Saturday, 3 December 2016

Tyseley: In The Bleak Midwinter...

Hi all. Today was a pleasant but chilly day spent at Tyseley on an unexpected volunteer Saturday. I say unexpected because we were meant to be on a trip to Lincoln for the Lindum Fayre. Sadly, both of the collection's operational main line 4-6-0s had been declared out of gauge for the route in recent weeks and so even deputising 4965 for 5043 offered no chance of a steam hauled train. These things happen. Anyway, I arrived at the former 84E shed at just after 10am, having driven through the frosty morning conditions and called at the Tyseley Corner CafĂ© on route. The hearty sandwich that followed was most welcome on this crisp winter day...
Having enjoyed my sandwich in the car, I wandered down to the loco shed to find the lads. My first job was to work the signalbox for a shunt move out of Platform 2 road and this required some quick calculations in order to work out which levers were required and in which order. I haven't signalled anything from Platform 2 for a long time! Job done, I was given a brass packing for "Clun Castle" to work until it fit properly. Whilst collecting some tools, I couldn't help but catch a snap of "Rood Ashton Hall"...
Just in front of the Hall sat the larger Castle Class 5043. As previously stated, both engines were out of gauge for the Lincoln run. The track on Network Rail does shift over time and during engineering works, with the resulting gauging measurements compared to the locomotives width, height and possible sideways movement (under power for example) to reach a result. Its surprising with 5043 in particular as the Castle's are not really a gauge unfriendly engine, if anything they're pretty good. Ahh well, these things happen. The Castle is off to York next week with the "White Rose": the finale of Tyseley's 2016 operations on the main line...
Back with my little job on 7029, the brass packing in question is used to provide the height of the slide bar on the RH outside cylinder when the bolts are tightened against the hanger casting. The packing had to be worked to achieve a good fit...
With the holes now a good fit on the locking pins and the correct positioning achieved, the packing was squared up on the miller. It was then trial fitted to check the final result before it was stamped up to keep it with 7029...
"Clun Castle" is really coming on now. I have to take my hat off to the Tyseley lads as this has been a very big job and 7029 has had a massive amount of work carried out. I think you can see light at the end of the tunnel with the job now but there is still a massive amount to do. You don't realise until you spend time at a place like Tyseley just how much work and time goes into these old things - let alone money! All being well though 7029 may well return to steam next year which will be fabulous to see...
During the rest of the afternoon I just helped with small jobs - lifting and carrying, bolting things up etc. The slide bars on the RH side of 7029 will now be checked for alignment. As with all steam engines, the alignment of the slide bars and the trueness of the crosshead will end up determining the life of the piston and the bore. If any components are running severely out of true, the bore (or liner if applicable) will become worn more quickly as the support for the ensemble will be compromised. Ensuring everything is correctly in line with the correct tolerance will ensure a longer life for all components and of course will provide a better job all round. Well that's me for Tyseley in 2016 guys. I can't make the York trip next week and then the week after there are two consecutive steam turns booked elsewhere so it'll be January when I return to 84E. I must thank the Tyseley lads for a great and very interesting year with them and hope for many more outings in 2017. My steam knowledge has grown so much whilst volunteering there and I'm most grateful for that. All the best guys, Sam...
* The views and opinions expressed in this blog are merely my own and do not by any means represent the views of the company or any other organisation. Many thanks.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

A Warley Wander...

Hi all. A quiet morning was spent today wandering around the 2016 Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC. We've been coming here annually for about 14 years now and the show is always impressive. This year it was billed to have over 90 layouts on offer in various gauges as well as countless traders, demonstrators and society displays so, once again, we couldn't really miss it. We poured into the show at 9:15am with the rest of the rabble of 'Advanced Ticket' holders and immediately set to wandering around the huge hall. The centrepiece locomotive for this year was the new build GWR 6800 Grange - No6880 "Betton Grange". Based at Llangollen, the project to build 6880 has been ongoing since 1998 and the engine is now at a fairly advanced stage. Of the 80 Grange class 4-6-0s built for the Great Western, none were preserved and so came about 6880. The Grange's were basically Hall's with smaller wheels. The two classes both carried the No1 boiler and the smaller wheeled 6800 class therefore gained a slightly higher tractive effort than the 4900. "Betton Grange" is certainly getting there now and it will be good to see it finally take to the rails under its own steam. The last Grange operated under BR in 1965!

Also on display in Hall 5 this year were a pair of the Vale of Rheidol Railway's beautiful 1ft 11.75" gauge 2-6-2 tanks. One was in an under-overhaul state but standing alongside was "Prince of Wales", finished in a beautiful GWR livery...
GWR 1213 was the number given to VoR No2 when the GWR took over operations following the 1923 amalgamation. The VoR had initially commenced operations in 1902. In 1924 a fully overhauled '1213' emerged but it was later discovered that the engine had actually been built brand new and the old 1213 had been scrapped. These days, VoR No9 "Prince of Wales" carries the number of her scrapped former, continuing the cover-up lets say. We can only assume that the original 1213 was far past life expired and the Great Western simply found it easier to replace it. The three VoR steamers operating the railway in the present day were all built in 1923/24. We'll have to visit the Vale of Rheidol one day. Their engines are beautiful machines but its a long way to Aberystwyth! After a pleasant few hours at the Warley show and a pint in the Wetherspoons, we headed home after a nice morning out. The Warley show is always worth a look and it wouldn't quite be the same without being half beaten to death by the rucksacks of several thousand bobble hatted model railway enthusiasts! Cheers, Sam...

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sunday Lunch On The "Severn Valley Limited"...

Hi all. To my mind there isn't a much more pleasant experience than fine dining on a steam hauled train. Today we had our annual outing to the Severn Valley Railway for a trip on board its ever popular "Severn Valley Limited" Dining Train. We've done the SVR diner a few times now and have always enjoyed its charm. After a spirited run along the M42 and the M5 to reach Kidderminster, we arrived in time to watch the Great Western 2-8-0 No2857 depart with the 12:30pm train to Bridgnorth...
Walking down towards the station from the car park, the dining stock was spotted being steam heated by 43106: the 1951 Darlington Mogul. Known as the 'Flying Pig', 43106 would take us to Bridgnorth along the picturesque Severn Valley...
"The 'Flying Pig' Heats The Dining Stock"
Once at the station building our tickets were checked by the 'Diner Check In' and we were soon trotting up the damp platform to reach our Great Western coach. Departure was not too far away, planned for 12:50pm...
We were shown aboard Great Western 9653: a Collett Restaurant Third built in 1925. Many dining trains around the country use BR stock or the Pullman stock and so it is always refreshing on the SVR to ride in authentic Great Western coaches. Our table was at the trailing end of 9653 and was set for the three course Sunday Lunch...
"Table For Two Set for Lunch"
I just love the atmosphere of the dining trains, call me old fashioned if you will. Having got settled in our seats we ordered drinks whilst the platform staff scurried about busily in the rain. The 'Flying Pig' was building up vacuum ready for departure and the first course was just around the corner. Maisie was impressed with my chats about Great Western coaching stock over a glass of red...
We had barely departed Kidderminster when the very enjoyable first course was served. I could have eaten it twice or three times! My compliments to the chef...
We had a steady run out of Kidderminster, up through Foley Tunnel and down towards the Safari Park. I was quite bemused by some of the nearby diners who were aghast at the sight of the elephants over the fence. The best statement came from over the way - "that's got to be some kind of wildlife reserve". I was amused by that one. There can't be many farmers in Worcestershire who keep a small herd of African Elephants in the top field just in case! Anyway, pulling gently into Bewdley, 43106 made a pathing stop just shy of the platform in order to wait for the next returning train from Bridgnorth. Sure enough, the Manor Class No7812 rolled past the window just as the main course was served. No small portions on the "Severn Valley Limited"...
The main course was enjoyed whilst the 'Flying Pig' meandered gently along the damp Severn Valley, throwing white steam over her shoulder into the crisp Winter air. She seemed to take the train in her stride and only uttered the occasional hooter across the landscape. I felt quite beached after the sumptuous main course - it was great. The gentle rocking of the train over the track was almost enough to lull you to sleep. Arrival in Bridgnorth came at around 2:20pm. We alighted from the train to watch the loco swap and have a look in the gift shop. Leaving the warmth of 9653, the cold air hit you like a brick! The large Hawksworth Pannier No1501 was just slinking gently away from the shed as 2857 prepared to depart for Kidderminster with the Gresley Teaks...
"Great Western Engines at Bridgnorth"
The admiring rabble slowly filtered over the footbridge and down the steps onto Platform 1. 2857 was now on her way, leaving her voice echoing behind. 43106 meanwhile sat calmly at the now rear of the dining train. She would soon be removed and taken to the shed for what I assume would be disposal on this Winter timetable...
After a look in the gift shop and the purchase of some SVR highlighters, we watched 1501 be coupled on to the waiting stock. Only 10 of these powerful Pannier's were built. Designed by Hawksworth and constructed in 1949, the 1500 Class employed 17.5" cylinders and 4ft 7.5" wheels. They were the only GW Pannier Tanks designed with outside cylinders and this gave them a very different look to the much more common 5700 Class for example. Their short wheelbase and Red Route availability restricted their use and they were often confined to ECS workings into London Paddington. Withdrawn in 1961, 1501 and two other 1500s were saved by the NCB for use at Coventry Colliery. All three were bought by the SVR in 1970 upon their withdrawal from Coal Board service. 1502 and 1509 were later scrapped after donating parts towards the restoration of 1501. 1501 is now the sole survivor of the 1500 Class and is a handsome machine...
"The Last Remaining GWR 1500 Class - 1501, Built 1949"
Having admired 1501, we wandered back over the footbridge to Platform 2 in readiness for our 3pm departure. The loco yard outside the shed was alive with engines, including the two huge Bulleid pacifics. The A1 "Tornado" was spotted just inside the door...
Back on the train, 1501 was doing a fine job of keeping the steam heat going. Dessert was served just as we pulled out of Bridgnorth...
1501 sounded cold as we pulled away, duff at the chimney and wet. There were fits of enthusiasm from the cylinder drains in an effort to clear the steam circuit, expelling large amounts of condensate into the air. With the weight on the move, the Pannier began to accelerate and was soon up to line speed. The run back was most pleasant, with the big tank just behind 9653 and us at what was now the first table. We could hear all of her efforts and it was lovely. One thing I will say about this engine though is, as is probably to be expected, when shut-off she gives the train a good thump. The short wheelbase probably provides a nice waddle and those large cylinders strapped to the outside of the frames can't help. Regardless, this is a lovely machine and, these days, a unique survivor. After a pleasant run through the fading light to reach Kidderminster, without forgetting our Coffee, we arrived back at around 4:20pm. 1501 could then enjoy a well earned break as many well filled diners alighted after a lovely afternoon out...
The attractive station at Kidderminster Town was already festively decorated in preparation for the "Santa Special"s that start next weekend...
Wandering back towards the car we watched a dimly lit 2857 depart with a Great Western set. The Great Western engine with the Great Western coaches looked lovely. 1501 meanwhile trotted off up to the water column and enjoyed a drink as we set off for home. That was another very enjoyable day on the Severn Valley Railway and of course the "Severn Valley Limited" Dining Train. I will always recommend this service and no doubt we shall travel on it again sometime in the not too distant future. Finally, everyone's favourite late starter 'Eddie The Late' will be proud to know that the infamous "Three Course Challenge" proved no trouble for these seasoned eaters! Can't beat a steam hauled diner! Cheers all, Sam...

Sunday, 13 November 2016

A Cuppa' At A Private Garden Railway...

Hi all. This morning, after a great day out with Tyseley yesterday, I was on my way over towards Twycross to visit a private garden railway. Regular readers will probably know of 'Pockets' - a former Shackerstone driver - who had kindly invited me out to see his 5" gauge 9F in steam. I've been to this railway a couple of times now, most recently last Summer for their annual garden party. I arrived at around 11:30am and couldn't help but think what a lovely morning it had turned out to be: cold but sunny under bright blue skies. Pockets was already there getting his engine ready. He's had the 2-10-0 for a while now but, being a Modelworks product, he's had to do a fair bit to it. With steam raised, it wasn't long before the green 9F was steaming slowly off the shed road towards the track...
The railway here is 7.25" with a 5" third rail added. The route takes the line up and over itself on a figure of eight section with the larger engines, but the smaller engines only use the bottom half of the line as the upper level isn't dual gauge. Its a pleasant run over well laid track and the 9F had no trouble steaming round...
It really was a lovely sunny morning in the Leicestershire countryside...
I did wonder whether or not to bring "Achilles" with me today and try my hand at ground level running but I just couldn't summon the enthusiasm after the long hours of yesterday. It was nice to finally see Pockets' engine steaming away after hearing so much about it during previous chats...
"9F In Flight On The Ground Level 5-Inch Track"
Down on the shed, the massive resident K36 was enjoying a break in the sun. Ten of these huge 2-8-2's were built for the Denver & Rio Grande Western in 1925 and spent their lives primarily as freight engines. They were 3ft gauge with 20" cylinders and they are (in full size) massive! This 7.25" gauge example comes out as a BIG engine...
"Denver & Rio Grande Western 2-8-2 K36 No484"
Nine of the ten K36's are still around, either in store or in operational condition. This model is numbered 484 and the actual No484 is currently operational in Colorado on a 64-mile long heritage railway named the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. 64 miles isn't a bad preservation run for these old gals! Today, the 7.25" 484 sat cold on the shed but it was great to see her. She is pictured working in my post from last year...
Back with the 9F, Pockets and his dad had been flying round with steam to spare. I was kindly allowed to do half a dozen laps or more on the regulator and duly assumed the GL5 seating postion, perched atop the tender. The cab layout was fairly simple and had the typical BR standard screw reverser & pull out regulator...
With myself on board the tender and a good fire in the box, we set off. The 9F felt very strong and there was plenty of power behind the regulator. The ground level 5" perspective is quite different from raised track running but was very enjoyable to experience. The engine simply tore along with steam to spare on the dual gauge track...
"At The Controls of The 5" Gauge 2-10-0 9F"
After a few laps it was time to stop for some water and coal. Pockets was burning a coal-charcoal mixture and the coal in particular was a good mix of steam coal and household stuff. Either way, the needle barely moved away from the red line and I had no trouble with steam or water. This was a nice engine on a nice railway...
After a break for a nice hot cuppa' I was kindly allowed out with the 9F again. It was very nice to have a go on GL5 and to see the steam effects rising from the miniature engine on this crisp Winter day...
At around 2:30pm, with the sun already settling lower in the sky, I decided to head off and have a cuppa' with my old Shack colleague David as he only lives around the corner. I must thank Pockets for the go on his lovely 2-10-0 and of course thank Arthur who owns this fantastic garden railway! Cheers for reading all, Sam...

Saturday, 12 November 2016

The "Pannier Rambler IV" - Panniers On The Main Line...

"9466 Tears Through Selly Oak" (Pic - C.Skidmore)
Hi all. Today would see the smallest engines still cleared for use on the National Network take their place at the head of the "Pannier Rambler IV" railtour from Tyseley to Stratford and then on to Worcester. The duo would return via the infamous Lickey Incline, climbing from Bromsgrove to Blackwell on a gradient steepening to 1 in 37 at its worst. Sadly, it didn't go entirely according to plan as you will read. The day began like most with steam: at dawn: and I awoke from my broken sleep to the unwelcome sound of rain battering the window. With bated breath I peeled open the blinds and sure enough it was pouring down: "grand" - just what you want for a 5am start! After heading out into the "absolutely foul" weather I had a steady run over to Tyseley. My journey into Birmingham is never complete without the early morning McDonalds stop - a must before these long days...
Having eaten my breakfast I headed down to the Mess Room to get changed. At the far end of the loco shed I found some of the lads working away on and around the Pannier Tank No9600. Today's outing would feature not one but two Pannier tanks, the other being the visiting Large Pannier No9466. 9600 was just about to be dragged out into the damp morning air when I arrived at 6:30am...
Once outside, a pile of wood was thrown into the box and the fire began to crackle away. 9600 was built at Swindon in 1945 and is one of the numerous GWR 5700 class. 863 examples of this plucky little engine were built and 16 have found their way into preservation. Both of Tyseley's operational Pannier's (9600 and 7752) are certified for use on Network Rail and have operated several trips around the Midlands in recent years. Today however, 9600 would be teaming up with a different Pannier...
During the morning we carried out a variety of tasks. 9600 was oiled up at the Birmingham end of the shed whilst 9466 steamed up around the turntable. The latter engine has her own support crew who were taking care of her needs. Support Crewing is a different kind of hard work. There are coal bags to be filled, carried and loaded as well as various tools and hoses - plenty to do before departure! The outward leg of the "Pannier Rambler IV" trip would take us to Stratford via the North Warwick line. To leave Tyseley in that direction the engines first have to reverse the stock out of the TLW site and then proceed forwards through an adjacent loop to reach the Stratford line. To do this, the Panniers had to be top & tailed and would remain so until our arrival at Shakespeare's birthplace. 9600 would be on the rear of the train and is pictured steam heating the set for the fully loaded train...
We departed Tyseley pretty much on time and proceeded out onto the North Warwick line in the persistent damp weather. 9466 is a Hawksworth Pannier, known to some as the Large Panniers. They have the same chassis arrangement as the 5700 Class but with a larger tapered boiler with a Belpaire firebox. The increase in boiler size gave the engines a little more reserve (if you like) than the 5700 Class but with the same boiler pressure they were not more powerful as such on paper, though tractive effort was higher due to the increase in weight. 9400s were very heavy on axle loading for an 0-6-0 tank, bringing them out in the Western region's Red Route availability range with a 19-ton axle load. 210 of the 9400 Class were built and only two survive in preservation: 9466 who led our train today and the first of the class No9400. 9466 was built by RSH in 1951. She has just returned from a full 10-year overhaul to main line standards and only achieved her main line ticket two weeks ago. I've been on 9466 way back in 2008, having a go at firing on her sizeable footplate. Here she is today flying through Shirley, with 9600 tailing...
"9466 With The 'Pannier Rambler IV' Trip" (Pic - G.Nuttall)
We arrived at Stratford in good time and many passengers alighted to see the engines being made ready for the return run upgrade to Tyseley. We did the water from the safety of the car park and here we see the Panniers waiting for the off...
I don't think what happened next is any secret as its been all over the net the last few days so I can relay it. Sadly a warm running axlebox was discovered on 9600 and it was decided to continue back to Tyseley at reduced speed and assess it again there. Anyone involved with steamers will know that axleboxes can run warm for a variety of reasons without warning and no amount of testing can force one to do it unless it feels like it. Steam engines are very much heritage equipment and these things happen. Thanks to the support of Network Rail, 9466 & 9600 double headed the train back to Tyseley as planned. Watering would take place in the same loop...
"Panniers at Hall Green" (Pic - A.Roberts)
The engines ran neatly back to Tyseley making some great noise along the North Warwick metals. The climb up to Wilmcote is always audible! Upon arrival back at Tyseley I believe 9600 was a happier engine but for obvious reasons it was decided not to continue onward just in case. You can't take any chances with these things, for both the welfare of the engine and other trains on the network. 9600 was removed here and replaced by Tyseley's trusty Class 47 - 47773. Due to the time lost so far, 9466 was watered and then led by the 47' down to Worcester where servicing of the Panniers was planned to take place whilst passengers took an afternoon break in the city. It was a shame it turned out that way but it was certainly a testament to the cooperation of all involved with train operations that the tour managed to keep running. So, the 47' took us to Worcester with 9466 in between...
"A Brush With Hawksworth" (Pic - K.Wilkinson)
After an easy run to Worcester, the pair are seen arriving...
"Arrival in Worcester" (Pic - S.Burdett)
With all passengers having alighted, the ECS was soon stabled in a nearby siding. At this point 9466, the 47' and the Water Carrier (the GUV) were uncoupled and headed off to perform their shunting moves. This eventually resulted in the 94' leading the Duff, with the GUV coupled between them and the stock. Thankfully, we departed Worcester right on time and with only minimal assistance from the diesel engine. 9466 was in fine form and made her voice known as she steamed towards Bromsgrove. Bromsgrove Station sits at the foot of the Lickey Incline and the 94' had a pathing stop here...
9466 should have probably felt at home at the new Bromsgrove Station. In steam days, Bromsgrove was alive with a variety of banking engines, used to push trains up the stiff grade to Blackwell. Plenty of 9400s were based here once Bromsgrove was transferred to the Western Region in 1958 and they would have been no special sight in the days of BR steam. Today however, 9466 was something of a celebrity Pannier! Leaving Bromsgrove on time, the Pannier and the Duff dug into the climb. 1 in 37 for 2 miles is certainly a tall order and the Pannier performed admirably with only the 'required' help from the diesel. I know the loss of 9600 was disappointing for all of us but 9466 still put on a great show. Following the topping of the Lickey, the Pannier sped onward...
"9466 at Selly Oak" (Pic - A.Grieve)
The engine made a quick appearance at New Street before heading off into the darkness on the final leg to Tyseley. Once there we performed our usual shunting movements to free both the Pannier and the Duff using the Class 08 shunter. With the 47' put to bed behind 4965, the job was done. Well, despite the setbacks it had been a brilliant day and the big Pannier had showed her might on one of the most fearsome gradients in the area. Steam engines for all our love of them do have faults occasionally and this is to be expected with equipment of this age. Even so, the tour still went ahead and that I believe is admirable under trying circumstances. Well done Tyseley and well done to all those outside of VT who made it happen. Finally, of course, well done 9466! I must thank Tyseley once again for their excellent company and a great day out and of course the many photographers who have very kindly sent in images for use in this post. I could not write these posts without your valued contributions! Many thanks indeed for reading, Sam...
*The views and opinions expressed in this blog are merely my own and do not by any means represent the views of the company or any other organisation. Many thanks.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Tyseley: Remember, Remember The Fifth of November...

Hi all. Today I was over at Tyseley Loco Works on one of their regular volunteer Saturdays. The job for the day was to carry out various tasks on the Pannier Tank 9600. Built at Swindon in 1945, the BR black 0-6-0 has done some sterling work on the main line in recent years and is a lovely thing to be on. I had a great few days with her at the "Flying Scotsman" weekend at Tyseley in September and thoroughly enjoyed my time on her footplate. I've always liked Pannier's and this one in particular is lovely. I arrived at the former 84E shed at around 10am and left not long before 5pm. For me and my engineering interests, Tyseley continues to offer a 'kid in a sweet shop' scenario. There are engines of all types and sizes about the place in various stages of overhaul or restoration. In the machine shop there are many interesting items to see being made by the hands of skilled engineers on proper machines. Its fantastic.

It was actually freezing today! A biting wind was howling through the shed and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the many sparkler wielding maniacs who will be out in this cold tonight. Bonfire Night is of course the celebration of the failure of the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which Robert Catesby and his gang of conspirators (including their technical advisor Guy Fawkes) set out to strike a 'terrible blow' against Parliament and the then King James I of England. The failure of the plot is remembered each November 5th with the lighting of bonfires and the letting off of countless fireworks. The famous remark "Remember, remember the fifth of November" is said to have been a quote from James himself. Many thanks for reading all. We're out with the Pannier's next week: the visiting Hawksworth 9466 and one of Tyseley's duo of 57XX's. Little engines will do big things as we steam to Stratford, back to Birmingham and then on to Worcester before returning to Tyseley via the Lickey Incline! Cheers all, Sam...

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Coming In 2017 - "Giant Miniature Weekend"...

Hi all. This evening we had our second planning meeting for the 2017 Miniature Steam Rally that we're holding once again at the wonderful Statfold Barn Railway. This year the event has been dubbed the "Giant Miniature Weekend", in view of the sensational volume and variety of engines put forward for show by our valued exhibitors...
I must admit this is a bit of a 'selfish plug' of a post but one that needs to be done at the start of each Winter. The meeting this evening was most enjoyable but also quite serious, mapping out the various plans for next years do. In 2016, Statfold welcomed 74 miniatures to its Tamworth base from across the country and for the next one its looking like there will be 90 or more! Thinking of those engines certainly takes me back to the first year of planning the first MTEW back at Market Bosworth over the Winter of 2012 and practically begging people to join us. These days, thankfully, people are often willing to come along and that is fantastic. For those that wish to visit us next year please note that the weekend has moved back 2 weeks for the first time in 5 years. This has been due to both searching for warmer weather (we're sick of frost!) and for operational reasons at the SBR. Below are a few images from the event this year which we hope may entice a few more visitors...
"Saturday Line Up in 2016" (Pic - M.Ranieri)
Unlike this years event (when we were just testing the water) the fabulous Statfold Barn Roundhouse will be open, allowing passengers on the steam trains to break their journey and admire the rest of this marvellous collection...
"Fiji and the Miniatures" (Pic - M.Ranieri)
As well as the many miniature traction engines and steam lorries, there will be five SBR engines in steam with the rest viewable, as I said, at the Roundhouse. We will be offering the chance once again to take a short footplate ride on one of the steam locomotives from the High Level platform at Statfold Jnc (Platform 3). These proved very popular this year and will return again in 2017...
"No19 Offers Footplate Rides" (Pic - K.Eyre)
In the various sheds in and around Statfold Jnc there will be a variety of displays on offer including Meccano, Toy Steam, Model Engineering etc. Returning in 2017 will be the popular addition of the 16mm live steam layout...
"Coal Fired 16mm Bagnall" (Pic - K.Eyre)
For our younger visitors there will be colouring handouts of SBR engines, a bouncy castle, penalty shootout and much more. This is truly a family event for all ages to enjoy. We also hope that events like this will continue to encourage youngsters to join the steam hobby as preservation as a whole is of course dependant on volunteers...
"Isibutu Passes The 6" Savage Firefly" (Pic - M.Ranieri)
Anyway, that's enough from me for now. You can visit the SBR website by clicking here and I am of course always available to answer questions or queries about the event. Many thanks for reading all and I hope to see some of you at the event in May...