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Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway, Thorne, Nr Doncaster
Latest News January/February/March 2016

A Visit to Rother Valley Country Park

I can remember seeing the publicity when the miniature railway opened back in 2009. The railway runs in this large country park on the outskirts of Sheffield. Running from near the main entrance, the line passes the car park and woodland, with views of the two parks lakes, before reaching the play area, where passengers can normally disembark.

Our visit  was made on the Sunday  21st February  which was not the best days weather a cold wind and light rain showers kept the number of passengers down I am afraid but full marks to the volunteer who was station master, ticket  seller and driver after all many other such railways do not open until Easter.

Two other passengers braving the cold wind as the train passes through the Pennine Way station. A brief moment of the sun being out transformed the scenery somewhat for the next journey. Regrettably after the horrendous rainfall experienced much of the grass areas in the park were rather muddy and very slippery so it was advisable to stick to the paths or ride on the railway.

Miniature railways should not be just for youngsters the railway has a coach specifically made for wheel chairs and the more senior persons to sit comfortably. This was something that the Thorne Park Railway received funding for. However it may no longer be available now as the coach and a frame work for another similar carriage were put for sale.   

No shortage of water for the Jet-Skiers on the far side of the park away from the wildlife on the lake. As ever there is never any shortage of children (and adults) to feed the feathered friends the proper food been obtainable from the shop.  Visit this website for further information about the railway. For more information about the park visit this website.

Blackpool 147 on its Last Day in Blackpool

On the  28th February Blackpool Standard 147 made its final appearance on the coastal tramway before being sent to the Beamish Open Air Museum. Seen at the Pleasure Beach then in Fleetwood then to the right making its way back to the Rigby Road tram depot for the last time after doing a journey to Bispham. Visit British Trams Online to see the tram being loaded onto a low loader  for its journey to the North East.

A Visit to the Kirklees Light Railway 7th February 2016

It has been a few years since Pat and myself have visited this railway and with the threat of the storm "Imogen" approaching Britain we decided that a journey from Doncaster to Kirklees would be the maximum distance we would travel as part of our Sunday drive out exploring industrial heritage. Photographs below by Pat Ashton.

In addition to the 15 inch steam and diesel operated railway which is three and a half miles long there is a circular miniature railway that can take various gauges up to 71/4inch locomotives and rolling stock. Upon arrival the miniature railway was something that was to be sampled, for me it was in July 2012 that I drove and rode on the miniature railway at Thorne Memorial park.   

The 13.40  about to about to depart from Clayton West with Owl Avonside Engine Company/Heisler locomotive 0-4-0+0-4-0TG. The journey passes through the local countryside including views of the famous Emely Moor TV transmitting aerial that replaced one that collapsed on the 19th March 1969, a combination of strong winds and the weight of ice that had formed around the top of the mast and on the guy wires brought the structure down. It is presently the tallest freestanding structure in the United Kingdom. The train passes through the 511 yards (467 m) long Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel the longest tunnel on any 15 in (381 mm) gauge line in Britain.

Owl arrives at Shelley Station a journey of approx 20 minutes The locomotive` is then turned around ready for the journey back to Clayton West. There are many new facilities at Shelly which means that you can easily spend an hour looking around before the next train. Café tea room expanded seating area, play equipment for the younger visitors and excellent toilet facilities.

Special thank you to Pat for taking most pf the photographs including the above views of 2-4-2 built in 1954 Katie seen on its first test run with passengers in 2016 arriving at Shellie. The locomotive is then turned around and given some more water and some oil before the return journey back to Clayton West. For more information, timetables etc please visit their website

A Journey to Leeds to see the Nutcracker Ballet

The journey began from Platform 2 at Bentley Station that has very good parking facilities. A rather wet and cold day for such a visit to Leeds and the Grand Theatre. Arrival at  the Leeds Central  station which a few days later saw the opening of the new entrance.

The Pacer units can still be seen still providing a service in contrast in design a unit for Skipton awaits departure. From another platforms which is said to be one of the busiest stations if not the UK but the North of England. 

A rather wet and cold day for such a visit to Leeds and the Grand Theatre perhaps the artificial snow was warmer that fell onto the stage of the theatre.  Below back out onto the cold wet streets of Leeds returning back to the railway station.

Continuing report on Doncaster's Platform "0"

Work as seen at the end of January 2016 continues with the construction of the new platform including the bases for the other infrastructure including the lifts and the footbridge that will connect it to the end of  Platforms 1 & 3.   Lower right artists impression of the completed work. 

Below left the construction work for the foundation of the lift, staircase and bridge as seen o from Platform 1. Whilst all of this has been going on the units from the Gatwick Express trains continue to be stored and slowly stripped outside the Plant Railway Works