"Are those buns cross?"
"Not as cross as you're going to be if you miss that train"
And so a very special weekend in the history of the Telford Steam Railway got off to the most unusual of starts. If you've been a regular visitor to this site or to our Facebook group or have even followed us through the numerous forums and railway press then you will know what we, at the TSR, have been frantically building up to for Easter weekend, 2015. If you are new to this site let me sum up;
30+ years in the planning, 50,000 tons of spoil removed, £150,000+ in costs, untold manhours, much blood, sweat, tear s (and no small amount of cursing) and at times sheer desperation.
In the end the planets aligned and the day cautiously dawned on the morning of Saturday 4th April, 2015 and at exactly 11 am a two car diesel unit departed Spring Village with a passenger train going northwards. 10mins later it arrived at a small two car country platform. The name of this station? Lawley!
The joy and relief shown by the volunteers of the TSR was evident everywhere. This has been no small undertaking by a small band of unpaid volunteers. The work involved from conception to stage 1 completion will make a fine story, but for now no one cared about all that. Everyone was just ecstatic that a major milestone in the ambitions of the TSR has been completed. There is still much to do and more to be started to achieve the final dream of seeing trains depart Lawley destination Ironbridge but for now we are savouring the moment. Many organizations and individuals have aided us throughout the project but a special mention must be made for Telford & Wrekin Council, as without their longstanding support none of this would have been possible.
Overall the day on Saturday went fairly smoothly. As with any major undertaking there were one or two very minor teething issues but nothing was to stop us having our day. Over 150 visitors attended the railway on that first day with over 500 in total for the full three days attending. This was significant as we had taken the decision to keep things fairly low key in the build up just in case someone brought a spanner along. It wasn't to be. The diesel unit that proved ever so reliable on Saturday was making a first as well, the first pssenger earning runs at the TSR. The owners were as excited as a couple of big schoolkids to finally be driving it as it was designed to do. On the sunday and Monday it stepped aside to allow our steam stalwart, "Rocket", to take over the duties of rostered motive power. Each day proceeded to be busier than the previous and even the weather came out to play with glorious sunshine on the Monday. With so much occuring and so many people attending there was, surprsingly, only two complaints received all weekend.....our bacon sandwiches were TOO cheap!
Please enjoy the collection of photos, all taken by Alistair Grieve and very kindly donated to the TSR to use here, and hopefully it will entice you to come along and see for yourselves what we have accomplished. If you have already visited then do please come along again or at the very least give us a good word to your family, friends and neighbours. You may even feel that you want to become involved in our next big push, this time heading south.
And here is a comment made on our Facebook group which makes all the hard work and effort worthwhile;
"Took my young children to Telford Steam Railway on Saturday. Had a great time going on the train 4 times, once on the steam tram, checking out the engine house and the model railway. Had a fantastic day even though The Rocket wasn't running but we did see it being pulled out of the engine house and a final cleaning. Thank you to all the volunteers who made our day great and the willingness to share information with us. I can fully recommend the bacon butty and cakes too. A big thank you to you all and I know we will visit again soon. Well done you deserve to be proud of what you do."
So now it is time to stop waxing lyrical and to sit back and to enjoy the photos of a job well done. Easter Bank holiday weekend 2015 was a case of happy faces, angry buns and not a bunny in sight! A very special re-opening weekend indeed.