More bogie developments….

This is really a brief update, following my posting in May this year (2013).

Nocton bogie reconstruction

As you can see in the photo, after just 2.5months working on it – our team at Apedale has made remarkable progress! Hopes are high that it will be on its wheels in the next few weeks.

Watch this space…..

One down….

It’s been a really nice few dry weekends at Apedale recently, which has been a welcome break from the rather persistent rain that we’ve been experiencing…


All this dry weather has allowed us to finally complete one of the key WDLR projects – a former Ashover Class D wagon. This was a major re-construction which included a large number of parts salvaged from Wagons #25 & #63.

With an eye on the major First World War Centenary next year, this vehicle has been restored to original WDLR condition. I have to express my thanks to my friends/colleagues at the AVLR who have helped to complete this vehicle & the many contacts who have provided useful spare parts and information over the last few years!

On to the next project…..


Mystery projects……

Sorry for the delay posting again! Life has been quite hectic recently – partly with developments surrounding the Moseley Railway Trust’s “Tracks to the Trenches – 2014” event at Apedale.

However, all has not stopped on my own projects!

A recent development has been the collection of parts of bogies that belong with the Ambulance Van that was collected from the South Tynedale Railway back in Bogie frames!November 2011! These latest bogie parts have been supplied with great thanks to the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway Historical Vehicles Trust - who retrieved them for this project a while ago.

Now that they have arrived to Apedale, hopes are high that at least one (if not the pair) will be progressed extremely quickly. What are they for? Watch this space….

October Joffre Action!

It was the last Steam & Industry weekend at Apedale last weekend. You never know what might happen on these weekends. This weekend we steamed the newly restored Joffre for some crew training & de-bugging. Whilst it was out and about, we managed to get 2 of the WW1 wagons incorporated into the test train.

Here’s a little taster of what we may be able to repeat again next year…..

Joffre & WD TrainJoffre & Tank wagon

Apedale Progress!


Sorry that it has been a little while since the last post (again!) – I have been completely overwhelmed with work at Apedale recently. This has included some WW1 rolling stock projects & organisation of our major Annual Gala (10/11th September).

Anyway, you may have read about the progress being made with some WDLR bogies over the last few months. these have finally made it under a vehicle…

p1020037s p1020052s

In addition to this newly reconstructed Class D wagon, we also managed to turn out our Kerr Stuart Joffre Locomotive. This is as accurate a restoration as we could manage back to WW1 condition. Seen here with our 40hp Simplex – a sight almost certainly not seen since a around 1919!

p1020057s DATE FOR THE DIARY – 8/9th September 2012!


More bogie progress….

Well, its been a little while again – progress is being made though!p1010926s Here we see the latest developments with the ex-Nocton/Alston bogie. It is coming along nicely. The latest addition has been the ex-Ashover wagon coupler, which had to have a significant repair (straighten the shaft & replace the end thread & nut) before it could be used.

Having had the good fortune to find some original drawings, I had ordered a batch of new coupler springs. The first of these were successfully installed on the bogie at the weekend.

The partner to this bogie for the “mystery” project has now been completed.

p1010928s This is an ex-Ashover/FR bogie & is seen in Aurora Works’ yard, following its final coat of paint.

Currently I am assisting with the Moseley Railway Trust’s apprentice projects, so I’ve not been able to spend as much time on-site working on these projects directly when on-site as previous – many thanks to Mick, Terry & Alex for helping progress things.

I was once told in my day-job, that “there are always evenings & weekends”. Not sure they really meant this type of thing – but seems very appropriate!

Bogie progress!

It has been a little while since I last posted some progress – so here you are:

Ikea bogie kit

This shows a little of my “homework” projects. Painting/preparing these items away from site really help speed up the project.

Ex-Ashover bogie re-assembly...
Ex-Ashover bogie re-assembly…

Also progressing well is the ex-Ashover bogie. As of 29/30/11, this was successfully reunited with its wheels. It was placed on the track & run around to the workshop complex – probably the first time it had run on rails in over 10 years!

WDLR Bogie project – This frame arrived at Apedale from Alston with the Ambulance van in November 2010.
What a difference a few months make – compare these last couple of photos!
Bogie Assembly2
Ex-South Tynedale bogie progess…

FW: News from Toddington narrow gauge

Every so often news & requests for info reach me, about WW1 and related
items/research projects.
This weeks’ intrigue followed the e-mail from the North Gloucestershire
(Narrow Gauge) Railway based at Toddington, Gloucestershire to the Moseley
Railway Trust’s main website (copied below) – updates to follow:

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 1:43 PM
Subject: News from Toddington narrow gauge

Hello greetings from the narrow gauge at Toddington. For your information.

The North Gloucestershire Railway Company, operator of the two foot gauge line at Toddington, has acquired a rare narrow gauge carriage body which was discovered just six miles away at Teddington Fields. The carriage was situated close to a busy main road for around eighty years, used initially by the owners as extra accommodation and latterly as a storeroom.

Constructed by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Co on a War
Department D wagon wooden frame it is a semi-open vehicle with glazed
windows on the sides and ends, and is fitted for electric lighting.

The carriage is believed to date from the post World War One period, but its
earliest history before arrival at Teddington Fields is shrouded in mystery and research is still ongoing.

Considering the length of time the carriage has been standing in the open,
it is in remarkable condition, as the roof was covered in corrugated tin sheets, while carrying wheels kept it off the ground and the open doorways were boarded up.

The carriage, generously donated to the North Gloucestershire Railway by the Overbury Estate on whose land it was located, has just been moved to
Toddington where it will be restored in due course.’

With the Trust’s interest in WWI stock, thought you might find this interesting. Also we are very keen to unravel the history of the vehicle, which is unclear at present, so any thoughts are welcome.

I attach two pictures, one immediately on its arrival at Toddington on 4 March and the other on 6 March after removal of most of the extraneous material added by the previous owners. Please feel free to pass this on to any interested parties within your group or elsewhere. Thanks, North Gloucestershire Railway Co Ltd.

The latest project…

As you may have read previously, in November 2010 we successfully recovered the remains of the ex-Nocton Ambulance van to Apedale (Moseley Railway Trust). These remains comprised the main frames of the van (in need of considerable repair) & a rebuilt bogie frame. Unfortunately the mists of time have not been kind to this van and it’s chassis/bogies – there are a large number of parts currently AWOL, including most of the fittings/components for both bogies.

WDLR Bogie project - This frame arrived at Apedale from Alston with the Ambulance van in November 2010.

As the arrived bogie frame had been rebuilt several years prior to acquisition, I have taken the decision to start the re-construction of this bogie first. As I am fortunate to have collected together a number of spare parts/drawings over the years and now is the time to start using them! This project is not as impossible as it might seem, although it will deplete my spares holding significantly. These bogies are generally standard designs & could be found under many types of WW1 vehicle. What is this particular example going to be used under (pending the ambulance van being completed)? You’ll have to keep watching…

WDLR Bogie parts - Coupler & brake crank

The first stages of this reconstruction have been to start routing out parts & preparing them for assembly. However, before this all can progress too far, I need to get a set of coupler & leaf (suspension) springs on order….

Many parts! Amongst these are various WDLR bogie parts - including pivot, brake brackets, coupler link pin, etc

Moseley Railway Trust Press Release – Jan 2011

Good evening! The Moseley Railway Trust has issued the following press release.


Simon Lomax
Publicity Officer, Moseley Railway Trust


Press Release:- Kerr Stuart steam loco will run for the first time in 50 years at Apedale

KS 3014 - joffre rebuilding progress

KS 3014 - Joffre rebuilding progress. October 2010

The owners of Kerr Stuart steam locomotive no.3014 are delighted to announce that the restoration of this locomotive has now entered its final phase. The locomotive will soon be moving to the Moseley Railway Trust site at Apedale, where it will be used to haul trains on the 2’0” gauge Apedale Valley Light Railway.

It is entirely appropriate that the locomotive is based at Apedale, which is just a few miles from the Kerr Stuart works where the locomotive was constructed in 1916. No.3014 was ordered by the French Commission for their artillery railways, and was delivered new to Nantes, France during WW1. Kerr Stuart built 70 locos of this type, known as the “Joffre” – named after the famous French General. After the war, it was sold from Verdun to a dealer, Brunner & Marchand of Borray, Seine & Oise. In October 1930, it was sold on to a stone quarry – Societe Anonyme des Carrieres de la Valee Heureuse et du Haut Banc, Marquise Rinxent in the Pas de Calais area of northern France. By August 1956, the locos on this site were derelict. In 1974, 3014 and four similar “Joffres” were repatriated to the UK onboard the ferry “Free Enterprise VII” on 11/10/74.

3014 and three of the other locos eventually resided at the Gloddfa Ganol slate quarry museum complex, near Blaenau Ffestiniog. Here, it was mounted on a plinth alongside the museum operator’s house. It became a familar site to passing motorists as they struggled up the lengendary Crimea Pass road out of Blaenau to the north. Following closure of the Gloddfa Ganol museum, the loco was acquired by the 3014 Society. The locomotive has been restored at a number of sites, and was recently test-steamed for the first time in fifty years.

The key remaining activity on the locomotive is to complete the work on the side tanks, followed by detail finishing and testing. It is expected that the locomotive will be completed and moved to Apedale during Spring 2011.

It is planned to hold a “launch day” for 3014 at Apedale; the date for this will be announced in due course. The Moseley Railway Trust is hoping to determine if there are any surviving Kerr Stuart employees – the company closed in 1930, so it’s JUST possible! Any leads in this regard would be appreciated.

Joffre Works photo

Kerr Stuart Joffre worksphoto