// archives

Archive for 2013

Dreams and Realities

Preserving our railway heritage has always required (at least) two things: the refusal to accept ‘can’t-be-done’ as an answer to an idea and the ability to have the bloody-minded, tenacious patience to get down and get it done. There are lots of ‘can’t-be-dones’, no-hope projects that no sane person would ever give a second thought […]

What if WR Steam had lasted longer?

The end was in 1964/5. I should know: I have the last Ian Allan Combined Volume that had WR steam in it. I had moved to Dorset from Keynsham in 1962 and before I went, I had seen the last remnants of steam followed by the invasion of the Warships. As a child I was […]

Have you heard the one about the 3 CME’s?

After a period where they were all held in limbo after their deaths, the time came for the great railway Chief Mechanical Engineers to appear before God so that they could be judged before, hopefully, being elevated to heaven. The first the present himself was Sir Nigel Gresley. Confident that his contribution to human progress […]

Once in a lifetime. I suppose…

In the end, despite being a bit grumpy about the whole thing, 3 of us GWR folk from the Glos Warks Steam Dept. made it up to York to see the A4 fest, ‘Mallard 75′ yesterday. And we had to admit that it was one of those unique occasions that you felt glad that you […]

Join the ‘Everything GWR’ Community!

The GWR did not die in 1948 when the railways were nationalised, and indeed the name has come back very strongly during the privatised era.  Today, the spirit of Brunel is possibly stronger than it has ever been and the electrification of what everyone calls the Great Western mainline is bringing a new energy to […]

8 Castles (not 6 A4s) for ‘GWR 180′?

Our Facebook page has been glowing red-hot with ideas for a Great Western gathering to rival the limelight that 6 LNER A4s have been basking in lately. Not that we have anything against A4s, you understand. We acknowledge the creativity of their designer, their iconic art deco looks. In fact we think they look pretty […]

NRM to close – scaremongering or economic reality?

I probably should not be shocked by seeing headlines that suggest the NRM could be under threat of closure. Museums are never very profitable and when you have a cost-obsessed government that wants to cut anything they can find in the public sector that is not profitable, they make a fine and easy target. And […]

141 down, 72 to go…

With Standard Class 4 No 76084 coming back to life this summer, there are now 141 engines that have been rescued from Barry and returned to steam. This leaves 72 that were originally rescued, of which 29 are of Swindon origin. Three of these (2861, 5227, 7927) seem to have paid the ultimate sacrifice and […]

The GWR: back on track – Big time!!!

I joined the Steam Dept at Toddington on the GWR about 5 years ago as a bit of a newbie. I’d been a GWR and steam enthusiast for as long as I can remember but it was only then that I started to really get to grips with what it is all about. The trouble […]

Southern Migrant arrives on GWR!

I have nothing against Mr R E Maunsell, you understand.  I am quite keen on things Southern and one of my enduring memories from childhood is that of loads of Bullied engines thrashing up the GWR line from Weymouth at the end of steam in 1967 before they took the branch (ha!) line to Dorchester […]


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