Sunday, 11 December 2016

Grounded van bodies 11.

Whilst nosing around Oswestry yesterday I noted a couple of bodies in the yard;

Note the double doors on one body and the end door on the other;

The road-rail dumper if of interest as well. There's a selection of old machine tools next to the bodies as well, a lathe and a pair of mills, both vertical and horizontal.


Saturday, 10 December 2016

Passing though Oswestry.

Today we found ourselves in Oswestry, not for any railway related reasons but so that Dani could visit Stooge Cycles and test ride their prototype fat-bike, (which we both rather liked. Mountain biking and trail/fell running have somewhat taken over my spare time this year). On the way home we stopped in town so that I could have a quick nose around the Cambrian Heritage Railway.

On the platform stood a smart Barclay tank giving brake van rides;

Further down the platform, a Ruston 88DS;

I do like an 88DS. Also seen from the platform, a Warflat(?), a stripped 0-4-0 and a trolley;

In the yard, a couple of diesels, and an old JCB,

Along with a rusty steamer and a dismantled Austerity;

Not the best photos I'm afraid, but I do hope to revisit Oswestry in the Spring so hopefully I can find time for a ride and another nose around.


Friday, 5 August 2016

A ride on the Bure Valley Railway.

I took a drive down to Aylsham this morning (I'm on holiday in North Norfolk as I write this), so I could take a ride on the Bure Valley Railway. This 15" gauge line was built on the old Wroxham to Aylsham railway trackbed, which it shares alongside a popular footpath.

Arriving at Aylsham you cannot help but be impressed by the set-up, the builldings are smart and purpose built, the trackwork neatly kept and the shop well stocked with blue and red boxes (as well as a fair amount of P*co and Woodlands Scenics). An all over canopy protects both passengers and stock from the elements. Ticket bought I wandered onto the platform, only to be confronted with this;

Despite appearences I'm sure that it serves well.
My train however was pulled by;

The inspiration for this is of course quite obvious, and despite not being a fan of those VoR locos I have to say John of Gaunt is rather smart.
Parked next to the platform is a rebuilt and regauged Hudson Hunslet;

Here's the view from the platform end;

On the way down I shared a carriage with a couple of families, out for a day trip. Again this is a railway serving a purpose rather than just being an attraction in its own right.
On reaching Wroxham I watched the engine being turned;

I had a quick browse in the secondhand bookshop before returning on the same train;

On the return leg I had a carriage to myself. These coaches are all enclosed, with padded seats, carpet up the sides and on the ceiling and LED lighting, which is turned on for the short section of tunnel near Aylsham.
Having a carriage to myself meant that I had control of the sliding windows, allowing me to lean out with the camera;

I did note that a lightly loaded carriage gives a lively ride! I also note that the trains can and do run at a fair lick when opened up.

Also in use today was 'Mark Timothy', a 2-6-4T of Leek & Manifold outline. We met twice at passing loops;

Also seen was this odd permament way truck, parked just outside Aylsham;

45 minutes after setting off from Wroxton we were back in Aylsham;

The workshop was open to visitors, although there was a rope stopping us from wandering too far inside;

I had a look in the shed as well; noting a smart regauged Lister;

This is I have to say a very impressive railway.


Thursday, 4 August 2016

A return to the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway.

Today saw me unexpectantly riding on the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway again. Although I enjoyed my last ride on this miniature railway, I had no intention of repeating the experience. This was not because I didn't enjoy the ride but simply because I had no intention of returning to Walsingham, a place that I find rather odd. However, Dani and various other familly members decided to visit the village, so we left Wells-Next-the-Sea on the 11.30 train. This was hauled by Norfolk Hero, a blue 2-6-6-2 Garratt. The line had an 'enchanted railway' theme running, at various places along the line fairies, dragons, trolls and other mythical creatures were hidden for the younger travellers to spot and record on sheets that were handed out (along with pencils). This seemed to go down well with the little girl and her father sat opposite. Roses and ivy were strung along the carriage roofs, helping with the enchanted theme.

The journey was pleasant, apart from Small Dog getting restless sat on our knees (Big Dog laid at our feet, he's quite stoic where travelling is concerned). The loco did stall on one gradient, hardly suprising as the train was fully loaded. The driver backed up, sprinkled some sand (or was it fairy dust?) from a bottle onto the rails, and off we went.

The return journey was just as packed as the outward, a bit uncomfortable but it is nice to see the train providing a usefull service rather than being an eccentric diversion.

Enough waffle, here's a few pics;

Earlier in the day I took an enjoyable trip on a restored lifeboat, the Lucy Lavers, which I covered over here.
And here's a few pics taken in weird Walsingham.