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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 63 - Summer 1987

VAMES - by John Clarke

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S J Ellison - When I grow up I want to be an engine driver!

Since the last article in this series, activities at the VAMES miniature railway have moved forward at a cracking pace.

The passing loop was completed at the beginning of March, together with some of the new siding accommodation. It should perhaps be explained at this stage that the installation of the passing loop is not to facilitate two directional working but to allow a more flexible passenger handling facility in the area of our station. With the much increased platform length provided by two tracks, we can now handle up to six trains at a time. This being a great advantage with the smaller sized locomotives, which will only pull maybe four passengers per trip.

The foundations for our signal box are complete and the walls are slowly rising. The signalling system itself is partially in operation and the signalman is currently to be observed sitting on a deckchair amongst a pile of bricks, with wires, switches and bells attached to strategic points (sounds painful). The system being adopted for control of our railway includes a number of block sections, the entry to which is monitored by track sensors, which will eventually operate automatic three-aspect light signals on a stop, caution and go signal in the two previous block sections. The station area will be under visual signal box control and the shed area locally controlled but in telephone contact with the signal box.

The opening of the running season has seen the emergence of a number of recently completed or acquired locomotives. These include: a 5-inch 0-4-0 saddle tank contractor's engine of narrow gauge proportions based on the Sweet Pea design; a 7¼-inch gauge replica of No. 2 Dolgoch from the Talyllyn Railway, the original locomotive having been built in 1865 by Fletcher Jennings of Whitehaven, Cumberland; a 5-inch gauge Great Western 51XX 2-6-2T, which is painted in an early 1920s livery , distinctive by the slightly lighter shade of green than that with which we are more acquainted; and, finally, a 5-inch gauge London, Midland and Scottish class 3F Jinty, recently acquired by one of our members. I was privileged to have the first drive around our track behind this engine, the result of which could be the dispelling of a lifetime opinion that all the best engines tend to be painted green!

Our operations over the Easter weekend resulted in one of the largest numbers of passengers ever; and, on the Monday, we were very close to the 1,000 mark, which, when one considers the small numbers per train, is quite an achievement.

The next development is intended to be the construction of the rolling stock shed behind our steam depot. Current plans are that this will be brick fronted with a traditional slate roof, in keeping with the railway image of our track site.

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S J Ellison - Dolgoch departs from the station on the VAMES miniature railway.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1987 and so does not reflect events in the 27+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

VAMES - by John Clarke - Quainton News No. 63 - Summer 1987

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 25 November 2017