Monthly Archives: December 2012

209 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Winter 1997– Part 2 From the Board Room

209 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Winter 1997– Part 2

Ext Oct 1997

From the Board Room

David Bathurst – Chairman

In the autumn edition of Chasewater News I attempted to bring members right up-to-date on important matters affecting the Railway’s future. I also referred to the fact that the situation is developing almost by the minute.  This article describes the most recent developments.

Lichfield District Council

Company representatives met a number of Lichfield DC Officers on 6th November 1997 to discuss some of the issues outlined in the autumn edition.  The Council’s Officers represented the planning, leisure services and administrative arms of the local authority, all of which have an important role to play in the Railway’s future.

In particular, the agenda focused on the BNRR (M6 Toll) and the Burntwood Bypass and the implications of both schemes on the Railway’s viability and future development.  The meeting also noted that the Company’s main lease expires in June 2000, although it contains an option to renew for a further 30 years.

The Council’s representatives shared the Railway’s view that there should be a single, composite lease, incorporating all the land which we are actually utilising or propose at some future date to utilise, and excluding any land surplus to our needs.  This would include the site of the ‘new’ Brownhills West Station and all other relocated yards and other facilities, the deviation from our current lease where the trackbed is affected by the Burntwood Bypass roundabout, and our present extension to Chasetown (Church Street).


Birmingham Northern Relief Road (M6 Toll)

There has been some behind-the-scenes progress, with both Lichfield District Council and Midland Expressway Ltd appearing to recognise the increasing urgency in determining an alternative location for Brownhills West.  Some proposals have been tabled for initial consideration both within the membership and with the BNRR promoters.

Burntwood Bypass

The compulsory purchase order for the bypass was made just a few days after the autumn edition was published and the Company has submitted a formal objection thereto.  The next step is for the Staffordshire County Council to endeavour to reach a solution which will enable the Company to withdraw its objection, failing which the matter will have to be pursued at a public enquiry.  The Board is hopeful that a public enquiry will be unnecessary (unless other owners have also submitted objections) and that the amended scheme which has been prepared by SCC can form the basis of a formal agreement.

Bass Museum Ad

Other matters have also appeared on the Board’s agenda and which will perhaps interest our members.

Kim Wilkins, the Railway’s Publicity Officer, gave a detailed presentation on a range of publicity ideas all designed to raise the Railway’s profile.

The Board has agreed to commission a range of postcards, badges and car stickers to enable our customers to take home a low-cost souvenir of their visit to Chasewater.

It has been agreed in principle to place an order with one of the motoring organisations for road signage around Chasewater on a trial basis.

The updated Policy Statement as revised in October 1997 was approved, with the Board recognising that references therein to the BNRR and the Burntwood Bypass might in reality have to be further updated on an almost weekly basis.  When these matters have settled down, a copy of the Policy Statement will be issued to all members.

The Company’s policy towards and programme for the restoration and maintenance of its steam locomotives is to form the subject of a meeting of interested parties, with particular reference to the impending non-availability of ‘Asbestos’.

Lichfield District Council Leisure Services have been invited to join with the Company in the promotion of the 1998 rallies.  The Council’s response is awaited.

Colin Mac


208 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Winter 1997– Part 1

208 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Winter 1997– Part 1

Front Cover

From the Editorial – Chris Chivers

Even before Christmas has come and gone, thoughts are already turning to next season’s running schedule.  As this year has been a successful and, from the passenger side of things, a profitable one for the Railway, the 1998 season will be starting at the end of March, several weeks before Easter, and will run through until the end of October or even the beginning of November.  All this, of course, will be subject to the proposed works commencing on the BNRR, which will have a major effect on Brownhills West Station and the compound.  The timescale involved in moving our stock and rebuilding a new station with the attendant track layout, will be one of the largest tasks undertaken by the Railway to date.  Once the final plans have been made hopefully the planning blight on the Brownhills West site, which has prevented us from putting up permanent accommodation for our wooden bodied rolling stock, will be lifted, so that we can go ahead and preserve our unique heritage to the railway.

Bass Loco

As the year has gone by, our Publicity Officer, Kim Wilkins, has managed to raise the profile of the Railway considerably in the public eye.  The number of visitors to the site from different areas has been gratifying to see.  Many of them commented that they did not realise that we were local to them, as they only seemed to have heard of The Severn Valley Railway, The Great Central, Shackerstone or Foxfield.  This is despite them travelling down the A5 past our prominent signs – and missing them!

As Newsletter Editor I would like to thank those who read my plea for articles for the magazine, and especially those who have written in for the first time.  It also seemed to have jarred loose several articles which were promised but never arrived.  I hope that you enjoy this 40-page edition, and if the articles keep coming I can keep this size of magazine for every edition.  As the number of issues being sent out has grown (now over 160) I have been looking into the cost of producing a colour cover for the Chasewater News.

I must give a thought to Arthur Edwards and all the lads on the P Way gang.  Just when they thought they could ballast the track that they had laid since the summer, somebody delivered another 100+ sleepers for the next six lengths of track, with, I have been led to believe, more to come.  The track extension is already half-way to Three’s Junction (Chasewater Heaths), and the effort put in has been fantastic.  This leads to the perennial problem that as the Railway grows, so the need for more staff also grows.  So if you know a friend who’s mad about railways, 1 to 1 scale mind, and fancies a day out in the fresh air with a little hard work thrown in, come along any Sunday about 10 o’clock.

Bass Lorry

Loco Shed News – Steve Williams

With our running season now drawn to a close the Railway has partially wound down for the winter period.  This does not mean that we have no jobs to do on our locomotives.  Asbestos once again opened the 1997 season for passenger services, but she has only a few days out in traffic this year because she is due for her major overhaul this winter.  The year has passed without any major locomotive failures to interrupt our scheduled train services.  The Sentinel has proved to be a reliable hard working locomotive.  This is mainly due to Nigel Canning who has put in many long hard hours on the locomotive over the past few years.

Steam Locomotives

Sent & AsboThe Sentinel and Asbestos double-headed storming the causeway bank, August, 1997

No. 4 Asbestos – The major overhaul is now under way and the boiler fittings have started to be removed and inspected.  The tubes are scheduled for removal soon so that a boiler inspection can be carried out.  We are hoping to have Asbestos back in steam within the next few years.  Additional help in the locomotive department will be needed to carry out the repairs.

No. 5 Sentinel – Nigel has now cured the problem of the Sentinel’s low oil pressure, and the locomotive has had no problems during its workings over the end of the season.  Another coat of paint has been applied, and it should see service for the Santa Specials and for the 1998 season.

No.11 Alfred Paget – Work on the boiler has now restarted with the welding hopefully being done over the Christmas period.  The firebox has now been marked for the position of the new gauge glasses and preliminary works has started on making the boiler flange plates.  Over the next few weeks the parts of the motion which have been removed for attention will be going back onto the locomotive.

S100 – The work of refitting the axle boxes has now commenced with the shims and brasses being put back into their appropriate boxes.  It is hoped to have it back on its wheels by the end of next year as a rolling chassis.

S100 axle box

Diesel Locomotives

DL7 – DL7 has returned to traffic after the broken gauges have had their glasses replaced and have been recalibrated.  The intermittent fault with the traction motor has been cured by the replacement of a new ignition switch.  Also work is being done on the cab doors to replace the broken locking mechanism and to make the locomotive more secure.

Fowler Diesel Hydraulic 422015 – Ken Dyde and his team have repaired the batteries and they have also carried out some minor maintenance work on the engine.  The Fowler is still in constant use, working on P Way trains every Sunday during the extension to the track.

Fowler Garrington

DMU – Work continues in replacing broken timber, particularly on the guards’ doors, also the one section of the DMBU which suffered from water ingress has now had the interior panelling and rotten window frames replaced by Keith Pointer.  The painting of the exterior of the Hednesford Road side of the set has continued and the unit is starting to look much smarter.

The Neilson Restoration Project – Steve Williams

June 1978 3June 1978

Last year in the summer issue of the Chasewater News, my partner in crime, Paul Whitaker wrote an article on how things had progressed on the locomotive in the previous twelve months.  Work has progressed at a fast rate since that last article.

The new saddle for the steam chest has now been finished and fitted to the locomotive.  This was to replace the shattered casing where the boiler had seized up in the past.  The manufacture and shaping of the saddle took many weeks of hard work and many cold late nights spent in the loco shed.

The next new components to be manufactured were two new boiler slides.  This was to stop the boiler seizing up again and once again damaging the steam chest casing.  These took several weeks to manufacture in the locomotive workshop.  These components are ready to be fitted to the boiler when all other major works are finished.  The Neilson team are trying to raise money for the boiler repairs needed.  These are the welding of some stays in the firebox and the four corners of the firebox.  This is estimated to cost about £800, so work has had to be halted on the boiler until we raise sufficient funds.

October 1975Oct 1995

In the meantime, work has continued on the motion of the locomotive.  A new bush carrier has been manufactured out of mild steel, to replace the cracked cast original.  This took Paul and myself many hours of machining till it was ready to be fitted.  It was then that we decided to look at the inside rod which goes into the bush carrier.  After a long discussion we decided that we had better have the rod out for inspection.  After we had removed the slides, we could see that a nasty flat had worn on the front of the rod, which at its lowest point was under half of its original diameter.  Another discussion had to take place on how we were going to repair the rod.  The conclusion arrived at was to weld up the flat and then turn it back round on the lathe.  As this was a job which no-one had attempted before at Chasewater, we approached it with some trepidation.  After building up the weld on the worn section of the rod, we then started the operation to turn it back to its original diameter.  It took many weeks work to get the rod to turn true and then get it back to its original size.  The next step was to repair the connecting boss.  This had worn its way off-centre, so we had to fix a block of mild steel into the hole of the boss.  It then had to be bored out to the right size.  The whole process has taken most of the summer to do and it is now ready to reassemble.

Paul and I have also replaced a badly worn spring hanger and again this turned into a big job, with a new locking pin being manufactured in the workshop.  This has now been fitted to the locomotive.

Finally, I would like to thank all the members who have helped the team from time to time in our efforts.  Also Paul and I would like to say thank you to the members for all their help and support with the locomotive fund-raising.

Neilson plate & infoA locomotive worksplate, Neilson, 2937, 1882, from a 0-4-0ST O/C new to William Baird & Co (Ltd from 1893) at Bedlay Colliery near Glenboig, their No 11, becoming part of the Scottish Iron & Steel Co Ltd in January 1939, Bairds & Scottish Steel Ltd six months later and the National Coal Board in January 1947. It returned to Bairds & Scottish Steel Ltd at Gartsherrie Ironworks, Coatbridge, in about 1950 and following withdrawal, was acquired in June 1968 by Railway Preservation Society, Hednesford, Staffordshire and later went to the Chasewater Light Railway.

Cast brass 10 x 6″¼”, the front of the plate has been repainted.  Bought at Auction, January 2012

Some Early Lines Barnard Castle – Tebay Line

Some Early Lines

Barnard Castle – Tebay Line

1 Coke trainThe real ‘raison d’etre’ of this bleak Moorland cross-country line, now closed, was the east-west coke traffic which 50 years ago was plenteous and profitable.  In the spring of 1960 BR standard engines were the mainstay of the motive power.  2-6-0 No. 78018 passes Smardale with the 11.30am train of coke and mixed goods en route to Tebay.  (Derek Singleton

Tebay railway station was on the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, which was built to link those two cities between 1844 and 1846, and which was absorbed by the London and North Western Railway in 1879. Tebay became an important junction for, in 1861, the Stainmore Railway, from Tebay-Kirkby Stephen-Barnard Castle and later becoming part of the North Eastern Railway, brought traffic from the east; it was closed in 1962. The A685 runs over much of its trackbed east from Tebay towards Kirkby Stephen. The Ingleton Branch Line of the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway connecting via the Midland Railway to Settle and Leeds, enters the main line at the south end of the Lune Gorge; it was built in the 1850s, and was last used for passengers in the winter 1962/63 as a relief to the main line.

2 SignalOne of he joys of wandering round the Tebay – Barnard Castle branch was the atmosphere of the past, which still lingered on.  One example of the more tangible kind is the slotted signal seen here at Belah box, but quite common at most of the stations along the line.  (Derek Cross

3 ViaductThe early morning sun glints on the light and even fairy-like structure of Belah viaduct as LMS class 2 2-6-0 No. 46478 climbs up towards Barnard Castle with the 7.30am goods from Kirkby Stephen, banked by an ex- North Eastern J21 class 0-6-0.  At one time when the heavy coke trains ran in the opposite direction, to be handed over to the Furness Railway at Tebay, Wilson Worsdell’s T class 0-8-0s worked over this spindly structure, having come down from Stainmore summit, 1,370 feet above sea level  (W.A.Camwell

All that remains of the Belah Viaduct, StainmoreAll that remains of the Belah viaduct –

4 PassengerOnce, on summer Saturdays, the old North Eastern branch from Tebay carried numerous special trains made up of antiquated stock.  Even as late as 1952 wooden coaches of various pre-grouping companies could be seen, though by this time with modern motive power at their head.  Class 2MT 2-6-0 No. 46471, complete with thin Darlington chimney, leaves Tebay on 6th June with the 8.42am Ulverston to Durham special train.  (E.D.Bruton

5 Double HeaderNot so very long ago the engine shed at Kirkby Stephen would have been full of old North Eastern J21 0-6-0s and LMS Class 2 2-6-0s, but by 1960 the passenger trains were multiple-unit diesels and the goods traffic had fallen to uneconomic levels.  This once-busy junction looks lonely on Saturday, 6th August, as a Newcastle to Blackpool train runs through, hauled by Moguls Nos. 77002 and 43036.  (Derek Cross

6 - DMUEven the diesels did not manage to sustain the passenger service from Penrith to Barnard Castle via Kirkby Stephen.  A three-coach set makes its way over Deepdale viaduct on its eastward journey in July, 1959.  (W.A.Camwell

7 - DH 0-6-0sA number of J21 class 0-6-0s were built between 1886 and 1892 by the North Eastern Railway as two-cylinder Worsdell-von Berries compounds, but they were later rebuilt with Stephenson valve gear and piston valves to become efficient mixed traffic locomotives.  In this form they lasted for many years, a fair number ending their days on the branches from Penrith and Tebay to Barnard Castle via Kirkby Stephen.  Their normal duties were stopping trains and pick-up goods, but on Bank Holiday Sunday, 1950, these two headed a return excursion from Penrith to Darlington.  The leading engine, No.65090, has been specially fitted with a form of coupling release gear for banking freight trains up the mountainous route to Stainmore summit.  (P.B.Whitehouse

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1900 – ‘Claud Hamiltons’ Great Eastern Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1900 – ‘Claud Hamiltons’

Great Eastern Railway

CH as first builtClaud Hamilton as first built

The first engine of this famous class, ‘Claud Hamilton’, which appeared from Stratford in 1900, was numbered after the year of its birth, although GER numbers had not yet reached so high by several hundreds.  Subsequent engines of the class were built in batches of ten, and numbered successively backwards, as 1890-9, 1880-9, and so on, until Nos. 1790-9 appeared in 1911.  Ten more engines of larger dimensions, known as ‘Super Clauds’, appeared in 1923 after the amalgamation as LNER 1780E-1789E, the whole class eventually becoming LNER 8780-8900.

CH as running in 1937 after rebuildClaud Hamilton  as running 1n 1937 after rebuilding

The ‘Claud Hamiltons’ as originally built are considered by many to be one of the most handsome designs ever built.  With their well-proportioned outline embellished by the beautiful Great Eastern blue with its elaborate lining-out in red and yellow, they presented a sight which would be almost unbelievable in these drab days.

Not only in appearance, however, but in performance too, these engines soon showed themselves to be an exceedingly remarkable design, and many were the stupendous feats of haulage they were destined to perform over the GER main lines in their heyday.  The GER went in fairly extensively for oil burning around the turn of the century, and many of the earlier Clauds were so fitted for a time.


Commencing with the 1850-9 batch, which appeared in 1904, Belpaire fireboxes were provided, and the final ten, Nos. 1780-9, mentioned above, which came out under Hill’s regime, were considerably enlarged.

The later history of the class is somewhat involved, and cannot be fully detailed here.  Apart from the inevitable provision of superheaters, Gresley began rebuilding many of them from 1933 onwards.  This involved, amongst other things, a much larger boiler, with a reversion to the round-topped firebox and, in some cases, provision for piston valves.  Many, but not all, of the rebuilds lost the decorative framing and splashers, and had raised running plates to clear the coupling rods, which, together with the replacement of the handsome chimneys by one of Gresley’s pattern which somehow ill-suited these locomotives, completely ruined their appearance.

62547 SC

In 1946 the class was renumbered 2500-2620 in order of building (Nos.1780-9 becoming 2611-20) and on Nationalisation they were allocated in turn 62500-62620, although in few cases they never bore these numbers.  In fact, the prototype, No. 2500 ‘Claud Hamilton’, had already been scrapped in 1947, when its nameplates were transferred to No. 2546.  All of the rebuilt engines had gone by 1952, but a few Gresley rebuilds still remained in service in 1959.



Original – Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 185 lb.,  Weight – 50 tons 8 cwt.,  GER classification – S46 & S56 (Belpaire),  LNER classification – D14 & D15 (Belpaire)

Super-Claud – Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Weight – 54 tons 18 cwt.,  GER classification – H88,  LNER classification – D16

Gresley Rebuilds – Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Weight – 55 tons 18 cwt.,  GER classification –,  LNER classification – D16/3,  BR classification – 3P 1F


207 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Autumn 1997– Part 3 The Sentinel

207 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Autumn 1997– Part 3 The Sentinel

Sentinel early BR colours


 Sentinel was built in 1957 by Sentinel of Shrewsbury with the works number of 9632. It was bought by the West Midlands Gas Board for use at Pleck Gas Works, Walsall and was the last steam loco of the upright boiler design built by the Sentinel Company.  Upon arrival at Chasewater the 4wVBT was assigned the number 5 and has been in regular operation ever since.

Early Sentinel shot

Sentinel 9632 at Chasewater

Nigel Canning

The concept of the Sentinel shunting loc was nominally quite clever in that it allowed a loco of relatively low horsepower and size to produce a useful tractive effort and shunt relatively heavy trains, albeit at the expense of a reduced maximum speed.  This is, of course, also true for industrial diesel shunters where shunting speeds much above 10 or 15 mph are unnecessary as well as undesirable from the safety point of view.  Problems arise, however, when you try to reverse the role and run light trains at relatively high speeds as we do at Chasewater.  It is not difficult to imagine a rail-connected industrial concern a few years ago owning a Sentinel and a Hawthorn Leslie similar to ‘Asbestos’ and using both locos to do similar work.  However, if opened up, ‘Asbestos’ can produce several hundred horsepower and a maximum speed far in excess of its road holding capacity.  Consequently, on the causeway bank, ‘Asbestos’ will out-perform either of the diesels or the Sentinel, which is always likely to struggle due to its relatively low power to train weight ratio and low maximum speed, which prevents a decent run being taken at the bank.

When 9632 arrived at Chasewater in 1982 we set about getting it into good working order.  The big worry then was whether or not it would be capable of operating passenger trains reliably.  Eventually we proved that it was, although at that time it was only a matter of moving a single coach back and forth between Brownhills West and the bridge at Willow Vale.

Over the years various modifications were carried out to try and improve the performance of this ‘one man operated’ shunter attempting to run passenger trains.  This culminated in the reliable running of two coach trains to a point about half-way between Willow Vale and the bottom of the causeway bank.

WD SentinelWhen the loco came out of service at the end of 1995 for its major boiler examination, it was decided to further improve running performance.  These are a few of the modifications carried out to achieve that.  One of the main problems has always been the very limited boiler capacity.  Timing the boiler being filled from the loco shed hose pipe shows that there is less than 10 gallons difference between ‘bottom’ and ‘top’ of the gauge glass.  Combine this with the fact that on shutting the regulator when the engine is working hard the level drops by half a glass, or when the safety valves pop you lose half a glass, and a notice in the cab warning ‘IMPORTANT: Water level should never be higher than half glass’ things are never going to be easy.  Originally the loco had the controls for the injector and the Weir pump on the driver’s side, leaving the fireman with nothing to do but shovel coal occasionally, and the driver with the headache of maintaining boiler level in addition to driving.  Both of these controls have now been re-positioned on the fireman’s side, and the Weir pump itself turned sideways to make a bit more room in the cab and give better access for draining it in the winter.  The lubricator sight glass tube has been filled with anti-freeze mix rather than just water so it can survive the winter without attention.  The Weir pump itself is always very messy with excess oil, probably because it always gets a double dose, on from the engine lubricator and again from its own lubricator.  This may have to be rectified at a later date, but in the meantime at least it won’t go rusty!

For a long time the pump has been blowing live steam through to exhaust due to bad corrosion of the valve spool.  This is a weird |Weir arrangement, which looks like a cross between a slide valve and a piston valve enabling the piston to move up and down without any rotating parts being required.

The cast iron spool had to be built up with weld, the intricate pattern of ports ground and filed back to shape, and then the complete spool ground back to the correct diameter.  The result is still not perfect but the pump is now a lot quieter in operation and starts more reliably.

The loco was designed to use superheated steam for the blower, but because the engine lubricator feeds oil 9in immediately after the superheater, all superheated steam has oil in it, which promptly burned to form carbon, blocking the blower jets every few months.  This has now been re-piped to use saturated steam, and new stainless steel blower rings have been fitted with finer jets making the blower more effective on low pressure during lighting up.  The control valve has also been moved to the fireman’s side of the cab.

Boiler outer shell

The vacuum brake system, which was fitted at Chasewater, has gradually evolved over the years, the latest mod being to supply the ejector with superheat steam.  Previously, when using saturated steam from the top of the boiler, any rough bit of track combined with slightly high water level could spill water into the system temporarily destroying release pipe vacuum and partially applying the brake.  Using superheat steam avoids this problem but may possibly erode the pipework or ejector nozzle over a period of time, as well as rob the engine of some of its lubrication.

A new superheater coil was fitted in 1982 and worked without problem for the first five years, but later, small bits of rust about the size of coffee granules started to be thrown up out of the superheater, jamming the regulator open and damaging its seating faces.  To cure this, a perforated stainless steel baffle has been made and fitted in the regulator housing so that any debris now piles up behind it and can be cleaned out occasionally when convenient.

During the recent boiler examination one of the boiler tubes was found to be leaking through a pinhole during the hydraulic test.  This meant that the boiler, which had just been re-assembled, had to be split again and a new set of plain tubes fitted.  At least the tubes are relatively short, and there are only fourteen of them, so they are cheap to buy and will fit in the boot of a car.  The extra work was completed in a couple of weekends and the boiler subsequently passed its hydraulic and steam tests.

When, in 1996, the loco was eventually tried out on a passenger train to Norton Lakeside the result was fairly disastrous.  With two DMU power cars making a trailing load of around 75 tons, 9632 struggled to move at all, let alone climb the causeway bank.  Upon eventually reaching Norton it was found that the loco would hardly make steam even when standing due to the poor coal.  The round trip took an hour and a half, forcing the decision on whether to change the coal merchant, or fit a corridor bunker to allow crew changing at the half-way point on the journey!  The coal was subsequently returned to the supplier!

Two further trips were made on that day, but the third ended in total disaster.  One of the tappet adjusters had worked loose and out of adjustment causing the engine to run on one and a half cylinders, making it snatch a bit.  On the climb back up to Brownhills West one side of the duplex drive chain from the engine to the front axle broke, the loose bit climbed over the sprocket, jammed, and almost ripped one of the gearboxes out of the frames, shearing its mounting lug with a loud bang.  The loco was a total failure and had to be removed to the shed where it remained for the rest of the year whilst repairs were effected.  This involved building up the damaged sprocket teeth with weld and filing back to the correct profile, purchasing an 18 inch length of new chain and modifying it to fit, and drilling and grinding away the back of the front buffer beam so that a new gearbox mounting lug could be fitted in its place.

Sentinel at Pleck Gas Works Nearly newSentinel at Pleck Gas Works, Walsall – nearly new.

In 1997 the loco again passed its boiler test and was subsequently tried out on trains.  The first test was to shunt around 180 tons of assorted wagons and dead engines up out of the shed road, which it did fairly effortlessly and without the chain breaking.  Next it piloted an ailing DL7 and a single coach on a couple of passenger trains to Norton and back, then spent the rest of the day working trains on its own.  Since then it has successfully run two-coach trains to the normal 45 minute schedule and appears to be quite happy, although speed at the top of the causeway bank is little more than a fast walk.

As expected, the main problem is control of the boiler.  With a good hot fire it is quite capable of producing more steam than the cylinders can cope with, but if you have to stop unexpectedly, as is the case when the local toe-rags have been bust piling things up on the line, all hell lets loose from the safety valves within seconds of shutting the regulator.  Even during planned stops this can be a problem as both our stations are approached up steepish banks requiring near full pressure right up to the last minute.  The surprising thing is that the latest batch of coal, which produces enormous amounts of clinker, blocking the grate to the extent that the fire looks completely black from underneath, still produces enough heat to run trains all day without any fire cleaning.  At the end of the day hardly any ash has made it into the ashpan, and when the grate is dropped the fire remains in position without visible means of support until it is hacked out with the fire iron.

On diesel days the loco is being gradually repainted in gasworks red livery, but as this involves a couple of hours each time just to clean and de-grease it after the previous steaming, progress is slow.  A number of modifications and repairs are still planned, but now the loco is back in regular service it is likely to be some while before they are carried out.


206 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Autumn 1997– Part 2

206 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Autumn 1997– Part 2


From The Board Room

David Bathurst, Chairman

By the time this edition of ‘Chasewater News’ is published, we shall be nearing the end of the 1997 running season.  All the indications are that the word ‘successful’ will appear more than once when the time comes to prepare the annual report.

However, rather than engaging in self-congratulation and reflecting upon such successes as have been achieved in 1997, I believe that our members (working members in particular) and supporters would prefer to hear more in relation to other important matters which will inevitably influence the Railway’s future aspirations.  Indeed, and at the risk of using something of a cliché, 1997 may well prove to be one of the ‘defining points’ in the Railway’s short but eventful history.

Birmingham Northern Relief Road (BNRR) (M6 Toll)

Members will know only too well that following a review of major highway schemes, the Government has given the go-ahead to the construction of the BNRR.  To be rather more precise, the Secretary of State has accepted the Inspector’s conclusions and recommendations, subject to some amendments not affecting the Railway.  A letter to this effect was published on 23rd July 1997.  The letter goes on to say that the Secretary of State will make, as soon as possible, the necessary orders –including the compulsory purchase order (CPO) which includes the Railway’s land at Brownhills West.

In relation to a likely timetable, Midland Expressway Ltd. (MEL) have expressed the opinion, entirely without prejudice, that Notices of Confirmation of the CPO are likely to be served towards the end of 1997.  Notices to Treat (which will invite the Railway to submit a claim for compensation) are likely to be served sometime around April 1998.

MEL also believe that the contractor will be expecting the Department of Transport (as the acquiring authority) to deliver the land necessary for the scheme, in or around January 1999.

My colleagues on the Board and I are concerned that the timetable which has been suggested to us is entirely unrealistic and potentially unattainable.  It is essential for our operations to be relocated and in place before we can give up our occupation of the land required at Brownhills West.  Accordingly, we are already in contact with the Railway’s appointed Valuer with a view to making an application to the Department of Transport to enable us to carry out works and incur expenditure before Notice to Treat is served.  As a general principle, the law provides that the Railway would not be able to recover expenditure incurred before Notice to Treat has been served, without the prior approval of the Secretary of State.

At this stage, it is impossible to assess the implications upon our operations, particularly as Lichfield District Council have yet to declare their hand regarding an alternative site for Brownhills West Station and associated facilities.  The new location will require planning permission.  At the time of preparing these notes, Lichfield DC is considering the future commercial development of Chasewater in conjunction with a private sector developer.

One thing is certain: things are moving very quickly, from day to day.  To ensure that everything is handled in an appropriate and professional manner, the Railway will be relying very heavily on the proven expertise of its appointed Valuer.  However, it is important to emphasise and confirm that the views of the Railway’s members on specific elements of the relocation scheme will be invited at the appropriate times.


It is also essential for members to understand another fact.  The Board believe that compensation should be based on ‘equivalent reinstatement’ (Rule 5 of the Land Compensation Act 1961).  It is rather like the paint advert on television – ‘it does exactly what it says on the tin’.  Equivalent reinstatement means precisely what it says; there will be no gold plating on the taps and there will be no slush fund to finance the Chairman’s cigars.  Equally, it has already been spelt out to our Valuer in very plain and simple teams that the Railway has no resources available to finance any element of ’betterment’.  We foresee some interesting times ahead!

I make no apology to those readers who may find all this uninteresting or tedious.  But the reality is that the road scheme is set to proceed and we are affected by it.  We cannot ignore it.  It will not go away. Our aim must be to make the best of the situation and to maximise any benefits which might result from it.

Burntwood Bypass

On 6th August 1997, the Railway received from Staffordshire County Council (SCC) formal notice under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 that the SCC had submitted a planning application for the construction of Phase 2 of the Burntwood Bypass.  From the plans provided, the eastern end of our leased land will be just about in the middle of a traffic island.  The plans make no provision for the protection of an alignment, which would enable the Railway to proceed to Chasetown Church Street.

We have submitted a formal objection to the planning application.  On two previous occasions, we have written to SCC expressing concern about the effect of the scheme on the Railway’s proposals, and requested that proper consideration be given to our needs and the opportunities which can be generated by our proposals.  Our letter of objection protests at the way in which our concerns and previous representations appear to have been ignored, without any form of discussion or consultation whatsoever.

Yet again, the railway has been treated as though it did not exist.  Yet again, we have been treated with discourtesy by a public authority. Yet again, we appear to have wasted our time in writing detailed and constructive letters expressing our legitimate concerns.

It remains to be seen as to whether our objection and the complaints therein have any effect.  They will either be ignored once more, or they might conceivably promote the sort of ‘consultations’ which should have been afforded to us months ago.  We need a positive and supportive relationship with the public authorities whose activities affect the Railway, but at the moment our members can be forgiven for adopting a jaundiced view of the whole proceedings.

Lichfield District Council Local Plan

Members will recall that the Railway attempted to persuade Lichfield District Council to include a specific reference to the Railway in the Council’s Local plan and our representatives appeared at the Local Inquiry to support our case.  The Inspector has decided not to support our application.  His decision is base more on technical and administrative grounds than on a lack of sympathy for the Railway, and in reality is not unexpected.


Extension to the Running Line

It will soon be necessary to provide a viewing gallery at Norton Lakeside Station judging by the number of passengers interested in the work on the extension towards Threes Junction (Chasewater Heaths).  At the present rate of progress, it will also be necessary to provide coin-in-the-slot telescopes as the track gang moves further out of sight.  Seriously, though, the extension is a cause of great enthusiasm for all of the Railway’s working members, who recognise, with considerable gratitude, the immense value of the track, sleepers and fittings so kindly donated by British Oxygen at Wolverhampton.

Of course, the laying of track is but one aspect of extending the running line.  Ballasting, provision of proper drainage and fencing are but three areas of activity which will involve considerable effort and, to some extent, expenditure.  And then there is the question of a station platform to be resolved, although that is not a priority at this moment.


The Summer Slog – or more P Way

Arthur Edwards

During the latter half of June this year we had the call to get some extra track which was redundant to the needs of a Company in Wolverhampton.  This was the track which Rob Duffill had tipped us off about some time ago, and, as the timing was right, we jumped at the offer.  Because we had had the go-ahead to extend the running line to the aptly named ‘Threes Junction’, which will advance the Railway a further ½ mile or so, the acquisition of more track was uppermost in our minds.  So, armed with pinch bars, shovels, track spanners and most important of all, the use of a Bance machine (impact wrench), which we first used on the aborted Wolverhampton episode last year, a small team of us descended on the sidings at the British Oxygen depot in Wolverhampton to set about the task of dismantling the redundant track.  The site, incidentally, is opposite to the Wolverhampton Low Level site where we were last year.

After 3 to 4 weekends the track was dismantled, lifted and stacked, with the use of an all-terrain forklift, ready for transporting to Chasewater.  The work of relaying commenced immediately.  The track bed towards Threes Junction had been cleared with the loan of a bulldozer during the rebuilding of the causeway back in 1993.  Since then, the track bed had become somewhat overgrown again, at least it wasn’t with trees, only light scrub, and the only regular use was by joggers and pedestrians.  We managed to clear the weeds in a short space of time with the help of a strimmer and a small chain saw.  After the track bed was levelled and cleared, the first sleepers were laid and re-chaired with the expert help of DJ and his amazing borrowed Bance.  All this was done with just a gang of three on most weekends, with the number sometimes rising to six.  With the end of the running season we are expecting that some of the members, including the Editor, will join us now that their other duties are over.  The seven 60 foot panels of excellent track from BOC have now been laid, and we are looking to use some of the rail which has been around on site for some time.  The biggest problem now is the lack of sleepers in good enough condition to be used on the running line.  However, I understand that further sites of disused track are currently being looked at.


The title of this piece came to mind by way of the actual relaying of the track.  If you can imagine the heat – sweat – flies.  There you are, working in the heat in excess of 80º, you start to sweat then what happens – flies.  Oh! Do they love sweat, and all while you are carrying heavy timbers, the flies come out in droves.  One of our valiant team had got some fly repellent, I think it was ‘Essence of S**t’ because when it was applied it attracted the flies by the score, and you know what flies hang around.  Anyway, we are hoping to get further supplies of sleepers shortly to carry on the good work.  The main job over the winter months is to ballast the track already laid.  As the line extends, the distance from the ash pit area to the end of the line increases and the main problem we face is the lack of road access to the railhead.  Do we hire in a Dogfish again or do we look for an alternative solution?

The biggest problem of all is the lack of volunteers.  I know that this is a perennial problem over the whole railway because as the Railway grows so it is always playing catch up with the available manpower.  Without the help of D.J.Gillion, who has been my mucker on the P way gang for the past 16 months, half the jobs that we have done wouldn’t have been done.  He’s a hell of a guy who’s always there when needed.  Whether it’s building a shop counter for the buffet or something as mundane as burning the rubbish at the end of the day.  Then there’s Nigel Canning who, when not working on the locomotives, is down the line helping us and coming up with some excellent ideas.  Also there’s Alec, our Mancunian friend, and like Bill, a new member.  Both have helped us immensely since they’ve started on the Railway.  It’s sad to say that I’ll not be seeing Tom again.  Tom phoned me a couple of weeks ago to tell me that he’d thrown in the shovel, having just got over a knee operation.  Anyway Tom, I’ll miss your dry jokes about caterpillars, nuns and the like.  Just don’t forget us mate, come down when you can.



Grand Canal, Dublin

Grand Canal, Dublin

800px-Grand_Canal_Dublin_2006_Kaihsu_TaiGrand Canal, Dublin

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Kaihsu Tai

 The Grand Canal (Irish: An Chanáil Mhór) is the southernmost of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west, via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin’s inner city. Its sister canal on the Northside of Dublin is the Royal Canal. The last working cargo barge passed through the Grand Canal in 1960.

DublinGrand Canal, Dublin

The Grand Canal was opened in 1756 to link the Liffey at Dublin with the Shannon. It effectively closed in 1960, the last commercial trip being a barge load of Guinness, but since 1986 there have been various improvements and repairs. Grand Parade on the left, moorings for the city centre on the right.   © Copyright John Gibson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The idea of connecting Dublin to the Shannon was proposed as early as 1715,[2] and in 1757 the Irish Parliament granted Thomas Omer £20,000 to start construction of a canal. By 1759 he reported that 3 km (1.9 mi) in the Bog of Allen and 13 km (8.1 mi) of canal from the River Liffey near Sallins towards Dublin were complete. By 1763 he had completed 3 locks and 6 bridges towards Dublin and was concentrating on establishing a water supply from the River Morrell near Sallins. At this point the Corporation of Dublin realised that the canal could be used to improve the water supply to the city, and put up the money to complete the canal into the city. But when the canal was filled, the banks gave way and the city didn’t obtain its water. By 1768, £77,000 had been spent on the project and little more was forthcoming.

800px-View_from_Luas_bridgeView from Luas Bridge

Peter Clarke at en.wikipedia, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publishes it under the following licenses:   This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


The Grand Canal nowadays begins at the River Liffey in Grand Canal Dock and continues through to the River Shannon with various branches, including a link to the River Barrow waterway at Athy.

From Grand Canal Dock it passes through Ringsend and then traverses the southside, delineating the northern extremities of Ballsbridge, Ranelagh, Rathmines, Harolds Cross and Crumlin. This section is the Circular Line and has seven locks. At Inchicore can be seen the path of the original main line to the Grand Canal Harbour, the City Basin (reservoir) and Guinness brewery. Most of the route of this line now runs along side the Red Luas Line.

InchicoreGrand Canal near Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore/Inse Chór

Inchicore used to be a village but today it has become a suburb of Dublin. The Grand Canal travels through Inchicore and here it passes The Black Horse Inn, on the left, and the LUAS Red Line Black Horse/An Capall Dubh tram stop, on the right.  © Copyright P L Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 From Suir Road Bridge, the lock numbering starts again at 1 as the canal heads west through the suburbs of Dublin West and into Kildare. At Sallins the Naas/Corbally branch diverts southwards while the Grand Canal continues west passing Caragh, Prosperous and Robertstown, its highest point. Just outside Sallins, the Grand Canal passes over the River Liffey at the Leinster Aqueduct. Just east of Robertstown is the location where the Blackwood Feeder used to join the canal, whilst just to the west can be found the busiest junction on the canal where the Old Barrow Line, Milltown Feeder and the entrances to the Athy & Barrow Navigation. Further west, the canal passes Edenderry, Tullamore and Rahan before it reaches the Shannon at Shannon Harbour in County Offaly. In total the main line of the canal is 131 kilometres (81 mi) with 43 locks, five of which are double locks.

800px-Leinster_AqueductLeinster Aqueduct over the River Liffey

Chris55 at en.wikipedia, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publishes it under the following license:  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


In December 1792, there was a major accident on the Grand Canal. A passage boat left Dublin bound for Athy. It seems that one hundred and fifty people, many of them drunk, forced their way onto a barge, in spite of the captain warning them that the boat would capsize if they did not leave. Near the eighth lock, five men, four women and two children drowned when the boat capsized. The rest of the passengers escaped.

On the evening of Saturday, 6 April 1861 in Portobello Harbour, a horse-drawn bus, driven by Patrick Hardy, had just dropped a passenger on the canal when one of the horses started to rear. The horses backed the bus through the wooden rails of the bridge. The bus, horses and six passengers inside the bus, plunged into the cold waters and were drowned. The conductor was able to jump clear and the driver was pulled from the water by a passing policeman.

Winter on the Grand Canal, Dublin

Seen here on Canal Road between Charlemont and Rathmines Road.

© Copyright Dean Molyneaux and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

205 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Autumn 1997– Part 1

205 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Autumn 1997– Part 1

Front Cover‘Blackcock’ at West Cannock

Editorial – Chris Chivers

As this year’s running season is coming to a close we have had the best season for passenger figures this year than in any other season since the Railway was reformed back in late 1985, passing the 1996 figure by the second weekend in September.  This has also shown in the increased activity in the buffet, and all praise due to Doreen Edwards and her stalwart helpers in the canteen who have increased the range and quality of food served to the general public and the on-site workers on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.  The apple cake has become a legend in its own time!  Also for this year the number of memberships has increased over last year’s record, and I would like to welcome all the new members who have joined us over the past few months.

During the summer the long awaited start on the extension has commenced, and after a look around the other week I was amazed at the amount of progress that has taken place in such a short space of time.  This indicates the strength that the Railway has gained in a few short years, with more volunteers willing to help us in all aspects of the Railway’s operation.  The track recovered from British Oxygen at Wolverhampton is already being put into place.  The number of workers on the P Way gang continues to grow so that at least a panel of track is being laid each week on the new extension, as well as work being carried out on laying a shunting spur from the shed road to facilitate the release of locomotives from the shed.  Considering that this is the running season, when normally the number of working members available for other projects other than running the normal service has always been a bit of a hit and miss affair, shows just how far the Chasewater Railway has come since the early days of the reborn Company.

B-Hiils West Yard in 1960sBrownhills West Compound in the 1960s

With membership matters in mind, as of the beginning of September the number of new members as well as members who have renewed, has passed last year’s total.  This is taking into consideration the members who are not required to renew until February 1998.  Memberships have raised just on the £1000 mark, surpassing last year’s total by over £100.  In the two years that I have been dealing with the newsletter and membership administration the circulation numbers of the magazine has gone from approximately 80 copies to 160 issues posted out.  This does not take into account the extra copies sold in the shop.  An increasing number of non-members are now asking when the next issue of the magazine will be out so that they can purchase a copy.  This brings me on to one other point; the magazine is totally reliant on you, the membership.  Without your input I cannot produce the magazine on a quarterly basis, either that or the magazine will have to be reduced in size.  The more articles I receive, the more varied the contents and therefore the better the read.  Please let me have any article which concerns the Railway, especially ongoing projects, either on- or off-site.

As the 1997 season is coming to a close thoughts will be turning to next year and what the future holds for the Railway.  With the new Labour Ministers’ controversial approval of the BNRR (M6 Toll) the Railway must be prepared for interesting times ahead.  In the light of very few concrete plans for the Railway by the planners, speculation can be the source of what could be a lot of wild rumours.  All we can do for the present time is to continue relaying the track through to Three’s Junction (Chasewater Heaths) and then press the Lichfield District Council for further extensions to our lease.  The bigger the Railway is, the harder it is for the Council to simply try and dismiss us, or think that we are irrelevant to their future plans for Chasewater.  Also, the better the facilities for the general public, the better our standing in the grand scheme of things.  Back in 1986 when I joined the Railway, the Company was coming out of a period of stagnation, Brownhills West looked like a scrapyard and the attitude of some of the ex members was little better.  Ten years on so much has changed for the better, we still have the odd setbacks but we continue to grow and push forward.  Some years ago we were offered some track but we did not have the wherewithal to exploit the offer, but now it is a totally different kettle of fish.  With this in mind, further sites are currently being investigated with a view to further track recovery.  If we are lucky it should give us sufficient track to finish the extension and possibly go even further towards Church Street.

Asbo Wedding Special

Finally, congratulations to Margaret and John Duffill on their marriage on August 8th, which provided us with our first ‘Wedding Special’ train on the evening of their wedding.

Loco Shed News

As the season has progressed our steam locomotives have started to show their age with small but niggling problems occurring from time to time.  The engine shed is in need of a few extra volunteers to help in essential repair work on the current locomotive department’s backlog of tasks.  Also in the wings is the imminent job of giving Asbestos a major overhaul that is required very ten years.  It will be some time before Alfred Paget will be ready for steaming, even though work continues on restoring the Neilson at a steady pace.  Eventually the perennial problem of funding will loom over the work.  Both Paul and Janet Whittaker and the rest of the Neilson team have been doing a great job of actively fund raising, and this will cover a large percentage of the funds needed to carry out the work.  Extra help will need to be funded by the Railway to help in completion of the restoration project.

5543 - Asbestos CLR Red

Steam Locomotives

No. 4 Asbestos – As the season has continued more of the steam days have been handed over to the Sentinel.  On several occasions Asbestos and Sentinel have been double-headed on revenue earning trains.  As winter approaches a decision will have to be made on what work has to be carried out on Asbestos.  Its 10-year certificate is due to expire at the start of the season next year, and some major work needs to be carried out to both the boiler, especially round the firebox, and to the motion.

No. 5 Sentinel – The sentinel has performed well on the number of occasions that it has been in service.  One or two minor problems are still causing headaches trying to track down the cause.  This includes a possible problem with the oil pressure which could be down to a possible obstruction in the pipe to the oil pressure gauge.  Also the fire grate could need replacing during the winter months.

No.11 Alfred Paget – The work in restoring Alfred Paget is still moving ahead at a steady pace, even though on the face of it not a lot seems to have been done.  The rear spring hangers have been refurbished and replaced, and the valve rod on the one side which was badly worn has been welded back to its correct size.  The rod has been turned and the rear bush has been replaced and rebored to the correct diameter.  The raffle raised over £200 towards the restoration fund.

S100 – The axle boxes are now receiving attention to bring them to their correct positions in the frames.  New shims are being fitted and the brasses are due to be skimmed to make each side of the axle boxes parallel.  With the completion of this work, the wheel sets can be painted and brought back into their individual positions ready for re-joining to the frames.

5553 - Ruston Hornsby 408496-1957

Diesel Locomotives

DL7 – With DL7 still out of action, work has started on replacing some of the damaged fittings from the cab, especially the gauges which were broken by our local friendly hooligans.  This has involved replacing the broken glass of the faces and having them recalibrated and certificated.

Ruston Hornsby DM 48 – Most of the dismantling work has now taken place with the locomotive down to nothing but a chassis on wheels.  The hunt is still on for a replacement engine.  Andy Clegg |& Co. are restoring a number of the smaller fittings and fixtures off-site.

Fowler 422015 – This has continued running during the year, working the bulk of the yard shunting duties as well as works trains.  A new set of batteries will be needed for the winter period.

DMU – Once again since the last magazine, windows have had to be replaced due to the action of local vandals.  Work has started in replacing the damaged panels in 51370 as well as work on the interior.  51412 has been painted green on the Hednesford Road side as well as being partly lined out.  Ken Dyde’s diesel maintenance team has carried out further work.

Simplex No.21 – This has now been shunted into 3 road, awaiting the attention of the diesel fitters in getting the engine timing corrected, so that a test running of the engine can be carried out.  Once this has been carried out, work can continue on refurbishing the clutch and gearbox.

5514 - Neilson in Yard

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1900 – Johnson Class 3 Belpaire 4-4-0 Midland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1900 – Johnson Class 3 Belpaire 4-4-0

Midland Railway

No.730 as running in 1920No. 730 as running in 1920

In 1900, S.W.Johnson, who had been locomotive superintendent of the Midland Railway since 1873, introduced this design of 4-4-0 engine for main line work.  It was a considerable advance on his previous express types, some of which were inclined to be under-boilered.  The new engines were provided with a much larger boiler, and also, for the first time on the Midland Railway, a Belpaire firebox.  By Johnson’s previous standards, they were comparatively plain in appearance, the decorative curved splashers of the earlier days being no longer in evidence, but nevertheless a most neat and sturdy design evolved.

The new engines soon proved themselves very capable machines, and for many years they performed a major share in express working over the old Midland system, to a greater extent perhaps than the compounds which followed them, and if only for that reason that there were more of them.  Some of them were used at first on the mountainous Leeds and Carlisle road, but later they were usually to be found on the main lines between London and Leeds, London and Manchester, and on the West of England line between Derby and Bristol.


In all, eighty of the class were built between 1900 and 1905.  In 1907 they were renumbered into one series as 700-79, and thereafter became generally known as the ‘700’ class.  From 1913 onwards they began to be rebuilt with superheaters and extended smokeboxes, and nearly all received this treatment.  About 1925 it was decided that no more rebuilding should be done, and the seven engines still unconverted were scrapped.  These were Nos. 737, 742, 749, 751, 772, 778, and 779.  The class thereafter began to fall into some disfavour, and they began gradually to be taken out of service.  The process was slow, however, and 22 survived to be absorbed into BR stock at Nationalisation in 1948.  These were Nos. 711, 715, 720, 726-9, 731, 734-6, 739-41/3/5/7/8, 756-8, and 762.

Under the BR renumbering scheme their numbers were increased by 40000, as 40711, etc., but in many cases the engines were scrapped without actually carrying their new numbers.  The last one in service was No.40726, withdrawn in 1952.

No. 40726

They were very fine engines, fast and steady running, but had a tendency to be heavy on coal.  This was probably the reason that they did not meet with a great deal of favour after about 1925, when much attention was given to the question of economy of coal consumption, even at the expense of providing locomotives of adequate power for the needs of the day.

Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders – 20½”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 20065 lb.,  Weight – 55 tons 7 cwt.,  LMS power classification – 3P.


Some Early Lines – Inchicore Railway Works

Some Early Lines

Inchicore Railway Works

Inchicore Book

Last year the Museum had a visitor from Dublin, a relative of a friend in the Cannock area.  Unfortunately, it was not a running day but I showed him round and we took a walk along the canal beneath the dam.  I told him that we were going to set up a reference library sometime in the future (any specialised railway books would be welcome) and when he got home he donated a copy of this book on the Inchicore Railway Works to the Museum.  Thank you Andrew.

Located five kilometres due west of the city centre, Inchicore lies south of the River Liffey, west of Kilmainham, north of Drimnagh and east of Ballyfermot. The majority of Inchicore is in the Dublin 8 postal district. Portions of Inchicore extend into the Dublin 10 and Dublin 12 postal districts.

The townlands of Inchicore North and Inchicore South are located in the civil parish of St. James, Dublin, in the Barony of Uppercross.

Inchicore Railway Works is the headquarters for mechanical engineering and rolling stock maintenance for Iarnród Éireann. Established in 1844 by the Great Southern & Western Railway, it is the largest engineering complex of its kind in Ireland with a site area of 295,000 m² (73 acres). CIÉ also builds bus coaches for its fleets at the Spa Road coach works.

The Inchicore Railway Works were established in 1846 by the Great Southern and Western Railway (GS&WR) as its main engineering works, the first payroll is dated the 24th of April 1846 and amounted to £83. 12s. 9d. At that time there were 39 men employed, but at its peak there were over 2000.

461 Inchicore open day 68461 at an Inchicore open day in 1968. CIÉ staff have painted her up as DSER 15, in black with red lining. In DSER days she did not have the distinctive Inchicore style smokebox – and the white-wall tyres are a very un-Irish feature apparently added in a fit of creative passion. In the background is GNR(I) No.131. (CP Friel)

 The original running shed was built throughout of limestone and was designed by Sancton Wood who also designed Heuston Station. With its castellated walls and tower and gothic appearance it was architecturally a very picturesque building.

The “Works” are located 3km west of Heuston Station and covers a site of approximately 73 acres. It’s still the main engineering works for Iarnrod Eireann, maintaining the large fleet of diesel locomotives and rolling stock.

This video from youtube shows the Inchicore Open Day of 1958.  Health and Safety were rather different in those days!!