Looking at my diary it always amazes me how much we manage to get done in the wet and cold of the Jan/Feb period. The remainder of the artificial snow from the Santas had frozen to the ground and could not initially be cleared by the contractor - cue for the pressure washer. The edging slabs on platform 1 were lifted and pushed back as they had moved with the frost . The relaying of the slabs on platform 2 is a much bigger and heavier job and therefore needs to be undertaken by the railway. Vic and the fencing gang have agreed to advance this work ‘between jobs’. The railway has provided the sand and cement.
Eight barrow loads of stone were spread over the path from the gate on platform 2 to smooth the profile and to reduce the height of the sleeper steps. Three barrows of ballast were added to the occupation crossing. The majority of the bricks in the Cattle Dock were replaced over a four week period as they were badly frost damaged with weeds growing in between.
Sheila and Jeanette were kept busy pruning the shrubs and generally tidying up Platform 2 flower bed whilst Tony repaired the Notice Board.
The new wall claddings in Platform 2 waiting room were finish painted. The Gentleman and Ladies signs and boards from three of the platform benches were taken home to be painted in the warmth. In total twelve boards in the greenhouse! At a bargain price small box plants were planted to fill in gaps in the row alongside Platform 2 path.
During the second half of March and early April, when the weather was warm, it was all hands to the pump to throw paint everywhere to make the station look smart for the Steel, Steam & Stars gala. This included lamp posts, the black and white signs, bench scrolls, notice board and two of the platform pedestals plus the annual white lining on the platform edges. Martin was heavily involved in the planning and expediting the construction of the loco pit and pit and also spent many days on the laying of the dual gauge track in the car-park. The point blade and special chairs came from Glyn trackside and special care was needed to accommodate the narrow gauge wheel profiles. Much debate as to sleeper spacing preceded track laying, a compromise figure of 4’-6” being decided upon. As the Railway’s heavy equipment was otherwise engaged in the Corwen Extension track-laying, after the initial delivery of rail and sleepers the majority of the work was carried out by hand.
With all the other activities not much progress has been made on the Gents Urinal on Platform 2. The walls have been stabilised and the render at the bottom of the walls have been cut back to stop rising damp. The wash basin has been installed with the plumbing awaiting
completion. This year the loo is the top priority.
Ron painted the porch and windows at the back of the station and house together with the toilet block. The station Waiting Room has been professionally repainted over the last two years.
The Cattle Dock sleeper posts and gates were creosoted. This job needs doing every two years together with the new posts and gates in the car park.
The fencing gang painted the P-way group’s two new container huts, the walls black (the roofs white) to blend better into the landscape.
The Bracket Signal needs attention because of water ingress to the main post. The area will need stripping down in dry weather, the source of ingress located and fixed and then repainted. The fence panelling around the signal box landing was re-painted in chocolate and cream.
Tony has made three more wooden telephone signal boxes of a slightly larger size. One of these has been installed on a metal post by the Down Outer Home Signal.
Another by the Bracket Signal completing the signals set. There are two left in stock.
We have steel box section posts in stock to replace the wooden ones at the entrance gate. A coach driver tried to do the job for us by backing his coach into one and shearing it off just below ground level and straining the corner joints of the gate. At the moment it is propped by a sleeper. Dave Owen has cut some metal plates so that Martin can fabricate the vee tops. The eight panels of spear fencing at the entrance path and the three by the private gate have all had a new coat of cream paint.
Have to report sad news that the last of Martin & Jeanette’s geese has died without any of them reaching the pot - now very peaceful at Carrog!
Martin has cut down to size all the conifers facing the road from the paddock resulting in lots of bonfires (okay in the countryside). The fruit tree on platform 1 bank is now a much smaller version which will keep the platform slope free of rotting fruit.
Tony is rebuilding a Porters Trolley replacing all of the timber as it was completely rotten. The handles have been beautifully shaped. The metal chassis was reusable and has been cleaned and repainted. Once it is finished in brown it will show up all the other trolleys.
Sheila and Jeanette are full time garden designers keeping the station looking bright and cheerful all year round - much admired by the passengers.
Jobs for 2013:
The priority for 2013, just as it was for 2012 is to finish the Gents Loo on Platform 2 but this time hopefully the work will be completed.
Plumb in the pipe work for the Wash Basin in the Platform 2 Gents Loo and Tile round it. Provide frost protection
Buy materials, make and install security gate to separate public area from private parts of the station grounds.
Complete the painting of the bracket, Advanced Starter. The Outer Home also needs attention
Cut the spare signal post, currently in Pete Lund’s coach at Pentre to size (24 feet). Bring up to Carrog for storage.
Rub down and paint the signal box steps.
Install the last of the Telephone enclosures.
Stain the four picnic tables. Two already under cover drying out.
White Lines painted before Easter as usual.
Replace the broken car park gate post with a metal one plus replace the other wooden post if time allows.
Construct and paint a fence panel to replace the rotten one by the Private Gate. At the same time replace the wooden gate post with the steel box section one in store.
Prepare and re-paint the the platform side of Janet’s coach maroon.
Continue the pruning of any tall and overhanging trees.
Continue with the rebuilding of the garden wall on Platform 2.
Continually mow grass, tidy garden beds and plant bedding plants and bulbs.
FUTURE JOBS TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY RAILWAY
Platform 2 edging slabs to be lifted and re-laid. There is a difference in height between the slabs and the tarmac (tripping hazard) plus lots of the mortar is missing both underneath the slabs and between the brickwork.
Station report 2013
Pictured is Talyllyn’s 2’ 3” gauge Dolgoch taken from the cab of Tornado. The two rails on the left are of two foot gauge for Ffestiniog’s Palmerston. For me the star of the show was the “Super D”. It took me back to my train spotting days watching them shunt Edge Hill Yard from Wavertree Road bridge in Liverpool.
The shunting signal arm on the Up Outer Home was an original which was split down the middle causing the paint to peel. It also had an undersized “S”. In January, when trains where not running, it was taken down and the shape of the arm copied onto a spare three
foot arm we had in stock. Tony then profiled the shape and cut a larger “S” out of expanded PVC sheet.
It was swapped over in half an hour between trains with the signalman’s permission. On a fine sunny day it looks very appropriate having been painted in signal red with the usual black with a white stripe on the back.
With a break in track laying to Corwen the fencing gang did a fantastic job installing gates across the sidings. These are designed to keep the public out of the P-Way yard and off the railway. They replace the metal barriers which not only looked tatty but were easily lifted. When first put up the fresh timber really stood out but with a coat of creosote they quickly mellowed and now look like that they have always been part of the landscape. Need to schedule a repaint every two years.
Dave has bought another original railway poster with Carrog in mind. This time the theme is Wales with a standard 73000 passing what looks like Rhuddlan Castle (artistic licence). Our star man in Carrog has done a fantastic job of removing the wrinkles and providing a new poster on aluminium composite which should resist the elements.