Posted by: wrha | July 29, 2011

2011 Open Weekend

Our 2011 Open Weekend was held on 16th & 17th July. This year’s event was a much more low key affair than the 2010 one, and was used to trial our (demonstration) train operation in the form of the Ruston running back and forth between the platform and the Golden Bridge.

The weekend was a resounding success, despite occasional thunderstorms and bouts of torrential rain (British summertime), and overall takings covered almost half the cost of transporting the wee Ruston north of the border. The operating system devised prior to the event worked well, and our thanks go to those individuals who acted as marshalls during the event, ensuring our visitors stayed safe at all times. Thanks also to those who manned the display and buffet as well as those who got the site spic and span each day and tidied away at night. Last but not least, a big thank you goes to Iain MacIntosh for driving the loco over the two days.

The success of the trial running, together with the substantial completion of our Safety Management System, bodes well for the commencement of public passenger operations in the near future. As stated previously, the Ruston will be used to train our first tranche of footplate staff in advance of the Fowler’s return to active service and our acquisition of a suitable passenger coach. It may also operate footplate experience or “driver for a fiver” turns, perhaps later this year. In the meantime, the new running line and station at Whitrope are perfect examples of how a properly planned and led community/ enthusiast venture can deliver a quality railway rebuild for a tiny fraction of the costs normally associated with government initiated schemes, and we hope those in high places recognise the tremendous opportunities this model creates, perhaps elsewhere on the Waverley Route or in other parts of the country.

The Ruston about to cross bridge 199


And safely back at the station ready for another trip

Photos courtesy/ copyright of Bruce McCartney



  1. Very enjoyable.

    Thanks to Joe and Dave for marshalling and all who assisted (cessna152 or Alex), it was good to see all the members from afar who we don’t always get an opportunity to meet face to face and thanks to Alastair (sorry been to Inverness mate and clean forgot), A good mate and a pleasure to work with.

    Thanks one and all,


  2. P.s. When Holyrood intimated a rebuild of the Waverley Route with a time frame for the first train operations being 2011 as it has turned out, they weren’t lying!

    Pitty they haven’t paid for any of it and its no the bit they promised. still, plototics. Its hit and miss I guess?

  3. It was certainly good to see rail-borne activity at Whitrope after so long and even better to view it from the cab!
    A brilliant effort from all involved and I reminder that it’s time I too did my bit!

  4. Thanks for a great open-day guys. I’ve been a member for years and have followed your progress from afar via the newletter but this was my first visit and I was really impressed. Keep up the good work!

    I did an entry about it in my Gaelic railways blog:

  5. I whish I´d been there. Loveley imagination there´s a train running on Whitrope. Congratulations from Germany Andreas

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