© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 With the first day of spring just two days away, the daffodils are out, the sap is rising - and small steam locomotives are emerging from hibernation... The Chasewater Railway's Spring Gala promised to be quite an event, with four* steam locomotives in action on three different train sets, plus a selection of diesels in a variety of roles. The forecast was good too - clear skies and cold start, but sunny and bright through the day - it was spot on. Hawthorn Leslie "Asbestos" (2780 of 1909) is the Chasewater stalwart - he was in use the first time I visited the railway nearly forty years ago. I hadn't seen any of the other resident locos in action previously: Barclay 0- 4-0STs 1964 of 1929 and the tiny "Colin McAndrew" 1223 of 1911 (100 years old last Monday...), and Bagnall "Linda" 2648 of 1941. The quaint Baguley diesel "Bass No. 5" (3027 of 1939) had been scheduled for station pilot duties at Brownhills West, and his engine was running when I arrived - but I only saw "D2911", a North British 0-4-0 (27876 of 1958), in action. I guess the Baguley was indisposed... Ex-BR 08 D3429 made a run along the main line with the coal train and the passenger train, and at Chasewater Heaths, near the other end of the line, Hunslet 0-4-0 6678 of 1968 performed pilot duties. I bought a ticket (thus making my contribution) - but in the event, never rode the trains. Instead, I worked my way on foot to the other end and back, snapping and videoing the passing trains. Back at Brownhills West, the narrow gauge line was operating, so I had a quick look before wandering around the museum. Just time now to see some of the late afternoon departures and arrivals, before heading for home. A great start to the year (if we discount the Duke in the fog two weeks ago...) Linda - ready to go On shed The Baguley - and Colin in the bay Asbestos - light engine for Chasetown Linda on the passenger Colin McAndrew Colin is steaming well Colin approaches the causeway Asbestos on the causeway The big Barclay on the coal train An industrial scene - Chasewater Heaths Colin arrives at Chasewater Heaths Colin on the causeway Linda approaches the causeway with the passenger Asbestos on the causeway D3429 on the coal train The Barclay on the passenger Red and green - Colin McAndrew at Brownhills West The narrow gauge railway in action No 21 - the 1929-built KentCon diesel Restoration under way The IRS nameplates I don't remember any NCB wagons looking like this! D3429 arrives on the passenger Colin McAndrew makes another sortie down the line Asbestos leaves Brownhills West on the passenger D2911 shunts the coal train The Barclay returns Linda leaves with the coal train
Link: Chasewater Railway official website