Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of pumps and manpower

13th May 2012

Back in the 80s, when I was working at Thomas Hills, we had an ultimately unsuccessful deal with the Illinois-based Varlen Locomotive Corporation which brought me into contact with real live Americans. "Kojak" - with Telly Savalas playing the lollipop-sucking detective - was on our TVs at the time and several of our visitors fitted the mould. More than once they would take off their jackets and over their waistcoats I expected to find a leather shoulder-hoster. I learned a few new phrases - "Can we sue?" was one that stuck in my mind perhaps because it came from one of the (I thought) more level-headed of our Transatlantic colleagues.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of propshafts and UNFs

22nd April 2012

On Tuesday at 8.00 sharp I set off for South Wales and after the first 50 minutes I was 30 minutes down the M1. Nonetheless after a detour for a cup of tea and a chat with Bryan Lawson at Alan Keef’s, I was down almost to the South Wales coast by 1.15 pm and collecting a smart new prop shaft that one man can (just!) lift but two find much easier and would just fit in the van, which I had mostly emptied to make room.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of pressures in oil, air and time

8th April 2012

There has been a something of a wall between Andrew and me this weekend. Mostly it was six foot of brick surmounted by asbestos sheeting. But let me explain – a lot of deliveries have been arriving at Briddon Towers. All the usual suspects, from the TNT man in his shorts through to the “Big Green parcel machine” (Tuffnells) have pulled up and disgorged their consignments, from drive belts to the disc brake calliper. I myself came home from the electrical stockists with a 3 metre length of cable tray which just fitted in the van – scraping the windscreen at one end with the other nudging the back doors.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of ponds and profiles

19th February 2012

Back to normal, well for one week only. I had earmarked Friday for a run up to the profilers for a bumper collection, taking a small copy of my CAD drawing so as to spot, and tick off, each of the various shapes as we found them. Mostly they were bits for D2128, but there were also parts for the Drewry and a job of mine for a loco down south, but anyway.

Published in 2012 Jan-Mar
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of Pluto and D2128

29th April 2012

As the time ticks away towards the AFRPS Gala, the progress on D2128 has been steady and pressured: Andrew and I are both agreed that we will be much relieved when it is all over - whether D2128 gets to run in it or not!

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of oil and pumps

7th May 2012

With the last weekend before the AFRPS gala, attention once again has concentrated on D2128 - or 03 901 as it has started semi-seriously to be called - with the intention of getting it running. Indeed, a large part of Friday was taken up with touring various suppliers collecting bits and as a result, we set off for Scunthorpe on Saturday morning with a van well-loaded, including 80 litres of hydraulic oil for the transmission, 40 of engine oil for the Cummins, anti-freeze, over 20metres of hose in assorted bores and ends (my little swager is good for up to 1/2", anything bigger I get ready-made by my local supplier), various fittings, 5" bore exhaust pipe in solid and flexible, together with clamps and a bend, and so on.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of fans

1st April 2012

Dead on schedule on Monday morning the “big green parcel machine” that is Tuffnells rolled up outside Briddon Towers and their man staggered up our drive with a large, flat-ish and relatively light parcel – D2128’s cooler group fan had arrived from Breeza. After Andrew declared that he would be taking Friday off from work to crack on with things at Scunthorpe, I thought I had better plan the same. After all, unless I had an exceedingly good reason, disappearing off in the van and leaving him with few tools and only his “I don’t want anything dirty in the back of this” Golf to get him there would have been foolhardy.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of casing tops and cast-iron pots

5th February 2012

Some of you may think they smell a rat when, a week after having had a day away from the collection (for new readers, see here) I am back reporting on three days in succession. Is Andrew demanding recompense? Actually, it was already planned this way, but it nearly didn’t happen. My friendly fabricators had promised to get the casing parts for the 03 finished by the end of January, and as Andrew has a busy work programme ahead of him, he could see his way clear to taking Friday off (after a week involving visits to Norwich, Southampton and Selhurst, and explains why I must disappoint those expecting the link to “Beverley” in operation – he simply hasn’t had time to do it) but not much else.

Published in 2012 Jan-Mar
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of "oh-a-3" in motion

3rd June 2012

Andrew has had a rough time of it this week. His eye was getting worse over last weekend so he went to see his GP on Monday and got prescribed anti-biotic pills bigger than pound coins and an instruction to go to the hospital eye clinic if it got no better. 24 hours later he was at the clinic, which immediately stopped the anti-biotics in preference to heavy-duty eye drops. The eye is no longer painful and hopefully will soon be better. In contrast, me and Steph put an offer in for a house on Monday,. which was immediately accepted, so we should be moving at some point later in the summer.

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

Of water in all the wrong places

12th June 2011

It has been a fraught week at Briddon Towers. It began on Tuesday – well I know weeks generally begin on Monday but this one really launched itself a day late – with a scream from Steph that we had a leak. Actually we had suddenly developed two – one in the bathroom but a more serious one in the dining room, where water was gushing out from a radiator.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
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