Rail Riders

Group Leader: David Horne – david@u3a-llandrindod.org.uk

The group plans to travel around using the rail network.

There are three options: Local (Wales), Regional (The UK) and Exploration (Europe!!).

“Local” will include, Gardens, Castles, Houses … whatever grabs the members interests.

The group will operate all the year round taking advantage of Free Rail in the winter!!!!

It is so good to announce that Railriders is back in action. Reports to follow.

Suggestions for next year include:

Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway – Canal trip from Welshpool followed by a cream tea on the train

Brecon Mountain Railway – Train ride followed by a canal barge journey and meal

Snowdonia Mountain Railway – Train ride to the summit of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) and a meal on the way home

Network Rail from Caersws or Newtown to Birmingham – Historical canal tours and back to back houses tour

Network Rail to Birmingham to visit the Christmas markets

Gloucestershire and Worcestershire Stean Railway – Cheltenham to Broadway (See the Cotswolds). All day rover ticket (hop on, hop off) followed by a meal on the way home.

Dean Forest Railway – Lydney to Parkend. All day rover ticket followed by a meal on the way home.

Severn Valley Railway – Kidderminster to Bridgenorth. All day rover ticket follwed by a meal on the way home.

Travel to the railways is always by car share and we strive to find somewhere decent to eat on the way home

Ideas are always welcome but the railway must be within reasonable communting distance

Latest news from the group

Get together

Published 13th June 2022

I have arranged a get together at The Commodore Hotel on Wednesday 20th July 2022 at 10.30 in the De winton Room. Tea and coffee have been ordered. As a special bonus Jan Swindale will make a slide presentation of a trip across the USA with David.

Following this we will chat about future trip venues and timings

See you there

David. Blue Leader One

4th May 2022. GWSR

Published 13th June 2022

Wednesday 4th May 2022.

Well, here we are again. Out on the open rails with the distinct whiff of syeam locomotive in the air. Ah nostalgia!

Buckle up and settle down. This is an epic tale of pleasure, joy and hope (hope that all will go swimmingly without any hitches) and the inevitable despair when hitch decides to show himself.

On Wednesday 4th may The Railriders Group travelled the Cotswolds on The Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Steam Railway from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway.

We met at The Metropole in Llandrindod, 16 intrepid explorers. We car shared using 4 cars and set off on a 2 hour journey, Having utmost confidence in his planning abilities Blue Leader One issued satnav directions for folk in case we seperated on the road. More later………….

Of the 4 cars 3 arrived in good time at Cheltenham Racecourse and waited………………. and waited…………….. and waited for car 4 to arrive.adly it did not arrive at all.

I mean, did I not allow plenty of time? Did I not give adequate directions? Worse, had something awful happened?

In due course I received a phone call from the one of the passengers in car 4 and I realised the mistake I had made. The 3 cars that arrived set their satnavs for Cheltenham Racecourse. The 4th used the postcode I gave them in Llandrindod which was for Winchcombe, a staion further up the line. They were in the wrong place at the right time and Blue Leader was in bother – again!

As things turned out the first group set off on the train at 11.30 and the others were able to join 2 stops later. Imagine the banter. Apparently the lady serving coffee at Winchcombe near enough fainted when 4 coffees were ordered while they waited for the train. The most she usually served was 1 or 2. Anyway after much ado and hale fellow well met we journied on to Broadway.

For anyone who has never been to the Cotswoldsthe scenery is picturesquewith rolling downs and green fields. The buildings are built with a lovely Cotswold tone that is yellow – very distinctive.

We passed through Gotherington, Winchcombe, Hayes Abbey Halt and Toddington, finally arriving in Broadway after 1 hour. We split up and went our own ways for 3 hours.

We met up back at the station in time to catch the last train back at 3.30pm, minus 2 who had travelled back down the line earlier to revisit old haunts. They joined us at Toddington on the return, arriving back at Cheltenham at 4.30.

Anyone who has shared our adventures knows that we like to round off our visits with a meal at a public house. I don’t know the area so had to choose a suitable looking venue with a decent menu. I selected somewhere about half way home at a place called Much Marcle. The pub was called the Royal Oak. Having pre-ordered our meals we had to wait for the premises to open before we could even quench our thirst. Now, remember the 4th car? Because it was closer to the pub than those coming from Cheltenham the 4th car arrived well before the rest of us.

How to pass the time while they waited? I am informed that the 4 (2 former teachers included) played ‘I Spy’. I wonder how many different things there are to spy on a rural pub car park. Something beginning with P (pub), C (car), G (grass), F (field), B (bush), H (hill) and don’t forget that old classic T (tree).

The food, by the way, was excellent, as was the service. Good food and atmosphere make merry and mistakes aside (only a tiny little one) we had a great time. What a super day.

Blue Leader One

Christmas 2021

Published 13th June 2022

The Armoury. Shrewsbury. Wednesdat 8th December 2021

Well, we finally got going again!

It has been 2 years. almost to the date, since our last adventure and returning to our last venue. The pandemic has certainly taken the steam out of things but there does appear to be an end in sight (says he hopefully). A lot of the restrictions have been eased.

Whereas most of our u3a groups can run virtually sadly we cannot. It simply was not possible to organise anything economically or safely for a large group of people.

It was with great anticipation therefore, that i was asked to try and arrange a trip before Christmas 2021. hen I mentioned to folk in passing that we might return to The Armoury im Shrewsburyfor a Christmas meal the response was superb.

We travelled by network rail on the Heart of Wales Line (H.O.W) from Llandrindod to Shrewsbury.

Now picture the scene. Wet (very wet) following torrential rain and windy (very windy). reports of dameage to trees on main roads and flooding. We never do anything the easy way! So there we were at the station at 0835 hoping that the train was running and that we could all get on it. The original party was 30 people which reduced to 24 for varying reasons. Only 2 carriages and pre-christmas. Of the 24, 4 decided to travel up by car. We need not have worried, the train was empty.

We left on time and after 90 minutes arrived into Shrewsbury. On the way the weather did improve the further from Llandrindod we got. So we started with snow covered hill tops and ended up with bright skies.

We had time to browse shops, drink coffee and walk around until it wa stime to eat. By 1pm we were all seated and and the food was served. I may have mentioned this in a previous report but the food and service there is excellent. A good time was had by all and what made it better was several new group members.

Our train back departed at 1824 and arrived into Llandrindod just before 8pm. A long day but a good one.

|No if anyone wishes to becomes a member of Railriders they can contact David Horne (Blue Leader 1). Contact details are on the u3a website.