// archives

Archive for 2012

Long Live the King!

What a great engine 6024 King Edward I is! I can remember as a kid the society being formed to buy it and the restoration years at Quainton Road.  Since then, it must have done as many miles in preservation as it did with the GWR/WR and it seems to have been ever-present on the […]

Winter in the Workshops

Early Spring, from a railway point of view is not so much about crocuses and daffodils (even though lots of our beautiful heritage railways have loads of both!) as it is about blokes in overalls and woolly hats beavering away inside gloomy draughty sheds. Engines and carriages have been dismantled, lumps of metal have been […]

F W Hawksworth – the frustrated innovator?

Didcot Railway Centre’s Facebook page reminds me that F. W Hawksworth, were he alive today, would be 127.   Born in 1884, he was the last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the GWR before it was swallowed by British Railways in 1948.  To many people he was at least a little bit dodgy in terms of his […]

Grounding the Dreams!

It’s funny how the energy shifts in groups and organisations just as much as it does in people. I’ve just been reading about the ups and downs of Manchester United over the years and the same wave motion seems to affect all groups.  My wife is an astrologer and she will tell you that the […]

4115, 5227 and 2861 – do they exist?

Time for a bit of philosophy. When does a locomotive exist and when does it cease to exist?  In the case of big prairie No 4115, together with 2-8-0′s No 5227 and 2861, it’s not entirely clear.  All 3 are now defined as ‘donor locomotives’ for the new-build Churchward 2-8-0 ‘Night Owl’ No 4709 and, […]

GWR Carriages for Sale

Ever fancied having your own GWR carriage?  Well, now’s your chance.  In a bid to find some space at its crowded Winchcombe C&W restoration base, the GWSR has put up for sale 5 vehicles, ranging from the newly restored 1948 Swindon Inspection saloon No 80970 to a couple of complete wrecks: unique Collett Coaches No […]

What extinct GWR locos should we recreate?

Soon (ish) we will have a new Grange, a County, a Saint and then we have a set!  There will be an example of every design of GWR 4-6-0 design in existence. I, for one, never saw a Saint on the network, although I do have memories of the odd Grange and County but if […]

South Devon workshop in full swing

A casual visit to the workshops of the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh this week shows what a success story their engineering facility is. Specialising in wheel tyre turning and fitting for locomotives, 10 people are employed full time, and the floor area has wheelsets from a wide variety of locomotives from all over the […]

PFP 5542 to Winchcombe not Minehead for 2012?

The ‘Planet’s Favourite Prairie’, 5542, is not going back to the West Somerset Railway after its bottom end refurbishments this winter. It seems that this is due to there being insufficient work for it at the Somerset line. This will be disappointing for those of its supporters that are based around the WSR but good […]

Phew! The GWSR looks north again

It has been a hellish 2 years for the GWSR.  The Gloucestershire Warwickshire, marketed as ‘The Honeybourne Line’ to draw attention to its long term intention of restoring the link with the Network Rail Cotswold Line at Honeybourne Junction, has been pulled sharply back in its expansionist inclinations with the 2 horrendous land slips at […]


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