Thursday, 10 January 2019

Happy New Year



Two of the trains on our Mince Pie Specials Day in December
Hello 2019, here we are already well into January and lots going on at the railway to tell you about! On the lead up to Christmas we thought we would have a 'Mince Pie Special' day to run some trains and to have a bit of fun before we departed for the Christmas festivities. Several trains were run during the day with Chieftain, The General, Atlas and Peter's Class 08 all making an appearance, which allowed us to appreciate the work that Randy and his track gang had been doing over the past few months, enabling everything to run smoothly around our circuits. Well done Guys! Line of sight operation was the order of the day as all the signals have been taken into the workshops for maintenance. There was a goodly selection of mince pies, sausage rolls and other delicacies brought in by our members, so we had a good day!
Randy has been scheming a method of allowing the rails to expand without distorting the track sections, and he has, with the help of member's suggestions ! ( several of them !!!), and practical assistance....... fabricated the first prototype ready to test, although it will be a while. we think before the temperatures rise enough make the rails expand! We will let you know in due course what happens! There is talk of the method being Patented !!!!!!!  Also on the track front, we are planning on going to collect our first batch of plastic sleeper lengths soon, so we can make a start on the Lake section 'upgrade'.

Ray driving 'Atlas' back to the yard after a track work session seen passing the tree felling gang on the back straight
The S & T Boys have been busy refurbishing, replacing signal post and dollys (or is it dollies), as well as tweaking and improving some of the electronics as well.
Serious tree clearing and trimming work continues around the site, which is providing some interesting, and different, more open views around the circuits, as we discovered on the Mince Pie Specials Day. Looks a bit sparse at the moment, but when the trimmed trees and bushes start to green up again, it will look better, and of course it will be much easier to keep the trees and bushes trimmed.  
The boys have made a start on stripping down the wagons ready for a repaint, we have constructed a shelter for the track Gang to have their sleeper treatment tank under cover, as well as being a dry spot in which to store the coal bags. We are awaiting a decision about where to put the television and the bar !!!!!! 
We are delighted to report also, that work has started on the 'refurbishment' of Thunderbox. The engine has been removed from the chassis and Pierre's contact is confident that  with a bit of a tweak and some new HT leads. the engine will be good to go!. The hydrostatic unit has been serviced cleaned and the oil replenished, and the chassis given a good clean, so we are looking forward hearing that the engine is Ok so we can put everything back together, with new wiring and a revised exhaust, enabling us to use this loco again later this year. 

Pierre and Johnny working on Thunderbox's roof trimming excercise
Pierre and young Ben working on 'ThunderBox's chassis in the workshop

As 'Thunderbox' will be 30 years old this year we are planning to celebrate this (as it would have been the Little Melton Light Railway's 30th too) with an event, details of which will be published soon. So if there is anyone out there reading this that 'worked' on the Little Melton Light Railway or knows of someone who did, we would be delighted to hear from them! 
Think that's all for now, we'll be back soon with more updates, so until then may we wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year with lots of trains !!!!!!






 

TTFN 

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Seasons Greetings !




We would like to wish everyone,wherever you are, a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas, with all our best wishes for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year with lots of trains !



from all the 
ALR Boys and Girls






                                                


TTFN... see you next year ?

Monday, 19 November 2018

November jottings

Hello again
We had a good, productive AGM on 10th, agreeing, amongst other things, our Open Day dates for next year which are shown opposite, we hope to see you at at least one of them !
The steam locos are all drained and moved into the top running shed, and covered in duvets to keep them warm and cosy during the winter. There are a few jobs to do on them and they are easily accessible as and when we want them. 


The steam locos snuggled down in the Running Shed

The signals are all in and being checked, timbers refurbished or replaced, repainted and electronics checked, then stored down in the carriage shed at Laurel sidings on new brackets that should, save them from being damaged. The Gnomes and Fairies are all inside now too, but separated, you know what they are like !
Work continues on the new sidings down at the loco shed for an additional steaming road outside the shed and two new storage sidings under a new lean to, to be constructed. A shelter is being provided for the creosote tank and coal bags so they are under cover.


Randy and Barry work on the new tracks while Ray supervises !
Plans for replacing the existing Lake section timber sleepers with plastic ones have been approved and so work will start on this section during the Winter.
The two work train wagons are to be repainted by our Juniors during the Winter as they are beginning to look a bit tatty now after 14/15 years service so they are doing well. They will then colour match the newer work vehicles to make our work train even smarter when it is out with 'Atlas', which is proving to be an excellent and popular addition to the ALR fleet.
We are also pleased to be able to tell you that we have started work on the refurbishment of that old favourite, 'Thunderbox' that has been out of action for a couple of seasons now. It looks like a new engine will be installed as the old twin Honda is showing its age and with parts difficult to obtain, we feel a new (second hand) power unit is what the loco needs. As the loco will be 30 years old in 2019 we would so much like to be able to celebrate that by seeing the loco in service again, so.....watch this space!   

Pierre carefully getting the body clear of the bogie
The bogie out !








The coaches will be serviced in the Spring so they are ready for the new season, as they are all in pretty good order.
The Shay is having a couple of jobs done with a new, more easily reached and more positive throttle control, and we are looking at improving the sound quality of the whistle via a better loudspeaker so yours truly can drive everybody even madder !!!!!!
Johnny Working on The Shay
Last Saturday three of us took the ALR display stand to the '32 A' s Model Railway Exhibition at a new venue, in the Wensum Valley Golf and Country Club in Taverham on the Norwich outskirts, very nice place ! We had an interesting day talking to friends, old and new which hopefully will see some new visitors on Open Days! 
So until next time.....TTFN

Monday, 15 October 2018

Brilliant October Open Day !


The smart new bunting

So our last Open day for this year was very sucessful, lots of happy visitors, lots of happy ALR members and helpers, and lots of happy locos !!! Well done to everybody who helped in some way or other, all went to plan, we had no mishaps at all, marvellous, it was a lovely afternoon. 


Getting ready
















So thank you to everyone who has been to see us this year, we have enjoyed having you with us and we hope to see you next year. Special thanks must also go to Chris, Paul, David and Tony for coming along to help with their lovely engines and a big thank you also, to David's good lady, who very kindly supplied the very smart 'ALR' bunting you will have seen about the site. We also feel that we should mention the excellent help that all of our good ladies give us both on Open Days and throughout the year, we couldn't have the great railway that we have without their contribution, so a big 'Thank You Ladies', we do appreciate your efforts!!

Busy Station

There was a good variety of locos and stock working too, with 'Chieftain,' 'The Shay', 'Hotspur' (well driven on your first Open Day Pierre!), 'Isabel', 'Prospero', 'Remus' and 'Holkham' all working well.

Holkham arrives at the platform
Remus coming through the station
Things have gone a little quiet now after all that excitement, but we have a Fun Day planned for the 20th so we will have another 'play' before starting to take stuff in and getting on with maintenance, and the gardening of course. over the Winter period.
So, not a lot to report this time but we will keep you updated with our progress over the coming months, bye for now

The A L R Gang



Pierre with Hotspur on the Back Straight ....again! 


Ray with Chieftain leaving the station


Keith with Isabel passing the signal box


TTFN

Saturday, 6 October 2018

October update

Hello
Well, it's our final Open Day of the year on Sunday 7th October, so we are hoping for a good, sunny day we can enjoy showing off our railway to our visitors. We have had a good year on the operating front with everything running , mostly, as planned, but as always, there are always one or two 'whoospies' that are sent to test us! We are still a bit mystified as to why 'Hotspur' suddenly doesn't want to play, after a couple of hours running, and we will see how the loco performs on Sunday! We will have our visiting Friends again to help out with a couple of their locos, and most of our locos will be available, so there should be plenty of variety. The weather forecast looks good, so fingers crossed?
Work has started on creating the trackbed for our new sidings down at the loco shed so we can get the new three way point installed after our last 2018 Open Day. Then we can carry on with the grading of the trackbed going into the extended lean to, as time and resources (and weather!) permit.

The new three way point laid in its proposed position.

Keith, Pierre and John hard at work digging out the new track bed

The S and T boys are working through the signalling and track circuiting to keep all working and will be carrying out some upgrading and servicing of circuits and wiring over the winter. Some of the installations have been in place for 13, 14 years now, so they have performed well. We will have to start thinking about Winter maintenance too now and come up with lists of things to do (just like being at home !!!)
The steam loco driving sessions are coming along nicely, and on a recent 'Fun Day', several of us had a drive on 'Atlas' and were pleased with its willingness to 'go', lovely little loco.

Graham wrestles with the controls on 'Atlas', while Pierre gets some more steam driving practise
Photos: Brian M
Gardening continues with grass being cut still and bushes and trees trimmed as necessary. more tree felling due over the coming months to trim out further areas.
Think that' s about all for now, maybe we'll see you on Sunday ?

TTFN