1) 41298 in the works. Courtesy of Phil Marsh

Preserved steam, real ale and railway walks on offer this Spring

Published 16th April 2013

Open for the summer! Preserved railways start main season operations around the UK.


Walk the Icknield Way railway line

The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway is offering the chance to walk along several miles of their track on a four mile round trip on April 27.

The walk is a fundraising event and sponsorship must be obtained or a donation made to the railway. The section of line to be walked is from Chinnor station and down the long 1 in 68 hill bank to Bledlow cricket club. Red Kites and always seen from the line and deer are fairly commonly seen as well. The walk starts at 10am and proper walking boots should be worn.

Walk The Wight Line….

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway (IOWSR) runs through five miles of beautiful scenery between Wootton and Smallbrook Junction, and along with the other major preserved railways, has now opened for the main operating season.

But, for those who enjoy walking on railway trackbeds, the IOWSR is offering a rare chance to walk the wight line (when no trains are running). This walk takes place on Saturday May 11 and gives walkers a unique viewpoint of the line running through unspoilt farmland and ancient woodland. The walk can be made conditional on being sponsored and raising funds for the IOWSR’s many ongoing projects.

There are several variants of the walk available and the whole event starts at Havenstreet station at 1030am. The more energetic can do a 10 mile round trip walk or if preferred, a shortened walk to either end of the line can be undertaken.

Railale for walkers as well!

The first weekend in May is also the IOWSR’s Real Ale Festival so walkers will be well placed to obtain refreshment after walking. Normal steam train fares apply but there is free admittance to the festival on saturday evening with a free bus connection to Ryde.

IOW Transport festival

The IOW Transport Festival takes place at Havenstreet on May 26 with a veritable plethora of wheeled exhibits booked to be present.

Ivatt to steam this September?

The overhaul/restoration of Ivatt Tank Engine No. 41298 will hopefully be completed this year in the railway’s locomotive works. Rail.co.uk was invited for a private visit to the works recently and also saw the huge progress being made on ‘Terrier’ No. W11 Newport which should also be back in traffic this year after a thorough rebuild using a new boiler.

Both engines are pencilled in for the September Gala and will draw huge crowds as the Ivatt has not been steamed for passengers for almost 50 years.

L&Y A Class to star at Embsay Branchline Weekend

The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway’s May 4-6 Branchline Weekend should feature four steam locomotives supported by seven diesels. The star turn will be Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway A class 0-6-0 No. 1300. The loco completed a visit to the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway on April 14 and moved to the E&BASR the following week. It will be based at the E&BASR for 12 months, but will visit the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway between mid-July and the end of August, encompassing the EVR’s July 20-21 Transport Weekend.

Other locos set to steam for the E&BASR’s event are SR ‘USA’ 0-6-0T No. 65 (on a long-term visit to the Yorkshire Dales from its Kent & East Sussex Railway base), RSH 0-6-0ST 'Austerity 7086/1943 Norman (on long-term hire from Southern Locomotives Ltd) and John Beesley’s Embsay resident Hunslet 0-6-0ST Beatrice (2705/1945).

Embsay Railway for Skipton?

The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway is now fundraising to extend their operations to Skipton station. There is an unused platform at the station and the small matter of a new connection at Embsay Junction needs to be completed.

London Underground 150 on Epping Ongar line

THE Epping Ongar Railway, the only section of a one-time London Underground route now operating as a heritage railway, is holding a ‘London Underground 150’ event over June 21-24 and June 28-July 1.

Themed around the 150th anniversary of the first steam-hauled train to run on the London Underground, naturally the star guest will be Buckinghamshire Railway Centre’s Metropolitan Railway 0-4-4T E class No. 1. The loco was restored to steam last year with finance provided by the London Transport Museum and formed the centrepiece of recent steam-hauled trains on a section of the LT underground network.

LT Museum’s Metropolitan Railway ‘Jubilee’ carriage No. 353, restored last year by the Ffestiniog Railway and also featured in the LU150 celebrations,) will also be present. Additional guest announcements are possible.

Written by by Phil Marsh and Cliff Thomas

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