OUR 50th YEAR
The North Gloucestershire Railway has its origins in the Dowty Railway Preservation Society (DRPS) that was formed in October 1962 at the Dowty factory that was situated at Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury. on the Birmingham to Bristol main line. Initially standard gauge locomotives and rolling stock were collected . The site was also home to other societies and locomotives including GWR 4-6-0 No. 7808 Coockham Manor and LMSR 4-6-2 No. 46201 Princess Elizabeth. The DRPS acquired a steam loco from Cadburys at Bournville and a narrow gauge line was also laid. The larger locomotives gradually moved away and in 1983 the DRPS itself moved to its present home at Toddington., the home of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. The Cadbury loco inaugurated steam passenger trains on the latter and the DRPS greatly extended the existing narrow gauge railway at Toddington. The DRPS then decided to concentrate on narrow gauge and sold off the standard gauge items and also severed its links with the Dowty group factories and thus the North Gloucestershire Railway Co. Ltd was formed. On Sunday 7th October, therefore, we are holding a special open day to celebrate our fifty continuous years in railway preservation
A lot of effort is being put into the Gala and at the time of writing, our three guest steam locos are due to arrive in the next few days. As already stated, these are 'PETER PAN', 'JACK LANE' and the third steam loco will be another Brigadelok 0-8-0T, a sister to our 1091. This is Nigel Heath's engine, built by Henschel, works number 14968. It was imported into the UK from Mozambique where it worked on the extensive Sena Sugar Estates system. The loco has needed a very extensive overhaul and we are pleased that its first public appearance will be at our gala, though not in steam. During Saturday evening's photoshoot it is intended to pose 14968 alongside 1091 (coincidentally Henschel works no. 15968).
On Sunday 7th October, there will be doubleheading of trains with various combinations of locos. The passenger service will start at 11am and run through to 4pm, with two train sets and departures from Toddington narrow gauge station every twenty minutes. Be sure to get off at California and visit the displays in and around the loco shed. All for £5 adult; £2 child 5 – 15; under 5's free. Please note as it is a gala, there will be no concessionary fares.
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