Thursday, 22 April 2010

Another Busy Week at the ALR

Ashmanhaugh Village sign (outside The Preston Rooms) Photo: Brian M

Things are hotting up now that we are well into April, (including the temperature thank goodness!). We were once again invited to take our Display Stand to the Ashmanhaugh Village Open Day, last Saturday, where John and Ben were able to talk to villagers and visitors about our railway.

Also on Saturday, a lucky young man enjoyed celebrating his Birthday with his friends and their families. Our first Birthday Party of this year saw Hotspur, Lucille, Thunderbox and The Shay out and about. A a good time was had by all and it gave us chance to hone up our operating skills! The weather was perfect and the youngsters had a great time !

Our S & T boys were on site on Wednesday doing more signal installation work, and they had brought with them, amongst other bits and pieces, the (impressive) colour light signals that will be installed to protect the Lakeside flat crossing (photos when installed!).

Andrew & Dan being famous !! Photo: Brian M

More green and cream was being applied and Titan is now ready for a run!......

....and Wednesday 21st April was the day when the skies around us started to fill up once again as flight restrictions due to the 'danger' from the 'volcanic ash' occurence were lifted. We were treated to a fast, low level run by a Harrier followed by a similar pass by a Eurofighter. Wow !, you could almost feel the pilot's exuberance ! As the day progressed, helicopters were busy once again ferrying personnel to and from the offshore rigs, and some airliners were seen traversing the skies again as the airlines started the task of getting back to their normal routines.


So What's Going On ???????

Well, things are happening down at the ALR, whatever next, there's diggers and trenchers and steel fabric and stuff !

There's a big hole in the ground and some trenches....

Is it a new underground model railway?, or a new control or signalling centre,? a new den for Ben, ! ? , or even a safe route for the moles (bless 'em) ?????? Somebody suggested it was a substation to supply the overhead catenary !!!!!!!

All photos: Brian M

Time will tell, but in the meanwhile one or two photos to give you some clues, and maybe when you visit us next you will know what's been occurring!

Watch this space !


Thursday, 15 April 2010

Preparing for our 2010 Operating sessions

Hotspur being prepared for an afternoon's steaming Photo: Brian M

As April flashes by we are busy getting everything ready for our new operating season, which starts this Saturday (17th April) with our first Birthday Party for 2010. Hotspur was given a work out today to give our members more steam experience, to ensure all the trackwork and points are in good working order, and to allow us a couple of hours of fun. It turned out to be a lovely sunny afternoon so it really was quite pleasant to meander round the circuit behind a steam loco again! 'The General' has also been trundling round with the two new coaches in tow.

Thunderbox & The Shay settle into their new home. Photo: Brian M

We have started to shuffle our stock around to utilise our new storage sidings, which will give us more space in the original loco shed to use this as a maintenance and repair workshop, leaving the Laurel Sidings area as carriage and wagon storage sidings together with a 'running' shed for our locos, once the area is finished with new loco pit and battery charging facilities completed.

Coaches & wagons also settling in Photo: Brian M

Work is progressing on 'Titan' and 'The Sergeant' with the aim of having these two locos in service this year. 'Sergeant' is being fitted with a braking system which will allow a coach to be hauled, giving more choice of rides for our visitors.

The ticket office and adjacent fencing and gates have been given the 'green & cream' treatment and the platform has been de-weeded and cleaned, and the first grass cutting is underway, so the site is now looking good after the long Winter. The blossom is out, as are the pheasants and we even have some recently (last Autumn) planted bluebells almost ready to flower, excellent !

So we look forward to our first Open Day on Sunday May 2nd, maybe we will see you there ? Hope so......