Railway Blogs

The Weedkillers

Thank you to members of the public who have offered assistance in tidying the railway in the park, we received these both verbally and via Facebook.  However due to the track being situated in the park we have to follow SLC guidelines which has restricted the people allowed to carry out such work. 

So over the last couple of weeks one of our members and his girlfriend spent two afternoons weeding the track and managed to collect over four bags of “weedy” material.  Another of our members has sprayed all the track bed with weed killer and now we can see the effects of all their hard work (and the track !).  

The garden staff in the park have also cut all the grass around the track.  

After all these splendid efforts have taken place we will be able to see all our supporters later this year when we see easing of the CV19 restrictions.

Pictures before

and after

the sterling work !!!

Miniature Railway still closed

We are presently still closed and are not sure if we will be able or allowed to open later on this year.

The biggest issue for all involved will be maintaining social distancing.  For our passengers – vis a vis Qing at the gate and boarding and de-boarding the trains and for our volunteers as we go about our duties operating the railway, and for us this is coupled to the “slightly advanced” age of all of us which brings additional risk. 

We are all sad about the prospect of a long wait until the “next train” but we are sure you agree that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

As you can see from the title picture even our locomotives are unhappy about the prospect of not running this year.

Last spring we planted quite a few beech trees and their growth is intended to produce a “tunnel” up the back straight.  The pictures below show the trees flourishing and making the best of the recent good weather (and now the rain) to sprout ever upwards.

The unfortunate thing is that weeds at some parts of the track are also making good use of the weather conditions and are starting to take over. At least we know that we will have plenty to keep us busy when we do eventually get back in the park. 

Keep well and stay safe until we see you all again in the park.

Sad News – No “Wee Trains” in the Park at Easter (or for the foreseeable future)

It is with great regret that we have to announce that this seasons running of the Strathaven Miniature Railway will be suspended as requested by South Lanarkshire Leisure Department.

You will have heard on the news that S.L.C. has closed all leisure facilities across the region in line with government instructions and this included the facilities within our park.  As many of our members are pensioners and in the vulnerable category we would have had difficulty of manning the railway in any place.

We wish all our supporters and customers well during these unprecedented times.

All of us the S.M.R. hope to see all of you back on the train in the park in the near future.

Stay Safe, Stay Well.

Margaret is back home – Come and join her

Margaret is now back home (in Strathaven Park) after her winter maintenance and check over.  In the next few days we will perform her steam test  and then she’ll be ready for her 71st year of running in the park.
All going well our new season commences on the 28th of March and here’s hoping that the weather is kind to all of us.

We are always looking for new volunteers to join us to help run the railway, so please come along and meet some of our crew any Monday at the park between 11.00 –15.00.  This is when we, year round, work on preparing for the new season and the next running sessions.  You will be shown how to assist with all aspects of running the railway – from setting up a session to driving the locomotives.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

EVA returns to the park

Her winter maintenance now completed, Eva returned to the park ready for the new season, Monday 3rd March.  Once there a successful steam test was carried out which completed her winter overhaul.  She was re-attached to her tender and is now ready and waiting for the 28th of March – The first day of this years running (weather permitting).  Here are some pictures of her after all the work had been completed, looking really resplendant in her new paint work, especially noticeable on the black smoke box. 

Ther last picture from before the maintenance and paint job.

 

Before and After

On Monday 24th Feb 2020 we collected our raised track extension steel supports from Scottish Galvanisers Ltd. who have zinc coated all of them to a very high standard. These galvanised components will be bolted to our new concrete bases which will be constructed on site during April / May of this year (weather permitting).  This will then allow us to install the new track to these supports during the summer.  Thank you to Scottish Galvanisers for an excellent job and a quick turnaround of these pieces.  One picture of before work done the rest of the finished supports.  Thank you to railway colleague Jim L for the use of his trailer to transport the supports to (a week before) and back from Scottish galvanisers.

Progress on the Raised Track

On Monday the 17th of February the next pieces of  the jigsaw that is our forthcoming raised track extension took another step forward.  All new track sections have had their final trim before fitting fishplates and checking on how they join together before taking all the sections to the park from the workshop.

51 support pillars were fabricated at the workshop at the end of last year and have been in storage awaiting next move.  On the 17th all the pillars were delivered to our preferred supplier Scottish Galvanisers Ltd. of Kinning Park, Glasgow, who will now zinc coat all the pillars thus making them weatherproof  before their installation in the park.  More photographs will follow once we bring the pillars back from the galvanisers.  The pictures attached show some of the stages of the process.

 

Eva getting us ready to roll in 2020

One of our key steam locomotives, Eva, is in the workshop in Strathaven at present being made ready for her return to the park later this month.

At present several components are stripped down for cleaning and repair.  She will also receive new paint work.  In the photos the areas of the locomotive in the red undercoat will be painted black before returning to the park.  Eva will also have a new steam whistle fitted as her old one was not operating as it should.  She has just passed her hydraulic test (a very important safety check which is performed once every two years) before her annual steam test which will be completed at the workshop in the park.

Our first running day, weather permitting, will be 28th of March 2020.
On that day she will, of course, be joined by all her famous colleagues – Margaret, Strathaven Castle, Abberton – many more locos.
Please put this date your diaries and come and see Eva looking good after all her completed TLC !

All Good News

Large donation of Steel enables work to start on new track.

Strathaven miniature railway has commenced the work to extend the raised track in the middle of our ground track by almost 300 feet.

We had started to price the materials to commence this project when it was found that the cost of the steel required would be in the region of £2,500 / £3,000 plus other materials required.
We were surprised and delighted to receive a donation of all the steel required to complete the new track.   A big thank you to  a local Strathaven Resident who is a director for Cairnhill Structures in Coatbridge .

Railway visitors pass 700,000 mark

Since opening in 1949, Strathaven Miniature Railway has welcomed over 720,000 visitors onto its tracks.  This landmark was reached by the end of 2019.

Strathaven Miniature Railway Website News

All of us at the Strathaven Miniature Railway are delighted with our website which has been up and running since early 2018.  We have recently updated the content which now includes considerably more visuals than before.

Donation

We were delighted and surprised to receive an anonymous donation of £500 during the off season near the end of 2019.  The cash was handed over to one of our volunteers in an envelope and will go towards helping keep the railway running in its usual tip top shape.

 

The Wee Train in the “News”

During the month of January 2020 three publications carried articles on our 2019 70th Anniversary year, in which they covered some of the highlights for the running season and our final night run on Guy Fawkes night.
Thank you to the three publications:- “The Railway Magazine”, “Old Glory” and “Heritage Railway” for carrying these stories.
Thank you to Hugh Dougherty who wrote all the articles for each of the publications.
See scan copies of the articles attached.