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Tag Archives: Chasewater Railway
Another from Steve Organ’s collection
the man himself!
On the right track! Chasewater Railway General Manager Steve Organ cheers the news that the line extension can continue as Lorne Grey, who is in charge of Centrac’s recycling operations, gives the project the green flag. July 1998.
Some old photos of The Causeway
We have been given some more old photos, I think from Steve Organ’s collection. These are some photos of the causeway in the early days at Chasewater Railway .
In 1982 the Preservation Society was forced to lift the track on the Causeway and commence work on an ambitious rebuilding scheme. Sadly owing to the Society’s finances and lack of support, the scheme collapsed and the Preservation Society was forced to close to passenger traffic for a number of years, even though work continued on basic restoration at the Brownhills West site.
A scheme to restore the Causeway commenced in May 1993, with the basic engineering elements being completed some 11 months later. Approx. 120,000 tons of fill material were imported on to the site for grading and compaction. With the completion of one of the largest civil engineering schemes in railway preservation to be carried out to date, work was able to proceed with the opening of Norton Lakeside Station. The station was opened in December 1995.
Click on a photo for a larger version.
Some old photos of Asbestos
We have been given some more old photos, I think from Steve Organ’s collection. These are some photos of Asbestos in the early days at Chasewater Railway .
Click on a photo for a larger version.
Hawthorn, Leslie 0-4-0ST, 2780 of 1909. Built at the company’s Forth Bank Works, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Delivered when new to Washington Chemical Company, County Durham, which became a subsidiary of the Turner and Newall Company Ltd. in 1920.
A large industrial complex served by sidings and a half mile branch just south of Washington station on the line between Pelaw and Penshaw, the locomotive working here until 1933, when transferred to Turner and Newall, Trafford Park Works, Manchester.
The locomotive came to Chasewater in 1968 from the Turner and Newall factory, Trafford Park, Manchester, where asbestos was produced – hence the name. The company asked for £100 for the loco and was asked if they could wait while the Preservation Society could organize a raffle, being short of funds. Upon realizing the situation, the company generously waived the fee and donated the loco.
Chasewater Railway ran an “Asbestos Day Special” on 1st January 2012 from 10 am to 5 pm. This event marked the end of 1909 built Hawthorn Leslie No.2780 “Asbestos” 0-4-0ST’s current time in traffic and it’s 10 year steam ticket. The one day event will see Chasewater’s favourite steam engine, 102 year old Asbestos providing traction. Resident loco RSH 0-6-0 No.7684 Nechells No.4 was also in steam to accompany Asbestos on her last day as was Barclay loco ‘Colin McAndrew’. It was a time of celebration for the railway owned locomotive which is always very popular with our visitors, and it has been the main stay of service at the colliery line having arrived over 40 years ago. Shortly after the event Asbestos is going to be retired to undergo a heavy general overhaul. Subject to the required funds being raised we expect that the work needed to return it to traffic should take approximately three years to complete.
At the time of writing, June 2018, the money required to return the loco to traffic has been collected and available, but the time hasn’t!
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 1
These posts are taken from old publications, newssheets and magazines produced by the Railway Preservation Society (West Midlands Division). Chasewater Light Railway Society and Chasewater Light Railway and Museum.
This picture was taken from the cover of the magazine.
Mr. W. Ives of Hixon, near Stafford, purchased this signal box from British Railways intending it to be preserved by the Midland R.P.S. Unfortunately contractors taking up the metals of the old Stafford and Uttoxeter Line also demolished the signal box. Now Mr. Ives (pictured) is wondering where he can get another. (Photo: Express & Star, Wolverhampton.)
I’m not sure where this photo was taken, but assuming it’s on ‘our’ line it might be between Norton East Road and Brownhills Road, judging by the position of the houses. Any other suggestions will be gratefully received!
This, and the other track photos in this post were obviously taken before Chasewater trains were running.
The Chasewater Branch – by F.J.Harvey and L.E.Hodgkinson
Chasewater was constructed by the Wyrley & Essington Canal Company by building a low dam. A reservoir 1¼ miles in length was thus formed for the purpose of feeding the nearby canals.
At one time Chasewater was encircled by railways; the earliest of these was the Cannock Chase & Wolverhampton Railway incorporated by an Act of Parliament on July 29th 1864. A connecting link was constructed from the London & North Western Railway Cannock Chase mineral extension which was incorporated in 1862.
In 1884 a branch was built by the Midland Railway from Aldridge. This was for mineral traffic, although passengers were conveyed as far as Brownhills. The passenger service was withdrawn on March 29th 1930. The direct link with the LNWR was broken in favour of a more circuitous connection via the Conduit Colliery Company’s yard.
With the closure of the Cannock Chase collieries, the Midland Railway branch from Walsall Wood to Brownhills was lifted in 1960, followed by the CC & WR track in 1963, leaving the remainder of the lines as they are today. These were retained in order to connect the National Coal Board area workshops with the main line.
In recent years the possibilities of Chasewater as a pleasure resort were realised by Brownhills Urban District Council; an amusement park was constructed and facilities were provided for more specialised interests such as go-carts, speedboats, hydroplanes and yachts.
With the increase in visitors each year it was felt by the Midlands area of the Railway Preservation Society that the line would be suitable for development as a working railway museum and a lease of about two miles of track was taken out. Much work has to be done to bring the line up to passenger carrying standards and it will probably be several years before a regular passenger service can be maintained. This largely depends on the number of volunteers that are prepared to help with the track restoration.
The immediate aim of the Society is to construct a building to house the larger items of rolling stock where they can be fully restored and displayed to the public. This building will form the permanent headquarters of the Chasewater Railway.
The Society would appreciate any help, practical or otherwise, from people interested in this project. With sufficient support a limited service could be in operation by next summer.
More old photos – diesels, etc.
We have been given some more old photos, I think from Steve Organ’s collection. These are some of the old diesel/petrol locos which were at Chasewater Railway early on.
Click on a photo for a larger version.