115 – ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News January 1988
This Newsletter is issued with the annual membership renewal form. If you do not renew your membership you will not receive the next magazine, due out in time for Easter.
The Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd. AGM was held in the expected ten minutes. The accounts for both the Company and the Society are being brought up to date and a Society AGM will be held shortly.
The Chasewater Light Railway & Museum Co. Annual Report is currently being compiled for distribution in early February, with the CLR & M Co. AGM being held at Brownhills West Station on Saturday 5th March at 2.30 pm.
Some progress has been made on the office/shop development though more work is still needed.
On the motorway front, the Public Enquiry is expected to begin in mid-April and will take about eight weeks to hear 1,500 objections to the scheme, 75% of which centre on the proposed development in the Chasewater area!
Anyone interested in joining the Board should contact the Company Secretary.
The renewal form for those whose membership is due on 28th February is enclosed with this Newsletter. Please complete it NOW, not in two months time. We need the membership money now to complete our Winter work programme. Failure to renew will deprive you of the Easter edition of Chasewater News and the opportunity of helping on operating days. All train crews, station staff and other helpers must be members for insurance purposes.
News from the Line
Trackwork – Work on the point connecting 2 & 3 roads is almost complete with 3 road re-connected to the rest of the railway whilst 2 road is at present being relaid. It is hoped to construct the southern end of the run round at Brownhills West during the year – weather, manpower and materials permitting.
Engineering – Work is in hand to finish the equipment demanded by the Railway Inspector’s last report, namely Annetts Key locks on point lever frames, facing point locks and level crossing gates as well as several minor items.
It is hoped to restore and refurbish the Wickham trailer car so that it can be used to form a two coach train set for steam hauled services this season. Extra help for this work would be most appreciated as would finance for the internal refurbishment and re-glazing required. Use of the Wickham trailer with its ‘bar’ facilities will enable on train catering to be attempted and help increase our profit margins on operating days.
Extension of Services
The Railway inspectorate have given us provisional approval to extend services to the bottom of the causeway bank, now that this land is owned by Walsall Council, who are prepared to lease it to us, (i.e. the end of the former BR owned section of line) providing a license is obtained from British Rail. (This license will enable us to extend services whilst a Light railway Order for the whole of the Railway is obtained). The Railway Inspectorate is prepared to let us propel trains over this length of line initially, providing an extra coach is used to increase braking power, hence the urgency in getting the Wickham trailer ready for services. However, run round facilities will have to be installed as a matter of some urgency. Extension of services can only take place when the aforementioned license is granted (work on obtaining this is under way) and when the relevant track is brought up to standard as well as the necessary fencing and ancillary fittings. Hopefully extended services can begin during the 1988 season provided the necessary work is done.
Extension of the running line will give us a chance of running services from somewhere to somewhere (Brownhills West to Norton East/Willow Vale Halt?) for the first time, as well as giving a decent length of line for our engines to show their paces. It is hoped to build a platform at the ‘end of the line’, enabling passengers to walk up to the lakeside and view the increasing variety of wildfowl which reside upon the lake as well as enjoying the chance of using the north side of the lake which is grossly under-used and inaccessible at present.
Since 1971 (when diesel hauled services using Nos. 20 & 21 started) the CLR has patiently awaited the day when services could be extended – at last the opportunity is within our grasp – with your help it will happen this year!
Looking to the future, Walsall Council are planning to undertake a full survey of the causeway with regard to rebuilding it to a suitable width for railway and footpath and are concerned about the ‘massive erosion’ caused by wave action due to British Waterways Board keeping the lake level too high.
Mutual Improvement Classes
A series of classes are to be held during late February and March and all members wishing to take part in train operations in the coming season are urged to attend as only participants will be considered for future footplate and station duties.
The course will consist of the following subjects:
- First Aid
- General Safety
- Footplate Management
- Railway Operations at Chasewater
Although there is of necessity a certain amount of technical content, much of the course is based on common sense and is of a basic nature.
During the season further practical instruction will be given to any members new to the operating side of things.