The Spinney Light Railway

2016 - 2017
Another Carriage Shed Winter

Carriage Shed Progress

“carriage “Carriage

The picture on the left shows where we had got to by the end of summer 2016 with the brickwork almost complete. Nevertheless, the part remaining was to finish the tapered gable end - a challenge to our amateur skills. To finish we laid whole bricks beyond the taper edge which Alan S cut to line with a heavy angle grinder. Thus the brickwork was not finally finished until February 2017.

The Woodwork

“carriage “carriageshed26”
“carriageshed29” “carriageshed28”

From late February to April Alan A and Alan S became carpenters with DG labouring. The sound of the nail gun (too like a pistol shot?) and the circular saw could occasionally be heard. 'Occasionally', because there were long pauses for thought as to how to persuade the wood into the geometry required. This was not work that required many bodies and the three friends above largely worked alone but Mike C and Tom deserve mention coming to join in when the high roof ridge (in two pieces) was put in place.

Carriage Shed Trackwork


The picture shows Robin dealing with a point that will lead to the carriage shed. This track is required to give access to the loco loading bay, needed for summer 2017.
The line was put in place although once we can lay track into the shed more adjustment may be required. The Smith family have been hard at work on the pointwork.

The Cutting

“Jamie “Dave

Cleared Cutting

David D, Dave MB and Jamie were the main contractors for this project which rather grew as the winter wore on.

In February the team started what was expected to be routine clearance of rubbish in the cutting but the quantity of muck mixed with the ballast turned the job into quite a challenge.

The track through the tunnels and the cutting is laid on a concrete base; however the base is not flat and ballast is required for an even gradient. This ballast appears to have been applied to excess and Dave M spent many (happy?) hours bringing dirty ballast to his base at Old Oak where he washed and riddled it.

Somewhat less ballast now remains in the cutting with a clean path either side of the track and rotted sleepers replaced.

Engine Shed Approach
and Controversy!

A point was recovered when the Old Oak layout was simplified to make way for the carriage shed. Mike C thought it could be put to good use making a run round loop of one of the Dingly sidings and thus he led a team installing the point next to the water tower.

“Engine “Engine

After the point was laid, other friends voiced concern about the safety of the situation and, while some of the folk enthusiastic about the loop line were absent, arranged the installation of a bufferstop so that traffic between shed and Dingly remains confined to the existing track. Good news is that the short siding facing the engine shed is useful as engines are moved about the shed and the steaming bays.

For the summer of 2017 there is not an issue as the line will be required for parked stock until the carriage shed is ready but look out for more news in the future.

Point Issues Addressed


Robin has been hard at work at home making replacement point parts.

Most significantly the 'nose' where the main wear occurs. The 'nose' is a vee shaped piece of metal which wheels strike after being unsupported.

The picture shows Robin and Richard near the tunnel mouth, installing the new parts and adjusting check rails etc.

New Point Machine


At Old Oak, the yard end of the pair of points leading to the yard had been giving trouble. Tim took the opportunity to provide one of his fine new point machines pictured on the left. An unfortunate issue was the new motor provided by David G was slightly too wide for the design so the old electric motor was re-used. The electric motors are difficult to source and a small design change for new machines may be required in the future.

At the end of the winter the point had yet to be installed so watch out for an item in the records of summer 2017 to learn the end of the story.

Other tasks undertaken

Rot at the bottom of signal posts


Tim, with other colleagues, took on the task of replacing the bases of several signals. Those mentioned in the News were the up Bay Tree platform starting signals, the splitting distant on the main and the shunt signal to depart from Old Oak yard

The picture shows Tim and Peter dealing with the Bay Tree platform starter.



Richard continued with the never ending tasks of securing track circuit bonds and other loose trackside wires whilst Bob continued with his project to enhance Dingly.

However, perhaps the most significant enhancement for the railway was to provide plug couplers for the block instruments in the signal boxes. This will make bringing in these valuable and vulnerable instruments much easier and safer in the future.

And here we are :

Group photo 2017

Group photo this year was taken at the carriage shed at Old Oak.
Photo shows left to right :
Back row, inside carriage shed : Alan A, Alan S, David G
Mid Tim, David D, Nick, Robin, Mike H, Dave MB, Peter, Cliff, June, Dave M, Mick C
Front row: Jamie, Henry, Bob, Millie and Sophie.
Not on show were Adrian, Alec, Heather, Richard and Tom.

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