Phil Barnes reports on the long-awaited reopening of Hollycombe Steam in the Country which happened back in the summer.
Hollycombe Steam in the Country, based on the Hampshire/West Sussex border, finally reopened its attraction to visitors on June 19th, for the first time since last October 2021 – and there was both steam and diesel trains running on the 2ft gauge line which started operating at noon.
As was the service pattern in 2021, the first couple of trains are diesel-hauled, in the hands of air-braked Barclay No. 764 of 1988. This is done to give a slower warm-up period for the steam loco of the day… and saves coal of course.
At around 1pm steam takes over and on the opening day this was in the hands of Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST No. 38 of 1895 Jerry M. Although known as the ‘woodland line’, in recent times the chestnut trees have been coppiced towards the quarry area, thereby opening up some new vistas.
In other narrow gauge developments here, the steam farm area had a 2ft gauge railway installed during 2021, ostensibly to move fuel (wood) from the access road to the boiler that drives the machinery on the farm.
Although it appears that the standard-gauge tramway is no longer in operation, the smaller 7¼in gauge line was in action on the day.
This news item comes from the latest issue of Old Glory, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE