179 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News Spring 1995 – Part 2
Carriage & Wagon Department – Tony Wheeler
GWR 20 ton Toad 35251
Ballast Plough Van S62861
The Maunsel brake van has had its roof re-felted to waterproof the inside of this vehicle. It requires further work in replacing some of the external woodwork which is gradually deteriorating. The vehicle is in regular service with the P-Way train.
21t Mineral Wagon B316711
A temporary floor has been placed inside this vehicle after a cleanout of the remaining coal and slack left inside. The larger deposits left provided some fuel for the stove inside the p-way brake van over the past winter.
16T Mineral Wagon B274600
This wagon has proved useful over the winter months ferrying bricks to the site of the new platform at Norton Lakeside and alongside the 21 tonner has seen some very heavy use lately.
8T 4-plank open wagon (Conduit Colliery)
This wagon is currently awaiting a more permanent resting place, so that the springs can be removed and replacements can be obtained and fitted. It currently has one set of spring ‘on loan’ from the Midland Crane!
GWR 16T Toad 35831
This brake van still resides in one road awaiting some repairs, which consist of a replacement spring buckle, running boards and hangers and also brake block replacements. Some minor attention is needed to the bodywork.
Work has resumed on the restoration of this coach after the winter lay-off. A temporary platform has been erected round it so that the exterior work can carry on safely. Alwyn and myself have carried on with rebuilding the interior of the brake end which was damaged some time ago. The coach has had covering sheets removed from the roof and work has started on cleaning and repainting the roof vents. New guttering has been fabricated and fitted to the side of the coach facing the lake; this is to replace the old burnt out pieces over the guard’s compartment.
MR Brake 68
Some panelling timber has been obtained to replace missing panels on the Midland Brake van. The location of this vehicle at the end of two road means that the open end is exposed to the weather and some roof timbers will need to be obtained in the near future.
Permanent Way – Arthur Edwards
It seems a long time ago since I last wrote an article about anything that is happening on the Permanent Way of the railway.
Firstly, as I’m sure you know, if not I’m sure you soon will, that the Railway Inspector was due to visit us on Friday May 12th 1995, and in between this and his last visit quite a lot has happened. New ‘No Trespass’ and whistle boards have been fabricated and put up, as the original ones being made of cheaper material and with the amount of vandalism that is rife around Chasewater, they did not last as long in position as they took to make. New gates have been made for each of the crossing points and they have been put into place.
Secondly, our illustrious General Manager, Mr. Steve Organ, acquired a hopper wagon (dogfish) with which to re-lay ash ballast all along the line for the next monumental task, which was the use of a tamping machine on hire from Tarmac. The tamper and its two-man crew started work on the line from the new platform, across the causeway and back to Brownhills West. In conjunction with this work fishplates have had to be greased and tightened (again!), along with some sleepers which had to be re-spaced.
Thirdly, and most importantly since the Inspector’s last visit we have laid up to nearly a third of a mile of track into Norton Lakeside platform, which has been refurbished and extended to cope with a three coach train, and should hopefully be open to the public after the Inspector’s visit. During the last few weeks our General Manager has been going round like a headless chicken trying to get the scheme finished in time for the Inspector’s visit, and I must admit it’s coming along pretty well, even though Steve himself will admit it was touch and go with the unkindly weather which has put all of us who helped on this project, quite a few weeks behind schedule, and Steve began to think that maybe it was a bit overbearing on all of us. So there have been harsh words spoken at heated moments of which we all apologised to each other afterwards. Although we are not in the major league of steam centres, contrary to popular belief we are holding our own, even if our members have dwindles slightly. You must realise that this is our hobby and not our profession, and therefore we have to earn a living at our ‘proper’ jobs, and three of our current working members’ jobs incorporate working on refrigeration, so, being summer, their jobs call for their expertise. And that’s basically it, except to say thanks to everyone for their exhaustive efforts, Tom especially.