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2012 News

December 2012

EHR News Update - Santa Specials

 

This year's Santa Specials increased in popularity as news spread of our new station facilities and enhanced Santa Special experience.  Many of the trains were fully booked, with attendance up nearly 40% to 2006 levels. EHR would like to thank all those who attended the event and wish all a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

In other news, the EHR Volunteers Christmas party was held at the Old Moor Tavern in Wombwell this year. The food and venue were first class and a good time was had by all. It is rumoured that as a result the venue for 2013 has already been chosen!


November 2012

EHR News Update

The repainting of our Green Goddess fire engine was completed in November, in time for the marquee to be prepared for our busy Santa Special Season. The fire engine is a popular attraction and is now back on display in the station yard at Elsecar.


October 2012

EHR News Update

Peckett 2000 arrived with us early in October from Barrow Hill on a hire agreement.  She has been brought in to help with our busy Autumn schedule and the huge demand for our footplate experience courses. 2000 is proving to be a popular and sprightly performer at Elsecar.

 

September 2012

EHR News Update

Tingle Bridge Lane Signal Box, containing all of the electronic switchgear for our new level crossing, was delivered to Elsecar in September 2012. The installation of the rails and crossing panels has been pencilled in for early March 2013.

 

22nd August 2012

EHR News Update

22nd August saw the Elsecar Heritage Railway proudly receive an unexpected but very generous donation from Mr Chris Harris of West Bromwich, who attended a footplate course at the railway in June of this year. Del Tilling accepted the donation on behalf of the railway in our new booking hall at Elsecar, where  Chris stated "I had a wonderful time back in June, and I am so impressed by the progress made in such a short time since then, my wife and I felt we would like to help with the final push to Cortonwood."
August also saw trial holes being dug at Tingle Bridge Lane to locate services beneath the road surface in anticipation of the future level crossing installation at the site. This is another milestone in the ongoing push to extend the railway to Cortonwood. Work has also continued levelling the site of the new station Halt at Hemingfield, with work set to continue through the remainder of this year.
In other news, it is with unfortunate timing that Peckett No.2150 0-6-0 Mardy Monster has failed with a steam pipe leak, only a few short weeks after returning to service following extensive unrelated motion repairs. A spokesman added "We hope to have her back at work within a couple of weeks. This could not have come at a worse time for the Railway: our schedules are fully booked and our back up locomotive 68030, ran out of boiler ticket last Friday." Steam services at the forthcoming gala day will be handled by Sentinel 4wVBT William and the railways resident diesel locomotives.

9th July 2012

EHR News Update

Work is under way on improving the vehicular access to the station yard at Elsecar, which has been an issue for a number of years. At present all large vehicles have to access the site via the Heritage Centre, rather than accessing the station yard directly. The current works are being carried out to enable easier access into the yard from the Distillery Side Road, with the previous raised beds and stone walls being removed in anticipation of the telegraph pole being relocated further away from the road as can be seen. This will allow the entrance and turning circle to be much improved for access from the road.


8th July 2012

EHR News Update

On Sunday 8th July 2012, the Elsecar Heritage Railway was pleased to present a representative from Macmillan Cancer Support with a cheque for 1000, along with a special bottle of Mardy Monster Mash ale brewed by Wentworth Brewery. This donation was made possible through funds raised at the 2012 Barnsley CAMRA Beer Festival, which was held at EHR over the may Bank Holiday and raised funds for both the railway and Macmillan. The photo shows EHR Chairman Del Tilling making the presentation on Elsecar station.

 

 

Also at Elsecar, visiting Hunslet Austerity 68030, has been used intensively throughout June and July on both footplate courses and normal service trains. The use of this locomotive marks the beginning of a summer of steam at Elsecar, with steam traction scheduled to be in use every Sunday and Wednesday throughout the season. Please view the timetable on this website for dates of operation and train times.


8th June 2012

EHR News Update

The EHR have recently taken delivery of Hunslet Austerity No. 3777 (painted as J94 68030) on hire from the Llangollen Railway, the loco arriving on 28th May from Barrow Hill after its appearance at the recent event there. The loco is being used to cover for the Mardy Monster during its appearance at the NRM Railfest and whilst repairs to the loco are completed. It is anticipated that the loco will remain at Elsecar until its boiler certificate expires in August of this year. It will be used primarily to cater for the unprecedented demand for footplate courses this year, although it will also be used on some service trains. Any such operations will be advertised on our loco roster page here. Further information about 3777 can be found on the loco page here.

Work on Sentinel 0-4-0VBT Gervase is also continuing at a great pace. The cab and tank is now refitted along with all pipe work. All that remains to do is for the side panels to be re-fitted and painted to complete the loco. After completion of its rebuild the loco will be visiting an external contractor for axle box work before its planned return to service towards the end of this year. Gervase can be seen in the loco shed stabled next to the new arrival in the photo below.

Cortonwood Colliery Loco Shed 1965?


11th May 2012

EHR News Update

April and early May have been an exceptionally busy period for the railway and the following pictorial news update will aim to depict the latest news and  developments with ongoing projects at Elsecar.

 

Easter saw the opening of the new booking hall and station buffet. As can be seen from the picture, this new facility is a big improvement on our previous booking office which has now been converted into a new toilet block. There is still a small amount of cosmetic work to add the finishing touches to the building, which should be completed over the coming weeks. The new booking office was used to great effect during our busy Easter event weekend which was a great success once again.

 

The new building was also well received on Sunday 29th April for our first time hosting of the Peppa Pig event. Despite the torrential rain that fell for most of the day, the event was well attended as is one that we hope to build on for the future.

 

The May bank holiday weekend saw the 2012 Barnsley CAMRA Beer Festival held at the railway for the first time. The event was a great success and saw large crowds descending on the railway to enjoy the wide variety of real ales on offer (many of which had a railway theme!). The images below show the festival which was held in the new marquee to the rear of our station at Elsecar.

(Photos: Jeff Harrison)

 

In the workshops at Elsecar, the Mardy Monster is currently receiving mechanical attention to return it to prime condition for its busy schedule over the coming months. During this period, the opportunity has been given to repaint the loco in a new livery that more closely matches its original colour scheme. The loco now sports a darker shade of lined BR green, green wheels and complete cab repaint. Scheduled to be returned to traffic in the coming weeks, the loco will have a starring role at the National Railway Museum Railfest in June of this year. The loco was revealed in its new livery for the first time on static display at the Beer Festival as can be seen below.


27th March 2012

EHR News Update

 

Work on many of the exciting upgrade projects at Elsecar are now nearing their final stages of construction. The new booking hall at Elsecar station has all major structural work completed, with work now concentrating on fitting out the interior in time for our Easter Egg Specials event. Also on the station, the large tank required to service our new toilet block has been installed to the rear of the building, and is in the process of being connected to the new toilet facility ready for it to open early in our 2012 running season.

 

Elsewhere, the large marquee recently purchased by the railway has been erected in the station yard at Elsecar. This will be the venue for our forthcoming 2012 Barnsley CAMRA beer festival. This undercover area will be a great addition to our facilities and will allow us to greatly enhance the types of attractions we are able to provide at future special events. A new stage has also been constructed adjacent to the marquee which be ideal for use during our forthcoming Peppa Pig event.

The foot crossing between Elsecar Heritage Centre and the station is now also nearing completion. The telephone box erected on the station side of the crossing is also benefitting from new glazing and a fresh coat of paint.

In other news, the railway has recently purchased a redundant level crossing from Network Rail which was recently removed from the national network. This has been purchased complete with barriers and actuators and is destined to be used on the Tingle Bridge Lane level crossing as part of our exciting extension plans. For further details on the extension and the latest news, please click here.


16th March 2012

Newcomen Beam Engine News

The Newcomen Beam Engine that is located adjacent to the line at Elsecar is in the process of being restored and preserved for future generations by Barnsley Council as part of the Elsecar Heritage Centre project. Please see the statement from the Elsecar Heritage Centre website below regarding the latest exciting news on the project. The EHR look forward to working together closely with the Barnsley team in developing the Elsecar Heritage Centre complex and Railway into a great tourist attraction and heritage site in South Yorkshire.

- Statement Taken from EHC Website -

Statement received from Heritage Lottery Fund:

"The Newcomen Beam Engine at Elsecar one of the most important inventions of the industrial revolution and a breakthrough in the creation of mechanical power from steam has been awarded a confirmed grant of 425,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a complete restoration.

The two-year project, to be run by Barnsley Council, will see the world-famous beam engine, shaft, and engine house restored to full working order and conserved within the wider site of the Elsecar village conservation area as a premier tourist attraction in Barnsley.

Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, said:

"Currently, Elsecar Heritage Centre attracts 225,000 people a year and the importance of its unique industrial heritage is not as widely understood or as accessible to the public as it could be. This project, in addition to saving the Newcomen engine for future generations, will see greatly improved interpretation at the site and activities for visitors in addition to training and volunteer opportunities for people so they can get involved in protecting this wonderful place."

The engine, which pumped water out of the Elsecar New Colliery from 1795 to 1923 and remained in working order until the 1950s, is one of the top 10 key industrial sites on English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register due to its 'outstanding importance to England's industrial past'.

Described within the heritage sector as 'the forefather of the industrial revolution' the Scheduled Ancient Monument is the last to remain in-situ in its original engine house and is amongst the most important heritage sites in the world.

Elsecar was the industrial powerhouse of the successive Earls of Fitzwilliam from nearby Wentworth Woodhouse. The astonishing surroundings remaining today around the Newcomen Engine include ironworks, workshops, a canal, a colliery and the Fitzwilliam's family railway station. The village itself is an excellent example of an industrial model village perhaps the earliest in England.

"This is fantastic news for Elsecar and for Barnsley. We're proud of our rich industrial heritage, of iron and coal production going back many centuries. Elsecar, with its ironworks, canal, railway and this important beam engine, has the potential to be a first class visitor attraction. Now we have the chance to share its inspiring stories with visitors from across the region, around the world and with future generations, too."

Finally, Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, also offers his support:

"The Newcomen Beam Engine in Elsecar is one of Yorkshire's finest surviving legacies of the industrial revolution so it is great news that this money has been awarded for its restoration. And, as well as restoring the engine back to its original state, I think this new project will be an excellent opportunity to showcase our area's proud past.

"But with the funding also being used to develop and update the visitor attraction, this is also about helping our local economy in the future, too. Particular thanks should go to the tireless campaigning by local Councillors Robin Franklin and Tim Shepherd. They have both played a crucial role in securing this investment and, ultimately, ensuring that this important part of our heritage is celebrated in our community for many years to come."


9th March 2012

EHR Events News

Tickets are now on sale for our forthcoming Peppa Pig event to be held on Sunday 29th April 2012. Tickets can be purchased online form this website or over the phone on 01226 746746. Please click here for the Peppa Pig event page and ticketing details.

Places are also still available for our Car Boot Sale on Sunday 25th March. To book your pitch, please visit the event page or telephone 01226 746746.


17th February 2012

EHR News

Work on the new booking office at Elsecar is continuing at a great pace, with the vast majority of the structure now in place. The window frames have been fitted and the glazing delivered ready for installation. Extra care was taken with the design of the structure to ensure that it is in keeping with the listed buildings of the Elsecar Heritage Centre complex. Once structurally complete, attention will turn to fitting out the interior of the building ready for use during the 2012 season. The exterior of the building will be finished in the Wentworth Estate colours of Green & Cream, as is the station canopy which covers the new facility. Work has also continued on the p-way upgrade, with further sections of track receiving replacement concrete sleepers, and additional long timbers renewed under the station points and crossings.


30th January 2012

EHR News

Work on the new booking office & waiting room at Elsecar is progressing well, with the main structure of the new building now clearly taking shape. This new structure will house an improved ticket office, buffet counter & waiting room for our visitors. Once completed, the present booking office will be converted into a new toilet block, bringing a major improvement to the facilities that we are able to offer our visitors.

Elsewhere at Elsecar, the railway's JCB has burst back into life following attention over the winter. This will be a valuable asset for assisting with the trackbed clearance works on the Cortonwood extension. Additionally, the railway has recently sold the redundant frames and boiler of Avonside Class B4 No. 1945, for recycling. This loco was purchased in component form with a view to the useful assets being removed to help restore the railways own Avonside loco, Earl Fitzwilliam. The con-rods have also been sold on to a steam locomotive preservationist for use on another restoration project. The funds raised from the recycling 1945 will be used to fund heavy maintenance work on the Mardy Monster in anticipation of a busy 2012 season of operations.


22nd January 2012

EHR Extension & Upgrade News

The current programme of resurfacing works on the Trans-Pennine Trail (TPT), which runs alongside the line, has enabled the EHR to progress with works that will assist with the construction of our extension to Cortonwood. During the resurfacing works, the railway trackbed on the extension will be used as an alternative route for walkers whilst the TPT is closed for the works. In return the TPT rangers will be carrying out a scheme of trackbed clearance works and vegetation management works along our line. Stage 1 of the scheme will see the extension trackbed between Cortonwood & Smithy Bridge Lane cleared of trees and vegetation in a 3m wide corridor to provide access to the TPT users. Between Tingle Bridge Lane & Smithy Bridge Lane, trees and branches will be felled across the width of the track to be re-laid, with brash being used as habitat piles nearby. It is envisaged that Stage 1 will be completed by the end of January. Stage 2 of the works will see lineside vegetation cut back in some locations to open up views along our route currently in use. The EHR will be collecting the felled trees and logs for transportation to Elsecar. If you would like to assist with these works or would be interested in purchasing any of the logs, please contact the railway via the links above. For more information on the Cortonwood extension or to donate, please click here.

At Elsecar, the work undertaken in the last 12 months on clearing the station yard has almost reached completion. This not only improves the appearance of the station, but will also be useful for our upcoming events season. As the image to the left shows, there is now a large area at the station which the railway can make use of for the wide range of events that are scheduled for 2012. The view of the station yard at Elsecar can now also be viewed live via our webcam which can be accessed here. Work is also progressing on the installation of the foot crossing at Elsecar, with the slip free surface for the crossing in the process of being installed during January. Please view the website over the coming months to stay up to date with the many exciting projects currently in progress at the EHR.


1st January 2012

Happy New Year from EHR

The Elsecar Heritage Railway is pleased to reveal the 2012 programme of operating dates and special events. We would like to thank all our visitors for their support in 2011 and look forward to welcoming you to Elsecar in 2012. Details of events and dates can be found by using the drop down menus above. Please view the news pages during the early months of 2012 to stay up to date with the programme of upgrade works taking place at Elsecar.

  

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