Chasewater Railway Museum Newsletter July 2020 – 2 Pages
Pete Waterman’s Visit, 2004.
Nothing to report as far as the Museum is concerned again this month, so I have raided the archives, courtesy of David Bathurst’s collection.
Rail contractor Centrac, Tarmac’s track renewal company, came to the rescue when it heard that Chasewater Railway at Burntwood, Staffordshire, was struggling to extend its line due to a shortage of sleepers.
Birmingham-based Centrac offered to supply 600 sleepers from its main recycling depot at Northampton.
The Donated sleepers mean that Chasewater Railway’s volunteer workforce can extend its line to a planned new station near the proposed Burntwood by-pass entrance to the Chasewater Country Park.
The line currently serves the Brownhills West end of the park, carrying passengers around Chasewater Lake – and across the lake on a recently rebuilt causeway – to a station opened 18 months ago in the Norton wildfowl reserve.
The track represents the only remaining mineral line from the vast Cannock Chase coalfield network, and runs small tank locomotives retrieved from industrial locations, including a steam shunting engine from Pleck gasworks, providing scenic leisure trips for passengers.
Chasewater Railway general manager Steve Organ welcomed the donation of the sleepers saying “We are absolutely delighted with Centrac’s generous help – quite simply we could not have achieved so much without them. This shows the value of recycling materials.”
Lorne Gray, who is in charge of Centrac’s recycling operations, commented: “The particular type of sleeper we have donated would normally be stripped down to the bare components. The baseplates and fixings would be sold off by the tonne to scrap merchants and the sleepers sold for use in heavy industry and agriculture.
“The fact that they will now be used for their intended purpose, albeit on a reduced specification basis, is very satisfying.”
The first two photos were obviously taken in the early stages of development of the site of the station and of the by-pass.
In this first photo, on the left hand side, you can see the platform edge – on the right is the Burntwood ring-road taking shape. Taken around 2000.
The second photo, taken from the platform edge, is pointing towards Chasetown, Church Street and the Rugby Club.
Chasewater Heaths in operation, with Hudswell Clark- Port Talbot 0-6-0ST No. 26 (GWR 813) – taking a freight train through towards Brownhills West. Taken in 2009.