FRIENDS OF CARROG REPORT FOR 2017
Fortunately for us FOC did not lose much compared to the S&T and P Way departments in the October fire which burnt out the huts situated beyond the Western Rhyn Signal Box – the aftermath is shown in the picture with the skip filled with the debris. The fire brigade arrived in time to save the Box - the porch entrance was just starting to heat up. Nonetheless most of our paint stock, stored in the workshop area nearest to the signal box, was destroyed.
Amongst tools lost the main item was a powered mitre saw. Also in the hut were work in progress items such as the new set (4) of wooden pedestals for platform 2, which we had completed in February, together with a set of beading which had been cut and painted ready for refurbishing one of the Carrog running in boards. 2 ground signals under our custody suffered damage to discs and paint and two cast iron shed windows were destroyed.
The S&T material losses were much greater including decades of collection of ex BR items from sites country wide.
The Permanent Way group lost their main mess facility to which end we have given them temporary use of the Platform 2 waiting room.
There is cover in the FOC bank account to replace our accountable items.
As the signal box is not liable to be moved to Corwen in the near future we are asking for temporary use of it to work on current projects needing lots of space like replacing the pedestals and the planks from benches which need drying out before painting.
Personally, I have not been to Carrog every Sunday this year but the rest of the team have been very busy as usual. I have been involved on Sundays as well as each Wednesday on extending the 5 inch gauge track of Warrington Model Engineering at Daresbury. The extension now runs for an extra 264 yards round our pond to give a total running length of .437 of a mile.
WORK UNDERTAKEN IN THE FIRST FEW MONTHS OF THE YEAR
In January/February the weather was reasonably warm before the rain really set in later that month and then continuing well into March. Four old platform 1 pedestals were washed down and given a coat of white paint. The ill fated four new pedestals were finished in time for the Spring Steam Gala. The metal spear fencing alongside platform 1 had its usual coat of bitumen which always takes three persons weeks to complete – a good job to undertake in winter, if warm enough, as there is less public around. The wooden gates across the sidings at the end of the car park were refreshed with a coat of creosote. In the station the fireplace base was repaired and a new grate fitted while the fireplace in the waiting room was painted. As requested by H&S a safety chain was installed above the steps leading down to the signal box control room on platform 1.
The wooden handle on the old wheelchair ramp was repaired and moved to platform 2. The new metal one (standard issue on the railway) had its yellow edges painted cream to better match the corporate colour scheme. A job which is often neglected and needs to be done on a regular basis is to oil the hinges on the wooden signal telephone boxes.
By the end of January, we had finally vacated the Western Rhyn box moving our paint, tools, stores and items being worked on into the S&T hut. Many thanks to S&T Group for the hospitality. The 10 foot signal post and dolly are now stored under the benches in the waiting room.
The spare 20ft signal post is in Martin’s car port to make room for which he had to part with his Fergie T20 tractor. The vintage Avery Scales went to Berwyn Station
PLATFORM 2 WAITING ROOM MUSEUM
As foreseen since the re-opening of Carrog Station (See restoration policy via home page button on http://www.carrog-station.moonfruit.com) we are progressing the development of the platform 2 waiting room as a Museum to the Llangollen to Corwen Railway. The intention is to open during special events and galas and other times as traffic and staffing permit.
The wooden gate in the bin area has been refurbished. A new top rail was prepped, the old frame uprights wood preserved and the whole repainted chocolate and cream. A larger frame for the entrance sign by the white gate was constructed and installed. This shows the timetable and general information about the railway for the public on approaching the station. The metal trespass signs on the road bridge abutments have once again been rubbed down and repainted with metal primer, undercoat and top coat to refresh the white letters on a black background. The sign at the end of platform 1 needs refurbishing each year as the water dripping on it from the bridge parapet results in brown streaks.
The Down Advanced Starter Signal for Corwen, in the cutting, has been repainted, This is the one where a few years ago we first started using Sikkens paint as the undercoat adhered better to the damp wood. Some blistering under the surface of the paint had taken place but it has stood up well to the test of time and only needed a few small patches being taken back to bare wood. A small amount of finishing off (top coat) is required. The six token catcher posts were given a top coat of white paint to stop deterioration which would have meant more work at a later date if not touched up now.
One of the major problems on any railway is keeping down the growth of vegetation at the side of the track especially as our summers are getting warmer and wetter. Each station has the responsibility to maintain its own section. Accordingly, this year, looking through the bridge, we have tackled the cutting on the left-hand side heading towards Corwen. The work started in April firstly cutting down the major trees and has continued most weekends and Wednesdays right through summer until November slashing down the scrub and especially the brambles. Overhanging branches which were touching the carriages have also been removed. The larger pieces of wood were logged while the top growth and scrub was cut up into smaller pieces and burnt in a steel barrel. In the picture below look at the right-hand bank which has been cleared all the way back to the road bridge and gives a clearer vision for the drivers round the slight curve although there is still a large bramble patch to be cleared behind the camera.
Many thanks are due to individuals who have stepped in to help substantially with this and other heavy clearance activities.
Conifers that had been increasingly crowding and shading the pedestrian entrance path area have been cleared. This will also reduce the effort required in maintaining the drainage installation and flooding risk to the station.
The corrugated ground frame/lamp hut in the cutting is a prominent structure when seen on the approach to Carrog Station and was in poor condition. As can be seen it now looks pristine after being rubbed down and coated with black bitumen. The missing window has been re-glazed and its frame painted white.
On the gardening front weed killing was undertaken in March and June. The back of the flower bed on platform 2 always takes a large amount of effort to clear it of weeds. The box bushes had their annual reshape together with heavy pruning of the larger shrubs – the ones on the steep bank before the bridge are particularly difficult due to the slope of the ground. The path down to platform 2 from the road was cleared of weeds and its box hedge trimmed. Two large planters were bought to replace the rotting wooden ones. These are situated on platform 1 by the tin huts and are planted with tulips in spring and giant begonias in summer. On both platforms, the smaller tubs brightened up the station with bulbs in spring and bedding plants, like geraniums, in summer.
JOB LIST FOR 2017
A) Finish painting the following signals - the metal work (black and white) is the priority.
-- Bracket signal - repair the white paint bulges due to water ingress and the metal work.
‘Down’ Outer Home.
‘Up’ Advance Starter.
Finish the re-paint of the faded black bands on the back of the signal arms.
Renew the red on the Shunt signal arm.
B) Finish the rubbing down and painting of the Finials (appears each year).
C) Renew the beading round the edge of both CARROG signs and paint the complete sign.
D) Remove the planks from the platform seats (especially the long one in front of the tea room) dry them out and repaint brown. The rear planks to be given the same coat of paint so that the whole seat is of the same colour.
E) All the lamp stanchions on the platforms to be re-painted cream.
F) The gable ends over the doors and the station windows need to be worked on – the minimum is a washing down. If possible the doors themselves need a repaint but difficult in the timing due to the public being around.
G) The wooden fence in front of the signal box needs touching up.
H) Paint the White Lines on the platform edges.
I) Continually mow grass, prune and tidy garden beds and plant bedding plants and bulbs.
J) Continue to prune trees, cut back the growth on the embankment and burn the residue.