by Cliff Thomas

Polish steam visitor to Toddington’s ‘other’ railway

Published: 24th August 2014

Tourska at Toddington until October

Visitors to the superb standard gauge Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway will be aware that on the far side of the car park from the standard gauge tracks at Toddington station there is another railway.

Missed it? Well, how about putting that right on October 4-5 when the 2ft gauge North Gloucestershire Railway is holding a gala with four locos – two of which are visitors – in steam.

Polish steam on view

Arguably topping the bill is Polish-built 2ft gauge Chrzanow LAS 3512/1957 Tourska. The loco arrived at Toddington in August, should appear at the gala and is likely to stay at the NGR for at least a year, possibly longer.

Tourska worked at Dobrzelin sugar factory in Poland until 1984 then was displayed at the Bakkersmollen museum (Baker’s Mill museum) in Belgium until purchased by its present owner in 2007. Following full restoration at a private workshop, it was unveiled in steam in Britain in September 2010 and has only appeared at Hollycombe and as a guest at a Statfold Barn Railway event several years ago. Until moving to the NGR it has been based at a private site in Hampshire.

In addition to Tourska, the NGR’s October 4-5 gala will feature a guest appearance by Kerr Stuart 0-4-2ST Stanhope from the Moseley Railway Trust collection at the Apedale Valley Light Railway. Toddington-based locos to be in steam are Arn. Jung 0-4-0WT Justine and Henschel & Sohn 0-8-0T ‘Brigadelok’ (14968/1917) ex-Sena Sugar Estates No. 15.

Narrow gauge at Toddington

The North Gloucestershire Railway was formed in 1985 as the successor to the Dowty Railway Preservation Society (founded in 1962) which had operated standard and narrow gauge lines at Ashchurch. The Society moved to the present site at Toddington, alongside the standard gauge Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway yard, in 1983.

The North Gloucestershire Railway Company decided to concentrate on narrow gauge and sold off the standard gauge equipment. A base was built up which includes a 2ft gauge running line to a run-round at Dilbrook, two stations, a signalbox and a loco shed/workshop which houses various exhibits for the public to view.

Of course (these things depend on one’s point of view) visitors to the North Gloucestershire Railway should bear in mind there is also a terrific standard gauge railway based at Toddington which is well worth checking out while you are there!

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