Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of brackets and bouncing batteries

10th July 2011

Saturday: Andrew arrived back from a few nights inspecting stock down at Norwich mid-morning on Saturday, and after a brief recuperation and lunch, we set off for Rowsley to pick up where we left off. After 4 days of hectic PR at PR, the station appears to have sprouted commemorative plaques all over, a “Roll of Honour” is now up on a wall in the shed (where only volunteers will see it – probably best as it fails to indicate whether the names contributed financially to the shed or records those wiped out by some sad catastrophe) and the shed itself looked conspicuously tidy.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Monday, 18 June 2012 01:00

Of the countdown

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.

Published in 2011 Jan-Mar
Monday, 18 June 2012 01:00

Of time and screws

20th February 2011

The sudden return of the cold weather on Monday sent a chill through Andrew’s heart. We had, after all, added a considerable quantity of plain water to “Pluto” last Sunday when the cooling system appeared a touch low, so Antifreeze strength was not entirely predictable.

Published in 2011 Jan-Mar
Monday, 18 June 2012 01:00

Of air filters and deadmans pedals

13th March 2011

Andrew had the day off work on Wednesday and we travelled down to Bicester to view the latest batch of MoD rolling stock that Ramco has on tender. I have many memories of Bicester, from commissioning brand new Thomas Hill locomotives, conducting training courses in old carriages, testing a repowered Ruston and being happily unaware that the brake van at the back of our train was no longer on the rails… They weren’t always happy days, but I knew people there and the place always seemed a hive of activity.

Published in 2011 Jan-Mar
Monday, 18 June 2012 01:00

Of MIG and miniature

15th May 2011

The invoice arising from last weekend’s auction appeared on Andrew’s e-mail account on Monday and caused a certain amount of consternation. Payment methods acceptable to the auctioneers versus the time available were slightly conflictive – so on Tuesday I added organising a banker’s draft to my list of things to do, which included booking a 3.5ton dropside to collect the purchased lots.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
Monday, 18 June 2012 01:00

Of jacks and priorities

6th March 2011

The run of bad luck seemed to follow me into the first few days of March.  A commercial job on Monday got delayed an hour after a chap in a 4×4 and a trailer succeeded in parking it at 45 degrees across the A1 southbound. Although I almost caught up with my plan, the knock-on effect was that when I pressed the button on my bit to make the customer’s bit function, the latter didn’t and I had no time to investigate.

Published in 2011 Jan-Mar
Monday, 18 June 2012 01:00

Of a weekend that seems to have lasted all week

3rd April 2011

There is an old adage that says “a job takes the time available to do it in”. It can be all too true. I was back at Rowsley anyway on Monday, and Steph followed me over later to resume work in 14 901’s cab, this time rubbing down and giving the old grey steelwork a coat of Magnolia. When I had finished I joined her, and when Andrew had got home from work and changed he came over and we all three carried on until nearly dark, Andrew taking over on Magnolia detail while I was handed the masking tape and after Steph and I had masked off the desk top, I painted it with a fresh layer of Hammerite.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
Monday, 18 June 2012 01:00

Of a long weekend -1

25th April 2012

Two weekends sandwiched with Bank Holidays – what more can you ask for? Well I suppose quite a bit, but let’s see what we can do with it. Pity that the next one classifies as the last of the month – or was it this one?

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
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