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?
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.
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(!).
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.
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.
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.
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”.
19th December 2010
With Andrew on a long weekend break at Butlins with his girl friend, you might be excused for assuming that I would be partaking of all the usual pre-Christmas jollities, like shouldering my fellow man out of the way at my local shopping centre, but you would be wrong. It was pretty much business as usual.
12th December 2010
"George" hiding behind the snowdrifts.
The snow had cleared enough that the move of “George” was back on, and we had notified the Elsecar secretary accordingly. So when I rolled up on Monday morning to find no EHR personnel on site and the loading area still obstructed by snow, I was a little concerned.
28th November 2010
On Monday I was back up to Elsecar, to oversee the departure of Drewry 0-4-0DM 72229. Heanor Haulage arrived pretty well to time, with a folding neck trailer rather than the normal low loading type. This has the advantage that the rails are built into the folding part, and having unfolded, forms an instant ramp.