// archives

Archive for 2014

A GWR Super Train?

The Didcot Facebook post yesterday about 5069′s exploit on the Ocean Liner Special 60 years ago set me buzzing! These wonderful vehicles were another example of one-up-man-ship on the part of the GWR as they set standards of comfort that went beyond the use of Pullmans on other railways. Eight vehicles were built, all named […]

Who is this 1838 GWR shareholder? Can anyone help?

This was sent to me today by antiquarian book dealer, Patrick Pollack. It shows an entry in an anonymous cash-book for 1838 where the owner has bought shares in the GWR! So, who could it be?  It must be someone with considerable wealth and, of course, this was the year the GWR opened so it […]

The Long Marston Military Railway Centre

It is a huge pleasure to see this group starting up at the northern end of ‘our’ railway, the Glos Warks Railway, for two main reasons. The first one is very personal: when I was 15 and forced to be a member of the school’s cadet force in Dorchester, the only silver lining in what […]

The GWR at the NRM

I had a great day at the NRM, travelling up from Bristol, courtesy of Cross Country Trains. It was a bit of a mini adventure to venture into Midland territory and then up onto the Great Northern after so long in the South West. I must get out of my chocolate and cream comfort zone […]

The Pioneers of the new Railway Age

I bought a copy of ‘Beating Beeching’ at W.H. Smith’s the other day.  If you haven’t see it, it showcases a number of schemes where reinstatement of railway lines closed by Dr Beeching in the 1960s has already been effective either by independent heritage railways or by local partnerships working with local authorities and Network […]

92214 ‘Thunderer’.

I notice that the President of the GCR, Mike Gregory, cannot decide what to call his recently purchased 9F, 92214, which until recently was based at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, named ‘Cock of the North’ and lined out in BR black livery.  Not entirely authentic, perhaps, but it worked. However, Swindon minded you are, […]

In the Twinkling of an Eye

It was all over in 35 seconds. A motley group of folk shuffled together on Keynsham station on a dull grey Saturday afternoon. Some had cameras and others didn’t. You might have thought they were waiting for a train to Bristol. But a Sprinter growled past unnoticed and all eyes were on the far distance, […]

Save a GWR station canopy at Gloucester!

It is inevitable as time marches on that the number of traditional steam age GWR artefacts on the ‘big’ railway is going to decline.  There will come a time when there is precious little left out there for heritage railways to salvage and building that authentic heritage look will require everything to be built from […]

5028 Llantilio Castle – an ‘unsung’ Castle

We all know 5029 Nunney Castle, a celebrity engine that we are all looking forward to seeing on the mainline again this year. But how many of us know much about the engine that came before it in the sequence: 5028 Llantilio Castle? Relatively unknown and in the shadow of its surviving sister, 5028 became […]

The Other Way to Plymouth

The pictures of the demolition of the line at Dawlish in the storms is quite a shock, even though we know how vulnerable that line is to the weather. It also shows graphically that with more unpredictable weather likely to become the norm in the years to come as our climate changes, the South West […]


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