Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of the year drawing to a close

30th December 2011

Having had the whole weekend before Christmas “off” I resisted the urge to do something on Andrew’s locos without his being there. For such a dereliction of duty not only was it inevitable that he would “book” me for Christmas Eve but 4 days between Boxing Day and New Years Eve to boot. Oh, well, what else would one do?

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of stripping without the tease

27th November 2011

We should, I suppose, stop being optimistic and try to avoid planning anything significant for the last weekend of the month – and even include Friday. We had a provisional promise – well, OK, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but he did say “he’d try to…” – that on Wednesday the flat wagon at Scunthorpe, upon which the 03’s casing bits have resided for the last couple of years, would be shunted out from the very far end of the AFRPS’s longest siding and put round the front ready for us to collect and take them back to Sheffield for shotblast.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of sheds and detours

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.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of shortages in suck and luck

6th November 2011

No two ways about it, the world is going daft. If you have read this blog for long, you will know that the last weekend of the month is one where everything goes wrong, and the first weekend of the new month is marked by significant strides forward. Yet last weekend everything went smoothly – this weekend, progress has been marginal. During the week, Andrew and I had one of those deeply philosophical discussions about us being spread to thinly between all the various locations over which the collection is homed.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of pipes and wires

5th June 2011

We should have been into a thoroughly productive weekend, but somehow, things went a little awry. Up to Friday early afternoon, we were hoping to be at Scunthorpe on Saturday but again, the vital element in the plan was declared not available this weekend, and shortly afterwards Andrew succumbed to a heart-felt plea from his girl-friend to make an additional trek down to see her on Saturday. Before he left, he stripped out the DVLR’s free-issue exhauster for “Pluto” to check rotation and exactly how, if needed, it can be reversed since space within the casings is severely restricted and turning it physically round may not be feasible.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of gas and electricity

16th October 2011

Andrew had a day off work this week, and decided to spend an afternoon at Peak Rail on “Libby”. Sadly it was not as productive as he planned, for a substation blew up (apparently quite spectacularly) and took out all the electrics from Matlock to Bakewell. In contrast, he was off to see his girlfriend on Saturday, so enquired “if I had nothing better to do,” whether I might like, weather permitting, to go to Murton and start fitting the oil separator to “Pluto”. I knows my place.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of final preparations

24th July 2011

Saturday: With “Pluto” set to move north on Monday the 25th, this was the last weekend we had to complete the vac fit and other outstanding matters. So once Andrew had arrived back from a week of night shifts in darkest Norfolk, we packed the van and set off for Rowsley. The motive power situation had apparently been a bit eventful at Rowsley. Ever since the extension to Matlock opened, the lack of run round loop has meant that all trains are top and tailed, which usually means the Austerity (68013) on the Matlock end and the class 31 at the Rowsley end to pull it back.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of exhausting days

3rd July 2011

As I was saying at the end of last week’s blog, my next stop was Rowsley to investigate the report of Charlie’s alternator “screaming”. It was quiet enough when I started it up, but it had had time to cool so I took it off anyway and sure enough it was very stiff and probably had a bearing problem. So I hunted out a spare from the VBA, swapped pulleys and got it going again, ready for Matlock duties, though for a day or two Rob was using the HST’s 08.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of DV8s and changing plans

26th June 2011

14 901 has continued to be in the centre of our minds this week. Having been handed over in the first few days of April, we are, under the operating agreement, due to do a 3-monthly “A” exam in the first few days of July, but the “hunting” that the engine was apparently exhibiting was reportedly getting worse, and after it ‘died’ at one point we were under pressure to bring it forward.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of Cummins and cancers

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”.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
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