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Forest Narrow Gauge — September 2015 ?>

Forest Narrow Gauge — September 2015

The main site at Lea Bailey was open to the public from 11:00 to 16:00. The attractions included: Our Simplex / Motor Rail 21282 and Wingrove & Rogers battery-electric locomotives in action Our EIMCO 12B rocker shovel on display Display of our two recently arrived battery-electric locomotives. Freelance motorised skip wagon ‘Skippy’ from Alan Keef Ltd. A Lister Auto Truck from Brian Faulkner Alan Keef Ltd had announced that the planned ‘Steam-Up and Open Day’ would not be going ahead…

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Running On Air Open Day — May 2015 ?>

Running On Air Open Day — May 2015

For our Open Days on 9th and 10th May we had not one but two air-powered machines — our own Eimco 12B rocker shovel (which can now propel itself under power) was joined by a visitor in the form of “Issing Sid” (Hunslet 9902 of 2009) from Statfold Barn Railway. Sid is a modern-day replica of a 19th Century compressed-air locomotive designed to work underground without the noxious fumes created by a steam or internal combustion engine. Saturday 9th was…

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Yet more battery locomotives ?>

Yet more battery locomotives

If cost is everything then for an entry level locomotive you need look no further than a battery powered machine. We inherited our first one in more or less ready-to-run condition and in late 2014 took delivery of four more. Rob Needham has arranged the purchase of  one 2ft gauge WR8 and one 18in gauge WR5 battery locos from Murphy’s the contractors in London. The WR8 is 8hp 60volts, and has been stored under cover, so should be easy to…

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Progress at Drybrook 2014 ?>

Progress at Drybrook 2014

Since we established ourselves in 2012, the Hawthorns Tunnel (Euroclydon Tunnel) site at Drybrook has been little more than a source of track for Lea Bailey. Now we have decided to establish a proper presence at the tunnel. The culvert that carries a small stream past our access gate had collapsed and that meant some initial hard work so we could get equipment down to the tunnel. Another headache is the fact that the trackbed outside the tunnel is now…

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Four More Battery Locomotives ?>

Four More Battery Locomotives

If cost is everything then for an entry-level locomotive you need look no further than a battery powered machine. We inherited our first one in more or less ready-to-run condition and have since taken delivery of two more. The latest additions — no less than four of them — will be much more of a challenge. Given the cost of the heavy duty batteries needed to power them, I doubt we shall ever see a run past of all of…

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September Open Day 2014 ?>

September Open Day 2014

The other Forest of Dean September Open Days were lower-key than in2013 as the Alan Keef works was ‘between projects’ and the Vintage Train had left Perrygrove. Nevertheless, a constant stream of visitors arrived at Lea Bailey many directed from our stall at Lea Lines which was much busier than the pictures suggest — you can’t take photographs while you are  talking to potential visitors. The numbers at Clearwell were a little disappointing and next year we shall probably only…

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August / September 2014 update ?>

August / September 2014 update

A visit from the mining inspectorate requested some changes to our operating practices. Most seriously, we have been told not to store or operate locomotives within the mine. We have nowhere else sufficiently secure to keep the Hunslet at Lea Bailey and it has been returned to Clearwell. At the same time, the Eimco rocker shovel and the Wingrove & Rogers battery-electric locomotive have moved to Lea Bailey (the W&R is small enough to fit in the container with the…

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Open Day at Lea Bailey — June 2014 ?>

Open Day at Lea Bailey — June 2014

This was the first  time we had given an advance public invitation to the railway and we had no idea what to expect in terms of visitors. Apparently there were enough that those who might have counted gave up. The car park was full most of the time and it will have to be extended before the September event. We collected almost £200 in donations which we shall have no trouble spending. There was a full turnout of volunteers who…

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Open Day at Clearwell Caves — June 2014 ?>

Open Day at Clearwell Caves — June 2014

This was the first  time that ‘advertised’ trains had run at Clearwell Caves for very many years. Apart from our own Wingrove & Rogers battery-electric locomotive we had a visitor from a private railway near Gloucester in the form of a rather travel weary small Lister — sensible because the tracks at Clearwell are a bit rough after years of disuse. The Lister arrived on Saturday afternoon and after unloading was taken on a proving run or two, as you…

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WR5 Battery Locomotive runs again ?>

WR5 Battery Locomotive runs again

Wingrove & Rogers Ltd works number L1009 was built in 1981, an 0-4-0BE of Type WR5, quoted in IRS handbook ‘Industrial Railways and Locomotives of South Western England’ as of 5hp, but the motor is clearly marked 4hp. After a number of owners it pitched up at Clearwell Caves. Some time later, the battery failed and was scrapped. It then remained out of use for at least 5 years until it moved again under the power of four 12-volt batteries…

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