The Moseley Railway Trust (MRT) proudly announces the completion of a key element of its continuing development of the site at Apedale. A large storage shed, known as Aurora North, has allowed the Trust to move its collection of narrow gauge locomotives from storage at a number of sites and bring them together -literally under one roof – for the first time in ten years.
Phil Robinson, the Chairman of the Moseley Railway Trust said “Since coming onto the Apedale site in 2006, the Trust has made great strides in developing the site. The completion of the Aurora North building marks a major milestone for us”. There are now more than fifty locomotives on site at Apedale, mainly 2’0″ gauge but other gauges are represented also. The locomotives are mainly diesel or petrol engined, but there are also steam locos, such as the 1916 Hudswell Clarke locomotive which the MRT imported from Ghana earlier this year. The World War One Hunslet locomotive owned by the War Office Locomotive Society is also now at Apedale.
Progress has continued with developing other aspects of the site, although construction of the main passenger-carrying railway has been delayed whilst issues with footpath diversions are resolved with the support of Staffordshire County Council. Nonetheless, the MRT still hopes to open the initial phase of the railway during 2009.
The public will get a chance to see the progress made by the MRT at Apedale when the Trust holds its first public open days on September 13 and 14. This weekend will also see the first operation of steam locomotives on site when the Kerr Stuart locomotive “Stanhope”, part of the MRT collection, will visit from its normal base at the West Lancashire Light Railway at Hesketh Bank, near Southport. “Stanhope” and other locomotives will be used to haul demonstration trains. The public will be able to see the MRT’s collections, and there will be visiting attractions such as model railways, vintage vehicles, a miniature railway and sales stands.
The open days will be from 11.00 to 17.00 each day, and admission is £4 adults, £2 children under 16 and OAPs. The Apedale site is adjacent to the Apedale Heritage centre, near the village of Chesterton, Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire. The site is 10 minutes from Junction 16 on the M6, and is just off the A34.