Friday, 16 December 2011
Thursday, 8 December 2011
We also now have an excuse to run a 'logging' train, as several weeks ago a quite large Ash tree decided it had had enough of this life, and collapsed near Cobnut Junction, but fortunately adjacent to the site boundary, so it didn't fall over the track (thank you!). So, plenty of logs for our hosts to enjoy for quite a while!
All photos: Brian M
Lucille is being re-assembled and The Shay is being 'un-assembled' so we can assess the remedial action required, and Hotspur is to have his/her tender cleaned out and sealed over the winter period.
Friday, 2 December 2011
Deep down in the depths of the lovely Norfolk countryside just to the South of Norwich, we recently came across an interesting project being developed by one of our members. He's not giving too much away but from what he tells us it's going to be another loco for the ALR, 'Buggy' ! Using parts from a recently obtained electric powered disability 'scooter', and with some advice from our Yorkshire 'Spuggy' friends, he is currently putting the chasis together and working out how to do the rest! He's being very vague about what it will look like but promises that it will be 'different' with an interesting colour scheme!
Friday, 18 November 2011
Photo: John Pond
After much deliberation and discussions, we are now delighted to be in a position to go ahead with our long term plan to introduce a bridge on the ALR!! The details have been finalised, we have received approval from the local Planning Authority, the steel work is on site and being assembled, and the track lengths and ballast are lifted at the proposed location!
The plan is to provide a 10 ' 0" long bridge at the Lakeside back straight where the 'keep your arm & legs' in sign is. The bridge will use the RSJ's that we already have, on which will be constructed a timber deck structure with steel sides ( a Pratt through truss like M & GN's at Potter Heigham). It will be 5' 0" wide to allow a walkway on each side of the track, which will also allow JP's 'sit on' grasscutter to pass over the bridge. The bridge will sit over a slight depression to represent a feeder stream into the lake disappearing into the trees. John has also engaged a Contractor to dig out the existing lake to make it deeper, using the excavated material to regrade the banks and to enable some further planting to be carried out.
We anticipate the work being completed by Spring next year.
As an additional benefit, this may allow another interesting 'activity' for the members to indulge in ! Watch this space !!!!!!!!
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Thunderbox, General and Sergeant performed during the evening hauling trains, and then an excellent firework display rounded off the evening, marvellous!
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
As part of the ongoing tasks scheduled 'we' have done a bit of tree felling! There has been a very old, knarled, Robinia (False Acacia) tree adjacent to the workshop with roots that are beginning to be a problem, to say nothing of the leaves and twigs it deposits on the roof which needs a regular clean to prevent the drains from getting blocked, so a 'tree surgeon' was called in and the tree is no more! Jane tells us that these have been there as long as she can remember (just a year or two then Jane!), and there is still one left, between the house and the Holiday Cottages.
It seems that the Signalling Boys are coming up with plans for a new lever panel and diagram in the signal box which we are sure will be impressive!
....and, we have this Saturday, what should be the last 2011 Birthday Party for one of our member's Grandsons, so a nice day will be welcome. Hotspur is undergoing its annual check and hydraulic test this Wednesday, so if all goes well it should be steamed up for the Party.
Plans are in hand for our annual Firework Night Party for members and friends on November 5th (when else?), and our Social Secretary tells us that he is currently organising our Christmas meal at a local Hostelry (yes, it's creeping up to that time of year again!). In between the two we have our Annual General Meeting on November 12th which will set the scene for next year, so plenty going on in one form or another!
Saturday, 8 October 2011
The Birthday Party train with Hotspur (and Alan !) in charge. Photo by Dawn
The summer season is at an end and so is this year’s season for ALR Birthday Parties. This year has been the most successful so far for Birthday Parties with one nearly every weekend since just after Easter.We have one more before we close part of the track for some winter maintenance and some (possible) bridge construction work.
Last weekend (17th Sept) saw another very successful ALR Birthday Party for a young lad, Sonny, who was five and we had 24 very excited children and their parents, aunts, uncles and Grand Mum, all enjoying the rides and a Picnic on the open field.
The afternoon was very sunny and warm until just before the end when we had a burst of rain, but because the sun kept shining we had the added pleasure of a double rainbow.The attached photo's are just three of dozens taken by Dawn, one of Sonny's aunts. She gave us permission to use them as long as we gave her a credit, so here goes.
All PHOTO'S BY DAWN.!!!
Sonny and Nanny on the rainbow brollie train. Photo by Dawn
Kindly note that we will not be taking firm bookings for next year’s Birthday Parties until January, by which time we should know when we can have the full track open again. Keep looking at the Web Site and watch the progress. By the number of enquiries we have had so far it looks like being another good year, so if you would like a party, as soon as you have Christmas out of your system, give us a call.
Sonny's Uncle Steve and Cousin Archie. Photo by Dawn
Thursday, 6 October 2011
'Hotspur', 'The General', and 'Thunderbox' bore the brunt of the services with John's visiting 'Toby' lookalike helping out once again. (thanks John & Jo, great to welcome you again). We were also pleased to be assisted by Tony from the Nottinhgham Club who was on 'holiday' in one of the Cottages on site, and who had 'brought' his Guard's gear with him, just in case!, so he helped out with the guarding turns which was excellent.
Sorry we have no photos to show you but your 'roving reporter' suffered a broken ankle whilst on holiday in Cornwall last week, so at the moment is doing no roving at all! But we'll do what we can to keep you up to date with the happenings at the ALR over the coming weeks/months, when we should have some exciting developments to tell you about !
Friday, 9 September 2011
So 'Hotspur', 'General', 'Thunderbox' and the 'Shay' ( just a short appearance) did the honours, as 'Lucille' is still unavailable due to repairs and refurbishment works being carried out. It is very unlikely that she will be back in service for our last 2011 Open Day on October 2nd, as we have found one or two other 'things', as you do, that need attention!.
We also will be doing some work on the Shay after the final Open Day, as the drive shaft has shifted about 10mm, due, we think to the derailment in May. The bearings at the bottom of the piston crankshafts are a bit 'sloppy' too, so we will take the opportunity to remedy those as required.
Our S & T Boys have been experiencing problems with the telephone installations recently and it now appears that there is a fault in the cable that runs from the signal box to Triangle Junction, so a new length is being installed to rectify the problem. (not the little people at all then!)
...and of course the horticultural works continue ! The strimmer has been busy around the Lake area tidying up.
All photos: Brian M
Saturday, 3 September 2011
We had said to John a while back when we knew Jo (John's Other Half) had booked the party, why not bring your Tram loco along again for a run? John had brought the loco to the ALR once before, many years ago (not exactly sure, just checking 2004 or 5 methinks !).
"OK" he says, "that would be good, thanks, she hasn't had a run for a couple of years". So he did.
Needless to say, the little loco was soon at home on our circuit with several members 'having a go'. So we all enjoyed the hot, sunny afternoon, with 'Hotspur', 'Thunderbox', 'General' and 'Number 131 The Tram Engine' (yes he does look a lot like Toby, our little visitors thought!), all taking part.
So thanks John, we had a lot of fun!.
Monday, 29 August 2011
Then we were treated to a very tasty BBQ followed by a variety of 'afters' including a huge chocolate Birthday cake to celebrate Helen's recent 'important' Birthday! (one of the LOR's 'helpers').
The railway's Number 5 and 'Glenda' were in charge of the trains, which ran more or less all afternoon non stop, and driven a lot by the youngsters!!!!!.
So, if you haven't seen this super railway then you should try to get there on one of their Open Days, you won't be disapointed! (see 'www.littleorchardrailway.co.uk').
Sunday, 28 August 2011
Friday, 26 August 2011
...and then to Sunday, when we took our publicity display stand to the 'Larger Scales Model Railways' exhibition held at East Dereham and organised by the 'Flying Pigs' Group. A good variety of layouts and trade stands attended, giving a pleasant, if quiet day for our Guys who were able to chat to the visitors, another good opportunity to meet up with old friends and to make new ones!
P.S and talking of Flying Pigs reminds us that there is one over on the North Norfolk Railway at the moment! Yes, LMS Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0 No 43106 has arrived and will be out and about on this lovely line until the end of September. The loco which used to work over the old M & GN line through Sheringham, will hopefully take part in the NNR's Steam Gala (Sept 2nd to 4th), and the 40's Weekend (Sept 17-18th). Excellent, will be worth a look!
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
We were delighted with the attendance on Sunday which proved to be one of our best Open Days ever! Although breezy, the weather behaved and we just had one slight 'sprinkling' but apart from that it was fine and mostly sunny. As there were lots of other attractions taking place last weekend we were not expecting to be so busy, so thank you all for coming, we hope you enjoyed your afternooon with us, we hope you enjoyed seeing the 20 or so MG cars (many thanks Guys & Gals, we hope you had a good day too !) that came along, and we hope you enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, we are so lucky to be able to play in such a lovely setting!
All our locos except Lucille were out and about during the afternoon with three trains running to try to keep the queues down a bit, and all went well, we are pleased to say. Lucille is stopped at the moment as we try to find out where all her steam goes to so quickly! She has been 'difficult' for a while now, so after taking some advice from a much more enlightened, experienced, professional engineer (and chemist), who works on another of our local railways, our Boys are in the process of stripping the loco down so we can see what is happening (or not!).
Thursday, 4 August 2011
They began from Greenwich Park in London on Thursday 28th July and arrived on the outskirts of Paris on Saturday evening, leaving a short distance to ride into the city early on Sunday morning. The highlight of their trip was a circuit of the Arc du Triumph and a ride down the Champs -Elysees and on to the Eiffel Tower where their 'fan club ' was waiting to cheer them in. The Boys were delighted that traffic was very courteous and stopped to let them across the Arc du Triumph !!!!!! We also hear that the Butler/McCrea 'Fan Club' enjoyed a very good evening or two in this vibrant City!!!!!
The trip was originally organised by a company, but earlier in the year they changed the date of the ride, so the boys decided to organise it themselves with their partners acting as support team, travelling with them in a camper van. This meant they paid their own expenses enabling all the moneys raised to be given to the charities of their choice. In Ryan’s case The MacMillan Cancer Support..
Ryan James at the end of their London to Paris charity cycle ride celebrating under the Eiffel Tower. Photo: John Butler
Well done Guys.......Should you wish to donate to this very worthwhile Charity you can, via Ryan's website, www.justgiving.com/RyanButler1 ,or if you are visiting the ALR this weekend there is a donation envelope in the Clubroom which our members will direct you to. Many thanks....TTFN
Friday, 29 July 2011
But back on the ALR front we are doing all those things that need to be done, such as grass & bush trimming, track, point and signal maintenance, laying a blow down slab adjacent to the pit road outside the shed so we don't keep filling (well nearly!) the pit up with hot water, giving the platform seats their annual timber treatment, painting the point levers and plates, thinking about where we are going to build the bridge! oh yes tis on the list, so watch this space! etc etc etc.....
The locos are all servicable at the moment, Lucille has been given good tube clear out with a new brush which we are hoping will improve her steaming as she has been 'difficult to keep going for long recently. There is also a plan to introduce an axle driven, variable rate water pump to help....we are also having the water checked to ensure our 'water treatment' mix is producing the right result. Hotspur's repaint job is more or less complete and needs the ALR transfers placing on the tender, then we can let you see her as she is now!...
...and pssstttt ! there are rumours that we are planning to build our own version of 'Spuggy', the very popular Lister look alike!!!!!!! (many thanks to Martyn & Co who kindly sent us drawings!)
We also tried using the large Gazebo roof (no sides) last weekend during a private Family Picnic event, which was sucessful, easily put up and removed, so we plan to leave the frame up as this provides very useful additional shade (sunny) or shelter (rainy) when we have a Public event.
We are also looking forward to our next Open Day on Sunday August 7th, when as an additional 'attraction', the local MG Owners Clubs (Broadland, Cambridge & Norwich) are visiting for the afternoon and will be displaying their cars around the site. Trains will be running from 2 til 5 pm weather permitting, and we look forward to seing you there?
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
On the operating side all went well with Hotspur, Lucille, General, Thunderbox and The Shay all taking their turn and performing faultlessly! We initiated the use of the calling on signal for trains waiting in the layby siding as well, so only two more signals to 'fire up' and the signalling personnel will then be in full charge! Ha ha!
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
P.S. Don't forget that our next Open Day (Sunday 3rd July) is a bit of a special one as it is a Charity Event in aid of the local Leonard Cheshire Disability Home in East Carleton near Norwich. So please come along if you can to give support to this very worthwhile local Charity. We will be running trains from 2 til 5 weather permitting, with teas, cakes, and competitions for all the family! See you there?
......and, we may have another surprise loco taking part !
Friday, 24 June 2011
Photos: Micheal Thorpe & Rosemary Cooper
Monday, 20 June 2011
We are getting nearer to having the last of our signals installed and as you can see, the 'calling on' signal is just about ready to install at the exit of the 'layby' siding where trains wait to be called into the station when needed. Not sure what all the 'technical bits are that make it work, but as long as it does!!!!!!
Hotspur, General and Thunderbox were out and about during the day, dodging the showers, and later, in the afternoon we had some excited children riding round for a Birthday Party, when the Shay also made an appearance.