January 2006

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WRG feat. Ant, Gavin, Rodney, Ron Walker, SSP and the PW Gang

The site location of Whistling Curve may have been a clue as to how much 'pre-curving' (Fred doesn't like calling it bending) of rails we'd be doing this weekend. Glorious January sun shined down on the group, as we removed the old bullhead, chairs, Spooner fishplates and sprung clips. Judging by the roughness of the foot, the rail was definitely due removal. A scrap man is expected at TyB imminently. Fred hasn't considered the potential popularity of corrugated bullhead with feminine passengers...

This was replaced with new Polish 30kg/m (I think that’s about 60lb/yd in old money), screwed down with SAS plates from the bottom of a waggon in Dinas yard. The metalurgists among you will be interested to know that some of the centenarian cast iron chairs have less rust flakes than the steel base plates!!

Macey, Rodney and team had the HydraCrow (another quality product from Fredtrack Supplies, the Conjugated Iron shed, Minffordd Yard) hard at work and the new 60ft rail was bent on seeing us. The resident robin, spotted last year wasn’t noticed. Ron Walker made a great cup of tea and supplied an orange cylinder which, when defrosted, made excellent soup.

That's it really, old lengths out, new in, gauge the high rail to the old low rail, gauge the new low rails to the new high rail. Gravity was found to be in short supply when running the wagons down, despite the addition of some Yorkshire ballast. In a similar way Andy Carey found INA moved more easily when you put her into gear. Even Fred made an appearance on Saturday, and Ian Rudd (with camcorder) on Sunday. Ever noticed how everything goes wrong when you've got a camera on you? Hopefully we can gift-aid the £250 from You've Been Framed for my clip... Also tried to nick a handy bookend sized piece of flatbottom, but apparently it’s needed for the Cockomatiqué.

Meanwhile, Matty Ellis was hard at work in the Lodge and on a passenger train. As you might have been aware, Fred and Co. are using a procedure for two trains in a possessed section, using full stop board protection. It works well. Matty even produced a special headboard, the achievement not undermined by the lack of suitable brackets on INA, Gimpess and 1111.

Otherwise, only other major news is that I have discovered the Dark Side of the Moose and it tastes absolutely blooming not at all bad mate another four pints please. Kind of killed intelligent conversation though - apart from discussing the Rivet Counters Christmas Quiz in ones of Bob’s magazines – question one: How many classes of LNER loco were streamlined.

So, pretty standard really. Plenty more to do, etc etc, Andy Carey is waiting for your call (he's a nice boss and lets you have a good long lie in)

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