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Duke of Westminster deceased - Eaton Hall Railway.

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 67379, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. 67379

    67379 New Member

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    BBC News announced today that the Duke of Westminster has died at the young age of 64. In recent years he was behind the revival of part of the Sir Arthur Heywood engineered 15" gauge line that was originally built to serve his home and estate at Eaton Hall near Chester. A replica of the 0-4-0T Katie was purchased and he managed to obtain and have rebuilt some items of original rolling stock. I was lucky enough to have first hand experience of the line when I was there with the replica Effie from Cleethorpes 10 years ago for a gala. How the line will be affected by his passing is of course too early to say.
     
  2. 67379

    67379 New Member

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    Title now amended - see below.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  3. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    Just come across your post! Perhaps a better title would of helped.
    Re the line one would hope it continues though I think I'm right in saying there hasn't been an open day for a while.
     
  4. 67379

    67379 New Member

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    Maybe if I'd have spelt it correctly it would have helped too. However - have found out how to edit/correct it! Has made me dig out a photo of myself with Effie at Eaton Hall about 9 years ago - the only time I have had to stop a train for a herd of deer.

    [​IMG]
    Photo: John Gott
     
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  5. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    I'd always hoped they would make more use of the line.
     
  6. andykeithharris

    andykeithharris New Member

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    Hmmm... Stopping for Deer. Not uncommon at Fawley - Deer, Wallabies, Emu's...
     
  7. 67379

    67379 New Member

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    It's a nice manageable set-up. Before I went there with Effie I'd visited to collect a rail bender which had been lent to the railway by the R&ER which was being further lent to the Cleethorpes Coast MR where I was driving at that time. The Eaton line was still under construction at this point. I had to pass my vehicle details to the Hall then on the day turn up at large estate-style grand gates at the end of a minor un-signposted lane. Making contact via a box on the gate, they were silently and automatically opened and I drove in as instructed to the admin block where I was met by a chap called Ken who was overseeing the reconstruction of the railway in addition to his role as the Duke's pilot. I was made very welcome, fed, watered and given a tour of the works in progress including the surviving carriage shed where the new rails had simply been re-connected to the originals that were still in the concrete floor. Katie and the stock were inside. There was also a derelict but sound loading dock with overall roof. (The original loco shed was up at and part of what is now the Grosvenor Garden Centre some distance away). A memorable occasion. The open day was very enjoyable, James Waterfield was there with Shelagh and the dynomometer car as well as the resident Katie. Plenty of "old school ties" with the Heywood Society, somebody supplied me with chocolate cake - and a good time was generally had by all.

    The deer. I have also had to do an emergency stop for a donkey on the LCLR on the old line at Humberston on a foggy day in the 1970's.
     
  8. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    I think that the last sentence of your initial post probably covered it; it is too early to say.
     
  9. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    It sounds very interesting, I particularly like that part of the original survives and is in use.
     
  10. GHWood

    GHWood New Member

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  11. RA & FC

    RA & FC Member

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    There has been a few open days this year I believe. Llangollens former CME is now involved with running the railway.
     
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  12. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    Thats good to know. Hadn't seen any mention of people visiting this year so I'm error believed it wasn't running.
     

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