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 !!!!!!