Thursday, 29 October 2015

Pottering time !

The Gnomes being collected for their trip into the warm from a leafy Tunnel!

Driverless 'General' trundles into the station
Yesterday was a bit damp, a gloomy, mild, Autumn day which gave us the chance to have more than a bit of a 'mardle', and a few relaxing cuppas during the morning, during which time several 'good ' ideas were tabled !!!!! (some we might do, some we might not !!!!) Then the rain stopped, so we popped out with General (in quiet mode!), the open wagon and a coach, to take in the signs, the gnomes and the fairies, which are all now stored away for the winter in the shed, cosy and warm!!!! The signals and the cameras will follow soon, all being checked and 'maintained' as necessary before also being stored away for the Winter.;

Cleaning time for the signs before being stored away
Photos: Brian M
We have made a start on the carriage maintenance, with the locos to follow, and there is plenty of 'tweaking' to do out on the track, so that will keep us occupied, but no pressure !!!!  and we must see if we can get the 'Ticket office' lined out too !!!!!!

Have  a good Halloween and Bonfire night, keep safe !!


A night time photo of  'Little Olive' resting during the October running day
Photo: Chris Bedwell

Monday, 19 October 2015

Fun Running in the dark !

Our Four visitors with their lovely locos ready for action!
Photo: Brian M
We had a great day on Saturday when our Friends from Suffolk came over ....again!!!! (I do believe they like it at the ALR!)....with their two 'Sweet Williams' , (Holkham and Little Olive), and the 'Romulus', 'Remus'. After a leaf clearing (nice leaves!) session with the help of our leaf blower machine, (wonderful piece of kit, if a little noisy!!!!), we ran lots of trains during the afternoon into the dark, which is very spooky and great fun with the red and green signal lights showing well in the darkness. 'General', 'The Shay', and 'Chieftain' came out to play too. We had a good turnout of some 25 happy folks and a good time was had for our last running session for the year, a great way to finish.We also enjoyed very tasty Fish and Chips from the local Chippie which rounded the evening off nicely.
We were impressed with the electric pumps the guys had fitted to their Sweet Williams and will be trying the idea on our steamers, which certainly make filling the boiler and topping up if injectors are playing up, easy!!!! We were also impressed with the LED lighting strips used on the locos which are very effective......Well done Chasps!! 
We are pleased to report that Isabel was steamed up succesfully on Wednesday and had a little trundle round 'Tunnel' section. All seems well apart from a couple of tweaks required, so once they are sorted we will be able to get the loco certificated again, good news!.
We have also put separate 12 volt batteries on General and Chieftain to prevent battery draining problems we encountered on Open Day after the sound units were fitted, both working nicely, great sounds !!!!

Young George in charge of things in the Signal Box
Photo: Jane Dewbery

You don't often get a photo of the Shay with Yours Truly driving !! Looks a bit serious?
Photo: Jane Dewbery


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Happy Sun Day !!

'Remus' and 'Holkham' in view from the station
We had a lovely afternoon for our last Open Day for this year with lots of happy visitors (and Operating crews!) enjoying the  lovely sunshine. Thank you all for coming, it was lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves on this lovely Autumn day. All went more or less OK, just a couple of 'whoopsies', but nothing desperate, so we were happy Boys and Girls! Our Friends from Suffolk came over again with 'Holkham' and 'Remus', (think they enjoyed themselves ???!!!), and we used Lucille, General, Thunderbox, The Shay, Chieftain, and Sergeant during the afternoon, so there was a good variety to please our visitors, and us ! We are quite impressed, as we hope our visitors were ?, with the sound units (MTronics) we have fitted to 'Chieftain' (Class 37 sound) and General (Class 31 sound), they certainly bring the locos to life, although it is good to be able to turn them off if you wish !!!!! (and, of course if we get fed up with those we can always buy more 'chips' with different sounds !!!! very impressive )

'Thunderbox'  on its way past the signal box
So, onwards with the tidying up and winter maintenance over the coming months, we have our last loco visiting day next weekend which will enable us to have another fun day with our Suffolk Friends, running into the dark, followed by F and C from the local chippie, looking forward to it!

'Chieftain' comes past the headshunt at Laurel Sidings
All photos: Brian M


Thursday, 1 October 2015

Much Fun Time !

A busy station area during our 'Play' afternon
Photos: Richard Neale
Hi, we are now beginning to enjoy the fruits of our labours over the past 15 years .(! yep, really). Last Saturday we decided to run some trains after lunch as it was such a lovely day, but instead of just running trains around the usual circuits, we thought it would be fun to introduce a bit of variety into the session. So the drivers (and Guards) were asked to drop off a wagon here, pick up a coach there, drop another here, shunt the wagons into a siding etc etc etc. It was chaos, but great fun and we had a great time trying to sort it all out! Most of the stock ended up in the station area, when we stopped for a cuppa, where it was quite congested!!!!. Anyway all agreed that it was great fun and with a bit more 'forethought' we could have some really good running sessions, and we will definitely be doing that again!
Work continues on replacing track edging boards where they are rotting or damaged, concentrating at the moment in the Lake area. 2" deep treated boards are being inserted instead of the 4" deep ones we have used in the past, and the electric saw has been very busy cutting many, many pegs to hold the boards in place.
'Viceroy' in charge of the 'work train' last Wednesday
Another exciting event is that 'Chieftain' now has a sound unit fitted (good work yesterday Boys!) and it really brings the loco to life!. We were all very impressed with Roy Hollingsworth's excellent Class 40 when he visited, in which he had fitted an 'MTronics' sound module, and so DJ decided to obtain one for 'Chieftain, think he is a bit pleased !!!!!!
If you come along to our last Open Day for this year on Sunday (4th October) 2 til 5 pm, you will be able to hear it. Can you identify which loco sound it is? (we'll give you a clue, it's a British loco!!). We have two visiting steam locos again, so plenty of variety and the weather forecast is promising so we are hoping for a good afternoon.
Maybe we'll see you there ?????

'Chieftain' having its sound module fitted