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Monday, 22 August 2016

Latest news

I should really be posting to this blog more often but things often get in the way. I will be trying to make more effort in the future!

Drilling the new sleepers ready for the bolts
After our sleeper delivery, we had a second visit from the mid hants railway (MHR) guys to install the sleepers, it was very kind of them to do this as originally we were only offered the sleepers. They spent a log day at the signal box in very warm weather but they did a brilliant job and it would've taken us a year to do what they did in just one day. They also brought all the proper tools for the job (as you'll see in the photos) yet something we don't have.

Inserting the new sleeper
As this was all done for free we felt it our duty to provide them with lunch, so Dave and I brought along some camping stoves and did burgers, sausages and bacon. Oh, I almost forgot, Dave did onions too!


We are so great full for the sleepers and all the time the volunteers from the MHR have given up, but it felt like we all had a good time and a laugh while we (they) were working. Although no money was asked for, we shall be making a donation to the railway as they've done so much for us. But thanks is also due to our volunteers who helped by removing the ballast around the sleepers that were due to be changed. This saved some much time on the day of the sleeper change and saved the MHR guys having to make a second visit. now just a case of putting it all back in.

Adrian and Allan replacing the ballast

In more recent news, Dave has installed a form of shelving in the pavilion to display all our merchandise. He has built some 'rustic' boxes which we have screwed to the wall. They really suit the room, display the products nicely and seem to be able to take the weight. The only flaw we found was that we had to install some Perspex in the boxes to stop the products falling through the gaps. The only thing left to install will be some lighting as it looks a bit dull in this area.

Painting the signal box exterior continues and Dave and Keith are on the final side of the signal box. The wood has been primed and under coated and certain parts now even have a top coat of gloss paint. If the weather is nice this week they predict that the majority of it will be completed on Wednesday, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Cowely Bridge signal box has also had some work done. I spent the best part of a day polishing the lever tops to make them shiny as they would've been in a real signal box. Only trouble with this is that touching the levers without a cloth would now mean they will start to rust, and an authentic lever cloth is far too big for the 1/4 sized levers. So I fired up the sewing machine and a day later had produced a scale lever cloth! I didn't stop there though, I also produced some lever collars which would've been an important part of the signalling equipment.

On the more technical side of things, we had visit from Alan on Saturday (the system designer) and the lever from interlocking has also had an update and now makes much more sense and the code itself is easier to read. We have also had the first run of the new automated simulator! It seems to work fine but has not been left with us yet as there are still a few alterations to make.

The members also had their AGM on Saturday where many information about the project was fed back from the committee to the members, the minuets of this meeting will be published in our next newsletter.

We hope that you'll find time in the near future to visit the signal box and see all these developments for yourself. Also, all members are invited to attend our social evening in September. If you're a member and haven't heard about this and/or now want to attend, get in contact with the usual people.

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