Walsall Steam Railway.

November 15, 2018

Situated in Walsall Arboretum, the 7 1/4 inch gauge steam railway opened at Easter 1976, with single line working using 1 steam locomotive   “Princess Elizabeth”, and 2 battery powered locomotives.


Over the following couple of years, a loco shed and two turntables were installed.


By the end of 1979 the Railway was operating with 1 1/4 miles of double track, between 2 terminal stations, making it the only 7 1/4 gauge railway to this specification running in this country at the time.


Trains were run every Saturday, Sunday, and Bank Holidays, between Easter and October from 2pm until dusk.


In its heyday this popular Railway operated regular 3 carriage trains, using 8 steam locomotives plus 2 battery powered ones.

4-6-2 Princess Elizabeth No 6201, 4-6-2 A H Peppercorn No 525, 2-10-0 Black Prince No 92203, 2-10-0 Evening Star No92220, 4-6-0 Sister Dora No 5000, 4-6-0 Lanarkshire Yeomanry No 45154, 4-6-2 Duchess of Buccleuch No 6230, GWR battery electric, and Hymek battery electric.

Unfortunately Walsall Steam Railway closed in the late 1980’s.

Information and photographs taken from brochure entitled Walsall Steam Railway by Colin M Cartwright, dated Spring 1981.




Bursnips Road Signal Box.

October 12, 2018


This rather ornate Signal Box in a photograph  taken by Jim Hardy, was situated on Bursnip Road Essington, and protected the entrance to Holly Bank Colliery.


The Colliery which opened in 1880, closed in 1952. The Signal Box however survived and as since between totally renovated and transformed, and is now a private dwelling.


Aldridge Railway Station.

August 10, 2018


To coin a phrase “ the train now standing in platform one is a Stevenson Railway Society, Railtour named Farewell to LNWR Steam”. The Station is Aldridge Station, which was opened in 1879 on the Midland Railway Line between Walsall and Birmingham via Streetly and Sutton Park. The station closed to passengers in 1965 as part of the Beeching re-structure plan. The train was hauled by two Super D, 0-8-0 locomotives No’s 49430 and 49361 respectively. The yellow stripes on the cab sides of the loco’s prohibits them from working under electric power lines South of Crewe, due to their height, and also power lines South of Crewe tended to be lower due to bridge clearance. Photo taken on 12th December 1964 by Paul Downey/JW.

Wimblebury No 7.

July 17, 2018

Austerity Class 0-6-0ST locomotive named Wimblebury is seen returning to Cannock Wood Colliery with rather an unusual load. Not the recognised procedure for the P way team to return to the colliery, but they were glad of the opportunity of a tow back to Cannock Wood. Photo by John Bucknall.


The locomotive, works No 3839, was built by Hunslet in 1956 and supplied new to Cannock Wood Colliery as their No 7 and named Wimblebury. The loco was withdrawn from service in 1970, and when the Colliery closed in 1973, No 7  was sold for preservation, and moved to Foxfield Railway at Stoke on Trent. Since being in preservation the loco has done stirling service at Foxfield and also visited other preserved railways, including Chasewater Railway. Photo by Robin Stewart-Smith.


Its last major overhaul was completed in 2017 and now this impressive locomotive, is now back in steam at Foxfield, looking as splendid as ever. Photo by Kieron Mark Rigby.


Trolley Bus 616.

July 16, 2018

When the Railway Preservation Society was at Hednesford, it had an ex Wolverhampton Corporation Trolley Bus. Photo by oakparkrunner in 1963.


This Trolley Bus registration FJW 616, fleet No 616 was built in 1949 by Sunbeam Comercial Vehicles of Wolverhampton. Also in 1949 Sunbeam was taken over by Guy Motors, another Wolverhampton based commercial vehicle builder. The Trolley bus was fitted with a Park Royal body with a 54 seating capacity. Motive power was provided by a Metro-Vickers 95 HP motor, fed from a 550 volt DC supply via overhead cables. Wolverhampton had one of the largest Trolley Bus network in the country, with a fleet of 173 buses running over 14 routes. Photo Wikipedia.


616 was taken out of service in 1963 and moved to the Preservation Society at Hednesford, when Wolverhampton gradually changed to diesel buses. Trolley buses eventually ceased to operate in the Borough in March 1967. When the RPS moved from Hednesford to Chasewater in 1965 the bus was put into storage, under cover until it moved to the Bus Museum at Wythall in July 2004. It has since been cosmetically restored, and is on static display in the museum. Photo from Museum web page.




Cannock Wood No 9.

July 14, 2018

Cannock and Rugeley Colliery locomotive was built by London Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1877. It was a 0-6-0T loco E1 class ref  No B110 and named Burgundy. It was sold to Cannock and Rugeley Colliery in 1927 as their No 9 and re named Cannock Wood. Photo by JohnBucknall year unknown.


The loco was withdrawn from service in 1963 with fire box problems and preserved by the Railway Preservation Society at Hednesford. Photo by oakparkrunner 1965.



In 1965 when the Society moved to Chasewater, the loco was stored at Rawnsley. It then moved to Chasewater in 1970, and finally moved to the East Somerset Railway in 1978.

Walsall Railway Shed.

July 13, 2018

Walsall engine shed was situated at Ryecroft and given the allocation code of 3C, a plate bearing this number was fitted to the smoke box door on all the locomotives shedded there. Photo by David Dalton 1965.



The shed which was  constructed in 1878 covered 12 roads and could house around 60 steam locomotives. Photo Jack Haddock.


It was rebuilt over 3 years 1953/1955, but only 3 years later in 1958, the shed closed to  steam traction, and catered for a number of  DMU’s and a few diesel locomotives from Bescot. Photo by Jack Haddock.


The shed closed completely in 1965 and subsequently demolished in 1970.


Littleton Colliery final day of steam.

July 4, 2018

February 18th 1978 was the day that steam power ended at Littleton colliery. The last train of the day was a rake of empty coal wagons from Penkridge exchange sidings back to the Colliery. Photo by Mike Wood.



The honour of this final journey was bestowed upon Austerity 0-6-0ST locomotive No 1752 built in 1943 by Hudswell Clarke to a Hunslet design, and known as No 7.

Although the Colliery closed in December 1993, the locomotive survived, first moving to Bold Colliery in St Helens and renamed Robert. Photo by Graham Wignall.


It was withdrawn from service in 1982 and put into preservation at Crewe Heritage Centre. It is now at Great Central Railway Loughborough, and after a full restoration it forms part of their running fleet under its J94 guise of 68067 as it was in BR days. Photo’s by Joe Nineefs Connell.




Peckett Locomotive 917.

June 18, 2018

Built by Peckett & Sons of Bristol in January 1902, this Type R1 0-4-0ST locomotive is seen at Albright & Wilson’s Chemical Works at Oldbury. photo by Mike Wood.


917 at Albright & Wilson Oldbury.

Originally sold to Crowshaw & Warburton of Shawcross in Yorkshire, and named Shawcross. It was taken in part exchange for a new one from Peckett, and resold to Albright & Wilson in 1930. It was withdrawn from service in August 1978 and is now preserved at Chasewater Railway awaiting restoration. Photo oakparkrunner.

917 a


Lord Kitchener

May 1, 2018

The main locomotive at Walsall Wood Colliery was No 5 Lord Kitchener.

wood loco

This 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive, works No 5158, was purchased new from Kitsons and company at Hunslet in West Yorkshire. It was kept busy in the colliery as well as taking loaded wagons of coal down to the marshalling yard at Norton Junction in Pelsall. Whilst going to Norton Junction, the driver had to carry the following token, allowing him access to the single track line.

stsff jpeg

The locomotive was still at the Wood in 1962 and was since scrapped. One of the original Brass nameplates off Lord Kitchener has recently been purchased by Chasewater Railway Museum, and after renovation, it will be on display along with other original nameplates from local colliery engines.

Another Kitson locomotive at Walsall Wood was Lord French. Purchased new in 1916 with a works No of 5171, it was scrapped at Walsall Wood in 1948.

Photographs and relevant information taken from chasewaterstuffs  blog


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