Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 17 February 2013 00:00

Of welding and shunting

17th February 2013

The week seems to have been taken up with a lot of my time dedicated to Andrew. (Actually someone might say, "how unusual"). What with ordering a larger drive pulley to speed up the charge pumps on D2128 (we will be going from 1:1 to around 1:1,56, which means we should be delivering 5 US gallons at idle and when we get bold enough to run the engine at full chat, the pump will be just under its maximum of 3000rpm) we have also managed to get to the MoD at Bicester to view more rolling stock that Ramco are auctioning, and a meeting with Peak Rail's MD.

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, 06 January 2013 00:00

Of milestones

6th January 2013

There are some events that seem to denote significant stages in your life. Some you have an element of control over - marriage, moving house, jobs - others occur at times outside your control, and serve to remind you of time passing, like the deaths of your parents. Andrew this week contrived to compel a pleasant, but nonetheless involuntary change in our status, when he awarded us the role of grandparents. Needless to say this was not a solo enterprise, nor was it entirely unexpected (though 10 days early) when his partner (whom I see I have not named hitherto and trust no-one will try to interpret this as in any way Freudian) gave birth to their little boy Jake.

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, 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, 09 December 2012 00:00

Of excess and dearth of smoke

9th December 2012

It has been a peculiar sort of a week. Back at the beginning, Andrew received news that the IMechE had awarded him his Incorporated Engineer status - that's roughly half way between his degree and becoming a full blown Chartered Engineer. He can now put IEng behind his name. I've had a man in to widen all the doors at the Briddon Country Pile.

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, 25 November 2012 00:00

Of not a lot

25th November 2012

This will be a short blog tonight, reflecting the fact that other events have intervened.

On the one hand, Andrew has a considerable amount of annual leave still outstanding, so, in his plans, we will be able to speed up work on the locos between now and Christmas. As part of this, he had last Tuesday free and we ended up at Rowsley after lunch with grand ideas of getting on "Tom" and sorting out its pneumatics with fresh pipework.

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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