a once in a lifetime railway spectacular held at Crewe Loco Works
on 10/11 September 2005

No less than 5 Crewe-built pacifics at the Great Gathering on Saturday 10th September

Sale of Show Memorabilia

See "Webb" News for
website changes
click here

The Duke
Photographed by Keith Langston on 04/09/05

No less than 4 Crewe-built Stanier pacifics at the Great Gathering on Saturday 10th September

Proceeds from the Open Weekend go to the Webb Crewe Works Charity Fund.

There are a number of unsold show items still available e.g. programmes at knock down prices. There will also be a number of Show Tabards (as used by the Show Marshalls) which will also be made available for sale. Specially Signed Tabards - There will be a limited number of Tabards available that have been signed by the Shunting Crew and Drivers. The organising committee have been advised that the Llangollen Railway will use their donation from the show proceeds both towards the Berwyn Viaduct appeal and the Corwen extension. As the Show is now over, the website will be gradually adjusted by the removal of certain web pages. However, some will be retained and, in due course, may be re-organised to show a pictorial record of the event.

The aim of the open weekend is to provide railway enthusiasts, their families and friends with an interesting and enjoyable event at this historical railway site. At the same time the event will raise money for charitable causes. The planned weekend spectacular signals the arrival in the railway town of over 20 preserved steam locomotives and 30 plus heritage diesel vehicles.

In 1954 Crewe Loco Works completed the building of a revolutionary design of locomotive, which is still described as being the most sophisticated steam locomotive running anywhere in the world. This fantastically advanced example of the loco builder's art was numbered 71000 by British Railways and given the name "Duke of Gloucester”. This, the most powerful of steam engines, is now regularly hauling special trains on the national network, and it will be making a triumphant return to the town of its creation in time for the event.

Arguably the two most famous steam locomotives in the United Kingdom are respectively. "Flying Scotsman", now owned by the nation, and the ex Great Western Railway locomotive “Olton Hall” that has been specially painted in maroon for use in the popular Harry Potter films. Both of these famous engines will be in attendance during this once-in-a-lifetime happening. The organisers are also planning to offer visitors the fabulous opportunity of a ride behind the famous film engine and possibly other locomotives.

Representing the best of Crewe Works will be several locomotives, designed by the famous engineer, Sir William A Stanier, and those will include four classic express passenger engines. The giants of steam are respectively 46229 "Duchess of Hamilton", sister locomotive 6233 "Duchess of Sutherland", 6201 "Princess Elizabeth", sister locomotive 6203 "Princess Margaret Rose" and Jubilee Class favourite number 5690 "Leander".

In addition to “Flying Scotsman”, the great railway engineer, Sir Nigel Gresley will be represented by another of his classic creations, the streamlined A4 Pacific 60009 "The Union of South Africa”. The Welsh Highland Railway will be sending along, two of their many narrow gauge steam locomotives one of which is likely to be a huge and powerful Beyer-Garrett type, and that will also be displayed ‘in steam'. The Llangollen Railway will be loaning their superbly restored loco “Foxcote Manor”. In addition sister ex GWR engine “Pitchford Hall”, based at Tyseley in the West Midlands, and currently nearing the end of its restoration for use on the main line, may also be present.

Many other types, including freight locomotives are also booked to attend thus bringing the number of steam locomotives to over 20. It is often said that the combined smell of steam, burning coal, and hot oil is both emotive and addictive. There are many who would testify to those facts, why not come along to this event and find out for yourself? However if you prefer your railway traction without a chimney then fear not, for 30 plus heritage diesel traction units, and a similar number of modern diesel and electric locomotives are to be included in this fantastic ‘one off’ line up. The staging of the event is expected to cost a great deal with much of that cost being absorbed by the transportation of the locomotives. In 2004 the Crewe Works fund gave £27,500 to local good causes and with this event they hope to boost that total considerably. In line with past money raising events the ‘Great Gathering’ is supported by volunteers from all sections of the works without whose help it would be impossible to organise.

This page shows locomotives that the Committee are negotiating to be present at the event. However, the availability of these exhibits is not within the control of the organisers, the Webb Crewe Works Charity Fund Committee. It is possible that certain locomotives may, for a number of reasons, not be able to appear at the event. Such cancellation may, unfortunately, be at short notice.

Things you did not know about railways

When the industrial revolution occurred, railways played a significant role. We currently use railways on a regular basis to transport around, get to work on time, travel to foreign places and even shift our goods when we move to another part of the country. Railways are a constant presence in our life, yet we do not know everything about them. Here are some interesting facts you wish you would have known earlier.

Fun facts about railways

Britain became one of the most powerful nations in the world due to railways. With more than 150 years of history, railways are today found all over the world. But back in the beginnings of their era, railways needed to surpass extraordinary challenges. The early railway engineers had some problems when it came to keeping the railways as flat as possible, especially on heavy inclines. Huge engineering structures had to be developed so we now have tunnels, bridges, cuttings and embankments all over the country.

Some interesting elements and facts about railways and trains can be discovered in the museums or at Crewe Works Open Weekend. You can access https://www.escortdirectory.com/ and invite an escort to accompany you if you do not want to go there alone, but you will sure befriend with other railways enthusiasts that you will meet here. You will find here that not only heavy inclines were challenging back then.

Even flat lands could offer some unexpected surprises – the railway from Liverpool to Manchester had to be done so that it floated across the bog on a bed of tree branches and heather, which were fixed and bound with rubble and tar. The bog swallowed massive amounts of material until everything settled down. A sort of foundation was built, but the interesting thing about it is that this railway still exists and it was even electrified and modernized.

When they tried to dig the first tunnel under the Thames, Marc Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom faced a damp problem. The portion between Rotherhithe and Wapping was originally designed as a foot tunnel. Its construction begun in the year 1825, but only in 1843 it was opened. Not only that they experienced floods and gas leaks – they also head some financial problems. But due to the “shield”, this innovative method of construction, Brunel finally succeeded to accomplish his goal. It became an important tourist hotspot, but in these days this is a part of the London Overground network.

As the technology improved, engineers and railway companies had to build new and better locomotives. Trains got considerably faster, steam engines produced by different companies fought to win their passengers and beauties such as Princess Coronation from LMS and Mallard succeeded to beat some speed records. Mallards reached 202.8 km/h, which is pretty good for a powerful steam engine.

There is a museum in London that you really must visit if you are passionate about railways and trains. Come to National Railway Museum on Leeman Road, York, and you will certainly discover new fun facts about railways!

© Copyright Webb Crewe Works Charity Fund - all rights reserved. Reproduction of this Web site, in whole or in part, in any form or medium without express written permission from Webb Crewe Works Charity Fund is prohibited. Your use of this Web site is subject to our legal terms & conditions.