Friday, 27 June 2014

Mid Summer update

Laurel sidings area in the lovely sunshine on Wednesday 25th June

We can't believe that we are halfway through 2014 already, doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself! Still steady progress being made on the railway with the end nearly in sight on Hotspur's new boiler re fitting tasks, and it could be that a pressure test isn't too far away!!! We are really looking forward to seeing all THREE steam locos in action! wow!!! 

'Hotspur'  beginning to look smart again!

We have a little work to do on Isabel as there is something not quite right with her valve gear timing, and we were given some valuable advise from our Friends from the Norwich Club when they visited the other week, so hopefully we can put this right and have her 100% again soon. Lucille's injector, which has been a bit 'iffy', has been cleaned out so this should enable her to be fully fit again!. 
We had to fit a new amplifier to the Shay's sound module as 'someone', (yes, OK it was me !!!) connected the battery up the wrong way round, and there was an almighty bang, and a burnt out amp!!!! We have now altered the wiring so the battery leads can be only be connected the right way, so hopefully this won't happen again!!!!
We were pleased to be able to welcome the Rackheath Bombers Toddle Group last Wednesday when some 25 youngsters and their folks had their Annual 'Toddle' around the perimeter of the site to raise funds for the Barnardos Charity. Stories, refreshments and train rides followed and a good time was enjoyed by all despite the dampish morning!!!
We have started to excavate the trackbed for the proposed  lengthened headshunt down at Laurel sidings, so this can be ready for the necessary trackwork alterations to be implemented once this year's Open Days are finished. 
Excavation and edging boards going in on the new headshunt.
The metalwork for our new, longer, offloading ramp has arrived, so that should keep the Boys occupied for an hour or two?????

Next weekend, we are expecting the Boys from the Halesworth Club to come along for a 'play' with their 'Sweet Williams' and this year also a Romulus too!! Looking forward to that!!!!

View across the loco shed area
All photos: Brian M

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Boys Are Back !

The Boys enjoying a drink at Rawtenstall on the East Lancs
A Dave Jones photo
Yes, seven of us had a great weekend in West Yorkshire and managed to fit in some good visits. We travelled on the Keighley & Worth Valley (pretending to be the Old Gentlemen waving to the Railway Children.... somewhere!), interesting shed tour too!), 

A newly arrived visitor for the Diesel Gala weekend on the K&WVR
a ride on the East Lancs Railway with powerful, smart, speedy, saddle tank in charge (ex WD 'Sapper'), no shed visit unfortunately, but the Transport Museum at Bury was very interesting.

Sapper leaving Bolton Street Station at Bury on the East Lancs
and Embsay & Bolton Abbey (very damp !!!! great shed tour), but no seven and a quarter line working (rubbish weather????)

A very smartly turned out 'Beatrice' on the Embsay Railway
 followed by a 'Pondys' Mystery Tour round the Yorkshire Dales, (we even managed to see the Ribblehead Viaduct on the S & C complete with train), before heading back to our comfortable and friendly Ibis Hotel (Bradford) in Shipley. 
Our thanks to the Brighouse Crew for their warm welcome on Thursday evening where we had a great time driving, chatting and having a good look round, thanks Martyn, Brian & Co, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with you! 
Brian explaining the BNSF diesel's controls to Brian (Moi!) (heaven!)
Victoria coming out to play!
Thanks also to the Wakefield Club Crew who made us welcome on Sunday as we headed back home, a good break for a look at their set up, which again is very interesting and  we saw some lovely locos, especially the Darjeeling loco! 

The lovely Darjeeling loco just unloaded at the Wakefield Club
So, another great weekend with plenty of inspiration.....where next year Chaps??????


We should also mention our visit to Blackgates Engineering in Dewsbury on the way up where we purchased injectors, flue brushes and stuff for our locos, and where we  met Phil who said why not pop in to the Wakefield Club on Sunday as they would be running, and we did , thanks Phil!!!

Monday, 2 June 2014

This 'n that


Roy's Class 40 coming onto the ALR metals ready for turning on Wednesday 28th May 2014

 Hi there
We were very pleased with our June Open Day yesterday, lovely sunny afternoon, plenty of happy visitors, but not too many, so we had time to chat! All our stock got a run out and in spite of one or two problems with Isabel during the week, the Boys managed to keep her going, mostly, along with Lucille, Thunderbox, General, The Shay and Nelson. Sergeant also had a little trundle with Ben & James, on a 'photo' mission, but more of that some other time !!!!!

 Happy Boys preparing for the Open Day

 and Mr Ball doesn't usually look so happy with Welsh flags ????? new leaf AL?

Dave and Ray were busy on Friday and Saturday relaying the track along the Tunnel section, which was sitting on top of the ballast, we noticed during the week, when our visitors from the Nottingham Club came for a play with Roy's wonderful Class 40 (what a sound that loco has !), and his lovely coaches, and Keith's Class 08. Was nice to see Tony and Liz coming over for the day too! It's the first time we have had a full 'standard' gauge train on the circuit! We had a great day with several of us being allowed to drive the 40, thanks Roy & Dennis, very generous of you, and much appreciated. It was great to see the big smiles all round, even Tony had a go !!!!

Tunnel section track being relaid with AH 'Supervising'!

The louvre unit is placed on the new shed roof, and will be secured once we are happy it's in the right position, we are painting the pit floor and part wall with bitumen paint to keep the floor dry, (we pumped about 120 litres out on Wednesday morning, (thanks Ben!) after 24 hours of rain! Blimey!), but it was almost dry on Saturday so we thought we would get a coat on!

The loco shed louvre in place

Ray continues, with help from others it has to be said, on putting Hotspur back together again, and we are looking forward to having three steam locos available, wow!!!! but we are not saying when, just yet , are we Ray ?????

 Ray at his 'desk' with Isabel this time!

and, things don't stay as they are for long here, for a plan has emerged to put a longer head shunt siding in at Laurel Sidings, accessed by a facing point off the main line and then returning 60 feet or so along the main line just before the 'tunnel'. Tape measures have been out and lengths of track and edging boards laid down to see if there's room, and there is , so watch this space!!!!!

and, finally, seven of us are heading North early on Thursday morning, West Yorkshire bound, on our 'Annual Boys Weekend Away', (thank you Ladies! xxx) to see what we can find. Our base this year is Shipley and we have several visits planned, of which more details when we return!!!!

Posed on the bridge

                  Heading for the bridge

                                                             and Keith about to set off with his super little Class 08