LATEST..          Santa Bookings for Christmas are selling out fast - where our website says LIMITED AVAILABILITY these times are now FULL          CHRISTMAS CARVERY 6pm sitting is now FULL - still availability for 7.45pm sitting         Looking for gift ideas?          Our SHOP is open during November on Saturdays and Sundays 10.30am until 3.30pm          or you might want to consider the ultimate gift for him - buy a FOOTPLATE EXPERIENCE VOUCHER today - date can be booked later to suit          CHRISTMAS is COMING! Our SANTA SPECIALS event fills up quickly so book your seats early to avoid disappointment          See our SANTA SPECIALS & CHRISTMAS CARVERY pages now          Also running BOXING DAY and NEW YEAR'S DAY for a wonderful way to see the New Year in!          All operating days and events can be found on our YOUR VISIT - Timetables page         
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•service update•

TUE 12 DEC

No Trains Today

WE ARE NEXT OPERATING ON
Saturday 16 December

Track Pack - December 2015

JANUARY 2016 WORKING WEEKEND - SATURDAY 9th & SUNDAY 10th

Following the completion of the 2015 Operating Season on New Year’s Day, services are suspended until the middle of March. This presents a good opportunity to continue the rail cropping started in the Swanpond Copse area last January.

An advance party is due to a start the cropping on the Monday preceding the weekend (the fourth) so everything should be set fair for the arrival of the main gang on Saturday morning. The work will follow the pattern from last time, which seemed to work fairly well; using the iron men to close up the gaps to enable a 55 foot closure to be fitted to finish the job.

 Hope to see as many of you as can make it on both days at 8.30am by the P.Way Hut for the rail trip to Swanpond.

What's Been Going On?

With Christmas trains operating on both days of the December Working Weekend some work away from the main running line was arranged.

On Saturday a small gang replaced half a dozen sleepers on the curve connecting Griffin’s Sidings and the Goosefield. The ones changed were in fairly poor condition, no doubt dating back to when the siding was laid in the late 80’s, and they were probably second hand then. To allow for the gauge widening of the curve plain sleepers were used, the ‘Gutbuster’ drill being brought out of retirement to cut the chair screw holes.

With the sleeper changing completed by dinnertime the gang split in two in the afternoon. One group consolidated the area and fettled up the ballast where the new sleepers had been put, the other pair continued the construction of the new Smallbrook Up Distant Signal post.

Sunday saw a biggish storm blow in but that did not deter the burning crew taking a road trip to Ashey Grounds. Here the strong wind assisted in disposing of the four large piles of material that had been produced by the clearance work at the adjacent station. With reinforcements joining from the day’s first service train, two fires, one between each pair of heaps proved sufficient to clear the area, bar a few logs. There was also time to collect up assorted smaller piles toward the station, created by pruning work earlier in the year. Despite the rain arriving in the early afternoon the site was clear and tidy by the time it got dark about 4pm, ready for the trip back to Havenstreet.

Many thanks for everyone’s help over the weekend.

What Else Has Been Going On?

Weekend passenger operations up until Christmas week has meant the chance to continue the preparations for the signalling works at the Wootton end of Havenstreet. Where possible, most of the necessary wiring has been run and contact boxes etc. installed in the Signal Box. Some of the new instruments have also been fitted to the block shelf. The Down Advanced Starter Signal Post awaits it moment of glory around the back of the Storage Shed.

Some remedial lifting and packing was carried out in the Bridge Seven area to remedy a couple of cant faults flagged up by the routine cross level check.

Prior to the start of Christmas services the signalling installations at the various stations were given their routine dose of inspection and lubrication.

The Friday Gang continue to attack the piles of brash resulting from the tree pruning exercise. Many log sized lumps are also available for free home delivery, provided you live within thirty foot of the Railway track!
 
That seems to be it for now,

All the best for 2016,

Ian, Phil and Pete.

 

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