The Moseley Railway Trust, or (as it then was) the Moseley Industrial Tramway and Museum last ran a fare-paying passenger train on the site at the Margaret Danyers College, Cheadle (near Manchester) on 8/3/98. A mere 4,542 days later, the MRT is back in the passenger carrying business. This has been a truly historic weekend. We received the confirmatory letters of approval from the Office of the Rail Regulator on Friday (and a big thanks to them for putting a first class stamp on the envelope!). A formal sign-off of the trackwork was needed, along with completion of various minor works in the Apedale Road loop area. ORR had also requested some final checks on the train braking systems. After all this work had been completed, we got to about 1600, and a knot of people looking over the fence was noticed. This seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, so they were invited to become the first-ever passengers on the Apedale Valley Light Railway. For the record, they were a local man from Chesterton, Mr Middleton, and his guests from Market Drayton, the Brown family. Being a nice day, they chose the open Penrhyn coach. Once we worked out how the ticket system worked, we parted their money from them, and off they went.
The railway will now be in operation from 1100 to 1630 each Saturday from now to the end of October, plus a few extra days. Check the website for full details – but please be aware that it will take us a few days to update this to reflect the opening of the railway. The grand opening of the AVLR will take place over the weekend of the 18 & 19th September, when there will be a LOT going on – obviously, we’ll be running both Saturday & Sunday that weekend. The photos show the first train, and then a group shot of just a few of the people who worked so tirelessly to make this all happen. As ever, get in touch here, especially if you fancy a bit of tireless working.