Saturday, 14 February 2015

A visit to the MoSI railway

It's been a while since I went to the Museum of Science & Industry (MoSI) in Manchester to the railway where I'm volunteer footplate crew, so I decided to go today even though not rostered on the loco.

Please click on any picture for a larger image.

'Agecroft No.1' at Liverpool Road Station, MoSI, today. This locomotive spent its working life at Agecroft colliery transporting coal to the nearby power station. It arrived at MoSI several years ago as little more than scrap, and was rebuilt by MoSI volunteers to as-new condition.

This railway is under threat from Network Rail's proposed Ordsall Chord railway line, which is projected to cut across the eastern end of the MoSI site truncating the railway at the 1830 'Liverpool & Manchester Railway' original station, the oldest railway station in the world. This would reduce the length of the MoSI line to a hundred metres or so, taking only a few seconds to cover. The present 'Y' shaped railway offers passengers a round trip of around ten minutes, so one fears for the railway's survival. A dwindling number of dedicated volunteers are keeping services running for now, albeit with days when operations are cancelled due lack of staff.

Here's a video of 'Agecroft' departing Liverpool Road Station today on a public train trip. Bev driving, Mike on the shovel:

 Our guard, Richard locks the doors of the passenger coaches before departure. Next week is half term for local schools, so a fairground has been set up in the Museum yard to attract families.

At Ordsall ground frame, fireman Mike changes the points for us to propel the train back down the 'Pineapple Line', the other arm of the 'Y' shaped layout 

Looking back from the guard's seat at the back of the train as 'Agecroft' propels it down the Pineapple Line, the futuristic Beetham Tower dominating the sky line. The centre rail is to prevent the train falling off the viaduct in the event of a derailment.

In the Power Hall, MoSI's other steam locomotive, replica 1830 Liverpool & Manchester Railway Stephenson's 'Planet' is nearing completion of its winter overhaul 

The wooden boiler cladding is being replaced as the original was rotted. Through the window of the Power Hall can be seen the Museum's Great Western Warehouse.


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