193 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News – Autumn 1996 – Part 1
As the running season gradually winds down, the working members can look forward to another winter of further extension work and getting on top of the ongoing maintenance. As the number of working members has increased, the overall appearance of the railway has improved.
A large new sign on the A5 entrance to the park means that a large number of the general public have visited the railway for the first time, with the usual comment ;I only live up the road but I never knew you existed’. This in conjunction with a board at the entrance to the park advertising our excellent buffet service as well as train rides seems to have brought more people up to the top end of the park instead of them staying by the swings and slides. The overall reaction from the first time general public visiting us is very favourable, which can only reflect on the working members generally.
The vacant position of Publicity Officer has been filled by Kim Wilkins and she has made a start on getting the running dates published in the railway press. This is probably one of the most unglamorous jobs on the railway with a lot of effort going in for what can seem like very little reward. I would like to thank the previous holder of this post, Keith Day, for all the effort that he put into the job when he was doing it.
On the subject of members, as of the date of this magazine, we currently have the largest number of members in the Railway’s history with nearly 150 magazines going to different households, and this translates to approximately 250 current members.
Thursday 12th October saw the running of a special service train to Norton Lakeside Station for the planting of a Silver Birch tree in memory of Geoff Young, whose funeral took place the previous Friday at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium. A good proportion of working members attended as well as members of Geoff’s family for an oration and prayers. Geoff’s wife Brenda scattered Geoff’s ashes across the causeway. I’m sure that I speak for all the members of the Chasewater Railway in giving Brenda our deepest condolences at her loss.
Loco Shed News
With the running season nearly over, the mainstay of the steam services have been carried out by No.4 Asbestos. The coal from Hatfield Colliery has proved to be a good British alternative to the Russian coal purchased in the past. The small size of the coal which was brought in as it was primarily to be used in the boiler of the Sentinel, and any further purchases will be made in a size to accommodate both the larger grates of Asbestos and any further restored locomotives.
The loco shed has also had installed an oil fired heater and ducting and this should provide a warmer environment during the winter months.
No.4 Asbestos – With the coal problem sorted out, Asbestos has performed well during the season. Several new firebars have been purchased to replace a number of banana-shaped ones and several of the tubes have been replaced over the season. One of the springs has been mended and the pressure gauge has been re-calibrated and certified.
No.5 Sentinel – The repairs to the Sentinel have been progressing at a steady pace with the damaged area cleaned out and the front casting being inspected to find out the easiest way to mend the front casting of the locomotive. The front drive sprockets have been straightened out and the broken links of the drive chain have been de-greased. The rest of the drive chain has also been cleaned up in readiness to be re-assembled.
No.11 Alfred Paget – Work is continuing at a steady pace on the restoration of this locomotive and the fund raising efforts of the group are doing well. The boiler has now received a coat of primer to prevent any further rusting. The badly rusted base of the front boiler that sits on the steam chest has been cut away and a new piece of metal has been curved and welded into place. Various fitting studs on the firebox have been removed and the facings have been cleaned up and given a liberal coating of grease.
S100 – Work is still progressing at the usual rate, slow but steady, and Tony Sale is gradually putting more and more bits back onto the frames. It is still hoped to have S100 back on its wheels in the no too distant future.
Fowler diesel hydraulic No.422015 – The Fowler has had a number of outings this year on passenger workings. It continues to receive minor attention during the season and has held up well. Sooner or later the Fowler will need a major overhaul to cure the problem of ‘clag’ that is chucked out while running.
Fowler diesel mechanical No.410013 – A final coat of paint has been applied to the locomotive and the front cover panels have been replaced. The engine still needs some attention as well as the drive shaft. There is still no final date on when this loco can be returned to traffic.
L & Y No.1 – Work is still continuing on finishing the rebuild of the engine with further parts being obtained from our friends at Dormans. As soon as the body can be removed from the bay platform road then it can be shot-blasted and painted. The buffers have been removed to the shed where they have been stripped down and the springs cleaned and oiled. As they have been rebuilt they have been painted, waiting to be re-united with the chassis. Most of the brake gear has also been removed from the body to be cleaned and re-assembled.
No.21 – The first attempts to run the engine have met with mixed results. The problem seems to be with the timing chain set in the wrong position. This is being rectified but it could mean a new head gasket being required for part of the engine.
DMU Set – Cars 51412 and 51370 have now been reunited. They are currently having the roof painted light grey and the body is being painted green, the handles white and small yellow warning panels fro the front and rear driver’s cabs. The rotten portions of the bodies are being replaced as well as the route indicator being converted to four digit route indicator, before work starts on the interiors. Car 51412 is also receiving attention to the motors and control circuits.
Ruston Hornsby DM48 – The latest addition to the Chasewater diesel fleet has now had the body stripped down to allow access to the engine. A start has been made on locating a new cylinder head and various other parts.