What with school holidays, weddings and birthday trips, bank holidays and Brogdale festivals, August was a busy month for the railway. The wedding party at the end of July was particularly memorable if only for the sheet and bolt lightening and the heavy rain.
Fortunately as we used the closed coaches everyone managed to have a ride including the bride and groom. By now our volunteer drivers have probably dried out as they got rather wet, about as wet as they got during the monsoon rain during the August Bank holiday!
Our much awaited new steam engine is now being bench tested which is one of the last stages before the formal handing-over process.
We are often asked about what passengers are going to see on their nearly one mile long journey. For those with an interest in the national fruit collection the best bet is the guided tour offered by Brogdale. But for those taking the train the route first passes along a long avenue of specimen fruit trees and the kite flying field, alongside an apple spandrel and onto the main plum orchard. The track then curves around a new apple orchard and past Brogdale’s stock nursery before running down the side of the main cherry orchard to then loop around Barry’s signal box before descending back to the station.
The railway society and its volunteers have bought some new rolling stock from a sale at Bolebroke Castle in Sussex. Purchases include a beautifully detailed set of goods wagons, some carriage frames and a guards wagon to accompany our closed carriages. These goodies all need regauging from 7.25” to 9”, refurbishing and generally upgrading. The intention is also to build three new sit-astride open passenger carriages all painted in a standard livery. The older carriages are to be retired.
As ever, new volunteer staff are always welcome to join our society. We are particularly interested in trainee drivers, guards, signalmen, engineers and platform staff. If you visit us at Brogdale on most Tuesdays or Wednesdays or Sundays (11am-4pm) we’ll show you round and hopefully talk you into joining us!
Trains run every Sunday, the first at 11.00 am and the last around 4.00 pm and also during most Brogdale festivals and Bank holidays. See our web site for further details.
It is planned to run our Santa Specials in December. These will run on Sundays December 1st, 8th and 15th. These Specials involve a perk-you-up winter ride around the circuit before a visit to Santa to receive gift counselling and a small and usually edible present. Parents are eligible for mince pies and something hot and discretely alcoholic. Prices are £1.50 for adults and £3.50 for kids. Places can be booked by contacting Mick on 01795 474211.
And finally, a reminder that we can also be booked for parties, weddings and the like at very reasonable rates. Contact Mick (as above) for details or try the other contact details on this website.