The winter season of the 8E Railway Association began with a talk by Andrew McFarlane, ambitiously entitled "Preserved Main Line Steam and Preserved Railways". Andrew is a well-known figure on the Mid-Cheshire line through his work with the Mid-Cheshire Rail Users Association. He is also extremely knowledgeable on the railway scene past and present.

He gave an insight into the fortunes of the railway preservation movement since the official end of British Rail steam haulage in 1968.

Any talk like this has to include iconic locations such as the Settle and Carlisle line, the Welsh Marches route and Manchester Victoria and Miles Platting bank. Less well-known are the Carnforth to Settle Junction line and the Diggle route. For local interest he included views of "Clan Line" and "Princess Elizabeth" at Knutsford and Northwich, and of Chester station and its environs.

The Bluebell Railway was probably the first of the Preserved Railways and the Severn Valley Railway one of the longest. A welcome inclusion was the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway. There were also views of the ever changing scene at the National Railway Museum. It was a fascinating evening.

The next meeting is on October 14, at the Gladstone Club, Station Road, Northwich when Phil Braithwaite will continue the theme of Steam on BR and the Privatised Railways from 1968.

Visitors are welcome. Please see or contact Paul Tench on 07790 486735 for further details.

David Hawkes