The Branch Line Society


Forest of Dean, Sunday 4th August 2013

Group photo at Coleford.

Starting the day in horrendous rain at Tintern (Parva) Old Station, members were understandably disappointed when the operator advised he could not use his 7.25 inch gauge battery electric locomotive to haul the train in such conditions. However, the engines were posed for photography and the bogie riding truck was promptly assembled for track coverage with hand propulsion! Taking it in turns, the line was completed in full including the turntable at the signal box end and the run round loop at River Glade High Level as far as the welded shut point blade. Members then retreated to the award winning and rather excellent coffee shop in the former station building or the ex-BR Mark II coaches which are in use as a shop / information point.

Lister 40407 Pylon.

Next to Coleford GWR Museum for a very rare opportunity to ride both the standard gauge line and the miniature railway . The plan was to use the straight track on the "platform" face once the industrial steam locomotive was confirmed as available at the eleventh hour, so to enjoy a footplate ride both in the shed and on/off the turntable was a big bonus - a little hand propulsion with everyone inside the 4 wheel saloon got us all the end of the line too! On the 7.25 inch miniature, we completed the "ordinary circuit", the inner loop and secured traversal of the depot road to the shed doors. Again a fascinating place with more non-working models on site than working locos! Well worth a visit.

[© Jonathan Perks]

Finally, we made the short journey to the Perrygrove Railway for our re-run of last year's fixture. This was easy to red –pen; we just altered everything black to red as we literally completed 100% of the complex layout. Arriving ahead of time members were able to enjoy a complimentary ride on the service trains. We then commenced the fixture at the depot and completed all stubs from the turntable whilst sat in a Dynamometer car! Traction wise we managed to ride behind five locos, travel in nearly the entire coaching stock collection and use two of the wagon fleet. To illustrate in full the extremely complex series of moves, shunting, run rounds, reversals etc etc would require almost an edition of BLN itself, so the finer detail is now available on the website. Plans are already being discussed for a 2014 visit, perhaps with a novel twist.

[© Jonathan Perks]

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