Tag Archives: Loco Shed

98 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Summer 1983

98 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Summer 1983

 Editorial – Chasewater in Crisis

On behalf of the Society I must apologise for the long gap between this and the last magazine due to a long list of reasons.  There has just not been either the time or the money to expend on such a publication.

At present our membership wavers around the 100 mark, of which around 10% manage to visit regularly.  It seems unfortunate that each week we rely on the same members attending to the Railway’s needs, without the active support of the other 90%.  It is little wonder that the veterans are fast becoming despondent with the work load being foisted on them.

Unless there is a significant change in the attitude of our membership, one of two things will happen:  either the Railway stock will have to be drastically pruned to the minimum required to run a service, or we shut the doors and sell the lot.

I beg more of you to attend, if only on an occasional basis.  It always seems strange to me how many of you can attend the AGM and that’s the last we see of you for twelve months.

Tony Sale – Assistant General Manager.

Locomotives

Asbestos – This engine has now been in the process of restoration for about five years, due mainly to shortage of manpower.  The frames and wheels have been re-assembled, the boiler tubed and the tank and cab are being repainted.  Now we have to complete the boiler repairs and drop it into the frames and one day we may have a working engine.

Invicta – This engine is now in store pending the fitting of vacuum brake gear and the overhaul of the main bearing brasses.  Work is hoped to commence on completion of Asbestos.Sentinel taking water at our old HQ

Sentinel – The boiler was split to reveal the inner firebox for the boiler inspector but work has now been shelved in order to concentrate work on Asbestos.Ruston & Hornsby DL7 entering the old Brownhills West Station

DL7 – The mainstay of our shunting force has performed reasonably well over the last two years and it holds the distinction of being our only regularly working engine.  This diesel locomotive is subject to an appeal to maintain its presence at Chasewater, which you may or may not like to subscribe to.

S100 – If I didn’t have to assist running the Railway I might find more time to devote to this rather large jigsaw puzzle, but despite all, progress is still being made, weather permitting, you would be amazed how much one person can achieve by himself, so if someone would like to assist, twice as much could be accomplished.

All other locomotives are stored unserviceable for the foreseeable future, including the Neilson, which requires new tubes.  It can only be hoped that decay can be kept to a minimum to ensure resurrection in years to come.

Carriages and Wagons

Here I hoped to bring glad tidings, but unfortunately the only news is that the MSLR carriage is still in the shed and has been largely untouched due to the fact that there are no carpenters in our midst.  The only other news is that a few more doors have dropped off the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the rest are generally suffering from many years of neglect.

The other snippet is that the Midland Crane had to be dismantled in order to stop it falling apart over the rails.What about it lads – who still cares?

Another late snippet is that someone wants to buy the TPO.  Your Committee is in favour and I myself fully support them, but the choice is yours, so make it known fast, it will be no good grumbling after it has left.

Catering

As many of you know, much of the money needed to support the Railway is generated in the form of sales of soft drinks and chocolates.  Recently the Wickham DMU was acquired in order to branch out further into the prepared food department, all we need is one interested member prepared to buy, prepare and sell.  If anyone would come to volunteer we would be only too happy to assist in any way, as well as supplying a warehouse card which could also be used for their own benefit.

Shed News

The new loco shed has certainly proved to be one of the most important developments at Chasewater.  Not only does it supply ideal conditions for thorough restoration, it also allows work to continue after dark.  Although this building has been with us for over a year there are still improvements to be made, i.e. fitting of three phase electric cables within the building and also fitting of a compressed air circuit.  Once the former has been completed, all our machinery can be powered and the shed can be said to be fully operational.Taken from DL7, approaching the loco shed from the same direction as we do now – obviously before the changes!

T ask Force Notes

A new task force was supplied together with finance and a new Manager, to commence work on the track layout.  After last season the Railway lost its powers of running the line until such times as the whole of the permanent way was relaid in order to comply with the Railway Inspectorate’s standards.

In short, the platform front has been demolished to supply the necessary clearance, (rebuilding is now underway) and a run round loop is being built in the vicinity of the compound.  Next the line will be lifted and replaced with better quality materials down to the old exchange sidings where another run round loop will be constructed.  Upon completion a further visit by the Railway Inspectorate will then be made, and hopefully we shall run again.  I can only say that I hope all goes well for the Task Force and both luck and weather is on their sides.

 On behalf of the Company I have been asked by our Chairman to include the following appeal.

Save DL7 for Chasewater

The Company needs money to service a large overdraft and whilst the Railway is not running, little money is being repaid and understandably the Bank Manager is a little distressed.

 If you would like to give some money to this appeal, you will be helping DL7 because if the Company is declared bankrupt, DL7 will certainly be seized as an asset.  If the engine belongs to the membership it is safe along with the rest of the Society’s collection from the grips of the Liquidators

If you cannot afford a share, buy one together with some friends – you may buy as many as you like.

Shares are available in multiples of £10.00.

97 Chasewater Railway Bits & Pieces 1982-1985

Chasewater Light Railway Society

1982-1985

Newsletter January 1983

News from the line

Loco Shed

The loco shed is now completed and the engineering department has taken up occupation.  At present the shed houses the Sentinel 4wVBT, MSLR 6-wheeled coach and Asbestos.

The shed was built with the aid of a Manpower Services Commission Youth Opportunities Programme under the direction of Derek Cartwright. Unfortunately the scheme overspent by a sum well into four figures.  Whilst a small sum was inevitable on the end of the final scheme, the size of the present liability has to be met by the Company is of particular concern to the Directors.

West Midlands County Council Task Force

The Directors have chosen this as a means of achieving further developments at Chasewater, in the light of experience with the loco shed.  A special thanks goes to John Selway for getting the scheme off the ground.

The scheme is exclusively devoted to improving trackwork and associated facilities to a standard acceptable to the Railway Inspectorate.  This will entail the relaying of the track on the entire length of the line and the construction of a run round loop at Brownhills West Station. A material grant of £10,000 is available which has been earmarked for the purchase of rail and concrete sleepers.  Labour is provided by WMCC, who are also responsible for day to day administration.

Work on this scheme will shortly begin in earnest, with progress dependant on the weather conditions during the coming months.  This work will commence before the 1983 running season and it is likely that the running season will not start at Easter.

Asbestos

This loco will operate the first passenger train in 1983, after its prolonged overhaul is completed.  The loco will emerge in a new blue livery and will be fitted with vacuum brake equipment, which is a necessary feature of all future working locos.

Society members are currently working on the loco which is the first priority, ahead of the striping for boiler examination of the Sentinel.

That is the end of the Jan 1983 Newsletter, and considering the piece which follows, mainly taken from the history of Chasewater Railway, they really didn’t know what was coming!  There were no passenger trains from October 1982 until Spring 1985.  And, just as a matter of interest, ‘Asbestos’ in blue wasn’t a success either!

The Society had been proud to be represented at the Stockton & Darlington 150th celebrations in 1975 by the restored Maryport & Carlisle coach, but by 1982 things were not going too well at Chasewater. Vandalism and theft were rife, especially during the time when a Manpower Service Commission programme had been engaged on construction work for a new engine shed and some track work.

The Railway effectively closed in October 1982 when a miserable wet Saturday saw just two fare-paying passengers carried on the last train of the day. Although no trains were to be run for the foreseeable future, it was decided to soldier on behind the scenes as a Society. However, further problems occurred during a West Midlands County Council Task Force Scheme the following year when, after construction of a bay platform to accommodate the museum coach, the remainder of the platform was demolished by the Task Force – who then failed to return to rebuild and extend the platform as promised, for nearly 18 months.

It was not until 1985 that regular steamings began again, but in the intervening three steam-less years, membership had dropped by some 50 per cent. The Society deemed it necessary to prune its stock as it was realised that without an injection of cash, the whole affair might fold. The L&NWR Travelling Post Office went to Tyseley; a small “Planet” diesel went to Brian Roberts’ Tollerton Farm Railway, while individual members purchased two steam locos and one diesel loco in order that they could remain safely at Chasewater.

Working membership fell to single figures, but that small band succeeded in rescuing this early standard gauge preservation scheme from the brink of extinction. Subsequently, as described later, a new company was formed in 1985 – the Chasewater Light Railway and Museum Company – and achieved status as a Registered Charity.