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The Springfield Agricultural Railway
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2011 Updates and News

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Spring 2012 Update:  

The railway has continued to operate throughout the winter, with the exception of a couple of short spells of snow. Because the rails are at ground level, even a small amount of snow causes problems. At the start of April the older manure has been dug out into skips and is being distributed as usual. It's not surprising all our neighbours have great roses!

 

Date: May 2011

Date: October 2011

Date: October 2011

A few months after delivery by the Leemspoor Museum in Holland, the Spoorijzer loco was moved into the workshop.

As the loco has been gradually taken apart, unfortunately it is not in the 'runnable' condition suggested by the Leemspoor Museum. The Farymann engine was not in running order, and the fuel pump is being worked on, and the gearbox had been emptied of oil and rusted up.

Also the brake gear appeared to be a combination of parts from other locos, and has required a bit of work to reinstate. All in all not the swap of 'working' locos that was wanted. It will still be a while before this loco is back in working order.

 

Date: June 2011

Date: October 2011

Date: January 2012

One by one the wagons are being gradually renovated and repainted, and here the small Huson skip has just had the final coat of paint.

By October 2011, a second of the East German skips had been restored. Although the skip buckets have some corrosion, there should be a good few years of life in them now.

Although a wagon turntable was obtained, there was no revolving 'spider' present under the top plate. Over a period of several months one has been fabricated with bearings machined at the end of 5 'arms', seen here with the top plate removed.

 
 

Date: March 2011

Date: January 2012

Date: April 2012

An old Hudson flat wagon had been obtained over a year ago, potentially just to rescue the wheels and axleboxes. On closer inspection the frame was in useable condition, and a further wagon planned.

After taking it apart, de-rusting and painting, a timber platfrom was built, and 2x4 timber used to construct a solid low sided open wagon.

Once the steel angle and supports were bolted on, it was finally completed by April 2012.

 

Date: August 2011

Date: April 2012

Date: February 2012

The yearly service for the W&R battery loco was carried out over summer, and apart from brake blocks starting wear a little thin, it's a big relief that this loco is a reliable performer.

In the second week of April last year's manure was being dug out to transport down onto the driveway for local distribution.

A few months before, the W&R was in use, dumping another 2 skips of muck onto the ever increasing stockpile.

 

 
Summer 2011:  

Summer seemed to start around March this year and East Anglia in particular suffered near drought conditions right the way through to the end of June, and still has not had the levels of rainfall expected for this time of year.
The very dry conditions early in the year allowed a lot of work to be done outside, with additonal sheds built and other shelters moved, and trackwork realigned and several new sets of points installed.

 

Date: April 2011

Date: April 2011

Date: April 2011

The yearly dig out of the manure compost took place in April, and approx 8-10 skips of manure were dug out over several weekends providing loads of up to 4 wagons.

This year, as the tracks had been laid down to the drivway the wagons were moved to the driveway making it easier for people to come and load up with compost.

Digging the compost out of the skips and into wheelbarrows can be just as hard as loading up in the first place. As last year, quite a few neighbours turned out to take advantage of the free manure and to assist, our local farmer even loaded up a large JCB bucket to transport down the road to others a little further away.

 

Date: April 2011

Date: April 2011

Date: May 2011

Once all the manure had been dug out for the year, planned major changes in the track layout could take place. 3 points were obtained to provide more siding space and they were roughly positioned like a giant jigsaw to work out the options.

The first action was to sever the main line by digging out the old point to the stock shed and digging in extra sleepers to support the new point. As the first new point was essentially a kit of parts, it took a lot of tinkering (a technical phrase!) to finally get the gauge correct all round.

Another shelter for the stock was built, and the original stock shed was moved, so once the rest of the new layout was in place, it allows a little more organisation, and keeps more of the stock dry and under cover. with a bit of luck that will be all the tracklaying required for a while now.

 

Date: February 2011

Date: April 2011

Date: May 2011

Over the winter one of the East German skips was sanded down and repainted, hopefully extending its working life in the process. Seen here with all the painting completed and being pulled to the 'A' Frame so the skip body can be lifted back into position.

Although the battery loco takes the brunt of the hard work, the MoŽs locos need to be run regularly to keep them in good working order. No.10 here is seen coming back from the muck heap with a load of dug manure.

The W&R loco waiting to return from the muck heap in May 2011.


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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways