Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

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, 20 January 2013 00:00

Of proposals and police

20th January 2013

On Monday, as the snow fell, Andrew decided that an early return to the Briddon Country Pile was in order rather than wait for his paternity leave to expire. Having made it safely home it had the added benefit of Tuesday being clear for a bit of "catch-up" loco work so we headed in to Rowsley to continue ministering to "Tom" and await a delivery of 2" pipe from BSS.

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 13 January 2013 00:00

Of remote control

13th January 2013

Firstly, my thanks to all readers who have sent messages of congratulations to me or Andrew after reading the news in last week's blog. I am pleased to report that the next generation of the Briddon clan is putting on weight and doing all the things that babies of that age are supposed to do.

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 30 December 2012 00:00

Of casing tops and e-bay flops

30th December 2012

It may have been Christmas Eve but that didn't stifle Andrew's desire to get on with some loco work and we headed in to Rowsley. After some tasks for me, we moved over to "Tom", Andrew intending to cut off the remaining bolt holding the exhaust manifold and me to investigate where the feeds to my lights had gone. Andrew was out of luck though - having taken a lot of bits out of the van a few days previous, one thing that had not returned was the 110V transformer and there was no sign of one in the workshops. Slightly disgruntled he went to the VBA to do a bit of sorting while I was left alone in the cab.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 23 December 2012 00:00

Of rain and pumps

23rd December 2012

Sometimes what we are planning is affected by the weather forecast. It is not just a case of "if it snows, stay at home" but if it is expected to rain, we try to aim our efforts at a location where we can enjoy some cover.. With rain like we have been having of late (just you watch, there'll be a hosepipe ban next summer) that has become even more important.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 16 December 2012 00:00

Of teeth and Technology

16th December 2012

Andrew had the day off on Tuesday and planned a day at Rowsley, but before he did I hit the road to our favourite pump man to deliver "Pluto's" pump for investigation before returning to Briddon Country Pile. But Andrew had to go it alone - on Monday I managed to break a tooth ["A Mars a day helps you work, rest and wotwozat?"] so I was back off to the Dentist's with half of said tooth in a placcy bag. Sadly the tooth fairy doesn't pay out on half measures.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
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, 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, 11 November 2012 00:00

Of Bev to the rescue

11th November 2012

There was frost in the grass as we made an early start across to the M1and then east to Scunthorpe. Andrew, still trying to get his body-clock straight after a few night shifts, was dozing in the passenger seat as I passed a plain flat-bed lorry. I was casually wondering what it was carrying in the red stillage on the back - some sort of engine? - a pump? Hang on, that's our powershift! I roused Andrew, who rang the driver. Yes, it was him. I pressed on, anxious to get in, unlocked and be as ready as possible before he arrived. At Tata's Gate D I drove up the barrier and waited. The ANPR did not recognise me and the light stayed red. Three guards were on duty and one came over.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
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