165 – ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces
From the Editorial
The latest news is that ‘Asbestos’ is to spend the first weekend in March running on the internal railway system at Bromford Tube Works in Birmingham. The ‘Open Day’ comes just before the closure of the works and will involve running demonstration trains with the 20 ton GW Toad.
If you would like to put forward your views on a name for the new causeway station please complete and return the form later in the magazine.
No.4 Asbestos – This loco ran passenger trains to the top of the causeway bank for the first time in October, and again in December for the Santa Specials. On both occasions the saddle tank was replenished at around mid-afternoon by a preserved fire engine, courtesy of Trevor Sharples of the Fire Service Preservation Society. This alleviated the need for us to fill the station water tower in potentially frosty weather, as the longer run to the causeway means that it is no longer feasible to rely on the station hose-pipe between runs. Following recent problems with firebars warping, a pattern has been made and a couple of samples cast from it. These were fitted for the Christmas running, and as they seem to have stood up to the last of our Columbian coal quite well, a further batch of replacements will be cast and fitted ready for Easter. The loco has now been partially stripped ready for a wash-out, cleaning and an intermediate boiler inspection. Work has also commenced on a number of minor repairs to cure amongst other things, a very tight regulator, a leaking steam manifold joint in the cab, and leaking injector water valves. If all goes well the loco should be ready to run again at Easter.
No.5 Sentinel – Some progress is now being made with the repair of this loco. A complete set of 96 new ¾” whitworth studs have been specially made to order in a special heat-resistant steel and fitted to the boiler. The two halves of the boiler shell are now being re-assembled ready for hydraulic testing, hopefully in February. The superheater coil will also be tested at the same time. Other work being carried out is the refurbishment of all steam fittings and the boiler water feed pump. All the fireman’s controls are being moved to the left-hand side of the cab to make life easier, as the loco was originally designed for one-man operation with all controls on the driver’s side.
New Peckett – Following the departure of ‘Lion’, another Peckett has arrived to take its place. The loco, purchased recently by Mike Wood, appears to have been supplied in kit form, complete with smokebox tubeplate, rods, fittings and various machined and un-machined castings as loose items. The loco is believed to be No.1903 ‘Little Lady’. No doubt we will be able to persuade Mike to write an article giving full details in due course.
Fowler diesel – This loco has remained in service without any mechanical problems, being used mainly for the regular Sunday works trains.
Ruston DL7 – Whilst nominally operational, this loco has remained out of use in favour of the Fowler.
L&Y No.1 petrol loco – Dorman Diesels of Stafford have very kindly had specially made for us a new set of camshaft drive gears to fit the petrol engine which is currently dismantled in the shed awaiting re-assembly. Work on the loco itself has continued with the refurbishment of its springs and axle boxes.
Great Eastern six-wheel passenger brake – Work has continued on this coach during the winter, mainly on the interior for obvious reasons. There can now be little doubt that this will be the first of our vintage coaches to be fully restored, it is well on the way already.
CRC 4-plank wagon – Rebuilding of the new wooden planking of the body is now well advanced, and various items of steelwork are being prepared ready for fitting.
GW Fruit ‘D’ – Following a great deal of hard work to sand down and prepare the wooden body, this van has been painted in chocolate and even has the GWR emblems hand-painted on making it a very smart looking vehicle indeed. The only obvious outstanding work needed now is the re-covering of the roof to make it water-tight. Assuming that the vacuum works satisfactorily when new bags are fitted, it would be nice to see it added to the occasional passenger train just for show.
20 ton GW Toad – This vehicle has remained in regular use on Saturday and Sunday works trains throughout the winter. It is rumoured that it may go to Bromford Tube Works with ‘Asbestos’ in early March as part of a CLR arranged ‘closing down spectacular’ on that Company’s railway system.
Wickham DMU E56171 & E50416 – These two vehicles are now definitely destined for Llangollen at a time yet to be agreed, and dependant on our obtaining suitable asbestos-free replacements. Meanwhile, the trailer ran again on the Santa Specials in December but is looking exceedingly tatty, especially when coupled to the centre car. The power car has remained out of use.
Derby centre car W59444 – This coach is the only one of our four original DMUs destined to stay at Chasewater, and is therefore likely to be in constant use for the foreseeable future. It ran in December when, after quite a bit of preparation, even the heaters worked.
Replacement DMU stock – There is still nothing definite to report, although ‘The Management’ are still working on the acquisition of replacements, and are submitting tenders for suitable vehicles as and when opportunities arise.