Wednesday, 6 September 2017

September Time

Ray trundles round to do some track tweaking with 'Viceroy'

Hi there, we had a great Open Day last Sunday, when the weather was great and lots of nice people came to see us, thank you, we had a very enjoyable afternoon. We were pleased with the 'wrist stamp' ticketing that we introduced which went down well with our visitors and which made life a lot easier for our Ticket office and Platform ladies..... We ran four trains for most of the afternoon which dwindled down to three later on. Chieftain, Prospero, General, Nelson, Isabel, Remus and Little Olive (where are you Paul ???) were on duty with Remus being a bit off colour after derailing for no apparent reason on the Laurel Sidings mainline point, so David decided to withdraw the loco just in case , but we understand that there is no serious damage. Little Olive also had a bit of a sulk and was taken off in sympathy, but again no damage so that is good news.

Ross brings 'Nelson' past Laurel Sidings with a full train on Open Day
In the extended Clubroom, we are now ready for the flooring to go in and we will then be just about done (maybe????), it's a lovely area now and we are very pleased with the way it has turned out.
   Our revised speed limit signs are nearly all out now following our decision to make the maximum speed 4 mph, after we had a play with our mobile phones to see how fast we were really going, think we told you about that previously?.

Track 'tweaking' in progress
  So the next tasks will be a shelter for the wagons down at Laurel Sidings, and one for the powered grass cutter that has very generously, been donated by one of our members. This will be at the rear side of the carriage shed once one or two trees have been 'dismantled!. Then there is also the Tool Van to complete once we can get at it when the top workshop area is cleared of all the building debris and leftovers !!!! (think a skip will be called for !)
 The S and T Boys are looking at ways of introducing a time delay on some points so the point cannot be thrown until the train has cleared, as sometimes the signalling staff are a bit too quick resetting a route !!!! (only sometimes we hasten to add!)  But seriously they do a great job in there on Open Days as it demands very intense concentration to keep four trains on the move, never mind five, (which we have decided not to do !), and interruptions are not a good thing, which is why we ask that people do not go in there during the afternoon.

Graham busy with remedial work on the control panel in the Signal Box

A 'mixed ' train as our American Friends would say with a passenger train bringing back the work train wagons, just wait til we get the Tool Van finished !
All photos: Brian M
 and....we are looking forward to a visit this Thursday evening by the Great Yarmouth Model Railway Club when we will have a pleasant evening running one or two trains and having a bit of a 'mardle' !!!

TTFN   

Monday, 14 August 2017

This 'n That

We had a great Open Day on 6th August, when the weather was, once again, warm and sunny, and we had lots of nice people visit us, thank you. Everything ran more or less OK, and at one time there were five trains out, although the feeling is that we should leave it at four, as trains are less likely to be held up at signals while trains are unloaded and loaded in the station. 'Remus' and 'Little Olive' came to see us, and we ran 'Hotspur', 'Isabel', 'The Shay', 'Chieftain', 'General', and 'Nelson' during the afternoon. 'Prospero' also proudly appeared in the early afternoon to give Peter his first experience of driving his loco on an Open Day, and it went well, so well done Peter!

'Prospero' and 'Chieftain' in the station area during the August Open Day
'Little' Olive' was a bit naughty, but the Boys eventually managed to make her better and she came out later for another 'play'.. 'Hotspur' was even naughtier and was failed  due to a lack of power, again, and was sent back the the shed in disgrace. We have since, with the help of Brian B and Kevin, (many thanks Guys, and well done to Keith and Ben), discovered that the piston rings are worn and are not really the correct ones for the loco, and so we have decided to 'bite the bullet', and fabricate new ones!. So, this is a major step forward for us as we are not miniature steam loco engineers, but we are beginning to get to grips with the fascinating, and often frustrating world of these wonderful machines ! Exciting !!!!! The materials are ordered, so watch this space for progress reports.

The 'Brains Trust' discussing 'Hotspur's' problem!
Several of us enjoyed a really good afternoon at the Parklands Railway at Hemsby on August 1st when the Club members, courtesy of the site owners, ran lots of interesting trains during the afternoon, during which a superb BBQ was also available, and well patronised !!!! 
We have fitted the posh external fascia to the Clubroom extension (plan E worked!), and we are starting on the revised kitchen layout so we can lay the vinyl floor. Some wall cupboards have been fitted in the workshop for the S & T Boys to store their precious components in (it is alleged!).

Smart new fascia on the Clubroom extension
We recently took a train load of members around the circuits to see how fast 5 mph really is, with the help of speedometer apps on our mobile phones! We have decided that 4 mph is fast enough for our track, with 2 mph restrictions at various points, so additional signs are being fabricated (posh word for made!), and will be in place soon. We have also introduced a basic Induction sheet for visiting drivers to read and sign to ensure they are aware of the way our railway operates. We tried this with our visiting Friends on our recent Open Day, and they were happy with the arrangement.

Finally, would visitors kindly note some changes to our ticketing arrangements on Open Days, when from 3rd September 2017, Single tickets will be £2, Rovers £4, and there will be no Family Rovers issued from this date. Children of 2 years and under can travel free.   Thank you
TTFN





Friday, 28 July 2017

July Jottings


'Birthday Boy' takes some of his guests for a spin with 'Chieftain'.
Photo; Graham Reeve
Hi there, just one or two jottings to keep you up to date......one of our members celebrated a 'significant' Birthday last week, so on Saturday, we had a bit of a Fun Day, with a few trains out, followed by a Fish and Chip Supper that was most enjoyable. Some 30 Souls were present to enjoy the convivial surroundings in our newly extended Clubroom, and later after the 'Land and Seas' , enjoyed a tipple and some delicious gateaux...loverley...

Peter is getting to grips with 'Prospero' now and had a few trips around the circuit, including a coach carrying some of the visitors staying in the Holiday Cottages who enjoyed the ride....(Must have been his experience aboard '60009' on the Mid Norfolk recently?????)

Bit different to 'Prospero' eh  Peter?
We had a brilliant Fun Day with four visiting locos on Saturday 15th July, when we had our three, (and I must get things right now once and for all, one Suffolk and two Norfolk visitors (not three Suffolk! sorry Chaps) who often help out on Open Days!!! who once again brought along their 'Sweet Williams' and 'Romulus' for a relaxing 'play day', and we had Bruce and Brian over from the Chelmsford Club with Bruce's fine Stafford, 'Kitty'. So, as you can imagine, we had a great day with several of our members being allowed to drive the visiting locos which went down extremely well and brought lots and lots of beaming smiles as the trains trundelled around!.

A fine line up of visiting locos !
I know we keep saying this, but work on the Clubroom extension really is nearly complete, but it's always the fiddly bits and pieces that take the time! We expect the flooring to go down soon, after the August Open Day, then we can finalise the kitchen and fit the skirtings......and wait until you see the fancy external fascia we are working on.....very smart !!!! 
..and the 'gardening', well, everything is shouting with glee and competing to see which one can grow the quickest and highest, which means...??? Yes, you've guessed it....... more and more time spent on trimming it all...
One of our next tasks is to construct the canopy on the end of the Loco shed to give some protection to the crews steaming up the locos when the weather is 'inclement', together with a possible extra siding under so two locos can take shelter, (but we haven't told the 'track gang' yet !!!,) and we have all the bits necessary to construct a shelter to house the open wagons, now that the sheds are nearly full again, so there's always a job or three to be done.

We are looking forward to popping across to Hemsby next week to enjoy their, now, annual Parklands Railway BBQ, which will be good, as we can catch up with friends old and new, just hope the weather stays kind !
Well, think that'll do for now, hope to see you soon, keep smiling


 

TTFN

Thursday, 6 July 2017

July Open Day ? Excellent !


Ray taking the goods wagons round to the 'Boondocks'
Photo: Ross McKenzie
Thank you to all our lovely visitors who came along last Sunday to enable us all to have a most enjoyable Open Day, The weather was brilliant, we had lots of happy people, all our locos ran well, and nothing fell off the track, so we were happy Boys and Girls! We had two visiting steam locos to help out too, as Phil (of Blackgates Engineering fame) was staying in one of the holiday cottages (Eastviewfarm.co.uk) and had brought along his Sweet Pea, 'Jacquie O', and enjoyed several trips around the circuit on Wednesday when we set him up, and then most of Sunday afternoon saw the loco doing a fine job hauling our passengers. Lovely loco.  

Phil brings a train past the signalbox onto 'Den' section during the Open Day
Photo: Brian M
David and Tony came over with 'Remus' to help out again, and had a good afternoon, why wouldn't they?, so our thanks to them for helping out....We had Isabel, Chieftain, General, The Shay and Nelson on duty during the afternoon, and Viceroy stood with a work train on the loop in the 'Boondocks'.....we had a fly past too .....from a swarm of bees, but fortunately they didn't stay, maybe they are not into trains ????

Steve having a steam 'teach in' from Keith
Photo: Brian M
and.....the Clubroom extension is nearly done, we have fixed the ceiling joint cover strips and cut and painted the skirting ready to fit, so we will be attacking the kitchen area over the next two or three weeks then our 'expert' flooring gang can come in and fit the vinyl flooring, at which time we should be just about done, dare we say?, and oh yes, we are going to fit roller blinds to the windows too....

Peter is getting used to 'Prospero'..... bit by bit, and the Boys are now fitting an electric water pump on the tender to help keep the boiler filled up....track maintenance continues along with a big effort to relay and re ballast the track in the tunnel area which was totally flooded last week after the heavy downpour we had, well done Boys...and the bushes and shrubs are continually being trimmed as they are growing like there's no tomorrow, so plenty do do to keep us out of mischief (what us???) see you soon

TTFN

 
Dave having a drive on 'Nelson'
Photo: Ross McKenzie



Sunday, 25 June 2017

Even Better June !

So where have some of us been for the weekend ????














Not too difficult to spot for those Narrow Gauge enthusiasts amongst you???? We would like to express our thanks for the warm welcome we received at all these Great Little Railways, we even had a very enjoyable and scenic ride on 'Arriva Trains Wales' along the coast from Porthmadoc to Fairbourne, lovely trip, friendly staff, and economical too! 
There was one other railway that we visited on the way home, the Echills Wood Railway, impressive as always,  but no photos available, sorry,  mainly 'cos we didn't take any, too busy talking and looking!!!!. We were impressed with the coach bogies that the Guys have made as we are looking at possible improvements to ours, so thanks to Jeff and Co for their welcome , once again..... 

Meanwhile, back at the 'Ranch' we have taken delivery of 6 tonnes of granite ballast (shared a 12 tonne load with our 'Parklands' friends) to replenish our track in parts where some tweaking is needed. More second fix work (door trims/skirting etc) being done on our Clubroom extension, gardening continues as always, to keep the site looking neat and tidy, and we have our July Open Day next Sunday 2nd July, so maybe we'll see you then ?

TTFN 

P.S., just in case you didn't spot the railways we visited, they were the Welshpool & Llanfair,.Llanberis..Fairbourne,... Talyllyn..and  Ffestiniog... marvelous !