Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 05 October 2014 01:00

Of water pumps and tacho heads

5th October 2014

There are some firms that are easy to do business with, and others that make you wonder how they stay in business at all. Around two-and-a-half years ago, I was in discussion with a firm – I'll not name them – about repairing and converting a tacho head (for the uninitiated, I mean the bit what goes in the desk and has a needle that indicates how many rpm the engine is doing) to suit a different input speed.

Published in 2014 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 14 September 2014 01:00

Of shutters and Simplexes

14th September 2014

With D8 “Penyghent” having a holiday at Etches Park, it was down to '901 to maintain the diesel end of Peak Rail services, and not only was there a Tuesday and Wednesday but a Thursday too. With only two passed drivers that meant I was rostered for two of the midweek days and then Saturday, so no rest for the wicked.

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 17 August 2014 01:00

Of water pumps and birthday cake

17th August 2014

No sooner do I pose a question in this blog than someone responds with an answer – for such a specialist interest it still astonishes me how many diverse people read it. In this case, I had rambled on about the likely grade of oil to be found in the dashpots of the Matterson Overload relays, and first thing Monday morning, a reader working within the MoD had e-mailed me not only identifying the make of said relays but advising what type and grade of oil he had used in the past!

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 01 June 2014 01:00

Of visitors, submersible pumps and driving tests

1st June 2014

Monday was Bank Holiday and the gala continued at Peak Rail, but as I said last week we had a VIP due so once we got onto site we dragged Ashdown around to a water hose outside the shed, and having replaced the suspect drain tap on the water pump with a plug, started to fill up.

Published in 2014 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 18 May 2014 01:00

Of coolant, thrash and clag

18th May 2014

I'll open tonight's missive with some photos courtesy of Toby, one of our colleagues from Scunthorpe. I said a week or two ago that “Tom” had been out on the plant with some real wagons to play with, and that I should have a video soon to upload. Well, all being well the vid will be uploaded this evening, but here's a few stills from the day.

Published in 2014 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 13 April 2014 01:00

Of SPADs and weddings

13th April 2014

(SPAD – of course UK readers will know, but for the benefit of my overseas readers (Hullo Sweden!) means Signal Passed at Danger; a cardinal sin.)

Readers who go through this prose with the proverbial comb will have noticed that there was no tally last week on the number of columns grouted, and that was because, with contractors busy digging and rolling, and the weather, we had not had opportunity to get any more done.

Published in 2014 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 30 March 2014 00:00

Of chickens and speedos

30th March 2014

Firstly, my apologies if you have had difficulties getting on to Weekend Rails this week. As I write this, people are telling me that they are getting server error messages. Now I “check” WR (and Andrew Briddon Locos) every day, a legacy of the trouble that has been caused by past hacking attempts (as a matter of interest, there have been over 500 spurious attempts to “log-in” to my side of WR this month) but I do so by means of the monitoring package which has been unaffected, so remained unaware. Hopefully it will not take long to fix.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 02 March 2014 00:00

Of raffles and revisions

2nd March 2014

At 08.30 Monday morning an e-mail polarised in my Inbox containing Revision C of the plans for the shed floor. My revised spec to the Structural engineers, which had included a large amount of “as built” information on CAD, had limited that area where the Mattersons are to be used effectively down to one quarter of the building. Thus while this retained the “nuclear shelter” concrete thickness, the remainder of the floor could be reduced to “normal” standards.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 16 February 2014 00:00

Of lists of things to do

16th February 2014

Right, make yourself a cup of tea, or pour a beer, because this might take some time. And for once, when sometimes I feel guilty that there is only one, or even none, in the way of photographs, this week there is lots to report and lots of pictures to show it with.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 19 January 2014 00:00

Of things going up in the air and down in the ground

19th January 2013

So at 07.55 Monday morning I was driving down to Darley for an 08.00 start when my mobile rang. Not having the hands-free on and not recognising the number I ignored it, and called it back on arrival. It was my contractor to say that there was a problem with plant transport and start would be delayed. My first thought was to head back home, but then I remembered the portable loo was due between 08.30 and 09.00, so I decided to soak up the solace of Darley Dale from the inside of my nice warm Portakabin. At 09.05 I tried to ring the portable-loo-man without success. At 09.15 I headed back home (to find his landline number) and as soon as I walked in the door, my phone rang. It was the portable loo man to say he was outside the gates.

Published in 2014 Jan-Mar
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