Wednesday, 31 July 2019


The new, if possibly temporary, loco for the ELR arrived whilst I was in Ireland last week.
I returned with a nasty case of shingles, which, along with doing over 2,400m of climbing on the bike has left me shattered. So unpacking the loco and coach is turning into a slow process.

I've also managed to do some minor damage to the coach roof. The way it was packed resembled the Sofa on the Staircase. 

The loco is a Phoenix Tug fitted with a rather lovely brass tram controller . Keith at Phoenix deserves a special mention for getting in touch to provide me with all the relevant manuals without beign asked. It is a bit of a beast and as I mentioned at the start I'm not sure how it fits into my long term plans, especially since several people have already made me offers for it. If I do keep it there a few things I would change over time. A chain guard in the cab being a priority with animals and children around. It has the parts for a cab as well. In theory it could even be converted to a 10 1/4" gauge petrol loco.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019


Photo by Dave Rowbotham

The last couple of weeks have seemed really busy. Probably because they have been.

The goats, Jaffa, Fig and Ginger - spot the theme - have a new shed to live in that will at least look like a ticket office. That necessitated lifting the "tramway" ready for the new and much-improved alignment. I still don't know how the levels will work out, but we will have a digger on site soon to help move things forward. At the very least it will improve railway access to the driveway and the woodsheds.

We have collected five new rescue chickens to restore the flock destroyed by Mr Fox.  Somehow on the same day I also fitted in the collection of the 5" gauge portable track for a self-contained line for the next generation of railway people. As well as use by grandchildren this will give me my introduction to proper live steam. One day...

Meanwhile, in Wales, the 70th anniversary of the Compton Down Railway was being celebrated. I couldn't make it myself, so I did the next best thing and sent my new Accucraft Wren, Peter Jones, to be named. I'll just repeat again that Matt Acton has transformed this loco and given it a distinct personality. Rather like an expensive watch I don't feel I own it so much as I'm looking after it for future generations.

Oh yes, and then I seem to have purchased this...