Two glorious days of Autumn sunshine allowed significant progress on a number of fronts. We also enjoyed our first “official visit” from a motorcycle club, the Northumberland branch of the VMCC.
The excellent weather allowed substantial progress to be made on the run- round loop up in the summit cutting. All the rail is now in place and bolted- up in two long and rather wiggly strings, courtesy of the usual combination of hand tools, ratchet jacks and human muscle power. With only the bare minimum of sleepers in place at the moment, the “track” varies from Ffestiniog narrow gauge to Russian broad gauge, and unfortunately this will remain the case until we’ve had a sizeable delivery of wooden sleepers, and found the pennies at the bottom of our piggy bank with which to pay for them: if you detect an open invitation there to make a donation to our track funds, then you would be spot- on! The loop and running line have now reached the same spot, just short of the outer tunnel gates, all ready for the installation of our next set of points: we’ve sourced a pair of vertical flat bottom switches for this turnout and look forward to their delivery in due course.
The coach painting season is almost over for another year, and the good news is that the east (non- platform) side of the exhibition coach is now resplendent in “crimson lake” courtesy of WRHA Chairman and Chief Painter Ian Crooks. Although the eastern sides of the coaches aren’t visible from the platform, they’re highly visible from the main road, and for the sake of public perception its nice to be rid of the patchwork of green/ grey/ rust that was the Mk 2a.
Latest work on the Fowler has seen rotten metal sheet cut out from the bottom of the cab sides, ready for new metal to be welded- in. The air tanks have all now been removed and will be sent off for testing in due course.