The front wall for the platform extension on the Apedale Valley Light Railway has been completed. This, you will recall, is needed because the reconstruction of Silverdale station is still on-going – so there’s scaffolding occupying the original platform. To allow the footings to be poured, a lot of the platform road ballast had to be removed. So, with the completion of the wall, it was time to put it all back using the side discharging hopper on loan from our friends at the Statfold Barn railway and a Wingrove & Rogers battery loco – not exactly the most suitable for ballasting, but its light weight was important on track where the ballast was missing from one side. All being well, this will be last time for a while that the familiar scene of the faithful Fordson tractor loading ballast will be witnessed. It’s also one of the last few hurdles to the AVLR being brought into passenger operations, hopefully later this month. In anticipation of using the railway to separate money from visitors later this year, some very odd things have been seen in August in West Lancashire. If you want to know more, or fancy becoming an elf, reindeer or generic other-worldy folk, get in touch here.