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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Evesham Vale Light Railway

In a nutshell

Gauge:        15"

Length:      1 mile overall

Opened:     2002


View Narrow Gauge Railways in a larger map



Date of visit:     12 April 2014


Key Facts

  • The railway was built in 2002 and changed ownership in 2012, with most of the stock being transferred to the new owners.
  • It is located at the Evesham Country Park and runs from its main station through the park and an orchard to return via a balloon loop.
  • The railway possesses two steam locomotives presently in working order - Dougal, a Severn Lamb 0-6-0 and St. Egwin, an Exmoor 0-4-0. Another steam loco, Monty, an Exmoor 0-4-2, is currently being overhauled.
  • It also has two diesel locomotives - Sludge, a Lister and Cromwell, a Ruston. 



My Impressions

The main station for the railway is adjacent to the car park for the Country Park and looks very smart with two platforms, an overall roof, booking office, turntable and engine sheds. The buildings are painted cream and green to add to the atmosphere.

Our loco, 0-4-0 St Egwin was steaming quietly at the end of the main platform .....

 I made my way down the platform to take my seat in one of the neatly finished enclosed carriages......

..... and had a view of the other platform and an interesting pedal-powered vehicle standing on the intervening siding.

We then started our journey down the line.

After clearing the pointwork of the station ....

.... the loco picked-up speed and climbed towards the summit of the line.

The reverse-loop provided us with views across the Avon Valley ......

.... before we plunged into the tunnel.

When we emerged, we rounded the bend and pulled into Evesham Vale Station ......

.... where there was a five minute stop.

I decided to walk back beside the line to the main station. After watching the train traverse the pointwork for the balloon-loop.

I positioned myself further along the line to watch the passing trains, which run every half-hour.

 As the line is quite steeply graded, there is plenty of opportunity for the driver to give the locos a good work-out and for some satisfying lineside video shots.

A then spent a while watching shunting operations in the main station as St Egwin ran around her train.

And the line's other locos basked in the Spring sunshine.

After watching one more departure, I made my way back to the car park to resume my journey home.

 I found the Evesham Vale Light Railway to be well maintained and run with a great deal of care and attention by its staff. Its proximity to the attractions at the Country Park means that it must get a steady stream of appreciative visitors. Whilst most will be attracted by the opportunity to experience live steam in miniature form, it is also pays homage to the versatility of Heywood's vision in providing an industrious minimum gauge railway (see Minimum Gauge Railways Chronology)


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