Friday, 31 May 2013

Fun Time again !

 The 40 on its way out into the 'Boondocks' with Roy in charge

Well, things are looking up, we had a good Wednesday when Roy and Dennis (and Tony and Liz!) came across from the Nottingham Club, bringing along Roy's fabulous Class 40, Number 1 (not allowed to call it 'you know who'!), and  Willy1-Co. We had a great day with many trundles around the circuit with different drivers all wearing great big smiles! Even Tony had a drive !!!!! The sound of that Class 40 is awesome!!!!! Even the weather picked up during the day and we did glimpse the sun , briefly, later on!

 Number 1 enjoyed some trips with 'line of sight' driving in force 
(Number 1 was stationery at this time! 
allowing Nelson to proceed to shed.) Well done Tony & Liz !!!!

We also had a 'young' Lady and her son from Skegness, who had booked a Driver Experience session with us, (our first Lady) and she did really well with Lucille, and had a great time, ably coached (ha ha!!) by Alan and Keith. So again lots of laughter and smiles, excellent!

Alan explaining some technical point to Kay during the Driver Experience session ????

Some of us popped over to Hemsby yesterday to experience their changes and we were very impressed, what a difference, they have been very busy! We were particularly impressed with their new loco pit and unloading facilities. There were several visiting locos af all shapes and sizes so there was much to see and ride behind and of course lots of 'mardling'!!!! As always, a warm welcome and very enjoyable!. Thanks Guys...

 The new 'Parklands station' landscaped area in front of the signal box at Hemsby


P.S. you will have noticed that 'Nelson' is on his wheels again and should be out and about again now ! All seems OK !!!!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Hey, Summer, where are you?

 Happier April days with all three of our steam locos in steam !
 Photo: Brian M

Gosh, what is going on, snow in Scotland, hail in Norfolk and it's nearly the end of May!!! But this is England and we will just have to get on with it !!!!
Just in case you were wondering how things are at the ALR just now following the cancellation of the Charity Day on  19th May.... all is OK, but we have been struggling with illness, a close family bereavement and loco failures, all of which meant we have been unable to roster enough members or locos to run a full 3 or 4 train service.
But, we are slowly getting back to normal on the loco front with The Shay back together and ready for testing. New bolts and locknuts have been fitted to the bottom cranks and we have changed the engine and Eaton hydrostatic unit oils. Thunderbox also needs an oil change and service but the loco is fine. 
Lucille's blast pipe ring is repaired and we just need to finalise the boiler feed water pump installation, although she is servicable without this. Isabel's work is coming along and she should be in action in the near future (no date, not likely!). We are also hoping to solve the battery problem on General soon, by either buying new batteries or sorting out the charging situation, but apart from that the loco is good...and Nelson is only a week or two ? away (no I didn't say that !) from being back in service following this loco's extensive chassis improvements. 
We are also looking forward to welcoming some visiting locos over the coming months, some of which will be able to help out on Open Days, providing additional interest for our visitors and helping us out on the loco roster front. We were due to have a 'guest ' loco on our last Open Day but unfortunately, Paul, one of the Halifax Boys, who was staying in one of the holiday cottages, had seriously injured his hand previously, and was unable to bring his loco. Nevertheless he had a good week here and helped out with platform duties on our Open Day. 
Several of us had a very enjoyable visit to the Halesworth Club's Open Day on Saturday 11th May, where we were made very welcome and enjoyed their company and a fascinating variety of locos and traction engines. It sounds as though we may be seeing one or two of their 'Sweet William' locos at the ALR, which we were very impressed with (we've all started buying Lottery tickets again!!!!). We are also looking forward to popping across to the Parklands Railway during their Hemsby Week to see their improvements and to enjoy their trains and visitors with some enjoyable rides and chats !!!!! 
On our next Open Day (Sunday June 2nd), we will be pleased to welcome Martyn, of Spuggy fame who will be bringing his Romulus and maybe Spuggy too, so that will be good! And on the Saturday we are welcoming Paul Coates who is bringing along his Station Road Steam's 'Stafford' saddle tank loco which will be a very interesting visitor. So, let's hope for some lovely warm sunshine so we can all enjoy the day and have some fun !!!!! Maybe see you then ?


Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Due to unforseen circumstances we regret that we have had to cancel the Leonard Cheshire Home Charity Day arranged at the railway for this coming Sunday afternoon, 19th May.

Friday, 10 May 2013


Well, bless those little Gremlins, we talked that one up eh? Our first Open day for this year was a challenge to say the least! We had lots and lots of visitors, thank you for coming, but our rolling stock was sulking which made things interesting for our PIC and his helpers ! The Shay threw a wobbly when a piston crankcase bolt worked loose and 'jammed up' the works which literally stopped the loco. Unsure what the seriousness of the problem was, our staff disconnected the drive chain so the loco could be got out of the way, fortunately it was in a spot along our new three track section which enabled other trains to run past, so that was a plus ! The problem is not serious and will just need a new bolt fitted and the loco will be OK. General was getting a bit tired later on due to the batteries winding down, and we have since found that a couple of them are low so we are looking at replacing them, or the charger which may not be giving a full charge. Lucille was a little star and Keith managed to keep her going for most of the afternoon, well done that man, only running out of steam once I hear, much to Barry's relief (private joke!). Sergeant was also a star, running for ever, and Thunderbox went well as usual, with our PIC praying that it would, as there wasn't much left running later in the afternoon !!!!!!
On another positive note the signalling staff were delighted with the revised track layout and signalling which made their afternoon a 'doddle !!!!!!
So all in all an interesting afternoon, we hope you didn't have to wait too long for a ride, but you obviously enjoyed the ice creams as there were only two left I hear!!!
Sorry there are no piccys to show as 'yours truly' was AWIL (absent with leave!), but maybe next time?

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Nearly ready !

 All three steam locos in steam together on 10th April 2013

Hello again.......How time flies as our first Open day of 2013 rapidly approaches! We should be just about ready to open the gates at 2pm on Sunday 5th May to welcome the first of this year's Open Day visitors. We have ordered some sunshine !!!!
There has been much going on, some of which we could do without but there we are, those naughty little Gremlins are always lurking to catch us out and sometimes they do !!!! 
Our new third track is now in action with our track and signalling Boys turning in lots of 'overtime 'to ensure all the signals and track detection installations are working. We have had some trial runs over the new circuit and it is a great improvement, very enjoyable to drive round, and much easier for the signalling staff to monitor! They even have 3 CCTV cameras to show them where everything is !!!!!! We will see when it's busy, how they manage! 
Much gardening work has been done to keep the trees and bushes under control and they are now bursting out with the very welcome warmer weather and higher temperatures.
On the loco front, Hotspur is stopped, as at least one tube is leaking following the recent hydraulic and steam tests, so we are now deciding the best solution to get the loco back in action, but you won't be seeing her in action for a while, we think. Nelson is also 'in hospital' having some alterations to his (?) gearing ratios and axles. Lucille should be out and about as will General, The Shay, and Thunderbox. Sargeant may make an appearance and we may have a visiting loco here as well, but you will have to see what that might be on Sunday!!!.
Our new coaches are about complete so may well be out and about to strengthen the sets we have if it's busy.
The ice cream fridge is stocked up so you can indulge yourselves if it's nice and sunny! (or even if it's not!)
On Saturday we have our first Birthday Party of the year so that will give us a good practise for Sunday.... 

Then on Saturday 11th May, we have had a kind invitation to the Halesworth Club's Open day so a few of us are going across there for a fun day out, which will be very welcome.


17th April and Hotspur stripped down ready for ???
Photos: Brian M