© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
Two venues in one day - Toddington, for
a ride on the now-extended North
Gloucestershire Narrow Gauge Railway,
in the company of our old friend "Taffy",
and a visit to the Evesham Vale Light
Railway, to see two 15" gauge
locomotives in action.
We had visited both lines previously - but had
failed to see steam on the narrow gauge at
Toddington. The line only seems to run on
Sundays in summer, and last time we had been, a
bright yellow Hunslet diesel had been in action.
"Chaka's Kraal", the rather nice 0-4-2T,
had been in steam the previous few
weeks, but was temporarily out of action. Huh!
Recently, the railway press had mentioned Taffy's visit,
along with some scheduled dates for operation - so off
The line had doubled in length since our last visit.
Running from the car park, it skirts the western edge of
the yard to a depot about 400 yds away. This was the
southern terminus previously - today, after a pause to
visit the depot and view the locomotives, we continued
on down the Didbrook extension, which ends in a run-
round loop, with no facilities for passengers to leave
the train. The return trip runs straight back to the
northern station beside the car park - a pleasant-enough
run, and probably quite far enough, given that the
coaches all seem to have square wheels....
Toddington Narrow Gauge Railway
Taffy at Toddington
A trip down the line and a Toddington departure
There was still some afternoon left - we headed for Evesham,
where, as well as the railway, there are shops and other
facilities which would keep the "household
authorities" amused for a while... We'd been
here a couple of times before too - on
both occasions, 5751 "Prince William"
had been in action. I have to admit, I
find the miniature locomotives based
on narrow-gauge practice much more
satisfying - I suppose because they are
less obviously models.
Today I was in luck - there were two such
locomotives out on the line. "St. Egwin" was built for
the line at the Exmoor Steam Railway's workshops,
and is a little unusual in that it has been built as an
0-4-0, with side tanks and a tender. The other active
locomotive was "Dougal", built by Severn-Lamb in
1970 for the railway at Longleat. "It could hardly
manage three coaches when we got it". It was doing
Evesham Vale Light Railway
Dougal and St Egwin in action on the 15" gauge line