Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of wagons and D2128

18th September 2011

It has been a busy but sad week in the run-up to my father’s cremation at Bournemouth. We were surprised at how many came – the chapel was full to overflowing – and in the “wake” afterwards we learnt how many New Milton area residents were on his publicity circulation list. It seems that he had a group of avid readers of all Andrew’s press cuttings, and I was asked “you are the one who was on Scrapheap Challenge, aren’t you?” by people I’d never met before.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of vacuum and lost buses

19th June 2011

Sadly the cunning plan Andrew had hatched last week didn’t work. In fact, not only – when he rang up on Friday lunchtime – was he unable to secure the services of the required contractor, but the “boss” declared she was on holiday that day! He was not at all impressed with such customer service and we may be looking at an alternative solution.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of pipes and wires

5th June 2011

We should have been into a thoroughly productive weekend, but somehow, things went a little awry. Up to Friday early afternoon, we were hoping to be at Scunthorpe on Saturday but again, the vital element in the plan was declared not available this weekend, and shortly afterwards Andrew succumbed to a heart-felt plea from his girl-friend to make an additional trek down to see her on Saturday. Before he left, he stripped out the DVLR’s free-issue exhauster for “Pluto” to check rotation and exactly how, if needed, it can be reversed since space within the casings is severely restricted and turning it physically round may not be feasible.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of needle guns and paint

20th November 2011

On Wednesday this week I was back down to the shotblasters to collect the bits of 03 they had in and get a price for dealing with the casing rooves and nose cone. The Scunthorpe firm were a disappointment – £450 – I reckoned that was twice what it ought to be and sure enough that’s roughly what the Sheffield firm estimated. Of course, it’s only worthwhile if we can keep the cost of transport within reasonable limits, (they are too bulky to go in the van) so Andrew is on a mission to find a cheap transport vehicle, preferably with a HIAB on to simplify loading at Scunthorpe.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of final preparations

24th July 2011

Saturday: With “Pluto” set to move north on Monday the 25th, this was the last weekend we had to complete the vac fit and other outstanding matters. So once Andrew had arrived back from a week of night shifts in darkest Norfolk, we packed the van and set off for Rowsley. The motive power situation had apparently been a bit eventful at Rowsley. Ever since the extension to Matlock opened, the lack of run round loop has meant that all trains are top and tailed, which usually means the Austerity (68013) on the Matlock end and the class 31 at the Rowsley end to pull it back.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of exhausting days

3rd July 2011

As I was saying at the end of last week’s blog, my next stop was Rowsley to investigate the report of Charlie’s alternator “screaming”. It was quiet enough when I started it up, but it had had time to cool so I took it off anyway and sure enough it was very stiff and probably had a bearing problem. So I hunted out a spare from the VBA, swapped pulleys and got it going again, ready for Matlock duties, though for a day or two Rob was using the HST’s 08.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of DV8s and changing plans

26th June 2011

14 901 has continued to be in the centre of our minds this week. Having been handed over in the first few days of April, we are, under the operating agreement, due to do a 3-monthly “A” exam in the first few days of July, but the “hunting” that the engine was apparently exhibiting was reportedly getting worse, and after it ‘died’ at one point we were under pressure to bring it forward.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of bits and brakes

15th August 2011

We already knew that Andrew would be away on Saturday attending a birthday party. so I was to have one of those extremely rare things, a free weekend day. For once I was to escape rail activity, but to make up for it, we slipped over to Rowsley Friday night in order to reposition a few locos to make them more readily accessible for a long day on Sunday.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of Bombs and burns

7th August 2011

Our plan, as we thought it was at this time last week, was to spend the weekend at Rowsley operating the Drewry “WD72229″ at Peak Rail’s Forties event. But we already knew that the original plan for a “Troop Train” had had to be scrubbed and as the week wore on, Andrew announced that he would therefore drop me off at Rowsley on Saturday and head on elsewhere. Of course, Steph and my daughter Jennifer were committed, as for several years they have run a stall (”Make Do and Mend”) at the event which started off trying to educate the younger visitors on what life was like for kids in that decade, with such practices as peg-dolls and knitting – quite alien to a generation brought up with the concept that anything involving entertainment involves the movement of electrons.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of best laid plans

31st July 2011

A couple of weeks ago I said that the departure date for Pluto was the 25th and could not be deferred. I was wrong. All it needed was the driver to ring in sick and Heanors have no spare man available because of holidays. Peak Rail’s Rob Sanders and I had been waiting 45 minutes before we learnt this of course, and after a flurry of phone calls, we re-scheduled the move to Friday.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
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