© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 Here's another of those little lines that were on the "to do" list - the North Ings Farm Museum is in deepest rural Lincolnshire, near nowhere and on the road to nowhere else... Well, that's not strictly true. It's only about 5 miles from Sleaford (does that contradict my original statement?). One of the volunteers, happily painting a tank wagon a wondrous shade of yellow, explained "it's really quiet here - beautiful". The line here started life as a working chicken farm railway, armed with a Ruston diesel and a handful of wagons, back in 1971. Ten years on, the chicken farming ended - but the railway lives on as part (and prime exhibit, I think) of the farm museum. The original Ruston (371937 of 1954) is still there, along with several close relatives, plus a couple of Motor Rails, a Hunslet and an O&K, a Clay Cross-built Lister - and a home-made steam tram, a fine chain-driven machine put together by owner Mr Hall in 1994. The vertical boiler and twin cylinder engine were originally built to form part of a winch on a ship, nearly 100 years previously. One of the MRs (7493 of 1940) has appeared in the Rail Diaries before - it's one of the pair illustrated out of use at Henry Oakland's works near York - see "Yorkshire Mud 'oles", Dec. 1979. The main line consists of an irregular circular route, through the assorted bits and pieces of the museum (some long term projects...) to a pleasant pool, complete with reed mace and monster fish (according to my wife, who made a brief study of its environs). We took a ride, of course - the train consisting of the steam tram (bearing the tongue-in-cheek name of "Swift") and four passenger vehicles. I'm not sure "coaches" is quite the right word for these fine example of narrow gauge charm, built on V-skip chassis - there aren't many coaches whose height considerably exceeds their length! I should mention the "station" - the platform is clearly visible in the photo of the signal box (above) - but the train actually stopped just around the corner. The reason should have been obvious "When the wind's in this direction, the smoke blows onto the washing line...) We enjoyed our visit to North Ings hugely - what a friendly setup this is. Well worth making the (inevitably long...) detour. Link: North Ings Farm Museum "Swift" and train approach the station "Swift" and train at the (alternative) station NIF NGR - work it out for yourself! Pear Tree Junction signal box Old friend - MR 7493 from Oakland's, York Rustons in the shed - No. 1 and "Indian Runner" 200744 of 1940 MR 8826 of 1943 "Penelope" RH 375701 of 1954 and HE 7120 of 1969 Station scene Long-term project - an RH out in the sticks