News from October 2011

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Finding the Floor – 1 October 2011

Corris Railway No 7 visit – 6 October 2011

Corris No 7 Visit - 8 October – 8 October 2011

Extra Trains on the Talyllyn 4-5 November 2011 – 10 October 2011

Corris No 7 Visit - 7th and 8th October 2011 – 8 October 2011

The Circle of Life – 11 October 2011

Corris Gala Weekend 15/16 October 2011 – 18 October 2011

No time for posing – 18 October 2011

Woodhorn Railweay Santa Specials 2011

Come and visit Woodhorn Railway near Ashington for our regular Santa Specials. This year they are Saturday 10th and 17th and Sunday 11th and 18th. Free Mince Pies (hot or cold) for Adults and a present from Santa for the young ones. Normal ticket prices apply:- £2 for Adults, £1 for Concessions and Under 5’s free. Also for more information check out our Facebook page “Woodhorn Narrow Guage Railway”.

Posted by Andrew Leeming on 19 October 2011

The beast awakens (or not) – 22 October 2011

Historic ‘BARBER’ heads for works

Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £49900 and donations large and small from well-wishers, the South Tynedale Railway’s two foot gauge Green’s of Leeds saddle tank will soon be steaming again.

On Thursday 15th September BARBER’s boiler was lifted from the frames for a full professional inspection on Tuesday 20th September at the railway company’s workshops in Alston, Cumbria.

The examination was completed by Graham Morris and revealed that apart from some work to the copper firebox, a new set of tubes and some basic remedial works, the boiler was overall in relatively sound condition.

50% of the £125,000 needed to restore BARBER is now in the bank, with further grant applications in hand and a major fund-raising gala.

The May 2012 Gala event incorporates the NGRS 2012 AGM and will see BARBER joined by the Ex Harrogate Gas Works Railway Peckett, no 2050 of 1944, now based at Statfold Barn Railway, for the first time since 1957.

All being well, BARBER will then travel to Alan Keef’s, Herefordshire workshop in May 2012, when the boiler will be sent to specialist copper firebox engineers for remedial attention.

15 months later, in August 2013, BARBER is scheduled to return to Alston – via Harrogate, Leeds and York – for running-in trials and testing.

Railway volunteer Brian Craven who is leading the restoration drive said, “I am absolutely thrilled that several years’ work is now producing such encouraging results. Further funds are required to guarantee the restoration of this unique icon of the British Industrial Narrow Gauge. However, with continued hard work and financial support I am confident that BARBER will steam again in 2013. The more funds we raise the closer we can get BARBER to 1940’s condition”.

Other information about the restoration is available from:
Brian Craven, Trustee, The BARBER Project, South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society, The Railway Station, Alston. Cumbria. CA9 3JB.

About ‘Barber’

A two foot gauge 0-6-2 saddle-tank with 2 foot 6 inch diameter. driving wheels and I foot 6 inch diameter trailing wheels, it is 20 feet 10 inches long over buffers and weighs 19 tons empty. It employs inside Stephenson valve gear to outside cylinders 10 inches by 16 inches. The working boiler pressure is 155 pounds per square inch. The coal bunker holds half a ton, water capacity is 350 gallons. and the tractive effort 7,000 pounds.

It was built for the Harrogate Gas Works Company. Constructed by Greens of Leeds, a company perhaps more famous for its tram engines and agricultural machinery, it spent its entire working life from 1908 to 1949 on the gas works light railway delivering coal from the North Eastern Railway transfer sidings.

Named as a compliment to the gas works company chairman Francis Barber it was painted green with red buffer beams and brown underframe. By 1944 Barber was in poor mechanical condition and served only as standby locomotive after a Peckett 0-6-0 took over its duties. A Drewry diesel arrived in 1949 and Barber was retired. It stood idle and tired-looking for some years before it was partially restored by the Narrow Gauge Railway Society and presented to Leeds City Museum where it was placed in storage.

In 2004 it was sent to the South Tynedale Railway in Alston, Cumbria with a view to its full restoration. In 2010 the STR acquired ownership of the historic locomotive. When restored it will work through beautiful North Pennine scenery on its home line line that straddles the Cumbria / Northumberland border. Hopefully it will also visit other narrow gauge lines and events.

Posted by Glen Kilday on 28 October 2011

STR extension drive puts Santa trains on hold this year

Volunteers at Alston’s South Tynedale Railway are pushing ahead hard to open the railway’s Lintley extension next Easter.

Last year the most severe winter for decades set back building the new line and the routine track maintenance programme. The need to catch up with the work has resulted in the railway management deciding, very reluctantly, to cancel this year’s Santa Special trains in December.

The railway relies on its many keen volunteers for almost all its work. South Tynedale Railway Chairman, Norman Cook, explained

“We are committed to opening our new line next spring and we have had to plan how we can best use volunteers’ efforts. Our Santa trains are a very popular part of our programme but we felt that, this year, we would be unable to guarantee the high quality our customers know and expect of us. We aim to be back next Christmas wth new attractions and even better Santa trains than before. Next summer the longer train ride in the lovely South Tyne valley will be greater value than ever”.

About the South Tynedale Railway
The South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society has run and developed the railway since 1983. The railway follows the former route of British Rail’s Haltwhistle to Alston branch line. Opened in stages in 1851 and 1852, the line survived for over a century until its closure was announced in 1973 and carried out in 1976. Avoluntary society was formed to take over the entire route but its first efforts failed. However, a reformed group successfully opened the first stageof a narrow gauge railway in 1983. Since then the railway has grown and prospered.

The railway’s main development objective is opening to Slaggyford in Northumberland by 2015. Opening as far as Lintley next Easter marks the half-way stage in its extension drive.

Posted by Glen Kilday on 28 October 2011

IMechE Engineering Heritage Award – 30 October 2011

Carriage 21 sent to Boston Lodge – 31 October 2011

The MCRR's "New" Boxcar – 5 October 2011

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