Monday, 1 December 2014

East of Eden, North of Sydney - By Ben Yates

Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated!

As you may have read on the SSS Facebook page, we've had 3 months of downtime on the route. I was sent out to Australia with work (anything but a holiday!) so route building had to cease while I was away. Phil is on the mend now too, so I'm pleased to report we're very much 'back in the saddle'.

The section we're concentrating on is Appleby East, which as you'll see from the screenshots is coming together nicely. The EVR of course was the first in town, and like many companies in the era of railway mania, architecture was elaborate, gothic and way beyond functional, and Appleby station was and remains quite stunning in terms of railway architecture, no doubt contributing to its continuing existence as a house, though the garden, a scrapyard, is unlikely to win any awards.
I expect Phil is, however, cursing the architect for making such a complex thing to model. 
This stretch of this line never famed in railway circles, despite it running through beautiful scenery that wasn't called Eden for nothing, in many cases the same scenery of the S&C. I'm forming the view that there is a romance attached to anything closed by Beeching (who, according to my late grandfather, knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing) but later closures seem to fall from the radar.

The section from Appleby to KSE and Hartley Quarry remained open until 1974, and to Warcop until 1993 and saw a huge variety of diesel traction - 20s, 25s, 26s, 31s, 40s, 45s and 47s during this period yet got very little press for its trouble. Fortunately its survival facilitated its partial saving by the EVR preservationists at Warcop who run trains most of the way to Appleby - pop in and have a ride when they reopen at Easter.
One of the later workings on the line was a weed killing train, a curious pre privatisation train operated by Hunslet Barclay for BR comprising a pair of class 20s topping and tailing tanks and support coaches. Other workings were for the army at Warcop - ammunition, tanks, troops and on one occasion 6 condemned coaches that were raided by the SAS. As an exercise, obviously!

More Soon . . . . . . . . . 

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