Highland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1918 – ‘Clan’& ‘Clan Goods’

Highland RailwayClan Mackinnon as running in 1928

Clan Mackinnon as running in 1928

C.Cumming was the last locomotive superintendent on the Highland Railway and his contribution to the locomotive stock consisted of two large 4-4-0s in 1916, followed by two classes of 4-6-0s, each consisting of eight engines, which appeared between 1917 and 1921.

The passenger type (the ‘Clan’ class) were Nos. 49 and 51-7, four of which came out in 1919 and the other four in 1921.  The smaller-wheeled variety were intended for freight work, but in later years were used for passenger work on the Kyle road.  These were Nos. 75-82, the first four built in 1917 and the remainder in 1919.  All of both classes were built by Hawthorn Leslie & Co.  At the grouping they became LMS Nos. 14762-9 and 17950-7.

The ‘Clans’ did good service over the Highland main line, and after the grouping several were transferred to the Oban line of the Caledonian.  They were taken out of service from 1943 onwards.  The last to survive was ‘Clan Mackinnon’, withdrawn in 1950 as BR No. 54767.  The ‘Clan goods’ were withdrawn between 1946 and 1952.  Five of them survived to carry BR numbers 57950-1 and 5794-6.

‘Clan’ – Driving wheels – 6’ 0”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 23690 lb.,  Weight – 62¼ tons,  LMS classification – 4P,  BR classification – 4P

‘Clan goods’ – Driving wheels – 5’ 3”,  Cylinders – 20½”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 25800 lb.,  Weight – 56½ tons,  LMS classification – 4F,  BR classification – 4MT57955

Canal News – Waterway Watch December 2013 – Britain’s biggest fishery?

Waterway Watch

December 2013

Super canal would be Britain’s biggest fishery

Narrowboats canal

A new super canal would be Britain’s biggest fishery… if we managed it correctly and encouraged newcomers to use it.

A new super canal stretching from Scotland to London could become Britain’s biggest fishery.

The project has been tabled by engineering consultants Aecom and its main purpose would be to transport water between North and South. The South East of England is one of the driest and most populated regions in the UK, whilst the East of the country is even drier and requires more water for agriculture.

The knock on effect of a canal for recreation hasn’t been lost by the team behind the project and a spokesman for the Environment Agency was supportive of the thinking.

“We are always pleased to see organisations highlighting new thinking and stimulating innovation in the water sector.”

Aecom estimates that a 10-15m wide canal would cost between £12-15bn and although that may seem high stakes investment, by 2030 the UK needs to produce 50 per cent more food than it does today, according to the government, and we will need 30 per cent more fresh water.

The plan may not need public funding because of the number of different services it could provide. However, given the wide range of different organisations that could be involved, including water companies, transmission operators, data centres, forestry companies and a whole slew of local authorities, it would need government support to make it happen.

DCD boss Roger Surgay said: “More water and more fish has to be a good thing for the sport – we just need infrastructure in fishing to show people how to use canals for recreation.”

*Get even more right up-to-date fishing news here

via Super canal would be Britain’s biggest fishery.

Some Early Lines – Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea Railway

Some Early Lines

Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea Railwaywivenhoe show picture  (438)

An old” J ” Class Loco on the Wivenhoe to Brightlingsea run, Bill Sadler who runs the secondhand shop in station Rd. used to be Fireman on these Loco’s.

I was told that a commuter coming home from london to Brightlingsea, fell asleep and when the train slowed down to go over the iron bridge at Alresford Creek, he thought he had arrived at Brightlingsea. He opened the door to step out in the dark and fell headlong into the creek, he was rescued and lived to tell the tale.

 Brightlingsea railway station was located in Brightlingsea, Essex. It was on the single track branch line of the Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea Railway which opened in 1866 and closed in 1964.


The station building was located on the southern side of Lower Park Road where the town’s community centre now sits.

The station and line was built by The Wivenhoe & Brightlingsea Railway company. This been incorporated in 1861 to build a line from Wivenhoe to Brightlingsea which opened on 17 April 1866. The company was a separate, but associated, company to the Tendring Hundred Railway which had built the line from Colchester to Wivenhoe. The GER soon negotiated to buy both the Tendring Hundred Railway and the Clacton-on-Sea Railway, and both became part of the GER on 1 July 1883. The Wivenhoe & Brightlingsea was absorbed by the GER on 9 June 1893.

The line was temporarily closed on 1 February 1953 following severe flood damage but was not reopened until 7 December that year.


The service was identified for closure the Beeching Report of 1963 and was eventually axed in 1964. This was supposedly prompted by the high costs of maintaining the railway swing bridge over Alresford Creek, which was necessary to allow boat traffic to the many sand and gravel pits in the area.

The station building stayed in place for four years after the railway’s closure until it was damaged by fire in 1968. The building was finally demolished in November forum pic

“Wivenhoe Station, taken around the late ’50s, early ’60s. The sign on the Clacton platform reads Wivenhoe and Rowhedge, Junction for Brightlingsea.”

 Remains of railway

The visible relics of the railway’s presence today are the Railway public house and micro-brewery, and the old embankment which is now a footpath. It is possible to walk along virtually the whole length of the former route from very near the site of the old station in Brightlingsea along the old embankment to the site of the former swing bridge. This makes for a pleasant, scenic walk alongside the River Colne with its the ecologically interesting salt marsh environment.

The nearest railway station is now at Alresford.

261 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Autumn & Winter 2002 Part 7 – Odds & Ends

261 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Autumn & Winter 2002

 Part 7 – Odds & EndsPoints001Point to pt AE1969Vic West 1Vic West 2

Model Railway – Go and see the biggest little European Railway in Canada

Model Railway


Experience 4000 square feet of family fun with more than 1800 houses and over 16,000 hand painted little people. The Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad is Canada’s largest Marklin lay-out, with up to 40 computer controlled trains running through very detailed landscaping with European style towns and houses. Come step into a WORLD CLASS miniature fantasy world!

As something completely different we have a car system running on some roads and we are the only public display in North America with that feature. So come check it out – it is like magic!0700-2

If you would like a unique experience on your trip through Osoyoos, drop by the railroad display and have a look. Caution: Train Buffs have been known to become slightly mesmerized by the volume of exquisite detail available to be seen!


Osoyoos historically /ˈsuːjuːs/ SOO-ews) is a town in the southern part of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia near the border with Washington state, between Penticton and Omak. The town is also adjacent to the Indian Reserve of the Osoyoos Indian Band. The origin of the name Osoyoos was the word suius meaning “narrowing of the waters” in the local Okanagan language (Syilx’tsn). The “O-” prefix is not indigenous in origin and was attached by settler-promoters wanting to harmonize the name with other O-names in the Okanagan Country (Oliver, Omak, Oroville, Okanogan). There is one local newspaper, the Osoyoos Times.dsc_0074

The town’s population of 4,845 swells in the summer months with visitors from elsewhere in British Columbia and neighboring Alberta, as well as elsewhere in Canada. There is also a newer contingent of international visitors, supported by the proximity to the Kelowna International Airport about 1.5 hours north of the town. There is also a rapidly growing year-round retiree population as is evident with the recent boom of condominium and suburban development (though somewhat thwarted by the 2008–09 economic downturn). There are another 1,892 people surrounding the town within the “Okanagan-Similkameen A” area.

Tourism in the Osoyoos area has become a large contributor to the local economy. This tourism is brought on by the many amenities in the Osoyoos area.odmr16

Osoyoos Lake is “the warmest freshwater lake in Canada” according to the town of Osoyoosand the BC Parks System, with reported average summer water temperatures of 24°C (75°F). The lake is surrounded by kilometres of beaches (public and private), parks and picnic grounds, such as Gyro Beach, Lions Centennial Park, Kinsmen Park, Legion Beach and Haynes Point Provincial Park. There are also major plans to revitalize the waterfront along the town core, spurred on by recent major developments such as the Watermark Beach Resort which include increased public space and an expanded marina.

Spotted Lake is a saline endorheic alkali lake located northwest of Osoyoos.

There are two centres dedicated to the dry landscape of the area. The Osoyoos Desert Centre is located 3 km north of Osoyoos off Highway 97, while the Nk’mip Desert Cultural Centre is located adjacent to the Nk’mip Winery on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve. The area is served by two golf courses: the Osoyoos Golf and Country Club and the Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course.Osoyoos TownThis picture of Osoyoos in BC, Canada, was taken from Highway 3, east of the town. Taken by Samuel Boisvert.

Date 8 July 2007 (original upload date)   Author – Original uploader was Samuel.jt.boisvert at en.wikipedia   Permission – Released into the public domain (by the author).



Canal News – Dive team set for reservoir repairs at 200 year-old Rudyard Lake

Canal News

Dive team set for reservoir repairs at 200 year-old Rudyard Lake

A team of divers and engineers have begun a £600,000 repair scheme on a Staffordshire beauty spot that lent its name to one of the nation’s best loved authors, Rudyard Kipling.Rudyard Lake DrainedRudyard Lake (the water has been drained in preparation for the work)

We’re carrying out important work at the 200 year-old Rudyard Lake near Leek, which supplies water to the region’s canal network.

The project will mainly involve replacing valves at the reservoir which control the rate that water is released into the canal network. The lake has two sets of valves but, over time, one has become very difficult to operate meaning that the water is being held back by just one set.


Divers will get into the water to replace the faulty upstream valve with a modern hydraulically operated system as well as replacing the two leaking downstream valves. The upgrades will improve water retention in the lake while also giving us greater control of the water released into the region’s network of canals.

The lake was built in 1797 by John Rennie to supply the Caldon Branch of the Trent & Mersey Canal and fuel the industrial growth of the Midlands.  It would ensure a continual flow of water into the canal which helped to support the heavy industries in The Potteries and West Midlands.

The 2.5 mile long lake has also been a popular visitor attraction over the years and in Victorian times thousands arrived by railway to escape the smoky atmosphere of the Potteries and Manchester.

The parents of Rudyard Kipling were so taken with the lake that it’s said they used it as inspiration for the name of their first born son. Today Rudyard Lake is still enjoyed by families for walking, cycling, fishing and taking boat trips.

Coffin weir

While on-site engineers will also be repairing the ‘coffin weir’, an ingenious 200 year old design feature intended to control the rate that water flows down the canal. It works like a giant bath tub, holding back the water discharged out of the reservoir, releasing it slowly into the canal as it overflows. Recent tests have shown the weir to be leaking so engineers have drained it, scooped out years of sediment build-up and are now repointing the historic brickwork to minimise leakage and improve water control.

Richard Spencer, senior project manager for the Canal & River Trust said; “Rudyard Lake has a rich history and is a stunning place to visit but it also has a vital role to play in supplying the region’s canal network and that’s why these works are so important.

“Water from the reservoir brings life to the area – without a reliable source of water narrowboats wouldn’t be able to explore the canal and wildlife such as water voles and kingfishers wouldn’t be able to use it as a source of food and shelter.

“By carrying out these works we’ll be protecting that water flow and restoring an important part of Staffordshire’s industrial heritage.”2011_06290011

Some Foreign Lines – Canada – Kettle Valley Steam Railway

Some Foreign Lines

Canada – Kettle Valley Steam Railway640px-Kettle_Valley_steam_train_at_Troat_Creek_Bridge_2011

Kettle Valley Railway at Trout Creek Bridge

 The Kettle Valley Steam Railway is a heritage railway near Summerland, British Columbia.

The KVSR operates excursion trains over the only remaining section of the Kettle Valley Railway through beautiful vistas, orchards, vineyards, and over the 238 feet (73 m) tall Trout Creek Trestle. Trains depart at 10:30 and 1:30 Sat-Mon during the spring and fall and Thurs-Mon through July and August. Check the schedule for special events such as the Great Train Robbery and the Christmas Express.

Trains are pulled by ex-Canadian Pacific 2-8-0 steam locomotive #3716 (N-2-B class), built in 1912. The railway also has an ALCO S-6 diesel electric locomotive (originally Southern Pacific #1050, more recently owned by Portland Terminals, then Neptune Bulk Terminals in North Vancouver). Between 1995 and 2009 a 2-truck Shay locomotive, Mayo Lumber #3, was on loan from the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan; it was returned to Duncan on 17-Sep-2009.

Page by Tania Simpson - Kettle Valley Railway and Trout Creek BridgeTania Simpson – Kettle Valley Railway and Trout Creek Bridge

The Kettle Valley Steam Railway showcases a unique part of the Okanagan’s and British Columbia’s history. Built during 1910- 1915, the KVR “Kootenay to Coast Connection” powered our pioneer fruit industry into world markets, transported our families on vacations and errands; created employment, hobos and stories that will be with us - 2-8-0 at Summerland2-8-0 at Summerland –

  The KVR Society invites you to join them on the only preserved section of this historic railway: Ten miles of beautiful vistas; from lush orchards and vineyards to a spectacular view of lake and land from the Trout Creek Trestle Bridge 238 ft above the canyon floor. The sight and sound of our restored 1912 Steam Locomotive the “3716” will bring the era alive as you ride along on this 90 minute journey in a vintage passenger coach or open air car. An observation game for kids, anecdotes and lively musical entertainment make every run a memorable experience for the whole family. Make your reservation by calling toll free 1-877-494-8424 or visit their website at We look forward to seeing you this season!The Kettle Valley Steam Railway is run by a non-profit society dedicated to preserving Okanagan & BC Railway Heritage. Donations and all proceeds from Ticket & Gift Shop sales make the operation of this historic attraction a reality.KVRtrain irontrail.caKVRtrain

Chasewater Railway Museum Donation

Chasewater Railway MuseumDSCF9073


The Chasewater Railway Museum has received a significant donation from Dr.P.Fuller in memory of her late father, Mr. Anthony William Eele Fuller.  This donation comprised approximately 100 books, 50 DVDs, 30 videos, 5 pictures and a Hornby GWR Mixed Traffic train set.DSCF9099

The photograph shows some of the museum staff perusing a small part of the collection, some of which will add to the museum’s collection of books and DVDs while others will be sold to add to the museum’s funds for future purchases of railway artefacts.  The model railway has already been sold to a member of the railway, making a significant contribution to funds.

The Chasewater Railway Museum sends Dr. Fuller sincere condolences on her loss and many thanks for the donation, which will be put to good use.

Christmas at Chasewater Railway, Staffs.


A few photos of Chasewater Railway’s Christmas, 2013, showing both of the locos which were in action and other pics from around the station.