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December 2017

Christmas Santa Event :

The original date of 10th December was unfortunately postponed due to the poor weather forecast and rescheduled for Sunday 17th December.

It was a cold but dry day and again visitors arrived early with the children keen to travel on the trains and visit Santa.

Sam brought a P.A. system which played Christmas music which added to the festive atmosphere and also enabled announcements to be made during the day. Christmas lights and decorations were also to be seen especially around Wortley Central and the clubhouse.

We had an early setback when Sir Walter Raleigh failed after a couple of circuits of the track. Fortunately, we had Darrens Petrol driven shunter which was quickly put to use. Other motive Power was provided by Steve, Trevor, Bryan and Dave. in the end we had plenty of locos.

We ran the new loading / unloading system again and it worked perfectly with Iron Works Halt adorned with newly made Station and Way Out signs and a new voluntary collection box finishing off the appearance of the station.

Visitor numbers were also up on the previous year which, considering the enforced late change of date, was very satisfying and made the preparations well worthwhile.

Val worked tirelessly in the Tea Room all day supplying food and drink to visitors and members alike.

Many visitors commented how welcome they feel when they come here and that for many families it is a date they put in their diaries year after year.

The consensus from the members was also positive with all of us saying what a lovely event it had been.

Thanks to all who supported and helped make it a success.

Below are a few photos from the day :


Preparing Sir Walter Raleigh



Early Passengers at Iron Works Halt Petrol Powered Shunter at Iron Works Halt Plenty of Smoke and Steam Exiting the Tunnel.
Children Heading to Santas Grotto New Signage at Iron Works Halt Busy Scene at Wortley Central
Passengers Wait for the Next Train Another Busy Scene at Wortley Central Approaching Wortley Central to Collect the Next Passengers




September 2017

Open Day :

After the final preparations for Iron Works Halt were completed we had the first opportunity to trial the new system for passengers to embark at Wortley Central whilst alighting at Iron Works Halt thus making the flow of passengers more under control and also much safer. At the end of the Open Day we all agreed that the new system was a great success and additionally reduced waiting time for passengers.

The weather had started with a threat of drizzle but we were lucky as the day remained dry.

We started early with visitors arriving before 11:00 am. and continued to remain busy until around 4:00 pm with overall visitor numbers exceeding the previous year.

There was plenty for visitors to view as we had a good number of miniature Traction Engines as well as running different locomotives on the Railway. The Forge had Stirling Engines, Stationary Engines, Water Wheels and visiting cars to keep visitors interested.

Overall it was a very successful day and, from the many smiles from old and young alike, everyone enjoyed themselves.

A special thanks to all members who helped on the day and special thanks to the Ladies in the Tea Room who kept us all watered and fed.

Below are a few photos of the days activities :

Passengers Wait for the Next Train Another Busy Scene at Wortley Central Approaching Wortley Central to Collect the Next Passengers
Passengers Wait for the Next Train Another Busy Scene at Wortley Central Approaching Wortley Central to Collect the Next Passengers
Passengers Wait for the Next Train Another Busy Scene at Wortley Central Approaching Wortley Central to Collect the Next Passengers
Passengers Wait for the Next Train Another Busy Scene at Wortley Central Approaching Wortley Central to Collect the Next Passengers
Passengers Wait for the Next Train Another Busy Scene at Wortley Central Approaching Wortley Central to Collect the Next Passengers
Passengers Wait for the Next Train Another Busy Scene at Wortley Central  

July 2017

What will we do now that the track has been finished was the comment from the Wednesday club members ! Well despite the concerns this has been a busy year so far with many smaller projects and activities.
We have a number of new additional members who have joined our club this year and also a couple of members who had been away for a while and who have now re-joined.
In the past the track gave an uneven ride but since the new track has been completed both the 5” and 7.25” ground level tracks ride really well so we hope to see our members locos and also visiting locos running, and enjoying, the track much to the satisfaction of the Wednesday members who put so much hard work in to complete this major task.

Permanent Way:
In March after completion of the main track a new Headshunt has been laid adjacent to Forge Halt.
The fencing from the signalbox has been strengthened and rotten wood replaced and some more substantial steel tube fencing has been erected on the approach to the first bridge and in a similar style to the bridge parapets with wooden pailing attached. This provides a barrier to prevent anyone falling down the river bank and also enhances the visual appearance and was completed in early July. Thanks to the team who made, installed and painted this, it looks really neat and tidy.
Work has progressed recently to provide an Exit Halt away from the station so that loading and unloading trains on Open Days can be safer and more efficient with trains being loaded with passengers at the station and unloading at the top of the incline so that empty trains can then proceed to the station for loading the next passengers. As can be seen in the photo this looks neat and tidy and functional ready for the Open Day. (photo #1)

The Exit Halt is taking shape

The newly Grassed area outside the club house

Following the OK at the AGM the area around the turntable has been widened giving safer pedestrian access to the workshop and turntable. It is much safer now and as part of these works the step up from this area to the picnic tables has had a Handrail installed.
The area outside the clubhouse has been cleared of the stationary engine which had been disassembled there many years ago. The engine has been moved to another area of to be reassembled.
The Forge asked if we would be prepared to tidy this area and so the gardening team set to and have created a grassed area surrounded by flower borders which gives us further space to enjoy the summer weather. There is also a path across the 15 inch track to access the garden.
The short length of 15 inch track has been excavated and tidied up and two trucks have been refurbished and planted. They look really nice as can be seen in the photo. (Photos #2, 3, 4)
The other flower beds have been maintained and weeded and are well established now.
A big thanks you to the small team who have done this work, it is a credit to them and can be enjoyed by all who visit the site.

Locomotive Movements:

There has been plenty of activity with existing, refurbished and new locos during the summer. Several steam locos have successfully had their hydraulic and steam tests and have run around the track as well as battery powered locos. (Photo #5)

Jeff has been working for a long time debugging the Holmside loco he bought & finally it is running now and probably better than it ever ran before. Well done Jeff for your perseverance. A new electric shunter has arrived at the club and is owned by a new member.

Traction Engines:

This section of the club provides an alternative to trains with different scale examples of steam traction engines and lorries. We look forward to seeing a selection of models in different scales at our Open Day.

Signal and Telegraph Department:

The prototype PIR signal at the entry to the tunnel continues to work well except for the occasional bird flying in or out of the tunnel which caused some confusion when the signal turned to red when there was only one train running! Therefore, an alternative system was devised by Chris together with Robert & Don and they have installed and debugged the system on the upper loop providing a very useful and safe automatic signalling system to avoid collisions.

A similar system has now been installed and tested at the end of the straight leading to the tunnel which is automatic but also has an over-ride function which can be operated by drivers at Forge Halt. Both of these signalling systems provide a line of sight view of the signals from the signalbox for additional safety and when time permits a repeater will be connected in the signalbox giving a signal status in both cases. (Photos #6, 7, 8)

The signalbox has been temporarily rewired on the Panel to provide feedback of the station signal gantry as it is not always possible to have line of sight on busy Open Days.

The mains electricity fusebox in the signalbox has been replaced with and MCB unit providing safer trip out in case of any problems in the Carriage shed, Station Canopy or signalbox.

The 15" Trucks rebuilt and planted. The Path to the New Garden. Freya the Shunter with happy namesake.
The Override Box at Forge Hill The Sensor mechanism in the track. Signal Controlling Approach to Tunnel bend.
Oughtibridge Gala June 24th :

The day began with the threat of showers later in the day but fortunately the weather was kind to us.

The portable track was setup in the morning and we awaited the arrival of the Parade at 2:00 pm. Ian & Gary provided the motive power and the ability to load one train while the other was running up and down the track twice. This worked well and as soon as the Parade arrived the queues for rides began and did not slow down until around 4:30. It was certainly a busy afternoon and very enjoyable seeing the happy faces of the many children.

Overall a very successful day enjoyed by all of the members who helped loading the passengers, driving & generally setting up the track and putting it away afterwards. Special thanks to Chris’ father who towed the trailer to and from the event and to Chris who kept us supplied with tea and ice creams. (Photos #9, 10)

Visits to the Site :

1. Early July the North Sheffield History Society visited the Forge and requested a ride around the track so Graham and I provided the manpower. There were about 25 of their members and they thoroughly enjoyed their rides as can be seen. (Photos #11,12)

2. On the evening of 19th July the Bassetlaw North Notts Railway Society had a BBQ at our club and we ran trains for them. They are a group of enthusiasts who are interested in all manner of railway topics from model to miniature to full size railways. Steam and electric motive power was provided for their visit as can be seen. (Photos #13,14)

Oughtibridge - Awaiting passengers. Oughtibridge - Eatly Passengers. History Society Visitors enjoy a visit.
History Society Members wait for another run. Preparing for Bassetlaw Visitors. Steam-up for Bassetlaw Visitors.

We now look forward to the September 3rd Open Day and encourage all members to support this event as we are usually very busy in all departments to give the visitors an enjoyable day and a taste of steam, oil and coal.

February 2017

Permanent Way:

The Wednesday maintenance team completed the final replacement of all track and new sleepers on 22nd February with fitting of the traditional Golden Sleeper!

The track is for 5 inch and 7 1/4 inch gauges and in all around 2,000, yes 2,000, sleepers have been laid, track fixed to them and ballasted ready for the warmer weather.

This is a tremendous achievement by a relatively small group of around 12 dedicated members who have worked tirelessly over the past year to complete. The club owes these members a big thank you for their dedication and for providing a much improved running track and it looks excellent too. If other members have not seen the track recently then please come down to the AGM on 12th March 2017 and afterwards take a look.

We will be able to take members and visitors for train rides on our new track when the site opens to the public from 19th March 2017.

Below are some photos showing the work progressing in January, and shows more bridge parapets completed to a high standard by Derek. Finally a few photos of Dave and Trevor and the Golden Sleeper, a proud moment for all members.

January Track Laying and Derek's bridge Parapets. Pete Rakes Ballast Ready for the next length of Track. Another length of Track Welded and Aligned.
Trevor and Dave fit the Golden Sleeper. The Golden Sleeper. The Golden Sleeper - Can You Find It?

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