© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2012 It doesn’t seem long since I was here in March, when the locos were stretching their legs after their hibernation. Now it’s September, and the railways will soon be putting their locos away again. But before that happens, we’d better have a gala! (September is a busy month...) The “Industrial Gala” at Chasewater would feature four steam locomotives in action along the two mile line, with D3429 also taking its turn. Other diesels would assist with shunting at Brownhills West. The steam locos seen in action are: diminutive Barclay “Colin McAndrew” (1223 of 1911). I’m sure he could pull the skin off the proverbial rice pud, but just in case, he spent the day coupled to “Linda” - Bagnall 2648 of 1941 “Hollybank No 3” (Hunslet 3783 of 1953, actually “Darfield No 1”, doing a pretty good impersonation of a long-lost local loco “Nechells No 4” - RSHN 7684 of 1951. Colin McAndrew looks like a narrow-gauge loco when standing beside this huge machine! The line may be relatively short, but they do manage to cram in remarkable variety. The locos took turns on a 3-coach passenger, a short freight with brake van accommodation for passengers and a coal train (empty...). With two trains running full line, and the short freight running between bay platforms at Brownhills West and Chasewater Heaths, much shunting and loco changing is needed. The coal train is “banked” from Chasewater Heaths to the end of the line at Chasetown Church Street, by the locomotive from the short freight, itself having departed behind the light engine off the preceding 3-coach passenger... I think it has to be seen to be understood, though it seemed to work OK. Admittedly, the timetable gradually drifted - our planned return to Brownhills West, on the 15.10 short freight, actually happened nearly an hour later. Not a major problem, there always seemed to be something going on, and it was warm and sunny - a great day out, in other words. Links: The Chasewater Railway Chasewater Stuff’s Railway and Canal Blog Colin and Linda arrive with the coal train D3429 arrives with the 3-coach passenger "D2911", NBL 0-4-0 (27876 of 1958) shunts the coal train Colin and Linda depart with the coal train Colin and Linda depart with the coal train Nechells No 4 on the short freight D3429 crosses the causeway, 3-coach passenger Steam in the woods - Nechells No. 4 Hollybank leaves with the coal train Nechells No.4 in the bay, Chasewater Heaths Hollybank No 3, ready to leave with the coal train Nechells No 4 "banks" the coal train Colin has his glasses cleaned Colin and Linda depart with the passenger Diesel in the woods Nechells No 4 and - is Colin a narrow-gauge loco?