134 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News April 1991 Part 2
After several months of anticipation, former BR Class 116 DMU centre car No.59444 finally made it to Chasewater on 22nd January 1991. This coach, purchased by Mr. Les Emery, started its journey on the previous Sunday when it was shunted from the BR maintenance depot to the Birmingham Railway Museum. On Monday 21st it was loaded on to the low-loader and set out for Brownhills West. Unfortunately, a mix up with the police escort for this abnormal load led to it being left overnight at the transport café known as the ‘Greasy Spoon’, just off the M6 at Gailey.
The following morning, however, the journey continued and by 11.30 the huge lorry was in position for unloading. All that we had to do was to propel the flat wagon up to the unloading ramp, couple up, and pull the coach down the ramp.
At this point, the lorry with Mr. Newbold’s new saddle tank arrived causing a few minute’s delay as the tank had to be unloaded onto the flat wagon we were about to use.
After about twenty minutes, the flat wagon, complete with its £6,000 worth of saddle tank was cautiously propelled up to the coach. Remembering the entertaining few hours we had recently spent unloading the two recently acquired brake vans, all those present were rather anxious, as I am sure readers will understand. We need not have worried, as the coach came down the ramp and onto our tracks without any problem. By the time we has shunted the coach into ‘Elseley’s Siding’ and coupled it to a brake van, the haulage company were already off down to London to take a coach from Stuart’s Lane to the steam railway at Swanage.
Once safely coupled to the brake van, (remember that there are no handbrakes on a 116 centre car), we indulged in a brief trip down the line to Willow Vale and took the opportunity to take a few photographs. With a 20 ton ‘Toad’ one end and the Fowler diesel on the other, the latest CLR acquisition was certainly a heart warming sight.
It is anticipated that this coach, which requires almost no interior work, will enter service early this year, but will be repainted in a suitable colour scheme in the summer. The coach will carry theCLR number 104, and its old BR number of 59444 to keep the gricing fraternity happy.
Although many steam railways have whole rakes of coaches delivered at a time, we can feel suitably pleased with our coach, the first of its type in preservation. Many thanks and congratulations are due to its proud owner, Mr. Emery.