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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!
My thanks to Joe Hodgkinson for forwarding Trevor's name to me. Joe writes:
Nowadays (Trevor) doesn't drive Northern Rock permanently and so splits his time filling in for our permanent signalman at Ravenglass, working and organising permanent way teams and filling in on our loco drivers duties when they are absent.
Thanks Joe! I should add that in July 2002, I visited the "Ratty" again, and made a point of catching up with Trevor again. He was again very hospitable, which more than offset the somewhat damper weather we had on this occasion. (I'll get round to adding the pictures from that visit soon!)
"Nethers" also writes:
I was delighted to see from your site that you enjoyed your time at Ravenglass. I am an active volunteer - one of those poor souls put into slavery by Trevor!!!! - and I am glad that the railway has brought pleasure right around the world.
Just 1 small point - the railway is NARROW GAUGE not miniature. (My apologies, "Nethers", I've fixed the text now! ajh) May not seem like there's much of a difference to you, but the point is it is not a scale model, it is a full size profile on a narrow gauge track. Northern Rock, and the 2 sister locos built at Ravenglass and now operating in Japan are the most powerful 15" narrow gauge locomotives in the world. Not bad for "miniatures"!!!
Thanks also to "Nethers" for his comments. BTW, If any reader has comments on these or any other railway page of mine, please feel free to write to me. I try to respond to every comment received, although I have to admit that sometimes I am a bit tardy about that promise.
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