220 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News – Summer 1998 – Part 5
Renovation of No.2937 Neilson 0-4-0
Well, two and a half years in and things are still moving along steadily. The repairs on the front boiler plate and firebox stays have been completed very professionally by ABR Specialist Welders of West Bromwich, and after a cursory check over by the boiler inspector, we are now confident that the boiler is in good condition.
At this juncture I made the decision to lower the boiler back down into the frames. A sigh of relief which echoed across the lake was said to be heard when the boiler settled snugly down into the frames. In addition to the boiler repairs, moulds were mad for the blocks to provide a flat surface for the water gauge flanges, and the profile milled steel blocks were machined and donated to us, courtesy of Chris Chivers, at HB Sales works in Birmingham. We now have the painstaking job of fitting the blocks ready for welding.
Meanwhile, Steve Williams and myself set to to drill and fit two new slide bars either side of the outside flanks of the boiler, so as to firmly secure the boiler into the frames. The fitting of the slide bars now being completed, we are attempting to remove the footplate intact, so as to use it as a template to flame cut a new footplate in one piece. In doing this, we hope to avoid warping and opening joints which can be hazardous to both driver and fireman. And so, all in all over the last six months, our progress with the Neilson has been quite good.
As in most projects of this kind there is always a down side. Unfortunately after such expenditure which the Neilson Fund has incurred of late, the fund is at an all time low. If any member has a suggestion, or indeed would like to make a donation, Janet Whittaker, our official fundraiser, would be very pleased to hear from you.
Spring in the Diesel Yard
DMU – General maintenance work is still being carried out on the DMU set even though test runs down the line at the start of the season showed that nearly all the problems had been found. A faulty hydraulic unit on 51370 was found and the unit had to be changed. Electrical faults also seemed to set us back; these were traced to the relays in the main isolator box. The No. 2 engine on 51412 had starting problems and this was tracked down to a faulty starter motor which has had to be replaced. The No.1 engine on the leading car, 51370, has unfortunately had to be taken out of service because the defect has yet to be established and rectified.
Simplex No. 21 – The radiator for 21 was sent away for repair, but due to the high cost quoted the repair has had to be abandoned. It was returned back to us so we are back to square one. Nigel Canning very kindly donated a new radiator of a different design to us – many thanks Nigel. Our foreman fitter, Ken Dyde, along with Vic Baker and myself, decided to make some modifications to the old one, so that the new radiator would fit into the old frame. The electrics have still to be sorted out and if all goes well we are hoping to have No. 2running for the Diesel Gala in September (fingers crossed!)
DL7 – Dl7 is due for a repaint during the summer after the windows which were broken by our friendly neighbourhood vandals had been replaced by Keith Poynter and our junior members – many thanks. The left hand door which was sent away for repair is now back and waiting to be refitted. A general overhaul and service is now scheduled for the end of the season, after which DL7 should be back in traffic.
Company Set 51372 and 59444 – The No. 1 engine on 51372 was found to have water mixed in with the oil, and after investigation the problem was traced to the cylinder head, which had suffered a blown injector sleeve. The cylinder head has been removed and sent away for repair. The hope is that the engine will be returned to service before the end of the 1998 season. The repainting of 51372 is well under way after being prepared by Steve Organ and the work is due for completion by the autumn.
Black Fowler 422 – The black Fowler has served us very well over the season and has proved to be a very reliable locomotive for shunting and for use with the P way works being carried out on the extension. A broken injector pipe has been the only problem to give us a setback, but the fault was quickly rectified by the team.
One of the PMVs recently purchased by Stave Organ, built at Ashford Works in 1936, was used as a staff and tool van. It is presently being renovated by Keith Poynter and a number of other members who have given up their time to assist in this project. Steve has allocated one of the PMVs to be used as a mobile workshop and store for the diesel maintenance team. The other one being allocated to the P way gang’s works train.
More on the Extension
One Friday afternoon in the infrequent sunshine this year, our illustrious General Manager received a telephone call from someone whose name I didn’t know, asking if, in answer to our appeal, would a donation of approximately 600 sleepers help at all?
So two weeks later, beginning on Thursday 21st May, the first of the loads of sleepers had arrived at Chasewater via Cotton’s Transport. The delivery was made much easier by LCP Properties who gave us access to the extension side of the lake. By the Saturday morning, all the sleepers had arrived on site and had been distributed along the trackbed with the use of an all-terrain forklift truck. Prior to the delivery, LCP Properties had very kindly loaned us the use of their bulldozer to level the existing trackbed, and I may say that it looked brilliant – just like a proper Railtrack trackbed. The time saved on the project by the use of these couple of items of plant and the use of LCP’s access road has been incalculable, not including the saving of sweat and labour just to get the materials to the section of our lease which we are re-laying.
Anyway, by the following Sunday over 200 sleepers had been laid, and over the following week Steve, DJ, Keith and Albert railed, keyed and fish-plated the first six panels from the existing railhead. Unfortunately I was unavailable at this time because I had to work over that week. During that week, Steve had kept a constant flow of rails moving along the line towards the end of our ever-lengthening running line. The speed at which the panels of track were being put down, keyed and fish-plated left most of the regular passers-by stunned. I don’t know whether the lads are looking for permanent jobs with Railtrack or what? Or are they trying to show Railtrack how it’s done?
By the end of the week, DJ was completely knackered; he said it was like being at work only with unpaid and unsociable hours, as he was finishing at around 10.30pm most nights. Anyway, all I can say to the lads is that you’ve done the Railway proud – and me especially. By the time that you read this article we should be at Three’s Junction with the track laid and ballasted. If it isn’t then we won’t be far behind.
Thanks again lads, Arthur.