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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 43 - Spring 1981
Railway Preservation was the subject of the adjournment debate in the House of Commons on 22nd January, when Mr Robert Adley MP (Christchurch and Lymington) highlighted the activities of railway preservationists and some of their problems. The help requested by Mr Adley was not financial, but he appealed for support in the Barry Rescue project and in the easing of problems faced by a number of preserved lines. In particular, reference was made to the West Somerset Railway's difficulty in the completion of its link with BR at Taunton, the financial burden of the BR charge of £20,000 for the signal box at Paignton on the Torbay line and the poser facing the East Somerset Railway with its freight-only connection with BR tracks. In his reply, the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Mr Kenneth Clarke, shared Mr Adley's enthusiasm and agreed 'the Government should back the dedicated effort that so many volunteers have made in the last few years'.
We, at Quainton, know the helpful guidance given to us by the Railway Inspectorate of the Department of Transport and that, by heeding their advice, we have been able to operate safely for the ten years of public open days. Early in 1980 the signal diagram for the down yard, complete with instructions and locking tables, was approved by our Executive Committee and submitted to the D of T. In the summer we had a communication from Major Peter Olver, the Inspecting Officer, saying he was basically satisfied with the new system, although he did not consider shunting possible during two train running. Our Secretary has assured the D of T we will be working on a 'one engine in steam' principle with single line staff until the shunting operations instructions have been clarified and the Inspectorate have viewed the system.
Unfortunately, Trevor Chalmers, our S&T Sub-Committee Chairman, has been in hospital (glad to say he is out and making good progress), so that is the up-to-date situation. We now look forward to more action in the coming year and members full support is required.
On 20th September, Mr L Abbott, assisting Major Olver, visited Quainton and this was, in fact, the first official D of T visit for five years. All the recommendations of the last visit had been complied with, except for the installation of a two lever ground frame for the facing points on the running line. We were, therefore, pleased to learn that Mr Abbott had only a few additional points to make. One requirement is an extension of the permanent fencing by the down yard platform. Another is that firemen, guards and signalmen should be at least 18 years of age and locomotive drivers at least 21 years. Mr Abbott confirmed that the signalling system should not be used until it had been inspected by his department.
My thinking behind this Editorial is to say how fortunate I believe we are, in our hobby as preservationists, to have such distinguished men helping our cause, giving us professional advise and developing our status and pride in our achievements. Let us make sure we continue to deserve their confidence in us.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 18 November 2017