Mangapps Railway's London "Tube" Driving Motor Car, which normally houses our Underground display,
has been dispatched to Leavesden Studios, Watford, to form part of the set of the new feature film
"The Darkest Hour"
A Second World War themed production starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.
The car will be returning to Mangapps in time for the commencement of our new season in February.
Mangapps museum collection- still more to see!
The Mangapps museum collection has continued to grow during the summer, with significant additions in several areas. Several important items of Great Eastern Railway signage have been obtained, including rare original station signs from Rayne and Linton and a large enamel sign advertising the GERs shipping services between Harwich and the continent, aimed at the Scottish market. The Irish section has benefited from a very attractive Great Western Railway enamel sign advertising its services from Fishguard to Ireland and more items have been added to the Canadian collection.
We scour the world (well, almost!) to find interesting things to show our visitors, this year's trips having included journeys to Blackpool, Inverness and Vancouver!
Another successful August Gala.
The annual Mangapps August Gala, held over the Bank Holiday weekend, again featured all the railways operational locomotives at work, This was originally planned to be seven locos, but a special effort by some of our volunteers ensured that our biggest engine, 47 579 "James Nightall G. C.", was also returned to running order after several months out of service. This was a surprise wedding present for its owner, Mangapps partner James, who arrived home on Saturday with his bride Amanda, from their wedding and honeymoon cruise to the Norwegian fjords.
The unexpected return to service of 47 579 meant that visitors could see something that was unusual on the main line, let alone in preservation- a train double-headed by Class 47 and 31 locos.
A Mangapps "03" on the Isle of Wight.
The Isle of Wight Steam Railway decided to hold their first Diesel Gala over the weekend of the 30th Sept & 1st/2nd Oct 2016 and asked if they could hire one of the Mangapps "dual-braked" 03 locos as visiting engine.
We were delighted to oblige and with the agreement of its owner, Stewart, 03 197 enjoyed a trip "overseas", even being transported on a low-loader lorry belonging to Stewart's company, SRS Ltd. During the Gala the loco was crewed by Mangapps staff. Some confusion was apparently caused when it ran sporting an "Essex Coast Express" headboard!!
The gala has been a great success and the IoWSR are hoping to repeat the event next year.
Mangapps reaches No.1!
In the past, Mangapps had never taken particular notice of "Tripadvisor", which may be why we have had relatively few reviews. However, this summer we have attracted a number of "excellent" reviews, which has propelled us to the No.1 spot, among 10 attractions in Burnham.
We have been most happy to receive this link below, from Mr Rob Whittaker, of his day at Mangapps.
Thank you Rob.
Mangapp's 2015 season has been one of our most successful yet.
Visitor numbers are approximately 7% higher than in previous
Although Santa Special attendances were slightly depressed,
this was more than compensated
for by Easter, August and October Galas.
No new rolling stock has been acquired during the year,
though several existing vehicles have been overhauled or refreshed.
However a new (very small!) building has been acquired as have
a number of new exhibits for the Museum collection.
We look forward with confidence towards the 2016 season.
John and June.
A small piece of Maldon's railway heritage.
B.R. Fogman's hut recovered from near Langford & Ulting Station, Maldon Branch, August 2015
It's not often, nowadays, that sizable pieces of our railway heritage are discovered in "the wild", but it's happened recently at Mangapps.
Some three years ago, a couple visiting Mangapps Railway told us of a small concrete building that still existed, almost hidden by vegetation, on the former railway near Maldon. On investigation it transpired that what they had found, about 100 metres east of the remains of Langford & Ulting Station, was a British Railways standard concrete Fogman's Hut, so well hidden by undergrowth that, although only three metres from the former trackbed, now a public footpath, Mangapps' curator walked past it twice before finding the building!
Now, in terms of railway architecture, it's no St.Pancras Station! However, it is an interesting link to a common element of railway operation which has disappeared from the modern railway, an example of an item of which few, if any, are preserved and, of course, part of our local railway heritage.
Huts of this type were introduced in about 1950 and replaced earlier wooden structures. They were used widely on British Railways to accommodate Fogmen. In the days of oil-lit semaphore signals and before the introduction of automatic warning systems, signals could become invisible to train drivers in fog or falling snow. It would then be necessary to call-out Fogmen, actually off-duty track workers, to attend signals and warn approaching trains of the signal indication, by showing an additional light and, most importantly, by placing explosive detonators on the rails, to give an audible warning.
This hut was adjacent to the Maldon "Down Distant" signal, the first indication to a driver that he was approaching the terminus. The Maldon branch line closed entirely in 1966, a victim of the Beeching cuts and after over thirty years of disuse, the former track was purchased by Essex County Council and turned into a public footpath, the "Maldon Rail Trail".
The hut had suffered some superficial damage as a result of almost fifty years of disuse and vandalism, but we felt that it justified being rescued.
We contacted the County Council, who kindly donated the hut to Mangapps Railway. However, it has taken almost three years to work out how to remove the structure without causing further damage and overcome complicated problems of access.
At last, early one August morning, a team of Mangapps volunteers, with the Railway's truck and trailer and a telescopic forklift loaned by Sonic Rail Services Ltd, arrived at Langford and the hut was quickly and safely recovered. Almost half a century after it was last passed by a train, it's back on a working railway.
Trains in the rain! (And a few sunny intervals)
Mangapps summer season has again culminated in the annual August Bank Holiday Gala, which was preceded, this year, by a special "Big Diesels Weekend" on the 22nd & 23rd.
Both weekends were well attended and enjoyable events, though visitor numbers were slightly depressed by the weather, the forecasts being generally appalling, with the actuality ranging from fair, to dull, showery and, on Bank Holiday Monday, constant rain.
We were particularly pleased, on B.H. Sunday, to entertain a coach party from the "Nameplate Club", a group of railwayana collectors accompanied by the Club's founder and leader, the well-known railwayana auctioneer Ian Wright.
In connection with our "Spring Gala" we have arranged a special temporary footpath access to Mangapps Railway, from Southminster Road.
This will avoid the need for pedestrian visitors to use the section of Southminster Road which has no roadside pavement.
For the first time in many years, Mangapps is currently home to 3 operational steam locos, following the arrival of N.C.B. No.72, an "Austerity" 0-6-0ST, which is on short- term loan. The loco will be working alongside resident engines No. 8 "Fambridge" and "Empress" at our "Spring Steam Special" event on Easter Sunday & Monday, an opportunity to see 3 quite different former National Coal Board engines working together.
Our Spring Gala is being held in response to the success of last year's Silver Jubilee Gala, when we received numerous suggestions from visitors, that we should hold an additional spring event. What's more, we have something to celebrate- the momentous day, Good Friday 1990, when we were first able to carry passengers!
Things never stand still at Mangapps!
The Museum continues to grow. Among recent acquisitions are a number of items from the former London, Tilbury & Southend Railway, including the smoke-box numberplate from a loco (42520) which worked on the line, an unusual marked fire-bucket from Upminster, a pub sign, also from Upminster, which features the LT&SR coat of arms and the only known, surviving example of a LT&SR handlamp. These items will join the substantial collection of LT&S artifacts which are already part of the collection, in the unique "Vacuum Cleaner Van", the sole remaining complete item of LT&S rolling stock, which is currently being restored and prepared for it's role as a display vehicle.
Further additions have been made to our Irish collection, making it one of the largest collections (perhaps the largest) collection of railwayana from the Emerald Isle to be seen on the mainland.
Work is on-going on 4 locomotives- BR class 4MT 2-6-4T No 80078 is currently dismantled, but things are coming together; boiler work is complete and awaits the re-fitting of super-heater elements and tubes, return of the wheels from tyre-turning at Tyseley Locomotive Works is currently awaited, cylinders have been re-bored and delivery of new liners is expected shortly. Meanwhile, the axle-boxes are being overhauled and remaining repair work to the coal bunker is being attended to.
"Brookfield" (Bagnall 0-6-0PT of 1940) is being dismantled, the boiler is about to be removed ready for assessment, any repairs that prove necessary and re-tubing.
On the diesel front, 31430 "Sister Dora", which is operational, is receiving further body-work repairs, particularly to one of the cabs.
03 399 is being given an overhaul, including attention to the fuel injection equipment, brakes and minor body repairs and repainting.
Carriage & Wagon work has included panelling repairs to the ex GNR Gresley coach used mainly on our steam trains, fitting a waterproof cover to a North Eastern Railway 20 ton coal hopper wagon, and repairing and repainting the "Crocodile", the ex Royal Navy railway gun mounting wagon ready for its centenary, which falls this year.
The Mangapps Silver Jubilee Gala
Was the best attended Mangapps Gala to date,
in spite of steady rain almost all day on Bank Holiday Monday.
The record number of visitors were able to see and ride behind a total of 6 diesel locos on Saturday
and 5 diesel and 2 steam locos on Sunday and Monday.
The only slight disappointment was that Martin Staniforth's Class 31 diesel, 31 430 "Sister Dora", failed on her last run on Saturday afternoon, with minor braking problems.
Inability to obtain spares at short notice meant that she was unable to perform on Sunday and Monday.
Visitors came from as far afield as Exeter, Liverpool and N. Yorkshire and I was asked, several times, whether it would be possible to run a similar event in the Spring, as they couldn't wait another whole year!
Locomotives expected to be operating at the Mangapps Silver Jubilee Gala,
23rd, 24th & 25th August 2014 are as follows-
Over the past few weeks, celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Wickford-Southminster branch line, now known as the Crouch Valley Line, have been held at stations along the line. Last Friday, the 11th of July, Mangapps' managing partner and curator, John Jolly, was delighted to be among invited guests at Wickford Station, to see John Whittingdale O.B.E, M.P. name one of the Class 321 electric trains that operate on the line "Crouch Valley 1889-2014". After a celebratory trip on the train to Burnham, John Jolly was surprised and delighted to be presented, by train operator Abellio Greater Anglia, with a mounted replica nameplate for permanent display at Mangapps. We are delighted to be associated with the continued success of "our" local railway!
The very latest on "Sister Dora"!
Following further testing of the loco's electrical system, Martin Staniforth's Class 31 diesel has moved under her own power, for the first time since withdrawal in 1999.
Martin is confident that she will be running at the Mangapps Gala Event over the August Bank Holiday.
Watch this space for further announcements about locos running at this, our special 25th Anniversary Gala!
Progress on 31430 'Sister Dora'
Since the engine was started in January2014, work has progressed sorting various electrical issues, as yet the loco has not taken power.
Body work repairs continue on cab2 which is nearly finished externally, cab1 will be started shortly.
2014 is an important year in Mangapps calendar.
It is Mangapps 25th Anniversary.
It is also the 60th birthday of ‘Empress’(formerly Demelza).
‘Empress’ was Mangapps first working steam engine.
She worked at Mangapps for 10 years until 1999 when she
had to be withdrawn for her 10 yearly overhaul.
She remained out of service for 15 years and now she has
rejoined Mangapps fleet of working engines and will be
working on the late May Bank Holiday Sunday
Class 47. James Nightall has come back home to Mangapps
after being on hire to the Mid- Norfolk Railway and the East
Lancs Railway. It is the 50th birthday of this diesel loco and
the 70th anniversary of the death of James Nightall.
(see details of this brave man on the brass plate on the loco)
It is also the 125th Anniversary of the Southminster/Burnham
A Quarter Century of Progress!
Welcome to the first Mangapps News of 2014.
2013 was a "game of two halves"; the first six months was, in trading terms, slow, due to the uncertain economic climate and miserable weather conditions, but the situation improved greatly from mid-summer onwards, resulting in the best August Gala yet, an excellent Transport Gala in October and one of our best-ever "Santa Special" seasons.
We begin the 2014 season on February 1st with the expectation of a momentous year ahead; it is 25 years since Mangapps Railway opened to the public and this will be celebrated with a special Gala on the actual anniversary, over August Bank Holiday weekend. We shall also be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Great Eastern Railway lines to Southminster, Southend and Maldon.
Every year since 1989, Mangapps has introduced new features and developments; 2014 will be no exception!
Progress on locomotive restoration means that at least one and possibly two, additional steam locos will enter service during the year.
The return of our Class 47 diesel loco from the Mid-Norfolk Railway means that we shall have a main-line diesel available during the summer and the recent "first start-up" of 31 530 raises the possibility of a second "big" diesel in service.
Numerous additions have been made to our museum collections and we shall shortly be starting the renovation of another museum building. A further attraction which has been developed in recent months is the model railway- an extensive vintage Hornby-Dublo layout, which fits well with our aim; to transport you to the past!
Mangapps Museum has recently made several new additions to it's collections, including an extensive vintage model railway.
The layout consists of original "Hornby-Dublo" products, produced by Meccano Ltd. between 1938 and 1964, most of which are over 60 years old and some almost 75.
Hornby-Dublo was the first widely available "00" scale electric train and marked the transition from toy trains to model railways. Throughout the 1940s and 50s a Hornby-Dublo train set was every boy's dream Christmas present, so it's entirely appropriate that Mangapps model railway, named "Edward's Railway" after its owner, our youngest volunteer, will be running in conjunction with our "Santa Special" event.
Another Mainline Diesel for Mangapps!
Loco number 31 530 has been purchased by a Mangapps volunteer and is expected to arrive at the railway later this month, probably before our August Gala Weekend.
The loco is partially restored and is in good mechanical condition, but requires attention to it's electrical equipment and bodywork.
Provisional Loco Roster for August Gala- 33202, 03081, 03089. 03197, 03399, D2325. "Elland No1" and R.O.F.8 No.8 (the latter on Sunday & Monday only.)
Mangapps Locomotive Status- 13/05/2013.
Locomotives currently operational-
A. Barclay 0-4-0ST No.2157 "R.O.F.8 No.8"
B.R. Class 47 Co-Co 47 579 "James Nightall G.C." (Currently on loan to Mid-Norfolk Rly)
B.R. Class 03 0-6-0DM 03 197.
B.R.Class 03 0-6-0DM 03 399.
B.R. Class 04 0-6-0DM D2325.
Hudswell-Clarke 0-4-0DM. "Elland No.1"
Locomotives undergoing repair/restoration-
Bagnall 0-6-0ST No.3061 "Empress" - Major firebox repairs/retube nearing completion. Expected back in traffic August 2013.
Hunslet 0-6-0ST No.469 "Hastings" - Boiler & firebox repairs in progress, expected completion date early 2015.
B.R. Std. Class 4 2-6-4T No.80078- Loco dismantled, boiler work ongoing. Expected completion date late 2014.
B.R. Class 33 Bo-Bo No. 33 202 "Dennis G. Robinson" - Major body overhaul nearing completion, expected to be in service by August 2013.
B.R. Class 03 0-6-0DM 03 081, receiving minor attention to power unit, returning to traffic shortly.
B.R. Class 03 0-6-0DM No. 03 089, undergoing body repairs & repaint, expected in traffic by August 2013.
Locomotives on static display-
Fox-Walker 0-6-0ST No.358 "Minnie"
Bagnall 0-6-0PT No. 2613 "Brookfield"
Locomotives in store-
Drewry 0-6-0DM No. "11104"
Drewry 0-4-0DM "Army 226".
Another successful year at Mangapps.
We had entered 2012 with serious misgivings about the year ahead, particularly concerning the likely effects of the forthcoming Silver Jubilee, the Olympic Games, and the continuing national economic problems. In the event, our worries have proved unfounded, with a 6% increase in visitor numbers over the previous year, in spite of our being forced to increase ticket prices to counter increased costs.
Major progress has been made in other areas- restoration has been completed on two of our diesel locomotives, 47579 and 03197, and both have entered regular service for the first time in preservation.
R.O.F. No.8, our regular steam loco, suffered a number of boiler tube failures during the summer and, as it was nearing the end of it's 10 year boiler certificate, it was decided to embark on a "high speed" overhaul. This was completed in only three months and No.8 successfully completed its boiler test in time to operate our "Santa Special" season.
Work has continued on various rolling stock restoration projects, including completion of the major restoration of two Great Eastern Railway vans, and the planned maintenance of track and infrastructure.
The Museum has benefited from a large number of new acquisitions across all areas of the collection, helping to justify further its reputation as one of the largest, perhaps the largest, in southern England.
John Jolly, Managing Partner.
Woodings railcar, type CBL, ex CPR
Mangapps has recently obtained an addition to it's "Canadian" collection, a Canadian Pacific Railway inspection car or "speeder".
Built by the Woodings Railcar Co. of Lancaster, Ontario, the car was obtained, not from Canada, but from West Wales where it had been imported in 2000 by a Welsh gentleman and railway enthusiast who had spent much of his working life in Canada.
80078 returns to Essex!
British Railways Standard Class 4 2-6-4T loco 80078, which spent most of it's working life on the London, Tilbury & Southend line, has returned to it's former home county. The loco has been purchased by a Mangapps volunteer, and arrived at a secure private loco restoration facility near Burnham-on-Crouch on 26/10/2012.
The engine, formerly based at the Swanage Railway, has been out of service for three years, following the expiry of it's 10 year boiler certificate. It is complete and in generally good condition and an overhaul will commence in early 2013.
On completion of the overhaul, the loco's new owner intends to take it, for a period of "running in", to Mangapps, after which it will be made available for hire to other railways.
"Mangapps in Norfolk!"
47 579 "James Nightall G.C.", on loan to the Mid Norfolk Railway, hauling the 1030 train from Dereham to Wymondham through Crownthorpe on 19/9/2012. Photo. courtesy of S. Goodrum.
47 579 visits Mid-Norfolk.
Mangapp's largest locomotive, the 120 ton 47 579 "James Nightall G.C.", left Mangapps by road on Saturday, 15th, bound for the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham, where it will take part in the MNR's "Class 47 Golden Jubilee " event on Sept. 21st, 22nd & 23rd. The loco will remain on loan to the MNR until spring 2013..
Stars of the show, 03 197 and 47 579
Mangapps Railway Museum's Annual Gala, held over the August Bank Holiday weekend, has been the most successful yet, in spite of an unpromising weather forecast and torrential showers during Saturday.
In previous years the Saturday has been a dedicated Diesel Gala, with Sunday and Monday featuring both steam and diesel services. However, this year the whole weekend's services were provided by diesel locomotives, resulting in our best attendance yet and very positive feedback, with visitors travelling from as far afield as Bristol and Gateshead.
Locomotives operating passenger trains through the weekend were-
47 579 "James Nightall G.C."
(First time in full operation after preservation and restoration)
(First time operating in preservation)
In addition two of our industrial locomotives, "Elland No.1" and a Ruston & Hornsby 48DS shunter, were in operation.
A further attraction which was well received by visitors was a model railway display by the Chelmsford Model Railway Club.
Mangapps Gala, 25th, 26th and 27th August.
In response to requests from visitors in previous years, this year we are making our Summer Gala an entirely Diesel event.
The ex British Railways locomotives operating over the three days are as follows- D2325, 03 081, 03 089, 03 197, 03 399 and 47 579.
47 579 "James Nighthall G.C." is now completely restored, this will be it's first operational appearance at a Mangapps Gala.
03 197 will be running for the first time in preservation, and the first time in a quarter of a century!
Locomotives and trains will be changed regularly throughout each day and all operations are, of course, subject to availability.
New steam loco building at Mangapps!
The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust, based here at Mangapps, are building a new example of this classic Great Eastern Railway 2-4-2T locomotive, a class which worked throughout East Anglia, including the Southminster and Maldon branchlines.
The "new-build" scheme received a major boost on 1st June with the delivery of the main frame plates from Tata Steel. Although several components, including the smokebox, bunker and buffer beams are already here, the frames are the basis of a locomotive, from which it derives it's idenitity. So now F5 no.67218 really exists!
Mangapps Museum continues to enlarge and improve it's collection. Recent additions include the British Railways enamel station sign from Hockley, LNER signalbox nameboard from Shenfield , the unique "rebuild" works-plate from London, Tilbury & Southend Railway loco no.14, "Leigh" and a Great Eastern Railway style handlamp from Southminster station. To illustrate the range of our collections, other recent aquisitions include a very rare Great Eastern Railway telegraph insulator, a uniform button from the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway and a Canadian Pacific Railway caboose stove!
Mangapps in the Movies!
Daniel Radcliffe with Edward Burbidge and Bear, Mangapps, October 2010
This month sees the launch of the new period thriller "Woman in Black" starring Daniel Radcliffe.
Look out for the "on train" scene, which was shot here at Mangapps, using Gresley "Restaurant Pantry 3rd" carriage No.9066.
It is almost 25 years since the start of the construction of Mangapps
Railway and it does not take long for nature to take a railway back (take note,
HS2 protesters!) In order to ensure the safe running of our trains, this winter
we have given our line sides a haircut (see picture above).
The hedges will not
look bare for long; experience shows that hedges trimmed at this time of year
regrow more vigorous and healthy than before, good news for the dozens of
species of wild life that call them home.
MANGAPPS STOCK LIST UPDATED
stock list has been comprehensively updated and corrected and now includes a
full inventory of our collection of goods wagons and departmental vehicles.
Mangapps buys giant vacuum cleaner!
London, Tilbury & Southend Rly. Vacuum Cleaning Van No.1857 the sole remaining example of an LT&SR carriage or wagon
aquired a railway vehicle which is unique in two ways- it is the last
surviving complete item of rolling stock from the London, Tilbury& Southend Railway and is the only known example of a purpose built
Vacuum Cleaning Van.
The vehicle was built at the LT&SR's works at
Plaistow in 1912, but later migrated to the Manchester area and, later
still, was used as a mobile battery charger by British Rail. It was
consigned to a scrap yard at Wigan in the early 1980s but was rescued
by a group of volunteers from Astley Green Colliery Museum, from whom
it has now been purchased.
The van, which is of a most unusual design,
is externally "as built" and is in basically sound condition, though it
will require extensive repairs to the steel cladding.
We would like to
thank fellow preservationists Tony Lyster and Steve Erlicher and also
Geoff Jones, of Astley Green Museum, for helping to facilitate the
The caboose is here!
An old Caboose on the end of a BNSF freight--Uploaded by fastrains56 on 17 Jun 2011
2.33mins Wait till the end!
Our Caboose travelling through Illinois USA, en route to England.
For the first time ever, a caboose, an icon of US and Canadian railways, has arrived in the UK. The 30 year old vehicle was built in Montreal by the Canadian Pacific Railway and travelled many thousands of miles through
mountains and prairies until withdrawn from service in 2004.
It is in excellent original condition and was repainted within a week of its arrival at Mangapps, by a group of volunteers from the Ford Motor Co.
You may have seen a picture of a caboose, or seen them in Hollywood films, but now, for the first time, you can inspect one close-up, right here in England!
The Mangapps Railway has had an excellent summer, with visitor numbers slightly up on 2010.
The main season ended with the annual Mangapps Gala over the August Bank Holiday weekend. This event continues to grow in popularity, with visitors particularly enjoying the variety of locos and rolling-stock in use in an authentic environment.
Recent rolling-stock arrivals, apart from the caboose, are an LNWR van and an early LMS brake-van.
The museum "small exhibits" collection continues to grow, recent additions range from a huge (24'x12') British Rail flag, a very large French locomotive headlamp and, at the other end of the scale, a Great Eastern Railway