No.7 Merlin's boiler has passed its hydraulic boiler test after fitting of new boiler tubes and has been re-aWork on Rudyard Station continues with the walls completed and a new engine steaming area prepared outside the engine shed. CCTV cameras are being installed. Santa Trains ran almost fully booked on 11 & 18 December and were a great success . Overall Traffic for the year 2005 has finished well up on 2004 which is very pleasing.
Track work is being carried out to raise the track level above the footpath and to add extra sleepers to the level crossing at Rudyard. This is complete for about 250 metres and is a vast improvement. In addition a new lifting barrier interlinked to the signals has been installed at Rudyard station by the S&T department. Work has now moved to the cutting above the Dam station. This was largely complete by 11th December.
The 2005 season finished on October 30th with Halloween Specials. The weather was unkind with heavy rain in the morning but fine after lunch. Those who braved the weather saw the spooky graveyard and its inhabitants at play. The trains carried spiders and ghosts as well as passengers and everyone had a good time. The final trains of 2005 are on December 11th & 18th with Santa specials for which prior booking is required.
Pendragon is named after Uther Pendragon who was King Arthurs father. It ran at Exmoor for a day with its old coaches from Ashorne Hall on October 9th. Together with Denzil a two train service was run.
The 2005 steam gala featured 2 visiting engines. An 0-4-2T Pulborough and a 4-4-2T Bray Valley. In all six engines were in steam over the weekend. see the gala page for more detail.
The Curwen Atlantic locomotive Waverley returned to Rudyard on August 27th and is back in use after fiiting of an air brake system. Merlin is being re-tubed and hopefully will be in use again by late autumn. The first point from Ashorne Hall has been converted for use on the railway.
The long awaited King Arthur arrived on the 25 July and is in service after successful trial runs. Complete with a copper capped Chimney and a Great Western whistle it is in authentic Hogwarts Great Western red livery!
King Arthur is an 0-6-2 Tank engine built by the Exmoor Steam Railway in Devon with a works plate bearing the date 07/05. With cylinders 4.625 X 7.5 inch stroke its very large and powerful for the gauge of railway. Its painted in the bright red livery of the old County Donegal Narrow Gauge Railway in the North West of Ireland.
The railway also has another steam locomotive a dark red 2-4-2T currently called Ashorne It is the the sister engine to Merlin but was built slightly earlier in 1994. It is now at the Exmoor Steam Railway in Devon for conversion to 10.25 inch gauge. About 400 yards of track and 6 points from this railway have now been lifted and moved to Rudyard during week ending June 17th.
A new siding has been added at Rudyard and another container for stock storage and as a workshop. A new 12 seat coach has arrived built by Ian Burgess. Not yet in service until glazing and new bogies are fitted.
Rudyard Station now has its fences and picnic benches installed and in use. Planting of the gardens has been done. More coaches have had air braked bogies fitted and only one now remains to be done. A new first class coach is being built in Leek by Ian and Chris Burgess and should grace the railway later this year.
Track in the cutting above the Dam has been raised, ballasted and 45 new sleepers were added on 27 February. Steam hauled ballast and works trains were run over winter and made a great sight and sound. A new waiting shelter has been provided at the Dam Station and the area tidied up. A second shelter at Rudyard should appear soon.
The atlantic type tender engine No. 296 Waverley is being overhauled in Scotland and should return to Rudyard this year. Its boiler is finished and a lot of work done on the tender and it is hoped to use it regularly on the quieter trains his year.
Work on Rudyard Station continues with the walls completed and a new engine steaming area prepared outside the engine shed. CCTV cameras are being installed.