Contractor’s Delight takes shape

The September gala at the Moseley Railway Trust’s Apedale Valley Light Railway will be held on Saturday and Sunday 8 & 9 September 2012.

This year’s theme is Contractor’s Delight. This will show how industrial narrow gauge railways have been used in civil engineering projects and major construction sites. These railways still exist today. Tunnels for the Olympic Games were built with the assistance of contractor’s railways, and a new railway is currently being built to support the construction of the Cross Rail tunnels in central London. This construction railway will be the third largest railway system in the UK at its maximum extent.

Central to this event will be this year’s guest steam locomotive. This is GP39, a Hudswell Clarke locomotive dating from 1930. It was used by Surrey County Council Highways Department on road projects in that county. Complimenting GP39 will be Apedale resident steam locomotives Stanhope and the newly-commissioned Joffre locomotive. Stanhope was first used on a contractor’s project associated with the Rosyth naval base in Scotland; it then when on to dam construction projects in Weardale (where it acquired its current name).

GP39 appears courtesy of Graham Lee of the Statfold Barn Farm railway. The Moseley Railway Trust wishes to express its thanks to Mr Lee and the Statfold team for their support. This locomotive is very similar to a locomotive imported by the MRT from Ghana in 2008.

Negotiations are continuing for further visiting locomotives. It is also hoped that a diesel locomotive will be visiting the railway which has never been displayed at a public railway before.

The Contractor’s Delight gala will be open from 1100 to 1700 on each day. Admission will be £6 adults, £3 for children aged 2 to 15.

In addition to steam and diesel trains on the 2’0” gauge Apedale Valley Light Railway there will be trade stands, model railways and lots of other exhibits to interest young and old.

This year, it has been decided to release a small number of “Access all Areas” tickets. Likely to be of interest to the serious enthusiast, they will allow access to the Apedale site out of normal hours and a wide range of other benefits. An application form can be obtained from the Trust website  .

The MRT’s event team is still keen to hear from vintage plant owners who may wish to exhibit and hopefully demonstrate their machines.
The film, courtesy of Ian Walmsley, gives a flavour of our previous galas.