Aln Valley Railway Monthly Newsletter - April 2018
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Monthly Newsletter - April 2018

The 2018 season is now well and truly underway, but thanks to the poor weather and an early Easter some of us felt if we would make it!
The steam locomotive fleet doubled over the past month as Austerities 48 and 60 arrived at Lionheart. Practice makes perfect as we did a weekend of training preparing for the extended run and we launch a club especially for the little ones; our future drivers and staff.

No's 48 and 60 Arrive

Following overhaul at Ian Storeys at Hepscott, Number 60 was the first to arrive just before Easter. This allowed for light steaming over the weekend to identify any issues.
Number 48 turned up from Aviemore later in the month and will be cosmetically restored for the time being. It requires repairs to the firebox and has been prepared for outside storage with the valuable non-ferrous components removed; as well as a repaint, and will be placed on display at Lionheart although it is planned to repair it in the future.
Both 48 and 60 worked for some years at the Strathspey Railway at Aviemore, before being withdrawn for overhaul: No. 48 (Hunslet 2864/1943, WD No. 75015) formerly worked at Backworth Colliery in Northumberland while No. 60 (Hunslet 3686/1949) was delivered new to Dawdon Colliery in County Durham; it is unusual in that the cab profile has been modified to fit the restricted loading gauge of the former Lambton Railway.

No60 arrives on  low loader
No60 arrives (Photo: K Holden)
No60 first run
First run (Photo: C Freeman)
Some pulling power!
Super haulage - (L-R) - Drax, Richboro and No60 (Photo: D Mitchell)
No49 in the sun
No48 shortly after arrival (Photo: M Hayton)
Back in 1941, during WW2, the War Department identified the urgent need for locomotives to replace the diverse collection of elderly cast-offs from the main line companies that were being operated by the Railway Operating Division of the War Department.
The design brief was that they should be cheap to build, simple to maintain and able to run on poor coal. The design life expectancy was to be 5 years. Several manufacturers tendered to build the loco’s, the successful design being one from Hunslet Ltd of Leeds, although the eventual order was built by several different builders. Almost 400 were built between 1943 and 1947 and, after being declared surplus to requirements, most ended up being sold by the WD for industrial service, the majority going to the newly nationalised Coal Board. They proved to be highly successful, robust and reliable locomotives and further orders were placed by both the Army and the Coal Board until 1965. A total of 62 loco’s have survived into preservation. (W Stafford).


Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!

Those of you with a military background will probably remember those words blasting over the radio or out of a tannoy, often at 4 in the morning! Just like the military, volunteers of heritage railways need to train and practice for most eventualities. The other weekend it was no different for us, as we underwent safety training (in the open air due to the cracking weather!), and prepared for the extended run down the embankment towards Bridge 6.
Open Air Safety Training
Once our drivers, firemen and guards got to grips with the 1 in 47 incline, we thought it might be a good idea to simulate a train failure and throw everyone off (not literally but it was tempting!).
Evacuation Training
After that, Richboro 'broke down' on the incline whereupon we practiced sending for a relief loco - ex-NCB 615 was the Thunderbird for the occasion.
Thunderbirds are go!
We'll be undertaking another training day on Saturday June 30th.


Little Lionhearts

Little Lionhearts Flyer

The Little Lionhearts is our newly launched club for children of 3 to 15 years of age.
Everyone gets a goody bag, a special birthday and Christmas card, a day at the railway especially for Little Lionhearts and regular updates of what is happening at the railway.
At only £25 per year, it makes the perfect Christmas or Birthday present, or a ‘just because’ present for the young person in your family.
For an application form, pick one up from Lionheart or download here.

Other News

Jacking and Packing
The Permanent Way team, out in all weathers, jack and pack track on the mainline. Photo: K Holden.

Lever Painting
The ex-Hall Dene lever frame starting to receive a lick of paint. Work is ongoing to engineer the interlocking system. Photo: J Wilson.

Tree Clearance
Northumberland Estates are in the early stages of developing a chalet and caravan park adjacent to the site. To improve access, part of the adjoining wood near the entrance has been removed. Photo: M Hayton.

And Finally...

"Who's going to tell Mark the loco fell off?"

Who's going to tell mark?
Photo: K Holden.

Tourism Awards Logo


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Upcoming Events

Sunday 29 April 2018
Diesel Rides
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Saturday 05 May 2018
Steam Gala
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Sunday 06 May 2018
Steam Gala
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Monday 07 May 2018
Steam Gala
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Tuesday 08 May 2018
Indoor Talks - Annual Quiz
Gunnerton Church, Gunnerton

Sunday 13 May 2018
Diesel Rides
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Sunday 20 May 2018
Diesel Rides
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Saturday 26 May 2018
Northumberland Weekend
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Sunday 27 May 2018
Music Festival
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Monday 28 May 2018
Northumberland Weekend
Lionheart Station, 10.30-16.30

Trust AGM

The 2018 Annual General Meeting takes place on Tuesday 24 April 2018 at the Pottergate Centre, Alnwick from 19.00. This is an opportunity for Trust members to review progress from the past year and to see what is being planned, as well as discussing issues with the Board of Trustees.

Easter Weekend

Probably helped by the presence of No60 and the good weather, this years opening Easter Weekend was our best ever yet.

EB, above, is sporting one of our new Front of House tunics allowing our staff to stand out but without being too obvious!

Looking for something different to do?

The railway is always looking for more help. It's a new year and a new you, so why not volunteer and be part of an award-winning team?
Many different opportunities are available... including drivers / engineering / painting / cafe / shop / construction / administrators / electrical / organisation / maintenance / event planning / gardening / training / dealing with the public / first aid / looking after kids / graphic design - in fact almost any role you can think of (except astronaut or deep-sea diver!)

Water, water, everywhere!

After much delay due to the poor weather, Northumbrian Water pulled out all the stops and got our mains water supply connected just before the Easter weekend.
Issues with the spring supply have also been resolved too, ensuring the main tank is full for steam operations.


Squirrel Nutkin

Red squirrels are being seen more frequently in and around Lionheart. Due to the geographic spread we think there are at least three in the immediate area, which is good news for Nutkin and his chums.
This little chap was snapped by one of our cameras the other week.

Contact Information

Secretary / General Info:
Mark Hayton
Tel: 07754 765632
Press and Publicity:
Roger Jermy
Tel: 01665 606168
Donations/Gift Aid:
Tom Spence
Tel: 01665 572028
Membership Matters
Gavin Head
Tel: 01665 510828

Volunteer Team

EAFRD logo
AVR Monthly Newsletter. Written and edited by Mark Hayton
Copyright © 2018
Aln Valley Railway Trust, All rights reserved.
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Aln Valley Railway Trust
Lionheart Railway Station
Lionheart Enterprise Park
Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2EZ
United Kingdom

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Aln Valley Railway Trust · Lionheart Railway Station · Lionheart Enterprise Park · Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2EZ · United Kingdom

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