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History of the Society.
The Society was formed in August 1992 as the Rotherham Narrow Gauge Society changing to its present name in March 1994. The Society members come with a variety of engineering and other skills, enabling the Society to provide the expertise required for carrying out the majority of tasks needed to enhance the facilities of the Society.The Society took over part of Rosehill ( Victoria ) Park on the outset of the Society in 1994. Clearance of the site, which was considerably overgrown, commenced immediately with the priority to construct a simple oval shaped raised track. For this purpose redundant concrete sleepers were used as a base for the steel bar track, the track being donated by Rotherham Engineering Steels. The track was completed in 1997 and rides commenced for the public in that year. All the construction work was carried out by the members of the Society.In 1998 the top part of the site, including two brick buildings, was offered to the Society and accepted. This coincided with the commencement of a 5 year lease. The Society is currently coming to the end of a second 5 year lease and the aim is to negotiate a longer lease if possible.
Site Clearance and Construction of Raised Track.
Construction of Ground Level Track.
It had always been intended from the outset that a ground level track would be constructed once sufficient funding could be made available, both from outside sources and from the Society funds. The idea behind the ground level track is to give greater flexibility where it is possible for trains to overtake, unlike running on a raised track. It is also considered more suitable for public running and for disabled passengers.A grant was obtained from Voluntary Action Rotherham in July 2004 to purchase materials for the construction of the ground level track with work commencing on the track in October 2004. Some preparatory work on the foundations had been started in February 2004. Work continued, again being carried out by members of the Society, over a number of winters so as not to interfere with public running during the running season of Easter to September. Construction included five sets of points that were designed and made in house. Work was completed in the summer of 2007 enabling trials to proceed in order to establish the stability of the track under running conditions. All necessary tamping and packing of the track then continued ready for the start of the 2008 running season.It was decided in 2009 to seek funding to extend the ground level track to take it up to the upper level. We were successful in obtaining a grant from the South Yorkshire Community Foundation Grass Roots Fund for the purchase of materials to enable this extension to be commenced in May 2009. Progress on this project is reported in the News section.
Construction of Petrol Hydraulic Loco and Ground Level Coaches.
Work commenced in July 2005 to construct a petrol hydraulic locomotive for use on the new track. This was completed, except for painting, in the summer of 2007 and successful trials carried out. The loco has now been stripped down and painted and was completed in time for the naming ceremony. Construction of two sets of double articulated coaches for use on the new track have been completed and were used for the first time during the Mayor’s visit.
Rotherham & District Model Engineers Society.
Webmaster - Ken Staniforth.
Rotherham and District Model Engineers Society.
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