June 11th 2022 and a day of running trains.
The weather was good, if a little blustery, so I took the opportunity to lay everything out on the railway, from buildings, to crossing, station seats to signals and spend the entire day running all the engines. This gave me the opportunity to iron out any issues engine may have developed, including a safety valve that was blowing off below 20 psi as well as some general repairs to the buildings and coaches. The biggest repair was a long section of track that was relayed the day before. Now everything is in tip top condition I need to get a date in the diary for an official open day to the general public.
March 27th and the Sun is shining!
Lady Joy Weston, the coal fired Roundhouse had its first train of coached coupled up to it today and what a huge improvement to running. The extra load made the engine work harder and there was no need to have the steam blower on as plenty of pressure was raised.
It’s that time of the year again when the garden is once again underwater, storm Eunice and Storm Franklin have hit, but thankfully no damage to the railway. All the station lights are fully operational but there hasn’t been an engine run since December 2021. So each day I look out at the garden longing for the better, dryer weather to start running trains for 2022.
And here we are in November!
Really good news to report. Lady Joy Weston has been officially named and released onto the W&LLR! This is the first coal fired engine to appear on the line and after a long build process she is now ready to go. A huge thanks to Jouep of Riverdale Boilers for his help and advice in getting the ‘Lady Joy Weston’ in full working condition. Just look at that fire!
July, August and now September!
Where have the months gone! Summer has been good on the Wilmslow and Lindow Light Railway with much progress made on the new coal fired engine. The lining is nearly complete and we have officially got a name (name plates arrived several weeks ago!). The tender has been constructed from a Roundhouse kit and is now filly painted and lined with a little bit of a homage to a certain railway company. More to follow.
The process of firing the engine is still an issue of training and again, there will be more to follow on this.
As for the rest of the railway and its engine there has been general maintenance and lots of running sessions. Most notable has been the issue of the Leek & Manifold coaches derailing on the same point. This has now been corrected (thanks to Bethan) and the train runs smoothly around the new loop. Plus, King Arthur, whose running had taken on a serious wobble and stutter, has had his axel bushed replaced and is one again running as sweet as a nut.
Painting the coal fired engine
Removed the masking tape from the engine to reveal the first stages of painting the main body work. Next task is to start the lining.
A Visiting Roundhouse Lady anne
Had a visiting Roundhouse Lady Anne today. Owned by Andrew Lambert, this was the very first steaming of his new engine and as expected it ran flawlessly.
Onto the body work
A couple more successful steamings have now taken place and this has given me chance to refine the running even more. The coal firing has proven successful and hopefully a delivery of anthracite grains will be delivers for my birthday soon. (Always wanted a bag of coal for my birthday). I’ve also completed soldering the body work and spraying the first coat of edged primer. The engine will eventually run with a trailing tender so the question now is ‘do I keep the coal baskets of top of the side tanks or not?
More build updates.
Well, I finally found some time to knuckle down and spend sometime moving the new build on. All the servos are installed (reverser, regulator, dampener along with the Regner whistle). The even better news is it has now under gone its first coalfired steam chest which was a huge success.
Some progress shots of the new loco build with Riverdale coal fired boiler
Snow and other things
It’s been a month since I last updated the news page of the website. This isn’t to say there wasn’t any news, though there has been little chance of running trains. The WLLR has been subjected to rain, snow and heavy frost along with more rain. For two weeks the railway has been under water again prompting me to look into getting a sump installed in the garden that would pump the water directly into the main drain when there has been a heavy down pour. Hopefully this will be fitted in the next couple of week or at least when the weather is more suitable to working outdoors.
The heavy frost has been the main problem. With the recent flooding a lot of silt and mud got deposited onto the track and when the frost came it expanded this causing the rails to buckle. There are three, possibly four areas that will need some serious attention soon. Fortunately these are all at the top end of the garden and therefore I can at least run an engine along the new extension should I need to test and locos.
Good news. My Leek and Manifold engine’s radio control is now fix and up and running again. Also the running problems with King Arthur have also been fixed. A quick strip down of the eccentrics and swapping them around seemed to have cured the problem. I’ll need to make some minor adjustments of the timing but at the moment he is running extremely well.
The first steaming of 2021
My original intention was to take the Leek and Manifold engine out for a run only to find that the RC transmitter and receiver weren’t talking to each other. Tried to bind them but to no avail so looks like I’ll have to take the body off to investigate further. So instead I too King Arthur for a run only to find that he isn’t running as well as he should be. As an engine of nearly 29 years old I think it is time for a full strip down and rebuild as I suspect some parts of the motion are now worn out.
Let there be light …again!
27th -31 December
The weather has been awful here and the garden turned into a full sized model of the Somme. However I took the time to repair a few station lights, one which had been on the blink for nearly a year. The others seem to have fallen victim to either squirrels or the the big fat pigeons pecking away at stuff. Managed to get a few shots in the snow too.
Christmas time and the new build
Really hoping I can make a concerted start on the new engine over the Christmas break and look to get the new Riverdale boiler installed.
New Boiler has arrived!
After 11 months of waiting the new coal fired boiler for the new engine has arrived. Very much looking forward to getting started on this during the coming months. Many thanks to Joep at Riverdale in getting this to me.
Winter is here
Not much to report on the W&LLR, the weather here hasn’t been great and of course the nights are drawing in much sooner now leaving very little time to run trains. The day job takes up most of my time these days as one has to work extra hard to keep the business going in this current pandemic climate. However the plan for the next couple of months is to progress with the new engine build that will hopefully include a build progress page on the website. However I’ll be looking for an opportunity to run the odd trains every now and then.
A Night Time Scene
A Few Extra Pictures
We Have Contact
First train to complete a full circuit around the Wilmslow & Lindow light Railway. A little extra work is required to level the loop out but otherwise it is all systems go!
The final stretch
All the final foundations are now in. Next task will be to lay the last two yards of track and finish the ballasting. Not far to go now!
Laying the track!
Some images from of the current progress of the track laying. Getting very exciting now!
More line extension work
Work on the new extension is coming along nicely now with approx 90% of the foundations now in place. I’ve also started the process of laying the track and just waiting for some new concrete to set to progress the line laying further along the garden. It would be great to think I’d be able to finally make the line a full loop before the end of September, but lets see how work and the weather go first.
What’s been happening on the WLLR?
Well, things have been really busy here during the lock down. However, busy as in work busy and not in garden railway busy. I’ve been lucky in that my business has kept going rather well since the start of lock down and therefore I can’t really complain. However it has also been very difficult if not near impossible to get hold of some of the basics to start the new extension on the railway; breeze blocks, sand and cement etc. but thankfully I was able to secure a small delivery last week and therefore make a start on the new extension at the weekend. The first job was to remove the temporary wooden base that had been down for may years and needless to say when I removed it, it literally fell apart. This has now been replaced with a foundation of breeze block in preparation of relaying the track. The second thing that needed attending to was the line running up to the breeze blocks that had subsided and was giving the trains a roller coaster of a ride on their approach! I’ve started relaying and levelling this so everything should all now run smoothly. The next task is to start digging the ground beyond this and moving the borders in preparation of the extension proper.
Sun, sun, sun
The weather has been really good for a change and hence the delay in a news post. Between my day job I’ve spent time relaying parts of the track for a much smoother ride as well as filming new footage for the latest video (coming soon). It is also the 5th Anniversay of the Leek and Manifold engine and a celebration run was given yesterday evening.
Every cloud has a silver lining…
So the country is on lock down and work for me has slowed considerably. However the weather is good, the garden is drying out and I have some extra free time! Not wanting to miss an opportunity I took the time to repair the platform lamps on Wilmslow Station and they are all shining brightly now.
Two sections of track were lifted and re positioned improving the route through the level crossing. The road level had risen over these past few months causing the cylinders of the engine to hit it as it passed. Breaking the road section away from the track edge has eliminated this problem and the road will be relaid in due course (see middle picture).
Lastly work has started on the new engine build with the chassis primed and painted and the wheel now in place.
So all in a very enjoyable day.
Not a lot to report at the moment. I’ve installed a pump into the garden to pump the water out and so far so good. But, the rain keeps coming and it’s a constant battle. Bottom line, still no opportunity to repair the damage to the line.
Rain rain go away…
So I thought I’d seen the end of storm Dennis and all the rain it brought, but how wrong I was! Even as I sit here updating the news section of 16mm World the weather outside has turned biblical once again, the railway is still underwater and this time it has caused damage to the station lights. I don’t want these news reports to become just weather reports, especially when this time of years is taken with maintenance and other modelling activities, which are far more interesting items to write about. However all the work at present needs to be on the railway outside if I’m to get it ready for a summer open day. Once the weather has abated and the water levels have gone down this is going to take several months to put right! This of course is assuming we will have a summer this year?
The aftermath of Storm Dennis
And still the rain comes. Storm Ciara
The local traction engine
Even though the rain has prevented any further running of trains it hasn’t stopped me taking a few minutes to steam one of the two traction engines that inhabit the railway on open days.
And so the rain starts again!
12th January 2020
For a week after New year the ground around the railway had started to dry out to some extent. However Saturday saw some really heavy rain again and the garden is once again under water and I’m unable to carry on with eitehr running or repairs.
Happy New Year!
2nd Jan 2020
The start of a new year and plans are already in place regarding the extension of the line hopefully sometime late spring. However it’s back to my day job now though I’ll be aiming to keep the line clear of debris over the next few months with a view to relaying some of the track to correct the subsidence that took place last year. And of cpourse run the odd train too!
Here’s hoping 202 will be kinder with the weather.
A few smaller repairs
31st December 2019
Something a bit easier this time. Repairing the station benches that got broken during the building of the new conservatory this year and the a replacement lipo battery for the Baldwin
‘King Arthur’ and the first passenger train from end to end.
30th December 2019
After much cleaning and removal of glutinous mud the first passenger train rain from end to end and back today. A couple of derailments as the coaches passed over the points at Wilmslow Junction. King Arthur had undergone some work a few days before to prevent the cylinder from ‘rocking’ as this was causing the engine to run badly.
Check out the video below. You can see there is still and awful lot of clearing up along the line still to do!
First train to enter Wilmslow Station since May.
29th December 2019
Took sometime to clear the loop into Wilmslow station. There still some work to do as the the road over the crossing has suffered from ground movement causing loco cylinders to hit the raised sections. I’ll need to hammer this out at some point and relay that section of road. However ‘7010 Squadron’ made it to Wilmslow pulling a single coach with a view to pulling a full train over the next few days.
The points at Wilmslow Junction are now clear.
28th December 2019
Even though the railways has been subjected to a huge amount of water this year the only way to free the points was to use pressurised water to wash the mud away. A bit more cleaning and the line was open allowing Reginald Brunt to traverse all the way to the lines current terminus. Hopefully I’ll tackle the loop tomorrow.
Some progress further down the line
27th December 2019
The severe flooding the railway has endured this year has meant that most of the track further up the line is now embedded in glutinous mud that will prevent any trains running along this section. The garden itself has become like the Somme which is not surprising since throughout most of the year it has been underwater and virtually everyday it has rained here. Did the W&LLR ever suffer from this before? No, not really. We had odd days when there was torrential rain and there would be pools of water at the bottom end of the garden, but it was rare the railway was ever under water and if so it was only in parts. The amount of rain the North West has been subjected to during 2019 has been quite incredible with flooding throughout the local roads and surrounding area, such as we have never seen before. One can only hope that 202 will a little dryer. In the meantime I’ve got to find sometime and some way of getting the mud out from between the tracks before it rains again.
Further renovation of the Leek and Manifold coaches
Rebuild the new balcony which will now require finishing. Also repaired the rear bogie that has split from its base during the original accident. Took the time to also clean all the window and paint work and rewire the interior lighting.
30ft of Line cleared!
23rd December 2019
Managed to clear 30ft of line from debris and mud from Lindow Station and E L Calthrop was steamed for what is possibly only the third time this year. A few locations were identified for further work on levelling the track and there is still plenty of mud to clear!
Let there be light.
23rd December 2019
Power to the station lights has no been restored to all but two of the station lamps. They will also require some further cosmetic work to bring them back to their former glory, so in the meantime they have been wrapped in plastic sheeting to prevent any further water damage. However it was good to see them shining bright again during these dark winter evenings.
22nd December 2019
2019 has been a very bad year for the Wilmslow & Lindow Light Railway with rainfall of almost biblical proportions causing substantial damage to the railway. Trains just about ran from March to June but since then the line has been pretty well underwater all of the time. However work is currently underway to restore power to the station lights on both platforms and a start has been made to clear the first 20ft of line with the hope that come 2020 the ground will have drained sufficiently enough to carry out repairs further along the line.
Plans for 2020 also include repairing the Leek & Manifold coaches that were seriously damaged by an over zealous visiting driver and the extension of the line beyond it’s current terminus. Here’s hoping 2020 will see the railway return to normal services.
Leek & Manifold coaches damaged
The Leek & Manifold coaches are in need of some serious repair after an over zealous visitor took them for a spin. The damage has been to the balconies which will require rebuilding and the white metal steps.
Victory loco shops out
Asked by a fellow 16mm modeller if I would build his Association Victory engine as he felt it was beyond his modelling capabilities. I was delighted to undertake the build and the engine shopped out just before Christmas.
7010 Squadron makes its debut
This kit built Roundhouse Mildred makes it’s debut of the line and is officially named after my RAF Squadron ‘7010 Squadron’