We don’t need no education….

Troops!We are pleased to announce the participation of the “Soldiers to Schools” program from the British Army on Friday 13th May, which is available for school visits. They will provide some expert insight and a selection of First World War replica equipment young people to handle.

Prospective school visit co-ordinators – please feel free to contact us with your requirements. We are here to help!

To add a further dimension to the Tracks to the Trenches event and to provoke the enquiring mind,  we are also very pleased to release the FREE 2016 educational pack.

This is now available for download in our Education section – here

FREE vintage courtesy bus services announced

FREE vintage courtesy bus service from Stoke on Trent Railway station and Newcastle under Lyme 

Friday:

12:15  Depart Stoke on Trent (Railway Station)
12:25  Depart Newcastle under Lyme (Jubilee Baths bus stop, School Street, ST5 1HG)
12:40 Apedale (Arrive)

12:45  Apedale (Depart)
Newcastle (bottom of King St.) *
13:10  Arrive Stoke on Trent (Railway Station)

* Calls to set down if required, please make your request clear to the driver upon boarding

Then hourly – last bus departs Apedale for Stoke at 17:45

Saturday/Sunday

10:15  Depart Stoke on Trent (Railway Station)
10:25  Depart Newcastle under Lyme (Jubilee Baths bus stop, School Street, ST5 1HG)
10:40 Apedale (Arrive)

10:45  Apedale (Depart)
Newcastle (bottom of King St.) *
11:10  Arrive Stoke on Trent (Railway Station)

* Calls to set down if required, please make your request clear to the driver upon boarding

Then hourly – last bus departs Apedale for Stoke at 17:45

Further details on our “How to Find Us” page….

We are extremely grateful to our friends at the Potteries Omnibus Preservation Society for again providing this service for us. More details about “POPS” here

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.