Industrial steam par excellence
Foxfield Autumn Gala
24 October 2010
I'd been to the Foxfield Railway before - had a couple of rides,
including a memorable Fathers’ Day trip perhaps 15 years ago,
when the beer mugs in the buffet car swung vigorously to and fro
as the little industrial 0-4-0ST struggled up the line's fearsome
gradients. More than 30 years ago, I'd visited on occasions when
trains weren't running, calling in at the old Foxfield Colliery to
see the lines of locomotives awaiting restoration. But I'd never
really done justice to the line photographically - and never been
back to the old colliery site.
Today the weather was wonderful - clear sky, cold air, bright
sunshine - and once again, I paid a visit to the old colliery site.
Six locomotives were in action - and duly snapped:
* Bellerophon - Haydock Foundry "C" of 1874
* Bagnalls "2", 2842 of 1946 and "Florence No 2", 3059 of 1954
* Hunslet Austerity "Whiston" 3694 of 1950
* RSH "Meaford No 2", 7684 of 1951
* Dübs 0-4-0 crane tank 4101 of 1901 - "Dubsy"
Three of the above are "old friends" - I'd met Whiston at Bold
colliery, back in 1979 (see "Bersham and Bold", Florence No 2 at
Cadley Hill, and Meaford No 2 when it lived at Nechells power
station, Birmingham, in 1971
In recent years, all passenger trains have run between
Caverswall Road, the railway's HQ, and Dilhorne Park, a remote
platform in the woods at the northern end of the line. The short
stretch down to Foxfield colliery includes the steepest gradients,
with a fearsome 1 in 19 out of the colliery. This section should
reopen to passengers next year - in the meantime,
demonstration freights have sole use of the stretch, making for
wonderful photographic opportunities...
Geoff’s Rail Diaries