Railway Blogs

Everyone’s having fun on the “Wee Train” in Strathaven

🚂It’s not only the passengers that are happy to see the “Wee Train” back up and running. How happy do the drivers look, sitting on the locos, ready to run for the day ? They were all set up, raring to go and ready for passengers before 11am last Saturday 😳👏🏻

Look out for just the same kind of excitment this Saturday 12th September

Current Curtailed Running

Just to confirm, unfortunately due to the restrictions of Covid19 and the age of many of our volunteers who operate the railway we have had to curtail the our running to one day per week.

Weather permitting we will run on a Saturday from 12.30 to 16.30  till the end of September as long as we can secure enough volunteers to operate safely and within the Covid 19 restrictions that we have to comply with.

We thank the many people who have come out over the last two Saturdays to support the railway and look forward to seeing more of you on the next Saturdays. 

From all the volunteers at the “Wee Train”

And Away We Go !

The 1st of August proved to be a red letter day for the “Wee Trains” and their adoring public !

After weeks of preparation and training the volunteer team and their PPE went into action, the weather was kind, you turned up in your droves and the day was a grand success.

Everyone being very patient
And both trains had a lovely day out

The splendid people who came to ride on the trains showed great patience with us as, with the social distancing coupled to track and trace documentation, alighting and detraining took much longer than usual.  Plus our locomotives were so excited to be running again that they occasionally lost the place (not to say anything about the crew !).

We all really enjoyed the day and look forward to next Saturday (the 8th of August) which will be our next running session (weather dependant).

Thank you all for your unswerving support and see you all again soon.

One of the crew in the very neccessary PPE

“The Preparers” Update

As you know we will be commencing running on Saturday 1st of August 13.00 to 16.30 (weather permittimg) with social distancing and all that is entailed with that.
To comply with Scottish Government legislation we are required to take a family name and either a postal address or telephone contact details for each group of people (even if the group is just one person).
Please be patient with us as gathering this information will slow the boarding process for the Wee Trains and it is likely that we will not be able to take as many passengers as normal.
Also, with social distancing in mind, we will have a donations bucket out instead of selling tickets 🎫
Thank you, everyone, for your support through these extraordinary times.
How everything on Saturday works out will determine how we will operate for the rest of 2020.🚂  
Currently we will only be running on Saturdays – maybe Sunday running will return later in the year.

“The Preparers” – The Trains are Coming Back

It has been a long sorry summer so far without our trains running in Strathaven Park.
As of Saturday 1st of August till the September bank holiday weekend we will be running socially distanced trains on Saturdays and Sundays from 13.00 hrs to 16.30 hrs weather permitting.  If we have enough volunteers we will try and run trains on other days throughout the school holidays.

We gave been practising all our precautions ready for you all to arrive and rejoin the fun

Please be aware that we will need to socially distance passengers and also take contact details for “Trace and Protect Scotland” (Surname and telephone number).

There will be a donation bucket out instead of ticket sales to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Please bear with us at the track in the Park as we will not be able to fill carriages as quickly as usual thus your wait time might be longer than normal. Thank you ALL for the kind messages and offers of assistance, we really appreciate your support.

The Weedkillers

Thank you to members of the public who have offered assistance in tidying the railway in the park, we received these both verbally and via Facebook.  However due to the track being situated in the park we have to follow SLC guidelines which has restricted the people allowed to carry out such work. 

So over the last couple of weeks one of our members and his girlfriend spent two afternoons weeding the track and managed to collect over four bags of “weedy” material.  Another of our members has sprayed all the track bed with weed killer and now we can see the effects of all their hard work (and the track !).  

The garden staff in the park have also cut all the grass around the track.  

After all these splendid efforts have taken place we will be able to see all our supporters later this year when we see easing of the CV19 restrictions.

Pictures before

and after

the sterling work !!!

Miniature Railway still closed

We are presently still closed and are not sure if we will be able or allowed to open later on this year.

The biggest issue for all involved will be maintaining social distancing.  For our passengers – vis a vis Qing at the gate and boarding and de-boarding the trains and for our volunteers as we go about our duties operating the railway, and for us this is coupled to the “slightly advanced” age of all of us which brings additional risk. 

We are all sad about the prospect of a long wait until the “next train” but we are sure you agree that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

As you can see from the title picture even our locomotives are unhappy about the prospect of not running this year.

Last spring we planted quite a few beech trees and their growth is intended to produce a “tunnel” up the back straight.  The pictures below show the trees flourishing and making the best of the recent good weather (and now the rain) to sprout ever upwards.

The unfortunate thing is that weeds at some parts of the track are also making good use of the weather conditions and are starting to take over. At least we know that we will have plenty to keep us busy when we do eventually get back in the park. 

Keep well and stay safe until we see you all again in the park.

Sad News – No “Wee Trains” in the Park at Easter (or for the foreseeable future)

It is with great regret that we have to announce that this seasons running of the Strathaven Miniature Railway will be suspended as requested by South Lanarkshire Leisure Department.

You will have heard on the news that S.L.C. has closed all leisure facilities across the region in line with government instructions and this included the facilities within our park.  As many of our members are pensioners and in the vulnerable category we would have had difficulty of manning the railway in any place.

We wish all our supporters and customers well during these unprecedented times.

All of us the S.M.R. hope to see all of you back on the train in the park in the near future.

Stay Safe, Stay Well.

Margaret is back home – Come and join her

Margaret is now back home (in Strathaven Park) after her winter maintenance and check over.  In the next few days we will perform her steam test  and then she’ll be ready for her 71st year of running in the park.
All going well our new season commences on the 28th of March and here’s hoping that the weather is kind to all of us.

We are always looking for new volunteers to join us to help run the railway, so please come along and meet some of our crew any Monday at the park between 11.00 –15.00.  This is when we, year round, work on preparing for the new season and the next running sessions.  You will be shown how to assist with all aspects of running the railway – from setting up a session to driving the locomotives.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

EVA returns to the park

Her winter maintenance now completed, Eva returned to the park ready for the new season, Monday 3rd March.  Once there a successful steam test was carried out which completed her winter overhaul.  She was re-attached to her tender and is now ready and waiting for the 28th of March – The first day of this years running (weather permitting).  Here are some pictures of her after all the work had been completed, looking really resplendant in her new paint work, especially noticeable on the black smoke box. 

Ther last picture from before the maintenance and paint job.