Friday, 6 December 2019

It's beginning to look a lot like !!!!!

'Thunderbox' takes the prototype Guard's vehicle for a spin

Hi there
Yes, as they say, 'time and tide waiteth for no man ( or woman)', and it's nearly that time again. Where has this year gone?

Unfortunately we have some sad news, as one of our Founding members, Ken Gilham, passed away recently after a long suffering kidney illness. Ken was a Guard on the Bure Valley Railway, being one of the Founding Friends of the Bure Valley Railway. He was also a guard and driver on the ALR , as well as being involved with the building and running of our railway over the years. Ken was a popular member, having a dry sense of humour and will be sadly missed.

Work continues at the railway with more work being progressed on the 'prototype' Guard's vehicle , with it more or less as we think it should be. The seating has been slightly raised to give a better view forward without sacrificing the stability of the vehicle, and it has been fitted with a higher back to provide more comfort for the Guard, with, eventually, a padded, upholstered seat and back (Pleeze Ladies???). It had a sucessful run on Wednesday, running nicely, so the plan now is to strip it down and give it a coat of grey paint, which it is thought might be its final colour, which once it has the 'ALR' and 'Guard' plates fitted, should look smart.Then we need to re appraise the chassis design and cost the vehicle to see if we can afford, or want to build any more !

Keith and John sampling the ride on the GV

The Guards vehicle was taken round the track behind 'Thunderbox' which the Boys have finally managed to coax back into life, with the help of a new coil and the old spark plugs !!!!!! So happy faces all round. 

Happy John, Pierre, Ricardo and George with a running 'Thunderbox' !

The loco also took a set round to check the running over the Lake flat crossing which has been remade and fitted by Randy, Ray and Barry. Excellent job chaps, very professional installation, which is all that we have come to expect from our Track Boys!!! 

Randy finalising the installation of the new Lake flat crossing

The new shredder has been busy chewing up tree bits all around the site so there is now plenty of mulch to spread around to keep the weeds and vegetation down.

Peter and Alan in amongst the vegetation

Graham and Ricardo are scratching their heads to come up with some more reliable signalling circuits, (wiggly amps we call 'em!), so we look forward to seeing the results of their musings, eventually....
We have also been replacing some of the fence palings and refurbished the platform gate hinges, and we also attended to a roof leak in the Clubroom, that manifested itself some weeks ago during some very heavy rain accompanied by strong winds. We think we have sorted it but time will tell.
We are looking forward to our Christmas meal in a local Hostelry next week, and we are having a bit of a running session on Saturday 21st December, as an excuse to devour some mince pies, sausage rolls and the like. No steamers as they are all tucked away but one or two of the other locos will no doubt have a trundle round !


Tuesday, 12 November 2019

November notes

Lovely Autumn colours down by the lake

Hello again
Winter cometh, it's getting chilly, and the dark nights are with us, roll on Summer !!!! but we carry on as best we can, still plenty of jobs to do, in between the 'mardling', ....the steam locos have had their tenders drained and are being prepared for their winter quarters where they well be warm and dry....the signals are inside now and being checked over one by one to see what needs to be done, as are the CCTV cameras, the track Boys have replaced the rotting timber sleepers at either side of the bridge, and creosoted the decking ready to be reinstalled and treated with decking stain, when its a bit drier, they continue to install 'H' timbers under the track joints to keep everything smooth. 

Randy, Ray and Barry at work at the bridge

Ray and Randy ditto

Some fencing palings are being replaced where rot is showing and they will all be repainted in the Spring. Tree and bush clearing continues...and 'Thunderbox' is receiving attention to find out why one of the choc blocks is melting?????.

The Guard vehicle prototype ready to go on a test run

The prototype Guards vehicle that Ken kindly allowed us to alter, is coming along nicely with the axles refitted to a shorter wheelbase to give a better ride and to ensure the Guard is sitting inside the wheelbase, if you follow me, to prevent any tipping movement. A redesigned handbrake has been fitted which gives a very positive action. The vehicle ran well during a test run last week, so with some more work on revamping the upper body (mmm?) to see what works best for the Guard (seat height, longer seat, higher padded backrest, shelf  for Guards stuff, flags, sandwiches, drink holder, alarm button etc etc) , and then we can cost it all and see if we can afford them.and decide if we really really, need any more (one for each train would be good? (Wish list item ????)

The revamped handbrake
We had a good day at the Wensum Valley Model Railway Exhibition last Saturday ( well done 32 A) with our display stand. The event was well attended and we met lots of nice people who were interested in our railway, several of whom had just moved into the area, interestingly, so we hope to see them next year. Our 2020 Open Day dates are shown opposite. Several interesting layouts were on view, with some having a wartime theme. It's always fascinating to see what peoples' imaginations come up with and some of the ingenious bits and pieces they put together are fascinating,
We have our AGM on Saturday which will establish our plans for next year, and then we have our annual Christmas meal to look forward to at a popular local 'tavern', where we get well looked after,should be good.


Thursday, 24 October 2019

Excellent Fun Day

Dave, Chris, John and Derek getting ready for  some Fun Day driving 

Hi there, to round off our operating season, we had a Fun day last Saturday when we had good weather and lots of Fun !!!! Dave and Chris brought up their locos, 'Remus' and 'Little Olive', and Dave also brought along two of his friends, John and Derek, who had a really good time driving and enjoying the surroundings (and the company!)., Several of our members hag a go at driving the visiting locos too so that was good. Our 'Hotspur' was out and about too, along with 'Chieftain,' 'The Shay', and 'Atlas'. We had a break for fish and chips at teatime( supper?) and then drove on into the dark which is an entirely different experience and lots of FUN ! A most enjoyable day !

Peter and Tyler have a go at driving Remus and Little Olive
Ben and John driving Hotspur and Remus

So now we can start to bring everything in and to get to grips with the maintenance that is required over the Winter. There are already more than a few things on the list !

More tree and bush thinning continues and we have nearly finished Randy's Den round the back of the coach shed where he, Ray and Barry do 'track things, now with a workbench, light and power, and a water butt with a tap so they can wash the dirty ballast.!.They have been busy replacing sleepers at the bridge recently with much creosoting going on to preserve the new timbers a bit longer, (it is quite wet down there). The signals are being brought in so we can see what needs doing to them, and one of the station gantry timbers is showing signs of a crack/shake or split, so that will have to come down too. The gnomes and fairies are starting to complain that it's getting cold overnight so they will have to come into the warm for the winter !
Our AGM is due in November, so following that we will be able to confirm the dates for next Year's Open Days, and  on 9th November, we are taking our display stand to the Wensum Valley Model Railway Exhibition courtesy of the 32A Model Railway Club and Fundraisers of Aylsham and District, so maybe we will see  you there ?

Relaxing with Remus in the station


Sunday, 6 October 2019

Today's Open Day cancelled

Hi Everyone
Just to let everyone know that we have had to cancel today's Open Day due to the extremely inclement weather...... 


Monday, 30 September 2019

Happy Alan back on Lucille again!

Hello again
Well just one more Open Day to go, this Sunday October 6th, when we hope to have as many trains as possible running to keep us on our toes, with hopefully a nice sunny afternoon for us all to enjoy! We hope to see you there?
No major work going on at the moment, just the normal tasks that need to be done to keep everything shipshape, gardening continues, track maintenance continues with our hardy Gang of Randy, Ray and Barry out and about with the work train tweaking as necessary, we have been trying to find out why 'Chieftain' runs out of power, with investigations ongoing on  how the batteries are charged, or is it a wiring problem..etc etc, the Boys will sort it out !
We've been having some good impromptu, (is that how you spell it ?).... training sessions now so that members can have a go at different tasks and enjoy all the variety, and fun ! of running our railway.
Finally, regrettably we have had to increase the price of our Rover tickets which will now be £5, with the Singles remaining at £2, still good value we believe.....see you soon

Dual arrival at the station on a busy July Open Day