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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
See also John Raby's blogs at www.rabylee.uk/linesidingindex.html


Friday, June 28, 2013

Devon Railway Centre - 27 June 2013

The Devon Railway Centre is based at the old Cadeleigh Station near Tiverton. It is designed as a family attraction and includes a short narrow gauge railway. There is an interesting selection of locomotives on display.

2ft 9in gauge Ruston & Hornsby diesel hydraulic

1939 Planet

Modern H Series Simplex

Standard gauge Baguley of 1952

The 'steam outline' Simplex IVOR was operating trains

The Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-0T has just passed its steam test and is expected to be in service in a few weeks

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway - 27 June 2013

Perhaps the last great 2ft gauge restoration project, the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, closed in 1935 is gradually being rebuilt with the initial base at the original Woody Bay station. Other sections of trackbed have been acquired and a rake of restored carriages is being amassed.

Unfortunately, this is the sight that greeted us on arrival at Woody Bay station.

AXE, the Kerr Stuart Joffre class had suffered a broken regulator linkage early in the week and was awaiting replacement parts, so the train service was diesel hauled.
An old friend from Queensland was this Baguley/Drewry, the former Victoria Mill LEICHHARDT

The main diesel locos currently in use are modern Hunslets regauged from 2ft 6in

 SID, a Maffei locomotive currently for sale
 The rolling Devon countryside
 The wonderful atmosphere of Woody Bay station

Chelfham Viaduct, awaiting the return of trains

Delabole and Morwellham - 26 June 2013

Cornwall was famous for mining.

Slate was mined (and is still mined) at Delabole and in the mine offces, a 1925 Simplex locomotive is beautifully presented.
On the River Tamar, just over the border in Devon,  Morwellham was an important coper port in the first half of the nineteenth century. The area is now a historic precinct. A mine tour operates, accessed by a 2ft gauge railway running alongide the river, and using a fleet of similar Wingrove & Rogers battery locomotives.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Launceston Steam Railway - 24 June 2013

We were treated with great hospitality at the Launceston Steam Railway by Nigel and Kay Bowman and James Evans. The railway is laid on the trackbed of the Southern Railway line that once linked Waterloo with Padstow.

COVERTCOAT, a Hunslet quarry tank fitted with a tender, was the train engine in the morning.

Nigel Bowman greets an overseas visitor

After lunch, James Evans' Hunslet VELINHELI ventured from the shed and was to haul a train later in the afternoon.

VELINHELI with James Evans

We also saw the other two working quarry Hunslets that are in working condition, the 130 year-old LILIAN, and DOROTHEA,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Abbey Museum, Leicester - 23 June 2013

Today was a special event day at the Abbey Pumping Station Museum in Leicester so its narrow gauge railway was in operation. The conditions were on the cool and damp side.

There is a small collection of well-presented internal-combustion locomotives, but the locomotive hauling passenger trains was 1919 Bagnall 0-4-0ST LEONARD, which I last saw as a static museum exhibit.
A Ruston 20DL of 1943

A 1931 petrol Simplex

A modern (1979) Simplex

A 1931 petrol Lister

LEONARD on the first train of the day

Departing from the outer station

Running around

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Beeches Light Railway - 22 June 2013

I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to visit The Beeches Light Railway, in northern Oxfordshire. This private garden railway has steep gradients (1 in 22) and tight curves (80 ft radius), so what better steam locomotive to run on it than one from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway?
Built in Glasgow in 1889, number 19 is the only Darjeeling locomotive to have left India. It retains its 1889 wrought iron boiler and it hauls Darjeeling-style carriages built by the Festiniog Railway at Boston Lodge Works.

Doing some preliminary shunting, Max from Wamuran in Queensland, driving a 1957 Simplex.

Raising steam at the depot
Carriage shunting with a 1994 Hunslet. Directions given by the owner, Adrian Shooter.

Coaling up
Replica Sandy River Model T railmotor
Getting ready for the first run
On the Paddock Loop
The DHR-style station, Rinkingpong Road
Storming up the 1 in 22 on the Garden Loop

Friday, June 21, 2013

Astley Green Colliery Museum - 20 June 2013

This museum has the largest collection of narrow gauge underground mining locomotives in the UK. There is a variety of gauges with the operating line of 2ft gauge. Refreshingly, the locomotives are almost all securely sheeted over rather than being allowed to deteriorate in the open. However, I was given access to the loco shed and one locomotive ventured out for photos.

Some of the locomotives, secure under their tarpaulins

This 1957 English Electric battery locomotive greets visitors to the museum.

A 1947 Hunslet on display outside the engine house

This Hunslet stockyard shunter of 1979 normally is found in the loco shed
This dounble ended Hunslet of 1973 is named ROGER BOWEN after the colliery manager who was persuaded to retrieve it from underground on closure.

The massive steam winding engine built in Blackburn in 1912.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Railway Museum, York - 19 June 2013

A visit to the world's best railway museum revealed four LNER A4 locomotives on site amid the hype around the 75th's anniversary of the MALLARD official steam record. There are plenty of photos of A4s elsewhere. Here are a few narrow gauge exhibits.
The LNWR's 1ft 6in gauge PET of 1865

The Festiniog Railway's 1885 Fairlie, LIVINGSTON THOMPSON
The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway 1ft 6in gauge WREN of 1887

An unrestored (to date) Lynton & Barnstaple bogie carriage
London Post Office Railway car

The Festiniog Railway's Planet ASHOVER
Hunslet 900mm gauge wire/battery electric for the Channel Tunnel construction