It’s been a year or two…
Back to Statfold
© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2022
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
10 September 2022
balloon loop before changing his mind and returning to Oak Tree. I’m not sure why. I should mention the tram, the grey Motor-Rail (a repainted Charlie?) chugging around the garden railway - and a new loop and platform serving the main entrance to the museum building. I should also refer to the rest of today’s entertainment. This event was of course billed as a "Road, Rail and Ale" weekend. I'd ruled out the ale (having to drive home again later), and the road was of limited interest - though the traction engines and steam rollers were nice enough, and there were some very familiar buses, including a couple of blue and cream Birmingham Corporation vehicles on the shuttle to Tamworth railway station. Perhaps less is more at Statfold? I counted just eight steam locomotives in action ('just'! That's still more than any other heritage railway today, I suspect) but there was plenty going on along the 2' gauge metals, and some fine sights despite less-than-perfect weather. An enjoyable day out! Link: Statfold Barn Railway
I last visited the railway in March 2018. I had originally intended to visit in 2020, but things went wrong that year. What a change there’s been since 2018! Car parking is now on the other side of the workshops, so that the main entry to the railway is through the huge narrow gauge roundhouse and museum - truly a grand entrance. Looking around the roundhouse, I realised that the great majority of the familiar regular performers were standing around the turntable - smart, clean and shiny but not in steam. What was running on the railway? ‘Less than on previous visits’ is the answer. Two passenger train sets were operating on the original line, passing each other at Oak Tree. At the far end of the line, trains ran around the balloon loop without stopping, and there was no public access beyond the Oak Tree loops. On the newer line, a demonstration freight ran in the capable hands of Marchlyn (Avonside 2067 of 1933) and Cloister (Hunslet 542 of 1891), but only between Statfold terminus and Oak Tree. Beyond, light engine Isaac (Bagnall 3023 of 1953) periodically ran down towards the
Army target trolley! (Wickham 3170 of 1943) Another major restoration project... Many old friends in the roundhouse Trent AEC Regal Howard (Hunslet 1842 of 1936) The Burton and Ashby tram dwarfs Cloister Top-deck aerial view! Oak Tree Isibutu (Bagnall 2820 of 1945) at Oak Tree Tram driver K1 (Beyer Peacock 5292 of 1909) at Statfold Junction CSR 19 (Hudswell Clarke 1056 of 1914) departs Motor-Rail in the garden Polishing the Davenport (1650 of 1918) Midland Red - how we remember them! The freight arrives at the terminus Birth of a new loco: Juliette will be a quarry Hunslet K1 at the terminus The Davenport arrives at Oak Tree Statfold spectacle Howard on the bank Isibutu departs from Oak Tree Marchlyn on the freight Marchlyn on the freight Isaac at Oak Tree (whatever are they burning?) Cough cough! "Road" - traction engines in the field Road steam: rollers and traction engines Birmingham buses - memories of student days...