174 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News Autumn 1994 – Part 3
Carriage & Wagon News
New Acquisitions – All four of the new DMU cars mentioned in the last magazine have now arrived at Chasewater and are in various stages of repair or modification. This now makes a total of five asbestos-free coaches available for service. The spares for these cars are to a large extent interchangeable, and a large stock has actually been collected together over the last twelve months and stored at Chasewater.W51372
Pressed Steel Co. DMBS W51372 – Since its arrival just before Whitsun, this unit has remained coupled to W59444 to form the steam-hauled train. A bar, removed from the Wickham, has been installed in the Guard’s compartment, and a ramp is now available to allow access for disabled passengers through the double doors. Repainting in carmine and cream livery to match W59444 is almost complete, giving us a very smart two coach train. The history of this car is quite interesting. It was built in 1960 without asbestos in its construction for Paddington suburban services and was later transferred to Tyseley for use on the Cross-City line. In 1993 it was again transferred to TML and was the first DMU used to convey contractors through the Channel Tunnel during construction and has been through to France.W59603
Derby Works centre car M59603 – This car has remained out of use since its arrival at Chasewater. It is intended to repaint it in carmine and cream livery to match our other loco hauled stock. This centre car was built in 1959 and used on the St. Pancras to Bedford service. Later it was transferred to Tyseley to strengthen their 3-car 116 and 117 sets from 3-car up to 4-car.
Derby Works centre car W59444 – This car has remained in service, running since Whitsun coupled to W51372 on steam-hauled trains. The repaint into carmine and cream livery has recently received the finishing touches of lining and numbers.W51370
Pressed Steel Co. DMBS W51370 & DMS W51412 – This class 117 DMU has been purchased by Steve Organ for use at Chasewater. Built in 1960 without asbestos in their construction, these two cars worked out of Paddington until they were transferred to work over the Cornish branch lines. They eventually ended their working lives at Tyseley. Both cars were in excellent condition on their arrival at Chasewater due to work carried out on them by our members whilst still at Tyseley. They have already been put to use this summer on a number of mid-week school specials, and it is also intended to run the on non-steam Sundays and Saturdays. Eventually the cars will be repainted in early BR green livery.
Wickhams E56171 & E50416 – Since their sale, these two cars have remained at Chasewater awaiting their removal to Llangollen. In August contractors, paid for by the new owners, stripped both of these cars of their asbestos. The interior of these vehicles was completely gutted right through to the steel framework and aluminium skin, which appeared to be in excellent condition. Finally, on Monday 12th September the first car was removed by low-loader to its new home, followed the next day by the other half of the two-car set. This has now relieved our immediate problem of lack of siding space for our own rolling stock, but more importantly, means the end of the liability of having asbestos insulated stock on our site.
Tank Wagon – Steve Organ has also purchased a tank wagon from Redditch Railway Society. This vehicle, which is relatively modern, was built in 1963 by Chas, Roberts. It is 15ft. wheelbase, with roller bearings and is vacuum brake fitted. It was originally donated by Shell Oil UK and renovated by Wagon Repairs Ltd in 1981. Whilst still in service the wagon had received a general repair in 1979.
4-Plank coal wagon – Tony Wheeler has now finished the re-paint of this wagon into the livery of the ‘Conduit Colliery’. The only outstanding work is the renewal of one of the springs which looks to be highly dubious.The 4-plank wagon in the livery of one of our local pits, ‘Conduit Colliery’
Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln 6-wheel coach – Work has begun on sanding down and painting the body panels of this coach.
Other Vintage Stock – Very little work appears to have been carried out on any other vehicles this summer.
Works Train – The 20-ton Great Western Toad and the Southern brake van have run together for most of the summer to form the basis of the works train. The 21-ton steel mineral wagon which had been full of scrap has been emptied and the door hinges un-seized. Since then it has been used to carry ash ballast to the causeway for track laying. The flat (ex hopper) wagon has also assisted in this. Obviously as the railway gets longer we are becoming more reliant on a works train to carry materials and provide shelter. The middle of nowhere beyond Norton Lakeside is no place to be in the middle of winter with only a platelayer’s trolley.
Shed Fund – This fund is increasing steadily. Meanwhile a rough track-bed has been cleared to give access to the proposed site on the side of the existing loco shed yard so that track can be laid for temporary storage of stock.
The Society, formed 1981, whose original aims were to operate trains over the Redditch to Barnt Green Branch have given up its base and equipment at Dixon’s Sidings site, Enfield Industrial Estate, Redditch, together with plans of running trains.
It was decided by the Society that since the refurbishment and electrification of the branch, the Society’s original aims could never be brought to fruition. On the land leased since 1983 by the Society from Redditch Council are remains of the old Redditch loco shed, which comprises of the shed wall footings and part of the inspection pit. Apart from the track and various railway relics, the Society owned an 0-4-0DM Fowler No.410013/1948, plant N0.1301 donated to them from Garringtons of Bromsgrove. The Society is to carry on as a film and social society.
Some 300ft. of trackwork and the diesel loco have been donated to us at Chasewater by the Society. Lifting and dismantling of the track took place over several weekends by members of both societies. Removal was only possible by mobile crane from access gained with consent of the cement works next door to the sidings. Track was loaded onto lorries on Saturday 23rd April, and moved to Chasewater the same day. The track is to be used on the causeway extension.
The Fowler, under the custodianship of Andy Mould and Chris Hatton, is to be returned to working order in Garrington’s livery in the near future, with work on its engine taking priority as it has been out of use for the last two years.
Redditch Railway Society’s tanker wagon has been purchased by Steve Organ, and was recently removed to Chasewater.
It is hoped that some members of the Redditch Railway Society will follow the loco and track to Chasewater, where a warm welcome will be given.