Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Bank Holiday Rambles

30th August 2010

Andrew has this thing about the last weekends of the month being unproductive, so now seldom schedules major activities for them. As he is also spending some time with his girlfriend, it ended up that Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend was “free”, but Mrs B had scheduled the Friday and Saturday to be “clear the office, replace the carpet and put it all back in tidily” days.

Sunday: Andrew and I wandered over to Scunthorpe with a few minor tasks to perform. While he re-threaded the end of his new radiator filler pipe and fitted it to “Beverley”, I put in a short extension hose into the torque converter cooler line and then adjourned to the Palvan to fit the drive ring to the Cummins 855 waiting to go into the “03” and check that the bolts for the flywheel housing also fit right. By that time our visitors had arrived, to whit, a potential purchaser of the NB “Coronation”, which, although sat at Elsecar, some spares for which had gravitated to the Palvan and anyway, he wanted a look round. So after a short time we took the ovvies back off and returned along the M18 to Elsecar, to view the loco itself. Now I am sorry to say that Elsecar was in the middle of a diesel gala, which, from what we saw, was not doing well. But with only the two normal industrials and the Class 31 on its final foray before leaving for Llangollen, there wasn’t much of interest, and the 4 coaches seemed fearfully empty. While we were there, the Yorkshire 0-6-0DH “failed” and we saw no less than 5 EHR members, from the Chairman down, playing musical cabs as they presumably tried to pin down the problem. In happier times we’d have mucked in and probably sorted it but not under the present circumstances.

Monday: Andrew announced Sunday night that he wanted “an early start” but would not be drawn on what that meant either by me or Mrs B. In the end he wasn’t up till 10 and it was 11.15 before we hit the road – reaching Horsehay at about 1pm.

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"Tom" at Horsehay - car park or loco park?

His Sentinel “Tom” arrived here ten days ago and we must refit the torque converter, but having seen the state of the engine mounts, and a damaged dowel in the flywheel, he decided he wants the engine out, flywheel and housing changed and a few other bits before refitting the converter to the engine and the whole lot in in one. Ironically that is probably easier and safer, and I did a conversion about three years ago from the obsolete Metalastik mount that Rolls’ standardised on to a common cone one.  From Telford it was on to Llynclys for a cuppa and to check on “Kimberley”, then a few miles further to drop in on Blodwell and check up on “Claire” and the others.

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"Claire" awaits the next call to duty

I had popped in on “Claire” during the week, on a round-robin to Tywyn Pendre to deliver brake blocks, and had found the cab windows open, but otherwise untouched. Andrew found the cab window on another loco open – has someone been posing for pictures?

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The new platform face by the old Cambrian HQ building

Finally, we headed north to Oswestry and met up with the CRS Chairman to discuss the future of the Porth-y-Waen section of the Cambrian – taking a ride on the brake van behind the CRS’s “Telemon” 0-4-0DM and looking over their efforts to restore the platform face at Oswestry. The main project is to re-open south to Llynclys and make a decent run there and to Porth-y-Waen, which involves two level crossings, one fully barriered and “ready to use” and another ungated (at Porth-y-Waen) with about 3” of fresh tarmac over the rails - both are over A roads, but not such a formidable one as that on the A5, which is designated a European “E” route, on the line north to Gobowen: an interesting legal situation where the railway may have right on its side, but will beaurocracy give a toss?

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Starting away from Oswestry (from the brake van verandah)

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Present end of running line- main line to Llynclys on left

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