howard has written 117 posts for Everything GWR

Rivalries old and new

Stimulated by the imminent return to steam of Flying Scotsman, we GWR types really cannot resist wondering how good this most expensively refurbed machine will be. It should be very good, especially in terms of the money spent etc etc… but my basic question is:  is this latest incarnation of Gresley’s classic design as big […]

Ashburton – where next?

The Friends of Ashburton Station are ploughing on with huge determination in their attempts to both slow down and hopefully to reverse the Dartmoor National Park Authority decision to destroy the last remaining Brunel branch terminus for a few shops, housing and car parking. They have had another success in that they have been able […]

Ashburton – keeping up the pressure

The DNPA did what we asked! They deferred making a decision on what they call the ‘Chuley Road Masterplan’…but only until 7th July.  This plan, that will save or kill, once and for all, the Brunel gem that is Ashburton station, is in their hands so we must keep up the pressure to help them […]

Electrifying Brunel’s Railway

This is a fascinating video of a lecture given to the Society of Antiquarians of London by William Filmer-Sankey, an architectural historian and archaeologist with Alan Baxter & Associates LLP, a multidisciplinary design consultancy.  His company has been contracted to safeguard the heritage of Brunel’s railway as electrification takes place. The electrification of the Great […]

Steaming to Success: the 6880 boiler appeal

At the beginning of the SSS4 Gala last weekend, we spoke to Quentin McGuinness, chairman of the 6880 Betton Grange project based at the Llangollen Railway and his interview is below. We also watched work in progress, spoke to other members of the team and we will publish another video showing work being carried out […]

Famous email from Gooch to Brunel !!

Gooch’s Historic letter to Brunel – A Piece of Paper That Changed A Town’s Destiny (Pasted from this website, with thanks: a great site on early GWR history) Probably the most important piece of paper in Swindon’s history was the letter that Daniel Gooch wrote to Isambard Kingdom Brunel on 13th September, 1840. In it, […]

Sir Daniel Gooch – the man who really built the GWR

Yesterday, I took a trip on Mr Brunel’s railway up to Paddington and mused upon the appearance of posts and holes in the ground for the masts for electrification wires, bridge rebuilding and the transformation that is taking place to electrify Isambard’s railway.  I marvelled at the magnificent vision that Brunel had for this railway […]

Ashburton Station: Your Support Works!

Never let it be said that a letter writing campaign does not make any difference! If you emailed the Dartmoor Planning Authority to tell them that we want South Devon Railway trains back in Ashburton station you will have received details of the now significantly amended Masterplan for the station and surrounding area. The accompanying […]

Steam returns to Ashburton…. almost!

The Friends of Ashburton Station are keeping up their relentless campaign to not only save the Brunel era terminus but to bring trains back to it.  The latest genius move has been to get agreement in principle  with the South Devon Railway to bring an engine and carriage back to the station once again. It […]

‘Out on the 55: a little slice of heaven!’

Small prairie No 5542 is one of my very favourite engines and on Saturday I was out with her on the GWSR’s Santa trains. I still haven’t passed out as a fireman (bit of a slow learner on this stuff…) but I had a good go ‘on the shovel’ on the last trip and enjoyed […]


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