A busy end to the successful 2021 season saw a private group of around 30 people visiting on 30 October and having several train rides. The 16mm garden railway was also operated, as it was on 6 and 7 November when our narrow gauge railway supported the GWR's 40th Anniversary weekend. This was very busy, helped by good weather. Chaka was the loco used on all these dates.
After a lot of preparation work two boilers, from 1091 and Tourska, were transported off site on 7 December to a local boilersmith for overhaul.
Boilers loaded. R. Parsons
There is plenty to keep us occupied over the winter. As well as work on locos and rolling stock, the permanent way train is ready to roll loaded with replacement sleepers and chippings for packing.
We are pleased to say that both Chaka and Justine passed their annual boiler tests and are ready for use. 1091 has been stripped down and awaits inspection to give an idea of work required on the boiler. The Simplex diesel's starter has been overhauled and the loco is back in use. Trecwn van 92's refurbishment is pretty much complete and it looks superb. Another one of our gray vans will be next for the treatment.
Our S & T crew has put up a new signal post and arm on the through line at California crossing, this replaces the dummy signal previously used. Small items of station furniture such as station trucks and barrows have also been overhauled and repainted to a high standard.
With a view to restarting public trains, an operating date in late June has been set for a refresher day for volunteers.
CHAKA and JUSTINE are due to have insurance steam tests this month. JUSTINE is looking particularly smart in her new lined livery.
Newly lined Justine in the sun.
1091 is now out of boiler life and having parts removed to enable an assessment of potential boiler work that may be required. The Simplex diesel is having problems after the long lockdown layoff, so the Hunslet is the current shunting loco.
One of the Trecwn vans has had a new floor fitted. California Crossing signal box is in the finishing stages of its renovation both internally and externally, with quite a lot of life expired woodwork replaced.
Reopening of our narrow gauge for public services is unlikely until after all Covid restrictions have been lifted in late June.