Tuesday, 30 December 2014

James in the Workshop

The next SVR loco to have smoke, sound, battery and R/C fitted will be James the Red Engine. Most of the components have been delivered to the workshops and work should begin in the next few days.
Meanwhile filming of 'Thomas the Tank Engine and Harold the Helicopter' is on hold until the Spring, by which time James should be ready to feature in it.

James stripped down and awaiting work

Monday, 6 October 2014

Thomas and Harold (in which Thomas Learns to Fly and Harold is Grounded)

Preparations are underway for the next Thomas the Tank Engine video. Meanwhile here is a short trailer of the forthcoming production.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Thomas, His Friends and the High Speed Train

A new video from the Sandwell Valley Railway.

The fat controller feels that steam engines are too dirty and the passengers would appreciate a modern, clean and fast replacement, but things don't work out as he had hoped.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Thomas and the High Speed Train

The high speed train has arrived on the Sandwell Valley Railway and filming has begun on Thomas' next adventure, "Thomas and the High Speed Train."

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Toby's Dream

Another visit from the Pine Tree Junction Film Unit.

In this video Toby has an amazing dream after hearing that the railway needs more trucks. A fantasy railway story with Toby, Percy, S.C.Ruffey and the Troublesome trucks.

Two Tobys!

Finished Embankment

A view of the embankment with the completed cladding.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Embankment Cladding Progress

Here's a few photos of progress made with cladding the upper section of the embankment. The aluminium 'I' beams have been painted black and the strip wood has been soaked in Creocote. The drainage pipes have been cut from copper pipe.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Percy Runs Away

To avoid a nasty accident Percy runs away, but without either driver or fireman how is he ever going to stop? For this story both Thomas and Percy have been converted to battery power with radio control. They also now have sound and smoke units.
The video is based on the story 'Percy Runs Away' from the book Troublesome Engines (Railway Series Book 5) by the Rev. W. Awdry first published in 1950.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A New Signal Box for the SVR

The signal box from T & M Models has finally be put in position overlooking Birdlip Junction. The filming of 'Percy Runs Away' can now begin.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Embankment Cladding

The extension to the SVR was completed in 2012 in time for the open day on 28th July, but several areas were left looking quite raw. One of them was this corner where the blocks were left exposed. With the date for the next open day agreed with the management for Saturday 16th August it is time to rectify this situation.

I've recently clad the lower section with a wall section from Cain Howley Structures and weathered stone edging from B&Q. For the upper section I'm trying something a little different. I'm not sure exactly how it will work out yet. I'll post more photos as it develops. The aluminium 'I' beam section is from L.A. Metals of West Bromwich - the same company that supplied the aluminium for all of the SVR bridges.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Preparation for the 2014 Season

As well as all of the other jobs around the railway there quite a bit of hedge trimming needed. The holly bush by Birdlip Junction was growing out of control and its shadow was taking precious light from the garden. It's now been chopped down and shaped to a more respectable 8 feet.

Hedge trimming in progress
More leaves on the line

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Toby Arrives at the Sandwell Valley Railway

A couple of weeks after he arrived in the country Toby has finally made it to the SVR courtesy of Steve Warrington of Back 2 Bay 6.

Toby and Henrietta crossing the viaduct
Toby and Henrietta crossing the viaduct

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The 2014 Season

At last it has been dry enough to assess what maintenance is required before the railway can open for the season and, more importantly, the next Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends video. The photos below show the major areas in need of work, but on top of these jobs most of the railway needs reballasting.
After I took these photos I started to clean up the leaves and other detritus off the track. I had just sent the first train around the garden to check that everything was clear when it started to rain again and work had to be abandoned for the day!
Curved bridge in side garden in need of a new deck
Embankment wall needs extending
Site for new signal box
Birdlip Junction - engine shed and broken lamppost are both in need of repair and replacement
Cuttings and tunnels need cleaning out
Embankments need finishing 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Transforming Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas is now in the workshop being converted to battery and radio control operation with smoke and sound. Work has temporarily halted for a boiler test. Looks like he's passed.

Smoking Well

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Percy the Small Engine with Sound and Smoke

The railway is looking very sad after the wettest January since records began.
Meanwhile Percy has been in the workshop over the Winter and has now been fitted with battery, radio control, sound and smoke. See Percy undergoing test runs on the Sandwell Valley Railway.