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


Saturday, 6 October 2018

October update

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 ?


Wednesday, 19 September 2018


Atlas is a Maxitrak ‘Planet 2’ 0-4-0, 700-watt battery electric loco, purchased by ALRC member, Randy Gourdie, and delivered to the ALR on 4 July 2018. The loco is based on the 2ft gauge light industrial locomotives manufactured by F.C. Hibbard and Co at their Park Royal works in London. These engines were common in industrial service, both narrow and standard gauge, and were found at many naval dockyards.
The model features an all steel bonnet and full cab and incorporates the distinctive Planet radiator and makers plates.  The loco is also fitted with spring suspension, full electronic control and a wealth of detail.
The loco was mainly introduced to haul the ‘maintenance of way/work’ trains on the ALR and is a powerful little loco that is proving to be a popular addition to the ALR fleet.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018


'Nelson' waits !
We are pleased to report that we had an excellent Open Day on 2nd, with a good turnout of happy visitors, quite a few who hadn't been before, and we hope they (you ??) will come again ! 'Little Olive'  and 'Remus' came over so their drivers could have a good afternoon out, which they did, but 'Little Olive' threw a tantrum and had to be withdrawn, nothing too serious, but a little job for Chris to attend to back home ! We also had a visit from some folks from over Brandon way who came to see our turntable! We haven't found it yet, but they were very interested in the three way point that is being constructed in the workshop, (nearly finished) and they had very kindly brought us a lovely cake and biccys, which were thoroughly enjoyed by the Gang. Thank you......There are lots of very nice people about!

'Little Olive' awaiting steaming up time

and 'Remus also waiting its turn to play !

We had another very pleasant surprise when a lovely miniature traction engine rolled up the drive, in full steam, with young Thomas Potter in charge, along with Dad, Andy. This lovely engine spent the afternoon with us and received many complimentary comments. Andy has been promising to bring it over and so it was good to see it in action at last. Came all the way under its own steam (yes, really)

Thomas about to depart for home from the ALR.
We had 'General', 'Chieftain', 'Prospero', 'Hotspur', 'Isabel', The Shay and 'Nelson' out during the afternoon and all did well, although 'Hotspur' got tired again and had no puff left later on, out in the 'boondocks' at signal 10, so 'Nelson' went round to do a 'Thunderbird' job and pushed the train back into the station, much to the amusement of the passengers ! Another first for the ALR! don't see this often (cos I'm usually taking the piccys! cheers Pierre) but here is 'moi' with my family enjoying time with the Shay during our September Open Day 

About to depart with the Mason/Aldous Express!
Photo: Peter Hodges

Peter and Pierre took 'Prospero' over to the Whitwell and Reepham Railway last Sunday at the invitation of the Boys and Girls out there, who are building a 71/4" line in the 'top field'. After some problems getting water into the boiler, the loco (and driver) did OK

The ALR's  'Peter and Pierre preparing 'Prospero
and had several trips along the short, but graded and curved line out and back. The line is in its early days but there is plenty of scope there and we look forward to watching the progress that the youngsters (mostly!) achieve. It was good to see Kay and friends from the Evergreens Railway paying a visit, and also a 'family' contingent from Great Eastern Models made an appearance !!!! There were seven ALRC members visiting the site, which is full of interest and well worth a visit ! This is the first time a loco from the ALR has been taken to another railway, and there is interest in repeating the exercise, so watch this space.
A good contingent of members enjoyed a tasty meal at a local hostelry recently, and had a pleasant evening eating, drinking and chatting!
So. plenty going on as always

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Hello again

Well there's a lovely old song 'Its a long long, time, from May to December'.......well not this year ! Twill be September on Saturday, yes it will, and so another Open Day on Sunday 2nd September, if you recall ? Trains will be running from 2 til 5 if the weather behaves, and it will !! hope to see you there. Should be 3 or four steamers out and our usual array of other locos, looking forward to it.
We had a nice evening visit recently, from our friends of the 'Top Field' railway at Reepham & Whitwell, who are building a 71/4" line, and a pleasant evening was had riding the trains and having a good old 'mardle', think they were impressed, we still are !! We look forward to visiting them in September, when Peter plans to take along his 'Prospero' for a trundle round their track! Nice to welcome Ann and Mark from Great Eastern Models during the evening too.
Our track and points are back in action following one or two problems which meant we couldn't have a Fun and Visiting locos day on 19th August. Our point motors are due for a good old overhaul and even replacement as they have been whirring away for 14 or 15 years now, not bad for cheap screwdriver motors eh? The S and T Boys are planning a methodical  approach, (really?) over the winter checking and sorting the point motors out, replacing where necessary, including having a spare one made up for a quick changeover should the need arise during a Public running session. 
We have, at long last, started our 'Steam Loco Management' sessions, being run by Alan and Keith, which is enabling several of our members to learn what is involved in driving and looking after a miniature steam loco. We would like to record our thanks to Brian Baker and Brian Reading for their help in setting these sessions up for us.
Pierre getting to know 'Hotspur'

Ricardo leaves the station ....tenderly!

After many discussions (and we are very good at them !), and visits to other railways, we are now planning and costing up the use of plastic sleepers, starting with the Lake section, which is the wettest part of the ground on the railway. So, all being well we will be making a start during the 'close season', should be an interesting exercise? Watch this space.....  
We have also made a start on fabricating another three way point to give us more siding space down at Laurel Sidings, which will enable us to have two steaming roads outside the shed, and additional siding space needed on running days when things can get interesting down there! 

The new three way being set up to get the correct alignment at Laurel Sidings
The Umbrella Special leaving the station with John Buckingham driving and Tyler guarding
Photo: Peter Hodges
..and on Sunday we helped our Chairman celebrate a forthcoming 'significant' birthday, when some 50 invited friends enjoyed a lovely Hog Roast with all the trimmings, and just a short ride round the track as it was a rubbish afternoon with much precipitation (like it was rather inclement to be polite!), but that didn't dampen the spirits, oh no, brilliant afternoon, very enjoyable. Thanks to John and Jane for all their efforts in making for great afternoon....

Guests mingling in the Clubroom
Photos: Brian M or as noted

So, we think that's just about brought you up to date, see you soon.....and keep smiling !