Railway Extension Approved
22 August 2007

The Man from HMRI he say yes!

The hard work by the Museum's railway volunteers paid dividends in June when the Railway Inspector visited in his official capacity and approved the line for use - well almost!

Although he was perfectly happy with all the safety features we have built in - in particular, locks to prevent conflicting movements where the line is crossed by one of the industrial railway tracks and safety notices protecting the foot crossing on the approach to Brockham, he with-held final permission until the surface at Cragside Station has been completed. Unfortunately, the Museum has been unable to find a contractor to do this before mid-August.

This has now been completed and the HMRI has authorised opening of the line. Public trains will commence operation over the extension on Sunday 26 August 2007 in time for the Bank Holiday.

The lengthened line will take our visitors around the eastern end of the Pit giving them a glimpse of parts of the Museum previously inaccessible to the public, including a good view of the new locomotive running shed and the rear of the loco workshop area.

The line terminates at a new station called Cragside. The name Cragside has been chosen as this was the name of the first house in the UK to have electric light installed for domestic use and was thought appropriate as the new station is adjacent to the EdF Electrical Museum (formerly the Milne Collection). (It is also close to the BT Connected Earth exhibition, but naming the station Beattie doesn't have the same ring to it does it?!)

The new line was used extensively for operational needs - that is, eliminating shunting moves at Brockham - over this year's Gala weekend with passenger trains continuing empty to Cragside to run round.

The completed approaches to Cragside Station.

Gerry Cork & Amberley Working Museum - September 2007
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