The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Anything related to the garden railway world that is not catered for in another board
jim@NAL
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by jim@NAL » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:11 pm

This is great fun keep it up .he is more than welcome to come visit the North avenue light railway

angr607
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by angr607 » Thu May 16, 2019 2:27 pm

Inspector's Report - Billington Light Railway

While I arrived a few weeks ago, I have only recently been able to view this short line. Why it has taken this long to gain access I do not know but I've been told most of the responsible people have been busy with another business. How you can run another business and a railway at the same time beats me but I've finally been able to gain access.

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First views of the railway didn't fill me with much hope. Despite being assured its only really a test track (no excuse really), the track is covered in weeds and there are many important features missing! Completely unacceptable especially if the railway is being used to test items of rolling stock and motive power!

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As the railway is in two parts, I started with the 45mm gauge section. I mean I've seen heavy rail section before but this takes it to a new level. Code 332 apparently which is far to excessive for the clear lack of use this line sees. That said, as the line has been so heavily built, it can clearly take a lot of abuse which as we will see later in this report, is a good thing! Bufferstops at the depot end which is excellent to see however no interlocking and no signalling! I mean, they assure me they only operate one engine in steam per system with all the points being sprung but that's beside the point. Such things are important to the safe operating of a railway!

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Time to move onto the main 32mm system. The track here is laid thoughout with code 200 rail which is more than enough for the use the line sees and is in fact a standard rail code used on 32mm gauge systems in my experience. They've clearly done their research when this line with laid. Ballast profiling is mostly good on the mainline and in the station loop. Pointwork is all the newer 38 inch radius points laid in a reverse curve. While I know in the smaller scales this annoys people, as only motive power works these sections or small wagons, I don't see any issue with these in service. However, not one sight of a point lever! How are the points meant to stay in position without any form of locking. Combined with no signalling at all on this line, I'm absolutely furious that this was once considered a public railway! Management said it was built as a light railway BUT this is still completely unacceptable. Apparently the next train to run won't be for a while which is a good thing as it means they can get the railway to a proper state!

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This sight completely shocked me. No buffer stops whatsoever on the entire 32mm system and one missing at the end of the 45mm system. They have been told to stop all operation immediately until this is rectified. Apparently buffer stops cost lots of money so they're on the todo list. I seriously doubt this although I know it does vary depending on what you end up purchasing. We'll have to monitor this railway remotely I feel! Also a lack of ballast at the ends of the railway although it has clearly been jacked and packed to get the correct running height.

What has always confused me since arriving, where do they store the rolling stock? I don't see any sheds or anything that could be used to really safely store the things they apparently test. Until they showed me the lowloader. I mean, I've seen big lorries in my time but wow! No images I'm afraid but its big enough to hold 4 13m coaches and a engine with ease. They use it to move all stock to storage off site for security reasons. I can't say that's a bad thing although the costs involved must be horrendous. Certainly explains why they can't afford something as simple as signalling and buffer stops!

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After a short walk, I had a look at the other end of the 32mm system. The track work is clearly well done abet covered in weeds and runs single track. I have been told they are considering laying a third rail to have a extended 45mm gauge system for testing. While I feel this is a good idea in the railway's main purpose as a test track, surely buffer stops is far more important to prevent any accidents. The other end of the line uses a shunt release method of running around the train needing two engines. Apparently they have got a suitable battery electric for this task abet its got a technical fault. Certainly explains why the line isn't in use if the shunt release engine isn't operational. Apparently, they plan to fit the required equipment to at least 3 of their own engines to allow them to be used for this role so we will see what happens in this regard.

Overall, not the worst railway either myself or my colleagues have visited in the past however it clearly needs some work. I've left my notes with the general manager and hopefully we will see some of the changes made from a distance in the near future!

Onto the next railway!
Bowaters Models:- http://www.bowatersmodels.co.uk

Current Projects:-
Rebuilding the Railway!
Turning a Second hand 'Superior' into Bowaters 'Superior'

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philipy
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by philipy » Thu May 16, 2019 3:35 pm

Excellent report from Mr Spectre. He is obviously keeping up with the best traditions of his calling.

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ge_rik
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by ge_rik » Thu May 16, 2019 4:22 pm

Very enjoyable report. I see he is expecting high standards - I think he must have used his blind eye on some aspects during his visit to the PLR.

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FWLR
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by FWLR » Thu May 23, 2019 8:34 am

Hope he doesn't get to mine too soon. He will have a field day. Think I may ply him with some Jim Beam.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
Rod

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https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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philipy
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by philipy » Sat May 25, 2019 6:50 am

Guys,
Things seem to be going slightly pear-shaped, with delays and non-responses to PM's.

I appreciate that illness, work, business, holidays, wives, kids, etc, can get in the way of important things like playing trains, but it is important to keep up momentum on this, otherwise we'll be round to winter ( Northern Hemisphere ) or burning summer ( Southern Hemisphere) and outdoor activities will effectively stop.

I have already slightly rejigged the list a couple of times to accomodate some requests, but I would appreciate it if all those who have asked for a visit could look at it again, and confirm to me by PM either that you are happy with your position or that you want to be moved down on the list. Let me know by Sunday next week, please or I may have to remove you.

As it currently stands( 25th May) it is:

ge-rik - Peckforton Light Railway
angr607 - Billington Light Railway
Gralyn - Overdale Valley Light Railway.
Irish Peter - Far End Tramway
Keith S - TBC
Peter Butler - Brockhampton and Umbridge Railway
E.V. - Small Balcony Garden Railway
FWLR - Fairy Wood light Railway
RobRossington - Charlwood Light Railway
CSL - Clatterbach Valley Light Railway
philipy - Elderbury & District light Railway
Big Jim - Pentremogan Mountain Railway
markoteal - The Castle Hill Light Railway
Andrew -The (Windmill Hill) Welsh Highland Railway
jim@NAL - North Avenue Line

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FWLR
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by FWLR » Sat May 25, 2019 6:57 am

Seems like you have forgotten my name mate.... :roll: :thumbright:
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:

🚂🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃

https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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philipy
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by philipy » Sat May 25, 2019 9:04 am

FWLR wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 6:57 am
Seems like you have forgotten my name mate.... :roll: :thumbright:
Unless you've changed it, you appear to be no.8 on the list? :scratch:

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FWLR
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by FWLR » Sat May 25, 2019 9:29 am

ge-rik - Peckforton Light Railway
angr607 - Billington Light Railway
Gralyn - Overdale Valley Light Railway.
Irish Peter - Far End Tramway
Keith S - TBC
Peter Butler - Brockhampton and Umbridge Railway
E.V. - Small Balcony Garden Railway
FWLR - Fairy Wood light Railway == Rod :roll: :roll:
RobRossington - Charlwood Light Railway
CSL - Clatterbach Valley Light Railway
philipy - Elderbury & District light Railway
Big Jim - Pentremogan Mountain Railway
markoteal - The Castle Hill Light Railway
Andrew -The (Windmill Hill) Welsh Highland Railway
jim@NAL - North Avenue Line

Not to worry Phillip....No problem with it...
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:

🚂🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃

https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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Gralyn
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by Gralyn » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:44 pm

Well the Inspector has been and has packed his trunk in anticipation of a journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

His visit to the Overdale Valley Light Railway caught the staff by surprise and no one was there to greet him
so he had a free reign to go where he liked.

What his final Report will look like we dread to think
Attachments
11.jpg
He first met the contractor who was surveying the site of a possible extension to the railway. He suggested visiting the signal boxes as there always seemed to be someone in there all the time.
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At Hubbards Hill signal box the signalman said he didn't know where everyone was and he wasn't allowed out of his box. Try the signalman at Ravendale.
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He got the same response from Ravendale too.
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Leaves on theline in the middle of Summer. What kind of Railway is this!
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The Station at Ravevdale was deserted except for a horse and her foal, they didn't know where everyone was either.
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In the yards and sidings stock had been left.
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He decided to go back to Hubbards Hill and found a train had turned up. It seemed that everyone had been at the Butterley Garden Railway;s Gala.
They had had a great time and the inspector was invited to take the train delivering the last of the passengers to Ravendale.
02.jpg
01.jpg
Regards Graham.

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philipy
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by philipy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:11 am

Another excellent piece of work by the Inspector. Thanks for the report Graham.

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Andrew
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by Andrew » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:44 pm

I'm glad the inspector found everyone in the end!

Whatever may not have been to his liking (I can't imagine that he's overly fond on horses on the platform...) he must surely have approved of the wasp-striped gauging vehicle? Something similar's on my to-do list, so I can spot and deal with encroaching vegetation...

Thanks for a great report,

Andrew,

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ge_rik
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by ge_rik » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:58 pm

Sounds very much like my railway - some days there are absolutely no inhabitants at all, other days you can't move for people who mostly seem rooted to the spot!

Rik
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Gralyn
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by Gralyn » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:32 pm

Message to Irish Peter.

I have attempted twice to send you a PM requesting your full postal address
so that I can send the Inspector to you.

The messages seem to be stuck in my outbox.

Can you send me your postal address by PM and I will get him off to you.

Thanks Graham.
Regards Graham.

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Peter Butler
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Re: The Great Garden Railway Inspection Reports

Post by Peter Butler » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:03 pm

Inspection Report.....
Brockhampton and Umbridge Railway.
02.08 2019.

On arrival at Umbridge Station I was greeted by the Lord of the Manor in his private inspection saloon to transfer me to Brockhampton. This carriage is not available for public use and is most luxurious. On the journey I was treated to some of the best Welsh whisky (several times) as I was told it was a tradition in these parts.....
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From there I was taken to my accommodation, which was 'Dirty Dick's' hotel/restaurant, and very comfortable it was too!....
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While I settled down for the evening I had meetings with the General Manager and senior members of the Preservation Society who operate the line, they are all great company and we were encouraged by the landlord to sample many of his fine ales. Eventually I was able to retire to my bed full of confidence (and ale) that the next day would be reassuringly straightforward.
On arrival at Llareggub Station I first visited the signal box to interview the signalman. He was just beginning his shift and told me all was well with the operation of equipment and that records were available for me to scrutinise.....
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Whilst there I took the opportunity of interviewing various passengers to ask their experience of travelling on the line. All reports were positive....

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My next inspection was at Brockhampton Station where there are maintenance and storage facilities....
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Further interviews with passengers took place...
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Finally, meeting local people and seeking their opinion of the service provided, I can conclude that this railway is well operated and maintained and is a welcome attraction for tourists.
.
Out-takes...
My first meeting with one of the quayside personnel did not go well....
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On the second night at my hotel, following completion of my report, I joined the locals in a traditional drinking game and fell asleep in the bar. When I woke next morning I found myself tucked up in newspaper on the bench outside the hotel.... Oh those locals love a good laugh!.....
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The best things in life are free.... so why am I doing this?

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