8th April 2012
There has been a something of a wall between Andrew and me this weekend. Mostly it was six foot of brick surmounted by asbestos sheeting. But let me explain – a lot of deliveries have been arriving at Briddon Towers. All the usual suspects, from the TNT man in his shorts through to the “Big Green parcel machine” (Tuffnells) have pulled up and disgorged their consignments, from drive belts to the disc brake calliper. I myself came home from the electrical stockists with a 3 metre length of cable tray which just fitted in the van – scraping the windscreen at one end with the other nudging the back doors.
29th April 2012
As the time ticks away towards the AFRPS Gala, the progress on D2128 has been steady and pressured: Andrew and I are both agreed that we will be much relieved when it is all over - whether D2128 gets to run in it or not!
7th May 2012
With the last weekend before the AFRPS gala, attention once again has concentrated on D2128 - or 03 901 as it has started semi-seriously to be called - with the intention of getting it running. Indeed, a large part of Friday was taken up with touring various suppliers collecting bits and as a result, we set off for Scunthorpe on Saturday morning with a van well-loaded, including 80 litres of hydraulic oil for the transmission, 40 of engine oil for the Cummins, anti-freeze, over 20metres of hose in assorted bores and ends (my little swager is good for up to 1/2", anything bigger I get ready-made by my local supplier), various fittings, 5" bore exhaust pipe in solid and flexible, together with clamps and a bend, and so on.
13th November 2011
There are two ways to run an engineering project and it applies to even something as relatively simple as re-powering a loco. In approach one, you carry out a task, complete it, then wonder what happens next. In version two, you endeavour to keep all the aspects of the job on the go at the same time, so that you’re planning what to do several periods hence, drawing up bits you need, getting them made or ordered, so that as this job is complete, other than maybe a quick check against the drawings that all is correct*, the next task is at hand and ready to go.
9th October 2011
Visitors to Rowsley often comment on “how lucky we are” to have such a wonderful shed to work in. Perhaps because bricks and mortar take on an air of permanency they assume that the shed has always been there, maybe even part of the site when Peak Rail took over. In truth, when Andrew’s locos first arrived in 2002 it was a steelwork skeleton that the railway had no cash to clad, and working there was as subject to the weather as anywhere.
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.
4th September 2011
With Andrew on hols, much of this weeks’ instalment revolves around his activities, for reasons which will also come clear.
On Tuesday, as he headed south to Wansford, I departed north to Batley to pick up the latest profiles from my supplier. These included the bracketry for the revamped train brake control for the Drewry, and bits for the alternator, rad filler, compressor intake on “Libby” plus a few bits for “Pluto”.
30th October 2011
A year ago, it would have take several weeks for us to produce a bracket. For once I had drawn it up and sent the drawings on to my profile supplier, gone up to collect them and dropped them off at my favourite fabricators, it might have been 2 weeks or more before they got around to assembling and we would not plan the day to go and fit until we knew they were ready.
17th April 2011
So, did anyone miss me, I wonder? (Don’t all shout “No!” at once). There was no “Weekend Rails” last weekend because, although Andrew had a (rather unsuccessfull) day on his own at Rowsley, your truly was to be found at the Leander Club at Henley-on-Thames Saturday night on one of those “family occasions” that necessitated swapping overalls for a Dinner Suit.
20th March 2011
Deadlines have a habit of concentrating the mind. I mean, we knew that 14 901 was due out about the end of March, but with that air of not being quite sure when, comes that easy-going sensation that says that it’s close, but not that close. Then Andrew gets the snippet that John Antell is delivering a steam loco to Peak Rail on April 1st and is leaving with 14 901 for Gwili - and no, it is not a wind-up. Ah, that means two weekends to get all the outstanding jobs completed (and one of those the dreaded last weekend of the month). The comfortable sensation goes away and is replaced by one of considerable alarm.