Thursday, 24 September 2009

'Doris' (Coach 40) problems cured !

The Shay and train ready to depart Ashmanhaugh Station. Photo: John Pond

Circumnavigating The Puddle! Photo: John Pond

We were very pleased yesterday when, after spending the morning fitting a point motor to one of the shed access points, we had a bit of a 'play' after lunch. The Shay was fired up and trundled round to Laurel Sidings to collect a coach set and Coach 40 (affectionately called 'Doris). The boys had carried out further mods to the bogies after consulting with our 'Eaton Park' friends, (who use the same ones on their coaches), and this seemed to have cured the problem. So we thought we would do a few circuits in a train to see how she performed. It would also give two more of our members experience at driving The Shay. We were delighted that the coach ran perfectly and didn't fall off once, the ride was comfortable and it seems that after a few more circuits, the coach should be ready to enter service! Well done Chaps! Now where's that Tram ?

Ditto (Barry riding Shotgun!) Photo: John Pond


Monday, 7 September 2009

September Open Day

Happiness is------double header on the way! Photo: Jane Pond

We were delighted that last Sunday's weather was very kind giving us a warm sunny afternoon to welcome our visitors and run some trains on our penultimate Open Day for this year. It always pleases us that our visitors are prepared to travel such distances to enjoy our railway and this Sunday was no exception with people arriving from such places as Eastbourne, and Hereford. Blimey!!

Top table crew (can't read, obviously!). Photo: Anon !

Bottom Table Crew relaxing . Photos: Brian M

We used Lucille, Hotspur, The Shay and General, with the Sergeant making an appearance on a goods train, and all performed impeccably, (helped of course by their drivers!.) As a 'grand finale' we like to run a double headed 'special' and this Open Day was no exception. We ran a full train of our three coach sets around the circuit, twice (much to the delight of one of our regular young attendees whose previous best number of rides was 18, exceeded on this occasion by 1! ) So he was happy, as were his long suffering Mum and Grandma! We aim to please !!!!!

Sergeant enters the station area Photo: Brian M

We were nicely busy but not too hectic, so we were able to circulate and chat to our visitors, when not 'operating', which we do enjoy doing.

Hotspur passing the Signal Box to enter the Den section. Photo: Brian M

General comes through the station. Photo: Brian M

Hotspur sets off on another circuit. Photo: Brian M

By all accounts it was quite an 'Anglia TV' get together too, as there were several people there who did work there or are related to staff who did!. Now there's an idea for a reunion event Folks!!!!!!!!
Lucille arrives back at the station. Photo: Brian M

Double header prepares to leave. Photo: Brian M

The two steamers restart after a signal stop (which tested 'em), but they succeeded! Photo: Brian M

Coming over the lake flat crossing. Photo: Jane Pond

Thanks for coming to see us, we had a great afternoon! TTFN

P.S. Sorry there are no photos of the Shay, which worked hard as well during the afternoon , but as I was driving the loco , couldn't take any action photos! Did anyone get some ?

Thanks, Brian M

Saturday, 5 September 2009

ALR Summer (just!) BBQ

Mr B with Lucille, all ready to go! Photo: Brian M

Last Wednesday evening was the night when some 22 ALRC members, families & friends enjoyed a tasty BBQ (thanks to Ray, Geoff , Jill & Alan ), and enjoyed some chat and took some train rides. Lucille, The Shay, General, Thunderbox (complete with Xmas tree lights!) and Sergeant trundled around our track into the darkness until rain stopped play just after 8pm.

Cooking In Progress. Photo: Brian M

It's always fun to drive around in the dark (some of us can do that all the time!) when the railway is a different place, with the signal lamps gleaming in the darkness to allow us through or not. One of our Junior members was practising being a 'signalling ' person and did a very creditable job, which is not easy, especially when there are 5 trains on the circuit! and one or two of our members had a go at driving to gain more experience.

Lucille overlit (!) by Thunderbox. Photo: George Aldridge

At one stage we were 'attacked' by an Apache, yes it's real cowboy country on the ALR when you're out in the 'boondocks' ! This one was of the RAF type (we think), heading in the general direction of Norwich Airport, which as some of you will know isn't to far away from us.

Our 'Apache', rapidly disappearing! Photo: George Aldridge

So, all in all, another good night on our super railway, just enjoying and relaxing !!!!
Can't be bad eh ?