The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to announce the details of the first two visiting steam locomotives for the Tracks to the Trenches 2016 military railways event.
Coming from its normal base at the West Lancashire Light Railway is Kerr, Stuart No.2405, built in 1915. This locomotive is the oldest survivor of the type known as the Joffres and this locomotive carries that name. The type is named after Marshal Joffre – known as Papa – one of the key leaders of the French military effort, especially in the early part of the conflict.
This visit will re-unite this locomotive with the Joffre-class locomotive resident at Apedale, No.3014. The Moseley Railway Trust is very grateful to the owners of Kerr, Stuart 2405 for their assistance and support in facilitating their locomotive’s attendance at Tracks to the Trenches.
Making a very welcome return visit to Apedale is Hudswell, Clarke no. 1643. Although built after the end of World War One – in 1930 – it is of the same design as the “G” class Hudswell steam locos which saw considerable military service. Again, there is an Apedale home-fleet loco of the same design – no.1238 of 1916 – and every opportunity will be taken to pair these twins together. We wish to express our thanks to Graham Lee, Henry Noon and the team at the Statfold Barn Railway for making this locomotive available.
Sadly, however, the War Office Locomotive Trust’s Hunslet 4-6-0 locomotive no. 1215 of 1916 will not, after all, be able to attend the event. Restoration is continuing on the locomotive, but a number of delays have been encountered – as is inevitable when restoring 100 year old machines. The owners and the Moseley Railway Trust have therefore decided that the best course of action is to ensure that the best possible restoration is carried out on the locomotive, rather than rushing to meet the May 2016 deadline.
The event organising team believe that, despite the regrettable absence of Hunslet 1215, Tracks to the Trenches 2016 is shaping up to be every bit as good as the now legendary 2014 event. It is planned that further announcements will be made in the coming months as further major visiting exhibits are confirmed.
Tracks to the Trenches 2016 will be open 12-1730 on Friday May 13 2016 and 1030-1730 on Saturday & Sunday 14 & 15 May 2016. Admission prices are Adult £9, Child £4, Family (2 + 2) £20. A limited number of Access All Areas passes will be available, priced at £30. The event has a dedicated Facebook page and its own website. Tickets are available in advance via this website.
The Trust would be delighted to hear from potential exhibitors with suitable period vehicles or other exhibits – get in touch via the above website, or the main Trust site.