La'al Ratty features in new talks series for Furness rail enthusiasts

4 October 2017 6:08PM

THE Furness, Lakes and Lune branch of a national group for railway enthusiasts starts its winter programme of talks this week.

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and trains to the Lakes in the last few years of steam power will feature in presentations to members and visitors to the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society.

Meetings are held from 7.30pm at the Station Hotel, overlooking Carnforth railway station.

A donation of £2 for members and £4 for visitors is requested. All are welcome.

The series of talks starts tomorrow, October 6, with a presentation by Steve Fort called The Green Diesel Era.

On November 3 the speaker is Noel Machell with a look at Preston to Windermere in the last years of steam.

The annual meeting is held on December 1, followed by photographic presentations by members.

Ian Pilkington is the speaker on January 5 with a talk called Steam and Diesel in the Northern Fells.

On February 2 Peter Van Zeller will describe the history of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway - also known afectionately as La'al Ratty.

The line was opened in the 1870s to bring Eskdale quarry stone and iron ore to the main railway line at Ravenglass.

A century ago, during the First World War, the track was reduced in width from 3 ft to 15in and while the mines and quarries have gone the line remains a popular tourist attraction.

On March 2 John Sloane has the theme of The Splendid Years of British Railways Steam from 1958 to 1962.

David Bousfield is the guest speaker on April 6 with the topic Trains Around Britain - Then and Now.

The final talk is by Brian Parker on May 4 about the Carlisle Power Signal Box, which plays a key role in the safe operation of trains on the electrified lines through Cumbria.

You can find out more about the activities of the national society on its website at

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