Spinney Light Railway Archive News
Winter 2010 / 2011

Last Working Day May 21st

Team 2011 - the annual photograph

Team 2011

Standing,     David Daines, Mike Collins, Robin Smith, Adrian Allum, June Ainslie, Cliff Perry, Alan Ainslie, Mike Hack, Dave Marsh, Jamie Heath, Tom Zehetmayr, Alan Stephen.
Kneeling :     David Grant, Alec McCloskey, Scott and Tim Reynolds.
Very Front :     Phoebe and Hayden.
Missing : Geoff Bailey, Bob Thackery, Richard Stokes, Nick Smith.

The rest of the day


I have been meaning to get this picture all year.

Every railway day June is on hand to keep us refreshed with regular cups of tea, a task which also includes retrieving cups from all the odd corners where we happen to be working.

We would all like to say Thank you very much June!

Gantry ready to install

The left hand shot shows how near completion of the winter work we are.

Jamie is putting finishing touches to the starting signal gantry, whilst Adrian and Richard install point detection at one of the spring points.

In the background a final ballast train is also testing the layout by traversing all the points.

Testing the Turntable

Cliff was persuaded to - well we couldn't stop him - put Clan Line into steam. The picture shows the loco resting the turntable.

Getting a loco over all the new railway was actually an important last task since the locos are probably the most likely vehicles to be derailed by an imperfection in the track. Fortunately we can report no derailment.

Un photographed, Bob continued his marathon wiring session in Dingly box.

Tim's Dingly photograph Skilled Dave

Finally a picture of Dave M putting his skill to use keeping the platforms neat and safe. Yes safe! Over the years crumbling concrete takes its toll.

In the background of the left hand picture, your webminder kept himself happy, crimping daisy chains of wire for Bob. Not photographed Alan S finished the repair to the King after, with Mike C, seeing to some routing maintenance of the rolling stock and Alan A installed yet another water pump.

May 7th Working Day

Alan A making Dingly gantry.

The new Dingly Gantry

Once again Alan A toiled alone, this time finishing the new Dingly gantry.

You can just about make out the up Bay Tree distant and the down home signals leading to different platforms and the through siding, at Dingly.

Look, no levers.

Look No Levers at Bay Tree

Geoff continued his work whilst Andrew cleaned the removed levers. Between working days an unknown member of the Ainslie family painted the floor.


The Turntable is (almost) in.

The Tim and Mike team have re-installed the turntable to match the height of the track in the station. The position of the approach lines has been secured so that the turntable can be safely aligned to them.
And notice Alec putting a final touch as he installs a pedestrian walkway across the turntable approach.

Ballast Trains

Tons of Ballast Mike Driving

Throughout the winter we have delivered ballast by rail from the central ballast dump at the gate down to Dingly. On the left we see Scott with his loco and some trusty shovellers.

And, of course, Mr Collins who can never resist the opportunity to drive!

Progress not photographed

Alan S, David G and Bob T continued to install the point machines which, by the end of the day were all connected back to the signal box, whilst Richard set up several of the new signals. However, in the box much remains to do in wiring the interlocking circuits and the lever frame.

A quiet bonus project was Alan S re-assembling the King after its winter seizure.

Meanwhile our manager and inspiration, Robin, quietly moves between us to keep the project on target.

Someone kept bringing us tea. I can't think who.

May Day Visit to the Great Cockcrow Railway

What pulled them along

Shaun, Nick together with Dave and his family visited the Great Cockcrow Railway on May 1st and had the privilege of being hauled by this wonderful locomotive.

Hopefully, the photograph, taken that day, will remind them of a good visit.

April 16th Workday

Excited gentlemen Dave & Alec Scott shunts into Dingly

The last point was rebuilt and four point machines were mechanically connected.

About six plain track panels are still required; progress here was halted because we ran out of track screws. (If Tom Z reads this please contact June about the source of these screws.) Also there were no more cut sleepers.

Tim's son Scott brought his loco. A very nice machine that worked ballast and tool trains throughout the day. I'll get a better picture on the website soon.

Scott's Loco

Scott's Loco

Apparently I have a reader!

Hardly had I posted this update of our 'News' when Adrian (the reader) sent me this photograph of Scott's loco.

As you can see the loco really does look good and those of us who had a chance to drive thought it went well too.

April 2nd Workday

We continued laying track and cable. Target date for running set; see above.
Mike Collins had a birthday - here's the cake to prove it.

A harbinger of happy times to come was Dave M filling the boiler of the Black 5.

Another early Picture

Early Scot at Bay Tree

Scot on the ash drop

On the left it's the Scot at Bay Tree! On the right a recent photo of the Scot for comparison.

Clearly it's a long time ago since I have only known the Scot as a black engine after it was bought and fettled by Gordon Clark and Mike Carvell. (I started at Spinney round about 1980.) The running number on the old image is clearly 6109 so I guess they are the same engine.

Bay Tree looks identical to its present state except for the red engine shed door.

Alan Stephen noticed the smaller Fowler tender on the red locomotive. The present 6109 has a high sided Stanier tender. I vaguely recall hearing that Joseph BD commissioned a new tender when he bought the loco but ....???

I have e mailed Camden to request details.

Saturday March 19th

Relaid Engine Line Mar 19

To the left, we see that the relaying of the engine line was pretty much completed. Dave and Jamie are adding the finishing touches.

Raised Ashpit Line Mar 19

Mike, on the right, was in charge of raising the ash pit siding to match the raised level of Dingly station.

Dingly work in progress Ballasting and testing one of the new point machines

Dave Marsh has been brilliant in putting in extra days to repair the platforms at Dingly. The scale of the work can be seen in the left hand picture above.

The right hand picture shows Alec hard at work ballasting the re-laid pointwork whilst in the background Robin and Alan S discuss the position of one of the new cranked point machines.

The 19th of March was a beautiful sunny spring day. It was good have Cliff's wife Marian able to sit in the sun on Bay Tree station and watch Cliff work on Clan Line.

Extra Working Day March 13th

Bonus Day Mar 12

The photograph shows Robin, Nick, Tom and (most of) Phoebe building points in the triangle garden.

Almost hidden behind Robin is another figure. Is it Dave M? Alan A provided the photo and says Dave was present but was busy rebuilding the brickwork on Dingly platform.

Was there a mystery person present? Yes, it was Shaun; but it's Dave in the picture - he had run out of sand.

Quote from Alan A: "Almost a new platform and two new points!! Brilliant!" Well Done and Thank You to the 'Bonus Day' workers.

Working Day March 5th

March 5th 2011 1 March 5th 2011 2

Again no Webman (idly sunning himself on holiday) but Nik provided pictures.

Mike is working on the Dingly turntable. Part of the winter project is to raise the track in Dingly station, thus easing the gradient to Baytree. This means that the level of the turntable must be raised to match - hence Mike and Alan's efforts.

The second picture shows work progressing on the shed line.

Bonus March 5th Pictures from Alan Stephen

March 5th 2011 3 Marxh 5th 2011 4


I guess these pictures from Alan pretty much speak for themselves.

Did the turntable fit first time?

Working Day February 19th

19th feb2011 1 19th feb2011 2

19th Feb 2011 3

The Webman was on family duty so missed the day, and by the looks of the dark wet photographs he was lucky!

You can see the engine shed road has been lifted as has track in platform 1 and the centre siding.

Dave Marsh is i/c re laying the brickwork on platform 1 with engineering bricks and Mike Collins is i/c re building the turntable at a slightly higher level to match the re grading of the station tracks.

The King still requires re assembly.

Working Day February 5th

5th feb2011 1 5th feb2011 2

5th feb2011 3 5th feb2011 4

The pictures tell the story of progress in our various endeavours.

The good news is that after seven hours work Alan S and his assistants freed the king.
A few more hours will be required next time to re assemble the many parts that were dismantled to give the TWO seized piston the impacts that eventually dislodged them.

So we don't forget where Dingly signals used to be.

Old Dingly 1 Old Dingly 2

Working Day January 22nd

Loads of roots

Lots of folk here today and lots of progress.

The slip and 1½ points are now rebuilt ready to relay. Much head scratching about our ability to track circuit the slip without weakening it. (You need to cut the rail and rejoin with insulating fishplates in several places.) Digging out continued at Dingly.

The King
Sadly the mechanical team could not dislodge the seized centre cylinder with piston stuck on back dead centre. Intention is to steam the loco next time in the hope that the heat will dislodge the piston.

Branch Team
More progress illustrated on the right. There seemed to be more roots under the track than soil!

Bay Tree
Geoff continued his marathon in the signal box.

First Working Day of 2011

Missing Crossing

Well we have started! A small elite group attended and removed the single slip crossing at the approach to Dingly.

The pictures below show Alan S and Dave M rebuilding the removed crossing and Tim excavating the tree roots that have undulated the branch line.

Rebuilding of the crossing was about 75% when darkness overtook us.

No snow!

Rebuilding the crossing Tim smoothes the branch

Second Working Day of the Winter

Starting Dingly

Actually the second working day was cancelled due to snow so a special extra working day was held a week later. Here we see Robin, on the extra day, marking out the positions of the rebates required on the sleepers for the single slip, As you can see from the photo, Richard helped in the morning.

Robin and Alan A intend to do the rebating before the next working day so we can begin the delicate task of rebuilding the single slip.

David, who took the photo, spent the day undoing fishplates and disconnecting points.

Bonus below are two photos passed on by Richard showing the relay rack for Dingly and the signal box diagram.

New Dingly Rack New Dingly Diagram

First Working Day of the Winter

Tim, Scot and Nik T got the signals in and cleaned them up.
Dave M and Nick S moved the gantry to its new location.
Richard has done the diagram and also marked up where IBJs are needed. Bob T started on his wiring run thinking.
Alan A made ended the day covered in sawdust having made inroads into sleeper cutting.
That leaves Alan S and Robin who spent all day on sorting out levels. We think we have it cracked now using a combination of spirit level, laser level and hosepipe!
Have decided that turntable track and decking will be raised 50mm and the gradient from the crossing to the signal box will be a uniform 1:120.
But we forgot to drain the water and, for the third year running, we will (probably) have to repair our locomotive water system.

New Gantry Position New Gantry Position

New Gantry Position New Gantry Position

Pictures above are by Nik T.