Daily Archives: January 19, 2013

214 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Spring 1998 – Part 4 Simplex 21 4WDM (Kent Construction 1929)

214 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Spring 1998 – Part 4

Chasewater Railway’s Worthington No.21 in action at the old Brownhills West station, with Ken Dyde in the driver’s seat.  Just a short run up and down to somewhere near the site of the current Brownhills West station, with the engine shed on the left a bit further on.

Simplex 21 4WDM (Kent Construction 1929)

By Albert Dean – 21 Lives Again

DSCF9710No. 21 in the Heritage Centre, January 2013


Work finally began on 21 late in September; our first task was to reset the poppet valves and injector timing.  As we suspected, it was 180º out of alignment from the spill, once these were rectified we set about starting the engine.  We tried several settings with the injectors and the valve timing – this is where the fun began.

We also had problems with the starter motor; owing to info received it could be 12 volts or 24.  We tried starting with 12 volts plus a booster charger but to no avail.  A 24-volt starter motor was then fitted and extra batteries were also fitted, this turned the engine over much faster.

We soon found the engine was losing compression, the problem was soon located, the cylinder head had not been tightened down enough and the problem was soon rectified.  Once all the work had been carried out we primed the injector pump and tried starting the engine once again, but again to no avail, so we tried adjusting the pump and trying numerous settings.  At 2.00pm on 9th January 1998 to our amazement the engine suddenly came to life, at this point only half of the exhaust had been fitted.  Ken Dyde was inside the cab leaning over the engine, when smoke bellowed out of the exhaust pipe engulfing the cab area.  Vic Baker was standing outside the loco and the visibility decreased rapidly making Ken totally disappear!

Is this the sequel to the Invisible Man??!!

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Once we had established that the engine could be run, we started hunting for lost parts.  The Cadbury’s van on Road 3 became a hive of interest.  We found lots of the original parts from’21’, the old engine which was seized, the clutch assembly, decompression levers, engine covers, plus lots more.  At last we were underway.

We first removed the clutch from the old engine which was in the Cadbury’s van, and transferred it into ‘21’, this posed us a problem.  We had to jack up the engine to fit the clutch assembly and this took us a lot longer than we anticipated.  Once this was completed, we then had to line up the engine with the gearbox (new bolts and packing pieces were just the ticket) but before we could fit the clutch pedal a bracket had to be made.  A short trip to the loco shed and Steve Williams came to our rescue and made a new part for the clutch pedal assembly.

No.20 at Bass

January – The Visit

The layout of the inside of ‘21’ seemed to be a mystery, so after some deliberation over a few cups of tea in the cabin, we decided to arrange a day out to visit the sister loco, Simplex No. 20, which is on loan to the Bass Museum in Burton-on-Trent.  We telephoned the Museum on Wednesday January 28th to arrange a visit – they said you can come any day, so we decided to go the next day.  We arrived at the Bass Museum at around 11.00am.  Upon our arrival we were made most welcome and were directed to the railway exhibits where loco No.9 and the 4-wheel saloon carriage and Worthington No.20 stood in all their glory.  Simplex No.20 still looks in very good condition and well maintained.  Ken, Vic and myself set to work taking photographs, drawing sketches, removing the engine covers and getting a very good idea of where everything was located.  We then went on a tour of the Museum, which we found very interesting.  We all agreed that our day at the Bass Museum had been very enjoyable and useful, and would strongly recommend this place for a family day out.  The Museum is open all year round and there is something for everyone to see and do.

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February – Back Home at Brownhills West

Things really started to take shape.  All the clutch pedal assembly was fitted.  Our next task was to fit the radiator and all the hoses, the radiator fan and pulley wheels.  The pulley wheels are attached to one of the engine covers; this had to be fitted next.  The radiator had received some damage over the years but Steve organ came to the rescue and he is having it repaired – many thanks Steve!

The seat and engine cover are now ready to fit, but before we can fit the covers, they are in need of some attention.  This should not take long to put right – we should be able to run ‘21’ within the next few weeks.  A new floor covering the gearbox, as well as new windows, have to be made and put in.  There are no electrics in ‘21’ so it has got to have a total rewire; the roof needs some attention; and all in good time for the summer!