Visit to the Swanage Railway

We are down at our caravan in Weymouth for the week which is only 20 minutes drive from Norden park and ride for the Swanage railway. Mother in law and no.2 son have never been so a good opportunity to visit. Grace our 5 year old Boxer also came along. We had a good trip, Swanage is a lovely place to visit and I recommend lunch in the Red Lion, a real ale pub (2 pints of Otter very nice). The weather was kind to us too, not brilliant sunshine, but dry.

Here are the pics









Swanage buildings




Novel use for a bit of rail, fire surround in the Red Lion


London Festival of Railway Modelling 2015


I was there on the Saturday manning the 3mm Society stand.

Originally posted on esngblog:

My usual companions couldn’t make this year’s trip to Alexandra Palace for the London Festival of Railway Modelling, so I was undecided whether to go.  But Derek said that if two of us were going, it was worth him driving, so I agreed to go.  I could doze in a car rather than battle London’s railway system.

It was an easy drive up there, despite the sat-nav (me) going to sleep and missing a turning, so we circumnavigated Alexandra Park before getting to the show.  Car parking was very well organised, but no-one told us the you needed a team of Sherpa’s to get from the Paddock car park to the Palace.  At least two aging gentlemen got their cardiovascular exercise for at least the coming week!

A good range of layouts was on display, from ‘Z’ to Gauge 3.  Not a lot that stood out, though.  Copenhagen Fields is…

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The Y14 Returns!


A good reason to visit the NNR.

Originally posted on Loco Yard:


The North Norfolk Railways’ stalwart, the J15 has returned to the railway in its new (or should that be old guise of a Y14). The restoration, which commenced in July 2013 has finally been completed, with one of the most thorough overhauls the loco has ever had.Teases had been seen on the M&GN’s Facebook page throughout the entire restoration and she returned home on the 20th March…


Yesterday, I decided to visit the railway to see it on its first day, and what a striking transformation. The new blue paintwork is absolutely stunning, and even though it was a dull and wet day, was still able to shine with the brief spells of sunshine.


However, while the locomotive was certainly a sight to behold, a steam leak, and tight mechanisms meant that the locomotive was struggling to full the members and benefactors train for the three trips, with the class 37…

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J15 Red Box Treat



Originally posted on Albion Yard:

Hornby J15 R3232 Hornby J15 R3232

One of the latest items released by Hornby is the Great Eastern Wordsell designed Y14. The type first entered service in 1883 and was reclassified to arguably its more common designation of J15 after Grouping by the London & North Eastern Railway. The model as received depicts one of the class in their twilight years with the British Railways late crest, the subject locomotive being withdrawn in March 1963. The class was popular with both crew and enthusiasts. With a light axle loading the type was suitable for use on the light branch lines of East Anglia, for example it’s easy to locate images of the class working the Snape Maltings branch in Suffolk.


The model I’ve been poking and prodding is the OO 4mm scale late BR logo J15 R3232. It is supplied in the contemporary packaging of a vacuum formed protective cover which fits inside…

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Knowle-Bodiam Terriers double trouble

Easter Festival Overture

Details for the upcoming Easter services to launch the 42nd season proper on the K&ESR are now reasonably set, if not in stone, with the focus on the railway very much on Knowle that arrived on hire for the first time from the Southern Railway as 2678 three-quarters of a century ago in February 1940.

Although availability of locomotives is somewhat constrained this year, there’s plenty to entertain enthusiasts, families and even hitchhikers with a broad galaxy of travel options and train combinations extending into the school holiday period.

For the first time the popular Gold timetable runs all-steam on all four days of the festival with eight passenger trains from Tenterden every day with a 45-minute interval. Indeed even if the weather does not play ball, the arrangements should help put outstanding winter blues well and truly to the sword.

For what is believed to be the first time in preservation, both Terriers will be in steam on the same day on separate trains on the K&ESR with both sporting the late-BR “cat and mangle” totem, acquired by Bodiam in 2011 and Knowle in 2013. That is, excluding the Return to Robertsbridge event in September when there was a two-mile trackless gap between them, with 32670 employed on RVR metals and 32678 running between Tenterden Town and Bodiam.

The Terriers are to work five trains each day between them, with either 376 Norwegian or 65 Maunsell working the main train. The plan is that Good Friday and Easter Saturday will be the main focus of attention for enthusiasts. 32678 is scheduled for three round trips leaving Tenterden Town at 1130, 1345 and 1600hrs with a two-coach train typical of the type of train it used to run regularly in service on the Hayling Island whilst 32670 will be employed on the Vintage train with departures at 1215 and 1430hrs. Please note that for the benefit of photographers it has been specifically requested that neither engine will carry additional headboards or adornments on Good Friday.

On Easter Day and Easter Monday, for variety, and in part precipitated by a private charter late on Saturday, the two engines will swap turns with Bodiam taking over the “Hayling Billy” formation and 32678 on the Vintage. This means that there will be opportunities to ride and photograph all four combinations over the weekend. It is even possible to travel over the whole railway behind both engines, perhaps sustained by refreshments from the Buffet at Tenterden Town by riding first on the 1130 and then on the 1430, or, with a later start, first on the 1215 and then, after a longer break, on the 1600 service.

Bodiam was famous for working the last special on the Havant–Hayling with Fenchurch in 1963 and she may well be decorated on Sunday or Monday to recreate her appearance that day. Indeed this is thought to be her first opportunity to work an advertised public service Hayling-type train on the K&ESR.

But there are many other options and you can break your journey as you wish. At Bodiam, the Cavell Van will be open. This is a particularly poignant year, being the centenary of Edith Cavell’s execution by the Germans during the Great War. Also at Bodiam there will be a miniature traction engine event on Saturday, Sunday and Monday – and of course the Castle. (Hitch) Hikers will appreciate the regular service to and from Wittersham Road, with a train calling every 20 to 25 minutes; the walk between here and Northiam via Newenden is particularly recommended as it crosses the K&ESR near the Rother Bridge.

Easter should also serve as an overture for the eagerly-anticipated visit of the M7 30053 from the Swanage Railway later in the spring and to this end visitors are invited to send in digital images obtained for the railway is very short of good publicity photographs. If circumstances permit, first-thing on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, it is hoped to arrange for 32678 to be posed by the daffodils for a few minutes just below the level crossing at Tenterden Town, so patrons can obtain uncluttered images of the engine.

It should be a very special weekend, especially if other spring flowers, such as the primroses on Wittersham Bank put on a good show and if gambolling lambs have been turned out, particularly in the fields below Cranbrook Road crossing or in the vicinity of Padgham’s Curve near Bodiam.

After Easter, holiday running will continue with two trains running every day until the 19th, except Fridays 10th and 17th, and Monday 13th when there are no trains. Knowle is initially lined up to work the Vintage train, so she may very well end up working seven days in a row starting from Good Friday; a fitting acknowledgement to her splendid career so far on the K&ESR.


Source – Terrier Trust

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Sheffield Park Update


Good to see the Q

Originally posted on Loco Yard:

After visiting the Bluebell Railway on Sunday, I thought it would be a good time to post a quick update from Sheffield Park works.  We begin with a brief look of recently overhauled Maunsell Q class 30541, sporting (for the first time in preservation) a British Railways late crest, as pictured above.  I was hoping that I might catch it running on test, but it wasn’t to be and to be fair the Bluebell Railway nor did I expect it to be!  Seeing it run again gives an excuse to visit the line at least one more time this year!

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