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29th March 2014
Our Hudswell-Clarke 0-6-0ST Wissington has successfully passed her annual steam test on the Mid Suffolk Light Railway.
"Team Wissington" - her gang of faithful volunteers - have made excellent progress on all aspects of her scheduled winter maintenance work, with all tasks now complete. The suspension and gear arrangements received much attention with the engine lifted to allow adjustment of the springs and axleboxes to allow greater clearance between the axleboxes and the horn stays. In layman's terms, the way she sits on her wheels has been adjusted to allow for freer movement.
On 26th March, she underwent her annual steam test at Brockford under the watchful eye of the boiler inspector and successfully passed all tests, giving her another twelve months in steam.
It is planned to have Wissington return to the North Norfolk Railway in time for our annual Members' Day, which is held on Saturday 4th October 2014.
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26th March 2014
We are please to announce that the Muddle and Go Nowhere Bar really will be riding the rails again over the NNR's 1960s Weekend on the 5th & 6th April - dubbed They Thought it Was All Over to commemorate fifty years since the Sheringham to Holt line was closed by British Railways under the Beeching Axe.
After having to be regrettably withdrawn from the Spring Steam Gala after becoming marooned following overrunning works to construct a new inspection pit in Weybourne yard, the bar will be back for the 2014 season with plenty more real ale on tap.
We are now running the Muddle and Go Nowhere bar on some weekends, along with several special events. The bar returns for the 1960s weekend on the Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March and then again on all North Norfolk Railway 'Red' timetable weekends over Easter, May Bank Holiday and throughout the summer season.
You can catch the Muddle and Go Nowhere Bar on the following dates:
Saturday 5th April (1960s Weekend)
Sunday 6th April (1960s Weekend)
Saturday 12th April
Sunday 13th April
Saturday 19th April
Sunday 20th April
Saturday 24th May (Dad's Army Weekend)
Sunday 25th May (Dad's Army Weekend)
Saturday 31st May
Sunday 1st June
Friday 13th June (Diesel Gala Weekend with Beerex Special)
Saturday 14th June (Diesel Gala Weekend with Beerex Special)
Sunday 15th June (Diesel Gala Weekend)
Saturday 5th July (Vintage Transport Weekend)
Sunday 6th July (Vintage Transport Weekend)
Friday 18th July (Beer Festival Weekend)
Saturday 19th July (Beer Festival Weekend)
Sunday 20th July (Beer Festival Weekend)
Saturday 23rd August
Sunday 24th August
Monday 25th August
Friday 29th August(Autumn Steam Gala Weekend)
Saturday 30th August(Autumn Steam Gala Weekend)
Sunday 31st August(Autumn Steam Gala Weekend)
Saturday 20th September(1940s Weekend)
Sunday 21st September(1940s Weekend)
Saturday 4th October(Society Members' Day)
Please note, all dates are provisional. Please check this website and the Society's Facebook page nearer the time for up to date information.
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25th March 2014
Work has begun on the overhaul and restoration of our original British Railways 'AF' container, as part of our ongoing goods train project.
'AF' containers were traditionally carried upon conflat wagons - we have already restored one such example, this being completed between 2011 and 2012. The conflat was the forerunner to the modern freightliner train, and one of the first examples of using standardised containers to carry bulk goods.
Our container was brought to the NNR from the Buckinghamshire Railway Museum at Quainton Road, near Aylesbury but restoration has now only taken place after the completion and release into traffic of the 16T mineral wagon. Now this project is complete, we are able to proceed.
The original wooden structure of the container was found to be completely rotten to the core. It was decided that it would be best to construct a whole new all-steel skeleton structure, rather than rebuild like for like to ensure longevity. All original aluminium sheeting has been saved from the original strucure along with all fixtures and fittings. Once the container is complete, it will be housed atop the conflat wagon and will also offer a small amount of storage space for lightweight items.
12th March 2014
Thanks to your continuing generosity, the Y14:2014 has now reached and breached the £60,000 milestone.
Although we were frustratingly unable to have the Muddle and Go Nowhere Bar in traffic for the weekend due to the overrunning inspection pit works at Weybourne (it will return for the 1960s weekend on the 5th & 6th April), we have been humbled by the generosity of our supporters who filled appeal envelopes full and brimming to get our J15 locomotive back into steam, in the guise of a Great Eastern Railway Y14.
This means we have now raised over 60% of our £100,000 total. We were able to raise the first £35,000 in less than six weeks - now help us do the same again to complete the appeal and get the J15 back on the rails!
This latest push in the appeal means further works can be completed on the locomotive, including further boiler work. The tender frames have now been painted in the final GER blue livery, along with the three driving wheelsets.
Society members will have seen a new appeal leaflet included with edition 161 of Joint Line - if you haven't yet donated to the appeal, please do so immediately. With your help, we really can have the Y14 in steam for 2014. With the current rate of progress, this is not an empty statement! Please donate today.
5th March 2014
We regret to announce that due to overrunning works in Weybourne Yard, the Muddle and Go Nowhere Real Ale bar service has had to be withdrawn over the Spring Steam Gala weekend on the 7th, 8th & 9th March.
Works are currently underway in Weybourne yard to construct a new locomotive inspection pit. Due to a combination of wet weather and hard frosts, the concrete within the pit has not been able to set in time to allow the pit to be used. This has marooned the Gresley buffet vehicle (RB 9128) in the yard outside the Carriage & Wagon shed. As a result, it will not be possible to release the coach for traffic, the end result being a withdrawal of the Real Ale Bar service. Please note that because timetables have already been printed, they show the bar car as being in service. Gala guides and full working timetables will be available for purchase at the event from all ticket offices.
The Society and our volunteers are all very disappointed by this announcement but rest assured the Muddle and Go Nowhere Bar will ride the rails again, with many more dates planned for 2014. There is still a great weekend to be had over the weekend ahead on the North Norfolk Railway so please visit and show us your support.
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4th March 2014
The Society's latest overhaul, that of our reclaimed 16 ton mineral wagon will be making a debut appearance in the goods train over the gala weekend after the wagon was signed off for traffic following testing.
The wagon has taken just over eighteen months to complete. After several generous members donated to the appeal for the Society to purchase it, the wagon was transported from it's former home in the private sidings of Hardingham station on the MNR. The wagon was originally based at King's Lynn, where research concluded that it was originally used as a makeshift bufferstops. After the harbour branch closed, the wagon remained, slowly decaying until purchase and transportation to Hardingham. Here it stood for several more years awaiting restoration.
On arrival at Weybourne, repairs began immediately - the effect of this being the gradual stripping of the wagon into several minor components. Much wasted metalwork was replaced, along with a new bufferbeam section. All four axleboxes were repaired and renewed and gradually the wagon was rebuilt.
After many volunteer hours, many put in by volunteer welder John Collier and Society trustee Nigel Scarlett, the mineral wagon regained it's shape and appearance. A new steel deck was constructed along with a false roof, enabling the wagon to be used as dry storage for lightweight and light sensitive materials. An ingenious drainage system was also designed, ensuring that water flowed off the wagon, rather than standing and slowly corroding the metalwork. To finish it off, a false load of ballast, much like the false top of a model railway wagon was added to give the appearance of a loaded wagon. Ballast, rather than coal was used as coal can produce sulphuric acid when combined with rainwater which would be of detriment to the wagons.
Following testing in the run up to the Spring Steam gala, the wagon was declared fit for traffic, marking the end of a year and a half overhaul. The overhaul would not be possible without the efforts of our volunteers and to the generous supporters who made the purchase of the wagon possible when the appeal was launched.
If you would like to further support Society Carriage and Wagon projects, please join the Joint Heritage Coach Fund, which leads the overhaul of projects such as the 16T mineral and other heritage rolling stock overhauls. If you would like to get involved volunteering with the Carriage and Wagon team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Following a late refusal from Network Rail to allow transit of 60007 on the Sheringham Branch, GWR Panner 1638 from the Kent & East Sussex will now deputise, joining visiting N2 1744, B12 8572, 'Black 5' 5MT 44767, Standard 4MT 2-6-0 76084 and GWR 'Taff Tank' 5619.
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3rd March 2014
The 161st issue of Joint Line, the Society's quaterly magazine has been posted to all members.
The Spring 2014 issue gives updates from all departments on the North Norfolk Railway and Society, with the latest news on developments at Weybourne with the new NNR Engineering and Overhauls business and plans for the new facilities.
There are articles on the HRA/Steam Railway Readers' award for Standard 4MT 76084 and the annual publication of loco mileages on the NNR in 2013. Updates on the motive power situation include the conclusion of the B12's winter maintenance and 90775's restorations along with progress on the Y14:2014 appeal and works to date to transform the J15 into the appearance of a Y14.
A fascinating two-page photo feature, the first of two, shows the preparing of the trackbed for the extension to Holt - the line opened 25 years ago on 19th March. A history of 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley - sadly now no longer visiting the NNR - is followed by a 'rounding off' article on B1 departmental boilers in the Norwich district. Railway historian and author Adrian Vaughan continues his series on locomotives and their drivers in the formative years of the M&GN and finally, the first of a two articles features the 'Leicester' - the flagship service on the M&GN in BR days - and concentrates on the workings of the train service.
Joint Line is the quarterly magazine of the M&GN Joint Railway Society and is posted quarterly to all 3000 members. It is one of the UK's highest quality railway journals and is one of many membership benefits of joining the M&GN Joint Railway Society.
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