Sunday, 22 July 2012

Foxfield Railway Summer Steam Gala (and a 'Streak' at Alderley!)

I've heard a lot about this little railway and thought I'd pay it a visit. But just after leaving home I stopped near the Alderley bypass to watch a steam special go by.

A 'Streak' (Gresley A4 Pacific) near Alderley this morning. 'Union of South Africa', which has recently been re-built at Crewe, was hauling the North Wales Coast Express.

This weekend is the Summer Steam Gala at Foxfield, and after I'd found the railway (not easy!) and bought my ticket I caught the train from the start of the line at Caverswall Road near Blythe Bridge in Staffordshire, to Dilhorne.

The line was built originally to transport coal from Foxfield colliery to the North Staffordshire rail line at Blythe Bridge. Only the section from Caverswall Road to Dilhorne is used for passenger trains, the final section to Foxfield (which has banks a steep as 1 in 19) is currently used only for freight trains. I (unexpectedly) met Matt from the MoSI railway on the platform, watched a freight train depart from Dilhorne, and another arrive from Foxfield, before catching the train back down to Caverswall Road. Matt managed to blag his way onto the brake van to get a ride to Foxfield!

 0-6-0 saddle tank 'Ugly' (unfortunate name!) backs down onto the passenger train at Dilhorne, having come off the goods train in the background which it has hauled from Foxfield

The passenger train departs Dilhorne for Caverswall Road

This video shows the arrival of a freight train at Dilhorne, headed by 'Whiston', as it climbs the bank from Foxfield

 The freight train at Dilhorne. The fireman has just put a fresh round of coal onto his fire, hence the smoke!

The next passenger train (double headed by Bagnall no.2 and Bellerophon) arrives from Caverswall Road. These locomotives will take the freight train back to Foxfield, while the green saddle tank 'Whiston' will take the passenger train back to Caverswall Road.

Pictured from the passenger train the two locos (Bellerophon nearest camera), come off that train ready to run forward onto the freight

No.2 and Bellerophon seen from my passenger coach window couple onto the freight train. We will meet these two engines shortly at Foxfield.

The passenger train took me back to Caverswell Road where I boarded the free shuttle bus to Foxfield colliery, the other end of the line. Where I met these two again!

No.2 and Bellerophon at Foxfield

Foxfield colliery site

A study of Bellerophon, a locomotive I last met at the Keithley & Worth Valley Railway on the Styal Mill trip to that line (see the blog entry 9th October 2010)

The 1901 Dubbs crane tank at Foxfield

Before leaving Foxfield on the bus to return to Caverswall Road I videoed Bellerophon and Bagnall No.2 storming the 1 in 19 bank out of Foxfield bound for Dilhorne

Finally, I saw this arrive at the railway. An apparently road-legal racing sidecar outfit!


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