Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Atlas



Atlas is a Maxitrak ‘Planet 2’ 0-4-0, 700-watt battery electric loco, purchased by ALRC member, Randy Gourdie, and delivered to the ALR on 4 July 2018. The loco is based on the 2ft gauge light industrial locomotives manufactured by F.C. Hibbard and Co at their Park Royal works in London. These engines were common in industrial service, both narrow and standard gauge, and were found at many naval dockyards.
The model features an all steel bonnet and full cab and incorporates the distinctive Planet radiator and makers plates.  The loco is also fitted with spring suspension, full electronic control and a wealth of detail.
The loco was mainly introduced to haul the ‘maintenance of way/work’ trains on the ALR and is a powerful little loco that is proving to be a popular addition to the ALR fleet.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Hello



'Nelson' waits !
We are pleased to report that we had an excellent Open Day on 2nd, with a good turnout of happy visitors, quite a few who hadn't been before, and we hope they (you ??) will come again ! 'Little Olive'  and 'Remus' came over so their drivers could have a good afternoon out, which they did, but 'Little Olive' threw a tantrum and had to be withdrawn, nothing too serious, but a little job for Chris to attend to back home ! We also had a visit from some folks from over Brandon way who came to see our turntable! We haven't found it yet, but they were very interested in the three way point that is being constructed in the workshop, (nearly finished) and they had very kindly brought us a lovely cake and biccys, which were thoroughly enjoyed by the Gang. Thank you......There are lots of very nice people about!

'Little Olive' awaiting steaming up time

and 'Remus also waiting its turn to play !


















We had another very pleasant surprise when a lovely miniature traction engine rolled up the drive, in full steam, with young Thomas Potter in charge, along with Dad, Andy. This lovely engine spent the afternoon with us and received many complimentary comments. Andy has been promising to bring it over and so it was good to see it in action at last. Came all the way under its own steam (yes, really)

Thomas about to depart for home from the ALR.
We had 'General', 'Chieftain', 'Prospero', 'Hotspur', 'Isabel', The Shay and 'Nelson' out during the afternoon and all did well, although 'Hotspur' got tired again and had no puff left later on, out in the 'boondocks' at signal 10, so 'Nelson' went round to do a 'Thunderbird' job and pushed the train back into the station, much to the amusement of the passengers ! Another first for the ALR!
and....you don't see this often (cos I'm usually taking the piccys! cheers Pierre) but here is 'moi' with my family enjoying time with the Shay during our September Open Day 

About to depart with the Mason/Aldous Express!
Photo: Peter Hodges

Peter and Pierre took 'Prospero' over to the Whitwell and Reepham Railway last Sunday at the invitation of the Boys and Girls out there, who are building a 71/4" line in the 'top field'. After some problems getting water into the boiler, the loco (and driver) did OK


The ALR's  'Peter and Pierre preparing 'Prospero
and had several trips along the short, but graded and curved line out and back. The line is in its early days but there is plenty of scope there and we look forward to watching the progress that the youngsters (mostly!) achieve. It was good to see Kay and friends from the Evergreens Railway paying a visit, and also a 'family' contingent from Great Eastern Models made an appearance !!!! There were seven ALRC members visiting the site, which is full of interest and well worth a visit ! This is the first time a loco from the ALR has been taken to another railway, and there is interest in repeating the exercise, so watch this space.
A good contingent of members enjoyed a tasty meal at a local hostelry recently, and had a pleasant evening eating, drinking and chatting!
So. plenty going on as always
TTFN







Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Hello again

Well there's a lovely old song 'Its a long long, time, from May to December'.......well not this year ! Twill be September on Saturday, yes it will, and so another Open Day on Sunday 2nd September, if you recall ? Trains will be running from 2 til 5 if the weather behaves, and it will !! hope to see you there. Should be 3 or four steamers out and our usual array of other locos, looking forward to it.
We had a nice evening visit recently, from our friends of the 'Top Field' railway at Reepham & Whitwell, who are building a 71/4" line, and a pleasant evening was had riding the trains and having a good old 'mardle', think they were impressed, we still are !! We look forward to visiting them in September, when Peter plans to take along his 'Prospero' for a trundle round their track! Nice to welcome Ann and Mark from Great Eastern Models during the evening too.
Our track and points are back in action following one or two problems which meant we couldn't have a Fun and Visiting locos day on 19th August. Our point motors are due for a good old overhaul and even replacement as they have been whirring away for 14 or 15 years now, not bad for cheap screwdriver motors eh? The S and T Boys are planning a methodical  approach, (really?) over the winter checking and sorting the point motors out, replacing where necessary, including having a spare one made up for a quick changeover should the need arise during a Public running session. 
We have, at long last, started our 'Steam Loco Management' sessions, being run by Alan and Keith, which is enabling several of our members to learn what is involved in driving and looking after a miniature steam loco. We would like to record our thanks to Brian Baker and Brian Reading for their help in setting these sessions up for us.
Pierre getting to know 'Hotspur'



Ricardo leaves the station ....tenderly!




























After many discussions (and we are very good at them !), and visits to other railways, we are now planning and costing up the use of plastic sleepers, starting with the Lake section, which is the wettest part of the ground on the railway. So, all being well we will be making a start during the 'close season', should be an interesting exercise? Watch this space.....  
We have also made a start on fabricating another three way point to give us more siding space down at Laurel Sidings, which will enable us to have two steaming roads outside the shed, and additional siding space needed on running days when things can get interesting down there! 

The new three way being set up to get the correct alignment at Laurel Sidings
The Umbrella Special leaving the station with John Buckingham driving and Tyler guarding
Photo: Peter Hodges
..and on Sunday we helped our Chairman celebrate a forthcoming 'significant' birthday, when some 50 invited friends enjoyed a lovely Hog Roast with all the trimmings, and just a short ride round the track as it was a rubbish afternoon with much precipitation (like it was rather inclement to be polite!), but that didn't dampen the spirits, oh no, brilliant afternoon, very enjoyable. Thanks to John and Jane for all their efforts in making for great afternoon....




Guests mingling in the Clubroom
Photos: Brian M or as noted

















So, we think that's just about brought you up to date, see you soon.....and keep smiling !
TTFN 

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Summertime....continues!


Well, what a Summer we are having, temperatures reached 39/40 degrees on Thursday and Friday last week, talk about Costa del Cromer !!!!! but we have had some cooler days and some rain which is badly needed, but the temperatures are picking up again now so we should have a nice Open Day this coming Sunday 5th August. There is the prospect of having five steam locos in action, with maybe an appearance of Randy's lovely little 'Atlas' loco, which is proving to be a big hit with us all. So, should be good.

'Atlas' with its smart lettering in place (well done Ben!) stands in the loco shed on 28th July
The S and T Boys have further improved the interlocking protection on routes coming into the platforms thereby preventing any conflicting movements, which it was noted during the recent Fun Day, was still possible in some instances !!!!! The concreting of the Lakeside crossing is completed, we think, and the Boys are connecting back the track circuit wiring, so we should have it all working to check on Saturday. 
Concreting operatives in action

Civil engineering plant at the Lakeside crossing site 1st August
A blitz was made on tree and bush trimming as they still continue to shoot up at an amazing rate, in spite of the dry weather, although the sweat (forgive me) from the Lads must have helped to stimulate some more growth. 
We have both Green and Lesser spotted woodpeckers around as well as the buzzards and the occasional kite. (no Dave, it's too windy for your drone, Mate!)
We will be looking forward to visiting the Parklands Railway over at Hemsby on Tuesday next to enjoy their trains, company and BBQ, always a good afternoon.

So, that brings you up to date, must fly, things to do, keep smiling


TTFN



Randy brings 'Atlas' carefully through the station alongside 'Chieftain'

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Phew !!!!!

Well, what a Summer we are having, really hot, and no sign of any rain yet ?
Our July Open Day was good, quite warm and busy, but not too busy, so there was time to chat and mingle, which we like to do. All ran well, and Dave come up to help with 'Remus' again, so we had an enjoyable afternoon. Thank you for coming to see us.....

'Atlas' newly arrived at Ashmanhaugh 4th July
Photo: Brian M

We are very pleased that we have a new arrival at the railway, as one of our members has purchased a super little loco from Maxitrak, an 0-4-0 Planet 2 diesel outline, battery powered loco, which is proving to be a very capable and strong loco, mostly being used on our 'work' trains, so far, but powerful enough to do the occasional passenger run? The loco is to be named 'Atlas'  in recognition of its strength! and Randy, the proud owner, is 'tickled pink', a very Happy Bunny!

Randy having a drive on his new loco
Photo: Peter Harvey


Out on the track, looking the part!
Photo: Brian M
'Prospero' has been up to Station Road Steam for  its springs to be changed for stronger ones, and we look forward to seeing the loco in action out and about again.

We are still working away on the track to ensure it is in tip top condition, and we are about to concrete a 'vehicle' crossing down at the lake, so we can get stuff across the track in the lake area without damaging the track. The 'S and T ' Boys are also working away at maintaining and improving the system we have ,and are looking at providing some more interlocking to prevent conflicting movements.
...and, of course the bushes and trees are still growing in spite of the dry conditions, so this work is ongoing, as always!


The 'work' train coming back into the station after a busy day out on the line
Photo: Brian M
 TTFN

Monday, 25 June 2018

Summertime



The steam drivers having a chat whilst steaming up under the shed canopy
Hello there, we are still here, but been very busy with this 'n that, so just found some time to update you on the latest happenings on and off the railway.
Our May Open Day was very successful, thank you for coming to see us. All went well and we thoroughly  enjoyed the afternoon. 'Isabel', 'Remus' and 'Little Olive' provided the steam power and we also had General, Chieftain, and The Shay  out and about.

John brings a train out of the station with 'Chieftain'
The works train including the new tool van was on display in the Tunstead Road siding, for all to admire and at long last our track gang Boys are using a loco to take out the wagons and tool van to where they are working on the track, mostly in the Lake area recently, where the generator is providing power as required.


Ray 'supervising' Randy on trackwork duties


The 'work' train with 'Viceroy' at the flat crossing


We have altered the ashpan bottom plate on 'Isabel' so it can 'hinge' down when required to lose ash during the afternoon so we don't  get a build up of very hot ash and clinker, which is not good for the grate ! This should mean that we don't have to drop the grate over the pit after each session which will make life a bit easier for the drivers after a hard afternoon's driving !!!!!! It was tested last Wednesday and worked well. So we may do the same on 'Hotspur' ?
'Prospero' is unserviceable at the moment due to very soft springing which is causing the brake gear to foul the track and sleepers now and then, resulting in a derailment. Stiffer springs are being provided by Station Road Steam, which we hope will solve the problem, so until then, the loco is being 'rested'!
Gardening, of  course, continues and all is looking tidy.......
Last weekend five of us popped down to the South Coast to ride some trains and had a great weekend on the Moors Valley, Swanage, Eastleigh, Mid Hants and the Isle of Wight railways. Good weather, great trains, excellent hosts on each, comfy hotels and good food with a few beers, what more could the Guys want!
Hope to see you on Sunday 1st July(surely not another month gone?), when we will be open to the Public with trains running from 2 til 5 pm....

TTFN
'Hotspur' comes through the station with Keith in charge during our June Open Day






Thursday, 31 May 2018

We are ready!

Hi there, well after having to cancel our May Open day, unfortunately, due to the waterlogged state of the car parking areas, all is well now and we are ready for our Open Day this Sunday June 3rd. We will have the usual array of locos and stock out and about and our Friends are bringing Romulus and Little Olive to help out, thanks guys , we know you like it here  !!!!!
Our posh new Tool Van is complete now and should be on display with our other 'work' vehicles forming an impressive (for us) train, which soon, we hope will have its very own loco to haul it round the track.....more on that one soon.





The new Tool Van ready to go



We had a good Fun Day on 19th May when Remus and Little Olive joined in and a good day was enjoyed by all

















Add caption
...and earlier this week we had a visit from some of the folks from Echills Wood who are down here for Parklands week, and they had an enjoyable time with us. We hope to welcome them with an engine or two in the future !


The 'special' arriving back at the station with Kevin, Vera, Peter and our good friend Brian B.


...and finally a few of us popped across to Hemsby to experience their Parklands week activities again and enjoyed seeing some interesting locos and meeting up with friends old and new (enjoyed the bacon butties, thanks Vera!). Well done to all the Parkland Boys and Girls, excellent once again!













TTFN




Happiness is.....a Fun Day on the ALR !
















Saturday, 12 May 2018

All's well Here

Hi There
Well all is dried out again now, shame we had to cancel our first 2018 Open day, disappointing, but there we go, can't afford to churn up the car park area, which was still to wet on Saturday! We have had so much rain that the ground was saturated and was just not draining away, hey ho.
So, (have you noticed this is the standard response these days when someone is asked a question, they reply...so,........etc etc etc !)...we have been busy as always finishing off some jobs that weren't...and doing others as necessary....the loco shed canopy is now finished and providing good shelter and shade for crews lighting up locos, 


The two Johns finishing off the loco shed canopy










                                                                                                                                                                
....and the track is suffering some serious expansion joint tweaking, 

Randy busy tweaking track on the back straight

....and the signals and track detection circuits are being serviced and improved as necessary, the platform is deweeded and ready for re sanding, 'Hotspur' has its side tanks back on,

Johnny B working on Hotspur

...and the grass is cut with our latest 'toy' which is a really good piece of kit,

Peter on grass cutting duties

...and the platform water tank is complete and we have to say looks very good! (but we are a bit biased!), 

Voila !! C'est  termine

...and we are just about to start the repainting/staining of the platform fencing,(oh yes we are are Boys !). The stock is all ok, so we are good to go, we have a Fun/Visiting Locos Day  on Saturday next, so we will give some the trains a run round to test everything out and give a few more members a chance to train up (oops, sorry!) on some task on their 'bucket' list ????.....

TTFN

and Sue's corporate tea cosies, lovely, thank you Sue.
All photos Brian M







Thursday, 3 May 2018

May Open Day Cancelled

Hi

Please note that our May 6th Open Day this coming Sunday is cancelled due to the extremely waterlogged ground.....


TTFN

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Sunshine update



Our new time piece !

Well who would have thought it would turn so warm so quick? but this is England and we are not complaining, (not just now anyway!). We have the Loco shed canopy structure in place ready for the roof sheeting to be fitted, 

















the replacement water storage tank is in position and commissioned, and is producing lovely clean water! 

Our new water storage facility at Laurel Sidings shed

The platform water tank is about to have its timber boarding attached, 


Platform water tank in progress
the 'little people' are out ready to wave as you go by, the track is nearly all tweaked, the new unloading area gate is done,


















....the signals are out, and the Ticket Office and the Signal Box are being treated to a coat of green and cream stain, the grass is being cut. ....and yesterday we saw a Buzzard gliding about so they are back, wonderful sight (where do they go in the Winter?????)
We have our first practise day on Saturday so we can check that everything is working.....five work days to go !!!!!!!

TTFN