178 – ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News Spring 1995 – Part 1
From the Editorial – Chris Chivers
This is the first issue of the Chasewater News for over five years without Nigel Canning at the helm. Nigel has decided to retire from the post of Newsletter Editor, a task which has at times been a thankless one but a job which has been vital to the railway and its members. From myself and the other members of the Board I would like to give Nigel our heartfelt thanks for the effort, patience and perseverance in trying to produce a newsletter that has increased in space and scope during his editorship. Many, many thanks Nigel.
Since the last newsletter, work on the railway has increased apace, Norton Lakeside Station has been lengthened and backfilled to accommodate a three coach train and the 55 coping slabs that came from British Rail’s Taunton Concrete Works are believed to be the last order that was processed there before the works were closed down. Fencing on the causeway is well in hand, trespass notices have gone up at each of the foot-crossings over the line between Brownhills West station and the new station with the accompanying whistle boards scheduled to be put in place shortly… The bridge between Chasewater and Jeffrey’s Pool has received new steelworks on the parapets and plans are being made to use the extra bricks in lengthening Brownhills West platform later in the year. At Brownhills West the new amenities block is being refurbished with a donation of materials from Lichfield District Council for the cladding of the temporary accommodation. This will give us at long last some decent sized toilets as well as facilities fro the disabled. Also a new facia for the booking office and shop has been constructed off-site by the Community Service lads and should be put in place shortly. The problem of extra storage space for stock alongside Elsley’s siding is being looked at, with it being earmarked as a summer job for the Community Service people.
The problem of lack of working members is again rearing its ugly head. In 1986 there were a handful of working members and this has grown steadily so that in 1994 there were 20 – 30 volunteers working on site. As the railway has grown, the demands on their time by the railway have increased. In 1986 it was all hands to man the station on a steaming day, in 1994 not only were we fully manned for steaming days but there were staff working in other departments as well. The railway is growing mad growing fast, with 60 running days this season and the strain on our existing volunteers is growing. If you can spare some time or would like to become a regular working member come along any Sunday from about 9.30am, you would be more than welcome.
Loco Shed News
The loco shed has at long last got a fixed compressor which means that the engineering staff have got ‘wind’ to help with some of the jobs that consumed many valuable man-hours. The compressor was a donation from Oscott Air as they decided the faults on it were not worth repairing. On further inspection it was found that the only things needed were the small piston and con rod. The old ones having worn the circular hole for the piston and con rod for the gudgeon pin to an oval shape, so causing a rather loud knocking noise. It is hoped that jobs such as taking out old boiler tubes can be accomplished much more easily than having to do it by hand. With the tidying up of the engine shed the ‘diesel dismantlers department’ have installed a new bench allowing them to lay out and reassemble various bits of engines.
No.4 Asbestos – Once again Asbestos has opened the season for passenger services but whether it will see the season out is doubtful. During the winter the crown of the firebox was built up with weld and a new fusible plug mounting was made and put into place. Several of the rivets at the base of the firebox have received attention, as well as the foundation ring. The new tubes purchased last year are in store and await the major overhaul that Asbestos needs.
No.5 Sentinel – The Sentinel failed its hydraulic test at the first attempt with a blown tube. The boiler was lowered into the pit, the 14 outer tubes removed, new tubes purchased, replaced and the boiler hoisted back into position, all within 21 days. The boiler fittings have been replaced and the second hydraulic test was successful. Some of the pipework has had to be renewed because of the re-positioning of the Weir pump and it is hoped the Sentinel will be back in service later in the season.
S100 – The centre wheels for S100 that have for ages been in between one and two roads have at last been moved and are now in the shed against S100’s frames. The tanks at the top end of Brownhills West site are also scheduled to be moved to the shed compound in the near future. Several parts of the brake gear have been placed alongside S100’s frames and have received attention to free the pins and to clean the rust off them. New horn keeps for two of the axle boxes have been fabricated and attention has been given to re-assembling the valve gear. It is expected that S100 could be back on its wheels within the next 12 months.
Hudswell Clarke – The Hudswell Clarke has received a cosmetic coat of paint to smarten it up and to prevent any further corrosion to the bodywork.
No.3 Colin McAndrew – The boiler is awaiting a decision after its departure for the SVR’s boiler shop at Bridgnorth and the outcome of the inspection there.
917 – A short section of track has been laid in the shed compound in preparation for receiving the chassis that is currently on three road. This is to enable some basic work to be done in cleaning and preparing the chassis for the long work of restoration back to working order.
Fowler diesel mechanical No.410013 – Work has continued on restoring the loco to full order. The cab roof has been needle-gunned and has received a coat of primer (causing a complaint from one of our neighbours over the noise). The air receivers have been removed for inspection and some of the pipework is scheduled to be renewed. The loco is nominally serviceable.
Fowler diesel hydraulic No.422015 – The Fowler has been the backbone of the works trains and now needs some attention. The problems with the engine due to diesel dilution of the lubricating oil have now been rectified. The pump for the torque converter has now been repaired and this in turn has cured the low oil pressure that has been a problem for some time.
L & Y No.1 – Progress on rebuilding the engine maintains a steady pace. The old cast iron spark plug holders have been drilled out of one of the two cylinder heads with the second head awaiting its turn. New holders have been fabricated and are waiting to be fitted to the refurbished cylinder heads. The timing gears have been remade and hardened courtesy of Dorman Diesels of Stafford. A number of components for the 4JO engine have been loaned to Dormans to help them rebuild a similar engine from the Festiniog Railway’s Simplex ‘Mary Anne’. It is possible that the engine from No.1 could be loaned to Festiniog upon completion of rebuilding for running in ‘Mary Anne’ while No.1’s chassis and bodywork is finished.
No.20 – The loco on loan to Bass Brewery Museum is receiving some attention, with the eventual aim of getting No.20 back into running order.
No.21 – Work still continues on getting No.21 finished. A new radiator has been acquired and upon completion of a new sump gasket the sump should be fitted back to the engine. With only one head to be put back onto the main cylinder block No.21’s engine is nearly complete.
DMUs – Both of these have received A and B examinations. The brake blocks on one of the out-of-service units need replacing, and they will require some more maintenance work.