The Moseley Railway Trust is delighted to announce the release of a new departure for the Apedale site. Building on the infrastructure and vehicle restorations completed for the award-winning 2014 “Tracks to the Trenches” event, the Trust can now offer a Driver Experience day – with a difference.
Phil Robinson, Trust Chairman, explains “Many heritage railways offer Driver Experience days; we offer an immersive Military Railway Day. Participants are transported back in time nearly 100 years to northern France during 1917, where they sign-up with the 6th Light Railway Operating Company. After instruction, participants are given a series of challenges which the must meet by driving both steam and diesel locomotives around the railway network at Apedale. This network, of course, includes a replica First World War trench amongst the many possible destinations.”
During the First World War, these Light Railway Operating Companies provided vital logistic support to the front line troops. Using 2’0” gauge light railways and a wide variety of locomotives, these Companies moved everything an army needed to fight a war – from shells to food and water, not forgetting evacuating the wounded.
Perhaps fortunately, the outcome of a major European war does not hang in the balance this time – but participants in the Driver Experience should gain a real insight into military railways in the First World War – and have a lot of fun at the same time! The degree of authenticity can be tailored to suit participant’s wishes. For example, some may wish to have their midday meal as hard tack biscuits and a mess can full of tea in the Trench. Others may opt for the rather more comfortable option of a hot meal in the adjacent Café.
The Driver Experience can also tailored dependant on the previous experience and preferences of participants – within reason, most things can be arranged.