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Five go to Cresson

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A story of 5 members of the North Wales Railway Circle making a trip to Cresson, Pennsylvania in September 2012.  Phil Thomas, Garnedd Jones, Steve Morris, Colin Webb and me, Peter Hanahoe.  Flights to Philadelphia and a Hire car were procured and we were on our way.

The plan was to wallow in trains for a week.  This was achieved; read on.

Cresson is a small town in the Allegheny mountains and is on one of the busiest East-West routes on the Norfolk Southern network.  Several members of the North Wales Railway Circle have visited there over the years.  We were to stay at The Station Inn.  A most excellent B&B where the Proprietor, Tom Davis, has built a business by doing a top job of catering for railway enthusiasts and their various needs.  He has also become a good friend over the years.  To check out the Station Inn, look up Tom's superb web site at:-

http://stationinnpa.com

 

A huge quantity of freight passes through Cresson in a day but there are a couple of lines that branch off the main too.  It is also the a base for helper / banking engines and a servicing point too.  All this combines to make it a very busy location.  Here's a Westbound stack train cresting the hill in the small town of Gallitzin just East of Cresson.  It is led by 3 Norfolk Southern locomotives, A brace of Dash9-40CW's sandwich an SD60I giving a combined hp total of 11,800.

There are now very few passenger trains through Cresson and there hasn't been a station for many years.  The Station Inn is in fact the former station Hotel.  The passenger service that does pass through, is Amtrak's "Pennsylvanian".  This is the New York to Pittsburgh and return.  East bound passes through mid morning, Westbound around tea-time.  Here is the morning Eastbound at Lilly framed by one of the signal gantries that are still in use, a relic of the line's Pennsylvania RR heritage.  The loco is a Bo-Bo type Dash8-P32BWH.  Not too long ago this was a big train carrying box-cars of mail and road-railer lorry trailers.

The servicing area at Cresson deals with the helper engines but on a weekend, engines that work the mining branches that leave the main at South Fork a few miles to the West are serviced in Cresson too.  It's normal for these engines, fuelled, sanded and checked over, to run back to South Fork on a Sunday afternoon ready to start another week.  We were lucky enough to catch this group of 14 loco's running down the hill.  These engines are designated SD80MAC's, not a common type and NS only has 17 in total.

On the main line, it's fairly common to see power from "foreign" railway companies although they will never be the lead engine as they are not equipped with the signalling equipment required to take this role over this route.  Here is an SD70M belonging to the Union Pacific on a Bin-Liner at Gallitzin.  Interestingly, the loco ahead of it is one of the NS's Heritage fleet, a very new SD70ACe painted up in the livery of the Penn-Central.  For more info on this innovation by NS, check out this link to their web site.

http://www.nscorp.com/nscportal/nscorp/Community/Heritage%20Locomotives/

After a hard day by the line, here are two of our Party, watching some night time trains on the Veranda at the Station Inn.

The branch lines that run North from Cresson are run by R. J. Corman.  One branch goes to a coal loader at Fallen Timber.  The other, wends its way on to Clearfield and beyond and has other branches off it too.  Clearfield  is the centre of operations for R. J. Corman in the region.  We had a day out on the Corman branches and one of Tom's other guests elected to come along with us.  A gentleman called Al from Detroit.  Very interesting company and works in the car industry would you believe?  Here is one of Corman's trains coming down the middle of a street in Clearfield.  The loco's are SD40-2's and there is another pair on the back end.  These red coal hoppers are only used on Corman's lines and don't venture out onto the main.

There are many places of interest you can visit on a day trip from Cresson.  We ventured one day to West Brownsville.  The reason for the trek there was to see the freight trains on NS that run down the middle of the street.  There are other locations where Street Running takes place I know but this is a good one.  There are many trains in a day too and some CSX trains come along here.  CSX runs through Brownsville and the two lines are connected by a bridge on the North of the two towns.  The line leads to several mines in the area and they run big trains, up to about 130 coal hoppers.  It's fair to say that West Brownsville, and indeed Brownsville on the East side of the Monongahela river, have seen better days but it's still a friendly little place.  The train below is the local led by an NS Dash9-40CW and a GP38-2.

On our way back to Cresson that afternoon we called at Connelsville which is on the CSX main line between Baltimore and Pittsburgh.  Here is a Westbound car train (autoracks) making a crew change.  It is hauled by a Dash9-44CW and a Dash8-40C.  The pair of engines on the right are an AC4400CW and an AC6000CW waiting to attach to the rear of an Eastbound coal train and assist it over Sandpatch grade.

Among the rest of the melee at Cresson, there is a scrap yard belonging to the Cresson Steel Company.  The yard manager, very friendly gent named George Kuzar kindly allowed us in to get some pictures of some former NS locomotives they were cutting up.  One engine was well gone and this sorry line up were waiting their turn.  They are 6 SD40's and an SD38.  They look like they've been standing for some time.

Getting back to the Station Inn, Tom Davis is looking very relaxed as he checks out the latest issue of Trains Magazine on the Veranda.  It is indeed relaxing to spend a day here just sitting watching the trains go by.

The main line is 3 tracks.  Here is a train of tankers coming through Cresson heading West.  It is passing the stabling / servicing point on the left.  The tanker train is on track 3.  On the right, a helper set, a pair of SD40E's, is on track 1.  This tanker train, headed by an ES40DC and an SD70M-2, is known coloquially by railway men as "The Bomb".  It is an Ethanol train and due to is Hazardous nature, it has barrier wagons front and rear.

A good time was had by all.  One thing I would defy anyone to do is visit Cresson and not travel home planning their next visit.

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The Pehrhyn Railway 50 Years On

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On Tuesday, 24thJuly 2012, I visited the old Penrhyn Quarry loco sheds located at Coed y Parc, Bethesda.

It was the first public open day of The Penrhyn Railway.  The day was organised by Felin Fawr Cyf who run the industrial estate at Felin Fawr and who have rebuilt the railway.

The event was low key in respect of advertising; it appeared it was directed at local people as their way of thanking the locals and introducing them to the railway.  The chosen date marked 50 years to the day of the closing of the line from Coed y Parc to Port Penrhyn, although steam carried on in the quarry for several more years.

The event was opened by the Manager of the Penrhyn Slate Quarry.  This was done by cutting the traditional ribbon.  There were a number of media outlets on site during the morning recording the event.  It was pleasing to see a large turn out from the retired quarry work force, all exchanging facts, information and stories concerning the railway.  I hadn’t realised there were 24 petrol and diesel locomotives in the quarry; some were built by the quarry, others were bought in second-hand; a number of RAF locomotives being amongst them.  I then met Mr Robin Willis, who is the photographic archivist for the society.  In his possession he had a large photographic album.  I was informed that the archive has now amassed 2000 photographs of the railway.  I viewed the album, and I can only describe the contents as a tribute to the society’s diligence and hard work. Each photograph is actually being researched by the society.  On seeing the photographs, it became apparent that there had been a lot of transplanting of parts, eg boilers, water tanks, cabs, etc.  A prime example was a Hunslet locomotive called Pamela.  This was one such engine that had received numerous parts from donor engines.  There were pictures of her with different water tanks, with and without a cab.

The guest locomotive’s identity had been kept a closely guarded secret.  Only when she emerged from the loco depot was her identity revealed.  She was a Hunslet quarry engine named George Sholto, an ex-Penrhyn locomotive.

She looked resplendent in her green livery and red buffer beams, and looked a beautiful sight.  This locomotive had been transferred from the Bressingham Museum in Norfolk.  This move had been made the previous evening on a low loader articulated lorry.

George Sholto did numerous runs with the workmen’s open coach.  People boarded from the platform at the oil shed and were conveyed to the temporary platform at St Anne’s a short distance away.

The public were allowed to sample the delights of travelling in the open coach; the first thing that entered my mind whilst travelling in the coach was what a hardy bunch these quarrymen were, having worked all day labouring in the quarry and then travelling home in these open coaches - can you imagine this journey in the depths of winter? No wonder there are pictures of them wrapping themselves in old sacking prior to boarding the train.

The society had also made available a seated café area where tea and bara brith (my favorite) were served.

I must commend the society for a truly nostalgic day and the way they made it into a truly family day out, you only had to see the children’s faces whilst they were standing on the footplate of the Hunslett.

I first became aware of the Penrhyn Railway Society 2 years ago via the website www.penrhynrailway.co.uk I found this website informative and always look forward to their weekly updates.  All I can say is “well done, great day, keep up the good work”.

If anyone is interested in joining the society, an application form can be found on their website.

By Gareth Hughes.                                                             Photos Brian Bollington.

 

 

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All Cornish Branch Lines in a Day-A Pictorial Log

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All Cornish Branch Lines in a Day-A Pictorial Log

By NWRC member Gareth Hughes

RIDE CORNWALL RANGER

On Tuesday, 19th June 2012, a group of North Wales Railway Circle members decided to visit Cornwall in an attempt to travel all of Cornwall’s passenger carrying branch lines.  We completed this in 11 hours 45 minutes.

The plan was to purchase a "Ride Cornwall Ranger" costing £10; this ticket states that it cannot be used before 09:00 on the day of travel, but there is one train that it can be on used prior to 09:00.  This is the 08:14 from Plymouth to Penzance.  This does not seem to be general knowledge, as this fact is not well-advertised.

We managed to get reasonably priced tickets on a Cross Country service from Macclesfield to Plymouth.

We departed Macclesfield on a Voyager 220317 (a Bournemouth service)

 

                                          

Cross Country Voyager 220317 enters Macclesfield Station  Photo Brian Bollington

 

At 10:10 we arrived in Stoke to see a north-bound china clay service hauled by EWS 60007; we were to see “James Bond” a little later on the trip.

At 10:26 Stafford, viewed north-bound Pendalino 390029 and a freightliner standing at a signal south-bound hauled by 90043.

At 10:44 Wolverhampton Station, we noted stabled Pendalino 390006 and a west-bound DMU for Shrewsbury, units 158833 + 158821. In the bay platform was an electric unit 323311.  On leaving Wolverhampton viewed EWS 66077 at the Corus Steel Depot.

At 10:59am New Street, Birmingham retired for lunch.

At 13:12 XC service to Penzance Voyager 221120. On arrival at Bristol viewed 2 Great Western HST’s; numbers are 43030 + 43156 and 43151 + unknown.

Our arrival at Taunton was at 15:22 and we decided to visit the town.  We returned to Taunton Station in time to catch the 17:50 XC service to Plymouth.  This was delayed due to signalling problems and we were transferred to a Great Western service DMU 150219 and we arrived in Plymouth at 19.31.

 

                                         

Cross Country Voyager 221120 prepares to depart Taunton for Plymouth.  Photo Brian Bollington  

 

                                 

43026 at rear of an up service HST at Taunton.  Photo Brian Bollington

 

We had booked 2 nights stay at the Quality Hotel in Plymouth, which has superb views across Plymouth Ho, where we viewed the comings and goings of numerous warships.

 

                                 

Room with a view, Quality Hotel, Plymouth.  Photo Brian Bollington

 

On Wednesday the 20th June we were up early and had purchased our tickets the previous evening.

08:14 departed Plymouth for St Erth on units 150216 + 150243

 

                                       

Penzanze bound Units 150216 + 150243 arrive at Plymouth.  Photo Brian Bollington

 

ST. IVES BRANCH

10:08 arrived St Erth, boarded units 150249 + 150123, these were in the bay platform

 

                              

Crossing the footbridge from the down platform to the branch bay a HST arrives on the up thus three trains connect at St Erth simultaneously.  Photo Brian Bollington

 

                         

Passengers interchange the branch bay is to the left of the picture.  Photo Brian Bollington

 

10:18 departed St Erth and travelled along the beautiful coastline to St Ives, arriving there at 10:31

 

 

Semaphores on the up main.                                      Approaching St Ives taken from the train.                       

Photo Gareth Hughes                                                  Photo Brian Bollington

 

With a very quick turn-round we departed St Ives at 10:33.  We were pleased to witness that this service was heavily patronised.

 

                                       

A large number of passengers disembark at St Ives.  Photo Brian Bollington

 

At 10:47 arrived at St Erth and got on the 10:55 service to Truro on unit 150216.

 

                                        

150216 arrives on up platform 2.  Photo Brian Bollington

 

 

At ll:25 arrived at Truro - went over to the bay platform to await the 11:51 departure for Falmouth Docks. 

 

                               

150216 continues it's journey passing Truro signal box.  Photo Brian Bollington

 

  Falmouth Branch 

 

This service had 2 single units; 153382 + 153318.

 

                                

Single car Units 153382 + 153318 arrive in the bay at Truro from the Falmouth branch.  Photo Gareth Hughes.

 

We set off and at Penrhyn we passed unit 150265 heading for Truro.  Penrhyn has a long single-faced platform having a loop for half its length.  This made it an interesting piece of railway working.

 

                                       

A shot of the well kept station at Penmere taken from the train.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                     

Our train standing at the end of the branch in Falmouth.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

At 12:14, arrived Falmouth Docks. This location was busy but not from a rail point of view.  This rail location is a shadow of its former self.

At 12:20, depart for Truro.

At 12:48 arrived Truro just in time to see our old friend 66007 heading for Penzance with a train of loaded fuel tankers.

 

                                    

EWS liveried 60007 passes through Truro with a down working of tankers.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

The North Wales Railway Circle meetings are held in the Bangor Railway Institute; some of our members are also members of B.R.S.A. which entitles them to frequent railway association clubs throughout the UK.  In Truro, the G.W.R.S.A. club is directly over the road to the station so we decided to go in for a pint and a packet of crisps.  We were all made very welcome by the locals.

At 13:32 we departed Truro for Par on unit 150125 arriving there at 13:57.

 

                                       

A very traditional scene of semaphores and box at Par.  The Newquay branch is off to the right of the picture with the connection to the main line, which is to the left of the signal box, seen here passing behind  the box.                       Photo Brian Bollington.

 

At 14:08 we caught 150234 to Newquay.  As we left Par on the branch line we had a distant view of St Blazey loco depot.  We could see a number of unused class 60s, which appear to have been removed from storage at Toton, Nos. 60044/100/096 are believed to be among them.

 

                                       

A "purely for the record" shot of the class 60 locos, hiding behind undergrowth, taken from the train at St Blazey.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

Passing the china clay sidings at Goonbarrow Junction a shunting locomotive named Issac was to be seen.

 

                                

10150 "Issac" seen at Goonbarrow.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                 

China clay wagons at the works in Goon barrow.  Photo Brian Bolligton. 

 

We continued to Newquay arriving at 14:56; again a smart turn round by the train crew, departing within 5 minutes of our arrival.  Newquay Station gave the impression of a ‘has-been’ location, with its two long platforms, only one in use, and the statutory supermarket having been built on the old freight yard.

 

                                   

With the weather turning ever wetter 150243 awaits departure from Newquay.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

At 15:47 arrived back in Par. We then caught the 15:42 service to Liskeard, unit 150243 providing this service, arriving at 16:17.

 

                               

150243 runs down the bank into Par station.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                    

The branch train stands to the left of the picture with the Plymouth service having arrived on the right.  Note the Great Western style "lower quadrant" semaphore has been pulled off giving the right of way for the main line train. Photo Brain Bollington.

 

On vacating the train, I was expecting to see the Looe train in a bay platform.  To my surprise I was told to leave the main station and cross a road, the entrance to platform 3 would then be seen.  On crossing the road I could see a single platform with a platform 3 sign hanging from the canopy.  This is a single line terminus which I can only described as authentic with an air of heritage.  On standing on the platform, it wouldn’t have surprised me to see a pannier tank and auto coach pull in to the platform.

 

The Looe Branch

 

                             

Platform 3 for the Looe branch at Liskeard.  Photo Gareth Hughes.

 

                              

153368 stands at platform 3 forming the Liskeard to Looe service.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

At 16:41, the unit 153368 commenced its journey, going under the western main line to Coombe Junction.  The guard informed me that there is still one freight train which runs on a Monday to the Moorswater Cement Factory the other side of Coombe Junction.

By now the weather had changed for the worse; it was raining continuously and the light was fading.  At Coombe Junction, the poor old conductor had to get out of the train, change the staff and pull the points for the Looe branch.  The driver changed ends and we proceded to Looe.

 

                            

Managing  to squeeze hands and compact camera out of the top vent window this shot was taken showing, to the bottom left, the small cabin housing the ground frame and in the distance the line from Liskeard coming in from the left and the line on to Looe dropping down to the right.  Photo Gareth Hughes. 

 

We made our way down a narrow valley at a slow steady speed which gave us the chance to see the wildlife that was in abundance along the river we were following.

Our arrival in Looe was in a downpour; we got off, took a quick photograph and jumped back on.

 

                          

Passengers alight and board 153366 in the pouring rain at Looe.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                    

This plaque is on the wall at Looe station.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                   

With Looe seen through the heavy rain in the back ground 153368 prepares for departure. Photo Brian Bollington.

 

We arrived back in Liskeard at 17:43, and departed Liskeard at 17:49 on unit 150243 heading for Gunnislake via Plymouth.

 

                                

Single unit 153329 leads a 3 coach down train passing Liskeard signal box.  Note the unusual wooden semaphore signal above the station canopy in the top left of the picture.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                              

150243 enters Liskeard bound for Gunnislake via Plymouth.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                      

On route to Plymouth at St Germans station a former Great Western clorestory coach is seen sitting on it's own piece of track.  It is used as a camping coach and can be rented for holidays.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

They always say leave the best until last, without a doubt the scenery on this line was second to none.

 

 The Gunnislake Branch

Having first returned to Plymouth and bay platform 3 we headed back out west leaving the west of England main line at St Budeaux and dived beneath it, travelled for some distance in a semi-circle and came back alongside the east shore of the Tamar River.  No sooner had we come alongside the river we went under Mr. Brunel’s imposing Saltash Bridge.  We continued up the ex-southern main line which is now down to a single track.

 

                                

Hidden behind, the not so glamorous, road bridge and part covered by scaffolding and covers, for maintenance work, Isambard Kingdom Brunell's Saltash Bridge can just be seen through the window of the train as we run along side the River Tamar.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

We arrived at Bere Ferrers Station where we briefly viewed the railway station museum and its outside exhibits.

 

                                                    

Reflecting former Southern Railway days Beer Ferris signal box now part of the museum site.                                                  

Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                               

The former Bere Ferres goods shed is in the back ground the semaphore signals are exhibits and not operational.      

Photo Brian Bollington.

 

We then continued to the next station which is Bere Alston.  This is a dead-end station; the line used to continue to Tavistock from this location.  The driver then changed ends and the guard made his way to ground frame and changed the points for Gunnislake.

 

                                    

Our train stands in Bere Alston station while the driver changes ends and the guard changes the points, a single line staff is in use, ready to proceed towards Gunnislake.  Photo Brian Bollington. 

 

                                

Having changed ends the train will now proceed to Gunnislake on the line dropping away to the right, having arrived on the line coming in on the left.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                      

In Southern colours the redundant Bere Alston signal box.  The old telegraph pole giving an indication of how busy this location would have been.  Photo Brain Bollington.

 

The next stop was Calstock this was reached immediately after traversing a large viaduct over the River Tamar.  

 

                                   

Train with a view.  Looking down as we travers the viaduct.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                               

Looking down from the other side of the train, the picturesque village of Calstock.  Photo Brian Bollington. 

 

                                   

Well kept, simple but attractive Calstock station.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                      

As we depart Calstock station we look back to catch a glimpse of the viaduct we have just crossed.                    

Photo Brian Bollington.

 

The weather now can only be described as atrocious making photographing difficult, and also driving the train problematic.  A mile and a half from Gunnislake we stopped at an ungated level crossing; the driver hooted and then moved forward.  We were in a deep cutting and the train’s wheels were slipping.  After a few minutes the driver managed to get adhesion, and we arrived at Gunnislake at 19:11.

 

                                       

At several level crossings on the line the train is required to come to a stand and sound it's horn before proceeding.  Photos Brian Bollington.

 

                          

Gunnislake Terminus.  Photo Brian Bollington.

 

                                     

Looking towards Calstock and beyond.  Gunnislake is a simple dead end terminus, the line having receded some distance from it's origional location.  Photo Brian Bollington.  

 

Again a very quick turn round departing at 19:13, arriving back at Plymouth 19:58.

The 21st of June is the longest day, but I can only describe it as the longest day of rain that I have ever experienced.

Precis of the Day

First Great Western were GREAT; the service, numerous changes all went without a hitch.  As I mentioned previously, it was nice seeing all the trains being well-patronised.  All the staff we had contact with were pleasant and informative. The only thing that surprised was the amount of overhanging shrubbery that kept striking the train sides whilst in Cornwall.  Network Rail seriously needs to get their shears out this winter.  The scenery that we experienced definitely confirms The Cornish Riviera!  I thought I had travelled over some large viaducts on the Settle and Carlisle line, but Cornwall beats them hands-down for majesty and height.

This was an excellent trip and exceptional value for money.

Due to the poor photographic opportunities on Wednesday evening, one of our members travelled early on Thursday morning to Gunnisslake to obtain better photographs for this article.


Gareth Hughes 

 

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Ffestiniog's Linda visits her old home

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In April 2012 ex Penrhyn Quarry locomotive "Linda", now running on The Ffestiniog Railway, called at her old home in Port Penrhyn, Bangor, Gwynedd.  

Origionally the port engine shed for The Penrhyn Quarry, Linda's old home is now a work shop for a mussel dredging company.  Linda was on route, albiet on the back of a lorry, when it was decided to call for a photo shoot.  Unfortunately there are no rails leading to the shed now but it was quite a site to see Linda return home briefly.      

Thanks to Scott Metcalfe, a Shipwright who is based next door to the old engine shed, for the photos. 

By NWRC member Garth Griffiths

 

Photo Scott Metcalfe

 

Photo Scott Metcalfe

 

Photo Scott Metcalfe

 

 

 

Photo Scott Metcalfe

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North Wales Railway Circle visit The Dean Forest Railway

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North Wales Railway Circle visit The Dean Forest Railway 

Wednesday 15th February saw members of The North Wales Railway Circle take advantage of the Arriva Trains Wales Club 55 offer again. This offer by Arriva is very good value and Circle members have used it a great deal for Circle events as well as family trips out. On this occasion the destination was Lydney to visit the Dean Forest Railway.

 

The first train of the day was the 06.02 departure from Bangor, this being the Holyhead to Cardiff service known as the “WAG”, hauled by 57313.  Seen above standing in Newport (Gwent) Station.

Members enjoyed a “main line” breakfast cooked by a chef on board and served at their tables. No disposable plates or plastic cutlery here, the real thing and at a reasonable price. Their destination on this train was Newport.

During the 40 minute wait at Newport station members were hoping to see some freight movement, they were not disappointed. Sightings of the tanker trains from Robeston near Milford Haven being among them.

Above: West bound empty tanks headed by 60091 in DB livery runs through Newport Station on the down fast.

 

Above: Entering Newport Station on the up east bound is 60071 Ribblehead Viaduct with a loaded tanker train.

 

The group continued their journey to Lydney with 150 unit 150254 on a service to Cheltenham via Chepstow enjoying good views of The Severn Estuary for a large part of the journey.

Lydney Junction station on the Dean Forest Railway is a few hundred yards from the mainline station, which formerly carried that name.  A number of diesel locomotives were stored in various stages of restoration on the other side of the level crossing from the station.

 

Above: E6001 stands in a head shunt on the approach to Lidney Junction Station.

 

Above: The only one of it's class in EWS livery 31466 stands behind Lidney Jcn signal box.

 

 

Circle members traveling on the day new in advance that, disappointingly, the planned steam service was to be suspended due to a frozen water supply.   The group waited in anticipation to see what the alternative motive power would be. A three car Class 108 Diesel Multiple Unit was a pleasant surprise, seen above entering Lydney Jcn. Station.

 

The group travelled the line to the terminus at Parkend which features a levelcrossing and signal box making a very nostalgic railway scene.  On the journey passengers were given an interesting commentry of locations and their history that could be seen from the train.

 

On arriving at Parkend the group made their way to a nearby public house for a pint or two.

 

The return journey was broken as the group alight at Norchard High Level Station.  Here there is a junction with a spur off to Norchard Low Level where sidings, work shops and a museum are located.

 

A view of Norchard Low Level from the high level platform.

 

Looking from the low level platform.  Numerous items of rollingstock and locos can be seen including a LMS brake van, in the foreground and a GWR auto trailer beyond the level crossing.

 

GWR 14xx class 0-4-2T 1450 in splendid condition stands in the shed out of the weather.

 

GWR 0-6-0 pannier tank 9681 hides from the weather under a tarpaulin out side the workshops.

 

Also seen in the workshop area is one of a number of diesel locos, this being a diesel hydraulic, D9555.

 

In the museum on sight is a an excellent working "Strowger" telephone exchange. 

A fine example of the old "A B button" cash box telephone.  One first put the money in the slot and then dialed the number.  If the person answered at the other end one pressed button A and the cash would enter the cash box and one would be connected.  If there was no answer one pressed button B and received their cash back in the tray below.

 

 

Exchange line test equiment.

 

A "dolls eye" manual switch board.

 

This very impressive display included a number of period telephones.  One could pick up a telephone receiver and dial the number of one of the other telephones.  One could then watch the Strouger telephone exchange switching equipment operate (seen behind the glass panel in the above photo) and put one through to the telephone called.

 

In the low level 08 238 awaits the Parkend bound DMU in order to proceed with a works train to Lydney Junction.

 

Having enjoyed lunch in Lydney Town members of the group await the DMU to return to Lydney Junction.

 

Displaying the "Cat's Wiskers" on the front panel the DMU arrives at Lydney Town Station.

 

Back in Lydney Junction Station.

 

Members had time to watch the departure of the return working of 08 238 before making their way back to the main line station for their journey home.

 

 

Our thanks to all at the Dean Forest Railway. A very pleasant day out.

Brian Bollington (Photos Brian Bollington)

 

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