Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 01 September 2013 01:00

Of suspension and regulation

1st September 2013

OK, hands up all of you who logged on last Sunday night or Monday expecting to find the latest post? Didn't I say assume Monday on a Bank Holiday weekend?

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Monday, 26 August 2013 01:00

Of springs and things

26th August 2013

There were a couple of things I neglected to mention in last week's blog. The first is that I am now on the Minor Railways Extended Trunk Dialling system and can be reached on 056 2026 – Andrew will be on shortly, but first I must drill a hole through the wall to get a further phone wire through!

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 11 August 2013 01:00

Of fuels and greases

11th August 2013

I haven't mentioned much about the sale of Briddon Towers of late. Suffice it to say that after going on the market on July 1st, we had our first offer within 3 days (before the “For Sale” sign actually went up), and by agreement with the Estate Agents, opted for written bids to be in a week or so later. In fact 8 such bids were received, all of them in excess of the original asking price, and after a bit of a hiccough the sale is going through. I am using a Licenced Conveyancer located in South Wales: I only say all of this to observe that a Freepost envelope, posted on Wednesday 24th July, finally arrived with the Conveyancers on Monday 5th August.

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 28 July 2013 01:00

Of Tom and the Drewry

28th July 2013

If you thought last week's blog was a little terse, then let me explain. Late in the week my computer had gone kaput. It had been struggling for a while, acting strangely, the usual error messages popping up with increasing regularity and certain pieces of software inexplicably taking up 99% of processor time, that sort of thing, but suddenly it went black. So I dug my father's old one out of storage, and was writing last week's instalment with the casing open and my two hard drives cabled up but sat on a shoe box alongside. Of course, Windows suddenly decided that as the hardware had changed radically,

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 14 July 2013 01:00

Of a locomotive exchange

14th July 2013

Of course, when I said that next Friday's plans were set in stone, what I should have said was that they were set in er - Blu-tak - and might be slightly ply-able.

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 07 July 2013 01:00

Of friends and enemies, wheels and jacks

7th July 2013

Years ago, when I was working at Thomas Hills, a new competitor appeared on the scene - Wilmott Brothers, a plant dealer/hirer based near Nottingham. Now, to my mind, if you are in business and representing your employer to customers, there is only one way you can regard a competitor. He is the Brand X your powder will out-wash; he is scum, nothing he does is right and he has no right to exist. It is your job, every day (but without openly slagging him off, the etiquette of business does not allow it, that is why he is referred to as Brand X) to get out there and ensure that the customers know that you are the better supplier than he can ever be.

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 16 June 2013 01:00

Of another trip to Sainsbury's

16th June 2013

Andrew had Monday off again, and after popping in to the Peak Rail office at Matlock, where I provisionally agreed that 14 901 would do a trial passenger run on Wednesday afternoon, we headed in to Rowsley to investigate where this fuel leak was coming from. Between the vee of the two banks, where the fuel pump sits, it was awash in diesel and we deduced that one of the fuel hoses, which I made c.2008, was leaking. But in any event the header tank, which is mounted on a tube above the engine, needs to come off for a crack in the mount to be re-secured. So far, so good.

Published in 2013 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 02 June 2013 01:00

Of fans

2nd June 2013

Well of course last Monday was a Bank Holiday and so we went back to Rowsley, this time armed with another drum of 15w/40 for the fan system on 14 901. It only took a little more to bring the oil levels into the inspection windows on the side of the reservoir and, with some trepidation, and after Andrew had bled the pump through (the last shutdown, in April, had been by shutting the cock on the delivery pipe) we fired 14 901 up again. After a few seconds of prevarication it condescended to fire, but hunted somewhat until Andrew had a further go at bleeding the pump (which, being a hydraulically governed one, can be a swine if any air gets trapped in it).

Published in 2013 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 19 May 2013 01:00

Of the return of an old friend

19th May 2013

We have been in regular touch with the firm in Sheffield who are custodians of the 3 fan motors this week. With all due irony, the motor from D9500 is undoubtedly the best of the 3, and other than adding a "Speedisleeve" and replacing various seals and rings, having drilled out the corroded fixing bolts, the motor was in comparatively good order. But it has not been completed this week and so no progress can be reported on '901, more's the pity.

Published in 2013 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 12 May 2013 01:00

Of brackets and buffers

12th May 2013

So, when I left off last week it was with Bank Holiday Monday in prospect, and we headed back to Rowsley for a "light" day. While Andrew pottered about clearing James' cab, I decided I had better press on with the additional wires needed to run the fan motor on 14 901. But before I got too far in, I was called over to assist Andrew in recovering the fan motor from D9500, which was to head to the repairers as another possible candidate for fixing. Mind you, with D9500 having last run c. 1988 we were less than optimistic about its condition, especially as the fan's top cover was missing and so the retaining bolt on the top was corroded.

Published in 2013 Apr-Jun
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