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Number of Images on this Page = 14
Phew! There's an awful lot of photos here for an Australian Railway site! You may well ask what a collection of British Railways locomotives is doing in an Australian Collection! This all started in 1988 when 4472, "Flying Scotsman" visited this country for the Bicentennial Celebrations. I took many photographs of 4472 in conjunction with her Oz cousins, and subsequently the collection has been augmented by photos I had taken myself on various visits to the UK. I have spent three sabbaticals in the UK, twice with my family, when we made a point of travelling out and around almost every weekend to see what we could see. And Britain being (and I mean this most politely) quite train-mad, there's preserved railways everywhere you turn. Perhaps not so much in Scotland (they were always a somewhat more phlegmatic lot than those south of the border), but even there they are catching up!
The main and varied preservation sites in the UK make it difficult to be too strict on classifying and cataloguing these images. I've tried to put things in their "obvious" place, but I may still have made the occasional mistake. Write to me with any comments you may have on the organisation.
Some photos around the British Isles, generally of lineside scenery. Photos of stations have been moved to a separate directory .
Bala Lake Railway is a cute little line that runs alongside the eponymous Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), using the formation of the old standard gauge line that ran from Dolgellau to Llangollen.
The Bluebell Railway was formed in 1959 out of the Lewes and East Grimstead Railway Preservation Society, in response to a British Railways' demand that an unincorporated body could not operate a Light Railway Order to run trains over the old Lewes and East Grimstead railway line. The line's proximity to London has meant a solid operational front, and on the day that I was there in mid (winter) January 1981, there were goodly numbers of volunteers at work around the line.
Richard Salmon maintains the Bluebell Railway web site, which now has a link to my pages. The Bluebell may also be visited via an alias at http://visitweb.com/bluebell (19990616:170749)
From the CR web page:
The original Caledonian Railway, founded in 1848, was one of the major rail operators in Scotland, cooperating with the London and North Western Railway in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to create new, high-speed links between the English capital and the key centres of population on the western side of Britain and over a large part of Scotland.
Trains operated by the Caledonian Railway (or the Caley as it was fondly called) took part in the fiercely competitive `Race to the North' in the 1870s. At the height of the railways' role in the British economy, the companies running trains on the two principal routes between England and Scotland, the East Coast and West Coast main lines, strove to outdo each other in the time taken by their services to reach the cities of Scotland.
The West Coast trains passed through Bridge of Dun, which was then an important junction. Another couple of miles further east was the famous Kinnaber Junction where the two routes met. The competitors' trains were obliged from there on to use the same tracks to reach Aberdeen and beyond. There were often tense moments as the local signalman was obliged to decide which of the two expresses rapidly approaching the junction he should allow through first, the West Coast or the East Coast.
The present Caledonian Railway (Caledonian Railway (Brechin) Ltd), uses four miles of a branch line formerly operated by the original Caledonian Railway. Originally established as the Brechin Railway Preservation Society, it was very much in its infancy when we visited in 1986, but they already had some trains running in a delightful Scottish setting, with a wonderful Victorian era station. Judging from their current web page , they have moved on a bit since I was there. Nevertheless, these photos will show something of the early days of restoration.
Some diesel and electric locomotives of British Rail, mostly taken during sabbatical visits to Manchester in 1980, and St.Andrews in 1986.
Various diesel multiple units, electric multiple units, high speed and advanced passenger trains.
Dinting Railway Museum, when I visited it in 1980, was a struggling collection of miscellany, aided by some main line locomotives on loan, the whole outfit dominated by the need to keep the Dinting viaduct on the Woodhead route open. BR ran a passenger service to Glossop on a nearby spur line, and Dinting-1 shows just such a passenger service coming off the viaduct. But any railway realist could see that that traffic was not going to keep the viaduct open for long.
I know not how the Museum has fared, but if the General Meeting that I attended in the Stockport pub was any indication, not well! They spent most of their time arguing about whether they should purchase a wheelbarrow, while the 6-figure sums required to preserve the viaduct were simply not addressed!
Richard Huss of the Talyllyn Railway writes:
I'm not surprised! Ben Fisher also wrote to me, saying much the same thing.
Alastair McCulloch wrote (20001013):
Dave McWilliams wrote (20050601):
I just came across your railway website on a random search engine, and I noticed the part on Dinting Railway museum.
I live very close to Guide Bridge on the Hadfield line which goes over Dinting viaduct.
The railway museum shut down just after I first moved here in June 1991 (in fact, my Dad bought their model collection!). It would have been completely gone by the end of the summer.
The Hadfield line is a very much valued part of the Hadfiled line from Manchester. This line goes over Dinting viaduct and splits off got the Glossop branch where the driver switches cabs and drives the train to Hadfield (where the train terminates and returns a short while later.
The new (1994 build) Class 323 EMUs (which replaced the Class 305, and the 304s, 303s and 506 before them) are much longer than the older units so Dinting required some adjusting for the overhang of the new trains which would have scraped the platforms otherwise!
I haven't travelled this section for a few years, but unless they've made alterations since then, this is one of the only electrified parts of Britains railway network with semaphore signals.
Hope this updates your knowledge of this line.
My thanks to all these correspondents for updating information on this page
One of my earliest railway memories is of a trip to Wales and seeing the Ffestiniog Railway , then (early 1950's) in a very run down state. It is one of the oldest preserved railways, and although its character has changed significantly from those days, it does have the attraction of running through the best of Welsh scenery, which makes it justly famous, and a well-known target for tourists.
The Glasgow Museum of Transport contains the largest and most representative collection of Scottish Steam. The five pre-grouping companies of the Highland, Caledonian, North British, Great North of Scotland and Glasgow and South Western Railways are all represented. Nevertheless, Scottish steam has not been proportionately preserved in comparison to south of the border, and there are many fine classes of locomotives that have not survived.
The Great Western Railway was also known as "God's Wonderful Railway", since it was deemed by many to be the epitome of railway design. That is a very Anglocentric view, but nevertheless reflects the passion with which some people upheld all things GWR. For my money, the distinctive copper capped chimneys and brass safety valve surrounds served to set the GWR sufficiently apart and thereby sanctify them!
I have a particular affinity for the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, as my wife's maiden name is Keightley, and there must be a connection somewhere !
This railway was originally part of the Furness Railway's line from Ulverston to Lakeside, which saw a thriving tourist traffic during the period between the wars. The line was closed in 1967, and truncated at Haverthwaite in 1970, so it now operates as a completely isolated stretch of track between its two eponymous stations.
When a young lad, I remember being confused by the fact that LMS stood for both "London Missionary Society" and "London, Midland and Scottish" railways. Not really a problem either way, now.
The story of the LNER is the story of the Gresley pacifics, of which 8 are preserved, and of which you can see 4 in these pages! It is arguable that Flying Scotsman is the most famous steam locomotive in the world, but Mallard must give her a (fast) run for the money, since many will also know her as the fastest steam locomotive in the world, reaching 126mph down Stoke Bank in July 1938.
The Lochty Private Railway was an isolated stretch of one and a half miles of line that ran through the estate of J.B.Cameron in the middle of Fife when I was there in 1986. It had an interesting mix of rolling stock. The Railway has since closed, and the line has been taken up.
Since I wrote that piece in 2006, I have since heard from Jim Rankin, vice chairman of the Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society. Jim writes:
Our stock has been taken out of storage and put onto our own 20 acre site in 2003. Since then we have laid around 1/2 a mile of track and have managed a few open days over the past 3 or 4 years. We have a substantial workshop and have collected many machine tools required to maintain and restore our stock. We are working towards having 3 or maybe even 4 (diesel) locomotives running this year. Thanks to our many friends, our open days have a very wide and varied selection of exhibits - from vintage cars to steam powered road vehicles. It is hoped that in the very near future we will be able to offer more regular open days and a steam locomotive working our yard.
We have great ambition and plenty of realistic aims but we require more volunteers on the ground. It is hoped that steam power, will be the impetus for more people becoming more involved.
Our website has news regarding our progress and is regularly updated with new pictures and information.
Jim Rankin (vice chairman)
The North Norfolk Railway operates the Sheringham-Weybourne section of the former Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway.
Included in this page are photographs taken at the National Rail Museum, York, and at the Manchester Transport Museum, Manchester.
It was a fairly miserable day on both occasions when I visited NYMR, and the light wasn't the best either. On the first occasion, all was fairly quite, but on the second their Santa Special provided enough action to make a mid-December trip worthwhile!
Replicas of the famous locomotives trialled at Rainhill in 1830, which competition was won by the famous Rocket.
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway will always have a deep, deep place in my heart because of the wonderful thrill I had of riding on the footplate of the Northern Rock from Ravenglass to Eskdale and back. Once the staff discovered that I was from Oz, they went out of their way to show me around, and organize a trip on the footplate. In spite of the diminutive size of the locomotives, there was a surprising amount of room on the footplate, and my host Trevor Stockton was most genial and accomodating!
The trains are controlled by radio, which is intriguing enough in its own right, but that coupled with the narrow gauge nature of it all makes the railway doubly intriguing from an enthusiast's viewpoint!
The Southern Railway was the runt of the litter in the big four grouping, but it had some interesting assets, nevertheless. Foremost among them was O.V.Bulleid, a very imaginative locomotive designer. Best known for his unusually streamlined pacifics, he also was responsible for the odd-looking but highly functional Q1 class, as well as an Irish turf-burning loco.
The Scottish Railway Preservation Society originally set up camp at Falkirk, where they had preserved two examples of Scottish steam: a North British 0-6-0 Maude, and a Caledonian Railway 0-4-4T, as well as an LNER 4-4-0 Morayshire.
Between my two visits to the SRPS in 1980 and then in 1986, the Scottish Railway Preservation Society had moved camp to Borrowstounness (usually abbreviated to just Bo'ness), to a fragment of line now called the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway. The day I was there in June 1986 was the one day of decent weather we had all year!
I've included in this section on BR Steam those locos either taken during BR days, or restored to BR liveries. However there are some exceptions, and some BR locos that should be in here might appear in other groups.
Steamtown is based at the old Carnforth MPD (Motive Power Depot), and hence has a genuine atmosphere to it. It includes running sheds, offices and workshops, a coaling tower (seen here) ash disposal, water columns, 70ft turntable, and a carriage and wagon shop.
It was the intention of Steamtown to recreate as far as possible the original "look-and-feel" of a main line MPD. However, I'm told by Ben Fisher that Steamtown is now closed to the public, and serves mainly as a depot for a private carriage overhaul firm.
It was just after Hogmanay when we visited Strathspey in 1981, and the locals were still recovering, as the place was pretty deserted! However, we were still able to wander around and snap some cold looking locos.
Included are some further pictures taken on a return visit in 1986, this time in summer. There were some obvious improvements to the restoration scene, but despite it being summer, there was not much improvement in the weather!
The Talyllyn Railway is an unusually gauged 2'3" railway, opened to passenger and freight traffic in 1866. The mainstay of the freight offering was slate, and indeed the railway was threatened with closure when the slate quarries closed in 1948. Sir Henry Haydn Jones kept the line running for two years until his death in 1950, when the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society took over, and made the Talyllyn the first preserved railway in Great Britain.
I have to say that the Talyllyn must be one of the most picturesque lines I have ever visited. Green valleys, bucholic scenes, mountain grandeur, sylvan settings, it's got the lot! It also has a link with the Puffing Billy Railway here in Melbourne, renowned for its own scenery. Powerful stuff.
I am indebted to Richard Huss, who is the Webmaster for the Talyllyn Railway , for some corrections to several of the photo captions. Please visit Richard's site for more Talyllyn photos.
The Vale of Rheidol is a 1'11.5" gauge line (usually rounded up to 2'!!), and was built in 1901, opening for passenger traffic in December 1902. Unlike most of the other Welsh preserved narrow gauge railways, the Vale of Rheidol was always primarily a passenger line, drawing its custom from tourists in the summer months, and miners travelling to the lead mines along the railway at other times. In 1910, an army camp at Lovesgrove further swelled the passenger traffic.
The line is notable too for the fact that it was operated up until 1989 by British Railways, including the use of steam locomotives. Notice in the pictures the BR logo on the side of the tanks. The three 2-6-2T locos, no.7 Owain Glyndwr , no.8 Llewelyn and no.9 Prince of Wales provide the motive power, all being built in 1923 at Swindon (note the standard GWR safety valve covers). It was suggested that the third was originally built by Davies and Metcalfe in 1902, but heavily overhauled and rebuilt in 1924 to match the other two: however this was a ruse used for accountancy reasons!
During the Second World War, British Railways were in a parlous state, and to keep the war effort moving, the Ministry of Supply took over responsibility to provide railway infrastructure. The locos shown here are part of that effort, including some locos supplied by the USA.
The Welshpool and Llanfair Railway was originally opened in 1903, closed in 1956, and re-opened as a preservation railway in 1963. There is now some 8 miles of track, which extends to Raven Square Station on the outskirts of Welshpool, and opened in 1981.
I personally don't have any pictures of the Kent and East Sussex Railway, but if you go to Alan Newble's K&ESR Web Site , you'll find something to entertain you.
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