192 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News – Summer 1996 – Part 3
Since the last article was published the P Way gang has had a number of new members join us and the extra manpower has enabled us to carry on a number of tasks at a greater speed than originally planned. This has enabled us to fence in an area next to the lower compound entrance gates, so we now have a fenced in area for the storage of rail and other heavy items of P Way material.
Also the fence from the foot-crossing between the two compounds to the bottom compound has been realigned to allow the relaying of the sidings alongside the shed road. Work is also in progress to design the layout of a head shunt behind the current shed therefore allowing access to the shed from both ends.
Further down the line a number of fence posts have been replaced where they were broken down by trespassers onto the running line and along with bits of hedge growing up alongside is starting to make things much harder for the local idiots. The only bit of bad news about this fencing is that we can no longer use barbed wire where the public footpaths or public areas come up to our fence. I have mixed feelings about this as I know one or two of the members would like to use razor wire backed up with land mines!!
With the first decent spell of dry weather the perennial job of weed killing was carried out, and not before time as the track was starting to disappear beneath the undergrowth again. It has been proposed that a further application of the poisonous stuff be applied sometime later in the summer – weather permitting.
The P Way gang meet every Sunday at Brownhills West Station from 10.00am onward. Come and join us!!
Neilson Saddle Tank No.11 – Paget’s Progress – by Paul Whittaker
On the 13th January 1996, a freezing cold morning of -5ºC, I started the hard slog of removing the boiler tubes from No.11. After many a bruised finger and some colourful language, not to mention seven weekends at it, the final tube fell free from the boiler tube plate at 4.00pm on Saturday 6th April.
After long deliberation and much discussion I and several co-workers concluded that the next move would be to remove the water tank, thus allowing access to the boiler for closer inspection. As the cost of a crane was as yet out of our reach, we proceeded to jack up the tank until such time as it would be possible to slide it safely down two lengths of rail to its resting place on the platform in the engine shed compound.
The next job was to remove the boiler cladding and insulation, a dirty job but it had to be done. Meanwhile amongst the organised chaos that is generated when stripping a steam locomotive down, we removed the dome plate. This was in order to provide access to the interior of the boiler for a very slim young man, otherwise known as Christian Hatton to get inside and remove the remaining collapsed tubes, and around 3cwt of rust. While all this was going on, the washout and fusible plugs were removed from the firebox. The steam cleaner proved to be invaluable in removing the rust and crud from the water jacket around the firebox. As a result of all this, the boiler is now ready for the boiler inspector to cast a cursory eye over it a prelude to a proper test inspection.
As work progressed on No.11 that magic word ‘money’ reared its ugly head again, and after some serious consideration my very good friend and colleague David Borthwick and I decided to start a fund to raise the necessary cash to renovate Alfred Paget, and entitled the fund ‘Neilson Steam Aid’, to which my good wife Janet will administer and collect donations. In addition to this, Dave has put together a Stock Book, which documents basic information on most of Chasewater Railway’s rolling stock and locomotives. This booklet is on sale in the station buffet at 75p per copy.
On a more personal note, I would like to say that I am overwhelmed by the help and support, to say the least, and of the amount of technical information that I’ve received from fellow members at Chasewater, without which I would have been like a beached whale. And so I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of those involved with the on-going renovation of Neilson Saddle Tank No.2937, otherwise known as ‘Alfred Paget No.11.
Alfred Paget last steamed in 1982, and is still a way off yet – in 2012.