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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
21st August 2011
I was back at Rowsley for Andrew on Tuesday, to meet with two gentlemen from a company who repair traction motors and generators and for whom we had brought the Brush over to the shed late last Sunday. With the aid of the Drewry, and Gary Hibbs who was conveniently available to act as shunter (thanks!) I put the loco over the inspection pit. Regular readers may recall that just over a year ago we had Bowers in to look at the motor, but they never confirmed their price and as Andrew is now considering making a “serious start” early next year it was time to plan ahead.