Welcome to the home pages of the Blatchington branch a privately owned 5 inch 
gauge garden railway in Seaford East Sussex.  The site contains my thoughts,
ideas and hopefully useful innformation about a wide range of topics linked to 
5 inch gauge railways.

These are living pages and as such I am constantly adding and updating them so 
do come back from time to time to see what's happening on the line.

Since the start of the line around 2002 these pages have kept growing, it's my
intention to keep the content as balanced as possible and to include details of
as many suppliers as possible, please let me have any comments or suggestions 
about additions that I should make.

The line is open to the public a few times each year when all can come & enjoy
a ride round & find out more about the building & operation of the railway.  
I'm also happy to show individuals or small groups round if they want to take a 
more serious look when there are less people about.  Please feel free to 
contact me to arrange a visit.
Thanks to David Henshaw of Miniature railway magazine we now have this diagram 
of the track plan of the railway.

Just a small bit of legal stuff here, although most of the material on these 
pages is largely in the public domain please do contact me before using any 
text, photos or videos to double check that they are free to use - thankyou.
Firstly a really big thanks to all my friends and helpers who make these weekends
possible - they really are an amazing team!

Although the weather  looked like it was going to spoil the weekend we managed
to get the trains up and running providing countless rides for our visitors, I really
must get a measuring device on a loco to see how far we travel over a weekend.

The new section of track called the Blatchington triangle really made a big
difference making it easy to provide a longer journey with less point changing,
the upgraded class 37 had it's first outing thanks to the hard work of Alan Hubbard
who installed the new controller and the 4 X 50Ahr AGM batteries plus all the 
wiring necessary; more details about this loco on the locomotive pages.

And finally thanks to all our visitors for coming along and supporting
JDRF by raising an amazing £820.
After a very slow start due to the weather we managed a very successful day
with lots of visitors enjoying the trains and the cakes!

A few minor problems with track and stock but overal the best running session yet.

Thanks to Alan Hubbards hard work we were able to introduce the class 37 back 
into service, with 4 new batteries and a Rhino controller which combined with it's 6 X 150w motors 
provided a very powerful loco.  
With only a few days to go before the July public running weekend we're still
double checking the line and correcting a couple of snags that last weekends 
testing identified and needless to say Jan is hard at working creating all
those cakes that all really visit for!.

Fingers crossed for the weather and hope to see lots of you over the weekend.
Trains will be running between 11:00 and 16:30 on both 6 & 7 July
With just under a week to go till the July public open weekend the branch was
visited by the team from Riley's Miniature Railway of Uckfield who helped to
stress test the line before next weekends public event.

After all the work we've done on the line over the last few months I was really 
pleased to give the system a reallly good test.  Needless to say we found and 
have now fixed a few problems so all should be good for visitors on 6 & 7 July.

Thanks to Graham Lelliott for the video showing the locos and team in action.

If you happen to find yourself near Uckfield in East Sussex to take time
to visit the gang at Riley's Miniature Railway and take a look at the 
Lavender line while you are there, details of both can be found on Facebook!
Two weeks to go before the July 6 & 7 open weekend and all seems to be on
track with just a few minor bits of work to do.

The next week or so will see us testing the line, stock and locos, with the locos
the focus is on the batteries and chargers - still hoping to get the new controller
installed and two sets of batteries in one loco.
With less than three weeks to go before the railways July open weekend I'm 
pleased to be able to report that there is only a little work left to do to get 
things ready for public running.

There is a little edging brickwork by the triangle to complete and a couple more 
sleepers need replacing so if the weather gives me a few dry hours we should
be good to go!

You can see in the video above the first trip over the triangle and onto the new 
bridge during a couple of circuits of the line - will clean up and edit later.

2024 will see us raising funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 
(JDRF) so fingers crossed that the 6 & 7 July are dry days! Hope to see lots
of you over the weekend so we can show off all our hard work.
Work on point operation continues so if the weather holds I should have 6 out of 
the 10 points on the railway standardised and fully up to scratch by the end
of this week!

Brick edging work by the triangle is advancing and if I can find a bricky
should be complete soon.

Finally for this short update I've been editing some of these  pages to
bring them up to date, this work continues.
Thanks to Stan at Stevenage springs I was able to install two out of the three
point leavers on the Triangle track section today and hope to upgrade and 
standardise the remaining points operators.  See the track panel pages for
more details and the supplier details for parts for points.
So here it is, The Blatchington triangle.  Ttill more work to do to get it fully
into service but the main lines are runnin as you can see from the brief 
video clip above.

Many thanks go to Tony Floyd for coming up with the idea and giving me hours
of help to plant the track.  Now to find someone who cando a bit of brick work
for me to complete the landscape round the area.
Yet another wet day yesterday so took the chance to start to split the 
locomotive pages into smaller chunks.  As always more work to do to bring the 
contents fully up to date but it's a start!  Hoping we can add more details of 
visiting engines over the coming years.

Use the link to the locomotive pages in the main menu to explore what I've
been up to and please do tell me if you spot any errors.
At long last the weather has given us tha chance to get some real progress with
the Blatchington triangle.  So far I'd managed to grab an hour here and there
to get the groundwork outline and the skeliton of the three points built now
however over the last weekend with the help of Marc Tiltman and Tony Floyd there's been 
real progress for all to see.

The three points have been planted and joined into the track loop, still not ready 
for use but you can clearly see what it's goind to be like when complete.
SectionHead( "2", "left", "MayUpdate", "May update - 1 May 2024");
The question everybody is asking as we head towards another bank holiday
weekend is 'Will it ever stop raining?' So disappointed that we had to cancel 
the April event but the trackwork was not up to standard and the weather
was dreadful.

The next public weekends is scheduled for sicth and seventh July and another 
in mid September, thinking that I may move the 2025April event into early May
and see if we do any better with being a bit later.

At the moment I'm working on ballasting and a general track check right round
the main loop before returning to work  on the Blatchington triangle project,
two out of three new sets of points are nearly completed and the parts for the
third are on the bench.

Work on the loco's will initially see the trial of a new control unit on the class 37
and then if all goes well on the 58 which will clear the way to upgrade this
loco to 6 motors too.  The class 47 will be taking a rest this year waiting
for new motors.  Finally with the engines I don't want to leave the Hercules out so 
hope to add some detailing such as head lights and roof horns.  New sets of 
batteries will also be on the shopping list.

In the garden there is also plenty to do, some landscaping and a few new plants
plus a step or two to tidy up some edges.

Don't forget that we now have a dedicated email address for the railway:-

  stationmaster@theblatchingtonbranch.com
Due to the really bad weather we had to cancel this years April event .

This year we are raising funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 
(JDRF) which was brought to my attention by one of my brilliant team 
of open weekend helpers, their grandson and family received  great support and
guidance from them so it seemed a goo charity to support and to bring their
work into the public eye.
I'm now well over halfway through rebuilding 2 sets of points so at least
I do have some progress to report!
/pre



Whilst doing a general check of the track I came across some very sad looking
rail that just has to be replaced before any other work can continue.  Needless
to say it's nothing simple and is going to involve rebuilding two sets of,
points - as it happens I'd got these to in my sights for work so it just means
they'll be done sooner than later.  The work will include lots of new sleepers,
a replacement stock rail and a slight alteration of shape thanks to an upgrade
to the frogs.

Really wanted to get on with the triangle work but these two points are part
of the main loop so take priority.
Not much progress to report on the railway over the last month or so for various
reasons, waiting for another frog for the new points, dreadful weather
and other bits of work that I could not avoid.

The final 'Y' point for the triangle is outlined and just as soon as the weather
breaks I should be able to get a move on , was really hoping to have the new
triangle in operation before the April public event but that's not looking
too likely at the moment.

The new control unit which is going to be tested in the class 37 is ready to
fit it will be replacing the M-tronics module if all goes to plan and my wiring man
can find me a few spare minutes to get the work done.

The remaining three motors are coming off the class 47 for inspection so we can
make a final decision on whether to upgrade to six motors on the 58 and which type
of motors and configurationwill go on the 47.

Finally just a reminder that the railway now has it's own email address
if you want to make contact for any reason:-

   stationmaster@theblatchingtonbranch.com
We are planning to have three public running weekends this year which we hope will 
be on 27 & 28 April, 6 & 7 July and 14 & 15 September - these dates still
might change a little but they look good so far!


Thinking of having a DVD sale on the public running days! 75% to the years 
charity and 25% to the branches battery fund; we've got 30 to 40 to start the
ball rolling but if you have any lying about that you no longer want maybe you
could consider letting us have them to sell to boost funds.

The branch now has a seperate email address to keep things tidy, you can now use:-
With Parkside electronics appearing to be closed and thinking about upgrading 
to six motors on the class 58 I started to look into new control units.

I've just taken delivery of a Rhino 2 DS160 supplied by Cromar white to see how
it compares to the existing Parkside, Idrive  and M-Tronics units fitted to
my locos at the moment.

It certainly is a solid unit and very compact being, I gather, designed
and targeted at the mobility scooter market initially.  Think I'm going to
put it in the Class 37 to start with which will replace the M-Tronics unit,
hoping this may clear a battery issue which might be down to the contorller.
Editing this page still to clear out the clutter.. Weather not helped with
track progress!
Started to do some cleanup work on these pages yesterday morning, got nicely into it
when the front door bell rang, I answered it and by the time I got back to my
desk I think there must have been a brief power cut as my edit had been lost so
here I am again trying to remember what I'd done.

Over the next week or so I'll be cleaning up a few bits on this page trying to
reduce duplication, mistakes, repair broken links and add all those pictures
I said I'd add and not got round to yet.

Trying to get back into the triangle project work, with the basic ground work
well under way and two of the three new points taking shape all I need is some
good weather and a little help from some friends!

At least my new drill arrived and I now have a box of just over 100 new sleepers
ready to be planted.

With the first open weekend planned for the end of April I must think about 
ordering some fresh batteries for the locos too especially as the new controller
should be in service by then.
Fingers crossed that the weather forecast is on the money and that we're going 
to have a week of dry weather, yes colder but at least no rain for a while
so I can get on with the points for the triangle project.

Apart from a box of approx 100 new sleepers that need some preservative
treatment there's wheels to come off a loco and a general tidy up all round.

Looking at buying a new Dewalt drill/driver too, an interesting bit of kit as
it's a compact drill with 4 different heads including rightangle chuck and offset 
chuck - looks like it will be very good for working on 5 gauge track, take
a look at the Dewalt DCD703l2t (Prices vary greatly so spend time on google
before parting with money).

Trying to clean up this page too getting rid of old stuff, adding a few pictures
and adding a few new links as and when I find them.
Another year on the railway stretches ahead which we hope will see 3 public
running weekends, the introduction of the Blatchington triangle trackwork
and various upgrades to the loco fleet.

Dates for the public weekends are much like previous years, late April, 
early July and finally mid September.  We'll let you know when they are
finalised.  This year we are raising funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research 
Foundation (JDRF) which was brought to my attention by one of my brilliant team 
of open weekend helpers, their grandson and family received  great support and
guidance from them so it seemed a goo charity to support and to bring their
work into the public eye.

The Blatchington triangle work as you will know has started with basic 
groundwork completed, two out of the three new points are taking shape and
the third is waiting a frog.  Now it's down to some luck with the weather
to keep things moving on the project.

Work on the loco's will see the trial of a new control unit on the class 37
and 58, an additional two motors added to the 58 and completely wheels and
motors on the 47 - Don't want to leave the Hercules out some hope to add some
detailing such as head lights and roof horns.  New sets of batteries will
also be on the shopping list.

That lot should keep me busy and my bank account low!

Hope to see lots of you this year being able to enjoy a ride round and some of
Jan's cooking!

Keep watching for updates here and on the railways web site:-

http://www.theblatchingtonbranch.com
The Blatchington triangle is a new section of track work that will allow the
trains to directly access the bridge along the front wall of the house from the 
east across the driveway which will make clockwise operation of the line much 
more flexible.

The first phase of the work to prepare the area included:-
* Lifting three panels of track including one set of points and dug out the
  ballast ready for cleaning (Approx 1,000Kg);
* Cut back a quantity of concrete from the edge of the track bed to allow for
  wider curve.  Flower bed also adjusted;
* Built a new curved track panel leading from side gate to points, approx 3m 
  in length.
* Cleaned ballast;

The second stage of the project, which is now complete,  has seen the 
original track replanted with some small adjustments to curves and a lot of new 
sleepers installed.  This work had the line up and running ready for the  
September open weekend and gives us a clear view of where the new points
will fit.

The triangle itself has now been dug out and edging stones roughly planted
to give a clear visual of where things are going to be and give me an idea of
amounts of materials still required such as a lot more ballast!

The third stage will see the conversion of the existing 30 foot radius
points to 40 foot and the creation of 2 completely new sets of points which
will form the triangle itself with the existing diamond crossing at the third corner,
Thanks to all who came along to the railway over the last weekend and a really big
and special thankyou to my amazing friends who form the team of helpers that
make it all possible.

Must mention here Seahaven FM, our local radio station, who kindly promoted 
this years events

The weather only managed to stop the trains for an hour and a few technical issues
made things a bit tricky but all seemed to enjoy themselves.

The end of year results will see us sending £1,400 to MND.

We look forward to seeing you all next year when we hope that the new Blatchington
triangle will be up and running and that the loco modifications will have been
carried out!

We hope to hold 3 events in 2024 which should be in late April, early July and mid 
September - watch this page for dates.
It's been so long since I've spotted any new suppliers appearing I thought
I'd mention Quince signals who, as their name suggests, produce a range of
3d printed signals and lineside accessories for garden railways.  The company is
owned and run by two people who really know what they are talking about so it's
well worth a look!  Try taking a look at their web site at:-
Quince signals
And do search YouTube for Quince junction.
Off topic but might be helpful for some.  Came a cross a device recently that
plays various sounds which are supposed to help ease the effects of Tinnitus,
needless to say there is a price attached to it and really all it does is loop
a couple of sound clips of things like birds, waves etc.  This got me thinking
that maybe the Soundscape project might help sufferers too; so if you know of
anyone who suffers from Tinnitus why not mention it to them and remember it
is free!

For help and support with Tinnitus take a look at:-
British tinnitus association
The loco fleet will receive a major overhall, we hope:-
* Class 37 received a Rhino2 DS controller replacing the existing 
  Mtronics unit plus an upgrade from 2 to 4 batteries.
* Class 58 will be upgraded to 6 motors, 4 batteries and new controller.
* Class 47 completely new motors and controller.
* 'Faith' general service.
The introduction of the Blatchington triangle an extra loop of track next to
the drive allowing access to the metal bridge along the front garden wallfrom 
both directions.

All points had their springs and levers updated so are more or less to a
standard design now.

There will be the usual round of sleeper replacement and ballasting.
Loads of general work in the garden, ponds to complete, an extra step or two
plus other edging work and huge amounts of weeding!
Three public running weekends so we can show off the hard work!  2024 will see
us rasing funds for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
Loads of work on these pages as well as the railway this year, started to 
introduce a few more details of pricing of various items so give people an
idea of what they might be letting themselves in for if they fancy trying their
hand at their own railway.
The weather caused its usual fustrations in 2023, winter and spring were
so wet so very little work got done but late spring things did get moving.

Between days of high winds, thunder storms and rain the usual round of sleeper 
replacements and  ballast cleaning  work to construct the Blatchington 
triangle got underway in mid August.  This addition to the track plan will link 
the existing main line crossing the driveway to the metal bridge that runs along the 
front wall as well as the existing line to the viaduct.

In August basic ground work started with the removing of some further sections
of concrete on the drive and cutting back some grass between the main running
line and the loop running up the side of the drive.  Edging blocks were loosely 
positioned to indicate the proposed shape of things to come.

slow progress really but better slow than having to rework points.  It's shown
us that we can open up what I thought was going to be a 20 foot radius junction 
to a 30 foot.

all this meant that by the September open weekend there was enough work completed
to give an idea of what the end result was going to look like.

The parts for the three new points to form the triangle were delivered in early October
just in time for the weather to change yet again, however by the end of the year
two out of the three points were taking shape.
As part of the preparations for the July open weekend the bogies on the class 
37 received a good service, basically a bit of cleaning up and lots of lubrication
plus correction to two build faults and with a couple of tweaks into the bargain.  These 
bogies were supplied by the now closed Bexhill model engineering and feature 3 x 150w 
motors on each bogie so hopefully making for a very powerful loco for public 
running days.

After all this work I'm still not happy with there performance so will take
the next step and will be testing a new control system for the loco.

The class 47 ended the year out of service with a failed motor, not sure if 
to convert this to a 6 motor loco yet.

The class 58 received some TLC, on a positive note the fuel tank and battery box area
had some minor repairs and fresh paint so they are looking really good 
again.  On the down side the plans to add a further two motors to this loco
hit a problem in that the style of bogie will not allow us to fit the 
motorised axels from the 47 due to some extra machining being required to
the face of the wheels, suspect this work would be costly so having to think 
of a different approach - been suggesttg that the motors and gears could be fitted
between the two locos.

An alternative body for 'Faith' the Ride on Railways hercules did not materialise
but there's a few ideas buzzing round in my head for next year!
We managed to hold two out of the three public running weekends, the rain stopped 
the April event and had a go at the July and September weekends but we managed
to keep the trains running and thanks to my amazing friends who form 
the team of helpers that keep the railway running we raised £1,400 
for the Motor Neurone Association (MND) bringing the grand total raised by 
the railways team to £11,883!

thought it would be better to do a single charity each year rather than one for
each open weekend which would have the benefit of slightly less paperwork and
a larger lump of funds raised for each one plus if a weekend was spoilt
by bad weather the charity would not loose out so much.

A big thanks here also to Len Fisher and Seahaven FM, our local radio station, for
inviting me along again to chat about the railway and the charities you help
us support.
A couple of the sit astride carriages required some TLC after the open weekends,
I've replaced some of the nails holding in the end panels with M3 Hex head bolts 
and washers making them more robust.  With a splat of paint here and there plus
some grease on the wheels they're ready for the 2024 season.
Not much to report from the garden apart from a new section of flint wall which
can be found under the hedge at the rear of the garden, built up thebank at 
the side of the track here too with more to go next year hopefully forming a 
slight cutting eventually.

Various plants came and went with two grape vinesdoing really well, a bit of luck here
as I gather 2023 was a really good year for vines in the UK.
For fans of smaller scale railways work on the Soundscape project will get
moving again.  I think that it's far better than any offering from Hornby and
Gaugemaster as it's far more flexible and cheaper!!

For those who have not tried it the idea of the Soundscape project is to
place sounds into your layout with the use of a computer, smart phone or tablet
directing pre recorded sound to small blue tooth speakers:-
Do take a look and have a play with the Soundscape project
Not a highlight but at the end of September after 9 years of hard and magnificent 
team work Kraken, my guide dog, hung up his harness for the last time and 
started a well deserved retirement staying with me as a much loved and wanted 
pet.  Many of our visitors to the line will have met and played with him 
whilst waiting for a ride round on the trains.

So many fond memories of nearly 40 years out and about feeling safe and proud of 
Bruce, Nelson, Trent and Krakan covering 100,000's of miles right across the 
UK and sadly to say the fear of what is to come in an uncertain future for 
guide dogs.

Earlier in the year I undertook three very unpleasant and humiliating 
interviews from guide dogs where my 40 years record with and experience of 
working dogs was more or less totally ignored and threats were made that if I 
did not agree with everything that guide dogs stipulated I would never get 
another dog.

Questions like 'Why do I want a dog?' and 'Why dont you use a stick?' were
asked; as if I'd commit to many years for the fun of it!

Anyway I got through all this and am now on the waiting list but with around a two 
year wait for a replacement guide dog from an organisation who I, like many other 
guide dog owners, can nolonger be confident in leaves me feeling dreadful.

They seemed to have lost their way with new training techniques introduced 
over the last few years also a massive widening of their scope of operation
into other spheres of sight loss welfare - try calling there contact number shown
on their website (0800 781 1444) and you findthat the first option on the main menu
is not for guide dogs!  Chuck into the mix a woke agenda and? well probably 
enough said for the time being.

I set out on my last walk with Kraken as a working guide dog with a very heavy 
heart, teers in my eyes and thoughts of going out the first time on my own 
with Bruce my first dog all those years ago - it's safe to say they've 
have kept me sane - thanks boys.
I suppose the main highlight of 2022 was being able to open up to the public
again, only two rather than the usual three events but still very rewarding
to see so many people back again after so long.

In the picture above you can see the team from the September open weekend when 
we raised funds for 'Dogs for good'.

We had two guest locos this time, Alan Wood with 'Ajax' and David Mulpeter with 
his Dan Jeavons class 47, add to these the Bexhill model engineering class 58 
and  'Faith' a Ride on Railways hercules and we had quite a nice display of 
engines.

With your generosity and the help of my friends we managed to raise over
£1,500 for charity during the year bringing the grand total raised by the 
branch to a very pleasing £10,483!
Apart from the usual track work including replacement of several sleepers the 
biggest project was the rebuild of the sleeper bridge that runs along side the front 
wall of the garden.  The complete deck of the bridge was replaced with concrete 
lintles and the sides by a steel framework constructed by Marc Tiltman.
Just as I was looking forward to an afternoon of playing trains in early August
I discovered an active wasp nest right next to the line! thus trains were 
suspended until I could get the pest control folks in I just had to sit in the 
buffet and drink a beer!! owning your own railway can be hard.....

On a nicer note, we had the first appearance of a new visitor to the garden,
at beginning of August a Noctule bat did a brief tour of the back garden, we've 
seen Pipistrelles many times before but never the larger Noctule which has an 
impressive 35cm wing span.  Needless to say on this visit we didm't have a
camera to hand..
At the end of another very strange year for all of us, we didn't manage to open 
the line to the public but we are hoping for better things in 2022!

Although not much has happened on the branch some work did continue and 
hopefully we'll have a new bridge to show off when we do finally open again.

Meanwhile I've been trying to do some work on the Soundscape project for those
with smaller scale railways, been so busy not had much chance to get into
some serious coding.

Although the trains have been quiet this year we've been working away on the 
track doing the usual round of maintenance plus making adjustments to the
sides of the sleeper bridge.  The sleeper bridge will now have higher sides
constructed from steel which will make it much safer.

The track across the main drive has been lifted and adjusted to convert an 'S'
bend into a long curve which should hopefully resolve some stability problems 
during public running days.

Finally I made the very hard decision to reduce the number of locos on the
branch as I was running out of space in my garage.  So late on in the year my
0-4-0 Compass house shunter headed off to a new home in Kent, sad to see it
go but 5 was just too many.  Below you can see a brief video taken on it's last
run:-
The end of a very sad year, no public running days and the loss of a couple
of good friends and visitors to the line. 

A long time friend and visitor to the line was Tom Cunliffe,  who fell victim 
to cancer and then in May Robin Neighbour (owner of Bexhill model engineering) 
who gave me so much help to get the railway started passed away after a battle 
with his general health.

On a more positive note work to replace the 'S' bend across the drive started 
but took longer than I hope due to other works going on in and around the 
house and garden combined with the dreadful weather at the start of the year.

after much thought I decided to replace the 'S' bend with a smooth curve
starting at the east end of the viaduct approach, the wiggle was fun but trying
to keep the cambers right was very difficult.  So far the work has involved
cutting a wider channel across the drive and taking the corner off a flower 
bed, - all looking messy at the moment but hopefully when we get a few dry days
I can progress the work again.
Another three very successful open weekends in 2019, more people than ever and
some guest engines, a big thankyou to Alan Woods and his family and David
Mulpeter for bringing their locos along on the September weekend we're
hoping to see them all again in 2020.

All trackwork took a real bashing with all these locos running over it so it
was necessary to lift the outer rail, reverse and rebend the rail across the
viaduct.
The public events are hard work for everyone, as you can see from the photo 
above there is a mountain of food to be prepared.
The railway was featured on are local radio station Seahaven FM on the Len 
Fisher show just before the September event, We were also delighted to welcome 
Nazish Adil, the mayor of Seaford, to the railway on the Saturday of the 
September event.  She and the team from RNLI got things off to a good 
start and also enjoyed a ride round.

Thanks to all who came along and with their generosity helped to raise £883 for 
RNLI bringing our grand total of funds raised for 30 different charities to 
£8,948! thanks everyone.
At the end of March, just a month before the first open weekend of the year, my 
good friend Eric Meeds sadly passed away following a battle with cancer.  Eric 
spent many hours with me designing and building carriages, wagons and the track 
work that forms the Blatchington branch today, infact without him the railway 
would probably have not made it this far.  I'll really miss our friday 
evenings, the work, the red wine and his stories about his days in the navy and 
Sussex fire bregade - he truely leaves a gap in my life, it was like having a 
second dad.

Below is a video of three engines out on a test run:-
This years events saw the first use of the new wagons which will allow for 
small children to sit inside whilst adults can sit on top.
This first short video shows how we did the double heading control, turned out to be simple and cheap plus effective!
This second longer clip shows all the stock of the Blatchington Branch on a 
test run with some added weight provided by ballast in the blue barrels in 
the rear wagons.  We think there is close on 750Kg in this train and until it
started to rain a bit the locos were moving without much effort.
We'll be further testing using double heading before the first open weekend at
the end of April as it looks like it will help us jpull many more people at
a time and reduce waiting times.

After many hours of hard work the waterfalls in the front garden are more or
less finished and grass banks in this area should be fully established and 
looking nice by the spring.
Apart from eating & drinking I spent the start of the new year doing more work 
on the soundscape project for my N gauge layout.  Still taking shape slowly
but  there is enough now to show what it will be able to do in the future;

Also on the N gauge I took delivery of a new class 40 loco from Graham Farish
which came ready loaded with DCC sound, most impressive!
We were able to open the railway to the public for 3 weekends again during the
year.  More people than ever dropped in for a ride round and some tea & cakes.
As always any money raised went to charity so with your genarocity we donated
a pleasing £1,767 to 3 charities bringing the railways total to £7,088.

Apart from the usual snags you get with running a railway all went to plan and
hopefully we continue to learn from our mistakes and week points.

The rebuild of the sleeper bridge against the front stone wall prooved very
successful when it had its first heavy work during the September public 
weekend, full details of the work on this bridge can be found on the 'Building 
the line' page.

Most important here is a really big thanks to all that helped over the events,
Jan Daynes for help with the organising and her now famous baking, Debbie and
Chris Bryant for selling the teas and tickets, Marc Tiltman, tom Exley, Paul 
Gibson and all the other drivers plus young Alphie Bryant our, signal man, who
was running about all day keeping the trains moving! without all these folks
these weekends would not be possible.  
Moving onto the garden itself we spent a large amount of time and effort
continuing to work in the area where the old elm tree had been.  A large soil
bank was built, 2 water falls planted along with 2 new ponds and a deeper stream
bed under the viaduct.
Thought I'd share these few pictures just to give some idea of the amount of 
work involved with getting a 100 gallon collection tank planted at the bottom 
of the waterfalls & streams.

To complete the various bits of ground work round the garden we had another 5
tons of top soil delivered - No grass yet due to the lack of rain but you can 
begin to see from the following video how the new pond work was shaping up by 
mid 2018.
In late mayI was given the chance to purchase a couple of locos, 2 riding 
trucks and a quantity of track.  Above yu can see a lovely little 0-4-0 shunter 
produced by Compass house - this is one of their earlier models which although 
small with only 2 x 150w motors managed to pull 2 adults round my line with 
ease.
The second loco was a Ride on Railways Hercules called 'Faith', What can I say 
about this engine that has not been said dozens of times before?  well made, 
solid, smooth running etc.  She prooved very popular when she entered service 
on the July public running weekend.

Moving onto the track itself, we took delivery of around 3 tons of ballast to 
top up our stocks, a few areas needed it immediately and several bits of 
planned work such as the replacement sleeper bridge require considerable 
volumes of the stuff.

After the last public weekend in September we began reviewing the use of the
sit in wagons.  Taking into consideration stability, comfort and the recent 
purchase of the Hercules loco we decided to make some changes.  Basically we
will be reducing the width down to 305mm (the same width as the Hercules), this
width will allow small children to still ride inside whilst allowing us to put
seats on top so adults can sit astride.  The basic woodwork is mostly complete
and fresh mild steel section has been delivered ready to build the frames.  
The year started with sad news; Trent, my retired guide dog, passed away at the 
end of January.  He'll be missed by many visitors to our open weekends where up 
until very recently he enjoyed a ride round on the trains with the children.
During his long career he had covered many miles with me & had appeared on the 
TV program "Animals do the strangest things" where he could be seen going round 
the house on the train apparently on his own.

Nothing to do with 5 inch gauge but Over the last few months of 2017 I could be
found at my computer keyboard working on adding sounds to my N gauge model 
railway, the result of all this work saw the beginnings of several web pages 
which control the sequence of various sounds that can be piped to Blue tooth 
speakers hidden in the layout.

Meanwhile back on the 5 inch railway we held a further 3 public open weekends
which altogether raised just under £2,000 for various charities.
Thanks to Tom Exley we now have an official Blatchington branch logo which 
appears on mugs, t-shirts & anywhere else we can stick it!.
Quite a large chunk of track work took place towards the end of the year.  

The upgrade of the twin line section across the front garden was completed save 
for the ballasting!  The work saw the removal of a centre grass strip which 
allowed the replacement of 2 straight sections of track with curves, the moving 
of the point that forks into the garage a bit closer to the drive & the 
adjustment of some edging stones to tidy things up.  The overal effect is to 
make for a smoother ride right across the garden.

The line across the drive after around 8 years of use needed it's heavy duty
sleepering replaced as they had come to the end of their life.  This project 
also allowed us to make a very minor adjustment to the curve of the line 
running into the garage following the movement of points on the twin line 
section across the front garden as detailed below.
Now you may think by the above picture that I was not doing much work but I was 
thinking very hard! 

The back garden also had it's share of track replacement, the outter rail of 
the curved section was largely replaced with new track as it was showing signs 
of ware.

Following a visit from David & Alexander Henshaw from Miniature railway 
magazine earlier this year we are very prowd to say that the Blatchington 
branch was featured in issue 39 of the publication.  For more details click on 
the link below:-
Miniature Railway issue 39 is out now as a 99p digital download!
Maybe not so grand as Miniature railway magazine but we also got a mention in the local paper
The branch in the media
As we were getting increasing amounts of visitors to the public weekends I
started researching the purchase of an upgrade to one of my locos.

A.P. model engineering products took my eye so after much thought I decided to
sell my original 37 & upgrade to one of Andy Pennock's models.
Delivery time on the 37 meant that it would not arrive in time for the July 
open weekend so Andy kindly lent me his excellent class 40 for the event.
Owing to a few areas of my track which contain slightly more than the intended 
track spread for the curves we could not take full advantage of this loco for 
the days, a real shame as on close inspection there is only 4 or 5 areas 
measuring no more than a few feet in length that caused the problem - over the 
next few weeks we spent some time adjusting these spots by unscrewing the 
sleeper chair from 1 rail, sliding it off the sleeper & then bringing the line
into gauge using screws & varying sized washers.  Hopefully this will bring
my track up to GL5 standards.  
Short clip of the class 40 on test at Gilling
AP model engineering class 40 at Gilling
Anyway seeing the class 40 in the flesh so to speak has made me look forward to 
the arrival of the 37 even more!  The build quality of the 40 was very good, a 
really strong fibre glass body shell which is well detailed, laser cut chassis 
& bogies, Mtronics provide the control system which combined with the level of 
engineering in the loco makes for a near silent & powerful loco.  Saying silent 
of course is ignoring the built in DCC quality sound unit!

We have carried out many test runs with the AP model engineering class 37 which 
you can see in the link below.  Really pleased with it's performance & the 
sound does really add something  See my locomotive pages for full details,
Oh & the passenger shown in the last couple of minutes of the clip was the star 
prize in the April 2018 open weekend teddy tombola!
AP model engineering class 37 "Loch Trent" test run
After many years of good service it was time to give the class 58 some 
attention, first step was to replace the fuel tank & battery box moldings & 
while it was up on blocks sort out some of the wiring.  Extra weight was placed 
in the new battery box  moldings to help with traction, with this additional
weight & the largest batteries possible the loco now weighs in around 100Kg.
Latest video of my garden railway
The biggest area of work for the railway during 2016 was on the garden itself. 
In October the diseased Elm tree was removed, turned out to be over 80 years 
old, really sad to see such a magnificent tree go after all those years but it 
gave me scope to redesign that area of the garden.
The first move after the tree going was to dig back a bank that was too close 
to the line & to replace it with a small retaining wall which will stop people 
catching their feet & as a bonus (I hope) make it look a bit station like into 
the bargain.  The other side of this wall & earth bank  will be the area that
will contain the waterfalls & stream.

Progress with removing the stump of the elm tree took some time to organise,
once done a further pond is going to be positioned & the original waterfalls 
relocated  at the head of this smaller pond.

Started looking for a replacement tree which is hoped to have been planted by
the end of the year or very early in the next.

In other news 2 handsets & the controller for the class 37 returned from being
serviced by Parkside electronics post the last open weekend.  The class 47 was
fitted with a new set of longer & stronger springs to the bogies to improve
suspension, more details on the loco pages.  The class 37 received a new pair 
of batteries, not quite sure how old the originals were but now keeping better
records of battery life.

The sit astride driving carriage now has fully working brakes, they are of a 
dead mans design so fully on until the driver puts his foot on a peddle.  These
brakes combined with the regenerative braking system on the Parkside controller
seem to offer a nice amount of stopping power which will be very pleasing to
all the drivers on public events

the new carriage racks are completed & ramps being constructed to make 
accessing the various wagons easier.  These racks are on casters so can be 
moved & used as counters during open weekends.

We held 3 open weekends during the year which saw more people than ever visit
the line.  Not to sure which was the biggest draw the trains or Jan's cakes
2 new large notice boards were constructed, these will be used for advertising
future open events & imformation posters.

Started to update the video links to YouTube clips rather than streaming 
locally held video.

Needless to say the was a few bits of track work, replacing some worn rails,
building a new "Y" point for the approach to the drive thus smoothing a bend & 
swapping out a set of points that need some fine tuning.
Just in time for the July open weekend we completed construction of the tunnel,
thanks to the artistic eye of Marc Tiltman, I hope you will all agree, we have
a most impressive addition to the line.  Constructed of plywood the whole
thing can be put up & removed by 2 people in a matter of minutes, take a
look at the video below to experience a test ride round.
Trip through the new tunnel behind class 47
Steam punk visitors
a really big thanks goes to Julie Barton & her steam punk friends who came 
along & added some colour to the event - hope to see them all again next time.
The year saw the introduction of the rake of rebuilt sit in wagons which now
include a foot operated brake on the latest design of Ride on Railways bogies.
The picture above shows my new guide dog Kraken, who joined me in October,  
inspecting the wagons.
Just as I thought Trent had got too old to enjoy a ride round he took it into
his head to enjoy a couple of laps in the new wagons as shown above.

A new sit astride coach was also introduced which includes brakes & much to the
relief of the driver a padded seat!  We are still aiming to get the control 
lead to run through all coaches so that the driver can drive from the rear of
the train allowing him to keep an eye on small children, however this does 
have a disadvantage of meaning the driver cant see beyond gates & tunnels.

All these new coaches require storage so we spent quite a lot of time 
constructing iron racking in the garage to hold them, these racks have 2 
levels, the lower for the heavier sit in stock & a higher level for the sit
astride.

Work started to alter 2 points, a right hand point was changed to a 'Y' which 
helped to smooth out the bend across the drive & the point at the end of the 
reverse loop had some faults corrected which removed a bit of a tight bend on 
the main line across the middle of the garden.  On top of that there were 
several areas of the original track which needed the sleepers replacing, some 
of these sleepers were over 12 years old so have done pretty well I recon.

For extra safety we added side panels to the sleeper bridge, these are 
constructed from 9mm marine ply & bolted into the sleepers when required.

I'd like to mention 2 companies here that have been very helpful & provided
excellent service during the year, The metal store for angle iron & casters & 
Kay's fasteners for bolts & nuts - details via google or my helpful links page.
We held 3 public events during the year, the last being the best fund raising 
weekend so far, the Kent, Surrey & Sussex air ambulance receiving a total of 
£370.  The addition of the third sit astride coach ment we were able to 
cope with a few more passengers on each ride than ever before.

Pleased to say for quite a lot of the time we were able to use all the track & 
rather than just going in the same direction all the time we were able to use 
both bridges & circle the house in both directions during a single journey.

The locos ran well but the stock on the second event gave us some headaches, a 
wheel had come adrift on a sit astride coach which for most of the time did not 
show up, a real tricky problem to spot surprisingly as when with lifted the 
coach to inspect the wheel appeared in place, it only shows up if you grab the
wheel at each end of an axle & twist in opposing directions.

Towards the middle of the year the large Elm tree in my front garden started
to show signs that it had succumb to dutch elm disease, this will mean
considerable work to sort out this bit of the garden as I aim to replace the 
tree & maybe alter some of the banks in the area without disturbing the track.

The class 47 returned to service after repairs to the Parkside control unit.
The wiring has been cleaned up & the control unit put on a higher frame to
keep wires further away from the wheels & to make accessing the bolts holding
the bogies more easily accessable.

A mrrails sound unit was installed in the class 58 for testing, it offers 4 
fixed length sound clips which can be played at the touch of a switch.  It 
principle works nicely showing a lot of potential but the sound clips supplied 
dont really do it justice.
We had 2 visiting locomotives this year, many thanks to John Harwood & Steve 
Steer for bringing their Polly 5 along, so good to have live steam on the line 
during a public event.
Graham Lelliott brought his class 50 along for a test run for an afternoon, 
this was a nicely detailed loco.  There was a a couple of controller issues 
that came up that needed addressing but nothing that stopped us having an 
enjoyable afternoon.
The year started with a lot of track work, following the completion of large
amounts of work on the house areas of rail were covered in sand & rubble etc.
The end of the year saw me planning work on 2 sets of points, the spring return
on 1 & a change of angle into the frog on another.  Also some of the outter 
rail on a curved section needed to be replaced, this is where the leading 
wheels of bogies rub against the rail & over time actually damage the inner 
face to such an extent that the wheel can run up the surface & jump the rail.

After what I think must be around 10 years of heavy service my original bogies
from the class 37 returned to Bexhill engineering for a full service & are now
back home & fully up to speed.  The service saw a new set of wheels with the
normal sized flange rather than the increased one that I had requested when I
first started building the line as I was having lots of problems with the 
track.

Also for the engines, an Mrrails horn unt arrived, will be trialing this when
I get a project box & necessary switches.

Work continued on the rolling stock during the year, the final sit in wagon was 
close to the end of its rebuild & was fitted with a Ride on Railways braked 
bogie.  A further sit astride coach should hopefully take shape over the coming 
winter, this sit astride is going to be slightly longer than the existing 2
coaches, have a padded seat & will be fitted with the second pair of the Ride 
on Railways braked bogies.  We are also thinking of building 1 of the 
controller handsets into the roof to reduce dangling cables where possible, it 
would be nice to run control lines through the other coaches so that, during 
public events, we could drive from the rear wagon so allowing the driver to 
keep an eye on young passengers.

The braked bogies are a real bonus, although the controller offers regenerative 
braking it's so nice to have that added stopping power & to be able to hold 
the train stationary while loading the passengers.
We had 2 very successful public events during the year.   The first linked in 
with Seaford station's 150 year railway anniversary there was a visit from 
Britannia Pacific' class steam locomotive No. 70013 "Oliver Cromwell", to mark
the weekend.

A very welcome visitor to the branch itself was Kevin Gordon who kindly came 
along in full period transport police uniform which added a further vit of 
interest & colour.

The class 58 was solar powered for the first time, probably not possible to do 
this for all the engines but quite a nice milestone to get the 1 engine charged
that way.

Two new bodies for the sit in wagons were also used for the first time & 
prooved very popular.

Finaly back briefly to solar power, thanks to Sun Store Solar in Worthing who 
sourced a mounting kit for me I now have 3 250w solar panels on my roof, it's 
hoped that these will be able to charge the locos & possibly provide enough 
power between times to light the house - I'm in the process of converting 
my interior lighting to 12v as part of these trials.
Very quiet on the railway this year, I had a large amount of building work done
on my house which took far longer than expected.  During this work the trains
found a new home in my dining room - for months the house was in chaos!

Towards the end of the year, at long last, I was able to start cleaning
up large areas of the track.  This work included building some new panels &
replacing the outer rails of curves - whilst these panels were  out I took the 
chance to clean up the ballast removing the accumulation of grass cuttings etc.  

While being stuck in dors I took a further look at the increasing amount of
DCC sound available for N gauge, there are dozens of clips on YouTube showing
these locos in operation - anyway I took the plunge & purchased a Gaugemaster 
controller & a Wickness models class 37 to play with to see how I get on
The solar farm took a step forward, the panels are now connected & have been 
charging batteries.  Tricky to give figures yet but at a guess even in winter 
sun we would be able to fully charge a locos batteries in less than a day! now 
I can hear you saying this is a very expensive way to charge batteries & you 
would be right but I am hoping to do more than run the railway with them.
YouTube video - 6 August 2012
Here's a video showing how the back garden was shaping up by August, this clip 
includes crossing the viaduct in both directions in a single journey.
Since the completion of the trackwork we have been doing a lot of testing (not 
playing trains!) In the above pictures you can see myself with Marc Tiltman
doing one of many "test runs" over the sleeper bridge, a general view of
the sleeper bridge & a view of the viaduct with the ponds & waterfall in the
background.

All went well with the new track sections including the 14 foot radius bends by 
the drive which form the return loop at the end of the sleeper bridge showing
that even large locos like the class 37, 47 & 58 can get round a very tight 
bend provided there is a little track spread.

The class 47 body shell had a new home on a home made angle iron chassis, this
frame allowed for larger batteries & a better fit for the shell itself.  The
loco has the usual 4 motor configuration with Parkside electronics controller.
Just the 1 public event this year which included a visit from Ben Harvey with
his loco, the event also took the total donations now from the Blatchington branch 
supporters to an amazing £1,010!

work continues on the last fragment of track construction on the reversing
loop.
A few weeks on & you can now see what the finished garden work should look like,
more soil to be added, plus plants & hopefully grass if we get any rain!
Although it has been bloody freezing there has been more work on the front
garden, in the above pictures you can see that the pond has been planted &
the waterfalls have been sited - next steps are to construct a small retaining
wall against the bank where the wheelbarrow is seen and then to infill round
the waterfalls.
The main event of 2011 was the viaduct project, started in august 2010 the 
main line over the viaduct was completed in time for the September open weekend
with just the return loop to complete plus the landscaping to finish.  

The pond & waterfall were nearly in place & the creation of the stream under 
the viaduct was planned out with a target of an open weekend event by May or 
June 2012 to show off the finished work.
Only managed 2 public events this year, the first at the end of July featured
a visiting loco owned by Ben Harvey of Newhaven & the second in September saw
the official naming of the Elm viaduct which sports a very smart name plate 
supplied by Marc Tiltman which adds the finishing touch to Pat Eagers superb 
brickwork.

Clearly lots of track work this year, new points built from scratch, blocks
across the driveway to give a level crossing effect & the final curves bent 
rather than wedged into shape.
Ride on Railways supplied a diamond crossing which is planted at the east end 
of the viaduct allowing the return loop to cross the main line.

On the electronics side of things I spotted a sound unit under development in
a YouTube clip by 'hobbysteve' showing a demo of his new prototype controller & 
sound unit, not available as yet but possibly worth further investigation.

I had an updated controller put into the class 37, it's another Parkside 
electronics but this one has regenerative braking which is not any where
close to real brakes but it does certainly slow you down a bit.
The year started well with a midnight trip round the house on 1 January with
a group of friends, done this for several years now & makes a really good start
to the new years party!

We held 3 public events during the year all following much the same patern, all
OK but with the usual round of snags.  The September event was slightly
marred as are guest musician Richard Slack could not make it due to increasing 
ill health so people had to put up with Tom Cunliffe & myself thrashing around 
on guitar & mandolin for a while.

In august we announced the viaduct project, I blame Peter Gatward! - it's his 
fault! - no really it is.  After a couple of visits to the Beacon light railway 
I fell hook, line & sinker for the idea of including a bridge on the branch, 
at this point things got a little out of hand, why just a bridge? why not a 
viaduct I mused? so after considerable red wine & careful consideration plus a
long talk with a friendly brick layer the plans started to come together & 
within a couple of weeks, with the help of Steve Rhodes, we started the work on 
the approaches to the structure.

A couple of sessions saw us outlined the western approach & mark out the levels 
of the arches themselves.  

Somehow the idea of any sort of bridge had not entered my mind during the 
planning stages of my railway which was a shame as it would have saved a lot of 
embankment work if I had thought of it.

Onto electronics, after much head scratching & fiddling we now have a 
reasonable sound system working on the class 37.  We trialed it on 1 of the 
open days where it seemed to be well liked & certainly added another dimention 
to the line.
Track work figured large this year with the main item being the building of a 
short 30 foot long siding in the side garden to be used for storing of a rough 
works wagon & just another feature to look at.  Additionally we had to adjust 
10 of the edging bricks & rebend part of the main loop to ease a tight bend.

In mid June I had a delivery of materials for the siding from Travis Perkins 
Newhaven, I'd really like to thank the driver  for going that extra step when
he made the delivery, sorry I don't have his name) but he took the bother to 
drop the stuff exactly where I wanted it AND to show me where he had placed it - 
you would be amazed how difficult it can be finding things in your own garden 
when you can't see what you are doing & my guide dog does not help much unless 
Bonios are involved!
While the sun came out for a couple of hours we took the chance to take a few 
test trips round the line, the pictures above show Eric Meeds taking the
controls, Eric was behind the building of the carriage bodies & a sounding
board for many of my bright ideas! without Eric I really don't think the 
project would have ever been completed.

The remote point control has taken another step forward in that the switching
units are now planted, it's just the electronics to complete & wire up.

In my continuing search for a sound unit for my locos I was pointed at a 
product by Magpie computer developments, it appears from the description to be 
the basic guts of the Phoenix unit but priced somewhat less at £295 
however don't let that lower price fool you as although it costs less initially 
you will have to add several switches & already have a controller installed in 
your loco.

Meanwhile I did manage to get a basic sound unit installed in the class 37,
it's the Brian Jones FX4U, Not quite sure on my feeling about it yet, needless 
to say it did not work first time & required additional wiring - I've now added 
details of some sound modules to my locomotives pages so please look there for 
full details.
Another couple of open days this year helped by the usual crew plus the
September event had live music on both days provided by John Cave, Jennifer 
Dole, Ian Cairns, Tom Cunliffe & myself.  
A Ride on Railways Hercules from the Beacon light railway owned by Peter 
Gatward visited the line on are first event of the year, it spent the afternoon 
performing well towing the Blatchingtn branch's 2 sit astride coaches without 
hitch while my locos & sit in wagons decided to play up a bit.

Earlier in the year Peter had brought along his Maxitrak Ruston to give it a
run round the track, it was the first visitor to the line & performed
quite well for such a light engine.
A bit of a milestone in April as the site counter registered its 10,000 
visitor, I put this total down to the publicity that has been produced by 
holding the public events.
I suppose the real highlight of the year was The Blatchington branch on TV! 
Yes, we made it to the box in April! well actually it was for about 3 seconds & 
it showed my guide dog Trent at the controls trundling along but it still 
counts...  If you missed it the first time watch out for repeats of "Animals do 
the strangest things" on ITV.

All the elements of a simple point control & signal  unit reached testing state
towards the end of the year, they did work but not to a level that we were
happy with.  The system consisted of a solenoid controlled from an infra red
receiver set in a box with a signal mounted on the top close to the line, 
thanks to Marc Tiltman who has mounted the solenoids & Ralph Woods who has been 
playing with the electronics!
We held 2 open days with the usual selection of problems but luckily all seemed
happy enough & said they would come along next year.
YouTube clip of the Blatchington branch open day on 27 July 2008
I took delivery of 2 new locos in the early part of the year, a complete class 
58 & a body shell for a 47 both from Bexhill model engineering.  The 58 had
scale flanges on the wheels so showed up some further areas of the track that
would need attention, did consider increasing the flanges like on the original
37 but managed to put everything right.

Towards the end of September I was lucky enough to be invited along to visit 
the Lilian miniature railway in Hailsham with the new class 58.  There was 
about a quarter of a mile of track which really gave the class 58 a chance to 
get up to a reasonable speed!

For the first time we had a minor failure on one of the locos, a drive gear 
came adrift - a rather odd sound combined with lack of power & minor panic but 
all that was necessary was a dob of Loctite. 603 to anchor it back in place.  More details coming soonon the locomotive pages.

Started to put my mind to getting some sound on my engines but I couldn't find 
anyone who has actually got either of the ones I was looking at up & running.  
I'd been chatting to Brian Jones about his FX-4U which he is in the final 
stages of getting working with the Parkside controllers.  The Phoenix locos 
supersound module seemed to be having some problems from what I could gather, 
reports of units failing & very long delivery times plus the price are putting 
me off this module.

Moving onto track work.  A new steel frog was installed at the east end of the 
passing loop, aluminium frogs are useless,  this now makes this area a much 
smoother ride across these points.

New sleepers were planted across the driveway, these sleepers have the track 
recessed into them so the rail is protected from cars crossing the track in
level crossing style.
After many years of work we held our first open day on 1 September 2007, lots
of fun but loads of problems!! still everyone said they'd see us next time.
A year with nothing much to report, busy building the line & started more
serious work on these pages.
Purchased two points from Maxitrak to form passing loop, read more about these 
in the track panels pages.
If you are reading these pages with just the hint of an inkling to build a 
railway of your own just a few words of caution - these trains are heavy & can
move at quite a speed, around 300Kg at up to 10MPh has beensseen on the line, 
so they are not for unattended small children even if fitted with speed 
limiters.  Also how ever long you think it will take to do a job multiply the
time by 5 to get a more realistic estimate!

Now read on & get tempted!!!
My thanks go to all the people I have nattered to & picked the brains of on the 
phone over many years who have given me so much information and support even if 
they did think I was totally mad & two fingers to those who said it would never 
be completed. 

In some of the photos you might notice name plates on the stock, each coach has 
was named after those who have helped with construction, I think this could 
turn out to be a bit tricky to continue as just so many people have been 
involved along the way.

Lastly a really special thanks to Eric Meeds for the hours & hours he spent on 
helping me to design & build the original rolling stock, he managed to cope 
with all my bright ideas & apart from loads of bad language he seems to have 
survived the experience!

Just a small bit of legal stuff here, although most of the material contained 
in these pages is largely in the public domain please do contact me before 
using any text, photos or videos to double check that they are free to use.

Responsivevoice.org produce the voice prompts on this site