Moseley Railway Trust’s new home
13 September 2008
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This one had been firmly noted in the "to-do" list for much of the year. The Moseley Railway Trust began life in 1969 at the eponymous school near Stockport, and gradually amassed its fine collection of narrow gauge railway equipment over the years - until, in 1998, it had to leave that site. My regret was that I'd never paid a visit. Another eight years elapsed before a new home was settled upon - at the Apedale Heritage Centre near Newcastle-under-Lyme, based around the former drift mine which is now open as a mining museum, offering an interesting underground visit. With space to expand and some clear common interest in the industrial past, Apedale promises to be a substantial visitor attraction in the coming years. Clearly much effort has already gone into developing the new railway, initially concentrated on providing accommodation for the 70-odd locomotives. Mostly diesel (and petrol), there are also several battery-electrics, and a growing collection of steam locomotives, including the well-travelled "Stanhope" (Kerr Stuart 2395 of 1917). Motor-Rails and Rustons abound, and there are representatives of most of the well-known (and not so well known) makers' products. MRT's plans are for a passenger-carrying line to be constructed out into the park, and a trackbed has already been prepared to carry the metals out beyond the depot - but at present that's all there is. "All there is" is perhaps misleading - the rails run from a loop in the future station, into and beyond the ancient "red shed" to another much larger new storage building erected earlier this year, "Aurora North". With associated sidings and headshunts, the current layout provided plenty of scope for a
variety of demonstration freight trains, hauled by a fair cross section of locomotives. Plenty of action! The established heritage centre contains an interesting museum dedicated to the fascinating history of this area - and includes further items from the Moseley collection. It also houses a cafeteria, offering, among other things, that wonderful local delicacy the Staffordshire oatcake. The bacon and cheese option proved to be substantial and delicious (keeping the household authorities happy), but inevitably coincided with the best period of sunshine... There was still scope for further interest and activity when we left the site. Our route to Newcastle had taken us through Mill Meece, where a sign proclaimed that the pumping engine would be in steam and operating. "We'd better call in on our way back - could be interesting, and I've a feeling they've got a narrow gauge loco". It was - and they had - a fine, clean and shiny little Lister. MRT's next public open day will be on the 9th of November, a special event to mark 90 years since the end of the first world war, itself an event which led fairly directly to the growth of narrow gauge industrial railways. Should be a good day - could be worth a visit, and if not, the plans are for the first stage of the passenger-carrying line to be open in 2009. Get out the maps and the diary - pay a visit to Apedale! Links: Moseley Railway Trust Mill Meece Pumping Station
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
"Red Dwarf" - Shropshire Mines Trust's WR 5655 of 1956 A pair of Motor-Rails - 13 (11142 of 1960) and 20 (8748 of 1942) Ruston no. 27 "Annie" (RH198297 of 1939) Hudswell Clarke D558 of 1938 (love that chimney!) Residents of the "red shed" Deutz detail - the flywheel on 10050 of 1931 Annie in action "Vanguard" RH195846 of 1939 and LAWR Baguley 1695 of 1928 "Lord Austin" petrol-engined MR 6035 of 1937 WDLR 303 - Hunslet 1215 of 1916 ex-Macclesfield Corporation MR 7033 of 1936 The diver! HC1238 of 1916, rescued from a river bed and repatriated from Ghana A pair of Motor-Rails No.7 MR 8663 of 1941 is ready for action A freight arrives behind MR7710 of 1939 Lister Blackstone 52610 of 1961 LB56371 of 1970 - the last Lister - leads the way past the red shed 8103 - ex-Llanforda Hall Hudson Hunslet 6299 of 1964 Portrait of 8103 Trio of MRs - no.42 arrives with the freight again Stanhope on the skips Stanhope stands at the station Mill Meece exterior Mill Meece The Lister at Mill Meece - 39419 of 1953 Stanhope