173 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News Autumn 1994 – Part 2

173 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News Autumn 1994 – Part 2

Locomotive News

No.4 Asbestos – This engine has run exceptionally well considering the dubious start to the season.  Since then a total of twenty-two boiler tubes have been renewed and seem to have cured the problem of leakage at the firebox end.  Another 124 new tubes have now been acquired and are stacked in the shed ready to complete the re-tubing at the end of the running season.  Slight weepage of a few stays and part of the foundation ring will also have to be corrected.

The latest batch of Russian coal, although somewhat smoky, is giving excellent results without the problem of clinkering inherent in the last lot.  This is just as well, as with trains running every Sunday in this summer’s hot weather the last thing anyone wants to do is rake the fire through after every other trip.

Asbestos with a three-coach test train stands on the causeway ready to return to Brownhills West

No.5 Sentinel – Progress on this loco remains slow, although the boiler is now ready for its hydraulic test.  All of the boiler fittings have been refurbished and will be hydrauliced along with the boiler.  The injector has been moved to the fireman’s side of the cab and that and the Weir pump are being re-piped in such a way  that they can be drained easily in winter to prevent frost damage.

S100 – Work has continued with the manufacture of new mountings for the brake hangers to replace the original items which were somewhat bodged and worn out.

Fowler diesel hydraulic No.422015 – Replacement injectors have been acquired and fitted to the engine of this loco with the result that its performance has been transformed.  A few other minor problems have occurred, but it has remained in regular use for shunting and works trains.

Ruston diesel electric DL7 – One of the starting air valves of this loco has had to be renewed due to a damaged seat in the original.  A fuel leak from one of the injector pipes has also been rectified.  The loco is serviceable but has remained out of use mainly due to passenger trains being steam hauled throughout July and August.

Fowler diesel mechanical No.410013 – Following arrival from Redditch this loco has had its engine de-seized, the injectors have received attention and the engine has been run.  Faults have been found with the injection pump and governor and these have now been removed for attention.  Following completion of the air system overhaul the loco should be able to enter traffic.The new Fowler stands in the platform shortly after its arrival from Redditch

L&Y No1 (Motorail No.1947) – All of the axleboxes and springs have now been stripped and rebuilt and a new bearing is being made to replace one which was stolen recently.  Once the sandboxes and inside of the body castings have been stripped and primed the loco will be ready for craning from its present position in front of the museum coach so that final erection can begin.

No.21 diesel – This loco is making steady progress, the engine is now complete but still awaiting cylinder head gaskets.  It is hoped that it may be running for the Diesel Gala which is a new event to be held for the first time in September.

Lion – Following its removal to Foxfield last Autumn this loco entered service at Easter, running initially double-headed with ‘Harwarden’ The vacuum brake hoses were apparently awkward to couple as ours at Chasewater are the opposite side to ‘normal’ to suit our DMU stock.

Smith Rodley crane – This again remained out of use awaiting a potential purchaser.  So far a couple of enquiries have been received but no offers have been forthcoming.

From the Board Room

The Board has been actively involved in a number of new initiatives, while various on-going matters have been subjected to scrutiny and, where necessary, review.  The following will be of general interest to the membership.

1.    Personal circumstances have brought about the resignation from the Board of Les Emery.  However, Les has indicated a willingness to continue with his other roles on the railway.

2.    The Board has agreed to the co-option of Company Secretary Andy Clegg to the Board.

3.    The trading name of the company has been changed to the “Chasewater Railway”.  Previous official and unofficial trading (‘Chasewater Steam Railway’, ‘Chasewater Light Railway’, etc.) are no longer considered suitable and are felt to give a misleading impression of the nature of our current and future operations.

4.    In an attempt to encourage family travel during this period of continual financial restraint, the price of the Family Rover has been reduced, until further notice, from £5.80 to £4.95.

5.    During the course of the nest few months, the Board is to produce a new business plan for the purpose of clearly defining objectives and priorities, and how they might be best achieved within the resources (including financial and manpower) expected to become available.  Associated with this proposal is the revival of the concept of departmental heads, holding pre-determined budgets, to give focus to the completion of the many and varied tasks necessary for the railway to both exist and develop.

6.    The Board has responded to a plea from Rallies Organiser Dave Whittle by delegating various aspects and responsibilities to specified individuals.  Thanks largely to the efforts of Dave, the Chasewater Rallies are rapidly gaining in reputation, with Paul Richards taking up much of the strain as Administrative Officer.

7.    On other fronts:

·        Negotiations are proceeding with HM Railway Inspectorate in relation to the extension into, and construction of, Norton Lakeside Station.

·        The railway was represented at a meeting of Chasewater user groups hosted by Lichfield DC, and arranged on a largely social basis for the various groups to meet the Members and relevant Officers of the District Council.

·        Lichfield District Council has generously offered grant aid to the railway in the sum of £1,000 by way of a contribution towards forthcoming expenditure.  This generous act by the District Council signals a solid measure of support for the railway by its new ‘landlord’.

·        Accommodation at Brownhills West has become a problem in consequence of stock acquisition, (4 DMU coaches plus one tanker wagon).  However, this should be relieved by the imminent removal of one (at least) of the Wickhams, and the Board is still anxious to dispose of the crane (preferably to a good hole on another railway) as a matter of priority.

·        The transfer of records from Adrian Hall should enable Paul Richards to take up his responsibilities as Membership Officer with early effect.

·        The Board has agreed strategy towards bidding for the trackwork at Bromford Sidings, and has noted that the remaining trackwork at Four Ashes is due to transfer to Chasewater in August.

David Bathurst – Chairman.

Asbestos at Bromford

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