A wet day on the 2'gauge WLLR
Rain, steam and... West Lancs
5 October 2003  
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After an overnight stay in York, we drove across the Pennines under a clear blue sky, in bright autumn sunshine. The bank of cloud to the west, visible as we dropped down towards Preston, looked rather ominous though. Sure enough, we arrived at Hesketh Bank, home of the railway, in steady light rain. It eased a little for a while - the sun peeped through for a minute or two - but eventually became heavier. The small exhibits in the workshops became rather popular.... The occasion was "Industrial Day", which promised "all available engines in steam; demonstration freight trains, hauled by steam
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and diesel locomotives....." The available steam locos proved to be 100-year-old "Irish Mail" (HE823 of 1903), 0-4-2ST Kerr Stuart "Stanhope" (KS2395 of 1917) and "Montalban" (Orenstein and Koppel 6641 of 1913) - a fine and varied trio. Each took turns running the passenger service and demonstration freight along the (short) main line - a pleasantly wooded route beside a former clay pit. A pair of Rustons worked another short demonstration freight in the yard - plenty to see and do while dodging the raindrops. It would have been great to stay a bit longer - but the rain (and lack of lunch...) got the better of us. Link: West Lancs Light Railway
Irish Mail - a brief moment of sunshine Irish Mail Irish Mail and train Montalban arrives with the freight Montalban and the freight Stanhope runs round Stanhope and Irish Mail Rustons in the rain Ruston and Lister  - they'll both be rust'n soon... O&Ks "Utrillas" and, behind, Montalban