Over the last couple of weeks since “Tracks to the Trenches 2014”, we have seen and been passed many links to photos and video footage of the event in full swing. We do not claim any responsibility or copyright for these – but would lke to thank everyone for making them available as a record of what was achieved in 2014!
(If you have more photos/videos and would like to share them – please contact us via this site)
Apedale Valley Light Railway Tracks to the Trenches Event
Onemanandhispuck blog – http://onemanandhispuck.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/tracks-to-trenches.html
Tracks to the Trenches – Apedale Valley Light Railway – 13/09/2014
Tracks to the trenches
‘Tracks to the Trenches’ – Apedale Valley Light Railway 14/9/14
Apedale Light Railway WW1 2014
Apedale Valley Light Railway ‘Tracks to the Trenches’ 12.09.2014 Part 1/2
Apedale Valley Light Railway ‘Tracks to the Trenches’ 12.09.2014 Part 2/2
Perhaps one of the most photographed locomotives at “Tracks to the trenches 2014” was an out-of-use, little 20hp Bent-Frame tractor that was located in a shell hole near the main field area. This certainly attracted much comment and was a surprice (previously unadvertised) feature.
Forward area light railways and tramways were often operated under the cover of darkness. Being so close to the front, they were always easy targets for the enemy, and were often damaged through shelling. According to contemporary reports, although the tracks were regularly inspected, it was not uncommon for locomotives and trains to often become de-railed through recent enemy action. When this happened, the priority was to remove any ammunition and get the railway operating again. Locomotives could be left for days/weeks until there was an opportunity for recovery (again – mainly at night!).
These little 20hp tractors were sometimes known as “Wizz-Bangs” (also the name for in-bound enemy shells) – due to their high speed/acceleration and their regular tendancy to back-fire. They were a particular favourite with the railway/tramway operating companies.
Our cameo scene represented a locomotive that had been driven into a previously unseen shell hole at night. Whilst awaiting recovery, the railway had been diverted around it and the wagons long since removed.
The aim of this little scene was to provide a poignant reminder of the risks that the Light Railway and Tramway companies were taking every day, in their continual battle to keep the men in the trenches and the guns supplied.
The BIG weekend has been and gone all too fast, leaving some of us somewhat shell-shocked.
There has been much positive feedback – it seems as though we got something right. Overtime we hope to provide a gallery of images and a comprehensive list of links to show what “Tracks to the Trenches: 1914 – 2014” presented. In the interim – please see the photo below as some evidence that it really did happen!
Hudswell collecting a light railway supply train at Apedale Road, with Baldwin 778 on the rear.
A BIG thank you to all visitors, volunteers, exhibitors, traders, equipment owners and supporters for helping us stage a truly memorable event. We hope that everyone will take a few moments to consider the work of the light railway and tramway companies during WW1, especially on Remembrance day in November.