Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 12 August 2012 01:00

Of Mr Hudswell and Mr Clarke

12th August 2012

"I've just saved £200 on my car insurance and I feel -" astonished at how much difference a postcode makes. Yes, all I did was tell the insurers of Steph's Micra that we were leaving the delights of Briddon Towers to take up residence at Briddon Country Pile and they reduced the costs without prompting. Yet the move is still tantalisingly far away and I must get on with the ordinary things of life, including pushing on with Andrew's locos.

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 05 August 2012 01:00

Of blues and hivi

5th August 2012

It's half past ten of a long Sunday night as I start writing this, and there is lots to say. Going back to last weekend, you may recall that Andrew got called away, leaving me to my own devices. As he had the Monday booked off anyway, he merely reversed his plans and summoned me to Rowsley to "make up for" his missed Sunday. Again I manufactured hoses for "Libby" and "Tom" while he crimped more battery lugs on cables, but otherwise, there was little dramatic to report.

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 29 July 2012 01:00

Of a quiet interlude

29th July 2012

They say that moving house is one of the most traumatic things in your life. But it became apparent, as we got the keys on Tuesday with no prospect of having it fully functional until late August, that for us, moving is going to be a sedate and (I hope) relaxed affair as we pick ourselves piece by piece (or maybe van-full by van-full) from Briddon Towers and relocate it all in Briddon Country Pile. We'll be spending next weekend there (I hope again) as we must be at Rowsley both days for the "Warring 40s" event but this weekend has been the usual split.

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 22 July 2012 01:00

Of doors, floors and filters

22nd July 2012

It has been another interesting week. OK, not so much of railway interest in the short term - far too much of the week has been occupied with the forthcoming move from Briddon Towers to Briddon Country Pile - which at one point I was seriously thinking wasn't going to happen until some time in August. But by dint of applied pressure we got as far as exchanging contracts on Friday and hopefully completing this Tuesday. So is it then all systems go?

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 15 July 2012 01:00

Of a petulant Planet

15th July 2012

I hold Andrew entirely responsible. As we drove back from Scunthorpe last weekend, he remarked that we hadn't heard anything about "Pluto" and hoped that the Derwent Valley were making good use of it. And two days later, guess what happens: we get a e-mail from Vince at the DVLR to say that Pluto had been started ready for service on Sunday and promptly developed a major oil leak.

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 08 July 2012 01:00

Of dreams and awakenings

8th July 2012

On Saturday morning I was woken from my slumbers by the mobile - actually I often am but this was the ring tone rather than the alarm - being a call from my transmission gurus. The boss himself had stripped our powershift on Friday - the converter seals had failed probably because of the presence of rust and debris (and having been stood unused for over a decade probably hadn't helped) plus at least two bearings were knocking in the powershift and were probably close to failing. Taking labour, bearings, seals etc into account the total cost would be £3000. It is the sort of shock that brings you summarily into the land of the living and I told them as calmly as possible to proceed - after all, it has to be done, and ultimately it's Andrew's money(!).

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 01 July 2012 01:00

Of fighting on four fronts

1st July 2012

The last week of the month I suppose lived up to precedent. At the beginning, I had one of those "I'm sorry to have to tell you" calls. It appears that when we were told last week that the spare powershift transmission for D2128 had been tested OK, it had in fact been pulled off prematurely as a more urgent job had arrived. When it was put back on and tested properly not only did the converter seals leak but it made "unhappy" noises which may be a bearing down in the powershift. We knew it was much stiffer to turn the output flange so this was not really a surprise, but nevertheless unwelcome.

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 24 June 2012 01:00

Of wanderings and doings

24th June 2012

The narrow gauge theme started by the Amberley visit continued this week. On Wednesday night Steph and I met Andrew at Butterley for their annual n.g. open night. (We met for the simple reason that he was on his return journey from Eastleigh.) These open nights have a similar theme - two or three runs the length of the GVLR with resident 0-4-2T "Joan", then the area around Butterley is de-marked into sections and a loco is set on each and visitors are free to have a go.

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

Of Amberley and "Jack"

18th June 2012

After various discussions and tribulations, the decision was taken that the troublesome transmission in D2128 will have to come out, but rather than send it away and wait for it to return, or simply drop in the other transmission and hope that that one will perform OK, it would make much more sense to have it test run and checked over by our friendly experts. The second powershift had already been "dug out" from the back of Rowsley yard and this was transported away later in the week. It bears the former loco number from whence it came, so we know that this unit came from MoD loco 876.

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

Of Cummins and cancers

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”.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
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