Sunday, 25 July 2010

Super Saturday

An excellent day last Saturday saw our members busily working away on lots of jobs........ but first we had a Birthday Boy who kindly provided Pork Pies and cake, yummy!!!!
Thanks Dave, 37 ?, yeah right, you wish!!!!!!

Dig in Chaps !
All photos: Brian M

The two steam locos got a much deserved steam clean (naturally!)

The platform fence painting was completed

Trackwork in Laurel sidings received attention as the recent hot weather had taken up all the rail gaps which caused one or two gauging problems!

and some final wiring connections to the track circuiting installations were being completed into the signal box.

We even had a play during the afternoon , firing up 'Lucille' so we could 'train up' (sorry!) more drivers....Sargeant came out to play hauling Doris and Mavis for a while, and 'The General' had a few trundles round, testing the track circuiting work that was being done.......
We also used the righthand leg of the triangle to access the Lake section for the first time, it is rumoured !

Ray is fixing a slight leak on Lucille prior to her being fired up.


P.S. Will you be coming to see us this Sunday ? Hope so, trains running from 2 til 5pm.......

Monday, 19 July 2010

A Very Good Week on the ALR

Hotspur approaching the Home Straight signals with a Birthday Party train on 17th July, with the Shay in the background en route to the Lake section.
Photo: Brian M

This week has been a very good week, (well they are all good but some just better than others!).
On Wednesday, we concentrated on doing some gardening and track maintenance work, Dave is tweaking the track circuiting set up as when the sleepers are wet, in some sections the resistance builds up and prevents the panel lights in the signal box from extinguishing! (think that's what he said?) anyway he thinks he may have solved it so more testing to be done on the bench first before he 'amends' the set up. The same problem occurs on the 'big' railways apparently.! We are hoping to give you more detail about how it all works once he has it working OK.

We ran Hotspur, General and The Shay during the Birthday Party in the afternoon, and the weather just about managed to behave with only one short shower catching us out on the circuit with the Birthday Party passengers ! Nevertheless a good time was had by all ! We used the Welsh coal that we are trying, and were pleased with the performance, good steady fire, very little clinker on the grate or residue in the smokebox, excellent! So we could be placing a bigger order !

Lucille heading along Home Straight with a Birthday Party train on 26th June
Photo: Brian M

On Sunday we took the ALR Publicity stand to the Potter Heigham Model Railway, Transport & Craft Exhibition which was held in the old School in the village. The Broadland Model Railway Club were also present, taking along 'Corru' with its first extension board, 'Gated', (don't ask, all will be revealed in due course!) & 'Tobyham', privately owned by Jon Bird, one of the BMRC's members.

Jon Bird's 'Tobyham' at Potter Heigham. Photo: Brian Lowe

We had a busy day, chatting to lots of interesting visitors, and hopefully encouraging those who haven't been to the ALR before, to visit us! It was an interesting exhibition with a good selection of model railways, model boats, NICE's (Norfolk Internal Combustion Engines) fascinating, working displays of some very old machines, arts & crafts, plants, and vintage cars.
We had a very enjoyable but tiring day !


Monday, 5 July 2010

Busy Weekend

Hotspur & Lucille approach Lake flat crossing on Sunday 4th July.
Photo: Brian M

We have had a great weekend on the ALR, and the weather was fantastic! Thank you !!!!
We had another sucessful Saturday Birthday Party session, during which we gave 'Hotspur' a run to test her 'whistle' which had been fitted with a stronger spring' ! It was a bit too strong but our engineering boys had a look (well done Rodger!), gave it some 'tweaks' after which it was fine, but up to that point yours truly had smoke coming at him from everywhere up front! Cough, cough, splutter, splutter! We also managed to get lots of jobs done in readiness for our Sunday Rotary Charity Open Day....
We are trying some 'real' Welsh coal (as advertised in the 71/4" Gauge Society mag,) to see how we get on with it, and first impressions are favourable after trying it out on Sunday as well.

'Thunderbox' loading. Photo: Brian M

'General' loading while 'Lucille' coasts by onto Den section for the 'final approach'
Photo: Brian M

Sunday, of course, was our July Open Day when The Rotary Club of Norwich presented a Special Charity Day. Rotary had organised refreshments, cake stall, raffle, face painting, an ice cream stall and games. The afternoon was a roaring sucess with one of the best turnouts we have seen on the railway due in no small part to the Rotary Marketing 'machine' doing a great job with all the local media. Our thanks must also go to Archant who sent along their reporter Tracey Gray, and photographer Colin Finch a couple of Saturdays ago to run a feature on the railway. That they did, with features in the Eastern Daily Press, The Norwich Evening News and a double page spread in the North Norfolk News! Excellent ! This kind of publicity makes us very proud of what we are achieving on the ALR, so thank you all for coming to see us and making all the hard work worthwhile!
We ran three trains all afternoon with 'General', 'The Shay', 'Hotspur', 'Lucille' and 'Thunderbox' all on duty, running faultlessly throughout the hot afternoon. Well done everyone!

The 'Grande Finale' double headed steam train runs down Lakeside cutting through the wild flower displays
Photo: Brian M

Friday, 2 July 2010

Party time

'Lucille' coasts down Lakeside cutting past the wild flowers with a Birthday Party train on 26th June 2010
Photo: Brian M

We are having a run of Birthday Parties at the moment, which are very enjoyable events, both for the lucky birthday boy or girl, their parents and friends, and of course ourselves, as we can enjoy running trains without having to worry too much about reducing the queues we often get on Open Days! It also gives us chance to practise the various skills required in running our railway in a realistic environment.

Locos being prepared for a Birthday Party session at Laurel Sidings
Photo: Brian M