© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 I paid several visits to Chasewater in the early 70s - to see a rake of antique 6-wheel coaches trundling slowly along the somewhat shaky permanent way, usually hauled by "Asbestos", a rather nice little Hawthorne-Leslie 0-4-0ST, no. 2780 of 1909. (I did once see the much more ancient Neilson "Alfred Paget" in action, but that's another story). I renewed my acquaintance with the line from the 1990s - inevitably, if steam was working, it was the Sentinel. Not that I've anything against those interesting little locos, but it would be nice to see a real engine in action... "Asbestos" (he used to work for Turner and Newall) in the meantime was undergoing a prolonged overhaul (the 6-wheelers are still undergoing restoration). The aforementioned Sentinel hauled the train last time we visited - taking us to the then eastern terminus at Chasewater Heaths. Soon after that trip, the last stretch of line opened, to the new terminus at Chasetown (Church Street) - and Asbestos returned to steam. We would have to pay the line another visit... I'd thought of going a little further afield on this particular day, but the weather was dull and overcast - perhaps a shorter trip, on the penultimate Sunday of the steam timetable - fingers crossed... ...sure enough, Asbestos was in action. We joined the 2.30pm train for the short ride, and, as on previous occasions, decided to walk back (it's not far!) - returning in time to see, and record, the departure of the next train (and then, of course, tea and cake before the drive home). Link: Chasewater Railway The 3.45pm Asbestos heads away from Brownhills West with the next train to Chasetown (Church Street)
Taking water Almost ready for departure Asbestos and the heath An interesting mixed train Approaching Chasewater Heaths The 3.45pm for Chasetown (Church Street)