Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Saturday, 02 March 2013 00:00

Of Charlie's big brother

3rd March 2013

I teased the readers with a hint of something happening this week and aside from those scurrilous souls who suggested that we were acquiring 08s or other such shoddy shunters I think we managed to keep most guessing. (Oh, and for those who don't know our views on 08s and their ilk, see "Of 08s and trawler engines, here - otherwise, read on).

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 17 February 2013 00:00

Of welding and shunting

17th February 2013

The week seems to have been taken up with a lot of my time dedicated to Andrew. (Actually someone might say, "how unusual"). What with ordering a larger drive pulley to speed up the charge pumps on D2128 (we will be going from 1:1 to around 1:1,56, which means we should be delivering 5 US gallons at idle and when we get bold enough to run the engine at full chat, the pump will be just under its maximum of 3000rpm) we have also managed to get to the MoD at Bicester to view more rolling stock that Ramco are auctioning, and a meeting with Peak Rail's MD.

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 10 February 2013 00:00

Of locos at Scunthorpe

10th February 2013

There have been over two hours of phone calls this week between me, our transmission experts and Twin Disc over in the USA. One of the outcomes is that it may be that our low base pressure on D2128's powershift is the result of the charge pump not delivering sufficient oil. In the manuals we had with the transmission (or to be exact, the manuals that Hunslet supplied with the original locos when they were delivered in 1984) there was no reference to oil delivery rates for the transmission, only acceptable grades.

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 03 February 2013 00:00

Of plans and pressure

3rd February 2013

Those of my readers who like to think of themselves as regular will be aware that the first weekend of the month is generally regarded as the best weekend, where "things go right". It was a pity therefore that the Saturday was taken up with another Class 14 Owners group meeting, where the company was pleasant (people representing D9516, '20, '21, '23, '26, '31, '37 and '55 were there, and good friends amongst them) but when someone starts asking about the rumoured 10 spare Paxman engines that Swindon had for the '14s?

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 02 December 2012 00:00

Of hoses and ANPRs

2nd December 2012

Lummy, hardly into December and immediately the temperature plummets. It's back to two sweaters to keep my ageing, decrepit frame warm, and the woolly hat to stop the few remaining brain cells from going hypothermic.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 30 September 2012 01:00

Of Tom and tribulations

30th September 2012

"Tom" has caused a lot of head scratching this week. The leak from the converter rear seal was concerning. Technical advice was that it might seal itself with a bit of running and warmth., but we weren't confident. It is not that we don't trust the guy who rebuilt the converter, but I have made it policy never to do a converter in an ordinary workshop. The carbon seals are pernickety - well, let's be honest, the technology is over 50 years old and there are probably better seals out there if you wanted to invest in development - certainly Nico, the Japanese licensee for Twin Disc, assured me 15 years ago that their converters don't leak.

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 23 September 2012 01:00

Of air, locks and engines

23rd September 2012

This has been one of those weeks where it has gone way beyond the "Weekend" of the title. On Monday I went off to collect "Pluto's" fuel pump from our tame fuel pump expert. Later in the day I got a call from the shotblasters to say that "Libby's" casing parts were ready, so I hired a pick-up for Thursday. On Tuesday I popped in to the fabricators to collect the 'power bulge' that will go over the exhauster on D2128. Finally on Friday I touched base with a company who have the tackle to press the louvres in the doors for the said 03 - they don't seem to think it much of a problem and will get back to me shortly. Given that in between I have received back Steph's Micra after 8 days in the bodyshop for a job that was only supposed to take two and you may well wonder whether I have managed much (profitable) work this week and you're not the only one.

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 09 September 2012 01:00

Of trucks, TNT and Tom

9th September 2012

As I was saying, on Monday I had a Transit drop-side booked. It was a venerable old machine - "Y" reg in fact, geared down so far that it was best not trying for more than 60-65 on the motorway. I am not a fan of Fords - I ran two Courier vans of theirs in the early 90s - but this one quickly earned a soft spot, especially when after coming to rest at a traffic lights, the speedo would start flicking up to 10 or 15mph...

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 02 September 2012 01:00

Of jacks and hoses

2nd September 2012

I said last week that some of the older blog entries on Weekend Rails have been closed to Comments. I've made a decision to close all the older entries and will only leave recent posts open for a month or two. For one thing nobody seems that bothered about commenting, and for another that pesky spambot is still trying to access the posting that it managed to breach the security on - over 3200 times this month (yeah, 1500 times a day)! I hope that whichever b*****d wrote the program that controls it did include a line to tell it to give up after a week or two....

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Monday, 27 August 2012 01:00

Of a black cloud

27th August 2012

Not only the Last Weekend of the Month, but the whole week leading up to it seems to have been excelling itself. At this moment, the move from Briddon Towers to Briddon Country Pile has gone into a sort of limbo. Yet it all seemed to be going so well. Then Tuesday came along. Tuesday was the day on which the landline at Briddon Country Pile was due to be connected. Not a major undertaking, since the copper and line box exist, and we even know what number it used to be, but BT took it out of commission when the old owner died.

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
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