On September 17th we were joined by Councillor Richard Foote, from the Hanworth Ward, Hounslow, for a ride on the Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway and participation in a significant ceremony. Our original Petrol/Hydraulic locomotive “Hounslow” was the star of the show as she burst through the banner which announced the beginning of “Railway Restoration to Hampton”.
This ceremony marked a small but significant step in the aim of the Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway to extend from the Hanworth Loop back to Hampton; only another 2610 yards to go!
The lease from Thames Water for the land required for the extension has been delayed again. This time it is because TW want us to change to a slightly different route and some of the plans need re-drawing. However, it does not really change the wording of the lease and that part is with the company’s solicitors for the first time. We have appointed a solicitor to represent us and we hope to have everything agreed by the end of this year.
As part of the London Open House weekend (September 16/17th) the Great Engines building
was open with free entry. This year the railway looked after refreshments and made over £300. Next year the KGE will not be participating as it clashes with an event.
Not good news for Darent. We recently had the boiler examined by an expert and he has said that before it can pass another boiler test some major work will have to be done (replacing a tubeplate & more) on it which will take it out of action for most of next season. However, it will complete this year’s schedule finishing with the Father Christmas trains. It is hoped that we can borrow another steam engine to cover the period.
The Classic Car Day was a success but not for the railway which only had about 2/3 the number of passengers it had for the same event last year. It seemed as though we had a completely different type of visitor this year. It wasn’t helped by a shortage of car parking space caused by “Travellers” getting into the area usually used for parking under the flyover.
Our next “Footplate Day” where guests can drive a steam engine is on 14th October. Unfortunately it is fully booked but we hope to do more next year.
The introduction of payment card facilities has been a great success, especially for the prebooked events.
In the next month we hope to:-
1) Finish installing gates at the end of the loading siding
2) Finish the patio area for the Ghost Night (28th October)
3) Prepare for the Ghost Night
4) Dig test holes (by hand) in the picnic field to locate pipes which may be under the extension.