Thursday, 2 August 2018


Well, what a Summer we are having, temperatures reached 39/40 degrees on Thursday and Friday last week, talk about Costa del Cromer !!!!! but we have had some cooler days and some rain which is badly needed, but the temperatures are picking up again now so we should have a nice Open Day this coming Sunday 5th August. There is the prospect of having five steam locos in action, with maybe an appearance of Randy's lovely little 'Atlas' loco, which is proving to be a big hit with us all. So, should be good.

'Atlas' with its smart lettering in place (well done Ben!) stands in the loco shed on 28th July
The S and T Boys have further improved the interlocking protection on routes coming into the platforms thereby preventing any conflicting movements, which it was noted during the recent Fun Day, was still possible in some instances !!!!! The concreting of the Lakeside crossing is completed, we think, and the Boys are connecting back the track circuit wiring, so we should have it all working to check on Saturday. 
Concreting operatives in action

Civil engineering plant at the Lakeside crossing site 1st August
A blitz was made on tree and bush trimming as they still continue to shoot up at an amazing rate, in spite of the dry weather, although the sweat (forgive me) from the Lads must have helped to stimulate some more growth. 
We have both Green and Lesser spotted woodpeckers around as well as the buzzards and the occasional kite. (no Dave, it's too windy for your drone, Mate!)
We will be looking forward to visiting the Parklands Railway over at Hemsby on Tuesday next to enjoy their trains, company and BBQ, always a good afternoon.

So, that brings you up to date, must fly, things to do, keep smiling


Randy brings 'Atlas' carefully through the station alongside 'Chieftain'

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Phew !!!!!

Well, what a Summer we are having, really hot, and no sign of any rain yet ?
Our July Open Day was good, quite warm and busy, but not too busy, so there was time to chat and mingle, which we like to do. All ran well, and Dave come up to help with 'Remus' again, so we had an enjoyable afternoon. Thank you for coming to see us.....

'Atlas' newly arrived at Ashmanhaugh 4th July
Photo: Brian M

We are very pleased that we have a new arrival at the railway, as one of our members has purchased a super little loco from Maxitrak, an 0-4-0 Planet 2 diesel outline, battery powered loco, which is proving to be a very capable and strong loco, mostly being used on our 'work' trains, so far, but powerful enough to do the occasional passenger run? The loco is to be named 'Atlas'  in recognition of its strength! and Randy, the proud owner, is 'tickled pink', a very Happy Bunny!

Randy having a drive on his new loco
Photo: Peter Harvey

Out on the track, looking the part!
Photo: Brian M
'Prospero' has been up to Station Road Steam for  its springs to be changed for stronger ones, and we look forward to seeing the loco in action out and about again.

We are still working away on the track to ensure it is in tip top condition, and we are about to concrete a 'vehicle' crossing down at the lake, so we can get stuff across the track in the lake area without damaging the track. The 'S and T ' Boys are also working away at maintaining and improving the system we have ,and are looking at providing some more interlocking to prevent conflicting movements.
...and, of course the bushes and trees are still growing in spite of the dry conditions, so this work is ongoing, as always!

The 'work' train coming back into the station after a busy day out on the line
Photo: Brian M

Monday, 25 June 2018


The steam drivers having a chat whilst steaming up under the shed canopy
Hello there, we are still here, but been very busy with this 'n that, so just found some time to update you on the latest happenings on and off the railway.
Our May Open Day was very successful, thank you for coming to see us. All went well and we thoroughly  enjoyed the afternoon. 'Isabel', 'Remus' and 'Little Olive' provided the steam power and we also had General, Chieftain, and The Shay  out and about.

John brings a train out of the station with 'Chieftain'
The works train including the new tool van was on display in the Tunstead Road siding, for all to admire and at long last our track gang Boys are using a loco to take out the wagons and tool van to where they are working on the track, mostly in the Lake area recently, where the generator is providing power as required.

Ray 'supervising' Randy on trackwork duties

The 'work' train with 'Viceroy' at the flat crossing

We have altered the ashpan bottom plate on 'Isabel' so it can 'hinge' down when required to lose ash during the afternoon so we don't  get a build up of very hot ash and clinker, which is not good for the grate ! This should mean that we don't have to drop the grate over the pit after each session which will make life a bit easier for the drivers after a hard afternoon's driving !!!!!! It was tested last Wednesday and worked well. So we may do the same on 'Hotspur' ?
'Prospero' is unserviceable at the moment due to very soft springing which is causing the brake gear to foul the track and sleepers now and then, resulting in a derailment. Stiffer springs are being provided by Station Road Steam, which we hope will solve the problem, so until then, the loco is being 'rested'!
Gardening, of  course, continues and all is looking tidy.......
Last weekend five of us popped down to the South Coast to ride some trains and had a great weekend on the Moors Valley, Swanage, Eastleigh, Mid Hants and the Isle of Wight railways. Good weather, great trains, excellent hosts on each, comfy hotels and good food with a few beers, what more could the Guys want!
Hope to see you on Sunday 1st July(surely not another month gone?), when we will be open to the Public with trains running from 2 til 5 pm....

'Hotspur' comes through the station with Keith in charge during our June Open Day

Thursday, 31 May 2018

We are ready!

Hi there, well after having to cancel our May Open day, unfortunately, due to the waterlogged state of the car parking areas, all is well now and we are ready for our Open Day this Sunday June 3rd. We will have the usual array of locos and stock out and about and our Friends are bringing Romulus and Little Olive to help out, thanks guys , we know you like it here  !!!!!
Our posh new Tool Van is complete now and should be on display with our other 'work' vehicles forming an impressive (for us) train, which soon, we hope will have its very own loco to haul it round the track.....more on that one soon.

The new Tool Van ready to go

We had a good Fun Day on 19th May when Remus and Little Olive joined in and a good day was enjoyed by all

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...and earlier this week we had a visit from some of the folks from Echills Wood who are down here for Parklands week, and they had an enjoyable time with us. We hope to welcome them with an engine or two in the future !

The 'special' arriving back at the station with Kevin, Vera, Peter and our good friend Brian B.

...and finally a few of us popped across to Hemsby to experience their Parklands week activities again and enjoyed seeing some interesting locos and meeting up with friends old and new (enjoyed the bacon butties, thanks Vera!). Well done to all the Parkland Boys and Girls, excellent once again!


Happiness is.....a Fun Day on the ALR !

Saturday, 12 May 2018

All's well Here

Hi There
Well all is dried out again now, shame we had to cancel our first 2018 Open day, disappointing, but there we go, can't afford to churn up the car park area, which was still to wet on Saturday! We have had so much rain that the ground was saturated and was just not draining away, hey ho.
So, (have you noticed this is the standard response these days when someone is asked a question, they,........etc etc etc !)...we have been busy as always finishing off some jobs that weren't...and doing others as necessary....the loco shed canopy is now finished and providing good shelter and shade for crews lighting up locos, 

The two Johns finishing off the loco shed canopy

....and the track is suffering some serious expansion joint tweaking, 

Randy busy tweaking track on the back straight

....and the signals and track detection circuits are being serviced and improved as necessary, the platform is deweeded and ready for re sanding, 'Hotspur' has its side tanks back on,

Johnny B working on Hotspur

...and the grass is cut with our latest 'toy' which is a really good piece of kit,

Peter on grass cutting duties

...and the platform water tank is complete and we have to say looks very good! (but we are a bit biased!), 

Voila !! C'est  termine

...and we are just about to start the repainting/staining of the platform fencing,(oh yes we are are Boys !). The stock is all ok, so we are good to go, we have a Fun/Visiting Locos Day  on Saturday next, so we will give some the trains a run round to test everything out and give a few more members a chance to train up (oops, sorry!) on some task on their 'bucket' list ????.....


and Sue's corporate tea cosies, lovely, thank you Sue.
All photos Brian M

Thursday, 3 May 2018

May Open Day Cancelled


Please note that our May 6th Open Day this coming Sunday is cancelled due to the extremely waterlogged ground.....


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Sunshine update

Our new time piece !

Well who would have thought it would turn so warm so quick? but this is England and we are not complaining, (not just now anyway!). We have the Loco shed canopy structure in place ready for the roof sheeting to be fitted, 

the replacement water storage tank is in position and commissioned, and is producing lovely clean water! 

Our new water storage facility at Laurel Sidings shed

The platform water tank is about to have its timber boarding attached, 

Platform water tank in progress
the 'little people' are out ready to wave as you go by, the track is nearly all tweaked, the new unloading area gate is done,

....the signals are out, and the Ticket Office and the Signal Box are being treated to a coat of green and cream stain, the grass is being cut. ....and yesterday we saw a Buzzard gliding about so they are back, wonderful sight (where do they go in the Winter?????)
We have our first practise day on Saturday so we can check that everything is working.....five work days to go !!!!!!!


Sunday, 1 April 2018

Springing into Spring !

Our Friendly Fun Manager and Chairman enjoying their time at the Bawdeswell MRX 
Hi there, well, we are busy, busy, busy with all the jobs we need to do to get it all ready for you when you come on your first visit this year on Sunday 6th May .
So, what are we doing ?, well, the track Boys are busy replacing, ballasting and tweaking the track (yes, still!), and they have installed new walkway boards outside the carriage shed, a new gate has been made where we offload locos and it has been hung on the opposite end so it opens up onto the Clubroom wall, which will make reversing vehicles much easier, and it is to have a 'real' railway lamp attached! How smart will that be ?

The new gate in position just needing finishing touches

 The new timbers for the Back Straight gantry are now in position ready for the S and T Boys to start re-installing signals, 

The new for 2018, platform water tank is coming on, we have a plan for the hose fittings and how to fix the (removeable) external boarding and lid, so that should be in place soon, which will help in refreshing those thirsty steam locos!.....and we have cleaned the carriage shed roof and gutters, and tidied up the area at the side of the shed ready to construct a lean to for the track timber creosote tank. ....and stuff !!!! 

Our new water storage facility in progress at Laurel Sidings

A new plastic water storage tank has been sourced (cheers Steve !) and should be in place shortly. This is good news as our old steel tank was rusting internally and not helping with the supply of clean water needed for the steam locos. So now that the trees in this area are no longer, our water should be much nicer! (and we will check the PH to see how that is too, blimey that's a bit technical for us lot?) as well as checking the water from the loco boilers to maintain the level of treatment necessary.
Then we are pleased to report that we had two very successful days at Model Railway Exhibitions (Dereham and Bawdswell) recently, where we met some very nice people and gained at least one new member!

Barry doing his 'marketing' chat at Bawdeswell
So, it's all good fun (our Fun Manager sees to that!), well mostly...... and we are looking forward to playing, (sorry) running trains again, see you soon....

Ricardo wins yet another Bawdeswell Raffle prize favouring his 'feminine side !!!!! Don't ask!!!
and you really don't want anymore kits Mate?
All photos: Brian M