Battlefield Line Railway
This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2007) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Battlefield Line Railway|
A busy scene from the 2014 Spring Steam Gala at Shackerstone Station
The Battlefield Line as shown on a period map
|Name||London and North Western Railway |
|Built by||London and North Western Railway|
|Original gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Owned by||Shackerstone Railway Society|
|Operated by||Shackerstone Railway Society|
|Length||5 mi (8.0 km)|
|Preserved gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Ashby & Nuneaton Joint Railway|
The Battlefield Line Railway is a heritage railway in Leicestershire, England. It runs from Shackerstone (Grid ref ) to Shenton ( ), via Market Bosworth, a total of 5 miles (8.0 km). Shenton is near Bosworth Field, (the location of the final battle of the Wars of the Roses immortalised in Shakespeare's Richard III), giving the railway its name.
The railway runs steam and diesel-hauled trains every weekend and Bank Holiday from March to December, as well as a summer mid-week service on Tuesday, Wednesdays, Thursdays in July and August and Wednesdays in September; the latter is operated by the Heritage diesel railcar service. Special events:Christmas Santa Specials and others throughout the year.
The railway used to be part of the London and North Western Railway and the Midland Railway, who operated the line jointly between Moira West Junction and Nuneaton. The first trains ran along this section in 1873. At Shackerstone station, there was once a junction where one section branched off towards Moira and Ashby and the other went towards Coalville Junction. In 1883, the Charnwood Forest Railway was opened, which extended the branch from Coalville Junction to Loughborough's Derby Road station, passing through the villages of Whitwick and Shepshed. In the 1923 Grouping, these lines were assigned to the London Midland and Scottish Railway. In 1931 the last scheduled passenger train went down the Charnwood Forest branch, with the line then only being open to freight and excursions until the 1960s. The Coalville Junction – Shackerstone section was dismantled and closed completely in 1964. The Ashby – Nuneaton line had its last passenger service in 1965, which was an enthusiasts' special, before British Rail pulled the rails up in 1970. In its heyday, Shackerstone was a busy station, with steam trains doing the workings between Ashby and Nuneaton, whilst a railcar did the service between Shackerstone and Loughborough Derby Road.
The line was originally double track but was later singled. Confusingly, part of the line was called the Bluebell Line (the Charnwood Forest Line, Hugglescote to Loughborough Derby Road station; this line was only accessible via the ANJR).
The royal train now in the National Railway Museum went to Shackerstone on its first outing in December 1902. It conveyed King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria on their way to Gopsall Hall, where Handel is reputed to have composed his oratorio Messiah.
The Shackerstone Railway Society was set up in 1969 at Market Bosworth, but soon moved to Shackerstone in 1970, as they needed a proper home for their first steam engine. When they got to Shackerstone they found one through line still intact, and their first aim was to build some sidings. Later they reinstated the "down" platform and connected the sidings to the line to Market Bosworth.
In 1973, to celebrate the centenary of the line, a small train of open wagons was hauled to Market Bosworth. Following the successful conclusions of the negotiations with British Rail, a start was made on track rearrangements which created run-round loops at both ends of the line and a number of sidings at Shackerstone.
In the 1980s, the Battlefield Line launched a campaign to extend their line to Shenton. This involved buying 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) of track and in 1992 after a successful campaign, the inaugural service arrived, hauled by the appropriately named 0-6-0 tank engine "Richard III."
The first section of the journey travelling south from Shackerstone is a climbing gradient which continues until the train is clear of the station limits. The signal box on the left is the oldest Midland Railway Co. type one box still in operational use. The train then passes under the first bridge which carries the road to Barton-in-the-Beans, and into open farmland.
Market Bosworth is 3 miles (4.8 km) from Shackerstone. There are usually stored locomotives or wagons here. To the right can be seen the old buildings and signal box which used to control part of the operation of the station.
South of Market Bosworth station, the train passes Aqueduct Cottage and the Ashby Canal aqueduct beyond it. Trains slow as they cross the road bridge between Shenton and Sutton Cheney. As the line curves to the right, the train approaches the terminus at Shenton, just over 4 1⁄2 miles (7.2 km) away from Shackerstone. The station pottery is the only surviving part of the original station. The present station is the reconstructed Humberstone Road station from Leicester. At the end of the line is a headshunt underneath an old cattle bridge. The small bridge was previously used to allow safe passage of farm traffic over the original railway.
|Number & Name||Current Status||Livery||Owner(s)||Date||Description|
|Sir Gomer||Peckett and Sons class OX1 0-6-0ST||Blue||Shackerstone Railway Society Ltd.
(available for sale)
Designed as a powerful industrial, "Sir Gomer", according to findings, is capable of moving a 928-ton train at slow speed on level ground.
|Number & Name||Class||Livery||Owner||Date||Description
GWR 4575 Class 5542
|Number & Name||Works number||Class||Current Status||Livery||Date||Description|
|No. 2 Nancy||263001||Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0||Stored
(available for sale)
|No. D2867 Diane||Class 02||Operational. Used as shed shunter
|No. 04110 (D2310)||Class 04||Operational within station limits
|Hercules||Ruston 0-4-0||Under repair
|Yellow and Pink|
|No. 12083||Class 11||Under restoration
|Big Momma||Barclay Shunter 0-6-0||Stored out of use at Market Bosworth station
|No 422 Hot Wheels||Andrew Barclay||Stored out of use at Market Bosworth station
Ex. mainline heritage diesels
|Number & Name||Class||Current Status||Livery||Owner||Date||Description|
|No. 73114||British Rail Class 73
|Under repair||BR Rail Blue.||Private owner||1966|
University of Strathclyde
|British Rail Class 47
|Operational||BR Large Logo Blue.||Private owner||1966|
|British Rail Class 33
|Under repair||Grey & Yellow||Private owner||1960|
|Awaiting repair from the Watercress Line||BR Green||Private owner||1960|
|No. D6593||Awaiting repair from the Watercress Line||BR Green||Watercress Line||1960|
Diesel multiple units
|Number & Name||Description||Current Status||Livery||Photograph|
|DMBS No M55005.||Class 122||Operational, used on passenger trains regularly (Privately owned). Built in 1958.||BR Blue & Grey|
|DMS No 51321||Class 118||Under Overhaul, undergoing mechanical and bodywork repairs. Built in 1960.||BR Blue & Grey|
|DMBS No 51131||Class 116||Operational, used on passenger trains regularly (Privately owned). Built in 1958.||BR Blue & Grey|
British Railways Mark 1 coaches
The original A&NJR closed long before the formation of British Railways, but as very few suitable period carriages were preserved, BR Mark 1 coaches form part of all Battlefield Line passenger trains today. They are a renowned design of standardised rail stock, being both durable and high-capacity vehicles.
|Number & Name||Class||Current Status||Livery||Owner(s)||Date||Description|
|M1104||Mark 1 RE||Overhauled in 2015 and now in service||BR lined Maroon||Shackerstone Railway Society Ltd.||1952|
Converted into a Griddle buffet from RF No. 301 while working for BR, and was later preserved.
|M81428||Mark 1 BG||Operational||1957|
|M25729||Mark 1 SK||In Service||1961|
|M4918||Mark 1 TSO||Operational||1962|
|M4989||Operational||BR Blood & Custard||1962|
|W13313||Mark 1 FK||Operational||BR Chocolate and Cream||Private owner||1961|
|W13474||Mark 2 FK||Operational||BR Maroon.||Shackerstone Railway Society Ltd.||1968|
|W34935||Mark 1 BSK||Awaiting repair.||BR Blood & Custard (West side).
BR Chocolate & Cream (East side)
|34953||Awaiting a major overhaul||Maroon||1956|
|ADB975459||Originally numbered 34136 until conversion into a departmental coach. Docked in the Shackerstone bay siding as volunteer accommodation.||BR lined Maroon||1952|
|1816||Mark 1 RMB||In use as mess room at Shackerstone||1959|
|3087||Mark 1 FO||Away for overhaul||1959|
|1505||Mark 1 RKB||Numbered ADB977084 after becoming part of the original Crewe Test Train. In storage awaiting overhaul.||1960|
|81470||Mark 1 BG||At present in use as a parts store.||InterCity||1958|
|W93701||Mark 1 GUV||Presently at the end of the Shackerstone north siding complex as a storage vehicle.||BR Rail Blue.||Private owner||1959|
|94142||Mark 1 CCT||Awaiting overhaul in the Shackerstone south siding.||Maroon||Private owner||1960|
- OS Explorer Map 232 : Nuneaton & Tamworth: (1:25 000) :ISBN 0 319 46404 0
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Battlefield Line Railway.|