A Chronology of Crowle Peatland Railway

Sometime in 2012 – 4 of us were sat around a table in the Lock, Stock & Barrel pub in Crowle and the idea of some form of preservation society to preserve the history of peat extraction on the moors and particularly its railways came up. As it was known there was a loco (The Simplex) still on the moors this was the initial focus.

13th May 2013 – The inaugural meeting of the society was held at Ealand Victory Hall to adopt a constitution and to elect officers of the society.

1st March 2015 – The Simplex Locomotive was recovered from Bank Top on Thorne Moors where it had been left after peat extraction finished. From photos in “The Peat Railways of Thorne and Hatfield Moors” the loco appears to have been abandoned in a siding from at least XXXX. Inaddition to the loco we also acquired a number of peat bins used for surface peat milling.

30th June 2015 – The two Schoma locos (5220 & 5129) and three slave units were acquired by Crowle Peatland Railway and remained in Norfolk until storage at Crowle was sorted out.

11th October 2015 – Site visit for members to Crowle Peatworks to see where or base was going to be constructed. – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=CrowlePeatlandRailway&set=a.903868596374781

16 January 2016 – AGM

16 February 2016 – Vsit to see locos in Norfolk – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=CrowlePeatlandRailway&set=a.966014746826832

10th May 2016 – The two Schoma Locos and Slave units were delivered from Ray Kings site in Norfolk. They were initially stored in an existing Romney Hut on the Crowle Peatworks site (The Goat Shed). https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/124804883@N07/26658012870/

23rd July 2016 – Open day to view static locos in the Goat Shed. They were not even on rails at that time – this was part of International Bog Day.

11th September 2016 – Heritage Open Days. Visit to see locos as part of Isle of Axholme Minibus Tour

13th May 2017 – Simplex loco and peat winning equipment moved from Farm storage site to The old Peatworks https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=CrowlePeatlandRailway&set=a.1341975775897392

21st May 2017 – Open Day as part of Natura 20000 open day organised by the Humberhead Peatland National Nature Reserve

29th June 2017 – Planning application for Maintenance Shed approved – https://apps.northlincs.gov.uk/application/pa-2016-1699

10th September 2017 – Heritage Open Days 2017

14th October 2017 – Visit by Cardiff and Avonside Railway Club

9th January 2018 – Work starts on building the maintenance shed

14th February 2018 – Simplex loco moved to North Lindsey College Engineering Dept where the college was using the loco as part of their ‘enrichment’ activities with the students. Not only inspiring them in Engineering but also to find out about the history and heritage of the area!

20th April 2018 – The Romney Hut was completed and handed over to Crowle Peatland Railway.
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1 June 2018 – First delivery of sleepers

6 June 2018 – First delivery of rail

24 June 2018 – AGM held in the Maintenance shed.

5 September 2018 – Heritage Railway Association visit in advance of accepting our membership application

5 September 2018 – Schoma Locos moved from Goat Shed to our Maintenance Shed. (Still no track laid!)

20 October 2018 – Regular work days commence at The Old Peatworks

3 November 2018 – Track starts to be laid in the maintenance shed

5 January 2019 – 5220 finally rerailed

19 February 2019 – Peat Wagon delivered from Hatfield Peatworks.

30 March 2019 – Work on leveling track bed outside maintenance shd began

12 May 2019 – Sleepers laid outside shed in preparation for putting track down.

26 May 2019 – Track laid to turnout and turnout placed.

5 June 2019 – Schoma Loco 5130 gifted by Evergreen Hortculture moved from Hatfield Peatworks, where t had been a gate guardian, to The Old Peatworks. We now have all three Schoma Locos.

30 June 2019 – Schoma Loco 5220 (Thomas Buck) made its way outside under its own power to travel on the track laid outside.

16 August 2019 – Thomas Buck made its way all the way down to the head shunt – the furthest it had travelled under its own power since 2005!

20 August 2019 – Visit by the local U3A group

22 August 2019 – Filming for the Isle of Axholme & Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership. https://fb.watch/9093u91OXE/

14-15 September 2019 – Heritage Open Days. Cab Rides were available on the very limited length of track.

21- 22 September 2019 – Heritage Open Days. Cab Rides were available on the very limited length of track.

27 September 2019 – Visit to the Peatland Railway by Micro Maniacs – mini car enthusiasts.

23 October 2019 – The dismantled Simplex loco was returned from North Lindsey College – the intention was that the students would complete the project on site.

13 February 2020 – Planning permission granted for the siting and conversion of shipping containers to form a cafe, toilet, shop area and training/education room together with the installation of sewage treatment plant

28 April 2020 – Funding received from SSE Keadby Windfarm Fund to acquire Lisbon Tram Car 711. To be restored to use for passenger transport behind the schomas.

13 June 2020 – Lisbon Tram 711 delivered to The Old Peatworks

?? September 2020 – Delivery of Cafe buildings

9 September 2020 – 3-phase power finally connected to The Old Peatworks!

12-13 September 2020 – Heritage Open Days. Photo charter on the evening of 12th

19-20 September 2020 – Heritage Open Days. Photo charter on the evening of 12th

?? December 2020 – Planning Permission Granted for Railway Extension

3 April 2021 – Work on Extension commenced.

Friday 30 April 2021 – Official opening of Crowle Peatland Railway – this was for invited guests from our funders. Live broadcast throughout BBC Radio Humberside’s breakfast show.

1 May 2021 – First proper open day running several locos locos, – No cab rides because of Covid precautions

16 May 2021 – Inaugural Sunday Brunch in Cafe

2 June 2021 – Inaugural Afternoon Tea in Cafe

19 June – Simplex Loco runs under its own power for the first time in nearly 30 years.

10-11 July 2021 – Monthly Open Day

11th August – Wickham Trolley, on loan from the Rail Trolley Trust arrived – https://www.facebook.com/groups/RailTrolleyTrust/permalink/4252218744870123/
We had to fit seats etc so it was not until the open days on th weekend of the 11th/12th September that we were ble to offer rides.

14-15 August 2021 – Monthly Open Days. Shoma cab rides. Wickham was not ready.

11-12 September 2021 – Heritage Open Days. Cab rides and rides on Wickham Trolley

18-19 September 2021 – Heritage Open Days. Cab rides and rides on Wickham Trolley. Photo charter on 19th September

11 October 2021 – Arts workshop. Words in Clay. Addy Farmer & Karen Raithby.

30 October 2021 – Halloween Event with Ghost Train Rides (Wickham Trolley)

11-12 December 2021 – Christmas Even with rides to see Father Christmas and Christmas Market.