Friends Reunited

2019 sees the 50th anniversary of the school club which led to today’s Moseley Railway Trust and Apedale Valley Light Railway. 1969 saw the first horse tram operation at the Cheadle (Manchester) school. In 1970, it was realised that the school railway society needed a locomotive to relieve the burden on that horse. In July of 1970, Colin Saxton located a redundant 20DL Ruston diesel loco at a brickworks at Crowle, Lincolnshire. £50 secured the loco plus wagons, track and spares. The loco, number 354013 of 1953, was taken back to the Cheadle school, overhauled in the Craft Workshops, and formed the backbone of the railway operation in the early years. Predictably, it became loco No.1. However,No.1 was built to run on the unusual 20 inch gauge. In time, it was realised that, to expand, the railway would need to change to the more-common 24 inch. It not possible to re-gauge No.1 and so it was sold in 1977. The loco went back into industry, to Chemical and Insulating Co in Darlington. Eventually, this railway closed, and No.1 entered preservation for a second time, being cared for by the Darlington Railway Preservation Society (DRPS).However, the Moseley Railway Trust never forgot the original loco, and we are delighted that the DRPS have agreed to loan us No.1. The loco is part-way through an overhaul, which will now be completed by Moseley Railway Trust volunteers at Apedale. The Moseley Railway Trust would like to express it thanks to the Darlington Railway Preservation Society for their help and support with this loan.The Trust still has members who learnt to drive locomotives on No.1 back in the 1970s, and the re-union has prompted many fond memories.Although not yet operational, this humble Ruston will be the centre of attention at the Trust’s 50th anniversary weekend, September 21 & 22, at Apedale, Staffordshire.