© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
Last time I visited Amerton, the line was
incomplete - an out-and-back
arrangement to a loop away out in the
fields. Work was progressing to
complete the circle - it was finally
commissioned in late 2001. The new
arrangement - a sort-of L-shaped circle, with two passing
loops, makes gala events potentially interesting - as proved
to be the case on this occasion.
The Amerton Railway is operated by the Staffordshire Narrow
Gauge Railway Society. Its two resident operational steam locos
are Isabel, built by Bagnalls in 1897 (no. 1491), and Pearl 2, built
100 years later by Allen Civil, an unusual inverted saddle tank
design which was used by Bagnalls before they reverted to the
more conventional design.
This weekend, there would be three visiting locomotives - all
built to the same design by the other well-known Staffordshire
industrial locomotive builders, Kerr Stuart of Stoke-on-Trent.
The visitors were no. 3114 of 1918 - this is the grey loco,
restored to 1918 condition by Allen Civil. Peter Pan is no. 4256 of
1922 - the dark green loco in the photographs. Lastly, Pixie, 4260
of 1922, is the light green locomotive. 3114 would be returning
to its base at the Vale of Rheidol Railway after the gala, Peter
Pan to Leighton Buzzard, and Pixie to Maldegem in Belgium.
The line through the fields is mostly unfenced, providing
photographers with an excellent opportunity for some half-
decent snaps (provided they could keep each other out of the
pictures!). The "Souvenir Guide" rather quaintly requested
visitors to "refrain from walking on the main line"....
With three train sets in operation - one passenger and two
freight - there seemed to be little trains bustling about
everywhere. The passenger train ran clockwise, the other two
ran anti-clockwise, using the two loops to pass. From time to
time, locomotives were changed over, and a double-header ran
later in the afternoon. There was talk of a triple header - but
we'd gone by then, as the grass pollen on this warm afternoon
was starting to get the better of me. But what a great afternoon
it had been - never a dull moment! Put a note in your diary for
next year's event, whatever it is!
The Amerton Railway