Friday, 3 April 2020

Spring Update

Hello Everyone
We hope you are all keeping well and safe through this awful Corona virus situation we find ourselves in. The railway is, of course, closed to us at this time and we do not know when we will be able to resume our activities or to be able to have any Open Days.We will of course let you know just as soon as we are able to open the ALR again...
So, until we had to close, we were doing quite well with our maintenance  activities, the trackwork is in fine fettle thanks to our dedicated team of trackwork 'gnomes ', as recent runs demonstrated on a Fun Day we had on March 11th. Work on maintaining and repairing or upgrading the signals is well under way, and the two new colour light signals 1 and 10, are in position and working well.

New colour light and feather at Laurel sidings entrance
Our steam locos have been fired up and apart from a couple of minor leaks, are good to go and will be 'tested' as and when our man, the intrepid Mr Brian Baker, can come over once things are back to normal.
Photos of our trains out and about on the March Fun Day
All photos :Brian M

Pierre with Nelson



Chris with Little Olive

We also attended to a couple of leaks on our Clubroom doors to prevent the ingress of water in heavy wind and rain conditions,and,so far all looks dry ! The 'gardening ' team have been busy shredding the 'demolished' trees and have been spreading the resultant 'mulch' around the site, so you will notice the difference when you visit...

Keith on loco watch during our lunch break

We took our Display stand to the the Norfolk Railway Society's Exhibition at Poringland on Saturday 14th March where we had a nice day chatting to visitors and 'old' friends, but it was not very busy as it was just as the virus thing was kicking off and people were hesitant about going to 'gatherings' at that time.
It was also pleasing that Peter, the Editor of our popular Newsletter, had a visit from Frank Cooper, NAME Chairman, to present the Alan Bibby Editor's Cup and a cheque for £50 in recognition of the excellent Newsletter that Peter produces.
So that's all for now, we will let you know when there's anything to report, but in the meantime stay calm, stay safe and keep smiling !


Alan with Hotspur



Peter with Prospero



TTFN
 

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Happy New Year





Hi. yes we know its nearly February but we hope you all have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020. where does the time go ? We are keeping quite busy although it all seems quite calm and orderly now that everybody knows what there is to do and just gets on with it, which is great. We will be having a member's meeting next month to go through all the tasks that need to be completed by our first Open Day on May 3rd, so hope fully there will be no real problems ???
There are some jobs being done on 'Hotpsur'  (new steam valve for the small injector, slight blower leak and a leaky mechanical lubricator to fix), 'Isabel' (regulator to be stripped and fusible plugs to be reseated), 'Nelson', (chain sprockets to be replaced),  and 'Chieftain' needs attention to the main power connectors.

'Hotspur' back in May 2012
Photo: Mark Revell

The Track Boys are tweaking the flat crossing near the 'Triangle' which needs a bit of a rebuild. The S and T Boys are working through the signals one by one and servicing/repainting where necessary, and they are to replace two semaphore signal arms with colour lights to ensure better reliability.
We are also going through all the electrical cabling installations to check and simplify and to record what goes where and does what.
Horticultural work continues with trees being 'thinned' in the Tunnel area, and some maintenance work is being done in the Clubhouse where some damp has been showing. So, steady progress is being made during the dark December and January days, but already we can see the days getting longer, so warmer weather will soon be here, thank goodness!!!
We have decided to introduce an 'Associate' membership grade following requests from some visitors who perhaps are unable to visit often but would like to help in a small way. So if you are interested let us know so we can send details and application form. Membership is £20 per year, which will include receiving a copy of our award winning quarterly Newsletter, and the chance to come along and help out on Fun Days, when you could even have a go at driving one of our electric or petrol powered locos or guarding (under close supervision of course).
It seems the annual Model Engineering Exhibition at the ''Ally Pally' was a bit disappointing this year with a distinct lack of trade stands, compared with previous years, according to some of our members who joined the Norwich Club on their coach for the day out, shame. 
So . that's it for now, so until next time, keep smiling !
TTFN 


    


Some photos from our Mince Pie Specials Day back in December 2019
Photos: Brian M









Monday, 23 December 2019

Happy Christmas !!!!


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All of us at the ALR would like to wish you and your families a Very Happy Christmas, and a Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year,and we hope to see you at one of our Open Days in 2020.....




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Image result for christmas pop art




Image result for christmas pop art

Image result for christmas pop art


TTFN

Friday, 6 December 2019

It's beginning to look a lot like !!!!!



'Thunderbox' takes the prototype Guard's vehicle for a spin

Hi there
Yes, as they say, 'time and tide waiteth for no man ( or woman)', and it's nearly that time again. Where has this year gone?

Unfortunately we have some sad news, as one of our Founding members, Ken Gilham, passed away recently after a long suffering kidney illness. Ken was a Guard on the Bure Valley Railway, being one of the Founding Friends of the Bure Valley Railway. He was also a guard and driver on the ALR , as well as being involved with the building and running of our railway over the years. Ken was a popular member, having a dry sense of humour and will be sadly missed.

Work continues at the railway with more work being progressed on the 'prototype' Guard's vehicle , with it more or less as we think it should be. The seating has been slightly raised to give a better view forward without sacrificing the stability of the vehicle, and it has been fitted with a higher back to provide more comfort for the Guard, with, eventually, a padded, upholstered seat and back (Pleeze Ladies???). It had a sucessful run on Wednesday, running nicely, so the plan now is to strip it down and give it a coat of grey paint, which it is thought might be its final colour, which once it has the 'ALR' and 'Guard' plates fitted, should look smart.Then we need to re appraise the chassis design and cost the vehicle to see if we can afford, or want to build any more !



Keith and John sampling the ride on the GV

















The Guards vehicle was taken round the track behind 'Thunderbox' which the Boys have finally managed to coax back into life, with the help of a new coil and the old spark plugs !!!!!! So happy faces all round. 


Happy John, Pierre, Ricardo and George with a running 'Thunderbox' !


The loco also took a set round to check the running over the Lake flat crossing which has been remade and fitted by Randy, Ray and Barry. Excellent job chaps, very professional installation, which is all that we have come to expect from our Track Boys!!! 

Randy finalising the installation of the new Lake flat crossing

The new shredder has been busy chewing up tree bits all around the site so there is now plenty of mulch to spread around to keep the weeds and vegetation down.


Peter and Alan in amongst the vegetation

Graham and Ricardo are scratching their heads to come up with some more reliable signalling circuits, (wiggly amps we call 'em!), so we look forward to seeing the results of their musings, eventually....
We have also been replacing some of the fence palings and refurbished the platform gate hinges, and we also attended to a roof leak in the Clubroom, that manifested itself some weeks ago during some very heavy rain accompanied by strong winds. We think we have sorted it but time will tell.
We are looking forward to our Christmas meal in a local Hostelry next week, and we are having a bit of a running session on Saturday 21st December, as an excuse to devour some mince pies, sausage rolls and the like. No steamers as they are all tucked away but one or two of the other locos will no doubt have a trundle round !

TTFN 
      
















Tuesday, 12 November 2019

November notes



Lovely Autumn colours down by the lake

Hello again
Winter cometh, it's getting chilly, and the dark nights are with us, roll on Summer !!!! but we carry on as best we can, still plenty of jobs to do, in between the 'mardling', ....the steam locos have had their tenders drained and are being prepared for their winter quarters where they well be warm and dry....the signals are inside now and being checked over one by one to see what needs to be done, as are the CCTV cameras, the track Boys have replaced the rotting timber sleepers at either side of the bridge, and creosoted the decking ready to be reinstalled and treated with decking stain, when its a bit drier, they continue to install 'H' timbers under the track joints to keep everything smooth. 

Randy, Ray and Barry at work at the bridge


Ray and Randy ditto



























Some fencing palings are being replaced where rot is showing and they will all be repainted in the Spring. Tree and bush clearing continues...and 'Thunderbox' is receiving attention to find out why one of the choc blocks is melting?????.


The Guard vehicle prototype ready to go on a test run

The prototype Guards vehicle that Ken kindly allowed us to alter, is coming along nicely with the axles refitted to a shorter wheelbase to give a better ride and to ensure the Guard is sitting inside the wheelbase, if you follow me, to prevent any tipping movement. A redesigned handbrake has been fitted which gives a very positive action. The vehicle ran well during a test run last week, so with some more work on revamping the upper body (mmm?) to see what works best for the Guard (seat height, longer seat, higher padded backrest, shelf  for Guards stuff, flags, sandwiches, drink holder, alarm button etc etc) , and then we can cost it all and see if we can afford them.and decide if we really really, need any more (one for each train would be good? (Wish list item ????)

The revamped handbrake
We had a good day at the Wensum Valley Model Railway Exhibition last Saturday ( well done 32 A) with our display stand. The event was well attended and we met lots of nice people who were interested in our railway, several of whom had just moved into the area, interestingly, so we hope to see them next year. Our 2020 Open Day dates are shown opposite. Several interesting layouts were on view, with some having a wartime theme. It's always fascinating to see what peoples' imaginations come up with and some of the ingenious bits and pieces they put together are fascinating,
We have our AGM on Saturday which will establish our plans for next year, and then we have our annual Christmas meal to look forward to at a popular local 'tavern', where we get well looked after,should be good.

TTFN