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The Springfield Agricultural Railway
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December 2016 back to July 2016:  

An open wagon shelter was the main project during this 6 month period. With a mild winter so far, the horses had not been put into the stables yet, so no mucking out into wagons was needed. The railway had been mainly used for digging out the composted manure into the wagons

 

Date: December 2016

Date: December 2016

Date: December 2016

The clayton was brought under cover and then the batteries were attempted to be charged in groups of 6 at a time. Initially the output voltage across them all was zero, so not very hopeful!

Even over the winter time the composted manure was brought down in skips to the garden and spread around by wheelbarrow.

On the day of delivery, the Clayton poses outside the loco shed with the other battery loco, the Wingrove and Rodgers.

 
 

Date: December 2016

Date: December 2016

Date: December 2016

The last glimpse of Jane the MotorRail as she is about to reverse out of the driveway on her way to her new home.

One of the battery boxes is carefully placed down on the loco by the hiab crane.

The Clayton is lifted of the bed of the lorry and swung over towards the tracks. The remote control used by the driver makes the job straight forward.

 

Date: December 2016

Date: October 2016

Date: October 2016

First sight of the new loco as the lorry eases its way onto the driveway for unloading on the 2nd December.

The yearly service for the W&R loco (requiring the removal of the battery box) had been a little delayed this year, but was finally completed by the Autumn instead of the summer.

The bags of compost had finally made it down to the garden, and were then gently pushed down towards the driveway for unloading, and the large order for 30 bags was quickly removed.

 

Date: October 2016

Date: October 2016

Date: October 2016

A mixed load of muck and timber comes round the 90degree turn towards the stables.

No.10 arrived at the muck heap to start loading. Fortunately by this time of year water has not gathered at the bottom of the pit, so wellies are not required yet!

Trundling slowly towards the end of the line, the simplest way to travel is by jumping on between the skips.

 
 

Date: September 2016

Date: September 2016

Date: September 2016

Disappearing in the usual cloud of smoke Jane the Motor Rail was started up for a run up the line which was probably the last time she ran on the line prior to leaving in December.

On the 17th of September the largest party yet decended on the railway and some of the NGRS visitors hopefully enjoying the day are seen here being assembled for a photo opportunity!

A striking view of No,12 set against the background of a stormy sky, awaits some wagons for a trip up the line.

 

Date: September 2016

Date: August 2016

Date: August 2016

With the days now lengthening out the shardows in the afternoon create a pleasant view with the W&R returning from carrying out some fence maintenance in the paddocks.

Once at the muck heap, filling a couple of skips with the componsted manure can be hot sticky work especially on a hot summer day, so the tshirt had to come off, but she may have been less than happy that a camera was around to record it!

One of the many journeys to dig out out muck, this time with the W&R loco.

 

Date: August 2016

Date: August 2016

Date: August 2016

The first trip along the newly laid part of the track extension for the Motor Rail. The track here had only been laid for a few months but was already difficult to see through the vegetation.

Once a year or every other year, the wagons get a coat of creosote subsitute, which should continue to give the timber a reasonable lifespan.

No.12 with a loaded couple of skip wagons heads off towards the stables and passes the W&R loco in the siding.

 

Date: August 2016

Date: August 2016

Date: August 2016

No.12 was pressed into service to move around some of the bags of cement used to bed in the posts for the wagon shelter.

By August the wagon shelter had been completed which now gives undercover storage for up to 4 wagons.

The Spoorijzer does not come out that regularly, but here it is pressed into the usual duties up at the muck pit.

 

Date: August 2016

Date: August 2016

Date: July 2016

The Spoorijzer on a train of bagged compost about to struggle with the gradient out of the field. Sanding the rails when leaving the pit is often needed especially when the track is overgrown.

Off to the end of the line with another pile of bags for filling up.

The roof of the wagon shelter was well on the way to completion when seen here in July. The onduline provides reasonable protection from the wind and rain.

 

Date: July 2016

Date: July 2016

Date: July 2016

A few days later by mid July most of the framework was completed for the shed.

After trying to get everything as square as possible, a start was made on concreting in the posts.

All the skips were brought down in reach of the garden hose for a good wash out. Fresh horse manure can be corrosive, so the skips need a little care and attention every now and then!

Date: July 2016

Date: July 2016

Date: July 2016

The W&R was used to round up all the skips for a bit of a wash out and clean and these were then backed down into the garden area.

After the ground was cleared a little, and stone put down along the track, then the position of the rest of the posts could be marked out.

After one of the sidings had been repositioned last year to allow space for a stock shelter, the work couldn't be avoided any longer and once the timber was purchased it left no excuses not to start the work. Here the posts are being roughy positioned in the corners to see how much room there is.


 
June 2016 back to January 2016:  

The start of some further tracklaying during this period, and fortunately little or no snow affecting running over the winter, so a relatively quiet operational period.

 
 

Date: June 2016

Date: June 2016

Date: June 2016

In June on another run over the line, Jane the MR was given a short rake of skips to haul up to the muck heap.

At this time the extension had reached as far as it could go with the last of the stocks of the 20lb rail now used up. Does anyone know of any more 20lb rail available?

Moes No.12 was used to haul the MR out to jump start it.

 
 

Date: June 2016

Date: May 2016

Date: May 2016

The Spoor had just been hand cranked and is running up the garden extension towards the loco shed.

With the skips now full, No.10 is now about to head off back to the stables.

It takes about an hour of diggging to fill 3 skips. Now where was that advert for a tractor and backhoe!

 

Date: May 2016

Date: May 2016

Date: May 2016

Although there was still a lot of water in part of the muck heap by this time, a hole had been dug to safely stand in while digging out fresh compost! The operation is more akin to digging out fresh peat once it is composted.

The usual mode of operation is to push out the empty skips to the muck heap.

The Moes locos hardly see use once per month, so the oil changes are not frequent to say the least, and when pulled out to do an oil change in May this year, it will have been the first in about 3 years?

 
 

Date: May 2016

Date: May 2016

Date: May 2016

By May the track extension was begining to take shape, and already looked pleasantly rural beneath the trees.

The maintenance train with No.12 in charge slowly runs past the stables.

No.10 sets off from the loco shed for the end of the line.

 

Date: April 2016

Date: April 2016

Date: April 2016

with a few more lengths of rail in place, after several years at its current length, the running line finally started to extend.

Using approx 7 sleepers per rail length each sleeper is droped in the surface aabout 3ft apart, dug in a few inches then checked with the level against the previous sleeper, so after digging in 7 sleepers the two rails can be dropped on top, hopefully with a minimum of adjustment before spiking down.

Although on the surface the conditions were still quite muddy because of the clay soil, it was quite firm just a few inches down, and the sleepers were dug in without ballast. The infrequent use and light axle loads makes this possible.

 

Date: April 2015

Date: April 2015

Date: April 2015

By April the first sets of sleepers were dropped down to progress the extension. Not exactly maiin line standard, but it serves the function that's needed.

The battery loco was pressed into service for track laying, loaded with the basics to lay the first panels of track.

A small quantitly of sleepers had been sawn in half to lay the first 3-4 panels of track.

 

Date: April 2016

Date: April 2016

Date: April 2016

The skip bucket was hoisted up with the help of the A frame to be reunited with the Hudson chassis.

The Hudson skip bucket was pushed to the loco shed to the A frame once the second top coat had been applied.

No.12 arriving back at the stable sidings after a digging session at the muck heap filling both skips and bags.

 

Date: April 2016

Date: April 2016

Date: March 2016

There is a never ending supply of composted manure ready to be dug out after 1-2 years. After this composting period the more harmful elements of the horse manure has been broken down into a more friendly compost.

No.10 arriving at the muck heap for another session digging out the compost.

Another never ending job is to repair the damage the horses do to the paddock fencing when they bite the fencing or push their weight against it.

 

Date: March 2016

Date: March 2016

Date: February 2016

Once the Hudson skip tub had been wire brushed and cleaned up as much as possible, a number of the seams were treated with body filler to prevent any further weather damage.

A Hudson skip tub had been in storage for a while to replace another tub of poor quality, so this was pulled out and loaded onto a flat wagon to begin the process of cleaning up.

No.12 shunting the East German skips around to access other wagons in the sidings and move some of the timber from the old Willow tree.

Date: February 2016

Date: February 2016

Date: January 2016

No.12 up at the muck pile assisting with some maintenance jobs in February.

Part of the timber still to be moved down for sawing up. Unfortunately Willow timber is not avery useful wood, so was due to be chopped up for the winter supply of firewood.

The refurbished skip frame with the welded steel improvements now all painted, waited on the design of the new small van body.

 

Steve Thomason 2017

Introduction | Construction | Operation | Locos | Updates | Contact
Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways