Category Archives: Heeresfeldbahn

Stop-Press – more locomotives and equipment head to the Trenches…..

We are pleased to confirm that 2 more locomotives have now been added to the line-up at Tracks to the Trenches.

Armoured MotorRail 435 of 1917 (WD number 2156) is coming to us from the Ffestiniog Railway/Mike Hart – this locomotive, exported to St Kitts after WW1, was re-built to its current form a few years ago and is normally resident on the Ffestiniog Railway. As a 1917 built Motor Rail, and a very low works number, we know that this machine saw active service in France during some of the main fighting.

The 2nd loco is somewhat different – A Kerr Stuart “Wren” (number 3114), built in Stoke-on-Trent in 1918 whilst Reginald Mitchell (designer of the Spitfire WW2 Aircraft) was serving his apprenticeship in the company. This is diminutive locomotive, representing the home-front, was built for the Ministry of Munitions and worked at an armaments dump in Driffield during the war. It has been restored and is normally based on the Vale of Rheidol railway. 3114 will also be accompanied to Apedale with a German Wasserwagen – these water tenders were often seen with the “Brigadelok” locomotives.

We are extremely grateful to both organisations for their help and support towards Tracks to the Trenches.

Nearly there…..

Time is certainly speeding up as we approach the start of the Tracks to the Trenches event!

The last weekend has again seen terriffic progress on-site and after much blood, sweat and tears (mostly the event organisers!) we are very pleased to announce that the Tracks now really do reach the trenches!!!!

Below are a couple of photos of the latest arrivals to site. More to come, watch this space….

Today (1st September) is the deadline for advance ordinary ticket sales – local schools are still able to group-book until 5th September (please contact us – we will do our best to help).

Advance tickets are still available direct from our on-site station shop on Saturday 6th September.

Brigadelok & Joffre locomotivesBritish War Office Class B & D wagons

Moseley Railway Trust announces second visiting steam locomotive for Tracks to the Trenches

The Moseley Railway Trust is delighted to announce that agreement has been reached for a second visiting steam locomotive for the September 2014 Tracks to the Trenches event. The North Gloucestershire Railway, based at Toddington, have agreed that their 1918-built Henschel Brigadelok locomotive will visit the MRT’s Apedale Valley Light Railway for the Tracks to the Trenches gala, to be held on September 12, 13 and 14 of 2014.

Almost 2500 of the Brigadelok locomotives were built. These served the German military light railways – known as Heeresfeldbahn – on all the fronts of the war. Despite being built for military service, they subsequently demonstrated their usefulness for many post-war operators. An innovative feature is the Klein-Lindner radial axles, which allow the locomotives to traverse tight radius curves despite the 080 wheel arrangement.

The locomotive which will come to Apedale is Henschel 15968. After the end of the First World War, the locomotive worked at the Naklo sugar factory in Poland, hauling trains of sugar beet in from the fields to the factory for processing. In 1985, the loco moved from Poland to the UK, where it was restored to its current immaculate condition, carrying Heeresfeldbahn grey livery and the number 1091.

Phil Robinson, MRT Chairman said – We are extremely grateful to the North Gloucestershire Railway for loaning us this locomotive. When taken with the Baldwin loco which will visit from Leighton Buzzard, and the Moseley Railway Trust’s own Joffre and Hudswell Clarke steam locomotives, we now have engines representing all the main combatants in the First World War. Our event is all about commemorating all those who participated in this conflict, regardless of nationality, and we believe that representing the German forces is key to this.

The Kerr Stuart locomotive Stanhope, normally resident at Apedale, will be making a reciprocal visit to the North Gloucestershire Railway during 2014.