The Branch Line Society


Rocks by Rail, Cottesmore, Saturday 20th April 2013

Fifty-four participants proceeded on to Rocks by Rail at Cottesmore to enjoy unusual lines at this fascinating industrial setting. With complementary tea, coffee and biscuits provided and a short presentation of thanks delivered, participants split into groups to either traverse the main line behind AB2088 0-4-0ST (1940) "Sir Thomas Royden" or complete the depot road and numerous sidings both sides of the main running line in the cab of RR10204 0-4-0DH (1965) "Jean". Passengers were carried on the steam service in Guards Van AD49006.

AB 2088 on tour. [© Jim Sellens 2013]

Due to the nature of the location, members were able to obtain fascinating industrial landscape photographs and were free to explore the site including storage sidings and the loco shed. With 27 locomotives on site, there was much to study! The highlights of the main line operation included use of the new alignment for the passenger platform and proceeding past the ordinary passenger limit of operation by almost reaching the farm crossing beyond the former Oakham Canal. At the other end of the line, the Andrew Barclay engine proceeded the full length of the quarry branch, being just short of the "stop block" as a result of a stored 4-wheel wagon.

Cottesmore Quarry Seminar. [© Jim Sellens 2013]

A few members stayed to the end of the day and were able to observe and enjoy complex shunting manoeuvres, including the chance to ride in RH421436 0-4-0DE (1958) "Elizabeth". Thanks are due to Gary Brown and all involved at the railway who provided a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, Bert Ellery for the souvenir tickets, Peter Scott and Martyn Brailsford for their excellent track maps and Steve Best from for permission to supply his comprehensive stocklist, including over 65 wagons. The Society will be delighted to re-visit the railway again once further works are completed, and immediate opportunities may present themselves in 2013 as re-building continues.

Elizabeth, RH 421436. [© Jim Sellens 2013]

Barclay 0-4-0ST #2048 of 1940 hauling a BLS Brake van charter at 'Rocks by Rail', Cottesmore. [© Iain Scotchman 2013]

Jean with Headboard. [© Jim Sellens 2013]