As August comes to a close, the ‘North End’ of the line has been cleared of the last remaining stock, and the remaining track is ready to be ripped up. This is significant news for several reasons.
Firstly, we have a five year development plan (download here), originally written in May 2012, and this centres on redevelopment of the North End to create a set of exchange sidings with an accompanying platform so visitors can alight and watch shunting moves to prepare a train to go up to the quarry at the south end of the line. This project can not move forward until the existing track work is removed and the track bed and surrounding area cleared and profiled.
Secondly, as the rail and sleepers are reclaimed from the North End, these will be fed into other projects currently awaiting donor materials – namely the quarry spur (which some of you may have noticed the ‘sighting boards’ for already in place), and also a project to see the current Eastern Headshunt made into a loop, and the head shunt extended along its current course.
Thirdly, it means that some very interesting pieces of stock will now be out and back on display – including our skip wagons and our dump car rake.
There is plenty to keep our volunteers busy over the next three years! We think you will agree that a quarry spur, an Eastern Loop, and the whole North End development will add significantly to our goal of providing as full an experience as possible of a quarry railway and associated exchange sidings in the 1950s and 60s. We are also sure that you will be pleased to hear that the developments will mean the length of line over which we can run passengers will be extended.
While this is all good and positive news, don’t forget that we run thanks to a team staffed exclusively by volunteers, if YOU would like to be part of this friendly team, please visit our contact page and get in touch.