184 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News Autumn & Winter 1995 – Part 1

184 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

 From Chasewater News Autumn & Winter 1995 – Part 1

 From the Editorial

With the 1995 running season now over, the Railway can now turn its attention to the more down-to-earth maintenance tasks that have been deferred until now.  It has been without doubt one of the most difficult periods for the Society as a whole but as most of the major projects are now well on the way to being completed we can look forward to a year of being able to catch our breath before we continue with the further expansion of the railway.

Already the top compound has had its fence realigned by the buffet block so giving more room to get at the LNWR 50 ft brake coach and the other side of No.1.  ‘Portacabin City’ is finally being finished off and hopefully should be ready for the new season next year.  One of the final jobs to be done to the Portacabin units will be the transfer of the shop from the booking office to the end section of the main Portacabin.  This will only be done when the whole block has been finished and security measures are in place.  The current booking office/shop can then be turned back into an office/booking office again.

Already provisional dates for the 1996 running season have been looked at and now that we have done our first year of running every Sunday from Easter to October I personally feel that it should be kept up, with the deletion of the odd days that were planned for this year, so that the public can get used to our new schedule without having to think whether the Sunday is a running day or not.  I realise that this means a lot of dedication by the working members, but with some of the new training taking effect it should hopefully give more breaks, especially to the steam locomotive train crews.

The new Rule Book should be out in the not too distant future as it is going through the stages of proof reading and amending.  Provisionally there is likely to be a charge for the Rule Book rather than giving them away free to working members.  This hopefully will make members aware of the importance of this document and that if they have bought it, they will look after it.  This particular document has taken o lot of time to produce and has required many hours of thought to provide a set of rules for all staff to obey.  The rules and regulations laid out in the Rule Book are there for the safety of staff and the visiting public.

Staff safety is up to each and every one of us and I would like to point out that if you have the relevant safety equipment, i.e. safety glasses, steel toe capped boots, orange jackets, etc., they should be worn.  Even a small thing can lead to a personal injury.  If anyone is hurt on the Railway the incident must be logged in the accident book as soon as possible.

I have also been requested to let the membership know that there will be a further Working Members Meeting at the Pear Tree public house, Hednesford Road, Brownhills West on Wednesday 10th January 1996 at 7.30pm.  This is to give the members a chance to air their views and to raise any points that they wish about the Railway in general,

I would also like to mark another milestone in Chasewater’s history, the first visit to the Railway by an engine from the Telford Steam Trust based at Horsehay took place over the weekend of October 7/8 for the Transport Rally.  It was 0-4-0 Peckett No.1990 of 1940 vintage, maybe bigger things to come.  And to those whose ambitions stretch to the ‘Flying Scotsman’ or a ‘King’ for a visit to Chasewater, forget it!!!

The price of the Chasewater News has been increased to 75p due to the rising costs of production and printing and hopefully there will be no further increase in cover price for the foreseeable future.

Chasewater News is edited by Chris Chivers.

From the Board Room

By David Bathurst – Chairman.

 HMRI Inspection, 22nd September 1995

 Friday 22nd September saw the long-awaited visit of HMRI Mr. Colin Law, who had been invited to inspect the recent works on the remainder of the Causeway and the construction of Norton Lakeside Station.

The Board had been looking towards an official opening of the new station during the October Transport Rally weekend, but as the day of the inspection drew ever nearer, and despite the valiant endeavours of our working members, it became increasingly obvious that some elements of the scheme would remain incomplete.  Nevertheless, it was felt that the Railway could benefit from Mr. Law’s comments and advice in relation both to the works already completed and those awaiting completion.

Mr. Law carried out an extremely detailed inspection of the new station, which has to conform to some very stringent regulations laid down to comply with the relevant legislation.  The inspection included the DMU set making a number of journeys into and out of the platform.

The outcome of the inspection was as follows:

  1. The remaining section of the Causeway is passed for public passenger trains as far as (but not into) Norton Lakeside Station.  For operational purposes, the line limit is now Great Crane Brook Bridge.
  2. The track at the southern end of the platform needs to be slewed over to increase clearance to the specified dimensions.  The curvature of the track from Great Crane Brook Bridge into the station is having the effect of compromising the specified clearance.
  3. A more suitable platform surface, behind the coping stones, needs to be provided in the interests of public safety.
  4. The platform ramps will need to be completed and attention must be given to existing and proposed fencing, together with footpath gates.
  5. Norton Lakeside Station may, with immediate effect, be used for members’ specials.  N.B. the Board does not propose to authorise the running of such trains until the improved platform surface has been provided, in view of the likely damage to the floors of our passenger vehicles.
  6. Mr. Law affirmed that under no circumstances shall passenger trains exceed two vehicles.

The works which need to be carried out are well within the capability of our working members and plans are already in hand to deal with them.  Mr. Law has kindly indicated a willingness to revisit the Railway at short notice as soon as the works are complete, hopefully with a view to approving the station for public passenger trains.

It is perhaps opportune to comment on the relationship between HMRI and the Company.  Although it will not be immediately evident to members, I am able to say that the Railway Inspectorate (and Mr. Law in particular) have always indicated a wish to assist the Railway to operate and develop, in compliance with all the relevant legislation and associated regulations.  They are only too happy to provide constructive advice, in addition to comment on the Company’s new Rule Book prior to its publication and distribution to working members.

Our immediate aims are to complete the works required by Mr. Law, to undertake a major ‘clearing-up’ of the whole line and the new station area in particular, and to invite Mr. Law to return as soon as possible.  On this basis, the Board is now able – with confidence – to start planning an official opening ceremony in conjunction with the 1995 Santa Specials.  A formal invitation to join the first official passenger train will be forwarded to all members, Company Sponsors, Official guests, etc., with details of the arrangements.

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