Ongoing and Future Projects

The FSMR members undertake a variety of projects on the railway.

None compare to the task in the early days back in 1995 of rebuilding the tunnel, but all can be challenging as well as interesting. A “project manager” usually takes charge, and members can just turn up and help on what suits them best, be it track, electrical, civil, or locomotive engineering. The FSMR have a selection of dumper trucks, and access to the farm estates JCB. And with mining engineers, architects, electrical and mechanical engineers as members, no task is too large in the preservation world!

Just to put in perspective what massive engineering challenge we constantly face against nature on the railway here are some pictures taken during March 2007 of the railway under water.


Spillway Bridge

During winter and spring 2006/2007, we undertook a major rebuild of the lakeside outfall spillway bridge. This had been identified as requiring major maintenance and so it has been decided to update the design at the same time. Abutments were renewed and a complete new wider and stronger steel superstructure was fabricated in our workshops and assembled at the lakeside. Work was completed prior to the 2007 summer events.

The bridge required heavy maintenance and so it was decided to improve its construction during this process creating a safer more aesthetic construction and refurbish, or replace the supporting RSJ,s at the same time. Also new blue brick support walls were added.

Terminus Platform and Station

There was also a project over 4 years which was officially completed and opened on 12th October 2008 to re-develop the whole terminus platform and station area to provide better catering and seating facilities and re roof the platform canopy as the old corrugated roofing is badly corroded at the edges. Architect plans were drawn and passed by the council planning. Foundation construction was completed in 2006 by local building contractor, and handed over to the FSMR team (led by a member who is a skilled builder). The building was completed prior to opening in October 2008 although there was some internal fitting out completed for June 2009 when the station saw its first public passengers, but it had already been used as a refreshment room with the log stove fire put to good use cooking jacket potatoes! For the bonfire night events and during the Easter private runnings. It has subsequently been a godsend for public running events acting as the railways refreshment and souvenir shop

The new station building being based on the Midland Railway Settle and Carlisle stations design.

The majority of the materials have been donated by various companies, for which the whole FSMR are indebted.  The companies that have donated towards the station are:


Some work was also completed in spring 2010 on the platforms to replace sections of frost blown concrete, in preparation for the summer openings.

S & T

Work started in Spring 2012 installing new signals and axle counters at lakeside which will give improved reliability and monitoring of the trains progress.

This has been on going since with equipment panel upgrades also underway and new line side signals due to be incorporated at some point in 2015.


Ongoing re-sleepering of track continues, the original 1970’s jarah sleepers showing their age, especially on the extension. Go to the picture gallery for pictures of the re-sleepering methods.

The back straight was re-ballasted and levelled over April 2012.

We have started the process of lifting complete panels and digging out the bed with the FSMR tractor loader. The bed then receives a geo-tex membrane before new ballast is added and the panel is replaced on new sleepers. The record is 3 panels completed in one day. The oldest sections are being tackled first through the woods. We are also took the opportunity this spring to install an access crossing at badgers curve to allow heavy machinery access without damage to the track e.g tractor mower and JCB .At the same time, 9 panels of original track were renewed through the wooded section.

Another record in autumn 2006 with 4 panels !! replaced over the weekend of 14th 15th October 2006 in the same area back to badgers bend completing this area. We also added a new sleeper retaining walls to the bank to prevent soil erosion contamination of the ballast.

And all this with the Berkshire providing the exotic motive power for the day in the diesels absence.

October 2006

These photos were taken during the October track weekend in 2006 when 5 panels were lifted and replaced on badgers curve in one weekend. At the same time the opportunity was used to install a sleeper retaining wall against the earth bank at this location.

The works train in use over the weekend, having the luxury of steam power in the diesels absence on its heavy repair and overhaul this winter.

February 2008

These photos were taken during the mid February track weekend in 2008 when 6 panels were lifted and replaced on chestnuts curve on one Saturday breaking the previous record of 5 over two days with the final ballasting completed on 8th March.  The first task was to set up a laser level to maintain the gradient profile between the two untouched sections of line.

This section was heavily contaminated with mud and clay and the sleepers were not visible and so a fully renewal of track bed was required following on form previous work carried out in the Autumn on the curve.

All pway work is co-ordinated and any major renewal and ongoing sleeper replacement, with organised work parties on large jobs is all logged on a database as per full size!!

Umbeezor Workshop Extension 2019

The Umbeezor workshop extension was a joint venture between members and contractors to provide a warm and dry environment for the maintenance of our existing rolling stock and also the ongoing restoration project of the heritage coaches.

Post Lock Down Projects 2020/2021

Normally during July and August we would be preparing for our busiest event of the year but instead we have been very busy with site maintenance and preparing for the biggest job of all replacing the sleepers over Jenny’s bridge which will take the full 3 days over Bank Holiday.
Other members have been busy replacing the doors on the station building and building a new disabled access ramp with hand rail not to mention the normal routine maintenance on the Track,signals and engines.
(not forgetting the obligatory refreshments)
We always need new members to help email us on if you wish to get involved.

Since being able to return the railway we have seen a hardcore group of members trying to fix what the weather has done to our track and infrastructure during the lockdown .

We have seen them tackle relaying sleepers that were damaged due to floods and also repairing Jenny’s bridge near the haven .

A new signal box was started late August 2020 and is now nearing the building stage and  the electrics have been completely refurbished  by another member during the last lockdown.

Foundations are now laid and the timber has been purchased to finish the build hopefully in time for our Annual August open weekend

Even cleaning the guttering an essential job