The £1.2 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded restoration of the Grade II listed Barrow Hill Roundhouse near Chesterfield is now well underway and we are able to confirm the initial details of its grand re-opening which will take place in September 2017. With work due to be completed at the end of August, this will give the Barrow Hill team a few weeks to prepare for the September 2017 relaunch event: the highlight of this four day celebration will be the visit of three icons of steam – A3 No. 60103 Flying Scotsman, A1 No. 60163 Tornado and Rocket. This will be the first visit to the Roundhouse by Flying Scotsman since a BR Open Day in 1974 and will be the first opportunity for many in the region to get up close to the locomotive alongside her sister East Coast racehorse Tornado, seen against the unique and authentic backdrop of the Roundhouse.
The four day celebration is taking place from Thursday 21st September 2017 to Sunday 24th September 2017. Thursday 21st September will see the premiere of a specially commissioned play funded by the Arts Council celebrating the incredible survival story of the Roundhouse with live steam adding an exciting backdrop. The play will continue on the evenings of Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September. Then during the day on Saturday 23rd September and Sunday 24th September the Roundhouse will open its doors to the general public for a truly special steam gala with visitors able to see for the first time the comprehensive but sympathetic HLF-funded restoration.
No. 60163 during a visit to Barrow Hill in 2009 – Neil Whitaker
Contractors T&C Williams of Sheffield started work on site in January and their first job was to remove the 1960s flat roofed kitchen extension. This area has now been cleared and levelled ready to be replaced with a larger, light and modern new entrance building incorporating a new kitchen, eating area and toilets. The design of the new building will allow the original doors and windows on this side of the Roundhouse to be revealed for the first time in over 50 years. Work has also started on vital conservation work in the Roundhouse itself as the steel structure of the roof is treated and repainted. In other parts of the Roundhouse false ceilings have been temporarily removed to reveal the unique roof structure of the building whilst it is re-wired. The original blue brick flooring has also been taken up so that an underfloor heating system can be installed before the bricks are carefully replaced. Work is also taking place on the Coal Stage – the Roundhouse’s viewing area during special events – to provide an improved walking route and viewing area with new safety railings for visitors.
Mervyn Allcock, General Manager of Barrow Hill Roundhouse said “It has been amazing to see a building that I and many others have worked so hard to preserve now having work done to it to give it a new lease of life. Our September relaunch promises to be a fabulous celebration of all the hard work that is going on at the Roundhouse at the moment and will mark the start of the next exciting chapter in the story of this amazing architectural survivor in the most appropriate way.”
Selside with a snowy Pen-y-Ghent in the background – Alan Weaver
Waitby near Kirby Stephen – Geoff Griffiths
Dent (with Dent Head Viaduct in the background) – Ian Hardman
The last train of the series leaves Skipton – Alan Weaver
With the landscape dominating the scene, Tornado crosses Lunds Viaduct – Mike Glen
Dwarfed by the architecture, the train crosses Ribblehead Viaduct – Mike Glen
Despite the weak sunshine, it still looks pretty bleak – Mike Glen
Helwith Bridge – Andrew Dennison
Blea Moor Tunnel – Andrew Southwell
The first day of these ground-breaking trains over the fabled Settle & Carlisle Railway failed to produce typical S&C weather (horizontal rain/sleet/snow, delete as appropriate!) and was blessed with watery winter sunshine, albeit accompanied by a stiff breeze. In consequence we have been sent some outstanding images of the trains, many of which we are delighted to feature here.
Garsdale – Geoff Griffiths
Blea Moor Tunnel – Neil Wroe
Kelber Hill Farm, Gargrave – Steve Armitage
Ribblehead – Emma Seddon
Ribblehead Viaduct – Liam Barnes
Watering at Appleby – June Williams
Evening departure, Settle – Liam Barnes
Tornado powers through Wolverton with ‘The Red Rose’ – Neil Whitaker
Tornado crosses Oxley Viaduct, Wolverhampton – Jim Knight
Two fine images of the train in the Shropshire landscape – Tim Croton
With twilight approaching, Tornado heads home – Tim Croton
In Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the preserved Nene Valley Railway, we are pleased to announce a return visit of Tornado for their ‘Best of British’ Weekend on 22nd and 23rd April 2017.
You can also drive and fire Tornado with the NVR Driver Experience Courses on 21st and 24th April see their web page for more details here.
There will also be a ‘Best of British’ Jolly Fisherman Fish & Chips special hauled by Tornado 21st April – again see the web page for more details here.
For full details of the ‘Best of British’ Weekend featuring Tornado, see the web page for all details here.
When she was last on the NVR, Tornado is seen at Wansford – Mandy Grant
Tornado gets away from a slack Clapham Junction – Kenny Felstead
Shalford – Trevor White
Tornado at Victoria after returning with the first ‘Belmond British Pullman of 2017 – Edward Hindell
Trains formed of Mk 2 carriages hauled by Tornado will replace DMUs on timetabled trains over the Settle & Carlisle (S&C) route next month. Tornado will haul the Northern trains over the S&C between Skipton and Appleby on three consecutive days. The first timetabled ordinary main line passenger steam trains to run in England for 50 years are the result of a pioneering modern and heritage industry alliance, formed to help revive the economic fortunes of the beleaguered S&C as well as the towns and villages that it serves. The railway, which was opened in 1875, was severed by a major landslip last February and has been in limbo ever since.
This collaborative alliance comprises Northern, Network Rail, DB Cargo, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and Friends of the S&C, together with RAIL and Steam Railway from the Bauer Media magazine portfolio, who came up with the proposal two years ago. The historic community trains are being promoted under the banner ‘I LOVE S&C’.
RAIL Managing Editor Nigel Harris said, “Former Steam Railway Editor Tony Streeter and I first suggested this to Northern MD Alex Hynes a couple of years ago, but with the old franchise in its last days, it just wasn’t possible to pull it all together. Severance of the S&C gave us the opportunity to finally run a German-style ‘Plandampf’ operation, and it was fantastic to see how everyone at NR, Northern and DB grabbed the idea and ran with it.
“Northern MD Alex Hynes and NR Route Managing Director Rob McIntosh deserve special thanks. They proved how devolved decision making and regional collaboration at ground level really works. We need to see much more of that!”
Graeme Bunker, Operations Director of A1SLT, responded, saying, “Having been approached to help with the development and planning of the operation it is really wonderful to see it now being implemented. We are pleased that Tornado will be part of raising the profile of the route once again, providing a unique opportunity to the local community and those visiting the area.”
Traditional DMU paths on 14th – 16th February will be surrendered to Tornado. The 10:45hrs ex-Skipton and 15:07hrs ex-Appleby will be steam-hauled trains supplemented by morning and evening extras, running in reverse order. Tickets bought in advance or from National Rail ticket offices will be permissible for travel. For ticketing details follow this link.
Tornado battles the wind on Ribblehead Viaduct, an iconic image from the 3rd October 2009 – Ian McDonald