Tracks to the Trenches finale
Apedale: best of three
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
14 July 2018
The Moseley Railway Trust has a very substantial collection of narrow-gauge railway equipment at its Apedale Valley Railway. Its four steam locomotives all date from WW1 - today, at its last and biggest “Tracks to the Trenches” event, three of those locomotives would be in operation. There would be visitors too - two of similar age, and one newcomer… The weekend’s star attraction (which is not to denigrate the role played by other residents and visitors) was for me the newly- restored Hunslet 4-6-0T no 303 (Hunslet 1215 of 1916), out of use since its active service ended in 1967 in Australia. No 303 made an interesting comparison with visiting no 778, the Baldwin 4-6-0T from Leighton Buzzard. There’s another visibly (slightly) similar duo -
in wartime grey, resident “Joffre” 0-6-0T and visiting Henschel “Brigadelok” 0-8-0T no 1091. Lastly, Apedale’s no 104, Hudswell Clarke 1238 of 1916 was in action on the “main line”, while diminutive visitor “Edgar”, a newly-built replica of a Decauville 0-4-0T, chuffed about in fine fashion. There’s much more, of course, at TTTT3. Staying with the railway for a moment, there are lots of interesting internal combustion machines coughing and chugging around the field railway (and a battery-electric). There’s also a traction engine, a WW1 tank, a London Transport B-type “battle bus”, the trenches, the cavalry… Not to mention the many operators of the exhibits, authentically dressed and really looking the part. The only tricky bit, a result of the event’s great success, is keeping the less- authentically dressed visitors out of the photos. The three “TTTT” events have all taken place 100 years since the first world war. That “window” of opportunity ends later this year - what’s next for the Apedale Valley Railway? Link: Apedale Valley Railway 
303 - a fine profile 303 sets off down the line Broad and narrow gauge Battery power Brigadelok 1091 Return of the Hunslet New arrival - RH 191658 Brigadelok 1091 Grey locos - Brigadelok and Joffre MR in a hole - Boy Scouts to the rescue That looks fun! The Baldwin on the freight 1916 Baguley lays a smoke screen Baguley and "Mascot" Battlebus Baldwin arrival 104 arrives with the freight 303 on the passenger Edgar makes a move 104 ready to return 778 at the station Tank and tank engine A fine pair of 4-6-0Ts