Rounding off a narrow gauge orientated weekend

This weekend just gone has been a great weekend for narrow gauge railway fans in Kent, on Saturday there was ExpoNG, one of the premier narrow gauge model railway exhibitions in the country, and then on Sunday there was the final open day of the year on the Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway.

Their open days are normally a pleasant way to spend a day trundling around the privately owned line behind one of the many interesting locos the railway has.  The October one was a different kettle of fish though, it was billed as an enthusiast orientated event, and in the evening there were floodlights set up at Stony Shaw for a photographic session with both the Fowlers.

My favourite loco in the BWLR collection, Zambezi, an ex-Sena estates Fowler 0-4-2T

The cast sign around the backhead is unusual but an interesting feature.

There were far more locos in operation than I’d ever seen at Bredgar before, Zambezi, Limpopo, Victory, Helga, Eigiau, Bredgar, and the almost completed ex-South Tynedale Railway Hudswell diesel, Wormshill.  There was also Darent visiting from the nearby Eynsford Light Railway.

Wormshill used to be in service on the South Tynedale Railway, passing to the BWLR in 2006. Its restoration is nearly complete.

As the light dropped the flood lights came on, and I headed off down the line with my friend Chris to Stony Shaw where there were lots of loco swaps to watch, as well as chatting with Martin and Ken who were running the lower station for the majority of the day.

Andrew Barclay 0-4-0T Darent posing in front of the floodlights at Stony Shaw.

As the light dropped further the station was cleared, and then the two Fowlers, Limpopo and Zambezi, were arranged into position with the goods train for the photographs to begin.

Zambezi and Limpopo posed in the goods yard at Stony Shaw.

Zambezi and Limpopo posed in the goods yard at Stony Shaw.

Bags of sawdust were thrown on Zambezi's fire to generate some sparks for photos.

Zambezi posed with the goods train.

As the light dropped it allowed for longer exposures and some fun effects with the steam and sparks.

More messing with exposures and steam.

Zambezi beneath the trees.

I’ve always wanted to take part in a night time photographic session on a narrow gauge line.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and hope that they put on a similar event again in the future.

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