So, I hear you all ask, what's been happening on the Lakeland Railway since the last posting?
Well, whether you are asking or not, it has been quite a while since I gave an update and, as you can see from the photographs, quite a bit of progress has been made during the past few weeks.
In the first picture you will see that Manxton now has working lamps. The main station building also has lights but these are, currently, ordinary bulbs rather than LEDs and do not shine as brightly. This will doubtless be rectified in due course!
The white area in front of the station is not snow but a layer of plaster to provide a smooth surface for the road and station car park.
The second picture shows the central area with a rough idea of the track layout marked in chalk. There is to be a new station here (the tenth one on the layout) although it is only partially shown here.
The long thing in the middle of the table is a hill that we made in the very early days of the layout and, because of its sentimental value, we would like to use all or some of it again to divide the new ballast depot, which will be to its right, from the station and its environs, to its left.
In the third picture you can see that the car park and road, in front of Manxton, have both now been painted while, in the fourth photograph, Class 53 'Falcon' takes a short test train across the first of the two removable crossings between the central section and the main line running around the side of the Shed.
The track over both crossings will be single, with a passing loop through the new station. This should make it operationally interesting as trains have to wait to enter the single line sections.
Now, you might ask why, then, is the bridge so wide? Well, this is because it is going to carry a road as well the railway to give vehicular access to both the ballast depot and the station.
The track across the bridge does have to rise very slightly (the reason for which will become clear in future postings. This made life a little awkward and the test train was more to check the continuity of the electrical supply and the smoothness of the track rather than the strength of the bridge.
And, I am happy to report, the first crossing went very smoothly indeed.