News from September 2006

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Press release - Moseley Railway Trust 1/9/06

The Moseley Railway Trust is delighted to announce that it has secured planning consent for the development of its new site at the Apedale Heritage Centre, Newcastle Under Lyme.

At a planning meeting on 30th August, Newcastle Borough Council gave approval for the Moseley Railway Trust to start implementing its ambitious plans. These plans include:-

a.. A 2’0” gauge railway, just over a mile in length, from the Apedale Heritage Centre, running into the adjacent Country Park. b.. Outline planning consent for a spacious new museum building, in which the Moseley Railway Trust’s collection of narrow gauge locomotives, wagons and other artefacts will be put on display. c.. A new storage building to house most of the Trust’s collection of around 60 locomotives. d.. Redevelopment of the existing mine buildings at Apedale to provide workshop and other facilities. Phil Robinson, chairman of the Moseley Railway Trust said “It has always been the vision of the MRT to develop the UK’s premier museum of narrow gauge railways. Gaining planning consent for Apedale is a significant step towards delivering this vision. The hard work now starts, as we have huge challenges in raising the funds to implement our plans, and to construct our railway and other projects”.

The new 2’0” gauge railway will be built in phases with the initial phase consisting of about 500 metres from the Apedale Heritage Centre to Apedale Road. It is hoped that construction of this phase will be sufficiently advanced to permit a public open day during the summer of 2007. Full opening of the first phase for public operation, dependant on the HMRI approval, is anticipated around the end of 2007.

The Moseley Railway Trust have been on site for some months since securing a land purchase of the site at Apedale. Thus far, activities have been limited on the site, although a number of locomotives are stored at Apedale and several have been run there. Occasional opportunity has been taken to lay temporary track and run a loco and wagons for a few yards as seen in the pictures. Please note that visitors intending to come to Apedale should confirm (via website www.mrt.org.uk) what activities are taking place on site prior to a visit to avoid disappointment.

Posted by Gareth Roberts on 1 September 2006

New industrial n.g. lines!

A new 3ft gauge line will open within the next month at Coolnagun, Co Westmeath, Ireland.
Serving two separate peat bogs, the route mileage will be 4 to 5 miles in all.
The peat will be railed to a tippler by the roadside for road haulage to Lanesborough Power Station.
Photos in the Ireland / Bord na Mona section show the site.

A second new bog line is under construction at Killaun bog, near Birr, Co Offaly. Track is about to be laid here and production should start Feb / March 2007.

Sites visited 4th and 5th September 2006.

Posted by Ted McAvoy on 11 September 2006

King Haakon Back in Steam at Bressingham

A unique piece of European transport history has been preserved for future generations. For the first time in 20 years, King Haakon 7 is back in steam at Bressingham. The 70 ton steam locomotive, no. 377, is reputed to have carried King Haakon VII and his Government to safety, when the Nazis invaded Norway in 1940.

Having ensured that Princess Märtha and their children were safe in Sweden, King Haakon and his eldest son Crown Prince Olav remained in Norway, to play a pivotal role in leading the resistance during the German invasion.

In the early hours of April 9th 1940, The Norwegian Monarch was forced to lead his Government to freedom, reportedly climbing aboard the steam locomotive no. 377, a Mogul two-cylinder mixed traffic engine 2-6-0, built in Sweden by NYDQVIST and HOLM of Trollhattan in 1919.

The great locomotive carried King Haakon and his Ministers northward to safety, and from there they travelled to London, where from June 1940 they would continue to lead Norway’s resistance under German occupation.

King Haakon returned to Norway five years later, enjoying great popularity for the remainder of his reign and presiding over Norway’s entry to NATO in 1949. He withdrew from public life in 1955, and died two years later at the age of 85.

Locomotive No. 377 was originally operated by the Norwegian State Railway, serving in steam for more than 50 years before being scheduled for decommissioning in 1969. Mr. Gerald Pagano of the Norwegian Locomotive Preservation Group brought the steam engine to Great Britain, where it arrived in June 1970, going into service for Great Central Railway (GCR) on March 27th 1973.

Since being purchased by Bressingham Steam Preservation Trust in 1986, where the Locomotive was named for its intriguing history, King Haakon 7 has undergone an extensive programme of renovation and refurbishment, to return it as closely as possible to its original condition.

The 47’ long engine has been renovated mostly at Bressingham’s own workshops, with work including boiler restoration, the building of a new tank for the tender, a complete overhaul of all minor components and repainting.
“We are fortunate to have a highly skilled and resourceful team here at Bressingham,” explains Howard Stephens, general manager, “Philip Gray, our workshop manager, leads our renovation projects with the amazing support of our volunteers, to tackle any job from a major engine overhaul or bodywork, to internal restoration, painting and of course ultimately, driving.”
King Haakon 7 is in steam at Bressingham on Thursdays and Sundays throughout August, then every Sunday until the end of October.
Full details of opening times and ticket prices can be found on the Bressingham website, or by calling 01379 686900.
The Steam Museum and Gardens are located at Bressingham near Diss in Norfolk, just 2.5 miles west of Diss and 14 miles east of Thetford on the A1066.

Posted by Jenna Marchant on 13 September 2006

Jessie's gone

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After a month away the desision was made that a new loco would come to the tlr (ed: which railway?) and that Jessie our origonal loco would be scrapped. Jessie has never run on our tracks and never will(how sad). But we hope the new engine will do well.

Posted by sam brown on 28 September 2006

Moseley Railway Trust wins go-ahead for new railway and museum – 1 September 2006

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Running Narrow Gauge Heaven costs me £20/month. Will you help cover the costs?

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