Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year !!!!

We would like to wish everyone, wherever you are on this amazing planet , a very Happy, a very Prosperous, a very     Healthy and a very Peaceful 2018, with lots of great trains! 

Best wishes from all the ALR Boys and Girls 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

It is Christmas !!!!


We would like to wish everyone, wherever you are, a very Happy Christmas and all our best wishes for a Peaceful, Healthy and  Prosperous 2018, with lots of trains !!!!

From all the ALR Gang 



Thursday, 21 December 2017

It's Nearly Christmas!

So are you nearly ready for Christmas ? how the time has flown by this year! We have been tidying up and continue to thin out the trees and bushes, especially along the Back Straight, and around the lake, which is opening up the views and letting light into some areas that have been 'shady' for a while. So, we are thinking we could have a log burning loco which could replenish its tender as it made its way around the track!!!!
We had a great evening at a local hostelry last Friday when 22 or so of us tucked into a lovely meal and  enjoyed a convivial atmosphere with Santa providing some nice Surprise parcels for the members present! 
Keith and Johnny have got Hotspur's new pistons fitted and we tested them out last Saturday on the rolling road with the help of the air compressor, and all ran smoothly, and so it is looking good. We look forward to steaming the loco up in the Spring as we have now moved the steam locos up into the top workshop shed and tucked them up nice and warm for the Winter. Our thanks to Brian and Kevin for their help and advice, we are very pleased with the progress on the loco. 
We are looking at replacing our timber 'electrical' boxes around the circuit that contain all the wiring and 'wigglyamp' things that control our points, signals and track circuiting, as these are deteriorating now (the boxes, not the wiring etc etc !). We have a couple of  metal/plastic boxes (outside meter box for one ) which are just the right size , so Graham and Ricardo are trying them out, working out how to get them in position over the existing wiring and 'stuff'., an interesting exercise we think!
A point lever has been made from part of an old one that we found, (it's amazing what you find tucked away if you look), which will be used for the new point to be installed down at the loco shed to give another steaming road alongside the existing track that goes into the loco shed, eventually.
We have had a clear out of all the building remnants from the Clubroom extension, enabling us to get the locos in for the Winter 'hibernation'.   
We have placed the chassis and steel framing for the new Tool Van onto trestles in the workshop, so progress can be made on this vehicle, which is going to be a very useful addition to the rolling stock fleet.
So, always things to do to keep us occupied, so until next time.....keep smiling !

P.S. no piccys unfortunately, as the 'modern technology' stuff is not co-operating, maybe next time, hey ho !

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

November Update

Hi, yes it is November, can you believe it ? The dark nights are with us, the temperature has dropped , and the fireworks are all done for another year, and it will soon be 'you know what' again, where has this year gone?
But, we are still keeping busy now that our Public Operating Days are finished with, there's plenty to do ! We have installed a set of 'rolling roads' on our hydraulic table so we can get at locos more easily for maintenance work, and we have 'Hotspur' on it at the moment while we fabricate and fit the new pistons which are coming on nicely, thanks to our Johnny B and a certain Young Man who has Hemsby connections! (can't wait to see the A4 Brian ! wow)..

Hotspur being loaded onto the 'rolling road'

A close up of the rolling road installation


Our recently acquired 'grass cutting and tidying machine' has been in action picking up one or two leaves that seem to be laying about, very effective! 

The 'GCand TM' in action with Peter and Richard in attendance

Some new turf has been laid by Richard to replace the worn path en route to the platform,

The new turf pathway
 Several trees have disappeared as part of the ongoing 'thinning' process to allow more light in and to open up some areas that were starting to get a bit dense. Woodpecker Lodge and the signal box are being treated to some paint. Trackwork 'fettling' continues and is well advanced generally, so well done Boys. The wagon shelter is nearly complete, and we are just about to start work on the construction of a 'machinery and equipment ' shelter down at Laurel sidings, to be done in tandem with the Loco Shed canopy, and our Clubroom extension has now received a lovely vinyl, simulated timber floor that is very smart indeed......
A couple of week ago we were pleased to be able to welcome some of the Boys who are associated with the Southwold Railway Project, (Neal, Nigel, John H and Tony R), with their newly built 71/4" gauge loco, intended for use on their Southwold site, giving rides to help swell their funds. They needed to give the loco a good run to see how it performed, and it went well ! A good day was had by all, and several of us had a drive which enabled some valuable feedback to be given to the Boys so they could improve one or two things. We look forward to seeing the loco at work on the Southwold Railway.

The Southwold loco being unloaded by Neal

The loco at work during the day along with General
Photos: Brian M

and finally , our Annual General Meeting takes place on Saturday which gives us a chance to review the year's activities, and following that we are pleased to welcome Bob Bramson, (thanks Tony) who is going to give a a talk about steam injectors and test each one off our locos to ensure they are in good nick. Should be an interesting day.



Friday, 6 October 2017

Good final Open Day for 2017

A happy Matthew ready for another trip!

Well, we got away with it, again, !!! the weather forecast for our final 2017 Open Day last Sunday was awful, but  by early afternoon, the rain went somewhere else (thank you) and we were able to have a very enjoyable and relaxing afternoon with our happy visitors. It was not 'busy, busy' but the shorter queues meant that people got more rides and we were able to chat to people as the pressure was off. 
Our two visiting locos, 'Holkham' and 'Remus' and their drivers in the station

'Chieftain' and 'Holkham' awaiting signals to clear outside the station
When we started building the ALR we were just a bunch of Guys who wanted to build a miniature railway for our own enjoyment and satisfaction, and back then in 2002, we would never have dreamed that we would create what you see today from a  'grass field' ! So, having decided to open the railway up occasionally back in 2004 to help to fund the further building and maintenance of the site, we could not have anticipated how popular we would get ! We never wanted to be a 'Tourist Attraction!  So thank you for coming and we hope to see you again in 2018.
One of our best experiences is to see people like young Matthew, who is probably our most travelled visitor on the railway, having such a good time each time he comes with his Carer and his Family, and as you can see, he just loves the place !!!!!!

Peter with 'Prospero' and a full train coming over the bridge
So, things to do to keep everything uptodate, the Clubroom floor is now prepared ready to receive the vinyl flooring, we are installing the 'rolling roads' on our hydraulic lift table to enable us to work on locos more easily, and 'Hotspur's' new pistons are coming along nicely.The shelter for the wagons is taking shape. Then we will construct the canopy at the front of the loco shed so locos can be prepared in the dry! 

The 'nerve center'  Boys keeping everything running
The S & T Boys are sorting out the 'wiggly amp' things to do with servos on the signals and the like, to make them more reliable as required, and gardening continues , constantly.........several , ha , ha, trees to come out to allow the rest to grow nicely, track maintenance continues, and we now have a bigger Clubroom to keep clean!
We are having our last Fun Day later this month followed by a fish and chip supper which will be a nice way of rounding off the running season. We will then be checking all the locos and stock to see what needs to be done over the Winter, and we are thinking  of installing a water tower of some sort at the platform to enable the steamers to be topped up more easily. The gate at the signal box sidings needs rehanging on the other side to allow easier access for vehicles and their trailers to reach the ramp, the list goes on !


Paul comes down the lake bank with 'Holkham'
All photos: John Pond