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DVD: SKIPS, HORSES, AND HARD WORK
THE EARLY YEARS
DVD Running Time: 58 minutes
SUMMARY:  

In 2006, 2 small locomotives were purchased with the intention of building a short railway of under a half mile in length, to move horse manure from stables to a temporary muck heap for composting. Although having visited many industrial narrow gauge locations in the past, there was little or no experience of actual track building or loco restoration.

Following a number of interested enquiries regarding how the railway was built and asking for more details, this DVD has been made as the first of 2 DVDs about the Springfield Agricultural Railway. This first production looks at the construction of the railway and obtaining and restoring the first locos on the line, and running the first trains.

Via video footage and pictures over the first 3-4 years, the viewer can see how some of the obstacles were overcome, how the tracklaying was done, obtaining the locos, the locos bursting into life for the first time in many years, obtaining and building rolling stock, and various other activies.

The price is 12.00 which includes post and packing in the UK (other rates for Europe and the rest of the world are shown on the Palpal ordering buttons below). Any profit will be used to continue to maintain and restore the railway and rolling stock. Visitors are usually welcome, but only if arrangements are made in advance (eg; via the 'Contact Us' link on the top menu bar).

Please see below for stills from the production


Price including postage to UK: 12.00, for Europe outside of UK: 13.00, and for the rest of the world: 14.00.  
 
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In 2006, the 2 locos originating from Belgium, were finally offloaded onto the driveway, after being stored at the back of a local farm for a couple of months prior to the house move.

Once the fencing for the paddocks had been started, it allowed the tracklaying to be started alongside. 4 sleepers and one rail was not an impressive beginning!

 

After purchasing a complete 'y' point, it was levered into place in front of the old stable block which was now to become the loco shed.

Once the track away from the loco shed was joined up with track laid in the field, it allowed proper works trains to be used to move materials to the working area.

Once at the temporary end of the line, sleepers were dug in and levelled to take the next length of rail.

The first one of the Mos locos to be started up was No.12 (a local running number from it's time at Rumst Brickworks in Belgium), which made it's first gentle trip along the line in 2008.

The final length of track to join up the 2 disconnected sections of line was through a waterlogged piece of ground that required digging out, laying with limestone, geo-membrane, and a perforated field drain running into a further drain at the bottom of the site.

By the summer of 2008, the muck was being moved by train, even if just one skip at a time!

Without a tractor or trailer to move cuttings, timber, and other waste material, the railway was soon brought into use with the only 2 flat wagons helping out here.

When a further branch was required round from the loco shed to the workshop, the lawn had to be dug up to get the track across it. although it caused a bit of a mess while it was in progress, the lawn quickly recovered.

While working on the final section of track, the rail bender was put to plently of use to line up the track toward the pointwork that was already laid by the loco shed. Colliery.

After considering various options to join rails to sleepers, the simplest solution was to use the humble track spike.

No.10, the other loco from Belgium, had waited it's turn in the workshop but after a lot of work, it was only nearing the completion of it's restoration that the loco was finally fired up for the first time.

No.12 was the only working diesel loco for a while, and has continued to run well with the very reliable Deutz 22hp motor.

The battery loco still continues to take the lion's share of the work on the railway, and here pulls out the 2 home-built wooden drop-sided wagons foir the first time. These were built on a small Hudson skip frame.

What the line was designed to do. A short train of muck is tipped onto the composting pile to mature for 12-18 months, before being dug out and used over the garden and fields, and given freely to many neighbours.

 

Steve Thomason 2014

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways