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Visitors go on the waggon.

A weekend of activities centred around coal and colliery railways is to be held at a historic site.

Beamish Museum is supporting the event on May 12-13 at the Bowes Railway in Springwell Village, Gateshead, by loaning five of its 1870s chaldron waggons to form a train.

Staff at both Beamish and Bowes Railway believe that this will be the first opportunity to see a rake of chaldron waggons in action on an original route since 1959.

There will be demonstrations of the waggons and other coal trains using three steam locomotives, including a rare 1885 built steam locomotive visiting the railway from Staffordshire especially for the occasion.

Bowes will be open from 10am on both days and additional attractions include demonstrations of rope haulage shunting, the first appearance in public for some years of the Beamish 1907 horse drawn steam fire engine, passenger rides, and the Victorian era workshops and forge open to the public.

Paul Jarman, Curator of Transport at Beamish, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to witness a once common sight in the region, but a spectacle now long lost to most of us. By working with Bowes and using our own collection, we hope to create some memorable scenes as well as enable us, the present generation of custodians of these wonderful waggons, to better understand the way in which they work."

John Young, Bowes Railway operations manager, said: "We need to show people in the area and further afield that we are still alive and kicking and that we can put on an impressive show of our proud railway history in the North-East."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 8, 2007
Words:269
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