Friday, January 26, 2007

Snailbeach District Railway

A group has been set up to restore this narrow gauge railway in the wilds of Shropshire. It has, of course, its own blog.

The line never carried passengers while it was operating, but the group intends to do so if it is reopened.

For the history of the SDR, see the Colonel Stephens Railway Museum, from which I borrowed this rather fine image.

Later. But now read this.


Anonymous said...

This scheme is a total hoax, see Yahoo group SnailbeachOversight.

Anonymous said...

Now now, To say the scheme is a total hoax is wholly unfair. The SDR have made mistakes and/or told lies, but it is unfair to say such things against a scheme who favours secrecy. In my opinion the SDR have done more than enough to prove themselves in my mind, they have on their (appears to be professionally designed) website sevral albums of the trackbed, which in my mind is more than enough "proof " that there will be some sort of development in the area.

Anonymous said...

So do you believe that a valid Company would have it's accounts so far behind.
And a Company & Scheme that has removed it's webite from view?
Yes they give reasons, But copying and pasting has been resorted to by the snailbeach too. Double Standards????

Snailbeach Directors said...

Snailbeach District Railways Company Limited (under the name ALEKGREEN1982) took over the SnailbeachOversight list on October 4th from the owner Martin Ball of Lafayette La, USA. We are handing the whole list contents archives and member list to the authorities and our solicitors for action against those who posted libelous and intimidating material.

We have placed this here to save people attempting to join the list. Hopefully now the SDR will be allowed to get on with its legitimate business.

Anonymous said...

There Seems to be something very wrong here!
I almost can see a link to events in a certain european state 1933 to 1945, threats intimidation, only the party view being correct. Sorry Snailbeach, I think your plans are out of cloud cuckoo land. I have seen so many changes in your story that I believe nothing to be true.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, the SDR is playing a very dangerous game.

Soon the lies you have told will be outed.

Tick tock tick tock

Anonymous said...

I have followed both sides - all I have seen from the negative side is personal attacks and certainly nothing to back up 'it is not going to happen' lies is perhaps a bit strong. From the SDR side whilst nothing positive I can believe the reason for delays and they do sound a little plausible. I was a member of SnailbeachOversight and told it was due to be closed down anyway by Yahoo, that from the horses mouth. Like UFOs I will keep an open mind until someone give positive proof either way. Answer me one thing if the SDR is such a scam why do they have a professional looking website they never ask for donations so what is the purpose of maintaining such a site.

Garnethill said...

I don't think the appearance of the website indicates anything; I believe those behind the SDR have created it themselves using open source templates. Take a look at and you will see similarities.

You are right that if the scheme is bogus then the purpose of the site is indeed a mystery.

However even if the SDR is what its promoters claim it is, the continued existence of the site is still hard to explain. Consider: the scheme is private and fully funded; they have no need of outside support and no need to publicise the project. The website has attracted such criticism and vilification that several important backers have been scared off and the ambitions of the scheme have been much reduced.

Put simply, by Wayne's own account it is the website that has brought about the ruination of the original Snailbeach scheme, and yet he still keeps it going.

If the scheme is real then we should ask why he doesn't simply shut down the site, get on with the building work and finally dumbfound the sceptics by unveiling the completed railway?

Anonymous said...

I looked at glfusion as you suggested and emailed the 'owner' 'developer' Snailbeach has used the CMS not the template and say the site has been heavily customised at what he would consider great expense by a Swiss web site designer. Still cannot see why someone would pay thousands to (designers word not mine) to run what you suggest. I actually work for Tarmac (only a driver) and the SDR is known to them as a ligitimate project. My boss says the problem is theirs (Tarmac's) not the Johns' who keep badgering to get a move on. My boss says they have recently applied to put up 1 km of fence which has been approved by management.

So who am I to believe the firm I work for, the people who criticise or the people behind the project. I joined SDR last night was approved and had a very polite letter from snailbeach welcoming me inviting me to feel free to ask any questions. I read everything cannot see anything about finance being pulled just everything to confirm what my employer says really. Perhaps we should give them a chance and if nothing happens next 4 months demand an explanation. Perhaps as a member of SDR I will have the right to ask. What is surprising is no one has asked any of these questions in the Snailbeach forum I am told there are over 300 members. Nothing asking for any funds. One article says although this is a private railway it is open to free membership and the website exists to keep members abreast with developments or delays.

Go figure ...

ChrisP said...

Rocket science garnethill it says glFusion on the bottom of the website and the designer. Agree with anonymous above if the fault is with the land owners lets wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Re above I am a driver at Tarmac Bayston Hill Shrewsbury btw. I have no connection with the project other than I do live in the area. I have been told to say the views are mine and not my employers.

Anonymous said...

"I read everything cannot see anything about finance being pulled just everything to confirm what my employer says really."

Bear in mind that the website changes regularly and "history" is deleted.

"Nothing asking for any funds."

Not now. They have in the past.

Anonymous said...

I have read also the archives they do not seem deleted. Yes I read that from January 2007 but nothing since it seems. Really every other railway I visit locally has a begging bowl so is it such a crime. SDR do not seem to.

You seem to be trying to make people who have not visited the site come round to your way of thinking which for some reason is biased.

I am a member no payment details have been requested so if I am asked in the future I do not have to give unless I want to.

Anonymous said...

I can confirm that posts I have read have been deleted.

To the poster above, do you live in the real world?

Anonymous said...

I do live in a real and unbiased world and take no sides. I am telling you that my membership gave me access to archived news stories going back 18 months and archived forum topics going back 12 months or more. As I am a newbie on the site cannot say what may have been deleted and what was not but I am speaking as I find and the archives I was given access too have hundreds of items, some of which say they were moved from the old site - which in truth I never visited.

Do not humiliate me I know what I saw and read.


Kev said...

Hi are you a member if not give me your username and I will search to see if your posts are there or not.

I will give you an honest answer.


Anonymous said...

Snailbeach = Shambeach.

This all has absolutely nothing to do with railway preservation! If those involved had not sought publicity ijn the railway press their private railway would have remained private. Now it's public opinions are being expressed. Nothing wrong with that and certainly not illegal.

Anonymous said...

What is that to do with anything seems a strange statement to make in the middle of nowhere from what I read in the archives the originaors were livid that the press had published details without asking them anything. Where do you get shambeach from and who mentioned illegal your post seems crazy and out of place. Let see some proof of your sham.

What are you afraid of someone is going to prove you wrong. Understand from work contract is due to be signed next week for site clearance to start soon with an order for 1200 tonnes of ballast pre-paid. A sailor once said I see no ships - this lorry driver sees no scam - waiting.


Anonymous said...

Jeorge - grow up.

Steve said...

Anonymous is there a hidden message: I see no Jorge here seems many people write something and someone else goes of on another tangent altogether. Please enlighten us anonymous what are you on about.

Anonymous said...

perhaps steve he wanted to see if wayne or jeorge would fall for it. given your new name and how interested you sound, people can make their own judgements - ive certainly made mine! :D

Steve said...

Who is Wayne and Jeorge what are they supposed to fall for - certainly not much to do with this page and comments as I see neither posting here. Perhaps you need to uncross your wires a bit. Perhaps you should stop being so paranoid.


(Never posted in this thread but did on the locked one)

Garnethill said...

It is true that the website is continually being revised to get rid of stories that have become implausible.

At one stage the Gallery contained many pictures of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, many of them extremely famous pictures that appear in several books; Wayne claimed to own the negatives. Here is something that I copied from the site on March 14th (before copying was prohibited): "Somewhere in the collection I have photographs of Lew in Brazil
c1965 (not yet online) which formed part of an article I wrote for British and Continental magazines in the 1960s. Where Lew is now I do not know as it was in a very bad state then."

If you do not know about Lew, look here: . To a narrow gauge enthusiast, finding Lew would be like finding the Holy Grail; to say you had published photographs of it is a very big claim indeed.

I was so amazed that I forwarded the above statement to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway to see if they were aware of this bombshell. Their reply was as follows:

"Thanks for the email, we do know the person concerned and the photos online are mostly out of a common and published collection.

We would also be interested to see any photos of Lew. There have been several claims to sightings before over the last 30 years and some have also said they have photos, but to date no photos have ever actually materialised and no evidence has ever been given. However maybe something may come along sooner or later..."

Shortly afterwards, Wayne stated that he had donated all the Lynton & Barnstaple photos to the National Railway Museum and as a condition of accepting them they had required him to remove the images from his site; all references to the Lynton & Barnstaple disappeared from the Snailbeach website.

Of course anyone is entitled to believe Wayne's account of this if they wish, but it seemed extremely fishy to me and has made be very mistrustful of any claims made on behalf of the SDR ever since.

scc employer said...

iwork for scc and this sdr thing is causing quite a stir, not from the sdr side of things seems they are 100% kosher as big guns have stood up for them. someone has been falsely mis-representing his employer and making false allegation understand police are being called in. someone mentiones hitlers germany don't think that is the case here someone has been criminally blacking sdrs character and seems like they do cause to act.

Directors said...


I have kept quiet to let you all have your rant and spread your untruths. The L&B pictures I have emails from the archivist of L&B saying that may pictures in the my collection were unpublished. I also have a letter of thanks from NRM for the donation of the negative and the promise they would be available within 12 months. The picture of Lew was on our gallery for all to see and many hundreds of people viewed it. Many from a museum in the Northern US. I do know your identity garnethill (even though you hide behind we do of all SnailbeachOversight members. We are sick and tired of you unsustantiated inuendos and other rubbish.

Why don't you go an bother someone else.

Directors said...

Further comment ... no forum posts on Snailbeach have been deleted we do block those who we know steal postings for the purpose of troublemaking but ordinarry members can read everything back to January 2007 when we established the forum. We have been honest so have nothing whatsoever to hide from anonymous posters. You make me sick with your accusations and expect people to believe you.

All we are guilty of is a delayed start and that has been properly explained and can be verified and was not the fault of SDR.

Incidentally all we told Lynton and Barnstable a month before material was publically announced and most of the interested members viewed the full album before we announced it was there.

Kev said...

I have been watching this thread with interest and watching statementsd made which do not seem to be true. I have just been on the site and there is a Gallery 'Historical' which contains in the region of 200 pictures of the Lynton and Barnstaple railway, granted it is password protected but my username and password gained entry. I do not know a Lew from a Low so don't know what I am looking for but a search of Lew gave 32 results. Reading what director said garettside I would think you are locked out. There is also a copy letter from the NRM and another from a 'Keith' at L&B thanking for the photographs. There is a reply from SDR saying the album was removed from public access to allow L&B to take full advantage of the many pictures but they would still be available to some SDRailway members.


Anonymous said...

This is what the album says:

From the Snailbeach Collection

Pictures of Lynton and Barnstaple are still available to some members apply for access if you cannot see the album.

Views 2097


Really don't want to post here anymore everything said against this project is provable as fact on their site seems like a few people have a green streak - em!just read the comments on their forum about the SCC conversation and a naughty boy :-)

Anonymous said...

The naughty boy is unamed by the way


Pressed enter before editing

Anonymous said...

Whilst you guys have been slogging through the photo albums, you don't happen to have seen any photographs of their own locos do you?

Tarmac driver not SDR spy said...

I am one man singular guy not guys.

SDR locos do you mean there are a couple of diesels and some German steam (al taken recently and posted by a German? director Gustave) 1 american type loco is photographed in the quarry in front of a much graffitied oil tank. Is that what you mean. There is a close up with a copy of a current newspaper. 'Fraid I do not not types.

Why can't you join yourself instead of asking people to do your dirty work.


Anonymous said...

This is my last dirty work for you the site is open to members so join. There are some pictures of a D-12 Baldwin in Asia, being unloaded and 3 taken in Callow Hill quarry. There are pictures of O+Ks said to be at a farm in Shropshire. 2 diesels a schoma? and a plymouth said to be on loan and pictured in Germany, other pictures of it in Asia. There is a Hensomething an army brigade locomotive and a small Max's O engine. Make of it what you will pictures are in a slide show lost count but there are 40 or so.


No more please

Anonymous said...


Blowed if I can find the photos you refer to! There is a note about "Gustavs Album" which sounds very interesting but is said to be only available to prospective buyers.

(I'm a couple of the moderate anonymous posts above. Not all of them.)

Gustav Gunter said...

We have written to our member Ken in an effort to assist him to access it seems the problem is with his IP and not his account with us.

We ask members of Snailbeach who frequent here not to post up comments about what we have on site as it creates a log jam of people trying to connect - our server runs on a 2Mb leased line and does not have the capacity for dozens of simultaneous connections. Unless you are a member with full access you cannot access the site so there is nothing to see.


Director said...

This is the actual test referred above

From the Snailbeach Collection

Pictures of Lynton and Barnstaple are still available to some members apply for access if you cannot see the album.

Gustav's recent album of current SDR stock is available only to full SDR members (most is up for sale)
it will be opened publically to all as soon as possible. It is currently online for prospective buyers who have a direct password link.

As you see it is available to full members from our 152 we have 31 who are full members (usually those asking for volunteer status) - hope this answers the point raised by Ken not sure if he is a full member.

tarmac driver said...

Apologies to readers here and the Snailbeach side I did not realise that those who volunteered got different membership to those who did not. I volunteered as a driver of the low loader. Guess if you are not a volunteer access to certain parts of the site are restricted. I am sorry to all - did say I did not like being a spy and do your own dirty work.


Directors said...

Official statement from the Snailbeach Directors.

In view of all the unproven and totally unsubstantiated attacks here, National Preservation and SnailbeachOversight/2 we are no longer intending to build a Snailbeach District Railways revival within the near future.

What we intend building is a freelance private railway funded by its directors on land made available to us at the Callow Hill Quarry Pontesbury. We will not consider extending this to either Snailbeach or Pontesbury until after 2013 when we know what the owners of the quarry will do beyond that date. The railway we build will not be open to the public but will have regular members open days and be available to invited guests. Our plans have been approved and have the support of Tarmac plc.

We will continue with the website for the sole benefit of members. When there is something to report, we shall do so publically.

At this time all, our German type stock is available for sale by tender, we are keeping one steam and one diesel locomotive a number of museum groups on the continent have expressed interest and we are seeing how best we can transfer these under the terms of the Buhler Trust in Berne, two items have already been sold.

Signed all Directors

SDRailway-AG and Snailbeach District Railways Company Limited

As far as we are concerned the matter is closed.

Morton said...

The Directors of the Snailbeach District Railways Company have so far not provided any proof that they intend to build a railway or that any of the locomotives exist.

If as they say locomotives are available for sale by tender why are they not advertising them?

When will the photograph of the "american type loco (is) photographed in the quarry in front of a much graffitied oil tank" be made available for everyone to see?

It is not up to others to prove they do not exist it is up to them to prove that they do.

Anonymous said...

Morton which one of your aliases are you using today - I was on SbOv and you used three - Australians don't useually post from Tiscali do they.

Are you a member of the SDR site look for yourself like others have.

Personally I have not seen you prove anything otherwise. You are full of wind.


SDR Director said...

I did not authorize the above comment nor condone it. Excuse me the fact we have the land is proof enough of intent. You are the ones making all the noise so you prove our plans are not genuine. Tarmac and SCC are aware of what we are doing. I am not going to argue with you it is our money we will spend it how we like.

I presume the above person read our forum and saw our post banning you for using three different names and the same IP. Apologies to you for him/her revealing the material. Unlike your attacks on Jeorge I do not fight dirty. Sad but it does look like all you critics days are numbered we start ground bashing soon with the help of a contractor provided by the landowner. Perhaps there will be a few words to eat.

If you want to see our Baldwin you will have to pay access the same as anyone else. I would not give you lot anything for nothing nor the satisfaction.


Anonymous said...

Our loco stock has been extensively advertised more than 60 people have viewed the items we are offering for sale.


Anonymous said...

I am very puzzled if the Corris, Welshpool and WHR say on there website they are going to do something do you ask them to prove it - I do not think so. The snailbeach has never suggested it has track down and has to start somewhere they have the land what more do you expect. All the organizations named above had to start somewhere but they had one thing on their side - there was no evil Internet to critisise because they don't move at your speed. I am a local farmer and I wish the project well, we need something in our area to brighten things up and certainly the work they are giving my hands is welcome at this time of the year, fencing and undergrowth clearance.

You cannot operate with double standards if you ask proof from one project you must ask it of all projects of this type that is only fair surely.

Yes I am taking the SDRs money in exchange for a job to be done and my son works for Tarmac as a driver.

Really I think you people need to get priorities right - if I had people like you criticising every five minutes I wouldn't show you my prize ram either.

Grow up and do something useful in life and stop criticising.


Jonathan said...

"I am a local farmer and I wish the project well, we need something in our area to brighten things up and certainly the work they are giving my hands is welcome at this time of the year, fencing and undergrowth clearance."

I think you are stretching our credulity a little far here.

Anonymous said...

My son posted this for me I will ask him email you my name address and phone number in Pontesbury perhaps you can call me to explain your remark.

Evans (Balita)

Jonathan said...

Hmm. I post a comment and you reply 20 minutes later.

Not a lot of work on the farm at this time of year?

Anonymous said...


Garnethill said...

I am puzzled why Farmer Evans has appended to his signature the name Balita.

According to

"Balita is a non-profit group now 8 years old that distributes news for the Filipino community around the world....

Wayne and Marites Johns
Balita Organization, Inc"

Jonathan said...

Talking of farms on the Stiperstones, this seems a good place to plug my column for the New Statesman website.

Garnethill said...

Here is some some wise advice posted by a certain Wayne Johns:

"Always remember if its hard to believe then it isn't true."

Morton said...


It is nice to know Jonathan Calder is actively observing the statements you are making on this very public blog which you can't delete items from.

I have only ever used one alias on SbOv and that is "Morton" unlike your multiple aliases above. Anonymous (Rhyd-Ddu) can only be you as it was on your SDR forum where I used the other aliases and this was never divulged to others on the forum.

I am not a member of the SDR site as "Rhyd-Ddu" suggests because I was barred for proving the Plymouth locomotive did not exist and closer to certain Philipino families than you claimed. Your claim to having a 15 ton 2ft gauge Plymouth found on an estancia north of Manila after little use was in fact a 3ft gauge loco which was still dumped in the Philippines last January and had never been alcohol fuelled. The suggested makers numbers were for two six-tonners which did over forty years of hard work in the Visayas. As for the Asian Workshops in Philippines, no further comment.

Come on Wayne when are you going to accept it is time your hoax reached the END OF THE LINE.

Dream On, Wayne, Dream On.


Anonymous said...

Tick tock...

Anonymous said...

I was always suspicious about this when you had to sign up to view the site content from APRIL 1ST this year. Maybe someone is playing the fool???

Ken Butler said...

Where are the locomotives advertised? I would like to view the details with an interest to purchase.


Anonymous said...

they dont exist as far as anyone is aware Ken, which is presumably why the loco's have not been advertised for sale anywhere...

Morton said...

We know someone is playing the fool as posted by an "Anonymous" above but this didn't start on APRIL 1ST this year. The header of this blog is dated 26 January 2007 stating "A group has been set up to restore this narrow gauge railway in the wilds of Shropshire." It first appeared in "Steam Railway" about a year ago. However "Old Glory" featured it in their April issue and I am not sure but was told it was in "Heritage Railway" for the May issue.

Anonymous said...

There has been no such donation of photographs to the NRM. I work there and have checked.

Morton said...

The Snailbeach Railway Website has today posted the following notice:

"Welcome the The Snailbeach website ...
This is a private web site ... for a private railway
Members can login above - new membership currently is closed unless you are recommended by a current member.
Please note: This web site is no longer associated with a Snailbeach District Railway revival."

As stated at the top, the subject of this Blog was:

"A group has been set up to restore this narrow gauge railway in the wilds of Shropshire."

"The line never carried passengers while it was operating, but the group intends to do so if it is reopened."

So no revived Snailbeach District Railway with passenger trains.

Ian said...

If only Wayne had let someone from the national railway press take photo's of the Baldwin when it was claimed to be in the UK, none of this would have happened.
So it seems that there never was a Baldwin, or Plymouth, or a revival of the railway.

Charles O'Mahoney said...

Just found these blogs on the SDR from links elsewhere and the comments make fascinating reading.

I was on "SbOv" and made one or two postings there before I gave up even reading the postings as some of them got too heated and personal and it turned into a giant virtual mud-slinging match with the SDR. Now, my personal opinion on the subject is that something didn't seem quite right with the SDR revival, and as such I thought it wasn't going to happen. This was based on, firstly, the opinion of people I know or have met, and not the opinion of those hiding behind an anonymous tag or pseudonym on the internet. Secondly, I based it on what could be termed "the Statfold saga", in which the SDR had stated they were purchasing the loco Statfold, were preparing to take delivery, and the loco had not gone on hire to the Lynton & Barnstaple Rly, when it had in fact gone to the L&B for another season. When myself and one or two others actually pointed this out on the SDR forum, the thread on Statfold mysteriously disappeared!

However, I always say that I am willing to be proved completely wrong, and as such did say on SbOv that all it could take to change my mind would be a photo of the famed Baldwin. As, according to previous poster here Kev, there are now photos on the new Snailbeach website of the Baldwin, then I could have had my opinion to be proved wrong. Unfortunately I missed out on registering for the new site so can't check this for myself, but if indeed the photos are there then my opinion of the project is changing to that of it being a very secretive project which is in fact proceeding slowly, and as with most secretive projects things can and do look rather odd from the outside. If this is the case then apologies to Mr Johns et al (if you are reading this) for my previous public opinion on their project. As a private railway owner myself (albeit smaller than the Snailbeach) I can certainly understand why they may wish to keep certain elements of secrecy surrounding their project.


(Who doesn't feel the need to hide behind an anonymous tag unlike rather a lot of the other posters here!)

Andy Kirkham said...

Charles, you are of course right to be wary of anonymous posts, but that applies not only to sceptical posts but to supportive ones.

I you read Kev's post's you will note that he claims to have seen photos of the Baldwin actually in Callow Hill quarry. Is it really plausible that a locomotive could have been transported into the quarry, photographed in broad daylight and then spirited away without anyone else seeing it?

My opinion is that "Kev", "Evans" and "Gustav" are just Wayne posting under false names.

I agree that the acid test of the authenticity of the project is the existence of the Baldwin. If I could see a photograph of it I would be happy to be convinced. However, Wayne's line seems to be "We have proof but you can only see it if you're already a believer. If you won't believe without proof, then you're not worthy to see the proof." Really, this seem more like a religious cult than a heritage railway scheme.

I posted anonymously as Garnethill only to avoid being barred from the Snailbeach site. When I last visited the site it contained nothing but denouncements and rantings. Since I felt there was nothing worth seeing on the website I took the risk of breaking cover and made a sceptical post on the uk.railway forum. I was duly excommunicated.

Anyway, the whole controversy seems rather academic now as no public claims are being made. If a railway of some sort does eventually get built in the Snailbeach area I will be very surprised, but glad all the same. There can never be too many good quality narrow gauge lines.

Anonymous said...

Has this thread of bad grammar come to an end? I was enjoying it. And was it all a hoax?

The colonel said...

It appears all to have been a deluded sham - which still rumbles on quietly in the hills of Salop, there is now a claim that the "definitive" Snailbeach Railway history was to be published this month, more nonsense I'm afraid. When will they give up?

The colonel said...

Still waiting for the book to appear...

The colonel said...

And now "alleged" legal action against the Yahoo Snailbeach Oversight group. This is beyond a joke, grow up boys and go home.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous scc employer said...

iwork for scc and this sdr thing is causing quite a stir, not from the sdr side of things seems they are 100% kosher as big guns have stood up for them. someone has been falsely mis-representing his employer and making false allegation understand police are being called in. someone mentiones hitlers germany don't think that is the case here someone has been criminally blacking sdrs character and seems like they do cause to act.

09 October, 2008 13:41

Is it me or should that have read SCC Employee?????

Makes you think


Anonymous said...

hi, i know of jeorge. we go to the same college, since he started college he wouldn't shut up about this railway and how he was going to make it the best in the world. i googled and found this page and was interested at the comments and how dubios you were about the whole thing, anyway. jeorge is a severe manic depressant and i think this is what fuelled all of it, either way i think he needs help

Anonymous said...

I see we're back on again at I thought it was time to give up this nonsense. One day the truth will out, including the threats to innocent enquirers.