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Battlefield line

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by triumphman, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Lezzloco

    Lezzloco New Member

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    Yeah that really narrows it down ! but one day, I will be able to say "I know, because I was there"

    I meant to post a pic of 419 some time ago, the sound of that air pump was the dogs
     

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  2. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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  3. banburysaint

    banburysaint Member

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    The beautiful 419 today. I was even up sold a ploughman's lunch on board on our trip to the Bosworth Field Centre [​IMG]

    Sent from my M2003J15SC using Tapatalk
     
  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Teddy has returned to the Battlefield line for overhaul.
     
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  5. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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  6. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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  7. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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  8. brennan

    brennan New Member

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    I made a visit to the Battlefield Line at the weekend. Quite an eye opener. I expect that many of us put life expired tools and equipment to one side on the basis that "it will come in handy one day" rather than throwing them into the skip but this railway takes it to extremes. Is there any chance at all that any of the the scrap engines, coaches, wagons, cranes, excavators, road vehicles, track parts, bits of buildings etc. etc. that are strewn all over the place will see a coat of paint again let alone being returned to use? Other than some abandoned lines in the 1960's I've never seen signal posts and arms in such a dilapidated condition. I suppose some of this is of historic interest to an enthusiast but what ever do the general public think? You can't make excuses about "Covid" , it's taken years of neglect to get into this state.

    On the positive side the staff were pleasant , the train ran to time but I came away wondering why prospective volunteers would want to get involved .

    I dropped into Bewdley on the way home. All was pristine. What a contrast.
     
  9. Sheff

    Sheff Resident of Nat Pres

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    When I retired some 12 years ago I called in, as it’s local, looking to volunteer in the MPD. There was a single guy in the yard, who informed there was a bloke came in sometimes to do a bit. Needless to say, I took my labour elsewhere.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  10. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    I must admit being surprised at your description of 'scrap being strewn all over the place' but then I might just be desensitised to a lot of it! The answer to your question of "are there plans" varies but for a number the answer is "yes". For example, the signal cabin on the entrance to Shackerstone station is earmarked for Shenton when this becomes signalled. The hastings unit in the sidings just after Shackerstone has a companion unit in the shed being overhauled, and will, I believe, take its place in the works once the first is completed. The notorious 45 is earmarked to leave, but I believe this is complicated because of the quantity of asbestos in the loco. The old sleepers around the first bridge are left from a massive track renewal project which took place over winter, but over-ran and so there was basically no time for tidy-up before the start of the running season. The Mk3s at Market Bosworth are due to become a refreshment cafe in a bay siding which is planned. A few of the wagons at Bosworth, I believe, are for sale.

    The railway does have plans, but is hampered by the fact that it has a very small pool of volunteers, which themselves have limited availability, which severely limits what the railway can do. There is no bespoke p-way team - most of the people who did the track renewal last winter, for example, spend the summer on the footplate, as guards, running the cafe at Shenton, etc. The fact that there are fewer people to do stuff means less gets done, which kind of creates a vicious circle which means the site looks less tidy and less appealing to new volunteers. That's a context and explanation, but not an excuse. It is a frustration of mine that the railway isn't as good as it could be in encouraging and recruiting new volunteers, but the optimist in me wants to believe that one day noises that are being made by people in high places will translate into positive action in this area.
     
  11. sonicboom

    sonicboom New Member

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    I'm a big fan of the Battlefield line, mostly because it isn't such a shiny, polished, high cost, corporate railway. It offers a great little run, with a lovely circular walk round the battlefield / ambion wood / canal at the end, and theres a cracking pub in Shackerstone itself. It's run by a small band of dedicated volunteers, and I've never had negative treatment from staff during a visit (something I can't say in trips to the West Somerset and Severn Valley in the last few years). It's clearly not a polished and perfect line, but then it's a challenge to break that negative circle where making more stuff happen makes the railway more attractive to people to volunteer etc, etc. Having said that, I do wish they'd finalise a home locomotive strategy. There was a time when the shed was full of a wide variety of interesting industrials. They've all been moved elsewhere over time and all that is left is Sir Gomer which the railway didn't seem to want to use and is now out of ticket and up for sale. And so everything is now hired in as a result.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
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  12. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    The current decision makers regarding loco policy have an attitude that most of the industrials they had (which were generally outside cylinders) are not best suited to the railway - apparently Sir Gomer was a challenge to fire at the best of times, and wasn't best kind to coaches either. It's an argument I can see the merits to. Once a buyer for Sir Gomer is found (once overhauled) the money is intended to be used to buy a more suitable locomotive for the railway. They'll be the first to admit that it's not ideal that they have to rely on hired locos (especially as the South Devon are no longer able to reliable provide a loco as they once were), but it is of their opinion that this enables them to offer a better product for passengers and crew, so it's worth it. It's like many things at the railway - there are plans, but it is partially dependent on the right things happening at the right time to resolve
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
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  13. alexl102

    alexl102 Member

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    I can see the logic about Sir Gomer which was designed to haul heavy and slow - by all accounts Nunlow of the VCT is lively at 25mph so I imagine Sir Gomer is also.

    Surely writing off all industrials isn't helpful - I know Austerities aren't the smoothest but they do a fine job for the IoW, K&ESR, Embsay and others.
     
  14. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    I never said they wrote off all industrials. I only said that they felt most of the industrials that were previously based at the railway (which were largely outside cylinders, and had small driving wheels, even for industrials) were not suitable. They are very happy with Austerities (Cumbria was a medium term resident for a few years) and are definitely on the list of engines it would be nice to have. Personally I think it's a shame they weren't able to get one of the RSH Uglies that the NHR sold to Epping, they would have been a good fit, even before you consider my own personal affection for them!
     
  15. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    RSH 0-6-0T "Meteor", late of the NYMR might be a good opportunity for them - it was built to run passenger services (miners train) on the Ashington system and for a while did a good job at the NYMR. It currently seems abandoned and unloved at Cranmore, so might be available to purchase.
     
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  16. William Fletcher

    William Fletcher New Member

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    About 25 years ago, I had a guest firing turn on Lamprot No.3, the Bagnell that was there at the time. It seemed totally capable of several round trips, and having never worked the line before, I found it quite a straightforward day.
     
  17. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Does look nice. Not sure how the board would feel about making an agreement for a loco that is not currently restored where they are not currently able to provide the restoration space for it though
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    As the last person to crew Meteor before its withdrawal with a cracked firebox, I've a soft spot for the loco. It was a very capable loco in its days on the NYMR and it was a sad set of circumstances that saw it depart, never to run again. It rode well at speeds up to 25mph (and above but I didn't say that!)
     
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  19. sonicboom

    sonicboom New Member

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    Lamport seemed to last the longest to be fair. I think I'm correct to remember when it's ticket came to an end, the then owners realised that human age wasn't on their side in attempting another overhaul and sadly put the locomotive up for sale and it consequently left the line.
     
  20. brennan

    brennan New Member

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    Is this not a problem for many of the smaller heritage railways that have limited financial and volunteer resources in that once hiring in locomotives becomes the norm the cost of the hire fees leaves nothing for repairs to the "home" fleet? The last time I spoke to the owner of Meteor it was "free to a good home" providing it would be put back in working order. (He had already been let down by one railway that I won't name). But, after being stored in a dismantled condition for so long how much of it remains? As for the cost of repairs well, think of a large number and double it and then add some more. Also, have you anyone / workshop facilities to do the job? When you number crunch that then hiring in something doesn't seem such a bad option if you are only running limited services.

    Is this the same loco that was used by the South Devon Railway many years ago as a static "Thomas"?
     

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