The Leighton Buzzard Railway received yet another award on Thursday 24th August when President of the Transport Trust (and Railway President) Sir William McAlpine unveiled a ‘Red Wheel’ plaque at the Railway’s Stonehenge Works site.
The Trust is Britain’s only charity dedicated to the preservation of all modes of transport and its infrastructure. The present the ‘Red Wheel’ plaques to draw attention to sites of significant transport heritage interest. In the case of the Leighton Buzzard Railway, built in 1919 using ex-WW1 materials to carry sand, the award highlights the line as ‘a rare survivor from the era of railways used as internal transport within British industry’. The plaque is mounted on the former stables block at Stonehenge Works, which is now used as a workshop.
Transport Trust officers and members joined Society Vice-Presidents, officers and members on the 12.20 hrs service train to Stonehenge Works, complete with ‘Red Wheel Rambler’ headboard, where the award was unveiled. The train was appropriately hauled by locomotive ‘P.C.Allen’ named after the late industrialist and noted railway author Sir Peter Allen who was the first President of the Transport Trust. The locomotive had been given to Sir Peter on his retirement by the Solvay works in Spain where it had spent its working life. Sir Peter later presented it to the Railway for restoration, after residing in his garden for many years!
The award follows receipt by the Railway of the recent ‘Queens Award for Voluntary Service’ and the Heritage Railway Association’s premier accolade, the Peter Manisty award earlier this year.
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