Monday, 15 May 2017

Excellent Week !

Well, we had a very good first Open Day for 2017, when lots of you nice people came to see us, or our trains ???? We carried the most passengers ever on an Open day and at one stage, we had six, yes, six, trains out. (Well done signalmen!, and drivers, and guards and platform staff) So well done to all our 'staff' who ensured that everything worked well, but 'boo hoo' to the weather, which although it stayed fine, was jolly freezing (being polite!). 
Our ALR quiz, introduced for the first time by our Ladies, seemed to go down well, and once again Paul and Chris brought 'Little Olive' up from Suffolk for a run round or two, or more,  which she seemed to enjoy.We also had our two steam locos, 'Isabel' and 'Hotspur' out, reinforced by 'General, 'Chieftain', 'Nelson', 'The Shay' and 'Sergeant' during the afternoon.Our newest steam loco, 'Prospero' was on display for our visitors to admire, and 'Viceroy' was parked out in the 'boondocks' siding with the wagons.
Last Wednesday evening saw us welcoming our Friends from the Norfolk and District Model Engineers (Eaton Park), on their annual visit for a relaxing evening of chat, cuppas and riding trains behind 'General' and 'Nelson'. A very pleasant evening.......
Our Clubroom extension was in use and received several complimentary comments, proving to be a great additional space, be very nice when it's finished !!!!


Friday, 28 April 2017

April update

A  view of the extended Clubroom
Hello everyone, we had a great day out at Spalding last Saturday (22nd April) when we visited the Model Engineering Exhibition, being very impressed with the exhibits on view, and spent some happy time talking to friends, old and new. In the afternoon we were royally treated to a tour of the Spalding Horticultural Society's very colourful and impressive gardens located at the rear of the Springfields Shopping Centre. Inga and Chris made us feel more than welcome, providing us with tea and cakes which we enjoyed. twice, lounging on deckchairs in the lovely sunshine.We were taken for a trip round their delightful Springfields Miniature Railway, traversing gently through the trees surrounded by a maze of multi coloured tulips, daffodils and bluebells. (3500 bulbs are planted each year we were told !) A great day out!  Many thanks to the SHS for their very kind hospitality....
A view through the trees at the SLR

All very busy here at the ALR, all is going well as our first 2017 Open Day approaches....our new Clubroom extension is well advanced but will not be finally complete by 7th May. but usable, so please bear with us, if you do come, we hope you will be impressed and will appreciate the extra space it now gives us. We still have the ceiling to fit, the kitchen to re-organise, the decorations and floor finishes to do, along with several other twiddly bits........we just need an 8 or 9 day week!!!!!
The rolling stock is ready to go, more or less, apart from 'Thunderbox' which is having a rest until we can assess the work needed to get this characterful loco back into efficient working order. Our friends from Suffolk are bringing along a couple of locos on 7th May so we will have a variety of locos out and about again to ride behind. Our ticket prices remain the same as last year, being £1,50 for a single ride, £4 for an afternoon Rover, and £12 for a Family ticket for 2 Adults and 2 Children, So, weather permitting we will be running trains from 2 til 5 pm, with light refreshments and ice creams available, parking is free, but dogs are not allowed on site, sorry. Maybe we will see you then ???? 
Lots of events going on in this area from April 30th to 21st May in this year's Broads Outdoor Festival, have a look at '' , loads to see and do !


Ready for a trip around the SLR
Photos: Brian M

Monday, 3 April 2017

A new arrival !

'Prospero' has arrived !
Hi there.....well we had an exciting day last week when a new loco arrived at the ALR, courtesy of Peter, one of our members, and Mike from Station Road Steam, who delivered the loco..As you can see from the photos, the loco is a 0-4-0 Feldbahn, to be named 'Prospero', and is the eleventh loco based at the ALR, blimey, who'd have thought it ?
So the Boys are constructing the tender which is almost ready, and Peter has taken the body to be spray painted (proper job!) by David (cheers !) to match the lovely yellow of the loco. Peter is now being initiated into the vagaries of managing a steam loco!

Ready to roll onto ALR metals
Club members admire the new loco with Mike handing over documentation
All photos: Brian M
The Clubroom extension is coming along nicely with the floor now laid, ready for the wall insulation and wall boarding to be fixed, so we are hoping that it will be usable by our first Open Day on May 7th (fingers crossed????) 
'Lucille' and 'Isabel' have had their certificates renewed and are ready to go, (thanks to Brian B for his time).
Track tweaking continues, gardening work also continues, the bridge has been cleaned down with handrail and decking restained, so is looking smart, and the 'mighty mulcher' is booked to tidy up tree bits and pieces around the site to tidy it all up.......signals and signs are out, and cameras refitted, so we are getting there........
We have a trip booked to Spalding on 22nd to visit the Engineering Exhibition there and also to see our Friends at the Springfields Light Railway which we are looking forward to visiting....


Happiness is !
Photo: Peter Harvey and others!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Spring Is Here !

Hello again, we are still here and very busy, so apologies if you haven't seen any posts recently.....lots going on as the weather has been very, very kind to us.

The Johns busy on the Clubroom extension (note the blue sky!)
Our new Clubroom extension is taking shape extremely well and we are very pleased with the progress. It's going to be a great space for us.The new station signal gantry cross beam is now in position and the Boys have been reconnecting and testing signals, and the cameras are all out.

Graham and Ricardo sorting the signals out (note the blue sky!)
 The track and gardening 'Gangs' have been busy tidying and clearing after 'Doris's visit, and the track is being checked and tweaked as necessary, so it will be in good state when we start to test and 'practise' in April, all being well.

Track tweaking by Ray and Barry
Work progresses on the steam locos with 'Isabel' and 'Hotspur' being worked on, Lucille was steamed up last week and is good to go. Brian B (thanks in advance Brian !) is coming over later this month to do the inspections and steam tests required for Certification to be renewed on 'Isabel' and 'Lucille' with 'Hotspur' ok until the Winter. The chassis and steel framing for our new Tool Van has arrived and is temporarily stored in the workshop until we have time to work on it !

'Hotspur' being worked on in the sunshine 
The engineering boys have been working on another chassis which we will tell you about next time !!! our secret surprise will then be revealed!!!!! 
Our buildings are receiving a 'smarten up' coat of stain to keep them in good trim, and the external boarding that has been fixed so far on the Clubroom extension is being treated with the 'corporate' cream.
We are taking our Display stand to Bawdeswell Model Railway Exhibition (at the kind invitation of the 32 A Model Railway Club, cheers Al!) on Saturday, where we will no doubt be meeting friends old and new, as we did at Dereham the other week. We like a chat (and the occasional bacon butty?) 

So, as you can see, not much chance of us getting bored/????


P.S. oh and Dave has 'lost' his drone, last seen heading gleefully over towards Wroxham Barns, at a great rate of knots, so if you see one laid about, do let us know !

Monday, 20 February 2017

February Greetings

Happy Boys celebrating the installation of the structural posts for the new extension on February 8th 2017 !
How time is already flying this year, and lots to do ! The big news we guess, is that we received Planning Permission in January for our Clubroom extension, and so we are in full  'building' mode! As you read this the roof trusses are on and we have the roof cladding bearers in position ready to fix the roof cladding sheeting (to match the existing) which are being delivered on Wednesday (JIT stuff here you know!). We are aiming, if all goes well, to have the extension virtually complete by our first Open Day on May 7th. We hope you will be impressed ????. So far so good, the weather has been very kind to us, and as usual our members rise to the challenge, well done Boys!

Roof trusses in position

Work on other fronts proceeds with a new tender being built for...oops, you're not supposed to know about this yet so, watch this space, when in a few weeks we should have some exciting news ???? 

Dave and Ken check the chassis rolling tender, looking good ! (others were involved !!!)
We have the timbers all ready to construct a wagon shelter down at Laurel Sidings to give us a bit more shed storage space, and we are waiting for the chassis to be delivered for our new tool van. Work continues with checking and fettling our signals, and we have even started to give our buildings a coat of green stain whilst the weather has been so mild, to keep them looking good.

Graham attends to a signal
All photos: Brian M
We are attending the East Dereham Model Railway Exhibition on Saturday to renew acquaintances and spread the ALR word to the unknowing! Should be a good day....


P.S. JIT means 'Just in Time', a method used by industry to save stock space and cost, ensuring efficient production line techniques!!! wow, but you probably know that already ?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Sad News

We have had some sad news recently, as one of our long standing members, Alan Heath, has, sadly, passed away. Alan had been a member of the Club since June 2003, and was a member of the Club's Management Committee for several years.. He was a regular signalman, spending many hours in the box, and had helped to train several of our members in the delights of being a signalman over the years. He will be missed, and our thoughts go out to his wife Jill, and his family at this sad time.

  R. I. P.   Al

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Hello Again......

Well here we are, into the New Year, so may we wish you all a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous one? Already we are very busy with lots of jobs, one or two exciting items in prospect too, so we are hoping for a good year on the ALR. Our Open Day dates (see across) are, as usual, to be held on the first Sunday of the months of May through to October, when trains will be running from 2 til 5 pm, We are pleased to confirm that our ticket prices remain the same as last year, being Single £1.50, Day Rover £4.00, and Family Rover (2 Adults 2 Children) £12.00. We hope to welcome you to our railway one one of those days....

So, jobwise, we are checking all the signal 'electronics' and operation, replacing the spectacle bulbs with LED s, which will be brighter and last longer, the coach maintenance is coming along well, and we are doing one or two jobs to the steam locos, including fitting a mechanical lubricator to Isabel, and fitting a second gauge glass to Hotspur.

The mechanical lubricator being fitted to Isabel
We are building a wagon shelter down at Laurel Sidings to accommodate our wagons as we need some more shed space for a new 'arrival' later this month, watch this space! We are also building a Tool Van in which we can keep all our trackwork tools and bits and pieces, together with our new portable generator which will be very useful in carrying out a variety of tasks, out on the railway. The chassis is being fabricated for us by our steelwork fabrication company in North Walsham, and should be with us later this month, all being well. (they are very busy which is good to hear!) This will enable us to go out with a 'proper' works train when doing jobs out and about on the railway, and will be another interesting train that could be run on Open Days ?
Some of us are heading down to the London Model Engineering Exhibition at the Ally Pally at the weekend, so that will be a good day out, and we have one or two items that we need, (and there will no doubt be one or two items obtained that we don't really need !!!!!! but can't not have ??????)


P.S.. Oh and can the persons who are nicking our silver birch trees, kindly let us have our signal posts back, pleeeeeze????  Ta