Looking back, looking ahead

Another year draws to a close, with (it seems) an extra second added. Looking back on the activities of the Moseley Railway Trust at Apedale in 2008, three particular highlights come to mind. Firstly, the project to repatriate to the UK from Ghana the Hudswell Clarke steam loco no.1238 of 1916, and the epic task of organising this. Secondly, the construction and fitting out of Aurora North, the large new storage shed at Apedale. This has allowed the MRT’s collection of more than fifty locomotives and other artifacts to be gathered from a variety of storage locations and brought together for the first time in ten years. This had the peripheral benefit of producing a VERY good year for certain road haulage contractors! Finally, we opened the site to the public on two weekends, in September and November. This demonstrated that we have the organisational abilities to operate a significant tourist attraction in a professional and sustainable manner.

I had hoped that we would now be recovering from running our first Santa Specials on the passenger railway, but sadly this was not to be. Issues with land leases and a footpath diversion have taken very much longer to resolve than was expected, and so the passenger railway is currently some considerable away from completion. However, we have learnt a lot from the railway construction completed so far, and also from the experiences gained at the Open Days. Moreover, we are optimistic that the final hurdles are close to being overcome, and that the final push on construction will see the railway final opening at some time in 2009. Money and labour remain tight, so if you can help in any way (although money & labour are particularly valued, there are other ways in which you can support us!) get in touch here. The photos used this time try to capture a few of these key moments.