The Spinney Light Railway News

Your Opportunity for Electronic Immortality

Tim's absence next time provides the chance for YOU to explode into print and demonstrate your literary skills.

You, yes YOU, can write the News after our next meeting!

If you provide text and pictures then DG will insert your work into THIS VERY PAGE
or, if you have software, you could create a webpage of YOUR OWN and DG will put a link here in the News.

To volunteer just write a group email saying you will have a go.

Go on. . . . you could do it . . . . you can do it!

11th June 2022


Good weather again and as far as operating the railway it was a very different kind of day, not seen before (see S & T news). Twelve friends today, so a good turnout and were:- Alan, June, plus Tim, Heather, David D, Dave M, Dave MB, David G (all the d's) Alan S, nick, Jaime, Henry, Andy and when Cliff arrived, we stopped for lunch, plus two visitors who bought along unusual motive power. We started with tidying the site, although Alan A and Andrew did a lot more cutting and pruning whist we attended to fixing faults and any other job that needed doing. I hope I have captured everyone and thanks to June for the teas and cakes.

Locomotive news

davembsteamingup alansandvisitor nickcrossing andy73115 cliffspinney heatherspinney

Eight Locomotives seen out today were, L94, Scott Line, Karen, Standard 73115, Charlie 33029, Clan Line and two visiting locomotives (see below). Dave MB steamed his 1420 but did not leave the yard as he had injector problems, which he has taken home to clean. It was good to see so many trains pulling coaches and it is the most we have seen trundling around the railway this year.


tramoldoak cromarspic2

We had two visitors from Barnards and they bought along an identical Cromar White loco and a tram. The tram had a very good detailed controller and seemed to pull the coaches without any issues. Also this is the first time I have seen a 7 1/4 locomotive driven remotely via a bluetooth connection. He said it had a one kilometre range and worked perfectly well in our tunnels. It was interesting to see a train work in the old southern push / pull mode. Maybe someone will do the same with a class 33/1 or 73 and coaches? They also bought along a Cromar White locomotive which was identical to the Spinney one, except theirs had more pulling power, probably due to the state of the batteries. Apparently only about 10 of these locomotives have survived.


familytrain davefamilyspinney

Dave M family joined us today and can be seen in the pictures above.

S & T news

signal18fault dinglybox

Lefthand picture shows Spinney signal number 18 being repaired after some red ants had turned the electrical connector into their nest which interfered with the signal operation. Hazardous for David G, Alan S and Nick as they bite. Spinney point number 7 leading to the branch needed a kick start but then remained in full working order for the rest of the day. Righthand picture shows the almost completed Dingly Signalbox with the walls and roof all cladded and the floor has had a screed laid, a lot of hard work on top of the wiring issues.

As I said at the beginning, a different day and this was because we did not have enough volunteers to operate the signal boxes. For the majority of the day, only Old Oak and Spinney were manned by David D as usual at Old Oak and David G and Nick at Spinney. This meant that when running round drivers had to pass all signals at danger from the level crossing, round to the junction up from the branch and therefore drove cautiously. Confusion did set in when the signals controlled by Baytree started to work and then stopped again as the signal box became unmanned again. Also, for a long while, no one was aware that Dingly Signalbox is back in use after a lot of hard work by Alan A and Andrew. For a brief period, David G manned Baytree whilst Nick covered Spinney and some trains did make it to Dingly. Old Oak is busier than before and Spinney was an endurance test to see how long you could signal trains for.

21st May 2022 First running day


Good weather for the first running day and a very good turnout with a lot achieved with with fourteen friends who were:- Alan, June, plus Tim, Heather, David D, Dave M, Dave MB, Mick, Alan S, Robin, Peter, Paul, Jaime, Henry, Andy and when Cliff arrived, we stopped for lunch, naturally. Cliff is not too well and we hope he gets better soon and David G said he could not attend (Not sure if he has a note from his Mum or not). Jobs on the agenda were, completion of Baytree platform, site clearing, signal connector replacement, Dingly signal box rewiring, track ballasting and new hydraulic ram for the unloading ramp. Left hand picture show Dave and Paul clearing the railway at Spinney. Heather cleaned the signal boxes except Dingly. Thanks to June for the teas and cakes and to Dave M and Jamie for some pictures.

baytreeplatformpic7 mickunloadingramp


Baytree had remaining two slabs cemented into place, grouting along the entire length, slabs trimmed to give a neat edge and track ballasted and all that needs to be done is the white line along the edge, anyone with a steady hand!! A very good effort to get it finished for the first running day, however the line was not used.

Mick, Alan S and I removed the old hydraulic ram and replaced it with a new one. Some work was required on the lugs to make it fit, but we now have a working unloading ramp. The plan is to remove the hydraulic ram when we take in the signals for winter storage.

Loco news

9ftesting l94and9f 20and08 08and9f

I bought my 9F for testing as I have replaced all the rod bushes. There is a tight spot and when hauled around the railway it was noticeable that on curves the locomotive became a drag. The loco did slightly free up by the end of the day. Last time I showed David D and Robin showing us their exercise routine and today I can show another fitness activity of hauling the 9F up and down through Spinney, very tiring. Dave M bought along his recently finished class 08 shunter which seemed to perform very well. Mick's class 20 was also out providing power for a ballast train and hauling the 9F, which he did not realise until we arrived at Old Oak that I was attached at the back of his freight train. Dave MB continued to investigate his lubrication problem with his 1420.

S & T news

peterbaytreesignal dinglycladding

Peter continued with his efforts to renew and replace signal connectors and fixing brackets and today he did the signals at the end of the Baytree platform at the signal box end. Alan A had spent some considerable time this morning with the Dingly signal box rewiring project. Alan has managed to speak to Bob for a considerable time and hopefully managed a step in the right direction and received some wiring diagrams. Unfortunately Bob has not been well, hence why we have not seen him, but if he can make it to Spinney we would all like to see him again. Alan changed from wiring and started to clad the interior as can be seen in the picture. As Dingly is not able to accept trains, we only ran from Old Oak to Spinney, through the tunnel and return to Old Oak. We had a number of signalling issues and by the end of the day we were passing most signals at danger. We need to test the signalling again at Spinney. Alan A found the exact height of one of the signal gantries and needed a plaster OUCH! Some good news is that the smell in Dingly signal box which was thought to be linked to a rodent, has been traced to the light shade. It has broken free and the shade was sitting on the light bulb and slowly burning causing a pungent smell.

Next time

Ballast the new siding at Old Oak and test the signalling as we had a few issues today. The next meeting is on the 11th June.

7th May 2022


Low on numbers today but an awful lot achieved with nine friends attending today and were:- Alan, June, Andrew, plus Tim, Heather, David D, David G, Dave M, Mick, Alan S, Robin and Peter. No Cliff today but to put on record he has put in out of hours activity by delivering the cement so we didn't run out - thank you. Heather has now beaten Cliff's arrival time and not getting to us until @14.45.

I start this write up with what I can only describe as the Spinney Yoga Class. Picture on the left shows Robin and David D demonstrating their flexibility and agility. Robin is adjusting Old Oak point and David D is tamping the track outside the signal box. Heather googled this position and it is called the 'Downward Dog Pose', thank you to Robin and David D for showing us their skills and don't expect us all to practice. Whilst waiting for others to arrive, Dave M and I pruned some vegetation as this has over grown over the rail lines in places. Heather continued this role and general site clearance when she arrived. Robin arrived with a buffer stop, which he bolted to the end of the new siding down at Old Oak adjacent to the carriage shed, some ballasting required to finish it. Thanks to June for the tea, coffee and cakes. Some activities felt like one step forward and three back, but we will get there.

Baytree platform rebuild

davidgclearingrubble platformgauging

David G took on the incredible task of clearing the rubble away from the locomotive shed yard. This had to be separated into reusable masonry which was tipped at a location between Dingly Dell and Baytree which will help towards a retaining wall and smaller items were placed into plastic bags, two split requiring extra work. I think this pushed David G to his limits as it was very hard work, manual labour. The Cromer coaches were extracted from the carriage shed and for the first time and used to measure clearances and platform height, all looks good. On another note, the coaches appear to have been slightly damaged and the trim has become loose which will need refixing. Alan S jet washed all the platform slabs again in readiness for the pointing between the slabs. This was necessary as they had been subject to drops of mortar during construction.

baytreeplatformpic6 sightingcommittee

Baytree platform construction continued today and back under the supervision from Alan S and very good progress was made. Somehow the slabs did not all fit back into place, so a new slab was sourced and cemented in place. Next visit, the whole platform will be subject to treatment from an angle grinder to make the platform edges uniform with the rail profile. The right hand picture shows the signal sighting committee looking for a signal..... Where no signals had been erected. In fact they were looking for any defects in the platform edging - height / alignment etc.

S & T news

petersignalconnector referbishedsignalposts

A lot of work completed today in this area of work, starting with Peters continued work to replace all the signal connectors and the picture shows Peter dealing with Spinney number 17 signal which required movement of the connector location. Peter was then observed converting Dingly Dell signal number 17 and Baytree numbers 15 / 16. June and Andrew replaced the electrical conduit covers after the posts had received attention then a group of us re installed the two signal gantries at Dingly. All bar the Baytree siding and platform signals are in their correct location and these two have been left out so as not to interfere with the Baytree platform work. In the Spinney area, a lot of work was completed and took most of the afternoon. Three points failed to work and tripped the electrical protection system. First up was number 7 points, which required contamination removal from around the moving parts i.e. earth and ballast and rust remover from the operating mechanism which solved this issue and the point works well. Next on the list was point number 9B, again rust remover did the trick and also functions correctly. The main stumbling area was point number 5 as you exit the tunnel. This worked after rust remover treatment but then would not detect in normal position. Wiring schematics were referred to and electrical wiring tested to no avail, but finally resolved when it was found to be a mechanical issue and the arm on the detection micro switch needing tweaking - problem solved all Spinney points now working. Thanks to Andrew and David G for persevering. Cliff remained at home and continued to repair the Baytree signal arm (Baytree signal number 8) which requires new lense. In the meantime we have sourced an arm from a redundant signal and swapped them over.


Alan A and Andrew have been working tirelessly on the rewiring of Dingly Dell signal box. This has included behind the scenes work of replacing the power supply to the signal box with an armoured cable and as can be seen in the picture, new electronic equipment which clearly indicates whether the associated equipment is working or not, a great advantage should things not behave themselves. It was hoped to be able to get to the testing stage by lunchtime but this over ran until late afternoon and then whilst all track circuits worked, the signals did not. More investigation require. It is important to mention the splendid work on modernising this signal box with equipment which is neater and easier to fault find in the future to someone who is not so electronically minded, well done to Alan and Andrew. Also it is proposed to screed the signal box floor before our next meeting.

Next time

Baytree platform edging requires angle grinder treatment and hole saw, track at Baytree needs alignment correction after being dislodged by a wheel barrow with a flat tyre, Baytree point number 14 does not work and could do with investigation, then possibly run trains from Old Oak around the loop and back avoiding Baytree and Dingly Dell as there is more work required at Dingly to get the signals back up and functional and Baytree work.

23rd April 2022

I will start with the thanks - with so much happening to us this year, our last visit on the 5th February, so thanks to David G for covering the news, even if he did forget his camera, it's part of the job role. Glad to be back and hopefully life returns to normal. Also noted that Cliff got a break from being mentioned. Also thanks to Dave MB for photos and June for the teas, coffees and cakes, even if I did forget the coffee once and it went cold. There was so much happening today, luckily I had my phone with me to record the events, and you can see todays work here and in the pictures section. Today was booked to be our first running day but true to main line ethos, we are suffering from over running engineering works and not only did we not run today but will not run next time as there is still a lot to do. A lovely warm day, I wish I had worn a cap.

Thirteen friends attending today and were:- Alan, June, Andrew, plus Tim, Heather, David D, David G, Dave M, Dave MB, (all the Dave's again) Mick, Robin, Nick, Paul, Jamie, Henry and Cliff. We finished lunch when Cliff arrived, is this the new standard - well he's got a mention now.

ballastbytrain daviddwashing

The Spinney wagons were put to good use today and were used to transport sand, ballast and rubble to the required destinations, busy day for them and for those that had to load and unload them. David D did a Sterling job of washing the Baytree platform slabs and the apron under the traverser in the loco shed area, he was soaked at the end and had to sit down and dry out in the sun. Heather was busy as mentioned below but also rubbish clearing and sweeping out the signal boxes.

wheelbarrowreconstruction pointrepair

Nick managed to make one good wheelbarrow from two old ones and this repair work, worked well and was put to good use Immediately. Nick was also observed repairing point work in the loco shed area and improved the design to stop the error repeating itself.

Old Oak siding project


Typical to all projects, we have more supervisors than workers. Robin has project managed the relaying on the approach to Baytree and the new Old Oak siding which is picture here in the news. The new main line on the approach to Baytree looks fabulous with a nice sweeping curve. The new siding at Old Oak requires more ballast and more fish plates to connect the buffer stops. Talk was mentioned that it will be called the Reynolds Siding...... I will certainly use it to steam up and with my past history, it will be good to be clear of running trains whilst I take 4 hours to steam up...... Picture shows Robin supervising the work and is pleased with the progress.

Baytree platform rebuild

platformconsructionpic2 platformconstructionpic3

The main project this winter is to rebuild Baytree station platform and this is taking longer than planned due to time lost from the winter storms. The pictures clearly show the progress since last time and the short section left to complete. Alan S was unwell today and unable to project manage so we hope he will approve the work we have done today.

S & T news

jamiehenrysignals alandinglypowersupply

Dave MB, Heather, Jamie and Henry were observed putting the signals out. Alan A has been restoring the gantry posts on the approach to Dingly, these were found to be in a worse state than first imagined. Alan A and Andrew have been progressing well with the rewiring of Dingly Dell signal Box, the picture shows the new power supply box and neatly laid out components, all looking very smart and when I operated a point lever it worked, well what else would you expect.

Next time

A lot of vegetation needs to be cut back for clearances, Baytree platform requires completion, Signals and points need to be tested as there were problems encountered today where points failed to work, Old oak siding buffer stop needs to be attached using fish plates and ballasted, Dingly signal box has on going re wiring issues, rolling stock requires running assessment and cleaning, apart from that we should be ready to run.

April 9th 2022: Sunny but with a chill in the air

Another small team of:
Alan, June and Andrew Ainslie, Alan S, David D, David G, Dave M, Peter, Robin and Nick.
This was not the first Saturday in the month (to avoid a meet on Easter weekend) and this may have muddled some diaries. More seriously, we were all saddened to hear of the death of Heather's mum and dad so it was not surprising that Tim and Heather were missing.
Another unfortunate absentee was DG's camera so another picture driven News will not be possible. Thank you Alan S and Peter for the pictures below.

More Bay Tree Platform

Bay Tree Platform

Here we are at lunch with the brickwork all but finished and the centre space filled with rubble.

By the end of the day a few slabs had been put in place at the signal box end and a skim of cement laid over the rubble to provide a smooth base for the rest of the slabs.

Progress was eventually limited by lack of sand.

DG spent some time breaking up rubble and more than one person commented on the similarity of the work to prison labour.

Old Oak Starter

Peter's Progress
Peter continued to replace signal connectors and on the right is the Old Oak starter with its new connector just visible at the bottom.

Dingly Box
Andrew joined Alan in Dingly Box and by the end of the day all the track circuits were being driven by the new power supplies and variable resistors in their own cabinet.

The point outside Old Oak Box
David D completed his work here but it remains to add ballast around the new sleepers.

Robin bonded and fish plated the up line track between Dingly and Bay Tree. It remains to have ballast added.

Next Time
The first job will be to move the rubble in front of the shed. What we can do then will be decided by Bay Tree and Dingly progress. Hopefully we can get signals out and test them; lubricate and test the point machines; remove debris from the track; clean and oil the rolling stock; start and fill the water system etc.. I noticed one track circuit down. No one need wait for inspiration!

What sould we call this picture?

Choose your own caption

March 19th 2022 - Sunny and mild
What a contrast to the previous meeting!

The small team today were:
Alan and June Ainslie, Alan S, David D, David G, Dave M, Robin (ready to be father of the groom?), Nick (ready for married life?), Paul. Your reporter of the day is DG and the photographs are down to him.
Many of the missing team were seduced by a model railway exhibition - no doubt in a dull hall - what a glorious day they missed!

Bay Tree Platform Continued:
Blank Canvas                          Starting       
Prestart Starting

Progress 1                              Progress 2
Progress 1 Progress2

Where we got to

Careful brick-laying is not quick and this part of the task is not finished. Be sure to admire the clean face sides of the bricks and the meticulous pointing of the work.

Other Activities
  Dingly Wiring                       Old Oak Point
Dingly Old oak Point

Siding at Old Oak                 Bay Tree Panel 
Old Oak Siding Bay Tree Panel

It really was a glorious spring day, making me look forward to running again.

The 9th of April looks ambitious as a preparation day; I suspect Bay Tree platform will need another two days to finish and only then can Robin get to the trackwork there. We have yet to check the railway for overhanging vegetation and the odd sleeper requiring attention. However, not long now!

Lastly. best wishes to Nick and Robyn for your wedding next week end. Have a wonderful day and may you have a happy, long life together.

March 5th 2022 - A Damp and Cold One

Braving the weather today were:
Alan and June Ainslie, Dave MB, Alan S, Peter, David D, David G, Dave M, Mick, Robin, Andy, Nick (recovered from stagging), Paul, Jamie and Henry.
Tim and Heather were unable to be with us hence the change in the style of this 'News' composed by DG. Andrew Ainslie was also missing because he was ill and we wish him better soon.

Main Project: Bay Tree Platform
Digging                               Mixing
Digging Bay Tree Platform Foundations Mixing

Levelling                               Resting
Levelling Bay Tree Platform Foundations Resting

Foundations Bay Tree Platform Done

Re-align and Re-sleeper Bay Tree Up Line
Grinding off old bonds            A finished panel           
Grinding Off Old Bonds New Track

Other Events at Old Oak
Re-sleepering a point              Robin's new siding        
Re-sleepering a point at Old Oak Robin's new siding

Dave MB and DG did not manage to cover everything in pictures so I must record pictureless, a few more events. Peter continued to work on new signal connections and Alan A began work on a board in Dingly that will hold all the track circuit power supplies and their resistors. The spoil wagons were out again to collect from Bay Tree but went back into the tunnel without making their (too) exciting gravity decent to Old Oak. We must try to capture a picture of the gravity run if it happens again.

Tim sent an email:
Hello David, Can you add to the news that we popped in a day early to deliver some tools and a wooden bench seat for the spectators to watch the hive of activity. Hope you all had a good day and sorry we can’t be there next time. We are so busy. We will enjoy reading the news. Tim
Thank you Tim, we hope to see you and Heather again soon.

Well done everybody for your efforts on a grey, cold and damp day. Thank you especially the younger members for their muscles as the oldies struggled - The Herts and Essex team were pleased to amuse Mrs Stephen by the their groans, bent backs and complaints as they exited the van chez Stephen.
More pictures of the day in 'Pictures winter 21-22' images 624 to 628

19th February 2022 CANCELLED

On Friday the whole country was suffering from storm Eunice with 122 mph winds damaging the O2 roof in London, tearing panels away and trees down almost everywhere. June emailed to cancel as there is debris all around and it will take time for the roads to be cleared. Look forward to next time which is the 5th March.

5th February 2022

Nine friends attending today and covered a lot of work and were:- Alan, June, Andrew, Hayden, plus Tim, Heather, Peter, David D, David G, Dave M, Mick, Robin and Andy. Nick was unable to attend as he was forced to go to his stag do, I wonder how much recovery time he needed. Dave MB emailed to say he might only be able to visit briefly in the afternoon and surprised us all when he showed up at the beginning, but then had to depart in case he missed the champagne, brandy and liqueurs. Cliff had intended to come but was needed at home so he very kindly emailed us at lunch time to remind us that it was that time of day.

Projects for today were:-

The social banter was still evident and has not worn off yet. Once again, thanks to Peter for the information about his task and to June for the tea and cakes.


The day started with Dave M presenting an overhauled buffer stop and the picture shows Robin giving it a quick eye up. This will be used for the new siding which is next to the carriage shed at Old Oak. Robin has also been working at home and produced too many sleepers to count. Robin has planed, chamfered and drilled the screw holes using a new jig that he and Nick had made as the old one could not be found. The new jig is apparently yellow but I have not seen it, if I do I will photograph it, Yellow seems to be the colour...

Peter continued with his project of repairing the signal connectors and renewing the posts and back plate, which he says was not a lot but hard graft!! Finished SY16, completed SY18 & SY17R extension lead and he thinks that this job Robin has given him will keep him quiet for some time. Robin, David D and David G continued with the thankless task of removing the old sleepers and fitting the new. One track panel was completed, just waiting for the track bed to be dug out to the correct depth.

heatherbricks startfootings trackgang ballastcleaning

The main project for this winter is to renew the Baytree platform and re sleeper the up line and the picture show the progress today. Heather transported the bricks to site using a wheel barrow, more are available if required, Mick lead the chain gang, Dave M and Andy who once again used the wagons to remove the soil and off load at Old Oak. Dave M shows why you should not swing a pick axe when working next to someone. They also took the old ballast there and can be seen using the electric sieve to remove any earth etc. The cleaned ballast was lined up against the carriage shed in case it needs cleaning with addition of water or to be used as under ballast.

servicepipeduring servicepipeafter

The pictures above show the pipe that was installed in case we require electrics on the platform or anything else. When the platform is built and the track ballasted, you will not see evidence except the ends.


Alan A and Andrew worked in Dingly, they are having a clear out and have started with removing junk and putting in a new power supply box, a slow and steady job especially as it needs to be in a working order for running.

The next meeting is 19th February and Peter has already stated that he is unable to attend, something to do with getting older, Happy Birthday.

22nd January 2022 First maintenance day of the winter season

A very good turnout with fifteen friends attending and were:- Alan, June, plus Tim, Heather, Peter, Dave MB, David D, David G, Dave M, Jamie and Henry, Mick, Alan S, Robin, Nick, Cliff and Andy. Projects this Winter are:-

After a long break since the last meeting and Christmas festivities, there was a lot of social banter and good spirit which also made the day enjoyable. I managed to miss lay my hat several times, forgetting where I had put it, despite it being bright yellow!!! Thanks to Peter for the information about his task, Alan S and Dave MB for the use of their own power tools and to June for the tea and cakes.

baytreeplatformpic1 baytreeplatformpic3 baytreeplatformpic4 baytreeplatformpic5

The main project this year is the removal of Baytree station platform and rebuild as the brick work was crumbling. The pictures show the entire clearance of the site and the progress made in one day and the group effort. Think it will take longer to build the new one. The spoil can be seen being taken by wagon to Old Oak where it was evenly distributed near the turn table and water point. Dave went home and returned with his Kango and can be seen looking cool with his shades as he broke down the masonry into small chunks, as this will be used to infill the new platform edge walls. Heather and Jamie swept the ballast to expose the sleeper tops and removed all the fish plates in readiness to remove track panels and re sleeper. The track panels will remain in situ through the platform as the alignment will be used as a guide for the new line of bricks for the platform.

newpointoldoak newtrackoldoak


Peter has taken on the challenge to replace and renew signal connectors as most are life expired and involves new posts, backing plate and connector. Today he started with Baytree signal number 18, (up refuge siding) and when removing the old connector, found a broken wire which was repaired when new connector was installed, so the light in the signal should now work. Spinney distance signal 16, started new socket assembly (see picture on the left) but will not be able to complete until new sockets & gaskets are purchased. He then gave Dave MB a short break on the Kango and found it hard work. Cliff bought along his battery powered leaf blower and tidied up Dingly and Old Oak as there where still many leaves covering the lines.

Robin and Nick have been working behind the scenes at home to produce a new point and the picture shows it being installed along side the carriage shed at Old Oak. The track had been rolled and Nick machined the point blades and crossover. David D can also be seen doing a task he has done too many times to care about and insert the retaining screws in a track panel.

8th January 2022 CANCELLED

The weather forecast showed heavy rain for today and a wise decision to cancel in advance was made. Not a good start to the year but no point in everyone getting soaked, so hopefully next time we can start with winter maintenance.

11th December 2021 Pack away for Winter

For the last meeting of the year, eleven friends in attendance and were:- Alan, June, Andrew, Hayden, plus Tim, Peter, Dave MB, David D, David G, Jamie and Henry, Mick, Alan S, Robin and Paul, whilst Dave M emailed to say he couldn't make due to kids sickness and Cliff also emailed with his non attendance but wished everyone a Happy Christmas.

resleeperpoint thinking signalcleaning signalstorage

On the jobs list today were washing and putting away the signals, winter project check, re-sleepering, Signal discussion for Spinney and drainage. With the help from Andrew, we managed to clear the drain in the Old Oak turntable pit, which had accumulated years of earth and roots. All this was removed with our sleeves rolled up and arm down the pipe, a very messy job but needed doing. David D and Robin started removing rotten sleepers from under number 7a point located outside the Old Oak signal box and with so many decayed, it is amazing we haven't had any derailments there. Robin has taken away some wood to replace the sleepers with new. Also, he has taken the rail roller for track making which will be laid this winter adjacent to the carriage shed. Old Oak 7b point motor required attention and it was adjusted using appropriate tools to get the adjustment on the limit switch just right. Alan S, Mick and David G disconnected the Water pump from the Old Oak water storage and were bought indoors to avoid the winter freeze. David G also worked on a Spinney tunnel signal before it was put away. At the end of the day a light hearted discussion involved removal and relocation of Spinney signal numbers 12 and 13 and placing them where signal 15 currently stands. Also widely approved by anyone who drives, is the removal of the timers, especially as the tunnel exit signal is normally displaying a red aspect and a different colour would be nice for a change and save our brake blocks or shoe leather. All good ideas but getting Dingly signal box into a working order takes priority at this point in time.

The main activity was the removal packing away of the signals for winter protection, all signals were washed and assessed as to whether any maintenance was required. Some are showing signs of a repaint required and Paul was observed removing many of the signals as were others. Dave MB used a hoe to scrape moss from the sleepers and covered a vast majority of the track. Picture shows the large overhead gantry signals being removed from storage area as they had been put away too eagerly and prior to washing. All these jobs need to be remembered for next year. Thankfully the weather remained mild and it didn't start to rain until 15.00 which is when we packed up for another year. Once again thank you to Alan and June for allowing us to operate the railway and to June for the teas and cakes. This time mince pies were in order and soon disappeared.

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers

6th November 2021 end of running season


Nineteen friends in attendance and were:- Alan, June, Andrew, Hayden, plus Tim, Heather, Peter, Dave MB, David D and Sue, David G, Dave M, Jenny and family, Jamie, Anika and Henry, Cliff, Mick, Alan S, Robin and visitors Matt and Andy. Site tidied up with Dave MB doing a lot of leaf clearing and as the picture shows, we had more than a leaf on the line. Heavy rain and high winds the week before, causing the railway to be covered in leaves.

A dry day and with the clocks going back last week, it means it gets darker earlier, and with everything switched off at Old Oak, no lighting made packing away and loading difficult. Dave M invited along Andy who wishes to return and help between his shifts on the main line railway. Cliff arrived so we stopped for lunch or watched over our steam locomotives as for some strange reason I could not get a decent fire in the firebox. A good running day and very sociable just how it should be, with the season ending with the traditional fish and chips followed by fireworks. Thanks to Peter for organising and collecting the fireworks, not so many this year but better display with plenty of colour and bangs. Thanks to Jamie and Dave MB for additional pictures and also to June for tea and cakes and for organising and collecting the fish and chips, don't know how June remembered all our orders. It was nice to see so many stay after the running.

Loco news

3locosdingly 3locosoldoak

As can be seen from the pictures, areas where the railway would become busy at times.

andykingjack davembobside davidgoldoak oldoakbanking

Eleven locomotives out on the railway today and were:- L94, Scott Line, Eileen, Bobside (Holmside made to look like a Rob Roy), King Jack, Karen, Kate, Class 20, Jesse, the petrol Scamp with wagons, whilst Dave MB continued to test his 1420 in the loco shed roads. David G has replaced his missing water cap from last time and ran for the afternoon. Visitor Andy was invited to drive King Jack and can be seen passing Spinney in the picture above. When Mick got his class 20 locomotive out, he somehow managed to run over the control cable which now causes the horn to sound when not required and a switch on the control panel is not working. Just in time for a winter project. Scott Line hauled two coaches and was driven by various people whist Mick hauled the Spinney freight stock with Kate. The picture on the right above, shows David G assisting Mick up the branch to Spinney.

S & T news


In the signal boxes were:- Old Oak - David D, Dingly - Peter then Jamie, Baytree - Matt then Cliff and Spinney - Robin. Spinney platform number 13 signal was temperamental, didn't like the cold weather, but as you walked up to it, it would suddenly work - otherwise all signalling worked well. All trains seamed to follow one another and the signal boxes would become very busy. Robin did a good job in Spinney as it felt like at times all sections were occupied and he had bells being sent, bells being received and the phone ringing all at the same time as well as operating the levers - you need to be an octopus. Jamie continued to get more experience in Dingly and David D is getting used to Old Oak changing from a sleepy signal box to one that is busy at the beginning and end and occasionally in the running part of the day. Picture shows Baytree distant signal illuminated which showed up well in the low light. I did stop and take a picture of the signal at the exit from Spinney tunnel as it displayed a green aspect, something you don't see very often.

Other news


Unfortunately a blurred picture but what do you expect in the darkness and it does show the atmosphere and colours.

Next time will involve putting the signals away and starting winter projects. Robin has e mailed a list which includes dates and work required, re-sleepering in the cold and new siding adjacent to the carriage shed. I have a compressor so may be we could rig up an air supply for steaming up. That may be my problem for not steaming, not a good blower and that is my excuse and sticking to it. If the winter is not too frosty it might be worth re building the Old Oak turn table walls as the bricks are disintegrating.

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