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Local Lad made good

Despite the dire weather predictions, it’s been a busy weekend at Apedale. We were honoured to host a visit by the owner of Lister 10805. The loco worked very locally to Apedale at Springfields Tileworks – predictably, now the site of a supermarket. The owner, on the other hand, had come from rather further afield – Norway to be specific. The loco is normally based at the West Lancashire Light Railway, and we are grateful to both the owner and the WLLR team for allowing a “local lad” to visit its old stamping ground for a few weeks.
Elsewhere, significant progress was made by the team of younger members on Motor Rail 21520 – a recent arrival. The wheels are a tiny bit on the tired side, so the loco has been turned over with a view to removal of the wheelsets.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 22 October 2017

2017 October - Long Weekend Outdoor Update

Friday Tasks

•Ty Mawr———Picked up the Quarry Siding West turnout bearers and remaining long uncut bearers.

•Unloaded the plastic buckets into the orange hut at Cynfal

•Unload the turnout bearers at Quarry Siding

•East of Quarry Siding loop – located a site, built a crib and unloaded the other long bearers with batons between them.

•Crowed one of the Quarry Siding stock rails

•Loaded the crossing for the new turnout and the crow frame + nose And took to Pendre.

•Investigated the watercourses in the milepost 5 ¾ area.

•Tidied the Quarry Siding shed entrance area

•Concentrated the track fixings in Quarry Shed

•Laid out the sleepers at resleepering site by 4 ½ milepost

•Found spanners for taking the turnout crossing apart at Quarry siding

•Brought down enough of the ex Network sleepers for the sidings

•Swapped one of the switch blades with a better from at Ty Mawr

•Brought down two ex Trecwn softwood sleepers for replacing two defective steps at Cynfal

•Sorted out the mud in the entrance to Rhydyronen

•Moved the cement mixer from Wharf to store at Pendre

Saturday – Monday Tasks

•At Brynglas prepared some displaced rails for loading

•At Brynglas investigated a drainage issue just west of the loop

•At Brynglas loaded a surplus sleeper to go into stock at Quarry Siding

•Placed the telecoms wire behind the fixings West of Brynglas loop

•Returned all the skates to Pendre for attention

•Offloaded and appropriately distributed the scrap, rubbish and sleepers at Wharf

•Returned the tools, firewood, fishplate nuts and bolts to store at Pendre

•Ty Mawr Loaded the other two sets of turnout bearers and took them to Wharf

•Raked up a lot of the cut grass in the memorial garden

• Strimmed the drive at Abergynolwyn

•Strimmed the playground at Abergynolwyn

•Leaf blowing the drive and entrance at Abergynolwyn

•Leaf blowing the track in the platform area at Abergynolwyn

•Removed another five 1 ton bags of stones from Cynfal stream (That’s twelve this year!). We also put another ton of stone on the boflat for use at Wharf

•Returned the empty dredging buckets to Quarry Siding

•Fuelled the Bobcat

•Obtained the required measurements on the creep bridge at Brynglas

•Loaded the ex trecwn turnout sleepers from the rail stacks

•Offloaded the sleepers at Wharf after moving the long softwoods

•Rodded the drain at the west end of the loop

•Measured and paired the curved BS50 rails for the Wharf south side sidings

•Fitted two of the museum wagon protector tops

•Removed the concrete from around the base of a Limit of Shunt post

Update and photos by Keith Theobald

Loading sleepers at Ty Mawr
Strimming work completed at Rhydyronen
Cynfal Stream - lots of rubble removed!
No 1 Talyllyn on a down train at Brynglas

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 12 October 2017

Diesel Delights preparation

A busy day at Apedale getting ready for the Diesel Delights event next weekend. We have already taken delivery of three visiting locos from our friends at the West Lancashire Light Railway – a large Motor Rail, a Hunslet and a very charecterful petrol-engined Lister. The Lister is almost returning home, as it worked at Springfield Tileries, which was not too far from us. A key attribute of the Diesel event will be the chance to allow some of our small internal-combustion locos to work passenger trains, and this is being accomplished by means of a portable air-brake system. This is carried around the driver’s neck. We took the opportunity today to test the system and it worked pretty much as expected, which is always encouraging.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 September 2017

2017 September - End of peak events and fishplate oiling

It was an intense but enjoyable last week or so of peak service in the Fathew Valley.


Peter Sam held his last party of the year – a very busy day up at Abergynolwyn. Unfortunately Rusty wasn’t very well, so his friend Alf joined the party instead.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, the Saturday trains were packed with people heading to the annual Abergynolwyn Show held in the field below the station. As usual there was plenty to see and do, including entertainment by the Dysynni Male Voice Choir and Abergynolwyn Silver Band, line dancing, dog shows and traditional fun and games.

During the evening late night trains ran up the valley where Abergynolwyn was the place to be.  Beer, barbeque and live music on a lovely summer’s eve… a perfect way to end the day.  As the night drew in, Chris Cade (an actor and storyteller from York), held performances of the ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens (1866), a twenty minute spine-chilling railway ghost story!

The annual Land Rover Rally also took place, with several beautifully restored Series Ones on display at the Show and at Wharf on Sunday.

We pride ourselves on being a family railway – we’ve had several married couples and father-daughter/mother-son combinations on the footplate and trains. We were very pleased to see a train crewed by members of the Parrott family – guarded by Holly with her husband Ed firing to his uncle Chris. Certain folk were very keen to point out that a group of parrots is known as a ‘pandemonium’. Luckily, all went well for their trip and everyone returned safely.


Keith’s Fishplate oiling round up

236… is the number of lengths of fishplate oiling we achieved over the extended holiday weekend. 23 people gave the equivalent of 47 days worth of effort over the 4 days. This unglamorous but essential work helps reduce the risk of the track buckling during periods of temperature extremes, so a very big thank you to everyone who came along to help its much appreciated.

On the Friday we started at Nant Gwernol and worked our way along to a few lengths on the Abergynolwyn side of milepost 7. On Saturday we took the opportunity to oil all the fishplates in the station area at Abergynolwyn before the train service started. During the afternoon, the oiling worked its way back up the extension to Forestry Crossing. Sunday morning saw the completion of the work on the extension before we moved the entire operation to Pendre and set off in the direction of Wharf. By the close of play we were about 6 lengths west of School Bridge. Monday dawned dry again and we continued towards Wharf and Wharf bridge where we called it a day. During the afternoon we cleaned and put all the gear away.

The new oiling compound seemed to work well during the application stage, it just remains to be seen how long it lasts before reapplication is required. We hope to oil the 12 or so lengths east of milepost 6 on AGM Sunday, 1 October. Many thanks once again to all who took part.

Keith Theobald

Photos by Max Birchenough, Barbara Fuller and Karen Willans


Peter Sam's Party - Peter Sam at Abergynolwyn
Duncan and a feathery friend at Abergynolwyn
Some of the vintage cars on display at the Abergynolwyn Show
The crowds watch the wheely bin race at the Abergynolwyn Show
Abergynolwn Show - Tug of War!
No 7 Tom Rolt at Wharf ready to head off into the dark
Series One Land Rovers at Wharf, Bank Holiday Sunday
Ed, Chris and Holly Parrott pose in front of No 1 Talyllyn
No 1 Talyllyn simmers in the sun while No 6 Douglas passes through Pendre

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 12 September 2017

Lord Austin

Saturday saw intermittent torrential downpours, which rather limited passenger numbers, despote being able to ride in enclosed splendour in the FR coach. We steamed “Stanhope” this weekend, in what will be one of its final appearances before being withdrawn for overhaul. Hopefully, “Stanhope” will not be absent for too long. The loco has been well-cared for, and is in generally good order. Some boiler work is needed in additional to the expected re-tube.
Most sensible people stayed under cover, and this resulted in a fair bit of work being done on the cab of the Motor Rail petrol loco “Lord Austin”. It’s been invited for a jolly outing to the Amerton Railway at the end of the month, and there’s nothing like a deadline for getting things done. The cab is now built, painted, glazed and fitted with a tin roof sheet. This will keep drivers dry, warm and especially snug. Especially the latter – a jar of vaseline will be made available at all times to aid our stouter drivers in gaining egress from the locomotive.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 10 September 2017

Motor Rail 7522

The last few days have seen something of an influx of new locomotives to the Apedale site. Over the next few days we’ll tell you a little about each one. First up is a Motor Rail. Not a manufacturer under-represented in the collection, but no. 7522 is Different. It’s a 8/12hp loco, powered by an Ailsa Craig diesel. These seem to have been built as lightweight locos, perhaps with a view to breaking into the segment of the market which was dominated by Lister locos in the years immediately after WW2. It left MR’s Bedford works on 6/4/1948 and was delivered to the River Great Ouse Cathchment Board, Cuckoo Bridge, Ely. It would have been used on works relating to flood defences and the like. It didn’t last long, because on 24/6/1954, it went to Geo.W.Bungey Ltd, who were a plant dealer. They sold it to the Lancashire Moss Litter Company at Astley, where it stayed until March 1976 when it entered preservation at the Moseley School Railway, Cheadle Hulme. It underwent a complex restoration, and became one of the iconic locos at the School. It has a special place in the history of the Moseley organisation as it was used on the last passenger train at the School, as shown in the photo.
The cab also became a Special Place, as it was used to cover the toilet facilities at the School – this is why it isn’t on the loco in the photo.
Unfortunately, the intervening years have been very unkind to the loco, and it has suffered major damage to the engine block. Nothing is beyond repair, but we would be very interested to hear from anyone who has – or knows of – a compatible Ailsa-Craig block. Fairly obviously, the loco won’t be operating at the Diesel Delights events of October 7 & 8, but it will be on display.

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 30 August 2017

Press Release - A Triple First on the Talyllyn Railway

The Talyllyn Railway probably scored a world first recently when a set of triplets were all passed their training as Assistant Guards on the same day.


Jake, Ross and Joe Waddington all came through their assessment with flying colours and have moved to the next level of training before becoming guards on the Railway.

The brothers, who are local residents, have been volunteering on the Railway for a couple of years. In order to make sure they could all qualify together special arrangements were made for them all to be assessed on the same day.

Commenting on the brothers’ achievements, Ian Drummond chairman of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society said:

‘Joe, Jake and Ross have contributed a great deal to the Railway already. Their positive attitude in all that they do has won them many friends on the Railway and we look forward to seeing them progress further in the years ahead.’

The photo shows the Waddington brothers (Left to Right) Jake, Joe and Ross, pose in front of locomotive No.6 ‘Douglas’. On the footplate are Rob and Jo Plumridge.

(Photo: Matthew Wear

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk.

The Waddington brothers (Left to Right) Jake, Joe and Ross in front of No 6

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 25 August 2017

2017 August - Race the Train on the Talyllyn Railway

The 34th annual Tywyn Rotary Club Race the Train event took place on Saturday 19 August.


There was a slight element of drama before the race this year. The Friday evening engineering train had left Pendre around 6.30 to do some work up the line. By the time they returned, extremely heavy rains had caused the stream at Cynfal to overflow over the track, depositing debris and mud. The track was impassable and for the first time in many years, a steam engine was marooned east of Pendre and had to spend the night outdoors at Brynglas. The crew and gang members were rescued by road.

Early on Saturday morning a small gang headed to Cynfal to investigate. The stream had thankfully receded overnight. The gang had a lot of debris and mud to clear up in and around the streambed and track. Thanks to their efforts they were able to reopen the line in time for the first train of the day, the Quarry Challenge train.

No 6 Douglas’ crew also had a challenge – get to Brynglas to light up their engine in time to bring it down to Pendre for their train! Fortunately the Fireman drives a Land Rover so was happy to fill the back up with rags, wood and cleaning materials and head to Brynglas. Bringing No 6 down ‘light engine’ also gave them a chance to check the line out.

Happily all went well for the races on Saturday. Friday’s torrential rain had stopped and the weather was cool and cloudy. Around 1,500 competitors took part in the various races including 830 who ran in the main 14 mile Rotary Challenge race. Congratulations to everyone who competed – the course was very muddy in places and looked hard going.

Many thanks as always to the organisers and volunteers who work very hard to make this race happen. The atmosphere in Tywyn on Race the Train day is amazing, the town is buzzing and everyone involved seems to have a brilliant time.

Find out the winners, times and course information on the Race the Train website –

Photos courtesy of Barbara Fuller and Karen Willans.

No 2 Dolgoch and the Race Train headboard get a final polish

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 21 August 2017

Press Release - Talyllyn Railway Aims To Save Lives

The Talyllyn Railway recently took delivery of the first three defibrillators which will be installed along the Railway.


Working in partnership with Achub Calon Y Dyffryn, which is working to increase the number of defibrillators available in the North Wales area, the Railway has been raising money to purchase the life saving equipment to be installed at various stations along the line.

Initially the defibrillators will be installed at Wharf, Pendre and Dolgoch stations, but it is hoped to be able to add other locations in due course. The first to be installed will be at Dolgoch station and it is hoped to be able to hold an official commissioning as part of the Railway’s Late Night Steam event on Saturday 25 August 2017. After they are installed training sessions will be held so that as many staff and volunteers as possible will feel confident to use them.

Lorraine Simkiss, the Railway’s Customer Experience Manager, who has been responsible for the fundraising for the equipment comments:

‘We are so grateful to all those who have contributed so generously, which include members of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society and the Rotary Club of Tywyn, and have allowed us to purchase these first three defibrillators. We actually hope they never have to be used, but if required we believe they will help to save lives.’

The photo shows Lorraine Simkiss accepting the first three defibrillators from Tomos Hughes of Achub Calon Y Dyffryn at Tywyn Wharf station.

Photo by Ian Drummond.

For further information about this press release please e-mail: pressoffice [at] talyllyn [dot] co [dot] uk.


Lorraine Simkiss and Tomos Hughes with the new defibrillators at Wharf Sation

Source: Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 21 August 2017

Containers by Rail

Another busy – and occasionally very damp – weekend has seen progress on various projects. The restoration work on Motor Rail 1320 has slowed just for the moment whilst we await supply of a critical part in the re-assembly of the loco. So, the main project has been improving rail access to a container which contains a number of the operational locos. Road tailings have been railed to site – which is inaccessible to everything except foot and rail – and tipped to improve the ground conditions. A set of points was then brought in and unloaded using a combination of experience and gravity. The points have a very shallow crossing angle, so the tracks diverge slowly; this is essential, because the tracks are not far apart in the container. The approach to the points was also re-laid to remove a particularly hideous rail joint. The final step will be to assemble the tracks leading to the container doors, and the “bridge” sections needed to allow the doors to open and close.
In between all this, we also welcomed a party from the RCTS, and even ran a railtour for the more resilient member of the party!

Source: Moseley Railway Trust – Latest News

Posted by Peter Bowyer on 20 August 2017

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