Leek and Rudyard Railway

Railway News and News Archive

2010 Railway News

This was the busiest ever year for the railway in its 25 year history with a big increase in passengers and in the number of trains run. All trains were steam hauled apart from 2 run with the diesel and petrol engines as a part of the 25th anniversary steam gala celebrations. We used every piece of rolling stock over that weekend.

The Santa trains on December 12th, 18th, 19th went very well despite snow and ice running full to capacity and on time. A tremendous effort by Captain Perry at the lake to break the ice meant that Santa was able to land his sleigh and greet all the trains.

Normal trains finished at the end of November and ran again next on January 1& 2nd 2011.

Halloween weekend was busy on both days with two trains in use and lots of children in costume. The weather stayed dry and so everyone had a great time.

No.7 Merlin passed its annual boiler test in October so all the engines are back in use again.

We have surfaced the platform 2 area which looks much better as the old surface had started to break up. Its been very popular for our birthday parties this year. We have also taken delivery of a new 50 ton hydraulic press for use in the workshop.

Attempts to get a visiting steam engine for the gala proved very difficult. Four had been promised then dropped out. But we did have a historic diesel Belle returning. We also ran every piece of rolling stock with 5 steam and and 3 other engines. The gala was well attended especially on the Saturday. The North Staffordshire Model Engineers also brought their portable track.

The bo - bo diesel Rudyard Lady is back together after work on a broken drive coupling. Its likely to be tested on a train soon. Work on painting the station continues and its looking smart. The Blackhust ballast wagon has had new couplings fitted and a new floor. A repaint will follow. Trains now run Saturdays and Sundays to the end of October and daily at half term 23 to 31st October. Trains now run Saturdays and Sundays to the end of October and daily at half term 23 to 31st October. Then Sundays in November.

We had a visit from Burglars very early on Friday August 20th. There were defeated by our security measures and managed only to steal a fire extinguisher and do some minor damage. The owners of a nearby cafe were not so lucky. Their premises were burnt out!

Exmoor the cat is our new volunteer. He or she likes to lie on the tracks and play in the coal! Sadly after avoiding all the trains she was run over by a car on Thursday September 2nd and killed. She will be really missed as she was a character liked by all the staff and visitors.

Platform 2 cafe has been extended with the canopy increased in sizeto give better protection from sun and rain. More seating and lighting has been added. The long awaited clock tower has also been added to the station canopy. Resurfacing of Platform 2 is underway.

King Arthur broke a spring recently and has another damaged. Both have been removed whilst new ones are obtained. These have been fitted and No. 8 King Arthur returned to service on August 8th. The trains are now running every Wednesday until the end of September and the cafe at Rudyard Station - Platform 2 will be open daily Wednesday- Sunday to September 5th.

The ten an a quarter railway society has been reformed with the assistance of some of the volunteers at Rudyard and has a new website www.ten-and-a-quarter-railway-society.co.uk. The aim is to promote railways such as ours and catalogue their history.

We are very sorry to report the death of Dave Cruickshank on Saturday May 22nd 2010. He was the first new person to volunteer when we took over the railway in 2000. He was a key supporter and will be sadly missed.

No.7 Merlin has been poorly and his his front driving wheels are missing whilst we replace a broken bearing. Now done by mid June and he is back at work againAdditional storage space is being added to the cafe at Rudyard. Also a new automatic refilling and water treatment facility has been added to the locomotive water tank. This puts in a measured amount of water treatment every time the tank refills.

The additional Flashing lights and second lifting barrier were installed on the level crossing in early May. It now has four sets of warning lights and lifting barriers on both sides of the crossing. The lifting arms are worked by using adapted car soft top actuators. Weed Killing trains were run this week before the weeds grow too much.

The canopy on Platform 2 has finally had its railway style valances added and looks really well. Its very popular when the rain showers blow in. The early May Bank holiday was busy after a slow start on Saturday May 1st. Two trains ran on Sunday & Monday with three engines in steam. Trains on Monday ran close to capacity all day.

A second lifting barrier has been added to the level crossing at Rudyard station. Additional flashing lights will follow shortly. The signals at Rudyard have gone back to traditional semaphore upper quadrant types. They look much better than colour light signals and are now permanent fuxtures.

The Railway hosted a Macmillan Charity Day on Saturday March 27th organised by one of our volunteers Peter Moore. Sponsored walks round the lake had dry weather and a two train service meant the walkers got free train rides. All the normal fare income for the day is being donated to Macmillan as well.

Work to extend the station canopy at Rudyard Station is complete. This will give much better conditions when the weather is poor. The path from the Platform to the level crossing has also been concreted. Snow arrived again in large amounts on 21st of February 2010 and so regretfully the trains were cancelled for the day. We have a number of our popular steam engine driver experience courses booked in for the next few weeks so the trains will be steaming up the tracks.

The steam engine Waverley was dismantled and is about to be fully professionally repainted in Apple Green. its now back together and in use. On Sunday the 14th Feb. the boiler was washed out and the cladding removed as a first step. Merlin was in service and the trains were busy.

The steam engines are having their annual boiler tests and King Arthur and Pendragon successfully passed on January 27th. Waverley and Excalibur passed on February 3rd ready for the main 2010 season. All our steam locomotives were in use in 2010.