A look at the Ribble Steam Railway Ribble-side Railbus Back Contact Geoff
We’re on our way home again - and a break in the long drive down the M6 would be good. A quick look at the website beforehand revealed that the Ribble Steam Railway would be open for business midweek - albeit operating a four-wheeled railbus. We’d had a short ride on such a vehicle at Whitrope - this would be an example of the earlier generation - one of the Waggon und Maschinenbau vehicles built for BR service in the late 1950s. Could be fun... ...It was - a most enjoyable short journey along the bank of the Ribble at Preston, including that unusual road and rail swing bridge, remeniscent of our trip to St. Valery last year. We had been promising ourselves a visit here for some time - and were most impressed by what we found - on the whole... There’s real industrial railway operation here - passenger services are interrupted while the bitumen tanks are
Geoff’s Rail Diaries 28 August 2013
shunted for the nearby works. Substantial and well equipped workshops are open, in a necessarily limited fashion, for public inspection, and there’s a very fine museum. The locomotives are a mixture of industrial and main line machines, and (oh no! Why oh why?) they’re almost all wearing faces. They’re not quite of the Thomas and Percy variety either - they’re a strangely grotesque mixture of weird expressions and unlikely colours. A nightmare for the enthusiast (and nightmares for the more sensitive kids?). Did those two lovely little 0-4-0 saddle tanks, ex-L&Y and LNWR, really need enhancing with nasty plastic visages (perhaps the Louvre should fit a glowing red nose on the Mona Lisa, to make her more interesting for small children)? Happily, the prototype Deltic and the little EE battery-electric beside it seemed to have escaped the face-fitting (because they are, in effect, two- faced?). Maybe it’s a stunt to get exposure on Facebook? Perhaps they’ll have put them away when (if?) we return to see steam in operation along this interesting little railway. Link: Ribble Steam Railway
03 D2148 in the workshops 663 EE 400bhp shunter, ex-Dutch Railways "Progress" shunts the bitumen tanks Industrial operations: "Progress", RR 10283 of 1968 E79960 ready for action Interior of the Officers' Saloon "Deltic" What we were faced with in the museum - L&Y and LNW saddle tanks NER crest on Officers' Saloon no. 305 Deltic and a smaller EE product, battery loco 788 of 1930 Railbus driver's eye view
Riding the Ribble Railbus: Our tickets were “Day Rovers” - but one ride was enough - this was just a flying visit, so to speak. We took seats at the rear of the railbus, behind the driver’s compartment (the seats beside, with a clearer view, were occupied). The video is a compilation from the return run, including the traverse of the swing bridge. Note the RR diesel at the station - if we’d wanted another ride, we’d have had to wait until the bitumen tanks had been shunted.