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Avon Valley Railway Updates and Videos

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Corbs, May 15, 2013.

  1. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    It was good to see the Avon Valley Rly operating their Santa services once again today. Despite the railway being in a tier 3 area the council has allowed the railway to operate after discussions regarding safe distancing.

    Well done to them. Steam loco WD132 was hauling the Santas today. <BJ>
     
    60525 and nine elms fan like this.
  2. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    [​IMG]
    Joint statement from the Avon Valley Railway Heritage Trust and Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust

    We are delighted to announce that we have come, in principle, to an agreement to re-locate a portion of the rolling stock and museum artefacts currently based at the SDRT site at Washford in Somerset to the Avon Valley Railway at Bitton, South Gloucestershire.

    The agreement has been under discussion for several months and follows the S&DRT’s similar arrangement for rolling stock and museum items relating more to the Southern element of the collection to be placed at the Mid-Hants Railway Watercressline. The essence of the agreement is to establish a display of Midland/LMS vehicles and artefacts at Bitton which will form the basis of a new museum at the station. Several SDRT vehicles will be adapted to house a range of S&D items with additional historical items belonging to the AVR which together will tell the story of the Midland lines terminating at the famous station at Green Park, Bath.

    The Avon Valley Railway is ideally located to support the S&D story. The line from Mangotsfield arrived at Bath in 1870 and was followed by the S&D line in 1874 with both lines joining at Bath junction just outside what was then Queen Square Station (Green Park was the name given to the station by BR from 1951).

    With the unique collection of items assembled by the S&D Trust over some 50 years, it is envisaged that the story of the Midland Railway’s lines converging on Bath will become a popular attraction at Bitton. The Avon Valley Railway already have a named service in operation called ‘The Pines Express’ which was a service synonymous with the route through Bitton into Bath from the north and then, following a change of motive power, followed the S&D line to Bournemouth.

    Both railways lost their passenger services in March 1966 which emphasises the close relationship between to two heritage groups. We would like to encourage people interested in the project to come forward and help establish the exhibition which will begin with the arrival of rolling stock in the coming weeks.

    Both boards of directors are very excited by the agreement which will begin a new phase in the future of both organisations.

    Roger Eynon, AVR Chair said, 'The Avon Valley Railway is really pleased to be forging this new link with the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust. Our joint heritage has such a local resonance and we look forward to being able to share more stories about the history of our line.'

    Ian Young, chairman of The Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust said, ‘we have been looking for new partners to display some of our historic rolling stock and museum objects. The Avon Valley Railway has been looking to create a new museum area and the opportunity to work together comes at a good moment for both organisations.'
     
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  3. StevenJSmith790

    StevenJSmith790 New Member

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    I see that reopening has been postponed according to announcements from Bitton over the last few days. I can't say I'm particularly surprised as it seemed like they had a lot of work to do in a short time with their track relaying near Bitton. They seem to struggle to cobble together enough folk to run their trains or open their shop at the best of times so a project like this is arguably beyond their capabilities. Doesn't bode well for the ambitions to extend to Bath.
     
  4. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    To be fair the delay is more to do with the failure of the railway's tamper.
    UPDATE ON TRAINS - Avon Valley Railway
    ''Unfortunately the railway’s own tamper broke down in spectacular fashion last weekend and we have spent the last few days sourcing a replacement. Sadly, this wont be available until first thing Saturday morning. The track then needs a final inspection before passenger services can resume as normal''. <BJ>
     
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  5. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    That's an interesting first post...
     
  6. StevenJSmith790

    StevenJSmith790 New Member

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    It was the first thing I came across on Facebook after signing up which wasn't on here.
     
  7. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Your choice of course, but I don't think it looks particularly good that your first post is running down a railway.
     
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  8. StevenJSmith790

    StevenJSmith790 New Member

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    The tamper that they have isn't suitable for the job anyway. It doesn't make sense to tamp 1/4 mile of track with a single sleeper tamper. Interesting machine though I think there is only 2 of them.
     
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  9. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the ideal opportunity for you to roll your sleeves up and help rather than criticize the efforts of their hard-working volunteers.
    Ray.
     
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  10. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz Member

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    Last night, we were the victim of a break-in where thieves have stolen many thousands of pounds worth of specialist parts. A number of the items are easy enough to replace, albeit expensive. Other items on the list are difficult or impossible to replace.

    Items stolen include:
    1x South African Chime Steam Whistle
    1x Gresham & Craven Vertical Injector & Water Valve
    1x Gresham & Craven Backhead Injector
    1x New Copper Main Steam Pipe
    3x BR Class 08 Push-Button Whistle Valves
    Several BR Standard Washout Plugs of various sizes
    Several BR/Nabic Fusible Plugs of various sizes
    Several Gauge Glass Fittings & Valves
    Several BR Mark 1 Steam Heat Traps
    Several Coupling Rod Brasses of various sizes
    Large quantity of brass & bronze billets and offcuts

    If anyone happened to see or hear anything, or becomes aware of a quantity of these items appearing somewhere, please get in touch with the police - the Avon & Somerset crime reference number is RAC-4RQKN. Although a lot of our assets are protected with Smart Water forensic tagging, unfortunately these items weren't included.
     
  11. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz Member

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    A FINAL FUNDRAISING PUSH FOR BITTON LAMP HUT

    www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bittonlamphut

    Help us enhance our heritage and build a new home for our gardening volunteers. We’re crowdfunding to raise £5,000 by 1 October. Over 50 generous supporters have so far pledged over 80% of our fundraising total. It’s an all or nothing campaign though, so unless we reach our target by Friday at 1200, these pledges will be returned and the opportunity will pass us by. There’s less than £1,000 left to raise! If you can, please consider pledging or sharing to give us the best opportunity of reaching our fundraising target. More information about the project and how you can get involved, along with the range of rewards we have lined up can be found at the link above.

    In the meantime, here’s three reasons why you should donate:
    1. Enhance our heritage by restoring an original feature of Bitton Station
    2. Support our volunteer gardeners by providing them with a purpose-built home
    3. Enable development for our future by clearing the way for new displays and attractions

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. echap

    echap New Member

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    Donation sent.
     
  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Under £100 needed to make the target. So fingers crossed.
     
  14. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz Member

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    WE DID IT!

    Thanks to the incredible generosity of those who donated and the support of those who spread the word about our project to recreate Bitton's lamp hut, we raised £5,114 between 27 August and 1 October. That's 102% of our target of £5000 and means that we can proceed with the project.

    Unassuming but essential, the lamp hut once played a key part in the operation of Bitton Station by providing the facility to clean, trim and refill the oil lamps that shone from the signals and which bathed the platforms in pools of muted yellow light. The hut was demolished in the 1960s but we can now continue our mission to recreate the atmosphere of a 1950s British Railways station. Our volunteers will recreate the hut at the north end of the old cattle dock, just feet from where the original once stood.

    Keep a look out for further information and updates about the project over the next few months.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz Member

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    Saturday 5th March saw the railway operating a Class 08 Running Day, featuring resident No 08202 alongside visiting No 08359 before it headed off to Bodmin in the coming days. The day was well patronised, with the three coach train more or less full the entire day. Here's my video from the day.

     
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  16. ady

    ady Well-Known Member

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    Some told me the AVR have abandoned two train running and the loop at Bitton is out of use.

    Any truth to this or bulls##t?
     
  17. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    The point has been removed from the south-east end of the station. Also, the section of track between Bitton station and Avon Riverside has not reopened this year due to the condition of the track.

    From the railway:
    ''Our volunteers have been busy undertaking engineering works on the line during the winter months. Unfortunately, like on the main line, these can take longer than anticipated and that’s when you hear the phrase ‘overrunning engineering works’ We use the winter period to complete larger-scale projects and this year have been working on the south section of the line, continuing the work we started last year. Whilst we’ve been doing all we can to get the work finished in time for February half term this just now doesn’t seem possible, so unfortunately your journey will be shorter than normal at this time''.
     
  18. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz Member

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    The point at the south-end of the station was removed last year as part of a larger project that included replacement of the crossing surface and the future signalling of the station. This also meant we gained some much needed siding space by extending the Platform 2 line towards the crossing, giving us roughly an additional 1 and a half Mk1s of space. The point will be replaced in the hopefully not too distant future, but maintaining what will then be a headshunt in Platform 2.

    With regards to the line south of Bitton, planned engineering work over the winter months were on course to be completed on time, but due to unforeseen circumstances (not the fault of the railway's volunteers or staff I must add), this has put back the reopening of this section. While it is very frustrating for all concerned, we are still able to operate a service, and are trying our best to make the most of a bad situation and enhancing the experience as best we can.
     
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  19. theonlyadsrulz

    theonlyadsrulz Member

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    My video from today at the railway for the Chocolate Train running day.

     
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  20. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    Good news at last. Contractors have now started to repair the track between Bitton and Riverside. It'll be good to see trains running the whole length of the line in the near future. <BJ>
     

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