Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 17 March 2013 00:00

Of respect for other people's property

17th March 2013

Having escaped the previous Saturday, I had been roped in to hiring a 3.5ton dropside for a Monday tour of Humberside. Since no local firm had one available, I returned to my old friends in Sheffield and sure enough, the same Y-reg Transit that I have had twice before, with all its old idiosyncrasies (like a speedo that flicks around 10-15mph while you are standing still) and added a new one or two (like the screenwash no longer worked). The purpose of the trip was to continue unloading the Palvan at Scunthorpe, including 3 radiators and the transmission that had failed to work in D2128.

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 07 October 2012 01:00

Of revisiting an old byway

7th October 2012

Back when I was about 20, I was invited to an Open Day at a private railway not far from Southampton, then under the general auspices of the Hampshire Narrow Gauge Railway Society. They had started building a small circuit on land belonging to their Chairman, Barry Curl, in 1967 and I was there the day the finished ballasting the far side of the line and were able to do the full circuit for the first time, with ex Dinorwic 0-4-0ST "Cloister" as well as a selection of Simplexes and one of two O&K RL3 0-4-0DMs.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 09 September 2012 01:00

Of trucks, TNT and Tom

9th September 2012

As I was saying, on Monday I had a Transit drop-side booked. It was a venerable old machine - "Y" reg in fact, geared down so far that it was best not trying for more than 60-65 on the motorway. I am not a fan of Fords - I ran two Courier vans of theirs in the early 90s - but this one quickly earned a soft spot, especially when after coming to rest at a traffic lights, the speedo would start flicking up to 10 or 15mph...

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
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of valves and coolers

20th May 2012

With the AFRPS gala behind us, for better or worse, we had said we would take a break from Scunthorpe as, with the collection spread over so many sites, spending so much time at one is liable to cause issues at another. Nevertheless, determined to get to the bottom of what was wrong, he persuaded me to head over on Tuesday night for a further bit of investigation.

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
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of welding skills and broken drills

25th September 2011

You must excuse me, I’m a little pooped. An awful lot of miles this week down to the south coast and back, combined with loading personal possessions for the trip to what we all prefer to call “recycling” nowadays. Just what did my Father want with 4 electric shavers of the Phillishave type?

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of plans and progress

13th November 2011

There are two ways to run an engineering project and it applies to even something as relatively simple as re-powering a loco. In approach one, you carry out a task, complete it, then wonder what happens next. In version two, you endeavour to keep all the aspects of the job on the go at the same time, so that you’re planning what to do several periods hence, drawing up bits you need, getting them made or ordered, so that as this job is complete, other than maybe a quick check against the drawings that all is correct*, the next task is at hand and ready to go.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of stripping without the tease

27th November 2011

We should, I suppose, stop being optimistic and try to avoid planning anything significant for the last weekend of the month – and even include Friday. We had a provisional promise – well, OK, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but he did say “he’d try to…” – that on Wednesday the flat wagon at Scunthorpe, upon which the 03’s casing bits have resided for the last couple of years, would be shunted out from the very far end of the AFRPS’s longest siding and put round the front ready for us to collect and take them back to Sheffield for shotblast.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of pipes and wires

5th June 2011

We should have been into a thoroughly productive weekend, but somehow, things went a little awry. Up to Friday early afternoon, we were hoping to be at Scunthorpe on Saturday but again, the vital element in the plan was declared not available this weekend, and shortly afterwards Andrew succumbed to a heart-felt plea from his girl-friend to make an additional trek down to see her on Saturday. Before he left, he stripped out the DVLR’s free-issue exhauster for “Pluto” to check rotation and exactly how, if needed, it can be reversed since space within the casings is severely restricted and turning it physically round may not be feasible.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
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