Future Running days
The "Blackberry Line" re-opens on Easter Sunday
We thank ALL our members and our visitors for making 2006 a sucsessful season and look forward to seeing you this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Following works have been carried out during the winter of 2005 to 2006
Maintenance work has been carried out replacing some of the sleepers at the engine shed junction and the main line just south of the Toddington (Ex Brize Norton & Bampton) ground frame. A remarkably small track gang has actualy changed 13 sleepers in one day, partly aided by the new generator which has been installed in the red riding van. Well Done !!!!
Due to a missunderstanding it was nescissary to remove and lower the main car park loading spur so as to allow completion of the car park's landscaping, we are very happy with the new layout which shall improve our visibilty.
All of the three coach rakes bogies have been removed for maintenance and some of the wheel sets sent to Keefes for reprofiling, already we can report a massive improvement in the quality of ride, though perhaps at the expense of character !!!!!
The Toddington Booking Office roof has been re-felted and should now be good for a further five years or more, the gable end weather boards are still to be made, painted and fitted.
The 2006 running season
2006 has got off to a good start for us with a good Easter weekend in spite of the indifferent weather and an excellent GWSR Gala week during which we ran a Wednesday service for the first time using the Diesel and had a surprisingly good day with nearly 100 passengers carried.
Wrong Type of Sun
We appolgise if you were dissappointed by our suspension of services on the 11the of June.
This was due to the exceptional hot weather causing the locking bar to jam in the facing points at Didbrooke Loop, this has now been rectified, but as I type this I can see the sun blazing down for another scorcher, so fingers crossed!!!
We had intended to run the service as far as California crossing but, again, the high temperatures conspired against us and the compressor belt for the Diesels brakes started slipping. It was not a straightforward thing to rectify and took over two hours to complete. We can only take our hats off to the GWSR who coped admirably with the high temperatures.
The remainder of the running season was sucsessful and largely uneventful, Chaka came out of service as planned and the Hunslett diesel took over the remaining duties.
The year ended with a very busy "Thomas" weekend when, again, we were grateful for the use of the ever popular "Taffy"
This locos boiler has returned from repair and has been lowered on to the frames and motion, re-assembly is proceding steadily and a trial steaming has taken place in her 100th year.
Maintenance for this winter
The Brize Norton and Bampton Ground frame box has had its paintwork stripped and treated and some rotten timbers are to be replaced prior to a complete repaint, we are grateful to Bob Hawker for his efforts in restoring this working historic building to it`s former glory.
The Hunslett diesel Yard No 49 is to have it`s lights restored to working order and we look forward to next year when we may be able to run some twilight specials !!
Part of the run round loop at Toddington Station will have to be excavated and reballasted this winter due to run off from the car park causeing "pumping" of mud from beneath the sleepers, hopefuly the new carpark surface and drainage will negate this problem in future.
Other unspecified work is always being carried out,,, please call us or e-mail if you would like to join in.
Current Stock List
Isibutu. Bagnal 4-4-0T. Complete, work in progress On the braking system.
Chaka. Hunslet 0-4-2T. Shall be out of service from the end of July for the forseeable future as a major firebox repair is required
Justine. Jung 0-4-0WT. Being Re-assembled. this loco has been sucsessfuly steamed in her 100th year.
1091 Henschel 0-8-0T Currently out of service
Diesel and Petrol
Yard No 49 Hunslet 6647 4WDH In full working order
166010 Ruston 4WDM In full working order
354028 Ruston 4WDM In full working order
34523 Lister 4WDM In full working order
7053 Motorail 4WPM Stored, serviceable