19th December 2015
Well today was the day; Leek and Rudyard Railway Ltd (LRR) took possession of the assets of Rudyard Lake Steam Railway (RLSR) bringing an end to finding a new home for the Isle of Mull Railway. Both company's assets will now be combined here at Rudyard creating a new and significant 10 1/4 inch gauge railway. Roll on 2016!
21st December 2015
Volunteer day today - enrolement with the new company and a general clear out. The track at the back of the shed was also lifted ahead of some groundworks required to prepare the area for the Isle of Mull railway track which will move to Rudyard during 2016.
22nd December 2015
Victoria was taken away today for her 10 year overhaul. This is being done by her builder, David Vere at Mouse Boilerworks. All things being well she should be back sometime in 2016.
1st January 2016
We are open! LRR runs its first trains with King Arthur taking the honours of being the first train out. We had good attendance for our first 3 days of running despite the cold and wet weather. We also had a visit from the press to mark the occasion.
16th January 2016
The loyal and dedicated band of volunteers were out and about with various maintenance tasks, including some major trackwork just outside Rudyard Station (photos courtesy Ian Burgess).
12th February 2016
The first batch of building works is nearly complete at the back of the current engine shed. This area will be used for storage and maintenance of the Mull Railway equipment for a while before eventually being home to a turntable, passing loop and the new Rudyard South signal box (photos courtesy Matthew Self).
19th February 2016
The building works at the back of the current engine shed are now complete. Despite rumours this was a new car park for the management, this area will initially be used for storage and maintenance of the Mull Railway equipment when it arrives later in the year. The excellent works were done by Richard Goodwin of Cheddleton (photos courtesy Matthew Self and Ian Burgess).
11th March 2016
Saturday the 5th March marked our first birthday party under L&RR Ltd ownership. We had over 45 small guests and associated larger ones who seemed to have enjoyed their special day. We have updated our Party Page with some excellent photos from the day and there are a couple more below. Remember you can book any sort of party you wish at the railway, just drop us a line and let us know how we can help. Our regular season started last Sunday so check out out timetable page for when we are running. We will be posting further updates on our running days and some more information on our next stage development plans in the near future (photos courtesy Ian Whitfield).
19th March 2016
Sunday the 13th March was largely business as usual apart from the short debut of Waverley for the new year (more news on that in a later post) and a rather unusual visitor to the railway (photos courtesy Ian Whitfield).
1st April 2016
Our Easter Egg Specials are now over for 2016 and we had good attendance depsite the somewhat random weather. We are now running until the end of next week when we will be holding our first Local Community Weekend where anyone in the area can come down and meet us and have a trip on us (we are also open for anyone else as well as per our advertised fares). Photos of our Easter services are on the Events page.
9th April 2016
Its been a busy week and we have our first Community Weekend this weekend so we can properly meet our local residents. Friday was therefore both a running day and also a chance for some track maintenance ahead of what we hope is a busy couple of days.
12th April 2016
Our first ever Community Weekend took place with mixed weather but a great turnout from our local area and beyond, including our local MP. Many thanks to everyone who came and we hope you had a chance to see our plans and have a trip.
14th April 2016
Monday and Tuesday marked a significant event in the history of both railways as the first batch of equipment and rail from the former Isle of Mull Railway was transported to Rudyard. A herculean effort by all involved resulted in this all being acheived without a hitch. More stock and equipment will make the journey south shortly.
21st April 2016
Our annual diesel gala was held last week with a good turnout of passengers and engines (we had 2 visitors, 1 running and 1 on static display). We hope this annual event will grow and grow with more visitors in future years. Pictures are on the Special Events page.
6th May 2016
The Day At The Lake event proved to be very busy with the railway the busiest ever in its entire history. Feedback from the event itself (which was organised by a separate body to which we had no direct involvement) was mixed but we hope everyone had a good time both at the event and on our services. An excellent volunteer effort at the railway meant we were able to cope with the large volumes of people. You can get pictures of the event from various places around the internet.
13th May 2016
Another busy week with more equipment from the Isle of Mull Railway being delivered. This load consisted of all the remaining track plus the turntables, points, signal and associated ancilliaries, and the first load of carriages. These carriages were the ones in the process of being built/rebuilt when the railway closed; the remaining ones which should be delivered soon are in much better condition and we hope to have them running at LRR in the near future (photos courtesy of Alan Bentley and Ian Burgess).
20th May 2016
This week marked the final delivery of equipment from the Isle of Mull Railway. This was the final load of carriages which are in much more serviceable condition than the ones delivered last week. However after 4 years of inactivity each one will require a thorough overhaul as well as the brakes converting from vacuum to air. We hope to slowly bring them back into service as time allows; we already have a long list of jobs and projects! (photos courtesy of Steve Rowe).
27th May 2016
First of a long list of work was started this week by the volunteers. Merlin was first for attention due to problems encountered a few weeks ago necessitating bringing forward the 10 year overhaul to mid season instead of the end of the year. All is progressing well and hopefully will be back in steam in the near future (photos courtesy of David Bratt Steve Rowe).
11th June 2016
Its been a busy two weeks largely concerned with miscreant locomotives. Unfortunately Merlin, who has been dismantled for boiler work, failed the required boiler inspection and now needs a new boiler - that means probably a 6 month period until back into service. No problem, we have reliable diesels we thought - then Frances had a hissy fit and the exhaust system needs to be dismantled for assessment. Other than that the Tuesday Gang restacked some of the Mull rail ready for reuse and the old Rudyard track was removed to tidy up the line (photos courtesy of Matthew Self).
24th July 2016
The last few weeks have largely been concerned with routine maintenance and improvement works. The first of the LTM carriages has been given the upgrade treatment with a new roof, replacement of the window frames and a paint job. Eventually all these carriages will be tackled. The Mull disabled coach has also seen some attention as we try and bring it up to spec with modern standards. Merlin's new boiler will be ordered shortly and should be back in service next year.
10th September 2016
Last week saw the end of our Summer running with trains running every day for 6 weeks. Passenger numbers whilst good were not record breaking due to the usual story of unpredictable UK weather. For those that did come to see us we hope you enjoyed your visit and as we change things over the winter, there will be lots more to see next year. We ran our popular lollipop specials at the end of the Summer running and the great picture below was taken by Barry Knapper.
24th September 2016
Gala pictures are now up on the gallery page; many thanks to everyone who contributed to a very successful event.
12th November 2016
The end to our running season was enjoyed by all and culminated with the return of our Halloween Specials. Whilst turnout was disappointing those who did come seemed to have really enjoyed the spooky atmosphere created and the staff and volunteers had huge amounts of fun coming up with ideas and costumes to scare and entertain our visitors. A gallery of photos from the 3 days will be posted soon.
We are now closed for perhaps the largest ever project in the railway's history with the complete clearance of the engine shed, containers and watering/coaling facilities over the winter. This is a major project and will take quite a few months so we will have a delayed opening in 2017 but will publish details as soon as we can be sure we have everything finished. In the meantime please keep checking back here and on Facebook as we will post updates and photos of our progress.
Halloween photos courtesy of Ian Burgess, Steve Rowe and Andrew Bizley.