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Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


GREAT WAR (1914-18) DAYS

    " Probably no man living has met more crowned heads of nations and

uncrowned celebrities than PERCY CLARENCE HOPPER, who after 50 years of railway  service retired in March ,1933. He spent 19 years as Station Superintendent at Victoria station in London finally retiring in March


       " Sovereigns, soldiers, sailors, celebrities of international fame

in politics , art, society, stage , film land – all have passed in and out

of Victoria station some time or other. With all of them genial Mr Hopper of

the shining top –hat has had much more than a nodding acquaintance. If only he had kept an auto-graph album , what a priceless collection he would have had!

        “ I haven’t even kept a diary ; I’ve always been too busy –often

now I wish I had.” Mr Hopper told the Daily Sketch when drawing on his

almost inexhaustible store of reminiscences, especially of the Great War

years, as he lived them at Victoria . And he literally lived them in his

office or on the platform –for a twenty -four hour day was the rule rather

than the exception during those exciting War years.

        " When in February, 1914, Mr Hopper took over his duties as Station

Superintendent at Victoria – after ten years at Station Master at Folkestone Harbour – he little foresaw the immense responsibilities that would befall him when dispatching from the familiar terminus of the Southern Railway no fewer than 32,000 (thirty –two thousand) troop trains  and over 11, 000, 000 ( eleven million ) officers and men on their way to the War front.

           "He little foresaw that he would have to carry a military permit

to pass in and out of his own station and that he would wear his tall hat in

a sea of steel helmets.

         “ I have received, I suppose, almost every living monarch in the

world. European sovereigns , the Emperor of Japan , the King of Siam, the

Amir of Afghanistan , and the Presidents of several Republics,” he said : “

The ruler I have not met officially is the ex Kaiser –and he  wasn’t likely

to come during my regime at Victoria, except as a prisoner of War !

         “ In my memory are several solemn and poignant moments – as when the Unknown Warrior was brought home for burial and Nurse Cavell , too ; and the King him self ,brought back by ambulance train after his horse had fallen on him and injured him in France. Waiting outside the station were 20,000 people.

         “Now I am going myself – into the leisure of retirement, and to

live at Folkestone, where  I can pursue the hobbies I’ve never  yet had time for – fishing is one of them.

          “I began my railway career as a junior clerk at 14; served for 17

years under the late Mr E. G. Sears , when he was Superintendent of the line of the old  South-Eastern and Chatham Railway, and later spent three years at Ashford before going to Folkestone Harbour.”

Source: DAILY SKETCH,1933,U.K.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


Published Date: 06 January 2010

The General Manager of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway has paid tribute to the heroic efforts of staff and volunteers in helping to keep trains moving during the worst winter in 30 years.

Despite the conditions, which have hit the North East and North York Moors particularly hard, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway managed to keep trains running over the vital Christmas period, and re-wrote history, by providing steam trains between Whitby, Grosmont and Battersby for the first time in years.

Only a few services had to be cancelled – mainly early mornings, due to frozen points and pipework affecting heating. Frequent snow falls meant anything up to 12 inches of lying snow in many places, with temperatures well below freezing and at times recording minus 13 degrees.

Despite this, Britain's most popular heritage steam railway ran services throughout the festive season with well over one hundred and fifty services in operation across the Moors.

Trains from Grosmont kept running on the Esk Valley line, with the exception of one day (Sat 2nd Jan) when the weather was so bad that staff were advised to stay away.

Services continued to run throughout from Pickering to Levisham and Goathland. On a number of occasions, the Moors Railway was the only form of transport moving, helping to ensure that the Moors villages were not cut off completely.

The Christmas running period is an important time for the Railway in terms of generating much needed income. Santa Specials provided entertainment and magical experiences for families with young children. A Pullman dining train also operates throughout the winter period, providing a taste of indulgence in an elegant setting. Add to this the daily passenger services in operation between 27 December and 3 January, and it is plain to see that the NYMR remains a vanguard even in the bleakest of winters.

NYMR General Manager, Philip Benham, said: "I would like to pay tribute to our staff, many of whom are volunteers, who battled over snowbound roads and worked in appalling conditions. Their heroic efforts and dedication helped to keep the railway going. At times like these, it is clear that the Railway is vital not just as a tourist attraction, but as a form of transport connecting communities across the Moors."

Train operating duties on the line to Battersby were shared by the Schools-class engine, No 30926 "Repton" and the newly acquired Standard class engine No 76079. Between Pickering and Goathland, the 'Black 5' engine No 45212 was in operation, supported by two diesel locomotives.

Train services recommence on Saturday 13 February, when once again there will be separate services from Pickering to Goathland, and along the Esk Valley from Whitby to Grosmont (through to Battersby on Sundays).

In the meantime work is going ahead on the vital renewal of Bridge 30, between Goathland and Grosmont. Two new main beams, made of steel and transported from Chepstow, have now arrived by rail to the site, along with a railway crane that will be used to lift out the old bridge and lift the new beams into place. They arrived on location yesterday (4 January) with the movement of goods made possible due to a supporting partnership of Network Rail, freight train operator DB Schenker, and Volker Rail, whose Kirow crane is to be used for the heavy lifting. Engineering firm Construction Marine Limited is acting as overall project manager.

The arrival of the new materials can be seen on the NYMR's own internet TV channel, located at

Viewers will be kept updated with work on site, which is expected to concentrate on lifting out the old bridge in the next few days, weather permitting, and the aim is to have the new Bridge 30 in place by 27 March – the start of the main 2010 season when trains will resume their running between Pickering, Grosmont and Whitby.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

On 28th March there will be a special event to mark the tramway's 30th

anniversary. This will include all four trams in operation, tram driving

experiences, visiting vintage buses in service and evening tram rides.

Leeds 6 will visit Beamish Museum for their second annual 'Power From The Past' event from 15th-18th April, and it will run there until August. In exchange, Beamish will be sending their ex-Oporto car 196 to Heaton Park for the same period.

Another tram swap which has already been well documented will involve Blackpool Vanguard 619 moving to the park at some point this year, with Manchester 765 visiting Blackpool for the 125th anniversary celebrations.

The final event of 2010 will be a Blackpool day on 21st November. This will see 619 and Railgrinder 752 running, along with visiting buses from the Lancastrian Transport Trust, and hopefully they will be joined by another Blackpool tram that will be running at the park for this one event only! Details of what this tram is and where it is coming from will be revealed at a later date.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The official event website for the 125th Anniversary of Blackpool Trams has gone on-line sponsored and set up by Trams Magazine. It can be found at It includes short profiles of the visiting trams and news releases from the event committee will be uploaded as they are released.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


Published Date: 11 January 2010

Work to remove the old beams at Bridge 30, between Goathland and Grosmont, is expected to start this week.

Work gangs hope to be able to access the site in order to cut up the existing deck and remove the supporting frames which will then allow the lifting out of the old beams during the course of the week.

To do this, scaffolding has to be erected at


the site, and thermic lances used to cut the cast iron. When all the preliminary works have been completed, use will then be made of a Kirow crane to lift out the old beams.

The severe weather conditions have hampered progress in the past week, but with the snow easing and temperatures rising slightly, there are high hopes that work can progress with more pace.

The work has been planned through the winter, so as to enable the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to have a new bridge in place before the start of its main running season, which begins on 27 March.

Experts have been called in to do the work, with the project being overseen by Leeds-based Construction Marine Limited. The movement of materials to site was aided by rail freight operator DB Shenker and A V Dawsons of Teesside. Volker Rail has provided its Kirow 1200 crane to do the heavy lifting.

Bridge 30 spans the Murk Esk at Darnholme. The current structure is 145 years old and is at the end of its working life. The new bridge was moved from Mabey Bridge in Chepstow to Tees Yard by road, then transferred to rail for the journey down to site. The new beams for Bridge 30 are 28m long, 2.55m wide and 1.75m high. The two girders and bracing weigh 36 tonnes in total.

The cost of replacing Bridge 30, estimated at £650,000, has been the subject of a major fundraising campaign by the railway.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Police boss sends stern warning to Porthmadog railway

Jan 14 2010 by Eryl Crump, Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald

Britannia Bridge, Porthmadog

A SENIOR police officer wrote to a North Wales narrow gauge railway warning bosses they could face corporate manslaughter charges if an accident occurred on a level crossing.

Chief Superintendent Geraint Anwyl, Western divisional commander, wrote to Welsh Highland Railway officials last July.

The letter, released following a Freedom of Information request, reveals the officer took action after concerns about the crossing being installed at the Britannia Bridge, Porthmadog – as part of the re-opening of the scenic line from Caernarfon to Porthmadog – were raised by then Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom.

Mr Anwyl said: “There have been a number of collisions where cyclists have been thrown from their bikes as a result of wheels dropping into the railway line. One of the cyclists suffered a broken collar bone while others suffered minor injuries.

“The risk to road users at this location is wholly unacceptable and I would most strongly urge you to implement an engineering solution in order to alleviate the problem.”

The letter adds: “Welsh Highland Railway has a duty of care to road users and although collisions are already occurring there is no evidence of intervention at strategic level.

“If a fatal collision occurs at this location involving a pedal cyclist I will, as Commanding Officer, initiate a robust investigation into Corporate Manslaughter.”

The letter follows an e-mail sent to Mr Anwyl by the chief constable Richard Brunstom, who retired last August, which said: “This crossing is patently unsafe for cyclists. I have seen photographs of the local police assisting railway use of this section of track across Britannia Bridge. This is just not on. This crossing is demonstrably dangerous. We have a duty to act. We cannot both condemn the design and at the same time facilitate its use. If someone dies we’re partially responsible.”

Welsh Highland Railway general manager Paul Lewin confirmed the letter had been received but added steps had been taken to alleviate any perceived danger.

He stressed the crossing is not yet finished and was only used for a short time last year after engineers completed the laying of track across the bridge.

“The police wrote to us last summer expressing some concerns over the short tramway section of track across Britannia Bridge. We responded to that letter at the time and believe they were reassured on all the points raised and that the matter is now closed,” he said.

Before it is brought into use, further steps will be taken to prevent cyclists from getting into difficulties.

Mr Lewin said: “The tracks across Britannia Bridge have been in place since June 2008, together with bilingual signs warning road users of railway tracks in the road and advising cyclists to dismount and walk across.

“Until the crossing design is finalised and approved the company has covered the rails with tarmac enabling traffic to flow in exactly the same way it did prior to the installation of the track. The completed crossing will make full provision for pedestrians, cyclists and road traffic to interact safely with railway traffic. Cyclists will be diverted via a clearly marked route which takes them safely over the rails.”

A North Wales Police spokeswoman said they were “continuing to monitor the situation”

There are plans to extend the existing cycle track across the Cob embankment avoiding the Britannia Bridge completely.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

FYI, the following statement was issued to the press - including the BBC and Daily Post - yesterday.

Britannia Bridge, Porthmadog

As part of its project to rebuild the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, the Ffestiniog Railway was granted rights under a Transport and Works Act to construct the basic railway at this location. The tracks across Britannia Bridge have been in place since June 2008, together with bilingual signs warning road users of railway tracks in the road and advising cyclists to dismount and walk across.

Before any road/rail crossing is brought into public use, the railway

company concerned must apply to the Secretary of State for a crossing order.

This process requires consultation over the design of the crossing with all

statutory bodies including the police and relevant highway authorities.

Over the last four months, informal consultation meetings have been held

with the Office of the Rail Regulator and statutory bodies ahead of the

formal application for a crossing order which will be submitted during

January 2010.

Once this order is granted the work will be completed on the crossing

including the road markings and installation of traffic signals. The

crossing will then be brought into use. Regular public train services across

the bridge will not start until the spring of 2011.

The police wrote to us last summer expressing some concerns over the short tramway section of track across Britannia Bridge. We responded to that letter at the time and believe they were reassured on all the points raised and that the matter is now closed.

Once the railway is complete, around six train movements are expected on a normal day. Each takes less than two minutes and train speed will be limited to five mph as a primary safety measure.

Until the crossing design is finalised and approved the company has covered the rails with tarmac enabling traffic to flow in exactly the same way it did prior to the installation of the track. The completed crossing will make full provision for pedestrians, cyclists and road traffic to interact safely with railway traffic. Cyclists will be diverted via a clearly marked route which takes them safely over the rails.

The company understands that there is also a plan to extend the existing

cycle track across the Cob embankment around the back of the Inland Revenue offices and thence to Llyn Bach, avoiding the Britannia Bridge completely.

When essential engineering train movements are required prior to the

completion of the crossing, traffic management is put in place whilst the

tarmac is removed and the train worked across the bridge. The tarmac is then replaced immediately afterwards.

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, January 2010



Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

K&WVR - Winter Steam Gala FEB-

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

THOUSANDS of people have turned out today to witness an historic journey which will link two North-East communities for the first time in decades.

Enthusiasts and sightseers packed vantage points between Bishop Auckland and Stanhope in County Durham to witness the launch of Weardale Railway's new daily passenger service.

"This is a big day for Bishop Auckland and the Weardale Railway and there is a lot to celebrate."

Bishop Auckland Town Forum

Staff from Weardale Railway have only just completed a temporary platform in Bishop Auckland after failing to reach agreement with Northern Rail and rail regulators to use the station.

Passengers catching trains to Darlington and the East Coast Main Line will have get off the train 100 yards west of Bishop Auckland Station when the full service opens tomorrow.

There has been no regular timetabled passenger service from Weardale to Bishop Auckland since 1958, apart from a summer train on Sundays from Saltburn to Stanhope which ended when the line shut in 1993.

Now five trains a day are planned from Stanhope to Bishop Auckland and the line's American owners are planning to introduce freight.

Today's celebrations started at 11am at Bishop Auckland where the Dean of Durham the Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove blessed the line's steam engine No 40 before it sets off at 11.30am.

Bishop Auckland Town Centre Forum has provided actors and musicians for the celebrations, including one dressed as rail pioneer George Stephenson.

A group of American Second World War vehicles will set off for Stanhope Station slightly ahead of the train.

Among the passengers is expected to be the line's new general manager Malcolm Dean, an experienced railway veteran.

He will work alongside volunteers from the Weardale Railway Trust, who provide the free workforce that allows the line to operate.

A spokesman for the Forum said: "This is a big day for Bishop Auckland and the Weardale Railway and there is a lot to celebrate.

"We hope the railway will bring visitors in to Bishop Auckland and other parts of County Durham.

"There is massive potential for tourism in this area."

Mark Westerfield, from railway operators British American Railway Services Ltd, said: "North-East England, the birthplace and original heartbeat of steam, is the ideal location to host a project of this type - a place where people are still passionate about celebrating a landmark era of engineering that has had a remarkable influence on society on a global scale."

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

That’s Garsdale’s Wonderful Railway)

3:50pm Saturday 5th June 2010

By Mike Amos »

SINCE Garsdale railway station may already be the closest place to heaven within these sceptred shores, an open-air church service on the up platform could be deemed to start with a distinct – some might say unfair – advantage.

Garsdale is at Wensleydale’s westernmost extreme, stupendously set on the Settle and Carlisle, opened in 1876. Bill Mitchell, the celebrated Dales author, supposed the station never quite to have looked at home up there, almost to be an imposition, and in that respect – that alone – he was mistaken.

Without a railway, Garsdale’s wilderness would truly be fabulous. With one, it’s fabulous squared. Whoever believed the Great Western to be God’s Wonderful Railway was similarly mistaken: GWR is Garsdale’s.

Originally it was Hawes Junction, the single track, six-mile branch down to Hawes worked by an elderly loco known locally as Bonnyface, though for reasons not immediately evident. The branch closed in 1959, Garsdale station itself in 1970. It was reopened in 1986, a semi-permanent axe threat having finally been lifted from the line.

Now, it’s never been busier, has benefited from the railway companies’ £100m investment, sings like a summer skylark. Last Sunday’s service may have been considered a celebration not just of that but of nature, of railways and of resilience.

The car park overflowed, the overflow overflowed, both platforms joyously crowded like a Sunday School outing. Though the sun shone, all remembered the adage about ne’er casting a clout. It was only May 28, after all, and on the Settle and Carlisle the weather forecast is always to expect the worst.

The only problem may have been the photographer, bless her, who – guided by her sat-nav – overshot by four miles. It never happened to the sat-navvies, the men who built that most extraordinary railway over that most inhospitable terrain and who died, in their hundreds, in so doing. Those lads were inch perfect.

STILL the railwaymen’s cottages remain, stone built and stoical. One was for sale – three bedrooms, no garden, £185,000.

Temptation blows in the breeze; get thee behind me. Either side of the war they’d held Church of England services in the waiting room, the humdrum harmonium billed as the ill wind that blew no one any good.

The services attracted the Daily Express in 1937 – “a remote Yorkshire hamlet,” it said, not unreasonably – and in 1950 John Bull magazine. The headline was unequivocal: “Change here for the back of beyond,” it said.

They had dances, too, in the room beneath the 80,000 gallon water tank.

“It were a reight good do, we had t’piano ower three times,” someone told Bill in one of his books. He never quite worked out if they were joking.

Half a mile below, opened at the same time as the railway, stands the lovely little Hawes Junction Methodist chapel, known sometimes as Mount Zion. Bill Mitchell supposed (rightly) the dale to be chiefly Methodist, and with a faith that could move mountains.

Sunday’s service is led by Canon Bill Greetham, a former vicar of Crakehall and neighbouring parishes near Bedale who’d moved to Kirkby Stephen and found himself embroiled in the fight to save the line.

He even spoke at the public inquiry – “I think I got quite impassioned,”

he recalls – and is now a volunteer train guide. “It’s a bit like parish visiting, it presents pastoral opportunities just by talking to people,”

he says.

The service is accompanied by Hawes Silver Band in their Sunday best jackets – Hawes band may be acclimatised – and by Gunnerside choir, up and over from Swaledale.

Bill Mitchell, 82, gives out the service sheets. A steam man by inclination, Bill had deemed the new diesel multiple units to resemble greyhounds.

Maybe they do, creeping almost silently, muzzled, into the station when everyone’s back is turned.

Canon Greetham notes the sun – “someone’s looking after us” – accurately forecasts that it’s going to hang around. We sing For the Beauty of the Earth; it could hardly be more appropriate.

THE reading’s intriguing. Just when we’re mentally supposing that there couldn’t be a biblical text about railways, about passing loops or Walschaerts valve gear, they come up with Isaiah 6, 1-8.

“His train filled the temple.” There’s a bit about coals of fire and being filled with smoke, as well.

Bill Greetham, now 70 and retired, recalls in his address the famous Garsdale turntable, the about-face analogy easily made. He may have wondered how the locomotives stayed on the turntable at all, how the Helm wind blasted them so greatly that the turntable had to be stockaded, how Garsdale’s Wonderful Railway still ended up on the right track.

Proceedings are overseen by an £8,000 bronze memorial to Ruswarp, a collie that had belonged to one of the Settle and Carlisle’s most avid proponents who had died while walking in Wales. Ruswarp, his paw mark allowed on the anti-closure petition, had attended the funeral, but himself died soon afterwards.

The signalman never once emerges from his cabin on the opposite platform.

Probably there are Rules.

Afterwards we’re all down to the chapel for a buffer lunch, the tiny building – official membership two – having benefited from a £30,000 kitchen and toilet since last we were there. Bill Mitchell says he’s particularly grateful for the toilet.

One of Bill’s innumerable records describes the chapel’s opening, thanks to the “accustomed liberality”

of the railway contractors. The site was thought “very eligible”, the interior “chaste”, the building neat and substantial. Once it had seventy scholars and nine teachers. Goodness knows where they came from.

The spread’s magnificent, the chapel so full that they even sit in the pulpit. The weather’s set fair. GWR rolls on.

■ The centenary of one of the worst railway accidents in the Garsdale area, the wreck of the “Scotch express”

on Christmas Eve 1910, will be marked with a special service at Hawes parish church at 2.30pm on Sunday, December 5. It may safely be assumed that the column will be there, as well.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Wolverton Works Open Weekend in the UK on 14th/15th August.

For details and online ticket sales go to

Some interesting sideshows.

The Wolverton Wanderer


As part of the Wolverton Works Open Weekend, and one for the very rare track bashers.

Single journeys for train only, or combined single/admission tickets to Open

Weekend available (NOT suitable for those with mobility problems as

boarding/alighting from train inside the Works is via steps).

The White Elephant Shuttles


Saturday only - two round trips between Northampton and Bedford via the

Bletchley Flyover, operated by UK Railtours. Details and booking info at

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Aged steam locomotive to run Highlands line

Page last updated at 23:44 GMT, Sunday, 13 June 2010 00:44 UK

A 110-year-old steam locomotive has been fully restored and is expected to run on a railway in the Highlands over the summer.

Caledonian Railway Number 828 has been given an overhaul in a £220,000 project which attracted support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Restoration was led by the Scottish Locomotive Preservation Fund and Strathspey Railway Company.

The engine is to run on a line from Aviemore to Broomhill.

Strathspey Railway chairman Doug Scott said the 828 was one of the most important locomotives to be preserved.

It is thought to be the only surviving example in Britain of what is known as a McIntosh design.

Mr Scott said: "The Strathspey Railway is a highly suitable location for such a magnificent machine.

"The recent overhaul should allow 828 to enjoy many more years of active service on the former Highland Railway Company main line."

The Strathspey Railway Company officially launched an appeal in March to raise £5m to lay the remaining track needed to link two towns in the Highlands.

Three miles of track requires to be laid to connect Aviemore with Grantown-on-Spey.

The money would also pay for a bridge donated by Network Rail to be put in place across the River Dulnain.

Enthusiasts already operate services on almost 10 miles of line from Aviemore to Broomhill.

The railway company hopes to complete the project by 2014.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Hundreds of railway buffs enjoy Strathspey event

Steam fair recalls the glorious age of coal-powered transport

Published: 19/07/2010

HUNDREDS of train enthusiasts flocked to the Strathspey Railway Steam Fair at the weekend.

The event, which raises funds for the railway, came to a close yesterday afternoon when a parade of some of the engines took place through Boat of Garten.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday eight full-sized traction engines and lorries were on display for visitors, as well as seven miniature ride-on versions.

A two-train service, including the recently restored 111-year-old Caledonian No 828, operated on the line from Aviemore to Broomhill on both days.

Strathspey and Badenoch Pipe Band led the procession through Boat of Garten yesterday.

A vintage tractor display also took place at Broomhill for visitors throughout the weekend.

Event co-ordinator John Wood said: “We had a great weekend and everything went really well.

“We don’t have the traffic figures in yet but we had hundreds of people here.”

Read more:

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

21 July 2010 Last updated at 05:55 GMT

Restoration aim for slate mine electric trains

The Coalition was converted to electricity in 1927 at the slate mine

Two of the oldest electric railway engines in the UK are starting a journey from the Welsh slate mine they served for 70 years to be restored.

The Coalition and the Eclipse locomotives worked at Llechwedd Slate Mines in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, from the 1890s to the 1960s.

Originally steam engines, they were converted to run on electricity in the 1920s - which was very unusual.

They will be stored at Porthmadog while money for restoration is found.

“Start Quote

These locomotives are historic in their own right because they show how the Welsh slate quarries were at the cutting edge of technology in making the switch to electric power”

End Quote Don Newing Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Trust

Both locomotives were used to pull trucks of slate around the Llechwedd mine and were rebuilt as electric engines there.

When they were withdrawn from service they were preserved on static display at the site.

However, time and weather have taken their toll, and they are being transported to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (WHHR) in Porthmadog where they will be kept under cover while fundraising to restore them is carried out.

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Tywyn, Gwynedd, is paying for the transportation.

Don Newing, the museum's secretary, said: "These locomotives are historic in their own right because they show how the Welsh slate quarries were at the cutting edge of technology in making the switch to electric power."

Restoration work is likely to take several years and will not begin until enough money is in place to complete the task.

'Influenced the world'

The two engines arrive at Porthmadog on the back of a lorry

David Hicken, director of Slate Heritage International which owns the locomotives, said: "We are pleased that these two important pieces of slate mining history can now take a step towards being restored.

"Once the locomotives have been restored, we intend that one of them will return to Llechwedd to be put on display, with the other being on show at the WHHR in Porthmadog."

James Hewett, chair of the WHHR, added: "The WHHR is developing a new museum in Porthmadog to show how the narrow gauge railways of the area influenced the world.

"The unusual history of these locomotives means the Eclipse and the Coalition have a special place in the hearts of many railway enthusiasts, and are just two examples of how Wales led the way in industrial technology."

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

New steam train summer service for Weymouth

For the first time in more than 40 years a steam passenger train service is running from London to Weymouth.

The Dorset Coast Express weekly specials, operated by The Railway Touring Company, will run throughout the summer until 1 September.

Locomotive 30777 Sir Lamiel, built in 1925, will haul restored, vintage carriages from the 60s and 70s, for the service's maiden journey.

British Rail ran its last steam passenger train there in 1968.

The train, which goes via Bournemouth and Wareham, will arrive in Weymouth at 1338 BST.

On future dates locomotive 30777 Sir Lamiel will be replaced by 60019 Bittern, 70013 Oliver Cromwell, 70000 Britannia, 34067 Tangmere and 46115 Scots Guardsman.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Restored locomotive 2807 set for GWR railway comeback

Volunteers have spent 29 years restoring the 2800 class locomotive

A hundred-year-old steam locomotive, which has been restored by volunteers over the last 29 years, is set to return to service in Gloucestershire next week.

The Great Western Railway 2800 steam locomotive No. 2807 is to be based at Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

It was originally built by the Great Western Railway at Swindon in 1905. Volunteers have been working on its restoration since 1981.

 I have been involved in the restoration for over 15 years and so I'm delighted that the locomotive is now running on a railway near to where I live.

Steve Price

Steve Price from Cotswold Steam Preservation Ltd. explained its recent history: "The locomotive was withdrawn by British Rail in 1963 and languished at Woodhams scrapyard at Barry until 1981.

"During its life it was allocated to sheds at Bristol, Hereford and Worcester, amongst others.

"The bit of railway that now makes up the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway was also built by the Great Western Railway around 1905.

"Because the locomotive was shedded close to Toddington it would have used that line from time to time."

Most of the active restoration team members live in the local area, and the volunteers have photographic evidence of the locomotive at Toddington in 1956.


Steve Price said he's thrilled that No. 2807 will now be steaming through Gloucestershire's countryside once more.

"I have been involved in the restoration for over 15 years and so I'm delighted that the locomotive is now running on a railway near to where I live.

"It's a great way to bring our heritage to life in a way that members of the public can get involved in.

"The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is a popular local attraction and so many many people will be able to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of an operating steam locomotive, and ride on trains hauled by steam power."

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Cause of Watercress Line steam railway blaze not known

About 50% of the workshop at the Watercress Line steam railway was destroyed by the fire

The owners of a steam railway attraction have been counting the cost of a fire which destroyed two carriages and a tender for a steam locomotive.

Hampshire's Watercress Line has been running steam trains through 10 miles (16 km) of countryside between Alresford and Alton stations since 1985.

The fire began in a workshop opened in February with a £300,000 lottery grant.

A shuttle service will run between Ropley and Alresford. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Assessing the damage

Tim Beere, from the Watercress Line, told BBC News: "Thankfully no-one was hurt.

"We have obviously lost a number of vehicles in the fire.

"We are waiting for the fire inspector to come and have a look at the structure."

A diesel engine was also inside the workshop used for restoring carriages and rolling stock.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said 50% of the building was destroyed.

The area was cordoned off because of the risk of explosion on Monday.

Two workshops were built with the help of lottery funding as part of a £1.1m project that also saw two new apprentices taken on.

The line, also known as the Mid-Hants Railway, was originally part of British Railways until it closed in 1973, and is supported by more than 450 volunteers.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The last surviving carriage from Liverpool's Overhead Railway is moved to the new Museum of Liverpool.

The Overhead Railway opened in 1893 and stretched the length of Liverpool's dock system, seven and a half miles, from Dingle in the south to Seaforth in the north.

It closed in 1956, it hadn't been nationalised along with the rest of the country's rail system, and had suffered extensive bomb damage during the war.

It was the first elevated electric line in the world.

Liverpool Museum's coach is the only surviving motor coach from the railway. It served from 1892 to the closure in 1956.

Electric motors were fitted below the floor with a drivers cab at one end and third class wooden seating in the carriage.

GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper

The last surviving carriage from Liverpool's Overhead Railway is moved to the new Museum of Liverpool.

The Overhead Railway opened in 1893 and stretched the length of Liverpool's dock system, seven and a half miles, from Dingle in the south to Seaforth in the north.

It closed in 1956, it hadn't been nationalised along with the rest of the country's rail system, and had suffered extensive bomb damage during the war.

It was the first elevated electric line in the world.

Liverpool Museum's coach is the only surviving motor coach from the railway. It served from 1892 to the closure in 1956.

Electric motors were fitted below the floor with a drivers cab at one end and third class wooden seating in the carriage.

- Tonymercury

Great news about the preservation. It's just a shame that the elevated Liverpool Overhead Railway no longer exists.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

29 July 2010 Last updated at 19:26 GMT

Swanage railway reconnection to network to go ahead

The £3m is needed to modernise the line's junction with the mainline

A Dorset town will be re-connected to the national rail network, restoring a link broken almost 40 years ago.

The Swanage Railway Trust had to raise £3m so Network Rail can connect the Swanage line to the main network for the first time since 1972.

Purbeck District Council announced its support on Thursday a week after Dorset County Council gave its backing.

The funding is needed for re-signalling of the Wareham to Swanage branch line at Worgret Junction.

Steam trains

Once the work is completed regular passenger train services will resume from Wareham to Corfe Castle and Swanage.

The line is currently maintained by the Swanage Railway Trust which runs regular steam train trips between Norden and Swanage.

Councillor Beryl Ezzard, Purbeck's housing and social issues spokesperson, said: "The proposal helps to underpin one of the targets set out under the council's priority of helping all people access services locally.

"It has been a long journey to get to this point, but we can now progress to once again linking the district by rail, which will have enormous benefits for residents, commuters and visitors, and relieve congestion in the district."

Dorset County Council will now confirm to Network Rail that the reconnection will be included in the Purbeck Transportation Strategy.

The strategy was set up to improve movement around the district, taking traffic away from the congested A351 by using alternative forms of transport, a spokesman from the district council said.

wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Its worth noting that the Swanage railway is connected to the national rail network and several excursion trains have run over teh last couple of years. This project is to resignal the junction to passenger standards so that regular shceduled passenger trains can run. The local authority has been playing with the idea of purchasing a couple of DMU's for such a service.

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

2 August 2010 Last updated at 07:54 GMT

Porthmadog steam railway celebrates 30 years

The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a day of special rail services.

The Gwynedd charity steam railway has carried nearly half a million passengers from its base in Porthmadog to Pen-y-Mount since 1980.

The railway began with one engine and carriage, but over the years has restored locomotives and vintage carriages.

A museum is also being developed on the site.

The WHHR has been operated almost entirely by volunteers since it began its service.

Long-serving helper Stuart Weatherby, from Bethel near Caernarfon, said: "The first train was very basic - just one diesel locomotive and a single carriage.

"The ticket office was an old wooden shed and the car park was just about surfaced with rough gravel.

"It's amazing how much things have changed".

The first train was staffed entirely by women working as the driver, guard, ticket inspector and signallers.

Volunteer Jane Partridge, who is in charge of the museum for the anniversary celebration, said: "The WHHR has always been a very friendly place to work.

"It's always good fun making sure that the families who visit have a good time in the engine sheds and on the miniature railway.

She added: "The anniversary day also happens to be my birthday."

Chairman Martyn Pwen said the railway was proud to be part of the community in Porthmadog.

"Over the last three decades, we've developed a successful tourist attraction which we hope has helped bring additional visitor spending to the area.

"Our new museum also helps tell people the story of Porthmadog and how the town achieved world-wide recognition as a slate port and a centre for narrow gauge railways."

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Southport Pier marks 150th anniversary  

The pier was constructed by driving pillars deep in to the sand

Grade II listed Southport Pier, the second longest in the country, is celebrating its 150th anniversary on 2 August, 2010.

The pier has had a chequered history, several fires have threatened to destroy it and in 1990 it was earmarked for demolition.

It was originally 3,600 feet long and opened to great fanfare on 2 August, 1860.

The pier was extensively restored from 1999, reopening in 2002.

Mike Swift, Chair of the Southport Pier Trust told BBC Radio Merseyside the pier is an important asset for the town, "Its the first leisure pier in the country, so it is a British Heritage Asset," he said.

"It was originally designed as a leisure activity, to come and take this detached view."

The pier, which cost £8,700 to build, was designed by James Brunlees.

An innovative method was used to construct Southport Pier with the support pillars being driven in to the ground by a process called 'jetting' where water was sent down the centre of the pillars in the sand which would then bubble up allowing the piles to sink deeper in to the sand.

The pier included a track running down the centre of the pier to allow luggage to be moved to the end of the pier, after complaints that the track interfered with people promenading along the pier the track was moved to one side and replaced with a steam driven tramway.

Disaster soon struck the tramway when shortly after its opening in 1865 a Mrs Frances Bateman was killed when she was thrown from a car against the side railings.

In 1868, the pier was extended in length to 4,380 feet, this was later reduced by fires in 1933 and 1959 to 3,650 feet, the current length of the pier.

By 1990 Sefton Council could no longer afford the upkeep of the structure and it was proposed that it should be demolished, the motion for demolition was defeated by just one vote.

A combination of funding from European Objective One, the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donations has led to the phased restoration of the pier over recent years.

Now with the pier's immediate future secure Mike Swift says the trust is keen it remains a public asset, "The public will decide what the future use of Southport Pier is."

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Published Date: 03 August 2010

Hundreds of living history enthusiasts in army uniforms and 1940s clothing, together with their wartime vehicles, will be at Crich Tramway Village near Matlock next weekend for one of the biggest events of the year – the 1940s August Weekend.

The theme for the event, which will run on Saturday, August 14, and Sunday, August 15, is the Battle of Britain, which took place 70 years ago this summer.

One of the event organisers, Doug Kightley, said: "Visitors will feel as if they have stepped back to the 1940s.

"It will be historically authentic, with plenty of entertainment throughout the day to appeal to all the family. Children in particular will be fascinated to see this picture of life in wartime Britain.

"Anyone who gets into the spirit of the event by dressing in 1940's clothes will be rewarded with a special reduced entry price of only £8."

Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


A locomotive which has taken 15 years and £300,000 to build has enjoyed the first-ever trip under its own steam.

The Lyd chugged into action across The Cob at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway in Gwynedd.

It is the first entirely new engine to be built at the Boston Lodge Works since the David Lloyd George in 1992.

It is a replica of the original Manning Wardle locomotives which used to run on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in Devon.

The Lyd's maiden journey took place on 5 August and saw it terminating at the Ffestiniog Railway's Porthmadog Harbour station.

The first 21st Century locomotive 'Lyd' stands at Boston Lodge awaiting its first trip along The Cob

The engine was put through its paces by shunting five carriages.

It will now undergo further trials ahead of its first public duties at the Welsh Highland Railway Superpower gala in September.

Although the Lyd will mostly be a fixture on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway between Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog, it will also make frequent visits to Devon.

The Ffestiniog Railway claims to be the oldest independent railway company in the world and was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832.


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