The Spinney Light Railway

Winter 2008 2009

Dingly Sidings

No Sidings

The Dingly Down Sidings are laid on non standard thin rail and thin sleepers. Ever since the webminder joined the railway in the early 1980s it was noted that these sleepers were deteriorating and required replacing
The years passed and sleepers deteriorating became sleeper missing, but still other track work seemed more important. But soon no loco would venture into the sidings and last year (2008) when stock was pushed in, there were so many missing sleepers that derailment was certain.
Thus, led by Tom, (LOOK LEFT, No Sidings!) we see the work to relay the sidings has just started.

A Fearsome Start to January


The start of January 2009 was very cold. The residual water in the pump to the water tower froze, splitting part of the mechanism.

The picture on the right shows the scene on the first working day. Not many people came, though some S & T snuggled into Bay Tree box.

Mike Hack captured this image which gives something of the feel of the day.

And Then It Snowed

Bay Tree Snow

In the first week of February the snow came down in serious quantities. Schools were closed, airports shut down and the old Southern Railway part of the full size railway network gave up as the conductor rail went below snow level.

The picture shows it would have been impossible to do much work on the Spinney Railway even if we could get there, so the first working day in February was cancelled.

When the sun shone it LOOKED beautiful.

Tree Down

Tree Down

On March 7th the team found the top of the branch blocked by this fallen tree.

Lumberjack Dave Marsh did not get out his chain saw but developed muscle in sawing the tree up with a bow saw whilst others cleared the wood away.

Look at my New Railway

Bay Tree Box

Robin was in charge of this work to completely re-lay outside Bay Tree Box and we see him surveying the completed project.

The Work included bonding and insulated block joints to provide more track circuits.

New point machines for the siding and the cross over are yet to be manufactured when this photograph was taken but they will arrive eventually.

And Deep Down ....

Deep Down

John took charge of the cutting relaying.

Here we see the team contemplating the alignment. All the ballast and sleepers were renewed and a great deal of effort was put in to making the gradient constant.

Another part of the work was major 'gardening' getting rid of the ivy on the cutting wall and the briars drooping down from above. The picture was only possible after this clearing was done.

Marathon in Bay Tree Box

Bay Tree Box Bay Tree Box
Before After

Geoff was in charge of this project and because of the limited space in the box the work fell heavily on him. No one else could get in! We owe Geoff special thanks for the extra days he gave the project quite apart from the regular working days.

The objective was to tidy up the wiring which, like Topsy, had just growed . We now have drawings and key contacts available in the circuits to assist with fault finding.

Thanks also to Geoff's colleagues Mike H, Richard and Bob (who happened to be in the picture below taken by Mike H.

Bay Tree Box

Alan's Birthday Water Tower Installed

The first time!

This one has crept in even though it was actually taken on the first running day.

Glyn Dando made this water tower as a birthday gift for Alan A in 2008 with all the team contributing to the costs.

Installation was finally completed on the first running day of 2009 by Alan S & Nick, I am told that Nick alone is trusted to mix mortar to Alan S's satisfaction. What an accolade!

And The Rest....

Eventually the reader runs out of steam and the other jobs done this winter must be collected in a list. Old Oak points adjusted (David D), New point machines (Alan S, David G) , Spot re sleepering (Robin et al) , Signal rebuilding (Alan A), Signal lenses renewed (Cliff and Mike B). Distant repeater signal for the uphill branch, sited at the bottom of the hill (Richard and Adrian). Thanks to everyone; tell me what else I must add.

Team 2009

Team 09

Back Row, Left to Right, Alan S, Tom, Darren, Nick, Alan A, Cliff, June, Richard, Geoff.
Front, Adrian, Mike H, David D, Dave, Alec, Shaun, Mike C, Phoebe.
And Eileen Grant manages to get her nose in!

Missing David G (behind camera), Bob, Robin, Mike B,
John M and Glyn, (honorary Country Friend)