Category Archives: Event News

News about the event preparations, partners & sponsors.

Baldwin returns to Tracks to the Trenches two!

Moseley Railway Trust announces final line up of visiting engines for Tracks to the Trenches 2016 – The Baldwin Returns!

The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to announce the details of the steam locomotives which will be visiting the Apedale Valley Light Railway for the Tracks to the Trenches 2016 event.Baldwin action!

In addition to the previously-announced Kerr, Stuart “Joffre” from the West Lancashire Light Railway and Hudswell Clarke 1643 from Statfold, Baldwin 44656 of 1917 will make a very welcome return visit from its normal base at the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway.

Owned by the Greensand Railway Museum Trust, the Baldwin – No.778 – has just completed a major winter overhaul. These locomotives were supplied en-masse from their American builder to the British War Department from 1917 onwards, eventually totalling nearly 500 by 1918. They were the most common steam locomotive operated by the War Department Light Railways during World War One. After the War, No.778 was one of a batch of 50 locomotives identified for further service on the North West Frontier between India (now Pakistan) and Afghanistan. By the early 1970s, this war veteran had been re-discovered at an Indian sugar works by adventurous British railway enthusiasts. In March 1985, the loco returned to the UK. After a major restoration project, No. 778 was finally launched into public service in August 2007. Joffre & Baldwin

2014 saw No.778 star at the Tracks to the Trenches event at Apedale before withdrawal for a boiler overhaul. This has been completed in double-quick time – a testimony to the quality of the original restoration.
Phil Robinson, the Chairman of the Moseley Railway Trust, said “The Baldwin No.778 was a hit with our visitors at the 2014 Tracks to the Trenches event, and we very much look forward to a repeat performance in 2016!”
Additionally to the visiting steam locomotives, various visiting internal combustion locomotives will be at Apedale for the event, complementing the extensive collection of War Department Light Railway material which is resident on site. All of these will be operated in an authentic environment, moving supplies to a re-creation of a Western Front trench. Living History groups will be on site to add authenticity, as will the replica Tank which provided a backdrop to many memorable photographs in 2014.

The Power of the Horse:- Moseley Railway Trust celebrates £10,000 National Lottery win

The Moseley Railway Trust has received a Heritage Lottery cavalry2014Fund (HLF) grant of £10,000, it was announced today. This money will be used to develop the Trust’s interpretation of the role of the horse with both civilian industrial railways and in delivering supplies to the front lines during the First World War.

During the 1914-1918 conflict, both sides used horses not only for direct combat (cavalry regiments and the like) but also as a means of moving the huge weights of supplies which a fighting army needs to sustain itself. Light Railways were laid as a means of increasing the amount which a horse could haul, and also to spread the weight of wagons in the infamous mud of Flanders Fields and elsewhere. Frequently, supplies would be hauled by steam or petrol-powered locomotives to a point near the front lines, and then horses were often used for the last mile to the front – the so-called Trench Tramways. Using the Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the Moseley Railway Trust will replicate these operations and demonstrate them to visitors.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the Trust will now be able to fulfil two key objectives. Firstly, it will enhance the displays which will be available to the public at the forthcoming Tracks to the Trenches 2016 event at the Trust’s Apedale Valley Light Railway site. During this event, part of Staffordshire is transformed into the Western Front in 1916 – including a replica trench for visitors to experience. The event will include displays of working horses, mules and horse-drawn vehicles. This event takes place on May 13, 14 and 15 2016, and further details can be obtained from this website.

Secondly, the grant will allow permanent improvements to the facilities and exhibits at Apedale. These will be constructed by volunteers at the Apedale Valley Light Railway, and will include an extension to the existing demonstration railway and an interpretative panel. These will further enhance the Industrial Railway Trail which was initially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2014. A Trench Tramway wagon will also be constructed – these vehicles were hauled by horses on the very lightly-built railways which spanned the vital last yards to reach the troops fighting at the front.

Commenting on the award, Phil Robinson, Moseley Railway Trust Chairman said “We are once again delighted that the HLF have rewarded the efforts which our dedicated team of volunteers have made. Working with the HLF, this grant will not only transform the Tracks to the Trenches event in May 2016, but also allow permanent improvements to the visitor facilities at Apedale. We are very grateful to HLF for their continued support”.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £70million in projects – large and small – that are marking this Centenary. Our small grants programme is enabling even more communities like those involved in The Power of the Horse to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

Why not spend the weekend at Tracks to the Trenches?!

This year the event organisers have been able to develop a plan to allow limited numbers of people to be part of the event for the weekend.

p1010886Instead of staying in a motel or Travelodge (hotel room only), why not spend a night or two in a First World War tent? This is not only an experience to be remembered, but should be cost effective too!

The “Glamping” package includes;

  •  Option to stay both on Friday 13th AND Saturday 14th May 2016
  • All weekendAccess All Areas” passes (valued at £30 per day per person) for all occupants
  • Pre-prepared WW1 style Tents with traditional camp bed
  • Use of Showers/toilets onsite
  • Access to after hours entertainment.

What more could you want! Just bring a sleeping bag & any food (although food/drink is available on-site separately)….

The offer is currently provided on a “per tent” basis – although if there is demand, we may be able to provide a “per-bed” communal tent too. These large (approx. 14’ ridge or bell) tents can easily accommodate 4 to 5 people on the camp beds.

For the weekend (yours on the Friday & Saturday nights) inclusive of all passes for those resident in the tent, the costs are:

  • The cost per tent based on 2 people sharing is £200
  • The cost per tent based on 4 people sharing is £350

Please contact us for more details & reserve you tent!

Model railways announced for Tracks to the Trenches!

We are very pleased to be able to confirm a comprehensive model railway show within “Tracks to the Trenches 2016”, including trade support.7mm scale layout

Entertaining modellers, model engineers and families alike, we are pleased to be bringing enthusiasts and craftsmen from all over the UK with First World War and/or related military railway models. Our younger visitors will also be delighted to know that there is also a Hogsmead on Sodor – a large Thomas the Tank engine inspired layout too!

The Tracks to the Trenches events give you a very rare opportunity to see both the models and the full size real thing in action at the same time! More details of attending exhibits of all types can be seen from the “What’s attending” menu link at the top of the page.

We are always interested to hear from modellers and model engineers of First World War/Military prototypes, plus supporting traders. Please contact us via the form on the front page – or via the comments below.

Tracks to the Trenches 2016 & 2018 announced!

WW1 Action at Tracks to the Trenches 2014It is with great pleasure that the Moseley Railway Trust’s events team can announce that the highly acclaimed “Tracks to the Trenches” (TTTT) is set to be developed and repeated in 2016 (TTTT 2) and 2018* (TTTT 3).

In line with recently announced schedules, these events are now being planned for May in their respective years.

2016 (TTTT 2) – a 3 day event from 13-15th May 2016. A very similar format to the 2014 event (TTTT 1); with photo-charters being arranged in advance of the event weekend, evening photo-shoots during the event, access all areas passes, an emphasis on Schools/Group visit packages, plus much more!

The 2017 event (13-14th May) is again planned to be a smaller event, specifically looking at Kerr Stuart locomotives and celebrating the Centenary of our flagship engine “Stanhope” – but it is still hoped to maintain a WW1 presence in the Trench area.

2018* (TTTT 3) – a 3 day World War 1 centenary event from 13-15th JULY 2018. Currently anticipated as really special year. Further details to be confirmed shortly, but hopefully developing on from TTTT1 and 2.

Please keep the dates in your diaries!

The organisers would like to invite any interested exhibitors or traders to contact us through this site (contact box above right, or comments box below) – we would be pleased to hear from you! Entry forms etc will start to be released shortly.Tracks (& Simplex) To Trenches at Apedale

* Subject to final confirmation

Did it really happen?!

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

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.