Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 18 November 2012 00:00

Of the return of Jack

18th November 2012

I threw in the last two lines of last week's blog just as a way of rounding it off, but I should have known better. First thing Monday morning Andrew learned that, owing to administrative screw-up, there was in fact no vehicle heading to Hollycombe to collect "Jack" despite several prior assurances. To cut a long story short, a vehicle finally rolled in on Wednesday afternoon and despite awkward access, darkness and other such impediments, "Jack" was loaded and on its way before the end of the day.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 28 October 2012 01:00

Of clutches and suches

28th October 2012

An astute reader, referring to my expectation to have "Tom" back running by the end of this weekend, questioned whether that was a wise plan given that this weekend is the last of the month. For any new readers we find things "happen" on that weekend and all too often to our detriment. Aforesaid astute reader was probably right.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 21 October 2012 01:00

Of house moves

21st October 2012

I am writing this instalment from my (old) desk in the (new) office at the Briddon Country Pile. Yes, Openreach's engineer rang me at 08.15 on Friday ("I can't find your house") and by 08.50 the line was connected. Plusnet had promised that the broadband would be on in a few hours, and sure enough it was before the end of the day. Thus the move was on, and Steph and I are now relocated. Andrew, meanwhile, had nominated Saturday to go collect a van full of bits and Sunday has seen him successfully playing trains - er conducting essential trials at a SW Trains depot, located, surprisingly, somewhere south and west(ish).

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 14 October 2012 01:00

Of casings and converters

14th October 2012

First thing on Monday morning we were back at Rowsley, and after a quick bit of a shunt the casings were coming off the Sentinel and by eleven o'clock the power unit was out and the converter was being swung into the back of the van.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 07 October 2012 01:00

Of revisiting an old byway

7th October 2012

Back when I was about 20, I was invited to an Open Day at a private railway not far from Southampton, then under the general auspices of the Hampshire Narrow Gauge Railway Society. They had started building a small circuit on land belonging to their Chairman, Barry Curl, in 1967 and I was there the day the finished ballasting the far side of the line and were able to do the full circuit for the first time, with ex Dinorwic 0-4-0ST "Cloister" as well as a selection of Simplexes and one of two O&K RL3 0-4-0DMs.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 16 September 2012 01:00

Of different gauges

16th September 2012

It may surprise some people to know that I was an n.g. enthusiast before I became professionally involved with s.g. and in many respects I would rather be involved with 2ft than 4ft 81/2". I was at one point offered a job as Commercial Manager for Bala Lake Railway by the instigator and Chief-Of-Almost-Everything George Barnes, only for the company Chairman, Tom Jones (no, not that Tom Jones, this one was a Gwynedd County Councillor - you really must keep up with the Jones's...) politely to withdraw it as the railway "could not afford me".

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 22 July 2012 01:00

Of doors, floors and filters

22nd July 2012

It has been another interesting week. OK, not so much of railway interest in the short term - far too much of the week has been occupied with the forthcoming move from Briddon Towers to Briddon Country Pile - which at one point I was seriously thinking wasn't going to happen until some time in August. But by dint of applied pressure we got as far as exchanging contracts on Friday and hopefully completing this Tuesday. So is it then all systems go?

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 24 June 2012 01:00

Of wanderings and doings

24th June 2012

The narrow gauge theme started by the Amberley visit continued this week. On Wednesday night Steph and I met Andrew at Butterley for their annual n.g. open night. (We met for the simple reason that he was on his return journey from Eastleigh.) These open nights have a similar theme - two or three runs the length of the GVLR with resident 0-4-2T "Joan", then the area around Butterley is de-marked into sections and a loco is set on each and visitors are free to have a go.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of stopping and starting

4th March 2012

Even as I was packing to go away for the (previous) weekend, I got a phone call from Peak Rail reporting that Charlie’s stop solenoid had given up the ghost. Let me explain. Left to its own devices, most engine fuel pumps head to the “run” position, it is what they are made to do. Therefore you need a device to pull the lever on the pump to a position where there is insufficient fuel delivered and the engine stops.

Published in 2012 Jan-Mar
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of festivals and failures

10th June 2012

The Young Master took his old, decrepit Dad for day out on Monday. Seeing as how his employers are one of the sponsors for Railfest, he had the opportunity for VIP passes for self and family and took it up. So with bright yellow passes strung around our necks, we wandered in to York. Now, I am not usually one for "dos" like this. If I am involved in organising, looking after a stand, or something, fine - I've done quite a few exhibitions over the years representing one employer or another. But to be one of the visitors is a different matter. I cannot immerse myself in the atmosphere the way some people seem to be able and left to my own devices, am liable to charge around everywhere at high speed, tell myself I've done it all and leave!

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
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