Words and images by J.Penny images copyright J.Penny and Gartell Light Railway.
So anyway... the decision was made to replace the signal head to
a three aspect at Common Lane no. 12/17, which is adjacent to the viewing platform at the
engine shed end of the station. Why? Well, when 'off' it gave a yellow to proceed to no. 16 (Plat 1) or if
the points 12 were reversed, yellow to
proceed to no. 15 (Plat 2). What if either of these signals were
'off'? well it would still show a
yellow, whereas a green would be 'more correct'. Thus it was the
signal head was changed, and rewired the following week. Now if 15 or 16 are off, (or
pulled off) and 12 or 17 pulled off, it will automatically go from yellow
to green. It's been one of those jobs
that we would get around too, part of the 25 year plan I think the excuse
Words by S.Alford
Thursday was a chilly day but nontheless a lot of work was carried out by the team, mainly on Pinesway Junction signal box. CJ, Ian, Gary, Keith, Chandler and Myself (and later Dave) spent the day replacing the second window in the box. The frame had already been made by our resident carpenter Ian, and all that had to be done was take out the old frame and replace it with the new one. This was the second stage/window set to be replaced out of three. Sounds easy - but it wasnt! Our (or I should say Ian's first task, with the help from the rest of us!) was to take the old window out, this took a lengthy amount of time due to the fact the wood was so rotten and it had many, many nails in! Once we had taken it out it was back to the workshop to pick up the new frame and glass to go inside. From the pictures below you can see this wasn't an easy task, however by the end of the day the new window had been succesfully installed. All that's left now is to install the third window pane, which will be done in the near future.
Words by J. Penny
The first open day of 2013 fell on the 1st April,
however the final passenger figures for the day were far from a
joke. We all arrived wondering if anyone would be mad enough to join us for a
day which was a most awful cold one - quite possibly ever - for a GLR open day.
However, from 446 last year to
663 this, this represents about a 50% increase in numbers, whilst the
seat capacity for the day had shrunk by 25% thanks to the 20 minute service presented by the longer ride which takes in the new line. (With trains passing at
Pinesway junction a 15 minute service was formerly the norm) We were all delighted, and whilst we were a little pressed insofar as there were just enough to go
round staff-wise due to sudden other commitments for a few regular volunteers, the slightly less intensive service did give us a chance
for the personal needs break after each trip. Particular thanks to our long
distance signalmen Ted White (with 140 mile round trip) and John Stratton (on his way back to London from the previous day working Williton box on the West Somerset). This freed up our regular signalmen to do Guard duty and also great to have Sam Alford qualify on this day as Guard as well. Many congratulations to you Sam!
Thanks to the 'Last of the Summer Wine' crew, (generally C.J., Gary, Keith and Ian) the work on replacing the windows at Pinesway was far enough advanced to (temporarily) replace the rotted 'Up'
side front window although the temporary middle portion is a large blanked out piece of board. Needs must...!
All in all a fantastic day despite
the appalling cold, and a big 'Well Done and THANKYOU' to
everyone involved in making the day a
Dave, CJ and Ian (l-r) start to install the new windows at Pinesway Junction signal box. Photo by J. Penny.
Words & Photographs (C) S. Alford
The past few weeks have been very
busy at the GLR, and I apologise now for not updating the blog recently;
not just that fact we have been busy but also due to some technical issues with
the site, all of which I can now assure you are fixed. So,
where to start.
Sunday 10th March saw us install a section of track
which has now extended the head shunt at tower view. Although not very big, this
new piece will allow for us to have more much-needed space when running the
engine around the train. It also saw us begin the installation of the new up
distant signal to Tower View. Under the watchful eye of the “boss of signals”
John ‘CJ’ Penny, the lattice post was placed (I say placed, it was more like
skilfully lifted into place using the Merlo driven by the boss Mr Gartell!) into
the hole dug out by the digger. It was then a matter of fitting all the bits and
bobs on it to make it look like a signal rather than just a freshly painted post
in a hole… after checking that it was standing straight, the lattice post was
ballasted in place. The hood on the Common Lane crossing down home signal and
Pinesway Junction distant signal
was ‘trimmed’ on one side as this was too close to the track, the signal itself
was also moved a few inches so now there is plenty of clearance as trains
approach/leave the crossing.
The week after, 17th March, we had finished installing the
new signal. It now had an arm, lamp, and all the other necessary fittings (see
picture below). Fitting all these
bits took up most of the day as several adjustments had to be made, plus it was
mighty cold so a few cups of tea, or in myself, Chandler and Charlie’s case mugs
of hot chocolate were downed!
Sunday just gone, 24th March, a lot of work was carried out and
completed. Dave, CJ and Mike B made the last adjustments to the new signal and
it is now ready to be connected to the ground frame. Whilst this was being
carried out, myself Chandler and Charlie had the task of cleaning out the level
crossings from all the mud that had got wedged between them, they now sit clean
and are ready for our open day on Easter Monday. The three of us then went on to clean the coaches, and to our surprise found that the roof in one of the sets had
started to grow mould on…a few hours later and a bucket of hot water and mould
remover, plus some nice smelling air freshener and the coaches were as good as
new! Bertie spent the day finalising the new phone system, whilst Steve worked
in the shop on the new layout and Mike L was busy revamping GLR signs.
Today (Tues 26th March) CJ connected all the wheels up
ready for the new signal.
All that’s left to say is, hopefully see you on
Easter Monday! Until next time...!
To our faithful website visitors...You may have noticed recently that we haven't been posting much information on our blog site... For this, we are sorry! A lot has been happening at the GLR and we have also had a few technical issues with the site, however, watch this space as a post containing information on the past few weeks will be arriving shortly! Thank you! - S.A
Words by S Alford Photos by D Clark
Sunday was cold but a lot of work got done by the four GLR volunteers CJ, Chandler Sam and Dave. The Pinesway down branch home signal was refitted after a repaint and now stands tall and proud on the line towards the station. The finial was replaced on the signal leading out of Pinesway towards Park Lane aswell. Later in the afternoon we unloaded several concrete sleepers at Tower View which will be used for the headshunt extension soon to be carried out. On the back of the crane wagon we coupled up the new guards van and this was the first time it had been taken to Tower View.
Our 2013 Open Days have been announced on the 'Open Days & Events' page of the website. Be sure to check it out now, and we look forward to seeing you!
Words by J. Penny.
'It's been a funny old day...' as Arkwright might have
said. Whether or not our very own version of Arkwright - Harold Rodd,
thought the same is unknown, but Steve has been teaching him how to use a
computer and all the GLR stock in the shop is being logged in and out.
Blimey; technology reaches the GLR, although apparently it's not powered by
Dave drove the red diesel, No.5, on a trip to Park
Lane to re-erect the 'STOP' board, broken off at the end of the 2012
season. It was my fault (Bert) but the wood was rotten, believe me...
There was a little pause before returning as the drive belt to the air pump
snapped, meaning the brakes on the loco would not come off, but as we had just
had a torrential downpour we were able to creep back gently as the brake-blocks
were not exactly gripping tightly. The weather brightened considerably, we
exchanged engines at Common Lane yard, and made our way up to Tower View to pick
up all the logs from the tree-cutting from a few weeks ago, all the brush-wood
having gone up in smoke of course. These logs were loaded onto the broad
bogie flat wagon and then moved to a convenient place for unloading, where we
chained the wagon to the track just in case some undesirables had some bright
Needless to say lots of other little jobs were tackled, none of
huge importance, but ones which help to put the GLR where it is at the top of
the 'Tidiest Railway' category (in my less-than-humble opinion) One thing
I did notice in the workshops is that a start was been made on replacement
windows for Pinesway Junction signal box. Facing the West it can really
get the worst of the weather and sad to say the windows have really suffered in
the last twenty years or so. Fortunately Ian is 'the man' when it comes to
carpentry, and 'O' level or not, I think my efforts at anything like that would
be in the 'wood butchery' class, producing little more than a mess, noise and
A wet and rather chilly start to January and the first few weekends back at the GLR meant it was time for some great photo oppurtunities. Some have been taken by railway volunteer/fireman Dave, with others being taken by John 'CJ' Penny, here are some stunning pictures of the GLR with a blanket of snow, taken on Friday 18th Jan and Sunday 20th. No doubt there will be more to follow, so watch this space!
Sunday 6th was a mild although drizzly day at times, but this
did not stop the team getting cracking with the initial concreting of the signal
at Pinesway. Several trips were made with the tool van, bogie wagon loaded
with a barrow of concrete (mixed in the vehicle wash area) and were headed by
No.5. However, little progress seemed to be made in filling the
hole. The Boss had asked us to make the hole even bigger before starting
the concreting as well, so clearly there is a long way to go. Graham and
Sheila were busy gardening, and in the afternoon, Mike Baker, C.J. and myself
took this down to our burning place for a lovely big bonfire, burning a
considerable amount of brush and branches from previous weeks. Ah! I love
a good fire, and the stillness of the winter air saw the plume of light grey
smoke rising gently into the air. What is it with blokes and bonfires?
Work carried out over the previous few weeks was mainly by our stalwart C.J.
whose input over the years has been a major contribution to the success of the
GLR. He spent a day fish-plate greasing; not the nicest of jobs but one
that is essential. Also, as stated on our Facebook site, one Friday he
and Ian replaced the window cill of Common Lane 'box (to the right as view from
the front) a job that we 'got around to' at last.
This blog is updated as soon as anything new happens at the GLR. Please check back often to keep up to date with the progess that we're making with the Railway.
PLEASE NOTE THE BLOG IS TEMPORARILY OUT OF USE. WE WILL RESUME BLOG POSTS LATER IN THE YEAR. IN THE MEANTIME PLEASE CHECK FACEBOOK FOR THE LATEST NEWS. THANK YOU.
Open Days 2013