This week (13-19th March 2023)
We are delighted to report that on Saturday evening at the Heritage Railway Association Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation we were awarded the most coveted prize for anyone restoring a steam locomotive – the Coiley Award for Steam Locomotive Engineering, sponsored by Morris Lubricants.
The ‘Premier back to the future’ project was a finalist along with the Dean Forest Locomotive Group for the restoration of BR ’57XX’ class pannier tank No.9681, the Bluebell Railway for London, Brighton & South Coast Railway ‘A1’ Class No.72 ‘Fenchurch’ and the Severn Valley Railway’s Great Western Railway ‘Hall’ Class 4-6-0 ‘Hagley Hall’.
It is a great honour to have won that award and highlights the excellent work our Railway can deliver. It is also a great vote of thanks from the wider heritage railway community for the work we do and we have received many messages of congratulations from railways around the UK as well as individuals and businesses we work with.
Our workshop is tiny, our engine shed doesn’t even have doors to close in the winter (when most of the work gets done) but we have managed to out-shop Premier and wow the heritage community – a massive thank you to all those involved in the fundraising, donating money and actual physical work on the engine during the over haul which started back in the winter of 2006/07.
This weekend is a Work Weekend
The Railway is closed until Good Friday (7th April) but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything going on!
At this time of year we hold our fortnightly Winter Work Weekends.
This weekend we will be working as follows:
- Saturday 10am to 4pm at Kemsley Down – Loco Engineering, Carriage & Wagon, rebuilding the back wall of the café, moving artefacts from the old to new museum and hundreds of other jobs such as: painting the white lines on the platform’s edge, painting new fencing and preparing the Railway for the return of the public
- Sunday 10am to 4pm at Kemsley Down – lots of tidying up work and, hopefully, reinstating the starter signal post which has been at Kemsley Down for a repaint.
Kemsley Down station is located in Kemsley paper mill so if you are coming along (and you are most welcome to!) we will be working from 10am until 4pm. Please park in the paper mill car park (ME10 2TD) by 10am, alternatively, we can pick you up from Sittingbourne National Rail or Sittingbourne Viaduct stations – if you would like to attend please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so arrangements can be made. On Saturday, there will be a car leaving Sittingbourne Viaduct at 10am so book your place now!
Sittingbourne Viaduct station is located at The Wall, Sittingbourne Retail Park, ME10 2XD or in what3words search for format.fits.trains for our free car park or it’s a five minute walk from Sittingbourne National Rail station.
Bring a packed lunch – there should be tea and coffee available. Please wear layers of clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
You will need to be a member to work on the Railway, for insurance reasons, and we can process this at the Railway – this is a good time to join as your membership will last until the end of February 2024. Membership has its perks too – free travel on the Railway during the season and discounts to Steam & Beer and Santa Specials plus there’s our in-house magazine ‘The New Bogie’.
If you’re coming along to help please read the tips on this page before you leave home: Work Weekends page
Help us buy supplies through Amazon Wishlist
We have set up an Amazon Wishlist for people who would like to buy some of the tools or equipment we need to keep the Railway going. The list is here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/2ZMVJ9R1GZ7GU?ref_=wl_share
You will see it covers everything from dish brushes to specialist wood and metal treatments. James Negus, our Fundraising Officer, has even added details of which department would use such equipment and why – the dish brushes aren’t being used for dishes!
You’ll notice that the added date was last summer, don’t worry, that’s when we set the list up but then had issues with delivery addresses and days (you can’t specify a day for Wishlist deliveries) so we must thank James and his family who will be inundated with deliveries from Amazon!
For more information about fundraising email James at email@example.com
This month (March)
- Saturday 18th – Work Weekend at Kemsley Down – 10am to 4pm – email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange access
- Sunday 19th – Work Weekend at Sittingbourne Viaduct – 10am to 4pm
Next month (April)
- Saturday 1st – Work Weekend – 10am to 4pm – email email@example.com to arrange access
- Sunday 2nd – Work Weekend – 10am to 4pm – email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange access
- Friday 7th – Easter Weekend -trains depart Sittingbourne Viaduct station at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm (there is NO 1pm train) – Good Friday Flowers: a free plant potting activity at Kemsley Down
- Saturday 8th – Easter Weekend -trains depart Sittingbourne Viaduct station at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm (there is NO 1pm train)
- Sunday 9th – Easter Weekend -trains depart Sittingbourne Viaduct station at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm (there is NO 1pm train) – Easter Egg Hunt at Kemsley Down
- Monday 10th – Easter Weekend -trains depart Sittingbourne Viaduct station at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm (there is NO 1pm train)
- Sunday 16th – Green Timetable – trains depart Sittingbourne Viaduct station at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm
- Sunday 23rd – Green Timetable – trains depart Sittingbourne Viaduct station at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm
- Sunday 30th – Orange Timetable – trains depart Sittingbourne Viaduct station at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm (there is NO 1pm train)
On dates shown in Bold Underlined: trains will be hauled by steam locomotive Premier*
On dates shown in Bold Italics: trains will be hauled by steam locomotive Melior*
* subject to availability, may be changed at short notice.