19th February 2019
Well I am back, after not being on line for nearly four weeks, it is amazing how much you rely on something when you don't have it, so thank you to David G for covering this awkward period. Bob and Dave MB e mailed to say they could not make it today, also missing regulars were Alan S, Mick C and Dave M. I had to work on a boiler in the morning with a rush to beat Cliff to the railway, which I managed to achieve. Main activities once again centred around the carriage shed project with David D collecting sleepers and Cliff tyding the site with the leaf blower - I presume there are still leaves on the line. The carriage shed apron has been nicknamed "The Hub" and we have explained to David D this is where it will all happen on running days and he will be very busy. June kept us tanked up with hot drinks and joined us to watch the progress.
Pictures show Alan A sanding the exposed woodwork in readiness for the cladding which will not be added until either the power cable has reached the carriage shed or temporary lighting has been installed as internal work is still ongoing. Some cladding was bought down to site by Paul and Peter and is currently sitting on Old Oak platform. Peter and Paul hung the door on the back of the carriage shed but will need a little tweak next time. Peter could not believe how long it has taken to hang one door. The roof still requires edging and ridge tiles which should be considered before next batch of bad weather.
To get electricity to the carriage shed, an armoured cable has been purchased and will run from Old Oak signal box to the carriage shed. This meant digging a trench between the two and involved tunnelling techniques using a crowbar to make space under the tracks. Digging team were Jamie, Paul and myself and pictures show the route taken. The cable has been laid out and trench back filled. Luckily we found pipes in the signal box wall and we were able to pass the cable through one of these without the need to drill a hole. Additionally square paving stones are being used to make an edge between the rail sidings and the drop to the lawn and the cable will also follow this route. Robin and Richard gauged the remaining track on the apron and some work still remains on connecting the points to a lever. Richard also tested number 7 points after we had dug a trench and refilled. After removal of a few lumps of ballast, the point worked.
David G and Andrew spent all their time on their knees fixing the track to the concrete and getting it perfectly aligned. David G said he could do with something to kneel on as his legs were suffering by the end of the day. At 16.00 we decided to reduce work commitments and relax a bit and the banter restarted. Excuses were made as to why we had to get home which included, don't want to be late twice in one day (a railway term still used today - late arrival late home), got to get home before it gets dark, got to cook a meal, how ever no one said they had to leave to see their better half!!! So we were still there one hour later chatting about progress and other plans. These plans included moving the water tower from Dingly to Old Oak, I wonder who is going to dig the foundations and the trench for the water pipe!!!
Next meeting is 2nd March, Robin and David D have stated they have more important things to do and can not make it, so we shall continue unsupervised. The armoured cable trench needs to be dug towards the carriage shed and the remaining track needs fixing to the floor. Peter will adjust the back door.
2nd February 2019
Unfortunately a cancelled working day. It looks good but it was better warm at home!
A guest NewsMan today as Tim has changed his internet service provider and the new provider is not providing service!
However Tim sent the pictures which surround this text and the following copy:
"There were lots of us there today in the damp weather almost all working on the carriage shed project. David G, Alan, Mick and Rob worked on the internal track assembly, Robin, Adrian, Jamie and Richard assembled the track at the shed apron, Tim and Peter supplied 6 wagons of ballast and spread it under the new track.
Cliff used the leaf blower to clear all the railway of leaves and David D surveyed the railway for damaged sleepers and noted likely places for a derailment. Counting all those sleepers should help David sleep!
Tim particularly thanked hostess June for her supplies of tea, cake and encouragement."
The weather was quite foul - intermittent drizzle with thick cloud, the only relief was the lack of wind.
Well done workers for sticking to the tasks. The good news is in the pictures showing railway now connected to the new shed. Like last time we left the ballast wagons stored in the shed.PROGRESS!
Finally, it is good to report that we had some fun, sharing jokes and poking fun at each other. The picture above, taken by Peter, shows Tim sharing one of these jokes.
A good turnout today for the first meeting of the year, only Bob and Jamie missing. We all wrapped up to beat the cold and thanks to June and helper Eric for the teas and cakes. Dave M removed the Old Oak buffer stops and has taken it home to renovate as the metal work was showing signs of rust and the paint was peeling from the buffer. One panel was required to be constructed to bridge the missing link in the new line connecting the carriage shed to the turntable. This panel was inserted and ballasted and will be tamped next time. The new line can be seen next to the carriage shed in the last picture. Cliff arrived so we stopped for lunch. After lunch, Cliff and Dave MB continued with site clearance of the many leaves still on the ground. Alan A was also tidying the site around the carriage shed. We also have a fallen tree across the railway between Baytree and Dingly, this will need removing at sometime as trains cannot pass. Most people can be seen in the pictures.
The carriage shed project became the main focus for this winters maintenance / construction activities. Pictures show Mick C and Alan S assembling the first length of track inside the carriage shed. They spent most of the day on their knees so will feel pretty stiff sometime soon. They managed to assemble a complete siding to the other end of the shed. Nick worked on the carriage shed apron track work, cutting rails to suit, whilst Peter continued with the roof, making good progress. Remaining roof job involves top 'A' pex and coping stones at the door end.
The picture on the right shows the first ever wagon to enter the new carriage shed and be stabled there for next time, we will have to have an opening ceremony another time. The wagons were used to transport the ballast from the pit to the new line which can be seen on the right of the carriage shed, more trips will be required next time. Discussions were held regarding how the doors and hinges might best be constructed and we await a firm decision. Both Mick C and Alan S were competing with David G on having the filthiest clothes, but David G still wins by a mile. Robin supervised all the track construction.
Thursday saw the chance meeting of Spinney friends on Clan Line which was travelling from London Victoria to Sherborne and return. Whilst Mick and Sue travelled in luxury, wined and dined, Dave MB was part of the support group and did what was necessary to ensure a smooth operation. Dave managed to get Mick and Sue on the footplate at Victoria as can be seen in the pictures. There is also a video on the google group of Clan Line arriving at Clapham Junction. Dave can be seen in the right hand picture admiring the ground.
Due to inclement weather forecast (again, it is the time of year for it), today was cancelled and here ends another year, next meeting will be in 2019.
Due to inclement weather forecast, today was postponed and rebooked for Saturday 15th December.
17th November Pack away
Pack signals away and prepare locomotives for winter shut down. Thanks to June for the teas and cakes (see last picture).
All bar one signal have been disconnected, washed and stored in either a signal box or engine shed. The loco exit signal has been left out as Bob is currently working on it. Left hand picture shows Peter either sitting comfortably or praying to the signal before disconnection and storage. Richard and Adrian moved an insulated block joint on the approach to Old Oak and detected a track circuit problem at Dingly. Right hand picture shows most of us having lunch and signals waiting to be placed in Baytree signal box. Not in picture were:- Richard, Adrian and Cliff who just managed to get out of view of the camera. Bob e mailed to say he could not make it, hope we see him before Christmas.
Mick steamed Kate for the last time this year and ran the locomotive up and down the loco siding before blowing it down and oiling for the winter. Mick removed the grate and the effects of this years running has meant some winter maintenance as can be seen in the right hand picture. Surprised the fire did not fall straight through or perhaps it did! Cliff tried to light a fire in Clan Line but was unsuccessful, suggested he learn from scouts and rub sticks together. First picture was taken because it is so unusual to see David G attending to his locomotive, in this case cleaning it, records show that this has happened twice. Jamie worked on his locomotive and concentrated on pipework between locomotive and driving truck.
Other activities included leaf blowing by Dave M and Dave MB to tidy the site. During the railway clearance it was noted that on the loco yard exit road, many sleepers were below ground level so the offending earth was dug away to allow the sleepers to breath to avoid rot. Discussions about ballast cleaning included use of a cement mixer and water supply. The picture on the right shows Sophie who after many had left, knocked the plate onto the floor and finished of the cakes - no dinner for Sophie.
Next meeting is the 1st December and will be the last one before Christmas.
3rd November Fish and chips and fireworks
A wooly hat day especially as the day progressed, ran trains ending with fish and chips and fireworks. Cliff arrived early so we had an earlier lunch than usual however this did not mean we started running any earlier. The first train ran at 14.34, probably one of our worst start times, can we try and get back to 13.00 start time next year?. We did not stop for tea as per usual as we planned to stop earlier in time for fish and chips. The default controller was unable to attend, something to do with being in hospital, some people go to great lengths to get out of being controller, we wish you a speedy recovery. We therefore all appointed Jamie as he did a good job last time with the help from his son Henry. Thanks to June for the teas and cakes and Dave MB for the firework picture.
The end of the running season was marked in the usual tradition of fish and chips followed by fireworks which was very relaxing and entertaining, a really nice end to the running summer season. Peter kindly bought the fireworks and another year of excellent fireworks. The rockets (except three) were very loud and a couple of wooden rocket sticks found their way back to us. Unfortunately my phone camera could not capture the colours but Dave MB sent me one of his pictures. Henry enjoyed the sparklers.
Six locomotives on track today were:- Scott line, 73115, 33029 Charlie, Jesse, Royal Scot 6109 and LMS 7163, however Jamie reported problems with LMS 7163 and retired early. Cliff had to make three repairs to Jesse, mainly the drain cocks (know the feeling) before running. My L94 is still waiting to be re assembled following front end repair work to the smoke box, weather been too cold and work been too demanding. The Spinney freight wagons had an outing today and can be seen in the picture below. They did play up a bit and I eventually found the cause was buffer locking. Alan S ran the Royal Scot as light engine as we did not have any passengers other than Annika and Henry.
S & T news
Bob e mailed to say he could not be able to attend today and signallers were:- Old Oak - Peter and Dave MD, Spinney, Adrian and Richard, Baytree - Mick and Dingly - David D. David D seemed to be having a great time in Dingly which is not his normal signal box, and very jovial, good to see friends enjoying their time at the Spinney. Pictures show Peter and Dave MB operating Old Oak and exchanging the token with Nick and Heather. Adrian and Richard had to rectify a fault at Spinney and the telephones did not initially work because the power supply had not been turned on!
Next meeting is 17th November when we will put the signals away and start winter maintenance. Robin has e mailed a list of jobs which include continuation of the carriage shed project.