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Salfords Light Railway

The Salfords Light Railway diary

February 2003

I have been thinking over the station area, specifically the loco servicing "problem".

Several people pointed out to me that there are commercial loco lifts on the market for around 200. Robin reckoned it'd be difficult to make an alternative for much less than this. Joe Holdsworth sells one through Polly Model Engineering, and I saw one on the Polly stand at the recent Model Engineers Exhibition.

I'd probably not put mine on wheels, just need to ask how durable it'd be if left outside.

If I was to put one just off the turntable (as shown below), this would be a convenient point not only to on- and off-load locos, but also for servicing. I still need to get out there and see how it will all fits together.


A certain person (who shall remain nameless) has commented that I don't seem to have done much this month. He's right, but then my garden has been doing a fair impersonation of Siberia these last few weeks! Trouble is, being so open the wind whistles across the surrounding fields and it is almost ALWAYS windy in my garden. Add to that actual temperatures hovering around freezing and you can gather that it is not too inviting out there. Still, it is forecast to start warming up so I am looking forward to getting out there and cracking on with the station area. And to counter his other argument, I don't want to do to much work on the rolling stock until I have a secure loco/carriage-shed to put it in.

Yee-hah! Managed to get out in to the garden this weekend and do some work. -10C last weekend, +10C this weekend.

Doris and I made a start on the station area. We took out the 4 concrete slabs from the first turntable attempt and generally started levelling the entire station area.

The top end of the station looks as if it will have to drop by about 6" - I don't particularly want the station to be on a gradient - my trains will run away!

All of the clay was put in one white builders-bag, all of the turf in another (which is a bit of an eye-sore in the middle of the garden, but it isn't going to stay there for ever).

It seems a bit like the joke about digging a hole to put the dirt in.

John gardening with a pick-axe.

Here I am digging out the old concrete path. This is going to make a hole - and a mess! The spare topsoil from the station area is going to be used to level this off. The concrete from the path in turn is going to make up the hardcore for the loco- and carriage-sheds.

Basically, we are moving piles of dirt round the garden. The leftovers we really don't want can go in a skip to be dumped "somewhere" when we are finished. I am hoping that the volume of soil is about right, just that it needs moving around. This way there will not be too much to dump at the end. Yeah right, like that is REALLY going to happen.

I found there is a manhole cover under the grass right next to the points (you can just see it in the shot above). Fortunately, this is pretty much where the path will go. It is cracked, so I need a new cover - no problem - but then it can be covered over with some nice paving of some sort - just removable in case we need to get to the manhole. It is almost certainly a continuation of the drain from up by the kitchen, but it might not be - the neighbours have an air-raid shelter in their garden left over from the Second World War.

Just a reminder of what it should look like when it is all finished:

I went down to the local builders merchants and checked out some building blocks. Marshalls make some fake dry-stone walling called Ryedale. It looks a lot like a wall made from miniature stone blocks - normal bricks are too big. I'd been thinking of using this to make the walls of my loco shed and having checked it out I am convinced.


[ author: - last updated 25th Feb 2003 ] [ HOME ]