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Saturday, 6 July 2019

3 Railways in 1 Week

Whilst holidaying on the South East Coast the opportunity was taken to see some trains. First up was the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. We choose to visit New Romney Station as that is where the loco works are and there is also a model railway exhibit. There was not much to see in the loco yard, just some foreign looking diesel. On duty this day was Hurricane, a 1926 built 4-6-2 pacific one third full size.

The model railway exhibit is advertised as "possibly the largest in the UK" (a tad overstated me thinks). It was a typical tourist attraction being a 00 gauge fictitious layout with trains endlessly chasing tails. One freight train had an unusual pitachio shell load and another weird locomotive was a motorised rat with red flashing tail. Of course the kids there loved it all and I found myself worryingly attracted to watching the rat make its circuit.

Of most interest to me though were the cabinets of locomotives and rolling stock. Some being displays of vintage models, I was amazed to see the highly detailed vintage hornby dublos that would not look out of place on today's model railways. Other cabinets had stock demonstrating the range of model scales available.

A visit to Bodiam Castle was contrived since the K&ES Railway is just a short walk from the castle. Bodiam Station is a pretty little station painted in K&ES colours of cream and red. I had a long and informative conversation with a volunteer there until he remembered he had to open the crossing gates for a train that was due. In fact the train was patiently waiting for the gates to be opened!

In the yard was a small selection of wagons and I was delighted to see there a 15T ballast wagon, a model of which I recently scratch built.

On the journey home from hols' we stopped off at Sheffield Park station on the Bluebell Line. A £3 platform ticket gave us access to the loco shed, museum, shop and restaurant. The shop had the largest railway book selection I have ever seen at a heritage railway. The restaurant was plush, the loco shed full of clean stock and the museum large and informative. This station is well worth a visit and we shall go again as this was only a one hour visit due to other commitments. Next time we'll also take a train ride to Horsted Keynes and back.

On duty this day was a Class 5. Was not too sure if it was a 4 or 5 but the nameplate 'Camelot' gave it away because some Southern Region allocated class 5s were given the names of engines from the King Arthur N15 class on their withdrawl.

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