The Branch Line Society


Rugby Fixtures
Sunday 16th August 2015

Our esteemed Minor Railways Editor and his brother were amongst the 16 members who reported at 10.45 to the recently much extended Rainsbrook Valley Railway home of the Rugby Model Engineering Society founded in 1949. It was a bright and warm summer morning for our special train prior to normal public running. This takes place on the third Sunday of each month from 14.00 to 17.00 until October; it is not unusual to have 1,500 passengers in the three hours! After a very friendly welcome, drinks and biscuits, the party boarded our special of three coaches (later increased to four as it was not modelled on Indian Railways) on the turntable line; the first move was across this to the loading line. The end of the siding alongside the carriage shed was explored, formerly a through 'by-pass' line, followed by Road 1 to the carriage shed doors and the line leading up to the traverser that served Roads 2 to 8. After taking the connection to the main line the train made the three circuits of this extensive 7¼" layout required to run through all three station platform lines. The site has been extended from 4.5 to 12 acres and the ground level line from 1km to 1.34km, all laid to a very high standard. It is destined to be 2km when complete. The run is currently a continuous circuit looped back on itself; the loops crossing each other at different levels twice. The earthworks of the further extension loops and new second station had largely been completed and much track was laid.

A significant section of the original line covered on our July 2013 trip had been lifted between the two locations where the operational section of the extension loop now joins it. In about 18 months the 1,500 visitors will have a choice of two different ground level rides and the 3½"/5" elevated railway, which is also to be significantly changed and extended. One continuous ride would make the waiting and riding time too long, especially for managing queue lengths, although this will be possible via a new 'rare' connection. It was interesting to contrast the well established woodland nature of the original railway (built from 1991 onwards) with the open wild grassland of the extension area. With no other trains running, our group had very efficient comprehensive track cover within 50 minutes. Another visit will be needed when the layout is complete.

Meeting at Rugby's 4' 8½" gauge station for 12.30, Tom Gilby kindly (by popular request) led a similar railway trackbed walk to 21 July 2013 (reported on p35 of BLN 1192) for 12 participants to various artefacts in the area. On the Oxford canal they encountered 'CALLISTO' perhaps the only working narrow boat left that delivers coal and logs to canalside properties throughout the Midlands. Finishing at 15.45, some returned to Rainsbrook for two circuits of the elevated railway and another ground level trip before finishing at 17.00. There were then long queues for the six trains running, but everyone was happy!

Unlike our party, the public detrains at the arrivals section of each platform, (behind the train, before the P1 sign and barrier).
Trains then draw forward empty to re-load where it is stopped above.
[© Al Sheppard 2015]

The miniature is unusually shown on the OS 1:50,000 map.