Monday, 18 March 2019

Quick March Update

Hi, we've just got to tell you that we have, at long last, installed our first run of plastic sleepered track down at the Lake. All went well and we are very pleased, so we look forward to testing it and seeing how it beds in, but so far so good !

So we make.....

First plastic sleepered panels ready to lay

..then on site at Lakeside, we install !!


The new section of plastic sleepered track down to the Lake newly ballasted on 16th March 2019
Meanwhile over at Laurel Sidings ......the old track sections from the Lake are being used in our new, extended carriage siding leanto .....

...and in the station area, rotting point motor sleepers are being  replaced (in plastic of course!)


Monday, 18 February 2019


An early morning frost on 23rd January 2019
Yes, we are still here and enjoying the current spell of lovely, warm and sunny weather, long may it continue, although we are sure that we will get some winter weather yet !
We are quite busy on our Wednesday and Saturday 'play days', there is activity out on the track with the installation of some more of the newly designed expansion 'joints', and the replacement of some rotten sleepers found on the back straight. This will soon be a job of the past, certainly on the Lake section, as we (well Pierre actually!) have been and collected our first batch of plastic from the very helpful people at Filcris near Cambridge. We had the 50 x 50 mm sections cut into 1.5 m lengths so they would fit in Pierre's vehicle, and then we will cut them into 350 mm or so long sleepers. We are in the process of obtaining the necessary fixings and timber for track edging. Then we can start to remove the existing track sections, so we can ensure the membrane and ballast is ready to receive the new plastic sleepered sections! Exciting or what !!!! Well some of us are, it has been a while under discussion and we look forward to seeing how we get on !
Maintenance of the signals is ongoing and in view of the very mild weather, we have started to restain all the timber posts for the CCTV, telephone boxes and station lamp posts.
'Metposts' are very useful for support  to Signals 13/14 post!

Work on repainting the wagons is also coming along. Johnny B has been busy working on the lathe forming a new drive chain cog for 'Thunderbox' and we look forward to seeing the power unit back soon. Repainting of the metal chassis and other metal bits is under way with a paint to match the existing colour being sourced. and talking of painting, our toilets are currently being repainted to keep them smart. So plenty going on..... 
Work still continues with the tree trimming and resultant tidying up, and we think you may spot the difference when you come to see us on one of our Open Days this year.
We are also planning an additional Open Day to celebrate what would have been the 30th Anniversary of the Little Melton Light Railway during which we hope that we will have 'Thunderbox' back in action, fully overhauled, as that loco is also 30 this year, being one of the first locos to run on the LMLR. So if you were involved at all with the LMLR, we would love to hear from you. More details later, but pencil in Sunday June 23rd as the Day ! 

Now, do you have a loco that you would like to run on our railway ? Then why not contact us to see when you could come along? We are having a Fun Day/Loco visiting day once a month through the season, so if you are interested why not give Alan Ball a call (07717 502597 or via ''), or contact us via '' ? 
We'd love to see you ! (and your loco !)


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 !!!!!!



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, 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