NEWS UPDATE, 19 MAY 2013:
WEARDALE RAILWAY PLANS for 2013:
W R Trust members, volunteers and supporters can read an update from
Trust Chairman, Richard Maughan HERE
STANHOPE STATION CAFÉ OPENS FOR BUSINESS: With immediate effect
the café on the main platform at Stanhope station on the Weardale Railway
will open for business on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Call in any time
between 10am and 4pm for hot and cold drinks, light refreshments, hot
snacks and sandwiches or try the All-day breakfast. All food items are
freshly prepared on the premises. You can dine in the café itself, or on
the platform or at a table inside one of our First Class coaches. In
addition there is a special Sunday Afternoon Tea offer available from 2pm
for £5.95 per person and with reductions for children. So come and
capture the atmosphere of a country railway station and catch up on the
news of the Weardale Railway.
NEWS UPDATE, 13 MAY 2013:
UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA TO VISIT WEARDALE RAILWAY ON 14th /15th MAY
The 'Steam Dreams' charter train Company is operating
an 8-day railtour of the UK and it is visiting the Weardale Railway,
arriving as an empty stock train on Tuesday 15th May from Hexham where the
passengers will overnight. The train will depart Stanhope at Wednesday
morning (15th May) after the passengers transfer by road from Hexham -
heading for visits to the Wensleydale and North Yorkshire Moors Railways.
The Weardale Railway Trust will provide the footplate and guard pilotmen on
both journeys. Richard Maughan, Trust Chairman on Tuesday and Keith McNally
on the Wednesday will carry out the footplate duties.
Expected timings are: Tuesday - Pass Bishop Auckland 14.30, arrive Stanhope
15.35 and on Wednesday - depart Stanhope 09.30 pass Bishop Auckland 10.35.
(The A4 class locomotive 'Union of South Africa' was built
for the LNER in 1937 and originally numbered 4488, it was named after the
then newly-formed Union of South Africa).
UPDATE - Tuesday 14th May, 8.20pm: Below - Bedded down at
Stanhope Station for the night.
NEWS UPDATE, 30 APRIL 2013:
- STANHOPE STATION SPRING CLEAN :- Before the start of the summer
season trains a volunteer working party was organised on Saturday April
20th. It was a splendid sunny spring day and 25 Weardale Railway Trust
volunteers turned out and carried out a range of tasks throughout the
day. There was a long list of work to be done and it was decided that
the priority would be lifting the matting from the recreation field,
removing it from the car park to a secure place, checking the electrics
of the lamp posts, painting of the lamp posts and painting the fences.
Everybody split into small groups according to their abilities and set
to work. Thanks to Ruth Carroll . Trust Volunteer Liaison Officer for
her work in organising and preparing for the day. Below is a selection
of photos taken on the day. Thanks to Ruth Carroll (RC) and Alison
Phillips (AP) for the photographs.
Matting had been laid down in the
field adjacent to the station to make a carpark for the Polar Express
The very wet first quarter of 2013 meant that lifting had to be delayed
until the ground began to dry
As it turned out lifting of the matting is a job requiring a great deal of
strength as it is held down with
Likewise transferring it one from place to another takes strength and team
work. Happily everyone worked well
together and there was a lot of good natured banter between them
John Hargreaves and Steve Raine
worked throughout the day looking at the electrics on the lamp posts
whilst Douglas Collins
painted the posts black. The posts certainly looked much better at
the end of the
Painting of the fences is a job
that is ongoing at the station since there are so many of them. Armed with
a paint kettle
and a paint brush each volunteer took a small section of fence and got to
work. By the end of the day a long section of
fence was looking noticeably smarter and only a few volunteers had managed
to get the paint not only on the
but also on
At lunch time everyone stopped for
a picnic lunch which was kindly laid on by the company and prepared by the
in the cafe. Cups of tea and coffee and squash were readily available
throughout the day as the combination of hot weather
and hard work meant everyone had worked up a
- As Ruth Carroll says "It was a lovely day and it was nice
to meet up with each other. The work will carry on other Saturdays
depending on the weather and people's availability. A Big thank you to
everyone who took part".
G C Mudd 29 April 2013 : email@example.com
NEWS UPDATE, 19 APRIL 2013:
RAILWAY VIDEO ARCHIVE :- Tony Slack, long time WR volunteer and
now a Director on the Board of the Trust has drawn our attention to a
location on the BBC website where they have stored a bunch of archived
railway videos. They can be accessed at the site below. The videos
date from the 1960’s onwards and includes several real gems such “
Engines must not enter the Potato Siding”, a film about railways in
the North of England made in 1969. Recommended,
but can be addictive.
Wood, Trust Vice Chairman , and Sunday gang member watches the
of their work going
up in smoke . 14 April
Photo : Ruth Carroll.
SUNDAY GANG : RUTH CARROLL REPORTS : Ruth, who is our Volunteer
Liaison Officer sent us this report and pictures : “
I always like to say a thank you in my report to the Sunday Gang for all
the hard work they do. I decided yesterday to go along and meet the guys
and try to give a hand if I could. Those of you who know me well,
know that I am not the most energetic of people. I have to say I
had a really wonderful time and I have to take my hat off to the gang.
They all made me feel really welcome and had some helpful advice to make
the job easier. They carry on working in all conditions. In the
few hours that I was there it rained several times but that did not
discourage them. The work they do is not in the public eye but it plays
a vital part in the operation of the Railway. It is a bit like painting
the Forth Bridge, once you get to the end you have to start again.
So if you feel like some exercise on a Sunday come along to the
Sunday gang and give a hand. You will really enjoy it.”
Ruth Carroll, Volunteer Liaison Officer. You can contact
Ruth on : RCarroll@britamrail.com
of the Sunday Gang members taking a break on 14th
April – clearly a non operating day.
Saturday 20th April
Trust Volunteers' Working Party
Stanhope Station Spring
Woods recently restored Class 122 Bubble Car may move to another railway for
at least part of this year
but meanwhile Graham
Isom, WR General Manager, on right, briefed a group of trainee drivers and
is seen at the controls the right hand photo.
Both photos : Alison Phillips.
Steam Loco, No. 40 is
now being worked as part of its 10 year overhaul in three places. The
boiler is with
Restorations in Shildon, the firebox is with Isaac Newton in
Bradford. Meanwhile the frames and cylinders
are being worked On in the
Wolsingham Depot as the photos above show.
Both photos : Alison Phillips.
NEWS UPDATE, 31 MARCH 2013:
FOOTPATH LINKING STANHOPE STATION TO TOWN : Stanhope
is one of
five places in County
Durham selected to be part
of the Destination
Development Plan. As part of this plan the South West Economic
Regeneration Team has completed a new project to build a footpath
linking the Station at Stanhope with the town centre. The signposted
path runs from down platform ‘kissing gate’ re-crosses
the line near the Butts and
using an overgrown strip of land alongside the railway to reach the
side road leading into the market place. A new leaflet published by
DCC and the Minerals Valleys Project gives details of this and two
other walks from the Station, or you can download
it from :- http://content.durham.gov.uk/PDFRepository/countryside_pub_stanhope_MVP_walk.pdf
Sunday gang assisting a herd of deer across the line adjacent to the site
Pole ‘set’ for the Polar Express. 27 January 2013 .
Photo : John Lewins.
TRACK DELIVERED TO WEARDALE RAILWAY : Trevor
Horner reports : Network Rail have now completed Phase 1 of the track
recovery which has seen everything removed between Penshaw and Tursdale
(to the rear of the old NCB Workshops). We have received a total of 332
rails, 320 of which are full 60 foot lengths . Some 15000 keys and
approx. 350 pairs of fishplates and bolts have been delivered along with
the rails. We have contracted to take 6 miles of rail, the equivalent of
528 x 60' and we are awaiting the commencement of the 2nd phase to
receive the remaining rails.
from the Leamside line now stacked trackside at Wolsingham station.
Photo : Trevor
WEARDALE RAILWAY TRUST
BOARD ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN, BOARD MEMBERS : Last month the Trust Chairman, David Scott, announced his intention to
resign as chairman for personal reasons. All members of the Board
expressed their appreciation for his long and dedicated service on the
Board and will look forward to continue seeing him in a volunteer role
in the future. Brian Cox another long standing and valued member of
the Board also resigned last month however he is continuing his role
of training and rostering guard duties
on the railway. The
Board elected Richard Maughan as Chairman, Mike Wood remains as deputy
Chairman and three new members of the Board have been proposed and are
in the process of being co-opted, they are Peter Baker, Tony Slack and
Kevin Richardson, all of whom are active volunteers.
PASSENGER SERVICE PLANS : Details
of the ‘themed’ dining train service announced earlier are being
finalised and it is intended that a further announcement will be made
in the next few days. At the moment the tentative plan is for the
trains to run from the beginning of June through to October, after
which the Polar Express services would start in November. The general
framework would be for trains to run on most Fridays, Saturdays and
Sundays during this period.
Gerry Mudd, 31 March 2013.
All comments, suggestions, contributions please to firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS UPDATE, 22 MARCH 2013:
New freight flow for Weardale
Railway owner. DCR 56311 hauling empty box cars, seen here heading north
through Birtley on the 14th March. See news
( Photo : John Lewins
56311 again going north across
Durham viaduct on 15th March, heading for Morpeth.
(Photo : John Lewins)
Devon and Cornwall
Railways (DCR) is like the Weardale Railway, part of the British
American Rail Services group and is one of six companies approved to
operate freight services on the Network. Earlier this month it commenced
operating unit coal trains between Butterwell Coal concentration depot,
near Morpeth to Chaddesden sidings near Derby. Initially running on
5days per week it usually passes Darlington heading north at around
14.30 hrs and heading south at 20.00 and stays until 20.50 hrs.
- BARS GROUP WINS NEW FREIGHT CONTRACT :
The Mk2 coaching stock used in the
Polar Express last year, standing in the down platform at Stanhope
in Ferbruary will be used for dining trains later this
year. See news
The interior of one of the coaches
after undergoing a thorough deep clean by Chris Simpson and Daniel
in February this
(Photo : Chris
Following on from
the successful and oversubscribed, afternoon tea trains last year and
also after a study of the marketing and operation of the outstandingly
Polar Express trains in November and December, the Company has decided
that it will try to build on this success by using the same team and
approach to market a series of ‘value added services in 2013. Planning
is underway to develop a programme of lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner
trains using the four Mk2 coaches hauled probably by a Class 31 diesel.
an added advantage in using the Mk2’s is that they have air
conditioning Still to be finalised the programme will consist of over
100 trains operating on over 70 days and is targeted to commence in May.
More details to come.
- WEARDALE RAILWAYS : NEW SERVICES FOR 2013 :
- You can read a statement from Ed Ellis, Managing Director, Weardale
Railways CIC HERE
Gerry Mudd, 22 March 2013.
All comments, suggestions, contributions please to email@example.com