by 3 Valve - AKA Gareth
The Stanworth Heath Light Railway (SHLR) is an imaginery narrow gauge tourist line set somewhere in the county of Shropshire. The name was conceived from my wife's maiden name (Stanworth), and the rest came about because I just liked the way that the initials "SHLR" looked together. Somehow they just looked right so I had to come up with a name that incorporated them.
Our garden isn't big by any means (only 35ft x 18ft), and I'm only permitted a proportion of it for railway use, as it is first and foremost a garden (at least that's what the wife told me to say). So whilst my railway empire isn't exactly sprawling, what little I have does provide emense pleasure, not only to me, but also to visitors to our home, and our seemingly ever-increasing collection of grandchildren.
The line is I suppose an extended dogbone built on what was originally a rockery left by the previous owners of our house. It is based around two stations:- Stanworth is the main station and has run-around facilities plus facilities for stock storage and minor engineering and maintenance. The other station Upper Dingle, is basically a glorified halt situated in a woodland. The woodland is very popular with tourists and has a number of nature trails suitable for walking or cycling. Between both of these locations is the village of Stanworth itself. A picturesque location boasting its own very popular country pub, and a post office/general store.
U-Class loco about to depart Stanworth
In terms of loco's and rolling stock, they are from a number of different sources.
Loco's are from LGB, Accucraft, Bachmann, IP Engineering plus some scratchbuilt and kitbashed items. Rolling stock again is an interesting mix of different manufacturers predominantly LGB and Accucraft, with a smattering of Hartland, some repainted Newquida bogie carriages, and a couple of Playmobil bogie coaches for visiting children to use.
Corpet 0-6-0T en-route to Upper Dingle
Power and control is predominantly track power but I also have a live steamer and a couple of locos with on-board battery power.
In respect of the track power the line is in the middle of a transition phase. It was analogue powered using an Aristocraft Train Engineer for loco and point control. However in early March 2010 I started to make the switch over to Digital control using the LGB MTS III system.
Quiet spell at Stanworth sidings.
That's about all I can say for the time-being, other than we do have a impending house move on the horizon, so it looks likely that at some point in the near future the line is going to be completely relocated. Not looking forward to lifting it all but I do have the promise of more garden at the next place, where ever that may be.
Here are a few random shots of the line in the meantime.
Spreewald 2-6-0T pauses at Upper Dingle
A short train approaches Stanworth Village
Over the crossing - Stanworth Village
Ex austrian 2091 Diesel "Salopian" runs cautiously over the crossing.
Corpet comes out of the dappled shade of Dingle Woods into the open countryside.