March Update

With only a few weeks left until we reopen at Easter, work is now starting to focus on making sure we are ready for trains to run again on the 29th March.

This winter’s ‘big job’, putting in the new point at Launceston station, is now nearing completion. The main line and run round loop are connected, the point has been ballasted and the old point lever frame has been moved and reconnected to the new point.

Removing the old connecting line between the loop and the old point, click for larger view Clearing the area for a new section of track to connect to the loop, click for larger view Area cleared for new connecting track, click for larger view A few days later and the loop has been connected up to the new point, click for larger view A few days later and the loop has been connected up to the new point, click for larger view Adaptor rails brought down to fill the gap between the point and platform main line, click for larger view Adaptor rails in place, click for larger view Trackwork finished and ballasted, ready for trains to run again at Easter, click for larger view Trackwork finished and ballasted, ready for trains to run again at Easter, click for larger view

One of the smaller projects this winter has been refurbishing one of our toastrack carriages – namely replacing the floor. Some small corroded sections were replaced and new floor boards are being fitted.

Toastrack carriage with floorboards removed, click for larger view Welding new sections in place on the toastrack, click for larger view Needle gunning the chassis before repainting, click for larger view New floor board supports ready for fitting, click for larger view New floor board supports fitted in place, click for larger view First new floor boards fitted to the toastrack carriage, click for larger view

All four engines were in steam on Thursday for a visit from the boiler inspector. Each locomotive is inspected annually (actually every 14 months), both cold and in steam, to ensure our insurance company are happy with the condition of their boilers. Following the retirement of the boiler inspector who has been visiting us since we opened, our new boiler inspector decided this year it would be more efficient to conduct the in steam inspections for the four locomotives on one day before the season started, rather than spread throughout the season as had previously been the case. All are approved for another season’s use, and the opportunity was taken to give both Lilian and Covertcoat (our main engines) a test run through the station and our new points.

Covertcoat waits for the boiler inspector, click for larger view Lilian tries the new points out for size! Click for larger view A reunion of 'old friends', as both Lilian and our new points originally came from Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales. Click for larger view.