September 2006

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WRG-lite featuring Chris ("You may have invaded my guards van in the past")

Normally these reports are when we've been out on the line, miles from civilisation and the beady eyes of authority - not that what we do is "unconventional" in any way. This time we were playing to the gallery in Number One Road, Harbour Station. And yes, the trains did get in the way a bit. It was good chatting to the passing pedestrians, though some of the facial-hair-and-camera combinations of the photographers were worrying.

Purpose of the exercise was to free up two short Bull Head / Flat bottom transfer rails at the Blaenau end of Number 1 road for them to be used at the top end of Boston Lodge curve and replace them with looooong ones. Freddy had provided a 5' temporary bullhead rail to allow trains to run over.

So, let the Earl (and the Damon All-Barn set) out, pull out first rail, whack in replacement with short rail, and relax. Repeat for two rails each side, leaving six old rails and the short un. There were three double engines out, with Merddin bringing the stock of the second train across, followed by Dave who could have dropped on the front, but for the fact he needed watering. Merddin then sat as spare in two road - a nice gesture to give a bit of interest between trains. Something to do with Welsh Pony perchance?

In four road however was the world greatest locomotive, bar none. A few weeks ago Harlech Castle had gone into the Lodge for her MOT and was promptly diagnosed with dodgy gearbox, so we had The Hebog instead. However since I last drove her about three years ago (waaay too long) the helpful numbers on her gear sector plate have been painted over, which doesn't help the uninitiated. Especially me. It did give us plenty of time to look at the scenery on the way home. Suffice to say the clag was about as good as Earl on coal, although no flame was visible out the stack when we went through Rhiw Plas. Very underrated little engine, as his Lordship would say. Having said that approximately none of the Port Harbour spotters and photters took any notice of Hebog. She's over fifty years old!!

Lili the cat made an appearance in the sunshine, and was even found in 1111 at one point. Sat Evening (as usual) was spent reducing the Welsh Beer Mountain, followed by a vid session with the BTF film featuring Tanygrisiau Power Station's transformer "Measured for Transit". Available on VHS from this external link

Sunday was spent packing, shimming and loading rails (in the white zone, or was it green zone?). If you ever need your drive resurfaced ask Fred for some station ballast. Sets like ****ing Tarmac and has to be broken up with a pick to dig it out. The tide was well in in the Harbour and made it very tempting to go for a dip.

Final activity was a bit of "just in time" shunting (finishing as Dave crossed the Cob), coupling up to the rail flats and transporting them to the Lodge. Then it was a matter of unloading and spinning them round to face the right way. Unfortunately they were a touch too long for the waggon turntables so we had to do it by hand.

Otherwise, fairly easy going, what with all the breaks for letting trains past. Most difficult was coming back into Minffordd at the end of Saturday - I had pressed the right button for Andy, but the sunshine meant he couldn't see it. Luckily the was no-one around to see me get my buttons mixed up (who labelled those ground signals? It's confusing!), apart from the GM.

Next weekend is in November when we get to play at Pen Cob. See you in the Den, sheltering from the rain.

Andy Elms

Photos on this external link

See also[edit]