Gronks, Hoppers and a Pillbox (plus a Shark!)

Way back in March (yes it’s taken me a while to get round to making this post) Oly and myself visited the Chasewater Railway at Brownhills, in the deepest Midlands, for the National Wagon Preservation Group’s (NWPG) inaugural members day. 

For those that don’t know, the NWPG have set out to preserve wagons of historical significance to Britain, that would otherwise likely get forgotten about and scrapped – focus sing primarily on the post 1960’s pool of air braked stock once so common and fast becoming extinct. So far a number of wagons have been saved, including a pair of MGR hoppers, a TEA bogie tanker and a ZDA 4 wheel open used in the construction of the Channel Tunnel. 

Anyhow, the day was brilliant, with a couple of rides up and down the line hauled by the resident 08, including a couple of photostops, a presentation on the future interests of the group and a tour of the railway’s workshops, on a day that the line was otherwise closed to the public.

The first thing we noticed, being up north, was that it was bloody freezing, as evidenced by Mr Turner:

We also got the chance to check out some of the former British Steel industrials currently stored at the site:

And admire the beautifully restored ex Littleton colliery pillbox brake van (on which we rode)

Finally on the tour of the yard I managed to grab some detailed shots of the MGR’s which I’ve included here as reference if anyone fancies modelling them in detail…. Although I have to say mine will be staying as they are as life is too short to detail 30 odd underframes!

Our conclusions of the day were that (a) the Chasewater Railway is well worth a visit, especially if you’re into industrial stuff, and it’s lovely to see them doing something different to most other preserved lines and (b) the NWPG is well worth belonging too, as a new group that are preserving essential railway history, and that others should look to join too!

Next time I will try and provide an update within 3 months of it actually happening!



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