SlideshowsSlideshows :-
ProjectsProjects :-

October, November and December 2014

Improving the look of the edge of the ballast. A home at last for the bridge.
A new look for a well used coach. Stockpiling stone for later use.
Off loading made easy. Pete sets another edge.
Work on the river bank has been brought to a temporary halt by the shortage of stone. We are promised more from David but pressure of work for him has made it difficult for him to deliver the stone to us, but it is expected soon. In the meantime various small projects have been started. Steve has started with an extra storage shelf in the old carriage shed. Derek is making good progress with the workshop, painting the inside white and re-organising the equipment we have, with a few bits finding their way into the bin. John has won the sweep! And now keeps the site tidy by sweeping the station and surrounding areas, on every visit, he is assisted by a new big brush, he also cleans the fence alongside the road giving it a wash every week or so.

Start at the bottom.

And get to the top.

But still some way to go.

Santa's Day at the station.

Almost sold out of burgers.

Having taken a look at how good the track from the station to the loop looks, it was decided to put an edge alongside the all the new track that we've laid; we started behind the new carriage shed and are making our way up to the loop on that side. There has been some discussion about edging all around the loop, but this could prove to be a bit expensive to do in concrete path edges.

The riverbank had more work done due to a delivery of stone and is now fairly secure, for the most part. This area has been made tidy for the Santa day so work will stop until the new year, when the last bit of this stretch will be finished, leaving just a small area at the end of the loop to do.

Steve and Abigail have repainted two of the coaches, one yellow and one green both are to be given names instead of numbers.

The digger repairs have been completed and should be good for some time now, not bad for a machine that's 30 years old, still going strong, and saving the club money and time, and effort.

Sometime around June this year we were given a wooden bridge, by a now defunct garden centre but could not find a suitable place for it to go. Steve sorted that one for us and it now serves a useful purpose crossing the garden at the start of the loop.

19th November, we had a second visit by the film crew from channel eight TV, their interest this time was in the maintenance of the club and of the track, they also interviewed some of the crews who were doing the work. We had many small projects to let them film, including the first firing of Joshua after the blown heater coil, Pete and Warren setting in the edging to the ballast, Derek sorting out the workshop, while Steve and Abigail were working on the site of the bridge.


Santa's day will soon be upon us, and Abigail has decorated the clubhouse inside and out with decorative tinsel and lights, the station and the tunnel too have been brightened with lights and are very sparkly too. December 3rd, new steel has been acquired to bring the section of line from the points at Forge Halt up to the station to the new standard, the aim is to eliminate the bumps and clatters the we get on this section. This should make a big improvement to the running and smoothness of this part of the track, and is our winter project for this year.

Santa's Day has been and gone! The Saturday prior to the Santa's day was fine and dry, and a good dry Santa's day was also hoped for. However the day dawned wet windy and cold, and put a dampener on things to begin with, but within minutes of arriving at ten minutes to nine, we had requests for tea and biscuits from our first customers. Although the day remained unsettled, we were kept busy with the trains and providing refreshments. The burgers sold out by one thirty, but we still had hot dogs, soup, and chilli to sell. Graham steamed his Royal Scot, and Eric Wilson also ran his engine but had to retire early due to blower problems. Ian and Sir Walter were also busy with passengers all day long.

I think that despite the weather the day turned out to be a huge success, with everybody busy all of the time. Special thanks to Chris and Ann for cooking and serving the burgers, and also a HUGE thank you to Sheila Janis and Val, for their hard work in the clubhouse. To everyone not mentioned who helped to make a wet and cold day such a success, a big thank you to you too.

Steve's class 25 leaving with a full load. Getting busy at the station. Joshua with a head of steam helped by Ian and Graham.

July, August and September 2014

Before the rush open day.

Trevor's Romulus chassis running, displayed at our open day.

Chris's Very detailed tram.

Simon and his visiting engine.

Before the update I apologise for the delay, this was caused by me being ill for a while and unable to do hardly anything, but now I'm more or less back on form so here it is.

The station getting quite busy.

A full train for Abigail.

Steves and Simon's double header takes on passengers.

Another train leaves the station.

Graham's Royal Scot making light work of the incline.

Simon and Steve's double header romps up the hill.

A close up of Trevor's excellently detailed beam engine.

Sunday the 13th July and the big project seems to have taken on a life of its own, with members adding their own personal touches to the finished article. Trevor has begun a fence to show the boundary between road and rail. This is to prevent anyone accidentally tripping and falling over the edge of the cutting, and to highlight the boundary when reversing a vehicle toward the clubhouse and the maintenance lift. It was also decided early on that we needed to do something about improving the offloading ramps and the siding near to the loop. An early inspection showed the need to isolate the siding from the road in order to prevent run over by cars and other vehicles which have caused so much damage to the siding in the past. There was also a need to for it to be level; also the offloading connecting tracks need to be corrected in elevation and levels too.

Chris, Robert, and Don, seem to have taken this in hand already. In the clubhouse the tiling just needs a little work to finish and it is looking very nice too, thanks to Mick and Malcolm. The workshop revamp continues to get better by the week with Derek doing most of the work single handed. Steve continues to make the garden an added attraction and has started a boarder alongside of the road. The grass area has had block pavers laid in a line along the edge of the boarder to allow the mower to cut the edges as well as the main part.

Wednesday and work continues on the siding and associated points. Mick W and Chris L have remade the first straight section out of the old and existing piece of track, the buffer from the portable track has found a temporary home at the end of it. Trevor continues work on the fence, and Derek has started painting the inside of the workshop.

Wednesday the 23rd of July we arrived early (9.30 am) and left at around 10 pm, after the barbecue. The day started with a group of Italians on a visit to the forge who made good use of the railway after their trip around the forge. At one time Steve had four coaches behind his class 25 carrying no less than twenty passengers at one time. We were kept busy until they departed for their lunch at Wortley Hall. The afternoon was busy with finishing the fence to separate the road from the rail and and making the road more suitable for the evening visitors.

Later we began preparations for the scheduled barbecue. The grass was cut, gazebos erected, and the barbecue made ready for lighting. The party began at 7pm and we had just managed to get all the tables and chairs out by the time the first guests started to arrive. By eight o'clock we were in full swing with everybody saying how much they had enjoyed the occasion. The party was over about 9 40pm. Well done everybody for the effort put in. We hope to repeat the event next year.

Wednesday 30th July today we hosted a party from Sheffield Autistic Playgroup, who had chosen a nice warm day for the visit, the children really enjoy the time at the forge, and kept the trains full and running all the time they were here. I think there must have been around forty five or more or in total. Steve's class 25 took about twenty or more passengers each time around the track using a long train of four carriages, the Flyer was no slouch either taking a full coach each time. On the maintenance front Derek and Pete gave the wicket fence we have erected alongside of the road its first coat of paint. Robert is making progress with the siding and the associated track system.

Wednesday 6th today we were to host the Sheffield Autistic Play Scheme again, however rain stopped play and they did not arrive as expected. Pete laid more edging Derek continues with painting the fence and workshop. Malc started painting the club house. In readiness for the open day on September the 7th, the grass and garden have been given a tidying up, the clubhouse was a ready for Saturday running to support the brass band who are expected to play here on the on Saturday 16th

Saturday 16th a very poor attendance today with the band not attracting the numbers expected

Sunday 23rd a welcome visit by a Royal Scot, owned by Graham Pearce, Graham will be joining the club.

Open day 7th September the day was dry but a bit chilly. Attendance was good and thanks everybody for the efforts made on behalf of the club to make the day a success. We had a few visiting locos with Steve and Simon double heading a train, Graham did very good work with his Royal Scot taking passengers all day. Chris and Ann also did sterling work with the barbecue, selling out of burgers by mid afternoon. Malcolm and Chris raised a few quid on the raffle. The clubhouse was busy all day serving refreshments, many thanks to Sheila, Janis and Aimi for all your hard work. There are many more that put lots of effort into making a good day even better, so thanks everybody who helped on the day and who not was mentioned here.

The work has restarted on the river bank, a load of large stone was placed in the river and a wall constructed above it. When this section of wall is finished we will back fill it with soil and rubble and it hopefully secure this part of the bank for the foreseeable future. The next section will be a bit more difficult as a huge amount of the bank has been washed away already. This final bit will require the digger to get in the river to make a decent repair. More of this in the next up date.

May and June 2014

Setting up the curve from the carriage shed to the loop

The last week of April saw fresh fuel delivered to the disabled digger, which when re-fuelled and the diesel system had been bled, started with the minimum of fuss and was soon put to work again.

The first Sunday in May saw work continue on the track from the new carriage shed to the loop points. This section is mostly straight, with just a forty foot length or so of curve to join the two ends. Things however never being so simple, this bit was very awkward to get the symmetry of the curve just right, but in the end it came good. (See photo). The maintenance come unloading lift is now back in service, working well, and is looking good too thanks to Steve and Derek.

The new look Flyer

and the old Flyer

A brief history of an engine.

Most members will remember that some time ago Graham and I put together a kit from Bex Engineering. It was originally purchased by the club, to be the club's main loco, and intended to be assembled by a member in his home workshop. However illness prevented him from carrying out and completing the project. It was eventually returned to the club, in what could only be described as a mixed pile of mostly rusty bits and pieces.

We put it together in the club workshop. Despite not having plans or instructions, or the best of facilities, and by scrapping the supplied cab altogether, and making a new one from scratch, we did manage to construct a useful engine, without spending any more money on it. The end results were good enough for the intended purpose, and we had a decent and solid working loco.

When the engine was finished it was very popular, but it got used less and less as time went by. The use of the loco, nicknamed the Wortley Flyer, declined slowly, until it never got used at all. It was left to suffer the fate of neglect, and began to look very sorry for itself. One day about the end of last year, Steve (who admits he's a bit of a rivet counter) took it home to give it a bit of TLC.

Today Steve brought the Wortley Flyer back from its major refurbishment. The engine now looks terrific and I am now assured it is true to type, but a later model. Although it looked tired when it took the holiday, it looked OK to me at the time. This engine will now become an admired addition to the Wortley fleet, is now going to prove very popular all over again and will hopefully tend be used much more than previously. (See photos)

The station track relaid, now we can run again

Kerbs laid as a guide for the trench

Pete and Chris set a kerb

The tiling in the club house is making very slow progress. All elements of the big project should come together within the next two weeks, and we should be able to offer a full service at this time.

Wednesday, and the big project was given a really big boost, when we reinstated the main line track giving us a full circuit once again. Abigail did the test run, and took most of the members present for the inaugural test run behind the restored class 20, (The Wortley Flyer) all went very well with very little snagging work being discovered and not much at all left to do on the track.

Kerbs that were a bit of over kill for the job they were doing behind the new carriage shed were moved from there, to serve their proper function alongside the road edge. More kerbs were collected from around the site, to allow us to kerb the road to a point on the road where we wish to lay them to go. These rescued kerbs were laid as a temporary line in a curve and on position where they are to be set, and were used as a guide for the digger when digging out the trench.

Sunday the 11th by the end of the day, the entire platform connecting tracks were refitted back into the original position, with all platforms now being brought back into use. The first passengers of the year were almost immediately given a ride behind the Wortley Flyer.

Wednesday14th and work on the snagging is getting nearer to being finished. Other jobs being done were a bit of gardening, which is improving the site so much, and making it much more attractive to the public, and a good place to stay and have a picnic.

Steve's son in-law Mike has started rewiring the electrics in the old carriage shed. He has installed three new fluorescent lights, and three double 240 volt sockets. These extra sockets will make the shed more versatile, and recharging the battery powered loco's so much easier. Mike has also installed a motor, and controls, to power the previously hand powered lifting equipment in the old carriage shed. This motor was previously used to power a wheelchair, but is more than capable of doing the job that has been asked of it. On behalf of all members I would like to say a big thank you to Mike for the work he has done for us. Pete started setting the kerbs that we had reclaimed from behind the carriage shed, along the side of the new road line, assisted by the ever versatile digger, which took some of the work out of the digging the trench, and moving the kerbs about.

Lunch and afternoon tea today, was served alfresco at the picnic tables, courtesy of ever busy Abigail, who decided early on that the parasols had to come out of storage due to the massive abundance of sunshine.

Sunday 18th and we were only seven in number, but we finished the trench for the kerbs. (Ready for Pete on Wednesday) Re-sanded the block paving, and carried a few passengers around the circuit, using the Wortley Flyer as the motive power.

Clubhouse news, the wall cladding inside the clubhouse is very weak and requires remedial work, to enable the tiling to be continued, so nothing could be done on that today.

Wednesday 21st was more or less of the same, with Trevor giving the down line from the loop its finishing ballast. Pete and Chris were busy with the kerbs, and by the end of the day it was about half finished. Mick W cut out the poor section of the club house wall cladding to replace it with something more secure and substantial, in order to make a better surface for the tiling to come. Mick S finished the wiring in the club house and the old carriage shed, and also made a start on the workshop lathe, which has a faulty starting switch. Material is also still being stockpiled ready to finish the riverbank as time allows.

Sunday 25th was a short day for me because an emergency at home demanded a quick return to base. Wednesday 28th was wet and rained all day, the attendance was also poor with only five members in attendance, but we were also helped by Steve's son in law who stripped down the lathe electrical system, to find the fault that prevented the lathe from running, this job is ongoing. Despite the rain, and a trench full of water and mud, Pete managed to lay a kerb or two and single handed managed to correct a previous fault in the kerb line.

Having been rained off from that but not yet satisfied with his previous efforts, he then set to work on the tool shed, and miracle of miracles, you can now tell that the unit really does have a floor. Not to be out done Mick W, was also quite busy with tiling the clubhouse splash back, and you can now see real progress being made at last. We are now ready to grout this portion of the project, to a finish. Steve and Abigail made the clubhouse tidy once more, getting rid of a load of rubbish in the process. Steve also braved the rain to fix the first of the wooden gravel boards alongside the inside of the track, this is to separate the ballast and to create a flower bed for the visitors and members alike to enjoy. So rainy day or not, some progress towards the big picture was still made. Sunday June 1st what a change from last Wednesday with lots of sunshine, we managed to progress the big project a bit more. Trevor and Eric finished ballasting the new track from the loop to the station. The roadway had a scrape to remove the debris caused by the digging, and the first of the finish surface was laid and vibrated solid. There’s more to do to the road, but, when the road is finished that will be the end of the big project.

Wednesday 4th another rainy day! And we were short of three key members; Derek made a start on making the workshop into a more functional place. The lathe has been has been moved from end to the other, and the bench which was to the right of the lathe is now on the left and is to be made much longer.

Sir Walter was given a hydraulic and steam test in readiness for our Sunday visitors. And the Atlantic also saw the light of day, with a tow from one shed to the other, and reconnected to the tender. It is intended to steam it on Sunday too. Steve brought his steamer and his class 25 too. The steamer won't be run on Sunday but will be on display, let's hope for good weather on the day.

Abs tows the Alantic to be reunited with it's tender

A welcome change is Mick's Centurian tank

The tank and the new look class 20

Sunday June 8th was an early start by the most interested of members.

If you have taken any notice of the 'important dates' list that's on your notice board, you will already be aware that we are to be visited by a number of Germans and their friends to the site. They were accompanied by a film crew who had made their intention to film the railway clear to the members present. The intention is that the film will be shown on the new channel eight sometime in October, which could help with visitors to the forge, and may also boost membership and visitors to our club. The day was warm and sunny, which was a big change from the previous Wednesday.

Sir Walter and the green L.N.E.R Atlantic gave the visitors something to look at and ride on. The Atlantic raised steam for only the second time since becoming resident at the club. All went well with the steaming apart from some difficulty with the regulator. I am looking for a good name for this engine; so if you have any ideas please let me know.

A much admired and interesting visitor to the site was a scaled and highly detailed centurion tank driven by Mick W, who constructed this as something thing different, and who, upon request has sent me this description that I have reprinted without editing.

Just a few words on the tank model.

It is a British Centurion Mk 5 tank which was designed just as World War 2 came to a close and so it did not see action in that conflict. However Centurions did fight in Korea, Suez and the Vietnam war to mention but a few. They were even involved in the invasion of Iraq over 60 years since they were first built. This model is based on the Suez crisis in 1956 and will be painted in the desert colour of the Royal Tank Regiment who invaded Egypt to re-take the Suez Canal.

The model is built from a kit which is made in England, but it still requires some engineering skill to complete, especially if you intend detailing it to a high level. It is radio controlled and has moving tracks, turret and gun barrel. It has a high quality sound system which reproduces the sound of the real tank when moving and firing. So if you don’t have the confidence to make your own then kit building can be a great way to do some serious model making. And it's cheaper than buying a lathe and milling machine, just!

Eric and Pete also brought Annie the traction engine, to add to the atmosphere of the forgotten age of steam. Mick S fitted an electrical contactor to the lathe and I am now pleased to announce that the lathe is now fully operational again. Thanks Mick for all the hard work you have done for us, you have done us all a really big favour.

Wednesday 11th today was a good day; Derek worked like the devil and proved his worth by extending the bench in the workshop, mostly single handed. Pete laid 7 more kerbs, and Trevor sorted the regulator on the Atlantic The club then ran her fully loaded, as a test of the pulling power of the latest addition to the club's fleet, it was not found wanting, and the sun shone all day long.

The Atlantic gets a head of steam after a long rest

With a heavy load and showing its power

The workshop gets another bench

Sunday the 15th and Ian steamed Sir Walter, a task made much easier by the addition of a new and bigger blower. All the clubs engines, which were able, were running. All the loco's that were in service today were at some time or other run with two coaches loaded to full capacity. Many riders were repeat customers. Visitors were about forty five in number, almost all of whom rode our trains.

Wednesday 18th Pete finished laying the kerbs, leaving just the back filling to do. Trevor sorted out the some minor problems with the original station crossing tracks. The gravel boards that we need to contain and separate the roadway from the track finally arrived on site, some three weeks after being ordered. A trench was started alongside the road, and the first gravel board was laid, thus making a start on the penultimate stage of the big project.)

Sunday the 22nd was a lazy day with Graham doing a bit of maintenance on the Flyer, whilst Robert did more work on the signalling electrical system. John was busy with taking passengers around the track behind the clubs small electric loco, and me, I just watched everything!

Wednesday the 25th of June and a start were made on the penultimate task of the big project. Trevor and Graham began to install the roadway and railway separating kerbs. These are not your usual type of kerb, but are 1ft by 6ft concrete gravel boards, and because of the lie of the land, they are not that easy to fit with each one requiring special attention. The unique task these have to perform is first to support the roadway edge, and at the same time separate the road from the tracks ballast. Pete finished back filling the roadways, recently installed heavy duty kerbs.

Saturday 28th a few members turned out to run the portable track at Oughtibridge Gala, Steve took his small steam engine, and Ian lent us his electric shunter to help. Both engines performed excellently, and whilst we were not as busy as previous years, due to the day being quite cold, everybody enjoyed the day out, and the club received a small reward for the effort put in.

Sunday the last of the month, the day was dry and warm. After a cup of tea, we started where we left off previously with the gravel board separators. Trevor, Mick W and Graham really got stuck in with a will, and by the end of the day there is only one left to do, and it really looks very good. The two-metre lengths of the concrete gravel boards actually appear to bend to the curve and have a really interesting look to them creating a nice low level curved cutting. Not much left to do to finish this section.

Going round the bend

And into the tunnel

 Trevor seperates the road from the track

The big picture

March and April 2014

Fixing the shuttering

The connecting line from the old carriage shed to the main line under construction

Reinforcing the new line ready for the concrete

March – April The first week in March saw work begin on the up line from the station to the beginning of the loop. The track bed was started by digging out the bump that caused the gradient at this point to be so steep, and now the track bed proper can be dug to the new standard depth. The key to success with this part of the project is points that connect the main line to the old carriage shed. We would like to set this at the same level as the end of the platform, so that the engines can gain momentum before starting the climb up to the loop.

It really is a big problem! this part of the project, with lots of different levels needed to blend everything together. Hopefully everything will work out as planned in the end. Everything has been checked, and checked again, but as Robbie Burns was fond of saying "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley" (Poem "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough" 1785 - webmaster)

Sunday 9th was a day of much argument and falling out, to end the day back, more or less where we started on this huge project. On the other hand the club's crockery cupboards are being given a good sorting out by Malcolm and Len, with good progress being made with the addition of a nice set of corner shelves. Abigail also had a busy day. Released from tea duty she spent most of the day planting out bulbs into tubs, and planters.

A twenty ton load of 20mm one-size grey granite ballast was delivered on the following Thursday, it really is excellent stuff and we need to look after it. It has been decided the best way to create an edge to the ballast, to stop it mixing with the surrounding soil, is by installing path edgings, alongside the track.

Has anyone out there got any spare path edgings that they would like to donate to the club? They should be, if possible, three feet, by six inches, by two inches thick.

On Wednesday the 19th, after the obligatory cup of tea, work began in earnest on setting the main line points back into the new position and level. We had already serviced them and replaced the wooden sleepers with the new plastic ones. The points were then fixed so that they could not move at all, and the connecting line from the old carriage shed, was constructed in position. (See photo) The track will be embedded in reinforced concrete at this point, because of the heavy traffic which crosses here at times.

On Sunday the 23rd the outside work was devoted to getting the shuttering for the concrete made and in put place. Work also continues on the servicing and repainting of the maintenance lift.

The clubhouse face lift is still progresses, although a few problems have arisen due to the nature of the walls, and the way the old units were fixed to them. The new units will have to be fitted in a different way, but will be no less secure. Two of the units are now fixed to the wall with another to follow.

More welding to the track

The lift gets some T.L.C.

The concrete arrives at last

Sharing out the concrete

April – The site in general has now become a hive of industry, with five quite large projects, all at various stages of completion. If you have read the forgoing text, you will see that we have:

The Track.
The Drain.
The Concrete.
The Maintenance lift.
The Club house makeover.

As a result of all this work being undertaken there are certain other works needed to bring together all of the above efforts. A section of track out of the station needs to be lowered, to bring about proper alignment and level of the main line. The road surface needs to be cleaned and re-laid, and if possible fit kerbstone along the edge of the grass. The riverbank still needs to be looked at and made even more secure. Not all of these will be completed, before we start the running season, but will be ongoing throughout the year as time permits.

Wednesday the 2nd of April started with a look at the weather forecast, for this was the day we had decided to lay the concrete. To say we were more than a little uncertain was an understatement to say the least, with the possibility of rain being in the offing. However a decision was made and we stuck with it. Many problems encountered with the job; we had arranged to start at 9am. The concrete was suppose to arrive at 10am, this was delayed by the supplier until 12.30pm, and then again until 2.30pm. These delays really set us back, but the general consensus of opinion was to go for it, which we did, everybody then present really got stuck in, and worked hard at it.

The digger took most of the hard work out of moving the concrete from where it was delivered to where it was needed. The process of spreading and levelling was all done by hand, took us until turned 6pm, but in the end the job was complete and we all retired satisfied with a job well done.

Thanks everybody who took part in this marathon, if anyone doubts how hard this was! Abigail will tell you it was a five cups of tea day, truly a marathon.

Sunday 6th saw work continue with tidying the site until the dumper broke down, this is a further set back that we don't need, but we managed somehow. Work also moved forward on the club-house, and the maintenance lift. Snagging work on the shuttering, and concrete was underway, and partially completed.

Wednesday 9th was a slow day mainly because the dumper was out of order. Sharp sand was ordered to enable the block paving to start, this will be started on the Wednesday next.

Sunday 13th saw good progress made, with the track bed being dug out to depth and level and the station rail bed also lowered to match the new crossing. We should now be able to make rapid progress with the rest of the work.

Wednesday 16th the digger was busy tidying the working area, removing the piles of spoil and making the site look better. The track gradient was checked once again from the station to the loop, and was readjusted after we had reinstalled the siding to loop, points. Work was started on the block paving.

Sunday 20th saw a few disappointed visitors to the site, due to the track being incomplete. We were unable to offer any service at all. The clubroom refurbish is still underway and should be finished around the same time as the big project is done. Just as the day was done the track came off the digger, causing a real headache. It was decided to leave the digger where it was until the following Wednesday.

Wednesday 23rd the most immediate thing that required attention was a joint effort from all the members present was to get the track back on the digger. We managed to do this by lunch time, and after a short break we started back on laying the ballast for the new track. A further problem developed with the digger, that caused work to slow down once again, this time it was the engine that kept cutting out.

Sunday 27th the track work was started once again, but the digger was out of action due to the fuel problem. Trevor spent the whole day cleaning out the tank and filters; he also rerouted the pipe work and installed extra inline filters, hopefully curing the problem once and for all. We left the site waiting for some clean diesel to arrive, hopefully on Wednesday

Screeding to the new levels

The finished track

Does that look good!

January and February 2014

The A.G.M on the 16th March decided that the subscription was to be unchanged at £20.00 per member. If you have not yet renewed your subscription could you please do so as soon as possible please.

I am sad to announce the passing of Val Westby. Val was a valued member along with husband Alan. They both contributed much to our club, raising much needed cash at our open days for many years, Alan also made the signal that we place at the entrance to the site on the days we are open to the public, Alan and Val also made the three eight-foot coaches we use today. For the members who don't recall the name, you may remember the big fluffy dog they often brought to the site with them. On behalf of all the members at Wortley Top Forge Model Engineers, I wish to extend our sympathy and condolences to Alan at this sad time.

Starting with the track work

Pete has his work cut out here

Mick and Alan on salvage duty

New Year's Day saw three dedicated members turn up to continue the process of laying out the bed for the new track, but bad weather intervened and prevented any work outside at all. Instead tidying the garden shed seemed a good idea, and racks were constructed to hold and contain the tools better, there's still a little left to do on the next rainy day.

Sunday the fifth saw work on the track bed continuing, adding more hardcore to the diggings until the bed was at the top of the level pegs, and it was then vibrated continuously until solid.

Wednesday the eighth and Sunday the twelfth saw more levelling and fixing work on the bed and track. Work also started on the drain that is to cross the road, near the new carriage shed. Because the traffic that will cross the drain at this point can be quite heavy, the concrete crossing will need to be at least six inches thick. The earth roadway is also to be dug up to allow block paving to be laid where appropriate.

The weather picked up a bit the following Sunday and we continued with filling the bed with the crushed brick, and limestone mixture vibrating each layer as before. The coarse mix then had some of the larger elements removed, and a layer of the finings used to bring about the final level. A start was also made on the drainage system we wish to install.

The expansion joint

Looks good so far doesn't it

Making a start on the drains

The rest of January was taken up with laying the track on the new plastic sleepers, and the fitting of the new style expansion joints, by the start of February the track from the end of the loop to the station had been laid and now only needed a bit of fine tuning to be perfect.

While the work above was being carried out the drainage system needed was also got underway. Various holes were dug for the grate, catchment, and trenches for the pipe work. At the same time we also lowered the road level, to accommodate the block paving we intend to lay. Unfortunately due to the constant rain, the trenches and holes, for the drains, were kept full of water, bringing about a long delay in the work. A short term solution to the problem was found, by diverting the water around the diggings, so avoiding the filling of the trenches for long enough to allow us to start work on the discharge grate. We were then able to brick out this grate early on in February. We covered this area with a sheet to keep out the weather as much as possible; we also erected a small tent over part of the work area, to enable work to continue in the rain. We left the tent erected at the end of the day.

The following weekend the tent was found to have been blown to bits by the winds, and was no longer usable. The water diversion that was created, only worked in the short term, and we had to resort to pumping once again. By the end of February the levels for all the drains had been decided, and we are ready to start with digging out for the up line track bed, and installing the line from the old carriage shed to the main line, and laying ready mix concrete at the road crossing, embedding the track as we go. I have to mention here the support received from the members of the Wednesday team and the dedicated Sunday workers, without whose help a project as big as this would have been made considerably harder. I shall report further progress at the next update.

Digging out for the block paving


And rain stops play again

For earlier news items please see the 2013 News page and the News archive which contains items up to November 2012