Ballasting of the first phase of the running line between the platform and the Golden Bridge is complete. Our sincere thanks go not only to the members and supporters who responded so generously to our appeal, but also to our volunteers who have toiled so hard to lay and spread the stone, using only basic hand tools and a battered dumper. The next (and more or less final) task is to level, line and kango- pack the track, and the section between the loco and the station was tackled on Sunday by George and Alastair.
Joe has made a start on erecting a fence- line along the “six foot” from the coaches down to bridge 199. The purpose of this will be to physically separate the access road to the house from the operational railway, and will prevent the public from wandering into areas they shouldn’t be in when trains start running.
Courtesy of Tony and his mini- digger, further ballast was spread along the top of the new drain adjacent to the Mark 1 buffet in order to give a level surface on which to erect scaffolding for the coach painters. Tony also widened the roadway at the top of the drive and excavated some soft spots at the junction with the main road. Our thanks are also due to Tony and Iain D for overhauling and repainting the dumper over the winter.
On the loco, Duncan and Grant kept themselves busy with the angle grinder and the needle- gun, preparing for painting inside the engine bay later in the spring. Tom and Peter scraped the old, flaking paintwork off the ceiling of the cab and gave the buffers a lick of black paint.
With completion of the first length of running line now so close, obtaining suitable rolling stock for initial passenger operation is set to become a priority. If anyone knows where we could source, borrow or hire an air- braked coach with guard’s compartment, please let us know.