Everyone's attention at the railway is now fully focused on the final preparations for our Polar Express trains.
Andrew Barclay 0-6-0 ST No. 2138 'Swordfish' has arrived to haul the Polar Express trains. The loco has been hired in (with thanks to the loco's owner and Buckinghamshire Railway Centre) due to ongoing repairs to GWR 56XX 0-6-2 tank No. 5619. Swordfish has had her fitness to run exam and steam test at the weekend (she has a lovely whistle!), the train formed up, fully decorated and is now at Spring Village platform for cleaning and final preparations to be completed.
The marquee has been put up on Spring Village car park. This will house the shop and the snowball play area and is now being fully kitted out with sets and stocked with Polar Express goodies
Actors and Actresses were on site on Sunday, taking part in the first on-train rehearsal and receiving their costumes.
24hr security is now on site.
The set is being built at the North Pole (Lawley), the reindeers and new Christmas tree have been taken there (in the Class 144 Pacer!) and Santa's sleigh will join them shortly. The 'northern lights' are in place in Heath Hill tunnel.
The final chairs have been bolted down at Lawley siding, and the track has been tamped with new ballast. A shunt took place to release the 5-plank wagon (this has been brought down to the yard for collection as it has been sold), and to disperse the stock between the Lawley Platform road and siding so as to not obstruct the view of the 'North Pole' and Santa for our passengers. The Toad was also moved to its 'Polar position' at Lawley as it is used as a base by security.
Holts Tree Care very generously lent us their cherry picker so that we could use it to convert the final two Spring Village platform lights to LED bulbs. Additional lighting on the Old Loco Shed has also been wired up and is now fully functional
A two minutes silence was held at the railway at 11am on Remembrance Sunday as a mark of respect for those who have died in the line of duty.
With thanks to Ben and David J for the additional information used in the update.
The railway is now closed
The next event is the Polar Express (pre-booked ticket holders only) which starts on 25th November.
THE OLD LOCO SHED,
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