Bedford Outdoor Visit Reports

 

Visit to Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway on 11 September 2021

by Bill Davies

(Pictures by and Copyright Bill Davies)

A small group of us from the Bedford Branch of the LCGB made our way to Pages Park to enjoy the LBNGR Steam Gala.  As usual the Chairman arrived at the last minute owing to operational difficulties on the home front.  Our plan was to catch the 11.30 train to Stonehenge and return to Pages Park in time for refreshments before looking around the shed in the time honoured fashion.  Our loco on the outward trip was 778, one of those remarkable survivors of 495 built by Baldwin for the First World War.  With a 4-6-0 wheel arrangements which allowed huge water tanks to be slung either side of the boiler making for many a derailment as the water slopped from side to side on curves on the rudimentary track that led to the front. 

Baldwin 4-6-0T No. 778 departs Pages Park

On arrival at Stonehenge we inspected the stock on show including a display of how to load a sand train and empty it utilising the same sand.  Futile operation one could say but well performed to the interested onlookers. 

Loading sand at Stonehenge

We also viewed the Double Track extension disappearing into the unknown complete with a mystifying ground signal.  Good Ballast in use as well so we can expect High Speed Running. 

A mystifying ground signal

On our return in between the consumption of sandwiches by some of the Party we passed the site of work in connection with HS Two and a Half which will connect with services on the Euston to Birmingham section.  The reason the tunnel is to such large dimensions is to allow HS2 vehicles to be hauled on transporter wagons as electrification is not considered justifiable by the present Government.  This will be the first time Stonehenge is linked to a High Speed network.  Other rumours on our website should be instantly discounted as this is real plan. 

Future to HS Two and a Half

Meanwhile back at the shed we earnestly examined all that is required for maintenance of steam whilst a returning service arrives down the Main Line.

In the shed

Yours transporting high speed,  Bill Davies

 

Chairman's Day Out, 17th August 2021: A trip to Corby

From Bill Davies - A few notes from our Chairman

Thanks to all members and friends who made the effort to enjoy the Chairman’s trip out to Corby.  It was lovely to see many who had been stuck in Covid Isolation for so long.

Of course I made a special effort to ensure that we travelled on the Slow Lines through Sharnbrook Tunnel in both directions which we achieved and also to arrange an appearance of 66779 Evening Star at Wellingborough.  Our members just don’t realise the lengths I go to !!!!

The little Real Ale Bar at Wellingborough proved to be a very good reason to make the trip plus the refreshment room was delighted with the extra trade.

Those who came made it well worth it and we enjoyed ourselves especially the Guest appearance of Chief Nirg officials Dave and Rob Scudamore at Wellingborough.

I even got the services to run late so we could complain !!!

Yours on Scotrail, Southern Section,
Bill Davies