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A Big House for Little Trains

The Portable Railway Club was invited to Severn Valley Railway for their Vintage Transport Extravaganza on Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th August to run as an attraction at The Engine House, Highley Station - an impressive building with a wealth of British railway history on display. The Portable Railway Club, supported by MRW, is chaired by Daniel Mason and is a not-for-profit organisation of volunteers enthusiastic about portable railways, with the aim of increasing awareness of miniature railways and model engineering as a hobby for people of all ages. After a discussion about the potential for running at the weekend, it was agreed that the portable railway club could run alongside the full sized engines in The Engine House at Highley Station and take rides, adding to an already packed roster of exciting attractions.

Photo Credit: Severn Valley Railway


The Portable Railway Club's volunteers for the weekend included Daniel Mason, myself James Wright, Matt Cross and our good friend Paul Hughes, whose father was a driver on the Severn Valley up until his retirement at 75 years of age very recently. We were welcomed to a very fitting and quaint sleeping coach at Arley station with excellent facilities located on site including a well kitted out mess room, toilets and a shower. The weather was beautiful all weekend and Daniel took this excellent shot of the platform at sundown not long after our arrival.

Arley Station at Twilight with the Sleeping Coach in the Background

The Weekend's Running

Operating in The Engine House at Arley Station, we lucky enough to have Colin Edmondson's person Imp on loan to us, along with a Neptune 4 also kindly loan to us by Peter from Abbots Model Engineering. Running on 7 1/4 portable track with a set of points provided by MRW for the weekend, we had the benefit of being able to run both locos as and when saw fit and this was a great attraction for children who enjoyed riding behind both engines.

The running was generally busy, with influxes of people as trains arrived at the station from the Severn Valley's heritage trains that were operating all day, both steam and diesel. With a line up of pristine vintage and classic cars lining the entrance of The Engine House, we were pleased to add our portable railway to the list of things children enjoyed across the weekend.

Vintage Transport Extravaganza

When we weren't rushed off our feet, we were able to take in some of the interesting and unusual vehicles the event had to offer, including preserved diesel engines, this lovely GWR 2800 goods loco and classic cars that made our old Volvo look like a spring chicken.

Miniature Traction Engine Photo Credit: Matthew Cross

There were also miniature and full sized traction engines at the event, which Matt was able to see.

A Thoroughly Enjoyable Weekend in Good Company

We had an excellent time running with the PRC and putting smiles on faces. We must also extend our thanks to the staff at the Severn Valley Railway for their assistance and warm hospitality across the weekend. We're really hoping we can make it back again next year as the Severn Valley Railway is a great example of a heritage railway done properly!

Photo Gallery Credit: Matthew Cross

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