The Salfords Light Railway diary
Need to start work on the station area as soon as
possible. Things are running ahead of schedule, I managed to start work
on the station in February.
Great, I have located another drain cover of some sort
under the grass. I am beginning to
realise why the former owner of the house put a path down the garden - it
covered up 2 man-hole covers if nothing else! I am trying to dig out the old
path, level the ground, then the top soil from the station area can be used to
raise the level of the grass about 1". That's the theory anyway, but it
just looks a right mess at the moment.
Typical isn't it? I don't have anything else planned for
today and I don't have a headache, so what happens? It rains. 3 times this afternoon I have been outside and started work, and 3
times I have had to come back in when it started raining. It now looks as if it
has set in for the day. Still, the forecast for tomorrow is better so I'll just have to be patient.
is the sort of thing I have to contend with. Huge lumps of concrete all the way
down the garden. Fortunately, whoever made the path was not very good at mixing
concrete and the very sandy mixture is quite easy to break up. I am still going
to need a skip to get rid of all the rubbish.
The reddy-pink "thing" is a sort-of millstone
I have put round the socket for the washing line - never could find the fiddling
thing in the grass!
my poor garden!
You can just make out the 2 large heaps of concrete near the wheelbarrow.
Well, if you click on the image and look at the bigger version you can - caution
The new footpath doesn't show too well in the shadow, but it does in the
Still not convinced about the shape of the path, but as the stones
are just sitting on the grass at the moment it'd be easy to change.
is surplus grass (I shall not call it turf) in the white sack. You'd never
credit that so much spoil would come from such a small area.
Just noticed that from overhead the path looks like a giant ?
The general idea is that where the footpath comes across the track by the
shed, it will curve across towards the white sack and eventually join up with
All I have to do now is start removing soil from the station area (bottom of
picture) and start spreading it out over the rest of the garden, then re-seed it
with grass. This may take a while!
doing a load of earth moving, I decided to have some "fun". I fitted the
2nd side of the triangle and have run a test train. I just need to fill in the
gap on the straight side. Shouldn't take long.
The weather hasn't done me any favours today, but I did get one of the
left-hand points/turnouts for the station approach built. I also received an envelope in the post with some gorgeous etched nameplates
for PETER and No.1 from Diane
Carney in Glasgow. Expensive yes, but thoroughly recommended.
I had the family round for my parents' wedding anniversary. Unfortunately,
I did not have time to fix the nameplates to PETER in time, but I showed my
Father that I had the plates made to honour him.
||The families Oxlade and Hogben (Doris Larman
From left to right:
Julie Hogben (my sister), Michael and Natalie Hogben (nephew
and niece - twins - born on the 4th July!), myself (standing), my Father
Kenneth Peter Oxlade, my Mother Iris Margaret Oxlade, my nephew James
Hogben and my brother-in-law David Hogben (standing).
||Natalie and James.
||My sister with James riding shotgun bringing up
Yes, that is a fibreglass pig peaking from behind the tree! A
Christmas present from Doris. We decided to call her BESS.
||James finally gets a drive - not that that was
the last time. There was someone driving pretty much all afternoon.
||People (Natalie in this case) are still having to ride
sitting on a toolbox or similar - at least until I get the carriage shed
built. The logic behind that being that the chassis will stand on-end in the
garden shed (workshop), but if it had a body on it it would need to live flat,
and in a carriage shed.
Anyway, after some serious train-running, my nephew's and niece all wanted to
do some digging. Far be it from me to turn down an offer like that!
We are getting there. After the sterling efforts of David and the kids a
large area of the station has been dug out and spread over the grass - the
scruffy path "scar" has been buried and with a little more effort,
it'll be ready for re-seeding with grass. Doris and
Julie did sterling efforts in the kitchen too!
We changed the shape of the path too - looks much better now.
Still need to do some more digging in the station area, but once the next set
of points is built, I can put them both in place and then I can put in the 2
station tracks. Then the turntable, then the loco shed, then the carriage shed,
then etc., etc.
Fairly typical isn't it? The weather is glorious, and I
have the weekend fully booked doing other things! Oh well. I did get out there
and spread the grass seed, just needs watering a few times to get it
I have been on a training course all week and got home early on
Friday. So, I fitted in the third side of the triangle (wye) and the
first of the "station approach" points.
I have actually turned a train on the triangle, but without ballast
under the track, it wouldn't take the weight of a passenger - no
problem, I just need a couple more tons of ballast!
I really need some rain on that grass seed.
The brown mark leading up towards the house (to the left of the shed)
is the other part of the concrete path beneath the grass. That's got to
come out too.
Got some more digging done, but quickly came to realise that I don't have
anywhere to put any more rubbish, so..... I have ordered a skip for next weekend
and have hired my sister's "child labour force" to help me move all of the
spoil from the white bags (and a few other piles) in to the skip. She tells me they work for pizza and ice-cream,
but then who doesn't?
I then need to order some ballast for the weekend after, so that I have a more
stable trackbed to run on for when I have some friends come over on 12th
April. It's all go around here!
nothing is down properly, I hooked a length of track on to the station
points and have run a "test train" in to the station.
I managed to dig out the remainder of the concrete path from under
the grass, so that's another job done.
I have been investigating a curious derailing problem. I put a piece of chipboard on the bogie
chassis and sat cross-legged on this peering down at one of the bogies
to see why it derailed in the same place over and over. Goodness knows
what the neighbours thought if they saw me. I
drove back and forth numerous times until I saw the problem. It turns
out that the check rail wasn't pulling the wheel over far enough and the
flange would sometimes hit the tip of the frog. I have been round and
checked all 4 of the points built so far and moved 3 check rails and done
some filing of sharp edges and now it all runs smoothly.
I can't wait for the skip to arrive next weekend so that I can get
rid of all the rubbish, it is a real eyesore.
have been busy.
Woke up feeling awful, but by midday my migraine had all
but gone, so I went outside for some fresh air. I built the remaining 2
points and test-fitted them in position. This got the rails out of my
spare room! I had to keep them in orderly piles so that I knew which
rail went with which point (left or right)
This view from my backdoor shows the two highly ornamental rubbish
sacks which are soon to go, but also roughly how the station will fit.
You can also see the ring rail for the turntable plopped on the ground
more-or-less where it is going to live.
A couple of things have come to light:
- There is not enough room for the lift-table where I hoped it would go as
there is the drain cover in the way. I might replace the end length of track
with the lift-table. Not sure yet. I need to get the rest of the track in
place to see how it all fits together.
- Due to the fact that there is a 9" height difference, there is little
chance of me ever going up the drive to the front of the house. Doris thinks
this is a terrible shame - NOT. She gets to keep the front garden as her own
private domain - which is fine.
I have ordered 2 tons of ballast to be delivered for next weekend (i.e. the
week after the skip).
Well, the skip arrived and we spent Saturday filling it up. Doris
thought it was huge, but now that we've finished, it is full to within 9"
of the top.
|This is Doris' younger son
Ben mucking-in with clearing one of the sacks of clay soil and turf.
the sacks were sufficiently empty, we could drag them up the drive to
the skip rather than having to load the rubbish in to wheel barrows.
Yes, Ben is tall (as tall as me), but not that tall -
he's standing on my doorstep!
well as the 2 sacks of soil and grass, there was all the concrete rubble too.
you an idea of how much rubbish came out of the garden. The skip is the
standard size you see on a building site size - 6 cubic yard.
With the combined efforts of us all, we managed to fill the skip in a
little over half a day.
Not sure what Michael is doing, but it looks as if he is gearing up
for a live, on-stage performance.
It is difficult to tell just from the photographs, but the whole area
is much tidier now.
Am I contemplating the building of the station or one of the
several drain covers that is just in front of me?
sure who suggested it, but I tried a little "flange
lubrication" last weekend. Bad move, I then had grease all over the
rail head and with my gradients that is not a good idea.
James volunteered to go round with de-greaser and clean off all the
rail - which even though I do not have a large railway is still quite a lot of rail to clean.
think maybe we have another convert.
That expression on Ben's face is
"I am not going to admit I am having fun". He said afterwards
that he thought the railway was "Cool", which for a 14 year
old who doesn't much like trains is quite something.
Next weekend - ballast. There is all of the station to do, and the bit of
track Ben has just come along in the view above needs some more ballast too. I
have ordered some materials to build the station with - paving slabs to make a
platform etc. This will all come with the ballast. It shouldn't actually take
long to build the actual platforms etc., it is the loco and carriage shed that
will take the time.
I also hung the SALFORDS station sign on the shed - picture to follow.
- last updated 31st Mar 2003 ] [ HOME ]