142 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – From Chasewater News December 1991 – Part 1

142 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – From Chasewater News December 1991 – Part 1

Editorial – Nigel Canning

On September 3rd this year our hard work finally paid off when Major Olver inspected the railway and gave us permission to run on the extension past Willow Vale.  Next year when our newly delivered concrete platform has been built, we could even be running trains to a timetable.  A lot of hard work still remains to be done, but by the end of 1992 we could well be running to the causeway.  It is now entirely up to us, the more effort we put in, the further we will be able to run trains, so if YOU can help: PLEASE HELP EXTEND THE LINE IN 1992!!

Locomotive News – Including extensive news about Asbestos

Asbestos leaves Brownhills West propelling the Gloucester trailer.

No.4 Asbestos – Many members will have been wondering what has happened to Asbestos and why it has not yet been returned to traffic.  When the loco last worked (in 1989) it was suffering from a number of ailments, none of which were particularly bad, but all added to make the loco a rather cantankerous old lady.  When the boiler became due for inspection it was decided to rectify as many of the faults as possible.

One major worry was the state of the foundation ring rivets at the base of the firebox.  A few of these were found to be leaking and needed replacing.  Some of the quotes for the repair were alarming.  One company quoted £1,500, if we took the boiler to their factory on Leicester.  Fortunately we found a boilersmith who was prepared to travel to Chasewater and do the repairs ‘in situ’.  This saved a great deal of work lifting the boiler out of the frames.  The bottom three rows of tubes were also removed as these were older than the rest and in need of replacement.

With the repairs complete, the boiler was cleaned to allow the inspector to use his ultra-sonic tester to measure the thickness of the boiler plate.  One unpleasant surprise was the state of the inner firebox around the fusible plug.  The plate was corroded and was only 7mm. thick, very close to the minimum allowed.  Nevertheless the inspector pronounced the boiler OK with the proviso that we keep a close eye on the thickness of the plate around the fusible plug.

The next problem was replacing the two dozen boiler tubes.  Fortunately the tubes in Asbestos are the same diameter as a Hunslet ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0, and we happened to know of just such a loco which was undergoing a mayor re-build.  The tubes were only a couple of years old, and once cut down to length would be just the job.

Then, suddenly, the CLR finances took one of its periodical downturns and there was no money to spend, even on second-hand tubes.  The time was not entirely wasted, as the loco was blanked off ready for its hydraulic test, and the cab fittings were overhauled to make them steam-tight.  Even so, many weeks were lost.

The boiler tubes arrived at the end of June, and were then cut to length, cleaned, annealed and expanded into place.  The regulator will also receive attention and, hopefully, the loco will pass its hydraulic examination.

The long term future of the loco is somewhat doubtful.  The firebox will need further repairs, and although it may be possible to weld a circular boss in the firebox crown relatively cheaply, the loco is still likely to need a full set of tubes costing around £1,500.  Will the money be available to pay for the repairs?  We shall have to wait and see! – P.Aldridge

No.5 Sentinel – This loco has continued to work all of the passenger trains, and whilst running on the free coal found in the ex Lea Hall mineral wagons is very economical indeed.  With the opening of the new track extension, bunker capacity is again becoming critical and may have to be further improved,Ken Judkins poses for the camera with his 200hp Sentinel during a demonstration at Cargo Fleet Steelworks in Middlesborough in the 1950s.  The loco on the right is an earlier Sentinel rebuild of a conventional loco.

No.2 Lion – This loco is still awaiting a new set of washout plugs so that it can be hydraulically tested.

S100 – Work has started on moving the boiler from the site now required by the C & W Dept down to the loco shed yard.  Now that the hornguide grinding machine has been perfected, work will start on the actual grinding process.

DL7 – This loco has stood with one of its cylinder heads missing for a number of weeks.  Apart from a valve being stuck open, the valve seats are in an extremely bad condition, requiring re-machining and grinding in.

Fowler – This loco has again carried out all the shunting and works train duties without problem.

No.21 Diesel – Work has started on the restoration of this little loco with the cleaning and painting of the bodywork and frames.

 No.21 in the Heritage Centre at Chasewater,  2011

Smith Rodley Crane – The crane has remained out of use and requires adjustment of its clutches before it can be used on its next big job – the building of Willow Vale platform.

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