The Moseley Railway Trust has reached the end of another successful running season. Highlights of the year are many, but the Stanhope Gala in May was particularly well-received. A new event for 2017 was the Diesel Delights event in October. Of particular note is that this event was conceived and planned by a small group of the railway’s younger members. During this weekend, no fewer than 18 of the railway’s fleet of diesel and petrol locomotives had an outing on the passenger train – a figure which puts many Diesel Gala events on standard gauge railways to shame! 2017 was the first time an event focussed on the non-steam locomotives at Apedale had been run – but it seems set to be a firm fixture in the calendar in future years.
Phil Robinson, the Trust Chairman said “We are delighted with how the Diesel Delights event went. The weekend was a real testament to the abilities of our younger members, who showed that the have the organisation abilities to run a significant event – well done to all!”
The Diesel Delights weekend also saw three locomotives visit Apedale from the West Lancashire Light Railway at Hesketh Bank – a Lister petrol engine (which used to work at a tileworks near to Apedale), a Hunslet and a Motor Rail. This was part of an “exchange deal” which saw the Apedale-based Kerr, Stuart steam loco “Stanhope” return to Hesketh Bank for a few weeks. “Stanhope” ran regularly at Hesketh Bank in the years prior to the Moseley Railway Trust establishing a permanent railway at Apedale.
“Stanhope” is now approaching the end of its current 10-year boiler certificate; it is currently planned that the locomotive will operate the popular Santa Specials at Apedale prior to work commencing on the locomotive’s overhaul. The loco has been well cared for, and it is hoped that it will be back steaming at Apedale before too long.
The 2018 season at Apedale will see the usual array of special events, but the centrepiece of the year will be the third Tracks to the Trenches event, on July 13, 14 and 15 2018. These large and justly popular events mark the First World War Centenary and the role that light railways played in that conflict.
The Trust would be pleased to hear from organisations interested in sponsorship opportunities at this high-profile event, and also from potential exhibitors of items relevant to the 1914-1918 period.
More details of the Trust and the Apedale Valley Light Railway can be found on Facebook or on the website www.mrt.org.uk.