The Circle of Life

Whilst the next major stage of the Apedale development plan is due to start very shortly, there are a couple of projects that have recently completed. Last weekend provided an opportunity the show them off as part of our industrial trains weekend. Firstly, of course, the Kerr Stuart Joffre locomotive (No 3014 of 1916) had another opportunity to stretch its legs, this time paired with a couple of authentic World War One wagons. These were our Class H tank wagon and a newly-assembled Class D drop side wagon (although the latter has still to have its sides fitted). The weekend not only provided the last opportunity for visitors who could not make our gala weekend for whatever reason (North Wales Superpower indeed!) to see the new loco in action, but also allowed our staff a little bit more experience with some of the different aspects of its operation. One of these was the Detroit hydrostatic lubricator, an original fitting on this type of locomotive. Having located a suitable set of instructions for this and remanufactured some of the missing fittings, this magical device seemed to operate perfectly. This was probably a good thing as the non-original mechanical lubricator (known for their greater reliability) seemed to have stopped working altogether.

Additionally we took the opportunity on the Saturday to show off our newly-restored “Apedale Apprentice” wagons. These wagons, originally from ICI’s Shevington explosives works, have been fully restored over the last few months by our junior members and were operated behind a 20DL Ruston locomotive from the same location. The photo shows two of the apprentices, Nathan and James, posing proudly next to their completed train set.


Next comes the rather more daunting project of constructing our museum building. If you fancy posing proudly next to this or another of our projects, we’d love to hear from you. Follow this link for details.