Industrial steam par excellence
Foxfield Autumn Gala
24 October 2010
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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
Dubsy on the bank The Bagnall descends Dubsy shunts the yard Portrait of a Bagnall The Bagnall climbs away from the colliery Meaford No. 2 on the bank Steam in the woods Bellerophon departs with the passenger Bellerophon on the passenger Colliery steam Whiston in the colliery yard Whiston on the bank Bellerophon descends... Dubsy and Bellerophon on the bank ...with Florence No 2 on the rear Meaford No 2 - as Nechells No 4, Oct '71