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In early 2010 I attended Galston Valley Railway a few times to assist on special maintenance days. This 5" gauge railway is owned and operated by Hornsby Model Engineers. Their busy days are Wednesday and Sunday and since I'm busy on both these days I've never felt I could get involved. However, there are two Saturdays per month where I can help so I became a member and am slowly learning about model engineering and the operation of such a railway and the effort required especially for public days.

Luckily I started working with a member who had just bought a loco and wanted a hand getting it running. We managed to combine our skills and the loco was soon operational. On some days I drove it more than he did and had a great time. Soon after, another member finished his loco and again I managed to get involved in the early running of a loco.

Model engineering is very difficult and expensive in many ways. Getting involved in repairs and other maintenance issues is a great education. I have acquired bits of a Quarry Hunslet which will probably never amount to anything. Also, I have a dismantled Simplex that was almost finished. The Simplex needs lots of work to fix existing mistakes and a rebuild of the boiler. The boiler passed a hydrostatic test but was never steamed. Plenty of work to keep me busy here.

My first report here covers the dismantling and cleaning of a feedwater pump. These pumps have a hard life and this one seized recently. The report provides a glimpse of the internals of this pump and the complexity of this miniature marvel.

My second report shows my tiny riding carriage. Originally for use behind a small loco with a six-wheeled tender this truck is now used for track maintenance and as a rather squashed brakevan.

The third report shows my char crusher. This is my easy method for cracking char into pieces suitable for a 5" loco.

The next reports detail the return to service of a little 0-6-0 that has been out of action for over 30 years.

In 2017 I bought a property with a garden railway. This property is called Banool and shown in the report below.

Also in 2017 I bought another 0-6-0. This is a Sweet Pea that came from a garage sale in Orange.

In 2022 I bought a 5" Meyer loco and converted it to run on the 134mm Banool Garden Railway. It has a page in the Banool section.