The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to be able to confirm the booking of the first visiting steam locomotive to the “Tracks to the Trenches – 2014” event; Baldwin 4-6-0T No 778 from the Leighton Buzzard Railway in Bedfordshire. No 778 has not made many visits to other lines since restoration was completed in 2007, so this event will provide some unique locomotive/rolling stock combinations and photographic opportunities.
These 10-12-D class locomotives (the classification designated by the manufacturer) were supplied en-masse to the British War Department from
1917 onwards in all theatres, eventually totalling nearly 500 by 1918. They were the most common steam locomotive operated by the War Department Light Railways during the Great War. Based on a very similar design previously supplied to the French Army in Morocco, they had a limited life expectancy on the Battlefield of a mere 6-8 months.
Gareth Roberts, one of the event organisers of the “Tracks to the Trenches” event commented; “Today, only a very small number of these machines have survived and an even smaller number are operational. We are extremely grateful to the Greensand Railway Museum Trust and the Leighton Buzzard Railway for making available this locomotive, fully restored to original appearance, for this important WW1 Centenary commemoration.”
It’s been a while since I posted anything about restoration progress, so I thought I would update you all on the latest to arrivals to Apedale – a pair of bogies from a US Pershing wagon.
When the USA entered WW1, they had the benefit of the British and French experiance with light railways.
The US freight cars were an evolved design, and in many ways miniature standard gauge mainline freight cars!
There are parts for 2 wagons in store – will we manage to rebuild them before September 2014? Watch this space, or better yet – please lend us a hand!
One of the higher profile peices of WW1 rolling stock based at Apedale is the restored & serviceable British Class H Watertank wagon. The basis of the rebuild was a water tank discovered at the Nocton potato farm which grows for Smith’s Crisps (the blue packets of salt are grown somewhere else). This tank was then re-united with an underframe and a set of bogies to recreate an unusual, interesting and very useful wagon.
Useful because its huge capacity can quench the thirst of any steam loco or passing traction engine, as the photo shows. The tank wagon (along with a locomotive) is provisionally booked to spend next summer as part of an exhibition at the Dutch National Railway Museumin Utrecht. We are quite flattered that the Utrecht people are so keen to deal with little old us at Apedale. We are hoping that the water tank won’t make the rest of their exhibits look too tatty in comparison. Incidentally, the shunting puzzle on their website is highly recommend. Click on this and say goodbye to the rest of the evening.
After weeks of our skilled technicians working around the clock, we are pleased to announce that the Tracks to the Trenches event now has its own public forum where you can follow venue development ideas and visitors, exhibitors & interested other parties can exchange ideas with each other and the event organisers.
We are keen to be as interactive as possible with our visitors & in this way we are offering you the chance to be part of the event organisation! Please use the “Public Forum” button on the menu at the top of the page to join in the discussions.
As ever – we are still keen to make contact with current army regiments who may be interested in assisting us in some form and we are equally keen to be given ideas on funding some of the more exotic attractions! Please contact us via the comments or by the contact box on the right of the main index page.
This is the new website to provide a focus and build-up towards the major WW1 commemoration event held over 13/14th September 2014 weekend at the Apedale Valley Light Railway’s site near Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England.
There is a high likliehood that the event may actually span 3-4 days – with School visits, Photographic charters & coach parties being strongly encouraged. Please contact us if this is of interest.
There are lots of other items and opportunities that will start to present themselves too. We are also keen to have discussions with Television/Film production companies who may be interested in working with us during this construction & gala creation.
We are also keen to make contact with any current Army units that might be able to assist us too please!
Please bookmark this site & watch for the regular updates as the developments progress.
The Apedale Valley Light Railway is the public railway and museum site of the Moseley Railway Trust.