The weekend before our AGM on Sunday September 4 at Stapleford MR, the railway itself has an open weekend with showman’s engines, fairground organs and so forth, admission is £3 per adult per day and the event takes place on August 27, 28 and 29, more details from Jeremy Grice on 01664 851614.
The society is pleased to announce that Phil Devonport had agreed to take over as membership secretary. Phil who is also the society’s archivist for steam locomotives said that he is looking forward to the task and hopes that new members will soon be swamping him with subscriptions.
Long run of Narrow Gauge News from No 207 March 1995 to No 334 ay 2016; 127 issues all in very good condition (as can be seen from the photo of a few copies). It includes some of the special issues. Total cost £65. These can be collected from either Windsor or Southampton. We are prepared to package and post at extra cost. Please ring Peter on 02380456246 or 07799294196.
The 10 1/4 inch gauge Ropley Miniature Railway runs alongside the Mid Hants Railway ‘The Watercress Line’.
A previous line closed in August 2012 as the area needed to be redeveloped due to the arrival of the ‘Harry Potter’ footbridge from Kings Cross station. The line moved to the current site in December 2014 and first opened to the public in March 2015. The new line is about 170m long and there are plans to extend the line.
There is one station, Ropley High Level, which has a single track with two side platforms, one for arrivals and one for departures. There are plans to provide two more stations when the line is extended. At the far end of the line there is two road shed.
Trains were being hauled by a Santa Fe petrol hydraulic ‘Nevada’, which was built by Bimpson Miniature Railway in 1996. There is also a diesel electric on site called ‘Patricia’ and a 2-4-4 Tinkerbell under construction (which was located in one of the mainline sheds at Ropley).
The railway does not charge at the moment but does welcome donations.
The 10 1/4 inch gauge Hastings Miniature Railway is a short walk from Hastings station and first opened in 1948. It is 600 yards long and has three stations at Marine Parade (opened 1959), East Beach Street Halt and Rock-A-Nore.
The station at Marine Parade had a single platform and run-round loop as well as a ticket office and shop.
East Beach Street Halt was the original terminus before the extension to Marine Parade opened but is not used on a regular basis. It has a passing loop which was re-instated in 2010.
Rock-A-Nore station has a single platform, sheds and turntable. There is also a shed/tunnel and sidings adjacent to Rock-A -Nore where the line passes beneath a building.
Trains were being hauled by No 4 ‘Speedy Fizzle’ a 4+4 DH Bo-Bo built by RVM Engineering between 2009 and 2011 and D801 ‘Vanguard’ a 4+4 DH which previously operated at Knebworth Miniature Railway.
‘Speedy Fizzle’ on the Hastings Miniature Railway. Picture by Jonathan James.
Ex-Knebwort Miniature Railway ‘Vanguard’ at work on the Hastings Miniature Railway. Picture by Jonathan James.
A number of other locomotives were on display outside the sheds at Rock-A-Nore including No 2 ‘Jerry Lee’ a 4+4 DM rebuilt in 2011 (in InterCity livery), No 5 ‘Uncle Jim’, a 4+4 DM built by Jim Hughes in 1968, No 7 ‘Tilby’ an 0-4-0 tram engine built by RVM Engineering in 2013 plus the much-travelled 0-4-0 steam loco ‘Edmund Hannay’.
‘Jerry Lee’ on the Hastings Miniatuyre Railway. You can just see the spectacle plate of ‘Edmund Hannay’ on the right. Picture by Jonathan James.
The Hastings Miniature Railway also operates a 7 1/4 inch gauge line at Alexandra Park in Hastings, plus there are also two cliff railways at Hastings, so well worth a visit. Report by Jonathan James.
Locomotives not seen for some 50 years have now been secured by the Royal Victoria Railway. Now on site at Netley near Southampton are three 10 1/4 locomotives, No 2006 March 1952 Curwen Atlantic and No 2011 1936 Bullock Pacific known as ‘Coronation’ which arrived on site during March 2016 and an 0-6-4 locomotive ‘Ida May’ built by Mr Murcott which arrived on site in April. Together with the locos is track and sundry equipment which had been tucked away in mid Wales and not viewable for the best part of 50 years. The RVR intends to give enthusiasts the opportunity to view these at in due course. In the meantime if anybody has any early photographs they would be most appreciative of a copy.
The photographs show the condition of two of the locomotives when they first arrived. If anyone could help or advise us of somebody who would be able to rebuild any of these engines please will they get in touch with Peter Bowers at the RVR; the running and maintenance of the railway is a full time commitment which means there is very little time available to invest in this wonderful rebuild project. Please contact Peter at RVR on 02380456246 or 07799294196.
Jonathan James recently visited the 10 1/4 inch gauge Watford Miniature Railway in Cassiobury Park, a line which opened in 1959. The railway has only one station but comprises a complicated circuit including one level crossing.
Trains were being operated by a ‘Thomas’ style 0-6-0 diesel which previously operated at Poole Park and ‘Conway Castle’ a 4w4w Diesel built by Fenlow in 1972. No 4179 ‘Chiltern Shuttle’, an 0-6-0 built in 1946 by R Morse is currently out of service awaiting a heavy overhaul.