The end of an era

Today has seen a little bit of history made down at Apedale. Silverdale Station East Sidings are no more. This temporary group of sidings were conceived and executed in a big hurry back in 2010 when it was suddenly realised that having the mainline chock full of wagons was not conducive to the safe and efficient operation of passenger trains. Hence, any passing piece of temporary track was pressed into service along with a couple of points and levers. The area later found fame at the 2012 Gala as the entry point to the Field Railway which gave everyone so much fun and enjoyment. However, time marches on, and the Museum project is now encroaching on the area. So, goodbye SSE Sidings. In between the torrential thunder storms (a rarity in January, surely?), we have cleared the sidings and dismantled the track ready for lifting. A few panels have made new homes for themselves in the wagon store, but most of the rest will be stored for now. A final train to remove the last couple of wagons attracted no interest whatsoever.No wreaths, no speeches from local dignitaries, no strongly worded editorials in the local press. Just Mick and “Sludge” sauntering off into the distance. But, it’s all change. Goodbye SSE, Hello Museum North. For in the place of the bodgy temporary sidings will be the fan of tracks for the museum approach – proper points, proper track and maybe even ballast. From this fan will also spring Field Railway Mk2, which will hopefully play a key role in September’s big WW1 event. Meanwhile, if you wish to contribute to the fledgling Silverdale Sidings Preservation Society, please get in touch here.