Sunday, 26 September 2010

Quiet Day at Shackerstone...

Hi all. Today was a very quiet day at Shackerstone. In the morning, myself, Dave, Eddie and Grahem burnt foliage in the South Yard. Later on, in the afternoon, myself and Andy burnt rubbish and swept around the shed, clearing rubbish and generally tidying up wherever we could. Not a very interesting job I will admit but one that is very necessary. LNER B1 "Mayflower" is all ready for next weekend's 'Thomas Event'. We are also waiting to receive delivery of the "Thomas" (3F No47327 from Butterley) and the Pannier Tank (No5786 from Buckfastleigh); both are arriving this week. Finally, "Blue Circle" is still at Beamish and she will be coming back in the week as well, ready to revive her role as "Fergus" for the 'Thomas weekend's. Thanks for reading folks. Sorry for the late arrival of this post (published 12/10/2010); working at Rolls Royce leaves little time for writing...Evening All...

Saturday, 18 September 2010

GEC Visit's CMES...

Hi all. Following on from CMES's very wet Invitation Day back in August, the GEC Model Engineering Society from Allard Way (Binley) were invited over today under much better skies! CMES has made great advances in locomotive preparation over the last few years, including the addition of a 'Bendy Beam', a Run-up Rail, Traverser, Steaming Bays, Loading Track, 12V Electric hook-up and even Running Water. So, with these 'luxuries' in place, CMES can now offer good facilities for locomotive owners. With a few members arriving early at about 11am, the first loco on the track was GEC's club electric loco; a powerful Class 08...
Secondly, another Class 08 (with very good detail and a lovely LMS Black livery)...
Third loco was "Percival", a Ride-on-Railways "Trojan" electric with a steam outline body. I must admit, I like the custom colour scheme!...
The fourth and final loco from GEC was this beautiful LMS 4P 4-4-0 No1102, owned by Mr Tony Lancaster...
Though she had injector problems in the morning, the afternoon saw No1102 storming around the track, echoing times when the LMS 4P's ruled the rails between Euston and Glasgow! (Of course, before that they were Midland machines!). Now, compared to GEC's track, CMES's is just under three times longer and so this gave all of the loco's present a chance to stretch their legs under the lovely blue skies, particularly No1102! Below, with a light train, the Midland Compound storms the bank on the 1 in 70 section...
Here, 1102 awaits more passengers in the steaming area after another very quick non-stop run around the track...
1102's biggest challenge came later in the afternoon when she took a full 3-car train around the track. Even with her big wheels she didn't stall on the daunting 1 in 70 'Ryton Bank' (yet she did chuff a bit!). CMES members were particularly impressed with the performance given by 1102, especially when considering that her class would have been built for high speed running and not for climbing steep banks with heavy loads unaided! She was however not the only steam loco that ran during the afternoon; CMES member Jim brought along his 'Butch' 0-6-0 which was spotted doing many laps of the track. I even got to drive about 6 laps on the engine! (She was beautiful...ran like a watch!). Thanks Jim! Also thanks to all of the GEC members who attended and especially to those who brought loco's; we hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading folks. Good Evening...

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Another Private Visit...

Hi everyone. This was another visit to a private railway; in this case a very lengthy 7.25" gauge example. As usual, no names or locations so as to protect the security of the site. The lucky owner of this beautiful railway must be very proud indeed. His steeply graded line runs in an unusual 'figure of eight' shape around his grounds for just over 3/4 of a mile. Features include a large lake, a wooded section and, at the furthest point, a field line. The line is also served by steaming bays, a turntable and a large storage shed. Today, four locomotives were spotted on the line; one steam and three electric. Indeed, many of us (including myself) got a go at driving the resident Class 08 Diesel Shunter. At 6mph, it took quite a long time to traverse the track...
Another electric, brought in by a visitor, is spotted below...
There was also another electric, in a striking red livery, but unfortunately I didn't manage to catch a photo of that one. The solitary steamer in operation was, I believe, a Romulus in an Austrian guise; named "Romburg". "Romburg" and her owner were visiting from Rugby MES and seemed to be enjoying their little day out! Myself and my family caught a ride behind this lovely little loco around the circuit...
"Romburg" rounds one of the curves on the field section...
After our trip, "Romburg" receives attention to her fire before taking more passengers around the scenic track...
The track was, to say the least, very impressive. (Even my mother was impressed and she is normally hard to please!). We didn't stay too long; just long enough to have a chat with a few other CMES members and to have a ride behind "Romburg" and a drive on the Class 08. Thank you to the owner of the site for the invite and the drive of the 7.25" 'Jocko'. What a wonderful set-up. Indeed, it's a good job we left when we did as as soon as we pulled out of the gates the heavens opened and very heavy rain fell...thank goodness we don't have a convertable! Thank you for reading folks. Good Evening...

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Another Day on 1306 At Shackerstone...

Hi all. Well, I was out at 6:30am again this morning to be at Shackerstone for 7am. I was again due to be the cleaner/trainee fireman for LNER B1 No1306 "Mayflower" who would again be sharing services with Prairie Tank No5542. Shackerstone Family Festival weekend was still in full swing and six services were again rostered on the railway. On my arrival, I discovered Driver Neil cleaning the loco and Fireman Pockets was in the firebox cleaning out some clinker. Meanwhile, 5542 was being prepared on the South pit by Driver John, Fireman Dave and Trainee Danny. First, I grabbed a bucket, a brush and a handful of rags before filling the bucket with the usual mixture of Parrafin & Oil. I then set about cleaning the Fireman's Side bottom end of 1306 whilst Andy lit the engine up and Neil cleaned the barrel and brasswork. Surprisingly, today, it didn't seem long before we were ready and we reversed off shed and into Platform 1 very early indeed. In fact, 5542 hadn't even left yet with the first train when we came off shed! Wow! We all then went off to get changed and rejoined 1306 in good time. Over in the field we could hear the commentators on the tanoy, busily giving demonstrations and notices to the listening public. After her round trip, 5542 duly returned and we were the given the road to take 1306 over the crossing to the Signalbox. "Got the Dolly"; and we dropped down onto the train. However, before we could 'hook up', the Guard had to 'pull the strings'; dumping the vacuum resevoir in the coaches so that 1306 could actually pull the brakes off. It's all about vacuum limits. 5542, being a Western, pulls 25 inches of vacuum whereas 1306 only pulls 21 inches. Therefore, when 1306 needs to take over a service, the 'strings' will have to be pulled so that she can release the brakes. It's a simple task, it just takes up more time! Below, 1306 drops down onto the second train (her first) of the day; the Drain taps are open to release any condensed water from her still relatively cool steam circuits...
1306 looks a real picture as she drops down onto the stock; that looks like me and Pockets looking out from the Fireman's side...
A lovely portrait of 1306...
For the first run, Pockets said I could fire. I said "yes" of course (it's better than sitting still!) but I was a bit apprenhensive. I hadn't fired 1306 since early July and even then I'd only done one trip! (We'll see how this goes...). The main difference with 1306, for example...against 5542, is that the firebox is that much bigger. "Mayflower" boasts a firebox that is about 10ft long x 4ft wide and, even then, she has an Eastern style 'Flap Door', meaning that you have about 1/2 of the usual 'swinging space'! I must admit, the Flap Door takes alot of practise to master, as does looking through a larger fire for holes or bright spots. However, once the fire was built up (particularly thick around the middle due to the angle down towards the tubeplate), 1306 held steam very well and we made Shenton with a good amount of steam on the clock and the injector running. Below, I'm captured in the Fireman's seat as we leave Shackerstone with our first train of the day...
On the return run, I fired again and 1306 blew off through Three Bridges making it a very loud trip back to Bosworth! However, with the Flap open and both injectors running, she soon quietened down again! Soon, we were back at Shackerstone with the Flap open and the Damper shut so that we could have a huge layover before our next trip, the 4th; 5542 would take out the 3rd. 1306 sat quietly at Shackerstone with many people visiting her footplate and standing in awe as they surveyed the length of a B1 Class firebox! On our 2nd trip, Pockets fired down and I fired back before yet another layover. 5542 then went out on her last trip; the 5th train of the day. When 5542 returned there was a special treat; a fantastic aerial display by the famous RAF Red Arrows. They were really great and their presence was a great finale to the 2010 Shackerstone Family Festival. As the Red's left in a cloud of red, white and blue smoke, 1306 was coupled up to the final train of the day; the 5:45pm. Our last run was great; very enjoyable indeed; and we returned to Shackerstone in good time, joined by 1306's owner on the footplate. Once back, it wasn't long before we had 1306 inside the loco shed and disposed of. Thanks to Gerald, Neil and Andy for a great day out on the footplate once again. And, once again, thank you very much to steam department regular, Mr D.Hanks, for providing all of the fantastic photographs used in this post. Good Evening folks, Thanks for Reading...

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Firing 5542 For The Last Time On The Shackerstone Festival Special...

Hi all. This is the 2nd post of today. The story continues: As we waited in Platform 1 at Shackerstone for 1306 to return with the last train of the day, the crew for the 6:30pm special was discussed. It was decided that the day's driver; Andy; would remain on the footplate and would drive us down to Shenton. Adrian would then drive us back whilst I fired the entire trip. This meant a simple three of us on the footplate; a bit more room to move about! I simply got "you're firing the special" and a pair of bib 'n' brace as well as a jacket thrown at me! "That'll keep your good clothes clean"! Good Lord, I'm on the footplate again! (Not that I would ever turn down a last chance to fire the fantastic 5542). As there was still another hour before departure I decided not to make up the fire. The Dampers were shut and the Firebox Doors were opened wide. I also gave the fire a quick rake to check for clinker and to thin it out a bit more. Soon, 1306 arrived and we moved around onto the front of the 'Special'. There was still another 35 minutes to go and, with the boiler water level slowly nearing the "top nut", it was getting harder and harder to keep 5542 quiet! But, even through all that time, the loco didn't fully blow off, she just feathered a few times! As time passed, more and more exhibitors began to join the waiting special and, whilst awaiting departure, I got chatting to the loving owner of Steam Tug "Adamant", which was down on the Canal. He was talking about how easy it is to raise steam and how well she holds heat. All I could say was that it takes us hours to raise steam, especially from cold! Stark differences, ay? Anyway, departure time slowly neared and I began making up the fire. As with always, a thick back and a shallow front would be the key to success with this one. Therefore, I threw three or four good shovelfull's around the back corners and under the firehole door. I then opened the Front Damper and checked the fire again using the blade of the shovel as a deflector (standard practise). There were a few holes and so I filled them in before putting the flap up...
"Right Away" called Andy and he released the brake and opened the regulator. I threw two more shovelfull's into the box: one each side of the centre. I then shut the firehole doors. As with most Western's, 5542 has that characteristic of 'knocking doors' when she's working. Many have suggested a door wedge but at that heat they'd be melted to liquid before you could even put them in! Typical! Anyhow, as 5542 had been sitting at Shackerstone for around 2 hours, the engine was no longer 'hot hot'; even though the pressure gauge was reading 180psi. (This is how an engine can fool you, you see!). Therefore, even though there was a good fire in the box, 5542 dropped pressure a little. This meant constant checking of the firebed for any holes or raised sections. As I've experienced, a 'raised section' can indicate clinker as, in the past, I've had coal (which I'd thrown in to fill a hole) land on top of clinker, forming a lump. Of course, it then doesn't fill the hole; it just sits on top of the clinker. Cold air can then be sucked through between the lumps and the clinker and you then lose pressure again. (It's all a constant balancing act). However, coming around Hedley's, Andy 'shut off' for the 5mph slack and, with the front Damper still open, pressure began to climb back. I also had the injector on to maintain a good water level. Just then, a HUGE lump of coal fell down from the bunker. I'm not joking, you could have fired a King with it! (It's the new Russian stuff we use). This piece, though I could hardly fit it on or lift it with the shovel, was quickly placed under the door (little did I know it would still be there on the way back!!). With the fire rebuilt somewhat, the doors were shut again and the injector turned off. Andy then opened up again. Soon, with 175psi on the gauge, we got to Shenton and ran round before the journey back...
The journey back would be even more of a challenge. I raked the fire through to check for clinker: purple flames are never a good sign(!): before building up the back end again around the corners. (Under the door didn't need any due to that massive lump still being there after about 4 miles of running!). I made a special effort to keep the front very thin, though she did need one shovelfull up by the tubeplate where a hole had just formed in the centre. This done, we set off back to Shackerstone with Adrian on the regulator and Andy admiring the views of the Leicestershire countryside. I on the other hand had my eyes fixed on the gauge. On the last run of the day, particularly if you want a fast disposal, it is of paramount importance not to over-fire. However, you also have to balance out the fact that you need to get back with enough steam to keep the brakes off and enough water to keep a safe level on the descent into Shackerstone down the bank. (No pressure, eh?: "you're right, bad joke!"). Coming through Bosworth I checked the fire again and put another 2 shovelfull's around the back end and one in the centre. This would see us back to Shackerstone as long as I added two more shovelfull's to the middle as we passed Hedley's. Coming off Hedley's we had a full pot of water but only 170psi on the gauge. (This is the price you pay for alot of injecting with little fire!). However, 5542 got us back to Shackerstone right on time and with still a good amount of steam to spare. Indeed, dropping down the bank, the injector was running and the pressure holding. Sitting in the headshunt at Shackerstone, we'd pulled her down to 130psi and she was now ready to go to bed. With a rake through the fire and a few checks as well as filling the boiler to a safe 'cooling height'; 5542 was disposed and we left her to simmer in the yard. This would be my final time firing 5542 and, once again, it wasn't dissapointing; she's a very forgiving and well maintained machine. The "Special" proved to be a good success and the fact that it was steam hauled could only add to this. Thanks to Andy and Adrian (and Carl for putting me on!) for a good trip on the footplate of 5542 for the last time this visit. Now, off to the Beer Tent (mum's going to kill me when she see's these clothes...). Thanks for reading folks. Good Night...

Shackerstone Family Festival 2010 and Linesiding On The Railway...

Hi everyone. Today, with no loco turns or shed work rostered, I decided to head over to Shackerstone on a social visit. It was the weekend of the 2010 Shackerstone Family Festival and, being a working member on the railway, I had a pass for free entry. During the day, I had also planned to do some linesiding on the railway as I never normally get the chance to film anything! I got to Shackerstone at about 10am and headed immediately for the loco shed where I found both 1306 and 5542 being readied for service. I filmed 5542 going off shed and then, without warning she primed all over my best clothes! Perhaps an omen?! I hope not! I then filmed 5542 leaving Shackerstone on the first run of the day before heading back to my car. The Festival field is about 1-mile away from Shackerstone by road, though its only a stones throw on foot! I moved straight around to the field and then parked up before having a walk around the show. I didn't stay long, just had a quick nose about and got a few pics here and there. Behind some caravans I discovered "Titanic", an Aveiling & Porter Roller that is a regular at local steam rallies and country shows such as this...
"Titanic" was also joined by a very modern "Advance" Roller; the two Roller's making up the only full size road vehicles for this year. However, there was no shortage of miniature steamer's including Foster Road Loco "Heather" which is a regular at shows such as the Midland Model Engineering Exhibition. "Heather" is normally also joined by some miniature electric car's, such as a very nice Land Rover which, in fact, was also in attendence today. Perhaps the most impressive miniature loco this year was a Garratt Showman's. I would have estimated its scale size at between 4" & 6", it was a monster...
The festival also plays host to lovingly restored Military vehicles...
Over in the classic car area, you could find everything from Tractor's (below) to a lovely Ford Capri (top image). There really were some beautiful vehicles here of various types, ages and colours; all lovingly restored by their adoring owners...
Out on the Ashby Canal there was another huge gathering of Narrowboats from mundane pleasure boats to beautiful Working Boats of past years...
The Narrowboats, sometimes moored up to 3-across, proved very popular and a walk down the towpath sometimes proved very difficult with the congestion! There were many types of boats here. One thing that amazes me is how high some of the bigger boats stand out of the water when empty. You can imagine that, when they're fully laden, it must be very difficult not to catch the bottom of shallow canals! One boat that caught my eye was the Steam Tug "Adamant" that, as I was a bit early, wasn't in steam just yet. (Surprisingly, I got a chat with the owner later on up at the railway, see next post). Below, the Narrowboats stand together along the canal towpath on the approach to the Station Road bridge...
"The Towpath Shop": a narrowboat converted to form a waterway souvenir shop: was also in attendence, as were the Ashby Boat Company who were giving 20-minute cruises along a short stretch of the canal. The children weren't forgotten either; a Fairground was provided as usual!...
There was even a 5" gauge miniature railway, operated by Burton Model Engineering Society I believe. The portable track was operated using what seemed to be a model of a 2ft Gauge Peckett. The smokebox door features and the shallow 'bottom end' suggest this. However, it could well be some kind of Freelance Hunslet!...
As well as what I've mentioned there were Trade Stands, a very popular Beer Tent, Classic Buses, Horses, Dogs, Model Aircraft, Birds, Motorcyle Display Teams, Shows in the Main Arena, a Flyover by a "Spitfire" and of course the famous RAF Red Arrows which did a fantastic 25-minute acrobatic display on the Sunday afternoon. (Damn...now you know this wasn't written on the right day!). There was alot to see and, I must admit, it was well organised. Well done to everyone involved. After my quick walk around it was back to the railway where, using my little Saxo, I chased 5542 and "Mayflower" around the Fen Lanes, capturing them on film a few times in the process. The footage I got can be seen below...
After my filming on the railway I was invited onto the footplate of 5542 and enjoyed a ride on her final public round trip of the day. This was again in my good clothes which, really, I had to try very hard to keep sort of clean, even though they'd been primed over by 5542 that morning! It was a good run and I enjoyed it alot. When we got back to Shack, 1306 quickly ran round and took out the last train of the day. 5542 would normally be disposed at this point but, as it was 'Shack Fest' weekend, there was a special train for the show's exhibitors which was due to depart Shackerstone at 6:30pm and, well, just guess who ended up firing it?! (see next post!)...

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Southport Post 3: The Pier Tram...

Hi there folks. This is the third and final post from Southport and, I suppose, somewhat obscure for this particular blog but oh well! The Southport Pier Tram operates atop its namesake for 1.1km! The modern, battery-operated tram works from the Main Pier Building right up to the Pier Head, on rails stretched to a gauge of 3ft 6": the original gauge when the line began in 1863. However, in 1950, the line was relaid to 1ft 11.5", returning to 3ft 6" when it was restored in 2002. The new tram (seen above), arrived in 2005 and has been running up and down the Pier ever since. Departures are made every 30 minutes from either end in the summer, saving appreciating members of the public from walking either all the way to the end OR all the way back (or both)! The Tram operates every day except Christmas Day though, in adverse weather, I can't see them taking it out there. The line, laid centrally on the pier, is unusal in the respect that the public are not stopped from walking along it; they are merely advised not to! The tram then makes its way slowly through the crowds of people! I'm very surprised that health and safety hasn't insisted on fences to protect the public but, if the tram takes its time, I see no problem in the current operating procedure. Looking along the Pier, the track is fairly uneven, riding up and down at various points. As the tram rumbles along, it isn't unusual to see it bobbing up and down by the head as it rides the humps and bumps! (A characteristic maybe?!). We didn't ride today but, even though its battery powered, it was interesting to see the Southport Pier Tram. Thanks folks, that's all for now. Goodbye...

Southport Post 2: Lakeside Miniature Railway...

Welcome back everyone. This is post No2 of three regarding my visit to Southport. Now, my second 'engagement' consisted of a visit to the 15" gauge Lakeside Miniature Railway. Like the Model Railway Village (see previous post), the LMR is located on the edge of Southport's Marine Lake. However, I had no clue of the railway's existence until I discovered a small article on the internet a few days ago. Therefore, with a mangled idea as to where the railway was, I set out to find it. Built in 1911, the railway now runs for around 800 yards between Pleasureland (the local Fun Fair) and the Pier. Essentially, the line is formed in the shape of a large letter 'L', the shorter leg being the run into the Pier Station. Originally, the railway was steam operated but the final engine, 1990-built Atlantic 4-4-0 "Red Dragon", left for a new home on the Windmill Farm Railway a good few years ago. The railway now owns three steam-outline diesel hydraulics and two diesels. The three steam-outline loco's consist of 'Jenny'; a large sit-in tank engine; and two longer loco's, designed to look like Gresley's Famous A4 Class racehorses. However, today, the two A4's were nowhere in sight and 'Jenny' was hidden at the back of the sheds. One of the diesels, designed to look like a Class 52 'Western' was also nowhere to be seen. Therefore, only one loco remained, the other diesel; "Golden Jubilee", built in 1963. This loco is what I can only describe as a 'man-rider', as you will see below...
As you can see, she retains 'clock-hands' to create the illusion of a smokebox door but she is obviously not a steam-outline. There is a diesel engine in the substantial tender and I can only guess that there is a clutch-drive through into the 'loco', powering the wheels. The driver sits inbetween the tender and 'loco', as with conventional 15" gauge loco's. The driver, not really a huge loco 'buff' like myself, couldn't tell me much about "Golden Jubilee" only that it was a simple, robust, reliable and useful locomotive to have. In his words; "she does the job!". Below, the railway's logo is spotted on "Golden Jubilee"s tender...
Though the running line is only short, I couldn't drop in without having a ride. I think the fare was £2 odd for a return ticket, the round trip covering around 1.5km I believe. The ride is a little bumpy (call it authentic if you will?!), riding in unsprung articulated coaches with bench-seats on lightly-laid track. However, it's pleasant enough. I joined at the Pier station and, as "Golden Jubilee" towed the train along, diesel fumes filled the air! How authentic can you get?! The line takes an usual route, mainly in a straight line, along the side of Marine Lake. However, the views mainly consist of hedges, dark fences and the undersides of graffiti-clad bridges. Though the ride is of interest to a mad railfan like myself, I can only guess that normal passengers would not be overwhelmed by the trip. I think the biggest problem with lines like this is a lack of volunteers and, more importantly, a lack of funds. Indeed, though the striking entrance to the Pier Station is very nice, the station at Pleasureland is very delapidated and could do with a lick of paint and a few nails here and there to say the least. Again, it's all down to money and time. Today, I only spotted two guys at work; the driver and a chap working away in the sheds where 'Jenny' hid...
Below, the striking entrance at the Pier Station. It's a shame that Pleasureland doesn't look this good...
I had my quick round trip on the railway and then headed back to my family. The Lakeside Miniature Railway is a prime example of the type of railway that is getting few and far between nowadays. It's a small but friendly set up with limited funds and few resources. According to the driver, vandalism is also a problem. In fact, the local 'Skate Park'; situated right at the lineside; seems to play a big part in the railway's problems. Today alone, a steel pushbike wheel had been placed on the rails in an attempt to derail "Golden Jubilee". What is the world coming to when acts such as this are considered worthwhile and enjoyable?! I don't know. However, its still an interesting visit and, though I may have stayed longer if one of the A4's or 'Jenny' had been out, I enjoyed myself none the less. I wish the railway much sucess in the future. If you're around that area; why not drop in? Click HERE for their website. Oh well, onwards and upwards. Thanks for reading folks...

Southport Post 1: Model Railway Village...

Hi all. Now, when the family decided on a visit to Southport I had to check for any railway-related item's of interest in the area. Sure enough, I discovered three very different pieces of interest which will feature across three seperate posts on this blog. The first visit was the Southport Model Railway Village. Having a garden railway myself, I always find Model Village's interesting. However, though most model village's will have some kind of simple model railway, this one is a bit different; it's a railway with a model village! Located on the edge of Marine Lake, the Model Railway Village includes over 500 metres of double-track garden railway. Made to 45mm (Gauge 1), all of the trains are products of the famous train model manufacturers known as 'LGB'. The tracks run in a large, meandering circuit around the well-landscaped gardens and pass around 200 model buildings on their way! Open since 1996, the Model Railway Village is an interesting, pleasant family attraction which is well worth at least an hour of anybodies time. Overall, it is a MUST for youngster's though, Adult's Beware; you may end up staying for ages! I have decided to include a good few pictures in this post to keep you all interested and so, here we go. The village, though scale, is of course open-air and therefore is not exempt to the birds. Unfortunately, these are not scale and even seem to stalk the villagers as they go about their daily business!...
Below, a Mallett-class tank engine hauls a short freight whilst being stalked from the lineside by a small bird which in real life would be taller than "Mayflower"!...
Three trains were running clockwise on the outer line, block-sectioned and kept apart by colour light signals and sensors. All three trains (2 steam & 1 diesel) were freights. Below, a blue 0-6-0 tender-tank speeds along the track on a section that seemed riddled with 'drop joints'...
About 1/3 of the way around the gardens, trains meet a yard area; the only one of its kind on the railway. There are wagons stored here and also engine sheds, a water tower and signalbox. Outer line trains don't enter the yard, only the inner line (anti clockwise) does. Below, the green Mallett has been held at the signalbox whilst the blue 0-6-0 clears the next section. The yard is spotted behind...
A close up of the Mallett. LGB are very good at what they do; making robust, powerful and very much weather-proof model locomotives...
Below, a close up of just a few of the model buildings...
Once away from the signalbox, trains round another sweeping bend before crossing a girder bridge over a stream. I waited here until two trains met and managed to capture a shot of them approaching the bridge. A diesel loco, on the outer line, approaches the bridge in a clockwise direction whilst another Mallett works anti-clockwise on the inner line...
Today, only one train was running on the inner line; a quaint 3-coach passenger hauled by a dark green Mallett. The inner line is also colour-light signalled but there isn't really any need with only one train running! However, being a passenger train, the inner line train automatically stops at both the station and the yard area before starting off again after a short wait; that's computer-isation! Below, the Mallett has just left the station and is beginning a new round trip of the inner line...
As you walk around the village, there are many benches; allowing you to sit back and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere whilst watching the trains go by; very nice! The path meanders around the site in a clockwise direction, following the railway and the buildings for most of its route. One of my favourite bits was this very nicely made tunnel which the light green Mallett has just appeared from in the image below...
Overall, I spent about 45 minutes in the Model Railway Village and this included two quick walks around the site. As far as I know, you can walk around as many times as you want during your visit and the admission prices are very reasonable indeed. I for one enjoyed my visit very much and I would recommend a quick look if you're in the area. However, if visiting the village, be careful of the 'huge' birds which stalk the grassy plain's! Thank you for reading folks, now on to the next appointment...