Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Good Work at Leonard Cheshire Disability Home

Hilary King cuts the ribbon to officially open the new footpath
Photo: David Barrett

As you may be aware, the Ashmanhaugh Light Railway has enabled the Leonard Cheshire Disability organisation to raise funds during some of our Open Days, and last Friday we were invited to the home, just outside Norwich, to the 'official' opening of the footpath that has been funded by several organisations which includes the revenue received by the Charity during our Open Days. The substantial new tarmac footpath has been constructed all the way round the lake on this lovely site and provides a very pleasant walk for the residents, several of whom took part in the opening in their wheelchairs and then proceeded to 'test' the new path ! Refreshments were provided afterwards, which made for a pleasant afternoon for all, and it was good to see how the money raised had been put to such good use.

Residents and guests test the new footpath !
Photo: David Barrett


P.S. The Leonard Cheshire Disability are holding their own Charity Day at the Ashmanhaugh Light Railway this year on Sunday 20th May, when we hope we will be able to welcome you !!!!!l

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Recent progress

This is our Rodger, our unsung hero, tirelessly working away in the top of the Workshop on Lucille:
Photo: Brian M

Hi There
The pace is increasing now as we approach our 2012 Operating Season with our first Birthday Party booked for 31st March, so lots going on !
Brackers & Ray have rebuilt the flat crossing at Birchwood Junction as Brackers was not 100% happy with it, so yesterday we ran some more trains over it, including 'General', 'The Shay' and 'Sargeant' with a 3 car set, and the two blue coaches. The crossing feels fine and very smooth so smiles all round. This also gave us a chance to test the signals and points operations as well. All the railway signs have now been placed in position too.

Work continues with the rebuilding of 'Lucille' and the construction of 'Nelson' which is now receiving its bodywork and beginning to look like a loco !.

Attention is being given to the electric chimney fans used to get a good draught through the steamers when lighting up, and Keith, helped by our two Junior members has installed a power supply to Woodpecker Lodge, as we plan to use this for ice cream sales this year.
We have also obtained some CCTV equipment which was being 'fettled' for use (eventually we should add!) as the signalmen need to have visual confirmation as to which train is coming onto the Back Straight off Lake section, so they can determine whether its a 'platform' working or a 'Den' trip !
We should also soon (?) have a 'home' signal on the main line to protect the Laurel sidings tracks, and a 'ground disc' controlling the exit of trains from those same sidings! (not that there's any pressure Brackers!)

We have also obtained a 'multi purpose' gardening tool, which Richard seems delighted with! It will prune, strim, and chop the various vegetations that we have to deal with on the railway. Methinks 'twill get lots of use !

Richard admires the new 'multi purpose garden tool' (or is he wondering how it all fits together?)
Photo: Brian M

The lake seems to be holding its level well ever since it was deepened and since John put an overflow surface water drain into it from the Farmhouse front pond that takes all the roof rainwater.
We have regraded the banks with the help of a digger and the area has been tidied up and grass seed liberally spread to hopefully green up the lakeside area!

Richard & Alan levelling and seeding at the bridge (James supervising!)
Photo: Brian M

There are a pair of ducks on each pond too so we could see some real ducklings this year instead of those plastic ones that lived there last year !


Thursday, 15 March 2012

ALR Vital Statistics

Hello there,
We needed to be sure of the ALR actual track meterage/yardage as we haven't carried out an accurate measure since we completed (hopefully?) the trackwork, so we thought we would. A measuring wheel was 'borrowed' and a pleasant wander round by yours truly (to excercise the ankle! ha ha!), produced some mind boggling figures!
You will be delighted to know that your trips around our lovely railway on Open Days carry you a distance of 835.5 metres or 913.7 yards which is 2741.1 feet, or 0.519 miles, or 0.835 kilometres should you prefer !.
We also have constructed a total of 141.9 metres (155.2 yards) of sidings in the Workshop and signal box area, and over at Laurel Sidings we have laid 162.1 metres (177.3 yards) of track, plus the loco pit siding which is 18.6 metres (20.3 yards) long. The layby siding near Bamboo Junction is 46.8 metres (51.2 yards) long and the Eastgate ballast siding over by the lake, is 16.3 metres (17.8 yards) long.Our platform is 18.4 metres ((20.1 yards long).
Quite an amount of sleepers, rail, fishplates, bolts, ballast and effort over the last 9 years! (we didn't start laying track until 2003) Well done everyone!!!!
The track plan sketch shown will, hopefully, give those of you who haven't visited the ALR an idea of how the site is laid out, with apologies for the poor quality of the sketch (you just can't get the staff these days eh!).

We hope you found this item of some interest!